The Disability Rights Legal Center’s Board of Directors

 The Disability Rights Legal Center’s Board of Directors is predominately non-disabled white employment defense lawyers.  They’ve built careers fighting for the Big Guys.  For a look at the history of their work as presented on their own websites, scroll down.

Disability Rights Legal Center Board of Directors (2013-2014)

Michael McDonough

Michael McDonough, President

Michael McDonough, Esq., Pillsbury Law – President
Harvey Saferstein, Esq., Mintz Levin Cohen Ferris Glovsky and Popeo P.C. – Vice President
Deborah P. Felt, Esq., Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC – Treasurer
Grant P. Alexander, Esq., DLA Piper Global Law Firm
Saralea Altman, RN, MPA, Founding Board Member
Chris Amantea, Esq., Squire Sanders (US) LLP
Robyn Bladow, Esq., Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Don Brown, Esq., Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP
Julie Capell, Esq., Winston & Strawn LLP
Gregg Dalton, Esq., Amgen Inc.
Michael A. Geibelson, Esq., Robins Kaplan LLP
Wade Gentz, Esq., Fox Group Legal
Gail A. Glick, Esq., Alexander Krakow + Glick LLP
Wilmer Harris, Esq., Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman LLP
Christopher Heck, Esq., Wolf Rifkin Shapiro Schulman & Rabkin, LLP
Joseph Lee, Esq., Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
Richard Lopez, Esq., Starbucks Coffee Company
Neal Roberts, Esq., Roberts Law Firm
Neil M. Soltman, Esq., Mayer Brown LLP
Betty R. Wilson, M.A., CA Commission on Disability

Michael S. McDonough

Mike McDonough is a partner in Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, in the law firm’s Los Angeles Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources practice. He represents Fortune 500 companies, municipalities and private entities in complex environmental litigation, administrative and enforcement matters at the federal, state and local levels. Mr. McDonough also provides client compliance counseling on issues ranging from climate change and air quality enforcement, to soil and water quality issues, to environmental management and ISO 14001 issues.
His practice focuses on defending enforcement actions, bringing regulatory challenges, and litigating with state and federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, among others. He represents a range of Fortune 500 companies from a variety of industries, including energy production and importing, petroleum refining, freight transportation, consumer products, automobile manufacturing, aerospace, chemical manufacturing, and electronics manufacturing.
 Mr. McDonough participates extensively in the provision of pro bono services in the greater Los Angeles area, with a focus on matters related to special needs children. He has served as secretary on the executive board of a non-profit agency and his recent pro bono work has included winning a contested adoption matter for a 5-year-old boy improperly threatened with removal from his sixth foster home, and assisting the family of a disabled child secure tens of thousands of dollars in benefits and services from the South Central Los Angeles Regional Center.
SOURCE Pillsbury website

Harvey Saferstein

Harvard University (JD)
University of California – Berkeley (BA)
Bar Admissions  California
Harvey is the Managing Member for Mintz Levin’s Los Angeles office. His practice includes antitrust and intellectual property counseling and litigation, as well as complex commercial and business litigation.
With an extensive litigation background, Harvey has experience as trial and appellate counsel in antitrust cases and class actions within federal and state courts. In antitrust and consumer protection investigations, he has represented numerous businesses, advising them on how to comply with state and federal antitrust laws (such as the Robinson-Patman Act), consumer protection laws, and other business regulations. Additionally, Harvey has conducted compliance seminars for major corporations, performed Hart-Scott-Rodino filings in mergers and joint ventures, and offered compliance counseling for major advertisers regarding consumer protection laws, intellectual property rights, and media law. Harvey has handled a variety of patent cases in Los Angeles and San Diego federal court, including cases involving software and media patents. . . Harvey has also represented persons and companies alleged to have been involved in criminal price fixing.
SOURCE: Mintz Levin Website

Grant P. Alexander

Associate, DLA Piper law firm


Grant Alexander represents clients in a broad array of employment, business and real estate litigation matters. Grant’s representation of clients in the litigation process includes class action litigation, as well as litigation matters involving claims of discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination and complex commercial and real estate transactions, among many others, in both state and federal courts. . .
In addition to his litigation practice, Grant also advises clients on a variety of transactional matters, including the preparation and maintenance of employee handbooks and employee policies, providing advice to employers with respect to all aspects of hiring and separating individuals from their employment, and the preparation of executive employment agreements, among others.SOURCE:DLA Piper website

Chris Amantea

Partner, Squire Sanders Legal Firm
Chris Amantea serves as the managing partner of the Squire Sanders Los Angeles office. He focuses his practice on environmental, transactional and judicial proceedings as well as products liability, class action and other complex litigation. He has successfully represented clients in matters involving hazardous substances, air and water quality, land use, toxic torts and other environmental matters, including state and federal Superfund liability, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting and compliance issues, California’s Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65) and hazardous waste regulatory issues.
Representative Mandate
–Defending a major oil company from allegations by Communities for a Better Environment involving more than 3,000 gasoline service station sites in California regarding alleged discharges of benzene and toluene to “sources of drinking water.” In a similar case, brought by Consumer Advocacy Group (CAG), won a motion for summary judgment in which the court ruled the CAG lawsuit was barred by the doctrine of res judicata, because of an earlier settlement and consent judgment entered in the Communities for a Better Environment case. . . –Advising companies on Proposition 65 compliance and strategy issues.


Robin Bladow

Kirkland and Ellis, LLP

Robyn Bladow is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of the Kirkland and Ellis law firm who has handled numerous complex commercial disputes in United States and foreign courts as well as arbitration matters. She has represented and advised major corporate clients regarding contract disputes, unfair business practices and other business tort claims, consumer class actions, product liability claims, bankruptcy matters, intellectual property claims and employment disputes. Over the course of Robyn’s career, she has increasingly focused her practice on defending clients against consumer and other class actions. She has been an integral member of multiple trial and arbitration teams.

Representative Matters
Consumer and Class Actions
–Acts as national counsel for DIRECTV in its defense against various putative consumer class actions alleging false advertising and violations of consumer protection laws related to the lease of DIRECTV equipment as well as the early cancellation fees that DIRECTV assesses when customers choose not to complete their programming commitment terms. . .
–Represented Pfizer in its defense against putative statewide class action alleging false claims related to the expiration dates on Advil labels.
–Successfully moved to dismiss putative nationwide class action alleging that Pfizer violated the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law by making false claims about the health benefits of certain dietary supplements.

Pro Bono

–Led team in federal civil rights case that culminated in a two-week jury trial resulting in judgments against eight correctional officers for violating the Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment clause when they were deliberately indifferent to our client’s basic human rights.
–Won multiple successful applications and arguments for asylum by individuals who were persecuted in their home countries on account of their sexual orientation.
–Supervised bench trial, and successful appeal to the 9th Circuit, which determined that the trial court erred when it concluded that a child is not “settled” for the purposes of Article 12 of the Hague Convention for the reason that she does not have lawful immigration status.


Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP

Donald Brown handles complex commercial litigation at the regulatory, trial, and appellate levels, focusing on defending e-commerce, direct marketing, and media companies in consumer class actions and FTC investigations. Mr. Brown also has substantial litigation experience in areas such as banking and lender liability, illegal website access, online advertising, outdoor advertising, defamation, and claims involving the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

In addition, Mr. Brown advises a diverse clientele regarding compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, and state disability access laws. He helps retailers, banks, media companies, property developers, lodging companies, health insurers, nonprofit foundations, educational institutions, and interactive media manufacturers address disability access issues in a variety of contexts, including stores, housing, lodging, websites, interactive media and media streaming, ATMs, kiosks, point-of-sale devices, and health plan benefits.
Mr. Brown also defends disability access lawsuits and helps clients navigate and resolve prelitigation demands and federal and state government investigations.
Julie M Cappell.  A white woman with straight hair falling over her shoulders.  She's wearing a suit jacket.

Julie M Cappell


Winston & Strawn LLP

As a partner in the Winston & Strawn law firm, Julie Capell works with companies across the country to meet their labor and employment needs. She provides strategic guidance by crafting policies and procedures that protect employers and minimize the risk of litigation. In addition, she is well versed in the unique body of employment laws and regulations that continually evolve in the state of California, as well as federal laws.

When litigation needs arise, Ms. Capell has extensive experience defending employers in disputes involving wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wage and hour class actions. Recent litigation victories include

Recent Litigation Includes:
–Obtaining a defense verdict for mogul real estate developer in a month-long disability discrimination trial in Los Angeles Superior Court.
–Negotiating a walk-away settlement for a furniture distributor in an ADA disability access case.

Ms. Capell has also represented lawyers and accountants in professional liability matters, and a non-profit organization accused of failing to reasonably accommodate test takers with alleged disabilities.


Michael A Geibelson 

Partner; Member of the Executive Board; Robins Kaplan Law Firm
Solves complex business disputes through litigation and trial.
Michael Geibelson was the Chair of the California State Bar’s Litigation Section Executive Committee (2011-2012)

He is a business Trial Lawyer experienced in the prosecution and defense of claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, business and consumer fraud and breaches of contract including real estate disputes involving leases, development and investment agreements, and joint ventures, unfair competition and false advertising, and antitrust, including individual and class claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) and False Advertising Law (FAL) (Business & Professions Code §§ 17200 and 17500).

His commercial litigation has included the representation of companies in the Retail, Real Estate, and Food & Beverage industries in key industry issues including the protection of trade secrets, advertising, labeling, and interests in real property.
In addition to the handling of business litigation matters, his trial experience ranges widely, from the representation of cattle ranchers in fraud and veterinary malpractice matters, to building owners seeking to remedy welding product defects, to ship owners sued for trespass resulting from the grounding of their vessel, to organizations suing upon violations of the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.


Gail A. Glick
Alexander Krakow + Glick LLP

In over fifteen years of practice, Gail Glick has successfully represented a wide variety of workers, from librarians to lawyers, salespeople to retail managers, factory workers to CEOs, in matters of employment discrimination and retaliation, wrongful termination, defamation, unfair competition and wage and hour claims. Gail’s success is built on the melding of her writing acumen, her attention to detail, her mediation skills, and her warm sensitivity to the needs of each client. Accordingly, she has achieved numerous six and seven figure settlements, either through aggressive litigation up to the point of trial, or through conciliatory mediation, as the circumstances dictate.

In 2006, Gail honed her trial advocacy skills in the prestigious Trial Advocacy Project of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, in trying three criminal cases to unanimous guilty verdicts. Gail serves on the executive committee of the LACBA’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and is a member of the board of directors of the Amherst Association of Southern California. Gail is also a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the California and National Employment Lawyers Associations, the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and Legal Eagles for Truth, Justice and the American Way.  She frequently lectures on employment law issues and alternative dispute resolution.



Chris Heck is a general litigation partner at Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin, LLP.  Prior to that, he was a partner at the Los Angeles office of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. He focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, antitrust, insurance coverage, trade secret and corporate governance/fiduciary liability disputes, but he also has considerable experience in tax disputes, class actions, and real estate litigation.  His clients run the gamut from a large Wall Street bank, to energy and alternative energy companies, to smaller concerns in the entertainment and new media industries, to individuals in personal injury matters, corporate dissolutions,and trust and estate disputes. Mr. Heck also counsels clients on litigation avoidance, and on business and transactional issues. He has substantial courtroom and trial experience in state and federal courts and in arbitration, and has also served as an instructor on civil and trial practice techniques for younger lawyers, including legal writing and witness preparation and examination.
Areas of Practice
Commercial Litigation
Breach of contract
Class action
Business torts
Unfair competition
Partnership and corporate dissolution
Insurance coverage and bad faith
Trade secrets
State and local tax
Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Price fixing
Resale price maintenance
Exclusive dealing
California state antitrust law


Joseph D. Lee

Joseph D. Lee is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. His practice focuses on complex civil litigation and white collar investigations. He has litigated a wide variety of complex litigation matters, including consumer class actions, False Claims Act litigation, securities and antitrust cases. Representative matters handled by Mr. Lee include:

–General Electric Company: Defended consumer class action alleging over-charging on office equipment leases. Defending antitrust and RICO claims in Northern District of California relating to equipment leases.
–GE Aircraft Engines:  Successfully moved to transfer to China three related wrongful death actions arising from an air crash in China.
–Costco Wholesale Corporation:  Defended a federal court shareholder derivative suit arising from allegedly misdated stock option grants.
–Verizon: Defeated class certification in federal court class action relating to Caller ID services.
–Verizon Wireless: Successfully moved to compel arbitration on individual basis of putative class action alleging over-charging.


Neil M. Soltman

Neil M. Soltman

Neil Soltman is a civil litigator for the firm of Mayer Brown.   His practice is particularly focused on complex trials and disputes. Neil has represented substantial business entities in California state and federal courts for over 30 years. He handles a wide spectrum of matters, including litigation related to the interpretation or constitutionality of statutes and related regulations; securities litigation; litigation with respect to large real estate matters, including commercial loan and lease transactions; and intellectual property litigation (including, e.g., trade secrets, copyrights and trademarks).


Board of Directors | Disability Rights Legal Center, 15 Jan 2015 [cached]
Deborah P. Felt, Esq., Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC – Treasurer

Deborah Perfetti Felt is a senior environmental attorney for BP America Inc. and its subsidiary, Atlantic Richfield Company.Located in its Orange County, California office,she manages environmental litigation and enforcement actions affecting, and provides compliance counseling to, refining and marketing operations primarily on the West Coast.   

Her prior experience included practice in the areas of environmental and property rights law and regulatory affairs at the Southern California Edison Company.

SOURCE:  Zoominfo

Senior Counsel
Amgen Inc.,
AMGEN is a pharmaceutical
SOURCE:  Linked In


Fox Law Group

“The Fox Law Group is what we refer to as an entrepreneurial law firm with the personal care one expects from a small law firm and the ability to deliver big results. Our “value added” philosophy is inherent in every deal we do and we pride ourselves on helping our clients not only in legal transactions, but in managing their business needs.”
SOURCE:  Fox law Group website

Director, corporate counsel

Starbucks Corporation (Starbucks) purchases and roasts whole bean coffees and sells them, along with fresh, rich-brewed coffees, Italian-style espresso beverages…
Neal Roberts, Esq., Roberts Law Firm
Real Estate


Although 3/4 of  the board members appear to be corporate attorneys, there are exceptions, including civil rights attorney, Wilmer Harris, and founding members, Saralea Altman and Betty R. Wilson:

Wilmer Harris

Wilmer Harris

Wilmer Harris

In January 1994, Mr. Harris joined the Law Offices of Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. His practice area changed dramatically as he began representing clients in civil rights cases, including Reginald Denny.

In August 1995, Mr. Harris joined the firm (named Schonbrun De Simone Seplow Harris Hoffman & Harrison in 2010) where he has concentrated primarily on the representation of employees in disputes with employers and individuals in civil rights cases.


In November 1999, Mr. Harris opened the South Pasadena office of the firm where he remains the resident partner.


Mr. Harris has garnered several settlements in excess of $1 million in civil rights cases. In July 2004, Mr. Harris secured a $1.6 million judgment (including attorney’s fees and costs) against Boeing Satellite Systems. In August 2006, Mr. Harris secured a judgment of over $1.7 million (including fees and costs).


Mr. Harris has given employment law presentations at seminars for the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the State Bar Labor & Employment Section and the American Bar Association. In February 2003, Mr. Harris was one of the speakers at the Los Angeles County Bar Association Nuts and Bolts Seminars regarding employment law. In November 2004, Mr. Harris spoke at the California State Bar Labor & Employment Section’s Annual Conference.


Mr. Harris has presented at the California Employment Lawyers Association (“CELA”) Annual Conference in September 2006 and October 2010; and at the Los Angeles County Bar Association Dinner meeting in November 15, 2006. Mr. Harris spoke at the American Bar Association Annual Conference in San Francisco in August 2007. Since joining the Labor & Employment Executive Committee, Mr. Harris regularly speaks at their Annual Conferences. Mr. Harris was one of two attorneys who summarized the developments in California employment law in 2007 at the 2008 Los Angeles County Bar Annual Symposium.


Mr. Harris has been selected as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine for several years.


In 2005, Mr. Harris was selected to sit on the California State Bar Labor & Employment Executive Committee. He is currently the Chair of the State Bar Labor & Employment Section for the 2010-2011 term.

12 Nov 2010

Saralea Altman, a founder of the Disability Rights Legal Center and a member of our board of directors, was named an Outstanding Volunteer.  Saralea recently retired from California Department of Health Care Services, Audits and Investigations Division.  Saralea’s nursing career led her to the need for advocacy for people with disabilities. When her friend and mentor, A. Milton Miller died, Saralea and a few colleagues took up his work and formed the Western Law Center for the Handicapped, the precursor of the Disability Rights Legal Center.

SOURCE:  Zoominfo


Betty R. Wilson

CA Commission on Disability Access; City of LA Commission on Disability; Advisory Committee-US Commission on Civil Rights
Los Angeles, California Government Administration

Betty R. Wilson is passionate about consulting for governments, universities and private industry on issues related to human and civil rights protections, architectural and program access and cultural diversity with a specific focus on best practices for the development of inclusionary policies.  Ms. Wilson holds the distinct honor of establishing the first Department on Disability for any municipal government for the propagation of federal and state laws, and local mandates relevant to the implementation of civil rights which include disability issues and policies.  Ms. Wilson is a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights and was appointed to the California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and reappointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown (Jerry Brown).  As a State Commissioner, Ms. Wilson serves as Chair of the standing Committee on Education and Outreach for CCDA, making recommendations to the state legislature on policies and issues as well as providing training and education on behalf of the Commission to officials representing international, national and local governments, and the community at large.  

2011 ñ Present (4 years)
International Consulting and technical assistance to governments and private industry corporations relevant to compliance with the U.N. Convention on Persons with Disabilities. Recent international consultancies include, but are not limited to the following: Representatives of the Spanish Parliament in Toledo, Spain; World Assembly for Women with Disabilities Conference in Seoul, Korea; and International Conferences on Equal Rights – Equal Possibilities in Moscow, Russia. Ongoing consultation, includes, but is not limited to, equal opportunities in employment, housing, education, and tourism.
Director, City of Los Angeles Office on Disability

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