Photograph: Alumna meeting with student.

Class Actions 2017

Updates submitted between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017


Gerald J. Letourneau, '62, Topeka, was honored by the Best Lawyers in America® 2018 for his Tax Law expertise.

Arthur E. Palmer, '63, Topeka, was honored by the Best Lawyers in America 2018. Palmer was selected to Best Lawyers in 10 categories: Arbitration, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management, Litigation - Environmental, Litigation - Labor & Employment, Litigation - Real Estate, Litigation - Trusts & Estates, and Mediation.

John R. Hamilton, '65, Topeka, was again honored by Best Lawyers in America - 2018 edition. He was honored in the Section on Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law. He is a member of the Topeka, Kansas, and American Bar Association and Owner's Counsel of America. He is also on the Washburn Law School Foundation Board. 

The Honorable Robert J. Fleming, '68, Weir, Kansas, was presented the Community Outreach and Education Award by the Kansas District Judges Association. Fleming retired from the Labette County District Court on July 14 after 21 years on the bench.

The Honorable A.J. Wachter, '69, Pittsburg, Kansas, announced his retirement on December 18, 2017 from the 11th Judicial District Court. Wachter, who oversees the district from the Crawford County Judicial Center in Pittsburg, has been a district court judge since 2002 and chief judge since 2013. The 11th Judicial District is composed of Cherokee, Labette, and Crawford counties.

Wesley A. Weathers, '69, Topeka, was honored by the Best Lawyers in America® 2018. Weathers was selected in the areas of Personal Injury Litigation - Defense and Product Liability Litigation - Defense.


Lynn R. Johnson, '70, Kansas City, Missouri, was ranked as one of the Top 50 Kansas City Super Lawyers in the 2016 Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers nomination process.

H. Philip Elwood, '71, Topeka, received the Topeka Bar Association Warren W. Shaw Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes a lawyer or judge for exemplary service to the legal profession or the Topeka Bar Association. Elwood was also honored by the Best Lawyers in America® 2018. He was recognized in the areas of Corporate Law and Health Care Law. 

Ronald E. Wurtz, '73, Topeka, has been reappointed to serve a three-year term on the State Board of Indigents' Defense Services.

The Honorable Frank Yeoman Jr, '73, Topeka, retired from the bench on September 30, 2017.  Yeoman was appointed as a district judge for the 3rd Judicial District in 1990.

John T. Bird, '74, Hays, Kansas, received a Kansas Bar Association Outstanding Service Award.

David K. Duckers,'74, Kansas City, Kansas, has been selected to serve on the Ethics Commission for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County-Kansas City, Kansas, by an Ad Hoc Ethics Commission Appointment Panel.

Patrick M. Salsbury, '74, Topeka, was honored by the Best Lawyers in America® 2018. Salsbury was honored for Workers' Compensation Law -- Employer.

The Honorable Robert J. Frederick, '75, Garden City, Kansas, was elected president of the Kansas District Judges Association.

The Honorable Jennifer L. Myers, '75, Kansas City, Kansas, was appointed by Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss of the Kansas Supreme Court to serve on the District Judges Manual Committee. The Committee composes and updates the manual for Kansas district judges and district magistrates.

Chief Judge Larry T. Solomon, '76, Kingman, Kansas, retired. He had served in the 30th Judicial District since 1989 and was chief judge since 1991.

The Honorable Rebecca Crotty, '77, Topeka, retired as Shawnee County district judge after seven years on the bench.

Linda P. Jeffrey, '77, Topeka, was honored as the 2017 Woman of Distinction by the American Business Women's Association Career Chapter of Topeka. Jeffrey has served as Topeka's city attorney, Shawnee County counselor, and assistant attorney general for the state of Kansas.

Michael C. Manning, '77, Phoenix, Arizona, was named to Top 50 in Arizona list for 2017 by Super Lawyers. The ranking compiles the Arizona attorneys who ranked top of the list during the 2017 Southwest Super Lawyers nomination and research process.

Patricia E. Riley, '77, Topeka, was honored by the Best Lawyers in America® 2018. Riley was named as the Topeka Lawyer of the Year for Labor Law - Management. She was also awarded for her work in Product Liability Litigation - Defense and Employment Law - Management.

Ronald D. Smith, '77, Larned, Kansas, has written a civil war novel, his second book, called "The Wastage." The novel was written under a pen name, Dean Halliday Smith.

The Honorable John L. Weingart '77, Hiawatha, Kansas, of the 22nd judicial district, was appointed to sit with the Kansas Supreme Court to review one case on the court's summary calendar the final day of its January docket. Weingart joined Supreme Court justices on January 25 as they deliberated a case on their summary calendar.  He participated in the opinion drafting that followed.

John D. Petersen, '78, Overland Park, Kansas, has been named as one of the Kansas City Business Journals' 2017 Best of the Bar.

Frank J. Ross Jr., '78, Kansas City, Missouri, received the 2017 Baron of the Boardroom Award for his years of excellence in corporate law. The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA) presents the award annually to one or more attorneys who have a distinguished career representing clients in corporate/business matters. He has also been named as one of the Kansas City Business Journals' 2017 Best of the Bar.

Sarah B. Shattuck, '79, Ashland, Kansas, was reappointed to the Kansas Judicial Council.


Joseph E. Cosgrove Jr., '80, Austin, Texas, is serving as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin. Mr. Cosgrove is teaching Telecommunications Law and Policy.

The Honorable Fred W. Johnson, Jr., '80, Parsons, Kansas, formally took the bench in the 11th Judicial District. Johnson has been working as a judge since early October. He replaced retired Judge Robert Fleming.

Jeffrey L. Griffith, '82, Derby, Kansas, of Girffith & Griffith Law Firm has resigned as Derby Public Schools legal counsel after serving for the last 35 years. He closed his practice due to health problems.

The Honorable Mike Keeley, '82, Great Bend, Kansas, has been appointed to the Kansas Judicial Council.

Robert M. Barnes, '83, Kansas City, Missouri, has been named as one of the Kansas City Business Journals' 2017 Best of the Bar.

The Honorable Jennifer J. Lind-Spahn, '83, Wichita, retired from the Wichita Municipal Court, where she served since 1999.

Scott A. Mugno, '83, Moon Township, Pennsylvania, was nominated October 27, 2017, to be assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Mugno was a long-time executive at delivery giant FedEx.

Laura L. Ice, '84, Wichita, was recognized as an Outstanding Woman in Business 2017 by the Wichita Business Journal.

Cynthia J. Sheppeard, '84, Topeka, was honored by the Best Lawyers in America 2018. Sheppeard was honored for Product Liability Litigation -- Defense.

Paul F. Good, '85, Wichita, has joined Depew Gillen Rathbun & McInteer LC as Of Counsel.

The Honorable Thomas K. Ryan, '85, Shawnee, Kansas, was appointed to a two-year term as chief judge of the 10th Judicial District, effective January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019. Ryan has served as district judge in the 10th Judicial District since 2008. He presides over a criminal docket in Johnson County.

The Honorable Robert D. Berger, '86, Kansas City, Kansas, was reappointed to his second term as a United States Bankruptcy Judge on October 16, 2017.  Judge Berger is the sitting judge in the Kansas City Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas and has been on the bench since 2003. 

Michelle M. Suter, '86, Leawood, Kansas, was ranked as one of the Top 50 Women in the 2016 Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers nomination process.

Barry K. Swanson, '86, Lexington, Kentucky, has been selected as the University of Kentucky's new chief procurement officer (CPO). Barry Swanson assumed the CPO position at UK June 26. He comes to the university from the University of Kansas (KU), where he was associate vice provost for campus operations and CPO.

Stephen B. Angermayer, '88, Pittsburg, Kansas, received a Kansas Bar Association Outstanding Service Award.

Christopher S. Conroy, '88, West Des Moines, Iowa, is now vice president, annuity sales, for North American Company, Life and Health Insurance.

Edward L. Kainen, '88, Las Vegas, Nevada, has been named as Best Lawyers' 2017 Las Vegas Family Law Lawyer of the Year. Only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is honored as the Lawyer of the Year. Ed was also honored with this distinction in 2013.

The Honorable Gregory D. Keith, '88, Wichita, is now a Sedgwick County District Court Judge, Division 3.

The Honorable James I. Murfin, '88, El Dorado, Kansas, has been appointed as the Derby Municipal Court judge.

Natalie Camacho Mendoza, '89, Boise, Idaho, was elected as Chair of the Board of Directors for Farmworker Justice (FJ), Washington, D.C. FJ is a nonprofit that empowers farmworkers to improve living and working conditions, immigration status, health, occupational safety, and access to justice.  FJ works with and advocates for farmworkers across the country and provides expertise internationally. FJ is also a member of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda. 



T. Lynn Ward, '90, Wichita, was ranked as one of the Top 50 Women in the 2016 Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers nomination process.

Timothy E. Keck, '91, Topeka, was approved by the Kansas Senate as one of Governor Sam Brownback's three cabinet nominees. Previously, Keck served as Chief Counsel for the office of the Lt. Governor, and the Deputy Chief Counsel at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). As a member of the leadership team at KDHE, he worked closely with KDHE Secretary Susan Mosier on a variety of issues impacting the aging and disability communities.

Kurt P. Kerns, '91, Wichita, received a Kansas Bar Association Outstanding Service Award.

Brett C. Bogan, '92, Overland Park, Kansas, has joined Spencer Fane LLP.

Jeffrey P. DeGraffenreid, '92, Wichita, has rejoined the Foulston Siefkin LLP law firm as a partner. DeGraffenreid began his legal career at Foulston Siefkin in 1992 and left the firm in 2008 to spend nine years at Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., where he most recently served as Deputy General Counsel.

Kenneth R. Newton, '92, Wichita, has joined Cameron & Herrman, P.A.

Shawn R. DeJarnett, '93, Wellington, Kansas, was named Wellington city attorney by the city council.

The Honorable Cheryl A. Rios, '93, Topeka, received the Topeka Bar Association Honorable E. Newton Vickers Professionalism Award. This award recognizes a member of the Topeka Bar Association who, by his or her conduct, honesty, integrity, and courtesy, best exemplify, represent, and encourage other lawyers to follow the highest standards of the legal profession, including those contained in the Topeka Bar Association's Creed of Professional Courtesy.

Kelly A. Ricke, '94, Kansas City, Missouri, was ranked as one of Top 50 Women in the 2016 Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers nomination process.

Tony A. Potter, '95, Wichita, has joined Ward Law Offices, LLC.

Kip D. Johnson, '96, Hays, Kansas, and Colton D. Eikenberry, '96, Hays, Kansas, have combined their solo practices to form Johnson Eikenberry.

Jack C. Morgan III, '97, Fort Myers, Florida, a commercial litigator with a focus on liability litigation and construction defects, has left a partner position with the Fort Myers office of Roetzel & Andress to join another practice, Aloia, Roland & Lubell PLLC.  Morgan joins Aloia, Roland & Lubell as an equity partner, according to a statement. The firm changed its name to Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan, PLLC.

Joseph S. Passanise, '97, Springfield, Missouri, has been recognized again as a "Best Lawyer." His firm, Law Offices of Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise, has been recognized as a "Best Law Firm" by U.S. News & World Report. Passanise has been selected as a Best Lawyer in America for his tenth consecutive year. This outstanding achievement recognizes his work in the areas of white collar, non-white collar, and DUI defense. Passanise has also been given the 2016 Lawyer of the Year Award for his excellence in Criminal Defense: General Practice. This follows Passanise's 2015 Lawyer of the Year Award in the area of White Collar Criminal Defense.

Amy E. Burns, '98, Topeka, has become the president and executive director of the Stormont Vail Foundation.

Natasha K. Riffel-Kuhlmann, '99, Hutchinson, Kansas, is now with Martindell Swearer Shaffer Ridenour LLP.


Eric A. Buresh, '00, Overland Park, Kansas, has been named as one of the Kansas City Business Journals' 2017 Best of the Bar.

The Honorable Jason E. Geier, '00, Topeka, was chosen by Gov. Sam Brownback to fill a vacancy on the Shawnee County District Court.

The Honorable Jared Smith, '00, Tampa, Florida, is the new judge on the Hillsborough County Court.

The Honorable Eric N. Williams, '01, Wichita, was elected as a Sedgwick County judge.

Jennifer L. Lautz, '02, Hutchinson, Kansas, is now a partner with Corcoran, Goff & Lautz, StrongPoint Law.

The Honorable Kelly K. Mahoney, '02, Sioux City, Iowa, was appointed Federal Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Iowa.

Michael Sharma-Crawford, '02, Kansas City, Missouri, has been named as one of the Kansas City Business Journals' 2017 Best of the Bar.

Robert L. Choromanksi, '03, Lenexa, Kansas, has been hired as executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees.

Gregory C. Graffman, '03, Kingman, Kansas, was named to the board of directors for the City Attorneys Association of Kansas. Graffman is one of only two board members to represent smaller communities. He serves as city attorney for the towns of Kingman, Cunningham, Spivey, and Turon.

The Honorable Jennifer L. Myers, '03, Kansas City, Kansas, was sworn in as a Wyandotte County District Court Judge.

Tiffany D. Tant-Shafer, '03, Tullahoma, Tennessee, joined Legal Aid Society's Tullahoma office with a focus on family, health and benefits, and juvenile law. Prior to joining the Legal Aid Society, she established her own firm, where she was a sole practitioner primarily advocating for children as a court-appointed guardian ad litem.

Gabriela A. Vega '03, Manhattan, Kansas, has merged with Bruce Barry to from Barry Vega Law Group. Barry Vega Law Group will focus its practice in the areas of family, bankruptcy and immigration law.

Donald H. Snook, '04, McPherson, Kansas, has joined Karstetter & Bina, L.L.C. as an associate.

Monique K. Centeno, '05, Wichita, has opened Centeno Law, LLC.

Todd Hiatt, '05, Topeka, is now Of Counsel for Harris & Hart, LLC., Leawood, Kansas.

The Honorable Meghan M. Houtsma, '05, Garden City, Kansas, was appointed by Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss of the Kansas Supreme Court to serve on the District Judges Manual Committee. The Committee composes and updates the manual for Kansas district judges and district magistrates.

Jeffrey N. Lowe, '05, Wichita, is now a member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.

Nicole M. Romine, '06, Cheyenne, Wyoming, is an Assistant U.S. attorney for the Criminal Division in the District of Wyoming.

Richard A. Samaniego, '06, Wichita, has joined Gilliland & Hayes, LLC.

Karan M. Thadani, '06, Topeka, is now the chief prosecutor for the City of Topeka.

William F. Deer, '07, Wichita, is now with the Sedgwick County Counselor's Office.

John Paul D. Washburn '07, Topeka, is a 2016 Topeka's Top 20 Under 40 honoree.

Lisa K. Garza, '08, Kansas City, Missouri, was sworn in as president-elect to the Wyandotte County Bar Association on January 28, 2017.

Shawn C. Jurgensen, '08, Topeka, was named as special counsel to Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. Jurgensen will essentially be the representative of the state's judiciary in the Statehouse.

Lane R. Palmateer, '08, Wichita, is now at the Law Office of Lane R. Palmateer.

Eric M. Pauly, '08, Wichita, has joined The IMA Financial Group, Inc.

Eryn A. Wright, '08, Salina, Kansas, is now the USD 305 executive director of human resources.  Wright was previously general counsel.

Timothy M Blesan, '09, Washington, D.C., has been promoted to deputy chief for the National Security & Affirmative Litigation Unit within the Department of Justice's Office of Immigration Litigation.

William K. Schmidt, '09, Kansas City, Kansas, is now the clinic director for the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at Kansas Legal Services.  The clinic is a state-wide organization that handles tax controversies for low income taxpayers.


Jeremy D. Koop, '10, Wichita, is now a Sedgwick County assistant district attorney.

Kursten, A. Phelps, '10, Washington, D.C., has joined the executive team at Tahirih Justice Center as director of legal and social services. Tahirih Justice Center is a national, non-profit organization that protects courageous immigrant women and girls who refuse to be victims of violence by elevating their voices in communities, courts, and Congress to create a world where women and girls enjoy equality and live in safety and with dignity. 

Shane A. Rosson, '10, Wichita, has become a member of the law firm of Triplett, Woolf & Garretson, LLC.  Shane joined TWG as an associate in 2010, and will continue to focus his practice in the areas of general civil litigation with emphasis in business litigation, employment litigation, and estate and probate litigation.

Britain D. Stites, '10, Junction City, Kansas, is now the Junction City municipal prosecutor.

Aaron R. Bailey, '11, Topeka, has been named a partner of the Sloan Law Firm. Aaron engages in a general practice of law, including civil litigation, business transactions and litigation, estate planning and probate, and real estate matters.

Erin Sommer Good, '11, Wichita, was elected to the board of directors for League 42. League 42's mission is to provide every child in Wichita the opportunity to play youth baseball.

Lisa M. Brown, '12, Topeka, was named a 2017 Topeka's Top 20 Under 40 by the Jayhawk Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Whitney L. Casement, '12, Topeka, has joined Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer, LLP.

Vincent J. Garcia, '12, Wichita, received a Kansas Bar Association Pro Bono Award.

J.D. Hatcher, '13, Carthage, Missouri, is now with the Jasper County Prosecutor's Office.

Leslie A. Klaassen, '13, Colorado Springs, Colorado, has joined Marrison Family Law LLC.

Allison L. Koehn, '13, Topeka, joined Newbery, Ungerer & Hickert LLP.

William R. Lawrence, '13, Lawrence, Kansas, is the chief of staff for Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley.

Michael K. Fessinger, '14, Wichita, is now with the Sedgwick County Counselor's Office.

Eli M. O'Brien, '14, Wichita, has joined Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered, as an associate.

Matthew A. Tate, '14, Prairie Village, Kansas, is an associate at Waldeck & Patterson. Tate has experience in civil litigation, oil & gas law, contract law, and contract drafting.

Kate Wary, '14, Great Bend, Kansas, became a partner at Bauer, Pike, Bauer & Wary, LLC.

Jesse A. Burris, '15, Mulvane, Kansas, was elected to the Kansas House District 82 seat.

Jason G. McIlrath, '15, Topeka, has joined the Shawnee County Distirct Attorney's Office.

Coleman J. Younger, '15, Marysville, Kansas, has joined Galloway, Wiegers & Brinegar, P.A.

Lauren E. Amrein, '16, Topeka, has been appointed as an assistant district attorney for the Shawnee County District Attorney's Office.

Aaron C. Boswell, '16, Wichita, is an associate with Larson & Brown, P.A.

Jorge M. De Hoyos,'16, Wichita, is now an associate at Patterson Legal Group, L.C. He was previously a litigation manager at Kansas County Association Multiline Pool.

Victoria Lynn Johnson Eck, '16, Wichita, has moved to CornerStone Law, LLC, Newton, Kansas.

Claire M. Hillman, '17, Lenexa, Kansas, is an associate at Shook Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P.

Lisa L. Martin, '17, Wichita, has become associated with Triplett Woolf Garretson, LLC. 

Jennifer E. Spangler, '17, Topeka, is now with Free State Law.

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