Jovita K. Alphonse

Jovita K. Alphonse currently holds the Employee Relations Manager/Consultant position for NIKE, Inc.  One of her roles is to investigate workplace issues ranging from matters of respect to misconduct.  She also acts in as a consultant to stakeholders regarding employee relations policies and oversees a team that is responsible for developing and delivering robust training in areas related to workplace conduct.  These trainings are critical in educating the NIKE workforce on appropriate workplace conduct. 

Jovita started her career at NIKE in 1997 as a Senior Risk Consultant.  In that role, Jovita facilitated worker’s compensation claims to third party administrators.  She also established and helped develop guidelines and audit criteria for those administrators.  Further, Jovita would represent NIKE in settlement conferences and other legal proceedings.

In 1999, Jovita became an Employee Relations Manager, where she conducted internal investigations on harassment, discrimination, misconduct, and other employee complaints.  Based on her investigations, Jovita then provided findings and recommendations to decision-makers.  She was also primarily responsible for delivering various training programs, including Zero Tolerance training. 

After 11 years as an Employee Relations Manager, Jovita held the HR Generalist position and was subsequently named the HR Business Manager.  She oversaw all HR matters and provided coaching and training to upper level management.  Jovita also oversaw the implementation of all HR processes and practices throughout the company. 

Jovita holds a BS in Finance and Marketing from the University of Oregon and has held memberships in various organizations, including the Society for Human Resource Managment.  Jovita also holds her Self-Insured Claims Certification in California and Oregon. 

SPHR, Consultant

Ann Beytagh

Ann Beytagh is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas with more than 10 years of experience working in the university setting as the Associate University Counsel at Southern Methodist University.  During her tenure there, Ann provided legal support to various university departments, including the Risk Management and Human Resource departments.  She oftentimes would work hand-in-hand with the District Attorney’s office, and is well versed in higher education litigation avoidance strategies.

After leaving SMU in 2005, Ann became Associate General Counsel and subsequently interim General Counsel at Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  During her time there, Ann assisted with marketing the foundation.  She further provided support in the areas of risk management and human resources. 

Ann is also an experienced litigator, with both first chair and appellate experience.  Over her career, she has practiced with the Houston law firms of Kirklin, Boudreaux & Joseph and Scott Douglass & Luton (now Scott Douglass & McConnico), the Austin office of the Wall Street firm of Milgrim, Thomajan & Lee, and the national law firm of Talcott Franklin P.C. 

Ann holds a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a JD from the University of Houston, where she was also a member of the Law Review.

JD, Principal

Shannon Brown

Shannon Brown began her professional career in 1993 as an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York City.   As a member of the labor and employment department, she worked on sexual harassment and discrimination cases.  After Skadden, Shannon continued her employment law career first at Maupin, Taylor, Ellis & Adams in Raleigh, North Carolina and then at McGwire Woods in Charlotte, North Carolina.  At both firms she continued working on sexual harassment and discrimination cases.  She also regularly consulted with clients regarding their sexual harassment and discrimination policies and handbooks.


In  1998, Shannon left private practice to work as a law clerk at the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in Charlotte, North Carolina. While at the courthouse, she specialized in handling prisoner habeas corpus and prisoner civil rights cases.  Over the next 13 years she handled over a thousand such cases.


In 2011, Shannon returned to private practice to become Of Counsel at the national law firm of Talcott Franklin P.C., where she serves as the firm’s civil procedure specialist. 


Shannon is married and has two children: Danielle (b. 1997) and Cole (b. 1999).  In 1988 she graduated cum laude from Middlebury College where she received a B.A. in history.  In 1993, Shannon graduated magna cum laude from Washington & Lee law school where she was a Staff Writer and Editor in Chief of the Washington & Lee Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif.

JD, Principal

Ginger Cavanaugh

Ginger Cavanaugh has over 20 years of diverse experience in compliance and operations.  Ginger served as the Vice President of Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs at Lending.com/CSA.  During her tenure with Lending.com, she provided support and oversight to the risk management and regulatory compliance functions of the company.  Ginger was also responsible for managing and coordinating all legal matters, including attending settlement conferences, court proceedings, and mediations. She drafted and negotiated contracts and was responsible for the company’s compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations.  Ginger spent substantial amounts of her time addressing, mediating, and settling sexual harassment and discrimination claims among employees.  She worked directly with the EEOC and private mediators to resolve employee disputes. 

Ginger subsequently became the Director of Compliance for Greenshield FS, where she ensured the company’s regulatory compliance with internal policies and procedures, as well as federal, state, and local laws and regulations.  She established and developed relationships with external advocacy groups and trade organizations, and served as the company’s spokesperson for all media inquiries and interviews.  Ginger was also responsible for overseeing consumer complaints and resolutions, including BBB and regulatory complaints.  She also investigated and responded to regulatory, attorney general, and various state department audits and inquiries. 

In 2011, Ginger became the Chief Operating Officer for Talcott Franklin, PC.  In that position, she oversaw the firm’s expansion from four attorneys to over twenty senior attorneys licensed in twelve states, plus the District of Columbia.

BBA, Principal

Shannon W. Conway

Shannon Conway has more than 15 years of legal experience.  She spent the majority of her legal career at the international law firm of Patton Boggs LLP, making her way from legal secretary to partner.  During her tenure there, Shannon worked with the public policy group to draft and track proposed legislation through enactment, created policy initiatives for the Firm’s clients, and specialized in insurance coverage law on a wide variety of issues.

Shannon left Patton Boggs to continue her legal career at the national law firm of Talcott Franklin P.C.  Throughout her career, Shannon has continued to devote a substantial amount of her time to the pro bono representation of individuals and non-profit entities within the LGBT community.

Shannon holds a JD from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law and a BS in Business Administration, with a concentration in finance from Towson State University.  Originally from Maryland, Shannon is proud to call Texas home, where she resides with her best friend and spouse, Mary.

JD, Principal

Markus L. Forsythe

Markus L. Forsythe is a licensed medical practitioner in Washington, Oregon, and Nevada providing emergency medical treatment.  Markus has over 20 years of experience working with sexual assault victims.  Starting in 1996, he has and continues to testify as an expert medical witness for the District Attorney in Vancouver, Washington, on sexual assault cases.  Markus also spent 18 years as a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team for the South West Washington Medical Center.

Markus specializes in advanced trauma life support.  He currently works for a number of different emergency medical facilities across Nevada and Washington, and also provides medical care for disabled veterans.

Markus holds a BS in Microbiology from Oregon State University and an MD from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.  He completed his residency at Oregon Health Sciences University as an emergency medicine resident.  Markus subsequently received his Physician Laser Medicine and Medical Directorship certification from the National Laser Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona. He also holds a Fellowship Regenerative, Functional & Anti-Aging Medicine Certification from the University of Miami, Florida, and his Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Management Certification from Healogics in Jacksonville, Florida.

M.D., FACEP, FAARM, Physician Consultant

Talcott Franklin

Tal Franklin began his professional career as a Juvenile Rehabilitation Counselor-1 (JRC-1) in the maximum-security unit of a juvenile detention facility operated by the state of Washington.  As part of an interventionist staff, he helped protect individuals from further victimizing each other while serving their sentences for murder, rape, armed robbery, assault, and other serious crimes.  He also counseled these individuals and was involved in the successful capture of several escapees from minimum-security units, including those serving sentences for murder, rape, and assault. 

Following his time as a JRC-1, Tal taught sociology at the University of Washington, both as a teaching assistant and as a full instructor.  He subsequently taught sociology as an instructor at Highline Community College. 

In 1997, Tal received the Mecklenburg County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program Award for Exemplary Service to the Indigent for his pro bono work obtaining protective orders for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors.  This work also earned him the 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 E. Randolph Williams award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service.  In 2002, he was the Co-Chair of the Dallas Bar Association Pro Bono Activities Committee, for which he also served as Co-Vice-Chair in 2001.

Tal is the author or co-author of four legal treatises including the forthcoming School Sexual Assault Policy Handbook (Penobscot 2015). 

In 2010, Tal started Talcott Franklin P.C., a boutique law firm with an international client base, which by 2015 had grown to over 20 senior attorneys licensed in twelve states, plus the District of Columbia.  The firm has been featured on television, radio, and print media, including CNBC, NPR, the cover page of the Wall Street Journal business section, Bloomberg, HousingWire, and numerous other outlets.  Prior to starting Talcott Franklin P.C., Tal was an equity partner, Deputy Chair of Litigation firm-wide, and Dallas office head of litigation at the international law firm Patton Boggs LLP (now Squire Patton Boggs LLP). 

In 1983, Tal graduated from South Salem High School in Salem, Oregon, and attended Gonzaga University on the M.M. Conway Speech and Debate Scholarship, while serving as debate coach for a local high school.  After two years, he transferred to the University of Washington, where he received both a B.A. and an M.A. in sociology in 1988 and 1992, respectively, and as an undergraduate was a member and Rush Chairman of Acacia Fraternity.  In 1995, he graduated magna cum laude from Washington & Lee University School of Law, where he was a Staff Writer and Editor in Chief of the Washington & Lee Law Review, a member of Order of the Coif, and the recipient of the Robert and Anne Banse Honor Scholarship.

Tal is the father of three daughters: Ava (b. 2003), Charlotte (b.2005), and Virginia (b. 2008), and husband to wife Jennifer.

JD, MA, Principal

Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson has 23 years of experience working as a communications officer for a number of campus police departments.  She spent her first 21 years at Southern Methodist University, followed by a year each at Auburn University and Tuskegee University.  As a communications officer, Linda was responsible for taking on-campus emergency calls, dispatching campus police officers, and coordinating with local police. 

Linda subsequently became a counselor and teacher’s assistant for Arlington Independent School District.  During her tenure there, she worked with special-needs children, as well as children with social behavior issues. 

Linda received dual degrees in Sociology and Social Work from Bishop College in Marshall, Texas.

BA, Consultant

Kevin Lamasney

Kevin Lamasney is a licensed legal practitioner in the states of New York and North Carolina with extensive experience in compliance programs, policies, and procedures.  Kevin began his career as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army.  After receiving an honorable discharge, Kevin worked as a corrections officer at [WHERE]. 

After completing his education, Kevin became a labor relations consultant to Prudential Insurance Company of America, where, among other things, he handled grievance appeals, assisted with arbitration preparation, and researched and counseled field office management on inquiries pertaining to a wide range of labor and employment issues, [including sexual harassment charges??].  Kevin then became a Compliance Manager in the Regulatory Compliance Unit at Prudential Healthcare, Inc., where he researched and analyzed proposed and enacted state and federal healthcare legislation and regulations affecting the Company’s business and developed content and assisted in implementation of the online compliance training program on HIPAA and ERISA for Company employees.

After serving as a contract attorney with the Annuity Products Unit at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Kevin became Associate General Counsel, and later Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, at SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company, Inc., where he dealt with a wide range of issues such as advertising review, regulatory compliance, product development and policy form filing, business operations support, consumer complaints, market conduct examinations, e-commerce issues and pending litigation. 

Kevin holds a BA in Political Science from William Paterson College and his JD from The New England School of Law.

JD, Principal

F. Jerry Phelps

F. Jerry Phelps is a licensed practitioner in the state of Texas, who is also admitted but inactive in the states of New York, Illinois, Minnesota and California.  Jerry has served as in-house counsel for several large international banks, including Norwest Corporation (now Wells Fargo & Co.) and Banc One Corporation (now JPMorgan Chase Corporation).  During his time as in-house counsel, Jerry established and managed new legal divisions, and partnered and advised company auditors.  He also assisted human resource personnel and risk management personnel in sensitive investigations, including those involving employee and/or non-employee discrimination accusations, charges and complaints; alleged employee or customer malfeasance; employees’ sexual intimidation, and spousal threat matters.

Jerry has also served as General Counsel of several subsidiaries resolving failed banks’ assets with the FDIC or RTC.  He subsequently spent time as Of Counsel in several law firms, including the international law firms of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Patton Boggs LLP (now Squire Patton Boggs).  Jerry is currently Of Counsel for the national law firm Talcott Franklin P.C.

Jerry holds his BA from the University of Iowa and his JD from St. Johns University Law School. 

JD, Principal

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