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November 2020

Gordon & Rees Welcomes Seventeen New Attorneys in November 2020

In November, Gordon & Rees welcomed seventeen new attorneys to our Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, San Diego, and St. Louis offices. They join us as members of the Commercial Litigation, Construction, Drug & Medical Device, Employment Law, Environmental/Toxic Tort, and Insurance Practice Groups.

Scott Apking, Senior Counsel
Erin Barrett, Associate
Ashley Batiste, Associate
Thomas Bellifemine, Associate
John Buscemi, Associate
Christopher Coyne, Associate
Andrew Harris, Partner
Erick Harris, Of Counsel
Janna Jamil, Senior Counsel

Dinesh Joshi, Associate
Dennis Kisyk, Associate
Gregory Martin, Senior Counsel
James Mokhtarzadeh, Associate
Christina Pittman, Associate
James Sukharev, Associate
Edward Warnke, Associate
Kyle Westbrook, Senior Counsel

 


Scott Apking, Senior Counsel
St. Louis, Insurance / Environmental/Toxic Tort / Employment Law

Scott joins the St. Louis office as a member of the Insurance, Environmental/Toxic Tort, and Employment Law practice groups. He is an experienced litigator in high-stakes, complex matters including consumer protection and ERISA class actions, commercial litigation, restrictive covenant litigation, trust and estate litigation, toxic tort, and professional liability. Prior to joining the firm, Scott represented both plaintiffs and defendants in class actions. Scott earned his J.D. from the University of Missouri at Columbia and his B.A. from The Ohio State University.


Erin Barrett, Associate
New York, Environmental/Toxic Tort

Erin joins the New York office as a member of the Environmental/Toxic Tort practice group. Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, Erin served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Douglas M. Fasciale, P.J.A.D, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. Erin earned her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law and her B.B.A. from Villanova University.


Ashley Batiste, Associate
Los Angeles, Employment Law

Ashley joins the Los Angeles office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. She defends employers in cases alleging claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and the California Labor Code. Her practice primarily focuses on complex wage and hour disputes, including class actions and PAGA representative actions, as well as wrongful termination, retaliation, employment discrimination and harassment. Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, Ashley worked at a Plaintiff’s employment law firm where she specialized in complex wage and hour class actions and Fair Credit Report Act (FRCA) class actions. Ashley earned her J.D. from The University of Alabama School of Law and her B.A. from Oakwood University.


Thomas Bellifemine, Associate
New York, Employment Law

Thomas joins the New York office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. He represents employers in federal and state court, arbitral forums, and before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the New York City Commission on Human Rights. He has experience litigating a wide range of employment matters including, but not limited to claims of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, Thomas represented plaintiffs in a wide range of employment matters in both state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies. Thomas earned his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and his B.S. from Cornell University.


John Buscemi, Associate
Chicago, Insurance

John joins the Chicago office as a member of the Insurance practice group. He represents insurers in complex insurance coverage disputes, including matters involving commercial general liability, property, and commercial crime policies. He also represents insurers in bad faith claims. John handles various aspects of insurance coverage, including providing initial opinion letters through completion of dispositive motions or trial. John earned his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and his B.A. from Loyola University Chicago.


Christopher Coyne, Associate
New York, Employment Law

Christopher joins the New York office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. Prior to joining Gordon Rees, he served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel with the New York City Law Department’s Labor and Employment Law Division. While at the Law Department, he represented the City of New York, its agencies, and employees in state and federal employment actions, as well as in administrative proceedings before the New York State Division of Human Rights. Christopher also provided advice and counsel to city agencies to ensure compliance with collective bargaining agreements, as well as federal, state, and local employment laws. Christopher earned his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and his B.A. from Fordham University.


Andrew Harris, Partner
San Diego, Construction

Andrew joins the San Diego office as a member of the Construction practice group. He has 20 years of experience handling litigation matters in the construction and surety industries. Andrew represents contractors, subcontractors, developers and owners in all phases of the construction process, including contract preparation, negotiation and review; contract disputes; delay, interruption, and inefficiency claims; and, payment disputes. He represents sureties to protect their interests arising out of defaults and bond claims on both public-works and private construction projects. Andrew earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and his B.A. from Wake Forest University.


Erick Harris, Of Counsel
Dallas, Commercial Litigation

Erick joins the Dallas office as a member of the Commercial Litigation practice group. Before entering private practice, Erick was an Assistant Attorney General for the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office. As an Assistant Attorney General, he prosecuted elder abuse, abuse of the mentally disabled, and Medicaid fraud. Erick earned his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and his B.A. from Tuskegee University.


Janna Jamil, Senior Counsel
San Diego, Employment Law

Janna joins the San Diego office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. She has represented plaintiffs and defendants with respect to wage and hour violations, PAGA cases, harassment, retaliation, discrimination, and other claims. Janna earned her J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, School of Law and her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.


Dinesh Joshi, Associate
Los Angeles, Commercial Litigation

Dinesh joins the Los Angeles office as a member of the Commercial Litigation practice group. He has experience litigating general liability matters, including case involving business disputes, construction defect, personal injury, complex litigation, breach of contract, products liability, and public agencies. Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, he worked for a national law firm on several trials, prepared a variety of motions, and helped develop litigation strategies for public and private clients. Dinesh earned his J.D. from Southwestern Law School and his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Dennis Kisyk, Associate
Austin, Drug & Medical Device

Dennis joins the Austin office as a member of the Drug & Medical Device practice group. He has been a litigator for over ten years. Dennis has taken and defended hundreds of depositions and made hundreds of court appearances, including successfully arguing an appeal before the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division. He has successfully negotiated multi-million dollar settlements and handled other complex business litigation. Dennis earned his J.D. from New York Law School and his B.A. from Quinnipiac University.


Gregory Martin, Senior Counsel
Dallas, Commercial Litigation

Gregory joins the Dallas office as a member of the Commercial Litigation practice group. He has years of experience with complex commercial litigation and compliance matters at both the state and federal level in multiple U.S. jurisdictions. His experience includes representing entities and corporations in actions involving product liability, copyright and trademark infringement, trade secrets, breach of contract, employment actions under ERISA, anti-trust actions under the Clayton Act, and both individual and consumer class actions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Gregory earned his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


James Mokhtarzadeh, Associate
Oakland, Environmental/Toxic Tort

James joins the Oakland office as a member of the Environmental/Toxic Tort practice group. Prior to joining Gordon and Rees, James practiced business litigation in Sacramento, representing clients ranging from national banks, public utilities, railroads, state agencies, and local business in all stages of pre-trial litigation as well as through settlement. James earned his J.D. from George Washington University Law School and his B.A. from the University of California, Irvine.


Christina Pittman, Associate
Houston, Commercial Litigation

Christina joins the Houston office as a member of the Commercial Litigation practice group. She began her law practice defending cases brought against local governmental entities and officials in state and federal court in the Houston area in 2001. During that time, she gained experience litigating personal injury cases involving oil field accidents, complex commercial disputes, and employment law cases arising out of corporate compliance with state and federal regulations. Christina earned her J.D. from South Texas College of Law and her B.A. from Texas Christian University.


James Sukharev, Associate
New York, Employment Law

James joins the New York office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. He represents private and government entities in employment-related litigation venued in federal and state courts, as well as administrative agencies. His practice touches upon the full panoply of employment litigation matters, including workplace discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblowing, non-compete agreements, and collective and class actions. James earned his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law and his B.A. from New York University.


Edward Warnke, Associate
New York, Employment Law

Edward joins the New York office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. He has experience defending employers before administrative agencies and in state and federal court for a variety of employment matters, including: claims related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and hostile work environment; breach of contract claims; Title III ADA accessibility claims; and, class and collective actions. Edward frequently provides preventive advice and counseling to employers on compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws, including reasonable accommodations, discipline and terminations, and reductions in force. Edward earned his J.D. from Hofstra Law and his B.A. from St. John’s University.


Kyle Westbrook, Senior Counsel
St. Louis, Environmental/Toxic Tort

Kyle joins the St. Louis office as a member of the Environmental/Toxic Tort practice group. He handles a wide range of litigation, including matters involving product and premise liability, as well as employment and transportation law. His focus is primarily defending corporations in matters involving toxic tort and environmental litigation arising from catastrophic injuries and wrongful death involving exposures to asbestos, benzene, and other various chemicals. He also defends corporations in various employment disputes, including discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment, and whistleblower actions. Kyle earned his J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and his B.S.B.A., from the University of Missouri-Columbia.