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WSHB Bucks Tradition and Promotes Senior Counsel Mid-Year

June 1, 2021

Elevation Recognition of Extraordinary Results

WSHB recognized some of its outstanding associates with a surprise mid-year promotion to senior counsel. Noting the unique challenges of the past year and the ability of these attorneys to overcome and excel despite those challenges, the firm management team decided to reward these associates now rather than waiting until their usual annual promotion period in December.

“These past 18 months have been unprecedented with our talented lawyers giving back so much more to secure results, service clients and work as a team remotely,” said Stewart Reid, firmwide managing partner. “While we continue our normal cadence of elevations in December, we wanted to similarly take the extraordinary steps as the world reopens to the new normal and recognize a talented group of lawyers worthy of the coveted senior counsel title now instead of later this year.”

Senior counsel is a promotion given to select associates who have consistently demonstrated strong legal skills and case handling ability, maintain excellent client relationships, and serve as contributing members of the WSHB team. WSHB is proud to announce the following new senior counsel:

Philip Allingham (Fresno, University of San Francisco School of Law) – With a breadth of experience in trial litigation in state court, federal district, and federal bankruptcy courts, Philip has successfully represented businesses and individuals in cases involving commercial and residential tenancy disputes, construction defect claims, employment practices liability, and personal injury. Philip also draws on his litigation experience to advise clients on transactional matters, including entity formation and governance, regulatory compliance, purchase and sale agreements, lease negotiations, intellectual property licensing, and secured transactions for privately-held companies. While in law school, Philip interned for Morgan Stanley and the California Public Utilities Commission. He received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

Evan Heckler ( New York & New Jersey, St. John’s University School of Law) – Licensed to practice law in both New York and New Jersey, Evan handles a range of complex litigation, including construction, toxic tort, catastrophic injury, transportation, and business litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Evan handled a variety of complex civil litigation, including premises liability, pharmacy malpractice and labor law matters. Evan is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law, where he served as a senior staff member of the St. John’s Journal of International and Comparative Law, and as Vice President of the Corporate and Securities Law Society. During law school, Evan interned for the Honorable Diccia Pineda-Kirwan of the New York State Supreme Court, Queens County, and served as student attorney with the St. John’s Securities Arbitration Clinic. In his free time Evan likes playing tennis and going on hikes with his dog, Maple.

Christina Loni (Rancho Cucamonga, University of La Verne College of Law) – Working out of WSHB’s Rancho Cucamonga office, Christina is experienced in handling a broad range of civil litigation matters, including catastrophic injury, invasion of privacy, employment law, landlord tenant, and construction defect. In practice, Christina is a strong advocate for her clients facing claims of unfair employment practices and negligence in both state and federal court. Prior to law school, Christina attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she graduated with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Criminology. After graduating from UIC, Christina moved to California where she obtained her law degree from the University of La Verne College of Law, graduating magna cum laude. While at La Verne, Christina served as Chief Executive Editor for the Law Review, which granted her the opportunity to organize La Verne Law Review’s 2016 Symposium regarding the Realities of Mass Incarceration in America Today. In her free time, Christina enjoys philosophical readings and practicing yoga.

David McDonough (Northern California; Saint Louis University School of Law) – David focuses his practice on complex civil litigation, including various real estate matters including landlord-tenant and easement disputes, as well as corporate governance and transactions. Prior to joining the firm, David handled all facets of litigation involving trust litigation, business litigation, and real estate litigation, including appeals. He also was involved in numerous business and real estate transactions, including negotiating franchise transactions for both the franchisor and the franchisee. David graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1999, where he was managing editor of the Fidelity and Surety Law Journal. When not zealously representing clients, he is active in his church, enjoys playing golf and spending time with his wife and two children.

Carolynn Mulder (New Jersey, Rutgers School of Law) – With experience in handling professional liability and insurance coverage matters, Carolynn focuses her practice on toxic tort, environmental, construction, products liability and complex civil litigation. During her time in law school, Carolynn also interned at the Office of the Attorney General, Division of Law, Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section and served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Harriet F. Klein, J.S.C., in the New Jersey Superior Court’s Chancery Division – General Equity Part. Carolynn attended Rutgers School of Law-Newark, and obtained her J.D. in 2014. While in law school, she participated in the Constitutional Rights Clinic and was a teaching associate for Legal Research and Writing courses. Carolynn is also an accomplished and life-long equestrian. She currently owns two horses and competes at horse shows in the Hunters.

Jacqueline Murphy (White Plains, Pace University School of Law ) – Licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey, Jacqueline focuses her practice on professional liability matters and employment practices liability claims. Additionally, Jacqueline is a member of the firm’s London Coverage Team. In this capacity, Jacqueline assists London syndicates and markets with a wide variety of insurance matters including first party and third party claims. She provides coverage evaluations and recommendations for primary and excess carriers for both the domestic and London insurance market. Jacqueline is a graduate of Pace University School of Law. She is a member of the New York as well as the New Jersey State Bar and is admitted in the District Court of New Jersey. Jacqueline received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Syracuse University. An accomplished ballerina, Jacqueline attributes her ability to employ hard work, discipline, and dedication in her legal practice to dance. She now channels her love of physical fitness into daily runs or spin classes.

Ryan Neri (Chicago, John Marshall Law School) – A successful trial lawyer, Ryan focuses his practice on defending construction, professional liability, Illinois Dram Shop Act, and complex civil litigation matters. He handles all aspects of litigation, from inception through trial and has successfully argued and won several motions for summary judgment in general liability and high exposure construction cases. Ryan has used his extensive litigation experience to obtain favorable results during arbitrations and large scale mediations. Before joining WSHB, Ryan worked at a Chicago litigation firm successfully defending large retail establishments and national restaurant groups sued for violations of the Illinois Dram Shop. Ryan graduated cum laude from John Marshall Law School in Chicago while also working as a legal writing teacher’s assistant for first year law students. During the Covid-19 lockdown, Ryan was married and enjoys attending concerts and traveling the world with his wife.

Ilon Oliveira (Northern California, Golden Gate University School of Law) – Ilon practices complex civil litigation, including various business, personal injury, construction defect, landlord tenant, and easement disputes. Additionally, she focuses her practice on all facets of complex business litigation and transactions, including entity start up, fundraising, and corporate governance and compliance. Ilon has experience in advising businesses, investors, borrowers, individuals, and startups on matters including: entity formation, business structure, and corporate governance; seed funding; private equity financing transactions; equity compensation plans; stock purchases and transfers; and regulatory compliance, including preparation of reports and filings for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Ilon attended Golden Gate University School of Law where she obtained her J.D./M.B.A. While in law school, Ilon received CALI Awards for Excellence in her Appellate Advocacy and Trial Advocacy courses. Ilon also served on the boards of Moot Court and the Business Law Association, and she acted as Editor-in-Chief of Golden Gate University’s Law Review. Outside of work, Ilon enjoys camping, hiking, live music, spending time with her two bunnies and visiting family in Southern California. She is also looking forward to the birth of her baby girl this summer.

Sameer Ponkshe (White Plains, Elizabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University) – Sameer focuses his practice on employment, professional liability, commercial and business litigation. Sameer also handles cybersecurity and data privacy matters as a member of the Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Team. After briefly working at a land use and real estate firm representing developers, Sameer transitioned to defense litigation and honed his commercial litigation and New York Labor Law litigation skills. Sameer also brings experience from working for a major insurance carrier, where he handled complex coverage matters involving environmental remediation claims, nuclear incident liability, and pharmaceutical liability. This unique exposure provides a strong foundation for understanding a wide variety of subject matters and for developing techniques for navigating complex cases to resolution through early settlement discussions, alternative dispute resolutions or trial. Sameer graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Economics. He obtained his law degree from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, with a certificate in Environmental Law. In his free time, Sameer enjoys hiking with his wife and two dogs, creating home-made body soap (with animal-friendly products only), playing soccer, beach volleyball, disc golf and chess. He is also a second generation immigrant, with both of his parents having been born and raised in India.

Silvia Schaffer (Orange County, University of Connecticut School of Law) – Licensed in both California and Connecticut, Silvia focuses her practice primarily on complex catastrophic injury, product liability, transportation, and medical malpractice cases, as well as providing employers consultation on best business and employer practices for risk mitigation. Silvia is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law. During law school, she clerked with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. Silvia received her undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan, and her Master of Arts degree, also in English Literature, from SUNY University at Albany. She is fluent in Korean.

Stacy Young (Los Angeles, Syracuse University College of Law) – Stacy focuses her practice on complex tort defense, product liability defense, intellectual property disputes, contract disputes, commercial and business litigation and construction law. Her cases involve complex issues of liability and damages and extensive law and motion practice. She has successfully represented studios, production companies, general contractors and subcontractors. Stacy received her joint J.D./M.A., cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law. While at Syracuse, she participated in the National Trial Team Entertainment & Sports Law Society, Communications Law & Policy Society, Black Graduate Students Association, and the Black Law Students Association. Stacy received her undergraduate degree in Legal Studies from UC Berkeley.

WSHB is a full service national law firm founded in 1997 with over 300 attorneys in 18 states across the U.S. Our attorneys have tried over 1,000 to verdict and are internationally recognized for an exceptionally high rate of success. Ranked sixth on the American Lawyer’s 2021 Diversity Scorecard and honored as one of the top 10 law firms in the nation for inclusiveness of women lawyers in the National Law Journal’s 2020 Women in Law Scorecard, WSHB is a proven leader in the legal community and beyond.


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