Class Notes are posted in the order they are received with most recent post appearing at the top of this page.
Emory Reed Sourbeer III died December 12. He was 60. The son of a United States Navy Captain, Emory began his worldly travels at the tender age of 8 months, living sequentially in England, Bahrain, Beirut, Greece, Italy and the US. With an interlude at New College, Oxford University, he received a bachelor's degree in history, cum laude, from Duke University in 1978, where he served as president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He served as an associate and partner at Alston & Bird for ten years. Posted 1.15.18
Ben W. Blanton has been named vice president and general counsel of Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis, Indiana. Currently Ben is partner at Faegre Baker Daniels in Indianapolis. He will join Lilly Endowment in October. Posted 8.1.17
John M. Johnson has been named a 2017 “Energy & Environmental Trailblazer” by National Law Journal. John is partner at Lightfoot, Franklin, White in Birmingham, Alabama. Posted 6.15.17
Neal Devins, a William & Mary Law professor was honored by William & Mary with a 2017 Plumeri Award for “Faculty Excellence”. Posted 5.18.17
Elizabeth McConnell of Kingsport died November 1. She was 61. After earning her law degree from Vanderbilt, Elizabeth practiced law briefly in western Tennessee before returning to Kingsport to open her private law practice. Elizabeth was an animal lover and handled many cases involving animal welfare. Posted 11.28.16
Alan McLaughlin , shareholder at Littler, has been named to office managing shareholder of the firm’s Denver office. Alan will also oversee the firm’s Indianapolis office, where he has served as office managing shareholder since 2012. Posted 8.23.16
David D. Dowd III was named chairman of the business law section of the Alabama State Bar. David is partner at Burr and Forman in Birmingham, Alabama. Posted 8.23.16
Jay Tobin was featured in Texas Lawyer for his work as Dave & Buster’s senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. In the article entitled, “Game On! Dave & Buster’s GC Levels Up in Legal and Business Role”, Jay is noted for his work spent on the initial public offering (IPO). Posted 7.25.16
John M. Brittingham joined Stites & Harbison as partner in the firm’s Nashville office. His practice focuses on real estate and banking. Posted 1.27.16
N. Clay Robbins has been named chairman of the board of directors for the Lilly Endowment. Clay is president and CEO of the Endowment, an Indianapolis-based private foundation that is committed to the causes of community development, education, and religion. He will continue as president and CEO. Before coming to the Endowment in 1993 he was a partner at Baker & Daniels (now Faegre Baker Daniels) where he focused his practice on tax-exempt organizations, estate and gift tax, and immigration law. Posted 9.28.15
John “Jack” William Fink of Little Rock, Arkansas died February 9. He was 59. Jack grew up in both Florida and Louisiana and was a graduate of Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans. After earning his undergraduate degree from Centenary College of Louisiana, he went on to receive his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School. Jack was a well-respected practicing attorney in Arkansas and Tennessee for over 30 years as well as a partner in the law firms now known as Jack, Nelson, Jones, and James, House, Downing. Jack was a member of Our Lady of the Holy Souls Catholic Church. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Jane, and his daughters, Mary Ryan Nicholson and Ann Aday. Jack is also survived by his two grandsons, his mother-in-law, brother, and two sisters, in addition to his step-mother and her three children. Posted 8.20.15
Scott S. Thompson is part of an investment/ownership group that recently purchased the Beverly Hills Country Club in Los Angeles. Their financial partner is Singerman Real Estate, and the lender is Security Benefit Life Insurance. The primary legal counsel was Glaser Weil of Century City, California. Scott also performed some of the legal due diligence in connection with the purchase. His practice areas are real estate, corporate, and general business, with a specialty in private club and resort transactions. Posted 6.25.15
Peter M. Oldham (BA'78) was included on the 2015 “Best of the Bar” awards list by the Nashville Business Journal. Peter is executive vice president and chief administrative officer for YMCA Middle Tennessee, which is based in Nashville. Posted 5.15.15
William F. Carpenter III (BA'76), CEO of LifePoint Hospitals, has joined the advisory board of Avondale Partners, a Nashville-based boutique investment banking and wealth management firm. Posted 9.26.14
Elijah D. (Ed) Armstrong III has been appointed to the Southwest Florida Water Management District's governing board, representing Pinellas County. Ed is a partner with Hill Ward Henderson in Clearwater. Posted 7.16.14
Robert Lee Dietz has formed Dietz Mediation, focused on insurance and labor-related cases, in Orlando, Florida. Prior to forming his own firm, Robert was a shareholder at Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe. He is also an adjunct professor at Barry University Law School, where he teaches a course on workers' compensation law.
Additionally, Robert recently received one of only two International Honor Key awards presented at the 93rd Civitan International Convention in Denver on July 3. The award was presented for, "exemplary service as speaker, instructor and officer at the club, district, and international levels, and on several international committees, for building three Civitan clubs and four Junior Civitan clubs, as well as sponsoring 75 new Civitans, and for invaluable service in providing legal counsel, conflict resolution and parliamentary expertise to Civitan leaders." Dietz has been a member of Civitan since 1984 and is currently serving as treasurer of Civitan Lake Eola and area director of the Florida District. Posted 1.14.14
Gary Mayer Dunkel has joined the West Palm Beach office of Fox Rothschild. A board-certified business litigation attorney, Gary's background includes work in business disputes, real estate litigation, creditors' rights, bank litigation, non-compete lawsuits, foreclosures and commercial landlord-tenant disputes. He was formerly with Greenberg Traurig. Posted 9.23.13
Bill Norton, a partner in the Nashville office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings has been named to The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers 2013. The list identifies the top legal practitioners in the world in 32 areas of business and commercial law. Bill was recognized for his work in the area of Insolvency & Restructuring. Bill focuses his practice in the business bankruptcy area, dealing in all aspects of bankruptcy cases, creditor rights and insolvency. Posted 8.19.13
Kenton L. Erwin (BS'80) was recently appointed to vice president and general counsel at VTech Communications, Inc. in Portland, Oregon. He has served as general counsel for VTech since 2006. VTech is a Chinese-owned company which manufactures telephones, baby and home monitors, and educational toys. He developed a series of effective strategies for defense against patent trolls. On the personal front, he has joined the Oregon Angel Fund, which invests in promising startups in the Portland/SW Washington area, providing not only funding but also mentoring services. Also, his innovative e-retailer, part-time wine business continues to grow; and with low overhead and no inventory (the business takes custom orders using an off-premises retail wine license), the offered prices are low. He is also continuing experimental plantings of new varieties of hybrid winegrapes, for suitability in the Pacific Northwest. Posted 7.16.13
Charles Robert Wolpoff has joined The Kelly Group as director of financial planning and research. Charlie has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of financial planning, law, research and writing. He is a past president of the Financial Planning Association of Maryland. Charlie also currently serves as president of the Greater Kingsville Civic Association. He is a member and past president of Parkville Toastmasters and serves on the Bayview Safety Advisory Board. Posted 5.1.13
John Michael Yarborough died April 15, after fighting with brain cancer for almost 3 years. He was 58. Mike worked for over 25 years as a legislative analyst specializing in tax policy for the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis. He was proud of his public service work, and enjoyed being around dedicated people who cared about the State. Mike graduated from Duke University before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School. He went on to obtain his LL.M in Tax from Georgetown. Before joining the Department of Legislative Services in Annapolis, he practiced construction law in Atlanta and Washington, DC. Mike is survived by his wife, Kathleen Sanzo; and three children. Posted 5.1.13
David Allen Beyer, a partner with Quarles & Brady in the firm's Tampa office, has been named a "Legal Eagle for 2013" by Franchise Times magazine. David was also listed in the first-ever Legal Eagles Hall of Fame, featuring 45 attorneys appearing on the list for the 10th year in a row. He is a member of Quarles & Brayd's franchise & distribution group. Posted 4-15-13
Carter Reid Todd has joined XMi Holdings as general counsel. He has also rejoined Adams and Reese as special council. The former Gaylord Entertainment and Ryman Hospitality Properties executive and has been a Metro Council member since 2007. Before joining Gaylord in 2001, he was a partner at Stokes & Bartholomew, which merged into Adams and Reese last decade. Posted 3.29.13
Joseph W. Klein, of Ben Avon, died March 9, 2013 of complications from diabetes. He was 67. Joe graduated from St. Joseph's College, Philadelphia, and received a master's degree in fine arts from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. He worked as a drama teacher and later as chairman of the Fine Arts Department at St. Mary of the Woods College, Indiana, and as the director of a community theater in Minnesota. After years of teaching acting, Joe changed course to attend law school at Vanderbilt. He started his second career at Reed Smith and became a litigation partner at the firm, where he worked primarily on environmental litigation and on will contests in Orphans Court. For many years, he ran Reed Smith's trial training program. Joe had retired as from practice in 2009. He was a member of several bar associations and charitable boards and worked as a hospice volunteer after he retired.
Meredith Brinegar Cross, former director of the division of corporation finance at the SEC, will be rejoining WilmerHale. Meredith served as director of the SEC's division of corporation finance from June 2009 through the end of 2012. During this time, she led the division's efforts to implement both the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. Under her leadership, the division recommended close to 60 rulemaking releases to the commission, including those relating to say-on-pay, conflict minerals, proxy access, compensation committees and compensation advisers, asset-backed securities, and the new regulatory regime for derivatives. Meredith also guided the division's pragmatic response to numerous issues relating to the IPO "on-ramp" provisions of the JOBS Act. During her tenure, Meredith testified before Congress numerous times on a broad range of issues including corporate governance, capital formation, risk retention in asset-backed securities offerings, executive compensation oversight, and agency management and budget.
From 1998 to 2009, Meredith was a partner at WilmerHale, and served as co-chair of the firm's corporate practice. Her work at the firm focused on advising clients on corporate and securities matters, and working on the full range of issues faced by public and private companies in capital raising and public reporting. Before first joining WilmerHale in 1998, she served as deputy director of the SEC's division of corporation finance. Posted 2.5.13
Bruce Buchanan has joined Siskind Susser in Nashville. Bruce was a senior trial specialist for the National Labor Relations Board for 20 years. He is chair of the Tennessee Bar Association's Immigration Law Section and editor of TBA's Labor and Employment Law Section Newsletter and the TBA's Immigration Law Section Newsletter. He is also a guest blogger for E-Verify and I-9 News on topics of employer immigration compliance. Posted 11.14.12
David Irish Coombs Thomson, LP professor and director of the Lawyering Process Program at Sturm College of Law, has been awarded the University of Denver's Distinguished Teaching Award for 2011-2012. This award is given to one faculty member annually in recognition of outstanding service to the university, the community, and the profession. Posted 9.25.12
David Abeshouse is a business mediator, arbitrator and litigator practicing in Uniondale, Long Island, New York. He recently joined the adjunct law faculty of St. John's University School of Law, teaching alternative dispute resolution law. During 2012, David has been selected as charter member of New York Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators (NYAMA) and became a member of its parent organization, the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN). He has also been selected for membership as a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA) and, for the third consecutive year, listed among L.I. Pulse magazine's Top Long Island Legal Eagles: The Top-Rated Attorneys under the category of alternative dispute resolution/arbitration. Posted 7.9.12
Gordon Gore Dean, former managing director and vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, has co-launched Dean Bradley Osborne, a new boutique investment banking firm in San Francisco and New York City. Posted 4.17.12
Betsy G. Ramos has been named to Capehart Scatchard's executive committee. Betsy is a shareholder in the firm's Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, office. Posted 4.17.12
Robert Brody, founder of the employment law firm Brody and Associates, has joined the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut Legal Committee, which deals with legal issues such as women's rights, racial justice and voting rights. Robert's firm has offices in Westport, Connecticut, and in New York City. Posted 11.9.11
Julius E. Price Jr. died August 31. He was 53. Julius earned his bachelor's degree at Centre College and his J.D. at Vanderbilt. He owned and managed a successful law practice in Louisville. Julius is survived by two sons, a grandson, his mother and stepfather, and a large extended family. Posted 10.18.11
David D. Dowd III has been named president of the Birmingham Sunrise Rotary Club. David is a partner in the law firm Burr & Forman, where he serves as the leader of the firm's Corporate and Tax Practice Group. He counsels clients in all phases of business and corporate law. David has been a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club since 2003, and has held numerous leadership positions including Director of Community Service, Director of International Service and Vice-President - Club Service, before accepting his current position as President. Posted 7.15.11
Peter Oldham has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. Peter formerly served as the area non-profit's Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel. In his new role he oversees all of the YMCA departments that serve staff, including Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing and Communications. He continues to serve as chief legal counsel. Posted 1.3.11
Robert E. Mansbach passed away December 25, 2010 after a year long battle with cancer. He was 53. Prior to earning his J.D. at Vanderbilt, Bob graduated with a B.A. from Trinity College in Connecticut. He practiced law in Orlando, Florida and was a partner at the firm of Zimmerman, Kiser and Sutcliffe. The law firm describes Bob as a beloved member of the ZKS family. He had been with the firm since its inception, was a highly esteemed and successful trial attorney and the senior member of the litigation group. He became a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer in 1992 and held the highest rating of AV by Martindale-Hubbell. Bob was the host member of the Literary Society of the Orange County Bar Association. The firm remembers Bob for his trademark tenacity, attention to detail and sharply focused trial skills. His quiet, calm demeanor always reflected his total preparation, which resonated with judges and jurors alike. He is survived by his wife, Daisy; a daughter; a son; a sister; his parents; numerous in-laws; and numerous nieces and nephews.
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