2013 Alumni Notes

Heather Campbell, LW'01, joins Belin McCormick

Heather Campbell has joined Belin McCormick as special counsel. Campbell is part of the firm’s Health Care and Corporate Groups and will focus her practice on providing regulatory and transactional guidance to clients in the health care field.

D. Douglas Metcalf, LW'87, appointed judge

Gov. Jan Brewer announced the appointment of D. Douglas Metcalf as judge for the Pima County Superior Court. Metcalf is a partner with the law firm of Lewis and Roca, focusing primarily on commercial litigation, state and federal tax controversy, and employment law. He previously was a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and law clerk for the U.S. Tax Court.

August Landis, BN'84, LW'87, appointed judge to U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Nevada

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced the appointment of August B. Landis as a judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada. Landis is currently the acting U.S. trustee for Region 17, which encompasses the District of Nevada and the Eastern and Northern districts of California.

David Venables, GR'07, LW'07, named Super Lawyer Rising Star

David Venables was named a Super Lawyer Rising Star in Consumer Law for the state of Oregon. Currently an associate at Slominski and Associates, Venables practices in the area of consumer law, general civil litigation, and business law.

Drake Law alummni named to 2013 Great Plains Super Lawyers List

Twelve Drake Law alumni practicing at Whitfield & Eddy P.L.C. were selected for the 2013 Great Plains Super Lawyers list: Kim Bartosh, LW'06, General Litigation; Nicholas O. Cooper, LW'04, Business/Corporate; John Fatino, LW'91, Business/Corporate; Jonathan Kramer, LW'02, Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights; Greg A. Naylor, LW'78, Employment & Labor; David L. Phipps, LW'69, General Litigation; Sally A. Reavely, LW'88, Health Care; Thomas S. Reavely, LW'71, Personal Injury Plaintiff: General; Jacki K. Samuelson, LW'79, Employment & Labor; Anjela A. Shutts, LW'96, Family Law; Kara Sinnard, LW'02, Real Estate; and Benjamin B. Ullem, LW'69, Business Litigation.

Pedro Salazar, LW'13, joins Baird Holm LLP

Pedro Salazar is one of eight new attorneys hired by Baird Holm LLP in Omaha. Salazar will practice in the firm’s Financial Transactions practice section, focusing on international services.

Jorge Alvarado, LW'82, selected as New Mexico's chief public defender

Jorge Alvarado was unanimously appointed chief public defender for New Mexico by an 11-member commission. Alvarado will assume the job of running the Public Defender Department next month.

Pooja Thakur Rahman, LW'05, joins New York Life

New York Life announced that Pooja Rahman, former in-house counsel for the Iowa Insurance Division, has joined the company as a vice president. Rahman is responsible for developing and implementing substantive policy positions influencing domestic and international policymakers’ decisions on issues related to international solvency and accounting standards for insurers.

Shannon Woods, LW'03, joins Whitfield & Eddy

Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. welcomes Shannon J. Woods, LW'03, to the firm as a member in the Family Law Practice Group and the Business Law Team. She will work in the Des Moines office. Woods currently serves as general counsel for various corporations, where she is responsible for all legal matters, including acquisitions and management of multi-state real estate and property.

Emiliano Lerda, LW'08, featured in The Daily Record

The Daily Record of Omaha recently featured a story on Emiliano Lerda's work with Justice for Our Neighbors-Nebraska (JFON-NE). The organization provides a full range of family-based and humanitarian-based immigration legal services free of charge for low-income immigrants.

Karen Shaff, LW'79, named Des Moines Business Record 2013 Woman of Influence

Karen Shaff was one of several women honored by the Des Moines Business Record as a 2013 Woman of Influence. Shaff currently serves as the executive vice president and general counsel for Principal Financial Inc. She is currently the highest ranking female office at Principal Financial.

Kevin McCarthy, LW'98, takes position with Iowa Attorney General's Office

Iowa State Rep. Kevin McCarthy will resign his post as the top ranking Democrat in the Iowa House to take a job with the state attorney general’s Office. He will be responsible for directing a unit working on mental health issues in the state justice system, overseeing the elder fraud unit, and leading an initiative to educate military members and veterans on consumer fraud.

Christian Picone, LW'93, named partner at Berliner Cohen

Christian Picone has been named partner at Berliner Cohen in San Jose, Calif. Picone represents individuals and businesses in civil and ciriminal litigation at the state and federal levels, with a focus on intellectual property disputes, complex commercial and tax litigation, criminal defense, and environmental defense.

Hayley Hanson, LW'00, recognized as Rising Star of Philanthropy

Nonprofit Connect has named Hayley Hanson is one of this year's "Rising Stars of Philanthropy." A partner with HuschBlackwell, Hanson drafted the legislation for the Missouri House of Representatives and worked extensively to pass the sales tax initiative. She also serves on the boards of Debate Kansas City and the Northwest Missouri State University Foundation.

Gillian Ruddy Wilcox, LW'07, named Kansas City's Young Lawyer of the Year

Gillian Ruddy Wilcox was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. The honor is presented to a young lawyer who promotes the highest standards of professionalism, competence, and ethical conduct. Wilcox currently serves as a Judicial Law Clerk at the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District.

Tracy Gallegos, LW'04, joins Fox Rothschild LLP

Tracy Gallegos recently moved her law practice to Fox Rothschild LLP in Las Vegas in the Corportate Department. In addition to corporate services, she will continue to provide comprehensive real estate and entertainment counsel to clients ranging from start-ups to established businesses.

Bill Miller, LW'02, named partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Bill Miller was recently promoted to partner of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. Miller is a trial lawyer practicing in complex business litigation, employment, products liability, and personal injury defense for clients in fields including health care, government, financial services, and transportation.

Brandon Edmundson, LW'06, named partner at Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P

The law firm of Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P. in Fort Worth, Texas, announced that Brandon J. Edmundson was promoted to a partner in the firm effective Jan. 1, 2013. Edmundson's primary concentration is commercial litigation with a focus in the areas of banking and trust, oil and gas, construction and contracts.

Gov. Branstad appoints Randy DeGeest, LW'78, district court judge

Iowa Gov. Terrty Branstad has appointed Randy DeGeest of Oskaloosa, Iowa, as a district court judge in the 8A Judicial District. DeGeest is currently serving as a district associate judge.

Dustin Miller, LW'08, named governmental affairs manager at Iowa League of Cities

Dustin Miller joined the Iowa League of Cities as the new government affairs manager. Miller will work with the League staff and contract lobbyists to advance the League’s legislative priorities.

Kristy Latta, LW'05, elected shareholder at Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.

Kristy Latta was recently elected shareholder at Ahlers & Cooney, P.C. Latta's primary practice is in the firm’s education law area, serving school district and community college clients. She is also a member of the firm’s Public Finance & Law and Employment & Labor Law practice areas, as it relates to her education clients.

Chinyere Ukabiala, LW'01, named Grinnell College ombudsperson

Grinnell College has named Chinyere Ukabiala as the college's first ombudsperson, effective Feb. 1, 2013. As ombudsperson, Ukabiala will assist members of the Grinnell campus community who are experiencing problems, conduct critical analyses of the college, and educate and coach Grinnellians on communication and conflict management skills.

Christopher E. James, LW'06, elected shareholder of Davis Brown Law Firm

Christopher E. James has been elected shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm, effective January 2013. James joined the Business Division in 2009 and maintains a general practice including tax controversy, state and local taxation, international tax, and federal tax.


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October 6, 2017
Justin Driver, Harry N. Wyatt Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, will deliver a lecture titled "Free Speech in Public Schools: From Black Armbands to BONG HiTS FOR JESUS" on Oct. 26.
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