In The News

Blackwell Sanders Elects 12 New Partners

News Releases

By a vote of the partnership, Blackwell Sanders elected 12 new partners to the firm, effective January 1, 2008. They practice from the firm’s offices in Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.; and Omaha, Neb.

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

Amy M. Fowler joined the firm’s Labor & Employment Department as an associate in 2000. She left the firm briefly in 2001 to clerk for the Honorable G. Thomas VanBebber in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, rejoining the firm in 2003. She has successfully represented employers in employment-related administrative agency proceedings and state and federal court lawsuits across the nation. Fowler earned her J.D. (2000) from the University of Kansas School of Law, where she was a staff member of the Kansas Law Review. She earned her B.A.(1994) from Dartmouth College.

Robert A. Hammeke joined the firm’s Bankruptcy, Restructuring, and Creditors’ Rights Department as an associate in 1999. He has represented federal court-appointed receivers in multi-district receivership and commercial loan lenders with regard to large, complex foreclosure proceedings. Hammeke has successfully counseled clients on significant secured and unsecured interests in Chapter 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy cases including defending preference, fraudulent transfer, and other bankruptcy avoidance actions. He earned his J.D. (1999), summa cum laude, from Oklahoma City University, where he was a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar, as well as articles editor of the Oklahoma City University Law Review. He received his B.A. (1996), magna cum laude, from Fort Hays State University.

Deena B. Jenab works with clients proactively, providing advice to help clients resolve employee problems involving all workplace issues. Jenab has successfully defended employers with agency charges and state/federal court lawsuits on matters involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA, wage/hour, and employment contracts. Jenab is also a frequent trainer of management and non-management employees on human resources matters, including general employment law principles, harassment, ADA/FMLA, interviewing and management skills. Prior to joining the firm’s Labor & Employment Department as of counsel in 2005, she worked for Polsinelli Shalton Welte Suelthaus (1997-2005) and Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue (1989-1995). She received her J.D. (1989) with high honors from Duke University, and earned her B.A. (1986), cum laude, with high honors from Dartmouth College.

Hillary L. (Hayes) Klein joined the Labor & Employment Department as an associate in 2002. During her time at Blackwell Sanders, Klein has represented clients in all phases of employment disputes, from administrative proceedings through litigation. Notably, Klein was a key member of the team that defeated the nationwide class certification of store managers alleging wage and hour violations under federal and state law. In 2001, Klein received her J.D. with honors from Washburn University, where she was a member of the Moot Court Council. She also earned her B.A. (1998) from Washburn University.

Christopher J. Masoner joined the firm’s Real Estate Department as an associate in 2005, gaining previous experience with Thompson & Associates, P.A. (1997-2004). Masoner has successfully negotiated and closed real estate acquisition, financing, leasing , and sale transactions for multi-family, office, and commercial projects nationwide. He advises healthcare providers with respect to various real estate matters, represents lenders in multi-million dollar secured loan transactions, and is responsible for real estate aspects of asset acquisitions and divestitures by publicly-traded companies. Masoner received his J.D. (1997) from Wake Forest University and his B.A. (1994) from Colorado College.

Cori Casey Turner joined the firm’s Healthcare practice group as an associate in 2002. Turner plays an integral role in the representation of large health systems, hospitals, physician practices and other types of healthcare providers. She assisted in the development of a comprehensive compliance effectiveness audit tool utilized throughout the Midwest in addition to assisting with the development of complex joint ventures and other hospital-physician affiliations. Turner earned her J.D. (2002) with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law, where she was a Merit Scholar and the editor-in-chief of Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems. She earned her B.A.(1999), magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame.

Christina L. Weis joined the firm as an associate in 2001. She counsels foreign and domestic parties regarding a broad range of international business regulatory matters and transactions.  Specifically, her practice focuses on matters involving compliance with international trade laws including U.S. import and export regulations, as well as international business transactions. In addition, her practice serves businesses in a wide range of domestic matters including mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters. She received her J.D. (2001), M.B.A. (1998), and B.S. (1997) from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

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

Carrie Bechtold joined the firm as an associate in 1999. She has successfully represented brokers-dealers, investment advisers, financial institutions, corporations, their associated persons and other individuals in arbitration, litigation in state and federal court and in investigations and proceedings involving federal and state regulatory agencies and self-regulatory organizations. She also represents companies and individuals in insurance and annuity sales practices matters and other commercial litigation matters. She earned her J.D. (1999) from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, magna cum laude, and her B.S. (1996) from Quincy University, magna cum laude.

Daniel A. Peterson joined the firm as an associate in 2000. Peterson provides counsel to registered open and closed-end funds, unregistered investment vehicles, their sponsors and investment advisers. He represents businesses in a wide variety of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business formation and structuring, and general corporate matters. He earned his J.D. (2000) with distinction from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where he was a member of the National Moot Court Team and staff member of Urban Lawyer. He also earned his M.A. (2000) and B.A. (1996) from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Gary A. Pierson, II joined the firm as an associate in 2005, where he handles trademark, copyright, patent and domain name litigation. Pierson previously worked as an associate general counsel for Greenville College (2003-2005); Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson (2000-2003); and Zaideman & Esrig (1999-2000). Pierson has successfully counseled clients on trademark and copyright matters, advertising and marketing policies, file-sharing and streaming media policies, information technology policies and e-commerce issues. He received his J.D. (1999) from the University of Illinois, where he was a member of the University of Illinois Law Review and Frederick Green Moot Court Board. He earned his B.A.(1995), magna cum laude, from Greenville College.

Practicing from the firm’s Omaha, Neb., office:

Michelle S. Mapes joined the firm’s Corporate Department as of counsel in 2006. Prior to practicing at Blackwell Sanders, Mapes served as SVP and general counsel to a large agricultural lender and CAO and general counsel to a progressive health care transaction processing firm (2000-2006). She began her legal career at Kutak Rock LLP as an associate and later partner (1991-2000). Mapes has broad senior management and leadership experience of multiple business units including legal, finance, human resources, employee benefits, facilities, and IT departments. At Blackwell Sanders, she serves as legal counsel to numerous renewable fuel clients and closely held businesses providing counsel on a broad range of corporate and corporate finance related legal matters. Mapes earned, with honors, her J.D. (1991), M.B.A. (1991) and B.S. (1987) from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Megan Sebastian Wright joined the firm as an associate in 1999 and was named of counsel in 2006. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in commercial land or lease disputes and in enforcing and negating covenants not to compete. Wright also represents clients to protect intellectual property and has been involved in multiple securities cases. She received her J.D. (1999) with high distinction from the University of Iowa, where she was Order of the Coif, recipient of the West Group Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award, and senior managing editor of, The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice. She earned her B.A. (1996), summa cum laude, from Creighton University.