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20th Annual Municipal Law Institute


Speaker(s): Alexandra De Fresco, Chad Copeland, Chad Rosenthal, Geoff Brown, Jimmy R. Rock, Joshua P. Rubin, June A. Witterschein, Karen Griffin, Loren L. AliKhan, Martha J. Mullen, Michael Pastor, Rebecca Lipman
Recorded on: Jul. 20, 2020
PLI Program #: 278238

Chad Copeland is the Deputy Attorney General in charge of OAG’s Civil Litigation Division.  In his previous roles at OAG, Mr. Copeland served as Assistant Deputy to OAG’s Public Interest Division and as a Section Chief in the Division he now heads.  Prior to joining OAG, Mr. Copeland’s career included stints as an attorney in private practice and as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Dallas, Texas.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and a law degree from Southern Methodist University.


Chad Rosenthal is Deputy General Counsel and Managing Attorney for the New York City Cyber Command and the New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT). He also leads a team of dedicated information technology (IT) attorneys who handle almost exclusively complex contracts for software, cloud services, systems integration and application development for DoITT, Cyber Command, and agencies across the City. Chad has negotiated technology contracts worth billions of dollars with all of the IT industry’s giants, and has been the lead attorney on transactions for many of the most important public-facing City initiatives, including 311, 911, IDNYC, nyc.gov, LinkNYC, DEP’s automated water meter readers and, most recently, the City’s CoVid19 Contact Tracing initiative. He also has negotiated contracts for the technology that underpins the City’s critical IT infrastructure and systems across a broad spectrum of government operations, including public safety, human services, education and economic development.

Prior to joining DoITT in 2005, Chad worked as an Assistant Corporation Counsel with the New York City Law Department, in its Labor and Employment Law and Tort Divisions, and prior to that, the Office of the Counsel to Mayor Rudy Giuliani.


Geoff Brown was appointed the Head of New York City Cyber Command in July 2017. In this role, Geoff is charged with setting Citywide cybersecurity policies, directing response to cyber incidents, and advising agencies on the City's overall cyber defense.

Prior to joining the NYC government, Geoff worked in financial services, developing and operating threat management disciplines including threat intelligence, detection, response and countermeasures. He led First Data Corporation’s Cyber Security and Fraud Threat Management program, consisting of cyber threat and intelligence, security operations, and countermeasures functions. He also led JPMorgan Chase’s cyber threat and intelligence team.

Prior to that, Geoff also served in the federal government, including work with the National Commission for Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission), supporting the investigation’s work with the first responder community in NYC. Geoff is a graduate of Middlebury College.


Jimmy Rock is the Assistant Deputy Attorney General in the Public Advocacy Division of the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.  Jimmy has been with the DC Office of the Attorney General since June 2010, during which time he has handled a number of the District’s most significant civil enforcement actions.  His main expertise is in the areas of consumer protection and nonprofit enforcement.  Jimmy has served as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and spent 7 years in private practice in the District before coming to OAG.  Jimmy is a graduate of the Emory University School of Law, and also has a Masters of Theological Studies from Emory’s Candler School of Theology.


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. Josh provides counseling and coordination in connection with cybersecurity and privacy incident response and related matters.  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).


June Witterschein is the Law Department's Director of Professional and Organizational Development, where she creates and implements the Continuing Legal Education curriculum for the Department’s 1000 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.


Michael Pastor is the Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs and Franchises and the General Counsel, Citywide IT of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), where he oversees the department’s Legal, Audit & Policy Management, and Franchise Divisions and advises the Commissioner and agency staff on all legal matters. He is also the General Counsel for the New York City Cyber Command. Before joining DoITT and the Cyber Command, he worked as Senior Counsel at the New York City Law Department in the Appeals Division, representing the City’s agencies in over 100 appeals, and the Legal Counsel Division, where he advised the Mayor’s Office and other agencies on legislation and policy initiatives. He also served as the First Deputy Criminal Justice Coordinator in the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York. Before beginning City service, he practiced as a corporate litigator at Morrison & Foerster LLP and as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Alexander Williams in the U.S. District of Maryland. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School and member of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Pastor has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a Juris Doctorate from the New York University School of Law.


Rebecca Lipman is a Senior Counsel with the New York City Law Department. She advises Mayor de Blasio’s office and numerous city agencies on a range of legal issues. Rebecca focuses on privacy law and the Fourth Amendment, and has published law review articles on privacy in The George Mason Law Review, The Penn State Law Review, and The Harvard Law & Policy Review.

Prior to joining the New York City Law Department, Rebecca clerked for the Honorable Anne E. Thompson in the District of New Jersey. Rebecca is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School.


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 seventeenth year co-chairing the Municipal Law Institute.


Alexandra (Alex) De Fresco is Senior Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel, where she oversees the Information Security and Privacy Unit. She also serves as agency privacy officer for the New York City Cyber Command and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. Through her role, Alex has worked as an advisor on a broad range of cyber security and privacy legal matters, including incident response, contract negotiation and review, policy and standard development, privacy assessments, audits and cyber risk assessments and breach notification. Alex joined the Office of the General Counsel in 2017 after six years of employment with the New York City Housing Authority, where she supervised the Public Information Unit. The Unit was responsible for facilitating information sharing initiatives and responding to a variety of information disclosure requests, including Freedom of Information Law requests, subpoenas, restraining notices and strategizing with respect to discovery. Prior to joining the Housing Authority, she served as Assistant County Counsel with the Office of the General Counsel, Union County for seven years. There she was responsible for a caseload of affirmative and defensive litigation, responded to claims against the County, served as a disciplinary hearing officer and provided guidance on requests for information and records. 


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.