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Class Notes, November 2007

John W. deGravelles, '74 and Richard J. Dodson, '66, recently spoke at a conference on Maritime Law and the Law of the Sea held at Odessa National Law Academy, Odessa Ukraine. deGravelles spoke on the Rights of Maritime Workers Under American Admiralty Law and Dodson spoke on Foreign Seafarers in American Courts. The conference attendees included students and professors from Odessa National Law Academy as well as representatives from the Greek and Ukraine shipping industries.

Law Center alumni listed in the 2007 edition of Chambers USA- America's Leading Lawyers for Business include:

Ben R. Miller, Jr., '61

Charles S. McCowan, Jr., '67

G. William "Bill" Jarman, '73

E. Frederick Preis, Jr. '74

Leonard L. Kilgore, III, '76

Katherine W. King, '81

Isaac McPherson Gregorie, Jr., '82

Maureen N. Harbourt, '82

Eve Masinter, '82

G. Blane Clark, Jr., '84

Melanie M. Hartmann, '84

The following Law Center alumni were listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for 2008:

Leon Gary, Jr., '64

John C. Blackman, IV, '69

Fred L. Chavalier, '71

Robert W. Scheffy, Jr., '74

R. Patrick Vance, '75

Charles A. Landry, '77

Edward Dirk Wegmann, '79

Louis S. Quinn, Jr., '83

Robert C. Tucker, '83

Miriam W. Henry, '97


Robert Downing, '75, Cheney Joseph, '70, and Warren Perrin, '72, were inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame. The Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum Foundation voted unanimously to bestow the prestigious honor for their outstanding contribution to the justice system in Louisiana.

Cheney Joseph, '70, has been tapped by Louisiana Governor-elect Bobby Jindal to assist in transition efforts for the new administration. He will advise on establishing the Governor's Executive Counsel Office.

Mary Terrell Joseph, '70, was honored by the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO) as one of the 2007 Heroine Award recipients. The Capital Area United Way nominated Joseph for the 2007 Louisiana Heroine Awards for her more than 20 years of service and dedication to its organization. During this time, she served as a donor, committee volunteer, board volunteer, campaign chairman and board chairman.

E. Frederick Preis, Jr. '74, was named a fellow of the Louisiana Bar Foundation.

James P. Roy, Jr., '76, was voted chairman-elect of the LSU Board of Supervisors.


Christine Lipsey, '82, joined McGlinchey Stafford's commercial litigation team in Baton Rouge. She has 20 years of experience in litigation representing small and large businesses, insurance companies, state agencies, lenders, and corporate shareholders.

Michael Donald, '85, moved to Lemle & Kelleher's Houston office, where his areas of practice include business litigation, construction law, energy, oil & gas and public utility law, environmental law, and corporate criminal law.

Uisdean "Hugh" Vass, '85, a Scottish lawyer and Louisiana attorney, recently won the Scottish Corporate Lawyer of the Year accolade of the Law Awards of Scotland. Uisdean is partner and Head of Oil & Gas in the Aberdeen office of Maclay Murray & Spens, one of Scotland's largest law firms with offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, and Brussels.  He is scheduled to speak to the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) at its U.S Chapter luncheon on November 14 at the Houston Country Club.

James S. Fargason, '88, a member of the Law Center faculty, has written a book titled Intellectual Property: Auditing the Process, which outlines how organizations should audit intellectual property, specifically copyright, patent, trademark and trade secrets. 

R. David Wheat, Jr., '88, of Thompson & Knight, was included on D Magazine's "Best Lawyers in Dallas" 2007 list.


Tracy E. Kern, '90, joined the New Orleans office of Jones Walker as special counsel in the Labor & Employment Practice Group.

Elizabeth Murrill, '91, assistant professor of Professional Practice at the Law Center, was selected as the 2007-08 Supreme Court Fellow assigned to the Federal Judicial Center. Professor Murrill will conduct research and provide assistance with the inter-judicial affairs programs.

Tracy Averett Morganti, '92, joined the Baton Rouge office of Adams and Reese as a partner with the Public Finance Team in the Transactions and Corporate Advisory Services Practice Group. Her practice concentrates on the areas of state and local government, as well as higher education and healthcare financing.

Jeffrey Koonce, '94, is the 2007-08 president of the Baton Rouge chapter of the Society of Louisiana CPAs (LCPA).

Caroline Blitzer, '96, was profiled in a Texas Super Lawyers feature story on former valedictorians titled "Being No. 1". Blitzer was valedictorian of her Law Center class and is the daughter of Sidney and Carol Anne Blitzer, both LSU Law grads.

Cristy Corbino Edwards, '99, was named as a 2007 Texas Rising Star attorney by Texas Monthly Magazine. She is in the Houston office of Vinson & Elkins and concentrates her practice in municipal bonds and public finance.

Ty Larkins, '96, was profiled in the October 22 issue of the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. According to the article, Larkins is departing from his legal work, making a name for himself in interior design, and poised for national attention with his involvement in HGTV's Dream House.

Tara G. Richard, '99, was awarded the Michaelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Louisiana State Bar Association. The award is presented each year to the individual who best exemplifies the courtesy, professionalism, and integrity displayed by the late Federal Magistrate Michaelle Pitard Wynne during her lifetime.


Kelly T. Scalise, '00, was recently appointed to the Younger Lawyers Division National Board of Directors for the Federal Bar Association. She practices in the areas of admiralty insurance, tort defense and products liability defense.

James S. Vilas, '06, bought the Baton Rouge Capitals Soccer Team, which competes in the Premier Developmental League of the United Soccer League composed of more than 63 teams across North America. Vilas played soccer when the Baton Rouge Soccer Association had its first season back in 1975 and continued while an undergrad at LSU.

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