About Us

We are champions for small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs.

We solve the challenges of innovators, focusing on founder and family-led businesses, while
giving you the highest quality legal services at rates you can actually afford.

Our clients range from multi-million-dollar success stories to brand new startups, in spaces from software to entertainment to life sciences to fashion and ecommerce.

We’ll build your venture the solid foundation it needs and above all, help you protect your innovations in the marketplace.

  • Startups & SMBs
  • Content Creators
  • Litigation
Who We Are

We’re not just lawyers, we’re entrepreneurs.

We’ve built our own businesses from the ground up; in tech, media, entertainment, and legal. We’ve raised capital, grown revenue and profitability. We’ve had the stresses of pitching to customers, while at the same time having to make payroll. We always remember what it’s like to be in your shoes — because we’ve been there.

Tristan Snell

Founder, Managing Partner

Tristan’s work includes successes in some of the most high-profile legal matters of the century – including the prosecution of Trump University (leading to a $25 million settlement), the Broadcom v. Qualcomm patent litigation (the largest in US history at the time, with a $1.2 billion victory for Broadcom), and landmark deals with Chase, Wells Fargo, and Walmart, among others.

He has also started four businesses of his own and served as a startup CEO, COO, General Counsel, and Product Manager.  He has represented hundreds of startups, as well as early-stage venture funds, in addition to larger companies like Johnson & Johnson, Broadcom, Yahoo, and Smith & Nephew, giving him a deep understanding of the special challenges facing high-growth and high-innovation businesses.

Tristan graduated from Princeton University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  He received his law degree from the University of Virginia, where he was an editor of the Virginia Law Review.  Tristan worked in the renowned intellectual property, appellate, and venture practices at WilmerHale, where he also worked on the Boumediene v. Bush team that won the first habeas writs for detainees at Guantanamo Bay.  He served as a law clerk to the Hon. Eric N. Vitaliano, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York, and as Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York as a civil prosecutor and investigator in consumer protection.

Tristan is also a nationally recognized legal commentator, featured on MSNBC and NPR and in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, among dozens of other outlets.

A.B., Princeton
J.D., University of Virginia

Bar admissions:
New York, Massachusetts

Practice Areas:
business law, contracts, intellectual property, corporate, litigation

Alison Wallis

Head of Practice Management & Managing Counsel

Alison has 25 years of experience as a corporate attorney and trusted advisor to Fortune 500 companies as well as small and medium size enterprises.  Acting as a collaborative partner with both a legal and business strategic mindset, Alison proactively counsels clients to improve leadership planning and accountability in order to successfully execute corporate priorities.

After graduating from Duke Law School, Alison was an associate at Morgan Lewis in Philadelphia and Fried Frank in New York City, with a focus on international and domestic financial transactions, and then spent close to 15 years advising senior management of SunGard Data Systems as an assistant general counsel. Subsequently, Alison was the general counsel for a boutique construction firm. Thereafter, Alison ran strategy for the head of Legal, Risk and Compliance for a Fidelity Investments wholly-owned subsidiary.  Prior to joining Main Street to co-manage the law firm with Tristan Snell, she served as the Chief of Staff to the CEO of a private equity-backed fintech software company.

B.A., University of Rochester
J.D., Duke

Bar admissions:
New York

Practice Areas:
business law, contracts, corporate

Edward Ergenzinger

Senior Counsel

Ed is a seasoned patent attorney with more than 20 years of in-house and private practice experience.  Ed has worked at AmLaw 50, AmLaw 100, and AmLaw 200 law firms as well as in-house as Director of IP & Legal Affairs for the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) and as Chief Legal Officer and Senior VP of Innovation for a startup focused on enhanced delivery of cannabinoids and other lipophilic active agents.

Ed’s experience includes serving as virtual in-house counsel for Wyeth Vaccines, where he managed the worldwide patent portfolio for Prevnar 13® (the world’s best-selling vaccine before COVID-19).  He also served as outside counsel for a Duke spin-out prior to and following its acquisition for $96 Million by Illumina (the world’s leading DNA sequencing company).  And while at DHVI, Ed managed intellectual property assets arising from over $50 Million per year of extramural funding that involved collaborations with GSK, Novartis, Oxford, Stanford, and others.

Ed has authored over 100 scientific and legal publications, including articles that have appeared in Nature Neuroscience, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, The Scientist, Business Insider, The National Law Journal, and Stanford Technology Law Review.  He has also served as an adjunct professor, teaching patent law and practice at Wake Forest, UNC, and Campbell law schools.

Prior to law school, Ed earned a doctorate in neuroscience as a National Institute of Mental Health Predoctoral Fellow studying plasticity in the adult brain through the Department of Neurosurgery at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

B.A., Wake Forest
Ph.D., Wake Forest
J.D., Wake Forest

Bar admissions:
North Carolina
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
U.S. Supreme Court

Practice Areas:
business law, contracts, intellectual property, corporate, litigation

Julie Shields


Julie Shields has been working in the intellectual property field for over thirty years.  She majored in English Literature at the Johns Hopkins University, where she also played on the Women’s Varsity Basketball team.  After graduating from Duke Law School, Julie litigated for Sheppard, Mullin in Los Angeles, CA.  She has also worked for the US Patent & Trademark Office in Virginia for many years as a Trademark Examiner.  Julie Shields worked in-house for over a decade for a specialty finance consortium, most recently as Intellectual Property Director for YieldStreet.  She has written a number of Intellectual Property textbooks for Matthew Bender and LEXIS/NEXIS about trademark law, copyright law, trade secret law, and patent law, and designed an on-line course for Lionbridge Media in intellectual property.

Ms. Shields also wrote the groundbreaking “How to Avoid The Mommy Trap: A Roadmap For Sharing Parenting and Making It Work.”  She has given talks around the country, and appeared on MSNBC, NPR, USA Today Radio, the Voice of America, and in many other media outlets.  Her articles and essays have been published in many places, including the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun.

Julie Shields is practicing in Washington D.C. and is currently inactive in California.

B.A., John Hopkins University
J.D., Duke University School of Law

Bar admissions:
Washington D.C.
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Practice Areas:
intellectual property

Timothy Nitsch


Tim Nitsch represents individual inventors and small, mid-sized, and large corporations.  He has experience in technology-related industries such as computer software, computer networking, automation systems, electrical circuits, mechanical systems, and business methods.

Tim is a registered patent attorney with extensive experience prosecuting patent applications related to liquid crystal displays including applications relating to device and manufacturing methods for organic LED and LCD displays such as the formation of the layers of oLED pixels, backlighting devices for displays, signal processors for LCD displays, driving devices and methods for oLED and LCD displays, sampling circuits for LCD and oLED displays, touch sensitive LCD and oLED displays, devices and methods of providing different optical layers on displays, devices and methods of providing optical layers for three dimensional viewing of images on oLED and LCD displays, and LCD displays on camera and cellular phones (flip chip technology).

Tim also has extensive experience drafting and negotiating license agreements for technology, drafting and negotiating software development agreements, master service agreements, manufacturing agreements and distribution agreements.  Tim also manages and files trademarks and copyrights.

Prior to practicing law, Tim was a building automation engineer.  He also has experience as a senior research engineer at a large network infrastructure manufacturer and is a named inventor on six patents for electrical devices and software.

B.A., Southern Illinois University
J.D., Loyola University

Bar admissions:
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Practice Areas:
patent, patent litigation, contracts

Jordan Schwartz


Jordan Schwartz is a business attorney supporting transactions, product development, financing, and corporate matters, leveraging years of experience as General Counsel and “outside in-house counsel.” Jordan partners with in-house legal departments and other internal stakeholders in a diverse set of industries, supporting the development of hardware and software products, manufacturing, go-to-market, and quarterbacking partnerships, sales and licensing deals.

After graduating Columbia Law School, Jordan worked on a range of corporate, transactional and litigation matters as an associate at Jones Day in New York City, including for several high profile financial institutions in the wake of the 2009 crisis. In 2013, Jordan relocated to Silicon Valley to serve as General Counsel for a high-growth startup, supporting every facet of business and operations as it scaled, working closely with and advising C-suite executives and the Boards of Directors, and leading several large financings rounds. After the company’s acquisition, recognizing a gap in the legal market for dedicated, cost-effective legal support for startups, Jordan moved back to private practice with a focus on supporting these emerging companies, developing close relationships with clients built on responsiveness to the goals and demands of their businesses.

A.B., Binghamton University
J.D., Columbia Law School

Bar admissions:
New York

Practice Areas:
business law, contracts, corporate

Jesse Strauss


Jesse’s 20-year legal career, marked by variety and achievement, has
equipped him to counsel clients through complex transactions and
disputes with a keen focus on their business goals, and to develop and
implement innovative legal products and services.

Jesse’s legal journey began with a focus on litigation. After
graduating in the top 10% of his law school class, he clerked for a
United States Federal Court District Judge in the Eastern District of
New York and then joined an AmLaw 100 firm, specializing in commercial
and corporate litigation with an emphasis on complex real estate. He
played pivotal roles in major cases, including securing a $2.1M jury

He later moved to a respected securities litigation boutique,
contributing to high-profile cases, including a significant
plaintiffs’ verdict.

In 2010, Jesse founded his own firm, Strauss Law PLLC, initially
concentrating on litigation before shifting to transactional work. He
advised companies on formation, compliance, real estate, employment
law, and fundraising.

Jesse’s expertise in compliance and real estate leasing contributed to
one client, an innovative prop-tech, being able to raise a significant
funding round. He joined this company as the first in-house lawyer
(employee 25), eventually becoming Vice President and General Counsel.
During his tenure, the company achieved substantial growth, underwent
complex asset acquisitions, and expanded internationally. Jesse was
instrumental in developing the company’s legal processes and managing
a diverse team, overseeing various legal matters and managing outside
counsel. The company was acquired in early 2023.

Post his tenure at the prop-tech company, Jesse joined a dynamic
crypto project as General Counsel. There, he resolved challenging
litigation, set up key legal processes, and worked on pioneering
blockchain security token regulations.

Additionally, Jesse is a founding member of TechGC, a trade group for
top lawyers in venture-backed startups and public companies, and the
founder of an AI-driven debt collection platform, Indepayment.ai and
GPTGC.ai, a leading chatbot offering custom legal documents based on
Jesse’s templates and OpenAI’s ChatGPT large language model.

Jesse lives in New York City and has two amazing kids. He loves
travel, live music and theater, and skiing.

A.B., The George Washington University
J.D., Brooklyn Law School

Bar admissions:
New York

Practice Areas:
business law, contracts, corporate, web3, litigation

Kelly Cotting


Kelly Cotting is an innovative and experienced litigator who has dedicated her career to helping people navigate the legal system.  After graduating from UVA Law in 2010, she joined a small practice engaged in general litigation, including contracts, insurance defense, employment, and family law.  Later, she transitioned to prosecution.  Over her twelve years as a prosecutor, Kelly handled thousands of cases including more than thirty jury trials and several murder cases.  She specialized in domestic violence and crimes against children, developing specific expertise in financial crimes, computer crimes, and sexual abuse.  She has handled, and won, a number of high publicity sexual abuse trials.

Several of her cases have been upheld by the Virginia Court of Appeals and Virginia Supreme Court and created binding legal precedent.  She has extensive experience working with expert witnesses including training them to testify in Court.  Over the years she has provided trial consulting services to other prosecutors on issues including expert witnesses and voir dire.  Prior to leaving Virginia, she regularly taught continuing legal education to attorneys, child welfare workers and law enforcement.

Kelly relocated to Seattle in 2022 where she resumed general litigation work.  She is licensed in Washington and has an inactive license in Virginia.

B.A., Boston University
J.D., University of Virginia

Bar admissions:
Washington, Virginia

Practice Areas:
litigation, employment, family law, contracts

John Errico


John is a seasoned corporate and transactional attorney, with over a decade of corporate, in-house, and startup experience. Over the course of this work, he has represented hundreds of startups and small businesses in every facet of their development, including company formations, financings, employment and HR-related issues, mergers and acquisitions, and dissolutions.

In addition to his work as an attorney, John has co-founded two venture-backed startups, one in property technology and another in advertising technology, serving as CEO and general counsel for both companies. His experience as both an attorney and startup operator lends him unique insights into the practical and legal problems that startups and small businesses face.

John graduated from Yale University with a degree in History, and from Cornell Law School with a JD and an LLM in International and Comparative Law. While at law school, John was the Managing Editor of the Cornell International Law Journal, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Moot Court Board, and had a note on EU law published in the International Law Journal. After law school, John clerked for Justice Scott Bales of the Arizona Supreme Court, and worked for Snell and Wilmer, the largest law firm in the southwest of the United States.

In addition to his legal work, John is an active real estate investor and developer, managing a portfolio of over $10M, with investments across New Jersey. He was named a “40 Under 40” recipient in New Jersey for his work in private equity and real estate investments in New Jersey. He currently lives in New Jersey, with his wife, a corporate private funds attorney, and two young children.

B.A., Yale University
J.D., Cornell Law School

Bar admissions:
New Jersey, California, Arizona

Practice Areas:
corporate, transaction, startup, contracts