Greg Cirillo, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s internationally recognized Aviation Practice, has been appointed vice chairman of the Virginia Bar Association’s (VBA) Transportation Law Section. Mr. Cirillo will also continue to serve as chair of the section’s Aviation Committee.
The VBA’s Transportation Law Section, founded in 1994, provides educational activities and fosters “cooperation and interchange among clients and lawyers” from the rail, highway, maritime, air and space industries.
Mr. Cirillo represents businesses, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals in a wide range of transactions including private aircraft acquisition and sale, venture formation, and mergers and acquisitions. He is a member of the National Business Aviation Association. Mr. Cirillo also is a columnist for World Aircraft Sales magazine.
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Edgar Class, an attorney in Wiley Rein’s Communications Practice, was elected on January 24 to this year’s Board of Directors of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA-DC). The association’s members include hundreds of lawyers practicing in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.
Mr. Class, a member of Wiley Rein’s Diversity Committee, has chaired the HBA-DC’s Professional Development Committee since 2011, organizing panel discussions, workshops and other programs to help Hispanic attorneys succeed in their careers and advance their education. He is a former co-chair of the Federal Communications Bar Association’s (FCBA) Diversity Committee and currently co-chairs the FCBA committee responsible for overseeing publication of the Federal Communications Law Journal.
In May 2012, Mr. Class was featured in the “Member Spotlight” section of the HBA-DC’s newsletter — an honor for which only four individuals a year are chosen. Selection is based on “community involvement, professional development and leadership.”
At Wiley Rein, Mr. Class provides regulatory, business and transactional advice on matters concerning telecommunications services, spectrum auctions, licensing requirements, universal service support mechanisms, cable regulations and enforcement actions. He represents clients before the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the U.S. Congress.
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Henry M. Rivera, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Communications Practice, was named a “Game Changer of the Day” on January 23 by Politic365, an online publication that covers politics and policy from the perspective of minority communities.
Mr. Rivera, who in 1981 became the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) first Latino commissioner, is an “internationally recognized communications expert, author, speaker and conference leader,” Politic365 said. He also serves as vice-chairman of the Emma Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media, general counsel of the Benton Foundation and chairman emeritus of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council.
With more than 38 years of experience representing clients in all types of business transactions, Mr. Rivera has been named one of Washington, DC’s “Super Lawyers” and one of The Best Lawyers in America in Communications Law. He has also been recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” by Chambers USA, and named among the top 12 telecommunications experts in the U.S. by Legal Media Group’s Best of the Best.
Politic365 noted that Mr. Rivera chairs the FCC’s Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age and is a member of the U.S. State Department’s Federal Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy.
He served as co-head of one of the Agency Review Teams when a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team and is a former president of the Federal Communications Bar Association.
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On behalf of Nobel Prize winner James D. Watson, co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, Wiley Rein filed an amicus brief on January 31 in a landmark human gene patent case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dr. Watson’s brief, filed by Appellate, Litigation and Intellectual Property attorney Matthew J. Dowd and Patent Group chair James H. Wallace Jr., argues that human genes should not be patented because they convey information about “the essence of being human.”
The Supreme Court is considering whether to invalidate patents on two cancer genes isolated by Myriad Genetics, Inc., which sells a diagnostic test that can determine whether a patient has either gene. In August 2012, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld, for the second time, Myriad’s patents on the mutated genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are linked to a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer. An amicus brief Wiley Rein filed on Dr. Watson’s behalf in the appeals court case was widely discussed in leading technical and science journals.
A human gene is a “product of nature,” and restricting its use through patents has “important social consequences,” Dr. Watson said in the Supreme Court brief.
In 1953, Dr. Watson and the late Francis Crick revealed to the world the correct structure of DNA, a discovery that led them to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962. Dr. Watson has remained at the forefront of DNA research, having served as a professor at Harvard University, the director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and head of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health. Currently, Dr. Watson is chancellor emeritus of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
“With a gene sequence in hand, we can know with some degree of certainty whether we will develop cancer, a neurological disease, or some other malady,” Dr. Watson said. “This information should not be monopolized by any one individual, company, or government.”
The amicus brief Wiley Rein filed on behalf of Dr. Watson can be read here.