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First Wednesday Series: Taking White Supremacy to Court: The Charlottesville Case

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Civil Rights |  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Amy Spitalnick |  Michael Bloch |  Jessica Phillips |  John M. Geiringer
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Three years ago, neo-Nazis and white supremacists descended on Charlottesville, VA for a weekend of violence. This violence was no accident — rather, it was the result of months of planning. And it served as a harbinger of the cycle of extremist terror that has followed.

Integrity First for America, in partnership with a world-class legal team, is taking on those responsible, holding them accountable in federal court.

IFA’s lawsuit details how these extremists conspired online to orchestrate that weekend of violence. It provides a tangible way to take action against the white supremacy and extremism that’s poisoning this country — with the potential to bankrupt and dismantle the leaders and hate groups at the center of this movement.

Join IFA Executive Director Amy Spitalnick and legal team Michael Bloch, and Jessica Phillips for a discussion about this landmark lawsuit and the fight against violent hate.



Accreditation Status:
Accreditation Status: Pending
Total Credits:
General Credits:
General Credits: 1
Specialty Credits:
Specialty Credits: 0

Accreditation Status:
Accreditation Status: Pending
Total Credits:
General Credits:
General Credits: 1
Specialty Credits:
Specialty Credits: 0

New York
Accreditation Status:
Accreditation Status: Pending
Total Credits:
General Credits:
General Credits: 1
Specialty Credits:
Specialty Credits: 0



Amy Spitalnick's Profile

Amy Spitalnick Related seminars and products

Executive Director

Integrity First America

Amy Spitalnick is the Executive Director of Integrity First for America, a nonpartisan  nonprofit organization dedicated to holding those accountable who threaten longstanding principles of our democracy – including our country’s commitment to civil rights and equal justice. Most notably, IFA is the organization supporting Sines v. Kessler, the lawsuit filed by a coalition of Charlottesville community members against the Nazis and white supremacists responsible for the violence.

Amy joins IFA with over a decade of experience in government, politics, and advocacy. She most recently served as Communications Director and Senior Policy Advisor to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood. Amy previously served as an advisor and spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and as Communications Director in the New York State Senate. She has also worked for a number of federal, state, and local campaigns and advocacy organizations. Amy was named a City & State 40 Under 40 Rising Star in 2013. She graduated from Tufts University.

Michael Bloch's Profile

Michael Bloch Related seminars and products


Kaplan Hecker & Fink

Michael Bloch is Counsel at Kaplan Hecker & Fink. He is an experienced trial attorney who spent over seven years as a public defender at the Bronx Defenders and three years as a litigation associate at Williams & Connolly LLP before joining Kaplan Hecker.

At Bronx Defenders, Michael represented hundreds of clients charged with criminal matters at all stages of litigation.  He has tried more than a dozen felony and misdemeanor cases to verdict and earned an acquittal or dismissal of all criminal charges in all but one case. In the past four years, he has tried seven cases to jury verdict – as lead counsel on five of them – and earned a full acquittal on all of them. Michael was a supervisor in the Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Practice, a member of the Homicide Practice Group, and previously served as a supervisor of the Investigations Practice. Michael has conducted numerous trainings on trial advocacy and criminal defense investigations and was a member of the 2019 faculty for Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop.

Michael served as a law clerk to the Honorable Chief Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and subsequently to the Honorable Diane P. Wood on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

He is currently a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Operations Committee and Mass Incarceration Task Force. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, USA Today and The Forward.

Jessica Phillips's Profile

Jessica Phillips Related seminars and products


Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, LLP

A partner in the Litigation Department, Jessica Phillips has litigated a variety of complex commercial cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts across the country. She has experience in a diverse array of practice areas, including employment law, contract law, business torts, securities fraud, constitutional law, defamation, healthcare and intellectual property. She has taken five cases to trial in courts around the country and has experience in California arbitrations.

Jessica currently represents individuals who were injured in the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in a lawsuit against 24 neo-Nazis, white supremacists and affiliated hate groups who organized and conspired to commit violence at the rally. Jessica also has extensive experience representing clients in appeals, including before the U.S. Supreme Court; she second-chaired Vance v. Ball State University, one of the most closely watched recent employment discrimination cases. She has also handled appeals before the New Hampshire Supreme Court, the Delaware Supreme Court, and the Second, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, Eleventh and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeal, clerked for The Honorable Joel Flaum on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for The Honorable Samuel A. Alito, Jr. on the United States Supreme Court. As lead counsel, Jessica argued a pro bono ERISA case before Second Circuit.

John M. Geiringer's Profile

John M. Geiringer Related seminars and products

Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP

John Geiringer is a Partner at the law firm of Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP. As the Regulatory Section Leader of the Firm’s Financial Institutions Group, John concentrates his practice on regulatory, governance, and investigative matters involving financial institutions.

He is a frequent speaker and author in the financial institutions area on issues surrounding banking regulations, examinations, and enforcement actions. John teaches banking law and regulation at Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Graduate Program in Financial Services Law and serves on the board of advisors of its Institute for Compliance. He is the co-editor of the two-volume edition, Advising Illinois Financial Institutions, in which he wrote a chapter on bank enforcement issues, and is the co-author of the chapter “Bank Examination and Enforcement” in The Keys to Banking Law: A Handbook for Lawyers (2017). John is a vice-chair of the American Bar Association’s Banking Law Committee and a past chairman of its Enforcement, Insider Liability and Troubled Banks Subcommittee and its Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Subcommittee. He also is a former chairman of the Chicago Bar Association’s Financial Institutions Committee.

John also devotes significant time to Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering issues. He is on the advisory board of the Anti-Money Laundering Association and is the president of its Midwest Chapter. He has frequently lectured on the subject, including at Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies, Boston University School of Law, and Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he serves as a co-director of its Center for National Security and Human Rights Law (and its Consortium for the Research and Study of Holocaust and the Law). John serves as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Master of Arts in Financial Integrity (MAFI) Program at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He is the editor and author of a chapter in the upcoming book, Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Law and Policy, and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).

Prior to joining the Firm in 1999, John was both a bank regulator and a compliance consultant. He served as legal counsel for the Illinois bank regulatory agency. John also obtained practical experience with respect to bank operations and compliance issues as a regulatory consultant with a regional accounting firm, performing compliance reviews and training for a variety of financial institutions.


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