People on the Move - February 2024
Duke Law alumni making news for promotions, honors, and awards
Robert H. Bell ’02 has been promoted to special counsel for Regulatory Investigations and Complex Litigation in Peckar & Abramson’s New York office. Bob has substantial experience representing highly-regulated companies in complex civil litigation, white collar criminal investigations, and regulatory and administrative proceedings, and communicates complex legal issues to various stakeholders. Peckar & Abramson focuses on construction law.
Robert E. Kaelin ’92 has been elected to Murtha Cullina's Executive Committee, the firm's governing body. Bob is co-chair of the Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights practice and chairs the Retail & Hospitality practice. A seasoned commercial litigator, Bob advocates for clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts as well as in arbitration and mediation forums. He is a veteran of bench and jury trials and serves as a panel arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. His clients include community banks, national restaurant chains and commercial real estate companies.
C. Reed Cowart ’23 joined Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as an associate in the firm’s corporate and securities practice group. At Duke Law, Reed was a student attorney in the Community Enterprise Clinic, where he handled a variety of transactional matters for local nonprofit organizations, and was articles editor for Law & Contemporary Problems.
William E. Leister ’15 has been promoted to partner at Mayer Brown. William is a member of the banking and finance practice in the firm’s Charlotte office, where his practice centers on fund finance, routinely representing financial institutions, investment funds and corporate borrowers in the negotiation and documentation of subscription-based credit facilities, NAV-based credit facilities, hybrid credit facilities, and a variety of other secured and unsecured finance transactions.
Nicholas Langford ’23 has joined Lightfoot, Franklin & White as an associate in its Birmingham office. At Duke Law, Nick served as articles editor for Law & Contemporary Problems and worked as a research assistant for the Duke Center for Firearms Law.
Llewelyn Pritchard ’61, chair of the Lifetime Directors of the Seattle Symphony, was honored for his 40 years of service on October 7, 2023, when the Symphony dedicated its masterworks concert to him. The Symphony celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2023 and is the oldest cultural institution in the city.
Wilson Adam Schooley ’84 was named pro bono manager and supervising attorney at the nonprofit, public service law firm San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc., which serves low-income, disadvantaged and marginalized people.
Throughout his career, Will’s law practice has spanned complex business, real property, constitutional, civil rights, criminal, and environmental litigation at the trial and appellate levels. He was a University of San Diego adjunct law professor for 15 years and an instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and also a published author and an actor in film, TV, and theater.
Ellie Steiner ’01 has joined Clark Hill as a member of its intellectual property practice group. Ellie, a life sciences litigator, is based in the firm’s San Diego office and brings more than 20 years of experience representing clients in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical device matters.
Ellie has also represented clients in complex patent litigation disputes involving software and semiconductor processing, as well as general commercial litigation matters. She has litigated trademark and copyright cases and counsels clients on intellectual property licensing issues and patent validity and infringement before product development.
Samuel A. Thumma MJS ’20 has been elected a trustee of the National Judicial College, the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely attended school for judges. Judge Thumma has served on the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, in Phoenix since 2012 and was chief judge from 2017‒19. Prior to that, he served for five years as a trial judge on the Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County.
Among his many roles with the ABA, Judge Thumma currently serves as a presidential appointee to the Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information Services and the Advisory Council of the Task Force on Law and Artificial Intelligence.
Darrell VanDeusen ’85 was named one of Maryland’s “most influential employment lawyers” by Business Today. Darrell has been a management side labor and employment lawyer for over 35 years. He is president of Kollman & Saucier in Timonium, where he represents public and private sector employers throughout the country, including a number of nationally recognized educational institutions. Prior to joining the firm in 1996, Darrell spent 11 years at Venable. Last summer, Darrell’s treatise on the Family & Medical Leave Act was published by LexisNexis.