GW Magazine nameplate
Alumni Newsmakers

In Memoriam

Harry W. Goldberg, JD '37, LLM '38
Sept. 4, 2010
Bethesda, Md.

Frank Strickler, JD '47
March 29, 2012

Robert Lockwood, JD '48
March 20, 2012

John Y. Merrell, JD '48
May 16, 2011

Leonard L. Abel, JD '49
April 11, 2012

Theodore Gemza, JD '49
March 27, 2012

Lawrence Gochberg, JD '51
June 6, 2012

Robert N. Price, JD '52
Nov. 3, 2011

James S. Boone, JD '53
May 17, 2012

John Keeney, JD '53
Nov. 19, 2011
Kensington, Md.

Albert McLees Perry, JD '56
April 11, 2012

Donald Joseph Smith, JD '56
March 26, 2012

Bernard M. Tanner, JD '57
May 25, 2012

Charles W. Colson, JD '59
April 25, 2012

Charles C.M. Woodward, JD '60
March 19, 2012

Edwin P. Latimer, JD '63
March 19, 2012

Jerry R. Seiler, JD '63
April 2, 2012

Paul J. Cook, JD '64
May 26, 2012

John B. Chickering, JD '66
April 9, 2012
Tucson, Ariz.

Gene R. Haislip, JD '66
May 17, 2012

A. Sidney Katz, JD '66
Sept. 12, 2012

David Silberman, JD '66
Feb. 8, 2012

Jean G. Taylor, JD '66
June 6, 2012

James D. Olsen, JD '68
May 11, 2012

Clifford Wendell Bergere Jr., JD '71
Dec. 10, 2011
San Francisco

H. Kent Kidwell, JD '71
March 2, 2012

Mandev Singh, JD '71
Dec. 28, 2011

Dennis P. Koehler, JD '72
April 24, 2011

John L. Hummer, JD '81
June 7, 2012

W. Scott Funger, JD '83
Aug. 31, 2012

Bruce W. Brodigan, JD '84
April 7, 2012

Faculty & Staff Members

Marsha Friberg Shinkman
Director of the Law School Alumni Office, 1999-2003
March 19, 2012

Dorothy Shapiro

Dorothy Shapiro, a major benefactor and good friend of the Law School and the university, died May 29. She was 91.

Mrs. Shapiro, of Potomac, Md., oversaw the charitable trust of her late husband, Maurice Shapiro, and her late brother-in-law J.B. Shapiro. Through the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Charitable Trust, she established endowed chairs in public interest and environmental law at GW Law—currently held by Professor Jonathan Turley and Professor Robert Glicksman. Professor Turley also runs the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Clinic at GW.

Many GW Law students serve as Shapiro Public Interest Fellows and Shapiro Congressional Fellows. The Shapiro Trust also generously supports the annual J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Conference and other prestigious events, such as the multidisciplinary ecosystem workshop that took place this summer with GW Law and the University of Surrey in the U.K. The Shapiros' legacy will live on at GW Law.

Still Remembering Dean Potts

Two GW Law alumni share their memories of Associate Dean Ed Potts, JD '52, who passed away in October 2011 and was memorialized in the Winter 2011 edition of GW Law School Magazine.

A True Friend

In early 1960, I was working 12 to 16 hours a week in the law library on the fourth floor of Stockton Hall for 85 cents an hour. With no notice whatsoever, Dean Ed Potts (I did not call him Ed until many years later) came up to me behind "the cage" of the library and told me Dean Nutting wanted to see me right away and that he, Dean Potts, would escort me downstairs to the dean's office.

What had I done? My heart beat so loud and fast. I wondered why Dean Potts, and the librarian called to stand in for me, couldn't hear it. Indeed, I was so shaken I couldn't even ask, "Why does he want to see me?"

So down the four flights we went and entered Dean Nutting's office. I stood at the front of his desk with Dean Potts to my left and about one foot behind me. Dean Nutting did not speak nor rise. Dean Potts then said as best I remember, "Bruce, did you know that Dean Nutting was the general counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture during World War II?"

"No, sir,'' I replied. (At least I answered one question correctly and without any hesitation.)

Dean Nutting then spoke, first inviting me to have a seat in front of his desk. Dean Potts continued to stand. "That's right, Bruce, and the Department of Agriculture is a wonderful place to work. Indeed, I have just learned they are creating an honors program, and we believe it would be a great honor for the George Washington University Law School if one of our graduates, namely you, would be the first to start their program."

I quickly got to my feet and said, "Sir, thank you, but those of us on Law Review were thinking of applying to the Department of Justice and..." That is as far as I got! Dean Potts put his right hand on my left shoulder, shoved me back down into my seat, and said quite forcefully, "Listen to what the dean has to say, Bruce!"

I listened and protested to no avail, explaining I was not a farmer and knew nothing about raising crops or cattle. Dean Nutting went on as if what I said made no difference (which, of course, it did not). After awhile I became convinced that if I continued to protest, I might not graduate. I settled down and listened to Dean Nutting's wise remarks and cogent reasons as to why going to Agriculture and starting their honors program was the smart thing to do.

While the subject matter may be different, the procedure in appearing before hearing commissioners (now administrative law judges) across the USA and preparing cases with assistant U.S. attorneys, brief writing, pretrial discovery, etc., would be the same as working in any other federal agency. As I listened, Dean Potts still stood to my left, ensuring that I would not bolt.

I did not bolt. I said yes and thanked Deans Nutting and Potts for the opportunity. I later learned it was Ed Potts who suggested my name to Dean Nutting. A very good year followed, with roughly a dozen hearings across the USA, rule makings, criminal prosecutions, honing the craft of pretrial discovery...and I could go on.

It was also due to Dean Potts' recommendation (and insistence) that I taught the Nacrelli Bar Review course for several months in the early 1960s when Joe Nacrelli was recovering from a heart attack (although at the time I was fully employed as an assistant corporation counsel) and, later, at his and Dean Barron's invitation, I taught at GW Law School in the early 1980s as a professorial lecturer in law.

The point is, I owe my start in the law and a huge thanks to Ed Potts for all he did for me. He was a true friend, and I was privileged to call him Ed for many years up to his passing. I will miss him.

Judge Bruce S. Mencher, BA '57, JD '60, Senior Judge, D.C. Superior Court

Destined for Denver

I was saddened to learn of Dean Potts' death. I remember him fondly, even though I graduated from GW Law more than 40 years ago. You asked for a favorite memory of Dean Potts, and here is mine:

I have had a rewarding and successful career in private practice and government service since coming to Denver in 1969. Dean Potts was responsible for my locating in Denver, a city which I had never before visited and in which I never intended to live.

In the fall of my third year of law school in 1968, I sought and received a clerkship with a judge on the United States District Court in Chicago, my hometown. Chicago politics being what it was at that time, the judge later withdrew the job offer in favor of the son of a local politician. In December I was left without a job, and virtually all of the federal court clerkships in the country had by this time been filled.

Dean Potts knew of my situation and also knew that Judge William E. Doyle, a GW Law alumnus and a judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, was still looking for a second law clerk for his chambers. Judge Doyle came to D.C. on business in January 1969, and Dean Potts arranged for us to meet. Judge Doyle offered me a clerkship, and I went to Denver to work for him for a year, planning to return to D.C. at the end of the clerkship. But I fell in love with Colorado and never left. So, in a way, I owe my career and life in Denver to Dean Potts.

Marshall A. Snider, JD '69, Arbitrator–Mediator, Denver