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Three Outstanding Alums, Three Different Paths to Distinction

The opportunity to pay tribute to the Honorable Patricia K. Costello ’78, the Honorable Oliver B. Quinn ’75, and William S. Greenberg ’67; to reconnect with old friends and classmates; and to support the missions of the law school and its Alumni Association brought almost 350 people to the Hilton Short Hills on October 14 for the 2010 Annual Alumni Recognition Dinner. Click here for photo gallery.

AA 2010 Dinner  
With Dean John J. Farmer, Jr. are (from right) dinner co-chair Linda Torres ’80 of McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP; Alumni Association president Patrick C. English ’78, Dines and English, L.L.C.; dinner co-chair Sumeeta A. Gawande ’95, Greenberg Dauber & Epstein, PC; and scholarship winners Natalae Anderson ’11 and Brett Pugach ’11.

Costello is Assignment Judge of the Superior Court, Essex County. Quinn is senior counsel, Taft and Partners; and Greenberg is a partner at McCarter & English, LLP. “Their accomplishments and contributions to the profession, the law school, and their communities have earned tonight’s honorees a place among the very best of our alumni,” said Dean John J. Farmer, Jr. “They remind us of what Rutgers Law School has been, and point us toward what it can become.”

The Distinguished Alumna Award was presented to Judge Costello by the Honorable Jaynee LaVecchia ’79, Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. In her acceptance remarks, Judge Costello spoke of various turning points in her career and of making the most of the curve balls that life inevitably throws. Noting the opportunities provided by a legal education, she urged law school graduates to support their alumni association.

  LaVecchia & Costello at AA dinner
  Justice Jaynee LaVecchia (left) presented the Distinguished Alumna Award to Judge Patricia Costello.  

Judge Costello clerked for the Honorable John McCole in Hudson County and was in private practice at McAlevy & Costello, attaining certified criminal trial attorney status in 1986, before being appointed to the bench in 1989 by Gov. Thomas Kean. She served first in Hudson County in the Criminal Division and became Presiding Judge, then in the Civil Division where she directly supervised the Special Civil Part, and in the Family Division where she again became the Presiding Judge. In August 2004, Judge Costello was appointed Assignment Judge of Essex County, the largest vicinage in the State. She has served on and been chair of numerous Supreme Court committees and is currently the vice chair of the Judicial Education Committee. In 2008 she was the recipient of an achievement award at the Peter W. Rodino Dinner.

Oliver Quinn accepted the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Marcia W. Brown ’94, vice chancellor for student and community affairs at Rutgers–Newark. “Our alumni have been leaders and impact players in the public, private and not-for-profit arenas,” said Quinn, “not just as practicing attorneys and judges but as businesspeople, educators, elected and appointed officials, entrepreneurs, and advocates for social justice across the political spectrum.” Noting that he had recently read Professor Paul Tractenberg’s A Centennial History of Rutgers Law School in Newark: Opening a Thousand Doors, Quinn said that the book’s subtitle describes what the law school meant to him.

Brown & Quinn at AA dinner  
Rutgers–Newark vice chancellor Marcia Brown with the Distinguished Alumnus Award she presented to Oliver Quinn.   

“My Rutgers experience,” he explained, “provided me with opportunities, helped prepare me to take advantage of opportunities, and equipped me to create opportunities for myself. My Rutgers legal education developed my ability to think analytically; to apply laws and rules to facts; and to understand that the law does not exist in a vacuum, but is affected by the social, political, economic circumstances in society – that the law has texture.”

Quinn heads the Corporate and Public Affairs Group at the communications firm Taft and Partners, and advises clients on compliance, ethics, dispute resolution, and risk, diversity, and conflict management. He began his career as a civil rights enforcement attorney with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Among other positions, he has served as Assistant Dean of the law school’s Minority Student Program, Administrative Law Judge, Deputy Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Labor, and Deputy Solicitor for national operations at the U.S. Department of Labor. Most recently, he was corporate vice president and chief business ethics officer at Prudential Financial, after having served as chief regulatory compliance officer at Prudential Healthcare.

William Greenberg received the Fannie Bear Besser Award for Public Service in recognition of his patriotism and longstanding support for members of the military. The award was presented to him by McCarter & English partner Susan A. Feeney. Greenberg thanked U.S. Senator Robert Menendez ’79 for recommending to the White House his 2009 appointment as chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board. A retired Brigadier General of the New Jersey Army National Guard, Greenberg spoke warmly of the men and women in service to their country and of the country’s support for them upon their return from Iraq and Afghanistan. He noted the welcome difference from the reception given Vietnam-era veterans.

   Greenberg&Feeney at AA Dinner
  William Greenberg accepted his Fannie Bear Besser Award for Public Service from McCarter & English partner Susan Feeney.

Greenberg has been a partner at McCarter & English since 1993. He is a certified civil trial attorney and has been an active business litigator for more than 40 years. He has more than 100 published court opinions to his credit, has presented or written more than 50 litigation articles, and is the author of The Trial Handbook for New Jersey Lawyers and The Civil Trial Handbook. He is a former president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, New Jersey, and former trustee of the New Jersey State Bar Association and Bar Foundation. In 2009 the Foundation gave Greenberg its highest award for establishing the NJSBA program for military legal assistance and for his public service representation of soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He has served since 2001 as special assistant to the adjutant general of New Jersey for Homeland Security and Military Legal Assistance and is a member of the Rutgers–Newark Veterans Advisory Board.

The Alumni Association, in addition to honoring three remarkable graduates, also recognized two outstanding students with special awards. Natalae Anderson, Class of 2011, was the recipient of the first Fannie Bear Besser Scholarship for Public Service. Before law school Anderson spent two years in the Peace Corps teaching English in Chengdu, China. Last summer she was a legal intern in Phnom Penh with the Documentation Center of Cambodia, where she researched and documented the war crimes of the Khmer Rouge. Among other honors, she is research editor of the Rutgers Law Review and a member of the Jessup International Law Moot Court team. Anderson received a bachelor of arts in theater from Michigan State University and a master’s in library science, summa cum laude, from North Carolina Central University.

Brett Pugach, Class of 2011, was awarded the Alumni Recognition Dinner Scholarship. Pugach is a summa cum laude graduate of Syracuse University where he received the Political Science Department Award for Best Contribution to Supreme Court Simulation. He spent the summer before entering Rutgers as an intern in the office of the attorney general, District of Columbia. An argument he developed distinguishing complex from non-complex federal litigation was adopted by the U.S. District Court. Pugach is managing notes editor of the Rutgers Law Review and co-chair of the Moot Court Board. He was also a semi-finalist in the 2010 David Cohn Appellate Advocacy Competition and was selected to serve as a member of the law school’s National Appellate Advocacy Team.