Class Notes

Alumni Class Notes, June 2018

Maryam Afshar ’16, Infinity Baulos ’13 and Nadia Wardrip ’12 were featured in the Northwest Indiana Times for their work on sex crimes through the Lake County prosecutor’s office. They are a part of an all-female trial attorney team under alumnus, Lake County Prosecutor, Bernard Carter ’84. 




Sen. Rodric Bray ’94L was voted by the GOP Senate to the president pro tempore of the Indiana Senate.







Gretchen Cepek ’93L has received a 2018 Women in Business Award from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.





Glen Oaks Community College has welcomed Vonda Marrow ’90L as executive director of the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation.



In Memoriam

Norma (Shipe) Gromley passed away May 5, 2018. She is survived by three sons and two grandsons; her husband, Charles Gromley, passed away in 1992 and was a longtime member of the Valparaiso University Law School faculty.


Kevin Shirk ’78L (Hillsdale, MI) passed away May 11, 2018. He was employed as the Attorney Magistrate and Probation Officer for Hillsdale District Court before practicing law at Dimmers & Loren (later Dimmers & Shirk).



William Schudlich ’53L passed away May 31, 2018. He served in the Army and then worked for Ford for nearly 40 years, in salaried personnel and as administrative services manager of North American automotive operations.





George Burgasser ’78 was a retired Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney’s office Western District of New York, where he served with distinction. George spent part of his career as an Attorney with the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, Niagara County District Attorneys office and Niagara County Sheriff’s Department. He is survived by his wife, Becky, two sons and a host of family members.



Matthew Nixon ’98
was an attorney with his law firm, Fair, Nixon & Nixon in Princeton, IN. He was a member of the Indiana and Gibson County Bar Associations. He is survived by his son, Will Nixon, mother, sister and a host of family members.




Alumni Class Notes, May 2018

Christopher Becker ’95 has been appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder and First Lady Snyder to the campus sexual assault workgroup that will develop a framework of best practices for preventing campus sexual assault.




Bryan Heidemann ’12L
 has joined CoyleKiley Insurance Agency as an employee benefits consultant. He previously worked at Williams Manny Insurance Group.






Steven Godfrey ’90L is the new Allen Circuit Court magistrate. He has served as chief counsel in the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, prosecuting major felonies, for the past 19 years before accepting the position as magistrate.




In Memoriam

John Horeled ’76L (Crystal Lake, IL) passed away May 3, 2018. He practiced law in McHenry County for more than 42 years, was involved in the Illinois State Bar Association for 40 years, and was also involved in several section councils and task forces. He is survived by his wife Heather (McLeod) Horeled ’77 and three children, including Matthew Horeled ’05L.




The Honorable Thomas Brunner ’72
recently announced he is seeking re-election as Manistee County Probate Judge. Judge Brunner was first elected Manistee County’s probate judge in November 2006; he is currently serving his second six-year term.








Michael Bolde ’12 has joined Krieg DeVault as an associate in the firm’s litigation practice group.






Jill D. Wesch ’04 was appointed by Gov. Holcomb to the Vermillion Circuit Court in Newport, IN. 





Mike Drenth ’92
 named by Gov. Holcomb  to replace retiring Judge Julia Jent in the Porter County Superior Court. 



Jaime Oss ’03 and Jon Rogers ’06 are two VU Law alumni who have been selected to the 2018 Michiana Forty under 40 class which features the area’s most talented and dedicated young executives, professionals, and leaders who demonstrate career success and community engagement, before the age of 40.





Mark Rutherford ’86 has been selected by the Libertarian Party of Indiana to run for secretary of state.






Alumni Class Notes, April 2018


In Memoriam

Michael Van Epps ’85L (Muskegon, MI)
 passed away March 29, 2018. He served as a district court magistrate for Muskegon County for 30 years.






Charles Doyle ’74L (Hammond, IN) passed away April 9, 2018. He was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1953. His pastoral assignments included St. Mary’s in East Chicago, Sacred Heart in Whiting, St. Emeric in Gary, and St. Ann of the Dunes in Beverly Shores, where he served from 1969 until his retirement in 1996. He was a recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash Award.



William Carroll ’01L 
has been named the new managing editor of The Neshoba Democrat, a 137-year-old newspaper. He was most recently managing editor of the Plainview Daily Herald in Plainview, Texas, part of the Hearst corporation. During his journalism career, Carroll has worked at newspapers in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas.


Diane Calta ’97L 
has been appointed law director for the city of Beachwood in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. She previously served as law director for the city of Green in Summit County, Ohio.




Jamie Oss ’03 and Jon Rogers ’06 were selected for the 2018 Michiana Forty Under 40 class which features the area’s most talented and dedicated young executives, professionals, and leaders who demonstrate career success and community engagement, before the age of 40.



Bryan Heidemann ’12 recently joined CoyleKiley Insurance Agency as an employee benefits consultant. 






Elian E.H. Fichtner has been appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder as the newest Saginaw County District Court appointed judge.




Ragen Hatcher is competing for the representative seat in the Indiana House District 3. Her nomination is for the May 8 Democratic primary.




J.P. Hanlon, partner at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP in Indianapolis, is included in the latest round of judicial nominations released by the White House.





Holly A. Brady ’94,  
a partner at Haller & Colvin PC in Fort Wayne, was recently tapped for the federal bench. If approved by the Senate, Brady will replace Senior Judge Joseph van Bokkelen. Van Bokkelen is on the bench of the Hammond Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.use.




Julie (Johnson) Weller ’15L has joined Faegre Baker Daniels as an associate in the construction and real estate group in the firm’s Indianapolis office.




Alumni Class Notes, March 2018

John A. Link ’95L has been chosen to serve as the new Magistrate in LaPorte Superior Court No. 4, replacing retiring Magistrate Nancy Gettinger.


Raja N. Sekhara ’93 
joined the firm Menter, Rudin & Trivelpiece, P.C. as an associate. He will be a member of the firm’s business restructuring, bankruptcy and creditor’s rights, and municipal law practice groups.





Randy Zromkoski ’84L and his wife, Jo Ellen have been named The United Way of Porter County Campaign Chairs.



In Memoriam

Monica “Marie” Flanagan ’78L passed away February 12, 2018. She served as a teacher at Immaculate Conception Church Elementary School in Monmouth, Illinois, practiced law in a legal aid clinic in South Bend, and worked as a care giver in a facility for disabled persons in Peoria.



Amy L. Sekany ’95 has been named as the newest Alameda County Superior Court judge.



Alumni Class Notes, February 2018


Tricia Tominack ’00 has been included in Marquis Who’s Who. Ms. Tominack is renowned in the legal industry for her expertise in bankruptcy, debt and debt collection, criminal defense, traffic violations, and family and juvenile law.





Michael Tolbert ’00, Deb Dubovich ’87, Josh Brown’06, Donn Wray ’80 and a number of other Valparaiso University Law School alumni have been named 2018 Indiana Super Lawyers.



Brian Gensel ’87 is up for a general election challenge in his bid for a fourth term as Porter County Prosecutor.






In Memoriam

John Michael Kilmurry ’71 passed away on February 8, 2018. Mr. Kilmurry served in the military in the Army and worked as a lawyer in Vermont and Ohio. He has been a proud member of the American Legion and the Knights of Columbus for many years. He will be remembered most for his great sense of humor and contagious laugh.




Three Valparaiso University Law School alumnae  Margaret Olson, Kitty Lynn Alexander Lawrence and Christine Bernthal, all class of 1973 reunited in Cocoa Beach, FL for a week of retirement celebration. Congrats to them all!





Marla Brinkman ’99, ’04
has joined Huntington law firm Harter Poling LLP as an attorney. Her practice will cover a variety of areas, including bankruptcy, personal tax preparation, estate planning, collections, trademark, copyright, trade secret, contracts, real estate, and family law.



Joni Sedberry ’05 has been named partner of Harrison & Moberly LLP firm. Her practice is devoted to family law, and she is a registered domestic relations mediator. She has been named a Rising Star Attorney by the Indiana Super Lawyer publication every year since 2013.




William S. Schalliol ’12 was interviewed by the South Bend Tribune as the St. Joseph County economic development director.





Kristine A. Osterday ’04 has been appointed to the Elkhart County Superior Court  1 by Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb. She will succeed the late Judge Evan Roberts.





Nicole Keith ’10 has been promoted to Senior Associate at Krieg DeVault. Keith is a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, where she focuses her expertise in civil litigation.






Margaret R. Martin ’95  has been chosen by The Expert Network to join their community as a Distinguished Lawyer based on peer reviews and ratings, dozens of recognition, and accomplishments achieved throughout her career.






Jacquielynn Wolff ’16 of Marco Island, Florida, was named to the Naples Herald’s Class of 2017 40 Under 40 in recognition of her work as founder, CEO, and artistic Director of both the Naples and Marco Island Shakespeare Festivals.






Brenda Likavec ’07 has been appointed as the Supervising Bankruptcy Attorney for Potestivo & Associates, P.C. in their Chicago office.





Rhea Torman ’15, have joined Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Chicago and St. Louis offices. Rhea’s focus will be on  Asbestos Litigation and Toxic Tort Litigation







Alumni Class Notes, January 2018

Anthony D. Quinn ’98 announced his re-election candidacy for the office of Dubois County Prosecuting Attorney.







Perry Browder ’88 been named 2018 Illinois Super Lawyer. Recently, Mr. Browder successfully secured one of the largest asbestos verdicts in the country, a $250 million verdict against U.S. Steel.






In Memoriam

Professor Raymond T. Nimmer ’68 has passed away. Nimmer’s storied career of more than four decades at the University of Houston Law Center included serving as dean from 2006 to 2013 and being the Leonard H. Childs Professor of Law. His achievements included writing more than 25 books and various articles, including a book on the Law of Computer Technology and a treatise on Modern Licensing Law. The cherished former professor taught a wide variety of classes including Contracts, Internet Law, Electronic Commerce, and Bankruptcy. Nimmer received both his B.A. and J.D. from Valparaiso University in Indiana.




Rev. Stephen J. Wolma ’99  was recently hired as the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Lancaster Theological Seminary. 






Michael D. Zaradich ’06 has joined Wooden McLaughlin as Senior Counsel. He will practice in the firm’s Indianapolis office and will focus his practice on commercial lending transactions, including FHA/HUD insured lending.


Jennifer Groszek ’01 has joined the ProQuest division of Alliant as Vice President, Claims Advocate Lead where she will provide risk management, counseling, and claims management and resolution services to a broad array of clients across the U.S.


In Memoriam

Dominique Joseph Farina ’42 at 100 years old, passed away on December 31, 2017. Mr. Farina began his law practice in 1954 and developed a distinguished legal career lasting 55 years. Dominic was honored by the Berrien County Bar Association and received the 2011 Frances A. ‘Mike’ Jones Memorial Community Service Award for Outstanding Service to the Community and the Berrien County Bar Association. For all the changes and evolution during his careers, Dominic’s friendly demeanor and love for his work remained constant for his self-described “plain little old country lawyer.” He will be greatly missed by many.


Rodric Bray ’94 has been selected as Senate majority floor leader in the State of Indiana.






Jesse Harper ’16 has announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination next year for Center Township trustee.



Alumni Class Notes, December 2017

In Memoriam

Geoffrey Wiggins, ’78 passed away November 29, 2017. He first worked for Ernst and Ernst before starting his own tax firm, Romeo, Wiggins & Co, LLP with his close friend and associate Jeffery S. Romeo.




Julie Spanbauer, ’86 has been promoted from professor to vice dean for academic affairs at John Marshall Law School. In her new role, she will supervise John Marshall’s Academic Services and Financial Aid offices, oversee the academic curriculum, handle academic discipline, and serve as the dean’s designate when she is not available. She will also continue teaching courses such as employment discrimination, contracts, and lawyering skills.



Dino Pollock ’08 was named University of California, Santa Cruz’s associate athletic director for compliance and eligibility. He joins UCSC after working in the NCAA national office, where he served as an associate director in the Office of the Committees on Infractions since 2015




Raj Malviya is the only Michigan attorney is the class of 36 new Fellows of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)





Charles Bush ’13 has been selected for the 2018 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Pathfinder Program. LCLD Pathfinder Program is designed for diverse, high-potential, early career attorneys at LCLD Member organizations.




Alumni Class Notes, November 2017


Haneefah Khaaliq ’17 has published a proposal inspired by the opportunity to present at Valparaiso University’s Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Seminar: Race and the Law in January 2017.




Matthew Thor ’17 has been announced as the public defender for Knox County in Galesburg, IL. 







Steve McClure ’11 is running in the 50th Senate District of Illinois.





Dana Rifai ’07 has been announced as the keynote speaker at Valparaiso University’s December Commencement.



Russell D. Bailey ’01 has been appointment by Gov. Holcomb to the Jasper County Superior Court.


Tyler M. Nichols ’11 is one of the new 22 in the Indiana State Bar Association’s Leadership Development Academy class of 2018.





Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein ’76 will serve Ivy Tech as a mediator in the institution’s pending Title VII case.




James Moser ’08 recently joined Foster Pepper PLLC as a member of the Business practice in the firm’s Spokane, WA office.




In Memoriam

Michael Zaronias ’02 of Highland, IN passed away on November 23, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer of 18 years and his two sons. Known for his intelligent mind, Michael had a passion for learning and teaching. He was able to shine at anything he pursued, graduating Magna Cum Laude from the Valparaiso School of Law.



The Honorable Timothy Baker ’89L  will receive the Dr. Morton J. Finney Award for Excellence in Legal Education from the Indianapolis Bar Association in November 2017. Judge Baker was recently nominated by United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts to the Board of Directors of the Federal Judicial Center, in recognition of his “exemplary and unwavering” commitment to judicial education. Judge Baker currently serves on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.



Kirsten Kaiser Kus ’08 has been elected as an Income Member at Bryce Downey & Lenkov LLC.

Attorney Kirsten, of Bryce Downey & Lenkov LLC, 200 N. LaSalle St., was photographed September 11, 2014.










Laura Baier ’14 was awarded a Public Service & Leadership Award from the Washington State Bar Association. Laura was recognized for this achievement in the September 2017 Edition of the Northwest Lawyer Magazine.




Raj Malviya ’05 presented on International Tax Planning at the 2017 Trusts and Estates Meeting for Meritas in New Orleans. He covered various aspects of tax rules that apply to non-residents and non-citizens; common tax traps that arise in planning; Canada specific rules and issues; and general planning considerations and opportunities.





Daryl Jones ’97 was featured in Rolling Out for his accomplishments as an entertainment lawyer.




Former City of Gary Mayor and Valparaiso University Law School alumnus, Richard Hatcher ’59L will be honored for the 50th Anniversary of his historic 1967 election to office. Read more about that notable time in Indiana history.






Marian Drenth ’95L wrote an article for The Indiana Lawyer – “DTCI: Legal malpractice- the labyrinth of ‘a case-within-a-case’ 





In Memoriam

John Gordon Postweiler ’72L of Illinois, passed away on June 2, 2017. He was the beloved husband of Margaret (nee Behrens) for 36 years and the loving father of Gregory G. (Catherine) Postweiler. A dedicated attorney, John was a loyal friend, willing confidant, and sage counselor.



Peter Yelkovac ’94L has joined the firm Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos in Terre Haute, IN.




In Memoriam

Spring (Dzialakiewicz) Zmudzinski, ’91L  passed away October 15, 2017. She was employed at Weisman & Associates in Mishawaka for over 40 years starting as a secretary while in high school. She then became a paralegal and worked the last 28 years as an attorney.



Thomas Hillers ’07 has joined the Iowa office of personal injury law firm Hupy and Abraham. He also won the Iowa Bar Association President’s Award in 2016 and is president of the Iowa Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division.





Alumni Class Notes, October 2017

The Honorable Roland A. Herrmann ’57 received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who



Jeffrey Clymer ’92 was appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb to succeed Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa ’73, who retired from the bench October 3rd.




In Memoriam

Scott Weaver ’74 passed away in October 2017. Scott graduated from Marquette High School (’67), moved on to Marquette University (’71), and finally Valparaiso (’74), where he attained his Law Degree. He practiced law for 30 years, first for Patrick & Hurt and then as a partner with Mudroch, Halaska, & Weaver. After leaving law, Scott worked for such esteemed institutions as Strong Capital Management, Cardinal Stritch University, Jesuit Partnership, Milwaukee School of Engineering, and VITAS Healthcare. He is survived by his wife and three children.



John Bouman ’71, ’75L is the president of Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. Listen to his compelling interview on NPR’s Morning Shift.




In Memoriam

Jack Lund, ’67L passed away recently. During the 1950s and early 1960s he was a musician who played trombone and flute in a number of different bands and symphonies. During this time he crossed paths with many famous people in the music and entertainment industries, including Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, Louis Prima, and Jimmy Durante. After graduating from law school he maintained an active law license in his profession for 50 years, though he was more or less retired in his later years.



In Memoriam

Judge Arthur Keppen, ’52L  passed away October 9, 2017. After graduating from law school he opened up his own law office. In 1976 he was appointed a La Porte Superior Court judge, in which capacity he served until retiring in 1990. Surviving family members include his daughter Rose Bredeweg, ’79.



Allison Sleight, ’09L recently opened a law firm, Thacker Sleight PC, together with her business partner, Connie Thacker. The firm specializes in family law.





Jesse Green ’99 and wife Sarah welcomed a baby boy, Alexander Samuel Brenner Green, in July.





Alumni Class Notes, September 2017


Ben Geelan ’12 has been hired by the real estate broker Holliday Fenoglio as a director in its Phoenix, AZ office.




Steve McClure ’11 is running for the 50th District of Illinois State Senate seat. 






Stephanie L. Hoover ’10 joined Beasley & Gilkison LLP as an associate attorney.



Jeffery E. Wallace ’87 was recognized for his work in Real Estate Law by Woodward White’s The Best Lawyers in America.






Riele Sims ’15 recently accepted two Pro Bono positions. She was appointed co-chair of the Professional Development Committee of the Cook County Bar Association and asked to become a member of the Chicago Regional Alumni Council for Valparaiso University Law School.





Kathryn (Peterson) Reynolds, ’06L has been announced as general counsel by Nevada Governor Briana Sandoval.




Justin Vining, ’10L recently unveiled his massive 20 ft. x 40 ft. painting called “The Journey from the Outside in” at Butler University’s Clowes Memorial Hall.





Beau Liegeois, ’07L announced his candidacy for Wisconsin’s 8th congressional district.




Peter A. Hessler ’78 has been named Attorney of the Month by Attorney At Law magazine.






Judge William Alexa ’73 was honored in the House of Representatives by Congressman Pete Visclosky for his more than 30 years of public service.




Alfredo Estrada ’15 was named as one of the 20 Professionals Under 40 in Northwest Indiana







Andrew “Andy” Black ’85 has been named chief of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Public Safety.




George Patrick ’92 was honored at the Indiana State Bar Association awards luncheon for practicing law for 25 years. 





1st Lieutenant Louis F. Glinzak ’14 had an article published in the September edition of the Marine Corps Gazette (pg. 46)





Alumni Class Notes, August 2017

Peter Petros ’95 was newly appointed to the regional Board of Directors of The American Red Cross. 





John Bahner, ’73L passed away in  July. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army with the rank of captain, serving in Germany and Vietnam and earning the Bronze Star. He also served his undergraduate alma mater Wake Forest University in many capacities including the Alumni in Admissions program, Presidential Scholarship Committee, and the James B. Hunt Scholarship Committee.

Judge Stephen Davis ’73 was honored in a retirement ceremony from Delta County Circuit Court with a framed portrait signifying his 23-year career on the bench. 






Katrina Castillo’13 was awarded “Star of The Year” by the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division 2016-2017.




Kimberly Jeselskis ’00 is an attorney in the newly merged firm, Katz Korin Cunningham, P.C. Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman merged with Katz & Korin P.C.






Alumni Class Notes, July 2017


Troy Rafferty ’94 of Levin Papantonio law firm in Pensacola, FL wins $150M medical fraud suit.




Seth TeBeest, ’13L has joined the Peoria office of law firm Heyl Royster.He concentrates his practice on technology licensing, intellectual property commercialization, corporate transactions, and tort litigation.



Kristina Jacobucci ’04 became one of Indiana’s 71 certified Family Law specialists. Kristin was certified by the Family Law Certification Board, an independent certifying organization recognized by the Indiana Supreme Court.



Justin G. Jochums ’02 has announced his candidacy for Fulton County State’s Attorney in the 2018 General Election.

Karen Kao ’12 joins Lipson Neilson Law Firm in Las Vegas, NV.






Eric J. Skwiat, Law ’15, has joined Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP as an associate in Chicago, IL.





Aja Carr Favors was named Director of Regulatory Compliance for the Mission Investment Fund of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In this role, she ensures that the Mission Investment Fund\’s complies with federal and state regulations related to the issuance of exempt securities.





Bethany Sanchez ’01 was recently named to the Nevada Business Magazine’s 2017 Legal Elite list.





Alumni Class Notes, June 2017

Robert Shafis ’80 is now the Territorial Director of Planned Giving for the Central Territory of the Salvation Army, Hoffman Estates, IL.







Kathy Farinas ’97 was a part of a contingent of Indiana female trial lawyers who went to Washington, D.C., to participate in the 20th anniversary of the American Association for Justice Women Trial Lawyers Caucus lobby day.




Christopher Becker ’95 was named as a member of the Campus Sexual Assault Workgroup in Lansing, MI tasked with developing resources for assault survivors.


Alumni Class Notes, May 2017


Rocco deGrasse ’84 has recently moved to The Claro Group, a leading business disputes and litigation consulting firm. He is a Managing Director and co-leader of Claro’s Investigations service offering.





Doug LaLone ’91, ACG Detroit President and a partner with the Bloomfield Hills Law firm of Fishman Stewart PLLC, was a recipient of an ACG Global Meritorious Service Award for his leadership of ACG Detroit.





Courtney C. Smith ’15 joined Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP’s as an associate attorney in the firm’s Family Law group.




Galen Bradley ’95 wrote an article published in the Indiana Lawyer titled: “What to consider when preparing for mediation”





Alumni Class Notes, April 2017


Paul G. Krentz ’83 was recognized in Leading Lawyers Magazine in the 2017 Real Estate Edition.





Ann Marie Woolwine ’05 joined Krieg DeVault ‘s Commercial and Real Estate Lending Practice Group






Josh Brown ’06 has a successful, top-rated franchise podcast.





Andrew David ’95 opened David Legal in Logansport, Indiana. 







The Honorable Scott R. Geddes ’95, was sworn in as a Judge of the General District Court, Twenty-Third Judicial District in Virginia, on February 17, 2017.




Alumni Class Notes, March 2017

Michael E. ’00 and Shelice R. Tolbert ’00, the husband and wife legal team of Tolbert and Tolbert, LLC will be presented with the Katie Hall Educational Foundation’s 2017 Co-Merit of Distinction Award on Saturday, April 8th. 







F. Joe Jaskowiak ’79 was listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2017 in the category of Litigation-Insurance






Larry Evans ’62 was selected by Best Lawyers in America 2017 in the categories of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation-Construction Law, Litigation-Labor and Employment Law, and Litigation-Real Estate Law





Ashley Kutz Kelley ’08 was recently named a Roper St. Francis Fellow and an American Bar Foundation Fellow.




C. Nicholas Cronauer ’11 along with his trial team obtained a five million three hundred thousand ($5,300,000) jury verdict against Metra Railroad for an injured railroad worker after a 5 1⁄2 week long jury trial.





Leroy Maxwell, Jr. ’11 was selected as a 2017 Top Attorney by Birmingham magazine.





Erica Maar ’16 has joined the Crown Point, Indiana office of Reminger Co., LPA. 







Clifford D. Johnson ’80 has been appointed interim U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana.




Valerie Johnson ’14 was named Corresponding Secretary of Marion County Bar Association in Indianapolis, IN. valerie-johnson







Mayra Rodriguez-Alvarez ’16 has recently been featured in the news for her contribution to the No More Secrets campaign to help eradicate child sex abuse in Indiana.



Michael M. Bell ’03 has been named a 2017 “Leader in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weeklymichael-bell






Alumni Class Notes, February 2017




Michael Tolbert ’00 was named a Super Lawyer for litigation.




Kirsten Kaiser Kus ’08 was named a Super Lawyer and a Rising Star. Super Lawyers have been identified by their peers to be among the top 5% of lawyers in their state. Rising Stars have been identified by their peers to be among the top 2.5% of lawyers age 40 or younger in their state, unless they have practiced for no more than 10 years.

Attorney Kirsten, of Bryce Downey & Lenkov LLC, 200 N. LaSalle St., was photographed September 11, 2014.





Cornell Boggs ’85 has been named General Counsel of Toys “R” Us. Toys“R”Us, Inc., the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, named Cornell Boggs (’85) as its Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Mr. Boggs joins Toys“R”Us from Dow Corning Corporation, a large multinational based in Midland, Michigan, where he served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. In that role, he oversaw teams in Asia, Europe and Latin America, in addition to the U.S. and was responsible for Legal, Government Affairs, Compliance and Ethics.

Cornell Boggs






The State Journal-Register acknowledges Valparaiso University Law School alumnus Alex Rabin ’03, who became chairman of the Board of Governors for Shriners Hospitals for Children-St. Louis. alex2






Alumni Class Notes, January 2017

ahuja-from-linkedin24kMMM Strengthens Highly-Ranked Hospitality Practice – Adds Partner Samantha Ahuja ’04.Read more details here.





Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn Adds Olivia Robinson ’16 as an Associate Attorney robinson_olivia-kddk-2016-195x260






Alumni Class Notes, November 2016



Nancy Pirkey ’93 was recently recognized during the Wisconsin School Attorneys Association (WSAA) membership meeting and named a recipient of the 2016 George Tipler Award. Read more here.




Alumni Class Notes, October 2016

judgevaidik-21Judge Nancy Vaidik (’80) was re-elected chief Judge of Indiana Court of Appeal





Alumni Class Notes, September 2016


Dustin H. Allen (’08) was recently named president of the Indiana Creditors Bar Association.




fisherJennifer Fisher (’14) was recognized as a “Young Lawyer of the Year” by the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (2016)






Judge Greta Friedman (’84) was awarded “Judge of the Year” by the Indiana Criminal Justice Association.




Leane Cerven ’83 and Dana Zivkovich ’06

Both Alumnae were awarded Influential Women in the Law of Northwest Indiana for 2016. Leane was awarded 2016 Overall Influential Woman of the Year.




Alumni Class Notes, August 2016



Aja M. Carr-Favors (’13) has been named Director of Trust Administration for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As a senior member of the ELCA foundation, Carr-Favors assists with the administration of a $600M endowment fund and leads decisions around the organization’s $70M charitable trust program.


Tamra Walz (’91) recently became the court administrator at the Nebraska Workers’Compensation Court.




Peter L. Krentz, (’56) was honored by the city of Plano, IL for serving 60 years in the area as an attorney.



*In Memoriam* Condolences to the family of alumnus Randolph W. King, Jr. ‘(69) who passed away in Prerov, Czech Republic on June 24, 2016. Mr. King was a member of the 1974 Moot Court team which competed in the New York semi-final competition with fellow VU Law students Gary Matthews (’75) and Mark Ilten (’75).



Deborah Thomas, (’77) a Wayne County Circuit Court judge since 1995 declared her candidacy for justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. The long-time judge decided to run in an effort to bring “greater balance to a court that has moved consistently to the right in recent years.”

Hon Walker


Cynthia Walker, (’82) the 50th District Court Chief Judge was presented with Professionalism Award from theOakland County Bar Association (OCBA), recognizing her compassion for and dedication to those she serves.



Daryl Witherspoon (‘95), recently named general counsel of the Defense Contract Audit Agency.




Jeffrey D. Muntz (03) was named one of the 10 best attorneys in Illinois for best client satisfaction.



De Vries

Martin De Vries (’89) was appointed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, to serve as Judge on the Dodge County Circuit Court.





Alumni Class Notes, July 2016

Wolf, Victoria R







Victoria R. Wolf (’07) and Wolf, Victoria R (’90) were elected to serve as officers and members of the Board of Governors of the St. Joseph County Bar Association for the fiscal year July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. Read the press release here..


Alumni Class Notes, June 2016 




Travis Stegemoller (’12) recently started as a trademark attorney with Adidas in Indianapolis, IN.





Jeffrey D. Muntz (’03) was named one of the 10 best attorneys in Illinois for best client satisfaction.





Alumni Class Notes, April 2016





Charles J. Fleck (’67), a partner with Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, was named an Illinois Leading Lawyer







C.Jesse Green (’99),  authored a featured article in the Michigan State Bar Journal. Also, his most recent book “Open House: Debunking the Myth of the ‘Happy Homeowner'” was released this past December.





Sarah (Xiaohua) Zhao (’92) has joined Faegre Baker Daniels as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice.





C. Lopez









Cecilia Lopez (14), Bradford Shively (14), and Victoria Wolf (07), were named 40 under 40 by the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce.







Paul Krentz (83) was named an Illinois Super Lawyer along with two other Partners at his firm, Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C.





Alumni Class Notes March 28 2016 



Lynda A. Bennett (94)  Partner and Chair of the Insurance Recovery Practice, has been named one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ. Lynda was honored along with the rest of this year’s winners at a ceremony in Somerset, New Jersey.






The state’s Judicial Nominating Committee, which screens potential Supreme Court justices, named Mark Lienhoop (’81) as one of 15 semifinalists chosen to interview for an upcoming open spot on the state’s highest court.





Starkey Sarah photo



Sarah Starkey ’07, partner at the law firm Cohen Garelick & Glazier, has been named a Super Lawyer Rising Star® in the practice area of Family Law. This is the fifth Super Lawyer Rising Star honor for Starkey.






Alumni Class Notes  February 2016

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Elizabeth J. Barnes ’06 has been promoted to partner at the law firm of Church Church Hittle & Antrim as of January 1, 2016. Read more in a press release, here..





Alumni Class Notes January 2016







Shelice R. Tolbert ’00 was inducted at the Lake County Bar Association’s 31st President. See more photos from the induction ceremony, here.








Ashley Kutz Kelley ’08 has been promoted to Partner at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP.









Alison B. Crane ’06 was recently elevated to Principal in the firm, Jackson Lewis’ Chicago office. Ms. Crane is one of 12 newly elevated Principals throughout Jackson Lewis’ 57 locations. Read more of her press release here..






B. Hall



Brandon C. Hall ’09 has been named “Rising Star” in 2016 by Chicago Magazine & Illinois Super Lawyers. 





J.H. Funk



J.H. Funk ’10 selected by The National Advocates as a “Top 40 Under 40” Wills, Trusts & Estates Lawyer in the State of Illinois









Rick Soria ’07  who serves as campus president for the Ivy Tech Community College Michigan City campus, has announced his resignation. Beginning March 1, he will serve as president for Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida.







Julie Lemke ’04, published an article entitled, “Practical Considerations in the Use of Colorado Beneficiary Deeds” in The Colorado Lawyer magazine.






Alumni Class Notes December 2015 





David Yoder ’74, who is set to retire at the end of the year as executive director of Legal Aid of East Tennessee, will receive the Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year Award.








Melissa Miller Proctor ’96, a shareholder of the national law firm Polsinelli in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been selected to serve on the Working Board of the Metropolitan Phoenix Export Alliance (”MPEXA”).  Proctor has spent her career handling international trade, import and export legal matters for companies throughout the United States and abroad.



KielianGerald Kielian ’75L, selected to be new Will County Public Defender











Danielle Campbell ’14L, James Dillon ’13L, O. Adedeyin Gomih ’06 and Laura Wyrick ’13L were apart of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Leadership Development Academy’s Class of 2016.










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Joel R. McClellan ’13L has been designated a Virginia Legal Elite lawyer in the Young Lawyers (Under 40) category by Virginia Business magazine.







Kiley R. Burlas ’15L joined firm Rathje & Woodward, LLC in Wheaton, IL. Read the press release here.




Brianna Schroeder



Brianna Schroeder ’09 L opened her own firm Janzen Agricultural Law LLC.







Kim Ferraro ’07L with the Hoosier Environmental Council, won a $50 million dollar judgment against a company that plagued an Elkhart County neighborhood for nearly ten years.








Congratulations to Yamir Gonzalez-Velez, ’14L, who has been appointed Logansport city attorney. Yamir Gonzalez-Velez is an associate with Robert L. Justice and will be the first woman to serve as lead city attorney.






Valparaiso University Law School alumnus, Mark Roscoe,’83L, discusses his talent for creating fashion to help others. Roscoe is featured in WGN Chicago’s Very Own video.








Brett L. Warning ’88L, is Of Counsel with Emerson & Elder, P.C. in Chicago, practicing primarily in insurance coverage litigation and commercial litigation.





Alumni Class Notes November 2015




Stacy Prince ’00L,was recently named Vice President of Risk Management for Adventist Health System in Altamonte Springs, FL.





Greg Vega

Gregory A. Vega ’80L, was elected President of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys SAN DIEGO, CA






Charles R. “Chip” Brehmer ’92L, A Superior Court Judge for the State of California, County of Kern was elected by his peers as the next Presiding Judge for Kern County.



Valpo grads elected to Indiana State Bar Association board of governors

The following Valparaiso University grads were elected to the board of governors of the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) at its annual meeting in French Lick earlier this month:

JasitisMichael J. JasaitisCrown Point, was elected to the board of governors of the ISBA. He is a partner at the firm Austgen Kuiper Jasaitis.





tolbert-portraitMichael E. TolbertGary, was inducted as chair-elect of the House of Delegates of the ISBA. He is a partner at the firm Tolbert & Tolbert.




The following Valparaiso University School of Law grads were elected to the board of governors of the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) at its annual meeting in French Lick earlier this month:

  • FrymanBenjamin D. FrymanValparaiso, has been installed as chair of the Young Lawyers Section of the ISBA. As YLS chair, he will serve on the board of governors. He is a founding partner and the current CEO of the firm Schwerd Fryman & Torrenga.
  • Michael J. JasaitisCrown Point, was elected to the board of governors of the ISBA. He is a partner at the firm Austgen Kuiper Jasaitis.
  • Michael E. TolbertGary, was inducted as chair-elect of the House of Delegates of the ISBA. He is a partner at the firm Tolbert & Tolbert.







Gensel and Rowan



Porter County Prosecutor and alumnus, Brian Gensel ’84 was recognized Monday for his support of Deputy Prosecutor and alumnus Ryan Rowan’11, participation in the Indiana National Guard.








Pollock and Tolbert
Teresita Avila
Dino Pollock ’08, and Teresita Avila ’83 were honorees at the 2015 BLSA/LLSA 1L Welcome Dinner.









Alumni Class Notes Week- October 12-16, 2015

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Trent A. McCain ’02 was named to Chicago Public Media’s Community Advisory Council to serve a two-year term starting next month.






Alumni Class Notes Week- October 5-9, 2015





Michael Tolbert ’00 was just elected by the House as chair elect of the House of Delegates of the Indiana State Bar Association.







Marie A. Failinger ’76 is serving as interim dean of Hamline University School of Law during 2015 as it plans a merger with William Mitchell College of Law.  She is a 2015 recipient of the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman award which is presented to a teacher who has inspired a student to create an organization. Her student Asma Saroya, who co-founded the Council on American Islamic Relations-Minnesota chapter, nominated her for this award.





Alumni Class Notes Week- September 21-25, 2015


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Scott D. Larson ’98L was recently appointed a Circuit Judge in Adams County for the Eighth Judicial Circuit. Read more in the Illinois Supreme Court Press Release.





Alumni Class Notes Week – September 14- 18, 2015

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Honorable James S. Cowlin ’82L was appointed as appointed to Resident Circuit Judge of McHenry County beginning in the month of September. Read more in the Press Release. 









Mike Roth ’94L has been announced as the new President of Law Weathers in Grand Rapids, MI. View more on his firm profile here.





Howard & Howard

Howard & Howard



Michael Bell ’03L was recently named as on of the Michigan Super Lawyers and Michigan Rising Stars of 2015. Read more in the Press Release.










Stanley Stek ’78L was recently honored as a “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers 2016.






Alumni Class Notes Week- August 24-28, 2015

Wabash_Bill Hartley



William C. Hartley, Jr. ’96L, was recently appointed the  new chairman of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council (IPAC) Board of Directors. He was elected to the post during the recent IPAC 2015 Summer Conference in Merrillville. Mr. Hartley has been the Wabash County Prosecutor for 12 years. Read the official press release here.





Alumni Class Notes Week – August 10-14, 2014


Dan Smolnik ’86L has been appointed by the Connecticut General Assembly to the  Commission on Connecticut’s Leadership in Corporation & Business Law. Dan also currently serves as Secretary Treasurer of the Tax Section of the Connecticut Bar Association and as Chairman of the Federal Business Tax Subcommittee.










Jeffrey W. Ahlers ’87L was listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016. First published in 1983, The Best Lawyers in America has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Read more here








Alumni Class Notes Week – July 27-31, 2015




Shelice Tolbert ’00 was featured at a guest commentary writer in the NWI Times regarding the United Way’s Day of Caring on August 21, 2015 in NWI. Check out the article here.




Current 3L, Maya Rodriguez-Alvarez was featured for her work with the Hammond High School Girls Soccer team. Read more here.



Perry Browder





Perry J. Browder ’88L was elected as the Second Vice President of Illinois Bar Foundation. Read the press release here.



Alumni Class Notes Week – June 8-12, 2015


Hugo Gamez ’10L recently won an appeal in the Central district Court of Appeals for an age discrimination case wherein the lower court granted Defendant a motion for summary judgment on all causes of action. Mr. Gamez also started his own firm in November 2014.






Leah McNeely ’11L,an attorney in the firm Quarles & Brady LLP’s Health Law Practice Group, set up and ran pro bono programs which received an award. Read more about the award and programs here.








Paul A. Rossi ’97L, David Andrick ’03L and Brett Galvan ’14L are attorneys at Paul Rossi LLC which was recently voted one of the Best in The Region by the NWI Times. Read the official press release here.




Alumni Class Notes Week – May 25-29, 2015





Todd Schafer ’10L was featured in Find more information here.






Kelly Travis ’96L, a former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Berrien County, Michigan, has joined Kotz Sangster Wysocki P.C. in the Niles, Michigan office. View Kelly Travis Press Release here.





Alumni Class Notes Week- May 18-22, 2015


Melissa Miller Proctor ’96L has joined the national law firm Polsinelli as a shareholder in its Phoenix office. Proctor has extensive experience negotiating and advising manufacturers, retailers (including online retailers), importers and exporters on complex international trade issues involving customs law, export controls, embargoes and economic sanctions, anti-boycott compliance, federal and state agency requirements impacting imports and exports, and trade issues involving non-U.S. jurisdictions.





Alumni Class Notes Week – May 11- 15, 2015




Karen Tallian ’90L will be seeking the 2016 Dem nomination for governor of Indiana.








Attorney Sherry A. Hartzler ’02 has been named a Magistrate in the Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division, by Judge Charles Pratt succeeding Thomas P. Boyer. See more here.





Alumni Class Notes Week – May 4- 8, 2015

  • Hon. Edward J. Nemeth ’83L passed away on Saturday, May 2, 2015. During his 31 year legal career, Judge Nemeth served as the Porter County Juvenile Court Magistrate Judge from 2004 until his retirement in 2012. Our thoughts are with the Nemeth family during this difficult time.



Justin Vining  ’10L created a remarkable mural depicting the history of Urschel Laboratories at the company’s new global headquarters in Chesterton. See more here.




Katie Ellis




Katie Ellis ’14L is now an Associate Attorney at ZKT Law in Chicago, IL.



Alumni Class Notes- Wk April 20-24, 2015



An investiture was held on April 22 for Jeffrey J. Graham ’98L as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Indiana.



Alumni Class Notes – Wk April 13-17, 2015