WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY THOMAS M. COOLEY LAW SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2015
WMU-Cooley Law School – National Champions Again!
2015 ABA Client Counseling Competition Winners: Elizabeth and Bryan Devolder
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY THOMAS M. COOLEY LAW SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2015
WMU-Cooley Benchmark EDITOR Terry Carella CO-EDITOR Sharon Matchette CONTRIBUTING WRITERS SeyferthPR seyferthpr.com DESIGN Image Creative Group imagecreativegroup.com PHOTOGRAPHY Cover: Thomas Gennara Photography SUBMISSIONS Benchmark seeks story ideas from graduates. We are looking for stories on a variety of subjects such as graduate achievements, international experiences, cultural diversity, legal information helpful to practitioners, unique law practices, advice to prospective law students, and special events. If you would like to share a story idea, please write, call, or e-mail: Communications Office WMU-Cooley Law School 300 S. Capitol Ave. Lansing, MI 48933 (517) 371-5140 ext. 2916 Fax: (517) 334-5780 firstname.lastname@example.org cooley.edu Benchmark is published twice a year by the administrative offices of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, 300 S. Capitol Ave., Lansing, MI 48933 ALUMNI DATABASE The user name will always remain the word alumni. The password changes are disclosed in Benchmark on the inside front cover. Please call the Alumni Relations Office at 517-371-5140, ext. 2038, or e-mail email@example.com if you have any problems. The current password for this term is clientz.
Excellence in all that we do WMU-Cooley’s tradition is one of excellence, a tradition highlighted throughout this Benchmark issue. You will read about our national championship competition team (our second in five years!), a judge of the nation’s second highest court and a successful businessman (and alumnus) having both joined our board of directors, a justice of Michigan’s highest court and our state bar president (and alumnus) who each gave stirring remarks to our students, a graduate who has risen to Michigan’s highest legislative post, two other graduates who serve ably as prosecutor and judge of the same Pennsylvania county, another graduate saluted by her colleagues for her great skill, a student at the top of his class who gives back to his community, faculty who teach well and make a difference on important social issues, a vast array of alumni accomplishments, and the breadth of our new initiatives with Western Michigan University. When you finish this issue, you will understand better how WMU-Cooley’s tradition of excellence prepares and inspires students – future alumni – to work hard and to use their legal education for the good of society. You will see how what we do can be distilled into one word: excellence. Sincerely,
James D. Robb Associate Dean of External Affairs and Senior Counsel
WMU-COOLEY BOARD OF DIRECTORS Lawrence P. Nolan Chairman of the Board Nolan, Thomsen & Villas, P.C. Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Scott A. Dienes DeFrancesco & Dienes PLLC St. Joseph, Michigan
Hon. Louise Alderson Vice Chairman of the Board 54A District Court Lansing, Michigan
Sharon M. Hanlon Zelman & Hanlon, PA Naples, Florida
James W. Butler, III Urban Revitalization Division Mich. State Housing Development Auth. Lansing, Michigan Thomas W. Cranmer Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, PLC Troy, Michigan
W. Anthony Jenkins Dickinson Wright PLLC Detroit, Michigan Don LeDuc President and Dean Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Lansing, Michigan
on.Jane E. Markey H Michigan Court of Appeals Grand Rapids, Michigan Hon.Stephen J. Markman Michigan Supreme Court Lansing, Michigan Kenneth V. Miller CEO of Millennium Restaurant Group, LLC Kalamazoo, Michigan James C. Morton Morton Karrass LLP Toronto, Ontario, Canada Edward H. Pappas Dickinson Wright PLLC Troy, Michigan
Hon. Richard F. Suhrheinrich Former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Lansing, Michigan Hon. Bart Stupak Venable, LLP Washington, D.C. Dennis A. Swan Sparrow Hospital & Health System Lansing, Michigan
Contents Features Summer 2015
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DEVOLDERS: NATIONAL WINNERS! Elizabeth and Bryan Devolder, WMU-Cooley Law Tampa Bay campus students, are the 2015 Client Counseling Competition national winners after besting 106 teams from 66 ABA-approved law schools from across the country.
WMU-COOLEY LAW SCHOOL TAMPA BAY GRADUATES FIRST CLASS The Tampa Bay campus, which opened for class in May 2012, held its first graduation on Sunday, April 19. The 115 graduates crossed the stage during ceremonies at the University of South Floridaâ€™s Marshall Student Center in Tampa.
GRADUATE KEVIN COTTER: MR. SPEAKER Kevin Cotter (Edwards Class, 2006), rose through the ranks to reach his current seat of power as Speaker of the House of Representatives in Michigan.
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY AFFILIATION BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE August 2014 marked the beginning of the affiliation between Western Michigan University (WMU) and what is now Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Over 120 faculty, staff, and administrators from both schools are working together to explore and pursue over 90 different initiatives.
ELIZABETH AND BRYAN DEVOLDER, WMU-COOLEY LAW STUDENTS, TAMPA BAY CAMPUS
MEET THE DEVOLDERS
2015 CLIENT COUNSELING COMPETITION
Late one evening in spring 2012, Bryan Devolder was deep in his daily ritual of scouring the Internet when he discovered something exciting – news that WMU-Cooley Law School was bringing a campus to the Tampa Bay area. Suddenly, a dream that he and his wife, Elizabeth Devolder, had been talking about since their dating days, became attainable. Life for the Devolders had been relatively settled at that point. Bryan, a software architect for Verizon Wireless and Elizabeth, a recent stay-at-home mom after spending years as a supervisor at AT&T, enjoyed their home in Tampa with their toddler daughter, Sophie. But they were looking for something more. “We have always had an interest in law,” said Elizabeth. “Even when we were dating, we would talk about current events and how the law might apply to each one. And when we ran into situations when the law wasn’t clear, we didn’t have the answer.” The path to those answers was law school, and the Devolders didn’t waste any time getting down to business. “We visited the school before there was even a campus!” Bryan said. “We found out about WMU-Cooley in May (2012) and we were enrolled in January (2013).” Although the Devolders had found other law school opportunities in the area, what made WMU-Cooley attractive to the couple was the ability to maintain their current jobs and still attend law school. “We weren’t traditional students. We were married with a family, a house and car payments. There is nowhere else I felt I could have gone and still maintained our responsibilities,” Bryan said. “Cooley allowed us to do that through flexible schedules and
evening classes; that is something unique, and we appreciated it.” Bryan added that WMU-Cooley has been very helpful in terms of allowing him and Elizabeth to adjust schedules as needed. “The administration has really treated us more like family than like students. As things have come up, they’ve been willing to help us achieve the dream of going to law school.”
The key to success, the Devolders said, has been communication and scheduling. They’ve carved out time for study, the children — including son, Anthony, who arrived about a year into law school — their jobs, classes, and each other. Bryan, who is set to graduate in December 2015, and Elizabeth, who will graduate in April 2016, are already putting their classroom education to good use - and with spectacular results. In March, the Devolders won the national championship of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition in North Carolina, capping off a string of successes that began with their experiences with in-school competitions.
“Extraordinary teamwork helped the couple capture the national championship, the school’s second in five years.” TEAM COACH CHRISTINE CHURCH, WMU-COOLEY ASSOCIATE DEAN
MEET THE DEVOLDERS
With such a busy schedule, what prompted the Devolders to add the competition to their lives? It turns out, it was an easy choice to make and a rewarding experience. Bryan explained, “You have all this law and all this knowledge in your head. It’s nice to be able to do something with it. It’s nice to have a law school where you’re allowed to gain this type of practical experience while you’re a law student.” The competition simulates a law office consultation in which law students, acting as attorneys, are presented with a client matter. They conduct an interview with a person playing the role of the client and then explain how they would proceed further in the hypothetical situation. Through two years of participating at the various levels of the competition, the Devolders handled close to a dozen scenarios — all taken from real life — as they honed their counseling skills. The variety of situations presented to them in the competition, and the solutions they needed to craft in order to help, were themselves a learning experience that the Devolders indicated will help them in their legal careers. “I can’t imagine getting that kind of practical experience in any other way,” Bryan said. “We got some unique training and some unique practice that we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.” Participants in the competition need a solid grounding in the law to know what options to offer their theoretical clients, but the competition is judged on the students’ client interaction skills.
“I think there are a lot of attorneys out there in the marketplace, and a lot of people can know the law, but not everyone can interact well with clients. Yet, when you talk about what is going to make you the successful attorney, it really is that client interaction. The Client Counseling Competition helped us evaluate our skills in that arena and helped improve them,” Elizabeth said. Extraordinary teamwork helped the couple capture the national championship, the school’s second in five years, said team coach Christine Church, WMU-Cooley associate dean. The school’s previous national championship was won in 2011. “They were outstanding all the way through the competition,” Church said. “One judge applauded at the end of the round, which I’ve not seen before at a national competition. Another judge said ‘I would hire you’ at the end of the round. We are extremely proud of Elizabeth and Bryan for bringing the national championship back to WMU-Cooley.” The couple gave much of the credit for winning the competition to Church and to their WMU-Cooley teammates. “Christine was amazing,” the Devolders said in unison. “She was able to hone in on the exact things that were important about the competition,” Elizabeth said. “She would even Skype with us on weekends to help. There were other really good teams at the competition, but there wasn’t a better coach. And we had really great teammates up in Michigan. We would role play, they would critique us and then we would do the same thing. They were very supportive
of us during the competition. It’s nice to know that even though you are not on the same WMU-Cooley campus, you are able to establish strong relationships with other WMU-Cooley students.” A total of 108 teams from 66 ABAapproved law schools participated in 12 regional competitions held across the nation in February, with the regional champions advancing to the national championship round. Taking second place in the national competition was Southern Methodist University, while the University of Oklahoma came in third. Before heading to the national finals, the WMU-Cooley duo bested teams from the University of Michigan, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Akron, the University of Louisville, Duquesne University, and Northern Kentucky University. WMUCooley’s regional championship victory in this competition was its sixth in seven years and its seventh in 10 years. The Devolders competed at the Louis M. Brown and Forrest S. Mosten International Client Consultation Competition April 1518 at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Representing all U.S. law schools in an international competition, they advanced to the semi-final round, thereby finishing among the best in the world.
Learn more about Bryan and Elizabeth’s journey to success at cooleylawschoolblog.com. To watch the videos, search: Meet the Devolders.
COOLEY AND WMU AFFILIATION
That our teammates were all in Michigan was absolutely no barrier. We would role play, they would critique us and then we would do the same thing – using the technology we have today, even though we weren’t at the same location or on the same campus. ELIZABETH DEVOLDER
WMU-Cooley Law School, Tampa Bay campus
GRADUATES FIRST CLASS SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2015
Pictured (left-right) President Don LeDuc, valedictory speaker Katherine Salinas, and Ta Associate Dean Jeffrey Martlew
The Tampa Bay campus, which opened for class in May of 2012, held its first graduation on Sunday, April 19. The 115 graduates crossed the stage to mark their graduation during ceremonies at the University of South Florida’s Marshall Student Center in Tampa. During his commencement remarks, WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc thanked the graduates for their confidence in the law school and offered congratulations for their hard work and succeeding in their studies.
“I wish you the best as you move forward in your legal careers and I thank you for putting your trust in WMU-Cooley.” WMU-COOLEY PRESIDENT AND DEAN DON LeDUC
“I wish you the best as you move forward in your legal careers and I thank you for putting your trust in WMU-Cooley,” said LeDuc. “Our program in the Tampa Bay region started with a shell of a building and in three years’ time our students, faculty, and staff transformed a building into a vibrant learning center.” The keynote speech was presented by Sharon Hanlon (Goodwin Class, 1982), president-elect of the Southwest Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Hanlon, who is a WMU-Cooley board member and a private practice attorney in Naples, Florida, spoke about the importance of working hard and becoming leaders in Florida’s legal community. “I am a WMU-Cooley graduate, just like you,” said Hanlon. “I did not graduate at the top of my class, but I am here to tell you that it didn’t stop me from being at the top of my field as a lawyer.”
Keynote speaker, Sharon Hanlon, presidentelect of the Southwest Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates
, and Tampa Bay campus
Professor Ronald Sutton received the Tampa Bay campus Stanley E. Beattie Teaching Award.
Hanlon told the students that being the first WMU-Cooley graduates from the Tampa Bay campus means they received the same hands-on practical education that more than 19,000 previous graduates received while attending classes at the school’s Michigan campuses. From her perspective, Hanlon told the graduates that, “Cooley lawyers work hard. A Cooley lawyer is ethical. A Cooley lawyer joins organizations and works their way to the top of the group. A Cooley lawyer is prepared going to court. That is how we put Cooley on the map, and this is how you are going to let Florida know what Cooley lawyers are all about.” Before presenting the graduates with their diplomas, WMU-Cooley Associate Dean Jeffrey Martlew, addressed the graduates about keeping their legal careers on track by paying attention to community, state, country, and world events. Martlew also
pointed out the importance the graduates play in WMU-Cooley’s history. “You will always be very special to WMU-Cooley because of your willingness to be part of starting a new campus, and because you are proof that WMUCooley can be successful here in Tampa Bay,” said Martlew. “As the first class of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School graduates from this campus, you certainly didn’t come here to get out of the way. You came here to lead. So now it is your turn. Get out there and shake things up.” The Tampa Bay campus’ inaugural class is named after Robert Trimble, who served as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1826-1828.
PHOTO CREDIT: MIKE QUILLINAN, HOUSE REPUBLICAN COMMUNICATIONS
KEVIN COTTER, EDWARDS CLASS, 2006
MR. SPEAKER While running for election to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2010, WMU-Cooley Law School graduate Kevin Cotter (Edwards Class, 2006) went door-to-door in his district to introduce himself to constituents. Most of the individuals he encountered were gracious, but several greeted him with a response of: “Oh jeez, just what we need, another lawyer in Lansing.” The statement stuck with Cotter but did not deter him as he continued to campaign around Isabella and Midland counties.
When he eventually won his seat as the state representative for the 99th House District, he came to the legislature expecting to join the large ranks of attorneys in public office. However, when the House lawyers gathered for a group photo at the beginning of the 2011-2012 session, Cotter was in for a surprise.
GETTING TO WORK
Five years and two successful elections have passed since Cotter first joined the legislature and reflected on the “words matter” lesson. He is now serving his third term in office and was also recently elected by his colleagues to the position of speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives. Before becoming “At the beginning of each session we take the speaker, Cotter held various seats a photo of the legislators who are attorneys, of power in the House. He served as the and I discovered that we make up less chair of the House Judiciary Committee, than 10 percent of the legislature,” he the majority vice-chair of the Elections said. “It’s actually a really small number.” and Ethics Committee, and as a member of the Insurance, Michigan CompetitiveThis discovery helped Cotter reconnect ness and Tax Policy committees. He also with a lesson he learned while studying sponsored several pieces of legislation for his juris doctor at WMU-Cooley. that became law. A piece that he is “I can remember when I was at WMUparticularly proud of deals with the Cooley, we talked about how words matter creation of mental health courts. — and words certainly matter when we’re crafting laws,” he shared. “So even though “Mental health courts are alternative courts that really tackle a problem we have a small number of lawyers in the legislature, it’s important that we’re there. that we have here in Michigan and across the country, and that problem The laws we draft, our words, directly impact the people of this state, and I think is how we handle individuals who commit criminal offenses but who that attorneys are uniquely positioned to also suffer from some form of mental appreciate that fact due to endless litigation that can result from choosing just one disorder,” Cotter said. wrong word in a statute.” Through a mental health court, a nonviolent offender can plead guilty to a crime and be sentenced to treatment rather than jail time. This sentence includes a probationary period where the offender is treated through his or her community mental health department. Offenders also undergo drug testing and criminal record checks.
A three-year study of the mental health court pilot projects in Michigan tied this alternative approach to justice to a 300 percent decrease in recidivism rates for offenders. Additionally, the courts saved money for the state by replacing costly jail sentences with treatment. “I worked on a package of bills that opened the doors for the creation of more mental health courts in our state,” Cotter said. “Studies showed how effective they could be, so we felt this was a no-brainer, and we worked to get mental health courts into law.” Today, there are 16 mental health courts across Michigan. Cotter is hoping to expand them even further. “Now I’m working to get additional appropriations through the budget process,” he said. “The mental health court approach is an increased investment on the front end in that treatment for offenders does cost money, but it pays dividends on the back end – not only through increasing public safety but in a way that deals with the cost of incarceration.”
“Two things attracted me to Cooley. One, it was affordable for me, which was a big deal... Two, it felt accessible to me. I looked at a number of other schools, and there was an accessibility about Cooley that felt manageable to me.” PHOTO CREDIT: MIKE QUILLINAN, HOUSE REPUBLICAN COMMUNICATIONS
AN ATTORNEY’S CHOICE Cotter’s work in the Michigan legislature reflects the reasons he ran for public office in the first place: he wants to help people by making government work better for them. He came to that conclusion while working in private practice at the Kerr Law Firm, PLLC in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, in 2009. “One thing that really influenced me came from frustrations while in private practice and working with state departments,” he said. “We would work on elder law cases with the Department of Human Services and we would encounter some real challenges. I came to believe that there are things that can be done internally at the state level that can make government work better for people.” In addition to streamlining government, jumpstarting the struggling Michigan economy was another factor that pushed Cotter onto the campaign trail.
“What fueled me was where Michigan was economically at the time,” he recalled. “For so long I paid attention to the political process but was never directly involved. So I finally came to the conclusion that maybe I should throw my hat in the ring and make a difference.” After consulting his wife Jennifer, Cotter then had to take into account how running for state office might affect his career as a lawyer. “Running for the legislature was a tough decision because if I won my election, I had to consider if I would leave the law practice. If I did, I would be doing it for something that was short in duration due to Michigan’s term limits. So if I won my district seat and served the maximum three terms in office, that would be six years away from practice,” he said. “In the end, I felt strongly enough about getting involved and having an impact that I decided not to worry about what the other side was going to look like.”
“In the end, I felt strongly enough about getting involved and having an impact that I decided not to worry about what the other side was going to look like.” PHOTO CREDIT: MIKE QUILLINAN, HOUSE REPUBLICAN COMMUNICATIONS
Cotter’s risk paid off as he won his first general election. He ultimately removed himself from his Mount Pleasant practice to focus solely on his role within the legislature, which helped him rise through the ranks and reach his current seat of power as Speaker of the House. His advice to other lawyers who are interested in pursuing an elected position, but are wary of balancing public service with practice, is to consider all options.
PHOTO CREDIT: MIKE QUILLINAN, HOUSE REPUBLICAN COMMUNICATIONS
“Don’t make assumptions about whether you can or can’t practice law while serving in public office,” he said. “I have had conversations with members who practice and members who don’t, and they have a wide array of answers. So if you are an attorney who is considering running for the legislature, reach out to current members and have a conversation about the pros and cons before you make your decision.”
LIFE AFTER THE LEGISLATURE Due to Michigan’s term limits, Cotter can only serve for two more years in the House of Representatives. When asked what he currently thinks about life after 2016, he is still uncertain, but sure of one thing: “I don’t know what the future will hold. I could return to private practice; I could do a lot of things. But that’s one thing I share with young people who are looking at the idea of law school. I tell them that there are so many things you can do with a law degree and so many of those things are outside of the courtroom. Legal education really opens a lot of doors.”
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY AFFILIATION BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE
August 2014 marked the beginning of the affiliation between Western Michigan University and what is now Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Since then, to pursue the immediate, near-term, mid-term, and long-term items the schools’ Memorandum of Understanding envisioned, over 120 faculty, staff, and administrators from both schools have worked together to explore and pursue over 90 different initiatives.
Associate Dean Nelson Miller
WMU Provost Tim Greene
The presidents of both schools created an oversight committee to help direct and promote those initiatives. WMU President Dr. John Dunn appointed the school’s Provost Tim Greene and WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc appointed Associate Dean Nelson Miller to co-chair the committee. Each school also appointed faculty liaisons —WMU Professor Mark Hurwitz and WMU-Cooley Professor Devin Schindler serve in those roles. The affiliation plans to bring together academic programs from both schools. WMU has already approved a new Legal Studies minor within its College of Arts and Sciences and is exploring a Business Law major within its Haworth College of Business. Both WMU curriculum
Professor Devin Schindler
options will likely include an accelerated program, which will enable qualified WMU undergraduates to enroll in the law school and count some law school credits toward completing their undergraduate degrees. The affiliation is also exploring adding a juris doctor/master’s of education dual degree program to the J.D./M.B.A., J.D./M.P.A., and J.D./M.S.W. dual degrees already in place. “Our focus has been on benefitting students of both schools by enriching already-strong academic programs,” said Miller. “Both schools know the unique strengths of their existing programs. The exciting opportunity we are pursuing is to deepen and broaden those programs even further.”
WMU Professor Mark Hurwitz
As work continues to develop and implement other initiatives, immediate items already accomplished include accreditation approvals by the ABA, Higher Learning Commission, and the Florida Commission for Independent Education, and the law school’s name change. Miller is quick to point out that, while the schools have already accomplished major tasks under the Memorandum of Understanding, the good work has only begun. “Prompt accreditation approvals, plus the name change, have now given us a foundation and confidence to build the professional relationships necessary to implement program initiatives,” noted Miller.
WMU AFFILIATION BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE
Memorandum of Understanding
NEAR-TERM ACTIONS BEING PURSUED UNDER THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING INCLUDE:
COORDINATION OF WEBSITES AND OTHER PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS
HOLDING JOINT ALUMNI RECEPTIONS
COORDINATION OF VETERANS’ AND SERVICE MEMBER PROGRAMS
WMU-Cooley has been in communication with WMU’s ROTC leaders regarding ROTC training for law school students who have the goal of pursuing JAG positions within the military.
The schools held their first joint alumni receptions in Kalamazoo, Michigan and in Venice, Florida. The schools continue to explore other joint reception opportunities in locations where graduates of both institutions live.
CREATION OF SECURE ELECTRONIC ACCESS BETWEEN THE TWO INSTITUTIONS
The schools’ Information Technology departments have together adopted the Eduroam secure wireless access platform, enabling students, faculty, and staff from each school to bypass the need for guest credentials for wi-fi access at each institution and other participating institutions around the world.
The schools developed television commercials to advertise spring and summer student recruitment open house events and to promote recruitment information sessions held elsewhere around the nation. WMU and the law school also now jointly sponsor The Lawyers radio program broadcast on WOOD Radio in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and WTCM in Traverse City, Michigan. Hosts of the show are Senior Emeritus Professor Curt Benson and Adjunct Professor Mike Dunn.
“Leaders, faculty, and staff of the two schools have worked concertedly to implement the Memorandum of Understanding’s many items,” said Nelson Miller. “While moving forward with these items, we discovered other initiatives to pursue that will foster confidence and growth in the schools’ already strong relationship.” Three potentially fruitful areas not originally identified in the Memorandum of Understanding include shared faculty research, coordinated outreach to legislative and other government officials, and collaboration on fellowships and student and graduate placement initiatives.
COORDINATION OF ACADEMIC SUPPORT, ASSESSMENT, RETENTION, AND LEARNING MANAGEMENT
CONFERRING ON THE COORDINATION OF RECRUITING AND STUDENT SERVICES
The schools have been exploring programs for students to interact professionally and socially for building networks and increasing student retention and engagement. WMU hosted law students and faculty at a football game tailgate party.
Law school faculty have made presentions to WMU students on professional ethics, cross-cultural skills, and higher-education law. Law faculty members have invited WMU faculty members to speak at law school-sponsored events.
MID-TERM ACTION ITEMS: Some of the Memorandum of Understanding’s mid-term action items include the new WMU Legal Studies Minor, offering law courses at WMU’s Kalamazoo campus beginning as early as Fall 2015, coordinating and broadening library access, conferring and coordinating on entrepreneurship programs, pursuing joint social justice initiatives, and sharing clinical programs. The law school has already shared research projects and speaking programs with WMU’s Lewis Walker Race and Ethnic Relations Institute.
WMU instructional design experts Dr. Doug Johnson and Heather McGee plan to use law school courses taught at the Kalamazoo campus as research projects for their graduate students in instructional design.
CONFERRING ON PRE-LAW COURSES AND ADVISING
The WMU Pre-Law Society will be participating in law school campus tours and classroom observations.
LONG-TERM ACTION ITEMS: Long-term action items that are being discussed include sustainability initiatives, space sharing, study-abroad programs, and shared teaching. WMU’s policy on centers and institutes has supported exploration of a Center for Dispute Resolution and Center for Law and Policy. WMU’s existing Center for Ethics and Society hosted law school Professor Victoria Vuletich, who is using her connections to explore a new partnership with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
WMU-COOLEY LAW SCHOOL ELECTS
DISTINGUISHED NEW BOARD MEMBERS Western Michigan University Cooley Law School President and Dean Don LeDuc recently announced that Judge Richard F. Suhrheinrich and Kenneth V. Miller (Graves Class, 1977) have been elected by the board of directors to four-year terms on the board of WMU-Cooley Law School. Suhrheinrich is a senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and former president of the Detroit College of Law-Michigan State University College of Law. Miller is a Kalamazoo-based businessman and Western Michigan University trustee.
“These gentlemen have distinguished themselves in the legal profession, business world, and through their community service,” said LeDuc. “Our students will benefit from their decades of higher education leadership and their long association with our law school.”
JUDGE RICHARD F. SUHRHEINRICH
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush appointed Suhrheinrich to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Six years earlier, President Ronald Reagan had appointed him to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Suhrheinrich earned a bachelor of science degree from Wayne State University, a J.D. degree cum laude from the Detroit College of Law, and an LL.M. from the University of Virginia Law School. He also holds an LL.D. from the Michigan State University College of Law.
Before taking the bench, Suhrheinrich was founding and senior partner of the Detroit law firm Kitch, Suhrheinrich, Smith, Saurbier and Drutchas, P.C. Long involved in legal education, Suhrheinrich was a member of the Detroit College of Law Board of Trustees when that institution affiliated with Michigan State University, and he remained on its board for several years after the school moved to East Lansing. He has taught law as an adjunct faculty member at a number of law schools, including WMU-Cooley Law School,
where he has held the title of distinguished jurist and professor. He has served on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board, the State Bar of Michigan Grievance Hearing Committee, and the governing boards of Brighton Hospital, Southwest Detroit Hospital, Sparrow Hospital, Hutzel Hospital, the Michigan Hospital Mutual Insurance Company, and the Eastern District of Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Governor John Engler, and later reappointed by Governor Rick Snyder. He is also a current member and past chair of the WMU Haworth College of Business advisory council, and has served as trustee and chair of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation.
polystyrene construction products. Additionally, Miller has been a corporate director of Biomet, Inc., a manufacturer of orthopedic and surgical products in Warsaw, Indiana.
KENNETH V. MILLER, GRAVES CLASS, 1977
Miller earned a bachelor of business administration and a master of business administration from Western Michigan University and a J.D. from WMU-Cooley Law School. He is a principal of Havirco, a Kalamazoo investment management firm. He is also owner and CEO of Millennium Restaurant Group, LLC, which owns and operates restaurants in southwest Michigan. He is co-founder, director, and chair of the Kalamazoo region of Mercantile Bank. Millerâ€™s experience in higher education is extensive. Currently, he is vice chair of WMUâ€™s board of trustees, first appointed to that board by then-Michigan
Following private law practice, Miller was a co-founder, president and CEO of Radio Associates Group and an owner of radio broadcast properties in Michigan, California, and Nevada. He also co-founded AvTech Laboratories, Inc., a pharmaceutical products testing laboratory in Kalamazoo, and TEAM Industries, Inc., a Michigan- and Virginiabased manufacturer of
Miller is a director and chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Restaurant Association, a trustee of the Havirmill Foundation, past president and board member of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and a former chair of Downtown Tomorrow, Inc. board of directors. He has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from WMU and the Red Rose Award for exceptional community service from the Kalamazoo Rotary Club.
State Bar of Michigan president speaks at Joseph Story class graduation
Thomas C. Rombach addresses the Joseph Story graduation class.
WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc with student.
On January 25, graduation ceremonies were held for the 268 members of the Joseph Story class. The keynote speaker was the 80th president of the 43,000-member State Bar of Michigan and WMU-Cooley graduate Thomas C. Rombach (Morse Class, 1987).
Thomas C. Rombach acknowledged the great accomplishment of the graduates. He told them to “be proud to be a graduate of Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. You understand exactly what it takes to be here today – the grit and the perseverance to overcome some formidable obstacles. Your success has been just as much about your character as it has been about your knowledge.” He then focused on the importance of professionalism while practicing law. He said, “Your legal abilities and accomplishments will be important but, above all else, you will be judged by your colleagues on one important characteristic: the one secret for success in the legal field is professionalism.”
Rombach outlined 10 hallmarks of professionalism: be impactful, hold yourself at a high standard, forgive yourself when you fall short, be honest, keep your word, be civil, communicate with others, don’t talk out of school, take time for yourself, and help others. He concluded his speech by touching on the next step for many of the graduates – the bar exam. “For many of you, the next challenge on the horizon is the bar exam. Like your career at Cooley, the bar exam is as much a test of character as it is a test of knowledge. I am confident that all of you will be able to surmount this one final hurdle.”
Before presenting the graduates with their diplomas, WMU-Cooley President and Dean Don LeDuc addressed the graduates about the importance of giving back to their communities. He said, “As you begin your professional careers, commit to pro bono service, providing service in the community in which you live and work, and contributing your services to the legal profession.” The January 2015 class is named after Joseph Story, an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845. This graduation class was the second since Cooley Law School and Western Michigan University affiliated in August 2014.
TREASURE VANDREUMEL, PRATT CLASS, 1988
WMU-COOLEY GRADUATE DRIVEN BY TWO TENENTS:
honesty and integrity Treasure VanDreumel (Pratt Class, 1988) recently earned the John J. Flynn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, the statewide criminal defense lawyers’ organization. VanDreumel, a Michigan native, received the award after having litigated and won three high profile cases in Arizona in the last four years. The Flynn award is the highest award presented by Arizona’s criminal defense lawyers. Its distinction as the “Dirty Shirt Lawyer of the Year” award is derived from a blue denim shirt that has been signed by every lawyer honored with the achievement. “The names written on that shirt with a black Sharpie are few, but they are truly some of the best lawyers our state has seen,” said VanDreumel. “I am humbled and honored to be included.” “Unquestionably, I owe a debt of gratitude to WMU-Cooley Law School,” she said, adding that she chose Cooley because she lived in East Lansing at the time and Cooley offered evening classes.
VanDreumel worked three daytime jobs while attending law school. Despite her hectic schedule, she said she enjoyed every second of her time at WMU-Cooley because the professors made her excited to learn the law. Specifically, VanDreumel credits the faculty for teaching students critical, independent thinking and how to write persuasive pleadings using clear thinking and plain English. She says she also learned how important it is to understand the meaning behind the law and to learn the rules of evidence that govern each case. While attending WMU-Cooley, VanDreumel joked that she would practice any law except criminal law. However, after taking criminal and constitutional law classes, she was hooked. “The impact of our system of justice on the accused, the alleged victims, and their respective families is both profound and everlasting,” VanDreumel said.
Two tenets VanDreumel applies in both life and the practice of law — honesty and integrity — are values that come from her parents, who have been her biggest supporters and influencers. “They taught me to stand up for what’s right, even if I stand alone,” she said. Many tout our justice system as being the best, VanDreumel said, but she believes our system only works if every participant acts with honesty and integrity. VanDreumel noted that judges must remain independent and unbiased, and prosecutors and defense lawyers must abide by the rules of evidence, procedure, and ethics while upholding the protections afforded by the Constitution. Finally, jurors must understand that the critical decisions they have to make must not be swayed by emotion, bias, or prejudice. “Justice does not mean conviction for victims or acquittal for defendants,” VanDreumel said. “The system is designed only to ferret out the truth, so ‘justice’ occurs only when every person in that courtroom honors their respective obligations, regardless of the actual outcome.” VanDreumel says her most satisfying cases are those when the defense team has been able to bring clients facing the death penalty to freedom or simply to life imprisonment. Citing the more than 150 former death row inmates who have been shown by the Arizona
Justice Project to be wrongfully accused and sentenced to death, Van Dreumel said, “Whether one is labeled a ‘defendant’ or a ‘victim,’ every life matters.”
“Everyone accused of a crime – whether guilty or not, and no matter how heinous the offense – is entitled to the unyielding protection of every right afforded by the Constitution,” VanDreumel said emphatically. “Mediocrity has no place in our criminal justice system. A defense lawyer’s job is not to see that the client is acquitted, but rather to ensure the integrity of the process is not compromised.”
DOWNTOWN WILKES BARRE
STEFANIE SALAVANTIS, RILEY CLASS, 2009
WMU-COOLEY GRADUATE IS
DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF LUZERNE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA Stefanie Salavantis (Riley Class, 2009) is the youngest person elected since 1872 as the District Attorney of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, which encompasses Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Hazelton in the northeastern part of the state. Besides her young age, Salavantis had other obstacles when she decided to run for county district attorney. While she was only two years out of law school, she was up against an incumbent with more than 20 years in the legal system and strong ties in the community. So why did she decide to run? Salavantis said she wanted to turn around the small community’s negative reputation after a scandal within the county’s legal system attracted national attention.
In the beginning, Salavantis hadn’t planned to run herself, but every call she made to a likely candidate resulted in the same answer. No one was willing to run against the incumbent. With her family’s support and resources, Salavantis mounted a speedy and expensive campaign as a write-in candidate for the Republican nomination. She won the nomination and then the election by a 1,000-vote margin over the incumbent. When she took office in January 2012, Salavantis pledged that she would “restore integrity and respect” to the county and place Luzerne in the news for positive reasons. She has kept her promise. The Republican Security Council, the national security wing of the Republican Party, named her a 2012 winner of its 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45.
WILLIAM AMESBURY, GRANT CLASS, 1987
Salavantis is proudest of the relationships she has been able to build with local, state, and federal law enforcement. When Luzerne County experienced an uptick in violent crime, those strong ties allowed her to act quickly and decisively. Salavantis has been able to call on her resources to track down criminals as faraway as Mexico and have them extradited back to Pennsylvania to stand trial. Her short but impressive track record has won her recognition from Justice J. Michael Eakin of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He appointed Salavantis as one of six board members of the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security, an organization created to preserve the integrity of the legal profession and promote public confidence in the administration of justice in Pennsylvania.
“Great credit is due to Cooley for my ability to hit the ground running. WMU-Cooley focuses on the application of law and very quickly assigns students law briefs to write.” STEFANIE SALAVANTIS
During her law school internship, Salavantis recalls working beside students from top-ranked law schools and was one of few who didn’t require a lot of direction in performing the tasks required of first-year associates. She commends WMU-Cooley for providing her with the knowledge and confidence to rise so quickly in her career.
William (Bill) Amesbury (Grant Class, 1987), another WMU-Cooley graduate in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, serves as a judge for the Court of Common Pleas for the 11th Judicial District. He sought office for the same reason that Stefanie Salavantis, district attorney for Luzerne County, put her name on the ballot — to improve the reputation of Luzerne County’s legal system. His road to politics was paved with extensive experience, just not the kind you might expect for a district judge. While working in South Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, as a laborer to earn money for college, Amesbury earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education. When he couldn’t find a teaching position, he took the civil service exam, which led to his first job out of college at an inpatient hospital for the chronically ill. Amesbury says he was totally unprepared for the job, but he adjusted. Whether it was inpatient, outpatient, geriatrics or crisis intervention, Amesbury continued in the mental health field for more than a decade. During that time, he earned a master’s degree in social work, developing an expertise he uses to address juvenile truancy and other legal issues with minors. When Amesbury decided he “just wanted to do something different,” one of his early mentors recommended law school. Amesbury chose WMU-Cooley. He describes the law school as one of the greatest experiences of his life.
“Cooley was both stimulating and challenging, and I made lifelong friends who I’m still in contact with,” said Amesbury. “Were it not for family obligations, I would have stayed in Michigan.” But he returned to Pennsylvania and, like Salavantis, decided to run for office. Because he had served his community for so long, Amesbury was recognized by everyone during his campaign. He called himself “the cute little guy on the ballot” as he stands just over 5 feet tall. He told his constituents that he may have to look up to some, but on the issues and challenges of Luzerne County, he understood them from every angle. In addition to his impressive professional background, Amesbury coached youth baseball, softball, and basketball for more than 30 years. In 2002, Amesbury was elected as Magisterial District Judge for Court 11-1-01 (Wilkes-Barre). He won reelection in 2007. In 2009, at the age of 61, he was elected to the Court of Common Pleas for a term of 10 years and was installed on January 4, 2010. Amesbury has no plans to take it easy after he serves his term. In the next phase of his life, he’d like to share his vast experiences with students and pursue his earliest inspiration of becoming a teacher. 23
RICHARD S. RAVOSA, BLACK CLASS, 1996
Attorney Richard S. Ravosa talks with a client.
Law firm provides pro bono dignity Insurmountable debt can happen to almost anyone in an instant. One catastrophic event – an accident injury, illness, job loss, divorce, death – can lead directly and quickly to more debt than many people can handle. “It’s something we see too often. Through no fault of their own, people find themselves overwhelmed by debt. It not only affects them financially, but emotionally and even physically.” RICHARD RAVOSA
And the cruel irony is that getting relief from overwhelming debt requires spending money, money that many in this predicament just don’t have. In 2008, Attorney Richard S. Ravosa (Black Class, 1996), whose law firm has offices across Massachusetts, had a client whose heart bypass surgery left him with $70,000 of debt and no job. He needed to file for bankruptcy, but couldn’t afford the $1,500 to $2,000 in legal fees to make it happen.
As the national economy worsened in 2009, Ravosa saw increasing numbers of people who needed to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but didn’t have the money to pay for the service. “They were like legal castaways who had no place to turn,” Ravosa recalled. Rather than turn his back on these individuals, Ravosa took on the cases himself and paid for them out of his own pocket. In return, he asked these grateful clients to donate time to a local charity of their choosing, paying it forward. As Ravosa continued to provide pro bono bankruptcy services to the underserved, low-income community, it dawned on him that a foundation would provide a sustainable way to fund this much-needed service. Launched with funding from his own law firm, Ravosa and his staff created the Debt Relief Foundation (DRF) and began providing pro bono services through the foundation in 2011. By the end of 2013, the IRS approved the DRF’s nonprofit 501(c)3 status that will allow the DRF to apply for grants and solicit donations to ensure the pro bono work can continue by keeping the foundation financially strong. For the moment, Ravosa’s law firm continues to fund the DRF as it has from the beginning. In the meantime, word of the DRF’s good work is spreading across Massachusetts, and the number of DRF bankruptcy filings continues to increase. According to a February 22, 2015 article in The Republican, the newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts, the DRF had helped —
Ravosa’s vision extends beyond the borders of Massachusetts. Realizing that the need for pro bono Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings extends across the country, he would like to see other attorneys replicate the model he has established. free of charge — 76 individuals, who were unable to pay for the services, to discharge their debts and return to normal life as productive citizens. Ravosa and his experienced team of bankruptcy attorneys are also able to provide these services for individuals who speak Spanish or Portuguese. Paul J. Mauri
Despite improvements in the economy, Ravosa believes the need goes far beyond the number DRF has been able to serve so far. In Massachusetts, he envisions helping at least 200 individuals each year or as many as need the service and qualify. After witnessing the positive outcomes of helping this population, Ravosa has launched a marketing campaign to expand awareness of the pro bono service across the state. “It would be very rewarding to work with WMU-Cooley graduates to establish a nationwide pro bono program that aids those who are most in need of bankruptcy relief but are unable to afford it,” Ravosa said. “While indigent criminal defendants are afforded the right to counsel, the civil justice system should have safeguards in place to help those who truly need financial relief and will suffer without it.”
One fellow WMUCooley graduate is already involved in the DRF. Paul J. Mauri (McDonald Class, 1998) serves on the DRF’s seven- member board.
“I would welcome calls and contacts from any attorneys interested in starting a Debt Relief Foundation in their state,” Ravosa offered. “It has worked so well here in Massachusetts, and I would be happy to help anyone who wants to start a similar program in other states.” It’s all about helping those who are unduly burdened with excessive debt to regain their dignity and quality of life.
More information about DRF can be found at www.massdebtrelieffoundation.org.
WMU-COOLEY LAW SCHOOL FACULTY AND STAFF ARE
Many of WMU-Cooley Law School’s faculty and staff have weighed in as subject-matter experts on major state and national issues with the news media. During the first quarter of this year, approximately 35
FRANK AIELLO APPEARED ON FOX 2 DETROIT Frank Aiello, associate professor, added his voice to the Fox 2 Detroit televised panel of Let It Rip debating the gay marriage issue.
TONY ALVARADO QUOTED IN THE TAMPA BAY FREE PRESS Students, faculty, and staff from WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus joined together to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day by volunteering at Everyday Blessings, a foster care organization. Tony Alvarado, WMU-Cooley student services coordinator, discussed WMUCooley’s participation in the event with the Tampa Bay Free Press.
“MLK day is about unity, and it’s important to give back and join together to help those who are less fortunate.” TONY ALVARADO 26
AMY BANDOW AND JEFFREY MARTLEW APPEARED IN THE TAMPA BAY FREE PRESS Amy Bandow, assistant director for WMU-Cooley’s Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism, and Jeffrey Martlew, WMU-Cooley associate dean, were featured in the Tampa Bay Free Press after the Florida Board of Examiners met with WMUCooley Law School students to discuss the bar admissions process.
“It is an honor to have the executive director and chair of the Florida Bar of Examiners speak to our students. It is important for our students to have a full understanding of what is expected of them in order to gain admission into the bar.” AMY BANDOW
BRENDAN BEERY SPOKE TO BAY NEWS 9
PAUL CARRIER TUNES IN WITH BAY NEWS 9
Professor Brendan Beery (Snow Class, 1998) was asked by Bay News 9 in Tampa how he thinks Florida residents will be affected by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that, generally, cell phones and smart phones cannot be searched by law enforcement without a warrant.
Professor Paul Carrier, property law expert, shared his insights on the Florida legislature capping high interest car-title loans with Bay News 9 in Tampa, Florida.
TRACEY BRAME AND NELSON MILLER QUOTED IN LEGAL NEWS Three editions of Legal News (Detroit, Grand Rapids and Muskegon) quoted deans Tracey Brame and Nelson Miller on the WMU-Cooley Law School’s Black Law Student Association’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day events.
MARK COONEY SPOKE TO MICHIGAN LAWYERS WEEKLY Professor Mark Cooney (Montgomery Class, 1992) weighed in with Michigan Lawyers Weekly on the Michigan Court of Appeals’ judges telling lawyers they need to complete more research before they submit their briefs.
“Many lawyers keep ‘canned’ write-ups of standards because they come up so often. Documents in brief banks should always be treated as the starting gate for research, not the finish line. Attorneys who rely on brief banks should do a thorough ‘spring cleaning’ each year, whether it is updating an old-school physical collection or a computer file.” MARK COONEY
WMU-Cooley professors have provided expert analysis to more than 30 media outlets, including national media such as The Huffington Post, USA Today and U.S. News and World Report.
LISA DEMOSS FEATURED ON WGAN’S INSIDE MAINE
learning in the schools then the school districts, and very often law enforcement, have the legal rights to intervene, because parents send their kids to school for one purpose – to learn in a safe and conducive environment.” RENALIA DUBOSE
Professor Lisa DeMoss discussed the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the King v. Burwell case on WGAN Radio.
“The question is whether or not Congress intended that premium subsidies be made available to consumers on all of the exchanges that were established for the sale of the new health insurance product, or did Congress intend to limit the availability of the subsidies to just those exchanges that were explicitly established by state governments.” LISA DEMOSS
RENALIA DUBOSE SPOKE TO WOOD RADIO Renalia DuBose, visiting WMU-Cooley professor, spoke with Grand Rapids WOOD Radio about cyber bullying and the law.
“That is where districts nationwide have to update their codes of student conduct, because the courts have ruled if what you do at home disrupts
court awarded attorney fees to a lawyer who both works for and represented the firm. Opposing counsel argued that a lawyer cannot collect fees if they represent their own firm.
KAREN FULTZ FEATURED IN USA TODAY Karen Fultz (McDonald Class, 1998), visiting WMU-Cooley professor, gave USA Today her analysis of the trial of John Jonchuck, the man ruled unfit to stand trial after he threw his child off a Tampa Bay area bridge.
GERALD FISHER’S STORY IN LEGAL NEWS Five Michigan county editions (Flint-Genesee, Ingham, Macomb, Oakland and Washtenaw) of the Legal News and Grand Rapids Legal News told Professor Gerald Fisher’s life story, from his days goaltending for Michigan State University’s hockey team, to working for municipalities across the state. Fisher has been sought out by everyone from city officials to Michigan Supreme Court Justices for his expertise in property and land use law.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience for a lawyer to have all these Rolls-Royce witnesses,” said Fisher. “The only thing needed was to provide a road map to guide their expertise.”
CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS SPOKE TO MICHIGAN LAWYERS WEEKLY Grand Rapids attorney Christopher G. Hastings, a professor of civil procedures and practice at WMU-Cooley, talked to Michigan Lawyers Weekly about a case pending before the Michigan Supreme Court. In Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap PC v. Boyce Trust 2350, et al., the lower
EMILY HORVATH TALKED TO WILX 10 Emily Horvath, adjunct professor, provided an analysis of the gay marriage issue for WILX 10 in Lansing and Jackson, Michigan.
“It really shows the Governor’s willingness to really follow up on his statements from the State of the State, when he said, ‘the discrimination is not helping Michigan.’” EMILY HORVATH
LIGHTING UP THE AIRWAVES
LISA HALUSHKA SPOKE TO THE FLINT JOURNAL Lisa Halushka, assistant dean and professor, provided her analysis to The Flint Journal of a Genesee Circuit judge’s decision to declare a missing Flint girl dead. Halushka was also featured in the Detroit Legal News for her participation in the Auburn Hill’s campus’ mock trial completion.
“State law prohibits a defendant’s confession from being admitted into a criminal case unless there is evidence establishing that a crime has taken place and that it was committed by a person’s criminal activity.” LISA HALUSHKA
MICHAEL MCDANIEL APPEARED ON WZZM 13 Professor and retired Brigadier General Michael McDaniel explained to WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids the Senate passage of last minute Department of Homeland Security funding.
“There’s been a bit of a loss of productivity, and I wonder if it [Homeland Security] will have that vigilance we expect of our Homeland Security. My guess is we won’t have it.” GEN. MICHAEL MCDANIEL
TONYA KRAUSE-PHELAN APPEARED IN GRAND RAPIDS LEGAL NEWS
NELSON MILLER TALKED TO GRAND RAPIDS LEGAL NEWS Nelson Miller, associate dean and professor, told the Grand Rapids Legal News the story of Ogenna Iweajunwa. Iweajunwa is a Nigerian “barrister at law” who moved to the United States six years ago. Unable to practice law in the United States, she was accepted to WMU-Cooley Law School and graduated first in her class this year.
KIMBERLY O’LEARY SPOKE TO MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY’S WKAR MSU’s WKAR Radio asked Professor Kimberly O’Leary about the Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic on its daily show, Neighbors in Action.
Grand Rapids Legal News covered the Black Law Student Association’s (BLSA) panel on trust among minorities and law enforcement officials. Tonya Krause-Phelan, criminal law professor, participated in the panel discussion and was pictured in the publication, along with BLSA and community leaders.
“From a legal perspective that’s the important issue: how can we be transparent and also respectful of everyone’s rights?” TONYA KRAUSE-PHELAN
LAUREN ROUSSEAU APPEARED IN CRAIN’S DETROIT BUSINESS Lauren Rousseau, civil procedures professor, appeared in the Legal News and other news media who reported on the panel discussion at WMU-Cooley Law School that Rousseau helped organize regarding the heroin epidemic among young people.
“This film very clearly identifies problems with our current approach to addiction and treatment, and just as clearly identifies solutions. We need to create a community that is more conducive to, and accepting of, recovery. There are many ways to do this, and the film identifies some of them.” LAUREN ROUSSEAU
DEVIN SCHINDLER ON THE RECORD WITH WOOD RADIO Devin Schindler, professor of constitutional law and healthcare regulation, spoke to Grand Rapids’ WOOD Radio about Grand Haven’s decision to take down a religious cross on Dewey Hill. Schindler also spoke to WOOD Radio about gay marriage and religion in schools. Additionally, he spoke to Michigan State University’s WKAR Radio about Michigan Supreme Court decisions on right-to-work and pensions. Finally, Schindler spoke with The Flint Journal on whether carrying a gun in school disrupts the educational process; and the Macomb Daily and The Oakland Press concerning a law firm in Macomb County opening an academy to prepare attorneys for arguing in front of appellate courts.
“Once you open this up to the public, that you are allowing all kinds of displays, at that point the law is pretty clear, you can’t pick and choose, you have to let everybody in.” DEVIN SCHINDLER
PAUL SORENSEN TALKED TO THE FLINT JOURNAL Professor Paul Sorensen gave his analysis to The Flint Journal of a Michigan law that makes it more difficult for taxpayers to find out about legal settlements by public organizations.
“Non-disclosures can help prevent copycat lawsuits and prevent the organization from setting bad precedent that could force them to pay larger settlements in the future – ultimately saving taxpayer money. You’d have to have some reason to know about some particular lawsuit.” PAUL SORENSEN
RONALD SUTTON FEATURED ON WOOD RADIO Associate Professor and Assistant Dean Ronald Sutton gave his analysis to Grand Rapids’ WOOD Radio on a new bill up for debate in Michigan that would legalize ticket scalping.
“They [police] can enforce scalping laws if they choose, but basically across the country they have chosen not to do so. Very seldom are people picked up for trying to sell tickets above face value.” RONALD SUTTON
JEFF SWARTZ APPEARED ON ABC ACTION NEWS
DAVID TARRIEN FEATURED ON FOX 17 GRAND RAPIDS
Jeff Swartz, visiting professor, was asked by ABC Action News in Tampa Bay why a judge denied a request from a domestic violence victim for a restraining order against her attacker. In another story, Swartz was asked by The Epoch Times whether he believes convicted murderer Robert Durst will receive the death penalty.
David Tarrien, (Chase Class, 2002), an assistant professor teaching cyberspace law, shared his analysis with Grand Rapids’ Fox 17 of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ruling that prevents Internet providers from artificially controlling streaming speeds. Additionally, WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids aired a Q&A session with Tarrien explaining the net neutrality regulation. Tarrien also appeared on the Steve Gruber Show in Lansing, Michigan, News Talk Florida, on WFLA Tampa Bay and Michigan’s Big Show.
KATHY SWEDLOW SPOKE TO THE HUFFINGTON POST Kathy Swedlow, assistant dean and professor, provided her expert analysis to The Huffington Post on Michigan State Sen. Virgil Smith’s (D-Detroit) resolution to bring back Michigan’s death penalty in cases of first-degree murder that involve a police or corrections officer who is killed in the line of duty.
“It’s a horrible idea. It’s not particularly well thought through, the idea that we would bring the death penalty back. It seems to me that if we have this near40-year history of states tinkering with the death penalty and not being able to get it right, Michigan citizens should ask why we think we’re smarter and we can do something that no one else would be able to do.” KATHY SWEDLOW
VICTORIA VULETICH SHOWCASED ON GRAND RAPIDS LEGAL NEWS Grand Rapids Legal News reported on a seminar organized by Professor Victoria Vuletich, titled “Bootcamp: Starting a 21st Century Law Firm.”
“It makes it so [when you use] a popular site, like Netflix, which can take up to 30 percent of the bandwidth at any given time, you will not be charged more to access it.” DAVID TARRIEN
WMU-COOLEY LAW SCHOOL PANEL TACKLES
MICHIGAN’S H To raise awareness of the heroin epidemic among young people in Michigan, WMU-Cooley Law School hosted panel discussions at both the Lansing and Auburn Hills campuses earlier this year. The sessions were titled, “Silence Equals Death: How the Heroin Epidemic is Driving Change in Perception, Treatment, and the Law.”
Panelists (left-right) Hon. Jodi Debbrecht Switalski, Detroit Recovery Project President and CEO Andre Johnson, ACHC/FAN Regional President Erica Clute-Cubbin, and Hon. John S. Gilbreath.
Professor Lauren Rousseau
“We have an epidemic with respect to heroin and opioids in this nation,” said Rousseau. “We need to take action to change that. We need to demand that lawmakers recognize addiction as a disease, and ensure that treatment is available.”
HEROIN EPIDEMIC Lauren Rousseau, professor of civil procedure at WMU-Cooley, led the panels, which reviewed the growing crisis of heroin use among young people and explored ways to improve their odds of survival.
the State Bar of Michigan’s Lawyers & Judges Assistance Committee, and adjunct professor at WMU-Cooley. Dr. Mark Menestrina, an addiction specialist, joined the second panel discussion.
and friends to the disease. The program sparked passionate conversation and inspired many to ask how they can get involved to help fight heroin use among young people and advocate for better treatment options.
Rousseau is particularly close to the issue because her “bonus” son, Jake, died at age 19 after a two-year battle with his addiction to heroin and other drugs. Rousseau became Jake’s legal guardian following his mother’s death when he was in high school. Unfortunately, it’s more common than you might think for young people Jake’s age to become addicted to heroin, said Rousseau.
Panelists discussed what those who work with people addicted to drugs should know concerning addiction and the best treatment options; what legislation has been passed to assist families affected by drug abuse, in particular, prescription drug misuse; and what tools first responders should have to save the lives of those who have overdosed on heroin and other drugs. The panelists agreed that the majority of individuals who become addicted to heroin begin with an addiction to opioid-based prescription pain medications.
“Many participants stayed after the programs to talk with me, the panelists, and each other,” Rousseau said. “People told me that they were extremely grateful to WMU-Cooley for organizing the event. Some said they struggled at certain points to hold back tears due to their own experiences with addiction. I did not expectTo this reaction, and it made me watch a video realizeofhow hungry are for the a portion of people the presentation, visit the 7, 2015 post at information weApril provided.” cooleylawschoolblog.com, or scan the QR code below.
The panel discussion included Hon. Jodi Debbrecht Switalski, who presides over the 51st District Sobriety Court and is co-founder of RADEO (Regional Anti-Drug Education & Outreach); Andre Johnson, president and CEO of the Detroit Recovery Project; Erica Clute-Cubbin, business development and contract management specialist for Meridian Health Services and the Southeast Oakland County regional chairperson of ACHC Families Against Narcotics (and a WMU-Cooley graduate); and Hon. John S. Gilbreath, retired administrative law judge for the state of Michigan, former chairperson of
“Four out of five heroin users start with prescription drugs,” Judge Switalski said. “We have a prescription drug problem that morphs into a heroin problem. If we can control prescription drugs in our communities, we will see a reduction in heroin use.” The well-attended events each drew more than 100 people, including law students, legal professionals, college students, recovering addicts, and addiction treatment professionals, in addition to those who have lost children, family 31
THE DIVIDE BETWEEN RACE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
Inspired by recent national events, WMU-Cooley Law School’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, hosted a panel in February on the breach in trust between the minority community and law enforcement. The discussion centered on the tension caused by mistrust and misunderstanding resulting from the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. WMU-Cooley’s BLSA led the community in holding this tough conversation and hearing from all sides of the issue.
“As educators of future lawyers and community leaders, it is incumbent upon WMU-Cooley Law School to facilitate these types of communitybased discussions,” said Criminal Law Professor Tonya Krause-Phelan.
The dialogue was moderated by BLSA President Te Smith. The panel featured Grand Rapids Urban League President Joseph Jones, WMU-Cooley student and Walker (Michigan) Police Sergeant Jonathan Paasch, Grand Rapids Police Captain Vincent Reilly, KrausePhelan, Grand Rapids Chief of Police David Rahinsky, and Grand Rapids-area Youth Pastor Paris McMurray. The discussion focused on how the Grand Rapids community has been impacted by larger national issues between minorities and law enforcement. Jones discussed how Grand Rapids has the same problems that larger metropolitan areas, such as Chicago and Detroit, are facing, only on a smaller scale.
“This is a difficult job at a difficult time,” said Chief Rahinsky. “We talk about trust, but officers need to do two things to build trust: be transparent and build trust at a much earlier age.” “We have similar disparities within communities of color,” Jones said. “Issues are very similar in terms of police-community relations as it would be in a larger urban core. It’s just that we’re smaller in size. It definitely had an effect on us here in Grand Rapids. I think it developed a wider gap in policecommunity relations.” Rahinsky discussed what he called bigpicture problem-solving and the incremental steps that the Grand Rapids Police Department needs to take to ensure that any breach in trust between citizens and law enforcement is diminished.
Paasch agreed there may be a few officers who have not behaved appropriately, but there exists a much larger group of officers who are looking out for everyone in their community. “A common ground that moral law enforcement officers stand on is intolerance toward officers who are slanting what our uniforms are meant to represent, and that is trust,” said Paasch.
As the conversation came to a close, all six panelists agreed on several points, most importantly that solutions come from addressing presumptions, breaking down “This is a difficult job at a difficult time,” generational mindsets and having said Rahinsky. “We talk about trust, but the types of conversations brought officers need to do two things to build trust: on by the BLSA event.
Courtesy Grand Rapids Legal News
be transparent and build trust at a much earlier age.”
Pictured (left-right) WMU-Cooley Professor Tonya Krause-Phelan, WMU-Cooley student and Walker, Michigan Police Officer Jonathan Paasch, Black Law Students Association President Te Smith, Grand Rapids Chief of Police David Rahinsky, Black Law Students Association Vice President Gwyne Thomas, and Grand Rapids-area Youth Pastor Paris McMurray.
CEO of Fathead speaks at WMU-Cooley Law School Sports and Entertainment Law Society event about the importance of networking ®
In March, the Sports Entertainment Law Society (SELS) sponsored a powerful event on the importance of networking and how to do it well. Patrick McInnis, CEO of Fathead, Inc., a Detroit, Michigan, company and subsidiary of Quicken Loans, spoke to the SELS at WMU-Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills campus. Fathead is a global promotions company that specializes in wall decals and other graphics. McInnis spoke about his pillars of success – care, loyalty, and trust. “When you meet someone, really get to know them; ask questions,” said McInnis. “Listening shows respect and
that we care. If people feel we care about them, they are more likely to trust us and give us their loyalty.” McInnis emphasized that everyone should continually network because opportunity springs from relationships. To generate business leads, individuals must regularly cultivate new relationships and maintain existing ones. On leadership, McInnis pointed to several tenets adopted by all staff at Quicken Loans as guiding principles for the way they do business and capture success.
Fathead CEO, Patrick McInnis
• Be aware, be curious, notice everything around you • Be the difference; even the little things matter, especially when added up • Be timely • Be clear and concise • Wow every client • Do it better, every time • Do what’s right • Do it together; united we’ll figure it out • Ignore the noise and make it happen • Say “yes” before “no” • Become the best and success will follow
Pictured left to right: Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS) President Justin Andrews, SELS Vice President MarKeinen Bland, Fathead CEO Patrick McInnis, SELS Secretary Robert St. Cin, and Student Bar Association President Michael Ruso.
“This was an outstanding opportunity for our students to learn the principles of good business practice, and SELS should be congratulated for a quality program,” said Lisa Halushka, assistant dean and professor of WMU-Cooley’s Auburn Hills campus. “Programs like this are invaluable to our students’ professional development.”
Overcoming obstacles without excuses Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein spoke at WMU-Cooley’s Lansing and Auburn Hills campuses in March. His presentation in Lansing was part of the school’s “Integrity In Our Communities” series, while in Auburn Hills, he was hosted by the campus’ Jewish Law Students Association. In both presentations, Bernstein described his journey to the bench and how he overcame the obstacles he encountered along the way. Bernstein recently made history when he was sworn in as the Court’s first blind justice. At birth, he was classified as legally blind as a result of retinitis pigmentosa. Bernstein inspired WMU-Cooley students, faculty, and staff by sharing how his own struggles and accomplishments have made him a stronger and more empathetic human being. To illustrate his point, Bernstein told the story of his catastrophic collision with a speeding cyclist in New York’s Central Park, an accident that left him hospitalized for 10 weeks. It was that accident, the pain, and the rehabilitation that followed that motivated him to train for and run his 18th marathon in the city. “The pain (of running the marathon) was going to be so intense that my goal was just to finish. I wasn’t going to let the pain get the better of me,” said Bernstein. “Every one
of us has an internal struggle. It’s up to us to push through so the next person has an easier ride, especially when that person has a disability that is preventing them access.” Before his election to the Michigan Supreme Court, Bernstein represented the Paralyzed Veterans of America in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice in an action against a state university. The university failed to accommodate disabled visitors in alterations to its stadium. Bernstein won the case, which helped to establish guidelines for access by disabled individuals that are used by all commercial facilities across the country. Responding to the question of whether there are enough opportunities for additional lawyers, Justice Bernstein said, “Most certainly we need more lawyers. Most definitely we need more lawyers. We need
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein
kind lawyers. We need caring lawyers. We need empathetic lawyers. You will come to know as law students that an easy life doesn’t always correspond to a good one. Often it is those who know hardship and challenge and difficulty and pain that come to understand and appreciate their purpose, their reason, why they were created. As lawyers there is no greater skill set than having the ability to tune in, relate to, and connect to the challenges and hardships that are faced by your fellow men and women.” After graduating from the Northwestern University School of Law, Bernstein started his career in the law offices of Sam Bernstein. Along with his legal career, Bernstein teaches a political science course in social activism at the University of Michigan and served an eight-year term on the Board of Governors at Wayne State University in Michigan, elected by voters statewide, serving as Chair from 2009-2010. To watch a video of his presentation, visit the April 3, 2015 post at cooleylawschoolblog. com, or scan the QR code.
Pictured (left-right) associate dean Joan Vestrand, Justice Richard Bernstein, assistant dean Lisa Halushka, and Jewish Law Students Association president Robert Unatin
Cooley Society thanks and recognizes donors at annual gala
With spring came the ninth installment of Debut, the annual gala of the Thomas M. Cooley Society, the law school’s donor recognition organization. At this year’s gala, “In the Spring Swing,” more than 100 Cooley Society members and guests gathered at the Country Club of Lansing for cocktails, a lovely dinner, remarks from President Don LeDuc, greetings from student leaders, and formal introductions to the society’s new and upgrading members.
“We are grateful to these individuals and organizations who believe so much in this law school and our students that they are willing to give of their own resources in support,” said Pamela Heos, director of Alumni and Donor Relations and coordinator of the Cooley Society. “Our members set a high philanthropic standard for all alumni and friends of WMU-Cooley to meet.” Membership in the Cooley Society, now totaling 485, is extended to individuals or organizations whose lifetime giving to the law school reaches $2,500 or more. This year, the 62 donors listed below either entered the society (*) or were recognized for having moved to a higher cumulative giving level (+):
NEW OR UPGRADING MEMBERS IN 2015 FOUNDERS’ SOCIETY - $50,000 Image Creative Group, Inc + John R. & Sarah H. Nussbaumer +
TEMPLE SOCIETY - $25,000 Jeannette Buttrey + CleanTeam USA + Peter M. and Kathleen Kemple + Joseph Kimble + Dorean M. Koenig + Dale & Carol Wissmuller Malewska + Oakland University + Charles & Mary Ellen Toy + F. Georgann Wing +
21ST CENTURY SOCIETY - $2,500
Frank Aiello + Eric E. Breisach* José T. Brown + Cheryl Bywater + Peter and Mary Terpstra Cagl e + James & Lori Carey + Chalgian & Tripp Law Offices PLLC + Charles D. Doolittle + Gerald B. Eisman + Robert C. Ellis + William J. Fleener* Patrick L. Fuller + Helen M. & Thomas M. Haessly + Lou Ann & Thomas J. Hall + James T. Heos + Nell Kuhnmuench and Roy C. Saper + Lyman & Sheets + Brig. Gen. Michael C. and Ann C. McDaniel* Michigan Office Solutions (MOS) + Florise R. Neville-Ewell s+ Dennis A. Swan +
Chad A. Brown* Joseph F. Burke* D. Augustus Straker Bar Association* Michael A. Darby* Scott T. Doggett* Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan* Paul D. Goldner* John C. Heugel* Innovative Communications* John Kane* Laura LeDuc* Lincoln Financial* Gerald MacDonald* Paul Marineau* Midstate Security* Joseph N. Nelson* John F. and Rose Nocita* Otis Elevators* Devin and Sheila Schindler* Reginald M. Turner* Robert C. von Gruben* The entire listing of Cooley Society members is found on line at cooley.edu/ giving/cooley_society_members.
PILLAR SOCIETY - $10,000 Keith & Cherie Beck + David G. Chopp + Continental Canteen + Delta Dental of Michigan + Analiese & Neal Fusner + Garan Lucow Miller PC + Edward Overbeck and the Great Lakes Companies* Trudy and Clyde Selig + SHW Group +
CORNERSTONE SOCIETY - $5,000
“We salute these generous alumni and friends,” said Heos. “Their support is critical to the law school’s mission.”
Making a donation or pledge to WMU-Cooley is easy. Start at cooley.edu/giving. Then either fill out and submit our online giving form or download and mail the printable form. We hope that you will join the ranks of the WMU-Cooley’s top supporters. Give or pledge today!
JAMES KLINEDINST, TRIMBLE CLASS, 2015
Clarity in life’s purpose
James Klinedinst in the pursuit of service (Trimble Class, 2015) As if law school weren’t challenging enough during the last three years, Klinedinst was also studying for his master of arts degree in pure and applied mathematics, which he earned in May 2014. He already holds a master’s degree in education and a bachelor of science degree in applied mathematics. For most of us, that would be more than enough to occupy our time and feed our intellectual appetite. However, Klinedinst is what Ronald Sutton, associate professor and assistant dean of WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus, refers to as “super human.” When he’s not studying the law or math, Klinedinst is
teaching calculus to students at St. Petersburg College in Florida and participating in numerous academic clubs, including acting as chief justice for Tampa Bay’s Moot Court. He’s also a father to his 10-month old son and an interim pastor of the community church he and his wife founded, which is modeled from the Acts 29 movement – building churches that continuously “plant” other churches here and around the world.
“What motivates me is helping others,” said Klinedinst. “I’m trying to pack in as much as I can because you never know when you won’t be able to help anymore.”
orphanage in Brazil and building houses in Tijuana to, most recently, teaching English as a second language, Klinedinst finds these experiences to be some of the most rewarding of his life. “My amazingly supportive wife and I understand the sacrifices necessary to accomplish great things,” said Klinedinst. “This is at the heart of why we both believe the long hours studying and working are worth the outcome of making others’ lives better.”
The U.S. Air Force is Klinedinst’s next pursuit. The Air Force recently selected him to join the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps after graduation from WMU-Cooley. Klinedinst says the program will allow During his senior year of high school, Klinedinst almost died in a car accident. He lost him to serve those who serve our country, his spleen and his right eye was paralyzed. He enriching his own life and the lives of his fellow service members. said the accident gave clarity to his life’s purpose -- serving others, in particular, the underrepresented. From working in an
COOLEY GRADS PART OF THE
VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals team Six WMU-Cooley graduates have something in common beyond their alma mater – they all work at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, an administrative tribunal within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in Washington, D.C. The six, shown in photo at right (from left to right) are Michael Marcum (Sibley Class, 2011),
Nina DiPadova (Woodbridge Class, 2010), Kristine Gielow (Boyles Class, 2005), Helena Walker (Starr Class, 2005), Ashley Castillo (Marshall Class, 2013) and Joshua Castillo (Moore Class, 2013). Although these six attorneys hold various titles, their general responsibilities involve writing appellate decisions determining whether U.S. military veterans are entitled to veterans’ benefits.
Class Notes 1976
Jordan, Stephen H., a member of the Rothman Gordon law firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was invited to join the National Academy of Arbitrators’ Advocates’ Committee for the June 22-25, 2016 annual meeting in Pittsburgh.
Eggan, Eric, a partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn in Lansing, Michigan, was elected as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Swift, Mary J., was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Pathways Community Mental Health, a four-county Michigan mental health authority with offices in Marquette, Escanaba, Munising, and Newberry, Michigan. She resides in Marquette with her husband, Joe Lavey (Wing Class, 1982).
Manis, Paula, of Loomis, Ewert, Parsley, Davis & Gotting, P.C., was included in the 2015 edition of the Best Lawyers in America for arbitration, mediation and oil and gas law.
MacCallum, Neil, an attorney with Collins Einhorn Farrell PC in Southfield, Michigan, was named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a 2015 Leader in the Law. MacCallum is a co-managing shareholder with the firm. He focuses his practice on the defense of asbestos personal injury and property damage, other toxic tort matters, and general personal injury and property damage claims.
Graves Class Miller, Kenneth, was elected to the board of directors at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. He is also vice chair of the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees.
North Class Boyle, Brian, was reappointed as a member of the Michigan Workers Compensation Board of Magistrates. He was a trial attorney at Phifer & White P.C. Krause, Andrew J., a partner in the Naples, Florida, office of Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, was named to Florida Trend magazine’s list of Florida Legal Elite 2014. He is also listed in the 2003-15 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the category of Trusts and Estates, as well as in the 2006-14 editions of Florida Super Lawyers. He has also been listed in “FIVE STAR: Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth Managers.”
Bushnell Class Otis, David K., was named to Plunkett Cooney’s inaugural “Leading Lawyers” list in the fields of governmental, municipal, lobbying and administrative law. He is an attorney in the firm’s East Lansing, Michigan, office.
Wing Class Kennedy, Dermot F., was appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania as Chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners. He is a solo practitioner with offices in Richboro, Pennsylvania, and Moorestown, New Jersey. His law practice is limited to federal and state tax litigation, representing corporations, partnerships, tax exempt entities and individuals in tax controversies with the IRS and state taxing
authorities and syndicating tax credits to major financial institutions the proceeds of which are used to build affordable housing for families and seniors. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Bucks County Bar Association where he also was the chair of the Tax Section for three years. Mr. Kennedy is a past President of the Charitable Foundation of the Bucks County Bar Association. McKeen, Brian, founder and managing partner of McKeen & Associates in Detroit, Michigan, was named chair of the Primerus Personal Injury Institute. He also announces that his firm had 11 of the state’s highest settlements in 2014. The firm specializes in birth trauma and medical malpractice cases.
Morell Class O’Hara, Jeffrey, was elected judge of the 63rd District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously operated a law practice since 1987, specializing in criminal defense at both the state and federal levels.
Whipple Class Marabondo, Salvatore, was awarded the Excellence in Practice Award for exemplifying professional, trial advocacy, ethical conduct, and genuine respect for his fellow attorneys and the court. He has been named a New Jersey Super Lawyer each year since 2009. He reports that he is the only attorney with offices in Jersey City who is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a workers compensation law attorney. 1987
DiStefano, David, J., was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to the probate court bench in Van Buren County. Judge DiStefano served as city attorney for Bangor, Michigan, 1987-2014 and most recently was a private practice attorney handling primarily probate work.
Kolar, Randy, a principal with the Rehmann law firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Michigan in the areas of Trust, Wills & Estate Planning Law.
Randall, Ken, director of the Midland County (Michigan) Friend of the Court, was presented with the 2014 President’s Award from the Referees Association of Michigan. The award is in recognition of his integrity, professionalism, and years of dedicated service to the Referees Association of Michigan. He was appointed as the Friend of the Court in Midland County in December 2013.
Keuvelaar, John C., was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to the probate court bench in Bay County. Judge Keuvelaar previously served as a Bay County assistant prosecutor since 1987. In his new role, he oversees two drug treatment courts, one for families and one for juveniles.
Klaeren, Lisa, was reappointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as chair of the Michigan Workers Compensation Board of Magistrates. She is a senior staff attorney for Hartford Insurance.
O’Hara Class Peacock, Peter, was named to Plunkett Cooney’s inaugural “Leading Lawyers” list in the fields of land use, zoning and condemnation law. He is an attorney in the firm’s Mt. Clemens, Michigan, office.
Class Notes 1988
Forbush, Audrey J., was named Governmental Law Practice Group Leader for Plunkett Cooney. She is a partner in the firm’s Flint, Michigan, office. She focuses her practice in the area of municipal liability, with particular expertise in police liability matters, including pursuits, excessive force, civil rights violations, whistleblower claims, and labor and employment matters. She was also named to Plunkett Cooney’s inaugural “Leading Lawyers” list in the fields of governmental, municipal, lobbying and administrative law.
Dawes, Terry, has rejoined McKeen & Associates in Detroit, Michigan, as counsel. He will continue his practice as a litigation attorney in the areas of medical malpractice, wrongful death, birth trauma, and vaccine compensation claims.
McQuagge, Michael C., announces that his firm is now the McQuagge & King Law Firm and has moved to the University Park Building in Fort Myers, Florida, 12800 University Dr., Suite #530. The firm also has locations in Naples, Cocoa Beach, and Tampa, Florida, and Dallas, Texas.
Stewart, Troy, was named a full equity partner with Kuhn Rogers PLC in Traverse City, Michigan. His areas of practice include: commercial litigation and arbitration, commercial and consumer collections, landlord-tenant, corporate law, employment law, general civil, criminal, divorce and family law, environmental, real property, business/ contract litigation, and appeals.
Witherell Class Schwinn, Christina Harris, had the thesis that she wrote to obtain her LL.M. in employment law published by the Northeastern University School of Law. She is a partner with the Pavese Law Firm in Ft. Myers, Florida.
Ostrander Class Baker, Glen R., was invested as an immigration judge in Salt Lake City, Utah, by the Executive Office for Immigration Review. He previously served as an attorney adviser for the Board of Immigration Appeals, Executive Office for Immigration Review, for the U.S. Department of Justice. Harter, The Hon. Mathew, was reelected to his second six-year term as a district court judge assigned to the Family Division in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was also featured on the cover of the August 2013 issue of the Clark County Bar Association magazine, Communique. 1995
Guari, Jason J., announces the 10th anniversary of Murray & Guari in West Palm Beach, Fla. The firm, founded in 2005 with fellow attorney Scott C. Murray, handles personal injury and wrongful death matters.
Costigan, The Hon. J. Casey, was appointed as an at-large circuit judge for the 11th Judicial Circuit in Bloomington, Illinois. He previously served as an associate judge.
Krinock Class Nichol, David, was made a partner with Roderick Linton Belfance in Akron, Ohio. He focuses on litigation, employment and business-financialestate planning. 1992
Montgomery Class Bierfreind, Gary, has been appointed managing director and head of wholesale operations for World Business Lenders in New York, New York.
Busse, Maryanne (Calvetto), was sworn in as the Ocean County Bar President in Toms River, New Jersey in May 2014. She has been a solo practitioner for over 10 years, chaired the county high school mock trial competition for 12 years, and sits on the Toms River Township Planning Board.
Kuhn Class Kapuza, John, of Abeyta Nelson in Yakima, Washington, was granted membership to National Trial Lawyers. Membership is extended to attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership in their state.
McDonald Class Clement, Julie, was appointed to the Portland City Council. She previously served on the council from May 2007-November 2011, and was Mayor Pro Tem for her final two years.
Snow Class Dawson, George B., was appointed to serve on the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. He is a deputy district attorney in the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, serving as the chief of the antiviolence, insurance fraud, and auto theft units. 1999
Flannigan Class Manley, Jennifer, is a judge for the 67th Genesee County District Court second division.
Fead Class Faber, The Hon. Jennifer, was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as a judge for the 61st District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She previously was a managing partner in the law firm of Sherlund, Faber, and Van Meter PLLC. Pope, Melissa, was reappointed Chief Judge of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi tribal court for a four-year term. She has served as the tribe’s chief judge since February 2011, and as the Appellate Court Chief Justice for the Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians since 2009.
Weadock Class Veneklasen, Heather Ashley, was married to Sean Vernon Albertson Sept. 5, 2014, in Anchorage, Alaska. She is employed by the U.S. Department of Justice in Anchorage.
Paterson Class Hillock, Kimberlee, co-chair of the appellate practice group for Willingham & Coté, PC, in East Lansing, Mich., was presented with the John Coté Award for “excellence in advocacy and representation of clients in furtherance of the firm’s commitment to the highest standards of the legal profession.” Before the award, presented Dec. 5, 2014, Hillock secured appellate victories on behalf of clients in 18 out of 19 appeals. Willis, Shaun P., cofounder of Willis Law in Kalamazoo, Michigan, was selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of Michigan’s Top Attorneys 2014. 2003
Swainson Class Hope, Kara, serves as vice chair of the Ingham County Board of Commissioners for 2015. She is in her second term on the board. Ruswinckel, Alecia M., was named by the Ingham County Bar Association as the winner of the Theodore W. Swift Civility Award for 2014.
Needham Class Harmon-Higgins, Cassandra, was named executive director of human resources for the Washtenaw (Michigan) Intermediate School District. She previously served as the interim superintendent of Howell, Michigan, Public Schools. 2005
McAllister Class Benson, Trisha M., of Starr, Butler, Alexopoulos & Stoner, PLLC, in Southfield, Michigan, was named a new partner with the firm. Ms. Benson specializes in the defense of claims related to employment practices liability, employment law, professional liability (including accountant and cyber liability) and commercial litigation. She represents businesses and professionals in trial and pre-trial strategies. Her experience includes representation and counseling regarding malpractice claims, contract claims, non-competition issues, and shareholder disputes.
Boyles Class Kilby, Kevin K., was promoted to partner with McGraw Morris P.C., which has offices in Troy, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw, Michigan. He specializes in municipal law, and represents numerous cities, villages, townships, downtown development authorities, water authorities, and drain commissioners throughout Michigan. Phone: (810) 569-0352; email: kkilby@ mcgrawmorris.com. 2006
Reid Class Lewis, Josie, joined the law firm of Potestivo & Associates, P.C., as an associate attorney in the firm’s litigation department in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Mysliwiec, Melisa M.W., a member of the Trust and Estate Department at Fraser Trebilcock, was named a Super Lawyer 2014 Rising Star in Michigan in the fields of estate planning, and probate and elder law.
Plecha, Ryan C., was named a partner at Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein, PLLC, in Birmingham, Michigan. He joined the firm as an associate attorney in 2010, and was recognized in 2014 as a Super Lawyer Rising Star and an Up and Coming Lawyer by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He focuses on civil and complex commercial litigation with plans to expand into bankruptcy and class actions.
Hall, Lisa A., a member of Plunkett Cooney in the firm’s Grand Rapids, Michigan, office, was named a shareholder and partner in the firm. She is a member of the firm’s Banking, Bankruptcy & Creditors Rights Practice Group and focuses her practice primarily in the areas of creditors’ rights and related issues. She was named a Michigan Rising Star in the areas of bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights by Super Lawyers magazine in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Barwick, Lisa, joined Potestivo & Associates as an associate attorney in the firm’s litigation department in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Krull, Matthew, Solicitor-General for Douglas County, Georgia, was named Prosecutor of the Year by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Coleman Class Thomas, Bryan D., opened his solo practice, the Law Office of Bryan D. Thomas, LLC, at 600 S. High St., Suite 100, Columbus, Ohio 43215. He focuses his practice on commercial and residential real estate transactions, small business representations, and property management representation. Phone: (614) 593-6398; e-mail: bthomas@ bryanthomaslaw.com.
Sibley Class Marcum, Michael, and Nina DiPadova (Woodbridge Class, 2010) were married on September 27, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. They live in Washington, D.C., and work as appellate attorneys with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Wilkins Class Lee, Kenneth D., has joined McKeen & Associates in Detroit, Michigan, as an associate. He focuses his practice on personal injury and medical malpractice.
Genovich, Laura, was elected as a shareholder of Foster Swift Collins and Smith, P.C. She practices bankruptcy law, municipal law, trial-level and appellate litigation in the firm’s Grand Rapids, Michigan, office.
DiPadova, Nina, and Michael Marcum (Sibley Class, 2011) were married on September 27, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. They live in Washington, D.C., and work as appellate attorneys with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Scanlon, Patrick, has joined O’Donnell Law Offices, a personal injury law firm in Kingston, Pennsylvania.
Bauman, Brandon, is the director of business affairs and legal counsel for Zodiak USA.
Adkins, Shawn, an assistant prosecutor for Harrison County, West Virginia, now also assists the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia as a Special Assistant Prosecutor. He primarily handles cases arising out of Harrison County, with an emphasis on drug trafficking and violent crimes.
Mills, Helen “Lizzie,” an attorney with Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, in Okemos, Michigan, was named one of the “Top 5 Attorneys Under 35” in Ingham County for 2015. She focuses her practice in the areas of municipal law and labor and employment law.
Pridgeon, JaHarr, was appointed as a city court judge in Buffalo, New York.
DeVries, Bob, was named Chief of Staff to the Michigan Senate Majority Leader. McHugh, Paul, has joined the law firm of Braun Kendrick. The firm has offices in Saginaw, Midland, and Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Nemerof, Michael B., joined The Law Office of Yates and Schiller, PA, in Boca Raton, Florida, as an associate attorney. The firm specializes in insurance subrogation, commercial litigation, and collections.
Ellsworth Class Johnson, Gabrielle, was appointed as a member of the Lansing (Michigan) School Board. She is an attorney with the law firm of Shea, Aiello & Doxsie.
Washington Class Gardner, Jaebadiah S., is the founder & CEO of GardnerGlobal, Inc. and is the managing partner for Onpoint Real 41
Class Notes Estate Services, LLC, a full-service boutique brokerage firm in Seattle, Washington. He handles the day-today business of managing a portfolio of residential properties under management, leading in negotiations and driving business development. 2013
Alfred Moore Class Hagaman, Brandon, has joined the law firm of Jonathan R. Crane P.C., in Rochester, Michigan. His practice emphasis is in municipal law and zoning, and site plan approvals. Liu, Fang, joined the China practice of Dickinson Wright PLLC. She is based in the firm’s Ann Arbor, Michigan, office and will travel extensively between China and the United States. She services Chinese and American companies in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, securities regulations, venture capital, private equity, real estate, and general commercial and employment matters. Ludington III, Jeremiah, joined Zhang Financial as a client service manager. He was previously a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and also practices law with Boyer, Dawson & St. Pierre PLLC in Sterling Heights, Michigan. McBean, LaToya, was named deputy corporation counsel for Wayne County, Michigan.
Marshall Class Elder IV, John A., was chosen to serve Marion County, Kentucky, as the Assistant County Attorney. Robinson, Darius, serves as the Veterans Treatment Court coordinator at the Michigan 15th Judicial District in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sulaka, Richard, a Macomb County (Michigan) Deputy Public Works commissioner, was appointed to the advisory board of World Patent Marketing, and given the company’s American Dream Award.
Johnson Class Fritz, Andrew, joined the Gjesdahl Law Firm, in Fargo, North Dakota, as an associate attorney.
Hughes, Nicole, joined the law firm of Alane & Chartier, P.L.C., in Lansing, Michigan. She previously worked as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. John G. McBain of the Jackson County (Michigan) Circuit Court. She specializes in family law.
Marek, Jerome, 67, died April 17, 2013, of cardiac arrest, in Sacramento, California.
Dobrinoff-Blake, Angela N., passed away on April 19, 2015 after a long fight with cancer. She leaves her husband and two children who are still at home.
Livingston Class Anderson, Abbey, opened Abbey Anderson Law PC, 214 E. Ludington St., Iron Mountain, Michigan. The firm focuses on estate planning, trusts, real estate, business formation, and probate for upper Michigan and northern Wisconsin clients. Covarrubias, Jessica Sue, married Casey Michael Riskey on June 7, 2014 in Bay City, Michigan. She is pursuing her LL.M. degree in insurance law at WMU-Cooley, and is a staff accountant at Hantz-Ewald LLC in Bad Axe, Michigan.
Todd Class Bilic, Milica, joined Potestivo & Associates, P.C., as an associate attorney in the firm’s foreclosure department in the Chicago, Illinois, office. Cavalieri, Anthony, joined the firm of Mouw & Celello PC, in Iron Mountain, Michigan, as an associate attorney. He practices criminal defense, personal injury litigation, environmental law, real estate and property law, and other civil matters. Maurer, Andrew M., joined Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC in the firm’s Royal Oak, Michigan, office. He concentrates his practice in intellectual property law, with an emphasis on patent preparation, prosecution, and clearance work, primarily in the mechanical arts. Wilson, Ashley, joined the law firm of Dingeman and Dancer, in Traverse City, Michigan. She works with injured clients facing proceedings against insurance companies.
Lewis, Allen J., of Gobles, Michigan, died Nov. 24, 2014.
Sparks, Geoffrey A., of Marinette, Wisconsin, died Dec. 20, 2014.
Shild, Keith E., of Farmington Hills, Michigan, died Aug. 14, 2014.
Scanlon, Kathleen M., of Anchorage, Alaska, died of cancer, Sept. 26, 2014.
Lillard, Willis Callaway, 65, died March 21, 2015, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Dethmers Class Harris, Patricia Graham, 74, died Oct. 23, 2014, in St. Louis, Michigan.
Long Class Wolfe, Robert Kenworthy, 59, died June 19, 2014, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Sumrall, Aaron, died Aug. 15, 2014.
Sharp Class Overbey, Natalie, 32, died Jan. 15, 2013.
Adams Class Stawick II, Thaddeus Michael, 42, of Howell, Michigan, died March 10, 2014. He was an attorney with Stawick and Stawick Law Firm.
Copeland Class Reilly Jr., Michael James, 51, of Okemos, Michigan, died Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015.
WMU-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 communications@ cooley.edu
Faculty Briefs Gary Bauer, Professor Invited, to participate in The Future of Legal Services, for the State Bar of Michigan. Invited, to be a 21st Century Task Force member of the State Bar of Michigan’s 2015 initiative to roll out a comprehensive plan for the State Bar to address the needs of members of the Bar in the future. Moderated, the WMU-Cooley Law Review Symposium, “The Future of Legal Services,” in November. Attended, the Wealth Counsel Forum for estate planning in January. Presented, for the Ingham County Bar Association, on time management. Appointed, to the Executive Committee for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Attended, The State Bar of Michigan, Elderlaw and Disability Rights Section Spring Conference in March 2015. Created, and published, a new blog at sololawyerbydesign.com since January 2015, with over 21 new posts.
Mark Cooney, Professor Published, a column called “Let’s Hit the Links? Keep Your Eye on the Ball When Researching Online,” in the February edition of the ABA Law Student Division’s Student Lawyer magazine. Published, a poem parody called “The Pleading,” in the March 2015 edition of the Michigan Bar Journal. (This piece first appeared in the book Sketches on Legal Style.)
Attended, the annual board meeting (and related events) for Scribes – The American Society of Legal Writers at the University of Texas Law School in Austin, Texas, on February 27-28. Published, a guest blog entry called “Is Pleading Style Really a Matter of Taste?” on the Legal Writing Editor in December 2014. Selected, for republication in the Michigan Bar Journal’s 30th Anniversary “Plain Language” column retrospective, two articles: “A Legal-Writing Carol” (from December 2011) and “A Letter to Mrs. Finklebean” (from August 2010). Quoted, in the Michigan Lawyers Weekly article, “Ratchet Up the Research: Court of Appeals tells lawyers to stop citing old law,” March 2, 2015, concerning the need for careful research and the risks of overreliance on brief banks. Attended, the December 2014 meeting of the Michigan Supreme Court’s Committee on Model Criminal Jury Instructions. Judged, the preliminary round of the Scribes Law Review Competition, which honors the best studentwritten article from a pool of articles submitted by law reviews across the nation. Administered, ABA Media Alerts website for Sixth Circuit case summaries, editing and posting Law Review – student drafts summarizing new Sixth Circuit cases of note. (WMU-Cooley has been responsible for the Sixth Circuit alerts since 2012.) Commented, on the Michigan Supreme Court’s proposed amendments to MCR 7.215.
Gerald Fisher, Professor Presented, a program at the State Bar Public Corporation Law Section annual winter seminar in Novi, Michigan, on the subject of medical marijuana. Served, as moderator and speaker over two days of sessions at the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys Local Government Academy, held in Lansing, Michigan. Mr. Fisher spoke on three topics: The Relationship Between Federal, State, and Local Government; Limitations on Local Government Under Federal Constitution and Law; and Michigan Medical Marijuana. Selected, as a speaker for the University of Michigan Annual School of Pharmacy Lecture on the subject of medical marijuana regulation in Michigan. Appeared, in two programs with Oakland County Circuit Judge Michael Warren, for cable television sessions of “Patriot Lessons,” providing commentary and history on the fundamental rights of association and assembly under the U.S. Constitution. Prepared, and presented, a workshop on behalf of the Michigan Association of Planning for officials in Ingham County from the city of Williamston, and from Williamstown, Meridian, Delhi, and Locke townships. The workshop covered issues relating to the Due Process Clause and Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, and related issues that presented liability risks for the local government, and planning and zoning efforts that might mitigate liability.
Presented, a workshop to the city council, planning commission and zoning board of appeals of the city of Wyoming (near Grand Rapids, Michigan). The workshop focused on due process, the Open Meetings Act, conflict of interest, and related subjects. Spoke, for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education at the annual convention of the State Bar of Michigan in Grand Rapids, presenting on the subject of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Presented, with the Association’s Distinguished Service Award by the Oakland County Bar Association. Appointed, to a pro bono legal team exploring open space preservation in the city of Detroit. Worked with Detroit Future City and the Detroit Land Bank, undertaking legal research and preparing documents, to submit for consideration of the city of Detroit. Worked, pro bono with a citizens’ group in Chelsea, Michigan, attempting to preserve conservation and recreation areas in, and also preserve a historic downtown area in, Washtenaw County. Presented a power point workshop to 25 leaders and experts in the group. Worked, pro bono with a state representative, Michigan Association of Planning, MSU Extension Service, and a representative from the University of Michigan School of Architecture on crafting a proposed amendment to the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act applicable to mining operations. Attended, meetings with citizens and county officials to pursue connectivity of walking and biking paths associated with the Paint Creek Trail in Rochester-Oakland Township area.
Faculty Briefs Served, as principal drafter of a letter to the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of the Public Corporation Law Section concerning the Report to the Michigan Supreme Court by the Task Force on the Role of the State Bar of Michigan – Section Advocacy Recommendations. Provided, pro bono work for the Clinton River Watershed Council in connection with legal issues facing the Council. Co-authored, an article on due process for a set of articles to be contributed to the Michigan Bar Journal by the State Bar Public Corporation Law Section. Interviewed, by the Los Angeles Weekly, regarding zoning in the United States, with a particular focus on restrictions applicable to living arrangements in residential zones. Interviewed, by the Lansing State Journal, concerning claims made against the city of Lansing based on sewer system malfunction. Interviewed, by the Port Huron Times Herald, on the subject of a new zoning ordinance amendment imposing restrictions on rental housing within the city. Attended, the annual dinner of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society’s Advocates’ Guild, a dinner with Michigan Supreme Court Justices and attorneys who have advocated before the Court. Presented, and received grant funds for Oakland County, Michigan, in his role as chairman of the County Parks and Recreation Commission. The grant funds were received in connection with the county’s partnership with U.S. Paralympics, and are intended to promote the county’s Disabled Veterans Sport Initiative.
Don LeDuc, President and Dean Served, on February 18, on a panel for a webinar presentation entitled “Natural Resources Permits and Administrative Challenges.” Lawyers Dennis J. Donahue and Dan Ettinger, both of Warner, Norcross & Judd, LLC, were featured. The program was sponsored by the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, the Environmental Litigation and Administrative Practice Committee, the Energy, Sustainability and Natural Resources Committee, and the Administrative & Regulatory Section of the State Bar of Michigan.
Michael McDaniel, Professor and Director of Homeland Security Law Programs Published, an article in February 2015 Michigan Bar Journal, “Veteran Treatment Courts in Michigan: A Consideration of the Factors for Success.” Chaired, two sessions at the Homeland Security and Defense Consortium in Colorado Springs in October 2014: an Interview of General Chuck Jacoby, Commander of U.S. Northern command, on national security threats to the continental U.S.; and a discussion of the legal issues facing the Transportation Security Administration with Francine Kerner, General Counsel of the TSA.
Nelson Miller, Associate Dean and Professor Presented, on “The Affordable Care Act’s Impact on Michigan No-Fault Updates,” at the Michigan Judges Association Annual Conference, in Traverse City, Michigan, August 18, 2014. Co-Authored, with Tracey A. Brame, the book, CrossCultural Law Service: A Lawyer’s Professional Skill (Crown Management 2015) on how lawyers can improve service to diverse clients. Authored, the book, Who Cares? The Profound History of Liability Law (Crown Management 2015), as a thematic treatment of the 4,500year history of tort law.
Michael Molitor, Professor Completed, an article, “Business Associations,” for the upcoming Survey edition of The Wayne Law Review. Named, Reporter for the Business Corporation Act Committee of the Business Law Section of the state bar.
John Nussbaumer, Professor Developed, a new, two-hour lecture for WMU-Cooley’s Michigan Essay Workshop, detailing all of the Michigan Criminal Law distinctions tested on the Michigan bar examination, including 10 pages of visual charts summarizing all major Michigan crimes, defenses, and miscellaneous concepts. Served, as an essay grader for the school’s new simulated bar examination, which offered graduates a full, 15-question Michigan essay exam in preparation for the February 2015 examination.
Kimberly O’Leary, Professor Participated, in the Midwest Clinical Teachers Conference, in East Lansing, Michigan, September 12-14, 2014. She participated in the Advanced Teacher Training Workshop: Giving Formative Assessment in Difficult Situations, and served as a Working Group Facilitator and a facilitator for the elder law group.
James Robb, Associate Dean of External Affairs and Senior Counsel Moderated, the WMU-Cooley Law Review Symposium, “The Future of Legal Services,” in November. Moderated, the ninth annual Howard Soifer Memorial Lecture in Sports and Entertainment Law in November. The lecture featured noted motorsports and professional football lawyer Alan R. Miller.
Lauren Rousseau, Professor Organized, spoke, and moderated a panel discussion at two symposia entitled, Silence Equals Death: How the Heroin Epidemic is Driving Change in Perception, Treatment & the Law, held at the Auburn Hills campus on January 30 and at the Lansing campus on March 19. Interviewed, and quoted extensively in an article published in the Legal News regarding the heroin epidemic and the two Silence Equals Death symposia. Interviewed, on WWJ radio regarding the opioid epidemic and the January 30, 2015, symposium. Interviewed, and quoted extensively, in Michigan Lawyers Weekly, regarding the former Attorney Grievance Administrator’s wrongful discharge lawsuit against the Michigan Supreme Court. Launched, a pro bono bankruptcy program in collaboration with the nonprofit Access to Bankruptcy Court which pairs WMU-Cooley law students with experienced bankruptcy attorneys to handle Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. Supervised student training and participation in the program.
Devin Schindler, Professor Appeared, on Nov. 6, 2014, on WZZM-TV (6 p.m. news), on “Sixth Circuit Upholds Gay Marriage Ban.” Appeared, on Nov. 6, 2014, on WZZM-TV (11 p.m. news), on “Next Steps in Fight for Marriage Equality.” Appeared, on Nov. 7, 2014, on WOOD AM/FM, on “Understanding the Sixth Circuit’s Gay Marriage Ruling.” Interviewed, on Nov. 7, 2014, by the Flint Journal, on “Privacy and Public Exposure of Arrest Records.” Appeared, on Nov. 9, 2014, on WOOD AM/FM, on “Supreme Court Round-Up.” Appeared, on Nov. 12, 2014, on WOOD AM/FM, on “Public Crosses and the Establishment Clause.” Appeared, on Dec. 1, 2014, on WZZM-TV, on “Grand Juries and Racial Discrimination.” Appeared, on Dec. 3, 2014, on WCSG AM/FM: “Civil Rights Enforcement and the Department of Justice.” Appeared, on Dec. 8, 2014, on WJRW, on “Privacy and Body Cameras.” Appeared, on Dec. 9, 2014, on WJRW, on “Torture Memo’s, Security and Liberty.” Appeared, on Dec. 16, 2014, on WKRW, on “Privacy and Public Recordings.” Appeared, on Dec. 18, 2014, on WOOD AM/FM, on “Public Forums and Hate Speech.” Appeared, on Jan. 7, 2015, on WOOD AM-FM, on “Public Displays and the Free Exercise Clause.”
Appeared, on Jan. 12, 2015, on WKAR AM, on “Constitutional Rights of Public Employees.” Appeared, on Jan.15, 2015, on WOOD AM-FM, on “Supreme Court and Circuit Splits.” Appeared, on Jan. 17, 2015, on WZZM-TV, on “Cert Grants and Fundamental Rights.” Appeared, on Jan. 18, 2015, on WZZM-TV, on “Status of Legalized Same Sex Marriage.” Appeared, on Feb. 24, 2015, on WZZM-TV, on “Mission Statements and the Establishment Clause.” Interviewed, on March 8, 2015, by the Flint Journal, on “The Second Amendment and Open Carry in Schools.”
Patrick Tolan, Visiting Professor Presented, “Chinks in the Clean Air Act Armor: Health Threats to the Most Vulnerable,” as a panelist at the 16th Annual Northeast Florida Environmental Summit: Public Health and the Environment on Feb. 26, 2015.
Victoria Vuletich, Professor Studied, for five weeks in the spring of 2014, at the University of Surrey Law School, in Guildford, England, researching the changes in the United Kingdom legal services marketplace which will likely transform the U.S. legal marketplace. Published, in The Journal of the Legal Profession, an article following her Surrey experience, “Value v. Reason: What We Can Learn from Our Colleagues Across the Pond: A Comparison of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code of Conduct” in its fall edition. Invited, by State Bar of Michigan President and Cooley graduate Thomas Rombach, to be a member of the new State Bar of Michigan’s 21st Century Practice Committee. Served, as a keynote speaker at the State Bar of Michigan’s two Boot Camps for Starting a 21st Century Practice.
Christopher Trudeau, Professor Presented, “The Patient, the Provider, and the Form? Re-imagining Informed Consent,” at PlainTalk 2015, hosted by Maximus, in Arlington, Virginia, on March 12-13, 2015. Presented, a breakout session titled, “Approved: Creating Patient-Friendly Documents that Satisfy Your Legal Department,” at the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s Annual Conference in Irvine, California, on May 6-8, 2015.
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