As Seen By The Dean
GW Law Briefs

International Update
Faculty File

Alumni Events
Law Newsmakers


Contact Us
Alumni Association
Law Alumni Association
GW News Center

Alumni Newsmakers

the '70s

The District of Columbia government and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia have honored Judge Bruce S. Mencher, BA ’57, JD ’60, for his dedicated services on behalf of children. Mencher, a judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, established the “Adoption Day in Court,” an annual celebration of adoptions in Washington, D.C. Mencher was presented with the accolade on Nov. 18, 2006, at the 20th annual Adoption Day ceremonies.

Marshall Lerner, JD ’65, delivered a colloquium on protecting encryption code under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the First Amendment at the Harvard University Center for Research on Computation and Society. Lerner serves as a member of the Advisory Council of the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.
He also has lectured in the area of intellectual property to MBA students at both the University of Southern California and UCLA. Lerner is managing partner of the Los Angeles firm Kleinberg & Lerner.

The American Friends of The Hebrew University has honored A. Sidney Katz, JD ’66, with the Torch of Learning Award for his support of vital humanitarian and education endeavors. Katz, who is a founding partner of the Chicago and Washington, D.C., law firm Welsh & Katz, accepted the accolade at a November tribute dinner in Chicago. A longtime supporter of The Hebrew University, Katz was recently elected an associate governor of Hebrew University’s Board of Governors. The city of Lake Forest, Ill., where Katz lives, declared Nov. 15, 2006, as A. Sidney Katz Day.

Dallas resident John Bernard Holden Jr., JD ’68, was included in Best Lawyers in America 2007. Holden is a member of the energy practice group of Jackson Walker and has more than 34 years of experience representing clients in the natural resources area. He is board certified in oil, gas, and mineral law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Because he represents clients on projects in Latin America, Holden frequently speaks on oil, gas, and international topics to business and legal audiences.

Tucson Lifestyle featured A. Bates Butler III, JD ’69, in a piece on “Best Lawyers” of 2006. Butler works at the Arizona-based firm Fennemore Craig. With more than 30 years of experience, Butler has interesting cases under his belt. Butler says he prosecuted retired Mafiosi Joe Bonanno and represented a church worker who assisted refugees in El Salvador in the mid-’90s.

the '80s

Glenn V. Whitaker, JD ’72, was included in Best Lawyers in America 2007. Whitaker practices commercial litigation, personal injury litigation, and white-collar criminal defense for the Cincinnati, Ohio, office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease. He was also recently named a 2007 “Ohio Super Lawyer” through the independent research of Law & Politics.

Energy lawyer Earle H. O’Donnell, JD ’75, has joined White & Case as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. O’Donnell, who previously worked at Dewey Ballantine, has represented clients in some of the largest utility mergers and acquisitions, regional transmission organization developments, transmission and interconnection issues, market-based rate, government audits and investigations, and state and federal regulatory issues of the electric utilities industry. He serves as the head of White & Case’s energy practice.

The National Wildlife Federation honored Patrick Parenteau, LLM ’75, with a Conservation Achievement Award for his legislative and legal work on environmental conservation. Parenteau, who was formerly director of Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Center, is recognized for his expertise regarding endangered species and biological diversity, water quality and wetlands, environmental policy and litigation, and land use and property rights. He has lectured on issues around the world and now teaches as an adjunct professor at Dartmouth College.

Gregory C. Yadley, JD ’75, was listed as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for 2007. He also has been named a “Florida Super Lawyer” and was listed as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers” in Florida for 2006 and one of Florida Trend Magazine’s Florida Legal Elites for 2006. At the American Bar Association Annual Convention in Honolulu in August, Yadley chaired and made presentations at meetings of the business and securities law committees. He also is a member of the American Bar Association, where he has served in leadership roles in the Small Business and Federal Regulation of Securities Committees. Yadley is chair of the corporate practice group Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Tampa, Fla. In addition, Yadley is an adjunct professor for the inaugural “Business Document Drafting” course at the University of Florida Law School.

Construction law firm Peckar & Abramson welcomed Jacques Cook, JD ’76, as a partner in its Washington, D.C., office. With international experience in structuring financial transactions, Cook will oversee the firm’s practice in public-private partnerships. Cook served for more than two decades as chief counsel at the Inter-American Development Bank, and most recently as chief counsel at a major international law firm in New York.

Attorneys for Porter Wright Morris & Arthur in Columbus, Ohio, Mason Evans IV, JD ’77, and Bradd N. Siegel, JD ’77, were named to “The Best Lawyers in America” 2007 list. Evans, who was named “Best Lawyer” in the area of commercial litigation, represents clients in technology and commercial litigation, and arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, including matters involving software licensing, intellectual property, copyright, privacy, security, and electronic discovery. Siegel has more than 25 years of experience in labor and employment litigation and has successfully defended management clients against claims brought under state and federal employment discrimination statues and state wrongful discharge law. Siegel, a partner with Porter Wright, is editor of Ohio Employment Law Letter and was elected a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 1999.

The 2007 edition of “Best Lawyers in America” included Richard L. Byrne, JD ’78. Byrne is a patent attorney and director and secretary of Pittsburgh-based The Webb Law Firm, a legal practice that concentrates exclusively in intellectual property law. Byrne also was named a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” in 2005 and 2006 and was recognized as one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” in 2003, 2004, and 2005. He lives in Upper St. Clair, Pa.

Marvin Dang, JD ’78, received the Annual Small Firm Practitioner Merit Award from the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division of the American Bar Association. He was the only person to receive the award for 2006 and the first recipient from Hawaii. The president of the American Bar Association recently appointed Dang to the association’s Coalition for Justice. The purpose of the 13-member group is to restore public confidence in the justice system by developing a broad-based network of organizations that will support and participate in justice system improvement at state and local levels. Dang also is the managing member of the law offices of Marvin S.C. Dang.

Mary Greenwood’s new book How to Negotiate Like a Pro: 41 rules for Resolving Disputes (iUniverse, 2006) won the DIY Book Festival Prize for best “how to” book. Greenwood, LLM ’78, was honored in a ceremony in Los Angeles for the award, which highlights independent and self-published books on the cutting edge of literature. How to Negotiate Like a Pro is based on Greenwood’s experience as a chief union negotiator and on her career in conflict resolution. She lives in Miami Beach, Fla.

The “Maryland Super Lawyers 2007” included Joseph C. Kovars, JD ’78. Kovars practices construction litigation for Baltimore-based Ober/Kaler.

Nashville-based father and son team Scott Price, LLM ’79, and Pat Price study attitude, ambitions, and the condition of the American heart in their new book Looking for Goodwill (Providence House Publishers, 2006). The piece documents the duo’s journey across all 50 states, where they ask ordinary people about the good things in their lives. Afterward, they give each person $10 to spend on doing something good, and they are surprised by the results. “There are good people all around us doing great things,” Scott says. “You just have to seek it out.”

the '90s

Federal government attorney Kim L. Bright, JD ’80, was named the newest board member for Kids Hope United, a private human service agency serving more than 5,000 children and families in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Bright also serves as president of the West Suburban Chicago Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. In 1999, Bright was appointed by the Maryland governor to serve as co-chair of the Governor’s Council on the Status of Girls, and she also served on the Maryland Commission for Women.

Rebecca B. Ransom, JD ’80, was named to the Council of the Boston Bar Association. Ransom is assistant general counsel at Raytheon Co. in Waltham, Mass.

Ann Combs, JD ’81, has joined The Vanguard Group based in Valley Forge, Pa. Combs will oversee the mutual fund firm’s retirement policy, research, and consulting activities. She previously served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor and head of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

American International Group named Anastasia D. Kelly, JD ’81, as executive vice president, general counsel, and senior regulatory and compliance officer. Prior to this position, Kelly was executive
vice president and general counsel of MCI/WorldCom until its merger with Verizon. Before that, she was senior vice president and general counsel of Sears, Roebuck and Co. She also has worked for Fannie Mae and was a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington.

Potomac, Md., resident Scott W. Stucky, LLM ’83, was appointed a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces by President George W. Bush. Stucky’s nomination was confirmed by the Senate Dec. 9, and he took the oaths of office Dec. 20 in the historic hearing room of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. Prior to his appointment, Stucky was for 10 years general counsel and minority counsel of the committee. Stucky graduated from Wichita State University and Harvard Law School. He served as an Air Force judge advocate on active duty and is a retired colonel in the Air Force Reserve.

Nadia de Araujo, MCL ’84, serves as a prosecutor for the State of Rio de Janeiro at the appellate court level. In addition, Araujo is a professor in the field of private international law at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Araujo also has been part of the Brazilian delegation to the Hague Conference of Private International Law for the past three years. She has worked on the conference’s special commission to develop a convention on child support.

For the second straight year, Faith L. Charles, JD ’86, has been named to the BTI Client Service All Star Team for Law Firms, a select group of 113 attorneys across the nation singled out by Fortune 1000 corporate counsel as lawyers who deliver exceptional client service. Charles is a business and finance attorney in the New York office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo. She focuses on corporate, commercial, and security matters, including strategic transactions and corporate structuring.

Jennifer Catlin Tucker, JD ’86, was named co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section.  Tucker is of counsel at Littler Mendelson in Boston, and is a graduate of Williams College.

An attorney practicing bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law, Mark Bossi, JD ’87, was named to “The Best Lawyers in America” 2007. Bossi works for Thompson Coburn in St. Louis.

the '00s

Doug Weider, JD ’90, was promoted to shareholder in the New Jersey office of Greenberg Traurig. Weider, a former Bell Labs software engineer, has significant experience litigating technology matters, including patent disputes, software development contracts, class actions involving computer architecture design, and trade secret matters. He has successfully tried such cases before state and federal courts and arbitration panels. Weider has been with the firm for four years.

The Irvine, Calif., office of Burkhalter, Michaels, Kessler and George admitted Gregory M. Clement, JD ’91, as an equity partner. Clement has extensive experience with a variety of corporate law matters, including mergers and acquisitions. He has been with BMKG for six years and has been a principal in the firm for the past year.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dayton, Ohio, named Vipal J. Patel, JD ’91, chief of its criminal division. Before joining the Dayton office in 2005, Patel served as an assistant U.S. attorney in both the criminal and civil fraud divisions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California in Los Angeles.

Washington Business Journal named Sam Alberts, JD ’92, Top Washington Bankruptcy Lawyer 2006. Since joining the firm White & Case in 2004, Alberts has helped establish the firm’s Washington-based financial restructuring and insolvency practice. His accomplishments include helping to save several hospitals, jobs, and health care services in the Greater Southeast Community Hospital Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, started in 2002. Winners of the Washington Business Journal’s annual awards program were selected from more than 400 nominees.

Previously serving as the U.S. Government Printing Office’s inspector general, Greg Bower, JD ’92, was named the office’s general counsel. Prior to his GPO service, Bower served as legal counsel in the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Securities and Exchange Commission appointed John T. Dugan, JD ’93, as associate district administrator for enforcement in the commission’s Boston district office, where he will oversee the enforcement program for the entire New England area. Since joining the SEC in 1999, Dugan has spearheaded several important enforcement actions by leading investigations of insider trading, offering fraud, and accounting fraud. He was previously an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission.

The U.S. audit, tax, and advisory firm KPMG named Guy A. Bracuti, JD ’94, of Arlington, Va., a principal at the firm. Before joining KPMG in 2000, Bracuti worked in the Office of Chief Counsel (International) for the Internal Revenue Service. He is a member of the New York Bar and the New Jersey Bar.

Author David Hosp, JD ’94, blends the brutality of real-life experience and compelling narrative in his new legal thriller Innocence (Warner Books Hardcover, 2007). The story takes place in Boston, where a solo practitioner finds himself in the compromising position of defending a known thug who may be innocent, while trying to figure out why a decorated member of the Boston Police Department would risk her career by lying. Hosp, who worked on the New England Innocence Project, was inspired to write the book after representing a wrongly convicted man who served seven years in prison before DNA evidence cleared his name. The novel will be published in July.

David Levine, JD ’94, has been promoted to vice president of worldwide programming strategy and windowing for the Disney Channel and Jetix. Levine has served as executive director of programming strategy for Toon Disney and Jetix since joining Disney in 2004. In his new position, Levine will oversee all aspects of the worldwide programming strategy group and facilitate communication between Disney and Jetix Channels to coordinate and roll out programming strategies on a global basis.

Architect and attorney Neil B. Shoter, JD ’94, was elected treasurer for the Greater Palm Beach County Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for 2006-07. The foundation, which was founded by parents of children with type 1 juvenile diabetes, seeks to accelerate research on the disease and its complications. Shoter is a partner at Shutts & Bowen’s West Palm Beach office. He lives in Lake Worth, Fla.

Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia named Michael Sozan, JD ’94, his legislative director. Before joining Webb’s team, Sozan was the counsel for Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida since 2004. Previously he was also an associate at the law firm of Arnold & Porter and an attorney at the Federal Communications Commission.

Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis named Peter D. Crawford Jr., JD ’95, a partner in the firm. He is a member of the firm’s tax, trusts and estates department and has represented many of New Jersey’s major banks in the administration of trusts and estates.

A partner in Saul Ewing’s business department in Philadelphia, Katayun I. Jaffari, JD ’95, was elected secretary of the board of directors for the Support Center for Child Advocates, an organization that provides free legal and social services to abused and mistreated children in Philadelphia. Jaffari also serves as chair of the Support Center’s Volunteer Committee, which encourages Philadelphia lawyers to provide pro bono legal services to children in need.

Greenberg Traurig promoted Rosa S. Jeong, JD ’95, to shareholder at the firm. Jeong focuses her practice on all aspects of international trade law, including trade remedy proceedings before the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. International Trade Commission, federal courts, NAFTA panels, and the World Trade Organization. She has represented companies in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and in intellectual property litigation.

Latham & Watkins in Costa Mesa, Calif., recently welcomed Steven E. Otto, JD ’95, as of counsel in the firm’s finance practice group. Otto was formerly a partner with Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps in San Diego, where he practiced for six years. His primary focuses are on real estate, particularly the representation of clients in the acquisition, joint venture, development, leasing and sale of commercial, industrial, and residential projects. Otto has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California, real property section.

Yoora Pak, JD ’95, of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker in Washington, D.C., has been named co-chair of the Labor and Employment Committee of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. The organization represents the professional interests of more than 40,000 attorneys and 47 local Asian-Pacific American bar associations.

Pepper Hamilton law firm promoted Scott E. Fireison, JD ’96, to partner in its Washington, D.C., office. Fireison represents public and private, for-profit and nonprofit organizations in connection with affordable housing programs. He joined the firm in 1996.

Brad Jacobs, JD ’96, was named a partner at McLaughlin & Stern law firm in New York City. Jacobs practices corporate/securities law and real estate.

Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis welcomed Ronald Kamis, JD ’96, to its Washington, D.C., office. Kamis, who was previously a special counsel at Heller Ehrman, will help the firm expand its legal services in intellectual property and life sciences on a national scope. Highly experienced in counseling, prosecution, intellectual property transactions, and investor due diligence, Kamis will counsel biotech and pharmaceutical clients in the creation and use of intellectual property. His counsel includes the technical areas of antibodies, stem cells, agricultural biotechnology, vaccines, and gene therapy.

Democrat Karl Rhoads, JD ’96, was elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives. He is vice chair of the Committee on Human Services & Housing and also serves on the committees on Finance, Health, and International Affairs. After receiving his law degree, Rhoads and his wife, Cindy McMillan, moved to Hawaii, where he worked as a summer clerk for Intermediate Court of Appeals Judge Corinne K.A. Watanabe, practiced law, and served for six legislative sessions as an assistant to Hawaii Rep. Marilyn Lee. Previously Rhoads interned in the office of U.S. Sen. John Kerry and was a legislative aide to U.S. Reps. Louise Slaughter and Eliot Engel.

In May, Stephanie Kimbrell, JD ’97, was sworn in as an administrative law judge with the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings in Hunt Valley, Md. Kimbrell conducts hearings on behalf of state agencies. Prior to serving as a judge, she clerked for the Hon. Clayton Greene Jr. of the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals of Maryland.

Law & Politics named John P. Quinn, JD ’97, a “2005 Pennsylvania Rising Star,” a distinction that only the top 2.5 percent of Pennsylvania lawyers are honored with each year. Quinn is an attorney with Cozen O’Conner in Philadelphia.

Reid M. Wilson, JD ’97, was promoted to senior director-intellectual property counsel at teen clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch in New Albany, Ohio.

Buchanan Ingersoll in Washington, D.C., recently welcomed Karineh Khachatourian, JD ’97, to the firm as special counsel. Khachatourian focuses her practice in intellectual property disputes and has extensive federal, state and appellate court experience representing high-technology clients.

Melissa S. Woods, JD ’98, was named one of the “10 Up and Coming African-American Lawyers to Watch” by Diversity & The Bar Magazine.

Ungaretti & Harris in Chicago, Ill., promoted John Ruskusky, JD ’98, to partner.

B. Kevin Burke Jr., JD ’99, was promoted to partner in the litigation group at Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel in Buffalo, N.Y. Burke concentrates his practice in the area of commercial litigation and is admitted to practice in New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, the U.S. District Court, Northern District, and Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York. He is a member of the American Bar Association, New York State and Erie County Bar Associations, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the American Health Lawyers Association.  Burke serves on the Annual Giving Campaign Committee for Child & Family Services of Buffalo, the Nichols School Alumni Board and is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Buffalo.  He also serves as an attorney coach for the Buffalo Seminary High School mock trial team.  He is a graduate of Leadership Buffalo and was named to the Business First list of Who’s Who in Law 2006. 

Brian E. Finch, JD ’99, MA ’99, joined Dickstein Shapiro as head of its Homeland Security Practice Group.

The law firm Baker Hostetler promoted Adam Gropper, JD ’99, to partner in its Washington, D.C., office. Gropper concentrates his practice in tax controversy and litigation. Gropper, a CPA, handles cases involving the FICA tax status of medical residents, as well as the proper tax treatment of foreign currency losses, charitable trust arrangements, forfeiture losses, and estate tax valuations.

the '00s

Alyssa Ann Haun, JD ’00, joined the real estate and environmental department of Richmond, Va.-based McGuire-Woods. She focuses her practice on leasing, local government, and real estate transactions.

Pedro Suarez, JD ’00, joined the San Diego law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo as of counsel in the intellectual property section. Suarez specializes in all aspects of patent law. Having served as an engineer before practicing law for 20 years, he has both legal and technical expertise in the telecommunications, networking, and wireless fields. Previously, Suarez served in the Washington office of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner.

Philadelphia-based law firm Dilworth Paxson welcomed Edward W. Chang, JD ’02, to its litigation department.

Fish & Richardson named Steven Bowers, JD ’03, an associate in its litigation group in Washington. Bowers focuses his practice in the areas of consumer electronics, computer hardware, and semiconductor technologies. He served as an associate at Dewey Ballantine before joining Fish & Richardson. Before that, he served for 11 years as an engineer and analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Richard Guerra, JD ’03, joined the intellectual property law firm of Feldman Gale as an associate. Guerra practices commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation, and he is a member of the Florida Bar and the Miami-Dade County Bar Association. He lives in Coconut Grove, Fla.

Business team Jason Jones, JD ’03, and Etan Mark, JD ’03, recently launched iDiligence, a company that outsources legal services from South Florida and Chicago to India.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah promoted Matthew Sandgren, LLM ’03, to counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee. A former legislative assistant, Sandgren will advise the senator on immigration, intellectual property, and pharmaceutical-related legislation.

Having completed a clerkship for the Hon. David Folsom of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, James Aubrey Fussell III, LLM ’04, joined the Washington office of Fish & Richardson as an associate in its litigation group. Before becoming an attorney, Fussell was an engineer and consultant with FTN & Associates in Little Rock, Ark.

Gregory Buppert, JD ’05, joined Dodson, Parker & Behm in Nashville, Tenn. Buppert, who is originally from Norrisville, Md., has completed clerkships with the Southern Law Center and the Global Conservation Fund.

Liza (Meyers) Heinig, JD ’05, resides in Cleveland, Ohio, where she works as a patent attorney with a small law firm. She married Scott Heinig on July 2. She welcomes correspondence from classmates at

Fish & Richardson welcomed Frank A. Italiano, JD ’05, to the firm’s Washington, D.C., office as an associate in its patent prosecution group. He focuses his practice in the area of electrical engineering. Previously Italiano was an associate at Crowell & Moring and, before becoming a lawyer, worked as a research assistant at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Baker & Daniels attorney Chad Priest, JD ’05, was recognized with the Charles L. Whistler Pro Bono Award for his commitment to helping others through pro bono services. Priest is founder and the coordinating force behind the Indiana Health Advocacy Coalition, a service that is committed to providing enhanced representation of patient needs, especially in regard to protective order domestic violence and adult guardianship cases.

Thompson Coburn law firm recently welcomed Benjamin R. Askew, JD ’06, as an associate in its St. Louis office.

Michael T. Carolan, JD ’06, joined Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn as an associate with the firm’s insurance department. He lives in Royal Oak, Mich.

An associate in the Philadelphia office of Cozen O’Connor, David Wagner, JD ’06, practices in the area of commercial litigation. Wagner also has experience as a structural engineer and conducted research for a book on the design and building method and its use by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Lindsay A. Hedrick, JD ’06, joined Thompson Coburn in St. Louis as an associate.

Thompson Hine recently welcomed Eric Heyer, JD ’06, as an associate in its Washington, D.C., office. Heyer practices business litigation.

Amir Shaikh, JD ’06, joined the New York office of Thompson Hine as an associate.

Geoffrey A. Zelley, JD ’06, joined the Intellectual Property Group as an associate in the Wilmington, Del., office of Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz. Zelley is admitted to the Delaware, New Jersey, and the U.S. District Court District of Delaware Bars.

Remembering his Roots

Life has been an incredible journey for Isiah “Ike” Leggett, LLM ’76. The long-time community leader—who was sworn in as Montgomery County (Md.) Executive in December—rose from humble beginnings to head up one of the most prominent counties in the nation. Throughout the voyage, he has never forgotten his roots.

The seventh of 13 children, Leggett grew up in abject poverty in a three-room shack in Alexandria, La., where his father worked at a saw mill and his mother was a short-order cook. “I never met a black professional, other than a minister or teacher, until I was in college,” recalls Leggett, who paid for his undergraduate education at Southern University in Baton Rouge by mowing lawns and picking up trash on campus.

“It really is an unbelievable story that almost brings tears to my eyes,” Leggett says from his plush office on the second floor of the Executive Office Building in Rockville, Md. “These two rooms are the size of my childhood home,” he states, pointing to his office and adjacent sitting room—decorated with numerous awards and photos highlighting his distinguished career.

Leggett’s leadership potential was quickly tapped at Southern, where he was elected student body president and became a local leader of the civil rights movement. After graduating, he served as an infantry captain in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star, and then went on to earn master’s and law degrees from Howard University, graduating at the top of his class.

He attended GW Law at night while working days as a staff attorney for the Department of the Navy, attracted by GW’s government contracting law program. “It was a wonderful program,” he says, praising the faculty for making the study of government contracts “interesting, real, and very worthwhile.” The Law School’s enticing course offerings made him feel “like a kid in a candy store,” he reflects.

Soon after receiving his LLM, Leggett was selected to serve as a White House fellow in the Carter administration—an experience that he calls a highlight of his life. He next turned his attention to simultaneously launching his professorial and public service careers. For the past three decades, he’s been a professor of law at Howard University—serving as the law school’s assistant dean from 1979 to 1986. “Teaching is a real passion for me,” says Leggett, whose list of former students includes Adrian Fenty, the new mayor of Washington, D.C.

During that same period, his public service career has also thrived. Leggett served as a member of the Montgomery County Human Relations Committee from 1979 to 1986 and then as an at-large member of the Montgomery County Council for 16 years. The first African American elected to the council, he won four terms and was elected council president three times by his colleagues. “It’s been a challenge to balance a dual career, but I feel very strongly about helping others so that they don’t have to go through the struggles I went through as a child,” says Leggett, who is widely regarded as a caring community servant who uses his power to help people. “I have always considered public service to be a privilege and believe that this is the type of contribution all of us should pledge in order to help improve our society.”

Four months into his tenure as Montgomery County Executive, Leggett is making his presence felt. He recently unveiled the first operating budget of his administration—a $4.1 billion plan proposing increased funds for education, police, firefighters, and senior services, a hike in funding for moderate-income housing, and slower growth.

“One of the reasons I ran for county executive is to reach out to the most vulnerable members of our society,” he says. “That’s how I want to be measured. I really enjoy helping people and impacting lives in real time, as opposed to 10 years down the road. When you fund a library or a program to help the homeless or the uninsured, you transform lives almost immediately, and that’s an enormously satisfying experience. Of course, in a county with a population of close to one million people, you can’t help everyone, since resources are limited, but you do the best that you can. We should remember that we all do better when we all do better. In many ways, we really are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.”

—Jamie L. Freedman

Class Reunion

In her 20 years as an adjunct professor in energy law, Sheila Slocum Hollis had the opportunity to teach hundreds of students who passed through the doors of GW Law School. And while they’ve all been dear to her, alumnus James W. McTarnaghan, JD ’83,always stood out—first as her student and now as her colleague.

Former GW Adjunct Professor Sheila Slocum Hollis and her student James W. McTarnaghan, JD ’83, now work together at Duane Morris. “I was a law student learning about energy law in the wake of the National Energy Policy Act of 1978, and 25 years later, we’re dealing with the same core issues of a need for energy and a concern for the environment,” McTarnaghan says.

Dominique Messhi

Hollis and McTarnaghan are partners at Duane Morris LLP and work together in energy and regulatory law. Both are passionate about the implementation of sound policy to improve the nation’s security and address the world’s burgeoning energy needs. GW Law School, they say, shaped the course of their careers.

When Hollis first began teaching law at GW in 1979, she had just helped establish the Office of Enforcement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and was serving as its first director.

“I had an interest in energy law and regulation, so I signed up for Sheila’s class,” McTarnaghan says. “Having a chance to learn from such accomplished adjunct instructors, in addition to the great full-time faculty, was a terrific opportunity provided at GW Law. The beauty of such courses was learning from someone with a very active practice and special skills and expertise.”

Hollis found many benefits to her own legal career working as an adjunct professor, including teaching on the lecture circuit and co-authoring two books on energy law.

“Teaching the class helped me crystallize my thoughts and led to a structure for the books,” she says.

Hollis estimates she taught 400 to 500 students during her two decades at GW Law. “It warms my heart when I get to see some of them succeeding” she says. Of McTarnaghan, she adds, “I remember Jim being a bright, outstanding student. Certain individuals stand out, and Jim was one of them.”

Hollis and McTarnaghan almost became colleagues in the 1990s when Hollis says she tried to hire him. It wasn’t meant to be until 2006, when McTarnaghan joined Duane Morris’ San Francisco office. Hollis, who is chair of the Washington, D.C., office, founder of the firm’s Energy and Environment Practice Group, and a member of the firm’s five-person Executive Committee, says she appreciated the roads they took and was amazed at “how we finally came together.”

“There’s never a dull day in this field. It is a very, very vibrant field and it affects every single living being on this planet,” Hollis says as she and her colleague discuss the rapidly changing regulations and laws.

“There’s so much work to be done in renewable energy now,” adds McTarnaghan, who has helped form Duane Morris’ Renewable Energy group. “You help shape policy and show how doing the right thing environmentally can be both profitable and lead to sustainability.”

Both lawyers see a need for more immediate action to address energy security and global climate issues, but they remain positive about the future.

“We have to focus on this. Former Vice President Gore has been speaking about these issues for years and, through An Inconvenient Truth, has brought awareness of the energy/environment nexus to the public consciousness,” McTarnaghan says. “I remain positive about finding energy solutions using renewable and alternative energy sources, perhaps including technology we’ve not yet seen.”

Hollis agrees.

“This is a tough challenge and a transitional time,” she says. “We will get through the demands of the next 25 years for more reliable energy and environmental solutions must play a key role.”

For most of the past 33 years, Hollis has had the opportunity to teach developing legal minds and learn from them at the same time. She credits Professor Arnold Reitze and (former adjunct) Judge Richard D. Cudahy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit with bringing her to GW Law in 1979.

“Sheila is a very talented person, one of the most accomplished energy lawyers in D.C.,” Reitze says. “In addition to being a very great lawyer,” Reitze adds, “she’s a really nice person.”

McTarnaghan notes that his greatest tribute to GW is the fact that his daughter will be a freshman next year in the Elliott School of International Affairs, where she hopes to learn how to make our world a better place. It’s a pursuit she no doubt picked up from people like her father, who in turn was guided down his path by Hollis—a teacher, colleague, and friend.

—Claire Duggan

In Memoriam

Sophie B. Lyman, LLB ’34, LLM ’38
Jan. 19, 2007
Silver Spring, Md.

Osborne S.P. Koerner, JD ’36
Dec. 13, 2006
Arlington, Va.

David W. Richmond, JD ’37
Jan. 23, 2007
Sarasota, Fla.

Clark Nichols, LLB ’39
Feb. 21, 2007
Atlanta, Ga.

John Labelle, JD ’41
Nov. 1, 2006
Manchester, Conn.

Kenneth C. Chatwin, LLB ’42
Jan. 16, 2007
Phoenix, Ariz.

Robert A. Gingell, BA ’48, JD ’49
Feb. 2, 2007
Silver Spring, Md.

Donald Edward Fitzgerald, BA ’49, JD ’50
Jan. 13, 2007
Rochester, Vt.

James B. McIntyre, JD ’53
Dec. 13, 2006
Charleston, W.Va.

L. Leonard Ruben, BA ’51, JD ’54
March 21, 2007
Silver Spring, Md.

Francis W. Young, LLB ’55
Feb. 13, 2007
Asheville, N.C.

Charles Anthony Iovino Jr., BA ’52, LLB ’56
Jan. 30, 2007
Washington, D.C.

Grover C. Cooper, JD ’58
Feb. 6, 2007
Woolford, Md.

Edmond “Jack” Newbould, JD ’59
March 17, 2007
Alexandria, Va.

Darlene Iva Wood, JD ’99
Jan. 7, 2007
Landover, Md.

And What About You?

Please write and tell us about your career accomplishments and personal milestones. (If you’ve changed your name since you attended GW, please include your former name.) Send your news and a photo you can spare to:

The George Washington University
2121 Eye Street, N.W., #512
Washington, D.C. 20052
Or call up