Wednesday November 24th 2021
Happy Thanksgiving! We’re back with yet another edition of our legal industry news column highlighting the latest lawyers, law firm hiring, innovation and pro bono endeavors. Read on for the latest news.
Lawyer removals & law firms
Shumaker has added several new attorneys to its Sarasota, Tampa and Toledo offices. Recent hires include Jacqueline Gardner and Travis Taaffe in Sarasota, who are also members of Shumaker’s Financial Services Industry Group.
“We’re excited to add two new employees to our financial services business here in Sarasota, Jackie and Travis,” said Mike Taaffe, Sarasota Regional Service Line Leader Litigation and Disputes and chairman of the financial services business. “Both Jackie and Travis have worked with our team as summer partners and we see an extraordinary promise from both of them.”
Steven Nicholas and Robert White joined the Tampa company. Mr. Nicholas previously served as a federal justice intern with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida where he served for Judge William Jung. Mr. White joined the firm of a large Midwestern company after previously pursuing a career as a stage actor.
Evan Bunis joined Shumaker in Toledo where he will focus on general litigation such as labor and labor disputes claims, trust disputes, construction disputes and more.
“We are excited to see Evan launch his promising legal career at Shumaker,” said Mark Wagoner, Toledo Regional Service Line Leader Litigation and Disputes. “Evan has the intelligence, temperament, and ambition to be an exceptional trial attorney, and he has already proven himself a valuable member of our team.”
Lawyers Caley Aidif and Sara Jawad, associate Sean Bevil and partner Larry Obhof also joined Shumaker’s Litigation and Disputes Group in 2021.
Roland Potts joined Foley and Lardner’s Litigation Department as Of Counsel in their Miami office. Mr. Potts joins Foley’s Practice Group Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution.
“By joining Foley in Miami and leveraging the strength of the litigation department, I can provide our clients with the full, cross-platform service they need to handle the complex litigation and international disputes they face. Said Mr. Potts. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues and expanding the firm’s presence in Miami and Latin America.”
Mr. Potts represents clients in dispute settlement procedures, including arbitration, litigation, mediation and appeals. He also advises international clients on corporate law disputes as well as intellectual property disputes, anti-competitive claims, construction defects, product liability claims and more.
“The addition of Roland to our Miami office is an example of Foley’s commitment to Florida, but also of expanding our presence in Latin America,” said Leslie Smith, managing partner of the Miami office. “Roland will not only expand the office’s process bank, but – as someone who speaks both English and Spanish – will continue to improve our ability to serve the Latin American community in Miami and beyond.”
“Roland is a well-known litigation attorney whose experience will add to Foley’s strong business litigation practice,” said Mike Gay, chairman of the firm’s Litigation Department and the Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group. “His comfort and experience working with multinational clients in complex litigation and arbitration is impressive and the kind of experience that will be of great benefit to our clients both nationally and internationally.”
Dykema has added Paulina Garga-Chmiel to his Financial Services Litigation Practice Group and Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities Special Servicer Group as Senior Counsel in the firm’s Chicago office.
Ms. Garga-Chmiel represents lenders in foreclosure disputes, bankruptcy matters, UCC liquidations, debt collection procedures, breach of contract disputes and other credit restructuring issues as well as in processes and settlement of creditors’ rights and works with national, medium-sized and small banks.
“We are excited to have Paulina join our creditor rights and credit enforcement teams, as well as our bankruptcy and restructuring practices,” said Mark Silverman, co-team leader of Dykema’s Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities Special Servicer Group and a member of the finance industry group. “With her in-depth knowledge and experience of representing banks, medium-sized lenders and non-bank lenders in enforcing loans and being admitted as a lawyer in the Midwest, we are confident that Paulina will add tremendous value to our customers across the country. “
Ms. Garga-Chmiel was a partner in her previous law firm and, in addition to her creditor practice, co-chaired the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Council.
Awards for law firm innovation and the legal industry
Bernstein Shur recently set up its Media and Marketing Practice Group under the direction of shareholder Kevan Lee Deckelmann. Together with attorneys Matthew Saldaña, Elliott Kelly and Chad Higgins, the group will specialize in areas such as influencer marketing, product labeling issues, social and digital media, and targeted text messaging.
The company saw demand in marketing and advertising as the industries experience increasing levels of regulation. “As our world shifted from print and broadcast to celebrities, non-celebrities, texts, emails, messaging and all that, our business had to move and develop rapidly,” said Ms. Deckelmann.
Brent Henry, a member of Mintz, is slated to receive the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) Catalyst for Change Award on April 28, 2022. Mr. Henry is recognized for his continued support for health and housing equality and legal aid, as well as his work promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal field. Prior to Mintz, he was Vice President and General Counsel of Partners HealthCare, New England’s largest hospital network.
“More than ever, MLRI’s mission is to fight for policies that benefit low-income people in Massachusetts and that promoting racial justice is important to the future of our Commonwealth and our nation,” said Georgia Katsoulomitis , Executive Director of MLRI. “Brent Henry knows what it is like to stand in the trenches helping those in need and addressing economic and racial injustice. His career has been shaped by promoting equal opportunities and inclusion, from the legal profession to healthcare and housing. We are honored to celebrate his work. “
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce recently named Edward L. “Skipp” Kropp, Of Counsel at Steptoe & Johnson, as Samuel C. Schlosser Volunteer of the Year 2021. As a permanent member of the Chamber since 2012, he was a member of the environment and energy committees, supported the activities of the Industry Day and helped to plan the annual energy management conference.
In his four decades of legal experience, Mr. Kropp has focused on environmental law and regulation and has worked in particular as an environmental attorney and environmental director at the American Electric Power Company and the Appalachian Power Company. He joined Steptoe & Johnson in 2013, where he currently helps clients address complex regulatory changes and environmental issues.
Pro bono and recognition
Edward J. Loya, Jr., a member of the firm of Epstein Becker Green, is the new vice president of the board of directors of the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (DHBA). With the aim of promoting the social and professional development of the Hispanic community in the Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) area, the association provides a framework for Hispanic attorneys to meet and exchange ideas. The new appointment is effective from January 1st, 2022.
“Edward is an advocate for diversity within the Dallas / Fort Worth legal community,” said Jim Flynn, managing director and member of the firm at Epstein Becker Green. “To support its efforts, EBG financially and philosophically supported the start of the DHBA program for external legal offices, which offers Texan law students interested in working for the DFW the opportunity to work in the chambers of local federal and regional judges. We are proud to have Edward in such a respected role and to continue our support for the DHBA. “
Crains Detroit Business named Megan P. Norris, CEO of Miller Canfield, one of Michigan’s 100 Most Influential Women. The list is updated every five years and includes prominent figures from all industries, including legal professions, community service, business, and state and federal government.
A veteran labor lawyer and former board member, Ms. Norris became Miller Canfield’s first female CEO in February 2021. “I am honored and honored to be included on this list of the most respected and influential women in Michigan,” she said. “I am very proud to lead an organization that invests in its leadership and works to serve us all develop regardless of our background or whether we fit into the traditional form. “
The South Asian Bar Association (SABA) has awarded Schiff Hardin partner Mir Ali the Pro Bono Attorney Award 2021. Mr. Ali partnered with the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, which provides free legal assistance to veterans.
Mr. Ali is also a founding partner of Team Red, White & Blue, a national nonprofit that helps veterans transition from the military to civilian life. He was also recently inducted into the Notable Military Veteran Executives of Crains Chicago Business in 2021.
Hogan Lovells filed two lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Southern Division contesting the redrawn political maps of Alabama for the state legislative and congressional districts.
The office brought the cases of Thomas v. Merrill and Milligan v. Merrill on behalf of the Greater Birmingham Ministries, the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, and several individuals. The lawsuits allege that the newly drawn congressional districts are denying black residents an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.
The lawsuits also allege that the new district maps violate the 14th constitutional amendment and Section 2 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The plaintiffs are calling on the federal government to prevent the new card from being used.
The individuals are also supported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Alabama, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the law firm of Wiggins, Childs, Pantazis, Fischer & Goldfarb .
Copyright © 2021 National Law Forum, LLCNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 328