2010s Class Notes

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Ehsan Tabesh was named a 2018 Texas Rising Star in Super Lawyers. Tabesh prac­tices with Fisher Phil­lips in Houston. He represents employers before state and federal courts and adminis­trative agencies on a variety of labor and em­ployment matters.


Caroline DonovanCaroline Donovan was chosen to partici­pate in the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program. Donovan is a litigator at Foley Hoag. Her practice focuses on complex civil litiga­tion in state and federal courts, where she regu­larly represents clients in cases involving con­tract disputes and busi­ness torts. The PILP promotes civic engage­ment and public service by advancing the lead­ership role of lawyers in service to their com­munity, their profession and the state.

Charles HarrisCharlie Harris relo­cated from Richmond, Va., to join SmithRx as its first legal hire and senior counsel. SmithRx, a San Fran­cisco-based startup, is a next-generation phar­macy benefit company harnessing a modern technology platform, data analytics and an in­novative business model to deliver more flexible and efficient pharmacy benefit services.

Melinda Hightower joined JPMorgan Private Bank as exec­utive director in San Francisco.

Mink FamilyRachel (Brown) and Noah Mink welcomed their second child, Sophia “Sophie” Grace, on March 6. Sophie lives in Alexandria, Va., with her parents and big sister, Emma. Rachel is an attorney adviser with the Divi­sion of Quality at the Social Security Admin­istration’s Office of Ap­pellate Operations in Arlington. Noah is a senior associate at Baker Botts in Washington, D.C., where his practice focuses on domestic and international disputes and investigations.


Stephanie Moore Throckmorton and Charles Throckmorton wel­comed Charles William to the family in Decem­ber. Charles is an asso­ciate at Carlton Fields in Miami and Stepha­nie is an assistant city attorney for the City of Coral Gables.


Genevieve AguilarGenevieve Aguilar was chosen to partici­pate in the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program. Aguilar is an associate with Choate Hall & Stewart and focuses her practice on representing corpora­tions in a wide range of litigation matters, with primary emphasis on complex trial and ap­pellate litigation, labor and employment issues, and government in­vestigations. The PILP promotes civic engage­ment and public service by advancing the lead­ership role of lawyers in service to their com­munity, their profession and the state.

Alexandra Aurisch is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Ogletree Deakins. She represents employ­ers in class actions and single plaintiff cases in a wide range of em­ployment matters, in­cluding discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, misclassi­fication, and wage and hour violations.

Shannon EllisEllis ’15 Advocates For Incarcerated Women, Children

Shannon Ellis ’15, UVA Law’s 16th Powell Fellow in Legal Services, is helping to hold a Virginia prison ac­countable for its inmates’ health, the latest step in a high-profile class-action lawsuit that could have far-reaching consequences.
Since she began working for the Legal Aid Justice Center in January 2017 and as a fellow starting last No­vember, Ellis has met with more than 100 women at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Troy, Va., to help ensure they are healthy and safe, and that their rights are being met.

“Those in prison deserve their civil and con­stitutional rights, but they get en­tangled in the system,” Ellis said. “For these women, the stakes are huge — some­times life or death.”

The correctional center was the focus of a 2012 class-action lawsuit facilitated by LAJC and others, which sought constitutionally adequate health care for inmates at the facility. The center helped negotiate the case to settlement in 2014. The court approved the settlement in 2016 and appointed an independent doctor to serve as monitor.

In September 2017, inmates — represented pro bono by LAJC, Wiley Rein and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs — filed a subsequent motion asking the court to enforce the set­tlement agreement, arguing the prison had not lived up to its obligations.

When her trial work concludes, Ellis will shift her focus to working in the juvenile justice system at the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center in Chesterfield County, Va. The center houses more than 250 children and young adults, ages 11 to 20, and is the only youth prison in the state.

Ellis worked at LAJC part-time before transition­ing into full-time employment upon receiving her fel­lowship.

“From my first day it was really clear that this was what I wanted to do,” Ellis said. “When you get involved and see someone start to get the care they really need, it’s very satisfying.”

Ellis is a “Double ’Hoo” who earned her bachelor’s in English in 2012. She previously worked in a family law practice and was volunteering pro bono when she re­alized she wanted to shift to public service to help fix flaws in the legal system.

—Julia Davis


Jack R. ShirleyJack R. Shirley joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges as a Dallas-based associate in the firm’s corporate depart­ment.

Jay JonesMissing Persons Bill By Jones ’15 Becomes Law

Jay Jones ’15, a freshman lawmaker in the Virginia House of Delegates from Norfolk, recently saw four bills he sponsored as chief patron become law, including the creation of a statewide critically missing adult alert program.

The legislation expanded existing Amber and Silver Alerts that have covered children and the elderly, re­spectively. The disappearance of 19-year-old Ashanti Billie from a Virginia Beach Navy base inspired the so-called “Ashanti Alert.”

“Recent events in Norfolk and around the country have increased the need for infrastructure to find invol­untarily missing persons that law enforcement agencies believe have been abducted or are missing under suspi­cious circumstances,” Jones told UVA Law as the legis­lative session started in January. “Engaging resources quickly will increase the likelihood that we may locate the missing person quickly and bring them back to safety and keep them out of harm’s way.”

The “critically missing adult” alert is sent out by the Virginia State Patrol for missing adults whose “where­abouts are unknown, who are believed to have been ab­ducted and whose disappearance poses a credible threat to their health and safety.” Police could notify media, post on digital billboards and VDOT traffic signs, and notify the public through other methods.

Jones’ bill passed the General Assembly unanimously and was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam in March. The law went into effect July 1 and was used the very next day to help search for a missing Charlottes­ville man.

Jones, a lawyer at Bischoff Martingayle, was elected to represent the 89th District in 2017 at age 28 and is the youngest member of the House.

—Mike Fox

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