As Seen By The Dean
GW Law Briefs

Public Interest Corner
International Update
GW Law Welcomes New Faculty Members
International Update
Faculty File

Alumni Events
Law Newsmakers


Contact Us
Alumni Association
Law Alumni Association
GW News Center


Judge Patricia Broderick and Judge Michael Rankin, both of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (front), join 2005 Cohen & Cohen Mock Trial Competition winners Nicholas Sloey and Cecilia Wagner; sponsors Jill and Wayne Cohen; finalists Dana Keenholtz and Aram Gavoor; and Mock Trial Vice President of Internal Competition Phara Serle.

Claire Duggan

Training Better Lawyers

Now in his 13th year teaching at GW Law as an adjunct professor, Wayne Cohen says he has continually learned alongside his students: “When I first came here at age 27, I taught legal research and writing—I didn’t have the experience to teach trial skills as I do now,” he says. “I’ve kept an open mind to my students’ ideas and have shared my experiences in the courtroom with them. I enjoy training better lawyers.”

Noting that the mock trial program “needed stronger legs under it,” Cohen created an annual competition that fosters trial advocacy skills. The Cohen & Cohen Mock Trial Competition is sponsored by its namesake personal injury firm, of which Cohen is founder and managing partner. Cohen and the firm have both risen to prominence among Washington legal circles: The Wall Street Journal describes Cohen as “brash, aggressive, and enterprising,” and the firm won the Quality of Life Award for best place to work by the D.C. Bar Association.

Will Wilder, a 3L who last year won the Cohen & Cohen Mock Trial Competition with teammate Dawn Goodman, JD ’05, says professional evaluation of his performance during the competition was invaluable.

Claire Duggan

This was the third academic year GW Law hosted the competition, which will continue for an additional two years. The competition is held in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room; a $25,000 gift from the firm and Cohen’s support in gaining distinguished competition judges have helped make it a high-profile event for the Law School.

This year’s competition, held Nov. 9, was won by 2Ls Nicholas Sloey and Cecilia Wagner. Judges Patricia Broderick and Michael Rankin of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia judged the finals.

Cohen says he is impressed by student participation in the program and notes that they have been instrumental in securing judges for the competition. Last year, guest judges included John Facciola, magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Hiram Puig-Lugo, associate judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Will Wilder, a 3L who last year won the competition with teammate Dawn Goodman, JD ’05, says professional evaluation of his performance was invaluable.

“The highlight of the competition for me was the final round. I appreciated all of the feedback that I received from everyone involved in the competition, especially the judges and practitioners,” Wilder says. “I will use all of the knowledge that I gained from the competition to help hone the skills that I need to become a successful litigator.”

Adjunct professor Wayne Cohen, founder and managing partner of Cohen & Cohen in Washington, seeks to give students practical courtroom experience through the Cohen & Cohen Mock Trial Competition.

Cohen feels it is important for students to practice trial skills before they enter the workforce because many won’t have a chance to gain trial experience early in their careers. While many students are attracted to the prestige of large law firms, Cohen says being a small fish in a big pond makes it difficult to gain on-the-job training.

“When I started my career, I was working for a big firm with more than 300 lawyers,” Cohen says. “I didn’t gain a lot of trial experience until I started working for a smaller boutique firm. In all my interactions with students, I hope to raise their awareness of the advantages of smaller firms and to help them gain some practical experience they can use from their first days in the field.”

Cohen contributes to his students’ success and preparedness inside the classroom as well, notes Stephen Saltzburg, the Wallace and Beverley Woodbury University Professor of Law. Saltzburg calls Cohen an “innovative” instructor, citing Cohen’s practice of e-mailing students tape recordings of their in-class presentations so they can review their performances.

“I regard Wayne Cohen as one of our most valuable assets in skills training generally and trial advocacy specifically,” Saltzburg says.

—Laura Ewald

Berz Professorship Brings Religion to the Fore

David R. Berz, BA ’70, JD ’73

The intersection of law and religion stands at the heart of an innovative new GW Law professorship established by two-time GW alumni David R. Berz, BA ’70, JD ’73, and Sherry Kirschner Berz, BA ’72, MA ’73. The David R. and Sherry Kirschner Berz Research Professorship in Law and Religion is the latest in a long line of contributions to GW Law by David Berz, managing partner of the Washington office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

An active and devoted alum, Berz is chair emeritus of GW Law’s Board of Advisors and co-chair of the recent dean selection committee that brought Frederick M. Lawrence to GW. A widely-published expert on U.S. and international environmental law, Berz says that inspiration for the Berz professorship came from a number of sources. “First of all, the gift connects with my own GW education, since I majored in religion as an undergraduate and then went on to law school,” he states. “My family shares a commitment to both law and religion, so this is also a tribute to them. The gift is, in particular, a memorial to my brother, Michael, who during his life was fully immersed in exploring the role of religion in society.”

The tragic events of 9/11 further spurred the Berz’s to create the professorship. “All of a sudden we were faced with a series of divides for which people were willing to commit acts of terror that included indiscriminate killing and suicide,” he states. “These divisions were in very bold relief when I visited Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, last August to represent detainees at the U.S. military prison. The 21st century has brought with it a new body of issues that stem from the conflict between religion and culture, and it’s my view that law has a large role to play in reconciling those conflicts.”

According to Berz, the professorship will promote constructive dialogue about the relationship between law and religion by sponsoring symposia, seminar classes, and joint scholarly endeavors. “I have great aspirations for the research, programs, and public discussion that will be generated by GW Law School on these topics,” he says. “A lot of universities, including GW, are dealing with these types of issues under the broad umbrella of peace studies, and it’s my hope that this professorship will offer many opportunities for law school scholars to interact with religious studies faculty members and other GW departments on these important matters.”

Berz, who comes from a family of lawyers, has been making his presence felt at GW for decades. As an undergraduate, he served as vice president of the student body and played on GW’s baseball team. At the Law School, he was an editor of the Journal of International Law and Economics, and was a member of the national moot court team.

He continues to make a difference at his alma mater, despite his rigorous schedule at Weil Gotshal, where he co-directs the mass tort, product liability, and environmental practice. “My professional career continues to be informed and enhanced by the opportunity to work with the law school,” states Berz, who has played a substantial role on GW Law’s Board of Advisors since its inception. “It’s a very creative and rewarding environment to participate in, and I have been energized by the extraordinary strides that the Law School has made across the board in recent years.”

The Berz professorship, he says, reflects his ongoing gratitude to GW Law. “I feel very fortunate that I attended GW,” he states. “Any success I’ve had in the profession starts with my experience at GW Law School and the guidance and wisdom of its faculty.”

—Jamie L. Freedman

The George Washington University Law School Intellectual Property Advisory Board


Roger L. May, JD ’72
Raymond P. Niro, JD ’69


Brian Brunsvold, JD ’67
Hon. Q. Todd Dickinson
Richard L. Donaldson, LLM ’73
Charles R. Donohoe, JD ’70
Donald R. Dunner
Hon. Timothy Ellis
Albert E. Fey, JD ’58
Jack C. Goldstein, JD ’68
A. Sidney Katz, JD ’66

Thomas D. Kiley JD ’69
Gary S. Kindness, JD ’65
Jeffrey P. Kushan, JD ’92
Luiz Leonardos
Hon. Richard Linn
Don W. Martens, JD ’63
Norman F. Oblon, JD ’68
Hon. Ralph Oman
C. Larry O’Rourke, JD ’71
Daniel R. Passeri, JD ’94
Hon. Marybeth Peters, JD ’71
Louis T. Pirkey, JD ’64
Hon. Randall R. Rader, JD ’78
G. Franklin Rothwell, JD ’56
Harold C. Wegner
Hon. Ronald M. Whyte

Dean's Dinner

The Dean’s Dinner, recognizing donors at the $1,000 level, was held at the Italian Embassy on Oct. 21 during Colonials Weekend.

Dede Blackburn; Board of Advisors Chair Dick Blackburn, JD ’67; and Dr. Silvia Limoncini, cultural attaché who represented the Italian ambassador.

Brian Brunsvold, JD ’67, a partner with Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, was recognized for establishing an endowment to support a member of the faculty.

Sherry Berz, BA ’72, MA ’73, and David Berz, BA ’70, JD ’73, with Dean Fred Lawrence. With the support of the Weil Gotshal law firm, Sherry and David created an endowment to support a research professorship at the Law School.


Class of 1965 Receives Challenge from Classmate Franklin Haney

Franklin Haney, LLB ’65, and his wife, Emmy, attended his 40th reunion dinner in October and shared great news with Dean Lawrence: They will match dollar for dollar all gifts from their classmates to the annual fund. Haney announced his challenge during the reunion weekend: He wants his class to set a new record for the Law School.

The George Washington University Law School Board of Advisors


Richard W. Blackburn, JD ‘67


Alumni & Development Committee:
Darrell L. Dreher, JD ‘73

Admissions & Career Development Committee:
Alexia Morrison, JD ‘72

Program Committee:
Jonathan S. Kahan, JD ‘70


Hon. William P. Barr, JD ’77
Bradley Ian Berger, JD ’72
David R. Berz, JD ’73, BA ’70
Hon. Edward Blackmon Jr., JD ’73
David S. Brown Jr., JD ’69
Carol Elder Bruce, JD ’74, BA ’71
Bobby R. Burchfield, JD ’79
Rosalie Burns, MD
Steven L. Cantor, JD ’75
Dale L. Carlisle, JD ’60
Douglas E. Davidson, JD ’71

Stephen J. Davidson, JD ’73
Jared M. Drescher, JD ’67
Donald E. Egan, JD ’62
David B. Falk, JD ’75
Steven M. Goldman, JD ’76
Gary C. Granoff, JD ’73, BBA ’69
Franklin L. Haney, LLB ’65
Robert B. Hirsch, LLB ’50
Hon. James F. Humphreys, JD ’78
Theodore A. Levine, JD ’69
Edward H. Lyman, JD ’68
Robert E. Mangels, JD ’70
Preston R. Padden, JD ’73
Robert L. Patron, JD ’98
Edwin L. Phelps, JD ’68
Hon. Margaret M. Richardson, JD ’68
Marcos G. Ronquillo, JD ’79
The Hon. Gerald Rosen, JD ’79
John T. Schwieters, JD ’65
William H. Shawn, JD ’73, BA ’70
Ronald J. Silverman, JD ’72
Thomas F. Smegal Jr., JD ’61
Ira L. Sorkin, JD ’68
Dennis Charles Sweet III, JD ’80
Steven A. Tasher, JD ’73
James L. Volling, JD ’79
Charles S. Walsh, JD ’67
Martha Brown Wyrsch, JD ’86

Barr Named Annual Fund National Chair

The Law School has named Hon. William P. Barr, JD ’77, as the new Law School Annual Fund national chairperson. In this role, Barr will promote annual unrestricted giving to the Law School by serving as the spokesperson for recurring philanthropy. Barr has had a longstanding relationship with the Law School since graduating in 1977. He is a 1994 recipient of GW’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, has been a member of the Law School Advisory Board since 1993, was chairman of the Law School’s Centuries Campaign, and made the lead gift to the Law School Building Fund.

Barr is currently executive vice president and general counsel at Verizon Communications, where he heads the legal, regulatory, and government affairs group. Capping a distinguished career in government, he served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush and served on the White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Ronald Reagan.

$60,000 Board Challenge: The Law School Needs YOUR Support

As the new Annual Fund Chairperson, Bill Barr, with the support of the GW Law Board of Advisors, has issued a challenge to fellow alumni to make a gift or increase their level of support.

The chairman’s goal is to achieve an additional 500 donors to the Law School. In support of this goal, the board has generously offered to: match first time gifts 1 to 1; match the amount of an increased gift 1 to 1; match anyone who increases their gift to $500 at 1.5 to 1.

Please make your gift today by using the envelope enclosed in this magazine.