In Memoriam: Carole Aciman

Carole Aciman

We are saddened to have to share the news of the death of Carole Aciman, 2005-2006 NCWBA president.  A native of France, she was a New Yorker by choice and focused her practice on intellectual property law and entertainment law in an international context. She suffered a serious motorcycle accident in early May 2014 and remained in a coma thereafter. Below is a message from her brother, Jean-Marc Piacentile:

Carole AcimanOn Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 6 pm at the University Hospital of Rouen, France, Carole died after 15 months of a fierce struggle to stay alive. The vital functions of her body deteriorated suddenly and her heart slowly but surely stopped beating. Thanks to the care provided by the medical profession, she left us without suffering. Carole will forever remain in our hearts as a loving woman, filled with the breath of life and the joy of living, profoundly kind, and always available to others. A ceremony in the chapel of Rouen University Hospital followed by cremation at the crematorium of Rouen will take place this weekend in the privacy of the family.  On behalf of the family, I want to thank you for all the messages of support testified throughout this long and hard trial.  There is one more star shining in the sky.

Download a page from the Winter 2007 NCWBA newsletter with a photo of Carole.

For those who have asked about making a donation for a cause in memory of Carole, the family selected Bard High School Early College, which is the high school where Carole’s daughter Abigail is currently pursuing her education. Click on “support us” at the top.

If you prefer to pay by check, you may mail your donation to:
Bard High School Early College
Attn: Dr. Michael A. Lerner, Principal
525 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002


In Memoriam: Leslie Miller Altman

Carole Aciman and Leslie Altman in Albuquerque

Carole Aciman and Leslie Altman in Albuquerque in 1999.

Leslie Miller Altman, 58, of Minnetonka, Minn., died Sept. 6, 2012, after an aggressive fight against cancer.  She served on the NCWBA board as a director and officer from 1996 until 2006. As our liaison to the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, she took an active role, eventually chairing the Perspectives editorial board.

Leslie AltmanShe was a graduate of Brown University (B.A.) and the University of Minnesota ( MA, JD). She began her practice on the staff of Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey, III, where she specialized in workers’ compensation. She was later appointed as the first woman judge to the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.

She later practiced at the Lefevre firm, Rider Bennett, and most recently Littler Mendelson, where she was a key leader in the establishment of the firm’s workers’ compensation practice group. Leslie was a pioneer of women in leadership, and was one of the first females hired as a Minneapolis Park Patrol Agent.

She was particularly committed to diversity and the elevation of the status of women in the legal profession. In addition to her work with the NCWBA and the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, she twice co-chaired the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Diversity Task Force and also co-chaired its Diversity Survey Committee.

She was a long-standing member of the Bar Association’s Women in the Legal Profession Committee and past president of the Minnesota Women Lawyers. In May 2012, the Hennepin County Bar Association presented her with its Diversity Award.

Leslie was also a highly committed mother, mentor, and role model to her daughters, Lauren and Miriam, and devoted wife.

Read Memories of Leslie Altman by Jane Harper-Alport.

Donations in Leslie’s memory may be made to the following charitable funds:

Minnesota Women Lawyers Leslie Altman Memorial Scholarship

Brown University Leslie Miller Altman Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship

In Memoriam:  Nancy Dillman Peck

Nancy PeckNCWBA Past President (1990-1991) died on Sept. 2, 2010, after an extended battle with cancer. Nancy began her service on the NCWBA board in 1986, the year she concluded her presidency of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys. For four years (1993-1997) she represented the NCWBA on the American Bar Association House of Delegates. 

Her successor in that position, Marjorie O’Connell, commented,

Nancy’s work there gave me goals to achieve and a presence for NCWBA to maintain.  Nancy was a friend and colleague for a decade before I took her job in the House.  We shared experiences, good and bad, and many a laugh.  I am shocked at her passing.  And saddened to know how difficult her last days may have been.  [I hate that darned disease.]  Yet, just thinking of her made me smile a great big smile.  The world is a better place for Nancy’s time here, and the women lawyers in it are joyfully thankful for her efforts on our behalf.

To read a profile of Nancy Peck, click here.

In Memoriam: Rondolyn O’Brien

On July 31, 2006, women’s bar associations lost a great friend when Rondolyn O’Brien, age 54, of Albuquerque, N.M, passed away after a long illness.

She was active in bar associations at every level, serving as president of the New Mexico Women’s Bar Association, the Albuquerque Bar Association, as bar commissioner for the State Bar of New Mexico and as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.

Rondolyn was a member of the NCWBA board for eight years, from 1993 until 2001, serving as president in 1999-2000.

Katherine O’Neil (NCWBA President 1993-94) remembers Rondolyn’s first NCWBA board meeting in Chicago. “She brought a refreshing joy to the proceedings as well as practical insights. With her enthusiastic openness and sincerity, she was immediately accessible to all. No matter what hour a board meeting began or in what city, Rondolyn managed to do some expert shopping before the meeting or at the very least scope out the shops. I still have a bright red wool jacket trimmed in black and white rickrack identical to one that Rondolyn found in Chicago, of all places. I wear the jacket whenever it’s appropriate for me to look like an urban cowgirl.”

Rondolyn was an early advocate of the need for a summit meeting for women’s bar associations, despite considerable skepticism from board members concerned with the logistics and costs of such an endeavor.

In 1998, as Rondolyn began her term as NCWBA President-Elect, the first part-day women’s bar summit was held at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto.

In Katherine O’Neil’s words: “The summit became and remains the NCWBA’s most important outreach activity. The summit is a fitting living memorial to a woman lawyer who believed in the power and promise of the women’s bar.”

— Source: NCWBA Newsletter, 2007