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September 2018

Gordon & Rees Elevates 25 to Partnership

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani has elevated 25 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.”

Amy Kuo Alexander is a partner in the Construction practice group of the San Francisco office. Her practice focuses on the defense of design professionals, general contractors and developers in a variety of construction-related matters, including but not limited to risk management consulting, management and strategy for claims handling, and litigation.  Ms. Alexander has litigated numerous defective construction matters throughout Northern California, preparing them for trial and successfully negotiating settlements on behalf of her clients. 

Jennifer Arnett-Roehrich is a partner in the Denver office and she is a member of the firm's Insurance and Commercial Litigation practice groups. Ms. Arnett serves as insurance companies’ go-to resource for high-stakes, complex and sensitive litigation and potential litigation issues. Her practice focuses on bad faith litigation, coverage advice and litigation, and other complex issues insurance companies face. As a former head of litigation for a national insurance company, Ms. Arnett brings an insider’s perspective to her cases. Ms. Arnett also focuses on general commercial litigation, and she has worked on cases that were front-page news. In addition, Ms. Arnett works with adventure companies, providing litigation defense and general legal advice.

Beatriz Berumen is a partner in the Sacramento office and is a member of the firm's Employment Law practice group. She specializes in employment and education matters, and handles all aspects of litigation, from class action wage and hour claims and disability rights disputes to single-plaintiff wrongful termination cases, in both federal and state court.  Ms. Berumen has successfully mediated and arbitrated employment, education, business and contract disputes.  In addition to her extensive litigation practice, Ms. Berumen also regularly advises employers on personnel matters, addressing questions pertaining to hiring, privacy rights, leaves of absence, requests for accommodations, severance agreements and other workplace issues. Ms. Berumen has also conducted countless workplace investigations. Her legal practice and prior experience in public accounting allows her to counsel employers across a broad spectrum of industries, including retail, transportation, hospitality, construction, temporary staffing, education and healthcare.

Karin Curtis is a partner based in the Los Angeles office and is a member of the California and Florida bars.  A former senior prosecutor, Ms. Curtis has conducted more than 40 trials and acted as lead counsel in multiple high profile media cases covered by national and international media including The New York Times, CNN, and Huffington Post.  As a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Entertainment & Recreation Law practice groups, Ms. Curtis represents clients at every stage of litigation, from pleadings to post-trial motions, and in both state and federal courts. On behalf of businesses ranging from local startups to Fortune 500 companies, Ms. Curtis has litigated to successful conclusion a variety of matters including those involving foreign entities, real estate transactions, software development and performance, consumer protection statutes, trademarks, design patents, securities, business practices, fraud, and defamation. In each of the past two years, Ms. Curtis was selected to Super Lawyers® Rising Stars with distinction in the field of Business Litigation.  She holds a J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law where she honed her legal writing skills on the staff of the American University International Law Review and earned numerous litigation-related honors, including First Place in the St. John’s University National Civil Rights Trial Competition and the Mooers Trophy (presented to the top trial advocacy student in each graduating class).

Margaret Drugan is a partner in the Los Angeles office and she is a member of the firm's Insurance practice group. Her experience includes representing insurance companies against claims for breach of contract, bad faith, fraud and other torts on matters ranging from property losses, intellectual property infringement, large commercial liability claims and life insurance matters. In addition, Ms. Drugan also handles litigated matters involving professional liability, products liability and commercial litigation.  Ms. Drugan handles cases in all phases of pre-litigation, discovery, pre-trial and trial in both state and federal courts as well as arbitrations and administrative hearings. She also counsels clients on complex insurance coverage matters involving property, commercial liability and life insurance policies.

Mark Golen is a partner in the firm’s Pittsburgh office. Having tried more than 25 cases to conclusion, Mr. Golen routinely handles matters before federal and state trial and appellate courts and alternative dispute resolution panels. Mr. Golen oversees and manages claims in multiple states for multi-billion dollar companies and concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial and civil litigation, with substantial experience in contract disputes, business transactions, premises liability, tort and product liability, construction law, class action litigation, health care law and insurance-related matters. He also has experience in the areas of general and employer liability, including experience in the area of workers’ compensation defense. Mr. Golen represents a diverse group of major corporations, closely-held businesses, partnerships, and individuals in multiple jurisdictions in a wide range of complex commercial disputes. He is also a licensed title agent for First American and Old Republic Title Insurance Company.

Linh Hua is a partner in the Los Angeles office and she is a member of the firm's Labor and Employment practice group and serves as the Chair of the Employment Class Action practice group. She represents employers and management in all aspects of state and federal employment matters. Ms. Hua specializes in state and nationwide wage and hour class, collective, and representative actions. She has served as second chair in a wage and hour class action jury trial in Santa Clara County. She has also resolved multiple cases in class and individual arbitration. Additionally, Ms. Hua’s employment litigation practice includes counseling and defending clients against claims of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, defamation and harassment. Her litigation experience has involved numerous industries, including: retail, healthcare, construction, security services, entertainment, startups, schools, temporary staffing agencies, food services, and hospitality.

Travis Jang-Busby is a partner in the firm's Southern California offices. He represents businesses and management in employment and labor disputes. Mr. Jang-Busby is an experienced litigator in the areas of labor, employment, and business law. He works extensively in wage-hour class and collective action litigation on both a state-wide and national basis, representative wage-hour litigation under the Private Attorneys General Act, discrimination litigation, administrative investigations, and preventative counseling. He has varied and extensive experience in all phases of litigation and handles client matters from inception through trial.  Mr. Jang-Busby also represents clients ranging from the Fortune 50 to small institutional clients in claims relating to: Title VII, Title IX, FEHA, FMLA, CFRA, ADA, and the Labor Code.

Ryan Dempsey is a partner in the Westchester, New York office and is a member of the firm's Construction, Tort & Product Liability, Trucking & Transportation, Professional Liability and Commercial Litigation practice groups. Mr. Dempsey focuses his practice on the defense of general liability and casualty claims, as well as other civil litigation and excess matters. Mr. Dempsey specializes in complex and high exposure litigation, including catastrophic construction site, product liability, motor vehicle, transportation, aviation, premises, employment discrimination, and commercial liability claims. Mr. Dempsey is also a member of one of the firm’s high exposure trial teams, which is often parachuted in on the eve of trial at the request of excess insurers to take over the representation of defendants in high profile cases with potential damages exceeding seven figures.

Laurie DeYoung is a partner in the Los Angeles office. With decades of substantive experience in the fields of labor and employment, professional liability and general commercial litigation, Ms. DeYoung aims to streamline litigation by employing results driven, cost-effective and innovative big picture strategy from the outset of the case. During her career, Ms. DeYoung has tackled all aspects of civil litigation in state and federal courts including pre-trial workup of cases, jury and bench trials, post-trial motion practice and appellate work.  Ms. DeYoung has also; defeated class certification motions and participated in successful class settlement proceedings.  In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. DeYoung regularly advises small and large businesses with an eye towards litigation avoidance and general employment legal advice.  

Brian John  is a partner in the Pittsburgh office. He is a member of the firm's Energy, Real Estate and Commercial Litigation practice groups. Mr. John primarily focuses on counseling multiple energy, oil, gas and mineral-related clients on transaction matters as they relate to high-volume transactions, title issues, opinions and division order title opinions in the Appalachian Basin. Some of Mr. John’s experiences include: facilitating due diligence and review of assets for a merger and acquisition of a private oil and gas company into a publicly traded company; drafting and reviewing acquisition-related documents such as memorandum of leases, assignment of leases, purchase and sale agreements, letters of intent, ratifications and midstream agreements; assisting oil and gas companies in litigation matters including but not limited to oil and gas royalty payment disputes, ambiguous language disputes and preliminary injunctions; preparing drilling title opinions for many oil and gas companies in the Appalachian Basin and preparing division order title opinions for several oil and gas companies in the Appalachian Basin. Mr. John also advises buyers and sellers in residential and commercial real estate transactions. Mr. John was selected to Super Lawyers® Rising Stars in 2016 and 2018 with distinction in the field of Energy & Natural Resources; Real Estate: Business.   

Peggy Kozal is a partner in the Denver office of Gordon & Rees. She is a member of the firm's Health Care practice group. Ms. Kozal focuses her practice on healthcare regulatory and compliance matters, healthcare litigation, privacy and data security, Medicare/Medicaid certification and reimbursement, fraud and abuse, provider contracting, licensure and accreditation. She frequently represents a variety of healthcare professionals and entities, including long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, hospices, federally qualified health centers, community health centers, behavioral health facilities, physician practices, medical spas, hospitals and other healthcare providers.

Benjamin Levine is a partner in the New York office and is a member of the firm's Employment, Entertainment & Recreation Law, Professional Liability Defense and Commercial Litigation practice groups. Mr. Levine has robust experience representing companies and corporations in a variety of fields. This experience includes both in the litigation realm as well as conducting internal investigations. In addition, Mr. Levine has served as lead counsel on multiple arbitrations involving high profile clients across the sports and entertainment industry.  Mr. Levine has experience involving some of the most high profile sports law matters of the recent past; including the Alex Rodriguez disciplinary appeal under MLB’s Joint Drug Policy and the Jonathan Martin NFL workplace harassment case. Mr. Levine successfully represented Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, in his Title IX case involving Florida State University.

Philip Lo is a partner in the Orange County office.  He is a member of the firm's Professional Liability Defense, Environmental/Toxic Tort and Intellectual Property practice groups.  He focuses much of his practice in Litigation. Mr. Lo’s core practice is insurance defense and complex business litigation.  His insurance practice encompasses several areas including Professional Liability, Environmental and Mass Tort, Mold, Premises Liability and Casualty.  Mr. Lo’s Professional Liability practice includes defense of various professionals, including, but not limited to, physicians and other medical professionals, treatment and rehabilitation centers, design professionals and contractors, real estate agents and brokers, insurance agents and brokers.  Mr. Lo’s business litigation practice includes federal and state court litigation, as well as binding arbitration and administrative hearings.  Mr. Lo also handles specialty matters including city attorney initiated actions and probate litigation. 

Kiersten Martindale is a partner in the firm's Southern California offices. She is a member of the Environmental/Toxic Tort practice group. She specializes in the defense of complex environmental claims, and mass toxic tort and product liability actions. She was recently named Top Attorney (2017) among associates and senior counsel at Gordon & Rees’s San Diego office.  She currently serves on the San Diego office’s lateral hiring committee. Her experience includes water and soil contamination cases most prominently in the dry cleaners context with PCE, addressing leaking underground storage tanks, CERCLA cases, Proposition 65, toxic personal injury including benzene related injuries, and representing clients in actions involving the State Water Resources Control Board and Department of Toxic Substances Control. She has significant experience defending asbestos and mold remediation contractors. Ms. Martindale also has trial experience in these areas. 

André Picciurro is a partner in the firm's Southern California offices and he is a member of the Environmental/Toxic Tort practice group. He focuses his practice on several areas of civil litigation including toxic tort, product liability, and environmental claims. His experience includes defense of all manner of personal injury claims involving exposure to chemicals, food poisoning, gastrointestinal illness outbreaks, defective products, automobile and boating accidents, premises liability, and tour operator liability. Outside of the Environmental/Toxic Tort and Personal Injury areas, Mr. Picciurro has also defended businesses named in employment claims and consumer remedy actions such as unfair business practices and false advertising. He has extensive experience in state and federal court litigating cases through mediation, binding arbitration, and trial. Mr. Picciurro is also an experienced maritime attorney, handling personal injury and consumer remedy claims brought against cruise lines and other vessel owners, arbitration of crew member employment disputes, vessel arrests, attachments, cargo claims, oil spill response, limitation of liability actions, and general average claims. A strong legal researcher and writer, Mr. Picciurro has drafted two amicus curiae briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court and is often asked to draft appellate-level briefs in various jurisdictions.

Michael Pursell is a partner in the San Francisco office. His practice focuses on complex insurance coverage matters and bad faith litigation. Mr. Pursell has represented insurance industry clients throughout all stages of litigation, including trial and appeals.  Mr. Pursell also counsels insurance clients on claims handling issues in complex and high exposure cases with a focus on preventing litigation from arising in the first place.  Mr. Pursell has experience with a broad range of insurance policies, including professional liability, directors and officers liability, general liability, business auto, pollution liability, and commercial property policies.  Additionally, Mr. Pursell has significant experience in a variety of fields outside of insurance, including legal malpractice, commercial litigation, class actions, and premise liability.

Greil Roberts is a partner in the Hartford, Connecticut office. He is a member of the Insurance, Class Action and Tort & Product Liability practice groups. Mr. Roberts handles complex insurance coverage litigation in state and federal courts, with a focus on commercial general liability and professional liability coverage.  Mr. Roberts has extensive experience defending complex class action litigation, including nationwide and state class claims arising under consumer protection statutes and false advertising or unfair competition statutes, including alleged violations of the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act).

Christopher Seacord is a partner in the New York office and is a member of the Employment Law practice group. Mr. Seacord’s practice is focused on representing management in labor and employment disputes. He has represented employers in a variety of actions in state and federal court, including cases alleging sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and discrimination based on age, gender, race, national origin, and disability. Mr. Seacord also represents public accommodation and housing providers in cases brought pursuant to Title III of the ADA, the Fair Housing Act, and corresponding state and local law.

Leslie Sheehan is a partner in the Los Angeles office and a member of the Tort & Product Liability, Environmental & Toxic Tort and Aviation practice groups. Her practice focuses on the defense of complex litigation matters. She has more than 25 years of civil litigation experience concentrating in the areas of product liability, construction defect, environmental and toxic torts, and premises liability defense. In addition, she has experience in aviation law, insurance coverage, and public utility defense. Ms. Sheehan has handled a broad range of product liability cases involving consumer products and industrial and construction equipment. A representative sample of products includes: cranes, farm equipment, high pressure water cutting machines, elevators, escalators, airline tugs, punch presses, dish washing machines, household fans, and other miscellaneous household equipment and electronics.

Michelle Steinhardt is a partner in the Los Angeles office where she is a member of the Insurance and Employment practice groups. She specializes in group and individual life, health and disability claims, employee benefit disputes and class actions, breach of fiduciary duty claims under ERISA, and bad faith insurance claims, as well as a health care practice focusing on litigation between health care plans and health care providers involving claims for violation of ERISA, breach of contract, extra-contractual claims and failure to pay.  She has assisted in creating a consistent approach to discovery for a national insurance company and has overseen litigation in multiple states for national insurance clients.  She has defended her clients in wage and hour class actions, as well as lawsuits involving claims of harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation. Ms. Steinhardt has counseled her clients on employment practices and successfully represented her clients in pre-litigation settlements, mediation and during all phases of state and federal court litigation, including matters on appeal.

Meredith Thielbahr is a partner in the Seattle office and she is a member of the Construction Practice Group. Ms. Thielbahr represents government contract and commercial construction industry clients as outside civil litigation counsel. Her practice focuses on assisting contractors and suppliers in dispute resolution in both the commercial and public contracting arena. She works closely with clients on internal compliance investigations, responding to and negotiating the parameters of Civil Investigative Demands, and handling formal qui tam and government lawsuits. She is versed at interpreting contract and regulatory compliance. Ms. Thielbahr represents contractors in bid protests before the COFC and GAO, along with various state and local procuring agencies, and represents contractors in size and status protests before the Small Business Administration. Ms. Thielbahr handles complex litigation in both state and federal courts, and has negotiated numerous cases resulting in cost-effective resolutions for her clients.

Eric Thompson is a partner in the Miami office and is a member of the Tort & Product Liability and Insurance practice group. Mr. Thompson has extensive experience with Tort & Product Liability cases with a particular focus in asbestos and commercial cases, insurance coverage litigation, and employment litigation.

Brian Wall is a partner in the Boston office. Mr. Wall focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation concerning environmental, energy, financial services and professional liability matters. He defends businesses, insurers and design professionals in a wide range of tort, contract, fiduciary duty and malpractice disputes.  Mr. Wall represents large energy companies in multidistrict litigation involving alleged environmental contamination.  He also represents large energy companies in front of state and federal courts in connection with the development and construction of infrastructure projects, including interstate oil and natural gas pipelines.

Kevin Whelan is a partner in the firm's Southern California offices and is a member of the Product Liability, Environmental/Toxic Tort, Commercial Litigation and Insurance practice groups. He has represented and served as trial counsel for numerous product manufacturers, asbestos defendants, business entities and insurance companies and been responsible for case strategy and litigation from responsive pleadings through trial and appeal. In addition to trial representation of numerous product manufacturers and asbestos defendants, Mr. Whelan’s trial practice includes obtaining defense verdicts for a top-three national insurer against bad faith allegations, insurance agent/brokers against professional negligence, fraud and misrepresentation claims and a national medical product manufacturer against claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty and fraud. Mr. Whelan’s broad background in business law and commercial litigation includes representation of companies in contract and tort claims, copyright/ trademark claims and litigation, software licensing, class actions suits, bankruptcy claims, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty matters and employment related actions. He has resolved numerous matters prior to trial by way of summary judgment, mediation or arbitration.

Gordon & Rees is a national litigation and business transactions firm with more than 800 lawyers in 52 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. Additionally, in 2018 Law360 ranked the firm among the top 40 largest U.S. firms and The American Lawyer ranked the firm among the top 45 on its Diversity Scorecard.