2013 Distinguished Law Alumni Awards

The Distinguished Law Alumni Awards honor alumni who have obtained distinction in their professional or academic careers. Those honored share the same characteristics of leadership, progressive thinking, high standards, uncompromising integrity, commitment, courage, and confidence. Their careers serve as models for Washington University law students and alumni.

  • Hon. Michael Cherry JD '69

    2013 Distinguished Alumnus
    Hon. Michael A. Cherry, JD ’69
    Chief Justice, Nevada Supreme Court

    The Hon. Michael Cherry has been an attorney in Nevada since 1970 and was elected to the Supreme Court in 2006. In May 2012, he was nominated to be Chief Justice until the end of his current term. Chief Justice Cherry ran unopposed for a second term in November 2012. His new six-year term will end in January 2019.

    He began his career as a Deputy Clark County Public Defender before becoming a partner in the law firms of Manos & Cherry, and later Cherry, Bailus & Kelesis LTD. In 1981, Chief Justice Cherry was named Special Master of the MGM Grand Hotel Fire Litigation, and, in 1983, he assumed the
    duties of Special Master of the Las Vegas Hilton Fire Litigation. His work as Special Master has gained him nationwide recognition, and the procedures he established are now a part of most mass disaster litigation.

    Chief Justice Cherry served as an Alternate Municipal Judge for the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson, as well as Justice of the Peace Pro Tem and Small Claims Referee for Clark County. In 1994, he became an instructor for the University of Phoenix, teaching business law and history.
    Then in 1997, Chief Justice Cherry was named to lead the newly created Clark County Special Public Defender’s Office. He led a staff of six attorneys, serving in that capacity until
    his election to Department 17 of the Eighth Judicial District Court in November 1998.

    Chief Justice Cherry chairs the Indigent Defense Commission examining how the justice system deals with criminal defendants who cannot hire their own attorneys. He also is the Supervising Justice over the Senior Justice and Senior Judge Programs for the State of Nevada Judiciary.

    Before earning his JD from Washington University in 1969, he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in 1966. A native of St. Louis, he is the father of two and grandfather of two.

  • Glenn Dalton JD '77

    2013 Distinguished Alumnus
    Glenn L. Dalton, JD ’77
    Managing Partner, RKD Group

    Glenn Dalton, managing partner at RKD Group, has spent a career advising large corporations. First as house counsel, then as a human resource executive, and finally as management consultant, he has gained national recognition for his ability to help companies better manage their human capital.

    During law school, Mr. Dalton joined Ralston Purina Company as a summer clerk and ended up with a 20-year career. Attracted to Ralston by the rare opportunity for trial work as house counsel, he advanced to director of labor relations. He was then asked to help reverse a trend of deteriorating margins in the flagship pet food and cereal business as director of human resources.

    In 1995, he joined Sibson & Company, a fast-growing HR consulting firm, where he quickly rose to partner. At the 250-person firm, he gained a national reputation consulting to the telecommunications, consumer products, financial services, healthcare, mining, chemical, utilities, hospitality, and retail industries. After the firm’s IPO in 2001, he left to found RKD Group where his team continues consulting to large corporations. He is widely published, is a frequent speaker, and has been featured on TV and quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Industry Week, and Management Review.

    Mr. Dalton has served Washington University as president of the Law School’s Executive Committee, member of the Law Alumni Board of Governors, and national president of the Black
    Alumni Council. He co-founded and was chair of the Gateway Sickle Cell Disease Association, co-founded and was president of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Association of African
    Americans in Human Resources, and served on the NAAAHR national board. He has served on numerous other boards, including the Urban League of St. Louis, AAIM, INROADS, Union Sarah Economic Development Corporation, and Enzymatic Therapy Inc.

    An avid golfer and skier, Mr. Dalton has three sons and a stepdaughter. He and his wife, Brenda, share six grandchildren.

  • Cash Nickerson JD '85 MBA '93

    2013 Distinguished Alumnus
    Steven Cash Nickerson, JD ’85, MBA ’93
    President and CFO, PDS Tech Inc.

    Cash Nickerson is president and CFO of PDS Tech Inc., a position he has held for 10 years. With more than $440 million in annual sales, PDS is the fourth largest engineering and IT staffing firm in the United States. He has held a variety of legal and executive positions in his 25-year-plus career, including serving as an attorney and marketing executive for Union Pacific Railroad; an associate  and then partner at Jenner & Block, one of Chicago’s five largest law firms; and chairman and CEO of an Internet company he took public through a reverse merger.

    Mr. Nickerson holds both a JD and an MBA from Washington University, where he was an editor of the law review and a recipient of the US Steel Scholarship. Mr. Nickerson is chairman of the Dallas Regional Cabinet for Washington University. He is also a member of the National Council of the law school and International Council of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute. Additionally, he serves on the Equifax Workforce Solutions Client Advisory Board.

    Mr. Nickerson is licensed to practice law in California, Nevada, Illinois, Nebraska, and Texas, and he is a member of the American, Los Angeles, and Dallas Bar Associations. He received the Global Philanthropy Award from Washington University for his support of the Harris Institute’s Crimes Against Humanity Initiative. Mr. Nickerson holds a security clearance with a major department of the U.S. government. He is an avid martial artist, ranked as a third-degree black belt
    in Kenpo Karate, a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and a green belt in kickboxing. He also is a Russian Martial Arts instructor. Mr. Nickerson is the author of the recently released, critically acclaimed book, StagNation, Understanding the New Normal in Employment, and has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country.

    He and his wife, Evie, reside in Southlake, Texas, and have three children.

  • Andy Puzder JD '78

    2013 Distinguished Alumnus
    Andrew F. Puzder, JD ’78
    CEO, CKE Restaurants Inc.

    Andrew Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc. From 1978 through 1991, Mr. Puzder was a commercial trial lawyer in St. Louis. From 1978 through 1984, he practiced at the Law Offices of Morris A. Shenker. In 1984, he moved to The Stolar Partnership in St. Louis.

    While practicing law in St. Louis, Mr. Puzder met Carl Karcher, founder of the Carl’s Jr. quick-service restaurant chain. Mr. Karcher was embroiled in serious financial difficulties and asked Mr. Puzder to move to California as his personal attorney. In 1991, Mr. Puzder relocated to Orange County, California. He is credited with resolving Mr. Karcher’s financial dilemma, allowing
    Mr. Karcher to avoid bankruptcy and retain a significant ownership interest in the company he founded, CKE Restaurants Inc.

    In 1997, Mr. Puzder was named executive vice president and general counsel for CKE. Also in 1997, CKE purchased Hardee’s Food Systems Inc., which owned the Hardee’s quick-service restaurant brand. Faced with serious financial and operational issues, CKE’s Board of Directors named Mr. Puzder as president and CEO of Hardee’s Food Systems in June 2000 and named him president and CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc. in September of that year. Mr. Puzder is credited with turning around both the Hardee’s brand and CKE, allowing the company to survive, become financially secure, and return to growth.

    Mr. Puzder has been a guest on business news programs, including Your World w/Neil CavutoThe O’Reilly FactorMad Money, Fast Money, Power Lunch, Lou Dobbs Tonight, and Squawk on the Street. He recently co-wrote the book, Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It.

    In 2011, Mr. Puzder was an economic adviser and a spokesman for the Romney Campaign for President. He also served as a delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention and as chairman of the Platform Committee’s Sub-Committee on the Economy, Job Creation, and
    the Debt.

2013 Distinguished Young Law Alumni Awards

The Distinguished Young Law Alumni Awards honor alumni who graduated from the School of Law within the past 25 years. The recipients exemplify achievement and commitment to the ideals embodied in a School of Law education.

  • Arsalan Iftikhar AB '99 JD'03

    2013 Distinguished Young Alumnus 
    Arsalan Iftikhar, AB ’99, JD ’03
    Lawyer, Media Commentator, and Author

    Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, global media commentator, and author of the book, Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era. He is also a weekly commentator for National Public Radio (NPR) and a regular contributing writer for CNN.com and Esquire magazine (Middle East edition) on domestic and international issues. In May 2011, Mr. Iftikhar’s was named one of the top 12 Muslim Twitter accounts in the world by The Huffington Post. He has his own satirical blog, “The Muslim Guy,” and serves as senior editor for The Islamic
    Monthly magazine.

    Mr. Iftikhar is headquartered in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. His interviews,  commentaries, and analyses have appeared in media outlets, such as BBC World News, The TODAY Show, National Public Radio (NPR), FOX News Channel, MSNBC, Associated Press,
    C-SPAN, Voice of America (VOA), Agence France-Presse (AFP), USA TODAY, NBC Nightly News, Washington PostABC World News Tonight, Los Angeles Times, CBS News Up to the Minute, New York Times, Rolling Stone, TIMEThe Economist, and Newsweek.

    Additionally, Mr. Iftikhar was cast as a featured extra in the Warner Brothers spy movie thriller, Body of Lies (October 2008), starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. He was also a contributing author to Keeping Out the Other (Columbia University Press) and Taking Back Islam (Rodale Press). In 2011, he was invited to join The British Council’s “Our Shared Future” Opinion Leaders Network—a transatlantic network of opinion leaders and scholars whose work and ideas contribute to the public conversation on relations between Muslims and non-Muslims around the world. In 2006, the French Ambassador to the United States named Mr. Iftikhar to the  Personnalites d’Avenir (Personalities of the Future) World Leader Program in Paris sponsored by
    the French Foreign Ministry.

    Mr. Iftikhar received his AB in 1999 and JD in 2003, both from Washington University. A Chicago native, he specializes in international human rights law and is licensed to practice law in Washington, D.C.

  • Bob Millstone AB '85 JD '88 EMBA '02

    2013 Distinguished Young Alumnus
    Robert D. Millstone, AB ’85, JD ’88, EMBA ’02
    President and Founder, The Millstone Company

    Bob Millstone is the president and founder of The Millstone Company, a real estate and private equity investment company. Mr. Millstone is also a managing member of Millstone Capital Advisors LLC, which manages a private equity fund that primarily invests in small to mid-size companies in the Midwest.

    He was previously the president, CEO, and general counsel at Millstone Bangert Inc., a premier airport, heavy, and highway construction company. He also worked as senior trial attorney for the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice and as an associate at Coburn, Croft & Putzell (now Thompson Coburn). He received his AB in economics, JD, and Executive MBA, all from Washington University.

    Mr. Millstone has been active in a number of business, professional, and community organizations. His current activities include being a director of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, member of Good Government for Missouri, member of the Hawthorn Foundation, chair of the Board for the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, and president and director of the Millstone Foundation. He also serves as a member of the Governance and Education Leadership Committees of the Regional Business Council in St. Louis, member of the National Councils for the law school and Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University, and director of Royal Banks for Missouri.

    Among his honors, Mr. Millstone and his family received the St. Louis Chapter of the American Jewish Committee Netzach Award (2004). The City of St. Charles also recognized him with the Discovery!370 Visionary Award (2006).

  • Hon. Ellen Levy Siwak AB '85 JD'88

    2013 Distinguished Young Alumna
    Hon. Ellen Levy Siwak, AB ’85, JD ’88
    Circuit Judge, 21st Judicial Circuit of Missouri

    The Hon. Ellen Levy Siwak was appointed as a Circuit Court Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit of Missouri by Governor Matt Blunt in 2008. She currently serves as the Administrative (Presiding) Judge of the St. Louis County Family Court and is responsible for overseeing the administration of all facets of the Family Court of St. Louis County. She was an Associate Circuit Court Judge from 2002 to 2008 after her appointment by Governor Bob Holden. Judge Siwak served as a Family Court Commissioner from 1999 to 2002. Before her judicial appointment, she was a partner at Rosenblum, Goldenhersh, Silverstein & Zafft PC, specializing in commercial, civil, and domestic litigation.

    Judge Siwak received her undergraduate degree in 1985 and law degree in 1988, both from Washington University. She is a member of the Missouri Bar; the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis; the St. Louis County Bar Association, of which she previously served as president; the Missouri Association of Probate & Associate Circuit Judges, previously serving as president; the National Association of Women Judges; the Lawyers’ Association of St. Louis; and the Women Lawyers’ Association. She currently chairs the Domestic and Family Violence Council of St. Louis County and co-chairs the Domestic Violence Committee of the National Association of Women Judges.

    In 2012, Judge Siwak received the Missouri Lawyers Media Women’s Justice Award for outstanding public service. She currently serves as a troop leader for the Girl Scouts and an advisor for Pi Beta Phi Fraternity; sits on numerous Court Committees; is a faculty member of the
    Missouri State Judicial College and Orientation; and is a Fellows Candidate in the national Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Judicial Program.