State Capital Group - Success Stories


News from the Network
August 2018


Former Hawaii attorney general and Hawaii member firm Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher partner Mark Bennett was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last month, becoming the first appointee of President Donald Trump to be seated on the nation’s largest federal appellate court. Mr. Bennett, who served as the state’s attorney general from 2003 to 2010, practiced complex civil and appellate litigation at Starn O’Toole after leaving office. He fills the seat vacated when Ninth Circuit Judge Richard Clifton, who sits in Honolulu, took senior status at the end of 2016.


Florida member firm Ausley McMullen shareholder Major Harding has been chosen by the Economic Club of Florida to receive its Stan Tait Award. A longtime member of ECF, Mr. Harding has previously served as its president and chairman. The Stan Tait Award recognizes current or past ECF members who display character, dedication, integrity, and passion for service. Mr. Harding is a former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court. He now focuses his practice on appellate law at the firm. 


Amy Mathieu has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans as a litigation associate in the firm’s Pittsburgh office. She concentrates her practice on commercial litigation matters and has experience in a wide variety of complex civil litigation including breach of contract actions, construction delay, defective work, nonpayment claims, insurance matters, restrictive covenants, and derivative actions. Previously, Ms. Mathieu served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Christine Ward of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Civil Division. She received her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.


Reid Murry has joined Arkansas member Rose Law Firm in its Fayetteville office, where he focuses his practice on intellectual property matters and litigating trademark and copyright cases. Mr. Murry graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law and has an LL.M. in intellectual property from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. While at DePaul, he received specialized training in negotiating and licensing intellectual property matters and authored a research paper entitled, “The Future of 3D Printing and Patent Infringement.” He was also presented the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction Excellence for the Future Award in the field of entertainment law.


Benchmark Litigation has named Connecticut member firm Robinson+Cole partner Rhonda Tobin one of its “Top 250 Women in Litigation” for 2018. For more than 25 years, Ms. Tobin has concentrated her practice in the areas of insurance and reinsurance coverage, extra-contractual liability, and professional liability. She was one of only three female litigators in the state of Connecticut chosen for this honor. Ms. Tobin has significant trial experience in both state and federal courts. In addition to being a member of the firm’s insurance and reinsurance group, she also co-chairs its litigation section and is a member of its managing committee.


Alberta member firm Field Law last month awarded $75,000 to organizations and charitable initiatives throughout the province and the Northwest Territories as part of its Community Fund Program. Established in 2012, the firm created the program as a means to amplify and strengthen its charitable giving. Over the past six years, it has awarded $475,000 to over 80 organizations in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Its related online voting campaign generates favorable publicity for both program participants and the firm, while client involvement with the judging panel helps cultivate stronger community ties. Some of this year’s winning ideas included a summer soccer camp for underserved kids, a community kitchen for those living in poverty, a school gardening program, and a workshop to train volunteers to teach English to newcomers.


The New York Times on July 24th featured an article written by New York City member firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler partner Craig Newman entitled, “Suing Las Vegas Victims Got Headlines. Outcome Could Be Big News, Too.” In the article, Mr. Newman discusses MGM’s legal strategy of suing the victims of last year’s Las Vegas mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, owned by MGM, to claim immunity from liability under a federal law passed after the September 11th terrorist attacks. The lawsuits are the first-ever test of the Support Antiterrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002 or Safety Act, which was enacted by Congress to protect companies from lawsuits after terrorist acts and cyberattacks. To read the article in its entirety, click here.


Louisiana member firm Adams and Reese last month celebrated the 30th anniversary of its HUGS (Hope, Understanding, Giving and Support) Program across all its offices. Founded in 1988 by Mark Surprenant, a partner in the firm’s New Orleans office, HUGS is an employee volunteer program that has provided charitable and philanthropic programs with financial resources, donations and countless hours of hands-on volunteer support. HUGS has benefitted thousands of people in need through its connections with more than 200 organizations across the southeastern United States. Also at Adams and Reese, Mark Beebe has been elected to the International Association of Defense Counsel’s board of directors for a three-year term. A partner in the firm’s litigation practice group in its New Orleans office, Mr. Beebe represents clients in antitrust, securities litigation, officers’ and directors’ duties, contractual obligations and business and contractual disputes. His experience also includes multidistrict litigation and class action litigation.


James “Jamie” McKiernan, III has joined the litigation team in Kentucky member firm McBrayer’s Louisville office. Following the completion of a clerkship in its office, Mr. McKiernan spent four years with the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, where he managed civil litigation cases. He has practiced in both state and federal court. Mr. McKiernan is a graduate of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.


Switzerland member firm Kellerhals Carrard has announced it will be opening a new office in Geneva next January as the result of a merger with de Pfyffer Avocats, as well as the transition of six partners and nine associates from Python law firm’s Geneva office and Charles Ochsner, who is currently of counsel to Python in Tokyo. When finalized, the combination will result in the firm’s becoming the second largest in Switzerland – and its new office, one of the largest in the Geneva market. The newly formed Geneva office will be managed by Clarence Peter from Python and Emmanuèle Argand from de Pfyffer. De Pfyffer is currently made up of eight partners and 11 associates and trainees. Headquartered in Geneva, Python has approximately 80 practicing attorneys. The resulting combination will result in Kellerhals Carrard’s having a total headcount of approximately 195 legal professionals with offices in Zurich, Basle, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Sion, and Lugano, as well as representative offices in Binningen, Shanghai and Tokyo.


Jared Roberts has joined Michigan member firm Fraser Trebilcock in the firm’s Lansing office. An experienced civil litigation attorney with nearly two decades of experience litigating and resolving disputes in the areas of commercial transactions, real estate transactions, contracts, real property, and intellectual property, Mr. Roberts also defends professional and trade licensees and breach of duty disputes, handles real estate transactions, counsels clients on intellectual property, branding and mark registration, and provides general legal counseling to a variety of firms and individuals. He received his J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law. Also at Fraser Trebilcock , attorney Shaina Reed was recently appointed to chair the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel's general liability section. MDTC is an association of top lawyers in the state dedicated to the representation of individuals and corporations in civil litigation. For the past four years, Ms. Reed has been named a "Rising Star" in Michigan by Super Lawyers®, recognizing her for her talents in civil litigation, employment, and labor law.


Australia (Melbourne) member firm Hall & Wilcox has named four new partners and 14 senior lawyers. The partners are Maurice Doria, Andrew Murphy, Jacob Uljans and Ahranee Vijayaseelan, who further strengthen and expand the firms’ property and projects, statutory insurance, litigation and dispute resolution, and general insurance teams, respectively. Mr. Doria has more than 25 years’ experience in advising corporate and commercial law, contract preparation and negotiation, real estate development, governance, leasing, finance and dispute resolution. Mr. Murphy’s practice includes workers compensation, work injury damages/common law, s151Z recoveries, builders warranty claims, workplace law and alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Uljans practices predominantly in general commercial litigation. He represents clients in a wide range of contractual disputes, corporations and equity matters, insolvency proceedings, disputes with regulators, class actions, environment and sustainability disputes, trade practices and tax litigation. Ms. Vijayaseelan advises insurers in the defense of public and product liability claims including personal injury and property damage, as well as policy advice. She defends complex and varied claims on behalf of domestic and overseas insurers. With these appointments, the total number of partners at the firm stands at 77.