Board and Staff
David Ebert • Co-Founder and Board Member
As a lifelong proponent of animal welfare, rights, and protection, David, a lawyer (now retired), co-founded The Animal Defense Partnership as a means to devote himself more fully to defending animals and reducing suffering. Although no longer practicing law, David remains committed in his non-lawyer role to helping guide and develop ADP as a substantial animal protection resource, providing excellent pro bono legal services to animal charities, sanctuaries and rescues.
Before retiring in October 2019, David trained as a litigation associate at the former Shea & Gould law firm and practiced as a partner at the Ingram firm in New York City, having started with the firm at its inception. He litigated complex commercial matters and regularly tried cases in state and federal court in New York and around the country. He also served as outside general counsel to several small and midsize companies, routinely advising on a wide range of day-to-day matters as well as best practices and long-term strategies to anticipate and avoid conflict. And David was active in writing and speaking on the attorney-client relationship, the critical importance of litigation avoidance, and the profession's growing over-lawyering epidemic.
As an outgrowth of his ADP work, David is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary's Ranchers Advocacy Program. RAP supports and guides ranchers who are ready to move away from cruelty-based animal agriculture and adopt other viable farming and business models and practices. He is also on the Board of Advisors for TerraMar Research, a nonprofit with a proven commitment to the study and protection of wildlife and the environment with an emphasis on marine mammals and marine ecosystems.
He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from NYU. While practicing David held an AV-Preeminent rating, the highest possible peer review rating by the publishers of the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory, for legal ability and ethical standards based on the confidential opinions of the Bar and the Judiciary. He also held a 9.6/10 rating on Avvo, an independent attorney rating service.
David's family lives in Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester County, New York, together with their beloved dogs, Frieda and Mo. His daughter is in college. And, culminating a long-standing ambition, in November 2016 David visited with the Hirwa family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park. In November 2018 he returned to Africa to see the Ugandan gorillas and other wildlife. He went back again in 2019 to visit elephant and rhino orphanages, sanctuaries and rescues in Kenya.
Joel Litvin — Co-Founder, Board Member and Counsel
Joel served as President, League Operations of the National Basketball Association until his retirement in September, 2015 after 27 years with the league.
In this capacity, Joel was in charge of numerous areas of the NBA‘s business, including legal affairs, franchise transactions, security, basketball operations, and social responsibility. He also served as the chief liaison between the league and the NBA Board of Governors on a wide range of business, competition, and governance matters. Prior to assuming his position of President, League Operations, Joel served as the NBA‘s General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs.
He currently serves on the boards of Hunger Free America, a service and non-profit advocacy organization, Madison Square Garden Networks; USA Climbing, the national governing body for the sport of competition climbing; and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Joel lectures frequently on sports law, business, and ethics, and is currently an adjunct professor in Columbia University ‘s graduate Sports Management program. He previously served as a professor in the global master of law program of Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia and as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Penn State Law School.
He graduated with a B.S. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and received his law degree from NYU.
Joel lives in Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester County, New York, with his wife Lisa and their three rescue cats: Meera, Obie and Tommy. His daughter Janey is in college and his son Jesse is a recent college graduate.
Allan E. Kornberg MD, MBA • Board Chair and Strategic Advisor
Allan E. Kornberg, MD, MBA is a pediatrician who has practiced both primary care and emergency pediatrics.
He’s served as Vice-Chair and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, at the University of Buffalo, and as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Brown University. He co-founded a pediatrics practice in Western New York and served as the Chief of Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He advocated on behalf of survivors of child abuse and sexual assault, was the co-editor of a textbook ‘Child Abuse and Neglect-A Medical Reference,’ and wrote peer review articles on child abuse and emergency pediatrics.
Allan served as medical director with managed care organizations, provider institutions, and advocacy groups, frequently focused on population health for the underserved, in Georgia, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. He was the Medicaid Medical Director for Rhode Island and was Chief Medical Officer and subsequently CEO for Network Health, a managed care organization that serves impoverished families in Massachusetts.
Dr. Kornberg served as the executive director for the United States for World Animal Protection, and as the executive director for Farm Sanctuary, a non-profit focused on providing lifetime care for abused farm animals, educating the public, advocating on behalf of better treatment for farm animals, and in the promotion of plant-based diets. He has additionally worked on a number of animal protection projects, typically seeking to reduce the numbers of animals raised for food and subject to experiments in laboratories, while pursuing more compassionate treatment for those currently on farms and in research facilities. Allan is the current board chair of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
He received his B.S in Biology from MIT, M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and M.B.A. from the University of Rochester.
Given his experience in medical care and population health, animal protection, and charity management and governance, Allan now serves on non-profit boards while supporting charities in their capacity-building/strategic planning, leadership, program development, fundraising, and the development and execution of measurable goals. His next projects include raising veg children and the intersection of kindness and compassion for children and animals.
Judith Turkel • Board Member and Strategic Advisor
Judith is a partner in the Manhattan law firm Turkel Forman LLP. She practices real estate and family law, as well as all aspects of wills, trusts and estates - including providing for companion animals in estate planning. Judith is also trained as a mediator and mediates agreements and conflicts for clients who wish to participate in an amicable and constructive process.
For many years Judith has combined her professional knowledge and personal dedication to social justice and change to assist non-profit organizations. She was a founding Board member of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of New York; served on and co-chaired the Board of Directors of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and of SAGE: Advocacy and Services for GLBT Elders. As President of the Board of Directors of the LGBT Community Center, she helped lead a $13 million capital campaign.
Judith has received numerous awards and recognition, including from Pace Law School (her alma mater); the NYC Bar Association LGBT Rights Committee, Stonewall Community Foundation, the National LGBT Bar Association, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders) and the NYC LGBT Community Center.
In her work as an animal advocate, after more than 15 years as a supporter of Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Judith now serves as Chair of its Board. Catskill Animal Sanctuary, an ADP client, is a 148-acre refuge in New York's Hudson Valley for farmed animals rescued from cruelty, neglect, and abandonment, and champions veganism.
As a Board Member and Strategic Advisor at ADP, Judith will assist animal charities in: creating their unique mission; fundraising; selection, growth and engagement of board members; strategic planning; and governance.
Judith and her partner Jennifer Costley, a program director at New York Academy of Sciences, live in Manhattan and the Hudson Valley with their cairn terrier Maisie and newest family member, rescue Wheaten terrier, Annabelle. Judith is an avid reader, hiker, world traveler and a committed vegan and loves to cook for friends and introduce them to vegan food.
Stephanie Jeshiva • Board Member and Associate Counsel
Stephanie Jeshiva is Editor-in-Chief of Practical Law The Journal: Transactions & Business, a Thomson Reuters publication. She is a lead member of Thomson Reuters’ Pro Bono Committee and frequently advises nonprofit organizations on various corporate and employment law matters, as well as assists individuals with immigration and public benefits law issues. Stephanie also volunteers as a reading tutor with Innovations for Learning and as a home puppy socializer with Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Previously she was a corporate associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, focusing on private fund formation, and a legal intern at the Federal Trade Commission and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. Stephanie earned her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 2007 and her B.A. in Economics from Fordham University in 2002.
Mary Dulka • Senior Counsel
Mary has over twenty years of experience as a securities litigation attorney and practiced in federal courts throughout the country. She handled all aspects of defending claims against banks, corporations, mutual fund advisers and directors in complex class actions and shareholder derivative actions. She also provided strategic advice to in-house counsel and boards of directors and worked closely with boards to investigate alleged wrongdoing within companies.
Mary started her career at the law firm Clifford Chance (formerly Rogers & Wells), and later moved to Goodwin Procter where she was promoted to partner. She was co-head of the Women’s Initiative at Goodwin’s New York office, and created programs to develop and advance female attorneys. She also was active in pro bono matters, such as providing immigration assistance to victims of domestic violence and working on a brief supporting a transgender student’s access to restrooms.
While building her litigation practice, Mary also nurtured her childhood passion for animals. She spent many years supporting local shelters by socializing cats and dogs, assisting adopters, and promoting the shelters’ mission at community outreach events.
In 2016, Mary decided to leave Goodwin to focus on developing a career to help animals. This new path brought her to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in southern Utah, where she worked as a caregiver for special needs cats. The sanctuary’s unique environment enabled Mary to expand her animal knowledge of animal welfare issues through interactions with the founders and staff, attending weekly presentations about legislative and other initiatives, and doing volunteer work with pigs and horses. She later joined the adoptions team at Best Friends’ lifesaving center in New York, where she collaborated with local rescue groups to intake and promote their animals at the center. Mary enjoys volunteering in the kitten nursery at Best Friends and the ASPCA and learning about all aspects of neonatal care.
Mary has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received her law degree from NYU. She lives in Chappaqua, New York with her husband, Arthur Larkin, and their two rescue cats, Coco and Cinnamon. Her daughter Catherine is in college.
Drew Alexis • Counsel
Drew Alexis has worked at both large and small law firms and served as an in-house attorney for publicly-traded corporations and as general counsel to a national non-profit corporation, giving him an extensive and diverse legal experience. As in-house counsel for a financial institution, Drew managed a Human Resources Legal and Compliance Department of ten employees and established a Wage and Hour Division within the company to address wage and hour matters for the company.
Drew also has served as an Associate Adjunct Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California and the University of California – Irvine School of Law and has taught courses on Employment Discrimination Law, Sexual Orientation and the Law and Animal Law.
Drew is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. After completing his B.A. in Political Science at Colgate in 1991, he obtained his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1994. In 2004, Mr. Alexis received certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resources Certification Institute.
Matt Beyer • Counsel
Matt Beyer is an attorney in the Manhattan office of Ropers, Majeski, Kohn and Bentley. He has spent his career as a commercial and employment litigator across New York City, Long Island and Westchester, both prosecuting and defending cases in state and federal courts. His practice is diverse and varied, ranging from contractual claims and business disputes to professional liability and employment claims, including discrimination and wage and hour actions. He also has experience representing governments and municipalities, defending toxic tort and personal injury claims, and litigating condo and co-op issues in New York City. Matt also focuses on resolving disputes outside the courtroom when possible, and has significant experience in arbitration, mediation, and settlement negotiation.
Matt graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in 2010, where he also spent a semester working as intern in the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, then chaired by the late Senator Edward Kennedy. Matt earned his Juris Doctorate from Boston University in 2013, where he also worked as a student attorney, providing free representation to clients involved in employment, housing, disability and family court proceedings. He is proud to be a volunteer attorney with the Animal Defense Partnership.
Crystal Kramer • Counsel
Crystal Kramer is an attorney in the Tyson’s Corner, Virginia office of Offit Kurman. Her practice is focused on the representation of landlords and property managers of residential and commercial real estate in Virginia and counseling businessowners on civil disputes and representing them in court on various litigation matters. She also provides broader legal advice to her clients on their compliance with various laws, drafts company policies and procedures, reviews and drafts lease agreements, negotiates and drafts settlement agreements, among other general counsel-type tasks.
Crystal’s passion is animal rights and she is proud to volunteer with the Animal Defense Partnership.
Mike Recchia • Counsel
Mike is excited to serve your organization as we work to create a better future. He is passionate about animal rights and environmental conservation and, in addition to his role at ADP, is a volunteer treasurer for two environmental nonprofits in New Jersey: the New Jersey Composting Council and Sustainable Jersey City (of which he is also a board member). He believes that: (1) the modern food-industrial complex, including its unbridled use of pesticides and factory farms, reaps emotional and ecological devastation to the benefit of a few and the detriment of many; (2) local, organic, non-industrial agriculture can sustain and enhance the health of soils, plants and animals (both human and non-human alike); and (3) a sustainable and just future critically depends upon the humane treatment of animals.
Mike received his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from The College of New Jersey and his law degree from Georgetown Law. He is a certified public accountant and business attorney practicing law at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, LLP, an international law firm; he previously worked at PwC, a global accounting firm. Mike helps clients form and structure their businesses and investments, with a strong focus on navigating complex U.S. federal income tax laws and regulations. He has extensive experience securing and maintaining tax-exempt status for nonprofits and drafting and negotiating business-critical legal documents, including LLC agreements, stock purchase agreements, independent contractor agreements, employment agreements, non-disclosure agreements and licensing agreements.
ADP's staff and volunteer lawyers handle the majority of our clients' work. But when specialized experience or a more substantial presence is needed, we work closely with several first-tier global law firms that support our mission through their robust pro bono programs. Having access to these superb firms - under ADP’s direction and with our lawyers’ active participation throughout - allows us to provide our clients in the United States and around the world with the highest quality counsel.