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John Engler, Leading in Business Creation Growing up on a 500-acre farm in central Michigan is fields away from leading one of the country’s most influential business organizations. But for John Engler (Wing Class, 1982), making the leap from agriculture to politics was easy. Engler, the current president of Business Roundtable and former Michigan governor, earned his Juris Doctor in 1982, but his long standing career in politics did not begin there.

Q& A With New Jersey State Senator Nicholas Scutari

Professionalism Advisory Committee

Cooley sits down for a Q&A with Nicholas P. Scutari (Moore Class, 1993), attorney and New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman

Cooley Law School brought together nearly 60 leaders in the legal and higher education fields for the school’s inaugural Professionalism Advisory Committee meeting.


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As summer comes to a close and Cooley starts the fall term, I thought this would be a good time to remind you that Cooley Law School is celebrating its 40th year. In 1972, a group of lawyers and judges led by then-Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Thomas E. Brennan founded the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. They named the school for Thomas McIntyre Cooley, Michigan’s greatest jurist and a legal scholar whose 19th century works are still cited today. In January 1973, Cooley welcomed its first class of students. As you will read in this issue, life-size statues of Thomas M. Cooley were dedicated at the Grand Rapids, Lansing and Auburn Hills campuses. In October, we will be dedicating a fourth at the Ann Arbor campus, followed by a fifth statue at Tampa Bay’s campus in the future. There could be no better way to begin Cooley’s 40th year than to dedicate these sculptures to honor our namesake and provide our faculty, staff, and students with a reminder of the school’s guiding principles. It was especially fitting that Judge Brennan came to unveil the sculpture with President Don LeDuc at the Lansing ceremony. As part of Cooley’s 40th anniversary celebration, we invite you to share your photos throughout the years and put your favorite Cooley memories in writing by emailing me at

Also in this issue, we tell the stories of two Cooley graduates who have climbed the ladder of political success and a more recent graduate who is dipping her toes in politics and advocacy. I want to thank Michigan’s former three-term governor, John Engler, for taking time to allow us to share his story with all of you. Some of you may also know Nicholas Scutari. He is currently chairman of the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee, and he graciously answered our questions. We are very proud of Jessica Gonzalez’ accomplishments. Chosen to participate in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, she also recently completed an internship at the White House and is now the Voter Protection Director for an advocacy group in Nevada. I hope you enjoy this issue. Please keep in touch with us.

James D. Robb, Associate Dean of Development and Alumni Relations –

CooLey gradUateS and faCULty admItted to the U.S. SUpreme CoUrt

expertS gather for InaUgUraL profeSSIonaL advISory CommIttee meetIng

Each year, Cooley Law School organizes a group admission ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court. On April 16, 2012, James D. Robb, Cooley’s associate dean of development and alumni relations, made the motion for the admission of 10 Cooley alumni and faculty members before the Supreme Court justices. Chief Justice John Roberts presided over the ceremony and welcomed the group to the bar upon granting the motion.

Cooley Law School brought together nearly 60 leaders in the legal and higher education fields for the school’s inaugural Professionalism Advisory Committee meeting, held on July 13 at the Henry Ford Museum’s Lovett Hall in Dearborn, Mich. The objective was to identify professionalism issues that impact the practice of law and to create a dialogue on ways to improve and promote professionalism in legal education. The committee’s efforts will result in recommendations for Cooley to consider in its professionalism programming for the next decade.

Before entering the courtroom, the Cooley group was greeted by Gen. William K. Suter, the clerk of the court, who presented a history of the court and a summary of the case to be argued to the Court following the motion. After watching oral arguments, members of the group went on a special tour of the U.S. Capitol arranged by Professor Garretson. Later that evening, 40 Cooley Washington, D.C.-area alumni and guests assembled at the famous Clyde’s of Gallery Place, located in the heart of Washington’s Chinatown and the revitalized areas of Penn Quarter. The next Cooley U.S. Supreme Court admission ceremony is scheduled for Monday, April 15, 2013. Contact if you would like to be admitted. Participation is limited.

Edward H. Pappas, chairman of Dickinson Wright PLLC and former State Bar of Michigan president (2008-2009), serves as the chair for the advisory committee. Committee members include heads of Michigan law firms, presidents of Michigan colleges, judges, bar association presidents, and past chairs of the ABA Committee on Professionalism and the national Consortium on Professionalism Initiatives. “We are at a critical time in our professionalism programming, after implementing the professionalism plan we adopted in 2002 that was recognized in 2006 by the American Bar Association as one of the best among the nation’s law schools,” said Amy Timmer, associate dean of students and professionalism at Cooley. “We are hoping this committee will help us discover new ways we can improve our current professionalism programming.” Dennis Archer, former Michigan Supreme Court justice, Detroit mayor (1994-2001) and ABA president (2003-2004), delivered the keynote address.

Admitted (front row from left), Cooley Associate Professor Monica Nuckolls, Cooley Associate Professor Tammy Asher (Moore Class, 1993), Cooley Alumni Association Vice President Helen M. Haessly (Cushing Class, 2000), Nathan A. Dodson (Boyles Class, 2005). (Back row from left) Chantelle R. Neumann, (Fisher Class, 2007),Angela S.Veda (Fisher Class, 2007), Cooley Associate Professor Michael McDaniel, Cooley Associate Professor Heather Garretson, former U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (Dethmers Class, 1981), and Samuel J. Finnessey, Jr., (Cushing Class, 2000).

CooLey and davenport UnIverSIty enter Into a dUaL-degree partnerShIp Cooley Law School and Davenport University recently signed an agreement providing eligible students the opportunity to obtain a dual Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The dual degree partnership program is offered at the Lansing campuses of each institution. Students interested in the JD/MBA program must meet the established admission criteria at each school. Cooley students may begin taking classes in Davenport’s MBA program after successfully completing at least one year of Cooley courses. Davenport students may begin in Cooley’s JD program after successfully completing the initial year of the MBA course work at Davenport University. A maximum of nine credit hours may be accepted for transfer from Cooley to Davenport and a maximum of six credit hours may be accepted for transfer from Davenport to Cooley. Pictured (left to right) Dr. Richard J. Pappas, Davenport University president; Dr. Linda Rinker, Davenport executive vice president for academics and provost; Dr. Larry Polselli, Davenport executive vice president for enrollment and student development; Ann Wood, Cooley associate dean of planning, programs and assessment; Charles Cercone, Cooley associate dean of faculty; and Don LeDuc, Cooley president and dean.

ALUMNI DATABASE The user name will always remain the word alumni. The password changes each term and will be disclosed in issues of Benchmark and Benchmark Column. Please call the Alumni Relations Office at (800) 243-ALUM (in the Lansing area, call 517-371-5140, ext. 2038), or e-mail if you have any problems. BENCHMARK COLUMN | SEPTEMBER 2012 | VOLUME 4 | NUMBER 3


Professor Joseph Kimble’s latest book documents the untold savings possible if government, business, and the legal profession replaced their forbidding, verbose, unclear writing with plain language. In Writing for Dollars,Writing to Please:The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law, Kimble demonstrates the benefits of clear writing through 50 case studies, such as the $4.4 million the Veterans Benefits Administration saved by revising just one letter to millions of veterans.

Professor Chris Trudeau

Professor Toree Randall

Professor Bradley Charles

Professor Mark Cooney

Kimble’s career-long advocacy for the use of plain language has earned awards and professional recognition around the world. Kimble has been named a “Plain English Champion” by the Plain English Campaign in England, won the first Plain Language Association International Award and won a lifetime-achievement award from the Association of American Law School’s Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. Twice, Kimble has received the most prestigious national award in legal writing – the Burton Award for Legal Achievement.

CooLey LaW SChooL dedICateS bronze SCULptUreS of JUStICe thomaS m. CooLey Thomas M. Cooley Law School held formal unveilings and dedication ceremonies for bronze castings of Thomas M. Cooley, the school’s namesake, at its Grand Rapids, Lansing and Auburn Hills campuses. The lifelike sculptures were created by Grand Rapids, Mich., sculptor and artist Matt Large. “Cooley Law School was founded in 1972 by a group of lawyers and judges led by then-Chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Thomas Brennan,” said Don LeDuc, Cooley Law School president and dean. “The school was named for Thomas McIntyre Cooley, Michigan’s greatest jurist, a man whose work in the mid-1800s as justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and as a legal scholar is still cited today. The dedication of this sculpture is our way of honoring our namesake and providing our faculty, staff, and students with a constant reminder of the school’s guiding principles.” Justice Brennan attended the ceremony at the Lansing campus. At the Grand Rapids campus, a companion statue, The Beneficiary, stands close to the Cooley statue’s outstretched hand as if Justice Cooley is extending help to an individual down on his luck.

CooLey profeSSor reCeIveS fULbrIght SChoLarShIp

WrItIng WIth pUrpoSe Several members of Cooley’s research and writing department had the opportunity to speak during two national conferences this spring. Professors Mark Cooney, Chris Trudeau, Bradley Charles, and Toree Randall each presented during the 15th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute, in Palm Desert, Calif. Professor Trudeau and Professor Joseph Kimble spoke during the fifth international conference of Clarity, which was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. That conference was co-hosted by Scribes – The American Society of Legal Writers and the Center for Plain Language. During the Legal Writing Institute conference, Cooney gave practical teaching tips to an audience of new writing professors. Professors Charles and Randall presented on teaching law students a research process that transcends media. Professor Trudeau spoke about his research on the public’s preferences for attorney communication, emphasizing the need for plain language.

Professor Paul Carrier

Professor Joseph Kimble

profeSSor JoSeph KImbLe maKeS the CaSe for pLaIn LangUage In hIS LateSt booK

Cooley Professor Paul Carrier has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach international law at the University of Belgrade in Serbia during the 2012-2013 academic year. This will be Carrier’s second Fulbright Scholarship. In 1996-1997 he was a Senior Teaching Scholar in the Slovak Republic. He continues to assist the Fulbright Commission in the Slovak Republic by advising on study projects in various areas of the law. Before joining Cooley, Carrier worked as an associate in international corporate law with Lovells in Prague where he worked on mergers and acquisitions and international distribution agreements, among other specialties. He also was an associate in international corporate with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP, in its Bratislava, Slovakia office. His practice concentrated on mergers and acquisitions, international syndicated financing issues, anti-monopoly authority filings, company establishment, and other general corporate issues. Carrier now teaches Property, European Union Law and Advanced Practice Skills-International at Cooley’s Lansing campus.

Faculty Briefs Tammy Asher, Associate Professor Attended, the 15th Biennial Legal Writing Institute Conference in Palm Desert, Calif., May 29-June 2, 2012. Taught, a legal writing course for the College Prelaw Summer Institute, June 13-June 25, 2012. Serving, as chair of the Law-Related Education Committee for the Oakland County Bar Association. Ron Bretz, Professor Spoke, Aug. 9, at the Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, Mich., to the Michigan District Judges Association on his Criminal Caselaw Update. Spoke, Aug. 20, at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich., to circuit court judges at the Michigan Judges Association annual meeting. Mark Cooney, Professor Spoke, on persuasive writing at the 2012 Young Lawyers Summit, sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar, in Detroit, Mich. Spoke, on teaching tips for new legal writing professors at the Legal Writing Institute’s 2012 Biennial Conference, in Palm Desert, Calif. Published, an article titled “Acronymonious,” in the July issue of the Michigan Bar Journal. Patrick Corbett, Professor Authored, “The Future of the Fourth Amendment in a Digital Evidence Context: Where Would the Supreme Court Draw the Electronic Line at the International Border?” in 81 Miss. L. Journal 1263 (2012). Spoke, on June 27, 2012, on “Statutory Overview – Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act,” for the Visiting International Professional Program at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. Spoke, on June 20, 2012, on “The Future of the Fourth Amendment in a Digital Evidence Context: Where Would the Supreme Court Draw the Electronic Line at the International Border?” for the 2012 Great Lakes InfraGard Conference, at Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Spoke, on June 19, 2012, on “Cyberspace Minefields,” at Southwestern Michigan College, in Dowagiac, Mich. Spoke, on May 11, 2012, on “Michigan Cybercrimes and Teens,” to the Top of Michigan Probate Judges Association, in Gaylord, Mich. Interviewed, on April 25, 2012, on “Use of Deadly Force by a Private Resident of Michigan,” by WILX-TV, in Lansing, Mich. Spoke, on April 16, 2012, on “Cyberspace Minefields,” at the Oakland County Bar Association Youth Law Conference, at the Management Education Center in Troy, Mich. Participated, on April 16, 2012, on a panel about “Legal Professionals,” at the Oakland County Bar Association Youth Law Conference, at the Management Education Center, in Troy, Mich. Participated, on March 21, 2012, on a panel about “Social Media,” to the Student Advisory Board at Cooley Law School’s Ann Arbor campus. Moderated, on March 16, 2012, “Cyber Safety Laws and Best Practices for Educational Leaders,” for the Washtenaw County Cyber Citizenship Coalition, at Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, Mich.

CooLey’S ann arbor CampUS reCeIveS fULL aba approvaL The American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, has granted full approval to Cooley Law School’s Ann Arbor, Mich., campus. The Council determined that Cooley’s Ann Arbor campus is in full compliance with ABA standards and granted both provisional and full approval simultaneously. “We are pleased that the Council saw fit to grant both provisional approval and full approval at the same time,” said Cooley President Don LeDuc. “The ABA’s stepped-up approval reflects the ABA’s confidence in Cooley and the outstanding work of Ann Arbor Associate Dean Joan Vestrand and her dedicated faculty and staff.”

With Ann Arbor’s approval, all four of Cooley’s Michigan campus locations – including Lansing, Auburn Hills and Grand Rapids – have achieved full ABA approval status. Cooley Law School remains one institution now with five locations. The newest campus opened in Tampa Bay, Fla., in May 2012 with 111 students, and operates with the council’s acquiescence. In recommending approval, the Council’s accreditation committee noted the diversity of Cooley’s student body (29 percent minority) and faculty (21 percent minority), Cooley’s clinical programs and externship placement sites, the wide variety of pro bono opportunities for the Ann Arbor students, and the quality of Cooley’s teachers, staff, and facilities.

“I am so proud of the way Ann Arbor has embraced Cooley and our students and welcomed us into its courtrooms, law firms, businesses, and the community,” said Associate Dean Vestrand. “It is an honor to have the council recognize our efforts in providing great legal education and public service.” The Council is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the accrediting agency for the nation’s law schools.

“ We are pleased that the council saw fit to grant both provisional approval and full approval at the same time. the aba’s approval reflects the outstanding work of ann arbor associate dean Joan vestrand and her dedicated faculty and staff.” Don LeDuc, Cooley Law School President

Spoke, on March 14, 2012, on “A Review of Michigan Cyber Crime Laws – Cyberbullying, Sexting & Other High Tech Crimes,” at the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools Public Policy Day, in Okemos, Mich. Spoke, on March 10, 2012, at the Thomas M. Cooley Journal of Practical and Clinical Law Annual Banquet, in Lansing, Mich. Spoke, on March 8, 2012, on “Cyberbullying, Sexting and Other High-Tech Crimes Involving Michigan Teens,” for Foster Parent Training at Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, in Lansing, Mich. Spoke, on Feb. 28, 2012, on “Cyber Law and You,” for Federal Youth Law Day, at the Ford Presidential Library, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Spoke, on Feb. 24, 2012, on “Introductory Overview of Issues Presented: Cyber Pornography & Obscenity Prosecutions,” to the Thomas M. Cooley Journal of Practical and Clinical Law, in Lansing, Mich. Spoke, on Feb. 1, 2012, on “A Review of Michigan Cyber Crime Laws – Cyberbullying, Sexting & Other High-Tech Crimes,” at the Michigan State University School of Journalism, in East Lansing, Mich.

Continued on Following Page >



Jason Eyster, Associate Professor


Elected, co-chair of the Michigan Coalition for Refugee and Immigrant Rights, an umbrella organization representing the state’s immigrant rights groups and agencies. Mentored, students at Ypsilanti High School (Michigan) as they prepared for the regional Distributive Education Clubs of America, Inc., (DECA) Competition. Participated, in the Michigan Special Immigrant Juvenile Roundtable at Michigan State University, an organization he founded five years ago. Lectured, on the paths of citizenship at the 16th Dia de la Mujer Conference. Lectured, on changing standards of asylum regulation in common law countries at Kyushu University Law School in Fukuoka, Japan. Spoke, at the monthly meeting of Barrier Busters at Ypsilanti Library, to 60 area social workers about current immigration issues affecting Washtenaw County residents. Published, “Searching for the Key in the Wrong Place: Why ‘Common Sense’ Credibility Rules Consistently Harm Refugees,” 30 Boston University International L. Journal 1 (2012). Edited, Immigration Practice Pointers, published annually by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. organized, and led an immigration information session at Beautiful Gate Church in Ypsilanti, Mich.

John EnglEr


Interviewed, on immigration issues for a half-hour broadcast on SWOCC network, cablecast in the cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, and Novi., Mich.

Growing up on a 500-acre farm in central Michigan is fields away from leading one of the country’s most influential business organizations. But for John Engler (Wing Class, 1982), making the leap from agriculture to politics was easy.

Heather Garretson, Associate Professor Published, a chapter in the recently published book Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction. Presented, a paper regarding innovative teaching ideas that was the result of collaborative research with fellow Cooley professors Tonya Krause-Phelan, Jane Siegel, and Kara Zech Thelen. The paper, The Idea SwapMeet, details the 80 innovative ideas the group created, discussed and implemented. This paper was presented at the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning’s summer conference, Value of Variety/ Reflecting on Our Teaching, at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Wash., in June 2012. Accepted, for presentation, her abstract, “I Paid My Debt But Can’t Pay My Rent: The Devastating Economic Consequences of a Criminal Conviction,” at the University of Wisconsin Law School’s Midwest Law and Society Retreat held in September 2012. Published, an article, “Sales Pass Activity,” outlining how to incorporate professionalism and community service into class by using passes, in Law Teacher, Spring 2012 publication. Joseph Kimble, Professor Spoke, at Clarity’s Fifth International Conference, in Washington, D.C. Clarity is an international association promoting plain legal language, and Kimble is a past president. He talked about his new book, Writing for Dollars,Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law, and he also gave a presentation on legal drafting. Quoted, extensively in national media (including MarketWatch) on the evidence in his new book that using plain language could save businesses and government millions — even billions — of dollars. Spoke, at his college reunion (Amherst College) about his work redrafting the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Evidence. Interviewed, for a podcast on Health Literacy Out Loud. Presented, a session on editing for the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review. Completed, work on volume 14 of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing. Kimble has served as the editor in chief for seven volumes, and served as the managing editor for three volumes before that. Tonya Krause-Phelen, Associate Professor Collaborated, with professors Heather Garretson, Jane Siegel, and Kara Zech Thelen during the Hilary 2012 term to create and implement new teaching ideas. The collaboration resulted in a paper, The Idea SwapMeet, detailing the 80 innovative ideas the group created, discussed and implemented. Presented, The Idea SwapMeet, along with Associate Professor Jane Siegel and Assistant Professor Kara Zech Thelen, at the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning’s summer conference, Value of Variety/Reflecting on Our Teaching, on June 25-26, 2012 at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Wash. Continued on Following Page >

Engler, the current president of Business Roundtable (BRT) and former Michigan governor, earned his Juris Doctor in 1982, but his long-standing career in politics didn’t begin there. “When I began my career in the legislature, Cooley didn’t exist,” said Engler. “It wasn’t until years later that I decided to pursue a legal education, and I’m grateful that I did. My education from Cooley has given me an irreplaceable skill set that has been an asset to my career as both governor and president of BRT.” EARLy BEGINNINGS

In 1968, Engler, a sophomore at Michigan State University (MSU) studying agricultural economics, helped his father run for state representative. Little did he know, his father’s campaign would be the spark that would ignite his passion for politics. “It was the first campaign I ever worked on, and even though it was a losing effort, I was fascinated by it,” said Engler. Two years later, after hours spent alternating between school work and working alongside a friend to determine what it would take to win a campaign, the 22-year-old MSU senior ran for the same legislative seat he helped his father campaign for in 1968. But this time, Engler himself won. “The campaign plan was written with someone else in mind, someone a bit older and with more experience,” said Engler. “But it was also a plan I felt would work for me. So I tried, and with hard work, a bit of luck, and a margin of 160 votes, I won. It was amazing.” Engler may have begun his long-standing political career as a senior in college serving in the Michigan House of Representatives, but that’s not where he had imagined his future would take him. “I grew up on a farm, and a degree in agricultural economics seemed like the best choice,” said Engler. “I figured that’s where my future was heading, but the opportunities my coursework provided me, coupled with helping my father run for office, took me in another direction entirely.” MoVING FoRWARD

After serving as state representative through the course of four terms, Engler decided to shift his focus to the Michigan State Senate. In 1979, he was elected state senator and began the first of three four-year terms.While serving in the Senate, Engler met long-time friends Dennis Koons and Carol Viventi who were getting ready to start their education at Cooley in January. Engler decided to join them. “I remember talking with then-President Thomas E. Brennan about


“Cooley has made it possible for nontraditional students to obtain a law degree. If you go back to the foundation of Cooley, there were a lot of nontraditional students who wouldn’t have achieved a legal education without the flexibility Cooley continues to offer. I was one of them.”

how to enroll. He told me I had to take the Law School Admission Test. I had no idea what that was at the time, but I took it, got admitted and started a semester after Koons and Viventi in May,” said Engler. The eight, 15-week, credit-loaded terms Engler endured to catch up with his pals while juggling committee meetings, strategy sessions and serving full-time in the State Senate paid off. He graduated in 1982, a term early, alongside Koons, Viventi, and the rest of the Wing Class. “It was fun,” said Engler. “We had a few classes together, and we studied together. We’re still good friends today.” GoVERNING MICHIGAN

Though he began his time in the Senate in the Republican minority, by 1984, the Republicans had become the majority, and Engler was elected Senate Majority Leader. He held the leadership position until 1990 when he became the first sitting legislator to be elected Michigan governor in more than 100 years. As Michigan’s 46th governor, Engler had a hand in reforming Michigan’s education policies, including the creation of the Michigan Merit Award, a $2,500 scholarship for college or training awarded to each graduating high school senior whose Michigan Educational Assessment Program scores registered proficient or higher in reading, writing, science, and math. Other highlights from Engler’s three terms as governor include multiple tax reductions, helping nearly 300,000 families achieve independence from welfare and reducing welfare rolls by nearly 70 percent, restoring Michigan’s AAA credit rating, and lowering Michigan’s unemployment rate from 9 percent to 3.4 percent. “I’ve always believed that big things matter the most, like education, tax burdens and the business climate,” said Engler. “It is important that working people see the connection between government and public policy.” BUSINESS LEADERSHIP

In 2004, Engler was appointed president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) after a year’s service as president of the State and Local Government Sector of Electronic Data Systems. In 2010, after six and a half years with NAM, Engler was appointed president of BRT, an association of more than 200 chief executive officers from leading U.S. companies. These CEOs’ companies generate more than $6 trillion in annual revenues and employ more than 14 million people, while also accounting for more than 50 percent of the research and development conducted in the nation’s private sector. The goals of BRT are simple: to educate the public and policymakers on the importance of business in the formation of public policy and to help expand economic opportunities in America.

“We recently published Taking Action for America, a plan designed by our CEOs to increase workforce and economic growth,” said Engler. The plan, which is divided into three main categories, addresses, among other things, what the CEOs believe needs to be done to maintain and improve American global leadership, education, trade, technology, and fiscal policy. “There’s a lot of trouble in our economy right now,” said Engler. “If you start fixing these problems, you start fixing the U.S. economy.” LooKING BACK

Remarking on his fulfilling career, Engler attributes a large part of his success at BRT to his education at Cooley. “In one meeting we’re talking about tax laws and the next we’re talking about everything from corporate governance to trade laws and financial regulations,” he said. “To have an understanding of what a law was intended to do and what the legal rationale is behind it is very beneficial in my line of work.” Looking back, that isn’t the only reason Engler appreciates Cooley. “There’s no question that Cooley has had a profound effect on democratizing the law,” said Engler. “In other words, Cooley has made it possible for nontraditional students to obtain a law degree. If you go back to the foundation of Cooley, there were a lot of nontraditional students who wouldn’t have achieved a legal education without the flexibility Cooley continues to offer. I was one of them.” Just as his legal training has helped him through his career, so has his family. “My father spent 20 years on the local school board, and education was something he valued,” said Engler. “He always wished he could attend MSU. He even enrolled and completed a short course in agriculture, but he was needed at home and couldn’t attend full-time. Going to college was huge for me; just as it is for my girls today.” Triplet daughters Margaret, Madeleine and Hannah are getting ready to finish their last year of high school while his wife, Michelle, spends most of her time trying to keep up with them. “Michelle has about five jobs as far as I can tell. She’s a fulltime volunteer and mother and a part-time chauffeur. She also serves on the Jackson Variable Annuity Board for Jackson Life Insurance. She’s an amazing woman; all four of my ‘girls’ are.” When asked how he feels about the impact his career has had, Engler answered, “I grew up on a farm raising cattle and harvesting crops. I never imagined I’d one day run for office, let alone be successful in office. I’ve always tried to operate by the philosophy of taking on responsibility when there’s an opportunity to do so. If you work hard and remain honest in your dealings with people, you’ll go far, and that has served me well.”


Tonya Krause-Phelen, Associate Professor (Continued) Attended, the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning’s summer conference, Value of Variety/Reflecting on Our Teaching on June 25-26, 2012, at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Wash. Created, along with Professor Victoria Vuletich, a new two-credit elective, Ethics in Criminal Law. Professors Krause-Phelan and Vuletich will begin teaching the new course in January 2012.

Nicholas Scutari

Q&A Q&A with New Jersey State Senator and Attorney

Hosted, Summer Skills Camp-Season Two, an informal, voluntary and not-for-credit session designed to introduce students to the Mock Trial Board (MTB) at the Grand Rapids campus and to provide students with the opportunity to learn some of the basic trial skills necessary to be competent and effective trial advocates. Hosted, auditions for the national trial team, which will participate and compete in the National Trial Advocacy Competition hosted by Michigan State University College of Law on October 25-28, 2012. Donna McKneelen, Assistant Professor Testified, in May 2012, before the State of Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee on the need for wrongful conviction compensation and in support of Senate Bill 61. Attended, in June 2012, the Innocence Project Policy Conference in New Orleans.

Q. What influenced your decision to attend law school, and why did you choose Cooley? A. I was always interested in law as a career in advocacy for individuals with problems and issues. Although I began my graduate school studies in the field of psychology and attained my master’s degree in counseling psychology, I then turned my attention to the law. Because of Cooley’s enrollment program, I was able to begin Cooley in January of 1991 when the other schools that accepted me required me to wait until the following September. Allowing me to start earlier was one of the factors that influenced my decision to attend Cooley. Q. Following law school, you were elected to the Linden Board of Education in your hometown. Why was it important for you to get involved with this board, and how did it lead you to other elected positions? A. My election to the Linden Board of Education was the most important election in my career. Not only was it helpful for me to get involved more intimately with the community where I grew up, but it also gave me a fresh perspective on educational and finance issues as well as property taxes. Without the success of that election, I would never have been able to attain a position on the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders or the New Jersey State Senate. Had that election turned out in a different way and I had not been elected, that may have spelled the end of my elected career. Fortunately, I won with an impressive vote total, and that really springboarded me to other positions. Q. You are an advocate for quality education and have supported a number of pieces of legislation that would provide funding and expand programs to ensure that New Jersey citizens receive the high quality education they deserve. Why is this important for the individuals you serve, and what programs have been expanded? How have these programs helped New Jersey’s quality of education? A. The quality of our K-12 and higher education here in New Jersey, as well as anywhere else in the country, is of paramount importance. To not educate individuals at an affordable cost certainly would have a negative impact on our economy. Having a qualified and employable workforce is one of the major factors in having a robust economy. Q. As a state senator, one of your priorities is having a fair, competent, and qualified judiciary in New Jersey. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, you oversaw the adoption of deeper vetting and scrutiny procedures for judicial nominees and reappointments. Why has this been a priority for you, and, to date, what are some of the positive outcomes from this deeper vetting process? A. Right from the get-go when I was first sworn into office, I was very interested in the vetting process for New Jersey state judges. Ensuring a

qualified and independent judiciary is one of the most important things that I can do as a senator and, now, as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We spend a lot of time screening, evaluating, and deciding who New Jersey’s judges will be. New Jersey, unlike other states, appoints judges through a nomination and advice and consent process. All New Jersey judges are nominated by the governor and must be confirmed by the New Jersey Senate through the Senate Judiciary Committee, which I chair. After a judge’s initial, seven-year appointment, they are eligible for lifetime tenure. Because of the enormity of the responsibility and the power that these judges have, it is extremely important to ensure their quality, integrity, and impartiality. Q. How has being an attorney prepared you for being a state senator? What made you decide to run for the Senate seat? A. I think being an attorney, especially a trial attorney, is excellent training to be in the state Senate, as it would be in many other endeavors. Having the ability to analyze facts and question individuals, especially as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is very helpful. I decided to run for senator in 2003 because of an unforeseen opening by my predecessor. At that time, I was a Union County Freeholder, which is a county legislator, and when the opportunity arose, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I was successful in that run. I have been re-elected twice since then. Q. You have proposed many bills that protect children. Explain why this type of legislation is important to you and the residents of New Jersey. A. Most legislation that we pass has an individual impact on the people we serve. In the case of Steven’s law, it requires kids to use wood bats at most youth baseball games in New Jersey. From 1991 to 2001, there were 15 kids killed from using composite or aluminum bats. Steven Domalewski from New Jersey was severely injured and left immobile and unable to talk. These newer composite bats create a dangerous force when the ball makes contact. The higher velocity puts players at risk when using these bats. It’s stories like this that I pay close attention to; we have to be careful of those impacts and think about the consequences and unintended consequences of any legislation. I take the writing and passing of laws very seriously and keep in mind the people I am elected to serve in order to try to improve the quality of their lives. Q. Talk about your law practice. How does your practice help those living in Linden, and how did your Cooley education help you begin your practice? A. I am certified as a civil trial attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, which indicates a certain level of experience and competence in the area of civil litigation. My practice focuses primarily on plaintiffs’ personal injuries, representing injured

people who have been hurt in motor vehicle accidents, falling down, or workplace incidents. We try to help individuals who have been injured receive medical treatment and compensation for their injuries. In addition, I am also the chief prosecutor in the city of Linden, where I grew up and continue to live. I hope that service helps the city of Linden. I credit my Cooley education for giving me a well-rounded exposure to a number of different areas of law. With that said, the Cooley education is not an easy one, and it certainly prepares you for the rough-and-tumble of the practice of law. When you get out of Cooley, you are battle-tested and ready to practice law. There is a level of competence that you get after graduating from a school like Cooley. It is a rigorous academic atmosphere. When I graduated, I was ready to take the bar exam and I passed the New Jersey and New York Bar exams on the first try. Q. Tell us how you are involved in the community and how community involvement has helped you in your legal profession and as a state senator. A. I grew up as a Boy Scout and achieved Eagle Scout status. I stayed involved with scouting for many years; it was very important to me. I grew up in the city of Linden. Recently I was named Man of the Year by the Linden Kiwanis Club. After I graduated from law school, I came back to my community and served on some boards prior to being elected to the Linden Board of Education. Q. Describe yourself in a few short words. A. I’d like to think that people think of me as a good person, a good guy who enjoys his career but also enjoys life. I think it is most important to enjoy what you do. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world to choose a career that I truly do love. Q. What do you do for fun and recreation? A. I enjoy boating on the Jersey shore and spending time with my family. I also enjoy an occasional game of golf. Q. What is your fondest Cooley memory? A. My fondest Cooley memory was winning the John D. Voelker award as the Law Review’s outstanding associate because it was recognition from my peers on the Law Review. That meant a great deal to me. I recently had the chance to go back and visit Cooley and was able to see the bronze plaque outside the law review with my name on it all these years later. Q. Do you have any advice for new Cooley graduates? A. Work hard, do the best you can, and when you graduate, feel free to reach out to other Cooley graduates; they know about the difficult, yet rewarding experience that Cooley Law School provided.

Spoke, in June 2012, to the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, in Harbor Springs, Mich. Attended, in July 2012, the State of Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee on the need for compensation for wrongfully convicted individuals and in support of Senate Bill 61. Nelson Miller, Associate Dean and Professor Published, the book chapter “Parties and Pre-suit Investigation,” in Michigan Civil Procedure, Second Edition (ICLE 2012), Kathleen A. Lang, Robert P. Young, Jr., and Jane M. Beckering, editors. Published, the book review, “Why the Law Is So Perverse,” in 15/1 J. Markets & Morality 251 (Spring 2012). Moderated, the panel, Nonprofit Legal Issues, at the Seeds to Success Conference at Grand Valley State University. Published, The Practice of Tort Law (Vandeplas Publishing Co. 3rd ed. 2010), co-authored with Paul T. Sorensen, Karen L. Chadwick, and Monica R. Nuckolls. Published, The Law, Principles, and Practice of Legal Ethics (Vandeplas Publishing Co. 2nd ed. 2012), co-authored with Victoria Vuletich. Monica Navarro, Associate Professor Sponsored, the creation of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Health Law Student Organization at the Auburn Hills campus. Hosted, the Health Law Section (HLS) of the Michigan Bar in the inaugural Auburn Hills event on the practice of healthcare law. Appointed, by the ABA’s Health Law Section, as vice-chair of its Publications Committee, where she will be the national liaison on fraud and abuse. Presented, at the ABA’s Ninth National Institute on the Civil False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement in Washington, D.C., where she shared a panel with State Attorneys General around the country to discuss state enforcement. Appointed, a member of the Planning Committee for the Annual Taxpayer’s Against Fraud Conference that takes place in Washington, D.C., in September 2012. Hosted, a lunch for the Council on Legal Education Opportunity Auburn Hills class on behalf of the State Bar of Michigan Health Law Section. Appointed, a member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan Candidate Elections Committee which evaluates the qualifications of candidates to public. Taught, a class on Legal Reasoning, for the Just the Beginning Foundation Program in Detroit, which is sponsored by Cooley Auburn Hills and the Hon. Victoria Roberts. Mentored, a high school student from the Just the Beginning Foundation Program and attended the mentoring reception hosted by Judge Roberts at the Theodore Levin Federal Courthouse in Detroit. Don Petersen, Professor Published, his 2012 Supplement to Reiley, Security Interests in Personal Property, 3rd Edition, (Thomson/ West 2000-2012). This is the sixth year that he has prepared the supplement for this treatise. Continued on Following Page > KNOWLEDGE. SKILLS. ETHICS. | COOLEY.EDU


Don Petersen, Professor (Continued) Spoke, at numerous radio stations to discuss sportsrelated legal topics, including an interview on the Gary and Steve morning show on WOOD-AM on July 23 to discuss the situation at Penn State. Marjorie Russell, Professor Coordinated, a trial skills training ‘think tank’ at the annual staff training retreat at the Trial Lawyers College in Laramie, Wyo., May 19-25, 2012. Presented, a paper on the use of betrayal stories in opening statement at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee Advanced Criminal Defense Seminar in Aspen, Colo., May 30-June 2, 2012. Served, on the training faculty for the Death Penalty College at the Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming, June 8-16, 2012. Taught, trial skills at week two of the three-week Trial College at the Trial Lawyers College in Laramie, Wyo., July 21-28, 2012. Coordinated, taught and presented on case preparation and voir dire at the 9th Annual Criminal Defense Trial College, co-sponsored by CDAM and Cooley, at the Lansing campus, Aug. 17-22, 2012. Devin Schindler, Professor Spoke, on WOOD Radio, on Corporations as Citizens, on May 25, 2012. Spoke, on WZZM-TV, on Previewing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Decision, on June 25, 2012. Spoke, on WZZM-TV, on Immigration Reform, on June 25, 2012. Interviewed, by the Grand Rapids Business Journal, on the PPACA decision, on June 28, 2012. Spoke, on WGVU-TV’s Newsmakers Program, on Healthcare Reform: Next Steps, on June 28, 2012. Spoke, on WZZM-TV, on Commentary on the Healthcare Decision, on June 28, 2012. Spoke, on WMMT-TV, on Commentary on the Healthcare Decision, on June 29, 2012 Spoke, on WZZM-TV, on Federal Jurisdiction over Indian Nations, on June 29, 2012. Spoke, on WOOD-AM, on Commentary on the Healthcare Decision, on June 29, 2012. Spoke, on WCW-TV, on Originalism and the PPACA Decision, on July 2, 2012. Amy Timmer, Associate Dean and Professor Named, one of 20 Women in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Ronald Trosty, Professor Presented, on Cooley’s Florida Service to Soldiers Legal Assistance Referral Program at the Florida Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Annual Presentation of Awards Ceremony held in Orlando, Fla., on June 22, 2012.

SAVE the DATE CoLUMBUS, oH Thursday, october 11, 2012 Networking Reception, 5:30-7:30 p.m. DALLAS,TX Tuesday, october 16, 2012 Networking Reception, 5:30-7:30 p.m. LANSING, MI Wednesday, october 24, 2012 Annual Meeting of the Alumni Association and Networking Reception following, 5:00-8:00 p.m. LoS ANGELES, CA Saturday, November 10, 2012 Networking Reception, 5:30-7:30 p.m. SEATTLE, WA Wednesday, November 14, 2012 Networking Reception, 5:30-7:30 p.m. BoSToN, MA Saturday, November 17, 2012 Networking Reception, 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Change. To say that Cooley graduate and Texas native Jessica Gonzalez (Woodbridge Class, 2010) has achieved a great deal in her young life would be an understatement. “When I was younger, I pursued a career in firefighting and law enforcement,” she said. “However, after an inspirational chat with a paramedic who supervised me in EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) school, I decided to go back to college and complete my degree.” After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington with a bachelor of arts in criminal justice, Gonzalez made a decision that would change the course of her career. “Following my graduation, I had every intention to return to law enforcement until I read a book that detailed the racial injustices that happen inside and outside the courtroom,” she said. “It was then that I realized I wanted to commit my life to using the law as a tool to help fight against racial and social injustices that, unfortunately, still exist.” Soon after beginning her search for the right law school, Gonzalez received a letter from Cooley about its Professional Exploration Program. She signed up for the week-long seminar that was about to lead her in a new direction. “I gained a valuable insight into what law school would be like through the Professional Exploration Program,” Gonzalez said. “I appreciated that Cooley offered such a program. I also loved how diverse the school was and that there were many opportunities to take leadership positions within student organizations. In the end, I felt it was the best school for me.” Summoning her courage and adventuresome spirit, Gonzalez packed her bags and left Texas to follow her dream in Lansing, Mich.

While at Cooley, Gonzalez balanced her studies with her work in the Office of Student Assistance and service as the president of the Hispanic Latino Law Society. When it came time to apply for an externship, she set her sights on Washington, D.C., and the Department of Justice. In January 2010, Gonzalez began work in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. While there, she learned of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), which was founded in 1978 by a small group of Hispanic members of Congress with the vision of bringing the promise of the American dream to the next generation of Latinos by developing their leadership skills. That mission got her attention. “I am a true Texan and wanted to work in my home state after law school,” she said. “But after my externship with the Department of Justice, I knew I wasn’t done getting what I needed to get out of D.C. I decided that I had to apply for a fellowship with the CHCI.” Following her graduation from Cooley, she returned home to Texas. Knowing the CHCI only admits one law fellow every year, Gonzalez got right to work on her application. It kept her busy, but she still found the time to study for the bar exam and work at a local law firm, Domingo Garcia. Several months later, she received some exciting news. “After months of preparation and two rounds of interviews, I was informed that I was granted entrance into the CHCI and would be returning to D.C. to work as the 2011-2012 Law Graduate Fellow,” she said. “And that same day, I found out that I had passed the bar exam. It was certainly an exciting time for me.”

Gonzalez’ experience as a CHCI fellow proved to be beneficial. “The graduate program included writing a white paper and arranging a policy conference on Capitol Hill around the topic. My policy conference was focused on the impact that new state voting laws would have on the Latino electorate,” she said. “Additionally, we had weekly programming that focused on professional development, public speaking and community service. Overall, it helped me to realize my true leadership potential and gave me a new sense of self-confidence.” With this newfound confidence, Gonzalez took a chance and applied for the prestigious White House Internship Program. After being accepted for the winter 2012 session, she was assigned to the Domestic Policy Council’s immigration policy team. In that position, she worked on research for the Senior Policy Advisor on Immigration, wrote memos on legislative issues and met with numerous political leaders to discuss policy and law. She also learned an important life lesson. “No matter how small you may think your job or task is, it is a part of something bigger than you,” she said. “So you have to find value in everything you do and do the best you can because someone will notice and the reward from that is invaluable.” Following the completion of her White House internship this past spring, Gonzalez moved to Nevada to focus on her new role as the state’s Voter Protection Director for Organizing for America-Nevada. In the future, she hopes to serve in the Texas legislature, open her own law practice and, possibly, start a community-based civil rights pro bono clinic. To achieve all of this would be quite the accomplishment, but Gonzalez’ track record proves she can do just about anything she puts her mind to.

“No matter how small you may think your job or task is, it is a part of something bigger than you. So you have to find value in everything you do and do the best you can because someone will notice and the reward from that is invaluable.” JESSICA GONZALEZ RITA JACKMAN AND JESSICA WALKER, CooLEy STUDENTS

Cooley Law School Names Alumni Distinguished Student Award Winners

Walker agreed. "Being recognized by the Alumni Association is such an incredible honor. I value the education and experience that Thomas M. Cooley Law School has given me, and getting this award for the Washington Class is something I will cherish for the rest of my career.”

Cooley Law School senior students Rita Jackman and Jessica Walker were honored with Cooley’s Alumni Distinguished Student Award at the school’s July 20 Honors Convocation in Lansing, Mich. Awarded three times a year since 1980, this award honors those graduating students who have displayed high standards throughout their law school careers.

Pamela Heos, director of Alumni and Donor Relations, praised the students and their work.

Past Alumni Association President Sharon Ellis (North Class, 1980) presented Jackman and Walker each with a gift of a frame to use with their upcoming diploma. Both outstanding women were nominated by their classmates and selected by the Alumni Association Executive Committee on their stellar academic record and service and student involvement while at Cooley.

Please RSVP for these events to The office of Alumni Relations at


Rita Jackman & Jessica Walker, Distinguished Student Award Recipients

Jackman and Walker were thrilled with the award. Jackman said, "Being a recipient of such a prestigious award reminds me of how thankful and lucky I am to soon call myself an alumni of the best law school in the country. I could not be more proud of myself, and the school that truly sets an example of what it means to uphold high ethical standards while giving those who deserve it an opportunity to fulfill their dreams."

“The Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Relations sincerely congratulates Rita and Jessica on their fine accomplishments. Both women are most deserving, and we are pleased to have selected two recipients this term. We know they will proudly display their Cooley diplomas in these elegant frames throughout their legal careers,” Heos said. Jackman, of Cape Coral, Fla., and Walker, of Glendora, N.J., both studied at Cooley’s Lansing campus.




On June 4, officials from Oakland County and the city of Auburn Hills gathered at Cooley’s Auburn Hills campus to celebrate the school’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for renovations to an existing structure and an addition. The campus was designed and constructed in collaboration with Rockford Construction and SHW Group Architects-Engineers. Renovations to the existing 68,227-square-foot building, previously owned by DaimlerChrysler Corporation, began in 2007. The building was opened to students in January 2008. A 64,518-square-foot addition was completed in 2009.

Three graduates of Thomas M. Cooley law school are among six attorneys recently honored by the national Legal Services Corporation (LSC) board of directors for their volunteer work with LSC-funded legal aid programs. Michael Stanley, a former business owner who attended law school after losing his sight; Elizabeth Joy Fossel, partner in the Grand Rapids, Mich. office of Varnum LLP; and the Hon. Angela Kay Sherigan, managing partner with Wojnecka & Sherigan and associate judge for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, were each recognized for their outstanding pro bono service. It is the first time in more than 15 years that LSC presented the awards to Michigan attorneys. “Michael Stanley, Elizabeth Fossel and Angela Sherigan are wonderful examples of attorneys willing to serve the communities they live in,” said James Robb, Cooley associate dean for development and alumni relations. “We are proud of what they have accomplished as attorneys and community leaders. They have set a great example for all current and future Cooley graduates.”

MICHAEL STANLEy began pro bono work with Legal Services of Eastern Michigan (LSEM) in 2011. He initially committed to volunteering for a sixmonth period at LSEM’s Flint, Mich. office for an average of 20 hours a week. After seeing the great need at LSEM and the importance of his pro bono work, he decided to stay on and has contributed more than 1,000 hours of pro bono service in the last year. He also took on senior citizen cases and then became very involved in the Center for Fair Housing.

ELIZABETH FoSSEL was nominated to receive this award by Legal Aid of Western Michigan. Since 1994 she has handled a variety of cases through the organization’s pro bono program. She has spent more than 1,500 hours (valued at more than $400,000) on cases for Legal Aid of Western Michigan. In 2011, Fossel accepted 11 cases from Legal Aid of Western Michigan and has taken on many cases requiring completion in short notice. In addition, if there are cases that she is unable to take, Fossel will find other attorneys willing to help.

HoN. ANGELA KAy SHERIGAN was nominated by the Michigan Indian Legal Services. She has provided pro bono assistance in the areas of child support, child custody and child welfare cases. For the past 10 years Judge Sherigan has volunteered her time and services to the Michigan Anishinaabek Cultural Preservation and Repatriation Alliance, an organization seeking to protect the human remains culturally related to the alliance of 13 Michigan Native American tribes.

LSC is the largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans. The nonprofit corporation promotes equal access to justice and provides grants for high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. LSC distributes nearly 95 percent of its total funding to 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs with more than 900 offices throughout the nation.

fIve CooLey gradUateS partICIpate In JUdge advoCate generaL’S offICer baSIC CoUrSe The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center recently held its 187th Officer Basic Course (OBC) for judge advocates in Charlottesville, Va. Of the 115 officers who participated in the ten-and-a-half week course, five were Cooley graduates, the most from a single law school. The OBC is the Army’s introductory course for judge advocates. Portions of the program were taught by Cooley graduate Major Shari Shugart (Sharpe Class, 1998). Pictured (left to right), during the 187th Officer Basic Course Blue’s reception, are Major Shugart, associate professor in criminal law for the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School; First Lieutenants Benjamin Strahm (Coleman Class, 2009); Ardalan Azad (Comstock Riley Class, 2009); Scott Basel (McAllister Class, 2005); Jimmine Haigler (Fisher Class, 2007); and Jeffrey Mock (Boston Class, 2007).

A SOLDOUT SUCCESS The 23rd annual Alumni Association Golf Benefit held for the Alumni Association Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Country Club of Lansing on June 18 was a sold-out success, raising $64,000 for the scholarship fund. The endowed Alumni Memorial Scholarship Fund has grown to a grand total of $400,000 since moving to the Country Club of Lansing. The event was the best ever, presenting a total of 152 golfers, resulting in the event surpassing its fund-raising goal. For more event photos and details see the alumni page on the Cooley website.

The scholarship is awarded based upon financial need, academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and other considerations. The generosity of the golfers and sponsors is greatly appreciated by the Alumni Association and Cooley’s students. The golfers enjoyed a bright blue sky with a mild breeze that was a welcome sight after an early morning torrential rain storm. Golfers were greeted at registration with bright and welcoming smiles of appreciation, followed by a superb luncheon served on the patio of the Country Club of Lansing. Upon completion of a day of golfing, a light dinner reception was held in the main dining room of the club where the awards ceremony was held. Charles Doolittle, John Monterusso, David Noe, Joel Hyde (1st Place Team)

The winner of the Cooley Cup, which is the team with the overall lowest score, consisted of alumni Charles Doolittle, David Noe, John Monterusso and Joel Hyde who shot a score of 60. The second place team, with a score of 61, consisted of alumni Mike Boyle, Joe Nelson, Jon Kohn, and Victor Chiodini. The third place team, with a score of 62, consisted of Dave Drayton, R. J. Brennan, Jr., Rick Delany, and Bill Schoettle. Charles Doolittle and Bev Suhrheinrich won awards for sinking the longest putts. Cindy Bowen and the Hon. Brent Danielson were closest to the pin off the tee, while the Hon. Laurie Michelson and Joe Arnold had the longest drives off the tee.

Joe Nelson, Jon Kohn, Mike Boyle, Victor Chiodini (2nd Place Team)

Bill Schoettle, Rick Delany, R. J. Brennan, Jr., Dave Drayton (3rd Place Team)

Jessica Schlemer, Karan Bhugra, Lauren Deutch, Christopher Atallah

Scott Diennes, Bill Somerville, Hon. Brent Danielson, President Don LeDuc

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Alumni Association wishes to thank our golfers, sponsors, and donors who made this event so successful and further invite everyone to attend the 24th Annual Alumni Memorial Scholarship Benefit on June 17, 2013. The association also wishes to give special thanks to the Rockford Companies of Grand Rapids for being the general event sponsor together with many partners and friends that made this event a success.



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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: 1976 Cooley Class Nolan, Lawrence P., has

been elected to the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners for a three-year term that expires at the close of the Bar’s 2015 annual meeting.The board provides oversight for the various operations of the State Bar. Nolan is president of Nolan,Thomsen & Villas, P.C. He is a past president of the Ingham County Bar Association, past chairman of the Ingham County Bar Foundation, and the longest-serving member of the Cooley Law School Board of Directors.

1977 Christiancy Class Manis, Paula, K., has joined the firm of Loomis, Ewert, Parsley, Davis & Gotting, P.C., as Of Counsel. She has practiced oil and gas law in Michigan since 1981, and also specializes in civil mediation and arbitration. She was recognized in 2008-2012 as a Best Lawyer in oil and gas law, and 20092012 as a Best Lawyer in mediation. In 2012, she received the Lawyer of the Year Award for arbitration in the Lansing, Mich., area from Best Lawyers. In 2011, she received the Top Lawyers Award from the American Lawyer. She is also recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV Preeminent Lawyer.

1977 Wiest Class Basha, Steven, was elected to serve as presiding judge of Yolo (California) Superior Court effective Sept. 15, 2012. He is the current assistant presiding judge and has been responsible for the day-to-day judicial oversight of the court since Jan. 1, 2012. 1980 Potter Class

1989 D. Johnson Class

2000 Jay Class

2008 Kavanagh Class

Riffe, Beth, has joined the

Coffey, Matthew, was named Swan Valley

Mendham, Robert, moved his practice into a

Cruz, Patricia, an attorney with the Danbury,

High School’s Class of 2012 Distinguished Alumni. He is an attorney with Fordney, Coffey & Moran. He spoke at Swan Valley’s commencement on June 4, 2012.

Conn.,-based law firm Ventura, Ribeiro & Smith, was elected to the Connecticut Trial Lawyer’s Board of Governors.

1990 Witherell Class

shared location with Eddie Spencer (O. Smith Class, 2003) at 406 Petoskey St., Petoskey, Mich. The attorneys specialize in criminal cases, Social Security disability claims, bankruptcy, divorce, custody, and family issues. Phone: (231) 348-7672.

Grand Rapids, Mich., firm of Rodenhouse Kuipers, P.C., as an associate. She specializes in wills and trusts.

Schwinn, Christina Harris, earned an

2000 Cushing Class

LL.M., her second, in employment law from John Marshall Law School on May 19, 2012. She earned her first LL.M. in real property land development and finance law from the University of Miami Graduate School of Law in 1991. She is a partner in the Pavese Law Firm, of Ft. Myers, Fla. Her primary practice areas are employment law, business transactions, community association law, and real estate law. Phone: (239) 336-6292; e-mail:

1992 Montgomery Class Joslin, Richard, was promoted to partner with the firm of Collins, Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff, P.C. He practices in the areas of medical malpractice defense and professional liability defense.

1994 Ostrander Class Godwin, Angeline, has been named president of Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville,Va. Most recently, she was a managing member of The Nicolette Company, in Hattiesburg, Miss. Previously, she served as president of Ashland Community and Technical College, in Ashland, Ky., 1997-2000; CEO and president of the Mississippi Technology Alliance and the Institute for Technology Development, in Jackson, Miss., 20002002, vice president for research and development at the University of Southern Mississippi, 20022004; and dean of arts and sciences at Jackson State Community College in Jackson,Tenn.

Scott,Troy A., was named director of human Platt, David M., an attorney with Henderson, resources for the Michigan Supreme Court,

Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., in Ft. Myers, Fla., was named to the 2012 Florida Super Lawyers List. His area of practice is estate planning and probate.

1980 North Class

Michigan Court of Appeals, and the State Court Administrative Office. He previously served as director of human resources and general counsel for Dean Transportation of Lansing, Mich.

Krause, Andrew J., an attorney with Hahn

1994 Person Class

Loeser & Parks LLP in southwest Florida, was named to the list of Florida Super Lawyers in estate planning and probate. He is board-certified by the Florida Bar as a specialist in wills, trusts and estates, and is chair of the Florida section of Hahn Loeser’s Trusts and Estates Group. He focuses his practice on family wealth transactions.

Lydecker, Richard, a senior partner at

1981 Long Class

Lydecker Diaz in Miami, Fla., was recognized by the city of Miami Beach for his dedication to the community. He is chairman of the Miami Dade Democratic Party, a board member on the Miami Downtown Development Authority, a member of the Federal Judicial Nominating Committee, and a board member for the yearround medical camp of Camp Boggy Creek.

Brignall, Robert D., was named to Strath-

1995 Bird Class

more’s Who’s Who Worldwide Edition for his outstanding contributions and achievements in the field of media. He is a writer for, an international online news provider. He is a retired appellate litigation attorney.

Housley, Diane, a financial advisor with Investment Professionals, Inc., was appointed Vice President of Monarch Investment Services. She will work out of the firm’s offices in Marshall and Coldwater, Mich.

1985 Morell Class

1995 Fead Class

Buscher, Daniel, is a Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Calhoun County, Mich. 1986 Mundy Class Cunningham, Janice K., a partner at Mallory, Cunningham, Lapka, Scott & Selin, P.L.L.C., in Lansing, Mich., was selected for the 2012 edition of the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.This registry is for women lawyers who have received the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards from their peers.The firm practices exclusively in the areas of family law and alternate dispute resolution.

1986 Sherwood Class Zucker, Craig E., a shareholder with Erman, Teicher, Miller, Zucker & Freedman, P.C., in Southfield, Mich., has been selected for inclusion in the 18th edition of The Best Lawyers in America 2012. His practice area concentrates on insolvency-related matters, representation of debtors and creditors, and commercial litigation.

1987 Morse Class Taft, Lynne, was elected to The Hurley Foundation Board of Directors.The foundation is a nonprofit organization created in 1993 to facilitate charitable fundraising for Hurley Medical Center. She is an attorney in Flint, Mich. 1987 Grant Class Winokur, Kim D., has joined the Elder Law Firm of Anderson Associates, in Marquette, Mich.

Stratton,Timothy A., an attorney with Gust Rosenfeld, in Phoenix, Ariz., has been appointed chairman of the city of Scottsdale, Ariz., Board of Adjustment. His law practice is focused on public finance and municipal law, and represents colleges, universities, special districts, cities, towns, and other units of local government in all matters related to the issuance of municipal securities.

1995 Kuhn Class Ford, Deirdre, has joined the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan as the Violence Against Women Project Training Attorney. She previously served as the manager of Regulatory Compliance at Oaklawn Hospital and, before that, was a senior assistant prosecuting attorney for 12 years with the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office. 1998 Sharpe Class Gilbreath, Rob, was named Wealth Management Advisor by Fifth Third Bank (Western Michigan). He is responsible for the bank’s Lansing, Mich., region, including Jackson, Flint, Saginaw, and Midland, Mich.

Goostrey, Daniel, was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to the 12th District Court in Jackson for a term ending Jan. 1, 2013. He was previously an attorney with Parker & Adams, P.C., since 2002.

Steinman, Mathew, has been named vice president, compliance officer, at Cross River Bank in Teaneck, N.J. E-mail: msteinman@

2001 Wilson Class Dismuke, David, a personal injury attorney with Burnetti, P.A., of Lakeland, Fla., has received board certification in Civil Trial. Certification is the highest level of evaluation by the Florida Bar regarding the experience and competency of the attorney’s area of law.

2002 T. Johnson Class Chartier, Mary, and her law partner Natalie Alane (Chase Class, 2002), gave a presentation on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act at the 2012 Michigan Judges Association Conference at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich. Alane & Chartier, P.L.C., is co-counsel on two cases at the Michigan Supreme Court involving medical marijuana.

2002 Paterson Class Willis, Shaun Patrick, of Willis Law, was selected as a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 40 Under 40. Willis Law has offices in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Paw Paw, Mich. 2002 Chase Class Alane, Natalie, and her law partner Mary Chartier (Johnson Class, 2002), gave a presentation on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act at the 2012 Michigan Judges Association Conference at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich. Alane & Chartier, P.L.C., is co-counsel on two cases at the Michigan Supreme Court involving medical marijuana. 2003 O. Smith Class Spencer, Eddie, moved his practice into a shared location with Robert Mendham (Jay Class, 2000) at 406 Petoskey St., Petoskey, Mich. The attorneys specialize in criminal cases, Social Security disability claims, bankruptcy, divorce, custody, and family issues. Phone: (231) 348-7672. 2003 Toy Class Musa, Majdel, was appointed by the Chicago City Council to the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. She is a Managing Attorney with Consumer Bankruptcy Center, P.C.

2006 Fitzgerald Class Beckham, J. Darrell, is head of the family law practice group at the Schiller Law Firm, in Rock Hill, S.C.

2007 Fisher Class Bower, Ross K. II, an attorney with Fahey, Schultz, Burzych Rhodes, P.L.C., in Okemos, Mich., was recognized by the board of directors of the Ingham County Bar Association as one of the Top 5 Attorneys Under 35 in Ingham County.

Brathwaite, Randy, is a principal of Brathwaite Law Firm, P.C., in New York City, New York. Randy, of Barbados, was the recipient of the 2011 Humanitarian Award presented by the Barbados Consul General in New York, and was recently profiled in Barbados Today.

2008 C.J. Adams Class Crandell, Patrick, has

2009 Riley Class Makulski, Steven, was promoted to principal in the Jackson, Mich., firm now named Anderson & Makulski, P.C. He is a transactional attorney with litigation experience in real estate and business law. 2010 Woodward Class Rodrigues, Ana, has joined the firm of Stein Sperling, of Rockville, Md., as an associate in the firm’s personal injury department. She handles serious and catastrophic injury cases.

Sayegh, Christina, has joined Trott & Trott, P.C., of Farmington Hills, Mich., as an attorney in the firm’s judicial foreclosure department.

Skory, Patrick, opened Skory Law Firm, P.L.L.C., 19 E. Central Ave., Ste. 6, in Pearl River, N.Y. He represents clients in general civil and criminal litigation while remaining Of Counsel to The Law Office of Lawrence A. Weissmann, Esq. Phone: (845) 418-6762; e-mail:

Stella, Lindsay, C., joined the law firm of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, L.L.C., in Wheaton, Ill., where she practices family law. She was appointed to Women and the Law Committee for the Illinois State Bar Association. She is also chair of the New Lawyers Committee in DuPage County.

Strickland, Gina L., has joined the Youngstown office of Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell. She will initially concentrate her practice on real estate matters for oil and gas clients. Ms. Strickland earned her LL.M. in Corporate Law and Finance at Cooley in September 2010.

2010 Witherell Class Booth, Brandon J., has joined Howard & Howard Attorneys, P.L.L.C., in the firm’s Royal Oak, Mich., office. He concentrates his practice in the areas of construction law and business transactions.

Purifoy, Jacquise, was named by U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke as his Community Grants Coordinator. She works with federal and state business and civic leaders to identify and implement small business and economic development initiatives in southeastern Michigan. She formerly worked with Rep. Clarke as his Chief Correspondent, responsible for orchestrating policy positions and legislative responses to constituents. Phone: (313) 962-7700; e-mail:

Rodenbo, Aaron, was hired by the Bay City, Mich., firm of Zimostrad, Zimostrad & Nichols. 2011 Chipman Class Beckley, Emily (Draper), has joined the Upper Sandusky, Ohio, firm of Stansbery, Schoenberger and Schreck as an associate attorney. She practices criminal defense and domestic relations law.

Collison, Nathan J., has joined the Saginaw, Mich., firm of Collison & Collison, as an associate. He represents the third generation of his family to practice law at the firm. He recently served as law clerk to the Hon. Richard Yuille, chief judge of the Genesee County Consolidated Courts.

Goodman, Hannah, joined the Law Office of Steven J. Tinti, in Crystal Falls, Mich.

Hauswirth, Jonathan, joined the Houghton, joined the Insurance CoverMich., law firm of Vairo, Mechline & Tomasi, age Practice Group of Collins, P.L.L.C. Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff, Holland, Adam A., of the P.D., in Southfield, Mich., as an Gallagher Law Firm, P.L.C., associate. He focuses his has been admitted to practice practice on the defense of before the U.S. District complex commercial coverage and corporate Court, Eastern District disputes in state and federal court. of Michigan.

Swenson, Brian R., has joined the law firm of Best & Sharp, P.C., in Tulsa, Okla., as an associate in the firm’s civil litigation department. He focuses on defending health care professionals and municipal and governmental liability. Phone: (918) 582-1234; 2011 Wilkins Class Cummings, Brett, joined the law firm of Willis Law, in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Velasques, Misty, joined the Kingston, N.J., firm of Hanan M. Isaacs, P.C. She focuses her practice on family law and employment law.

2012 Hilligan Class Engel, Paul T., has joined Howard & Howard Attorneys, P.L.L.C., in the firm’s Royal Oak, Mich., office. He concentrates his practice in intellectual property law, with a focus on patent preparation/prosecution and opinion work, primarily in the chemical arts.

N O T I C E S 1976 Cooley Class Stine, Arthur D., 71, of Delta Township, Mich., died May 8, 2012. He was born Jan. 14, 1941, in Bellevue, Mich. He retired in 2005 after 35 years with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. 1977 Graves Class Payne, Nolan Lee, of Kalamazoo, Mich., 80, died March 9, 2012. He was born Nov. 10, 1931, in Plainwell, Mich. He practiced primarily in the area of landlord/tenant law, served as president of the Michigan Landlord Association as well as the organizations’ Kalamazoo Area Chapter. He retired in 2009. 1980 Bushnell Class Withee, Douglas R., 69, of Punta Gorda, Fla., died May 21, 2012. He was born Nov. 9, 1942, in Marshall, Mich. In Florida, he practiced as an assistant public defender for the 20th Judicial Circuit and as an assistant public defender in the Capital Division for the 7th Judicial Circuit. Before moving to Florida, he was a court referee for the Calhoun County, Mich., Juvenile Division Probate Court before moving into private practice. 1982 Goodwin Class Marks, Marvin E., 54, of Ironwood, Mich., died Jan. 27, 2012. He was born June 21, 1957, in Milwaukee, Wis. He operated a law practice in Ironwood that is now known as Superior Law. 1985 Morell Class Paisley, Barbara, 51, of West Chester, Penn., died Feb. 7, 2011. She was born Nov. 10, 1959, in York, Penn. She specialized in elder law. Previously, she worked as senior vice president and assistant general counsel to Wachovia Bank, in Philadelphia, Penn. 1989 Douglass Class Palumbo, Beverly H., 56, of Battle Creek, Mich., died July 12, 2012. She was born Aug. 31, 1955. After law school, she was an assistant prosecutor with the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office, then worked for Meijer in Loss and Prevention, and for Wayne County. Before law school, she was the second female uniformed officer and then the first female road sergeant with the Battle Creek Police Department.

2001 Blair Jr. Class Mercer-Mattson, Angelia, 50, of Pace, Fla., died May 18, 2012. She was born Oct. 14, 1961. She was a senior associate with Young, Bill, Fugett and Roumbos, in Pensacola, Fla. She was certified to practice before the Supreme Court and the U.S. 11th Court of Appeals, and won a case before the Supreme Court (NHIC v. Reid, Case No. 08-1178).

Weinreich, Christine, has been named director of corporate and foundation relations for Southern College of Optometry.

Lambert, Adam, has joined the Acker Firm, in Pickens, S.C., as an associate practicing general law.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY As part of Cooley’s commitment to environmental sustainability, Benchmark Column is now printed on an environmentally friendly paper helping to reduce our carbon footprint. BENCHMARK COLUMN | SEPTEMBER 2012 | VOLUME 4 | NUMBER 3

September 2012 Benchmark Column  

INSIDE: 'Leading in Business Creation' - John Engler; 'Outstanding Pro Bono' - Cooley Graduates Honored For Their Service; 'Q & A with New...

September 2012 Benchmark Column  

INSIDE: 'Leading in Business Creation' - John Engler; 'Outstanding Pro Bono' - Cooley Graduates Honored For Their Service; 'Q & A with New...