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August 2020

Gordon & Rees Welcomes Ten New Attorneys in August 2020

In August, Gordon & Rees welcomed ten new attorneys to our Chicago, Denver, Hartford, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco offices. They join us as members of the Cannabis, Hemp & CBD, Commercial Litigation, Construction, Employment Law, Entertainment & Recreation Law, Environmental/Toxic Tort, Insurance, Product & General Liability, and Professional Liability Practice Groups.

Krista Easom, Senior Counsel
Greg Gruzman, Senior Counsel
Melissa Kendra, Senior Counsel
Colleen Kwiatkowski, Associate
Brian Quiros, Associate

Rachel Salvin, Senior Counsel
Fulton Smith, Partner
Christopher Strunk, Partner
Andrew Wellman, Associate
Tom Wiseman, Senior Counsel

 


Krista Easom, Senior Counsel
Chicago, Commercial Litigation / Professional Liability Defense / Employment Law

Krista joins the Chicago office as a member of the Commercial Litigation, Professional Liability Defense, and Employment Law practice groups. She joins the firm with prior in-house transactional and compliance experience working for a public company with operations located in the U.S., Australia, and the UK. Krista’s has experience in all aspects of litigation, including drafting successful motions for summary judgment, drafting briefs for commercial litigation appeals, and negotiating settlement. Krista earned her J.D. from The UIC John Marshall Law School and her B.A. from the University of Delaware.


Greg Gruzman, Senior Counsel
San Francisco, Product & General Liability

Greg joins the San Francisco office as a member of the Product & General Liability practice group. He brings over a decade of hands-on litigation experience to his practice which focuses on defending clients in a variety of insurance matters with particular expertise in admiralty and maritime law. Greg has successfully represented clients in a wide-range of commercial disputes, in both state and federal courts at pre-trial, trial and appellate levels, including extensive experience with Longshore Act and Defense Base Act claims, cargo claims, personal injury defense, subrogation, recreational boating, product liability and marine insurance matters. Greg earned his J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.


Melissa Kendra, Senior Counsel
San Francisco, Employment Law

Melissa joins the San Francisco office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. Her practice includes defending employers in all phases of employment litigation, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation and whistleblower claims, and wage and hour violations. She also handles claims before administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. Melissa earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.


Colleen Kwiatkowski, Associate
Denver, Construction

Colleen joins the Denver office as a member of the Construction practice group. She focuses on construction litigation in the defense of design professionals, architects, general contractors and developers in a variety of construction-related disputes. She also has experience in complex business, securities and employment disputes representing national, regional, and local brokerage firms and financial professionals in civil litigation and arbitration. Colleen earned her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and her B.A. from Michigan State University.


Brian Quiros, Associate
Hartford, Construction

Brian joins the Hartford office as a member of the Construction practice group. He offers legal counsel to building owners, homeowners, developers, general contractors, subcontractors, and demolition companies in construction disputes, surety disputes, and business disputes. He has represented a diverse array of clients including electrical subcontractors, property owners, demolition companies, and general contractors. His litigation experience includes, but is not limited to, contract disputes between a franchise owner and subcontractors, contract disputes involving a demolition company and a property owner, a landlord/tenant dispute related to damages caused by the tenant, a breach of contract dispute between two beneficiaries over the estate of their deceased relative. Brian earned his J.D. from Vermont Law School and his B.A. from Middlebury College.


Rachel Salvin, Senior Counsel
Los Angeles, Employment Law

Rachel joins the Los Angeles office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. She has extensive bench and jury trial experience in State and Federal court in cases involving labor and employment, negligent supervision and hiring, and general business litigation. She also provides Human Resources management for variety of businesses, including devising and drafting HR policies and procedures, preparing employee handbooks, providing required State and Federal HR training for management, conducting workplace investigations and ongoing consultation on all labor matters. Rachel earned her J.D. from Boston University School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Chicago.


Fulton Smith, Partner
San Francisco, Insurance

Fulton joins the San Francisco office as a member of the Insurance practice group. His 30 years of experience includes risk and strategic counseling of Fortune 500 companies, general liability and professional liability underwriting, regulatory compliance, claim investigation, large U.S. and international subrogation investigations, evaluations and recoveries, as well as first-party commercial, third-party, directors' and officers', professional liability, environmental coverage analysis and disputes, including evaluating likelihood of success and valuation of cases for legal financing companies. He has represented clients in large loss international and North American arbitrations and has been trial counsel in high-exposure coverage, subrogation and bad faith jury and bench trials, as well as appeals in state and federal courts. Fulton earned his J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Christopher Strunk, Partner
Oakland, Environmental/Toxic Tort / Entertainment & Recreation Law / Commercial Litigation / Cannabis, Hemp & CBD

Christopher joins the Oakland office as a member of the Environmental/Toxic Tort, Entertainment & Recreation Law, Commercial Litigation, and Cannabis, Hemp & CBD practice groups. He brings over 20 years of experience litigating complex environmental and toxic tort disputes. He focuses on the defense of large, multi-party environmental matters, including mass tort and products liability litigation involving alleged toxic injury arising from asbestos, lead, mold, solvents, and other contaminants. He has represented microchip and technology companies, chemical and petrochemical companies, heavy equipment manufacturers, and the pesticide and fertilizer industry. Over the past five years, he has also developed a significant industrial hemp and cannabis practice, defending ancillary and plant-touching businesses in environmental disputes and litigation. Christopher earned his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law and his B.A. from Boston College.


Andrew Wellman, Associate
San Diego, Employment Law

Andrew joins the San Diego office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. His practice includes counseling and defending employers in all areas of labor and employment matters including discrimination, harassment and wage and hour claims. Prior to joining the firm, Andrew was an associate at an insurance defense firm where he handled cases involving general liability, toxic tort liability, and products liability. Andrew earned his J.D. from Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law and his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Tom Wiseman, Senior Counsel
San Diego, Employment Law

Tom joins the San Diego office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. He is an experienced litigator whose practice focuses on defending private and public entities in all aspects of state and federal employment law, including but not limited to claims brought under the Labor Code, FEHA, CFRA, FMLA, FLSA, Title VII and ADA, among other enactments and common law theories of employer liability. In addition to his experience defending wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment and wage and hour claims, Tom also has extensive experience defending a wide range of other civil litigation matters, including contract, civil rights, education and tort, TBI and other catastrophic personal injury cases. Tom earned his J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and his B.S. from the University of Georgia.