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Alumni Notes 2017

Samantha Gronewald, LW’03, appointed district court judge

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Samantha Gronewald as district court judge in the Judicial District 5C, which includes Polk County. Gronewald, of Urbandale, currently serves as an attorney at Sullivan & Ward, P.C.

Patrick McElyea, LW’08, appointed district court judge

Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Patrick McElyea as district court judge in the Seventh Judicial District. McElyea is a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Iowa. The Seventh Judicial District includes Jackson, Clinton, Scott, Muscatine, and Cedar counties.

Bryan Dearinger, LW'05, promoted to associate general counsel at University of Oregon

Bryan Dearinger has been promoted to associate general counsel at the University of Oregon's Office of General Counsel. In addition, Dearinger is an adjunct professor at the UO School of Law. He previously served as a trial attorney in the civil division at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Thomas Murphy, LW'92, appointed district court judge

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Thomas Murphy as district court judge in the Judicial District 5A, which includes Jasper, Marion, Warren, Madison, Dallas, and Guthrie counties. Murphy currently serves as an attorney at Hopkins & Huebner, P.C.

Tiffany Meredith, AS'06, LW'09, named lead criminal prosecutor for Story County Attorney’s Office

Tiffany Meredith was sworn in as the lead criminal prosecutor with the Story County Attorney's Office. She previously served for eight years as a criminal prosecutor, and later as the head of the sexual assault docket in Story County.

Michael Staab, LW'81, receives Fort Hays State University alumni award

Michael Staab was awarded the 2017 Fort Hays State University Alumni Achievement Award. The award, which honors outstanding career and professional achievement and meritorious services to society or the community, is the university's highest alumni recognition.

Jeffrey Wolf, LW'89, named a Best Lawyer in America

For the third consecutive year, Jeffrey J. Wolf, a trial attorney at The Wolf Law Firm, P.C. was named a Best Lawyer in America and Best Lawyer in Texas in the field of railroad law in the Wall Street Journal.

Edward Tarlov, LW'84, named Top Lawyer by Delaware Today

Edward Tarlov of Baird Mandalas Brockstedt, LLC was selected as a "Top Lawyer 2017" in the area of real estate by Delaware Today magazine. Delaware Today invites licensed attorneys from the Delaware Bar Association to vote for the top lawyers in each practice area.

Whitfield & Eddy Law welcomes Nicholas Gral, LW'17, and Alecia Meuleners, LW'13

Nicholas Gral joined Whitfield & Eddy Law an associate attorney in the firm's litigation division. He works with clients on various civil litigation disputes in areas such as transactional, construction, and transportation. Alecia Meuleners is an associate attorney in the firm’s real estate division. She works with clients on commercial and residential real estate transactions, including title issues.

Shannon Holmberg, LW'17, joins Davis Brown Law Firm

Davis Brown Law Firm welcomed Shannon Holmberg as a new associate. She will practice in the business division. primarily focused on real estate and business law. Holmberg previously worked as a summer associate at the firm and was involved in Drake's Transactional Business/Non-Profit clinical program.

Trent Hilding, LW'04, featured in The Daily News

Trent Hilding of Trent C. Hilding, PLC in Vestaburg, Mich., was featured in an article in The Daily News about using his legal expertise to help local farmers.

Jerry Harmison Jr., LW'87, appointed associate circuit judge

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed Jerry Harmison as judge of Associate Division 21, of the 31st Judicial Circuit. Harmison becomes the third Drake Law alumnus currently serving as a judge in Greene County, Mo., along with Circuit Judge Calvin Holden, LW'80, and Associate Circuit Judge Mark Powell, LW'85.

Angel West, LW'97, named among Top 250 Women in Litigation

For the sixth consecutive year, Angel West of Nyemaster Goode P.C. has been named one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation by Benchmark Litigation. Attorneys are chosen through several phases of research, including the review of recent case work, peer review, and client feedback.

Kristina Stanger, LW'05, promoted to lieutenant colonel for U.S. Army

Kristina Stanger, attorney in Nyemaster Goode P.C.’s Litigation Department, was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Army. Stanger was commissioned as a Medical Service Corps Officer in the U.S. Army in 2000 and served in Iraq from 2003-2004. Her promotion ceremony was hosted by Nyemaster Goode P.C.

Amber Miller, LW'05, elected president-elect of AALA

Amber S. Miller, a partner with Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam, LLP, in Lubbock, Texas, was announced as president-elect of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA). She will take office in October 2017.

Timothy McCarthy II, LA'80, LW'83, elected to NACDL Board of Directors

Timothy McCarthy II, a partner at McCarthy & Hamrock P.C., was sworn in as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the association's annual meeting in San Francisco on July 29. 

Craig W. Drummond, AS'01, LW'04, publishes book Saving Sandoval

Craig W. Drummond, a former U.S. Army JAG attorney, has published a book titled Saving Sandoval: A True Story. The book details Drummond's trial defending U.S. Army Specialist Jorge G. Sandoval Jr., who was charged with murder after following orders to kill an enemy insurgent wearing civilian clothes while deployed in Iraq.

Erika Bertrand, LW'16, joins Belin McCormick

Erika Bertrand has joined Belin McCormick’s litigation and employment law departments. She previously clerked for Justice Thomas Waterman at the Iowa Supreme Court.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr., GR’91, LW’92, named president and CEO of Society for Human Resource Management

Johnny C. Taylor Jr. was named president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world's largest HR professional society. His appointment is effective in November. Previously, he served as president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Peter Coniglio, LW’78, works as associate counsel for President Trump

Peter Coniglio completed a detail as an associate counsel to President Donald J. Trump. He helped review candidates for federal government posts and prepared them for nomination hearings before they were considered for U.S. Senate approval.

Drew Gentsch, LA'94, LW'00, receives 2017 Excellence in Mentoring Award

Drew Gentsch received the Iowa Mentoring Partnership's 2017 Excellence in Mentoring Award, which recognizes outstanding long-time youth mentors. Gentsch is a founding member and mentor for Everybody Wins! Iowa.

Steven Rizzo, LW'83, named to 2018 Best Lawyers in America

Steven Rizzo of the Rizzo Mattingly Bosworth law firm in Portland, Ore., was selected for inclusion in the 2018 Best Lawyers in America, which ranks the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S. Rizzo was honored in the product liability litigation defense category.

Jennifer Zwagerman, LW'04, named to NALP Board of Directors

Jennifer Zwagerman, director of career development and associate director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake Law School, was elected to the National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) Board of Directors at the organization's 2017 Annual Education Conference in San Francisco in April.

David L. Weber, LW'86, appointed circuit court judge

David L. Weber was appointed circuit court judge for Door County, Wisc., Branch II, by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Weber took the bench in August 2016. He has 29 years of experience in private practice, in which he concentrated on civil litigation.

Hayley Hanson, LW'00, named Top Business Practitioner by Missouri Lawyers Weekly

Missouri Lawyers Weekly has named Hayley Hanson a Top Business Practitioner in its Women’s Justice Awards series. Hanson leads Husch Blackwell’s education group in Kansas City.

Benjamin Lynch, LW'16, and John Podmeyer, LW'16, join Hupy and Abraham

Personal injury law firm Hupy and Abraham, S.C., P.C. announced the hiring of attorneys Benjamin Lynch and John Podmeyer. Lynch previously served as an associate attorney at a Des Moines-area general practice firm. Podmeyer served clerkships at previous law firms and was involved with the Drake Legal Clinic.

Jeffrey Waldron, LW'07, rejoins Moss & Barnett

Jeffrey S. Waldron has resumed his practice in the Minneapolis-based Moss & Barnett law firm in the business law; mergers, acquisitions, and corporate finance; and wealth preservation and estate planning teams.

William Renn Gade, LA'82, LW'85, named general counsel of Defense Intelligence Agency

William Renn Gade has been selected to be general counsel of the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. Most recently, he served as senior counsel at the National Counterterrorism Center.

Timothy Schelwat, LW'97, named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer

For the fourth year in a row, Timothy Schelwat, an attorney at Hupy and Abraham, S.C., has been chosen as a National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyer, an invitation-only organization composed of exemplary trial lawyers.

Christopher J. Jessen, LW'16, joins Belin McCormick, P.C.

Christopher Jessen has joined Belin McCormick, P.C. as an associate in the litigation practice group, where he will handle a broad range of litigation matters with a particular emphasis on complex commercial litigation.

Nyemaster Goode welcomes Paige Thorson, LW'10, Colleen MacRae, LW'12, and Rebecca Moore, LW'09

Nyemaster Goode recently announced that Drake Law alumni Paige Thorson, Colleen MacRae, and Rebecca Moore have joined the law firm’s Des Moines office. Thorson joined the firm's Government Affairs Department; MacRae joined the Business, Finance, and Real Estate Department; and Moore joined the Tax, Estate Planning, and Employee Benefits Department.

Edward A. Tarlov, LW'84, to head new Baird Mandalas Brockstedt office

The law firm of Baird Mandalas Brockstedt LLC announced the opening of its Greenville, Del., office, headed by Edward Tarlov. Tarlov has practiced in the field of commercial and residential real estate law for more than 30 years and was recently named a Top Lawyer in Delaware.

Poppy Davis, LW'14, joins University of Arkansas School of Law faculty

Poppy Davis has joined the University of Arkansas School of Law faculty for the spring 2017 academic term as an adjunct professor, teaching a new online course in Agricultural Income Tax for the law school's LLM program.

Brandon W. Clark, LW'10, named DMMC Industry Supporter of the Year

Brandon W. Clark, chair of the Copyright, Entertainment, and Media Law Practice Group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC, received the Industry Supporter of the Year award by the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC). He was honored at the 2017 Backstage Ball in late February.

Charles Bottenberg, AS'04, LW'12, appointed to Waukee City Council

Charles Bottenberg, owner of the Waukee, Iowa, law firm Masterson & Bottenberg, LLP, has been appointed to fill a seat on the Waukee City Council that was vacated by former council member Rick Peterson. Bottenberg was chosen from a pool of three candidates and sworn in at the Feb. 6 council meeting.

Four Drake Law grads named to Business Record's Forty Under 40 list

Drake Law alumni Nate Boulton, LW'05, GR'05, Karen Karr, LW'08, William Scales, LW'11, and Maggie White, AS'06, LW'13, were among those named to the Business Record's 2017 Forty Under 40 class. The annual list honors Greater Des Moines area professionals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated impressive career achievements and community involvement.

Jacob Varghese, LW'01, joins LegalShield as vice president, launch general manager

LegalShield, one of the North America’s leading providers of legal safeguards for individuals, families, and small businesses, announced that Jacob Varghese has joined the company as vice president and launch general manager.

John Gish, LW'13, named Washington County Attorney

The Washington County Board of Supervisors in Washington, Iowa, have selected John Gish as the new Washington County Attorney. He previously worked in the Washington County Attorney’s Office as an assistant.

Whitfield & Eddy Law names Jennifer Drake, AS'98, LW'03, GR'03, and William Scales, LW'11, member attorneys

Jennifer L. Drake and William C. Scales were announced as Whitfield & Eddy Law's newest members, effective Jan. 1. Drake is active in the real estate and construction practice groups. Scales represents businesses and individuals in all phases of civil litigation as well as creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.

Arthur Chapman names Jennifer K. Eggers, LW'93, shareholder

Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak & Pikala, P.A. recently announced the election of Jennifer K. Eggers as shareholder. Eggers represents railroads, rail equipment manufacturers and owners, chemical manufacturers, and medical device manufacturers on matters surrounding railroad and product litigation.

Dionna Maria Lewis, LW'11, joins Tully Rinckey PLLC as senior associate

Dionna Maria Lewis has joined Tully Rinckey PLLC as a senior associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C., Federal Sector Labor & Employment practice group. She also serves as a commissioner for the D.C. Board of Elections, where she oversees the local agency as well as its administration of elections, facilitation of ballot access, and voter outreach initiatives.

Davis Brown Law Firm elects Emily Stork, LW'07, as shareholder

Emily Stork was elected shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm, effective January 2017. Stork is a member of the firm’s business division and maintains a general real estate practice, representing both commercial and residential clients.

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