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People & Practices: April 10, 2023

More leadership transitions at Faegre Drinker

Faegre Drinker has completed a series of leadership transitions, including elevating Gina Kastel as the firm’s first female chair and electing several new board members. The firm’s executive leadership team also includes new appointments as Kastel assumes her role, effective April 1.

Kastel has appointed partners David Barrett, Andrew Joseph, Heather Perkins and Judy Reich, Chief Operating Officer Jane Koehl and Chief Diversity Officer Maria Lewis to serve, or continue serving, as part of Faegre Drinker’s executive leadership team, which supports Kastel in managing firmwide operations.

Additionally, Faegre Drinker has announced that its partnership has elected Jacob Bylund, Jennifer Dean and Sarah Bassler Millar to Faegre Drinker’s board, which sets firm policy and strategy. Bylund and Dean are new appointees, effective April 1, and Millar has been reelected.

“Our new board members’ diverse viewpoints and experiences in various firm leadership roles will help sharpen our strategic focus and support our efforts to become one of the most trusted brands in the legal profession,” Kastel said.

The three partners join fellow board members Libby Baney and William Connolly, whose terms also began April 1, as announced earlier this year. The full board includes Kastel and partners Baney, Bonnie Allyn Barnett, Morgan Burns, Gretchen Miller Busch, Bylund, Trevor Carter, Connolly, John D’Andrea, Dean, Tracy Ferak, Sandra Grannum, Marc Leaf, Millar, Joseph Smith and Jonathan Zimmerman.

From left: Philip C. Carruthers, Elizabeth V. Cutter, Thomas W. Pugh

From left: Philip C. Carruthers, Elizabeth V. Cutter, Thomas W. Pugh

Gilbert Mediation adds ADR neutrals

Gilbert Mediation Center Ltd. is expanding to meet the growing demand for Alternative Dispute Resolution services. It welcomes Philip C. Carruthers, Elizabeth V. Cutter and Thomas W. Pugh to its roster of ADR neutrals. These former judges all provide mediation, arbitration, and special master services and bring substantial private practice, judicial and public service, and leadership experience to assist parties in resolving their disputes.

Carruthers served as a Hennepin County judge from 2011 to 2022. Before that, he served in the Minnesota House of Representatives, including as speaker of the House, majority leader and chair of the House Rules Committee. He was a lawyer in private law practice for 21 years, with an emphasis on civil litigation. He then joined the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, where he was the director of the Civil Division before being appointed a judge in 2011. As a judge, he mediated many civil cases and in his years as an attorney, participated in numerous mediations and arbitrations (both as an attorney for the parties and as an arbitrator). He is a Qualified Neutral under Rule 114.

Cutter served as a Hennepin County judge from 2014 to 2022. She presided over pretrials, court trials, and jury trials involving trusts, estates, guardianships, conservatorships, dissolutions (with and without children), maintenance, child support and asset division, as well as criminal trials. She has a broad legal background with years of experience as trial lawyer. She provides experience-based conflict resolution through an efficient, timely, individually tailored, and confidential process. Her practice is focused on assisting families resolve disputes in the areas of probate and family law as a consensual special master, parenting consultant, and mediator. She is a Qualified Neutral under Rule 114.

Pugh served as a Dakota County judge from 2011 to 2019, assigned to criminal, civil, and family law matters. He presided over numerous jury and court trials involving criminal charges, family law, employment claims, personal injury, business disputes, probate matters, and real estate law. Before his judicial services, he practiced law in South St. Paul, handling a variety of legal matters. He also served in the Minnesota House of Representatives and was appointed to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, where he was the lead commissioner on regulation of the telecommunication industry. He is currently a Rule 114 Qualified Neutral and is included on the Civil Adjudicative/Evaluative Roster.

Brian S. McCool

Brian S. McCool

Real estate group elects McCool as new fellow

Fredrikson attorney Brian S. McCool has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL).

ACREL is a group of more than 1,000 lawyers distinguished for their skill, experience, and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of real estate law. Entry to ACREL is by invitation only to exceptional real estate lawyers who have contributed to the improvement of real estate law through a combination of speaking, writing, teaching, and serving on relevant boards and commissions.

McCool chairs Fredrikson’s Real Estate & Construction Group. McCool relies heavily on his business and finance background to understand his clients’ businesses so that he can best help these clients capitalize on opportunities and obtain sensible and efficient outcomes to challenges that may arise. McCool has significant experience partnering with landowners, developers, investors, and builders to help them understand and navigate through the various steps that must be taken to make a development project a reality.

Maslon welcomes Ruskey to firm

Joe Ruskey

Joe Ruskey

Maslon LLP has added attorney Joe Ruskey to the firm’s Corporate & Securities Group.

Ruskey represents strategic investors, private equity funds, and public and private companies on a range of transactional business matters spanning a variety of industries. He has provided outside general counsel services and helped guide clients through mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, fund formations, fund regulatory and compliance matters, financings, private placements and public securities offerings, and other general business issues.

Ruskey earned his juris doctor, cum laude, from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Prior to law school, he studied international affairs in Paris and earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in English writing from Illinois Wesleyan University, where the first theatrical play he wrote was staged and produced.

Hyman joins Spencer Fane in Minneapolis

Johanna Hyman has joined the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group as an associate in the Minneapolis office of Spencer Fane LLP.

Hyman brings experience handling local, national, and international complex commercial litigation related to business disputes and contentious transactions in venues throughout the country. Her clients range from financial institutions to retail organizations, and include technology, media, and entertainment companies.

Notably, Hyman’s financial services experience includes representing national banks, trustees and custodians, and credit card issuers, in high-stakes cases involving claims for civil conspiracy and fraud, as well as statutory claims arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Telephone Consumer Protect Act. She also has developed a successful track record in complex matters involving fraud schemes, aiding and abetting liability, and allegations related to breach of duties.

Hyman also regularly provides volunteer and pro bono services to various organizations, including Minnesota’s Springboard for the Arts, The Advocates for Human Rights, and the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis.

She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin and earned her Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

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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