Staff

Deodonne Bhattari Portrait

Déodonné Dustin Bhattarai, Communications Specialist

Déodonné, began volunteering at the DRC-NH in 2016, following the diagnosis of her son with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She officially joined the DRC-NH team in May of 2018, as its Communications Specialist. Déodonné received her JD from Northeastern School of Law and her Master of Public Health from Tufts University School of Medicine. Déodonné is a graduate of the New Hampshire Leadership Series and Parent Information Center’s Volunteer Advocate training. She currently serves on UNH’s Institute on Disability’s Consumer Advisory Committee and the Council for Youths with Chronic Conditions. In 2016, Déodonné was appointed to the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities as a parent advocate. Déodonné has a long-term demonstrated commitment to civil rights and social justice advocacy.


Francesca Broderick, Intake Attorney

Francesca joined the DRC as an intake attorney in 2015. She graduated summa cum laude from Vermont Law School in 2013 and received honors in legal writing and research. She has been a member of the NH Bar since 2013. Francesca clerked at the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 2013-2015. She interned during law school at the New Hampshire Public Defender and at Vermont Legal Aid. Francesca also has experience working with at-risk youth as an educator and case manager.


Lynne Clay portrait

Lynne Clay, Managing Attorney

Lynne Clay, Managing Attorney, graduated from Rhode Island College in 1982 with a B.A., Magna Cum Laude, in Communications and Psychology. She received her JD degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1989 cum laude. She was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1989 and the New Hampshire Bar in 1991.

Lynne has been an attorney with the Disability Rights Center – NH since 1991. During her time at the DRC, Lynne has served in many roles including Managing Attorney, Supervising Intake Attorney, Intake Attorney, and Staff Attorney.  Her many years of experience have given her knowledge in many substantive areas of disability practice, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Juvenile Law, Social Security, Housing and Medicaid.  Lynne’s practice has included litigation in state and federal court including the US First Circuit Court of Appeals.   Lynne is also DRC’s Section 504/ADA compliance coordinator. Lynne was an adjunct faculty member at Middlesex Community College for over twenty years where she taught Constitutional Law, Criminal Evidence and Court Procedures and Criminal Law.


Headshot of Jennifer EberJennifer Eber, Staff Attorney

Jennifer joined DRC-NH in June 2021 after thirty years as an attorney at Orr & Reno, P.A. doing both trial and employment work.  Jennifer graduated from Dartmouth College with a dual degree in mathematics and economics.  She received her law degree from Boston College. At DRC-NH, Jennifer’s focus is on disability discrimination in the workplace and other barriers to employment for people with disabilities, particularly for people receiving social security disability benefits.

Jennifer is active in law related education, being instrumental in the writing and publication of Beyond High School: A Guide to Your Rights and Responsibilities for graduating high school seniors and chairing the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Law Related Education Committee.  Jennifer also has a passion for animal welfare and has devoted time and energy to legal issues impacting animals.  She has served on the boards for a number of animals shelters in New Hampshire.  Jennifer currently co-chairs the Governor’s Commission on the Humane Treatment of Animals.  Jennifer is also a board member with Volunteer NH and currently chairs its development committee.  In her free time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her daughter and their rescue animals.


Michele Fleming, Fiscal Director

In 2016, Michele joined DRC-NH.  She serves as its Fiscal Director and also handles matters relating to human resources.  Michele graduated cum laude in 1991 from Franklin Pierce University. She enjoys needlework and quilting.


Headshot of Sarah JancarikSarah Jancarik, Staff Attorney

Sarah graduated from the Roger Williams University School of Law where she focused on the intersection of disability and criminal justice. Sarah’s experience is in advocating for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental illness. Sarah’s life-long passion for individuals with disabilities stems from her mother, a special education teacher.


Beth Kelley, Office Manager

Beth joined DRC’s staff in 2004, bringing significant experience in lobbying, public policy work, and office management.  She is responsible for assisting DRC’s executive director, coordinating DRC’s federal reporting, supervising DRC’s support staff, assisting callers who request help from DRC and ensuring the office runs smoothly and efficiently.


Courtney Lockwood, Senior Intake Attorney

Courtney Lockwood joined DRC as an intake attorney in 2005. Courtney was formerly a Legal Aid Attorney at Pine Tree Legal Assistance in rural Maine. In that position, she practiced in the areas of Medicaid and other public benefits, housing, domestic violence, consumer law, and guardian ad litem work. She is a 2002 graduate of Vermont Law School and holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University.


Stephanie Patrick PortraitStephanie Patrick, Executive Director

Stephanie Patrick joined DRC as Executive Director in 2017. Stephanie was formerly the Director of Policy and Planning at the Advocacy Center, DRC’s sister agency in Louisiana, where she worked on legislative advocacy, coalition building and programmatic compliance.  She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003 with a Master’s of Social Work and also holds an undergraduate degree in social work from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.


Pamela Phelan Portrait

Pamela Phelan, Litigation Director

Pamela joined DRC-NH in 2018 with nearly twenty years of experience in trial and appellate litigation in New Hampshire. As its Litigation Director, she leads DRC-NH’s efforts to protect and expand the civil rights of people with disabilities. Pamela previously was the Chief Deputy Clerk at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. Prior to that, she worked at the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office and Orr & Reno, P.A. In addition to her work at DRC-NH, Pamela is an adjunct professor at the UNH School of Law, teaching pretrial and trial skills to Daniel Webster scholars.


Amy Ramsay, Project Manager

Amy joined DRC-NH in February 2014 with over fifteen years as a litigation paralegal.  In addition to providing legal support, Amy serves as the Project Manager for the Social Security Administrative Representative Payee Project.  Amy proudly served in the U.S. Army in the communications field.


Karen Rosenberg, Senior Staff Attorney

Karen Rosenberg joined the staff of DRC-NH in 2005. She is a 1988 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and holds a B.S. degree from Tufts University. Previously, Karen was a staff attorney and project director at  New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA), where she focused on Health, Housing and Consumer laws. She also directed NHLA’s Fair Housing Project and Housing Preservation Project during her tenure at NHLA. Karen serves on the State Advisory Committee for the Education of Students/Children with Disabilities, New Hampshire’s Medical Care Advisory Committee, the New Hampshire Home and Community Based Services Advisory Task Force and the New  Hampshire Brain Injury Association’s Provider Council.


Todd Russell, Staff Attorney

Todd Russell HeadshotTodd joined the DRC-NH team in the Fall of 2019. Todd graduated from Stanford University in 1994 with a B.A. in American Studies and received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center in 1999. He was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar in 1999 and has spent the last twenty years as a criminal defense attorney at the New Hampshire Public Defender. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Todd frequently advocated for people with disabilities in the criminal justice system. He enjoys acting in local community theatre productions in addition to playing the role of an attorney in courtrooms throughout New Hampshire.


Andrew Sirulnik, Special Education and COVID-19 Project

Headshot of Andrew with short dark hair, a mustache and short beard, wearing a white collared shirt with dark tieAndrew Sirulnik joined DRC-NH in July of 2021 to lead the Special Education and COVID-19 Project protecting and advancing the rights of New Hampshire’s students with disabilities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Andrew graduated from Cardozo School of Law in 1994 where he was a member of the Cardozo Law Review. Andrew joins us from private practice where he has been a zealous advocate for students of all ages since 2014. Andrew is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts. Admission to the NH Bar is in progress.

 

 


Michael K. Skibbie, Policy Director

Michael Skibbie joined DRC in 2004 and works with staff, constituents and other organizations on policy issues of importance to people with disabilities. Mike is a 1984 graduate of Franklin Pierce Law Center, J.D., and holds a B.A. degree from the University of Vermont.

Previously, Mike was Research Associate Professor of Political Science and Co-Coordinator of the Justice, Law & Society Project at Justiceworks, University of New Hampshire. Mike’s UNH activities included research and program development in the area of juvenile justice and children with disabilities.

For many years, Mike handled criminal cases in a variety of roles for the NH Public Defender’s office, culminating as head of the statewide program from 1992 to 2001. He has worked extensively with court-involved youth and adults with disabilities and has been involved in a number of legislative and interagency efforts to improve the justice system.


James Ziegra PortraitJames Ziegra, Staff Attorney

James began his career at Disability Rights Center – NH in 2012 as a UNH Legal Fellow. As a Fellow, he represented individuals at Civil Commitment hearings at New Hampshire Hospital, and worked on the Phenix Hall case. He worked as an attorney on the intake team before assuming the position of Staff Attorney. James received his J.D. degree from the UNH School of Law in 2011 and holds a B.A in Political Science from UNH. At UNH, he practiced at the Criminal Practice Clinic and the Consumer and Commercial Clinic. Prior to joining the DRC, he worked at Community Legal Services, Inc., a non-profit corporation which offers “unbundled” legal services to low-income residents. He is admitted to the Bar in New Hampshire and the NH Federal District Court.