2010s Class Notes

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Rachel Horvath, Kristen Smith Bain ’90 and Betsy Manuel, a 1991 University graduate, founded Smith Bain Manuel & Horvath, a Charlottesville law firm 100% owned and operated by women. The firm focuses on civil litigation, including medical malpractice defense, insurance defense, commercial litigation, construction and insurance coverage; risk management; estate planning; and estate and trust administration.

Nilakshi Parndigamage

Nilakshi Parndigamage is chief of staff and senior adviser to the provost of Yale University. Parndigamage designs and executes strategic initiatives, assists with the development and drafting of university policy, and works with the development office on major initiatives involving academic priorities. Her previous role was as the dean of Ezra Stiles College, where she worked closely with undergraduate students. Parndigamage was a lecturer of political science, taught a popular course on wrongful convictions, and has worked extensively with students, faculty and administrators across the university.

Jessica Rogers

Jessica R. Rogers was promoted to counsel in Post & Schell’s energy and utilities practice group in Washington, D.C. Rogers represents major electric and gas utilities, pipelines and energy companies in state and federal regulatory and transactional matters. She has appeared before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Department of State and the Surface Transportation Board, as well as federal and state appellate courts. Her practice focuses on a variety of matters including base rate proceedings at the state and federal level, purchased gas cost proceedings, transmission siting projects, presidential permits, and water and wastewater acquisitions.

Michael Robertson

Michael Robertson was elected to partner with Taft Law in Columbus, Ohio. Robertson practices in the white-collar criminal defense group, representing clients in federal district and circuit courts in Ohio and around the country on a range of complex commercial and constitutional litigation matters. He recently taught appellate advocacy as an adjunct professor at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law.


Stephanie Cagniart, senior associate with Baker Botts, was named as a Top Austin (Texas) Lawyer in appellate law by Austin Monthly magazine. Cagniart focuses her practice on litigation, including securities, oil and gas matters, contract disputes and general commercial litigation.

Joseph Kniaz was promoted to counsel in Davis Polk’s litigation department and white-collar criminal defense and government investigations group in Washington, D.C. Kniaz advises clients on national security-related regulatory matters, particularly with respect to national security reviews by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.


Pedro Bermeo was elected to partner with Davis Polk in New York. Bermeo is a member of the firm’s corporate department, practicing in the capital markets group. He advises U.S. and foreign issuers and underwriters on capital markets transactions, including initial public offerings and other equity offerings and public and private high-yield, investment-grade and convertible debt offerings, including in Latin America.

Carolyn H. Kendall

Carolyn H. Kendall was elected as a principal of Post & Schell, in the firm’s internal investigations and white-collar defense practice group in its Philadelphia office. Kendall conducts internal investigations and defends corporations, officers and other individuals facing criminal and civil investigation. Her practice includes matters involving pharmaceutical, manufacturing and financial companies, relating to potential criminal tax and money laundering violations, as well as allegations involving securities violations, mortgage and financial institution fraud, the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law, and other fraud and regulatory statutes.


Gerond Lawrence joined Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers in Atlanta. Lawrence joined the firm’s coverage and commercial litigation section and represents Fortune 500 companies, insurance carriers, health care providers, municipalities, transit authorities and individuals in claims related to catastrophic injury and wrongful death, commercial litigation, employment counseling, and litigation and premises liability. Lawrence has been recognized as a Rising Star by Georgia Super Lawyers since 2018 and was recognized in the Top 40 Under 40 class by The National Black Lawyers in 2019.

Warren McCarty

Warren McCarty, of Caldwell Cassady & Curry in Dallas, was named to the 2020 Texas Rising Stars list of the top young lawyers in the state. McCarty earned his second consecutive selection based on his work in intellectual property law.

Andrew Stotts was recognized as a Texas Rising Star in corporate law by 2020 Super Lawyers. Stotts practices with Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Dallas.


Jessica Cunningham Lim is now the elections attorney for Tennessee, advising Secretary of State Tre Hargett and his elections division. Jessica and S. Jae Lim ’13 welcomed their son, Connor James, to the family in June 2019. He joined his big sister, Kennedy, 3.


After several years as a deputy prosecuting attorney, Alexander Jones is a litigation associate with Wright Lindsey Jennings, one of the largest firms in Arkansas. Jones practices on the trial team, primarily in insurance defense.

Matthew Tranter

Matthew H. Tranter joined Goodell DeVries as an associate in the commercial litigation practice, based in Baltimore. Most recently, he conducted discovery in class actions on data privacy and has briefed and argued civil appeals in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.


Two UVA alumnae were chosen as fellows for the New York City Bar’s Associate Leadership Institute, a diversity-oriented leadership program operated by the NYC Bar. Anna Stark, an associate with Thompson Hine, has a broad litigation practice that includes complex civil cases as well as white-collar defense. She has represented both U.S. and international clients in state and federal court, and in domestic and international arbitrations. In particular, she has focused on matters involving civil and criminal antitrust, fraud, securities, breach of contract and business torts. She has experience representing individual and institutional clients in multiple industries, including financial services, entertainment, insurance, pharmaceuticals and real estate. Stark has maintained a robust pro bono practice since her admission, with an emphasis on obtaining asylum and other forms of immigration status for LGBT individuals and representing HIV-positive clients in a variety of legal proceedings. She will be joined by Stephanie Rohlfs of White and Case, who attended UVA as an undergraduate. UVA had another alumnae duo serve as fellows in 2018, when Mei Yang ’14 and Aleesha Fowler were selected for the program.


Sidetracked by Pandemic, Cook ’17 Elopes on Way to Wedding

Brooke Cook ’17 and Brad WilsonTheir plans derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Brooke Cook ’17 and her husband eloped in Charlottesville during a road trip to their wedding in March, a story detailed in The New York Times.

Cook and groom Brad Wilson planned to drive from New York to their ceremony in Texas, but with public health concerns growing, they seemed to face three options: proceed as planned and risk the church closing, stop in Missouri where Wilson’s mother lives, or postpone the wedding.

As they approached Philadelphia, they chose a fourth option: Given Cook’s familiarity with the area, the couple decided to tie the knot in Central Virginia.

“We knew if we returned home unmarried, we would not get another chance for a while, because everything back home, like everywhere else, had been turned upside down,” Cook told the Times.

Cook and Wilson gave themselves 48 hours to find a venue, officiant, photographer, witnesses and a marriage license. A Charlottesville friend found a photographer, and Veritas Winery in Afton offered both the venue and two bottles of wine for free.

Cook’s spiritual mentor, Missy Donovan, and her husband, Kevin Donovan, UVA Law’s senior assistant dean of career development, served as matron of honor and best man.

With no waiting period in Virginia, the couple went to the Charlottesville Circuit Court Clerk’s office to apply for and receive their wedding license. Circuit Court Judge Rick Moore ’80, who attended the same church as Cook during her Law School days, officiated and used an old wine barrel as a lectern.

“I’m a lawyer, so everything I do is by precedent,” Cook told Aleteia, an online Catholic news site. “But it’s not like anyone knows what to do when a global pandemic strikes during your wedding.”

Instead of honeymooning in the British Virgin Islands, the newlyweds planned to spend time in Georgia and Florida.

Cook is a commercial disputes and white-collar associate at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

Mike Fox

David Crockett joined Fisher Phillips as an associate in its Irvine, Calif., office. Crockett defends clients, including telecommunications companies, manufacturers, media companies, hospitals, and rail and air carriers in a variety of labor and employment law matters, including wage-and-hour class actions, discrimination and retaliation claims, and unfair labor practice charges.


Joe Charlet joined U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Committee on the Judiciary staff as counsel. While his work focuses on nominations and oversight, because he started amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he also has a legislative portfolio related to relief measures. 

Beau Daen joined the Charleston, S.C., office of K&L Gates as an associate in the firm’s corporate/mergers and acquisitions group.


Kendall Burchard was awarded a John Marshall Fellowship with the Virginia Office of Solicitor General, which represents the commonwealth in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Virginia, and federal circuit courts in non-capital cases that call into question the constitutionality of a state statute or that bear on sensitive policies of the commonwealth. The office also assists other divisions of the Office of Attorney General with constitutional and appellate issues. As fellow, Burchard will work directly with Solicitor General Toby Heytens ’00, who is on leave from the Law School faculty, as well as staff attorneys.