2019-2020 Board of Directors & Committees


Kathleen Gorham, President
Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney LLP

From the San Fernando Valley in LA County, Kathleen has lived in Palm Springs since 1990 with her husband, Tom, and has served in the legal profession for 32 years. Kathleen earned her Paralegal Studies Certificate from the University of California-Davis and is the Probate Paralegal in the Probate/Litigation/Trusts & Estates Department at Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney LLP in Palm Springs. Kathleen was a member of SFVLSA from 1987 to 1990, and a member in DPLPA since 2011, and has served as Parliamentarian, Education & Training Chair, Bylaws Committee, Program Chair, Conference Co-Chair and President over the past years. Kathleen is also a member of Palm Springs Film Society and Palm Springs Air Museum.


Samantha Marji, Vice President

Samantha is a native Desert Valley resident. Samantha’s legal career began in 2009 when she became a paralegal in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. She specializes in military justice and has traveled the world working in various military installation legal offices.

Samantha has an ABA approved Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. When she isn’t writing and reviewing legal documents, she can be found with her favorite little lady, her daughter.      


Erika Garduno,Governor &
LSI's Social Media
Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney LLP

Erika Garduno is a mother of two daughters (Alexis & Kira). Erika initiated her experience in Los Angeles County in 1995 and transferred to the Coachella Valley in 2007. Erika’s knowledge and experience varies from personal injury, manufacturing defects, governmental agencies, and Tribal defense, among others. Since her arrival to the Coachella Valley, she has been employed with the law firm of SBEMP LLP in Palm Springs.

At the August 2016 Quarterly Conference, Erika was appointed LSI's Social Media Chair and became part of the LSI Marketing Committee.

In addition, in August 2017, Erika was given the first ever Rising Star Award from LSI.


Vicky Dean-Walters, Secretary




Sue Sartain, Treasurer & Parliamentarian


Susan (Sue) Sartain has worked in the legal field for over 35 years. Before moving to Palm Springs, she worked for a family law firm in the Inland Empire. After moving to the Desert, she joined DPLPA and received a job referral for a position in the civil litigation department of Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney, LLP and has worked at the firm for over 10 years.

In the past she has served on the DPLPA Bylaws Committee, 2017-2019 DPLPA Audit Committee and was Parliamentarian. She is currently the DPLPA Treasurer and Parliamentarian.



LSI Quarterly Conference

Erika Garduno, Kathleen Gorham



Attorney of the Year Award


Bylaws Committee

Sue Sartain, Kathleen Gorham

Career Promotion

Erika Garduno

Education & Training

Kathleen Gorham


Erika Garduno




Samantha Marji

Nominations & Elections

Sarah Stephenson

Scholarship Committee

Tisha Diaz


Sylvia Baran








Chapter Achievement


Charitable Projects




Day in Court


Program/Hostess (Hospitality)




Law Office Management


Legal Procedure


Professional Liaison




Service Award


Ways and Means