Robert Russel, JD ’56,
of Colorado Springs, Colo., was honored with a
judicial building in his name in honor of his
20 years of service as district attorney. Russel
was a recognized leader in fields such as homicide
trials, child abuse, welfare fraud, child support,
and juvenile crime. Russel now is retired after
47 years of practicing law.
Jeremy Sachs, JD ’68,
in 2002 retired from a 30-year career in international
business and corporate legal practice. This year,
he will receive his master’s degree in Judaic
studies from the University of Connecticut. Sachs
is looking forward to a new career as a translator,
interpreter, and commercial writer.
Richard A. Killworth, JD ’70, LLM
’72, was recognized as a leader
in the field of intellectual property law by Chambers
USA’s America’s Leading Lawyers
for Business in June. Killworth is a partner with
Dinsmore & Shohl in Dayton, Ohio. Formerly
a patent examiner with the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office, Killworth also clerked for two years in
what is now the Court of Appeals for the Federal
Circuit. In addition to practicing for more than
30 years, Killworth has taught at Ohio State University
College of Law, and the University of Dayton and
the University of Miami law schools. Killworth
has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America
since its inception.
Irvine, Calif., Gary Lane, LLM ’70,
serves as general counsel to the Khoshbin Companies,
which handle commercial real estate investments
throughout the United States. Lane has served
as dean at both Abraham Lincoln University Law
School and California Pacific School of Law and
was a law professor at Pepperdine University and
law schools in Delaware and Oklahoma. Lane’s
practice has focused on representing major hospitals,
including Santa Monica Medical Center and California
Medical Center, Los Angeles. His specialties are
business, contracts, and regulatory practice.
“Having graduated from five universities,
I enjoyed GW Law the most and found the students
to be the most conscientious about studying to
advance their careers,” Lane writes.
Maine Gov. John Baldacci appointed Eliot
H. Stanley, JD ’72, to a three-year
term on the Maine Regulatory Fairness Board, which
considers complaints from small business owners
on adverse effects of state or federal regulatory
actions. Since 2005, Stanley has also been recognized
in Who’s Who in America. He also
was a member of the Brookings Institution’s
seminar on national security. The U.S. Commission
on Civil Rights honored Stanley with a distinguished
service award for his work on Boston school desegregation
from 1975-06. Stanley resides in Portland, Maine.
At the request of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi,
David Day, JD ’74, was
chosen by the State Department as its special
adviser and principal speaker on Vietnam on controversial
topics including corruption, bribery, and business
ethics. In May and June, Day—as a representative
of the U.S. private sector—conducted a series
of meetings between U.S. and Vietnamese government
officials on these topics to eventually develop
initiatives to improve the business climate for
American and other foreign investors in Vietnam.
In 1997, Day was instrumental with brokering the
creation of the first public discussions on economic
normalization among several ambassadors and ministers
that led to the initial MFN (Bilateral Trade Agreement)
draft between the United States and Vietnam. Day
resides in Honolulu, where he practices law and
often as an international mediator and arbitrator
throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Steven L. Cantor, JD ’75,
was recognized as one of the Top 100 private client
attorney wealth advisers by Citywealth Magazine.
The magazine held a special event for honorees
in London. Cantor, who is managing partner in
the international tax and estate planning law
firm of Cantor & Webb in Miami, also was included
in the 2006 edition of Best Lawyers in America.
construction litigator and government contracts
attorney Larry D. Harris, JD ’75,
joined the Washington office of Greenberg Traurig
in July. He is a member of the firm’s construction
litigation and government contracts practices.
Harris has extensive experience with areas including
contract negotiation and dispute resolution and
contractor and owner representation. Harris serves
as a mediator and is on the American Arbitration
Association’s national construction panel.
Harris also has been named one of the top construction
lawyers in Washington by Chambers since 2003.
Harris is active with the GW Law Alumni Association
and the Black Law Alumni Association. He is vice
chair of the Board of Trustees of Norwood School
in Bethesda, Md.
In May, Earle O’Donnell, JD ’75,
was listed as one of the top 10 attorneys in the
field of energy law by Legal Times. He
was also named as a leading individual in electrical
energy in Washington by Chambers USA
2005. O’Donnell serves on the board
of the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy and is
a partner with Dewey Ballantine.
Susan Foreman Jordan, JD ’76,
was named a “Super Lawyer” by Law
& Politics magazine and Philadelphia
Magazine for 2006. Jordan is a partner with
Fox Rothschild’s Pittsburgh office and specializes
in employee benefits law, tax law, and trusts
and estates. She has also been recognized by The
Best Lawyers in America 2005-2006, Pennsylvania
Law Weekly, and The Legal Intelligencer.
With 25 years of experience in labor and employment
law litigation on behalf of companies in state
and federal courts, Bradd N. Siegel, JD
’77, is ranked as the number one
employment attorney in Central Ohio by Chambers
USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
He serves as co-editor for Ohio Employment
Law Letter. In 1999, Siegel was elected a
fellow of the College of Labor and Employment
Lawyers. He has also been recognized by The
Best Lawyers in America, Law & Politics,
and Cincinnati Magazine.
L. Byrne, JD ’78, has been named
a 2006 Pennsylvania Super lawyer for his expertise
as a patent attorney in The Webb Law Firm. The
firm is based in Pittsburgh and concentrates exclusively
in intellectual property law. Byrne also ranked
among The Best Lawyers in America this
year. After graduating from GW Law, Byrne clerked
and served as technical adviser to the Hon. Jack
R. Miller, associate judge of what is now the
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal
Circuit. He is the author of numerous articles
on IP topics; is a former president of the Pittsburgh
IP Law Association; and is admitted to the Supreme
attorney Marvin Dang, JD ’78,
was appointed to the ABA’s 13-member Coalition
for Justice in September. The coalition’s
goal is to help restore public confidence in the
justice system by developing a broad-based network
of organizations that will support and participate
in justice system improvements at the state and
local levels. Dang has practiced in Hawaii for
28 years and is the managing member of the Law
Offices of Marvin S.C. Dang. Dang also received
the Annual Small Firm Practitioner Merit Award
from the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm
Division of the ABA at its annual convention in
Honolulu in August.
Special counsel on air quality for the Houston
City Attorney Paulette Wolfson, JD ’78,
recently coauthored an article in the State
Bar of Texas’ Environmental Law Journal.
The article, “Watch Out for the City: Local
Government Can Enforce,” explains the role
of municipality under Texas environmental law
JD ’80, was appointed as a judge
of the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals
by Gov. Robert L. Ehrilich Jr. He was sworn in
on July 19. Dembrow practices in Sykesville, Md.
In August, Charles A. Berardesco, JD
’83, was promoted to vice president,
associate general counsel, chief compliance officer,
and corporate secretary of Constellation Energy,
a Fortune 200 company based in Baltimore. Berardesco
also is active in community and charitable organizations
and serves as chair of the Woodbourne Center,
a child care agency. He also is chair of the church
council of Foundry United Methodist Church and
a member of the board of directors of the Baltimore
Choral Arts Society. Berardesco lives in Washington
with his partner, Jeffrey Thurston.
Specializing in employment law and commercial
litigation matters, Jonathan F. Bloom,
JD ’85, was named a Pennsylvania
Super Lawyer for 2006 by Philadelphia Magazine.
He is a partner with Stradley Ronon Stevens &
Young in Philadelphia and serves as chairman of
the firm’s employment and labor department.
Jimmy Horowitz, JD ’86,
was promoted to co-president of production and
executive vice president of Universal Pictures.
He oversees all non-creative aspects of production
from inception to delivery. Horowitz also assumes
overall responsibility for Universal’s growing
original and adapted theatrical stage production
business around the world. Horowitz joined the
studio in 1992, and most recently served as executive
vice president of business and legal affairs.
Prior to joining Universal, Horowitz served as
counsel for the Alliance of Motion Picture and
Specializing in civil and criminal antitrust
matters, Bernard Nigro, JD ’86,
is now a partner at the Washington office of Willkie
Farr & Gallagher. He previously served as
deputy director of the Federal Trade Commission
Bureau of Competition. Nigro resides in McLean,
Elizabeth I. Hack, JD ’88,
was elected to partner of Sonnenschein Nath &
Rosenthal in Washington. She practices in the
litigation and business regulation group, specializing
in civil litigation involving civil rights discrimination
and heath care fraud and abuse. Hack represents
clients in the pharmaceutical and health systems
industries in federal and state court litigation,
government investigations and compliance matters
involving government drug price reporting, FDA
drug importation, and Americans with Disabilities
Acts public access issues.
Fannie Mae promoted Juliana Schulte O’Reilly,
JD ’89, to vice president and general
counsel. She represents the company before the
Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight and the Department
of Housing and Urban Development. Previously,
she was director and managing associate general
counsel of Fannie Mae’s legal department,
providing advice and counseling on similar matters.
O’Reilly joined Fannie Mae in 1999 after
serving as partner in the financial services group
at Venable in Washington. She also serves as the
vice chair of the American Bar Association’s
Banking Law Committee.
J. Lieberman, JD ’90, joined the
national law firm of Edwards Angell Palmer &
Dodge in its Boston—Federal Street office.
He serves as counsel in the litigation management
department. Lieberman’s litigation expertise
lies in federal and state employment and labor
laws, including discrimination, retaliation, discipline,
wrongful discharge, contract disputes, and collective
A named partner with Smith, Strong & Schlesinger
in Washington, Maria Strong, JD ’90,
practices copyright and international trade law.
She provides legal counseling and policy advocacy
for clients in the audiovisual, publishing, software,
recording, and 3-commerce industries, in both
international and domestic arenas. Strong resides
in Silver Spring, Md.
A resident of Fairfax, Va., Cherie L.
Halyard, JD ’92, joined the Office
of the Commissioner of Revenue in Arlington, Va.,
as deputy commissioner of revenue. She provides
legal counsel to the commissioner of revenue,
who is the tax assessing officer for Arlington
County for personal property, business property
and licenses, as well as custodial taxes such
as restaurant tax and transient occupancy tax.
in intellectual property counseling and patent
prosecution, John Phillips, JD ’92,
was named managing principal of Fish & Richardson’s
San Diego office. His areas of expertise are Internet-related
technologies, computer software, and communications
R. Scott Beach, JD ’93,
was selected as a winner in the Fairfield County,
Connecticut, 2006 “40 under 40” competition.
The award recognizes young business professionals
who have demonstrated talent for leadership, measurable
success in their chosen field, and outstanding
promise. Beach is a partner in Day, Berry &
Howard’s Greenwich office and serves as
chair of the firm’s emerging companies and
venture finance practice. A recognition ceremony
for the award recipients was held in Stamford,
Conn., on June 1. Beach serves on the board of
directors of the Connecticut Venture Group and
serves as co-chair of the business law committee
of the Fairfield County Bar Association. He and
his wife, Emery, and their three children reside
in Redding, Conn.
In his fifth and latest book, Killing Our
Oceans: Dealing with the Mass Extinction of Marine
Life (Greenwood/Praeger, 2006), author John
Kunich, LLM ’93, argues that human
activity is causing the first mass extinction
in 65 million years. In June, the book was featured
on Meg Jordan’s internationally syndicated
radio program on the Global Health Network. The
book also has received widespread media coverage.
Kunich is an associate professor of law at the
Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va. He resides
in Charlotte, N.C.
Steve LaForte, BA ’86, JD ’93,
is a member of the Seattle-based Nathanson Group.
He practices in the areas of real estate, corporate
finance, and healthcare, focusing on representing
clients on transactional matters on a national
basis with the long-term care and senior housing
industries. LaForte lives in Seattle with his
wife, Laura, and their three children.
Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis named Peter
D. Crawford Jr., JD ’95, a partner
of the firm. He is a member of the firm’s
tax, trusts, and estates department. He concentrates
on estate planning, wills and trusts, estate administration,
and tax-exempt organizations. He has represented
many of New Jersey’s major banks in the
administration of trusts and estates. Crawford
also is a member of the historical advisory commission
of Upper Makefield Township in Bucks County, Penn.
Crawford is admitted to practice in New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.
Marci Rose Levine, JD ’95,
was promoted to partner in Sonnenschein’s
Washington office. She is a member of the firm’s
Health Care Group and focuses her practice on
corporate and transactional matters. Levine has
extensive experience representing a broad range
of health care organizations, including hospitals
and health systems, physician practices, managed
care organizations, and pharmaceutical and medical
device manufacturers. She also provides counsel
to private equity firms, venture capitalists,
and other organizations in the financial services
sector that are invested in the health care industry.
Previously an assistant United States attorney
in Washington, Chad Sarchio, JD ’95,
joined the Drug Enforcement Administration’s
International Law Section as a senior attorney.
In December 2005, he and his wife, Christina Guerola
Sarchio, JD ’95, welcomed their second child,
Raquel. The family resides in Alexandria, Va.
Musa L. Eubanks, JD ’96,
joined the Atlanta office of Hall Booth Smith
& Slover as a senior associate.
SES Americom, a satellite operator located in
Princeton, N.J., promoted Aaron Shourie,
JD ’96, to vice president and corporate
counsel. He now resides in Moorestown, N.J., with
his wife, Teresa, and two children, Bishan and
Yale Law School reappointed Todd Bussert,
JD ’97, as a visiting lecturer
for the 2006-07 academic year. Bussert resides
in New Haven, Conn.
Nicholas P. Crowell, JD ’98,
was elevated to partner in the litigation practice
of Sidley Austin in New York. He focuses on complex
securities and commercial litigation matters.
While at GW Law, Crowell was editor-in-chief of
The George Washington Journal of International
Law and Economics.
In the Philadelphia office of Reed Smith, Reetu
Dandora, JD ’98, was elected a
partner. She has been with the firm since 1998.
Dandora resides in Philadelphia.
Karen (Lowy) Tinsky, JD ’98,
returned to Washington from Miami Beach, Fla.,
in August. She is associate general counsel with
Booz Allen Hamilton. Tinsky and her husband, Craig,
live in Dupont Circle with their two children,
Ezra and Elle.
In August, Tobi “T.C.” Clinton,
JD ’99, founded the Clinton Firm
Professional Corporation, which handles a wide
variety of legal matters, including personal injury,
real estate, and criminal and family law. The
firm also has extensive experience prosecuting
patents, copyrights, and trademarks. The firm
is located in Vallejo, Calif. Prior to founding
the firm, Clinton spent seven years in private
practice. Also in August, Clinton became a licensed
California real estate broker.
In October, Michael Whalen, JD ’99,
became a partner with Goodwin Proctor in Washington.
He concentrates on business law and financial
services, regularly advising banks, bank holding
companies, broker-dealers, mortgage companies,
and other financial institutions on a range of
transactional and regulatory matters. He has extensive
experience in mortgage lending, credit card, and
deposit account matters.
Roberto Diaz-Luong, JD ’01,
joined the Seattle office of Preston Gates &
Ellis in its tax, trusts, and estates practice.
He has extensive experience in international and
corporate tax issues. He advises clients on outbound
and inbound investments, domestic and international
tax planning, partnership formations, corporate
reorganizations, and other matters.
IP firm Feldman Gale named Richard Guerra,
JD ’03, an associate in October.
Guerra focuses on commercial litigation and IP
litigation. Most recently, he worked with Fowler
Rodriguez & Chalos. Guerra is a member of
the Florida Bar and the Miami-Dade County Bar
Association. He is admitted to practice in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of Florida, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals,
and is registered to practice before U.S. Patent
and Trademark Office. He resides in Coconut Grove,
The Hon. Anibal Acevedo-Vila, governor of Puerto
Rico, appointed Joel A. Montalvo, LLM
’03, a special assistant. Previously,
Montalvo worked on Capitol Hill as legislative
assistant to the resident commissioner from Puerto
Rico, advising on immigration, trade, agriculture,
small business, and welfare issues. He has also
written articles in a variety of publications,
including Foreign Affairs Custom Anthology
and the PCUPR Law Journal.
completing a clerkship for the Hon. Jacques L.
Wiener Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Fifth Circuit Court of New Orleans, James
Cobb, JD ’05, joined the litigation
practice of Ropes & Gray in Boston.
Harry J. Gutman, JD ’06,
joined Dinsmore & Shohl in the firm’s
litigation department. He focuses on IP law for
the Cincinnati office.
On Risks and
a difficult stretch a few years ago at Duke Energy,
a Fortune 500 company that played a small
part in the California energy crisis. But it has
emerged with its reputation restored, and Martha
Wyrsch, JD ’86, played an
important role in its comeback. As general counsel
for Duke Energy, Wyrsch made legal decisions that
were both ethical and financially sound during
that recovery period. Now, she’s the president
of one of the company’s major subsidiaries,
Duke Energy Gas Transmission.
When she first started at GW Law, Wyrsch wasn’t
dreaming of becoming a corporate attorney, much
less a top-level executive. But she has always
taken daring leaps.
Coming out of small-town Wyoming, her original
plan was to graduate from the University of Wyoming
(in 1980) and go straight to law school. But Sen.
Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), a family friend, convinced
Wyrsch to come to D.C. and join his staff as a
legislative assistant. After a few years of working
for Simpson—during which time she met and
married Gerry Wyrsch, BA ’81, who also worked
on Capitol Hill—Wyrsch chose to stay in
Washington and attend GW Law.
“Being in Washington was scary, exhilarating,
and intellectually stimulating. You can do anything
there,” Wyrsch says.
Sorting through the intricacies of tort law in
the Jacob Burns Law Library with a study group
she remains close to today, hiking in the Blue
Ridge Mountains, and going to Orioles games with
her husband are among Wyrsch’s favorite
memories of GW Law.
“I was struck by how diverse the culture
was at school and in D.C., and the countryside
around D.C. is so lush,” says Wyrsch, who
now is a member of GW Law’s Board of Advisors.
Wyrsch says her GW Law experience emphasized
the importance of ethics, and also connected her
with jobs in the nation’s capital. One of
her favorite professors was Joel Seligman, who
steered her toward an internship with the Securities
and Exchange Commission during her third year.
After graduation, Wyrsch returned to the West
to become an associate attorney for Davis, Graham
& Stubbs in Denver. In 1991, she was hired
by one the firm’s clients, KN Energy, where
she eventually became the company’s vice
president, secretary, and general counsel. KN
Energy grew from around $900 million in assets
to $9 billion in assets while Wyrsch was there,
and when the company was expanding through large
and small acquisitions, she was often in the thick
of the dealings. This is what led Duke Energy
to recruit and hire her in 1999 as a senior vice
president, general counsel, and secretary for
Duke Energy Field Services.
At Duke Energy, Wyrsch is greatly aided by the
consideration of proper ethics in part instilled
in her by her GW Law education. She says one of
the most difficult tasks of her career was helping
to guide the company through the turbulent years
of corporate scandals.
“Helping to manage a company through a
downturn in trust of corporations was challenging.
I learned a lot about how important it is to run
a company with ethics,” Wyrsch says. “This
company came through intact.”
Wyrsch also played an important role in Duke
Energy’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Westcoast
Energy in 2002, and she has received a number
of promotions in a relatively short period of
time. In 2004, she was named group vice president,
general counsel, and secretary—responsible
for the company’s legal affairs and compliance
activities, as well as audit, security, business
continuity, ethics, and insurance. Now, she’s
president of Duke Energy Gas Transmission.
She will add “CEO” to her title when
Duke Energy Gas Transmission separates on Jan.
1 from parent Duke Energy to become a standalone
company. She will continue to lead the new company’s
natural gas operations that include about 17,500
miles of transmission pipeline and 250 billion
cubic feet of storage capacity in the United States
and Canada. The company also has natural gas gathering,
processing, and distribution assets and natural
gas liquids operations that are among the largest
Wyrsch believes that, in viewing her path to
success, there are some identifiable lessons for
young lawyers and law students interested in corporate
law to gain. She would advise them to place a
premium on ethical practices, to balance work
and external interests, and of course, never to
be afraid to take some risks.
for What Matters
Even by hectic
Washington standards, Marc
L. Fleischaker, JD ’71,
is a very busy man.
As chairman of Arent Fox for more than a decade,
Fleischaker has mastered balancing numerous client
and administrative duties—and also has managed
to carve out time for pro bono commitments, governing
board obligations, and personal time with his
“When you get to do a lot of different
things, it makes for a much more interesting practice,”
Fleischaker says. “Arent Fox has always
allowed me to work on various interests and has
helped me satisfy that itch.”
His 35-year practice with the firm has included
work in diverse fields including litigation, antitrust,
environmental law, corporate law, and intellectual
property. In 2004, Washingtonian named
him a “Top Environmental Lawyer.”
Much of his recent concentration has been representing
trade associations, where he represents clients
in such diverse industries as college stores,
credit counseling organizations, wood products,
automotive parts, and grain. This practice area
is part of Arent Fox’s non-profit initiative.
His law firm boasts one of the largest practices
in the country that represents trade associations,
museums, foundations, and other non-profit organizations.
Fleischaker came to Arent Fox immediately upon
graduating from GW Law. He also holds a bachelor
of science degree in economics from the University
of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance
and Commerce, from which he graduated in 1967.
“GW Law was good to me,” Fleischaker
says. He said the Law School was accommodating
to him when he took a semester’s leave to
fulfill his National Guard duties. He worked in
small local firms while attending GW Law. He fondly
recalls his law school years, especially working
on The George Washington Law Review.
“I got to meet many bright people as a student
at GW Law,” he says.
By 1978, Fleischaker was a partner at Arent Fox.
Shortly thereafter, in the early 1980s, he was
counsel for a class-action discrimination lawsuit
against the Library of Congress. “We represented
all the female and black professionals,”
Fleischaker says. “At that time, there was
a glass ceiling that limited their advancement
at that agency.” In 1996, Fleischaker was
named chairman of the firm.
In addition to his active legal practice, Fleischaker
chairs the firm’s executive committee, focusing
on strategic planning and partner recruitment.
He also devotes considerable time to pro bono
and public interest activities, for which Arent
Fox has a long tradition of support and commitment.
Fleischaker is the lead attorney representing
a group of women farmers in a pending discrimination
case against the Department of Agriculture. Arent
Fox also provides pro bono counsel to Washington’s
Whitman-Walker Clinic, the Holocaust Memorial
Museum, and the Legal Aid Society. The firm has
always been ahead of the curve when it comes to
pro bono work and for years has allowed attorneys
to receive billable credit for pro bono hours.
Arent Fox awards annual diversity scholarships
to law students and also adopted a local elementary
school to which both attorneys and staff have
dedicated thousands of volunteer hours. The firm
was named one of the “Best Places to Work
in Greater Washington” by the Washington
Business Journal in 2006.
“If you work hard, value excellence in
your client activities, and are profitable, you
can do other things,” Fleischaker says.
“Pro bono work is very important to us here
at Arent Fox. We believe it is vital to be part
of the communities where we live and to give back
to those communities and their people.”
Fleischaker’s community is Washington,
and one can immediately see from a flood of governance
board activities just how dedicated he is making
the nation’s capital a better place. He
serves on the executive committee of the Council
for Court Excellence, which works to improve the
administration of justice in the local and federal
courts and related agencies. In addition, he is
currently a member of the board of directors and
executive committees for both the National Lawyers’
Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Washington
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and
Urban Affairs. Previously, he served as co-chair
for both organizations. Fleischaker was honored
for his work at the 2003 National Lawyers’
Committee gala and again this year when he was
awarded the Washington Committee’s 2006
Wiley Branton Award for his civil rights advocacy.
The Appleseed Foundation is yet another organization
that benefits from having Fleischaker on its board.
He has spent the past two years as co-chair of
Appleseed, one of the country’s largest
legal pro bono network organizations, whose work
includes studies evaluating responses to the Hurricane
Katrina crisis and major initiatives to gain full
voting rights for the citizens of the District
Additionally, Fleischaker dedicates time as a
member of the Economic Club of Washington, the
American Society of Association Executives, the
Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee,
and the Federal City Council, an organization
of about 200 civic leaders whose goal is to work
as a catalyst for progress in Washington.
“There’s a networking aspect, but
it’s also an opportunity for those who are
fortunate enough to give back,” Fleischaker
Fleischaker enjoys spending time with his wife,
Phyllis, and their two adult daughters—one
of whom lives in New York and works in the publishing
industry, and one who followed her father into
a career in the law. Fleischaker also is an avid
runner who has completed several marathons, enjoys
the occasional game of golf, and has published
more than 30 articles in legal journals. Fleischaker
has found that there is plenty of time to go around,
as long as one spends it wisely.
By Steven A. Lerman, JD ’72
Editor’s note: Eight days after suffering
a heart attack in May, Steven Lerman, JD ’72,
wrote a personal account of the experience (a
condensed version of which is presented here),
hoping it will resonate with fellow alumni and
attorneys. As general counsel of CBS radio and
managing partner of Leventhal Senter & Lerman
PLLC in Washington, Lerman is used to stress,
which his doctors cited as a contributing factor
to his heart attack, caused by a blood clot.
Unfortunately, Lerman reports, “Lawyers
are used to stress and become inured to its effects,
so much so that we may not notice its impact on
our physical well-being.” Especially today,
with technology making instantaneous communication
possible, and expected, “we are practicing
law at warp speed. Stress goes with the territory.”
Lerman’s prescription is to maintain
healthy habits and to undergo regular stress checks.
For an unedited version of his story, please contact
him at email@example.com. If, after reading
his story, “I can scare one lawyer into
taking an aspirin a day, it will have been worth
Uh oh. It’s coming in waves, feels really
weird. Only a bad dream? No, it’s still
coming, getting worse. I have to sit up. I am
sweating. A lot, and everywhere; my face, chest,
even my hands. Everything is spinning. Bad soft
shell crabs at dinner? Too much Pinot Noir? No.
It’s my chest. I am feeling a squeezing
sensation in my whole upper body, can’t
breathe. An elephant on your chest, that’s
what people say it feels like. It does. Must be
a heart attack.
“What’s wrong?” Charla asks,
light sleeper that she is. I am sitting on the
side of the bed, moaning a little. Then I try,
like a fool, to stand up, immediately keeling
over onto my nightstand. Charla pushes me back
on the bed and immediately calls 911
I am starting to think I have “bought the
big one,” thinking about Charla, the kids,
the office, next week’s schedule. But now
the EMTs are here. Jennifer, a strong EMT with
freckles, totally in charge, says “hang
in there.” I am really cold. The van, which
has no shocks, proceeds toward Suburban Hospital
in Bethesda, Md.
On ER, there are tons of people in the emergency
room 24 hours a day. Well, I have a news flash—at
3 a.m. on a Sunday, it is not exactly a beehive
of activity. So everyone is now crowded around
my gurney. They give me heparin and morphine for
the pain, which immediately makes me nauseous,
and suddenly there go the soft shell crabs, overboard.
I am whimpering, trying to keep the expletives
to a minimum since there are so many well-intentioned
people hovering over me.
A nurse, Grace, is rather methodically shaving
all the hair off parts of my body, hooking me
up to monitors and IVs; and Yuri Daychak, a young
doctor who no doubt has been roused from a deep
sleep but does not show it, says it is great I
got here so quickly and then explains the procedure—he’s
going to perform a coronary angioplasty.
“This is going to hurt even though I gave
you some local anesthetic,” he says as he
inserts a catheter into the femoral artery, entering
through the groin area. As advertised, it hurts
like hell, but everything is relative and the
elephant is hurting a lot worse than poking a
hole into my leg. He threads the catheter up to
the heart and says he will “light me up,”
which he does with dye and an X-ray. I am now
watching my heart on the screen, almost with detachment,
but for the overweight, ever-present elephant.
Daychak now inflates a tiny balloon at the tip
of the catheter which pushes against the artery
wall, says “abracadabra,” and suddenly
I see the X-ray light up with my artery. It looks
like a tree, and blood is flowing to the heart
again. I am feeling much better. It’s working.
I am going to live. The elephant has left the
As for the post-game analysis: I have no heart
disease in my family; I work out regularly and
have done so for 25 years; I eat pretty carefully.
(I did have an addiction to Haagen-Dazs—so
sue me—but I have gone cold turkey.)
I had no symptoms. In fact, the day of the attack,
I worked out, played a round of golf, and felt
terrific. No shortness of breath, no dizziness,
no tingling. However, lulled into a false sense
of security because of all the aforementioned
good news, I have not had a stress test in at
least seven years.
So that is my story, the morals of which are:
eat your fruits and vegetables, hold the cream
cheese on the bagel, easy on the ice cream and
the red meat, get regular vigorous exercise, keep
the workload manageable, get a good night’s
sleep, and don’t worry so much. (Easier
said than done, I know.) Also, get a regular checkup,
get a stress test even if your doctor does not
recommend it and you have to pay for it yourself,
take a coated aspirin every day, and get on the
statins if you are even in the ballpark of a cholesterol
problem. And lastly, if you suspect anything even
in the realm of possibility of a heart attack,
Oh, and by the way, I am a lawyer, not a doctor,
so ignore the paragraph above except for the advice
about calling the ambulance—on that score
I actually know what the heck I am talking about.
It could be the last chance you have to save your
Bowers Geist, JD ’32
June 4, 2006
New York, N.Y.
Dee W. Pincock, JD ’45
May 16, 2006
Bridgens, JD ’65
July 7, 2006
Falls Church, Va.
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