Résumé of:
Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C.
1901 L St., N.W., Suite 610
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 466-8696
FAX: 1-877-527-0446
Email: rrenner@kcnlaw.com
921 Loxford Terrace
Silver Spring, MD 20901
(301) 681-0664
Email: rrenner@igc.org

Attorneys owe clients the information needed to make decisions in their cases. Zealous advocacy for individual rights builds confidence in a civil law system for nonviolent resolution of disputes. Advancing the civil rights of workers, immigrants, consumers, minorities and the poor advances the social justice of our community.

Washington, DC,
May 2013-present

Of Counsel.

Attorney of counsel to law firm dedicated to employment law. Represent clients in Washington, DC, and elsewhere in whistleblower, discrimination, retaliation and other matters. Handle cases before the U.S. Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), and state and federal courts. For an appointment, call (202) 331-9260.
  1. Wrote amicus brief to the Supreme Court in Lawson v. FMR LLC, No. 12-3 (pending), arguing that the Supreme Court needs to restore whistleblower protections for the employees of corporate contractors. The Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari. Co-wrote amicus brief of NELA and GAP on the merits.
  2. Presented "Getting The Lay Of The Land: An Overview Of Whistleblower Claims" to NELA's Fall Seminar, Shining The Light On Whistleblower & Retaliation Claims, October 18, 2013, Washington, DC.
  3. Co-wrote amicus brief for NELA in Hithon v. Tyson Foods, 11th Circuit Case No.13-11720-AA (pending), addressing the remedial benefits of awarding reasonable attorney's fees for victims of civil rights violations.
  4. Wrote "It Is Illegal To Punish Workers For Qualifying For Health Care Assistance," for KCNF blog. 2013-08-12.
  5. Presented Developments in Department of Labor Whistleblower Practice to NELA's 2013 Convention. 2013-06-26.
Dover, Ohio, 1995-2009
Silver Spring, Maryland, 2012-2013


Founding partner in private law office devoted to advancing civil rights. Continued office as solo practitioner after partnerís death. Hired and supervised staff, including Office Manager, Legal Secretaries, and Associate Attorneys. Initiated monthly client newsletter, The sTATEr.
  • Won reinstatement for Donna Trueblood in the first environmental whistleblower case against the WTI hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio. After an 11-day trial, Judge Richard Morgan issued a decision finding company witnesses had "strayed from the truth." Community activist Alonzo Spencer said the decision has given new hope to their efforts against this illegal and unsafe plant.
  • Coordinated successful legal actions for environmental whistleblowers at regional wastewater authority. Department of Labor hearing lasted 20 days in 1997; reinstatement order issued. With co-counsel, won First Amendment protections in Charvat v. EORWA, 246 F.3d 607 (6th Cir. 2001). Won public document case in Ohio Supreme Court. State ex rel. Russell v. Thomas (1999), 85 Ohio St.3d 83, 1999-435.
  • Founded Hispanic Ministries of Tuscarawas County, Inc. (1997). Served as president. Represented refugees. Wrote successful amicus briefs in State ex rel. Ten Residents v. Belskis (2001), 142 Ohio App.3d 296, and Vasquez v. Kutscher, 95 Ohio St.3d 280, 2002-Ohio-2125 establishing right to a marriage license without a Social Security number. Traveled to Guatemala in 2001, 2004 and 2006 to study its language and culture, and visit clients and their families. Obtained a writ of mandamus to secure the right of immigrants to marriage licenses in State ex rel. Valero v. Park, 2007-Ohio-6179. Asserted Fourth Amendment and due process rights for Guatemalan immigrant in Miguel v. INS, 359 F.3d 408 (6th Cir. 2004). Sought protection under the Convention Against Torture for Honduran afraid of extrajudicial killing. Castellano-Chacon v. INS, 341 F.3d 533 (6th Cir. 2003).
  • Prevailed by settlement in a 2006 U.S. District Court jury trial for a factory worker seeking overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • Represented John Jasinski in nuclear and environmental whistleblower case against The Wackenhut Corporation and Exelon Corp., operators of the Three Mile Island nuclear power station.
  • Represented Chris Kerper and Carrie Lavery in unfair labor practice charges while they organized and won two union elections, 49-48 and 12-5, in 2007. Read news story here.
  • Won reinstatement of truck driver Harry Smith's whistleblower claims about unsafe equipment. The Sixth Circuit said that dismissal of Smithís case was an "injustice [that] threatens the purposes of the Actís employee-protection provisions[.]" Smith v. Solis, 390 Fed.Appx. 450 (6th Cir. 2010).
  • Submitted comments to Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, 2013-03-01, expressing concern that restrictions on discovery will disadvantage whistleblowers.
  • Submitted comments to U.S. Department of Labor on Rules of Practice and Procedure for Hearings Before the Office of Administrative Law Judges, 2013-02-04. Urged Department to express remedial purpose of whistleblower laws, reduce barriers to discovery and modernize electronic filing and discovery.
  • Co-wrote successful amicus brief in Day v. Department of Homeland Security, 2013 MSPB 49, Docket No. DC-1221-12-0528-W-1 (MSPB 6-26-2013), on behalf of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). Brief argued that the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) should apply Section 101 of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) to protected disclosures made before WPEA's effective date. 2013-02-28.
  • Lead author of NELA amicus brief in Howe v. City of Akron (6th Cir. pending) against a $97,056.18 sanction imposed on civil rights attorneys.
  • Wrote successful amicus brief on behalf of the National Employment Lawyers Association in Lucas v. Duncan, 574 F.3d 772 (D.C.Cir. 2009). The brief argued that inferences are key to proving employment discrimination, and it was an error for the lower court to impose sanctions for an argument based on inferences. The court agreed and vacated the sanction.
  • Adjunct Faculty at Kent State University, Tuscarawas Branch. Taught Mathematics and Environmental Law, 1998-2000.
  • Prevailed in Ohio Supreme Court appeal for Wilbert and Emma Kail in Lonas v. Kail (2001), 91 Ohio St.3d 1201, 740 N.E.2d 1103, 2001-Ohio-228. Protected clients from suit by former attorney for fees in excess of amount approved by the Industrial Commission.
  • Wrote successful amicus brief to Ohio Supreme Court on the right of domestic violence victims to receive a protection order. Felton v. Felton (1997), 79 Ohio St.3d 34, 1997-Ohio-302.
  • Prevailed in two appeals establishing the right of custodial grandparents to be parties in Juvenile Court cases. In re Sebastian, 2002-Ohio-782; In re Perez, 2004-Ohio-2707.
  • Member of New Philadelphia Housing Appeals Board, 2003-2006.
  • Pillars Club Community Service Award 1995.
  • Tuscarawas County NAACP Freedom Fund Award for the Furtherance of Social Justice, 2008.
  • Organized annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, 1987-2008. Delivered keynote address in 2010.

Washington, DC

September, 2008, to November, 2012.

Legal Director of the National Whistleblowers Center and attorney with Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP.

Provided legal representation and counsel to whistleblowers in matters involving wrongful dismissal, privacy and free speech, and the employee protections of numerous federal laws. As Legal Director of the National Whistleblowers Center, oversaw assistance and advocacy for thousands of whistleblowers. served on the NWC Board of Directors from 2001 to 2012 and as Secretary from 2002 to 2012. Editor-in-chief of the Whistleblowers Protection Blog.

  1. Prevailed as co-counsel in Youssef v. FBI, 687 F.3d 397 (D.C. Cir. July 20, 2012). Court reinstated Bassem Youssef's employment discrimination claims.
  2. Wrote successful amicus brief in Schroeder v. Greater New Orleans Federal Credit Union, 664 F.3d 1016 (5th Cir. 2011), arguing that federal banking laws protect internal reports of violations.
  3. Wrote successful amicus briefs to the Department of Laborís Administrative Review Board (ARB) in Sylvester v. Parexel Intíl LLC, ARB No. 07-123, 2011 WL 2165854 (en banc). The ARB agreed that corporate fraud whistleblowers need only a "reasonable belief" of a violation to be protected. The ARB rejected any limitation to "material" violations. The ARB also reversed prior decisions requiring the elevated pleading standards used in federal courts.
  4. Successfully represented Dr. Duane Bonds, formerly our nationís top researcher on Sickle Cell Disease. Established her right to a jury trial on her wrongful discharge claim under the Whistleblower Protection Act. Bonds v. Leavitt, 629 F.3d 369 (4th Cir. 2011).
  5. Testified in 2010 to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on why and how it should improve its whistleblower protection programs.
  6. Wrote successful amicus brief in Stone v. Instrumentation Laboratory Company, 591 F.3d 239 (4th Cir. 2009). Brief argued for the right of corporate accounting whistleblowers to de novo review in U.S. District Courts. The Fourth Circuit agreed with the argument, and reinstated whistleblower claims.
CASA de Maryland
Hyattsville, Maryland

Staff Attorney. May to September, 2011.

Counseled, advised and represented immigrant members seeking improvements in housing conditions, and in employment, immigration and consumer matters. Initiated rent escrow actions. Spoke to Spanish language media on fair development issues. Returned to NWC and KKC at the end of co-worker's maternity leave.



New York, New York.

J.D. awarded June, 1981. Legal intern in Criminal Law Clinic representing indigent defendants. Initiated N.Y.U. participation in Unemployment Action Center, and represented claimants in administrative appeals. Lived in City-owned building in the Bronx and was active in its tenant association. Student representative on law schoolís Executive Committee. Reporter for student newspaper.

Cambridge, Mass.

S.B. in mathematics awarded June, 1978. Researched MITís use of Social Security numbers and racial discrimination in Boston Housing Authorityís tenant selection. Member of non-residential service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega.


Professional Memberships

  • National, Metropolitan Washington, Maryland and Ohio Employment Lawyers Associations. Member of NELA national Executive Board, 2008-2011. Co-Chair of the NELA Whistleblower Committee, (2006-2008). Member of National Ethics and Sanctions Committee.
  • Hispanic Ministries of Tuscarawas Co. (President, 1997-98, 1999-2001, 2003-2008)
  • National Whistleblower Center (Secretary, 2002-2012). Wrote amicus brief for the No FEAR Coalition in Murphy v. IRS for rehearing in 2007, arguing that compensatory damages are not taxable income. Filed Brief of Amici Curiae for environmental groups in Doyle v. Hydro Nuclear Services, a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Elected Democratic Precinct Committeeman for New Philadelphia Ward 1E in 1994, re-elected in 1996-2000. Resigned 2001 and 2007 to run for Probate/Juvenile Judge. Served as voter protection counsel for Kerry/Edwards campaign in 2004 and Ohio Democratic Party in 2006; wrote letter to Board of Elections on Republican challenges.
  • National Organization for Legal Services Workers (NOLSW) (1987-1995), UAW Local 2320, AFL-CIO (Regional Vice President, 1990-1995)
  • Tuscarawas County AFL-CIO Council (Trustee, 1992-94; First Vice President, 1994-1995)
  • Treasurer of local bar association, 1997.

Personal Interests

Adelphi Friends Meeting (Quakers), skating, racquetball, unicycling, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Maryland Host Homes program. Married to Laura R. Yeomans. One adult daughter, Jennie. Received 2004 award for Big Brother of the Year from BB/BS of East Central Ohio. Winner of National Public Radio weekly puzzle challenge, 1995-06-25. Editor of electronic synopsis of NPRís weekly puzzle. In 2012, took wifeís godchildren, aged 7 and 9, to Paxixil, Guatemala, to meet their grandparents for the first time, and to experience their parentsí native land and culture.

Bar Admissions

Admitted to practice before the Ohio and U.S. Supreme Courts, District of Columbia and Maryland Courts of Appeals, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Federal and District of Columbia Circuits, and U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, and the Districts of the District of Columbia and Maryland.