2008 Spring Awards Banquet Honorees
by Susan Vogel
photos by Nancy Martin
In April, more than 200 alumni, staff, family, and friends of the law school gathered to honor three law alumni and a law professor at the 2008 Spring Awards Banquet.
THE ALUMNI SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Alumni Special Achievement Award was established by the Santa Clara Law Alumni Association for the purpose of publicly recognizing outstanding achievements of Law School alumni. Recipients are those who have distinguished themselves in their profession, community, and in service to humanity.
SALVADOR "SAL" LICCARDO B.S. ’56, J.D. ’61
Sal Liccardo is one of the top trial lawyers in the U.S. Through-out his career, he says he has been motivated by simple things he absorbed growing up: the value of education and hard work, the importance of following through on one’s word, and a commitment to making a difference. He is a leader not only in the legal community but also now, in the international arena, where he is using his competence and credibility to help create a legal system on the other side of the world.
Liccardo was born in 1935 in the Mission District of San Francisco, where his father worked as a longshoreman. His mother was from a family of 13 that worked in the canneries. When Sal was 5, the family moved to San Jose where they ran Notre Dame Market.
Alumni Special Achievement Award Winner Sal Liccardo '61, current board member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and past president of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, attended the banquet with his wife, Laura.
Though his father had only an eighth grade and his mother a sixth grade education, they valued education and sent him to Bellarmine College Preparatory. He went on to earn a degree in political science from SCU in 1956.
After graduation, Liccardo went on active duty with the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Stationed in the Philippines, he experienced the world’s first spacecraft launched by Russia, and a standoff, with the threat of nuclear bombing, between the U.S. and China.
When he returned to the States, Liccardo enrolled in Santa Clara University School of Law. There he met his wife, Laura Aceves; they married during his second year of law school.
Liccardo says he discovered his love for the law the day he began practicing. In 1963, he co-founded Caputo and Liccardo, later Liccardo, Rossi, Sturges & McNeil, in San Jose.
Liccardo has been named one of the top 100 lawyers in Northern California (Northern California Super Lawyers, 2005-08); one of Silicon Valley’s top lawyers (San Jose Magazine, 2005-07); one of "The Best Lawyers In America" (2007); and one of the 500 Leading Plaintiff Lawyers in America (2007, Lawdragon). Since 1974, he has been a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates. In 1994 the Santa Clara Trial Lawyers Association named him Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is a current board member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and past president of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.
In the 1990’s, Liccardo became involved in helping build a legal system in China 50 years after Mao wiped out China’s legal system. He considers this to be some of his most rewarding work.
Liccardo continues to try cases and stays busy as ever. He enjoys skiing, sailing, and playing golf, often with Laura, his five children, and his three grandchildren.
RODNEY GREGORY MOORE J.D. ’85
Rodney Moore learned from his family that there is no contradiction in loving your country and at the same time challenging what it does. That belief, coupled with a talent for bringing together people of disparate views and backgrounds, has led him to become a leader in the quest for social justice in the community as a whole and in the legal profession in particular.
Moore is president of the National Bar Association, an organization of more than 22,000 African-Americans in the legal profession, which seeks to improve the administration of justice through vetting judicial and political candidates, improving the legal practice for African-Americans, and encouraging African-Americans to attend law school.
Rodney Moore ‘85, a trial attorney in Atlanta, is president of the National Bar Association, an organization of more than 22,000 African-Americans in the legal profession.
Moore grew up in East San Jose, where he observed a dual system of treatment between Caucasians and others. He became determined to help eliminate these inequities.
The summer before high school, Moore participated in SCU’s Project 50, designed to prepare students for challenging high school courses. It gave him the confidence to take on leadership roles, including serving as president of the Black Student Union.
Moore earned a degree in political science from the University of Washington in 1982 and, because of his experience in Project 50, chose Santa Clara University School of Law. Moore was treasurer of the Student Bar Association, president of the Black Law Student Association, and associate editor of the Computer and High Technology Law Journal. Since then, he has served on Santa Clara Law’s Alumni Board and Board of Visitors.
After graduating from Santa Clara Law, Moore established his own practice representing plaintiffs in employment cases.
In 1997, Moore became general counsel of the East Side Union High School District. The same year, he was recognized as the Loran Miller Statewide California Attorney of the Year. He served as pro bono general counsel to the Santa Clara County Black Chamber of Commerce and on the board of the Santa Clara County Bar Association. In 2000, Moore joined the Atlanta Public Schools as its general counsel. Moore served as chair of the NSBA Urban School Law Committee, and on the National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys.
In 2005, Moore joined the Atlanta office of Greenberg Traurig where he practices in the areas of labor and employment, litigation, and commercial transactions. In 2007 and 2008, Moore was listed in The Best Lawyers in America. He is also an "AV" rated lawyer, a recognition of his many years of practice and his high level of skill and integrity.
Moore resides in Atlanta with his wife, Yaslyn, and their son and daughter; an older daughter just graduated from college.
Sprinkles had different ideas. She finished her bachelor’s degree in political science at San Jose State University in 1965, and enrolled in graduate school. But the political turmoil of the ’60s and her desire to have a tool to help change society led her to law school.
Sprinkles says she belonged to the first generation of women who had never heard anyone say, "You can’t do that because you’re a woman." Though they did not have college degrees themselves, her parents had also given her the sense that she could do anything she chose to do.
Co-founder of McPharlin, Sprinkles & Thomas, a San Jose firm where she practices real estate law, Catherine Sprinkles ‘73 (here with SCU University President Paul Locatelli, S.J.) is a tireless advocate for women in the legal profession.
Sprinkles enrolled at Santa Clara University School of Law in 1970, when her two children were in elementary school. Her class included veterans returning from Vietnam, and, for those times, numerous women.
When Sprinkles graduated in 1973, female lawyers faced a tough job market. She was lucky—she got the first job she interviewed for when the partner told her he would treat her how he would want his daughter treated. But she began hearing from other female lawyers about the disparate treatment they suffered in their firms.
Sprinkles became a tireless advocate for women in the legal profession and a leader in terms of challenging the status quo and modeling the way for other women to succeed in the profession. In the late 1970s, Sprinkles was one of a group that co-founded Santa Clara Women Lawyers, which advocated for equal treatment of women in the law. She served on the board of California Women Lawyers and chaired the California State Bar committee on Women in the Law.
In 1986, Sprinkles joined Jackson, Tufts, Cole & Black in San Jose and became a partner. In 1994, she co-founded McPharlin, Sprinkles & Thomas, a San Jose firm where she practices real estate law. At her firm, six of the eight partners are women. Her legal assistant is a law student at SCU.
Sprinkles has served on the California State Bar Board of Governors, on the board of the Children’s Fund of Silicon Valley, the board of governors of Women Lawyers of California, on the SCU Board of Visitors, and as past president of the Law School’s Board of Visitors. Sprinkles is currently involved in the San Jose Rotary Club and tutors English to immigrant adults through the Saratoga Public Library.
In 1976, Sprinkles married her law school classmate, Hon. Leonard Sprinkles ’73. The couple has four grown children between them, and three grandchildren. They enjoy birding, which often takes them to exotic locations, including Botswana, Namibia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
THE EDWIN J. OWENS LAWYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Named for the Honorable Edwin J. Owens, dean of Santa Clara University School of Law for 20 years and later judge of the Superior Court, the Owens Lawyer of the Year Award was first presented in 1966. The first honoree was Judge Owens himself. The winner must be a member of the bench or bar, and must be either an alumnus of the School of Law or a member or former member of the full-time faculty or administration of the School of Law. The honoree should be a lawyer who has distinguished him/herself in the profession. He or she is a person of high moral character and recognized intellectual ability who is devoted to the highest ideals of professional responsibility, and who has made significant contributions to the University, the community and the law.
PAUL J. GODA, S.J.
Paul Goda, S.J., has dedicated nearly 40 years of his life to Santa Clara University and to its law school. He has proven himself a leader in the campus community through his long record of teaching students to the highest educational standards and encouraging them to use their legal education to benefit society. He has touched the lives of generations of families.
Goda’s parents came to the U.S. from Hungary; subsequently, 30 members of his mother’s family died in the Holocaust; most of his father’s family died in the two World Wars.
Father Paul Goda
Goda attended Beverley Hills Catholic School and Loyola High School before enrolling in Loyola University of Los Angeles. He worked three jobs to pay for college. Upon his graduation in 1952 with a degree in history (magna cum laude), he joined the Air Force as an intelligence officer at the height of the Cold War and in the middle of the Korean War.
Goda began law school at Georgetown in 1954, when he was struggling with whether to marry or become a priest. He entered the Society of Jesus and studied for the priesthood from 1955 to 1968, a difficult time in the U.S. when young people were questioning authority and rethinking vows that Goda’s generation believed to be sacred.
Goda spent two years in what he calls Jesuit "boot camp," then studied classics and philosophy. He earned his second bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga in 1959, his law degree from Georgetown Law Center in 1963, his Master of Sacred Theology from Alma College in Los Gatos in 1967, and an LL.M. from New York University in 1969.
Since 1969, Goda has taught contracts, community property, wills and trusts, and jurisprudence at Santa Clara Law.
Goda served on the SCU Board of Trustees for 12 years and twice as president of the University’s Faculty Senate. Outside of SCU, he served for many years as chair of the California Province of the Society of Jesus Committee on Investment Responsibility. He served for nine years on the board of trustees of USF; on the board of Economic and Social Opportunities, Santa Clara County’s anti-poverty agency; the biomedical ethics committee of San Jose Hospital; and on the advisory board for Santa Clara’s Young Parents Center.
Goda is semi-retired, teaching one semester a year. He pursues his love of history and his interest in learning about his family’s background. He spent part of the summer visiting his mother’s village in Hungary.
For more extensive profiles of these and other Santa Clara Law leaders, please visit law.scu.edu/lawyerswholead.
2008 Spring Awards Banquet Sponsors:
Clayton & McEvoy
Ferrari, Ottoboni, Caputo & Wunderling
Gallagher, Reedy & Jones
Jackson & Efting / Law Office of
John H. Conway
Law Office of Nancy M. Battel
Manchester, Williams & Seibert
McManis, Faulkner & Morgan
McPharlin, Sprinkles & Thomas
Santa Clara Law Alumni Association