Ronni F. Begleiter
Ronni F. Begleiter is a member of BrownWinick and practices in the estate planning and employee benefits areas. Ronni received her B.A. from Cornell University, her M.L.S. from Columbia University and her law degree from Drake University. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif. Ronni was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1983. Ronni has spoken on both estate planning and employee benefits issues for Drake University, the University of Iowa, the Iowa State Bar Association, the Society of Human Resource Managers, Iowa League of Municipalities and various church and civic groups. She is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association and a member of the Bar's Probate Section Council.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett
Judge Bennett is a Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. He previously served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge. Judge Bennett graduated from the Drake University Law School in 1975 and started his own law firm in Des Moines, Babich, Bennett & Nickerson. During more than sixteen years, his extensive practice in employment discrimination, constitutional law and other civil rights litigation took him to numerous state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the United States resulting in more that seventy reported decisions. Judge Bennett has spoken at more than 170 seminars throughout the United States for the bench and the bar on topics such as federal litigation, civil rights, employment law, professionalism, and courtroom technology. Judge Bennett has a keen interest in technology and recently completed a project for the United States Courts where he was instrumental in the design, development, testing and implementation of new case management software based on state of the art WEB browser technology that is now being utilized by federal district court judges across the country.
Judge Richard G. Blane, II
Judge Blane, West Des Moines, was appointed to the bench in 1995. Born in Chicago, Illinois, he attended Drake University where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1970 and his law degree in 1973. After graduation, he worked as an assistant Polk County attorney, first assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, and for a private firm in Des Moines. Judge Blane is a member of the Polk County and Iowa State Bar Associations, as well as the Iowa Judges Association, and Iowa Supreme Court Rules Committee.
Judge Robert J. Blink
Judge Blink of West Des Moines was appointed to the bench in 1995. He received his undergraduate degree in English and Speech Communications from North Central College in Illinois in 1972 and his law degree from Drake University Law School in 1975. He has served as an assistant Polk County Attorney, Assistant Iowa Attorney General and Special Deputy United States Attorney. He was also a partner in a Des Moines law firm before becoming a judge. He has been a professor at Drake University Law School since 1981. He is a member of the Polk County and Iowa State Bar Associations and the Iowa Judges Association. Judge Blink is an Honorary Member of the Order of the Coif and the Order of Barristers.
Nathaniel R. BoultonNate Boulton
is a partner Hedberg & Boulton, P.C., where he has gained experience as a workers’ rights attorney who practices in workers’ compensation, personal injury, and labor law. In his labor law practice, Nate has represented a variety of labor unions including but not limited to the United Steelworkers (USW), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). He received his bachelor of arts degree in political science and history with honors from Simpson College in 2002 and his law degree with honors from Drake University in 2005. He also earned his Master of Public Administration degree from Drake in 2005 as well as a Certificate of Legislative Practice. Nate is active within the legal community, holding memberships in national organizations such as the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee and American Association for Justice. He is also active in the legal community in Iowa, including his service on the Board of Governors of the Iowa Association for Justice (formerly the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association), the Iowa State Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section Council, and the Executive Board of the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee. In addition to teaching at Drake, Nate has served as an adjunct professor at Simpson College since 2010, where he regularly teaches undergraduates in Sport Law, Business Law I, and Business Law II.
William C. Brown
William C. Brown is a member of the BrownWinick firm practicing tax, securities, business planning, estate planning and banking law for over 30 years. He received his B.A., with honors, in psychology and his J.D., with highest distinction, from the University of Iowa. He also has an LLM in Taxation, summa cum laude, from the University of Alabama. He has published law review articles and spoken extensively at continuing legal education seminars. He is a fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel and has served on the S Corporation Committee of the American Bar Association and the Section of Taxation Council of the Iowa State Bar Association.
Brent A. Cashatt
Brent Cashatt is an attorney at Babich Goldman, P.C. who focuses exclusively on matrimonial law and is trained in mediation and collaborative law. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a frequent speaker and contributor to Continuing Education seminars. He has been a permanent member of the Iowa Board of Bar Examiners since 2005 and chair since 2012. He has chaired the ISBA sections on Family & Juvenile Law and was co-chair of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee. Brent graduated from Grand View College, Des Moines, with distinction in 1986 and received his J.D. degree from Drake University Law School. He was admitted to practice law in the State of Iowa in 1989.
Joseph Clamon is an attorney with Iowa Health System and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Drake University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, where he teaches bioethics. He earned his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to Iowa Health System, he was in private practice in Chicago with the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery and was a law clerk for Judge Michael J. Melloy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. His practice and scholarship addresses health care, bioethics, clinical research/life sciences, and nonprofit governance, including conflicts of interest.
Stacie Codr graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2002 and practiced with Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor and Fairgrave, P.C., from 2002 until joining the firm of Finley, Alt, Smith, Scharnberg, Craig, Hilmes & Gaffney, P.C. in March 2007. She practices in the areas of health law and professional liability, representing health care professionals and entities in matters ranging from malpractice litigation to licensing, disciplinary and administrative matters. She has presented continuing education to health care professionals and legal organizations on a variety of medical-legal issues.
Kathy Collins Reilly
When a six-year career teaching high school English, speech, and drama was cut off due to budgetary layoffs, Kathy enrolled at Drake Law School, graduating with Honors in December of 1984. She was immediately hired by the Iowa Department of Education to be their Legal Consultant and Administrative Law Judge. During her tenure at the state department, she was recruited to teach Education Law at Iowa State University, teaching teachers who sought to become administrators. Later she left ISU for Drake, teaching the same course in the graduate school of education and on occasion, at Drake Law School. After ten years in state government Kathy left to fill a position created for her at School Administrators of Iowa (SAI), a professional association. She retired from SAI in the spring of 2006.
Tim Coonan earned his Juris Doctorate from Drake University Law School in 2002 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Drake University in 1996. He spent eight years as an officer in the US Army Reserves, including a one year tour in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was honorably discharged at the rank of Captain.
Tim Coonan is the Director of Government Relations at the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC). Prior to joining the IAEC, Coonan served as a legislative research analyst with the Iowa House Republican Caucus staff, ran a statewide political campaign and spent three years in Washington, D.C., as a legislative analyst for a multi-client lobbying firm.
Philip DeKosterPhilip De Koster
is an attorney at LaMarca & Landry, P.C.
, in Des Moines, where his practice includes business litigation, estate planning, and probate. He graduated from Drake University Law School, Order of the Coif. He was awarded the Jeffery and Elizabeth Goodman Distinguished Advocate Award for excellence and proficiency in client representation and advocacy and the Iowa State Bar Association Graduating Senior Award. Philip competed on the ABA and National Moot Court teams. Before attending Drake, he graduated with distinction and honors from Iowa State University with a major in Sociology and minors in Criminal Justice, Political Science, and Music. In his free time, Philip is a licensed private pilot and enjoys both indoor and outdoor gardening. He has also proudly endowed an award in honor of Dr. K.M. Waggoner to recognize Drake law students who work to be a mentor to their peers.
Judge Timothy Finn
Judge Finn is an Iowa District Court Judge in the 2nd Judicial District, and offices in the Story County Courthouse in Nevada, Iowa. A 1974 graduate of the Drake Law School, Judge Finn has been on the bench since 1987.
Steve Foritano is the Bureau Chief of the General Trial Bureau of the Polk County Attorney's Office, a position he has held since 1991. This position includes management of the General Trial Bureau and an active case load involving the investigation and prosecution of major offenses.
Steve is also a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa working primarily on firearms cases involving Project Safe Neighborhoods. Previously, Steven served as an Assistant Iowa Attorney General (1982-1986, 1988-1991). He is a recipient of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Inspector General's Integrity Award and the Iowa County Attorney Association Award of Merit.
At Drake Law, Steve teaches trial advocacy and coaches the National Mock Trial team for the Law School.
J. Barton Goplerud
is a 1990 graduate of Drake University Law School where he was active in Law Review and Moot Court. He has a law practice in Des Moines as a litigator and mediator, Hudson, Mallaney, Shindler & Anderson.
Christopher Hagen is a 1968 graduate of the University of Iowa Law School, having earned his B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1965. He began his career as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in Washington, D.C. In 1977 he was appointed Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, Civil Division. He was court-appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa in 1986 and again in 1991. During 2000 he was on special detail to the Southern District of Florida coordinating land condemnation efforts to expand the East Everglades National Park. He returned to the Southern District of Iowa in 2001 and was appointed Civil Chief in 2006. In April 2011 he retired. Christopher has served on the Board of the Federal Executive Committee since 1980. He is also a member and past-President of the C. Edwin Moore Inn of Court.
Joel Hjelmaas graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1987, where he was managing editor of the Iowa Law Review. Prior to law school, Joel received a Bachelor of Science degree from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University). He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and was a Distinguished Military Graduate of ROTC. He served overseas for three years before returning to law school.
Joel is currently an attorney with Wells Fargo, responsible to manage legal support for the Community Lending and Investment area, charged with making investments in low and moderate income communities that focus on housing and job creation. He is also responsible to coordinate the legal support for Wells Fargo’s Community and Government Relations area.
Prior to Wells Fargo, Joel worked at Principal Financial Group for ten years, working in the areas of insurance, securities, and serving as the Vice President of Compliance for Principal Bank, a virtual bank with no traditional branches. He has also served as a law clerk to Justice James H. Andreassen of the Iowa Supreme Court, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission (hired through its Honors Program), and an Associate with Morain, Burlingame, Pugh, & Koop. In 1996, Joel was mobilized as an Army JAG officer and deployed to Europe for nine months in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, the peacekeeping operations in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.
Biography coming soon
Donna E. Johns
Donna Johns is In-house Counsel for Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc. She began her legal career in private practice in Houston, Texas, almost 20 years ago. Over the past decade, she has developed a special emphasis on intellectual property law. During 2008-2009, she was is the president of the Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association. She holds her J.D. from South Texas College of Law, where she was inducted into the Order of Lytae and became a member of the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. She received her B.S. from Iowa State University.
Jeff Noble is a1990 graduate of Drake University Law School. He is a Polk County Assistant District Attorney and a Drake Mock Trial Team Coach.
Gary Norton received his law degree with honors from Washburn and is a member of the Whitfield & Eddy firm, practicing in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor/debtor relations, commercial law and commercial litigation. . He represents a variety of business clients and is a frequent speaker before attorney and business groups on various topics involving commercial and bankruptcy law. He has been a member and past Chair of the Commercial and Bankruptcy Law Section Council of the Iowa State Bar Association. He served as Chair of that Section’s Study Committee on the 1998 Revised Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code which was instrumental in implementing the passage of Revised UCC Article 9 in Iowa, and has been a consultant to the Iowa legislature on matters of commercial law. He has been a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute since 1986 and is a former Law Clerk to the Honorable Richard Stageman, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Southern District of Iowa in1984-85.
Private Law Practice, Omaha, Nebraska, 1960-67, and Des Moines, Iowa 2003 to present; Director, Black Hawk County Legal Aid Society, 1967-69. Received first annual achievement award from the Office of Legal Services as the outstanding legal service program with six or less attorneys (1968), and Director, Legal Aid Society of Polk County, 3/1/69 to 12/31/2002, received Dorsey Award by the American Bar Association for his exemplary career as a legal aid attorney, 2003; Adj. Drake Law School, Drake University, Civil Procedure, criminal procedure, and consumer protection; August 1972 to 1975; Adj. Assistant professor, The School of Social Work, University of Iowa, Family Law, Fall Semester, 1972 and 1978 to 1998, Grand View College, Des Moines, Family Law, 1982 to 1998; Other activities include being chair, Nebraska Advisory Committee to U.S. Civil Rights Commission, co-founder, Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED), Omaha Lawyers for Fair Housing, founding member of Nebraska affiliate of ACLU; Booklet, Rights of the Mental Retarded, (1973).
Judge Artis Reis
Judge Reis has served as an Iowa District Court Judge for the Fifth Judicial since 1995. She graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1976, and worked at the Department of Human Services until 1980. She also worked as the executive director of Iowa Civil Rights Commission for five years, acting executive director of clinical legal education and associate professor of law at Drake University for one year, and was in private practice for nine years.
Judge Dale Ruigh
Judge Ruigh has served as an Iowa District Court Judge since 1981. He was in private practice in Ames from 1974 to 1981. He is an honors graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law and a member of the Order of Coif.
Dr. Ryan is Assistant Attorney General for the State of Iowa and has taught at Simpson College and Drake. She earned her law degree at the University of Iowa and Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Mike Salvner is a 2002 graduate of Drake University Law School. He is a Polk County Assistant County Attorney and a Drake Mock Trial team coach.
Judge Annette Scieszinski
Judge Scieszinski was appointed as a District Court Judge in the Eighth District of Iowa in 1996. She received her law degree from the University of Iowa. In addition to 15 years in private practice, Judge Scieszinski served as Monroe County attorney for eight years. She was appointed to the State Tax Review Board and elected President of the Iowa State Bar Foundation. Over the years she has been active on several Supreme Court Commissions and Committees, and currently serves on the Court's Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure. She remains active in the Iowa State Bar Association and is presently serving on the Board of Directors for the ISBA Public Service Project (formerly the Volunteer Lawyers Project). Judge Scieszinski is on the faculty of the New Judge School, and is a frequent presenter of continuing education programs for judges and lawyers.
Debra Scorpiniti is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. She is a 1993 honors graduate of the Drake Law School, where she served on the editorial board of the Drake Law Review.
Ed SeaseEd Sease
is a partner in McKee, Voorhees & Sease and has more than 35 years of experience as a patent attorney, trademark attorney, intellectual property litigator and professor. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Drake University in 1964 and his law degree, graduating Order of the Coif, from Drake in 1967. Before joining the law firm in 1973, Ed worked for seven years in the Patent Department of Proctor & Gamble. Due to his commitment to the practice of intellectual property law, Ed is an active member in many professional organizations including the American Chemical Society, Phi Beta Kappa Fraternity and others.
Judge Anita Shodeen
Judge Shodeen was appointed as Bankruptcy Judge in the Southern District of Iowa on August 26, 2008. Upon graduating from Drake Law School in 1985 she clerked for the Honorable Jerry Larson with the Iowa Supreme Court. As a practicing lawyer, Judge Shodeen focused primarily on bankruptcy, debtor-creditor and transactional issues. She was appointed by the Department of Justice as a Chapter 7 Trustee and Chapter 12 Trustee for the Southern District of Iowa. Judge Shodeen is a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy, a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and is currently serving as Eighth Circuit Representative on the Board of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. She has been active in numerous CLE presentations on the topics of bankruptcy, insolvency and debtor-creditor rights.
Justice Michael Streit
Former Justice Michael Streit
served Iowa as a trial court and appellate judge for over 27 years. Justice Streit received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Iowa and his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law where he edited the school law journal. He was a member of the law review and wrote articles on securities regulation. Justice Streit and two fellow justices recently received the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage award for their role in the Iowa Supreme Court decision recognizing marriage equality. Streit was licensed in the Iowa, California, and Nebraska courts. Justice Streit has been involved in professional education and public speaking seeking to improve Iowa’s court system and educate the public on the important role the courts and ADR play in the lives of every Iowan. Justice Streit has served on the Board of Counselors of Drake Law School, Chair of the New Judge Training and Mentor Program, STOP Violence Against Woman Coordinating Council, Iowa Supreme Court Select Comm. On Child Welfare, Judicial Evaluation and Performance Comm., the Anglo-American Exchange Program serving in the British courts for two months, and the Blackstone Inn of Court; Justice Streit was the chair of the Supreme Court Education Advisory Committee. Streit began the Iowa Judicial Institute in 1992.
Justice Streit is a member of Ahlers & Cooney in its Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Investigations practice area. He is involved with complex mediation, arbitrations, and appeals. He has lectured in mediation, ethics, contracts, trial management, judicial independence, and electronic document management.