Travis Alley. As the appointed Veterans Outreach Specialist for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, Assistant Attorney General Travis Alley focuses on policy issues related to veterans and military families. A Northwest native, Mr. Alley is an alumnus of the University of Washington and graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law.
Dan Dwyer is an attorney in the Division of Financial Practices at the Federal Trade Commission. He works on a variety of consumer credit and financial services issues, including debt collection, mortgage advertising, and automobile sales and financing. Mr. Dwyer was a contributor to the FTC’s report entitled The Structure and Practices of the Debt Buying Industry (2013), and he co-organized a 2013 roundtable event titled Life of a Debt: Data Integrity in Debt Collection, which was presented by the FTC and the CFPB. Mr. Dwyer is a graduate of Duke University and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
Jeff Ehrlich joined the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in July 2011 and manages investigations and litigation in the Bureau’s four regional offices. Before joining the Bureau, Mr. Ehrlich served as a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice, where he defended the United States in tort litigation, including suits seeking to hold the government liable for losses caused by Hurricane Katrina and Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Before that, he served as an assistant county attorney for Miami-Dade County and as an associate at Sidley & Austin in Washington, D.C. Mr. Ehrlich began his career as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable James Lawrence King, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan.
Bob Ferguson is Washington State’s 18th Attorney General. As the state’s chief legal officer, he is committed to protecting the people of Washington against powerful interests that don’t play by the rules. Mr. Ferguson began his legal career in Spokane. He clerked for two federal judges before returning to Seattle to join Preston, Gates, and Ellis [now K&L Gates] where his civil litigation practice included work on behalf of taxpayers, corporations and small businesses. He was elected to the King County Council in 2003 where he served for nine years before being elected Attorney General in 2012. He is a fourth-generation Washingtonian, a graduate of the University of Washington and New York University law school, and serious Husky fan. Mr. Ferguson and his wife, Colleen, are the proud parents of 6-year-old twins, Jack and Katie, who are both future Huskies.
Jonathan Groux is the Attorney-in-Charge of the Financial Fraud and Consumer Protection section of the Oregon Department of Justice. Mr. Groux holds a BA from Goddard College, an MA from Boston University, and a JD from Willamette University. He is licensed to practice law in both Massachusetts and Oregon and his legal experience spans 16 years. He has practiced law in both the private and public sector. In the private sector, he has represented numerous business entities and individuals as a litigant and in an advisory capacity on commercial issues in the banking, creditor, construction, and mortgage related industry. In the public sector, he has represented the State of Oregon’s interests as an employer in the Oregon Department of Justice, General Counsel Division, Labor and Employment section; as litigation counsel within the Business Activities section; and by prosecuting financial crimes and commercial violations in the Criminal Justice Division. He served as a Deputy District Attorney I in Klamath County and a Deputy District Attorney II in Coos County. His prosecution of financial crimes included representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Business and Labor Bureau. He currently represents the State of Oregon in the civil prosecution of financial fraud, false claims, and consumer protection violations.
Charles Harwood is the Director of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Northwest Regional Office in Seattle. This is Mr. Harwood’s second tour as the Northwest Region Director. He also held the position from 1989 to 2009. Between 2009 and December 2014, Mr. Harwood was in Washington, D.C., as Deputy Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. From January to June 2013, Mr. Harwood served as the Acting Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Before joining the FTC, Mr. Harwood was a counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Mr. Harwood is a member of the Oregon and District of Columbia Bars.
Cheryl Hiemstra is an Assistant Attorney General at the Oregon Department of Justice. Ms. Hiemstra has worked in DOJ’s Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection Section on various consumer protection issues. Her current position is with the Legislative Director’s office, focusing on the Attorney General’s priority to protect the online privacy and security of Oregonians. Ms. Hiemstra is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/U.S. by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
Jane Hochberg is a Deputy Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division at the Idaho Attorney General’s Office. She has been with the Consumer Protection Division for ten years. Prior to this position, she worked in the Contracts and Administrative Law Division at the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, was in private practice at Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley in Boise, Idaho, and clerked at the Idaho Supreme Court. Ms. Hochberg is a graduate of Brandeis University and the University of Oregon School of Law.
Julia Kellison is a consumer attorney in the Seattle office of Northwest Justice Project, a statewide organization that provides free civil legal services to low-income clients. Her consumer practice includes representing victims of debt collection abuses and predatory lending (fraud in auto sales & financing, student loans), among other areas. Ms. Kellison is on the Executive Committee of the Washington State Bar Association’s Antitrust, Consumer Protection and Unfair Business Practice Section and serves on the board of Wayfind. She received her J.D. in 1998 from Temple University School of Law and her B.A. from Brown University in 1990.
Tina Kondo became the Assistant Director of the Northwest Regional Office of the Federal Trade Commission in July 2014. Prior to joining the FTC, Ms. Kondo was a Deputy Attorney General for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, where she oversaw the Seattle Office, Research Center, Consumer Protection, Antitrust, Revenue, University of Washington and Washington State University Divisions, and the Public Counsel Unit. Ms. Kondo has specialized in consumer protection and antitrust law for over 30 years and is a frequent speaker at conferences and CLEs. She is a past King County Bar Association Board member and past President of the Asian Bar Association. She also serves on the Northwest Minority Job Fair Board.
Alan Lai is the Crime Victim Service Director of CISC (Chinese Information and Service Center). Fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, he is trained in Advanced Simultaneous interpreting. He is a Certified Court Interpreter in the State of Washington. He received his B. S. Sc. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Human Services Management Certificate from the University of Washington. Mr. Lai has been a Victim Advocate and community leader in the greater Seattle area for more than 25 years. Locally, he has received numerous awards from different law enforcement as well as social service agencies. He was appointed by three Governors of Washington to advise the State government as the Commissioner of Asian American Affairs. He is nationally known for his outstanding victim advocacy work, particularly on human trafficking cases and scam cases targeting minority communities. The mission of his program, “We Speak Your Language. Your Voice Will Be Heard,” won the National Slogan Competition. He has also been awarded the National Crime Victim Service Award by the US Department of Justice. He has assisted with cultural exchanges, sponsored by the US State Department, involving delegates from over 100 foreign countries.
Anthony Leahy is the executive director of Consumer Education and Training Services (“CENTS”), a Seattle-based 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization co-founded by a federal bankruptcy judge and consumer attorneys to help people make informed financial decisions. He graduated from the University of Southern California and the University of Washington School of Law. Mr. Leahy has designed several financial education curricula for diverse populations, including high school students, prisoners, military members, and working adults. Senior Money, CENTS’ latest offering, was designed to teach senior citizens how to avoid the scams and bad deals aimed at them. This free project is the culmination of teamwork between Western Washington financial professionals and attorneys, including representatives from the Northwest Justice Project, Federal Trade Commission, and the United States Bankruptcy Court. It features Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and is utilized at senior service centers, retirement homes, and senior-oriented social service and housing providers.
Julie Mayer is a consumer protection attorney with the Northwest Regional Office of the Federal Trade Commission, where she works on law enforcement and outreach activities. She has handled cases involving debt collection, consumer lending, deceptive advertising, and data privacy practices. Ms. Mayer also coordinates regional collaboration between the FTC and legal services organizations. In her personal capacity, she serves as a board member of the Washington Housing Alliance Action Fund, which educates voters about and promotes public policies to increase access to safe, healthy, and affordable homes. Ms. Mayer holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a J.D., with honors, from George Washington University Law School.
Flint Murfitt earned a BA in business from University of Washington and successfully worked for such companies as AT&T until he attended the University of Montana School of Law and served on the staff of the Public Law Land Review. He obtained his JD and then served as Law Clerk to the Honorable John C. Harrison of the Montana Supreme Court. Following a career in private practice handling bankruptcy, commercial/general litigation and related matters, Mr. Murfitt recently joined Montana Legal Services Association. He currently supervises the Foreclosure Assistance Program and is licensed to practice in Montana, Washington, and California.
Terrell McSweeny was sworn in as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission on April 28, 2014, to a term that expires on September 25, 2017. Prior to joining the Commission, she served as Chief Counsel for Competition Policy and Intergovernmental Relations for the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. Commissioner McSweeny joined the Antitrust Division after serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President from January 2009 until February 2012, advising President Obama and Vice President Biden on policy in a variety of areas, including health care, innovation, intellectual property, energy, education, women’s rights, criminal justice and domestic violence. Commissioner McSweeny’s government service also includes her work as Senator Joe Biden’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Director in the U.S. Senate, where she managed domestic and economic policy development and legislative initiatives, and as Counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she worked on issues such as criminal justice, innovation, women's rights, domestic violence, judicial nominations and immigration and civil rights. She also worked as an attorney at O'Melveny & Myers LLP. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University Law School.
John Nelson is a consumer protection attorney with the Washington State Attorney General’s office (Seattle), where he focuses on litigation involving unfair and deceptive business practices targeted towards veterans and service members. Prior to joining the Office of the Attorney General, Mr. Nelson was an Army JAG officer, where he served as a prosecutor, legal assistance attorney, operational law attorney, and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Eva Novick is an Assistant Attorney General in the Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection Section of the Oregon Department of Justice. Since 2004, a majority of her cases have been related to the auto industry. Ms. Novick also enforces the Unlawful Trade Practices Act (Oregon’s consumer protection statute) against various other industries including marketing/advertising companies, retail stores, door to door sellers, debt collectors and towers. She also works on topics that cross industries, such as privacy issues and scams. Additionally, she assists the department with its consumer protection legislative agenda.
Lisa Rosenthal is an enforcement attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She has been with the Bureau for two years and works in their West Region office, in San Francisco. Her work covers various aspects of consumer financial protection issues, including unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices; lending; debt collection; and credit cards. Prior to joining the Bureau, Ms. Rosenthal worked as a consumer protection attorney at the Federal Trade Commission for over 15 years.
Nadine S. Samter is an attorney in the Northwest Region of the FTC, where she has enforced federal consumer protection laws since 1990. She graduated with honors from Georgetown University Law Center in 1987, after which she entered private practice as an associate at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) in Washington, D.C., where she focused on antitrust and general litigation. Ms. Samter has devoted her career to protecting and educating consumers. She has litigated numerous cases for the FTC involving telemarketing fraud, predatory lending and mortgage fraud, credit reporting and debt collection, deceptive advertising, and fraudulent business opportunities and investments.
Doug Shadel is the state Director for AARP in Washington State. He is a former fraud investigator and assistant attorney general with the Washington State Attorney General’s office and he spent several years as the regional Consumer Affairs Director for AARP. Mr. Shadel is a nationally known expert on investment fraud and has co-authored several books including Weapons of Fraud and Schemes and Scams. He has also led several national studies funded by the FINRA Foundation and the AARP Foundation that revealed how victims of fraud differ from the general public.
Shannon Smith is Senior Counsel and Chief of the Consumer Protection Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Ms. Smith’s responsibilities include managing the Consumer Protection Division’s litigation, enforcement, consumer services, and consumer outreach. Ms. Smith also oversees the State’s Lemon Law Administration and Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution Program. Prior to joining the Consumer Protection Division in 2005, Ms. Smith represented the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission in telecommunications and energy regulatory matters. She has been with the Attorney General’s Office since 1989.
Clyde “Ed” Sniffen, Jr. is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Commercial and Fair Business Section of the Alaska Department of Law. Mr. Sniffen received his J.D. from Willamette University College of Law in 1988 and was in private practice for 11 years before joining the Alaska Attorney General’s Office in 2000. For over 14 years, he has focused exclusively on antitrust and consumer protection matters, and has considerable experience in complex civil litigation involving a variety of antitrust, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, utility, and consumer issues. Mr. Sniffen is the lead attorney within the Department that advises state agencies on antitrust matters, and data breach issues under Alaska’s Personal Information Protection Act. He has led three major state fuel pricing investigations, and has investigated and litigated several merger transactions. Mr. Sniffen has worked extensively with the Alaska Legislature to enact and amend a number of consumer protection and antitrust statutes, including the addition of Alaska’s Illinois Brick repealer, and a $50 million civil penalties provision to Alaska’s antitrust statute. He is the most recent reviser of the Alaska section of the ABA State Antitrust Practice and Statutes (Fourth).
Laura Solis is a Consumer Protection attorney in the Federal Trade Commission’s Northwest Regional Office in Seattle. Prior to joining the Federal Trade Commission, Ms. Solis was a Labor and Employment associate at Perkins Coie, LLP. She is a 2004 graduate of the University of Washington School of Law and received her B.A. in Political Science and American Ethnic Studies cum laude from the University of Washington.
Ariel Speser is a Staff Attorney with the Northwest Justice Project’s Foreclosure Prevention Unit. She has also served two years as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow with the Northwest Justice Project’s Foreclosure Prevention Unit. Ms. Speser graduated from Hamline University School of Law in 2011 and attended Seattle University School of Law as a visiting student during her 3L year. She is a Minnesota certified mediator and has a certificate in Advocacy and Problem Solving from Hamline University’s Dispute Resolution Institution. Ms. Speser is an experienced advocate for low income families and has clerked for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, and Jefferson County Public Defender’s Office.
Aravind Swaminathan is the Chair of the Seattle Litigation practice at DLA Piper. He represents companies and individuals in government and internal investigations, cybersecurity incidents and data breaches and matters relating to privacy. A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Swaminathan draws on extensive experience in investigating a broad array of both cyber and white collar crimes, including cases involving hacking, phishing, theft of trade secrets, click fraud, cyber threats, complex investment schemes, corporate fraud and embezzlement, securities fraud, tax evasion and major bank failure. He has represented clients in FCPA, healthcare and cyber investigations by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and state Attorneys General. In his cybersecurity and privacy practice, Mr. Swaminathan counsels clients in evaluating and managing cybersecurity risk, including through corporate governance. He has directed numerous internal data breach investigations and cybersecurity incident response efforts, and represents companies and organizations facing cybersecurity and privacy-oriented class action litigation that can often follow a breach. He also has extensive experience working with other stakeholders in cybersecurity and privacy matters, having led the United States Attorney's Office cybercrime outreach program for the Western District of Washington, where he worked with members of the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, law enforcement and other organizations on cybersecurity and related privacy issues.
Deborah Taellious is a Financial Legal Examiner Supervisor with the Division of Consumer Services at the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. She joined the agency in 2007 and works in the area of non-depository financial services. Ms. Taellious has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Tracy Thorleifson has been with the Federal Trade Commission’s Northwest Region since 1988. Ms. Thorleifson has worked on several collections matters, including most recently the Commission’s action against sub-prime auto lender Consumer Portfolio Services. She was also the Commission’s lead attorney in its investigation of debt buyer Asset Acceptance. In addition to her work in collections matters, Ms. Thorleifson has led ground-breaking actions involving the Commission’s unfairness doctrine, including the Commission action against DesignerWare, a software licensing company that provided rent-to-own stores with software that allowed the stores to spy on customers who had rented computers from them. She has also coordinated several state/federal projects targeting fundraising fraud, and has been the lead attorney for the FTC in several actions against sham nonprofits and professional fundraisers. Her other cases have included a variety of fraud and deception matters involving infomercial makers, telemarketers, lead brokers, and others engaged in scams ranging from deceptive claims about charities, advance fee loans, credit card offers, assorted supposed health products, unauthorized debiting, and consumer credit counseling. Ms. Thorleifson is a graduate of Smith College and the Harvard Law School.
Page Ulrey is a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney at the King County Prosecutor's Office. She graduated from Amherst College and Northeastern University School of Law. Ms. Ulrey was appointed to the newly-created position of elder abuse prosecutor in the Criminal Division of her office in 2001. In that position, she prosecuted cases of elder and vulnerable adult neglect, financial exploitation, sexual assault, physical assault, and homicide. She also founded and chaired the King County Elder Abuse Council and Criminal Mistreatment Review Panel. Since September, 2007, Ms. Ulrey has been working as an elder abuse prosecutor in her office’s Economic Crimes Unit, where she specializes in the prosecution of cases of elder financial abuse and neglect. For the past seven years, she has worked on protocol development and been a member of the national training team on elder abuse investigation and prosecution for the Office on Violence Against Women. She has conducted trainings for the National District Attorneys Association, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the National Institute of Justice.