2013 January Intersession - Faculty Profiles

Kathy Hessler

Kathy Hessler is a clinical professor of law and director of the only animal law clinic in the country at Lewis & Clark Law School. She is the first faculty member hired to teach animal law full time in a law school. She graduated with a J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary and received her LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Prior to teaching at Lewis & Clark, Professor Hessler taught in clinical programs at Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cornell Law School, the University of Dayton Law School, the Capital University School of Law, and Georgetown University Law Center. Professor Hessler was previously a board member with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and helped found the Animal Law Committee of the Cuyahoga County Bar. Additionally, she was the chair and a founder of the Animal Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools.

Professor Hessler co-authored (with Pamela Frasch and Megan Senatori) the amicus brief submitted in the U.S. v. Stevens case, on behalf of 45 law professors who teach animal law. She also co-authored Animal Law in a Nutshell (with Pamela Frasch, Sarah Kutil, and Sonia Waisman) and has written numerous other law review and other articles and she is co-authoring two new books on animal law.

Professor Hessler has been teaching Animal Law courses since 2001, and animal law concepts as a part of nonviolence class offerings beginning in 1989. At Lewis & Clark, Professor Hessler is the SALDF faculty advisor, coaches the animal law moot court teams, and has been an advisor to the Animal Law journal since 1998. Professor Hessler has been an animal activist and vegan since the late 1980's. Professor Hessler lectures widely on animal law and animal law education issues in the U.S. and beyond. She also writes and lectures on alternative dispute resolution, First Amendment issues, and clinical legal education.

Professor Yoichiro Hamabe

Yoichiro Hamabe is a corporate and business lawyer based in Tokyo for over twenty years. He is a member of the Waseda Law School Legal Clinic. PLC., where his practice focuses on corporation laws, legal risk management, and other business law issues. He has also been involved in various cross-border transactions and disputes involving Japanese companies. He has published more than 40 books in Japan, and often presents to Japanese business people on corporation laws and other business legal topics. He teaches law at Aoyama Gakuin Law School, Waseda University and Business Breakthrough University. He acquired a bachelor's degree in law (LL.B) from Keio University and a master's degree in law (LL.M) from Indiana University, Bloomington (LL.M.).

Jill Nicholson

Jill Nicholson is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP and chair of the firm's national Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations Practice. She concentrates her practice in commercial bankruptcy and insolvency matters as well as out-of-court workouts and restructurings, and complex litigation. She is also a member of the firm’s Real Estate Practice.

Ms. Nicholson has represented a broad array of clients in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, including secured lenders, special servicers, creditors committees, SIPA trustees, bondholder committees, foreign representatives, unsecured creditors, Chapter 11 debtors, indenture trustees, commercial landlords, governmental agencies, and federally chartered entities. Her experience encompasses all facets of bankruptcy and insolvency, including Chapter 11 plan restructuring and related litigation, 363 sales, valuation disputes, single asset real estate, debtor-inpossession financing, tax credit bond finance deals, adversary actions, bankruptcy appeals, assignments for the benefit of creditors, and broker-dealer liquidations.

Ms. Nicholson is an adjunct professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis where she teaches a course on advanced commercial bankruptcy and corporate restructuring. She is board certified as a business bankruptcy specialist by the American Board of Certification. She was selected as a Leading Lawyer, Finance – Corporate Restructuring, by Legal 500 US 2010. Ms. Nicholson has been named to the list of Illinois Super Lawyers–Rising Stars® (2008 – 2012) for her work in the field of bankruptcy. The Rising Stars® list represents the top 2.5 percent of lawyers under 40 years old in Illinois based upon a survey of Ms. Nicholson's peers. Ms. Nicholson has also been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, a mark of excellence in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system.

Ms. Nicholson counsels a number of Fortune 500 companies regarding best practices with respect to bankruptcy and insolvency issues, including distressed real estate, commercial lending, special servicing, and automotive restructuring.

Ms. Nicholson received her juris doctor degree, with honors, from the University of Illinois College of Law, where she served as an editor of the University of Illinois Elder Law Journal. While in law school, she received the American Bankruptcy Institute's Medal for excellence in bankruptcy and the American Bankruptcy Law Journal Prize and was named the Rickert Scholar for excellence in trial advocacy, legal writing, and legal publications. Ms. Nicholson received her undergraduate degree, with honors, from the University of Chicago, where she was selected as a Norman Maclean scholar. She also served as president of the University of Chicago Debate Team.

Ms. Nicholson is a past vice director of North American Programs for the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), is a past chair of the board of directors of the Chicago Network of IWIRC, and is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Turnaround Management Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Executives' Club of Chicago.

Ms. Nicholson is admitted to practice in Illinois and New York and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits and is a member of the Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

John Cowling

John Cowling is a trial lawyer and partner at Armstrong Teasdale LLP’s St. Louis office. He practices primarily in the areas of commercial litigation, environmental litigation, and information technology law. His trial practice includes litigation of toxic torts, breach of contract disputes, noncompete matters; OSHA penalty actions and information technology disputes. His environmental practice includes litigation related to federal and state environmental statutes such as CERCLA, RCRA and the Clean Air Act; defending civil enforcements and penalty actions; and dealing with insurance coverage issues. His information technology practice includes advising clients on electronic discovery issues and the reviewing and drafting contracts for technology services. John is a member of Armstrong Teasdale’s E-discovery Group and a frequent speaker on E-discovery issues. John is also President of Lawgical Choice, a company that provides legal technology services to law firms and legal departments. He has employed computers and litigation technology in his practice for many years. After graduating from Washington University Law School and prior to joining Armstrong Teasdale, John was employed by the Missouri Public Counsel’s Office, a state agency charged with representing utility ratepayers before the Missouri Public Service Commission, and as a law clerk for Judge William L. Hungate of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Judge Audrey Flessig

Audrey Fleissig was nominated for a position on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri by President Obama in January 2010, and was sworn in on June 11, 2010. She served as a United States Magistrate Judge, from August 2001 until her appointment to the district court. She was the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, from January 2000 through April 30, 2001, the first woman to be appointed to the position.

Judge Fleissig has been engaged in the practice of law since 1980. She graduated, magna cum laude, from Carleton College, in 1976, and from Washington University School of Law, Order of the Coif, in 1980. After graduating from law school, Ms. Fleissig was in private practice for eleven years at Peper, Martin, Jensen, Maichel and Hetlage (now Husch Blackwell Sanders), where she was a partner in litigation, concentrating in business and commercial litigation and class actions, mostly in the federal courts. From 1991-1999, Ms. Fleissig served as Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, where she primarily prosecuted white collar criminal cases.

Judge Fleissig has been a speaker at numerous programs on federal practice, trial practice, evidence, white collar fraud, bankruptcy litigation and appellate practice. She has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, President of the Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis, and was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court and the Missouri Bar to the Gender and Justice Implementation Committee. Judge Fleissig has served as an Adjunct Professor at Washington University School of Law since 1991, teaching Legal Writing, Pretrial Practice and Procedure, Trial Advocacy, and Evidence, and has received the law school’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Judge Fleissig is married and has two children.

Hugo Hurtado

Hugo Hurtado is a Director in the International Tax Department at Deloitte & Touche in Santiago, Chile. He specializes in matters related to international taxation, tax policy and corporate and tax restructuring. He teaches tax law at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and international taxation at Universidad Diego Portales.

Mr. Hurtado graduated from the School of Law of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, obtained a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Taxation and a Doctorate of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) in Taxation from the University of Florida. He is the author of several pieces in English and Spanish on international and comparative taxation, with a particular focus on the United States and Chile.

Michael Downey

Michael Downey is a St. Louis litigator at Armstrong Teasdale LLP, where his practice focuses on representing law and accounting firms in civil and disciplinary matter, and advising such professionals on legal, ethics, risk management, and related business and professional issues. Prof. Downey has led or participated in numerous national and state bar committees relating to legal ethics and law firm management, including that he is presently Vice Chair of the ABA Law Practice Management Section and a member of the Technology Working Group for the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20. Prof. Downey has also chaired ABA Ethics & Technology Committee and Illinois State Bar Association's Standing Committee on Professional Ethics, and served on the Missouri Bar's Ethics 2005 Committee and Special Committee on Lawyer Advertising. An author of more than 50 articles, Prof. Downey authored Introduction to Law Firm Practice (ABA 2010); had presented on professional ethics and law practice issues more than 200 times; and has been quoted in the New York Times, ABA Journal, American Lawyer, and National Law Journal. Prof. Downey graduated first in his class from Washington University School of Law, and clerked for the Hon. Pasco M. Bowman, then Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, before entering private practice. He also completed a graduate certificate in Law Firm Management at George Washington University. Mr. Downey has been an adjunct at Washington University School of Law for more than a decade, teaching classes on legal ethics and law firm practice.

Michael Paley

Michael Paley is a partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. His practice focuses on complex business transactions, including leveraged buyouts of private and public companies, strategic mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as management equity arrangements and executive employment and compensation matters. Michael represented the CME Group in connection with the acquisition of the Dow Jones indexes business from NewsCorp and recently represented Madison Dearborn Partners in connection with the $1.55 billion sale of Bolthouse Farms to Campbell Soup Company. Michael has led numerous leveraged buyout and sale transactions on behalf of a number of private equity firms, including Madison Dearborn Partners, Pegasus Capital Partners, Great Hill Partners and Liberty Partners and their respective portfolio companies, as well as public and private companies including CDW Corporation, Bolthouse Farms, Apollo Group, Yankee Candle Company and Wyndham Worldwide.

Ryan Rippel

Ryan Rippel is a program officer on the integrated delivery team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with responsibility for managing programming around municipal governance. His work is focused on mobilizing pro-poor municipal resources and coordinating the Global Program for Inclusive Municipal Governance, which operates in five African cities with the goal of creating participatory partnerships between local governments and the urban poor. He also recently completed an assignment as interim chief of staff to the CEO of the foundation. Prior to joining the foundation, Ryan completed assignments with the National Economic Council at the White House and at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLC. He earned his JD from Harvard Law School, where he focused much of his work on local government law and urban poverty in the United States. In addition to a law degree, Ryan earned an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and an AB from Harvard College. He is a Missouri native and is licensed to practice law in Missouri 

Joan D. Van Pelt

Joan D. Van Pelt recently retired from the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender. During her 27 years with that office she litigated death penalty cases, managed the Office of the Public Defender’s Appellate Section, and built and led the Alternative Commitment Unit representing men is Sexually Violent Predator Commitment proceedings. As the Deputy Public Advocate in charge of the ACU, she argued over 80 appeals, including four cases in the New Jersey Supreme Court, and litigated over 50 initial commitment proceedings and several hundred commitment reviews. She led a statewide initiative to train Public Defender criminal trial attorneys on the impact of the civil commitment statute on plea negotiations for sex offenses, and presented seminars to more than 200 attorneys throughout the state. She presently maintains a limited private practice and lectures frequently on issues relating to sex offenders.

After graduating from Washington University School of Law, Ms. Van Pelt clerked in the New Jersey Superior Court and served as an assistant county prosecutor. She was the first woman in New Jersey to achieve the Supreme Court designation of Certified Criminal Trial Attorney. She is a past member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Criminal Practice, a former trustee of the Union County Legal Services Board, and served five years on the District XII Ethics Committee. She has been a longtime leader of the Richard J. Hughes American Inn of Court, serving as president from 1999 until 2001, and was president of Women Lawyers in Union County.

Brian D. Wolfe

Brian D. Wolfe is an associate in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where his practice focuses on complex private equity and public company business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions and corporate governance counseling.  Outside of the law firm, Brian serves as a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Legal Clinic.  Brian previously served as Deputy Superintendent and Chief Operating Officer of the St. Louis Public Schools.