Washington University School of Law presents Distinguished Alumni Awards

The School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis celebrated the outstanding achievements of six individuals at its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner April 22 at The Ritz-Carlton.

Distinguished Law Alumni Award recipients were Steven N. Rappaport, Barry S. Schermer, John C. Shapleigh and Raymond P. Wexler.

Alan B. Bornstein and Linda M. Martinez received Distinguished Young Law Alumni Awards.

Rappaport was recognized for his wide-ranging career accomplishments and contributions to the Washington University community.

He is a member of the law school’s national council and past chair of the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee. Rappaport also serves on the executive committee of the University’s New York Regional Cabinet and on the Parents Council.

A partner in RZ Capital LLC, a New York firm specializing in private equity investments, Rappaport serves as lead director and chair of the Audit Committee of the Credit Suisse Mutual Fund Complex; director of Presstek Inc.; and director in a number of other private entities.

Schermer was honored for his outstanding career achievements and contributions to the law school.

He is serving his second 14-year term as a judge on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Missouri. He is nationally known and respected in the field of bankruptcy law and speaks at national conferences each year.

He has ruled on many high-profile cases, including the reorganizations of Apex Oil and Trans World Airlines.

Schermer remains heavily involved in the law school. For 15 years, he has co-taught a Chapter 11 seminar. For the past nine years, he has taught “Fundamentals of Bankruptcy.”

He has also supervised dozens of law students in judicial externships and has hired a number of graduates as his full-time judicial clerks.

Shapleigh, recognized for his success as a lawyer and entrepreneur, helped start two St. Louis-based fiber-optic telecommunications network companies: Brooks Fiber Properties Inc. and LDX Net Inc.

He also was counsel to former Missouri Gov. Christopher S. Bond; an associate with Lewis, Rice & Fingersh LC; and chair of the Missouri Public Service Commission. He directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Telecom 2000 project for the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Telecommunications, led the Association for Local Telecom Services and chaired the Competitive Telecom Association’s board.

Shapleigh chairs the Hospice Foundation of Greater St. Louis, which was established by his father, John B. Shapleigh II, to educate consumers, doctors and other professionals about the benefits of hospice care for a more natural end of life.

Shapleigh is a member of the law school’s national council.

Wexler was honored for his career achievements.

He is a partner in the Chicago-based firm of Kirkland & Ellis, where he specializes in corporate tax law. Wexler is internationally recognized for his expertise in cross-border transfer pricing, foreign tax-credit utilization, and the double-tax provisions of international tax treaties.

A founding director of the International Tax Forum, he has tried numerous cases in the U.S. Tax Court, as well as argued cases before various federal courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. He was the lead trial counsel in the landmark cases General Motors Corp. v. Commissioner and Keystone Consolidated Industries Inc. v. Commissioner.

Wexler is a member of the law school’s national council.

Bornstein was honored for his professional achievements in law and real estate.

A partner in the St. Louis office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, his practice includes acquisitions, joint ventures and syndications. Since 2000, Bornstein has spent the majority of his time developing real estate projects.

In addition to his practice, Bornstein served as an adjunct professor in the School of Law’s Graduate Tax Program from 1985-1995, teaching selected topics in real estate taxation. He is past president of Aim High, a children’s summer education program, and is responsible for the formation of the Sonnenschein Scholars Foundation.

Bornstein chairs the Eliot Society committee at the law school, serves as a member of the national council and sits on the advisory board for the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Martínez was recognized for her extensive professional and civic endeavors.

As a partner with Bryan Cave LLP in St. Louis, she focuses on development and related federal, state and local incentives. These include major public, private and public/private partnerships for public facilities, museums and sports and entertainment complexes, as well as for industrial, health care, manufacturing and multifamily housing facilities.

She has been recognized as the 2004 Woman of the Year by the St. Louis Daily Record, as a YWCA Special Leader, and as one of the St. Louis Business Journal 100 Leaders for the Millennium. Martínez has also been included in the Business Journal’s annual list of community and influential leaders since 2001.