University of Kansas School of Law

MAY 2014

Greetings from the University of Kansas School of Law!

On May 17, I welcomed the Class of 2014 to the ranks of KU Law alumni at our hooding ceremony in Lawrence. I am exceptionally proud of what they accomplished as law students and eager to watch them thrive as lawyers and leaders working in Kansas, across the nation and around the world. I hope you will extend some Jayhawk hospitality to them as they continue to network, search for employment and settle into jobs in your organizations or communities.

We highlighted the global reach of KU Lawyers in the spring issue of KU Law Magazine. If you haven’t received your copy in the mail, it might be time to update your address. In the meantime, here’s a digital edition to enjoy and share with family and friends.

Rock chalk!
Stephen W. Mazza
Dean and Professor of Law

Professor John Head, left, and Dean Stephen Mazza with Baby Jay at Fun Day. View photos from the May 16 event, which revived a decades-old KU Law tradition.


Law school honors top graduates for scholarship, leadership, service 

KU Law honored 2014 graduates at a hooding ceremony on May 17. During the ceremony, seven students received awards for distinguishing themselves in scholarship, leadership and service to the law school and the community. The recipients were:

  • Xavier Andrews, Kansas City, Missouri, Justice Lloyd Kagey Leadership Award
  • David Barclay, Andover, Class of 1949 Leadership Award
  • Kate Marples, Lawrence and Dodge City, Samuel Mellinger Scholarship, Leadership and Service Award
  • Amanda Marshall, Goddard, Robert F. Bennett Award
  • Peter Montecuollo, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Walter Hiersteiner Outstanding Service Award
  • Whitney Novak, Shawnee, Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievemen
  • Jacob Wamego, Mayetta, Janean Meigs Memorial Award

Banner carrier Paul Cassat, Overland Park, was also recognized during the ceremony. The banner carrier is a student who has excelled academically and who carries the highest grade point average by the end of the fall semester in the third year of law study.

The award winners were part of a class composed of 119 recipients of the Juris Doctor, five Doctor of Juridical Science graduates and two Master of Laws in American Legal Studies graduates.

Read more
and view photos from the ceremony


Second KU Law alumnus joins federal circuit court as clerk

For the second time in a year, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has tapped a KU Law graduate to serve as his law clerk.

Devin S. Sikes, L’08, will clerk for Judge Evan J. Wallach beginning in August 2015. Class of 2009 graduate Justin Hendrix was selected for a clerkship with Judge Alvin Schall in Fall 2013.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sits next to the White House in Washington, D.C., and has nationwide jurisdiction over a variety of subject areas, most notably patents, trademarks, international trade, government contracts, certain money claims against the U.S. government, and veterans’ benefits.  

Sikes currently works as an attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel for Trade Enforcement & Compliance at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He has defended the federal government in international trade disputes before various federal courts, as well as before the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization. He also worked with members of Congress and their staff in 2012 to draft legislation in response to decisions in interrelated disputes at the Federal Circuit and the WTO, receiving a gold medal (the highest form of honorary recognition bestowed by the Secretary of Commerce) for his efforts.

Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Sikes clerked for Judge Judith M. Barzilay of the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York. Sikes earned a Certificate in International Trade & Finance at KU Law.

Justin Hendrix formerly practiced patent law with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP in Washington, D.C.


KU Law partners with India’s top law schools

KU Law recently added four prominent Indian law schools to its growing list of international partners. The National Academy of Legal Studies and Research in Hyderabad, the Government Law College in Mumbai, the Jindal Global Law School near New Delhi and the Indian Law Institute in New Delhi signed memoranda of understanding with KU Law, pledging to collaborate on research projects, scholarship opportunities and faculty and student exchanges.

Raj Bhala, associate dean for international and comparative law and Rice Distinguished Professor, signed the agreements on behalf of KU Law Dean Stephen Mazza during Bhala’s February-March lecture tour of India.

“Simply put, KU Law is the first American law school with such an ambitious opening to India,” Bhala said, noting the institutions’ locations in India’s technology hub (Hyderabad), financial and Bollywood center (Bombay), and political capital (Delhi). “It would be like a non-American law school having arrangements with Stanford, NYU or Columbia, and Georgetown.”

The non-binding MOUs do not include financial obligations or administrative requirements, but they encourage interaction, program development and cross-marketing of degree programs, Bhala said. They also open up international career opportunities for graduates.

The Indian schools join KU Law’s existing partner universities in Australia, China, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, New Zealand and Turkey.

Read more


Join us for a D.C. alumni reception with a White House view

Dean Stephen Mazza invites you and a guest to a KU Law alumni reception this June in Washington, D.C., that’s fit for a flock of Jayhawks.

We’ll gather on the top floor of the Hay-Adams Hotel to enjoy gorgeous views of the White House as we catch up over complimentary cocktails and appetizers. The reception coincides with KU Law’s Supreme Court Swearing-In Ceremony, so we’ll have alumni in town from across the country. Take this opportunity to reconnect and expand your network!

Monday, June 9, 2014  |  6 - 8 pm

The Hay-Adams Hotel, Top of the Hay
800 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20006

RSVP by June 4 to Noelle Uhler at We hope to see you in D.C.!


Alumni news

The Hon. Daniel D. Crabtree, L’81, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. Crabtree was formerly a partner at Stinson Leonard Street LLP in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mark A. Andersen, L’90, received the 2014 Distinguished Graduate Award from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. The award is given to one Bethany College graduate annually to recognize outstanding achievement and service to society. Andersen practices at Barber Emerson in Lawrence, Kansas in the areas of real estate, banking law, eminent domain, construction law and section 1031 exchanges.

Craig Durham, L’96,
is co-counsel for plaintiffs in Latta et al. v. Otter et al., in which U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale ruled that Idaho's ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The case is on appeal in the 9th Circuit. Durham practices civil rights law and criminal defense law in Boise, Idaho.

Ann Bittinger, L’98, was recently elected to the board of directors of the American Health Lawyer’s Association. She will serve a three-year term on the 28-person board starting in July. The association is the nation's largest educational organization devoted to legal issues in the health care field. Bittinger has practiced almost exclusively in health care regulatory and transactional law since 1998. Her practice focuses primarily on representing physicians and physician organizations. The Bittinger Law Firm celebrated its 10th anniversary in March 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Manuel “Manny” Ortiz, L’98, has been appointed to serve on the board of directors for the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, whose mission is to strengthen the Washington metropolitan region by encouraging and supporting effective giving and by providing leadership on critical issues in the community. Ortiz was also appointed to serve as a board member for the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, which is dedicated to building life champions through tennis and academic excellence. Ortiz is a shareholder in the Washington, D.C., firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and practices in the areas of government relations, financial services, telecommunications and media, and mergers and acquisitions.

Lt. Cmdr. Rich Federico, L’02,
of the U.S. Navy serves at the Defense Service Office Southeast in Jacksonville, Florida with two fellow KU Law officers, Lt. Tadd Blair, L’08, and Lt. Robert Bombard, L'12. The three alumni serve in an office of 10 judge advocates. Their mission is to represent sailors, marines and coastguards who are charged with criminal offenses in the military justice system or are being involuntarily separated from the service.

Linda J. Shewack , L’07, recently joined Columbia University as an associate director of compliance. Shewack previously served as a team lead in the Ombudsman Group at the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid.

Madhu Singh, L’09, was honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the 2014 Woman Business Owner Champion of the Year for the State of Washington. The award recognizes individuals who advocate for and increase business opportunities for women beyond the call of their professional duties. When she is not growing her business and intellectual property practice, Singh volunteers as president of the Women’s Business Exchange, a local nonprofit organization that provides women with opportunities for learning, leadership and networking. She also provides legal guidance and instructional courses to businesses and nonprofits at local entrepreneurship clinics. Singh co-teaches at the Seattle University Community Development and Entrepreneurship Clinic co-hosted by the law school and Albers School of Business, facilitating a clinic-style course that provides MBA and law students with an opportunity to work with real clients from the community.

Rachel Brown Stahle, L’09,
has become a partner with the law firm of Franke Schultz & Mullen PC in Kansas City, Missouri, where she has practiced since 2009. She practices primarily in the areas of personal injury, premises liability, and professional liability defense.

In Memoriam

Robert B. Castor, L’48, Kansas City, Kansas, May 20, 2014
Montague E. Davis, L’68, Tucson, Arizona, December 23, 2013

Report your alumni news and update your contact information at Have a story of interest to fellow alumni? Contact Mindie Paget at or 785-864-9205.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, TTY 711.

University of Kansas School of Law

The University of Kansas School of Law, 1535 W. 15th Street, Lawrence, KS 66045


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