Kevin W. Leonard


Kevin W. Leonard is a partner in the New York office. Prior to entering private practice, he spent six years with US Customs and Border Protection (formerly the US Customs Service) as an Import Specialist in New York. He represents clients before US Customs and Border Protection in connection with focused assessments and advocates for clients in adverse actions such as civil penalties, liquidated damages, seizures, redelivery notices, detentions, etc. He has extensive experience assisting companies and their overseas business partners implementing and maintaining duty savings programs.

Patrick J. Caulfield


Patrick J. Caulfield is a partner in the New York office. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Caulfield worked in the freight forwarding and customs brokerage industry with various firms where he gained valuable experience in dealing with U.S. Customs matters (classification, valuation, and licensing). His practice currently focuses on import and export trade law, trade regulations and customs law. He has assisted in representing clients before U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry & Security, and other federal agencies. He has also helped companies develop internal compliance programs.

Brandon Petelin


Brandon Petelin is a partner in the Firm’s Washington, DC office. He focuses on representing foreign companies, foreign governments, and US importers in antidumping duty and countervailing duty proceedings before the US Department of Commerce, the US International Trade Commission, and in litigation before the US Court of International Trade. His practice is particularly focused on the defense of non-market economy companies from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Vietnam in all aspects of antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings involving agricultural, industrial, and consumer products. Prior to joining GDLSK, Brandon worked as an International Trade Analyst at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Import Administration where he gained advanced knowledge of the practical application of the AD/CVD laws while conducting AD/CVD investigations, reviews, and scope proceedings.

John A. Schoenig


John A. Schoenig is a partner in the Firm’s New York office. He has extensive experience concerning the import/export of merchandise, with a particular emphasis on issues affecting the wearing apparel industry. This includes the classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), marking and labeling requirements for both customs purposes as well as the Fur Product Labeling Act, the Textile Fiber Product Identification Act and the Wool Product Labeling Act. Mr. Schoenig is experienced in analyzing product eligibility under various trade preference programs including the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the  Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) program.


Mr. Schoenig has developed a particular expertise with regard to the regulation of wildlife products and is well versed in the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service requirements and regulations, the application of the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and U.S. State wildlife laws and regulations. He has also worked extensively with the U.S. Lacey Act requirements relating to the import of wood products.

Richard M. Wortman


Richard Wortman manages the Los Angeles office. His practice is focused on import and export trade law, trade regulations and customs law, regulatory law and transportation law. He has represented clients before US Customs and Border Protection on a variety of issues including the classification and valuation of imported merchandise, focused assessments and averting penalties. He also regularly appears before other government agencies with responsibilities over import and export transactions. Richard helps companies implement duty savings strategies and internal compliance programs. Richard has lectured extensively on issues pertaining to import and export law on behalf of various organizations. He has also taught import and export trade law to both industry and Customs brokerage associations.

Joseph M. Spraragen


Joseph M. Spraragen is a partner in the Firm’s New York office. His practice encompasses a broad range of federal regulatory compliance issues. He has represented clients in a broad spectrum of industries that include consumer products, electronics, pharmaceuticals, foods, chemicals, trade associations, textiles and apparel. He regularly appears before agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, US Customs and Border Protection, US Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, US State Department and US Department of Agriculture. He prepares responses to agency inquiries and audits, voluntary disclosures, penalty petitions and export control opinions and has helped several companies develop internal compliance programs. Mr. Spraragen has appeared in over 50 cases before the US Court of International Trade. Prior to moving to private practice, Joseph was an attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the US Customs Service (now US Customs and Border Protection). Joseph has also spoken on customs and trade law issues at Georgetown University Law School, NYU School of Law and at Brandeis University.

Elaine F. Wang


Elaine Wang is an international trade attorney with extensive experience in antidumping proceedings involving agricultural, industrial and consumer goods. She represents numerous clients from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam in these proceedings.

Erik D. Smithweiss


Erik Smithweiss is a partner resident in the Los Angeles office. Mr. Smithweiss represents clients on issues before U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Food & Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission and other agencies that regulate the international trade in goods. His practice involves import restrictions, rules of origin, preferential trade agreements, marking and labeling, valuation, tariff classification, antidumping and countervailing duty compliance, trademark and copyright protection, Fish & Wildlife restrictions, and similar matters. Mr. Smithweiss also assists clients with matters pending before customs administrations in other countries and at the World Customs Organization in Brussels.


Mr. Smithweiss’ practice includes export controls and sanction programs administered by various agencies. Mr. Smithweiss represents clients in all areas of customs import/export procedure and administration, such as audits, investigations, penalties, forfeiture proceedings, compliance programs, administrative rulings and litigation.


Mr. Smithweiss is one of several trial attorneys in the firm and appears regularly in matters before the U.S. Court of International Trade, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and federal district courts.


Mr. Smithweiss is an instructor of the customs broker licensing exam preparation course and several other classes conducted by the Foreign Trade Association of Southern California.

Robert B. Silverman


Robert B. Silverman is one of the Firm’s founding members and heads the Firm’s litigation group.  Mr. Silverman is regarded as one of the foremost footwear classification experts in the United States and has been involved in all major footwear controversies affecting imports for over 30 years. These issues have included development of the foxing guidelines, unisex footwear standards, and standards for classifying plastic coated leather upper footwear.


Mr. Silverman routinely assists clients across a wide variety of industries in structuring import transactions to minimize customs duties, ensure regulatory compliance and eliminate penalty exposure.  He represents companies during audits involving classification, valuation and eligibility under Free Trade Agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA, AGOA, GSP, etc. He also counsels clients in connection with Customs investigations, seizures, exclusions, penalty and liquidated damages assessments.


Prior to entering into private practice, Mr. Silverman served as a trial attorney in the Customs Section of the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice where he represented US Customs in proceedings before the Court of International Trade, Federal District Courts, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Max F. Schutzman


Max F. Schutzman is a partner in the Firm and co-chairs the Firm’s trade law group. His practice is focused primarily on antidumping, countervailing duty and other trade law remedies. He also provides clients with counseling on intellectual property law, with particular concentration in the field of trademarks. He has represented multinational clients in the Americas, Europe and Asia before the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission in complex antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and administrative reviews. Mr. Schutzman has extensive litigation experience and has appeared in over 100 reported Federal Court decisions.


Over the course of his 35 years in private practice, he has represented clients in federal cases and administrative proceedings involving products as diverse as antifriction ball and roller bearings from Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, China, Korea, Portugal and Canada; photographic products, industrial chemicals, and consumer electronics products from Japan; pasta from Italy and Turkey; textiles from Hong Kong; steel pipe and pipe-fittings from Malaysia and the Philippines; basic steel products from Germany; and wooden bedroom furniture, retail carrier bags, petroleum wax candles and off-the-road-tires from China.


He began his legal career as a trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Customs Section, and was a commercial litigation partner with a major American law firm specializing in trade regulation matters before joining the Firm in 1988.