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Home / Local / Missouri Lawyers Weekly honors 2011 Up & Coming lawyers

Missouri Lawyers Weekly honors 2011 Up & Coming lawyers

About 200 people packed the Mad Art Gallery on Thursday for the Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s 3rd Annual Up & Coming Lawyers event.

The awards honor attorneys under 40 or in their first 10 years of their careers.

This high achiever epitomizes excellence in the legal community and is identified as a leader in the community-at-large.

The awards, handed out this year to 48 lawyers from across Missouri, were presented by Missouri Lawyers Media Publisher Richard Gard; Editor Rick Jackoway; and Ad Director Lisa Sesti.

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Be sure to purchase photographs from the event.


The honorees

Dana Altieri

Dana M. Altieri, 35

Altieri, Kelly & Symonds

Practice area: Federal criminal defense, family law, municipal judge

Law school: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Birthplace: Kansas City

Your greatest fear? That Justin Bieber puts out another album.

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? On the night of April 6, 2010, I was sitting with family and friends at a local pizza place for my watch party as we nervously awaited the results of the Lee’s Summit municipal judge election. The long wait was over once I received a phone call from a dear friend letting me know the results were in — and I’d won.


Nick Angelides

Nick Angelides, 37

Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd

Practice area: Personal injury/toxic torts

Law school: Saint Louis University

Birthplace: St. Louis

Who is your legal hero? Hon. Judge Paul Simon

Who is your favorite
U.S. Supreme Court justice?
Thurgood Marshall

What’s your greatest fear? Destruction of the civil justice system


Liz Blackwell

Liz Blackwell, 40

Thompson Coburn

Practice area: Litigation; appellate

Law school: Vanderbilt University

Birthplace: Rolla

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? Hearing the defense verdict read after 10 weeks of trial in the Blankenship class action, or arguing in the Missouri Supreme Court.

What historical figure do you wish you could have dinner with? Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor in America


Betsy Blake

Betsy Blake, 31

Williams & Campo (Lee’s Summit)

Practice area: Municipal Law

Law school: University of Kansas (2005)

Birthplace: Kansas City, Mo.

What was your least favorite class at law school? I will exercise my Fifth Amendment right on this question (lest the professor of my “least favorite class” find out).

Who is your legal hero? I have always looked up to my parents, Mike and Mary Beth Blake (both of whom are attorneys).  I also look up to a number of the attorneys and staff at Legal Aid of Western Missouri, where I began my legal career (Michael Duffy, Dick Halliburton and Latricia Scott Adams come to mind).

Who is your favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice? Justice David Souter.  If you are wondering who my favorite television court judge is, it is Harry Stone from “Night Court.”


McClain Bryant

McClain E. Bryant, 30

Husch Blackwell

Practice area: Government compliance, investigations & litigation

Law school: George Washington University

Birthplace: Kansas City

What was your least favorite class at law school? Constitutional law.

Who is your favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice? Thurgood Marshall

What’s your greatest fear? A plane crashing with me on it!


Kori Carew

Kori Carew, 38

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice

Practice area: Torts, Product Liability & Employment Law

Law school: Drake University Law School

Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Your greatest fear? Not fulfilling my purpose.

Favorite website and why? Don’t have one.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? Host of a TV travel – culture – food show, i.e. a female, cuter Anthony Bourdain. Or a human rights fieldworker or advocate in a human rights organization. Or a diversity consultant. Or a political adviser and consultant.


John Crossley

John Crossley, 39

Husch Blackwell

Practice area: Real estate development and renewable energy

Law school: Washington University

Birthplace: Belleville, Ill.

Your greatest fear? Spiders. Easily spiders.

Who is your favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice? Antonin Scalia

Who is your legal hero? Any practitioner who protects the well-being of children.


Matt Dameron

Matt Dameron, 33

Office of the Missouri Attorney General

Practice area: Government – administration

Law school: University of Missouri

Birthplace: I was born in Jefferson City, but I spent my formative years (i.e., childhood and high school) in Sedalia.

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? My favorite moment was arguing in front of the Missouri Supreme Court. Although the questions were challenging, it was exhilarating.

What historical figure do you wish you could have dinner with? I would choose Saint Patrick. From slavery to sainthood, he led a fascinating and meaningful life.

Favorite website and why? I read several sites, but a daily “must read” is the website for The New York Times. I always find stories in the Times that are unique, and the Opinion section is great. I also read The Wall Street Journal and Politico. For Missouri coverage, I think the St. Louis Beacon provides excellent coverage.


Brett Emison

Brett A. Emison, 34

Langdon & Emison

Practice area: Product liability and catastrophic personal Injury involving vehicles, semi trucks, trains, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Law school: University of Missouri

Birthplace: Missouri

Favorite fictional character? Elwood Blues, a musician committed to family and friends.  He’s a religious man who may get into trouble, but for the right reasons.

Your greatest fear? Writing something silly in these answers.


Jo Leigh W. Fischer

Jo Leigh W. Fischer, 38

Armstrong Teasdale

Practice area: Fire and electrical liability; tort & catastrophic events

Law school: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Birthplace: Clinton

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? Securing a conviction in an arson/triple homicide trial, in which a woman and her two young children were killed.

Favorite website and why? www.weather.com.  I am a weather junkie.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? Serial killer profiler for the FBI.


Kelvin J. Fisher

Kelvin J. Fisher, 34

Shaffer Lombardo Shurin

Practice area: Civil litigation

Law school: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Birthplace: Pomona, Calif.

Favorite author? Harper Lee

Your greatest fear? Rodents

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? Hearing the judge utter the words “judgment for defendant” after representing defendant in my first major jury trial.


Chandler Gregg

Chandler Gregg

Strong-Garner-Bauer

Practice area: Trial lawyer

Law school: University of Missouri

Birthplace: Springfield

Favorite moment as an attorney: A tie between the verdicts in two cases. In one, a girl I grew up with (and have known since kindergarten) suffered a really bad neurological pain condition as a result of two wrecks that occurred weeks apart. The liability insurer for the defendant who caused the first wreck claimed her injuries were only related to the second wreck. The insurer initially refused to offer her any money. Then, before trial the insurer offered only about 4 percent of the eventual verdict.

In the other case, we represented a chiropractor whose practice was ruined when the Board of Chiropractors filed a complaint against him, and pursued his license, based on accusations of a woman who tried to extort money from him. The board didn’t talk to the doctor before proceeding; they didn‘t get the patient’s medical records; they admittedly hired an investigator whose sole job was to try to find evidence to convict him. As a result of the complaint and proceedings, the doctor had to sell his practice and his home. He and his wife were living out of a travel trailer when he was finally exonerated of the charges. Although the burden of proof at trial was high — requiring we prove reckless disregard for his rights and that there was no probable cause for the board’s proceedings — the jury returned a verdict for all of his financial losses.

Historical figure you would most like to have dinner with? Jesus; now wouldn’t that answer a lot of questions.

If you hadn’t been lawyer what profession would you have chosen? Probably a coach or a writer.


LaRea "Annette" Griggs

LaRea “Annette” Griggs , 47

McCollum & Griggs

Practice area: Plaintiff’s personal injury – focusing on wrongful death, dram shop, traumatic brain injuries

Law school: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Birthplace: Independence

What was your least favorite class at law school? Secured Transactions

Who is your legal hero? Judge Laura Denvir Stith is my legal hero. I admire her intelligence, her excellent legal writing and her tireless involvement in the legal community.  Every time I go to a legal function she is there and is always very gracious.

Who is your favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice? Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female jurist on the Supreme Court, is my favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice. While I do not personally agree with some of Justice O’Connor’s opinions, I respect the fact that she came from a rural background, she raised her family while starting her own law practice, she faced rejection from her peers many times throughout her career and, ultimately, made her way to the pinnacle of our male-dominated profession. I also appreciate her moderate, common-sense approach on many tough legal issues.

What’s your greatest fear? My greatest fear is probably the same as any other parent’s, it is the possibility that I could lose my child forever. It makes me afraid even to say it.


Stephanie Hosler

Stephanie Hosler, 38

Bryan Cave

Practice area: Corporate/transactions

Law school: Northwestern University

Birthplace: Gary, Ind.

Favorite fictional character? Jane Eyre

Favorite website and why? youtube

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? Elementary school teacher


Heather Jones

Heather A. Jones, 36

Seigfreid, Bingham, Levy, Selzer & Gee

Practice area: Real estate, corporate, mergers and acquisitions

Law school: University of Kansas

Birthplace: Kankakee, Ill.

Favorite author? I like a variety of authors and do not have a favorite.  I am currently reading books written by Kathryn Stockett, Sara Gruen and Mitch Albom.

Your greatest fear? Failure

Favorite moment as an attorney so far?  One of my favorite moments as an attorney so far was representing a client in the resolution of a dispute regarding the division of a closely held company. My client retained the company and continued the family business. I felt like I really made a difference in my client’s life.


Jason Kander

Jason Kander, 30

Barnes Law Firm

Practice area: Civil justice.

Law school: Georgetown

What was your least favorite class at law school? I really liked all my law school classes, actually. But at the time I was enlisted in the Army and was also enrolled in ROTC, so I had a lot of Army training classes. So technically “during” law school my least favorite “class” was the one where I had to go into the gas chamber and remove my mask.

Who is your legal hero? John Adams because he said this about what it means to be a lawyer in America: ”Now to what higher object, to what greater character, can any mortal aspire than to be possessed of all this knowledge, well digested and ready at command, to assist the feeble and friendless, to discountenance the haughty and lawless, to procure redress to wrongs, the advancement of rights, to assert and maintain liberty and virtue to discourage and abolish tyranny and vice.”

What’s your greatest fear? Being outworked.


Philip Lading

Philip J. Lading, 37

Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard

Practice area: Municipal law, employment law, business litigation, real estate, family law, personal injury

Law school: Saint Louis University

Birthplace: Efffingham, Ill.

Favorite author? Ayn Rand

Your greatest fear? That at some point this job will stop being fun.

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? Getting a jury verdict in favor of my client in a difficult dram shop case.


Betsy Loomer

Betsy Loomer, 32

Commerce Bancshares Inc.

Practice area: General representation with a focus on regulatory compliance related to Commerce Bank’s retail products

Law school: University of Missouri

Birthplace: Springfield

Favorite fictional character? Owen Meany

Your greatest fear? Dryer lint, but I guess that is more of a phobia. A true fear is losing my entire family.

Favorite website and why? Gmail.com. I have friends and family scattered all over the country and email is the best way to keep in touch with everyone easily.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? A writer. I truly enjoy writing and hope to publish a book eventually. I am lucky that as an attorney I can use my writing skills in my everyday work, but I think writing a piece of fiction would be a great challenge.


Todd Lubben

Todd Lubben, 34

Brown & James

Practice area: Legal malpractice/professional liability defense and business litigation. Since many of my clients, witnesses and experts have been attorneys, I have been very fortunate to work with and learn from some of the top attorneys in the St. Louis area.

Law school: Saint Louis University

Birthplace: Champaign, Ill.

Favorite fictional character? Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin’s character in “30 Rock”).  He commands attention, inspires confidence and has a witty personality.

Your greatest fear? Albert Pujols wearing a Chicago Cubs uniform

Favorite website and why? Above the Law. It helps me to keep up-to-date with both serious and entertaining issues facing the legal profession


J.D. Luhning

J.D. Luhning, 34

Pitzer Snodgrass

Practice area: Civil litigation

Law school: University of Missouri

Birthplace: Heron Lake, Minn.

Who is your legal hero? Donald Schupak

Who is your favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice? John Marshall Harlan

What’s your greatest fear? Failure


Darci Madden

Darci Madden, 37

Bryan Cave

Practice area: Class actions and commercial litigation

Law school: Washington University

Birthplace: Painesville, Ohio

Who is your legal hero? Marian Wright Edelman (founder of the Children’s Defense Fund)

Favorite author? Kazuo Ishiguro

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? Professor of political science

What website do you go to every day? Slate.com


John Mahon

John F. Mahon Jr., 32

Williams Venker & Sanders

Practice area: Personal injury defense: medical malpractice/products liability

Law school: Saint Louis University

Birthplace: St. Louis

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? Putting on surgical scrubs, gloves, cap and mask for a tour of the operating room and its equipment for a medical malpractice case. I have always liked fieldtrips.

What historical figure do you wish you could have dinner with? Winston Churchill

Favorite website and why? Lifehacker.com. It provides great tips and downloads for accomplishing everyday tasks in a better and more efficient way (I need all the help I can get).

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? Archeologist (think Indiana Jones)


Catesby Major

Catesby A. Major, 38

Bryan Cave

Practice area: Class action, commercial, and employment litigation

Law school: University of Kansas

Birthplace: Kansas City

What was your least favorite class at law school? For the most part, I really enjoyed law school, but I did not like my Secured Transactions class.  Maybe it was because it was at 8 a.m., but I just could not follow this class.  Thankfully, my bar prep class simplified it.

Who is your legal hero? I have many legal heroes and I am fortunate to be married to my biggest hero.  My husband has been practicing for about twice as long as I have, and when we started dating he was at the same stage in his career as I am right now. He helped me deal with many of the unexpected things I ran into during my first year of practice. Litigation by its very nature is adversarial, and sometimes your opponent is unnecessarily combative. He taught me not to take this personally.

What’s your greatest fear? Flying. It’s a necessary evil, but I still dread it every time I have to do it.


Richard Maltby

Richard B. Maltby, 35

Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown

Practice area: Construction, architectural, engineering and development law, civil and business litigation, real estate litigation, and alternative dispute resolution

Law school: Saint Louis University

Hometown: Springfield

Birthplace: Pontiac, Mich.

What was your least favorite class at law school? Legal Research & Writing. The transition to the unique style of legal writing is not easy, and I think there are growing pains for most people who go to law school (and beyond) in terms of figuring out how to use the law when putting pen to paper. In practice, I now relish the challenge of taking on a tough legal issue, developing the best (and hopefully well-supported) legal arguments, and then articulating that position through persuasive briefing and argument.

What website do you go to every day? Detnews.com. Doesn’t every Missourian want to know how the Red Wings played last night?


Irene Marusic

Irene J. Marusic, 38

Brown & James

Practice area: Premises liability, product liability, insurance law and arson-fraud litigation

Law school: Saint Louis University

Birthplace: St. Louis

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? When a jury returned a $10,000,000 verdict in favor of our clients in a wrongful death case, which was the first major case I tried, several years out of law school, along with a partner in the firm. Our clients were a surviving spouse and her two young daughters, who lost their father due to an electrocution incident. In an attempt to occupy the girls during trial, I would have them color pictures to hang in my office, which I still have hanging today. They recently came to visit me and just loved seeing their pictures still there.

What historical figure do you wish you could have dinner with? As a lover of ancient history, it would be Alexander the Great. Undefeated in battle. A true master of strategy.  Conquered much of the civilized world before the age of 32.

Favorite U.S. Supreme Court decision? Gideon v. Wainwright — right to an attorney.  Indicative of why our legal system is simply the greatest in the world.


Korb W. Maxwell II

Korb W. Maxwell II, 33

Polsinelli Shughart

Practice area: Real estate and economic development

Law school: The University of Texas at Austin

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Penn.

What word would your mother use to describe you? Perfect.  Note: I am an only child.

Who is your favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice? Chief Justice John Roberts for his ability to fashion opinion majorities, gifted advocacy and eloquent writing.

What’s your greatest fear? Professional boredom.


Kelly McCambridge

Kelly McCambridge, 37

McCambridge Law

Practice area: Trial Attorneys for Working Women

Law school: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Birthplace: Kansas City

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? Winning a big trial, hearing the jury read the verdict and seeing your client’s reaction is always amazing, but for me there is nothing better than when you first receive the stack of juror information cards at trial. You see the names and it is a moment of total exhilaration and possibility, anything can happen. It feels like such a privilege that you get to talk to these people.

My favorite personal moment as a lawyer has been helping clients and watching them heal. I had clients who lost their daughter to a drunk driver. When I first met them right after their daughter died, they looked like they hadn’t slept or showered in a week. They probably hadn’t. To see them now, they are not back to normal, but somehow they look stronger and younger than when I met them, like they are healing. I admire them.

Favorite website and why? My husband just showed me www.bettercallsaul.com. It is a website dedicated to promote fictional lawyer Saul Goodman, from the television show “Breaking Bad.” There is no case that Saul won’t take. If it’s not legal, Saul will make it legal. It’s so funny it makes me laugh until my face hurts and keeps me from taking things too seriously.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? I used to be a social worker and worked for Kansas City charities. These days I think being a children’s librarian would be great fun. My dad always says that when I became a Democrat I put the knife in his heart and when I became a lawyer I twisted the knife. Maybe I should be a dentist.


Lauren E. Tucker McCubbin

Lauren E. Tucker McCubbin, 32

Polsinelli Shughart

Practice area: Commercial and insurance coverage litigation

Law school: Washington University

Birthplace: Kansas City

Who is your legal hero? My father, Larry Tucker. He has a passion for the law and an intellectual curiosity that makes what we do seem like the most exciting profession on Earth. And yet, at the same time, he is unfailingly civil to his opponents and rarely gets mired in the downside of what we do. He carries his clients’ burdens as his own, and never forgets the toll litigation can exact from the parties – no matter how big or strong the parties may seem. He is always humble and frequently self-deprecating. Despite his successes, he does not take himself too seriously or inflate his self-worth. While he knows he isn’t saving the world on a daily basis, he sees honor in our profession and the role we play in upholding the rule of law. After 40 years of practice, he is not disenchanted. And, perhaps most importantly, he has demonstrated to me that you can be a hard working, dedicated, successful attorney and have a meaningful and fulfilling family life too. I am blessed to have the opportunity to follow in his footsteps.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since first grade, so I was seven the last time I considered an alternate career. Back then, I would have said artist. Now … I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What word would your father use to describe you? If I have to choose just one, I’d guess “funny.” (I think “talkative” would be a close second.)


Arthur McDaniel III

Arthel McDaniel III, 39

Polsinelli Shughart

Practice area: Tax credit finance; capital markets/commercial lending and entertainment

Law School: University of California-Los Angeles

Birthplace: Parsons, Kans.

Favorite author: Ernest Hemingway

Favorite U.S. Supreme Court decision: Brown v. Topeka Board of Education

Favorite moment as an attorney so far: Telling a family friend that we’d successfully settled her daughter’s wrongful death claim in connection with her father’s death.


Shane Mecham

Shane Mecham, 32

Levy & Craig

Practice area: Commercial litigation

Law school: University of Texas

Birthplace: Lincoln, Neb.

Who is your legal hero? James Madison wrote the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, which were ratified in 1791, and the last amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1992.  So I have to give him credit for both impact and staying power.

Favorite author? I enjoy Steve Martin’s humor and insight.  I recommend “Shopgirl,” “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” and “Born Standing Up.”

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? I was a debate geek in high school and college. If I had not become a lawyer I probably would have become a college debate coach.

What was your least favorite class at law school? Real property, which is ironic because I had to teach real property when I taught Law of Commercial Transactions at the UMKC School of Business.


Chris Kunza Mennemeyer

Chris Kunza Mennemeyer, 39

Chris Kunza Mennemeyer LLC

Practice area: Family law, estate planning, probate, criminal law, landlord/tenant

Law school: University of Missouri

Birthplace: Troy

What was your favorite class at law school? Tax. My undergraduate degree was Mathematics Education. I enjoy working with numbers.

Who is your legal hero? Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ray Price. He gives above and beyond. He truly cares about people in Missouri and elsewhere. He is a great role model, as he continues to volunteer his time and talents whenever needed.

What’s your greatest fear? Something tragic happening to my children.


Timothy Robert Muehleisen, 35

SmithAmundsen

Practice area: Commercial litigation, banking litigation, labor and employment

Law school: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Birthplace: St. Louis

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? Winning my first trial

What historical figure do you wish you could have dinner with?  Dwight D. Eisenhower

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? FBI agent


Quinn Murphy

Quinn Murphy, 38

Armstrong Teasdale

Practice area: Litigation

Law school: Saint Louis University

Birthplace: Springfield

Favorite fictional character? Wolverine

Your greatest fear? Heights

Favorite website and why? www.soonerscoop.com — University of Oklahoma football website; I am a huge fan and visit it daily.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? Creative writing author.


Kim Allen Murray

Kim Allen Murray, 39

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

Practice area: Immigration law

Law school: City University of New York

Birthplace: Berkeley, Calif.

Who is your legal hero? Justice William J. Brennan

Favorite author? Wally Lamb and Thom Jones

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? Creative writing


Jalilah Otto

Jalilah Otto, 33

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Practice area: Criminal law

Law school: University of Missouri

Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri

What was your least favorite class at law school? Constitutional Law.  At the time it seemed so archaic and impractical; however, after teaching Constitutional Law at Penn Valley Community College, I developed a real appreciation for the Constitution. The Constitution truly is a living document, and looking at how it has been applied in historical Supreme Court cases is extremely fascinating.

Your greatest fear? My greatest professional fear is becoming complacent and stagnant.  I have seen many of my colleagues become so comfortable in positions that they become afraid of trying something new. I believe you only achieve great success when you are willing to step outside of your comfort zone and take risks. I would like to spend my career constantly evolving, taking on new challenges, and conquering perceived obstacles.

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? For three years I prosecuted serious domestic violence offenses in Jackson County, Missouri.  In one case a man assaulted his girlfriend and broke both sides of her jaw. She ran out of the house, leaving her two children and drove herself to the hospital where she had immediate surgery. When I met her a few days after the attack, her mouth was wired shut and her face was so swollen that she did not even resemble her pre-attack photographs. I prosecuted her boyfriend, and he was sent to prison. She relocated to another state, remarried and recently had another child.  Occasionally, she emails me pictures of her new family, and they always make my smile. Receiving these emails and hearing a crime victim thank me for my help are definitely some of my favorite moments as an attorney. It is deeply rewarding to be able to help someone put the pieces of their life back together after such a devastating experience.


Angela Snellenburger Quinn

Angela Snellenberger Quinn, 39

Husch Blackwell

Practice area: Medical malpractice defense, long term care defense, business litigation

Law school: St. Louis University

Birthplace: Belleville, Ill.

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? Obtaining a defense verdict for my clients in a wrongful death/ medical malpractice trial. The case was especially tragic. It involved the death of a young mother after childbirth.  I represented the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist — two of the nicest, smartest and most conscientious health care providers that I have ever met. Everything about the case was sad — the death of a young mother and the allegations of negligence against my clients. I believed (and still do) that they did everything right. Regardless, the case was difficult because of the sympathy engendered. As humans, we often want to blame somebody when something tragic happens. In this case, the jury returned the right verdict – they resisted the normal human tendency to blame. I was extremely happy for my clients when we obtained the defense verdict, and they were so appreciative of my work. In the end, I feel that I really made a difference in their lives.

What historical figure do you wish you could have dinner with? Jesus

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? I would be working in nonprofit management. Homelessness is an issue close to my heart, so I would probably be working for some type of agency that provides housing and other supportive services to the homeless.


Jason Sapp

Jason D. Sapp, 36

Gray, Ritter & Graham

Practice area: Commercial and consumer litigation

Law school: University of Missouri

Birthplace: Morgantown, W.Va.

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? My firm represents a large number of farmers in litigation against a large multinational corporation. Our first “bellwether” jury trial lasted four weeks in federal court. I was sitting with our lead plaintiff in the gallery when the jury returned its verdict in his favor. Our client, a typical proud farmer, was very emotional. Sharing that moment put all of the long hours of work and preparation into the proper perspective. Our work has real impact on peoples’ lives.

What historical figure do you wish you could have dinner with? Abraham Lincoln. He guided this country through its darkest days. It would be interesting to hear his description of those times and get his perspective on our current national challenges.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? My undergraduate degree is in business administration, and I worked at Edward Jones for four years prior to going to law school. If I had not been a lawyer I likely would be working in financial services. One of the advantages of practicing in the commercial and consumer litigation area is that the practice involves my interests in both business and law.


Paul Satterwhite

Paul D. Satterwhite, 36

Husch Blackwell

Practice area: Labor and employment

Law school: University of North Carolina

Birthplace: Hollywood, Fla.

Favorite author(s)? Pat Conroy and John Irving

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? I would have been a teacher and coach. I taught fifth and sixth grade and coached seventh and eighth grade football, soccer and track at an inner-city school for two years before I went to law school. I loved teaching and coaching, but I was not too fond of the bureaucracy. I have remained heavily involved in education issues during the course of developing my law practice.

What website do you go to every day? Two websites: crossfit-springfield.com and espn.com


Jason Sengheiser

Jason Sengheiser, 34

Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District

Practice area: General/appellate

Law school: Saint Louis University

Birthplace: St. Louis

Favorite author? I think in terms of a contemporary author, I would say I enjoy the work of Jon Krakauer.  In particular, I am drawn to his ability to capture the ambiguity of the human quest for transcendence and adventure.

Your greatest fear? I have a lot of fears, but probably chief among them would be snakes.  To be sure, I do not wish snakes ill; I just really do not want to see or be near them.  However, I also have a lot of other less concrete fears.  For instance, I don’t want to disappoint myself or my loved ones.  I want to maintain my strength and motivation to persevere through difficulties and to not allow myself to be deterred from goals I set for myself.  Lastly, I want to leave this world a better place than when I entered it, and I fear not being able to do enough to make that a reality.

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? I don’t think I can name a specific moment.  I really enjoy wrestling with legal arguments every day in my work at the court of appeals.  The intellectual process of evaluating arguments on both sides of a case and helping to construct a legal opinion in a case is very gratifying.


Darren Sharp

Darren K. Sharp, 39

Armstrong Teasdale

Practice area: Civil litigation

Law school: Drake University

Birthplace: Des Moines, Iowa

What was your least favorite class at law school? Federal Income Tax Law

Who is your favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice? William O. Douglas for his staunch support of individual liberties.

What’s your greatest fear? The death of a loved one.


Aaron W. Smith

Aaron W. Smith, 35

The A.W. Smith Law Firm

Practice area: Serious injury and wrongful death

Law school: Rutgers University

Birthplace: Sedalia

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? The 45 seconds it takes a jury to walk back into the box and take a seat after deliberations.

What historical figure do you wish you could have dinner with? Clarence Darrow.

Favorite website and why? www.silg.com: A much needed networking tool for our legal community. It will provide better outcomes for seriously injured clients.


Amber F. Steinbeck

Amber F. Steinbeck, 37

Husch Blackwell

Practice area: Products liability, business litigation, insurance litigation, labor & employment, municipal, and securities litigation.

Law school: Temple University

Birthplace: Cameron

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? After obtaining a civil rights judgment, which was later named a Top Defense Verdict of the Year by Missouri Lawyers Weekly, I had the opportunity to argue the appeal before the 8th Circuit. The court affirmed. The experience and result for the client was exhilarating.

What historical figure do you wish you could have dinner with? Capt. Jack Sparrow

What one word would your mother use to describe you? Driven.


David P. Stoeberl

David P. Stoeberl, 38

Carmody MacDonald

Practice area: Business litigation

Law school: Saint Louis University

Birthplace: St. Louis

Who is your legal hero? Judge Harlington Wood Jr.

Favorite author? David McCullough

Favorite U.S. Supreme Court decision? Gideon v. Wainwright


Heidi Doerhoff Vollet

Heidi Doerhoff Vollet, 37

Cook, Vetter, Doerhoff & Landwehr

Practice area: Appellate, Governmental Issues, and Business Litigation

Law school: University of Missouri-Columbia

Birthplace: Columbia

Favorite fictional character? Ignatius J. Reilly

Favorite website and why? Google Maps. I love being able to zoom in on a place and see the bird’s eye and street views.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer what profession would you have chosen? If practicality were not a concern, I would enjoy being a wildlife photographer.


Susan Werstak

Sue Werstak, 39

Thompson Coburn

Practice area: Litigation

Law school: Villanova University

Birthplace: Vernon, Conn.

What was your least favorite class at law school? Secured Transactions

First concert? Huey Lewis and the News

What’s your greatest fear? Tornados


Adam D. Woody

Adam D. Woody, 30

Law Offices of Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise

Practice area: Criminal law

Law school: University of Missouri

Birthplace: Springfield

What was your least favorite class at law school? Business Organizations; still know very little on the topic and have no desire to learn.

Who is your favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice? Earl Warren led the court as chief justice in undoubtedly the most turbulent time in our nation’s history. Through difficult and at times dangerous opposition he was able to guide the court through decisions such as Gideon v. Wainright, Miranda v. Arizona, and Brown v. Board of Education. It was these decisions that framed our criminal law and paved the way to civil rights. Because of his contributions to our country and to our freedom, he is undeniably my favorite of all great Supreme Court justices.

What’s your greatest fear? My greatest fear in the legal profession is having an injustice done one of my clients. If that occurs, obviously I have not done my job and have simply become part of the injustice. That is something that I fear daily and, as many in the legal profession know, fear is a great motivator to succeed.


Seth C. Wright

Seth C. Wright, 35

Polsinelli Shughart

Practice area: Litigation

Law school: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Birthplace: St. Joseph

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? I can’t pick just one moment, but I would have to say my favorite moments as an attorney are when a client says thank you. I know it is cliché for a lawyer to say they want to help people, but that is what we do. The most satisfying moments as an attorney are not the size of the case or even the result, but when a client simply says thank you for helping them.

What historical figure do you wish you could have dinner with? Jesus. I had a really hard time deciding how to answer this question. I could have chosen a variety of different historical figures, but ultimately it came down to: Has there ever been a more important historical figure? I can’t imagine a better person to have dinner with.

Favorite website and why? www.tigerboard.com; I’m an avid Missouri Tigers fan. I can get all the news about Missouri Tiger athletics and be entertained at the same time.


James Wyrsch

James Wyrsch, 35

Bryan Cave

Practice area: Commercial litigation, class action defense

Law school: New York University

Birthplace: St. Louis

Favorite fictional character? Jeffrey Lebowski

Your greatest fear? My wife bringing home a cat.

Favorite website and why? www.pitchfork.com; I enjoy learning about new music.


Judy Yi

Judy Yi, 36

Polsinelli Shughart

Practice area: Labor and employment

Law school: University of Minnesota

Birthplace: Seoul, Korea

Favorite author? I greatly enjoyed the last book I read, “The Calligrapher’s Daughter,” by Eugenia Kim.

Your greatest fear? Any harm to my greatest joy, my family.

Favorite moment as an attorney so far? Building client relationships where the work becomes an on-going business partnership.

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