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MARICELA PICAZO obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University, School of Law in 2003 and was admitted to the California State Bar later that year. During her time at Santa Clara University, Ms. Picazo was a member of the Student Admissions committee where she reviewed and analyzed applications for Law School candidates.


Ms. Picazo began her legal career as a Legal Intern for the San Francisco Office of the District Attorney where she conducted legal research and writing for motion hearings and trials in addition to assisting with overall case preparation. She later on became a Certified Legal Intern for District Attorney’s Office in the Juvenile Division specializing in legal research, drafting legal memoranda of points and authorities and trial briefs, and case preparation. As a Certified Legal Intern she also assisted with the in motion calendar, which included the presentation of oral arguments. During her time in Law School, Ms. Picazo worked as a Law Clerk at a firm in San Francisco where she gained experience in discovery review and claim analysis. She also assisted attorneys with case research, preparation for depositions, hearing and trial and the negotiation of lien settlements. Since admitted to the State Bar, Ms. Picazo has exclusively practiced Workers’ Compensation Law. Over the past 11 years, Ms. Picazo has worked in-house for a large insurance company where she handled complex files for their national accounts. She is well versed in all phases of litigation, appearing at court proceedings and negotiating settlement agreements. Ms. Picazo is also fluent in Spanish.

Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela and Brown is pleased to have Ms. Picazo as an Attorney in our San Francisco Office.



AARUNI THAKUR received his Bachelor of Arts in Art History with a minor in Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles. He continued to receive his Juris Doctor in 2006 from the University of San Diego, School of Law. While in school, Mr. Thakur worked for the San Diego Housing Commission/Anaheim Housing Authority as a Housing Assistant, where he tracked and analyzed the financial data of Section 8 participants.


Mr. Thakur began his career working as a Staff Attorney for the Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, Inc. where he managed over 200 dependency cases representing parents, minors, legal guardians and De Facto Parents. His responsibilities included interviewing clients, drafting legal documents, analyzing reports and attending appearances at all stages of the case. Mr. Thakur began practicing Workers’ Compensation Law exclusively in 2010 and has defended a variety of complex claims. Over the years, Mr. Thakur has successfully represented a wide array of self-insured employers throughout California, ranging from large retail manufacturers to public entities such as cities and school districts. In working with municipalities and public entities, Mr. Thakur is well-versed with LC 4850 and Education Code benefits. Mr. Thakur’s strong negotiation skills and experience in successfully litigating claims make him a valuable asset to our firm.

Mr. Thakur is an associate in the firm’s Newport Beach office.

February 2015