2013 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients
Nola Tedesco Foulston, 1977
Nola Tedesco Foulston, 1977, a native of Lake Mahopac, N.Y., received a bachelor’s degree in 1972 from Fort Hays State University, attended the University of Kansas Graduate School, and earned her juris doctorate from Washburn University School of Law in December 1976. In 2013, she retired after 24 years as the elected District Attorney to join the Wichita law firm of Hutton & Hutton LLC as a trial attorney who specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and complex tort litigation.
Foulston was admitted to practice law in the state of Kansas in 1977, and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court of Kansas and holds the privilege of admission to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Her legal career began as an Assistant District Attorney in Wichita, from 1977 to 1981 and until 1989 she practiced civil law specializing in diverse areas of the law including corporate litigation and employment law.
In 1989 Foulston was sworn in as District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District of Kansas Sedgwick County, Kan. She is well known for her tough stand on crime. As District Attorney, she received numerous honors, awards, and accolades from community service groups, law enforcement agencies, and governmental bodies. In 2012 she was awarded the prestigious American Bar Association Norm Maleng Minister of Justice Award, a distinguished national honor presented in recognition of her career achievements and a dedication to the administration of justice.
Through the years, Foulston has made significant academic contributions to the legal community as an author and lecturer at the Prosecution Advocacy Center and for the National District Attorneys College where she also served as a regent. She has authored many legal articles and treatises, in addition to her role as a national media spokesperson on network television.
Prominent profile cases of Foulston include the 1990 murder of Nancy Shoemaker; the Reginald and Jonathan Carr brothers’ murder spree of 2000; the BTK serial killer Dennis Rader in 2005; prosecution of Scott Roeder for the killing of Dr. George Tiller in 2009; and importantly, being co-counsel in 2006 before the U.S. Supreme Court in Michael Marsh v. State of Kansas that upheld the constitutionality of the Kansas death penalty law.
Her numerous professional memberships include the Wichita, Kansas, and American Bar Associations, Charter Member of the Wesley E. Brown American Inn of Court where she served as a Master, Executive Board of Directors with the National District Attorneys Association, and a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Jurisprudence Section. She maintains her long standing relationship with the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association as an emeritus retired member and this year, she has received the 2013 Child Start %7e Children’s Champion for her body of work in addressing critical children’s issues in her community.
Foulston enjoys the privilege of being an AV rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ that are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States. As a skilled complex litigation attorney, she looks forward to her practice at Hutton & Hutton LLC.
B.A., Fort Hays State University, 1972 • J.D., Washburn University School of Law, 1977
Dr. Max M. Halley, 1966
Dr. Max M. Halley, 1966, was born in Bremerhaven, Germany, and came to America with his family in 1935. He grew up in western New York state and graduated from Olean, New York High School in 1944. At age 17, prior to graduation, Dr. Halley enlisted in the United States Army. He served in the Army Specialized Reserve Program and then as Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps, earning the rank of Warrant Officer.
After his military service, Dr. Halley earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1949, and then an M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1953. His six years postgraduate specialty training in surgery consisted of an internship at KU Medical Center, residencies at Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, N.Y. and Tulane University at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, La.
In 1959, Dr. Halley moved with his family from New Orleans to Topeka, where he began his medical practice. He served as Chief of Surgery at Stormont-Vail Hospital, and on various hospital committees. He implanted the first pacemaker in Topeka in 1964 and participated in the establishment and development of heart surgery in Topeka.
While practicing surgery, Dr. Halley attended Washburn Law, and received his juris doctor degree, cum laude, in 1966, and was admitted to the Kansas Bar. He used his legal education to teach legal issues to physicians, and to promote better understanding between the professions. He taught Medical Evidence at Washburn Law and a medical-legal course at KU Medical School. He was a member of several medical organizations, and chaired or served on professional liability committees of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Halley published more than 50 journal articles and several book chapters, dealing with professional liability and tort reform, as well as medical ethics and surgical topics. He was program director or participant at local, state, and national meetings where he presented these topics. He was also a founder of the Institute for Healthcare and Law to further study medical-legal issues. As a result of the medical liability insurance crises of the 1970s and 1980s, he chaired a Kansas Medical Society special committee studying administrative compensations as a mechanism to prevent recurrent crises.
In the 1960s, Dr. Halley published several articles, jointly with Professor William F. Harvey, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Kansas Bar Journal, and the Journal of the Kansas Medical Association, calling attention to differences in the legal and medical definitions of death, a situation which created potential problem in the termination of life support or organ transplantation when brain function ceased totally and irreversibly, but heartbeat continued. Although others had previously noted this problem, the JAMA article entitled "Medical vs. Legal Definitions of Death" caught the attention of national media, and together with the other articles helped generate the impetus for the Kansas legislature, and subsequently those of other states, to make the pronouncement of brain death lawful by statute.
After more than two decades of research and discussions of tort reform and professional liability, Dr. Halley, as senior editor and contributor, together with Washburn Professors Robert J. Fowks, David L. Ryan, and Dr. F. C. Bigler, published, Medical Malpractice: Systems and Proposals for Injury Compensation (Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1989). The book presents and discusses the existing and proposed methods of compensating medical injuries in chapters written as far as possible by the original authors. It includes specific recommendations for reform and a complete model statute for administrative compensations.
Dr. Halley has been and continues to be involved with Washburn University School of Law through the mentor program. He and his wife, Jo, established a trust to create the Fowks-Halley-Van Petten Chair of Dispute Resolution, along with the Robert J. Fowks Fund at the law school. They also created a scholarship to help single mothers attend the Washburn University nursing program.
Dr. Halley married Josephine Ann "Jo" Van Petten in 1954, after she graduated from KU School of Nursing. They have five children, two sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law, five grandchildren, one step-granddaughter, and two step great-granddaughters. Among the five children are two physicians, one social worker, and two lawyers, practicing in Topeka, Kansas City, Connecticut, Ohio, and California.
B.A., Harvard College, 1949 • M.D., Harvard Medical School, 1953 • J.D., Washburn University School of Law, 1966
Mark V. Heitz, 1977
Mark V. Heitz, 1977, was born and raised in Pittsburg, Kan. Upon graduation from high school in 1970, he moved to Topeka and attended Washburn University, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1974, a juris doctorate from Washburn University School of Law in 1977, and an Honorary Doctorate of Law in 2001.
While attending Washburn Law, Heitz became a law clerk for the Kansas Insurance Commissioner and began his nearly 40 year career in the insurance industry. He spent his first four years after law school with insurance companies in Oklahoma and Kentucky. He returned to Topeka in 1981 to join the legal staff at Security Benefit Group, where he also led their governmental relations efforts in Washington, D.C. and Topeka. During this time he was heavily involved in the rewriting of the federal income tax code for the life insurance industry, working closely with the Senate Finance Committee and its Chairman, Senator Bob Dole, a 1952 graduate of Washburn Law. From 1984 to 1986, he worked for Ruth Garvey Fink's family company, CGF Industries, and helped consummate 14 acquisitions.
Heitz joined the Board of Directors of American Investors Life Insurance Company (AIL) in June 1986 and became a founding Director of Amvestors Financial Corporation, the parent company of AIL, in August 1986. In October 1986 he became President of AIL and in December 1986 he also became President of AmVestors, beginning a 25 year career with these entities. AmVestors/AIL was a small life insurance company with less than $100 million in assets and its public stock was traded on NASDAQ. During the next ten years AmVestors grew to over $3 billion in assets and listed its stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In 1997, AmVestors merged with AmerUs Life Group of Des Moines, Iowa, and Heitz became President & CEO of the Topeka-based annuity operations of AmerUs, growing assets from $3 billion to over $20 billion by the end of 2006. At that time AmerUs was purchased by Aviva plc, London, England, the fifth largest insurance company in the world, in a cash transaction providing most longtime AmerUs/AmVestors/AIL shareholders with annualized returns in excess of 15%. From 2007 to 2011, he served as President-Sales & Distribution for Aviva USA, growing assets to over $50 billion. He retired at the end of 2011 and continues in a consulting role for Aviva USA through the end of 2013.
Heitz has served on the Washburn Board of Regents, the Washburn University Foundation, and the Washburn Law Alumni Association Board of Governors, as well as being involved with the Topeka United Way, the Topeka Community Foundation, the Kansas Arthritis Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, Midland Hospice, the American Council of Life Insurers, the Ronald Reagan Foundation, and numerous other charitable and civic organizations. Heitz and his wife of 40 years, Lisa, reside in Miramar Beach, Fla. and also maintain a home in Topeka.
B.A., Washburn University, 1974 • J.D., Washburn University School of Law, 1977 • Honorary Doctorate of Law, 2001
Congressman Dennis W. Moore, 1970
Congressman Dennis W. Moore, 1970, was born in Anthony, Kan. in 1945. He was educated in Wichita public schools. In 1967 he graduated from the University of Kansas. Following in the footsteps of his father, C.W. (Warner) Moore, class of 1950, Dennis received his law degree from Washburn University School of Law in 1970.
After service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Reserve, Congressman Moore started his legal career as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Kansas. He entered private legal practice in Johnson County in 1973. In 1976, Congressman Moore was elected District Attorney in Johnson County and was reelected twice, serving a total of 12 years. During his tenure, he earned the reputation as a tough, but fair prosecutor.
Congressman Moore was elected in 1998 to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Third District of Kansas. He was a member of the House Committee on the Budget and Financial Services and the House Small Business Committee.
As a member of the Center Aisle Caucus, a group formed to bring more civility and bipartisanship to Congress, Congressman Moore developed a reputation as someone who would reach across the aisle to develop common sense solutions to issues.
The January 24, 2000, issue of Roll Call featured Congressman Moore in the article "Who's Part of the Next Generation of Hill Leaders." The report concluded, "He has been praised for his smarts and is virtually revered by colleagues who like his earnest but easygoing style. If he survives in a tough district for Democrats, many insiders believe the sky's the limit. And he plays a mean guitar."
Congressman Moore has served as a member of the 10th Judicial Nominating Commission, a Master of the Kansas Inns of Court, and Past President of the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association. He has also been a member of the Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees and has served on the Boards of Directors of Johnson County Safe Home (President), the Coalition for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Kansas Child Abuse Prevention Council, CASA, United Community Services, and on the Advisory Boards of Community Corrections and Health Partnership Clinic.
Congressman Moore has made presentations to the political science department at Washburn University and was the graduation speaker for commencement at Washburn Law in May 2008. He resides in Lenexa with his wife, Stephene, a registered nurse. They have seven children and eight grandchildren.
B.A., University of Kansas, 1967 • J.D., Washburn University School of Law, 1970
Ronald E. Wurtz, 1973
Ronald E. Wurtz, 1973, is a Greenleaf, Kan. native. He received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Washburn University in 1970 and is a 1973 graduate of Washburn University School of Law.
Early in his career, Wurtz served as a Shawnee County Assistant District Attorney. He was the Chief Public Defender in Shawnee County from 1979 to 1994 and then Chief of the Death Penalty Defense Unit of the Kansas State Public Defender System until 1998. Wurtz served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, First Assistant, and Acting Federal Defender for the District of Kansas from 1998 until his retirement in 2013.
Wurtz served as a U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate, retiring in 1997 after 22 years of active and reserve service. He has been an adjunct professor at Washburn Law, a mentor to law students and a supporter of the law school, delivering the commencement address to Washburn Law graduates in 1995. In addition, he has been a judge for the Mock Trial Regional Tournament at Washburn University.
Wurtz received the Kansas Bar Association Outstanding Service Award for his many contributions to the KBA and the legal profession: presenting CLEs on Kansas Criminal Sentencing Guidelines; elected president of the Criminal Law Section, which is comprised of lawyers specializing in this area of the law; and involvement with the comparison of Kansas and Federal Guidelines and how they are applied to specific cases.
Wurtz has been admitted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. This accomplished group recognizes excellence in trial lawyers and membership is by invitation only to persons who have distinguished themselves in trial practice for at least 15 years and who are recognized leaders in their local communities. The college looks for lawyers who are considered by other lawyers and judges to be the best in their states or provinces, lawyers whose ethical and moral standards are the highest, and lawyers who share the intangible quality of collegiality.
B.A., Washburn University, 1970 • J.D., Washburn University School of Law, 1973