ECAB BOARD MEMBERS
Christopher James Godfrey, Chief Judge and Chairman
Christopher James Godfrey was appointed as one of the three permanent Members of the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board by Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez on August 25, 2014, and was also named as the Chief Judge and Chairman. Prior to his appointment he was the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner having been appointed by Governor Thomas Vilsack in January 2006 and reappointed by Governor Chester Culver in January 2009, twice confirmed by the Iowa Senate. As Commissioner for the state of Iowa, he was administrative head and the sole appellate administrative law judge for the state’s workers’ compensation system.
His first legal employment was as a litigation counsel for IBP, inc., where he defended contested Iowa workers’ compensation cases on behalf of the self-insured corporation. Later, he was an associate attorney at Pingel & Templer, P.C., where he litigated contested Iowa workers’ compensation cases and employment law cases primarily on behalf of employers. He later worked for Max Schott & Associates, P.C., where he litigated contested Iowa workers’ compensation cases and employment law cases on behalf of employees.
Judge Godfrey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Drake University College of Arts and Sciences and a Juris Doctor degree with Honors from Drake University School of Law. He is a member of the Iowa Bar. He is a native of Sioux City, Iowa.
Colleen Duffy Kiko, Judge
Judge Kiko was appointed as one of the three permanent Members of the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board in March of 2008. She previously served as Member from 2002 through 2005.
Prior to her appointment, Judge Kiko served as the General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority and was in the private practice of law in Arlington, Virginia in the firm of Ronald M. Cohen & Associates, P.C. and in the Law Offices of Colleen Duffy Kiko, P.C. In 1989, she served as Associate Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights. From 1986-1989 she served in the U.S. Department of Justice as an attorney advisor in the Civil Rights Division and as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia, in Alexandria, Virginia. From 1976 to 1983, she served as a supervisory labor relations specialist for the Federal Labor Relations Authority, formerly the Labor Management Services Administration of the Department of Labor, and the U.S. Customs Service before leaving to attend law school.
Judge Kiko holds a Juris Doctorate from George Mason University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from North Dakota State University and is a Member of the Virginia and District of Columbia Bars.
Patricia Howard Fitzgerald, Judge
Patricia Howard Fitzgerald was appointed as one of the three permanent Members of the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on July 2, 2012. Prior to her appointment she was a staff attorney for the American Postal Workers Union where, since 2004, she advised the Director of Industrial Relations on matters concerning the negotiation and enforcement of the APWU/USPS national collective bargaining agreement. She also handled matters pertaining to the National Labor Relations Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Privacy Act, and USERRA.
Earlier in her career, she was an associate attorney at Zwerdling, Paul, Kahn & Wolly, P.C., where she litigated cases on behalf of employees, labor organizations, and professional associations in various labor and employment law matters. She was also awarded a law fellowship at the Service Employees International Union where she assisted with litigation, legislative initiatives, and union organizing campaigns.
Judge Fitzgerald holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor degree from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. She is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars.
Alec J. Koromilas, Alternate Judge
Judge Koromilas was appointed as one of three permanent Members of the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board in January 2002. In January 2003 he was elevated to Chairman and Chief Judge where he served in that capacity until 2011.
Prior to his appointment, Judge Koromilas was a practicing attorney and partner in Koromilas & Koromilas, Attorneys at Law, in Dover, New Hampshire. Mr. Koromilas is a member of both New Hampshire and Maine State Bars.
Elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1986 to 1988, he served on the House Judiciary Committee. From 1993 to 1998, Judge Koromilas was appointed to chair the New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, a three-member quasi-judicial panel, to preside over and adjudicate all statewide workers' compensation claims at the intermediate appellate level.
Judge Koromilas received his Juris Doctorate from Franklin Pierce Law School in 1991 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Boston University in 1986.
Michael E. Groom, Alternate Judge
Mr. Groom was appointed to the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board in June 1990. Prior to his appointment, he served as the supervisory attorney to the Board and a senior attorney with the Department of Labor. Mr. Groom began his legal career as law clerk to the Honorable Donald Brodkey and to the Honorable D. Nick Caporale, Associate Justices of the Nebraska Supreme Court. He holds a BA and JD from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, where he was elected to Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit University Honor Society, and an editor of the Creighton Law Review. He holds an LL.M from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. In March 1998, Mr. Groom was recipient of the Department of Labor's Award for Distinguished Career Service. He is a member of the District of Columbia, Idaho and Nebraska Bar Associations.
James A. Haynes, Alternate Judge
Mr. Haynes was appointed to the Board in 2006. Prior to his appointment to ECAB, Mr. Haynes practiced Workers’ Compensation Law for over 19 years in Maryland. As an Assistant Attorney General and later a Senior Attorney with the Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund, Mr. Haynes represented private and public sector employers in administrative, trial and appellate proceedings.
Before joining the Fund, Mr. Haynes served as counsel to the Maryland Senate Finance Committee and pursued the general practice of law. He represented clients in civil and criminal matters in various state courts and the Federal District Court for Maryland.
Mr. Haynes received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland Law School and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1981.