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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 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.
Charlie 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.
Rachel (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 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.
Ellis ’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.
Jack R. Shirley joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges as a Dallas-based associate in the firm’s corporate department.
Missing 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.