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Four Alumni Honored as CA Attorneys of the Year  

March 20, 2014

Four USF School of Law alumni were recently honored with California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Awards by California Lawyer magazine. They are among a group of just 57 lawyers statewide recognized by the magazine for legal work that had a significant impact in 2013.

“We are thrilled that our alums received this well-deserved honor recognizing their excellence in the profession and service to California,” Dean John Trasviña said.

Gregory J. Dannis ’80, was recognized in the education law category for successfully negotiating two significant educational breakthroughs in 2013: an innovative teacher evaluation procedure in San Jose as part of a collective bargaining agreement and a new teacher compensation package in Oakland that avoided a bargaining impasse there for the first time in a decade. Dannis is with Dannis Woliver Kelley of San Francisco.

Jerome Fishkin ’70, was recognized in the legal profession category for his representation of Sergio C. Garcia, an undocumented immigrant, in his groundbreaking, and ultimately successful, bid to practice law in California. Fishkin represented him pro bono before the Committee of Bar Examiners and the California Supreme Court. Fishkin is with Fishkin & Slatter of Walnut Creek.

Jessica L. Grant ’95, Board of Governors member, was recognized in the environmental law category for her work as the lead attorney in obtaining an $816 million jury verdict on behalf of the State of New Hampshire against ExxonMobil for groundwater contamination. After a three-month trial and just 90 minutes of deliberation, the jury awarded damages for harm caused by the addition of MTBE to gasoline sold in the state. Grant is with Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass of San Francisco.

Molly M. Lane ’90, Board of Counselors Chair, was recognized in the criminal law category for her team’s eight years and 7,500 hours of pro bono legal and personal time to overturning the Texas death sentence of Cathy Henderson, a woman convicted of murder in the death of an infant she was babysitting. The team’s success also helped advance legal reform through the passage of a Texas law that authorizes retrials if new, relevant scientific evidence becomes available. Lane is with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius of San Francisco.