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Alumni Highlights and Class Notes
May 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.
Phillip Musegaas’ (’05) career as an environmental attorney recently took a unique and somewhat unexpected turn. Activist, environmentalist, attorney, expert – these are all words often associated with Phillip’s career. However, he recently added “cast member” to his resume. As the former lead counsel in Riverkeeper’s challenge to the Indian Point nuclear power plant’s relicensing application for seven years, Phillip was able to provide firsthand expertise throughout the film “Indian Point”, a documentary about the controversial plant on the Hudson River north of Manhattan. The film was directed and written by Ivy Meeropol, and Phillip was featured extensively. On April 17, he joined the former Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Greg Jaczko, as well as local activists and journalists for a question and answer session with the filmmaker at the premiere of the film at the Tribeca Film Festival.
For nearly ten years, Phillip served as the Hudson River Program Director at Riverkeeper in New York. While at Hudson Riverkeeper, Phillip focused his attention on reducing sewage pollution, restoring native fisheries, and as mentioned, advocating against the relicensing of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. His tally of wins for the environment is extensive during his time spent as lead attorney at Riverkeeper. Notably, he won a landmark federal court victory against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and also negotiated a settlement with ExxonMobil regarding the remediation of a massive oil spill in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Phillip was also appointed to several task forces, including as a citizen advisor convened by the then Mayor Bloomberg to address climate resiliency challenges in New York City post Hurricane Sandy.
Phillip grew up in Kansas City, and prior to his start as an attorney, he was a professional chef in both Washington state and California. From there he went on to receive his B.A. in Geography from the University of Washington. During his time at undergrad, he heard Bobby Kennedy speak about environmental concerns and discuss the environmental litigation clinic at Pace. After that, Phillip knew that if he was going to attend law school, it was going to be at Pace. He knew that he wanted to be an environmental attorney and he knew that Pace was the place to develop this passion into a successful career.
After he was accepted into Pace, Phillip moved to New York solely to attend the Law School and graduate from the environmental program. In 2005, he not only graduated from Pace with an environmental certificate, but with honors. Of his time at Pace, Phillip notes that Professors Nick Robinson and Ann Powers were especially inspirational both in their environmental advocacy and teaching.
Recently, Phillip left the Hudson Riverkeeper to join the Potomac Riverkeeper Network as the Legal Director. At the Potomac Riverkeeper, Phillip continues to advocate for clean waters with a focus on protecting the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and all their tributaries within the Potomac Watershed. His work focuses on a variety of water pollution issues from urban sewage to agricultural runoff.
Phillip currently resides in Washington, D.C. and in his spare time he enjoys cooking, hiking, and kayaking.
Hon. Francesca (Leibold) Connolly was appointed by NYS Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti to the position of Associate Justice of the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court, second Department, Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts. In this capacity, she will hear appeals from the District, City, Town, and Village courts in Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Putnam counties. This assignment is in addition to her current duties as a Supreme Court Justice, Ninth Judicial District, where she presides over a general civil calendar and the Ninth Judicial District Environmental Claims Part. She has been serving as a Supreme Court Justice since 2009.
Fredric I. Green has been appointed chief of the Special Prosecutions Division and a second deputy district attorney.
Joseph A. Saccomano was elected to the Board of Directors for the Business Council of Westchester. Joseph is the Office Managing Shareholder of the White Plains and Albany offices of Jackson Lewis P.C.
Dr. Nader J. Sayegh was praised for his “countless contributions to society” in a statement issued by Rep. Eliot L. Engel. Dr. Sayegh’s passion for community involvement was noted, specifically through his service on various Boards.
Robert J. Waine has joined the firm of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. He will practice out of the corporate department and work with the real estate group.
Susan M. Corcoran was honored as a Distinguished 2014 Empire State Counsel by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) for her extraordinary pro bono efforts in 2014.
Joseph A. Ruhl has joined Orange Bank and Trust Company as a regional president. Previous to this he was with Hudson Valley bank as seinor vice president and division executive in charge of its legal services division.
Marla E. Wieder was elected Secretary of the New York State Bar Association Environmental Law section. She also received the Environmental Section Council Award this year.
Nicholas M. Ward-Willis was elected to a one year term on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association Environmental Law section.
R. Nadine Fontaine was appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor with a focus on Human Services. Prior to this, she was at Epiq Systems, Inc., where she was a Director.
Carl L. Finger (LLM) was elected as a trustee for the Village Board in Scarsdale. Carl is a member of Fingers & Finger, P.C., a White Plains law firm.
Joseph A. Sarcinella was elected to Partner at Thompson & Knight LLP. His practice is concentrated on real estate, finance, and corporate matters.
David I. Aboulafia’s first book, a dark psychological horror novel entitled “Visions Through a Glass, Darkly,” will be released by Cosmic Egg Books, an imprint of John Huint Publishing in Summer 2015. His second book, a collection of comedic essays entitled “Snapshots from my Uneventful Life,” will be released by Library Tales Publishing at the same time.
Eric S. Andreas’ novel Origins Rising has been recognized as a finalist in the 17th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards for Young Adult Fiction. This is Eric’s debut novel which “tells the story of how people re-evolve after a catastrophic asteroid strike into flyers, swimmers, and swift runners. Click here to read more.
Bridget A. Short joined Fox Rothschild LLP as a partner in their New York office. Her practice areas are copyrights, intellectual property, IP Litigation, Patent Prosecution & Transactions, and Trademarks.
David P. Steinberger joined Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP in their environmental and natural resources practice. He is a partner based out of their Denver office.
Elizabeth Verrier delivered the keynote address for the 31st annual Kalon Leadership Scholarship Day on February 21 at Bethany College. Elizabeth is Vice President and Senior Counsel at American Express.
Maiaklovsky Preval formed the Maiaklovsky Law Firm, PLLC.
Jinhi Park taught international business law as a full time lecturer at Pai Chai University in Korea after 9 years of teaching as well as working as a Foreign Legal Consultant/Attorney for E.M. Hwang & Partners in the trademark department. In March, Jinhi started working as a partner at Heis Law Office in Seoul, Korea as a foreign attorney.
Dev B. Viswanath received a proclamation from the NYC Council in October 2014, on the eve of the Diwali Celebrations at City Hall. The proclamation was for contributions to the City of New York and community service.
Janice Dean was elected to a three year term on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association Environmental Section as a member at large. She also co-authored an article published in Environmental Law in New York entitled “Too Early or Too Late? Statutes of Limitations in Hazardous Waste and Oil Spill Claims.”
Jennifer A. Lofaro was promoted to partner at Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP. She advises and represents regional and national institutional lenders and developers, as well as individual and corporate borrowers, in residential and commercial real estate transactions.
Carlisle McLean was appointed by Maine Governor Paul LePage to serve on the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The PUC is an agency that plays a key role in energy matters that are part of Governor Paul LePage’s policy priorities. Carlisle became Governor LePage’s chief legal counsel in 2013. Prior to that, she practiced with Preti Flaherty in environmental, land use, and climate strategy law.
Danielle Bifulci Kocal had her article “Creating an Asynchronous Distance Learning Class” published in The Learning Curve, which is the publication for the Academic Support section of the American Association of Law Schools.
Nicholas E. Bowers recently celebrated five years of his firm, The Law Office of Nicholas E. Bowers, PLLC, being in business. In 2014, Nicholas closed numerous transactions on the purchases and sales of coops, condos and houses in New York City, Long Island and Westchester. He also continued to conduct commercial lease reviews and negotiations and managed numerous real estate litigations.
Jason S. Herman is currently Deputy Counsel at the New York City School Construction Authority.
Rosario M. Patane was promoted to Shareholder at Golden Rothschild Spagnola Lundell Boylan & Garubo, P.C.
Neal E. Kumar is a third year Associate in the Washington, DC office of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. In October 2014, he married Sweta Lamichhane.
Erika C. Otocka has joined Ivey, Barnum & O’Mara. She will be representing individuals in all aspects of family and matrimonial law. Previously, she practiced with the Law Offices of Gary I. Cohen, P.C. in Stamford, CT.
Alisandra B. Carnevale was elected to the Board of Directors for the Pennington Business and Professional Association. She is an attorney concentrating in Family and Divorce Law at The Law Office of Alisandra B. Carnevale. Read more on her law practice here.
Lane Marmon was named a New Leader in the Law by the Connecticut Law Tribune (2014) and 10 Best Attorneys – Client Satisfaction Award by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (2014). She is a senior associate at Rutkin, Oldham & Griffin, LLC.
Joshua A. Roman was offered and accepted a position as Law Clerk to the Honorable A. Kathleen Tomlinson, United States Magistrate Judge, E.D.N.Y. The clerkship will begin in the fall of 2015 and conclude in the fall of 2017.
Christine E. Goodrich will be joining the New York office of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP. She will continue to practice securities arbitration and litigation.
Gloribelle J. Perez was sworn-in as President of the Dominican Bar Association.
Craig Relles was featured in The National Jurist on how the Pace Community Law Practice (PCLP) helped him get his start as a solo practitioner. Craig’s firm is named the Law Office of Craig Relles and he was one of the first to take part in the PCLP as a legal fellow. Read more here.
Kerriann Stout and Pouyan Darian founded Darian Stout, LLP. Kerriann and Pouyan previously worked together as Fellows at the Pace Community Law Practice (PCLP). Their new law practice is housed at and incubated by the PCLP.
Joseph E. Fornadel published his article entitled The Community Risk and Resiliency Act: Building on the New York State Legislature’s Climate Change Framework in the January/February volume of New York Zoning Law and Practice Report, published by Thomson Reuters. Joseph is a Senior Court Attorney at the New York Court of Appeals.
Justin M. Guido started working as a prosecutor at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office immediately after graduation. Since then he has had approximately 20 jury trials, wrote an appeal, and continues to litigate on a daily basis. He recently obtained a guilty verdict in a case that was published in the Miami Herald. Click here to read more.
John D. Scherer has joined Masini Law Group PC in Garden City as an associate attorney.
Benjamin S. Lowenthal has joined Harrington, Ocko & Monk, LLP in White Plains, NY. His areas of practice will be commercial litigation, corporate and business law, and real estate law.