MoveMakers & NewsMakers for June 11, 2020
See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."
Celestine Dotson has been hired as the Supreme Court Municipal Court Monitor for the 21st Judicial Circuit. She will be responsible for monitoring the day-to-day operations of more than 70 municipal courts in St. Louis County, assisting them in maintaining local and state court standards. The position is funded jointly by the Supreme Court of Missouri and the St. Louis County Circuit Court.
“I am excited about working together to support our municipal divisions to help them better serve the residents of their communities,” Dotson said.
Dotson’s responsibilities include assisting the courts in implementing and supporting the statewide court case management system; providing technical and administrative assistance to municipal judges and clerks to improve court administration and operations; and identifying areas that need improvement to achieve minimum operating standards for compliance, efficiency, economy, and effectiveness.
Dotson has 20 years' experience as a solo practitioner handling criminal, traffic, municipal and domestic relations matters. She previously worked at the Cochran Law Firm in St. Louis and was a staff attorney at Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services in Kansas City. She received her law degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Christopher M. Goff and Mark L. Stoneman, partners with Armstrong Teasdale, have each been re-elected to the firm's executive committee for a three-year term. Partner E. Calvin Matthews, IV has been elected to the firms' compensation committee for a two-year term, and partner Michael S. Jefferies was re-elected to the committee for a three-year term.
A member of the firm’s intellectual property practice group, Goff helps large companies secure, protect and enforce intellectual property rights. With an emphasis in medical device, chemical and biochemical patent preparation and prosecution, he counsels clients on freedom-to-operate issues, patent infringement issues, patentability and other due diligence issues. Goff recently won a multimillion-dollar, multiyear contract to represent the National Institutes of Health. This will be Goff’s fourth term serving on the executive committee.
As leader of the firm’s corporate services practice group, Stoneman is responsible for coordinating with the firm’s managing partner to strengthen the group’s planning, execution and operational practices. In his law practice, he facilitates the structuring, financing and completion of acquisitions, mergers, divestitures, joint ventures and partnerships. Stoneman’s background in accounting and finance helps him to ensure that the agreements related to these transactions are consistent with his client’s goals and expectations with respect to financial matters.
A member of the corporate services practice group, Matthews serves as outside counsel to a number of businesses ranging from closely held businesses to publicly traded companies. In these positions, he handles a wide range of corporate issues including those related to financial transactions, real estate, employment and labor, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and various types of litigation. Matthews offers clients a unique combination of skills due to an unusual background that includes in-depth experience as a corporate services attorney, litigator and multiple years in the financial industry.
Jefferies works with clients across multiple industries on matters related to business operations and growth. His practice is primarily focused on mergers and acquisitions and other corporate development transactions. In connection with his M&A practice, Jefferies has experience with the use and structuring of representations and warranties insurance and has worked with various insurance brokers to place and negotiate these policies. He also has experience representing clients involved in post-closing transaction disputes, including those relating to working capital, purchase price adjustments and indemnification claims. Jefferies is chair of the firm’s technology committee and is also a member of the firm’s opinion letter committee.
Spencer Fane is pleased to announce Jane Fedder has joined the firm’s St. Louis office in the environmental and energy practice group.
Fedder’s practice includes a focus on litigating and resolving complex environmental legal disputes on behalf of clients throughout the country. She assists clients facing environmental challenges and enforcement matters under federal and state environmental laws. She has both pursued and defended against private party cost recovery, contribution, nuisance, medical monitoring, property damage, and citizen suit litigation. Her experience also includes matters involving emerging contaminants such as PFAs and PFOs, fracking, climate change, cannabis, biotech, and more.
“Spencer Fane has built a track record of strong legal work related to contentious and detail-oriented environmental matters,” said Amy Mistler, office managing partner for Spencer Fane in St. Louis. “Jane will be a valuable addition to our office and an asset in addressing environmental litigation for our clients not only in St. Louis but across the entire Spencer Fane footprint. This was a tremendous opportunity to grow a strength of our firm in a manner that aligns with client needs.”
Notably, Fedder’s legal work includes significant judicial decisions under the federal Superfund law addressing rights for nonsettling parties to intervene and challenge settlements between the EPA and other private parties, a corporate officer’s freedom from personal liability, and the rejection of liability for sellers of reusable electrical transformers insulated with PCB-containing fluid. She has also recovered attorney fees for clients where they were wrongfully sued or were denied a defense by their insurance carriers.
Fedder has been involved with the ABA's Environmental Litigation Committee, Environmental Law Institute and The Woman Advocate Committee for Litigation. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis before earning her J.D. degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
Armstrong Teasdale announces the addition of partner Lynn T. Goessling to the firm’s financial and real estate services practice group. Goessling has more than two decades of experience in commercial real estate and business law.
Goessling represents a diverse range of clients, from developers and landowners to privately held businesses and public companies. Active in all sectors of the commercial real estate industry – including office, industrial development , health care and life sciences, retail and restaurants, hospitality, senior care and rehabilitation facilities, and multifamily housing – Goessling is often called upon to counsel clients through acquisitions and dispositions, easements, leasing, sales, complex title issues, land development matters and projects involving economic development and municipal or special financing incentives, including tax abatement, tax increment financing (TIF) and various development districts. Her experience also extends to construction, utility infrastructure, zoning and environmental remediation.
Having represented both tenants and landlords, Goessling has a unique perspective in guiding real estate clients in honing their vision and achieving strategic goals. As such, she has extensive experience negotiating multimillion-dollar build-to-suit and design-build leases.
She also has niche experience buying, selling and managing commercial condominiums, as well as representing cellular tower owner-operators in real estate development matters.
Goessling will be based in the firm’s St. Louis office.
Helene Frischer, of Chesterfield, was appointed to the Missouri Ethics Commission by Gov. Mike Parson.
Frischer has practiced law in the St. Louis area since 1994 and currently manages her own law firm. She is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, previously serving as chair of the association’s administrative law committee. She is active within her community serving on the Women’s Philanthropy Board with the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and leading the Project Graduation fundraiser for Parkway High School. Frischer received her J.D. from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Armstrong Teasdale announces that it has opened an office in Edwardsville, Illinois. In the past two years, the firm has expanded its geographic footprint significantly, hiring more than 80 lawyers and staff, and opening five new offices across the country in addition to Edwardsville.
“We already serve a wide range of clients throughout the state of Illinois, and this natural extension allows us to better serve our clients in the metropolitan region,” said Managing Partner David Braswell. “We look forward to the new opportunities this location will afford us, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to invest in the region during this challenging time.”
The firm’s lawyers regularly do business in and have roots in Illinois. Armstrong Teasdale’s robust team of lawyers includes former judges and clerks from Southern Illinois with decades of combined experience.
“Southern Illinois venues are known for attracting significant and often challenging litigation,” said partner Don Flack, a former judge in Madison County, Illinois. “Our experience there, paired with our new physical presence, will certainly benefit clients across the firm.”
Flack, partner Untress Quinn and a number of other lawyers and professional staff will occupy the full-service Edwardsville office, providing trusted counsel with a particular focus on complex commercial litigation, asbestos litigation, medical malpractice and intellectual property. The office is located at 115 North Second Street.
Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce veteran litigator Dan Blegen has joined the firm. He will be a partner in the firm’s Kansas City office and part of the litigation and dispute resolution practice group.
In private practice for two decades, Blegen assists clients with their most important litigation matters, including breaches of contract, business torts, trade secrets, and intellectual property disputes, and he represents businesses of all sizes and individuals with a distinguished track record of success in courts throughout Missouri and across the country.
“Adding a litigator with Dan’s experience and deserved reputation in the Kansas City legal community will be a tremendous benefit to our clients,” said Patrick J. Whalen, firm managing partner for Spencer Fane. “His commitment to client service and relationships fits perfectly with the Spencer Fane model, and we look forward to seeing the contributions he will inevitably make to our firm’s strong culture.”
In addition to litigation, Blegen has proven experience representing executives, officers, and directors in internal investigations, shareholder disputes, and governmental investigation and enforcement actions. His unique experience with complex computer forensic investigations benefits clients as data security and protection becomes an increasingly important aspect of litigation.
Blegen served as president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association in 2017. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri and later earned his J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law.
Joseph S. Passanise was appointed to the Missouri Tourism Commission by Gov. Mike Parson.
Passanise is a partner at Wampler and Passanise Law Office in Springfield where he practices criminal defense in federal, state, and municipal courts. He is a member of the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center and the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Passanise has been selected as a fellow by the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, an honor only five Missouri attorneys have received. Passanise holds a B.S. in political science and communication from Missouri State University, an M.B.A. from the University of London – Imperial College in London, England, and a J.D. from Washburn University School of Law.