2014 January Intersession - Faculty Profiles

Hon. James Baker

Judge Baker was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces on September 19, 2000. The Court is composed of five civilian judges appointed for 15-year terms by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Court has appellate jurisdiction over cases arising under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Decisions of the Court are subject to review by the United States Supreme Court. Judge Baker was born in New Haven, Connecticut and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College in 1982 and Yale Law School in 1990. Following college he served in the Marine Corps as an infantry officer. He resigned from the Reserves as an infantry officer upon joining the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Judge Baker has also served as a legislative aide and Acting Chief of Staff to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In the Office of the Legal Advisor, U.S. Department of State, he provided legal advice on law enforcement, intelligence, and counter-terrorism issues and served as counsel to delegations to various environmental negotiations. Judge Baker’s civil service also includes posts as Deputy Legal Advisor to the National Security Council (1994-1997) and as Counsel to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and Intelligence Oversight Board (1993). From 1997 to 2000, he was Special Assistant to the President and Legal Advisor to the National Security Council (NSC). At the NSC, Judge Baker advised the President, the National Security Advisor and the National Security Council staff on national security law. Judge Baker is the recipient of the 1999 Colonel Nelson Drew Award. That award, the NSC’s highest honor, recognizes “distinguished contributions to the formation of peaceful, cooperative relationships between states, and U.S. security policy for global peace.” He is also a recipient of the “Director’s Award,” given by the Director of Central Intelligence as recognition for “superior contributions in the fields of intelligence and national security.” In 2009, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College awarded Judge Baker the honorary degree of Master of Military Art and Science. In addition to numerous articles, Judge Baker is the author of, In the Common Defense: National Security Law for Perilous Times (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and, with Michael Reisman, Regulating Covert Action (Yale University Press, 1992). He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security, as well as the Editorial Board of the Journal of National Security Law & Policy. He regularly teaches at Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Iowa College of Law, and has also taught at Yale Law School and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

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.

Dr. Alan Davidson 

Dr. Davidson is a solicitor and barrister of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and of the High Court of Australia, and is the current Director of Postgraduate Coursework Programs at the TC Beirne School of Law. He practiced law for more than a decade before moving into academia full time. He is a Fellow of the Institute of International Banking Law and Practice and a member of its Asia Advisory Council, and a member of the Council of International Standby Practices and the Banking Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce Australia. He was engaged at the University of Wollongong; Bond University, Queensland University of Technology including acting Head of School, and Associate Dean at James Cook University before commencing at the University of Queensland in 1997. Dr Davidson's publications include The Law of Electronic Commerce (Cambridge University Press), The Internet for Lawyers and The Internet for Accountants. He is a regular speaker at conferences and has spoken at UN conferences in New York, Seoul, Brisbane and Manilla at the invitation of UNCTRAL. Dr Davidson’s PhD is in the field of international banking law, specifically Letters of Credit Transactions. He has been a visiting academic in the USA, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and China. He is an accomplished musician and the holder of pilot's licence with an aerobatics rating 

Michael Downey

Michael Downey is a legal ethics lawyer and litigation partner in the St. Louis office of Armstrong Teasdale LLP. His law practice focuses on advising lawyers on legal, ethics, and risk management issues, and representing lawyers, other professionals, and their clients in civil and disciplinary litigation. Mr. Downey has defended complex civil and class action matters, tried civil and lawyer disciplinary cases, and argued before federal, Missouri, and Illinois appellate courts. He has also provided expert testimony on legal ethics and law practice matters in Missouri, Kansas, and the District of Columbia. In addition to his law practice, Mike teaches legal ethics and law firm practice at Washington University School of Law and professional responsibility at St. Louis University School of Law. He has presented on legal ethics and law practice more than 200 times in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Author of the book Introduction to Law Firm Practice (2010), Mike has published more than 60 articles on legal ethics and law practice. Mike has also been a guest on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and has been interviewed more than 100 times on legal ethics and law practice by major news and professional publications including the New York Times, National Law Journal, Wall Street Journal, and ABA Journal. He blogs at www.MissouriEthicsLawyer.com.  Currently Mike serves as Chair of the ABA Law Practice Division and on the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education. He writes the "Ethox and Paradox" ethics columns for the Litigation magazine, as well as an ethics column for the St. Louis Lawyer. His past bar experience includes serving on the ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission’s Technology Working Group and chairing the Ethics & Technology Committee of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, the Illinois State Bar Association's Standing Committee on Professional Conduct, and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis's Professionalism and Ethics Committee. Mike graduated first in his class from Washington University School of Law and clerked for the Hon. Pasco M. Bowman, then serving as Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He also holds a graduate certificate in Law Firm Management at George Washington University.

Hon. Audrey Fleissig

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.

Nicola Lugaresi

Nicola Lugaresi is an associate professor of administrative law at the University of Trento Law School, where he teaches, among others, Environmental Law. He was fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University and Associate Research Scholar at the Columbia University, within the research project “Water Diplomacy Initiative at Columbia University” (1999). He has lectured in undergraduate and postgraduate courses at other national and foreign institutions. He has been member of national and international research groups on environmental issues, published a handbook (four editions) and several articles on environmental law, and two books about water law. He has participated in national and international conferences on environmental issues, and has been independent expert for evaluation and review of research programs for the European Commission of the European Union.

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.

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 the Senior Project Officer for CEO Initiatives at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is responsible for helping the CEO develop and execute strategies for cross-foundation initiatives. 
Prior to this role, Ryan served as a program officer in the foundation’s Global Development division. His projects included a five-grant initiative called the Global Program for Inclusive Municipal Governance, as well as a series of grants focused on generating municipal revenues for pro-poor initiatives. From 2006 through 2009, Ryan also worked at the Gates Foundation, first as a policy analyst to the director of the foundation’s agricultural development program, and later as chief of staff to the co-chair, William H. Gates, Sr. Ryan is originally from Columbia, Missouri. He is a graduate of Harvard College, the University of Cambridge, where he was the Governor William Shirley Harvard-Cambridge Scholar, and Harvard Law School.  He is a member of the Missouri Bar and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. His legal research and writing has focused on issues in local government law and urban revitalization.

Wei Wang

Wei Wang, LL.B. (ECUPL), LL.M. (SMU), LL.M. (Fudan), Ph.D. (Lond.), is Associate Professor and Vice Dean of Fudan University Law School, Shanghai, China. His books include China’s Banking Law and the National Treatment of Foreign-Funded Banks (Ashgate 2013), Overseas-Educated Doctors of Law of Modern China (Shanghai People’s Publishing House, 2011); Law and Practice for the Delivery of Goods without Presentation of Original Bills of Lading (Law Press China, 2010). He teaches International Financial Law, Chinese Banking Law, Foreign Trade Law (all in English language). His research projects cover the Chinese banking law reform and legal education history sponsored by the Asian Development Bank, the Ministry of Education, National and Shanghai Social Science Funds.

Brian Wolfe

Brian Wolfe is a corporate partner 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.

Robert Zafft

Robert Zafft is an Associate Principal with McKinsey & Company.  Mr. Zafft served as a partner with Salans (now part of Dentons), a Senior Corporate Governance Expert with the OECD, and as a Senior Advisor in the Government Advisory Practice of a retired British Prime Minister.  A native of St. Louis, Mr. Zafft graduated from Harvard Law School and is a member of the Missouri, Illinois and California Bars.