Meredith Ragains, Esq.Executive Director
Dr. Mary An Merchant, Esq.President
Jane Woodruff Blount, Esq.Vice President
Joshua Aronson, Esq.Treasurer
Jonathan Ware, Esq.Secretary
David Carpenter, Esq.Advisory Board Chair
Prior to her work at GLA, Meredith was a litigator for 12 years at Robins Kaplan where she was in the Commercial Litigation practice group. In 2009, the State Bar of Georgia awarded Meredith its Pro Bono Project Award for her outstanding work with pro bono clients.
Meredith graduated from Emory University and Mercer Law School. After law school, Meredith clerked for the Honorable G. Ernest Tidwell of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. In addition to her work at GLA, Meredith is an adjunct professor at Emory Law School where she teaches contract drafting, and she regularly guest lectures at the Georgia State University College of Law on intellectual property-related topics.
Mary’s experience encompasses patent prosecution, litigation, reissue and reexamination, post-grant proceedings, licensing, due diligence, and opinions. She provides intellectual property counsel to a variety of clients, including multinational corporations, mid-cap companies, and start-up biotech and medical-device companies. Mary also provides counsel related to issues involving regulatory matters before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She works with emerging-growth companies, both domestically and internationally, and has been involved with financial transactions involving initial public offerings, sales and procurement of assets, and mergers and acquisitions.
Jonathan is an avid meditator and teaches Eastern philosophy and yogic-style meditation to students from around the country. He is passionate about international travel, and his many journeys have included extended trips to India, Egypt, Europe, Latin America and the Far East.
Jonathan and his husband, renowned landscape architect, John Howard, have assembled a growing modern art collection over the course of their 16 year relationship. They count among their collection artists whose works hang in major international galleries around the globe. Jonathan’s passion for the arts called him to begin serving on GLA’s Board in 2017, and he is delighted to support the arts community in this capacity.
David has substantial experience representing companies in major consumer class action litigation, including cases involving privacy issues. He has represented a number of Fortune 500 companies in such litigation, moving to compel arbitration on multiple occasions, gaining dismissals through Rule 12 motions, and obtaining favorable settlements for clients in bet-the-company litigation.
David was named to the Georgia Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list for 2017 in the area of business litigation. He received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2007. Before law school, he worked in the public relations departments for the Colorado Rockies and the Atlanta Braves, providing media relations assistance, statistical research, and support for the baseball operations departments of two Major League Baseball teams. David also worked as a student assistant in the sports information department at Duke University, where he received his B.A. in history in 2002.
Emily Baker, Esq.Jones Day
Lanchi Bombalier, Esq.Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
John Bowler, Esq.Troutman Sanders LLP
Charley Brown, Esq.Ballard Spahr LLP
Amy Cheng, Esq.Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP
Peter Duitsman, Esq.Warner Media, LLC
Randall FoxThe Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces
Brian Hooper, Esq.The Geheren Firm
Matthew Howell, Esq.Alston & Bird LLP
Kent Jordan, Esq.King & Spalding LLP
Josh Kalb, Esq.Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Maha Khalaj, Esq.Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Alana Kirkland, Esq.Greenberg Traurig
Trey Levie, Esq.Meunier Carlin & Curfman
Charlotte Murphy, Esq.The Coca-Cola Company
Ling-Ling Nie, Esq.Georgia Tech
Ramsey Prather, Esq.Butler Wooten & Peak LLP
In addition to her GLA board service, Emily co-chairs the Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement Committee in Jones Day’s Atlanta office, serves on the Emory Law School Alumni Board, and is a Master in the Lamar Inn of Court.
Emily’s husband is also a lawyer, and they have two young children. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time and traveling with her family.
Lanchi obtained her joint-degree in law and public health from Emory University and is also a licensed physical therapist in Georgia. Prior to joining the firm, she was a Georgia Academy of Healthcare Attorneys (GAHA) Fellow with the Georgia Hospital Association. Lanchi also worked for several years as a physical therapist, focusing on the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injuries and related neurobehavioral issues. During that time, she served as a clinical instructor for the physical therapy programs at Emory University and Georgia State University. She also served for four years as an appointee on the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, which advises and counsels the APTA Board of Directors on public policy and advocacy initiatives to advance physical therapy practice, education, research, and reimbursement.
John Bowler, Esq.
John’s trial experience includes first-chair jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, and contested evidentiary and injunction hearings ranging from cases for Fortune 500 clients, to large international concerns, to closely-held businesses and individuals. He also has extensive experience with opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as well as all aspects of domain name and ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy practice before administrative panels and other tribunals.
Prior to joining Troutman Sanders in 1995, John was an associate in the Litigation Section at Winston & Strawn LLP in Chicago, Illinois. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Vanderbilt University and his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Notre Dame. John enjoys hiking, backpacking, running, and other outdoor activities.
Charley received his J.D. from Mercer University, a M.S. degree in Bioinformatics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.B.A. in Computer Information Systems from Mercer University. Outside of work, Charley enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.
Amy Cheng, Esq.
Outside of work, Amy enjoys trying new restaurants and blogging about food on her instagram handle, @hungrysouthernesq!
Peter Duitsman, Esq.
Brian Hooper, Esq.
Matthew Howell, Esq.
Matthew has represented clients in federal and state courts across the country and before the International Trade Commission, Federal Circuit and Patent Trial and Appeals Board. He has significant experience with both enforcing and defending his clients’ intellectual property rights.
Matthew also has a robust pro bono practice, working closely with organizations such as the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Georgia Legal Services Program, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta and other pro bono clients. He currently serves on Alston & Bird’s Pro Bono Committee.
In 2003, Matthew received his B.A. in physics from Washington University in St. Louis, and in 2007, he received his J.D. from Duke University School of Law.
Kent picked up his first camera in 1981, a Minolta 35mm Hi-Matic AF2 and fell in love instantly. Several cameras and a few million photos later, he still actively pursues his first love. Although the iPhone has mostly replaced the camera, and the dark room has given way to Photoshop, the process of seeing an image and attempting to capture that moment in time remains the same.
Josh also has extensive experience in advertising litigation and counseling. He has defended clients against false advertising claims brought between competitors, and by consumers individually and as a class. In addition, Josh routinely advises clients on claim creation and substantiation to help minimize the risk of litigation.
Josh is married to Jennifer Kalb – something he is thankful for every day – and has two amazing kids, Fisher and Sydney, who actually make waking up early on the weekend enjoyable.
Maha Khalaj, Esq.
Maha received her J.D. from Mercer University and her M.S. and B.S. degrees in Biology from Georgia State University.
Alana Kirkland, Esq.
Outside of work, Alana enjoys exploring Atlanta’s music scene, running, and spending time with her family and friends.
Alana received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University with Phi Beta Kappa distinction.
Trey received his J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, graduating Magna Cum Laude and third in his law school class. Trey also served as the Managing Editor to the Cumberland Law Review, where his comment was published. Trey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University with an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and minors in Psychology and Engineering Management. Trey grew up in LaFayette, Georgia, and attended The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Charlotte Murphy, Esq.
Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Charlotte was an attorney at Jones Day, where she represented clients in intellectual property and false advertising cases, managed global trademark portfolios, and advised on a variety of copyright and right of publicity issues.
A South Carolina native, Charlotte graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in English and obtained her law degree from the University of Georgia, where she was an Articles Editor for the Georgia Law Review. Additionally, Charlotte is a member of the International Trademark Association and the IP Section of the State Bar of Georgia. Outside of work, Charlotte enjoys traveling with her fiancé Dulane, spending time with her nieces and nephew, wine tasting, and exploring Atlanta’s restaurant scene.
Ling-Ling is a graduate of the University of Georgia, received her law degree from Washington and Lee University’s School of Law, and is licensed to practice in both Georgia and Virginia.
She received the “Excellence in Ethics Training and Communications Award” from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in 2010 and was a University of Georgia “40 Under 40” award program nominee in 2013. She has also served as a speaker for the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the University of Georgia’s Professional Women’s Conference, and Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, for which she currently serves on the Board of Directors. Additionally, Ling-Ling has contributed to compliance publications, both online and in print. She is also the current President of Panasonic’s Women Connect organization.
Ramsey graduated from Tulane University Law School, magna cum laude, in 2010. While in law school, Ramsey served as editor-in-chief of the Tulane Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Following law school, Ramsey served as a law clerk to the Honorable William H. Pryor Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and to the Honorable Lance M. Africk on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Ron Barabus, Esq.Turner Broadcasting
Anne Baroody, Esq.Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP
Pearson Beardsley, Esq.Beardsley, P.C.
Sean Bedford, Esq.Alston & Bird LLP
Dr. Joseph Bennett-Paris, Esq.Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Vail DavidsonInnerlight Creations
Ted Eader, Esq.Conway Eader
Kenny Franklin, Esq.Georgia Tech Research Corporation Office of Industry Engagement
Katherine Eppley Gruner, Esq.Acella Pharmaceuticals
Lindsay Mitchell Henner, Esq.Troutman Sanders LLP
Samyra Hicks, Esq.Porsche Cars North America
Chad Lennon, Esq.Rooms To Go
Counsel McCullen, Esq.Busch Slipakoff Mills and Slomka
Nicole Morris, Esq.Emory University School of Law
Eli Noblitt, Esq.Weissman PC
Chloe Ricke, Esq.McLain & Merritt, P.C.
Julie Kessler Roach, Esq.Inform, Inc.
Susan Russell, Esq.Baker Donelson PC
Chris Troutman, Esq.Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Robert Vann, Esq.Northern Trust Wealth Management
Andy Weeks, Esq.Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Elizabeth Wheeler, Esq.Warner Media, llc
Aubrey WhittierBloom Parham, LLP
Michelle Wilco, Esq.Alston & Bird LLP
Suzanne WIlliams, Esq.Lawrence & Bundy LLC
Ron Barabus, Esq.
Anne Baroody, Esq.
Anne is a litigation associate with Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP where she focuses on complex commercial disputes before federal and state courts. Anne represents clients in a variety of business and intellectual property litigation contexts, including those involving trade secrets, restrictive covenants, trademarks, copyrights, and unfair competition. Before joining Parker Hudson, Anne served as a law clerk to the Honorable Orinda D. Evans in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Anne entered the University of Georgia School of Law with a background in Classical Languages, Art, and Architecture, gained through study and travel at Davidson College. A passion for art, law, and antiquity led Anne to intern during law school with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In addition to her GLA work, Anne serves on the advocacy committee of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation. Outside work, Anne and her husband love to travel and taste new foods.
Pearson Beardsley, Esq.
Sean Bedford, Esq.
Dr. Joseph Bennett-Paris, Esq.
marijuana and medical devices including dental products. For several years, Joe’s practice has focused on the generic drug industry. Prior to entering law, he served on the faculty of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Joe is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law, Loyola University Chicago (Ph.D., Pharmacology) and the University of Southern California (B.S., Biological Sciences).
Besides providing pro bono work to the arts community through the GLA, he also sits on the board of the A5 Volleyball Club, the premier junior club volleyball organization in the Southeast for both girls’ and boys’ volleyball.
In his spare time, Joe plays the guitar and can often be found on hiking trails the world over his wife of 25+ years, Dr. Barbara Bennett.
Born and raised in Atlanta, she moved to Los Angeles in 1998 where she worked in the entertainment industry for eleven years, and met her husband Clay. They moved back to the ATL the summer of 09’ to be closer to their families as they expand. She soon founded Innerlight Creations, LLC, providing creative development, design, writing and editing services, selling both original and client commissioned collages and wire sculptures, and participating in juried local art exhibitions and festivals.
Ted Eader, Esq.
Kenny Franklin, Esq.
Lindsay Mitchell Henner, Esq.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Samyra graduated from California State University with a degree in Spanish and earned her J.D. from Western State University. During her undergraduate and law school years, she worked for Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, CA. After law school she relocated to Atlanta and, after practicing at a large firm for a few years, returned to her passion – the automotive industry. After leaving Alston & Bird LLP, she spent three years with Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. and finally joined Porsche Cars North America, Inc. in September 2013.
Samyra lives in West Midtown with her husband and two children, 11 and 18.
Chad Lennon, Esq.
Counsel McCullen, Esq.
numerous companies and investment firms for corporate governance, incentive equity, and commercial contracts.
Counsel is also a musician and continues to pursue music production. He particularly enjoys finding ways to provide his services to artists that find themselves in the world of corporate law. Counsel earned his JD and undergraduate degrees at Georgia State University. Prior to beginning his legal practice, he worked with restaurateurs in managing and opening restaurants. He enjoys traveling, hiking, and movies in his spare time.
Prior to joining the Emory faculty, Nicole was the former Managing Patent Counsel at The Coca-Cola Company and was responsible for the development and implementation of the Company’s global patent strategy and providing day-to-day advice and counseling to business stakeholders.
Nicole received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern, her M.S. in Chemistry from University of Michigan, her law degree from the University of Minnesota, and is a registered patent attorney. She has over twelve years of experience practicing patent law in large and mid-sized law firms and has represented clients in patent and trademark litigation matters, as well as patent prosecution matters. She also worked as an engineer for six years with 3M and Eli Lilly and has over twenty years of experience working with consumer products and technology commercialization.
Nicole is a frequent speaker on innovation, technology commercialization, and patent law topics including patent strategy, IP licensing, and the role of corporate counsel in patent transactions. She is heavily involved in the IP community as a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), Atlanta IP Inn of Court, Atlanta Bar Association, National Bar Association IP Section, a board member of Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, and Minority In-House Counsel Association. In 2013, Professor Morris was awarded the 2013 “Rising Star Corporate Counsel Award from the Atlanta Business Chronicle and featured in the August 2013 issue of Corporate Counsel magazine.
Eli Noblitt, Esq.
Eli received his Bachelors of Landscape Architecture and Political Science in 2011 from The University of Georgia and his JD in 2015 from Emory University School of Law. While at Emory, he enjoyed a fantastic semester-long externship with GLA. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.
Eli is passionate about learning how people, business, and technology can serve one another to improve and grow the workplace. When he’s out-of-office, Eli enjoys spending time with his family in Big Canoe, designing outdoor spaces, and biting off more than he can chew in home renovation projects.
Chloe now practices as a real estate attorney at McLain & Merritt, P.C. in Buckhead. She lives in Morningside with her fiance, Mason, and enjoys going to concerts, trying out new restaurants and exploring Atlanta with the family dog, Manney.
Julie received her Juris Doctor degree from Emory University School of Law with a certificate in Transactional Law and Skills and is admitted to practice law in the State of Georgia. She graduated magna cum laude from UGA with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Music and Philosophy.
Julie has worked at ASCAP, Live Nation Entertainment, The Coca-Cola Company, and with several solo practitioners. She is an active member of the National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP) board. Julie served as a legal extern for GLA during law school, later became Director of Volunteer Services, and now serves on GLA’s Advisory Board. Julie is currently Corporate Counsel at Inform, Inc., a media and technology startup based in Buckhead, and Director of Marketing for D. Gonzalez Law Group, LLC presents Letterbox Legal. In addition, Julie is the Principal Attorney and Owner of Julie K. Roach, Esq., LLC. Julie loves seeing live music and has played alto saxophone for over 15 years.
Susan provides collaborative, practical, and actionable counsel to her clients on their trademark, copyright, and trade secret transactions, prosecution, enforcement, and litigation. She also advises clients on complex domestic and international intellectual property law disputes, social media, online legal disputes, as well as right of publicity and advertising law.
Susan earned both her Bachelor and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Oklahoma, was a Visiting Scholar at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, at Columbia Law School in New York, and at Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property in Munich, Germany, and earned her LLM from the University of California, Berkeley. Additionally, she served on the Editorial Board of several academic journals, received the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation Scholarship), was a member of the Order of Barristers, and won the National Best Brief award at the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition.
Susan is committed to giving back to her community through volunteering her time to working with pro bono clients. Susan has volunteered time to working with a military veteran develop and protect its trademark and copyright portfolio. In addition to serving on the Advisory Board for Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, Susan volunteers more than fifty hours of time each year to helping local artists protect and enforce their IP rights, and navigate all manner of agreements. Susan also dedicates time to working with families who have children with disabilities enforce their Reasonable Accommodation Requests under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Chris Troutman, Esq.
Chris lives in Marietta with his wife Lindsay, who is an artist, and their four children. Chris is active in the Urban Land Institute, the Atlanta Bar Association, Boy Scouts, and coaches youth soccer. Chris is a lover of fine arts and live music.
Robert Vann, Esq.
The colorful, soothing images reveal themselves through the artist’s exploration of media and technique. Ice & Heat-fusion methods are used to create highly textured, luminescent, and multi-dimensional masterpieces. The Aquatic world and Stellar universe inspire his work and encompass his native Hawai’i!
MJ graduated from the University of Hawai’i, receiving degrees in Education and Culinary Arts. His training in food preparation taught him the importance of color and texture, as evidenced in the delicious quality of his artwork.
Andy Weeks, Esq.
Prior to launching his legal career, Andy was a high school teacher at the Notre Dame School, an all-girls high school in New York, New York, where he taught art and advanced placement art history for over six years. He was a graduate teaching assistant at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and a middle and high school teacher at The Preuss School UCSD, a charter school for low income, highly motivated students in La Jolla, California, where he taught art and art history. Andy is an accomplished artist with a national exhibition record including solo and group exhibitions.
Aubrey is not only passionate about supporting artists, but is an artist herself. She has a special affinity for the artwork and history of card decks, self-portraiture and expressionism. Aubrey studied anthropology and creative writing at Lesley College in Cambridge, MA, and received a certificate in Business Administration at Katharine Gibbs School in Boston, MA. Originally from Chicago, Aubrey moved to the Atlanta area in 2009 where she lives with her husband, Mark, and her well-loved pets. You can often find her outdoors hiking in the woods or pretending like she can run.
Michelle Wilco, Esq.
Michelle is active in the Atlanta legal community, serving as a member of the IP Inn of Court, a member of the IP Section of the Georgia Bar Association, and a member of Georgia State University’s Law Alumni Council. Outside of her legal practice, Michelle enjoys traveling, exploring Atlanta’s restaurant and music scenes, running, and spending time with her family and friends.