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Alumni Newsmakers

The 1960s

Morton Richard Kimmel, JD ’65, has been listed for several years in Best Lawyers in America. Kimmel has also been named a “Super Lawyer” for 2010 in Delaware.

The 1970s

Nancy Kleeman, JD ’70, has joined The Otto Bremer Foundation as a part time contract program officer. Kleeman does consulting work with social justice nonprofits.

Chris Berg, JD ’72, was named assistant general counsel to Citizens United. Berg previously served in the administration of President George W. Bush. He has also worked for national political organizations including the Republican National Lawyers Association and the Young Republican National Federation.

Edward Herlihy, JD ’72, was listed in The National Law Journal’s “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers.” The National Law Journal selected the 40 attorneys whose work between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2009, was so consequential that it helped to push the profession, an industry, or a practice area substantially forward. Herlihy is a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York and focuses on some of the largest and most complex bank and financial institution mergers and acquisitions and recapitalizations throughout the United States.

Eleanor Nace, JD ’75, has been included in Maryland’s 2010 “Super Lawyers.” She moved back to Washington, D.C., and has opened her own law firm, the Nace Family Law Firm in Dupont Circle.

Janine Landow-Esser, JD ’76, has been named by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top attorneys in Illinois for 2010. Only 5 percent of the lawyers in the state were selected. Landow-Esser was recognized for her environmental practice at Quarles & Brady in Chicago.

Jeri L. Whitfield, JD ’77, of Smith Moore Leatherwood in Greensboro, N.C., was selected to serve as secretary of The Women’s Professional Forum. The Women’s Professional Forum was founded in 1977 as Greensboro’s first women’s professional organization. Whitfield has been selected by her peers as a North Carolina “Super Lawyer” and is cited as one of the top 50 female lawyers in the state. She has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for more than 10 years.

Corinne Ball, JD ’78, was listed in The National Law Journal’s “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers.” The National Law Journal selected the 40 attorneys whose work between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2009, was so consequential that it helped to push the profession, an industry, or a practice area substantially forward. Ball is a partner at Jones Day in New York and has 30 years of experience in business finance and restructuring, with a focus on complex corporate reorganizations and distressed acquisitions.

Andrew Lapayowker, JD ’78, accepted the position of general counsel and secretary of Rosemore Inc., a privately held company in Baltimore.

Saul Ewing welcomed Cynthia S. Giordano, JD ’79, as special counsel to the real estate, land use, and eminent domain practice groups. Giordano was previously counsel at Arnold & Porter in the real estate practice. She is a well established zoning and land use and historic preservation attorney with more than 30 years of experience in Washington, D.C.

Marcos G. Ronquillo, JD ’79, served as the honorary chair of the 6th Annual Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference. Ronquillo participated as a panelist in the “Strategizing for Success: Latino Leadership Development” session, where he discussed Latino identity in the workplace, mentoring, retention, and development of Hispanic/Latino professionals. He is managing shareholder and chief operating officer of Godwin Ronquillo in Dallas.

The 1980s

The National Labor Relations Board appointed Jeffrey D. Wedekind, JD ’82, as an administrative law judge in Washington, D.C. Prior to being appointed as a Social Security judge in May 2004, Wedekind had a distinguished career of more than 20 years with the NLRB in various positions, including solicitor of the board, deputy chief counsel, and chief counsel.

Raymond Takashi Swenson, LLM ’84, is a retired Air Force JAG and senior counsel for CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. Swenson is on the board of the Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C.

Andrew J. Paul, JD ’85, was appointed corporate director of labor relations at Metro-North Railroad in New York. Paul has been at Metro-North since 1986, when he started as a labor relations attorney. He will be the chief spokesman for Metro-North in all collective bargaining matters. Paul is also an adjunct professor at Manhattanville College’s graduate program in Purchase, N.Y.

Karen Wachs, JD ’85, has joined the Manhattan office of Moritt Hock Hamroff & Horowitz as of counsel in its commercial litigation and bankruptcy practice groups. Wachs was previously partner at the New Jersey law firm of Berman, Sauter, Record and Jardim, where she concentrated her practice in commercial litigation, construction litigation, commercial law, and corporate law.

M. Joel Bolstein, JD ’87, was recognized in the Distinguished Chambers USA “Leaders in Law” rankings. Bolstein is a partner in the Warrington, Pa., office of Fox Rothschild, specializing in environmental law and governmental affairs.

Mark Egert, JD ’87, joined the New York office of Crowell & Moring. Egert will be a partner in the firm’s corporate and financial services groups, leading the firm’s institutions regulatory area, as well as acting as a member of the firm’s white collar and regulatory enforcement group.

Luis R. Mejia, JD ’87, joined the Washington, D.C., office of DLA Piper as a partner in the securities enforcement and litigation practice. Mejia previously worked with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He will focus his practice on responding to SEC enforcement activities on behalf of participants in the financial markets.

Steven J. Weber, JD ’87, joined the Washington, D.C., office of Husch Blackwell Sanders as partner. Weber focuses his practice on the representation of domestic and international clients in a wide range of governmental contract matters. Weber’s experience also includes representing contractors during projects for the U.S. government domestically and abroad.

John Hintz, JD ’88, joined the New York office of Chadbourne & Park. He will continue to focus his practice on intellectual property matters, primarily patent litigation. Hintz was previously partner at WilmerHale, where he and his pro bono team were awarded the Gideon Award by the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for their work freeing Dewey Bozella, a man wrongfully convicted of murder who served 26 years in prison.

David S. Osterman, JD ’88, was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was inducted during the 2009 spring meeting in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Osterman is a partner in the firm of Goldberg Segalla and has been practicing in New Jersey for more than 20 years.

The 1990s

Robert R. Baron Jr., JD ’92, was named to the advisory committee of the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Baron is a partner in Ballard Spahr’s litigation and intellectual property departments and is the vice chair of the intellectual property department. He regularly represents pharmaceutical companies, software developers, financial institutions, manufacturers, retailers, universities, and charitable organizations.

Michael Lackey, JD ’93, was named by Mayer Brown to serve in the firm’s partnership board, one of the two governing bodies of the firm. A litigator in Mayer Brown’s Washington, D.C., office, Lackey focuses his practice on civil and criminal litigation and electronic discovery. He is the co-office leader of the electronic discovery and records management group and group leader of the automated practice support group. Lackey is a former naval officer who flew F-14 Tomcats and graduated from the U.S. Navy’s Top Gun School.

After 15 years as a solo practitioner, Sheri R. Abrams, JD ’94, a leading attorney in the field of Social Security disability law, has joined the Falls Church, Va., firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack as of counsel.

Lee D. Hoffman, JD ’94, LLM ’96, has been named to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list for 2010 in the area of environmental law. Based in Pullman & Comley’s Hartford office, Hoffman litigates and advises clients in the areas of environmental law, energy and utility matters, and toxic tort suits. He lives in Windsor, Conn. He serves as secretary of Windsor’s Redevelopment Agency and is a member of Windsor’s Commission on Aging & Persons with Disabilities. Hoffman is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Brian L. Klock, JD ’94, was named managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office of Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, an intellectual property law firm.

Lauren M. Ilvento, JD ’95, has opened the Law Office of Lauren M. Ilvento in Winter Park, Fla. The firm practices in the areas of business and law, civil litigation, and family law, and it represents a number of international clients.

Katayun I. Jaffari, JD ’95, a partner in Saul Ewing’s business department and chair of its corporate governance practice group, has been elected to the board of directors for the Delaware Chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation. Jaffari became deeply committed to raising awareness and increasing the public’s knowledge about scleroderma, a rare and chronic autoimmune disease, after her mother was diagnosed with it.

Olu A. Stevens, JD ’95, was sworn in as Jefferson Circuit Court judge on Aug. 5, 2009. Stevens, a former president of the Louisville Bar Association, is one of the youngest circuit court judges in Kentucky. He presides over felony criminal and complex civil matters. He and his wife, Raymonda L. Stevens, have been married for 17 years and have two children.

John Cabell Acree III, LLM ’96, returned to private law practice in Houston with Selman, Munson & Lerner, a Houston/Austin-based firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate and securities law, and business counseling. He began his career with Bracewell and Patterson in Houston, after which he served as in house counsel, including general counsel, to public and private companies in the chemicals, manufacturing, and heavy civil construction sectors. Acree, his wife, Kassy, and their 12-year-old daughter, Neely, live in the Clear Lake area of Houston.

Musa L. Eubanks, JD ’96, has started his own law practice, Eubanks Law Group, in Atlanta. Eubanks can be reached at

Eric M. Kogan, JD ’96, has been elected partner in the Stamford, Conn., office of Robinson & Cole. He is a member of the business section, where he chairs the firm’s Digital Media Group. Kogan’s practice also includes representing clients in a broad range of corporate, merger and acquisition, financial, and commercial transactions and providing business counseling for established and emerging corporate clients as well as entrepreneurs and executives. He lives in Westport, Conn.

Ari Kaplan, JD ’97, delivered the keynote address at the ABA Techshow on March 25, 2010. He discussed the convergence of technology and marketing and introduced his new research on change in the legal industry. Also in March, Kaplan presented “Stand Out in a Stagnant Economy” at the University of Texas at Austin and participated in IgniteLaw in Chicago.

David J. Kaufman, JD ’97, performed a five-minute stand-up comedy routine at Open Mic Night at the New York Comedy Club in Boca Raton, Fla., and since then has performed five other original comedy routines that can be viewed on YouTube under “Dave Kaufman.” Kaufman credits his recent explorations in comedy to the humor column he wrote for the Advocate newspaper while at GW.

Raymond Ausrotas, JD ’98, was named partner at Todd & Weld in Boston.

Jason P. Grunfeld, JD ’98, was named a member of the New York firm of Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen. Grunfeld joined the firm as an associate in 2003 and focuses his practice on the financial services industry. He advises private investment funds and SEC and state-registered investment advisers on regulatory and strategic issues related to their formation, structure, and operation as well as structuring agreements among their principals.

Anessa Kramer, JD ’98, has been honored as a 2010 “Leader in Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Kramer, a shareholder at Brooks Kushman, was one of seven women named to the list. She manages the 27-member trademark practice group, an area that generates about $4 million annually and helps direct the firm’s marketing activities.

Matthew Kreutzer, JD ’98, was named by Armstrong Teasdale as chair of the firm’s franchise, distribution, and antitrust subgroup practice. Kreutzer assumes this new role after six months at the firm. He is a highly accomplished franchise lawyer who has extensive experience in representing and counseling franchise systems in all stages of development. He also sits on the franchise law committee of the State Bar of California.

Larisa Trainor, JD ’98, joined Cambridge Information Group (CIG) and was promoted to general counsel in January 2010. Trainor is responsible for all legal aspects of mergers and acquisitions, all financing relationships, tax planning, and corporate compliance. She lives in Bethesda, Md., with her husband, Sean, and three daughters, Jane, Sasha, and Mischa.

Nichole Buck Vanderslice, JD ’98, was promoted to counsel at the law firm of Christian & Barton in Richmond, Va. Vanderslice’s practice focuses on litigation matters, including intellectual property, employment, and complex commercial disputes.

Erica A. Leatham, JD ’99, has joined the Bethesda, Md., office of Ballard Spahr. Leatham has significant experience in commercial development, smart-growth concepts, and agricultural uses. She handles matters covering the range of land-use issues, including site plans, amendments to local maps and zoning regulations, and historic preservation.

Burt M. Garson, JD ’99, is an associate in the insurance recovery practice of the New York offices of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman. Garson has extensive experience representing Fortune 500 companies, including a multimillion-dollar recovery for a leading multinational pharmaceutical company as well as one for a major automotive manufacturer.

Kenneth Sachs, JD ’99, has been elected principal in the Troy, Mich., offices of Miller Canfield. Sachs has extensive experience with employee benefits and executive compensation and advises clients as to their ERISA fiduciary responsibilities and handles matters concerning the IRS, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., and the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act. He lives in West Bloomfield, Mich.

The 2000s

Butzel Long attorney Jennifer E. Powell, JD ’00, was named a shareholder based in the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., office. Powell’s practice focuses on business and corporate and transactional matters.

Andrew J. Turner, JD ’00, was promoted to counsel at the Richmond, Va., firm of Hunton & Williams. A member of the firm’s environmental practice, Turner concentrates on issues relating to wetlands, marine and inland waterways, natural resources, waterfront and offshore facilities and structures, and vessel issues arising under the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environment Policy Act.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges welcomed Michael Eisenberg, JD ’01, as counsel with the litigation department of its New York office. Eisenberg’s practice focuses on intellectual property and related appellate matters. He has represented clients in patent, copyright, and trade secret litigation.

M. Andrew Holtman, JD ’01, was promoted to partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garret & Dunner. Holtman practices primarily patent litigation and prosecution work in the biotechnology, chemical, medical device, and pharmaceutical areas.

A. Neal Seth, JD ’01, was elected partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Baker Hostetler. Seth is a member of the intellectual property group and concentrates his practice in patent litigation. He is vice president on the executive committee of the North American South Asian Bar Association.

Grant Stock, JD ’01, has joined the Dallas firm of Rose Walker. Stock handles a variety of litigation matters for clients, including complex commercial cases, professional malpractice claims, labor and employment matters, contract disputes, and insurance litigation.

Lorie L. Burch, JD ’02, was named one of the “Top Ten Business Women of the Year” by The American Business Women’s Association. Burch is the owner and attorney of the Law Office of Lorie L. Burch in Dallas. Her firm, which was incorporated in 2008, focuses on estate planning, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and probate. She opened her own law practice in 2004.

Sergio F. Oehninger, JD ’02, was promoted to counsel in the Mclean, Va., office of Hunton & Williams. Oehninger is a member of the firm’s securities practice and focuses on complex civil litigation with an emphasis on insurance coverance and reinsurance disputes.

Etan Mark, JD ’03, was appointed to the board of trustees of the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. He will serve a two-year term. Mark is a member of the dispute resolution team in the Miami office of Berger Singerman.

Sean Sabin, LLM ’03, retired from the Air Force at the rank of lieutenant colonel in April 2010. His last Air Force position was as staff judge advocate at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Sabin, his wife, Suzanne, and their twin 7-year-old daughters, Emma and Mae Claire, now live in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., where he specializes in government procurement law matters as of counsel at Foley & Lardner.

Brian Cocca, JD ’04, joined the Malvern, Pa., office of Stradley Ronon. Cocca is a member of the intellectual property group and counsels biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients in all aspects of product development, freedom to operate, patent procurement, patent validity, and non-infringement.

Luciana Melo, JD ’04, has been named a “Leader in Their Field: Immigration” by Chambers and Partners, a UK-based legal directory that includes the world’s leading lawyers and law firms.

Julia Beckerman, JD ’05, was elected partner of Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell, where she practices federal grants law. She was also named managing principal of FT Solutions, the firm’s consulting arm.

Matthew Benz, JD ’06, joined the International Carriers Group of France Telecom SA as an attorney based in Paris. His primary responsibilities are negotiating and drafting commercial agreements for the group’s business in Asia and addressing related legal and regulatory issues. Benz previously worked for two years as regulatory affairs manager for France Telecom North America in Washington, D.C.

Sarah Bogni, JD ’09, joined the Nashville office of Bass, Berry & Sims in its litigation department. Bogni was a Thurgood Marshall Scholar and a member of the Moot Court Board at GW Law and has worked as a legal clerk in the Office of General Counsel in the United States Marshals Office.

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in Washington, D.C., welcomed Carrie E. Johnson, JD ’09, as an associate in the firm’s government relations group. Previously Johnson served as a law clerk for the Federal Communications Commission.

Rajit Kapur, JD ’09, joined the Washington, D.C., firm of Banner & Witcoff as an associate.

Mentoring Opportunity

If you’re looking for ways to get more involved with the Law School, the Alumni Career Advisor Network is a great way to do so, whether you’re down the street or around the world. The network is made up of alumni who practice in diverse legal settings and who have volunteered to serve as informational resources to GW Law students and fellow alumni. The database is maintained and accessed only by the Career Development Office so they can closely monitor that no Alumni Career Advisor is unduly burdened by too many referrals. Contact the Career Development Office at 202-994-7352 or visit to learn more and to register!

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