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Law Alumni Society honors outstanding alumni & current staff with the 2013 Annual Alumni Awards

October 23, 2013

On October 29th, the Law School honored six University of Pennsylvania Law School graduates and its longtime Dean of Students for their career achievements, pro bono work, service to the legal profession and service to the School. Earlier in the day, the Penn Law Southern California Alumni Club was also honored for its outstanding alumni outreach, range of offerings, growth in leadership, and proactive organization and mobilization of local alumni in its region.

Included in the group are a special assistant to the President of the United States; the first woman to head the Legislative Office of the U.S. House of Representatives; two highly respected judges and professional innovators; one of the premier M & A lawyers in the United States; and one of the premier M & A lawyers in the United States; one of the nation’s leading voices on professional ethics; and a beloved member of the Penn Law community who has dedicated over three decades of service to Penn Law. The ceremony commenced at 6:00 p.m. in Penn Law’s Bernard Segal Moot Court Room (Silverman 245A) followed by a reception in the Kabacoff Reading Room.

The 2013 Penn Law Alumni Award Honorees were:

  • Distinguished Service Award Honoring service to the Law School, Gary Clinton (Penn Law Staff, 1976-Present)
  • Alumni Award of Merit Honoring professional achievement and service to the Law School, The Hon. Harvey Bartle III L’65
  • Alumni Award of Merit Honoring professional achievement and service to the Law School, Charles I. “Casey” Cogut L’73
  • Alumni Award of Merit Honoring professional achievement and service to the Law School, The Hon. Frederica “Freddie” Massiah-Jackson L’74
  • Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award Honoring an alumnus/a who has embodied the spirit of the Public Service Program through a sustained commitment to pro bono and/or public service throughout a private sector career,Lawrence J. Fox C’65, L’68
  • Louis H. Pollak Public Service Award Honoring justice through service to others, Sandra Strokoff CW’71, L’75
  • Young Alumni Award Honoring the professional achievement of an alumnus/a who has graduated within the past 10 years, Nicole Isaac L’04
  • Alumni Club of the Year Award Honoring outstanding outreach to its alumni through a range of offerings, growth in leadership, new initiatives, and proactive organization and mobilization of local alumni in its region.

The Distinguished Service Award, honoring service to the Law School, was awarded to Gary Clinton.

Gary Clinton is one of Penn Law’s most well-known and beloved figures, having served in various areas and administrative capacities in the Law School since 1976. He is currently the Dean of Students and Counsel to the Dean. Gary began his employment at Penn Law working in the Registrar’s office and stacking books in the Law School library. As an advisor and friend to Penn Law students for almost four decades, it has been said by some, such as faculty member Prof. Stephen B. Burbank, that “more than any other single person, he is responsible for the continuation of a culture.” Outside of Penn Law, Gary serves as a Trustee of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, a Trustee of Young’s Memorial Cemetery in Oyster Bay, New York, and, after 13 years of service, recently retired as an elected Director of the Village of Fire Island Pines, New York. He has served as a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Judicial Selection and Retention Commission and as a member of the steering committee for the Philadelphia Chapter of Lambda Legal. He earned a BA from the University of Rochester in 1973, a Master of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1976, and an MS from Drexel in 1979.

An Alumni Award of Merit, honoring professional achievement and service to the Law School was awarded to The Hon. Harvey Bartle III L’65.

Harvey Bartle III, the son of Dorothy Baker Bartle and Harvey Bartle, Jr., M.D., was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Following law school, he worked for two years as the law clerk to Judge John Morgan Davis of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He then became an associate and later a partner at the law firm of Dechert Price & Rhoads. His practice was concentrated in the area of civil litigation. In 1979, Governor Richard Thornburgh named him as the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner and in 1980 as the Pennsylvania Attorney General. He returned to private practice at the Dechert firm upon completion of his term. President George H.W. Bush appointed him in 1991 as a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on the recommendation of Senators John Heinz and Arlen Specter. He became this Court’s eleventh Chief Judge on January 1, 2006 and held that position until June 7, 2011. He now sits as a Senior Judge. He served for six years as a member of the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States. In 2008, he was elected to a three-year term as the District Judge Representative to the Judicial Conference from the Third Circuit. Chief Justice John Roberts named him in 2010 to the seven person Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference where he served until September, 2011. Judge Bartle has been a Pennsylvania Commissioner to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. He also chaired the Pennsylvania Appellate Court Nominating Commission from 1981-1985 and was a member of the Third Circuit Bankruptcy Judge Merit Selection Panel from 1985-1986. In 1984, he was a Presidential Elector. Among his community activities, he has been a Trustee of the Chestnut Hill Hospital and the Springside School as well as Vice-Chairman of the Committee of Seventy, and a Director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Currently he is a member of the Selection Panel for Truman Scholars from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. He sits on the Vestry of Christ Church in Philadelphia and has previously held the position of Rector’s Warden. He has served in the United States Army Reserves with the 416th Civil Affairs Company and was honorably discharged as a Captain. He has recently authored a book, Mortals with Tremendous Responsibilities: A History of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge Bartle is married to Nathalie Akin Bartle, Ed.D. Between them they have five children and twelve grandchildren. He is a 1962 graduate of Princeton University and received his LL.B. in 1965 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where he was an editor of the Law Review.

An Alumni Award of Merit, honoring professional achievement and service to the Law School was awarded to Charles I. “Casey” Cogut L’73.

Charles “Casey” Cogut is the Senior M&A Counsel at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where he has worked since graduating from Penn Law, and where he’s served as a Partner for more than thirty years. From 1990 through 1993 he served as Senior Resident Partner in the Firm’s London Office. For many years, Casey was a leader of Simpson Thacher’s M&A and private equity practices, specializing in domestic, international and cross-border mergers and acquisitions; the representation of special committees of boards of directors; and buyouts and other transactions involving private equity firms. In addition, he regularly advised boards of directors with respect to corporate governance matters and fiduciary responsibilities. Over the course of his career, Mr. Cogut was well recognized as a leading corporate lawyer in his specialty areas by such publications as Chambers, Euromoney’s “Best of the Best”, Lawdragon 500 and the “Who’s Who” Lawyer Guides. He was named as a Deal Maker of the Year by the American Lawyer in both 2008 and 2010. Casey is a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Co-Chair of the Board of Advisors of the University’s Institute for Law and Economics. In 2012 he became a member of the Law School’s adjunct faculty, teaching a course for third year students planning to enter private practice called “Transactional Lawyering: Practical Skills in Getting Deals Done”. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He earned a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1973.

An Alumni Award of Merit, honoring professional achievement and service to the Law School was awarded to The Hon. Frederica “Freddie” Massiah-Jackson L’74.

Honorable Frederica Massiah-Jackson was elected to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in 1983. She presides over medical malpractice and products liability cases, complex commercial litigation and personal injury matters. Massiah-Jackson practiced corporate and civil litigation with the law firm of Blank Rome before advancing to the bench. She also worked with the Senate of Pennsylvania as Chief Counsel for the Senate Insurance and Business Committee. Judge Massiah-Jackson was a Lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania from 1992 to 2002, where she taught Legal Studies and Business Law. During her years as President Judge (2001-2006), the First Judicial District administered justice with a $110 million overall budget, 2500 employees and 130 judges. Judge Massiah-Jackson was an effective leader, engaging the Philadelphia courts with innovative management and advances in technology. Access to Justice was the hallmark of the FJD during those five years as she enhanced the public perception of judges and the organization. Among many projects, the President Judge Emeritus coordinated court employee appreciation events, increased the pay rates for court-appointed counsel fees, signed a Mitigation Protocol for representation in death penalty cases, opened an FJD Information Center, expanded our Judicial Education initiatives, and implemented programs to promote race and gender fairness within our courtrooms. In 2011, Philadelphia’s Mural Arts program partnered with Universal Companies to include the judge on a mural entitled “The Faces That Shape Us”. Judge Massiah-Jackson received the 2010 NAACP’s Cecil B. Moore Award. In 2007, the judge’s portrait was presented to the courts and has been hung in the Ceremonial Courtroom of City Hall. In 2006, she was chosen by the Pennsylvania Commission for Women as one of 50 women of color role models profiled in the book Voices. In 2005, she co-hosted Philadelphia’s first Urban Courts Conference. She sits on the boards of Center for Literacy and Eagleville Hospital, and is a member of the Forum of Executive Women. She is a member and Past President of the Delaware Valley, PA Chapter of The Links, Inc. and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Judge Massiah-Jackson has received numerous awards and recognitions of service. The Judge is the proud mother of Dr. Julia L. Jackson and Thomas H. Jackson, IV. She is a graduate of Chestnut Hill College (A.B. 1971) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D. 1974).

The Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award, honoring an alumnus/a who has embodied the spirit of the Public Service Program through a sustained commitment to pro bono and/or public service throughout a private sector career, was awarded to Lawrence J. Fox C’65, L’68.

Lawrence J. Fox is a partner (since 1976) and former Managing Partner at the firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, where he specializes in securities and general commercial litigation and the counseling of law firms. Currently, he is the George W. and Sadella D. Crawford Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. Also, Mr. Fox is the Supervising Lawyer at the Ethics Bureau at Yale. From 2007 to 2010 he was a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School. He was also the I. Grant Irey, Jr., Adjunct Professor at Penn Law School from 2000-2008. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow in the American Bar Foundation and a member of the American Law Institute where he served as an adviser to the Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers. Mr. Fox is the author of a long list of articles which have appeared in regional and national publications, covering a wide variety of subjects with particular emphasis on ethical issues. He also has authored Legal Tender: A Lawyer’s Guide to Professional Dilemmas, American Bar Association (1995); co-authored (with Susan R. Martyn) Traversing the Ethical Minefield: Problems, Law, and Professional Responsibility, Aspen (1st ed. 2004, 2d ed. 2008, 3d ed. 2013); Red Flags: A Lawyer’s Handbook on Legal Ethics, ALI-ABA (1st ed. 2005, 2d ed. 2010, Supplement 2009); Your Lawyer: A User’s Guide, Lexis Nexis (2006); How to Deal with Your Lawyer: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions, Oxford University Press – Oceana (2008); The Ethics of Representing Organizations: Legal Fictions for Clients, Oxford University Press (2009); co-authored (with Susan R. Martyn and W. Bradley Wendell) The Law Governing Lawyers, National Rules, Standards, Statutes, and State Lawyer Codes, Aspen (2006-2007 ed., 2007-2008 ed., 2008-2009 ed., 2009-2010 ed., 2010-2011 ed., 2011-2012 ed., 2012-2013 ed., 2013-2014 ed.); edited and contributed to Raise the Bar: Real World Solutions for a Troubled Profession, ABA (2007); co-edited (with Susan R. Martyn and Andrew S. Polis) and contributed to A Century of Legal Ethics, ABA (2009); and written numerous book chapters relating to internal investigations, sanctions, expert witnesses and other topics. Mr. Fox has participated in well over 200 continuing legal education programs and has given lectures or classes at over 35 law schools. Among Mr. Fox’s many professional and community service activities, he was a member of the ABA Commission on the Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct (Ethics 2000), Chair of the ABA Post-Conviction Death Penalty Representation Project (1996-2003), Chair of the ABA Litigation Section and Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. He was sent by the United States State Department to Argentina (1997) and China (2002) as a Specialist and Speaker on the Role and Rights of Lawyers. He has made numerous television appearances on Nightline, Cross-Fire, the Today Show, Talk Back Live, Burden of Proof, CNN and MSNBC on topics ranging from the Clinton Impeachment to the death penalty. Mr. Fox won the ABA’s Pro Bono Publico Award in 2005 and the Michael Franck Award in 2007. In 2013 Mr. Fox was honored as a 25-Year Life Member of The American Law Institute and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Legal Intelligencer. He received his LL.B. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1968, where he was Managing Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

The Louis H. Pollak Public Service Award, honoring a career of advancing justice through the service of others, was presented to Sandra Strokoff CW’71, L’75.

Sandra Strokoff was appointed Legislative Counsel of the House of Representatives in July of 2009, the first woman to hold the position in the 95-year history of the Office of the Legislative Counsel. She has dedicated her entire legal career to working for the Office, which by law is tasked with advising and assisting Members and committees of the House of Representatives in the “achievement of a clear, faithful, and coherent expression of legislative policies.” The Office drafts legislation at all stages of the legislative process and, while Members and committees are not required to use the Office’s services, virtually all do because of the strong reputation the Office has developed for providing high-quality drafting services, on an impartial and confidential basis, within the timeframes set by Congress. Sandra’s areas of expertise include intellectual property law, matters affecting the federal courts, international trade law, international relations issues, and laws relating to lobbying and ethics. She has participated in the drafting of patent, copyright, and trademark legislation since 1982, including the America Invents Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and other legislation relating to intellectual property rights and the Internet. She has also participated in the drafting of all major trade legislation since 1993, including the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, the law providing Normal Trade Relations Treatment for the People’s Republic of China, and the legislation implementing the bilateral free trade agreements between the United States and numerous other countries. Sandra is the co-author of The Legislative Drafter’s Desk Reference, Second Edition, published by Congressional Quarterly Press (2008), and “How Our Laws Are Made: A Ghost Writer’s View” (The Philadelphia Lawyer, Philadelphia Bar Association Quarterly Magazine, Vol. 59, No. 2, Summer 1996.). She is currently a Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School. She has also been a guest lecturer at Penn Law, as well as Boston University, the University of Nebraska, and Catholic University Law Schools, and has participated in programs on legislative process for emerging democracies, held by the National Democratic Institute. Sandra represented the U.S. Government in U.S.-China Legislative and Regulatory Drafting Roundtables, held at the national, provincial, and municipal levels in 6 cities in China in 2004 and 2005. In 2012 she participated in workshops on legislative drafting at the European Parliament in Brussels, and in symposia on bill drafting for members of the National Assembly of Vietnam in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Sandra is also a violinist with the Prince George’s Philharmonic Orchestra and an avid chamber music player. She earned both her Bachelor of Arts and law degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Arts degree from Kings College, University of London. She was a Thouron Scholar (awarded by the University of Pennsylvania for graduate study in Great Britain).

The Young Alumni Award, honoring the professional achievement of an alumnus/a who graduated within the past 10 years, was presented to Nicole Isaac L’04.

Nicole Isaac is presently serving as a Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. In this capacity, she serves as a liaison to the Judiciary, Financial Services, and Appropriations Committees of the House of Representatives. She manages the legislative priorities for the President on issues ranging from Dodd- Frank implementation, telecommunications, intellectual property reform and protection, and immigration. She is also the primary liaison to 85 Members of Congress, and the Congressional Black Caucus. Nicole previously served as the Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Vice President. In this capacity, she worked as a senior advisor to the Vice President and liaison between the Vice President and Members of the United States Congress on domestic and international legislative issues. She also identified challenges and resolutions to optimize the influence and impact of the office. Nicole collaborates with governmental agencies, Congressional offices, and outside groups, while managing and implementing existing and future priorities for the President and the leadership team. From 2007 through 2009, she worked as Floor Counsel to the Assistant Majority Leader, Senator Richard Durbin and was responsible for assisting with the management of the Senate Floor. In this capacity, she communicated regular updates on unanimous consent agreements, amendments, and legislation on the Floor. She also coordinated with leadership staff and the Floor directors to determine priority amendments and identify potentially controversial issues for the Senator and Whip team. In 2006, she worked as lead Counsel to the Democratic Caucus Committee on Organization, Study & Review, where she assisted with drafting the rules of the Caucus for the 110th Congress. From 2004 through 2006, she worked as Assistant Counsel with the Office of the Legislative Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives and drafted hundreds of pieces of legislation for personal offices and committees of the United States House of Representatives. In addition, during 2006, she worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Dikgang Moseneke, the Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa. In this capacity, she researched and analyzed domestic and foreign legal jurisprudence for purposes of advising the Deputy Chief Justice. She also drafted memoranda on domestic case law and foreign legal positions for purposes of providing comparative legal framework. Finally, she assisted with drafting of judgments and reviewed applications to the Court. Nicole has worked with the U.S. Department of State, the Government Accountability Office, the Securities & Exchange Commission, prominent law firms in New York and Paris, and with NGO’s in Geneva and South Africa. She served for over three years as Vice-Chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the Washington Bar Association. She is fluent in French, and interested in the rule of law and international human rights. She is a native New Yorker and her parents are Caribbean immigrants. Nicole completed her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and also a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, respectively, in 2004. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University. She also recently completed a Master of Studies program in International Human Rights Law at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

The Club of the Year Award, honoring outstanding outreach to its alumni through a range of offerings, growth in leadership, new initiatives, and proactive organization and mobilization of local alumni in its region, was presented to The Penn Law Southern California Alumni Club.

Over the course of the past year, the Southern California Club planned a steady stream of diverse and interesting events, which they often coordinated and cross-advertised with the Penn Club of Los Angeles and the Wharton Club of Southern California.  Among other events, the Club’s admitted students reception, faculty event with Prof. Edward Rock, Natural History Museum reception and tour, and alumni discussion on behavioral finance certainly provided our Southern California-area alumni with the opportunity to reconnect with the school and each other in a variety of ways!  These events would not be possible without an amazingly enthusiastic, generous, and organized leadership team, including: President Angelique Kaounis L’00, Vice Presidents Brad Berdow L’01 and Zaharit Chen L’07, and Board of Directors Paul Haaga L’ 74, Elliot Hahn L’74, Benjamin Alexander L’92, Tamany Bentz L’04, Lindsay Harris L’07, Oleg Elkunovich L’09, and Areen Babajanian L’12.