Paul Genender is a partner in Weil’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice group. Mr. Genender is a seasoned trial lawyer with an established track record of courtroom experience representing plaintiffs, defendants, debtors and creditors. Mr. Genender represents clients in connection with a wide range of business disputes, including antitrust, breach of contract, business fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair and deceptive trade practices, unfair competition, securities fraud, non-competes and restrictive covenants, and misappropriation and theft of trade secrets matters. He also counsels clients on antitrust compliance, board governance, fiduciary duty and other business law issues, and pre-lawsuit dispute resolution options.
Mr. Genender has experience representing companies across industry sectors, including financial services, chemicals, real estate, retail, business services, energy, telecommunications, as well as non-profits, family trusts, and professional associations
Mr. Genender has been recognized for many years for his work by leading national and regional business publications, including Legal 500 (2017), Best Lawyers in America* (2007-2019), D Magazine (2004-2019), and Texas Super Lawyers** (2004-2019).
Outside of his active practice, Mr. Genender is involved in several of the Firm’s initiatives focused on diversity, inclusion, and attorney advancement. Presently, he serves as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Taskforce on Women’s Engagement & Retention (TOWER), and sits on the Firm’s Diversity Committee.
Mr. Genender also is actively engaged as a leader in a number of professional and civic organizations. Since 2013, he has served on the Board of Visitors of Duke University School of Law and the Alumni Board of St. Mark’s School of Texas, for which he currently serves as President. He is also a member of St. Mark’s Board of Trustees. Since 2010, he has served on the Board of Trustees of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas and has chaired its legal committee since 2011 (providing pro bono counsel).
Vicki Blanton is the Assistant Vice President - Senior Legal Counsel for AT&T, Inc., with primary responsibility for the legal compliance of the domestic and international retirement benefit plans, with over $54 billion in assets. She has handled complex retirement plan and health and welfare benefit plan issues for several Fortune 50 publicly traded companies and for large governmental employers. Ms. Blanton brings the real world practical perspective of implementing legal changes with each change’s ripple effects in benefit plan administration and to other areas of business operations. Ms. Blanton has been a frequent speaker on a variety of topics, including substantive legal issues, diversity topics, and career development panels. She is a Past President of the J.L. Turner Legal Association, winning accolades from the State Bar of Texas and the National Bar Association. Ms. Blanton has been named as a Dallas Business Journal Best Corporate Counsel, D Magazine’s List of Best Lawyers, and Eclipse Magazine’s Dynamic Lawyers. Vicki is an American Fellow of the German Marshall Memorial Fund and was a Barrister in the American Inns of Court. Vicki has served on and been appointed to a variety of non-profit, charitable, municipal and state boards; currently serving on the boards of the Dallas Chapter of the American Red Cross and Dallas Bar Association as the Secretary/Treasurer and is a past board member of the Dallas Bar Foundation. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University School of Law. Additionally, she has a Certificate of Study from Georgetown University’s Executive Development Program at the London School of Economics. Vicki has 2 daughters, a 2017 alumna of Howard University and a graduating senior at University of Missouri at Columbia (MIZZOU).
Bipasha Mukherjee is a Vice President-Associate General Counsel of Cinemark Holdings, Inc., a leading domestic and international motion picture exhibitor, located in Plano, Texas. She practices corporate and securities laws. She was part of the team for Cinemark’s successful initial public offering in 2007 and has worked extensively in matters involving corporate equity and debt transactions, all securities act and exchange act compliance and reporting, corporate governance, executive compensation, general corporate transactions, privacy and cybersecurity. She is also currently co-chair of the company’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Ms. Mukherjee earned her J.D. from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 2002, a M.A. in International Relations from Tulane University and her B.A. and M.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India. She is admitted to the State Bar of Texas.
As a leader and General Counsel for four companies, including Smith, NextiraOne, Dresser and LSG Sky Chefs, Anne Sparks knows what it takes to manage complex legal issues within a global organization, build consensus and implement change.
Anne was a 2016 Finalist for the Texas General Counsel Forum Magna Stella Award for Best General Counsel of a Small Legal Department. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Chapter for the Texas General Counsel Forum. She is also a mentor for the Dallas Women Lawyer’s Association and the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers.
Most importantly, she is a mom to Sarah, who graduated from Georgetown University in May of this year, and Lauren, who is a sophomore at Colorado University in Boulder.
Deborah’s practice focuses on complex restructurings and liquidations, as well as complex commercial litigation. With 20 years of experience in the insolvency field, she represents a variety of parties including debtors, trustees, committees of unsecured creditors, landlords, lenders, insurers and receivers in a variety of different venues across the United States. She also has represented parties active in the health care, retail, oil and gas and restaurant industries.
In the past, Deborah held a number of leadership positions within the Firm, including serving as the Shareholder Liaison to the Management Committee and as the Co-Chair of the Recruiting Committee. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Firm's Women's Initiative Group.
Tamara is a broad practice commercial litigator and trial attorney. The breadth of her practice allows her to help clients develop creative and effective solutions to complex legal problems. Tamara’s pre-lawyer experience in the aerospace industry and MBA education underpin her practice and drive her business-minded approach to solving legal issues.
Tamara’s practice includes government investigations, construction and real estate litigation, brand protection and unfair trade practices, contract disputes, entity breakups and shareholder disputes, fiduciary litigation, and tort defense. She has helped clients protect several decisions on appeal and obtain reversal of a jury verdict, and has served as advisory counsel on lien and bond issues and other matters for companies operating across multiple states. Tamara has handled matters in federal and state courts, arbitrations, and actions before regulatory and administrative agencies.
Like her practice, Tamara’s industry experience is broad and includes construction, real estate, power generation, electric utilities, technology, telecommunications, oil and gas, healthcare, manufacturing, and food and beverage, among others. The common element with Tamara’s representation is that she works closely with her client to achieve the best result for the client’s business.
Krystal Scott is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group and is co-leader of the firm’s energy and natural resources litigation team. She handles a wide range of complex commercial and energy litigation matters pending in state and federal courts across the country, as well as private national and international arbitrations.
Krystal represents and advises energy-industry clients in Texas and from coast to coast in a broad range of disputes arising from their operations, with a particular focus on enforcing contractual and property rights. She has developed a focus and regularly advises clients on legal issues originating from joint operating agreements, leases, oil and gas purchase agreements, purchase and sale agreements, development agreements, marketing and gathering agreements, and offshore drilling contracts. An experienced oral advocate, Krystal has appeared in state and federal courts across several states and in arbitrations in multiple jurisdictions.
Drawing on her experience at trial and in settlement negotiations, Krystal also provides dispute-prevention counsel that helps clients minimize risk and concentrate their resources on operational and strategic objectives. In this vein, Krystal has developed a high level of experience with cyber threats in the energy industry and assists clients in assessing and addressing cyber risk.
Krystal is actively involved in and represents the firm in industry groups such as the Institute for Energy Law and the International Disputes section for Lex Mundi, a global network of law firms. Krystal helps organize Houston pro bono efforts, including a partnership with Kids In Need of Defense (KIND). Her own community involvement centers on ensuring that children with special needs have access to fully integrated learning environments.
Ryan Summer Parley is Director, Senior Counsel for Neiman Marcus Group, a luxury retailer which includes both brick and mortar and online operations for Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Last Call, Horchow, and mytheresa. Ryan specializes in advertising, marketing, and social media law. She is responsible for drafting/negotiating contracts in several areas, including outsourcing agreements, licensing and web development agreements, maintenance and support, and product and service vendor agreements. Ryan is also responsible for the Company's compliance efforts as it relates to data security.
Ryan was formally Senior Legal Counsel for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services, a DXC Technology Company, specializing in labor & employment, ERISA, complex commercial litigation, and technology transactions. Ryan also ran HPE’s affirmative recovery program where she was responsible for recovering $20M in FY16.
Outside of work, Ryan is both an active member of both the legal community and community at large. Ryan is an active member of the Junior League of Dallas, dedicating a minimum of 60 hours a year to community service. Her focus is on a scholarship program created to assist female high school students in pursuing their dreams of higher education.
Kerry Dailey is Head, Legal & Compliance, Latin America & the Caribbean (LACAR) for Alcon Laboratories, the global leader in eye care. Kerry is responsible for leading the LACAR Legal and Compliance function, which handles all legal matters and compliance initiatives and projects in the region. Kerry is a member of the LACAR Region Leadership Team and Alcon’s Legal Leadership Team.
Kerry joined Alcon in 2013 as Associate General Counsel, Regulatory & Development, and most recently, she served as Executive Director, Senior Counsel of the U.S. Vision Care business. Prior to joining Alcon, Kerry worked for Merial Limited, the animal health division of Sanofi-Aventis, where she provided primary general legal support for several key franchises, as well as the business development function, and biological research and development. Before moving in-house, Kerry was in private practice with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, England, focusing primarily on U.S. Securities matters, and with Mayer Brown and Latham & Watkins in Chicago, focusing primarily on corporate, M&A and securities matters.
Kerry holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude, and received her law degree from Vanderbilt Law School, where she also served as a member and notes editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. Kerry is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Georgia.
Pamela has been a practicing attorney for 31 years and, since February 2016, has served as the General Counsel for Alliance Family of Companies, LLC. Prior to her current position, she was the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for NeX Step, Inc., a pharmacogenomic decision support software company. She has served as lead counsel in complex commercial litigation from the pre-trial stage through final appeal. During her career in state and federal public defenders’ offices, she defended capital murder and other violent felony cases in trial and on appeal, arguing frequently in front of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University. Together with her husband of 24 years, she has raised 2 children who are now in college.
Cheryl Camin Murray advises providers, financial institutions and other businesses, on entity formation, structural, contractual and health care regulatory issues.
Cheryl counsels clients on how to structure arrangements and transactions in compliance with the Anti-Kickback Statute, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) and Stark Law, as well as on how to comply with state and other federal health care laws and regulations. She regularly handles professional licensure and liability matters as well as physician alignment strategies.
She speaks and trains clients on health care fraud and abuse, corporate governance, technology, HIPAA compliance, and state privacy and security matters. Cheryl has authored and co-authored numerous publications on health law compliance and e-health issues.
Greta Ravitsky is a Partner in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Houston office of Epstein Becker Green.
Greta has significant experience representing and counseling employers in a variety of labor and employment matters arising under federal and state laws, including Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and Section 1981. With a strong focus on human capital development, retention and legal risk exposure management, Greta provides well-tailored advice on all facets of the employment relationship, from pre-employment considerations and hiring to terminations and post-employment restrictions, including background checks and drug testing, restrictive covenants, leaves of absences, religious and disability accommodations, wage and hour compliance, and workplace investigations. Her broad industry experience includes financial services and private equity, food and beverage, oil and gas, healthcare, and retail, among others.
Greta earned her B.A. in Political Sciences from Columbia University, and J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. She is admitted to practice law in Texas and New York.
Since moving to Houston in 2006, Greta has been actively engaged in a number of professional and community organizations, including the Houston Bar Association, Association of Attorney-Mediators, and the Anti-Defamation League. Greta is an active member of the Columbia Alumni Association, and has served on the Board of Trustees of Congregation Emanu El in Houston since 2014.
Greta balances her legal practice and professional and community involvement, with raising her two wonderful (and strong-willed) daughters, who are 9 and 11.
Commercial litigator Skyler Howton has experience in a wide variety of complex commercial litigation, with a focus on business disputes, insurance recovery, real estate, and oil and gas actions. Skyler has represented individuals, corporate policyholders, commercial landlords and tenants, and domestic and international business organizations in numerous jurisdictions, venues and alternative dispute resolution tribunals. Her counsel ranges from providing strategic advice to handling all aspects of litigation, from pre-trial matters to settlement negotiations, discovery disputes, extensive motion practice and trials.
Skyler is also active in the local legal community . She frequently speaks and writes on evolving insurance issues, including practical guidance for in-house counsel, cyber security and cyber insurance affecting various industries. She maintains an active pro bono practice as a Dallas CASA and regularly staffs the East Dallas Legal Clinic, conducting client-intake interviews. Skyler also sits on a committee with Attorneys Serving the Community and has a community placement with the Junior League of Dallas.
Carista Ragan Hill is the Chief Legal Officer for StackPath, a platform of secure services built for the cloud. More than 1 million customers already use StackPath technology, ranging from early-stage enterprises to Fortune 100 organizations. Before joining Stackpath, Ragan Hill served as a general counsel at a 100-year-old FTSE 100 company based in Glasgow, Scotland. Prior to that, she led a global commercial counsel team at a Fortune 500 company, and was on the legal team at Candle Corp., which was acquired by IBM.
Throughout her career, she managed a global team of attorneys in Asia, Latin America, Europe, the UK, and North America where she traveled and trained more than 25,000 employees on global anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws, anti-trust, employment law, ethics and compliance, and commercial contracts. Ragan Hill was a featured legal panelist at Baker & McKenzie’s Global Oil & Gas Institute in 2016.
Monica Pace Messick is a Dallas corporate and finance lawyer and focuses her practice on energy lending transactions, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), business entity formation and governance, contract negotiations and general corporate work. In her finance practice, she advises regional and national banks, private equity companies and oil and gas companies on oil and gas-secured credit facilities, of both the single-lender and agented variety. As part of this practice, Monica has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating credit agreements, intercreditor agreements (both in the first lien/second lien lender context and to facilitate sharing of pari passu liens with outside hedge providers), subordination agreements, guaranties, mortgages, and other security documents, and in advising clients with respect to perfection, hedging and usury matters. She has also guided lenders through workouts and the complex considerations faced with distressed loans.
Monica’s corporate practice includes a broad variety of transactions, extending from mergers, acquisitions and private placements to entity formation, governance issues and general contracting needs. This diversity of experience enables her to issue-spot and guide clients through the myriad issues faced by small and mid-sized companies in their formation and growth stages, financing needs, and day-to-day operations.
Nicole Figueroa represents clients in complex commercial litigation, investigations, and regulatory proceedings throughout the United States. Her practice frequently involves the defense of public accounting firms and professionals in a broad range of matters, including federal and state civil litigation, and investigations and regulatory proceedings by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and state regulators. In addition, Nicole also regularly advises clients in connection with a variety of risk and compliance matters, including matters involving licensing and reporting issues.
Following law school, Nicole served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jane J. Boyle in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Beverly Bond specializes in developing and implementing national litigation strategies based on individual client needs. Specializing in complex litigation, she represents clients on both a local and national level in toxic tort, catastrophic injury, and employment matters.
Ms. Bond serves as National Coordinating and Trial Counsel to several global corporations for their toxic tort litigation. As national counsel, Ms. Bond develops case and trial strategies, prepares and develops expert witnesses, and tries cases. She also manages client’s complex discovery by developing a deep understanding of each client’s business and customizing cost-effective discovery solutions.
She has also served as national and local counsel for industrial and commercial equipment manufacturers in both products liability and toxic tort litigation. She has tried cases in Texas, California, Missouri, and Kentucky.
Ms. Bond spent much of her early career dividing her practice between toxic torts and labor and employment litigation. In recent years, erosions of the exclusive remedy provisions of various state workers’ compensation laws provided an unusual intersection of her practice areas. Her dual experience provides her with a unique understanding of the legal arguments and risk posed by civil employer liability cases. Ms. Bond uses this experience to develop litigation and trial strategies for employer clients in high risk litigation.
In her new role, Zandra will partner directly with the IT and IT Global Procurement teams to execute critical technology transactions, support IT strategy, and drive third-party information security risk mitigation. She will also provide privacy compliance counsel as part of the global privacy program. Zandra will be based in the Parkwood location in Plano.
Zandra joined PepsiCo in April 2017 as Legal Director for PepsiCo’s Global IP Legal Team. In this role, Zandra focused on R&D IP transactions – including IT-related transactions – and she handled dispute resolution. She also lead the team in developing and implementing significant efficiencies for contract review and client service.
Prior to joining PepsiCo, Zandra handled IT transactions at Oracle, including IT outsourcing negotiations, multi-vendor technology transactions, and Cloud/SaaS deals. Zandra also has governmental experience, having handled Federal Trade Commission investigations into unfair practices claims and supporting the Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the Texas Attorney General in litigating consumer rights cases.
Zandra received her law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law and her B.A. in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs from Southern Methodist University. Zandra supports numerous local organizations and charities—including Legal Aid of North Texas McKinney, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Club, and the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance.
Lauren Fanning is the Vice President of Legal, Compliance and Training and the Corporate Secretary at Academic Partnerships. She oversees all transactions, regulatory compliance and litigation activities and manages outside counsel engagements across various discipline. Prior to that, she was a Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Daymon. Lauren earned her J.D. from the Brooklyn Law School, an MBA from the Northwestern University, and a B.A. in History from the Ithaca College.
Jay is a creative, solution-driven, and purposefully business-minded partner with experience successfully counseling and representing corporate clients in a broad range of challenging commercial and regulatory legal matters. At FedEx Office, Jay’s primary responsibilities include commercial transactions with an emphasis on technology, privacy, and other regulatory matters.
Her current role includes the review, negotiation, and analysis of commercial sales, information technology, and other vendor outsourcing contracts, including cloud-hosted services/SaaS, inbound software and content licensing, development, consulting, and other technology services agreements. She also assists in the review, negotiation, and analysis of telematic and other mobility agreements and various other strategic and operational initiatives.
Jay is a zealous advocate for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. She is a founding member of The NEW Roundtable, Inc., a Dallas-based 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.
Jennifer DeBoy is a native Texan. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Dallas and went on to study law at Southern Methodist University. She focused her studies on international tax, consumer, and intellectual property law. She also clerked at a mid-size international tax firm, a boutique estate planning firm, and the Federal Trade Commission while in law school. She went straight in-house at Copart, Inc., the top performer on Deloitte’s Exceptional 100 Companies list. She then worked at EZCORP, Inc. as Associate General Counsel. She gained omni-channel experience at KidKraft, Inc. and is now at T-Mobile USA, Inc. She has two young children who make her laugh (or sometimes cry) and when time permits, she travels with her husband or sneaks in an early morning run.
With 20 years In-house and Law Firm experience, at Counsel On Call I broadened my practice exposure working directly with in-house lawyers and law firms to create and streamline legal solutions. As Senior Litigation Counsel at Hewlett-Packard Company I managed a range of employment-litigation matters, monitored case budgets, worked closely with outside counsel, and advised management teams.
Promotion to positions of increasing responsibility and the establishment of meaningful internal and external relationships are constant throughout my career. Acknowledged for my ability to effectively manage a high-volume case load in an organized, efficient, and effective manner and explain complex legal issues and trends clearly.
Amy Harris joined Macdonald Devin in 1989 and represents clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts, primarily in insurance defense litigation and insurance coverage. She has served as state and national counsel for clients to ensure their interests are consistently protected, and is currently serving as national defense counsel for a client in major pharmaceutical litigation. She also has experience in representing clients in class actions and mass tort litigation.
Amy has represented a myriad of businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, insurers, product manufacturers and distributors, major retailers, hotels, property owners and managers, and construction companies. Her areas of expertise include appellate, insurance, products liability, personal injury and tort litigation, employment and labor law, hospitality law, premises liability, and toxic tort.
Amy provides seasoned representation for insurance companies in coverage lawsuits and disputes, including pursuing or defending the insurance company’s position in declaratory judgment actions, defending bad faith claims, analysis of coverage issues and disputes, preparation of coverage opinion letters, preparation of the carrier’s reservation of rights and denial letters, and monitoring significant claims and lawsuits in order to protect the interests of primary and excess carriers.
Her practice also includes substantial experience in trial and litigation support, including providing guidance to trial counsel in the analysis and presentation of legal issues, trial strategy, concentration on procedural issues and motions, summary judgment and dispositive motions, preparation of jury charges, presentation of arguments throughout the litigation and at trial, and briefing of complex legal issues.
Amy frequently speaks and conducts presentations for clients on legal developments and trends, as well as other issues of significance to her clients.
She is admitted to practice in all Texas state courts, U.S. District Courts for Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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.
KELLY DYBALA focuses her practice on private equity, financing transactions and debt restructurings. She represents borrowers, private equity funds and direct lenders concentrating on acquisition financing, asset-based lending, mezzanine financing and subordinated debt financing. In addition, Kelly is experienced in workouts and debtor-in-possession financing on behalf of both borrowers and financial institutions.
Kelly has represented a number of leading private equity firms, including Advent International, Avista Capital, Berkshire Partners, Lindsay Goldberg, One Equity Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Siris Capital, Summit Partners, THL Partners, TSG Consumers Partners and Z Capital Partners including many of their portfolio companies. Kelly also regularly represents corporate clients on financing matters.
Kelly has been recognized in IFLR1000 as “Highly Regarded” for Banking and Finance in the United States. Kelly is listed as a “Best Lawyer” in the 2016–2020 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in Banking and Finance Law and Corporate Law. Kelly is named a leading lawyer for Banking and Finance in Texas by Chambers USA 2010–2019, one of D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas 2013 and 2017, a Texas “Super Lawyer” in 2014-2018, and named a “Rising Star” in Texas by Super Lawyers from 2004–2013. The 2014–2016 editions of The Legal 500 US named Kelly a “Recommended” Lawyer for Private Equity Buyouts. Kelly was selected as one of M&A Advisor’s 2012 “40 Under 40” honorees, an award that recognizes lawyers under the age of 40 for their accomplishments in finance and M&A. Similarly, in 2011 Kelly was named as one of the 45 best women lawyers under the age of 45 in the United States by The American Lawyer. The Dallas Business Journal recognized her as one of its “40 Under 40” in 2012.
Katie is a passionate leader and problem-solver who excels at navigating complex legal and business issues across a number of key functions, including operations, human resources, risk management, compliance, finance, information technology, and sales. She has more than 12 years of experience advising public and private organizations of all sizes on a wide variety of matters. With these skills, Katie has established a successful track record of employing innovative strategies to increase operational efficiency and promote effective collaboration between business units.
Faith Lleva Anderson is Senior Vice President & General Counsel for American Airlines Federal Credit Union headquartered in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. The credit union has $7.3 billion in assets with over 300,000 members, and 47 branches located in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Anderson oversees legal, compliance, anti-money laundering, government relations and vendor management.
Anderson has served on the CFPB’s Credit Union Advisory Council where she was also the Subcommittee Chair of the Card, Payment and Deposit Markets Subcommittee. In 2017, she testified before the House of Representatives’ Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee at a hearing titled Examining the BSA/AML Regulatory Compliance Regime and participated in Treasury’s Roundtable meeting with credit unions. In 2016, she also participated in NCUA’s Exam Flexibility Initiative for billion dollar credit unions chaired by Regional Director Keith Morton.
Anderson has served as Chair for the American Bar Association Business Law’s Committee on Credit Unions. She testified at a HMDA hearing before Federal Reserve Board Governor Elizabeth Duke. Anderson also served a three-year term on the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) representing credit unions where she also chaired its Depository & Delivery Systems Committee. She has spoken to various groups including compliance officers, CEOs, board members and attorneys regarding regulatory, legal, compliance and diversity issues.
Prior to joining American Airlines Credit Union, Anderson was in private practice in Wisconsin. She was also a former Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and also served as a staff attorney to the chief bankruptcy judge there.
Anderson holds a Juris Doctor from Marquette University where she was also a member of the Marquette Law Review. She holds a bachelor’s of business administration degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She is licensed to practice law in Texas and Wisconsin.
Molly Whitman focuses on complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts. She has experience representing companies in a wide range of commercial disputes often involving contract, business tort, antitrust, and employment matters.
Molly has managed a large docket of cases that span numerous jurisdictions. Within the bounds of each case, she works effectively with a range of co-counsel and opposing counsel, as well as with other attorneys on the Akin Gump team. Highly organized, Molly is adept at keeping the work streams of numerous ongoing cases moving in a timely and cost-effective way.
Since joining Akin Gump, Molly has tried several cases to verdict, with some of those trials coming as a prosecutor in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office as a lawyer on loan.
Molly is also very active in the firm’s pro bono practice—accruing over 200 pro bono hours per year—and has been honored multiple times by the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas.
Krista Hanvey is a partner in the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She practices in the firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation and Corporate Departments. Ms. Hanvey has significant experience with all aspects of health and welfare benefit plan, retirement plan, and executive compensation compliance, planning, and transactional matters. She has also advised clients with respect to general corporate governance matters and non-profit governance and pro bono adoption cases.
Her practice focuses on all aspects of equity compensation and employee stock purchase plans; 401(k), ESOP and 403(b) tax-qualified retirement and nonqualified deferred compensation plans; executive employment, severance, retention, change in control and non-compete agreements; performance bonus, sales commission and other incentive pay plans; and retiree medical, cafeteria and other welfare benefit plans. She regularly advises clients on the requirements of and compliance with tax laws, ERISA, HIPPA, COBRA, the Affordable Care Act and securities disclosure requirements.
Ms. Hanvey graduated first in her class from William and Mary School of Law, where she served as Senior Articles Editor of the William & Mary Law Review. In 2006, Ms. Hanvey earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honors in Government from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a member of the Order of the Coif and Phi Beta Kappa.
Ms. Hanvey is admitted to practice law in the state of Texas.
Purvi Patel Albers is a member of the firm’s board of directors and serves as trusted adviser and counsel to Fortune 500 companies and high-growth ventures on the management of their valuable brand investments. Purvi has been recognized for bringing "an amazing personality and a fantastic reputation" to her work on portfolio management and trademark enforcement for domestic and multinational companies. (Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners, 2017). She also has been highlighted by World Trademark Review for her "sophisticated brand management skills" and "incisive analysis, commercial awareness, and fast turnaround times."
Purvi’s primary practice focus includes:
Purvi previously served on the board of directors of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and co-chaired INTA's 2013 annual meeting.
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.
Chasity Henry is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of CECO Environmental Corporation, a global leader in air quality and fluid handling serving the energy, industrial and other niche markets. CECO helps companies grow their business with safe, clean and more efficient solutions that help protect our shared environment. As a key member of CECO’s senior leadership team, Chasity leads the legal department and helps drive the formulation and execution of the company’s corporate strategy.
Prior to joining CECO, Chasity was an Assistant General Counsel at Kimberly-Clark Corporation in the company’s Dallas World Headquarters. She was the lead attorney globally for strategic transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures. In addition, Chasity assisted with corporate governance and a number of strategic and operational initiatives.
Chasity is a 2006 graduate of The University of Texas School of Law. Upon graduation, she practiced in the M&A and Securities group at Vinson & Elkins in Dallas and then transitioned in-house to Vizient, Inc. and, subsequently, to Dr Pepper Snapple Group prior to joining Kimberly-Clark.
Chasity is a zealous advocate for diversity and inclusion, particularly in the legal profession. To that end, Chasity is the founder and President of The NEW Roundtable, Inc., a nonprofit organization that drives the inclusion and advancement of African-American women attorneys through targeted relationship-building, professional development initiatives, and mentoring. The group is currently comprised of over 100 African-American women practicing in Dallas in-house, at law firms, in academia and in government. Chasity also serves on the Board of Directors of The Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP) and helped launch the DAPP Direct job placement program in 2018. The program seeks to connect law firms and corporations with talented, client-ready women of color who have excelled during their first year of law school.
Chasity was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Corporate Counsel of the Year for Diversity by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) DFW Chapter and Texas Lawbook. In 2018, Chasity was recognized as Corporate Counsel of the Year by the TMCP Committee at the Texas Minority Counsel Program, as a Rising Star by D CEO Magazine at the Women Leaders in the Law Breakfast Roundtable, and one of the National Bar Association's (NBA) "40 Under 40 Nation's Best Advocates." In 2017, The Texas Diversity Council named Chasity a Texas Top 50 Multicultural Lawyer and Dallas Top 50 Women Lawyer. She was named a Finalist for Outstanding Corporate Counsel of the Year for 2017 and Diversity of the Year for 2018 by the ACC DFW Chapter and Texas Lawbook. Chasity was recognized as the Outstanding In-House Counsel for 2016 by D Magazine and the ACC, and she was a finalist for the award in 2015.
Chasity is also deeply committed to non-profit board service. In addition to the DAPP and NEW Roundtable boards, Chasity serves on the Board of Directors for the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas.
Rebecca Cohenour is a Senior Counsel at AmerisourceBergen. She has experience in the areas of supply chain matters, commercial contracts and corporate law. Rebecca graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2011; she practiced at both large law firms and a corporate legal department before joining AmerisourceBergen's legal department in February 2018.
Stephanie Gause Culpepper joined ORIX USA Corporation as Assistant General Counsel in 2017. Culpepper is responsible for driving internal legal matters for ORIX Real Estate Americas and counsels internal clients with respect to all aspects of real estate related transactions. She assists ORIX Real Estate Americas in commercial mortgage loans, mezzanine financing, construction financing, and preferred equity originations, with a particular focus on self-storage, multifamily, and hospitality property types, and supports the origination and management of CRE commercial loan obligation securitizations.
Prior to joining ORIX, Culpepper was a partner at Frost Brown Todd, a super-regional Midwest based law firm with more than 500 lawyers in eight states. Frost Brown Todd entered the Dallas market in 2015 and Culpepper was recruited to head the firm’s Texas real estate practice.
Preceding Frost Brown Todd, Culpepper practiced for five years at Bell Nunnally & Martin, a full-service law firm based in Dallas, in the areas of real estate, corporate and finance. She was elected as a partner in 2014. Culpepper started her career in the Global Projects section of Baker Botts where she worked on complex domestic and international commercial real estate matters for multinational companies.
Culpepper is actively involved in the legal community. She was elected to President Elect of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association in 2019 and has served on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Bar Association since 2015. In 2016, Culpepper served as President of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL) - a professional development and civic organization of more than 3,500 young lawyers. Under her leadership, the DAYL was awarded first place in its division for outstanding comprehensive programming by both the American Bar Association and the Texas Young Lawyers Association.
Culpepper was selected by the Dallas Business Journal for inclusion on its “40 Under 40” list in 2014, highlighting her professional success and community involvement. She served as Chair of the 40 Under 40 Alumni Advisory Board in 2018. Through the Junior League of Dallas, Culpepper has contributed over 600 hours of service to the Dallas community, working with non-profits such as Stewpot, Our Children’s House, and many others. She is also an advocate for the arts and served on the Steering Committee of Dallas Museum of Art Junior Associates from 2012-2018.
Culpepper earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with honors, in Finance and the Business Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctorate, with honors, from the University of Texas School of Law.
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.
Marisa Secco is an experienced lead litigator who represents businesses and individuals in an array of high-stakes disputes, including contract disputes, construction litigation, securities litigation, tax controversies, trade secret litigation, restructuring litigation, and civil appeals.
When working on a matter, Marisa leverages both her skills as a trial attorney as well as her experiences serving in prestigious roles in public service. She spent two years as a Rules Attorney for the Supreme Court of Texas, where she developed a deep knowledge of civil procedure and the state appellate process. Marisa also previously served as a judicial clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Her experiences both there and at the Texas Supreme Court provided her valuable insights into how judges approach cases.
Marisa's success representing clients and in public service earned her recognition from Texas Lawyer magazine, which named her one of 20 "Winning Women" in 2014. In the magazine, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht praised Marisa as "an outstanding talent" who "can see the big picture."
Anne M. Cappella is a partner in Weil’s Silicon Valley office, where she focuses on patent counseling and litigation involving complex and cutting-edge technologies.
Ms. Cappella has a uniquely diverse intellectual property counseling practice, which includes advising clients on pre-litigation patent strategies, technical aspects of patent licensing arrangements, patent acquisitions, and intellectual property due diligence for M&A transactions.
Clients also call on Ms. Cappella to oversee and lead the most technical aspects of patent litigations, including performing technical analysis to ensure solid claim construction, infringement, and validity arguments; overseeing technical experts and interacting with company engineers; and managing post-grant strategy and proceedings. Ms. Cappella has extensive experience representing clients in high-stakes multi-patent and multi-district litigations, as well as trade secret actions. She litigates in federal courts and arbitration proceedings, and has particularly deep experience before the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Ms. Cappella uses her strong technical background, including a B.S. in electrical engineering with minors in computer science and mathematics and prior work experience as an engineer and consultant for IBM, to advise clients on a diverse range of technology. She has represented smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers in proceedings involving data encoding, memory, multi-touch, WiFi, GPS, data synchronization, 3G/LTE cellular data modulation, and digital camera technologies. She also has represented other technology-focused clients in proceedings involving wireless, integrated circuit design, memory, Ethernet and DSL technology, and semiconductor processing and packaging. Some of Ms. Cappella’s representative clients include leading smartphone manufacturers, Microsoft, Intel, Amkor, and T-Mobile, among others.
Ms. Cappella is widely regarded as a leader in the field. In 2014 and 2017, Ms. Cappella was named to the Daily Journal’s list of the Top Women Lawyers in California. The publication, which recognizes the 100 most accomplished women lawyers in the state, noted that “Cappella uses her background as an electrical engineer and a love for complicated technology to help her clients fend off patent infringement claims.” Since 2016 Ms. Cappella has been recognized as a recommended lawyer for patent litigation by Legal 500. She also has been included in The Recorder’s list of the top Women Leaders in Law and was named a “2016 Women of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Ms. Cappella is actively involved in a number of initiatives aimed at bettering the careers of women lawyers. She is a member of the Firm’s global Women@Weil leadership board, a Firm affinity group that focuses on supporting women lawyers. Ms. Cappella also is a formal mentor to several senior women associates, and a regular participant in women law student and engineer mentoring programs.
As a lead lawyer in Thompson Coe’s insurance litigation and coverage practice group, Ellen represents primary and excess insurers nationwide on questions of coverage and claims handling. Her practice focuses on significant losses in a variety of industries including construction, oil and gas, financial products, trucking and products liability across the country. Ellen regularly represents insurers in disputes arising out of catastrophic bodily injury and property damage claims, intellectual property and cyber law claims, environmental claims, and professional malpractice claims. Ellen frequently counsels her clients in matters of policy contract rights and obligations, good faith duties to insureds and settlement and allocation issues involving single and multi-carrier cases in areas of liability, professional errors and omissions, pollution, umbrella and excess coverage, Stowers’ liability and “bad faith” litigation.
Ellen has been recognized in Chambers USA for Insurance as a Leading Lawyer since 2013 and was named a Top 50 Woman Lawyer in Texas in Texas Monthly magazine in 2018.
Diane Waters is a partner in the Dallas office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Labor & Employment Practice. Her practice focuses on providing general employment counseling and advice on a broad range of issues impacting the employer/employee relationship including pre-employment screening, interviewing and hiring, onboarding, performance management, wage/hour compliance, leaves of absence management, disability accommodations, discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, HIPAA, COBRA, and health care reform (ACA) compliance, reductions in force, discipline and termination counseling, and separation agreements. Ms. Waters also has extensive experience representing employers before federal and state administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division, Colorado Civil Rights Division, and Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
With over 20 years of experience, Ms. Waters serves as a trusted advisor to employers of all sizes, from small family businesses to national multi-state employers. By taking the time to understand the unique needs and organizational goals of each client, Ms. Waters is able to effectively partner with human resource professionals, management, and C-Suite leadership to develop effective solutions to protect against legal liability and costly litigation.
A board-certified labor and employment lawyer, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Claudine Jackson practices in the areas of labor and employment, workplace injuries, medical and professional liability, as well as commercial litigation. Claudine has over 20 years of litigation and trial experience and has tried employment, personal injury, and commercial cases for both plaintiffs and defendants. She has represented parties in arbitration and in claims with the EEOC, Department of Labor, Texas Workforce Commission, and Texas Education Agency.
In addition to litigation, Claudine focuses her practice on counseling management and human resources representatives on a range of workplace and employment law matters. She advises employers on developing and applying personnel policies, document retention policies, compensation/bonus plans and protecting their business interests through implementation and enforcement of non-competition and non-disclosure agreements. Claudine assists and serves as personal counsel for employees in negotiating employment and executive agreements, separation packages, and non-compete provisions.
Claudine’s previous experience as in-house employment counsel for an international aviation corporation enables her to understand and translate complex labor issues to her clients. Her clients have included companies and organizations in professional services, life sciences, healthcare, manufacturing, video gaming, retail, transportation, and aviation industries, as well as public and private schools.
In her community, Claudine currently serves on the board of directors for The Women’s Center of Tarrant County, including its Business Operations Committee. She has also served as a Director of the Tarrant County Bar Association, Director of the Texas Legal Services Center and, for over 10 years, as a Director of the Legal Aid of Northwest Texas Private Attorney Involvement Board (formerly West Texas Legal Services). Claudine graduated from the Leadership Fort Worth Program, one of the oldest community leadership-development organizations in the nation.
Andrea Paris primarily practices in the area of labor and employment law. As part of her practice, Andrea regularly represents and counsels employers and organizations in state and federal employment litigation.
She has experience handling claims of sexual harassment; discrimination; unpaid wage and hour issues; worker misclassification; wrongful discharge; retaliation; breach of contract; breach of non-disclosure, non-competition, and non-solicitation agreements; misappropriation of trade secrets; and breach of fiduciary duties. Andrea has represented businesses and entities before the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Education Agency, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in state and federal courts.
In addition to her litigation practice, Andrea counsels human resources professionals, in-house counsel, and clients in all aspects of employment law, including, hiring, retention, and termination of employees; reductions in force; internal investigations; pre-suit resolution of claims; on-the-job injuries and other workplace issues. Andrea also advises clients regarding the development, revision, and application of personnel policies and the protection of business interests through implementation and enforcement of non-disclosure, non-competition, and non-solicitation agreements.
Andrea regularly provides in-house training to clients, including their management, supervisory, and human resources personnel, regarding labor and employment issues. She has provided in-house training to educational entities and human resources associations regarding issues of sexual harassment, internal investigations, employee leaves of absence, disability discrimination, and employee background checks.
Elizabeth litigates and tries complex commercial disputes. She offers a proven ability to identify and analyze complicated facts, issues and legal principles — and distill them into concise, logical and persuasive arguments when presented to opposing counsel, judges and juries. Elizabeth is at her best when stakes are high, pressure is intense, time is limited and simplicity is needed.
An exacting and focused litigator who is objective and balanced even in the face of relentless acrimony, Elizabeth takes the time to ensure her clients understand the litigation process and their options. Elizabeth’s no-surprises communication style and immutable commitment to protecting her clients' positions help her to identify opportunities for favorable settlement whenever possible. In the event an acceptable resolution cannot be achieved, Elizabeth’s well-planned, practical legal arguments have proven effective in the event trial should ensue.
Elizabeth has represented individual and business clients in state and federal courts in Texas, California, Delaware, New York and other jurisdictions, including before arbitration tribunals. Her clients have included issuers, directors and officers in securities fraud class actions and litigation arising out of mergers and acquisitions, insider trading, class actions, earn-out, post-closing adjustment and breach of warranty disputes, breach of contract, fiduciary duty, unfair competition and tortious interference with contract, oil and gas litigation, regulatory compliance and related investigations.
Notably, Elizabeth’s industry experience is also broad and includes legal, consulting, insurance, data processing, technology, oil and gas, electric utilities, food and beverage, healthcare, entertainment, advertising, telecommunications, computer, travel, manufacturing, construction, private equity and hedge funds. The common denominator throughout Elizabeth’s representation is that she is depended upon to bring order and direction to big, challenging and acrimonious cases.
Elizabeth serves as a mentor to law students and young lawyers both inside and outside of the firm.
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.
Tracy Graves Wolf is a partner in the Dallas office of Lewis Brisbois and a vice-chair of the Labor & Employment Practice. She has extensive experience in employment law, complex commercial litigation including technology related products and services, directors & officers litigation, general liability, and intellectual property. She is board certified in Labor & Employment by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Ms. Wolf has significant experience with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), claims for discrimination under Title VII, and workers' compensation retaliation claims. She has also handled ERISA litigation ranging from COBRA litigation to fiduciary litigation and benefit discrimination litigation. Ms. Wolf represents a wide range of clients including community college districts, school districts, and public utilities to private businesses, including manufacturers, suppliers, and restaurants. With her strong understanding of the federal and state court systems, Ms. Wolf is able to prepare effective cases or defenses in the most cost effective manner for clients.
Jennifer Klein Ayers is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm's Dallas office.
Areas of Practice:
Jennifer is an experienced intellectual property litigator, with particular experience defending global businesses in complex intellectual property matters, including outsourcing, patent infringement, trademark and domain name, trade secret, non-compete, and unfair competition disputes. She has worked on matters involving computer hardware and software, information technology systems, business process outsourcing (BPO) services, Medicaid management information systems (MMIS), child support enforcement systems (CSES), semiconductors, data encryption, bedding, and fitness equipment. Additionally, Jennifer has represented both customers and providers in complex outsourcing disputes.
Her litigation experience covers all major aspects of the life cycle of a case, including dispositive motion practice, trial, post-trial proceedings, appeal, and enforcement of judgments. She has considerable trial and pre-trial experience throughout the United States, including all Federal district courts in Texas, the Eastern District of Kentucky, the Eastern District of Michigan, the District of Minnesota, and the Southern District of New York. Jennifer has also litigated in the Delaware Court of Chancery and New York County Supreme Court, including the complex commercial division.
Recent victories include obtaining summary judgment precluding the recovery of lost profits in a competitor patent infringement litigation and Daubert orders excluding all plaintiff’s damages models.
Jennifer also provides various pro bono legal services, including for matters involving claims of actual innocence. She is also an active member of Attorneys Serving the Community, and has served as a committee co-chair of that organization.
Dena DeNooyer Stroh has 20 years of legal experience. She joined North Texas Tollway Authority in March 2015 as General Counsel and Ethics Officer. She previously served as General Counsel and Board Secretary for Murchison Oil and Gas for three years. Prior to her in-house counsel positions, she practiced complex commercial litigation at Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank, LLP and Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, LLP and was elected to the partnerships of both firms. In 1999, she graduated from Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law, cum laude, and Order of the Coif, and in 1996, graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Psychology. She “ran” her first half marathon in December 2015 and finished her sixth half marathon in February 2019.
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.
Alison Ashmore works with clients to resolve all manner of business issues. Her practice includes a broad range of business issues and business disputes including contractual disputes, protection of confidential information and intellectual property, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, unfair competition, and other business claims, as well as employment issues and bankruptcy claims. Ms. Ashmore’s practical approach to dispute resolution is tailored to the needs of her clients and covers a variety of industries including construction, real estate, insurance, aviation, health care, and technology. She has broad experience advising businesses and representing employers in both state and federal court and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and regularly appears in complex Chapter 11 cases. Ms. Ashmore also has experience representing clients pursuing appeals in both Texas appellate courts and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition to advising businesses, Ms. Ashmore has extensive experience advising lawyers on professional obligations and defending lawyers and law firms from claims of malpractice, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty, and advising individuals in will contests and guardianship matters.
Jennifer Rudenick Ecklund focuses her practice on litigation and dispute resolution, representing clients before state and federal trial courts. Jennifer practices primarily in the healthcare, complex commercial litigation, and white collar litigation sections.
Jennifer has significant experience handling healthcare litigation matters, including representing healthcare providers in coverage and reimbursement disputes, fraud, defamation, and civil RICO claims. She has resolved affirmative claims on behalf of providers regarding violation of the Texas Prompt Pay Act, claims under ERISA for an insurer’s failure to pay a provider’s claims, and contractual disputes and employment issues between provider entities and individual healthcare providers. Jennifer has also represented healthcare providers in litigation related to qui tam and False Claims Act cases and federal and state anti-kickback provisions and Stark laws. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in these types of matters.
Jennifer also has expertise handling white collar fraud matters in both the civil and criminal contexts. She regularly handles cases in securities fraud, healthcare fraud, tax fraud, and mortgage fraud, as well as matters related to Ponzi schemes and resulting receiverships. She has also litigated numerous complex commercial matters and various contract, tort, employment, business, and tax disputes. Jennifer was previously a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division, representing the United States in all phases of litigation before federal district and bankruptcy courts.
She advises several national clients in connection with the workout/restructuring of their troubled loans.
Additionally, Buffey has experience in transaction and insolvency work within the aviation field.
Buffey’s financial services experience includes:
Buffey is involved in corporate matters, including the negotiation and drafting of various types of business agreements. Additionally, she has written articles for the National Business Institute (NBI). Buffey also participated on a panel regarding arbitration in the financial services industry for the Tarrant County Bar Association.
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.
Vynessa M. Nemunaitis is an associate in Weil’s Banking & Finance practice and is based in Dallas. She assists primarily on finance transactions, including acquisition financing, investment grade lending, leveraged lending and debt restructuring transactions.
Ms. Nemunaitis has been recognized as a "Rising Star" in Banking by Texas Super Lawyers* 2018-2019. She was also selected by the Business Council for the Arts for its prestigious 2018-19 Leadership Arts Institute.
Ms. Nemunaitis has been honored by the North Texas Business Council for the Arts, for being one of 40 graduates of its 30th Anniversary Leadership Arts Institute class, a program to develop the next generation of business leaders for the arts in North Texas. She was also recognized by the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program as the 2010 Outstanding New Pro Bono Lawyer. Ms. Nemunaitis is an active member of the Dallas Area Young Lawyers and the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association.
Ms. Nemunaitis received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and her B.A. from the University of Texas.