D.C. Bar Nominations Committee Announces Candidates for Bar Office

March 6, 2017

Leah QuadrinoEsther LimThe D.C. Bar Nominations Committee is proud to announce candidates for the 2017–2018 Board term. The candidates for president-elect are Esther H. Lim, a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP (Finnegan), and Leah M. Quadrino, of counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP. The president-elect serves for one year before becoming president and will then continue in office for a third year as immediate past president.

At Finnegan, Lim has over 20 years of experience in complex patent litigation and counseling. She served as the founding managing partner of the firm’s Shanghai office.

Lim is part of the D.C. Bar’s Global Legal Practice Task Force and served on the D.C. Bar Board of Governors from 2005 to 2008. Additionally, Lim was a member of the Bar’s Development Committee from 2006 to 2007 and served on its Nominations Committee in 2002.

From 2007 to 2008, Lim served on the Board of Directors for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. Lim is also an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law and she is chair of the Annual Conference on Intellectual Property and Social Justice. Lim is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and Towson University.

Quadrino handles complex civil litigation cases for Steptoe & Johnson, including commercial litigation and legal malpractice defense. Additionally, Quadrino has served on the Bar’s Board of Governors since 2015.

Quadrino maintains a pro bono practice advocating for recent immigrants, refugees, and the homeless as well as victims of sex trafficking, employment discrimination, and excessive force violations. She has been actively involved in the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS). She is chair of the TIPS Scholarship Fund Board, a member of the Standing Committee on Law in Public Service, and past chair of the Excess Surplus Lines and Reinsurance Committee. Quadrino is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law and Yale College.

The Nominations Committee also announced the selection of candidates for other Bar positions, including secretary and treasurer. Alva Y. Waller of Legal Resolutions Inc. and Brenda C. Zwack from Murphy Anderson PLLC are nominated for secretary. Nominations for treasurer are A.J. S. Dhaliwal of Buckley Sandler LLP and Jonathan D. Kossak of Miller & Chevalier, Chartered.

The following are candidates for three-year terms on the Bar’s Board of Governors:

  • David W. Arrojo, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ethics 
  • Andrew N. Cook, K&L Gates LLP 
  • Elizabeth R. Dewey, DLA Piper LLP 
  • David E. Hawkins, The Hawkins Law Firm PLLC 
  • Megan Lacchini, Legal Services Corporation 
  • Sadina Montani, Vedder Price P.C.
  • Helen L. Serassio, Federal Transit Administration 
  • Keiko K. Takagi, Sughrue Mion PLLC 
  • Benjamin F. Wilson, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. 
  • Carolina M. Wirth, Kilpatrick Townsend LLP 

The Nominations Committee also announced the following candidates in the ABA House of Delegates: 

  • Emil J. Ali, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 
  • Darrell C. Valdez, United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia
  • D. Jean Veta, Covington & Burling LLP

  • Carter C. Simpson, Hunton & Williams LLP (under-36 seat) 
  • Malaika M. Lindo, Sidley Austin LLP (under-36 seat) 

Other D.C. Bar members who wish to run for office may secure a spot on the ballot for any position other than president-elect by filing petitions bearing the signatures of at least 382 active D.C. Bar members, that figure representing at least one-half of 1 percent of the Bar’s active membership as of the first business day of 2017. Petitions can downloaded or obtained by contacting Evan Spath in the Bar’s Executive Office at 202-737-4700, ext. 3221, or by e-mail at, and must be filed by 5 p.m. on March 20. The candidates for president-elect will speak, and all other candidates will be introduced, at a forum on April 26, from 12 to 12:30 p.m., at the D.C. Bar Board Room, 1101 K Street NW, second floor.

Ballots and instructions for voting will be distributed to all active Bar members on April 24 and members can vote by mail or online at The deadline to vote is May 19.

Results of the election will be announced on the Bar’s website and during the 2017 Celebration of Leadership, which includes the Bar’s Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting, on June 14 at the Mayflower Hotel.