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September 2017

Gordon & Rees Elevates 29 to Partnership

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani has elevated 29 attorneys to partnership. Located in offices throughout the country and experienced in a broad range of legal areas, these new partners are positioned to collaborate with our national practice groups to meet the various legal needs of our clients.

“Each of these talented colleagues reflects both the firm’s broad national reach as well as the substantive depth of our practice groups,” said Dion Cominos, firm managing partner. “They have worked hard and demonstrated a high level of commitment to Gordon & Rees and we are very pleased to welcome them into the partnership ranks.”

Christine Barker is a partner in the Orange County office. She is a member of the Construction practice group. She is a highly accomplished attorney with significant experience in general and complex matters with an emphasis in construction law.  Barker has counseled owners, general contractors, design professional and subcontractors during all phases of project design and construction. During the project planning phase, she provides advice concerning contractor selection, contract drafting and negotiation, insurance requirements, and bidding. During the construction phase Barker continues to counsel clients on change order disputes, delays, defect claims (commercial and residential), as well as construction remedies, including mechanics liens, stop notices, performance/payment bond claims, and prompt payment laws. She is also well versed in bid protests at the local, state and federal levels for both owners and contractors. In addition to her front-end contract experience, Barker is also a highly accomplished litigator counseling clients on all aspects of the litigation process, from case strategy, risk evaluation, discovery, alternative resolution, through trial and judgment enforcement.

Joseph Breen is a partner in the San Francisco office. He is an experienced commercial litigation, employment, and privacy law attorney. He has successfully represented businesses ranging from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups in commercial litigation matters as well as in employment claims ranging from single plaintiff to complex class action wage/hour matters, discrimination, and PAGA lawsuits.  Breen’s litigation experience is broad and covers a wide variety of actions including shareholder disputes, trade secret matters, contract, fraud, defamation and unfair business practices claims, violations of wage and hour laws, wrongful discharge and retaliation claims involving alleged disability, race, age and sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and social media and privacy issues.

Aya Deam is a partner in the Los Angeles office and is a member of the Commercial Litigation and Employment practice groups. She is also the Director of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group for the Western Region.  She has litigated a wide range of disputes in state and federal courts, as well as appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Court of Appeals. Her practice includes the defense of employers facing wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour claims.  Deam has litigated professional liability disputes such as the defense of architects, engineers, real estate brokers, insurance brokers, and lawyers.  She also handles business litigation claims  including contract interference, unfair competition, and breach of non-disclosure and non-competition agreements.

A. Louis Dorny is a partner in the Los Angeles office. Serving as co-chair of the firm's Professional Liability Defense practice group from 2015 to 2017, Dorny most recently led a trial team against defective product manufacturers in the Central District of California. He also oversaw claims involving trademark, trade secret, copyright and patent disputes. Rated as “AV Preeminent” with Martindale-Hubbell and included on The National Association of Distinguished Counsel Top One Percent List in 2016, Dorny was responsible for the defense of former employees in a trade secret matter resulting in an award of $486,000 in attorneys fees for bad faith trade secret claims under California’s Uniform Trade Secret statutes. He is a member of the Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Privacy & Data Security practice groups, he focuses on antitrust law, class certification, copyright law, legal malpractice, patent law, privacy law, product liability, securities and white collar defense. A member of the California and District of Columbia bar associations, he is also an active member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Steffanie Fain is a partner in the firm's Seattle office. Her practice focuses on commercial and general civil litigation, with an emphasis on contract, business, and environmental disputes. Fain represents corporations, non-profit organizations, and individuals, including directors and officers, relating to a wide variety of claims and issues, including complex commercial litigation, class actions, products liability, and professional liability matters.  She also defends employers in wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour matters. Fain counsels clients on all aspects of the litigation process, including case strategy, risk evaluation, discovery and trial, and handles litigation at both the trial court and appellate court levels. She also represents and advises businesses and non-profit organizations on a variety of business and homeowner association issues.

Allison Fernandez is a partner in the San Francisco office with the Commercial Litigation, Privacy & Data Security, Employment, and Consumer Protection Litigation practice groups. She handles a wide variety of litigation matters at both the state and federal level, including complex commercial disputes, class actions and multidistrict litigation (MDL), products liability, employment law, intellectual property, and professional liability.

Joni Flaherty is a partner in the San Diego office with the Intellectual Property, Business Litigation, and Product Liability practice groups. Her practice focuses on the representation of businesses in a broad range of matters, including complex business litigation, consumer class actions, antitrust, product liability, premises liability, fraud and misrepresentation claims, and unfair competition actions. She also handles a variety of intellectual property matters, including disputes regarding trade secrets, copyrights, and product licensing, and trademark litigation and registrations. She has handled IP, antitrust, and other commercial matters involving various business sectors, including the higher education, consumer products, food and beverage, financial, and tech industries, and for professional organizations and nonprofits.

John Fraher is a partner in the San Diego office and focuses his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, contracts, real estate matters and defense of professional liability and tort claims, as well as consumer class actions. In addition, he has extensive experience representing product manufacturers, including aerospace, construction and medical device companies, against products liability actions. He represents a diverse body of clients, from individuals to multi-national corporations. He specializes in resolving cases through dispositive motions and has had multiple motions for summary judgment granted and demurrers sustained in favor of his clients.

Lorraine Girolamo Revans is a partner in the firm's Westchester, NY, office. She focuses her practice on general liability and casualty and other complex litigation, including the defense of catastrophic construction claims, auto claims, equipment defect claims, premises liability claims and general negligence claims. Her clients include various national health club chains, area hospitals, local businesses and various construction contractors, among others. She handles cases from initial pleadings phases through trial and has extensive experience in handling depositions, mediations and appellate arguments, as she has successfully argued numerous appeals before the Appellate Division First and Second Departments.

Dina Glucksman is a partner with the Employment practice group in the Los Angeles office. Glucksman has an active employment litigation and counseling practice focused primarily on defending clients against claims of discrimination, retaliation, FMLA, wrongful termination, defamation, and harassment. She also focuses her practice on complex business disputes and class action cases, with a special focus on wage and hour issues. She regularly counsels employers on hiring practices, terminations, workplace investigations, reductions in work force issues, and litigation avoidance practices. Glucksman also provides guidance to employers regarding negotiation of separation agreements, drafting employment handbooks, policies, and procedures, and various issues related to wage and hour compliance. Glucksman also conducts sexual harassment and harassment training, as well as manager training regarding proper reporting procedures and grievance processes.

Heather Gwinn Pabon is a partner in the Employment, Healthcare, and Professional Liability practice groups in the firm's Denver office. She has a broad range of health-related experience, both in direct care and in providing legal representation on behalf of healthcare providers. She routinely defends physicians, assisted living and nursing home clients, hospitals, and other health care providers against a variety of claims, including malpractice and negligence, violations of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, and various common law actions. In addition to her healthcare tort litigation practice, she advises her healthcare clients, small and medium-sized businesses, and Fortune 500 companies regarding the employer-employee relationship. 

Frank Hostetler is a partner in the Orange County office. He has been a civil litigator for more than 30 years. While experienced in representing corporate defendants in a wide variety of litigated issues, he has specialized in defending the motor vehicle industry in product liability, consumer law and chemical exposure litigation. With a background and industry experience in mechanical engineering, he enjoys the challenge of learning the technical issues involved in product design, manufacturing and field performance. He has tried cases throughout California and Nevada involving handling/stability, body structure performance, seat design, seat belts and inflatable restraints. Clients include motor vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, component manufacturers and industrial equipment manufacturers.

Michael Kanach is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group and Commercial Litigation Practice Group in San Francisco, with trial experience related to patents and trademarks, and additional litigation experience related to trade dress, copyrights, trade secrets, and contract disputes. He counsels clients with respect to procurement and enforcement of intellectual property assets, including trademarks, trade dress, trade secrets, copyrights, utility patents, and design patents, and performs related transactional work and contract negotiations.  He is a member of the firm’s practice groups for Food & Beverage, Craft Breweries, and Entertainment, Fashion, Media & Sports.  He has represented clients in a wide variety of industries, including semiconductors, HVAC equipment, photovoltaic inverters, particle detectors, pharmaceutical devices, software and applications, spices, chocolate, craft beverages, craft beer, spirits, furniture, fitness equipment and fitness studios, and additional consumer products.

Lisa Klein is a partner the Orange County office and a member of the Business Transactions Group. For more than 20 years, Klein has assisted companies in reaching their goals, whether it be growing their business or protecting their financial interests. She works with both public and private companies, often filling the role of outside general counsel by providing advice on a broad range of complex legal and business issues confronting today's businesses. Her expertise includes negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, strategic relationships (including advice regarding “bet the company” litigation), financings, exploitation and protection of intellectual property, corporate governance, compliance, executive compensation and employment matters. Her transactional practice is focused on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, restructurings, workouts, title matters and securities law.

Jennifer Lynch  is a partner in the Employment practice group in the San Francisco office. She represents both public and private entities in employment matters and focuses her practice on defending employers against discrimination, retaliation and harassment claims.  She also has experience litigating cases involving alleged violations of wage and hour laws, Title IX, family medical leave laws, breach of contract, defamation, unfair business practices claims, and negligence claims. She represents a variety of clients including public school districts, private educational institutions, skilled nursing facilities, retail companies, transportation companies, hospitals, non-profit organizations and tech companies. Lynch has enjoyed an extensive law and motion practice and has successfully obtained dismissal of numerous employment matters through dispositive motions including demurrers, motions to dismiss and summary judgment. She has successfully represented management in labor grievances, administrative hearings and has extensive experience litigating in state and federal court and in the California Courts of Appeal.

Amy Maclear is a  partner in the San Francisco office. Her practice focuses on both tort and complex commercial disputes involving professional liability, product liability and consumer protection litigation. She also regularly represents clients in business and contractual disputes involving claims for defamation and fraud. Throughout her practice, she developed considerable experience in real estate litigation and routinely represents homeowner associations, both residential and commercial landlords and tenants, and real estate professionals.

Misty Marris is a partner in the New York office who practices in a variety of different legal areas and is responsible the handling of matters from inception through trial. Among other legal areas, she handles employment law, commercial litigation, class actions, products liability, professional liability, wage and hour class actions, data breach, cyber, civil rights violations, RICO and criminal law cases. Marris's vast courtroom experience along with her knowledge of various areas of law allows her to provide a strong defense to all of her clients. She is a television and radio personality who serves as an independent legal analyst on of the moment legal issues on various national and local news programs including the Fox News Network, Fox Business Network, CNN, HLN, Crime Watch Daily, the Nancy Grace Show and Afternoons with Dr. Drew. She discusses all aspects of a legal case and a variety of different legal areas with an emphasis on criminal issues, civil rights issues, litigation and trials.

Molly McKay Williams is a partner in the Portland office. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation specializing in toxic tort, environmental, products liability, and other types of personal injury cases. Her toxic tort experience is well-rounded and includes mold, asbestos and dry cleaning chemical contamination cases. Williams is licensed to practice in California, Oregon, and Washington. Williams co-founded Marriage Equality USA in 1996 and has been nationally recognized for her work in securing civil rights for the LGBT community and has been featured in several documentaries on this subject. She is currently the co-chair of the firm's LGBT affinity group.

Kuuku Minnah-Donkoh is a partner in the Labor and Employment Law practice group in the New York office. He focuses his practice on representing private and public employers in various aspects of labor and employment matters, including, but not limited to, claims of unlawful discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and breaches of contract and employment agreements. In addition to his litigation practice, he regularly counsels employers on their workplace policies and practices for compliance with federal, state and local employment laws. He has experience representing employers in state and federal court, and has served as lead counsel or lead co-counsel in several federal and state trials that have gone to verdict.

Margret Parke is a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office. She is a member of the Insurance Practice Group. Her practice focuses on complex insurance litigation in state and federal courts involving commercial liability, professional liability, healthcare professional liability and first party property coverage. Parke’s practice includes coverage investigation and coverage analysis, as well as coverage and bad faith litigation. Over the years, her clients have included both domestic and international insurers.  She has trial and appellate court experience.  Parke also has significant past experience in representing insureds in third party litigation, with an emphasis on construction defect and professional liability litigation. Parke is a member of the state bars in California and Colorado.

Ryan Sestack is a partner in the Commercial Litigation and Employment Law practice groups in the New York office. He handles all phases of pretrial litigation from inception to trial, as well as appeals. His experience includes drafting dispositive and non-dispositive motions, appellate briefs, and discovery documents of every kind. He has defended and taken more than 100 depositions and argued dozens of motions and appeals before state and federal courts, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. His practice is broad and diverse, assisting clients in simple to complex and novel matters involving insurance, condominiums, general and professional liability, intellectual property, commercial and employment disputes, the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Telephone Consumer Protect Act, and construction law.

Erika Shao is a partner in the Los Angeles office and is a member of the Employment and Tort & Product Liability practice groups. Her practice focuses on representing a wide range of business clients, including large corporations and non-profit organizations from various industries in all aspects of civil litigation, including in the pre-trial, and trial settings in state and federal courts throughout California. She has significant case management experience, including depositions, motion practice, and trial experience. Shao routinely represents her clients in state and federal court in hearings and in motion practice and has substantial deposition experience. She has worked closely with trial counsel, experts, and consultants to evaluate cases and develop defense and trial strategies. Shao also litigates cases concerning alleged violations of wage and hour laws. She also defends aviation actions as well as manufacturers in wrongful death and personal injury actions involving claims of product defects, toxic exposure, and negligence.

Kimberly Sheridan is a partner in the Commercial Litigation and Employment Law practice groups in the Atlanta office. As an experienced litigator, she handles matters from investigation through trial and has been recognized as a “Rising Star” in business litigation. Sheridan specializes in cases involving business torts and disputes.  She has successfully defended clients in high-exposure tort matters and claims involving negligence, products liability, premises liability, serious personal injury and property damage.  She has also regularly defends clients against a variety of state and federal consumer protection statute claims. In addition to her focus on commercial litigation, Sheridan also has substantial experience successfully representing businesses in employment law claims involving wrongful discharge and retaliation, alleged disability, race, age and sex discrimination, and sexual harassment.

Ronit Stone is a partner in the San Francisco office. She provides strategic legal counsel and solutions to emergent and established businesses and individuals in connection with their business transactions across industries including real estate, healthcare, non-profit, technology, and hospitality. She regularly represents operators/developers and investors in real estate matters including leasing, financing and sales/acquisitions. She routinely handles a wide variety of legal matters including entity formation, mergers and acquisition, governance for profit and nonprofit corporations, management agreements, and contract review and negotiation.

Mark Trokan is a partner in the New Jersey office and a member of the Commercial Litigation, Professional Liability, Employment and Insurance practice groups. He has extensive litigation experience in both the state and federal courts in New Jersey and New York.  He represents companies and individuals in business-to-business and business-to-consumer litigation involving, among other issues, breach of contract, commercial real estate, consumer fraud, product liability, officer and director liability, claims of negligence, and a variety of municipal court matters.  Additionally, he represents insurance carriers and insureds in a wide range of first and third party disputes related to premises liability, negligent security, construction site accidents, and motor vehicle and trucking accidents. He has conducted internal corporate investigations both in anticipation of litigation and for the purpose of regulatory and governmental compliance. Trokan is skilled in all phases of pre-trial discovery, motion practice, alternative dispute resolution, and appellate practice. He has successfully tried cases to completion in the state courts of New Jersey and New York and is regularly admitted pro hac vice in jurisdictions throughout the country to meet the needs of clients.

Kjersten Turpen is a partner in the Portland office. Her practice includes defending liability claims on behalf of product manufacturers and suppliers, as well as representing employers in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination matters. She represents clients in state and federal courts, and in matters filed with agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the State of Washington Human Rights Commission, and the State of Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. She regularly provides counseling to employers on a variety of personnel issues, including policies and procedures, hiring, termination, leaves, overtime compensation, and disability. She also provides sexual harassment prevention and other trainings, and serves as an independent investigator into employee complaints. Turpen is licensed to practice in California, Oregon, and Washington.

Christina Vander Werf is a partner in the Commercial Litigation and Privacy & Data Security practice groups in the San Diego office. She also serves as the Managing Editor of the firm’s Privacy & Data Security blog. She is licensed in Arizona and California and maintains a diverse litigation practice throughout both states. Her areas of expertise include representing lawyers, healthcare professionals, and other professional agents and brokers relating to alleged instances of malpractice. She routinely represents directors and officers in direct actions for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties and related claims. Her practice also includes representing businesses, public entities, and individuals in a variety of tort actions, ranging from negligence to defamation.

Tom Watson is a partner in the San Diego office and a member of the Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property, Class Action, and Consumer Protection Litigation practice groups. He currently maintains a national practice and focuses on representing clients in high-stakes complex commercial and intellectual property litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country. He has handled trade secret, trademark/trade dress, copyright, patent infringement, false advertising, structured finance, unfair competition, breach of contract and partnership dissolution disputes. Watson also litigates on behalf of pharmaceutical and medical device companies in both single action and mass tort litigation. Watson has been a member of several high-profile trial teams for cases receiving national attention, and has extensive arbitration and mediation experience before various arbitration/mediation bodies (including the AAA and JAMS).

Joan Woodard is a partner in the Sacramento and San Francisco offices and has been practicing for more than 29 years. She concentrates her practice on business transactions, employment and commercial litigation and represents a wide range of clients from large corporations to individual businesses. Her employment practice includes advising clients on compliance with various state and federal laws, including breach of contract, FEHA and Title VII. She handles all aspects of employment litigation, including drafting employment contracts, hiring and termination procedures and employee handbooks. She also prepares legal research and writing, pleadings, discovery, law and motion, settlement negotiations, mediation, arbitration and trial. Her business practice includes general contract review, drafting and negotiation as well as commercial leases, and the sale and acquisition of business assets and business litigation.  She provides business and transactional support to healthcare providers and senior living providers and has represented healthcare providers before regulatory agencies.

Gordon & Rees is a national litigation and business transactions firm with more than 800 lawyers in 46 offices across the United States. Our lawyers provide full service representation to public and private companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to start-ups. Founded in 1974, Gordon & Rees is recognized among the fastest growing and largest law firms in the country and continues to climb the ranks of both The Am Law 200 and The National Law Journal. Additionally, in 2017 Law360 ranked the firm among the top 50 largest U.S. firms and The American Lawyer ranked the firm among the top 35 on its Diversity Scorecard.