Alumni News

Virginia L. Aronson, '75: The Magic of Retirement - A Conversation with Alumna Virginia Aronson

February 8, 2016 - 11:59am
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A conversation with alumna Virginia Aronson

For some, the idea of retirement inspires the call of a deep plush couch. For others, it introduces the second act of the play, an opportunity for action, passion, challenge and success to all take center stage.

Virginia Aronson clearly falls into the latter camp. From piano lessons, cooking school and the eight-hour medical seminars she attends at a nearby hospital (“I’ve always been a frustrated doctor”), to collecting modern art, and, of course, the acclaimed magic act she performs with her husband, Simon, there is an abundance of second loves she’s returned to since she left Sidley in 2010. 

“Frankly, the joy of my retirement is that I can enhance skill-sets and explore new and old areas of interest that I just couldn’t enjoy thoroughly when I was working long hours at the firm,” Ginny says. She also enjoys mentoring younger professional women, both at the firm and of the Chicago Network, a group of prominent women leaders.

She cites a subtle but important link between her former law practice and her current mindreading act with Simon. The couple began performing years ago to help pay for graduate studies and law school. Those early performances—which required Ginny to both address large audiences and think on her feet—bolstered her public-speaking skills. They gave her confidence in herself, not only as a performer, but ultimately, as a lawyer.

Categories: Alumni News

Martin 'Skip' Burke, '62: 1937-2016

February 2, 2016 - 1:55pm
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Thousands run the Twin Cities Marathon each fall. Martin “Skip” Burke was the man who made the event happen.

As the marathon’s first president, Burke helped lead the effort to combine two competing races — the City of Lakes and the St. Paul marathons — to create in 1982 the “Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America,” a 26.2-mile run that starts in downtown Minneapolis and ends at the State Capitol in St. Paul.

“Without Skip’s vision to join two cities, we would not be the great race we are today,” said Virginia Brophy Achman, the Twin Cities Marathon’s executive director.

Burke died Jan. 12 of Parkinson’s disease at his home overlooking Lake Minnetonka. He was 79.

By day a prominent trial attorney at the Faegre and Benson law firm in Minneapolis, he was an avid handball player at the Minneapolis Athletic Club until a back injury sidelined him. To meet his need for competition and replace his addiction to alcohol with something healthy, he turned to running, said his son, Forrest, of Orono.

At 41, Burke ran his first marathon — Grandma’s in Duluth. He ran 90 in his career, including the Boston Marathon several times, his son said. Burke provided commentary along with WCCO-TV sports anchor Ralph Jon Fritz when the first Twin Cities Marathons were televised.

Burke was born in Green Bay, Wis. He was a three-star athlete at Blake School in Hopkins and the unlikely hero of the 1955 Minnesota Independent School State Basketball Tournament when he sank a game-tying basket in the closing minute of the game, eventually won by the Blake Bears, according the school’s yearbook.

After graduating from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, Burke joined Faegre and Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels) in 1962. He served as chair of the firm’s general litigation practice group and made a local and national reputation for himself as a successful trial lawyer until he retired in 1999.

“Skip was a consummate trial lawyer,” said Bridget Ahmann, a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels. “He was smart, smooth and a great storyteller. Juries loved him, and his clients loved him for that reason. He was also a mentor to many of us, who learned this art by observing him.”


Categories: Alumni News

Charles G. Curtis, Jr, '82: Elected to American Law Insititue

February 2, 2016 - 1:47pm
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Joel W. Nomkin, a partner in Perkins Coie’s Litigation practice in Phoenix, and Charles G. Curtis, Jr., '82, a partner in Perkins Coie’s Litigation practice in Madison and Washington, D.C., have been elected as members of the American Law Institute (ALI).  Joel and Chuck join 13 other Perkins Coie attorneys who are members of ALI: C. Randall Bain, David J. Burman, Timothy W. Burns, T. Markus Funk, Kevin J. Hamilton, Steve Koh, Stewart M. Landefeld, Martin E. Lybecker, Lorelie S. Masters, Katie M. O’Sullivan, John S. Skilton, Michelle M. Umberger, and James F. Williams.

Chuck has significant litigation experience across a broad range of cutting-edge issues, in areas such as antitrust, environmental, communications, IP, distribution, political, administrative and constitutional law.  He has advocated for clients before administrative agencies and in federal and state courts at both the trial and appellate levels, including the U.S. Supreme Court.  His commercial litigation clients have included global leaders in technology, manufacturing, mining, sports, finance and consumer goods.  Chuck has focused a large part of his practice on Native American legal issues.  His work in this field has spanned treaty rights, environmental, energy, tax, IP, attorney liability, finance, and gaming law.  Chuck is recognized by Chambers USA for Native American Law (Nationwide) [2009 - 2015] and Litigation: General Commercial (Wisconsin) [2004 - 2015].

Categories: Alumni News

Ryan Walsh, '12: Appointed Chief Deputy Solicitor General for the State of Wisconsin.

February 2, 2016 - 12:55pm
Original source:

AG Schimel appoints Ryan Walsh as Chief Deputy Solicitor General

Attorney General Brad Schimel announced today his appointment of Ryan J. Walsh as Chief Deputy Solicitor General for the State of Wisconsin.

Walsh currently serves as an associate attorney with the law firm of Jones Day in Washington, D.C. in the Issues and Appeals section. Before joining Jones Day in 2014, he served as law clerk to United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia in the October 2013 term.

Previously, Walsh served as a law clerk for Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, interned in the Fraud and Public Corruption Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and served as an intern for United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Walsh, a Wisconsin native, grew up in Danbury and attended school in the Webster School District.  He graduated with High Honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 2012 where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Chicago Law Review. While attending the University of Chicago, Walsh was awarded the Lynde & Harry Bradley Student Fellowship and named as a Kirkland & Ellis Scholar.  As a law student, Walsh also was awarded a John Marshall Fellowship from the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at The Claremont Institute in California in May 2012. He holds a B.A. from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., where he was elected senior class president.

Categories: Alumni News

James Cole Jr., '95: Education Department Announces Cole to Assume the Duties of Deputy Secretary

January 29, 2016 - 9:45am
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Education Department Announces James Cole Jr. to Assume the Duties of Deputy Secretary

Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. announced today that James Cole Jr., who is currently serving as General Counsel to the Department, will assume the duties of Deputy Secretary.

"James is an extraordinary leader whose talents as a leader and manager, and whose commitment to educational achievement, access and opportunity for all students, make him the perfect person to take on this vitally important role. I am thrilled to continue working with James as we strive to ensure that every student is prepared and supported to succeed in college, careers and life," said King.

"I am excited to be part of the team at the Department because education has had a profound influence on my life, and continues to have a profound influence on the lives of millions of children and adults, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds," said Cole

In his new role, Cole will manage the Department's operations and lead its work on the President's My Brother's Keeper Task Force. Cole will continue to be General Counsel, serving as the chief legal officer for the Department and as legal advisor to King.

Cole, who was confirmed by the Senate as the Department's General Counsel in December 2014, was the first in his family to graduate from college. He credits a high school English teacher with inspiring and convincing him to pursue higher education. Cole went on to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in finance with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his J.D. from the University of Chicago, where he served as a comment editor of the University of Chicago Law School Roundtable.

Categories: Alumni News

Lucy Reed, '77: Named Director of the Centre for International Law and Professor of Practice at National University of Singapore

January 22, 2016 - 9:15am
Original source:

Leading International Arbitration Lawyer Joins NUS as Director of the Centre for International Law

Ms Lucy Reed, Head of the global international arbitration and public international law groups at Freshfields, will also be appointed the first Professor of Practice at the NUS Faculty of Law.

Newswise — Singapore, 21 January 2016 - The National University of Singapore (NUS) is pleased to announce that Ms Lucy Reed, an internationally renowned practitioner-scholar of international law, will join NUS in July 2016 as Director of the Centre for International Law (CIL). She will also be appointed as the first Professor of Practice at NUS Law.

Ms Reed holds degrees from Brown University and Chicago Law School and has been a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, one of the top law firms in the world, since 1998. Since 2009, she has been helming Freshfields’ global international arbitration group and public international law group. This builds on extensive experience working with the United States Government (as legal adviser in the State Department from 1985 to 1993) and in Asia (as general counsel of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation). In 2014, she was conferred the Asia Women in Business Award for Best in Dispute Resolution.

In addition to her rich professional background, Ms Reed has long had a deep engagement with the academic world. She has taught at American University and the University of Miami School of Law, and in 2001 was invited to deliver the prestigious Hague Lectures at the Academy of International Law. A measure of the esteem in which she is held by practitioners and scholars alike was her election as President of the American Society of International Law from 2008 to 2010.


Categories: Alumni News

Jana Cohen Barbe, '87: Writes for Fortune Magazine - "There Is Only One Reason Women Don't Make it to the Top"

January 21, 2016 - 10:09am
Original source:

There Is Only One Reason Women Don't Make it to the Top

COMMENTARY by Jana Cohen Barbe

January 19, 2016, 7:30 PM EST

It’s the truth that you might not want to hear.

MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for:What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership? is written by Jana Cohen Barbe, global vice chair of Dentons.

Here’s the truth that so many people wish to ignore: women are not progressing into leadership because we are women. Yes, you read that correctly. It is the absence of the Y chromosome. Women have no more shortcomings than the men who lead major companies and institutions. Women are subjected to discrimination simply by virtue of their gender and the only way to successfully address the issue is to shine a spotlight on it and the ensuing discrimination. We need to call it what it is and address it head on.

Categories: Alumni News

Paul S. Fisher, '80: Elected to the Board of Directors at CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc.

January 20, 2016 - 10:06am
Original source:

ATLANTA, Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. (NYSE: CTT) announced today the election of industry veteran Paul S. Fisher, a former President and Chief Executive Officer of CenterPoint Properties Trust, to the company's Board of Directors.

CenterPoint is the nation's preeminent developer, investor and manager of supply chain industrial assets and related transportation infrastructure. Fisher co-founded the company in 1993 and served as General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer before heading the firm. CenterPoint was a publicly-traded REIT from 1993 until 2006 when it was privatized by a joint venture of the California Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and LaSalle Investment Management, Inc.

CatchMark's Chairman of the Board, Willis J. Potts, Jr., said: "CatchMark will benefit from Paul Fisher's varied experience and skill sets—leading a major public REIT, working with the nation's largest pension funds, and being named one of "America's Top CFOs" by Institutional Investor magazine."  

Jerry Barag, President and CEO of CatchMark, said: "Paul Fisher should provide us excellent counsel as we look to further growth, ensuring durable earnings from timberland acquisitions and sustainable operating practices, while expanding our reach in the capital markets."

Fisher serves on the U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Council on Supply Chain Competitiveness. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Supply and Value Chain Center of Loyola University. Mr. Fisher graduated from The University of Notre Dame, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1977 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  Fisher received his Doctor of Law degree from The University of Chicago School of Law in 1980.

Categories: Alumni News

Stephanie Graham, '90: Named Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Northwestern University

January 15, 2016 - 10:43am
Original source:

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Stephanie M. Graham, currently deputy general counsel at Northwestern University, has been promoted to associate vice president and deputy general counsel for Northwestern University, effective Jan. 1, 2016, Philip Harris, Northwestern’s vice president and general counsel, announced today.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, Graham received her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. She is a member of the bar in Illinois and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

“Stephanie Graham is a true legal scholar and a gifted leader with a deep understanding of the complex legal issues in higher education,” Harris said. “She will continue to play a key leadership role in the Office of General Counsel.” 

Categories: Alumni News

Steve Wilson, '71: Unwired Planet Announces Appointment of Steve Wilson To Its Board Of Directors

January 11, 2016 - 9:30am
Original source:

Unwired Planet, Inc. (NASDAQ:UPIP) today announced that Hugh Steven Wilson, '71, has joined the company’s Board of Directors effective January 6, 2016. The Board of Directors appointed Mr. Wilson to replace Taylor Harmeling, who resigned from the Board on December 31, 2015.

Mr. Wilson is a financial industry executive and attorney, who served as Managing Partner of Tennenbaum Capital Partners from 2005 to 2012. Previously, he was a partner at Latham & Watkins, where he served as chair of the firm’s litigation department and was global co-chair of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group. Mr. Wilson currently serves on the boards of Burford Capital Limited, a global litigation finance and professional services firm, where he serves as vice-chairman, and International Wire Group, Inc., where he is chairman of the board. He previously served on the boards of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. He graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Political Science in 1968. He earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and an L.L.M. from Harvard Law School.

Mr. Wilson will serve on both the Audit Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees.

Categories: Alumni News

Mireya Martin, '97: Nominee for Grundy County Board District

January 11, 2016 - 9:28am
Original source:

The Grundy County Republican Central Committee has announced its nomination of Mireya Martin for appointment as a County Board member to fill the vacancy in board District 2, according to a committee news release.

Martin, of Minooka, is a Republican candidate for County Board District 2 in the 2016 election.

Categories: Alumni News

Thomas Unterman, '69: Reappointed to the California State Teachers’ Retirement Board

January 8, 2016 - 10:15am
Original source:

Thomas Unterman, 71, of Pacific Palisades, has been reappointed to the California State Teachers’ Retirement Board, where he has served since 2013. Unterman has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law since 2011 and has held multiple positions at Rustic Canyon Partners since 1999, including founder and founding partner. He held multiple positions at the Times Mirror Company from 1992 to 1999, including executive vice president and chief financial officer. Unterman was a partner at Morrison and Foerster from 1986 to 1992 and at Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP from 1969 to 1986. Unterman is a member of the ProPublica Board of Directors and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Board of Trustees. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Unterman is a Democrat.

Categories: Alumni News

Annette Moore, '06: Named New Chief of Staff for Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority

January 7, 2016 - 9:48am
Original source:

(CBS) — There have been intense calls for change at the Chicago Police Department, and now the agency that investigates officer-involved shootings is undergoing a major restructuring.

Sharon Fairley, acting chief administrator of the Independent Police Review Authority, says her vision to improve the agency begins with creating immediate improvement where the organization needs it most.

“I’m bringing in new leadership and creating several key positions I believe are essential to our future success,” she told reporters at a news conference Monday.

Those positions include, hiring Annette Moore, from the University of Chicago Law School, as IPRA’s new chief of staff and Jay Westensee as a new chief investigator.

Categories: Alumni News

Howard Schiller, '87: Named Interim CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals

January 7, 2016 - 9:39am
Original source:

The embattled Canadian drug company Valeant Pharmaceuticals has named its former chief financial officer Howard Schiller as interim CEO.

Robert Ingram, the lead independent director on Valeant's board, will serve as interim chairman of the board, the company said.

Ingram is stepping in for J. Michael Pearson, who is still on medical leave with pneumonia.

Categories: Alumni News

Sarah E. Crane ’07: Elected Shareholder at Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, IA

January 5, 2016 - 11:33am
Original source:

Davis Brown Law Firm Elects New Shareholder

The Davis Brown Law Firm is pleased to announce that Sarah Crane, 07 has been elected shareholder, effective January 2016.

Sarah is a member of the litigation division and maintains a general litigation practice, including business litigation, commercial litigation, appellate practice, health law, antitrust law, insurance defense, and employment law.



Categories: Alumni News