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Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Collins chats with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, while Irish Voice founding publisher Niall O’Dowd talks with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Photo by: Nuala Purcell

Irish Legal 100 feted in Washington D.C.

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Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Collins chats with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, while Irish Voice founding publisher Niall O’Dowd talks with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Photo by: Nuala Purcell

United States Supreme Court Justice John Roberts and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley were among the distinguished guests at the Irish Voice’s Irish Legal 100 reception held last Wednesday evening, November 11, at the Washington, D.C. residence of the Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Collins.

The Irish Legal 100 is a celebration of Irish Americans and their success in the legal industry. 

Honorees flew in from as far away as Los Angeles to celebrate at this prestigious event. Despite the heavy rain, there was an exceptional turnout.

Irish Voice and IrishCentral.com founding publisher Niall O’Dowd, upon introducing Collins, joked about the ambassador’s jealousy of previous Irish Voice events in New York and his desire to host another in Washington, D.C.

O’Dowd also introduced Governor O’Malley, a proud Irish-American who spoke of his Irish roots, and how they contributed to his career as a lawyer and beyond. O’Malley’s interest in his heritage expands back as far as his teens, where he started up his Celtic rock band O’Malley’s March.

O’Dowd spoke of the link between the Irish and the legal profession, which dates as far back as the Brehon Laws.

Roberts and his Irish American wife Jane Sullivan Roberts, a lawyer and Irish Legal 100 honoree, mingled among guests and posed for photographs. The powerful legal duo own a holiday home near Limerick, which they often frequent.

Honorees of the Irish Legal 100 included those with careers across the legal spectrum. Honored were top trial lawyers such as Robert Bennett, former personal attorney of President Bill Clinton, and Larry Byrne, litigator with Linklaters LLP. 

John L. Gardiner, of leading corporate law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom was also honored.

Honorees from top law schools included Marie Bowen, assistant dean of Harvard Law School, and John Garvey, dean of Boston Law College.

Legal counsel at General Electric Company, Nuala O’Connor Kelly, and at Hewlett-Packard Financial Services Company, Daniel McCarthy, was also honored.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Montana Mike McGrath was present at the event, as were Justice Douglas E. McKeon, presiding justice of the New York State Supreme Court’s appellate team, and Diarmuid O’Scannlain, circuit judge in Portland, Oregon.

Among the New York attorneys who traveled to the ambassador’s residence for the event were John Dearie, Brian O’Dwyer and John Phelan.

Guests ate Irish themed hors d’oeuvres, such as bacon and potato soup, and in true Irish style the drinks and conversations were flowing.

Irish tenor David O’Leary provided entertainment, singing classics such as “Danny Boy.”

Honorees received a gift of a Waterford Crystal paperweight, with an Irish Legal 100 engraving.

It was the first time IrishCentral’s sister publication the Irish Voice brought a celebration to Washington, D.C., and judging from the success of the Irish Legal 100, it won’t be the last.

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