Skip to main content

19th Annual Municipal Law Institute


Speaker(s): Benjamin H. Field , Dave Rosenthal, Elena Goldstein, Eric Proshansky, Joseph J. Salvo, PhD, Joshua P. Rubin, Jullian Brevard, June A. Witterschein, Karen Griffin, Loren L. AliKhan, Martha J. Mullen, Thomas Giovanni, Tonya Jenerette
Recorded on: Jul. 29, 2019
PLI Program #: 251968

Benjamin Field is the Divisional Deputy City Solicitor in the Affirmative and Special Litigation Unit. Ben joined the Unit in 2016 after a decade of practice with large Philadelphia law firms. Through his role representing the City in affirmative litigations, Ben has worked extensively on the City’s lawsuit regarding the opioid epidemic as well as the City’s action seeking to combat discriminatory mortgage lending practices. Ben’s practice also includes the litigation of high profile matters such as the Department of Human Services dispute with Catholic Social Services over the latter’s refusal to evaluate same-sex foster parent applicants and the defense of the City’s Wage Equity Ordinance. In addition, Ben defends the City on a variety of complex commercial and contractual lawsuits as well as election law related matters. Ben, a 2018 recipient of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” awards, and a 2019 Affirmative Leaders Fellow with Public Rights Project, is a 2005 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School where he was Articles Editor of the Law Review. Ben also holds an M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Political Science from Vassar College.


Dave Rosenthal joined the Office of the Corporation Counsel (now Office of the Attorney General) for the District of Columbia in March 1993 as a line attorney in the Juvenile Section.  He was quickly named Assistant Section Chief.  In May 1998 he was promoted to Chief of the Juvenile Section.  In May 2003 he was named Acting Deputy, Criminal Division and has served as Acting Assistant Deputy of the Public Safety Division and Acting Chief of both the Criminal and Juvenile Sections.  He is currently a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Public Safety Division. He sits on the D.C. Sentencing Commission, D.C. Criminal Code Reform Commission, Juvenile Rules, and Criminal Jury Instruction committees, as well as other interagency workgroups. He has been a long time member of District’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG). The JJAG is the District’s juvenile justice state advisory group. He also drafts legislation and testifies before the District of Columbia City Council.

Mr. Rosenthal recently served as a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ).  The FACJJ is a consultative body that is charged with advising the President, Congress, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Administrator. 

Prior to joining OAG he was a partner in a law firm.  He was president of the District’s Family Division Trial Lawyers Association from 1988-1990 and served on their Board of Governors. He was also a founding member of the District’s Neglect and Delinquency Practice Institute.


Joseph J. Salvo is New York City’s Chief Demographer. His staff in the Population Division at the Department of City Planning provides data and analytical expertise to agencies on needs assessments, program planning and targeting, and policy formulation. He has testified before Congress, been an advisor to the Census Bureau, served on panels at the National Academy of Sciences, and most recently was an expert witness in the citizenship lawsuit headed by the New York Attorney General. He has co-authored articles on settlement patterns of race/ethnic groups, census methods, and survey evaluation. Dr. Salvo is presently leading a team making technical preparations for the 2020 Census and is active nationally in promoting the use of methods that will provide a more accurate count of the city’s population. He received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Fordham University, is a recipient of the Sloan Public Service Award from the Fund for the City of New York, and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.


Josh Rubin is a senior counsel in the Law Department's Affirmative Litigation Division, which he joined in 2003.  Josh handles all aspects of a diverse docket of matters, from investigation through disposition, and counsels client agencies on litigation and related issues.  In 2011, Josh received an Edith Spivak Special Recognition Award from the law Department. Before joining the Law Department, Josh clerked for Hon. Jack B. Weinstein (EDNY) (1995-96), and was a litigation associate with Debevoise & Plimpton (1996-2000) and Ross & Hardies (2000-03).


Jullian Brevard is an Assistant Attorney General (AAG) with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.  Jullian started with the Attorney General’s Office in January 2019 and is currently an Assistant Chief in the Juvenile Section.  In this role, he supervises other AAGs who prosecute minor respondents accused of committing felony and misdemeanor crimes in Washington, DC.  He also advises the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia on how to effectively prosecute complex juvenile matters, conducts trainings on issues relating to juvenile prosecution, and institutes programing aimed at facilitating the theories of balanced and restorative justice.

Prior to working for the Attorney General’s Office, Jullian was an Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago, Illinois, which he joined in 2003.  He began his career as a law clerk in the Criminal Appeals Division and was promoted to ASA in 2004.  As an ASA, he worked within the office’s Homicide/Sex Unit, Preliminary Hearing Division, Felony Review Division, Child Protection Division, and First Municipal Community Prosecution Divisions.  In the Homicide/Sex Unit, he prosecuted individuals accused of murder and violent sex offenses.  In the Preliminary Hearing Division, he conducted hearings for findings of probable cause in felony cases and indicted felony cases.  As an ASA in felony review, he advised police officers and detectives on legal issues regarding felony investigations as well as participated in victim-sensitive interviews with adolescent victims of sexual abuse.  In the Child Protection Division, he prosecuted individuals accused of abusing or neglecting their children.  In First Municipal, he prosecuted individuals accused of misdemeanor crimes in Chicago.  In 2017, he was appointed to the position of Deputy Supervisor within the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office’s Juvenile Justice Bureau.

Jullian is a past president of the Chicago Chapter of the National Black Prosecutors Association and a member of the Juvenile Prosecutors Leadership Network.  Jullian received his juris doctor from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, and his bachelor of arts in history from Hampton University.

 


June Witterschein is the Law Department's Director of Professional Development, where she creates and implements the Continuing Legal Education curriculum for the Department’s 900 plus attorneys.  June and her staff are responsible for programming for the professional development of the Department’s employees, and they oversee the agency's diversity training programs, and the Department's Coaching Collaborative. June began her legal career in the Law Department in 1978 in the Appeals Division, and then served as Deputy Chief of the Legal Counsel Division. In 1990, June left the Department and later served as a law clerk to the then Presiding Judge Sylvia Pressler of the New Jersey Appellate Division.  June taught for nine years at Seton Hall University School of Law, before returning to the Law Department in 2003.

June is admitted to practice in the Courts of the State of New York, the US Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the United States Supreme Court. She currently serves on the Mediation Panel of the Southern District of New York, and on the Law Department's Management Committee. June is also a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession.


Loren L. AliKhan is the Solicitor General for the District of Columbia.  In this capacity, she oversees the District’s appeals in the D.C. Court of Appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  Before joining the D.C. Office of the Attorney General, Loren was an attorney in the Supreme Court and Appellate practice group at O’Melveny & Myers LLP.  Loren has also served as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice; a Temple Bar Scholar in London, England; and a law clerk to the Honorable Louis H. Pollak on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  She graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center and summa cum laude from Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

Loren has worked with O’Melveny’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Clinic at Harvard Law School and the legal writing program at Yale Law School.  She sits on the Board of Overseers of Bard College at Simon’s Rock.


Mr. Proshansky has served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the New York City Law Department since 1999, and as Deputy Chief of the Affirmative Litigation Division since 2003. He has appeared on behalf of the City as a plaintiff principally in public health matters, recently completing, in partnership with the Office of the New York Attorney General, a series of actions against package delivery companies for the delivery of “bootleg” cigarettes to City and State residences.   


Thomas Giovanni is the Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel for Government Policy for the NYC Law Department, and the Chief of Staff. He also is the executive responsible for the Law Department’s Family Court Practice. His work focuses on seeking policy-based solutions to large-scale issues that re-occur in agencies, costing them money, time and public support. Thomas began his career in social justice as a public defender at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, as a staff attorney, then a supervising attorney. After nearly 10 years, Thomas went to the Brennan Center for Justice, where he served as Counsel to the Justice Program and the Director of the Community-Oriented Defender Network. After that he was the Supervising Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of New York’s Anti-Gun Violence Initiative. He has expertise in criminal law, justice policy, criminal procedure and trial practice, public defense, and pretrial proceedings.

As a public defender, Thomas learned to approach his clients from a holistic perspective; addressing both the immediate and the long-term needs they have to face. Now, his clients are city agencies, and he attempts to apply the lessons he’s learned in the previous context to his work, most notably, The Floyd, Davis, Ligon Monitorship of the NYPD.

 

 


Tonya Jenerette is the Deputy Chief for Strategic Litigation in the New York City Law Department’s Affirmative Litigation Division.  Tonya joined the Law Department in 2008. Prior to her appointment to this role, she served as Senior Counsel with the Law Department’s Affirmative Litigation and Special Federal Litigation Divisions. Before joining the Law Department, she served as an enforcement attorney with the FDIC and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and as a litigator with the law firms of Cravath, Swaine & Moore and O’Melveny & Myers LLP. Tonya has also taught at New York University School of Law and the Fordham University School of Law.


After graduating from Harvard Law School, Elena Goldstein clerked for Judge Jed S. Rakoff in the Southern District of New York and Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  She then worked as a Skadden Fellow and senior staff attorney at the New York Legal Assistance Group, where she helped to start a workers’ rights project focusing on the rights of low-wage and immigrant workers.  Elena joined the NYAG’s office from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, where she litigated cases involving the minimum wage and overtime laws, workplace safety, whistle-blower statues, and a variety of other labor and employment laws.  Elena now serves as Acting Bureau Chief and Senior Trial Counsel in the Civil Rights Bureau.  She served as one of the lead trial counsel in New York v. Department of Commerce, a case challenging the federal government’s decision to demand citizenship information on the 2020 census.


Martha J. Mullen is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Litigation Division for the District of Columbia’s Office of the Attorney General.  She has been with the office for twenty years during which time she has litigated major class actions, Section 1983, Title VII, ADA, FLSA, and WPA claims as well as wrongful death, survival actions, and medical malpractice cases. This is her sixteenth year co-chairing the Municipal Law Institute.


Karen Griffin is the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Counsel for the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, where she has worked since 1995. She is in the Legal Counsel Division and is responsible for counseling and training City attorneys in a wide array of legal ethics and professional responsibility matters. Karen is the Chair of the Law Department’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Ethics and served on the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics from 2012-2016. Prior to her current role, Karen was a member of the Law Department’s Appeals Division and its Tax & Bankruptcy Litigation Division. In 1998, she was a recipient of the New York City Bar Association’s Municipal Affairs Award for outstanding achievement as an Assistant Corporation Counsel.