BADC Honors Legal Luminaries at Annual Awards Event
December 06, 2023
Former D.C. Bar CEO Katherine Mazzaferri receives the Honorable Annice M. Wagner Pioneer Award from Annamaria Steward, former BADC and D.C. Bar president.
On December 1, the Bar Association of the District of Columbia (BADC) held its annual gala and awards banquet at the Capital Hilton, recognizing the extraordinary work of individuals who embody BADC’s mission of promoting civility, justice, and collegiality in the profession.
Among the honorees was former D.C. Bar CEO Katherine A. Mazzaferri, who was presented with the Honorable Annice M. Wagner Pioneer Award. Serving the Bar from 1982 to 2017, Mazzaferri played a key role in reimagining the Bar’s pro bono program and establishing the Programs Division, among other accomplishments. Mazzaferri remains CEO emeritus of the Bar, an honor bestowed upon her by the D.C. Bar Board of Governors. The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center also continues to honor her contributions with its Katherine A. Mazzaferri Emerging Legal Needs Fund.
“To me, this legal community is a village,” Mazzaferri said. “It’s a village I’ve learned from and want to share some lessons [with],” adding that creativity, tenacity, and collaboration are essential to progress. “Be willing to try something new. Be willing to ask questions.”
In addition to offering other pieces of advice, Mazzaferri acknowledged those who helped contribute to her successes. “I could name many more leaders who made me the leader that I am, but I only have five minutes. I am honored to receive this award, which I share with so many of you,” she said.
Timothy J. Heaphy, a partner in Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s litigation department and co-chair of the firm’s investigations and enforcement practice, was named Lawyer of the Year in recognition of his long career in complex government investigations, compliance, crisis management, and white-collar litigation. Heaphy served as chief investigative counsel to the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.
Heaphy called on attendees to fight apathy. “As lawyers, as citizens, engage. Run toward the fire, not away from it,” he said. “We have fires in this country that need to be put out and, if we're going to put them out successfully, it’s going to take all of us.”
BADC’s intellectual property section honored John Harrity, cofounding partner of Harrity & Harrity LLP, for his patent litigation, and Anthony V. Lupo, chair of ArentFox Schiff LLP, for his trademark prosecution.
In his speech, Lupo noted the importance of intellectual property in the District and the country at large. “The number one export of the United States is IP … it’s really what we do,” he said. “We don’t manufacture anymore. We create IP. We create brands.” He said that BADC’s acknowledgment was particularly meaningful to him because he was born, raised, and educated in the District.
D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Anita M. Josey-Herring was the evening’s judicial honoree. During her tenure as chief judge, Josey-Herring has been responsible for guiding the court through the pandemic and implementing a court reorganization plan that accommodates both in-person and virtual hearings.
Josey-Herring was unable to appear at the event due to illness, but Senior Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr., for whom Josey-Herring clerked, accepted the award on her behalf. Dixon, repeating Josey-Herring’s comments to him in advance of the event, said, “This recognition is not a personal achievement, but a testament to the collective efforts of all who work tirelessly toward upholding the principles of justice and the rule of law. She is sharing this honor with her dedicated colleagues, whose support and collaboration have been invaluable throughout her career.”
Retired Superior Court Judge Diane Brenneman was the recipient of the Suzanne V. Richards Award for her years of public service. Brenneman was actively involved in the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, serving for more than six years as co-chair of the Family Law Representation Committee. As a trainer and mediator, she participated in a number of Family Court pilot activities, including the Child Protection Mediation Program.
In introducing Brenneman, BADC Foundation Treasurer Christopher G. Hoge mentioned her reputation as “the singing judge,” asking Brenneman to give the audience a taste of her vocal talents. Brenneman responded with a pointed refrain from the Sound of Music’s “So Long, Farewell” as Hoge left the stage. In her remarks, Brenneman said she has designated Bread for the City and the Sitar Arts Center as the beneficiaries of her award grant.
The Young Lawyer of the Year award went to Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C. partner Minsuk Han, who is president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of D.C. (APABA-DC). Han, who also served on the D.C. Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee, was part of the litigation team responsible for securing a multibillion-dollar settlement for the state of Florida against opioid manufacturers. He jested that he hadn’t asked what the cutoff was to be considered a young attorney, but was pleased to learn that he still met the definition.
“I believe in the power of voluntary bar organizations like APABA-DC and BADC in creating and fostering a sense of community. I have been fortunate enough to have met and to have worked with community leaders like you,” Han said.