1 BENCHMARK COLUMN // FEBRUARY 2013 THOMAS M. COOLEY LAW SCHOOL ALUMNI PUBLICATION 40 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE With the coming of the New Year, the students and faculty have returned to Cooley and are already hard at work at their law studies. Looking ahead, we see many opportunities for them, many adventures, challenges, and successes. During 2013, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of our operations as a law school. Cooley was founded in 1972 and began instruction in January The inaugural class of 76 students enrolled knowing that Cooley was a new school, unaccredited, with no library, no Dean, no full-time faculty, and no substantial campus. Those students came on faith, a faith that was realized when, upon graduation in 1976, they passed the bar exam at a rate that surpassed that of the University of Michigan, a school that had worked to prevent Cooley from opening. Those Cooley students showed the world that dedication, perseverance, hard work, and courage pays off. Through the efforts of its faculty, staff, and students during the ensuing 40 years, Cooley has shown the world the very same dedication, perseverance, hard work, and courage. We have become one of the very best law schools. We have succeeded in our mission of training our students to practice law by instilling in them the knowledge, skills, and ethics they need to be competent practitioners. We begin this issue of Benchmark Column, though, with a touch of sadness by noting that Professor Phil Prygoski, who has taught to a substantial majority of everyone who ever attended Cooley, suffered a stroke last year. The update about Phil, written by our faculty colleague Professor Chris Shafer, tells us that despite the severity of his stroke, Phil has been progressing steadily. I know that you will join me in wishing Phil and his family the very best. You will also see stories about several recent graduates who are already making their marks in important ways. Brent Geers is a pioneer of sorts, being the first locally educated African-American graduate to open his own law practice in Grand Rapids. Zohra Bakhtary, immigrated from Afghanistan at age 12 and is now a U.S. citizen. Through the naturalization process, she came to appreciate the rights and responsibilities that our Constitution guarantees each of us, which she now employs in law practice in Las Vegas. Tanya Garrett turned her electrical engineering degree into a coveted position as a U.S. Patent Examiner. I know that you will enjoy reading about these and other people who are part of the Cooley Community. As always, we invite your own stories and comments. Happy New Year to you. James D. Robb, Associate Dean for External Affairs and Senior Counsel RECOVERY UPDATE Professor Phil Prygoski s Stroke Recovery by Professor Chris A. Shafer Known affectionately as Pyro to generations of Cooley Law School students, Professor Philip J. Prygoski suffered a severe stroke on March 21, 2012, while he was doing what he loved most teaching a Constitutional Law class at Cooley s Ann Arbor campus. After months of recovery, extensive therapy and a second surgery on his skull, Professor Prygoski has made remarkable progress considering the severity of his original stroke. His speech is improving, his short-term memory is slowly returning, and recently he started to move his left arm and leg a little bit when prompted (his entire left side has essentially been paralyzed since the stroke). However, Professor Prygoski, his wife Mary, and their three children face months, if not years, of extensive therapy and home health care, much of which will not be covered by their health insurance.
2 In 2010, as part of an application for a prestigious national law school faculty teaching project for which he was ultimately selected, Professor Prygoski estimated he had taught over 10,000 students in his 33 years of teaching at Cooley. A primary characteristic that many of those students will recall about Professor Prygoski s teaching is his vast knowledge about constitutional law and his almost encyclopedic memory of cases, facts and holdings. Students appreciate his amazing ability to seamlessly weave practical, real-life examples and illustrations with the principal cases in ways that made the Supreme Court s decisions so much more understandable and relevant to his students. Professor Prygoski s teaching is an inspiration to his students, giving a much greater appreciation and respect for the Constitution as the bedrock foundation of American jurisprudence. As former Michigan Governor and Cooley graduate John Engler stated in 2010: Professor Prygoski s Constitutional Law I class was not only an excellent overview of the workings of government, but also an intellectual testing ground for issues I dealt with in government every day. Professor Prygoski has a presence in the classroom that inspires respect yet encourages participation and expression of divergent viewpoints. He is extremely skilled with his use of the Socratic method to draw out the essential aspects of the cases and materials and the more subtle nuances as well. He also has a great sense of humor that effectively reduces the inherent tension of the Socratic method and enhances the learning environment for his students. As significant evidence of his teaching skills and the substantial appreciation of his students, Professor Prygoski was awarded the Stanley E. Beattie Teaching Award over 30 times as the most influential law professor selected by the graduating classes at Cooley Law School. This is a record of excellence that is unparalleled by any other faculty member, and is a sincere reflection of the great regard that his students and many alumni continue to have for Professor Prygoski both as a professor and as a genuinely decent human being. IN SUPPORT OF PROFESSOR PRYGOSKI Because of the long-term need for rehabilitation therapy and home health care, as well as a wheelchair-compatible vehicle for transporting him to doctor s appointments and outside therapy sessions, Professor Prygoski s family is facing daunting financial demands and limited financial resources. The family remains firmly committed to Phil enjoying the quality of life that he had before the stroke and becoming independent once again. But this all depends on continuing Phil s rehabilitation and therapy, to which you can contribute. The family has established a website with a link to Paypal for secure online donations at Professor Prygoski s family expresses their sincere thanks and appreciation for any financial assistance you can provide and for all your continued good thoughts and prayers. FORTUITOUS JOURNEY: Engineer s Career Change Leads to Legal Success Tanya Garrett (Rutledge Class, 2000) While waiting in an airport terminal with her husband, Patrick, and daughter, Elizabeth, in May 1997, Tanya Garrett (Rutledge Class, 2000) struck up a conversation with a patent firm paralegal from Washington, D.C. Garrett, an electrical engineer, never considered attending law school. However, at that moment, she somehow knew immediately that she was ready for something new. From this one random conversation sprang a short, fourmonth journey to enroll at Cooley Law School, leading to an eventual career as a U.S. patent examiner. Many of the best decisions of my life have come when I barely had time to think them through, said Garrett, I guess I ve learned to trust my instincts over the years. While most prospective law students spend significant time planning and considering their decision to pursue a legal career, Garrett packed that process into a matter of weeks. After doing some research, she realized Cooley s commitment to both educational flexibility and graduating practice-ready attorneys fit her needs. Also, she could commute to Lansing on the weekends from her home near Flint.
3 It s uncommon for someone to decide to go to law school in May, take the LSAT in June and enter law school four months later. I was also a member of Cooley s second weekend class, so considering all those factors, I m not sure I could have made my situation work anywhere else, she said. As an engineer, Garrett was drawn to patent and intellectual property (IP) law, where she could make the best use of her background and education. After serving on the school s Law Review and contributing to the Journal of Practical and Clinical Law, she graduated cum laude. After passing the bar, she was hired to become the first IP law associate at Plunkett and Cooney, P.C. Eventually Garrett moved into a position as an Of Counsel patent attorney at Dobrusin and Thennisch. Then, in 2001, Garrett opened her own practice, T.L. Garrett PLC, in Fenton, Mich. I ve been fortunate to see patent and IP law from many angles: different size firms, teaching at multiple schools and now as a patent examiner for the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Detroit. I ve learned something new every step of the way, said Garrett. While she had hoped to enjoy more time with her family as a result of being closer to home, her practice kept her very busy. Having clients all over the country required her to focus on IP issues, business technology law, client counseling, and corporate transaction and litigation matters. Her responsibilities also included supervising and training Of Counsel and affiliated attorneys, paralegals, and law clerks. She also worked as a teaching assistant and later as an adjunct professor at both Cooley and Baker College. Volunteering in the community is also important to Garrett; she started the Fenton branch of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), America s Counselor to Small Business. Working all week at my practice, on top of prepping for and teaching as many as three classes per semester, got to be pretty tough. And to think that the paralegal in the airport told me attorneys worked 9-5! she said. As time went on, that 9-5 workday began to sound more appealing. In May 2012, one of Tanya s clerks mentioned that he had applied for a position as a U.S. patent examiner. She had considered that position in the past, and decided to apply promptly. Paralleling the months that led to her decision to go to law school, her move into the latest phase of her career was an improbable whirlwind. While sitting in the atrium of the very building that houses the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Detroit on business for her firm she received an unexpected call from the patent office, offering her the position of patent examiner. I d initially been informed that I wasn t selected, so I thought that was the end of it, recalled Garrett. While representing a client, I got a call while sitting in the patent office building. I thought it was a joke. There was just no way it could be happening that way. It really did happen that way, and in the following weeks Garrett took bids from three firms vying to buy her law practice, which had become very successful. The sale was finalized in October 2012, and she started her new position the following day. Throughout her legal career all the way from the airport terminal to the atrium Garrett s instinct for making quick decisions has served her well, and she counts attending Cooley among those good decisions. I have a unique perspective as both a graduate and a professor. I ve seen again and again that Cooley graduates are well prepared to begin practicing; as young lawyers I feel that Cooley graduates can succeed in some areas where other young lawyers struggle, she said. In fact, she often uses Cooley students as her clerks. She currently works with six other Cooley attorneys in the patent office. Garrett continues to teach such classes as Patent Writing, Patent Law, and IP Law at both Cooley and Baker College, and is still actively involved in SCORE. As a patent examiner, she specializes in examining patents related to cable TV and video distribution. Garrett does not know where exactly her career will take her next. For now, she is trying to settle into her new job and is enjoying the return to a more normal schedule. Eventually, she aspires to be a patent law judge. If history is any indication, that offer will come under interesting circumstances, and you can bet she will not have to think about it very long.
4 PROFESSOR DAVID BERRY: COOLEY IP PROGRAM KEEPS PACE WITH UNPRECEDENTED CHANGES IN PATENT FIELD Over the past two years, patent practitioners have struggled to keep up with a series of major changes to the U.S. patent system. First, in September 2011, Congress passed the most comprehensive revamping of the Patent Act in over 50 years by enacting the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act ( AIA ). The AIA s centerpiece is conversion of the U.S. patent system from a first-to-invent priority system, where patents are awarded to the inventor who can establish the earliest invention date, to a first-to-file system, where patents are awarded to the inventor who files the earliest application disclosing the claimed invention. This change affects applications filed after March 16, In addition, the AIA implements a host of other changes, including two administrative systems for challenging issued patents without the need for federal court litigation (known as Post-Grant Review and Inter Partes Review ), new definitions for prior art, and an expanded prior user rights defense for those accused of patent infringement. Second, the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which had nationwide appellate jurisdiction over patent cases, have implemented other major changes through judicial decisions. For example, in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Labs. Inc., 132 S. Ct (2012), the Supreme Court ruled that a patent covering a process relating to personalized medicine was not eligible for patenting because the claims were directed to mere laws of nature. In Global-Tech. Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., 131 S. Ct (2011), the Court ruled that a defendant accused of indirect infringement by actively inducing another party to infringe a patent must have acted with actual knowledge of the patent and also must have actually intended that the person infringe the patent. In Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., 649 F.3d 1276 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (en banc), the Federal Circuit dramatically changed the standard for establishing the defense of unenforceability due to inequitable conduct. Under the new Therasense standard, a defendant hoping to prove inequitable conduct must demonstrate both that information was misrepresented or withheld from the Patent Office during examination with an actual intent to deceive the office, and that the patent would not have been approved if the misrepresentation or omission had not occurred. The pace of judicial changes to the patent law does not appear to be subsiding. In the current term, the Supreme Court already has granted certiorari in several IP-related cases, including appeals considering the practice of including reverse payments in settlements of patent infringement actions under the Hatch-Waxman Act between drug companies and manufacturers of generic equivalents (FTC v. Watson), the eligibility of patents on human genes (Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.), and the doctrine of patent exhaustion (Bowman v. Monsanto Co.). Cooley s extensive course offerings in the patent field have kept pace with these changes, even though the new law is literally evolving on a week-to-week basis. Recently, the program was cited by an independent research study as offering the broadest intellectual property curriculum of any U.S. law school. Cooley s full-time and adjunct IP faculty continually update the materials presented in the IP program s basic courses, including Patent Law, Licensing of Intellectual Property, and Patent Litigation, to address current developments. In addition, new courses, such as Patent Research and Analytics and Intellectual Property and International Treaties, and several advanced IP law seminars discuss current trends and emerging areas of IP practice in greater depth. Edito's Note: In 2012, Cooley's IP law curriculum was named first nationally in course offerings and second nationally in number of IP course categories of all law schools in William Mitchell College of Law's Report on Intellectual Property Curricula. KEEPING IT LOCAL Cooley Graduate First African-American Educated in Law in Grand Rapids, Mich., to Practice Locally Brent Geers (Hilligan Class, 2012) did not plan to set trends when he enrolled at Cooley Law School s Grand Rapids campus. He nonetheless made history as the first African-American educated in the law locally to start a practice in Grand Rapids. His path to getting a law degree and opening his own practice was a circuitous one. He went from a low-income Grand Rapids neighborhood to the University of Michigan (UM), then into the military. Years later, when Geers enrolled at Cooley, he was among one of Cooley s non-traditional students learning the law while bringing a lot of life experience to the table.
5 HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Geers was raised by his single mother in southeast Grand Rapids. He attended public school, never imagining that he would one day have his own law practice. I grew up in a less fortunate part of the city, he said. While I was a high school student, I never thought I would one day have my own law office in that same neighborhood. Geers did not let humble beginnings hold him back. He excelled in school, earning a Grand Rapids Community Foundation Excellence in Education Award and graduating near the top of his class. His UM studies made him the first of his family to attend college. While in Ann Arbor, Geers immersed himself in university culture, attending football games, serving as a resident adviser, and joining student organizations. His graduation from UM in 2001 was when he first began thinking about law school. I thought about law school, Geers said. But I was unsure of myself at that time and thought it would be best if I took a break to get some real-world experience. The following year, Geers gained that real-world experience when he enlisted in the military. After graduating from basic and advanced training, he was assigned to the 92nd Military Police Company in Baumholder, Germany. He then deployed to Iraq to join a sister company tasked with developing the Iraqi police force and patrolling neighborhoods in western Baghdad. In 2005, Geers deployed to Khandahar, Afghanistan, where he spent a year before returning to a post at Fort Knox, Ky. It was at this time that law school seemed like the right path to move his career. While I was in the Army, I got to see the inner-workings of the Army JAG Corps, which in turn inspired me to think about attending law school again, he said. I also felt that the Army had helped me mature as a person by teaching me about tenacity and persistence. So I felt I was ready this time around and I took the LSAT. NEVER GIVE UP In 2006, Geers faced his most difficult challenge yet; the death of his mother. He left the Army and returned to Grand Rapids to be with his family. During this time, he often reflected back on the lessons he learned in the military particularly how one must keep fighting even when times are tough. I had to keep pushing forward with my goal of attending law school, he said. I knew this was something that I should not give up on, so I began looking at my options. Geers chose Cooley because of its emphasis on practical legal education. He also thought Cooley was a good fit for non-traditional students like himself. I believe in Cooley s mission, he said. They offer a legal education to people who don t necessarily have the background or certain opportunities in life to even consider becoming a lawyer. While attending Cooley, he focused his studies on general practice. I pursued that certification because I wanted to be an every man s lawyer, Geers said. Nothing fancy - just someone who could potentially do anything that any one person may need. In addition to his studies, Geers helped found the Grand Rapids campus Cooley Veteran Corps, a group with the goal to further veteran recruitment at the school and to provide support services for students who served in the military. He also volunteered for Cooley s Nonprofit Incorporation Project, where students offer start-up legal services to individuals and organizations in the community seeking charitable nonprofit status. These experiences, and his externship with a small law firm, inspired him to open his own solo practice, Geers Law, in Grand Rapids upon graduation. Unbeknownst to Geers, this was a historic moment for the city. I didn t start out to set a trend, he said. But I am honored to be the first African-American to graduate locally to open a practice in Grand Rapids. Nelson Miller, associate dean of Cooley s Grand Rapids campus, concurred. Brent is why Cooley brought its access and practice-preparation mission to Grand Rapids. The law profession locally and nationally faces significant inclusion challenges. Brent is the first of the Grand Rapids campus s many African-American graduates to practice law here.
6 HOPE FOR THE FUTURE In May, Geers will celebrate the first anniversary of his solo practice. Reflecting on this year, he admits that owning a business is not easy, but he has high hopes for the future. Opening my own shop has been a continuing challenge, he said. After I graduated, I passed the bar exam, printed up some business cards, started a website and went to work. In the future, my goal is to grow my practice to fit the needs of entrepreneurs and veterans, and I would like to ultimately get into estate planning. Perhaps I will eventually hire some Cooley graduates for support. Brent will break ground for others, Dean Miller agreed. Inclusion requires networks. Now that Brent established himself here, he will recruit others whose paths have taught them how to serve clients inclusively and effectively. I have never been more proud of a graduate than I am of Brent, who will continue to receive the school s full support. Geers most important goal is to help people who share his non-traditional story. I know there are people out there who are not afforded certain privileges and opportunities and whose paths to success are not laid out on a straight road, he said. I understand that. I lived that life. But I am happy to say that I can help those individuals, and I intend to give back in whatever way I can. RECENT GRADUATE PUTS HER COOLEY EDUCATION TO WORK IN LAS VEGAS Zohra Bakhtary (Chipman Class, 2011), Attorney at Law at Gabriel L. Grasso, P.C. Zohra Bakhtary (Chipman Class, 2011) immigrated to the United States from Kabul, Afghanistan at the age of 14. The experience of becoming a citizen gave Bakhtary the opportunity to embrace the Constitution of the United States of America first as an applicant for citizenship and, 15 years later, as a criminal defense attorney. I am protecting individuals constitutional protections under the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments, said Bakhtary. After graduating from Cooley and passing the Nevada bar exam in early 2012, Bakhtary was hired by Gabriel L. Grasso, P.C., in Las Vegas. The firm has handled many high-profile defense cases, including State of Nevada v. O.J. Simpson. After being with the firm for a short period, Bakhtary was given the opportunity to defend a client in a Driving Under the Influence homicide case being prosecuted by the Clark County District Attorney s (D.A.) office. While researching the case, Bakhtary discovered the D.A. s office, led by Steven Wolfson, appeared to have a conflict of interest with her client. Wolfson was appointed District Attorney of Clark County in January Before his appointment, Wolfson, as a defense attorney, represented Bakhtary s client. In essence, her client was being prosecuted by Wolfson s office in the same case in which he once acted as defense counsel. Bakhtary filed and won a motion in Nevada s Eighth Judicial District Court to disqualify the Clark County District Attorney s office, claiming a conflict of interest. The ruling was controversial because no court (except for one lower court case in New York) had ever disqualified an entire district attorney s office. The District Attorney s office then filed a petition to the Nevada Supreme Court (State v. District Court - Ghani), challenging the district court s decision. The Nevada Supreme Court recognized the controversy surrounding the case and accepted it for review. The case is awaiting a decision by that court. Bakhtary credits her Cooley education for preparing her and giving her the ability and confidence to respond to the petition. While waiting for the Nevada Supreme Court to rule on the case, Bakhtary continues working with defendants and protecting their constitutional rights. I love my job and know this is what I am supposed to be doing, she said. I am extremely passionate about my job because our criminal justice system mandates that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty; however, I feel as though sometimes there is a presumption of guilt until the defense proves otherwise. COMING TO AMERICA AS A CHILD, PRACTICING LAW AS AN ADULT In 1997, Zohra Bakhtary s sisters attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) on student visas, and became United States citizens during their studies. Once they had citizenship, Zohra s sisters, Nasreen, Mariam and Nahid, petitioned the government to allow Zohra and their parents, Abdul and Parwin, to enter the United States and to become citizens.
7 The petition was eventually granted for Abdul and Parwin, but, because of the way the laws were written, Zohra was not granted a visa. Her sisters asked for assistance from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). With Reid s help, Zohra was able to move to Las Vegas with her parents. It was in 2007, after a decade of preparation, that Zohra and her parents were sworn in as American citizens. After earning her bachelor s degree at UNLV, Bakhtary was accepted into a legislative fellowship and worked as a clerk in Reid s office. It was exciting and an honor to get to work for Senator Reid, especially after all he did to help me come to the United States, said Zohra. Once Zohra completed her fellowship, she attended Cooley with an interest in learning to protect individuals rights. Before graduating cum laude, Zohra took full advantage of opportunities to gain legal experience. She competed in a national moot court competition, served as a teaching and research assistant for Professor James Peden, worked as a student attorney at the school s Access to Justice Clinic, served two judicial clerkships, and worked in a public defender s office to fulfill her externship requirement. Editor s Note: A direct link to Zohra Bakhtary s answer to the petition can be found at the Nevada Supreme Court s website at NEWS BRIEFS COOLEY S AUBURN HILLS CAMPUS RECEIVES COMMUNITY HONOR The Oakland County Board of Commissioners presented Cooley Law School Associate Dean John Nussbaumer with a proclamation honoring the school s outreach efforts aiding the community. During the presentation, Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chair Michael Gingell read the proclamation, which said, This prominent institution has aided the greater community through its exceptional outreach efforts led by faculty and supported by students whose contributions include providing legal services to veterans with its Service to Soldiers Program, Family Law Assistance Program and Estate Planning Clinic for Seniors 60 plus, which are only a few outreach initiatives implemented at the Auburn Hills campus. We are honored that the Oakland County Board of Commissioners presented Cooley Law School with this proclamation, said Nussbaumer. Cooley Law School believes, teaches and practices a culture of professionalism; we are challenged to adopt professionalism and community support as a way of life. We do this through teaching, learning, serving, and reaching out beyond the confines of the school. ALUMNI ENJOY LUNCH AT TAIPEI 101 While on a visit to Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China) in late December 2012, Associate Dean James Robb met with two of several Cooley alumni who live and work there. Chi-Hsi Chao (Weadock Class, 1999) and Min-Cheng Billy Chen (Edwards Class, 2006) gathered with Robb and other guests for lunch at Taipei 101, the third tallest building in the world. Chao, who hosted the lunch, works with the Chien Yeh Law Offices in Taipei. He practices in the areas of domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, securities exchange and commercial transactions, intellectual property, and labor and employment. His firm is one of the leading firms in Taiwan, with its main offices in the Taipei 101 building. Chao has held appointments with governmental and service agencies in the areas of economic affairs and consumer protection. He serves as assistant professor at the Chinese Culture University School of Law in Taipei. Chen works with K&L Gates, one of the world s largest law firms with offices in 46 cities on five continents, from D.C. to Poland, from England to Australia, and just about everywhere in between. He practices in the areas of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and international trade. He has also served as corporate counsel to companies in Taiwan and China. After graduating from Cooley, he practiced in Michigan for several years and to this day remains an active member of the State Bar of Michigan. Both Chao and Chen fondly recalled their Cooley days. I particularly remember Professors Maurice Munroe, who I had for Contracts, and John Brennan in Civil Procedure, said Chao. Chen echoed, I also had Professor Munroe, but for Constitutional Law, and fondly recall Professor Richard Henke for Property and Equity and Remedies. They joined together to say, from 13 time zones away, We wish to say hello to all our friends back at Cooley.
8 EXPERTS GATHER FOR INAUGURAL PROFESSIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING Cooley Law School brought together nearly 60 leaders in the legal and higher education fields for the school s inaugural Professionalism Advisory Committee meeting, held on July 13 at the Henry Ford Museum s Lovett Hall in Dearborn, Mich. The objective was to identify professionalism issues that impact the practice of law and to create a dialogue on ways to improve and promote professionalism in legal education. The committee s efforts will result in recommendations for Cooley to consider in its professionalism programming for the next decade. Edward H. Pappas, chairman of Dickinson Wright PLLC and former State Bar of Michigan president ( ), serves as the chair for the advisory committee. Committee members include heads of Michigan law firms, presidents of Michigan colleges, judges, bar association presidents, and past chairs of the ABA Committee on Professionalism and the national Consortium on Professionalism Initiatives. We are at a critical time in our professionalism programming, after implementing the professionalism plan we adopted in 2002 that was recognized in 2006 by the American Bar Association as one of the best among the nation s law schools, said Amy Timmer, associate dean of students and professionalism at Cooley. We are hoping this committee will help us discover new ways we can improve our current professionalism programming. Dennis Archer, former Michigan Supreme Court justice, Detroit mayor ( ) and ABA president ( ), delivered the keynote address. ASHLEY LONDY RECEIVES ALUMNI ASSOCIATION S DISTINGUISHED STUDENT AWARD Cooley s Alumni Association recently honored Ashley Londy, of Pinckney, Mich., with the Distinguished Student Award. The Alumni Association gives graduating seniors, faculty and staff the opportunity to nominate candidates for the Distinguished Student Award each term. The selection of winning students is based upon a combination of academic accomplishment, professionalism and ethics, demonstrated leadership, meaningful extra-curricular activities, and post-graduate plans. Londy has been named to the Dean s List six times and Cooley s Honor Roll seven times. She has served as a teaching assistant for four different professors. In addition to this work, Londy has donated her time to serve as a note taker for students with disabilities and has served as an exam proctor during final examinations. She has spent many hours conducting campus tours and taking time from each break to assist with new student orientations as a Cooley Ambassador. Londy has been active with the Student Bar Association and served as parliamentarian. Her volunteer efforts have included an initiative that fed 200 needy families in Washtenaw County, serving as a student attorney for the school s Service to Soldiers program, and planting flowers at low-income housing facilities in the community. KRINOCK LECTURE SERIES BRINGS NATIONALLY KNOWN ATTORNEY KENNETH FEINBERG, ARCHITECT OF THE HISTORICAL SETTLEMENTS FOR VICTIMS OF 9/11 AND BP OIL SPILL, TO COOLEY The lawyer behind the compensation programs for the victims of 9/11, the 2010 BP (British Petroleum) oil spill, the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, and other tragedies in the United States told a capacity crowd at Cooley Law School in November that the programs while very successful were not a blueprint for handling future disasters. The 9/11 Fund is a precedent for nothing, said attorney Kenneth R. Feinberg. It will never be copied, nor should it. Feinberg spoke at Cooley as part of the school s Krinock Lecture Series. He is the founder and managing partner of Feinberg Rozen, LLP, in New York City and Washington, D.C., and has been in the forefront of claim settlement programs for the biggest disasters and tragedies in U.S. history. Feinberg s visit is part of an ongoing commitment by Cooley to bring nationally and internationally known speakers to the school to talk with students about the practice of law. Through the Krinock lecture series and other programs, the law school has recently organized or sponsored events featuring U.S. Supreme Court Justice (retired) John Paul Stevens, Israeli Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, U.S. Ambassador Luis Cdebaca, U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Brian Zahra, to name just a few. The Krinock Lecture series was established by the faculty conference of Cooley Law School to honor the late Robert Krinock, who served as professor and dean at Cooley Law School until his death in 1986 at the age of 45.
9 TAMPA BAY CAMPUS EXPANDS INSTRUCTIONAL OFFERINGS AND ADDS FACULTY Cooley Law School s Tampa Bay campus has expanded its course offerings for the January 2013 term to include afternoon classes. Cooley began offering evening classes when the campus opened in May 2012 and morning classes were added the following September. In addition to offering afternoon classes, Associate Dean Jeff Martlew recently announced the addition of three new faculty members to the campus teaching ranks. Renalia Smith DuBose, of Plant City, Fla., will serve as an adjunct professor teaching Contracts. She is currently the assistant superintendent for administration at Pasco County Schools where she is responsible for oversight of human resources, employee relations, information services, transportation and the district s education foundation. DuBose previously served as an adjunct professor at St. Leo University and the University of Florida. She earned her bachelor s degree from the University of Florida, her master s degree from the University of Southern Florida and her juris doctor from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Victoria Cruz-Garcia, of Tampa Bay, Fla., joined Cooley s full-time faculty and will teach Professional Responsibility. Most recently, she was a partner at Cruz-Garcia Law, P.A., where her primary areas of practice included family law and commercial litigation. She was a trial attorney in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group at Solomon Law Group, P.A. Cruz-Garcia also served as a supervising attorney in civil litigation at the Curry Law Group, P.A. and at Joyce Reyes, P.A. She earned a bachelor s degree from Rutgers University and a juris doctor from Stetson College of Law. She is president of the Tampa Bay Hispanic Bar Association and serves on the Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee for the Florida Bar Association. Barbara Kalinowski, of Canton, Mich., joined Cooley s full-time faculty and will teach Legal Research and Writing. Before joining Cooley as an adjunct professor at the school s Michigan campuses, Kalinowski was the director of research, writing, and advocacy programs at Ave Maria School of Law. She has held staff positions with the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan, and operated a solo appellate research and brief writing practice. Kalinowski earned her bachelor s degree from the University of Michigan and her juris doctor from Wayne State University, in Detroit, Mich. The experiences that professors Cruz-Garcia, DuBose and Kalinowski bring to Cooley are paramount to the growth of our legal programs, said Jeff Martlew, Associate Dean at Cooley s Tampa Bay campus. Our students will be receiving education from experts who have extensive experience practicing law and this translates into graduates who will be practice-ready. ZANETA ADAMS HONORED WITH STUDENT GREAT DEEDS AWARD FOR SERVICE TO COUNTRY AND COMMUNITY Cooley s Center for Ethics, Service, and Professionalism honored Grand Rapids campus student Zaneta Adams with the Student Great Deeds Award. Cooley bestows this award to recognize students who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the service of others. The program accepts nominations from classmates, staff, faculty, and community members who witness students going above and beyond in the area of public service, whether through long-term commitment or through a single act of great service. It has been just one year since Zaneta started her law school career, and already she has made a huge impact on our campus and west Michigan, noted Karen Rowlader, Assistant Director of the center. Even before Zaneta came to Grand Rapids, she was going above and beyond in the area of community service and service to her country. Adams served in the U.S. Army for eight years. She was injured in 2005 while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, when, just before deploying, she fell 11 feet off a truck while doing a combat training maneuver. After two back surgeries, the soldier was told she would never walk again. Rowlader said Adams thought her service to her county and to others was over. Well, she fought strong and hard through rehabilitation, and we have evidence today that the doctors underestimated her determination and tenacity, Rowlader reported. Adams has since used her talents as a singer and songwriter to raise awareness of the needs of our nation s returning service men and women. In 2010, she traveled throughout the country, singing the National Anthem as a representative of the Wounded Warriors Project. She even has had opportunities to open concerts and to record with Grammy Award winners Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Charlie Daniels, and Gretchen Wilson.
10 Adams work supporting veterans has continued during her time at Cooley. Rowlader noted that Adams is working on founding a national nonprofit organization called Women Injured in Combat, or WINC. Efforts are focused on programming assistance and support for affected service women. Adams is president of the Cooley Veterans Corps, with a goal of starting a pro bono program to assist veterans on a monthly basis at the local Veterans Administration office. She has also taken steps to assist in learning how to start a Veteran s Court in Kent County. Adams has been instrumental in establishing a Veterans Day Program that is becoming a tradition at Cooley. The luncheon is attended by homeless veterans, members of the legislature, and others, all showing support and appreciation for military service and those who serve our veterans. She is an advocate and spokesperson for Challenge America, a national initiative that connects the military and military families with resources in their own communities; and for Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that offers scholarships and support for dependents of fallen soldiers. She also serves as a state contact on veterans for U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan. In addition to her military work, Adams is president of the Black Law Students Association at the Grand Rapids campus, and has served as a graduate assistant in the Academic Resource Center and a Cooley Ambassador. She has made the Dean s List each term, was a First-Year Mock Trial Competition winner, and a Top Sixth advocate in the Intra-School Moot Court competition during the summer. Adams and her husband Joe have six children. FACULTY BRIEFS Gary Bauer, Professor Presented, at the Michigan State Bar Elderlaw Section Annual Meeting regarding legal competence and how to assess it, on Oct. 4, Presented, at Greenstone Farm Credit in conjunction with Owosso Memorial Health Care System, regarding how to select an appropriate agent for a will, power of attorney for health care, or power of attorney for financial matters, on Nov. 29, Hosted, and moderated two different panels of solo practitioners, who all recently established solo practices right out of law school, to discuss this option and answer questions for current students interested in going solo. Mary Phelan D Isa, Professor Published, Can a Sentencing Error be Plain Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 52(b) if the Law is Unsettled at the Time of the Error But it Becomes Clear by the Time of Appeal? in Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases, Issue No. 3, Vol. 40, Page 104, Nov. 26, 2012 (ABA). This article previewed the case of Henderson v. United States (Docket ), which is from the Fifth Circuit and was argued before the court on Nov. 28, Gerald Fisher, Professor Spoke, as a representative for Oakland County (Michigan) Parks and Recreation, on a program with County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Consul General for Japan Kuninori Matsuda, at a formal Cherry Blossom Tree Planting Ceremony on May 9, 2012 in Farmington Hills. The ceremony was a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of cherry trees to the United States, planted in Washington, D.C. Moderated, and presented a program for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Plymouth, Mich., on municipal law topics. Spoke, on May 17, 2012 at the Auburn Hills campus, on externships, highlighting the special programs in existence and being created for municipal law placements in southeast Michigan and elsewhere. Attended, a seminar in Detroit on June 21, 2012, on federal rules of procedure, at which Cooley adjuncts Hon. James Lawson and Tom Cranmer were speakers. Attended, the annual joint conference of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys and State Bar Public Corporation Section in Northern Michigan June 22-24, He also attended the Public Corporation Law Section Council meeting held as part of the conference, and also organized and officiated a bocce ball tournament. Prepared, an amicus curiae brief in the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of the State Bar Public Corporation Section Council, Michigan Municipal League, and Michigan Townships Association. The brief was filed in State of Michigan vs. McQueen, a case anticipated to be pivotal in terms of whether Michigan will have medical marihuana dispensaries absent new legislation. Interviewed, on June 8, 2012 by a correspondent from Reuters in New York on the complaint filed by the Detroit city attorney against the state of Michigan to invalidate the Financial Stability Agreement entered into for the governance of Detroit pending resolution of financial problems in the city. Provided, pro bono technical assistance to the organization that supports the Oakland County Parks. Completed, municipal ethics pamphlet, with the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, working with six Cooley students who researched relevant statutes and provided citations of court cases and Attorney General opinions on respective laws governing ethics and conflict of interest for municipal officials. The pamphlet was distributed to municipal attorneys across the state. Gerald Fisher, Professor (Continues)
11 Participated, as part of a sabbatical project, in the preparation of briefs and memos, and presented argument to the State Board of Canvassers, and later to the Michigan Supreme Court, with regard to a challenge on whether a particular proposed initiative for the amendment of the Michigan Constitution should be placed on the November 2012 statewide ballot. The position advocated by Mr. Fisher was successful, and the proposed amendment was on the ballot. Prepared, an amicus curiae brief in the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of the State Bar Public Corporation Section Council and Michigan Municipal League. The brief was filed in People of the State of Michigan vs. Bylsma, a case in which the Supreme Court is pursuing a further clarification of Michigan policy for the State Medical Marihuana Act. The position advocated was successful, and on remand. Mr. Fisher is working with the Solicitor General and County Prosecutor s office to further the positions advocated. Prepared, updates for chapters in two ICLE reference books he had previously authored, Michigan Zoning, Planning, and Land Use, and Michigan Municipal Law. Recognized, for Trailblazing Conservancy Work in connection with the establishment and growth of the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy and assistance in preserving the natural state of key properties by conservation easement. Presented, at the annual meeting and educational institute of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, speaking with a Michigan Senator and member of the House of Representatives on the pursuit of good legislation in the state. Interviewed, by the Muskegon Chronicle regarding the status of medical marijuana regulation in Michigan, particularly relating to the legality of new and continuing dispensaries. Interviewed, by a Barry County, Mich., newspaper concerning the work done by him and others on a recently approved intergovernmental agreement between the city of Hastings and the Charter Township of Rutland to provide urban services within a service district within the township. Provided, pro bono services for the reorganization of the Oakland Parks Foundation, and for the city of Jackson, Mich. for the amendment of its zoning ordinance. Christopher G. Hastings, Professor Named, president of the Legal Assistance Center, a non-profit provider of self-help legal resources inside the Kent County Courthouse. In 2012, the Legal Assistance Center helped over 17,500 people unable to afford an attorney to navigate the legal system. Heather Garretson, Associate Professor Hosted, a Cooley alumni event in Portland, Oregon. Attended, the Calvin College Inauguration brunch in honor of Calvin s new President Dr. Michael LeRoy. Accepted, for publication, an article, Repairing the Disconnect Between the Classroom and the Bluebook: An Interdisciplinary Method, in The Learning Curve, a publication of the AALS Section on Academic Success housed at the Sandra Day O Connor Law School. Presented, to the Statewide Reentry Workgroup at the State Bar of Michigan, on reentry solutions. Her presentation outlined ways volunteers and law students can work together to overcome employment barriers for ex-offenders. Serves, as a member of the State Bar Criminal Section Council and is writing the section's amicus curiae brief to the Michigan Supreme Court on a pending criminal case. Richard Henke, Professor Coordinated, the 2012 Krinock Lecture with guest speaker Kenneth Feinberg, architect of settlement solutions of major disasters and tragedies in the United States. Linda Kisabeth, Associate Professor Presented, a paper at the 2012 Hawaii University International Conference on Education in Honolulu, Hawaii on Aug. 1, The paper was also published electronically in the conference proceedings. The paper was entitled, The Professional Exploration Program: An Alternative Law School Admission Process. Joseph Kimble, Professor Published, an online article called Wrong Again About Plain Language in The Legislative Lawyer, produced by the Legal Services Staff Section of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The article responded to a previous article in The Legislative Lawyer. It s available at wrong-again-about-plainlanguage.aspx. Published, an article in the Michigan Bar Journal called Tips for Better Writing in Law Reviews (and Other Journals). Published, an article in the Michigan Bar Journal called An Excerpt from Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please. The excerpt is taken from one of the 50 case studies in Professor Kimble s new book demonstrating the benefits of plain language in business, government, and law. Agreed, to speak at the annual National Conference of Law Reviews, to be held at Cooley in March He will give an editing session for those attending and also give the address for the Scribes dinner, which is always a part of the conference. Began, his 15th year as editor of the Plain Language column in the Michigan Bar Journal. It's the longest-running legal-writing column anywhere. Invites, anyone with an interest in legal writing and plain language to follow him on Nelson Miller, Associate Dean and Professor Published, the book, Entrepreneurial Practice: Enterprise Skills for Serving Emerging Client Populations (Vandeplas Publishing Co. 2012), co-authored with Michael J. Dunn and John D. Crane. Published, the book, Building Your Practice with Pro Bono for Lawyers (ABA Law Practice Management Section 2012).
12 Marla Mitchell-Cichon, Professor Served, as the guest speaker at the Saginaw County Bar Association's Pro Bono Luncheon on Oct Presented, her paper, What's Justice Got To Do With It? When the Prosecutor Has An Ethical Duty to Agree to Post-Conviction DNA Testing at the Access to Justice Conference in Durban, South Africa on Dec. 10, The conference honored David McQuoid Mason, the founder of legal aid and clinical legal education in South Africa. Otto Stockmeyer, Emeritus Professor Published, an article, My Encounter with Canned Briefs in the May 2012 issue of The Pillar, available at Published, an article, How to Maximize Your Article s Impact, in the Spring 2012 issue of The Scrivener, available at Published, an article, Enhancing Instruction with Online Limericks, in the Fall 2012 issue of The Law Teacher, available at Published, an article, Tips for Presenting a Paper, in the Fall 2012 issue of The Scrivener, available at Kathy Swedlow, Professor Continues, her service on the Screening Committee of the ABA Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts. The awards have been presented annually since the late 1950s in order to recognize annually eligible entries from communications media that have been exemplary in helping to foster the American public s understanding of the law and the legal system. From 2008 to 2011, Professor Swedlow served on the Standing Committee for the Silver Gavel Awards; however, due to term limits, she now helps with screening submissions. Continues, to serve as a vice-chair of the ABA's Death Penalty Committee of the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibility. In that capacity, Professor Swedlow serves as a liaison between the committee and the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, facilitating publication by the Law Review of the transcript of the International Leadership Conference on Human Rights and the Death Penalty, held in 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. Kara Zech Thelen, Assistant Professor Judged, for the WriteMark competition, recognizing documents and webpages that meet New Zealand s high standards of plain language. Invited, to judge for the Center for Plain Language s ClearMark awards, recognizing the best in clear communication and plain language from government, non-profits, and private companies. Spoke, at the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning s summer conference, Value of Variety/Reflecting on Our Teaching, about a teaching collaboration with professors Jane Siegel, Tonya Krause-Phelan, and Heather Garretson. Attended, Clarity s Fifth International Conference in Washington, D.C. Clarity is an international organization promoting plain language. Amy Timmer, Associate Dean and Professor Co-authored, with Cooley student Matt Cristiano, the book Innovative Mentoring, published by Thomson Reuters. Christopher Trudeau, Associate Professor Published, an article, The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication, in volume 14 of the Scribes Journal of Legal Writing. Presented, Swimming with the Sharks: Strategies for Convincing Lawyers (and Other Guilty Parties) to Adopt Plain Language, on Sept. 7, 2012, at Plain Talk 2012, a national health literacy conference hosted by Maximus. Cynthia Ward, Assistant Dean and Professor Spoke, at the Association of American Law Schools 2013 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. She was a panelist on the topic of the value of cross cultural programming in a global legal market. Awarded, the Outstanding Service and Dedication Award by the Black Law Students Association. Appointed, to the Pro Bono Initiative of the State Bar of Michigan. CLASS NOTES 1976 Campbell Class Jordan, Stephen H., was named the Best Lawyers 2013 Pittsburgh Employment Law - Individuals Lawyer of the Year. Only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is honored as the Lawyer of the Year. He works with Rothman Gordon, P.C., in Pittsburgh, Penn. Rollinger, Robert, was a guest speaker at the Fall 2012 Conference of the International Right-Of-Way Association, held at the Shanty Creek Resort, in northern Michigan. His topic for the conference was A View of the Claims Assessment Procedures Under the 2006 Amendments to the Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act.
13 1977 Graves Class Quinn, Michael, was named the Best Lawyers 2013 Grand Rapids Family Law Lawyer of the Year. He is a member of Miller Johnson s litigation group. His practice focuses exclusively on family law and related matters. He has been actively involved in numerous bar affiliations on both the state and local level, served on the Board of Trustees for the Grand Rapids Bar Association, and chaired the Lawyer Referral Service Committee. He was chair for the Grand Rapids Bar Association Family Law Section. Mr. Quinn is also a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He is also named in The Best Lawyers in America for Family Law Mediation and is a Michigan Super Lawyer for Family Law. He regularly lectures at seminars for family law attorneys and judges Wiest Class Hertzberg, Robert, of Pepper Hamilton in Detroit, Mich., has been named by Michigan Super Lawyers magazine as a top attorney in the state for He was also named to the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Hertzberg is a partner and co-chair of the firm s Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice Group, representing secured lenders, debtors, debtors-in-possession, trustees, creditors and creditors committees North Class Ellis, Sharon, was named compliance director for the state of Michigan Americans with Disabilities Act. She is responsible for coordinating programs, activities and services related to compliance with state and federal disability rights laws. She plans to meet with members of the disability community to learn more about their concerns and organize a compliance inventory of all state buildings to ensure that they meet standards identified by the ADA and similar legislation. Before joining state government, she had a private law practice and worked for 20 years as a political campaign consultant. Phone: (517) Dethmers Class Eggan, Eric J., of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, was named to Cooley Law School s Professionalism Advisory Committee. Eggan is a partner in the firm s litigation department and is the vice chair of the firm s gaming and hospitality practice. He serves a diverse clientele in gaming, liquor, and litigation matters. Eggan joined Honigman in 2004 after a 23-year career in state government, serving as assistant in charge of the Michigan Attorney General s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America from 2006 through 2012 and in Michigan Super Lawyers from 2007 through In the community, Eggan also serves on the board of directors of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Michigan Capital Region O Hara Class Finnegan, Deana, was elected prosecuting attorney for Shiawassee County, Mich Chandler Class Ozog, Ann M., was named the State Bar of Michigan s Cummiskey Award winner. Rheinberger, John R., appeared in the September 2012 ABA Journal in an article entitled Lawyer at Large about his visiting every country in the world (196 countries). It took him 35 years to complete this global journey. He practices tax and estate planning in Stillwater, Minn., and serves as a soil and water supervisor for the Washington Conservation District McAlvay Class Haynes, David, president of Northern Michigan University, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan and the Board of Directors of Northern Initiatives, a community development and entrepreneur organization to serve rural area businesses and communities T. Smith Class Counsman, Richard T., a senior attorney who focuses his practice in the area of medical liability with an emphasis in birth trauma, recently joined Plunkett Cooney. Counsman has handled hundreds of birth trauma cases, and he has tried over a dozen such matters as both a plaintiff and defense attorney. He earned Martindale-Hubbell s highest rating - AV Preeminent. Counsman represents hospitals and physicians in birth injury cases involving cerebral palsy, erbs palsy, infection, brain damage and preventable premature births. He also provides training to various medical groups regarding effective charting, record keeping issues and, in particular, appropriate fetal monitoring. Mathias, Mark N., was appointed to the panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for the Western District of Wisconsin on September 9, He is an attorney with Freund Law Office in Eau Claire, Wis., and teaches business law in the College of Business for University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He also won an appeal in which the Wisconsin appellate court clarified the reach of Wisconsin s long-arm statute in a breach of contract case: Johnson Litho Graphics of Eau Claire, Ltd. v. Sarver, 2010AP1441 (Sept. 6, 2012). Phone: (715)
14 1986 Mundy Class Cunningham, Janice, was elected judge for the 56th Circuit Court, in Eaton County, Mich. She was most recently a shareholder with the firm, Mallory, Cunningham, Lapka, Scott and Selin. Thane, Nancy L., was elected Tuscola County, Mich., Probate Judge Green Class Brown, Margaret L. M., is member of Fellows of the Michigan State Bar Foundation Pratt Class Forbush, Audrey, a partner in the Flint, Mich., office of Plunkett Cooney, was selected as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly s 2012 Women in the Law. The honorees were recognized in a special section of Michigan Lawyers Weekly on Sept. 10 and were honored at the third annual Women in the Law luncheon on Sept. 27, at the Detroit Marriott in Troy. Forbush focuses her practice primarily in the area of municipal liability and has particular expertise in police liability litigation. She also advises municipalities on employment matters, including employee discipline and discharge situations, and labor contract issues. In addition, Forbush defends physicians and hospitals in medical malpractice matters and attorneys facing legal malpractice claims. Forbush serves as legal adviser to the Law Enforcement Action Forum, an organization consisting of select law enforcement executives throughout the State of Michigan Martin Class Dignan, Thomas J., was elected Probate and Family Judge for the 35th Circuit Court in Shiawassee County, Mich Witherell Class Knuth, Eric J., was named managing attorney of the Civil Litigation Division with the law firm of Vernis & Bowling, P.A. in Miami, Fla. The firm has 15 offices throughout Florida, Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia. Eric practices in the field of insurance defense, specializing in wrongful death, negligent security, premises liability, construction defect litigation, products liability, commercial trucking litigation and declaratory judgment actions. Phone: (305) ; Turner Class Pasteur, Michelyn E., of Bernick, Radner & Ouellette, P.C., was named by The Best Lawyers in America as the Medicaid and Elder Law Attorney of the Year for the Greater Lansing area. She practices in the areas of elder law and Medicaid planning, estate planning, and trust and estate administration. Micki is a past chairperson of the Ingham County Bar Association Probate and Estate Planning Section, a longtime member of the Greater Lansing Probate & Estate Planning Council, and a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She has authored several articles for the State Bar of Michigan Probate & Estate Planning Journal. She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Elder Law and is listed in Michigan Super Lawyers in the area of Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate, and Business/Corporate Law. Rocco, Jeffry, was hired by the Grand Blanc, Mich., School Board as business manager. He was selected from a pool of more than 20 candidates for the position. He was the controller for Koegel Meats of Flint, Mich., for the past 12 years. Rocco is also the current treasurer of the Genesee County Bar Foundation Montgomery Class Beckley, Elizabeth S. Liesl, was elected and began serving in January 2012 as a magisterial district judge in District Court in Pennsylvania. She is in private practice with Beckley & Madden in Harrisburg, Penn. Phone: (717) Kelley, Martin C., was elected judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, for the 13th Judicial Subcircuit. He joined the family firm of Kelley, Kelley & Kelley in 1992, focusing on personal injury, worker's compensation, medical malpractice and probate. Martin previously served on the Board of Governors of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association (NWSBA), as a past chair of the Pro Bono Committee, and as the attorney for the NWSBA. He is also active in the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois Worker's Compensation Lawyers Association Hooker Class Bolser, Benjamin, was elected Probate Judge for Montmorency County, Mich. Kolasa, Mike, of Marquette, Mich., served as an instructor to his peers at the prestigious Cannon Financial Institute at the University of Notre Dame. Kolasa, who is Vice President & Trust Officer at The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT) Marquette Trust & Investment Services, taught approximately 30 professionals from around the country. He was chosen to be an instructor for the Trust II Course Bird Class Myszak, Heide, was promoted to partner in the Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Trott & Trott. Before becoming partner, she worked as a senior attorney in the title department for nearly five years.
15 1996 Moody Jr. Class DeRosier, Phillip J., was listed in Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyers as a leader in the appellate practice area. Mr. DeRosier is a member in Dickinson Wright PLLC s office in Detroit, Mich. He focuses his practice on appellate law. He was also elected chair of the State Bar of Michigan s Appellate Practice Section on Sept Adams Class Flynn, George, was elected to a shareholder position with Clausen Miller, P.C., in Chicago Ill. He concentrates his practice in general and professional liability defense, including legal malpractice defense. Phone: (312) Fellows Class Young, Gary, settled two motor vehicle accident litigations at separate mediations for $800,000 and $900,000 respectively. He regularly handles negligence cases in Long Island and in New York City. Further, the readership of the Long Island Press voted Gary as a Best Lawyer for the year of 2012 and nominated him as candidate for Best Lawyer for the year Phone: (516) Sharpe Class Weinreich, Christine, was named director of corporate and foundation relations for the Southern College of Optometry, an independent, nonprofit academic institution. She is responsible for writing grant applications, networking with potential community partners and donors, and speaking publicly, delivering presentations on behalf of the college. Weinreich practiced law in Michigan for 13 years, primarily in the areas of family law and bankruptcy, before taking on her new role in Memphis, Tenn. Weinreich volunteers for the Greater Memphis Greenline and serves on the board of a newly established nonprofit called Outreach Housing and Community Inc., which works with the homeless mentally ill population Fead Class Poynter, Richard W., was elected Judge of the Jackson Circuit Court, 40th Judicial Circuit, in Indiana, His six-year term began Jan. 1, Stratton, Timothy A., an attorney with Gust Rosenfeld in Phoenix, Ariz., was appointed chairman of the city of Scottsdale, Ariz., Board of Adjustment. His practice is focused on public finance and municipal law. He represents colleges and universities, special districts, cities, towns and other units of local government in all matters related to the issuance of municipal securities Weadock Class Wilson, Michelle, program director of legal studies for Bryant & Stratton College s Richmond, Va., campus, has received advanced paralegal certification from NALA, the Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals. She has been with Bryant & Stratton since Rutledge Class Smedley, Annette, was elected Circuit Court Judge in Muskegon County Wilson Class Rattet, Kim, was promoted to partner in the Farmington Hills-based Trott & Trott. Rattet has been with Trott since May 2002, where she served as a staff attorney before being promoted to supervising attorney in Blair Jr. Class Gardner, Katherine S., received the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award from the Saginaw County Bar Association for commitment to providing services to those in need. She also helped found and serve on the board of directors of Sadie s Dream for a Cure, Inc., a nonprofit organization which assists pediatric cancer patients and their families. She is an attorney with Gafkay & Gardner, PLC, in Frankenmuth, Mich. Phone: (989) ; T. Johnson Class Chartier, Mary, and her law partner Natalie Alane (Chase Class, 2002) are pleased to announce that their law firm, Alane & Chartier, P.L.C., received the Pro Bono Circle of Excellence Award from the State Bar of Michigan for the third year in a row. The award is given to those firms that have shown a proven commitment to providing legal services to the poor. Mary specializes in criminal defense and appellate work in state and federal court. Phone: (517) ;
16 2002 Chase Class Alane, Natalie, and her law partner Mary Chartier (T. Johnson Class, 2002) are pleased to announce that their law firm, Alane & Chartier, P.L.C., received the Pro Bono Circle of Excellence Award from the State Bar of Michigan for the third year in a row. The award is given to those firms that have shown a proven commitment to providing legal services to the poor. Natalie specializes in family law and appellate work. Phone: (517) ; Swainson Class Hope, Kara Henigan, was elected to a two-year term on the Ingham County Commission for District 7, beginning in January She is the founding president of the Holt Community Arts Council, and is on the board of the Michigan Victim Alliance. The MVA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the healing and protection of survivors of violence, abuse, and other forms of trauma. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Cooley, teaching Advanced Writing. Mead, John D., was elected as a Benzie County Probate Judge. He was previously employed as a Family Division Referee (19th Judicial Circuit) and District Court Magistrate (85th District Court). While attending Cooley, he was employed as the Undersheriff of the Benzie County Sheriff's Office McAllister Class Engelhardt, Chad, was named a partner at Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, in Ann Arbor, Mich. He focuses his practice on the litigation of complex medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, and wrongful death cases. He also serves as an adjunct professor and clinical field supervisor for Cooley s Ann Arbor campus. Phone: (734) ; Johnson, Nicholas, has returned to Querrey & Harrow and will practice in the firm s Waukegan, Wis., office. He focuses his practice on litigation, construction law, and contract issues. Mr. Johnson is a member of several bar associations, the Defense Research Institute, and the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel. He also sits on the Zoning and Building Commission for the village of Antioch, where he resides with his family Boyles Class Manolache, Gabriella, accepted a position at the University of Michigan as the assistant director of their international center and will be managing the university's faculty and staff immigration services department Starr Class Gower, Jason, announces the opening of a law office in Grand Rapids, Mich. He continues to operate the Bay City, Mich., practice he opened in His once-solo practice has expanded to a team of five attorneys. Gower Reddick PLC, The People's Firm, serves clients throughout mid-michigan, and now in the western part of the state. He has tried to jury verdict 27 criminal trials, with 23 acquittals. Recently, Mr. Gower was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, and his law firm was named in first place a Five Star Favorite by the readers of The Bay City Times. Gower Reddick serves clients in criminal defense, administrative law-license appeals, wills/estate planning, consumer bankruptcy, & personal injury. Phone: (989) James, Daniel M., was elected Prosecuting Attorney for Hampshire County, W.V Edwards Jr. Class Brush, Michael, was awarded the Direct Energy and Dayton Daily News 2012 Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award celebrating his volunteerism and mentorship an attorney at Freund, Freeze and Arnold in Dayton. He has volunteered and been involved in fundraising initiatives for a variety of organizations in the Dayton, Ohio, area such as the American Cancer Society and its annual Gala of Hope, the Dayton Bar Association, the Children s Organ Transplant Association, the Mark A. Kreusch Memorial Fund, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley. He also volunteers for the Dayton Bar Association s Leadership Development Program and the Dayton Early College Academy s Court Camp, speaking to young students interested in the practice of law Fitzgerald Class Goodman, Jeremy M., a managing partner of Goodman Law in Phoenix, Ariz., graduated from the prestigious Pacific Coast Banking School upon completing a three-year masters level extension program for senior officers in the banking industry. The program is part of the Pacific Bankers Management Institute, which is the premier national graduate school of banking at the University of Washington. Mr. Goodman is one of only 165 graduates representing 21 states, and other countries, who studied risk management, financial performance and leadership to gain executive level understanding of the business of banking. He is the only private practice attorney from Arizona to ever graduate from the program and joins 180 alumni who are some of the most senior bankers and regulators in Arizona.
17 Rowland, Matthew, managing attorney for the New Mexico Legal Aid office in Clovis, N.M., spoke at a forum on landlord rights and responsibilities. The forums were put on through New Mexico Legal Aid and the United Way of Eastern New Mexico Fisher Class Castro, Claudia, was named as one of this 2012 s 40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 To Watch. Claudia E. Castro is an assistant state s attorney with the Cook County State's Attorney s Office, Community Justice Center-Central Office, in Chicago, Ill. Phone: (312) ; Latuszek, Jodi M., management analyst, Child Welfare Services, State Court Administrative Office, was honored with the Schoolcraft College Distinguished Alumni Award for 2012 in recognition of her work in the legal accomplishments and advocacy for higher education. She was also named one of Schoolcraft College's Difference Makers. She works for the Michigan State Court Administrative Office's Child Welfare Service Division. Phone: (517) ; Zimny, Erica, was promoted to supervising attorney in the Jackson Office of Legal Services of South Central Michigan Boston Class Tichelaar, Jennifer M. (Endl), an attorney with the Gallagher Law Firm in Lansing, Mich., was appointed by the Michigan State Bar Association Board of Commissioners to serve on the State Bar Character and Fitness Committee. The committee investigates the character and fitness of candidates for admission to the Bar. She resides in Grand Rapids and focuses her practice on business, real estate and probate litigation. Phone: (517) Sharpe Class Gruber, Kimberly A., married Keith L. Kleinhans (C.J. Adams Class, 2008) on Aug. 16, 2012, on St. John Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Keith and Kim operate their own personal injury and family law practice, The Law Office of Kleinhans Gruber, PLLC, in Austin, Texas. Phone: (512) ; Reddick, Adam, was elected president of the Bay County Michigan Bar Association to serve the term. He is an attorney with Gower Reddick PLC in Bay City, Mich. Phone: (989) C.J. Adams Class Frazier, Melanie T., (LL.M.), of Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC, was appointed to the Academic Committee for the International Trademark Association (INTA). She works with the professors subcommittee as a trademark practitioner to assist in the development of trademark education programs. Kleinhans, Keith L., married Kimberly A. Gruber (Sharpe Class, 2008) on Aug. 16, 2012, on St. John Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Keith and Kim operate their own personal injury and family law practice, The Law Office of Kleinhans Gruber, PLLC, in Austin, Texas. Phone: (512) ; Woodward Class Starr, Colleen, joined Morgan and Miller, P.C., in Lapeer, Mich., as an associate attorney. She focuses her practice on criminal, probate, family, and business law matters. Stella, Lindsay C., joined the law firm of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC in Wheaton, Ill., where she practices family law. She was appointed to Women and the Law Committee for the Illinois State Bar Association and is the chair of the New Lawyer s Committee in DuPage County. Phone: (630) ; Witherell Class Barnaby, Kate (Fetkenhier), an attorney with the Gallagher Law Firm, PLC, was selected as one of 20 Up & Coming Lawyers by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for This annual selection recognizes outstanding young attorneys in the state who have made a significant impact on the legal profession and who have distinguished themselves from thousands of other young lawyers in Michigan. Kate s practice areas include oil and gas law, real estate law, business law, and banking law. She is an active member of The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, The Michigan Oil and Gas Association, Legal and Legislative Committee, and The Michigan Association of Professional Landmen. The Gallagher Law Firm has offices in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Mt. Pleasant, Mich. Gorney, Mollie D., has become an associate of her father s law firm, James J. Gorney P.C., based in La Plata, Md. She was previously employed as an assistant public defender for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender in Charles County and will continue to practice in the area of criminal defense.
18 Jabr, Mona K., serves as the vice-chair of the Providing Access to Legal Services (PALS) Committee for the Oakland County Bar Association. PALS is charged with implementing programs that provide an understanding of the legal system within the community and supports community outreach including legal aid clinics Sibley Class Barbadillo, Stacy, joined Marger Johnson & McCollom, P.C. in Portland, Ore., as a patent attorney Chipman Class Beckley, Emily (Draper), has joined Stansbery, Schoenberger and Scheck as an associate attorney. The law firm is located in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. She practices criminal defense and domestic relations. Higgins, Christopher, joined the Woodbridge, N.J., law firm of Steven J. Sico & Associates, P.C. as an associate practicing bankruptcy law and general litigation. Fantetti, Kelly (Stewart), court counsel for the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Bradenton, Fla., and Steve Fantetti, an independent legal consultant, married Aug. 25, Phone: (941) ext. 7043; Wiaduck, Alana L., joined the Muskegon, Mich., office of McCroskey Law with a focus on family law, personal injury, and criminal defense. Phone: (231) ; Wilkins Class Villaronga, Michelle, joined the Bronx, N.Y., District Attorney s office as a new assistant district attorney Hilligan Class Nemerof, Michael B., is an associate at The Law Offices of Paul A. Herman, P.A., a consumer law litigation firm located in Boca Raton, Fla. He specializes in debt defense, student loan modification, and bankruptcy. NOTICES 1977 Christiancy Class Page, Jean Kaser, 94, passed away on Sept. 22, 2012, in Jackson, Mich. Her legal career included time as an assistant prosecutor in Jackson County, as in-house counsel at Commonwealth Associates, and in her private law practice T. Smith Class Grady, Delores A., 85, of Williamston, Mich. passed away on Aug. 5, Morell Class Bevins, Michael L., 54, passed away on Aug. 3, 2012, after a battle with cancer. Following graduation from Cooley, he worked at Scholten Fant Attorneys. He spent years as a social worker in the Community Mental Health System and two years working for the Michigan Court of Appeals. After a year with Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, practicing exclusively in special education law, he engaged in a general solo practice until As a partner in the Scholten Fant Law firm, Michael had represented school districts in the area of school law with the primary emphasis in the area of special education. Michael was an adjunct professor at Grand Valley University and Western Michigan University where he taught graduate courses in Special Education Law. Michael was also a frequent lecturer on special education law Green Class Brundage, Matthew, passed away Nov. 3, He was the Chief Probation Officer for the 54-B District Court in East Lansing, Mich Carpenter Class Snippen, Roger D., 65, of Sitka, Alaska, passed away on May 18, He had a bachelor s degree in forest engineering and an M.B.A. He served in Vietnam during as a sergeant with the 173rd Airborne Infantry. He worked in the private sector of the forest industry in Oregon, Washington and Alaska for several years. He was CEO of Shee Atika Corp., and spearheaded the development of corporate logging on Admiralty Island. He left Shee Atika Corp to earn his law degree at Cooley, then returned to Alaska, where he worked for then- Gov. Hickel as a project analyst on project-permitting in the Alaska Coastal Management Program. When this ended, he opened a law practice in Juneau, Alaska and lived there for the next 11 years. In 2004, Roger returned to Sitka, where he practiced law until the time of his death.
19 1996 Moody Jr. Class Beloff, The Hon. Adam Mitchell, 48, of Philadelphia, Penn., passed away Dec. 1, He served as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. Judge Beloff served as the president of the South Seventh Street Redevelopment Association. He was a volunteer to the Miss Columbus Day Scholarship pageant for 30 years, including service as the pageant s Chairman of Judges. Judge Beloff volunteered for and judged National mock trial competitions, including the John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition at Temple University, and the American Mock Trial Invitational at the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. Cooley encourages all graduates to contribute information to the Class Notes. We encourage information about your law practice and other accomplishments in the legal profession.