In the Fall/Winter 2015 Newsletter of the NYSBA Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, Judge Susan Phillips Read reflects on her career and recent retirement.
Foley Partner Lisa M. Noller has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.
The induction ceremony at which Noller became a Fellow took place recently before an audience of approximately 900 persons during the recent 2015 Annual Meeting of the College in Chicago.
Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended, by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers 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. There are currently approximately 5860 members in the United States and Canada, including active Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, Judicial Fellows (those who ascended to the bench after their induction) and Honorary Fellows. The College strives to improve and elevate the standards of trial practice, the administration of justice and the ethics of the trial profession. Qualified lawyers are called to Fellowship in the College from all branches of trial practice. They are carefully selected from among those who customarily represent plaintiffs in civil cases and those who customarily represent defendants, those who prosecute individuals accused of crime and those who defend them. The College is thus able to speak with a balanced voice on important issues affecting the legal profession and the administration of justice.
Noller is a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, where she serves as chair of the Government Enforcement, Compliance & White Collar Defense Practice. She has been practicing in Chicago for 20 years and is an alumna of the University of Chicago School of Law.
Noller focuses her practice on investigating, litigating and trying complex criminal and civil cases. She has significant experience successfully trying a wide variety of civil and criminal matters in state and federal courts. She also is a Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, where she founded and teaches the Prosecution and Defense Clinic and is a member of the school's Visiting Committee and Public Service Advisory Board. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at Northwestern Law School , where she teaches Trial Advocacy. Prior to joining Foley, Noller was an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, where she worked in both the civil and criminal divisions of the office. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Noller received the 2009 Mitch Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award from the Chicago Crime Commission and a Director's Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Jesse Ruiz, '95: Appointeed to the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Park District by Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced he is appointing Jesse Ruiz to the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Park District and recommending he be elected President by the other commissioners.
Ruiz will replace Dr. Bryan Traubert, who has led the board since 2010 and is stepping down at the end of the year.
“Jesse and Bryan are both committed public servants who have worked tirelessly to improve Chicago’s schools and parks,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Jesse’s leadership is ideal to build on the incredible progress made during Brian’s tenure. Jesse is the perfect choice to lead the Park District Board as it moves forward under the long-term plan for our parks that I will outline later this year.”
Dr. Traubert has led the board since 2010. Under his leadership, Chicago’s park system has grown at a dramatic pace with the addition of nearly 1,000 acres of new park land, 27 new turf fields, 17 new parks, 11 new community facilities, 225 refurbished playgrounds and more than $500 million in capital investment. From playgrounds, basketball courts and artificial turf fields at neighborhood parks to world-class projects including the 606 and Maggie Daley Park, the improvements have touched the lives of residents and visitors in every Chicago neighborhood. Last year the Park District won the 2014 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management – the first time any urban park district has received this prestigious award.
Dr. Traubert’s commitment was exemplary. He carried through the Mayor’s agenda of reform and transparency, establishing an audit committee of the Board and establishing the office of Inspector General. He has overseen 5 straight consecutive years of balanced budgets. He has chaired 59 straight board meetings without an absence, and he personally supported park investments through his Take the Field Foundation.
“Dr. Bryan Traubert’s leadership has driven historic improvements to our park system,” Emanuel continued. “From Maggie Daley Park, the 606, and La Villita Park to the nearly 1,000 new acres of parkland in neighborhoods across Chicago, Dr. Traubert’s work will touch the lives of people across Chicago for generations to come.”
Ruiz will take the helm at the park district as Mayor Emanuel is set to announce a major parks initiative in December. He has served as Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education since May of 2011, and in 2015 he served as Interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Since 2011 and with the support of the Chicago Board of Education, CPS has made investments in key programs that are proven to help prepare students for high school graduation and the rigors of 21st century college coursework. By placing a focus on the expansion of demanding, rigorous coursework through IB, STEM, AP and dual-credit programs, the District has elevated expectations in order to better prepare students for the ACT and other college readiness benchmarks. Ruiz has also recently served on the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission. Previously he served as Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education from September 2004 to May 2011.
Philip L. Harris, currently a partner at the Chicago law firm of Jenner & Block, LLP, has been appointed vice president and general counsel for Northwestern University, effective Jan. 1, 2016, Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro announced today (Nov. 20).
Serving as Northwestern’s chief legal officer, Harris will provide counsel to the president and the Northwestern University Board of Trustees, as well as direct outside counsel on all cases and issues. He will succeed Thomas G. Cline, who is retiring after 27 years at the University.
Harris, 57, brings a strong legal background to the post. He has been a partner at Jenner & Block since 2004 and serves on the firm’s management committee and co-chairs the Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense Practice. Throughout his legal career, Harris has defended large companies in substantial and complex product liability, mass tort and commercial cases. He has been the lead attorney in jury trials for those cases.
Harris also brings a long history of civic engagement and connections to Northwestern. He is a fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and the Aspen Institute Henry Crown Values Based Leadership Program. He has served on many civic boards in Chicago, including the Chicago Children’s Museum, Children’s Memorial Hospital, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Chicago Humanities Festival, the Chicago Zoological Society and the Chicago Committee for Minorities in Large Law Firms.
Harris has been a member of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees for 25 years. He is currently a vice chair of the board and a member of the executive committee. He served as chair of the board’s student affairs committee for 10 years, acting as a liaison between the trustees and students. He has chaired several important task forces for the University, including the Native American Outreach and Inclusion Task Force.
“We are very pleased to have Phil join Northwestern in this important leadership position,” President Schapiro said. “In his role as a trustee, we have already benefited from his thoughtful counsel on many issues, and we now will have the opportunity to get that on a daily basis. Phil brings terrific experience and an abiding passion for Northwestern, and I look forward to working closely with him.”
Harris received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern in 1980 and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. He is a member of the bar in Illinois and Iowa and is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court in both states, as well as the U.S. District Courts in both states and the U.S. Court of Appeals.
“President Schapiro is a dynamic president who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and established an incredible leadership team,” Harris said. “I look forward to joining his team and working with him and the board, doing what I can to help make a great university even better.”
Harris is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and the Litigation Counsel of America and has been named a “Leading Law Firm Rainmaker” by Diversity & the Bar magazine. He received the 2008 Advocate for Diversity Award from the Filipino American Bar Association and The John Marshall Law School.
Harris and his wife, Gricel, live in Evanston. He has three daughters and two stepsons.
Alpine defense attorney Jaime Escuder has entered the race for 83rd District Attorney in the March 1 Democratic primary election to face incumbent Rod Ponton, who also announced for re-election Tuesday.
Marathon attorney Sandy Wilson announced earlier.
Escuder received a law degree from the University of Chicago and practiced law primarily defending felony cases in the Chicago area before moving to Alpine two years ago with his wife Beverly and two daughters.
He has appeared regularly in both federal and state courthouses throughout the region while coaching the Alpine High School mock trial team, which he started last year.
“I have a deep sense of justice that has called me to run for the office of district attorney,” he said in a statement. “The justice system is broken and, as district attorney, I would like to do my part to fix it.
He said that it is the prosecutor’s job “not to seek a conviction but to seek justice. His only job is to make sure convictions are the ones the defendant deserved.”
He said prosecutors do not gain points or other kudos just for getting convictions.
“Nobody should go to prison unless they deserve to go,” he said. “Prosecutors have lost their way with a disgracefully high prison population.”
He said the U.S. prison population is the highest in the world and many are in prison for non-violent and victimless crimes “that would be better served helping them address those issues.”
Escuder said the prosecutor “has got to make sure the case really was a crime and to prosecute it properly. If not, they have got to release them.”
He said he was not talking about a specific case.
“My primary goal as DA will be to make sure that those who harm the citizens of Brewster, Jeff Davis, Pecos and Presidio Counties are held accountable,” the statement said. “When someone engages in violent or criminally dishonest conduct, for example, they forfeit their right to fully participate in society. I would have no problem prosecuting those cases and seeking stiff penalties when they are warranted.”
Escuder said in an interview on Tuesday that “It is the defense attorney’s job to defend the Constitutional rights of the defendant. Everyone has a right to a defense. That is the American part of the job.
“It is a much different obligation,” he said. “If I think he is guilty, I’m required to defend him. Nobody should ever go to prison without a vigorous defense.”
Escuder’s statement said he also will support law enforcement “to ensure that their investigations withstand judicial scrutiny. Even though, as a defense attorney, I have at times been called upon to challenge the work of the police, I have always strived to maintain a professional and respectful relationship with law enforcement.
“I have tremendous appreciation for what they do, and I look forward to working with them to protect the safety, welfare and constitutional rights of the people of the Big Bend, he said.
A vice president and general counsel for OU has been named the president of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
Anil V. Gollahalli was named an Academic All-Stater in 1993 after graduating from Norman High School and joined the group's board of trustees in 2007, according to a press release.
He serves on its management and executive committees and has also served as a member of its Academic Awards Selection Committee, according to the release.
The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, which promotes and acknowledges academic excellence in Oklahoma public schools, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. OU president David Boren, who is the founder and chairman of the foundation, said in the release that he thinks it is appropriate that one of the organization's alums will serve as president on its 30th anniversary.
Gollahalli earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from OU and his law degree from the University of Chicago.
“As a parent of three children in the public schools, I want nothing more than to ensure the schools have the resources and support to provide my children the same outstanding experience from which I was so fortunate to benefit," Gollahalli said in the release.
David LaGrand, '92, hopes to win to a Michigan House seat on his commitment to criminal justice reform, equitable housing and alternative energy. The Democrat will face Republican Blake Edmonds in the March 8, 2016 general election.
In the episode of 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday, November 15, 2015, Steve Kroft examined the state of concussion safety and science in football, especially in the NFL. Jeff Miller, '95, was interviewed.
Miller serves as Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Policy for the National Football League. Jeff oversees the NFL’s player health and safety programs, scientific research and youth football programs. Jeff previously served as head of the NFL’s Washington office. As Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, he was responsible for all state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives and oversaw the league’s charitable foundation.
A panel of legal experts and U.S. Supreme Court observers, including Jan Crawford, ’93, and Steven Duffield, ’99, discussed the nation’s highest court under Chief Justice John Roberts, the decisions it has made, and what aspects of his legacy would be most memorable. Topics included the confirmation process and whether the complexion of the court had changed with new justices.
“Ten Years of the Roberts Court” was a panel of the 2015 National Lawyers Convention of the Federalist Society, “The Role of Congress.” It was held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Other panelists included Michael Carvin and Michael S. Paulsen.
The National Constitution Center has elected David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, and several others, to its Board of Trustees. The new members were elected during the National Constitution Center’s October 26, 2015, board meeting.Original source:
The National Constitution Center has elected David Rubenstein, '73, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, and several others, to its Board of Trustees. The new members were elected during the National Constitution Center’s October 26, 2015, board meeting.
The National Constitution Center has also elected Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and Bruce Van Saun, Chairman and CEO of Citizens Financial Group to its Board of Trustees. The new members were elected during the National Constitution Center’s October 26, 2015, board meeting.
“We are honored to that Sherrilyn, David and Bruce will be sharing their passion for constitutional education and civil dialogue as Board Members of the National Constitution Center,” said the National Constitution Center’s President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen. “They have been longtime friends of the Center and each is superbly well qualified to help us advance our inspiring mission of educating students of all ages about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”
Sherrilyn Ifill is the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the organization founded by civil rights lawyer (and later Supreme Court Justice) Thurgood Marshall. Ms. Ifill served as a fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union after graduating from New York University Law School, and then as an assistant counsel at the LDF from 1988-1993 where she litigated civil rights cases in the federal courts. She joined the faculty of University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, where she taught and litigated for 20 years, before returning to lead the LDF in 2013. Ms. Ifill is a prolific writer and scholar, whose work centers on issues of race and equal justice. She serves on the boards of the National Women’s Law Center, Equal Justice Works and on the Global Board of the Open Society Foundations.
David Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. He co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing more than $200 billion from 40 offices around the world. Prior to founding The Carlyle Group, he practiced law in Washington with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman). Previously, he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. From 1977-1981, during the Carter Administration, Mr. Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy.
Bruce Van Saun is Chairman and CEO of Citizens Financial Group, Inc. He joined CFG in October 2013 after serving as RBS Group Finance Director and as an executive director of the RBS Board since 2009. Previously, he held a number of senior positions with Bank of New York and later Bank of New York Mellon, including Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer. Earlier in his career, he held senior positions with Deutsche Bank, Wasserstein Perella Group and Kidder Peabody & Co. He is currently a director of Lloyd’s of London, and he previously served on a number of boards in both the United States and the U.K. He is a member of The Clearing House supervisory board, and is a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association. Active in efforts to enhance economic development, Van Saun serves as a director of Jobs for Massachusetts.
About the National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia inspires active citizenship as the only place where people across America and around the world can come together to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its Congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a non-partisan basis.” As the Museum of We the People, the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America’s Town Hall, the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a center for Civic Education, the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire, excite, and engage citizens about the U.S. Constitution. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org.
He made a substantial and enduring impact on the Law School by cofounding the Corporate Lab while he was still a student; he also contributed to the growth of a dynamic new company, Gerchen Keller Capital, LLC (cofounded by Ashley Keller, ’07), which is pioneering the relatively new field of commercial litigation finance.
After Sean Kramer, ’10, graduated from college, he was not fully certain that he wanted to go to law school. He had excelled in a liberal arts curriculum with a concentration in legal studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and he drew inspiration from his aunt, Maureen Sheehy, ’87, who served as both a role model and a sounding board.
Wanting to be completely sure that law school would be right for him, he worked for roughly two years as a litigation paralegal—technically, a “project assistant”—in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. That turned out to be a very positive experience for all parties, so much so that Kramer decided to apply to law schools and to maintain a close relationship with Kirkland. He received letters of recommendation from several Kirkland partners, summered at Kirkland’s New York office during law school, joined its Chicago office after graduating, and became a partner there earlier this year.
Along the way, he made a substantial and enduring impact on the Law School by cofounding the Corporate Lab while he was still a student; he also contributed to the growth of a dynamic new company, Gerchen Keller Capital, LLC (cofounded by Ashley Keller, ’07), which is pioneering the relatively new field of commercial litigation finance.
The Corporate Lab (which is now the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab) is one of the Law School’s clinical offerings; it and its related programming have become central elements of the Law School’s business-related curriculum. Students work directly with legal and business leaders at household-name Fortune 500 corporations, nonprofits, and start-up companies, and they also benefit from an extensive speaker series, conferences, and symposia open to the greater Law School community.
Kramer helped Professor David Zarfes—who was then an assistant dean of the Law School—establish the Lab in 2009, transforming what had been a successful relationship with Microsoft into the dynamic learning experience that is the Lab today. Its “client” roster includes more than 15 leading companies, and more than 50 students are taught there each year. Kramer has maintained his relationship with the Lab, as a lecturer in law and the Lab’s cochair, along with Professor Zarfes, who heads the transactional curriculum and oversees adjunct faculty at the Law School. Zarfes’s appreciation for Kramer is unstinting: “Sean Kramer is among the most able and intelligent students I have encountered in my time teaching, at both Chicago and Columbia. He is pure gold,” he says.
Kramer worked as an analyst at Gerchen Keller from last May until April of this year. The company invests in commercial litigation by providing capital to help companies and law firms manage costs and expand working capital, de-risk legal exposures, and monetize fees, judgments, and settlements. During Kramer’s tenure, Gerchen Keller zoomed to prominence and became the world’s largest investment firm in its field.
“I was honored to have the opportunity to work at such a great company with a lot of very brilliant people,” Kramer says. “But I found that my heart was still with Kirkland, and I was thrilled when Kirkland invited me to come back on a fast track to a partnership.”
“It goes without saying that I received a top-flight legal education at the Law School,” Kramer observes. “But what I really loved about it was the extraordinary network of people, inside the school and among its graduates, who will step up to support your passions and goals. Professor Zarfes, Dean Schill, and many others were completely supportive as the Corporate Lab developed, and after I graduated and joined Kirkland, Steve Ritchie, [’88], a senior corporate partner and a tremendous supporter of the Law School, helped me grow within the practice group that best fit my personality and desired career path. Many Law School graduates from Kirkland have spoken at the Lab and mentored students there, and the decision to put the firm’s name on the Lab was very important to me. I can’t begin to say how grateful I am for this great school and the amazing people who make up its community.”
A partial list of her civic service includes two terms as chair and two as vice chair of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, and ongoing responsibilities as vice chair of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Board, as a member of the board of visitors at Emory University, and as a director of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, the Atlanta Speech School, and the Southern Center for Human Rights.
Last year, when Noni Ellison Southall, JD ’97, MBA ’97, received one of the many honors she has garnered during her career—in this case, from the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys for service to the community—the presenters were asked to describe one of her distinctive characteristics: the capacity to do more than most people, and do it brilliantly. “She has an indomitable spirit and will,” said Comer Yates, Executive Director of the Atlanta Speech School. “You would think that she’s been cloned about five times,” said Ceasar Mitchell, Atlanta City Council President. “Noni has so much on her plate that it’s become a platter,” said attorney and author Patricia Russell McCloud.
She was like that at the Law School, too. Realizing after her first year that she wanted to become an international corporate finance attorney, she decided to get an MBA, so she entered the Booth School, participated in the international business exchange program based in Manchester, England, and worked as a Junior Foreign Service Officer for the US State Department in Accra, Ghana. That wasn’t all—she also studied the economics of international health systems for two years on her way to earning a certification in health administration and policy at the University of Chicago, and she held several student leadership positions at the Law School, including as a cofounder of the International Legal Study Program, organizing the inaugural Israeli legal study tour.
She achieved her professional goal. As an associate at Vinson & Elkins for three years after law school, her responsibilities included international and domestic acquisitions and financings in various industries, reaching up to $3.5 billion valuations; she then served as the director of business and legal affairs at Scripps Networks in New York before moving to Atlanta with Turner Broadcasting. During her tenure at Turner, she rose quickly through the ranks, finishing her time there in the role of Assistant General Counsel and head of the music division. Her international experience at Turner was broad, including a posting in Hong Kong, where among many other things she handled an array of deals across the Asia-Pacific Region.
Now she has joined W.W. Grainger, Inc., the $10 billion Lake Forest–based industrial supply company. As Associate General Counsel for Finance and Assistant Corporate Secretary, she’s managing everything related to finance and treasury matters around the world as part of her far-flung responsibilities, which include being assistant corporate secretary of the company’s numerous international subsidiaries. “This is the exact role I started preparing myself for back in law school,” she says. “Grainger is a great company that takes the right approach to doing business. The company believes in placing an equal focus on its customers, team members, and the communities in which we work and live, which is very important to me.”
This brings us to all those other things that she has on her platter, the ones that make people wonder how many times she might have been cloned. She’s been married for eleven years to patent attorney Kenneth Southall, and they have two children. A partial list of her civic service includes two terms as chair and two as vice chair of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, and ongoing responsibilities as vice chair of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Board, as a member of the board of visitors at Emory University, and as a director of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, the Atlanta Speech School, and the Southern Center for Human Rights. She has been honored by more than 15 organizations and publications for her service and accomplishments.
She says that her time at the Law School influenced her in many ways: “From my professors and fellow students, I was inspired to gain in-depth knowledge of differing views and perspectives on sometimes controversial issues, find common ground, and work together despite differences. All of those things have helped me succeed in the practice of law and in my other endeavors. Additionally, my experience as a law student working in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic under the tutelage of Randolph Stone instilled in me the importance of public service.”
“So much of what I do relates to issues of first impression, and my experience at the Law School has been invaluable in helping me handle those,” she says. “You have to have a clear viewpoint, be ready for anything, have all your arguments lined up, and think on your feet.”
Kim Sinatra, ’85, is General Counsel, Executive Vice President, and Secretary at Wynn Resorts Ltd. The company, whose 2014 revenue was $5.4 billion, owns casino hotel resort properties in Las Vegas, Macau, and elsewhere.
When Sinatra joined Wynn in 2004, she was its 318th employee, and it had no active properties. Today the company employs more than 20,000 people and has four properties, with two more on the way. “Things happen at what seems like warp speed in Las Vegas,” she says, “and Steve Wynn is one of the greatest entrepreneurs ever. So it’s never a dull moment for me.”
Dull moments have been rare throughout her career. Not long after law school, when she was working at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as a real estate lawyer, she became involved in a pitched battle between Donald Trump and Merv Griffin over control of a company with properties in Atlantic City. Griffin, her client, came out on top, and he hired her to work at his company, which was expanding its portfolio of hotels and gaming facilities. Later, at Caesar’s Entertainment from 2001 to 2003, she was deeply engaged in an effort to build a $500 million casino and resort in upstate New York in association with a Mohawk tribe.
“I really got into this business because of the hospitality and development aspects, more than the gaming side,” she says. “I joined Merv Griffin because he was building hotels, and my first position with Wynn was as a development person. It’s still really all about building things for me. I like building new things. I love taking a new idea and working with a great team to bring it into physical reality.”
Her resume is replete with firsts. She was a key member of the Wynn team that created the Macau property—among the first wave of American companies to build multibillion-dollar projects in China. She led the legal team for the public offering that made Wynn the first US company with a subsidiary traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Last year, her leadership contributed to Wynn’s victory in a high-stakes multiyear competition for the coveted license to build a casino in Everett, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. “A lot of people told us we’d never get that license; that it would go to a local company,” she recalls. “When we started in Macau, we were told that we’d never be able to create a great property there. But we had a vision, and we had people who wouldn’t settle for less than the best—the rest is history.”
“So much of what I do relates to issues of first impression, and my experience at the Law School has been invaluable in helping me handle those,” she says. “You have to have a clear viewpoint, be ready for anything, have all your arguments lined up, and think on your feet. Great professors taught me how to do those things. I still remember how terrified we all were—or at least I was—the first time Professor Helmholz called on someone. I still remember who that student was, thirty years later. Helmholz, Isenbergh, Baird, Landes, Stone, Meltzer, and so many others—I have them to thank for the wonderful opportunities that make every day of my life so fascinating.”
Her days are further enlivened by additional responsibilities for overseeing Wynn’s philanthropic, community relations, and governmental affairs functions, and by her five children, who are between the ages of 16 and 25. She’ll have an increased role at the Law School, too, as a new member of the Visiting Committee.
“My affection for the Law School has never waned,” she says. “I was part of something very special when I was there, and I feel like I still am. The incredible standards of quality, the exceptional teaching, the passionate students, and the amazing leadership that recent deans have provided to keep the school flourishing while retaining the core values that make it so special—there’s real magic there. Wherever I am, I’ll never stop being a very proud Chicagoan.”
Having been recognized consistently as one of the most effective and influential attorneys in the United States, she is a frequent mentor and advisor to young women leaders, and she serves on the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago.
When Anne Kimball, ’76, told her father—himself a lawyer—that she wanted to go to law school, he wasn’t enthusiastic. “He told me that as a woman, I’d never get into a good law school, and if I did, I’d never get hired by a firm, and if I was hired, I’d never make partner,” she recalls.
He was wrong, wrong, and wrong—and if he had also forecast that she’d never have an extraordinary career that shaped large parts of the American business landscape, he would have been very wrong about that, too.
As a partner at the legacy firm Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, she has focused on complex litigation, particularly in the areas of class actions, emerging theories of liability, and industry-wide defense. Not long after she joined the firm, she began representing the gun maker Smith & Wesson against lawsuits filed under a number of different legal theories. Most commonly, those theories could be classified as “negligent marketing” or “negligent distribution.” “These weren’t product liability claims,” she says. “The product was not defective; it did what it was supposed to do. The usual contention was that firearm manufacturers had committed a tort simply by legally marketing, promoting, and advertising their products to the general public. The plaintiffs didn’t like guns, and they hadn’t been satisfied with outcomes from the legislative process, so they went to court.”
She won all of those cases, and in addition to serving as counsel to Smith & Wesson, she also acted as its public spokesperson for many years. During a particularly important 1999 trial, she served as the national spokesperson for the firearms industry in general, commenting almost daily on radio and television and in print media.
The brewing industry also turned to her to rebuff similar types of lawsuits, involving claims that the marketing of its products led to alcoholism, drunk driving, and underage drinking, among other things. She won case after case, usually having them dismissed before discovery. In none of these cases was any money paid to plaintiffs or an attorney. For 20 years, she was primary outside counsel to the Beer Institute, a Washington-based trade association, and she has worked closely with industry representatives to help develop effective public service advertisements, educational campaigns, and public statements.
“The firearms and brewing cases had the potential to damage two large industries, which were already highly regulated,” she observes, “and they also presented major constitutional issues regarding separation of powers and First Amendment rights. I think we won them for all the right reasons, and those reasons are important.”
Having been recognized consistently as one of the most effective and influential attorneys in the United States, she is a frequent mentor and advisor to young women leaders, and she serves on the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago. She’s vice chair of the board of trustees of the school in Brooklyn that she attended from pre-kindergarten through high school, Packer Collegiate Institute. At her firm, she was a longtime member of the management committee and she was the firm’s general counsel for five years.
She has also handled cases, often involving product liability, in a range of other industries, including pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, insurance, and medical products. “I’ve been pretty successful in a very broad range of settings, many of which were completely foreign to me at first. I attribute that in large part to qualities that were strongly reinforced by my education at the Law School, including a deep respect for facts, a lively curiosity, and a willingness to ask questions,” she says.
She has demonstrated her appreciation for her Law School education in many ways, including two terms on the Visiting Committee, service on Reunion Committees, and chairing the Annual Fund campaign. “The list of professors I have to thank for helping me succeed amounts to a Who’s Who of legal giants—Bernie Meltzer, Walter Blum, David Currie, Richard Epstein, William Landes, and so many more,” she says. “I’m grateful to them every day, and I think that I can honor all that they did for me by being the best advocate I can be, and by giving back to the school that enabled me to learn from them.”
Earlier this year, Roberta Cooper Ramo, ’67, received the highest honor conferred by the American Bar Association, the ABA Medal, for “conspicuous service to the cause of American jurisprudence.”
Earlier this year, Roberta Cooper Ramo, ’67, received the highest honor conferred by the American Bar Association, the ABA Medal, for “conspicuous service to the cause of American jurisprudence.” She is one of seventy-six people to have received the award in its eighty-six-year history; other recipients include Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Thurgood Marshall.
Ramo lives in Albuquerque and is a partner at Modrall Sperling. She served as President of the ABA in 1995 and 1996—the first woman to hold that post—and she has been President of the American Law Institute since 2008—also the first woman to hold that post. She is the only person to have been President of both of those organizations.
In her acceptance address for the ABA Medal, she thanked three people, aside from her family, who had helped her career. The first of them was former Law School dean Phil Neal. When she was looking for a postgraduation job near Duke University—where her physician husband would be undertaking advanced medical training—no law firm responded to her letters. She recalls: “When Dean Neal heard about my situation, he called Terry Sanford, who had just left office as governor of North Carolina, and demanded that Sanford find me a place to work. He made it clear that he was not taking no for an answer.”
Sanford did as Neal had insisted, and she got a job with a foundation addressing the administration of antipoverty programs in North Carolina. From there, she joined the faculty of Shaw University, a historically black university, where she taught constitutional law. In both of those positions, she tried to advance social justice—something she has done throughout her career. As head of the ABA, one of her principal successes came from staving off concerted congressional efforts to defund the Legal Services Corporation, and she also led the creation the ABA’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. “I couldn’t be more proud of anything I’ve been associated with,” she says about that commission, “and I am also so sad that twenty years later it still needs to exist.”
At Modrall Sperling, which she joined in 1993, her practice includes arbitration, mediation, business law, real estate, and estate planning, and she assists organizations with their governance and strategic legal planning. She’s board Vice President of the Santa Fe Opera and was President of the Board of Regents at the University of New Mexico. She was a founding director of, and currently chairs, Think New Mexico, a bipartisan think tank committed to research and advocacy to improve the quality of life for all New Mexicans, especially those who lack a strong voice in the political process. She has received honorary degrees from six universities, is an honorary member of the Bar of England and Wales and of Gray’s Inn, and was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011.
“In all honesty, I’m the least impressive member of my family,” she says. Her husband, Barry, is a cardiologist whom she refers to as “New Mexico’s doctor” for his broad and visionary service; their daughter, Jenny, a lawyer, is Executive Director of New Mexico Appleseed; and their son, Joshua, is Vice Chair of Kissinger Associates and author of the best-selling book The Age of the Unthinkable.
“Without Phil Neal, I don’t know what career I might have had,” she reflects, “and his help for me reflected the support I experienced from many people throughout my time at the Law School. I wasn’t a great student in my first year, but faculty and students stepped up to help me get better. That’s the way it was: People didn’t dismiss you because you weren’t as great as they were; they helped you become better. Bernie Meltzer and David Currie were among the many who inspired me and supported me—and I think Phil Kurland must have written four hundred recommendation letters for me! I finally figured out how to think and analyze like a lawyer thanks to the Law School, but I also learned vital lessons about how people can bring out the best in each other, and those lessons have shaped my life.”
"We could not be more delighted to welcome David and Steve to the PTC Board," Riesenbach said. "Each of them brings unparalleled skills and experience that will support PTC's continued growth as the region's top producer of new American plays and musicals."Original source:
Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) is pleased to announce the election of David L. Cohen and Stephen J. McConnell to its Board of Directors. David Cohen will serve as Vice Chairman of the Board. E. Gerald Riesenbach continues as Chairman of the Board and Elliot Schwartz as President.
"We could not be more delighted to welcome David and Steve to the PTC Board," Riesenbach said. "Each of them brings unparalleled skills and experience that will support PTC's continued growth as the region's top producer of new American plays and musicals. We look forward to having the extraordinary benefit of their ideas and advice as we take the next steps in implementing PTC's exciting plans for the future."
Stephen J. McConnell, who resides in Berwyn, PA, is a partner in Reed Smith, a more than 125-year-old Global Top 50 Law Firm where he defends clients in product liability and mass tort litigation. He has also handled securities litigation, complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal litigation. He served from 1992 to 1997 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California (Los Angeles) where he investigated and prosecuted criminal cases in the Major Frauds Section. He served as counsel to the independent Christopher Commission, which investigated the Los Angeles Police Department in 1991 and as deputy general counsel to the independent Kolts Commission which investigated the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1992. He has worked extensively in the area of liability for sales and marketing practices and is a member of the Advisory Board of Villanova University's Center for Marketing and Consumer Insights. Called "extremely smart and strategic" and "a very effective and experienced trial lawyer" by The Legal 500, he has been recognized since 2007 as one of the Best Lawyers in America for product liability litigation and since 2009 has been selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. He is also a regular contributor to the award-winning Drug and Device Law blog. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and received his law degree from University of Chicago Law School where he was a member of the Law Review.
It is only recently, however, that I was struck by how the lessons I have learned in the saddle apply not just in the riding arena but in the highly competitive business arena as well.Original source:
Jana Cohen Barbe, class of 1987, has an article in Horse & Style Magazine about the nexus between business and riding horses:
I have been a business lawyer for 28 years. I have ridden horses for 42 years. It is only recently, however, that I was struck by how the lessons I have learned in the saddle apply not just in the riding arena but in the highly competitive business arena as well:1) Be a Partner
First and foremost, horseback riding is a partnership, and your partner weighs 1,200 pounds. In a fight, he wins. That means youhave to learn to work with your partner to achieve your goals. It isn’t all about you. It is about the team. Great riders and great leaders in business understand that.2 ) Face Your Fears
Great riders, much like great leaders, must also possess true courage.
Read more (p. 54-55).
If you were to start counting the prestigious awards and recognition he has garnered for the quality, importance, and integrity of his work, and you began working backward from 2015, you’d run out of fingers and toes before you got very far into 2013.
Right after he graduated from the Law School in 1962, David Hilliard entered the Navy, and not long after that he participated in a full-scale naval assault on the coast of Spain, involving hundreds of warships. It was only a war games exercise, of course, conducted with the approval of the Spanish government, and Hilliard was a judge advocate assigned to the admiral in charge, but the sweep and energy of the undertaking are consistent with the way that Hilliard has approached his work, his service, and his life since then.
When he returned from his military service, he joined the firm that is today Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson. Focused on intellectual property protection, the firm is consistently ranked at the top of its field. He’s the “Hilliard” in the firm’s name, and he served as its managing partner for twenty years.
Another of the firm’s managing partners has described Hilliard as “the epitome of a big-picture trial lawyer, able to marshal troops and craft creative, winning strategies.” He has represented Ford Motor Company in IP matters for 35 years. When Ford first came to him, Hilliard says, he considered its slogan to be “always sued; never sue.” He changed that in a dramatic way, launching 50 suits in a short time.
“I was constantly on airplanes,” he recalls, “but we won every one of those cases—that I can remember.” For PepsiCo, he initiated and won more than 60 gray-market cases. Those cases, along with many others he has handled for a broad range of clients, established legal standards for anticounterfeiting protection, protection against illegal imports, and many other crucial intellectual property matters.
If you were to start counting the prestigious awards and recognition he has garnered for the quality, importance, and integrity of his work, and you began working backward from 2015, you’d run out of fingers and toes before you got very far into 2013. He has said that an award he received just ten years out of law school means a great deal to him—the Maurice Weigle Award from the Chicago Bar Foundation, which he earned in part for his role as the founding chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Section. The group now has more than 9,000 members, twenty-six committees, and fifty public-service projects.
He has served as a past president of the Chicago Bar Association, as a director of the International Trademark Association, and on the Illinois Commission on the Rights of Women, among many other professional and civic responsibilities. He has been a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago since 1979 and is a past vice-chair of that board.
The author or coauthor of five books and textbooks on intellectual property law, he has also served as an expert witness in major litigation for clients that include Chrysler, Blue Shield of California, 3M, and the Internal Revenue Service.
He has taught at the Law School, served as chair of the Visiting Committee, chaired reunion committees, and—together with his wife of more than 40 years, Celia—provided financial support that includes an endowed fund and the David and Celia Hilliard Research Fellowship. “I was taught by the best legal faculty anywhere—Soia Mentschikoff, Karl Llewellyn, Bernie Meltzer, and so many others,” he recalls. “They not only made possible a great career for me; they enlarged my personal and professional horizons in ways I will always be grateful for. Whatever I can give back is relatively small compared to the deep gratitude I feel.”
While he was serving in the Navy, Hilliard bought a ceramic plate by Picasso in Portugal, for $100. That was the start of art collecting by him, an activity in which Celia would soon join him. Their passion and discernment led to a world-renowned collection, 115 pieces from which were exhibited at the Art Institute last year.
In the sumptuous published catalog from that exhibit, Dreams & Echoes, the Hilliards close an essay with words that echo the past but point toward the future: “We continue on, curious to see what lies ahead. Tennessee Williams expressed something of this spirit. . . . ‘Make voyages!’ he exhorts us. ‘Attempt them!—there’s nothing else.’ ”
David Ho has played an important role in the convergence between the Internet and media industries since his graduation from the University of Chicago Law School in 2001.Original source:
David T. Ho, General Counsel and Senior Vice President at Fullscreen
David Ho has played an important role in the convergence between the Internet and media industries since his graduation from the University of Chicago Law School in 2001. He began his legal career that year at Irell & Manella in Los Angeles where he managed corporate and IP licensing transactions for numerous media, technology, and sports clients. After four years in private practice, he joined Universal Music Group’s digital media incubator in Santa Monica as an associate director of business and legal affairs, where he worked closely with market innovators such as Apple, Amazon, and YouTube to develop new technology platforms for content distribution. Thereafter, he joined FOX’s sports and digital units where he secured multiplatform licensing rights for some of the most popular programming in the world of sports, including the Barclays Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
— LA Business Journal (@LABJcommunity) October 16, 2015
He has spent most of his career as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice investigating and prosecuting international human trafficking, hate crimes and official misconduct cases around the country.Original source:
He has spent most of his career as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice investigating and prosecuting international human trafficking, hate crimes and official misconduct cases around the country. He also has trained prosecutors and law enforcement professionals on human trafficking investigations and has taught trial advocacy to lawyers from Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa. Previously, Boutros spent time on similar issues in Ecuador and South Africa.
Boutros holds degrees from Baylor, where he studied philosophy, Harvard, Oxford and University of Chicago Law School, from which he earned a juris doctor in 2003. While pursuing a master's degree at Harvard, Boutros met Gary Haugen, now president and CEO of International Justice Mission, a human rights organization. Together they authored And Justice for All: Enforcing Human Rights for the World's Poor and The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence.
The two authors paint a vivid portrait of the way broken criminal justice systems in developing countries spawn "a hidden epidemic of everyday violence" that undermines vital investments in poverty alleviation, education and human rights. The Locust Effect has been featured by The New York Times, The Economist, NPR, the Today Show, Forbes, TED, the BBC and other media outlets.