SU Law Alumni Association (SULAA)
All College of Law students become members of SULAA automatically upon graduation. SULAA proudly serves the College’s more than 11,000 members by hosting and supporting a wide range of professional and social events and by offering a networking and fellowship connection between the College, graduates, and current students. It also offers support and advice to the College of Law leadership team on matters like recruitment and career services.
SULAA co-sponsors networking events in areas of high Syracuse alumni concentration—such as Syracuse, New York City, Washington, DC, and Southern California—and it continues to expand into other areas to connect growing alumni communities in Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Boston, Northern California, and Florida.
How to Connect with SULAA:
- Attend College of Law alumni events.
- Get involved in SULAA governance and leadership: View the current board members.
- Join SULAA Committees.
- Stay connected via social media: LinkedIn and Facebook
If you are interested in becoming more active in SULAA or helping to organize an event in your area, email SULAA@syr.edu.
Board of Advisors
Winston & Strawn LLP
Melanie Gray was Chair of the Bankruptcy Litigation Practice and partner in the Houston office of Winston & Strawn LLP prior to her retirement in early 2020. Before joining Winston & Strawn in 2013, Melanie enjoyed almost three decades with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Melanie concentrated her practice in commercial litigation, with a special focus on complex bankruptcy cases.
Melanie has earned multiple recognitions for professional excellence and public service. She was selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America as a result of her exceptional accomplishments in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation. In both 2013 and 2014, Benchmark Litigation named her as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation and she is listed in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in America in the Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights category. In 2011, she received the Distinguished Alumna Achievement Award from Syracuse University College of Law. In 2010, she was recognized as one of Texas’s Most Powerful Women by Texas Diversity Council. Melanie has been named a Texas Super Lawyer in each year since 2003 and was named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas in 2005 for her work in business litigation and bankruptcy. In 2003, she was recognized as a Woman Achiever by the New York YMCA and as one of ten Houston Women on the Move by Texas Executive Women in 2001. Litigation Management named her as a “Lone Star All Star” for being among the state’s “effective litigators and communicators with great judgment.”
Melanie has served in leadership roles in numerous legal organizations, including serving on the board of the Houston Bar Foundation, the Interdisciplinary Committee on Law and Accounting of the Houston Bar Association, the Texas Accounting and Lawyers for the Arts. In addition to being a Founder and an Executive Committee member of The Center for Women in Law, Melanie is widely known for her community service and contributions to the arts, education, and the advancement of women and serves (or has served) on the following boards: Baylor College of Medicine, Girls Inc., Greater Houston Community Foundation, Society for the Performing Arts, Foundation for Jones Hall, The Jung Center, Greater Houston Women’s Center, Legacy Community Health Services Endowment, Teen & Family Services, Post Oak School. Melanie is an inaugural Member of the Syracuse University College of Law Board of Advisors (2004). She is also a Life Trustee of Syracuse.
Melanie graduated from Syracuse University College of Law, is married to Mark Wawro—a partner with Susman Godfrey LLP, and has three children. Mark and Melanie were honored by the Anti-Defamation League at the 2015 Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award Luncheon.
Arnold & Porter
Richard Alexander is Chairman of Arnold & Porter. Richard’s practice involves some of the most significant enforcement, supervisory, and governance matters affecting the financial services industry. Richard represents financial services companies and their officers and directors, as well as accountants, attorneys, and other professionals, in significant enforcement or investigative proceedings brought by federal or state agencies. He has led the firm’s representation of clients in high-profile matters initiated by, among others, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Richard also serves as Chair of Justice in Aging, a national legal advocacy organization. He served as the Managing Partner of Arnold & Porter from 2005 through 2015. Previously, Richard served in the Enforcement and Compliance Division of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Richard joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2013 and is a Syracuse University Trustee.
Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer
Pacific Investment Management Company
New York, NY
Keisha Audain-Pressley is an executive vice president and leader in Pacific Investment Management Company’s (PIMCO) Legal and Compliance department. She serves as the Chief Compliance Officer for the U.S. Registered Funds. She is also a member of the leadership team for the investment advisory compliance program.
Before joining PIMCO in 2011, Keisha was a senior vice president and senior compliance officer at Neuberger Berman Management. Previously, Keisha was a chief compliance officer in Lehman Brothers’ investment management division. In her prior roles, she was responsible for the compliance program of registered investment advisers that offered alternative investment products and served as a senior compliance officer for a registered investment adviser of open-end mutual funds.
Keisha has 19 years of industry experience and holds a J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law and a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. She also received an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University.
Keisha joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2016.
Chief Operating Officer
Oneida Nation Enterprises
Peter Carmen is the Chief Operating Officer of the Oneida Indian Nation and its enterprises.
In this role, Carmen works closely with Oneida Indian Nation leadership to oversee the daily operations and administration for Oneida Nation Enterprises LLC, which includes Turning Stone Resort Casino, YBR Casino & Sports Book, Point Place Casino, Oneida Innovations Group, The Lake House at Sylvan Beach, The Cove at Sylvan Beach, SavOn Stores, Maple Leaf Markets, The Preserve hunting grounds, Salmon Acres fishing lodge, five golf courses, three marinas, two spas, and dozens of restaurants. Carmen’s role also includes oversight of Oneida’s administration, including Legal, Finance, IT, Human Resources, Governmental Affairs, Security, Marketing and Supply Chain, and he works with the Oneida leadership in overseeing the Oneida Indian Nation Police Department.
Since Carmen joined the Oneida Indian Nation in 2006, he has played an integral role in the Nation’s growth. Over the last 15 years, Oneida has developed its gaming, hospitality, entertainment, technology and government contracting footprints exponentially. Today, Oneida Nation Enterprises is the No. 1 largest employer in its two home counties-Madison and Oneida-and among the largest employers in the 18-county Central New York region. Oneida Nation Enterprises has become one of the most awarded companies regionally and is now routinely recognized among industry leaders nationally. It partners with a broad range of national gaming, real estate and retail companies, among others.
Carmen was born and raised in Syracuse and has spent most of his life in the Empire State. Before stepping into his current role in 2008, Carmen served as the Oneida Indian Nation’s general counsel, chief legal officer, and senior vice president. Previously, Carmen was a partner, department chair and a member of the executive committee at Mackenzie Hughes LLP, a law firm in Syracuse, and he served a federal judicial clerkship with Chief Judge Neal P. McCurn of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. Carmen graduated from Brandeis University and received a law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1991.
Mr. Carmen joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in January 2022.
Senior Litigation Counsel
The New York Times Company
New York, NY
Karen is a commercial litigator who recently joined The New York Times as Litigation Counsel. In that role, she serves as lead counsel on commercial matters, assists the in-house legal team on media law litigation, and manages outside counsel in a variety of litigation. She also handles various compliance projects and supervises antitrust initiatives.
Prior to joining The Times, Karen was a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, where she focused on high-stakes litigation, including contract disputes, trade secrets litigation, copyright matters, shareholder disputes, and cases involving international law. Her clients included The Related Companies, Perella Weinberg Partners, Goldman Sachs, Informa PLC, and the N.Y. Yankees.
Karen is an experienced appellate litigator. She has worked on appeals before the Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits, and served as lead appellate counsel in a matter before the First Department of the Appellate Division of New York that led to the reversal of a substantial defamation judgment.
Before entering private practice, Karen served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Michael A. Chagares of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Honorable Juan R. Sánchez of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Karen earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2009, where she was a senior editor of the Law Review and President of the Penn Intellectual Property Group. She is also a proud graduate of Syracuse University, where she earned a degree in Magazine Journalism, summa cum laude, from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2002.
Karen joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2018.
Vincent H. Cohen Jr. is a partner at Dechert LLP. He focuses on high-stakes litigation on behalf of individuals and corporations. As an experienced trial lawyer and investigator, he represents clients in sensitive government and internal investigations, government enforcement matters and complex civil and criminal litigation. Cohen is the former Acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia. Before leading the largest US attorney’s office in the nation, he served as the office’s Principal Assistant US Attorney for five years.
Vincent is recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in the area of white-collar crime and government investigations for the District of Columbia and is listed by Legal 500 US for corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense. He was named a Rainmaker by MCCA in 2019 for being an exceptional diverse attorney whose business acumen and dedication to proactive client development set him apart as a leader in the legal profession.
In 2018 Vincent was named as one of Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers in America and was also listed as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America by Lawdragon. In 2014, he received the Presidential Star Award from the National Bar Association for his contributions in the field of law, and in 2010, he was identified as one of the “Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under the Age of 40.” He has also received the Director’s Award from the US Secret Service for his contributions and commitment to the principles of responsible law enforcement, and Walker Memorial Baptist Church recognized him with the Public Service and Humanitarian Award for his work in ensuring equal justice for the people of Washington, DC through his selfless community involvement.
Cohen serves as an instructor teaching trial advocacy at Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop and is a frequent lecturer at Syracuse, Georgetown, and Harvard law schools. He has served as general counsel and remains an active member of 100 Black Men of America Inc. (Greater Washington), an organization focused on improving the quality of life of minority youth in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. A former member of the Syracuse University men’s basketball team, Vincent serves on the Board Athletics and Finance committees. His Syracuse University service includes membership on the Office of Multicultural Advancement’s Advisory Council, and he is a former Member of the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association Board of Directors. He received an inaugural Syracuse Law Honors Award from the College of Law in 2015, and in 2008 he received the Chancellor’s Citation for Distinguished Alumni Achievement in Law.
Vincent endowed an Our Time Has Come Scholarship in honor of his late father, Vincent Cohen Sr. ’57, L’60, an All-American basketball player at Syracuse before attending the law school and becoming a successful corporate attorney in Washington, DC. The elder Cohen was named a Syracuse Letter Winner of Distinction in 1982; a recipient of the George Arents Pioneer Medal, the University’s highest alumni honor, in 1986; was Chair of the 1992 Coming Back Together alumni reunion; and was named to the Syracuse Men’s Basketball All-Century Team in 2000. Vincent Cohen Jr.‘s sister—Dr. Traci Cohen Dennis ’90—is also an active alumna, who supports the memorial endowment.
Vincent joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2021.
New York, NY
Mr. Diaz-Albertini is a partner at Milbank LLP in their New York City office. His practice focuses on complex finance and capital markets transactions, including leveraged sponsor buyouts, acquisition financings, the issuance of secured and unsecured high-yield debt securities, initial public offerings and follow-on equity offerings, and liability management transactions. He has represented clients in finance and capital markets transactions across a variety of industries including retail, financial services, technology, natural resources, pharmaceuticals, gaming, and telecommunications.
Prior to joining Milbank, he was a partner at a leading US law firm serving the financial industry where he principally advised clients on financing and capital markets transactions. He started his legal career as an associate at a Wall Street law firm where he spent several years representing investment banks, initial purchasers and syndicated loan groups in public and private debt and equity capital markets and leveraged finance transactions. Mr. Diaz-Albertini joined Milbank in 2021.
Mr. Diaz-Albertini graduated magna cum laude from Bryant University where he was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. He received his J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law where he graduated magna cum laude, was a member of the Syracuse Law Review, the Order of the Coif and the Justinian Honor Society.
Mr. Diaz-Albertini was named a Rising Star by New York Super Lawyers and is recognized as a “Notable Practitioner” by ILFR 1000.
Antonio joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2020.
Co-Deputy Chair, Litigation Department
Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC
Suzanne Galbato is Co-Deputy Chair of the Litigation Department at Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC in Syracuse, NY, where she litigates commercial, False Claims Act, employment discrimination, antitrust, and environmental cases. She also handles multi-district litigation and class actions; drafts and argues appeals in state and federal court; and represents clients in administrative hearings, mediation and arbitration. Her clients come from the healthcare, manufacturing, media, pharmaceutical, financial, defense, insurance, not-for-profit, small business, and education industries. Before joining Bond in 2000, Suzanne served for two years as law clerk to the Hon. Rosemary S. Pooler of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Suzanne earned her J.D. (summa cum laude) in 1998 from Syracuse University College of Law. She also holds an A.B. (1995, magna cum laude) from Harvard University. At Bond, she serves as a member of the firm’s Management Committee and is a former Chair of the Associate Committee, Recruiting Committee, and Women’s Initiative. She also has been an active member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. For several years, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association, and she has worked on the Law Honors Committee. Also for her alma mater, she coaches student advocates for competition, judges advocacy competitions, and speaks regularly about private practice, interviewing, mentoring, work/life balance and diversity.
Actively engaged with the local legal community, Suzanne is a trustee of the Northern District Federal Court Bar Association, where she participates in continuing legal education programs and bench/bar activities. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of Hiscock Legal Aid Society and served as Board Chair for three years. She also is a member of the New York State Bar Association Women in the Law Section and has served as Co-Chair of the Appellate Committee of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section. She also serves as a Board member of the Central New York Women’s Bar Association and the Onondaga County Bar Foundation. Suzanne provides pro bono legal services through various organizations and NYSBA has designated her as an Empire State Counsel for her pro bono work.
Suzanne joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2020.
Real Estate Attorney
Sandra Wolk Gelb is a real estate attorney in Rochester, NY. Admitted to the New York bar in 1993 and US District Court Western District of New York and the US Supreme Court in 1997, Sandra worked for the Law Firm of Chamberlain, D’Amanda, Oppenheimer and Greenfield from 1994 until 2015. She also has worked at The City of Rochester Corporation Councils Office, the Trustees Office Western District of New York US Bankruptcy Court, and the University of Rochester Legal Department.
Sandra graduated from the University of Rochester, cum laude, in 1989 and the Syracuse University College of Law in 1992. She is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association, Real Estate Section, and she serves on the Parent Council and the Network Leadership Cabinet for the University of Rochester, where she is also a George Eastman Circle Member.
Sandra and her family have a long history with Syracuse University College of Law. Her grandfather, Robert Miller, graduated in 1929; her father, Allan Wolk, graduated in 1960; and her uncle, the Hon. Michael Miller, graduated in 1963. Her mother, Joan Wolk, also attended Syracuse University.
Sandra joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2020.
Executive Vice President and COO
Bed Bath & Beyond and
President, buybuy Baby
John currently serves as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Bed Bath & Beyond. Additionally, he is the president of buybuy BABY. John joined Bed Bath & Beyond in 2020 after seven years as president and chief executive officer of True Value Company. He previously served as the chief executive officer of Mitre10. He also held roles in technology, strategy, and M&A at The Home Depot as well as senior positions at HD Supply. For more than four years, John served as vice president of Corporate Services for Cardinal Health. He also formerly spent 10 years as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. John currently serves as a Regional Trustee for the Boys & Girls Club of America.
John graduated from Syracuse University in 1988, earning a JD from the College of Law. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and subsequently received a certificate in the Accelerated Leadership Program from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
John joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2005.
Entertainment Lawyer & Business Affairs Executive
New York, NY
Stephanie A. Jacqueney is an Entertainment Lawyer and Business Affairs Executive with more than 30 years of experience in television and live production. She has worked with companies ranging from start-ups to major corporations. Most recently she did work for the American Broadcasting Companies, providing legal counsel for television news and programming, production and marketing clients.
Stephanie previously served as Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs for Madison Square Garden Sports & Entertainment LLC where she was the lead production attorney for MSG and its Radio City Entertainment division’s live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the New York Spectacular starring the Rockettes, as well as Super Bowl Halftime Shows and numerous other sports and entertainment large scale productions. She was also MSG’s lead intellectual property attorney and managed MSG’s intellectual property portfolio.
Before MSG, Stephanie held several positions with Time Warner Inc. including that of Vice President and General Counsel of Manhattan Cable TV, then the largest franchise cable television operator. There, Stephanie was responsible for all contracts, intellectual property, lobbying, and legislative analysis, as well as supervising in-house and outside counsel. Before going to Manhattan Cable TV, Stephanie was an associate with the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.
In addition to her Syracuse University College of Law J.D., Stephanie also holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University. Stephanie is a member of the Board of the Alumni Association of Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology and the Cornell University Council, as well as a founding member of Cornell University’s President’s Council of Cornell Women. She currently serves on the Entertainment Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association and previously served on its Copyright and its Arbitration Committees.
Stephanie joined the Board of Advisors of the College of Law in 2020.
Senior Vice President, Chief Supply Chain Counsel
Prashanth Jayachandran is Chief Supply Chain Counsel for Colgate-Palmolive Company. As lead counsel for the Global Supply Chain, Jayachandran oversees global commercial contracting, labor relations, legal issues related to logistics, transportation, trade, manufacturing, and product distribution. He also addresses key global policy issues related to human rights, environmental impact, and sustainability. In his prior roles for Colgate, Jayachandran served as Chief Human Resources and Benefits Counsel, and Division General Counsel for Colgate Asia.
Prior to joining Colgate in 2013, Jayachandran practiced labor and employment law for multiple firms for 15 years, including Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, specializing in employment litigation and counseling for global corporations.
Jayachandran serves as Distinguished Lecturer for the College of Law’s JDinteractive program, teaching a course related to corporate sustainability (“The Corporate Lawyer in a Sustainable World”).
In addition, Jayachandran serves on several non-profit boards in various leadership roles. He is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Princeton, NJ YMCA; co-founder of the New Jersey Youth Civics Coalition; and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Student Affairs. Jayachandran also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Paul, Weiss ESG & Law Institute.
Jayachandran received a Bachelor of Arts degree (Economics and Political Science) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law and a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Jayachandran maintains strong connections to the Maxwell School, where he serves as an Alumni Ambassador and has been engaged with the Citizenship and Civic Engagement (CCE) program.
Mr. Jayachandran resides in Princeton, NJ with his wife, Neena Patil (Chief Legal Officer, Jazz Pharmaceuticals), and two sons, Tarak (age 15) and Devan (age 11).
Mr. Jayachandran joined the Syracuse University College of Law Board of Advisors in January 2022.
Partner, Chair, New York Private Equity
New York, NY
James Kelly is a strategic advisor to private equity funds and operating companies across many industries. He focuses his practice on representing private equity funds in all aspects of their investment activities, including Atlas Holdings, Bregal Partners, The Carlyle Group, Stellex Capital Management and The Wicks Group of Companies, among others.
He is recognized by The Legal 500 US in Private Equity Buyouts and has been recognized for numerous consecutive years by Chambers in New York M&A, has been featured in Buyouts, including a Buyouts Deal of the Year, The Deal, Bloomberg and Law360 as well as other leading publications, presented for Practicing Law Institute, Strafford and other education providers and received the Pro Bono Publico Award from The Legal Aid Society. Market recognition of the Private Equity practice at DLA Piper also includes: #1 legal advisor to investors (PitchBook), #1 global M&A deal volume for thirteen consecutive years (Mergermarket) and the #2 most active legal advisor in global buyouts deal volume (PitchBook).
His transactions include primary and secondary leveraged buyouts, add-on acquisitions, mergers and acquisitions, equity investments, divestitures and restructurings, including cross-border transactions involving numerous jurisdictions. He also regularly represents public and private operating companies and special purpose acquisition companies, across a variety of industries, including technology, software, video gaming, information, media, entertainment, business services, consumer goods and services, industrials and manufacturing, energy, engineering and infrastructure, food, agriculture, education, healthcare and life sciences.
Represented Atlas Holdings in its leveraged acquisition of Foster Farms
Represented Bregal Investments in its leveraged acquisition of Juniper Landscaping
Represented Stellex Capital Management in its leveraged acquisitions of Peltram Plumbing Holdings, G2 Web Services, Lundquist Consulting and Fintellix India from TransUnion and its investment in PLH Group
Represented The Carlyle Group and its portfolio company iC Consult Group in its acquisitions of ICSynergy, SecureITSource and Kapstone Technologies
Represented Oaktree Capital Management, Assured Investment Management and Stellex Capital Management in the sale of PLH Group to
Primoris Services Corporation
Represented Starling Physicians in its sale to VillageMD
Represented Brookline Capital Acquisition Corporation in its business combination transaction with Apexigen
Represented InfoDesk in its sale to Cuadrilla Capital
Represented Aonic in certain acquisitions in the video gaming industry
Represented Global Risk Capital in its acquisition of Cleaver-Brooks
Represented Columbus McKinnon Corporation in its leveraged acquisition of Dorner from EQT Mid Market US
Represented Kaleyra in its acquisition of mGage from Vivial
Represented The Wicks Group of Companies in connection with numerous (x) platform acquisitions, including its leveraged buyouts of
Gladson from Lake Pacific Partners, Bonded Services from Berggruen Holdings, Antenna Audio from Discovery Communications and
Education Direct from Thomson Corporation, (y) add-on acquisitions by its portfolio companies, including for Invo its acquisitions of Autism
Home Support Services, Xcite Steps, Positive Behavioral Connections, ABA2Day, and School Steps, for Gladson its acquisitions of
Nutritionix, WebCollage from Answers Corporation, ItemMaster, Edgenet and Shotfarm and for Bonded Services its acquisitions of Bilton
Arts and Inception Digital Services and (z) exit transactions, including its sale of Invo to Golden Gate Capital, Syndigo to The Jordan
Company, Bonded Services Group to Iron Mountain and Penn Foster to The Princeton Group
Represented management in its buyout of Ideal Snacks from Swander Pace
Represented Cortec Group in its sale of Dr. Leonard’s to AmeriMark Holdings, a JH Partners portfolio company, its sale of Snyder Industries
to Olympus Partners and its acquisition of the biologics and spine division of Smith & Nephew
Represented Centre Partners in its leveraged acquisitions of Dekko Technologies and Pent Technologies
Represented JP Morgan Partners in its sale of TIW to Vodafone
Represented Benjamin Jacobson & Sons in its sale to Goldman Sachs
Kelly received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington, and his Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law, magna cum laude, where he was lead articles editor for Syracuse Law Review, and Order of the Coif.
Mr. Kelly joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in July 2023.
Retired, Chairman & CEO
Millennium Partners LLC
Bernie Kossar, a classic entrepreneur, built a reputation as a brilliant deal master in creating companies and taking them public for the past 30 years. His model was, “Create a niche, build up an area of concentration outside the ‘majors,’ and wait to be bought out.” Bernie practiced law during his service in the Marine Corps, trained as a tax attorney, and was a lawyer in New York City until 1965, when he started in retail as a corporate counsel. His retail career was launched in the early 1980s with chemicals conglomerate, W.R. Grace, where he oversaw its eight operating retail companies and also headed the organization of HomeQuarters Warehouse Inc. His next venture, with Grace as a minority partner, was in creating OfficeWarehouse Inc. In 1995, Bernie established Millennium Partners LLC as a private investment partnership. His corporate board involvements have included Nature’s Elements Intl. (Nature’s Way stores), Greatbanc Inc. (bank holding company), Netmatics Inc., Augme Technologies, AudioEye and Cereus Technology Partners. Bernie earned his Accounting degree from the Whitman School of Management and his Juris Doctorate from the College of Law in 1955.
Bernie is a Lifetime Member of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees and joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2004.
Terence J. Lau L’98
Dean, College of Business
California State University, Chico
Terence Lau is Dean of the College of Business at California State University, Chico. The College of nearly 70 faculty and 3000 undergraduate and graduate students houses a Center for Excellence in Finance, a Center for Entrepreneurship, and a Professional Sales Program.
Prior to joining Chico State in 2018, Dean Lau was the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Professor in business law in the School of Business Administration at the University of Dayton. He previously served as the Director of ASEAN Governmental Affairs for Ford Asia Pacific Operations in Bangkok, Thailand from 2000-2002. Prior to his time in Bangkok, Dean Lau was an attorney for Ford Motor Company’s International Practice Group in Michigan. Dean Lau also possesses the distinction of having served as a Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, working for the Counselor to the Chief Justice of the United States.
Dean Lau has published many articles on the legal environment of business and is the Advisory Editor-in-Chief of the American Business Law Journal. He is the co-author of The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business, published by Flat World Knowledge,now in its fourth edition.
Dean Lau holds a B.A. in political science from Wright State University and a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.
Mr. Lau joined the Syracuse University College of Law Board of Advisors in September 2022.
Marnin Michaels is a senior partner at the Firm. Marnin has been practicing for more than 20 years in the areas of tax and wealth management. His practice ranges from insurance matters to tax investigations for both international families and financial institutions. He also counsels clients on US withholding tax and qualified intermediary rules (including FATCA), as well as money laundering avoidance legislation. Marnin was a member of the Firm’s Steering Committee leading the US Department of Justice Initiative for Swiss Banks. In the end, the Firm acted for 45 banks and the project won Litigation Firm of the Year from American Lawyer Magazine.
Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading wealth management lawyers, he is a former chair and co-chair of the regional and global Wealth Management Steering Committees. He is also a former member of the Global Financial Institution Industry Group and a member of the Swiss Offices Management Committee. Marnin is currently the Chair of the Firm’s EMEA Tax Practice Group.
In addition to writing extensively for many publications, Marnin also authored two legal treatises: International Taxation and Withholding and International Estate Planning, which were both published by Thomson Reuters. He also lectures in several LLM and MBA programs on various tax issues.
Marnin is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts and New York, and before the US Tax Court. He possesses a LL.M from University of Miami School of Law and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University, and he graduated from Wilkes University, cum laude. Marnin also serves as Chair of the SU European Council. His uncle, Lee Michaels L’ 67, is a College of Law alumnus and member of the adjunct faculty. Marnin lives in Zurich, Switzerland.
Marnin joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2016 and co-chairs the Board’s development committee.
Powerful Families, Powerful Communities NJ
Jersey City, NJ
Benita R. Miller is currently the Executive Director of Powerful Families Powerful Communities and an Executive on Loan to the State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families overseeing a five-year demonstration project created to re-imagine New Jersey’s child welfare system through a human-centered design process that leverages the voice of community members as co-designers. She previously served as the President and CEO of Children’s Aid and Family Services in New Jersey. Prior to her work in New Jersey, Miller served as the Executive Director of Brooklyn Kindergarten Society where she expanded the agency’s early childhood education footprint from five to seven centers as well as building the first sensory gym co-located in New York City Housing Authority development. Additionally, Miller was the founding Executive Director of the NYC Children’s Cabinet in the Office of the Mayor as well as served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Family Permanency Services in the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). During her tenure with the Children’s Cabinet, Miller developed the City’s policy framework titled “Growing Up NYC” and digital platforms – Growing Up NYC and Generation NYC. She also created the NYC Baby Showers Series, coordinated the development of the city’s Unity Project focused on providing coordinated and enhanced services to LGBTQ youth and has been instrumental in improving policies for children and families impacted by incarceration. Additionally, she helped develop the City’s “Parent Engagement Project” which was a Performance Pilot Partnership federal grant focused on connecting young parents to educational opportunities as well as their children to high-quality childcare. Last, she secured a Robin Hood grant to improve policies and programs for children ages 0-3 years old by creating the Early Childhood Roundtable.
While at ACS, she led initiatives and operations related to ensuring the safety, wellbeing and permanency of all children receiving foster care services as well as caseload reductions and trauma assessment tools in family foster care. Miller developed the Housing Academy Collaborative to better prepare youth transitioning from foster care to supportive housing and NYCHA developments. She also strengthened services being provided to expectant and parenting youth and secured support from the Center for the Study of Social Policy to develop policies and programming for young fathers who are in foster care.
She created the Office of Older Youth Services and Residential Care Monitoring and oversaw the third phase of residential care reduction for ACS and also facilitated the co-location of ACS staff at Riker’s Island to ensure that youth who are in foster care were being appropriately served while awaiting the disposition of criminal matters. Miller also developed the Case Monitoring and Compliance Unit to enhance safety and risk assessments of children and youth being reunified with their families.
Before joining ACS, Miller served as Director of Scholarships at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where among other responsibilities she implemented programs for undergraduate and law student scholars. She is the founder and former executive director of the Brooklyn Young Mother’s Collective and is the recipient of the Union Square Award and Petra Fellowship on behalf of her advocacy work with young parents. She was also recognized by the American Civil Liberties Union as one of the top nine advocates to influence Title IX implementation. She previously represented children and young people in child protective, delinquency and PINS proceedings in Brooklyn Family Court as a staff lawyer with the Legal Aid Society. Miller earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Print Journalism from Wayne State University where she was a Rosa Parks Scholar at The Detroit News. She earned her law degree from Syracuse University in 1996. She serves as a board member for many nonprofit organizations including for Strategies for Youth and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
Ms. Miller joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in January 2022.
Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
New York, NY
Kamesh is Managing Director at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management with over 19 years of experience. He focuses on helping corporate executives with their overall wealth planning, including integrating corporate benefits and concentrated stock planning, and in advising physicians and entrepreneurs on holistic wealth management issues. He is also an International Client Advisor ICA), working with Indian citizens and/or residents who want their wealth management portfolio based in the United States.
Mr. Nagarajan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Vassar College and a Juris Doctor with honors from Syracuse University College of Law.
Kamesh is a national speaker on various financial topics and has written many finance articles for various publications. In addition, he has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business News, CBS and Forbes.com as an expert on various financial topics. Mr. Nagarajan is the President of Ascend-NY and a charter member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE-NY). He is actively involved with Lend-A-Hand India and the American India Foundation (AIF).
Kamesh has been active with The Columbia Business School—Eugene Lang Entrepreneur Center as a sounding Board mentor and a mentor in The Columbia Mentorship Program for Entrepreneurs (CMPE) since 2010. In 1997, he served as the Vice Chairman of the India Community Center of Rochester. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Rochester Area Community Foundation. He is a founding member of DIAL (Development of Indo-American Leaders) and a previous Vice Chairman of the India Community Center of Rochester. In 2010, Kamesh was honored by Ascend at their national gala with their High Impact Leaders Award for professional accomplishments and for positive impact and contributions to the Asian American Community. At Morgan Stanley, he is a member of The Morgan Stanley President’s Club (2015) for top advisors at the firm. Kamesh was also a panelist at the 2013 Barron’s Top Advisor Diversity Summit.
Kamesh joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2016.
COO, Senior Legal Counsel and Senior Managing Director
Cerberus Capital Management LP
New York, NY
Mark A. Neporent has been chief operating officer, senior counsel and a senior managing director of Cerberus Capital Management LP since 1998.
Cerberus is a private investment firm with more than $50 billion of assets under management in four primary strategies: distressed investing, loan origination to middle-market business, control and non-control private equity, and real estate. Neporent is responsible for the day-to-day management of the firm and serves on its operating investment, compensation, valuation and risk/compliance committees. He also is in charge of the firm’s media relations and serves on the Board of Directors of Cerberus Operations and Advisory Co. LLC. Neporent joined the firm from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, where he was a partner in its Business Reorganization and Finance Group.
Neporent has 39 years of experience in the distressed securities, private equity, global credit and lending business. He began his legal career with Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen PC in the Creditors’ Rights Department.
Neporent joined the Connecticut Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association in 1982 and ’83, respectively. He is a past member of both the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees and the Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization, the latter of which is part of the New York City Bar Association.
Neporent has served on the boards of Hamburg Commercial Bank A.G., SuperValu, Ally Financial (formerly GMAC LLC), AMC Financial Holdings Inc., EXCO Resources Inc., MCI Inc., SSA Global Technologies Inc., Tandem Staffing Solutions Inc., Fiat Chrylser Automobiles (formerly Chrysler Holding LLC), CorePointe Insurance Co., and Kokusai Kogyo Co. Ltd.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University in 1979 and a J.D. with honors from Syracuse University’s College of Law in 1982.
Neporent joined the Board of Trustees in 2011 and serves on the Board of Trustees Executive, Finance and Facilities Committees. His Syracuse University service includes the College of Law, where he is a member of the Board of Advisors since 2006, and lectures in the Continuing Legal Education Program.
He and his wife, Lisa Neporent, have provided the lead gift for the establishment of the Neporent Café in Dineen Hall and helped establish the Fund for the Future: Syracuse University College of Law Scholarship Endowment, and continue to bolster the College of Law’s Scholarship and Financial Aid Fund and Law Annual Fund. They have generously supported other initiatives in the College of Law and Syracuse University.
The Neporents reside in Vail, CO.
Deputy General Counsel Reinsurance
American International Group Inc.
New York, NY
Michael S. Olsan is Deputy General Counsel Reinsurance for AIG and leads the legal group for global reinsurance transactions. Prior to joining AIG in 2021 Olsan spent 32 years in private practice representing the insurance industry.
Michael spent 28 years with White and Williams LLP in Philadelphia, PA. He was an associate from 1993 to 1997 and was a partner from 1998 to 2021. While with White and Williams, Michael held various leadership roles, including Chair, Reinsurance Group, Chair, Commercial Litigation Department, and Vice Chair of the firm. He represented the insurance industry in insurance coverage and reinsurance disputes and counseled insurance companies as to reinsurance contract drafting issues. He tried over 50 cases in court and commercial arbitrations. Michael also did pro bono work in conjunction with the Support Center for Child Advocates, representing children suffering from abuse or neglect.
Michael earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin & Marshall College, and his Juris Doctorate degree summa cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law. While at the College of Law, Michael was Technical Editor for the Syracuse Law Review, a member of the National Trial Team, a teaching assistant for legal writing, and Order of the Coif.
Michael’s wife Kim is a municipal bond trader and they have a 26-year-old son who also works in the insurance industry. In his spare time, Michael likes to spend time with family and friends and their Bichon Chloe. He is a soccer fan, and his favorite teams are Liverpool Football Club and the Philadelphia Union.
Silicon Valley, CA
Cisco Palao-Ricketts is a partner at Goodwin Proctor in Silicon Valley. Palao-Ricketts advises start-up, emerging growth and public companies on complex tax, securities, employment and ERISA issues that arise in compensation arrangements. Located in Silicon Valley, his practice primarily focuses on counseling companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. He has been recognized by The Legal 500 US for his achievements. Palao-Ricketts was born in Cuzco, Peru and lived there until he was about six-and-a-half years old as an American born abroad. In the early 1980s, he moved to Illinois and later graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory High School and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
Palao-Ricketts earned his J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law in 2003. He also holds an LL.M. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in tax law. Before becoming the father of three children, Palao-Ricketts contributed to the advancement of the California Bar by developing model answers and grading exams for prospective California lawyers from 2007 through 2011.
As an active member of his community, Palao-Ricketts spends his free time as a coach for PONY League Baseball, as a co-Den leader and Assistant Treasurer for the Cub Scouts in Los Altos, and as a contributor to the advancement of the Latino community and working poor through his affiliation with La Raza Centro Legal (LRCL), one of the oldest non-profits in San Francisco.
Following graduation from our College of Law, Palao-Ricketts has been committed to helping many students and graduates navigate through their interest in tax law and ERISA, bar exam preparation, and the transition to the practice of law.
Cisco joined the Board of Advisors in 2020.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
New York, NY
Sandeep “Sandy” Qusba is the Head of the Restructuring Practice at Simpson Thacher. His practice focuses primarily on restructurings, bankruptcies, acquisition of distressed companies and bank financings. He has represented private equity sponsors, special committees of boards and portfolio companies, agent banks, steering committees, and official and ad hoc committees and creditors in some of the largest Chapter 11 proceedings and out-of-court restructurings in recent years across a wide range of sectors, among them media, real estate, healthcare, energy, automotive, manufacturing and telecommunications.
Qusba’s experience includes the representation of:
- Pyxus International, a public company with international operations, in its international reorganization and Chapter 11 restructuring, which eliminated or restructured over $2 billion of debt
- Board of Directors of PG&E in connection with PG&E’s Chapter 11 proceeding and related matters
- Transaction Committee of Garrett Motion subsidiary ASASCO in connection with Garrett’s Chapter 11 proceeding
- JPMorgan in connection with Hertz exit financing
- JPMorgan in connection with acquisition financing of Athene’s purchase of Donlen from Hertz
- Francisco Partners in connection with its rescue financing, acquisition and ultimate sale of YourPeople, Inc.
- Centerbridge, GenNx360, the Wynchwood Trust and certain of their affiliates, as equityholders and the largest secured and unsecured creditors, in the global financial restructuring of syncreon Group B.V.
- Goldman Sachs Lending Partners and JPMorgan, as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners, in the $1.2 billion of debtor-in-possession financing for Avianca Holdings in connection with its Chapter 11 proceedings
- JPMorgan, as administrative agent, under the company’s prepetition credit facility and $1.1 billion debtor-in-possession financing facility in California Resources’ Chapter 11 proceedings
- Tilden Park, as one of the leading bond holders, in the Puerto Rico’s Sale Tax Financing Corporation (COFINA) restructuring
- JPMorgan and Credit Suisse, as lead arrangers on Hexion’s DIP and Exit Financings
- Agent in connection with Weatherford’s Exit Financings, as well as agent in the Chapter 11 restructuring of Patriot Coal
- Wells Fargo, as agent on Legacy Reserve’s Exit Facility
- Blackstone in connection with discounted purchase of loans and the enforcement thereof, resulting in the ultimate ownership of a hotel chain
- GSO Capital in connection with its discounted purchase of Velti Inc.’s prepetition secured debt, debtor in possession financing facility and stalking horse purchase
- York Capital, Elliott Management and JVL as lenders in connection with Roan Resources’ reorganization
- JPMorgan in LightSquared’s Chapter 11 restructuring, including with respect to existing positions and new exit investments
Qusba was recently named an “Outstanding Restructuring Lawyer” by Turnarounds & Workouts and has also been inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.
Qusba regularly speaks on topics related to the bankruptcy industry. Some of his past speaking engagements have included presentations at the PLI’s “Nuts and Bolts of Corporate Bankruptcy” program, South Asian Bar Association’s Annual Conference, the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Annual New York City Bankruptcy Conference which Qusba has co-chaired since 2018, a roundtable event hosted by the American College of Bankruptcy and New York University School of Law and the JPMorgan Global High Yield & Leveraged Finance Conference. In addition, he has also been named by Chambers USA as one of the leading lawyers for restructuring/bankruptcy.
Qusba received his B.A. from Tufts University in 1991 and his J.D., cum laude, from Syracuse University in 1994. He served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Stephen D. Gerling in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of New York.
Qusba joined the Board of Advisors in 2023.
Americas Chair, Global Co-Chair, and Global Co-CEO
New York, NY
Frank Ryan graduated from Syracuse University College of Law, earning magna cum laude honors and the Order of the Coif. Before law school, he graduated with a B.S. from Syracuse University and was a four-year varsity letter winner.
Frank is the Americas Chair, Global Co-Chair and Global Co-CEO of DLA Piper. Frank provides legal and strategic advice to domestic and multinational clients who draw on his experience in high-stakes litigation, intellectual property, media and sports, complex commercial and sovereign related issues. Frank’s clients turn to him as a go-to strategist and litigator for their most important matters. He has handled numerous jury trials and domestic and international arbitrations.
Frank is a member of DLA Piper’s Executive Committee and Global Board.
His wife, Melissa, is also a graduate of the College of Law.
Frank joined the Board of Advisors in 2017.
Director and Senior Legal Counsel
Robert Bosch LLC
Heather M. Schroder G’07, L’07 is Director and Senior Legal Counsel at Robert Bosch LLC, based in Robert Bosch GmbH’s North American headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. She is the Team Lead for Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Governance in North America. A New York native, prior to joining Bosch in 2014, Ms. Schroder worked as Senior Corporate Counsel at ATMI Inc., a publicly-traded, semiconductor company headquartered in Connecticut; prior to working in-house, she was a Corporate Law Associate at a law firm in New York City.
She is a regular speaker at various Association of Corporate Counsel events and other M&A legal conferences globally. Admitted to the bars of New York, Connecticut, and Michigan, Ms. Schroder earned her juris doctor as a joint-degree student at Syracuse, concurrently receiving a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. While at the College of Law, Ms. Schroder was an active Student Bar Association member, serving as SBA President during her 3L year. Ms. Schroder graduated Sacred Heart University, magna cum laude, with honors, with a B.A. in Political Science.
Ms. Schroder joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2016.
MBIA Insurance Corporation
Kiawah Island, SC
Mitchell l. Sonkin is a senior advisor at MBIA Insurance Corporation. He served as managing director responsible for insured portfolio management and government relations. He was also a member of the company’s Executive Policy Committee, a Vice President of MBIA Inc. and a member of the Board of MBIA Insurance Corporation and Capital Markets Assurance Corporation. He is also Chairman of the Board of the ResCap Liquidating Trust, successor to ResCap and GMAC Mortgage Corporations.
Before joining MBIA, Mr. Sonkin was a senior partner at the international law firm, King & Spalding, where he was co-chair of King & Spalding’s Financial Restructuring Group and a member of the firm’s Policy Committee. He has over 40 years of experience in U.S. and international bond issuances, corporate reorganizations and debt restructurings and has served as a court appointed examiner. In particular, he has played a significant role in numerous municipal, utility, insurance, airline, healthcare debt and international debt restructurings including the Anglo/ French Euro Tunnel debt reorganization.
Mr. Sonkin has lectured and served on panels on such topics as distressed debt trading, utility restructurings and life insurance company reorganizations. Prior to joining King & Spalding, Mr. Sonkin was senior partner and co-chair of the Financial Restructuring Department at the Wall Street law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.
Mr. Sonkin was a Founding Director of the East West Institute and served on the Board as a Director, Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel over several terms totaling 15 years and thereafter as a Director Emeritus. Mr. Sonkin is a member of the Steering Committee of the Mroz Global Leadership Institute at the College of Charleston, the successor to the East West Institute.
Mr. Sonkin is a cum laude graduate of the Temple University College of Liberal Arts where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and is a member of the Board of Visitors. He received his J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law and has served on the College’s Board of Advisors since 2004. He is a member of the Bar of the State of New York and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Susman Godfrey LLP
Jim Southwick has spent his entire 30-year career in private practice representing plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation and trials, principally involving, monopolization, international cartels, and shareholder rights. For the past 20 years he has been a partner in the Houston office of Susman Godfrey LLP, a commercial trial boutique with 160 lawyers and offices in Houston, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. He began his career as an associate at Breed, Abbott & Morgan in New York City.
In the summer of 2019, Jim successfully led the month-long trial of the largest shareholder oppression case on record. Other significant representations include the Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, where Jim was co-lead trial counsel in the first suit holding mainland Chinese companies in violation of US antitrust laws, resulting in the US Supreme Court’s June 2018 landmark ruling regarding how foreign governments’ statements about their laws should be treated by US courts.
Jim also worked extensively on suits against international money center banks for aiding the breaches of fiduciary duties at Enron, Microsoft’s monopolization of PC operating systems, News Corp.’s monopolization of certain advertising markets, and represented cities and counties in suits involving the public employee pension crisis.
A native of Fayetteville, NY, Jim received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of William & Mary in 1982 and a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law in 1989. He has twice received awards for outstanding achievement in antitrust litigation from the American Antitrust Institute.
Jim joined the Board of Advisors of the College of Law in 2020.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
David Wales is recognized as a leading antitrust lawyer and has over 25 years of experience in both private and public sectors. His practice focuses on providing antitrust advice to U.S. and international clients in a wide range of industries on all aspects of antitrust, including mergers and acquisitions, alliances, criminal grand jury investigations, dominant firm conduct, distribution arrangements, licensing and competitor collaborations.
Mr. Wales has the distinctive experience of serving as a senior official in both U.S. antitrust agencies. Most recently, he served as acting director of the Bureau of Competition (2008-09) during a three-year tenure at the Federal Trade Commission, where he oversaw all of the agency’s antitrust enforcement activity, including in the health care, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, technology, chemical, defense, retail and consumer product industries. He also served as counsel to the assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (2001-03), where he was part of the small front-office team managing all of the agency’s merger and conduct matters. Mr. Wales also is co-chair of the Antitrust Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Wales regularly speaks and writes on antitrust issues and has held various leadership positions in the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section. Recognized as a leading antitrust practitioner, he is consistently ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Legal 500, The Best Lawyers in America, The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists and Best Lawyers.
Mr. Wales received his Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law (magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Syracuse Law Review) and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University.
Mr. Wales joined the Syracuse University College of Law Board of Advisors in January 2022.
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Jim Zeszutek is the former Managing Partner of the firm’s Pittsburgh office and a Partner in the Litigation Department. He is Co-Chair of the Class Action Litigation and Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Practice Groups. Jim is involved in the defense of pharmaceutical and medical device products on behalf of the products’ manufacturers.
Jim has defended the Bjork-Shiley heart valve, breast implants, artificial hips and knees, endoscopic linear cutters, surgical staplers and tools, stents, fracture fixation devices, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and the OrthoEvra patch, among others. Jim is also involved in the defense of chemical and fiber products including products that contain asbestos, talc, benzene and acrylamide.
Jim presently serves on National Trial Teams for the defense of a client’s respiratory protection products and is National Coordinating Counsel for a manufacturer in the silica litigation, which is active in numerous jurisdictions. He represents banks and financial institutions in commercial litigation in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He has an active NCAA practice in which he represents coaches in hearings before the Committee on Infractions defending against allegations of NCAA Bylaw violations and has been involved in the Committee on Infractions hearings involving Syracuse University, Tulane University, Purdue University, The University of Tennessee and The Ohio State University, among others.
Jim also negotiates employment contracts for athletic coaches and physicians.
Professor of Law
Syracuse University College of Law
Interim Dean for Advancement
Syracuse University College of Law
46th President of the United States
Joseph R. Biden Jr. L’68, the 46th president of the United States. Biden, received a juris doctor from the College of Law in 1968. He is the first Syracuse University alumnus to hold the highest office in the country.
President Biden has returned to the University on many occasions, including to speak at the College of Law Commencement in 1994, 2002, 2006 and 2016. He was also the University’s Commencement speaker and received an honorary degree in 2009.
Biden has frequently spoken about his fondness for the University and the College of Law and their loyalty to him. “The type of loyalty that this school has extended to me is truly rare and genuinely welcoming,” he said during his 2016 address. “It was the same for my son, Beau, who loved Syracuse as well.” Biden’s late son, Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, was a 1994 graduate of the College of Law.
President Biden received the University’s Chancellor’s Medal in 1974; the Law Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2003; and the George Arents Pioneer Medal, the University’s highest alumni award, in 2005. In 2018, he was honored with a prestigious Syracuse Law Honors Award from the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association and the College of Law. The award is conferred on alumni and friends of the college for extraordinary career accomplishments and service to the college, Syracuse University, the legal profession and society as a whole.
Hon. William Q. Hayes ’79 G’83 L’83
Southern District of California
San Diego, CA
Judge William Q. Hayes received his B.S. from Syracuse University in 1979. He was awarded his M.B.A from the Whitman School of Business and his J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law in 1983. Judge Hayes began his law career as an associate at Scheid and Horlbeck in Denver, Colorado and later practiced at Stone and Associates, also in Denver. Judge Hayes left Colorado to become an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California in 1987. He became the Chief of the Criminal Division and served in that role from 1999 to 2003. Judge Hayes was appointed a District Judge for the Southern District of California on October 6, 2003 and continues to serve in that capacity. He maintains his chambers in San Diego.
Judge Hayes has served as an adjunct law faculty member at National College, University of Colorado at Denver, Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the University of San Diego School of Law. He has been a member of the Denver Bar Association, San Diego Bar Association, Rocky Mountain Business Law Association, and a Barrister of the Louis Welsh Inn of Court. He is currently a Master in the William Enright Inn of Court and a member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers of San Diego.
Carolyn Dineen King
Senior Circuit Judge
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Carolyn Dineen King is a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Following her graduation from Smith College, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and Yale Law School, Judge King practiced law in Houston, principally with Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright), focusing primarily on corporate and federal securities matters. In 1979, she was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the Fifth Circuit. Judge King was the Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit from January 1999 through January 2006. She chaired the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States (which governs the federal court system) from 2002-2005. Judge King is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the Houston Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association.
Awards and Recognitions include:
Distinguished Service Award, American College of Bankruptcy, 2014
Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, 2007
Doctor of Laws Degree, H.C., Syracuse University, 2006
Margaret Brent Award, American Bar Association, 2005
Honoree of the Year, National Association of Women Judges, 2005
Appellate Judge of the Year, Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists, 2005
Doctor of Letters Degree H.C., University of St. Thomas, 2001
Outstanding Alumnus Award, Phi Beta Kappa Alumni of Greater Houston, 1998
Smith College Medal, Smith College, 1997
Hon. Theodore A. McKee L’75
United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Ted McKee was sworn in as a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on June 20, 1994, and became Chief Judge on May 4, 2010. He graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law in 1975 where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and earned several honors for outstanding academic performance. He began his legal career at a large Philadelphia law firm, but left there in 1977 to begin his career in public service. He has since been an Assistant United States Attorney, Deputy Solicitor to the Law Department of the City of Philadelphia, and General Counsel to the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
Judge McKee was appointed to serve as a member of the National Academy of Science Committee on Law and Justice, and is one of the inaugural members of the Council on Criminal Justice.
He also serves on the Board of the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement. Judge McKee’s official travels have included Ghana and Russia, where he had the honor of addressing the Council of Russian Judges on the Independence of the American Judiciary.
Honorable Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. L’64
Senior U.S. District Judge
Northern District of New York
Senior Judge Scullin received his commission appointing him a United States District Judge for the Northern District of New York on February 10, 1992, and took the oath of office on March 13, 1992. On April 6, 2000, he became Chief Judge of the Northern District of New York. He became Senior Judge on March 13, 2006. Judge Scullin, a native Syracusean, attended and graduated from Niagara University in 1961 and Syracuse University, College of Law in 1964.
In November of 1964, Judge Scullin entered active duty with the United States Army, received training as a paratrooper and ranger, and thereafter served as an infantry commander with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the Republic of Vietnam. He received numerous awards and decorations, and after release from active duty, continued to serve in the United States Army Reserve retiring in 1991 with the rank of Colonel.
Following military service, Judge Scullin entered the private practice of law with the firm of Germain and Germain, Syracuse, New York. Thereafter, he served as an Assistant District Attorney for Onondaga County. In 1971, he was appointed by the New York State Attorney General as one of the original prosecutors of the then newly-formed Statewide Organized Crime Task Force and in that capacity, served as the Assistant in Charge of the Albany Regional Office. In 1978, he was appointed by the Governor of the State of Florida as Chief Prosecutor of the Governor’s Council for the prosecution of organized crime. He returned to the private practice of law in 1980 and in 1982 was appointed the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, a position he held until his appointment to the federal bench. In that capacity, Judge Scullin supervised numerous investigations and prosecutions in drug trafficking, organized crime, and—most notably—public corruption.
Senior Judge Scullin is a former member of the Second Circuit Judicial Council and was the Circuit representative on the Judicial Conference of the United States, which is the policy-making body for federal courts throughout the nation. In addition to his regular duties as a District Court Judge, Judge Scullin was a member of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, having been appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist to a seven-year term which ended in May 2011. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court meets in Washington, DC and is in session throughout the year.
Senior Judge Scullin is a member of the Federal Court Bar Association (NDNY), Federal Bar Council, State of Florida Bar Association, the Onondaga County Bar Association (having served on the Board of Directors from 1988 to 1990), honorary member of the Board of Advisors, Syracuse University College of Law, the Law College Association of Syracuse University and is a past member and chairman of the City of Syracuse, County of Onondaga Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission, member of the Board of Directors, Elmcrest Children’s Center, Christ the King Retreat House, and the Franciscan Collaborative Ministries Advisory Council.
Board of Advisors Emeritus Members
Retired, Director of Federal Affairs
Johnson & Johnson
Susan K. Reardon served as Director, International Policy, Worldwide Government Affairs and Policy at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) based in Washington, D.C., until April 2014 when she retired. In her position, she advanced global trade and health issues working with industry associations, government agencies, business organizations and others to shape policies consistent with J&J interests. Before the international position, she advocated on behalf of the medical device and diagnostic companies of J&J before Congress and US government agencies. Before her career at J&J, Susan held several positions at the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), where she was responsible for regulatory and reimbursement issues affecting the medical technology industry. She also served in the federal government, including the Department of Health and Human Services, where she was Acting General Counsel among other positions; the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and the Small Business Administration. She practiced law in Oswego, NY, and served as Counsel to the School District.
Susan earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in international relations from Syracuse University and her J.D. from the College of Law, where she served on the Syracuse Law Review and was published. She is the recipient of several awards, including the W. Quinn Jordan Memorial Award for significant government affairs accomplishments. At Syracuse University, she serves as the DC Regional Council chair and also serves on the National Campaign Council.
Susan joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2015.
Retired, Sr. Vice President of Employee Relations & Operations
The Boston Globe
Gregory L. Thornton L’71 worked as Senior Vice President of Employee Relations and Operations for The Boston Globe/New England Media Group. Before this appointment, in 2002, Thornton was The Boston Globe’s Senior Vice President of Employee Relations (1997-2002) and Vice President of Employee Relations (1988-1997). He also has held employee and labor relations positions at New York News Inc. and Gannett Company Inc.
Gregory has been Chairman and Vice Chairman of the American Newspaper Publishers Association (now the Newspaper Association of America) and Vice Chair of NAA’s Employee Relations Committee. In 2002, he was awarded the Cushing-Gavin Award for Excellence in Labor Relations for Management, given by the Labor Guild of Boston. As a law student, Gregory was a member of the Syracuse Law Review Editorial Board. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University.
Gregory joined the College of Law Board of Advisors in 2003.