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Class Notes Through Spring 2014


  • 1953: Alfred Sondern
    At 87 there is not much in the way of new "career" moves but I did want to report that my legal education at DU has served me extremely well. I still work with start-up companies as a way of 'giving back' and also keeping mentally active. I still sail, often singlehanded but gave up skiing at 85. Thank you DU and good luck also to those graduates that do not choose to practice but go into Management, it can be a wonderful way to use your education.


  • 1966: David L. Erickson
    David L. Erickson's article on the life of prominent Denver lawyer Montgomery Dorsey (DU Law '25) is scheduled to appear in an upcoming Six of the Greatest issue of The Colorado Lawyer. David, the long time Colorado Bar Historian is the author of more than 60 published articles, stories, essays and historical studies. He is also the author of the bestseller, Early Justice and the Formation of the Colorado Bar, a CBA/CLE publication, and for the last 31 years has authored the two volume business law book, Colorado Corporate Forms, a WEST publication.


  • 1973: Stanley Lipkin
    Stan has practiced family law for over 38 years in Denver. In 2012, he had a successful appeal in the Colorado Supreme Court in which child custody was restored to an Army Nurse Captain whose former spouse had taken custody while the service member was on active duty stationed out of state and in Iraq. (Brandt v. Brandt, 248 P.3d 406,2012 Colo. 3.
  • 1974: Beverly Quail
    Beverly Quail, class of 1974, has been appointed to the ABA Commission on Governance, and continues as chair of the Steering Committee of the ABA Nominating Committee, along with being the Colorado State Delegate.
  • 1975: Michael Burg
    Burg Simpson founding shareholder Michael S. Burg has been named "Lawyer of the Year" For Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs by Best Lawyers in America. (Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). Lawyers being honored as "Lawyer of the Year" are selected based on votes received during Best Lawyer’s exhaustive peer review assessments, conducted with thousands of leading lawyers each year. Receiving the designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.
  • 1976: Nora Milner
    I am proud to announce that I was selected for 2014 as a San Diego Super Lawyer, an honor I have received since 2008. I continue to practice immigration and international law in San Diego, CA with my daughter/partner, Tifany Markee, in Milner & Markee, LLP, with a second office in Palm Desert, CA. I am a Certified Specialist in U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar of California and have successfully litigated cases in the 1st, 9th and 11th Circuit Courts of Appeals. At this time, I have a case pending in the 9th Circuit challenging the term "habitual drunkard" as over broad and vague. Our firm has also recently expanded into the transportation field handling cases of cabotage and C-TPAT, both programs with the federal government and international transportation. I just published my second novel, "Flowers on Stone," and remain busy with family and riding/showing my horse.
  • 1978: Russell Frye
    Russ Frye will be co-chairing the 2013 Fall Administrative Law Conference of the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, which will be held in Washington, DC. DU Law alums with ideas for topics of interest should feel free to contact me. I also have the pleasure of spending time now and then with Elaine Ulrich, who was born three months after our classmate Jeanie Ulrich graduated, and who now has a Ph.D. in physics and helps the Department of Energy identify promising solar energy technology development projects.
  • 1979: Joyce Seelen
    I am in Reno, Nevada studying to take the bar examination while my husband, Ben, explores for gold. For the last 6 years I prosecuted criminal cases, mainly child sex abuse cases, as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney on the Big Island of Hawaii. Before moving to Hawaii, I practiced abuse of trust civil litigation in Denver.


  • 1981: Amy Clark
    Proving that old dogs really can learn new tricks, Amy J. Clark has just completed her first semester toward a graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Graduate School of international Policy and Management, in Monterey, CA. Classes have included Intro to Conflict Resolution, Seminar: Non-State Armed Groups in Conflict Resolution, and International Negotiations. Spring Classes guaranteed to keep the cobwebs at Bay, are: Development Theory and Practice, Rethinking Human Rights; Culture and Conflict;and Seminar: Conflict and Peace Building in Divided Societies. Extracurricular activities have included beachcombing, sea lion rescues and sculling out of Santa Cruz Harbor.
  • 1981: Laurie Hunter
    I was recognized for 30 years' of contributions to CBA-CLE programs and publications by receiving the Richard N. Doyle CLE Award of Excellence at the December 3, 2012 CBA-CLE Reception.
  • 1981: Leesa McNeil
    I was appointed by the Iowa governor to the Iowa State Preserves Advisory Board in 2012. Working with other Iowa court professionals to complete implementation of e-filing for all cases filed in state court.
  • 1981: Barbara Rushing O'Cain
    Barbara is the Corporate Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management for Alliance Hospitality Management LLC, a hotel and resort management company based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Additionally, she maintains her mediation practice specializing in the resolution of education, workers compensation, and employment disputes. Barbara returns to Colorado at least annually to visit friends and to ski, and she continues to travel the world extensively.
  • 1983: Dan Cartin
    I have been an attorney with the Office of Legislative Legal Services, the non-partisan legal staff for the Colorado General Assembly, since 1989 and was appointed director of the Office in September, 2010. In December, 2011, I received my masters degree in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver. I live in Lafayette, with my wife, Yvonne, and our two daughters.
  • 1983: Alan Sweetbaum
    Classmate Marla Music and I are almost empty nesters (Ben 24 & Lizzy 21) and I am a founding partner of Sweetbaum Sands Anderson, a commercial litigation and real estate firm in downtown Denver.
  • 1985: Joseph Fichter
    After returning to the mainland in 2011 from ten wonderful years in Hawaii, I sat for and passed the Oregon bar in 2012. On January 2, 2013, I officially opened my new practice in Medford, Oregon, working primarily in the areas of domestic relations, civil litigation and mediation.
  • 1985: Allan Hale
    Allan Hale and Richard Westfall (both class of 1985) formed Hale Westfall LLP in 2010 and they are having great fun practicing together. In the Fall of 2011, they represented Republican interests in congressional redistricting. Although the Democrats' final redistricting plan was adopted by the Courts, all four incumbent Republican Congressmen were re-elected in 2012. More recently, they presented the State of Colorado's case in the national tobacco arbitration where the tobacco companies are trying to take back a major portion of Colorado's tobacco settlement payments, and represented 33 States in a major procedural battle involving the arbitration's unique proceedings. Allan recently won an important case in the Colorado Supreme Court regarding private takings. Richard was active in the 2012 election as counsel for the Colorado Republican Party and a co-chair of Lawyers for Romney. Richard is also General Counsel for the Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority.
  • 1985: Ron Eagleye Johnny
    Ron has retired after serving more than 24 years as a tribal trial and appeals court judge for Tribes. While enjoying the work of a drug court judge and administrator, Ron preferred the appeals court. Ron served as the Chief Justice (2001-2003) and eight years as an Associate Justice of the Colorado River Indian Tribes' [of Arizona and California] Court of Appeals. Ron participated in deciding the Water Wheel Camp Recreational Area, Inc. and Robert Johnson v. LaRance, et al., case which upheld the tribal trial court's order or eviction, piercing the corporate veil, and a judgement of more than a million dollars. The Ninth Circuit upheld the tribal Appeals Court decision, and quoted it favorably. See Nos. 09-17349 and 09-17357 (9th Cir., June 10, 2011). Ron lives on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation northeast of Reno, Nevada.
  • 1986: Paul Vaughan
    My wife and I live in Las Cruces, NM where I retired from the New Mexico Public Defender department. I still work part time on a contract basis for Las Cruces Municipal Court as a public defender. As we are both mostly retired, we travel a lot. Her children and grandchildren live in Portland, Oregon and mine live in Loveland, Colorado. I would love to hear from my classmates.
  • 1987: Don Parker
    Learning a lot, and getting much satisfaction from my solar electric panel installation business, Golden Solar, Glad to have an extraordinary master electrician and wonderful dedicated employees inspiring my faith in the younger generation. Not practicing law much, but keeping my license. Best to all my classmates.
  • 1988: David Allen
    Was appointed District Director, Employee Benefits and Health, in November 2012 for City College of Chicago.
  • 1989: Tim Tomasik
    Founded a new firm in Chicago,Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, LLC. After decades with one of the greats of Chicago law, Clifford Law Offices partner Tim Tomasik now is joining forces with former Corboy & Demetrio partners Dan Kotin and Shawn Kasserman to build a practice proudly dedicated to representing the interests of those seriously injured or killed as the result of wrongful conduct. Tim, 49, is nationally known for having successfully tried and settled over $150 million dollars of complex cases on behalf of his clients during his tenure at Clifford Law Offices. He began his career at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, trying a number of high-profile murder and sexual assault cases as a member of the Bureau of Special Prosecutions. Tim has developed the reputation as a most versatile trial lawyer, handling construction, trucking and medical malpractice cases. In his Aviation practice, he successfully handled a number of notable crashes, including his work for several years as one of the lead attorneys in the World Trade Center litigation against the airlines surrounding the security breaches that led to the tragic 9/11 hijackings and air crashes that settled for $1.2 billion in 2011.


  • 1992: Eric Hilty
    Eric is the Chief Legal Officer of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is based out of Denver. He is thrilled to be a part of such a fantastic organization. Eric just finished his term as the Colorado Chapter President for the Association of Corporate Counsel and remains on the board.
  • 1992: Floy Jeffares
    Joined the firm Donelson Ciancio & Grant P.C. in late 2012. DCG is a full service law firm with offices in Broomfield and Longmont. Floy is handling business and real estate matters with the firm's transactional group. Floy has previously practiced as in-house counsel with large banks and, most recently, gained experience on the business side as commercial loan and lease work-out officer. Floy is now putting her diverse banking, legal and business experience to work for her small business and transactional clients. Floy is also a board member of Ralston House, a Jefferson County-based organization that serves children who experience abuse.
  • 1993: Chris Hardaway
    Back in Afghanistan with United Nations this time. Rule of law in the southern region.
  • 1994: L. Shawn Cheadle
    The last year has been a wild run for Shawn Cheadle, class of 1994. He was honored in April 2013 by the Denver Business Journal for one of its Best Corporate Counsel Awards. He was honored in May 2013 by Lockheed Martin for outstanding achievement for legal work performed under the GPS III government contract, where Cheadle succesfully argued a $62M request for equitable adjustment. After completing nine years of service to ACC Colorado's Board (President 2007) and four years on ACC's Law Department Management Committee (Chair 2011), Cheadle was elected to ACC's global Board of Directors in October 2012. That month, he was also awarded the Outstanding Committee Member of the Year award by ACC for excellence in volunteer services. In July 2012, Cheadle was named General Counsel to the Military Space line of business within Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. He and Lora (Plank) Cheadle, class of 1994, celebrate 18 years of marriage this year, and live with their two boys in Littleton, Colorado.
  • 1994: Nicholas Panos
    Following my matriculation from the University of Denver, I was hired in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission where I had served as a paid intern during the previous summer. After two years total service to that division, I engineered a transfer to the Division of Corporation Finance in Washington, D.C. where I am now a Senior Special Counsel in the Office of Mergers and Acqusitions. In addition, I teach "Takeovers, Mergers & Acqusitions" as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. This past March, I had the great pleasure of skiing Jackson Hole with former classmate and friend Brian Lewandowski ('94) and Matt White ('06).
  • 1995: Robert Wonnett
    Recently retired as the Vice Chancellor of Student Success at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and completed a Ph.D in Architecture and Planning from the University of Colorado Denver. I am enjoying retirement by traveling, researching, and consulting on the legal relationship between architectural design, public speech, public space, and public fora.
  • 1996: Gordon Gallagher
    On October 12, 2012, Gordon was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Colorado. Gordon will serve in Grand Junction, Colorado.
  • 1998: Kenny Capps
    Kenny and his wife, Murphy are making their son and daughter fight for bathroom time. They're expecting in June! Kudzu Branding & Design, a creative advertising agency co-owned my Kenny and Murphy Capps in beautiful Asheville, NC, is in its third year of existence. Kudzu just made room for more clients and increased their production and office space.
  • 1998: Justin Constantine
    Justin launched his inspirational speaking business in 2012 and has already started to get a lot of traction. Based on his recovery after being shot in the head in Iraq, Justin's topics include the positive aspects of change, overcoming adversity, teamwork and the power inside each of us. Corporate clients include Humana, Aon, Exeter Finance and Pure Fishing, and Justin was recently interviewed on CNN and Fox News about issues related to veterans and wounded warriors. He was also the commencement speaker at the December graduation ceremony at James Madison University. Check out his website at


  • 2000: Tracy Kraft-Tharp
    Tracy Kraft-Tharp was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives for House District 29 (Arvada & Westminster) in November 2012. Tracy works as a consultant with small businesses and nonprofits helping build their infrastructure and capacity and as a project manager for grant projects. Tracy also graduated from DU in 1984 with her MSW.
  • 2001: Britten Hale
    Partner at Springman, Braden, Wilson & Pontius, P.C., litigating for landlords, management companies, REITS, and HOAs throughout Colorado.
  • 2001: Iwan Hermawan
    Has new assignment as Head of Juanda International Airport Customs & Excise Office in Sidoarjo (Surabaya)-East Java-Indonesia, since February 2013. After 4 years service as Deputy Director for Regional Cooperation (responsible for any customs related issues of international negotiation, meeting or forum Indonesia involved) in International Affairs Directorate of Indonesian Customs & Excise Services Headquarter, Jakarta & another 2 years experience previously as Deputy Director for Investigation in Riau Islands Indonesian Customs regional Office (which is located in Karimun island, a tiny island on Malacca Strait).
  • 2001: Peter Schreck
    Peter recently joined Flint Group, the global supplier of inks and consumable products to the newspaper and printing industry as their Senior Corporate Counsel - Americas. He works in the company's Plymouth, Michigan world headquarters and is responsible for all the company's legal matters in North and South America. His practice includes, international, corporate, finance, litigation, commercial real estate, environmental, and Superfunds. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife Ann and their two daughters and traveling.
  • 2002: Philip Hundl
    Managing Partner of regional firm, Wadler, Perches, Hundl & Kerlick, covering the Texas gulf coast, Houston and surrounding areas. I enjoy saltwater fishing with my family and making our way back to Colorado, as often as possible, to ski and escape the Texas heat and humidity in the summer.
  • 2004: Catarina Williams
    After working as in-house counsel at the University of Miami, entertainment law in Los Angeles, and consulting at Baker & McKenzie, in Caracas, Venezuela, Catarina drew upon the international law courses at DU, as well as her practical work experience, to launch her own education startup in the San Francisco Bay Area. This year marks the 4th official year as a formal organization for the League of Creative Minds. The League of Creative Minds has most recently caught the attention of Stanford University where the League directors now hold classes for their young and aspiring delegates year-round. Catarina, along with her husband, are the proud parents of two year old Xanti.
  • 2005: Roger Birdbear
    2005: Roger Birdbear. By the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1996, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar in 2011 appointed Roger Birdbear to the Indian Oil Valuation Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, concluding in September 2013. In general, the committee advised the Office of Natural Resources Revenue on a rulemaking to address Indian oil valuation as it relates to the major portion requirement in Indian oil leases. ONRR acknowledged "the language that would preserve the higher payments for tribal members whose lessees produced more valuable oil was largely due to the participation of Roger Birdbear on the committee that developed the rule."
  • 2005: John Buckley
    In addition to maintaining my criminal defense practice, I was re-elected as the Chair of the Arapahoe County Democratic Party.
  • 2005: Susan Ryan (Curtis)
    Susan became a partner at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite. Susan practices in the firm's water law group and represents municipalities and water and sanitation districts in state and federal court. She was selected for inclusion in the 2014 Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.
  • 2006: Stephanie Cegielski
    Stephanie was recently named Vice President, Public Relations for the New York City based Public Relations Society of America.
  • 2006: Stephanie Reid
    I have relocated to Cheyenne, Wyoming and working as a Landman for Cameco Resources.
  • 2007: Kristine Poston
    Kutak Rock LLP welcomes Kristine Poston, class of 2007, to the 13-person team of attorneys in the Denver real estate group where she will advise clients with respect to the financing, acquiring, selling and leasing of commercial real estate.
  • 2007: Michael Sias
    Michael Sias (JD 2007, MBA 2008) was recently promoted to Director of Corporate Development and Legal at ESO Solutions located in Austin, Texas. Michael's role includes legal, strategy, business development, and sales operations for the software company.
  • 2009: Ben Figa
    Ben Figa recently joined the Office of Legal Counsel for Governor John W. Hickenlooper, where he provides legal advice to the Governor, his staff, and his cabinet and conducts due diligence on judicial nominees. Prior to this position, he previously served as a Deputy District Attorney for the 20th Judicial District (Boulder), an associate at Semple, Farrington & Everall, P.C., and a law clerk to the Honorable Chief Justice Michael L. Bender.


  • 2010: Patricia Blomstrom
    Patricia Blomstrom, class of 2010, joined the 12-person team of attorneys in the Denver real estate group at the national law firm Kutak Rock LLP where she will focus her practice on all aspects of commercial property acquisitions, dispositions, development, financing, leasing and management.
  • 2010: Eileen Joy
    Lt. Eileen Joy recently returned from deployment to Afghanistan where she worked on the Rule of Law mission while attached to the Joint Legal Center, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435. After completing her current tour at Naval Base Kitsap - Bangor, Washington as the Deputy Region Staff Judge Advocate she will rotate to Naples, Italy in August 2014.
  • 2012: Jason Krueger
    Jason Krueger joined the law firm of Ritsema & Lyon, P.C. Mr. Krueger's practice focuses on defense of workers' compensation cases, business law, and liquor licensing. Mr. Krueger was recently engaged to Stephanie Foote (J.D. 2012), who he met his first year at DU.
  • 2012: Aaron Neptune
    Began a judicial clerkship in November 2012 with the Honorable Judge Charles M. Pratt in Colorado's 18th Judicial District.
  • 2013: Cassandra Kirsch
    Cassandra Kirsch, class of 2013, has been invited to present her research on grey hat hacking and the law at the 2014 NKU Law+ Informatics Symposium on Cyber Defense Strategies and Responsibilities for Industry. Her paper titled "Grey Hat Hacking: Reconciling Law with Cyber Reality" will be published in a forthcoming edition of the 2014 NKU Law Review. She currently works as a law clerk for the National Conference of State Legislatures Ethics Center and the Information Technology and Telecommunications Law and Policy research division.

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Note: The deadlines for inclusion in the Denver Law Alumni Magazine is February 1st for the Spring issue and August 15th for the Fall issue. Notes submitted after these dates may be pushed to the following issue.