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Alumni Highlights and Class Notes
September 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.
David J. Ettinger (’92)
David J. Ettinger became interested in international law while studying abroad in London during his second year at Pace Law School. The time spent in London while at Pace was not only where some of his best memories were made, but where David gained his first up close and personal look into international law. David often refers to his Pace-London experience as a “turning point” in his legal education and career. After graduating from law school, with the support and encouragement from one of his mentors at Pace, Professor Willem Vis, David went on to obtain his LL.M. in International Law at Kings College London.
After obtaining his LL.M., David then went on to practice as an Assistant District Attorney in the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. He also was a trademark attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. However, his passion for international law remained and he joined the DC-based law firm of Keller and Heckman LLP in 1999. Currently, David is a partner with the firm’s food and food packaging practice group and he has taken his expertise in this field from a domestic to international level by practicing in various foreign jurisdictions.
In 2006-2007, David was the U.S. resident partner at his firm’s Brussels office. Currently, and since 2012, David has been the managing partner of Keller and Heckman’s Shanghai office. In both Brussels and Shanghai (and in his “home” office of Washington, D.C.), he counsels clients on global food safety matters. David works with foreign and domestic companies to legally market products including food additives, food packaging materials, cosmetics, health foods, consumer products, and medical devices. When products are seized at the port of entry or pulled from the shelf by authorities or subject to consumer complaints, David works with companies to find solutions that can range from eliminating or mitigating damages to assisting with product recalls.
“There is no question that practicing law in China has its challenges. While there are huge opportunities for foreign companies to market in China, unless one has a good handle on the potential business and regulatory pitfalls, the monetary upside can be quickly trumped by adverse media that can damage the reputation of a company’s name and product brand. The authorities are ramping up enforcement in an effort to reduce the number of food scandals that continue to make the headlines on both a domestic and international scale, so you cannot afford to get it wrong in China. My efforts are focused on helping companies to understand the regulatory landscape in China so they can get it right and have the ability to market products that can be enjoyed by over a billion consumers.”
Despite the distance between White Plains and Shanghai, David has kept Pace at the forefront of his mind. In December of 2013, President Stephen Friedman visited China and Pace held a series of gatherings for our Pace alumni based in China. During this visit, David met with President Friedman and shared his positive Pace Law experience and insight on strengthening Pace’s ties with our alumni, friends, and industry leaders based in China. David is one who puts words into action, and last year he gave a presentation on Chinese laws and regulations regarding the import and export of food and food-related products with an emphasis on food safety to a Pace graduate class taking a field study trip to China. Recently, Greg Marsden, Pace Law’s Director of International Affairs and Graduate Programs, visited with David and they discussed ways to promote Pace’s presence in China. David’s alma mater is important to him, “Pace gave me a chance to attend law school and my professors and coursework fostered my passion for international law. For that I am grateful and will continue to support the institution as a friend and alumnus.”
While in Shanghai, David balances his career with raising his three children. His greatest joy is watching them grow up in an international community, making friends from all over the world, and learning one of the most important languages today. While his Mandarin is not as good as his kids, David continues to take lessons in an attempt to keep up with them. “I tell my kids that they need to learn as much Mandarin as they can, as it is very likely that one day they will be negotiating in Chinese.” In his spare time, David loves to coach his boys’ soccer team and watch his daughter sing and perform on stage.
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.