Law Alumni News and Accomplishments

Here's our periodic roundup of recent law alumni news, recognitions and big career moves. Send alumni news tips to lawweb@wlu.edu.

December 2015 Update

News and Accolades

Lisa ManningLisa Manning '08L was named the 2015 Young Lawyer of the Year by the Bar Association of the District of Columbia. Manning is counsel at Schertler & Onorato. Her practice focuses on representation of individuals in civil and criminal litigation, investigations, and expungement. A D.C. native, Manning is active in the community through volunteer work for D.C. Central Kitchen and the D.C. Bar's Advice and Referral Clinic.  

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin '96L and Asst. U.S. Attorney Steven Ruby '06L were in the news following the conclusion of the trial of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. Goodwin's office oversaw the trial of Blankenship, who was found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of conspiring to violate federal mine safety laws. More information... 

Rodney Moore' 87L has been named an Energy MVP by Law360. Moore, a partner with Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, earned this distinction through securing more than $30 billion in energy transactions over the past year, including guiding WPX Energy Inc.in a $2.75 billion purchase of oil and natural gas assets in Texas and New Mexico. More information...

Luis Rivera '05L, an attorney at Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, recently received the Alexander L. Parkay Professionalism Award. Rivera received this honor at the Southwest Florida Bankruptcy Bar Judicial Appreciation Dinner. The award is based upon the demonstration over a period of years of the traits exemplified by: outstanding effectiveness in the presentation of matters to the Bankruptcy Court; a reputation for thorough preparation; civility and courtesy to opposing counsel; appropriate courtroom demeanor; ethical conduct and professionalism at the highest level; and, long-term service to the bankruptcy bar. More information... 

Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein's Managing Partner Robert R. Hatten '72L has been recognized for his leadership and excellence as an asbestos trial lawyer. Hatten is an AV Preeminent Attorney, rated for many years as a Super Lawyer and one of the "Best Lawyers in America." Since 1975, he has successfully prosecuted product liability claims for thousands of workers, who were disabled and died from asbestosis and mesothelioma, a signature cancer from asbestos exposure. He pioneered the use of maritime law for his shipyard and Navy clients and his many courtroom victories established landmark precedents for asbestos victims. More information... 

On the Move

Patrick Darby '89L has been appointed executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for HealthSouth Corporation, one of the nation's largest providers of post-acute healthcare services. Darby has practiced law with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP for 25 years, and has been a partner at the firm since January 1997. He is listed in Chambers USAThe Best Lawyers in America and Alabama Super Lawyers. More information...

William W. Fagan '06L has joined Sterling Risk Advisors as general counsel. He previously worked for the law firm Duane Morris in their Atlanta office. Fagan is active in the state bar of Georgia, where he serves as cochair of the Young Lawyers Division Legislative Affairs Committee. More information...

Virginia State Senator Mark Obenshain '87L has expanded his law firm, opening an office in Richmond. Joining Obenshain at the Richmond location is fellow W&L Law alum Chip Muir '03L, who ran his own practice for the past three years and also taught a cybercrime class at W&L Law.

Michael Cohen '90L left Paul Hastings to join Sheppard Mullin in San Francisco. Cohen has also entered academia and is teaching Constitutional Law and Business Organizations at the Monterey College of Law.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia Foundation announced Margaret Ann Bollmeier '86L as its new president. Bollmeier, a seasoned advancement professional with more than 25 years of experience, comes to the MCV Foundation from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, where she served as associate dean of alumni affairs and development. More information...

John Klinedinst '71, '78L has been busy on the expansion front, with his firm recently opening up its first office in Washington state. Located at 801 2nd Avenue, the Klinedinst Seattle location allows the firm to serve clients across the entire Pacific Northwest, and will be led by Managing Shareholder Gregor A. Hensrude. The move into Seattle marks the first expansion outside California for Mr. Klinedinst, who started the firm in San Diego in 1983. More information...

The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors has announced the appointment of Ruth Ellen Kuhnel '87L as county attorney. Kuhnel has been serving as an assistant county attorney and senior assistant county attorney for Roanoke County for the past eight years. More information...


September 2015 Update

Paul Fletcher '85L has taken the helm as president of the Society of Professional Journalists. Fletcher, publisher and editor-in-chief at Virginia Lawyers Weekly, was installed as president Sept. 20 during the Excellence in Journalism conference in Orlando. More information...

Gail Deady '11L is profiled on the website of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia. Deady recently joined the organization as The Secular Society Women's Rights Legal Fellow. In the profile, Deady discusses work on women's rights and gender equality issues in the Commonwealth. More information... 

Philip Hinerman '79L, an attorney at Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia, has been selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Environment and Energy Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Hinerman has practiced environmental litigation, wine and spirits law, land use and sustainability for more than 25 years, and Chambers & Partners ranks him as a leading environmental lawyer. More information...

Color My College, a venture launched by Tonya Shuler '04L and her husband, is profiled in West Virginia Record. Color My College is similar to other 5K color runs, with a twist. At Shuler's events, the colors thrown on the runners are of the school colors at each university that hosts and proceeds also help local charities at each event. More information...

Smartmouth Brewing, launched by Porter Hardy '04L in 2012, has signed a distribution agreement with Virginia Eagle Distributing, the largest Anheuser-Busch beverage distributor in the state. Smartmouth beers will soon be coming to some of their 5,000 on and off-premise accounts, including local grocery and convenience stores, restaurants, clubs and bars. The rollout will start in Charlottesville in mid-September. More about Smartmouth's expansion here http://www.vabeertrail.net/2015/09/14/smartmouth-movin-west-releasing-new-cans-and-more/

Carolyn Wilson '81L has been named to the Hall of Fame for Commercial Real Estate Women Atlanta. Wilson is one of six members of the 2015 CREW Atlanta Hall of Fame Class. All six members are former CREW Atlanta Presidents and have long track records of service to the organization and its goals of helping women succeed in commercial real estate-related careers. http://www.crewatlanta.org/home.aspx

Margaret Oertling Cupples '93L, managing partner of the Jackson, MS office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, has been elected chair of the Mississippi Bar's Appellate Practice Section. Cupples focuses on civil appeals and commercial litigation. Her practice centers on asbestos, benzene and silica mass-tort and products liability cases, and also includes insurance sales practices, consumer finance, and general commercial litigation. More information... 

John A. Cocklereece, Jr. '76, '79L, an attorney and director in the law firm of Bell, Davis & Pitt, PA, has been appointed to a four-year term as a member of Board of Trustees of Forsyth Technical Community College by North Carolina governor Patrick McCrory. More information...

Thomas B. Dickenson'86L, of Virginia Beach, was the inaugural recipient of the Jerrold G. Weinberg Professionalism Award, presented to him by the Tidewater Bankruptcy Bar Association at the 23rd Annual Hal J. Bonney Seminar on Bankruptcy Law and Practice. The Award was established to recognize practicing attorneys who have made a unique contribution to the improvement of the bankruptcy bar; who enhance the image, reputation and esteem of bankruptcy attorneys; and who embody the highest tradition of personal and professional excellence among the bar for the Norfolk and Newport News Divisions of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. More information... 

May 2015 Update

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has appointed Michael Scott Carlson '92L to the state's Court Martial Review Panel. Carlson currently serves as a deputy chief assistant district attorney with the Cobb County District Attorney's Office. More details at Middle Georgia CEO

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe appointed Evan Feinman '10L as the new executive director for the recently created Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, which changes the way the state distributes its money from the national tobacco settlement. Feinman previously served as deputy secretary of natural resources and as deputy policy director for the governor's post-election transition team. More details at the Lynchburg News Advance

Roanoke attorney John Fishwick '83L has been recommended as the region's next U.S. attorney by a panel formed by Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. The senators made the recommendation to President Obama following an interview process conducted by the panel, which included attorneys from across the state. More details at the Roanoke Times.

Cabell Youell '98L was named the "Influential Woman of the Year" by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. Youell was honored for her work as head of Saint Francis Service Dogs, a non-profit that pairs disabled children and adults with professionally trained service dogs. Youell got her start with the organization as a volunteer in 2002 when she helped launch a program that enlists state inmates in service dog training. More details at Virginia Lawyers Weekly.