You've seen Alumni Notes in the CUNY Law magazine. Now you can view expanded notes about your classmates — including e-mail and web addresses and photos — online!
We update this page regularly, so if you have news you'd like to share with the CUNY Law community, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about our alumni on the alumni news page.
PICO BEN-AMOTZ is acting counsel for the New York State Department of Labor after having served as deputy commissioner for Worker Protection since 2007. Prior to working at the Department of Labor, Pico was at the Labor Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's office, where the Department of Labor was his client agency.
HON. PAMELA JACKMAN BROWN was inducted as a justice of the Queens County Supreme Court on January 27, 2012, at the Queens County Supreme Court.
JUSTICE DICCIA T. PINEDA-KIRWAN sits in the historic Long Island City Courthouse. She eagerly awaits the relocation of CUNY School of Law to Long Island City, and she is proud to have been elected and unanimously approved to its board of visitors. She has had the pleasure of having many CUNY Law students serve as judicial interns and looks forward to working with them in the future. Justice Pineda-Kirwan officiated the wedding of her son Christopher and his bride Jessica this fall and is the proud grandmother to their son Caiden Joseph. Christopher was the first child to be cared for in what is now known as the CUNY Law Day Care Center, which Justice Pineda-Kirwan co-founded during the school's inaugural year.
BARRY STRUTT created and produced an OWS-related original cross-generational tune (light rap meets funk/jazz) with video. It's called "Run (The Occupy Movement Endures)."
CARMEN TORRENT introduces her great-grandchild Remington (Remi) Aubrey Smith, born January 2012.
PARIS R. BALDACCI is the director of a new clinical program he launched at Cardozo Law School called the LGBT Litigation and Leadership Practicum. He has placed seven students at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, ACLU LGBT Rights Project, GMHC Legal Services, and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, where they are working on a variety or direct service and law reform cases. He also teaches an LGBT Rights Seminar, which takes a critical look at prior LGBT Rights litigation and encourages students to envision the forms that future advocacy for LGBT rights might take and what their role in that advocacy might be. In December 2011, he presented "The French Experience: Comparative Approaches to the Right to Counsel" at the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel conference.
MATILDE LEO has been with the New York City Department of Probation since 1990.
ELSIE ACEVEDO has an office at 111 Montauk Highway, Center Moriches, NY 11934. Her website is www.ElsieAcevedo.com.
CAREEN SHANNON, of counsel at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP, was named director of the Immigration Law Field Clinic at Cardozo Law School. She has coauthored a series of immigration handbooks and treatises published by Thomson Reuters/West and is an advisor to the New York State Bar Association's Special Committee on Immigration Representation. She has also recently published two law review articles on "notario fraud" and related issues concerning representation fraud perpetrated against immigrants. Super Lawyers has named Careen one of the top New York metro area lawyers for the past four years. Careen still lives in Brooklyn, and her daughter, Rachel, graduates from Columbia University in May 2012.
EVELYN TOSSAS TUCKER has her own private practice specializing in immigration after working as an attorney with the INS and director of the legal department at Gay Men's Health Crisis. She has had many CUNY Law students as interns. Her daughter, a sophomore at the University of Michigan, is interested in opera singing and did not want to be a lawyer. Evelyn recently adopted two boys.
BARBARA CARAVELLO is entering her 12th year in private practice and is a member of both the 18b and Attorneys for Children panels in Queens County Family Court. She is also occupied with raising her two sons, Brandon and Jonathan, both of whom she is extremely proud.
ANNA LEVINE is an active mediator, a New York City Family Court Mediation Program participant, and an activist/advocate for all who need help.
BARBARA KATZ was accepted into the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA), an academy of approximately 330 members throughout the U.S. and Canada who are experts in the complexities of adoption law and the variety of interstate and international regulations surrounding adoption. Membership in the academy is by invitation only, and fellows in the academy maintain their practice according to the highest standards of ethics, competence, and professionalism. Barbara is also a fellow of the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers, the state equivalent of AAAA.
MARIANNE HENRY SAYLOR was elected to Borough Council in Lansdowne, PA, for a four-year term.
PETER C. WALSH was nominated as the secretary of the District Managers Association for the Port Jefferson Village (NY) Business Improvement District.
ANTHONE DAMIANAKIS is a partner in Peacock, Gaffney & Damianakis, P.A., a full-service law firm serving Tampa Bay residents and businesses and New Yorkers with Florida matters.
DANIEL FLANZIG launched his new website and practice area, www.NewYorkBikeLawyer.com, focusing on promoting cycling safety in and around New York and representing the interests of injured cyclists.
KARL JACOB RUPPERT began his sixth year as court counsel serving the judges of the 11th Judicial District Court of Louisiana. He is also the district hearing officer (magistrate) for the district, hearing child support, protective order and domestic relations cases. He recently began his third term as president of the Louisiana Hearing Officers' Association. In April 2011, New York City journalist and author Robin Shulman set up shop in Ruppert's office, researching and writing a chapter of her upcoming book, Eat the City, wherein she devotes a chapter to 19th and 20th Century beer production as told through the history of the Jacob Ruppert Brewery, Karl's family's brewery that dominated the Upper East Side from 1867 to 1965. Ruppert moved to New Orleans from New York City a month before Katrina and was displaced to northern Louisiana where he now resides indefinitely. Friends can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com or via Facebook.
In November 2011, LINDA H. SCHWAGER was elected mayor of the Borough of Oakland, in Bergen County, NJ. She was sworn in on January 4, 2012.
MARK F. WILLIMANN represented Aurora Lopez-Avila in U.S. v. Lopez-Avila in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
ELISABETH AMES recently celebrated the 13th year of her law practice located in Manhattan, which specializes in immigration law with an increasing emphasis on foreign nationals who are artists, academics, or in business — including painters, curators, dancers, choreographers, actors, photographers, new media artists, scientists, professors, financiers and others — and are seeking temporary or permanent status in the United States. She lives on the Upper West Side with her two children, Zachary and Anna.
EMILY BARNES COLE has been employed by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office since 1998 as an assistant state's attorney, working for the past 10 years in the specialty courts of drug court and mental health court, providing felony defendants the alternative of rehabilitation instead of incarceration.
JUSTIN C. FRANKEL has attained the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell for his legal ability and ethical standards.
JOSEPH B. MAIRA is available to mentor law practice management for solo practitioners and accepts referrals for legal work in New Jersey.
JOY ROSENTHAL ('96), TERESA CALABRESE ('87), and KATIE COLE ('00) led Same Sex Marriage-What it Really Means, a seminar for members of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York that explored the impact of New York State's Marriage Equality Act on LGBTQ families in light of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Teresa and Katie have led similar workshops for the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation and at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange.
MICHAEL TOBMAN continues to serve as a lobbyist, media consultant, and political counselor for corporations, nonprofits, schools, and real estate developers. The public affairs, public relations, and fundraising firm he started with a partner in 2007 — Hudson TG — has grown to three principals with a staff of four and is pleased to work with elected officials throughout New York, New Jersey, and DC. Of particular interest is Michael's work in Flushing with Assemblywoman Grace Meng, New York's only Asian-American state legislator, and on public benefits delivery and health care exchanges. He is especially proud of his cousin, CUNY Law 2L Matthew Rosenbloom.
MERCEDES S. CANO is sole proprietor of the Law Office of Mercedes S. Cano and has recently expanded her practice to include a business center that provides specialty services tailored to helping immigrant micro-entrepreneurs achieve long-term success and sustainability in their small-business ventures. As a general practitioner, Mercedes has over ten years of experience in real estate and business transactions, in addition to her criminal and immigration practice. Over the years, through her work with the immigrant community, Mercedes realized the need for a business and legal resource center that specifically caters to the needs of immigrant entrepreneurs. Micro-entrepreneurs face tremendous challenges in today's market; this is especially true for immigrants. The business center will provide individualized assistance and valuable business information giving the immigrant micro-entrepreneur the tools to compete in today's market.
JAMES J. GALLESHAW and his law partner, Keith M. Sullivan, were named to the 2011 Irish Legal 100. Their firm also recently represented, on a pro bono basis, Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the first living United States Marine to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. During the week of September 11, Sgt. Meyer was in New York City fulfilling his duties for the Department of Defense. During this time, Sgt. Meyer, who grew up on a farm in Kansas, learned of the upcoming New York City Firefighter Exam. Unfortunately, due to his hectic schedule that week fulfilling his obligations, Sgt. Meyer was 12 hrs. late in filing his application. Several NYFD Firefighters who served with Sgt. Meyer learned of his attempts to register for the exam and enlisted James's firm in an attempt to have the filing period re-opened. Although the firm was successful in persuading United States District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis to reopen the application filing deadline for the exam for Sgt. Meyer, Sgt. Meyer declined as they [he] had indicated to the Court that he would only apply if, and only if, the application period was extended to everyone, not just himself. More about the case is available at www.SullivanGalleshaw.com.
MAE WATSON GROTE reports that the Financial Clinic, a nonprofit that she founded and for which she serves as executive director, was given the ABA's 2012 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access.
MYKAL SLACK completed his internship for ordination with Metropolitan Community Churches and is developing a consultative ministry for faith communities and social service agencies in the New England area that want to promote healing and wholeness in the areas concerning sexuality and gender identity/expression. He will also serve on the staff of the Beacon Hill Friends House.
HEATHER ZORN has been living and working in Hong Kong since September 2011. She's been a senior writer/editor for CNN International for several years now; the posting in CNN's Hong Kong bureau is new.
ERICA BUCKLEY (née MCHALE) has recently been appointed review section chief of the Real Estate Finance Bureau at the New York State Office of the Attorney General. Erica supervises a team of attorneys, paralegals, and engineers charged with regulating the offer and sale of cooperative interests in realty pursuant to the Martin Act. Erica joined the Attorney General's Office in 2007. Previously, she served as general counsel to the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, a not-for-profit housing organization specializing in the creation and support of limited-equity housing cooperatives.
MARIA BALDRIDGE was promoted to assistant attorney in charge of the Bronx Juvenile Rights office at the Legal Aid Society
MEGHAN K. GULCZYNSKI (MULLIGAN) opened her firm, Brunetti, Donnelly & Gulczynski, LLC, at 665 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306. The number is 201-537-5234.
IAN HINONANGAN has secured termination of removal proceedings on behalf of several clients under the prosecutorial discretion policy outlined in the Immigration and Custom's Enforcement agency's Morton Memo issued in June 2011.
HARRY BERBERIAN is the director of strategic partnerships and resource development at Graham Windham. His new year's resolution was to get social. Follow him on Twitter @harrytalksgood
KATHRYN L. HUDSON owns a small firm in Little Rock, AR, representing criminal and family law clients in the state and federal courts. At least 10 percent of the firm's practice is pro bono or low fee to make legal representation accessible and affordable. www.hudson-lawcenter.com.
JOHN FREEMAN accepted the Law Technology News award for Most Innovative Technology in a Pro Bono Project on behalf of the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition, which he supervises.
KRIS KRAUS and MIA MARANION KRAUS celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in February. Mia continues her work as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of San Diego. Kris continues his work as a trial attorney at the Federal Defenders of San Diego and recently accepted an adjunct professor position at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Kris and Mia are working with the Career Planning Office to establish a scholarship for CUNY Law students.
JULIE GRAVES KRISHNASWAMI recently started a new job as a law librarian at Yale Law School. She is the new head of reference services in the law library. Her family, including her two-and-a-half year old daughter Willa Josephine, are settling into their new home in New Haven, CT.
JACQUELINE DEVORE is now an associate with Mayerson & Associates, a leading law firm in the area of special education litigation under the IDEIA. The firm specializes in serving children and adults with autism across the country.
RAHA JORJANI worked for the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Florence, AZ, as a staff attorney from 2005 until 2007. In 2007 she became a staff attorney/clinical professor with the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of California at Davis School of Law. In October 2009, she also began serving as in-house immigration counsel to the Alameda County Public Defender's Office.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) received the New York Bar Association's 2011 Bar Leaders Innovation Award for a medium-sized bar association in recognition of its Pro Bono Immigration Clinics. The honor was received by the cochairs of the AILA New York Chapter Pro Bono Committee, Jennifer Durkin and ELIZABETA MARKUCI, director of the Volunteers of Legal Service's Immigration Project.
RICHARD CELESTIN recently received a federal grant under President Obama's Race to the Top Fund to provide his Young Debaters program to five middle schools in Queens and Brooklyn, predominantly consisting of African American and Hispanic young men. His program is entering its second year and has worked with 10 schools to date.
MICHAEL DAVIDOV, an elder law and estate planning attorney, recently passed the Certified Financial Planner certification exam.
RICHARD M. GOLDMAN continues to represent injured workers in and around the capital region of New York State, handling all phases of litigation and Appellate Division advocacy. He also serves as treasurer of the Injured Workers' Bar Association, a position he has held for three years.
DAVE PALMER and his wife, Paloma Gomes, announce the birth of their daughter, Maya Gomes Palmer, born in January in Salvador, Brazil.
CHARLIE STOLL works for the Second Judicial District Attorney's Office in Albuquerque, NM, where he prosecutes felony domestic violence crimes. When he's not at work, he's exploring the ancient halls of a once sophisticated Chacoan civilization (dating back to 950 AD), skiing the slopes of nearby Taos Mountain, or piecing together the history of Manifest Destiny!
AFREEN S. RIZWAN was appointed deputy town attorney for Babylon, NY. She previously served as assistant town attorney.
ANDREW STA. ANA was honored by the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) at its 15th Annual Courage Awards ceremony for his work as one of the attorneys for AVP's Domestic Violence Legal Clinic.
MATTHEW BARTOLINI started a new job as a compliance officer at Healthy Neighborhoods, a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing strong but undervalued neighborhoods in Baltimore City.
CHRISTA DOUAIHY and SIENNA BASKIN ('07) were married in August. Sienna is codirector of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center. Christa is a staff attorney at the Bronx Defenders. Christa also works with REBECCA GREENBERG ('08), who was recently named supervising attorney overseeing the legal advocates in the Civil Action practice of the Bronx Defenders.
JAMES ALEX BARRON joined Kevin Kerveng Tung, P.C., a litigation firm in Queens, as an associate after working as a contract attorney at the Board of Elections in the City of New York for the 2010 and 2011 election cycles.
CHRISTEL MATALA DE MAZZA is a court attorney to the Hon. Cheryl J. Gonzales of the Civil Court of New York, New York County, Housing Part, who is currently presiding over a trial part. She has also volunteered as an attorney with the EEOC New York District Office and with the African Services Committee in Harlem on a political asylum case.
SAMANTHA N. THOMAS is currently working as a trial attorney for the Department of Labor, focusing primarily on mine safety and health litigation. Her office is in Philadelphia, PA.
MARYAM ARIF will teach at Quaid-e-Azam Law College in Lahore, Pakistan, where she will head the Street Law Clinic. She is a partner at the Law Offices of Maryam & Arif. She recently coedited a publication based on the conference Justice for All, Impunity for None, organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan. She continues to use Legal Aid Network South Asia (LANSA) as a platform from which to launch public interest litigation on behalf of Pakistani prisoners in Indian prisons, for example, or enforce provisions of the Pakistan Constitution, such as the right to education guaranteed to all without any discrimination.
Following graduation, CHRISTOPHER J. FUSCO clerked for Judge Thomas H. Dilts of the New Jersey Superior Court in Somerset County. Since completing his clerkship, Christopher has been an attorney with the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ, where he is also a judge on the diocesan tribunal. He and Patricia E. Scalese married in July 2011.
In December 2011, ALICIA ARMSTRONG and her husband, Spencer Ericksen, welcomed the birth of their healthy baby boy, Jude Armstrong Ericksen. After being admitted to the Wisconsin State Bar Association, Alicia worked as an associate at a boutique immigration firm. She returns to her law practice after taking maternity leave.
NATASHA LYCIA ORA BANNAN accepted a two-year fellowship with the Center for Reproductive Rights' U.S. Legal Program. She'll be supporting domestic litigation in state and federal court beginning in September 2012. She was also voted in as cochair of the International Committee for the National Lawyers Guild.
MARCY WEHLING is an Equal Justice Works Americorps Legal Fellow at Legal Assistance of Western New York's Rochester office. Half of her project is the co-coordination of the Volunteer Legal Corps, which recruits law students, attorneys, and community members to intern and volunteer with various upstate New York legal service agencies. The other half is direct representation, outreach, and community legal education. The majority of her caseload is with the Reentry Project — namely, assisting individuals with criminal records who face discrimination and other employment barriers. In addition, she handles elder law, UIB, and public benefits cases.