YAM Notes: July/August 2012

I am keeping these notes slim and trim because of all the competition from reunion classes. Will report in the next issue on our Boston  mini-reunion, which has yet to occur as of this  writing in mid-May.

Two overdue kudos:

The Kansas City (Mo.) Bar Association has given its Lifetime Achievement Award to Jerome (Jerry) Wolf, who has been  one of the foremost litigators in Kansas City , with a special focus on alternative dispute resolution, ever since his arrival after Army service in 1966. After Yale, Jerry graduated from Harvard law School. He helped found and build a respected Kansas City firm now known as SNR Denton, and gave generously of his time to pro bono work, including two complex death penalty/habeas corpus cases in Alabama, and recently won a remarkable decision in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals negating the death penalty for a mentally-challenged  inmate. He has also done an enormous  amount  of community work, and, with wife Ellen, has two children with Yale degrees.

Speaking of pillars of the community –we’re shifting focus to  Ohio now – Jim Pender is a modest guy, so until  a letter arrived the other day from Jim’s friend Alki Scopelitis I did not know about the latest of Jim’s and his wife Cathy’s many charitable efforts – the creation of a career service for vets called Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers (“DVIC”) – which, as the name suggests, provides training and the chance for a meaningful life in the insurance business for disabled veterans. This is a remarkably good idea, especially now.

Alki also reports that he, Norm Bedford, Ted Ward, Tad Foote and Matty Wills recently got together, as they have for many years, at Norm’s home in Miami.  They all served in the Marines together. This year they invited Mike Schumann, who lives nearby in Fort Lauderdale, and made him an honorary Marine

Two amendments to recent obituary notices.

First, as to Bob Hitch, there was very little information about Bob, when I reported his death. Joe Orgill supplies the following : ”Robert and I went to Taft together and kept up with each other after college. He was an avid sports fan and observer of politics and politicians. As young men, Robert and I attended football bowl games and several Masters tournaments……. Robert encountered health problems early on, a situation that made his practice of law very difficult and resulted in his spending much of his life in nursing homes. It was impossible not to like him, and there was never a trace of self-pity in spite of his problems…….Because of his condition, Robert never achieved many of the accomplishments that find their way into obituaries; nonetheless, he was a joy to have known and his perserverance inspiring

The second amendment – amendments plural – involve  errors of commission and omission regarding Steve Umin, whose first name I misspelled with a “ph” on first mention, and whose two years as a Rhodes Scholar after Yale I left out entirely.  His fatal disease was Frontotemporal Degeneration, and he left Williams and Connolly in 2006, not 2004 (These last two errors were lifted from the NY Times obit,  which means I find myself in the position of blaming not only myself but my employer!).

Here is the address for the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, to which contributions may be sent in Steve’s memory: AFTD, Radnor Station Building 2, 290 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, PA., 19087.

I am indebted for these corrections to his patient and courteous sister, Gail Massot. In addition to his wife  Candace and  daughter Courtney, Steve is survived by Gail, nephew Olivier and niece Randa.