Class Notes

Deborah Hale, ’85 is a Principal Deputy with the Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office. After working in the courtroom on child abuse and neglect cases for most of her career, Hale is now in charge of legislative projects and confidentiality issues for the office. Hale has recently testified at several hearings in support of AB 506. If enacted, AB 506 will allow a social worker to consent to the HIV testing of infants when the parents cannot be located.


Debra Denslaw, ’89 is now the Faculty Services Librarian for Valparaiso Law.


Thomas Stefaniak, ’90 is now a judge in the Lake County Juvenile Court. Stefaniak started his career at the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office, working with the Lake County Drug Task Force. Stefaniak then became one of the four Lake County Criminal Court judges in 2001. Stefaniak said about his shift in courts, “I’m looking forward to working with the kids and the new challenges.”

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Ron WisniewskiRon Wisniewski, ’91 recently joined Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP as a Partner in the firm’s Chicago office. Wisniewski was formerly a solo practitioner at the Wisniewski Law Firm. He focuses his practice on Employment Litigation and Counseling, Civil Rights and Governmental Liability, Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes, Toxic Tort Litigation and Product Liability.

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Montana Governor Steve Bullock recently appointed Michael B. Hayworth ’95, to Montana’s Sixteenth Judicial District. Prior to his appointment, Hayworth served as a county attorney since 2000. Hayworth was one of seven applicants to fill the position, which covers seven counties in eastern Montana.

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David R. Novak ’00, is active in the Northwest Indiana community. He recently completed the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) course and completed the club’s test to become a certified running coach. He was also recently appointed to the Executive Council for Calumet (Munster) of Boy Scouts of America.


Tammy Somers, ’01- was recently hired as the Magistrate for the Hendricks County Superior Courts


Jon Pasky, 05– participated as a panelist for the LSAC event through the Chicago Area Law School Consortium. He represented solo/small firms and spoke to about 75 people that were in attendance. Thanks for representing VULS Jon.



Christopher Stemler ’05 was recently admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States during a ceremony held at the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. on June 3, 2013. He was one of fifty Illinois lawyers nominated by the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) for admission. Stemler was endorsed by two sponsors who are current members of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.


leticiaPerezLeticia Perez,’06 ran a close race for the 16th district Senate seat in the State of California. After graduating from Valparaiso Law, Perez returned home to California to work in the Kern County Public Defender’s Office. The special election was held on July 23rd, with Perez representing the Democratic Party.

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Jon Rogers, ’06 was recently hired as a staff attorney at Debra Miller’s firm in South Bend. Debra Miller is the chapter 13 trustee for federal bankruptcy court in the northern district of Indiana. Jon Rogers was also instrumental in assisting law school student, Jon Zimmerman, with landing a position in the office of Chief Justice David for the summer 2013.


Benjamin_Wojcik_01242012Benjamin M. Wojcik, ’08 was named as a 2013 Illinois Rising Star by his peers in this year’s “Super Lawyer’s” poll published in Chicago Magazine. This distinction is given to no more than 2.5% of lawyers in Illinois who are either 40 years or younger, or in practice for ten years or less. Wojcik was also admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States on April 24, 2013, during an annual trip sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association.  His admission was particularly noteworthy, as he and 16 fellow Chicago Bar Association Members were sworn in during open court by all nine Justices sitting en banc, an honor that it is limited to less than 1% of all attorneys who are admitted annually. Wojcik practices civil and commercial litigation for the law firm of Gordon Rappold & Miller LLC in Chicago.

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Sleight_AllisonAllison Sleight, ’09, has joined the firm of Kreis, Enderle, Hudgins & Borsos P.C. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Prior to joining the firm, Sleight completed notable federal clerkships in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She will specialize in areas such as litigation, family law, and appellate advocacy for the firm.

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A.J. Bryson, ’11 was recently hired at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in Wayne County, Indiana. Bryson will handle cases in the Wayne County Superior Court III. Bryson has previous experience in private practice and was most recently a contracted public defender in Fayette and Union counties.

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Yolanda Ruiz, ’13, is using her own experiences as an immigrant to the U.S. to help others. Ruiz and her family immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico when Ruiz was 10. This past academic year, Ruiz participated in Valparaiso Law’s Immigration Clinic and had the opportunity to represent a client dealing with immigration issues in the Seventh Circuit before Judges Posner, Rovner, and Manion.

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