Alumni News

Kennedy-appointed US District Attorney and UL Law grad dies

Richard P. "Dick" Stein, from Carmel, Indiana, passed away on Dec. 28. He was born Sept. 2, 1925 in New Albany, Indiana, to William P. Stein and Lillian Russell Stein.

In June 1950, Stein graduated from the University of Louisville and Louisville Law School. He was then admitted to the Indiana Bar, but was recalled to active duty shortly thereafter. During the Korean War, he served as a Lieutenant at a Naval Station in Newport, Rhode Island, before returning home to New Albany to practice law in 1952.

In 1954 and 1958, Stein was elected Prosecuting Attorney for Floyd County. At age 35, he was appointed to US Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana by President John F. Kennedy. Under Kennedy, he received the honor of being allowed to practice in front of the US Supreme Court.

In 1965, Stein was reappointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He resigned in 1966 and was appointed Chairman of the Indiana Public Service Commission.

In 1971, he became Legal Counsel for Eli Lilly and Co. for three years, and then spent 15 years as senior vice president of Public Affairs at the Public Service Company of Indiana (now Duke Energy).

Stein was named a Sagamore of the Wabash five times by five different governors. He was also a member of the Service Club of Indianapolis and former member of the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, the Columbia Club, the Athletic Club and the Highland Club.


UL Law grad and District Counsel, US Army Engineer District, passes away

Fred Rager, of Jeffersonville, Indiana, died on Dec. 25. He was born on Oct. 17, 1922 in Jeffersonville to Augustus Marion Rager and Mary Ellen Rager.

Prior to graduating from the UL Brandeis School of Law, Rager served in the Army Air Corps, Pacific Theater, in World War II. Upon graduation and through his retirement, Rager served as District Counsel, US Army Engineer District, in Louisville.

He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 50 years, Frances, and is survived by his children, Laura McKinstry (Richard), Kirtley Cooke (Cheri), of Jeffersonville, and Shellie Fielden (John) of Honolulu; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and three great-great grandchildren.



Former salutatorian promoted to membership at Louisville firm

University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law alum, Michael Kleinert, has been promoted to membership in Stites & Harbison, PLLC, as part of the Business Litigation Service Group

He earned his JD, magna cum laude, in 2006. He also was the salutatorian (Edwin O. Davis Award). He is part of a group of 16 attorneys that have been promoted within the Louisville-based firm.



Brandeis alum named Principal of Atlanta firm

Brandeis School of Law alum David Cornett ('00) was recently named a Principal at Atlanta-based firm, Meunier Carlin & Curfman. His elected role became effective Jan. 1.

Cornett recently joined Meunier Carlin & Curfman from General Electric Company. He focuses his practice on patent preparation and prosecution, opinion drafting and IP counseling on a variety of matters, and has a particular interest in the software, automation and energy industries.

"David is an exceptional patent attorney," said Managing Partner, Drew Meunier, in a press release. "Throughout his career, he has exhibited immeasurable talent and zeal, producing impressive results for clients in the electrical space. David will undoubtedly marshal Meunier Carlin & Curfman to further success in the years to come."

After spending over three years as in-house counsel first performing patent and procurement for GE Energy and more recently as IP Counsel for GE Intelligent Platforms, Cornett joined the firm in May. Prior to his career with GE, he worked as a patent attorney at large, intellectual property firms.

He received his BSEE. from the University of Kentucky, and went on to receive his MBA and JD from UL. Prior to becoming an attorney, Cornett worked as an electrical engineer for both Louisville Gas & Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company.

Black Freedom, White Allies & Red Scare: Louisville, 1954

The Law Library is proud to be hosting the exhibit, “Black Freedom, White Allies & Red Scare: Louisville, 1954,” thanks to the generosity of the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research. This fascinating and moving chronicle of events leading up to and including Carl and Anne Braden’s sedition trial will be open to everyone through January 23, 2015.

If you did not see the exhibit when it was housed at the Louisville Free Public Library during the fall of 2014, you have another chance! Please stop by the Reading Room during any of the library’s operating hours.  And if you want to know more about the Braden’s story, the NPR show “Here and Now” recently ran a detailed story on the 60th anniversary of the case. 

Read more in "Law Library spotlights Louisville's role in civil rights trial".


Endowed Chair in Business Law to be Established

UofL alumnus Lowry Watkins funded the position to honor legacy of William Marshall Bullitt.

The Louis D. Brandeis School of Law has received funding from Lowry Watkins to create the William Marshall Bullitt Endowed Chair in Business Law. Watkins is a graduate of UofL’s College of Business (1968) and Bullitt’s grandson. He has been a longtime supporter of the law school.

Law Dean Susan Duncan expressed appreciation for the gift stating, “Thanks to Lowry, one of our most generous donors, we can forever honor the legacy of one of our most famous graduates, William Marshall Bullitt, and provide student scholarships, moot court experiences, access to important library materials and exposure to top notch faculty.”

Bullitt was a law school alumnus of national prominence who often used his aptitude for math to win cases. Bullitt (1873-1957) served as President Taft’s solicitor general, representing the government in arguments before the U. S. Supreme Court and making headlines for his role in the prosecution of a notorious Soviet spy.

On October 3, 2014 Lowry Watkins joined Duncan at a reception to celebrate the funding of the William Marshall Bullitt Endowed Chair in Business Law. The teaching and research emphasis of the chair will be on finance and business law. The date of the gathering had particular significance for Watkins since it marked the 57th anniversary of Bullitt’s death.

At the event—attended by more than 50 people including undergraduate and law students, local lawyers and faculty and staff—Watkins shared memories of his grandfather.

The law school hopes to fill this position by the fall 2017.

Tax Moot Court Team

The Moot Court Board congratulates Lee Wilson and Katie Halloran on making the the National Tax Moot Court Team. As members of the team, Lee and Katie will write a brief and present arguments as both petitioner and respondent. The competition will take place February 5-7, 2015, in Clear Water Florida. The team is coach by Professor Blackburn, Mark Hahn, and Laurie  McTighe.

Exhibit: Campaigning against The Court: The Supreme Court and Popular Politics, 1916-2014

In recent years it seems that every nomination to the U. S. Supreme Court leads to partisan controversy. This exhibit displays political memorabilia from the collection of Professor Kurt Metzmeier that documents some of the most recent controversies.  Also included are some buttons from the pre-Court political careers of justices, a button urging the election of a sitting justice as president, and humorous objects gently mocking the dignity of the Supreme Court.

While appointments to the Court had always stirred interest in legal circles, it wasn’t until the nomination of “the people’s lawyer” Louis D. Brandeis to the court that the nation saw an active campaign against a justice. Still, that nomination was somewhat of a special case, as Brandeis had stirred up unusual distaste among the banking and railroad trusts. Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s frequent battles with the Supreme Court did not lead to organized campaigns against his nominees.  This is surprising since most early justices were drawn from political life and many had served as governors, senators, and even, in the case of William Howard Taft, president. Indeed, the only political activity involving Supreme Court justices until the late 20th century was an occasional convention boomlet to draft one of justices to run for the presidency. (William O. Douglas perhaps was the last sitting justice to entertain such dreams).

 The first attempt by an organized political group to set its sights on a member of the Supreme Court was the conservative John Birch Society’s billboard campaign to impeach sitting Chief Justice Earl Warren for the perceived liberalism of his court. However, it was President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of conservative scholar Robert Bork to the Supreme Court in 1986 that set off the first full-scale campaign against a nominee; one that would lead to the word “Borking” being entered in the dictionary as a term for the process of defeating a judicial nomination. Metzmeier’s collection has no fewer than four different buttons involving this effort.

After the Bork nomination, things would never be the same. Buttons and bumper stickers would be employed to both support and oppose controversial nominations.  In addition, the ability to possibly choose members of the Supreme Court would be noted in every presidential campaign. A classic 1996 campaign button features a free-spinning arrow pointing to the names of existing justices who (the button implies) could die or resign at any time and asks “Who do you want to choose the next Justice?” The Supreme Court now plays more prominent role in popular political culture than at any time. Its secret service nickname SCOTUS is well-known and forms part of a popular legal blog. And it hard to imagine any prior justice being so lovingly re-imaged as Justice Ginsburg has been as “The Notorious RGB.”

The exhibit is in the Law Library reading room through the end of 2014.

KBA Criminal Law Reform - Third Annual Forum, November 7, Allen Courtroom

KBA Criminal Law Reform - Third Annual Forum, November 7, Allen Courtroom