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Alumni Awards Recognize Excellence in the Profession and Service to the Community

More than 300 alumni and friends attended the 2011 Annual Alumni Association Recognition Dinner, held at Nanina’s in the Park, Belleville, on October 20. The dinner honored the achievements of four outstanding individuals who, said Dean John J. Farmer, Jr., “truly represent the very best of Rutgers School of Law–Newark alumni.”

The evening also was an occasion, as 2011 Alumni Association president Scott Walker ’00 noted, to reconnect with old friends and classmates, meet the new recipients of association scholarships, and to hear about the latest student and faculty accomplishments and activities that are advancing the reputation of the law school.

Recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award were Hon. Louis J. Freeh ’74, Joseph A. Hayden, Jr. ’69, and Justin P. Walder ’61. The Fannie Bear Besser Award for Public Service was given to Sara Manzano-Diaz ’84. The awards were presented by Thomas McC. Souther to Judge Freeh; Hon. Margaret Hayden ’73 to Joseph Hayden; Barry H. Evenchick ’63 to Justin Walder; and Hon. Oliver B. Quinn ’75 to Sara Manzano-Diaz.

Louis Freeh served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. From 1975 to 1981 he was a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working in New York and Washington, DC.

The four recipients of 2011 Alumni Association awards represent “the very best of Rutgers School of Law–Newark alumni,” said Dean John J. Farmer, Jr. Now in the private sector, Hon. Louis J. Freeh ’74 was previously a special agent with the FBI, an Assistant U.S. Attorney, a U.S. District Court Judge, and Director of the FBI. As a Deputy Attorney General, Joseph A. Hayden, Jr. ’69 tried the first wiretap case brought by the State and in private practice has tried high-profile criminal cases in state and federal court involving political corruption, fraud, environmental offenses, and homicide. Justin P. Walder ’61, who has focused his practice on white-collar criminal defense, has served on numerous U.S. District Court and New Jersey Supreme Court Committees and frequently been honored for his professionalism and dedication to the law. Sara Manzano-Diaz ’84 has spent her career in public service advocating on behalf of working-class families, women, and girls.


In 1983, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York as an Assistant United States Attorney where he was the lead prosecutor in the “Pizza Connection” case, one of the largest and most complex narcotics investigations ever undertaken by the federal government. He subsequently held various positions within the U. S. Attorney’s office before his 1991 appointment as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, where he served until 1993. From 1993 to 2001 he was Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Judge Freeh has been recognized on several occasions for his exemplary accomplishments, which include investigations and prosecutions relating to racketeering, drugs, organized crime, fraud, white collar crime, and terrorism. In 1990, he was appointed as a Special Prosecutor by the Attorney General to oversee the investigation into the mail-bomb murders of federal Judge Robert Vance and civil rights leader Robert Robinson. He successfully prosecuted the case before a jury in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1987 and 1991, he received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the second highest annual honor given by the Department of Justice.

Judge Freeh was general counsel at MBNA America Bank from 2001 to 2006 and is currently the chairman and treasurer at Freeh Group International Solutions, LLC. He chairs the governance and nominating committee of the board of directors for Bristol-Myers Squibb, and sits on several non-profit boards, including the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, the National Italian American Foundation and the International Association of Chief of Police Foundation, as well as serving as director for several public companies.

Judge Freeh is also a founding partner of Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan, a law firm comprised of former federal judges with offices in Washington and New York, which specializes in corporate governance, compliance, white collar crime and securities matters.

Long before earning his law degree, Joseph Hayden was active in the community. In 1965, Hayden, with eight other students, participated in the civil rights demonstration in Selma, Alabama.

While in law school, he served as notes and comments editor on the Rutgers Law Review. He authored the law review article “United States v. Jackson: The Possible Consequences of Impairing the Right to Trial by Jury,” 22& Rutgers L.Rev.167. The article was cited and quoted from in opinions by both the U.S. Supreme Court and the New Jersey Supreme Court. At commencement, Hayden received awards for academic excellence in constitutional law and remedies, as well as the Ackerman Award as the outstanding graduating senior. Upon graduation, he served for one year as law secretary to the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

In 1970, as a Deputy Attorney General in the Organized Crime and Special Prosecution Section of the Division of Criminal Justice, Hayden tried the first wiretap case brought by the state. He went into private practice in 1973 and has tried high-profile criminal cases in state and federal court involving political corruption, fraud, environmental offenses, and homicide.

Hayden is a member of the International Academy of Trial Attorneys and the American College of Trial Lawyers, a past president of the Association of the Federal Bar, and a founding member and the first president of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey. He has served on the New Jersey State Bar Association Judicial Prosecutorial Appointments Committee and was appointed to the Lawyers Advisory Committee to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was appointed by the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of New Jersey to the District Court Lawyers Advisory Committee. He is also an editor of the New Jersey Law Journal.

In 2004, Hayden was selected as the Professional Lawyer of the Year in the area of criminal law by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law. In past years, he has received the Trial Bar Award for professional excellence from the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey and the Lawrence A. Whipple Award for professional excellence from the New Jersey Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Hayden joined the law firm of Walder, Hayden & Brogan in 2001 and while he continues to concentrate his practice on complex litigation, some of his best results have been cases where the investigation of his client has not resulted in prosecution.

As a Rutgers Scholar, Justin Walder was a member of the National Moot Court Team that reached the national finals and he devised and drafted the Honor Code for Rutgers School of Law–Newark. He appeared in the film The Lawyer in Defense of Unpopular Causes, which was produced by the American Bar Association and used in legal ethics courses at law schools throughout the country.

Following law school, Walder served as a Deputy Attorney General and Assistant Essex County Prosecutor in charge of the Business Fraud Section.

In his practice, he has been a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1977 and co-chair of the New Jersey Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He was the recipient of the Trial Bar Award presented by the Association of Trial Attorneys of New Jersey and a recipient of the William J. Brennan Jr. Award presented by the Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey. In recognition of his professionalism and dedication to and passion for the law, Walder was honored with the Hon. Lawrence A. Whipple Memorial Award by the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey.

Walder serves on the Supreme Court Commission on Rules of Professional Conduct and is a member of the U.S. District Court’s Panel Selection and Management Criminal Justice Act Plan. He has served on the Lawyers Advisory Committee to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and as special counsel to the New Jersey Supreme Court and the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Walder has been designated by the state and federal courts to serve as Special Agent and Provisional Director in complex corporate and environmental matters. He was also designated by the federal court to serve as Special Master in the Prudential Insurance Company of America sales practices class action. He has served as president of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey and is an editor of the New Jersey Law Journal.

Walder was named one of the Top 10 Attorneys in New Jersey Super Lawyer, New Jersey Monthly Magazine in 2008 and 2010 and one of the Top 100 Attorneys for 2011. He has been recognized for over two decades in the Best Lawyers in America.

Sara Manzano-Díaz has spent her career in public service advocating on behalf of working class families, women, and girls. She has more than 25 years of federal, state, and judicial experience, including 16 years in senior management at the federal government level. She was nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Director of the Women’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor. It is the only federal agency exclusively mandated to serve and promote the interests of working women. Her vision is to empower working women nationwide to achieve economic security.

Previously, Manzano-Díaz was appointed by Governor Edward G. Rendell as Deputy Secretary of State for Regulatory Programs at the Pennsylvania Department of State. She was the highest-ranking Latina in Pennsylvania state government and responsible for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public by overseeing the licensure of approximately one million professionals. She was also a member of Governor Rendell’s STEM Initiative Team that supports the development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, and workforce development programs.

From 1995 to 2002, Manzano-Díaz worked in various capacities at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development including as deputy general counsel for civil rights and litigation, where she enforced fair housing, civil rights, and anti-discrimination laws. While at HUD, she implemented a compliance agreement against the largest public housing authority in the country that resulted in the creation of 9,000 disabled housing units in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Manzano-Díaz also previously served as an Assistant Attorney General in New York where she conducted investigations and prosecuted allegations of consumer fraud. She also served as a judicial assistant and pro se attorney in the New York State judiciary. She co-chaired of The Forum of Executive Women’s Mentoring Committee, which mentors young professional women as they begin their careers, and participated in Madrinas, a program that provides mentors for at-risk Latina girls to encourage them to finish high school and attend college.

The Alumni Association also presented special scholarships to two outstanding students. Ione Curva ’12 accepted the Fannie Bear Besser Scholarship from Keith J. Miller ’93, dinner co-chair. Curva, who received her B.A. from Dartmouth College, is a Marsha Wenk Public Interest Fellow, Philip J. Levin Scholar, Charles H. Revson Law Students Public Interest Fellow, and Equal Justice America Fellow. A Minority Student Program participant, she is research editor of the Rutgers Law Review and former co-chair of the Women’s Law Forum. Her articles “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: How New Jersey Prostitution Law Reform Can Stop Sex Trafficking” and “Exposing the Invisibility of Teen Dating Violence in New Jersey” will be published in 2012 in the Rutgers Law Review and Women’s Rights Law Reporter, respectively. Curva is currently a judicial intern for Superior Court Judge Verna Leath, and has worked as a legal intern for the non-profits Sanctuary for Families and Day One.

Guillermo Artilles ’12 accepted the Alumni Association Dinner Scholarship from dinner co-chair Barbara Schweiger ’98. Artilles, a graduate of Hamilton College, is articles editor of the Rutgers Law Review, a Governor’s Executive Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, an Hispanic Bar Association Lowenstein Sandler Scholar, Hudson County Bar Foundation Tulipan Scholar, and Hon. John J. Grossi, Sr. and Hon. James Rosen Scholar. Artilles is president of the Student Bar Association, vice president of the Association of Latin American Law Students, co-chair of the 2012 Class Fund, and a participant in the Minority Student Program. He has been a summer associate at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter and a judicial extern for the Hon. Esther Salas ’94, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He has accepted a clerkship with Judge Salas for the 2013-2014 term.