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Tell us the important things that happen in your life! We welcome submissions for inclusion in Class Notes. Online, submit them at; E-mail them to; mail them to UVA Lawyer, University of Virginia School of Law, 580 Massie Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903; or fax them to 434/296-4838. Please send you submissions by February 15 for inclusion in the next issue.


Mortimer C. Caplin accepted the Virginia State Bar’s 2007 Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Pro Bono Award on behalf of the volunteer lawyers and law professors affiliated with the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center at the Law School. The center enables and magnifies the thousands of hours of pro bono time put in by Law School students, who receive no academic credit or compensation for their endeavors.

Brig. Gen. Robert M. Backes (Ret.) died on April 30, 2006, in Ft. Meyers, Fla. Backes lived with his wife, Mona, on Sanibel Island, where he enjoyed his retirement from the military by practicing law in Trenton, N.J., where he was active in many phases of the law in a three-generation family firm. Mona writes, “He enjoyed life to the fullest and made the most of every day.”

Robert Kay Woltz (’46, LL.M. ’47) died peacefully at a daughter’s home in Richmond, Va., on March 22.

Robert was born in Salem, Va., in 1919. He attended law school after serving with the U.S. Army in England and France during World War II. He then re-enrolled at the University and in 1947 received one of the first Masters of Law degrees ever awarded in the Commonwealth. He practiced law in Winchester from 1947 to 1968, and then was sworn in as a circuit judge for Winchester and surrounding counties.

During his 21 years on the bench, only two of his opinions were reversed by the Virginia Supreme Court. In retirement, he continued to hear cases as a substitute judge and contributed his time and talent to many organizations in his community. He was honored as a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation “in honor of his distinguished service to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the bench and bar, and the local community.”

William B. Hopkins was presented the Frank W. “Bo” Rogers, Jr., Lifetime Achievement Award by the Roanoke Bar Association on April 28. Hopkins was recognized for more than 56 years of service, during which time he served in the Virginia Senate for 20 years. Hopkins currently is a partner of Martin, Hopkins & Lemon in Roanoke, Va.

Lucien Wulsin was honored with the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award in June in Boulder, Colo. Wulsin is on the board of Naropa University in Boulder and founded the Societyfor Creative Aging. In his early years, he worked for Baldwin Piano Co. in Cincinnati, served in the Army in World War II, then went into law. After retiring in 1981, his volunteering increased dramatically. As you age, he says, “You tend to insulate yourself from the world going on around you. I felt as long as I’m active and being part of something larger than myself, I won’t close up.”

1948 Reunion Year
For “service to the cause of individual liberty,” Hillsdale College honored Tom Ellis with its Freedom Leadership Award at the North Carolina Museum of Art, October 3. Past recipients include Margaret Thatcher, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Charlton Heston, Edwin Meese III and Clarence Thomas. Hillsdale College is a private liberal arts college in Michigan noted for its refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer support, including student grants and loans. Ellis is a senior attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Raleigh.

Edward M. Selfe is ranked number two inthe United States for Men’s 85 singles bythe U.S. Tennis Association for 2006.

1953 Reunion Year
Senator John Warner of Virginia will not seek a sixth term in Congress. He made his announcement on August 31 from the north steps of UVA’s Rotunda. The former Navy Secretary and past chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services was profiled in the spring 2007 UVA Lawyer.

Alfred L. Evans, Jr., suffered a debilitating stroke in 2006 and is recovering at home. In happier news, the family welcomed their first grandchild, Anne David Evans, in August.

Charles Roy Jones, Jr., died on July 22 in Arlington from complications due to a stroke. He was a lawyer with the Interstate Commerce Commission from 1960 until he retired in 1985. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Margaret “Peggy” Jeffries Jones.

1958 Reunion Year
Robert K. Dorsey was recognized for his fifth anniversary as a member of the Clark County Bar Association’s 40 Year Club. The club celebrates attorneys practicing law in Nevada for 40 years or more.

Shelby Coates became of counsel to Dickerson, Tomaselli & Mullen, a general practice firm in Manhattan with a subspecialty in admiralty law. He also plans to keep his Oyster Bay, Long Island, office operating.

Jack RephanJack Rephan was elected chair of the Virginia Bar Association Construction and Public Contract Law Section at its annual meeting in Virginia Beach. Rephan is a partner in the Norfolk firm of Rephan Lassiter, where his practice is substantially devoted to construction and public contract law.