Our Team

Sarah K. Brown Executive Director
P. 304.720.0876 F. 304.344.3145 -- Sarah joined Mountain State Justice as an attorney in January 2011 before being named by the Board of Directors as Executive Director in April 2022. Prior to working at Mountain State Justice, Sarah practiced law as a founding member of Baker & Brown, PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia. Sarah previously clerked for Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Sarah graduated from the American University Washington College of Law in 2008, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.
Laura Davidson Staff Attorney
P. 304.326.0188 F. 304.326.0189 Laura Davidson joined Mountain State Justice in the fall of 2020 as a West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest fellow. Laura represents West Virginia workers in employment, black lung, and workplace safety litigation. Laura graduated from West Virginia University College of Law where she received the Patrick Duffy Koontz Award for outstanding service, leadership, and character. Before law school, Laura worked with WV FREE, West Virginia’s leading reproductive health, rights, and justice organization. Additionally, she worked for Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico in Washington, DC.
Krissy Dailey Paralegal
P. 304.344.3144 F. 304.344.3145 -- Krissy joined Mountain State Justice in September 2020. She has worked in the legal field since 2000 and has experience in a variety of law including, personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, insurance disputes, nursing home neglect and toxic tort cases.
Colten Fleu Senior Attorney
P. 304.344.3144 F. 304.344.3145 -- Colt re-joined Mountain State Justice in May 2022, having previously been with MSJ from 2012 until 2019. Prior to returning to MSJ, Colt worked with Community Legal Aid of Delaware working with residents of manufactured housing communities facing steep rent increases. Colt also has extensive experience in consumer bankruptcy matters. Colt is originally from the Ashland, Kentucky area. He received his bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law.
Daniel F. Hedges Of Counsel
P. 304.344.5564 F. 304.344.3145 -- Since graduating from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1971, Dan has devoted his career to influencing the law to better serve low-income West Virginians. Dan was a lawyer and Litigation Director for over 20 years at the Appalachian Research, Education, and Defense Fund (AppalRED) pursuing legal reform on issues such as education funding, institutional conditions, mental health services, juvenile justice issues, and worker safety, as well as consumer rights. In 1996, Dan founded and became the first Executive Director of Mountain State Justice. Dan has served as Vice Chairman of both the Litigation Subcommittee and the ADR Subcommittee of the American Bar Association, and he has testified before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development about predatory lending. In 2003, Dan received the Vern Countryman Award from the National Consumer Law Center for his outstanding work as an advocate for low-income consumers and is widely regarded as one of the top consumer attorneys in the country.
Lizzie Howard Paralegal
P. 304.344.5564 F. 304.344.3145 -- Lizzie began working for the Charleston office of Mountain State Justice in 2021. She is currently studying to become a certified paralegal. Lizzie previously worked in the civil rights and governmental regulation fields for both nonprofits and for the Communications Workers of America. Lizzie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2014.
Brandie Huff Operations Administrator
P. 304.326.0188 F. 304.326.0189 -- Brandie began working for the Clarksburg office of Mountain State Justice in the summer of 2009. Previously, Brandie had 17 years of experience in retail management. Brandie received her Degree in Administration in the Spring of 2009. Brandie spends her off hours fostering and volunteering with a local animal rescue.
Lindsey Jacobs Advocacy & Access Program Director
P. 304.344.3144 F. 304.344.3145 -- Lindsey joined Mountain State Justice in 2021 as the Advocacy & Access Program Director to oversee the organization's social work and organizing efforts. Prior to joining the team, she coordinated grassroots organizing and lobbying efforts in South Carolina around public education, clean energy, and food access. Before focusing on movement work, Lindsey worked as a poverty law attorney in the Carolinas, representing mostly undocumented women and children who were survivors of abuse. She graduated magna cum laude from law school in 2013, where she served on the law review and achieved pro bono honors. She obtained her B.A. in Spanish from West Virginia University. Outside of work, you can find her frolicking with her husband Brennan, pup, and two cats.
Gabriel Jones Senior Paralegal/Executive Assistant
P. 304.326.0188 F. 304.326.0189 -- Gabriel joined Mountain State Justice as a paralegal in May 2020. Gabriel graduated from Fairmont State University with a BS in History in 2011. He has experience working in the court system since 2012 including being a courtroom clerk for Judge Michael Aloi and Judge Patrick Wilson in the 16th Judicial Circuit of West Virginia.
Rachel Kerns Finance & Operations Manager
P. 304.344.5564 F. 304.344.3145 --
Rachel joined the Mountain State Justice team in Spring of 2017. Rachel brings with her over 15 years of financial and budget management, as well as a full range of administrative and management experience. She is involved in various community and statewide projects, and serves as Board President of the West Virginia International Film Festival and Kanawha State Forest Foundation. Rachel is also a running coach with the local chapter of Girls Run the Nation.
Jackie Lane Black Lung Specialist/Paralegal
P. 681.207.7510 F. 681.207.7513 -- Jackie joined Mountain State Justice as a paralegal in September, 2017. Jackie has worked as a paralegal for 10+ years and has experience in a variety of aspects of law including, but not limited to, medical malpractice, personal injury, employment law, lemon law, and consumer law.
Katy Lewis Senior Attorney
P. 304-326-0188 F. 304-326-0189 -- Katy joined Mountain State Justice as an immigration attorney in January 2021. Since 2018, Katy has and continues to work as a consulting attorney with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Defending Vulnerable Populations Program. From 2011 to 2018, she was a senior associate attorney at Van Der Hout, LLP. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Lewis worked as an associate attorney at the Law Office of Robert B. Jobe. At both San Francisco-based immigration law firms, her work focused on removal defense, family-based, and humanitarian-based immigration cases. From 2006 to 2007, Katy served as a Judicial Law Clerk/Attorney Advisor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, at the Los Angeles Immigration Court, as part of the Attorney General’s Honors Program. Katy graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2006 where she was a member of the Order of the Coif. Katy received her bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from the University of Delaware. Katy is a California State Bar Certified Legal Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law.
Blaire L. Malkin Staff Attorney
P. 304.344.3144 F. 304.344.3145 -- Blaire joined Mountain State Justice in 2017. Prior to working at Mountain State Justice, Blaire spent eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of West Virginia, where she served as the Civil Rights and Human Trafficking Coordinator. As an AUSA in the criminal division, Blaire prosecuted complex mail and wire fraud schemes, racketeering, environmental crimes, mine safety violations, and violent crimes. Blaire previously clerked for Judge Joseph R. Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia. Blaire graduated from Harvard Law School in 2006. Blaire received her bachelor’s degree with high honors from Tufts University in Medford, MA.
Lydia C. Milnes Deputy Director
P. 304.326.0188 F. 304.326.0189 -- Lydia, a senior attorney and Deputy Director of Mountain State Justice, joined the firm in 2012. Lydia focuses primarily on the reform of institutions such as mental health, juvenile, and correctional facilities. Lydia additionally advocates for children in need of special education services and West Virginia consumers. Lydia currently serves as a member of the West Virginia State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. After graduating from Northeastern University School of Law in 2007, Lydia clerked for Judge Irene M. Keeley, a federal district judge for the Northern District of West Virginia, and Justice Margaret Workman on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Lydia received her bachelor’s degree from Haverford College, where she graduated with honors.
Lesley Nash Staff Attorney
P. 304.326.0188 F. 304.326.0189 -- Lesley Nash joined Mountain State Justice as a staff attorney in February 2022. Originally from Kentucky, Lesley earned her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2020; she also holds an LL.M. in Public International Law from the University of Nottingham. Prior to joining Mountain State Justice, Lesley spent time working for the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Evansville and her Master's at the University of Kentucky Patterson School of Diplomacy.
Michael Nissim-Sabat Senior Attorney
P. 304.326.0188 F. 304.326.0189 -- Michael first joined Mountain State Justice in September 2013 to begin his legal career in consumer protection as a Post-Graduate Fellow awarded by the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest. Michael graduated from West Virginia University College of Law in 2013, graduating in the top 10% of his class (Order of the Coif) and with Pro Bono Distinction. He served as the President of Public Interest Advocates, and he was an Executive Editor with the West Virginia Law Review. In 2015-16, Michael served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stephanie D. Thacker on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and following his clerkship, Michael returned to Mountain State Justice’s Morgantown office. Michael received his undergraduate degree from the University of Mary Washington and a master’s degree from Marshall University.
Bren J. Pomponio Litigation Director
P. 304.344.3144 F. 304.344.3145 -- Bren has worked as an attorney at Mountain State Justice, representing low-income West Virginians in consumer cases and Medicaid rights cases, since 2000. Previously, Bren clerked for Judge Joseph R. Goodwin and Judge Charles H. Haden II, both in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Bren graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1998, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. Bren received his bachelor’s degree from University of Georgia.
Harshita Prakash Legal Support Specialist
P. 304.344.3144 F 304.344.3145 -- – Harshita Prakash (a.k.a Hershey/Harshi) joined Mountain State Justice as a Legal Support Specialist in February 2022. Harshi is a non-immigrant in the United States. She was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. She completed her undergraduate in law from Symbiosis International University, India. She is a registered and experienced attorney in India. She came to the United States in 2021 to pursue her Master’s in Law from Penn State Law. She graduated from Penn State University in December 2021. Being a non-immigrant herself, and witnessing her family immigrating to the United States, she wished to work in the Immigration field, and therefore joined MSJ. She is now working with the Immigration and Employment Law Team at MSJ.
Kim Richards Intake Specialist
P. 304.344.3144 F. 304.344.3145 -- Kim joined Mountain State Justice in 2016. Kim worked as a legal assistant from 2006 to early 2015. In 2015, prior to joining Mountain State Justice, Kim was the administrative assistant in a real estate company as well as a real estate agent.
Ian M. Shoulders Staff Attorney
P. 304.326.0188 F. 304.326.0189 -- Ian joined Mountain State Justice—primarily representing clients in economic justice and special education cases—shortly after graduating from West Virginia University College of Law. At WVU Law, Ian was active with the ACLU, Moot Court, West Virginia Law Review, and the ABA’s Standing Committee on Public Education. As a Public Interest Advocates fellow, Ian spent the Summer of 2021 interning with Mountain State Justice before ultimately being added to the team permanently in August 2022.
Prior to joining Mountain State Justice, Ian worked in Memphis, Tennessee, as a classroom teacher, history department chair, and district teaching fellow; he holds both undergraduate and master’s degrees in education from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Gary Smith Senior Attorney
P. 304.326.0188 F. 304.326.0189 -- Gary Smith received his J.D. with honors from Ohio State in 1977. He served 23 years with legal service programs in Ohio, including 13 years as litigation director for the program serving 28 counties in the Appalachian areas of that state. Gary thereafter focused on class action consumer and civil rights work as a managing partner of a private law firm in southern Ohio and as special litigation counsel for the Equal Justice Project, a non-profit public interest law firm. Gary joined Mountain State Justice after serving four years as a senior attorney with the Northwest Justice Project in the state of Washington.
Camille Wartts Staff Attorney
P. 304.326.0188 F. 304.326.0189 -- Camille joined Mountain State Justice as an attorney in January 2022. Prior to starting at Mountain State Justice, Camille practiced law at Kay Casto & Chaney, PLLC, in Morgantown, West Virginia. Camille previously clerked for U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi in the Northern District of West Virginia and for Judge Aloi in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court. In 2015, Camille earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the West Virginia University College of Law, graduating as a member of the Order of the Barristers and with Pro Bono Distinction. Camille received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Elijah Washington Office Assistant
P. 304.344.3144 F. 304.344.3145 -- Elijah Washington joined Mountain State Justice in April 2022. Elijah graduated with honors from West Virginia State University in December 2020 with a BS in Business Administration. He is currently attending Marshall University to obtain an MBA with a concentration in management and has interests in community involvement, advocacy, and criminal justice reform.
Brandon Williams Social Worker
P. 304.344.3144 F. 304.344.3145 -- Brandon joined the Mountain State Justice as an Social Worker on the Access and Advocacy Team in April 2022. Prior to working at Mountain State Justice, Brandon worked as a Psychology Associate in the Virginia Department of Corrections. Brandon previously has experience as a Child Protective Service worker and as an Behavior Support Professional in the IDD field. Brandon received his master’s degree in Social Work from Concord University in 2016. Brandon received his bachelor’s degree from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
Adam Wolfe Staff Attorney
P. 304.344.3144 F. 304.344.3145 -- Adam joined Mountain State Justice in July of 2022 as an Economic Justice Attorney. He graduated from the Appalachian School of Law in 2013 where he served as a Law Review Editor for the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation’s Journal and the Appalachian Natural Resources Law Journal. Adam graduated from Concord University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree. Adam worked as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Mercer County for over 5 years before coming to Mountain State Justice. Prior to that Adam represented hundreds of clients as an Assistant Public Defender. Adam served as a Circuit Court Law Clerk for John A. Hutchison, Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court. Adam is an experienced litigator having tried dozens of jury trials and bench trials.

Our Board

Elizabeth Wehner, Chair
Elizabeth has been with Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV) since 2002. She manages LAWV’s grants and fellowships supporting staff in our 12 offices statewide and oversees training for the program. She also litigates in the areas of domestic violence and public benefits. Elizabeth has taught as an Adjunct Instructor at WVU College of Law and has trained legal aid attorneys and managers regionally and nationally. Prior to her current position at LAWV, she was Supervising Attorney at the organization’s Charleston office.
Frank Crabtree, Vice-Chair
Frank is an attorney, the former Director of Transportation Division, Public Service Commission, and the former Executive Director of the American Civil Liverties Union of West Virginia. He is retired and divides his time between his native Monroe County and Southwest Florida.
Emily Chittenden-Laird, Treasurer
Emily Chittenden-Laird is the Chapter Specialist at the Southern Regional Children's Advocacy Center, a program of the National Children's Advocacy Center. She has devoted the last 15 years of her life to children's advocacy and other social justice issues in West Virginia and the Appalachian Region.
Joseph Cohen, Governance Chair
Joseph Cohen is the executive director of ACLU-WV. The focus of all of his work has been to democratize our society and culture, helping people take power over the institutions that most directly impact their lives. Prior to joining the ACLU, Joseph was the General Counsel of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), where he coordinated the union’s legal activities nationwide and advised the union’s leadership and staff on organizing, negotiation and representation strategy.
Charles “Skip” Garten, Jr.
Jena Martin
Jena Martin is a Professor of Law at West Virginia University, where she has taught courses on Business Law & Ethics, Negotiations, and Corporate Governance and Accountability. Her research is in the field of business and human rights, where she has written extensively on many issues, including: incorporating the voices of communities into assessments of human right impacts; examining corporate governance for human rights assessments; and the intersection of securities regulation and human rights.
Nicole McConlogue
Nicole McConlogue is an Associate Professor and Clinic Director, primarily teaching in the Litigation and Advocacy Clinic at WVU College of Law. Before joining the faculty, she was a Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Saul Ewing Civil Advocacy Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Prior to that experience, she managed the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland's Consumer Protection Project and also worked as a disability benefits lawyer.
Ray E. Ratliff
Ray E. Ratliff, Jr. Of McDowell County and Bluefield, WV, currently living in Greenbrier County. Co-founder of AppalRed, a public interest law firm. Environmental lawyer, represented environmentalists in the Canaan Valley case, among others. Did Coal Mine Health & Safety legislation and litigation. Was the lawyer on point for the WV Senate bill in 1989, which when passed established the community college system for the state.
Lida Shepherd
Lida works with AFSC’s West Virginia Economic Justice Project, a community organizing and advocacy program. She coordinates racial justice initiatives such as reducing racial disparities in the education and the criminal justice system, as well as policy reforms that address poverty. She coordinates students in middle schools, high schools, and colleges around West Virginia to be leaders in policy advocacy and secure wins for poor and working people.
Paul Sheridan
Delegate Danielle Walker
Delegate Danielle Walker is originally from Louisiana but West Virginia is her second chance home. She is currently serving her second term in WV Legislature as a house delegate member. Her passions are justice ranging from safe, affordable accessible housing, climate justice, social justice, reproductive justice, and so much more. She’s engaged and driven to make West Virginia a place to thrive not just survive.
Loretta Young
Loretta is a founding leader of Women of Color for Change, a state steering committee member of Race Matters, and an active leader of West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.