The Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. Appellate Advocacy Fellowship Home Page

Our Board

Beth Mellen: Co-chair

Beth Mellen joined the Public Justice Center as the Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. Appellate Advocacy Fellow in 2004. Prior to serving as the Murnaghan Fellow, Beth received her B.A., summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Wellesley College, and her J.D.,magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. While in law school, she served as editor of the Harvard Journal on Legislation and won “Best Team” in the 91st Annual Ames Moot Court Competition. Following law school she clerked for the Honorable Catherine C. Blake of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Beth is currently a Supervising Attorney in the Housing Law Unit and the Director of Legal Aid’s Landlord-Tenant Court-Based Legal Services Project. Beth represents clients in complex affirmative and defensive landlord-tenant matters in D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals. She also litigates claims before administrative bodies, such as the D.C. Housing Authority and the Office of Administrative Hearings. In addition, Beth supervises junior Staff Attorneys, Fellows, and Loaned Associates in the Housing Law Unit.


Mark D. Maneche: Secretary

Mark Maneche has a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and he is a cum laude graduate of the American University, Washington College of Law.  He served as a law clerk from 1994 to 1995 for the Honorable Diana Gribbon Motz on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  After 17 years as a litigation practitioner at the law firm Venable LLP in Baltimore, Mark joined Pessin Katz Law, P.A. in Towson, Maryland, where as a member of the firm, he represents clients in class action disputes and other complex litigation matters.  Mark has been a member of the board of the Murnaghan Fellowship and the Chair of the Fellowship’s Selection Committee since the inception of the Fellowship in 2001.


Jean Zachariasiewicz: Treasuer

Jean Zachariasiewicz joined the PJC in September 2012 as the Francis D. Murnaghan Appellate Advocacy Fellow.  Before coming to the PJC, Jean clerked for the Honorable Fortunato P. Benavides on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals from 2011-2012, and for the Honorable Myron H. Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama from 2010-2011.  Jean graduated from Columbia Law School in 2010, where she was a Hamilton Fellow and a Kent Scholar.  She also served as president of the Public Interest Law Foundation, as a Notes and Submissions Editor for the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and participated in the Immigrant Defense Externship and Prisoners and Family Rights Clinic.  Prior to law school, Jean served in Peace Corps-Ukraine as an English teacher, and worked at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C.  She is a 2001 graduate of the University of Virginia, earning a B.A. with distinction in French and East European Studies, with a minor in English.

Following Jean's year as the Murnaghan Fellow she joined the D.C. based civil rights firm Relman, Dane & Colfax as litigation associate. She is now an attorney at Brown, Goldstein & Levy. Jean joined the Board in 2013 following her year as a fellow.


Margaret Z. ( Meg) Ferguson 

Meg Ferguson is an Assistant County Attorney for the Baltimore County Police Department.

She previously served from 2012-2017 as Chief Counsel for the Baltimore County Department of Social Services, leading the team of lawyers handling Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services cases in Circuit Court.

Meg has also served Baltimore County as the Code Enforcement Hearing Officer; as Criminal Justice Coordinator; as Labor Commissioner; and as a legislative liaison to the Maryland General Assembly. Prior to government service, she was an Associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C.

Meg served several terms on the Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Maryland Democratic Party. She serves on the Board of the Walters Art Museum, a Board that was chaired for many years by Frank Murnaghan before he was appointed to the Court.

Meg received her A.B. from Harvard University in 1981, magna cum laude, and her J.D. in 1987 from the Georgetown University Law Center, magna cum laude, and served as Senior Articles Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. She clerked for Judge Murnaghan from 1987-1988.


W. Warren Hamel

Warren Hamel is the co-chair of the SEC and White Collar Defense Practice Group at Venable LLP.  Prior to joining Venable, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland from 1990 to 2002. From 1997 through 2001, Mr. Hamel served as Chief of the Environmental Crimes and Enforcement Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland where he was responsible for investigation and prosecution of a broad variety of criminal cases and litigation of civil enforcement and defense cases under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, RCRA and a range of other environmental and conservation statutes. 

Mr. Hamel has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Law School and Georgetown Law Center, where he has taught a seminar on criminal enforcement of environmental laws from time to time since 1999.  He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Murnaghan Fellowship since the Fellowship’s inception.


Martin S. Himeles Jr.

Martin S. Himeles Jr. was a law clerk for Judge Murnaghan during his third year on the bench, from 1981-1982, and has carried with him lessons learned from Judge Murnaghan for more than 30 years. He is currently managing partner of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP’s Baltimore office, where his practice encompasses a diverse mix of litigation of commercial origin. He represents businesses and individuals in white collar criminal investigations and at trial as well as in complex commercial litigation. Before joining Zuckerman Spaeder in 1990, Mr. Himeles was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Baltimore, where he specialized in white collar matters. He has a strong track record of success in federal and state trial and appellate courts, having only one loss at trial, more than 25 years ago. He received his B.A. from Yale University, summa cum laude, in 1978, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, in 1981. 

Mr. Himeles is a member of the Equal Justice Council of Maryland Legal Aid, co-chair of the Health Care Fraud Substantive Committee of the American Bar Association White Collar Crime Committee, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a past president of the Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He has been listed for 10 consecutive years in The Best Lawyers in America in practice areas including, at present, bet-the-company litigation, white-collar criminal defense, commercial litigation, and securities litigation. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business lists him as one of Maryland’s top 15 commercial litigators. In May 2013, Maryland Legal Aid honored him as a Champion of Justice, and The Daily Record selected him for its Leadership in Law award in 2013.


Michael J. Leotta

Michael Leotta is a partner at WilmerHale in its Investigations and Criminal Litigation group.  His practice focuses on corporate internal investigations into potential violations of criminal law and company policy, and the representation of companies and individuals involved in investigations by the Department of Justice, the SEC and Congressional committees.  Before WilmerHale, he served for eight years in government, including as an attorney in the White House Counsel’s Office, as an Assistant US Attorney prosecuting fraud and public corruption, and as Appellate Chief and as ethics advisor at the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

Michael graduated from Harvard Law School in 1997, where he was a Notes Editor on the Harvard Law Review.  From 1997-98 he clerked for the Honorable Francis D. Murnaghan, US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

In addition to his service on the Board of the Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. Appellate Advocacy Fellowship, Inc., Michael serves on the Board of Governors of the Federal Bar Association, Maryland Chapter, as assistant treasurer to the campaign of Congressman John P. Sarbanes.

Michael is married to Allison Leotta, who is the author of five books, including the novel Speak of the Devil.


Anthony May

Anthony May was the 2016-2017 Murnaghan Fellow. Following his year at the Public Justice Center, he joined the firm of Brown, Goldstein & Levy. Anthony graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 2015, where he served as the Executive Symposium Editor on the Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class and participated as a semi-finalist in the regional American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Trial Advocacy Competition. He then clerked on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals for the Honorable Deborah Sweet Eyler from 2015-2016. Anthony graduated summa cum laude from the University of Akron in 2011, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He was born and raised in Akron, Ohio.


Melissa Martinez

Melissa Martinez is a partner at McGuireWoods LLP in its Business and Securities Litigation group.  Her practice focuses on commercial litigation, business torts, contractual disputes, and intellectual property litigation.

Melissa graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame of Maryland University with a B.A. in Physics in 2004.  She then graduated with her J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 2008, having received the William P. Cunningham Award for Exceptional Achievement and Service and the Litigation and Advocacy Award during her time as a student.  Melissa served as a law clerk to the Honorable Andre M. Davis at both the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit during the years 2008-2010.  She joined the Board of Directors of the Murnaghan Fellowship in 2019.


Charles C. Moore

Charles C. Moore is a lawyer in White & Case LLP’s Competition Group in Washington, D.C. His practice focuses on a variety of antitrust matters, including pre-merger counseling, cartel defense, monopolization litigation and general antitrust counseling. Charles also has significant experience in commercial litigation matters.

Prior to joining White & Case, Charles worked at a Minneapolis, Minnesota based law firm, where he handled a variety of antitrust, real estate and commercial litigation matters. He also participated in a special internship program with the Minneapolis City Attorney, where he served as a special City prosecutor and tried several cases to juries. Charles also worked in Washington, D.C. for a large international law firm, where he focused on antitrust, litigation, and international trade and investment matters.

Charles clerked for Judge Murnaghan during the 1998-1999 court year. He considers his year with Judge Murnaghan to be one of the great learning experiences of his life, and is grateful to be a part of Judge Murnaghan’s clerk family. Charles has been honored to serve with the Murnaghan Fellowship since 2009.


Diana Edwards Murnaghan

Diana Edwards Murnaghan is the widow of Judge Murnaghan, and has served on either the Steering Committee or the Board of the Fellowship since its founding.  She is an art historian specializing in British 17 and 18th ceramic history. She believes the establishment of the Fellowship as a legacy to her husband's career is an ongoing tribute to the ideals he espoused and is something which his family greatly appreciates. 


Sheila Murnaghan

Sheila Murnaghan is The Alfred Reginald Allen Memorial Professor ofGreek at the University of Pennsylvania.  She specializes in the areas of Greek poetry, especially Homer and tragedy, gender in classical culture, and the classical tradition. Her most recent book is a co-edited volume of essay on the afterlife of Homer's "Odyssey," entitled "Odyssean Identities in Modern Cultures: The Journey Home." She is currently working on a co-authored study of classics and childhood in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and a commentary on Sophocles' "Ajax." As Judge Murnaghan's daughter, she is inspired and gratified by the important work that the Murnaghan Fellows carry out in his name.


John Nethercut

John Nethercut currently serves as the Executive Director of the Public Justice Center, where the Murnaghan Fellowship has its home. Mr. Nethercut received a B.A. with honors in Anthropology/Sociology in 1978 from Earlham College in Indiana.  While at Harvard Law School in Boston, from which he received a J.D. in 1982, Mr. Nethercut worked as a tenant union organizer and student lawyer with City Life/Vida Urbana. After law school, he worked in legal aid offices in Cincinnati and upstate New York.  Mr. Nethercut was then was appointed an Assistant Attorney General and eventually Deputy Chief of the Consumer Protection Division of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, where he served for 14 years until coming to the PJC . 


H. Mark Stichel

Mark Stichel has been a member of the Board of the Murnaghan Appellate Advocacy Fellowship since it was founded.  Mark is a partner of the law firm of Gohn, Hankey, Stichel & Berlage, LLP where he focuses on civil litigation. Mark represents clients in federal and state courts throughout the United States.  Mark also has represented clients in several significant pro bono matters, including his representing two death row inmates. In 2000, he received the first Pro Bono Service Award from the Judges of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and, in 1997, he received a Legal Excellence Award from the Maryland Bar Foundation.  Mark has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and was President of the Library Company of the Baltimore Bar from 1992 to 2006. Mark is Chairman of the Baltimore City Sitting Judges Committee and a member of The American Law Institute.  Mark received his B.A. in 1980 from Duke University and his J.D. in 1983 from The University of Michigan Law School, where he was an editor of the Michigan Law Review and a recipient of the Henry M. Bates Scholarship Award, the law school’s highest honor.  Mark clerked for Judge Murnaghan from 1983 to 1984.


Lewis Yelin

Lewis Yelin was the first Murnaghan Fellow and has been a member of the Board since the completion of his fellowship. Lewis currently works as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice where he advises executive branch agencies and the White House on matters pertaining to constitutional authority and the separation of powers.  Previously, as an Assistant to the Solicitor General,Lewis argued two cases before the Supreme Court of the United States and drafted cert- and merits-stage briefs on behalf of the United States.  In 2009, Lewis served as the Counselor on International Law in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the Department of State where he advised on the domestic legal authority for and legal implications of national policy, positions, and plans relating to international affairs and provided guidance on domestic litigation implicating the interests of the State Department.  For ten years, Lewisworked on the Appellate Staff of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, where he represented the federal government in civil cases in the United States Courts of Appeals and state Supreme Courts.  Lewis received a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, a Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School where he was a Kent Scholar and served as Executive Articles Editor of the Columbia Law Review.  Lewis clerked for the Hon. Betty B. Fletcher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.