1980s Class Notes

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Barbara Dixon Ryan has returned to Virginia after a 26-year sojourn in Dallas. She presently works as a certified substance abuse counseling assistant in Northern Virginia.


Christine Hughes was awarded the Lelia J. Robinson Award by the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts. The award honors attorneys who have captured the spirit of Robinson, the first woman admitted to practice in the state. As the recently retired general counsel at Emerson College, Hughes was a leader among higher education attorneys. Most notably, Hughes influenced other women to pursue legal careers in-house, while championing and opening doors for women she hired as in-house attorneys and as external counsel. She also used her role as in-house counsel to seek out women associates at law firms for their opinions or to ask them to play critical roles in cases. 

C. Steven Mason was recognized as a leading attorney in real estate law in the 2021 Chambers USA Guide. Mason practices with Smith Anderson in Raleigh, N.C. 

Nine years ago, Gerry Oberst returned to Washington, D.C, as senior vice president of global advocacy for the international satellite operator SES S.A. and president and CEO of its American subsidies. Following a short stint as general counsel of 5G Everywhere in America, Oberst retired in March 2020. That didn’t last, however, as Oberst is now senior counsel with Hogan Lovells in its communications, internet and media practice.


The spring issue of the Phi Beta Kappa Key Reporter printed Allen Boyer’s review of “Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom” by Sarah A. Seo. Seo was the Law School’s inaugural Charles W. McCurdy Legal History Fellow in 2015-16. The book has received multiple awards, including the Littleton-Griswold Prize from the American Historical Society and the American Society for Legal History; and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize from the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Seo’s work also was a co-winner of the Order of the Coif Book Award.

Jennifer Jordan McCall is the practice section leader of the estates and trusts section at Pillsbury, based in Palo Alto, Calif. In addition to the California bar, McCall is also admitted in New York and Florida. She shared that her daughter, Caroline, started a company in San Francisco, while her daughter Hillary is in her second year at Kellogg Business School.

Alumnae Named Among ‘Influential Women of Law’

Betty S. Graumlich ’83, Lisa Lorish ’08, Areshini Pather ’04 and Erin S. Whaley ’04Betty S. Graumlich ’83, Lisa Lorish ’08, Areshini Pather ’04 and Erin S. Whaley ’04 were named to Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s 2021 class of Influential Women of Law.

Graumlich leads Reed Smith’s Virginia labor and employment team. She represents many global and national companies, including a Fortune 50 media and entertainment company, a nationwide optical manufacturer and retailer, global defense contractors, numerous health care providers and a regional financial services company, among other clients.

Lorish is a judge on the Virginia Court of Appeals. Until recently, she was an assistant federal public defender and the appellate specialist for the Western District of Virginia. She represented indigent clients charged with federal crimes that ranged from petty offenses to capital murder. Lorish also created the Law School’s Federal Criminal Sentence Reduction Clinic, which she directed.

Pather has been Charlottesville deputy commonwealth’s attorney since 2018 after serving as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney since 2011. She also worked as an assistant public defender with the Indigent Defense Commission for six years.

Whaley specializes in health care law as a partner at Troutman Pepper. Her regulatory experience includes advising clients on compliance with the plethora of federal laws that govern the health care industry, including Stark, the Anti-Kickback Statute, the False Claims Act and HIPAA, as well as state laws including state licensure, corporate practice of medicine and certificates of need.

—Mike Fox


Mark Davidson was recognized as a leading attorney in corporate law and mergers and acquisitions law in the 2021 Chambers USA Guide. Davidson practices with Brooks Pierce in Greensboro, N.C. 

Jeff Oleynik was recognized as a leading attorney for antitrust law and bankruptcy and restructuring law in the 2021 Chambers USA Guide. Oleynik practices with Brooks Pierce in Greensboro, N.C.


Paul Lombardo, the Bobby Lee Cook Professor of Law at Georgia State University, received the Jay Healey Teaching Award from the American Society for Law, Medicine & Ethics. The award recognizes scholarship, passion for teaching health law, mentoring of students and other faculty, and being an inspiration to colleagues and students. As a member of GSU’s Center for Law, Health & Society, Lombardo teaches Genetics and the Law, the History of Bioethics, Mental Health Law and the History of Public Health Law. Last fall he also taught a course titled Legal History of the U.S. Eugenics Movement.


Scott D. Gerber penned an op-ed in USA Today in June titled “Tennis authorities violated law and human decency by forcing Osaka out of the French Open.” He wrote that Naomi Osaka — at the time the No. 2 female tennis player in the world — asked for a reasonable accommodation for a health condition and instead received threats from the heads of several Grand Slams, reenforcing the stigma of mental illness. Gerber serves as a professor of law at Ohio Northern University.


Timothy Goettel was recognized as a leading attorney for corporate law and mergers and acquisitions law in the 2021 Chambers USA Guide. Goettel practices with Smith Anderson in Raleigh, N.C. 

Randy Tinsley was recognized as a leading attorney for environmental law in the 2021 Chambers USA Guide. Tinsley practices with Brooks Pierce in Greensboro, N.C.


On Oct. 5, David L. Finger argued before the U.S. Supreme Court the First Amendment case Carney v. Adams, challenging a provision of Delaware’s Constitution that limits judgeships to only Democrats and Republicans.

John Cooper '88Charles LustigJohn Cooper and Charles Lustig worked together on a moot court team in law school and have now partnered again for more than a year at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers in Norfolk, Va. Both specialize in helping people seriously injured in vehicle accidents. “We are putting Professor Ken Abraham’s first year Torts teachings into practice every day,” Cooper said.

On July 1, Richard “Shark” Forsten began his third five-year term on the Appoquinimink School District School Board, where he has served as president for the past six years. Forsten is a partner in the Wilmington, Del., office of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, where he practices in land use, commercial real estate and litigation. He and his wife live in a historic 182-year-old farmhouse south of Middletown. He reported that his golf handicap remains much too high.

Michael Kun’s latest novel, “The Allergic Boy Versus the Left-Handed Girl,” was published in June by the Sager Group. In other book-related news, the movie “Eat Wheaties!,” based on Kun’s novel “The Locklear Letters,” was released in the spring.