Meet The Team

WhitsonLaw Firm’s team is results-oriented, empathetic, empowering, takes full responsibility, delivers as promised, is committed to clients, is responsible, and never gives up to fight for your happiness and freedom from a toxic relationship or marriage.

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Atty. Debra

Debra Whitson

CEO/Owner of WhitsonLaw Firm

Attorney, Mediator, and Certified Divorce Specialist™

For the first half of her career, Debra Whitson was a prosecutor, and she spent the latter half specializing in Matrimonial and Family Law. She is an experienced mediator and collaborative divorce practitioner as well as a recognized expert in working with victims of domestic violence.

Debra Whitson believes that legal battles are more harmful to families than helpful, and is passionate about helping people find ways to make their own decisions for their families, rather than leaving their outcomes in the hands of a stranger in a black robe. When court is unavoidable, Debra aims to educate and support people to make the legal process less costly, scary, uncertain, and stressful. In her spare time,

Debra Whitson works with Zonta International to improve the lives of women and girls in her local community and around the globe. She loves to travel, have good food and wine, tennis, and spend time with her husband and children enjoying all of the outdoor activities available in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State where they make their home.

Atty. Amanda

Amanda Dysart


Of Counsel

Amanda Dysart is a seasoned matrimonial and family law attorney with 8 years of relevant litigation experience in both the New York State Supreme and Family Courts.

Before joining Whitson Law Firm PLLC, Amanda Dysart practiced for several different law firms in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York, where she specialized in settlement negotiations, motion practice, and trial preparation.

Amanda Dysart is a graduate of the University of Virginia, from which she holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English literature, and a cum laude graduate of the City University of New York School of Law.

While in law school, Amanda Dysart clerked for the Honorable Ellen Gesmer, now of the First Appellate Department, and worked for several not-for-profit legal services agencies.

Allison Mahoney


Secretary of the New York City Bar Association’s Children & the Law Committee, Board of Directors at Response, a nonprofit organization that works with survivors of domestic and sexual abuse in the Roaring Fork Valley, Chair of the Fordham Law School’s Government and Public Interest Affinity Group

Allison Mahoney is a lawyer with over a decade’s worth of experience litigating on behalf of survivors of civil rights violations, intimate partner violence, child abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, and human trafficking.

Allison began her legal career at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where she was a member of the firm’s pro bono committee and represented survivors of sexual abuse and intimate partner violence. She was later a prosecutor in New York City and investigated sex crimes, public corruption, and organized crime.

For the next several years, Allison worked at Lawyers for Children, Inc. and represented children in foster care in New York City in various family court proceedings. As LFC’s Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Project Attorney, she carried a specialized caseload and served as the in-house legal expert for cases involving those sensitive issues.

Allison was most recently the Interim Deputy Director at A Better Childhood, where she investigated child welfare systems across the country, formed partnerships with local organizations and national law firms, and filed class action lawsuits on behalf of children in foster care, alleging violations of their civil rights.

Allison is on the Board of Directors at Response, a nonprofit organization that works with survivors of domestic and sexual abuse in the Roaring Fork Valley.

She served as the Secretary of the New York City Bar Association’s Children & the Law Committee, she is the Chair of the Fordham Law School’s Government and Public Interest Affinity Group, and she is part of a working group in New York City to reimagine intimate partner violence services for abusers.

Katie – Legal Manager

Katie Short

Manager of Legal Production

Certified Divorce Specialist™

Katie Short has 18 years of experience working in various areas of the legal arena. Her varied experiences have helped shape her well-rounded approach to working hand in hand with clients navigating the legal process.

Katie Short has experience in civil litigation, estate planning, child custody and support, dissolution of marriage, and mediation. She has found her passion in helping families successfully navigate the sometimes difficult transitions they face.

Katie Short is a graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law and utilizes her Juris Doctor the best way she can as a military spouse.

Katie Short enjoys traveling, good food, good wine, and good friends. She lives with her husband Brad and fur baby, a 13-year-old Labrador named Mia.

Gabby – Paralegal

Gabby Pundavela


Certified Divorce Specialist™

Gabby Pundavela is a dedicated, driven, and well-versed paralegal of WhitsonLaw Firm. She has been engaged in the legal field for 5 years and now focuses on Civil Litigation and Family law.

She is well experienced in handling clients and managing multiple cases of WhitsonLaw Firm. She loves engaging with clients knowing that she could help them legally resolve their disputes.

Gabby Pundavela was able to juggle work and law school for 4 years and graduated with a Juris Doctor Degree from San Beda College of Law in Alabang, Philippines.

After years of braving law school alongside working at the biggest and busiest firms, she takes pride in her work and believes that discipline is always the key to success.

Karlien – Marketing Director

Karlien Haese

Marketing Director

Certified Divorce Specialist™

Karlien has 10 years of experience in various fields, including Marketing, Sales Management,
Psychology, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Tourism, Administration, and Customer Service.

Karlien started working at WhitsonLaw, PLLC. in 2020, as an Executive Assistant and has since taken on a variety of other jobs at the firm, which led to her promotion as Marketing Director.

Before joining the WhitsonLaw team, Karlien worked at an established art gallery owned by one of South Africa’s most successful artists, and her combined love of art, sales, marketing, and customer service is what led her on her current career path.

She has diplomas and certifications in Management, Marketing, and Psychology and utilizes these to assist and find clients facing difficult family transitions.

Karlien loves travelling, watersports, good food, and wine, and is an avid supporter of animal charities. She resides in Cape Town, with her ginger cat, Floof Woof.

Josh Anne – Marketing Assistant

Josh Anne Cuezon

Marketing Assistant

Digital Marketing Specialist

Josh Anne has 6 years of experience in Digital Marketing such as Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization & Marketing, E-commerce, Blog & Article Writing, Website Content Development & Design, Graphic Design, and Content Planning.

Josh Anne has a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Arts Specializing in Video and Motion Graphics in CIIT College of Arts and Technology in Quezon City, Philippines.

Josh Anne pursued her career in the Digital Marketing path because she enjoys the strategy.

She always listens to any kind of music where she can relate her feelings and have a creative mind and strategic mind. She loves to surf the internet and at the same time eat and travel.

Lucia – Client Support

Lucia Galdos

Client Support Specialist

Client Concierge

Lucia Galdos is a Textile Designer graduate of Buenos Aires University in Argentina. She has 7 years of experience in the textile industry. She is passionate about color and specializes in the use of CAD software.

During the pandemic, she focused on improving her bilingual and remote customer service skills, and she also worked in a contact center headquartered in the United States.

Lucia Galdos believes that empathy and active listening are key to providing a great customer experience.

She enjoys nature walks, taking photos, tea, chocolate cookies, and doing all types of crafts. She has 2 frisky cats: Ichigo and Lola.

Larona Munjelele

Client Support Specialist

Client Concierge
Larona – Client Support

Larona is excited to be in a field that will allow her to utilize her empathetic personality. She is an outgoing person and loves exploring her country.

Larona enjoys listening to educational podcasts especially those about psychology as she is very intrigued by the human mind. She grew up in a small farming town in the North West, South Africa, and is the youngest of four children.

Larona is also a new mother to a beautiful baby girl. She studied at the University of Pretoria where she obtained her Bachelor of Administration in Public Management.

She also has an experience in customer service and also in provincial government policies.

Marenique – Executive Assistant

Marenique Van Der WestHuizen

Executive Assistant

Executive Assistant of the Law Firm

Marenique is a part-time law student at the University of South Africa and is only a few credits away from graduating. She decided to join Whitson Law Firm to learn more about a Family and Matrimonial Law Firm as that is where her passion lies.

Marenique loves traveling and exploring her country, she has a big passion for animals and has rescued and rehomed street animals to the best of her ability.

Sometimes not always willing to give up rescues, she lives with 6 dogs, 3 cats, and her fiancée.

Watch our Team Video