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Home / People and Practices / People & Practices: Jan. 9, 2023
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People & Practices: Jan. 9, 2023

Benjamin Gilchrist (left) and Kiralyn Locke

Benjamin Gilchrist (left) and Kiralyn Locke

Bassford Remele announces that Benjamin D. Gilchrist and Kiralyn J. Locke have become associates of the firm.

Benjamin Gilchrist is a litigation attorney, focusing his practice in the areas of construction, real estate, consumer law defense, and trust and estates litigation. He has experience managing complex construction defect cases involving multiple parties and land-use issues, including zoning disputes. Ben graduated cum laude from the University of St. Thomas School of Law and is licensed in Minnesota and South Carolina.

Kiralyn Locke focuses her practice in the areas of commercial litigation, employment law, trust and estates litigation, consumer law defense, and professional liability. Kira graduated summa cum laude from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, where she served as an Articles Editor of the Mitchell Hamline Law Review.


Schindel Segal and Mendoza Law have merged to create Schindel Segal Mendoza, PLLC (SSM). The merger combines two complementary practices focused on business law, employment and labor law, real estate, litigation, internet, communications, data privacy, cybersecurity, and arts and entertainment law. SSM will have offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul and looks forward to serving clients and community in both locations.


From left: Eli Bensignor, Kara Gray, Bradley Hintze

From left: Eli Bensignor, Kara Gray, Bradley Hintze

Lathrop GPM announces that three attorneys in its Minneapolis office have become partners:

Eli Bensignor dedicates his practice to franchise, distribution, and licensing matters. He counsels emerging and seasoned franchisors across the U.S. on day-to-day matters, including analyzing and drafting agreements and commercial contracts, advising on regulatory compliance, and filing registrations. Bensignor also represents buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions of franchise systems, including private equity backed deals. He earned his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law.

Kara Gray focuses her practice on estate planning, estate and trust administrations, business succession planning, and charitable giving. She works closely with clients to develop an estate plan that achieves their legacy goals and minimizes taxes through the implementation of various estate planning strategies, including grantor retained annuity trusts, intentionally defective grantor trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts, and irrevocable life insurance trusts. Gray earned her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.

Bradley Hintze has extensive experience working with local and regional developers, lenders, and landlords, as well as businesses of all sizes in a variety of real estate transactions. These include transfers and development, commercial lending, and leasing transactions. Hintze earned his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.


Mary Susan Gerber

Mary Susan Gerber

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., announces that attorney Mary Susan Gerber has joined the firm as counsel in the Trademark & Brand Protection practice.

Gerber represents clients in all aspects of the trademark prosecution process, including trademark clearance searches, preparing and filing trademark applications, responding to office actions, and proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Prior to joining the firm, she was a Trademark Examining Attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and also worked with several large food manufacturers, navigating nutrition communications and strategy, claims, and regulatory issues.

Gerber earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where she was editor in chief of the University of St. Thomas Law Journal. She earned her M.S. in Food Science and her B.S. in Dietetics from the Florida State University.


Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., formally announces the elevation of seven new Shareholders, and five Managing Associates. Raha Assadi-Lamouki, Catherine Cumming, Amber Kraemer, Kyle Kroll, Neil Mahoney, Joshua Noah and Samuel Stalsberg have been promoted to Shareholders, and Chelsea Ahmann, Steve Kool, Jessica Timmington Lindstrom, Paul Manda and Samuel Thompson have been selected as the firm’s Managing Associates.

Raha Assadi-Lamouki represents banking and other financial institutions in a range of matters covering all aspects of the lending process, including traditional secured and unsecured revolving credit and term loans, syndicated loans, construction and real estate financing, and transactions involving new markets tax credits. She helps clients find opportunities that they might not have known existed, and navigate through obscure processes and procedures. In addition to her work at the firm, Raha serves on the Young Professionals Board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Catherine “Katie” Cumming represents nonprofit and for-profit developers in highly structured commercial real estate transactions. Katie’s practice involves the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, refinancing, and disposition of market rate and affordable multifamily developments. Katie advises developers on a wide variety of financing structures and transactions which often utilize tax credits, bonds, governmental and private funding sources. Katie helps developers navigate the various stages of a real estate transaction from the initial acquisition through disposition, partner buyouts, and/or resyndication and everything that happens in between. In addition to real estate development and finance, Katie works with nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations with their creation, ongoing operations, corporate structure and governance, and compliance with the Internal Revenue Code. Katie volunteers with numerous non-profit organizations and serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota.

Amber Kraemer represents community banks on a wide range of corporate and banking matters, including mergers and acquisitions and the associated financing, branch sales and assumptions, capital planning and issuance, chartering and formation, compliance and regulatory issues, employment matters, corporate governance,  and third-party vendor negotiations and agreements. She also represents companies on similar issues including mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, business formation, contracts and corporate governance.

Kyle Kroll focuses his litigation practice on representing clients in business matters, especially in banking, food and beverage, manufacturing, insurance, technology, and energy sectors. He has experience in navigating complex cases involving trade practices, false advertising, intellectual property, and more—in both trials and appeals. Prior to joining Winthrop & Weinstine, he clerked for The Honorable Joan N. Ericksen in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Kyle is very active in the local and national legal community, and serves on numerous boards and committees of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, American Bar Association, and more.

Cornelius “Neil” Mahoney has substantial experience in multifamily housing financing and development with a strong focus on the utilization of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC), state & federal agency financing, senior housing development, and project-exits and restructuring. He also handles general real estate matters and debt financing. A majority of his recent transactions are located in Minnesota, Colorado, Texas, and Florida, but he has worked on developments across the country. He is licensed to practice law in Minnesota and Florida.

Joshua Noah represents real estate developers, lenders and investors in connection with affordable housing, historic, wind, and solar developments. His work focuses on leveraging state and federal tax credits, private activity bonds and other federal and state governmental programs to finance the new construction or substantial rehabilitation of a variety of developments for local governmental agencies, nonprofits and for-profit developers. In addition to providing counsel on tax credit finance related matters, he also provides counsel on how to pursue tax efficient transactions and organizations for real estate developers, exit or “Year 15” strategies for existing tax credit partnerships, leverage various forms of property tax exemptions, as well as general real estate matters with a specific perspective of how to facilitate future tax credit transactions.

Samuel Stalsberg represents clients of all sizes in their estate planning needs, including business succession planning, estate and tax planning, wills, trusts, and more. He uses his background in finance and tax to help clients find the best solutions for their families and businesses, and to help them achieve peace of mind. Areas of his experience also include guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, managing probate administrations, and representing closely held business clients in a range of matters.

Chelsea Ahmann represents clients in a wide range of litigation matters, including employment, breach of contract, shareholder disputes, intellectual property, and defamation claims, among others. She also practices in the regulatory and health law area, including regulatory board defense. Chelsea’s broad range of experience informs each matter, allowing her to develop creative solutions for complex issues. In addition, Chelsea volunteers her time with the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota as counsel for youth in foster care, and as a mentor and advisor through Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Steve Kool represents developers of multi-family affordable housing projects utilizing various incentives, including Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, to finance projects, focusing on all aspects of representation from the purchase agreement to closing on the debt and equity financing to ensure that each project is successful.  Prior to joining Winthrop & Weinstine, he practiced law in-house, and applies that experience to his representation of clients to inform communication and collaboration.  Steve also serves as a mentor through the University of St. Thomas School of Law mentorship program.

Jessica Timmington Lindstrom represents clients in every aspect of estate, trust and probate administration, and estate planning. She has a particular focus on Elder Law, and advises clients in long-term care planning, government benefits, disability planning including special and supplemental needs trusts, along with an extensive practice area in guardianship, conservatorship, and contested probate and trust administration matters.

Paul Manda represents developers, investors and lenders in utilizing Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to finance affordable housing developments and help promote community development in under-resourced areas. In addition to his work with tax credits, he also represents clients with investments in structured financial products. He regularly assists clients with purchase agreements, conveyance documents, partner disposition documents, construction contracts, organizational documents, land issues, loan documents, equity documents, security offering documents, due diligence and other matters.

Samuel Thompson represents clients in the development of real estate projects, including those involving federal and state tax credits. He assists and advises his clients in navigating complex tax, regulatory and financing structures associated with such tax credit financing. He regularly works with his clients in facilitating their entitlements process, negotiating site control, advising on title related matters, structuring financing and underwriting for the transaction, and coordinating with project partners, investors and lenders. He has vast experience in assisting clients who build ground-up construction, acquiring and rehabilitating existing multifamily properties and coordinating the acquisitions and dispositions of large multifamily portfolios.


Marissa Newton (left) and Andrew Page

Marissa Newton (left) and Andrew Page

Maslon LLP announces the addition of attorney Marissa Newton to the firm’s Corporate & Securities Group and attorney Andrew Page to the Financial Services Group.

Newton advises clients on a range of corporate and transactional needs. She focuses on trademark matters, complex commercial transactions, commercial contracts, and general corporate law. Through prior in-house and outside general counsel roles, including with a firm she co-founded, Newton has gained considerable experience in business formation, strategic business planning, drafting and negotiating complex contracts, drafting regulatory plans, managing business acquisitions, conducting risk assessment analyses, assessing data privacy and cybersecurity concerns, and managing intellectual property matters, including clearance, brand research, and defense support.

Newton earned her juris doctor from Hamline University School of Law, a certificate in global arbitration law and practice from Queen Mary University in London, and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Minnesota.

Page assists clients through bankruptcy, reorganization, and corporate trust proceedings. He excels at bringing strategic solutions to complex and often contentious matters. Prior to joining Maslon, Page was an associate at a large national firm, where he counseled clients in corporate trust, fraudulent transfer, and preference defense matters. He also gained valuable experience serving as a law clerk to the Honorable LaShonda A. Hunt in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, drafting opinions and memoranda on a range of novel issues under Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code as well as Subchapter V of Chapter 11, created by the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019.


From left: Jevon Bindman, Peter Doely, Katie Eisler

From left: Jevon Bindman, Peter Doely, Katie Eisler

Maslon LLP announces that attorneys Jevon Bindman, Peter Doely, and Katie Eisler have been elected to the law firm’s partnership, effective Jan. 1.

Bindman, a partner in Maslon’s Litigation Group, is an experienced trial lawyer who has taken numerous complex matters to jury verdict. He helps companies of all sizes navigate each phase of the litigation process, and he has the skills and experience to advocate for his clients’ rights at trial and on appeal. Bindman focuses his work on construction, insurance coverage, and appellate litigation as well as general commercial matters. He has significant experience with contract disputes, policyholder insurance coverage claims, and construction defect and mechanic’s lien claims. He also regularly handles appeals in the Eighth Circuit and Minnesota appellate courts. In addition, Bindman serves as a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committees on the Rules of Evidence and the Rules of Civil Procedure.

Litigation Group partner Doely focuses his practice on resolving construction and insurance coverage disputes. He provides practical advice to help his clients navigate all phases of their construction projects, from contract negotiations to asserting or defending claims. He has represented owners, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and design professionals in matters such as construction and design defect claims, claims for extra work, bond claims, mechanic’s liens, and bid protests. He also advises insurance policyholders, particularly policyholders in the construction industry, about their coverage, and he ensures they receive the full benefits of that coverage. In addition, Doely is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, teaching the Insurance Law Clinic, and he serves on the board of directors of the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota.

Eisler, a Corporate & Securities Group partner, assists clients across a broad range of corporate and transactional legal needs. She has managed and negotiated complex mergers & acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, buy-sell agreements, and business succession agreements. Her expertise also includes negotiating, drafting, and revising a variety of commercial contracts. She ensures clients remain up to date and compliant on data retention, website terms of use, and website privacy policies, and clients also rely on Eisler’s expertise in corporate governance issues. Eisler serves on the private business governance subcommittee of the Minnesota State Bar Association and frequently presents on issues such as data privacy, business agreements, and entity formation.


Ogletree Deakins has promoted Brent Kettelkamp to shareholder in the firm’s Minneapolis office. His practice focuses on labor and employment law, where he regularly defends employers in employment-related litigation, including claims of discrimination arising under Title VII, the FMLA, the ADA, the ADEA, and comparable state laws, as well as claims of retaliation arising under state and federal anti-discrimination and whistleblower statutes. Kettelkamp also regularly represents employers in labor arbitrations, OSHA investigations and litigation, and before federal and state administrative agencies.

Kettelkamp earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Bethel University.


Ogletree Deakins recently named Patrick Martin as office managing shareholder in the firm’s Minneapolis office.

Martin follows Cynthia Bremer in the role of Minneapolis office managing shareholder. Martin has spent more than 12 years at Ogletree Deakins since helping found the Minneapolis office in 2010. He has successfully defended employers in the full range of whistleblowing, discrimination, and employment claims, and he also defends and prosecutes non-compete lawsuits. Further, Martin serves on the firm’s Client Services Steering Committee and the firm’s Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets Practice Group Steering Committee.

Martin earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Mankato State University.


Saul Ewing has elected six attorneys to the firm’s partnership and promoted six attorneys to counsel, all effective Jan. 1.

In the Minneapolis office, the firm promoted to counsel Erin Westbrook who assists corporate clients as well as closely held and family-owned businesses with intellectual property issues and business disputes. She litigates cases involving trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, contracts, and fiduciary duties. She also advises on intellectual property issues ranging from license agreements and brand strategy to social media use and proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Ms. Westbrook previously served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Matthew E. Johnson of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Prior to her legal career, she was a business consultant and certified public accountant, where she led internal reviews of financial processes, conducted internal and external audits, and designed processes to reduce risk and maintain compliance with regulations.


Effective Dec. 31, 2022, Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, a Detroit-area firm with more than 120 attorneys representing over 25 practice areas, joined Taft.

With this addition, Taft now has more than 800 attorneys in eight primary Midwest markets and the District of Columbia.

First announced in September 2022, the combination of Jaffe and Taft will offer greater benefits to their clients, bringing together two firms that value a client-first approach, commitment to culture, and collaborative mindset. Founded 54 years ago in 1968, Jaffe has established itself as one of the most respected full-service law firms in Michigan — representing public and private clients throughout the Midwest and United States, and internationally, with a Midwestern rate structure. This expansion not only welcomes new talent and resources to both firms, but it also creates a stronger overall presence across markets and further strengthens Taft’s position as the modern law firm.

“The Jaffe team is excited to embark on this journey, joining with Taft to expand our offering in the Detroit market,” said Mark Cooper, Taft Detroit’s partner-in-charge. “We’ve been working collaboratively as Team Taft to create a seamless transition for our clients, attorneys, and staff while bringing significant enhancements to our current capabilities in the region. We look forward to starting this new, modern chapter.”

Taft operates under a “One Taft” leadership mentality — a structure that offers balanced representation across Taft markets and practice areas in all firm-wide, executive-level decisions. With this combination, Taft Detroit will have four seats on the firm’s executive committee. Each Taft market is empowered to make decisions locally while being supported by the Taft brand, vision, and firm-wide resources.

“At Taft, we are extremely pleased to welcome such incredible talent to our team — sharing a strong commitment to our clients, while also enhancing the way we operate and deliver services as a modern law firm. As a united front, we look forward to continuing to grow, engage, and support the Detroit community,” said Robert J. Hicks, Taft’s chairman and managing partner.

People & Practices is a lightly edited compilation of news releases from law firms and other organizations. Minnesota Lawyer welcomes news about hires, promotions and other activities in the legal profession. Send releases (and photos if desired) to [email protected].

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