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Stinson Leonard Street Elects Ten Partners

Press ReleaseNewly Elected Class is the First for the Newly Combined Firm
01.23.2014

Stinson Leonard Street LLP announced the election of 10 new partners, effective January 1, 2014.

"It's always a pleasure to announce the new class each year because it's an important step for each attorney who is elected to the partnership," said Lowell Stortz, co-managing partner, Stinson Leonard Street. "This year's class also has the added distinction of being Stinson Leonard Street's first new partner class."

"Each member of the class not only excels as to the technical aspects of practicing law, which has always been an important criterion," said Mark Hinderks, co-managing partner, Stinson Leonard Street. "Each attorney has also learned the fine art of dedicated client service, and has the potential to be a productive, valued partner in that regard, for years to come."

The 10 attorneys who have been elected partners are: Castor Armesto, Emmanuel Ayuk, Edwin Caldie, James Cronin, Andrew (Andy) Davis, Thomas Dowling, Katherine (Katie) Moerke, Craig Morgan, Scott Smalley and Cate Heaven Young.

Castor Armesto, a member of the firm's Private Business practice, advises clients on transactional matters, providing trusted counsel and practical advice to entrepreneurs and corporate decision makers. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, commercial contracting and investments in emerging companies. Armesto helps clients buy and sell businesses across industries and supports businesses as they buy and sell commodities, chemicals, and engineered products, both in the U.S. and abroad. He was recently named a 2013 Up & Coming Lawyer by Missouri Lawyers Weekly and he is a graduate of Leadership St. Louis. Armesto is active in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, serving as its president in 2011. As president, he founded the Latino Leadership Institute, a skills-based, leadership-training program focused on young Hispanic professionals, which received a 2013 What’s Right with the Region! award from FOCUS St. Louis®. Armesto earned a law degree from Washington University School of Law and a bachelor's degree, cum laude, in computer science and Spanish from Iowa State University.

Emmanuel Ayuk, a member of the firm's Business Litigation practice, represents clients involved in regulatory investigations, internal investigations, enforcement actions, and commercial disputes. He has experience representing companies involved in anti-bribery and anti-corruption investigations, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations. He has undertaken FCPA due diligence matters involving third-party intermediaries, joint venture targets and merger and acquisition targets; drafted anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance policies and procedures; conducted FCPA compliance training; and advised companies operating in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America on FCPA compliance. Ayuk has experience assisting domestic and international companies with legal matters in over 20 English and French speaking Sub-Saharan African countries relating to commercial, labor, tax, and customs disputes. He has worked on the ground in Sub-Saharan Africa assisting clients with legal disputes, conducting investigations, conducting due diligence, and conducting FCPA compliance training. Ayuk earned a law degree from the University of Tulsa and a bachelor's degree in political science from the Dickinson College.

Edwin Caldie, a member of the firm's Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights practice, represents creditors’ committees, companies, and individuals in Chapter 11 cases and commercial litigation matters. While Caldie has a broad range of commercial litigation experience, a significant part of his practice involves distressed assets and companies, financial services, workouts, complex commercial foreclosures, and bankruptcy. In the past 12 months alone, Caldie has represented the interests of unsecured creditors’ committees, corporate debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, equipment lessors, business owners, corporations, financial institutions, special servicers, trustees, governmental entities and others in Chapter 11 bankruptcies, civil lawsuits, workouts, commercial disputes, and complex negotiations. After starting his legal career in Washington, D.C., Caldie returned to the Midwest in 2008. Since then, Caldie has successfully litigated and settled dozens of financial and business disputes in both state and federal courts around the U.S. He earned a law degree, cum laude, from Boston University School of Law and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota.

James Cronin, a member of the firm's Intellectual Property and Technology practice, is a registered patent attorney. His practice focuses on all aspects of IP counseling, including: preparation and prosecution of patent, copyright, and trademark applications; patent non-infringement and invalidity opinions; trademark clearance; preparation and negotiation of IP assignments and licenses, joint development agreements, software license agreements, and non-disclosure agreements; IP due diligence for mergers and acquisitions; domain name disputes; and assisting with IP litigation. Cronin has prepared and/or prosecuted patent applications for inventions in a number of different fields, including sporting goods, tools, agricultural processing equipment, laboratory equipment, railcar equipment, automotive parts, and textiles. He also serves on the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. Cronin earned a law degree, magna cum laude, from St. Louis University and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Kansas.

Andrew (Andy) Davis, a member of the firm's Energy, Mining, Transportation and Telecommunications practice, focuses on litigation and counseling in matters involving energy law, environmental law and transportation law. He has extensive experience representing clients in complex civil litigation, state and federal enforcement actions, internal investigations and appellate court proceedings. In 2013, Davis was named an “Attorney of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer magazine. Before joining the firm, Davis served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. John R. Tunheim, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. He also worked in Senator Richard J. Durbin's Chicago office and taught English in Paris, France. Davis earned a law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School and a bachelor's degree in philosophy, with honors, from the University of Chicago.

Thomas Dowling, a member of the firm's Employee Benefits practice, focuses on the creation, ongoing administration and regulatory compliance of health and welfare benefit plans for public, private and tax-exempt organizations. He advises clients on Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform) implementation and compliance. Dowling represents employers, banks, insurers and administrators on matters relating to health plans, health FSAs, HSAs and HRAs, including regulatory compliance related to claims and payment processing services. He has extensive experience designing wellness programs to comply with HIPAA, GINA and the ADA. Dowling also advises on employee benefits issues related to retirement plans, fiduciary compliance and equity compensation arrangements in light of IRS and ERISA rules and requirements. He authors the employee benefits chapter in the Missouri Bar CLE publication and is involved in several civic and community organizations in leadership positions. In 2012, Dowling was named an Up & Coming attorney by Missouri Lawyers Weekly. He earned a law degree from St. Louis University and a bachelor's degree in finance from Kansas State University.

Katherine (Katie) Moerke, a member of the firm's Intellectual Property and Technology practice, is a trial attorney who focuses her practice on IP litigation, including patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret cases, and complex business and commercial litigation, including environmental cases, contractual disputes and business torts. Moerke has represented clients and litigated numerous cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota and federal courts throughout the U.S. Her experience in patent cases includes those involving software and the internet, medical devices, composite products, and consumer goods. Moerke also focuses on technical due diligence for technology transactions, including addressing copyright, licensing, and open source issues with respect to software. After law school, Moerke clerked for the Hon. James M. Rosenbaum, then Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. During law school, Moerke served as Editor-in-Chief of the Minnesota Law Review. Moerke earned a law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School and a bachelor's degree in chemistry, cum laude, from Carleton University.

Craig Morgan, a member of the firm's Business Litigation practice, is a trial attorney who focuses on general litigation. He has significant experience handling commercial disputes, lender liability defense, provisional remedies, creditor’s rights litigation, and post-judgment enforcement matters. He frequently works with various financial institutions, lenders, MBS servicers, and CMBS servicers, on a national basis, with respect to litigation involving commercial disputes, real property secured loan workouts, receivership appointments, deficiencies, real estate owned-related litigation, lease issues, lender liability under the Truth in Lending Act, Home Owner Equity Protection Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and related matters. Morgan also has experience in public records law, defamation, legal malpractice, media law and political law. He clerked for the Hon. Jefferson L. Lankford (ret.) of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Morgan earned a law degree, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree in history from Marshall University.

Scott Smalley, a member of the firm's Banking and Financial Services practice, focuses his practice on transactional matters involving financial institutions. He assists lenders and borrowers involved in loan transactions, including term loan financing secured by real and personal property, revolving credit facilities, construction lending, loan workouts and structured finance transactions involving new markets and historic tax credits, bond purchases and other public incentives. He provides counsel for bank mergers, stock purchase agreements, asset purchase and assumption agreements, branch sales and interstate banking and branching. Smalley's bank regulatory experience includes advising clients before the Federal Reserve, OCC, FDIC and state regulators regarding applications and examinations, regulatory capital, transactions with affiliates, banking powers and investments, regulatory enforcement actions and compliance issues. Smalley has been involved in several industry and civic organizations outside of the firm. In 2009, he was named Man of the Year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He is actively involved with the Kansas Bankers Association and serves as an ambassador to the KBA Young Bank Officers of Kansas. Smalley earned a law degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor's degree in accounting from Kansas State University.

Cate Heaven Young, a member of the firm's Private Business practice, provides general counsel services to private and public companies. She advises clients on business matters, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, compliance matters and IP. Young also assists emerging companies with formation, business planning and financing matters. She acquired business counseling experience in her former roles as general counsel for two different publicly-traded companies. Young has been involved in several industry and civic organizations outside of the firm, including volunteer service with WomenVenture. Young earned a law degree, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School and bachelor's degrees in psychology and political science, with highest distinction, from the University of Kansas.

About Stinson Leonard Street

Stinson Leonard Street LLP provides sophisticated transactional and litigation legal services to clients ranging from individuals and privately held enterprises to national and international public companies. As one of the 75 largest firms in the U.S., Stinson Leonard Street has more than 520 attorneys and offices in 14 cities, including Minneapolis, Mankato and St. Cloud, Minn.; Kansas City, St. Louis and Jefferson City, Mo.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Denver, Colo.; Washington, D.C.; Decatur, Ill.; Wichita and Overland Park, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; and Bismarck, N.D.

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Gretchen DeSutter
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612.335.1657

gretchen.desutter@stinson.com

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