DRI Faculty List

2021 Retail and Hospitality Litigation Virtual Seminar

April 28 - 29, 2021

Ian R. Beliveaux
Donato Brown Pool & Moehlmann PLLC

Ian R. Beliveaux joined Donato, Brown, Pool & Moehlmann in 2012 and became a partner in 2020. He has a broad range of experience, having representing individuals and corporations in wrongful death, personal injury, professional liability, and Dram Shop litigation. His practice is focused in Texas.

Eileen E. Buholtz
Connors Corcoran & Buholtz PLLC

Eileen E. Buholtz graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor of Music Degree and Syracuse University with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. She is a member of Connors, Corcoran & Buholtz, PLLC in Rochester, New York where she concentrates her practice insurance defense litigation (premises, lead paint, construction site accidents, and auto), insurance coverage litigation, and estate litigation. She is president of the Rochester, NY chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Board member of the Defense Association of New York (DANY); active in various committees of DRI; member of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA); immediate past treasurer of the Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA); past president of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys (GRAWA); and co-chair of the Courts/Judiciary Committee of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY). She has received DANY's 2017 John J. Moore Publication Award; NYSBA's 2009 John E. Leach Memorial Award for service to NYSBA's Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section; WBASNY's 2008 WBASNY Hanna Cohn Pro Bono Award; NYSBA's Empire State Counsel for contributing 50-plus hours per year of pro bono representation for multiple years; GRAWA's 2004 Crennel-Branch Award for leadership in GRAWA; MCBA's 2000President's Award; NYSBA's 1994 Pro Bono Award and Volunteer Legal Service's Project's McKnight Award for Pro Bono Services. She mentors a fourth-grader at Rochester City School No. 29 through MCBA's Lawyers for Learning.

Bryan P. Couch
Connell Foley LLP

Bryan P. Couch is the Managing Partner of Connelly Foley's Newark office and Chair of the firm's Franchise and Distribution Group. An accomplished and knowledgeable litigator, he focuses on complex commercial disputes, trademark litigation, product liability claims, business torts and other claims arising from a wide variety of business relationships, primarily in the franchise, manufacturing, distribution and hospitality sectors. Experienced in all aspects of litigation, Bryan provides exceptional counsel at trial, and in mediation and arbitration proceedings. He has appeared in the federal and state courts of New York and New Jersey and elsewhere throughout the United States. Bryan regularly handles cases across the country arising from franchise, license and management agreements, including trademark claims and the full gauntlet of relationship, competition and enforcement issues. He has represented national and international franchisors, several Fortune 100 corporations, and some of the largest hospitality companies in the world. Throughout his career, Bryan has also defended clients in a broad array of casualty claims, including premises liability, inadequate security and product liability. He likewise has extensive experience defending against manufacturing, design defect, negligence and breach of warranty claims for his manufacturer and product distribution clients. Bryan is a graduate of the prestigious International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Trial Academy at Stanford University. He is also an active member of the International Franchise Association, the ABA Forum on Franchising, and DRI. Bryan frequently lectures and writes on franchise, hospitality and other litigation-related topics.

David T. Denney
Law Offices of David T. Denney PC

David T. Denney, principal at the Law Offices of David T. Denney PC in Dallas, concentrates on corporate transactions and business litigation. Previously, he practiced with a Dallas firm, where he founded and chaired its food, beverage, and hospitality practice group.

Karen R. Glickstein
Jackson Lewis PC

Karen R. Glickstein is with Jackson Lewis in their Overland Park, KS office. She maintains an extensive trial practice focusing on a wide variety of employment and human resources issues. Her experience includes claims of discrimination and harassment, as well as retaliation matters, violations of FMLA, USERRA, and both common law and statutory "whistleblowing" claims. Karen also has defended EEOC class actions. She has been named a "Missouri Super Lawyer," a top 50 female attorney in Missouri, and a Super Lawyer Top 100 attorney in Mis-souri. She is a former chair of DRI's Employment Law Committee and a former member of DRI's Board of Directors and Law Institute.

Jacqueline R. Guesno
Jackson Lewis

Jacqueline R. Guesno is of counsel in the Denver office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents employers before federal and state courts and administrative agencies in matters involving alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. Guesno has served as lead trial counsel in 10 employment trials nationwide involving claims of gender discrimination, age discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, FMLA interference/retaliation, worker's compensation retaliation, disability discrimination, race and national origin discrimination, retaliation and FLSA violations. She began her career as a Colorado State Public Defender where she spent almost every day in the courtroom. She was a Public Defender for nine years and tried more than 70 trials. Guesno earned her J.D. at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She is a member of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, the Colorado Women's Bar Association, DRI, and the National Employment Law Council.

Michelle L. Harden
Messner Reeves LLP

Michelle L. Harden is skilled at relentlessly representing her clients' interests, with nearly two decades of experience trying cases and representing clients in high-stakes disputes. Her national litigation and trial practice spans commercial matters, professional liability defense, claims arising from foodborne and environmental illness and contamination, and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Title VII. In addition, she maintains a very active practice representing health care providers before licensing boards, including Boards of Medical Examiners, the Board of Nursing, and other credentialing entities, including administrative law hearings on licensing issues.

Brittany Harvey

Brittany Harvey is a Chief Claims Specialist based in Colorado. She manages a desk of specialty type risks and exposures, primarily litigated, consisting of diverse defense and coverage issues. She is a 2010 graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC with majors in Risk Management & Insurance and Finance & Banking. She has worked previously with RSUI and Brittany worked as a senior claims specialist with Liberty Mutual Insurance with a concentration in commercial general liability and auto litigation. Brittany is an avid traveler, she also enjoys running, and kayaking with her husband and three dogs.

Elissa B. Haynes
Drew Eckl & Farnham LLP

Elissa B. Haynes is a partner and chair of the Appellate Practice Group at Drew Eckl & Farnham in Atlanta, Georgia. Her trial and appellate practice focuses primarily on defending claims involving negligent security, premises liability, religious institution liability, and personal/catastrophic injuries. Haynes also serves as Chair of the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association's Amicus Curiae Committee as well as President-Elect of the State Bar of Georgia's Young Lawyers Division.

Eddie L. Holiday III
Bowman and Brooke LLP

Eddie L. Holiday III practice includes various aspects of complex civil litigation in state courts. Recognized as a "Rising Star 40 Under 40" in the Daily Business Review, his practice consists of representing Global 500 clients with a focus on the defense of premises and product liability claims. Prior to joining the firm, Eddie served as an Assistant State Attorney at the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, the fourth largest prosecutor's office in the nation. During his tenure, he tried over 50 jury trials to verdict ranging from misdemeanors to life felonies. As a member of the specialized Career Criminal & Robbery Unit, he prosecuted the most violent criminals and handled some of the most serious and complex cases at the State Attorney's Office. He graduated from the Howard University School of Law. During law school he was a successful competitor with the Charles Hamilton Houston National Moot Court Team. He also participated in Howard's Criminal Justice Clinic, where he represented indigent clients before the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He interned with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund as an Appellate Law Clerk and the Public Defenders Service for the District of Columbia as a Trial Law Clerk. Eddie graduated magna cum laude from Howard University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Communication & Culture with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Eddie continues his commitment to serving his community by volunteering as the Florida International University Panther Mock Trial Coach, serving as guest judge for Howard University School of Law's Annual Moot Court Competition, and speaking to youth at William H. Turner Technical Arts High School and Booker T. Washington High School.

Prashant Kolluri
Assistant U.S. Attorney N.D.of IL

Prashant Kolluri, Assistant U.S. Attorney, N.D. Illinois, Chicago, IL. Prashant is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois. He has been with that office for five years and during that time has tried 10 cases in a variety of areas, including employment discrimination, medical malpractice, and health care fraud, and also handled multiple appeals to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He previously worked for six years at a large Chicago law firm, specializing in ERISA and securities litigation.

Laura Canada Lewis
Canada Lewis & Associates

Laura Canada Lewis is the founder of Canada Lewis & Associates based in Frisco, Texas. She manages a full service law firm, but specializes in franchising and real estate. Laura represents a variety of franchise brands across the country where she handles transactions and compliance, as well as, enforcement and litigation. As a second career attorney, Laura has a depth of personal business experience that allows her to be a practical strategist, creative problem solver, and tireless advocate for her clients. For several years Laura has been named a Franchise Times Legal Eagle, Best Lawyer by D Magazine, Outstanding Lawyer by Texas Monthly, and a Super Lawyer.

Shawn Y. Libman
Bowman and Brooke LLP

Shawn Y. Libman is partner at Bowman and Brooke LLP in Miami, Florida. Libman has a substantial background in premises liability litigation. She defends one of the nation's largest retailers in claims ranging from slip-and-fall injuries to alleged dangerous or hazardous conditions. Shawn also defends household names in consumer products claims alleging property damage. Shawn's other areas of experience also include real estate, garnishment, construction, and consumer law including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, as well as commercial litigation and insurance class actions.

Ann H. MacDonald
Schiff Hardin LLP

Ann H. MacDonald is a partner in Schiff Hardin LLP's Chicago office where she handles litigation and pre-litigation matters for a range of clients. She spends much of her time representing hospitality and retail companies, including franchisors, in litigation across the country and helping clients assess litigation risk for changes to their business terms and resolve disputes relating to business partnerships gone sour. MacDonald has been recognized by the Chicago Law Bulletin in its annual Leading Lawyers publication. She graduated from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, where she was an editor for the Global Studies Law Review, and has served as President of the Chicago Council of Lawyers. Ann is the Retail and Hospitality Seminar Committee Vice Chair.

Kurtis R. McManus
Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan

Kurtis R. McManus is an associate focusing on the fields of General Liability, Premises Liability, and Insurance Defense, representing a broad range of clients in all aspects of general liability defense, personal injury litigation, and insurance-related lawsuits. He also has experience handling motor vehicle, no-fault, and UM/UIM motorist matters, representing insurance carriers, trucking companies, and rideshare companies. Kurtis authored portions of the written materials for the New York State Bar Association in 2015 & 2016 regarding Premises Liability & Depositions and recently co-authored materials and presented at a 2021 webinar discussing the new Uniform Rules for the New York Supreme and County Court System. Kurtis has been selected to the New York Metropolitan Rising Stars list for the years 2018-2020 and was recognized by Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch in the 2021 edition for Construction Law. He is also a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan.

Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, PhD
Freedom Light

Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, PhD, Freedom Light, Alexandria, VA. Dr. Mehlman-Orozco is America's leading human trafficking expert witness, serving on cases from California to New York and Virginia. Her debut book, Hidden in Plain Sight: America's Slaves of the New Millennium, is used as a manual for training law enforcement on human trafficking across the country. Dr. Mehlman-Orozco's innovative research has also been published in peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as a variety of media outlets, including USA Today, Politico, The Hill, Thomson Reuters, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, The Baltimore Sun, The Crime Report, among others. She currently serves as Executive Director of Freedom Light, an organization aimed at empowering businesses and organizations with fact-based interventions to end sex trafficking and liberate victims.

J. Richard Moore
Bleeke Dillon Crandall

J. Richard Moore is a shareholder with BleekeDillonCrandall in Indianapolis, Indiana. His practice focuses on the defense of professional liability claims against physicians, nurses, long-term care providers, architects, engineers, and attorneys; advising businesses and insurers regarding large property losses, catastrophic casualty claims, complex insurance coverage questions, fraud and bad faith; and assistance in the resolution of a variety of business and commercial disputes before litigation where posible, and through trial where necessary. Moore is licensed in Indiana, Alabama and Tennessee, and has assisted in the assessment and handling of matters in Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Missouri, Mississippi and Georgia. He is an active member of DRI, having served as Program Chair for the 2011 and 2012 DRI Nursing Home/ALF Litigation Seminars as well as Program Chair for the Sexual Torts Seminar. He is the past Chair of the DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee and currently serves on the DRI Law Institute.

Joseph B. (Joe) Pereles
Drury Hotels Company, LLC

Joseph B. (Joe) Pereles is Vice President and General Counsel for Drury Hotels Company, LLC. Drury Hotels is a privately held hotel company, which presently manages 140 hotels in 21 states. Joe handles a variety of general legal matters including coordinating the defense of legal issues that arise as a result of accidents or incidents at the hotels and the review of contracts affecting the hotel chain, be it a national vending agreement or internet marketing contracts. He received his JD/MBA in 1978 from Washington University and his BS from the University of Utah in 1974.

Megan S. Peterson
Simon Peragine Smith & Redfearn LLP

Megan S. Peterson is an attorney at Simon, Peragine, Smith, & Redfearn in New Orleans, Louisiana. She represents a range of local, regional, and national clients in matters of litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Although she handles a variety of civil litigation matters, her practice focuses on defense of business clients in premises liability, retail and hospitality litigation, and trucking and transportation. Megan is licensed in all state and federal courts in Louisiana and Mississippi. She has experience obtaining favorable defense rulings before both trial and appellate courts. Peterson has consistently been selected by Super Lawyers as a Louisiana "Rising Star" in Civil Litigation Defense since 2014. Megan is the 2021 Retail and Hospitality Program Chair.

Eric L. Reichenberger
Marshall Dennehey

Eric L. Reichenberger is an associate practicing in our Casualty Department. He devotes a significant amount of time to the defense of claims made and suits brought against insureds and businesses in products liability, premises liability, automobile, commercial, and construction matters. Eric also works closely with insurance companies in the investigation of fraudulent claims. Prior to joining Marshall Dennehey, Eric was an associate attorney at two large national firms, where he represented financial institutions and insurance companies. During his tenures, Eric gained significant insurance defense experience while handling hundreds of PIP cases. Eric also spent several years handling immigration and criminal defense matters, working for both a small firm and his own practice, where he represented clients facing serious felony charges in state court and deportation proceedings in federal immigration court. He has tried numerous non-jury and jury trials. Eric is admitted to practice in the state of Florida and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Christian Stegmaier
Collins & Lacy PC

Christian Stegmaier is chair of the Collins & Lacy Management Committee, as well as chair of the firm's Retail & Hospitality Practice Group. He defends national and regional leaders in the retail, hospitality, and entertainment sectors doing business in South Carolina in claims involving premises liability, loss prevention, food adulteration, third party torts, and alcohol liability. Additionally, he represents a national restaurant concept throughout the United States as its coordinating counsel in alcohol liability litigation. He is also an active appellate advocate. Outside of practice, he is an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina College of Hospitality, Retail & Sport Management and is member of the executive committee of the Indian Waters Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is a captain in the JAG detachment of the South Carolina State Guard.Christian is the Retail and Hospitality Committee Chair.

Marisa A.Trasatti
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

Marisa A.Trasatti is general counsel of the California-based dermatological laser and light medical device Company, Sciton, Inc. and a partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman and Dicker. Her practice focuses primarily on civil litigation, with an emphasis on products liability litigation including cases involving drugs and medical devices. Marisa served on the FDCC 2016 Nominating Committee, and received the 2016 Appleman Award for her service as Immediate-Past Chair of the FDCC Drug, Device, and Biotechnology Committee. She is currently serving on the FDCC Board of Directors, as Vice Chair of the CCS Committee, Vice-Chair of the Admissions Committee, Vice Chair of the Social Media and Web Committee, and Vice Chair of the Diversity Committee. She has authored articles and/or presented on the topics of cybersecurity, GDPR, social media, learned intermediary defense, premises liability and human trafficking. In 2017, she received the Andrew C. Hecker Award for the publication of her article in FDCC Insights (December 2016), "The Internet of Things and its Impact on Data Retention, E-Discovery, Products Liability, and Cybersecurity." She is also active in her local community as Immediate Past President of Maryland Defense Counsel, her local defense bar association, President of CLM's Maryland Chapter, a member of Maryland Governor Hogan's Judicial Disabilities Commission, and serves as the DRI Maryland State Representative.

Jason T. Vuchinich
Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial LLC

Jason T. Vuchinich practice focuses on catastrophic injury cases. Licensed in both Alabama and Georgia, he has represented a broad range of clients in the retail and hospitality industry against negligent security and dram shop theories of recovery including restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and bars. Jason strives to provide the optimal outcome for clients be it through direct settlement negotiations, mediation, or trial. He takes pride in his thoughtful and resourceful approach to the relentless representation of his clients. Jason is the 2021 Retail and Hospitality Litigation Program Vice Chair.