Nine Venable Attorneys Elevated to Of Counsel

6 min

Attorneys from government, litigation, business, and intellectual property practices named Of Counsel

Washington, DC (January 10, 2013) – Venable LLP is pleased to announce that nine of the firm's attorneys have been elevated to Of Counsel: Tamany Vinson Bentz, Christopher J. Conoscenti, Michelle Ontiveros Gross, Michael C. Hartmere, Lisa M. Hix, Michelle C. Jackson, Kishka F. McClain, Ari N. Rothman, and Michael A. Signorelli. The nine new Of Counsel attorneys from Venable’s Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York, Los Angeles and Tysons Corner offices represent a broad cross section of the firm’s practice groups including intellectual property litigation, product liability and mass torts, corporate, commercial litigation, regulatory, healthcare and benefits, and labor and employment.

“Through their integrity and strong work ethic, these nine outstanding attorneys have earned the respect of their peers and most importantly, provided our clients with consistent and meaningful legal advice,” said Venable Vice Chair Brian Schwalb. “Not only are they part of Venable’s present, but they are part of the future our firm continues to build.”

Below is background on Venable’s new Of Counsel.

Tamany Vinson Bentz of the Los Angeles office focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation, including patent, trade secrets, trademarks and copyright litigation. Ms. Vinson Bentz has represented clients in a variety of industries including trademark and design patent disputes for direct response marketing companies, patent and trade secret disputes for nutraceutical companies, copyright matters for graphics companies and art publishers, international patent issues for a biopharmaceutical company, multi-district breach of contract claims for a national hotel chain, and copyright, trademark and unfair competition claims for entertainment companies. She also dedicates a substantial amount of her time to pro bono activities.

Christopher J. Conoscenti is a member of the firm's Products Liability and Mass Tort Group in Baltimore. Mr. Conoscenti is experienced in handling products liability and insurance coverage litigation in both state and federal court. As part of a team of Venable attorneys serving as national or regional counsel on behalf of several international pharmaceutical companies, Mr. Conoscenti focuses his practice on complex pharmaceutical litigation. He has had direct supervisory responsibility for the collection, review, analysis, and production of millions of pages of complex pharmaceutical company documents, including regulatory submissions and adverse experience reports.

Michelle Ontiveros Gross of Venable’s New York office is a member of the firm’s Technology Transactions and Outsourcing practice group. She advises clients in complex technology and intellectual property transactions including business process and information technology outsourcing, information technology licensing, technology maintenance and services, technology development/customization, marketing, and distribution. Ms. Gross is also experienced in a wide range of data privacy, protection and security matters, including issues arising from the theft, loss or unauthorized use of confidential or personal information and issues related to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance and compliance with HIPAA and the data breach notification requirements under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.

Michael C. Hartmere of the New York office focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, class action defense, securities litigation and intellectual property litigation. He represents clients in litigation arising from disputes among commercial parties to complicated business transactions, as well as defending class actions involving advertising, marketing and consumer protection issues. Prior to joining Venable, Mr. Hartmere clerked for the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and was also a litigation associate at one of the nation’s largest law firms
Lisa M. Hix in the Washington, DC office concentrates her practice on counseling charities, trade and professional associations, and other nonprofits on a wide range of legal topics, including tax exemption, intellectual property, corporate governance and antitrust, among others. Ms. Hix has broad experience in the nonprofit sector, having served in various capacities at nonprofit organizations. This experience has included representation before Members of Congress and federal agencies. She also worked in the nonprofit practice of a large national law firm for four years before joining Venable

Michelle C. Jackson of the Washington, DC office focuses her practice on regulatory counseling concerning the development, formulation, manufacture, distribution, and promotion of foods, dietary supplements, drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics. She handles matters involving regulation and enforcement by federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  She also regularly handles matters involving self-regulatory bodies such as the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD) and the National Advertising Review Council’s Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP).  Additionally, Ms. Jackson is regularly involved in litigation concerning product labeling and advertising claims and product composition.

Kishka Ford McClain of the Tysons Corner office focuses her practice on healthcare and prescription drug cost reduction solutions. As a team leader for Venable’s healthcare cost reduction program, Ms. McClain prepares and negotiates contracts related to health insurance, welfare benefits and prescription drug benefits, and develops benefit cost reduction solutions for her clients. As a member of the Labor and Employment Group, Ms. McClain also represents and counsels clients in all aspects of employment law and has successfully represented management in the defense of age, race, gender, religion and disability discrimination cases in state and federal courts and administrative charges before the EEOC and local agencies. Ms. McClain also advises companies that provide goods and services to the federal government regarding compliance with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) diversity requirements.

Ari N. Rothman in the Washington, DC office focuses on complex litigation and transactions with a particular emphasis on Internet marketing and advertising matters involving advertisers, advertising networks, affiliates/publishers, and payment processors/independent sales organizations. He has extensive experience litigating consumer class actions, cases brought under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and state anti-spam statutes, and matters involving trade secret, trademark infringement and other intellectual property disputes. He represents merchants in disputes with payment processors and acquiring banks concerning withheld reserves, fines imposed by credit card associations, MATCH and Terminated Merchant File listings, and payment processing agreements. 

Michael A. Signorelli is a member of the firm’s Government and Regulatory Affairs practice group in Washington, DC where he advises and represents clients on privacy and Internet-related issues. Mr. Signorelli counsels clients on advertising, marketing, and data security-related matters and represents clients in federal marketing-related legislation and rulemaking proceedings and other matters. Mr. Signorelli represents a wide variety of clients, including marketers, advertisers, trade associations, e-commerce firms, retailers and nonprofits in privacy and consumer protection-related matters before federal and state regulators and federal policy makers.


Note: An American Lawyer 100 law firm, Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs.