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AARP Foundation Litigation Team

William A. Rivera - Senior Vice President, Litigation

Kelly Bagby - Vice President, Litigation (Housing, Health and Human Services)

Dean Graybill - Vice President, Litigation (Income, Consumer, and Employment)

AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL) is an advocate in courts nationwide for the rights of people 50 and older, addressing diverse legal issues that affect their daily lives and assuring that they have a voice in the judicial system.

Iris Y. Gonzalez

Iris is a Senior Attorney at AARP Foundation Litigation, where she works on impact litigation and legal advocacy to protect the rights of the vulnerable 50+ in matters that affect their health.  AARP Foundation Litigation works to ensure that the vulnerable 50+ have a voice in the courts.  Iris’ legal advocacy includes: ensuring the availability of quality home- and community-based long term care services; ensuring quality in institutional long term-care settings; fighting to end the inappropriate use of psychotropic drugs on older people with dementia; enforcing the substantive and procedural rights of those receiving long-term care and those receiving state or federally-funded healthcare benefits; advocating for access to affordable health care; and fighting anticompetitive practices that increase the cost of prescription drugs and other healthcare services.  Iris also advocates in support of laws and regulations at the national and state levels to promote these objectives.

Before joining AARP Foundation, Iris was a complex commercial litigator at two international Am Law 100 firms.  During her 10 years in private practice, Iris engaged in significant pro bono representations, including representing a plaintiff class seeking integrated home- and community-based mental health services. Iris served on the boards of directors of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and the Hispanic Bar Association of D.C., and is currently the President of the Board of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. She holds a B.A., cum laude, from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D., cum laude, from The Georgetown University Law Center.  A native of Puerto Rico, Iris is married and has two daughters.

Maame Gyamfi

Maame Gyamfi is Senior Attorney at the AARP Foundation Litigation.  Ms. Gyamfi is a health care expert who advocates nationwide for the rights of low-income older adults, addressing diverse issues that affect their daily lives and ensuring that they have a voice in the judicial system.  She works on matters involving health law, civil rights, elder abuse, disability rights, consumer protection, and other public interest areas. Prior to coming to AFL, Ms. Gyamfi was Senior Counsel at the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she worked on health care fraud and compliance matters. She also litigated criminal and civil cases as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the U.S. District Courts of the Southern District of Florida and the Eastern District of New York. Ms. Gyamfi is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and the University of California at Berkeley.

Barbara Jones

Barbara Jones is a member of the State Bar of California and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. She has been a Senior Attorney with AARP Foundation Litigation’s unit since 2004 where she has worked on a broad spectrum of cases impacting low income adults. She has filed amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs on behalf of AARP in a variety of cases in the Supreme Court including multiple patent cases impacting low-income adults’ access to health care. While at AARP Foundation, Ms. Jones served as co-counsel in 23 age discrimination class action cases. She has also worked on Social Security, investor fraud, housing, government benefit and arbitration cases.

Prior to working for the AARP Foundation, Ms. Jones worked as a Research Attorney for the San Mateo County Superior Court, taught legal research and appellate brief writing at Santa Clara University, School of Law and worked as an attorney for the California Rural Legal Assistance where she served as the state wide employment/labor coordinator. Among the government benefit cases Ms. Jones has argued are: Rosales v. Thompson, 321 F.3d 835 (9th Cir. 2003) (a foster care case described by one commentator as “the most significant Title IV- E event since passage of the Child Welfare Act of 1980”); California v. Shalala, 166 F.3d 1019 (9th Cir. 1999) Anderson v. Superior Court, 68 Cal.App.4th 1240 (1998) Land v. Anderson, 55 Cal.App.4th 69 (1997).

Daniel Kohrman

Dan Kohrman is a Senior Attorney with the AARP Foundation’s legal advocacy unit, AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL).  Dan represents older workers in class action and individual litigation in trial courts and AARP itself in amicus briefs in appellate courts, including the US Supreme Court.  Most of Dan’s cases involve claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  He also has filed many briefs for AARP challenging state voter ID laws. Dan has been with AFL since 2001. He previously worked for theCivil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the law firm of Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells).  Dan received a BA from Yale College, a master's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and his JD from Columbia Law School. From 1984-85 Dan served as a law clerk for the Hon. Stanley S. Brotman in the U.S. District Court in Camden, N.J. Dan has three children in their twenties.

Laurie McCann

Laurie McCann is a Senior Attorney with AARP Foundation Litigation. Her principal responsibilities include litigation and amicus curiae participation for AARP on a broad range of age discrimination and other employment issues. McCann has prepared numerous amicus curiae briefs on behalf of AARP in cases before the United States Supreme Court, and federal and state courts. Her publications include, "Age Discrimination in Employment" in The New Politics of Old Age Policy (2nd Edition) (with Cathy Ventrell-Monsees) and "The ADEA and the Eleventh Amendment," 2 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 241 (1998).

 

Ms. McCann is a noted speaker on the aging work force.  She has lectured on age discrimination, downsizing, and employee benefit issues at conferences sponsored by the American Bar Association, National Employment Lawyers Association, and the D.C. Bar Association. Due to her expertise in employment discrimination law, she is widely quoted in the media. She has also testified on behalf of AARP concerning age discrimination in employment before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Senate Special Committee on Aging. 

Ms. McCann graduated from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and received her Master of Science in Gerontology (with emphases in industrial gerontology and public policy) from the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California. She earned her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. 

Julie Nepveu

Julie Nepveu is a Senior Staff Attorney at AARP Foundation Litigation.  She advances the interests of older people nationwide in the areas of access to courts, consumer protection, mortgage and reverse mortgage servicing and foreclosure defense, fair housing, disability rights, and public utilities.  Her work includes litigating cases, filing amicus briefs, and drafting comments on proposed federal regulation and legislation, and providing support to AARP state office staff. Julie previously worked as Staff Attorney at the National Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law in the Housing and Community Development Project. Prior to that, she represented low income and subsidized tenants at Legal Services of Northern Virginia. Julie also served as a judicial law clerk at the U.S. Claims Court to the Hon. Thomas J. Lydon. Julie earned her BA from the University of Vermont and her JD from the University of Maine School of Law. The Maine State Bar Association honored Julie with its Pro Bono Award in 1991.

 

Mary Ellen Signorille

Mary Ellen Signorille is a senior attorney with AARP Foundation Litigation.  Ms. Signorille has prepared numerous amicus curiae briefs on employee benefits issues on behalf of AARP and its members in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and federal and state courts.  She provides substantive and technical guidance to individuals, employers and attorneys on complex issues arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code.  Ms. Signorille also prepares AARP’s comments to the three regulatory agencies charged with enforcing ERISA.  Ms. Signorille advises AARP’s state offices concerning state insurance, pension and retiree health issues.

Ms. Signorille is a Past President of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (“College”), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to elevating the standards and advancing the public's understanding of the practice of employee benefits law. She previously served as the College’s Treasurer and Vice-President. Ms. Signorille was selected as the Chair of the American Bar Association’s Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, the ABA’s umbrella organization of the six sections that have employee benefits committees.  Other bar activities have included appointment as Plaintiff’s Co-Chair to the ABA’s Labor and Employment Law’s Employee Benefit Committee, and election as a Co-Chair and Steering Committee member of the District of Columbia Bar’s Labor and Employment Law Section. She is currently a Senior Editor of Employee Benefits Law, a well-known treatise in the field.  Ms. Signorille was chosen as one of the top benefits lawyers in the country by The National Law Journal and was elected to the charter class of the College in 2000. She is a former member of the Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council. Finally, she is a frequent speaker on employee benefits issues such as preemption, fiduciary duty, and benefit claims at seminars sponsored by the American Bar Association, the Bureau of National Affairs, ALI-ABA, and other organizations.

Prior to her work at AARP, Ms. Signorille was in private law practice where she represented national and local employee benefit plans, labor organizations and employers. Ms. Signorille received her law degree from Catholic University Law School and is a recipient of a Masters of Law from Georgetown University Law Center.

Susan Ann Silverstein

Ms. Silverstein is a Senior Attorney for AARP Foundation Litigation where she works on fair housing, disability rights and low income issues. Ms. Silverstein has litigated significant cases establishing the rights of people with disabilities in public and private housing, including assisted living, retirement communities and in the context of community planning and redevelopment.  She was lead counsel in Cason v. Rochester Housing Authority, the first case brought on behalf of renters with disabilities under the 1988 Fair Housing Amendments Act that established that housing providers could not determine whether applicants were capable of living independently, but could only screen for their ability to meet relevant lease requirements. She was a leader in defending disparate impact under the Fair Housing Act as co-counsel in Citizens in Action v. Mt. Holly Township through its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and as author of the Supreme Court amicus on behalf of AARP, Lambda Legal Defense, National Disability Rights Network, and several other organizations. Ms. Silverstein received her BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her JD from Columbia University School of Law. She was a Community Builder Fellow with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in conjunction with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She began her career as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow at Southern Tier Legal Services in Bath, NY, and worked for other legal services offices in Western New York. 

Dara Smith

Dara Smith is a staff attorney at AARP Foundation Litigation. Her work at AARP Foundation has primarily focused on age and disability discrimination against older workers. She was counsel for AARP in its lawsuit successfully challenging the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s regulations, which permitted employers to impose heavy financial penalties on employees who refused to disclose sensitive medical and genetic information through workplace wellness programs. Dara previously worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, first as an attorney advisor for an administrative law judge who adjudicated cases involving immigration-related unfair employment practices, and later as a trial attorney at the Civil Division at the Office of Immigration Litigation and the Appellate Staff section, serving as lead counsel in federal cases in the Courts of Appeals. Dara also taught Scholarly Writing and Legal Research and Writing at George Washington University Law School. Dara earned a B.A. in linguistics and cultural anthropology at the University of Michigan and her J.D. at George Washington University Law School. She is originally from College Station, Texas, and she holds a second degree black belt in taekwondo.