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1980s Class Notes


W. David Paxton was included in 2017 Virginia Super Lawyers. Paxton practices employment and labor law with Gentry Locke in Roanoke.

Richard J. Pocker is president-elect of the State Bar of Nevada’s Board of Governors.; He will be sworn in as Nevada State Bar president in July 2018. Pocker is the administrative partner for the Nevada office of New York–based Boies, Schiller & Flexner.

Barbara Young was recognized in the 2017 Chambers & Partners guide for her work in corporate law and mergers and acquisitions.  Young is with Verrill Dana in their Westport, Conn., office.


Edward J. “Ned” Kelly III was named chairman of the board of the CSX Corp.

C. Steven Mason was named in Chambers USA for his work in real estate law. Mason practices with Smith Anderson in Raleigh, N.C.  

Nicholas Reynolds '81While Nicholas Reynolds was the historian at the CIA Museum, he discovered clues that suggested Ernest Hemingway’s involvement in World War II era intelligence work was much more complex and; fraught with risks than had been previously understood. Reynolds, himself a long-term CIA officer, former Marine  colonel and Oxford- trained historian, is a lifelong fan of Hemingway’s writing and said he felt sick when he first found the links to  the Soviet intelligence  agency NKVD. Reynolds went on to write the New York Times bestseller “Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961.”  In March, “CBS This Morning” ran a segment on the book and an interview with Reynolds.


Wendell Fleming is approaching her 10th year as executive director of the LARRK Foundation in Denver. The foundation funds organizations that serve at-risk kids. “The work is incredibly rewarding and the people I meet are passionate about their work and impact,” she writes. “I was sad to miss our reunion this year and the chance to hang with the raging I-atollahs. Rage on!”

Greg Jones writes that he and his wife, Shirley, survived trips to the jungles of Peru and Borneo. He continues to litigate civil cases throughout Arkansas. His son, Alexander ’14, is currently clerking in Little Rock for U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker.

Jennifer Jordan Mccall is the chairperson of the estates, trusts and tax planning group at the Pillsbury law firm. She is based in Silicon Valley, but also practices in New York and Florida. (She is admitted to the bar in California, Florida and New York.) Her daughters, Hillary and Caroline Clark, both live and work in San Francisco. Both went to Princeton and Caroline is now going to Stanford Business School.

James Pfander’s book, “Constitutional Torts and the War on Terror” (Oxford Press, 2017), was cited in Ziglar v. Abbasi, 137 S. Ct. 615, Supreme Court 2017, with Justice Stephen Breyer dissenting.

Mary Foil Russell opened her own law firm in 2016 in Bristol, Va. The firm specializes in bankruptcy and civil litigation.


Mark Davidson was recognized as a leader in corporate law/mergers and acquisitions in the 2017 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. House practices with Brooks Pierce in Greensboro, N.C.

Paula Monopoli was named Sol & Carlyn Hubert Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she teaches Property, Trusts and Estates, and a seminar on gender in the legal profession.

Marin Scordato, is associate dean and professor of law at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, where he teaches Torts and Agency. Monopoli and Scordato live in Bethesda and their triplets— Victoria, Richard and Christopher—have all graduated from college (Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland and Wake Forest University). Victoria is deputy press secretary for Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Richard teaches and coaches debate for Wilshire Academy in Los Angeles; and Chris is a legal assistant at the U.S. Pan Asian American Education Foundation. Their youngest son, Patrick, is a senior at Boston College, where he is a member of the men’s varsity swim team.

Kerry E. Notestine '83Kerry E. Notestine, a shareholder and co-chair of Littler’s business restructuring practice group in Houston, was elected as a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Those selected to the college must uphold the highest professional qualifications and ethical standards, as well as exhibit strong scholarship, teaching, lecturing and/or writing, along with leadership of no less than 20 years. Notestine focuses on litigation and trials, business restructuring, discrimination and harassment, ERISA and benefit plan litigation, and class actions. He’s written a leading book on trials of employment law cases, “Employment Law Trials: A Practical Guide,” and has authored several other books and chapters. He is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and was named nine times in Best Lawyers in America.

George R. Pitts was named to Super Lawyers Virginia for bankruptcy: business. Pitts practices with the business group and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights team at Sands Anderson in McLean.

Terence P. Ross '83Terence P. Ross was named as national co- chair of Katten’s intellectual property litigation practice. Ross co-leads a team of more than 40 attorneys in protecting the intellectual property of the firm’s clients in federal and state courts throughout the United States, as well as before the International Trade; Commission, the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board, and the Patent Trial and Appeals Board. Ross concentrates his practice on the litigation of disputes relating to intellectual property, media and First Amendment rights, e-commerce and technology. He practices in Washington, D.C.

Bob Simmons, executive director of Council on Children’s Rights, was appointed by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to a four-year term on the North Carolina Social Services Commission. The commission oversees the work of the state’s Division of Social Services. Before joining the council as executive director in April of 2015, Simmons served as a partner in McGuireWoods’ Charlotte office and as a long- time leader in local nonprofit and philanthropic circles. In addition to his work at the council, Simmons chairs the Mecklenburg County Child Fatality Protection and Prevention Team and is a member of the leadership group of Race Matters for Juvenile Justice.


Pete Holmes writes that he and Ann love Seattle and “would love to welcome any visiting classmates.” Pete spoke in March at the Law School on America’s urban/rural divide. He recently launched his campaign for re- election to his third term as Seattle city attorney ( “Stay tuned re: my recent sanctuary cities lawsuit versus the Trump Administration,” he adds (see story in this issue).

John B. Lynch Jr '84John B. Lynch Jr. was appointed to the board of directors of the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity, an organization formed by lawyers to answer the call for diversity. Lynch is a member of Robinson+Cole’s business transactions and finance practice groups, and he chairs the firm’s diversity committee in Hartford, Conn. The mission of the collaborative is “to unite the resources, energy and commitment of the state’s leading law firms, corporations, public-sector entities, law schools, state and county bar associations, and affinity bar organizations in the joint mission of making it a more attractive place for attorneys of color, minorities and women to practice law and find satisfying professional opportunities.”

Ara l. Tramblian was honored by the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia with the 2017 A. Robert Cherin Award for Outstanding Deputy or Assistant Local Government Attorney at LGA’s recently concluded spring conference. Tramblian was selected for his “distinguished public service that reflects a personal commitment to the highest ethical and professional principles and enhances the image of local government attorneys in the Commonwealth.” In nominating Tramblian, Arlington County Attorney Stephen MacIsaac described him as a “genteel but hard- nosed” litigator with a “ferocious work ethic.” These characteristics, combined with his expertise in tort liability and real estate taxation, have saved the taxpayers of Arlington County millions of dollars.


Terry Bennett '85 and Marty Conroy '85Terry Bennett and Marty Conroy rode their bikes, loaded down with their gear, clothes and tools, from New York City to Montreal this summer. The duo covered 430 miles in six days—with an impressive 71-mile daily average. Upon arrival, Bennett and Conroy spent a couple of days in Montreal, arranging to have their bikes shipped home and enjoying the city’s great restaurants. They returned home by train, allowing them to see many of the places they traveled through on their ride. Bennett writes, “the hardest part of the trip (in addition to the Adirondacks) was the fact that our second day (a 93-mile day) marked the beginning of a heat wave—when we stopped riding at around 5:30 p.m., we noted that the temperature was 94 degrees.”


Beer vs. United States resulted in increased salaries for federal judges, justices, magistrates and judicial hearing officers in substantial amounts. Peter H. Beer LL.M. was heralded for his involvement in the landmark case in a recent Carter Mondale Letter, produced by the Carter Center in Atlanta. Beer is soon retiring from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. A review of the case was published in the Louisiana Bar Journal.

Bill Eigner '86Bill Eigner was selected as Best of the Bar Top Attorney 2017 by the San Diego Business Journal. Eigner has been called “the go-to guy for mergers and acquisitions and emerging companies.” He practices with Procopio in San Diego, focusing on corporate and securities law, as well as emerging growth and technology, energy and the environment, medical technology, and mergers and acquisitions and strategic joint ventures.

The Greenberg Traurig Global Real Estate group, co-led by Richard Giusto, received the 2017 Chambers USA Award for Excellence in Real Estate at the Chambers and Partners USA Awards for the third time on May 25. The real estate team, now more than 300 strong, also received the award in 2013 and 2010, and has been nominated for the award every year since 2007. Giusto is based in the firm’s Miami office.

Kenneth Williams was federal habeas counsel for Texas death row inmate Raymond Martinez, in addition to his full-time teaching duties as a professor at South Texas College of Law Houston. On April 23, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari on the issue of whether Martinez is intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for the death penalty, but Martinez died of natural causes Aug. 10.


David M. Eisenberg '87David M. Eisenberg died May 27 in London after a brief battle with cancer. Eisenberg earned a master’s degree at Princeton after obtaining his bachelor’s at the University of London. After law school, he joined White & Case in London, where he became a partner and co-head of the firm’s global telecoms practice.

Timothy Goettel was named in Chambers USA for his work in corporate law and mergers and acquisitions. Goettel practices with Smith Anderson in Raleigh, N.C.

David E. “Dave” Grogan recently had his second novel, “Sapphire Pavilion,” published by Camel Press. The international legal thriller features fictional UVA Law graduate Steve Stilwell. The book is set in Vietnam, Texas and Virginia around Memorial Day 2000, and is dedicated to Vietnam veterans and Wounded Warriors. His first book, “The Siegel Dispositions,” is being reprinted as part of the Harlequin Worldwide Mystery series. Grogan and his wife, Sharon, live in Savoy, Ill.

Tamar M. Meekins, deputy attorney general for the Public Safety Division at the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General and a law professor at Howard University School of Law, died Feb. 19 at age 55.
Meekins worked for over a decade at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Upon leaving PDS, she served as the deputy director of the Office of Citizen Complaint Review (now the D.C. Office of Police Complaints), and then joined the Howard University School of Law faculty in 2001, where she taught criminal law topics and inspired many of her students to pursue a career in public service. Meekins’ skills as an educator were recognized by the Howard University Law School with the prestigious Warren Rosmarin Award for Teaching and Service. She was also the recipient of the first award at Howard Law for excellence in service to the university, the school and the surrounding community. Beyond the classroom, Meekins was a supervising attorney in the school’s Criminal Justice Clinic, where she trained and supervised students who represented clients in misdemeanor cases in the D.C. Superior Court. Additionally, as the director of Howard’s Clinical Law Center, a fully functioning law office within the school, she played a critical role in advancing the school’s mission to train the next generation of social justice advocates.
In 2015, Meekins took a leave of absence from Howard to serve as the deputy attorney general. A critical component of her job was to implement the criminal justice reform plan for the district’s first elected attorney general, Karl Racine ’89. For her work there, Meekins was given the prestigious Attorney General’s Award for the Outstanding Head of a Division in December of 2016.

John Thorpe Richards Jr. and his wife, Jordan, received the Courage in Leadership Award from the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance on March 1, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Tuberous Sclerosis Complex is a rare disease that causes tumors to form in vital organs, including the brain, eyes, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. It is the leading genetic cause of both autism and epilepsy. Richards served on the TS Alliance board of directors and is currently on its corporate advisory board. He was one of the founders of the TS Alliance’s government relations effort to secure annual federal TSC research funding since 2001. In making the award, the TS Alliance noted that “because of their leadership and dedication, Congress has appropriated $65 million to the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed TSC Research Program over the years.” Richards is a member of Bogorad & Richards in Alexandria, Va.

Jim Strawbridge '87Jim Strawbridge was inducted into the Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s Academy of Engineering Excellence. The academy consists of 146 alumni who have achieved exceptional career success. Strawbridge works as an independent consultant and serves as an adviser to a handful of privately held technology companies.

Randy Tinsley was recognized as a leader in environmental law in the 2017 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Tinsley practices with Brooks Pierce in Greensboro, N.C.

Fred Wagner has joined the Washington, D.C., office of Venable as a partner in the firm’s environmental practice group. Wagner continues to focus on major project and infrastructure development issues.


Sarah Borders '88Sarah Borders was inducted into the Hall of Distinction of the Louisiana State University E. J. Ourso College of Business. Borders is a partner in the financial restructuring practice group of King & Spalding, an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100. She is also chair of the firm’s lateral hiring committee. During her career, she has represented General Electric Capital, been included in Georgia Super Lawyers, and served as past president of the Bankruptcy Section of the State Bar of Georgia and a fellow in The American College of Bankruptcy.

John Cooper '88John Cooper of Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers in Norfolk, Va., was reappointed as a governor-at-large of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. The appointment recognizes Cooper’s work over the years, initially as a district governor from the Virginia Beach/ Norfolk area, and his contribution to the group’s efforts on committees dealing with litigation support, public affairs and the association’s legislative agenda. He also chaired the fundraising committee for the past two years. Cooper was recently recognized in Virginia Super Lawyers.

William “Buddy” Cox '88William “Buddy” Cox of Lightfoot, Franklin & White delivered “Hot Topics in Federal and State Environmental Law” at the first Annual Environmental Professionals’ Conference on May 2 in Birmingham, Ala. Cox represents clients in environmental and toxic torts cases across the United States. He handles administrative claims brought by state and federal regulatory agencies under environmental statutes and regulations, disputes among persons responsible for cleanup costs at remediation sites under the Superfund Act, natural resource damages claims and opportunities to re-develop potentially contaminated properties.

Robert Huntley LL.M. was named Idaho’s 2017 James J. May Trial Lawyer of the Year. Huntley was honored by the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association for his dedication to the practice of law, his active community involvement and his commitment to the preservation of the civil justice system. Huntley was a justice of the Idaho Supreme Court from 1982-89. In recent years, his practice has been primarily devoted to the work of a trial and appellate lawyer in a spectrum of cases, including substantial class actions.

John Mitnick ’88John Mitnick ’88 was nominated to be general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security. Mitnick has served during the past several years as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for the Heritage Foundation.

Maria Leonard Olsen is practicing civil litigation in Bethesda, Md. In recent years, she has authored several books, including “Not the Cleaver Family—The New Normal in Modern American Families,” and two children’s books, “Mommy, Why’s Your Skin So Brown?” and “Healing for Hallie.” Her next book, “Fifty After 50—Fifty New Things I Did After Turning 50 and What I Learned From Them,” will be published in the next year. Olsen lives on the Chesapeake Bay.

James F. Williams '88James F. Williams of Perkins Coie has been named managing partner of the firm’s Seattle office. Williams also recently won statewide election for Washington State delegate to ABA House of Delegates. State delegates— one for each of the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia— are elected by the ABA members in their home states and serve for a term of three years.


Pat Brooks recently retired from work and the law. She writes that she “is having a grand time gardening and reading. A master gardener class and long-postponed overseas trips are in the planning stages.” Her son, Steve, and his family (Kim and three dogs) live in Newport, Va.

J. Paul Compton Jr. '89J. Paul Compton Jr. was chosen to be the general counsel of Department of Housing and Urban Development. He exits partnership at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine ’89 Files Emoluments Clause Lawsuit

Karl Racine ’89 A year ago, only legal scholars were well-versed in the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
But concern that President Donald Trump might be improperly benefiting from the foreign officials, federal agencies and state governments who may be patronizing Trump properties to curry favor with the administration led Karl Racine ’89, the attorney general of the District of Columbia, and Brian Frosh, the attorney general of Maryland, to file a groundbreaking constitutional challenge.
Racine and Frosh allege that Trump’s actions violate Article I, Section 9, which states that “no person holding any office of profit or trust ... shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” They further allege violation of Article II, Section 1, which provides that while the president may receive a salary, he “shall not receive … any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.” They seek both declaratory and injunctive relief.
The suit, filed on June 12 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, is believed to be the first time the emoluments clause has been invoked in a legal challenge by a government entity. Some legal scholars have questioned whether the plaintiffs will be able to establish standing.
“Never in the history of this country have we had a president with these kinds of extensive business entanglements or a president who refused to adequately distance themselves from their holdings,” Racine said at a press conference. “President Trump is flagrantly violating the Constitution, which explicitly bars presidents from receiving gifts or inducements from foreign or domestic government entities.”
He indicated he would seek the release of Trump’s tax returns to prove the extent of his business dealings.
Then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer dismissed the suit, saying, “It’s not hard to conclude that partisan politics may be one of the motivations.”
Both Racine and Frosh are Democrats.
—Mark F. Bernstein ’89

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