Cablevision, based in New York, appointed David Ellen executive vice president and general counsel. With the media company since 2004, he was previously its executive vice president and general counsel for cable and communications.

Thom Sheets was appointed general counsel for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Previously he was chairman of the Nevada Tax Commission while also a partner at McDonald Carano Wilson.

Dorval Carter Jr. was named chief legal officer at the Federal Transit Administration. Earlier this year he was appointed acting president of the Chicago Transit Authority.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter International promoted David Scharf to general counsel. Previously he was the pharmaceutical and medical device company’s deputy general counsel.

Former Intel General Counsel Bruce Sewell joined Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple as general counsel and senior vice president, legal and government affairs. He succeeds Daniel Cooperman, who retired at the end of September.

Maryland-based life sciences company Intrexon named Asher Rubin executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary. Rubin previously served as chair of Hogan & Hartson’s life sciences group.

Activision Blizzard, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based computer game publisher, named Christopher Walther chief legal counsel. Previously, he served as Procter & Gamble’s Western Europe general counsel.

Indiana’s Valparaiso University hired Darron Farha as its first general counsel. Previously he was the first full-time general counsel at Pittsburg State University in Kansas.

St. Louis-based Sigma-Aldrich named George Miller senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Before joining the life sciences company, he was general counsel at Novartis.

Financial services firm Merriman Curhan Ford Group named Michael Doran general counsel. Prior to joining Merriman, he provided the company outside counsel as a partner at Fish & Richardson.

The American Veterinary Medical Association named Isham Jones its first general counsel. He previously worked as associate counsel for the National Association of Realtors.

Michigan-based Visteon Corp. promoted Michael Sharnas to vice president and general counsel. Previously he served as the auto parts supplier’s associate general counsel.

Regency Energy Partners, based in Dallas, named Paul Jolas executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary. He comes to the natural gas services company from Trinity Industries, where he served as vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary.

Christopher Brennan was named general counsel of Princeton, N.J.-based PharmaNet Development Group. Previously he was general counsel at a specialty pharmaceutical company.

Thomas Onusko was named senior vice president and general counsel of Cleveland’s regional health center, MetroHealth. Most recently, he was of counsel in the Cleveland office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.

Bytemobile Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of mobile Internet solutions for wireless network operators, named Andy Missan vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Previously he was general counsel at cell phone video provider MobiTV.

Harris Stratex Networks Inc., a Durham, N.C.-based wireless solutions provider, named Meena Elliott vice president, general counsel and secretary. Previously, she was general counsel for Harris Corp.’s Microwave Communications Division.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., has hired Michelle Gluck as senior vice president and general counsel. She was previously corporate counsel for Kmart Corp. Gluck succeeds James McAfee, who retired in May.

The Little Clinic, a Brentwood, Tenn.-based regional health clinic operator, named William Wright chief legal officer. Wright was previously an attorney with Stites & Harbison.

Houston-based Orion Marine Group named Peter Buchler vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary, as well as chief compliance officer. Previously he founded and operated his own corporate consulting firm.

Georgetown University appointed Stephanie Tsacoumis vice president and general counsel. Before coming to the university, she was co-partner-in-charge of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C., office.

Manchester, Conn.-based manufacturer Lydell, Inc. named Paul Igoe vice president, general counsel and secretary. Previously, he was associate general counsel and assistant corporate secretary at Teradyne, Inc.

P. David Lopez was nominated as general counsel for the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC). He previously worked as a supervisory trial attorney with the EEOC’s Phoenix district office.

Food manufacturer Ralcorp Holdings, based in St. Louis, named Gregory Billhartz corporate vice president, general counsel and secretary. Previously he served as assistant general counsel and assistant secretary at Arch Coal. Billhartz succeeds Charles Huber Jr., who Ralcorp promoted in May to president of its frozen food division.

Enterprise Products Partners, a Houston-based provider of natural gas infrastructure, promoted Stephanie Hildebrandt to general counsel. She will continue to serve as the company’s vice president and assistant secretary.

Gerard Sower was appointed general counsel of document services-provider Standard Register. He was previously the Dayton, Ohio-based company’s vice president and deputy general counsel. Sower succeeds Kathryn Lamme, who retires at the end of December.

Pat Meyers returns to Denver-based sandwich chain Quizno’s as general counsel. Meyers was the company’s general counsel for 10 years before leaving the post two years ago to serve as Consumer Capital Partner’s chief legal officer.

Other in-house moves

Brad Swenson was named Chief Operating Officer of Ulteig, a Fargo, N.D.-based engineering company. Previously Swenson was the company’s chief administrative officer, general counsel and corporate secretary.

Advisory firm CounselWorks named Brad Caswell managing director. Prior to joining the New York-based firm, Caswell served as general counsel and chief compliance officer of DKR Oasis.

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue named Nels Peterson executive counsel for his office. Peterson previously served as the office’s deputy executive counsel. That role is being filled by Ryan Teague, who previously served as general counsel to advocacy group Freedom Watch.

Life Care Centers of America, a Cleveland, Tenn.-based health care company, named Michael Lops chief compliance officer. He previously served as the company’s general counsel.

The Washington Redskins’ named its general counsel, David Donovan, as its COO. He will continue to serve as the football team’s general counsel.

Law firm news

Karen Reinhold joined San Jose law firm Hopkins & Carley’s litigation and employment law group. She previously served as associate general counsel at New York-based Loral Space & Communications.

Phillips Lytle named Alisa Lukasiewicz special counsel in its Buffalo, N.Y., office. She previously served as corporation counsel for the City of Buffalo.

Donald Layden joined Quarles & Brady as a partner in the Milwaukee office. He previously served as general counsel at Brown Deer, Mo.-based Metavante Technologies Inc.

Conrad O’Brien named Robert Rauker, former chief patent counsel to medical device company Synthes, of counsel to the firm.

Richard Ross joined Chadbourne & Parke as of counsel in the firm’s corporate practice. Previously he was vice president & assistant general counsel in merchant banking legal for Goldman Sachs.

Phillips Lytle named Martin Schwartz special counsel in its New York City office. Previously, he was general counsel of Siemens Corporation.

Associate Editor Lauren Williamson researched and wrote Career Talk. Please send her promotions, career changes, hires and awards at