Melissa is the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Partner, and represents clients in professional liability, product liability, employment, personal injury, commercial litigation and premises liability matters. She defends drug and medical device manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, and heavy equipment manufacturers. She has extensive experience representing a broad spectrum of industries and clients in attorney- client disputes, business and employment disputes, personal injury cases, and product defect cases. Melissa has gained extensive first- chair trial experience over her 25 years of practice, and has tried cases all over Texas and beyond. She has always been a champion of retaining and promoting women in law, and is spearheading the firm’s diversity and inclusion program by focusing the firm’s efforts on hiring, training, and retention initiatives.
Courtney is an associate in the Dallas office of Hartline Barger LLP, where she focuses her practice on premises liability and commercial litigation. Following an impressive summer clerkship at the firm, Courtney was asked to join the Dallas office upon her graduation from the Texas Tech University School of Law. While in law school, Courtney served as a legal extern to Chief Justice Kem Frost. Prior to receiving her J.D., Courtney completed her undergraduate studies at Austin College, where she was a member of the women’s basketball team.
Outside of the office, Courtney maintains a strong interest in basketball (especially for her San Antonio Spurs) and French/EU politics.
Kristen Cook is Associate General Counsel for 7-Eleven, Inc. In that role, she manages the real estate legal team responsible for 7-Eleven’s real estate portfolio of over 10,000 properties in the United States and Canada. This real estate work encompasses real estate transactional work, condemnations, land use, real estate litigation and disputes, licensing and construction matters. Kristen also serves as primary legal counsel for 7-Eleven’s fuel and environmental team, including working with the retail and wholesale fuel teams on matters relating to fuel supply agreements, fuel transportation agreements, antitrust issues, retail fuel pricing laws, carbon credit compliance, and environmental compliance. Kristen has additional experience with multi-site acquisitions and obtaining antitrust clearance for acquisitions. A primary focus of Kristen’s practice is on implementing “Lean initiatives” for the in-house practice and implementing a legal operations program. In 2018, 7-Eleven won an Association of Corporate Counsel Value Champion award for reengineering the delivery of the legal real estate work. Kristen regularly presents at a variety of legal conferences around the country.
Prior Experience/Courses: Texas Women’s Foundation, Women’s Leadership Institute, Cohort 2; 7-Eleven’s High Impact Leadership Program, Thayer Leadership Development School, United States Military Academy; Applied MBA Program for Attorneys, SMU Cox School of Business; Senior Associate, Higier Allen & Lautin; Associate, Cowles & Thompson; Law Clerk, Judge George Allen, 54th Criminal District, McLennan County, TX; Externship, Judge Jeffrey Manske, U.S. Magistrate, Western District of Texas; Fellow, Kuwait Information Office, Middle East Foreign Policy, Washington, D.C.; Office of Texas Attorney General, Child Support Enforcement Division
Memberships:Member, Network of Executive Women; Member, Attorneys Serving the Community; Member, Munger Place Church
Education: J.D., Baylor University School of Law; B.A., International Relations, and B.A., Spanish, cum laude and graduate of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core Honors College
Ms. Woodard is a Vice President/Associate General Counsel for AT&T, where she manages a team of more than 25 attorneys and staff. Her team provides legal support for Human Resources, the Chief Diversity Officer, Asset Protection, and Corporate Litigation. Her HR and AP roles includes overseeing investigations and assisting clients in the strategic direction of personnel policies and business practices, to avoid legal and business risks in the handling of employee matters. Her corporate litigation team is responsible for all litigation filed against AT&T Inc., including shareholder demands, and securities and derivative litigation. She also oversees the administrative team responsible for legal operations for the entire legal department.
Prior to this role, Ms. Woodard held various roles in the legal department, including legal support for the Company’s sales operations, global marketing and sponsorships, marketing and advertising support for various products and services, and employment litigation. She has served as the National Co-Chair of the legal department’s Pro Bono Committee and currently oversees the Legal Intern Program for 1Ls.
Ms. Woodard is a native of Michigan and relocated to Dallas in August 2017She is on the Board of Directors for Head Start of Greater Dallas, and Step Up Women’s Network. She is a member of the State Bars of Michigan, Georgia and Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and is also a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where she served as Associate Editor of the Michigan Law Review.
Kelly DiBlasi is a partner in the Firm’s Business Finance & Restructuring Department.
Ms. DiBlasi’s practice focuses on debtors, creditors, and equity interest holders in all areas of domestic and international restructurings and crisis management, both in and out of court. Most recently, Ms. DiBlasi was named a “Rising Star” for Restructuring and Insolvency in the U.S. by IFLR1000 for 2020. She was selected by the American Bankruptcy Institute as one of its “40 Under 40” honorees for 2018 and was recognized by New York Law Journal as one if its “Rising Stars” for 2018. Ms. DiBlasi was also recognized by Turnarounds & Workouts magazine as one of its “Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyers” for 2016 and previously was named a “Rising Star” for restructuring and insolvency in the U.S. by IFLR1000.
Ms. DiBlasi also represents, on a pro bono basis, the N.Y. Police and Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund, and has helped several U.S. military veterans seeking assistance with applying for disability benefits. Her pro bono work has also included assisting a non-profit entity in connection with its out-of-court restructuring.
Ms. DiBlasi has served as a teacher’s assistant at Cardozo School of Law and Harvard Law School. She is on the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Advisory Board. She frequently presents at bankruptcy seminars and participates in a variety of firm activities and initiatives focused on training, mentoring, recruiting, and diversity.
Wen Butcher has a proven track record as a business leader and attorney. Wen joined Emerson over 10 years ago and has held various roles of increasing responsibility. She is currently Associate General Counsel of Emerson Automation Solutions and serves as the Global Lead Counsel and Trade Compliance Officer for the Pressure Management, Isolation Valve, and Actuation Technologies business. Wen has a passion for mergers and acquisitions, deal architecture, compliance, and strategic negotiations and has leveraged her strong business acumen to support her team’s ability to deliver consistent performance.
Wen began her legal career in the Midwest but is currently based in Dallas, TX. She is a member of the board of directors for The Samaritan Inn, a North Dallas based non-profit homeless shelter. She holds a Juris Doctorate, a Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, all from The Ohio State University. She is a licensed attorney in Ohio and Texas and is a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel and American Bar Association.
Alicia Barrs concentrates her practice on antitrust counseling, compliance, eminent domain litigation, white collar criminal defense and internal investigations. Alicia is experienced in virtually all phases of traditional litigation and alternative dispute resolution, including injunctions, written discovery, depositions, pretrial motions, mediations and jury trials. She litigates antitrust cases concerning allegations of price fixing, customer allocation, exclusive contracts, tying, bundling, boycotts and monopolization and attempted monopolization brought under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and state competition laws. She also tries cases related to white collar crimes and complex commercial disputes.
On the corporate side, Alicia represents and advises clients concerning potential antitrust issues with proposed mergers and acquisitions in Hart-Scott-Rodino filings before the Federal Trade Commission and United States Department of Justice. She conducts market definition and competitive impact analyses and responds to civil investigative demands and subpoenas for documents and testimony.
Notably, Alicia has served as litigation counsel for large electric transmission line projects involving the acquisition of utility easements through eminent domain. These projects involve new transmission lines spanning hundreds of miles over thousands of parcels. As part of these projects, she was responsible for hundreds of lawsuits filed in more than a dozen courts. And currently, she serves as a member of the team assisting the special compliance coordinator appointed by the U.S. Department of Commerce to monitor, assess and report on the U.S. export control compliance of Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation, of Shenzhen, China, and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China (collectively, ZTE).
Renee Gately is a graduate from the southern Methodist university Dedman School of Law and is currently working as a VP and Assistant General Counsel at JPMorgen Chase & Co.
She is an innovative business attorney with broad experience in international technology and outsourcing contract negotiations, legal analysis, leadership, dispute resolution, risk management, and corporate policy development. She is passionate about creating business-oriented solutions to drive successful results.
Her specialties are complex international negotiations focusing on cloud computing, software licensing /development, product distribution, and consulting serices.
Isabel works closely with employers at all stages of the employment relationship. Drawing on over a decade of extensive employment litigation experience, Isabel proactively assess the risks and costs associated with litigation to offer employers not only exceptional legal advice but also practical business solutions. Isabel’s overarching objective is to address legal risks and minimize her clients' future legal costs and potential liability.
Isabel has successfully defended employers against claims relating to all aspects of the employment relationship in state and federal courts, as well as before state and federal agencies, and she has significant experience defending against wage and hour claims throughout the country whether brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), its state law counterparts, or pursuant to contract. Isabel draws on this litigation experience in conducting internal investigations with respect to incidents of workplace violence, allegations of sexual misconduct among coworkers, disparate impact where worker retention is a concern, workplace bullying, and allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
In addition, Isabel is a frequent speaker and writer on wage and hour issues, and she is an editor of The Labor Dish, DLA Piper's employment blog highlighting legal issues important to US employers. Isabel is also the chair of DLA Piper Dallas' Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a delegate for the firm's Leadership Alliance for Women (LAW) group.
Jennifer Trulock counsels companies on how to manage workplace legal issues, conduct investigations into employee misconduct, and prevent employment lawsuits. She also is experienced in handling acquisition/divestiture employment issues, including due diligence, pre-merger planning, and post-merger integration issues.
Ms. Trulock advises employers on developing and applying personnel policies and in responding to and resolving complaints before reaching litigation. In addition, she assists employers in protecting their business information by writing, implementing and enforcing non-competition and non-disclosure agreements.
Ms. Trulock defends employers against claims of discrimination and harassment based on sex, race, disability, religion, age and national origin; wrongful discharge; wage and hour violations; breach of contract; breach of covenants not to compete; misappropriation of trade secrets; breach of fiduciary duty; and retaliation. She represents clients in administrative proceedings and helps companies respond effectively to charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and charges of unfair labor practice filed with the National Labor Relations Board.
Ms. Trulock is experienced in developing affirmative action plans for employers who are federal contractors and in responding to compliance reviews by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
Meyling “Mey” Ly Ortiz is Managing Counsel of Employment & Labor at Toyota Motor North America, where she provides advice & counsel, works on strategic company initiatives, conducts training and manages litigation. Prior to Toyota, she practiced in the Dallas office of Littler Mendelson, P.C., where she was named D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in employment law, Rising Star in Employment and Labor Law by Super Lawyers Magazine and made the Hot List of Lawyers of Color, Inc. Prior to Littler, Mey began her legal career at Wolf & Henderson, a small business litigation firm, where she first-chaired hearings and bench trials, second-chaired jury trials, and prepared appellate briefs.
Mey received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications from Texas A&M University, where she graduated with honors. She also graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. A self-proclaimed moot court geek, Mey was a finalist in the Wagner National Labor & Employment Law Moot Court and continues to coach moot court at SMU today. Mey is also active in the legal community and has held several leadership positions in local bar associations, including president of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers in 2014.
She is the proud wife of a Navy veteran, who she met in a running store. She has completed 6 marathons, 21 half-marathons, 3 sprint triathlons, and 1 Olympic distance triathlon, but since having two toddlers, in addition to her Pitbull, her “free time” is spent listening to books on Audible or on her Peloton bike or tread.
Eunice Nakamura serves as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary and is responsible for the Legal, Audit and Risk functions. Eunice previously practiced at a Dallas law firm, representing corporations and organizations of all types and sizes. She has also served as Vice President of Legal for a large national hotel company overseeing compliance and litigation.
Eunice is active in the bar community and has served in various capacities throughout her career. To highlight a few, she has sat on the board of the Dallas Bar Association while serving as President of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association. She is a fellow of the Dallas Bar Foundation and a past board member of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association. Currently, Eunice sits on the board of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association’s Foundation and serves as Secretary.
Eunice is a frequent speaker at legal seminars around the country on various topics and has been recognized by D CEO as “Outstanding In House Counsel” and named to the Lawyers of Color’s “Hotlist.” She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Baylor University and obtained her Juris Doctor from Texas A&M University School of Law.
Dianna is currently Senior Counsel, Legal Compliance at Uber Technologies, Inc. providing advice on a wide range of legal issues primarily involving anti-corruption compliance matters. Dianna was previously Region Compliance Counsel - Western Hemisphere at Wood PLC (LON:WG; FTSE250), a global leader in project, engineering and technical services delivery for industries, including oil and gas, mining and environment and infrastructure sectors. During her 10+ years at Wood PLC, Dianna advised the company on anti-corruption compliance and business ethics matters as well as complex mergers and acquisitions. Before joining Wood PLC, Dianna was with the international law firm, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, where she advised clients on complex mergers and acquisitions, public and private equity and sports facility project finance transactions, as well as anti-corruption compliance matters. Dianna is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma (BBA - International Business) and Vanderbilt University Law School (Juris Doctorate). She is also a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional – International (CCEP-I). After 17 years as a legal practitioner, Dianna still enjoys her global practice immensely.
Debera W. Hepburn, Esq., is a Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Goldman Sachs, focusing on Intellectual Property. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Debera was an attorney at JC Penney (where she focused on Corporate Compliance and Intellectual Property), FTS International (where she focused on Corporate Compliance and Intellectual Property), and the law firm of Sidley Austin (where she focused on litigation and transactional Intellectual Property). She received her law degree from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. Before then, she worked as a finance analyst at Frito Lay after earning her MBA from the University of Notre Dame and as a products research and development engineer at Procter & Gamble after earning her Chemical Engineering degree from Purdue University. Debera has been active in various organizations, including the Board of Directors of the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Honorable Barbara M.G. Lynn Inn of Court for Intellectual Property attorneys, the NEW Roundtable, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, alumni clubs at her alma maters, and various veteran legal aid clinics.
Mary is a partner in the Nashville office with experience involving every aspect of the employment relationship. She has been involved in complex litigation involving all aspects of Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, the FLSA, USERRA, retaliatory discharge, and state law claims for breach of contract, fraud, negligence, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Before joining Constangy, Mary worked in human resources in both unionized and non-unionized facilities. As a result, Mary believes strongly in working closely with clients to resolve issues before they become lawsuits. Mary also enjoys speaking and providing training on relevant legal topics based on her experience, such as the re-employment of soldiers pursuant to USERRA, harassment and termination procedures.
Tracee Thomas’ earlier career in accounting and finance, paired with her broad and extensive experience in both law firm and in-house settings, makes her an ideal legal and business advisor. A true generalist, she has a depth of experience in commercial transactions, HR, litigation management and corporate governance/SEC and has worked across a broad range of industries, including products and chemicals manufacturing, real estate, technology, environmental and energy. Tracee is a recognized problem solver and has become the “go-to” expert on contracting function, consulting with many Fortune 500 global companies to identify gaps in legal and business processes, and building solutions and metrics tools for domestic and international commercial, procurement and supply chain teams to reduce or eliminate risks.
As Assistant General Counsel at Incora, Tracee provides legal support to HR, commercial and real estate teams for the EMEA, APAC and Americas regions.
At Axiom, Tracee consulted as a Senior Attorney to Fortune 500 Global real estate, technology, consumer products and energy companies on commercial transactions matters.
In her prior role as Senior Counsel at Energy Future Holdings. Tracee headed up the legal function for five commercial/procurement teams and provided corporate governance and compliance and regulatory advice.
During her time at Contran Corporation, Tracee, serving as Corporate Counsel, provided corporate governance/SEC, commercial transactions, and litigation management advice to parent holding company and 20+ publicly-traded and privately-held subsidiaries.
Tracee is an advocate of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and is a member of The NEW Roundtable, a nonprofit organization that drives the inclusion of and advancement of African American women attorneys within the legal profession.
Beth Bedell is the Senior Counsel, Employment at Texas Instruments. Prior to working in this role. She was a staff Attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Beth acquired her J.D from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
Allyson N. Ho is a partner in the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and co-chair of the Firm’s nationwide Appellate and Constitutional Law practice group.
Mrs. Ho is widely regarded as one of the nation’s most accomplished appellate litigators. She has presented over 60 oral arguments in federal and state courts nationwide, including multiple high-stakes cases on behalf of business before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Her most significant winning arguments include a U.S. Supreme Court reversal worth billions of dollars for unionized employers in the Sixth Circuit; a U.S. Supreme Court reversal limiting the power of federal regulators; a multi-billion dollar environmental win in the Fifth Circuit; a multi-billion dollar commercial victory for the founder of a technology company in the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court; a billion dollar environmental win in the Houston Court of Appeals; a nine-figure commercial victory in the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals; and a nine-figure arbitration win in the Fifth Circuit.
Among her numerous accolades, Chambers has named her one of the nation’s top appellate lawyers every year for the past nine consecutive years (2012-20)—a record unmatched by (and far exceeding) any other appellate litigator in Texas. She is also routinely named as a leading appellate lawyer by Benchmark, The Best Lawyers in America®, The Legal 500, Texas Super Lawyers, and D Magazine.
Mrs. Ho has also received the Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award (Texas Bar Foundation, June 22, 2018), been named a “Distinguished Leader” (Texas Lawyer, Sep. 1, 2017) and “Appellate MVP” (Law360, Nov. 23, 2015), and been recognized on the “Appellate Hot List” (National Law Journal, Nov. 16, 2015). In addition, she has been profiled in “Litigators of the Week” (The American Lawyer, May 8, 2020), “Litigation Powerhouse” (Law360, Aug. 10, 2016), “Supreme Court Insider” (National Law Journal, July 21, 2016), “Supreme Court Specialists, Mostly Male, Dominated Arguments This Term” (National Law Journal, May 11, 2016), “Attorney of the Year Finalist” (Texas Lawyer, Nov. 2, 2015), “Litigation Department of the Year” (Texas Lawyer, June 1, 2015), “Employment Group of the Year” (Law360, Jan. 13, 2015), “A Supreme Month: Lawyer Credits Preparedness in Ability to Argue Two U.S. High Court Cases in Three Weeks” (Texas Lawyer, Dec. 8, 2014), “High Court Debuts for Two Lawyers” (National Law Journal, Nov. 3, 2014), “Women in Business Awards” (Dallas Business Journal, Aug 29, 2014), “Litigation Departments of the Year” (Texas Lawyer, June 2, 2014), “Winning Women” (Texas Lawyer, Aug. 22, 2011), and “High court practitioners: increasingly diverse” (National Law Journal, June 6, 2011).
LaToyia Watkins Pierce is currently the Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel with FirstService Residential in Dallas, Texas. LaToyia is responsible for overseeing and developing the legal strategy for all issues effecting the company throughout the United States and Canada.
Prior to joining FirstService Residential, LaToyia retained and managed outside counsel to defend professionals who are sued in courts, before regulatory bodies, and in arbitrations across the country. She oversaw cases involving errors and omissions insurance, miscellaneous professional liability insurance and other forms of insurance coverage and actively participated in all aspects of litigation and practice and risk management for insureds and their counsel.
Prior to joining AXA XL, LaToyia had more than 10 years of experience handling complex and diverse litigation, representing individuals, companies and professionals. Her practice was devoted primarily to commercial litigation and professional malpractice, in which she defended claims for broker-dealers, investment advisers, insurance agents, lawyers and real estate professionals, among others. She handled cases involving errors and omissions insurance and provided all associated services, including litigation and regulatory investigations. She often counseled clients on risk avoidance issues and was called upon regularly to provide in-house continuing education seminars. LaToyia has successfully settled and tried cases in state and federal court as well as in arbitration hearings before FINRA panels.
LaToyia holds a J.D. from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas, an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, Texas, and a B.S. in Economics from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. LaToyia also serves on the school board for Legacy the School of Sport Sciences in Houston, TX; the advisory board for the NBA Retired Players Association North Texas Chapter; and the board for Children at Risk.
Evelyn Pulliam currently serves as Managing Counsel with Toyota Financial Services and leads a team of transactional attorneys who assist in the negotiation of supplier contract in support Toyota’s multi-billion-dollar procurement portfolio.
Prior to joining Toyota in 2016, Evelyn enjoyed a 25+ year career in various positions of increasing responsibility and varying disciplines. She began her career in the energy industry serving as contracts and commercial transactions attorney in the Legal departments of Fortune 500 oil and gas companies industry. She also held senior legal positions in the legal departments in medical device industry and with North America’s largest foodservice distributor, Sysco Corporation where she handled multiple organization restructurings and corporate acquisitions before taking on the role of employment counsel and eventually being appointed to the position of Vice President, Human Resources.
Evelyn is a graduate of Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business and The University of Texas School of Law.
Arezou Arefi-Afshar is currently the General Counsel at Securonix, Inc., a cyber security company that provides security analytics services to companies worldwide. Arezou partners in cross-functional planning of strategic, growth, and operational goals, and provide counsel on a variety of legal matters including contract negotiation, transactions, business development, corporate governance, human resources, marketing, risk reduction, compliance and privacy, and dispute resolution.
She prides herself as a true "full stack" GC and get excited by opportunities to partner with high growth companies to scale business.
She is also dedicated to issues around diversity, inclusion, and equality in the legal profession, and am a passionate supporter of Open Arms, a nonprofit that offers community-based perinatal and doula services to low-income women and families.
Lizzy Scott assists clients in complex commercial litigation. Her practice emphasizes defense in lawsuits filed under the FCA and representing public companies and their officers and directors in securities and privacy litigation, internal investigations, regulatory investigations and other enforcement proceedings.
Lizzy’s experience allows her to manage various related cases and investigations with an eye toward how actions in one matter could affect the others. Highly organized and detail-oriented, Lizzy brings a strong understanding of the subject matter affecting her clients’ businesses. She has experience in state and federal court, as well as before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, a branch of the American Arbitration Association.
Amanda Gadison is a graduate from the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law. Amanda is an attorney in Thompson Coe’s litigation and casualty section in the Dallas office. Her practice focuses on premises liability, construction defect, automobile/trucking accidents, dram shop, and general negligence cases. She has represented parties in personal injury, wrongful death, fire, and property damage, including general contractors, subcontractors, property owners and management companies, restaurants, and movie theaters.
Keitha is an attorney and trusted business partner with experience successfully counseling and representing corporate clients in a broad range of legal matters, with an emphasis on labor and employment disputes. Keitha is a problem-solver who is adept at reducing client exposure and employing sound legal advice to advance business objectives. In addition, she has spoken widely on a variety of labor and employment topics including, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII and other civil rights laws, and restrictive covenants. Keitha is also a zealous advocate for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and routinely speaks on such topics. She is currently Vice President of The NEW Roundtable, Inc., a non-profit organization that drives the inclusion and advancement of African-American women attorneys within the legal profession through targeted relationship-building and professional development initiatives.
TINA C. GREEN is an Assistant General Counsel and Senior Vice President at Bank of America, N.A. in the Consumer Banking Legal Group in Plano, Texas. Tina currently provides legal support to the Consumer Deposit Products line of business. She is responsible for providing broad legal support to help her clients understand and respond to nuances in the law to reduce risk and operate efficiently. She has previously supported and served as a governance partner for the various front line units that comprise Document Oversight and Centralized Services, Mortgage Document Processing, Lien Release Research and ReconTrust Company, N.A.
In 2010, Tina joined the bank as Vice President, Senior Group Operations Manager in the Legal Support Group in ReconTrust Company, N.A. providing legal support to the ReconTrust Trustee Services team in vendor management/contracting, legislation and operations. In 2012, Tina was named interim Senior Counsel, where she managed a team of thirteen, was a member of Trustee Services Executive Committee and chief legal advisor to ReconTrust Trustee Services senior management. Tina participated in several division and enterprise wide projects and initiatives providing legal oversight and input including compliance efforts with the OCC and FTC consent orders and the National Mortgage Settlement as well as the lateral foreclosure review. Upon being named Assistant General Counsel in Bank of America’s Legal Department in September 2012, Tina expanded her role and area of support as line of business attorney and was quickly promoted to Senior Vice President.
Tina earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Spelman College in 1998 and her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami, School of Law (FL) in 2001. She was licensed to practice law in the state of Texas in 2003.
Tina is an active member of the Legal Department’s Diversity and Business Council where she previously served as co-chair of the Sponsorship Committee for 3 years and currently serves as co-chair of the Employee Inclusion Committee. She is also the Co-Chair of the Legal Department’s Pro Bono Committee, on which she previously served as the Regional Representative for North Texas and was recently named co-Executive Sponsor of LEAD for Women North Texas. In addition, Tina volunteers regularly with Minnie’s Food Pantry, Legal Aid of Northwest Texas and the Plano West Senior High Quarterback Club.
Tina and her husband, Carlos and two children, Jayden (17) and Kendall (14) live in Plano, Texas.
Kimera’s practice focuses on representing clients whose products and activities are regulated by the FDA and USDA. She advises clients on a variety of regulatory matters, and also provides advice with respect to general, corporate, commercial and day-to-day business matters with an emphasis on supply and distribution arrangements. Additionally, Kimera represents clients in merger, acquisition, and joint venture transactions. She has assisted in acquisition and joint venture deals involving the food & beverage industry and various other industries.
Toni Nguyen is a business and technology attorney with more than 20 years of experience who focuses her practice in the areas of technology transfers and intellectual property (IP) licensing (inbound and outbound), e-commerce and information technology (IT), intellectual property law and portfolio protection, general commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and data security and privacy. She has 15 years of in-house experience, including as general counsel, advising executives and a variety of business stakeholders.
Ms. Nguyen has extensive experience in negotiating a wide range of commercial and technology transactions in various industries. These transactions include agreements related to software development and integration, open source software issues, IT outsourcing transactions, electronic contracting, click-through and shrink-wrap agreements, supply chain and procurement, distribution, reseller agreements, sales agreements, co-marketing, referral, master services agreements, statements of work, software as a service (SaaS) related agreements, leases and warehousing agreements. She also advises clients in healthcare and biotechnology matters, including drafting and negotiating clinical study, material transfer, research and development, licensing and joint venture agreements.
Ms. Nguyen also advises businesses ranging in size from small startup and emerging growth companies to public companies with respect to various corporate and securities matters. She offers counsel on merger and acquisition support, integration of companies, IP and contract due diligence, and negotiating and structuring major commercial and IP transactions, including joint ventures and other types of strategic alliances.
In addition, Ms. Nguyen provides clients with general counseling, including matters related to corporate governance, risk mitigation and compliance, corporate policies, operations and legal management, global expansion (in Canada, Europe and Asia), dispute and litigation management, advertising and promotion law, sweepstakes and giveaways, trade secrets and copyrights.
Ms. Nguyen has advised board members and domestic and global internal teams, including executive, sales, research and development, hardware and software, project management, manufacturing, marketing, accounting, finance, audit and regulatory.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Nguyen served more than 15 years as an in-house attorney across a variety of industry sectors, including online travel and retail, media, biotechnology, and cloud-based enterprise software companies, giving her extensive, wide-ranging knowledge of the business, marketing and regulatory issues companies face and their impact on the companies. Immediately prior to coming to Holland & Knight, she served as senior vice president and general counsel of a publicly traded cloud-based software company.
After law school, Ms. Nguyen was a senior law clerk for the Honorable Jerry Buchmeyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Michelle Carey Jones is an Associate General Counsel in the Global Transactions and Compliance group for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Ft. Wirth, Texas. In this role, Michelle provides legal support for international transactions and legal compliance.
Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 2018, Michelle served as General Counsel for Wells Fargo Rail Corporation, an $8 billion railcar leasing company, NCH Marketing Services, Inc., an international coupon clearing and settlement company of over $4 billion in coupons annually, and Trinity Rail Group, Inc.,a $2 billion international railcar manufacturing and leasing company. Michelle has a law firm background as an international commercial and employment litigator at Donovan, Leisure and Orrick.
She was a Phi Bete Kappa and received her J.D. from the Univeristy of California, Hastings College of the Law and B.A. in Economics/Business from UCLA. Michelle is involved in various charities, including Attorneys Serving the Community and Taste Community Project.
Michelle is married to a Welsh rock climber and engineer, Peter Jones, and has two children, Kailey and Will, as well as her rescue dog, Sierra. She enjoys hiking, working out, travelling, food and wine and reading.
Casey Moore is a graduate from the Baylor Law School and works currently as a Senior Counsel for Vistra Energy. Prior to that she was a Shareholder for Greenberg Traurig LLP.
Jessica Hammons is a Partner in Thompson & Knight’s Corporate and Securities Practice Group, and she serves as the Firm-wide Hiring Partner. Jessica’s practice focuses on securities matters, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, and joint ventures, with particular focus in the upstream and midstream energy sectors. Jessica’s expertise includes public and private securities offerings; SEC reporting and general securities compliance; public and private mergers and acquisitions, including numerous transaction types (mergers, stock acquisitions, asset acquisitions, joint ventures, recapitalizations, auctions and divestitures); and general corporate, partnership, limited liability company, and contract matters.
Jessica’s accolades include being named to The Best Lawyers in America® for Corporate Law as well as Texas Super Lawyers® for Securities & Corporate Finance. She is also a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Jessica received her J.D. from Louisiana State University and her B.S., summa cum laude, from Louisiana Tech University.
Natara is the General Counsel of Gemini Midstream. Prior to joining Gemini in early 2019, she was the Assistant General Counsel of Oasis Petroleum and worked in the Legal Department at Oasis for seven years from 2012 managing a diverse workload of transactional and other legal matters. From 2007 to 2012, she was an associate in the Energy Transactions & Project Finance group at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins where she represented Fortune 500 energy and oil and gas companies in matters involving upstream and midstream transactions, strategic investments and corporate and project financing and development. Natara began her career at Norton Rose Fulbright as an associate in the Corporate Department in 2005.
Natara currently serves on the Tahirih Justice Center Advisory Committee and has also provided pro bono representation for the organization and for other various matters throughout her career. She has a JD from Duke University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Stetson University.
Andrea M. Palmer is the Director of Coverage & Litigation at Higginbotham in Fort Worth, Texas. Andrea graduated with a B.A. in history from the University of Texas and cum laude from Baylor School of Law, which she attended on a full academic scholarship.
After law school, Andrea spent five years litigating with the law firm of Anderson & Riddle, LLP, in Fort Worth, Texas. Andrea represented pilots, manufacturers, MROs/FBOs, and common carriers in state and federal court throughout the United States. In 2018, Andrea joined Higginbotham, where she serves a dual role. Andrea provides in-house legal services to Higginbotham, as well as contract review, coverage analysis, and escalated claims handling to the firm’s clients, in addition to overseeing all aviation matters.
Over the past 20 years, Kelli Roach has helped companies navigate through transitions and ever-changing business landscapes. A recognized expert in the energy industry, she is currently the General Counsel and member of the executive leadership team for Black Mountain Sand, the premier in-basin frac sand provider in the Permian, Eagle Ford, and Mid-Con regions. Prior to Black Mountain Sand, Kelli served as General Counsel, VP, Land and Corporate Secretary for a private equity-backed upstream oil and gas company where she oversaw legal, land, infrastructure development, human resources, administrative and corporate matters. Kelli is a practical and insightful strategist who is consistently called upon for her perspective and guidance on matters of risk management/mitigation, strategic planning and corporate governance.
She has served on both public company and non-profit boards, most recently as a member of the boards of Antares Energy Limited (ASX listed), Baja School Friends, Plano Rotary Club, Hope’s Door and Plano Children’s Medical Clinic.
Kelli holds a J.D. from Southern Methodist University and an M.A. in International Management and B.A. in Government and Politics, both from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Macy is a real estate attorney in the Dallas office of Munsch Hardt. Her practice focuses on the representation of lending institutions in connection with the financing of office buildings, hotels, multifamily housing and other types of commercial properties. She also represents clients in the leasing, acquisition, disposition and development of retail, office and mixed-use projects.
Lucy Gustavus is Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Mortgage Operations at PennyMac Financial Services, Inc. and has over 23 years of experience in the mortgage industry. At PennyMac, Lucy provides legal support to the Servicing Division and is a member of the company’s wEMRG women’s mentoring and leadership program.
Prior to joining PennyMac in 2018, Lucy worked at Mr. Cooper as Vice President and Associate General Counsel, where she supported mortgage servicing and fair lending and actively participated on its Diversity and Inclusion’s Committee. Prior to that, Lucy was Senior Compliance Officer of Fair Lending and Privacy at Citi, where she also assisted with winding down the US operations of Mexican affiliate Banamex. She joined Citi from Bank of America, where Lucy was Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel and provided default servicing support for over six years during the height of the financial crisis, having joined the Bank through its merger with Countrywide Financial where she also supported default servicing.
Lucy began her career in the industry as a law clerk and associate attorney at Wilson and Associates, PLLC in Little Rock, Arkansas representing a multitude of mortgage servicing shops in contested foreclosures, evictions and bankruptcies. Lucy received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is licensed to practice law in Texas and Arkansas. Having attended and graduated from the first desegregated school in the south - Little Rock Central High School - Lucy has always known and directly understood importance of inclusion and belonging.
Jennifer focuses her practice on general litigation, including personal injury cases involving catastrophic injuries and death, as well as product liability and dram shop litigation. She is also actively involved in a wide range of other practice areas, including premises liability, toxic torts, and healthcare litigation.
Jennifer joined the firm in 2016. Prior to joining Hartline Barger, Jennifer clerked for the Honorable Judge Nancy Rahmeyer on the Missouri State Court of Appeals. Jennifer also managed a successful solo criminal defense practice from 2009-2013 where she defended clients in state and federal court.
Jennifer is a graduate from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. While there, she clerked for the honorable Jimm Larry Hendren, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas and served as a Note and Comment Editor for the Journal of Food Law and Policy. Jennifer’s note, Creating Balance: Problems within DSHEA and Suggestion for Reform, was published in the fall of 2006.
Jennifer has long made it a point to be active in her community, whether it be volunteering her time to local causes or proudly sponsoring charitable organizations. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her two young kids, being outside, and interior design.