State Capital Group - Success Stories


News from the Network
February 2018


It is with great sadness and regret that we report the passing January 15th of Washington member firm Carney Badley Spellman name partner and former Washington governor John Spellman at the age of 91. He was among the original 17 governors who founded SCG Legal in 1989. As county executive from 1969 through 1980, Governor Spellman helped put Seattle on the big-time sports map with the creation of the Kingdome. As governor, he stood up to his own party in blocking a proposed oil pipeline under Puget Sound. Governor Spellman joined Carney Badley Spellman after leaving office in 1985. He remained active in the firm well into his 80s, and routinely came into the office until 2016.


Lee Goodman is leaving his post as a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission this month to rejoin District of Columbia member firm Wiley Rein as a partner. Mr. Goodman, a Republican, was appointed to the FEC by President Obama in 2013 to replace Donald McGahn, who now serves as White House counsel to President Trump. He served as chairman of the agency in 2014. Mr. Goodman has several decades of experience as an elections lawyer and adviser to presidential campaigns. He previously served as general counsel of the Republican Party of Virginia.


Quebec member firm Dunton Rainville continues its expansion in the Greater Laurentians-Lanaudière region with the opening of a fifth office located at 490 de la rue Laviolette in the town of Saint-Jérôme. The attorneys in the Saint-Jérôme office include Benoît Roberge, who specializes in business law, commercial litigation, insolvency and construction law; Rhéal Éloi Fortin, whose practice is focused on civil and commercial law; Anne-Marie Coutu, who focuses primarily on financial and banking services, as well as administrative, public and municipal law; Pierre-Alexandre Brière, who practices in the areas of civil law, civil and municipal responsibility, banking law and public law; and Maude Mongrain, who concentrates her practice on civil and commercial litigation.


Virginia member firm McGuireWoods will host a complimentary webinar at 1:00 p.m. EST Monday, February 26th, on anti-kickback and false claims issues in healthcare litigation. The webinar will feature McGuireWoods healthcare litigators Jeffrey Clark, David Pivnick and Brett Barnett, who will analyze key concepts from recent cases and provide insight on U.S. Department of Justice perspectives. Scott Becker, a partner in the firm, will moderate the discussion. To register, click here.


Eric Benson of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe has been named a shareholder and director of the firm. In his practice, Mr. Benson advises clients on business structure and formation, mergers and acquisitions, leases, contracts, employment, compensation and incentive plan issues, matters related to equities and debt, and general corporate matters. He joined the firm in 2013 after working with Partners Healthcare in Boston where he implemented a project using technological innovations and patient-entered data to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery. Mr. Benson is a graduate of Harvard Law School.  


The city of Bayonne, New Jersey, has agreed to a $400,000 settlement of a suit claiming it denied a zoning variance for construction of a mosque based on anti-Muslim bias. Adeel Mangi and Muhammad Faridi of New York City member firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler represented the plaintiff group, which went by the name Bayonne Muslims. The suit claimed that city officials turned down the group’s variance application after a series of public meetings on the application where objectors waved signs saying “Stop the Mosque” and told residents to go back where they came from. The settlement calls for city officials to cooperate with Bayonne Muslims as it obtains approvals for the mosque and prohibits retaliation against members of the plaintiff group. The court will retain jurisdiction in the case until a certificate of occupancy is granted.


Iowa member firm Nyemaster Goode is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. J.L. Parrish, Sr., and M.H. Cohen founded the firm as Parrish & Cohen on March 1, 1918. An influential business and commercial lawyer, Mr. Parrish represented Northwestern Bell, whose numerous and diverse matters provided the foundation on which the firm ultimately built its robust business focus. Over time, the firm’s name underwent several changes until, in 1935, Ray Nyemaster, who would become the eponym of the present-day firm, joined the partnership. Nyemaster Goode today employs 165 professionals, including 93 attorneys, and has offices in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Ames.


Arkansas member Rose Law Firm has elected Robyn Allmendinger as its first female managing member. She succeeds Craig Lair, who has held the position since 2015, and will now be serving as general counsel to one of the firm’s clients. Ms. Allmendinger graduated from the University of Arkansas William H. Bowen School of Law, joining Rose Law Firm immediately thereafter. She is a ranked lawyer in real estate by Chambers USA and is featured in Best Lawyers in America for her work in securities and capital markets.


Brian Bewley has joined Tennessee member firm Bass, Berry & Sims as a member in the firm's Nashville office. Mr. Bewley joins the healthcare practice group and focuses on regulation, compliance, enforcement and operational issues for healthcare companies. Leveraging his years of experience working in the healthcare fraud divisions at the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice, he partners with clients on their day-to-day compliance and operational needs in addition to helping them navigate complex compliance considerations in the context of various joint ventures, private equity acquisitions and other business transactions.


William Carmody has been named head of the financial services team at Ireland member firm Mason Hayes & Curran. The team works with financial institutions and companies on secured corporate lending, complex debt restructuring, project finance, leveraged and acquisition finance, commercial real estate finance, structured finance and Irish law issues in multijurisdictional finance transactions. Mr. Carmody takes over from Christine O’Donovan, who will continue in her role as head of the firm’s international asset finance team. Mr. Carmody specializes in advising on and implementing a broad range of debt-based transactions and provides strategic advice to lenders, borrowers and investors.


Michelle Elkin has joined Nebraska member firm Erickson | Sederstrom as an associate. Her practice will focus on estate and gift planning, trust administration, probate of client estates, and federal and state taxation plans. Ms. Elkin is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law.  


Governor Rick Scott has reappointed Dylan Rivers of Florida member firm Ausley McMullen to the Board of Architecture and Interior Design. Mr. Rivers is also a member of the probable cause panel by appointment of the board chairman. The Board of Architecture and Interior Design is responsible for reviewing applications for licensure, disciplinary cases, and rulemaking for architects and interior designers in Florida. Also at Ausley McMullen, Jonathan Hayes has published an article in The Florida Bar Journal, entitled Constitutional Rulemaking: What Happens When the APA Doesn’t Apply?, Fla. B. J., Jan. 2018, at 34, 34-37, which examines the administrative consequences of Florida’s recent constitutional amendment regarding medical marijuana.  Mr. Hayes practices in the area of commercial litigation and has worked on several issues related to medical marijuana licensing.


Michelle Chatelain Fullmer has joined Louisiana member firm Adams and Reese as an associate and member of the special business services practice group in the firm’s New Orleans office. Her practice will focus primarily on patent and trademark litigation as well as prosecution in patent, trademark and copyright issues. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Fullmer worked as a patent attorney for an intellectual property firm in New Orleans and as an associate at a boutique patent litigation firm in Washington, D.C. Ms. Fullmer earned her J.D. at Tulane University School of Law, where she also served as editor of the Tulane Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property.


Laura DelFratte, Jamie Inferrera and Kelly Pietracatello have joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans in its Pittsburgh office and Wesley Mishoe has joined in its Harrisburg office. Ms. DelFratte joins the firm’s business division; Ms. Inferrera, its hospitality group; Ms. Pietracatello, its business counseling practice; and Mr. Mishoe, its litigation division. Before joining the firm, Ms. DelFratte was a tax manager at a large public accounting firm. A Certified Public Account and Accredited in Business Valuation, she received her J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, where she served as editor of Pittsburgh Tax Review. Previously, Ms. Inferrera was a minute clerk for the Honorable Donna Jo McDaniel in the criminal division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. She is a graduate of Duquesne University School of Law. Ms. Pietracatello formerly was manager of legal services for a leading manufacturer of freight rail and passenger transit products. She received her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. And Mr. Mishoe earlier served as an assistant attorney general in Georgia and as a law clerk for the Honorable Susan Schwab and the Honorable William Caldwell of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law.


Benjamin Schwarzfischer of Germany member firm Graf von Westphalen has been promoted to associate partner. Mr. Schwarzfischer has been a member of the firm in its Frankfurt office since 2011. As a member of its mergers and acquisitions practice group, he focuses on advising German Mittelstand enterprises and family-owned businesses on corporate matters and mid-cap M&A transactions. He is active in acquisitions and business combinations of all types – mergers, acquisitions of shares, asset purchases and joint ventures. He recently advised German company H. Stoll AG & Co. KG in establishing an international joint venture with Myant, a technology and advanced manufacturing company in Toronto. Mr. Schwarzfischer is an active member of the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) and regularly publishes in legal journals on topics related to corporate law.


South Africa member firm VDMA is expanding its ranks with the addition of four new attorneys. De Waal Nigrini and Arianna Pedersoli have joined the firm as associates, specializing in corporate and commercial law. Stuart Roux has joined as an associate in the firm’s dispute resolution and insurance practice. And Anél Pistorius has joined as a candidate attorney in corporate and commercial law. The firm has also added shareholder activism, private wealth, compliance and insurance law to the range of services it provides its clients. Also at VDMA, Marilize Jerling, head of the firm’s corporate and commercial law practice, was quoted last month in the Mail & Guardian regarding recent actions taken by South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission to rein in companies engaged in criminal conduct.


Ten attorneys from Austin-based Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody have decamped to Texas member firm McGinnis Lochridge. The group, which includes former Graves Dougherty president Ed McHorse and partners Cliff Ernst, Clark Lutz, Martin Lutz, Doug Jones and Russell Booth, joined the firm on February 1st. The others are associates Alison Lenner, Shana McGirl and Martha Todd and of counsel Ali Gallagher. “I think the world of them as people and as really good lawyers,” said McGinnis Lochridge managing partner Doug Dodds, adding that the group will expand the firm’s capabilities in such areas as corporate and securities law, business law, estate planning, tax, and international transactions.


Australia recently announced the formation of a Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, Sydney member firm Holman Webb reports. Calls for a Royal Commission have grown in the last three years, particularly following a Senate inquiry into allegations of financial planning irregularities in parts of the banking industry. In announcing the formation of the Royal Commission, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, "Most Australians are consumers of banking and financial services, and we all have the right to be treated honestly and fairly by banking and financial services providers." The Royal Commission’s jurisdiction will extend to Australian banks, wealth managers, superannuation providers, and insurance companies. For more information regarding the Royal Commission and its work, contact Holman Webb partner Shane Roberts at or senior associate Callun Blurton at


Clinton Richardson has been named shareholder at Alabama member firm Capell & Howard. Mr. Richardson concentrates his practice in the areas of civil litigation and criminal defense. He is a graduate of the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University, where he was a member of the Board of Advocates, a student-run organization that supports the law school’s advocacy program. He also served as an editor of the Faulkner Law Review. Mr. Richardson currently serves as vice president of Clefworks, which promotes the education and enjoyment of chamber music in Montgomery. Super Lawyers® recently named him a 2017 Mid-South Rising Star.


With Canada’s recent enactment of legislation legalizing the use of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes, Ontario member firm WeirFoulds has launched a cannabis practice group. Composed of attorneys Michael  Dolphin, Conor Dooley, Shawn English, Ryan Filson, Ralph Kroman, and Michael McIsaac, the group, drawing on its corporate and securities law expertise, will advise clients on becoming licensed producers, seed financings, equity and debt financings, acquisitions, regulatory compliance, commercial leasing, taxation and employment matters, among other things. For more information, contact partner Michael Dolphin, who co-heads the group.