1970s Class Notes

Send Us Your News

To submit a class note, email us or submit mail to UVA Lawyer, University of Virginia School of Law, 580 Massie Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Please send your submissions no later than Aug. 1 for inclusion in the next issue.

1971

Kent F. Christison is listed in Best Lawyers 2017 in corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital law. He is a partner with K&L Gates in Raleigh, N.C.

Clothilde “Chloe” Jacxsens Long died on May 29. She was born in Louvain, Belgium, and immigrated to the United States in 1945, when she was 3. She attended Bryn Mawr College for her undergraduate studies and then earned her master’s in anthropology at the University of Rochester. Her long career as an attorney included a role in the Magistrate Judges Division, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. She retired in 2009.

Mark E. Sullivan was a featured speaker in a continuing legal education program of the San Diego County Bar Association on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act this summer. Sullivan is the principal of Sullivan & Tanner in Raleigh, N.C., where he practices family law and is a retired Army Reserve JAG colonel.

Allan Tanenbaum was elected president and chair of the board of directors for the American Bar Association Retirement Funds. He has served on the board for seven years, most recently as vice president and chair of the investment committee. He is also a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Audit. Tanenbaum is of counsel to the corporate and business practice group with Taylor English Duma in Atlanta, where he advises clients in financing, mergers and acquisitions, compliance and corporate governance matters. 

1972

Howard E. Gordon is listed in Chambers USA 2016 and Virginia Super Lawyers 2016 in real estate law and Best Lawyers 2016 in land use and zoning law. Gordon is a partner with Williams Mullen in Norfolk, where he focuses his practice on commercial and multi- family real estate, commercial leases, ground leases, land use planning and permits, and pass-through entities.

George House is listed in Chambers USA 2016 in environmental law. He is with Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard in Greensboro, N.C.

Bill Jones retired from the practice of law and closed the doors on his solo practice in April. After spending the first seven years of his practice with the Browder Russell firm, Jones hung his shingle as a solo practitioner in Richmond, Va., in 1979. Over the next 37 years of solo practice he represented small businesses, primarily in the purchase and sale of their assets. With several months of retirement under his belt, Jones spends most of his time on Windmill Point on the Chesapeake Bay, cruising the waters on his boat and “slaying” fish. 

1973

Robert S. Mueller III received the American Bar Association’s Morris I. Liebman Award in Law and National Security in May. Mueller is former director of the FBI and is widely credited with transforming the organization from a law enforcement agency to an intelligence-based national security organization following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. In October he received the Sylvanus Thayer Award from the West Point Association of Graduates. That award is given to a U.S. citizen whose service and accomplishments in the national interest embody the West Point motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.” Mueller served in the Marines, attended the Army’s Ranger and Airborne schools, and led a rifle platoon in Vietnam before attending law school. Today he is a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, D.C.

Frederick R. TulleyFredrick R. Tulley is listed as a leader in his field in commercial litigation in Chambers USA 2016. Tulley is a partner with Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips in Baton Rouge, La. 

1974

Ralph Baxter was the subject of a May feature story and podcast on Above the Law about becoming an agent of change within your firm. As the former chairman and CEO of Orrick, Baxter led the California firm’s expansion into a global presence. He advises on improving the legal system through new business models and is a senior adviser to Thomson Reuters Legal and chairman of the advisory board of the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute.

Paul S. Bliley Jr. is listed in Chambers USA 2016 in bankruptcy/ restructuring law, in Virginia Super Lawyers 2016 in creditor debtor rights, and in Best Lawyers 2016 in bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights (insolvency) and reorganization law; banking and finance litigation; and bankruptcy litigation. He is a partner with Williams Mullen in Richmond.

Sarah E. Hall is listed in Best Lawyers 2017 in land use and zoning law. She is senior counsel with Blankingship & Keith in Fairfax, Va., where she has a broad-based commercial real estate practice with an emphasis on land use, rezoning and development.

John A.C. Keith is listed in Best Lawyers 2017 in bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, legal malpractice law (defendants), litigation (trusts and estates), and trusts and estates. He is a principal and co-founder of Blankingship & Keith in Fairfax, Va.

Making The Case For Psychological Science
Nathalie Gilfoyle

In her 19 years as general counsel at the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C., Nathalie Gilfoyle ’74 played a role in some of the most important legal decisions of our time through submitting amicus curiae briefs presenting social science research to the courts.

Gilfoyle first delved into psychological science and legal matters in law school. “I had the great good fortune to work for Professor Richard Bonnie ’69 as a research assistant,” she said, “and in that capacity gained exposure to issues at the intersection of law and psychology.” 

The first half of her career was spent as a litigator at a large law firm, but her interest in psychology never waned, and she developed a specialty in the use of psychological experts in civil litigation. Gilfoyle came to the APA in 1996 as deputy general counsel and rose to general counsel in 2001. 

“Perhaps the main challenge of presenting briefs based on psychological science is that social science research often favors what is perceived as the liberal position, and some see APA’s briefs as advocacy briefs,” Gilfoyle said, “In reality, on reading them you see that they are scholarly pieces that are, if anything, a bit dry. Our goal has been to present the research fairly and objectively, and for that reason I think we have achieved credibility.” 

In some cases, such as Perry v. New Hampshire, regarding the unreliability of eyewitness testimony, APA’s briefs have been cited by both the majority and the dissent.

Gilfoyle has gained a reputation for writing well- researched, even-handed briefs that strengthened APA’s position as a reliable source of guidance for the courts. In the past two decades, she has filed 90 amicus briefs on behalf of the APA involving a wide range of topics such as false confessions, marriage equality, affirmative action, and the death penalty for juveniles and people with intellectual disabilities. 

During Gilfoyle’s tenure, the APA’s briefs have been cited in 21 Supreme Court decisions and 18 lower federal and state supreme courts. The most recent Supreme Court decisions include Perry v. New Hampshire, on the unreliability of eyewitness testimony; Hall v. Florida, on why a death-row inmate might be ineligible for execution because of intellectual disability; and Obergefell v. Hodges, which said the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples’ fundamental right to marry. The APA presented evidence that lesbians and gay men have stable, committed relationships and are as capable as heterosexual couples in raising emotionally healthy children.

Gilfoyle retired in June with a long list of interests to pursue. “My list of topics unrelated to law is very long,” she said. “But I do hope to continue my personal interest in law and psychology through ongoing support for interdisciplinary programs at the Law School.” 

In 2014 she established the Nathalie Gilfoyle Fund for Law and Psychology, which is designed to give students exposure to the impact of social science research on important public law issues by creating opportunities for them to work and study closely with professors and researchers, with the possibility that they will find a focus as rewarding as her own has been. 

Rebecca Barns

1975

W. Stuart DornetteW. Stuart Dornette has been named lawyer of the year in Best Lawyers 2017 in municipal litigation. He is also listed in Ohio Super Lawyers 2016 in business litigation. He is a partner in the litigation practice group with Taft Stettinius & Hollister in Cincinnati. 

1976

Growing the Clifton Inn Experience
Clifton Inn

For three decades, fortunate Law alumni have shared in the experience of dining or staying at the historic Clifton Inn, a bucolic Charlottesville country inn once home to Thomas Mann Randolph, former governor of Virginia and son-in-law to Thomas Jefferson. Perhaps few know that when Mitch Willey ’76 purchased the manor house and its 100 acres of stunning Albemarle beauty in 1983, it was virtually uninhabitable.

After 20 years of practicing international law, Willey channeled his passion for business, law and travel into a second career in which he has mastered the art of purchasing properties with unrealized potential and transforming them into premier destinations. In some cases he maintains ownership, and in others he sells or leases the properties through his luxury vacation rental business, Time & Place. The service pairs more than 1,000 villa-style rentals in 70 locales throughout 16 countries with the ultimate in concierge services.

Willey is now turning to his next venture, the Culinary Cottages at Clifton, which will extend the Clifton experience to residents of a development on the property’s private 18-acre lake.

The project will feature 11 lakefront cottages offered as maintenance-free second homes to be fully serviced by the inn staff. Homeowners will have the opportunity to be part of Clifton’s culinary and vineyard club, and when not in residence will have the option to rent their homes through the inn.

“The sharing economy ushered in a massive transformation, particularly in the travel industry,” Willey said. As with Time & Place, those who opt in to the Culinary Cottages at Clifton will take part in that experience while enjoying fine amenities and standards.

Denise Forster

1977

Julian D. Bobbitt Jr. is listed in Best Lawyers 2017 in health care law. He is the lead author of “The Texas Physician’s Accountable Care Guide,” published by the Texas Medical Association in April. He is of counsel with Smith Anderson in Raleigh, N.C., where he focuses his practice on providing strategic general counsel and regulatory guidance for health care organizations throughout the U.S.

Margaret Ann Brown, a partner in the finance section of Troutman Sanders in Tysons Corner, Va., is delighted to report that her daughter, Margaret Birkel, just completed a “terrific” first year in the class of 2018, and that Paul Stephan ’77 was her property professor.

Dennis J. CurranJustice Dennis J. Curran of the Massachusetts Superior Court was honored by the 1,000-member Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys when he received its President’s Award for Judicial Excellence for his “deep commitment and belief in the civil justice system, his many contributions to society, and his continued dedication to the law.” As a trial judge, Curran has presided over 415 civil and criminal trials.  In October, Curran authored an article, “Abraham Lincoln: A Model for Today’s Trial Lawyer,” which appeared in the Massachusetts Law Review.

James S. Gilmore III ran for president of the United States in 2016.

Barry R. KogutBarry R. Kogut is listed in Chambers USA 2016, Upstate New York Super Lawyers 2016 and in Best Lawyers 2017 in environmental law. He is a member with Bond, Schoeneck & King in Syracuse, N.Y., where he focuses his practice on federal and state regulatory compliance and enforcement matters.

1978

Richard D. KirkRichard D. Kirk is listed in Best Lawyers 2017 in intellectual property litigation and administrative/ regulatory law and in Chambers USA 2016 in intellectual property, and has been so recognized every year since 2006. He is a director at Bayard in Wilmington, Del., where he focuses on general business litigation, intellectual property litigation, administrative law and alternative dispute resolution. 

Hal K. Litchford is listed in Best Lawyers 2017 in antitrust law, appellate practice, bet- the-company litigation, commercial litigation, and antitrust litigation. He was also named Orlando Best Lawyers 2017 appellate practice Lawyer of the Year. He is a shareholder with Baker Donelson.

Blake D. Morant, dean of George Washington University Law School and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law, served as president of the Association of American Law Schools in 2015. Morant delivered the Rabinowitz Distinguished Lecture, “Challenges Facing the Legal Profession and Legal Education: Perspectives from the USA and Their Relevance for South Africa,” at the University of Cape Town in August.

Linda E. Romano is listed in Best Lawyers 2017 in corporate law. Romano is of counsel with Bond Schoeneck & King in Utica, N.Y., where she focuses her practice on matters concerning business law and public finance. 

1979

Rob Burton joined Crowell & Moring as partner in the government contracts group in Washington, D.C. Burton will take a significant role in expanding Crowell & Moring’s government affairs capabilities and working with clients on acquisition reform legislation and regulatory changes. He was previously a partner with Venable. 

J. Peter Byrne was appointed the John Hampton Baumgartner, Jr. Chair in Real Property Law at Georgetown University Law School. He teaches courses on property, land use and historic preservation, and is the faculty director of the school’s Environmental Law and Policy Program and the Georgetown Climate Center.

Peter S. Everett is listed in Best Lawyers 2017 in personal injury litigation (plaintiffs). He is a principal with Blankingship & Keith in Fairfax, Va.

Dennis Kelly is co- founder and chief strategy and legal officer for Island Telecom, a next- generation data communications wireless service provider focused on the Caribbean and small island states. He is also founder of Emergency Responder Info Net, a next-generation data communications wireless service provider focused on the “Internet of Things” needs of the U.S. emergency services sector.

Anne Kleindienst is listed in Chambers USA 2016 in health care law and in Best Lawyers 2017 in corporate law and franchise law. She is a shareholder with Polsinelli in Phoenix.  

More From This Issue