Alumni News

Karen Giffen ’89, Co-Founder of the women-owned firm Giffen & Kaminski, was selected as a Crain's Cleveland 2018 Women of Note. A panel of Crain’s editors selected honorees who have demonstrated commitment to Northeast Ohio and its people. 

Robert R. Terbrack '10 has been named a Partner at the law firm of Gallagher Sharp. Additionally, Terbrack will take on the role of Practice Group Manager for the firm’s Mass Tort/Toxic Tort Practice.

Adjunct Professor Karen Rubin ’85, Counsel at Thompson Hine LLP, has been passionate about teaching for as long as she can remember. She recalls playing school as a child and forcing her sisters to be the students so she could pretend to be a teacher. For the past eight years, Rubin has had the opportunity to teach in real life – and the opportunity to teach at her alma mater makes it all the more cherished.

Public Interest Leader-In Residence Susan Becker '83 was selected by the CMBA as the 2018 recipient of the Honorable William K. Thomas Professionalism Award. The award is given annually to a lawyer or judge who has significantly contributed to the enhancement of professionalism in the Greater Cleveland legal community.

Ronda Curtis '92 was promoted to be Cleveland's Chief Corporate Counsel by Cleveland Major Frank Jackson ’83. She previous served as the city’s chief assistant law director for legislation and finance.

James A. Lowe '72, founder and partner at Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA, a Cleveland, Ohio-based law firm, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ohio Association for Justice’s 2018 Annual Convention. Lowe was recognized for his lifetime of service and dedication to excellence in litigation, primarily on behalf of individuals catastrophically injured by dangerous and defective products.

Richard A. Ott '92 recently retired after 20 years with the Dutchess County Attorney's Office where he prosecuted child neglect, abuse and support cases, and also some adult protective services matters.


Daniel Pollack '83, professor of social work at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, will serve on an independent Blue Ribbon Commission to examine the institutional responses to sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.


Judge Francine B. Goldberg '90 (pictured left center) was recognized with the inaugural Golda Meir Award from the Cleveland Council of NA'AMAT USA. The award ceremony was emceed by Dean Lee Fisher.


Five years ago, Kimberly Corral ’12 was a recently minted attorney with a passion for justice. Working as a solo practitioner on criminal justice cases, she received a call from Ru-El Sailor that would begin a five-year representation that would culminate in exonerating a man who spent 15 years in a prison for a murder he did not commit.

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Dean Lee Fisher and C|M|LAW alumnus Terry Gilbert ’73 received awards at the National Civil Rights Summit, a consortium of civic, religious and professional organizations recognizing the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

CMLAA Alumni of the Year recipient Judge Benita Y. Pearson ’95 knew she would seek a judgeship even before attending law school. A graduate of Georgetown University, she worked at BP in accounting for seven years before enrolling in law school in her hometown. Her career as an accountant provided a means to allow her to attend law school, and with significant career experience in tow, she came to Cleveland-Marshall clear minded about her ultimate judiciary goal.

CMLAA Alumni of the Year recipient Matthew Crawford possesses critical skills for successful leadership. He is a consensus builder who encourages opinions from a variety of perspectives in decision-making. When it came to choosing a school for furthering his education, the 1994 Cleveland-Marshall College of Law graduate avoided the narrow-minded idea that attending law school was only for lawyers – and has used his education to help grow one of the area’s largest supply chain and manufacturing companies. 

C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Member Steve Potash '78, Founder and CEO of OverDrive, was featured on WKYC 3 for his company's continued innovation and success.


Ian Friedman '97 was elected to a one-year presidency of The American Board of Criminal Lawyers, effective Jan. 1. Friedman, a criminal defense attorney at Friedman & Nemecek in Cleveland and adjunct professor in computers and criminal law at C|M|LAW, is the third Ohio fellow to be elected president of the organization. The 40-year-old invitation-only organization aims to encourage fellows to pursue fundamental freedoms for those accused of criminal conduct. Comprised of 200 fellows from the United States, Canada and Europe, each member is required to have 10 years of criminal trial experience and to try 50 trials, of which 35 must be felony jury trials.

Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP (Calfee) is pleased to announce it has elected Alexander B. Reich '09 a partner at the firm.

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law lost a valued community member when Elisabeth Dreyfuss '78 passed away on December 17 at the age of 82.  After graduating from law school, Elisabeth spent 16 years at C|M|LAW as Assistant Dean for Community Education in the Law and Director of the Street Law Program

One of C|M|LAW’s most loyal and devoted alumna, Marilyn Tobocman ’83, passed away on January 3, 2018 at the age of 83.  She was a member of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association Board of Trustees and also served as a mentor for Cleveland-Marshall law students, a Fair Housing Law Clinic instructor and adjunct faculty member.

Cleveland State University recognized Cleveland-Marshall College of Law alumnus Steven Potash '78, President and CEO of OverDrive, as the college’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Potash received the honor at the October 6 awards ceremony, on the basis of his distinguished record of service, leadership and professional achievements as part of Homecoming Weekend.

One of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law’s most distinguished alumna, Judge Jean Murrell Capers, passed away Tuesday, July 18 at the age of 104, leaving an esteemed legacy as a trailblazer and civic activist.  Judge Capers graduated in 1945 from Cleveland Law School, a predecessor to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.