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Husch Blackwell Sanders Names 22 Attorneys to Partnership

News Releases
1.07.09

Husch Blackwell Sanders is pleased to announce it has named 22 attorneys to partnership, effective January 1, 2009. They practice from the firm’s offices in Kansas City, St. Louis, Jefferson City and Springfield, Missouri.

Practicing from the firm’s Kansas City, Mo., offices:

Eric J. Gervais joined the firm as an associate in 2002. He practices in the areas of Investment Management, Securities & Corporate Governance, and Mergers & Acquisitions. He represents issuers, including investment companies, in public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities, and counsels clients on securities law compliance, corporate governance, investment fund formation and investment and other general corporate and securities matters. Gervais earned his J.D. (2002) from Northwestern University and his B.S. (1998) from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he graduated magna cum laude and was an Honors College graduate.

Christine Gould Hamm joined the firm as an associate in 2003, in the Banking & Finance group. She represents commercial financial institutions in structuring, negotiating and documenting financial transactions and in workouts, restructurings and liquidations. She also represents corporate clients in general financing, real estate, acquisition, investment and other transactions. Prior to joining the firm, she practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York. She co-authored "Exploring the Possibilities for No. 2: All About Second-Lien Loans" for Business Law Today and is the Commercial Law Editor of the Missouri Bar’s Courts Bulletin. Hamm also serves as Co-Editor of the American Bar Association’s Commercial Law Newsletter, Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Syndications and Lender Relations Subcommittee and Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Syndications Chapter for ABL Treatise. She earned her J.D. (2001) from the University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude, where she was the Executive Articles Editor for the Notre Dame Law Review. She earned her M.B.A. (1998) from Yale University and her B.S. (1993) from the University of Saint Mary.

Michael Hargens joined the firm as an associate in 2003, in the General Business Litigation group. His practice has included the successful representation of clients in antitrust litigation, complex commercial litigation and general business litigation. He was previously a law clerk for the Honorable Edwin H. Smith of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District. Hargens earned his J.D. (2001) from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he made the Dean’s List and was a Roberts Scholar. He earned his B.A. (1998) from the University of Missouri-Columbia, as well.

David A. Schatz joined the firm as an associate in 2004. He works in the Business Litigation, Construction & Design, Malpractice Defense, and Labor & Employment groups. He works with clients on matters such as construction disputes and defects, surety, commercial disputes, medical malpractice, personal injury, insurance, employment and contract claims. He advises construction companies, design professionals and owners in their daily activities, such as drafting and negotiating contracts, dispute resolution and strategic planning. Prior to working at Husch Blackwell Sanders, he practiced law at Levy and Craig, PC. He earned his J.D. (2001) from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his B.S. (1998) from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Christi Hilker Vaglio joined the firm’s Labor & Employment group as an associate in 2004. She advises clients on human resources issues and defends employers against discrimination, retaliation, and wage and hour claims brought in state and federal court and administrative agencies. Prior to working at Husch Blackwell Sanders, she worked as in-house counsel for Cerner Corporation. She earned her J.D. (2001) from the University of Kansas and her B.A. (1998) from Kansas State University.

Ryan J. Watson joined the firm as an associate in 2005 in the Business Litigation group. He serves his clients in the areas of vexatious refusal claims, products liability, and general commercial litigation. Prior to joining Husch Blackwell Sanders, Watson practiced law at Evans & Dixon, LLC, in St. Louis and at Franke, Schultz & Mullen, PC, in Kansas City. He earned his J.D. (2001) from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his B.S. (1998) from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Practicing from the firm’s St. Louis, Mo., offices:

Robyn D. Buck joined the firm as an associate in 2001 in the Business Litigation group. She works with complex commercial litigation, class action, toxic tort, medical malpractice defense, and insurance matters. Buck is also a member of the firm’s Recruiting Committee. She earned her J.D. (2001) from Saint Louis University, magna cum laude, and two B.S. degrees (1998) from Central Missouri State University, summa cum laude.

Thomas A. Donaldson joined the firm as an associate in 2007. His practice focuses primarily on real estate and financing matters.  His background includes work in real estate acquisitions, sales, and leasing, venture capital transactions, and complex loan transactions, as well as many other matters. Prior to joining Husch Blackwell Sanders, he practiced law at Carmody MacDonald PC in St. Louis. He earned his J.D. (1999) from Washington University, where he served as Associate Editor for the Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law. He earned his B.A. (1996) from Duke University, cum laude.

James A. Hajek joined the firm as an associate in 2001, in the Business Litigation group. Hajek represents clients in all areas of business and general tort litigation. He has experience in a wide variety of disputes involving state, federal, and regulatory claims. Hajek earned his J.D. (2000) from Saint Louis University, cum laude. He earned his B.S. (1995) from the University of Dayton.

Christopher W. Hamlin joined the firm as an associate in 2003. He focuses his practice in corporate law at Husch Blackwell Sanders, representing clients in a broad range of industries. He advises clients on corporate and transactional matters such as mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, private equity and debt transactions, operational matters, and business arrangements. Prior to joining Husch Blackwell Sanders, he practiced law at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia. Hamlin is also a member of the board of directors of Industrial Aid, Inc., a Missouri sheltered workshop, and serves as president of the board. He earned his J.D. (2001) from Georgia State University, cum laude, and his B.A. (1990) from Vanderbilt University.

Adam S. Hochschild joined the firm as an associate in 2000. He works in the firm’s Business Litigation group and practices in numerous areas of litigation including securities, telecommunications, class actions, and real and intellectual property. He earned his J.D. (2000) from Washington University, where he served as Executive Articles Editor for the Journal of Law and Policy. He earned his B.A. (1997) from Yale University.

Fredrick J. Ludwig joined the firm as an associate in 2006. He works in the firm’s Construction & Design, Business Litigation, and Products Liability & Toxic Tort groups. Ludwig is an experienced speaker and author. Prior to joining Husch Blackwell Sanders, he practiced law at Brown & James, P.C. He earned his J.D. (2000) from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his B.A. (1995) from Washington University in St. Louis.

Erin M. Matis joined the firm as an associate in 2005, in the Estate Planning, Trusts & Estates, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, and Tax groups. She focuses her practice on tax and estate matters. Prior to joining the firm, she practiced at Evans & Dixon, LLC,  and Gallop, Johnson & Neuman, L.C. in St. Louis. Matis earned an LL.M. (2000) in Taxation from Washington University and her J.D. (1997) from Saint Louis University, where she was the Senior Editor of Articles for the Saint Louis Warsaw Transatlantic Law Journal. She earned her B.A. (1993) from Saint Mary’s College.

Melissa Marglous Merlin joined the firm as an associate in 2005, in the Business Litigation and Product Liability & Toxic Tort groups. She concentrates her practice in defending clients in business litigation and product liability matters across the country. Prior to joining the firm, she served as chambers counsel for Chief Judge David R. Herndon, United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois, and as a litigation associate at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC. She earned her J.D. (2001) from Washington University, where she graduated Order of the Coif and served as the Executive Notes and Projects Editor for the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy. She earned her B.A. (1998) from Vanderbilt University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Merlin is active in a number of civic and charitable organizations in St. Louis, including the Saint Louis Art Museum and the United Way of Greater St. Louis.

Cathi Kraetzer Ponciroli joined the firm as an associate in 2002. She represents clients in connection with leases, purchases and sales of local and national real estate assets, local government issues and construction matters. Ponciroli earned her J.D. (2002) from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she served as Managing Editor of the Missouri Law Review. She earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering (1999) from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Justin A. Relihan joined the firm as an associate in 2006. He focuses his practice on toxic tort cases, medical malpractice defense and product liability defense matters. He co-authored Chapter: "Interrogatories," Illinois Civil Discovery Practice 2006, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Prior to joining the firm, he practiced law at Johnson & Bell, Limited in Chicago from 2000 to 2005. He practiced at Brown & James, P.C. in St. Louis in 2006, as well. Relihan earned his J.D. (2000) from The John Marshall Law School and his B.A. (1997) from the College of the Holy Cross.

Christopher A. Smith joined the firm as an associate in 2001, in the Business Litigation group. He works with clients on national consumer, ERISA and antitrust class action matters and is a member of the firm’s Recruiting Committee. He earned his J.D. (2001) from the University of Texas and his B.A. (1998) from the University of Tulsa.

Dwayne F. Stanley joined the firm as an associate in 2005 in the Business Litigation group. He works with clients on commercial contract, insurance coverage, and products liability dispute matters. Prior to joining Husch Blackwell Sanders, he practiced law at Drinker Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia. He earned his J.D. (2000) from Rutgers University, where he served as Published State Constitutional Law Editor for the Rutgers Law Journal. He earned his B.S. (1997) from Evangel University, summa cum laude.

Marshall C. Turner joined the firm as an associate in 2005 in the Insolvency and Commercial Bankruptcy group. He works with clients on financial restructuring matters and has represented creditors and debtors in complex Chapter 11 cases. Prior to joining the firm, he practiced law at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York and clerked for the Honorable W. Eugene Davis, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He earned his J.D. (1999) from the University of Iowa and his B.A. (1994) from William Jewell College.

Practicing from the firm’s Jefferson City, Mo., office:

Robert L. Hess, II, joined the firm’s Business Litigation group as an associate in 2002. His practice focuses on representing and advising healthcare providers, businesses, political committees, and individuals involved in disputes with state and federal government. He earned his J.D. (2001) from Vanderbilt University, where he served as a Managing Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. He earned his B.E. (1998) from Vanderbilt University, magna cum laude.

Practicing from the firm’s Springfield, Mo., office:

Paul D. Satterwhite joined the firm as an associate in 2004. He works in the Labor & Employment and Education groups. Prior to joining Husch Blackwell Sanders, he was an attorney with Constangy, Brooks & Smith LLC, in Kansas City, Missouri, and Lange, Simpson, Robinson & Somerville, LLP, in Birmingham, Alabama. Satterwhite earned his J.D. (2001), with honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Satterwhite was elected into the Order of the Barristers and he served as the Co-chair person of the Craven National Moot Court Competition. He earned his B.A. (1996) from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to attending law school, Satterwhite taught middle school for two years in Los Angeles, California, as a Teach for America corps member.

Christopher F. Weiss joined the firm as an associate in 2006. He focuses his practice on general litigation, appeals, real estate and business transactions. He represents and counsels corporations, individuals, developers and investors in complex real estate transactions, redevelopment projects, condemnations, construction disputes, commercial transactions, employment matters, creditor’s rights, intellectual property disputes, and product liability. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Paul J. Simon of the Missouri Court of Appeals of the Eastern District. He also practiced law at Stone Leyton & Gershman, P.C. and at Carmody MacDonald, P.C. in St. Louis. Weiss earned his J.D. (1999) from Saint Louis University and his B.A. (1996) from the University of Notre Dame.