News » Alumni Class Notes

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.

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Fighting for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children, One Client at a Time


In early June, Michael Hagerty, ‘13 J.D., a staff attorney with Public Counsel, a non-profit legal aid firm in Los Angeles, was in Visalia for the first time to represent a client in the Tulare County Probate Court. On that day a crucial guardianship hearing was set to take place—one that Hagerty knew was likely to determine the ultimate fate of his client’s immigration case. Though the process is complex, Hagerty knew that a favorable decision that day meant his client would likely get his green card eventually. A negative decision could very well have meant removal from the United States.

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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.

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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.

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Nancy J. Gargula, ’81 J.D.


Nancy Gargula will receive the 2015 Woman for All Seasons Award from the St. Thomas More Society of Indianapolis at the annual Red Mass Dinner on October 5, 2015. This award is given annually to an individual whose life and work exemplifies the ideals of St. Thomas More who was an English lawyer, author and statesman. As Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII of England, More was widely recognized as one of the greatest lawyers of his time, a dedicated husband and father, and a man of deep faith. Among her notable accomplishments that led to her selection were Nancy’s distinguished legal career (which has included her role as the general counsel and Secretary to the Board of one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, partnership in a large multi-jurisdictional law firm and her current service as the United States Trustee for Region 10 and for nine years Region 13 as well for the past 14 years), her shining example of the Catholic faith by giving generously of her time (Past President of the St. Thomas More Society and Board member for 34 years; Red Mass Planning Chair for 34 years; Past President of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, service on six professional associations and non-profit Boards for the past 30 years including serving as the Region 8 Director on the Notre Dame Law Association Board for the past 3 years; service on the Indiana Supreme Court’s IOLTA Committee, community volunteer for numerous organizations, events and projects), her talent (Red Mass Cantor for 33 years; Cantor, Choir Member at her parish for 25 years; cantor for parish funerals, weddings and festivals), and treasure (Nancy and her siblings established The Joseph T. Helling Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of her father who also taught at the Notre Dame Law School; Nancy and Mark Gargula Endowment for Excellence in Public Service at the University of Notre Dame Law School established on the occasion of Nancy and Mark’s 30th Anniversary of graduating from the law school; member of the Miter Society for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis; Indianapolis Zoological Society Nussbaum Member) as well as the number of awards she has received during her career, including Distinguished Fellow and Patron Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar and Indiana State Bar Associations, Board of Manager’s Award, President’s Award and Distinguished Barrister Award, to name a few. A unanimous decision was reached that Nancy’s life, work and extraordinary legal career exemplify the ideals of St. Thomas More.

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Juan C. Castañeda, ’05 J.D.


On July 13, 2015, Juan Castañeda opened Castañeda Trial Attorneys — a business trial firm based in San Diego, California. After 10 years of experience litigating on behalf of corporate clients with Am Law 100 firms and on the Department of Justice, Juan decided to fulfill a dream of creating a boutique trial firm. Castañeda Trial Attorneys is focused on business litigation, white collar criminal defense and cross-border litigation matters for individuals and businesses with an emphasis on flat fee litigation. On the personal side, the Castañeda family continues to thrive. In true Notre Dame fashion, Juan and Signe have 6 kiddos: Carsten (12), Diego (10), Soren (8), Everett (6), Mateo (4) and Solaz (11 mos.)

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Samantha N. Winter, ’11 J.D.


Samantha Winter joined Sacks Tierney in Scottsdale, Arizona as an estate and tax planning attorney. When not practicing law, she is an accomplished singer, having performed the National Anthem at numerous sporting events.

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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.

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Timothy J. Howard, ’76 J.D.

Timothy Howard, a partner at Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC, has been elected President of the Peoria County Bar Association. Howard has practiced law in Peoria since 1976 and for the last twenty-five years he has concentrated on commercial litigation and banking law.

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Jeffrey L. Vercauteren, ’08 J.D.

Jeffrey Vercauteren, of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., has been a Leader of the firm’s Communications Law Team. Vercauteren is an attorney in the Madison office where he is also a member of the Real Estate Practice Group. His practice focuses on commercial real estate, communications law, energy & mining, government affairs, sustainability & renewable energy and technology law.

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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.

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Kim L. Kirn, ’85 J.D.

kirn kim

Kim Kirn has been elected to the National Board of Directors of the ASSOCIATION ATTORNEY MEDIATORS (AAM) based in Dallas, Texas. AAM is a nonprofit trade association of highly trained, professional attorney-mediators. AAM’s 400 plus members have collectively mediated in excess of 300,000 cases. Kirn mediates employment, real estate and commercial disputes through U.S. Arbitration & Mediation (USA&M) in Missouri and Illinois. She also works as an arbitrator throughout the Midwest.

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Rosemary Kenyon, ’79 J.D.

Rose Kenyon, a partner at Smith Anderson, in Raleigh, North Carolina, was elected a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers by the College’s Board of Governors. Election as a Fellow is the highest recognition by the College of sustained outstanding performance in the profession. Only seven other lawyers in North Carolina have earned this distinction. Membership is by nomination only and is limited to those who meet the College’s criteria for a period of no less than 20 years, including the highest professional qualifications and ethical standards based on the College’s Principles of Civility and Professionalism, and the provision of sustained, exceptionally high-quality services to clients, the bar, bench and the public, as well as a record of scholarship, teaching, lecturing and/or published writings. Kenyon will be formally inducted into the College on November 7th at the organization’s annual banquet in Philadelphia. A partner at Smith Anderson for nearly 16 years, Kenyon focuses on employment and labor law counseling and litigation across a wide variety of industries and companies. She regularly represents clients with challenging workforce issues. She has been recognized as a leading employment lawyer by several publications, including Chambers USA and North Carolina Super Lawyers, and received the Women of Justice Award from North Carolina Lawyers Weekly in 2012. Kenyon is a frequent speaker and author on emerging employment and labor law trends.

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Cynthia Cordes, ’04 J.D.

Cynthia Cordes, a partner with Husch Blackwell in Kansas City, Missouri, has again been named among the 2015 Benchmark Litigation Top 250 Women in Litigation. Cordes is one of only six women selected in the state of Missouri for this honor and was chosen for the first time last year.

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James R. Mall, ’74 BA, ’78 J.D. MBA

James Mall, a partner at Meyer, Unkovic, Scott LLP, has been named a 2015 Pennsylvania SuperLawyer. Mall is a partner and chair of the firm’s Construction Practice Group and focuses his practice in construction and commercial litigation, land use and zoning.

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Robert Rehm, ’71 BS

Robert Rehm, a partner of Smith Anderson, has been selected to serve on the Board of Directors of StepUp Ministry. StepUp Ministry is a nonprofit corporation headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, that partners with adults and children in the shared goal of stable lives through jobs and life skills training. In the past, Rehm has assisted StepUp Ministry on a pro bono basis in connection with various legal matters. Rehm practices primarily in the areas of technology licensing and commercialization, and the acquisition, licensing and protection of intellectual property rights with a focus on information-technology-related transactions. “Robert embodies the spirit of community and brings intellectual property expertise to the table,” said Linda Nunnallee, Executive Director of StepUp Ministry. “We are fortunate to have him by our side as StepUp Ministry Raleigh moderates the expansion of our organization statewide.”

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Katheryne L. Zelenock, ’91 J.D.

Katheryne Zelenock

Katheryne Zelenock has been selected as a “2015 Women in the Law Honoree” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. She was selected for her commitment to excellence in the practice of law. Ms. Zelenock is a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Real Estate Group and serves as Chair of Dickinson Wright’s Women’s Network. Ms. Zelenock is a member of the American Bar Association, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association of America, Commercial Real Estate Finance Council, International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Oakland County Bar Association. She is an elected member of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys.

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Susan Brichler Trujillo, ’04 J.D.


Susan Trujillo, a partner at Quarles & Brady in Phoenix, Arizona has been elected vice president of the Community Legal Services, Inc. board of directors. Community Legal Services is an Arizona nonprofit that provides legal assistance, advice and representation to individuals below the federal poverty level. Trujillo is chair of the health care practice group at Quarles & Brady.

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In Memoriam: Michael J. Curley, ’80 J.D.

It is with great sadness that the Law School announces the passing of Michael Curley in Phoenix, Arizona. Michael started his law career at Jennings, Strouss and Salmon and after a short time began his long partnership at Earl, Curley & Lagarde in their zoning practice. Please view the online obituary

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Leslee M. Lewis, ’95 J.D.

Leslee Lewis, of Dickinson Wright PLLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been elected as a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. Lewis is a member of Dickinson’s Governing Board and previously served as the firm’s Practice Department Manager for Real Estate, Environmental, and Energy & Sustainability practices. She is recognized as a leader in the field by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, and is an elected member of the American Law Institute, where she is a Consulting Member on the Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations.

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John G. Mauel, ’86 J.D.


John Mauel has joined Norton Rose Fulbright as a partner in its Houston office. Prior to this position, Mauel practiced for eight years at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman where he focused his practice on the development, financing, acquisition and disposition of energy and infrastructure projects, ranging from oil and gas to LNG to electric power. Mauel, who has been recognized by Chambers Global in each of the last six years, said: “Having worked in this firm’s Houston office for the first 15 years of my 29-year career, I know that the energy industry is central to both its mission and its success. Coming back to Norton Rose Fulbright with its expanded global platform will provide even greater opportunities to be of service to our clients involved in complex cross-border energy projects.”

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Michael O. Kenney, ’80 BA, ’83 J.D.


Michael Kenney has been appointed the first president of Fr. Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Kenney is currently vice president for planning and enrollment management for Madonna University. “Father Gabriel Richard High School has an extraordinary history and a bright future due to the dedication of the school’s principal, Brian Wolcott, and that of the faculty, staff, parents and students,” Kenney said in a statement. “I am excited to engage the local community, to serve the students and their families and to strive with the faculty to enable Father Gabriel Richard High School to be recognized as a national model of excellence.”

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Kurt A. Oreshack, ’05 J.D.


Kurt Oreshack has been hired as General Counsel for Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) in San Diego. HLI is a biotech company developing advances in personalized medicine in part by building the world’s most comprehensive database of human genomes and associated health data. Oreshack brings experience as a corporate and securities attorney to help guide HLI’s pioneering healthcare work. Oreshack has structured and negotiated hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and equity investments in private and public company clients. In his previous position at Gunderson Dettmer, LLP, Oreshack served as an external General Counsel to HLI and similar companies.

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Paulita A. Pike, ’93 BA, ’96 J.D.


Paulita Pike has joined Ropes & Gray in Chicago, IL as a partner in the firm’s investment management group. Her practice includes representing investment advisers, mutual funds and fund boards on a broad range of issues, including governance structures and practices; compliance issues; D&O/E&O matters; committee structures and functions, communications with the press, self-evaluations and industry “best practices;” fund service provider contracts and SEC filings; fund mergers and “manager-of-managers” arrangements; and regulatory investigations and inquiries.

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John T. Lynch, ’75 J.D.


John Lynch, a shareholder and member of the executive committee at Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C., has been elected to a four-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation. The Massachusetts Bar Foundation’s mission is to ensure equal access to the legal system in the Commonwealth for those most vulnerable. Last year, the Foundation distributed approximately $1.9 million to provide legal services for 63,000 people. Lynch practices in the area of business law, focusing primarily on advising business organizations as general outside corporate counsel and representing them in corporate transactional work.

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Brian Belt, ’81 J.D.


Brian Belt has been hired as a shareholder at Gunster, in its Miami office. Belt joins the firm’s real estate, corporate and construction practices. Belt has been named a Top Lawyer by South Florida Legal Guide and is the author of many published legal works in publications such as Hospitality Lawyer, Inform Legal, and the Journal of Commerce. Belt also is a frequent speaker and presenter and previously served as pro bono counsel for the Greater Miami Tennis and Education Foundation.

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Mark Rosenberg, ’97 BA, ’00 J.D.


Mark Rosenberg has joined the firm of Timoney Knox, LLP in its Fort Washington, PA office. Rosenberg’s practice focuses on advising and representing clients from domestic and international insurers on insurance coverage, class action and bad faith matters.
He is a co-author of Extra-Contractual Litigation Against Insurers (Law Journal Press 2009), and continues to provide twice-yearly updates to this treatise.

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Meighan A. Harmon, ’96 J.D.


Meighan Harmon, a senior partner at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, LLP in Chicago, has been named to the “Top 100 Women Consumer Lawyers” list by Leading Lawyers Magazine. Harmon focuses on complex family law cases involving the distribution of multi-million dollar estates and represents successful business professionals and their spouses from a variety of industries, as well as individuals with multi-generational wealth.

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