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Home / People and Practices / People & Practices: Feb. 6, 2023
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People & Practices: Feb. 6, 2023

Amanda Cialkowski

Amanda Cialkowski

Cialkowski named next president of NJL law firm

Amanda Cialkowski has been named the next president of Nilan Johnson Lewis, the firm has announced. Cialkowski is the second female president at NJL, which became one of the country’s largest certified women-owned law firms last year. She succeeds Heidi Christianson, who remains an NJL Board member and shareholder.

Cialkowski joined NJL in 2000 and has emerged as one of the most prolific and accomplished corporate trial lawyers in the Twin Cities with a growing mediation practice as well. She was admitted to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2022 and has secured defense verdicts in four of five trials and arbitrations since the COVID-19 pandemic. On Jan. 24, she received the prestigious Mary Massaron Award for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession from the Defense Research Institute (DRI).

“It’s an honor to lead an innovative law firm that takes a long-term view in how it treats its team members and national client partners,” said Cialkowski. “I’m excited to further the firm’s exceptional legal services by demonstrating to professionals the amazing impact felt when relationships are rich and thoughtful, knowledge is cultivated into results, and commitment is rewarded. I look forward to fostering continued innovation as we seek to become a first-choice place of employment for the next generation of talented legal services providers.”

After receiving her B.A. in psychology from Carleton College, Cialkowski attended the University of Oregon Law School, where she graduated magna cum laude and received Order of the Coif. Before joining NJL she clerked for the Oregon Court of Appeals and served as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Law.

“Amanda’s interpersonal and persuasive skills are extraordinary leadership qualities and her abilities to make sense of and take action on multifaceted organizational issues will serve Nilan Johnson Lewis and its clients incredibly well,” said NJL Past President Heidi Christianson. “The firm is in great hands.”

Winthrop & Weinstine board named

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., has announced that Todd Urness has been re-elected to the Board of Directors, and Matthew McBride has been elected to the Board. Members of Winthrop & Weinstine’s Board of Directors each serve a three-year term, with elections occurring on a rolling basis.

The Board members for 2023 are Tammera Diehm, president; David Aafedt; Thomas Kettleson; Erin Mathern; Matthew McBride; Anton Moch; Todd Urness; and Joseph Windler.

McBride is a commercial litigator. He represents businesses in a broad range of industries, including financial services, construction, retail, manufacturing and affordable housing.  He  represents clients in matters ranging from breach of contract/financing arrangements and enforcement of creditors’ remedies, to the defense of complex class actions. He previously served on the firm’s Board of Directors in 2007-2013 and 2015-2018, and was also previously Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Litigation department.

Urness represents business and real estate owners, developers and investors as well as banks, syndicators and other financial or lending institutions throughout the upper Midwest in tax credit financing and real estate transactions. He advises on complex development and finance related issues, including the use of tax-exempt bonds, tax increment financing, tax credits, joint venture and partnership matters, city, county and other governmental subsidies. He has specific and substantial expertise in multifamily housing development and finance including the development and financing of rental and for-sale housing, as well as commercial and mixed use facilities. He advises clients in all aspects of real estate development, from land acquisition and assembly, joint venture relationships, construction, mezzanine and permanent financing matters as well as the negotiation, documentation and monetization of subsidies such as tax increment financing and tax credits.

Chudasama elected shareholder at Bassford Remele

Anu Chudasama

Anu Chudasama

Bassford Remele has announced that Anu Chudasama has been elected to shareholder.

Anu Chudasama represents individuals and entities at all stages of litigation, including on appeal. She focuses her practice in medical malpractice, legal malpractice, personal injury, insurance coverage disputes, general liability, and fire/explosions and is well-experienced in these areas.

Chudasama is the chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Professional Regulation Committee. She was appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court to the No-Fault Standing Committee and is a no-fault arbitrator. Anu has also been active in the State Bar of Wisconsin. She has served on the Board of Governors, including as Chair of its Governance Committee, as well as the Nonresident Lawyers Division Board as President. Anu is licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York.

LaCanne joins judicial selection commission

Beth LaCanne

Beth LaCanne

Beth LaCanne has been appointed to the Commission on Judicial Selection for the Tenth Judicial District by the Minnesota Supreme Court, Bassford Remele has announced. The commission addresses vacancies in their district and must recommend to the governor between three and five nominees for each judicial vacancy no more than 60 days after receipt of notice of the vacancy.

LaCanne is a litigator focusing her practice in the areas of employment litigation/advice, professional liability, and general liability. She brings broad legal knowledge and litigation skills in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, health law, employment law, and professional licensure to her clients. Beth is licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Beth graduated magna cum laude from Hamline University School of Law, where she was an Associate Editor on the Hamline Law Review, and she served as a law clerk in the Fourth Judicial District to Judge Diane B. Bratvold (prior to her appointment to the Minnesota Court of Appeals) and Judge Ivy S. Bernhardson.

Kraus Anderson names Engelsma to additional post

Kraus-Anderson Cos. has named Brad Engelsma corporate secretary and senior associate general counsel.

Brad Engelsma

Brad Engelsma

Engelsma joined Kraus-Anderson’s legal team in 2016 and was named senior associate general counsel in 2021, where he has provided legal representation on a variety of matters involving KA’s business entities, including real estate, construction, and insurance operations.

As corporate secretary, Engelsma will focus on corporate governance for Kraus-Anderson Companies, Inc., advising on current practices, and supporting the continued development of the holding company’s governance practices.  He also will provide oversight of Kraus-Anderson’s corporate compliance efforts.

In his role as senior associate general counsel, Engelsma performs legal work primarily for Kraus-Anderson Companies, including in the areas of corporate contracts, labor and employment, trademark and intellectual property, corporate transactions and mergers and acquisitions. Engelsma serves as a member of the board of directors for: Kraus-Anderson Cos.; Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.; and the Kraus-Anderson Community Foundation. He also serves on the executive advisory committee for the Kraus-Anderson Health Care Plan and the administrative committee of the Kraus-Anderson Savings Plan.

Engelsma earned his B.A. from Colgate University and his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.  He is also a Peace Corps alumnus having served in El Salvador.

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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