Transatlantic Middle East District Legal Staff Continues to Raise the Bar

Transatlantic Middle East
Published May 17, 2022
Kathryn Morris

Kathryn Morris

SGM Nathan Marshall presents the Bronze de Fleury Medal, along with the support of LTC Stephanie Radford to Regina Schowalter at an awards ceremony for the Transatlantic Afghanistan District, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (Photo by Rick Benoit)

SGM Nathan Marshall presents the Bronze de Fleury Medal, along with the support of LTC Stephanie Radford to Regina Schowalter at an awards ceremony for the Transatlantic Afghanistan District, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (Photo by Rick Benoit)

Transatlantic Middle East District Paralegal Linsday Nicodemus

Transatlantic Middle East District Paralegal Linsday Nicodemus

Legal professionals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Middle East District continue to excel while working in one of USACE’s most challenging legal environments.  Multiple staff members recently received national recognition for their work representing the interests of the U.S. government in a variety of significant legal matters.

During the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Senior Legal Managers Governance and Continuing Legal Education meeting, the USACE Office of Chief Counsel announced the winners of its annual awards. District office of counsel staff members Regina Schowalter, Lindsay Nicodemus, and Kathryn Morris were all recognized.

Nicodemus, who was also recently named a USACE “Hero of the Week,” was recognized with a Keystone Award for her superior paralegal support, which includes trial preparation, e-discovery acumen, and expertise concerning the Freedom of Information Act.  The Keystone Award recognizes the professionalism and indispensable role non-attorneys perform in the successful accomplishment of the Corps’ Legal Services Mission.  The name of the award refers to the keystone of an arch, which is the supporting element of the structure, without which the arch would fail

Mary Ensogna, Nicodemus’s supervisor said that her efforts have been critical to the district’s legal endeavors.

“We are extremely proud of Lindsay’s achievement and her continued dedication to USACE.  She has been invaluable in helping to achieve the district’s legal mission, and we are lucky to have her broad skill set and incredible work ethic. As just one recent example, Lindsay was instrumental to USACE winning a motion to dismiss in a lawsuit involving a contract dispute.  On her own initiative, she located evidence that supported the government's case which potentially saved millions of dollars."  

Morris was awarded the Joseph W. Kimbel award for professional potential. This award, also known as the “rising star” award, recognizes an attorney who has demonstrated, over a period of one year or more, the highest potential for future legal achievement

“Kathryn has demonstrated technical excellence across different legal practice areas and has proven herself to be a natural leader.  This award serves to recognize what we in TAM Office of Counsel have seen for the last three years:  Kathryn is truly a rising star for USACE,” said Rob McKenney, the district’s chief counsel.

Morris was recognized for both her substantive legal work and developing talent. Since joining USACE in 2019, she has expertly handled contract and personnel litigation as well as mentored and coached individuals within her office. She also led the creation of a report for the Office of the Chief Counsel concerning broader utilization of the district’s paraprofessionals. 

Schowalter, the District’s Deputy Counsel, was given an E. Manning Seltzer Award which recognizes an attorney who has made one or more special contributions to the Corps legal service mission through the development of a legal theory, a legal management innovation or practice or outstanding performance in solving a legal or management problem. 

She was presented the award for her work on an obscure provision of the tax code:  the 2% tax on foreign procurement.  This tax provision applies to DoD contracts with foreign vendors when there are no applicable exemptions.  Since the implementation of this law has not been well-defined, her research in this area, which had the potential to have a large impact on the way USACE and other DoD entities conduct business, made her the foremost expert within the DoD.

McKenney lauded the amount of effort Schowalter had put into studying the issue.

“The 2% tax on foreign procurement is a complex matter—quite possibly the most complex law I have ever seen—with a lack of any real policy guidance.  Regina single-handedly developed analyses and briefings to ensure that USACE, its partners, and higher headquarters are aware of the implications of the law.  Her work has also spurred constructive efforts to develop implementation guidance.  None of this would have been possible if not for her remarkable determination to find solutions to this challenging issue,” he said.

With an office that also received two national awards last year including Managing Counsel of the Year, McKenney expressed appreciation for his entire staff.

“TAM Office of Counsel is comprised of a group of attorneys and paralegals who are viewed throughout USACE as experts in their fields, whether that be procurement, employment, litigation, or other practice areas.  These awards are recognition of the quality of legal services provided by our office to the TAM mission, which we all feel very honored to support.”