Class Notes 2019-2020

1960s

  • Jean Love ’68 received the 2020 Great Teacher Award from the Society of American Law Teachers. She is a professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law.
Randolph Stone giving a talk
Randolph Stone ’75 has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Council of Lawyers for a lifetime of achievements in pursuit of justice. Stone retired in 2019 after thirty-one years of service at the University of Chicago Law School’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic.

1970s

  • Robert Bender ’76 has been named the 2019 recipient of the Middlesex County Assistant District Attorney Award from the Middlesex Bar Association in Massachusetts.
  • Seward Montgomery Cooper ’78 was appointed to a five-year term as one of seven judges of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, which sits in Washington, DC. Judges are appointed by the board of directors of the World Bank Group, on recommendation of the president of the World Bank.
  • Roy Evans ’79 received the 2019 Zeidler Award for a life of public service. Established by the Milwaukee Common Council in 2006, the award honors an outstanding Milwaukee resident each year. Evans has a solo practice in Milwaukee that focuses on business development and contract law.

1980s

  • Charlie Geyh ’83 has been named an Indiana University Distinguished Professor. Geyh is the John F. Kimberling Professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. He recently published Who is to Judge? The Perennial Debate Over Whether to Elect or Appoint America’s Judges (Oxford University Press 2019), under the auspices of a Carnegie Fellowship.
  • Lisa Clay Foley ’87 won the 2019 Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund Distinguished Service Award. Foley recently retired from Disability Rights Wisconsin, after a 30-year career as a public interest lawyer.
Alethia Nancoo headshot
Alethia Nancoo ’97 received a 2020 Minority Business Leader Award from the Washington Business Journal. The annual award honors the entrepreneurial drive, creativity, and success of twenty-five inspiring business leaders in the greater DC area. Nancoo is a partner at Squire Patton Boggs, where her practice focuses on public, private, and project debt finance.

1990s

  • Bryan Schneider ’92 was named the associate director for supervision, enforcement and fair lending for the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Gregory Monday ’93 is the author of a newly published book on succession planning for family-owned businesses. The Lawyer’s Guide to Family Business Succession Planning: A Step-by-Step Approach for Lawyers, Business Owners, and Advisors is now available through the American Bar Association. He is a shareholder at Reinhart Boerner Van Dueren and was named a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
  • Chris Taylor ’95 has been appointed to the Dane County Circuit Court bench, effective August 1. Before her appointment by Governor Tony Evers, she served five terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly. She also previously worked as the public policy director for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and in private practice, where she focused on family law and civil litigation.
  • Daniel Friedberg ’96 has been made partner at Fenwick & West LLP.
  • Melissa (Jackson) Holloway ’96 was named general counsel at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
  • Brian Pfeil ’97 has been appointed chair of the litigation and construction team at Davis Kuelthau’s Milwaukee office.
  • Bryan Nowicki ’97 has joined Husch Blackwell as a partner in its Madison office, where he offers hospice clients comprehensive, nationwide representation on complex litigation, compliance, and business matters.
  • Vanessa Tanaka ’99 has joined the Chicago office of Blank Rome LLP as a partner in the finance, restructuring, and bankruptcy group.

2000s

  • Rhonda Frank-Loron ’00 recently became Wisconsin’s first pretrial program manager. She works with Wisconsin counties in the development and implementation of statewide pretrial services initiatives concerning legal and evidence-based practices, while maximizing public safety, court appearances, and pretrial release.
  • Meg Pekarske ’00 has joined Husch Blackwell as a partner in its Madison office. She is part of the hospice and palliative care team.
  • Steve Dries ’01 was appointed to an eight-year term as a magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Prior to his swearing in, he served as clerk of courts for the Eastern District. As a magistrate judge, Dries will preside in some civil cases, handle retrial matters in criminal cases, review search and arrest warrants, mediate civil disputes, and conduct citizenship naturalization ceremonies.
  • Kira Loehr ’02 has been named partner at Perkins Coie. She is a member of the environment and natural resources practice group. Loehr represents generation, transmission, and distribution utilities, as well as consumers, before state and federal regulatory agencies and courts.
  • Milton Bluehouse Jr. ’04 was appointed deputy chief of staff for the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President. Prior to his appointment, he served as a tribal liaison and state environmental justice coordinator for the New Mexico Environment Department, legislative advisor for the Navajo Nation Office of Legislative Services, interim director for the Arizona Commission on Indian Affairs, and political and government affairs associate for the Navajo Nation’s Washington Office.
  • Tom O’Day ’06 has joined Husch Blackwell as a partner in its Madison office. He advises and represents employers on labor and employment matters, with a particular focus on the healthcare and education sectors.
  • Mario White ’08 was appointed to the Dane County Circuit Court bench by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. White most recently served as county court commissioner, where he handled family, criminal, and other proceedings. Between 2008 and 2018, White was an assistant state public defender, representing individuals accused of crimes in Dane County. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he teaches courses on trial advocacy and coaches mock trial.
  • Peggy Barlett ’09 has joined Husch Blackwell as senior counsel in its Madison office. Barlett focuses her practice on healthcare corporate law.
  • Kenyatta S. Beverly ’09 has been installed as president of the Black Women Lawyer’s Association for the Chicago area. Beverly began her legal career at Mayer Brown, later joining Rooney Rippie & Ratnaswamy LLP. She went on to work as an administrative law judge on the Illinois Labor Relations Board, then as labor relations counsel for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services. She is currently director of labor relations for Acero Charter Schools.
  • Emily Greb ’09 was named partner at Perkins Coie. She is a member of the patent litigation practice. Her practice concentrates on life science technologies and includes significant experience in Hatch-Waxman litigation.

2010s

  • Jacob Frost ’10 has been appointed Dane County Circuit Court judge by Governor Tony Evers. Frost is currently a partner at Boardman & Clark LLP in Madison, where he specializes in civil litigation and family law. He is a member of the firm’s ethics committee. Frost is also the treasurer of the Dane County Bar Association. He previously served as board president of Access to Independence, a nonprofit organization which provides resources, services, and advocacy for people with any type of disability.
  • Rea Cisneros ’11 has been promoted to associate general counsel for the National Indian Gaming Commission.
  • Kori Ashley ’12 has been appointed Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge by Governor Tony Evers, effective September 11. Ashley is currently an attorney with Legal Action Wisconsin, where she helps clients with conviction records gain employment. She successfully prevailed before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in a case requiring the State’s Crime Information Bureau to remove from background reports arrests that do not result in a charge or conviction.
  • Christina Balistreri ’12 has joined Probst Law Offices as a family law attorney. She has practiced in the Milwaukee area since 2013, focusing on a wide range of family law matters, as well as criminal cases and municipal ordinance and traffic violations.
  • Andrew Brenton ’12 has joined Husch Blackwell as an associate in its Madison office. He is part of the hospice and palliative care team.
  • Kara Koonce ’12 served as one of the drafters of an amicus brief that was submitted to the United States Supreme Court in Maine Community Health Options v. United States.
  • Sara Stellpflug Rapkin ’12 was elected a shareholder in Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren’s tax practice, where she assists clients that range from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies on matters such as mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and compliance.
  • William Foley ’13 has joined Husch Blackwell as an associate in its Madison office. He is part of the health care team.
  • Jamie Konopacky ’13 has joined The Environmental Working Group as director of its Midwest office, based in Minneapolis. Konopacky will strengthen and expand the agency’s work in the region at the state and local levels.
  • Lane Ruhland ’13 has joined Husch Blackwell as senior counsel in its Madison office. Ruhland comes to the firm from Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. She previously served as special counsel and deputy chief of staff to Wisconsin’s attorney general, a post to which she was promoted after serving as director of government affairs in the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
  • Alexandra Smathers ’13 has been promoted to deputy district attorney of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.
  • Kelliann Blazek ’14 has been named director of Wisconsin’s Office of Rural Prosperity. Prior to her appointment, Blazek served as staff counsel for Chellie Pingree, a US Representative from Maine. In that position, she helped develop federal legislation focused on climate-smart farming.
  • Kenny Ho ’14 has joined the litigation department at Rose Law Group, based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ho has expertise in all aspects of commercial litigation as well as health care, immigration, and employment law.
  • Megumi Saito ’14 has been hired to lead the new Queens office of the Worker Justice Project. The project is a Legal Aid Society initiative that fights employment discrimination faced by workers with arrest or conviction records. In 2014, Saito started as a trial attorney in the agency’s criminal defense practice in Queens.
  • Bailey (Ebben) Lagman ’15 has become a shareholder at Grams & Christoffersen SC in Madison. Lagman has served with the firm for seven years in roles of increasing responsibility, starting as a law clerk in her third year of law school, then as an associate attorney, and now as a shareholder. Lagman focuses her practice on trust and estate planning and administration, and she serves as the elder law specialist for the firm.
  • Danny Garcia ’15 has become the youngest attorney to be elected president of the Fond du Lac Bar Association. He also serves as chair of the LGBTQ caucus for the state Democratic Party. Garcia was named one of the Most Powerful Latinos for 2019 by On Milwaukee.
  • Luis Valdez-Jimenez ’15 was named Corporate Volunteer of the Year by the Hartford Business Journal for his community leadership and service on the nonprofit board of directors.
  • Erin Burns ’16 has joined Husch Blackwell as an associate in its Madison office. She is part of the hospice and palliative care team.
  • Joe Diedrich ’17 cowrote an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, a workplace discrimination case before the US Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, who argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and transgender status. Diedrich is an associate with Husch Blackwell in Madison.
  • Ezra Kramer ’17 joined Moye White LLP’s Foundry Legal as an associate. Based in Colorado, Kramer works extensively with early-stage companies in matters involving equity distribution among founders, early-stage financing and exempt offerings, entity selection and corporate structuring, founder and employee compensation, co-branding relationships, and complex regulatory compliance.
  • Devlan Sheahan ’17 has joined Moss & Barnett in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He assists businesses and individuals in construction disputes and litigation. Prior to joining Moss & Barnett, he was a judicial law clerk for the Minnesota Court of Appeals for two years.
  • Will Kramer ’18 served as one of the drafters of an amicus brief that was submitted to the United States Supreme Court in Maine Community Health Options v. United States.
  • Matthew Stoiber ’18 has joined Godfrey & Kahn SC as an associate in its litigation practice group in Green Bay.
  • Maxted Lenz ’19 has joined Godfrey & Kahn SC as an associate in its litigation practice group in Madison.

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