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Alumni Highlights and Class Notes
September 2014 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.
Emily Masalski (JD ’05) has enjoyed a dynamic environmental legal career and practiced environmental law in Chicago for almost a decade. She was recognized as the Illinois State Bar Association’s Young Lawyer of the Year for Cook County in 2011 and named as a 2010-2013 Illinois Rising Star in the environmental litigation category by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine. Emily also received the American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Star of the Quarter Award in 2010.
Emily is mother to two-year-old Elsa and an adopted dachshund/shi tzu/terrier mix named Waffles, after the dog in the Woody Allen movie “Manhattan.” (She is also expecting her second child.) While Emily acknowledges that “it [may not have been] the best decision having a puppy and a young toddler at the same time,” she remains undaunted. She made partner at her prior firm in April 2014 and joined Rooney Rippie & Ratnaswamy LLP, a boutique environmental, energy and litigation firm in Chicago, in June 2014. Her practice focuses on advising businesses and individuals in environmental compliance, commercial litigation and enforcement matters. Emily, a native of Chicago and proud Illini (that is, a graduate of the University of Illinois), previously practiced at another firm for over seven years in the areas of banking, creditor’s rights, commercial litigation, and environmental law. She began her career at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Emily enjoys environmental law because “it is a highly technical field and constantly changing.” One of her favorite parts of the job is researching how different municipalities address historical contamination issues.
When asked what she took from Pace that has benefitted her most in her career, Emily said, “My former classmates and Pace alumni have been excellent resources!” In fact, when she moved back to Chicago from New York City, she found an unadvertised job opening through an alumni connection.
Emily advises recent Pace grads and current students to find a mentor who will help guide them on successful career growth and transitions. “Figure out what you like best, and then look for a job that lets you do more of that. Although environmental jobs might be hard to find, there are always different outlets for you to utilize your environmental background. Get involved with local community groups and build your network.” To say that Emily is involved with her local community is an understatement. Among other positions, she serves as Vice Chair of Standing Committee on Women and the Law, Secretary of the Environmental Law Section Council, and member of the Diversity Leadership Council for the Illinois State Bar Association. She is also the former Chair of the Special Committee on Young Lawyers for the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources and a member of the Chicago Bar Association.
Genoveffa Flagello is Associate Attorney for the New York State Second Department Mental Hygiene Legal Service. She has enjoyed representing Respondents in Article 81 guardianship proceedings in Westchester County Supreme Court.
Gail A. Matthews was awarded the Henry L. Stimson Medal. This Medal is presented annually to outstanding Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Southern and Eastern District of New York. Gail is Deputy Chief, Civil Division, at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District. In awarding the Stimson Medal to Gail, the U.S. Attorney, Loretta Lynch, noted that Gail has “one of the most distinguished records of achievement in this district.” The presentation ceremony will be held on the evening of June 3 at the City Bar Association.
Andrew R. Tulloch relocated back to New York from Washington, DC where he served as General Counsel for the Joint Economic Committee in the 111th and 112th Congress and as Policy Advisor to a Ranking Member of the Democratic House Leadership. Currently, Andrew is running Congresswoman Carolyn Mahoney’s 2014 re-election campaign as well as practicing law in the financial services area.
James F. Foley was appointed as Public Defender in Cresskill, New Jersey.
Jeff LeJava spoke at the Annual Conference of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association in January regarding “Integrating Sustainability in Redevelopment” using the Land Use Law Center of Pace Law School’s work in Jersey City as the case study. He also served on a panel for a Cleaner Greener Communities webinar in April sponsored by NYS DEC regarding urban agriculture.
Stephan A. Rapaglia was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. In 2008, Stephan joined Urstadt Biddle as Vice President and Real Estate Counsel and was later elected Assistant Secretary and Senior Vice President. Read more here.
Michelle M. Arbitrio was selected as a Rising Star – Westchester’s 40 Under 40 by the Business Council of Westchester. Michelle is a Partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP. She is based in their White Plains office, where her areas of focus are securities & financial services litigation, life, health, disability and ERISA, professional liability, and employment litigation. Click here to read more.
Jessica Bacher was appointed to serve as the chair of the ABA Section of State and Local Government on Distressed Property and presented on this topic at ABA Spring Meeting Hot Topics luncheon and has a forthcoming article that will appear in the Urban Lawyer. This followed her presentation on planning and zoning for sustainable neighborhoods at the ABA Fall meeting. She presented on certification of sustainable cities at the American Planning Association national conference in Atlanta. Ms. Bacher led the Land Use Law Center of Pace Law School’s successful seminar at Yale Law School on controlling the local impacts of hydraulic fracturing, in partnership with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. She was also recently appointed Lecturer at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies to teach the Land Use Clinic.
Tiffany Zezula presented on the Land Use Law Center of Pace Law School’s award winning Land Use Leadership Alliance Program and its use in the front range of Colorado to address integrating land use and water planning at the APA conference, following up on her presentation in Denver earlier in the year at the New Partners for Smart Growth national conference. Based on the success of the program, the Center recently received funding to continue its efforts in 2015.
Emily A. Collins founded Fair Shake in January 2014. Fair Shake is a “nonprofit, free-standing law firm offering environmental legal services for clients of modest means.” Emily will serve as executive director of Fair Shake. The office is located in Pittsburgh, and there are plans to open an Ohio office as well. To read more click here.
Jennifer Vorhies was named Partner at Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader, LLC. Jennifer’s practice area is family law. She also sits on the Vicinage VIII Family Law Inn of Court and is Chairperson of the Warren County Family Law Committee. To read more, click here.
Janice Dean will be joining Pace Law School as Chief of Staff in September 2014. In this role, she will be working directly with Dean David Yassky. Since graduating from Pace Law School, Janice has served in the Environmental Protection Bureau of the State Attorney General's office, most recently as Section Chief of the Toxics and Cost Recovery Section.
Anthony W. Contente-Cuomo joined the education law team at Udall Shumway PLC in Mesa, Arizona as a partner. To read more, click here.
Jennifer L. Gray was selected as a “Rising Star: 40 Under 40” by the Business Council of Westchester. Jennifer is an associate at Keane & Beane P.C. Read more here.
Russ M. Patane was selected as a “Rising Star” in New Jersey “SuperLawyers” Magazine for 2014. Click here to read more. Russ is an associate with Golden, Rothschild, Spagnola, Lundell, Boylan & Garubo, P.C., practicing Civil Litigation Defense. He has also been accredited as a LEED Green Associate by The Green Building Certification Institute. Click here to read more.
Cari B. Rincker was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article. To read the article, click here.
Jennie C. Nolon Blanchard was appointed in April as the Chair of the Planning and Law Division of the 40,000 member American Planning Association. The New York Department of State recently awarded the Land Use Law Center of Pace Law School a Local Government Efficiency Grant for the Mayors Redevelopment Roundtable, a program that she directs.
Jonathan T. Engel was recently appointed an Assistant County Attorney at the Ulster Count Attorney’s Office in Kingston, New York. Previously, Jonathan served as a Deputy County Attorney at the Putnam County Department of Law in Carmel, New York.
Taryn L. Rucinski signed on as co-author of the Environmental Law LEXICON (with Professor Nicholas A. Robinson). Also, Taryn’s draft paper “The Elephant in the Room: Toward a Definition of Grey Legal Literature” was accepted to the AALL Sixth Annual Boulder Writing Conference in San Antonio 2014. She was also awarded the 2014 AALL Chapter Registration Award and Grant from LLAGNY to attend AALL’s Annual Conference in San Antonio.
Marcia Guevara (LL.M.) passed the July 2013 NY Bar Examination and is awaiting admission to the NY State Bar. She plans to open her own practice, focused on Immigration and Real Estate in Westchester County. Previously, Marcia interned at the Mission of Comoros to the United Nations while she was attending her LLM Program. After passing the NY Bar exam, Marcia decided to intern at a small law firm in Queens and with a small non-profit organization in White Plains, where she learned fundamental principles of Immigration Law.
H.R.H. Prince Saud Alhassan Saud Abulaziz Al Saud (LL.M.) published his LLM thesis, In the Name of God The Most Gracious The Most Merciful: Mercy in Islamic Law. Currently, Saud is currently studying for his SJD – PhD at Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Koguan Law School. The focus of his studies will be clemency and the law.
Michael J. Konicoff and Taylor A. Piscionere got engaged on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at Pace Law School. Michael proposed to Taylor right outside the Pace Law School library where they first met. Michael arranged to have Professor Carol Barry lure Taylor to the library under the pretense of speaking to several students. Once Taylor arrived, Professor Barry escorted Taylor to the bench outside the library where Michael was waiting with flowers, a photographer, and a ring. Taylor said “yes!” Michael is an associate at Piscionere & Nemarow, P.C. and Taylor is an Assistant District Attorney at the Queens County District Attorney’s Office. Taylor’s father, Anthony G. Piscionere, is also a Pace Law alumnus (Class of 1980) and was an honoree at Pace Law School’s 18th Annual Leadership Awards Dinner.
Tara E. Parlman joined the Law Offices of Sobo and Sobo as an associate. Tara’s area of practice is personal injury with 100% of her practice devoted to litigation. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association of Orange and Sullivan Counties.
Christopher E. Rao, a 1996 Pace Law graduate, died on April 16, 2014. Christopher was a partner with the law firm of Hoffman, Wachtell & Rao. Christopher’s obituary can be viewed here.