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January 2022 Alumni Newsletter

New Susan Yohe (JD ’79) Scholarship Supports Pitt Law Students 

The Pittsburgh Legal Diversity & Inclusion Coalition (PLDIC), in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the Duquesne University School of Law, has created the Susan Yohe PLDIC Scholarship to honor Susan Yohe’s (JD ’79) lifetime of service to championing and furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Pittsburgh legal community. Yohe is one of the PLDIC’s founders and served as its Executive Director from its inception in 2017 until her retirement in July 2021. Beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year, there will be two Susan Yohe PLDIC scholars, one student from Pitt Law and one student from Duquesne Law, who will each receive a $10,000 annual tuition scholarship. 

Scholarship Support is First Ripple in the Pond for this Pitt Law Grad

Devin Slaugenhaupt (JD ’21) had no intention of going to law school, but he offered to study for the LSAT with a friend and take the test alongside him for moral support. A few months later, sitting in a hospital room with his father, Devin decided maybe law school was exactly what he needed to do. Devin, who had just graduated from Georgetown University, enrolled at Pitt Law to be with his father through a seemingly endless series of surgeries at UPMC and near his father’s home in the rural community of Limestone, PA. Despite spending so much time in the hospital with his father, and often commuting from Oakland to Limestone, Devin found time to excel in his classes and take on internships and pro bono work. Devin worked on a housing discrimination case with Pitt Law professor Jerry Dickinson, interned at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Pittsburgh, where he helped with child endangerment cases, and volunteered at the Pro Bono Center of the Allegheny County Bar Association.

Kelly B. Cullen (JD '19) Named Winner of David B. Fawcett Pro Bono Award

Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C. awarded its David B. Fawcett Pro Bono to Kelly B. Cullen (JD '19). The award is presented annually to the firm’s associate who has given their time to help those in need — a trademark of the award’s namesake, David B. Fawcett (JD '53).

“Kelly dedicated very significant time to our Best Interests Project, as well as the Neighborhood Legal Services’ Protection From Abuse Program,” said shareholder William D. Clifford. He concentrates his practice on civil litigation, with an emphasis on medical malpractice, and is also active on Dickie McCamey’s Pro Bono Committee.

Report on the Pittsburgh Educational Forum “After the Pandemic”

The American College of Bankruptcy, Troutman Pepper, and Pitt Law presented an educational forum exploring how bankruptcy law and practice will be changed by the pandemic. The program, with the hopeful title “After the Pandemic,” received a warm reception online and in person at Pitt Law. 

The program kicked off with a Report from Capitol Hill by Judge Gregory L. Taddonio from the Western District of Pennsylvania, the co-chair of the legislative committee of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. He was followed by Judge Marvin P. Isgur from the Southern District of Texas, Chief Judge Frank J. Santoro from the Eastern District of Virginia, Heather Lennox from Jones Day in Cleveland, and Kurt L. Gwynne (JD '72)  from Reed Smith in Wilmington. 

The second panel, discussing consumer practice after the pandemic, featured Chief Judge Michael B. Kaplan from the District of New Jersey, Alane A. Becket from Malvern, Pennsylvania, and Chapter 13 Standing Trustee Ronda J. Winnecour from Pittsburgh. The third panel, looking at the economic landscape after the pandemic, included Mohsin Meghji from M3 Partners in New York, Professor David J. Denis from the Katz Graduate School of Business, and Eric A. Schaffer (JD '79) from the Stonecipher Law Firm.

Judges Needed for Virtual National Trial Competition’s Regional Bracket

Pitt and Duquesne Law are teaming up to host the annual Texas Young Lawyers National Trial Competition’s Regional Bracket, to be held virtually from Feb. 17-20, 2022. The region consists of law school mock trial teams from the northeastern U.S. competing for a spot at the national finals in Dallas, TX. Pitt Law’s Trial Advocacy Director. A. Michael Gianantonio is overseeing the regional competition. 

This is the first time a law school from Pittsburgh has been the regional host of this competition and judges are needed for this virtual competition. To donate approximately 4 hours of your time to judge this worthy endeavor, please click the link below. Questions? Email Mike Gianantonio.

Class Notes

Pitt Law welcomes news and updates and encourages you to keep us informed of your personal and professional accomplishments. Submit a class note.

View the latest edition of our Class Alumni Notes.

Featured Class Notes

  • Major Dimitri Facaros (JD '10), Group Judge Advocate for the 3d Special Forces Group (A) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, had his article "A Brief Summation on Gender-Based Violence Military Readiness and Judge Advocates" article (p. 26) published by The Army Lawyer, a Professional Bulletin, for education and performance in legal responsibilities.
  • Miracle Jones (JD '18), director of policy and advocacy at 1Hood Media, has garnered a national audience with her latest TED Talk and interview on the podcast How to be a Better Human. 
  • Sarah Miley (JD '12) has been named shareholder in the Pittsburgh offices of Littler. Miley is an experienced litigator focusing on complex wage and hour litigation, including class, collective, and hybrid actions throughout the U.S. In addition to wage and hour litigation practice, Miley represents employers in various issues, including restrictive covenant disputes, discrimination, and retaliation litigation. 
  • Alyssa M. Zottola (JD '21) has joined Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC (Spilman), as an associate in its Pittsburgh office. Zottola's primary area of practice is litigation. She previously served as judicial intern to the Honorable Lisa Pupo Lenihan (JD '83) of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.