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March 2020

Gordon & Rees Welcomes Twenty-Three New Attorneys in March 2020

In March, Gordon & Rees welcomed twenty-three new attorneys to our Alexandria, Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Tampa offices. They join us as members of the Commercial Litigation, Construction, Employment Law, Environmental/Toxic Tort, ERISA, Insurance, and Product & General Liability Practice Groups.

Jonathan Avolio, Associate
Elysia Buckley, Associate
Jeremy Camacho, Associate
Jade Craig, Associate
James Ellison, Associate
Sarah Fan, Associate
Natalie Fujikawa, Partner
Neda Hefzi, Associate
Kelly Huedepohl, Associate
Nadine Hughes, Associate
Suzanne Jones, Partner
Emerson Kim, Senior Counsel

Benjamin Kinney, Associate
Noah Morss, Associate
Pedro Perez, Associate
Jessica Peterson, Associate
Alexandra Rotondo, Associate
Harrison Smith, Associate
Colin Smithey, Senior Counsel
Suraj Teppara, Associate
Brett Walker, Associate
Blair Walsh, Senior Counsel
Eric Zisk, Associate

 


Jonathan Avolio, Associate
Philadelphia, Insurance

Jonathan joins the Philadelphia office as a member of the Insurance practice group. He concentrates his practice on complex litigation including defending products liability and construction catastrophe actions. Jonathan previously worked as a litigator for an insurance defense firm in New York City focused on the defense of general liability claims involving construction companies and high net worth individuals. Jonathan earned his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and his B.A. from LaSalle University.


Elysia Buckley, Associate
San Francisco, Product & General Liability

Elysia joins the San Francisco office as a member of the Product & General Liability practice group. Her practice includes defending corporate clients in all phases of litigation. In addition to litigation, her practice includes general healthcare counseling and advice. Prior to joining Gordon Rees, Elysia advised and supported the General Counsel of an innovative medical technology company in Redwood City. She made recommendations and implemented internal compliance measures pursuant to HIPAA, GDPR and CCPA. She is a certified information privacy professional in the U.S. Elysia earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and her B.A. from Northeastern University.


Jeremy Camacho, Associate
Alexandria, Commercial Litigation

Jeremy joins the Alexandria office as a member of the Commercial Litigation practice group. Previously, Jeremy represented title insurance companies, developers, landlords, and affordable housing organizations at various stages of real estate litigation. He also handled a variety of civil disputes, including sanctions allegations and suits with common interest communities. Jeremy earned his J.D. from Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University and his B.A. from the University of Virginia.


Jade Craig, Associate
Tampa, Employment Law

Jade joins the Tampa office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. His practice focused on representing individual and corporate clients in commercial litigation and handling issues related to labor and employment law. He has represented clients in labor and employment disputes in both state and federal courts, including preparing and arguing dispositive motions that have resulted in settlement or dismissal before trial. Jade earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School and his B.A. from the University of Virginia.


James Ellison, Associate
Portland, Insurance

James joins the Portland office as a member of the Insurance practice group. His practice is focused on providing coverage guidance to insurers on first-party and third-party claims. He represents both regional and nationwide insurance carriers in disputes with a wide variety of claimants. Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, James was a senior associate at a national insurance coverage firm and, before that, an associate at a civil litigation firm. James earned his J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law and his B.S. from the University of Louisiana Monroe.


Sarah Fan, Associate
San Diego, Employment Law

Sarah joins the San Diego office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. Sarah earned her J.D. from the University of San Diego, School of Law and her B.A. from University of California, San Diego.


Natalie Fujikawa, Partner
Sacramento, Employment Law

Natalie joins the Sacramento office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. She focuses on employment litigation and counseling for employers across a variety of industries, with extensive experience handling all aspects of employment litigation in state and federal courts. Natalie also represents employers before state and federal administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, and Employment Development Department. Natalie earned her J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.


Neda Hefzi, Associate
San Francisco, Employment Law

Neda joins the San Francisco office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. Neda earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Kelly Huedepohl, Associate
Portland, Product & General Liability

Kelly joins the Portland office as a member of the Product & General Liability practice group. Kelly defends healthcare providers and facilities, non-profit entities, lawyers, law firms, and other organizations and individuals against a variety of legal claims, including: civil rights claims, claims arising from contracts and contracted relationships, consumer protection claims, employment discrimination claims, personal injury claims, and professional liability claims. She is a seasoned litigator with experience practicing at both the trial and appellate levels. Kelly earned her J.D. from Willamette University College of Law and her B.A. from the University of Iowa and Portland State University.


Nadine Hughes, Associate
Los Angeles, Environmental/Toxic Tort

Nadine joins the Los Angeles office as a member of the Environmental/Toxic Tort practice group. Prior to joining the firm, her practice focused on business, real estate, and civil litigation matters. She also worked on behalf of multinational corporations and non-profit institutions in complex litigation and catastrophic injury matters. She has worked on several trials, prepared a variety of motions, and conducted litigation strategy regarding critical causation issues. Nadine earned her J.D. from Southwestern Law School and her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Suzanne Jones, Partner
Minneapolis, Insurance

Suzanne joins the Minneapolis office as a member of the Insurance practice group. Her practice includes representing insurance companies across the country in complex first and third-party declaratory judgment actions, breach of contract actions, rescission actions, direct actions and extra-contractual and bad faith actions. Suzanne counsels clients on their risk and obligations under a variety of insurance policies throughout the claims process, from pre-suit demands through trial or settlement. She also handles appeals in both state and federal courts. Suzanne earned her J.D. from St. Thomas University School of Law and her B.A. from Boston College.


Emerson Kim, Senior Counsel
Los Angeles, Commercial Litigation

Emerson joins the Los Angeles office as a member of the Commercial Litigation practice group. His practice focuses on complex business disputes. He has experience in all stages of litigation, from pre-trial to appeal and has successfully litigated numerous cases. He has represented companies and individuals across a variety of industries, including beer and wine, restaurant, clothing, entertainment, financial, healthcare, real estate, tax, and tech. Emerson earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School and his B.A. from the University of California, Irvine.


Benjamin Kinney, Associate
Chicago, Commercial Litigation

Benjamin joins the Chicago office as a member of the Commercial Litigation practice group. He has represented clients in matters dealing with breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, tort, and real estate. Benjamin was previously an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, coaching the Trial Advocacy competition team. Benjamin earned his J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law and his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Noah Morss, Associate
Portland, Product & General Liability

Noah joins the Portland office as a member of the Product & General Liability practice group. Noah earned his J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law and his B.A. from Brigham Young University.


Pedro Perez, Associate
New York, Product & General Liability

Pedro joins the New York office as a member of the Product & General Liability practice group. He has experience handling complex commercial actions involving Fortune 500 companies and other businesses in state and federal court. Pedro earned his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and his B.S. from Saint John’s University.


Jessica Peterson, Associate
San Francisco, Employment Law

Jessica joins the San Francisco office as a member of the Employment Law practice group. Jessica earned her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Michigan.


Alexandra Rotondo, Associate
Hartford, Insurance / Product & General Liability

Alexandra joins the Hartford office as a member of the Insurance and Product & General Liability practice groups. She handles a broad range of litigation matters in the areas of premises liability, negligence and personal injury, professional liability, and insurance defense. She has represented a variety of clients including insurance companies, national retailers, and medical providers in every aspect of the litigation process before Massachusetts and Rhode Island state courts. Alexandra earned her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and her B.A. from Boston College.


Harrison Smith, Associate
Los Angeles, Environmental/Toxic Tort

Harrison joins the Los Angeles office as a member of the Environmental/Toxic Tort practice group. Before joining Gordon & Rees, he gained extensive experience in asbestos litigation. Harrison has experience representing clients at Federal Court hearings, deposing opposing party witnesses for trial preservation throughout the country, defending and cross-examining expert witnesses at deposition, and successfully negotiating and settling cases. Harrison earned his J.D. from Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University and his B.A. from Presbyterian College.


Colin Smithey, Senior Counsel
Sacramento, Commercial Litigation

Colin joins the Sacramento office as a member of the Commercial Litigation practice group. Colin worked at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and practiced insurance defense at firms located in the Los Angeles and Sacramento regions. He has gained valuable experience in all aspects of civil litigation, including successfully drafting and arguing dispositive motions such as motions for summary judgment. Colin earned his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law and his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.


Suraj Teppara, Assocoate
Los Angeles, Insurance / ERISA

Suraj joins the Los Angeles office as a member of the Insurance and ERISA practice groups. During law school, he gained significant legal experience assisting commercial litigators with complex matters involving fraud, derivative actions, intellectual property disputes, and unfair business practice claims. Subsequently, he worked for a pro bono immigration clinic where he helped human trafficking victims obtain Visas and U.S. Citizenship. Before joining Gordon & Rees, Suraj handled a variety of cases in business, employment, and real estate litigation at a boutique law firm. Suraj earned his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.


Brett Walker, Associate
Boston, Construction

Brett joins the Boston office as a member of the Construction practice group. Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, Brett spent seven years as a state prosecutor with the Suffolk County District Attorney in Boston. During that time he completed 44 trials, numerous evidentiary motion hearings, and lead complex Grand Jury Investigations into shootings, drug trafficking, bank robberies and gang violence. He is also experienced in managing specialty court sessions such as juvenile and veteran courts. Brett earned his J.D. from Boston College Law School and his B.S. from the United States Military Academy.


Blair Walsh, Senior Counsel
San Francisco, Product & General Liability

Blair joins the San Francisco office as a member of the Product & General Liability practice group. She defends entities and individuals in commercial litigation matters involving products liability, premises liability, toxic tort, breach of contract, and general negligence claims. She has represented global companies across multiple industries including: pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, technology, transportation, hospitality, private security, and sports/recreation. Blair earned her J.D. from Santa Clara University, School of Law and her B.A. from Loyola Marymount University.


Eric Zisk, Associate
New York, Product & General Liability

Eric joins the New York office as a member of the Product & General Liability practice group. He represents Fortune 500 companies in product liability, commercial, and mass tort litigation in federal and state court, as well as in pre-suit negotiations. Eric earned his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law and his B.A. from Boston College.