Classes 1940-1949

In Memoriam: Lawrence E. Carr, Jr., ’48, ’49 J.D.


It is with a heavy heart that the Law School announces the passing of Lawrence Carr, Jr. on November 21, 2015 in Alexandria, Virginia. Carr practiced law in Washington, DC for more than 60 years, most recently as senior partner with Carr Maloney, PC. Devoted to Notre Dame, Carr served on the Advisory Council for Notre Dame Law School for 24 years, from 1984 to 2008. Carr sent four of his five children to Notre Dame. Please view a tribute to Carr’s life in the online obituary.

Leading Scholar of International Art Law, John H. Merryman, ’44 M.S, ’47 J.D. Passes Away

merryman_in_front_of_rivers_of_jewels_2003_smaller_300x260 Photo by Steve Gladfelter.

John Merryman was a world renowned expert in art law, cultural property law, and comparative law. John studied and taught in these areas at Stanford Law School for sixty-two years. John passed away on August 5, 2015 at the age of 95. Stanford Law School posted an article which is a beautiful tribute to this Notre Dame double domer who lived an extraordinary life.

Mike Stepovich, '43 J.D.

Mike Stepovich, Who Led Alaska to Statehood, Dies at 94

Mr. Stepovich was the last presidentially appointed governor of the Territory of Alaska and also helped lobby Congress for statehood.

Alexis “Alex” Thomas Cholis, ’41 BA, ’42 J.D.

Alexis Cholis is retiring after more than 70 years after admission to the Indiana bar. According to the Indiana Roil of Attorneys, Cholis has been an active lawyer six years longer than anyone in Indiana has. Cholis is an Estate and Tax attorney at Cholis & Cholis in South Bend, Indiana.

View All Alumni Class Notes for Classes 1940-1949

Classes 1950-1959

In Memoriam: Francis X. Beytagh, ’56 BA

Francis “Frank” Beytagh passed away on February 21, 2016 in Dublin, Ohio at the age of 80. Upon graduation from Notre Dame, Beytagh went on to receive his juris doctor from University of Michigan. Beytagh served as Senior Law Clerk for Chief Justice Earl Warren, and later, as an Assistant Solicitor General where he argued well over a dozen cases in the United States Supreme Court. Throughout much of his career, Beytagh served as an educator and scholar in the area of Constitutional law, teaching at a number of institutions including Notre Dame Law School. For more on Frank Beytagh’s many accomplishments see a beautiful tribute to his life.

In Memoriam: Jerome A. Frazel, Jr., ’50 J.D.


It is with a heavy heart that the Law School announces the passing of Jerome Frazel on February 6th in Beverly, Illinois at the age of 89. After receiving his law degree Frazel joined 13 other attorneys at Hinshaw and Culbertson in Chicago in 1959. Frazel became a senior partner at Hinshaw and helped the firm grow into the national firm of over 500 attorneys that it is today. In 1976 the Notre Dame Club of Chicago honored Frazel with its Man of the Year Award. To read more about Frazel’s accomplishments in both his professional and personal life, please view a tribute in the Beverly Review.

Donald W. Ward, ’54 J.D. Receives the 2015 Legendary Lawyer Award


Donald Ward, partner at Ward & Ward in Indianapolis was named the 2015 Legendary Lawyer by the Indiana Bar Foundation. The annual Legendary Lawyer Award recognizes an attorney who demonstrates adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession throughout a career of 50 years or more. Ward has practiced for 60 years and currently practices with his son at Ward & Ward. Attorney Richard Eynon commented that, “Perhaps no other individual attorney has had a greater impact over the past 50 years in maintaining the integrity of the Appellate and Supreme courts, while putting aside self-interest for the best interests of Hoosiers’ justice, than Don.” Ward was humbled and honored by the award stating, “It is hard for me to believe that I can receive an award for doing the thing I have enjoyed doing for the past 60 years – going to the office and practicing law.” Read more.

In Memoriam: Edward F. Broderick, Jr., ’54 BA, ’56 J.D.

It is with great sadness that the Law School announces the passing of Edward Broderick, Jr. on July 22, 2015 in Morristown, New Jersey. Mr. Broderick was a senior managing partner of Broderick, Newmark and Grather P.C. for over five decades, providing legal counsel in the areas of commercial and corporate law, employment law and civil rights litigation. Most recently, Mr. Broderick had joined Wilson Elser, LLP and continued his law career Of Counsel. See a beautiful tribute to Mr. Broderick’s life in the online obituary.

In memoriam: James Fitzgerald, Jr., ’57 BA, ’59 J.D.

It is with great sadness that the Law School announces the passing of James Fitzgerald, Jr. on June 18, 2014 in Gross Ile, Michigan. Please view the online obituary.

View All Alumni Class Notes for Classes 1950-1959

Classes 1960-1969

Thomas Curtin, '68 J.D. Awarded Prestigious Daniel J. O'Hern Award


Tom Curtin, founding member of Graham Curtin, in Morristown, New Jersey received the prestigious Daniel J. O’Hern Award from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in Law. Tom was honored “for his lifetime achievements and commitment to the highest ideals of the profession” at the annual awards ceremony. Read more about his many contributions to the legal profession.

The NDLS Community Remembers Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patrick Crooks, ’63 J.D.


Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks, ’63 J.D., passed away on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. He was 77 years old. Justice Crooks served in the Wisconsin judiciary for 39 years, first on the trial court and then on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, to which he was elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2006. Only a week before his death, he announced that he planned to retire on July 31, 2016.

In Memoriam: John H. Leahy, ’59 BA, ’64 J.D.

Double domer, John Leahy passed away on August 19, 2015 after losing a fast-paced battle with cancer. While at Notre Dame, John was the senior football manager and lived in the football stadium during his law school years, locking it up and taking care of the legendary mascot Clashmore Mike. John served in the United States Navy as a commissioned officer and later as a reserve, retiring as a Captain after 30 years. Later he practiced law in both Chicago and California. John then served as a judge in the Superior State Court of California for thirty years. Please view a beautiful tribute to John’s life here.

Charles A. Weiss, ’68 J.D.


Charles Weiss, a partner from Bryan Cave’s St. Louis office, has been named a fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. This prestigious, invitation-only fellowship is limited to 500 active trial lawyers from around the U.S. Weiss has more than 35 years of experience in business and complex litigation, representing numerous Fortune 500 companies and other clients in significant litigation matters. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a former president of The Missouri Bar and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and a former member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association. He is currently a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. Weiss is a Past President on the Notre Dame Law Association Board of Directors.

In Memoriam: Bernard P. Malone, ’63 J.D.

It is with a heavy heart that the law school announces the passing of Bernard “Bud” Malone on February 27, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. Bud devoted much of his legal career as an advocate for financing affordable housing under the FHA Program. Bud later co-founded Malone Mortgage, a finance mortgage company which specialized in federal housing loans. Most recently, Bud founded MORTGAGES

View All Alumni Class Notes for Classes 1960-1969

Classes 1970-1979

Kathleen Cekanski-Farrand, ’73 J.D.

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Kathleen Cekanski-Farrand retired after serving on the South Bend Common Council for 42 years. Her tenure as Council Attorney is a record in the state of Indiana. She served with six different administrations in South Bend dating back to the 1972-1976 administration up through current administration under Mayor Pete Buttigieg. As the council attorney, Cekanski-Farrand wrote countless resolutions, ordinances, and coordinated various legal documents and happenings regarding Council actions. Read More.

John T. Lynch, ’75 J.D.

Davis Malm & D’Agostine, P.C. is proud to announce that shareholder John Lynch has been named to the list of 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers. Lynch practices in the Business and Trust & Estates areas in Boston.

James H. Cawley, ’70 J.D.


James Cawley, a former member and chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), has joined the Harrisburg law firm SkarlatosZonarich LLC as an energy consultant. Cawley, a retired lawyer, served two terms as a member of the PUC, from 1979 to 1985 and from 2005 to 2015, and was chairman from 2008 to 2011. Cawley was one of the original law clerks for Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court when it came into existence in 1970, served as majority counsel to the state Senate Consumer Affairs Committee and chief counsel to the Democratic floor leader in the Senate, and was a major drafter of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Code.

John Gaal, ’77 J.D.

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Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC is pleased to announce John Gaal has been named Best Lawyer’s 2017 Syracuse Education Law “Lawyer of the Year”. Only one lawyer in any practice area in a city is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year”. Gaal has more than 30 years of experience representing employers in the full range of labor and employment law services.

Steven L. Owen, ’76 J.D.

Foster Swift Collins & Smith, P.C. is pleased to announce that Steven Owen has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2017 for his work in Banking and Finance Law, Financial Regulation Law and Real Estate Law. Owen has also been selected to the 2016 Michigan Super Lawyers list.

View All Alumni Class Notes for Classes 1970-1979

Classes 1980-1989

Todd A. Leeson, ’89 J.D.

Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that attorney Todd Leeson has been named to Virginia Business magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite list in the area of Labor and Employment Law.

Todd A. Leeson, ‘89 J.D.

Gentry Locke is pleased to announce that partner Todd Leeson in Roanoke, Virginia has been named in the 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Leeson was selected for his work in the areas of Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor and Employment.

Stephen R. Clark, ’88 J.D.

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Stephen Clark, managing partner of RUNNYMEDE law group in St. Louis, Missouri, has been recognized as a SuperLawyer for the ninth time and eighth consecutive year. Clark is recognized in the field of complex business litigation.

Mark Spitler, ’82 J.D.

Mark Spitler, a partner at Gibson, McAskill and Crosby, LLP, has been selected as the 2017 Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, for Professional Malpractice-Defendants in Buffalo, New York.

Lauretta K. Murphy, ’88 J.D.


Lauretta Murphy, Chair of the Estate Planning Group, at the firm of Miller Johnson in Grand Rapids, Michigan was recognized in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide. Murphy works with individuals as well as multi-generational families to preserve their assets, protect their legacies and promote their philanthropic values. The HNW guide covers 35 jurisdictions worldwide

View All Alumni Class Notes for Classes 1980-1989

Classes 1990-1999

Peter S. Fruin, ’90 J.D.

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Maynard Cooper & Gale is excited to announce that Peter Fruin has been chosen as a Law360 MVP in the area of Securities Law, one of only five attorneys nationwide selected for this distinction. Fruin is the first lawyer in Alabama to earn this national recognition in any practice area since its inception, and Maynard Cooper is the first Alabama law firm to make the Law360 MVP list. Fruin represents commercial businesses nationwide in financial litigation, with extensive experience representing brokerage houses in litigation and regulatory matters. Fruin also serves as Co-Chair of Maynard Cooper’s Securities Litigation practice group. .Read more

Christopher J. Spataro, ’96 J.D.


After a distinguished career practicing law in the Elkhart County community, Christopher Spataro has now joined the Genesis Products leadership team as the new Vice President of Human Resources. Spataro was most recently a Partner at Faegre Baker Daniels where his practice included both general business litigation and employment litigation, among other subjects. As the Vice President of Human Resources, Spataro will seek to use his practical training and legal experience to guide and enhance human capital and business initiatives at the company.

Thomas W. Curvin, ’92 J.D.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that Thomas W. Curvin, partner and co-leader of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, has been selected to join the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) Board of Directors for a two-year term. The AVLF is the largest provider of pro bono legal services in Greater Atlanta. “We commend Tom for accepting this responsibility and applaud his commitment to the Atlanta community,” said Sutherland Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman. “Widely respected among clients and colleagues, Tom’s long-standing success in the legal industry and his dedication to improving the lives of low-income families who cannot afford legal assistance will greatly benefit the foundation and its clients.” At Sutherland, Curvin defends property and casualty, life and health insurers in class action, coverage and extra-contractual litigation in state and federal courts across the country.

James P. Sledge, ’92 J.D.

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James Sledge has been named Vice President of State Government Affairs for Comcast. In his new role, Sledge will be responsible for managing state, legislative and public policy matters for Comcast for the state of Illinois. Prior to this position, Sledge held senior positions at the Chicago Transit Authority and most recently served as the executive officer for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Igor Krivoshekov, ’93 MBA, ’97 J.D.

Igor Krivoshekov, a cross-border transaction attorney, is joining Akin Gump’s as a partner in its London office. Previously, Krivoshekov was a partner at Dentons having joined the firm in 2010.

View All Alumni Class Notes for Classes 1990-1999

Classes 2000-2009

Carolyn A. Blessing, ’04 BS, BA, ’08 J.D.


Locke Lord is pleased to announce that Carolyn Blessing has been promoted to Partner. Blessing focuses her practice in IP Pharmaceutical matters and Hatch-Waxman litigation. She represents pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in all aspects of federal intellectual property litigation, including pre-litigation activities, Paragraph IV Certifications, filing, fact and expert discovery, claim construction, motion practice, pre-trial, trial and post-trial phases. In 2016, she was listed as a “Rising Star” in Illinois by Super Lawyers magazine. Blessing serves as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee for the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law. She served as Chair of the Firm’s St. Procopius Legal Aid Clinic from 2014 through 2016.

Michael Parme, ’08 J.D.

Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP is pleased to announce that Michael Parme has been elevated to partner in the firm’s San Diego office. Since 2009, Parme has handled cases in Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP’s risk management & insurance, employment & labor, and construction practice groups. He has defended clients in a broad array of civil actions, specializing in the defense of complex and class action litigation. He holds a Certified Litigation Management Professional designation and has consistently delivered both superior client service and excellent results since joining the firm.

Patrick A. Salvi, II, ’07 J.D.

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The Law Bulletin Publishing Company recently named Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. partner Patrick A. Salvi II one of the top 10 Emerging Lawyers in Illinois. In addition, Salvi was recognized for his work in general personal injury law, professional malpractice personal injury law, medical malpractice, automobile accidents, and product liability.

Husch Blackwell’s Cynthia Cordes, '04 J.D. Receives Trailblazer Award from Missouri Commission on Human Rights

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The Missouri Commission on Human Rights named Cynthia Cordes the recipient of its 2016 Judge Arnold Krekel Trailblazer Award for promoting civil rights and equal justice. The award honors individuals or organizations that show passion for civil rights and equal justice and is named after the federal judge who presided over Missouri’s 1865 Constitutional Convention, signing the ordinance abolishing slavery in Missouri. Cordes is a partner at Husch Blackwell in Kansas City where she leads the firm’s Human Trafficking Corporate Compliance initiative where she provides anti-trafficking policies, training, and audits for corporations that are either mandated by new federal regulations to rid their supply chains of issues related to human trafficking or that otherwise elect to proactively address the issue in their company. She also founded the firm’s Human Trafficking Legal Clinic, the first of its kind in the country, in 2013.

Jason Scheiderer, ’01 J.D.

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Dentons’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution partner Jason Scheiderer was honored as a 2016 Up & Coming Lawyer by Missouri Lawyers Weekly. The publication recognizes lawyers under 40, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less, who demonstrate professional excellence and community leadership.

View All Alumni Class Notes for Classes 2000-2009

Classes 2010-Present

Alvin A. Adjei, ’09 BA, ’12 J.D.

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The Houston law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz is pleased to welcome Alvin Adjei as an associate. Adjei joins the firm from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office where he served as an Assistant District Attorney. Adjei will focus his practice at the firm on representing people who have been injured as a result of negligence, including premises liability accidents and automobile accidents. During his time at Notre Dame Law School, Adjei formed a team to compete in the National Black Law Students Association Mock Trial Competition where his team won the Midwest regional Championship and advanced to the National competition.

Eric Nichols, ’16 J.D.

Faegre Baker Daniels is pleased to announce that Eric Nichols has joined the firm as an associate in its South Bend office. Nichols will practice in the finance and restructuring group. Nichols served nearly 20 years as a firefighter, including more than a decade of full-time employment, and is also an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve, where he served as a hospital corpsman in both clinical and field operations and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Brittany Brantley, ’13 J.D.


Fisher Phillips is pleased to announce that Brittany Brantley has joined the firm as an associate in its Cleveland, Ohio office. Brantley will represent employers in a wide range of labor and employment matters, including business litigation and employment discrimination. Before joining Fisher Phillips, Brantley was an associate at Frantz Ward LLP, where she focused her practice on business litigation and employment discrimination matters. Before that, Brantley was a judicial extern for alumna Judge Nora Barry Fischer of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Joseph P. Guenther, ’16 J.D.

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The Cleveland law firm of Frantz Ward is pleased to announce that Joseph Guenther has been hired as an Associate. Guenther served as a 2015 Summer Associate at the firm.

Frederick R. Bentley, ’12 BA, ’15 J.D.


The American Heart Association recently named Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Reggie Bentley to serve on its Kentuckiana Metro Board of Directors for a three-year term. The board guides the many local activities that support the organization’s mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Bentley is an attorney with Stites & Harbison based in the Louisville office. He is a member of the Business Litigation Service Group.

View All Alumni Class Notes for Classes 2010-Present


Roundtable Gives Leading Scholars Opportunity to Discuss “The Constitution and Unwritten Law” at NDLS

Constitutional Structure

This year’s theme gave participants the opportunity to explore the many ways in which the law is shaped by forces outside the Constitution’s text.

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