Los Alamitos High School
Class of 2021
Click Here To Learn More About Olivia
Interned With Goodwin Weber PLLC On A Case Of National Importance
Collaborated With Top Law Professors & Experts To Prepare My Client For Trial
Advocated For My Client To Capitol Hill Congressmen, Senators & Congressional Officials
Olivia Gertz is a Senior at Los Alamitos High School, and resides in Seal Beach, California. Olivia is an honor student and has taken many AP and honors classes. She is passionate about politics, human rights and surfing!
Olivia has been involved with the Model United Nations since the beginning of her high school career and has the honor of being elected as the Secretary General of the Los Alamitos High School Model United Nations for her Senior year.
For the past three years, Olivia has participated in the Leadership Initiatives program at Georgetown University, and it has become an important part of Olivia’s life. In 2018, Olivia attended the Advanced Law and Trial Program where she worked with Goodwin Weber PLLC in representing a witness in the Paul Manafort case. In 2019, she attended the Advanced Law and Trial Program, working with Attorney David Weber on an important gender discrimination case brought against the National Park Service. In 2019 she also attended the Advanced Medical and Public Heath Summit, working with doctors around the World. This program provided Olivia with training about illnesses found in third-world countries, and even allowed her to diagnose patients in Nigeria using state-of-the-art virtual reality equipment.
In 2020, Olivia attended the Advanced Law and Trial Program where she worked on a potentially historic case brought by a former employee against the FBI because of harassment, retaliation and violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act by the FBI.
Olivia was also the team leader for her Leadership Initiatives International Business Internship Program. While partnering with a small business in Nigeria, she worked with her team and the Nigerian owner of the business to help boost the business’ revenue. She also is an intern for the Leadership Initiative program itself, where she helps with research and the program’s website, as well as outreach to schools and students interested in participating in the Leadership Initiatives programs.
Olivia surfs as much as she can and is one of the top competition surfers on her award-winning high school surf team which has placed first in their League for the past three years. She has also won numerous individual surfing competitions. She is a junior ambassador and team rider for Harbour Surfboards, a world-renowned and legendary surfboard maker.
Her future career aspirations are centered around a career in medicine with a particular interest in cardiac surgery, or a legal career focused on working as a Federal Prosecutor or in the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In her spare time, Olivia likes to surf, read and paint.
Click Here To View Olivia's Achievements
Patronizing Behavior & Harassment
The client testified in an internal investigation at his agency that senior management engaged in misconduct and did not report the incident. Because the client has cooperated with internal investigators, the client has been subjected to repeated retaliation and reprisal from the highest levels of his agency. This has harmed his promotion potential and day-to-day life as a supervisory law enforcement officer.
We met with Senators, Representatives, and congressional staff members to advocate for our client. We explained how our client has been treated unfairly and has been subject to harassment within the FBI. We also discussed the Americans With Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act, and that the FBI’s actions were not in accordance with our client’s accommodations.
Over 12 congressional staff members spoke directly with students about our client’s case against the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Our objective was to direct congressional attention to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act, specifically the section concerning the provisions disabled employees are entitled to and should be awarded. This case is currently seeking further legal action and is likely to proceed to litigation this November.
For a client suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation for Patronizing Behavior.
We worked with lead attorney David P. Weber to examine complex case documents, explore legal precedent, and advocate for our client on Capitol Hill.
We worked to prepare documents and advocacy plans for our client, a former employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
As a team, we gained valuable real-life experience as we worked on what could be a historic case for people who have accommodations.
As interns of Goodwin Weber PLLC, we focused our efforts on harassment and violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act within the FBI.
Case Research & Preparation
We also learned how to conduct basic direct and cross-examinations. Throughout the week, we learned relevant direct and cross-examination techniques in order to conduct beneficial examinations of the expert.
The expert worked with us to develop an amicus brief and sat for a deposition to answer all of our questions concerning the medical reports.
Through discussing the case with the expert, we learned how to effectively research and prepare for harassment cases.
We met with our expert witness in order to hear his opinions on the case. We learned about our client’s personal background and employment history within the FBI, as well as the perceived harassment within the FBI itself.
Our expert then went on to describe the harassment and the impact those events have had on the client’s life.
Meeting with multiple members of Congress allowed us to demonstrate the importance of our client’s case. For many, it helped show them that their constituents care about the issue of harassment in the FBI. By advocating for our client, we fulfilled a civic duty and showed our representatives that this is an issue that needs to be addressed within the FBI and the country.
Being able to advocate and experience Capitol Hill virtually offered a new perspective for everyone on the team. Most people do not get to meet with representatives in this way.
Throughout the internship, we were trained in effective ways to advocate on Capitol Hill and prepared for our congressional audience by developing solid briefing materials. The focus of the meeting was improving working conditions for employees in the Federal Bureau of Investigations and advocating on behalf of our client.
Legal research and evidence of harassment that our client has endured was presented to Congressional Representatives and Senators.
At the end of the two week internship, we conducted an expert witness preparation session to help Mr. Weber develop his lines of questioning for the expert witnesses. As a team, we developed direct and cross-examination questions based on the expert's deposition to replicate what might take place while in court.
The presentations were set up to resemble an appellate court system. Our team was given thirty minutes to present arguments and ten minutes to receive feedback from David P. Weber and the expert witness.
We played a crucial part in the legal strategy of our client's case. In future legal action, the arguments made during this presentation will be considered as they strongly pertain to the client's case.
The Case To End
In Our Lives.
This case has the potential to establish legal precedent in favor of those with disabilities who face discrimination in the workplace, whether it is within the FBI or in another field.
If our case is successful, this case will be used to ensure equal pay, equal evaluations and equal promotions for millions of people with disabilities who work within the United States government. Thus, forever changing how those with disabilities may advance in our society.
Our team interned for Goodwin Weber PLLC. We worked with top attorney David P. Weber and focused our efforts on a retaliation case brought against the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
As a team, we read through many complex case documents and wrote a direct and cross-examination to help our expert witness prepare for trial.
Our team met with several key congressional officials to gain support for our client and fight against retaliation. We created briefings for congress members and staff so they could clearly grasp the unfair treatment our client is facing.
Since this case is ongoing, we have the opportunity to return next summer to continue our internship with Goodwin Weber PLLC and help our client find justice with his fight against retaliation.
We directly with Goodwin Weber PLLC and the expert witness to develop a line of questioning that would serve as direct and cross-examinations in order to prepare the lines of questioning for trial.
Law Firm Internship
Internship Program Highlights
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Goodwin Weber PLLC Internship
Several congressional officials agreed to write letters of Inquire to the Department of Justice. All of the congressional staff members and representatives were understanding and supportive of the issue of medical discrimination.
Direct advocacy on Capitol Hill is one of the most powerful and advantageous ways to advance and impact legislative policy priorities.
By the end of our internship, we were uniquely qualified to communicate with Congress about effective policies to combat retaliation in the workplace.
We pushed lawmakers to publicly support our client. We left them with all the tools and information necessary for them to create an informed opinion.
Professor Michael J. Cedrone’s teaching and scholarship are rooted in the belief that professional identity is formed when law students must reason, act, and reflect as lawyers do. He is currently the chairperson of Legal writing at Georgetown University.
Chip Kunde leads the development and execution of a comprehensive government and public affairs engagement strategy for Ferrero in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Chip Kunde - Ferrero-Senior Vice President, Government & Institutional Affairs
Michael Cedrone - Georgetown Professor of Law, Legal Practice; Chairperson, Legal Writing Program
Samantha Crane - ASAN Legal Director and Public Policy Director
Samantha Crane is Director of Public Policy and the Legal Director at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s national office and engages in regulatory advocacy, litigation consulting, and very limited impact litigation.
Jeremy Ostler is a jury consultant and jury selection expert for Clarity Mediation and Jury Selection where he helps trial lawyers and litigators successfully persuade judges, juries and arbitrators in trial and arbitration.
Jeremy exposed our team to the idea that potential jurors’ attitudes, backgrounds, opinions, and points of view on matters could influence their view of our client and the potential outcome of our client's case.
We wrote a jury selection report for our case that explains the types of jurors that may be most inclined to be sympathetic and understanding of our client in court.
Creating a jury selection report and learning about how people’s backgrounds can affect their opinions gave our team a deeper understanding of how jury selection can greatly impact the final outcome of a trial.