Meet the Rate Counsel's Managing Attorneys
- Kimberly K. Holmes, Esq. Chief of Staff
Kim has served as an attorney for the State of New Jersey since December of 1993. In April of 2005, Kim became the Chief of Staff for the Division of Rate Counsel. From May - September of 2007, Kim served as Acting Director for the Division. In that capacity, she represented the interest of ratepayers in various utility fields. As Chief of Staff, Kim coordinates with the Department of Treasury for financial matters, manages day-to-day operations and ensures that the mission of the Division is advanced.
Kim received a B.A. in Political Science from Montclair State University in 1988; a J.D. from Seton Hall University, School of Law in 1993 and a Masters in Divinity from Drew Theological School in 2011. Kim was a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Shirley A. Tolentino, J.S.C. She served a municipal prosecutor for the City of East Orange and as an assistant prosecutor for the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. Kim served as an attorney for the State Commission of Investigation. She was an adjunct professor at Hudson County Community College and taught in the areas of contracts and criminal justice. Kim has traveled the country teaching law enforcement about hate crimes for the United States Department of Homeland Security. In September 2010, Kim was appointed by the NJ State Supreme Court as a member of counsel to the Fee Arbitration Committee. In September of 2011, Kim was selected to be a panel chair for the Committee.
- Brian O. Lipman, Esq. Litigation Manager
Brian O. Lipman, Esq. is the Litigation Manager for the Division of Rate Counsel. Brian has been with Rate Counsel since August, 2013, when he assumed his present duties. He has over 18 years of experience practicing law in New Jersey.
Prior to joining Rate Counsel, Brian was a Deputy Attorney General with the State of New Jersey for ten years. The last two years, he was the Assistant Section Chief for the Division of Law’s Public Utility Section, responsible for representing the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in numerous jurisdictions including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal District Court, the Office of Administrative Law and other administrative forums on behalf of the BPU. During his tenure at the Attorney General’s Office, Brian represented numerous state agencies in a diverse set of cases including mortgage fraud, election law and civil rights matters litigated before various state and federal courts and agencies. Before joining to the Attorney General’s Office, Brian worked in private practice, representing private and public sector clients in labor, employment and other commercial matters. Brian has taught several classes for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute and taught as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law.
Brian has a B.S. in political science from The American University and graduated with honors from Rutgers School of Law-Camden.
- Ami Morita, Esq. Managing Attorney - Electric
Ami Morita, Esq., joined the Division of Rate Counsel in 1995, and has been the Managing Attorney of the Electric section since 2002. She is responsible for providing the Department with expertise in all aspects of utility law to insure all electric utility consumers receive reasonable rates and the best quality of service. In addition to representing consumer interests before the Board of Public Utilities on utility rate, mergers and financing cases, she has also testified before the New Jersey Senate Economic Growth Agriculture and Tourism Committee and Washington D.C. Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs on behalf of the DC People’s Council to advocate the interests of electric consumers.
Prior to her employment with Rate Counsel, she worked for private New York law firms including Hughes Hubbard and Reed and Marks and Murase (now merged with Bingham McCutchen) where she was responsible for a wide variety of transactional matters. Ami also interned for an international law firm Miyake, Hatasawa and Yamazaki in Tokyo Japan working on transactional and criminal matters. She was also a court appointed interpreter for the Tokyo District Court prior to graduating from law school.
Ami graduated from Rutgers College in New Brunswick in 1985 with a double major in Economics and Political Science and graduated from Rutgers School of Law – Newark 1990.
- Felicia Thomas-Friel, Esq. Managing Attorney -Gas
Felicia Thomas-Friel, Esq., is responsible for managing attorney and support staff involving issues and case matters that concern natural gas, renewable energy/energy efficiency and filings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She joined the Division of Rate Counsel in July 2001. Prior to joining the management staff of the Division, Felicia represented the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities as a Deputy Attorney General within the Public Utilities Section of the Department of Law and Public Safety - Division of Law from October 1993 until July 2001. She represented the Bergen County District Office of the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) as a member of the DYFS Section within the Division of Law from April 1992 to October 1993.
Prior to joining the Attorney General's Office, Felicia served as an Assistant Prosecutor in the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office in Paterson, NJ from February 1989 to April 1992. She was responsible for litigating various jury trial and bench trial cases that involved juvenile delinquency matters, domestic violence, adult criminal offenses and represented the state in Municipal Court appeals to the Superior Court. She also served with the Criminal Assignment Judge handling post-indictment arraignments, bail motions and various scheduling matters on the docket for the Criminal Assignment Judge.
Initiating her legal career, Felicia served on the legal staff at the New York Legal Aid Society - Civil Division - representing indigent clients in the New York City Civil Court and various administrative agencies concerning Medicaid, Social Security, welfare law, bankruptcy and landlord - tenant law. She was also responsible for making presentations before elderly and community organizations informing them of available legal and social services. She also served as a Board member of the Lower West Side Council on the Elderly.
Felicia holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Rutgers - Camden School of Law (1988), a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rutgers College - Rutgers University (1984) and Class of 1984 Eagleton Institute of Politics Honors Undergraduate Associate. She is currently a member of the Public Utility Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.
- Christopher White, Esq. Managing Attorney - Telecommunications/Cable TV
Christopher White, Esq., has over 30 years of legal experience in corporate, regulatory, and several other areas of law. Chris joined the division of Rate Counsel in December 1997 and has been Managing Attorney for the Telco/Cable sector since 2002.
As a Deputy Rate Counsel, Chris advises and counsels on cable and telecommunications issues relating to state and federal laws.
Chris has worked in the Federal Government, including legal positions with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission. In the Office of Chief Counsel at the Federal Aviation Administration, Chris handled administrative law issues related to government contracts, procurement policy and advising agency personnel on legal and litigation issues. At the Federal Communications Commissions, Chris worked in the Commercial wireless group. For over nine years, Chris worked for publicly traded companies in Washington, D.C. and in the New York area dealing with complex legal and businesses matters, including mergers and acquisitions, antitrust matters, regulatory, labor, patent and data rights, contracts, and general corporate issues. Chris was in private practice in New York for over seven years dealing with regulatory, litigation and corporate matters.
He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, J.D. ,1975, (Urban Lawyer staff 1973-75; President, Student Bar Association, 1974-75). In 1972, he received a B.A., in Political Science (minors in Chemistry and Biology). His Bar admissions include: New York, Virginia, District of Columbia, Missouri, and New Jersey. He is also admitted to practice before various federal appellate and district courts.
- Debra F. Robinson, Esq. Managing Attorney - Water/Wastewater
Debra F. Robinson, Esq., is the Managing Attorney for the Water/Wastewater specialty group within the Division of Rate Counsel in the Department of the Public Advocate. She has been with the Division of Rate Counsel since May of 1999 and is responsible for managing assigned attorneys and support staff in the preparation of pleadings, expert testimony and exhibits in connection with the regulatory oversight of water and wastewater companies in New Jersey.
Debra from 1995 to 1998 was employed by the City of Newark, Department of Water and Sewer Utilities. Reporting to the Director, she was responsible for providing advice to the Department on issues of municipal utility law, contract bidding law, public contract law, municipal ordinances and resolutions and customer service quality assurance.
Debra has a B.A. in Political Science and History from Douglass College-Rutgers University and a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, Newark. She sits on the Executive Board of the New Jersey Child Placement Advisory Council and is Chairperson of the Child Placement Review Board, Gloucester County.