Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

March 29, 2011
Gerald Agnew, Bruce Brusavich, Hon. Gerald Rosenberg and James Coufos to be Honored at Southwestern Alumni Awards Event

The Southwestern community will salute three individuals who have contributed significantly to the legal profession, the law school and the greater community at the 24th Annual Awards Recognition Reception, Silent Auction and Reunion on Thursday, April 14. Gerald E. Agnew '74 and Bruce M. Brusavich '80, prominent trial attorneys who embody the entrepreneurial spirit of Southwestern graduates, will be honored as Alumni of the Year; Hon. Gerald Rosenberg '75, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, will be recognized as Outstanding Judicial Officer; and James A. Coufos, Former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs and a Southwestern Trustee, will be named Outstanding Friend.

This annual event provides the Alumni Association and other members of the Southwestern community the opportunity to recognize alumni and friends for their outstanding service. In addition to the awards ceremony and cocktail reception, the evening features a silent auction benefiting the Alumni Scholarship Fund. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. at the law school campus. The cost to attend is $40 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Southwestern's Institutional Advancement Office (click here for complete event information, including a downloadable RSVP card).

Gerald E. Agnew, Jr. '74 and Bruce M. Brusavich '80, Alumni of the Year

Gerald Agnew and Bruce Brusavich co-founded the firm of AgnewBrusavich in 1984 and have maintained close ties with Southwestern over the past 30 years, as members of the Dean's Cabinet and hosts of many regional alumni receptions, supervising externs and hiring graduates. 

Alumni of the Year 2011Mr. Agnew has successfully tried over 100 civil jury trials representing consumers and their families in catastrophic injury and wrongful death actions involving defective products, construction accidents, premises, bicycle and vehicular accidents, medical malpractice, elder abuse and other acts of negligence. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates; a Master in the American Inns of Court; and a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has also been recognized as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" for the past 18 years and has met the standards of excellence of the American Trial Lawyers Association for selection to its ratings for the "Top 100 Trial Lawyers." Mr. Agnew completed his B.S. degree at Woodbury University in 1971. A 1974 cum laude graduate of Southwestern, Mr. Agnew was ranked in the top 10 percent of his class and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.

Alumni of the Year 2011Mr. Brusavich focuses his practice on personal injury, insurance bad faith, business litigation, elder abuse, professional malpractice, product liability and wrongful death. He is a Past President of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and Consumer Attorneys of California, where he led efforts to reform the summary judgment statute, create a two-year statute of limitations, improve the administration of justice, and maintain trial court funding. Mr. Brusavich is currently serving his second term on the Judicial Council of California's Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee. His success in the courtroom as a veteran of more than 100 jury trials has earned him the distinction of being named among the "100 Most Influential Attorneys in the State" by the Daily Journal and among the "Top 50 Lawyers in L.A. Who Stand Out" by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Mr. Brusavich completed his B.A. degree in political science at California State University, Los Angeles and went on to earn his J.D. degree in 1980 through Southwestern's accelerated two-year SCALEĀ® program.

Hon. Gerald Rosenberg '75, Outstanding Judicial Officer

Outstanding Judicial Officer 2011Judge Rosenberg practiced law in the private sector specializing in civil litigation during the first 20 years of his career. He was first appointed to the bench in 1995 as a Commissioner in the Beverly Hills Municipal Court, and five years later, was named as a Commissioner in the Superior Court of California assigned to Santa Monica. He was elevated to the position of Judge of that court in December 2000 with assignments in Criminal Preliminary Hearings and Trials, Civil Trials, Family Law, and Probate. Judge Rosenberg's involvement in professional organizations has included serving on the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the Board of Trustees of the Santa Monica Bar Association, and as Chair of the Judge Pro Tem Program for the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. Judge Rosenberg earned his B.A. in Political Science at California State University, Northridge before completing his J.D. at Southwestern in 1975. He has continued a close relationship with the law school since then, as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, the host of Inn of St. Ives dinners, and a judge for the Bonelli Trial Advocacy Competition.

James Coufos, Outstanding Friend

Outstanding Friend 2011Mr. Coufos has led a highly successful career in the investment banking and securities industry. He served in the New York Stock Exchange's Corporate Services division in various capacities for nearly 16 years. In 1974, he became Director of Stock Watch, where he advised companies on news dissemination issues and served as an Exchange liaison with the trading floor. Four years later, he was appointed Director of Corporate Services and was named Managing Director of Corporate Services and New Business in 1982. Mr. Coufos joined Spear, Leeds & Kellogg LLC (SLK) as Vice President in 1986 and established the firm's Corporate Services and New Business Department. In 2000, he was named a managing director of Goldman Sachs when it acquired SLK. Three years later, upon his retirement as a full-time managing director, he was named an extended managing director. A graduate of St. John's University, Mr. Coufos is active in a number of charities. Since 2005, he has been a member of the Southwestern Board of Trustees, where he serves on the Finance Committee. A former board member of the Alliance for Children's Rights, he enthusiastically supported the establishment of Southwestern's Children's Rights Clinic and has generously designated an annual donation toward that endeavor.