Van Dermyden Makus Law Corporation’s West Coast Expansion Sees New Arizona Office and Five Skilled Attorney Investigators

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Van Dermyden Makus Law Corporation’s West Coast Expansion Sees New Arizona Office and Five Skilled Attorney Investigators

Van Dermyden Makus Law Corporation (VM Law), one of the nation’s top workplace investigations law firms, expanded its operation with the opening of a Tempe, Arizona-located office and hiring of five leading attorney investigators nationwide.

Over the past decade, VM Law has grown rapidly each year, expanding its West Coast operation with offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Rafael and now Tempe. Today, the firm is at the vanguard of the investigations sector, identifying early opportunities in employment law such as the demand for neutral workplace investigations and specialized Title IX services.

“The workplace investigations industry is growing and VM Law is uniquely poised to meet the increasing demands of employers seeking impartial investigations having built a skilled team of attorney investigators who believe in this work,” said Firm Managing Partner Eli Makus.

Erich Knorr to Lead Arizona Office

Partner Erich Knorr, a trusted authority in workplace investigations, will lead the firm’s new Arizona office located in the heart of downtown Tempe.

“Erich brings deep investigative experience to his practice and is the ideal leader to direct our expansion in this new market,” said VM Law Senior Partner and Founder Sue Ann Van Dermyden. “He and the Arizona office are an integral part of our strategy to help a growing number of employers across the nation create safe workplaces for their employees.”

Erich is an experienced Attorney Investigator who conducts complex, and often high-profile investigations in the public and private sectors. Erich regularly conducts investigations for public safety departments, universities, community colleges and government entities. He also has extensive experience investigating claims for private organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies across a breadth of industries.

He joined VM Law in 2016, after gaining experience as a civil litigator representing public safety labor associations and their members in court, administrative proceedings and labor disputes.

“Van Dermyden Makus has fostered my growth over the years as an attorney and impartial investigator,” said Knorr. “I’m honored to lead our firm’s expansion into the Arizona market as we further establish ourselves as a national leader in workplace investigations.”

VM Law Welcomes Four Attorney Investigators

VM Law is devoted to delivering excellence in neutral investigations and adjudication services.

With the additions of Mark Gabel, Harper Gernet-Girard, Sarah Medway, Aman Rai and Dante Quilici, our team expands its ability to help employers and campuses nationwide make well-informed decisions so employees can get back to work and students can get back to class.

“Our team is committed to delivering excellent services to our clients and creating a model workplace,” said Makus. “Our new team members exemplify VM’s values.”

Mark Gabel, joining VM Law as an Attorney Investigator, has extensive experience representing Fortune 500 companies, closely held family businesses, C-suite executives and public agencies.

Working at large firms before founding and running his own employment-law firm, Mark is well versed in conducting investigations, advising employers on complex compliance matters and defending employers in litigation and arbitration. He has also advised executives, company founders and professionals on employment law matters related to their careers, and represented clients against wrongful termination, breach of contract and unpaid wage claims.

Harper Gernet-Girard, a skilled litigator with vast experience representing technology, media, entertainment and sports clients in high-stakes cases, joins VM Law as an Attorney Investigator.

Throughout her career, Harper has litigated allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment, bullying, fraud and corporate and legal ethics violations. She has represented Fortune 100 companies, higher educational institutions, professional sports teams, athletes and coaches. Prior to law school, Harper served as an Assistant Director of Admissions at a private university in Los Angeles and has co-authored several publications on legal trends in higher education.

Sarah Medway joins VM Law as an Attorney Adjudicator. A Georgetown Law-graduate, Sarah built her career in the PK-12 public education sector, working with the DC Charter School Board and Hawaii Department of Education’s Civil Rights Compliance Office as an Equity Specialist.

With a developed expertise in civil rights law in an education setting, Sarah has advised school leaders and conducted over 50 civil rights investigations involving Title IX complaints based on alleged sexual discrimination and harassment. Interacting with school employees, parents and students of all ages, including children receiving special education services, Sarah ensures all participants understand and can participate fully in the Title IX process — ensuring hearings are fair, thorough and provide timely and meaningful resolution to all involved parties.

Aman Rai, joining VM Law as an Attorney Investigator, has extensive experience in labor and employment law, representing employers in all aspects of employment disputes and litigation.

Aman has conducted workplace investigations regarding a number of sensitive topics including harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and bullying, including investigations involving both single as well as multiple allegations, complaints and respondents. Outside of her practice, Aman serves as an adjunct professor at University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law where she teaches second-year law students on lawyering skills.

Dante Quilici, who is joining VM Law as an Attorney Investigator, brings to his practice extensive experience representing public and private employers, employees including job applicants, high level executives and celebrities in complex employment law matters and corporate disputes.

Managing a practice focused on highly sensitive workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, whistleblowing, employee theft or misappropriation, and similar workplace issues under both California and federal law, Dante is versed in attorney-client privilege and brings a high level of empathy and understanding into every neutral investigation. His vast experience guides his approach to deliver highly organized, confidential and accurate investigations.


Van Dermyden Makus Law Corporation, a nation-leading workplace investigations law firm, is committed to advancing the world of investigative law by providing unbiased, third-party investigation and hearing services in the public and private sector. From its offices in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Tempe, Arizona, VM Law helps employers nationwide recognize the benefit of conducting through, impartial workplace and Title IX investigations to protect entities, employees and students. Learn more at