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Press Release

Blank Rome Announces 2019 Promotions: 14 Partners, 4 Of Counsel

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that 12 associates and two of counsel have been elected partner, and four associates have been elevated to of counsel, effective January 1, 2019. The newly elected partners are Beth Bernstein Connors, Ryan C. Craig, Diana M. Eng, Katherine Franco, Ariel S. Glasner, Andrew T. Hambelton, Joshua A. Huber, Stephanie Gantman Kaplan, Jonathan T. Keen, Domingo Manuel Llagostera, Daniel S. Morris, Lauren E. O’Donnell, Adam V. Orlacchio, and Gregory F. Vizza. The new of counsel are Martin S. Krezalek, Josef W. Mintz, Carmen I. Pagan, and Lauren B. Wilgus.

“We congratulate this exceptional group of attorneys on their new roles at Blank Rome,” said Grant S. Palmer, Managing Partner and CEO. “Our Firm’s elevation decisions are a long-term investment into the future of Blank Rome, and we are confident that this group of talented attorneys will continue to provide our clients with outstanding service as well as further strengthen our capabilities and offerings.”

ASSOCIATES ELECTED PARTNER

Beth ConnerBeth Bernstein Connors

Real Estate • New York

Beth concentrates her practice on commercial real estate matters, focusing on acquisitions, dispositions, commercial leasing, financing, and joint ventures. She represents a broad array of local and national clients, including real estate owners and developers, landlords, large and small retail and office tenants, and lenders. During law school, Beth served as executive editor of the UCLA Law Review and an editor of the UCLA Women’s Law Journal. In addition to her role as co-chair of Blank Rome’s diversity and inclusion affinity group, BR Pride, Beth serves as a board member of Inspiration Brownsville, Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on improving the backdrop for public education in the Brownsville, Brooklyn community.


Ryan CriagRyan C. Craig

Real Estate • Washington, D.C.

Ryan represents clients on real estate, finance, and general corporate transactional matters. Additionally, he regularly represents clients on senior, mezzanine, and unsecured financing transactions. Ryan’s work spans a variety of industries and sectors, including hospitality, office, industrial, and multifamily, and he has significant experience representing REITs in acquisition, leasing, and financing matters. Ryan is also actively engaged and committed to pro bono service.


Katherine FrancoKatherine Franco

Intellectual Property & Technology • Houston

Katherine is a registered patent attorney who concentrates her practice on intellectual property as it relates to software and computing technologies. Her practice is focused on patent preparation and prosecution, licensing and acquisition of intellectual property rights, opinion work, and client counseling. She assists clients in developing and managing strong intellectual property portfolios to fit a variety of business needs. Katherine previously served as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center where she taught “Advanced Topics in Software Protection.” During law school, Katherine served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Arthur J. Gajarsa of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


Ariel GlasnerAriel S. Glasner

White Collar Defense & Investigations • Washington, D.C.

Ariel is a skilled litigator who represents clients dealing with a range of criminal and civil matters, including financial fraud; public corruption and bribery; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”); environmental crimes; healthcare fraud; the False Claims Act; and allegations of professional misconduct. He also advises clients on the implementation of corporate compliance programs, including anti-money laundering and FCPA policies. Ariel is a member of the Firm’s Blockchain Technology working group and the D.C. office Pro Bono Committee. He also is an experienced mediator through the D.C. Superior Court’s Multi Door Dispute Resolution Division and serves on the D.C. Bar Association’s Attorney/Client Arbitration Board.


Andrew HambeltsonAndrew T. Hambelton

Corporate Litigation • New York

Andrew is a business litigator who concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts nationwide and before arbitration panels. He represents public and private companies, as well as individuals, in disputes involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, director and officer liability, business torts, unfair competition, trade secrets, intellectual property, and real estate. His practice is focused on industries such as software, technology, solar, licensing, brand management, manufacturing, and retail. In addition to representing clients in litigation, Andrew routinely advises clients on litigation avoidance strategies. He also maintains a strong pro bono practice, having represented pro bono clients in civil rights and domestic relations matters.


Josh HuberJoshua A. Huber                  

Corporate Litigation • Houston

Joshua’s corporate litigation practice focuses on civil trial, arbitration, and appellate work primarily in the energy, oilfield services, local government, legal services, and financial services industries. He has notable experience in client counseling, pleading and motion practice, oral and written discovery, contested hearings, prosecuting and defending injunctions, alternative dispute resolution, trial practice, and settlement negotiations. Joshua also has successfully litigated to completion numerous cases in both state and federal courts.


Stephanie KaplanStephanie Gantman Kaplan

Labor & Employment • Philadelphia

Stephanie concentrates her practice on labor and employment litigation and counseling, strategically advising and representing clients in many areas, including employment policies and practices; internal and governmental audits and investigations; litigation avoidance; workplace training; defending discrimination and harassment matters; labor arbitrations; employment agreements, restrictive covenants, and separation agreements; and reductions in force. She previously served as a federal law clerk to the Honorable Joel H. Slomsky of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Stephanie also serves as a child advocate for abused and neglected children in Philadelphia through the Support Center for Child Advocates, and is an active member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.


Domingo LlagosteraDomingo Manuel Llagostera

Intellectual Property & Technology • Houston

Domingo focuses his intellectual property practice primarily on patent and trade secret litigation. He has represented clients through all phases of litigation in federal court, including jury trials and post-verdict motions. Domingo also advises on a wide range of IP investigative and transactional issues, and prosecutes domestic and foreign patent applications. He represents a diverse group of clients in numerous technology industries, such as oil and gas, software, telecommunications, biotechnologies, and medical devices. In addition to his IP practice, Domingo is actively involved in the Firm’s Pro Bono Committee and efforts and has been published on the topic of immigration reform.


Dan MorrisDaniel S. Morris

Commercial Litigation • Philadelphia

Dan handles complex litigation matters, representing both corporations and individuals in commercial and corporate disputes, intellectual property issues, and employment matters, with a focus on trade secrets theft, disputes with former executive employees, and software and technology litigation. He also has significant experience in business divorce litigation, representing clients in minority shareholder oppression and breach of fiduciary duty actions, derivative claims, and intra-corporate disputes. Additionally, Dan conducts corporate internal investigations and handles numerous alternative dispute resolution and mediation cases. Dan is actively engaged in his local community and with nonprofit organizations, including the Philadelphia Leadership Council of the American Red Cross.


Lauren O'DonnellLauren E. O’Donnell

Commercial Litigation • Philadelphia

Lauren advises clients on white collar criminal defense matters, internal investigations, and healthcare fraud and abuse. She also represents clients in product liability cases, defending medical device, pharmaceutical, and chemical companies in federal and state litigation. During law school, Lauren served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Petrese Tucker of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and served as an editor of the Temple Journal of Science Technology and Environmental Law. She is a member of the White Collar Crime Steering Committee for the ABA’s Philadelphia Young Lawyers’ Division, and serves as the assistant secretary for the Center City Residents’ Association Board of Directors.


Adam OrlacchioAdam V. Orlacchio

Corporate Litigation • Wilmington

With a focus on Delaware corporate litigation, Adam maintains a national litigation practice involving complex commercial, corporate, and employment litigation matters. He has handled trials before Delaware’s Court of Chancery and the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, as well as appeals to the Supreme Court for the State of Delaware and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He also has extensive experience mediating and arbitrating cases to limit client expense and exposure. Adam serves on the Firm’s Pro Bono Committee and regularly represents pro bono clients in landlord/tenant proceedings. Adam previously served as chair for the Delaware State Bar Association’s Litigation Section.


Greg VizzaGregory F. Vizza

Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy • Philadelphia

Greg maintains a diverse practice concentrating on business restructuring, bankruptcy, and financial services. He represents clients in both transactional and litigation matters, including restructurings, reorganizations, and workouts; secured transactions and creditors’ rights; bankruptcy and consumer mortgage litigation; asset sales; asset-based financing; and plan negotiations. He previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas M. Golden of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Greg currently serves as a member of LaSalle Academy’s Board of Trustees.


OF COUNSEL ELECTED PARTNER

Diana EngDiana M. Eng

Consumer Finance • New York

Diana represents mortgage loan servicers and lenders in all aspects of litigation, including appeals, across multiple jurisdictions, as well as a variety of common law claims and contested bankruptcy matters. She has also handled commercial litigation matters, including antitrust, contractual disputes, employment, intellectual property, and media. In addition to serving as co-chair of the Firm’s diversity and inclusion affinity group, BR United, Diana is a member of the New York City Bar Association and serves on its Women in the Legal Profession Committee. She recently served as the secretary of the Bronx High School of Science Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees and is a current vice president for the 16th Street Tenants Corporation’s Board of Directors.


Jon KeenJonathan T. Keen

Corporate, M&A, and Securities • Los Angeles

Jonathan concentrates his practice on a broad range of corporate and business transactions, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, venture capital and private equity transactions, and general outside counsel representation. His practice includes representing well-established companies, as well as privately held companies and emerging growth companies. Jonathan represents these companies in a variety of matters, including mergers and acquisitions, as well as equity financing and investment transactions. He also represents NYSE and NASDAQ-listed companies in public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities and counsels them on public company reporting and other regulatory matters. He is a certified public accountant licensed in the State of California.


ASSOCIATES ELEVATED TO OF COUNSEL

Martin KrezalekMartin S. Krezalek

Corporate Litigation • New York

Martin concentrates his practice on business litigation and dispute resolution. He provides pragmatic business advice and effective advocacy in complex contractual matters, business torts, and closely held ownership/partnership disputes. Martin also regularly defends businesses facing website accessibility lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and often writes on the subject. Among others, Martin represents clients within the financial services/markets, medical device and solutions, and creative and advertising industries. During law school, Martin was the executive case comments editor for the New York Law School Law Review. Martin’s pro bono work involves representing noncitizens facing deportation and working alongside the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in high-profile litigation.


Joe MintzJosef W. Mintz

Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy • Philadelphia

Joe represents clients in all aspects of bankruptcy and insolvency matters, including chapter 7 and 11 cases, chapter 15 and related international insolvency matters, out-of-court workouts, bankruptcy litigation, financing, and asset sales. Joe served as an editor of the Rutgers Law Journal, and previously worked for Judge Jean K. FitzSimon of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Judge John J. Hughes, U.S. Magistrate for the District of New Jersey. Joe is the president of the Philadelphia/Wilmington chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, a Steering Committee member of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference, and a barrister of the Delaware Bankruptcy Inns of Court.


Carmwn PaganCarmen I. Pagan

Real Estate • New York

Carmen concentrates her practice on real estate matters, notably representing financial institutions in all aspects of commercial lending, including affordable housing, construction, conventional, mezzanine, senior housing, student housing and credit enhancement for municipal mortgage bond financings originated through the Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer and Capital Markets Execution programs and the Fannie Mae Delegated and Underwriting Service program. Carmen also has experience with loans involving 1031 exchanges, defeasance, REITs, low-income housing tax credits, historic tax credits, factoring, portfolio, and cross-collateralized loans at a national level.


Lauren WilgusLauren B. Wilgus

Maritime and International Trade • New York

Lauren has more than 17 years of experience in the shipping industry and concentrates her practice in the areas of international and maritime litigation and alternate dispute resolution. She is also a member of the Firm’s Maritime Emergency Response Team, which advises on pollution-related incidents and vessel casualties, as well as related investigations. She has been an active member in numerous maritime industry organizations throughout her career, including the Maritime Law Association of the United States, the New York City Bar, and the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association. She previously served as co-chair of the New York County Lawyers Association's Admiralty Committee.