Class Notes and In Memoriam

Gavel Gala 2019

Class Notes

May 2022

Maria Antonia Tigre (LLM '14, SJD '19) was invited to participate in the International Section of the NYSBA's 2022 NYC Summer Conference. The theme of the conference, which will be held on June 21 and 22, is The World Turned Upside Down: How Does Law and the Legal Profession Respond to the Tumultuous Last Few Years?

Vadim Cherkasov '11 was selected as one of the Legal Intelligencer "Lawyers on the Fast Track" this year.

Gerald Coviello '00 started Coviello Weber & Dahill LLP, which will be based in White Plains.

Elizabeth Dank '05 joined TikTok's Trust and Safety team where she will assist in enhancing user safety and strengthening policies for gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, nudity and related areas. 

Jeffrey Deskovic '19 had his article "Wrongful Imprisonment and the Challenge of Social Reintegration" published in a special Looking Back section on the Davis Vanguard.

Maxwell Fine '10 is starting a new position as an Entrepreneur In Residence at Columbia Technology Ventures, supporting the Smartfin team in improving scientists' ability to collect data in our oceans to improve climate change research.

Erica Halstead '98 has joined the law offices of Womble Bond Dickinson. Her practice is focused on U.S. trademark prosecution, policing, enforcement, clearance, and counseling. 

Gillian Ingraham '16 has joined the law offices of Baillie & Hershman P.C. The firm opened a new Greenwich, Connecticut office, which Gillian will manage.

Samantha Irace '21 is starting a new position as Associate Counsel at The Silverman Group.

Ellie Jurado-Nieves has received the Social Equity and Community Empowerment award from the The Life Insurance Council of New York.

John Lettera '99 and his company, Fairbridge Asset Management (formerly RealFi Financial LLC), announced that they entered into a loan agreement for up to $100 million dollars with Oaktree Capital Management.

Caesar Lopez '12 was named Chairman of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.

Adam Marchuck '95 recently started working at Gro Intelligence as General Counsel.

Emily N. Masalski '05 has been elected to the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA). The board directs the operations and activities of the statewide organization. She is Regulatory & Sustainability Counsel at Eaton Corporation, a global power management company. She was previously CEO & Founding Partner of Hunter Masalski LLC. Ms. Masalski was also recently appointed Chair of the ISBA Civil Practice and Procedure Section Council by incoming ISBA President Rory Weiler. She serves as an elected at-large ISBA delegate to the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates and a member of the Chicago Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Committee.

Nicholas M. Menasché '06 is now a partner with DellBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP.

Alison Morris '14 was profiled in the WWBA's April newsletter. 

Joan Schmidt was appointed by Pharvaris as Chief Legal Officer. In this role, she will lead all legal activities, including compliance and governance, in support of Pharvaris’ clinical drug development and commercialization strategies.

Jared Shababb '18 featured on The Encore Podcast to discuss ways to get paid with music, the reality of music contracts, when to hire lawyers & many more topics surrounding artists' success within their careers.

Veronique Urban '06 is starting a new position as Senior Associate at McGrail & Bensinger LLP.

Sara Vinson '11 is starting a new position as AVP, Industry Segment Leader, Real Estate & Hospitality Practice at Chubb.


In Memoriam

BalzerEric L. Balzer ’79 died suddenly and unexpectedly on May 28, 2020 – read more about Eric’s life here.

Phil Foglia ’80 died of complications from COVID-19 on April 21st. He was 69. Phil began his legal career at the Bronx DA’s Office, later as a Special Assistant US Attorney in the SDNY, a partner at a private firm, the Executive VP of SEBCO, and in August 2019, he retired after a lengthy career with the Office of the New York Inspector General as Chief of Investigations and Special Deputy Inspector General. Additionally, Phil co-founded the Child Reach Foundation. You can read more here and  here. Professor Ben Gershman notes: “The loss of Phil Foglia is immeasurable and incomprehensible. Phil was a leader at our law school as a student and alum, a champion in the fight against public corruption, and a hero to all Italian-Americans seeking to preserve their heritage. I am proud to remember Phil as my wonderful student and friend.”

Barbara Zernike '80 died on April 18, 2020. Read her obituary here.

The Honorable Steven Milligram ‘81,
Orange County Supreme Court Judge, who was fighting the COVID-19 virus has passed away. Judge Milligram was a partner at Catania, Mahon, Milligram and Rider (now Catania, Mahon & Rider) and served eight years as Monroe Town Justice until his election in November to the Supreme Court justice seat for the Ninth Judicial District. He took office in January 2020. Read more here and here. Several professors remembered Judge Milligram fondly – Jay Carlisle notes: "Justice Milligram was an outstanding student at PLS, an extraordinarily successful lawyer and achieved his lifelong goal of being elected and installed in January of 2020 as a Supreme Court Justice of New York. May he rest in peace." Professor Jim Fishman remembers Steve as a pleasant student who seemed to enjoy law school. He notes that he is “glad he attained his life’s goal to become a judge, but so sad he passed away so soon.” Professor Humbach notes, “I remember Steve very favorably, a person with many friends who was obviously on his way to going somewhere in the profession. It is tragic to see the arc of his career cut short.”

Marilyn Davis '81 died on April 20, 2020. Read here obituary here.

Ingrid Reuter
Ingrid Ann (Petersen) Reuter ‘84 died at home in New York City on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Read her obituary here.

Michael Tomkovitch
Michael J. Tomkovitch '84
died on May 16, 2020. Read his obituary here.

Donna Kramer
Donna Kramer ’85 passed away on Sunday, October 4 – learn more here.

David Bushman
David Bushman (’87) passed away on April 5, 2020 from COVID-19 complications. You can read his obituary here.

Ruth Kassel
Ruth Kassel
, a graduate of the class of 1988, died on May 5, 2020. Upon graduation, Ruth practiced family law. You can read her obituary here.

Dianne PallmerineDianne Rosen Pallmerine ’93 passed away on June 12, 2020. She was a very well-respected Elder Law Attorney and certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, an organization accredited by the American Bar Association. Read more about Dianne and her life here.

Alumna Ellen Belson (’94) passed away on June 21, 2020. After graduating from Pace, Ellen practiced elder law, wills, trusts, and estates in White Plains; she greatly assisted many elderly clients. Read more here.

Richard BlassbergRichard Blassberg ‘00 passed away on September 23, 2020. You can read his obituary here. Professor Emeritus Carlisle notes that Richard “was an outstanding graduate of our Law School and dedicated his life to helping others. I will miss him very much.” Professor Bennett Gershman also fondly remembers Richard. “Richard was my savvy and cynical student. He was always the rebel. A fierce fighter against injustice and abuse of power, Richard's scathing portrayal of Westchester D.A. Jeanine Pirro ("The Jeanine Machine") is a classic account of an unhinged and ruthless prosecutor. Richard's journalistic dissection of the cronyism and corruption of Westchester County politics was courageous, and devastating.  He has a special place in my life. His voice will be missed.”

Katheryn Linehan Ritchie '88 passed away peacefully on Monday, January 3, 2022.

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