Christopher Snow Hopkins
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Christopher Snow Hopkins
May 8, 2014, 5 p.m.

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.


Ad­vocacy Groups

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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