Alexis Ronickher jointly serves as the Managing Partner of the firm’s California office and divides her time between San Francisco and Washington, D.C. She specializes in representing clients in complex, often high-profile, employment and whistleblower matters, including whistleblower, sexual harassment, and civil rights discrimination and retaliation matters. As part of her whistleblower practice, she represents clients pursuing qui tam claims under the False Claims Act and whistleblower tips through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rewards program. She has represented whistleblowers in a broad range of specialized industries, including financial, technology, cybersecurity, healthcare, aviation, and government contracting. Ms. Ronickher has been at the forefront of protecting cybersecurity whistleblowers, including publishing “Cybersecurity Whistleblower Protection Guide,” and being a leading advocate for strengthening protections for cybersecurity whistleblowers.
Ms. Ronickher litigates cases nationwide in federal and state courts, as well as in administrative proceedings. She represented a hairstylist in a sexual harassment and retaliation trial that resulted in a jury verdict of $2.3 million in favor of her client. She has also represented whistleblowers in successful qui tam lawsuits that settled for $20 million and $10 million. She has represented clients in cases against national figures including multiple congressmen, a federal judge, and a cabinet secretary. Ms. Ronickher has also represented numerous other whistleblowers and employees in cases that have successfully resolved confidentially.
Ms. Ronickher has earned many awards, including being honored in the Best Lawyers in America® list for employment law since 2020, in Super Lawyers in Washington, D.C. since 2019, and she was recognized as a “Rising Star” by Law360 in 2018, just one of five employment lawyers nationally to earn this designation. She speaks frequently about whistleblower protections, sexual harassment, and employment law, has written extensively on employment law matters, and has appeared in numerous national and local media related to her cases and employment law matters.
Peiter “Mudge” Zatko (2022)
Alexis Ronickher represented Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, the former head of security at Twitter who was terminated after raising concerns about the platform’s cyber and data security with senior leadership. In August 2022, he detailed his allegations in a sweeping whistleblower complaint submitted to various federal agencies.
After going public with his claims, Mr. Zatko testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the tech giant’s weak security protocols, negligent leadership, and potentially fraudulent behavior. Following his testimony, it was reported that he received a $7 million settlement from Twitter.
Anika Collier Navaroli (2022)
Alexis Ronickher represented Anika Collier Navaroli, a former Twitter employee who worked on the company’s content moderation team at the time of the January 6th insurrection. During a hearing on July 12, 2022, The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol used Ms. Navaroli’s anonymous testimony regarding the role that social media played in the planning and execution of the insurrection. Ms. Navaroli’s identity later became public in a September 2022 profile by The Washington Post.
Janet Herold (2021)
Alexis Ronickher and Debra Katz represented Janet Herold, a senior attorney at the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), with her whistleblower complaint against then-Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia.
Ms. Herold Regional Solicitor for the Western Region, and led the trial team in a lawsuit against Oracle, a federal contractor who DOL claimed violated anti-discrimination laws by systemically underpaying women, Asian-American and African-American employees by up to 30%. Eugene Scalia was appointed Secretary of Labor in September 2019, and according to Ms. Herold’s complaint, broke with departmental practice, intervened in settlement discussions with Oracle, and abused his power as Secretary to assist the company, which had history with members of the Trump administration.
After Ms. Herold objected to his improper actions, Secretary Scalia sought to reassign her to a job in Chicago with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a position for which she was not qualified and which did not involve legal work. On August 7, 2020, Ms. Herold filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”) alleging that the reassignment was in retaliation for Ms. Herold’s objection to Secretary Scalia’s improper actions, as well as her vigorous enforcement of federal laws protecting workers. Finding “reasonable grounds” that the reassignment was unlawful, OSC repeatedly requested that DOL take no action until it had completed its investigation. DOL, however, terminated Ms. Herold on January 11, 2021, in the waning days of the Trump Administration and prior to OSC completing its investigation. On February 10, 2021, DOL reinstated Ms. Herold as Regional Solicitor for the Western Region.
Anonymous Accuser of Congressman Patrick Meehan (2018)
Alexis Ronickher represented a former congressional aide to U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan (PA-R), who accused the Pennsylvania congressman of unwanted sexual advances.
The client, who remained anonymous and is decades Meehan’s junior, alleged that Meehan made unwelcome romantic gestures and advances in person and in writing, and then grew hostile toward her when she rebuffed him. Ms. Ronickher represented their client throughout the long confidential process required to bring a claim against a sitting congressional representative, which resulted in a large monetary settlement.
The settlement became public in January 2018, along with the detail that the settlement was taxpayer-funded. Then-House speaker Paul Ryan removed Meehan from the House Ethics Committee – the body that investigates harassment allegations. Weeks later, Meehan announced that he would not seek re-election in the 2018 midterms and ultimately resigned before completing his term after the House Ethics Committee began a probe into this matter.
- Alexis Ronickher and Matthew LaGarde, “Despite Regulation Lag, AI Whistleblowers Have Protections.” Law360 (September 11, 2023)
- Alexis Ronickher and Nicolas O’Connor, “Heightened Eye on Cryptocurrency Industry Could Boost Whistleblowing.” Bloomberg Law (February 17, 2022)
- Alexis Ronickher and Nicolas O’Connor, “Whistleblowers can protect crypto and DeFi.” TechCrunch (January 28, 2022)
- Alexis Ronickher, “Cybersecurity, Pharma, and Whistleblowing.” CafePharma (May 15, 2020).
- Alexis Ronickher and Matthew LaGarde, “Cybersecurity Whistleblowing in a Pandemic.” Security Magazine (April 28, 2020).
- Alexis Ronickher, “Sex Discrimination and Employment Law in the #MeToo Era.” GPSolo, ABA Magazine (March/April 2020).
- Alexis Ronickher, “Intertwining Bias Claims.” Trial Magazine (September, 2019).
- Alexis Ronickher, “Cisco FCA Deal Shows Viability of Cybersecurity Qui Tams.” Law360 (August 5, 2019).
- Alexis Ronickher and Joseph Abboud, “Ex Parte Contact with Current and Former Employees of Defendant Employer: Ethical Considerations.” Lexis Practice Advisor (March 22, 2019).
- Alexis Ronickher and Matthew LaGarde, “Cybersecurity Whistleblower Guide.” (March, 2019).
- Alexis Ronickher and Mehreen Rasheed, “No Bright Line Rule for ‘Telework’, as ADA Accommodation,” Law360 (March 8, 2018).
- Alexis Ronickher and Matthew LaGarde, “The Stakes in High Court’s Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Case,” Law360 (June 28, 2017).
- Alexis Ronickher and Matthew LaGarde, “Blowing the Whistle as a Cybersecurity Professional,” Security Magazine (May 31, 2017).
- Alexis Ronickher and Matthew LaGarde, “It’s Time to Embrace Cybersecurity Whistleblowers,” Security Magazine (April 11, 2017).
- Alexis Ronickher, “Cybersecurity Whistleblower Protections: an Overview of the Protections and Rewards Available to Cybersecurity Whistleblowers under Federal and State Law,” Katz Banks Kumin (February 21, 2017).
- Alexis Ronickher, “Whistleblower Protections: What To Expect In The Trump Era,” Law360 (February 8, 2017).
- Alexis Ronickher, “What Does Trump’s Presidency Mean for Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers,” CCI (February 1, 2017).
- Alexis Ronickher, “SEC brings its first stand-alone whistleblower retaliation action,” The FCPA Blog (October 6, 2016).
- Alexis Ronickher, “Strategic Perspectives: Health Care Compliance Professionals: How to Ensure Whistleblower Protection When Reporting Misconduct,” Health Law Daily (Oct. 30, 2015).
- Alexis Ronickher, “DOJ’s Pursuit of Individual Accountability Is Insufficient to Change Corporate Cultures That Promote Fraud,” Westlaw Journal of Securities Litigation and Regulation (Oct. 29, 2015).
- Alexis Ronickher, “It Is Time For A Comprehensive Auto Whistleblower Act,” Law360 (Oct. 5, 2015).
- Alexis Ronickher and Debra Katz, “Ignoring Issues Raised By Cybersecurity Whistleblowers Only Compounds the Problem,” Corporate Compliance Insights (Sept. 11, 2015).
- Alexis Ronickher, “Blowing the Whistle as an Accountant,” Accounting Today (Sept. 9, 2015).
- Alexis Ronickher and Debra Katz, “A Tale Of 2 Circ. Court Whistleblower Cases,” Law360 (Dec. 5, 2014).
- Alexis Ronickher and Debra Katz, “A Powerful Tool To Effectively Fight Fraud,” Law360 (Sept. 17, 2013).
- David Marshall and Alexis Ronickher, “Unwitting Blow To Internal Corporate Compliance Programs,” Law360, (Aug. 8, 2013).
- Alexis Ronickher, and Debra Katz, “Summa v. Hofstra – A Cautionary Tale For Employer,” Law360 (Apr. 11, 2013).
- Alexis Ronickher and Debra Katz, “Commentary: Court Tackles Scope of Employees’ Constitutional Right to Privacy,” The National Law Journal’s Supreme Court Insider Blog (Oct. 5, 2010).
- Alexis Ronickher and Debra Katz, “Sexual Harassment Claims and Defenses in Federal and District of Columbia Courts,” CLE White Paper (Sept. 14, 2010).
- Alexis Ronickher and Debra Katz, “In-house Lawyers Left in the Lurch,” The National Law Journal (Sept. 13, 2010).
- Alexis Ronickher and David Marshall, “Purloined Documents, Confidential Employer Data, and Counterclaims in Whistleblower Retaliation Cases,” CLE White Paper (Mar. 19, 2010).
- Alexis Ronickher and David Marshall, “Purloined Documents in Whistleblower-Retaliation Cases: A Checklist of Issues to Consider When Representing an Employee,” CLE White Paper (Oct. 13, 2009).
Keynote Speech at MWELA Annual Conference
February 2, 2018
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher delivered a keynote speech at the MWELA annual conference luncheon about her work on behalf of clients who faced sexual harassment.
Senator Al Franken and the Cultural Shift Surrounding Sexual Harassment
December 12, 2017
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher appeared as a guest on MSNBC Live to discuss the resignation of Senator Al Franken, and how politics is being affected by the cultural shift surrounding sexual harassment.
November 28, 2017
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher was interviewed by Democracy Now about what happens when somebody accuses a Congressperson or staffer of sexual harassment.
Rep. John Conyers and Congress’ Problem with Sexual Harassment
November 22, 2017
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher was interviewed by Fox News’ Mike Emanuel on the allegations of sexual harassment made against Representative John Conyers.
November 20, 2017
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher was interviewed by Cathy Lewis of the NPR show HearSay to discuss sexual harassment in the workplace.
November 9, 2017
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher appeared as a guest on Vice News to talk about the systemic problem with reporting sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.
Sexual Harassment on Capitol Hill
October 27, 2017
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher appeared as a guest on MSNBC Live to discuss the problem of sexual harassment in Congress.
Emerging Issues in Whistleblower Law and Retaliation
July 27-29, 2017
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher participated in a conference titled, “Current Developments in Employment Law 2017.” Ms. Ronickher spoke at the panel, “Emerging Issues in Whistleblower Law and Retaliation,” where she discussed implied false certification, breach of seal in False Claims Act cases, protected activity, and causation issues.
LGBT Issues in the Workplace
July 27-29, 2017
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher participated in a conference titled, “Current Developments in Employment Law 2017.” Ms. Ronickher spoke at the panel, “LGBT Issues in the Workplace,” where she discussed the definition of “sex”, intersections with RFRA, and workplace LGBT policies.
Handling Whistleblower Claims in 2017 Part 2: Rights of Private Sector Employees
May 16, 2017
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher spoke at a CLE entitled, “Handling Whistleblower Claims in 2017 Part 2: Rights of Private Sector Employees.”
Medtech Insights Interviews Alexis Ronickher on Cybersecurity Whistleblower Protections
March 6, 2017
Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher appeared as a guest on a Medtech Insights podcast entitled, “Attorney Discusses Cybersecurity Whistleblower Protections in Medtech,” to discuss cybersecurity whistleblower protections.
Katz and Ronickher Present Deposition Workshop
November 4, 2015
Katz Banks Kumin partners Debra S. Katz and Alexis Ronickher presented at a November 4, 2015 D.C. Bar program entitled, “Interactive, Hands-on Deposition Workshop: Skills You Need for Effective Depositions.”
Avi Kumin and Alexis Ronickher Give Presentation on the “Nuts and Bolts” of Employment Law
June 2, 2015
Katz Banks Kumin partners Avi Kumin and Alexis Ronickher participated in a June 2 panel presentation for the D.C. Bar Association titled “Nuts & Bolts of Employment Law”.
Effective Use of Interrogatories, Document Requests, and Requests for Admission
October 16, 2013
Katz Banks Kumin senior associate Alexis Ronickher served as a co-presenter for a continuing legal education course presented by the D.C. Bar Association on October 16, 2013, entitled “Effective Use of Interrogatories, Document Requests, and Requests for Admission.