CHICAGO, July 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- UpRight Law, an innovative national consumer services law firm, with a mission to improve access to the justice system, announced today management changes at the law firm and the voluntary appointment of an independent monitor to support the firm's commitment to serve underserved consumers across the U.S. These actions follow the firm's earlier adoption of a comprehensive remediation plan in 2017 and the establishment of a firm-wide compliance committee earlier this year.
"We have been working on these voluntary initiatives for many months as part of our continuing efforts to update training materials, improve processes, increase efficiency and assure our clients that they will have the type of client experience with UpRight Law that they should expect," said Managing Partner Kevin Chern, UpRight Law. "We are also working every day to earn the trust of bankruptcy courts, trustees, and regulators as we carry out our mission to eliminate the justice gap that exists in this country for many of the neediest among us."
Upright Law announced that it is converting the law firm from a "member-managed" limited liability company to a "manager-managed" limited liability company that will vest decision-making authority in a newly established management committee to whom the managing partner will report. Chern said, "One of the fundamental principles of our law firm is that we will 'find a better way' in everything that we do. As UpRight Law continues to grow and mature – we expect to file well over 10,000 consumer bankruptcy cases this year – our management structure must evolve as well. I look forward to working with the Management Committee in their directorial and supervisory roles to support their efforts."
The law firm appointed the following six functional leaders to the Management Committee:
- Craig Sonnenschein, the firm's General Counsel, who will serve as Chair of the Management Committee. Sonnenschein has eighteen years of legal experience in positions including Associate General Counsel of a publicly traded e-commerce company, litigator at an Am Law 15 law firm, and law clerk to a federal judge. He has deep experience in guiding organizations through legal and compliance issues relating to emerging business models and has expertise in various areas of law including consumer bankruptcy regulation, antitrust, state and local tax, and complex commercial litigation.
- James MacLelland, who has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer replacing Jason Allen following Allen's resignation earlier this month to pursue other business opportunities. MacLelland brings a strong background in building financial teams, operations, and systems for high-growth businesses with more than 15 years of people and process management experience, eight of those within the legal industry.
- Dan Ostrowski, the firm's Chief Financial Officer, a seasoned senior executive and formerly the chief financial officer at Restaurant.com for more than 14 years. In addition to managing full accountability for a multi-million dollar growth business, Ostrowski has led company operations in financial planning and analysis, human resources, and customer service.
- Jocelyn Galloway, the firm's Vice President of Compliance, responsible for developing policies and procedures and managing the firm's compliance programs for all facets of the law firm, including client intake, communications, and partner vetting. Galloway also has been responsible for the firm's participation in numerous pro bono and volunteer activities, including the Legal Assistance Foundation Bankruptcy Help Desk and Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE), which have resulted in the contribution of over 500 hours of attorney time.
- Ryan Galloway, who has been promoted to Vice President of Legal Delivery. Galloway previously managed the Enhanced Services Department, where he worked on the firm's more challenging bankruptcy cases. Galloway will help guide multiple operational groups and partners and assist the legal department in their compliance efforts.
- David Menditto, Associate General Counsel for Litigation. Menditto's team addresses regulatory inquiries and works with UpRight Law's partners and regulatory bodies to resolve issues. Menditto's background pursuing consumer rights and litigating complex matters brings a helpful perspective to the firm as it pursues its mission to improve lives by increasing access to the justice system.
Upright Law also announced the appointment of Nancy Rapoport, the Garman Turner Gordon Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and an Affiliate Professor of Business Law and Ethics in the Lee Business School at UNLV, as the firm's Independent Monitor. Ms. Rapoport specializes in bankruptcy ethics, ethics in governance, law firm behavior, and the depiction of lawyers in popular culture. In 2001, she was elected to membership in the American Law Institute. She is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. In 2017, she received the Commercial Law League of America's Lawrence P. King Award for Excellence in Bankruptcy. "We are excited by this development and are honored by Ms. Rapoport's willingness to serve in this role. We feel confident that her experience and her independent perspective will bring even further improvement to our organization," said Craig Sonnenschein, Chair of the Management Committee and General Counsel.
In her capacity as Independent Monitor, Ms. Rapoport will evaluate and monitor UpRight Law's system of policies and procedures implemented to encourage ethical behavior and to reasonably prevent, detect, and respond to misconduct by employees or agents of the law firm. Ms. Rapoport will meet with the Management Committee and other senior leadership at the firm's Chicago headquarters regularly throughout the next year. She will also participate in meetings with the firm's Compliance Committee and will speak at the firm's annual partners' meeting in June 2019.
Commenting on the leadership changes, the independent monitor, and other advancements in the firm's implementation of its remediation plan and technology systems, Sonnenschein said, "We continue to be focused on advancing our mission and illustrating to clients and regulators alike that we care about our clients, the quality of the services we deliver, our ethical obligations, our reputations, and our culture of finding a better way."
About UpRight Law
UpRight Law is a technology-enabled national consumer services law firm with more than 350 local partner attorneys across the nation. UpRight Law's social mission is to bring access to justice to millions of hardworking Americans by using technology to remove the most common obstacles that prevent consumers from receiving high-quality and affordable legal representation. For more information, visit the firm's website at www.uprightlaw.com.