8:25 Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:55 Welcome and Introductions
9:00 MEDIATION QUAGMIRES: An Exploration of Advanced Mediation Topics ≠
Jolinda S. Babcock, Tarheel Mediations, Summerfield Viral V. Mehta, Mehta & McConnell PLLC, Charlotte (Moderator) Tamara R. "Tammy" Nance, NC Industrial Commission, Raleigh
This session, while relevant for all types of mediation, focuses particularly on the area of workers' compensation. The panelists discuss strategies for breaking impasse, maintaining the integrity of the mediation process when working with pro se claimants, navigating volatile matters that may arise during mediation and address any changes to NC Industrial Commission Mediation Rules.
10:10 Designing A Path to Conflict Prevention
Scott S. Partridge, Partridge LLC, New Orleans, LA
With an emphasis on system design, the keynote session identifies pivotal steps along the conflict resolution professionals’ path from litigation to dispute resolution to conflict prevention and beyond.
11:20 The Power of Arbitration: The Impact of Arbitration Agreements and Rule Selection on the Power of Arbitrators
Tracy T. James, Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin PLLC, Charlotte
Statutes, agreements and rule selection all impact the scope of an arbitrator's power to decide a case. Learn about the effects of the agreement to arbitrate and rule selection on an arbitrator's power.
12:20 Lunch Break
1:20 Breakout Session:
How to Become an Arbitrator and Build an Arbitration Practice: An Open Discussion with Three Distinguished Arbitrators
Denise Smith Cline, Denise Smith Cline Law Offices, Raleigh Robert Harper Heckman, Nexsen Pruet LLC, Greensboro Neale T. Johnson, Fox Rothschild LLP, Greensboro (Moderator) Marshall H. Karro, Karro Sellers & Langson, Charlotte
Listen as this panel explains the steps involved in becoming an arbitrator in the contexts of family law, commercial / construction litigation, and employment. Becoming an arbitrator, however, is not enough. The panelists also share how they became successful, go-to arbitrators in their respective spheres.
Collaborative Conflict Resolution for Trust and Estate Disputes
Jason R. Jones, Jones Collaborative Estates, Chapel Hill
This session introduces a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) referred to as "collaborative mediation," and explores which estate cases are best suited for collaborative mediation as well as how to discuss this form of ADR with clients and opposing counsel.
2:30 Navigating Sticky Situations – Ethical Inquires and Best Practices Before, During, and After Mediation *≠
Colleen L. Byers, Colleen Byers Mediation, Winston-Salem Marcie Dickson, Alterity ADR, Atlanta, GA Frank C. Laney, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Cary
With an emphasis on the various NC DRC program rules and Standards of Professional Conduct for Mediators, this session examines the most frequently asked questions of the NC DRC so mediators can successfully navigate any unexpected ethical bumps along the road to resolution.
3:30 Adjourn * Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit ≠ Indicates portion providing NC Dispute Resolution Commission Continuing Mediator Education
As we emerge from a global pandemic that prompted us to examine and innovate the way we deliver both legal and conflict resolution services, we anticipate a growing need to expand our notions of dispute resolution beyond those of court-ordered mediation.
Jolinda S. Babcock
Jolinda S. Babcock the founder of The Law Office of Jolinda Babcock PLLC and Tarheel Mediations in Summerfield. She specializes in mediating workers' compensation claims and has conducted thousands of mediations in the 20 years since being certified by the NCDRC in 2003.
Jolinda is a former partner with the firm Robinson & Lawing, LLP where she focused her practice in workers' compensation law. She litigated before the North Carolina Industrial Commission and North Carolina appellate courts. Jolinda served on the North Carolina Bar Association Workers' Compensation Section Council, acting as Section Chair and CLE planner, and later served on the NCBA Dispute Resolution Council, including as CLE planner. She is a frequent speaker and panelist at CLEs.
summa cum laude, from the University of Scranton, Jolinda received her J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law
Click here for more information about Jolinda
William J. "Joey" Barnes
William J. "Joey" Barnes is the owner of Barnes Mediation in Charlotte.
Joey graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law and then clerked for the Honorable Judge Gerald Arnold on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He next worked for the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC as a staff attorney before returning to North Carolina in 1989 to serve as a Deputy Commissioner for the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
After leaving the Industrial Commission, he began his mediation practice in 1994 and has mediated over 11,000 worker compensation claims over the last 26 years. He is a certified mediator and currently serves on the Dispute Resolution Counsel.
Joey is also a certified yoga instructor and practices daily insight meditation.
Click here for more information about Joey.
Colleen L. Byers
Colleen L. Byers is the founder and owner of Colleen Byers Mediation LLC in Winston-Salem. A seasoned civil litigator with deep business and legal experience, Colleen focuses on mediating complex business, employment, trust, estate, fiduciary and family disputes to help companies, families and individuals solve their legal problems outside the courtroom.
Colleen's conflict resolution approach weaves together practical business insight, active listening, and strategic foresight. Colleen leverages more than a decade of litigation experience to help people, whether business owners or families, settle legal disputes quickly, effectively, and creatively.
In addition to being trained in the collaborative law process, Colleen is also certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission to mediate Superior Court cases as well as matters pending before the Clerk of Court. Colleen currently serves on the Boards of Directors of both the North Carolina Civil Collaborative Law Association and Forsyth Humane Society.
All of Colleen's education is from Creighton University, a Jesuit University in Omaha, NE. She is proud to be a triple Blue Jay, having obtained a Bachelor of Arts,
summa cum laude, a Master of Business Administration, and J.D., cum laude, from Creighton University.
Colleen's training as a trauma-informed, registered yoga teacher also influences her unique mediation style. Applying yoga and mindfulness principles to her mediation practice, Colleen effectively de-escalates conflict and guides parties to expand their perspectives and achieve settlement outcomes. Colleen's role as a mother, wife and community leader also provide her ample opportunity to practice her conflict resolution and communication skills.
Click here for more information about Colleen.
Denise Smith Cline
Denise Smith Cline is the owner of Denise Smith Cline Law Offices in Raleigh. She regularly represents both employers and employees in navigating employment issues, whether in negotiating contracts or severance terms, terminations, or non-competition agreements. Sometimes, however, litigation is the only solution. Denise has more than 25 years' experience as a litigator, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts and arbitration proceedings throughout the country.
Denise offers employer training in harassment prevention, diversity and other employment practices. She also regularly conduct internal investigations, reviews and audits of employment policies, handbooks and practices.
Denise has broad experience as an arbitrator and mediator and serves as an Arbitrator on the Panel of Neutrals for the American Arbitration Association in Employment Law and American Health Lawyers Association. A North Carolina Superior Court certified mediator since 1996, she regularly mediates state and federal cases involving employment, healthcare, personal injury and business disputes.
Denise is regularly named in Best Lawyers in America in Employment Law, Super Lawyer in Litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine, Top 50 Women Lawyers in North Carolina, and Top 25 Lawyers in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has also been named "Lawyer of the Year" in her area of practice by Best Lawyers in America in 2019 and 2022. Since 2014, she has also been named as a member of the Legal Elite in Employment Law, by Business North Carolina. Denise is a speaker and Senior Fellow in the peer-nominated Litigation Council of America, of which she has been a member since 2012.
Denise earned her A.B. in English from Davidson College and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.
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Marcie Dickson is the founder and CEO of Alterity ADR in Atlanta, a national ADR firm with an experienced and diverse panel of mediators, arbitrators, and dispute resolution experts in 25+ states. Alterity is the first national ADR firm in the country led by a woman of color. Marcie is a leading voice on diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging in alternative dispute resolution.
Marcie has led award-winning teams as a business executive with nearly 20 years of experience across legal services and media. Most recently, she served as a top ADR firm's Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer.
An accomplished author and speaker/facilitator with groups from public and private sectors at all levels, Marcie's work has been featured in Bloomberg Law, Forbes, The American Lawyer, Law360, and the American Bar Association. She is currently working on two books focused on the future of dispute resolution and peacemaking.
Marcie's current civic and professional activities include serving as an editorial advisory council member of Southern Lawyer and Harvard Business Review; a steering committee member of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge and the Black In-House Counsel Diamond Series; and an executive member of the Atlanta Business Chronicle Leadership Trust and Forbes Business Council. Additionally, she is an active member of several organizations, including the National Association of Women Lawyers, the American Marketing Association, the Legal Marketing Association, and the Atlanta International Arbitration Society.
Marcie is a proud graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale School of Management's Accelerated Management Program.
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Robert Harper Heckman
Robert Harper Heckman a member of Nexsen Pruet LLC in Greensboro, where he leads the firm's Construction Practice Group. He has the knowledge and background clients need to take on virtually any industry issue – from contract negotiation to project claims. He has a long list of representative matters to back it up, with experience counseling clients in a number of sectors across a wide range of concerns.
In addition to his practice, Harper is a certified Superior Court Mediator, a member of the American Arbitration Association's Large and Complex Construction Panel of Neutrals and the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, and an adjunct Professor of Construction Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Harper is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and a member of the American and North Carolina Bar Associations.
Harper earned his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
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Timothy W. "Tim" Hewlett
Timothy W. "Tim" Hewlett is a mediator with Hewlett Mediation in Winston-Salem.
Tim has practiced in eastern North Carolina, the Triangle, and most recently, since 2010, the Triad. For the first 7 years of his practice, he had a general civil practice, appearing before the General Courts of Justice, the North Carolina Industrial Commission, North Carolina Court of Appeals, and the Social Security Administration. From approximately 2010 to 2020, Tim practiced almost exclusively in the realm of Workers' Compensation. In 2021, Tim transitioned, almost exclusively, to a mediation only practice, opening Hewlett Mediation.
Tim has, either as counsel or as mediator, participated in well over 1000 mediations over the years, whether in workers' compensation, personal injury, or family law (as counsel).
Tim earned his B.S. in Political Science and Religion & Philosophy from Barton College and his J.D. from Widener University School of Law.
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Tracy T. James
Tracy T. James is a partner with Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin PLLC in Charlotte where she practices with the firm's Commercial Construction Group. She is a certified South Carolina and North Carolina mediator, and an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association ("AAA"). She has arbitrated and mediated hundreds of commercial construction disputes ranging in value from $10,000 to $15 million, including cross-border disputes, and large-scale commercial, multi-family, mixed use, mass transit, and industrial claims.
Tracy has served as sole and panel arbitrator in dozens of arbitrations (both private and through the AAA) throughout the Southeast since joining the AAA Panel in 2019. She is ranked by Chamber's USA as leading construction attorney in North Carolina, and has received numerous professional achievements, including, Best Lawyer's In America, Lawyer of the Year – Construction (Charlotte-Metro, 2022); North Carolina Construction Lawyer of the Year, Legal Elite (2019) and Lega Elite "Hall of Fame" (2020-2022), Business North Carolina; Best Lawyer's in America – Commercial Litigation, Construction, and Women in the Law (2018-present); Super Lawyers® - Construction Law; 40 under 40, Charlotte Business Journal (2019); Top 25 Women in Business, Charlotte Business Journal.
Tracy is also a member of the Governing Committee for the ABA Forum on Construction Law, which is the largest group of construction professionals in the world.
Tracy earned her B.A.,
cum laude, from Furman University and her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Click here for more information about Tracy.
Neale T. Johnson
Neale T. Johnson is a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP in Greensboro. As co-chair of the Litigation Department, he empowers construction industry stakeholders to solve tough legal problems. He applies more than 20 years of experience with construction dispute resolution to negotiate contracts that reduce the likelihood of disputes by allocating risks before project commencement. When challenges arise, he helps clients navigate them with a laser focus on preserving relationships and resolving disagreements at the business level. When disputes are unavoidable, he zealously represents clients in court and arbitration. He also works with construction clients facing regulatory issues, such as licensing and disciplinary matters.
In addition to extensive experience prosecuting and defending claims in court and arbitration, Neale is well versed in collaborative practice and mediation. He is certified as a Superior Court Mediator by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission and listed as a mediator and arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association's construction industry and commercial arbitration panels.
Neale helps clients resolve disputes involving real estate, title insurance claims and coverage, financial services/banking, collections and general commercial disputes. He represents banks and borrowers in a variety of financial services disputes, including securities disputes, judgment enforcement, enforcement of loan documents, and foreclosures/claim and delivery proceedings to recover collateral. His experience includes both retail and commercial lending.
Neale regularly teaches continuing education for contractors approved by the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors through programs sponsored by the Carolinas Chapter of the Associated General Contractors (AGC).
Neale was a partner and Construction Industry Group leader at Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, which combined with Fox Rothschild in 2018. He served as a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserves from 1988-2004, and was an Artillery Fire Direction Officer and Platoon Commander during Persian Gulf War (1990-91). He was also an adjunct professor at Elon University School of Law, teaching pretrial, deposition and trial practice courses.
Neale earned his B.A.,
magna cum laude, from the University of South Carolina and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Click here for more information about Neale.
Jason R. Jones
Jason R. Jones is an attorney at Jones Collaborative Estates in Chapel Hill. Jones Collaborative Estates was created from Jason's experience-born desire to help families preserve money and relationships by avoiding estate lawsuits.
Jason spent his first 6 years in practice as a "civil litigator" (non-criminal lawsuits). His cases involved negotiating, litigating, and appealing cases in the fields of estates, personal injury, employment law, insurance law, and civil rights. While in law school, he served as research assistant to John V. Orth and interned at the North Carolina Supreme Court (Justice Paul Newby). He also worked for several years assisting in the development of the UNC Cancer Pro Bono Project, a free legal services clinic providing estate planning documents to oncology patients at UNC.
Jason is an active member of the North Carolina Civil Collaborative Law Association and the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law section of the North Carolina Bar Association (where he serves on the Legislative Committee). He also serves as Vice Chair to the 18th Judicial District's Mentor Committee. He has been a lecturer and manuscript author for the National Business Institute for many years, teaching on dozens of occasions to attorneys, paralegals, and CPAs regarding issues of estate, trust and probate related law.
Jason earned his bachelor's degree,
magna cum laude, in Philosophy from North Carolina State University and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Click here for more information about Jason.
Marshall H. Karro
Marshall H. Karro is a collaborative divorce lawyer and mediator with Karro Sellers & Langson in Charlotte. He is a leader in the field of divorce mediation and collaborative divorce.
Marshall has been called upon on numerous occasions to arbitrate family conflict cases which are particularly complex. He is a certified Family Financial Mediator and a certified Superior Court Mediator who has mediated more than 3,500 family conflict cases since 1995.
An equally passionate advocate of the non-adversarial collaborative law process, Marshall is a certified Level One Collaborative Divorce attorney and a founding member of the Mecklenburg County Family Law Collaborative Practice Group. He has been awarded an "A" as an attorney by Martindale-Hubbell.
Marshall received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Georgetown University.
Click here for more information about Marshall.
Frank C. Laney
Frank C. Laney has served as Circuit Mediator for the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for over 20 years, mediating in excess of 3700 cases. He is also an adjunct professor at North Carolina Central and Campbell Schools of Law, and an ex-officio member of the NC Dispute Resolution Commission. Annually he teaches mediation in Belarus and other former soviet countries.
Frank is the former Mediation Coordinator for the NC Industrial Commission, a former partner in Mediation Inc. and for three years in the early 1990's limited his private practice in Raleigh to mediation. He has been a member of the NC Bar Association Dispute Resolution Committee/Section since its inception, and is a past Section Chair. He chaired the joint Section-Commission committee responsible for the 2012 updating and rewriting of
Alternative Dispute Resolution in North Carolina, A New Civil Procedure, serving as an author and co-editor of the book. In 2004, the Section presented him with the Peace Award. He was a consultant with the NC Bar Association's Mediated Settlement Conference and District Court Arbitration Pilot Programs. He co-chaired the committees that developed the Family Financial Settlement and Clerk Mediation Programs.
Frank is certified as a Superior Court, Family Financial and Clerk Program mediator by the NC Dispute Resolution Commission and as a practitioner member of the Academy of Family Mediators.
Frank received his B.A. from N.C. State University and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law
Click here for more information about Frank.
Viral V. Mehta
Viral V. Mehta is owner and partner at Mehta & McConnell PLLC in Charlotte. He spent the first decade of his legal career defending employers and large insurance companies in workers' compensation claims. He developed expertise in workers' compensation law, but he felt a lack of fulfillment in representing insurance companies against injured workers. His previous experience representing insurance companies gave him the insight necessary to effectively represent injured workers. He knows how insurance companies and adjusters handle workers' compensation claims.
Viral is a North Carolina State Bar board-certified specialist in workers' compensation law. He has obtained favorable decisions before all levels of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court. He was a contributing author of the 2017 edition of the
North Carolina Workers' Compensation LexisNexis Practice Guide, and he was selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Viral is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a Superior Court mediator. He enjoys mediating cases, especially workers' compensation claims. In addition to practicing workers' compensation law, he also handles personal injury cases.
Viral graduated from Davidson College with a B.A. in History and earned his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Click here for more information about Viral.
Tamara R. "Tammy" Nance
Tamara R. "Tammy" Nance is Chief Deputy Commissioner at the NC Industrial Commission in Raleigh.
Tammy was a Deputy Commissioner from 1987 to 1995 before entering private practice, where she represented both employers and employees in workers' compensation claims over the next 15 years.
While practicing law, Tammy was a Dispute Resolution Commission certified mediator. She served on the Full Commission from 2011 to 2018, then returned to the Commission in 2019 as a Deputy Commissioner assigned to head the Claims Administration Section.
Tammy earned her B.A. and J.D. from The Ohio State University.
John W. Ong
John W. Ong is the founder of John Ong Mediation & Collaborative Law in Charlotte. He is an attorney and mediator, is known as a creative problem solver in areas including construction and major loss cases. With over 30 years of litigation experience and over 14 years as a mediator certified by the NCDRC to conduct Superior Court Mediations, John recently opened his own firm to provide personalized service to his clients.
John is on the Council of the NCBA Dispute Resolution Commission, is the Inaugural Chair of the NCBA Construction Section's Dispute Resolution Committee and is one of the Founding Board Members of the North Carolina Civil Collaborative Law Committee.
John earned his B.A. from Connecticut College and his J.D. from Emory University School of Law.
Click here for more information about John.
Scott S. Partridge
Scott S. Partridge is with Partridge LLC in New Orleans, LA.
Scott began his legal career at Lemle Kelleher in New Orleans where he was elected the youngest member of the Firm ever to serve on both the Management and Executive Committees. After fifteen years in private practice at this large law firm, Scott formed his own boutique litigation firm in 1995 with twenty-three lawyers. In the first ten years his law firm grew to seventy-five attorneys, involved almost exclusively in complex, high-risk civil litigation. While serving as the Managing Partner of Frilot Partridge, Scott built a national practice representing a diverse set of US and international clients, as both plaintiffs and defendants, in a wide array of matters, including class actions, mass torts, as well as commercial and maritime disputes.
In 2006, Scott accepted the role of Chief Deputy General Counsel of Monsanto Company and assumed responsibility for a variety of high-profile litigations, class actions, mass torts, commercial disputes, as well as investigations and litigations involving federal and state governments. With an intense high-profile litigation docket, Scott created new processes to resolve disputes while also maintaining a principled approach to advancing cases to trial.
To increase the company's focus on the management of disputes, Scott moved from the Law Team into a business leadership role as Vice President of Global Strategy. His responsibilities expanded as he designed and led a diverse Strategy Team aimed at evaluating risk and resolving complex disputes. This new Team included experts in finance, law, operations, communications, science, and government relations. Leading this Strategy Team with a focus on dispute resolution, Scott ended decades of class action and mass tort litigation involving Monsanto's legacy manufacturing sites in West Virginia, Illinois, and Alabama, and resolved product liability class actions and business disputes.
As the agriculture industry began to consolidate, Scott was at the forefront of negotiating and concluding the merger between Monsanto and its new parent Bayer. For over twenty months, he helped conclude the merger, with final approval by all global competition regulators. Following the combination of the two companies, recognizing Scott's unique value, Bayer asked him to serve as General Counsel of Bayer US, a role he occupied from 2018 until he stepped down at the end of 2022 to launch Partridge LLC.
Over the past decades, Scott has assumed a leadership role in advancing alternative dispute resolution policies nationwide, including membership on the Boards of Directors of the prestigious International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, as well as the American Arbitration Association International Center for Dispute Resolution Foundation. And just recently in 2022, he became a member of the Board of Advisors of the highly regarded non-profit RAND Center for Mass Claims and Compensation.
Scott earned his J.D. and LL.M. degrees from Tulane Law School.
Click here for more information about Scott.
Debra Ann Vey Voda-Hamilton
Debra Ann Vey Voda-Hamilton is the Principal Attorney, Collaborative Law and Mediation, for Hamilton Law & Mediation in Morehead City. She spent 30 years as a practicing litigator, but she is now a full-time mediator and conflict coach for people in disputes over animals. She works both nationwide and internationally. She has far-reaching experience in resolving interpersonal conflicts involving animals.
Debra speaks widely on the topic of how mediation techniques can help people address conflicts without litigation. She has presented at veterinary schools, the American Kennel Club, the American Veterinary Medical Law Association, the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, the Living With Animals conference, state bar association Animal Law Committee meetings, and animal interest group meetings. She presents programs that teach people how to communicate, as a speaker and receiver of information without feeling they need to resort to litigation. Debra is the go-to person for information regarding the use of mediation in disagreements over animals for the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Sun Times, Bloomberg and the US News and World Report.
Debra also writes a
blog and is a contributor to the Solo Practice University blog and the Canine Chronicle. She has been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, and the New York Times, just to name a few.
Debra hosts free online webinars, which teach pet owners and pet service providers how to address conflict in their business or relationships with clients, colleagues or pet service providers. She also helps pet owners and pet service providers aid each other in the creation and implementation of a SIMPLE short and long-term pet care plan. The MAAP Plan enables beloved companion animals get the care their owners want them to have any time their owner is personally not able to care for them.
As the principal at Hamilton Law and Mediation PLLC—the nation's first solo mediation practice dedicated to helping people resolve conflicts over animals—Debra uses alternative dispute resolution to help address disagreements over the family pet during divorce, neighbors' arguments over a barking dog, and confrontations between clients and veterinarians and other professionals who work with animals. She also looks forward to helping animal rights and welfare advocates see the benefit of having a conversation about the best interests of all parties—especially the animals—to resolve animal-related disputes.
Debra is also an AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) Certified Workplace Wellbeing Expert. She is also well-known in the world of purebred dogs as a top breeder and exhibitor of Irish setters and long-haired dachshunds.
Debra earned B.A. in Public Affairs from American University and her J.D. from Cardozo School of Law.
Click here for more information about Debra.
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