A Tribute, Not Farewell, to Influential ACS Board Members

December 11, 2013
Guest Post

by David M. Brodsky, principal of Brodsky ADR LLC, and Chair of the ACS Board of Directors.

As new Board chair, and on behalf of the ACS Board, staff, and extended family, I want to bid a fond farewell to retiring Board members Jay Eisenhofer, Faith Gay, Ted Shaw, and Steve Susman, each a legal legend and significant contributor to ACS's growth and impact, and each a lifelong member of the ACS family.

Jay Eisenhofer joined the ACS Board in 2009 and is the co-founder of one of the most successful law firms in the country, regularly representing major pension and investment funds and others in shareholder class and derivative litigation for the protection of shareholders. Jay is consistently ranked as one of the leading securities and corporate governance litigators in the country. On a personal level, Jay has been a generous and committed supporter of ACS, as well as numerous other organizations. Jay chaired the Judicial Nominations Task Force and helped make it a vibrant and effective player in the efforts to counter the obstructionism of judicial nominations and educate the public about the need for filling longstanding judicial vacancies. We will truly miss Jay's always practical advice and his enormous energy but we know we aren't losing his relationship with ACS, as we are very pleased to have invited him to join the Board of Advisors.

Faith Gay joined the ACS Board in 2006 and is Co-Chair of the National Trial Practice Group at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. Over her 25-plus years as a litigator, she has been repeatedly recognized as one of the leading trial, appellate and white collar lawyers in the United States. Her practice is divided between complex civil litigation and corporate governance/white collar matters. She has also devoted significant time and energy to public interest litigation, such as her successful defense of a constitutional amendment establishing a state minimum wage before the Florida Supreme Court, as well as immigration and housing matters on a pro bono basis. She played an equally important role on the ACS Board and, especially, our Annual Conventions, devoting time and her enormous creative energy to making each of them a memorable event. We will miss her ideas and her energy but are grateful that she has agreed to join our Board of Advisors.

Ted Shaw, now on faculty at Columbia Law School, has been a celebrated Board member and a longtime champion of equality. He launched his trailblazing legal career in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where her served from 1979 to 1982 and litigated civil rights cases throughout the country at the trial and appellate levels, and in the U.S. Supreme Court. Shaw resigned from the Justice Department in protest of the Reagan Administration's civil rights policies. He then spent more than 20 years as an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Ted was lead counsel representing African-American and Latino student-intervenors in the University of Michigan undergraduate affirmative action admissions case in 2003. Shaw graduated from Wesleyan University with honors and from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Charles Evans Hughes Fellow. A man of few words but always brilliant insights, we look forward to his continued role at ACS on our Board of Advisors.

Stephen Susman of Susman Godfrey has been a tireless leader on the ACS Board and also an extremely generous supporter of ACS and other significant organizations. He’s consistently been recognized nationally as among the best and most innovative trial lawyers in the nation by The National Law Journal, The Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers, which referred to him as the "dean of the plaintiff's bar." On the Board of ACS, he's been instrumental in raising the issue of the crisis in the federal courts' nomination and confirmation process to national prominence, has led ACS' fund-raising efforts with energy, and been an influential supporter of our Annual Conventions. Never afraid to state an independent and thought-provoking idea, Steve will continue to be influential at ACS through his appointment to the Board of Advisors, where I know ACS will be quick to call on him for strategic advice. 

We will sorely miss these influential Board members but are proud to have been able to fill their positions with equally illustrious lawyers who will, hopefully, play as significant roles at ACS as their predecessors.