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Alumni Highlights and Class Notes
January 2015 Alumni Highlight
Keep up-to-date with your fellow Pace Law School Alumni
Pace Law School would like to keep up-to-date on your personal and professional news. If you have recently moved, had a career change, a job promotion, gotten married, had a child, or were given an honor or award, please share!
Pace Law School reserves the right to edit all Class Notes submissions.
Robyn Hanson (JD ’06) spends her weekdays as a Trial Attorney at the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), where she has worked since 2008. Robyn’s Washington, D.C. career began when she participated in Pace’s DC Environmental Externship Program in the summer after her 1L year. It was then, as a legal extern for DOJ’s Environmental Crimes Section, that she grew fond of public interest law and environmental litigation. After graduation, she moved Washington and began work at EPA. When friends and former DOJ colleagues notified her of an attorney opening in the Environmental Enforcement Section, she didn’t hesitate to fill out the application and throw her hat into the ring, and in the fall of 2008 she started at DOJ. Robyn now counsels federal agencies in the development and initiation of civil judicial actions on behalf of the United States under major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Oil Pollution Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Robyn’s cases are either resolved by a negotiated settlement or adjudicated in the federal courts. (*Because Robyn is the conscientious federal attorney she is, she reminds us that the views expressed in this article are hers alone and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Justice or the United States!)
One of Robyn’s proudest professional accomplishments to date came in 2011 when she became an adjunct professor for Pace, co-teaching the summer DC Environmental Externship class that she had once participated in as a student. The opportunity to work with Pace students and guide them in their individual explorations of environmental law and legal practice has been a wonderful experience for Robyn over the last four years. “It not only brought me great pride, but it also strengthened my practice of law,” she says.
Having experienced Pace’s environmental law curriculum as both a student and an adjunct professor, Robyn reports that it is “top notch.” Between traditional classes, externships, and her time working for the Pace Environmental Law Review and the Pace Environmental Law Clinic, she graduated with the training and field awareness that she needed to hit the ground running and knows that her DC Externship students will graduate with the same advantage.
Robyn advises students and recent grads to “be persistent and follow your own internal barometer when it comes to your goals and the path your career takes.” She recognizes networking as an essential skill, one you can never practice enough. “You never know when an unexpected opportunity will arise, just waiting to be shared. Do not give up.”
After living in DC for almost eight years and loving its history, driven professional environment, and culture, Robyn recently moved to Colorado, where she continues to work for DOJ at its Denver field office location. She looks forward to exploring this new city with her boyfriend, Brian Emeson, and their dog, Pax. She is especially excited about weekend adventures in the Colorado mountains! We wish Robyn the best of luck in her new position and expect to continue to hear great things from her for years to come.
Laura L. Spring, Esq. joined Cohen Compagni Beckman Appler & Knoll, PLLC as a partner in the employment practice group.
Christopher L. Beers was appointed as General Counsel of Aircastle Limited. Prior to joining Aircastle, Christopher held senior positions at GE Capital and as an attorney at Milbank Tweed Hadley and McCloy. Read more here.
John R. Braatz joined Nomura, the Japanese investment bank, as Executive Directory and Counsel in its New York office.
Angelo N. Chaclas was named Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Trinseo. Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber.
Wendy Kennedy Venoit was named a Fellow of The American College of Construction Lawyers. She is a partner at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP and Co-Manager of the Firm’s Construction Law Practice group. Read more here.
Anna Georgiou is of counsel at McCarthy Fingar LLP’s recently formed Municipal Law and Land Use practice group. Anna recently joined McCarthy Fingar after working for Wormser Kiely Galef and Jacobs, LLP. Read more here.
Brian T. Belowich founded the law firm of Belowich & Walsh LLP on May 1, 2013. Belowich & Walsh LLP is a boutique litigation firm with experience handling business disputes, real estate and construction disputes and related matters in federal and state courts. Prior to founding Belowich & Walsh LLP, Brian worked as a litigation associate at Coudert Brothers LLP and Baker & McKenzie LLP and as a litigation partner in the firm of DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP. Brian currently resides in Chappaqua, NY with his wife Debbie and daughters, Alexa and Talia.
Matthew E. B. Brotmann traveled to Nassau, Bahamas to work with the College of the Bahamas and Eugene Dupuch Law School to establish an environmental law clinic in the Bahamas, the first of its kind for the region. With contributions from Professor Karl Coplan and Professor Ann Powers, the clinic is now operational and will be taking on a variety of issues, working with the government, NGOs and citizen action groups. Matthew is an adjunct professor with Pace Law School and the Director of the International Criminal Court Moot.
Sherene Hannon De Palma was elected to the Pound Ridge Town Council. After years of community involvement, Sherene made the decision to dedicate her energies in an official capacity. Sherene’s campaign stressed the importance of service and commitment to Pound Ridge’s sense of community, the environment, and neighborliness.
Jennifer Jill O’Hara has become a partner with DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP and chair of the matrimonial and family law practice group.
Katherine S. Brown has accepted a new position with Lenovo – Business Enterprise Group as IP Counsel.
James A. Duckham has been selected as the director of public safety at Ball State University. Read more here.
Trish Lisa Wilson recently authored a children’s book entitled, “A Penny for Piggy: The Tale of SAVE, SPEND, and SHARE.” The picture book, written in rhyme, is a creative story which assists adults in teaching young children about what to do with money. With the help of this book, Wilson believes that children as young as pre-school age, can easily understand the uses and value of money, and life-long responsible fiscal practices, if presented in a fun, relatable way. “A Penny for Piggy” recently received the 2014 Book of the Year Award by Creative Child Magazine and was featured in their November holiday issue. Read more about the book at www.apennyforpiggy.com. Trish currently resides in Madison, NJ with her husband, Peter Wilson (Pace Law Class of 2002) and their two young daughters.
Stephen J. Brown became a partner in his firm, Veneruso, Curto, Schwartz & Curto, LLP. Stephen’s practice is focused on corporate and business law, civil and commercial litigation and estate and trust law. Stephen is the President of the Pace Law School Alumni Board.
Jane CoCo Cowles has launched a career as an artist and an art consultant to those starting a business in a creative field. You can view Jane’s website here.
Nikki D. Woods began working for the Law Office of Peter D. Hoffman, P.C. in Katonah. She will be working on education law, criminal law, and juvenile justice matters.
Brandon Perlberg married Benn Robert Storey. Brandon works as a consultant in the fraud investigation and dispute services division of Ernst & Young in London. Click here to read more.
Michael T. Goldstein gave a course on October 20, 2014 at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting in Chicago. The course was entitled Physician Provider Cooperatives – A New Concept in Healthcare Delivery.
Melissa A. Kucinski celebrated her one year anniversary of running her own law practice, MK Family Law. Her family law practice in Washington, D.C. and Maryland includes divorces, property, support, custody, mediation, litigation, child representation, and international and cross-jurisdictional issues. She was invited to Tokyo in September 2014 to help train Japanese mediators in her advance skill set which includes handling international parental child abduction cases.
Elizabeth Wheeler has been a staff attorney with Clean Wisconsin since early 2011. She joined the Board of the State Bar of Wisconsin Environmental Law Section. She also volunteers on the State Board of Directors for the League of Women Voters.
Nicole Del Vecchio joined the New York City office of Rawle & Henderson LLP. Her practice will focus in the area of professional liability and she will primarily represent healthcare professionals, medical institutions and nursing home facilities. To read more click here.
Adrienne Harrison continues to be Corporate Counsel for the European Headquarters of Crocs. She resides in Amsterdam. She credits her decision to make Amsterdam her home a result of two separate study abroad experiences at Vrije Universiteit during her Pace Law School tenure. Adrienne encourages any student interested in International Law to pursue study abroad opportunities and notes that she would not have been able to participate in these programs without the support her professors, especially Michelle Simon.
Andrew J. Leffler has joined the firm of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel. He is a member of the firm’s business and real estate sections. The firm is based in Chattanooga, TN.
Cari B. Rincker won the Excellence in Agriculture Law award from the American Agriculture Law Association in the “Private Practice” division. Cari has her own law firm based in New York City, Rincker Law, PLLC. Her practice concentrates in food and agriculture law. Read more here.
Tawny L. Alvarez was one of numerous Verrill Dana attorneys honored for their pro bono service. Tawny is an associate with Verrill Dana LLP. Read more here.
Mary Clare Haskins Banton and her husband welcome a girl, Teagan Elise Banton, on November 10, 2014.
Lane L. Marmon was named a New Leader in the Law by the Connecticut Law Tribune. Lane was part of a group of 60 winners chosen from nearly 300 nominees. She is a senior associate at Rutkin, Oldham & Griffin, LLC.
Alissa Palumbo published a book “Modern Law of Sales in the United States” (read more here). After graduating from Pace in 2009, she took a position in Switzerland with Professor Ingeborg Schwenzer at the University of Basel where she worked on the Global Sales and Contract Law Project and coached the Basel Vis Moot Court team. She was recruited by Professor Schwenzer because of her involvement with the Vis Moot Court at Pace and because of Pace’s reputation as a leader in the field of international commercial law and arbitration. She credits this to the Institute of International Commercial Law and its status as a founding member of the Vis Moot Court. Alissa graduated from the University of Basel in November 2013 with her doctorate. She is currently working as a post-doc research and teaching assistant for Professor Corinne Widmer and coaching this year’s Vis Moot Court team. She is also serving as a course leader at the newly established Swiss International Law School.
Jane Silverman received certification from the National Academy of Ambulance Coders as a Certified Ambulance Compliance Officer. Jane is part of the first class of Compliance Officers to be certified under the new designation. She is the Chief Compliance Officer for Digitech Computer, Inc. Read more here.
Laxman P. Mainali (LLM) is now Joint Secretary at the Nepal Law Commission.
Joseph A. Marutollo is working as Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Special Federal Litigation Division of the New York City Law Department. He recently received a judgment notwithstanding the verdict following a federal jury trial in the Eastern District of New York. The judgment was in favor of his clients – five NYPD defendants – on all claims. The trial received positive coverage in the New York Daily News and the New York Law Journal.
Hilary Atkin has been appointed Deputy Assistant Director for Public Engagement at Council on Environmental Quality at The White House.
Rufina Beem has become an associate with DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP. She will be concentrating in the area of matrimonial and family law.
Anthony Desiato wrote, produced, and financed two documentaries, including “My Comic Shop DocumentARy” and “By Spoon: The Jay Meisel Story”. His latest, “By Spoon,” was screen at YoFi, the Yonkers Film Festival. Anthony is currently working on his third documentary, “Wacky Man: The Rise of a Puppeteer.” To read more click here.
Marcia G. Guevara opened her own law office in White Plains – Guevara Law Group, P.C. She will focus her practice areas on immigration law, real estate, and bankruptcy. Marcia is also involved in the "Si Se Puede” Program, which is part of the Hispanic National Bar Association (“HNBA”). Marcia is assisting in organizing the program with Judge Walter Rivera and the New York region HNBA to help foreign attorneys and support high school seniors who are considering law school in New York. Marcia also offered five workshops about immigration law during the month of November to educate immigrants about their rights. The workshops were offered in English, Serbian, and Spanish. One of Marcia’s workshops was featured in the Putnam County Courier. You can read more here.
Lisa A. Covert volunteered at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Region 1 Office for two months and also worked part-time at The Law Offices of Denise Schoen, PLLC in East Hampton, NY. She is now working at the Amato Law Group PLLC.
Thomas Ruane has joined the firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP as an associate.