Drinker Biddle is pleased to announce that seven new partners and four new counsel have been admitted to the firm, effective February 1, 2014.

Our newest partners are: Peter A. Blenkinsop (DC), William L. Carr (PH), Melissa A. Graff (DC), Justin O. Kay (CH), Deirdre R. Kole (DC) (DC), Cristin M. Obsitnik (CH) and Mark H.M. Sosnowsky (DC).

Peter A. Blenkinsop is a member of the Government & Regulatory Affairs Practice within the Regulatory Department, and resides in our Washington, D.C. office. Peter focuses on food and drug law, information management and privacy, and international regulatory compliance. He also assists in the management of several special-purpose industry consortia. Peter joined the firm in 1999 as a policy analyst and became an associate in 2006. He received his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in February 2006 and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Peter received his bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Yale University, where he graduated with distinction both in economics and in East Asian studies and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

William L. Carr is a member of the Commercial Litigation Practice within the Litigation Department, and resides in our Philadelphia office. He focuses his practice on Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulatory investigations and enforcement actions; internal investigations; and construction, land use, and real estate litigation. William joined Drinker Biddle in 2006 after clerking for the Hon. Joseph J. Rodriguez, U.S.D.J., of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. He received his J.D., with honors, from Rutgers University School of law, and received his M.B.A., with high honors, from Rutgers University School of Business. While in law school, he completed an externship with the Hon. Dolores K. Sloviter, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and an internship with the Hon. William J. Cook, J.S.C. of the New Jersey Superior Court, Criminal Division.

Melissa A. Graff is a member of the Products Liability Practice within the Litigation Department, and resides in our Washington, D.C. office. Melissa specializes in representing pharmaceutical and medical device companies in complex civil litigation with an emphasis on products liability defense. She has served as local and national counsel in mass tort litigation concerning antipsychotic medicines, hormone replacement therapy and over-the-counter products. Her practice also focuses on defending clients against claims of unfair trade practices and off-label promotion of prescription medicines. Melissa served as judicial clerk to the Hon. Joseph H. Rodriguez, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey during the 2002-2003 court term.

Justin O. Kay is a member of the Commerical Litigation Practice within the Litigation Department, and resides in our Chicago office. His practice focuses on complex civil matters in federal and state court and before federal agencies. Justin received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame Law School and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Prior to his legal career, Justin served as an Intelligence Officer for the Department of Defense’s National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

Deirdre R. Kole is a member of the Products Liability Practice within the Litigation Department, and resides in our Washington, D.C. office. Deirdre’s litigation experience includes representing major pharmaceutical companies in defense of mass torts and strict liability, negligence, failure to warn, consumer fraud and wrongful death claims involving prescription medications. Deirdre received her bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University in 2001 and her J.D., cum laude, from American University, Washington College of Law in 2005.

Cristin M. Obsitnik is a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice, and resides in our Chicago office. She focuses her practice on a wide variety of issues involving employee benefits and executive compensation including designing and drafting tax-qualified pension and profit sharing plans, negotiating and drafting employment agreements, separation agreements, change in control agreements, and consulting agreements, and drafting and resolving issues involving deferred compensation arrangements, stock options and other equity-based incentive compensation arrangements. She also advises clients on employee benefits issues in the context of corporate transactions, including qualified plan compliance issues, continuation of health coverage and golden parachute payments. Cristin earned her LLM, with honors, from Northwestern University School of Law where she concentrated on taxation. She received her J.D., cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Cristin earned her bachelor's degree from Amherst College.

Mark H.M. Sosnowsky is a member of the Commerical Litigation Practice within the Litigation Department, and resides in our Washington, D.C. office. Mark joined the firm in September 2005. Prior to joining the firm, Mark served as a law clerk for the Honorable Franklin S. Van Antwerpen of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He received his bachelor's degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 1997 and graduated from Boston University School of Law cum laude in 2004. During law school, Mark spent a semester studying law at the University of Oxford.

Our newest counsel are: Karen A. Denys (PR), Melissa S. Dillenbeck (CH), Justin J. Watkins (PH) and Joseph J. Whitney (FP).

Karen A. Denys is a member of the firm's Commercial Litigation Practice within the Litigation Department, and resides in our Princeton office. Her practice focuses on construction contract drafting and litigation, real estate and land use litigation and general commercial litigation. Karen received her law degree, with high honors, from Rutgers University School of Law-Camden and her undergraduate degree in communications and English, with honors, from Rutgers College. Karen served as a legal extern for New Jersey State Senator Wayne R. Bryant and a legal intern for the Hon. Leonard S. Sachar, J.S.C. of the New Jersey Superior Court in Camden, NJ.

Melissa S. Dillenbeck is a member of the firm's Intellectual Property Practice, and resides in our Chicago office. Her practice focuses on trademarks, advertising and promotions and copyright protection. Melissa graduated with honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law and received a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University. Melissa is a former competitive figure skater and is now a judge for U.S. Figure Skating. She is currently the National Chair of U.S. Figure Skating's Sanctions and Eligibility Committee. For three years, Melissa served as a Regional Vice Chair for Judges, overseeing more than 130 figure skating judges in eight states. She is the also former Secretary of the Skating Council of Illinois.

Justin J. Watkins is a member of the firm's Corporate & Securities Practice within the Transactions Department, and resides in our Philadelphia office. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and private equity investment, divestitures, joint ventures and other strategic transactions, and general business counseling. He graduated from Temple University Beasley School of Law, cum laude, in 2005 and received his undergraduate degree in psychobiology from Swarthmore College in 1993. Prior to his law career, Justin was the associate director of Intellectual Property at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Technology Transfer.

Joseph J. Whitney is a member of the firm's Real Estate Practice within the Transactions Department, and resides in our Florham Park office. His focuses his practice on commercial real estate transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, financings and land use. Joseph earned his bachelor's degree in finance and economics from The College of New Jersey in 2001. In 2004, he received his J.D., with honors, from Rutgers University School of Law - Newark.

Please join us in congratulating our newest partners and counsel.