Alumni News

Ashley Keller, '07: One of Crain's 40 Under 40

December 5, 2016 - 2:45pm

Ashley Keller, '07, Managing director of Gerchen Keller Capital, has been named #37 on Crain's 2016 40 Under 40 list.

Original source:

Ashley Keller and Adam Gerchen

37 and 35 | Managing director (Keller); CEO (Gerchen) | Gerchen Keller Capital

Adam Gerchen and Ashley Keller co-founded their litigation finance firm three years ago. Now it’s the largest in the industry, with $1.4 billion in assets under management. Gerchen Keller Capital invests in lawsuits, funding them in exchange for a cut of the eventual judgment or settlement, or, in some cases, lending money backed by an existing one. The field has ballooned in recent years as undercapitalized commercial plaintiffs try to match corporations’ legal firepower. The firm averaged a $10 million investment per case in 2015 and worked with clients of law firms like Kirkland & Ellis and Sidley Austin. It’s high-risk, high-reward: Returns can be an eye-popping 91 percent—or nothing.

For Keller, the work marries his interest in law and finance, creating opportunities to mull over sophisticated legal issues and connect them to questions of value. He would have wanted to do it as a kid if only he’d known the job existed: “Other people can be firefighters and astronauts; I want to be a litigation financier.”

Though both graduated from elite law schools, the running joke at the 20-full-timer River North firm is that Gerchen has never even taken the bar. He’s a numbers guy who describes himself as “passionate about risk arbitrage, which is an incredibly dorky thing to be passionate about,” who only got the JD to gain an edge in finance. His resume includes a stint at Goldman Sachs; Keller is a former partner at Chicago litigation boutique Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott. They met while working at hedge fund Alyeska Investment Group. Gerchen quit first to start the new firm and braved a couple of nerve-wracking months “getting on a train every day going to an office where I had nothing to do.”

Outside of work, Gerchen, a father of two, plays squash and guitar. Keller, who has three children, squeezes in swimming and violin, although “if you ask my wife, I don’t do anything else, because even when I’m with my family, my phone is not too far away.”

Categories: Alumni News

Peter Altabef, '83: Appointed to President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee

December 5, 2016 - 2:36pm

President Obama announced today his intent to appoint Peter Altabef, '83, to the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

Original source:

Peter Altabef, Appointee for Member, President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee  

Peter Altabef is President and CEO of the Unisys Corporation, a position he has held since 2015.  Mr. Altabef served as President and CEO of MICROS Systems, Inc. from 2013 to 2014 and as President of Dell Services at Dell, Inc. from 2009 to 2011.  He was the President and CEO of Perot Systems Corporation from 2004 to 2009 and served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Associate General Counsel from 1993 to 2004.  He previously worked as a Partner and Associate at Hughes & Luce LLP from 1985 to 1993.  Mr. Altabef received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Categories: Alumni News

William "Jamie" Kunz, '72: 1938-2016

December 5, 2016 - 9:37am

William "Jamie" Kunz, '72, a longtime public defender in Cook and DuPage counties, passed away on Nov. 20, 2016.

Original source:

William "Jamie" Kunz, a longtime public defender in Cook and DuPage counties, kept a client's confession to a murder secret for 26 years, leaving an innocent man in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Kunz and fellow public defender Dale Coventry held fast to the legal principle of attorney-client privilege until the death of their client, Andrew Wilson, freed them to tell what they knew. Alton Logan, who was serving a life sentence for the crime to which Wilson confessed, was subsequently freed and the charges against him were dismissed.

"He never wavered in his decision," said Kunz's niece Kristen Vehill. "He believed strongly in the law."

Kunz, 78, a longtime resident of Winfield, died of cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Wynscape Health and Rehabilitation in Wheaton on Nov. 20, Vehill said.

Kunz grew up in the Chicago area and graduated from Maine South High School in Park Ridge. He went to Yale University and was working on a doctorate in linguistics at Indiana University when he decided he wanted a career that would be of more service to people.

He wound up in the Peace Corps and was sent to the African nation of Malawi, where he taught English. He then got a law degree from the University of Chicago and went to work for the Cook County public defender's office.

Attorney Tom Decker met Kunz when he was in law school and had volunteered for a program which introduced him to attorneys practicing in federal court. "He instinctively knew that he belonged in some sort of pro bono office," Decker said.

In January 1982, security guard Lloyd Wickliffe was shot to death during a robbery of a South Side McDonald's restaurant. Alton Logan and another man were arrested on the testimony of witnesses and subsequently convicted of the murder.

At the time, Kunz and Coventry were assistant public defenders representing Wilson, who was charged in the slaying of two Chicago police officers. During interviews, Wilson told the attorneys he shot Wickliffe and that Logan was not involved. Kunz and Coventry recorded the information in a notarized affidavit, which Coventry kept in a locked metal box.

The two lawyers were bound by attorney-client privilege not to disclose what they knew, but Wilson agreed they could release his statement after his death. Wilson, who wound up serving a life sentence for the police killings, died in prison in November 2007.

Kunz and Coventry testified in court in early 2008 and Logan walked out of prison in April.

Vehill said Kunz was firm in his belief that if he didn't honor client confidences, his clients wouldn't trust him. But Vehill said her uncle was surprised by widespread criticism of the decision he and Coventry made.

"I think he was truly quite unprepared for the reaction," Vehill said.

Kunz left the Cook County public defender's office in 1994 for DuPage County, where he was a senior public defender, according to friend and former prosecutor John Burg.

"Jamie was a transformative figure," Burg said. "He saw the good in all people. If there was good in someone, he would make you see it."

Kunz handled several other high-profile cases over the years. In the 1980s, he defended Hutchie Moore, a former Chicago police officer who shot and killed a judge and an attorney in a Daley Center courtroom after a ruling in a divorce case went against him. Burg said it was just assumed Moore would get the death penalty.

"Somehow, Jamie got the guy natural life," Burg said. "The state's attorney's office couldn't believe it."

Kunz also bought a small Chicago firehouse, renting out one half and living in the other, Decker said. "It still had a pole in it," Decker recalled. "As far as I know, nobody was badly injured."

Survivors include a brother, Pete.

There will be a memorial gathering 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Norris-Segert Funeral Home, 132 Fremont St., West Chicago.

Categories: Alumni News

Hon. William Marutani, '53: "An Unsung Hero in the Story of Interracial Marriage"

November 30, 2016 - 9:37am

Buried in the footnotes of the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, whose case struck down all interracial-marriage bans throughout the U.S., is the name of William Marutani, '53, who gave Asian-Americans a voice at a pivotal moment in constitutional history.

Original source:

"At my parents’ wedding, in Blacksburg, Virginia, my mom wore a floppy, wide-brimmed hat atop her feathered hair. My dad wore lightly flared pants and had sideburns that almost reached his jaw. Peter, Paul and Mary music played at their ceremony, and at the reception afterward they drank sherbet punch alongside friends and family members dressed in plaid and platform shoes. It was a fairly ordinary American wedding in 1975, save for one distinction: the bride was white, and the groom was Asian.

My dad, a third-generation Japanese-American from Los Angeles, and my mom, from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, had met in Michigan, in 1970, while he was in the Air Force and she was in college studying nursing. They eventually settled in Texas, where they raised my three siblings and me. As a gay man, I’ve often thought about how my parents’ timing was fortuitous. Just a few years earlier, their marriage may not have been legal in the state where they wed, Virginia. The new film “Loving,” directed by Jeff Nichols, tells the story of the couple who changed that: Mildred and Richard Loving, a black woman and a white man who were arrested in Virginia in 1958 and sentenced to prison there after marrying in Washington, D.C. The couple, played by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, toiled silently for years, unable to live openly together in their home state, until their case reached the Supreme Court—which, in a unanimous decision in 1967, struck down all interracial-marriage bans throughout the U.S.

The Lovings are the couple whose names we rightfully remember from the case, and they’re indeed the stars of the film. But, buried in the footnotes of the Lovings’ story, a little-known name caught my attention—that of a Japanese-American lawyer who gave Asian-Americans, and families like mine, a voice at a pivotal moment in constitutional history."

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Categories: Alumni News

Richard Cordray, '86: "Consumer Protection Bureau Chief Braces for a Reckoning"

November 29, 2016 - 10:44am

"Mild-mannered, lawyerly and with a genius for trivia, Richard Cordray, '86, is not the sort of guy you picture at the center of Washington's bitter partisan wars over regulation and consumer safeguards. But there he is, testifying in hearing after hearing on Capitol Hill about the agency he leads, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau."

Original source:

Mild-mannered, lawyerly and with a genius for trivia, Richard Cordray is not the sort of guy you picture at the center of Washington’s bitter partisan wars over regulation and consumer safeguards.

But there he is, a 57-year-old Buckeye who friends say prefers his hometown diner to a fancy political reception, testifying in hearing after hearing on Capitol Hill about the agency he leads, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans would like to do away with it — and with him, arguing that the agency should be led by a commission rather than one person.

And with a Republican sweep of Congress and the White House, they may get some or all of what they wish.

Mr. Cordray, a reluctant Washingtonian who has commuted here for six years from Grove City, Ohio, where his wife and twin children live, is the first director of the consumer watchdog agency, which was created in 2010 after Wall Street’s meltdown. By aggressively deploying his small army of workers — he has 1,600 of them — Mr. Cordray has turned the fledgling agency into one of Washington’s most powerful and pugnacious regulators.

Categories: Alumni News

Gilbert C. Dickey, '12: Named as a Clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas

November 29, 2016 - 10:37am

Gilbert C. Dickey, '12, a West Virginia assistant attorney general, has been named as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. 

Original source:

A West Virginia assistant attorney general has been named as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

Gilbert C. Dickey will serve as one of four clerks for Thomas during the 2017-2018 term, which begins in October 2017.

“More than anything, I just look forward to learning from Justice Thomas,” Dickey told the The West Virginia Record. “I really admire Justice Thomas as a jurist and a person. He’s written rigorous and thoughtful opinions across vast subject matter areas and I’m really interested to see how he thinks through and works through decisions.”

Dickey is currently serving as an assistant attorney general in Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office. He has held the position since 2014.

“I’ve learned an incredible amount with the attorney general,” Dickey said. “I worked with the solicitor general team that is stocked [with] fantastic lawyers.”

Dickey reports to West Virginia Solicitor General Elbert Lin whom, Dickey says, has helped him develop his legal writing skills.

“He helped me focus on clear writing that helps the court whittling down legal issues,” Dickey said.

Dickey previously was clerk to Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whom he described as "an amazing circuit judge who taught me more in a year than I could imagine.”

The attorney general's office told The West Virginia Record everyone is proud of Dickey and his new position.

"I congratulate Gilbert on this terrific accomplishment," Morrisey said. "My office takes seriously its standing as West Virginia’s top law firm and this achievement exemplifies the enormous talent working on the state’s behalf in all corners of my office.”

“I’ve learned a lot and had a lot of amazing opportunities as a young lawyer in terms of a lot of responsibility in important matters early in my career,” Dickey said. “I’ve learned an immense amount about in court practices and about drafting legal proceeding. I think [the clerkship] will help me in the future in a lot of ways. I expect to learn a lot.”

Dickey graduated from the University of Chicago Law school with high honors in 2012. He received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Samford University in 2009, majoring in history and political science.

Categories: Alumni News

Mei Ju-ao, '28: "Remembering My Father, a War Crimes Judge"

November 23, 2016 - 1:16pm

"The diaries Mei Ju-ao, '28, left behind reveal a passionate, erudite, and fair-minded character - someone his son never truly knew."

Original source:

"When Mei Xiaoao heard the news of his father’s death on April 23, 1973, it came via a long-distance phone call from Beijing. The government had sent Xiaoao down to the countryside as part of a Cultural Revolution campaign that saw millions of young urbanites travel to rural areas to work the land. He barely made it back from Inner Mongolia in northern China in time for the funeral five days later.

In the late 1940s, Xiaoao’s father, Mei Ju-ao, represented China as a judge at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, often referred to as the “Tokyo Trials.” As Xiaoao remembers it, his father’s small funeral ceremony at the cemetery was typical of those given to foreign affairs officers. The only thing that struck him as slightly unusual came in Ju-ao’s obituary, printed in a corner of party newspaper People’s Daily.

The simply worded obituary had real political import. The inclusion of his father’s title was a form of rehabilitation, confirming that he was no longer deemed a “class enemy” by the Communist Party. For the Mei family, it meant the end of Ju-ao’s persecution for serving in the pre-1949 Nationalist government, for receiving a so-called bourgeois foreign education, and for having traveled extensively in the West.

At the age of 12, Ju-ao was admitted into a good prep school on the site of what is now Tsinghua University, moving from Nanchang, in eastern China’s Jiangxi province, to Beijing in pursuit of a good education. After graduating, he received financial assistance to study literature at Stanford University in California, and later received a law degree from the University of Chicago. After spending a year traveling around Europe, Ju-ao returned to China in 1929. In 1946, after the conclusion of World War II, he was sent to Tokyo to pass judgment on Japanese war criminals.

The year his father died, Xiaoao was 21 years old. He knew little about what Ju-ao did for a living, only that he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1969, as the winds of the Cultural Revolution swept across China, Xiaoao left Beijing for Inner Mongolia. Looking back now, he thinks he was too young to go then and was just following the crowd, calling it all a bit “confused.”

Ju-ao’s death brought Xiaoao back to Beijing, where he found work in a factory that produced screws. After the reinstatement of the gaokao, or college entrance examination, in 1977, Xiaoao was admitted to Beijing Normal University as a so-called senior undergraduate, a euphemistic way of referring to those whose formal education had been disrupted by the Cultural Revolution.

“Ours was called the ‘Class of ’77,’” Xiaoao says. “The youngest students were only 17 or 18 years old; the oldest were 32 or 33.” After graduating, Xiaoao returned to the screw factory. Then in July 1983, he transferred to the Social Sciences in China Press, where he organized resources and data for their library.

Only in the mid-’80s, long after Ju-ao had died, did Xiaoao start to get to know his father. The year 1985 was the 40th anniversary of China’s victory in the Second Sino-Japanese War, and a reporter from state news agency Xinhua interviewed the Mei family for an article on Ju-ao’s work during the Tokyo Trials. While organizing Ju-ao’s papers, his family found a stack of lined sheets wrapped in a bundle. Inside were several of Ju-ao’s journals, dating from the period after he was sent to Tokyo to act as China’s judge in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East."

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Categories: Alumni News

Ron Resnick, '88: Named Chief Operating Officer of Robertson Stephens Asset Management

November 18, 2016 - 4:24pm

Robertson Stephens, a global investment advisory firm for high net worth individuals, family offices, institutions and corporations, announced today that Ron Resnick, Class of 1988, is joining as Chief Operating Officer of Robertson Stephens Asset Management LLC (“RSAM”), a subsidiary of Robertson Stephens.

Original source:

Robertson Stephens, a global investment advisory firm for high net worth individuals, family offices, institutions and corporations, announced today that Ron Resnick is joining as Chief Operating Officer of Robertson Stephens Asset Management LLC (“RSAM”), a subsidiary of Robertson Stephens. He is also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Mr. Resnick will be responsible for the oversight of administration, operations and legal activities for RSAM.

Mr. Resnick is a 25-year veteran in managing alternative assets platforms. He co-founded CounselWorks LLC, a consulting company providing business strategy and regulatory advice to hedge funds, private equity firms, investment advisors and broker-dealers, which was sold to Duff & Phelps. Prior to starting CounselWorks he was a Managing Partner and the Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Highbridge Capital Management, where he launched over twenty hedge funds and was instrumental in building Highbridge into a $16 billion private global alternative before negotiating its sale to JP Morgan Asset Management Holdings for $1.4 billion. Previously, Mr. Resnick co-founded Harmonic Fund Services, an offshore hedge fund administration company, and he was a Partner at Corbin Capital Partners, a fund of hedge funds business.

“Ron has an impressive history – not just at managing a multi-billion dollar alternative asset firm, but also as a successful entrepreneur,” said Joe Piazza, Chairman and CEO of Robertson Stephens. “He will be instrumental in helping us launch the Robertson Stephens Venture Opportunities Fund, as well as other funds in the planning stages. His wealth of business and legal experience in alternatives investment management will be a tremendously valuable asset to our clients. I could not be more pleased about his appointment.”

Mr. Resnick has authored numerous articles for The New York Times and has been a guest lecturer on hedge fund strategies, options trading and the 2008 financial crisis at the Economics Department at University of California - Los Angeles. He received a BA from the University of Rochester and earned a JD from the University of Chicago Law School.

“Over nearly three decades, Ron has built an impressive track record of strategic, operational and commercial accomplishments,” said Ren Riley, President of Robertson Stephens Asset Management. “He has proven to be an effective, trusted leader and brings a strong reputation for developing people and inspiring teams.”

“I am honored to continue Robertson Stephens' legacy of supporting Silicon Valley’s innovators; I look forward to partnering with Joe, Ren and our talented senior leadership team to execute our vision for helping accelerate today’s brightest companies, their leaders and key employees,” said Mr. Resnick.

Categories: Alumni News

Patrick M. Collins, '91: Admitted as a Fellow to the American College of Trial Lawyers

November 17, 2016 - 4:07pm

Perkins Coie Chicago partner Patrick M. Collins, '91, has been admitted as a Fellow to the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Original source:

Perkins Coie partners Joseph E. Mais and Patrick M. Collins have been admitted as Fellows to the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL). The induction took place at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Based in the Phoenix office, Joe serves as firmwide chair of Perkins Coie’s Commercial Litigation practice. He is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried more than 20 jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations. Joe has served as lead counsel in many significant matters that were successfully resolved before trial for matters including multiple securities, intellectual property and consumer actions, as well as contract, business tort and real estate litigation.

Patrick, located in the firm’s Chicago office, is a highly accomplished trial attorney and investigator who represents companies and individuals in complex civil and criminal matters in federal courts throughout the United States. Patrick has tried 26 cases to verdict, including four successful trials during 2015-2016. Earlier in his career, Patrick served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago for 12 years.

Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers in the United States and Canada of diverse backgrounds, who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship. Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. For more information, please visit

Joe and Patrick are among 17 Perkins Coie attorneys named an ACTL Fellow. The others are Michael Warnecke, David Harth, John Skilton, Paul Eckstein, Howard Cabot, Jordan Green, Stephen English, James Gidley, Kevin Hamilton, David Burman, David Andrews, Thomas Hillier II, Harry Schneider, Jr., Paul Fortino and Keith Gerrard.

Categories: Alumni News

Rory A. Leraris, '08: Named Partner in Cravath's All-Female New Partnership Class

November 17, 2016 - 4:01pm

Rory A. Leraris, 08, has been named as one of three new partners in Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP's newest and all-female partnership class.

Original source:

Three new partners have been elected from Cravath’s associate ranks. They are: Margaret D’Amico (J.D., Harvard Law School; A.B., Harvard College), Rory A. Leraris (J.D., University of Chicago Law School; B.A., Amherst College) and Kara L. Mungovan (J.D., Harvard Law School; A.B., Harvard College).

Ms. D’Amico is a member of Cravath’s Litigation Department, where she focuses on antitrust matters; Ms. Leraris is a member of Cravath’s Litigation Department, where she focuses on general commercial litigation; and Ms. Mungovan is a member of Cravath’s Tax Department, where she has a general tax practice.

The new partners will become members of the Firm on January 1, 2017.

Categories: Alumni News

Stanley Wallach, '92: Appointed as Circuit Judge in St. Louis County

November 15, 2016 - 1:48pm

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon recently appointed Stanley J. Wallach '92 as a circuit judge in St. Louis County.

Original source:

Gov. Jay Nixon today appointed Stanley J. Wallach, of Kirkwood, as Circuit Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit, which covers St. Louis County. The position became vacant through the retirement of the Honorable Steven H. Goldman.

Wallach has been an attorney with the Wallach Law Firm in St. Louis County since 1997, where his practice has focused on real estate law, including representing property owners in eminent domain cases. Prior to practicing in the St. Louis area, he was an attorney in the state of California for five years.

Wallach obtained his law degree from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree from Duke University. Wallach's volunteer activities have included serving as a board member of the Missouri chapter of the Nature Conservancy; as a board member of The World Affairs Council of St. Louis; as a Boy Scout leader; and as a planner and participant in Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fund-raising events. He is also active in his church in Kirkwood.

"Stan Wallach is well-respected among his peers and the judiciary for his keen legal intellect," Gov. Nixon said. "I'm pleased to appoint him to serve the citizens of St. Louis County as a member of the Circuit Court."

Wallach was one of three applicants submitted to the Governor for consideration by the 21st Circuit Judicial Commission under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.

Categories: Alumni News

Phil Kenny, '06: Founder of Innovative Organization

November 11, 2016 - 9:43am

Broadway investment organization, founded by Phil Kenny '06, was recently profiled by Marc Hershberg '17 for

Original source:

Broadway has a new matchmaking service for hopeful producers and investors.

Introducing eager backers to attractive investment opportunities on Broadway, an innovative organization named aims to bulldoze the barriers to entry. It allows accredited investors without industry connections to purchase stakes in certain shows that might otherwise be inaccessible.

“Broadway is very much a relationship business,” explained prolific investor Brisa Trinchero. “Generally, an interested investor would need to know someone who is involved in capitalizing an upcoming Broadway show to become aware of investment opportunities.”

Mark Severs and Jesse Horwitz had a friend who was producing Fun Home, for example, and were able to invest $25,000 in the show before it won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015. But, not everyone knows people who are Broadway producers.

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Forbes reported that, after a performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical, In the Heights, Trinchero approached one of its producers, Jill Furman, and handed her a blank check. “Whatever show he does next,” she insisted, “I want in.”

Several years later, when Furman was raising cash for Hamilton, she invited Trinchero to invest a five-figure amount. “The producers were able to capitalize the show from their inner circle, so interested investors had very little chance of getting involved,” the ambitious backer recalled.

But, through, less acquainted angels might also be able to access the inner sanctum of investing on Broadway. Combining elements of a book club and a country club, all of its 20-plus members share and discuss their special investment opportunities with each other.

“As a single investor, you get every opportunity that comes directly to you,” said Phil Kenny, one of its founders. “However, as a member of, you get every opportunity that comes directly to you, as well as every opportunity that comes through all of the other members.”

Presented with a buffet of Broadway shows to choose from, members of can invest in whichever theatrical productions pique their interest, or choose not to invest at all. “You could be a part of the club and turn down every single opportunity that comes to you,” confirmed Kenny.

Like other investing clubs, the members benefit from pooling their knowledge and resources. Prospective investors can gauge the commercial potential of productions from the reactions of their peers, and team up to take larger stakes in shows.

Kenny and three other patrons each raised $62,500, for example, to secure a producing credit above the title of Waitress. If each member had invested the same amount alone, then none of them would have received similar recognition.

The next show that members are backing, Anastasia, opens at the Broadhurst Theatre in March. Kenny knew the lead producer from investing in his previous show, The Visit, and raised $500,000 for the new musical.

Hoping to expand its reach on the Great White Way, has now lifted its velvet ropes. Individuals with a net worth of at least $1 million, or an annual income above $200,000 are eligible to enter. “We’d be happy to hear from any accredited investor who is interested in joining in on the fun,” Kenny smiled.

Categories: Alumni News

Jana Barbe, '87: "Women to Watch" Update

November 11, 2016 - 9:36am

Jana Barbe, '87, Global Vice Chair of Dentons, recently discussed the role of women in business for the "Women to Watch" podcast.

Original source:

Jana Barbe serves as Global Vice Chair of Dentons, the largest law firm in the world.  Since the inception of Dentons, Jana has been integrally involved in the development and implementation of a strategic vision that created a top tier global legal business comprised of a 7500-attorney law firm and multiple ancillary companies. To hear her story, listen at

Categories: Alumni News

Jill Rosenberg, ‘86: Receives Lawyers Alliance for New York Cornerstone Award

November 11, 2016 - 9:23am

Since 1997, Lawyers Alliance has presented Cornerstone Awards annually to a select group of individuals and institutions that have made extraordinary contributions through pro bono legal services.

Original source:

Since 1997, Lawyers Alliance has presented Cornerstone Awards annually to a select group of individuals and institutions that have made extraordinary contributions through pro bono legal services. These services help nonprofits to address critical human needs and improve the quality of life for thousands of low-income New Yorkers.The 2016 Individual Honorees include Jill Rosenberg, '86, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Lawyers Alliance will present the 2016 Cornerstone Awards for pro bono excellence on Thursday, November 17, 2016, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Viacom, 1515 Broadway.

The 2016 Institutional Honorees:

  • Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
  • Dentons US LLP

Additional 2016 Individual Honorees:

  • Jonathan Bloom and Jessica Falk, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • Rita Dattola, Holland & Knight LLP
  • Anthony J. Distinti, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
  • David M. Feldman and Shellie Weisfeld Freedman, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • David Harty, Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Michael Kessler, Clifford Chance US LLP
  • Mara B. Levin, Herrick, Feinstein LLP
  • Paul Pollock, Crowell & Moring LLP
  • Mark Schonberger, Goodwin Procter LLP
Categories: Alumni News

Liz Cheney, '96: Wins Wyoming U.S. House Seat

November 9, 2016 - 3:51pm

Liz Cheney, '96, has won the Wyoming U.S. House seat formerly held by her father.

Original source:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Liz Cheney has won the Wyoming U.S. House seat formerly held by her father.

Cheney beat Democrat Ryan Greene of Rock Springs. Greene is an employee in his family's oilfield services business.

Neither Cheney nor Greene has held elected office, but Cheney prevailed with much wider name recognition. She is former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter and a former Fox News commentator.

Cheney's campaign took a tough stance against the federal government. She says too much regulation is killing Wyoming's coal industry.

The 50-year-old Republican will occupy the seat her father held from 1979 to 1989. In electing her, Wyoming will continue a recent tradition of selecting a woman for the seat — following Barbara Cubin, who was the representative from 1995 to 2008, and current U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, who has served from 2008 and has decided to return to Wyoming at the end of this term.

Greene, 34, of Rock Springs, billed himself as a Wyoming Democrat who diverges from his national party’s energy agenda. He said his career helping run his family’s energy service company sent him regularly into oil fields and coal mines. He said he supports fossil fuels but that the market determines demand for renewable and nonrenewable energy. He believes humans are contributing to global climate change.

Cheney, in contrast, said she does not believe in people's contribution to climate change. She does not believe the government should regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. She’s said she wants to reduce the size and scope of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Libertarian candidate in the race is Libertarian Lawrence Struempf, a teacher with management experience. He had 4 percent of the vote in early results. The Constitution Party candidate is Daniel Cummings, a Casper physician, who had 3 percent of the vote in early results.

Republican voters outnumber Democrats three to one in Wyoming, which was expected to give Cheney the edge. Wyoming has sent Republicans to the U.S. House for the last 40 years.

Categories: Alumni News

Javier Martell, '89: Promoted to Director of OANDA Europe Limited

November 9, 2016 - 3:42pm

Javier Martell, '89, has been promoted to director of online foreign exchange and CFDs brokerage OANDA's UK-based subsidiary, OANDA Europe Limited.

Original source:

Online foreign exchange and CFDs brokerage OANDA has promoted Javier Martell to the director of its UK-based subsidiary, OANDA Europe Limited, effective November 1, 2016.

Mr. Martell first landed at OANDA back in August 2016 when he served as its newest legal counsel, where he was tasked with overseeing the firm’s global legal functions as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

Before joining OANDA, Martell led the legal, compliance and human resources functions for mobile payments company Boku, Inc.

Additional roles also include Chief Legal Officer at mFoundry, Inc. where he was responsible for all legal aspects of mobile banking software company in Sausalito. During his tenure, he negotiated contracts with major U.S. wireless carriers and top ten banks and managed company’s intellectual property program. He was also charged with providing day to day counsel on employment issues, bank regulatory issues and general corporate matters.

After graduation from The University of Chicago Law School, Javier began his career at Pillsbury Winthrop LLP (formerly Pillsbury Madison & Sutro) and later served as General Counsel for a number of technology companies including Ligos Corporation. and RedSpark, Inc.

Categories: Alumni News

Emily Kadens, '04: "Expect the Unexpected" from Professor Kadens

November 3, 2016 - 9:23am

"Being in the same room with Professor Emily Kadens, '04, is not unlike hanging out with a friendly, informed tiger. When this pre-modern European legal history specialist, who has taught at Northwestern University School of Law since 2012, levels her keen focus on an issue, look out."

Original source:

Being in the same room with Professor Emily Kadens is not unlike hanging out with a friendly, informed tiger.  Her interlocutors had best be at the top of their game to acquit themselves respectably in the face of the convivial yet inevitable intellectual pounce.  When this pre-modern European legal history specialist, who has taught at Northwestern University School of Law since 2012, levels her keen focus on an issue, look out.

At Northwestern, Professor Kadens teaches Contracts, Advanced Contracts, and Legal History (notably, her Western Legal Tradition course).  She creates her own materials for all the classes she teaches.  She is experienced in researching in archives and special collections, and knows in detail the rare book collections of a number of the country’s most notable libraries. In her repertoire is an imaginatively-conceived and captivating presentation on the development of the law, told through the evolution of law books and the lawyers’ role in writing them, using either actual rare law books or a PowerPoint to illustrate her talk.  One iteration of this presentation was “Law’s Story: The Development of Law and Lawyers as Revealed Through Early Law Books” delivered to a rapt audience in 2013 at GW Law.

Preparing for what has turned out to be “the best job in the world” (as she characterized law teaching and scholarship in a 2012 interview with the Library of Congress) included a broad-based education in the humanities and law, the pieces of which all support her current work.  She inaugurated and finished her education at the University of Chicago, beginning with a B.A. and M.A. in General Studies in the Humanities, and ending with her J.D. with honors in 2004.  In between, Professor Kadens garnered a Diplôme d’études mediévales from the Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), and a M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Princeton.  Before teaching law, she clerked for then-Chief Judge Danny J. Boggs of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals after gaining practice experience as a summer associate with White & Case LLP.  She joined the faculty at the University of Texas School of Law in 2005, becoming the Baker & Botts Professor in Law in 2010.  In 2012, Professor Kadens moved to Northwestern as a visitor, and joined its faculty in 2013.

Her substantial body of writing demonstrates a longstanding focus on customary law.  Among her recent writings on the subject are “Custom’s Past” (in Curtis Bradley’s Custom’s Future: International Law in a Changing World (Cambridge, 2016), “Introduction: Lessons from the History of Custom” (48 Texas International Law Journal 349 (2013)), “Custom’s Two Bodies” (in Center and Periphery: Studies on Power in the Medieval World in Honor of William Chester Jordan 239 (2013)), and “How Customary is Customary International Law?” (in 54 William & Mary Law Review 885 (2013), with Ernest A. Young), and “The Myth of the Customary Law Merchant” (in 90 Texas Law Review 1153 (2012)).  Her current research involves the role of reputation in pre-modern commercial relationships and a study of the first hundred years of statutory English bankruptcy.

Professor Kadens has been the recipient of a number of honors and fellowships, including Outstanding First-Year Course Professor at Northwestern (2013), the Richard & Diane Cummins Legal History Research Grant for the use of Special Collections at the GW Law Library (2013), the Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship (2012), the Editors’ Prize (2011) awarded by the American Bankruptcy Law Journal for her article “The Pitkin Affair: A Study of Fraud in Early English Bankruptcy” (84 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 483 (2010)), and the Sutherland Prize (2010) for her article “The Puzzle of Judicial Education” (75 Brooklyn Law Review 143 (2009)).  Her academic distinctions include election to Phi Beta Kappa, and honors awarded every step of the way, starting at the B.A. level.

Her impressive scholarship harmonizes with a love for teaching law students, and much of Professor Kadens’s substantial inventory of service to the university, such as her work as Judicial Clerkship Advisor, relates to students and student life at Northwestern Law.

And she is fluent in Dutch.

For more of the unexpected from Professor Emily Kadens, please continue to her thoughtful responses to our interview questions at

Categories: Alumni News

Jathan Janove, '82: "Hard-Won Wisdom: True Stories from the Management Trenches"

November 2, 2016 - 8:18am

Jathan Janove, '82, an internationally published author, has written a new book, "Hard-Won Wisdom: True Stories from the Management Trenches."

Original source:

Jathan Janove, '82, an internationally published author, has written a new book, "Hard-Won Wisdom: True Stories from the Management Trenches."

Jathan is an internationally published author who has written Managing to Stay Out of Court: How to Avoid the 8 Deadly Sins of Mismanagement, which the late Dr. Stephen R. Covey described as “Marvelous! Every manager will benefit immensely,” and which Richard Drezen of the Washington Post described as “an extraordinarily useful book for managers and workers.” Jathan is also author of The Star Profile: A Management Tool to Unleash Employee Potential, which won a Gold Medal in Business at Book Expo America 2009.

Categories: Alumni News

Lori Lightfoot, '89: Recipient of Dominican University's Ethics and Leadership Award; Presented at Lecture

October 28, 2016 - 10:55am

Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business will feature Lori E. Lightfoot, '89, and president of the Chicago Police Board, in its 12th Annual Ethics and Leadership Lecture. As part of the event, Lori will also be presented with Dominican University's Ethics and Leadership Award.

Original source:

Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business will present Lori E. Lightfoot, president of the Chicago Police Board, in its 12th Annual Ethics and Leadership Lecture. The program will be held on Monday, November 14 at 6 p.m. at the Union League Club of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m., prior to the lecture.
Lightfoot has been committed to public service and social justice her entire career. In 2015, following the release of video of black teenager Laquan McDonald being fatally shot by Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, Lightfoot was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to chair the Task Force on Police Accountability. The task force was charged with recommending reforms for improving independent oversight of police misconduct. She previously headed Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Office of Professional Standards of the Chicago Police Department, where she managed civilian investigations involving police shootings, allegations of excessive force and other allegations of misconduct by Chicago police officers.  
A partner at Mayer Brown LLP, Lightfoot regularly advises clients on a wide range of complex criminal legal issues involving federal, state and local grand jury investigations. She also has extensive experience in every facet of commercial litigation and serves as a member of Mayer Brown’s White Collar Defense and Compliance practice and co-leads the firm’s Committee on Diversity & Inclusion.
Lightfoot previously served as chief of staff and general counsel for Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, where she oversaw the City’s 9-1-1 emergency and nonemergency call systems, emergency response operations and homeland security initiatives. She also was appointed by former Mayor Daley to serve as Interim First Deputy Procurement Officer soon after several companies that had been certified as Minority Business Enterprises or Women Business Enterprises were found to be fronts created to benefit from the City’s set-aside program.
Lightfoot served as a civil litigator and as assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois between 1996 and 2002. She graduated from the University of Chicago Law School and received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan. She is a Fellow of the American bar Association.
This event is free and open to the public.

Categories: Alumni News

Jamil Jaffer, '03: A Cybersecurity Career from Government to Business

October 26, 2016 - 2:31pm

Security, cyber and otherwise, is in Jamil Jaffer’s wheelhouse. Jaffer, ’03, has held top-level positions related to security matters in the White House, the Department of Justice, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.

Security, cyber and otherwise, is in Jamil Jaffer’s wheelhouse. Jaffer, ’03, has held top-level positions related to security matters in the White House, the Department of Justice, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. He holds a master’s degree from the United States Naval War College; he has taught at the National Intelligence University and at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University; and he heads the Homeland and National Security Law Program at George Mason University School of Law, where he is an adjunct faculty member. Last June, Jaffer joined IronNet Cybersecurity as the company’s vice president for strategy and business development.

“My background is of course important for my role at IronNet,” he says, “but I’m not lawyering in this job. I wanted to try something a little different. I’m deeply involved with many strategic decisions, and I spend a lot of time helping clients and engaging with potential clients. Our team includes some of the most experienced and talented cybersecurity experts in the world, and our technology is really game-changing. We provide best-in-class cyber defense using complex behavioral modeling, big-data analytics, and advanced computing capabilities, so threats can be identified and responded to in real time across a company’s entire business network. ‘Exciting’ is probably not a strong enough word to describe how this job feels to me.”

In his years with the government, Jaffer also handled some highly impactful, even dramatic, responsibilities. Less than five years out of the Law School, as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the National Security Division at the Department of Justice, he was part of a small team (which included his Law School classmate Jake Phillips) that handled the first two-party litigated matter in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, after Yahoo! refused to comply with the federal government’s request for information about some of its customers. The same team subsequently defeated Yahoo!’s appeal at the FISA Court of Review.

A few short months in the White House as associate counsel to the President, focused on national security issues, were followed by two years as a lawyer at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, after which he returned to Capitol Hill as senior counsel to the House Intelligence Committee. There he was, among other things, the lead drafter of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.

In his next position, at the Senate, where he was Republican Chief Counsel and Senior Advisor to the Committee on Foreign Relations, he led the drafting of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act and two enacted laws imposing sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, as well as legislation authorizing the use of military force against Syria, ISIS, and al-Qaeda.

Since joining IronNet, he has published widely about security issues, including a book chapter coauthored with former CIA director Michael Hayden and two op-eds with former Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

“I can’t even begin to say how much I loved my time at the Law School,” Jaffer says. “There was a constant discussion of legal and policy ideas, essentially tearing ideas and concepts to pieces and putting them back together again . . . There was the exceptional support and mentorship from the faculty—to name just one example, Professor Baird essentially got me my first clerkship by recommending me to an Appeals Court judge [Jaffer served two Court of Appeals clerkships]. And of course there have been the lifelong friendships with so many members of what I consider to have been a uniquely enjoyable class.”

“I count my time at the Law School as one of the best experiences of my life,” he says. “It prepared me for everything I have done afterward, including my current position at IronNet, where every day I use many skills that I learned at the Law School. I hope to be at IronNet for some time to come, and I know my Law School education will help me here and with whatever might come next.”

Categories: Alumni News