Bruce Brumberg is a contributor to Forbes.com with the tagline “I make the law and the tax code understandable to everyone.” Some of his high-profile articles on the Paycheck Protection Program loans, stimulus checks and tax return reporting topics have been the first to chronicle breaking news developments. His article “How To Have A Workplace Romance Without Getting Fired And Sued: Advice From Employment Lawyers” highlights advice from fellow classmate Rob Duston, while “Preventing The Next George Floyd Tragedy: Review Standards For Police Shootings And Excessive Force” features insights from UVA Law professor Barbara Armacost ’89. Brumberg said he invites suggestions for new articles on legal and tax topics with broad appeal.
David M. Carter, a partner with Troutman Pepper in Richmond, Va., and Atlanta, was named a lawyer of the year in Best Lawyers.
Federal Circuit Judge Thomas Morrow Reavley LL.M. died Dec. 1 at his home in Houston. He was 99.
A World War II veteran, Reavley had a long and distinguished career in public service, having served as Texas secretary of state, a Texas Supreme Court justice and a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. His legal career spanned 72 years.
Born in Quitman, Texas, to Thomas and Mattie (Morrow) Reavley, he grew up in Nacogdoches, where his parents had a cafe. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1942 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served as an officer until his discharge in 1946. He earned his law degree from Harvard in 1948 and served as an assistant district attorney in Dallas and later as Nacogdoches County Attorney. He was a 33rd degree Mason.
Always an active Sunday school teacher and lay preacher in the United Methodist Church, he spoke out in the late 1940s against racial segregation, even though his stance was unpopular in his native East Texas. At the time, he was engaged in private law practice in Nacogdoches, Lufkin and Jasper. His outspoken opposition brought him to the attention of Allan Shivers, who in 1955 invited Reavley into his gubernatorial administration and appointed him secretary of state.
When his secretary of state appointment expired, Reavley returned to private practice in Jasper and Austin. In 1962 he ran for attorney general of Texas, and though his campaign was unsuccessful, it brought him to the attention of the newly elected governor, John Connally, who in 1964 appointed him to the 167th District Court of Travis County.
Reavley was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1968, serving for nine years. In 1979, he served as a special judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals — becoming one of the few in Texas history to sit on both state high courts. Later that year, President Jimmy Carter appointed Reavley to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He served as an active judge until 1990, when he took senior status but continued hearing cases for another 29 years. During his early years on the Fifth Circuit, he earned an LL.M. from the University of Virginia. He had four honorary doctoral degrees from universities in Texas and California.
At the time of his death, Reavley was the oldest sitting federal judge in the United States. During his tenure, he had the distinction of sitting as a visiting judge with all the U.S. Courts of Appeals but one.
Reavley published many legal articles; served as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law; lectured at Baylor, Pepperdine and Texas Tech law schools; and served on many judicial committees and civic organizations. With 11 other judges and a law professor, he was co-author of a highly regarded 900-page treatise titled “The Law of Judicial Precedent” (2016). In the fall of 2016, Baylor Law Review dedicated a volume to Reavley in recognition of his unique contributions to Texas and to American law.
Reavley was a person of great personal integrity, compassion and magnetism, according to colleagues, friends and family. “Wherever he went, with whomever he spoke, he made an impression — whether with his colleagues on the bench, his law clerks, the staff at a restaurant, or beggars on the street (to whom he always showed kindness). He had a well-developed view of the law and its central place in a thriving society. No judge worked harder to master the facts of the cases under decision, and few had the skill to present a decision with so much clarity and candor.”
Reavley was married for 60 years to Florence Wilson Reavley, who preceded him in death in 2003. In 2004 he married Carolyn Dineen King, then chief judge of the Fifth Circuit. They were the only married couple among Article III appellate judges.
Survivors include his wife and four children, Thomas Wilson Reavley, Marian Neevel, Paul Stuart Reavley and Margaret Currin; four grandchildren, Thomas Montenegro Reavley, Elizabeth Margarita Reavley, Corynn Johanna Roche and Wilson Patrick Reavley; and four great-grandchildren, Santiago Antonio Campos, Isabel Salome Campos, Vivian Margaret Roche and Josephine Marian Roche.
Kathleen Boyer started a solo law practice in West Chester, Pa., after retiring from the Chester County Public Defender’s Office after nearly 35 years.
Howard Kelin received the President’s Award for Distinguished Career Achievement from the Pennsylvania School Board Solicitors Association. The award is presented annually to one school law attorney in the commonwealth. Kelin practiced with Hunton & Williams in Richmond for seven years before joining Kegel, Kelin, Litts and Lord in Lancaster, Pa., in 1992.
James T. McDermott was asked by CNN to write an op-ed in October. He invites his classmates to read “What Working-Class Americans Really Want,” available online.
Katina Dorton was appointed chief financial officer of biotech company NodThera. Dorton’s industry expertise includes roles in health care, life sciences and investment banking, including experiences at Repare Therapeutics and AVROBIO Inc.
William Eigner was recognized as a leader in law in the San Diego Business Journal and was listed in Best Lawyers in America.
Susan Muck joined the securities litigation and enforcement practice with WilmerHale in San Francisco. Muck’s practice is split between public company representations in federal and state shareholder litigation, and internal or regulatory investigations for private and public companies. Her work has been recognized in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500, Northern California Super Lawyers and the Daily Journal. She was featured as a Law 360 Securities MVP.
Richard P. Roberts
of Halloran Sage in Connecticut was named a 2020 municipal champion by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. CCM is the state’s largest nonpartisan organization of municipal leaders. Together with CCM and its member towns, Roberts worked on a wide range of executive orders from the governor that have impacted local governments since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
E. Ford Stephens
became a fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel, a preeminent association of U.S. and Canadian lawyers who represent insurers and policyholders. Stephens is a partner at Christian & Barton in Richmond, Va., where he focuses his practice on insurance law, commercial litigation and appeals, and serves on the firm’s executive committee. In addition, he is a member of the DRI board of directors; a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Virginia Law Foundation; listed in Best Lawyers in America for insurance law annually since 2015; and a member of the invitation-only International Association of Defense Counsel and the Association of Life Insurance Counsel.
Timothy Goettel was recognized as a super lawyer in North Carolina Super Lawyers. He was also recognized as a best lawyer in 2021 Best Lawyers. Goettel handles complex acquisitions and divestitures across a range of industries with Smith Anderson in Raleigh.
Jeff Kerr was named a top corporate counsel for the second time. The litigation team that Kerr oversees as PETA Foundation general counsel has prevailed in its Endangered Species Act lawsuits against Dade City’s Wild Things, Wildlife in Need and Tri-State Zoological Park of Western Maryland. The courts declared that practices such as prematurely separating cubs from their mothers, declawing big cats and forcing them to interact with visitors violate the Endangered Species Act; Dade City’s Wild Things and Wildlife in Need shut down; and Tri-State is now prohibited from owning or possessing endangered or threatened species. Kerr also led the team in its successful free speech lawsuit against Texas A&M University, which blocked the university from censoring online comments against its canine muscular dystrophy experiments. He also oversees the team’s many open records lawsuits against Oregon Health and Science University, which have resulted in the release of video footage showing monkeys PETA says were abused in experiments.
Cathy Lesser Mansfield was elected to the American Law Institute. Mansfield joined Case Western Reserve Law School faculty in July 2019 as executive director of the Master of Arts in Financial Integrity Program and senior instructor in law. Prior to joining the CWRU faculty, she was a professor of law at Drake University Law School, served as a policy analyst with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and was a visiting professor at Georgetown Law School. She teaches a variety of consumer, payments and commercial law courses; is a co-author of the National Consumer Law Center’s Consumer Banking and Payments Law manual; and speaks nationally about consumer protection issues. Mansfield also teaches a course named Holocaust and the Law. She is a distinguished fellow at the Consortium for the Research and Study of Holocaust and the Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Center for National Security and Human Rights Law.
Mansfield is the composer and librettist of an opera titled “The Sparks Fly Upward” that follows three German families in Berlin, two Jewish and one Christian, through the Holocaust, and she is founder and executive director of The Sparks Fly Upward Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, genocide and tolerance.
Ridge Schuyler, dean of Community Self-Sufficiency Programs at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, shared that Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will invest $1.7 million over the next two years to expand the innovative Network2Work program. The program is a unique workforce development initiative hat connects job seekers with local job networks and support services. The commonwealth will work in partnership with the Virginia Community College System to scale up the Network2Work model in the Shenandoah Valley, Hampton Roads and greater Richmond regions.
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.
(pictured with actor Tony Hale, left) is the national co-chairperson of Epstein Becker & Green’s wage-hour and class-action practice group. His novel “The Locklear Letters” has been adapted for the screen as the movie “Eat Wheaties!” starring Tony Hale, Elizabeth Banks, Elisha Cuthbert, Paul Walter Hauser, Danielle Brooks and Sarah Chalke. The movie won the best comedy award at the 2020 San Diego International Film Festival and the humor award at the 2020 Heartland Film Festival, and will be widely released this year. The novel has been reprinted with the new title “Eat Wheaties!”
Judges of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County have elected Assistant Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor
to be the presiding judge for the 2021-22 term. Taylor has served as the assistant presiding judge since Jan. 1, 2019. In September 2019, he became a voting member of the Judicial Council of California assigned to the legislation committee.
Bruce Braun was awarded the American Jewish Committee’s Learned Hand Human Relations Award. The award is presented annually to a distinguished Chicago attorney who embodies Judge Learned Hand’s ideals of justice and who works to safeguard the rights of individuals and democratic values. A group of Braun’s classmates put together a video tribute to wish him well and acknowledge the honor. Braun is a partner with Sidley Austin, with a practice encompassing a wide range of subject matter areas, including antitrust, professional liability, securities fraud and more.
Chris Gottscho, his wife, Susie, and their two sons — Teddy, 3, and George, 1 — have been hiding out from COVID-19 since the start of the year at their home in Park City, Utah.
Joseph Perkins was elected to chair the board of trustees of Martin University, Indiana’s only historically Black university. Upon his election, Perkins said, “It is an honor for me to serve in this role. During this time of heightened awareness of issues which negatively impact people of color, I am pleased to be part of the process which makes higher education attainable to the students who attend Martin University.”
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine is the 2021 president of the National Association of Attorneys General — a nonpartisan organization of 56 state and territory attorneys general — and launched his presidential initiative to counter hate nationwide. Recent national data show that incidents of hate and bias-motivated crimes are a growing problem in the United States. Racine’s initiative, titled “The People v. Hate: Standing Up for Humanity,” aims to work with attorneys general to raise awareness of hate and bias, prevent hate from taking root in communities, support residents who have experienced hate, and develop and share best practices on improving hate crime data. This is the first time NAAG has elected a non-state AG or an immigrant to serve in this national leadership position.
Robert M. Tata, managing partner of the Norfolk, Va., office of Hunton Andrews Kurth, was named to Virginia Business magazine’s Virginia 500 — The 2020 Power List as one of Virginia’s most powerful leaders.