Washington Lawyer

D.C. Bar 2011 Election Coverage

From Washington Lawyer, May 2011

The D.C. Bar Nominations Committee has announced candidates for office on the Board of Governors for the 2011–2012 term. The nominees are running for the positions of president–elect, secretary, and treasurer; five vacancies for three–year terms on the Bar’s Board of Governors; and three seats in the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, one of which is reserved for a candidate under the age of 35.

Ballots and instructions for voting, by mail or online, will be distributed to all active Bar members on May 2. The deadline to vote is June 3. Results of the election will be announced on the Bar’s Web site and also at the 2011 Celebration of Leadership, which includes the Bar’s Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting, on June 30 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Concurrently, the D.C. Bar Sections Office has announced nominees for vacancies on the steering committees of the Bar’s 21 sections. Online voting will begin on May 2, with paper ballots to be mailed at roughly the same time. Section candidates lists begin on page 40. Online voting closes at midnight on June 3. Paper ballots must be received in the envelope provided with those ballots by June 3. The Sections Office will announce election results the week of June 13.

Meet the Candidates for President–Elect

Paulette E. Chapman
chapmanPaulette E. Chapman is a partner at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P., where she represents people who are injured because of unsafe construction sites and other dangerous workplaces, defective consumer products, and substandard medical care.

Chapman has worked at Koonz for 22 years, representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases, since graduating from The George Washington University Law School in 1988. “When they come to me, their lives are in disarray. They are behind in their rent, behind in their car payments, and unable to return to work. I help them navigate the legal process so they can secure necessary medical and financial benefits,” Chapman said.

In addition to her practice, Chapman has served as president of both the Women’s Bar Association (WBA) of the District of Columbia and the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and as an active member of numerous committees where she has gained a unique perspective of the role of bar associations in the life of the city. Chapman has been a member of the D.C. Bar Board of Governors since 2006.

“My experience leading diverse bar organizations has prepared me for the D.C. Bar president–elect position. It runs the gamut from putting on programs, increasing membership, and launching initiatives to mentoring others for leadership roles, dealing with budgets, evaluating judicial endorsements, and answering to an array of practitioners at different stages of their careers. I have been chief cook and bottle washer from the ground level up,” Chapman said. “It has given me a vantage point—a bird’s eye view that has evolved over time—of the concerns and pressures of lawyers from large and small firms, and from the public and nonprofit sectors.”

Rapid changes in the legal profession, coupled with the impact of the economic downturn, have created uncertainty in the legal industry. Chapman believes the Bar is uniquely positioned to assist both recent law school graduates and seasoned attorneys to become better equipped at dealing with transitions, from sudden career upheavals to professional activity after retirement. Expanding the Bar’s Practice Management Advisory Service program, tailored to lawyers in transition, is key.

“Lawyers are looking at ways to practice law with realistic business objectives, yet that afford creative opportunity,” she said, noting the popularity of the Bar’s basic training program on how to run a law office. “And they want to stay in touch with each other in real time [and in] meaningful ways.”

With so many members working and living outside the District, Chapman believes it is important to offer online courses for added convenience. Exploration of social media and provision of technology tools by the Bar to enhance professional communication are also critical.

“While the Bar has to be realistic and thoughtful, it also must be nimble and recognize that lawyers desire multiple ways to communicate about the law, jobs, education, and their professional lives,” she said.

Chapman also seeks to elevate the relationship between the Bar and members of its various sections, as well as with voluntary bar associations. “As the mandatory bar, it’s important to foster and support the work of the Sections and other bar groups in the city,” she said.

She also strongly supports continued in–depth liaison work between the Bar’s Board of Governors and Sections leadership, the monthly voluntary bar leadership meetings, and attendance at the many functions that “make for a collective vibrant bar association environment.”

“If members are the heart of the Bar, the soul is access to justice and pro bono services, which have the highest priority,” Chapman said. “In this economic downturn, we must strive to maintain these essential services.”

Chapman cites her extensive experience in fundraising, heading major annual dinners that resulted in significant proceeds for legal services providers, as well as her work with the WBA Foundation Grants Committee, reviewing grant requests and making recommendations to support worthy causes across the District. As president–elect of WBA, Chapman helped launch the Family Court Self-Help Center Pilot Project, which won the 2003 Frederick B. Abramson Award.

As a member of the Bar’s Board of Governors, Chapman has served on numerous committees, including Budget, Nominations, and Executive. She is also an instructor with the Bar’s Continuing Legal Education Program and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. She serves on the board of governors of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.

Chapman received her undergraduate degree from George Mason University.

Thomas S. Williamson Jr.
president_tomThomas S. Williamson Jr. is a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, where he focuses his practice on employment law, complex litigation, and Medicaid–related issues for state governments.

For Williamson, who grew up during the civil rights movement, becoming a lawyer meant the ability to participate in creating social change. “I aspired to not only serve individual clients but also have a role in trying to foster a more just and positive society,” Williamson said.

His convictions spurred a career where he dedicated much of his time seeking to alleviate the unfair challenges many people face in attempting to access the legal system. He worked with the California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. while in college, and he has devoted countless hours to the community through Covington’s pro bono program, including establishing the firm’s partnership with Cardozo High School.

“The idea of running for president–elect of the Bar is a continuation of the notion that lawyers should be mobilized to enhance access to justice and equality in society,” he said. With access to justice as a top priority if elected, Williamson hopes to work with judges and the court system to better identify priority needs in the community and determine where the Bar can most effectively expand its Pro Bono Program. He would like to further the work of demystifying the legal process for District of Columbia residents to help them more easily vindicate their rights.

If elected, Williamson would also seek to ensure that the Bar continues to play an active role in working to maintain public funding for legal services providers and for the D.C. Bar Foundation’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

“We’re entering a period, which will probably be even worse by 2012, where there’s going to be a cutback in funding across the board for social services. The funding that the [D.C.] Access to Justice Commission and the Bar have helped secure for the underserved will be under siege,” he said. “That means we have to be vigilant and alert and committed to fighting for those funds.”

Williamson plans to enhance the Bar’s law practice management programs to help facilitate career transitions. As a former member of Covington’s management committee, Williamson believes he can bring to bear a concrete perspective on what business challenges lawyers are facing today. “It’s not going to be easy for people, but [the Bar can help give you] a sense that there are experienced lawyers who know what you’re going through and can help you find a new situation or build your own practice without having to be dependent on a large firm infrastructure,” he said.

Leading the Bar means understanding its constituents, and Williamson believes his diverse career gives him on-the-ground knowledge. Although he has spent most of his career at a large law firm, he has had substantial government experience, serving as deputy inspector general at the U.S. Department of Energy and later as solicitor at the U.S. Department of Labor. Williamson also spent eight months doing poverty law work at a local office of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program as an attorney on loan from Covington.

Williamson believes his football career at Harvard College, where he received his undergraduate degree and played defensive back, also provided him relevant leadership experience. “If you want to be successful in football, you need to have a playbook with a variety of options, and you need to have quality people operate in a consistent, well-coordinated way to execute your game plan,” he said.

Williamson is a board member of the D.C. Bar Foundation and a member of the D.C. Access to Justice Commission. He has served as cochair of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and as a member of the Bar’s Board of Governors and Pro Bono Committee, the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton’s Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

“For the Bar, it’s not a one–size–fits–all mission. We need to be actively thinking about these different elements of our Bar’s professional community. Just because you’re doing well communicating with one segment doesn’t necessarily mean you’re reaching other segments,” Williamson said. “There are a lot of crosscurrents that need to be managed and navigated. I look forward to that part of the challenge of the job.”

Williamson attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

D.C. Bar Nominations Committee Announces Board Candidates
The D.C. Bar Nominations Committee also announced candidates for other Bar leadership positions, including secretary and treasurer.

Nominated for one–year terms on the Bar’s Board of Governors are, as secretary, Rosy L. Lor of the Internal Revenue Service, Office of Chief Counsel, and Marianela Peralta of Hilton Worldwide, and, as treasurer, Jeffrey S. Gutman, a professor at The George Washington University Law School, and Morton J. Posner of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of General Counsel, Justice Management Division.

Seeking to fill the five vacancies on the Bar’s Board of Governors for a three–year term are Brigida Benitez, chief of the Office of Institutional Integrity at Inter–American Development Bank; Jeffrey L. Berger of The Berger Law Firm, P.C.; Amy L. Bess (incumbent board member), a shareholder at Vedder Price P.C.; George E. Covucci, a partner at Arnold & Porter LLP; Andrea C. Ferster (incumbent treasurer) of the Law Offices of Andrea Ferster; Ankur J. Goel (incumbent board member), a partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP; Jennifer Choe Groves, a partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP; Glenn F. Ivey, a partner at Venable LLP; Patrick McGlone (incumbent secretary) of ULLICO, Inc.; Annamaria Steward, associate dean of students at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law; and Benjamin F. Wilson (incumbent board member), a principal at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.

There are three seats open on the American Bar Association House of Delegates, including one reserved for a candidate under the age of 35. Seeking the regular seats are Anthony M. Alexis, a partner at Mayer Brown LLP; Jonathan R. Barr, a partner at Baker Hostetler LLP; Arthur Burger, a director at Jackson & Campbell, P.C.; and Paul M. Smith, a partner at Jenner & Block LLP.

Thomas A. Bednar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; Jimmy Chatsuthiphan, an associate at Gray Plant Mooty; and David M. Shapiro of the ACLU National Prison Project are seeking the under–35 seat.

Ballots and instructions for voting will be distributed to all active D.C. Bar members on May 2. Members may return their ballots either by mail using the special envelope provided or electronically by following instructions on the ballot. In either case, the first ballot received, electronic or paper, will be the only ballot counted. All ballots must be received by June 3.

Sections Office Announces Steering Committee Nominees
The following nominees are running for vacancies on the steering committees of the Bar’s 21 sections. Section members who have not received their paper ballots by May 20, and who do not wish to vote online, should call the Sections Office at 202–626–3463 to obtain a duplicate.

D.C. Bar Sections 2011–12 Steering Committee

Administrative Law and Agency Practice (Three Vacancies): Nicholas H. Cobbs, D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings; Adam L. Hill, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Susan B. Koonin, Business Resource Consulting, LLC; Kelly B. McClanahan, National Security Counselors; Robert L. Walker, Wiley Rein LLP.

Antitrust and Consumer Law (Three Vacancies): Craig L. Briskin, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC; Robert E. Hauberg Jr., Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC; Amy R. Mix, AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly; Don A. Resnikoff, Finkelstein Thompson LLP; Sonya A. Smith–Valentine, Valentine Legal Group, LLC; Wendy J. Weinberg, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia; Hassan A. Zavareei, Tycko & Zavareei LLP.

Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law (Three Vacancies): Elliott C. Alderman, Alderman Law Office; Alonzo Barber III, Black Entertainment Television; Elizabeth D. Blumenthal, Library of Congress; Jordon D. Mathies, Mathies Law Offices, PLC; Rand E. Sacks, The Sacks Group, PLLC; Bradley S. Shear, Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC; John L. Simson, Attorney-at-Law; Michael D. Sopko, Attorney-at-Law.

Computer and Telecommunications Law (One Vacancy): Braden E. Cox, Net–Choice; Elizabeth K. McIntyre, Federal Communications Commission; Glenn S. Richards, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Corporation, Finance and Securities Law (Three Vacancies): Russell D. Duncan, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; Keir D. Gumbs, Covington & Burling LLP; Adelaja K. Heyliger, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; Ford C. Ladd, DiMuro-Ginsberg, PC; Michael K. Lowman, Jenner & Block LLP; Julie A. Smith, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP; Jeffrey P. Taft, Mayer Brown LLP; Elaine H. Wolff, Jenner & Block LLP.

Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice (Three Vacancies): David B. Benowitz, The Law Offices of David Benowitz; Rainey R. Brandt, D.C. Superior Court; Jenifer E. Foster, D.C. Law Students in Court; Sharon E. Goodie, D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings; Thomas F. Morante, Holland & Knight LLP; Patrick P. O’Donnell, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP.

Criminal Law and Individual Rights (Three Vacancies): David B. Benowitz, The Law Offices of David Benowitz; Patricia A. Cresta-Savage, Law Office of Pat Cresta-Savage; Clifford T. Keenan, D.C. Pretrial Services Agency; Timothy J. Kelly, U.S. Department of Justice; Craig N. Moore, Attorney-at-Law; Joseph M. Owens, U.S. Army; J. Evans Rice III, Hogan Lovells US LLP; Kimberly S. Walker, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP; Kira A. West, Law Offices of Kira Anne West.

District of Columbia Affairs (Three Vacancies): Richard Amato, D.C. Office of the Attorney General; Lyle M. Blanchard, Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs, P.C.; Thomas P. Cassidy Jr., The O’Riordan Bethel Law Firm, LLP; Joel M. Cohn, D.C. Office of the Tenant Advocate; James M. Goldberg, Goldberg & Associates, PLLC; Susan D. Saunders Mckenzie, Howard University; Jarid A. Smith, Wiley Rein LLP; Nicole L. Streeter, Council of the District of Columbia.

Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (Three Vacancies): Charles L. Franklin, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Laura R. Goldin, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Rachel Jacobson, U.S. Department of the Interior; Kelly A. Johnson, Holland & Hart LLP; Emily M. Lamond, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; Benjamin S. Lippard, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.; Peter H. Oppenheimer, NOAA Office of the General Counsel.

Estates, Trusts and Probate Law (Three Vacancies): James L. Frazier, Law Offices of James Larry Frazier; Valerie B. Geiger, The Elder & Disability Law Center; Christopher M. Guest, Law Office of Christopher Guest; L. Laurel Lea, Furey, Doolan & Abell, LLP; Giannina “Gina” Lynn, Attorney-at-Law; M. Cecelia Steiner-Smith, D.C. Office of the Attorney General; Nicole D. Stevens, Register of Wills, D.C. Superior Court.

Family Law (Three Vacancies): Aaron J. Christoff, Nugent Christoff, PLLC; Lisa A. Freiman Fishberg, Schertler & Onorato, LLP; Christopher M. Locey, Kuder, Smollar & Friedman, P.C.; Sara S. Scott, Zamani & Scott, LLP; Avrom D. Sickel, Family Court Self-Help Center, D.C. Superior Court; Robert D. Weinberg, Delaney McKinney LLP.

Government Contracts and Litigation (Two Vacancies): Daniel E. Chudd, Jenner & Block LLP; Adelicia R. Cliffe, Crowell & Moring LLP; Jonathan L. Kang, U.S. Government Accountability Office; Lartease M. Tiffith, U.S. Department of Justice.

Health Law (Two Vacancies): Jenifer A. Cromwell, Groom Law Group, Chartered; Phillip Lyle Husband, D.C. Department of Health; Nicole A. Liffrig Molife, Arnold & Porter LLP; Steven R. Smith, Ober|Kaler; Hemi D. Tewarson, U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Intellectual Property Law (Two Vacancies): Suzanne Balsam, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Ryan C. Compton, DLA Piper US LLP; Joyce Craig, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP; Robert J. Kimmer, Rader, Fishman & Grauer PLLC; Sean A. O’Donnell, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP; Sidney A. Rosenzweig, U.S. International Trade Commission; Kelu L. Sullivan, Baker & Hostetler LLP.

International Law (Two Vacancies): Alden L. Atkins, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.; John C. Floyd III, John C. Floyd III & Associates; Mary O. McCarthy, The Law Office of Michael R. McCarthy; Brian A. Pomper, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Michael S. Snarr, Baker & Hostetler LLP; Reid S. Whitten, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP.

Labor and Employment Law (Three Vacancies): Jonathan L. Gould, Jonathan L. Gould, Employment Law; Marlon C. Griffith, Griffith & Wheat PLLC; Emily B. Read, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs; Christal Mims Williams, Executive Office of the Mayor, D.C. Government; Christine C. Zebrowski, Overbrook Law LLC; Adria S. Zeldin, Attorney–at–Law.

Law Practice Management (Three Vacancies): Robert C. Fisher, Fisher Collaborative Services LC; Elaine L. Fitch, Kalijarvi, Chuzi & Newman, P.C.; Arden B. Levy, Bailey Gary, PC; William C. Paxton, Attorney–at–Law; Robert P. Scanlon, Anderson & Quinn, LLC; Evan P. Schultz, Constantine Cannon LLP; Joanne W. Young, Kirstein & Young, PLLC.

Litigation (Three Vacancies): Vanessa Buchko, AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly; Lara Degenhart Cassidy, Law Office of Lara Degenhart Cassidy; Elizabeth D. Curtis, U.S. Social Security Administration; Russell D. Duncan; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; Robert N. Kelly, Jackson & Campbell, P.C.; W. Brad Nes, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; John E. Reid, Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing; Keiko K. Takagi, Sughrue Mion, PLLC; Karen R. Turner, Hamilton Altman Canale & Dillon, LLC.

Real Estate, Housing and Land Use (Two Vacancies): Peter D. Antonoplos, JD Katz: Attorney–at–Law; David H. Cox, Jackson & Campbell, P.C.; Todd Lewis, The TR Lewis Law Group, P.C.; John E. Reid, Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing; David J. Walker, Saul Ewing LLP.

Taxation (Three Vacancies): Peter D. Antonoplos, JD Katz: Attorney–at–Law; George A. Hani, Miller & Chevalier Chartered; Scott M. Levine, Jones Day; Aaron P. Nocjar, Steptoe & Johnson LLP; Seth T. Perretta, Davis & Harman LLP; Alexander L. Reid, Joint Committee on Taxation, U.S. Congress; Rostyslav I. Shiller, Internal Revenue Service.

Tort Law (One Vacancy): Jordon D. Mathies, Mathies Law Offices, PLC; Thomas C. Mugavero, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, L.L.P.