Valerie Collins, Attorney
Start Date: 2020
Valerie came to Towards Justice in April 2020 from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), where she was an attorney in the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Branch from 2014-2020. While at the NLRB, Valerie briefed dozens of cases in United States Courts of Appeals and presented oral arguments in the Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, and DC Circuits. Prior to the NLRB, Valerie was a litigation associate at the international law firm Jones Day, where she handled all aspects of pretrial and trial procedures in state and federal courts, including motion practice, complex discovery, and the preparation of witnesses for trial and arbitration proceedings.Before entering private practice, Valerie served as a law clerk to then-Chief Judge Royce C. Lambeth on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and Judge Andre Davis on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.Valerie attended Howard University School of Law, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Howard Law Journal. Prior to law school, Valerie was a press officer at Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer rights organization. Valerie is a graduate of American University.
In her free time, Valerie enjoys spending time with family, playing roller derby, and crafting.
Brianne Power, Attorney
Start Date: 2018
Brianne returns to Towards Justice after a clerkship with Justice William W. Hood, III, on the Colorado Supreme Court. At Towards Justice, her work focuses on impact litigation.
Prior to her clerkship, Brianne attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated after performing over 1,000 hours of pro bono service. She was the Managing Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender and an executive board member of Project No One Leaves, a student-practice organization dedicated to increasing housing stability in the Greater Boston Area. She was also a fellow for the Harvard Criminal Justice Policy Program, where her work focused on bail reform. During her law school summers, Brianne interned in the State Services section of the Colorado Attorney General's Office and at Towards Justice.
Prior to law school, Brianne graduated from St. Olaf College, where she studied mathematics and family studies.
Juno Turner, Litigation Director
Start Date: 2019
Towards Justice is thrilled to introduce Juno Turner as our new Litigation Director beginning in May 2019. Juno is an experienced plaintiff-side employment litigator who has represented thousands of workers in class and collective actions challenging wage theft, discrimination, and other workplace abuses. Prior to joining the organization, Juno was a partner at Outten & Golden, a national plaintiff-side employment law firm, where she was co-counsel with Towards Justice and other plaintiffs' firms on Menocal v. The Geo Group, which challenges a private prison contractor's use of unpaid detainee labor to maintain its facility.
Prior to working at Outten & Golden, Juno was an Assistant Attorney General in the Labor Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office and a law clerk to the Honorable James Orenstein in the Eastern District of New York. Juno is a member of the Board of Editors of the Fair Labor Standards Act treatise published by Bloomberg BNA. Juno is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Fordham Law School.
Lindsay Fallon, Operations
Start Date: 2017
Lindsay joins Towards Justice after earning her Masters Degree from the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work, where she focused on policy and organizational leadership. Prior to graduate school, Lindsay developed and directed an alumni support network at a top performing charter school in Washington, D.C. In this role, Lindsay worked with families and community organizations to help improve students' access to higher education. Prior to that Lindsay was Program Director at City Kids Wilderness Project, an organization that facilitates Washington, D.C. area youths' outdoor learning experiences. Lindsay graduated from Colorado College, where she also moonlighted as a ski instructor. Having grown up in Japan, Lindsay brings a unique perspective to our work at Towards Justice.
David Seligman, Director
Start Date: 2015
David has been the Executive Director of Towards Justice since 2018 and previously was Strategic Litigation Counsel with the organization. At Towards Justice, David has litigated several class and collective actions to attack systematic injustices in the labor market, including serving as lead counsel in the first antitrust case to challenge "no hire" provisions in franchise agreements among fast-food franchisees and several cases challenging the misclassification of workers. David was also co-lead counsel in Solis v. Circle Group, a class action case challenging the misclassification and underpayment of hundreds of immigrant drywall workers who constructed a large luxury development in downtown Denver. That case resulted in the workers recovering all their unpaid wages, and it won honors as the Colorado Plaintiffs' Employment Lawyers Case of the Year in 2018.
David also performs strategic policy advocacy to support state and local agencies in their efforts to protect workers, and he writes and speaks regularly on forced arbitration, including before state legislatures considering reforms that could mitigate the harms of forced arbitration. He also writes and speaks regularly on the use of the antitrust laws to challenge anticompetitive practices in labor markets.
Prior to his work at Towards Justice, David was a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, working on forced arbitration and predatory auto lending. While there, he authored the Model State Consumer and Employee Justice Enforcement Act, which provides states with tools to mitigate some of the harms that forced arbitration causes low-income consumers and workers. David remains a contributing author for the National Consumer Law Center, where he authors the organization's treatise on the enforceability of forced arbitration clauses and class waivers.
David clerked for Chief Judge Patti B. Saris of the District of Massachusetts and Judges Robert D. Sack and Susan L. Carney of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. David is a graduate of Williams College and Harvard Law School.
Fighting Arbitration Agreements Post-Epic, NELA Wage & Hour Seminar, Denver, CO, April 2019
Litigation Involving Workers on Temporary Visas, Freedom Network, Washington, D.C., March 2019
Non-Traditional Causes of Action, National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Rights Conference, Denver, CO, October 2018
Unrigging the Labor Market, Harvard Law School, July 2018
Litigating Enforceability Issues, Colorado Bar Association, Employment Law Conference, Vail, CO, September 2018
The Fine Print in Employment Contracts, Presentation to Wage Theft Cohort, Los Angeles, CA, June 2018
District of Colorado
Deborah Schaffer, Investigator & Analyst
Start Date: 2018
Deb is an analyst and investigator with Towards Justice working in the impact litigation program on class-action lawsuits. She meets client needs and communicates about cases with our diverse client population in both English and Spanish. Her role also includes case research, witness interviews, new client intakes, case management, drafting legal pleadings and correspondence, docketing, legal calendar maintenance, court filing and other communication with Towards Justice attorneys.
Deb brings a strong nonprofit background to the Towards Justice team. Deb came to Towards Justice from the Littleton Immigrant Resources Center, the immigrant welcome center for the City of Littleton, where she served as a Program Coordinator and helped hundreds of green card holders to become new U.S. citizens. Her work on citizenship services included program management, grants administration, volunteer training, preparation to become a Department of Justice legal representative, as well as curriculum development and instruction in English and Spanish.
Before working in Littleton, Deb managed the World Affairs Challenge with the Center for Teaching International Relations. Her experience with other Colorado nonprofits includes positions with Project Worthmore, US-Brazil Connect, Denver Public Schools, Front Range Community College, Littleton Public Schools, the Learning Source, Catholic Charities and Denver Urban Gardens. She has provided direct services to low-income immigrant clients from Angola to Zambia, including Belarus, Bulgaria, Burundi and Burma, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and more. Outside of the Denver area, Deb taught English to refugee and immigrant adults with Jubilee Partners in Georgia and has international experience working in Brazil, Iraq and Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, she collaborated with UN organizations, local NGOs and women's groups on the management of a camp of 3,000 internally displaced persons and developed an art program using local crafts and materials for children and youth with war trauma and disabilities. Deb received her Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College, along with a certificate in international development in the Human Needs and Global Resources Program. Born in Denver, in her free time, Deb can be found tending her plants, rock climbing, and exploring CO with her pup.
Selected Volunteer Work:
DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY COMMUNITY WORK, Denver, Colorado. Co-leader, January-April 2019. Led a community process to explore education and responses to the legacy of colonialism and the legal framework of the Doctrine of Discovery.
DACA RENEWAL CLINIC, Metro State University, Denver, Colorado. Clinic Volunteer, September 2017Colorado.
CITIZENSHIP CLINIC, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Denver, Colorado. Clinic Volunteer, April 2017
NEIGHBORHOOD ENGLISH CONVERSATION CIRCLE, Denver, Colorado. Organizer and Facilitator, April-November 2017. Funded by a grant from the Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs.
YOUTH RESTORATIVE JUSTICE, Victim Offender Reconciliation Project (VORP, now Colorado Circles for Change), Denver, Colorado. Board Member, 2012-2015 Volunteer RESTORE Restorative Justice Circle Facilitator, 2007-2012
DIRECT ASSISTANCE, Denver, Colorado. Rent and Utilities Program Spanish-English Interpreter, October 2006-2007, 2011-2012.
Colorado Adult Basic Education Authorization, Colorado Department of Education, 2016
40 Hour Immigration Training for Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals Recognition, CIRC/ILRC/City of Denver's Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, 2016
Legal Observer Training, Colorado Rapid Response Network (CORRN), 2018
40 Hour Advanced Immigration Training Understanding Immigration Law and Practice, Mennonite Central Committee, 2018
Jesus Loayza, Intake and Outreach Coordinator
Start Date: 2018
Jesus coordinates our Access to Justice program. This entails conducting legal intakes in both English and Spanish on a day-to-day basis as well as connecting workers to the appropriate legal resources. He works with workers, worker advocates, and worker organizations to strengthen the ways they can access justice for workplace violations including reducing barriers, financial, bureaucratic, or otherwise. He advocates alongside community members to fortify protections in the workplace, be it around wages, contracts, or conditions. He coordinates outreach and educational presentations around the state to inform workers on their rights and how to defend themselves. He believes that those that are best positioned to combat workplace injustices are the very people who have been directly impacted by them which is why he centers workers' experience and voice in his work.
Jesus comes to Towards Justice from the Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) where he spent two years as a research fellow and then a policy analyst. While there he conducted research for the 2016 Colorado minimum wage state ballot initiative, advocated for increased access to supportive services for low-income job seekers via his work with HB18-1310, and built coalitions around asset building policies such as prize-linked savings accounts. As a part of CCLP's research and policy analysis department, he researched relevant policy issues for the development of state bills as well as publications. He brings with him a passion for advocating for low-income Coloradans, coalition building and a background in data analysis to advance Towards Justice's mission. A South Floridian by birth, he graduated from Colorado College in 2016 with a degree in Sociology.
If you, your organization, or clients would like to get involved with our worker advocacy work or are interested in collaborating, please contact Jesus at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander Hood, Attorney
Start Date: 2014
After graduating from law school in 2010, Alex helped to found Towards Justice where he litigated individual wage theft cases on behalf of low-wage workers. As Towards Justice grew, Alex began litigating larger class and collective actions and became the Director of Litigation, heading Towards Justice's team of lawyers. Since then, Alex and the other fine attorneys at Towards Justice have been at the forefront of impact litigation challenging systemic injustices in the labor market. His cases continue to include an emphasis on wage theft, but also branch out into more novel theories of recovery, including claims touching on anti-competitive and fraudulent labor practices and labor trafficking. In his continued work at Towards Justice, Alex takes tremendous pride in Towards Justice's leading role in cutting edge litigation that is both creative and novel, while also serving the needs of the communities it seeks to protect.
Prior to law school, Alex was a high school history teacher.
Alex is a graduate of Williams College and Boston College Law School.
Federal District of Colorado
Nina DiSalvo, Strategic Advisor
Start Date: 2014
Nina came to Towards Justice in 2014 as the organization's first Executive Director. Nina built a talented staff team and strategic board of directors to collaboratively define organizational priorities for combating workplace injustice through litigation, access to justice, education and advocacy. Nina implemented organizational priorities and supervised staff while building organizational partnerships locally and nationally. Although Towards Justice started out fighting wage theft, under Nina's leadership it challenged a wide variety of practices that nickel-and-dime low-wage workers out of their hard-earned wages. Using antitrust, fraud, wage and hour, and common-law challenges, Towards Justice filed cutting edge litigation designed to combat the inequities in our marketplace that not only undermine workplace rights but also calcify inequality. Meanwhile, Nina developed and implemented media and communications strategies to advance programmatic and policy goals, regularly appeared in local and national media, raised awareness of workplace injustice as a speaker and panelist at public events, and co-chaired the Colorado Wage Theft Task Force. Nina also designed organizational and individual performance monitoring systems, created and administered human resources, IT, management, and fiscal compliance systems, and developed a sustainable local and national donor base. After four and a half years leading Towards Justice, Nina stepped back from her role to spend more time with her family, but continues to consult for Towards Justice, manage strategic programs, and serve on the board of directors for the organization.
Nina came to Towards Justice from Governor Cuomo's administration in New York State, where she served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of State. In that capacity, Nina worked to create the New York State Office for New Americans, the Empire State Fellows Program, and the Regional Economic Development Councils Opportunity Agenda. Nina also managed various divisions within the New York State Department of State, represented the Secretary on boards and commissions, and adjudicated administrative appeals related to occupational licensure. Prior to joining New York State government, Nina was a lawyer associated with Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where she dedicated substantial time to employment law litigation. Nina also worked as a research fellow with human rights organizations in Argentina and taught high school in rural Puerto Rico. Nina received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in government and Latin American studies from Wesleyan University. Nina is fluent in Spanish and English, and grew up between upstate New York, Puerto Rico, and the Turks and Caicos islands.
DENVER IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE COMMISSION Denver, Colorado: Commissioner, July 2018-Present
TOWARDS JUSTICE Denver Colorado: Board Member, May 2014-Present
COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER Denver, Colorado: Board Member, January 2016-May 2017; Finance Committee Member April 2016-May 2017
HER JUSTICE New York, New York: Junior Advisory Board Member, June 2011-March 2014; Co-Chair Volunteer Connection Committee, March 2013-March 2014
Harvard Law School, Unrigging the Labor Market Convening, July 2018
Detention Watch Network, Plenary Session Speaker, June 2018
Boulder County District Attorney's Office, Fighting Wage Theft and Workplace Abuse in Colorado, June 2018
United Brotherhood of Carpenters Western District Payroll Fraud Conference, May 2018
Freedom Network Conference, Immigrant Detention and Labor Trafficking, April 2018
AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee Conference, Workers Center Roundtable, May 2017
Curious Theatre Community Panel, Building the Wall, April 2017
The Center on Human Rights Education's 18th Annual Symposium, Colorado Case Study of Informal Labor, April 2017
Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition 2016 State Assembly, Wage Theft and How to Fight Back, July 2016
Colorado Anti-Trafficking Task Force, May 2016
Southwest Bar Association, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Wage Claim Process, March 2016
Colorado Women's Legislative Breakfast, February 2016
Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association, Wage Theft & the New CDLE Procedure, March 2015
New York State
District of Colorado
Southern District of New York
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / PR