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1960s Class Notes


G. Thomas Battle has been named in Best Lawyers in America 2009 in tax law. He is of counsel with Spilman Thomas & Battle in Charleston, W.Va.

Several members of the Class of 1960 enjoyed another Civil War battlefield “campaign.” Classmates Bob Hiden, Henry Simpson, Jack Ackerly, Bill Izlar, Max Bahner, Tony Unger, Lloyd Smith, George Grattan, and Jim Simpson ’57 participatedin the most recent outing. “These campaigns have been going on for about 15 years in one form or another, and have become highlights for all of us, despite demanding campaign homework,” says Hiden.

Rust E. Reid has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2009 in trusts and estates. He is of counsel in the Dallas, Tex., office of Thompson & Knight.


Missouri Senator Christopher S. “Kit” Bond will retire in 2010. Bond’s retirement will end a long and honorable career in Missouri politics. In 1970, he was elected state auditor, and two years later was elected Missouri’s youngest Governor in the state’s history. In 1986, Bond won a U.S. Senate seat and has held the seat ever since.

Richard Gershon has retired after practicing trial law in upstate New York for 45 years. Gershon now resides in Bonita Springs, Fla.

RakesWilliam R. Rakes has been named “Roanoke Banking Lawyer of the Year” and is included in Best Lawyers in America 2009 in antitrust law, appellate law, banking law, commercial litigation, and corporate law. He is a partner with Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore in Roanoke,Va. His practice areas include commercial litigation and business, estate, probate, and trust litigation and professional liability.

1964 Reunion Year

Shepard Ansley started practicing with the Atlanta firm of Carter & Ansley in 1967. He practiced there as an associate, partner, and of counsel, before the firm merged with Smith, Moore, a Greensboro, N.C., firm. He now practices with Carter & Terry, an Atlanta securities firm. In 1997 he joined with three other investors to form a company in California, known as CRM Co. CRM grinds up waste tires into crumb rubber, which is used to make rubberized asphalt for roads. CRM has plants in Arizona and New York. Ansley is an executive vice president and secretary of CRM, and serves on its board.  

Robert J. Berta has joined the Southport, Conn., office of Pepe & Hazard as counsel with the wealth preservation practice group.


Thomas T. Lawson has written a book entitled Carl Jung, Darwin of the Mind, published by Karnac Books of London. Since leaving the practice of law in 1992, Lawson has pursued his interest in painting and writing about Carl Jung. His book explores interesting connections between mythology and psychology. He lives in the mountains near Roanoke, Va. (See In Print)

C. Willis Ritter has become a partner with Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan, where he focuses on financial and federal tax aspects of municipal finance in the firm’s Chicago, Ill., office. He is also co-chair of the firm’s nationwide public finance practice. Ritter had retired when he was approached by Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan, one of the nation’s most ethnically diverse law firms. He has provided scholarships to students at the Law School for 25 years, and was intrigued by the firm’s commitment to diversity.


G. William Birkhead is working towards full retirement after 38 years at Vandeventer Black in Norfolk, Va., finishing a full cycle from junior associate to managing partner to of counsel. He has enjoyed the transformation from a ten-attorney maritime boutique to a 70-attorney full service firm.


AustinJ. Rudy Austin has been named to Virginia’s Legal Elite by Virginia Business magazine. He has also been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2009 in personal injury litigation. He is a partner in the Roanoke, Va., office of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore.


Phillip Helslander is semi-retired in Duncanville, Tex. In 1996 he retired from AAFES (the military PX system) and has been representing the downtrodden in employment and discrimination matters ever since. Before joining AAFES, he served four years with the Army JAG Corps and about a year with the U.S. Postal Service Congressional Affairs Office.

Peter Kiernan, deputy director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs with the SEC, retired December 31 after more than 40 years—his entire professional career—with the Commission. Kiernan served under 14 SEC chairmen and 17 directors of legislative affairs during his tenure. He joined the agency as a staff attorney in what is now the Division of Investment Management when he graduated from the Law School.

Gail S. Marshall has been selected for the third year in a row by Best Lawyers in America 2009 in the category of appellate practice. She attended the investiture of Cleo Powell ’82 to the Virginia Court of Appeals in November.

1969 Reunion Year

Ford Barrett is still on the legal staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Barrett recently litigated a case before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on whether a suspicious activity report can be used in a private civil action.

Michael R. Chesman has been named senior vice president, associate general counsel, and director of tax law for the Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. in Hartford, Conn. As director of tax law, he will oversee and set strategic direction for the Hartford’s tax law group. He was recently with the Internal Revenue Service, where he served as director of the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Alexander Williams retired from the Los Angeles Superior Court in September 2008, after 24 years of service. Williams now works in private practice as an arbitrator and mediator at ADR Services in Century City.


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