MoveMakers & NewsMakers for Dec. 29, 2022
See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."
Longtime Shook Partner Matthew Keenan will serve as executive director of Kansas Legal Services (KLS) effective Jan. 1, 2023. Keenan, who is part of the firm’s product liability litigation practice, will lead the nonprofit organization that provides equal access to justice for low-income Kansans across the state’s 105 counties.
“I have benefitted from a firm culture and history of a strong commitment to social justice and civil legal aid,” said Keenan. “Our managing partner, Madeleine McDonough, has always supported firm partners devoting significant time to these efforts, and this was certainly the case with me.”
Shook has a long history of handling highly visible pro bono cases. Recently Shook reached an important milestone as part of its commitment to serve children and families. The Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund, founded by Shook, reached $1 million in scholarships awarded since the program began in 2001. Kansas high school students formerly in the foster care system are able to receive scholarships for university, college, and trade schools. The program continues to this day.
Keenan has been active in pro bono causes for much of his legal career including serving on the board of directors for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) since 2019. The LSC is the single largest provider of civil legal assistance for low-income people in the nation. Keenan acted as chair of Shook’s Pro Bono Committee for eight years with a particular focus on adoptions in Kansas and veterans’ issues. Twice he has earned Shook’s William G. Zimmerman Pro Bono Award as well as the Outstanding Service Award from the Kansas Bar Association.
While his new role will be as administrator overseeing 50 attorneys, 135 staff and 11 offices, he will handle his own pro bono cases while encouraging private law firms and lawyers to get involved with helping those who need legal services the most.
“When I got involved taking cases for those who can’t afford an attorney, and certainly not a BigLaw attorney, I never realized that the life I would be changing would be my own,” said Keenan.
Keenan earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas.
“I have a vision for KLS,” said Keenan. “They have a very dedicated and talented team, and I look forward to helping them carry out their mission. It’s my next chapter of what has been a very rewarding career.”
Scott C. Palecki, a healthcare partner at Foulston Siefkin LLP for nearly 20 years, returns to the firm Jan. 1, 2023. He previously served as general counsel of a large national ambulatory surgery center and surgical hospital development and management company, where he was responsible for the provision of all legal matters. Palecki’s experience includes the development, management, and syndication of more than 200 hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers throughout the country. He will continue to work closely with his previous company as outside general counsel, as well as serving other healthcare organizations and providers.
In his prior position, Palecki guided the company and its healthcare facilities through a myriad of regulatory complexities of the pandemic, addressing hundreds of shutdown orders, coordinating national lobbying efforts, and helping procure pandemic-related financial relief. He is a nationally recognized proponent of value-based care and its expansion to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the CMS Innovation Center.
Palecki rejoins Foulston’s healthcare team in the firm’s Kansas City office and will assist clients in transactional, operational, and complex regulatory matters. Throughout his career he has worked with healthcare clients across a broad spectrum of providers, including hospitals and hospital systems, rural and governmental hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, nursing facilities, home health and hospice businesses, laboratories, and a wide range of other healthcare-related companies.
Brooke Bennett Aziere, the firm's healthcare practice group chair, lauded Palecki’s return: “We’re very pleased to bring Scott’s wealth of health law experience back to our clients; his return simply builds on our established position as one of the most comprehensive healthcare practices in the region.”