The Most Influential Direct Response Advocacy Event of the Year.

Work Side-by-Side with Your Peers to Advocate for Your Industry!

It happens once a year. Our industry leaders gather in Washington to learn about the current political landscape and what to expect in the year ahead. This unique opportunity allows you to play a vital role in molding the industry’s future while protecting your business from the whims of Congress.

The Government Affairs Fly-In in Washington, DC is your opportunity to establish or maintain your presence as an industry leader as well as:

  • Network with other DR industry leaders--90% of attendees are VP level or above
  • Work as a team to take a stand on the issues affecting our industry
  • Get prepared! Learn about policy changes that could affect your business
  • Meet with representatives to talk about the issues most important to our industry
  • Come together as a united front and actively participate in the legislative process

Hear what Sfeir had to say about his experience as a first-time attendee…

Register Now!


Overview of Events

ERSP Summit: Self-Regulation in the Changing World of Direct Response Advertising

Note: Schedule Subject to Change Prior To Event

Tuesday, May 24th

At this year’s ERSP Summit, legal professionals and industry leaders will discuss regulatory and self-regulatory trends in direct response advertising. During the half-day workshop, topics will include: the increased focus on the lead generation and payment processing industries; recent developments at the FTC; and how emerging advertising platforms have created new challenges for the direct response industry.

Registration Open
12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Introductory Remarks
1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

  • Lee Peeler – President & CEO, ASRC and EVP, National Advertising, CBBB
  • Peter Marinello – Director, ERSP and VP, CBBB

The Web of Accountability: Lead Generation and Payment Processing
1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Panelists will discuss the responsibility and accountability of sellers, purchasers, and creators of online leads, as well as the impact on payment processors and other third parties.

  • Andy Borges - General Counsel, FortuneBuilders, Inc.
  • Lois C. Greisman - Associate Director, Division of Marketing Practices, Federal Trade Commission
  • Blair Jackson - Partner, Invictus Law
  • Moderator: Ellen Traupman Berge – Partner, Venable LLP

2:30 p.m. - 2-:35 p.m.

One on One with FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny and Amy Mudge
2:35 p.m. - 3:05 p.m.

Amy Mudge (Venable LLP) sits down with FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny to discuss recent trends at the Federal Trade Commission and their effect on the direct response industry, along with a prospective look at the evolving landscape of digital marketing practices.

3:05 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Direct Response Advertising: Where It’s Been and Where It’s Going
3:10 p.m. - 4:25 p.m.

In the digital era, direct response advertisers continue to seek innovative ways to reach consumers. The emergence of multichannel marketing has created new opportunities and risks for advertisers. How can advertisers protect themselves from regulatory action and litigation?

  • Moderator: Edward F. Glynn Jr. – Partner, Locke Lord, LLP
  • Jonathan Gelfand, Chief Legal Officer & SVP, Business Development, Beachbody, LLC
  • Jack Kirby – President, DRTV Agency Services, Havas Edge
  • La Toya Sutton - Associate, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

4:25 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Government Affairs Fly-In Opening Reception
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Last year, Utah State Attorney General, Sean Reyes (R-UT) joined us to brief attendees on powerful developments in consumer protection heading our way. He brought down the house. This year, we are joined by another rising State Attorney General star, Karl Racine (D-DC), to welcome you to D.C. during this year’s opening reception. It will be a reception to remember and a key way to learn how State Attorneys General think and the best way to position your business appropriately in the years to come. Refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be served.



ERA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS FLY-IN: What the Shifting Political Landscape Means for Direct Response Marketers

Note: Schedule Subject to Change Prior To Event

Wednesday, May 25th

Registration Open and Breakfast
8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m

The Future in 9 Minutes or Less
9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

What does the future hold for direct response marketers? What are the most disruptive forces on the horizon? This fast-paced conversation will explore how you can future proof your business for years to come, and learn what tomorrow brings for everyone in the direct response ecosystem.

  • Moderator: Gregory J. Sater, Partner, Venable, LLC
  • Bill Knowlton, Partner, Invictus Law, P.C.
  • Edward F. Glynn Jr. – Partner, Locke Lord, LLP
  • Jeff Knowles – Partner, Venable LLP
  • Harold Hance – Founder & Managing Partner, Mountain Valley Integrated Solutions

What’s Hot & What’s Not – Policy & Marketing Strategies for Digital Media
9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Regulatory action at the FTC & State Attorneys General coupled with other policy initiatives are a vital component of today's digital business. As the digital landscape blossoms with a mobile device in every hand these issues are rapidly transforming organizations.  The policy landscape has been quick to adapt to these disruptive forces. Join our panel of leading experts as they explore the opportunities and challenges associated with these exciting developments and what you can expect from our policy makers on the rules of the road in the years to come.

  • Moderator: Linda Goldstein, Partner, Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP
  • Mary Engle, Associate Director for Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission
  • Jonathan Gelfand, Chief Legal Officer, Beachbody, LLC
  • Richard Lawson, Partner, Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP (Until recently, director of the Florida Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.)

The Hottest 2016 Election Analysis in DC
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

ERA holds this briefing panel only during election years as a signature benefit to GA Fly-In attendees. This year, we are proud to feature renowned election expert Kyle Trygstad, Editor of the National Journal’s Hotline publication. This powerhouse presentation will analyze the current political environment and forecast what we can expect from this year’s general election. National Journal’s Hotline is synonymous with the highest-caliber election analysis for business leaders. For decades, the National Journal has been hailed as Washington’s most trusted -and most accurate- voice on all things political. Get ready for the hottest ticket in town with this signature election trend analysis.

  • Kyle Trygstad, Editor, The National Journal’s Hotline

Washington 2016: Congress & the Election – What to Expect
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Election 2016 is revving on all cylinders. Join two of the nation’s leading authorities on American politics and U.S. elections as they contrast the election and handicap the races from both the Republican and Democratic perspectives. Who will take the crown? Who will control the U.S. Senate? What will happen in the House of Representatives? Find out the latest insider perspective for this year’s electoral predictions, and how changes will affect policy in the halls of power in the years to come.

  • Mike Robinson - Principal, Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas
  • David Castagnetti - Principal, Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas

Lunch Break & Commute Time to Capitol Hill
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Keynote: Pete Sessions - Chairman House Rules Committee (R-TX)
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Please join us for a special presentation with Congressman Pete Sessions focused on legislation to curb the scope of the Department of Justice’s “Operation Choke Point” efforts. In 2013, the Department of Justice championed an initiative that became known as Operation Choke Point. The effort saw federal banking regulators pressuring financial institutions to terminate accounts and discourage processing relationships with “High Risk Merchants,” including: “As Seen on TV,” Get Rich Products, Government Grants, Multi-Level Marketing, Sweepstakes, and certain Telemarketing activities. Now, as chairman of the House Rules Committee, Congressman Sessions is championing legislation that would prevent this type regulatory activity.

Location: Congressional Meeting Room North – United States Visitors Center

Team Meetings on Capitol Hill
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Join your peers as they storm Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of the industry. This year is more important than ever, as we work to limit the adverse effects of the Department of Justice’s “Operation Choke Point.” Together we can work to limit the chilling effect on our ability to get payments processed for Direct Response marketers.

Operation Choke Point Briefing – With Senate Staffers from Senators Cruz (R-TX) & Lee (R-UT) Offices
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

We look forward to you attending this special briefing from key staffers from Senators Cruz (R-TX) & Lee (R-UT) the sponsors of the Senate legislation designed to stop the Department of Justice’s “Operation Choke Point” efforts. Find out the possible pathways forward to passage in the Senate that would ensure that “High Risk Merchants” including “As Seen On TV”, Multi-Level Marketing and Telemarketing are not cut off from the payment processing system.   

Location: Room 404 Russell Senate Office Building

Closing Reception – Overlooking the US Capitol Dome

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

After spending the afternoon walking the halls of Congress and meeting with state representatives, its only fitting for ERA to wrap up the Government Affairs Fly-In with a reception overlooking the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. Come check out the view, network with the industry, and enjoy what’s sure to be a memorable closing reception.

Location: House Veterans Affairs Committee Room (Room 334 Cannon House Office Building)



SunTrust Headquarters Washington, D.C.
1445 New York Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 
9th Floor

All events will be held at the SunTrust Headquarters unless otherwise noted. 



ERA Member Pricing
Government Affairs Fly-In Only: $299, $349 onsite
ERSP Self-Regulation Summit Only: $150
Package: Government Affairs Fly-In and ERSP Summit: $374, $424 onsite

Non-Member Pricing
Government Affairs Fly-In Only: $399, $449 onsite

ERSP Self-Regulation Summit Only: $175
Package: Government Affairs Fly-In and ERSP Summit: $499, $549 onsite


Register Now!


Some of our Speakers:


Ellen Berge, Partner, Venable LLP


Ellen Berge is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Venable LLP. She counsels businesses on legal matters related to the advertising, marketing, and transaction processing of products and services sold through retail and direct-to-consumer marketing channels, including radio, television, direct mail, telemarketing, Internet, affiliate marketing, social media, and mobile devices.




Andy Borges, Director of Company Operations & General Counsel, FortuneBuilders, Inc.


Since 2012, Andy Borges has served as the director of Company Operations and General Counsel of one of the nation's premier real estate investment education companies. In his current role he actively oversees various functions within the Legal and Compliance, Human Resources, and Accounting departments. Prior to joining the company, he held various roles in the acquisition and disposition of businesses and residential and commercial real estate. He has a B.S. in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis, an M.B.A. from the University of San Francisco, and a J.D. from Boston University.




David Castagnetti, Co-Founder, Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas


David Castagnetti is a legislative and political strategist with a history of delivering for clients. David has played a critical role in shaping some of the most significant policy issues of the past two decades. Recognized as one of Washington’s top lobbyists by BusinessWeek, Washingtonian Magazine, The Hill and CQ, David’s policy expertise and political chops are well known.

Prior to joining Mehlman Castagnetti, David was asked by Secretary of State John Kerry, then the Democratic nominee for President, to serve as the Presidential campaign’s top liaison to Congress. David also served as Chief of Staff to both Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Congressman Norman Y. Mineta (D-CA). Additionally, David led the successful efforts to win confirmation for Mr. Mineta as Secretary of Commerce for President Clinton and as Secretary of Transportation for President George W. Bush.


Mary K. Engle, Co-Founder, Associate Director for Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission


Mary K. Engle directs the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Advertising Practices. The Division is responsible for regulating national advertising matters, including claims about food, OTC drugs, dietary supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and Internet services. The Division also enforces the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a statute regulating the online collection of personal information from children. Ms. Engle joined the FTC as a staff attorney in 1990, has held a number of management positions in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, and has served as an advisor to a Commissioner. Before joining the FTC, Ms. Engle practiced law with a firm in Washington, D.C. She received an A.B. from Harvard University in 1983 and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1986.


Jonathan Gelfand, Chief Legal Officer, Beachbody, LLC


Jonathan Gelfand has over 20 years of experience representing clients involved in complex transactions, entertainment, new media and emerging technologies, advertising, privacy and marketing, and intellectual property matters with a focus on direct response marketing, multi-level marketing, and electronic retailing. For ten years, Jonathan has been Chief Legal Officer for Beachbody, LLC, an industry leading health and wellness company focused on home-based workouts and premium supplements, encompassing internationally recognized brands such as P90X®, Insanity®, Focus T25®, 21 Day Fix®, Body Beast® and Shakeology®. Jonathan additionally serves as the Senior Vice President, Business Development exploring new business opportunities and distribution models for the company, as well as heading up the company’s Government Affairs Department and Security Steering Committee. Jonathan lives in Los Angeles with his amazing wife, two daughters, dog and cat (all of whom are female, leaving him significantly outnumbered).


Ed Glynn, Partner, Locke Lord LLP


Mr. Glynn previously served for over 14 years in various positions with the FTC. He was a central player in the Commission’s merger review process and led the FTC’s regulatory oversight of transnational mergers and acquisitions for almost 10 years. During his time with the FTC, he was also the assistant director (international antitrust) and associate director (international) of the Bureau of Competition. Additionally, Mr. Glynn served as a trial attorney where he led several of the most significant investigations undertaken by the FTC and represented the Commission extensively in litigation in the United States District Courts and Courts of Appeals. Ed also served as a member of the U.S. Government Interagency Task Force on Europe 1992 Investment Policy. More recently, Mr. Glynn was a partner in the advertising and marketing, antitrust and regulatory practices of an international full-service law firm where his practice focused on advertising, antitrust and trade regulation issues. Currently, Ed serves as the Vice Chair for the Consumer Protection Committee of the Antitrust Section for the American Bar Association. He also is active in the Electronic Retailing Association.


Linda Goldstein, Partner, Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP


Linda Goldstein is widely recognized as one of the leading advertising lawyers in the country. Prior to joining Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, where she is a partner and chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Media Division, Linda was a name partner at the New York law firm Hall Dickler Kent Goldstein & Wood. She represents the world's leading consumer products/services and advertising and marketing companies in advertising, intellectual property and digital media matters. Her practice includes conducting legal compliance reviews of advertising campaigns for brand marketers and agencies, representing clients in false advertising and unfair competition investigations and enforcement actions, advising clients on promotional marketing programs, and negotiating and drafting industry-governing agreements.


 Jeff Greenbaum, Managing Partner, Frankfurt Kurnit


Managing Partner of Frankfurt Kurnit since 2010, Jeffrey A. Greenbaum is one of the country’s leading advertising lawyers. He is a partner in the firm's Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations Group and has extensive experience representing advertisers, advertising agencies, and media companies on advertising, marketing, branded entertainment, and intellectual property matters.




 Lois Greisman, Associate Director at Federal Trade Commission


Lois Greisman heads the Division of Marketing Practices in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Under Ms. Greisman’s management, Marketing Practices leads the FTC’s law enforcement initiatives tackling telemarketing fraud (including Do Not Call enforcement), fraudulent investment opportunity schemes, and Internet frauds, with particular focus on challenges posed by new technologies and convergence issues. Marketing Practices also leads enforcement of the CAN-SPAM Act.




 Harold Hance, Owner & Managing Partner, Mountain Valley Integrated Solutions


Harold’s direct response marketing experience belies his youthful appearance. He spends his days working with and beside his employees at Mountain Valley Integrated Solutions. He has been an owner and the Managing Partner at MVIS since 2003.

Prior to that he learned the ropes of the direct response business through real world experience at such companies as Beacon Teleservices, DMI and Goldshield where he served in various positions such as Director of Campaign Management, Director of Training and Sales Process Developer.

In recognition of this drive for excellence, Harold was named Small Business Person of the Year in 2008 and inducted to the Small Business Hall of Fame in 2010.


 Blair Jackson, Found & Managing Partner, Invictus Law


Mr. Jackson focuses his practice on both compliance and transactional matters related to advertising and marketing. He regularly assists marketing companies comply with federal and state advertising laws, including telemarketing, seminar marketing, direct mail marketing, and online marketing. Mr. Jackson also has extensive experience in defending attorney general actions having worked with over twenty-six different State’s attorney general over the last ten years. He holds active licenses in New York, California, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Alaska. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Mr. Jackson began practicing law in Utah in 2004. He was one of the founders of Invictus Law, which began in 2009. Invictus Law is a small law firm with thirty-six employees. Invictus also has two satellite offices in California and Michigan. Mr. Jackson is the father of six children. He enjoys cheering his kids on in their various activities and wake boarding when he gets an opportunity.


 Jack Kirby, President DRTV Agency Services, Havas Edge


Jack Kirby is considered one of the most successful direct-to-consumer marketers in the world today. A product of our ever evolving media age, Jack's rapid career trajectory has spanned virtually every modern media platform: print, radio, television, Web, and more recently the development of mobile media platforms. Beginning in his native Boston, Massachusetts as a precocious 12 year old pre-teen TV talk show host, his fascination with media began a 30+ year odyssey that put him at the forefront of a culture shifting media explosion. In a broad ranging career that brought him success as a TV journalist, network television executive, innovative marketing pioneer and Internet entrepreneur, Jack has helped change the way people watch and consume media, buy products—and in the process, change their lives. Currently Jack serves as president of the Creative, Marketing and Television Production units of Havas Edge, the largest, integrated direct marketing advertising agency in North America. He is also co-founder and Chairman (along with Actress/TV Talk show host, Ricki Lake) of, the breakthrough program for kids and families struggling with childhood obesity.


 Jeff Knowles, Partner at Venable, LLP


Mr. Knowles founded and served for thirteen years as general counsel to the Electronic Retailing Association. He is a member of the Board of Directors and past Chairman of the Electronic Retailing Association and past Chair of the association's Government Affairs Committee. He represents clients before the Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Postal Service, state attorneys general, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and self-regulatory bodies such as the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulatory Program and the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Mr. Knowles is nationally recognized as the leading attorney in the direct response television industry. He focuses on law enforcement, federal and state regulatory matters, litigation and dispute resolution, unfair competition and protection of intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, trade dress and copyrights. He also handles media relations and crisis management.


 Bill Knowlton, Partner, Invictus Law, P.C.


Bill Knowlton is a Partner in the Utah office of Invictus Law, working as corporate counsel to multi-national advertising and real estate businesses. Bill devotes the majority of his practice to federal and state regulatory compliance, corporate governance, government relations, employment law (representing management), commercial real estate law, intellectual property, and all aspects of dispute resolution – from initial demand to jury/bench disposition. He is Chair of the Firm’s Ethics and Professionalism Committee, and a Member of the Firm’s Hiring Committee. Also, Bill is an active member of the Government Affairs Committee of the Electronic Retailing Association, and a fervent advocate of third-party administered self-regulation. After spending two years in Ethiopia and Uganda as a missionary, Bill graduated from Arizona State University with an MBA/JD in 2008. Bill and his wife Kristy have been married 13 years, and are the proud parents of 4 energetic children (all under the age of 8).


 Richard Lawson, Partner, Manatt

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson is a partner in Manatt’s Consumer Protection practice, where he concentrates his practice in regulatory enforcement defense and marketing- and media-related investigations, counseling and litigation. Prior to joining Manatt, Richard served as the director of the Consumer Protection division for the Office of Florida’s Attorney General.

Much of Richard’s work focuses on handling single-state, multistate and FTC regulatory investigations and enforcement actions involving fraudulent and deceptive advertising. In addition to issues surrounding advertising regulation and the Lanham Act, Richard’s substantive expertise also includes privacy and the collection and use of consumer marketing data; continuity plans, trial offers and advance consent marketing practices under the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act; consumer finance regulation and Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices (UDAAPs); digital media and intellectual property under the Communications Decency Act; and text messaging and Telephone Consumer Protection Act compliance.

During his tenure in the Florida Attorney General’s office, Richard played a key role in shaping and overseeing the agency’s agenda on privacy and data security. He also received a first-of-its-kind Federal Trade Commission Partner Award in recognition of his office’s joint state/federal collaborative successes.

Prior to joining the Attorney General’s office, Richard spent the majority of his career in public service, starting with the State Attorney’s office in Tampa, Florida, where he served as the Deputy Chief of the Economic Crime Unit. From there he moved to New York and worked as a Bronx County Assistant District Attorney and then as a Special Assistant with the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. His public service experience includes over 300 nonjury trials and over 50 jury trials that involved organized fraud matters, insurance scams, identity theft and larceny offenses.


Peter Marinello, Director, ERSP and VP, CBBB


Peter C. Marinello is the director of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council’s (ASRC) Electronic Retailing Self Regulation Program (ERSP) and a vice president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB). Before joining ASRC in July 2004, Peter had been the associate director at the National Advertising Division of the CBBB (“NAD”) since 2000 and a Senior Staff Attorney with NAD since March of 1993. Peter has written over 1,000 self-regulatory decisions on various advertising topics and products involving traditional and direct response advertising. In the course of his work, Peter has addressed issues pertaining to new media, telemarketing, dietary supplements and nuclear energy, among others.

Peter is a graduate of St. Johns University School of Law and has been a member of the New York State Bar since 1988.


Terrell McSweeny, Commissioner, FTC


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, McSweeny served as Chief Counsel for Competition Policy and Intergovernmental Relations for the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. She 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.

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.

McSweeny is a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University Law School.


Amy Mudge, Partner, Venable LLP


Amy Mudge is an experienced attorney and partner in Venable’s Regulatory and Advertising and Marketing Practice Groups. She represents clients before the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, state attorneys general and the National Advertising Division.

Ms. Mudge’s clients span across a wide range of industries including agriculture, Internet services, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements and car rentals. She also has experience establishing effective compliance programs providing antitrust and marketing law training.


Lee Peeler, President and CEO, Advertising Self-Regulatory Council


Mr. Peeler is responsible for leading the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, a system dedicated to fostering truth and accuracy in advertising. He oversees the operation of NARC investigative and appeals units; briefs elected officials on self-regulatory initiatives, works to expand advertising self-regulation to industries that are not yet regular participants and consults with representatives of foreign governments on the value of industry self-regulation. Mr. Peeler joined NARC and BBB in 2006, following a 33-year career at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where he held a number management positions. While at the FTC, he served as Associate Director of the Division of Advertising Practices (1985-2001) and Deputy Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection (2001-2006.) He has spoken and testified widely on consumer protection issues including truth in advertising, consumer credit, electronic commerce, privacy and data security. Mr. Peeler received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Georgetown University.


Karl Racine, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General District of Columbia


Attorney General Karl A. Racine brings over 25 years of experience as a practicing lawyer and good steward of leading law firms and organizations to the Office of the Attorney General.

Racine has deep and wide-ranging legal experience. He volunteered as a law student in a clinic supporting migrant farm worker’s rights; represented indigent residents in the DC Public Defender Service; practiced white-collar and commercial litigation with Cacheris & Treanor and Venable LLP; served as Associate White House Counsel in the Clinton Administration; and served on the District’s Judicial Nomination Commission. When Racine became Managing Partner at Venable LLP, where he managed over 600 attorneys, he became the first African-American managing partner of a top-100 law firm. The National Law Journal named Racine one of the 50 most influential Minority Lawyers in the United States.

Racine earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.


Mike Robinson, Principal, Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas


As a principal at Mehlman Castagnetti, Mike provides strategic counsel to clients on a broad range of legislative issues. Most recently, Mike served as the first-ever Director of Coalitions and Member Services for the House Appropriations Committee, where he spearheaded outreach to Members of Congress and third-party groups.

Working side-by-side with House Leadership, Committee members, and rank-and-file members, he played an integral role in negotiating and shepherding must-pass funding bills through the legislative process. Mike has honed his skills in several senior positions with the U.S. House of Representatives, including serving as Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Advisor for the Office of the Majority leader from 2005 to 2006, Legislative Director to now-Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky from 2002-2005, and as a senior legislative aide to members of the Appropriations Committee and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.


Gregory J. Sater, Partner, Venable, LLC


Greg Sater (Harvard Law School, 1991) combines litigation and non-litigation skills and experience to help clients with their intellectual property and advertising-related issues, including advice, counseling and litigation relating to advertising claims and substantiation, trademarks, copyrights, trade dress, trade secrets, rights of publicity, and other related issues. Mr. Sater represents the top direct response television advertisers, online marketers and many other companies in a variety of different industries in connection with their intellectual property issues, false and deceptive advertising concerns, compliance with state and federal advertising regulations, state and federal court litigation, class action defense, and as a preventative matter the drafting of sound business contracts. A native of Los Angeles, Mr. Sater also has represented numerous music, motion picture and entertainment industry personalities and companies in IP and contract litigation matters. In addition to many jury and bench trials, Mr. Sater has briefed and argued precedent-setting cases before the California Supreme Court and other appellate courts.

Mr. Sater also has volunteered his time pro bono as a volunteer prosecutor for the City of Los Angeles, where he has secured guilty verdicts in criminal jury trials involving handguns, domestic violence, assault and battery, and earlier in his career, was instrumental in several public interest lawsuits filed against the federal government to protect habitat for endangered species living on public lands in the West.


Pete Sessions, Chairman House Rules Committee (R-TX)


Congressman Sessions pursues his goals through his work on various Congressional committees and caucuses. He serves as the Chairman of the powerful House Committee on Rules, which is best known for its role as the legislative gatekeeper. In 2008 and 2010, he was elected by the House Republican Conference as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Additionally, he is a strong proponent and supporter of H.R. 766 The Financial Institution Customer Protection Act. This legislation is designed as a response to the onerous Department of Justice “Operation Choke Point” initiative.



LaToya Sutton, Associate, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP


La Toya Sutton is an associate in Manatt’s Advertising, Marketing and Media Division, resident in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. She advises clients on a broad range of legal and compliance issues related to consumer advertising and product claim substantiation. Her expertise surrounds the marketing and promotion of products subject to the overlapping jurisdictions of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), such as foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, drugs, and medical devices. She also has significant experience defending and initiating disputes before the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ National Advertising Division (NAD) and Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP). Ms. Sutton also advises clients on matters involving the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other federal and state agencies.


Kyle Trygstad, Editor, The Hotline


Kyle Trygstad is editor of National Journal Hotline. An Arlington, Va., native, he previously served as an editor, features writer and campaign reporter at Roll Call. Before that he reported for Real Clear Politics, was a researcher for The Almanac of American Politics and interned at The Hotline.





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