Helen Diana (“Heidi”) Reavis, Esq.
Helen Diana (“Heidi”) Reavis is Managing Partner of the firm. Her practice areas include corporate operations and brand management, media and intellectual property law, employment matters and dispute resolution. She regularly counsels on general company and organization matters and intellectual property development and disputes, as well as a broad array of employment matters, including company expansion and restructuring, internal documentation and policy materials, executive compensation, employment agreements, hiring and separation arrangements and internal company practices. She counsels companies, organizations and individuals with respect to discrimination avoidance or resolution and other workplace issues. Ms. Reavis and her colleagues also counsel companies and organizations on management and workplace training, internal investigations, regulatory matters, agency filings and defense and dispute resolution, including conciliation, mediation, and arbitration and litigation. Ms. Reavis has received the highest AV rating (5.0 out of 5.0) from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.
Early in her career, Ms. Reavis resided abroad and worked for several firms located in Europe, Australia and Asia. Prior to law school, she worked at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit and Trial Division, under Linda A. Fairstein.
Ms. Reavis has been a guest lecturer at New York University, Georgetown University, the University of California, Fordham University School of Law and numerous other institutions. She has contributed and moderated on panels arranged by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Practicing Law Institute, Oxford University, Georgetown University Business School and numerous industry organizations, conferences and film festivals. She has been Counsel to and Chairman of the Board of the Women’s City Club of New York; Counsel to and on the Board and Executive Committee of Women Make Movies; and a member of the Women’s Forum. Ms. Reavis was formerly on the Board of the Friends Seminary School, where she was Chair of the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee. She was recognized by the Women’s Sports Foundation for her successful work in Title IX desegregation in scholastic sports, and she received the Women’s City Club’s coveted Centennial Civic Spirit Award for her transformational work in anti-discrimination, employment law, television and film.
Ms. Reavis and her husband, Steven M. Engel, support the use of media to shed light on legal issues of global concern and have collaborated on human rights films produced for the United Nations, nonprofit organizations and television broadcasters. They produced the award-winning documentary film, A Walk to Beautiful, on the subject of obstetric fistula, for which Ms. Reavis, in her personal capacity, won an Emmy® Award. A Walk to Beautiful was featured and won additional awards at over 35 film festivals around the world. It won the Best Feature Documentary Award from the International Documentary Association, was among the feature films considered for Academy Award nomination and won an Emmy® Award for the television version of the film.
Ms. Reavis graduated with a B.A. from Smith College (magna cum laude, 1981), was First in Class at the University of Lund, Sweden (1983) and received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School (1986), where she was an Editor on the Editorial Board of the University of Chicago Legal Forum.
Ms. Reavis has had the highest Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer rating (5.0 out of 5.0) since 1996 and was selected to Super Lawyers for the New York Metro area in 2019 and 2020. She is admitted to practice in New York and before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Deena R. Merlen, Esq,
Deena R. Merlen is a Partner at the firm. She serves clients at both our New York and Stamford offices and heads the Connecticut practice. Her practice areas include intellectual property, employment and labor law, media and entertainment, general business law, commercial transactions and dispute resolution.
In her employment practice, Ms. Merlen is a trusted “go to” problem solver and counsel to individuals, established name brand companies and startups alike. She has extensive experience representing clients in matters including general counseling, discrimination actions, mediations and dispute resolution, investigations by federal or state agencies, as well as wage and hour claims and other labor law matters. She also advises on and regularly negotiates employment and separation agreements, independent contractor arrangements and other services-related arrangements. Ms. Merlen also counsels clients on employment and business matters in response to a crisis or other unexpected business impact, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting business closures, including continuity plans, employee furloughs, reductions in force and other critical measures.
In her intellectual property practice, Ms. Merlen helps her clients with the development, acquisition and protection of their valuable brands and other vital intellectual property assets. She manages and grows trademark portfolios in the U.S. and internationally; negotiates licensing, assignment, distribution and branding agreements; prosecutes trademark and copyright registrations; enforces intellectual property rights; and provides strategic counsel to safeguard brand platforms and expand the value of her clients’ intellectual property assets.
Ms. Merlen’s media practice encompasses the development and protection of creative works in the fields of music, film, television, theatre, publishing, literary arts, performing arts, design and technology. She ran her own business in the entertainment industry for over a decade and brings that business experience and acumen to her legal practice.
In addition, Ms. Merlen provides general business counsel and represents clients in company and transactional matters such as partnerships, joint ventures, licensing arrangements, the purchase or sale of businesses, and a wide range of other corporate matters, including company formation, capitalization and governance, compliance and contracts. Representative clients include technology companies, schools and other academic institutions, personal care and beauty companies, fashion and design companies, media, arts and entertainment companies, wholesalers, retailers and more.
Prior to her work with RPJ, Ms. Merlen served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Roger J. Miner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, after which she joined Debevoise & Plimpton, where she practiced for over five years in the areas of corporate law and intellectual property.
Ms. Merlen is admitted to practice in Connecticut and New York.
Jill Kahn Marshal, Esq.
Jill Kahn Marshall represents individuals and corporations in the areas of employment law, litigation and dispute resolution and healthcare.
Ms. Marshall frequently represents individuals in the negotiation of employment and separation agreements, as well as claims involving discrimination and harassment in the workplace. She also provides counseling for individuals navigating complicated circumstances at work, including those related to parental leave and the transition back to the workplace. For her corporate clients, Ms. Marshall provides employment counseling, conducts internal investigations, drafts employment and separation agreements and employee handbooks, and defends against charges of discrimination. She also frequently conducts anti-harassment and discrimination trainings, having co-created RPJ’s original live and online training programs. Ms. Marshall has experience before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and its state and local counterparts, and has represented clients at trial in federal and state courts and in arbitration hearings. She regularly represents clients in the healthcare, technology and financial services industries. Ms. Marshall offers her clients practical, efficient solutions and is frequently able to resolve disputes prior to formal litigation.
Prior to joining RPJ, Ms. Marshall was an associate at Lichten & Liss-Riordan in Boston, a preeminent employment litigation firm, and a litigation associate at Chadbourne & Parke in New York.
Ms. Marshall is a 2019 and 2020 Super Lawyers’ Rising Star of the New York Metro area and is admitted to practice in New York and Massachusetts, as well as the District Courts for Massachusetts and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Ethan Krasnoo, Esq.
Ethan Krasnoo is a Partner at the firm. He practices in the areas of complex commercial litigation, arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution, and employment, intellectual property, and entertainment and media. In addition to representing individual clients, he has represented publicly traded and privately held companies, including prominent fashion conglomerates, music publishers, performing arts organizations, insurance companies, hedge funds, asset managers, pharmaceutical companies, nonprofit organizations, law firms and consumer goods companies.
His areas of litigation and other dispute resolution have included breach of contract, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, insurance and securities fraud, antitrust, personal injury, First Amendment, malpractice, False Claims Act and other whistleblowing laws, trade secret, false advertising, trademark infringement and dilution, copyright infringement and rate-setting and royalty disputes. He has also advised entertainment and media professionals and non-profits on transactional and employment matters, including negotiations and terminations, and in protecting and expanding their intellectual property assets, and has advised clients across a spectrum of industries on data security.
With the initiation of new 2019 legal requirements for sexual harassment prevention training, Mr. Krasnoo also counsels and trains company management and employees on sexual harassment prevention designed to fulfill the 2019 requirements under the laws of New York State, New York City, Connecticut and California.
Prior to joining RPJ, Mr. Krasnoo was an Associate at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. He also served as Judicial Intern for The Honorable Rosemary M. Collyer of the United States District Court, District of Columbia. Before working in law, he acted professionally Off-Broadway, in theaters across the country and in film and television. He is now the author of a new blog about the intersection of theater and the law called The Law Ally of Broadway.
Mr. Krasnoo has repeatedly been selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for the New York Metro area and is admitted to practice in New York, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and United States Tax Court.
Dr Olajumoke (Jumo)
Dr Olajumoke (Jumo) Ayandele is a research consultant at The Armed Conflict Location Event Data Project (ACLED) and a nonresident fellow at New York University's Center for Global Affairs. Her research interests broadly focus on understanding the dynamic relationship and intersection between African governance, human development, and political stability. She holds a Ph.D. in Global Affairs, with a specialisation in Human Security from Rutgers University.
Nicole Page, Esq.
Nicole Page is a Partner of the firm and practices in the areas of entertainment, employment and intellectual property.
Ms. Page advises producers of both non-fiction and fiction film, television, digital and cross-platform productions. She assists in everything from structuring financing, rights acquisition, cast and crew agreements, pre-publication review and fair use analysis to distribution strategy and agreements. She also represents creative talent, athletes, models and authors in their various endeavors and negotiates executive compensation deals for top talent at leading networks and entertainment companies. Having spent over a decade as Head of Business Affairs and Senior Development Executive at a production company, she understands production from a business perspective.
In her employment practice, Ms. Page assists both individuals and companies on a range of matters, including workplace discrimination and sexual harassment claims at the state and federal level. Her representation of both employers and employees provides Ms. Page with a unique, holistic perspective on the employment relationship. Combined with her entertainment practice, her expertise in workplace discrimination and sexual harassment claims brought her to the forefront of the #MeToo movement, representing female complainants in several high–profile cases. Additionally, she counsels clients on employment opportunities, negotiation strategies and equitable compensation packages. She also advises on and negotiates employment and separation agreements and provides outside general counsel services, particularly with respect to employment law compliance.
Ms. Page’s extensive intellectual property practice includes copyright and trademark protection and prosecution, as well as advice on branding and licensing matters in the worlds of media, fashion, lifestyle and sports.
Ms. Page was selected to Super Lawyers for the New York Metro area in 2020 and featured in Crain’s New York on the 2021 list of Notable Women in Law. She is admitted to practice in New York and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.