Staff

Jonathan M. Smith

Executive Director

smith jonathanJonathan M. Smith was appointed executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs on July 1, 2016.

Immediately prior to joining the Committee, Mr. Smith was the Associate Dean of Experiential and Clinical Programs at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.

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Matthew K. Handley

Director of Litigation

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Matthew Handley is the Committee’s Director of Litigation. Mr. Handley manages the Committee’s active litigation docket, focusing on representation of individuals and classes of victims of employment discrimination, wage theft, public accommodations discrimination, police misconduct and other civil and human rights abuses.

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Marques Banks

Equal Justice Works Fellow

Marques Banks joined the Washington Lawyers’ Committee in September 2017 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Covington & Burling, LLP. During his fellowship, Mr. Banks will challenge the criminalization of poverty, through direct representation and policy advocacy for individuals subject to overly onerous fines, fees and jail time for minor offenses.

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Roderic V.O. Boggs

Senior Advisor

BoggsRod Boggs was the Washington Lawyers’ Committee’s Executive Director from 1971 until June 30, 2016. As executive director, he guided the Committee for virtually its entire life, developing and expanding its work to cover the wide range of civil rights matters for which it is well known. 

Under his leadership, the Committee grew from a two-lawyer staff with a relatively small docket of cases to its current staff of 28, including 16 attorneys, and a docket of over 100 active cases.

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Catherine Cone

Staff Attorney, Fair Housing Project

Catherine ConeCatherine Cone joined the Committee as a staff attorney in January 2015 focusing on individual and collective or class action housing discrimination cases for the Committee.  

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Dennis Corkery

Senior Staff Attorney

DenniseditedphotoDennis Corkery joined the Committee full time as a legal fellow in August 2012 after serving as a legal intern with Equal Employment Opportunity Project during his 3L year. He was named a Staff Attorney in January 2013, and a Senior Staff Attorney in 2015.  

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Philip Fornaci

Project Director, DC Prisoners’ Project

Philip Fornaci led the DC Prisoners’ Project since it became a part of the Committee in 2006. He left the Project in 2013, but returned as Project Director in April 2017. He directs the Project’s ongoing litigation on behalf of DC prisoners and formerly incarcerated people on issues related to their conditions of confinement and related matters. He has advocated for improved medical care for DC prisoners, limits on population at the DC Jail, expanded rights for parole-eligible prisoners, and on a wide range of other matters affecting prisoners in DC jail facilities and in the federal Bureau of Prisons, as well as matters affecting parolees.

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Deepa Goraya

Staff Attorney, Disability Rights Project

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Deepa Goraya is a civil rights attorney who enforces the rights of people with disabilities in places of public accommodation, transportation, employment, education, and other areas, and who has focused in particular on improving the accessibility of web sites, mobile applications, and touch screen technology for the blind. Ms. Goraya, who is completely blind, routinely represents individuals with disabilities and disability rights organizations in federal and state court.

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Elinor Hart

Coordinator, DC Public School’s Partnership Project

Elinor Hart has served as the Coordinator of the Committee’s DC Public School’s Partnership Project since the summer of 2009.  Her extensive experience with the project includes editing the program’s semi-annual newsletter, Partners Unlimited Bulletin Board, which she helped launch in 1997. She has also produced several videos and DVDs about the program.

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Brook Hill

Equal Justice Works Fellow

Brook HillBrook Hill is an Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellow sponsored by Crowell & Moring, LLP. During his fellowship, Mr. Hill will represent tenants in buildings timing out of subsidy in DC to preserve affordability and ensure compliance with fair housing laws.

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Rochelle Jones

Chief Financial Officer

Rochelle Jones joined the Washington Lawyers’ Committee staff in 1996 as director of finance and administration. Ms. Jones assumed the position of chief financial officer in 2001.  As CFO she is responsible for the finance and budgeting functions of the organization.

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Gregg Kelley

Director of Development and Communications

Kelley PhotoGregg Kelley joined the Washington Lawyers’ Committee as Director of Development and Communications in February 2017. At the Committee, he leads and oversees the planning, implementation, and evaluation of WLC’s fundraising and communications efforts.

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Heather Kryzak

Workers' Rights Clinic Coordinator

Heather Kryzak joined the Washington Lawyers' Committee in April 2017 following the merger of the Committee and the DC Employment Justice Center (EJC). She has coordinated Workers' Rights Clinics since July of 2014. Prior to joining the EJC, Ms. Kryzak lived and worked in Ecuador for three years, where she lead education, health, and livelihoods programs for an underserved community outside of Quito. As a student at American University in DC, she worked as a legal department intern with the Central American Resource Center, assisting attorneys in providing low and no-cost legal services to the immigrant community. She is excited to return to DC and continue working to provide educational and legal resources to communities in need. 

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Stacey M. Litner

Prisoner Rights' Advocacy Director

Stacey Litner joined the Washington Lawyers’ Committee in 2007 as part of the DC Prisoners’ Rights Project. She focuses on the non-litigation efforts of the Project, providing individual and systemic advocacy on behalf of DC residents under correctional supervision. Prior to joining the Washington Lawyers’ Committee, Ms. Litner was an investigator at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center representing indigent clients facing the death penalty. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2006.

Amal Mimish

Amal Mimish joined the Committee as a paralegal supporting the Fair Housing and the Disability Rights projects in February 2016. Along with the Committee’s other paralegals, Ms. Mimish manages the intake process by acting as the first point of contact for all potential clients. In addition, she provides litigation support to our attorneys.

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Elliot M. Mincberg

Senior Counsel

Elliot M. Mincberg is a consulting attorney with the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.  He joined the Committee in June 2014 with a focus on DC prisoner litigation. Working with cooperating law firms, his cases have focused on discrimination against prisoners with disabilities, religious issues, and parole.  

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Evelyn Núñez

evelyn edited1Evelyn Núñez joined the Committee as a bilingual paralegal supporting the work of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in June 2015. As part of her role, Ms. Núñez conducts intakes for Spanish-speaking clients and supports attorneys in developing cases in the areas of employment discrimination, wage theft, and language access rights. Additionally, she conducts Know Your Rights presentations to connect immigrants within the D.C. metropolitan area with access to more information about their civil rights. In November 2016, Ms. Núñez also joined the Executive Committee of the D.C. Language Access Coalition, a coalition of D.C. based organizations that for more than a decade has lead legislative campaigns to ensure language access for D.C.’s LEP/NEP immigrant community in schools and government agencies.

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Perry Redd

Worker's Rights Advocate

Perry Redd joined the Washington Lawyers' Committee in April 2017 as a Worker's Right Advocate following the merger of the Committee and the DC Employment Justice Center (EJC). He works to secure, protect and promote workplace justice in the DC metropolitan area.

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Richard J. Ritter

Senior Counsel

Richard J. Ritter is a consulting attorney for the Committee, specializing in bank and insurance redlining litigation, predatory lending, and public accommodation civil rights cases.

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Christine Tschiderer Dinan

Staff Attorney

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Christine Tschiderer Dinan joined the Committee in September 2014 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. During her fellowship, Ms. Dinan provided legal services, outreach, and advocacy to immigrant women who had experienced pregnancy or family responsibilities discrimination in the workplace.  In August 2016, Ms. Dinan helped to secure a $550,000 jury verdict for her client, a line worker at a Chipotle restaurant, in a pregnancy discrimination case. In September 2016, Ms. Dinan was named a Staff Attorney. In this capacity, she continues to devote a significant portion of her practice to combating discrimination against pregnant women and caregivers through litigation and policy advocacy.

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Jhonna Turner

Parent Engagement Program Coordinator, Public Education Project

Jhonna Turner is the Parent Engagement Program Coordinator for Washington Lawyers' Committee supporting the Public Education Project. Ms. Turner’s role as Program Coordinator is to essentially help empower parents, support marginalized schools and continue to fight for justice and education equity for all students through the Parent Empowerment Program. Ms. Turner has worked in various parts of education in Washington, D.C. Her most treasured role in each position has been her work with parents and engaging them in the lives of children in the city.

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Samantha Weaver

After spending the summer of 2015 interning with the D.C. Prisoners’ Project, Samantha Weaver joined the Washington Lawyers’ Committee’s staff in 2016 as a paralegal with the Equal Employment Opportunity and Disability Rights projects. In addition to her work on those projects, Ms. Weaver supports police misconduct cases. She recently graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016, where she majored in Sociology, focusing her studies on criminal justice issues and social movements.

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Kent Withycombe

Project Director, DC Public School Partnership Program

Photo of Kent WithycombeKent Withycombe joined the Committee in January 2012 from Dickstein Shapiro LLP, where he was a partner and had practiced as an insurance litigator on behalf of policyholders for more than 15 years. Prior to Dickstein Shapiro, Mr. Withycombe was a shareholder member for eight years in the law firm of Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky, P.C., where he also litigated insurance matters on behalf of policyholders in addition to other matters involving securities and construction disputes.

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Tiffany Yang

Skadden Fellow

Tiffany Yang joined the Committee as a Skadden Fellow in October 2017. Her project will challenge the collateral consequences of criminal justice involvement, including reentry barriers to housing and employment, through litigation and policy advocacy.

Before joining the Committee, Tiffany clerked for the Honorable Andre M. Davis on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and for the Honorable Josephine L. Staton on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. She graduated from Stanford Law School in 2015, where she received the Lisa M. Schnitzer Memorial Scholarship for her commitment to public interest work as well as prizes for outstanding performance in Clinical Practice, Clinical Coursework, Federal Litigation, Legal Research & Writing, Property, and Immigration Law, Policy & Constitutional Rights. 

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Kiva Keane Zytnick

Volunteer, Development & Communications Coordinator

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As Volunteer, Development & Communications Coordinator, Kiva Zytnick focuses on engaging law firm volunteers in the WLC’s civil rights work and supporting its communications and fundraising efforts. Before joining the Committee, Ms. Zytnick was an associate at Goodwin Procter LLP, where she litigated complex consumer, fraud, and mass tort actions. She maintained an active community service and pro bono practice, which included establishing and managing Goodwin’s school partnership through the WLC’s Public Education Project. She also led the office’s Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity.

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