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Think Like a Lawyer, Talk Like a Geek 2018: Get Fluent in Technology

Speaker(s): Aaron J. Wright, Amir R. Ghavi, Christopher J.P. Mitchell, Gena A. Feist, Harry A. Valetk, Jacqueline Connor, James Q. Walker, Jenny Cieplak, Kathleen A. McGee, Kyle Antoian, Lori E. Lesser, Marc S. Roth, Mutisya Ndunda, Peter Brown, Sachin Bansal, Scott J.. Sholder, Stephanie E. Niehaus, Tiffany Hartkemeyer, Wendy Feldman
Recorded on: Oct. 4, 2018
PLI Program #: 221770

Amir R. Ghavi is a corporate partner resident in Fried Frank’s New York office and leads the Firm's Technology Transactions Practice.

Mr. Ghavi concentrates his practice on intellectual property transactions on behalf of venture and private equity sponsors and corporations in the software, financial technology, high-technology, aerospace, banking and insurance, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and energy and industrial sectors.

Mr. Ghavi regularly advises clients on IP and technology aspects of corporate and asset acquisitions and divestitures, IP-centric joint ventures, restructurings, data use and licensing, brand licensing and management, and other intellectual property licensing, outsourcing agreements, software development, and the use and management of open-source software.

Mr. Ghavi received his JD from Cornell Law School in 2006 and his BS in Neuroscience and BA in Philosophy from Emory University in 2001.

Mr. Ghavi is admitted to the practice in New York and the US District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Harry A. Valetk is a partner in the Global Privacy and Security Practice Group based in New York, advising global organizations on privacy and data security compliance requirements. He regularly supports companies in the insurance and financial services sector, retail, pharmaceutical/ healthcare, transportation/ logistics, hospitality, defense, social media, cloud technology, and manufacturing industries. His practice is focused on delivering commercially practical advice on designing security, privacy, and technologically compliant solutions. Harry's practice routinely covers issues that range from supporting M&A transactions that result in cross-border data transfers, to digital marketing, regulatory enforcement defense, and cyber security and data breach incident response. He also helps clients perform privacy risk assessments for EU-US Privacy Shield certifications, and works with highly-regulated entities on numerous data protection topics, including GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, GLBA, FERPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Harry puts on an insider’s perspective when advising his clients having worked in-house as Director of MetLife’s Global Privacy Office in New York for almost seven years. In that role, he supported business lines in more than 60 countries to protect the personal data of over 90 million MetLife customers. Additionally, he led numerous strategic efforts to build out a global Privacy Risk Framework, achieve global compliance with applicable data privacy laws, deploy cross-border data transfer solutions, implement global training and awareness initiatives, and manage data and cyber security incidents. Before MetLife, Harry led the video game publishing industry’s privacy compliance efforts as the Director of Privacy Online for the Entertainment Software Rating Board and its COPPA Safe Harbor Seal Program. Finally, Harry served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division.

Jacqueline Connor is an attorney in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. She investigates and litigates violations of U.S. laws enforced by the Commission that govern the privacy and security of consumer information.  Ms. Connor served as a staff attorney on the FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide litigation, and is currently working on various non-public investigations and consent negotiations.  She has investigated and resolved matters involving data security, privacy, the Child Online Privacy Protection Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Ms. Connor is a graduate of Boston University School of Law.  

James Walker concentrates in government investigations and enforcement proceedings, complex commercial litigation, professional liability and legal ethics.  Mr. Walker represents companies and senior executives in investigations of potential violations of the securities laws, and law firms and lawyers in litigations and proceedings involving investigations of criminal, regulatory and/or professional misconduct claims.  Mr. Walker is the Chair of the New York County Lawyer’s Association Professional Ethics Committee.  He has served on the New York City Bar’s Professional Discipline, Professional and Judicial Ethics, Professional Responsibility, and Securities Regulation Committees, and on the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics, where he has been a member since 1996.  Mr. Walker frequently lecturers on legal ethics, internal investigations and corporate governance, and has published articles addressing on attorney-client privilege, professional ethics, and issues arising under the securities laws.  Mr. Walker also serves as General Counsel to Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP.

Jenny E. Cieplak focuses her practice on technology transactions, in particular FinTech and the financial services industry. Her experience includes work on the creation, governance, and sale of electronic trading platforms, exchanges, swap execution facilities, clearinghouses, and data repositories. She provides her clients with a unique combination of skills based on her knowledge of technology and her experience with collaborative arrangements between IP creators and users, especially in the financial industry.

Ms. Cieplak provides counsel to clients on technology transactions and IP portfolio management, advising on all aspects of IP creation, protection, licensing, and sales. Ms. Cieplak structures and drafts IP agreements that are key to a company’s lifecycle, from procurement, development, licensing, and hosting agreements to and M&A and similar exit transactions. She advises clients on collaborative development arrangements, including joint development agreements, use of open source technologies, and joint ventures. Her practice also includes management of the IP and technology aspects of mergers and acquisitions, financings, capital markets, and other corporate transactions. Ms. Cieplak also counsels clients on the implementation of new technologies such as blockchain and distributed ledgers, and the development of innovative products such as virtual currencies and blockchain-based assets.

Much of Ms. Cieplak’s practice focuses on arrangements between commercial users of technology, such as large financial institutions, and providers of technology – not only in licensing and services arrangements but also in developing collaborative relationships between technology users and technology providers, including investment and governance arrangements. Ms. Cieplak is experienced in the creation and governance of complex joint ventures, advising on matters such as entity formation, ownership structure, corporate governance, intellectual property ownership and use, staffing approaches, and exit strategies. She also represents clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions and strategic investments, managing the diligence process, structuring transactions, and drafting and negotiating documents ranging from early-stage investments in startup companies to public company acquisitions.

Ms. Cieplak provides regulatory advice to clients in the financial services industry, particularly in relation to regulation of the OTC derivatives markets. Ms. Cieplak has advised trading platforms, swap dealers, major swap participants, and end users regarding the CFTC’s regulatory regime, including with respect to registration issues, reporting, documentation, and internal and external business conduct requirements.


Lori Lesser is a Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where she practices in the Litigation Department and is Head of the Intellectual Property Transactions Practice and Co-Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice. Lori advises on all aspects of intellectual property, technology and privacy law, including corporate transactions, litigation, licensing, outsourcing, strategic agreements and counseling.

Her IP transactional experience includes mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings and secured financings, bankruptcy and restructurings, joint ventures, licensing, outsourcing, counseling and other strategic agreements. Her IP litigation practice comprises trial and appellate work and WIPO arbitrations.

Ms. Lesser is also consistently recognized by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and The Best Lawyers in America, for which she has been named the “Information Technology Lawyer of the Year” for New York City. She has been listed in the “Top 50 Under 45” U.S. IP Lawyers (IP Law & Business magazine), the “Top 45 Under 45” U.S. women lawyers (The American Lawyer), and “The 20 Most Influential Women in IP Law” (Law360). She has been ranked in New York City’s top 100 lawyers and top 50 women lawyers by Super Lawyers. She has received the Burton Award for legal writing and the Award of Excellence from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Her IP work in private equity deals has been featured on the cover of IP Law & Business.

Ms. Lesser has served as a David Rockefeller Fellow for New York City and corporate partner for GreaterNY and serves on the boards of the Partnership Fund for New York City and the Citizens Budget Commission. She is President of the Harvard Law School Association of NYC and serves on the Executive Committee of the Harvard Class of 1988. She is on the Advisory Board of ChIPs (chief IP counsel), the Business Advisory Council of ProPublica, the Leadership Council of Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies, and the Hunter College Pre-Law Advisory Board. She is a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association.

Ms. Lesser graduated from Harvard University (A.B., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, 1988) and Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1993).

Marc Roth advises clients on all things advertising, marketing, promotions and privacy, having practiced in these areas for decades, in various capacities. A former Federal Trade Commission attorney, he understands regulatory priorities and concerns, which enables him to provide informed and practical advice to clients and prepare for the possibility of challenge. Having served as Chief Marketing Counsel for a Time Warner subsidiary, he knows the type of advice his clients need to do their job – prompt and practical answers, not lengthy and indecisive memos. He knows that “no” is not an option for in-house lawyers serving their business teams and works tirelessly with clients to develop viable and effective solutions acceptable to all stakeholders.

Peter Brown has focused on technology law matters in national law firms and boutiques for over 25 years. He is currently the principal of Peter Brown & Associates PLLC, a New York boutique law firm concentrating in information technology, intellectual property and arbitration.

“The Best Lawyers in America” ® publication honored him as the “Lawyer of the Year” in Information Technology Law 2018 for New York City.

Mr. Brown has experience in a wide variety of litigations and arbitrations relating to the Internet, information technology and intellectual property. He regularly appears in both federal and state courts throughout the United States. In addition, Mr. Brown has acted as an arbitrator or mediator in over 70 matters involving IT and IP disputes.

Throughout his career he has drafted and negotiated a broad array of agreements relating to the Internet, outsourcing, cloud computing services, application software, Internet apps and e-commerce.  He has prepared these agreements for domestic businesses and international companies.

Mr. Brown co-authored the leading treatises Emerging Technologies and the Law and Computer Law. He also co-authors a monthly column on Information Technology Law for the New York Law Journal.

Mr. Brown is regularly featured as a speaker at the International Technology Law Association, local bar associations and other professional organizations in the US and abroad. He frequently speaks on the topic of artificial intelligence, IT and IP.

The Best Lawyers in America 2019 edition (affiliated with U.S. News & World Report), rated Peter Brown & Associates PLLC a First Tier National Technology Law firm. Chambers USA, New York Metro Superlawyers and other ratings organization have all given Mr. Brown high ratings in the fields of IT and IP. For further information see

Gena A. Feist

Senior Counsel, Rockstar Games

SVP & associate General Counsel, Take Two Interactive Software


Gena Feist is Rockstar Games’ Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Take Two Interactive Software.  Take Two is a leading worldwide publisher, developer and distributor of interactive entertainment software.  Rockstar Games develops and publishes some of the most successful video game series in the world including Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead, Max Payne, and Midnight Club.


Ms. Feist is responsible for a wide range of legal matters for the Rockstar Games label including worldwide intellectual property, privacy, security, dispute, and regulatory matters.  She advises Rockstar on day-to-day matters including product development, marketing, websites, data collection, merchant and vendor relationships, game content ratings, and the creation of original game content.  Ms. Feist also handles a wide range of worldwide litigation matters for Rockstar Games including copyright, trademark, right of publicity, and the right to free expression.

Kathleen is a highly accomplished technology and regulatory lawyer and former prosecutor with more than 17 years’ experience in the public sector. Her practice has a dual focus on compliance and investigations.

As Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Internet & Technology for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Kathleen was at the forefront of regulation, enforcement initiatives, and public policy involving privacy, data security, and consumer protection, among other issues. Earlier in her career, she served as Director of the Office of Special Enforcement in the New York City Mayor’s Office, where, as lead counsel, she directed litigation on a number of intellectual property and civil nuisance matters and was a policy leader on issues ranging from data analytics to human trafficking. While with the Mayor’s Office, Kathleen also developed the New Business Acceleration Team to streamline regulations and fast-track new business development. Kathleen started her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney for the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office in New York, where she prosecuted domestic violence, child abuse, and sex crimes.

Kathleen's public sector experience gives her an edge in counseling emerging and mature companies on a broad spectrum of regulatory issues concerning technology, data security, and privacy. She has in-depth knowledge of matters involving unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAPs), as well as the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), emerging privacy and data security laws, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, Kathleen's experience in municipal government and her understanding of how the administrative code affects business has given her a unique perspective on the intersection of commerce and the law. Clients appreciate her insights into how to identify unanticipated problems and develop creative, business-focused solutions.

Kathleen also provides counsel to individuals and companies facing investigations. As outside counsel on internal investigations, she is an effective fact-finder on matters such as alleged employee malfeasance and intellectual property claims, among others. She also represents clients in government-facing investigations, including white collar criminal defense. Clients in this area benefit from both her sophisticated grasp of technology-related criminal matters and her on-the-ground experience as a lead prosecutor in both jury and bench trials.

Kathleen is admitted to appear before the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Kyle Antoian is the Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at Epsilon/Conversant, responsible for identifying and integrating new partnership opportunities into the company’s product line. Antoian helps lead the strategic partnerships group at Epsilon and focuses on data commercialization, new product incubation, and partnerships.

Kyle joined Epsilon from Datran Media where he led strategic partnership expansion with a focus on growing the user base of publishers and sustaining and prospecting match partners. Prior to that he was Marketing Manager at Takkle Inc, tasked with new customer acquisition and analytics.

Kyle holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Duke University. He is the assistant coach of Philadelphia-Whitemarsh Rugby Football Club and sits on the board of the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union.

Mutisya has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry and is responsible for setting the Company’s overall strategy and vision. Mutisya also plays an active role in the development of the company’s machine learning technologies.

Previously, Mutisya was the Head of Strategy & Business Development for Bloomberg’s Enterprise Solutions. Prior to Bloomberg, he was the Head of North America Business Development for SIG.

Mutisya holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and a Master’s Degree in Financial Engineering from Cornell University.

Sachin Bansal is Director and Senior Litigation Counsel at Royal Bank of Canada where he is responsible for managing complex litigation and regulatory enforcement matters primarily affecting RBC Capital Markets, RBC’s U.S. investment bank. Sachin oversees, directs, and sets strategy for a large docket of cases, accountable from inception to conclusion, and is an active participant at all stages. In addition, he has litigated and resolved numerous matters without the use of external counsel. He has particular expertise with significant regulatory inquiries where he conducts internal investigations, partners with RBC’s businesses and functions to provide advice relating to risks arising from such matters, and regularly interfaces and appears before U.S. authorities. His responsibilities also include hands-on management of RBC’s outside counsel relationships, outside counsel spend, and cost control strategies. He has led the implementation of several cost-savings initiatives, including the use of alternative fee arrangements and secondees, which have saved millions of dollars each fiscal quarter.

Beyond the legal department, Sachin serves as:
• Co-chair of one of RBC’s largest U.S. employee affinity groups (400+ members) and co-leads its leadership team of over 20 employees; and
• Diversity recruiting co-captain for one of RBC’s core U.S. schools for entry-level hiring for RBC’s business units; and
• Creator and co-lead of a global learning initiative between RBC’s legal and compliance departments involving topical presentations on issues relevant to RBC’s businesses

Sachin is the recipient of several awards, both from RBC and its legal department, particularly for his continued contributions to diversity and inclusion, especially on LGBT+ issues. For example, in 2018, Sachin won a $25,000 diversity award to donate to charity.

Away from the office, Sachin is not your typical lawyer: he is professionally trained in stand-up comedy by the world-famous Comedy Cellar in New York and has been performing regularly onstage for 5 years! As a result, Sachin is frequently a sought-after speaker, particularly on topics involving litigation and enforcement, legal practice, and all things diversity and pro bono.

Prior to joining RBC, Sachin was associated with several top New York law firms, including Davis Polk & Wardwell and Paul Hastings.

He received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Duke University, and his law degree, magna cum laude, from Duke University School of Law.

Stephanie Niehaus has advised and defended clients across multiple industries, including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, manufacturing, insurance and financial services. She has particularly deep experience in matters involving products liability, alleged toxic exposures and complex commercial disputes, having represented clients in these types of matters in state and federal courts and in alternative forums throughout the US. She has considerable trial and other in-court experience, and routinely provides strategic advice to clients seeking to avoid or minimize the risk of litigation.

Stephanie’s representative experience includes her involvement on the core defense team for a Fortune 500 global science company in federal multidistrict litigation involving novel claims of personal injury and wrongful death arising from alleged toxic exposures to perfluorinated compounds through drinking water. She was one of a four-partner trial team in two bellwether trials, and acted in a key trial support capacity for two additional bellwether trials. Stephanie’s multidistrict litigation experience also includes her participation in the defense of a large pharmaceutical company against serious personal injury claims allegedly resulting from exposures to contrast agents, in which she had significant responsibility for various aspects of fact and expert discovery, strategic development and trial preparation in several bellwether plaintiff cases.

Stephanie also had a lead role on the team defending a Fortune 500 global science company in a breach of contract dispute involving disruptive technology, managing extensive electronic discovery, developing and implementing pre-trial and trial strategies, and developing and arguing a post-trial appeal to the Second Circuit. She acted as lead counsel in a protracted contract dispute between a global plastics supplier and its software vendor, involving consideration of litigation options and strategies, ultimately supporting the client in renegotiating its licensing agreements. More recently, she successfully defended a Fortune 500 health insurance company in injunctive proceedings, first in New York state court and then in arbitration.

Stephanie has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2013. She has appeared on Benchmark Litigation’s 40 Hot List, including on the inaugural list in 2017, and the “Future Star” list. She has been recognized in Ohio Super Lawyers - Rising Stars, a distinction that recognizes lawyers under the age of 40 or those in practice for 10 years or less. She also was recognized by the firm in 2010 as a Woman of Professional Excellence, an honor given in conjunction with the YWCA of Greater Cleveland that recognizes high professional standards and demonstrated career and personal growth, significant contributions to the effective, efficient operation of the firm, and a willingness to support and mentor others in the firm, especially women.

Stephanie leads the litigation practice in Squire Patton Boggs’s New York office, and is a member of the firm’s Ethics Committee.  She is admitted to practice in New York and Ohio, and multiple federal courts.  Stephanie is a graduate of Georgetown University and Notre Dame Law School.

Tiffany Hartkemeyer

Mercer, European Data Privacy Leader

Tiffany Hartkemeyer is the European Data Privacy Leader for Mercer Limited where she is responsible for setting the strategy for the development and growth of the privacy and data protection program across Europe. Based in London, she is an experienced legal, data protection and privacy leader with deep knowledge of global data protection and cyber security regulations. Tiffany led the firm’s GDPR implementation initiative and continues to support and advise the business on member state implementation regulations and other regulatory developments. She is experienced in performing Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs), incident response and breach management, as well as Data Subject Assess Requests (DSARs), privacy policies and procedures, and colleague training and awareness.

Before relocating to London, Tiffany was based in New York at Mercer’s parent company, Marsh and McLennan Companies (MMC), where she helped build MMC’s Global Privacy Program – from Data Loss Prevention and Binding Corporate Rules to developing a privacy legal and regulatory risk assessment framework.

Prior to MMC, Tiffany worked at MetLife helping lead compliance and privacy for the Group Disability and Group Life Insurance product teams.

Tiffany is a member of the New York Bar and a Certified Information Privacy Professional.

Aaron Wright is an expert in corporate and intellectual property law, with extensive experience in Internet and new technology issues. Before joining Cardozo's faculty, he sold a company to Wikia, the for-profit sister project of Wikipedia, where he ran Wikia’s New York office, served as General Counsel and Vice President of Product and Business Development, and helped build an open source search engine.   Wright has clerked for the Honorable William J. Martini of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and worked as an associate at several prominent New York law firms, including Patterson Belknap and Jenner & Block. He received his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the Cardozo Law Review.  He has a forthcoming book about blockchain technology and the law (co-authored with Primavera De Filippi) that will be published by Harvard University Press.

Christopher Mitchell has been practicing law for over 12 years, which includes running his own business venture and technology law firm located in Manhattan for the past 3 years. His practice focuses on representing entrepreneurs, small businesses, early stage companies, investors and investment groups operating within the sports, entertainment, digital media and emerging technology industries. Christopher ‘s firm advises investors on the creation of investment groups, funds formations, joint ventures and other strategic alliances. He also represents their interests in angel investing, private equity, and venture capital financings. Additionally, Christopher’s firm counsels entrepreneurs, businesses and companies on entity formation, capital raises, and a range of general corporate and business matters with an emphasis on Internet and technology laws and regulations.

Christopher’s firm has built a growing practice within the Blockchain technology space. The firm advises clients on token sales and initial coin offerings, Blockchain based platform and software development along with guidance on regulatory and compliance matters. Personally, Christopher has given many lectures and educational workshops in this field for industry professionals. He also sits on advisory boards and provides strategic business consulting for Blockchain based companies.

Christopher is licensed to practice in Florida and New York. He received his B.A. from George Mason University and J.D. from Pace Law School.