Regan Phillips, CEO of CASA Orange County, is an Orange County native. She graduated from Mater Dei High School before completing undergraduate studies in Sociology and Communications at the University of Southern California (B.A.), a master’s degree in social work (MSW) from Columbia University, and her law degree from Chapman University School of Law (J.D.).
Regan first became involved with CASA in 2001, while living in New York City and studying at Columbia. She completed a one-year internship with CASA-NYC, launching her career advocating for children in the dependency system (foster care).
While in law school, Regan worked as an investigator for the Law Office of Harold LaFlamme—the law firm contracted with Orange County to provide legal representation (“minor’s counsel”) for children in foster care. She was a member of her law school’s Moot Court Honors Board, president of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Board, and completed a semester-long externship with Justice Richard M. Aronson of the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three. She also met her husband at Chapman Law; they married shortly after graduating together in 2005.
Upon receiving her Juris Doctor and passing the California Bar Examination, Regan was promoted from investigator to attorney for the Law Office of Harold LaFlamme. She was assigned to a trial court department at the Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange, where she represented children in the foster care system. When a child is “detained” (removed from their home by a social worker because of alleged abuse, neglect, or abandonment), the child is termed a “dependent” of the state and the subject of a dependency court case. Thereafter, the child’s fate is in large part determined by a judicial officer, based on the evidence presented in the case. The case is prosecuted by County Counsel; the child’s parents are entitled to be represented by an attorney; and minor’s counsel is appointed to represent and advocate for the child. In her role as minor’s counsel, Regan dealt regularly with CASA volunteers in the courtroom to obtain their valuable insight into the child’s life, and better advance the interests of the child. She later advocated on behalf of dependent children at the Court of Appeal, participating in a number of writ and appeal dependency cases.
Following the birth of her first child, Regan worked for a time as a solo practitioner handling private adoptions, and as an associate attorney for Rigg & Dean, an Orange County personal injury and liability firm. In 2009, she accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors of CASA OC, where she served on for four years and volunteered as a member of the Holiday Luncheon Committee.
In 2015, Regan joined the staff of CASA as Chief Program Officer. Regan was elevated to CEO position in December of 2017.
Regan has had spent most of her professional life performing work about which she is deeply passionate—advocating for children removed from their homes and separated from their families as a result of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. “I have the greatest admiration and respect for the committed individuals who volunteer as Court Appointed Special Advocates, and those who give so generously to ensure our organization may continue recruiting, training, and supporting those volunteers.”
Regan and her husband reside in North Tustin with their three children and a precocious animal that purports to be a “Bernedoodle,” but more closely resembles a Muppet.