Co-Chair, Diversity Outreach Subcommittee
Pro Bono Committee, New York Office
Whether I am in a courtroom, a board room, or a conference room, I am a persuasive advocate. I am engaged to develop business-focused strategies to identify risk, structure cost-efficient action plans to minimize risk, and execute the process forward. In addition, I closely follow trends and provide proactive advice. I am currently providing training and counsel to multiple clients in connection with preventing and mitigating risks arising from sexual harassment claims as highlighted by the #MeToo movement.
My clients describe me as their go-to attorney in complex matters after things went terribly wrong. And, when litigation arises, I have experience litigating a diverse menu of issues across broad subject matter areas and industries, including intellectual property or employment, securities fraud or breach of fiduciary duties, structured finance disputes or the old faithful breach of complex commercial contract cases, where everyone claims to be right.
I am a trusted legal advisor because I understand the corporate and political culture of my clients and listen to the needs of the board, senior management and in-house counsel, which fosters a working climate of inclusion and cooperation, and builds a sense of confidence that challenges can be met.
I collaborate with my clients and craft effective and efficient solutions that achieve business objectives and goals. I take a fresh look at the status quo and provide clients with options, which include risk analysis and clear expectations in simple terms. I am fiercely competitive (when necessary) and have a classy sass that keeps my team in good spirits. I am described as a user friendly litigator and a savvy negotiator (which I attribute to my Cherokee ancestry).
My leadership role at the firm includes serving as co-chair of the firm's Diversity Outreach Subcommittee and managing the New York office's extensive pro bono efforts. As a leader, I listen, empathize, champion and act. I engage in pro bono representation and guide other attorneys in their pro bono matters.
Outside my law practice, I help inner city children who need backpacks and school supplies for school and gift-wrap books for children who spend their holidays in domestic violence shelters. My passions are infectious and I rally my colleagues to join and support these efforts.
Investigations and Employment Practice
- Obtained pre-answer dismissal of a former executive complaint for severance compensation based on novel theory and documentary evidence.
- Prepared voluntary disclosure of alleged OFAC violation for travel and advertising in Cuba and obtained a No Action letter.
- Successfully defend an employer against multiple claims of discrimination and retaliation.
- Investigated unemployment claims and defend employer designations before the Appeal Board, and revise executive compensation contract provisions.
- Counsel clients concerning confidentiality, non-compete and theft of trade secret clauses.
- Defeated attempt by counsel to rewrite language set forth in a retainer agreement and reach into the defendants pensions proceeds.
- Defeated motion for summary judgment regarding a retention agreement for professional services client.
- Conducted wage and hour investigation and advise on remedial measures.
- Conducted risk assessment of claims and exposure to suit based on employee misconduct.
- Advised corporate clients on preemptive strategy to avoid or defend against sexual harassment claims and companion criminal charges.
- Counseled non-profit client regarding board of directors' fiduciary duties, duty of loyalty and confidentiality.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissing remaining class action claims sounding in statutory violation of New York Public Health Law §18, unjust enrichment and New York General Business Law §349 Ruzhinskaya v. HealthPort Techs., LLC, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41960 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 14, 2018); Defeated a motion to certify a statewide class against healthcare records company as the class failed to meet the predominance requirement. 311 F.R.D. 87, 91 (S.D.N.Y. 2015); Sought and obtained a sanctions award for adversaries breach of its duty to preserve potentially relevant evidence in a class action. 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156685 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 19, 2015).
- Pursued affirmative claims for a non-profit against software vendor for failure to perform resulting in a successfully mediated resolution.
- Defeated defendant's pre-answer attempt to dismiss client complaint by establishing a properly pled claim for violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Providence Pediatric Med. Daycare, Inc. v. Alaigh, 799 F. Supp. 2d 364 (D.N.J. 2011).
- Obtained dismissal of punitive damage claims and all claims against Ross Perot individually (affirmed by Robert Plan Corp. v. Perot Systems Corp., 278 A.D.2d 119, 718 N.Y.S.2d 50 (1st Dep't 2000).
- Represented a computer software vendor in unauthorized copying and use of health care software designed and licensed for use in the managed care industry.
- Secured pre-answer dismissal for multinational financial services client on failure to state a claim and barring any attempt to re-plead (affirmed Roberts v. IRS, 297 Fed. Appx. 63 (2d Cir. N.Y. 2008)).
- Summary judgment pursued and granted in judicial recognition of a foreign money judgment from Belgian with award of pre and post judgment interest DHL Aviation NV v. Global Delivery Sys. LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157932 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 23, 2015)
- Obtained denial of motion to dismiss having properly plead personal jurisdiction over defendants. National Westminster Bank PLC v. Retirement Care Assocs., Inc., 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5807 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 22, 1999).
- Obtained favorable settlement for a leading developer of drug information databases, software and clinical information solutions against claims of trade secret misappropriation and fraud.
- Investigated a Japanese conglomerate in alleged copper trading manipulation of the LME copper market.
- Mediated a complex software license and maintenance service agreement.
- Enforced a multi-tiered software licensing and royalty agreement against developer.
- Obtained arbitration award enforcing a multi-tiered trade barter contract.
- Negotiated and drafted a term sheet for purchase of an Internet service provider subscriber assets.
- Represented lenders and other creditors in Chapter 11 and 7 reorganization and adversary proceedings.
Risk Management and Compliance
- Developed business-focused strategies for clients to identify risk, develop and execute cost-efficient/effective action plans.
- Advised corporate clients in cost-sensitive environment to obtain resolutions of complex controversies pre-litigation.
- Developed negotiation and settlement strategies to manage litigation and business risk.
- Devised e-discovery procedures, including preparation and implementation of collection protocols.
- Consulted and direct IT personnel and experts for hold procedures, data collection and preservation.
- Conducted risk assessment of claims and exposure to suit across a broad range of industries.
- Analyzed client internal document retention policy and draft new governing procedures.
- Revised corporate by-laws and review compliance issues.
Intellectual Property and Technology Practice
- Represented one of the nation's largest companies in defending against a software licensing dispute to ensure the continued operation of enterprise essential software.
- Defended prominent telecommunications corporation against patent infringement claims to successful resolution pre-trial.
- Represented private company and individual director defendants in a cross border breach of contract involving sophisticated sports monitoring intellectual property technologies. Obtained pre-answer dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction and forum non convenience.
- Represented a leading logistics company in a copyright infringement and breach of contact case. Formulated an effective mediation strategy and secured dismissal pre-answer.
- Represented a global entertainment company in securing its licensing in Europe of a classic film library to successful settlement.
- Secured an injunction for a medical device manufacturer for trade dress violations, compelling discontinuance of counterfeit products.
- Represented a trademark owner in cybersquatting, unfair business practices and defamation case.
- Compelled an infringer to cease use of trademark and turnover domain name.
- Defeated defendant’s attempt to secure pre-answer dismissal having properly plead viable copyright claims as to registered works, intentional deception of consumers, unfair competition and misappropriation. Capitol Records, Inc. v. Wings Digital Corp., 218 F. Supp. 2d 280, 286 (E.D.N.Y. 2002).
- Defeated defendants' attempt to dismiss (successfully pleading subject matter jurisdiction) and their alternative theories seeking a stay or to transfer case to California. Arista Records, Inc. v. Launch Media, Inc., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1224 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 24, 2002).
Financial Products Litigation
- Represented senior executive before the SEC and DOJ involving alleged violation of Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 ( FIRREA).
- Represented Trustee in multi-billion dollar claims against issuer for breach of representation and warranties of RMBS.
- Represented former Certificate holder against claims by Servicer for unjust enrichment.
- Represented special servicers of securitized commercial mortgages in recovery of assets.
- Represented Administrative Agent in negotiated resolution of alleged breach of fiduciary duties.
- Obtained affirmance of dismissal with no leave to amend a pro se complaint for failure to state a federal claim for breach of contract. Walzer v. Muriel Siebert & Co., 447 Fed. Appx. 377, 383 (3d Cir. N.J. 2011).
- Prevailed on a pre-answer motion in dismissing aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty and equitable subordination claims on judicial estoppel grounds. Adelphia Recovery Trust v. Key Bank Nat'l Ass'n, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69954 (W.D.N.Y. May 18, 2012).
- Obtained dismissal of claims against chief financial officer of alleged securities fraud and failure to disclose customs violations under Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) demonstrating the failure to meet the heightened scienter pleading requirements. Rahman v. Kid Brands, Inc., 736 F.3d 237 (3d Cir. N.J. 2013).
- Presenter, "Does #MeToo Include You, Too?," Thompson Hine Client Event, March 2018
- Panelist, “The Ethical Dilemma C Suite vs. in-House Counsel: Who is Really in Charge?”, New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 15th Annual CLE Conference, September 2017
- Panelist, “Tight Budgets and Tough Choices: Poverty, Decisions, and Why Legal Help Matters”, New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 14th Annual CLE Conference, September 2016
- Panelist, “Protecting Your Business In the Age of Consumer Protection,” New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 13th Annual CLE Conference, September 2015
- Panelist, “Complying with legal ethics in the age of social media,” New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 12th Annual CLE Conference, September 2014
- Panelist, “Force Majeure,” New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 11th Annual CLE Conference, September 2013
- Panelist, "The Evolution of Social Networking in the Workplace: How to Keep Your Social Media Policy Relevant in the Face of Constant Change," New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association CLE webinar, May 2013
- Panelist, "The Continuing Tension Between Legal Ethics and Technology: What Do We Do When The Technologies Changes But The Rules Do Not?", New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 10th Annual CLE Conference, September 2012
- Panelist, "The Continuing Tension Between Legal Ethics and Computer Technology: How Do We Avoid Crossing the Line?", New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 8th Annual CLE Conference, September 2010
- Panelist, "Traveling at the Speed of Information: Can Our Ethics Keep Up with Social Networking, Blogging and the Internet?", New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 7th Annual CLE Conference, September 2009
- Selected to the New York Super Lawyers, 2018
- Recipient of Community Service Award for dedication and service to the community, presented by the New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association, November 2008 and 2011
- Recipient of the Thompson Hine LLP BizLit Pro Bono Award 2015
- Accredited Representative, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- I have initiated new and expanded existing strategic partnerships with local and national organizations and their respective constituencies to advance the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Initiative's objectives. I continue to develop program opportunities; execute diversity, charitable and community outreach projects that touch local communities and beyond.
Thompson Hine's New York Office Continues Charitable Holiday Tradition - Firm Works With New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association to Donate Gifts to Children in Domestic Violence Shelters
December 21, 2015
Thompson Hine’s Build-a-Backpack Program Continues Tradition of School Donations - Law Firm and Association of Corporate Counsel New Jersey Deliver 250 Backpacks to Children
September 15, 2015
Thompson Hine Continues Charitable Holiday Tradition for Seventh Year - Firm Works With NJCCA to Donate Gifts to Children in Domestic Violence Shelters
December 17, 2014
ACC New Jersey Gives BackAssociation of Corporate Counsel
October 09, 2014
Thompson Hine Continues Charitable Holiday Tradition - Firm Works With New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association to Donate Gifts to Children in Domestic Violence Shelters
December 23, 2013
January 08, 2013
Thompson Hine Continues Its Tradition of School Supply Donations - Firm Works with New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association to Deliver 250 Filled Backpacks
September 27, 2012
December 20, 2011