Staff

Administrative & Supervisory Staff

Jeanette Zelhof, Executive Director
Elise Brown, Deputy Director for Legal Practice & Director of Litigation for Housing Rights
Tiffany Liston, Deputy Director for Program and Development
Jacqueline Adorno, Supervising Attorney
Montel A. Cherry, Supervising Attorney
Donna Chiu, Supervising Attorney
Carolyn E. Coffey, Director of Litigation for Economic Justice
Kevin M. Cremin, Director of Litigation for Disability and Aging Rights
Ernie Collette, Supervising Attorney
Andrew Darcy, Supervising Attorney
Tiffany Femiano, Supervising Attorney
Elizabeth Filatova. Supervising Attorney
Gabriel Fonseca, Supervising Attorney
Leah Goodridge, Supervising Attorney
Eva Horowitz, Supervising Attorney
Richard Kahn, Managing Attorney
Justin La Mort, Supervising Attorney
Emilio Paesano, Supervising Attorney
Joseph Rebella, Supervising Attorney
Todd Silverblatt, Supervising Attorney
Eric Alterman, Chief Development Officer
Lindsay Bascom, Chief Fiscal Officer
Juliette Dayana Bistoury, Director of Operations
Anu Garfield, Director of Contract Management and Compliance
Lucy Liang, Controller
Marleah Martin, Assistant to the Controller
Douglas Meredith, Data and Technology Supervisor
Katherine Alvarado, Grants & Contracts Specialist
José Ortiz, Director of Government and Foundation Relations

Staff Attorneys

Shanila Ali
Peter Barker-Huelster
Emily Bensco
Jason Blumberg
Jota Borgmann
Jessica Carnevale
Cassandra Charles
Caroline Chen
Evelyn Compton
Erica Cooper
Shirin Dhanani
Evan Denerstein
Samy Dorgham
Katherine Ellis
Christopher Fasano
Marina Gonik
Alberto Gonzalez
Sandra Gresl
Ethan Han
Ana Lise Feliciano Hansen
Tangier Harper
Javeria Hashmi
Andry Henriquez
Bernadette Jentsch
Karla Johnson
Andrew Jones
Nora Kenty
Tanya Kessler
Gokul Krish
Ariana Lindermayer
Matthew Longobardi
Dinah Luck
Belinda Luu
Nora Machuga
Sharon Mack
Ariana Marmora
Bridget Mullaly
Christina Mulligan
Amanda O’Keefe
Orier Okumakpeyi
Omolola Omoyosi
Lana Pelletier McCrea
Michael Pereira
Madeleine Reichman
Julia Remotti
Arlene Rodriguez
Caroline Roe
Brenden Ross
Daniel Ross
Katherine Sacks
Traci Blake Salami
Mark Schulte
Furqan Shukr
Nicole Siderits
Christopher Sina
Brian Sullivan
Patrick Tyrrell
Alireza Vaziri
Adrienne Warrell
Rochelle Watson
Elizabeth White
Meaghan Whyte

Law Graduates

Devika Balaram
Jaynor Diaz
Elizabeth Fisher
Amanda Yangchen Lipman
Alana Murphy

Warren Sinsheimer Fellow

Andrew Gerst

Social Work Coordinator

Sarah Heller Hafetz, LCSW

Paralegals/Organizers

Alberto Chan, Supervising Paralegal
Fanny Chan
Ruth Enriquez
Wendy Grullon
Abraham Hernandez
Tamika Johnson
Elisa Medina
Raquel Namuche
Joel Perez-Romano
Orly Rogers-Figueroa
Denise Romero Gonzalez
Elvis Rosario
Reisy Veloz

Support Staff

Rafaella Abeo, Administrative Assistant
Jessica Cepin, Administrative Assistant
Sadria Dominguez, Administrative Assistant
Ana Lazo, Administrative Assistant
Brian M. Moody, Administrative Assistant
Julio Rodriguez, Administrative Assistant
Nicholas Sakover, Administrative Assistant
Kelly Warner, Data Entry

Extern Fellows

Provided by:

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Fellowships

Provided by:

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

MFJ’s Leadership

Jeanette Zelhof, Executive Director

Jeanette Zelhof has been the Executive Director of Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services, Inc.) since September 2011.  A long-time member of MFJ’s legal team and force behind MFJ’s pioneering advocacy on adult home reform, Ms. Zelhof directs MFJ’s legal practice that annually serves more than 10,000 poor, low-income and disabled New Yorkers. Under Ms. Zelhof’s leadership, MFJ has expanded the scope and depth of its programs by developing projects to serve homeowners in foreclosure, low-wage workers, seniors, consumers, people with disabilities, and residents of three-quarter houses and nursing homes. She has held a number of positions at MFJ, including supervising MFJ’s affirmative litigation. Ms. Zelhof is the recipient of the Coalition of Institutional Aged and Disabled Adult Home Residents’ award (1998), the New York County Lawyers’ Association Award for Outstanding Public Service (1999), the Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services’ Public Policy Leadership Award (2002), and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Legal Services Award (2005).  She is co-author of Protecting the Rights of Litigants with Diminished Capacity in the New York City Housing Courts, 3 Cardozo Pub.L.Pol’y & Ethics J. 733 (2006), Ensuring a Fair Hearing for Litigants with Mental Illnesses, 17 J.L. & Pol’y 455 (2009), and Mental Health-Legal Partnerships, 44 Clearinghouse Rev. 535 (March/April 2011).  Ms. Zelhof is a 1985 graduate of Brooklyn Law School.

Jacqueline Adorno, Supervising Attorney

Jacqueline Adorno is Supervising Attorney of MFJ’s kinship caregiver unit, which works to prevent children from entering the traditional foster care system by helping relatives to secure orders of custody or guardianship or to adopt the children in their care. As a staff attorney, Ms. Adorno expanded the Project’s work in the Bronx, conducting regular legal clinics at Bronx Family Court and developing a collaborative project with Bridge Builders, a coalition of Bronx social service organizations, to expand services to Bronx families. A 2011 graduate of Fordham University School of Law, Ms. Adorno served as the Notes and Articles Editor of the Environmental Law Review and assisted domestic violence survivors as part of the Courtroom Advocates Program.  Before joining MFJ, Ms. Adorno was a Special Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Domestic Violence Bureau and worked in private practice.

Elise Brown, Deputy Director for Legal Practice & Director of Litigation for Housing

Elise Brown oversees MFJ’s housing practice, which focuses on preserving affordable housing and preventing homelessness. Prior to this, she launched MFJ’s forecosure practice, and is the organization’s deputy in charge of legal practice. Ms. Brown obtained CLE certification for the organization and manages its CLE program. Before joining MFJ in 2008, she practiced complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts and handled a wide range of legal matters as commercial real estate litigation, business torts, RICO, antitrust, insurance coverage, copyright, railroad law, and construction law. Following her graduation from law school, Ms. Brown served as a law clerk for the Hon. John M. Duhé, Jr. of the United State Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ms. Brown is the recipient of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Legal Service Award in 2013 and the NYCLA Award for Outstanding Public Service in 2017. She is a 1989 graduate of Louisiana State University School of Law.

Montel A. Cherry, Supervising Attorney

Montel A. Cherry is Supervising Attorney of MFJ’s government benefits unit, which assists individuals with legal problems relating to Public Assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid/Medicare, Disability Benefits, immigration and special education.  This assistance includes representing clients in state and federal courts, and at administrative hearings. Prior to coming to MFJ, Ms. Cherry was a Disability Law Specialist at Manhattan Legal Services, where she represented adults and children with physical and mental impairments in appealing their denial of disability benefits.  Prior to that she was as a staff attorney for the government benefits unit at the former Harlem Legal Services and worked as a decisions editor at the New York Law Journal. Ms. Cherry is a 1999 graduate of CUNY School of Law.  She received the NYCLA Award for Outstanding Public Service in 2016.

Donna Chiu, Supervising Attorney

Donna Chiu is a Supervising Attorney in MFJ’s housing unit. Ms. Chiu recently returned to MFJ where she started her legal career as a housing attorney. Prior to returning to MFJ, she was the Director of Housing and Community Services at Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), a non-profit, community-based organization. At AAFE, Ms. Chiu led a team comprised of attorney, organizer and housing advocate to provide legal representation, organize and empower non-English speaking immigrants in Queens and Chinatown to stand up to their predatory equity landlords and fight back against tenant harassment.  Ms. Chiu is an immigrant from Hong Kong, China and a native Chinese-Cantonese speaker. She takes great pride in leveraging her lived experiences growing up in Chinatown as an immigrant to provide linguistically and culturally appropriate services to some of New York’s most underserved tenants. Ms. Chiu received her J.D. from CUNY School of Law in 2005.  In 2015, she received the Community Partner Award from Manhattan Legal Services and the Community Ally Award from the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence. In 2016, Ms. Chiu was the recipient of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Legal Services Award.

Carolyn E. Coffey, Director of Litigation for Economic Justice

Carolyn E. Coffey oversees MFJ’s economic justice practices and supervises the Consumer Rights and Bankruptcy projects, which provide advice, counsel, and representation to low-income New Yorkers on a range of consumer-related problems; she also oversees the Workplace Justice and Foreclosure Prevention projects. Ms. Coffey represents clients in state and federal courts, conducts trainings on consumer law, engages in legislative advocacy at the local, state and federal levels, and has co-authored several reports and amicus briefs concerning the debt collection industry. She is also co-chair of the New York City Consumer Advocates Task Force and an adjunct professor at Cardozo School of Law.  She was previously a staff attorney in MFJ’s Workplace Justice Project and Consumer Rights Project and, before joining MFJ, clerked in the Southern District of New York. She is a 2004 graduate of CUNY School of Law. Ms. Coffey is the proud recipient of the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s 2012 Public Service Award, the National Association of Consumer Advocates’ 2012 Consumer Advocate Award, and the National Consumer Law Center’s 2016 Rising Star Award.  

Kevin M. Cremin, Director of Litigation for Disability and Aging Rights

Kevin M. Cremin oversees MFJ’s disability and aging rights practice, including supervising MFJ’s affirmative advocacy and litigation involving the rights of people who are elderly or have disabilities, including nursing home and adult home residents.  In 2006, Mr. Cremin received a fellowship to conduct a study in India to determine whether law and public policy should be reformed to facilitate better community-based services for individuals with psychiatric disabilities.  He has also worked for the West Side SRO Law Project and Legal Services NYC.  After clerking for a federal district court judge and a federal appellate court judge, he was a Trial Attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.  Mr. Cremin has published numerous articles on the rights of individuals with disabilities and conducts Fair Housing trainings citywide, and he is Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School. He is a 2000 graduate of Yale Law School. Mr. Cremin is the recipient of the New York County Lawyers’ Association 2013 Public Service Award.

Ernie Collette, Supervising Attorney

Ernie Collette is a Supervising Attorney in MFJ’s Immigration Law Project. Prior to becoming a Supervising Attorney, Mr. Collette was a Staff Attorney in the Government Benefits Project at MFJ where he represented clients in a range of public benefits matters, including Public Assistance, SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security benefits, including representation in Federal Court. Mr. Collette grew the Immigration Law Project at MFJ from his work in the Government Benefits Project and continues to represent families and individuals in humanitarian-based claims for immigration relief while leading the new unit.  He has provided numerous trainings to nonprofit organizations, law schools, and to Immigration Judges and Asylum Officers, on immigrant eligibility for public benefits, and is committed to improving the quality of life of marginalized individuals and families through litigation and policy work. He is the author of “Barring Survivors of Domestic Violence from Food Security: The Unintended Consequences of 1996 Welfare and Immigration Reform” published in the Drexel University Law Review, and “Unaccompanied and Excluded From Food Security: A Call for the Inclusion of Immigrant Youth Twenty Years After Welfare Reform” in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal. Mr. Collette is a 2013 graduate of Seattle University School of Law.

Andrew Darcy, Supervising Attorney

Andrew Darcy is a Supervising Attorney in MFJ’s housing unit. Before becoming a supervisor, Mr. Darcy was a Staff Attorney at MFJ, representing tenants involved in disputes with their landlords in the Bronx and Manhattan. He has advocated for tenants from pre-litigation stages through appeals, in cases involving, among others, illegal lockouts, allegations of nonpayment and breach of lease, as well as rent overcharges. Mr. Darcy has had numerous decisions stemming from his successful representation of tenants published in the New York Law Journal and in the New York Official Reports. Before joining MFJ, Mr. Darcy was an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP, where he litigated cases involving complex commercial, antitrust, and securities matters, as well as government investigations. In 2012-2013, Mr. Darcy clerked for the Honorable Katharine S. Hayden, District Judge for the District of New Jersey. Mr. Darcy is a 2010 graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law.

Tiffany Femiano, Supervising Attorney

Tiffany Femiano is a Supervising Attorney in MFJ’s housing unit. Prior to joining MFJ, Ms. Femiano was a Staff Attorney at Bronx Defenders, where she represented clients on a broad range of civil legal issues, including housing matters and those involving loss of employment licenses. She also served as a Staff Attorney at Queens Legal Services, where she engaged in affirmative litigation and eviction defense on behalf of tenants at administrative agencies, Housing Court and Supreme Court. She has had several decisions stemming from successful representation of tenants published in the New York Law Journal and in the New York Official Reports. Ms. Femiano is a 2011 graduate of Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.

Elizabeth Filatova, Supervising Attorney

Elizabeth Filatova is the Supervising Attorney for MFJ’s Mental Health Law Project (MHLP), which offers a wide variety of civil legal services to New Yorkers with mental health disabilities. Prior to becoming a supervisor, Ms. Filatova was a Staff Attorney in MHLP and in MFJ’s Disaster Response Law Project, where she advocated for homeowners impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Ms. Filatova has successfully litigated on behalf of numerous clients with disabilities in seeking crucial reasonable accommodations from landlords and government agencies. Prior to joining MFJ, Ms. Filatova worked on expanding development of affordable housing in New York City at the Center for Popular Democracy and at the New York State Housing Finance Agency. Ms. Filatova is a 2013 graduate of the New York University School of Law.

Leah Goodridge, Supervising Attorney

Leah Goodridge is a Supervising Attorney in MFJ’s housing unit. Prior to joining MFJ, Ms. Goodridge was a Housing Staff Attorney at the Urban Justice Center where she organized tenant groups and initiated affirmative litigation to address environmentally hazardous conditions. She also litigated a housing discrimination case which sought to reinforce reasonable accommodation provisions for tenants.  Fluent in Spanish, Ms. Goodridge has taught courses on capacity building and community development at the City University of New York and NYU Wagner. She is a 2009 graduate of UCLA School of Law. In recognition of her efforts in community development, Ms. Goodridge was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant in 2015 to lead a series of lectures on social innovation and housing law at the University of Malta in Europe.

Richard Kahn, Managing Attorney

Rick Kahn is the Managing Attorney of MFJ’s Bronx office, where he oversees MFJ’s Bronx Housing team and supervises MFJ’s HIV Legal Services Program. Before joining MFJ, Mr. Kahn was Vice President in Charge of Legal Services at BOOM!Health, which evolved from his prior position as Director of Legal Services at Bronx AIDS Services. Over the course of the past twenty years he has represented hundreds of tenants in Bronx Housing Court, and supervised representation of thousands of others, while representing and supervising the provision of legal services in a range of civil matters to thousands of low-income Bronx residents living with HIV/AIDS. He is a 1995 graduate of Boston College Law School.

Justin La Mort, Supervising Attorney

Justin La Mort is a Supervising Attorney in MFJ’s housing unit. Before joining MFJ, Mr. La Mort was a Supervising Attorney at CAMBA Legal Services where he represented hundreds of tenants in Brooklyn. He is Chair of the Housing Court Committee at the New York City Bar Association, Steering Committee Member of the Brooklyn Tenants’ Lawyers Network, and manages Brooklyn Law School’s housing clinic as an adjunct professor. His legal writings have been published in the Missouri Law Review, NYU Review of Law & Social Change, Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law, Journal of Regulatory Compliance, Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law, and the online Harvard Law & Policy Review. Mr. La Mort is a 2010 graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Tiffany Liston, Deputy Director for Program and Development

Tiffany Liston assists the Executive Director in overseeing program, development, and strategic organizational initiatives for Mobilization for Justice. Before joining MFJ, Ms. Liston was General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer for an education non-profit organization where she oversaw all legal issues, human resources, development/external relations, finance, and operations. Prior to that, Ms. Liston was a Litigation Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP where she managed a complex commercial case load, including government investigations, RICO, intellectual property, antitrust, among other matters. Prior to Simpson Thacher, Ms. Liston interned for Judge Lucy Billings, NY Supreme Court, and Mobilization for Justice, where she started her legal career. Ms. Liston is on the Board of Riverdale Neighborhood House, a social services non-profit in the North Bronx. She is a 2002 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.

Todd Silverblatt, Supervising Attorney

Todd Silverblatt is a Supervising Attorney in MFJ’s Warren J. Sinsheimer Children’s Rights Program. Mr. Silverblatt’s legal career has been dedicated to advancing juvenile rights, beginning in 1979 as a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Division in Kings County and later as Director of Special Projects for the Society’s central Juvenile Rights Division. During his 30-year tenure at Legal Aid, Mr. Silverblatt handled all aspects of criminal and civil litigation in Family Court, including child protective proceedings, custody/visitation matters, delinquency and status offenses. In 1999 he became Executive Director or the Partnership for Children’s Rights (PFCR), overseeing operations and legal practice of a non-profit dedicated to ensuring appropriate education for children with disabilities. When PFCR merged with Mobilization for Justice in June 2018, Mr. Silverblatt joined MFJ’s team as Supervising Attorney, continuing the practice he built at PFCR. He is a 1978 graduate of Brooklyn Law School, and the 2018 recipient of the New York County Lawyers’ Association Public Service Award.

Eric Alterman, Chief Development Officer

Eric Alterman is Chief Development Officer at Mobilization for Justice. Prior to joining MFJ, Eric focused his career on designing and implementing individual and institutional giving strategies for reproductive health and rights organizations, most recently as Director of Individual and Major Gifts at Physicians for Reproductive Health. Before joining PRH, Eric ran the individual giving program at Spence-Chapin Services for Families and Children, one of the nation’s oldest adoption agencies. Prior to that, Eric was VP for Membership and Finance at NARAL Pro-Choice New York for over 10 years, where he cut his reproductive rights teeth. He has done development and communications work for the ACLU, The Democratic National Committee, several state PIRGs, The War Resistors League, and OMP, a national direct marketing firm based in Washington DC, among others. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Columbia College, Eric joined the staff of the Guardian Newsweekly, a national progressive newsweekly based in New York, starting with no office skills whatsoever, but eventually becoming Circulation Director. A native New Yorker, Eric has been raising money for non-profit organizations for over 30 years, and it hasn’t killed him yet.

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