Petroleum Marketing Attorneys' Meeting

Speakers & committee

Program Chairs

LISA D. FREEMAN is a Senior Litigation Counsel at BP America Inc. currently responsible for managing a docket of commercial litigation involving class actions, the Uniformed Commercial Code, state regulatory, real estate and intellectual property primarily affecting BP’s downstream business ventures.  In addition, she is also managing the docket of climate change litigation pending against BP plc.

Prior to joining BP, Lisa worked at Sidley & Austin in Chicago, Illinois. She started her career by clerking for the Honorable Julian Abele Cook, Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  Lisa earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan and her B.A. from Northwestern University. 

MICHAEL E. KORENBLAT is the Director, Legal Affairs for Suncor Energy’s U.S. business, based in Denver, Colorado. This includes its U.S. refining, pipeline, and retail businesses under the ExxonMobil and Shell brands. In his role, Mr. Korenblat is responsible for overseeing U.S. legal matters, including mergers and acquisitions, commercial transactions, major litigation, corporate governance, environmental and regulatory compliance, and labor and employment.  In addition, he serves as Corporate Secretary for Suncor Energy’s U.S. holding company and five other U.S. subsidiaries. Mr. Korenblat has been with Suncor Energy since 2004. Mr. Korenblat received his B.A. from Pomona College in Claremont, California, and his J.D. from the University of Arizona.  Mr. Korenblat also spent a year at Oxford University (University College). Prior to receiving his law degree, Mr. Korenblat was a Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand, focusing on political theory and the Maori’s group rights claims. During this time, he also served as an instructor for the Department of Politics at the University of Auckland. Mr. Korenblat currently serves on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of Colorado Ballet. He served on the Board of Directors for the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation from 2010-2016. In 2007, he was named one of Denver’s top Forty under 40 by the Denver Business Journal.

ABBY L. RISNER is an officer at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.  She is a trial attorney practicing in the area of complex commercial litigation, focused primarily on representing energy clients in litigation related to downstream marketing, franchise, and class actions. She regularly advises clients on and litigates issues related to termination, pricing, contractual disputes, and consumer claims, as well as advising energy companies on mergers and acquisitions and disputes arising out of acquisitions.  She has defended oil companies at trial against claims related to breach of contract, fraud, motor fuel pricing practices, and consumer protection. Abby is on the planning committee for the Petroleum Marketing Attorneys’ Meeting and is a subcommittee chair for the ABA’s Environmental & Energy Litigation Committee.

Program Committee

JENNIFER BLIGH, Valero Energy Corp., San Antonio, TX

MICHAEL G. LEWIS is the Chief Legal Officer of Bolla Oil Corp., a leading independent marketer of transportation fuels and convenience goods. Bolla's chain of major branded fueling stations and upscale convenience retail stores is one of the largest in the U.S. In this role, he is responsible for all legal and regulatory affairs, corporate governance, transactional real estate, environmental matters and government relations. Mr. Lewis also oversees multi-discipline professionals in acquisition, disposition and redevelopment of retail and industrial properties. The former Chief Legal Officer of LUKOIL North America, a major international energy company’s U.S. marketing arm, Mr. Lewis also served as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc., one of the nation’s largest independent marketers of petroleum products. In these roles, he managed a large portfolio of commercial properties, structured and enforced franchise and distribution relationships and managed all regulatory affairs. Before joining Getty, he represented financial institutions, petroleum companies, and other businesses in asset-based financing, commercial lease transactions, and complex litigation in state trial and appellate courts and U.S. district and bankruptcy courts throughout the U.S. Mr. Lewis is a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. He has been a keynote speaker and panelist at seminars and conferences and holds leadership positions with prominent industry and minority bar organizations. 

SUSAN NETTLETON, Senior Counsel, Shell Oil Company, Houston, TX

NOREEN M. TAMA, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Spring, TX

JACQUELINE D. TATE-MATHIS, Sunoco LP, Dallas, TX

A. CHRISTOPHER YOUNG is a partner in the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton LLP and chairman of the Franchise, Distribution and Marketing Section of the Trial and Dispute Resolution Practice Group. His trial practice, in federal and state courts, involves many substantive areas, including antitrust, admiralty, franchise disputes, commercial disputes, insurance and products liability. Mr. Young has represented businesses in a variety of industries, including petroleum marketers, chemical manufacturers and distributors, medical device makers, health care service organizations, fire safety companies, convenience retailers, and multi-unit restaurants, in litigation involving business and commercial disputes. Together with other Pepper attorneys, Mr. Young has built a strong relationship with clients and has advised them on risk management, contract negotiations, alternative dispute resolution options, and litigation matters. Mr. Young is trial counsel in a number of commercial disputes, including the defense of a security alarm provider against a competitor’s antitrust and constitutional claims; the defense of a structured settlement purchaser against class RICO, constitutional and breach of fiduciary duty claims; and the representation of an opt-out merchant in the Payment Card and Interchange Fee Antitrust Litigation. In addition, Mr. Young regularly counsels clients on compliance with state and federal franchise, distribution, pricing and antitrust laws.

Speakers

ERICA DRESSLER, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Philadelphia, PA

LISA D. FREEMAN is a Senior Litigation Counsel at BP America Inc. currently responsible for managing a docket of commercial litigation involving class actions, the Uniformed Commercial Code, state regulatory, real estate and intellectual property primarily affecting BP’s downstream business ventures.  In addition, she is also managing the docket of climate change litigation pending against BP plc.

Prior to joining BP, Lisa worked at Sidley & Austin in Chicago, Illinois. She started her career by clerking for the Honorable Julian Abele Cook, Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  Lisa earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan and her B.A. from Northwestern University. 

ANJALI GILLETTE is a Senior Counsel in the Houston office of Kean Miller. She joined the firm in 2018 and practices in the energy, admiralty and maritime, and corporate litigation groups.  Anjali has significant experience and knowledge in a broad variety of land based and offshore oil and gas issues, including Jones Act and personal injury defense, maritime litigation, oil and gas exploration, drilling accidents, well blowouts, cargo damage, ship collisions, jack-up drilling rig accidents, as well as commercial litigation, insurance defense, Federal Employers' Liability Act, railroad defense litigation, Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, Defense Base Act, and Carmack Amendment transportation issues. Anjali earned her B.A. from the University of Texas in 2001. She earned her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 2004, where she was Editor in Chief of the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal. Admitted, Texas; United States District Courts for the Eastern, Western, Southern and Northern Districts of Texas; Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Texas (Asian-Pacific Interest Committee), Houston and South Asian Bar Associations; Texas Exes Alumni Association; Houston Moms-In-Law Group; National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel; Houston Mariner’s Club; Texas Minority and Women Lawyers Group.

LAYNE KRUSE, partner for antitrust litigation at Norton Rose Fulbright, has represented downstream companies in gasoline price fixing cases, price discrimination claims and PetroleumMarketing Practices Act claims, as well as on other marketing issues. Layne has served as headof Norton Rose Fulbright’s Antitrust and Competition Practice Group in the U.S. and has served in many leadership positions in the ABA Antitrust Section, including chair of the Trial Practice and the Transportation and Energy Committees. He has also chaired the Texas State Bar Antitrust and Business Litigation Section and is recognized in Chambers U.S.A., Best Lawyersin America, and other publications. Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Chambers USA states that Layne is a “very skilled courtroom advocate who knows the law, but also has a manner that connects with local judges and juries.” He has been a first-chair litigator for jury trials, nationwide class actions, injunctions, arbitrations and appeals. He has appeared in courts from Florida to Alaska, from Hawaii to New York, and from California to the District of Columbia. Layne, a graduate of Yale Law School, is a former judicial clerk to the Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

SUSAN LAFFERTY advises clients on an array of energy and environmental issues impacting the petroleum, biofuels and energy trading industries. Susan’s extensive practice covers regulatory, commercial and policy issues related to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), renewable identification number (RIN) trading, state low carbon fuel standards (LCFS), gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) requirements, and shipping all types of commodities by rail, vessel or truck.  She also advises clients on daily trading and commercial matters as well as significant enforcement actions. 

Susan represented more than 15 companies in RIN enforcement proceedings that led to the implementation of the EPA’s Interim Enforcement Policies and Quality Assurance Program, as well as refiners and importers facing enforcement actions under the broader mobile source program. Susan led the representation of a renewable fuel trader that EPA alleged exported renewable fuel without retiring RINs. Susan is a sought-after speaker on regulatory and agency actions, is quoted frequently on fuels issues, and co-authored a white paper for the Bipartisan Policy Center entitled “Options for Reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard.” 

In addition, Susan works with clients to develop risk management and mitigation tools to address potential spills or releases that may occur when transporting and storing products like crude oil, distillates, liquefied natural gas and coal.  She has helped her clients navigate crude-by-rail matters, including the new regulatory requirements and responses to some of the largest accidents involving crude oil shipped by rail.  To this end, as a member of https://crisisresponsenow.com/attorneys/, Susan helps clients navigate crises and develop legal response strategies tailored to each specific situation.

EDWARD MAURER, Sunoco Inc., Dallas, TX

LISA PITTMAN is from Austin, Texas.  She spent 15 years as a commercial business litigator before beginning to observe the trend toward legalized cannabis, and later, hemp CBD, across the country in 2014.  Motivated by understanding a plant that could contribute to wellness, Lisa began to work with a Colorado law firm, with her first major project being to spearhead LSU’s implementation of Louisiana’s medical marijuana program.  She worked through the Texas Compassionate Use Program implementation and has advised cannabis license applicants in multiple states.  In 2017, Lisa moved to Colorado to obtain her bar license and practice law in a state where cannabis and hemp is legal. 

While in Colorado, Lisa’s clients involved in the hemp or CBD industry increased exponentially over those in cannabis.  Recently legalized on a limited basis in 2014 and then fully removed from the U.S. Controlled Substances Act this year under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is enjoying a sudden resurgence, with Texas becoming the 46th State to legalize hemp.  Because of the changing status of the law—prior to 2014, hemp (.3% THC) was grouped together with marijuana and just as illegal, representing clients engaged in a business so new and nuanced, with no regulations or precedent yet, has been challenging and exciting. 

Lisa is a leader in the American Bar Association. She presented its first cannabis law CLE at its annual meeting in New York City in August 2017. She is Vice-Chair of the Business Litigation, Product Liability, and Corporate Counsel Committees of the Tort, Trial, and Insurance Law Section. She was a Steering Committee member in the Cannabis Law & Policy Task Force, which has become a standing committee, on which Lisa serves as the Chair of Publications and Program Chair of its first standalone cannabis and hemp law seminar held in September 19-20 in Chicago.

DAVID SIMMONS’ litigation practice takes a responsive and competitive approach that is mindful of clients’ budgets and business goals. He frequently represents energy clients relating to a wide variety of issues, including franchise, real estate, and PMPA issues.  His clients, including major energy companies and franchisors, turn to David for straightforward, realistic counsel on litigation strategy.  He has defended major oil companies facing claims including unlawful motor fuel pricing practices under the Robinson-Patman Act and similar state laws, violations of the PMPA, tortious interference, fraud, and breach of contract. He has prosecuted and defended federal and state cases across several jurisdictions, including large class actions and MDLs, on behalf of large, multinational oil companies.  In connection with his litigation practice, David also counsels clients on electronic discovery in state and federal courts as well as in arbitrations.  He regularly handles large, complex electronic discovery projects in cases pending in state and federal courts.  David also has extensive experience defending financial institutions in state and federal courts, as well as arbitrations, and he also has significant experience litigating trust and estate, personal injury, and non-compete/trade secret cases.

ANDREW TORRANT, Counsel - Environmental & Safety Law, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Houston, TX

HANNAH ZUNKER is a Lead Strategic Planning Specialist on the Public Policy & Strategic Planning team at Valero, where she focuses on positioning the company for long-term success amidst future uncertainty in the energy sector. A large part of this work requires understand new technologies in the transportation sector such as electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and mobility as a service. Prior to her role in Strategy, Hannah joined Valero in 2013 as an Intern in Wholesale Marketing & Supply and was later hired as an Analyst in Logistics Operations.

As an active member of the San Antonio community, Hannah is Chair of United Way of San Antonio’s Emerging Leaders Council, serves as a mentor for young women interested in STEM, and recently launched her own small business dedicated to empowering women. Hannah graduated from Texas Lutheran University with a B.S. in Chemistry and then moved on to the University of Texas at San Antonio where she earned her MBA. She is a wine enthusiast, world traveler, self-improvement book fanatic, and lover of all things San Antonio, Texas. In her spare time, you will find her strolling along the San Antonio Riverwalk with her husband, Kyle.