See the menu on the left for profiles of our full team, including attorneys and fellows not pictured below.
Faaris (Fares) Akremi joined the firm as an Associate in 2022. He focuses his practice on litigation.
Before joining Bredhoff & Kaiser, Fares clerked for the Honorable Matthew F. Kennelly of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Honorable Cornelia T.L. Pillard of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC. Circuit, and then-Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the United States Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit. Fares was also an Associate at an international law firm in Washington, D.C.
Fares earned his JD from Stanford Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties and Notes Editor of the Stanford Law Review. He also served as a Teaching Assistant for Federal Litigation and an executive board member for the Law School’s LGBTQ and African American student affinity groups. Before law school, Fares earned his BA in Geography and Political Science, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Missouri.
Fares is a member of the Bars of D.C. and California. He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Eastern District of Michigan, the United Courts of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Seventh Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Robert Alexander is a member of the firm and represents clients in litigation matters at both the trial and appellate level, with a particular emphasis on ERISA litigation, class action litigation, and other complex, multiparty litigation, often involving novel or unsettled legal issues. Robert has written or co-authored briefs in the United States Supreme Court, in eleven federal courts of appeals, in numerous federal and state trial courts, as well as administrative and arbitral tribunals. He has also argued on behalf of the firm’s clients in injunction proceedings and in a wide variety of motion proceedings at the trial level in state and federal courts, and has argued appeals in state and federal appellate courts. Robert has represented clients in both jury and bench trials, and in arbitration proceedings.
In addition to ERISA litigation, Robert represents clients in connection with First Amendment, union governance, RICO and employment rights matters. Robert also provides the firm’s clients with advice and counseling regarding employee benefits and employee rights issues, and assists clients in mediation proceedings. Robert has spoken on various litigation issues related to employee benefit matters to ABA and Union Lawyer Alliance (ULA) audiences. Robert served on the ULA Board of Directors from 2012-2015 when the ULA was known as the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee.
Prior to joining the firm, Robert worked in the Denver office of a large firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School, and a law clerk to Hon. Carlos F. Lucero, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Robert received an LL.M. from University of Michigan Law School in 1995, and a J.D. from University of Colorado School of Law in 1992. While in law school, Robert served as editor-in-chief of the University of Colorado Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif. Robert received a B.A. from Roosevelt University with honors in 1989.
Oluwadamilola Animashaun earned his Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law in May 2021. During his law school tenure, he served as a member of the Huver I. Brown Trial Advocacy Team. He also served as an intern and advocate for several institutions, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland (ACLU-MD), the District of Columbia Public Defender Service (PDS), and the Public Employee Relations Board of the District of Columbia (PERB). After graduating from law school, he worked as a Research and Policy Fellow at the Stanford Law School's Center for Racial Justice, extending, and supporting ongoing projects that advanced policing and public safety reform. One of these efforts included developing a Model Use of Force Policy, which seeks to further police reform efforts and establish safer and more equitable policing practices. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, to two amazing Nigerian parents, Oluwadamilola graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BA, magna cum laude, in both Africana Studies and Political Science. Oluwadamilola’s primary interests are human rights, civil rights, commercial, and labor law.
Adam Bellotti (he/his) joined Bredhoff & Kaiser as an associate in 2015 and became a member of the firm in 2022. His practice consists of transactional work and dispute resolution for labor unions and their associated employee benefit funds.
Adam serves as labor counsel to public and private-sector labor unions, including the United States Women’s National Team Players Association. As labor counsel, Adam negotiates collective-bargaining agreements, represents unions at all steps of the grievance and arbitration process, and advises unions on their compliance obligations under state and federal laws, including the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). Adam also represents unions as transactional counsel in a variety of commercial transactions designed to provide unions with revenue streams that can serve as alternatives to traditional member dues.
As a litigator, Adam represents unions and funds in state and federal court and alternative dispute resolution. He has litigated cases arising under the LMRDA, the National Labor Relations Act and Labor Management Relations Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, state and federal employment-discrimination laws, and a variety of state tort and contract laws. Adam has also guided unions and employees through administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the Maryland Commission for Civil Rights.
Before joining the firm, Adam clerked for the Honorable John M. Walker, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and served as an honors attorney and attorney adviser to Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce of the NLRB.
Adam received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011. During law school, Adam served as an Articles Editor for the Georgetown Law Journal and participated in Georgetown’s Appellate Litigation Clinic. He received his B.S., cum laude, from Georgetown University in 2008. He is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia bars.
Rachel Casper earned her Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in May 2022. During law school, she served as an executive editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and was a legal intern at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Rachel published an article on the ministerial exception in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change and has a forthcoming article on the unionization of religiously affiliated hospitals in the Northeastern University Law Review. Rachel received her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Rochester.
After her fellowship with Bredhoff & Kaiser, Rachel will serve as a law clerk to the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Matthew Clash-Drexler joined the firm as an associate in 2003 and is now a member of the firm. Matthew regularly represents unions and non-profits in collective bargaining, on both the management side (for his union and non-profit clients) and the labor side of the table (including unions in both the public and private sectors). He also provides advice and assistance regarding the full range of labor and employment issues, including interpretation of collective bargaining agreements, compliance with employment, anti-discrimination, and leave laws, and investigations into allegations of harassment/discrimination or other misconduct by staff and officers.
Matthew also represents his clients in a wide variety of litigation before federal and state courts, administrative tribunals, and arbitrators.
Matthew received his B.A. from Duke University and his J.D. from The University of Michigan Law School, magna cum laude. Prior to joining the firm, Matthew worked at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law as a Skadden Fellow and served as a law clerk to Hon. T.S. Ellis III, US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Jenifer A. Cromwell advises plans, trustees, unions, and employers on a wide range of federal tax and ERISA matters regarding employee benefits. Her practice encompasses health and welfare benefit plans and qualified retirement plans.
Jen’s work with health and welfare plans includes counseling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”), including waiting period rules, the employer shared responsibility requirements, and the insurance market reforms. Jen’s practice also includes counseling plans and plan sponsors on the establishment, design, and operation of their health and welfare plans, including compliance with HIPAA privacy and security, claims procedures, cafeteria plan regulations, COBRA, Form 5500 reporting, and participant disclosures and notices. Jen also works with a federal health plan advising on compliance with OPM FEHB requirements and health plan accreditation standards. Her work with qualified retirement plans includes counseling on compliance with the Internal Revenue Code, plan design and amendments, corrections, and participant disclosures. She also has extensive experience negotiating contracts with third-party administrators, record keepers, insurance carriers, consultants, and vendors.
Jen speaks regularly on employee benefits matters, including the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA privacy, health plan vendor selection and management, wellness programs, and benefits and tax issues related to providing benefits for same-sex spouses and domestic partners. She regularly writes articles on employee benefits matters, and she authored the Disclosure and Reporting Obligations for Group Health Plans chapter in Benefits Compliance: Strategies for Plans, Programs & Policies published by BLR.
Jen volunteers, along with her family, as a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Jen graduated magna cum laude from the American University Washington College of Law. She is a member of the bars of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, and she served for six years on the Steering Committee of the District of Columbia Bar Association’s Health Law Section.
Leon Dayan is a member of the firm and has represented clients in numerous appellate and trial-court matters. Leon has co-authored several briefs in the United States Supreme Court and has argued more than two dozen appeals. He has argued cases in nine different federal circuit courts as well as in two state supreme courts. At the trial-court level, Leon’s practice has included the representation of unions in First Amendment matters as well as in RICO, union-governance, election, and employment matters; the representation of retirees in complex employee-benefit class-actions; and the representation of employee benefit plans in ERISA breach-of-fiduciary-duty cases.
Leon’s practice also includes counseling national unions on immigration-related questions. In addition, Leon has represented numerous individual attorneys on matters pertaining to professional ethics and bar disciplinary proceedings.
Leon received his JD degree from the University of California, Berkeley Law School in 1989, where he was Order of the Coif. In 1985, he received his A.B. degree in History from Stanford University, where he graduated with honors and distinction.
After completing law school, Leon served as a law clerk to the Honorable Betty B. Fletcher of United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Leon then practiced law in Los Angeles at a public interest law firm for three years before becoming an associate at Bredhoff & Kaiser in 1994. From 1999 through 2001, Leon taught employment law as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law.
Representative Cases Argued:
McCutcheon v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., 62 F. 4th 474(2d Cir. 2023) (affirming $300 million judgment in favor of class of Colgate retirees and other former Colgate employees in complex ERISA pension plan dispute).
Brown v. AFSCME Council No. 5, 41 F.4th 963 (2022) (holding that a good-faith defense is available to private-party defendants under Section 1983 and that the defense extends to First Amendment “compelled subsidization of speech” claims)
Rozenblit v. Lyles, 243 A.3d 1249 (N.J. 2021) (state constitution’s “gift clause” is not violated by collective bargaining agreements that provide for paid leave to public school teachers who are elected union officers so that they can perform full-time work helping to administer a collective bargaining agreement and performing other representational functions on behalf of the union)
Ogle v. Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, 951 F.3d 794 (6th Cir. 2020) and Lee v. Ohio Education Association, 951 F.3d 386 (6th Cir. 2020) (unions need not refund fair-share fees collected from nonmembers during the period before the Supreme Court issued its 2018 decision declaring such fees to be unconstitutional).
SEIU v. NUHW, 718 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 2013) (upholding jury verdict finding that local union officials breached their fiduciary duty to their union by expending local union resources to plan the formation of a rival organization while they still were employed by the local)
United Bhd. of Carpenters & Joiners v. Bldg. & Constr. Trades Dep’t, AFL-CIO, 770 F.3d 834 (9th Cir. 2014) (holding that the non-violent use of economic pressure, including “intense” economic pressure that may be tortious under state law, is not “extortion” under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO))
Wisconsin Education Association Council v. Walker, 705 F.3d 640 (7th Cir. 2013) (holding, over a strong dissent, that Wisconsin statute stripping “general employee” unions, but not “public safety” unions, of ability to finance associational activities through dues deduction was consistent with the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause)
AFL-CIO v. Chao, 409 F.3d 377 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (invalidating a Labor Department regulation requiring unions to file detailed financial reports on trust entities that are neither financed nor controlled by unions)
Smith v. District of Columbia, 413 F.3d 86 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (holding that the District of Columbia had been deliberately indifferent to the physical safety of youths placed by the District in “independent living” facilities)
Herman v. Springfield Mass. Area Local 497, 201 F.3d 1, 4 (1st Cir. 2000) (upholding validity of union election and rejecting Secretary of Labor’s position that a union rule setting forth a qualification for candidacy is per se invalid merely because a high percentage of members choose not to take the steps needed to qualify).
Dick Griffin has practiced labor law for more than 40 years, and has been Of Counsel to the firm since January 2018. He represents unions, employee benefit funds, labor-management cooperation trusts, and individuals, and serves as a mediator. He has also taught labor law, and is the co-author, with Seth Harris, Anne Lofaso, Charlotte Garden, and Joseph Slater, of Modern Labor Law in the Private and Public Sectors: Cases and Materials, 3rd Ed., Carolina Academic Press, 2021.
Prior to joining Bredhoff & Kaiser, from November 4, 2013 through October 31, 2017, Dick was the Senate-confirmed General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), overseeing the prosecution of unfair labor practice cases and the defense of the Board’s decisions in court, culminating in his arguing Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis on the Board’s behalf in the Supreme Court. Before becoming NLRB General Counsel, Dick served as a recess-appointed NLRB Board Member from January 2012 through August 2013. For almost 28 years prior to his appointment as a Board Member, he worked in the legal department of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), serving as the union’s General Counsel for the last 17 of those years. While IUOE General Counsel, Dick was on the AFL-CIO Lawyers Advisory Panel and was a member of the Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee. At the beginning of his legal career, from 1981 to 1983, Dick served as staff counsel to two NLRB Board Members. He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and of the American Bar Foundation. He graduated from Yale College (BA 1977) and Northeastern University Law School (JD 1981).
Cole Hanzlicek joined Bredhoff & Kaiser as an Associate in 2022. He was a summer associate with the firm in 2019. His practice focuses on representing unions and their members in litigation.
Before joining the firm as an Associate, Cole served as a law clerk for the Honorable Mary Beck Briscoe of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and for the Honorable Daniel D. Crabtree of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
Cole received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Washington University School of Law in 2020. During law school, he was the Chief Executive Editor of the Washington University Law Review and participated in Washington University’s Appellate Clinic. He also taught local high school students as a teaching fellow for the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. Cole earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017, where he was a member and co-captain of the Texas Speech Team.
Cole is a member of the Illinois and District of Columbia bars.
Jacob Karabell joined Bredhoff & Kaiser as an associate in 2011 and is now a member of the firm. Jacob’s practice focuses on litigation on behalf of labor unions in an array of labor and employment-related matters. His work includes representing clients in connection with RICO issues; various issues arising under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, including union trusteeships and union elections; issues relating to the court enforcement of arbitration awards; and various constitutional issues. In addition to his litigation practice, Jacob serves as labor counsel to the musicians and librarians of the National Symphony Orchestra, and in that capacity participates in negotiations and provides advice on a wide range of issues.
Prior to joining the firm, Jacob served as a law clerk to the Honorable Harry T. Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He also previously worked as an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Covington & Burling LLP.
Jacob received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the New York University School of Law in 2009, where he served as an Articles Editor of the New York University Law Review. Jacob was the 2009 recipient of the law school’s Weinfeld Prize, which recognizes distinguished scholarship in federal courts, civil procedure, and evidence, for his Note, The Implementation of “Balanced Diversity” Through the Class Action Fairness Act, 84 N.Y.U. L. REV. 300 (2009). He also received a convocation award for finishing second in his graduating class after five semesters.
Jacob received his B.A., with highest distinction, from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006.
Caitlin Kekacs litigates complex disputes on behalf of labor unions, union members, and employee benefit funds, at both the trial and appellate levels. Caitlin’s union clients cover a wide variety of industries including healthcare, hospitality, airline, construction, public safety, education, and government.
She has represented international and local labor unions in cases arising under the Labor Management Relations Act, the Landrum-Griffin Act (LMRDA), the Railway Labor Act, RICO, and federal and state anti-discrimination laws, among others. Caitlin advises unions and progressive organizations on defamation issues, and she represents pension funds in lawsuits to collect withdrawal liability and delinquent contributions under ERISA and MPPAA. She also has substantial experience with e-discovery and managing large-scale document reviews.
Caitlin joined Bredhoff & Kaiser as an associate in 2013 and became a member in 2020. Before joining the firm, Caitlin served as a law clerk to Judge Susan L. Carney of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Margot Botsford of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Caitlin received her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Amherst College.
Caitlin is a member of the District of Columbia, Maryland New York, and Massachusetts* bars.
Kathleen Keller joined Bredhoff & Kaiser as an associate in 2003 and is now a Member of the firm. Kathleen represents labor organizations, multiemployer benefit funds and individuals in litigation and arbitration involving a wide range of legal issues, including ERISA, the Fair Labor Standards Act, anti-discrimination statutes, RICO, labor law and tort and contract law. She advises her fund clients on fiduciary considerations and plan design, and she is experienced in working with fund actuaries on issues relating to plan valuation and funding.
Kathleen also represents unions and non-profits in collective bargaining, on both the management side (for her union and non-profit clients) and the labor side of the table. She provides advice and assistance regarding development of management policies and compliance with labor and employment laws, regularly develops and provides staff training on inclusion and anti-discrimination, and has conducted numerous outside investigations into allegations of sexual harassment or other misconduct by staff or officers.
Kathleen’s representative cases include: WestRock RKT Co. v. PACE Industry Union-Management Pension Fund, 856 F.3d 1320 (11th Cir. 2017) (affirming dismissal of suit challenging pension fund’s rehabilitation plan); Rincon v. AFSCME, 638 F.3d 631 (9th Cir. 2016) (affirming judgment for union on organizer’s exempt status and essential functions); National Integrated Group Pension Plan v. Dunhill Food Equipment Corp., 938 F. Supp. 2d 361 (E.D.N.Y. 2013) (granting summary judgment against individual owner of corporation for withdrawal liability owed to plan); Ronches v. Dickerson Employee Benefits, 2009 WL 10669571 (C.D. Cal. 2009) (denying defendants’ motion to dismiss health trust fund’s ERISA claims against former vendors and fiduciaries); Wackenhut Corp. v. Service Employee International Union, 593 F. Supp. 2d 1289 (M.D. Fl. 2009) (granting motion to dismiss employer’s RICO claims against union); Baltimore County FOP Lodge 4 v. Baltimore County, 565 F.Supp. 672 2d (D. Md. 2008) (denying summary judgment to employer on employees’ joint employment FLSA claims); and Tucker v. Talladega City Schools, 171 Fed. Appx. 289 (11th Cir. 2006) (reversing summary judgment for school board on teacher’s First Amendment retaliation claim and Section 1981 retaliation claim).
Kathleen has presented continuing legal education and training on topics including electronic discovery, attorney-client privilege, the LMRDA, the FMLA, and anti-discrimination policies.
Bruce began working for Bredhoff & Kaiser as an associate in 1984, where he has spent the entirety of his career.
During those years, Bruce’s practice has touched upon most of the areas in which Bredhoff has worked. From 1992 through 2022, Bruce served as General Counsel for the National Postal Mail Handlers Union. In that role, he counseled union leadership on all manner of legal issues, including union governance and elections, collective bargaining, and the resolution of disputes via arbitration and litigation. He was lead counsel for the NPMHU in ten rounds of national negotiations, scores of national arbitrations, and many legislative battles. He has also participated in the development and administration of the NPMHU’s popular health benefit plan, among other programs.
At the beginning of 2023, Bruce transitioned into Senior Counsel for the NPMHU when he was named General Counsel of its international parent body, the Laborers’ International Union of North America. In addition to the NPMHU and LIUNA, Bruce advises numerous other unions, both national and local, on matters of Union Governance and Administration. That practice includes counseling leadership on compliance with federal laws governing union elections, trusteeships, financial reporting, and financial audits by the Department of Labor. He has also developed substantial expertise in the administration of fair-share fee and other union-security systems in the private sector.
Early in Bruce’s career, his practice focused on trial and appellate litigation. He continues to supervise an active litigation practice that includes disputes arising out of the full range of issues facing labor organizations.
Bruce clerked for William J. Brennan, Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court during its 1983 Term, following a year-long clerkship with Abner J. Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He obtained his J.D. degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as Executive Editor of the Law Review. He holds an M.P.A. degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a B.A. degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton’s Harpur College.
Ben joined Bredhoff & Kaiser as a staff attorney in 2021. Ben’s work focuses on assisting our employee benefit fund clients in their efforts to collect promised contributions from delinquent employers. Ben received his J.D. from the University of Miami Law School in 2013. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007.
Ben is a member of the District of Columbia and Florida bars.
Tzvi Mackson joined the firm as Of Counsel in 2021 specializing in employee-benefits matters. His practice focuses on representing union-affiliated employee-benefit plans in compliance and administrative matters.
Prior to joining Bredhoff & Kaiser, for more than a decade Tzvi represented union-affiliated employee benefit plans – including an I.U.P.A.T.-affiliated plan and a construction industry plan -- in compliance and administrative matters and in litigation, including collection actions, benefit claim cases, and withdrawal liability suits at Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP.
Tzvi graduated magna cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2007, where he was a Notes Editor of the Cardozo Law Review, a Public Service Scholar and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar, a member of the Order of the Coif, and a recipient of the ABA/BNA Award of Excellence in the Study of Labor & Employment Law.
While attending law school, Tzvi served as an intern at the Judges Division of the National Labor Relations Board and worked as a summer clerk in the General Counsel’s office of District Council 37, AFSCME. Tzvi is the author of an article published in the Cardozo Law Review on secondary picketing under the National Labor Relations Act.
Tzvi was a chapter editor for the treatise Employee Benefits Law, Fourth Edition. He was named as a Rising Star for Employee Benefits on the 2014-2018 Annual Lists of Super Lawyers magazine.
Before attending law school, Tzvi served as a shop steward in local unions affiliated with AFSCME and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Tzvi earned an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University in 1989 and an MBA from Baruch College of the City University of New York in 1995.
Tzvi provides services to at least 7 multiemployer retirement plans, with average assets of $1.2B and approximate average participant count of 4,300.
Anne Mayerson has been a member of the firm since 1998 and for 30 years has specialized in employee benefits and related tax and regulatory matters on behalf of unions, plans, and nonprofits.
Anne represents numerous multiemployer and multiple-employer pension and welfare funds, along with tax-exempt organizations and their staff pension and welfare plans. Her practice covers the full range of employee-benefit issues. She advises clients regarding all aspects of pension and welfare plan administration, compliance with all statutes related to employee benefits, fiduciary-responsibility matters, government audits, prohibited transactions issues, withdrawal liability, bankruptcy, and fiduciary insurance. She has appeared in bankruptcy court and in contract arbitration.
Anne also negotiates collective bargaining agreements and provides consultation with respect to collective bargaining matters.
Anne received her Juris Doctorate degree cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1987, and her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Brown University in 1984.
Kara A. Naseef joined the firm as an associate in 2022.
Before joining the firm, Kara clerked for the Honorable Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and served as a Staff Attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Office of Staff Counsel. She was a fellow at AARP Foundation Litigation and a law clerk for the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Kara holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was awarded the Jane L. Mixer Award for contributions to activities designed to advance social justice and the Jack C. Radcliffe, Jr. Award for excellence in mentoring first-year law students. She was managing symposium editor of the Michigan Journal of Law Reform and a student attorney for the Workers’ Rights Clinic. Kara received a Master’s in Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. She received her B.A., magna cum laude and with university honors, from American University and was awarded the National Security Education Program’s Boren Scholarship to study Swahili in Tanzania.
Elisabeth Oppenheimer joined Bredhoff & Kaiser as an associate in 2017 and is now a member of the firm. Her practice focuses on representing unions and their members in federal and state court litigation, administrative proceedings, and arbitrations.
Prior to joining the firm, Elisabeth worked at the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and was an associate at WilmerHale. She also served as a law clerk to the Honorable William A. Fletcher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Honorable John D. Bates of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Elisabeth received her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2010. During law school, she served on the Notes Committee of the Stanford Law Review. Elisabeth received her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College in 2005. She is a member of the Massachusetts and District of Columbia bars.
Roger is a member of the firm. His practice focuses on assisting non-profit organizations, including unions, in managing a wide variety of organizational matters.
He is outside general counsel of Union Privilege, a non-profit organization that develops and promotes member benefits for unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO. In this capacity, he handles all of Union Privilege’s legal matters, including its business, tax, HR, privacy and information security, and governance issues.
For Union Privilege, Roger negotiates arrangements with banks, insurance companies, telecommunications companies, and numerous other product and service providers pursuant to which the services of these businesses are made available by Union Privilege to more than ten million union members. Most notably, Roger is responsible for managing both legal and business aspects of Union Privilege’s affinity credit card program, which – with more than one million cardholders – stands as one of the largest such programs in the world.
Roger also has responsibility for significant business-to-business contracting undertaken by the AFL-CIO itself – a $100 million year organization – including Internet, software, telecommunications, data management, and other business relationships. Roger handles similar responsibilities for numerous other firm clients.
Roger helped establish and is outside general counsel for Vital HealthCare Capital, a national charitable loan fund that provides financing and development services to support quality healthcare and good healthcare jobs in low-income communities, and the BlueGreen Alliance, a partnership of unions and environmental organizations that focuses on developing commonsense solutions to environmental challenges in a way that creates and maintains quality jobs.
Roger has assisted with the creation of many other non-profits, some that have involved the creation of sister 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) arrangements or for-profit subsidiaries. And Roger provides ongoing legal support for board and committee functions and other governance activities for many of these organizations.
Roger assists clients with trademark and copyright issues. He has negotiated numerous trademark licensing agreements, helping clients obtain fair royalties, comply with IRS requirements for ensuring the tax exempt treatment of such royalties, and protect the ownership of their marks. He also assists non-profits more generally in protecting intellectual property assets and dealing with trademark and copyright issues.
Roger addresses novel legal and managerial issues related to efforts of clients to make effective use of the Internet. He helps clients negotiate contracts for website development, hosting and other web-related services. He assists clients in crafting appropriate privacy policies, user agreements, and community guidelines for their websites and acceptable policies for use of email and the Internet by their employees. He also counsels clients on information security issues.
In addition to his work with non-profits, Roger has also represented clients in complex arbitrations, including interest arbitrations in the steel, postal, and airline sectors and airline pilot seniority list integrations. He has also assisted in major renegotiations of pilot and flight attendant collective bargaining agreements.
In approaching commercial contracting situations, Roger draws on his legal and business experience and skills to assist his clients with conceptualizing how best to structure a business relationship, how to reduce oral agreements to effective contract language, and, frequently, how to manage such relationships on a continuing basis.
Roger obtained his J.D. at Yale University, where he also received an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management. Roger received his B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley, College of Natural Resources and was Valedictorian of his class. Prior to graduate school, Roger was executive director of a non-profit environmental group in Connecticut. During graduate school, he worked as a consultant for the firm of Brody & Weiser, providing financial and organizational consulting services to non-profits.
Roger helped found and is President Emeritus of The Rosedale Conservancy, a Washington, D.C. land trust that owns and manages a small urban historic landscape and park.
Ian Postman joined Bredhoff & Kaiser as an Associate in 2022. His practice focuses on litigation and arbitration on behalf of labor unions and their members.
Before joining the firm, Ian clerked for Judge Richard L. Nygaard of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Judge Louis L. Stanton of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Ian received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and his B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. During law school, Ian served as submissions editor of the Cardozo Law Review, in which he published a note on incarceration requirements in post-conviction DNA testing statutes. He also participated in the Innocence Project clinic and volunteered with the Suspension Representation Project and Parole Representation Project.
Ian is a member of the New York bar.
Application pending for admission to the District of Columbia bar. Practice supervised directly by principals of the firm.
Brooke Priestas joined the firm as an associate in August 2022. She practices principally in the areas of employee-benefits law, taxation of non-profits, and related compliance matters for pension and health plans, non-profits, and labor unions.
Brooke received an advanced degree in tax law, an LL.M (Masters in Law), from Georgetown University Law Center in 2022. She received her Juris Doctorate from American University Washington College of Law in 2021 where she was a student attorney for the Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic. She was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance, magna cum laude, from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2018 and there received recognition as a scholar-athlete three years in a row.
Ramya Ravindran joined Bredhoff & Kaiser in 2007 and re-joined the Firm in 2019. Ramya is an experienced litigator who has represented labor unions, employee benefit funds, and other organizations in a wide range of matters in state and federal courts in both appellate and trial-court matters. Her work includes litigating on behalf of clients on First Amendment and other constitutional claims, labor law, ERISA, RICO, union governance, trusteeships, breach-of-fiduciary-duty cases, common-law tort and contract matters, and employment issues.
Ramya has written or co-authored briefs in the United States Supreme Court, seven federal courts of appeal, numerous federal and state trial courts, the National Labor Relations Board, and other administrative and arbitral tribunals. She has argued cases in multiple federal courts of appeal and in a wide variety of motion proceedings at the trial level in federal and state courts. She has also represented clients in jury trials, administrative hearings, and arbitrations.
In addition to her litigation practice, Ramya advises multiemployer benefit funds and trustees on a wide range of legal issues relating to employee benefits, including plan administration and design, regulatory and compliance issues, fiduciary-responsibility questions, collections matters, and withdrawal liability. Ramya’s benefits practice involves both health and welfare benefit plans and qualified retirement plans.
From 2015-2018, Ramya was Deputy General Counsel for the National Basketball Players Association, where her practice included collective bargaining, grievance arbitrations, contract negotiation and drafting, and union governance and compliance matters.
Ramya graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2004. Prior to initially joining Bredhoff & Kaiser, Ramya served as a law clerk to the Honorable Rosemary S. Pooler on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and practiced as a litigation associate at a large law firm in Chicago. Ramya graduated magna cum laude from Rice University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science.
Ramya is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia and New York. In 2020, Ramya was elected to the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar.
Derrick Rice joined the firm in 2022.
Before joining Bredhoff & Kaiser, Derrick clerked for the Honorable David J. Barron of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Derrick earned his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an Articles & Essays editor of the Yale Law Journal and a law student intern at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization. He earned his B.S. from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where he was awarded the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.
Andy began at Bredhoff & Kaiser as an associate in 1989 and has been at the firm ever since. He has litigated cases at the appellate and trial-court levels that span the entire range of subject matters on the firm’s docket. Andy has extensive appellate experience, having argued cases in almost every federal court of appeals.
During his decades of practice, Andy has developed particular expertise in antitrust, the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Contracts Clause, financial reporting for unions and union officers, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Andy’s OSHA experience became particularly valuable to the labor movement when the Covid-19 pandemic posed new workplace dangers. Andy was called upon in multiple cases to represent unions advocating for federal workplace safety standards.
Before beginning at Bredhoff & Kaiser, Andy clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He obtained his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan, where he served as Managing Editor for the Michigan Law Review. He holds a B.S. degree from Cornell University.
Andy is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and to appear before all federal appellate courts, save the Federal Circuit.
Josh joined Bredhoff & Kaiser as an associate in 2015 and is now a member. His practice focuses on litigation, at both the appellate and trial levels, on behalf of labor unions, their members, and associated employee benefit funds.
Josh’s work has included substantial matters arising under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, federal labor statutes, and federal and state constitutions, as well as high-stakes contractual disputes. Although Josh primarily appears in federal court, he has also represented clients in state courts and in informal proceedings, including arbitrations.
Before joining the firm, Josh clerked first for the Honorable Marsha S. Berzon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and later for the Honorable Catherine C. Blake of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
Josh holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from the Harvard Law School. He graduated as a Student Marshal from the University of Chicago, which awarded him a B.A., with honors, and the Anna M. and George N. Barnard Memorial Prize.
Joshua has experience in a wide variety of practice areas. He has litigated cases on behalf of labor unions and individuals in federal court, state court, and arbitration, regarding a broad range of labor law, ERISA, and employment law related issues. In particular, he provides advice and litigation support to unions and individuals in the airline industry that are covered by the Railway Labor Act.
Joshua also represents entities and individuals in criminal defense matters, administrative proceedings, and government investigations, including congressional investigations.
Joshua joined Bredhoff & Kaiser as an associate in 2006. Prior to joining the firm, Joshua served as a law clerk to the Honorable Janet C. Hall in the District of Connecticut.
Joshua graduated from Harvard Law School cum laude in 2005. During law school, Joshua served as an Executive Editor of the Harvard Civil Right Civil Liberties Law Review. He is the author of Note, “A Practical Jurisprudence of Values: Re-Writing Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB,” 41 Harvard C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 177 (2006). Joshua graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University in 2001 with a degree in Ethics and Public Life.
Ernest Zhu began employment with the firm in 2021. His work focuses on employee health and welfare plans and tax-qualified retirement plans.
Before coming to Bredhoff & Kaiser, Ernest worked in Missouri on behalf of multiemployer retirement plans and health and welfare plans. His work included designing and administering their plans, including drafting plan documents and summary plan descriptions.
At Washington University School of Law, Ernest received the Dean’s Service Award, the Scholar in Law Award and the Excellence in Oral Advocacy Award. He also served as an associate editor of the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy.
Before law school, Ernest taught advanced math to high school students. He currently serves as a mentor on the Summer Judicial Internship Diversity Project, a national program aiming to provide highly qualified, diverse law students with summer judicial internships in the chambers of federal and state judges. During law school, Ernest himself served as an intern in multiple chambers in federal district court.
Julia Penny Clark has been Senior Counsel at Bredhoff, after having actively practiced law at the firm from 1975 through 2019. Penny has extensive experience in federal litigation and focused her practice in the employee-benefit area.
Penny was counsel to a number of large multiemployer pension and health-benefit plans, as well as multiemployer 401(k) plans and funds that provide training or legal services to employee participants, and to a public-employee pension plan. She also represented labor unions and groups of employees in benefits litigation.
Penny argued M&G Polymers v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015), and Beck v. PACE Int’l Union, 551 U.S. 96 (2007). Some of her other major litigation cases include appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for former employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers, confirming a cause of action for equitable relief to enforce ERISA’s mandatory benefit standards, Laurent et al. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, 945 F.3d 739 (2019), for employees of Foot Locker, affirming a judgment that the employer had wrongfully concealed a “wearaway” provision in the pension plan, Osberg v. Foot Locker, Inc. 862 F.3d 198 (2017); and for former employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers affirming that their “normal retirement age” under a cash balance pension plan had been impermissibly defined as 5 years of service, Laurent et al. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, 794 F.3d 372 (2d Cir. 2015).
Penny also handled numerous complex class-action and other cases at the trial and appellate levels, including class-action litigation to preserve health benefits for a class of retired Virginia truck assemblers, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a jury verdict that the employer could not unilaterally change retiree health benefits that were created by a collective bargaining agreement, Quesenberry, et al. v. Volvo Group North America, Inc., 651 F.3d 437 (4th Cir. 2011).
Penny is an Emeritus Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and a member of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia. From 1990 to 1996 she served on the Committee on Admissions and Grievances for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Before joining the firm, Penny served as a law clerk to the Hon. Lewis F. Powell, Jr., of the U.S. Supreme Court, and to the Hon. J. Braxton Craven, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She obtained a J.D. with highest honors from the University of Texas Law School in 1973 and a B.A. with highest honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969.
Born New Haven, Connecticut; admitted to bar, 1976, District of Columbia; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and District of Columbia Circuits. Education: St. John’s College (A.B., magna cum laude, 1971); Stanford University (J.D., 1976). Order of the Coif. Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 1985-1987. Counsel, Foreign Service Grievance Board, U.S. State Department, 1993-2017 . Member: The District of Columbia Bar; American Bar Association (Co-Chairman, Committee on Occupational Safety and Health Law, 1986-1989), Board of Directors, NEA Foundation, 2009-2015.
Born Brooklyn, N.Y.; admitted to bar, 1976, District of Columbia; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Eleventh and District of Columbia Circuits; 1980, U.S. Supreme Court. Education: Pembroke College, Brown University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1971); Antioch School of Law (J.D., 1976). Phi Beta Kappa. Trial Attorney, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, 1976-1980. Member: The District of Columbia Bar; American Bar Association. Languages: Spanish.
Born New York, N.Y.; admitted to bar, 1969, District of Columbia; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, District of Columbia and Federal Circuits. Education: University of Michigan (B.A., 1965; J.D., summa cum laude, 1968). Order of the Coif. Editor-in-Chief, Michigan Law Review, 1967-1968. Law Clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court, 1968-1969. Associate Director, Citizens Board of Inquiry into Health Services for Americans, 1969-1970. Adjunct Professor, Constitutional Law, Catholic University Law School, 1970-1973 and Congressional Investigations, Georgetown University Law Center, 1997 — .
Trial Attorney, 1970-1973, and Chief, Appellate Division, 1973-1974, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Member, Special Committee of the District of Columbia Bar on Criminal Code Revision, 1977-1978. Member, Advisory Committee on Procedures, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1978-1983. Member, Special Committee of the District of Columbia Bar Regarding Court Appointment of Counsel Programs in the Superior Court, 1993-1994. Member: District of Columbia Bar; American Bar Association.
John West joined Bredhoff & Kaiser in 1989 and is now senior counsel. His practice has focused on appellate work and litigation in the federal and state courts, with particular emphasis on education-related matters. He has litigated over a dozen cases involving the constitutionality of private-school voucher programs in various states over the course of the last two decades, and has frequently represented educators asserting due process, free speech, and other constitutional and statutory rights. Another focus of John’s practice has been union security (agency fee) litigation, particularly on behalf of unions in the public sector. He has also handled matters related to issues such as the duty of fair representation, internal union affairs, retiree benefits, qualified immunity, class actions, and RICO litigation.
John has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court, 10 of the 13 federal courts of appeals, 6 state supreme courts, and numerous federal and state trial courts. Representative examples of recent cases John has litigated and argued include Davenport v. Washington Education Association, 551 U.S. 177 (2007) (constitutionality of state restriction on unions’ use of agency shop fees for political purposes); Appoloni v. United States, 450 F.3d 185 (6th Cir. 2006) (whether early retirement incentive payments are “wages” taxable under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act); Bush v. Holmes, 919 So. 2d 392 (Fla. 2006) (invalidating Florida school voucher program as contrary to state constitution’s education clause); Lincoln Hockey LLC v. Semin, 2005 U.S. Dist. Lexis 34047 (D.D.C. 2005) (denying NHL team’s attempt to enforce player contract through civil injunction); U.S. Airline Pilots Association v. AWAPPA, LLC, 615 F.3d 312 (4th Cir. 2010) (affirming dismissal of RICO litigation); and Parrish v. Dayton, 761 F.3d 873 (8th Cir. 2014) (constitutional challenge to collective bargaining by child-care providers); and Janus AFSCME Council 31, 942 F.3d 352 (7th Cir. 2019) (union not liable for repayment of agency fees received under then-controlling precedent).
John graduated summa cum laude and first in his class from the University of Michigan Law School (1987), where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Law Review. Following law school he clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. of the United States Supreme Court. He also holds a Ph.D. from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver (1976), as well as a B.A. in history from Elizabethtown College (1970), and has studied in addition at Marburg University and the Free University of Berlin, Germany, the University of Caen, France, and the University of Minnesota. Before attending law school, John taught political science at a small college in Colorado and directed foreign study programs in France and Germany.