Liebert Cassidy Whitmore Announces Six Attorneys Have Been Promoted to Senior Counsel

CATEGORY: Press Releases
CLIENT TYPE: Nonprofit, Private Education, Public Education, Public Employers, Public Safety
PUBLICATION: Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
DATE: Oct 04, 2022

LOS ANGELES – Liebert Cassidy Whitmore (“LCW”) is pleased to announce that Leighton Davis Henderson, Alison R. Kalinski, Jennifer K. Palagi, Julie L. Strom, Kelly M. Tuffo, and Stacy L. Velloff have been named Senior Counsel, effective October 1, 2022.

LCW Managing Partner, J. Scott Tiedemann stated, “Leighton, Alison, Jennifer, Julie, Kelly, and Stacy have each worked tirelessly to support their individual practice groups by offering the highest quality services and best results to LCW clients. They have continually proven themselves to be top tier talent and we look forward to their continuous growth with LCW.”

Background on Our New Senior Counsel

Leighton Davis Henderson, Los Angeles, specializes in providing labor and employment advice and counsel to public agencies. She advises on a wide array of complex personnel issues, including suspected employee misconduct, discipline, and compliance with the POBR, FBOR, and state and federal leave laws. Leighton has represented cities, counties, and public safety agencies at all levels of the litigation process, including administrative hearings and grievance arbitrations, trial, and appeal, and she uses her many years of experience to help clients avoid litigation.

A seasoned investigator, Leighton currently devotes much of her practice to conducting workplace investigations. She holds a certificate from the Association of Workplace Investigators and is a member of LCW’s Investigations Executive Team. Leighton has conducted investigations into allegations of harassment, retaliation, and misconduct, including those of a sensitive nature and those concerning high profile individuals.

Alison R. Kalinski, Los Angeles, is an experienced litigator representing independent schools and public agencies, including cities, counties, and special districts before state and federal court, arbitrations, and administrative agencies.  She represents clients on claims of harassment and discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, wage and hour violations, wrongful termination, failure to accommodate, defamation, First Amendment, and due process violations from employees.  In addition, Alison defends schools in litigation on student issues, including disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, breach of contract, and defamation claims. Alison has argued before state and federal courts and the California Court of Appeal and has obtained a workplace violence restraining order to protect employees.

Alison also regularly advises independent schools, including religious schools, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies in matters pertaining to employment and students. In addition to employment advice, Alison counsels schools on student and parent issues, including bullying, student discipline, accommodating disabilities, enrollment agreements, student handbooks, parent and tuition disputes, and subpoenas. Alison especially enjoys working with schools and nonprofit clients by helping them meet their legal obligations while achieving their mission and maintaining the values of their school and organization.

Jennifer K. Palagi, Los Angeles, provides representation and counsel in all matters pertaining to employment and labor law with a focus on state and federal wage and hour issues.  Jennifer is a seasoned litigator and has experience in all phases of litigation, from the pleading stage through trial. Her experience involves representing employers in a broad range of disputes involving harassment and discrimination of all types, retaliation, wage and hour claims, the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) class actions, interactive process and reasonable accommodation, and wrongful termination. Jennifer’s successes include achieving summary judgment in numerous cases and defending the decisions on appeal, as well as and decertifying collective actions.

Julie L. Strom, Los Angeles, provides representation and legal counsel in matters pertaining to education, employment and labor law. Julie works extensively with LCW’s private school clients on a wide range of matters, and trains on subjects such as mandatory reporting, harassment, employee evaluations, personal boundaries, family conflicts, and international travel. Julie also advises and trains  nonprofit organizations on employment and wage and hour issues.

Julie is an experienced investigator and conducts employment-related investigations for both private and nonprofit organizations as well as public agencies. She has conducted investigations on allegations of harassment, as well as other employee and student misconduct.

Kelly M. Tuffo, San Francisco, has represented public agencies for over seventeen years. Her areas of expertise include labor negotiations, labor relations, contract administration, public education, and employment law, including employment discrimination, harassment, discipline and investigations. Kelly regularly provides training on labor negotiations, labor relations, contract administration and employment law, including employment discrimination, harassment, discipline and investigations.

As chief labor negotiator, Kelly has negotiated hundreds of labor contracts between public agencies and their employee organizations representing numerous types of employees. Kelly has represented clients in matters involving union grievances, arbitrations, unfair labor practices, labor strikes, unilateral implementation and other labor issues. Additionally, Kelly is also an experienced workplace investigator. She conducts management training programs on a variety of employment law issues, including discipline, performance evaluation, leaves of absence, and harassment and discrimination prevention.

Stacy L. Velloff, San Francisco, represents educational institutions and nonprofit organizations in all aspects of education, employment law, and business and facilities.  Stacy works extensively in handling various employment and student issues, such as drafting employment agreements, employee handbooks, enrollment agreements and student handbooks, defending claims of alleged harassment, discrimination, retaliation and disability accommodation issues, and advising on employee discipline, wage and hour issues, leaves, student discipline and expulsion, tuition disputes, and contract claims. Stacy’s business and facilities expertise includes advising on independent contractor issues, and preparing and negotiating vendor contracts.

Stacy has conducted a number of presentations for many schools on a variety of employment, student, and business and facilities topics, ranging from employee leaves, AB 5, employee and student privacy issues, employment contracts, and harassment prevention.


Liebert Cassidy Whitmore is a labor, employment, and full service education law firm that provides comprehensive, responsive, and highly competent legal advice, representation, litigation services, negotiations and training to public entities, educational institutions and non-profit organizations throughout California. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, San Diego, and Sacramento. For more information, visit our website: www.lcwlegal.com.


Cynthia Weldon
Director of Marketing & Training


View More News

Public Education Matters
Court Finds Broad Arbitration Clause In CBA Insufficient To Delegate Issue Of Arbitrability To An Arbitrator
Press Releases
Liebert Cassidy Whitmore Announces New Executive Director, Ronnie M. DeCesare
Liebert Cassidy Whitmore