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MoveMakers & NewsMakers for Oct. 13, 2022


See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."

St. Louis | Kansas City | Springfield

St. Louis

Lewis Rice has announced six new associates: Patrick F. Ganninger, Allison E. Knopp, Ryan J. Krutz, Andrew J. Meyer, Skylar S. Petitt, and Jacquelyn H. Sicilia

Ganninger practices in the estate planning and probate department of the firm. He develops and implements tax and estate plans for individuals and families and advises clients on wills, trusts, administration of trusts and estates, preparation of gift and estate tax returns, antenuptial agreements, and asset protection. He graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2022. 

Knopp is practicing in the litigation department. She represents individuals and companies in a broad range of disputes, including complex commercial and civil litigation. She graduated South Texas College of Law Houston in 2022. 

Krutz practices general business and transactional law in the corporate department. He helps clients navigate various corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, corporate formation and restructuring, regulatory compliance, commercial real estate transactions, and corporate and commercial contract issues. He graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2022. 

Meyer is practicing in the corporate department. He has a general business law practice and focuses on a variety of corporate matters. He graduated from University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in 2022. 

Petitt practices in the litigation department. He advises individuals and businesses on matters relating to commercial and civil litigation. Prior to joining Lewis Rice, Petitt served as a law clerk for Rita B. Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court. Before enrolling in law school, he spent eight years in the U.S. Army, most notably serving as an infantry platoon leader while deployed to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. He graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2020. 

Sicilia is practicing in the corporate department. She assists clients on all aspects of transactional matters, including corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, and general corporate matters. She has experience negotiating, drafting, and reviewing a wide variety of documents to facilitate the closing of business deals. 

Spencer Fane LLP announces the addition of Connor Walsh to the real estate practice group in its St. Louis office.

Walsh handles all phases of real estate transactions for individuals, companies, developers, builders, property owners, and financial institutions in his private practice, incorporating a collaborative approach to all related legal matters.

Prior to joining in a full-time capacity, Walsh spent another stint at Spencer Fane as a law clerk in addition to being a part of the firm’s summer associate program in 2021. He gained multidisciplinary legal experience in corporate and business transactions, real estate, banking and financial services, and litigation and dispute resolution. 

Walsh also previously worked for a local title company as a legal assistant and helped clients with all aspects of the pre-closing process on real estate transactions. He passed the Missouri Title Producer Exam, providing him with valuable insight into processes related to his current legal work. 

After completing his undergraduate studies in professional writing with a minor in general business at Miami of Ohio University, Walsh earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. While in law school, Walsh worked as a student attorney in the Community Economic Development Clinic. 

Kansas City

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of four associate attorneys to its Kansas City office:  Simrat Johal (litigation and dispute resolution), Daniel O’Malley (corporate and business transactions), Homayoon Rafatijo (intellectual property), and John Spisak (intellectual property).

Johal’s practice focuses on addressing the full range of litigation risks that a business might encounter, collaborating with all key stakeholders to quickly resolve matters and in a beneficial manner that aligns with a client’s unique objectives and goals. 

Johal completed her undergraduate studies in political science and American studies with a minor in African American studies at the University of Kansas. She later earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. 

Prior to entering private practice, O’Malley worked as a summer associate at Spencer Fane. His work included researching and drafting memoranda for clients on business, tax, and litigation matters and analyzing contracts related to complex transactions. Previously, he also completed a clerkship with the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Defender’s Office, as well as internships with the U.S. Marshals Service (Northern District of Ohio) and the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy. 

O’Malley will continue to provide high levels of client service for businesses ranging from small startup entities to very large public companies. 

O’Malley completed his undergraduate studies at Davidson College in North Carolina and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, where he graduated summa cum laude. 

Rafatijo graduated with distinction from Sharif University of Technology – the leading institution for STEM fields in the Middle East – with a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering and a minor in physical chemistry. He relocated to the United States in 2013 to pursue a doctorate in theoretical and computational chemistry from the University of Missouri. 

After obtaining his first postgraduate degree in 2017, Rafatijo continued to conduct research under a Multi-University Research Initiative grant funded by the U.S. Army Research Office, which competitively selects proposals based on their potential to improve the technological capabilities of the Army. He also collaborated with world-renowned professors, applied “Big Data” mining techniques, developed algorithms, designed molecular dynamics simulations, and created computer codes to derive research conclusions. This culminated in several publications in prominent, peer-reviewed journals and ultimately sparked his interest in the field of patent law.

Rafatijo maintained research and instructional duties while obtaining his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law. His practical background in data science, computational chemistry, and combustion engineering fits well with the Spencer Fane priority of bringing in attorneys with a working knowledge of the industries important to clients. 

Spisak brings more than a decade of experience in multidisciplinary engineering, with a track record of solving complex problems and leading cross-functional projects. This informs his unique perspective in building a mutual understanding of his clients’ businesses, guiding individuals and companies through preparation and prosecution of complex patent, copyright, and trademark matters. 

In addition, Spisak assists clients with more general technology issues, including licensing, product development, due diligence, cybersecurity, innovation, IP theft, and assignment of ownership. 

Spisak completed his undergraduate studies in biomedical/medical engineering at Boston University, in addition to participating in a study abroad program in science and engineering at Technische Universität Dresden in Germany. He later earned his Juris Doctor from the Washburn University School of Law. 


Carnahan Evans PC is pleased to announce the hiring of Judge William W. Francis Jr. as senior counsel.

Judge Francis joined Carnahan Evans PC in the fall of 2022 after serving 12 years on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District. While on the court he served on the Committee on Civic Education, Appellate Court Education Committee, and Missouri Press-Bar Commission. 

Judge Francis is admitted to practice in Missouri, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. 

His practice is now in the areas of mediation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution. 

Prior to joining the court Judge Francis practiced law for 32 years in civil trial work and workers' compensation. He was with the Miller & Sanford law firm as well as Placzek & Francis. He tried a variety of cases with emphasis on products liability, medical negligence, and auto cases. 

Judge Francis is a member of The Missouri Bar and the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association (SMBA). He is active in both and has served as chair of select committees and is a past president of the SMBA. 

Judge Francis earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in 1977. He received his Bachelor of Science degree with cum laude honors from Missouri State University in 1974. 

Spencer Fane LLP announces the addition of Henry Sivils to the real estate practice group in its Springfield office.

Sivils will establish a practice based on managing all aspects of transactions for individuals, companies, developers, builders, property owners, and financial institutions. He will also provide counsel on development incentives, tax credit financing, and opportunity zones. 

Sivils completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri in 2018, majoring in sociology, and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law in 2022. 


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