Legal Action Project Staff Biographies | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Legal Action Project Staff Biographies

Avery Gardiner, Chief Legal Officer, Legal Action Project

Avery W. Gardiner is the Chief Legal Officer at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. She is responsible for shaping and driving the organization’s legal strategy, as well as providing legal advice to all of the organization’s departments. Ms. Gardiner oversees the work of the Legal Action Program team, manages Brady’s relationships with key legal partners, and integrates Brady’s legal work into the overall strategy of the organization.

She brings extensive litigation experience to the Brady Center, having represented both plaintiffs and defendants in complex litigation, including on behalf of the United States as a lawyer at the Department of Justice.

Ms. Gardiner graduated with honors from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She has practiced law with the firms of Kirkland & Ellis and WilmerHale, in addition to her DOJ experience. Most recently, she was an in-house counsel at Verizon Communications Inc. She began her career as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

Jonathan Lowy, Director, Legal Action Project

Jonathan E. Lowy is the Director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Lawyers for a Safer America. He leads a team of attorneys providing pro bono legal representation and assistance to victims of gun violence in lawsuits to reform dangerous gun industry practices and to governments and public officials in defense of reasonable gun laws. Mr. Lowy has litigated since 1988, and has fought for gun violence victims and gun laws for the Brady Center since 1997. Appearing in courts in over 30 states, he helped win a $2.5 million settlement for victims of the DC-area snipers, the first case in which a gun manufacturer paid damages for a criminal shooting resulting from negligent distribution; win a $1 million settlement for two New Jersey police officers against a gun dealer; win landmark decisions in appeals courts, including in Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, and New York; and was co-trial counsel in the first case to be tried alleging that gun makers have a duty to childproof guns.

Mr. Lowy has published numerous articles on gun litigation and policy, and has discussed firearms issues extensively in the media, including on CBS News, MSNBC, 20/20, the Lehrer News Hour, C-Span, NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and American Lawyer.

Mr. Lowy graduated from Harvard College in 1983, and the University of Virginia School of Law in 1988. Before joining the Center, he practiced law with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Dickstein, Shapiro and Morin, with the Charlottesville, Virginia office of McGuire Woods Battle and Boothe, and on his own.

Alla Lefkowitz, Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Action Project

Alla Lefkowitz is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. She represents victims of gun violence against negligent gun dealers and manufacturers, as well as against websites that facilitate illegal gun sales. Ms. Lefkowitz specializes in challenging state and federal gun industry laws, such as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”) and the Tiahrt Rider, which make it harder for victims to hold members of the gun industry accountable. During her time at Brady, Ms. Lefkowitz has helped win landmark decisions, such as the Missouri Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to allow a case against a dealer that sold a gun to a woman despite being warned that she was severely mentally ill. She assisted on a Wisconsin case which resulted in a $5.7 million jury verdict for police officers injured in the line of duty – the first verdict against a gun store since the passage of PLCAA. Ms. Lefkowitz has also helped clients achieve favorable settlements, including a Kansas mother whose 8-year-old child was shot with a straw-purchased gun. In addition to her civil liability work, Ms. Lefkowitz is actively engaged in federal Constitutional litigation, helping to both challenge gun lobby-backed laws that endanger communities and defend reasonable guns laws, such as assault weapons restrictions and concealed carry permitting regimes.

Prior to joining Brady, Ms. Lefkowitz was a Litigation Associate with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP in New York. Ms. Lefkowitz is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and the Duke University School of Law.

Staff Assistants

Kelsey Rogers, Researcher / Writer

Kelsey Rogers is the Researcher/Writer at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Kelsey's duties include monitoring and researching trends and data related to gun violence and the role of "bad apple" gun dealers, as well as investigating and developing new case leads. She was previously the Legal & Policy Assistant. Prior to joining the Brady Center, Kelsey was a paralegal at Spiegel & McDiarmid, LLP. Kelsey graduated cum laude from Mount Holyoke College in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in International Relations and a focus in human rights policy.