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’64 D. Bruce Shine of the Kingsport, Tennessee, law firm Shine & Mason was named by Governor Phil Bredesen as one of three candidates for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice William M. Barker on September 15.
’67 James H. Cheek III, a partner in Bass Berry & Sims, was selected as one of the 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon, a national online and print legal services information company. He is one of only three Tennessee attorneys so honored. Jim represents a number of public companies as well as investment banking firms in a wide variety of capital raising and merger and acquisition activities. He also acts as counsel for boards of directors and board committees on matters relating to corporate governance and corporate legal compliance. The list was selected from nearly 10,000 law firm submissions and online votes, as well as research by Lawdragon's editorial staff.
’68 Grayfred B. Gray was presented the first "Grayfred Gray Public Service Mediation Award" by the Tennessee Coalition for Mediation Awareness. The award recognized Gray's promotion of mediation in Tennessee from 1987 until 2003, when he moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to become executive director of Lancaster Mediation Center.
’72 Rev. Dr. J. Edwin Bacon Jr. has been the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, since 1995. Ed was born in 1948 and graduated from Mercer University in 1969. After earning his law degree at Vanderbilt, he returned to Mercer University to work in campus ministry. It was there that he discovered his lifelong vocation to serve as a minister and became a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. In 1971, Ed was ordained as a Baptist minister. More than a decade later, he and his wife, Hope Hendricks-Bacon, moved their ministry to the Episcopal Church. Ed graduated from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and before coming to All Saints, he served at churches in Mississippi and Georgia. At All Saints, Ed focuses on many peace, justice and human rights initiatives, including resistance to war, ending the death penalty, and supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians. Ed and his wife have two adult children and two grandchildren.
’73 Mark R. von Sternberg is a co-chair of the Immigration and Naturalization Committee of the American Bar Association's International Division and senior attorney at Catholic Charities Com- munity Services for the Archdiocese of New York, where he concentrates on litigation before the immigration courts and the board of immigration appeals. Since 1999, Mark has served as an adjunct faculty member at Pace University School of Law, where he teaches general immigration and comparative refugee law. Since 2003, Mark also has been an adjunct professor at St. John's University Law School, where he co-teaches an immigration rights clinic. Mark earned an LL.M. in international legal studies from New York University School of Law in 1984. He has lectured in law schools and at professional associations regarding immigration matters and has written extensively, particularly in the areas of refugee law, international humanitarian law, and human rights. In 2002, he received the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Pro Bono Award.
’74 Eric L. Ison of Greenebaum Doll & McDonald in Louisville has been re-appointed chairman of the Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners. One attorney from each of the state's seven judicial districts is appointed to the board, which is responsible for administering the bar examination in Kentucky. Eric, who has served as a member of the board for 11 years, was named chairman in 2005. Eric concentrates his legal practice in commercial litigation in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels.
James G. (Jim) Martin has been appointed judge on the Tennessee Circuit Court, 21st Judicial District, Division II. The 21st Judicial District is composed of Williamson, Hickman, Perry and Lewis counties. Before his appointment, Jim had been a partner with Stites & Harbison in Nashville since 2001. He was a partner with Farris Warfield & Kanaday, which merged with Stites & Harbison, from 1978 to 2000. Jim graduated first in his class in 1974, and then served as assistant city attorney for the City of Franklin until 1976 and served as city attorney from 1976 to 1988. He also served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971 and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Tennessee Bar Association, where he has served as a member of the Family Law Section Code Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Mercy Children's Clinic, a not-for-profit pediatric clinic in Franklin. Jim and his wife, Janis, live in Franklin.
Charles E. Michaels, who is vice president, general counsel and secretary of LAACO, Ltd., in Los Angeles, has been named the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award honoree by the corporate lawyers of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He will be honored on March 5, 2009, at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, at a dinner where the award will be presented. In Charles's honor, the association will be making a donation to Vanderbilt Law School and providing scholarships to deserving law students in the Los Angeles area.
’75 Curt Welling, who is president and CEO of AmeriCares, an international disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, recently traveled to India for the launch of AmeriCares India. "For over 15 years, AmeriCares has been delivering aid to the people of India in response to natural disasters and to the ongoing needs of the poor populations throughout the country," Curt says. "Expanding our operations by launching AmeriCares India will enable us to deliver more medicines to more people around the world." Curt lives with his family in Wilton, Connecticut.
’76 Chuck Dunn is an active volunteer, in addition to serving as chairman and CFO of his own business, MTA Distributors. [read the full story] A past president of the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Chuck also served as secretary / treasurer of the WPLN Educational Foundation in addition to serving as an effective on-air fundraising anchor for WPLN, Nashville's public radio station, for 20 years. He was a founding board member of the Rape and Sexual Abuse Center and is currently president of the Rotary Club of Nashville. Chuck's son, Andrew, 25, is in India learning to teach yoga, and will start a graduate program in international public policy next fall; Andrew has also worked for Tennessee Representative Jim Cooper in Washington, D.C. Daughter Molly, 23, will graduate this fall with a business major from Clemson University.
’77 Herman Morris has joined Waddell & Reed as a financial advisor in the Memphis area. Herman was a 2007 candidate for mayor of Memphis, and prior to that he spent 15 years with Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division, seven as president and CEO and eight as its vice president and general counsel. He has also served as general counsel for Pinnacle Airlines, a shareholder in the Baker Donelson law firm, and as a partner in Ratner & Sugarmon during his more than 30 years as a practicing attorney. As a personal financial advisor, Herman will help develop customized financial plans, recommend investment strategies and counsel clients throughout the area. Herman earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Rhodes College. He has an extensive history of community service with numerous organizations, including the United Way, National Civil Rights Museum, American Heart Association, Community Foundation and the Memphis Chamber of Commerce. He has served on the Rhodes College Trustee Board and is a 2006 recipient of the prestigious United Way Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award, and the NCCJ 2002 Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Jane Schukoske, who has lived in India for the past eight years and worked as director of the U.S. Educational Foundation in India, which is the Fulbright Commission, is now serving as a consultant on the development of the O.P. Jindal Global University, which will launch the Jindal Global Law School as its first institution. Read more about Jane's work in India.
’78 Alan Duncan of Smith Moore Leatherwood has been awarded the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys' most prestigious individual recognition. Alan, who practices in the firm's Greensboro office, is the recipient of the NCADA's J. Robert Elster Award for Professional Excellence. The award recognizes the member who exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and ethics. "There is no better person the association could honor with this award," said Julie Theall, a member of Smith Moore's management committee. "Everyone who knows Alan, professionally or personally, recognizes that he sets a standard for all attorneys to emulate. He embodies the values of our firm." Award recipients must exemplify sustained, excellent service to individual and corporate defendants in civil litigation, to the bar, and to the community. Alan's 30-year practice includes focus on commercial litigation, product liability and catastrophic injury litigation, First Amendment and media, intellectual property, insurance, and professional liability. In addition to his law practice, Alan has served on the Guilford County Board of Education since 2000 and as chair of that board since 2002.
William Holby has become president of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, just as the municipal market grapples with the largest reordering of the financial markets in history. A partner at King & Spalding in Atlanta, William said, "To the extent we weren't already, NABL's members will now most definitely be entering uncharted waters. We have lost three of the most respected investment banking firms in the world: Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. The rate of bank failures in the country is the highest in recent memory." While the market continues to digest the latest developments, William noted that it is important not to lose sight of some key concerns, chief among them that municipal bond issuers rely heavily on commercial banks for credit and liquidity support. "Given the absence of readily available credit sources, banks will likely be much more conservative about extending credit, and the pricing is likely to reflect the diminished supply," he said. William said NABL plans over the coming year to actively address the expected changes to the securities law that will revolve around the municipal market initiatives unveiled last year by Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox. William's' practice includes a broad range of work for traditional governmental issuers and issuers of private activity bonds. He also represents financial institutions in credit and liquidity matters. He has spent his entire legal career at King & Spalding, and began working on private activity and industrial development bond deals in the early 1980s.
’80 Bill Gatzimos and his wife, country/pop star Crystal Gayle, are enjoying life in Nashville with their daughter Catherine, son Chris, daughter-in-law Whitney, and four-year-old grandson, Elijah. Catherine is an aspiring photojournalist, and Chris and Whitney are students at Belmont University. Four-year-old Elijah is, according to Bill, "a great Tennessee Titans fan" who has led the way to the family's seats at games. Chris, who "played fiddle in some of Crystal's shows when he was eight or nine years old," is the only member of the family who aspires to enter the music business. "He is interested in engineering and producing, as well as songwriting, and he has a good ear and very good voice," proud father and grandfather Bill says. Bill and Chris recently remodeled a Music Row recording studio Bill had originally built in the late 1970s, while attending law school, which Chris will open for business soon as Audio 51 Recording. "Crystal and I were married 12 years before we had children," Bill says, "and when our daughter was born, Crystal stopped touring as much. It's easy in the music business to go 24-7, and it's so competitive. But we wanted a normal life with our family, too." [read a story about Bill's career]
Maureen Demarest Murray, a partner in Smith Moore Leatherwood, has been inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Maureen was one of 99 attorneys from the United States and Canada to be inducted as a new Fellow. Fellowship in the college is invitation-only, limited to the top one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province in the U.S. or Canada, and consists of a total of just 5,700 attorneys. Maureen has been widely recognized for her work at Smith Moore Leatherwood, where she is a partner in the firm's Greensboro office and leader of its healthcare group. She focuses her practice on the representation of healthcare providers in certificate of need, facility licensure and certification matters, survey appeals, medical staff and peer-review matters, reimbursement appeals, fraud and abuse investigations, and business disputes. She is member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the North Carolina Society of Healthcare Attorneys and the North Carolina Bar Association Health Law Section.
’81 Jim Desmond was appointed the first director of the newly launched Sustainability Center for the regional government serving the greater Portland, Oregon, area. Jim is overseeing a broad array of programs, including natural area acquisition and restoration, environmental and recycling education, solid waste reduction, and volunteer efforts. The Metro Portland region is considered a national leader on issues of livability and sustainability. Jim previously served as Metro's director of Parks and Greenspaces.
’82 Robert L. Dietz, a shareholder at Zimmerman Kiser & Sutcliffe in Orlando, Florida, has been selected to serve as Defense Research Institute (DRI) state representative by the Florida Defense Lawyers' Association and the Dade County and Jacksonville local defense bars. In this capacity, Bob will represent DRI at state and regional bar meetings over the next three years. DRI is the largest defense international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation. Bob is a past president of the Florida Defense Lawyers' Association and has been a member of DRI for over 20 years. In addition, Bob is the 2008 recipient of the Douglas P. Lawless Alternative Dispute Resolution Award given by the Florida Defense Lawyers Association. The award is for outstanding contributions in the fields of mediation, arbitration or other forms of alternative dispute resolution. He was selected for his contributions in the field of mediation, which includes membership on the Association of Attorney-Mediators national board of directors, the first Floridian ever elected. Bob has mediated more than 1,300 workers' compensation cases, and is a frequent writer, speaker and trainer at national conferences on mediation.
David R. Simon is of counsel with the Portland, Oregon, law firm of Farleigh Wada Witt. He has been reappointed to his fifth consecutive term as a reporting committee chair of the legal, tax and accounting committee of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC). The reporting committee that Simon continues to chair is designated AMT, Tax Accounting and State and Local Tax Issues Affecting Agricultural Cooperatives. David maintains a comprehensive business law practice assisting clients with regulatory, transactional, real estate and succession planning needs, and has more than 25 years of experience as a business advisor to publicly held, privately held and family-owned enterprises.
’83 Elaine McArdle, Emmett McAuliffe, Maggi O'Brien and Marty Roth are featured in a section about Vanderbilt Law graduates who are using their legal skills in other fields. Elaine is a freelance journalist based in Boston. Emmett, an entertainment lawyer based on his hometown of St. Louis, is a radio talk host. Maggi is a physician who serves as Associate Dean of Student Affairs at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Marty started his own company, Worldwide Orchids, in 1991. [read more about them, and read an article by Marty Roth]
’84 William H. Mathieu has joined Stites & Harbison as a member based in the firm's Atlanta office. He will serve clients in the real estate and banking service group. Bill brings more than 22 years experience to the firm, focusing on all aspects of real estate development and ownership, including purchase agreements, joint ventures, equity and debt financing, tax-deferred exchanges, various ownership structures and entities, leasing, rezoning, environmental issues, construction issues, covenants and long-range planning. Bill's clients include developers, property managers, and secured and unsecured lenders. He has closed numerous loan originations, as well as loan workouts and restructurings, and also represents entrepreneurs and business owners. Prior to joining Stites & Harbison, Bill was a partner at Powell Goldstein in Atlanta. Bill is a member of the International Conference of Shopping Centers as well as the International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate. He is admitted to practice in Georgia and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
’87 R.B. Quinn is co-author of Cheater BBQ—Barbecue Any Time, Anywhere, in Any Weather (New York: Broadway Books, 2008). This book follows the journey of R.B. and his friend and fellow Nashvillian, Mindy Merrell, both of whom are devoted barbecue fans and competition judges. While R.B. loves making southern-style barbecue the old-fashioned way—outdoors next to a slow, smoky hardwood fire—he and Mindy wrote Cheater BBQ to offer recipes for making excellent homemade barbecue indoors.
’88 Ivan Reich has joined the Ft. Lauderdale office of GrayRobinson, one of Florida's fastest-growing law firms, as a shareholder. Prior to joining GrayRobinson, Ivan was the shareholder in charge of the bankruptcy practice at the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff. Ivan joins GrayRobinson with a background in commercial litigation, with a concentration in the areas of bankruptcy and corporate reorganizations. Ivan is currently recording secretary of the Commercial Law League of America, the nation's oldest and largest creditor's rights organization. He is also a member of the league's board of governors and has served as chair in the league's bankruptcy section. Ivan also serves on the league's national affairs and legislative committees, as well as the coordinating committee with the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and the joint planning committee of the league and the NCBJ. An accredited speaker, Ivan has spoken many times at the league's annual conventions, including a 2004 speech entitled "Revised Article 9 of the UCC," and a 1998 speech entitled "Chasing the Wind: The Search for the Ever Elusive Assets of the Sophisticated Debtor." In 2007, he spoke at the DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal Symposium on the topic of fiduciary duties and the slide towards insolvency. He also published a paper in the journal, "Deepening Insolvency: A Viable Cause of Action, a Rehash of Other Causes of Action or a Theory of Damages." Ivan is a member of the Florida Bar's business litigation, bankruptcy/UCC and judicial evaluation committees and serves as vice chair of the judicial administration and evaluation committee.
’89 Michael Ostermeyer, a partner with Quarles & Brady, has been honored with the 2008 Distinguished Service Award from his undergraduate alma mater, Luther College in Iowa. The award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the college and is given in recognition of success and achievement in one's professional field, service to society, contributions to community, and loyalty and service to the college. Mike specializes in real estate law, and he holds a master's degree from the University of Notre Dame. He and his family live in Mequon, Wisconsin, and he provides pro bono counsel to Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity and serves on the Milwaukee Area Technical College Advisory Audit Committee. He served on the Village of Whitefish Bay Historic Preservation Commission and on the School District of Whitefish Bay facilities finance task force. He also founded and served as president of Community Youth Assets.
Beth S. Schick has joined the law firm of ShuffieldLowman. Her primary areas of practice include corporate, estate planning and administration, as well as employment law. In addition to her law degree from Vanderbilt, Beth holds an LL.M. in taxation from University of Florida, and she earned her undergraduate degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. She has also completed the certified financial planning program at the University of Central Florida-Orlando. Prior to joining ShuffieldLowman, Beth was an employee benefits officer counseling on the design, implementation and servicing of employee benefits.
’92 Lisa Kay McClelland Borgeson's family recently moved to the San Francisco Bay area. She has two daughters, Grace (age 5 1/2) and Katie (age 4), and says it was great to see everyone at reunion 2007!
Sam Payne has moved to Rudy Wood & Winstead in Nashville. Sam was previously a litigation partner at Evans Jones & Reynolds, where he practiced for just over a decade. Sam is a Nashville native, and healso earned his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt.
Eli Richardson is an assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, based in Nashville. He serves as the office's criminal chief, supervising all of the office's criminal prosecutors and cases, while handling some white-collar criminal cases of his own. He and his family live in Nashville.
’94 Jeffrey A. Brauer, a partner in the Cleveland office of Hahn Loeser & Parks, was recently awarded the Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under for District 12 (Cuyahoga County) by the Ohio State Bar Foundation. The award is presented to honorees in each of the Ohio State Bar Association's districts. Jeff's work as a statewide coordinator of the Wills for Heroes program and his work with local organizations garnered him the nomination for this award. Jeff focuses his practice in the firm's litigation and construction areas, representing clients in state and federal court with an emphasis in complex commercial litigation. His experience includes contract disputes, business torts, securities, intellectual property, product liability and healthcare. Jeff also represents contractors in a variety of construction-related matters.
Robert Gonzales has opened his own business, which is pursuing investment opportunities in the insolvency arena. "I continue to work with distressed companies and insolvency professionals, but in the role of investor rather than lawyer," he explains. "My new company buys claims and distressed assets, and provides capital to businesses going through workouts or Chapter 11s."
Cristina Pauzé has joined Time Warner Cable as vice president, Federal Regulatory Affairs, and is based in the company's Washington, D.C., public policy office. Cristina is responsible for leading Time Warner Cable's advocacy efforts before the Federal Communications Commission on cable and media-related issues. She was formerly legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell. She provides counsel on cable, broadcast and satellite policy and regulatory issues, including carriage of digital signals, the digital TV transition, cable must-carry requirements, leased access, and video franchising. She joined the FCC in 2006 from the Washington law firm of Morrison & Foerster, where she worked from 1997 to 2001, and again from 2004 to 2006, on a variety of issues for broadcast, telecommunications, wireless and satellite companies. She has additional corporate and law firm experience and began her career as a judicial clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.
Elijah Blaine Sprouse is a member of the law firm of Procter Slaughter & Reagan in Ventura, California.
’97 Lauri D. Chaudoin has opened ChaudoinLaw, a new legal and mediation practice serving the business community. Lauri will provide advice to businesses in the areas of employment law, construction law and general corporate issues. Her mediation practice will resolve all types of disputes, including labor and employment, commercial, personal injury and family law disputes. Lauri served as in-house counsel for Rogers Group, Inc., one of the largest aggregate and road construction companies in the southeast, for the past nine years. Prior to that, she was in private practice in the area of labor and employment law. Lauri is on the board of directors of the Ear Foundation, and she is a volunteer mediator for the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center.
Lucibeth Mayberry has been promoted to vice president, deputy chief development officer for Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). Lucibeth began her career at CCA in 2003 as a senior director. Before joining CCA, Lucibeth was a senior associate at Stokes Bartholomew Evans and Petree. After earning her law degree at Vanderbilt, she earned an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida.
Alan Perkins, an immigration attorney with Tonkon Torp, has been selected by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to serve on a national committee that works with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) on policy and adjudication issues, the USCIS California Service Center Liaison Committee. Alan has more than a decade of immigration law experience. A Portland native, he recently returned to Portland after practicing immigration law for eight years in San Francisco.
’98 Elizabeth Summers Gray, a member of Greenebaum Doll & McDonald's Louisville office, has been re-elected mayor of Crossgate, a small suburb of Louisville. Elizabeth was appointed the town's mayor on June 9, 2008, when the previous mayor relocated to another state. She practices with Greenebaum's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group.
’99 Taylor A. Cates with Burch Porter & Johnson has selected to participate in the Tennessee Bar Association's 2009 Leadership Law program. Leadership Law is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in their profession and local communities. Taylor handles a range of litigation as well as intellectual property matters.
Ryan Thomas is a partner with Bass Berry & Sims in Nashville. Ryan is a member of the firm's Corporate and Securities Group.
’00 Kevin Kent, a shareholder with Conrad O'Brien Gellman & Rohn, has been profiled by Business & Finance Magazine in its "Most Influential US-Ireland Business Leaders" issue. The magazine recognizes and profiles the most senior and important business figures across Ireland and the United States. Kevin's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense. Kevin is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, England and Wales, and is in the process of completing the exams to qualify as a solicitor in Ireland. Prior to joining Conrad O'Brien, Kevin was a law clerk for Judge Louis C. Bechtle, Chief Emeritus of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In addition to earning his law degree at Vanderbilt, Kevin studied at the U.N. Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Magee College, University of Ulster, in Ireland. Kevin is a member of Philadelphia's Irish American Business Chamber & Network and the Brehon Law Society. He is also a founding member of the American Ireland Fund's Young Leaders of Philadelphia, a charitable organization dedicated to promoting educational, cultural and community development throughout Ireland.
Jim Lasser is an art director at the advertising agency of Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Oregon, where he works on creating commercials for Nike and Heikeken.
John F. (Jack) Preis began as an assistant professor at University of Richmond School of Law this fall, teaching civil procedure and federal courts.
’01 Seema Mahini and her husband, Rob Mahini, proudly welcomed a baby boy, Alec Faisel Mahini, on March 7, 2008. Alec was quick to assert himself as the new boss of the Mahini household. Rob and Seema are both still working as lawyers for the federal government in Washington, D.C. Rob works in the Office of the General Counsel at the Federal Trade Commission, and Seema works in the Office of the General Counsel at the Department of Agriculture. The family lives in the Washington suburb of Vienna, Virginia.
’02 John Perry Herndon married Sara Louise Dowless on July 27, 2008, in Atlanta. Sara is a speech and language pathologist at the Atlanta Speech School. Perry is a patent attorney with Fish and Richardson. The newlyweds honeymooned in Hawaii and live in Decatur, Georgia.
’03 Nicholas Baumgartner married Kristin Reith in Oxford, England, on August 9, 2008. Vanderbilt alumni in attendance included 2003 graduates Elsa and Kevin Bourgois-Bertouille and Kazunori Fuse and his wife, Yuki, along with 2005 graduates Kathy (Thomas) and Michael Denehy. Nicholas is a corporate attorney with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London. He previously worked in the firm's Frankfurt and Hong Kong offices. Nicholas and Kristin, also an attorney, live in London.
Rich Haglund is legal counsel for the Tennessee State Board of Education in Nashville. Read more about his career path in an article he wrote for the Lawyer .
’04 Krista (Thornton) Cooper married Tobias M. Cooper of Ringwood, England, on May 25, 2008, and the couple lives in Nashville.
’05 Chris Fox has joined the Atlanta office of the law firm Thompson Hine as an associate in the business litigation practice group. Chris is admitted to practice in the state of Georgia, the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia, and before the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Megan Short married Michael Bess on May 3, 2008, in Scottsdale, Arizona. The couple lives in Chicago, where Megan works as an administrator at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and Michael practices in the Appellate Group at Winston & Strawn.
Robert Wilson and his wife, April, welcomed their first daughter, Addison Grace, on May 16, 2008, in Atlanta, Georgia. Robert has joined Jones Day in Atlanta as an associate in the firm's capital markets practice group. He was previously an associate with Haynes & Boone in Dallas.
’06 Helen Kim joined Horizon Law Group in Seoul, Korea, in May 2007. She is an associate in the corporate practice team. Horizon Law Group and Jisung Law Offices merged in September 2008, and the new firm, Jisung Horizon, is currently the seventh largest firm in Korea.
’07 Daniel Barham, an associate with Bricker & Eckler, has been appointed to serve on the central Ohio Make-A-Wish Foundation board of directors. Headquartered in Columbus, the chapter has five regional offices and two satellite offices in the three states it serves.
Brian Boyd has joined the Atlanta office of Fish & Richardson as an associate in its litigation group. Prior to joining Fish, Brian clerked for Judge Alvin A. Schall of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the federal circuit. Brian, who earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech, was an electrical engineer at Schlumberger before earning his law degree at Vanderbilt.
Ryan Logan has joined the Hunton & Williams office in Raleigh, North Carolina, as an associate with the Privacy and Information Management practice group. Ryan formerly worked with Hunton & Williams' Charlotte office, where he focused on corporate finance and capital markets transactions, particularly asset securitization.
Stephen "Mickey" Montgomery has joined Neal & Harwell in Nashville. Prior to joining the firm, Mickey was a law clerk for Judge Alan E. Glenn in the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, Memphis. He is licensed to practice in Tennessee and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee and is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Nashville Bar Association and the Memphis Bar Association. He lives in Bellevue.
Cal Renegar has joined Boult Cumming's real estate and finance practice as an associate.
Christian-Andreas Schutz, LL.M., has joined Boult Cummings in Nashville as special counsel.
’08 Chris Bowles has joined the Environmental and Litigation practices of Bass Berry & Sims, based at the firm's Nashville office. In May, Chris received the Bennett Douglas Bell Memorial Award, awarded to the graduating student "who is not only well versed in the law, but also embodies the highest conception of the ethics of the profession."
Emma Dill has joined Bryan Cave's Kansas City office in the commercial litigation and labor and employment client service groups. She is licensed to practice in Missouri.
Nesrin Garan has joined the Bass Berry & Sims health care group in Nashville.
Joseph Goldman has joined Lewis and Roca's intellectual property and commercial litigation practice groups. He is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. During law school, he was an intern with the legal and compliance division of Aozora Bank in Tokyo, Japan.
Julia Gorodetsky and Hugh Hill were married in a private family ceremony on September 4, 2008, at the Ashby Inn in Paris, Virginia, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. They are grateful that so many of their Vanderbilt friends could attend the reception held in honor of their marriage the following Saturday in Washington, D. C. The couple met on their first day of law school at Vanderbilt and have been inseparable ever since. Julia recently joined the New York City office of Andrews Kurth, a Houston-based law firm, as an associate in the corporate department. Hugh is currently a restructuring and insolvency associate in the New York City office of Lovells, a London-based multinational law firm. They both hope many of their Vanderbilt friends will visit them in New York.
Catherine A. Haines has joined Bingham McHale in Indianapolis as an associate in the law firm's insurance litigation department. She was admitted to the Indiana State Bar.
Ashleigh Harb has joined the litigation practice at Bass Berry & Sims in Nashville.
Ramona Kappel Johns has joined Hawley Troxell in Idaho, where she will focus on real estate and corporate law.
Justin Leck has joined Withers Bergman in New Haven, Connecticut, as an associate.
Stuart McMahen has joined the corporate, securities/mergers & acquisitions practice group of Winstead, one of the largest business law firms in Texas.
Will Minor has joined Keating Muething & Klekamp in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he will practice in the firm's litigation group. Will was admitted to the Ohio State Bar.
Gary Montle has joined Waddey & Patterson to practice as a patent law associate. Gary was an electrical engineer at Beta Lasermike in Ohio before earning his law degree at Vanderbilt.
Ryann Schneider has joined Bass Berry & Sims, where she will practice in the technology group.
Sunita Shirodkar has joined the commercial litigation practice group of Winstead, one of the largest business law firms in Texas.
Deepa Nagam Subramanian has joined the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips, a leading national labor and employment law firm. Deepa was a clerk for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, in 2007. The tribunal conducted criminal trials for suspects charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Rwanda. She also has held intern positions with Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands and the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless. Deepa's practice will be focused on labor and employment law representing management.
Samantha Lee Symonds has married Joseph Baruch Shear. The bride and bridegroom met while both were students at Stanford. Samantha is a corporate associate in Gunderson Dettmer in Menlo Park, California, and Joseph is a litigation associate in the Redwood Shores, California, office of Weil Gotshal & Manges.
Scott Tift has joined the litigation practice at Bass Berry & Sims. At graduation in May, Scott received the Philip G. Davidson III Memorial Award and the Junius L. Allison Legal Aid Award, and this fall, he was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Ben Wickert has joined the commercial litigation practice group of Winstead, one of the largest business law firms in Texas.
Douglas M. Wolford has joined the health care practice at Bass Berry & Sims in Nashville.
Thomas "Tom" Gibbs, '49, age 83, of Toledo, passed away on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, at Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek. He was born in Toledo on July 21, 1925. In addition to his law degree from Vanderbilt, Tom earned a degree in education from Bowling Green State University and an M.Ed. degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Toledo. In between stints in the military and while earning his degrees, he worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad from 1943 to 1962, and he remained an avid train traveler throughout his life. Tom began his long career in teaching and counseling in 1962 at Oak Harbor High School, and he taught math and science at various schools and technical colleges in the Toledo area. In the mid-1960s he was director of the Lucas County Head Start Program Summer Migrant School and Day Care Center. Toward the end of his career in education, he used his special interest and affinity for the mentally disabled to guide young people at Lott Industries and The Toledo Mental Health Center. He also enjoyed his post as the public address announcer for Oak Harbor High School football and basketball games. After retiring, he continued to judge local science fairs and edit science workbooks for children. The political process was a great interest of Tom's, and he was an ardent Democrat. Over many years, he volunteered at polling places, was a trainer for the Board of Elections and served on the Democratic Central Committee in Ottawa and Lucas counties. He believed in the importance of voting. His good humor and determination were an inspiration to his family during his long struggle with heart disease. Tom married Geraldine Robertson in 1959, and he is survived by her, his son and daughter, and two grandchildren.
C. Allen High, '50, who served as a judge in Davidson County Chancery Court for 21 years, died November 12, 2008. He was 83.
Judge High was first elected to the court in 1974. He won re-election in 1982 and 1990. Probably the most significant legal case to come before him was Tennessee Small School Systems v. State of Tennessee. The Small Schools lawsuit, filed in 1988, claimed that Tennessee's funding system for public education violated students' constitutional rights because those in rural schools did not have equal access to the educational amenities and opportunities available to urban students. Judge High ruled in favor of the rural school systems in 1991. Although the Court of Appeals overturned his ruling, the Tennessee Supreme Court later reinstated it, prompting legislators to enact funding reforms sought by the smaller schools. In a 1985 case, Judge High's ruling in favor of the executors of Elvis Presley's estate helped establish that celebrities enjoy what has been called a "posthumous right of publicity," preventing others from trading on their names.
Serving as president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference in 1982, Judge High founded the Tennessee Judicial Academy, which remains in operation today. He was a co-founder of the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court, a Middle Tennessee legal society. He also helped form the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and served as its president in 1970. "Before Allen went on the bench, he was a very effective civil lawyer. Because of his extensive trial experience, it was a pleasure to try cases to a jury in his Chancery Court. Allen was admired by all Nashville lawyers," said Ed Yarbrough, '72, U.S. Attorney for Middle Tennessee.
"He was a people's judge, with a very good judicial temperament. His down-to-earth approach to trials was unique, especially his willingness to let anyone be heard in his court, despite objections from lawyers. He has been missed by the bench and bar since his retirement, and now will be missed by the community he so loved and served," said George Barrett, '57, Barrett, Johnston & Parsley.
Judge High was a Nashville native. He served as an Army paratrooper in World War II, earning the Bronze Star. After the war, Judge High earned degrees from Peabody College and Vanderbilt University Law School. He practiced with the firm of Denney Leftwich & Osborn in Nashville. In 1958, he was elected as a delegate to the Tennessee Constitutional Convention. In 1967, he was elected to the State Legislature, serving a single two-year term.
Judge High retired from the bench in 1995. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Frances High; their two sons, Nashville attorneys Charles Allen High Jr. and David E. High, and four grandchildren.
James F. Durham II, '54, age 77, passed away in Melbourne Beach, Florida, on September 25, 2008, of melanoma. Jim was born on June 14, 1931, in Madisonville, Kentucky, to a family with roots in Kentucky for many generations. He earned his undergraduate as well as his law degree from Vanderbilt. Following his graduation, he served as a legal officer in the U.S. Army in New York City, where he also earned an LL.M. at New York University School of Law. He moved to Miami in 1956 to join Miami's oldest law firm, Shutts & Bowen, where he had a distinguished career as a real estate lawyer for 45 years. Jim served his profession as an author for the Florida Bar on mortgage foreclosure law, and he served his community as an officer of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and as a member of various boards of the City of Coral Gables, where he lived until moving to Melbourne Beach after his retirement in 2001. Jim is survived by his wife Kathy, two sons, two daughters, and 13 grandchildren.
Judge Jonathan J. Robertson II, '61, age 76, passed away October 13, 2008, at his home. Jonathan was a judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals from 1971 to 1997, including a stint as the court's chief judge from 1975-78, and served as a senior judge on the court of appeals for a number of southern Indiana courts after his retirement. He was appointed to the bench in 1965 as a circuit court judge in Jackson County, and moved to the Court of Appeals in 1970. Before taking the bench, he served as counsel to Indiana General Assembly's House of Representatives, as a prosecutor in Jackson County, and was in private law practice. Over the course of his career, he served on the Criminal Justice Planning Agency, was distinguished lecturer and adjunct professor at IUPUI, and served on the board of managers of the Indiana Bar Association, and the Indiana Judges board of managers, as well as being a member of the Indiana Judges Association and the Indiana Judicial Center. He was a member of the Indiana Judicial Center, the American Bar Association, and the Indiana State Bar Association, and he held all offices of the Jackson County Bar Association at various times. He was a panelist and speaker at Vanderbilt Law School and a member of Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity at Vanderbilt. Survivors include his wife, Virginia, two sons, one daughter, and four grandchildren.
Condolences to Jim Miller, '65, on the death of his wife, Karina, on November 10, 2008. Jim and Karina met while he was a student at Vanderbilt Law School and she was pursuing a graduate degree at Vanderbilt University. Jim is CEO of Atlanta-based Fidelity Bank.
John Calvin Crawford III, '66, of Atlanta, Georgia, died of pancreatic cancer on July 4, 2008. John earned his undergraduate degree from Davidson College in 1959. After college, he served three years in the U.S. Navy as a communications officer aboard the flagship of the Mediterranean Sixth Fleet and then continued his military career in the Naval Reserve, retiring after 21 years of service with the rank of commander. After earning his law degree at Vanderbilt, he joined his family's law firm in Maryville, Tennessee, where he practiced with his father and his uncle. In 1973, he was named assistant district attorney. In 1978, he was elected circuit court judge handling primarily criminal cases. He retired to Atlanta in 1990.
Charles (Chuck) W. Dixon, '67, age 65, died at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on September 23, 2008. Chuck earned his B.S. as well as his law degree from Vanderbilt. He began a distinguished 30-year career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1969. Highlights of his FBI career included trips to Hungary and Russia as the Cold War was ending to advise officials of those countries on the proper role of counterintelligence agencies in democracies. After his retirement from the FBI in 2000, he returned to Washington, D.C., for a short period as a staff member of the commission for the review of FBI security programs. Chuck was very active in community affairs both in Alexandria, Virginia, where he lived for more than 25 years, and in Santa Fe, where he was a member of the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity for seven years and served as the board's chairman from 2005 to 2008. A fundraising drive in Chuck's honor by Habitat for Humanity culminated in the groundbreaking on September 13, 2008, of a "House of Hope" in Chuck's name. Chuck is survived by his wife, Mary Eileen, two daughters and a granddaughter.
Reverend Helen Alexandra "Alix" Evans, '87, passed away October 12, 2008, in Los Angeles, California, after a battle with breast cancer. Born November 28, 1958, in Charleston, West Virginia, Alix earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia in 1981 and both a J.D. and a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University in 1987. She was admitted to the bar in California and had a decade-long legal career while also serving as pro bono volunteer, and activist involved with social justice, prisoners' rights, anti-death penalty and animal issues. After losing her mother, Anne Hutchison Evans, to cancer, Alix, who had always been a devoted church and choir member, changed career paths, completing her seminary studies at the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas, in 1998. She returned to Los Angeles, was ordained at St. James Episcopal Church in Los Angeles and served the rest of her life at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, first as assistant rector and, starting in 2002, as rector. Alix is survived by her father, James Ray Evans, and her stepmother, who live in West Virginia.
Stephanie Feldman Aleong, '96, assistant professor of law at Nova Southeastern University in Florida and a former statewide prosecutor, died October 23, 2008, of melanoma. Stephanie was 36. "The students loved her so much," said Anthony Niedwiecki, a friend and teaching colleague on the Nova faculty. "She was the kind of professor who would go the extra mile for every student. She brought the best out of everybody." Between 2000 and 2002, Stephanie led a health care fraud team at the office of the statewide prosecutor in Fort Lauderdale. She worked on a task force investigating abuses by hundreds of small pharmaceutical firms, which uncovered wholesalers making more than $100 million buying counterfeit, stolen, re-labeled and expired medicines and reselling. South Florida brokers were linked to fake cholesterol pills and vials of fake cancer and HIV drugs in 24 states. The task force was the subject of a 2005 non-fiction book, Dangerous Doses: How Counterfeiters Are Contaminating America's Drug Supply, by Katherine Eban. Before she joined the statewide prosecutor, Stephanie was a Miami-Dade County prosecutor for four years, handling major criminal cases. Mothers Against Drunk Driving recognized her work. Stephanie, who grew up in Michigan, also earned her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University. Her brother, Lanny Feldman, said she was inspired to focus her law career on drug regulation by her mother, a nurse who died in a car accident when Stephanie was only seven. Although Stephanie met her husband, Neil, in grade school, they were married only six years ago. In addition to Neil, she is survived by her parents, Jack and Lorraine Feldman, of Delray Beach, Florida, three brothers and two sisters.
Richard Henry Harrison, '51, long-time Coffee County attorney and former Coffee County commissioner, died November 11, 2008, at his Manchester home after a long illness. He was 81. A native of Murfreesboro, he earned a B.S. from MTSU before earning his law degree at Vanderbilt University. He served in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves. Harrison practiced law in both Tullahoma and Manchester, Tennessee. For several years in Tullahoma he was a law partner with the late J.O. McMahan, former commissioner of public welfare in the Gov. Gordon Browning administration. More recently, he was associated with the firm of Harrison and Kirkpatrick in Manchester. A Manchester city attorney in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Richard also served on the Coffee County Library Board and in the early 1970s, on the Coffee County Commission. From 1969 to 1972 he was treasurer of PLAN (Public Library Action Now), a fundraising effort that resulted in the construction of the current Manchester branch of the Coffee County Public Library. Long active in Democratic party politics, he was appointed Coffee County co-manager of the gubernatorial campaign of former Chattanooga Mayor Rudy Olgiati in 1962. He made unsuccessful bids for Coffee County General Sessions Judge the late 1960s and also for county juvenile judge in 1983. Richard is survived by his two sons, Richard H. Harrison II of Longwood, Florida, and David J. Harrison of Manchester, and their families.
Colonel George B. Wallace, '50, died November 13, 2008, at his home. Born in Lewisburg, Tennessee, on February 23, 1924, George entered the Army Air Corps February 19, 1943, where he attended pilot training school at George Field in Lawrenceville, Illinois. He was sent to the European Theater in Burma, where he flew over "The Hump." He was a highly decorated officer, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. George volunteered his services again in 1951, where he served as Director of Operations in the Korean conflict. Between his service in WWII and the Korean War, he married his childhood sweetheart, Dorothy Dean Davis, and started a family in Lewisburg. After the war, George returned to Tennessee, earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee and his law degree from Vanderbilt. After spending a short period in Lewisburg as a judge, George went back to his passion of flying, this time as Group Commander of the 105 Squadron at Berry Field in Nashville. He retired from The Tennessee Air National Guard in 1984, achieving the rank of Colonel. He worked as a pilot for Ingram Oil from 1955 to 1959. In 1959, he was called by his lifelong friend, Gov. Buford Ellington, to serve as the pilot for the State of Tennessee. He served in this capacity from 1959 to 1963. In December 1965, he contacted President Andy Holt of the University of Tennessee with a business proposal to buy a plane for the university. George was hired by the university as Staff Assistant to the President. He established the UT Systems Flight Operations, and headed that organization until his retirement in March 1986. George is survived by his two children, George B. Wallace Jr. of Lebanon, Tennessee, and Anne Wallace of Lewisburg, Tennessee.