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MoveMakers & NewsMakers October 16, 2019


October 16, 2019 - See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."


October 16, 2019 - See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."

Mid-Missouri Area

Keith R. Powell has joined the legal department of the Missouri School Boards' Association in its Columbia office.

St. Louis Area

Capes Sokol is pleased to announce that Kaid A. Koester and Brian T. Stachowski have joined the firm as associates. They are both May 2019 graduates of Saint Louis University Law School and were sworn into The Missouri Bar in September. Koester will focus his practice on tax advice and controversy, and white-collar criminal matters involving allegations of financial fraud.“We welcome Kaid’s tax and accounting background and technical skills,” said Michelle F. Schwerin, shareholder with the firm. “His enthusiasm and experience, as well as his dedication to our clients, make Kaid an excellent addition to the tax controversy and litigation and white-collar criminal defense practice groups.”During law school, Koester worked in the tax departments of two of St. Louis’s largest accounting firms, where he prepared tax returns for individuals, partnerships, and corporations. A Dean's Scholarship student, Koester was a board member of the SLU Law Tax Club and received the Fall 2018 Academic Excellence Award for Corporate Taxation. In addition to his legal studies, he lent his time as a volunteer to the local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, which provides free tax help for qualifying taxpayers. Koester received his law degree with a concentration in tax law. From Carbondale, Illinois, he graduated magna cum laude from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor of science in accountancy. Stachowski will focus his practice on a variety of business and real estate matters, including commercial and real estate transactions, business entity formations, and mergers and acquisitions. He joined the firm as a summer associate in 2018 and continued working with the firm as a law clerk throughout his 3L year. During law school, Stachowski served as a law clerk to Judge Robert H. Dierker, Jr. of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court. He also served as a legal extern for a midwestern convenience store chain through the SLU Law Corporate Externship Program. In addition, he worked as a research fellow for one of his professors and was a managing editor of the Teaching Edition of the 2018-19 Saint Louis University Law Journal. A member of the Dean’s List, Stachowski was a member of the SLU Law Federalist Society, SLU Law Business Law Association, and the SLU Law Tax Club. Stachowski received his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2019. From Troy, Illinois, he graduated from Central Bible College with a bachelor of arts in the Hebrew Bible and received his master of arts in archaeology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Capes Sokol is pleased to announce that Amy L. Fehr, a shareholder with the firm, has been appointed to serve on the board of trustees of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD). Amy was appointed to the MSD Board of Trustees by St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and will serve a five-year term. Voters in 1954 established a six-member board of trustees to be the governing body of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. Three members are appointed by the St. Louis City Mayor and three members are appointed by the St. Louis County Executive. MSD’s board members are trustees of public property and public funds and are responsible for the customers they serve. Fehr represents clients in a variety of complex commercial litigation matters, including contract disputes, real estate litigation, shareholder/member and internal business disputes, and business torts including civil fraud, tortious interference and breach of fiduciary duty cases. Fehr was recognized for her leadership skills by Missouri Lawyers Weekly with the 2016 Up and Coming Law Firm Leader award.

Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that Jennifer Hoekel has joined the firm’s St. Louis office as a partner in its technology, manufacturing and transportation industry group and its intellectual property litigation practice team.

Hoekel is a highly regarded IP litigator. She handles a wide variety of disputes, representing plaintiffs and defendants in patent, trademark, copyright, and advertising matters. She also has substantial experience with complex commercial litigation and product liability claims.

Hoekel has served as lead trial counsel in over a dozen states and venues, including appeals before the Federal Circuit, inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board oppositions and cancellations.

“Jennifer is an incredibly talented litigator who excels at breaking down very complex concepts into persuasive legal arguments,” said Joe Orlet, the head of the firm's technology, manufacturing and transportation industry group. “Her arrival at Husch Blackwell solidifies our standing as a preeminent intellectual property law firm.”

“I have known and worked with lawyers at Husch Blackwell for years,” said Hoekel. “As I learned more about the firm, I felt at home here. The IP and litigation practices are top-notch, and their commitment to client service was consistent with my own values and priorities. I look forward to working with the IP litigators across the firm’s national footprint.”

Hoekel earned a B.S. in biology from Truman State University and received a J.D. from Washington University School of Law. Prior to entering private practice, she served as a law clerk for Missouri Supreme Court Justice Ann K. Covington.

Randy Focken has been hired as the director of the St. Louis County Juvenile Detention Center, replacing retiring director Cheryl Campbell. Focken holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

Focken has nearly 40 years of experience in criminal justice. He was instrumental in the development of evidence-based programs and services with federal, state and county criminal justice organizations throughout the country. During the past 10 years, he has been focused on improving engagement with offenders using individual and group cognitive-behavioral interventions.

Focken was the director of a reentry program and served as executive counsel to the director for the Nevada Department of Corrections, and was assistant adult services division director for Ramsey County Community Corrections in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was the director of a vocational training program called “PRIDE” for the Nevada Department of Corrections, designed to address housing and employment issues for individuals to be released from custody. As division manager with Solano County Probation in Fairfield, California, Focken oversaw the development of the “Center for Positive Change,” providing comprehensive rehabilitation, substance abuse prevention and job training services to support offenders returning from prison to their communities.

Most recently, Focken served as a consultant to the U.S. Probation Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, reviewing district programming. He also served as reentry director for the Missouri and Indiana Departments of Correction, and was director of parole in Indiana. While in Indiana, Focken facilitated major changes in the approach to juvenile detention, reducing both the number of juveniles held and their length of stay. By collaborating with social service organizations to improve education and training, Focken helped reduce detention costs, increased funding for training and improved juveniles’ ability to live independently after their release.

Harness Dickey is pleased to announce the addition of Claire Green to its team of intellectual property attorneys.

“We are excited to welcome Claire to the firm,” said Bryan Wheelock, principal with the firm. “Her stellar record in law school and as an undergrad demonstrates that she is a hard worker with a sharp eye for solving real challenges, and we are proud to have her with us as she begins her legal career.”

Green is a registered patent attorney who joins the firm as an associate in its Metro St. Louis office. She has experience managing patent prosecution efforts from start to finish, including conducting patentability assessments, interviewing inventors, preparing U.S. and international applications, responding to Office Actions, and preparing IP licensing agreements following issuance. Green’s technical experience spans the mechanical, electromechanical, and electronics sectors, and includes technologies such as heavy machinery, rail transportation, computer systems, LCD displays, solar panels, and autonomous vehicles. She holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.S. in mechanical engineering, summa cum laude, from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Armstrong Teasdale proudly announces the addition of Andrew B. Wurdack as an associate. Wurdack joins the St. Louis office and focuses his practice primarily on mergers and acquisitions and general commercial matters. With a diverse background handling matters from litigation and disputes to real estate and energy transactions, he brings a wealth of corporate experience to the firm. He has extensive experience drafting, negotiating and analyzing business contracts and conducting due diligence for multimillion-dollar deals. As former in-house counsel, Wurdack is skilled in helping clients achieve corporate performance goals while mitigating significant risk. In his past role as in-house counsel for an international oil and gas exploration and production company, Wurdack managed a varied and complex litigation docket including contract disputes, condemnations, environmental contamination cases, personal injury claims, toxic tort matters and collections. Prior to his in-house counsel role, Wurdack served as an officer of one of the largest private land-holding companies in the Rockies and was a land negotiator for energy transactions throughout the United States.

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Elizabeth O’Brien Felker has joined the firm as a business transactions associate in the firm’s St. Louis office. Since 2013, Felker has advised businesses and financial institutions on their strategic, regulatory, and governance matters. She has extensive experience working with clients in the health care industry and on employee benefits matters.“We look forward to utilizing Elizabeth’s diverse experience in assisting clients with their most important transactional matters,” said Frank Neuner, office managing partner for the firm in St. Louis. “Spencer Fane focuses on a cross-discipline approach to provide high levels of service, and Elizabeth brings strong credentials to the firm in critical areas.”Felker’s previous experience includes mergers and acquisitions, complex commercial relationships, real property transactions, and public and private offerings. She has counseled banks and other financial institutions regarding legal issues related to regulatory compliance, structure, and transactions. Felker also has experience in advising companies with respect to their employer-sponsored benefits, both in day-to-day compliance matters as well as in connection with mergers, acquisitions, and other business combinations. In addition to her legal work, Felker is a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and the Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis. Felker completed her undergraduate studies at Santa Clara University before earning her J.D., magna cum laude, from Saint Louis University School of Law. She served as the Childress Lecture Managing Editor for the Saint Louis University Law Journal and earned the Excellence in Journals Award for her work.

Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., is pleased to announce that Laura M. Beckering, Emily J. Jaeger, and Brianna N. Lockridge have joined the firm’s St. Louis office as fall associates. All three return to the firm after working as summer associates in 2017 and 2018.

“We welcome Laura, Emily and Brianna back to Greensfelder and look forward to their contributions as new attorneys for our clients in diverse practice areas and industries,” said John W. Dillane, interim CEO of the firm.

A member of the firm's business services practice group, Beckering assists businesses and organizations with transactions including formation of entities, buy-sell agreements, and other corporate matters. She also is involved in the St. Louis entrepreneurial community as a representative for St. Louis Startup Ambassadors. During law school, Beckering worked for Saint Louis University School of Law’s Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, where she helped a startup group form as a nonprofit corporation, as well as reviewed lease agreements and other transactional documents.

Beckering received her J.D. (magna cum laude) from Saint Louis University School of Law and her bachelor of arts (cum laude) from Truman State University.

Jaeger is a member of the firm’s construction practice group. She focuses her practice on construction law, working for clients regionally and nationally in matters related to litigation and arbitration, contract negotiation, mechanic’s liens and day-to-day issues.

Jaeger served an externship with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois. She received her J.D. (cum laude) from Washington University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude) from the University of Missouri.

A member of the firm's litigation practice group, Lockridge works on behalf of business clients to assist in all phases of litigation, including research and fact investigation, drafting, and deposition and trial preparation.

Lockridge completed an externship at a public interest law practice focused on death penalty cases. She received her J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) from The Ohio State University.

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