Alumni Notes 2016

Kathleen Law, LW'05, named among The Des Moines Register's People to Watch in 2017

Kathleen Law, a Des Moines attorney who specializes in representing wind energy clients, was featured in The Des Moines Register as part of the publication's People to Watch in 2017 series.

Sheila Knoploh-Odole, LW'13, named executive director of SILT

Sheila Knoploh-Odole, founder of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT), was recently hired as the executive director of the organization.

Natalie Ginty, LW'16, named lobbyist for Iowa Hospital Association

Natalie Ginty has been named one of the Iowa Hospital Association’s primary lobbyists following the departure of Greg Boattenhamer, senior vice president of government relations and advocacy for the organization.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, LW’74, selected as ambassador to China

President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to serve as U.S. ambassador to China. Branstad was chosen for the post due to his decades-long history with China, which has enhanced cultural, educational, and business relationships between Iowa and China.

Timothy Schimberg, LW'80, honored by CDLA, CTLA

The Colorado Defense Lawyers Association (CDLA) and the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) honored Timothy Schimberg of Fowler, Schimberg, Flanagan & McLetchie for his demonstrated ability to advocate for clients while remaining professional and respectful. Schimberg was honored at a University of Denver Sturm College of Law event in November.

Erica Nichols Cook, LW'09, named director of Iowa Wrongful Conviction Division

The State Public Defender's Office has hired Illinois assistant appellate defender Erica Nichols Cook to lead Iowa's new wrongful conviction unit. The division was formed to investigate cases in which Iowa inmates claim they are innocent.

Hayley Hanson, LW'00, featured in Kansas City Business Journal

Haley Hanson, partner at Husch Blackwell LLP, was featured in the Kansas City Business Journal as a "newsmaker." Hanson leads a team of 14 employees whose job is to advise, train, and assist colleges and universities on legal issues and litigate any matters that go to court.

Mark Lowe, LW'93, appointed interim director of the Iowa DOT

Mark Lowe has been appointed interim director of the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. Lowe has been director of the Iowa DOT’s Motor Vehicle Division since 2009, and he previously served as general counsel to the Iowa DOT.

Amy J. Hanley, LW'01, appointed district judge

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has appointed Amy J. Hanley to the 7th District Court in Douglas County. She previously worked as Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Litigation Division of the Office of the Kansas Attorney General.

Jennifer Zwagerman, LW’04, named president-elect of the American Agricultural Law Association

Jennifer Zwagerman, director of career development and associate director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake Law School, has been named president-elect of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA). Zwagerman will be responsible for planning the 2017 AALA symposium before serving as president for one year, followed by one year as past-president.

Mike Traxinger, LW'12, receives Excellence in Agricultural Law Award

The American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) has honored Mike Traxinger with its Excellence in Agricultural Law Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the legal profession and agricultural community. Traxinger was presented the award during the AALA’s 2016 Agricultural Law Symposium Oct. 6-8.

Gail Sheridan-Lucht, LW'86, named administrative law judge

Gail Sheridan-Lucht became an administrative law judge for the Iowa Department of Corrections in October. She previously worked nearly 30 years for the Iowa Workforce Development's Division of Labor as an attorney for the labor commissioner.

Molly S. Frazer, LW'86, appointed as immigration judge

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Molly Frazer as an immigration judge for the Florence Immigration Court in Florence, Ariz. Frazer was sworn in on Sept. 23 in Washington, D.C.

Storrs W. Downey, LW'82, named to American Academy of Trial Attorneys

Storrs W. Downey has been named to the American Academy of Trial Attorneys, an invitation-only, national organization of premier attorneys actively practicing law. In addition, Downey is celebrating the 15-year anniversary of the founding of his law firm, Bryce Downey & Lenkov LLC.

Steven R. Parrish, LW'81, named Supervisory Administrative Law Judge

Steven R. Parrish is now serving as a Supervisory Administrative Law Judge in the Kansas City regional office of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals.

Tyler Patrick, LW'09, named Million Dollar Lawyer

Tyler Patrick, attorney at Hupy and Abraham, S.C., P.C., has been certified as a life member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a respected group of trial lawyers in the U.S. Fewer than one percent of U.S. lawyers are members of the invitation-only organization.

Beverly Dureus, LA'83, LW'86, publishes children's book

Beverly Dureus co-wrote a children's book titled Holiday Island, which is available on Amazon and Google Books. Dureus, the founder and president of Katallasso Ministries International, also recently completed her Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Methodist University in May 2016.

Whitfield & Eddy Law welcomes Sean M. Callison, LW'16, as associate attorney

Sean Callison has joined Whitfield & Eddy Law as a member of the firm's business and banking, construction, labor and employment, trucking, and litigation practice groups. Callison served as a law clerk at the firm from 2014 to 2016.

Jessica Reynolds, LW'04, appointed Story County attorney

Jessica Reynolds was recently sworn in as the new county attorney in Story County, Iowa. She was appointed to the post to fill the vacancy created by Story County Attorney Steve Holmes' retirement.

Anjela A. Shutts, LW'96, named vice chair of Iowa Access to Justice Commission

Whitfield & Eddy attorney Anjela Shutts was appointed to serve as vice chair of the Iowa Access to Justice Commission. The commission was established by the Iowa Supreme Court to "find solutions that will best serve Iowans who may encounter barrier or difficulties with fully accessing the Iowa justice system."

Jennifer Drake, AS'98, LW'03, GR'03, joins Whitfield & Eddy Law Firm

Jennifer L. Drake has joined Whitfield & Eddy Law as an attorney in the firm’s real estate and construction practice groups. Prior to joining the firm, she was associate general counsel and assistant secretary at Hubbell Realty Company.

Lucas Draisey, LW'16, joins Davis Brown Law Firm

Lucas Draisey has joined the Davis Brown Law Firm as an associate in the Litigation Division. Draisey, who graduated from Drake Law School in May 2016, previously worked as a summer associate in 2015.

Joan McKown, LW'83, named Influential Woman in Securities Law by Law360

Joan McKown, partner at Jones Day in Washington, D.C., has been named among the Influential Women in Securities Law by Law360. Prior to joining Jones Day, Joan was the longest-serving chief counsel of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement.

David Venables, GR'07, LW'07, selected to 2016 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list

For the fourth year in a row, David Venables of Portland, Ore., has been selected to the Oregon Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in the area of consumer law. Venables is the immediate past chair for the state's Consumer Law Section and practices in the area of consumer law, real estate law, and business law.

Timothy Coonan, AS'96, LW'02, joins Davis Brown Law Firm

Tim Coonan recently joined the Davis Brown Law Firm as Special Counsel in the Government Relations Department. He represents trade associations, non-profits, municipal entities, and other organizations before the legislative and executive branches at both the state and federal level, governmental agencies, and other administrative entities.

Gregory Greiner, LW'95, named head of Tully Rinckey PLLC’s Military and National Security Law Practice

Tully Rinckey PLLC has named Gregory F. Greiner as the firm’s new Military and National Security Law Practice Chairperson. He will be overseeing all military and national security matters handled by the firm, and managing the practice group’s staff and resources from the Washington, D.C., office. Greiner joined Tully Rinckey PLLC as senior counsel in 2015.

Carolyn Gunkel, BN'01, LW'06, rejoins FaegreBD’s litigation team

Carolyn Gunkel has rejoined Faegre Baker Daniels as an associate in the product liability and environmental group. She practices from the firm’s Des Moines office and focuses on agribusiness, product liability, and toxic tort matters in both state and federal courts.

Kara M. Sinnard, LW'02, and David N. Nelson, ED'71, LW'78, recognized in Chambers and Partners 2016 attorney rankings

Chambers and Partners, an internationally recognized research-based ranking service based in London, England, named Kara M. Sinnard and David N. Nelson in their 2016 attorney rankings in the area of Real Estate–Iowa. Sinnard and Nelson are both members with Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C.

William Even, LW'05, named CEO of National Pork Board

William Even has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of the National Pork Board. Even previously worked as the Global Industry Relations Lead with DuPont Pioneer. He also served as South Dakota’s Secretary of Agriculture from 2007 to 2010.

Blake Hanson, LW'15, receives IDP Rising Star Award

The Iowa Democratic Party has announced Blake Hanson as the 2016 recipient of the Edward Campbell Rising Star Award, which is presented to a volunteer who "shows promise to become an outstanding activist, party supporter, or elected official." Hanson is an attorney at the Crawford & Mauro Law Firm focusing on civil litigation, personal injury, and medical malpractice claims.

Kathy Law, LW'05, elected Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers

Kathy Law, shareholder at Nyemaster Goode, P.C., has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL). She is one of 43 attorneys from around the country elected to ACREL this year and is the first woman from Iowa to be admitted to the College.

Alexis Rowe, LW'15, Andy Duffelmeyer, LW'15, and Joshua Glasgow, LW'15, join Iowa Civil Rights Commission

Alexis Rowe, Andy Duffelmeyer, and Joshua Glasgow were recently hired by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, a neutral, fact-finding law enforcement agency that enforces the Iowa Civil Rights Act, the state’s anti-discrimination law.

Ashley Charnetski, LW'13, joins Whitfield & Eddy

Ashley (Peppler) Charnetski has joined Whitfield & Eddy Law as an associate attorney in the firm’s Estates, Wills and Trusts Practice Group. Additionally, she will represent clients in business matters and real estate transactions. Charnetski works with a wide variety of clients in trust and estate planning and probate needs, including business formation, succession planning, and real estate matters.

Denny Drake, LA'73, LW'77, promoted to Senior Vice President at UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health has announced that Denny Drake was promoted to Senior Vice President, Corporate Integrity and General Counsel. With this new role, Drake becomes a member of the CEO Forum, with increased responsibilities as a key advisor to the company's board, executive team, and president/CEO.

Michael Gilmer, LW'07, joins Davis Brown Law Firm

Michael Gilmer has joined the Davis Brown Law Firm as Special Counsel in the Business Division. Michael practices primarily in the area of tax law, including complicated tax controversy matters, and also has experience in general business matters advising clients on incorporation and mergers and acquisitions as well as estate planning.

Larson • King, LLP welcomes Margaret Jennings Meier, LW'07, as partner

Larson • King, LLP announced that Margaret Jennings Meier has joined its partnership after practicing with the firm as an associate attorney. Meier regularly appears in state and federal courts representing clients in business, employment, products, or professional liability matters, including those involving the environmental and agricultural economy of the United States.

Allison Condra, LW'11, recognized as top author in JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards

Allison Condra of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP was recognized as a “Top Author” in JD Supra’s first annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Condra was named the #3 author nationwide covering the food and beverage industry. Her article "Naturally, It’s Only Natural. Or Is It?" was one of the five most-read articles among industry professionals on JD Supra in 2015.

Michael Mersch, LW'95, named World Series of Fighting COO

Michael Mersch has been appointed chief operating officer of the World Series of Fighting. He previously worked for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as senior vice president of business and legal affairs as well as assistant general counsel.

Randy Zipse, LW'90, joins AXA Life Insurance Advanced Markets Team

AXA announced that Randy Zipse has joined AXA Distributors’ Advanced Markets team as a vice president. His primary responsibilities will be case consultation and design using life insurance as a strategy for addressing issues pertaining to business planning, wealth transfer, charitable giving, and executive benefits.

Sharon Malheiro, LW'89, receives Distinguished Service Award from Eighth Circuit Bar Association

Sharon Malheiro, Davis Brown Law Firm senior shareholder, has been named recipient of the Richard S. Arnold Award for Distinguished Service from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Malheiro's work can be seen in many of the major cases affecting the civil rights of Iowans, including Varnum v. Brien and Planned Parenthood v. Iowa Board of Medicine.

Nicholas O. Cooper, LW‘04, and John F. Fatino, LW‘91, named to Whitfield & Eddy Law executive committee

Whitfield & Eddy Law announced that Nicholas O. Cooper and John F. Fatino have been named to the firm’s executive committee. The committee is responsible for developing comprehensive strategic direction and leads all initiatives for the law firm with offices in Des Moines and Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

Jason Giles, LW'03, named a BTI Client Service All-Star

Jason Giles, an attorney in Nyemaster Goode’s Business, Finance, and Real Estate Department, was one of 312 attorneys nationwide to be selected as a "2016 BTI Client Service All-Star" in The BTI Consulting Group's 2016 survey. He was nominated for providing exceptional services in the areas of business and commercial transactions and mergers and acquisitions.

David May, LW'98, named district court judge

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has appointed David May as judge in Judicial District 5C, which includes Polk County. May has been in private practice and serves as a lecturer at the Annual Fire Investigation School for the Iowa Fire Service Training Bureau as well as an instructor for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Business Record names three Drake Law grads to Forty Under 40 list

Brooke Miller Axiotis, LW’12, a civil rights specialist with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission; Noreen Otto, LW’06, assistant vice president of government relations at Hy-Vee, Inc.; and Mike Richards, LW’01, a senior shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm, have been selected to the 2016 Forty Under 40 list by the Business Record. The annual list honors local business leaders under the age of 40 who have “demonstrated impressive career achievements and unparalleled community involvement.”

Six Drake Law grads elected as District Judicial Nominating Commissioners

Six Drake Law alumni were among the 15 attorney positions filled in Iowa’s judicial election subdistricts: Whitney L. Schiller, LW'11, Nina M. Forcier, LW'10, Meggan L. Guns, LW'09, Gerald B. Feuerhelm, LW'79, Brooke C. Timmer, LW'06, and John R. Webber, LW'82. Members of the district judicial nominating commissions serve six-year terms.

Otten Johnson elects Emily Hippen, LW'09, as director and shareholder

Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC (Otten Johnson) announced that Emily A. Hippen has been elected shareholder and director of the firm. Hippen is part of the firm’s Real Estate and Real Estate Finance Practice Groups and focuses on commercial real estate finance.

Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. names Luke Craven, LW'10, member attorney

Luke Craven has been named the newest member at Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. in Des Moines. He joined the firm in 2010 as an associate attorney and practices in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.

Wells Fargo welcomes Pedro Salazar, LW'13, as corporate counsel

Pedro Salazar has accepted a position as corporate counsel at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, N.C. He most recently worked as an associate attorney for Baird Holm LLP in Omaha, Neb.

George A. LaMarca, LW'70, named Best Lawyers 2016 "Lawyer of the Year"

George A. LaMarca of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. was named by Best Lawyers as the 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” in the Des Moines Metropolitan Area in the category of Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs. LaMarca’s practice includes personal injury law, business litigation, and professional malpractice, and he has handled some of Iowa’s largest personal injury cases.

Henderson Franklin welcomes Tania Ogden, LW'92

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., headquartered in Fort Myers, Fla., announced that Tania Nordelo Ogden has joined the firm’s workers’ compensation defense team. Ogden represents insurance carrier, third party administrators and employers in the defense of worker’s compensation claims.

H. Daniel Holm, LW'79, honored by Worldwide Registry

Ball, Kirk & Holm attorney and partner H. Daniel Holm was recently inducted into Worldwide Registry. Holm's expertise includes plaintiff's medical malpractice, and he provides clients with legal services and consultations in the areas of litigation and appeals, medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, nursing home negligence, product liability, and professional malpractice.


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Law School Events
October 24, 2017
06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Law School News
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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