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John P. Sheridan Jr. ’67, the CEO of Cooper University Health System, died on Sept. 28 at the age of 72. Sheridan had spent almost 40 years in government service, law and healthcare before joining Cooper in 2005. He served as Deputy Attorney General, assistant counsel to Gov. William Cahill, general counsel to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, and counsel to the New Jersey Senate majority. He also held positions in Gov. Thomas Kean’s cabinet as transportation commissioner and chairman of the NJ Transit board.  

John C. “Jack” Giordano Jr. ’55, founder of Giordano & Giordano which ultimately became Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C., died on Sept. 11. He was 84 years old. During his career, he represented major commercial and residential real estate developers throughout New Jersey. Giordano was active in the political process; he ran for the State Assembly, was an adviser to Gov. Robert Meyner, and an election campaign adviser and chief strategist to Gov. James Florio.    

Anne Barbara Adams ’83 died on Aug. 16 at the age of 58. She lived in Ithaca, NY.

Hon. Morris “Mickey” Stern ’65
, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of New Jersey, died on Feb. 12. He was 71 years old. Read more here.

Harry J. Coleman ’48
died on Feb. 7 at the age of 91. He maintained a practice in Millburn for 30 years, primarily focused on estate work, until his retirement in 2011.

Dr. Robert De Nigris McCormick ’12
died on Jan. 3 at the age of 65. He had his own practice in psychotherapy and also directed the Center for Child Advocacy, which he founded, at Montclair State University.


Alumni Achievements

Ellen Relkin ’84 has been named to the plaintiffs’ steering committee created by judicial order to facilitate lawsuits against the makers of the the anticoagulant drug Xarelto. Relkin is of counsel with Weitz & Luxenberg P.C.

Ralph Delouis ’09 has joined Morritt Hock & Hamroff LLP as an associate in its commercial litigation practice area.

Jennifer Velez ’96 is stepping down as New Jersey Commissioner of Human Services to become senior vice president of strategy and planning at Barnabas Health. Velez is the longest-serving commisioner of the department, which is the largest in state government. 

Day Pitney LLP has promoted J. Andres Mayor ’05 to partner. He focuses his practice on complex commerical litigation in state and federal court across various types of matters. 

Mark A. Angelson ’75 has been inducted into the Rutgers Board of Governors for a term that runs through 2020.

Aaron T. Ford ’05 has retired as special agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark Division to lead PSE&G’s in-house investigations as head of its business assurance and resilience department.

Joanne Zakartha Bruno ’87 has been appointed provost and vice president of academic affairs at East Stroudsburg University. She had been vice president of academic initiatives and services at New Jersey City University.

Ryan J. Cooper ’06 has joined Pashman Stein, P.C., as counsel and will head the firm’s new Privacy and Information Governance Practice Group. He had been litigation counsel at Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

Bantrel, a leading provider of engineering, procurement and construction projects in Canada, has appointed Raymond Suire ’94 as vice president – manager of legal and risk. Suire had been on assignment to Bantrel from parent company Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals for the past three years.

Harry S. Jackson III ’12 has been elected to the Tribal Council of his Native American tribe, the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation. Jackson is an associate with Fox Rothschild III and, as a member of the Corporate Department, focuses his practice on gaming law matters. 

Mark A. Angelson ’75, who was inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2013, has been nominated by Gov. Chris Christie to the Rutgers University Board of Governors. Angelson is a former deputy mayor to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He is the Richard D. Heffner Public Service Professor at the Rutges Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. 

Ida Castro ’82 has been named to Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force. Castro is president of the board of directors at the Employment Opportunity and Training Center of the Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance and vice president for social justice and diversity at Commonwealth Medical College.

Neuman “Larry” Leverett ’04, a partner with Pepper Hamilton LLP and a member of the firm’s White Collar Litigation and Investigations Practice Group, has been appointed to the executive committee of the Federal Bar Association’s Criminal Law Committee, Philadelphia Chapter. 

J. Machelle Sweeting ’97 has been elected a Civil Court Judge in New York’s 10th Municipal Court District.

Matheny Medical and Educational Center has appointed Dr. Kendall R. Sprott ’94 as chief executive officer. Dr. Sprott has been a faculty member at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School since 1984, most recently serving as senior associate dean for clinical affairs.

Anna Maria Tejada ’90, president of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, has been selected as Attorney of the Year by the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey. Tejada is a partner with Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP. 

Bertram Okpokwasili ’08 of the law Office of Bertram Okpokwasili is running for election to a three-year term on the Jersey City Board of Education. Okpokwasili, who is an adjunct professor at the law school, was appointed to a vacated seat on the board earlier this year.

Neil M. Sullivan ’93 has joined McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP as a partner, specializing in healthcare and insurance law. Most recently he had been executive vice president and general counsel at Meadowlands Hospital and Medical Center.

The Italian Voice newspaper has honored Peter J. Toricollo ’94 with its Stivale D’Italia Award of Excellence. Toricollo is a director in the Business & Commercial Litigation Department at Gibbons P.C. and team leader for the firm’s Construction Law & Litigation practice and new Data Privacy and Security Task Force.

Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. has promoted Andrew Lettington ’05 to of counsel. His practice encompasses a broad range of real estate disciplines.

Lisa Gersh ’83 has been appointed CEO of Goop, the Gwyneth Paltrow lifestyle company. She previously was CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. 

Marc E. Berson ’68 has been elected chairman of the board of trustees of Barnabas Health. Founder and chairman of the Fidelco Group and of counsel to Stone & Magnanini LLP, Berson continues as chairman of the board of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, both Barnabas Health facilities. 

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has appointed Edward Miller ’91 to the newly-created position of senior vice president and chief compliance officer, in charge of all corporate compliance functions globally.

Jonathan M. Busch ’03 has established his own firm, the Busch Law Group, and been retained by the boards of education of Edison Township, Woodbridge Township, Sayreville, Highland Park, North Brunswick, Metuchen, and South Amboy. He was previously with Schwartz Simon Edelstein & Celso, LLC.

Lora Fong ’91, a partner at Brown Moskowitz & Kallen, P.C., has been inducted into the Rutgers–Camden board of directors. Fong is also a member of the Rutgers University Board of Governors.

Gregory Eisenstark ’91 has joined Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP as partner in the Infrastructure Development and Finance Practice Group. He was previously senior counsel in the Energy Practice Group of Morgan Lewis.

Mary Stevens ’77 was interviewed about her participation in the summer of 1964 voting rights efforts in Mississippi.

Anne Golden ’78, a partner and co-founder of Outten & Golden LLP, will be honored by the National Employment Lawyers Association/New York at its 17th annual gala on Nov. 12. Golden has been an officer and served on the organization’s executive board for many years, as well as on the executive board of the parent organization.

Hon. Bahir Kamil ’87, formerly a Newark Municipal Court judge, has been appointed to the Superior Court, Essex County.

Justin Walder ’61, co-founder and senior partner of Walder Hayden P.A., has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Daniel J. O’Hern Award. The award, the highest award given by the New Jersey State Bar Association, is presented annually to a member of the bar who exhibits outstanding character and commitment to the highest ideals of professionalism.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) has sworn in Rick Jones ’87, executive director and a founding member of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, as second vice president. Jones also received NACDL’s Champion of Justice Award.

The New Jersey Law Journal’s “2014 New Leaders of the Bar” includes the following alumni: Christopher J. Capone ’05, shareholder at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart; Christine Gannon ’03, partner at Connell Foley; Laurajane B. Kastner ’01, of counsel at Sills Cummis & Gross; Uzaomaka Okoye ’06, associate at Gibbons P.C.; Rajiv D. Parikh ’05, counsel at Genova Burns Giantomasi & Webster; and Zahid N. Quraishi ’00, counsel at Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti.

Neuman Leverett ’04 has joined the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton LLP, where he practices in the firm’s White Collar Litigation and Investigations Practice Group. He had been a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Donita Judge ’03, staff attorney for the Advancement Project, received the Oliver Randolph Award from the Garden State Bar Association “For Commitment to the Fight for Freedom, Equality and a Just Democracy for All.”

Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP has promoted John B. Bitar ’99 and Rodman E. Honecker ’93 to partner. Bitar is a member of the Corporate & Securities, Financial Transactions, and Public Finance & Not-for-Profit practice groups. Honecker is a commercial litigator whose practice focuses on banking matters. 

Katarzyna A. Zielinski ’08 has been named a partner at Nadine Maleski LLC. She concentrates her practice in family law.

David Spevack ’01 has been appointed Prosecutor for the Edison Township Municipal Court. He currently serves as the Municipal Prosecutor of Woodbridge Township and as a Special Municipal Prosecutor for the City of Newark.

Joanna Slusarz ’11 has joined Herrick, Feinstein LLP as an associate in its Real Estate Department.

Taft and Partners’ principal and senior counselor Oliver B. Quinn ’75 is chair of the Rutgers University–Newark Advisory Board. In 2010 Quinn received an Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Melissa Gertz ’05, executive director of the Community Justice Center, contributed the chapter “Racing the Sunset” to the new book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries.

Superior Court Judge Thomas W. Sumners ’84 has been elevated to the Appellate Division, effective August 1. Judge Sumners was appointed to the bench in 2008. He was assigned to the civil bench in the Mercer Vicinage until 2011, when he was transferred to the criminal division.

Hon. Lisa P. Thornton ’92 has been named Assignment Judge for the Monmouth Vicinage, effective September 1, 2014. Appointed to the bench in 2008, she has served in the civil and criminal divisions as well as the family division, where she is currently the presiding judge. Judge Thornton is the first female African-American Assignment Judge in the history of the modern court.

Kenneth Padilla ’95, a former Assistant Dean of the Minority Student Program, has been apppointed Chief Counsel of the Orlando Office of Chief Counsel, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement. He had been deputy chief counsel in the New York office.

Ruth D. Ruesch ’33 was enshrined in the Morristown High School Wall of Fame. She is 103 years old. The first woman to pass the law board in Morris County, Ruesch worked as an attorney for Bamberger’s department store for 14 years. She later returned to college and became a kindergarten and nursery school teacher.

Ron Ladell ’86 received the Leadership Excellence Award from the Monmouth University Kislak Real Estate Institute at its 21st Annual Leadership Excellence Awards Dinner. Ladell is senior vice president of AvalonBay Communities, Inc.

McCarter & English, LLP has promoted Natalie S. Watson ’04, who focuses her practice on product liability, to partner. Her primary focus is commercial and intellectual property litigation.

Susanne Peticolas ’90 wrote the “Bankruptcy and Environmental Claims” section of the 8th edition of the New Jersey Environmental Law Handbook. Peticolas is a director in the Real Property & Environmental Department of Gibbons P.C.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has added shareholder Jennifer Gray ’92 to the Financial Services Litigation Group in Los Angeles. She had been head of litigation at OneWest Bank, FSB.

Frank Liao ’95 has joined Meagher Emanuel Laks Goldberg & Liao, LLP as a partner. He focuses his practice on patent licensing, infringement analysis, patent portfolio management and monetization, and patent prosecution.

David Hespe ’85, president of Burlington County College, has been nominated to serve as New Jersey education commissioner. Hespe was education commissioner for two years under Gov. Whitman.

The Women President’s Organization, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, has certified Zwiren Title Agency, Inc., headed by Paula Zwiren ’02, as a Women’s Business Enterprise. 

The representation by Alan Zegas ’81, Law Offices of Alan L. Zegas, of David Wildstein, a key figure in the George Washington Bridge lane closures’ investigation, was the subject of a Star-Ledger article.

Anna Carrasco ’09 has joined Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP as an associate in the Products Liability Group. She was previously with Patton Boggs LLP.

Heather J. Lange ’97 has been named a principal of Brody Wilkinson PC. She practices in the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration, estate settlement, and probate, trust and fiduciary litigation.

Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC has elected Virginia C. Robbins ’86 as a member of its eight-member management committee. Robbins is chair of the Environmental and Energy Practice Group and past chair of the firm’s women’s initiative.

Yolanda Rudich ’82 has retired after 31 years of public service. She had been chief of the Staten Island District Attorney’s Special Victims’ Bureau since 1993. 

Kevin Coventon ’92, a partner in the Atlanta office of Holland & Knight LLP, received the 2013 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award from CARE (Cooperative for Assistance & Relief Everywhere), one of the world’s largest non-profits.

Gibbons P.C. has promoted Jason R. Tuvel ’04 to a firm director. Tuvel concentrates his practice on development, zoning, land use planning (and related governmental permitting issues), redevelopment, and real estate litigation.

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. has elected Christopher Capone ’05 to the position of shareholder. He represents clients on a full range of labor and employment law matters.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, Paterson, has appointed Dr. James M. Record ’10 as vice president of academic affairs. Dr. Record continues his involvement as associate dean for New York Medical College/St. Joseph’s Healthcare System.

In October Jason Gosnell ’02 became the first student to receive a master’s degree in Hebrew studies from Rutgers University. Gosnell returned to the U.S. in 2010 after six years in Israel, which included a stint as clerk for Chief Justice Aharon Barak and work with a Tel Aviv law firm. 

Gregory M. Tears ’02 has joined Cozen O’Connor as a member in an expansion of the firm’s Public & Project Finance Practice Group. He had been a partner with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Milwaukee. 

William Schulte ’08
is an LL.M. Fellow at the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law at Vermont Law School. 

Maxiel L. Gomez ’04
has been promoted as a member of the firm Pashman Stein PC. Gomez, a member of the law school Alumni Association board, focuses her litigation practice on employment and immigration law matters.

Milton A. Vescovacci ’99, shareholder with GrayRobinson and chair of the corporate practice at the firm’s Miami office, has joined the board of directors of the Florida Venture Forum.