News » Alumni Notes Classes 1980-1989

Mary Beth Uetz Kelly, ’87 J.D.

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Justice Mary Beth Kelly has retired from the Michigan Supreme Court and joined Bodman PLC in Detroit. Kelly will serve as a partner and vice chair of the firm’s litigation and alternative dispute resolution practice group. Kelly joins private practice after serving as a Supreme Court justice for four and a half years and sixteen years in the judiciary. Read more

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Brian E. O’Donnell, ’89 J.D.

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Morristown-based law firm Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP is pleased to announce that partner Brian O’Donnell, co-chair of the Firm’s Insurance and Reinsurance Group, has been named a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society. Fellows are selected and invited into the Litigation Counsel after being evaluated for effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation and trial work, along with ethical reputation. O’Donnell has also been included in the Diversity Law Institute and the Trial Law Institute by virtue of his fellowship in the Litigation Counsel of America. O’Donnell is a seasoned litigator with extensive experience in handling complex commercial matters. A member of the Firm’s Executive Committee, O’Donnell has successfully resolved complex matters including high stakes reinsurance and insurance coverage disputes, class action products liability lawsuits and government investigations of insurance and financial regulatory matters.

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Tom Ajamie, ’85 J.D.

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Tom Ajamie, founder of Ajamie LLP, was recently included in the National Law Journal list of the Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers & Pioneers. Ajamie continues to focus his practice on “representing the underdog against abusers of power” and his accomplishments include the largest securities arbitration win in history. Ajamie has offices in both Houston and New York.

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Thomas Ahearne, ’81 Finds Meaning in a Fight for Education Funding in the State of Washington

Thomas Ahearne, a graduate of Notre Dame and University of Chicago Law School, had risen at a powerful Seattle firm by working for business clients who took on insurance companies, often winning millions of dollars. Ahearne, upon the suggestion of a colleague, decided to put his litigation skills to work in fighting the state of Washington over education funding. Read more in the Boston Globe.

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Frederic X. (Fritz) Shadley, ’78 EG, ’81 J.D.

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Ulmer & Berne is pleased to announce that partner, Fritz Shadley, has been recognized in the 2016 Benchmark Litigation as one of the “State Litigation Stars” in the practice area of Construction Law.

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Dennis M. Barnes, ’86 J.D.

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker is pleased to announce that Dennis M. Barnes has been elected as the next Treasurer of the State Bar of Michigan. The State Bar’s election of Barnes to this officer position is not only a recognition of his leadership in the State Bar of Michigan, but also a recognition of his dedication to its primary purpose, protection of the public, and its mission, promoting improvements in the administration of justice and advancements in jurisprudence, and in improving relations between the legal profession and the public. Barnes was initially elected to the State Bar Board of Commissioners in 2010, and has served on its Executive Committee since 2012. Barnes has served in several different bar and professional organizations, and is a past-President of the Federal Bar Association’s Eastern District of Michigan Chapter. He concentrates his practice on complex business litigation, including professional liability defense, insurance coverage litigation, intellectual property disputes, and other business tort and contract disputes.

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The Honorable Michael Gotsch, Sr., '79, '87 JD Receives ISBA Outstanding Judge Award

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Judge Michael G. Gotsch Sr., who has served on the bench in the St. Joseph Circuit Court since 2004, was recently honored as the recipient of the Outstanding Judge Award from the Indiana State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Young Lawyers Section at the ISBA’s annual meeting. Over the years, Gotsch has been appointed to serve on numerous national and state committees and task forces. Additionally, Gotsch is an adjunct faculty member at Notre Dame Law School. Read the full news release.

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Nancy J. Gargula, ’81 J.D.

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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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Kim L. Kirn, ’85 J.D.

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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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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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John G. Mauel, ’86 J.D.

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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.

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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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Brian Belt, ’81 J.D.

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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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Matthew P. Feeney, ’79 BA, ’83 J.D.

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Matthew Feeney, a partner in the Snell & Wilmer Phoenix office, has assumed the firm’s chairmanship. Feeney takes over for John J. Bouma, who steps down from the position after leading the firm for more than 30 years. Feeney’s practice is concentrated in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, SEC reporting and compliance, and corporate governance matters, including advising corporate boards and board committees.

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Michael J. Allen, ’85 J.D.

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Michael Allen of Carruthers & Roth, P.A. in Greensboro, North Carolina, was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2015 for the practice areas of Commercial Litigation and Litigation – Intellectual Property. He was also selected for inclusion in Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” for 2015 for the practice area of Intellectual Property.

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Amy Smith O’Connor, ’84 J.D.

Amy S. O’Connor, a shareholder with the law firm of McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams, P. C., in Albany, NY has been named as Chair of the Firm’s Trusts, Estates and Elder Law Practice Group. O’Connor’s practice encompasses all aspects of estate planning, estate administration, trusts, guardianships, and elder law, with a focus on assisting elderly clients and their families with legal and tax issues, including estate tax planning, preservation of assets, long-term care planning, and eligibility for governmental benefits.

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Jeffrey S. Schloemer, ’80 BA

Jeffrey Schloemer, a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister, LLP in Cincinnati has been selected as one of 2015 Leading Lawyers by Cincy Magazine in the area of Commercial and Contract Law.

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Lorelie Masters, ’81 J.D., Featured in 2015 Super Lawyers Magazine

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Lorelie Masters was featured on the cover of 2015 Super Lawyers of Washington, D.C., in an article titled “Masters of the Insurance Universe.” Masters, a partner at Perkins Coie, is known as an expert in the field of insurance litigation, an area that she has practiced in since the mid- 1980s. In addition to the hours devoted to her successful practice, Masters spends after hours in her role as a social activist: advocating for pay equity for women, human-trafficking laws, voting rights and other issues. This past year Masters declared her candidacy to become the first elected attorney general in the District simply because “the race … needed to include women’s voices.”

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Tom Ajamie, ’85 J.D., One of 500 Leading Lawyers in America

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Tom Ajamie, who founded his own Houston and New York based litigation firm in 1997, was named one of 500 Leading Lawyers in America for 2014 by Lawdragon. Ajamie was featured as one of the “Heavyweights.” Lawdragon describes Ajamie as “one of the most prolific and successful anti-fraud courtroom crusaders, with billions of verdicts, settlements and awards under his belt and a full caseload in the post-financial crisis era.” His cases have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the American Lawyer.

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In Memoriam: Harold F. Moore, ’80 J.D.

The law school is sad to announce the passing of Harold (Hal) Moore on February 26, 2015 in Chatham, New Jersey surrounded by his family. Hal was a member of the faculty at Notre Dame in the philosophy department from 1971-1980. After graduation from NDLS, Hal went on to practice law in New York City. For the past 26 years, Hal had been in practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, where he was partner as well as the founder and head of the Project Finance Practice. Please view a beautiful tribute to Hal’s life by linking to the online obituary.

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James S. Carr, ’87 J.D., Elected Chair of Kelley Drye

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Kelley Drye & Warren LLP announced as part of the Firm’s strategic plan that James S. Carr has been elected Chair of the Firm. Carr joined Kelley Drye’s New York office in 1988, was elected to the Executive Committee in 2007, and is Chair of the Bankruptcy and Restructuring practice group. He is well known in the bankruptcy bar, and he has been recognized for his creditor-oriented practice by Chambers Global, Chambers USA, US Legal 500 and Best Lawyers. In 2014, The M&A Advisor chose one of his matters as Retail Manufacturing/Distribution Deal of the Year, and he has been consistently awarded top-five honors in The Deal Pipeline’s Bankruptcy League Tables. See the full announcement here. Currently, Carr is the Chair of the Notre Dame Lawyers of New York City (NDL-NYC) Advisory Board and a member of the Board of Directors for the Notre Dame Law Association.

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Thomas J. Jennings, ’80 MBA, ’80 J.D.

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Thomas Jennings has joined the law firm of Curtin & Heefner, LLP as a partner in the Business & Municipal Finance and Environmental and Public Sector Departments in the Morrisville, Pennsylvania office. He represents national and local business entities in a wide range of commercial transactions, focusing on facility development and operations. He provides guidance in structuring agreements with the public sector and formation of public-private partnership often involving elements of public, policy and procurement issues, economic development, government contracting, environmental regulation and land use planning.

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Shelley Bacon Bacastow, ’84 J.D.

Shelley Bacastow has been appointed Vice President and General Counsel at PCTEL, Inc., a leader in performance critical telecom solutions, in Bloomingdale, Illinois. Prior to this promotion, Bacastow served as PCTEL’s Assistant General Counsel for eleven years where she managed securities, corporate governance and compensation issues.

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Philip Kalamaros, ’84 BA, ’87 J.D.

Philip Kalamaros has been chosen by the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana to serve on the board of directors for the Defense Bar for 2015. Kalamaros is a partner in the firm of Hunt Suedhoff Kalamaros in South Bend, Indiana.

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Todd Kingma, ’85 J.D., Recognized as Governance Professional of the Year

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Todd Kingma, executive vice president and general counsel for Perrigo Company PLC, has been recognized as Governance Professional of the Year by Corporate Secretary Magazine in the area of Corporate Governance and Compliance. Additionally, Perrigo was awarded Best Overall Governance Compliance and Ethics program in the same area. The national Corporate Governance Awards are designed to recognize outstanding disclosure in corporate governance, risk and compliance. Kingma joined Perrigo, a leading manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, in 2003.

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Thomas J. Jennings, ’80 MBA, ’80 J.D.

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Thomas Jennings, a partner in Hill Wallack in the Yardley, Pennsylvania office, has been appointed to the President’s Advisory Council at Delaware Valley College, an independent, interdisciplinary college featuring individualized attention, small class sizes and an applied as well as theoretical approach to learning, located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

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Kim L. Kirn, ’85 J.D.

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Kim Kirn has joined the Senior Arbitrator Panel at United States Arbitration & Mediation (USA&M), the leading provider of mediation and arbitration services. Kirn currently serves on USA&M’s Mediation Panel.

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