At the Bar
Sitting on Christian Nagel’s desk is a photo of Afghan children in a remote village near the Pakistani border.
“It’s a reminder of, hopefully, the good we did when were there,” says the former Marine Corps reservist, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 to adjudicate claims against NATO and the U.S. government.
“After several months of people asking for money, you become a little bit jaded. But then, in a town with no running water, no electricity, no paved roads, you have little children running up to you with bread and fruit.”¦ These children are just as fun and sweet as American kids. They don’t expect anything; they just want to come up and interact with you.”
Last month Nagel, 36, joined McGuireWoods as a senior counsel in its commercial-litigation department. He was most recently a partner at Fluet Huber + Hoang in Alexandria, Va.
Nagel, who was born on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, attended Miami University. He later served as an aide to then-Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., and was a writer in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence. Nagel was in the White House on Sept. 11, 2001, an event that solidified his desire to join the military.
“Joining the Marine Corps was something I always wanted to do, but it certainly became more relevant after living through that,” he says.
Christopher Snow Hopkins
At the Bar
In Marc Warren’s class at the George Washington University Law School, his students are befuddled by the legal implications of unmanned aircraft systems.
“Most students have no trouble understanding the law as it pertains to a conventional-weapons system, like a bomb dropped from an airplane or an artillery shell fired from a howitzer,” says Warren, who serves as an adjunct faculty member at the law school and recently joined Crowell & Moring as senior counsel. “But the UAS factor creeps people out.”
Warren, who most recently was acting chief counsel at the Federal Aviation Administration, is bullish on the future of UAS, and he objects to the way the news media is portraying unmanned aircraft.
“A lot of people think of UAS as ‘drones,’ but that’s really a bit of a misnomer,” he says. “Their use extends far beyond intelligence-gathering and weapons platforms. Imagine unmanned aircraft dusting crops or surveilling vast agricultural tracts.”
As for the technology’s detractors, Warren likens them to the naysayers who pooh-poohed air travel after the Wright Brothers’ historic flight at the turn of the 20th century.
Warren, 56, was born and raised in Tampa, Fla., where his father worked in heavy construction and his mother “cooked, cleaned, and raised me,” he says. “I had a classic Leave It to Beaver childhood — wonderful, yet uneventful.”
His uncle, who had jumped into Normandy on D-Day as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, “would regale me with stories about military service,” Warren recalls. “I vowed that I wanted to be in the military.”
After graduating from the University of Florida, he was poised to join the Army when his father intervened. “My father told me that I would never regret it if I went to law school first.”¦ You could say that I went to law school because my dad told me to.”
After staying on at the University of Florida to earn his law degree, Warren spent 26 years as a judge advocate general, with postings to Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Campbell in Kentucky. He also served as a lawyer for multinational forces in Iraq during the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation.
Warren retired from military service in 2007 after he was selected for promotion to brigadier general.
He was briefly entangled in the Abu Ghraib detainee scandal when an independent investigation overseen by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger faulted him and two other officers for their actions in Iraq. At the time of the scandal, Warren was the top military lawyer for the American command in Baghdad. A subsequent review by the Army’s inspector general cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Warren holds a master of laws degree from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School and a master of strategic studies degree from the U.S. Army War College. He has four children — ranging in age from 15 to 32 — and four grandchildren. “I’m juggling a lot of balls,” he says.
At the Bar
Before she took over an auto-parts investigation on behalf of the Justice Department, Kathryn Hellings was auto-illiterate. Now that it’s over, she could write a book on spark plugs and fan belts.
“My husband jokes that when the investigation started, I didn’t know how to pop the hood of our car,” says Hellings, who has joined Hogan Lovells, effective June 3. “But then, suddenly, I knew every part of our car.”
After 11 years of prosecuting price-fixing cartels, Hellings will now advise companies accused of engaging in antitrust behavior, as a partner in the firm’s Washington office. She joins Rachel Brandenburger, who joined Hogan Lovells in February after serving as a senior adviser in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.
Raised in Syracuse, N.Y., Hellings developed an interest in the law while studying criminology and English literature at nearby Le Moyne College, where her father was a professor.
After graduating, she enrolled at George Washington University Law School and “never looked back,” she says. “I know a lot of people don’t like law school — I really loved it.”
In law school, Hellings was intent on going into sports law and worked part time for the NHL’s Washington Capitals. At one point, she received a job offer from the NBA’s Orlando Magic and sat down with the legendary Julius Erving, who was then employed by the franchise’s front office.
“I started to wonder if this was the career path for me,” Hellings says. “Obviously, Dr. J. had experiences in life that I didn’t have. Was there much upward mobility in sports law for a nonathlete?”
Chastened by that experience, Hellings clerked for U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary R. Jones of the Middle District of Florida, who suggested that Hellings consider becoming a federal prosecutor. So began an 11-year stint at the Justice Department, toward the end of which Hellings led an auto-parts investigation that ensnared more than 20 companies that had engaged in everything from fixing prices to rigging bids. The investigation resulted in more than $2 billion in fines.
Hellings, 38, was most recently assistant chief of the Justice Department’s National Criminal Enforcement Section, one of only nine section managers nationwide. She has twice received the Assistant Attorney General’s Award of Distinction and is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.
She and her husband, Richard, who is also a federal prosecutor, have a 4-year-old son and a 16-month-old daughter.
After five years with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Laura Maristany has been named director of policy and legislative affairs at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund.
As head of the organization’s Washington office, the 30-year-old Maristany will monitor the progress of H.R. 3899, an amendment to the 1965 Voting Rights Act meant to counteract Shelby County v. Holder, a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that invalidated key portions of the law. “One of our top priorities is getting that legislation considered and approved this summer,” she says.
Maristany will also try to resuscitate S. 744, a comprehensive immigration bill that passed the Senate last year.
Maristany, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, is the daughter of Cuban exiles. Her mother is a high school principal and her father is an agronomist who owns his own company.
In high school, she declared her intention to study political science because, as she explains, “that’s what everybody did who was considering becoming a lawyer.”
During her senior year at the University of Puerto Rico (Mayagüez), she came to Washington as an intern with Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño, R-Puerto Rico. Within a week of arriving, she met her future husband, Valerio Martinelli, at a restaurant near Dupont Circle.
“Valerio Martinelli was having a simple dinner at Sesto Senso “¦ when an attractive brunette caught his eye,” begins an article in The Hill newspaper about their transcontinental love affair. “Martinelli, an Italian citizen who was visiting friends in the U.S., wanted to approach the woman but hesitated.”
Ultimately, after months of exorbitant phone bills, the two were married in January 2008. They have a 2-year-old daughter.
In the years that followed, Maristany served as an aide under Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico and received a master’s degree in international commerce and policy from George Mason University.
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