Rutgers Law–Camden to Host Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration on Nov. 19


Three outstanding graduates from Rutgers Law–Camden will be honored for their distinct contributions to the legal profession, remarkable service to the community, and achievements in the legal community since graduating law school, during the fifth annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, the Rutgers Law–Camden Alumni Association will present the 2014 Arthur E. Armitage Sr. Distinguished Alumni Award to Jay Gutierrez, a 1979 alumnus and a retired partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where he led the firm’s energy practice. Joanne Ventura, a 1978 alumna and a partner in the Marlton law firm of Neuner & Ventura LL.P., will receive the Honorable Joseph M. Nardi Jr. Distinguished Service Award. Aneesh Mehta, a 2007 alumnus and an intellectual property attorney at Volpe and Koenig, P.C. in Philadelphia, is the 2014 recipient of the Recent Graduate Award.

According to Rutgers Law–Camden Acting Dean John Oberdiek, the annual alumni event is a valued tradition that honors individual outstanding graduates and celebrates the overall efforts of the Rutgers Law–Camden Alumni Association. “Our law school is fortunate to have so many enthusiastic and committed graduates willing to offer so much to the school and its students,” he notes.  “Thanks to the Alumni Association, our graduates enjoy a vibrant and active connection to the law school, and our current students gain invaluable insight into their future profession.”

For nearly three decades, the Arthur E. Armitage Sr. Distinguished Alumni Award has recognized Rutgers Law–Camden’s most accomplished graduates, including governors, attorney generals of New Jersey, noted civil and criminal trial attorneys, and general counsels to Fortune 500 companies. Established in 1983, the alumni award is a memorial to Armitage Sr., who, with a group of interested citizens, founded both the South Jersey Law School in 1926 and its companion College of South Jersey in 1927. In 1950, the Camden campus became affiliated with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

This year’s recipient of the Armitage Award, Jay Gutierrez has represented companies and governments in a variety of matters for more than 30 years involving the ownership, operation, and regulation of nuclear power plants. These representations involved more than half of the 104 operating reactors in the United States.

More recently, Gutierrez advised clients around the world in developing new nuclear power programs and plants, including the lead applicant for a new fleet of reactors in the United Kingdom; the Saudi Arabian government on the development of a nuclear sector in that country; the UAE in drafting third-party nuclear liability legislation; and a leading Polish utility in contract negotiations for new reactors in Poland.

In 2011, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed him to the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee and that same year he was appointed to the Nuclear Law Working Group of the World Nuclear Society. In 2013, Best Lawyers of America named Gutierrez the “Washington, D.C. Energy Lawyer of the Year.”

Commemorating the life and accomplishments of the Honorable Joseph M. Nardi Jr., a retired Superior Court judge, former Camden mayor, and 1956 Rutgers Law–Camden alumnus, the Nardi Distinguished Service Award was established in 2002 to recognize exceptional service to the law school and larger community.

Joanne Ventura practices primarily in the areas of family, estate, and real estate law, and is a family law mediator. An active member of the board of the Rutgers School of Law–Camden Alumni Association, Ventura served as chancellor from 2008-11. She is also an active participant in the South Jersey Legal Services Private Attorney Involvement Program; a member of the Matrimonial Early Settlement Panels in Burlington and Camden counties; an active Rotarian; and has been a board member and past president of Advancing Opportunities (Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey).

Established in 2010, the Recent Graduate Award honors Aneesh Mehta as this year’s recipient. His practice focuses on strategic acquisition of IPR, including prosecution, mining, and purchase of assets as well as the analysis and development of assets for defensive purposes and monetization. Mehta was recognized in 2012 by the Legal Intelligencer as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” and in 2012, 2013, and 2014 by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star.”

The Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration will be held at the Tavistock Country Club, located at 100 Tavistock Lane in Haddonfield.

Tickets are $80, which includes dinner. Proceeds from this event fund the alumni association’s scholarships.

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