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Spencer Fane Again Expands Houston Office with Addition of 7 Attorneys

January 22, 2020

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of seven attorneys, including four partners, in the firm’s Houston office. Ruthie White and DeAndrea C. Washington are partners who will strengthen the Labor and Employment practice group, while partners E. Dale Burrus and Lauren M. Nelson and associates Colin Goodman, Adam Jourdane and Kristen Petry will significantly grow the Health Care practice.

Ms. White will serve as co-chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment practice.

This past August, Spencer Fane opened its Houston office when a group of attorneys from Zimmerman, Axelrad, Stern & Wise, P.C. joined the firm. The firm has already increased the number of attorneys in Houston to 27.

“We remain committed to growing this office in a measured manner, and this is an excellent opportunity to add two experienced health care attorneys,” said Pat Whalen, managing partner for Spencer Fane. “The priority for Spencer Fane is to provide our clients with the resources to handle their most important legal matters. We quickly identified a need to expand our health care and labor employment practices in Houston, and these seven attorneys are all strong additions that will deepen our bench.”


E. Dale Burrus, JD, LLM — Ms. Burrus’ thirty years of experience in the health care industry allows her to provide health care clients zealous representation in litigation matters, board representation, risk management, peer review, contract review, and payer issues. She regularly advises and represents clients in regulatory matters and provides general counsel for practitioners on a wide range of issues. Since completing an undergraduate degree at Millsaps College, Ms. Burrus earned a Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law and a Master of Laws in health law from the University of Houston Health Law & Policy Institute. She also earned a graduate certificate in health care management from Rice University in 2015.

Lauren M. Nelson, JD, MBA — Ms. Nelson is a litigator whose practice focuses on medical malpractice defense and health law matters. She defends hospitals, physicians and health care providers in medical malpractice lawsuits and before licensing boards. She works closely with health care clients, advising on a range of areas including risk management, quality assurance, performance improvement, peer review, and compliance and regulatory matters. She uses her background in information systems to counsel clients on health information privacy and security (HIPAA/HITECH) compliance and health information technology issues. Ms. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in management information systems and minor in corporate communications at Baylor University, a Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law and a Master of Business Administration from Baylor University.

DeAndrea C. Washington, JD — Ms. Washington’s practice focuses on representing public and private employers in labor and employment law matters, providing clients with preventive counsel and defending them in litigation matters. Her experience includes handling individual and class litigation, appeals, and administrative agency proceedings. She has successfully advised and resolved matters on behalf of employers of all sizes across a wide range of industries. Ms. Washington earned a Bachelor of Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and a Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center.

Ruthie White, JD, MBA — For more than two decades, Ms. White has helped employers prevent employee issues and resolve disputes when they arise. She consistently wins favorable decisions for her clients in matters related to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. She regularly advises employers across a broad range of industries on employment issues and is a sought-after speaker who often conducts training sessions for clients’ HR and supervisory teams to help them maintain best practices and regulatory compliance to avoid costly employee complaints. In addition to her legal work, White is on the boards of several nonprofit organizations and contributes pro bono legal services to the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, and she is a founder of The Downtown Group, a 200-member networking organization of African-American female lawyers. Ms. White earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Business Administration at the University of Houston, and a Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law.

Colin Goodman, JD — Mr. Goodman defends health care clients across Texas against medical malpractice suits. He also advises physicians and other health care providers on contract negotiations and compliance issues, including anti-kickback and Stark laws, HIPAA and HITECH, and restrictions on corporate practice of medicine and fee-splitting. Mr. Goodman earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Notre Dame and his Juris Doctor and health law certificate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Adam Jourdane, JD, MBA, CFE — Mr. Jourdane assists clients in the defense of medical malpractice claims and other areas of health care law. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner with extensive experience in investigating and advising health care institutions and providers on fraud, waste, and abuse, and a Certified Mediator with experience in impartial conflict resolution. He completed his undergraduate studies at Marymount Manhattan College, obtained a Master of Business Administration at University of Houston-Victoria and earned his Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law.

Kristen Petry, JD — Ms. Petry helps clients in the health care industry navigate simple and complex litigation and compliance issues. She defends large hospital systems and individual health care providers, including physicians, nurses, therapists, dentists, and chiropractors. Ms. Petry also has experience advising clients on federal regulations including HIPAA and CFR Part 2. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in government and a minor in American studies. She earned her Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law.