Member spotlight

Issue May 2008

Former Suffolk County District Attorney Ralph C. Martin II named as Bingham McCutchen’s first Boston managing partner

Ralph C. Martin II recently became Bingham McCutchen’s first managing partner at its Boston office. As a litigation partner at Bingham, he practices in the areas of corporate investigations, white-collar defense and general civil litigation.

He has also served as managing principal of Bingham Consulting Group, a subsidiary business of the firm that guides companies through public policy challenges at the local, state and national levels.

“Few people match Ralph’s energy and leadership in the areas of law, business and diversity,” said Bingham Chairman Jay Zimmerman, noting Martin’s deep connection and affinity for Boston. “Ralph’s commitment, reputation, dedication and close ties to the Boston community complement the responsibilities of his new role, and I am pleased that he has agreed to become our Boston office’s managing partner.”

Martin joined Bingham in 2002 after 10 years as the first elected black district attorney in Massachusetts. Martin serves as co-chair of Bingham’s Diversity Committee, an ongoing effort to build upon Bingham’s recognized strengths in the areas of recruitment, retention and advancement of lawyers from diverse backgrounds. As managing principal of Bingham Consulting, Martin assists clients when their business plans intersect with governmental and regulatory agencies. He is also a member of Bingham’s Firm Committee.

Since May 2006, Martin has served an elected two-year term as chairman of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Foley Hoag Partner Michele Whitham honored by Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter

Michele Whitham, co-managing partner at Foley Hoag LLP, Boston, was honored at the April 10 Breath of Spring gala dinner and auction, benefiting the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter.

Whitham was honored as an exemplar for having achieved professional success while battling life-threatening food allergies. An employment law practitioner, her accomplishments have been recognized by Chambers USA and Massachusetts SuperLawyers, and she is a frequent speaker and writer on employment law and law firm management.

Richard A. Soden, Lauren Stiller Rikleen nominated to ABA Board of Governors

Richard A. Soden and Lauren Stiller Rikleen were recently nominated to serve as members of the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors during the ABA midyear meeting in Los Angeles last month.

A former partner at Goodwin Procter LLP, Soden is now counsel in the firm’s Business Law Department, specializing in corporate and securities law. His practice has included all aspects of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and regulatory compliance.

Active in the ABA, Soden is a member of its Business Law Section, the Forum on Entertainment & Sports Industries, and the Center for Racial and Ethic Diversity. He is also the former chair of the Standing Committee on Bar Services and Activities and the Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs.

Rikleen is an equity partner in the Real Estate and Environmental Law Practice Group of Bowditch & Dewey LLP, Framingham, where she manages an active mediation practice and a diverse environmental law practice emphasizing negotiation, enforcement and compliance issues. Rikleen’s background includes focus on issues relating to the advancement of women in the legal profession.

She is the author of Ending the Gauntlet: Removing Barriers to Women’s Success in the Law, a book about the management of today’s law firms and the institutional impediments to women’s success in the law.

With more than 413,000 members, the ABA is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.

Thomas Kramer named Marshfield Citizen of the Year for 2007

Attorney Thomas Kramer was recently nominated by the public and chosen by a Marshfield committee to receive The Citizen of the Year award.

“He’s a prince of a guy who has very quietly served in many important community activities, and just gives of himself at all times. He does it with a smile and a good, dry sense of humor that always makes people laugh,” said longtime colleague Paul Kaufman.

Kramer is known for spending hours working for the community on important behind-the-scenes work that doesn’t usually make the front page, including pro-bono and other volunteer work or being the director of the Marshfield Historical Society.

Damon Hart elected president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association

Damon Hart, a partner in Holland & Knight’s Litigation Section in Boston, was recently elected president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association. Hart has been active in MBLA, having served as president-elect for the 2007 term, and as treasurer in 2006.

“I am honored to serve the MBLA as its president,” said Hart. “The MBLA has a rich history of providing unique opportunities for African-American attorneys to be their very best and develop their careers through continued legal education programs, networking opportunities and mentoring. I’m looking forward to the year ahead and working with a talented group of attorneys.”

Hart practices commercial litigation, with a particular focus in technology, intellectual property and labor and employment matters. In addition, Hart counsels a number of non-profits in their unique business and organizational challenges.

Hart has been named by his colleagues as a “Massachusetts Rising Star” in the field of Business Litigation in 2006 and 2007, and listed among Boston’s Ten Outstanding Leaders by the Boston Jaycees for outstanding professional and community leadership.

David Giordano named first WilmerHale Pickering Fellow

David Giordano, an associate at WilmerHale LLP, received the firm’s inaugural WilmerHale Pickering Fellowship, which allows selected associates to spend six months working at a pro bono organization.

Giordano is on full-time “loan” to the Medical-Legal Partnership for Children at Boston Medical Center for six months.

He is providing legal services to patients’ families in all of the MLPC’s service areas, with a specific focus on housing law, and staffs MLPC’s weekly legal clinic at the Upham’s Corner Health Center.

Giordano, an associate in the firm’s Intellectual Property Department, was previously honored with the 2007 WilmerHale Volunteer Award.

Under the guidelines of the fellowship, the firm awards third- and fourth-year associates with a commission to serve the community at a nonprofit legal services agency selected by the firm. MLPC was selected as one of the two preferred host sites in Boston, along with the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project.

“I’m excited to be working in such a unique pro bono setting, where two prominent professions work together to ensure that families’ basic needs (for housing, food, healthcare, education and safety) are met,” Giordano said.

WilmerHale has a long history of community service and philanthropy, based on the strong principles John H. Pickering held in founding the firm. MLPC allies lawyers and physicians to promote health and well-being and reduce health disparities by tackling the social determinants of health through legal advocacy.