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THE THOMAS M. COOLEY LAW SCHOOL
THE THOMAS M. COOLEY LAW SCHOOL ALUMNI NEWS PUBLICATION
C O LU M N JULY 2014 • VOLUME 6 • NUMBER 1
Most m Jody A unwitt as wel
Teaching the Rule of Law in Cambodia CATHERINE GROLL
Catherine Groll (Montgomery Class, 1992), spent five months teaching tort law at the Royal University in Cambodia.
“I wanted to be a part of a project that would allow me to contribute to the world, and I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to be a part of something on this level. The Cambodian people honestly have nothing. But what they do have is grit and a survival mentality. They deserve to have the same basic rights that you and I have.”
Cooley Named a Best School for Practical Learning
Cooley received an “A” rating and ranked 17th out of the top 93 schools in the study for being the most committed, having the broadest offerings, and being the most successful in terms of its experiential training curriculum.
Maintaining Ethics Under the Media Spotlight
Jim Champion (Cushman Class, 2000), maintains professional and ethical standards during a high-profile murder trial.
INSIDE > GRADUATE SPOTLIGHT / SARAH PIXLER > MEDIA SPOTLIGHT / JIM CHAMPION > FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR IN SERBIA / PAUL CARRIER > LAW IN CAMBODIA / CATHERINE GROLL
> LIFE-CHANGING JOURNEY / KAREN TRUSZKOWSKI > COOLEY – BEST SCHOOL FOR PRACTICAL LEARNING
AND MORE …
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FEATURE ARTICLE COOLEY IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
WELCOME TO THE BENCHMARK COLUMN
Scan here to visit the Cooley alumni webpage
You know how good a job Cooley does at teaching its students to be practicing lawyers. You have experienced the challenging classroom environment, the skill of our teachers, the rigor of our practical training programs. You have heard us say time and again how we provide our students with the knowledge, skills, and ethics they need to be outstanding lawyers. And now, The National Jurist magazine has echoed our call, recognizing Cooley as one of the nation’s best law schools for practical learning – 17th in the nation. Notably, Cooley’s practical training is rated better than that at any other law school in Michigan or Florida. The reason for this ranking should be no secret.
That knowledge and skill allows Cooley graduates like Jim Champion, Catherine Groll, Sarah Pixler, Professor Karen Truzkowski, Maria Alaimo, Andrea Bellaire, Bert Tiger Whitehead, and the many others featured across these pages to hit the ground running, to represent their clients faithfully and honorably, to succeed in their law practices, and to have fulfilling careers. I hope that you will read this issue of the Column with great pride. That pride is deserved.
The core strength of our program – clinics, externships, internships, litigation and negotiation skills courses, ADR courses, competitions, workshops – is the practical experience held by Cooley’s professors, who are real lawyers, and our adjunct teachers and externship hosts who combine to share their vast knowledge and skill with our students.
James D. Robb, Associate Dean for External Affairs and Senior Counsel email@example.com
PROFESSOR PHILIP J. PRYGOSKI
PRESIDENT LEDUC RECEIVES NEWSMAKER OF THE YEAR AWARD Sarah Pixler Ellsworth Class, May 2012) LOCATION: Portland, Oregon POSITION: Attorney adviser in the Executive Office for Immigration Review for the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Grand Rapids Business Journal (GRBJ) honored Cooley Law School President and Dean Don LeDuc as the publication’s 2013 Newsmaker of the Year in the law category. LeDuc was recognized for the significant impact Cooley’s affiliation agreement with Western Michigan University (WMU) will have on the region and the new opportunities the affiliation will open for students, faculty and staff. During the selection process, GRBJ writers and editors noted that the affiliation “has the potential to serve as a model for integration of legal education within a university setting.” “This affiliation is the reason Cooley was recognized by the Grand Rapids Business Journal, and it would not be possible without the initiative and collaboration of President John Dunn from Western Michigan University,” said LeDuc. Nominees for GRBJ’s Newsmaker of the Year award are individuals whose industry contributions are noteworthy and are helping to shape the region’s future. Before Cooley and WMU implement the affiliation, the agreement must receive approval by accrediting agencies, the American Bar Association, and the Higher Learning Commission.
Since graduating magna cum laude from Cooley, Sarah Pixler (Ellsworth Class, May 2012), has relocated to Portland, Ore., where she works as an attorney adviser in the Executive Office for Immigration Review for the U. S. Department of Justice. As attorney adviser, Pixler advises Portland’s two immigration judges, conducts legal research, and drafts written decisions in removal proceedings. She also recruits, hires, and manages legal interns, and supports overall court administration. Once she has completed her clerkship later this year, Pixler will move to Washington, D.C., where she has accepted a job as staff attorney on the Central Legal Staff of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. In her new position, Pixler will serve as an adviser to all elements of the court, identifying issues, conducting comprehensive legal review and analysis of incoming petitions, and performing legal research in order to provide memoranda and recommendations for disposition. She will also assist other judicial law clerks and staff attorneys on the most difficult, complex and controversial cases that come before the court. Originally from Arizona, Pixler graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor of arts degree in International Communication and a minor in Spanish. After wrapping up her undergrad degree, she came to Grand Rapids, Mich., to attend law school at Cooley. During her time at Cooley, Pixler interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and for the Hon. Robert Holmes Bell at the U.S. District Court, both located in Grand Rapids. She also worked as a legal extern in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,
District of Arizona. But it was her time interning at the International Justice Mission (IJM) in Washington, D.C., as an undergradate student that changed her career course and brought her to Cooley in the first place. While at the IJM, Pixler researched human rights issues and learned about the horrors and injustices of modern-day slavery. She became passionate about putting an end to human trafficking. It was this passion that inspired her to switch paths from becoming a Spanish teacher to seeking out the best means of working on this important issue. After exploring her options, she realized Cooley would give her the education and background needed to effect real change. “I had a great experience while at Cooley,” said Pixler. “The courses I took, combined with my internships and volunteer work, really helped prepare me for my career. Thanks to Cooley, I know that throughout my career I’ll be able to make a substantial impact in an area of law that I am passionate about.” Pixler’s achievements at Cooley were noteworthy and paved her way for success. She received a full-tuition honors scholarship, made the dean’s list, was the law review’s senior associate editor, and graduated from Cooley at the top of her class. Additionally, she served as a Cooley ambassador and a Student Bar Association class representative. In 2011, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Foundation (WLAMF) named her a WLAMF Scholar, which recognizes women law students based on their demonstrated leadership capabilities, community service, commitment to diversity, and potential for advancing the position of women in society. She also received the Melissa Mitchell Scholarship, an award which recognizes deep commitment and academic excellence.
Cooley Law School President and Dean Don LeDuc speaks during the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s Newmakers of the Year ceremony. The event was held at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, in Grand Rapids, on Wednesday, Jan. 29. LeDuc was honored with Newsmaker of the Year in the law category. Pictured with LeDuc are Grand Rapids Business Journal Publisher John Zwarensteyn and Editor Carol Valade.
During the selection process, GRBJ writers and editors noted that the affiliation “has the potential to serve as a model for integration of legal education within a university setting.”
ALUMNI DATABASE The user name will always remain the word alumni. The password changes each term and will be disclosed in issues of Cooley’s alumni publications. Please call the Alumni Relations Office at (800) 243-ALUM (in the Lansing area, call 517-371-5140, ext. 2038), or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any problems. The current password for this term is ethics. BENCHMARK COLUMN | JULY 2014 | VOLUME 6 | NUMBER 1
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FEATURE ARTICLE JIM CHAMPION, OWNER OF THE GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. LAW OFFICE OF JAMES K. CHAMPION
MAINTAINING ETHICS UNDER THE
MEDIA SPOTLIGHT JIM CHAMPION MAINTAINS PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL STANDARDS DURING A HIGH-PROFILE MURDER TRIAL
COOLEY PROFESSOR VICTORIA VULETICH WEIGHS IN ON A LAWYER’S HANDLING OF THE MEDIA DURING A MURDER TRIAL
One of the great things about Cooley’s mission is its emphasis on ethics and professionalism. Cooley is among a small group of law schools that truly “walk the walk and talk the talk” when it comes to ethics and professionalism and is one of the reasons I left a great job to teach at Cooley. When I heard about Jim Champion and how he handled this case, it makes me proud of graduates like him and Cooley’s program. All ethics issues involve a balance of competing interests. The ethical rules that govern attorneys are very general and do not give specific answers to attorneys trying to balance these important interests. Jim had the challenging task of both protecting his client from adverse
Many media stories today place an emphasis on crime and violence, so it’s not surprising to see a Cooley graduate as a lead in a high-profile murder case. Most murder cases that garner the media’s attention are those involving family members, such as the cases of O.J. Simpson, Jody Arias, and Casey Anthony, to name a few. In a trial that concluded in January 2013, Jim Champion (Cushman Class, 2000) found himself at the center of such a case and witnessed firsthand the repercussions of intense media exposure as well as the professional and ethical situations that attorneys face in dealing with the media. When Champion, a solo practitioner in Grand Rapids, Mich., decided to meet with family members of murder suspect Jeffrey Pyne, he never imagined that the case of a son who allegedly killed his mother in a Detroit suburb would generate the amount of national attention it did. The case received attention from all major networks and was covered from beginning to end by CNN’s “In Session” program. THE CASE
Champion grew up in Highland Township, Mich., about 40 miles northeast of Detroit, in a community where everyone seems to know one another. Shortly after hearing about the situation in his hometown involving the Pyne family, he was asked to meet with Bernard Pyne, Jeffrey’s father. Champion felt a sense of urgency and drove nearly three hours from his current home in Grand Rapids to meet with Bernard and eventually with Jeffrey, the alleged murderer. After the initial meetings, Bernard and Jeffrey asked Champion to take on the case. The decision to take the case would have been simple for an attorney working in a firm with support staff and other attorneys with murder case experience. But for a solo practitioner, the decision was much more difficult knowing that handling a trial of this magnitude would not leave much time for other cases. Champion made the tough decision to defend Jeffrey. After taking the case, Champion didn’t expect what came next: the flood of phone calls from the media. When the calls began coming in, Champion remembers going back to the Cooley training he received in professionalism and responsibility. “There are certain things you can’t do. You can’t guarantee a win. You can’t ignore the client. You can’t lie. As an attorney, my obligations and loyalty are with the client – not the media,” noted Champion. “I made an ethical decision to spend my time working for the client and not putting myself in front of the cameras. I would answer their (the reporters) calls and be hospitable, but I wouldn’t talk about the case.” When a local reporter told Champion he was going to print a story with or without comment from him, Champion decided to stick to his convictions and not grant the interview, even though the article could contain factual errors. Eventually, stories were published saying “evidence against Jeffrey was mounting.” These
publicity that could negatively impact his trial and trying to position his client favorably in the media to prevent potential jurors from making conclusions about his client on anything other than the evidence – a difficult balance to achieve. Some attorneys get into trouble when handling high profile media cases because their egos get in the way. For many attorneys, a case like this is the biggest case of their careers. The television lights and media attention can be intoxicating and are sometimes viewed as a way of “marketing” the attorney’s practice. Jim successfully controlled his ego and personal goals and put his client’s case first.
stories also included information about cell phone records allegedly detailing his client’s location during the time of the murder. At the time, Champion wondered, “Was the prosecutor leaking information to shape public opinion? Was it an intrepid reporter that dug up records I didn’t have yet? Were these things being said by investigators to take me on a wild goose chase and distract me from my defense strategy?” Knowing the media coverage could shape the public’s and jurors’ opinions when the case went to trial, Champion had to look into the claims regarding cell phone records that allegedly pointed toward Jeffrey’s guilt. After Champion spent thousands of dollars on experts and filing motions to obtain the cell phone records referenced by reporters, he then compared these records with the thousands of pages of phone records that the prosecution eventually handed over. In the end, there was nothing indicating Jeffrey’s location at, or near, the time of his mother’s murder. “At this point, I didn’t know what to think. I felt like the media influenced me as I went chasing after evidence that ultimately wasn’t there, but I did put the best interest of my client first and ensured that the cell phone records did not strengthen the prosecution’s case.” As the trial date drew nearer, Champion answered every call from the media and remained hospitable, but stayed true to his original strategy for dealing with the media. “I would not comment about anything regarding the trial, but I knew I had to take the calls,” noted Champion. “I did not want to turn any member of the media against my client or compromise the case in any way.” THE TRIAL BEGINS
day-to-day distractions, I also had to concern myself with the fact that my silence was being interpreted incorrectly by some media outlets, but I had a responsibility to my client that superseded those concerns.”
Two weeks into the trial, People Magazine ran a two-page spread on the trial. Soon after, ABC’s Good Morning America legal analyst Dan Abrams, as well as CNN anchor Nancy Grace, began reporting on the case daily. “In my mind, playing the role of celebrity lawyer for the media was not in the best interest of my client. I had to prepare for the trial and be ready for what was happening in the courtroom,” said Champion. THE VERDICT
After six weeks of testimony, Champion felt he had built a solid case for his client’s defense. He even thought he had won the case. Moments before the jury was given their instructions, the prosecution asked the judge to give instructions for second-degree murder, in addition to the first-degree murder charges. “This was an indication to me that the prosecution felt they didn’t have a case,” said Champion. “I was confident Jeffrey was going to walk.” The jury came back with a guilty verdict on the second-degree charge. Champion admits to being upset by the verdict. “I gave Jeff a hug and said, ‘Sorry, I failed you.’” AFTER THE VERDICT
Champion was given the opportunity to speak with the jurors following the verdict. He asked: if second-degree murder had not been an option, what would the verdict have been? The answer: not guilty.
The courtroom was packed on opening day of jury selection. The entire trial was recorded by CNN’s In Session, and its cameras served as the pool feed for the media. Every local television station was there and all local newspapers had representatives in the media room.
He also wonders if the media attention helped shape the jury’s opinion. “I am not at all sure what role the media coverage played. There was an endless amount of information online, on television, and on the radio. Members of the jury had plenty of opportunities to see coverage of the trial.”
“Within an hour of opening statements, national TV outlets began calling. Everyone wanted an exclusive or the inside track. I had reporters following me into the courthouse, asking me to give them a ‘scoop.’ The trial went on for six weeks and so did the reporters’ questions. I had to start using other entrances to the courthouse,” recalled Champion.
For example, explained Champion, “One of the jurors said to the other jurors, ‘I got my People Magazine and this story is in it,’ so it’s clearly possible that media coverage shaped the jury’s verdict.”
Champion stuck to his earlier convictions and did not talk to the media about the case, even as the media found new ways to search for details.
“A trial with national media is much more difficult than I imagined. I can’t help but wonder if I should have spoken to the media before and during the trial,” said Champion. “But in the end, the ethics and professionalism I received at Cooley led me to the proper course of action. I put all my efforts into trying the case responsibly and ethically.”
“How could I, in good conscience, in the middle of a murder trial, be worried about the media when I had a person’s life in my hands? I couldn’t let it distract me,” said Champion. “Reporters were asking me for exclusive interviews and one was even waiting for me in the bushes outside the courthouse. On top of those
Now that the case is over, Champion has spoken to several national media outlets. In addition to CNN’s In Session, the case has been featured on CBS’ 48 Hours, NBC’s Dateline, and Discovery Channel’s Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall. KNOWLEDGE. SKILLS. ETHICS. | COOLEY.EDU
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FEATURE ARTICLE PAUL J. CARRIER, PROFESSOR AT COOLEY LAW SCHOOL
Faculty Briefs Tammy Asher, Associate Professor
Served, on the board of editorial advisers for The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (3rd ed.)
Serves, as chair of the Oakland County Bar Association’s Law-Related Education Committee.
Organized, and attended the Oakland County Bar Association’s Law-Related Education Committee’s 19th Annual Youth Law Conference in April 2013.
Agreed, to teach (for the fourth consecutive summer) the legal writing component of the summer Continuing Legal Educational Opportunity program.
Served, as supervisor of the ABA Sixth Circuit Media Alerts project. Published, an essay, “Improving Students’ Essay Writing Skills,” in the book Teaching Law Practice: Preparing the Next Generation of Lawyers. Ronald Bretz, Professor
Spoke, in August 2013, to the Michigan Judges Association on Mackinac Island, on "Criminal Law Update."
Appointed, on Oct. 30, 2013, by the Michigan Supreme Court, to the new Committee on Model Criminal Jury Instructions.
Spoke, in November 2014, to the Wayne County Criminal Advocacy Program with Prof. James Peden, on "Criminal Law Update."
Spoke, in November 2014, to the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan in Traverse City, on "Scientific and Expert Testimony." Spoke, in March 2014, to the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, on "Criminal Law Update." James Carey, Professor
Published, “Amendments to Michigan’s Business Corporation Act and Repeal of the Professional Service Corporation Act,” in the Michigan Business Law Journal (Volume 33, Issue 2, Summer 2013). This article was co-authored with Justin G. Klimko, a shareholder in the Butzel Long law firm.
Provided, pro bono legal advice and counseling to veterans at the Macomb County Vet Stand Down held Sept. 19, 2013 at the Macomb Expo Center. Appeared, pro bono, in Washtenaw Circuit Court on Sept. 26, 2013, on behalf of a veteran regarding the veteran’s parenting time.
Belgrade SerBia aSa FulBright grant recipient
Served, as a visiting professor in five different law schools in Moldova. For two weeks, he taught over 100 law students about the American adversarial system. He did this in partnership with the U.S. embassy and the Leavitt Institute for International Development.
Filed, in December 2013, in the Michigan Supreme Court, an amicus curia brief in the matter of Madugula v Taub on behalf of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. This case dealt with Michigan’s shareholder oppression statute.
Bradley Charles, Assistant Professor
Area: 1,244 sq miles Elevation: 383’ Population: 1.339 million
“As a professor of international law, I have been privileged to have been given the great opportunity to teach in different legal systems. I hope that I have learned some of the strengths and weaknesses of both such that I am able to impart a more comprehensive and balanced sense of law and of order.”
By Professor Paul Carrier
Elected, vice chair of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan in September 2013.
Spoke, on a panel of experts for ICLE presenting the Annual Entity Update for Michigan business lawyers as a webinar.
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia.
PROFESSOR PAUL CARRIER SPENDS A YEAR IN
I had the honor of spending an academic year on sabbatical at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law with the primary assignment of teaching and coaching a team of Serbian law students to participate in the 2013 Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The team addressed issues including liability to neighboring countries for pollution that causes climate change, and contractual obligations surrounding sovereign (international aid) loans.
The Fulbright opportunity allowed me to study the differences between law school programs — often called “law faculties” — and law students in the Balkans in comparison to the United States. A major difference is the age and experience level of the students. Many law faculties outside of the United States are undergraduate programs, and additionally Serbia, like much of Western and Central Europe, bases its laws on the code system of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. There is a focus on codes more than on cases. On both levels, my Belgrade students had not yet been exposed to as many practical skills, externship experiences, clinics, and to some degree, moot court experiences as their U.S. counterparts, although this is changing.
integrated system for its members, which in turn requires a deeper understanding of what we know as “case precedent.” The existing system is based on tradition (and perhaps a level of government oversight) that will take time to adjust. Nevertheless, the new generation of European law students appears to understand the value of acquiring practical skills. The Fulbright experience has permitted me a wonderful opportunity to help a different type of student and to become a better teacher. Most gratifying was the moment when the students shifted from saying, “I’ll do the best I can,” which is that deferential catch-all of non-offense and deference, to “based on the research, a strong argument can be made that ….”
Only recently, a few private law faculties have been established in southeastern Europe. One can sense some tension between the private and state-controlled public law faculties. Further, the European Union requires a more global and
Mark Cooney, Professor
Published, the book Sketches on Legal Style (Carolina Academic Press). The book collects new and previously published short pieces on legal writing, most with a touch of humor.
Appointed, editor in chief of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, the national journal for the American Society of Legal Writers.
Appointed, by the Michigan Supreme Court, to its newly formed Model Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, to serve as the committee's plain-language consultant. Before this appointment, Prof. Cooney served for four years on the State Bar's Standing Committee on Standard Criminal Jury Instructions. Published, a short article titled "Snap, Crackle, Pop" in the December 2013 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal. Awarded, second place in the Michigan Bar Journal's 2013 Short-Story Contest for his short story "The Manistee River Incident." The story was published in the Bar Journal's August 2013 edition. Continued on Following Page >
(Left) Professor Paul Carrier visits with former colleagues from the Prague office of Hogan Lovells law firm at Belgrade’s Tasmajdan Park. (Right) Carrier coached students from the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Law during the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
BENCHMARK COLUMN | JULY 2014 | VOLUME 6 | NUMBER 1
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FEATURE ARTICLE CATHERINE GROLL, ATTORNEY WITH MIKE MORSE LAW FIRM, SOUTHFIELD, MICH.
Jason Eyster, Associate Professor
Serves, as a member of the Washtenaw County ID Taskforce, a group that is seeking to create county IDs for those who could not otherwise obtain them.
Provided, expert testimony on immigration law, at the Washtenaw County Trial Court, in a case involving termination of parental rights.
Catherine Groll: Teaching the Rule of
Law in Cambodia Having been all over the world on vacations and site seeing tours, Catherine Groll (Montgomery Class, 1992), a Southfield, Mich.-based personal injury attorney at the Mike Morse Law Firm, considers herself something of a “travel geek.” This desire recently became more than a hobby when she visited Cambodia in 2013, which opened her eyes to the hardships that citizens of this Southeast Asian country face every day. According to Groll, the majority of this suffering stems from bureaucratic corruption. “Money rules the day,” she said. “Even after the end of the Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge regimes in the late 1990s, Cambodia was still embroiled in corruption. Judges, the police, politicians, you name it, they were all involved in dishonest practices.” What particularly interested Groll was Cambodia’s legal system. Only a small number of lawyers are practicing law in the country, making it extremely hard for citizens to make contracts, file for divorce, and obtain ownership of land, among other things. Several universities and legal education programs across the country are trying to fix this imbalance. When Groll learned of this, she decided to put her 20-plus years of experience as a torts lawyer to use by working with the Royal University of Law and Economics in Cambodia. “I wanted to be a part of a project that would allow me to contribute to the world, and I never
imagined that I would have the opportunity to be a part of something on this level,” she said. “The Cambodian people honestly have nothing. But what they do have is grit and a survival mentality. They deserve to have the same basic rights that you and I have.” Groll started her work with the Royal University by writing a torts textbook. Upon its completion, she committed to taking a leave of absence from her legal practice to teach at the university for a semester. Before her departure for the country in early 2013, she even held a laptop drive for her future students. Support from the community poured in, and Groll was able to take a number of computers for the prospective lawyers. “It really was amazing to see how much everyone cared,” she said. “Education is very expensive in Cambodia, and the students really struggle to make ends meet so they can attend classes. The laptops were just something that would give them a step up.” Groll spent five months teaching tort law at the Royal University. During that time, she took on several additional projects and roles, including getting approval from the Cambodian deputy prime minister to teach at the Royal Academy for Judicial Professions. There, Groll was entrusted with educating the country’s next generation of judges, work that will influence
Lectured, on affirmative action litigation and its impact on Asian-Americans, at the 80/20 AsianAmerican Initiative’s Annual Meeting.
the course of law and order in Cambodia for years to come. “Up until now, the judges in Cambodia, the old guard, were very corrupt,” she said. “And while there still is corruption, we are making strides to ensure that the future of the judiciary is fair, honest, and just – something the people of Cambodia truly deserve.”
Spoke, to immigrants and advocates at “Community Conversations,” sponsored by the Washtenaw Interfaith Council Immigrant Rights. The event was held at the University of Michigan School of Social Work.
All of this work has had an incredible impact on Groll. But she feels that the strength and will of the Cambodian people have affected her even more. “The people have suffered for decades under oppressive governments, and their country has been torn apart,” she said. “But they have such hope for the future, and they wake up every morning entirely committed to the cause of making Cambodia whole again. This hope and optimism have really changed me and made me believe that anything is possible.” Groll plans to return to Cambodia soon to continue her work on the country’s legal education system. Like the Cambodian people, she will forever be committed to the cause of rebuilding the country. “You know that the road ahead is paved with some land mines, but you have to start somewhere,” she said. “And I am proud to be working on that start.”
nation through her tour guide, a young Cambodian Touched by Rottana’s openness, Truszkowski felt a connection and made the young man an offer at man named Rottana. the end of her trip. “I told him that I would give him “I was originally scheduled to have a different tour the money to either buy his mother a freshwater guide, but things changed and I ended up with well or a toilet,” she said. “He was shocked by my Rottana,” Truszkowski said. “I thought to myself, ‘Who is this kid?’ It never crossed my mind that he offer and so thankful for the opportunity to help his would become my friend and eventually a part of my mother. And after thinking it over, he decided to purchase a toilet for her home.” family.”
Rottana and Truszkowski formed an immediate bond during the trip. He even shared his life story with her, which included how he was raised by Originally traveling to Southeast Asia to visit Buddhist nuns after the Khmer Rouge killed his Bangkok, Truszkowski decided she also wanted to father and brothers and left him in a ditch. tour the Temple of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO Truszkowski was shocked by the story. “I knew (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural about the Khmer Rouge and the atrocities they Organization) World Heritage Site in northern committed in Cambodia, but had never met anyone Cambodia. She was immediately struck by the who lived through it,” she said. “Rottana had been beauty of the country and its unique culture. She through so much in his short life and he was so was also intrigued by its people, who had long suf- open about it. He even shared about his mother, fered under the Khmer Rouge regime, and who still who lives in a rural village, has limited access to struggle, living in impoverished conditions. During fresh water and lives in a home without a toilet.” her trip, she learned more about this Third World
Chaired, the annual state conference for Michigan Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, at Cooley’s Lansing campus.
Organized, a panel of four clinical professors that opened the Midwest Clinical Law Conference in Minneapolis, Minn., with a Plenary Session, entitled, “Teaching to Inspire.”
From cooley to camBodia: one proFeSSor’S liFe-changing journey aBroad Cooley Associate Professor Karen Truszkowski (Flannigan Class, 1999) likes to describe her first trip to Cambodia as a bit serendipitous. This trip would change the course of both her professional and personal lives.
Invited, to spend one week in Shenzhen, China, where he gave eight lectures on four topics: U.S. Immigration Alternatives, Homeschooling to Harvard, The Advantages of an American Education, and, to more than 100 teachers, Teaching for Transfer: Reaching Forward and Stretching Forward.
Before leaving Cambodia, the pair exchanged contact information. When Truszkowski returned to the United States and to her teaching job at Cooley, she reached out to Rottana with another offer. She offered to support him financially if he committed to continuing his education. He immediately accepted the proposal. “Rottana is now working on finishing his bachelor’s degree in English and one day plans to teach or work for the government,” she noted. “The whole experience has brought us much closer together, and I consider him to be one of my children now. He even calls me mom. It’s really something I never expected to happen from that one trip to Southeast Asia.”
making an impact on camBodia’S legal education Meeting Rottana was not the only life-changing experience Truszkowski had while visiting Cambodia. She also committed to helping improve the country’s outdated legal education system. During her time there, the Cooley professor reached out to Steve Austermiller, an American Bar Association representative, who was working in Cambodia to improve legal education at the Royal University of Law and Economics. She offered to help the school. “The university had no full-time faculty, no textbooks, and no computers, but they have done remarkable things with practically nothing,” Truszkowski said. “The first thing I was asked to do was rewrite an old Contracts textbook. I agreed and have been working on it from home for almost two years.” Truszkowski envisions being done with the book in 2014. After that, she plans to continue working with the Royal University and possibly teach there for a semester. Retiring in the country has even crossed her mind. “I don’t know where I’ll end up exactly, but I would love to spend more time in Cambodia with Rottana and with the Royal University,” she said. “It would make me happy.”
Spoke, at the University of Michigan Law School, on “Chances for Real Immigration Reform.”
Prepared, and successfully litigated, along with clinic students, a defensive asylum claim in Detroit Immigration Court on behalf of a Somali journalist who was being held in detention at Monroe County Jail. Due to the clinic’s work establishing that he had a well-founded fear of persecution based on his imputed political opinion, he was granted asylum and was released from detention. Prepared, and successfully represented, along with clinic students, a client from Colombia fleeing persecution in a Reasonable Fear Hearing, a prerequisite procedure to seeking asylum. Alan Gershel, Professor
Asked, by the New York Times, to participate in a discussion in their blog known as "Room For Debate." Discussed the sentencing in the case referred to as "Affluenza."
Received, this year's "Justice For All Award" by the Criminal Defense Attorneys Association of Michigan for a pro bono project he created with the State Appellate Defenders Office. The project began in 2008 when an audit of the now closed Detroit Crime Lab revealed numerous forensic testing errors. In five years, the attorneys in the State Appellate Defender's Office, with the help of Cooley Law School student volunteers, reviewed 1,043 convictions. This review resulted in new trials for five clients, including one exoneration, and the release of two of these clients from prison. Joseph Kimble, Professor
Gave, a keynote address at the ninth international conference of the Plain Language Association International. It was called "Wild and Crazy Tales from a Decade of Drafting U.S. Federal Court Rules."
Spoke, at the Scribes legal-writing seminar for law students at the Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University.
Published, four articles in the Michigan Bar Journal: "How To Dominate Your Reader—and Make Stewie Griffin Proud," "You Think Anybody Likes Legalese?," “You Think the Law Requires Legalese?," and "30 Years and Counting." The second and third were also published online. The fourth article celebrates the 30th year of the Plain Language column, which Professor Kimble has edited for 26 years.
Served, as senior editor for volume 15 of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing. The editor in chief is Professor Mark Cooney. Linda Kisabeth, Associate Professor
Published, an article in the fall 2013 edition of the Quinnipiac Probate Law Journal entitled, “Slayer Statutes and Elder Abuse: Good Intentions, Right Results? Does Michigan’s Amended Slayer Statute Do Enough to Protect the Elderly?” Volume 26, Issue 4.
Presented, her paper entitled, “The Professional Exploration Program: An Alternative Law School Admission Process” at the 2013 Center for Scholastic Continued on Page 11 >
KNOWLEDGE. SKILLS. ETHICS. | COOLEY.EDU
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FEATURE ARTICLE MARIA P. ALAIMO AND ANDREA BELLAIRE, MOODY CLASS, 1996
DAWN BEACHNAU Cooley Law School lost a member of the family in 2013 with the passing of Dawn Beachnau, the school’s longtime administrator to the Law Review. Beachnau, 75, passed away July 12, 2013, following a short illness. She had been on staff with Cooley for 36 years. Beachnau considered Marie Wolfe (McDonald Class, 1998) as one of her “adopted Cooley Law Review children.” Wolfe, who served as Editor in Chief of the Law Review during her tenure at Cooley, came to know Beachnau well over the years. Over time, Wolfe said, that friendship grew. “She was my best friend,” Wolfe said. “We are all better for having known her.” “She was the ‘go-to’ person,” Wolfe recalled. “She knew how to find resources in the school, and knew who to guide you to.” For students finding their way through the labyrinth of law review publishing, Beachnau’s skills and people knowledge were invaluable. “She had the business connections,” Wolfe said. “She knew about price breaks in publishing and who to call if there was a glitch. She was very well respected.” For decades, Beachnau kept the Law Review humming along, keeping students on track, making the transitions seamless for the revolving teams of students moving through the Law Review, and assisting new faculty advisers as they came on board. The most recent faculty adviser, Professor Brad Charles, said Beachnau was like a CEO of a small business.
Charles said that Beachnau was more than an administrator. “She was a mentor. Her great kindness is motivation for us to be a bit softer, patient, and understanding.” Charles added that Beachnau’s outlook on life and people taught him much. “She was a wise leader. She gave students time to learn and develop. Many times I wanted to kick someone off the Review, but she taught me the broader goal of teaching students life goals about management and professionalism.” She is remembered for being an oasis of calm in what could be an intense, deadline-driven environment. “She had seen and heard it all,” Wolfe recalled of Beachnau. “Nothing was going to surprise her!” Beachnau connected with students, cared about them, and looked after them – and they remembered that kindness. Scott Hughes (Chipman Class, 2011), served as Articles Editor of the Law Review during his time at Cooley. He remembers her fondly. “Dawn’s involvement with the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review extended far beyond administration. Dawn devoted herself, not just to the publication, but also to the people involved with the organization. I believe that it was her genuine care for people that motivated Dawn to continue serving on the law review year after year. Hughes added, “When I remember Dawn, my mind almost always returns to the same memory, a heartfelt hug and some shared tears in saying our goodbyes just before my graduation. Dawn left me that day with a few special words that I still hold dear to my heart.” Wolfe stayed in close touch with Beachnau after graduation. “We frequently had lunch.” When Beachnau couldn’t get away from the office, Wolfe would often pick up something to eat and they would dine right in the Law Review office. Many students stayed in touch, Wolfe said, just as Beachnau did with her former students. “She would often send cards to people, thanking them for being part of her life.” Beachnau was known for her direct communication as well, and Wolfe remembered many a conversation that started out with, “Now let me tell you a story,” or, “This is how it’s going to be.” Once a part of Beachnau’s life, students and everyone she worked with tended to stay that way, Wolfe said. “People were drawn to her. She really reached out.” Wolfe remembered Beachnau reaching out to the family of a Cooley student who passed away shortly before her graduation. Wolfe said she still hears from the family about how much that contact meant to them. “There are tons of those stories,” she said. “Very clearly, she was loved. She was always helping people and I’m a better person for having known her,” Wolfe said. Beachnau was a longtime member of the Lansing Legal Secretaries Association, was named Legal Secretary of the Year in 1982, and won several awards for her contributions to Cooley Law School and the Law Review. She is survived by her husband, Thomas E. Beachnau, her son and daughter-in-law, Tommy and Linda Beachnau, and her grandsons, Ryan J. and Blake T. Beachnau. BENCHMARK COLUMN | JULY 2014 | VOLUME 6 | NUMBER 1
A M O N G TO RTS A N D B R I E FS, A N
ENDURING FRIENDSHIP A chance encounter at orientation sets the stage for a lifelong bond between two New Yorkers NEW CAREERS, LIVES
When Queens, New York native Maria Pia Alaimo (Moody Class, 1996) arrived at orientation in September 1993, she was excited to learn of a Cooley Law School classmate, Andrea Bellaire (Moody Class, 1996), a Brooklyn native. As the two New Yorkers struck up a conversation, it was clear they had more to discuss and soon dinner plans were underway. Maria and Andrea conversed about everything from the similarities of their close-knit families to their legal career dreams. They also discovered both attended the same college for their undergraduate degrees and laughed about their “horrible New York accents,” recalled Maria. The dinner also set the stage for a 15-plus-year friendship, which has endured the rigors of law school, rewarding legal careers and the highs and lows of their personal lives. FOCUS ON STUDIES
Among the duo’s commonalities during law school was a dedication to extensive studying. The two recall spending countless hours together preparing for exams. “We were both very, very studious,” said Maria. “I worked my whole life for this (education) and I was not going to mess it up.” Andrea described their penchant for hitting the books another way: “We were nerds.” From camping out at the library, to discussing legal issues in nearby coffee shops, Andrea and Maria were attached at the hip with their studies. “We’re of the same ilk; we very much wanted to do well,” added Andrea.
Maria could never have imagined the extent of that bond as she did during her final semester of law school. In the midst of finals, Maria received the shocking news of her father’s death. “It was absolutely the saddest time of my life and she (Andrea) was there.” Maria also credited her extended Cooley “family,” including her professors and classmates, with helping her through the loss. The support made a difference, with both Maria and Andrea passing their finals. They graduated in May 1996, and both passed the New York bar a few months later.
“I love it,” she said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to work here.” When Andrea is not at work, she and her husband, Tim, relish a simple life, void of cars, cell phones, internet or cable. “We like to be out and about, going for runs, enjoying all the free Smithsonian museums, and other great activities in D.C.,” she said. Maria has also experienced great career success. After working in a large law firm in Manhattan, she decided to open her own firm in her childhood neighborhood of Astoria, N.Y. “I wanted to give back to my community,” she said. Maria has been operating Maria P. Alaimo, P.C., ever since, handling issues relevant to her surrounding community, including worker’s compensation cases and wills/estate needs. Maria felt strongly that she wanted to use her lawyering skills to help people in the close, immigrant community she holds dearly. “I wanted to advocate for them; to give representation to such hard-working people.”
With nearly 700 miles separating the young women from their families, the friendship between Maria and Andrea strengthened with each passing academic year at Cooley. The distance from Lansing to their native New York homes was too far to travel for weekend visits, so the women often celebrated holidays together in Lansing. With their similar backgrounds, childhood experiences and strong career and family aspirations, their bond felt like family. TIES THAT BIND
While Maria had designs on returning to her hometown to practice, Andrea’s career goal of working for the U.S. government eventually landed her in the nation’s capital. Andrea spent four years with the U.S. Department of Justice, and then switched positions. She recently celebrated her 11th year with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as senior counsel with the SEC’s Enforcement Division.
While the women’s personal and professional lives differ, they both feel strongly about helping others. Andrea and her husband volunteer for Honor Flight, an organization which helps World War II vets tour war memorials and related attractions in Washington, D.C. Andrea is also using her expertise to begin an “age-in-place” initiative in her community. Maria also finds time to stay in touch with her alma mater, traveling to Michigan on occasion to visit with Cooley professors and friends with whom she has remained close, including former Director of Admissions Stephanie Gregg. “From the moment we met, I felt like an adopted daughter,” Maria said. “It was really humbling (at Cooley). I met some really good people who helped me mourn my father … who were with me during such a difficult time.” Despite their busy schedules, Maria and Andrea always find time to connect, visiting each other at least once a year. “It’s a little harder now, but we wouldn’t miss the chance,” said Andrea. “Maria is truly a great, lifelong friend.”
5 MINUTES WITH: MARIA P. ALAIMO On Your Bookshelf: Tuesdays with Morrie. Sometimes in life we need to reconnect with our inner-self, get grounded again, and be humbled. I give this book to my estate clients as it really focuses on appreciation of life and dealing with loss. Hobbies: Exercising and playing the piano with my son. On Your IPad/favorite Music: Michael Buble
Most Influential Person: My dad, Angelo, who died while I was completing my final semester of law school. He was an Italian immigrant who left Italy with my Mom and their three kids at the age of 42 and made a whole new life in New York (including having me as their 4th child). He taught me to “look forward in life and never turn back.” Greatest Cooley Memory: Working as a Student
Admissions Counselor under Stephanie Gregg. I enjoyed working in the office, which was my Michigan family. It was also great greeting the new faces of Cooley students and bestowing upon them the lessons you learned. Biggest Career Break: You make your own breaks in life, which, for me, was starting my own private practice. This gave me the ability and liberty to expand my areas of practice.
5 MINUTES WITH: ANDREA BELLAIRE On Your Bookshelf: I have hundreds of books. My favorites include: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; Long Walk to Freedom; by Nelson Mandela, and Beethoven The Man Revealed by John Suchet.
Hobbies: Reading, running, learning to speak Spanish and volunteering. On Your IPad/favorite Music: Keb Bo, Chopin, Taylor Swift, Pink Most Influential Person: My grandfather
Greatest Cooley Memory: Celebrating Thanksgiving with Maria and other friends in Michigan, and winning an award for drafting a motion in Professor John Nussbaumer’s Criminal Procedure class.
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FEATURE ARTICLE CHRIS THOMAS, COOLEY ADJUNCT PROFESSOR AND DIRECTOR OF ELECTIONS , MIGHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF STATE
COOLEY LAW SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER SELECTED AS “LAWYER OF THE YEAR” BY MICHIGAN LAWYERS WEEKLY
PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
Six of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 30 “2014 Leaders in the Law” have connections to Cooley Law School, including Cooley board member Thomas Cranmer, who was selected from the 30 leaders to receive the publication’s top honor as “Lawyer of the Year.”
Cranmer is a past president of the State Bar of Michigan and is a leading litigator with Miller Canfield in Troy, Mich. Early in his career, Cranmer served as an assistant Oakland County prosecutor and later went on to serve as an assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit. He mentors younger attorneys as an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
COOLEY GRADUATE APPOINTED TO
In 2013, the non-partisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA) was established by U.S. President Barack Obama. Among the 10 appointees was Chris Thomas (Morrell Class, 1985), Cooley graduate and adjunct professor. Thomas is the director of elections for the Michigan Department of State and brings extensive experience in election law to the commission.
Five others with Cooley connections were also selected as “2014 Leaders in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. These include: Associate Dean of the Ann Arbor campus Joan Vestrand; former Cooley board member and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh; Michigan 56-A District Court Judge Harvey J. Hoffman (Wing Class, 1982); managing partner of McKeen & Associates, Brian J. McKeen (Wing Class, 1982); and, associate at Kreis, Enderle, Hudgins & Borsos, Nancy L. Mullett (Wilson Class, 1990).
Created by Executive Order, the PCEA’s mission is to “identify best practices in election administration and to make recommendations to the President to improve the voting experience,” according to the commission’s website. Its goals include removing barriers that increase the difficulty of eligible voters casting ballots and improving the opportunity for voters to cast ballots without undue delays. “The commission was created with a strict focus on the actual nuts and bolts of election administration,” Thomas said. “We were told not to deal with political issues, which allowed us to focus on the task at hand without getting bogged down in controversy. It’s a great model.” Regarding voting rights and the creation of the commission, President Obama said, “The right to vote is one of the most essential rights provided by the Constitution. I am pleased that these committed individuals have agreed to offer their expertise to the Presidential Commission on Election Administration and I look forward to working with them in the coming months,” according to a White House press release. Thomas’ election law and administration experience stretches back decades, during which time he has held both state and federal positions. His tenure as Michigan’s director of elections began in 1981, before which he held the titles of director of campaign finance operations and director of campaign finance information for the state of Michigan. He also held the federal position of director of public communications for the Federal Election Commission from 1975-1977. Thomas has served on the federal board of advisors to the Election Assistance Commission since 2005, and is a founding member and current president of the National Association of State Election Directors.
“The local and state officials we’ve worked with have been exceptional and provided great perspectives and data for the commission,” said Thomas. “I’ve been involved with the election community for my entire career, so to work with such a wide variety of parties who were invested in the process was exciting for me.”
Honored as “Leaders in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly are (left-right): accepting the honor on behalf of her mother, Associate Dean Joan Vestrand, was Cooley graduate Kristin Vestrand (Sibley Class, 2011); Thomas Cranmer (selected “Lawyer of the Year”); Brian McKeen; Harvey J. Hoffman; and Nancy L. Mullet. Not pictured is Michael F. Cavanagh.
In January, Cooley’s Tampa Bay campus opened its pro-bono Debt Relief Clinic for underserved individuals. The clinic focuses on residents of Hillsborough County facing debt-related legal issues and is staffed by Cooley students supervised by Professor Robert Savage, who also serves as the clinic’s director. Its goal is to assist consumers with debt issues and to become an information and referral source to support the work of other local legal aid organizations. “We’ve been working diligently to design a program that will serve the dual purpose of providing a much needed resource for the community while also giving our students exposure to real world legal issues,” said Savage. “We’re excited to see the hard work of establishing this legal clinic come to fruition and to work with the community in this capacity.” The clinic provides Cooley students with the opportunity to gain legal knowledge and experience and develop skills by representing clients in transactional matters, alternative dispute resolution and pre-litigation resolution. All of this work is conducted under the supervision of practicing attorneys. The clinic’s legal focus includes the Florida Consumer Collections Act, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Florida Fair Lending Act and Florida Garnishment law, among other areas of law. The clinic was established in response to the expressed needs of the community and offers legal assistance on issues arising from past due medical/hospital bills, loans, predatory lending, unfair/abusive collections practices, and more.
PROFESSOR JONI LARSON’S BOOK BECOMES TRAINING MANUAL FOR INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
TAMPA BAY CAMPUS OPENS PRO-BONO DEBT RELIEF CLINIC
Cooley professor and assistant director of the school’s Graduate Tax Program, Joni Larson, recently published a book that has become a leading training resource for chief counsel attorneys representing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) before the Tax Court. A Practitioner’s Guide to Tax Evidence: A Primer on the Federal Rules of Evidence as Applied by the Tax Court began as a law review article written while Larson was litigating on behalf of the IRS. At the time, there was no resource specifically designed for Tax Court litigators and Larson responded to the need. Over the years, she updated the article to include new Tax Court cases, but when the article reached 200 pages, and had more than 1,300 footnotes, it became too large of a document to continue as a law review article. The book, published by the American Bar Association Section on Taxation, provides insights into the Federal Rules of Evidence as applied by the Tax Court. It guides attorneys facing evidentiary issues by providing a comprehensive summary of cases interpreting each rule. The book also includes many practical pointers designed to assist the tax litigator. “Having a book that focuses on the Tax Court’s rulings regarding Federal Rules of Evidence issues greatly aids the bar of that Court,” said T. Keith Fogg, professor and director of the Federal Tax Clinic at Villanova Law School. “Professor Larson’s condensed and well-organized sections allow the reader to easily spot a particular issue or the Evidentiary Rule at hand and to find the supporting cases. The brief summary of requirements of the major rules assists the practitioner in charting the proof necessary to succeed.”
GRADUATES EMBODY COOLEY’S DEDICATION TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Three Cooley Law School graduates have formed the Grand Rapids Law Group, designed to serve the needs of the Hispanic community in the area. Grand Rapids natives Christopher Acklin (Chipman Class, 2011), Daisy Benavidez Van (Left to Right): Daisy Benavidez, Christopher Acklin, Elizabeth Reyes Ittersum (Woodbridge Class, 2010), and Elizabeth Reyes-Rosario (Chipman Class, 2011) held a grand opening last month for their new law firm location in Wyoming, Mich., a suburb of Grand Rapids. Van Ittersum and Reyes-Rosario grew up there and identified the primarily Hispanic community as an underserved segment of the Grand Rapids legal market. The firm offers legal services in both Spanish and English. Grand Rapids Law Group offers a wide variety of legal services including criminal, immigration, family, commercial, small business, bankruptcy, real estate, wills and estate planning. “All three of us were deeply involved in the community through volunteer and pro bono service, so it was a natural fit to open a law firm in an underserved area,” said Acklin. “We think of ourselves as a community resource, not just a law firm.” In addition to standard legal work, the firm consults with walk-in clients on basic issues regarding legal and administrative processes, much of it on a pro bono basis. This work ties into the inclusive nature of the firm, which aims to meet the needs of its community with a guiding principle in mind: empathy. “When someone walks in our door, they are usually having a terrible day. Taking an empathetic, responsible approach allows us to achieve results for clients in any situation; it’s about truly understanding their circumstances,” said Acklin. While the partners gravitated quite naturally to their dedication to this community, their decision was supported and encouraged by Nelson Miller, associate dean of Cooley’s Grand Rapids campus, who knows all three attorneys. “They each immediately impressed me with their commitment to the community, compassionate personalities, and practical grasp of how law helps a community’s members,” Miller said. “I was delighted to see them join together in a law practice with such a vital mission in an important element of this diverse west Michigan community.”
KNOWLEDGE. SKILLS. ETHICS. | COOLEY.EDU
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FEATURE ARTICLE BERT TIGER WHITEHEAD, OWNER OF ACCESS LEGAL CARE, REDFORD, MICH.
Access Legal Care: Making Legal Services Affordable BERT TIGER WHITEHEAD
FIRST-EVER MICHIGAN FIRM TO BE AWARDED THE ABA’S LOUIS M. BROWN LEGAL ACCESS AWARD Access Legal Care, founded in 2011 by Bert Tiger Whitehead (Woodbridge Class, 2010), has caught the eye of the American Bar Association (ABA). In 2013, the ABA honored Access Legal Care with the Louis M. Brown Legal Access Award. This marks the first time a Michigan organization has won this award. This honor recognizes programs and projects that employ innovative means to create affordable access to legal services for those of moderate income who do not qualify for legal aid or lack the funds to pay traditional costs of legal services. While attending Cooley, Whitehead recognized the need for low-cost, quality legal services. He designed Access Legal Care to provide these services, while also maintaining company profitability and allowing for the retention of talent through fair compensation. Covering a range of services, including family law, bankruptcy, creditor defense lawsuits, guardianship, and probate estates, the award-winning Access Legal
Care focuses on the 20 percent of legal services that 80 percent of lower- and moderate-income people need the most. And it does so at costs that are 40 to 60 percent lower than Michigan’s industry average. Based in Redford, Mich., Access Legal Care provides services throughout the state. Clients primarily work with the team remotely, online and over the phone. When an attorney is needed in court, Access Legal Care assigns an of counsel attorney from an independent firm. In many instances these contracted lawyers are Cooley graduates.
most firms deliver legal services, and how expensive legal counsel is. Combining this education with my previous work experience, MBA background, and knowledge of a process mapping system, I was able to come up with a business strategy and creative model that allows me to provide a much-needed service to a large portion of the population.”
Ziadanne Lewis said, “I am honored to be the recipient of the Thomas M. Cooley Alumni Association Memorial Scholarship. I take great pride in my education at Cooley, and it is validating for my hard work to be acknowledged by the Alumni Association. I will continue to positively contribute to the Cooley community as a student and as a future alumni.”
To learn more about Access Legal Care, visit www.accesslegalcare.com.
At Cooley, Whitehead worked at the Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic, which provides pro bono legal services to individuals age 60 or older who reside in Michigan’s Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties. While at the Elderlaw Clinic, Whitehead worked with several clients on wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, health powers of attorney, and Medicaid planning. Whitehead notes that his work at the clinic was invaluable in helping him provide estate planning services at Access Legal Care. “Cooley gave me the tools I needed to become a lawyer,” said Whitehead. “I learned about the practice of law, how it is delivered, and ways to use technology to deliver legal services more efficiently. At the same time, I was learning how inefficiently
Access Legal Care’s Bert Whitehead recently provided training to “virtual law clerks” at Cooley. Whitehead has hired several Cooley graduates and current students to offer low cost legal access for those of moderate income. (Left to right) Alec Ohryn, student; Brent Riley (Livingston Class, 2014); Whitehead; McKenzie Higgins (Ellsworth Class, 2012); Monica Kimbrough, student; Danielle Koger, student; and Professor Dustin Foster.
ALUMNI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP The Thomas M. Cooley Alumni Association presented its annual Alumni Memorial Scholarship award to two outstanding students, Ziadanne Lewis and George Latimer-Knight. Alumni Association President Charles Doolittle, (Sherwood Class, 1986), and Past President Audra Foster (Fellows Class, 1997) presented both students with tuition credit awards. The Past Presidents Committee of the Alumni Association interviews and selects the candidates each spring based on academic achievement, school participation, and financial need.
Since launching his business, Whitehead has given free legal advice to more than 450 people, and has provided close to 300 clients with legal services in almost 500 different areas.
increased and a smile was written across my face. Praise God! My entire being is filled with gratitude, for this scholarship affords me the opportunity to forge ahead with my education, community service, family commitments, and ministerial work. Thank you Past Presidents Committee.” Ms. Lewis was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and immigrated to Brampton, Ontario, where she has lived most of her life. She attended Cooley’s Lansing campus and received her award at the Lansing Honors Convocation in March 2014. Mr. Latimer-Knight is a Detroit native, living in Chicago. He commuted to the Grand Rapids campus while working in Chicago and raising a young family. In March 2014, he also published his first book, Biblical Mastery 101. He received his award at the Grand Rapids Honors Convocation in March 2014.
George Latimer-Knight said, “When I first read the e-mail stating I was awarded the Cooley Alumni Memorial Scholarship, my heart rate
JOIN THE COOLEY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Cooley graduates can take advantage of valuable benefits of membership in the Cooley Alumni Association, which include eligibility for membership with the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, low-cost home and auto insurance from Liberty Mutual, discounts on Cooley Bookstore purchases, and many other benefits. Joining the Cooley Alumni Association has never been easier. Simply go to cooley.edu/alumni/membership.html, click on the membership card taking you to Cooley’s bookstore site, select your graduation year, and enter your contact and charge card information. You will not only enjoy all the benefits of membership, but you will also help support alumni activities across the nation. Every membership helps us promote referrals, increase job leads, and make the social and business connections that are so important to Cooley’s graduates. Sign up today.
Thomas Todd Class
Henry Brockholst Livingston Class
Stephen Madej Zaneta Adams
Auburn Hills Grand Rapids
William Johnson Class
John Marshall Class
Robert Hamor Nicole Hughes Shane Hilyard
Auburn Hills Lansing Lansing
BENCHMARK COLUMN | JULY 2014 | VOLUME 6 | NUMBER 1
1977: Hilary – Isaac Christiancy 1977: Trinity – Alpheus Felch 1977: Michaelmas – Benjamin Graves 1978: Trinity – Epaphroditus Ransom 1992: Hilary – John E. Bird 1993: Trinity – Joseph B. Moore 1996: Trinity – Blair Moody, Jr.
Please send the programs to:
Wil Thomas Joseph Hogue Aylysh Gallagher
Cooley’s Brennan Law Library includes items that are representative of Cooley’s 40 years, including copies of the original school catalog entitled Pillars, documentation of interactions with the American Bar Association, and announcements from previous events. As a part of the library’s continuing efforts to create a comprehensive archive, it is seeking commencement programs. The archives already include a number of these programs, but the following are missing:
Cooley is encouraging anyone who has one of these missing programs to donate it to the library. In return, Cooley will credit individuals for their donations and reward each with a Cooley souvenir.
DISTINGUISHED STUDENT AWARDS
Sandy Boisrond Meredith Beidler Kathryn Burkhart
IN SEARCH OF COOLEY COMMENCEMENT PROGRAMS
Auburn Hills Grand Rapids Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor Grand Rapids Auburn Hills
C/O Duane Strojny Thomas M. Cooley Law School Library P.O. Box 13038 300 S. Capitol Avenue Lansing, MI 48901 Please email email@example.com or call 517-371-5140 x3400 with any questions.
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COOLEY NAMED A
BeSt School For practical learning
Mike Stetz, author of The National Jurist’s article, “Best School’s for Practical Training,” notes in the article, “A recent graduate who is better trained to hit the ground running will have far greater success starting a solo practice or landing a job with a small employer that would otherwise not consider hiring at the entry level.”
The National Jurist magazine recently ranked Cooley as one of the best law schools in the nation for practical legal training. Cooley received an “A” rating and ranked 17th out of the top 93 schools in the study for being the most committed, having the broadest offerings, and being the most successful in terms of its experiential training curriculum.
The National Jurist’s March edition ranked the top law schools by calculating data law schools submitted to the American Bar Association in December 2013. The schools reported the number of simulation positions filled, the number of facultysupervised clinical positions filled, and the number of field placement (externship) positions filled.
“Since its founding in 1972, Cooley’s mission has always been to prepare our students for the practice of law,” stated Christine Zellar Church, Cooley’s associate dean of practice and performance skills. “Experiential learning is essential in preparing for the practice of law. Every Cooley student must participate in a clinic or externship before graduation.”
Cooley offers 11 clinics, where students are mentored by full-time professors, in the following practice areas: family law and domestic violence survivors, estate planning, elder law, immigration, criminal defense for indigent clients, municipal law, debt relief, landlord/tenant, family advocacy, and post-conviction relief for inmates who may be factually innocent. Cooley also offers more than 30 skills-specific classroom experiences, ranging from litigation classes to alternative dispute resolution classes. Students may choose from an externship experience in one of more than 3,000 approved placements around the world, or they may propose a new placement. Externs work with attorneys and judges under the supervision of full-time faculty members.
Cooley Adds Oxford, England
Cooley recently gained approval by the American Bar Association to expand its foreign study program to include Oxford, England. Cooley has offered several foreign study programs since the late 1970s. Today, Cooley offers students the opportunity to choose from more than 20 international study programs. For 16 years, Cooley has offered a full semester program in Australia and New Zealand, and since 2000 has offered a two month program at the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Canada. In 2011, Cooley entered into a student exchange program with the University of Münster, in Germany, to allow students and faculty the opportunity to learn and teach as part of a student exchange program.
Cooley students also have opportunities for workshops and participation in more than 14 intra-school competitions. The competitions simulate trial practice, appellate practice, client counseling, and negotiation and mediation settings. Individuals who excel in competitions may earn opportunities to represent Cooley while demonstrating their practice skills in national competitions. Cooley’s ranking in the top 20 law schools for practical training is higher than any other law school in Michigan and Florida, where Cooley has campuses.
The full article in the March edition of The National Jurist can be read at: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cypress/n ationaljurist0314/
COOLEY GRADUATES THE MOST MINORITIES
TO THE FOREIGN STUDY PROGRAM
“Cooley is continuously looking into foreign study locations to add to our extensive foreign study program,” said Debra Hirsh, Cooley’s director for International Programs. “We are pleased to be able to offer students the chance to study at Oxford and gain valuable International Law education experience.”
Mike Stetz, author of The National Jurist’s article, “Best School’s for Practical Training,” notes in the article, “A recent graduate who is better trained to hit the ground running will have far greater success starting a solo practice or landing a job with a small employer that would otherwise not consider hiring at the entry level.”
Cooley Law School has long been a leader in minority legal education and, according to recently released American Bar Association (ABA) data, is retaining that distinction. Statistics from the last five annual editions of the ABA Official Guide to Law Schools show that Cooley graduated 958 minority law students during the five years covered, more than any other law school in the country. This is not by chance; diversity is one of Cooley’s guiding principles. “Cooley’s mission includes ‘providing broad access to those who seek the opportunity to study law, while requiring those to whom that opportunity is offered to meet Cooley’s rigorous academic standards,’” said Associate Dean John Nussbaumer, who leads Cooley’s diversity efforts. In order to encourage diversity in the law school, Cooley applies fair and objective admissions policies to international and minority students. According to the ABA Official Guide, Cooley’s minority graduation total of 958 was the largest in the country, followed by Harvard with 865 graduates, Loyola Marymount with 784 graduates, Georgetown with 775 graduates, and American University with 747 graduates. “One major benefit of this part of Cooley’s mission is the extent to which we are helping to diversify the legal profession, and this is an extremely important task,” said Nussbaumer. “I think this is one of our school’s most significant accomplishments.”
The ABA Official Guide also tracks graduation numbers in several different minority graduate categories, including African-American graduates, Hispanic graduates, Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander graduates, and American Indian/Alaskan Native graduates. Diving deeper into the numbers, Cooley also stands out for excelling in these individual categories. Dean Nussbaumer has done research which shows that only four schools in the country made the top 20 list in all four of these categories – American University, George Washington University, Harvard University, and Cooley Law School. Data showed that Cooley had 439 African-American graduates, 222 Hispanic graduates, 238 Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander graduates, and 17 American Indian/Alaskan Native graduates.
KNOWLEDGE. SKILLS. ETHICS. | COOLEY.EDU
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ANSWERING THE COMMUNITY’S CALL: COOLEY’S IMMIGRANT RIGHTS AND CIVIL ADVOCACY CLINIC PROVIDES MUCH NEEDED SERVICES
Published, an updated version of her paper, “The Professional Exploration Program: An Alternative Law School Admission Process” in the fall 2013 Center for Scholastic Inquiry’s inaugural issue of its Journal of Scholastic Inquiry: Education. Volume 1, Issue 2. Accepted, as a member of the Oakland County Bar Foundation Fellows. Nelson Miller, Associate Dean and Professor
Published, as co-editor with Charles Cercone and Christopher Trudeau, the book Teaching Law Practice: Preparing the Next Generation of Lawyers (Vandeplas Pub. Co. 2013).
Published, as co-author with Christopher Hastings and Curt Benson, the article The Symbolism of the Federal Rules of Evidence: The Created, the Fallen, and the Redeemed, in the 29 Thomas M. Cooley Law Review 327 (2013).
Published, the book Injured—Seriously! Personal Injuries and Their Mechanisms and Effects (Vandeplas Pub. Co. 2013).
Included, in What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press 2013), as one of 26 studied law teachers. Kimberly O’Leary, Professor
Developed, a series of materials on ethics & elder law which have been published by The Institute of Continuing Legal Education as how-to kits.
Presented, on her ethics materials in May 2013 in St. Louis, Mo. (ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference), in October 2013 in Okemos, Mich. (MPLP Roadshow), in November 2013 in Washington, D.C. (NAELA/NALI Conference), and in a series of three webinars sponsored by the Center for Elder Rights Advocacy in November 2013, December 2013, and January 2014. Topics include Determining Competency with a New Client, Determining Competency that Arises During Representation, Ensuring Confidentiality in an Elderlaw Practice, Representing Couples and Representing Multiple Parties (not Class Actions).
Attended, the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in San Juan, Puerto Rico in May 2013.
Inquiry’s International Academic Research Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. She won the award for Best Presentation in the education track of the afternoon session.
As the faculty member in charge of the clinic, Associate Professor Jason Eyster works to ensure that immigrants are given due process protection. A lack of judges experienced in immigration cases complicates the issue by slowing the resolution of the cases to a near standstill, Eyster said.
To better connect with those who need help and representation, Eyster has established a partnership with the Monroe County Jail, where many immigrants are detained as they await trial. Immigrants flagged as flight risks are often housed with convicted criminals at this and other jails across the country. While in jail, they have difficulty reaching out to family. To make matters worse, they aren’t always aware of their legal rights and frequently face a language barrier. Through Cooley’s partnership, Eyster has been able to offer information about the clinic’s services and information on how to reach out to the clinic.
“This clinic really allows us to provide a holistic approach to the legal issues that many immigrants face,” Eyster said. “Often while these individuals are waiting for a resolution of immigration issues, numerous civil matters arise. We’re able to assist with these matters and help improve their lives.”
Since the clinic’s inception, dozens of Cooley students have interviewed potential clients, determining which cases to accept. Cases can cover a number of legal issues immigrants face, including family law and landlord-tenant problems. Once accepted, students assist in
Presented, in March 2013, the opening statement, in the Skills Regional Seminar at the Trial Lawyers College in Washington.
Served, in June 2013, as faculty, in the Death Penalty Seminar at the Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming. Provided, in June 2013, pro bono services in case development and as trial consultant in IN v David Camm, recently featured on 48 Hours and 20/20. Subject was acquitted on third trial after spending 10 years in prison.
Served, in July 2013, as faculty for the Trial Lawyers College trial skills week in Wyoming as a presenter, cross examination. Served, in August 2013, as director, presenter and faculty, for the 10th Annual CDAM Trial College, in Lansing, Mich.
Served, in September 2013, as a presenter in Forming and Continuing Relationships with Jurors for the 360 Advocacy Institute at the Women Only Trial Skills Retreat in Colorado.
Served, in October 2013, as faculty in the Trial Skills Retreat, PA Local Group, Trial Lawyers College. Served, in February 2014, as a presenter, on Forming and Continuing Relationships with Jurors, for the AAJ Winter Meeting, in New Orleans, La. Devin Schindler, Professor
Authored, with Tracey Brame, “This Medication May Kill You: Cognitive Overload and Forced Commercial Speech,” in 35 Whittier Law Review 27 (Feb 2014).
Spoke, Feb. 23, 2013, on “8,” Panel Discussion Sponsored by the ACLU Following Actors Theater Production of “8” (A fictionalized account of the battle of California’s Proposition 8).
Spoke, March 7, 2013, on “Medical Marijuana,” in a panel discussion sponsored by the Environmental Law Society.
Spoke, March 21, 2013, in the Keynote Address “Civility and the Debate over Gun Rights,” for the Grand Haven and American Bar Association Community Forum. Continued on Following Page >
“In my time working at this clinic, not only did I receive hands-on client experience that has been of great value to me in my career,” said Darius Robinson (Livingston Class, 2013). “But my work there also inspired me to always be aware of greater community issues and the need for quality representation. I’ve been able to bring multiple lessons from my time at Cooley into my career, and they’ve made me a stronger, more compassionate lawyer.” Collectively, the Immigrant Rights and Civil Advocacy Clinic has provided more than 2,000 hours of faculty and student time free of charge to these important causes.
Cooley encourages all graduates to contribute information to the Class Notes.We want to learn about your law career and other accomplishments in the legal profession. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 1976 Cooley Class Heos, James T., was
named in the 2014 Best Lawyers in America. He also received an award from the State of Michigan for his 36 years of service to the Church Wyble law firm in Lansing, Mich., where he is the senior partner. Nolan, Lawrence P., was presented Cooley's annual Distinguished Alumni Service Award on Nov. 6, 2013. He also was elected Secretary of the State Bar of Michigan for the 2013-2014 bar year. He is the founder and president of Nolan, Thomsen & Villas PC, in Eaton Rapids, Mich.
1976 Campbell Class Jordan, Steve, an
attorney with Rothman Gordon in Pittsburgh, Penn., was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2013 in the fields of Employment and Labor Law.
Marjorie Russell, Professor
Presented, in February 2013, to Cooley Inns of Court on “What a Trial Consultant Can Do for You.”
many aspects of these cases.
1976 Fletcher Class Gorsalitz,The Hon. Stephen, was
elected president of the Michigan Judges Association (MJA). He is a circuit court judge in Kalamazoo County, Mich., where he was chief judge of the county's circuit and probate courts from 2008 until his election to the MJA role.
1977 Graves Class Morris, Donna T., retired Midland
County (Michigan) Probate Judge and former Cooley Board member, received the Frank Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award from the State Bar of Michigan.
1978 Ransom Class Overton, Steve, is co-executive director
of the Charlevoix (Michigan) Circle of Arts organization.
1978 Kelly Class Anzalone, Lawrence, has joined Burnetti,
P.A., a personal injury law firm with offices in Tampa, Lakeland, and Orlando, Fla. In addition to handling workers' compensation claims, he is also a certified circuit court mediator and a judge of Teen Court. Reynolds, Frank H., of Foster Swift Collins & Smith, P.C., was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2014 in the fields of “Bet the Company Litigation,” Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar, Criminal Defense: White Collar, and Family Law. He was also selected to be included in Super Lawyers for his work in Criminal Defense.
1979 Butzel Class Halloran, Michele, received the State
Bar of Michigan's 2013 Champion of Justice Award. Manis, Paula K., of Loomis, Ewert, Parsley, Davis & Gotting, P.C., was selected as the Lawyer of the Year for 2014 for Mediation in the Lansing area by Best Lawyers. She was also included in the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers in America for Arbitration, Mediation, and Oil and Gas Law. Additionally, Paula was awarded the “Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers of 2013” by LexisNexis and Martindale-Hubbell. This award is exclusive to women lawyers who have achieved the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards: AV Preeminent. Sepic, Michael J., was appointed Prosecuting Attorney in Berrien County, Mich. He will run for election in 2014 to fill the remaining two
BENCHMARK COLUMN | JULY 2014 | VOLUME 6 | NUMBER 1
years of the term. He has been with the Berrien County Prosecutor's Office for 25 years.
1979 Wiest Class Baird, the Hon. Laura, 30th Circuit
Court (Ingham County, Mich.) judge, was elected vice president of the Michigan Judges’ Association. Hertzberg, Robert, of Pepper Hamilton, in Detroit, Mich., has been named to The Best Lawyers in America 2014 in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights, Insolvency and Reorganization.
1980 Potter Class Platt, David M., an attorney with
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., in southwest, Fla., was selected for inclusion in the 2013 Florida Super Lawyers magazine. He concentrates his practice in estate planning, estate and trust administration, commercial transactions and business entity formations. He has been named to Best Lawyers in America every year since 2006.
1980 Bushnell Class Dobrich, the Hon. Susan L., judge of
Cass County (Michigan) probate and family courts, was inducted into the Edwardsburg Public Schools Hall of Fame. She received the district's 2012-2013 Lifetime Award. Otis, David K., an attorney with Plunkett Cooney, in East Lansing, Mich., was named a Michigan Super Lawyer in the field of Government by Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine. He was also named to The Best Lawyers in America 2014 list in the fields of Municipal Law and Litigation. Ozburn, Renee, was named by the Sparrow Hospital Women’s Board of Managers and the Sparrow Hospital Volunteer Services Department, as the December 2013 volunteer of the month. She is an administrative law judge for the state of Michigan.
1980 North Class Krause, Andrew, who is a partner in the
Naples, Fla., offices of Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, has been named to the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers in the field of Trusts & Estates. He was also selected to the list of Super Lawyers by Florida Super Lawyers magazine in the fields of estate planning and probate. Lewis, Calien, received the 2014 Howard H. Dana Jr. Award from the Maine State Bar Association. She retired in 2013 after serving for 16 years as executive director of the Maine Bar Foundation.
1981 Dethmers Class Hamre, Paul, retired from the bench in
36th District Court in Van Buren County, Mich.
Hemker, Joseph B.,
of Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC, was named to the Chicago’s Top Rate Lawyers list for 2013 in the fields of Business and Corporate Law, Creditors’ Rights, and Financial Services.
1981 Kavanagh Class Boyd, James, is now one of three U.S.
Bankruptcy Court judges for the Western District of Michigan. He previously worked more than 25 years as a trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
1982 Wing Class Burke,The Hon. Joseph F., of the 15th
Judicial District Court, in Ann Arbor, Mich., was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the State Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision.
Delehanty,Terrence D., was inducted as a “Fellow” of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers on March 16, 2013. This is an honor for those attorneys that have distinguished themselves in their practice within the field of workers’ compensation. Previously, he was recognized as a “Legend” by the American Society of Workers Comp Professionals, Inc. Mr. Delehanty was also featured in the National Law Journal on October 28, 2002. He is the general counsel and chief legal officer for NCCI Holdings, Inc., located in Boca Raton, Fla. McKeen, Brian J., founder and managing partner of the Detroit, Mich.-based McKeen & Associates, presented “The Importance of Attorney-Conducted Voir Dire, Motions in Limine and Preserving the Record” at the Michigan Association of Justice Voir Dire Seminar, Oct. 18, 2013, in Southfield, Mich. He was also named the winner of the Dan Cullan Memorial Award from the American Association of Justice (AAJ) and the executive board of the AAJ Birth Trauma Litigation Group. He was selected as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 2014 Leaders in the Law. 1982 Goodwin Class Ayres,Timothy M., an attorney in
Johnstown, Penn., was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in 2013. He was first named as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in 2005. Manderfield, Paula, is a shareholder in the Lansing, Mich., office of Fraser Trebilcock, where she focuses on mediation practice. She previously served 20 years on the bench, the last 12 years as a circuit court judge in Ingham County, Mich. She retired from the court in 2012.
1982 Brooke Class McCargar, Ian D., was appointed to serve
as the town attorney of Windsor, Colo. He has served Windsor for over 10 years under a contract arrangement with his law firm, but on Jan. 1, 2014, took an in-house position with Windsor.
1983 O'Hara Class Kirkham,The Hon. Brian, was
appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to the Calhoun County Circuit Court. He was formerly in private practice for 30 years, focusing primarily on family law, probate, and personal injury cases. Peacock, Peter W., an attorney with Plunkett Cooney, in Mt. Clemens, Mich., was named a Michigan Super Lawyer in the field of Government by Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine.
1983 Chandler Class Reynolds, Cathy, was promoted to senior
vice president and general counsel at Consumers Energy in Jackson, Mich. She is the first female senior officer for the company. Previously she served as Consumers’ vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary. Suffety Jr., Hamed W., was appointed Circuit Court Referee for Saginaw County, Mich., by Chief Circuit Judge Fred L. Borchard. He holds meetings on domestic relations motions on all family law cases in Saginaw County. He was previously an associate Friend of the Court for 29 years. E-mail: email@example.com.
1984 Manning Class Jamo, James S., was
elected Judge of the Ingham County (30th) Circuit Court. A litigator in Michigan and federal courts for 28 years, he was a partner in the
Scan this code to join Cooley’s Community on LinkedIn. Lansing firm Grua, Jamo & Young before taking the bench on January 1, 2013. He is assigned to the court's general trial division. Judge Jamo is trained in facilitative mediation, served as a hearing panel member for the Attorney Discipline Board, and is a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation.
1985 Whipple Class McCormick, Mark, is general manager at
ExamWorks, in Southfield, Mich.
1986 Mundy Class George, Edmond, a
partner with Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP, in Philadelphia, Penn., was selected for inclusion in the 2013 New Jersey Super Lawyers in the fields of Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights. Kline, Robert James, of Quarles & Brady LLP was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2014 in the fields of Litigation-Trusts and Estates, Litigation and Controversy-Tax,Tax Law, Trusts and Estates. He is a partner in the firm’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group. He focuses his practice on estate planning, probate, taxation, probate litigation, trust litigation, beneficiary litigation, and fiduciary liability. He was also named to the list of Florida Legal Elite by Florida Trend magazine, and recognized by Florida Super Lawyers magazine as being in the top 5 percent of attorneys in Florida for 2013. Royster, Larry, was appointed as Clerk of the Michigan Supreme Court. He formerly served as Chief Clerk and Research Director for the Michigan Court of Appeals. Ruhland, David C., is the director of employee engagement for the Chicago Public Schools. He was previously human resources director of the Bay City (Michigan) Public Schools.
1986 Sherwood Class LoTempio,Vincent, a partner in the firm
of Kloss, Stenger & LoTempio, in Buffalo, N.Y., announces the opening of the firm's second office, located at 9545 Main St., in Clarence, N.Y.The firm continues its focus on Intellectual Property, Business, and Corporate Law.
1987 Morse Class Folks, Karen, is now the city administrator
for Allen Park, Mich. She was previously the city attorney for Ecorse, Mich. Rombach,Thomas C., was elected President-Elect of the State Bar of Michigan for 2013-2014. He is a solo practitioner in New Baltimore, Mich. Scro, Salvatore G., joined the Sarasota, Fla., law firm of Band Weintraub, P.L., as a partner and head of the firm’s litigation department. He focuses his practice on complex construction, commercial and civil litigation, business, civil and personal injury litigation, matrimonial and family law, and commercial and residential real estate transactions. He also represents homeowners and condominium and homeowner associations in complex construction defect litigation and turnover matters.
1987 Grant Class Pratt, Julie Nakfoor, of Hastings, Mich.,
will represent judges and attorneys on the state of Michigan’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect. She is the prosecutor in Barry County, Mich.
Continued on Back Page
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SCHOOL NEWS 1988 Pratt Class Forbush, Audrey J., an
1994 Ostrander Class Carpenter, Michael D., was appointed as
attorney with Plunkett Cooney, in Flint, Mich., was named a Michigan Super Lawyer in the field of Government by Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine. She was also elected to the board of directors at Plunkett Cooney. She focuses her practice in the area of municipal liability. She is a member of the public corporation section of both the Michigan and Genesee County bar associations, and was selected to serve as a legal adviser to the Law Enforcement Action Forum. Janes,The Hon. Eric R., of Janes, Backus & Janes, in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to the bench of the 76th District Court in Isabella Count, Mich. He has practiced law for 25 years, most recently as a partner at the law firm of Janes, Backus and Janes. He is a past president of the Isabella County Bar Association.
judge by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to fill a vacancy in the Midland County 75th District Court. He previously served as prosecutor for Midland County and also worked for about 10 years as a defense attorney.
1989 Copeland Class Wallen, Erik S.H., was appointed Midland
1995 Bird Class Hendrian,William V., has joined the
County Prosecutor. He was previously the chief assistant prosecutor for almost nine years.
1989 Douglass Class Nichols,William, was appointed to the
Michigan Community Corrections Board. He is in his third term as Monroe County (Michigan) Prosecutor. Schatzman, Jeffrey N., of the Miami, Fla., firm of Schatzman & Schatzman, P.A., was named president of the Commercial Law League of America for 2013-2014. Telgenhof, Allen, was elected prosecuting attorney for Charlevoix County, Mich. Before he took office in January 2013, he was a partner in the firm of Telgenhof & Snyder, P.C., in Charlevoix.
1990 Bacon Class Sherwood Jr., Jerry, was named
magistrate in Livingston County, Mich. He previously served as public defender in Livingston County for eight years.
1990 Wilson Class Fischer, Penny, is captain with the
MSU Police Department - Emergency Management and Special Events Division.
1990 Witherell Class Hartford, Steven, was named by Rhode
Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee to serve as special adviser to policy and legislative affairs. He was formerly the town manager for Westerly, R.I. Schwinn, Christina Harris, a partner with the Pavese Law Firm, with offices in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, and West Palm Beach, Fla., participated in a panel discussion on emerging issues in employee misclassification.
1991 Turner Class Morris, Patricia T., was selected as a new
magistrate for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
1991 Lawrence Class Dadswell, Charles, was named as senior
vice president and general counsel for Illumina, a developer, manufacturer, and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and function. Dadswell has worldwide responsibility for all legal and intellectual property matters and will serve as secretary to Illumina's board of directors. Dufon, Jeffrey, was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to serve as judge of 36th District Court in Van Buren County, Mich. Previously he was an attorney with the firm of Redmond, Streed & Yokom, in Kalamazoo, Mich.
1991 Krinock Class Kreucher, Jon D., an attorney with Howard
& Howard, was named to DBusiness Top Lawyers 2014 list in the field of Commercial Law and Energy Law. Sweeney, Sandra, recently published four new books in her Mystery in Wisconsin Dells series, adding to her previous two books published in the late 1990s.
1992 McGrath Class Grisanti, Mark, New York State Senator,
received the 2013 Liberty Bell Award from the Erie County Bar Association.The award recognizes community service that has strengthened the American system of freedom under law and is the highest award bestowed by the association.
1992 Montgomery Class Lloyd, Doug, was named Eaton County
(Michigan) Prosecutor. He joined the Eaton County Prosecutor's Office in 2000.
1993 Hooker Class Rostorfer, Peggy J., has retired, due to two
strokes and brain surgery, after 20 years as a sole practitioner and 11 years teaching at Cooley Law School.
1993 J.B. Moore Class Chernich, Scott A., of Foster Swift Collins
& Smith, P.C., was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2014 in the fields of Banking and Finance Law, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. Christ, Joseph D., was chosen to serve as an associate court judge in St. Clair County, Ill. He was formerly a prosecutor with the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office.
1994 Person Class Doerr, James, has
joined the Palatine, Ill., firm of Lavelle Law, Ltd. He focuses primarily on the Criminal Defense Practice Group.
O'Brien, Johnpatrick C., was named Of Counsel to the law firm of Cohen and Wolf, P.C., in the firm's Bridgeport, Conn., office. Previously, he was a partner with Zeisler & Zeisler, P.C. Yurgo,Wendy M., was interviewed and featured in ISO & Agent Magazine. She is the founder and president of Metrics Global, Inc., an international merchant services company. Michigan State University Extension as Finance and Homeownership Educator. He previously practiced law for 19 years. Peters, Diane Housley, joined OsborneKlein, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. Peters joins the practice with more than 15 years of experience in the financial planning industry. She was previously a full-service financial adviser and vice-president of Monarch Investment Services. She has also worked as an estate planning attorney. Van Alst, Audrey, was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as 84th District Court Judge in Wexford County, Mich.
1995 Steere Class Byers, Richard J., was re-elected as
chairman of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission in northeastern Massachusetts. He is an attorney in North Andover, Mass., with a focus on real estate law. Miner, Arden K., was promoted to president of ATG LegalServe,. Inc., a subsidiary of the Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. She previously served as an attorney in the ATG legal and underwriting departments, as senior manager of the firm’s underwriting and escrow departments. Weizenecker, Stephen, joined the Atlanta, Ga., office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP in the firm’s Entertainment and Music Practice Group. Willison, Stephen, received the Arson Investigator of the Year Award from the Michigan Arson Prevention committee for his role in bringing to justice a serial arsonist in Muskegon Heights, Mich.
1995 Kuhn Class Day, Sandra Holliday, of the Day Law
Office, in Spring Hill, Fla., received an achievement award from the Florida Commission on Women. Jarolem, Richard A., has joined the West Palm Beach, Fla., office of the national law firm, Wilson Elser, as a partner. He focuses his practice on commercial litigation, including business and real estate disputes, land-use issues, governmental issues, including zoning, land use, and election issues; professional liability defense in legal and medical malpractice matters, bankruptcy, and eminent domain.
1996 Moody Jr. Class DeRosier, Phillip J., of Dickinson Wright
PLLC was elected chair of the State Bar of Michigan's Appellate Practice Section. He works with the firm’s Detroit office and specializes in appellate litigation. He has been recognized as a leader in the appellate practice area by Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyers. Marhefka, Richard A., joined the firm of Rothman Gordon in Pittsburgh, Penn. He focuses his practice on personal injury. He is also a member of the firm's commercial litigation practice.
1996 Black Class Kennedy, Carrie, was
named a partner of Plunkett Cooney. She was previously an associate attorney with the firm. Ms. Kennedy works in the firm's Bloomfield Hills, Mich., office and focuses her practice in the areas of motor vehicle liability and no-fault law. Lawter, Anne E., joined the firm of Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton PC. She has worked with hospitals and physicians on a variety of issues, including professional licensure and liability defense, medical-legal consulting, and administrative hearings. In addition to her work in healthcare law, she works in equine activity law.
1997 P.L. Adams Class Sawyer, Elaine, was named a partner/equity
shareholder in the firm of Hewson & Van Hellemont, P.C., in Oak Park, Mich. She concentrates her practice in the areas of insurance defense advocacy and complex litigation.
1997 Fellows Class Cooper, Jon, was named coach of the
Tampa Bay Lightning professional hockey team in March 2013. Ross, Ken, was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL). He formerly served as the commission of the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR), 2008-2011, and as vice president of Regulatory and Legal Affairs before his tenure with OFIR.
1998 Sharpe Class Kranz, Roy, an assistant U.S. Attorney in
Bay City, Mich., was named a recipient of a “30th Executive Office for United States Attorneys’ Directors Award” for “Superior Performance in Indian County.” Kranz, who prosecutes crimes in Native country, was nominated for his prosecution of violent crime, specifically on the Isabella Reservation in Isabella County, Mich.
1999 Fead Class Bresnahan II,William P., joined Dickie McCamey
& Chilcote, P.C., in Pittsburgh, Penn., as a principal. He specializes in and represents both the condemning authorities and property owners in the eminent domain field, commercial and industrial property owners in the real estate assessment field, oil and gas companies, construction litigation issues, and general real estate litigation.
Siwingwa, Emila, is the Programmes
Director of the Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association based in Pretoria, South Africa. She previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Tanganyika Law Society 2009-2012. She also was appointed to serve on the American Bar Association Section of International Law Africa Steering Group Committee for a term ending August 2014.
2004 JANUARY Cross Class Smith, Jesse, is an associate with the firm
of Swartz Campbell, LLC. He works in the toxic tort group, practicing in the area of asbestos defense. Before joining Swartz Campbell, he was a staff attorney at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where he was assigned to the major trials unit, handling jury and bench trials for indigent criminal defendants. Phone: (215) 299-4395; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2004 Needham Class Rose, Anthony, owner of Anthony Rose Law Firm, in Indianapolis, Ind., was named chair of the Young Lawyers Section of the Indiana State Bar Association.
2004 Swift Class Cummings, Dawn, is the executive director
of the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission, in Ft.Wayne, Ind. She previously served the commission as staff attorney since 2007. Lagana, Joseph, was elected to the General Assembly in New Jersey. He served two years as a Paramus, N.J., council member, including a 1999 Weadock Class term as council president. He practices law with Taylor, Michael T., joined Jackson Lewis LLP, the firm of Chasan Leyner & Lamparello, PC, in Secaucus, N.J. in Reston,Va., as a partner. Phone: (703) 483-8320; 2005 McAllister Class e-mail: email@example.com. Davis, Matthew G., of Witte Law Offices in 2000 Jay Class Lansing, Mich., served as a panelist at Lansing Community College on voting laws and the U.S. Redick, Ronald M., an attorney with Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones PLC, in Grand Rapids, Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v Holder. He had an article published in the Mich., was elected to the firm’s Management Michigan Bar Journal in January 2014. He also Committee. made a presentation to Inns of Court. 2000 Rutledge Class Engelhardt, Chad, was Jung, Peter, was appointed as a U.S. elected to the Leadership Administrative Law Judge in Charleston,W.V., Council of the State Bar of on Sept. 22, 2013. Michigan Negligence Law 2001 Blair Jr. Class Section, appointed as Chair of Continuing Legal Ambrose, Katherine, has been named Education by the Michigan District Court Administrator for Calhoun County, Mich. She formerly served as deputy Association for Justice, named a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine, named one of court administrator. Michigan's top medical malpractice and Frayer, Christopher C., has joined professional liability attorneys by Hour Detroit Corbet, Shaw, Essad, Tucciarone, & Bonasso, Business Magazine, and presented with a as an associate. He has previously worked Student's Choice Award by the Cooley Law for the Office of the Florida State Attorney School Student Bar Association for the second General, with firms in Florida and Michigan, consecutive year. He continues as a partner at and for Brown, Jacobson PC, in Norwich, Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, in Ann Arbor, Mich., Conn. He focuses his practice on civil where he focuses his practice on the litigation litigation, concentrating on medical of complex medical malpractice, catastrophic malpractice defense. injury, and wrongful death cases. He was named Soliman, Iman R., has been made a parta Pacesetter by the Michigan Association for ner with the national product liability defense Justice in March 2013 and named to the firm of Bowman and Brooke LLP in Phoenix, National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 List. Ariz. She practices primarily in the areas of He also serves as an adjunct professor and product liability, tort law, and employment law. clinical field supervisor for Cooley's Ann Arbor campus. 2002 T. Johnson Class Chartier, Mary, a founding partner of Alane Johnson, Nicholas, was elected shareholder at Querrey & Harrow in Chicago, Ill. He & Chartier, P.L.C., in Lansing, was named one practices out of the firm's Chicago and of the top 25 women attorneys in the state as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Women in Waukegan offices, and focuses his practice on civil litigation, construction law, business the Law for 2013. She was also named litigation, and contract law. co-chair of the Ingham County Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section. 2005 Boyles Class
2002 Paterson Class Kunkel, Rhonda R.,
joined the firm of Bernick, Radner & Ouellette, P.C., in Lansing, Mich. She practices in the areas of family law, custody, parenting time, child support, contracts, and real estate.
2002 Chase Class Alane, Natalie, a founding partner at Alane
& Chartier, P.L.C., in Lansing, Mich., was named a board member for the Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan in Lansing. She focuses her practice on family law. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Grandy II, Lloyd G., has become a partner in The Carlisle Law Firm, P.C., in Ogdensburg, N.Y. He is a former assistant district attorney.
2003 Swainson Class Huff, Carrie E., of Alane & Chartier, P.L.C.,
presented “Top Tips for Handling Personal Protection Orders” to the Ingham County Bar Association; family law update at the 2013 State Bar of Michigan annual meeting and the Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s (ICLE) Solo & Small Firm Institute; and presented with Natalie Alane on developments in family law at ICLE's 2013 Child Custody, Support & Parenting Time Update,co-sponsored by the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. She joined the firm in 2013 and specializes in family law and landlord/tenant litigation. Carrie also formed the Tri-County Family Law Association.
Cook, Jackie J., has joined the law firm of Schiff Hardin in Ann Arbor, Mich. She represents taxpayers in state tax contro-versy matters and property tax appeals before the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Court of Claims, and Michigan Tax Tribunal. She also provides consultation on state and local tax issues applicable to charitable, educational, and religious nonprofit organizations. She serves as editor of the Michigan Tax Lawyer. 2005 Starr Class Edwards Jr., Prentis, was named Chief Judge
Pro Tem of the 36th District Court in Detroit, Mich. James, Daniel M., was elected Prosecuting Attorney for Hampshire County,W.V. Kalogerakos,Tony S., of Kalogerakos & Associates LLC, in Chicago, Ill., was named by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Personal Injury. He is the founder of Injury Lawyers of Illinois, LLC.
2006 Reid Class Baumann, Joseph, was named as the general
counsel to the Michigan Supreme Court. He previously served as counsel to the Michigan House of Representatives majority caucus and as deputy legal counsel to the Michigan Department of Community Health. Gopaul, Donna A., was appointed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal as solicitor-general in Forsyth County, Ga. She is a sole practitioner and owner of the Gopaul Law Firm LLC. Robinson, Kevin J., a partner with the law firm of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe, in 2003 Toy Class Beckley,W.V., has been elected President of the Howard, Kelvin W., West Virginia State Bar. He concentrates his joined the law firm of practice in insurance defense, and has handled Waldrep Stewart & Kendrick, cases involving government liability, product LLC, in Birmingham,Ala., liability, and contract law. He also defends small where he focuses his businesses in mass tort litigation. practice on civil litigation. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers and as a Top Attorney by Birmingham Magazine.
> Faculty Briefs Continued
Spoke, April 19, 2013, on “History and the Evolution of the Debate over Gun Rights,” at the Grand Rapids Community Forum. Spoke, March 1, 2014: on “The Constitutionality of Breed Specific Legislation,” at the Animal Law Society Annual Meeting.
Interviewed, March 7, 2013, on WOOD-AM, about “DOMA and the Michigan Ban on Gay Marriage.”
Interviewed, March 27, 2013, on WZZM-TV, about “Perry v Hollingsworth - Reflections on the Oral Argument.”
Interviewed, May 26, 2013, on WGVU-TV, about West Michigan Business Report: “Charitable Organizations and the Targeting of Conservative Political Groups.” Interviewed, May 28, 2013, by the Grand Rapids Business Journal, on “The Constitutionality of Animal Abuse Registry Laws.” Interviewed, June 6, 2013, on WZZM-TV, about “Liberty v Security and the Capture of Cell Phone Data.”
Interviewed, June 8, 2013, on WDFN-AM: “Prism, Internet Security and Privacy.” Interviewed, June 25, 2013, on WZZM-TV, about “Affirmative Action after Fisher.” Interviewed, June 25, 2013, on WZZM-TV, about “The Voting Rights Act.”
Interviewed, June 28, 2013, on WOOD AM/FM, about “Federalism and the 2013 Supreme Court Term.” Interviewed, July 1, 2013, by the Associated Press: “Same Sex Adoptions” (Story ran in over 40 newspapers). Interviewed, July 2, 2013, on WDFN-AM, about “Justice Scalia and Federalism after Windsor.” Interviewed, July 2, 2013, on WZZM-TV, about “Marriage Equality.”
Interviewed, July 18, 2013, on WJRW-AM, about “Civil Rights and the Martin Trial.”
Interviewed, July 20, 2013, on WDFN-AM, about “Jury Nullification.”
Interviewed, July 25, 2013, by the Flint Journal, about “Juvenile Sentencing after Miller v Alabama.” Interviewed, July 26, 2013, on WOOD AM/FM, about “Privacy of Passwords.”
Interviewed, Aug. 8, 2013, on WDFN-AM, about “NSA Spying and the Right of Privacy.” Interviewed, Sept. 3, 2013, by the Grand Rapids Business Journal, about “Legislative Prayer.”
Interviewed, Sept. 6, 2013, by M-Live, about “Open Carry and the Schools.” Interviewed, Sept. 13, 2013, on WJRW, about “Celebrating Constitutional Law Day.”
Interviewed, Sept. 18, 2013, by M-Live, about “FOIA and Good Faith Disclosures.” Interviewed, Sept. 23, 2013, by the Flint Journal, about “Freedom of Speech in Government Offices.”
Interviewed, Oct. 3, 2013, by the Associated Press, about “Deposing the Executive.” Interviewed, Nov. 3, 2013, on WOOD-AM/FM, about the “Supreme Court October Term Review.”
Interviewed, Dec. 13, 2013, by the Lansing State Journal, about “Students and First Amendment Rights.” Interviewed, Jan. 2, 2014, on WOOD-AM/FM, about “Constitutional Rights of the Mentally Ill.”
Interviewed, Jan. 12, 2014, on WGVU-AM/FM, about “Open Carry and Reasonable Suspicion.”
Interviewed, Feb. 22, 2014, by Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Cell Phone Bans and the First Amendment.”
Interviewed, Feb. 28, 2014, on WGVU-AM/FM, about “Marriage Equality and Adoption.” Otto Stockmeyer, Emeritus Professor
Published, an article, “From High School to Lawyer in 4½ Years …. and No Bar Exam – An Introduction to New Zealand Legal Education,” in the Feb. 14, 2013 issue of Ingham County Legal News, available at http://www.legalnews.com/ingham/1372721/.
Published, an article, “Tips for Making a Presentation,” in the October 2013 issue of Briefs, available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2334316.
Published, a chapter, “Using the Problem Method to Engage Students and Simulate Law Practice,” in the book Teaching Law Practice: Preparing the Next Generation of Lawyers, available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2330524. Published, an article, “Studying Law Down Under,” in the Winter 2014 issue of Michigan International Lawyer, available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2402918. William Weiner, Professor
Elected, to the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association, Michigan Chapter. After taking "senior status" at Cooley in May 2013, Associate Dean Weiner was asked to join the Fulbright board. In January, he was elected to a full term. His Fulbright was in Germany in 2007, where he was part of a group of 25 educators from the United States who spent three weeks there learning about the German educational system.
KNOWLEDGE. SKILLS. ETHICS. | COOLEY.EDU
Column Vol6 Num 1 6.25-edit.qxp_Layout 1 6/25/14 3:09 PM Page 1
ALUMNI MATTERS Turner, Christopher, a partner at
Bethart Turner, Attorneys at Law, was honored by Colorado State UniversityPueblo with the President's Medallion for Distinguished Alumni Achievement. Watson, Dalpha L., is the corporate director of employee relations at Botsford Health Care. She has also served as the director of human resources for the Detroit Police Department.
2006 Edwards Class Tran, Dorothy T.,
joined the Ellis Law Group in California as an associate attorney. She focuses her practice on litigation in matters of commercial law and professional liability, including legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary and fraud.
2006 Fitzgerald Class Eagleson, Robinjit, was named by
Markert, Katherine Tirone,
joined the firm of Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, in Rochester, N.Y., as an associate attorney. She is part of the firm's Intellectual Property practice group, handling matters involving trademark registration, opposition, cancellation, infringement, and licensing. Romaszewski, Sandra A., an attorney with Fox Rothschild LLP, in Warrington, Penn., received the 2013 Verdina Y. Showell Award for her service to the Wills for Heroes program.The program, which is run through the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division, provides free wills and other estate planning documents to Pennsylvania emergency responders.
2008 Sharpe Class Abood, Jeffrey Lance, was named to
the board of directors of the Birmingham Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to represent Bloomfield (Michigan) Chamber. He owns judges and attorneys on the Michigan Task the Birmingham-based Abood Law Firm. force on Child Abuse and Neglect. She is He is also general counsel for the the owner of Eagleson Law. Lebanese American Chamber of Esser-Weidenfeller, Commerce. Lisa, was named a Bellanca, Joseph A., has joined the law shareholder at firm of Hertz Schram, P.C., in Bloomfield Sommers Schwartz, Hills, Mich., as part of the firm's P.C., in Southfield, Mich. entertainment law practice. Previously, he She focuses her was the founder of Bellanca & Associates. practice on the He was named a 2013 Top Lawyer in the litigation of complex medical malpractice, field of entertainment law by DBusiness birth injury, and wrongful death matters. magazine. McIntyre, Janene, was named city Lapekas, Karen J. attorney by Lansing, Mich., Mayor Virg (Streeter), opened Bernero. She previously worked with the Lapekas Law, P.A., in public finance practice groups at Foster Miami, Fla. She is a Swift Collins and Smith in Lansing. former senior attorney
2007 Fisher Class Bower II, Ross K.,
was elected an equity member of Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, in Okemos, Mich. He joined the firm in 2008 and specializes in municipal property tax appeals and litigation, as well as general municipal matters. Cuthbertson, Jeffrey T., of the Law Offices of Jeffrey T. Cuthbertson, P.L.L.C., in Rochester, Mich., was re-elected mayor of the city of Rochester, Mich., by the city council. Cuthbertson was re-elected to the council itself in November 2013. Silver, Chad C., joined 1-800-LAWFIRM as Managing Partner of the firm's National Tax Defense Group. His practice focuses on tax resolution issues related to the IRS and all 50 states. Simwanza-Johnson, Mpoli, joined the Madison,Wis., office of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, S.C. She is a member of the Appellate, Business & Commercial Litigation, Insurance Coverage and Analysis, and Intellectual Property Litigation teams. Mpoli concentrates her practice in commercial litigation.
2007 Boston Class Harris, Raymond A., of Bernick Radner
& Ouellette, P.C., in Lansing, Mich., was elected to the board of directors of the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys. He was also named to serve on the State Bar of Michigan's Probate and Estate Planning Section Guardianship and Conservatorship Committee. Raymond joined the firm in 2013 as an associate attorney and practices in the areas of Medicaid planning, disability, elder law, estate planning, probate and trust administration, probate litigation, and Social Security. Hoover, Jeffrey A., an attorney with Howard & Howard, was named to DBusiness Top Lawyers 2014 list in the field of Banking & Financial Service Law and Mergers & Acquisitions Law. He was also elected to the Brain Injury Association of Michigan Board of Directors. Hurley, Meghan, joined the Berrien County, Mich., Prosecutor's Office as an assistant prosecutor. She previously served as an assistant prosecutor in Presque Isle County for six years. Kramarsic, Doug, joined the LaSalle County, Ill., public defender's office in the felony division. Terpstra, Rachel, was appointed to the Spring Lake Township (Michigan) Board.
2007 Brickley Class Burke, Melissa Poliseno, was named
a partner at Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP, in Buffalo, N.Y. She joined the firm in 2007 as an associate and now leads the firm’s Workers’ Compensation practice. Ms. Burke also handles insurance defense litigation, labor law, and selfinsurance defense.
with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, where she represented the IRS in the U.S.Tax Court and Bankruptcy Court. She focuses her practice on tax controversy defense and litigation. Phone: (305) 6001485; e-mail: email@example.com. Tierney, Matthew C., has been named a partner in the Owensboro, Ky., firm of Stevenson, Land & Tierney (formerly Stevenson & Land). He focuses primarily in the areas of civil litigation, real estate, estate planning, and creditordebtor law, including bankruptcy. He joined the firm in 2008. He is also a member of the board of directors of Daviess County Senior Services, Inc.
2008 C.J.Adams Class Genovich, Laura (Garlinghouse),
of Foster Swift Collins & Smith, P.C., was recognized by Super Lawyers as a 2013 Rising Star in the field of Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor. Roby, Kyle, joined the law firm of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP, in Bowling Green, Ky., as an associate.
joined Consumer Attorney Services with a focus on helping North Carolina homeowners find mortgage resolutions to avoid foreclosure. She gained experience in foreclosure defense and real estate law in her practice,Turner Law Firm, PLLC.
2008 Kavanagh Class Bahhur, Jiji, was promoted to Director
of Regulatory Compliance for National Association of Federal Credit Unions. She previously was regulatory compliance counsel. Bocanegra, Juanita, an assistant prosecutor in Ottawa County, Mich., keynoted Hope College's annual César Chavez Lecture Series in March 2013. Fenwick, Jaline, has joined the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office of McGlinchey Stafford as an associate. She represents clients in commercial litigation and consumer financial services litigation involving contested mortgage foreclosures, real estate, bankruptcy and creditors' rights.
2009 Coleman Class Innes,Tim, published an article in the
October 2013 issue of the American Journal of Legal History titled “Art and Legal History.”
2009 Riley Class Bellum, Caitlin, has joined Helsell
Fetterman in Seattle,Wash., and practices in the law firm's business law and intellectual property practice groups. She earned her LL.M. in Intellectual Property at Cooley in 2011. Jones, Marcus, founded The Law Firm of Marcus Jones, in Chicago, Ill. He specializes in expunging criminal records. Phone: (773) 454-4136; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2009 Souris Class Clancy, Jeff, joined
Osborne, Shirley (Chau), and
Bradley Osborne (Chipman Class, 2011), were married in October 2011. the firm of Leonard They had a son in August 2012. Shirley Street and Deinard, in practices Contracts Law with AccenSt. Cloud, Minn., as Of ture, and Brad practices complex real Counsel. estate litigation and title curative isSchmidt, Lisa J., sues with Shapiro and Denardo LLC. moved her law office, E-mail: email@example.com. Schmidt Law Services PLLC, to Southfield, Severe, Luc El-Art, a labor relations Mich. In addition to her focus on family, officer for the New York City Health and criminal and school law, she now also Hospitals Corporation, was honored by offers web and writing services to fellow The Network Journal as one of the lawyers and other professionals. magazine's Top 40 Under 40 for 2013.
2010 Woodward Class Myers,Thomas A., is now working
at the Michigan Supreme Court in the State Court Administrative Office. He is overseeing several of Michigan's problem-solving courts. Problem-solving courts are innovative programs designed to address an offender's underlying problem. Trial Court Services staff facilitate efficient and comprehensive problem-solving court programs through training, education, planning, evaluation, monitoring, funding opportunities, technical assistance, and establishing operational standards and guidelines. E-mail: thomas.myers.624@gmail .com.
Warnke, Kristine A., joined the St. Paul,
Minn., office of Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, LLP. She practices in the firm's product liability group. Washburn, Eric K., has joined the law firm of Bennett and Zydron, P.C., of Virginia Beach,Va., as an associate attorney. He focuses his practice in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal defense in Virginia and North Carolina.
2010 Witherell Class Booth, Brandon J.,
has become a shareholder with Howard & Howard. He continues to practice in the firm's Royal Oak, Mich., office. He was also named to DBusinessTop Lawyers 2014 list in the field of Corporate Law. Hughes, Eboney R., has joined the Southfield, Mich., personal injury law firm of Goodman Acker PC, as part of the firm’s Personal Injury Protection Team. She previously worked as a sole practitioner and is a member of the Michigan Association for Justice. Storm, Mary, joined the health carefocused law firm of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, as an associate. She is part of the firm's Health Practice Group and focuses on clinical services, patient care issues, and hospital and health system counsel. Ms. Storm works on site at the firm's Saginaw, Mich., office.
2010 Woodbridge Class Manglona, Deanna M., was
appointed clerk of the court for the Commonwealth Supreme Court in the Northern Mariana Islands. She previously served as a law clerk for an associate judge with the court. Myers,Thomas A., is now working at the Michigan Supreme Court in the State Court Administrative Office. He is overseeing several of Michigan's problem-solving courts. Problem-solving courts are innovative programs designed to address an offender's underlying problem. Trial Court Services staff facilitate efficient and comprehensive problem-solving court programs through training, education, planning, evaluation, monitoring, funding opportunities, technical assistance, and establishing operational standards and guidelines. E-mail: thomas.myers.624@gmail .com. Payne, Erica, an attorney with the law firm of Kendricks, Bordeau,Adamini, Chilman & Greenlea, P.C., in Marquette and Houghton, Mich., served as the Alumni Speaker at Finlandia University April 28, 2013. She was recently elected as vice president of the Finlandia Alumni Board. She focuses her practice in the areas of real estate, estate planning, probate, and civil matters. She is also a general civil and domestic relations mediator with additional training as a permanency planning mediator.
2011 Sibley Class Hagovsky, Lauren E., is an associate
attorney at BorgerMatez in Cherry Hill, N.J. She concentrates her practice in the area of family law, including divorce, child custody and parenting time, international custody, support, and domestic violence.
2011 Chipman Class Cole, Michael J., has
joined the law firm of Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLS, in Okemos, Mich. He joins the firm's business practice, specializing in franchising, intellectual property, liquor licensing, and general business law. Dearth, Chris, joined the Grundy County (Illinois) State's Attorney's Office as an assistant state's attorney in the juvenile, traffic, and misdemeanor divisions. Hughes, Scott A., an associate attorney with Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones PLC, was elected vice president of the board of directors for Camp Blodgett. He concentrates his practice on civil litigation, as well as environmental and energy and natural resources law. Mathews, Sarah, has opened the Mathews Law Office, PLLC, at 218 S. Front St., Dowagiac, Mich. Osborne, Bradley, and Shirley (Chau) Osborne (Sibley Class, 2011) were married in October 2011.They had a son in August 2012. Shirley practices Contracts Law with Accenture, and Brad practices complex real estate litigation and title curative issues with Shapiro and Denardo LLC. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Saunders, Zachary L., joined the Athens, Ohio, law firm of Mollica Gall Sloan & Sillary. He concentrates his practice in criminal defense, domestic relations, and custody matters.
2011 Wilkins Class Flores,Victor A., was named an
assistant city attorney for the city of McAllen,Texas.
2012 Hilligan Class Elmore, David, has joined the firm of
JK.Winters, in East Lansing, Mich. He practices in the areas of business/commercial, real estate and estate planning. Harley, Stephanie, joined the Auburn, Ind., office of Squiller & Hardy, Attorneys at Law. She focuses on bankruptcy law, family law, and business organizations. Nemerof, Michael, is an associate at The Law Offices of Paul A. Herman, P.A., a consumer law litigation firm, in Boca Raton, Fla. He specializes in debt defense, student loan modification, and bankruptcy. Vozheiko, Anton, was nominated by the Michigan Associated Press Broadcasters and Editors for a “Best Investigative Reporter” award for his coverage of the 2012 Michigan elections for WHMI-93.5 FM Radio in Howell, Mich., receiving a runner-up award at the organization’s award ceremony.
2012 Ellsworth Class Andriacchi Jr., Dominic, joined the
family law firm of Dominic F.Andriacchi, P.C., in Ishpeming, Mich.The practice services include criminal defense, estate planning, and civil litigation. Doby, Michael, opened a law practice in Marquette, Mich., specializing in debt collection, consumer rights, family law, and criminal defense. Kovalcin, Michael, and law partner Joseph Scipione, opened the firm of Scipione & Kovalcin, at 169 Gerald St., Suite 110, in State College, Penn.The firm specializes in general practice with a focus on oil and gas issues. Mr. Kovalcin's primary interest areas include, wills, estates, and estate planning. Meulenberg, Kristyn, joined Willis Law and will work from the firm's Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, Mich., offices. Randrup III, Anders, successfully argued an appeal before the state of Maryland's highest court, the Maryland Court of Appeals.The case, Turner v. Hastings, No. 66, September 2012 term, involved a trial court's power to amend or correct a jury verdict. Wint,Yasmine, was hired by Borgess Health, in Kalamazoo, Mich., as a Legal Services Manager. She was most recently law clerk to the Hon. Pamela Lightvoet, Kalamazoo County Ninth Judicial Court.
2012 Washington Class Dunivan Jr., Bryant H., joined the law firm of Christmas Spano & Owen, PA, in Riverview, Fla., as an associate attorney.
2013 A. Moore Class Burns, Robert D., joined the firm of
Brooks Kushman, in Southfield, Mich., as an associate in the patent prosecution group. Connolly, Mark K., joined the Law Offices of Daniel J. Harris, in Petoskey, Mich. He focuses his practice on criminal defense, personal injury cases, and no-fault auto claims. Glaza, Shawn Danette, joined The Law Firm of Barton Morris in metroDetroit. She specializes in criminal defense, with an emphasis on drinking and driving offenses, misdemeanors, and driver's license restoration. Mashni, John, joined the Lansing, Mich., office of Foster Swift Collins and Smith, P.C., in the firm's Business and Corporate Practice Group.
McBean, La Toya,
has joined the Royal Oak, Mich., office of Howard & Howard. She concentrates her practice in commercial and corporate litigation.
Nyamfukudza, Takura, joined the
firm of Alane & Chartier, P.L.C., in Lansing, Mich. He specializes in state and federal court litigation at the trial court and appellate level. He recently got a “not guilty” verdict in his first jury trial, and is active in Cooley's Service to Soldiers program. He is also an executive board member for the DavisDunnings Bar Association and serves as co-chair of the Mentorship Committee. He previously served 12 years in the U.S.Army. Ravenscroft, Noel J., has joined Potestivo & Associates PC as an associate attorney in the firm's Rochester Hills, Mich., office. He primarily serves the firm's Landlord/Tenant Department. Williams, David J., has joined the Gallagher Law Firm, with offices in Lansing, Detroit, Mt. Pleasant, and Grand Rapids, Mich. He focuses his practice on business, banking, and real estate. Zuiderman, Susan, joined the Van Buren County Prosecutor's Office, as an assistant prosecutor overseeing the office's South Haven, Mich., operation, and working full time in the South Haven Courthouse.
2013 Marshall Class Cantlin, Megan K., joined the Cantlin
Law Firm in Ottawa, Ill. She focuses her practice in the areas of DUI/traffic, real estate, family law, litigation, and estate planning and administration. Guernsey, Kelsey, joined the Clare County, Mich., Prosecutor's Office as an assistant prosecutor. Koski, Steven L., has joined Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, of Okemos, Mich., as a member of the firm’s Local Government Practice Group. His experience includes service as a member of the Republic Township Board and its planning commission. He formerly was a member of the legislative staff of State Sen. Steve Bieda. Michniacki, Joseph, has joined Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC, and will practice out of the firm's Royal Oak, Mich., office. He concentrates his practice in the areas of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, entity formation, corporate and partnership law, real estate law, business and commercial law, contracts, finance, securities, and tax law. Rockwell, Sarah M., has joined Collins Einhorn Farrell, of Southfield, Mich., in the firm’s Insurance Coverage Practice Group. She focuses her practice on advising insurance companies as to liability under their policies. Yang, Joseph, director of operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing, Mich., was honored by Capital Arbor of Gleaner Life Insurance Society for community service.
1976 Cooley Class Jenkins, Jon K., 68, of Mason, Mich., died March 8, 2014.
Stine,Arthur D., 71, of Delta Township,
Mich., died May 8, 2012. Thelen, Carl, 84, of Lake, Mich., and Estero, Fla., died Feb. 13, 2014. Uridge, Bruce G., 71, died March 31, 2014 after a long illness. He was an attorney in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he also specialized in mediation. He semi-retired in 2009 and fully retired in 2014.
1977 Graves Class Vogl, Jack, 63, of Williamston, Mich.,
died Dec. 25, 2013.
1979 Clark Class Betz, Larry R., of Phoenix,Ariz., died
April 29, 2013.
1980 Potter Class Rosenzwieg,Alexander, 59, of
Hartford, Conn., died Dec. 7, 2012.
1980 Bushnell Class Librizzi, Richard A., 77, of Holt, Mich., died Dec. 9, 2013.
1981 Long Class Williams, JoAnne Elaine, 80, of Haslett, Mich., died April 23, 2013.
1984 McAlvay Class McCann, Scott J., 56, of Fenton, Mich.,
and Green Valley,Ariz., died May 25, 2013.
1985 Morell Class Lynch,Timothy M., 64, died Dec. 31,
2013, in Saginaw, Mich.
1985 Whipple Class
Hendry III, William F., of Northport, Mich., died Jan. 17, 2014.
1989 D. Johnson Class Teyson, Marsha J., 62, of Sault Ste.
Marie, Mich., died June 15, 2013. Wiggins, Mary, 79, died Jan. 30, 2014. Mary's career path included positions with the Muskegon County Department of Social Services, the Muskegon Civil Rights Commission, General Telephone, Every Women's Place, and the Muskegon County Circuit Court.
1991 Lawrence Class James Jr., Roderick Z., 64, of Detroit,
Mich., died Aug. 10, 2013
1992 Montgomery Class Band, Elizabeth L., 48, died Aug. 30, 2013. 1994 Ostrander Class Goldstein, Melissa Roselle, of Ann Arbor, Mich., died Nov. 8, 2013.
1996 Moody Class Gray, Jack, 45, of Birmingham, Mich.,
died June 15, 2013.
1997 Voelker Class Ostrowski, Joseph T., 46, of Cleveland, Ohio, died March 21, 2013.
2002 Paterson Class
Krieger, Frederick A., of Auburn Hills, Mich., died Aug. 22, 2013.
2003 Swainson Class Byrne, Frederick D., 49, of Big Rapids,
Mich., died Feb. 13, 2013. His career included positions as a police officer in Dowagiac, assistant to the city attorney in Big Rapids, and as a solo practitioner with Big Rapids Area Legal Services.
2003 Smith Class Harrant, Brian J., 40, of DeWitt, Mich.,
died July 29, 2013. He was an attorney with Auto Owners in Lansing, Mich.
2004 Needham Class Warren,Wesley, former chair of the
Criminal Justice and Homeland Security program at SUNY-Broome, died Feb. 9, 2014. He was a professor at the college for nearly eight years.
2006 Fitzgerald Class (LL.M.) Sharon, Marvin, 65, of Bloomfield
Hills, Mich., died Jan. 6, 2014.
2009 Riley Class Friedman, Julius, 34, of Quincy, Mass., died July 3, 2013.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY As part of Cooley’s commitment to environmental sustainability, Benchmark Column is printed on an environmentally friendly paper helping to reduce our carbon footprint. BENCHMARK COLUMN | JUNE 2014 | VOLUME 6 | NUMBER 1
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