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Stuart Alderoty, Rosemary Alito and Lois Whitman Honored by the Alumni Association

Alumni and friends gathered on November 7, 2013 to celebrate the achievements and contributions to the profession, the law school and their communities of three outstanding graduates of Rutgers School of Law–Newark. The occasion was the Alumni Association’s Annual Recognition Dinner, held at Nanina’s in the Park, Belleville, and attended by more than 250 people.

AA 2013 Dinner honorees
(L-r) Honorees Rosemary Alito ’78, Stuart Alderoty ’85 and Lois Whitman ’76 at the Alumni Association 2013 Annual Recognition Dinner.

Honorees were: Stuart A. Alderoty ’85, senior executive vice president and general counsel of HSBC North America Holdings Inc.; Rosemary Alito ’78, partner at K&L Gates and co-chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice; and Lois Whitman ’76, founder and former director of the Children’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch.

In addition to the opportunity to salute three remarkable alumni, recent graduates and long-time members of the bench and bar alike enjoyed the chance to hear from Dean John J. Farmer, Jr. and Acting Dean Ronald Chen ’83, reconnect with former classmates, and meet the recipients of two special Alumni Association scholarships.

While each of the dinner’s honorees has followed a different path in their notable careers, all three exemplify the commitment to excellence and service that Rutgers–Newark Law instills in its students. 

As senior executive vice president and general counsel of HSBC North America Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, Stuart Alderoty serves as the head of the legal function for HSBC – North America. 

Before joining HSBC, Alderoty was chief litigation counsel/managing counsel with American Express. In that role, he headed a broad team that was responsible for American Express’s litigation and legal issues related to privacy, insurance, consumer cards, and global advertising and brand management. Prior to joining American Express in 2002, Alderoty was a litigator in private practice for 17 years, the last 13 of which with the LeBoeuf law firm where he was a partner since 1996. 

Group at AA 2013 Dinner
Shown are (l-r): Ronald K. Chen, Acting Dean of Rutgers School of Law-Newark; Alumni Association president Barbara A. Schweiger, Skoloff & Wolff, P.C.; Stuart Alderoty; and dinner co-chairs Ruby Hope, Johnson & Johnson; and Robert Ratish, Law Office of Robert W. Ratish, LLC.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient serves on the board of the Count Basie Theatre Foundation, a not-for-profit community arts center in Red Bank. He also is a member of the board of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, a not for profit dedicated to a real world, common-sense approach that aims to acknowledge, understand, and address the reality of diversity in today’s legal profession. He is a graduate of Rutgers University.

Presenting the award to Alderoty was former Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court Peter G. Verniero, who is chair of the Corporate Internal Investigations and Appellate Practice Groups at Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.

Rosemary Alito, who accepted her Distinguished Alumna Award from Barry Evenchick ’63, member of Walder, Hayden & Brogan, P.A., is co-chair of the K&L Gates’ 100-lawyer global Labor and Employment Practice. She represents management in disputes involving employment law and employee benefit law issues.

An experienced litigator in trials and appeals in both state and federal courts, Alito has been honored by the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey with its Trial Bar Award for outstanding performance as a trial lawyer. She also has written and spoken extensively on employment law issues. Her treatise New Jersey Employment Law and her law review article on the 1991 Civil Rights Act have been cited with approval by state appellate courts, federal circuit courts of appeal, and scholarly publications.

Alito serves as chairman of the editorial board of the New Jersey Law Journal, and is a member of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, where she serves on the board of directors, and the International Society of Barristers. She is a past president of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey. Alito has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for many years, Chambers USA (First Band), and Super Lawyers’ Top 100. She received her undergraduate degree from Smith College.

Former classmate Patricia Chick presented the Fannie Bear Besser Award for Public Service to Lois Whitman, founding director of the Children’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, with which she has been associated since 1985. The division works around the world to investigate and end human rights abuses of children – including torture, the use of children as soldiers, the worst forms of child labor, and attacks on children, teachers and schools. 

Edwin Mercado
Edwin Mercado ’14

Whitman has conducted human rights investigations and written reports on abuses in numerous countries, including Turkey, Greece, Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Liberia, Jamaica, Cuba and Sri Lanka. She has testified before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and U.S. Congressional committees on several occasions. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Kathimerini (Athens), and Africa Report.

A lawyer and a social worker, Whitman has taught Women and the Law at Hunter College, Law and Social Work at Stony Brook School of Social Work, and Human Rights of Children at the Columbia School for International and Public Affairs. She received her B.A. from Smith College and a master’s degree in social work from Columbia. Whitman is the recipient of the Smith College Medal and the Dean’s Medal from CUNY Law School.

Stephanie Robins
Stephanie Robins ’14

Each year the Alumni Association uses the occasion to announce a scholarship award to two exceptional students. This year’s recipients were Edwin “Gio” Mercado and Stephanie I.G. Robins, both from the Class of 2014. 

Mercado, who received the Alumni Recognition Dinner Scholarship, has excelled academically and has been an active participant in the extracurricular life of the law school. He has worked for the past two summers at DLA Piper LLP and is currently interning for the Honorable Esther Salas ’94, judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Mercado is a member of the Rutgers Law Review and founding member and chief operating officer of the school’s Veterans Support Group. He also is actively involved with the Student Bar Association, the Minority Student Program, and the Association of Latin American Law Students. He received a B.A. in political science from Rutgers University.

Robins is a cum laude graduate of Mount Holyoke College who spent a year in a study-abroad program in Dakar, Senegal, and, after graduation, returned to the country where for 18 months she taught English and helped run a cultural center. Her strong commitment to public interest and immigration law brought her to Rutgers–Newark, where she became the law school’s first Immigrant Rights Fellow. Robins is submissions editor for the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, president of the Immigrant Rights Collective, co-chair of the Courtroom Advocates Program, and co-founder and co-chair of Students Opposed to Violence Against Women. Her article “Backing It Up: Real ID’s Impact on the Corroboration Standard in Women’s Private Asylum Claims” will be published next year by the Women’s Rights Law Reporter. Robins was awarded the Fannie Bear Besser Public Service Scholarship. 

Sponsors of the dinner were:

  • Platinum Sponsor: HSBC, N.A.
  • Gold Sponsors: Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP; Greenberg Traurig LLP; Locke Lord LLP; and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
  • Silver Sponsors: Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C.; Connell Foley LLP; K&L Gates LLP; Lowenstein Sandler LLP; McCarter & English, LLP; The Nicholas Martini Foundation; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; and Wilmer Hale
  • Bronze Sponsors: Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard P.A.; Duane Morris LLP; Edwards Wildman; Pashman Stein; Paul Hastings LLP; Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.; Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C.; and Ulmer & Berne LLP
  • Scholarship Champion: Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
  • Scarlet Knight Sponsor: Buckley Sandler LLP