Seyfarth Shaw Names Seventeen New Partners to the Firm

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Seyfarth Shaw LLP, one of America's leading full service law firms, is pleased to announce that 17 attorneys have been invited to join the partnership effective January 1, 2008. The new partners are: Kwame A. Benjamin; David L. Countiss; Kamili W. Dawson; Alex S. Drummond; Paul Galligan; Susan W. Gelwick; Joseph R. Lanser; Sean M. O'Brien; Francis J. "Tripper" Ortman, III; Krista Green Pratt; John F. Quill; Linda C. Schoonmaker; Brian M. Stolzenbach; David L. Streck; Tyler A. VanLonkhuyzen; Charles F. Walters and Nanette B. Zamost.

Our newest partners represent Seyfarth Shaw's core legal practices, and each is dedicated to achieving superior results for our clients through our team-based approach that draws on the skills of attorneys throughout the firm.

    "We are pleased to welcome these talented attorneys into the partnership," stated J. Stephen Poor, Chair and Managing Partner of Seyfarth Shaw. "Our newest partners represent Seyfarth Shaw's core legal practices, and each is dedicated to achieving superior results for our clients through our team-based approach that draws on the skills of attorneys throughout the firm."

Kwame A. Benjamin is based in the Atlanta office where his practice focuses on real estate and bankruptcy matters. He represents clients in the leasing, acquisition, disposition and development of commercial real estate, with a focus on retail development, as well as secured lending transactions and general landlord/tenant matters. With respect to bankruptcy, Benjamin's practice focuses on the representation of both secured and unsecured creditors and the defense of their rights in bankruptcy proceedings. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University (B. S., 1995) and he earned his J. D. at Tulane Law School (2000).

David L. Countiss is in the Litigation Practice Group and resident in the Houston office. From September 2000 to September 2001, Countiss served as the briefing attorney for Justice Murry B. Cohen of the Court of Appeals, First District of Texas. Since that time, Countiss has focused his practice in the area of business litigation, with a particular emphasis on trade secrets/restrictive covenants and construction litigation. He received his B. A. (cum laude) from Baylor University (1996) and earned his J. D. at South Texas College of Law (1999).

Kamili W. Dawson works out of the San Francisco office where she practices in the firm's Labor and Employment Department. Dawson defends employers and individual employees in single and multi-plaintiff sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, wage and hour and contract claims brought under federal and state law. She has tried single and multi-plaintiff cases in the San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Cruz. She is also experienced in drafting employee handbooks and manuals, employment applications and arbitration agreements. Dawson has counseled employers in employment/employee relations, termination disputes, workplace violence and other employment issues. She also conducts Labor Code compliance audits for a wide variety of clients. Dawson is a member of the firm's national Diversity Action Team and a board member for the Charles Houston Bar Association and the Girls After School Academy. Dawson received her B. A. (cum laude) from Spelman College (1994), and she earned her J. D. from the University of San Francisco (1997).

Alex S. Drummond is resident in the Atlanta office where he practices in the Labor and Employment Department, concentrating on employment litigation. He represents employers in proceedings involving employment discrimination, retaliation, workplace harassment and contract disputes. Drummond also represents public and private employers in administrative and court litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. He also provides advice and counseling to employers on numerous employment matters. He graduated (cum laude) from the University of Florida (B. S., 1997) and received his J. D. from Georgetown University Law Center (2000).

Paul Galligan is based in the New York office where he practices labor and employment law. Galligan's experience ranges from federal and state court trials on both traditional labor and employment discrimination issues to NLRB hearings, labor arbitrations and contract negotiations. Galligan developed his litigation skills while working for a union-side firm in New York City. Since coming to Seyfarth Shaw he has added to his experience in a broad range of labor and employment matters, including workers' compensation, non-compete and multi-plaintiff litigation, ERISA and Railway Labor Act litigation, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, drug testing policies, plant closing agreements, employment agreements and separation agreements, as well as defending and advising employers subject to union and corporate campaigns. Galligan is an alumnus of University College Dublin (B. C. L., 1986; LL. M., B. L. 1989).

Susan W. Gelwick is based in the Boston office where her practice encompasses all areas of civil litigation and concentrates on commercial and business litigation. Gelwick represents companies in the manufacturing, sales and service industries in business disputes involving license and distributor agreements, requirements contracts, commercial leases, royalty agreements, and intellectual property issues. Representative matters include defense of investment advisors in claims for unsuitable investments, defense of producer of national infomercials in suits by the Federal Trade Commission and product manufacturers, defense of publishing company in copyright infringement action, defense against trademark infringement and unfair competition actions; and defense of general partners in actions brought by limited partners. Gelwick also has significant trial experience in both the state and federal courts, as well as significant state and federal appellate experience. In addition to serving as a clerk for Judge Mazzone of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, she also served as a clerk for the Honorable Frederico A. Moreno of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Gelwick is an alumna of the University of Vermont (B. A., 1994) and the University of Notre Dame (J. D., 1997).

Joseph R. Lanser is based in the firm's Chicago office where his practice focuses on intellectual property and information technologies law, particularly litigation. He has been involved in patent, trademark, trade secret, Internet-related, copyright and other complex litigation and arbitration, and has counseled clients in numerous intellectual property and information technology matters, including patent infringement opinion analysis, intellectual property licensing, Internet privacy policies, domain name disputes, and employee privacy issues. As a registered patent attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Lanser has also prepared and prosecuted numerous patents in the mechanical, business method, Internet, information technology, software, electrical and chemical arts. Lanser is a graduate of Southern Illinois University (B. S., 1995), Chicago-Kent College of Law (J. D., Certificate in Intellectual Property Law, 2000) and John Marshall Law School (LL. M., with honors, 2001).

Sean M. O'Brien works out of Seyfarth Shaw's Boston office where his practice concentrates on the representation of banks, financial institutions and other significant investors in real estate finance matters. He has extensive experience in structuring and closing permanent, bridge, acquisition, construction and mezzanine loan transactions and, in recent years, he has focused on mortgage loan transactions that are securitized in the capital markets. O'Brien has worked on several fee and leasehold financings secured by a variety of real estate assets, including shopping centers, hotels, office buildings, condominiums, residential developments and specialty projects. O'Brien has also structured and closed numerous credit-tenant lease financings, syndicated transactions and large multi-state, multi-property real estate financings. He received his B. A. (cum laude) from the University of Massachusetts (1995) and he received his J. D. (magna cum laude) from Suffolk University Law School (1999).

Francis J. "Tripper" Ortman, III is in the Labor and Employment Department in the San Francisco office. He represents and counsels both public and private sector employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. His experience includes the defense of major wage and hour, discrimination and unfair competition class actions, as well as the defense of employers in a variety of claims arising out of alleged violations of the California Labor Code and the FLSA. Ortman has handled all aspects of class action employment cases, from the pleading stage through trial. In 2006, Ortman secured defense verdicts in three separate jury trials involving allegations of retaliation and discrimination, as well as violations of California wage and hour laws. Ortman earned his B. A. from San Francisco State University (1992) and his J. D. from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law (2000).

Krista Green Pratt is in the Labor and Employment Department in the Boston office. Her practice includes the representation of management in employment litigation matters before state and federal courts, at trial and appellate levels, as well as agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the National Labor Relations Board. She has extensive experience defending employment discrimination cases and employment-related breach of contract and tort claims. She also has expertise in defending wage and hour class and collective actions, including hybrid cases involving both state and federal claims. She regularly advises companies on a variety of employee relations issues, including employee handbooks and policies, discrimination and harassment, reductions in force, medical leave, discipline and discharge, disability accommodations and workplace audits. An alumna of Cornell, (B.S., 1996), Pratt earned her J. D. (magna cum laude) from Boston College Law School (1999).

John F. Quill works in the Business Immigration Practice Group in the Boston office. Quill handles all aspects of immigration and nationality law, including: processing of B, E, H, J, L, O, and TN non-immigrant visa positions; applications for labor certification; Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher and National Interest waiver petitions; adjustment of status; consular processing; and naturalization. Quill is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is the volunteer attorney for the Irish Immigration Center. He also serves as a frequent panelist at immigration seminars, and has authored numerous articles on business immigration topics. He received his B. A. (cum laude) from Boston University in 1992 and his J. D. from the University of Colorado in 1995.

Linda C. Schoonmaker practices in the Labor and Employment Department in the Houston office. Schoonmaker is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor and Employment Law, and focuses her practice on the representation of companies in disputes and issues relating to the employer-employee relationship. In addition to representing employers in litigation, arbitration, administrative hearings and other forms of dispute resolution, Schoonmaker provides counseling and training to her clients regarding employment policies, state and federal laws impacting the employment relationship and other employment issues. A frequent lecturer throughout the country on various aspects of the employer-employee relationship, Schoonmaker also provides pro bono employer counseling to various non-profit organizations in her community, and she is President of the Board of Directors of the Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse, Inc. She graduated with her B. A. from Syracuse University (1973) and earned her J. D. (cum laude) from the University of Houston Law Center (1988).

Brian M. Stolzenbach is resident in the Chicago office where he is a member of the firm's Labor and Employment Department. Stolzenbach represents clients in unfair labor practice proceedings, contractual arbitrations, Section 301 litigation, and representation proceedings. He also represents his clients in collective bargaining and has a wealth of experience in advising clients during union organizing campaigns and collective bargaining. In addition, Stolzenbach provides clients with day-to-day labor relations advice on a wide spectrum of topics, including lockouts and strikes, neutrality agreements, corporate campaigns, employee benefits issues, successorship and other matters related to mergers and acquisitions, leased employees, employee committees and labor-related bankruptcy issues. He also has substantial experience in the area of benefits-related litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. He has also represented clients in litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, and various state employment laws. Stolzenbach received his A. B. (cum laude) from the University of Missouri (1997), and his J. D. (cum laude) from the University of Michigan (2000).

David L. Streck practices in the Labor and Employment Department in the Chicago office. He counsels and represents clients on employment-related compliance issues, including: compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, harassment claims, discrimination claims, corporate reorganizations, employee terminations and significant reductions in force. He also represents clients in National Labor Relations Board proceedings and labor arbitrations. In addition, Streck represents clients in union organizing campaigns and frequently performs union avoidance training for supervisors and conducts positive employee relations audits of client facilities. Streck received his B. A. from Northwestern University (1992) and his J. D. from Loyola University (1995).

Tyler A. VanLonkhuyzen practices in the Business Services Department in the Chicago office. VanLonkhuyzen concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial finance, mergers and acquisitions, securities law and general corporate law. He regularly represents lenders and borrowers in connection with secured, mezzanine and subordinated financings, including syndicated loans, as well as investors and borrowers in connection with venture capital financing. VanLonkhuyzen has also represented registered companies and others with respect to matters under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including proxy solicitations and periodic reporting requirements. VanLonkhuyzen received his B. A. (cum laude) from Hope College (1997) and his J. D. (high honors) from DePaul College of Law (2000).

Charles F. Walters represents and counsels employers from many different industries on the full range of employment and labor law matters from Seyfarth Shaw's Washington, D.C. office. His traditional labor law work includes arbitrations; collective bargaining; NLRB and court litigation; assisting employers in connection with strikes, picketing, handbilling and other economic weapons; counseling on subcontracting, work relocations, permanent and temporary closings, and other management decisions; and assisting employers with organizing and decertification campaigns. Walters also regularly acts as lead counsel in employment cases before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, and has tried cases before juries and arbitrators. He also provides extensive counseling to employers on the full range of employment law issues. Walters earned his B. Sc. from the University of Toronto (1988), his M. I. L. R. from Cornell University (1990) and his J. D. (cum laude) from Catholic University, Columbus School of Law (1994).

Nanette B. Zamost is based in the Los Angeles office where she is a member of the firm's Employee Benefits Department. Zamost advises clients on all aspects of employee benefits, focusing on compliance and administration of ERISA pension and welfare plans, particularly in the multiemployer area. She has extensive experience with all issues relating to these plans, including plan design and operation, fiduciary responsibilities, contractual relationships with service providers, benefit claims, plan investments and funding, prohibited transactions, plan mergers and asset transfers, and all aspects of compliance with federal and state laws, including PPA, HIPAA and COBRA. She has also represented plans in connection with DOL and IRS audits, and other dealings with government agencies. In addition, Zamost is an experienced ERISA litigator, and has represented benefit plans and fiduciaries in a wide range of litigation matters. Zamost also advises employers in collective bargaining over employee benefits and plan-related issues, and has advised groups of trust fund trustees with respect to specific questions upon which they needed individual representation. Zamost earned her B. A. from Yale University (1978) and her J. D. from the University of Southern California (1983).

Seyfarth Shaw has over 750 attorneys located in nine offices throughout the United States including Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento, as well as Brussels, Belgium. The firm provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation and business services. Seyfarth Shaw's practice reflects virtually every industry and segment of the country's business and social fabric. Clients include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, newspapers and other media, hotels, health care organizations, airlines and railroads. The firm also represents a number of federal, state, and local governmental and educational entities. For more information, please visit

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