Alumni Notes

This section reflects notifications received April 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022

Class of 1968

William “Gerry” Hancock ’68 received the 2022 Peabody Award from the School of Education of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in October. The award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the field of education and “sustained and significant commitment to improving education in North Carolina and/or across the nation.”

Gerry is a partner at Everett Gaskins Hancock in Raleigh where his practice includes a wide range of services for nonprofits and businesses. A former state senator, Gerry was founding chair of the NC Public School Forum, Education NC, and the NC Center for Public Policy Research. As general counsel of the Low Wealth Schools Consortium, he was instrumental in the initiation of the Leandro v. N.C. litigation that led to the North Carolina Supreme Court’s landmark ruling guaranteeing every child’s right to a sound, basic education. He also led the lobbying effort to increase the annual supplemental appropriation to the state’s low wealth school systems from $6 million to $225 million and helped lead the legislative and referendum campaigns for the 1996 $1.8 billion public school bond.


Judge Tjoflat next to his portrait

Gerald Tjoflat, senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, has been honored by 190 of his former law clerks with a portrait that was unveiled on Oct. 14 at the U.S. Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla. The portrait, by Kari Rajkumar, depicts Judge Tjoflat during his term as chief judge of the Eleventh Circuit from 1989 to 1996, and was gifted to The Eleventh Circuit Historic Society to be maintained and preserved. Copies of the portrait will also hang in the courthouse in Atlanta and in Judge Tjoflat’s chambers in Jacksonville.


Robert Sink received the 2022 North Carolina Bar Association’s H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award in June. The award recognizes “attorneys who inspire others through their trustworthiness, respectful and courteous treatment of all people, enthusiasm for intellectual achievement, and commitment to excellence in work, and service to the profession and community while leading a multifaceted, accomplished life.” Bob, whose practice at Robinson Bradshaw in Charlotte concentrates on commercial real estate, is a civic leader and has served as president of both the Mecklenburg County Bar and the North Carolina State Bar.


Michael Angelini, senior counsel at Bowditch & Dewey and based in Worcester, Mass., was named as one of Worcester Business Journal’s 2022 Power 50. Mike, who served as Bowditch’s chairman from 1997 to 2022 after serving as managing partner, serves as an advisor to public and private companies in Massachusetts and the northeastern U.S. and as a trial lawyer who concentrates in the resolution of business disputes. A profile published May 2 described Mike’s “unique ability to make deals happen, arrange connections between powerful people, and mentor up-and-coming leaders in the community.”


Christine Durham, former justice and chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court, has joined the Salt Lake City office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as senior of counsel in its appellate practice. She served on the Utah Supreme Court for 35 years, including 10 years as chief justice, retiring in 2017. She previously practiced at Zimmerman Booher.


Jim Ummer, of counsel at Rothman Gordon in Pittsburgh, has been honored by the Allegheny County Bar Association for 50 years of practice. Jim is a fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel, and frequently lectures on topics of wealth preservation and financial planning. His practice focuses on planning for privately-owned businesses and families of substantial net worth. 

Durwood Zaelke, founder and president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, was named to Washingtonian Magazine’s 2022 list of “500 most influential people,” experts and advocates outside government who play significant roles in policy debates and development. Recognized in the area of climate and environment, the magazine noted his pioneering work on the need to cut greenhouse gases aside from carbon dioxide. 


James Garrison’s third novel, What Seems True (TouchPoint Press, 2021), was the winner of the 2022 NYC Big Book Award in the cross genre category. The novel was inspired by the unresolved 1979 murder of the first Black supervisor of a Texaco asphalt plant in Port Arthur, Texas.


Charles Sharbaugh, of counsel at Carlton Fields in Atlanta, is the second recipient of the Kathy Bernhardt Volunteer of the Year Award, bestowed annually by the Alliance Theatre, a division of the Woodruff Arts Center. Charles was honored for his crucial pro bono legal support of the theatre’s work in the Atlanta community. At Carlton Fields his practice focuses on the representation of private equity funds in acquisitions, dispositions, and joint venture arrangements with respect to real estate assets.


Arlinda Locklear received a Legal Legends of Color Award in June from the North Carolina Bar Association. Arlinda, who was featured in the Summer 2022 issue of Duke Law Magazine, is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and one of the nation’s foremost attorneys in federal Indian law. She was the first Native American woman to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.


Michael Wald has authored Why Didn’t You Call? A Peace Corps Panama Exposé (Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc., 2022). The book offers an account of his experience in the Peace Corps, which he joined after practicing business law for more than 35 years, and is written with a view toward making systemic improvements to its operations.


Rodney Smolla became president of Vermont Law School on July 1. He previously had served as dean and professor of law at Delaware Law School since 2015. Rodney earlier served as president of Furman University and as dean of the law schools at Washington and Lee University and the University of Richmond.


Richard Gergel, U.S. district judge for the District of South Carolina, received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from the University of Charleston on May 7, when he also delivered a commencement address. Judge Gergel, who was nominated to the federal bench by President Barack Obama in December 2009 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a unanimous vote in August 2010, earlier specialized in complex civil litigation over more than 30 years of practice in Columbia, S.C. He is the author, most recently, of Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S. Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2019).  

Mark High, a member in the Detroit office of Dickinson Wright, received the 2022 Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award from the State Bar of Michigan’s Business Law Section. The award honors lawyers who consistently exemplify the highest qualities of professionalism and practice, and unwavering dedication to service, ethical conduct, and collegiality within the practice of law. Mark specializes in business transactional matters including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and corporate governance. 


Bill Brown, co-founder, executive chair, and chief technology officer of 8 Rivers Capital, was appointed in August as a strategic adviser, Strategic Public-Private Partnerships, at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). In that capacity Bill is working with NREL to develop high-impact, multi-year, multi-sector collaborations that drive transformation of domestic and global energy landscapes.


Nora Jordan has been appointed as an independent director on the Board of Directors of Allspring Global Investments, an independent asset manager. Nora is senior counsel at Davis Polk in New York where she headed the investment management practice for more than 20 years.


Audrey Moran has been elected as a judge of the Duval County Court in Florida and assumed office on Jan. 3. She is a former assistant state attorney and served respectively as director of legislative affairs and chief of staff for two former Jacksonville mayors. She also served as senior vice president for social responsibility and community advocacy at Baptist Health and as president of Moran Mediation Group.


Allan Capute has retired, after 32 years of service, from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission where he was an appellate lawyer. He is now a student at the Virginia Theological Seminary.


Scott Cammarn has joined the Portland, Maine office of Pierce Atwood as senior counsel. He previously was a partner with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Charlotte, N.C., where he was the firm’s lead bank regulatory attorney and co-chair of their financial services department.

Wendy Beth Oliver has been appointed senior vice president and chief legal officer at OnPoint Community Credit Union, a community financial institution in Oregon and Southwest Washington, after earlier serving as vice president and general counsel. Before joining OnPoint she held general counsel and chief compliance officer positions at Grit Financial Inc. and Aven, a California-based fintech startup.


Paul Aguggia has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Dime Community Bancshares, Inc. He is a corporate services attorney and partner at Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C. and New York offices.


Ken Murphy has joined Tucker Law Group in Philadelphia as as counsel to the firm. He specializes in complex civil litigation. Ken previously was a partner at Faegre Drinker.


James Hoctor has joined the Orlando office of GrayRobinson as a shareholder, with a business practice focused on corporate, M&A, and taxation issues. He previously was a partner at Lowndes, Drosdick.

Michele Mobley, a partner at Dubois, Bryant & Campbell, an Austin-based firm, joined the Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees on July 1 for a seven-year term. 

Pete Murray has been elected a judge of the Superior Court of San Diego County and was sworn in on Jan. 2. From 2011 to 2022 he served as a deputy in the California Attorney General’s Office and earlier as a private practitioner in the state and federal courts and, for 10 years, a deputy district attorney. 

Peter Roberts, a member of the bankruptcy, insolvency, and restructuring practice at Cozen O’Connor in Chicago, has authored a chapter, titled “Asset Sales Under the Bankruptcy Code,” in the 2022 edition of Business Bankruptcy Practice, an annual handbook published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Education.

Larry Silverman has joined Sidley Austin as a partner in the Miami litigation group. He is a member of Sidley’s office of general counsel and chairs the firm’s pro bono and public interest law committee in Miami.


Kelly Mancini has joined Arnall Golden Gregory’s Atlanta office as of counsel in the firm’s real estate practice and a member of the retail industry team. Her practice focuses on commercial real estate development and retail leasing. She was previously of counsel with Parker Hudson in Atlanta.

Class of 1992

Judge Don Willett JD/MA’92, MJS ’16 of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (above, center), helped dedicate a new Forney, Texas, elementary school named in his honor in September. Judge Willett, a native of Talty in Kaufman County, attended public schools in the Forney Independent School District (ISD).

In a video tribute to Judge Willett, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts praised his lifelong commitment to the rule of law and the cause of justice. “But he also recognizes that our system of government depends not only on those in full-time public service, but on the whole community’s commitment to civic education and civic participation,” said the chief justice. “It is a fine honor to Judge Willett that the students of Forney begin their own personal journey of education, accomplishment, and good citizenship at a school that bears his name.” 

Speaking at the dedication ceremony, Judge Willett said: “My deepest wish for the precious students at this school is that seeds are planted here for them to be engaged citizens and lifelong learners, to have an insatiable curiosity and wonder about the world. To dream audacious dreams and be catapulted toward achieving them.”


Sean Andrussier has joined Womble Bond Dickinson in Raleigh as of counsel. He focuses his practice on constitutional law, appellate practice and procedure, and strategic counsel for clients involved in complex commercial litigation. Sean previously was a clinical professor of law at Duke and, for 13 years, the director of the Law School’s Appellate Litigation Clinic. He also taught Appellate Practice. He earlier co-chaired Womble’s appellate group. 

Amy Batten, partner and chair of the management committee at Smith Anderson in Raleigh, has received a 2022 Women in Business Award from the Triangle Business Journal. She counsels public and private companies on complex securities laws and co-leads the firm’s public companies practice group and corporate team.

Paige Reese Whitaker has been re-elected as a judge on the Georgia 5th Superior Court District Atlanta Circuit. She was originally appointed to the court in 2017. 


Jeff Benson has been named executive vice president — North Carolina and commercial market development at Investors Title Company, leading the state’s residential and commercial market development teams. Prior to joining Investors Title, Jeff served for eight years as partner, president, and general counsel at The Dilweg Companies, a real estate investment firm based in Durham. 


Ruth Dowling has been named executive vice president, chief administrative officer, general counsel, and secretary of American Tower Corporation, a real estate investment trust. Since joining the company in 2011 she has held several posts, most recently that of general counsel for Latin America, Europe, and Africa.

Natasha Marcus has won re-election as a member of the North Carolina Senate from the 41st district, which includes northern, western, and southwestern portions of Mecklenburg County. First elected in 2018, she serves as deputy leader of legal matters for the Senate Minority.

Laurie Sanders has joined Fox Rothschild as a corporate partner in the firm’s San Francisco office. She previously was a partner at Wendel Rosen.

Class of 1995

Jacinda Townsend’s ’95 sophomore novel, Mother Country (Graywolf Press, 2022), received the $15,000 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. The award, which is presented annually by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to emerging Black fiction writers, honors the late Ernest Gaines, a Louisiana native whose stories gave voice to African Americans in rural areas. Described as “a transnational feminist novel about human trafficking and motherhood,” the novel was selected for the prize by a national panel of judges.

Jacinda is also the author of Saint Monkey, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize and also was the 2015 Honor Book of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. d


Mark Uyeda was sworn into office as a commissioner on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on June 30, after his appointment to the post by President Joe Biden and confirmation by the U.S. Senate. He had been an attorney and a high-level advisor to the SEC since 2006, most recently serving on detail to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs as a securities counsel to the committee’s minority staff. (Read profile, page 50.)


Erik Moses has joined the Fiesta Bowl Organization in Scottsdale, Ariz., as executive director and chief executive officer. He previously served as president of the Nashville Superspeedway. Erik also has been elected a member of the Cumberland University Board of Trustees.


Jennifer Slone Tobin, a partner in the Orlando office of Shutts & Bowen and co-chair of the firm’s real estate practice group, has been elected to the firm’s executive committee. She joined the firm in 2002.


Kris Moldovan has been named chief financial officer at Vistra Corp. He joined the company in 2006, and has served as its senior counsel, assistant treasurer and, most recently, senior vice president and treasurer. 


Donna Cochener has been named general counsel and senior vice president legal at biopharmaceutical company Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc., based in Seattle. She most recently served as senior vice president and deputy general counsel at HomeStreet, Inc., the parent company of HomeStreet Bank.

Jon MacDonald has joined the Orange County, Calif., office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as of counsel and member of the firm’s real estate practice group. He previously was general counsel at Fairfield Residential, a multifamily and mixed-use investment and development company. 


Jenny Barket has been named chief of staff of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), where she is a senior advisor to the president and CEO and leading strategic, tactical, and operational initiatives. She previously was a director at WSP USA, a multinational engineering and design firm, and served as a strategic advisor to projects across the country.

Patrick Roberts, founder of criminal defense firm Roberts Law Group in Raleigh, has been invited to join the Raleigh-Durham chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, which offers leadership training, networking opportunities, and access to events. Patrick’s firm has offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Wilmington. 


Chuck Larsen has joined the Boston and London offices of McDermott Will & Emery as a partner in the firm’s IP practice. A U.S. patent lawyer as well as an English solicitor, Chuck provides transatlantic counsel in patent portfolio strategy and transactions. He previously was a partner at White & Case.

Stephen Martin has been appointed chief legal officer and corporate secretary of Danimer Scientific, Inc., a bioplastics company focused on the development and production of biodegradable materials. He previously was general counsel and corporate secretary for Kaman Distribution Group, a national distributor of highly engineered products and services. 

Matthew Rupp was appointed in June by N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper as a district court judge in district 24, which serves Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga, and Yancey counties. Matt was unopposed in the general election after winning the Republican primary for the seat in May. He was previously a partner at Angle, Rupp & Rupp, Attorneys at Law in Boone and earlier served as an assistant district attorney in the District Attorney’s Office for the 35th Prosecutorial District and the 26th Prosecutorial District.

Zak Thomas has joined Sitko Bruno in Pittsburgh as a partner. Zak concentrates his practice in commercial real estate law, representing developers, lenders, borrowers, landlords, tenants, and other parties to commercial real estate, financing and restructuring transactions. He was previously at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.


Nicola Di Giovanni has joined Skadden Arps as a private equity partner in the firm’s Paris office. He previously was a partner at Winston & Strawn.

Fatima Hassan was awarded the 2022 Calgary Peace Prize in May by the John de Chastelain Peace Studies Initiative at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. The prize recognizes outstanding individuals from the global community who work towards making the world a more just, safer, and less violent place. Fatima is the founder of the Health Justice Initiative in South Africa and is the former executive director of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa. She is well known for her longtime advocacy in South Africa for affordable antiretroviral treatment to people living with HIV and more recently against injustices associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

Adam Di Vincenzo has joined the Washington, D.C. office of Milbank as a partner and member of the litigation and arbitration group. He was previously a partner in the D.C. office of Gibson Dunn.

Christy Kiely has joined Seyfarth Shaw as a partner in the firm’s labor and employment department and its people analytics practice group in Washington, D.C. She previously was a member of the labor and employment team at Hunton Andrews Kurth in Richmond, Va.

Natalie Lamarque has joined Principal Financial Group as general counsel, with oversight over the law department, including government relations and compliance. She also serves as corporate secretary to the Principal Board of Directors. She most recently was senior vice president and general counsel for New York Life. 


Heather Olson has joined Tucker Law Group in Philadelphia as counsel. Her practice focuses on complex commercial and products liability litigation. Most recently, Heather was a member at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott where she worked in the commercial litigation and products liability groups.

Jim Pelletier has joined Masonite International Corp., a global designer, manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of interior and exterior doors, as senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary. He previously was senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary at Barnes Group Inc., and earlier held corporate counsel positions with Pratt & Whitney and as compliance counsel for GE Aviation.

Adam Rogers has been named the managing partner of the Miami office of McDermott Will & Emery, where he represents clients in the health care industry. He is particularly experienced in transactions in the health care services and health information technology sectors.

Jackie Sumer has joined Cullinan Oncology, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, as chief legal officer. Jackie previously served as chief legal and compliance officer at Genocea Biosciences.


Grant Garber joined Northern Kentucky University in July as its vice president for legal affairs and general counsel. He most recently served as a university counsel at Auburn University and as lead counsel for Auburn University at Montgomery. 

Amy Hooper Kearbey has joined the Washington, D.C. office of Winston & Strawn as a partner. She focuses her practice on health care regulatory counseling, compliance, and defense. From 2019 to 2022, Amy served as senior counsel in the Office of Counsel to the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Kristin Hester has been promoted from general counsel to chief legal officer at Apollo Investment Corp, which she joined in 2015. She also serves as the chief legal officer of several Apollo subsidiaries. 

Aaron Lang has joined Brown Rudnick’s New York City office as a partner in the firm’s litigation and arbitration practice group and a member of the crisis management litigation and government response group. He previously was special counsel at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.

Arturo Le Blanc has been named CEO of Transelec, the leading power transmissions company in Chile. He has been with the company for 10 years and previously served as head of legal and regulatory affairs.

Jessica Bodack Millett has joined Hogan Lovells as a partner in the firm’s corporate and finance practice group in its New York City office. She most recently served as chair of the tax practice at the boutique real estate law firm Duval & Stachenfeld in New York. 

Natalie Prescott has been promoted to general counsel and vice president of legal at Fulgent Genetics, after joining the company in April as deputy general counsel. She previously practiced at Mintz Levin in San Diego.  


April Hathcock, director of scholarly communications and information policy at New York University Libraries, has been elected chair of the SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) steering committee. She has served as a member of the committee, which provides oversight and guidance to the SPARC organization, since her election by its members in December 2021. Her term as chair will end in September 2025.

Blake Hudson became dean and professor of law at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law on July 1. He previously was the Samuel T. Dell Professor and co-director of the Environmental and Law Use Program at the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida. Blake teaches courses related to property, environmental, and natural resources law. His research focuses on the intersection of land use law, policy, and planning with natural resource management, with particular emphasis on the role of forest management in combating climate change and the implications of land development for sustainable natural resource management.

Jonathan McKernan was sworn in as a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on Jan. 5, after being nominated by President Joe Biden and receiving Senate confirmation. From 2021 to 2022 he served as a counsel to former Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-PA) on the staff of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and also has served as a senior counsel at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, a senior policy advisor at the Department of the Treasury, and a senior financial policy advisor to former Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). Prior to entering government service focused his private practice on matters under the banking and consumer financial laws.

Julian Yap has been appointed by New York City Mayor Eric Adams as a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary. Members of the committee are entrusted to ensure that only candidates with the highest qualifications and from diverse backgrounds are nominated for judicial appointments to criminal and family courts, as well as interim appointments to civil court. Julian is co-founder and president of Realm, an audio entertainment startup. He earlier served as senior counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy.

Landon Zimmer was named a WilmingtonBiz 100 Influencer and profiled by WilmingtonBiz Magazine in March 2022. Landon is managing partner at Zimmer Development Co., a family-run business based in Wilmington, N.C., that specializes in commercial and multifamily development. He is also a partner at Zimmer and Zimmer and serves as a consultant for Reeds Jewelers, another family company. 


Jenny Brevorka has been named a partner at the Canadian litigation boutique Henein Hutchison Robitaille where she maintains a civil and criminal practice. She joined the firm as counsel in 2020.


Bill Dolan has joined Rule Garza Howley, a new antitrust boutique firm in Washington, D.C., as a partner. He previously was a member of the antitrust group at Debevoise & Plimpton.

Jonathan Skinner-Thompson is now an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Law where he previously was associate clinical professor and director of the Getches-Green Natural Resources, Energy & Environmental Law Clinic. He specializes in administrative and environmental law issues and is affiliated with the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Justice at CU Boulder. He also is a member of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Environmental Justice Advisory Board.


Lauren Fine is currently serving as a Stoneleigh Visiting Fellow, in partnership with the Stoneleigh Foundation and the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. In this role, she is building will for alternative approaches to current youth and criminal justice practices by identifying and documenting community-based alternatives to carceral systems. Lauren is a nationally recognized leader in youth justice reform and the co-founder and immediate past co-director of the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, which works to keep children out of adult jails and prisons and assists young people and “juvenile lifers” as they return to the community. 

Adriana Rios Welton has been named head of legal and government affairs at UScellular. She previously was vice president external affairs and general counsel for AT&T Mexico.


Christina Brown has rejoined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as of counsel in the New York office, where she is a member of the firm’s business restructuring and reorganization practice group. She previously was a counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where she served as a member of the financial restructuring group.

Sarah Eichenberger has joined Katten Muchin Rosenman’s New York City office as a securities litigation partner. She most recently was a commercial litigator at Amazon.

Jillian Schumacher, an appellate lawyer and partner at Daniels & Tredennick in Houston, was named the 2021-2022 Outstanding Young Lawyer of Houston by the Houston Young Lawyers Association and the 2021-2022 Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas by the Texas Young Lawyers Association.

Corey Sheahan has been appointed general counsel of Acreage Holdings, Inc., a multi-state operator of cannabis cultivation and retailing facilities in the U.S. Corey returns to Acreage after an 18-month tenure as executive vice president of legal and chief legal officer at Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. Corey previously served as deputy general counsel at Acreage. 


Zack Kleiman, the Memphis Grizzlies’ general manager, was named, in May, as the NBA Executive of the Year. At 33, he was the youngest executive ever to receive the award. Zack, who joined the team in 2015 as in-house counsel, was assistant general manager for the 2018-18 season before becoming general manager. 

Alex Stout has joined the Washington, D.C. office of ZwillGen, a boutique firm focused on helping clients navigate emerging technology and data-related legal challenges. A legal director at the firm, Alex previously was a member of the connectivity, privacy, and information practice at Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C.

Haley Warden-Rodgers has joined the Pittsburgh office of Fox Rothschild as a litigation partner. Prior to joining the firm, she was an assistant U.S. attorney, civil rights coordinator, and special emphasis program manager for the LGBT Program in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.


Eva Guzman has joined Wright Close & Barger, a Houston-based civil trial and appellate law firm, as a partner in the firm’s appellate practice. She returned to private practice after serving as a jurist for more than 20 years, most recently as a justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. She was both the first Latina on that court and the first to be elected to statewide office. Justice Guzman earlier served as a judge of the Harris County District Court and the Texas 14th Court of Appeals.


Haniya Mir has been named a partner in the Raleigh office of Brooks Pierce. A transactional lawyer, she represents businesses of all sizes on a variety of corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, securities law, corporate governance, entity formation, and equity and debt financing. 


J. Michelle Childs became a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 25, after being nominated by President Joe Biden and receiving Senate confirmation. Since 2010 she had served as a judge on U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. Last April Judge Childs received the Outstanding Contribution to Justice Award from the South Carolina Association for Justice. The award honors individuals “who have demonstrated exemplary leadership from the bench and ongoing contributions to the legal profession.”

Class of 2018

Judge Bernice B. Donald MJS ’18 of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has received the National Judicial College’s (NJC) highest honor, the Sandra Day O’Connor Award. She is the first judge competitively selected to receive the award, which was presented on Nov. 10 at the Heard Museum of American Indian Art in Phoenix. 

Judge Donald, who retired from the bench in January, became the first African American woman to serve on the Sixth Circuit after being nominated by President Barack Obama in 2011 and receiving Senate confirmation. Her other career “firsts” cited by the NJC in announcing the award included becoming: in 1995 the first African American woman to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee; in 1988 the first African American woman ever to serve as a U.S. bankruptcy judge; in 1982 Tennessee’s first-ever African American woman judge with her election to the General Sessions Criminal Court; in 2008, the first African American female officer of the American Bar Association with her election as secretary; and the first African American president of the American Bar Foundation, an empirical research organization. Judge Donald is now a member of the national dispute resolution team at Resolute Systems.


Matthew Lang is an associate in Hall Booth Smith’s recently opened office in Red Bank, N.J. He focuses his practice on complex construction and general liability matters.

Sarah Merriam became a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Sept. 23 after being nominated by President Joe Biden and receiving Senate confirmation. She had served as a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Connecticut since 2021 and as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of Connecticut from 2015 to 2021.


Alex Lewis has joined Baker Donelson’s Nashville office as an associate. He advises clients in antitrust investigations and litigation and in matters related to other types of regulatory enforcement including health law and privacy issues. Alex previously was an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission.


Grant Michl has joined Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell in Wilmington, Del., as a corporate and commercial litigation associate after completing a clerkship in the Complex Commercial Litigation Division of the Delaware Superior Court.

Titus Willis has joined Baker Donelson’s real estate/finance practice in Birmingham, Ala., as an associate.


Shrayan Shetty has joined the staff of North Carolina Legal Aid as an Erwin Fellow in the Foothills Office in Morganton.

Spring 2023
Volume 42 No. 1