Diane is Senior Managing Counsel for J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc., responsible for all patent litigation matters. Prior to joining J. C. Penney Corporation, Diane was a shareholder as Winstead PC in Dallas, Texas and a member of its Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups. She practiced at Winstead for more than 25 years before leaving private practice to join JCPenney. During her tenure at Winstead, Diane represented clients that were patent owners, defendants accused of infringement by competitors, as well as clients accused of infringement by NPEs.
Laura Alaniz's litigation experience provides a unique perspective in analyzing client's practices to reduce risk of claims. She regularly advises clients on compliance issues relating to employment-related laws and prevention of claims including counseling clients regarding leaves of absence, layoffs, unemployment compensation, employment handbooks and policies, and conducting employee and management training.
Labor & Employment (Litigation & Counseling) –Ms. Alaniz's Labor and Employment practice includes drafting employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and anti-competition-hiring- solicitation agreements. She also has successfully defended clients in employment cases and handled employment-related claims before local, state and federal administrative agencies. She has represented employers in all types of employment disputes including suits for wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment and discrimination, wage and hour disputes, disability accommodation, and has litigated claims of tortious interference, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Commercial Litigation – Laura also represents businesses, non-profits, and their directors and officers in a variety of commercial disputes, including breach-of-contract claims, claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and misrepresentation, Deceptive Trade Practices Act cases, and community association and condominium governance issues.
In litigation, clients need honesty, not sugar-coating. They need someone who cares deeply about building strong personal relationships and working hard to represent them well. In litigation, clients need Erin Latuso. With a mind that thrives on logic and practicality, Erin provides her clients with an in-depth, methodical approach that gives them what they need: the truth and peace of mind. Long hours don’t weigh on Erin; they motivate her. Before attending law school, Erin worked as a paralegal where she first learned the importance of the procedural side of the law, but more importantly, the value of personal relationships with not only clients, colleagues and team members, but also with peers in the professional community. Today, as a lawyer, Erin makes it her mission to form personal relationships with her clients as she digs deep into the details of their case, analyzing the issue at its core, so that she can better tell their story. Advising, counseling and litigating on behalf of her clients in matters involving, Labor Employment, Professional Liability, Commercial and Contract Disputes, and Toxic Tort Law, Erin's practice never gets stale and she looks forward to each new story she has to write. When working with Erin, clients will feel they have an advocate who respects them and works hard in their name simply because she cares.
Adina Owen is Senior Counsel for Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP, a midstream company providing transportation and storage of natural gas and liquids. For over a decade, Adina has handled commercial transactions and regulatory issues before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for Boardwalk.
Adina is a member of the State Bar of Texas. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Energy Bar Association Houston Chapter and has served as Chairman for the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America’s Legal and Rates Committee. As a pro bono lawyer for the Tahirih Justice Center, she had the privilege of assisting female trafficking survivors attain permanent residency in the United States. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University Schreyer Honors College and received her J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law in 2006.
Although a native of Greater Philadelphia, she now calls Houston home, where she lives in happy chaos with her husband, her three-year old daughter, her 8-month old boy/girl twins, and a very well-fed and tolerant retriever.
Lori Oliphant is a shareholder in Winstead's Compensation/Employee Benefits Practice Group. She has extensive experience in all types of employee benefit and compensation matters and is a frequent speaker on these subjects. She represents a diverse group of clients, including Fortune 500 companies, privately-held companies, governmental entities, tax-exempt entities, private investment funds, real estate funds and investment managers, and she acts in various leadership positions among multiple professional and industry groups. Lori is also the leader of the Women’s Alliance at Winstead PC.
Deborah A. Robinowitz’s practice primarily consists of structuring, documenting, and negotiating finance transactions. Debbie has been involved in a wide array of transactions including financings for the development and construction of regional shopping centers, lifestyle centers, entertainment venues, hotels, multi-family properties, condominium projects, office complexes, industrial projects, churches, golf courses, and other resort properties.
Ann is responsible for managing USAA’s growing patent portfolio, supporting Innovation and licensing efforts, and facilitating the integration of intellectual property across the enterprise.
Alison Chen’s practice focuses on the U.S. federal income tax aspects of domestic and international transactions, primarily within the energy sector.
Ms. Chen’s practice focuses on federal income taxation of corporations, partnerships (including publicly traded partnerships, or MLPs) and limited liability companies, primarily in the energy sector. She has significant experience advising MLPs on capital formation, acquisition (including “dropdown” transactions) and recapitalization activities. She has served as tax counsel to both issuers and underwriters in connection with numerous MLP initial public offerings (IPO) and follow-on equity and debt offerings. Ms. Chen also advises clients on federal income tax matters in private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and financing transactions.
Ms. Chen received her LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law. She received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center and her B.A., with honors, from the University of Texas. Prior to joining Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Ms. Chen was a partner at another major U.S. law firm where she advised clients on U.S. federal income tax matters.
Ms. Chen serves as the hiring partner for the Houston office.
Brooke Geren McNabb has served as lead lawyer in numerous commercial and personal injury matters and has first-chaired multiple trials resulting in favorable jury and bench verdicts. She represents plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts in a variety of complex commercial litigation matters, including breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and other tort claims.She also represents defendants in serious personal injury cases. Ms. McNabb's practice has focused on big-stakes commercial cases for energy companies and complex disputes in the real estate sector.
Ms. McNabb received her law degree with honors from The University of Texas School of Law in 2004, where she was an Associate Editor on the Texas Law Review, Order of the Coif, and a member of the mock trial team. She graduated with honors from the Plan II Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin in 2000, served as President of the Orange Jackets, the oldest honorary service organization at The University of Texas, and was Phi Beta Kappa and a member of Mortar Board. Ms. McNabb serves as the General Counsel for Communities in Schools Houston and also represents Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. She is a past president of the Houston Association of Women Attorneys, an organization devoted to promoting women and the interests of women in Houston’s legal community.
Holly Chastain Nini is Senior Corporate Counsel at the corporate headquarters for CITGO Petroleum Corporation in Houston, Texas where she manages the legal affairs for several of CITGO Petroleum Corporation’s multi-billion dollar businesses, including Terminals and Pipelines; Product Supply, Distribution and Trading; CITGO’s international non-profit foundation; and previously CITGO’s refining operations in Corpus Christi, Texas. In addition, she was appointed by CITGO’s CEO to serve as legal advisor to Executive Committees which approve major strategic deals and technology for CITGO’s operations. Prior to joining CITGO, she was regional Legal Counsel with Schlumberger where she managed the legal affairs for Schlumberger’s exploration and production oil and gas, IT and meter manufacturing businesses both onshore and offshore. Her experience includes a broad range of strategic and high level domestic and international transactions involving IP and technology matters, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, complex litigation, corporate governance, compliance, risk management, regulatory matters and other legal areas in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Hillary Holmes is a partner in the Houston office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a member of the firm’s Capital Markets, Energy and Infrastructure, Securities Regulation and Corporate Governance, and Mergers and Acquisitions practice groups. Her practice focuses on securities offerings and SEC and governance counseling in all sectors of the oil & gas energy industry. She represents public companies, private companies, MLPs and investment banks in all forms of capital raising transactions, including IPOs, registered offerings of debt and equity securities, private placements of debt and equity securities, and spin-offs. She has extensive experience advising boards of directors, conflicts committees, and financial advisors in complex transactions.
Ms. Holmes has been named one of the top young capital markets lawyers in the United States and assisted clients with some of the most complicated and exciting transactions in the energy space. She is ranked by Chambers USA in Oil and Gas Transactional (Nationwide) and Texas Capital Markets: Debt & Equity, which notes she is “absolutely excellent,” “very talented,” “remarkably dedicated,” and “incredibly knowledgeable; she makes the subject matter understandable.” Clients recognize that she has “extremely sound judgment” and is “the hardest working lawyer I know,” and peers attest that “she is a phenomenal lawyer who has good judgment, is very engaged, and clients love her.”
Doris T. Bobadilla embraces the guiding principle that consistent excellence produces results. She maintains a regional litigation practice across Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Florida. Doris represents clients in the areas of employment law, professional liability (including accounting and legal malpractice), directors and ofﬁcers liability, insurance coverage, workers’ compensation, and subrogation. Doris’ experience involves general insurance defense, including automobile and premises liability.
Doris holds an extensive background in civil and workers’ compensation litigation. She represents clients before state, federal, and administrative courts. She began her career as an Assistant District Attorney, Orleans Parish, State of Louisiana, where she tried numerous jury and judge trials. With Galloway, Doris bolstered her trial experience and has tried civil cases and administrative matters. Doris presents seminars on the topics of employer’s liability, workers’ compensation, insurance coverage, and subrogation law.
Currently, Doris serves as the Managing Director of Galloway’s Mississippi ofﬁce. She holds membership in the Louisiana Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, Texas Bar Association, Florida Bar Association, the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, Defense Research Institute (DRI), and the International Amusement and Leisure Defense Association. As evidence of her legal ability and ethical standards, Doris received an AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell. In further recognition of Doris’ career and community achievements, the New Orleans CityBusiness Board selected her as a Leader in Law and the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association honored Doris with the Camille Gravel Public Service Award. She also received the Executive Women International, New Orleans Chapter’s Representative of the Year Award.
Throughout her career, Doris has fostered diversity in the legal profession. As the ﬁrst Hispanic woman on record to be admitted to practice law in the state of Mississippi, Doris embodies the business beneﬁts of encouraging ideas from a diverse team. Currently, she serves as co-chair of the NGLCC’s National Legal Industry Council.
Dawn S. Holiday is a Member in The Woodlands, Texas office of Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC and is a member of the firm’s Professional Liability and General Litigation practice groups. Her primary focus is helping her clients obtain a satisfactory resolution to litigated matters. As a leader of the Texas litigation group, Ms. Holiday uses her skills to develop appropriate strategies for companies in high-stakes litigation throughout every phase of the process. As a trial and appellate attorney, Ms. Holiday is no stranger to the courtroom. She serves as first chair in a variety of lawsuits in the areas of commercial litigation, personal injury, employment litigation, general liability defense and insurance law. Her practice is state-wide and her clients include corporations in the healthcare, insurance, energy and manufacturing industries and licensed professionals. She has been recognized for developing a book of business based on superior litigation skills. Some of her professional accomplishments include: Selection to the Thompson Reuters Super Lawyers Texas Rising Stars List, Who’s Who in Black Houston, National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, International Women’s Leadership Association Member, Houston Young Lawyers Association Leadership Academy Graduate and Fellow, Leadership Montgomery County Graduate, and Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow.
Rachel Powitzky Steely is recognized as one of the foremost female trial lawyers in Texas specializing in employment law. She was selected as one of the top 20 female trial lawyers by Texas Lawyer Magazine and the only labor and employment attorney to receive the honor. Rachel has been recognized as a Texas “Super Lawyer” for more than ten years in the specialty of employment litigation. She was also a finalist for the Houston Business Journal's Outstanding Business Leader in Professional Services and was selected for Who's Who in Energy. She is a former student investigator for the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor and is Board Certified, Labor & Employment Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Rachel is an expert in the field of unfair competition litigation, including extensive experience representing clients in prosecuting and defending expedited proceedings seeking emergency injunctive relief related to non-competes, trade secret theft and embezzlement, which allows her to provide quick, strategic and efficient representation for employers and executives.
Rachel also has particular expertise in wage and hour litigation, and a wide variety of employment matters, including disability laws; discrimination, retaliation and harassment; executive agreements; OSHA and safety; terminations, hiring, layoffs and severance agreements. She maintains an active trial docket while also providing the necessary preventative counseling that allows clients to avoid costly litigation.
Rachel serves as Vice Chair for the firm's Labor & Employment Practice Group.
Amy Parker concentrates her practice on the representation and counsel of energy industry clients in high-stakes, commercial litigation disputes. She has extensive experience representing natural gas and power marketing companies against allegations of market manipulation and related trading violations in both federal court proceedings as well as investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Amy also defends clients in complex environmental, products liability, and toxic-tort litigation. For over a decade, she has defended national and multi-national refining companies against groundwater contamination claims brought by private parties, state attorneys general, and state environmental protection agencies. She handles a wide range of general commercial litigation as well, including complex contractual disputes and cases involving allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, securities violations, and related causes of action.
Donna is a trial lawyer and a problem solver. She focuses on quick, common-sense resolutions of everyday challenges and creative, timely resolution of more complex issues. She seeks practical solutions which are aligned with the goals and objectives of the employers she represents.
Sometimes solutions require litigation and as a trial lawyer, when litigation is necessary, she effectively and aggressively advocates for the firm’s clients.
An "excellent, ethical attorney" according to client quotes in Best Law Firms 2018, Donna works with clients to develop effective EEO and NLRB policies, designs noncompetition and non-solicitation agreements and troubleshoots day-to-day employer concerns – including dealing with social media and its growing impact on the work place. However, sometimes solutions require a trial lawyer. During her three decades of practicing law, Donna has represented employers before juries, judges, arbitration panels and in administrative proceedings; she is well versed in successfully defending employers when sometimes inevitable litigation is filed.
Licensed in Texas, Arkansas, and the District of Colorado, Jennifer has over twenty-years’ experience in the insurance industry.
As a litigator, Jennifer’s practice is focused on first-party property insurance coverage disputes resulting from catastrophic losses such as hail, wind, ice, water damage, collapse, fire, and explosion.
As an insurance agent and risk manager, Jennifer specialized in large commercial property accounts, including property management companies, rural electrical cooperatives and publicly-traded corporations.
Jennifer’s unique and specialized knowledge of property insurance risks from the perspective of both a lawyer and insurance-industry insider allows her to effectively resolve complex disputes on a cost-effective basis for her clients.
Through talent combined with effort, Jennifer has become an expert and go-to lawyer for her clients in the field of property insurance law. To that end, in 2017 Jennifer received an L.L.M. in Insurance Law from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and was awarded the CALI Award for Excellence in both Property Insurance and General Liability Insurance courses.
Michelle Anderson represents employers in all aspects of employment law in both state and federal courts, and before administrative agencies. Her practice focuses on representing employers against claims of unlawful discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, violations of leave and disability laws, and wage and hour related issues.
Michelle also litigates and advises employers on issues arising out of employee defection, including the prosecution and defense of claims involving non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, breaches of fiduciary duty and violations of trade secret laws.
Michelle provides guidance in the areas of employee handbooks, wage and hour compliance, policy and procedure development, and management training. Her entire legal career has focused on labor and employment law.
Michelle has participated in more than two dozen employment practices reviews; including large multi-state employee handbook and policy reviews that cover all 50 states. She has provided policy advice and evaluation to employers as small as five and to those with thousands of employees.
Her experience covers a variety of industries, including, but not limited to, staffing, healthcare, dentistry, production, manufacturing, restaurant, and hospitality. Michelle has also conducted wage and hour audits to determine proper employee classifications and payment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Prior to practicing law, Michelle had a successful career in workforce development where she operated employment and training programs for a private non-profit corporation under contracts from the Department of Labor (DOL), the Washington State Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development (CTED), and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
Michelle's background in executive management and workforce development has yielded practical knowledge and experience in addressing numerous workplace issues. Michelle has wide exposure to the challenges facing today's businesses and supervisors; ranging from compliance with state and federal employment requirements to hiring, training, evaluating, and retaining employees in an ever changing labor market.
Michelle was included in Louisiana Super Lawyers - Rising Stars in 2016.
ANGELA ZAMBRANO, a co-leader of the firmwide Commercial Litigation and Disputes practice, represents companies and boards of directors in commercial litigation and internal investigations, including class actions and multi-jurisdictional disputes. Angela has served as trial counsel in cases before numerous federal and state courts and in arbitration proceedings around the country. Angela regularly litigates cases involving allegations of fraud, breach of contract, bad faith, and breach of fiduciary duty, as well as class action consumer and employment claims, shareholder claims, and business torts for companies in a wide variety of industries, including insurance, healthcare, private equity, manufacturing, energy, transportation, data storage, media and entertainment, and agriculture.
Angela frequently represents private equity firms in their key litigation matters. Angela’s recent work includes representing a healthcare company in an earn out dispute with its former owner in which she obtained a complete victory on behalf of the company. Angela also recently represented another private equity client in connection with one of its investments in the film industry; after winning several early motions, the case settled favorably and the client was able to recoup its investment. Angela also regularly represents such clients in employment-related disputes, including covenants not to compete and class action employment claims.
Angela is known as being an aggressive litigator with excellent courtroom skills, including obtaining and defending against temporary restraining orders. She recently obtained a TRO on behalf of a general partner against a group of limited partners who were attempting to call a vote to replace the general partner in violation of the partnership agreement. Angela also represented the client in defeating a TRO brought by another limited partner in the partnership.
Additionally, Angela has experience in bankruptcy-related litigation, including as litigation counsel in confirmation trials and evidentiary proceedings in the General Motors, Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc., Hawkeye, Washington Mutual and SemGroup bankruptcies.
Angela is a trusted business counselor and often provides pre-litigation advice related to contract and employee issues for privately held and publicly traded companies. In addition, she regularly conducts internal investigations for her clients.
Angela has received a variety of awards for her litigation skills. Since 2007, she has been recognized annually by Texas Super Lawyers as a leading lawyer in the area of Business Litigation. In 2017, she was recognized by SMU Dedman School of Law as an Emerging Leader. She also received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from SMU Women in Law. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, she was listed as a “Local Litigation” star in Texas by Benchmark Litigation and recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Litigation. She was recently recognized in “Commercial Litigation” in the 2016 and 2017 editions of The Best Lawyers in America and selected as one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” 2017. Angela served as President of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association in 2016.
Angela’s clients include AccentCare, Inc., Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc., Denbury Resources, Inc., Oak Hill Capital, Sharyland Utilities, Trinity Industries, Inc. and Vantage Oncology.
Karen M. Dicke is a partner in the New Orleans office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Labor & Employment Practice. She has advised and represented clients in complex commercial litigation involving a wide variety of practice areas, involving issues such as professional liability including legal and medical malpractice, business torts, insurance coverage, securities, employment-related issues, and construction defects. Her cases have ranged in complexity from single party claims to large multi-party and class actions. She works closely with clients – from individuals and small businesses to large corporations and insurers – to develop and implement successful litigation strategies that best suit each client’s specific business needs, litigation exposure and budget. She has the depth of experience to evaluate complex issues thoroughly and efficiently and to provide clear, decisive advice. She has obtained successful verdicts and summary dismissals in numerous cases.
Immediately after graduation from law school, Karen joined the United States Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division through the Honors Program. Since entering private practice, she has tried cases and argued appeals in state and federal courts. She has defended professionals including lawyers, FINRA registered representatives & financial planners, broker-dealers, architects, engineers, physicians, nurses, business brokers, insurance agents & producers, insurance brokers, title insurance agents, abstractors, and home inspectors.
Karen’s experience with business torts, commercial litigation and directors’ and officers’ liability has involved claims for intentional and tortious interference with contractual relations; tortious interference with business relations; unfair trade practices; fraud and misrepresentation; blue sky violations; violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and ERISA; franchise agreements; intellectual property royalty agreements; and leases. She has counseled and defended businesses in litigation regarding employment discrimination, unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation, employment manuals, employment contracts, non-solicitation/non-competition agreements, joint venture agreements, licensing agreements, and leases. Her insurance coverage work has included financial, commercial, property and personal lines, such as directors’ and officers’, errors & omissions, commercial property, business interruption, builder’s risk, inland marine, cargo, homeowner’s, and automobile policies at primary, excess and reinsurance levels of risk, for loss from a variety of causes, such as fire, hail, water and wind. She was involved in dozens of cases in state and federal court as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Since joining the firm, Betsy Jackson has practiced in the Corporate/Commercial arena, specifically dealing in Securities, Business Transactions, Commercial Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions and Real Estate. Specific matters with which she has worked include: Various Asset-Backed Financings; Initial Public Offerings; Revolving Credit, Term Loan and Letter of Credit Facilities; and Exchange Act Compliance Work.
Betsy was named Best Lawyers 2015 Tulsa Corporate Governance "Lawyer of the Year”, has an individual AV rating through Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America in Banking & Finance Law and Corporate Law. She is the author of: “No More Bananas in the Oklahoma Split: Exempting ERISA-Qualified Pension Plans Under Section 522(b)(2)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code”, Tulsa Law Journal, Volume 25, No. 4, Summer 1990.