Alumni Class Notes: Winter 2021
Hello alumni! This is the third edition of class notes. We are excited to share what you have going on in your lives. Marriage? Baby? Professional accolades? Check out the links at the end of this email to find out how to submit your latest news. Your classmates want to hear what you’ve been up to!
We are planning to have some “features” as well, so if you met in law school or have a story about your law school journey, please share it with us as we’d like to share it with your fellow alumni.
Happy New Year and here’s to being able to get together this year. Mark your calendars for reunion on October 1-2. Hotels fill up quickly, so it’s a great time to start thinking about coming back to New Hampshire in the fall.
A Blast From the Past – Clifford M. Rees ‘77
"I was privileged to be a member of the second FPLC graduating class, starting my First Year at the famous Bull Farm on Mountain Rd. in the Fall of 1974 and being part of the first class to graduate under a large tent in White Park on May 7, 1977. Born and educated in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area before law school, one of my necessary cultural adjustments was to the harsh New Hampshire winter.
The morning of my first Concord winter when the thermometer dipped to twenty below zero changed my life. Of course my car engine wouldn't start so I hitched a ride to school with a classmate from Florida whose car wasn't as fazed by the weather as mine was. I confessed to Bill Patkus on the way to class that I wasn't sure if I would survive the harsh Siberian-like Concord winter . Bill mentioned to me that the Law School had started something called the "Santa Fe Experiment" where Second and Third Year Law students could spend a supervised semester in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the home of then FPLC Professor Michael P. Gross who specialized in Native American Education Law. I signed up right away and found myself in Santa Fe from January-May of 1976, my only regret not being in Concord for the February 1976 New Hampshire Presidential Primary.
I was joined in Santa Fe by about 12 FPLC students who took classes with Professor Gross in the classroom of a nearby museum. To round out the full semester of credits, we were also placed in internships with local attorneys in the public and private sectors, an experience not commonly offered by law schools in those days. I was placed with a litigious Northern New Mexico Legal Services attorney, James A. Burke, who represented mental health patients at the New Mexico State Psychiatric Hospital 65 miles from Santa Fe. Jim subsequently sponsored my admission to the New Mexico State Bar.
One of the highlights of the Santa Fe Experiment was the weekly opportunity to have the Internship attorney sponsors speak to us about their work. This opened my eyes to the possibilities of how to use my law degree after I graduated. Ultimately, I returned to Santa Fe immediately after graduation as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) attorney for Northern New Mexico Legal Services. In 1980 I began a twenty-five year career in the Executive Branch of New Mexico State Government, mostly as legal counsel for the New Mexico Department of Health, specializing in behavioral health, public health (including public health legal emergency preparedness which I continue to use in my "active retirement" in response to the COVID-19 pandemic), the NM public procurement process and the New Mexico legislative process.
Since my retirement in 2005, I've served as legislative staff for the New Mexico State Senate and Lt. Governor, taught graduate-level public health and public policy classes at the University of New Mexico in its Law School and Health Sciences Center, worked as the Practice Director for the Western Region of the Network for Public Health Law and served in the Santa Fe District Office of U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Lujan. I've also become politically active in the State and Local Democratic Party as a campaign field volunteer for various Democratic candidates and performed non-partisan community service as a Voter Registrar and County Election Judge.
Several of my fellow Santa Fe Experiment participants (Mark Donatelli, Todd Farkas, Dean Alexis, and Richard Shapiro to name a few) also remain in New Mexico and are well-known for their contributions to the local legal and business community.
I've only returned to Concord 2-3 times since my 1977 graduation, the last visit in May 2012 for my 35th Class Reunion. At that time I was afforded the privilege of meeting now deceased U.S. Representative John Lewis who was a guest speaker during the festivities (see attached photos).
It would be a cliche to state that FPLC "changed my life" in multiple ways but it's a truth I readily acknowledge. Thank you to the FPLC community for your support and especially the Faculty (Professor Gross, Professor Dick Hesse, Professor Joe Dickinson) who helped me find direction and purpose in the legal world in addition to the first-rate preparation for a career in the public sector of our profession. I've enjoyed the FPLC Zoom meetings during our current pandemic social distancing but look forward to a return to Concord in-person when travel restrictions ease, though not in the winter!"
Deborah Swansburg ’85 writes: “After a 42-year work history including 30+ years as a practicing attorney coupled with 20 years as a teacher.... I retired early. My husband and I left the United States in March 2015 and moved to a tiny indigenous village in the northern Andes in Ecuador. We have a small ethnobotanical garden encompassing fruit, vegetables, decorative flowers and medicinal plants. Since English is a required subject for all Ecuadorian students, I occasionally tutor students. My husband has remade himself into a carpenter and farmer. I have remade myself into a producing artist. I have already had two shows with my work. We’ve never looked back and will continue to reside in our northern Ecuador village for the foreseeable future.”
Andrew Schmid ’16 and family welcomed their new baby boy, Finnegan Thomas Schmid, to the world over the summer.
Steven Prickett ’79 writes: “Still in private practice, but now mainly immigration. Civil rights is also a focus. Please see my website, charlesprickett.com and send me a comment.”
Steven Miano ’85 was elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) in 2018. A professional association of distinguished lawyers who practice in the field of environmental law, ACOEL membership is by invitation and its members are recognized by their peers as preeminent in their field. In 2020, he was appointed as the Chair of the ACOEL Annual Meeting.
Mladen Vukmir MICT ’90 was honored to received 2020’s International Trademark Association (INTA) President’s Award and is currently serving as the European Communities Trademark Association (ECTA) 1st Vice-President.
Gabrielle Clemens ’92 was named to Working Mother Magazine and SHOOK Research’s 2020 “Top Wealth Advisor Moms” List. According to SHOOK Research, the most outstanding wealth advisors in the business are recognized on this list. SHOOK Research considered wealth advisors who are mothers with at least one child living at home and under the age of 18.
Bill Jones '94 is retired and hanging out in Maryland these days with COVID-19 border restrictions halting his frequent forays into Canada, where his partner is a professor. He received an MA in history from UNH in 2000 and finally retired from the Air Force Reserve in 2011 with 32 years total military service; his last assignment was on the Air Staff. He still collects antiquarian photography, plus anything old and interesting that catches his eye. His NH-born daughters are grown and live in Denmark.
Jody M. Sceery ‘95 opened her own practice in 2005, JMS Title & Closing Services, LLC. She is a residential and commercial real estate attorney practicing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She helps clients navigate through the processes of buying or selling real estate, and/or refinancing their current mortgages. Jody absolutely loves what she does and is always happy to help, in any way she can.
William Shaw ’04 started a new position as Senior Director, Office for Technology Transfer and Industry Collaboration at Tufts University.
Sarah Cure ’05 has been appointed by Colorado Governor Jared Polis as a District Court Judge to the 8th Judicial District Court.
Annette K. Kwok ’05 has been appointed as a Trustee at the Foundation for Advancement of Diversity in IP Law. She looks forward to promoting diversity in IP Law by identifying, mentoring and providing scholarships to students of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.
Joshua P. Graham ’06 is the new head of IP Licensing at DivX.
Caren A. Lamoureux '08 is now the Assistant State Attorney in the Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit.
Tim Benoit-Ledoux ’11 started a new position as Commercial Counsel at Beta Bionics.
Nash Zogaib ’11 was promoted to Intellectual Property Partner at Eversheds Sutherland.
Thomas Bluestein ’12 was recently sworn in as a Magistrate in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Matthew J. Kinnier ‘12 was promoted to Member at Hoffman Warnick LLC.
J. Finn Gavagan ’13 was selected to the 2020 Massachusetts Rising Star List. Only 2.5% of lawyers in Massachusetts receive this distinction. Finn is an attorney at Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin, PC, in Boston, MA and mainly focuses on personal injury litigation.
Ryan Masters ’18 joined Indeed, Inc. as IP/Marketing Counsel.
We mourn the passing of Louis M. Arcidy ’81.
We mourn the passing of Benette Pizzimenti ’84.
We mourn the passing of Raymond Dilucci ’90.
Let us hear from you
Do you have professional announcements, marriages, births, or anything else you’d like to share? If you would like to have your update shared with your fellow alums, please email me or submit via the alumni web page. The more you share, the more we will include. It is our plan to publish this quarterly.
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