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Press Release

Jackson Lewis Reinforces California Presence with Addition of Four New Principals

NEW YORK, NY (January 16, 2020) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce Principals Katessa M. Charles, Stacey M. Cooper, John E. Exner, IV and Patrick C. Stokes have joined the firm in California, advancing the breadth of its national litigation and immigration practices.

“The exceptional talent, experience and commitment that these attorneys bring to Jackson Lewis will strengthen our approach to helping clients navigate the challenges of the rapidly evolving framework of employment law,” said Firm Co-Chairs William J. Anthony and Kevin G. Lauri in a joint statement. “As we kick off 2020, we are excited to help employers manage the increasingly complex issues affecting their businesses day-to-day. These attorneys are a significant asset to the firm, and their skills in this field are an ostensible complement to our existing team of eager and knowledgeable attorneys.” 

Katessa M. Charles joins Jackson Lewis in Los Angeles, focusing her practice on all aspects of employment litigation matters. She has significant experience as a civil litigator and has tried to verdict in state and federal court employment matters involving gender, race, disability discrimination and harassment, and retaliation and wrongful termination. Ms. Charles works exclusively with clients to develop strategies for mitigating and resolving legal actions, approaching each case with a demonstrated commitment to client service. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Stacey M. Cooper joins the firm in San Diego, focusing her practice on employment law with an emphasis on wage and hour cases, including class actions and complex representative actions such as California’s Private Attorneys General Act. Her practice also includes matters involving wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, breach of contract, and violations of the ADA. Ms. Cooper routinely counsels her clients on compliance with federal and state wage designations, alternate pay structures, meal and rest period policies, wage and hour compliance, and other employment related matters. She earned her JD from University of Colorado Law School and her B.A. from University of Washington. 

John E. Exner, IV also joins the firm in Los Angeles, focusing his practice on the representation of businesses in a variety of employment-based immigration matters. He regularly prepares and files hundreds of nonimmigrant visa petitions, with a particular emphasis on H-1B, H-2A, L-1, E-1, E-2, E-3, O-1, P, I, and TN petitions. Mr. Exner also regularly counsels clients on immigration enforcement issues, including I-9 and E-Verify compliance programs. He earned his J.D. from St. Mary's University School of Law and his B.S. from Trinity University.

Patrick C. Stokes joins the firm in its recently opened Silicon Valley office and counsels employers on all aspects of employment and labor law. He devotes his practice to California and U.S. laws and regulations affecting employers. Mr. Stokes helps clients identify, analyze and monitor new California state legislation affecting employers. He also works closely with employers and trade organizations to identify practicable and efficient compliance strategies before new legislation takes effect. Mr. Stokes has significant experience with clients in the healthcare industry. He earned his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of California, Davis.

“This is a tremendous advantage for us, both in California and nationally,” continued Anthony and Lauri. “The new Principals come at a time when several new significant regulatory and judicial developments are on the horizon in California state law. Their knowledge of the regulatory landscape will be a valuable resource for our clients, and the addition of their voices to our growing presence in California is a critical indicator of our commitment to incorporating new perspectives from accomplished, top-level laterals on our team.” 

About Jackson Lewis 
Focused on labor and employment law since 1958, Jackson Lewis P.C.’s 950+ attorneys located in major cities nationwide consistently identify and respond to new ways workplace law intersects business. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces that are engaged, stable and diverse, and share our clients' goals to emphasize inclusivity and respect for the contribution of every employee.

Additional information about the firm can be found at

For more information, please contact:
Kendall Melidosian, Public Relations Specialist
T: (267) 319-7831 / E: 


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