Class Notes – Fall 2018

Below are the Class Notes as they appeared in the Fall 2018 print edition of The Advocate. If you would like to submit a class note for the next magazine, please email


David Splitt ’71 retired in 2017 as senior vice president and senior corporate counsel of the Xerox Corporation. He is currently serving as vice chairman of the board of directors of the Coral Restoration Foundation in Key Largo, Florida, and doing volunteer and fundraising with CRF and other environmental groups.

Gerald Schwartz ’74, a past president of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, will be speak at the VTLA Sources of Coverage Seminar on October 18, 2018, in Richmond, Virginia on the topic, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage. He is the author of Virginia Auto Insurance Law, 3rd ed. and Primer of Neck & Back Injuries for Attorneys & Staff, 3rd. ed.

Frederick H. Schranck ’78 retired May 2015 after nearly three decades as the Senior Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Transportation. He was active with the National Academy of Science’s Transportation Research Board as a member of the legal council, committee chair, and frequent presenter at the TRB International Meeting and the TRB Legal Workshops. His new book, “Hole By Hole: Golf Stories from Delaware’s Cape Region and Beyond” has now been published. Fritz and his wife Susan live in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Jeffrey W. Letwin ’79 is chairman of the board of directors for the Port Authority of Allegheny County. He has been a member of the Port Authority since 2006 and is special counsel for Saul Ewing LLP in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Richad Hirn ’79 argued in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of 13 national labor unions, seeking an injunction invalidating three executive orders issued by the president curtailing federal employee collective bargaining rights. An article that Hirn authored, “Banning Federal Employees from the Modern Public Square: Social Media Policies that Violate Labor Law,” was published by the University of Illinois Law Review.

Jules Mermelstein ’79 was elected a Regional Vice President of the National Lawyers Guild for the Mid-Atlantic Region.


Jamie Baldwin ’81 is teaching Business Law online as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland University College and is a visiting lecturer on airline management and operations at the University of Westminster (London) and Emirates Aviation University (Dubai). His focus is the application of the law to the airline business.

Keith Costa ’83 joined the team at Otterbourg P.C in New York City as a member of their Restructuring and Bankruptcy practice. He was previously a partner at Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP.

Lawrence Husick ’83 is a co-founder, counsel and Chief Innovation Officer of Cloud Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which designs novel drug molecules using artificial intelligence and high performance computational modeling. He continues to practice intellectual property law as managing partner of Lipton, Weinberger & Husick in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and is a senior fellow and co-chair of the Center for the Study of Terrorism at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.

Gina Betts ’85 joined Dorsey & Whitney LLP as partner in the Dallas, Texas office.

The Honorable Debra Dwyer ’86/BS '82 was appointed to the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Maryland. She started her term as associate judge in November 2016.

Lawrence Grewach ’86 retired as an administrative law judge for the State of Minnesota.

Jane Sanchez ’87 became the 25th Law Librarian of Congress. She has been with the Library of Congress since 2014, previously serving as the chief of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Helen Odar Wolstoncroft ’87 joined Saxton & Stump LLC as senior counsel for the firm’s newly created Intellectual Property Practice Area.

Johnny C. Chiu LL.M. ’89 is now a partner in the Beijing and Washington offices of Perkins Coie. He is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property practice.

W. Stephen Muldrow ’89/MA ’89 was appointed acting U.S. attorney general for the middle district of Florida.


Michelle Rosenkranz Suskauer ’91 became the president of the Florida Bar during the annual convention in Boca Raton, Florida. She began her term in June 2018.

Andrew Gumpert ’92 is the chief operating officer of Paramount Pictures, where he leads business affairs and home entertainment and television transactional distribution. He joined Paramount after several years with the Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.

Ivo de Paula ’92 joined an independent financial consultancy at Raymond James, and has been working in the offices out of Bethesda since 2017.

Jane Timken ’94 is the first female chair of the Ohio Republican Party. She took over as chair after serving seven years are the vice chairperson of the Stark County Republican Party.

Mark William Russell ’94 joined Duane Morris LLP as Special Counsel to the Intellectual Property Group in New York. There, he focuses on patent prosecution and strategic counseling in the chemical areas, specializing in pharmaceuticals.

Jason Hadges ’95, partner at Hogan Lovells in Washington, is a member of the firm’s Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Regulatory Practice. He spent the previous five years with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in the Office of Chief Counsel.

Heidi Tandy ’95 is of counsel to the Washington, D.C. law firm Price Benowitz, where she focuses on privacy/terms of use policies and best practices - including GDPR compliance - as well as trademarks and “fandom law,” a growing IP subspecialty that includes issues surrounding transformative works and fair use of both copyrights and trademarks. She is set to speak on fair use at AUWLC’s Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest in September.

Jennifer Gundlach ’96, senior associate dean for experiential education and clinical professor of law at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, was awarded the AALS Section on Pro-Bono and Public Service Opportunities Deborah L. Rhode Award. The award recognizes her contributions to legal education.

Lydia C. Watts ’96 is the chief executive officer of the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN). SWAN advocates for the full integration of women into the armed forces.

Amy F. Shulman ’96 has joined Outten & Golden LLP's New York office as counsel for the firm’s Individual Practice Area.

Joseph Uglialoro ’97 of Virginia is the new chief administrative officer and general counsel for MicroTech.

Heather Russell ’97 is the new chief legal officer at TransUnion. She is also on the TransUnion Executive Committee. Her duties include responsibility for all legal, consumer privacy functions of TransUnion and its subsidiaries, corporate governance and compliance, and government relations.

Judge Allen H. Loughry III LL.M. ’99/SJD ’03 was elected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. His term began in January 2017.

Candace Beck Smyth ’99 joined Tanenholz & Associates, PLLC of Washington as counsel and director of client relationships. Her legal background includes experience in antitrust, white-collar litigation, Indian law and federal contract, and pro bono work in refugee and human rights law.


Dale Durrer ’00 was recently sworn in as General District Court Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prior, he served as an Assistant and Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney in Culpeper County, Virginia and a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia.

Dolores Dorsainvil ’00 was appointed by the incoming ABA President this June to serve as an appointed member on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Professional Discipline for a three year term. Only nine lawyers are selected throughout the country to serve on this committee.

Jeremy T. Elman ’02 is a new partner with Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Palo Alto, California. His practice focuses on patent litigation, along with trademark, copyright, and trade secrets. He was previously with DLA Piper in Florida.

Alicia C. O’Brien ’02 joined Venable LLP as a partner after serving multiple years with the U.S. Department of Justice. She works with the Government Division, focusing on the firm's Congressional Investigations Practice and working closely with the Investigations and White Collar Defense, Legislative and Government Affairs, and Regulatory practices.

Jennifer Romero ’02 was appointed by Senator Tom Udall to serve as the democratic staff director and chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. She assumed her new role in January 2017.

Brett D. Siglin ’02 joined Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C. as a member in the Corporate and Tax departments, where he focuses on business law matters including traditional and tax-advantaged corporate structuring, joint ventures, bond financing, syndication of equity, contract negotiation, and real estate acquisition and development.

Mariju L. Bofill ’01 received the William R. Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent from The American Foreign Service Association. The award recognizes an individual for his or her dedication to improving the lives of Asian Americans.

Judge Lauren T. Farber ’03 is now an immigration judge for the Varick Street Immigration Court in New York City.

Judge Zuberi Williams ’03, associate judge of the District Court of Maryland, District 6 in Montgomery County, was named a recipient of the National Bar Association’s 2018 “40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates” awards

Jefferson Garn ’04 joined the Indiana Office of the Attorney General as the senior deputy attorney general in March 2017. He was previously an administrative law judge for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

Mehreen Butt ’05 is the newest member of the Board of Trustees of the Hallmark Health System. She is the director of public policy for Rosie’s Place, a women’s shelter in Boston, MA.

Michelle Chapin ’05 is now a principal with Paley Rothman in Bethesda, Maryland. She joined the firm in 2012 and is part of their Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, Tax and Corporate practices.

Thomas Oppenheimer ’05 is a partner at the Miami office of Fox Rothschild LLP. He has been with the firm since 2013 and is a member of their Corporate, International, and Mergers and Acquisitions practices.

Alex Johnson ’05, president of Los Angeles County Board of Education and the program director of the California Wellness Foundation, was named a recipient of the National Bar Association’s 2018 “40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates” awards

Olivia Luk Bedi ’05, partner in the Intellectual Property practice group at Neal Gerber Eisenberg, has been selected for DiversityMBA’s Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders for 2018.

Nicole Allen LL.M. ’06 joined Thompson Coburn LLP in Washington as Council in January 2017. She was formerly at Schiff Hardin LLP as a senior associate. At Thompson Coburn, her practice will focus on a number of matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Kathryn E. Deckert ’06 is senior counsel at Stein Sperling Bennett De Jong Driscoll PC in Rockville, Md. She focuses her practice on family law, specifically domestic disputes and divorce, child custody, and pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

Christopher Thatch ’06 was elevated to partner at Jones Day. He joined Jones Day as an associate in 2006, and now works with their Business and Tort Litigation Practice.

Ebony Scott ’06 (formerly Robinson) was appointed to serve as Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel. In her role, she will be tasked with providing sound legal counsel to the Mayor and the Offices of the Deputy Mayors and District of Columbia executive agencies, as well as providing support to subordinate agency counsel. Prior to her appointment, she served as the General Counsel for the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights.

Nicholas Basco ’07 is now an associate with Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is a member of the Professional Liability Department, Coverage and Bad Faith Practice Group. Nicholas was previously an associate with Bressler, Amery & Ross P.C.

Patrick Deyhle ’07 specializes in commercial real estate financing and recently became a partner at Windels Narx LLP in New Jersey.

Candace Gomez Roberts ’07 joined Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC in New York as an attorney with their higher education, school district, and litigation practices. She also serves as the president of the Nassau County Chapter of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association.

Juan M. Sempertegui ’07 assistant general counsel and vice president with Bank of America was included in El Tiempo Latino’s 100 Most Influential People for The Hispanic Community.

Dion Trahan LL.M. ’07 joined the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan as their director of advance and external policy and communications officer. He was previously the director, healthcare solutions for MicroPact, Inc. in Virginia.

Tim Tarpley ’07 was named vice president of government affairs at the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association, where he heads the association’s policy operation.

Alexander Benezra ’07 was appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court to serve on the Court’s Post-Conviction Actions Task Force.

Jamie Todd-Gher ’07 works as a Legal Advisor at Amnesty International. She engages in UN, regional and national advocacy, campaigning and litigation focusing on gender, sexuality, health and economic, social and cultural rights.

M. Lucero Ortiz ’08 joined the Board of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Grisella Martinez LL.M. ’08 is now vice president of government relations for the National Association of Broadcasters. She joined the NAB in March 2017 after three years as the policy director, House Democratic Caucus with the U.S. House of Representatives.

Daniele Schiffman ’08, senior associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Washington, D.C. was recognized as the Lauren N. Rinaldi Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year. While at AUWCL, she served as a Note and Comment Editor for the American University International Law Review.

Alex Specht ’08 became a partner at the New York Office of Akin Gump. Alex’s work will focus on the U.S. federal tax related to domestic and cross-border financial transactions. He was an articles editor for the American University Law Review.

Andrew Strelka ’08 joined the Tax Practice of Latham & Watkins as counsel. He was previously counsel at Miller & Chevalier Chartered.

Claire White ’08 is a partner in the Seattle offices of K&L Gates. She is a member of the corporate practice group and represents both public and private companies.


James J. Hunter ’10 is an associate with the Professional Liability Practice Group at Collins Einhorn Farrell PC in Michigan. He was the international editor for the Sustainable Development Law & Policy Journal while a student at AUWCL.

Spencer Jenkins ‘10 is now a partner at Beach Cowdrey Jenkins in Oxnard, California. He joined the firm in 2011 and represents business entities and professionals involved in high stakes civil litigation and regulatory matters.

Leila Levi '10 was elected to serve as vice president for membership of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia. She is an attorney-advisor with the USDA.

Heather Scott Miller ’10 of Leesburg, Virginia received the Local Bar Leader of the Year Award. She is a member of the Loudoun Bar Association and works for Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White, P.C.

The Florida Bar Association recognized Cynthia Trimmer ’10/BA ‘03 for Women Lawyers as a 2017 Leader in the Law. She works with Driver, McAfee, Peek & Hawthorne, P.L.

Richard V. Rodriguez ’11/MBA ’11 is the president-elect of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia. He has been involved with the HBA-DC in various capacities since 2009.

Peter White ’11 was appointed senior policy analyst for the White House Domestic Policy Council. He began his new role in January 2017 having previously served with the U.S. House of Representatives as Legislative Counsel.

Frank Llosa ’11 welcomed a baby girl, Tatiana Llosa, on May 15, 2018.

Julia Boisvert ’12 is now an associate with Murtha Cullina LLP in Hartford, Connecticut. She joined the firm in March and is a member of the Health Care Practice Group. She assists hospitals, physicians, physician practice groups, and social service providers with a variety of health care regulatory, corporate, and business issues.

Mike Moss ’12 was elected second vice president-wealth management services for Ameritas Investment Corp. He previously was director-fiduciary services for AIC.

Raluchukwu Nwankwo ’12 started a law practice in Houston, Texas. With a focus on sophisticated legal solutions, the Law Office of Ral Obioha provides legal client services in the areas of immigration and nationality law, international law, personal injury law, business law and contract law.

Brittany Gail Thomas ’12 and Garreth Fearon welcomed their daughter, Zoe Jeanine Fearon, to the world on May 19, 2018. Thomas is leaving the public defender world after six years to join the faculty of the Trial Advocacy Program as the assistant director of competition teams.

Paul Alp LL.M. ’13, of Washington is now special counsel for Jenner & Block. A certified flight instructor, he is a member of the Aviation and Aerospace practice group and provides expertise and advice related to aviation law, regulatory compliance, and risk assessments for aircraft operators.

Molly Rose Green ’14 was awarded the Clarence Darrow Prodigy Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Laura C. Llanso ’14 joined the Rockville, Maryland firm of Stein Sperling Bennett De Jong Driscoll PC as an associate. She specializes in personal injury litigation.

Jessi Patton ’14 and Megan Wakefield ’14 launched a legal marketing and business development company in May 2018. Megan and Jessi first worked together in AUWCL’s Community and Economic Development Law Clinic and have continued their passion for supporting small business ever since. Their new endeavor, Juris Diction, is a full-service business coaching and marketing service that works with small and solo law firms, specifically in the estate planning and business law practice areas.

Tolu Odunsi ’15, an associate with Gibson McAskill & Crosby LLP in Buffalo, New York was named as a member of The 2017 Class of Business First’s 30 Under 30. The honorees are 30 Western New Yorkers in the early stages of their careers who are achieving at high levels at work and in the community.

Jesus Saez ’15, a presidential management fellow with the International Trade Administration, was elected secretary of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Kyrsten Melander ’16 is an Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and has  joined Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s team of prosecutors in August 2016. Melander is also a County Training Attorney, training and a mentoring incoming state prosecutors in Miami-Dade County.

Gerard Ruskowski ’17 is the judiciary legislative assistant for Senator Stabenow of Michigan.