Class Notes

Recent Class Notes

Congratulations to our alumni who received honored with the Up and Coming Awards Missouri Lawyers Media

Andrew Alexander ('14)
Danielle Atchison ('14)
Christine Brady Hoag (12)
Amy R. Jackson ('17)
Kenneth D. Kinney ('14)
Erin D. Lawrence ('10)
Lindsay E. Mathews ('14)
Lindsay Todd Perkins ('07)

Recognizing early-career professionals in the public or non-profit sectors

Crissy Del Percio ('13)
Michelle L. Cocayne ('13)
Matt Sparks ('13)

 

Hon Sarah Castle ('15) was appointed by Governor Mike Parson as Circuit Judge. She is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of as Hon Sandra C. Midkiff ('75)

 

In Memoriam

Bart Strother ('75) passed away on October 19, 2020. He began his law career at the law firm of Foust, Strother and Frickleton for more than 15 years before going out on his own.

Class Notes Archive

Fluffy Kilburn ('20), Leaders of Tomorrow Award, 2020 Missouri Lawyers Weekly for the Women's Justice Award

Noah Nash ('19) joined the law firm of Lathrop Gage. Noah is part of the Insurance and Recovery and Counselling team. He will handling a variety insurance recovery matters, mass tor claims, environmental litigation, campaign finance and class action lawsuits Prior to his legal career, Nash worked as a catastrophe claims adjuster for a large insurance carrier, where he worked to provide aid to victims of natural disasters.

Garrett Pratt "('19), LL.M., has joined the law firm of Lathrop Gage. Garrett is part of the Tax and Employment Benefits team. He will be advising clients regarding federal income tax and employee benefits matters and the tax ramifications of various business transactions. He also assists clients with forming and dissolving legal entities, corporate reorganizations and advises on tax issues arising from the operation of partnerships and limited liability companies.

Darrell Smith (‘18) was crowned King at Operation Breakthrough’s Mardi Gras luncheon. See Michelle Marvel ('07).

Taryn Nash (’17) who was named to Ingram’s 20 in Their Twenties She is a business-litigation associate at Lathrop GPM

Bianca Finney (‘17) - she works full-time as an Assistant District Attorney at Unified Government of Kansas City.

Sam Barfoot ('16) received the Robert C. Welch Volunteer Attorney Project Award for his outstanding dedication to the mission of the Adopt-A- Neighborhood (AAN)

Hon Sarah Castle ('15) was appointed by Governor Mike Parson as Circuit Judge. She is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of as Hon Sandra C. Midkiff ('75)

Justin Whitney (’15) has joined Lathrop GPM as an associate. Whitney is well-versed in assisting clients with basic and complex estate planning documents, implementing sophisticated planning techniques. He focuses on estate planning, probate and trust administration, trust and estate litigation, tax planning and the drafting of trusts, wills and corporate documents.

Nicholas Draper (’14) joined the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of General Counsel in August 2020 at the regional office in Kansas City, Kansas. He is a trial attorney where his practice is focused on the Fair Housing Act, the Freedom of Information Act, ethics, and litigation involving the agency. Nick was previously in private practice for four years and clerked for one and a half years for the Honorable Judge Cynthia L. Martin at the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District.

Sara Christensen ('14) Thomas J. Conway Award, KCMBA Bench Bar and Boardroom 2020 Award.

Ashley Grace, ('14) has joined the Missouri Attorney General's Office in Kansas City in February 2020. She is in the labor unit where her practice is focused on worker's compensation. Ashley was previously in private practice for four years and clerked for one year in Jackson County Circuit Court for the Honorable Janette K. Rodecap.

Crissy Del Percio ('13) recognized as an early-career professional in the public or non-profit sector


Michelle L. Cocayne ('13)
recognized as an early-career professional in the public or non-profit sector


Matt Sparks
('13) recognized as an early-career professional in the public or non-profit sector

John Francis Baty (’13) passed away on Oct. 19, 2019. He practiced at the law firm of Baty Otto Coronado, PC. Alongside his father Lee Baty and his sister Laura Kaufman.

Jennifer Cascio (‘12) joined Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. She focuses her legal practice on catastrophic personal injury, medical negligence, product liability and mass torts. Cascio was selected for the Rising Star 2020 award.

Sarah Castle (’12) was appointed to be the new associate circuit judge of Division 27. She will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gregory B. Gillis.

Carl Scarborough (’12) retired as Chief of the Sni Valley Fire Protection District in Oak Grove, Missouri. After three decades as a paramedic, firefighter, training officer and leader, Chief Scarborough will now focus his full-time attention practicing law.

Andrew “Drew” Goodwin (’12) has joined the law firm of Joseph, Hollander, & Craft LLC. Drew is a litigator who represents individuals and business in the transportation, financial, utility and manufacturing industries. He provides general business counsel to small business clients, particularly in the areas of risk management and insurance coverage

Melissa Spearman (’11 LLM) has joined the law firm of  Chamberlin Hrdlicka. She represents individuals and businesses in all aspects of state and federal controversy. She has many years of experience representing clients in a wide range of tax matters; tax audits, tax appeals, employment tax, tax collection defense, penalty abatement request, lien withdrawal and release, installment agreements, offers-in-compromise, offshore voluntary disclosure program and streamlined domestic offshore program.

Lisa M. Dube’ (’08) was selected by the judges as the new Jackson County Family Court Commissioner of Division 43. She will assume the position presently held by Commissioner David P. Kimminau.

Kendall Seal ('08) has joined the ACLU of Kansas as the Legislative and Policy Director. He previously served as Vice President and General Counsel of the Women’s Foundation.

Shaun Stallworth ('08) Distinguished Counselor Award, KCMBA Bench Bar and Boardroom 2020 Award

Michelle Marvel ('07) was crowned Queen at Operation Breakthrough's Mardi Gras luncheon. See Darrell Smith ('18).

Hon. Cory L. Atkins (’07) was appointed as Circuit Judge for the 16th Judical Court in Division 17. He has filled the vacancy of the Hon. Jack R. Grate.

Gizie D. Hirsh (’06) has been promoted to partnership at Lathrop GPM. Hirsh leads the firm’s business immigration practice ande focuses her practice on representing businesses and individuals before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of Labor, the Department of State and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Jessica Agnelly Krawczyk ('05), Litigation Practitioner Award, 2020 Missouri Lawyers Weekly for the Women's Justice Award

Jessica Agnelly Krawczyk ('05) was appointed by Governor Parsons as Associate Circuit Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit. She is filling the judicial vacancy of Honorable Richard T. Standridge ('80) who retired June 1. 2020 after serving almost 27 years with the Jackson County Court.

Lucy McShane Davis ('05) is a partner at McShane and Brady LLC, having experience in court being both defense attorney and a prosecutor. She currently represents her clients who have been injured in vehicle accidents, slips and falls, nursing home neglects, and private medical record violations. She has also been involved with Infant Toddler Services of Johnson County, Cure of Ars School and St. Teresa’s Academy.

Desarae Harrah ('05) has founded Harrah Law. She practices in real estate, construction, business disputes, creditors rights, arbitration and mediation.

R. Travis Willingham (’04) was appointed by Governor Mike Parson as Associate Circuit Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit.

Athena Dickson ('03), Litigation Practitioner Award, 2020 Missouri Lawyers Weekly for the Women's Justice Award

Mara Cohara ('01), selected by The Kansas City Business Journal 2020 Women who Mean Business

Ann Schiavone ('99) selected by The Kansas City Business Journal 2020 Women who Mean Business

Hon. Rebecca L. Spencer ('99) Public Service Award, 2020 Missouri Lawyers Weekly for the Women's Justice Award

Jill Presley ('97), Litigation Practitioner Award, 2020 Missouri Lawyers Weekly for the Women's Justice Award

Ruth J. Brackney (‘97) is currently a partner and attorney at Lathrop GPM. She practices entrepreneurial services, family-owned business, trusts, estates, and legacy planning, trust and estate litigation. She is currently a board member with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. She was selected to the 32nd Class of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City’s Kansas City Tomorrow Program, she was identified as the community leader.

Michael Textor (’96) was named named president of the Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA) an invitation–only international honorary association consisting of preeminent lawyers specializing in construction law and related fields.

Brian Gaddy ('94) was selected as the Western District of Missouri's newest U.S. Magistrate Judge. He is filling the judicial vacancy of Honorable John T. Maughmer ('80)

Phil C. Appenzeller, Jr. ('92) recently named to the 27th edition of The Best Lawyers in America: was selected as the Western District of Missouri's newest U.S. Magistrate Judge.

John Anderson Tackes Baty (’92) passed away on Oct. 15, 2019. During his career he served as an Administrative Law Judge and Appeals Referee with the State of Missouri

Phil Appenzeller (’92) was included in the D-CEO Magazines Dallas 500 is a special edition that celebrates the most influential business leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth Texas.

Cecilia Abbott ('89), Public Service Award, 2020 Missouri Lawyers Weekly for the Women's Justice Award

Hon. W. Douglas Thomson ('89) was appointed by Governor Mike Parsons appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District. Judge Thomson previously associate circuit judge for the 4th Judicial Circuit in Maryville. Judge Thomson will succeed Judge Victor C. Howard ('76), who retired in November of 2019.

Cecilia Abbott (‘89) After 30 years of service,  is retiring April 30, 2020. She was hired as City Attorney of Kansas City in 1990, since then she has been promoted five times during her career. She served as Deputy City Attorney in 2017.

Richard Dale “Jake” Jacoby ('88) passed away on May 22, 2020. Jake had his own criminal defense practice in Independence, MO.

Allison Murdock ('88) has been elected as the new managing partner of Stinson LLP. She will take the helm in July 2021. She's a 32-year veteran, spending her entire career at Stinson, including the past 10 years as deputy managing partner.

Comm. David Kimminau ('85) Hon. Kelly J. Moorhouse Dedication to Children, KCMBA Bench Bar and Boardroom 2020 Award

The Honorable Cindy Martin ('84) became Chief Judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District as of July 1, 2020

James P. Frickelton ('83) Dean of the Trial BarKCMBA Bench Bar and Boardroom 2020 Award

Kirk Presley (’83) was elected to the 16th Circuit Judicial Commission. He is the founder and principal of Presley & Presley LLC. He has served as the UMKC Law Foundation as a trustee and vice president of development. He has received the Law Foundation’s President’s Award and the Pat Kelly Service Award.

David White (’82) was chosen to receive the 2019 Excellence Award of the National Conference of Bar Foundation for his work and leadership of the KC Metro Bar Foundation’s Military Matters project. The award recognizes philanthropic work and leadership on behalf of bar foundations. Military Matters provides pro bono legal services to veterans and those on active duty in the KC metro arrear foundations. Military Matters provides pro bono legal services to veterans and those on active duty in the KC metro area.

David W. White ('82) Baron of the Boardroom Award, KCMBA Bench Bar and Boardroom 2020 Award

Janelle Jennings-Drummond ('81) recognized for her volunteer work in the self-help clinic at the Leon Bloch Library with the Robert C. Welch Volunteer Attorney Project Award.

Bart Strother ('75) passed away on October 19, 2020. He began his law career at the law firm of Foust, Strother and Frickleton for more than 15 years before going out on his own.

Aimee Riederer Gromowsky ('79), Pro Bono Award, 2020 Missouri Lawyers Weekly for the Women's Justice Award

Susan M. Kephart ('79) recognized for her volunteer work in the self-help clinic at the Leon Bloch Library with the Robert C. Welch Volunteer Attorney Project Award.

John R. Shank (’78) passed away on Oct. 7, 2019. John initially worked in private practice and served as an assistant public defender in Clay Co. He then practiced law with Michael Gunn and many other esteemed colleagues for 38 years.

Jim R. Petrie ('77) recognized for his volunteer work in the self-help clinic at the Leon Bloch Library with the Robert C. Welch Volunteer Attorney Project Award.

John P. Hastings ('74) recognized for his volunteer work in the self-help clinic at the Leon Bloch Library with the Robert C. Welch Volunteer Attorney Project Award.

Hon. Ronald Holliger ('74) recognized for his volunteer work in the self-help clinic at the Leon Bloch Library with the Robert C. Welch Volunteer Attorney Project Award. 

Anita B. Johnson Butler ('72) passed away on August 8, 2020. Anita worked as a trust officer at First National Bank of Kansas City, eventually earning the title of Senior Vice President.  Upon leaving the bank she became a partner with the law firm of Slagle, Bernard and Gorman. She was a named partner in Berman, DeLeve, Kuchan & Chapman, LLC. and worked with the law firm of Krigel and Krigel PC.

Stephen Carl Caruso (’72) passed away on August 16, 2019. He practiced law in the Kansas City area for over 30 years. Steve served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Starr.

Ronald Wiesenthal (’72) of the St. Louis Mediation and Arbitration Center was named Missouri’s Best Independent Mediator in a poll of lawyers conducted by Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

Hon. Lloyd C Loomis ('71) passed away on July 31, 2020.Judge Loomis served on the Los Angeles Superior Court, first as a Commissioner, and then as a Judge. Lloyd retired from the Bench in 2018. He was formerly a partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard and Smith from 2006-09, previously working at Sonnerschein Nath and Rosenthal and serving as senior corporate labor counsel at Arco.

William “Bill” Prugh ('69) recognized for his volunteer work in the self-help clinic at the Leon Bloch Library with the Robert C. Welch Volunteer Attorney Project Award.

Michael J. Albano (’68) passed away Jan. 22, 2020. Mike was partner at Welch, Martin and Albano LLC where he practiced law for 51 years. He was a noted family law author, lecturer and litigator. He served many charitable organizations, is universally respected and loved by his colleagues and peers for his knowledge, efforts to improve the practice, mentorship, unwavering ethics, and heart to protect the families’ ad children impacted by family law. His awards and recognitions were voluminous. Mike attended UMKC as an undergraduate and was an avid supporter of UMKC. Mike was a fixture in the fan stands at Roo athletic events. He received the UMKC Bill French Award, Law School Alumni Achievement Award and the Missouri Bar President’s Award. He served on numerous UMKC Committees. He and served as chairman of the UM System Alliance of Alumni .as trustee for the Law Foundation.

James Polsinelli (’67) will retire in January after an esteemed legal career and years of civic and community service in Kansas City. Almost 50 years ago, Jim opened an office above the Plaza Theatre as a 28-year-old lawyer with two other young partners, took out a $10,000 line of credit and started what would later become an Am Law 100 firm stretching coast-to-coast with 21 offices and more than 800 attorneys.

Clarence L. Roeder (’65) passed away on October 30 2019. During law school he joined the JC Nichols Company where his career spanned 30 years. He was a U.S. Army Veteran.

James H. Marsh Jr. (’65) passed away November 26, 2019. James graduated first in his law class and was the Co-Editor of the Law Review. He was a member of Order of the Bench and Robe. Few years after he graduated from Law School, James moved to the Washington DC area for nearly 30 years. Where he was partnered in several patent firms in DC and a longtime associate of the Licensing Executives Society. He previously worked for Staas & Halsey, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP and Stinson LLP.

Joe Modrcin ('64) passed away on April 25, 2020. He worked at the Social Security Administration for 33 years.  He was an U.S. Army Veteran.

Sheldon M. Crossette ('61) passed away on September 4, 2020. Sheldon’s career in public service began in 1965 when he became prosecutor for the City of Overland Park. In 1976, he was appointed as one of three part-time judges in the city. He became both the administrative judge and the first full-time judge for Overland Park in 1990, leading what at the time was the second largest municipal court in Kansas. He retired in 1996 but resumed full-time judicial status in 2002 as the interim municipal judge for the City of Olathe for 13 months and continued to be a judge pro tem for both Overland Park and Olathe, Kansas. In addition to his roles in city government, Sheldon practiced law from 1962-1990.  He was a U.S. Army Veteran.

 

Anita B. Johnson Butler ('72) passed away on August 8, 2020. Anita worked as a trust officer at First National Bank of Kansas City, eventually earning the title of Senior Vice President.  Upon leaving the bank she became a partner with the law firm of Slagle, Bernard and Gorman. She was a named partner in Berman, DeLeve, Kuchan & Chapman, LLC. and worked with the law firm of Krigel and Krigel PC.

Hon. Timothy D. O’Leary ('56) passed away on October 6, 2020. He began his law career in the Kansas City Attorney's Office and then private practice. He was appointed in 1969 as a Judge in the Sixteenth Circuit Court in Jackson County, serving for 20 years before joining the Law Firm of Shughart Thomson and Kilroy, now Polsinelli. He served in the United States Army Air Corps., as World War II was coming to an end, stationed in Korea.

Donald Lee Chapman ('57) passed away on August 8, 2020. Donald was a named partner in Berman, DeLeve, Kuchan & Chapman, LLC. and later was “of counsel” with Lathrop & Gage, LLP. He was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves.

Bart Strother ('75) passed away on October 19, 2020. He began his law career at the law firm of Foust, Strother and Frickleton for more than 15 years before going out on his own.

Hon. Timothy D. O’Leary ('56) passed away on October 6, 2020. He began his law career in the Kansas City Attorney's Office and then private practice. He was appointed in 1969 as a Judge in the Sixteenth Circuit Court in Jackson County, serving for 20 years before joining the Law Firm of Shughart Thomson and Kilroy, now Polsinelli. He served in the United States Army Air Corps., as World War II was coming to an end, stationed in Korea.

Sheldon M. Crossette ('61) passed away on September 4, 2020. Sheldon’s career in public service began in 1965 when he became prosecutor for the City of Overland Park. In 1976, he was appointed as one of three part-time judges in the city. He became both the administrative judge and the first full-time judge for Overland Park in 1990, leading what at the time was the second largest municipal court in Kansas. He retired in 1996 but resumed full-time judicial status in 2002 as the interim municipal judge for the City of Olathe for 13 months and continued to be a judge pro tem for both Overland Park and Olathe, Kansas. In addition to his roles in city government, Sheldon practiced law from 1962-1990.  He was a U.S. Army Veteran.

 Anita B. Johnson Butler ('72) passed away on August 8, 2020. Anita worked as a trust officer at First National Bank of Kansas City, eventually earning the title of Senior Vice President.  Upon leaving the bank she became a partner with the law firm of Slagle, Bernard and Gorman. She was a named partner in Berman, DeLeve, Kuchan & Chapman, LLC. and worked with the law firm of Krigel and Krigel PC.

Donald Lee Chapman ('57) passed away on August 8, 2020. Donald was a named partner in Berman, DeLeve, Kuchan & Chapman, LLC. and later was “of counsel” with Lathrop & Gage, LLP. He was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves.

Richard Dale “Jake” Jacoby ('88) passed away on May 22, 2020. April 25, 2020. Jake had his own criminal defense practice in Independence, MO.

Joe Modrcin ('64) passed away on April 25, 2020. He worked at the Social Security Administration for 33 years.  He was an U.S. Army Veteran.

Michael J. Albano (’68) passed away Jan. 22, 2020. Mike was partner at Welch, Martin and Albano LLC where he practiced law for 51 years. He was a noted family law author, lecturer and litigator. He served many charitable organizations, is universally respected and loved by his colleagues and peers for his knowledge, efforts to improve the practice, mentorship, unwavering ethics, and heart to protect the families’ ad children impacted by family law. His awards and recognitions were voluminous. Mike attended UMKC as an undergraduate and was an avid supporter of UMKC. Mike was a fixture in the fan stands at Roo athletic events. He received the UMKC Bill French Award, Law School Alumni Achievement Award and the Missouri Bar President’s Award. He served on numerous UMKC Committees. He and served as chairman of the UM System Alliance of Alumni .as trustee for the Law Foundation.

John Francis Baty (’13) passed away on Oct. 19, 2019. He practiced at the law firm of Baty Otto Coronado, PC. Alongside his father Lee Baty and his sister Laura Kaufman.

Stephen Carl Caruso (’72) passed away on August 16, 2019. He practiced law in the Kansas City area for over 30 years. Steve served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Starr.

James H. Marsh Jr. (’65) passed away November 26, 2019. James graduated first in his law class and was the Co-Editor of the Law Review. He was a member of Order of the Bench and Robe. Few years after he graduated from Law School, James moved to the Washington DC area for nearly 30 years. Where he was partnered in several patent firms in DC and a longtime associate of the Licensing Executives Society. He previously worked for Staas & Halsey, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP and Stinson LLP.

Clarence L. Roeder (’65) passed away on October 30 2019. During law school he joined the JC Nichols Company where his career spanned 30 years. He was a U.S. Army Veteran.

John R. Shank (’78) passed away on Oct. 7, 2019. John initially worked in private practice and served as an assistant public defender in Clay Co. He then practiced law with Michael Gunn and many other esteemed colleagues for 38 years.

John Anderson Tackes Baty (’92) passed away on Oct. 15, 2019. During his career he served as an Administrative Law Judge and Appeals Referee with the State of Missouri.