Class Notes: January 1-December 31, 2014



Richard Somach, a member of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, presented “What’s on Second? Sophisticated Issues in Lien Divestiture & Priority” for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute on March 24, 2014. His practice focuses on real estate and commercial law. He was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015.


Abraham B. Krieger, a senior member of the corporate finance law practice and chair of the real estate practice group of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, was selected for the Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Advisory Council. The council is composed of volunteers who provide legal services for needy Long Islanders.


Hon. Stephen Bucaria was named Commander of the New York Guard by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on July 25, 2014.

John Castellano, the director and attorney-in-charge at Mercy Haven, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Long Island Business News’ Leadership in Law Awards on Nov. 13, 2014.

Dorothea Constas celebrated her ninth year as an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law and 24 years at Mental Hygiene Legal Service, First Department, Appellate Division.

Jeffrey Lebowitz, a special counsel at Jaspan Schlesinger, was featured in “Movers & Shakers” in the Sept. 5-11, 2014, edition of Long Island Business News.

Stephanie Ortoleva, the president of Women Enabled, moderated a panel discussion on helping women with disabilities out of poverty at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan on March 19, 2014. The discussion was a side event of the 58th Session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women and was co-sponsored by U.N. Women, the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations. Ortoleva is a highly recognized international human rights lawyer, policy and development consultant, author and researcher on issues of women’s rights, disability rights, and the rights of women and girls with disabilities.


Mark Claster, the president of Carl Marks and Co., was elected chair of the North Shore-LIJ Health System in June 2014.

Janis McDonald, a professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law, was the recipient of the 2014 National Civil Rights Conference Social Justice Award.

Barry Peek, a member at Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, was appointed co-chairman of the firm’s labor law practice in January 2014.


Michael Golden passed away on July 8, 2014. He most recently was a partner at Baker Botts in the firm’s Washington, DC, office; before that, he worked at Pepper Hamilton.

Nechama Masliansky marked her ninth anniversary of public policy work at the nonprofit organization SOME (So Others Might Eat), working on affordable housing and homeless services in Washington, DC, in February 2014.

Philip Shapiro, the president and CEO of Liberty Maritime, was featured in an interview in the November/December 2013 edition of The Maritime Executive magazine.


Hon. Donald Blydenburgh passed away on Oct. 2, 2014. He is remembered as a consensus-building lawmaker who led the Suffolk County Legislature for seven years before serving 14 years as a New York State Supreme Court judge. He is survived by his wife, Mary, and his three children.

Ilene S. Cooper, a partner at Farrell Fritz, was appointed a co-chair of the Fellows of The New York Bar Foundation, a charitable and philanthropic entity of the New York State Bar Association, for the 10th Judicial District in February 2014. Later, she was appointed to the foundation’s Planned Giving Task Force. She was also selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, the third year in a row she received the recognition, and as a 2014 New York Super Lawyer.

Joan Magoolaghan, a partner at Koob & Magoolaghan and the general counsel to the Yonkers Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers, received the Business Professional Award from the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce at its 22nd annual Women of Excellence Luncheon on March 26, 2014. She serves several Yonkers community organizations, including CLUSTER and the New York Creative Arts Therapy Foundation.

Brenda Richardson Malone became vice president for human resources at Georgetown University in January 2014.

Joan McNichol was appointed Lewis county attorney in February 2014.

Neal Schelberg, a partner at Proskauer Rose, was appointed chair of the ERISA Advisory Council in February 2014 by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.

Anne Shields joined the Law Offices of Mark A. Cuthbertson as counsel in early 2014. She concentrates her practice in commercial and federal litigation, and previously served as law clerk to Judge George C. Pratt of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Richard Socarides joined Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) as head of public affairs in August 2013.

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