Recipients of this year’s George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award, given by the American Friends of the Hebrew University, were Gary P. Naftalis, a partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, and Mary Jo White, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton.
The ceremony, held on Feb. 5, attracted 350 attendees. Former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Harry Woolf was the keynote speaker.
Mr. Naftalis, Kramer Levin’s co-chair and head of its litigation department, is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of The Grand Jury Project, appointed by former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye.
Ms. White is chair of Debevoise’s litigation department and a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The Torch of Learning Award is given annually to a “distinguished member of the legal community,” recognizing the “leadership, scholarship and dedication to the betterment of humanity.”
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz co-founder, the late George A. Katz, is the award’s namesake.
The Medal for Excellence, Columbia Law School’s most prestigious award, was presented to alumni Steven Epstein, class of 1968, and the late Jerome L. Greene, 1928.
Mr. Epstein and Mr. Greene were honored at the 2009 Winter Luncheon Feb. 6 in Columbia University’s Grand Ballroom.
Mr. Epstein, a senior partner at Epstein Becker & Green in Washington D.C., is active in the field of healthcare law, working to develop a legal basis for the increased use of managed care.
Dawn Greene, Mr. Greene’s wife and the CEO of the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, accepted for Mr. Greene, the namesake of the Columbia Law’s flagship building. He was a “dedicated New Yorker and ardent Columbian who believed in the transformative power of giving,” said Dean David M. Schizer.
The Cornell Law School Public Service Committee has awarded six alumni with this year’s Exemplary Public Service Award.
Recipients included Arthur Eisenberg, class of 1968, legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union; Douglas Meiklejohn, 1971, executive director of the New Mexico Environmental Law center; Bryan D. Hetherington, 1975, general counsel at the Empire Justice Center; Carl J. Boykin, 1985, special deputy attorney general in the New York State Attorney General’s Office; Marth L. Raimon, 1985, senior associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy; and Daniel Boglioli, 2000, counsel at Kaye Scholer.
The awards were given during a Feb. 5 reception at the Cornell Club in Manhattan.
In addition to receiving the public service award, Mr. Boglioli, a litigator, received Cornell’s Rising Star award for his “leadership and dedication” to a range of pro bono projects at Kaye Scholer.
Professor Richard Weisberg of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law has been awarded the Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honor for outstanding service to France.
An expert on the practice of law during the Vichy regime, Mr. Weisberg was recognized for his “contribution to the development of French-American relations in the defense of human rights.”
He was presented with the medal at a ceremony last month at the French Ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.
The Legion of Honor, created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, is the highest decoration given by the French Republic. Annually, about 10 Americans receive the award. Past recipients have included President Ronald Reagan, astronaut Neil Armstrong and Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Mr. Weisberg is the Walter Floersheimer professor of constitutional law at Cardozo, where he specializes in law and literature, constitutional law and trusts and estates.
This year, inMotion honored 28 individuals and three institutions for their efforts in helping women and their families receive legal and social work support.
The 2009 Commitment to Justice Awards ceremony, held on Feb. 3, saluted individuals who donated 67,000 hours to pro bono and volunteer work in 2008.
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy was recognized for its “extraordinary commitment to inMotion and [their] clients.”
Glynna K. Christian, a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf, was honored for her commitment to inMotion’s mission. Ms. Christian has supervised attorneys representing six clients in divorce, support and custody matters in the past year.
Legal Team Awards were given to Michelle K. Parikh and Jessica l. Selb and also Lindsay R. Goldstein and Lara M. Rios, all of Cravath Swaine & Moore; Nancy B. Ludmerer of Davis Polk & Wardwell; Nicole P. De Bello and Nicholas J. Zoogman of Dickstein Shapiro; Jenny Chen, Laura R. Correa, Hays Ellisen, Kenneth P. Marin, Peter Tchemishanov and Courtney Thorpe of McKee Nelson, Teddy Schwarzman and Julie A. Turner of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Diane C. Ragosa of Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Also honored were Sidley Austin extern attorneys Saima S. Ahmed, Kevin M. Brennan, Marcus A. Cordova, Evelyn H. Chung, Kristin Connelly, Devon A. Corneal, Tor B. Ekeland, Matthew S. Ferguson, Brian K. Friendman, Adam J. Gana , Madhu Goel, Martin B. Jackson, Faith Jenkins, Theresa D. Lawson, Jeffrey B. Meyers, Tom A. Paskowitz and Philip C. Smith.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld associate, Elizabeth Young, received the John K. Geiger Award in recognition of “extending her extraordinary commitment to pro bono work to include recruiting other lawyers at Akin Gump to represent inMotion clients.”
The Mentor Award was awarded to Margery A. Greenberg and Philip C. Segal, partners at Segal & Greenberg, for their work in leading Continuing Legal Education sessions for inMotion pro bono attorneys.
For her “energetic representation” in a Bronx child support case, Isabelle L. Curro received the Solo Practitioner Award. Peter Scheidt, a partner at Solomon & Scheidt, won the Small Firm Practitioner award for his work in divorce and custody matters.
In-House Volunteer Awards, honoring inMotion pro bono legal volunteers, were given to Sonia Casado-Cruz and Tova C. Gozdzik.
Lastly, three Special Awards were presented to De Novo Legal, an integrated e-discovery solutions company; Stella Drevina and Christine Sabbio, pro bono coordinator and legal recruiter, respecively, at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and Perry Hu, inMotion’s events coordinator and “in-house” volunteer.
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