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Stone Pigman Announces New Lawyers

Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann is pleased to announce that Daria Burgess Diaz has joined the firm as special counsel, and Ronald J. Scalise Jr., Kathryn M. Knight, J. Dalton Courson, Ashlee M. Robinson and Julie A. Richards have joined the firm as associates.

Daria Burgess Diaz has joined the litigation section and brings considerable experience to the firm’s environmental practice. She has been practicing and teaching environmental law since 1986. Ms. Diaz received her law degree from Florida State University College of Law in 1986, where she was selected to the Order of the Coif, and served as Articles and Notes Editor of the Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law. She also completed a Master of Laws in energy and environment in 1993 at Tulane Law School. She received her undergraduate degree, with high honors, from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1983. Ms. Diaz is admitted to the bars of Louisiana and Florida. She is past chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association. In addition to previous teaching positions at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic and Tulane Law School, she is a frequent lecturer and author on environmental topics.

A 2000 summa cum laude graduate of Tulane Law School, Mr. Scalise has joined the firm’s business section. While at Tulane, he was awarded the John Minor Wisdom Award by the law faculty, was selected to the Order of the Coif, and served as an Articles Editor of the Tulane Law Review. In 2003, Mr. Scalise was selected as a Gates Scholar to Cambridge University where he obtained an L.L.M., with first class honors, and was awarded the Lizette Bentwich Prize for academic performance from Trinity College. He received his undergraduate education from Tulane University, graduating summa cum laude in 1997 with degrees in philosophy and political economy, and was inducted in Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to joining Stone Pigman, Mr. Scalise was law clerk to the Honorable James L. Dennis, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2000-02. He was admitted to the bar of Louisiana in 2000.

Kathryn M. Knight has joined the litigation section. She graduated first in her class and summa cum laude from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law in 2003, where she was Comment Editor of the Loyola Law Review, 2002-03; Moot Court and Phi Delta Phi. She will be receiving the Faculty Award, the Louisiana State Bar Association Civil Code Award, and the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award from Loyola, for her law school academic accomplishments, on October 24. Previously in her academic career at Loyola, she received the Dean's Award for having the highest average among first year students, was honored at graduation as a William L. Crowe, Sr. Scholar (top 10% of her class), and was recognized in Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities. Ms. Knight received her first undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Louisiana State University in 1981 and obtained a B.S. in paralegal studies, with highest honors, from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1989. She brings to Stone Pigman fifteen years of experience in the legal field through her previous paralegal employment with Talley, Anthony, Hughes & Knight, L.L.C. Ms. Knight is the author of "The Total and Absolute Pollution Exclusions are Neither Total nor Absolute, at Least for Now: Doerr v. Mobil Oil Corporation," which appeared in the Loyola Law Review, Fall 2001 (47 Loy. L. Rev. 1153).

J. Dalton Courson has also joined the Stone Pigman litigation section. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2003, where he was an editorial board member of the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law. He received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1998. He was admitted to the bar of Louisiana in 2003.

Ashlee M. Robinson adds additional depth to the litigation section. She graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2003, where she was a member of Moot Court and Phi Delta Phi. She received her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Tulane University in 2000, where she was Phi Beta Kappa. She was admitted to the bar of Louisiana in 2003.

Julie A. Richards has re-joined Stone Pigman’s litigation section. Prior to rejoining the firm, she was Deputy County Counsel for the Santa Clara County Office of the County Counsel. Stone Pigman previously employed her in 2000-01. Ms. Richards received her law degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1986, where she was a member of Phi Delta Phi. She received her first undergraduate degree in political science from Louisiana State University in 1982 and obtained a B.A. in economics from LSU in 1983. Ms. Richards served as Interim Hearing Officer, 1991-92 and law clerk, 1992-00, to the Honorable Martha E. Sassone of the Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court. She was also law clerk to the Honorable Charles V. Cusimano II of the Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court, 1988-91. Ms. Richards is a former Adjunct Faculty Member of Tulane University Paralegal Study Program. She was admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1986 and the California bar in 2001.

Founded in 1929, Stone Pigman has earned its reputation representing national, regional and local businesses in a full range of litigation and business matters, including corporate, securities, real estate, intellectual property, health care, tax and estate planning.

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