About Elizabeth Wasserman

Elizabeth Wasserman Articles written 10

Articles written by Elizabeth Wasserman

A New York Yankees Fan in Baltimore’s Bankruptcy Court

Paul M. Nussbaum succeeds at helping failing businesses

In 1984, when Paul Nussbaum graduated from California Western School of Law, his peers were specializing in securities litigation, international law and white-collar crime. Exciting areas. Nussbaum, meanwhile, was unsure of his direction until, in his final year, he took a bankruptcy elective and scored the top grade in the class. “I found it incredibly fascinating,” Nussbaum says. “It was the first area of the law I found that I was able to comprehensively appreciate and understand how …

All Things Joyce Slocum

NPR's GC takes us behind the scenes

Joyce Slocum, general counsel and senior vice president of legal affairs for National Public Radio, is telling a story with all the flair of someone who should be on the air. "I had been an NPR fanatic for many, many years," she says, with a voice reminiscent of Kathleen Turner. "I love getting the news in an unbiased way, and without anyone shouting. I've traveled a lot internationally, and without the education that 'Morning Edition' and 'All Things Considered' have given me, I would have had …

The Queen of Malpractice

Sandra Robinson is empathetic and easygoing: Watch out

Thirty years ago, Sandra H. Robinson, a senior medical malpractice attorney with Jack H. Olender & Associates, began her career as a psychology counselor. It didn't take. But as Robinson heads to a conference room at her firm, where bookshelves are lined with bound tomes of such journals as Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics, she emphasizes the importance of her psychology background. The conference room is where families who have lost a loved one, given birth to a child with …

The Pit Bull

To Michele Nethercott, innocence is more than a project

With her brown hair, blue eyes and easy smile, you'd never guess that Michele Nethercott of Maryland's Office of the Public Defender is known by current and former inmates in the Maryland prison system as a "steely-eyed pit bull." But ask around. Ask particularly those who owe their freedom to Nethercott and her staff. Then you'll hear stories about how she grabs onto a case and won't let go. "She goes through a transition inside," says Gregory Jones, 54, for whom Nethercott helped win a new …

Hanging in the Smithsonian

It’s John Huerta’s dream job: overseeing national treasures from a bona fi de castle

Not many lawyers get to commute each day along the National Mall, passing world-class museums that house the Hope Diamond, Winslow Homer landscapes, Henry Moore sculptures and some 136 million other artifacts. Even fewer get to work in a bona fide castle. John Huerta does. Since 1995, he’s served as general counsel of the Smithsonian Institution. “It’s my dream job,” he says. Huerta is surrounded by breathtaking images. His office, which is on the third floor of the 19th-century …

Still the Authority

How Alison Asti survived someone else’s turf war

Well, that was certainly an interesting year. At the outset of 2007, Alison Asti held three positions with the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA)—general counsel, director of development and executive director—and in June she was elected president of the Maryland State Bar Association. But rumors circulated that the administration of Gov. Martin O’Malley wanted a change at the helm of the MSA. In September, Asti resigned her posts. A week later the state attorney general rejected her …

Goolsby on Goolsby

The author of Goolsby on Virginia Corporations tells all

Allen C. Goolsby wrote the law on Virginia corporations. Literally. The evidence lines the bookshelves in his Hunton & Williams office overlooking the James River in Richmond. There’s a copy of the Model Business Corporation Act, a law most states have adopted, which is written by the invitation-only American Bar Association’s Committee on Corporate Laws; Goolsby is now serving his second six-year term on that committee. Nearby sits a bound version of the Virginia Stock Corporation Act; …

Doing What Ought to be Done

Sharon Dietrich lives by this credo. Just ask her clients at Community Legal Services

Row after row after row, the chairs in the waiting room at Community Legal Services (CLS) in Philadelphia are filled. There is an elderly woman holding a cane. Two young immigrants speak rapid-fire Spanish. A bearded gentleman wears a flannel shirt and smells of body odor. All need legal help. None have money. All eyes turn as Dietrich, tall and dressed in a black jumper over a maroon turtleneck with wavy curls of blonde hair reaching her shoulders, calls the name of her next appointment. “We …

Nice Guy Finishes First

Ron Shapiro's long-term relationship-building approach lost him Oprah, but won him Cal Ripken Jr., the respect of his peers and a Hollywood ending

The best-remembered scene from the 1996 Tom Cruise movie Jerry Maguire features Cuba Gooding Jr. as Rod Tidwell, a football player eager for a long-term contract, who challenges his agent over the phone: “Show me the money!” When this scene is mentioned to Ronald M. Shapiro, the Baltimore attorney/agent simply shakes his head. He is sitting behind a desk where legal briefs and journals share space with signed baseballs. More than two dozen autographed wooden bats are displayed in …

The Last Great General Practitioner in Virginia

James C. Roberts gives us a tour of his office and talks about the debt he can never repay

James C. Roberts cuts a striking figure as he stands — all 6 feet 3 inches of him — next to a framed, pastel drawing of a courtroom scene that hangs in his office on the 11th floor of the brick-and-glass Troutman Sanders building. “This is me right here,” Roberts says in his deep Southern drawl, pointing out a silver-haired figure in the middle of the scene. “This is when I represented state Senator Richard Holland.”   It was 1998. Roberts’ finesse in the courtroom convinced a …

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