Our Team – For the Military – Khawam Ripka LLP
BREAKING NEWS: You can now file a claim for sexual assault while on active duty in the military, as per the recent 9th Circuit Court decision. Call us today for your free consultation!

Our Team



At Khawam Ripka, LLP, our mission is to help active-duty, and recently active-duty military, win compensation for military medical malpractice that happened when seen by a military physician or military medical personnel.

A recent change in the law means it is now possible to file a claim with the federal government for medical military malpractice.

Please read below to discover more about our team:

Overview And Experience


At Khawam Ripka, LLP, we are committed to helping active-duty and recent active duty military personnel get the compensation they deserve for military medical malpractice.


Collectively, the attorneys at Khawam Ripka, LLP have decades of experience in medical malpractice and related legal cases. We bring our experience to your case to help you secure justice.


When we work with you, we pursue your case aggressively with total focus. Our goal is justice for you and your family.

Practicing law is not about winning.
It's About Justice.
It's About Finding The Truth

Natalie Khawam

Esq, MBA, MS

Natalie Khawam is an experienced attorney, entrepreneur, and volunteer. She founded the highly-regarded Whistleblower Law Firm in Tampa, Florida, after working in both the Federal government and private sector for over 15 years.

Ms. Khawam graduated from Georgetown Law School and has an M.B.A. from the Fox School of Management at Temple University.

She has also been a volunteer with the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay and has won the Pro Bono Honorary Award from Georgetown University. She also holds an MS degree.

She is passionate about serving our Veterans, fighting for justice, and seeking the truth in all matters. Ms. Khawam practices Federal law, with a focus on whistleblower laws.

Ms. Khawam brings her passion for helping military personnel plus her extensive experience to the firm.

It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.

Alan Ripka

Esq, Senior Partner

Mr. Ripka, a renowned trial attorney, is senior partner to the firm. He is admitted to practice before the Courts of the State of New York and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He holds various pro hac vice appointments, including in New Jersey, California and Florida. He began his legal career as a criminal prosecutor at the District Attorney’s office for Kings County. In 1992, he began in civil litigation, where he continues today, and has had New York State’s highest verdicts for the past five years.

Mr. Ripka currently practices in the areas of Medical Malpractice, Mass Tort, Products Liability, Consumer Fraud and General Negligence. He has tried countless cases to verdict and has recovered numerous awards over one million dollars. He is a member of the Medical Malpractice Hall of Fame, the American Bar Association and a former member of the Board of Directors for the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

Jack Kelly


Jack Kelly is a Partner in the McPherson Group‚ LLP and a highly regarded adviser on the management of public policy risk to national and multinational corporations.

Previously‚ he has served as a political aide to two U.S. Presidents‚ served in staff positions with Congress and in the New York and Federal courts. For 28 years until his retirement‚ Mr. Kelly served in active and reserve components of the United States Army and he was the commander of a Special Forces unit. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit. From 2004 until 2018 he served as a member and Chairman of the U.S. Advisory Committee on National Cemeteries and Memorials.

Presently, he serves as member of the U.S. Advisory Committee for Arlington National Cemetery, the Army Distaff Foundation, the Advisory Council on Graduate Studies and Research for the University of Notre Dame, and the Fordham Law School Advisory Board on Corporate Compliance and Ethics. An avid runner he has successfully completed a number of marathons including the New York‚ Marine Corps and Boston marathons.

Megan Stayskal

Office Manager

Megan Stayskal is an experienced professional who applies her natural business sense in her role as office manager of Khawam Ripka LLP. Megan overseers all day-to-day administrative functions and operations of the firm, and is completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies and Support with a concentration in Paralegal Studies from Purdue University.

Megan was born and raised in San Jose, California, is a proud mom of two little girls, and spouse to Sgt. Richard Stayskal whom the military medical malpractice bill is named after. Prior to joining the firm Megan attended nursing school until Richard was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.

When she is not supporting the firm and her family, she is zealously advocating for the rights of our nation’s military service members.

Stephanie Shepherd


Stephanie Shepherd is an experienced medical malpractice attorney. She has been in private practice for 15 years and developed a diverse skill set. She is excited to put her knowledge and skills to use representing military service members.

Ms. Shepherd also devotes pro bono hours to representing victims of rape and domestic violence in her home state of West Virginia.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, running, and tackling home improvement projects.

Sophia Choti


Sophia Choti is a current student at Florida Atlantic University, where she is studying for her undergrad degree. Sophia is from a small town in New Jersey called Delaware Township, where she lives with her parents, her older brother, and grandparents.

Sophia is an avid equestrian, where she spends majority of her time when she is not working with the firm. She travels all over the country with her horses competing during the summer and resides in Wellington Florida for the winter competitions. When Sophia is not riding, she also enjoys skiing and spending time with her family and friends.

She has been an intern with the firm since November 2021, learning and gaining knowledge and experience first hand, working with clients and the other lawyers on the team. After her time at FAU Sophia plans to go to law school and to start her career in law. Sophia has a passion for helping others and helping people receive the recognition they deserve, making Law a great career choice for her.

Babu Uthaman


Babu Uthaman is the Chief Financial Officer of Khawam Ripka, LLP and has been with the firm since the very beginning. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the States of New York and California.

Mr. Uthaman is also an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Uthaman has a Master’s Degree in Accounting from India and has several years of financial reporting and tax accounting experience.

Darik Knutsen

IT director

Darik Knutsen has over 15 years of professional IT experience. A graduate of Northwestern University, he began his career while still in college as a consultant for the Kellogg School of Business. Post graduation, he worked as the senior network architect for the Anesthesiology Department of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. After moving to New York City, he took a position with corporate IT consulting firms before breaking out on his own. He specializes in providing infrastructure, support, and security to law firms. He is also an accomplished classical singer, and devoted supporter of the Performing Arts. Security + Certified with CompTIA, 2017

An Important Change

A recent change in federal law means that active-duty military personnel can now file a claim with the federal government for military medical malpractice that occured after 2017.

Why It’s Important

You should not have to suffer due to mistakes made by military doctors when you were on active duty. Now you can get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Your Next Steps

If you believe you’re the victim of military medical malpractice, it’s important you contact us by calling 855-484-3645 or filling out the form here.

Watch how Attorney Natalie Khawam fought for a decorated Green Beret

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If you were Active-duty within the last 2 years, we can help.

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