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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

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.

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.