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MoveMakers and NewMakers for March 12, 2024


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

St. Louis | Kansas City | Other States

St. Louis

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced today that Jaimie Mansfield and Wakaba Tessier have joined the firm’s St. Louis office as partners. Mansfield is in the Real Estate Practice Group and Tessier, who will work remotely from the Kansas City area, is in the Health & Life Sciences Practice Group.

The addition of Mansfield and Tessier brings the attorney count to 13 for the firm’s St. Louis office, which opened in November 2023.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jaimie and Wakaba to the Quarles St. Louis team as we continue to grow and build momentum in the market,” said Travis Kearbey, St. Louis office managing partner. “They are deeply knowledgeable leaders in their respective fields, have a well-established reputation for outstanding client service and will perfectly complement our firm’s collaborative, collegial culture.”

Mansfield, who started today, advises clients on a broad array of real estate and land use matters, including purchase and sale contract negotiations, land use and zoning applications and approvals, due diligence analysis, leasing, asset management decisions, landlord-tenant disputes, eviction proceedings and real estate-related litigation.

She is a former general counsel of a fully integrated, private equity commercial real estate company, and most recently was a partner at a national law firm. Mansfield earned her B.S. from Creighton University and her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

“I have been extremely fortunate to work with clients that take chances, adapt and evolve in their respective industries, and it has been an honor to be part of their journeys,” Mansfield said. “For me, my move to Quarles comes with that same spirit of evolution and growth. I am thrilled to be joining a firm that recognizes and celebrates those characteristics not only in the services it provides its clients, but in the very people who provide those services."

Tessier, who also has in-house counsel experience as executive vice president and general counsel for a life sciences company, helps clients navigate the complex health care regulatory landscape at both the state and federal level. She advises on a variety of health care issues, privacy and data concerns, third-party payor audits and inquiries, and day-to-day operational matters. Before joining Quarles, Tessier was a partner at a national law firm.

Tessier received a B.A. from Wellesley College, M.S. from Valparaiso University and J.D. from the Washington University School of Law. She will start with the firm March 18.

“I have always admired the outstanding health care group at Quarles and am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this group,” Tessier said. “The team’s experience and bench strength in a multitude of complex health care issues will add exceptional value to the clients I serve. I am also grateful to be a part of the new St. Louis office and excited to contribute to its growth.”


Kansas City

Attorney Kelly Willyard has been appointed to the bench as the court’s newest deputy probate commissioner. Willyard was appointed to the position on March 4, 2024, by Judge Mark Styles of the Probate Division. She will fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Deputy Probate Commissioner Brian Tillema on March 29, 2024.

Willyard is currently an attorney with the law firm of Kirkland Woods & Martinsen. She specializes in probate and trust administration, fiduciary litigation, and establishing guardianships and conservatorships.

“I am pleased to have Kelly Willyard join Division 19 as she has a calm demeanor, is approachable, and has the wisdom and intellect to resolve the complicated issues that come before us,” said Styles. “The baby boom generation is bringing us more contested matters that require the skills she will bring to the bench.”

Willyard joined Kirkland Woods & Martinsen in 2023. Prior to that she was an attorney with Kennyhertz Perry where she assisted business clients with litigation and transactional matters including complex contract drafting and trademark prosecution. She also regularly accepted ad litem appointments in probate matters pending in Jackson County. She was an assistant attorney general in the Financial Services Section of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office from 2014 – 2022 where her job responsibilities included the protection and recovery of state funds.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English magna cum laude from Colorado State University in 2008, and she graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in 2013 with honors.

“I would like to thank Deputy Probate Commissioner Brian Tillema for his honorable service to this court as he retires later this month, and am pleased that Kelly Willyard will be joining us shortly thereafter.”

Willyard is expected to join the court on April 15, 2024.


Lewis Rice promoted Ashlyn Lewis, Sarah Rowe, Bobby Taylor, and Rodger Turbak to members of the firm.

“My sincere congratulations to Ashlyn, Sarah, Bobby, and Rodger on their promotions to member,” said Kansas City office Chairman, Tom Martin. “They each have valuable talents and skills that truly make them invaluable assets to the Firm. I am confident that they will be instrumental in the successful future of Lewis Rice.”

Ashlyn Lewis is a member of the Kansas City Litigation Department with almost 15 years of experience. Ashlyn received her Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. She brings a creative, problem-solving spirit and diverse background in trial, appellate, and collateral actions to her practice. Ashlyn believes that clear and empathetic communication with all stakeholders in the litigation process is the key to achieving success on behalf of her clients.

Sarah Rowe is a member of the Kansas City Real Estate Department with over 20 years of commercial real estate transaction experience. Sarah was general counsel with Eighteen Capital Group prior to joining Lewis Rice. Sarah focuses her practice on working with owners and property management in all aspects of commercial real estate. She is a member of CREW KC serving on the DEI committee and also serves on the Downtown Council Business Attraction and Retention Committee.

Bobby Taylor is a member of the Kansas City Corporate and Tax Departments practicing tax and business transactional law. Bobby focuses his practice in the areas of business law, corporate law, and taxation issues. Prior to joining Lewis Rice, Bobby was an associate at Van Osdol PC. In addition to his law practice, Bobby currently serves as chair of the KCMBA’s Tax Committee and as a guest lecturer in Partnership Tax at the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law.

Rodger Turbak represents the interest of local, regional, and national creditors as a member of the Kansas City Litigation Department. As a graduate of the Washburn University School of Law, Rodger’s practice focuses on consumer and commercial matters primarily in the areas of default loans, replevins, foreclosures, evictions, collections, workouts, and similar creditor’s rights areas. Rodger has had extensive experience representing creditors as both plaintiff and defendant throughout the complex litigation and bankruptcy process.


Other States

Scott S. Bethune has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

The induction ceremony at which Scott S. Bethune became a Fellow took place recently before an audience of approximately 625 during the recent Spring Meeting of the College in Phoenix, Arizona.

Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds, who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.

Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. There are currently approximately 5,800 members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including active Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, Judicial Fellows (those who ascended to the bench after their induction) and Honorary Fellows. The College maintains and seeks to improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics, and the administration of justice through education and public statements on independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, respect for the rule of law, access to justice, and fair and just representation of all parties to legal proceedings. The College is thus able to speak with a balanced voice on important issues affecting the legal profession and the administration of justice.

Scott S. Bethune is a partner in the firm of Davis, Bethune & Jones, LLC and has been practicing law for 35 years. This newly inducted Fellow is an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.


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