Administrative & Supervisory Staff

Jeanette Zelhof, Executive Director
Elise Brown, Deputy Director & Director of Litigation for Housing Rights
Jacqueline Adorno, Supervising Attorney
John Bart, 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
Leah Goodridge, Supervising Attorney
Justin La Mort, Supervising Attorney
Elizabeth Lynch, Supervising Attorney
Scott Stamper, Supervising Attorney
Marti Weithman, Supervising Attorney
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, Grants & Contracts Specialist
José Ortiz, Director of Development
Dolores Schaefer, Director of Communications

Staff Attorneys

Shanila Ali
Peter Barker-Huelster
David Billingsley
Traci Blake
Jason Blumberg
Jota Borgmann
Ernie Collette
Evelyn Compton
Andrew Darcy
Evan Denerstein
Christopher Fasano
Elizabeth Filatova
Aleah Gathings
Alberto Gonzales
Sandra Gresl
Tangier Harper
Chloe Holzman
Bernadette Jentsch
Karla Johnson
Linda Jun
Tanya Kessler
Jesse Levitsky
Ariana Lindermayer
Dinah Luck
Belinda Luu
Matthew Main
Ariana Marmora
Ali Naini
Michael Novasky
Orier Okumakpeyi
Javier Ortiz
Michael Pereira
Samantha Rauer
Joseph Rebella
Arlene Rodriguez
Brenden Ross
Daniel Ross
Mark Schulte
Anamaria Segura
Nahid Sorooshyari
Andrew Stafutti
Brian Sullivan
Shi-Shi Wang
Rochelle Watson

Law Graduates

Cassandra Charles

Social Work Coordinator

Sarah Heller, LCSW


Jeffrey Bohn
Samantha Burke
German Castaneda
Fanny Chan
Tamika Johnson
Elisa Medina
Reisy Veloz

Support Staff

Jessica Cepin, Administrative Assistant
Karla Diaz, Administrative Assistant
Abraham Hernandez, Administrative Assistant
Brian M. Moody, Administrative Assistant

Extern Fellows

Provided by:

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP


Provided by:

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

MFY’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 MFY’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 Law Project, 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.

John Bart, Supervising Attorney, Mental Health Law Project

John Bart supervises the MFJ’s Mental Health Law Project (MHLP), which provides civil legal services, including consultation, advice, direct representation, and trainings to individuals living with a mental illness.  Previously, Mr. Bart worked at Northeast N.J. Legal Services and Harlem Legal Services as a Supervising Attorney in housing law and government benefits.  Also, he has worked at DC37 Legal Services and at the N.Y.C. Legal Aid Society as a staff attorney, specializing in housing law and government benefits.  Mr. Bart has spent his career as an advocate, supervisor and litigator, with published successful decisions in New York and New Jersey.  Mr. Bart received his J.D. from Cornell Law School and received B.A.s from Fordham College in Political Science and Economics.

Elise Brown, Deputy Director & Director of Litigation for Housing

Elise Brown oversees MFJ’s housing practices, which focus on preserving affordable housing and meeting the needs of vulnerable populations, including SRO and three-quarter house residents. She oversees outreach, training, and public policy work at the local, state and federal levels and is responsible for coordination with partner organizations. Ms. Brown obtained CLE certification for the organization and manages its CLE program, which entails identification of specific programmatic needs, recruitment of speakers, and detailed review of written materials for approximately 20 CLE presentations annually on a wide range of substantive and procedural topics of import to the organization’s attorneys. Prior to 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.

Montel A. Cherry, Supervising Attorney

Montel A. Cherry is the Supervising Attorney of the Government Benefits Project (GBP) at MFY Legal Services, Inc. GBP assists individuals with legal problems relating to Public Assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid/Medicare, and Disability Benefits.  This assistance includes representing clients in state and federal courts, and at administrative hearings, as well as assisting clients with the application process, and advocating for clients at the applicable government agency.  GBP conducts monthly on-site clinics with various community based organizations, and scheduled trainings for the community at large. Prior to coming to MFY, 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.  Initially she was hired at the former Harlem Legal Services, as a staff attorney for the government benefits unit specializing in both welfare and disability law.  She also worked as a decisions editor at the New York Law Journal. Ms. Cherry received her J.D. from CUNY School of Law and a B.A. in Sociology and African Studies from SUNY Stony Brook.

Donna Chiu, Supervising Attorney

Donna Chiu is a Supervising Attorney for MFJ’s Housing Project. 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. In 2016, Ms. Chiu was recognized for her dedication and contribution to providing civil legal assistance to the poor at the 47th Annual Legal Services Award hosted by the New York City Bar Association.  In 2015, she was honored by Manhattan Legal Services with the Community Partner Award. She was also honored by CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities Chinatown Tenants Union with the Community Ally Award for her work organizing and providing legal representation to tenants being harassed by a notorious Chinatown landlord. 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 City University of New York School of Law in 2005 and received her B.A. cum laude from Fordham University at Lincoln Center in 2002.

Carolyn E. Coffey, Director of Litigation for Economic Justice

Carolyn E. Coffey oversees MFJ’s economic justice practices and supervises the Consumer Rights Project, which provides advice, counsel, and representation to low-income New Yorkers on a range of consumer problems, and the Low-Income Bankruptcy Project, which provides advice and representation to New Yorkers seeking bankruptcy protection. In addition to supervising the projects, Ms. Coffey represents clients in state and federal courts in both defensive and affirmative cases, conducts trainings on consumer law, engages in legislative advocacy to help pass pro-consumer laws in New York City and New York State, and has co-authored several reports concerning the debt collection industry. She is the recipient of the New York County Lawyers’ Association 2012 Public Service Award and the National Association of Consumer Advocates’ 2012 Consumer Advocate Award.  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 for the Hon. Deborah A. Batts in the Southern District of New York.

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

Kevin M. Cremin supervises MFJ’s Adult Home Advocacy Project and coordinates and directs MFJ’s affirmative advocacy and litigation involving the rights of people who are elderly or have disabilities.  He has litigated with co-counsel cases such as Disability Advocates, Inc. v. Paterson, which resulted in a finding that New York State discriminated against approximately 4,300 individuals with disabilities.  In 2006, Mr. Cremin received a fellowship to conduct a study to determine whether law and public policy should be reformed to facilitate better community-based services for individuals with psychiatric disabilities in India.  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 he is an adjunct at Cardozo Law School and Columbia Law School.

Leah Goodridge, Supervising Attorney

Leah Goodridge is a Supervising Attorney of the Housing Rights Project at Mobilization for Justice. 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, Leah has taught courses on capacity-building and community development at the City University of New York and NYU Wagner. In recognition of her efforts in community development, Ms. Goodridge was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant to lead a series of lectures on social innovation and housing law at the University of Malta in Europe. She is a graduate of Vassar College and UCLA School of Law.

Justin La Mort, Supervising Attorney

Justin La Mort is a Supervising Attorney for MFJ’s Housing Rights Project. Before joining MFJ, Mr. La Mort was a Supervising Attorney at CAMBA Legal Services where he represented hundreds of tenants in Brooklyn with winning decisions published in the New York Official Reports and the New York Law Journal. His legal writings have been published in the Missouri Law Review, NYU Review of Law & Social Change, Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law, and the online Harvard Law & Policy Review. Mr. La Mort is a graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the University of Kansas.

Elizabeth M. Lynch, Supervising Attorney

Elizabeth Lynch is Supervising Attorney in MFJ’s Foreclosure Project where she represents clients in court-based foreclosure proceedings, including defensive litigation, mediation, and affirmative litigation. A Harvard Law School graduate, she negotiates mortgage modifications and settlement agreements. Ms. Lynch appears in court, drafts and argues motions, including motions based on lack of standing, failure to negotiate in good faith, and to set aside completed foreclosure sales after a home is sold at a foreclosure auction illegally. She has carried out an extensive investigation into illegal practices by foreclosure firms, resulting in a nationally acclaimed white paper, Justice Deceived. Ms. Lynch regularly speaks on foreclosure at community events and conducts CLE trainings for attorneys. She has presented at numerous conferences. Ms. Lynch’s fluency in Mandarin is important in serving the Chinese-speaking community in Queens. Ms. Lynch has successfully placed clients’ stories in newspapers, including the New York Times and New York Post; her commentary on foreclosure issues has appeared as op ed pieces in the New York Times, New York Law Journal and The Huffington Post.

Scott Stamper, Supervising Attorney

Scott Stamper is a Supervising Attorney in MFJ’s housing practice, leading the organization’s expansion of its anti-displacement work in the Bronx.   Formerly a staff attorney with MFJ’s Mental Health Law Project and housing practice, Mr. Stamper has represented hundreds of New Yorkers in Supreme Court, housing court, family court, and administrative hearings, and many of his winning decisions have been published in the New York Law Journal and New York Official Reports.  He was previously a staff attorney with the HIV Law Project and a litigation associate with a large Manhattan law firm.  Mr. Stamper earned his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, in 2005, where he was a Dean’s Scholar and a member of the Cardozo Law Review and the Cardozo Appeals Clinic.  He received a B.A. from Wheaton College.  Prior to law school, he worked with at-risk teens in Colorado and Utah, and lived and worked for two years with indigenous Maya farmers in Chiapas, Mexico.

Marti Weithman, Supervising Attorney

Marti Weithman is a Supervising Attorney for MFJ’s Housing Project. Ms. Weithman returned to MFJ where she started her legal career as a housing attorney. Prior to returning to MFJ, she was the Director of the Goddard Riverside Law Project where she led a team of tenant organizers and attorneys in providing legal services to individuals and groups of tenants living in Single Room Occupancy (SRO) and apartment buildings and advocating for stronger rent laws and policies to preserve affordable housing. Ms. Weithman specializes in SRO housing law and co-wrote The Law of Single Room Occupancy in New York City, published by the New York State Bar Association, N.Y. Real Property Law Journal. She received a J.D. from City University School of Law. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Weithman worked for Human Rights Watch where she focused on domestic and international human rights issues.