ARE PATENTS GETTING IN THE WAY OF INNOVATION?
INSIDE Advocates for a sustainable world Juris master adds global health concentration Remembering Aaron Buchsbaum and Randolph Thrower
Honoring the giants among us
The power of Emory Law is its people — our alumni, our students, our faculty and staff, and our friends. We learn from each other, follow paths blazed by our predecessors, forge our own, and establish relationships that last far beyond the classroom.
Robert A. Schapiro, Dean and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, with Congressman John Lewis 14H at commencement.
In recent months, we have lost two greats — Aaron Buchsbaum 54L and Randolph Thrower 34C 36L. Their long, productive lives speak volumes about their professional and personal character. Their legacies of courage, social involvement, and dedication to legal education make us pause and think about who we are and who we want to be. I find that commencement is always a good time for such introspection, and this year was no exception. Even as we celebrated awarding 319 jd, sjd, jm, and llm degrees, we also recognized the exemplary service of Ben F. Johnson III 65C 14H and Congressman John Lewis 14H, both of whom received honorary doctor of laws degrees. Ben Johnson led the Emory Board of Trustees for 13 years, overseeing governance of the university, helping shape its leadership team, and ensuring Emory’s long-range financial health. Congressman Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights and securing civil liberties. What these giants, past and present, have in common is exceptional analytical ability and courage to act — traits that we cultivate at Emory Law. As a law school, our strength lies
not only in training great practicing attorneys, but also in challenging our students to examine issues in an ever-changing legal climate. In this issue of Emory Lawyer, you will read about alumni who are doing just that in the public and private sectors. They are influencing the changing trajectory of patent law in all three branches of government. As Associate Dean of Faculty Tim Holbrook notes, innovation affects every part of our lives — from our cell phones that keep us in touch, to designer drugs that stop once-fatal diseases, to cars that drive themselves. Tim has been on the forefront of watching how we protect innovation and how the patent system has evolved over recent years. Human progress can have unintended consequences, however. Protecting the environment is a topic that our students learn about firsthand through the Turner Environmental Law Clinic and that alumni argue from both sides of the issue. Indeed, in our article about law and the environment, one alum observes that on matters regarding the environment, lawyers often exert more influence than scientists. This issue of Emory Lawyer is dedicated to Aaron Buchsbaum and Randolph Thrower. We hope you are inspired by their lives and by what your fellow alumni are doing in their careers. As always, we encourage your comments and letters.
Emory Lawyer SUM M ER 2 01 4 ABOUT EMORY LAWYER Emory Lawyer is published semiannually by Emory University School of Law and is distributed free to alumni and friends.
All three branches of government
are scrutinizing our patent system in response to what many believe is a patent crisis.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE Robert B. Ahdieh, Vice Dean Susan Carini, Executive Director, Emory Creative Group Cecily Craighill, Director of Alumni Relations Tim Holbrook, Associate Dean of Faculty Joella Hricik, Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations DEAN Robert A. Schapiro ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Susan Clark
Advocates for a
Emory-trained environmental lawyers are flexing their legal muscles from riverbanks and forests to boardrooms and courtrooms.
EDITOR Marlene Goldman
PHOTOGRAPHY Lisa Ashmore, Ann Borden, Megan Cohen 14M 14PH, Phuc Dao, Corky Gallo, Tom Himelick, Kay Hinton, Caroline Joe, Stan Kaady, LeahAndMark Photography, Maria Luizzi, Robert Macaisa, Gary Meek, Bryan Meltz COVER ILLUSTRATION Harry Campbell Contact us: We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please send letters, news, story ideas, and class notes to Susan Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org. edu or Emory Law, 1301 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322. Send changes of address by mail to Office of Development and Alumni Records, Emory University, 1762 Clifton Road, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30322. Website: law.emory.edu
Juris master program adds global health specialty
CONTRIBUTORS Lisa Ashmore, Susan Carini, Susan Clark, Tim Holbrook, Thad Kodish 00L, Martha McKenzie, Michelle Valigursky, Christine Van Dusen, Mark Wasserman, Breckyn Wood DESIGN Winnie Hulme
getting in the way of innovation?
Mid-career professionals can pursue practical, in-depth understanding of legal issues that affect health programs and processes.
F A C U LT Y P R O F I L E
Martha Fineman marks 30 years of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project
Kodish 00L: A bonding experience Randolph Thrower 34C 36L: A meaningful and joyful life
Aaron Buchsbaum 54L: Every bit a freedom fighter
Saving lawyersâ€™ lives
Cultivating diversity Greg Riggs 79L returns to the private sector
Shonali Bhowmik 95L: Rock star lawyer Amy Sykes Dosik 99L: New CEO of Girl Scouts of Atlanta
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
ARE PATENTS GETTING IN THE WAY OF INNOVATION?
Executive, judicial, legislative branches try to untangle web BY MARTHA NOLAN MCKENZIE
We interact with technology every day, if not every hour. Our computers,
medicines, smart phones, cars, gps systems —we can forget how pervasive technology has become. Such innovation is an essential driver in the modern US economy, which means developing new products is crucial to maintaining our role as the world’s engine of scientific discovery. As President Obama noted in his 2014 State of the Union Address, technological innovation is “absolutely essential to our future.” Patents are thought to be an essential component to that system of innovation. But, what if patents are actually getting in the way, impeding innovation instead of facilitating it? Concerns with the patent system have led many to believe we are in a patent crisis. This issue has become so crucial that the smart phone wars and patent trolls have made the front pages of popular media. Indeed, all three branches of the federal government are currently scrutinizing our patent system. Whether this activity will end up fostering or curtailing innovation likely depends on your perspective — what’s good for a global pharmaceutical company may
not be good for a start-up dot-com. But one thing seems clear: the confusion created by the frenetic activity could put the brakes on innovation in the short term. “The fact that all three branches of government are engaged in extensive patent reform could end up being a good thing, but there is a cost,” says Tim Holbrook, associate dean of faculty and professor of law at Emory University School of Law. “It is creating a lot of uncertainty, and uncertainty could chill innovation.” Here’s a look at some of the recent activity in the three branches of government.
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Judiciary takes unprecedented interest
Sharon Israel 90B 90L says high court rulings on patentability could have a big impact on innovation.
Since 2000, the Supreme Court has developed a keen interest in patent and intellectual property issues, taking on 30 cases alone through the term that ended in June 2014. In its most recent session, the court heard six patent cases. “That number is unprecedented,” says Sharon Israel 90B 90L, president-elect of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (aipla) and a partner at Mayer Brown in Houston. To appreciate how unusual this is, consider that the Supreme Court generally takes cases for one of two reasons: either it is a huge constitutional issue of national importance or it is an issue about which the lower courts disagree. As to the former, patent cases infrequently raise constitutional issues. As to the latter, such splits usually are not relevant since all patent appeals are heard by one specialized appellate court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Lately, however, those judges often have been divided in their rulings, prompting the higher court to step in. While some Supreme Court cases relate to procedural issues, many deal with core, substantive patent law issues, including what types of things are eligible to be patented. For example, the court ruled that naturally occurring genes couldn’t be patented. In another case heard in late March it considered when software is patentable. “These types of rulings that deal with patentability could have
a big impact on innovation,” says Israel. Many fear a categorical exclusion of software would be detrimental to innovation. Others contend that patents on software often are fairly vague as to what they cover, leaving firms and people vulnerable to questionable accusations of infringement.
Executive targets trolls In February 2013, President Obama issued a “call to action” on patent reform and has since proposed initiatives for the US Patent and Trademark Office aimed at strengthening the patent system, fostering innovation, and combating so-called patent trolls. Also known as “patent assertion entities,” patent trolls are companies that don’t manufacture anything. Instead, they acquire patents in order to sue operating companies for infringing that patent and extract payments. Firms often settle to avoid the time and expense of going to court. “Trolls certainly impact innovation,” says Terri Durham 89L, senior vice president and general counsel for Activision Blizzard, maker of interactive entertainment software, including Call of Duty. “Dollars that could have been spent on research and development and innovation are being spent on trying or settling patent cases.” On the flip side, says Liza Vertinsky, associate professor of law, “the reforms might make things difficult for
TI:GER equips students to solve real IP issues is a second-year student focusing on intellectual property and patent law, and she’s already done a prior art search, written a patentability opinion, and helped file an overseas provisional patent application. She is enrolled in a unique program that Emory Law offers jointly with Georgia Institute of Technology. Dubbed TI:GER (Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results), the program brings together teams of Georgia Tech PhD candidates and business students (MBA) and Emory Law (JD) students who work together to solve real technology commercialization and intellectual property protection issues. The teams are formed around the research of the science and technology doctoral candidates. This research provides the technological basis for intellectual property protection, market identification and sizing, product design, valuation, and business planning activities. COURTNEY DABBIERE 15L
Courtney Dabbiere 15L, Jung Moo Lee 15L, and Laxminarayanan Krishnan collaborate in the laboratory at Georgia Tech where Krishnan is developing a product to help bone cancer patients.
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
more than just patent assertion entities, impacting other intermediaries that might be serving legitimate functions such as providing inventors with needed liquidity. We need to worry more about the unintended consequences that proposed reforms could have.” Among the White House initiatives to curb trolls, three have garnered the most attention. The first is an effort to make the ownership of patents more transparent. “A lot of patent trolls create these corporate shells, so you never really know who owns the patent,” says Holbrook. “Knowing the true owner can help combat abusive and frivolous assertions of patent infringement.” Another effort aims to make patents clearer. Indeed, many problems stem from patents that are vague or overly broad. The president has instructed the patent office to tighten the definiteness requirement and offer new training for examiners to make them more proficient in patent reviews. “Efforts to improve patent quality at the outset should help the whole system,” says Israel. “The better quality the patent, the harder it is to challenge.” Finally, the White House has allowed third-party participation in patent application reviews. “Patent examiners are overworked, so their ability to find all the information needed to determine if a patent is warranted is limited,” says Holbrook. “Allowing examiners to bring in additional help means they’ll have more information and be able to make a more informed decision.”
Students learn how to advance early-stage research into legally protected business opportunities. They also develop an appreciation of how potential market applications and intellectual property protection issues can influence research direction and priorities. Dabbiere’s team’s work centered on the development of a biomedical device to help counteract massive bone loss. “The current treatment for bone cancer patients has a lot of side effects,” says Dabbiere. “The PhD student is developing an implant that could both reduce the side effects and improve the effectiveness of the treatment.” Dabbiere and her team conducted a prior art search, looking for earlier patents and scientific articles to assess whether the invention is sufficiently new to warrant a patent. She also collaborated with the MBA students to research the invention’s marketability.
Legislative branch overhauls patent system The patent system got its biggest overhaul in more than 60 years with the 2011 America Invents Act (aia). Perhaps the most significant change in the aia was the shift from a “first-to-invent” to a “first-to-file” system. On the plus side, the move brings the US in line with the rest of the world, which has long used the first-to-file system. On the negative side, some argue that the new system will favor large corporations over the inventor working out of his basement because the latter might lack the necessary funds to file immediately. The new law also created new procedures to allow patent challenges within the US Patent and Trademark Office that hopefully will provide a less expensive alternative to litigation. “The newly created Patent Trial and Appeal Board deals with validity issues, not infringement issues,” says Israel. “It’s already become a very popular forum for challenging patents. While these proceedings provide a less expensive avenue to challenge the validity of patents, they hopefully will be carried out in a way that does not impact the decision and incentives to seek patents in the first instance. The Patent Office conducted public roundtables on these proceedings in April and May to improve their administration of these popular proceedings.” The long-term impact of the aia on innovation remains to be seen. “The new system just went into
“It has been an incredible experience to talk to an inventor and figure out what is at the core of his invention so I can do the searches, understand what I’m looking for, and write out claims to file a patent application,” says Dabbiere. “Instead of sitting in a class reading about it, I’m actually doing it.” Indeed, that is the intent of the program. “The law students in the TI:GER program just jump into the deep end of the pool,” says Anne Rector, director of TI:GER at Emory Law. “They are out there operating under the new America Invents Act, dealing hands-on with issues that determine if an invention is patentable or not. This program uniquely places our students in a position to come out of law school equipped to navigate the new patent landscape.” This year’s TI:GER teams faced the fierce world of business competitions with teeth bared. CheckDroid, a team including JD students
“There are so many unknowns in the America Invents Act that I call it the ‘America Invents Work for Patent Attorneys Act.’ ” —Tim Holbrook
Tyler Dutton 14L, Karan Jhurani 14L, and David Mashburn 14L, won state and regional business start-up competitions for its device that helps developers test and maintain quality assurance for Android apps. The team earned a trip to Silicon Valley to pitch its product to venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins, backer of companies such as Google and Amazon. Another team, LymphaTech, which included Robert Jones 14L and Jeff Adams 14L, invented a diagnostic tool to monitor and help prevent lymphedema, a painful and disfiguring disease that affects nearly half of all breast cancer survivors. The team competed against 42 other teams at the 2014 Rice [University] Business Plan Competition, the largest student start-up competition in the world. LymphaTech placed sixth overall, also winning Best Presentation and the Women’s Health Award for a total of $38,000 in prize money.
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A R E PAT E N T S G E T T I N G I N T H E W AY O F I N N O VAT I O N ?
effect in March 2013,” says Holbrook. “Given that it takes an average of about two years to get a patent out of the patent office, we have yet to see the first utility patent under the new system, let alone any litigation resulting from new patents. There are so many unknowns in the America Invents Act that I call it the ‘America Invents Work for Patent Attorneys Act.’ ” Even though the fallout from the aia is still uncertain, Congress has been criticized for not going far enough to curb patent trolls, and a dozen bills are pending in Congress that deal with some aspect of the patent troll issue. “To me, it’s overkill,” says Holbrook. “The patent system just needs to catch its breath.”
Tina W. McKeon 96L helps clients navigate the ﬁrst-to-ﬁle system.
Terri Durham 89L says uncertainty in patent law breeds inefﬁciencies.
The fallout Lawyers have their hands full staying abreast of patent issues. “I struggle to keep up, and it’s my job as an academic to do so,” says Holbrook. “I can’t imagine practitioners are actually able to keep up with everything that is going on.” Tina W. McKeon 96L, a partner with Kilpatrick Townsend, acknowledges the challenge. “We’ve had the first major changes in patent law in a long time, and we’re still trying to figure out what some of it means,” she says. “We certainly have to do things differently than we did a year ago in terms of identifying inventions to the patent office. And we have to educate clients as to why we are making different recommendations.
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“For example, with the adoption of the first-to-file system, clients might feel rushed to file before they have really fleshed out the idea,” she continues. “We have to help them navigate the change and explain that being first-to-file may not be good enough if you don’t have the full invention.” Activision Blizzard’s Durham is watching the Supreme Court’s decisions dealing with software patents intently. “For a company like ours, we’d like to see less activity around patents that should not have been issued in the first place,” she says. “We see that as a way to reduce frivolous lawsuits. And certainly a clear decision delineating what innovations are patentable and protected will help us make decisions. At this point, though, the court is largely divided. That means there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty, and uncertainty breeds inefficiencies.” In the face of such unpredictability, corporations could start looking toward trade secrets as a more attractive option to protect their innovations, according to Holbrook. But while that option would offer protection, it would come at a cost. “The patent system gets more information out into the public domain,” says Holbrook. “And that can foster further innovation.” To prepare law students to enter such a challenging and volatile environment, Emory offers ti:ger, an innovative, two-year program operated in partnership with Georgia Institute of Technology (see ti:ger sidebar on pages 4 and 5). In addition, the law school boasts robust course offerings with leading scholars in the field. The courses mix class work with experiential, hands-on learning. For example, students argue summary judgment hearings or so-called Markman hearings, where they debate the meaning of a patent’s terms. “We look at how you practice law in a time where there is a lot of uncertainty,” says Vertinsky. “We talk about ways you can hedge your IP strategy. We emphasize the need to think about economics and ways companies can use alternative transaction models. These are new areas for lawyers to think about, but they are critical in today’s environment.” And with all of the Supreme Court activity in patent law, Emory students have a unique opportunity to impact patent law through the Emory Law School Supreme Court Advocacy Project. Students have already worked on both merits and amicus briefs on cutting edge patent issues before the court, providing exceptional opportunities for appellate brief writing. “Our students are given a myriad of opportunities to explore both the theory and practice of patent law and related areas,” says Holbrook. “We give them the tools to be successful in an ever-changing area of the law.”
F A C U LT Y V O I C E S
Is the Supreme Court about to rule that software is ineligible for patent protection? BY TIM HOLBROOK
nyone with an iPhone loves how easy it is to use one. Zooming into their pictures by using their fingers, or tapping the screen twice to zoom in on a picture or page. At present, these tools are protected by patents. But things could change dramatically. On March 31, 2014, the Supreme Court [heard] the case Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, to determine when, if ever, computer software is eligible for patent protection. If the court decides that software is not eligible, the court will destroy numerous patents in the software field. Given the Supreme Court’s recent patent activity, it makes many wonder, no matter its intentions, is the Supreme Court actually hurting innovation by its judicial decisions in patent law? Something about patent law has grabbed the court’s attention. Since 2000, the Supreme Court has taken 30 patent-related cases (six in its October 2013 term alone). In contrast, the court has taken nine copyright and nine trademark/false advertising cases (two of each in its 2013 term). To some, the dominance of patent cases may not seem surprising, given the importance of technology and innovation in our current economy. But in fact, all of this activity is extremely odd. The United States has an expert “patent court,” the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, that hears every appeal from around the country in cases that arise under the country’s patent laws. Unlike [other] areas of the law, the Federal Circuit creates nationally uniform legal standards for patent law. One of the key reasons the Supreme Court will take a case is when lower courts disagree on a legal issue. But, with patent law’s single appellate court, no such splits arise. Yet, such a disproportionate number of patent cases suggests something is going on. The Supreme Court may fear that the Federal Circuit has developed a pro-patent
bias. The Supreme Court might think that patents have become too powerful, harming rather than helping innovation. But many believe the court’s activity itself is truly harming innovation by creating legal uncertainty. One area of particular concern is subject matter eligibility: what types of technology are eligible for patent protection. Since 2009, the Supreme Court has visited this three times and [addressed] that issue again this term. In 2010, the court found a method of hedging risk, a business method, was not eligible for patent protection because it was an abstract idea. Then, in 2012, the court concluded that a method of optimizing drug dosage was ineligible because it was a law of nature. Last year, the court found that patents covering natural occurring dna are not eligible. Significantly, the court did find that synthesized, complementary dna is eligible, the only time in these cases where the court concluded the technology should be patentable. Some view these decisions as problematic because they have withdrawn patent protection from certain areas. But the real problem is the opaqueness of these decisions. The Supreme Court has offered no clear rules, just vague generalities. Clarity in legal rules is important to innovation: companies and innovators must decide whether, and in what areas, they should invest their finite time and resources for research and development. Part of that decision making process is determining whether an invention is patentable. The Supreme Court’s decisions on eligible subject matter has made this area an unpredictable mess, making it difficult for companies to make these evaluations. Confirming this untoward state of affairs is the Federal Circuit’s decision in Alice. Trying to apply the Supreme Court’s precedent, the Federal Circuit was hopelessly divided, generating over 125 pages and a myriad of decisions with inconsistent reasoning. If the “expert” court can’t figure out what the Supreme Court decisions mean, it is virtually impossible for business persons, scientists, engineers, and other innovators to do so. This is not to say that the Supreme Court should stay away from patent law completely. And, to be fair, the Supreme Court is not always anti-patent. It has confirmed that invalidating a patent in litigation is difficult, requiring a heightened level of proof. The Supreme Court also made it easier for patent owners to prove patent infringement. But, in the area of patentable subject matter, the Supreme Court’s decisions have been a disaster, making it almost impossible to discern whether certain innovations, particularly as to software, are patentable. It is time for some clarity — innovation depends on it. EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
Tim Holbrook is associate dean of faculty at Emory Law. This article is reprinted in part with the permission of Forbes.com. The full version, published on March 16, 2014, can be accessed at Forbes.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: On June 19, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously decided Alice, ﬁnding all of the claims of the patent invalid. The court concluded that the claims merely covered an abstract idea and thus did not qualify as patentable subject matter. The court did not categorically eliminate patents on software, but did note that merely placing a process on a computer is insufﬁcient to qualify for a patent. Contrary to Professor Holbrook’s suggestion in Forbes, the Supreme Court yet again failed to provide any guidance as to what would be sufﬁcient to render softwarerelated inventions patent eligible. — Emory Lawyer staff
for a sustainable world B Y C H R I S T I N E VA N D U S E N
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By the light of the moon the
loggerhead sea turtle emerged from the ocean, then inched along the sand in search of the perfect spot. Eight-year-old Andrew Thompson was careful not to startle her with the beam of his flashlight as he and his family quietly followed her tracks to a nesting place near the dunes. That moment didn’t just inspire Thompson’s love of animals and nature. It also sparked his curiosity about how humankind affects the natural world and led him to study environmental law at Emory — a move that prepared him to make a difference on the local, regional, and national stages. “As an environmental lawyer, I can have real-world, positive impacts on protecting the environment while also having a stimulating career,” says Thompson 97L, who now works primarily on water-related issues as a partner in the environmental and land use practice at Smith, Gambrell & Russell. Thompson’s path to a career in environmental law is a common one — boy meets nature, falls in love, wants to protect it — but it is by no means the only way that Emory Law students and graduates are finding their way into the field. Some are attracted to environmental law because of its unique complexities. Others are capitalizing on the United States’ increasingly “green economy.” Others are interested in fighting for the rights of corporations and organizations that may get a bad rap. Emory’s environmental lawyers, equipped with a well-rounded legal education, are taking the lead not just along riverbanks, on beaches, or in forests. They’re also flexing their legal muscles in boardrooms, in courtrooms, and on campuses. And regardless of what side they’re on, they’re impacting the public interest, the private sector, and the government. “We all need air to breathe and water to drink,” says Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming 93L, chief of staff to the administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (epa). “We all come at it from different interests and priorities. The key is to find the areas where we have similarities and can coalesce around a workable solution. Emory Law definitely provides the necessary training and education to do that.” Environmental lawyer Andy Thompson 97L and his daughters Molly and Sally stroll along the banks of the Chattahoochee River.
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COURSE OFFERINGS Emory Law offers a wide variety of environmental law–related classes, including • Energy Law • Environmental Advocacy • Environmental Law • International Environmental Law • Land Use • Natural Resources Law • Water Law
A D V O C AT E S F O R A S U S TA I N A B L E W O R L D
Thompson sees impact of ‘before and after’
Jaber for the defense
That moment on the beach, with his flashlight beam carefully trained on the turtle’s mottled back, was one of many formative outdoor experiences for Thompson. “I grew up in a family where there was a lot of focus on nature, and I took a lot of environmental studies classes in college,” he says. “I went to law school because I wanted to practice environmental law.” While at Emory he participated in several externships, including positions with the epa and the nonprofit Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, while taking classes with professors like William Buzbee. “I think I gained an understanding of the fundamental legal concepts of environmental law as well as a very good appreciation for the practical aspects of what it’s like to be an environmental lawyer,” says Thompson, now a board member of Emory’s Turner Environmental Law Clinic and an adjunct professor who teaches a water law course. “I learned what it was like to practice law, not just study it. Students know they can come to Emory and not only take a lot of classes but also get real-world, hands-on experience.” Thompson’s current practice includes environmental and commercial litigation in state and federal court, representing and advising clients on everything from toxic tort litigation to Clean Water Act permitting and compliance. Although Thompson primarily represents corporate clients in environmental litigation, his law firm also supports his representation of nonprofit environmental organizations. And he’s able to see firsthand the difference he’s making. After winning a case for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, in which the organization sued a municipality for ruining a stream, the nonprofit sent him before and after photos (see above). The “before” photo depicted a mess of red clay, utter destruction. The “after” photo showed a beautiful, clean stream with green foliage sprouting up along its banks. “That hammers home the impact you can have as an environmental lawyer,” Thompson says.
But environmental law isn’t just for so-called nature lovers. Take the story of Makram Jaber 96L. His interest in this specialty is almost entirely academic — he loves an intellectual challenge — and he typically sits on the corporate side of the negotiating table. Though he started out working on environmental issues as a geotechnical engineer, Jaber was fascinated with the regulatory side of those matters, so he went to law school for the express purpose of practicing environmental law. In 1999 he joined Hunton & Williams, where he is now a partner working on environmental litigation, regulation, and counseling under the Clean Air Act. A majority of his time is spent defending electric utilities and other industries targeted in the epa’s New Source Review Enforcement Initiative since its start in 1999. He also has participated in a number of high-profile rulemakings and related litigation under the Clean Air Act. “I work for those industries that people think are the bad guys,” Jaber says. “But there are two sides to most every issue, and in a sense, our system is based on the idea that there are always two adversaries who are fighting each other to get to some great truth in the middle. I’m on the corporate side. No bleeding heart on this one.” Through participation in rulemakings under the Clean Air Act, litigating the Makram Jaber 96L champions the resulting final rules in corporate side of environmental law. the DC Circuit, and defending sources in major enforcement actions, Jaber believes that he and his colleagues have a positive impact on the development of environmental law in the US. Jaber sticks with environmental law because the cases are almost always complex, requiring him to rely on a host of knowledge areas — from constitutional and administrative law to real estate law. Environmental law—and in particular the administrative law aspects of environmental law — is fundamentally “about how the branches of government work with each other and which branch should decide what and when. I find that interesting,” he says. “It’s right out there, on the cutting edge of the law.”
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Chen says lawyers more inﬂuential than scientists On a daily basis, Linus Chen 08L might tap his knowledge of constitutional law for one case, his understanding of first-amendment law for another. Even property law comes in handy when he’s dealing with cases related to wildlife refuges. So he’s glad that he too received a thorough legal education from Emory. As attorney-advisor in the Solicitor’s Office of the US Department of the Interior, Chen now provides legal support for the Division of Parks and Wildlife’s Branch of Fish and Wildlife on matters related to the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the National Wildlife Refuge System. Chen didn’t set out to be an attorney. He initially wanted to be a veterinarian, but he was allergic to anything with fur. So he became a wildlife scientist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (fws). Linus Chen 08L was a wildlife In that job, he scientist before studying law. served as a litigation coordinator and saw up close the legal actions related to the Endangered Species Act, including a 60-day notice of intent to sue the fws that was filed by Emory’s Turner Environmental Law Clinic. “I saw how lawyers seem to have more influence than scientists,” he says. “I wanted to make a lot of change, so I appreciated that. I realized that maybe the best thing for me was to go to law school so that I could be at important meetings and hopefully steer decisions.” In one recent case, Chen helped secure protections for the polar bear. “Some people thought the polar bear was fine and shouldn’t be listed as a threatened species,” says Chen. “I helped with that litigation, and we won last year in the appellate court. “I get to exercise my mind in a different way,” says Chen, who hopes to eventually obtain a political appointee position. “I like the mix, the occasional excitement of litigation, and the feeling that I am helping prevent problems by resolving issues.”
How the little guys won high-stakes case WHEN A MULTI-BILLION-DOLLAR DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
threatened to cause environmental damage along the Lower West Side of Manhattan, grassroots organizers rose up to ﬁght the politicians, business leaders, and unions that supported the plan. A battle raged from 1971 to 1985, and in the end, the little guys — a group of citizens, environmentalists, lawyers, scientists, and other allies — won the ﬁght. This is the story that Emory professor of law William Buzbee tells in Fighting Westway: Environmental Law, Citizen Activism, and the Regulatory War that Transformed New York City (Cornell University Press, 2014). The book takes a hard look at the legal battle, going beyond the government documents and court rulings to shed light on the larger, universal issues: development versus environmental protection, citizens versus government, David versus Goliath. “The goal of the book is to recount, with rigor, the highest-stake environmental case of its time,” says Buzbee, director of the Emory Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program. Buzbee, who will join the law faculty at Georgetown University this fall, co-directs the Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance at Emory. He helped design and launch the Turner Environmental Law Clinic and chairs its advisory board. Buzbee also is a founding member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, a Washington, DC– based regulatory think tank.
Thurman wanted broad legal foundation Carter Thurman 12L is currently clerking for federal
administrative law judges at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and following his clerkship will experience the complexity of environmental law every day as a trial attorney in the US Department of Justice’s Honors Program — one of the toughest jobs to get within two years of law school. While initially studying at the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School, the largest environmental law program in the country, Thurman transferred to Emory because he wanted a program that could give him a solid background in all areas of the law, given that all would eventually come into play during his career as an environmental lawyer. “The curriculum at Vermont is almost exclusively focused on environmental law classes,” he says. “Emory Law is well-rounded and gives students a practical understanding of the law. It’s not uncommon to spend a morning in a class on complex civil litigation and then go next door to the Turner Environmental Law Clinic to work with licensed attorneys on all aspects of litigation.”
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Carter Thurman 12L will handle civil litigations in the Department of Justice.
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Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming 93L serves as chief of staff to the administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency.
A D V O C AT E S F O R A S U S TA I N A B L E W O R L D
This fall Thurman will begin working behind the scenes at the Department of Justice on environmental civil litigation, compelling parties to clean up hazardous waste sites, address air pollution, maintain the integrity of the nation’s drinking water, and protect national parks and marine sanctuaries. “I grew up with a family of public servants and saw the satisfaction they derived from public service. That’s the kind of satisfaction I’m getting,” he says. “The satisfaction also comes from being able to walk in on day one and be ready to answer questions, prepare memorandums with sufficient detail, and have the knowledge to be confident. Emory Law definitely provided me with the necessary training and education.”
“I saw how over time, things changed. We’d have to throw a fish back because it wasn’t safe to eat, or we couldn’t drink the water because it wasn’t clean,” she says. Now, as chief of staff to the epa administrator, she oversees more than 17,000 employees and works on cases related to climate change, nutrient pollution in waterways, mountaintop mining, the protection of the Everglades in Florida, and the cleanup of schools and playgrounds in Alabama. “I come at this as not just a lawyer, but as a mom. I work to make sure my kids are healthy and safe. That’s what drives me,” she says. “You have to bridge gaps and open conversations and bring new ideas to the table that can result in a solution that protects people.”
Keyes Fleming bridges gaps, opens conversations
Mahoney catalyzes economic growth, energy security
Service has always been of utmost importance to Keyes Fleming, whose father was a Tuskegee airman and whose mother was a registered nurse. “I think what drew me in is the impact you have on the community,” says Keyes Fleming. “It’s about environmental justice, community engagement, and empowerment.” She initially focused on litigation, becoming the first African American EXTERNSHIPS and first woman to serve Emory Law’s Externship Program places up to 150 as DeKalb County district students in more than 100 government agencies, public attorney and solicitor interest organizations, courts, and corporations in general. In 2010, she was the metropolitan area every semester. Many of those appointed by President externships focus on environmental law, including Obama as Region 4 • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta) administrator of • Chattahoochee Riverkeeper the epa— the first African • Department of Natural Resources American to hold that • Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 position as well. • Environmental Protection Division of Georgia Though Keyes Fleming • GE Energy Services wasn’t initially drawn • Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings to environmental law • GreenLaw because of her love of • The Home Depot the outdoors, she does • Office of the Attorney General of Georgia remember fishing with her • Southern Company father and drinking from • Southern Environmental Law Center • US Department of Health & Human Services a stream not far from her • US Department of Housing & Urban Development house in New Jersey — • US Federal Highway Administration special moments that were interrupted by pollution.
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Bridging gaps is on the daily to-do list of Mandy Mahoney 99OX 01C 06L in her current post as executive director for the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (seea), an independent and nonpartisan nonprofit that promotes energy efficiency as a catalyst for economic growth, workplace development, and energy security. “We work with elected and appointed officials in an 11-state region across the Southeast to help them develop new laws and Mandy Mahoney 99OX 01C 06L is policies that support a executive director of the Southeast more energy-efficient Energy Efficiency Alliance. economy,” she says. “I enjoy working with people on both sides of the aisle to find win-win solutions.” She brings together environmentalists, politicians, energy company bigwigs, and academics to develop long-term plans for states in the South. In 2013, for example, seea worked with Mississippi to help state leaders draft and comply with an energy code for its buildings — the first such code the state has ever had and the strongest in the region. “It’s a very complex, gnarly set of issues, where you’re trying to balance the consumption of natural resources on the global scale with things that we need day to day,” Mahoney says.
Turner Environmental Law Clinic: Students do real cases in real time pro bono legal representation since 1998 to individuals, community groups, and nonprofit organizations around the country that are fighting to protect the environment. This unique clinic gives Emory Law students the chance to practice environmental law on real cases in real time. “Some of the most cutting-edge environmental issues of our time are being addressed right here,” says Mindy Goldstein, director. “Students can get out there and get their hands dirty, practicing complex environmental law.” In this “live client clinic,” students take part in all aspects of civil litigation, including drafting briefs, participating in client meetings, and developing case strategy. They also present arguments at administrative hearings and prepare transactional documents while working on legislative policy issues at the local, state, and national levels. In recent years, the clinic has • Successfully challenged decisions regarding the safety and environmental risks posed by nuclear power generation and the resultant nuclear waste. • Helped promote sustainable agriculture by assisting the City of Atlanta in amending its zoning ordinances to permit farmers markets and urban agriculture. • Prepared comments that convinced the Food and Drug Administration to withdraw and reissue its proposed regulations governing the growing and harvesting of produce. • Encouraged transparency in government decision making by successfully challenging the Department of Energy’s decision to withhold information regarding its nuclear loan guarantee program. THE TURNER ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CLINIC HAS PROVIDED
Before assuming her current post, Mahoney served as senior project manager for the groundbreaking BeltLine Partnership, which is turning a former rail corridor in Atlanta into a system of trails and parks. She also has consulted with Sustainable Atlanta and served as Atlanta’s director of sustainability under Mayors Shirley Franklin and Kasim Reed. Notice that her resume does not include any jobs with the word “attorney” in the description. She doesn’t practice law, but she credits her legal education from Emory with preparing her to understand the complicated issues that crop up every day on the job. “I’m able to enter the conversation at a much more sophisticated level,” she says. “I find it gratifying to get outside the typical noise and negativity that you hear about so often in politics.”
• H elped protect water resources and encourage conservation by filing comments on a power plant’s draft permit to withdraw millions of gallons of water a day from the Savannah River. • Partnered with local watershed protection organizations in monitoring new reservoir proposals in Georgia. • Answered questions for environmental organizations regarding conservation easements. • Partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to report to Congress the ways the National Environmental Policy Act has protected human health and the environment. • Identified legal barriers to distributed solar generation in Georgia.
And — like Thompson, Keyes Fleming, Chen, Jaber, and Thurman — Mahoney believes an education and a career related to environmental law can bring about amazing social change. “I think the work we do is making the world a better place,” she says. “I’m inspired by the incredible work of our alumni,” adds Mindy Goldstein, director of Emory’s Turner Environmental Law Clinic. “The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program provides students knowledge and skills that are applicable across many practice settings, as evidenced by our alumni, who work in prominent law firms, state and federal agencies, and public interest organizations across the country. As I work with our students, I have great hope for the future of environmental protection.”
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Mindy Goldstein and Turner Clinic students Jolie Schamber 16L and Kari Reed 16L (above) are working with Georgia Organics and the Atlanta Local Food Initiative to amend Atlanta’s zoning code to allow urban and market gardens.
JUST THE FACTS The new juris master (JM) global health concentration offers five tracks of study: research, sustainable development, organizational administration, health care delivery, and policy. Students can customize their degree to learn about the specific areas that will help their career most. After two foundational courses, students may take four recommended core curriculum courses and elective courses, all taught by faculty experts in their fields.
Juris master program adds global health specialty BY MARLENE GOLDMAN
To what country does a Kenyan national —with an Indian heritage, holding a Canadian passport, living in the US on an h-1b visa (which allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations) — pay taxes? Sandra Smith, who supervises and coordinates Emory’s global maternal nutrition and child health projects, needed an answer. She was recruiting a research coordinator to work in India when she was told that her ideal candidate would be difficult to hire because of tax implications. Smith was not deterred. She worked closely with Emory’s legal counsel to solve the riddle — a rewarding process that not only found the answer (taxes payable to the US) but also confirmed her interest in resolving legal issues and establishing precedents. The experience was one of many work-related puzzles that prompted Smith to seek a juris master (jm) in global health at Emory Law. The global health concentration
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joins 11 other tracks now available to mid-level professionals who want a working knowledge of the laws that govern their specialty. Emory Law offers the new concentration through a partnership with the Emory Global Health Institute (eghi) and draws upon the university’s strengths in multidisciplinary research, as well as health, legal, and medical education. “With growing regulation, intensifying risk and liability concerns, and increasingly complex decision environments, today’s global health professionals will benefit from a grounding in the law,” says Robert Schapiro, dean and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law. “The global health concentration is designed for a range of professionals — from physicians and clinicians, to researchers and administrators who regulate the industry.” Developed in consultation with eghi, care, The Carter Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc), and several Emory schools and
organizations, the new specialty is intended to provide practical, in-depth understanding of legal issues that affect health programs and processes such as contracts, international negotiations, human resource management, intellectual property, human rights, import/export regulations, public health policy, and international law and treaties. Emory Law offers the only jm in global health in the country, according to Lynn Labuda 09B, director of graduate programs. It’s also unique in that global health jm students are eligible to participate in eghi’s summer field scholar program, which sends multidisciplinary teams of students to countries around the world to address particular problems. “Our experience shows that it is extremely helpful to have someone on the team with a legal background,” says Roseanne Waters, eghi administrator. This past year field teams tackled such diverse topics as policy perceptions and implementation of hpv interventions in São Paulo, Brazil; sex worker advocacy in Capetown, South Africa; and medical education in Ethiopia. “Knowledge of the law and global health are naturally complementary,” says Sir George Alleyne, chair emeritus of the Emory Global Health Institute’s Advisory Board. “Solutions to many global health problems can come only through understanding and applying some basic tenets of law.” Smith agrees. She helps oversee budgetary requirements of the maternal nutrition grants and assists with the administration of project coordinators who supervise field workers across the globe from Central America to Vietnam. “Understanding law and contracts will help me recruit the best and brightest,” she says. “Our department has so many people coming — Sir George Alleyne in with different visas and international backgrounds that don’t quite fit the mold. The jm program will help me get through the red tape and know the options.” Her class in negotiations has helped her navigate her own job. Legal analysis and writing for non-lawyers “has helped me think like a lawyer and look at situations from different perspectives. I’ve learned to question everything and that everything isn’t black or white,” she says. “And to top it all, the professors are phenomenal and so supportive.” The structure of the program integrates well with Smith’s schedule. She has been able to continue working full time while taking courses — some are offered in the evening or on Saturdays. As a part-time student, she expects to complete the program in two or three years.
While Emory Law’s jm program, first established in 2012, continues to evolve and expand with demand, its premise remains constant: Typical jm students are already established in their careers and seeking to become more knowledgeable and conversant on the legal principles that influence their fields. Early cohorts in the program have represented a range of fields such as business, environment, finance, health care, human resources, journalism, nonprofit, public health, and research. One unintended benefit, says Labuda, is that jm students attend some of the same classes as juris doctor (jd) candidates. “The typical jd is in his or her early to mid 20s while the jm students are usually mid-career professionals who bring all their great work experience into the classroom and provide whole new dimensions to discussions.” Inger Baker 99PH 05PH 14L, for example, has a clinical background as a medical technologist and a strong background in public health — including stints in public health emergency preparedness at the cdc during the 2010 influenza pandemic and the Haiti earthquake. In the private sector, she sold biotechnology and pharmaceutical equipment and reagents to both researchers and clinicians. In every job, “the law and health care were intertwined,” says Baker, who has dealt with issues ranging from contracts to patents to patient confidentiality. As a full-time student, she completed the coursework in one year and is seeking a quality-based, regulatory or compliance job. “Whether it’s in the public or private sector, I
Sandra Smith says a working knowledge of the law will help her do her job.
Inger Baker 99PH 05PH 14L completed the master’s coursework in one year.
“Knowledge of the law and global health are naturally complementary.”
know my jm will apply. I’m a stronger candidate for a job now and will be a stronger employee, because the health care industry is rapidly changing.” For Smith—who did hire that perfect candidate for the maternal nutrition and child health project in India — the juris master coursework has whetted her appetite to learn more. While the jm will not qualify her to practice law, she knows it will help in her career. Her negotiations professor, in fact, has encouraged her to continue her studies past the juris master to earn a jd. Says Smith, “Maybe I will.” Learn more about Emory Law’s juris master program at law.emory.edu/jm
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F A C U LT Y P R O F I L E
Guests applaud Martha Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, during a celebration dinner held on April 25, 2014, honoring the 30th anniversary of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project.
Martha Albertson Fineman
Marking 30 years of pioneering feminist issues and the law
hen Martha Albertson Fineman founded the Feminism and Legal Theory (flt) Project in 1984, feminism’s most visible goal was equality — equal rights, equal pay, and equal access to workplace opportunities.
While there has been undeniable progress for women in many areas of law since then, some areas, such as reproductive rights and their relationship to pay equity, are still at issue. Formal equality isn’t always the solution, says Fineman, now Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory. Sometimes it is the problem. Her work on law and the search for gender equity led Fineman early in her career to question the feminist embrace of equality. While formal equality (the kind the law delivers) is appropriate when the question is equal 16
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pay for equal work or one person, one vote, it cannot address all situations. “For example, when you’re considering what is just and equitable at divorce, equal division of the burdens and benefits existing at that time will result in considerable inequities, because it does not take into account inequalities that existed across the life of the marriage, many of which will also affect future opportunities,” she says. “Three kinds of inequalities should be taken into account when deciding property division, post-divorce
F A C U LT Y P R O F I L E
support, and custody: inequalities in the labor market, inequalities in the bargaining power between spouses relating to earning power that make the primary wage earners’ interests paramount in family decisions, and inequalities in the burdens associated with being the primary caretaker of children both in and after marriage. In fact, formal equality actually delivers an injustice to the person who made the greater career and personal sacrifices during the marriage for the benefit of both spouses and the children.”
A safe place Fineman, who today is internationally recognized as an authority on family law and feminism, started flt while at the University of Wisconsin to provide “a safe place to develop feminist legal theory.” It was a brand new area in law and legal studies and not all law schools were receptive to feminist scholars. Since then, flt has fostered interdisciplinary examinations of the ways in which the interaction of law and culture shapes expectations, policies, and practices related to gender. The project has traveled with her over the years from Wisconsin to Columbia University to Cornell. In 2004, Fineman brought flt to Emory, where it is thriving. The project produced the first anthology of feminist legal theory, At the Boundaries of Law, in 1990. It has published an additional 13 volumes since then and been instrumental in the development of hundreds of journal articles by scholars who have participated in flt workshops held around the world since 1985, examining such issues as sex, reproduction, the family, labor, and employment. flt also hosts “Uncomfortable Conversations,” which focus on productive dialogues between advocates whose goals may create tensions. The first conversation was between advocates for women and advocates for children and concerned issues surrounding divorce, child custody and support, and abuse and neglect. In addition, the flt project hosts visiting scholars from around the world with current visitors in residence from India, China, Chile, and the United States. Many of the scholarly pieces on feminist legal theory by Fineman are now being translated into Chinese and Spanish. Earlier work has appeared in Korean and Japanese.
Vulnerability as a universal constant An outgrowth of Fineman’s concern with gender issues relating to age, race, class, ability, and sexuality is the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative (vhc), which she founded in 2008. This initiative brings
together diverse perspectives and disciplines to advance a social justice framework rooted in the universality of human vulnerability and the need for a responsive state. “Vulnerability should be recognized as the primal human condition. As embodied beings we are constantly susceptible to harm, whether caused by disease and physical decline or natural or manufactured disasters,” Fineman explains. She concedes that vulnerability may be most evident during times of dependency, when we are infants, ill, aged, or disabled, but argues that it is continuously present throughout life. Recognizing vulnerability has political and policy implications. “If we look at American society, we see a long and growing list of material and social inequalities; we have no guarantee of basic social goods such as food, housing, and health care, and we have a network of dominant economic and political systems that not only tolerate, but justify grossly unequal distributions of wealth, power, and opportunity,” Fineman wrote in a 2008 article for the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. Fineman recently used vulnerability theory to challenge the chair of Harvard’s economics department in a Guardian op-ed. Greg Mankiw claimed that childbearing was a choice not unlike the decision to purchase a luxury car, and thus maternity coverage shouldn’t be included in the Affordable Care Act. Fineman responded that the social good of children benefits more than the individual family and thus triggers the state’s responsibility. This responsibility, she says, “takes us well beyond mere maternity benefits, into the argument for social welfare policies benefiting child producers or caretakers and the children they ‘produce.’ It makes it mandatory that society, including the market, share the costs and burdens associated with not only bearing, but also caring for the next generation.”
Fineman has published 14 books since 1990, most recently: • Transcending the Boundaries of Law • Vulnerability • Exploring Masculinities • Feminist Perspectives on Transitional Justice
Historic process for progressive change With principles of autonomy, self-sufficiency, and the restrained state still firmly entrenched in American discourse, Fineman reflects that there is still a lot to do. For example, the legal research database company HeinOnline is creating an online repository of the project’s work and papers. The vhc is also garnering increasing international attention, with scholars coming from across the world to learn more about this emerging paradigm. Fineman takes the long view on that progress, hopeful that she is “part of an historic process that will result in progressive change.”
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
FROM THE ALUMNI BOARD PRESIDENT
The Emory Law network— a bonding experience Since my days as a chemical engineering student before attending Emory Law, I have always had a fondness for the periodic table of elements — that incredible tabulation of our planet’s components, that for so many of us was left in the rearview mirror after high school. Though admittedly a stretch, please humor my using it as a metaphor for the Emory Law alumni network. Thad Kodish 00L is managing partner at Fish & Richardson and president of the Emory Law Alumni Board.
The beauty of the periodic table runs deep. At first blush, it’s a bare listing of elemental abbreviations and banal data concerning molecular weights. But as you dig in, the vastness of its utility unfolds — in particular, the relative propensities and strengths for bonding among the elements. It is the chemist’s tool to “network” among his or her raw materials, with the hope of creating something useful, meaningful, and enduring. I have developed a similar appreciation for my Emory Law network. My fellow classmates entered as Group 18 inert gases, but our natural affinities soon conditioned us for bonding relationships that have endured. My standout elements include Bernie Zidar 98L as carbon, providing ubiquitous professional guidance and friendship; Larry Nodine 75C 78L and Nick Setty 87C 92L as key mentors and catalysts for professional development; and family law attorney Jonathan Rotenberg 91C 00L, bringing friendship and wisdom that has enriched throughout — perhaps a strained uranium reference fits. Of course, I have yielded to the forces of greatest attraction with my wife, Elisa Kodish 99L. As our atomic numbers increase, so many of you, like me, have enjoyed playing a part in the reaction sequences for students and young alums, including my colleague and friend Erin Patrick Alper 09L, and others soon joining us at Fish & Richardson. The Law School places great importance on developing its alumni network and is working to help strengthen and expand it. Emory Law needs and values every one of your contributions to our 10,000-member alumni
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community. If the passage of time since graduation has you feeling disconnected, the Law School wants to welcome you — an elemental building block of that network — back into our periodic table, as we collaborate to accomplish something useful, meaningful, and enduring. Thank you for your role in Emory Law’s continued success.
Turman Award recipient says service to Emory ‘most rewarding’
of a liberal arts education than legal training,” says Chilton Davis Varner 76L, the 2014 J. Pollard Turman Alumni Service Award recipient. “Each case is different and you end up, in some ways, being a great generalist, even if you are a trial lawyer by trade.” Far more than a generalist, Varner became King & Spalding’s first female litigation partner in 1983 and was the first woman elected to the firm’s management committee
“THERE IS NO BETTER EXTENSION
Kenneth Murrah 55C 58L and his wife, Ann Hicks Murrah, received the 2013 John O. Blackburn Distinguished Service Award from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a partner at Murrah, Doyle & Wigle in Winter Park, Fla.
Ben Shapiro 64C 67L was recognized as a Champion of Justice by the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) for his work as co-founder. GLSP helps Georgians who cannot afford to hire private counsel in the small towns and rural areas of the state. Shapiro is senior counsel at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz in Atlanta.
Richard Hubert 60L is a 2014 “Best Lawyer in America” in Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law practice. He is an attorney at Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry’s Atlanta ofﬁces.
in 1995. She is the senior partner in the firm’s product liability practice and has represented companies such as ExxonMobil, Nissan, American Airlines, 3M, UPS, and Merck. The emerita trustee served on Emory’s Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2013. She is a past president of the Emory Law Alumni Association, has been recognized as an Emory Law Distinguished Alumna, and in 2012 was the inaugural recipient of Emory Law’s Eléonore Raoul Greene Trailblazer Award. Varner also has served two terms on the Advisory Committee on Federal Civil Rules (which governs civil practice in all federal trial courts), and in March 2012, Benchmark named Varner Georgia Litigator of the Year and cited King & Spalding’s product liability practice as the best in the 14-state region. She has been selected for the short list of leading women lawyers by the National Law Journal, Benchmark, Law360, Chambers, the American Lawyer,
M. Jerome Elmore 76L published an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution entitled “Supreme Court and the Limits of Access.” In it, Elmore discusses implications and effects of the court’s recent restrictions on class action suits.
Kathy L. Portnoy 78L is a 2014 Super Lawyer, says Super Lawyers magazine. She is a partner at the Atlanta-based family law ﬁrm of Warner, Bates, McGough, McGinnis & Portnoy. 1 Real Estate Forum magazine listed Louise Wells 74C 78L as a 2013 Woman of Inﬂuence. She was the ﬁrst female attorney, partner, and managing partner at Morris, Manning & Martin, where she still practices.
US News & World Reportt Best Lawyers, the International Who’s Who in Product Liability, and LMG Life Sciences. “Emory has been very good to me,” she says. “The law school gave me a great education at a time when there weren’t that many married women entering the field of law. I loved the competitive part of trial law. I loved the fact that writing and speaking were so important in that particular arm of the law.” Established in 1998, the Turman Alumni Service Award is one of the highest honors of the Emory Alumni Association and is named after J. Pollard Turman 34C 35L 73H whose support of higher education and cultural organizations benefited institutions throughout Georgia. The Tull Charitable Foundation (which Turman helped form) annually pledges $25,000 to Emory in honor of the Turman Award recipient. As the 2014 recipient, Varner has designated her gift to benefit Emory Law. — Michelle Valigursky (Reprinted in part with permission from Emory Magazine)
Charles L. Rufﬁn 80L recently completed his term as 51st president of the State Bar of Georgia. In June, Patrise PerkinsHooker 84B 84L became the ﬁrst African American to lead the organization. Daniel Haslam 81L is vice president for Walkabout International. He manages the organization’s new East Coast operations from Cape Cod, Mass. Chambers USA named Bruce Sostek 81L a Leader in Their Field in its 2014 legal directory. He is co-chair of Thompson & Knight’s Intellectual Property Section and primarily practices patent law.
Lori Kilberg 80L is president-elect of the Commercial Real Estate Women Network. She is a partner at Hartman Simons.
Rahaim & Saints, a Delaware law ﬁrm co-founded by Sheldon Saints 82L, recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary.
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YOU DID WHAT? Send your updates to communications@ law.emory.edu. Class notes are submitted by alumni and are not veriﬁed by the editor. Read more about Emory Law alumni at law. emory.edu/alumni.
William R. Moseley 83L is chief of staff for the Jacksonville, Fla., Transportation Authority. Moseley formerly served as chairman of the board of directors for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
2 Keith J. Shapiro 83L received the American Jewish Committee’s 2013 Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award. He is vice president and chair of the Chicago office of Greenberg Traurig. Stephen R. Klorfein 78C 84L has been elected president of the Atlanta Tax Forum. He is a partner in the law firm of Chaiken Klorfein in Atlanta.
William Matthew Dolan 85L married Jean Bryson Seegert Buettner last November. Dolan is a partner and general counsel in the Providence, R.I., office of the Boston law firm Brown Rudnick. James A. Scharf 86L, an assistant US attorney, was recognized as Adult Advocate of the Year by the Constitutional Rights Foundation for 20 years of volunteering with the Santa Clara County high school mock trial program. Last year he coached the Willow Glen High School mock trial team to its victory at the Santa Clara County, Calif., High School Championship. 3 Diane E. Bessen 79C 87L, judge of the State Court of Fulton County, received the Atlanta Bar Association Professionalism Award for years of service to the organization as co-editor of Atlanta Lawyer magazine. The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association awarded her its 2014 Champion of Justice Award for declaring unconstitutional caps on noneconomic damages, as passed by the Georgia Legislature as part of the 2005 tort reform. Bessen recently completed her sixth year as an Emory Law adjunct professor. She teaches advanced civil trial practice and medical malpractice. 4 Richard K. Hellerman 87L is a Super Lawyer for Business Litigation in Illinois for 2014. He has also opened his own
law practice, concentrating on commercial litigation. Harlan Robins 88L is the new practice department manager for Detroit-based firm Dickinson Wright’s real estate, environmental, energy, and sustainability practices. He works out of the firm’s Columbus, Ohio, office.
5 Steve Rosenberg 90L has been named the assistant city manager of Staunton, Va. Previously, he was associate general counsel with the University of Virginia. 6 Willie Lovett Jr. 91L was appointed to serve as a Fulton County Juvenile Court judge by the county’s Superior Court judges. He is the former director of the Fulton County Office of the Child Attorney. Georgia governor Nathan Deal has appointed Ashley Willcott 92L as director of the state Office of the Child Advocate. She also runs her own private practice. 7 Donald Chenevert Jr. 93L is manager of legal services for the newly expanded Reman, Components & Work Tools Division of Caterpillar. He coordinates and delivers legal services to the division’s more than 10,000 workers at 45-plus facilities on four continents.
8 Julie Fleming 93L has released a new book, Legal Rainmaking Myths: What You Think You Know About Business Development Could Kill Your Practice. She is principal of Atlanta-based Lex Innova Consulting. Stuart Poppel 94L recently formed the firm Poppel Law, based in Jenkintown, Pa., where he represents developers in affordable housing, tax credit, and mixed-use developments. Jonathan Vogel 95L has joined Bank of America as associate
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
general counsel and senior vice president within the litigation and regulatory inquiries division. He is based in the company’s Charlotte, N.C., offices. Andrew Cash 97L and David Krugler 97L celebrated the tenth anniversary of their firm, Cash, Krugler & Fredericks of Atlanta, in September. Cash and Krugler met on their first day at Emory Law. Daphne Walker 97L, a former prosecutor and magistrate judge, has been named president and CEO of the Partnership Against Domestic Violence, a nonprofit based in Atlanta. Amy Heffernan Bray 98L has been granted membership in the College of Community Association Lawyers. She is a partner with Andersen, Tate & Carr in Duluth, Ga., and focuses on both commercial and residential real estate matters. Ada Brown 99L has been named justice for the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas by Gov. Rick Perry. Amy Edgy Ferber 99L was named one of the top 40 attorneys under 40 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. She is a partner with Jones Day’s Atlanta office and practices primarily in bankruptcy and business restructuring and reorganization. Laura Wilson Speed-Dalton 96C 99L was named one of the top 40 attorneys under 40 in Georgia and was selected to the Class of 2013 On the Rise Lawyers by the Daily Report. She is a solo practitioner plaintiff’s attorney who specializes in carefully vetted medical malpractice lawsuits at The Speed Firm.
Thad Kodish 00L was named one of the top 40 attorneys under 40 in Georgia and was selected to the Class of 2013 On the Rise Lawyers by the Daily Report. He is managing principal at Fish & Richardson.
Traci A. Weiss 00L has been named a 2014 Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine. She is an attorney at the Atlanta-based family law firm of Warner, Bates, McGough, McGinnis & Portnoy. Ryan Katz 01L is now a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. He is a member of the firm’s tax practice and works with clients on a variety of domestic and international corporate transactions. Danny Kraft Jr. 01L was on a three-member team of attorneys who earned their clients a $190 million verdict for exposure to asbestos. The verdict is the largest consolidated asbestos verdict in New York City history. Kraft is an associate with Weitz & Luxenberg. Angela Slate Rawls 01L was awarded the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association Community Service Award and the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum Alumni of the Year Award for her work as executive director of the Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program. Amy Siegel 01L has been named partner at Kelley Kronenberg in West Palm Beach, Fla. Jeffrey William Davis 02L was selected to the Class of 2013 On the Rise Lawyers by the Daily Report. He is the assistant US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. Jeremy Berry 97C 03L was named one of the top 40 attorneys under 40 in Georgia and was selected to the Class of 2013 On the Rise Lawyers by the Daily Report. Berry is an associate with McKenna Long & Aldridge, where many of his clients are elected officials and politicians (or aspirants). Jonathan S. Feldman 04L is co-chair of the Dade County Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Law Committee. He is an associate in the Miami offices of Meland Russin & Budwick and specializes in bankruptcy and commercial litigation.
Joni Thrower-Grundy 04L is diversity director at Miller Canﬁeld, where she oversees the development and maintenance of a multicultural workforce and a culture of inclusion. She also is senior attorney in the Financial Institutions and Transactions Group in the ﬁrm’s Detroit ofﬁce. Jonathan Judkowitz 05L was named partner at Mayer Brown in Houston. He specializes in ﬁnance transactions involving companies in the oil and gas and other energy-related industries. Bharath Parthasarathy 05L was named one of the top 40 attorneys under 40 in Georgia by the Daily Report and by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He is associate general counsel for Georgia State University. Stefanie Warren 00C 05L was reappointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, where she has served since 2013. She is an attorney at McKenna Long & Aldridge.
Jessica Macari 06L and her husband, Ariel, welcomed their second child, Eli, on July 19, 2013. He joins his two-year-old sister, Layla. The family lives in Raleigh, N.C.
Timothy Rybacki 06L is one of 16 attorneys named shareholder at Littler Mendelson, an international labor and employment ﬁrm with more than 1,000 lawyers in 60 ofﬁces.
Melody Moezzi 06 MPH 06L published an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Lawyers of Sound Mind.” In the article, Moezzi argues the unethical and unfair practice of denying bar admission to people with mental illness.
11 Daniel Schuman 99C 06L has been named by FedScoop as one of the 25 most inﬂuential people under 40 in the government and tech ﬁelds.
9 Kurt Kastorf 02C 06L has been named counsel at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the appellate and Supreme Court and government and regulatory litigation practice groups. 10 Eileen Hintz Rumfelt 06L has joined Miller & Martin in the Atlanta ofﬁce. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including whitecollar crime and corporate investigations and intellectual property matters.
I was saddened and disturbed by the implication throughout the Chicks article [Emory Chicks Still Flocking Together, Fall 2013] that women who take time from their legal careers for family are “damaging the image of women lawyers.” Unlike these ladies, I took a few years’ leave when my children were young. It was an agonizing decision, but it turned out to be the right thing for me and my family. I don’t believe that women (or men) who take career breaks for family or personal reasons are doing a disservice to the profession. Neither do I believe that women who don’t take a kid break are bad mothers. I understand the Chicks’ balancing act, and I applaud them. Let’s support women (and men) in all of their myriad career choices. — Kathie McClure 79l LET US HEAR FROM YOU. Emory Lawyer welcomes your letters on topics related to Emory Law. Published letters may be edited for style, clarity, and length. Send your comments to email@example.com.
Virginia Weber 06L and Steven Weber 06L announced the birth of their daughter Mia Rose on Aug. 3, 2013, in Miami Beach, Fla. Neal Weinrich 06L was promoted to principal at Berman Fink Van Horn. He practices in the ﬁrm’s Atlanta ofﬁce in the area of commercial and business litigation, specializing in cases involving unfair competition. Janine Carson 07L married Stephanie Iacobucci on July 26, 2013. Carson is an attorney with the Fulton County Ofﬁce of the Public Defender. Kelly Frey 09L has been named a 2013 Massachusetts Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers magazine. He is an associate at Mintz Levin in Boston. Shannan Rahman 09L is a primary placement consultant for The Partner’s Group, which was named by the Fulton County Daily Report as the Gold Level Best Legal Stafﬁng and Recruiting ﬁrm in Atlanta. Rahman focuses on attorney placement, stafﬁng, and document review.
she focuses on commercial litigation. Atul Jain 12L joined Faegre Baker Daniels’ ofﬁces in Minneapolis as a member of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act beneﬁts and executive compensation group. Wade Johnson III 12L has joined Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman as an associate. His work primarily involves commercial foreclosures, title insurance claims, and contract disputes for both individual and corporate clients. Jeffrey D. Slanker 12L coauthored the article “Social Media, At-Will Employment, and Internal Investigations: The EverExpanding Reach of the National Labor Relations Board to Union and Non-Union Workplaces” for Trial Advocate Quarterly.
Dan Shulak 04C 10L and Amanda Burns 10L were married Sept. 1, 2013. They live in New York City where Burns is a securities litigation associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and Shulak is an antitrust associate at Hogan Lovells. Ivie Guobadia 12L has joined Stagg, Terenzi, Confusione & Wabnik as an associate, where
Marissa Amuial 13L has joined Miami-based litigation ﬁrm Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine as an associate, where she will focus on commercial litigation. Bethanie Barnes 13L has joined Fisher and Phillips’ Irvine, Calif., ofﬁces following her work as a summer associate in the ﬁrm’s Atlanta ofﬁce.
Lindsay Stewart 13L has joined Nelson Mullins as an associate. She practices commercial litigation in the ﬁrm’s Charleston, S.C., ofﬁces.
IN MEMORIAM Randolph W. Thrower 34C 36L passed away on March 12, 2014, in Atlanta.
Bertram A. Yaffe 41C 43L passed away on August 12, 2013, in Fall River, Mass. Aaron L. Buchsbaum 54L passed away on April 12, 2014, in Savannah, Ga. Judge John Woodward Sognier 94L passed away on September 6, 2013, in Savannah, Ga.
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
RANDOLPH THROWER, 1913 – 2014
A meaningful and joyful life
The author, Mark Wasserman 86L, is managing partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan and a member of the Emory Law Advisory Board.
uch has been written about Randolph William Thrower 34C 36L since his death in March at the age of 100. Randolph was a truly great man who had a significant influence on many institutions and people, including me. More important, he and his wife, Margaret, had a 70-year marriage that resulted in 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren. When I was asked to write something about Randolph for Emory Lawyer, answering yes was easy. The hard part was deciding what to say in limited words about a wonderful man who more than anyone I have known epitomized a life well and purposefully lived. It would take a book to do justice to his varied accomplishments, contributions, and honors. Many Emory people are aware of the highlights, including a storied career at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, which he joined in 1936. He went on to become one of the country’s leading tax law experts, chaired the American Bar Association Tax Section, and served as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service under President Nixon. He famously stood up to President Nixon and refused to use the powers of the irs to punish Nixon’s political enemies. He was awarded the aba Medal, the aba’s highest honor, in 1993. He led the Atlanta Board of Ethics for many years and chaired numerous groups involved with increasing the opportunities for women and diverse lawyers in our profession. He was a champion of Atlanta Legal Aid, chairing its board and presiding over its very first capital campaign. These accomplishments by themselves would have been more than enough to make any life memorable. If “all” Randolph had done was to make his many contributions to our firm and the profession, it would have been an amazing life. His work changed the lives of a great many people. But Randolph’s legacy is so very much more than the benefits of the varied work he performed over his career.
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B Y M A R K WA S S E R M A N 8 6 L
For me, Randolph’s legacy is not his contributions to the profession, our firm, and the nation, but the manner in which he made those many contributions and how he lived his life. Randolph had a sense of duty, a sense of right and wrong, and a moral and ethical balance that drove everything he did. It was never enough to simply perform work for a client — Randolph always insisted that you worked on a problem until the work was the very best it could be or until you ran out of time. He believed that clients deserved that level of service on every single matter. My first assignment at Sutherland 25 years ago was working with Randolph. I will never forget the kind way in which he reviewed my work while I nervously sat in front of him. After reading my memo, he would calmly ask me question after question. “Had we thought of this; had we looked at that?” Without ever saying so directly or coming across as critical, he would talk about the case and my memo in a way that made it very clear to me that I had much more work to do before we would be finished.
“Randolph had a sense of duty, a sense of right and wrong, and a moral and ethical balance that drove everything he did.” I also had the good fortune to work with Randolph on a project that is not often mentioned. He was very active with and eventually chaired the board of the Georgia Wilderness Institute, an organization devoted to providing troubled youth with a positive alternative to incarceration in a juvenile detention center. What stays with me is that Randolph — who was already in his 70s at the time — approached that group and cause in the same way he approached a client matter. Excellence in every pursuit was required, and he was completely devoted to the students and the staff. Yes, Randolph led a life that is hard to summarize in a few words. Maybe the easiest way is this: If I were instructing my sons on how to live a meaningful and joyful life, I would point to Randolph Thrower as the very best example.
A LIFETIME OF SERVICE: HIGHLIGHTS
1960s • As commissioner of the US Internal Revenue Service, oversaw tax policy overhauls, including revoking tax-exempt status of private schools that discriminated on the basis of race
1930s • Launched an almost 70-year career as a tax attorney and public servant, including a long partnership at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in Atlanta and Washington, DC; represented deathrow inmates in Georgia, most of them black, during the Jim Crow era • Began 60 years of volunteerism with Atlanta Legal Aid 1940s • Served in the FBI and Marines 1950s • President of the Atlanta Bar Association • Ran for Congress as a Republican against arch-segregationist James C. Davis, in favor of a two-party system and against the county unit system
• Helped draft the 1969 Tax Reform Act that eliminated some loopholes for the rich • Received the Emory Medal 1970s • Said no to White House directives to hire G. Gordon Liddy as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives • Fired by President Richard Nixon when Thrower refused to use the IRS to punish White House enemies through tax audits • Served as co-counsel (pro bono) on the Atlanta Police Department promotional exam cheating scandal that resulted in the ﬁring of the public safety commissioner • Began 21 years of service as an Emory Trustee
1980s • Headed the ABA Tax Section, the Atlanta Ethics Committee, the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association, and Atlanta Legal Aid’s inaugural campaign • Thrower family created the Randolph W. Thrower Symposium as part of an endowed lecture series hosted by Emory Law and the Emory Law Journal
• Served on the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession
ABOUT THE PHOTOS While Randolph Thrower’s zest for life is hard to capture in a few words, a few photos shared by his family add volumes.
1990s • Received the Leadership Award of the Atlanta Bar Association and the Segal-Tweed Founders Award of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
• On the previous page, he and his wife, Margaret Munroe Thrower, enjoyed a dance in 2008. • Thrower was almost 56 in this portrait taken in 1969. • In 2008, at age 95, he was honored at the Thrower Symposium, part of an endowed lecture series sponsored by his family and hosted by the Emory Law Journal and Emory Law. He is shown with Professor (then dean) David F. Partlett, daughter Margaret Thrower MacCary, and his wife, Margaret Munroe Thrower.
• Received the ABA Medal for contributions to the legal profession 2000s • Celebrated his 100th birthday in September 2013
• At age 83, Thrower stood atop the Continental Divide in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Montana — a high point, literally, of a 10-day horseback and camping trip in 1996 with his family.
• Died March 2014 at his home in Atlanta
• Founded the ABA’s Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
AARON BUCHSBAUM, 1931– 2014
Every bit a freedom fighter “Are we so unsure of our way of life that we cannot have dissent in word and print? We should not only tolerate but welcome dissent in America. Our nation was born of dissent.” — Aaron Buchsbaum, in a 1970 speech, reacting to attempts by Savannah authorities to ban distribution of an underground newspaper
Thanks to the generosity of Esther and Aaron Buchsbaum, a recent Emory Law graduate will be selected every other year to work as a fellow at Georgia Legal Services.
s he completed a 2001 interview, Aaron Buchsbaum 54L was asked the inevitable
legacy question. The tape could have rolled on. Instead, he chose a humble shorthand, inviting readers to know him by the three plaques on his office wall: the Freedom Award (1991) from the naacp, the Martin Luther King Jr. Award from the Equal Opportunity Authority (1991), and the Robert E. Robinson Award (1995) from the Savannah Bar Association for his commitment to civil and human rights. Deliberately absent from the wall were items that other lawyers might not resist trumpeting: Buchsbaum’s admission to practice before the US Supreme Court, 24
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
BY SUSAN CARINI 04G
diplomas from Tulane University and Emory Law, and a host of other recognitions. With his death from Alzheimer’s on April 12, 2014, the tape did roll on, and the long versions of his life sprang into view, a life inextricable from the city in which he lived — his beloved Savannah. When Buchsbaum — who was honored with Emory Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011 — finished his degree at Emory, he described the practice of law as akin to “walking to the edge of the dock, where you jump in and start to swim.” And for Buchsbaum, very early on, the deliberate choice was to do so against the current. Following military service, he came back to a city on the brink of sweeping social change. Asked to describe the Savannah of the early 1960s, he refused to sugarcoat, saying, “How about two words? Jim Crow.” Though still wet behind the ears, the young lawyer began a frontal assault on racism and discrimination that never ended. For example, Buchsbaum challenged legal practices used to jail civil rights demonstrators. In fact, one teenager arrested at a Tybee Island sit-in is Savannah’s current mayor, Edna Jackson. Buchsbaum took the case of white freedom rider Rick Tuttle, who came to the city in 1963 to help register black voters. “I was a pretty unpopular fellow in Savannah when Aaron took my case,” Tuttle says. “It could have gone very badly for someone trying to build a practice, support a young family, pay a mortgage. That’s called courage.” Buchsbaum’s most far-reaching case changed how jury pools were chosen. At the time, blacks were some 40 percent of eligible jurors, yet only 7 percent served because jurors had to own property. As Buchsbaum’s obituary in the Savannah Morning News notes, “A ruling on his appeal of a death penalty case forced the state to expand jury pools from property owners to all registered voters, allowing more blacks into the system and effectively desegregating the state’s juries.” In 1963 Buchsbaum served on a biracial committee organized by the mayor and local business leaders to negotiate an end to segregated public facilities — a year before Congress acted. Although Buchsbaum took pride in the relative peacefulness with which his city integrated, one can still hear the shock in his voice as an older man when he said, “I can’t imagine not allowing people to go to the beach or to drink from a water fountain because of their race. I lived through it, but it’s hard to imagine.” In that light, he
Buchsbaum Fund supports Georgia Legal Services fellows of his life, his family sought ways to honor the institutions that had meant so much to him — organizations that range from public radio to the symphony to the Savannah Bar Association to the United Jewish Appeal. Ultimately, though, the family settled on an idea that had originated with Aaron Buchsbaum: to create a partnership between Emory Law and Georgia Legal Services (GLS). As Executive Director Phyllis Holmen notes, “The ties between GLS and Emory Law already were rich, in that we recruit from Emory and work with faculty a great deal.” Indeed, Buchsbaum previously had funded internships for Emory Law students at GLS. With the establishment of the Aaron L. Buchsbaum Fellowship Fund, based on a gift of $650,000 from Buchsbaum and his wife, Esther, a recent Emory Law graduate will be chosen every other year to receive funding to work as a fellow at GLS for a year, perhaps with a placement in Savannah. A “baby lawyer” when she met Buchsbaum, Holmen learned a lot from him about determination and risk taking. “He gravitated to us,” she says, “because the bar was hostile to us; we were representing people who never had lawyers. Then, there wasn’t the seriousness about access to justice for all. Aaron had that seriousness, and by sheer force of will he carried others along.” Holmen confesses to goosebumps thinking about the impact that the fellowship will have. In her words, “The story of the personal and professional risks Aaron took for justice is so important for young
AS AARON BUCHSBAUM NEARED THE END
never worried about the toll on him — losing clients or risking personal safety. His son, Herbert Buchsbaum 81C, recalls the unfailing civility with which his father approached his clients, “always calling them ‘sir’ at a time when he probably would have been alone in doing that.” Buchsbaum’s daughter Susan accompanied him as a child when he visited clients who lived with extended family in a tiny shack fronted by a dirt yard. “The simultaneous warmth and deference he showed while discussing the case and getting his clients’ signatures were no different than had they been paying clients,” Susan notes. He resigned from the Savannah Bar Association in 1980 because the group held functions in venues that barred black membership. Jews were not excluded, but one hears echoes of Dr. King in his rationale for resigning: “Bigotry or discrimination practiced against any minority is as abhorrent to me as if I were the victim.” Though his methods were generally direct, Buchsbaum was not above a little sneakiness. For instance, in 1965 he desegregated the Savannah Bar Association by proposing Gene Gadsden, president of the naacp Legal Defense Fund, for membership. Buchsbaum organized behind
lawyers to hear. What a challenge his life should be to others. It could not be more important than to honor the rule of law such that everyone has access to justice and equal treatment under the law. I know of no more consistent a practitioner of that principle than Aaron Buchsbaum.” For Emory Law Dean Robert A. Schapiro, pride in an alumnus such as Buchsbaum runs deep. Notes Schapiro, “Aaron Buchsbaum understood that his skills were invaluable to an underrepresented populace at a turbulent time in American, and especially Southern, political life. He followed — even when it was inconvenient or perhaps downright dangerous — the moral imperative to serve the cause of social justice.” Schapiro continues, “I expect that Aaron was inspired by the caliber of leadership at his alma mater. He would have been watching closely as then Dean Ben F. Johnson Jr. 36C 40L 05H successfully represented the school along with Henry Bowden Sr. 32C 34L — chair of the Board of Trustees — in challenging a state law in 1962 that would have denied Emory tax-exempt status if it admitted African Americans.” As he reflects on the generosity of Aaron and Esther Buchsbaum, the dean is thankful for Buchsbaum’s insight in deepening the ties between Emory Law and GLS. “For our graduates who will be lucky enough to serve GLS, they will derive — as Aaron did — enormous satisfaction from improving the lives of individuals while always being aware of opportunities to change a policy or law for the benefit of many.”
the scenes to ensure that those who would have opposed Gadsden’s candidacy wouldn’t be in attendance when the vote was taken. Buchsbaum worked 40 years for the Economic Opportunity Authority (eoa) of Savannah-Chatham County, a nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals and families “achieve economically stable, thriving, and productive lives.” In 2011 the eoa named its Head Start building for him. By then, many circles were being joined for Buchsbaum. One of the speakers at the dedication was Mayor Otis Johnson, whom Buchsbaum met in 1963 when Johnson was preparing to become the first black student at Armstrong College and whom Buchsbaum supported in campaigns thereafter. Just as he did in the civil rights cases, Buchsbaum worked countless hours pro bono to establish and expand organizations to represent the poor. In 1966 he became president of the Legal Aid Society of Savannah and later joined the board of its successor, Georgia Legal Services (gls). As its president, from 1976 to 1981, he oversaw a broad expansion of the program to include representation of migrant farmworkers and legislative (continued on page 26) EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
“Dad was a man of strong principles, damn the consequences.” — Herbert Buchsbaum, Senior International Editor, New York Times
Saving lawyers’ lives
Emory Law is one of 18 law schools taking part in a national pilot program to survey law students about their wellbeing.
hen Robin Frazer Clark 88L became president of the State Bar of Georgia in 2012, one of her first official acts was to attend the funeral of a past president who had committed suicide. Clark described the man as a “positive and upbeat person,” someone whom everyone enjoyed being around. After three more Georgia lawyers killed themselves in her first few months as president, Clark realized that this problem had become an epidemic, and she decided to take action. With the help of her team, she started “How to Save a Life” to provide positive support and coping strategies to lawyers, whose demanding and stressful careers often lead to substance abuse and severe depression. The suicide awareness campaign includes free confidential counseling sessions, educational videos, and continuing legal education. “We want to get rid of the stigma of depression and mental illness,” said Clark. As part of that initiative, Clark presented at Emory Law this spring for “Uncommon Counsel,” a program created by the Dave Nee Foundation (daveneefoundation.com) and hosted by Emory Law. Designed to help lawyers and law students improve resilience and manage stress, the program was presented in association with the State Bar and its Young Lawyers division.
BY BRECKYN WOOD
Clark opened the discussion with some alarming statistics. “Suicide is the third leading cause of death among lawyers, behind old age and heart disease,” she said. “And lawyers are six times more likely to kill themselves than any other profession.” The two top traits that make lawyers and law students so good at their jobs are also to blame for their overwhelming stress —namely, perfectionism and pessimism. “Lawyers are Teflon for praise and Velcro for criticism,” as Emory psychologist Dana Wyner 00G 04G put it. The program included advice from health care professionals, counselors, and practicing lawyers on stress management, maintaining physical and emotional wellbeing, and recognizing the symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts. Taking good care of yourself first is the best way to prepare you to help others, program director Katherine Bender explained. That includes getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and cutting back on sugar and caffeine, which can increase anxiety and mood swings. Bob Rubin 82C 86L and Jesica Eames 00L offered their advice on handling these issues from the perspective of practicing attorneys. “Watch your transitions,” Eames advised the audience. “When you leave the work environment and carry your lawyer traits, aggressiveness
Buchsbaum, continued from page 25
As president of Georgia Legal Services, Aaron Buchsbaum oversaw expansion of representation of the poor, including migrant farmworkers.
advocacy and doubled the number of offices statewide to more than 20. For many lawyers of the time in private practice, the gls was unwelcome, and the hostility to it was formidable. As the current executive director of gls, Phyllis Holmen, reflects, “Our representation of farmworkers was especially unpopular. Yet these clients were suffering because they truly had nothing and were not being paid properly for the hard work they had done.” Apart from Buchsbaum’s formal financial support, he would call Holmen and say, “I just dropped you a check for $500. Buy the workers toothbrushes or whatever they need most.” Says Holmen, “His was a level of sensitivity you rarely see.” Buchsbaum watched as even institutions he respected stumbled. It reminded him of the need to follow his own compass. For instance, later in his life he resigned 26
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
from the naacp after that organization embraced Louis Farrakhan. As he explained, “Just as I resigned from the Savannah Bar Association in 1980 because of its tolerance of bigotry, I now sadly resign from the naacp for exactly the same reason.” Nobody got a pass. Herbert Buchsbaum recalls, “Dad was a man of strong principles, damn the consequences. Those principles were more important to him than popularity or financial success. My sisters and I have some of that in us,” he says, then adds, laughing, “for better or worse.” As a result, Aaron Buchsbaum simply would not be satisfied with a world holding out a sign that read, in his words, “welcome, almost everybody.” If the label that formerly characterized his community was “Jim Crow,” the two words that better described his hometown at the end of a long life of activism were “welcome, everybody.”
and competitiveness, into your homes in the evening, it can really create a lot of stress at the personal level.” Katherine Brokaw, assistant dean for student affairs at Emory Law, said her team is eager to get this message out and to provide assistance to students. “If you need someone to talk to, please come to us,” she said. “My door is always open.” Emory Law also uses an interactive screening tool provided by the Emory Cares 4 U Program and is one of 18 law schools taking part in a national pilot program to survey law students about their well-being.
“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among lawyers, behind old age and heart disease.” — Robin Frazer Clark 88L
Uncommon Counsel also has been presented at the law schools of Yale, Duke, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, and Fordham, and is supported by major national law firms including Davis Polk; Latham & Watkins; Weil Gotshal; Ropes and Gray; Anderson Kill & Olick; Greenberg Traurig; Katten Muchin Rosenman; Cadwalader; and O’Melveny & Myers.
Cultivating diversity Teri Plummer McClure 88L, chief legal, communications, and compliance ofﬁcer at UPS, led a panel discussion on diversity in the workplace at Emory Law’s Diversity Speaker Series, a new annual event presented in partnership with Major, Lindsey & Africa. Panelists included C. Robert Henrikson 72L, retired MetLife president and CEO; Teresa Wynn Roseborough, executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary at The Home Depot; and Thomas L. Sager, senior vice president and general counsel at DuPont Legal. Discussion ranged from cultivating a corporate culture that supports diversity to building a talented pipeline of diverse professionals. The event was sponsored by Alston & Bird; Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton; Schiff Hardin; Sutherland Asbill & Brennan; and Taylor English Duma.
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
Greg Riggs returns to private sector, honored by fellow alumnus David Gibbs Fund established in his name will support work of the Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy BY SUSAN CLARK
as an associate dean at Emory Law since 2008 and overseen student services, professional development, and external relations during his tenure at Emory Law, has returned to the private sector as a principal with Novateur Partners, an executive coaching, training, and consulting firm. With Riggs’ vision and leadership, Emory Law founded the Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy (Career Center) in 2011, offering a fresh approach to helping students transition into practice. Riggs understood that for most students, law school constitutes the first three years of their legal career, the beginning of their professional journey. He expanded the traditional career service model to include a broader focus on helping students create individualized GREG RIGGS 79L, WHO HAS SERVED
J. David Gibbs 79L has established a fund to help students transition into practice.
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
professional development plans. He also deepened student connection to the profession by spearheading the creation of 23 practice societies that roughly mirror legal practice areas. These student-led groups bring together students, faculty, alumni, and other practicing attorneys with common interests in everything from antitrust to sports and entertainment to torts and insurance. Emory Law’s Practice Society program and Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy has become a model for law schools nationwide. To honor Riggs’ contribution to the school, alumnus and friend J. David Gibbs 79L and his wife, Kaye LaFollette, have generously established the Gregory L. Riggs 79l Fund for Professional Development. This endowed fund will support the work of the Career
Center, perpetuate Riggs’ name and legacy at Emory Law, and stand as a philanthropic example for generations of students, alumni, faculty, and staff. David Gibbs is the ceo and chairman of E|SPACES Inc, owner of Alacrity Services, and principal at the West Bridge Group. He and Riggs met at Emory Law as firstyear students and have stayed close friends in the more than 30 years since their graduation. “Greg’s friendship was an anchor for me during law school, and we have remained close ever since. His tremendous intellect and generous spirit inspired me to reach for the best in myself. Greg is always looking for ways to make things better for others, and he consistently meets the highest standard of excellence in everything he does,” says Gibbs. “The Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy is a real differentiator for Emory Law, and we hope this gift will honor Greg’s vision and assist students to establish strategic relationships in the legal profession for many years to come.”
“The Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy is a real differentiator for Emory Law, and we hope this gift will honor Greg’s vision and assist students to establish strategic relationships in the legal profession for many years to come.”
Heroes in the public interest WHEN SUE MCAVOY RETIRES later this summer, the legacy of her 20-year career will be its immense impact on the public interest community in Atlanta and throughout the country. Eighteen years ago, with the help of a student board, she started the EPIC (Emory Public Interest Committee) Inspiration Awards, which celebrate lawyers who do extraordinary work and which raise funds each year to underwrite summer public interest jobs for up to 50 law students. McAvoy, who is director and public interest advisor for Emory Law’s Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy, has worked tirelessly to help students find public interest positions, organized career fairs in Atlanta and New York, and is an active member in the National Association for Law Placement. McAvoy recently received Emory’s Award of Distinction, which recognizes Emory employees who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to their jobs. She was honored along with other recipients at a dinner hosted by President James Wagner. This year’s EPIC award winners, flanked by EPIC President Ashley O’Neal 14L and Dean Robert Schapiro, are (from left) Rachel Epps Spears for her founding of the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, Anne Emanuel 75L for her lifetime commitment to public service, and Stan Jones for his involvement in the mental health movement in Georgia. Mark your calendar: Next year’s Inspirations Awards will be held Tuesday, February 3, 2015.
— J. David Gibbs 79L
Prior to joining Emory Law in 2008, Riggs was senior vice president–general counsel and chief corporate affairs officer for Delta Air Lines, a position that capped a 26-year career with the company. Along with his Emory Law degree, he holds a bachelor’s degree in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in law from Oxford University in England. An involved member of the Atlanta community, Riggs has served on volunteer boards for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Delta Air Lines Foundation, the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, and Emory Law. Riggs is a trustee of the Aviation Accreditation Board International, and he has chaired the corporate counsel section of the State Bar of Georgia and the law department management committee of the American Corporate Counsel Association’s Atlanta chapter. EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
Rock star lawyer BY MARLENE GOLDMAN
“There’s nothing better than being passionate about what you do and making the best of your life.” — Shonali Bhowmik 95L, musician, writer, actress, comedian, director, and lawyer
honali Bhowmik 95L never intended to be a rock
star. She dreamed of it, but so did every other kid growing up in Nashville, Tenn. “Academics were always a priority in my family,” says the daughter of university professors who emigrated from India when she was four. In Nashville, she was surrounded by the music industry — all her friends had guitars, keyboards, and amps, and there was even a recording studio at her best friend’s house. Bhowmik started writing songs at age 10, then learned guitar in junior high. “I had no idea that music would become such a big part of my life — it was just something I loved. I was going to be a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer because that’s what was expected of me as the daughter of firstgeneration immigrants.” After graduating from Vanderbilt with a math major and business minor, she took time off before graduate school. “I remember working in restaurants with so many folks who couldn’t afford legal help. I saw the injustices and wanted to help people who had less than I did.” She decided that investment banking wasn’t for her and that she had more of the soul of a public servant. Maybe even a musician. Bhowmik’s love of music followed her to Emory Law. “When I got to Atlanta, I loved the diversity, the music scene, and the big city vibes,” she remembers. “I knew then that I really did want to do music on the stage.” At first her indie rock-and-roll band, Ultrababyfat, formed with longtime friend Michelle Dubois, played mostly law school parties, all with the enthusiastic support of Dean Howard “Woody” Hunter, who, Bhowmik says, “was pretty hip.” In 1993 she got her big break during open mic night at the Dark Horse Tavern in Virginia Highlands. The fans and critics embraced her sound and helped launch a musical career that has resulted in five full-length 30
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albums; a recently released solo album, 100 Oaks; and many cross-country tours. She eventually signed with Velvel Records, a New York City label, whose founder Walter Yetnikoff (the former head of Columbia/cbs and Sony Records), also had signed the likes of the Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, the Clash, and Michael Jackson. Her legal background has made many of her artistic pursuits possible, says Bhowmik. She has done contract work for the past seven years at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, where she’s compared notes with other creative attorneys — musicians, comedians, and artists. “Use your law degree to your advantage and consider alternative paths,” she advises lawyers who are interested in the arts. Working through the temp agency Update Legal, she’s taken on other assignments as well, much of it focusing on entertainment law, document review, and litigation. She’s also worked for herself, her band, and other artists, often pro bono, helping with licensing agreements, contracts, and publishing deals. Comedy is the multi-talented Bhowmik’s latest passion, which has blossomed since her current band, Tigers and Monkeys, toured with comedian David Cross and collaborated with him on a comedy show in New York. Since then she’s crossed paths with comedian/ actor Zach Galifianakis and Saturday Night Live regular Amy Poehler, and has worked with multiple television networks, including ifc, Adult Swim, and Comedy Central. She hosts the live TV show Variety shac and started a web series called Shayla Hates Celebrities. Her short film Sardines Out of a Can was featured at this year’s Chattanooga Film Festival and was nominated for best short at the Madrid International Film Festival. Now she’s writing a screenplay. “Having a law degree gives me the courage and strength to do things that might seem scary otherwise,” she says. “I have a skill set that will always help me. I started my own record label, Little Lamb Recordings, and my own production company, and set up an llc.” Besides her legal skills, Bhowmik says one of the best things she got from law school was a lifelong Emory family. Literally. Her brother-in-law, Francis Grab 95L, was a close friend whom she introduced to her sister Ruchi Bhowmik, former deputy cabinet secretary in the Obama White House. Grab is now a partner in Ernst & Young’s tax division. “My parents have been very supportive of my choices,” says Bhowmik, adding with a laugh, “It helps having a sister who made it to the White House. “What makes me tick is my need for connection to the world. I feel like my music, the arts, and pro bono work connect me with people at all levels. That keeps me going.”
Amy Sykes Dosik
MAKING THE WORLD BIGGER
atie Couric, Taylor Swift, Gloria Steinem, Martha Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Sandra Day O’Connor. Like these successful women, 59 million women are Girl Scout alumnae. “We focus on issues young girls face today and help them to develop the skills and competencies they need as adults,” says Amy Sykes Dosik 99L, newly appointed ceo of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta and former Girl Scout. With a renewed focus on leadership development, civic responsibility, education, and friendship, the Girl Scouts engage young minds with possibilities and change with the times. “We’re more relevant,” Dosik says. “As a national organization, we advocate for positive changes in public policy and legislation that will ultimately provide more leadership opportunities for young women.” In the Atlanta metro area, girls in grades k-12 meet with legislators on issues important to the scouts; attend an annual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Expo; participate in a mentoring program matching older Girl Scouts and female business executives; and even explore future career options.
Girl Scouts has changed to become more relevant to issues girls face today. “Girls need to see what other women are achieving,” Dosik explains. For example, “They have shadowed young female engineers at Lockheed Martin and participated in business pitch ‘Shark Tank’ workshops with Deloitte. By working with adult mentors, they’re gaining real-world perspective that inspires them to think critically and succeed.” Today’s Girl Scouts promote health and wellness, financial literacy, and environmental awareness, as well as traditional skills development workshops and outdoor adventures. “For at-risk girls, we often become the anchor in their lives,” Dosik says. “For girls who hail from socio-economically challenged environments, scouting is made possible through financial assistance. We want Girl Scouts to be a place that embraces all the
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girls in our community. Our goal is to double the financial assistance we offer by 2020.” Beyond troop activities, leadership development takes top priority. “While a majority of girls want to be leaders, many girls face challenges including poverty, mental health issues, and a lack of positive role models that prevent them from making a successful transition to adulthood,” says Dosik. “For these girls, Girl Scouting can make a world of difference. More than 93 percent of girls tell us that Girl Scouting helped them discover their personal strengths and talents and allowed them to do things they would not get to do otherwise.” This past year, 113 outstanding young women in greater Atlanta received the Scout Gold Award for projects such as Charishma Chinoy’s documentary, “Breaking Barriers,” about refugees in Clarkston and Jennifer Hite’s “Mr. and Miss Special Gwinnett County Pageant” for raising social awareness of individuals with special needs. In addition, the Girl Scout cookie program is the single largest girl-led financial literacy effort in the country. “Each girl learns critical skills including goal setting, decision making, business ethics, money management, and customer service that will help her later in life. They learn to work together while deciding how to spend the portion of the proceeds designated to their troop.” Looking forward, Dosik hopes to expand the corporate and community partnerships of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, which now serves 46,000 girls and 18,000 adults. “Our girls need positive role models from all professions and walks of life. By collaborating with well-respected public and private companies and institutions of higher learning like Emory, we’ll continue to widen horizons.” Dosik leads Girl Scouts of Atlanta after having served the business, legal, and tax needs of the nonprofit community for more than 20 years. Most recently she was a principal with Ernst & Young. She is thrilled to have the chance to wear her Girl Scout pin again. “Growing up, I was fortunate to have a lot of adults who helped make my world bigger by exposing me to new challenges, new experiences, and new places. The longer girls stay in scouting, the more their worlds open up. It’s truly exciting to participate in their journey.”
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Amy Sykes Dosik 99L is CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.
Reprinted in part with permission from EmoryWire.
“As you now go forward in your lives, your vocations, your professions, may the gifts you have been given be a blessing to each and every person you encounter.“ — Frank Alexander, 2014 Outstanding Professor
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“This is an Emory lawyer — someone to be respected and from whom I should expect great things.” — Thad Kodish 00L, President, Emory Law Alumni Association
EMORY LAWYER SUMMER 2014
EACH YEAR EMORY LAW works to attract the strongest possible student body, building a diverse community of legal scholars who bring new ideas to complex questions about the law. Latham Law Scholar Josh Combs 15L is one of those students. An ambassador for the Office of Admission and a member of the Mock Trial Society and the Black Law Students Association, Combs credits scholarship support with his ability to study at Emory. You can invest in Emoryâ€™s best law students with your annual gift today. Visit emory.edu/give.
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HIGHLIG HTS: t Emory Law Alumni Awards reception and ceremony recognizing the 2014 Young Alumni, Eléonore Raoul Greene Trailblazer, Alumni Service, and Distinguished Alumni award recipients t Family-friendly Southern BBQ lunch and entertainment on Bacardi Plaza t 5th–50th class reunion parties t Emory University Homecoming parade and concert