Kelley is an accomplished litigator, trial attorney and compliance adviser with two decades of experience in the areas of higher education, investigations, school safety, civil rights, labor and employment, criminal law and state and federal policymaking.
A legal trailblazer on multiple fronts, Kelley was the first African American woman to lead the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office in its 167-year history and spearheaded key initiatives addressing juvenile justice and school violence in roles with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
She is a tenacious advocate and a strategic ally for her clients, helping them proactively assess and mitigate risk using evidence-based legal strategies that ensure compliance with complex regulations and promote cultural competency in crisis planning and response.
Nicole Stach has been in-house counsel at Elsevier since 2016, providing support and guidance to stakeholders and customers on a variety of areas including IP/technology licensing, publishing, compliance, privacy, product development, marketing/promotions, and strategic partnerships. Prior to joining Elsevier, Nicole worked in private practice and in-house at IMS Health (IQVIA). She earned her law degree from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and graduated summa cum laude from King’s College with a B.A. in English and Psychology. Outside of the office, Nicole enjoys reading mystery novels, traveling, and volunteering with MANNA and TechGirlz.
Christine J Chao is the General Counsel of The Foremost Group, an international shipping company where she provides general corporate legal advice. Christine has extensive corporate and commercial law experience having worked in senior legal positions for three Fortune 100 companies: GE (Stamford, CT), Federal Express (Hong Kong and London) and Ultramar Corporation (Greenwich, CT). Christine began her legal career with the Wall Street law firm of Dewey Ballantine.
Christine lived abroad for nearly ten years – five years in Asia and five years in Europe before repatriating to Greenwich, CT.
Christine currently serves as a Trustee for Colgate University and the Foremost Foundation, which strives to help young people access higher education and greater opportunities generally. Christine also serves on the Boards of LitWorld, an organization devoted to promoting literacy around the world, and The One Love Foundation, which is committed to educating our young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Christine received her BA from Colgate University, majoring in English and her JD from Columbia Law School. She is married to Jos Shaver, and they have two sons, Ben (Babson ’22) and Tyler (Stanford ’22).
Caroline J. Berdzik, chair of the firm’s Employment and Labor and Health Care Groups, devotes her practice to helping businesses, organizations, and management navigate the panoply of employment law issues, from proactive counseling through alternative dispute resolution and trial. She represents companies in diverse industries such as health care, transportation, retail, construction, insurance, and finance, as well as non-profit organizations and educational and religious institutions.
In every matter, Caroline draws upon her previous experience as an in-house counsel to bring a deep understanding of and sensitivity to the daily challenges and cost considerations companies face. Accordingly, in her role as advisor and advocate, she functions as a virtual extension of clients’ in-house legal and human resources teams, working in integrated partnership with them to protect the company’s best interests and bottom line.
Prior to joining Goldberg Segalla, Caroline was the assistant general counsel for New Jersey’s largest privately held long-term-care company. Among her many duties, she successfully managed a diverse litigation portfolio in the areas of professional and general liability, employment, and commercial law. In this role, she supervised legal counsel nationwide, established risk management strategies, and reduced legal spend.
Caroline is a prolific speaker and writer in the areas of employment law, social media, risk management, and legal and operational issues confronting employers and long-term care providers. She has earned numerous honors that recognize the value of her legal services and her dedication to the community, including her recognition as one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” by NJBIZ and her regular appearance among the rankings of top legal practitioners in New Jersey and the New York Metro area. Caroline is also chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative.
Ron is an experienced corporate attorney in a dual career family with three young children. Ron has learned to balance the demands of his own challenging career with those of his spouse by being equal partners, working on the same team when it comes to managing careers and family.
Ron has been actively involved in various national and local diversity & inclusion programs, as well as corporate efforts, focused on improving attorney wellness.
Ron practices law as an in house attorney at SimpliSafe with ownership over Intellectual Property and various other commercial law areas. Prior to joining SimpliSafe, Ron worked at Procter & Gamble for over 13 years, most recently as the lead global commercial/advertising attorney for the Gillette business. Ron worked in management consulting at Accenture before starting his legal career. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University and a JD from UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law.
Dominique B. E. Ward is an ERISA and Tax Counsel at Lincoln Financial Group in Retirement Plan Services based in Radnor, PA. In her current role, she primarily provides legal guidance to Lincoln’s business partners that are responsible for providing retirement plan products and services.
Prior to joining Lincoln Financial, Ms. Ward served as an Associate Attorney at Jennings Sigmond, P.C., a boutique law firm specializing in multiemployer benefit plans, and worked on an assortment of employee benefits and tax law issues. She also served as a Deputy City Solicitor in the Major Tax Unit at the City of Philadelphia Law Department, where she handled tax litigation regarding the Internal Revenue Code, City of Philadelphia Code, and associated regulations.
In August 2018, Ms. Ward served as a panelist for the Philadelphia Bar Association Tax Section CLE on “Tax Controversy,” and has coordinated assorted professional training programs ranging from Legal Ethics to “Audit Best Practices” for her colleagues and clients.
Currently, she is the President-Elect of The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Inc., an organization founded in 1950 organized to address the professional needs of Black lawyers in the City of Philadelphia through programs and community activities, and a member of the Board of Governors for the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Ms. Ward received her J.D. from Florida International University College of Law and Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Miami, where she majored in International Finance and Marketing and minored in Accounting.
Maria Feeley is Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary, and Interim Athletics Director of the University of Hartford, which has seven colleges offering over 100 degree programs, students from 48 states, 63 countries, and a robust Division I Athletics program. She is responsible for oversight of the Office of General Counsel, Office of Equal Opportunity Programs and Title IX Compliance, Athletics Department, Office of the Secretary, Compliance and ERM Programs.
She was previously Chief Legal Officer of Florida A&M University, one of the largest HBCUs in the country, and currently chairs the Board of Rosemont College, and is on Washington & Lee University’s Law Council.
From 2007 through 2017, Maria was a partner in the AmLaw 100 firm Pepper Hamilton, where she chaired the Women’s Initiative, was vice chair of the Diversity Committee, and was on the Hiring and Contributions Committees. She was a senior legal consultant for FGIS, a risk management company former FBI Director Louis Freeh founded and Pepper acquired. With FGIS, she served as a senior consultant for the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center in connection with the largest court-supervised settlement program in U.S. history following the BP oil spill.
In 2014, the Pennsylvania Governor appointed her to the State Ethics Commission, an independent agency which enforces the Ethics Act, and certain provisions of the Lobbying Disclosure Law, Gaming Act, and Medical Marijuana Act.
Philly Biz named her a “Top Business Attorney;” Profiles in Diversity Journal honored her in its 10th Annual WomenWorthWatching® issue; The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly named her one of Pennsylvania’s 25 Women of the Year in 2008; she received the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Peretta Award, was appointed Philadelphia liaison to the ABA’s Commission on Women, co-chair of the 2010 ABA Women in Law Leadership Academy Programming Committee, Zone 1 Delegate to the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates; she was elected to the Board of Governors of the 13,000 member Philadelphia Bar Association, appointed to the Committee on Judicial Selection and Retention, and chaired the Association’s Women in the Profession Committee, Annual Bench Bar Conference, Women’s Rights Committee, Sandra Day O’Connor Award Committee, and Drafting Committee for the Development of a Call to Action and Best Practices for the Retention and Promotion of Women Lawyers.
Maria obtained her JD from Washington and Lee University where she served as senior articles editor for the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice f/k/a Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Digest. She obtained her BA, cum laude, in Mathematics and History from Rosemont College, where she received a full-tuition academic scholarship, was inducted into the Delta Epsilon Sigma national honor society, and was an adjunct business law professor from 2006 through 2015.
Pam Richardson has specialized in labor and employment law for her entire legal career. Pam currently serves as the Vice President, Chief Labor and Employment Counsel for American Water, the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. Her responsibilities include providing advice and counsel on a wide variety of employment, labor and employee benefits issues. Additionally, Pam manages outside counsel with respect to pending litigations and provides training to human resource professionals and management employees on various employment and labor law issues. Pam also is responsible for creating American Water’s Diversity Corporate Summer Legal Internship Program, in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Counsel.
For the past two years, and prior to her promotion to Vice President, Chief Labor and Employment Law Counsel, Pam served as Director, Labor and Employment Law Counsel for American Water. Before joining American Water, Pam worked as a Labor and Employment Law Associate with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Prior to that, Pam served as a labor and employment law attorney with both public and private sector employers.
Pam currently serves as a Board Member for the American Red Cross Southwestern New Jersey Chapter.
Pam received her J.D, cum laude, from Catholic University in Washington, DC and her bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA. Pam is licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel and Hispanic National Bar Association.
Nicole Pérez-Lengel is a Member in the Philadelphia office of Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg LLC. She focuses her practice on the areas of premises liability, products liability, municipal law and motor vehicle liability. Nicole regularly defends retail, restaurant and municipal clients, as well as premises owners and product manufacturers, against claims filed in state and federal courts throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as other states across the country via pro hac vice admission.
Nicole graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2004 with a B.A. in International Politics and a Minor in International Studies. While at Penn State, Nicole served on the Communications Committee of the Penn State Pan-Hellenic Dance Marathon (THON), where she and her fellow students and alumni helped to raise over $3.5 Million for the Four Diamonds Fund for cancer research. Nicole was also the recipient of the Burton-Waller Academic Scholarship.
After Penn State, Nicole attended Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law, where she graduated with her J.D. in 2007 and was the recipient of the Dorothy Day Award for Pro Bono service. During her time at Villanova, Nicole served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Catholic Social Thought. Nicole also worked as a certified student attorney in the Villanova Clinic for Refugee and Emigrant Services (C.A.R.E.S.), where she successfully obtained political asylum for a refugee family under persecution. Also during law school, Nicole served as an extern for the Honorable Albert John Snite, Jr. in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and was chosen by the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association to serve a one-year federal externship with the Honorable Petrese B. Tucker in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Nicole also participated in the Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law “Lawyering Together” program, where, as a student-attorney, she assisted with the defense of a high-profile federal RICO action.
Prior to joining Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg LLC, Nicole worked for a large international defense firm in Philadelphia, where she handled cases in the areas of products liability, toxic tort, environmental law, premises liability, disability insurance and ERISA. Nicole was involved in all aspects of discovery and trial preparation and frequently prepared state and federal dispositive motions in cases alleging product defect, breach of warranty and claims of exposure to asbestos. In the field of asbestos litigation, Nicole has represented numerous companies in state and federal courts throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, including equipment and component part manufacturers, as well as railroad and aviation companies in cases involving FELA claims and governmental contractor issues. Additionally, Nicole drafted a successful Petition for Allocatur to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a case involving the “any exposure” theory in asbestos litigation, where the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the holding of the trial court and entry of summary judgment in favor of the defendants.
Nicole also prepared appellate briefs to the Pennsylvania Superior Court and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and was successful in obtaining the dismissal of a large biomedical client in a high-profile case involving allegations of genetic defect. She also assisted in the successful defense of a two-week catastrophic injury products liability trial, in the New Jersey Superior Court.
Nicole is fluent in Spanish and conversant in French. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends and playing tennis.
LaTi Spence is currently counsel at TD Bank. In that role she advises the retail branches on all legal matters. She also works closely with her business partners to develop products that comply with federal regulations. Prior to TD, LaTi worked at two litigation firms representing clients in employment discrimination matters, casualty cases, and federal laws related to debt collection. LaTi currently resides in Mt. Airy with her husband and her 4 year old daughter and her 5 month old son.
Nina Allen Blackshear is in-house Corporate Counsel at Incyte Corporation, supporting the Global Technical Operations division. In her role, she provides both legal and compliance advice, and drafts and negotiates a broad spectrum of contracts. Prior to joining Incyte, Nina was a Director of Development and Regional Giving at Temple University, and also worked for Merck in a variety of roles in both Global and US Marketing Communications, as well as Human Resources/Employee Relations. Nina’s legal experience includes working for Dechert LLP as a contract attorney and as a law clerk for the Honorable Charles H. Toliver, IV of the Superior Court of Delaware. Nina earned her BA degree in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Samantha recently joined Spark Therapeutics, the dedicated gene therapy subsidiary of Roche Holdings AG (NASDAQ: RHHBY), leading legal support for the corporate functions, including Human Resources, Real Estate & Corporate Facilities, Finance, Information Technology and Corporate Communications. Prior to joining Spark, Samantha served as Executive Director, Corporate Counsel at Incyte (NASDAQ: INCY), helping the S&P 500 Component biopharmaceutical company build and execute strategies required to take the company global, enter new markets, double its annual revenue to ~$2 billion, and increase its headcount to 1,400. A strategic business partner, senior leadership team member, corporate generalist, and prior business unit general counsel, Samantha serves on several of Spark’s corporate leadership teams with responsibility for advising key stakeholders on enterprise-wide initiatives.
Throughout her 20+ years working with multinational, national, and regional companies across sectors, Samantha has always loved sitting down with business leaders to develop and execute business strategies. She has partnered on projects involving numerous countries, including Switzerland, the EU, Brazil, China, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Canada and the U.K.
Samantha attributes much of her success to her commitment to knowing business models, drivers, pressures, and personalities. She learns every step, from R&D to end user. Samantha’s work has touched nearly every aspect of both corporate functions and day-to-day operations, including executive advising, new market entry, corporate initiatives, product development, business development, corporate transactions, securities litigation, compliance, employment law, employee training, intellectual property protection, software and IP licensing, commercial contracts, supply chain, global trade compliance, risk management, construction, commercial litigation, dispute resolution, team management, and budget and resource allocation.
Since business decision-making is very seldom black and white, Samantha strives to give pragmatic legal advice that helps decisionmakers operate in the inevitable shades of gray, while maintaining their commitments to their company, shareholders, the public, and other stakeholders.
Throughout, Samantha and her teams emphasize integrity, equity, fairness, and humility
Lanique Roberts is a member of Obermayer’s Litigation and Family Law Departments. She is a Co-Chairperson of the firm’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee. Outside of her firm, Lanique is a part of a task force at the University of Pittsburgh that examines the school’s programs and policies through an equity and social justice lens. Lanique also plays an active role in her local and regional communities through her participation in pro bono legal services and non-profit volunteering.
Marina Gracias is General Counsel/Corporate Secretary at Varo Money. Varo[s mission is to help people improve their financial lives by providing them with a suite of mobile app based financial tools. Prior to joining Varo, Marina was a Managing Director in Financial Services at Accenture and prior to that the Head of Global Sourcing at Visa. Marina also practised corporate law both in house and at a prominent San Francisco law firm. Marina also serves as an Advisory Board member for Bizworld which is educating our future entrepreneurs.
D’Lonra C. Ellis is the Vice President and General Counsel of the Oakland Athletics. She works on all of the organization’s legal matters, including its intellectual property, real estate, employment, commercial, and government affairs matters. She is also an Adjunct Professor at UC Hastings College of Law, where she teaches Sports Law and the Corporate Counsel Externship Program. Prior to joining the Oakland Athletics, D’Lonra was the General Counsel of Aspire Public Schools, a non-profit charter management organization that runs over thirty-five schools in California and Tennessee; a Director and Senior Corporate Counsel in the intellectual property, marketing and advertising group at Gap, Inc.; and an associate in the litigation practice of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk and Rabkin (now Arnold & Porter). D'Lonra currently sits on the board Bay Area Legal Aid, which provides direct legal services to low income residents in seven Bay Area counties; and she sits on the board of Seven Stories Institute, which runs a non-profit bookstore collective in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. She received her BA in Architecture, Preservation, and Planning from Columbia University and her JD from Stanford Law School.
Jaki Nesbitt is Manager and Associate Counsel at the Vanguard Group, Inc., one of the world’s leading asset managers, managing over $5 trillion for institutional and retail investors worldwide. As in-house counsel, Jaki provides legal, regulatory and business support to Vanguard’s retail business, including Vanguard’s retail brokerage, investment advisor, trust and fiduciary business lines. She also serves as a leader in the Office of General Counsel’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and as a leader of Vanguard’s Black Professional Network employee resource group.
Jaki joined Vanguard in January of 2018. Prior to joining Vanguard, Jaki was Vice President and Senior Wealth Strategist at PNC Wealth Management, where she utilized her role to teach nationally and write about the topics of wealth planning for the non-nuclear family and planning for LGBT families. Before moving into the financial services industry, Jaki spent 5 years in private practice with a focus on trust, tax and estate planning. Jaki received her B.A. in Clinical Psychology from Cedarville University and her Juris Doctor and LL.M. in Taxation from Temple University Beasley School of Law.
Michael F. Reilly is Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Office and Secretary of FMC Corporation, a global agricultural sciences company headquartered in Philadelphia. Mr. Reilly is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He joined FMC in 2002 as Group Counsel for the Agricultural Solutions business and then held a succession of roles in support of FMC’s agriculture business, including managing M&A, business legal affairs, joint ventures, litigation and compliance; he was appointed FMC’s General Counsel in 2019. Prior to FMC, Mr. Reilly held in-house roles at Zeneca (now AstraZeneca) and Syngenta. Earlier in his career, Mr. Reilly worked as an attorney in private practice, specializing in litigation and environmental law, at Sidley & Austin in New York and Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll in Philadelphia.
Sheila Woolson is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management and Litigation practices, in the firm's Princeton office. She focuses her practice on complex litigation matters across a wide array of commercial and employment disputes.
Ms. Woolson draws on her training as a chemist and her experience in the pharmaceutical industry as she represents clients in matters involving state and federal environmental disputes, products liability claims, and toxic torts—matters in which her scientific background is a significant asset. In addition, Ms. Woolson uses her experience to assist clients conducting environmental due diligence and remediation in connection with transactions and regulatory obligations.
Ms. Woolson assists clients with complex commercial litigation matters, including contractual disputes over indemnification provisions, lease terms, credit derivative swaps, tax sale certificates, restrictive covenants, and more.
Additionally, Ms. Woolson has been counsel for employers on more than 200 AAA arbitrations involving employment claims, ERISA, and severance issues.
In 2012, Ms. Woolson was selected for membership in the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), which is considered the preeminent organization of lawyers who provide litigation services and counsel to corporations and insurers throughout the world.
The author of a variety of articles on legal issues of interest to those facing complex litigation matters, Ms. Woolson is also a participant in the Women's Initiative at Epstein Becker Green and the firm's Toxic Tort, ERISA, and Health Care Litigation groups.
Nancy Rappaport is involved in a variety of litigation matters focusing on product liability litigation, including the defense of multinational manufacturers in catastrophic injury cases arising from the use of consumer and commercial outdoor power equipment, construction equipment, farming equipment, elevators and escalators, glassware and automotive component parts, bicycles and other products.
Nancy also represents various corporations in toxic tort litigation in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois and Delaware. Her experience includes counseling, litigation, trial and appellate practice in state and federal courts. She acts as national counsel for various outdoor power equipment manufacturers and has presented motions, conducted hearings, arbitrations, mediations and tried cases in numerous venues across the country. Nancy acts as a consultant to product manufacturers in preparing manuals and warranties for new products, including kitchen appliances, glassware and outdoor power equipment. She has handled an array of contractual and construction disputes and defended hospitals, physicians and other healthcare workers in medical malpractice litigation in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Nancy also counsels clients and speaks at industry meetings regarding litigation prevention, discovery and trial strategies. She has been an instructor at firm-wide litigation associates training events on discovery and trial techniques since 2008, and chaired the Philadelphia office’s summer associate program from 2002 – 2006.
Ms. Watson is the President and Managing Shareholder of the Firm. She has been litigating asbestos matters since 1999, and joined our firm in 2000. She handles general insurance defense, asbestos and toxic tort litigation, products liability and premises liability matters. She is part of the National Coordinating Counsel Team for a supplier of asbestos- containing products and in her role she oversees all aspects of those matters .
Due to the strong profile she has developed in the asbestos litigation community, Ms. Watson serves on the sub-committee for asbestos cases that manages all cases pending in Western Pennsylvania and determines the expert witnesses to be retained by the joint defense group. She also serves on the defense liaison committee that regularly meets with the judges handling the asbestos docket to discuss amendments to the case management order.
Ms. Watson regularly defends suppliers, equipment manufacturers, contractors and employers in asbestos related matters in Pennsylvania. She oversees all cases handled by our Pittsburgh office, as well as handling all negotiations on behalf of our clients there. In addition to her trial experience, she is actively involved in working with insurers and clients to determine baseline discovery to be used nationally in the defense of asbestos related lawsuits. She has an active trial docket and has tried several asbestos cases to verdict in Allegheny County.
Brandy is Assistant Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer and Counsel for the group insurance division at Lincoln Financial Group. In this role, she oversees the division’s regulatory analysis and communication, market conduct exams, department strategic planning, research projects, product support, state and federal regulatory inquires, complaints, statutory reporting, and continued integration efforts. Brandy has worked for Lincoln since 2012 in a variety of roles in the legal and compliance department.
Brandy has a bachelor’s degree in education from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a juris doctorate from Creighton University School of Law. Brandy has a passion for increasing diversity in the legal profession. During law school Brandy launched the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and the Minority Legal Summit on campus. The D&I Task Force focused on diversity efforts by serving the office of the dean with a goal of increasing ABA diversity scores through retention and recruitment. The Minority Legal Summit was an educational summit for minority students interested in law school with a purpose of providing a snapshot of law school and an opportunity to network with professors and lawyers. She continues to carry out this passion within the workplace and the community.
Brandy currently serves on the board of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG – a non-profit focused on increasing diversity in the legal profession); the Advisory Council for Council on Legal Education Opportunities (CLEO - a non-profit focused on increasing diversity in the legal profession) and served on the Advisory Council for Mansfield Certification – Legal Departments (an organization focused on increasing diversity in the legal profession). She also serves as a board member for the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.
Brandy also leads Lincoln’s African American Business Resource Group and is a charter member of the Legal Department’s Diversity Action team. Brandy is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and honored by the Philadelphia Tribune as a Women Achieving Honoree and as a 40 under 40 Lawyer by the National Black Lawyers Association. Brandy is married to her husband Nick Smith and together they have two children – Rosaria (16 months) and Nickos (6 years).
Royce Warrick is senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Solenis. She is responsible for managing the company’s legal and governance matters, and for partnering with the Solenis business team to enhance growth.
Prior to joining Solenis in 2014, Warrick served as assistant general counsel and global corporate legal director overseeing legal affairs of strategic business units at The Dow Chemical Company and Rohm and Haas Company. Beginning her legal career as a litigation attorney, she later expanded her scope of experience to include business law, ethics and compliance, mergers and acquisitions, antitrust, employment law, information technology and corporate secretarial/governance, moving from law firm practice to work at Rohm and Haas and Dow Chemical.
Warrick holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a juris doctor degree from Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Warrick is an active member of her community where she is a founding leader of her church’s College Prep Ministry, and a founder and trustee of the Roy Blair Paige Foundation, a non-profit organization, the mission of which is to enrich the development of servant-leader youth committed to community-uplift. She is also a former board member of the STEM-focused Invent Now Kids®, a subsidiary of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation commissioned by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
In her role as Senior Employment Counsel and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Leader for MEA, Ciana combines legal and human resources experience to advise employers and HR professionals regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. She has designed and implemented unconscious bias and harassment prevention training programs and has provided diversity and inclusion training to numerous organizations in the MidAtlantic region.
Ciana also advises employers and HR professionals regarding compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws, including anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws; the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); and other state and federal anti-discrimination laws. She frequently speaks on employment law topics, and in the wake of the #MeToo movement shared her anti-harassment expertise on various panels and TV outlets.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her career has included working as an attorney for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC; Rubin, Fortunato & Harbison, P.C.; and Saul Ewing LLP, and representing a range of businesses, from small family-owned businesses to global Fortune-500 companies.
Ciana is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. She is a former Member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, and American Bar Association; and is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Danielle Banks devotes a significant amount of her practice to defending businesses, universities and governmental entities against employment discrimination claims, including claims brought under Title VII, Section 1981, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. She also defends governmental entities against Section 1983 claims. Additionally, Danielle represents businesses in housing and mortgage discrimination claims, represents defendants in asbestos litigation and handles matters on behalf of religious entities.
Danielle’s practice is centered primarily in federal court, though she takes matters to trial in state court as well. She has participated in appellate oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. Danielle is a seasoned trial lawyer who successfully litigates matters to victory through summary judgment or trial, and appeal where necessary.
Danielle is the immediate past chair of the firm’s diversity committee and served on Stradley Ronon’s hiring committee for a two-year term. She was the chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Federal Courts Committee and previously served on the Board of Governors. She also has served as chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor Diversity Award Committee (2011-2012) and is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s House of Delegates. In addition, Danielle has served on several nonprofit boards, including serving as president of the board of directors of Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, and serving on the board of directors of the Senior Law Center. Danielle also served as co-president of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group and is currently a member of the board of directors.
As a member of the firm’s Government Law & Regulatory Affairs, Internal Investigations, and Title IX Groups, Brionna counsels corporations, educational institutions, non-profit groups, and other entities that are faced with allegations of wrongdoing. She draws on her experience both in the government and in the private sector to help her clients successfully navigate complex investigations and disputes resulting in legally defensible decisions. Brionna is an ATIXA-certified Level One Civil Rights Investigator and regularly counsels and provides training to university boards of trustees on Title IX issues.
Brionna also represents scientists accused of plagiarism, fabrication, or falsification of data in the context of scientific research supported by federal funds at universities and other research institutions. She advocates on their behalf by performing a thorough examination of the allegations and analysis of the issues while protecting the client’s confidentiality.
Before joining Cohen Seglias, Brionna served as a Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Justice in the Civil Division, Defensive Litigation Unit, and in the Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust. As a Deputy Attorney General, she handled complex, long term investigations into government corruption, financial fraud, voter fraud, and campaign finance violations from the initial allegation through resolution. She also previously worked in the New Castle County Law Department, serving as counsel to the Code Enforcement Division, Police Division, and Community Services Department.
Brionna also has experience in the private sector, serving as a trust compliance officer for a large financial services company where she managed legal and regulatory compliance of various trust business lines, operations, and sales groups. She also participated in regulatory examinations conducted by the federal government and in internal audits.
Brionna is a native of Wilmington, Delaware, and is active in her community. She serves in various leadership roles, including as a trustee for the Delaware Historical Society and Vice President of the Delaware Barristers Association. Prior to attending law school, Brionna taught high school special education for three years at an alternative public high school in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.
Clare Putnam Pozos has served as the Senior Advisor to the United States Attorney in Philadelphia since May 2018. In this role, she helps oversee the operations of the Office. She leads the Office of Public Affairs and External Engagement and works on strengthening the Office’s relationships with law enforcement and community partners, as well as oversees communications with the Department of Justice, the public, and the press. Clare has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney since 2010, first in the District of Columbia and then in Philadelphia. Throughout her career, she has prosecuted hundreds of cases, taken over 40 cases to trial, and handled numerous appeals before both federal and state courts. She continues to prosecute criminal cases, focusing on complex dark web narcotics investigations, fraud, and public corruption cases. Over the course of her career, Clare has received numerous Special Achievement Awards honoring her trial and investigative work.
Melanie Breaux is Associate Counsel on the Finance Legal team at The Vanguard Group, Inc., a premier international investment company and the largest provider of mutual funds. In her current role, Melanie provides legal and business advice to Vanguard’s real estate and insurance groups, and works with all departments on various commercial contracts and other corporate matters. Melanie is also proud to serve as a Co-Lead on Vanguard’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Office of the General Counsel.
Prior to joining Vanguard in May of 2019, Melanie was Counsel to the Firm of Larsson & Scheuritzel P.C., a law firm in Philadelphia with a sophisticated transactional practice. In that role, Melanie provided legal advice to representatives of the firm’s largest national and international corporate and retail clients on real estate, corporate, and estate planning matters. Melanie currently serves on the board of the Articulate Foundation, which produces a multiple Emmy award-winning national arts and entertainment television show, “Articulate.” She regularly speaks on panels and to law school classes on issues related to the law and diversity, and has published articles that explore diversity in the workplace. Melanie earned her B.F.A. from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and her J.D. from The University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to attending law school, Melanie spent four years in Los Angeles acting and writing fiction.
Michelle Ruff’s practice presently centers around licensing and compliance. Since 2012 she has served as a legal advisor to corporate counsel and leaders at Amrock, a title and technology company located in Detroit, Michigan. She is heavily relied upon for matters in Texas and is an expert in all matters pertaining to title, curative, real estate and settlement services for the State of Georgia.
Prior to working for Amrock, Michelle was in private practice handling real estate, family, criminal, unemployment appeals, social security appeals and immigration matters. She is a seasoned family law litigator and believes that her civil litigation practice has helped her to skillfully find creative legal solutions to meet complex compliance issues.
She graduated with her B.A. in Communications from Oakwood University, Huntsville, AL in 1996 and with a M.A. in Communications from Morehead State University, Morehead, KY in 1998. A 2001 graduate of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, Michelle participated in the Immigration Clinic as a student; received an award for her public service work; and, was an active member of the Diversity Committee. After graduation, she begin her career working with Farmworker Legal Services in Michigan and proudly continued her non-profit service with Cobb County Legal Aid, a division of Atlanta Legal Aid and the Latin American Association before going into private practice. She is a member of the Kentucky, Michigan and Georgia Bar Associations.
Michelle has put together training materials on cultural sensitivity for guardian ad litems and spoken on the impact of natural disasters on immigrants for young lawyers assisting Hurricane Katrina victims.
Most importantly, Michelle has two adult children, who endured college, graduate and law school with her as a single mother. She is an avid fitness enthusiast who volunteers to teach a workout class to senior citizens in Atlanta, Georgia, where she lives.