Class Notes – Spring 2019

Below are the Class Notes as they appeared in the Spring 2019 print edition of The Advocate. If you would like to submit a class note for the next magazine, please email


Benjamin Jacobs ’65, co-founder of development company JBG, was inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame. The company, now called JBG Smith, has raised $3.7 billion in equity through nine investment funds, developed 80-plus projects, and invested in 235 more since 1999.

Stephen “Skippy” Weinstein ’65 has joined Britcher Leone LLC, a personal injury and medical malpractice law firm in Morristown, New Jersey.
Weinstein has been recognized by New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine from 2005 to 2018, including being named among its Top 100 attorneys and its Top 10 in select years.

Russell Vail ’66 participates in the senior/masters track and field circuit primarily in race walking, in which he holds one national record, three individual national championships, five Michigan state records, and many Michigan individual championships. Vail also throws the shot put, discus, and javelin, and medals in these events at most track meets.

Nickolas Nasuta ’67 was selected as Top Attorney of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals.


Jonathan Schochor ’71 received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors those who have demonstrated leadership,
excellence, and longevity within their respective industries and professions.

Gerald Schwartz ’74, a past president of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, spoke at the VTLA Sources of Coverage Seminar on Oct. 18, 2018, in
Richmond, Virginia, discussing uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Schwartz has given almost 100 lectures to trial lawyers and is the author of Virginia Auto Insurance Law, Third Edition and Primer of Neck and Back Injuries for Attorneys and Staff, Third Edition.

Tom Morante ’77 has joined the national law firm of Kaufman, Dolowich & Voluck LLP. He will be working at the firm’s Ft. Lauderdale, Florida,
office and will assist the firm in developing a presence in Washington, D.C. Morante is a member of the AUWCL Dean’s Advisory Council.

Stuart Kaswell ’79 has left the Managed Funds Association after 10 years of distinguished service as general counsel. Working with MFA members
and staff, Kaswell helped shape the U.S. and EU legal frameworks that govern the alternative investment industry today.


Paul Kilmer ’80, a partner in the Intellectual Property Group at Holland & Knight LLP, was listed among the 2019 World Trademark Review’s top 1,000 trademark attorneys from around the world.

Lawrence Husick ’83 is a co-founder, counsel, and chief innovation officer of Cloud Pharmaceuticals, 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.

Christopher Fogleman ’84 was appointed to the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Maryland.

Joseph Seidel ’85 was appointed as chief operating officer at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, an industry trade group representing securities firms, banks, and asset management companies.

Adam Katz ’86 began a twoyear term in January 2018 on the AU Alumni Board of Directors.

Thomas B. Trimble ’87 joined Winston & Strawn, where he advises U.S., European, and emerging market companies, private equity funds, and foreign
governments in connection with equity and asset acquisitions and sales, project finance, infrastructure development, and renewable energy transactions.

Mark Kappelhoff ’88 was re-elected as a judge in Minnesota’s 4th Judicial District.

Jill Cummins ’88 was appointed as an associate judge on the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, by Governor Larry Hogan and
began serving in January 2018.

Santiago Canton LL.M. ’89 was appointed to head the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry of Israeli war crimes.

Michael J. Newman ’89, a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Ohio, finished his term as national president of the Federal Bar Association. Newman was the first magistrate judge ever to be elected FBA national president. He devoted much of his presidency to civics and led the FBA’s effort to introduce young people to the federal courts and third branch of government. He was recently named the FBA’s Judicial Ambassador for Civics Education and was appointed by Chief Judge R. Guy Cole as co-chair of the Sixth Circuit’s circuit-wide civics initiative,
Connections: You; Your Courts; Your Democracy.


Kathleen Ryan ’90 joined international law firm Morrison & Foerster’s Financial Services Group as counsel.

Mark Collins ’91 was named one of the best bankruptcy lawyers in Delaware by Delaware Today.

Drew Wrigley ’91 was nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as U.S. attorney for North Dakota.

Paul Brabant ’92 was promoted to managing director of AlixPartners’ Investigations, Disputes and Risk office.

Roger Brown ’92 joined BakerHostetler’s International Tax Practice as a partner.

Jill Epstein ’92 was named executive director of Miracle Babies, a nonprofit organization in San Diego that provides financial and emotional support
to families with critically ill babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Charles S. Baldwin IV ’93 was recognized in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Thomas J. Conte ’93 was selected to the 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers.

Eileen Filler-Corn ’93 was elected as minority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Elaine Foreman ’93, vice president of legal and real estate at global mobility management company Topia, was promoted to the newly formed position of general counsel.

Junaid Afeef ’94 helped to establish the Targeted Violence Prevention Program in Illinois, the nation’s first state-level program focused on promoting the prevention of and early intervention with all forms of targeted violence, including lone actor domestic and internationally inspired terrorism located within the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Prior to being appointed director, Afeef served as acting general counsel.

Gidon Bromberg LL.M. ’94 received the 2018 Bright Award for EcoPeace Middle East, a regional organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists to promote sustainable development and advance peace efforts in the Middle East.

Michael Marcello ’94 was appointed as city solicitor in East Providence, Rhode Island.

David Markman ’94 joined DLA Piper’s Media, Sport, and Entertainment sector and Intellectual Property practice as a partner.

Stacey Plaskett-Duffy ’94 was reelected as the U.S. Virgin Islands representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Oliver Yandle ’94, executive director at the Association of Legal Administrators, was featured in Crain’s Chicago Business list of top LGBTQ leaders.

Douglas Alvarado Castro LL.M. ’95 was honored by the University Braulio Carrillo in Costa Rica for his 22 years of teaching, time as an academic
researcher, and several publications in the areas of international trade and customs legislation.

Claudia Lewis ’95 was featured in Profiles in Diversity Journal and Law360 for her work within the FDA practice at Venable LLP.

Jeremy Litt ’95 was promoted to managing director and senior counsel in the investment management group BlackRock.

John Nadolenco ’95 was appointed to the American University Alumni Board.

Heidi Howard Tandy ’95 is chair of the Intellectual Property Group at Price Benowitz LLP.

Swata Gandhi ’96 has joined Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr as counsel in the Business and Finance practice.

Jen Gundlach ’96 was named the Emily and Stephen Mendel Distinguished Professor in Access to Justice at the Maurice A. Dean School of Law at Hofstra University in New York.

William C. Miller Jr. ’96 was selected as president of the American Gaming Association.

Gabriel Eckstein ’95, LL.M. ’97, professor of law at Texas A&M University School of Law and director of the Natural Resources Systems Program, has been elected president of the International Water Resources Association, which focuses on improving and expanding the understanding of water issues through education, research, and information exchange among countries and across disciplines.

David Rogers ’97 won re-election to represent the 24th district in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Patricia Vercelli JD/LL.M. ’97 joined Airlines for America as senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary.


Kelly Veney Brinkley ’00 joined the Executive Leadership Council as executive vice president and chief operations officer.

Colleen Johnson ’00 recently returned to the D.C. area as senior legal analyst for Sera-Brynn, a boutique cybersecurity firm.

Alice “Ali” L. Connaughton ’01 has joined Morrison & Foerster’s Washington, D.C., office as a partner in the REIT Group. She joins Morrison & Foerster from Greenberg Traurig.

Brandon Boulware ’02 was appointed to the Missouri Gaming Commission.

Carrie Cordero ’02 joined the Center for New American Security as the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow.

Colin Bell ’05, SPA/BA ’02, returned to the full-time practice of law in January 2018 after completing a term as a state senator in New Jersey,
representing Atlantic City and the surrounding area. He practices commercial and construction litigation at Hankin Sandman Palladino & Weintrob in Atlantic City. He resides in Margate with his wife, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Sarah Beth Johnson, and their children, Asher and Sloane.

Damien Diggs ’03 joined the Northern District of Texas courts as a federal prosecutor.

Leslie Turner ’03 was elected to the Board of Directors of FirstEnergy, an electric services company in Ohio committed to cleaner energy resources, smarter technology, and a more sustainable planet.

Kristen Uhl Hulse ’04 became an assistant professor of practice at Denver Sturm College of Law in Denver.

Scott Lee ’04 was selected for the “Best Under 40” award by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Laura A. Jeltema ’05 was named partner at Warner Norcross + Judd, a corporate law firm serving clients throughout Michigan.

Jason W. McElroy ’05 is a litigation partner at the law firm of Weiner Brodsky Kider PC in Washington, D.C. WBK focuses on servicing the
financial services industry by providing litigation, regulatory compliance, licensing, and corporate work for financial services companies.

Wendy Meadows ’05 opened the Law Office of Wendy S. Meadows LLC, a boutique family law firm in Phoenix, Maryland, in northern Baltimore County. Previously, Meadows spent 13 years practicing at her firm in Towson, where she made partner in 2011 and served as managing partner the last two years.

Jonathan Sahrbeck ’05 was elected district attorney in Cumberland County, Maine.

Michael Lapidus ’06 joined the Lapidus Law Firm PLLC in Washington, D.C., as an associate in January 2018. The firm was founded by Larry Lapidus ’70 and handles personal injury claims and litigation, injury, and wrongful death claims arising from motor vehicle crashes, falls in stores and parking lots, and medical malpractice.

Gabrielle Hessman ’06 joined the Auto Care Association as vice president of federal affairs.

Shoshana E. Rothman ’06 has been named a partner of BrigliaMcLaughlin PLLC, a boutique construction litigation firm in Tysons Corner, Virginia,
serving the construction and surety industries in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.

Jed Wulfekotte ’06 was selected for the “Best Under 40” award by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Wesley Bricker ’07 was featured in Accounting Today’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.” Bricker is chief accountant of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Robert White ’07, at-large councilmember for the Council of the District of Columbia and chair of the Committee on Facilities and Procurement, was nominated to serve as chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Board of Directors.

Monica Castillo ’08 joined Kesselman Brantly Stockinger as an antitrust lawyer in Manhattan Beach, California.

Juan Fernandez-Barquin ’08 was elected as a state representative to the Florida House of Representatives, representing District 119, which includes part of Miami-Dade County.

Fatema K. Merchant ’08 is a member of the Government Contracts, Investigations, and International Trade Practice Group in the Washington, D.C., office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLC. She focuses her practice on international trade and white collar criminal defense work, which includes the U.S. government’s regulation of international trade, crossborder transactions, and foreign investment.

Eric Simanek ’08 has been promoted to partner at Sullivan & Worcester. Simanek practices in the firm’s Investment Management Group in Washington, D.C.

Sarah Thornton Caswell ’09 was selected as the administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

Stephen J. Hug ’09 is a newly elected partner at Bracewell LLP, serving in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Hug previously worked in the Office of General Counsel at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Aaron Jaroff ’09 was elected partner at McGuireWoods. Jaroff focuses his practice on financial services litigation, advising a wide variety of commercial and investment banking institutions, corporations, and individuals in all phases of complex commercial and securities matters.

Joshua Vogel ’09 joined the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts as marketing and communications director.


Ryan Abraham ’10 joined Ernst & Young as a principal of the legislative group of Washington Council.

Ricardo Ampudia ’10 joined Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Miami, where he serves as global arbitration and litigation counsel focusing on disputes
governed by international law or involving cross-border transactions.

Peter Feldman ’10, senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, was confirmed as a commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Caitlin Grant ’10 was named partner at Lerch, Early & Brewer in Bethesda, Maryland.

Audrey Haydon ’10 was appointed city attorney in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Ralph Hua LL.M. ’10 joined Fisher Phillips as an associate in immigration law.

Jenna Hudson ’10 was elected partner at Gilbert LLP, a dispute resolution firm in New York. Hudson’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation and dispute resolution.

Samuel T. Acker ’11 joined Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. Acker is one of eight members of the Sayles Werbner
team to join Bradley’s new Dallas location.

Abbey Baker ’11 joined Lowenstein Sandler as counsel.

Karin Curtis ’11 accepted a position as partner of the Los Angeles office of Gordon & Rees.

Kristen Jones ’11 joined Rosenberg Martin Greenberg as an associate in its Real Estate Group. Jones has represented landlord and commercial
developer clients in the financing, construction, and leasing of over 10 million combined square feet of projects throughout Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.

Frank Llosa ’11 welcomed his daughter, Tatiana Llosa, on May 15, 2018.

Gary C. Norman LL.M. ’11 has been elected chair of the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.

Christine Peterson ’11 serves as the director of international trade and investment in the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti. Peterson previously held roles at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Richard Rodriguez ’11 was elected president of the D.C. Hispanic Bar Association.

Kristen Wilson ’11 joined Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP as an associate. Colby Duren ’12 is the new director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, a unit within the University of Arkansas’ Office of Economic Development, after serving as policy director and staff attorney
of the organization since 2017.

Roushani Mansoor ’12 is a justice adviser with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the U.S. Department of State. There, she provides technical legal advice that shapes the bureau’s over 90 foreign assistance programs that work with foreign courts, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. She has also served as the temporary, in-country justice advisor at different U.S. embassies.

Ashley Rose ’12 became senior policy counsel for Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan.

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

David William Alexander Chee ’13 joined Carlton Fields, focusing on business litigation and environmental law.

Sara Falk ’14 has joined Fox Rothschild LLP in Washington, D.C., as an associate in the firm’s Litigation Department, where she focuses her practice on commercial and government contracts litigation.

Alicia Orkisz ’14 joined Inline Plastics as general counsel and director of corporate real estate.

Jessi Patton ’14 and Megan Wakefield ’14 launched Juris Diction, a legal marketing and business development company, in May 2018. The company 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. Patton lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia, and Wakefield has recently returned to the Washington, D.C., area.

Estefanía Rodriguez ’14 was hired as senior legislative assistant for Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson.

Andrew Bisbas ’15 joined national law firm Lowenstein Sandler as an associate.

Sarah Goetz ’15 joined the legal department at Americans United as a legal fellow.

Maya Jumper ’15 is an associate at Outten & Golden LLP and a member of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm in 2018, Jumper clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Honorable Deborah A. Robinson on the U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia, and the Honorable Eric T. Washington, former chief judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Gabriela Benitez ’16 was elected secretary of the D.C. Hispanic Bar Association.

Angela DeMahy ’16 joined DLA Piper’s telecom practice as an associate.

Chauna A. Abner ’17 joined Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott’s Wilmington, Delaware, office.

Hunter Adams ’17 joined Baker, Ravanel & Bender as an associate.

Adam S. Mogill ’17 joined Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy’s Philadelphia office.

Bliss Piverger ’17 joined the woman-owned national litigation services consulting firm Litigation Insights as a jury research consultant.