Knobbe Martens, Lawyers Charlene Azema and Bita Kianian, Recognized at OCCDL 2023 Diversity Awards

Irvine, Calif. August 31, 2023 – Knobbe Martens is honored to announce that the firm has been recognized by the Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law (OCCDL) as one of the Top 10 Legal Organizations for DEI in Orange County. The award recognizes organizations that provide excellent legal services and are dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Orange County community. Additionally, partner Charlene Azema and associate Bita Kianian were named recipients of individual awards.

“We are immensely proud that our firm has been selected for this honor,” said Steven Nataupsky, managing partner of Knobbe Martens. “From our founding in Orange County more than 60 years ago, Knobbe Martens has been committed to creating and fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace. It’s a commitment that has yielded real and meaningful results.” Earlier this month, the firm ranked among the top five most diverse midsize law firms in Law360’s annual Diversity Snapshot.

In addition to the Top Legal Organizations award, the OCCDL selected partner Charlene Azema as a “Top 10 DEI Champion of Orange County” and associate Bita Kianian a “Top 10 Young Lawyer of OC.” Honorees will be recognized at the OCCDL DEI Awards Gala on October 12, 2023.

Ms. Azema, who counsels clients in domestic and international trademark and copyright portfolio management and enforcement, is a leader within the firm and a passionate DEI advocate, both within the firm and throughout the Orange County and broader legal community. She has served on the firm’s Diversity and Mentor Committees for several years, playing a key role in advancing DEI efforts and ensuring that future generations of lawyers are guided and supported as they advance through their legal careers. Ms. Azema is a strong advocate for diversity throughout the legal profession, having served for several years as the firm’s representative for the OCCDL and the Corporate Counsel Women of Color organization.

Ms. Kianian is a star within the firm and the Orange County legal community. She is a member of the firm’s trademark practice group and is deeply committed to advancing DEI efforts within the firm and the legal community. She serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee, where she contributes to firm management related to diversity and inclusion efforts and policies. Ms. Kianian has also helped lead the development of DEI-focused training and educational programs at the firm. She has served on the firm’s Racial Bias Subcommittee since its inception, where she has actively helped launch affinity groups across the firm. She is currently co-chair of the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Affinity Group.

The OCCDL is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion within the Orange County legal community. Its awards recognize legal organizations, champions of diversity and young diverse attorneys who provide excellent legal services and have proven dedication to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in Orange County.

About Knobbe Martens

Knobbe Martens is a highly respected intellectual property law firm, offering legal services in all aspects of intellectual property and technology law.  The firm’s litigation group handles cases throughout the U.S. and coordinates strategy for disputes worldwide. Founded in California in 1962, the firm has about 300 lawyers and scientists based in offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.  Knobbe Martens serves a diverse international client base, from multinational corporations to emerging businesses of all stages. More information about the firm can be found at