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In Memoriam: Earle K. Shawe ’34, ‘Dean of Labor Lawyers,’ UVA Law’s Oldest Alum

Earle K. Shawe ’34, the Law School’s oldest alumnus, a founder of Shawe & Rosenthal and a pioneer in the area of labor law, died June 30 at age 104.

Shawe, who began his career as a trial attorney representing labor unions, founded the Baltimore firm in 1942 and became a well-known management-side attorney. He has been referred to as the “dean of labor lawyers.”

In one of his landmark cases, Shawe filed and won the first charge under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which restricts the power of labor unions. He represented Baltimore Graphic Arts Association, a group of printing companies, in a labor dispute against the International Typographical Union.

Shawe’s son, Stephen D. Shawe, said he will always remember his father for his persistence. Even in collective bargaining negotiations when the chance of making a deal happen seemed impossible, his father would figure out ways to make things work out.

“He would not allow for failure,” Shawe said. “He would be there day and night and then do it again the next day. He would never allow the other side to say no. It was a very good lesson at what’s possible if you keep at it.”

Shawe continues to work at the firm his father founded. He called his father’s life the “classic story of the Great Depression.”

Earle Shawe grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia. After a high school teacher pressured him to go to college, Shawe attended the University of Virginia at 16 and graduated with a law degree at 22. After a brief stint as a law clerk for a small New York firm, Halpert and Halpert, Shawe became an attorney for the Reconstruction Finance Corp. and then the National Recovery Administration.

Shawe eventually would end up joining the National Labor Relations Board, where he was the youngest attorney for the newly formed organization. There, he represented the employees of Bethlehem Steel and helped them gain legitimate bargaining rights.

Stephen Shawe said his father gained recognition because there were so few people who specialized in labor law. He continued to work into his 80s.

The annual Earl K. Shawe professorship will continue to honor selected UVA Law faculty in his memory.

Holden Wilen, adapted from Baltimore Business Journal

UVA Library Houses Papers of Sen. John W. Warner ’53

The papers of former U.S. Sen. John W. Warner ’53 are now available for public viewing through the University of Virginia Library. They became open to the public in April and are housed at UVA’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

When he retired in 2009 from the Senate, Warner had logged 30 years in the upper house of Congress and garnered a well-earned reputation as one of the most effective legislators of the last half-century.

He said he hopes that students and young civic leaders can use his papers as an example of how to build consensus and take on major national priorities.

“I put it all out there,” he said. “Some public officials only want to put things out piecemeal or only want to show this or that. I ‘dumped’ the whole thing, all the records for everyone to see.”

The full collection not only spans Warner’s three decades as a senator, but also reaches back to his earliest days as an enlisted man in the U.S. Navy in the final years of World War II. Researchers will get a glimpse into his lengthy career as a public servant before he ran for office in 1978, including his years as a Marine officer in the Korean War, an assistant U.S. attorney, undersecretary of the Navy, secretary of the Navy and head of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration.

“Certainly the Warner papers will be an important window into the end of the 20th century and all the political issues that took up the nation’s attention in that time,” said Hoke Perkins, the associate University librarian for philanthropy. “We are thrilled to be able to add this important collection to our archives.”

Warner was a regular figure on Grounds throughout his career in public service and accepted an invitation from UVA in 2008 to make the University Library the eventual home of his public papers.

Katie McNally

1959

Harwood Martin is “exhausted by retirement!” His activities include conducting Coast Guard Auxiliary patrols on the Chesapeake Bay, volunteering weekly at a local hospital as well as with a social service agency serving the disadvantaged by providing legal and medical services, along with food, clothes and housing.

1962

Irving Fuller and his wife, Whitney, have moved to Amelia Island, Fla. The couple lives in the Osprey Village Retirement Community.

1963

William R. RakesWilliam R. Rakes was included in 2017 Virginia Super Lawyers. Rakes practices business litigation with Gentry Locke in Roanoke, Va.

Lang and Bill Wilson received the 12th annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy in Richmond, Va., this spring. The couple was nominated for the award by the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Educational Foundation, for which Bill has been a director of the board for nearly 25 years. The Wilsons are known for their generous support of the community college’s students.

1964

Although retired since 2015, Gilbert Wright has maintained his Florida license and enjoys being involved on a pro bono basis in various community and association issues, and in participating as a volunteer judge/magistrate in Jacksonville’s Teen Court.

1965

Tom Player's ArtTom Player won the 2017 Phillip Shutze Award for Artisanship/ Craftsmanship given by the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, for his work in bronze relief. A sample work is the 3 feet by 4 feet relief titled “Trail of Tears,” illustrating the removal of the Cherokee Nation from Georgia to Oklahoma in the 1830s. Player turned to sculpting after a 40-year legal career.

1966

After 50 years of practice as a business attorney and counselor, Gordon Carpenter took pen to paper — really fingers to keyboard — to share some of the experience and wisdom gleaned from his practice. Carpenter’s goal in publishing “Start Your Business ... But Do It Right” was to provide budding entrepreneurs with clear, meaningful and practical advice to guide their small businesses from the outset. Carpenter continues to be licensed by the Rhode Island and Massachusetts bars.

Roger Mentz was assistant secretary of the Treasury for tax policy in the late 1980s and was the principal spokesman for the Reagan Administration on all tax policy matters at the time. Mentz played a major role in the enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and recalls the historic time in his book, “Tales of Tax Reform.”

1967

Gentry Locke in Roanoke, Va., recently celebrated J. Rudy Austin’s 50-year career. Austin focuses his practice in the areas of insurance defense, insurance coverage, workers’ compensation, construction and legal ethics. He is a recipient of the 2007 Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys’ Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation — its highest honor. Austin is consistently included in Best Lawyers in America for personal injury litigation (defendants). He is also one of a select group recognized by Chambers USA for Virginia litigation (general commercial); is noted as a litigation star in general commercial and insurance litigation by Benchmark Litigation; and is regularly included in Virginia Super Lawyers in civil litigation and defense.

1968

W. Robert Pearson is a nonresident scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. He is also president of American Diplomacy Publishers in Chapel Hill, N.C.

J. rutledge Young Jr.J. Rutledge Young Jr. is working as special counsel with the boutique litigation firm Duffy & Young in Charleston, S.C., after a 40-year career with Young, Clement, & Rivers. Young was listed in the 2017 South Carolina Super Lawyers as a top-rated business litigation lawyer. He has been listed for more than 30 years in the Best Lawyers in America and for more than 10 years in Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers. Rutledge is a diplomat of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has also been listed in Best Lawyers in America for bet-the-company litigation every year since 1999. He recently wrote, “Hope to see everyone at our 50th reunion.”

1969

Geoffrey “Charles” Best died Feb. 17 at his home in New York City. Best taught English at the American University of Beirut and served as a special assistant at the International Energy Agency in Paris before rising to senior partner in the New York City office of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, where he spent his legal career as a litigator.

Five years after retiring from the King County Superior Court bench (Seattle), Michael Fox accepted an appointment as special deputy coroner for Franklin County, Wash., to conduct an inquest into the officer-involved shooting death of a Mexican farm worker in Pasco. He then accepted a two-day-a-week position as a judge on the Tulalip Tribal Court near Everett, where he expects to serve for the next two years. But the highlight of his retirement years is the arrival of his first grandchild, Willow Sally Violette, who is applying for early admission to UVA Law, Class of 2042.

Fox writes that he has been in regular contact during the last year with Butch Williams, Yale Lewis, Randy Urmston, Martha Ballenger, Angus King, Jerry Williams ’73, Peter Windrem ’68, Dan Mcdonald, Mary Voce, Will Hazleton, Greg Conniff and Frank Macmurray.

PowerSouth dedicated a new 44,000 square- foot building in honor of its longtime general counsel, J. Theodore Jackson Jr. Jackson has served as the cooperative’s general counsel since 1978 and his work helped build the foundation for the energy provider in Alabama and Northwest Florida, said the board chairman. Jackson is a shareholder in Rushton, Stakely, Johnston & Garrett in Montgomery, Ala. He practices primarily in the areas of utility law, taxation, general corporate law, municipal and corporate finance, and the law of cooperative organizations.

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