Lawyer Magazine_Winter 2020

on at Legal Aid Services of Northeastern Minnesota. Rachel worked at Legal Aid for nearly 11 years, and eight of those years she served as the managing attorney, practicing primarily family law, but also served as a poverty law generalist. Rachel earned the honor of the Minnesota Justice Foundation’s 2019 Direct Legal Services Award as well as the Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota’s 2019 Dawn Carlson Family Advocate Award. In February 2020, Rachel was awarded a contract with Itasca County to serve as a parent attorney in child protection cases and opened upWeis Legal Solutions LLC. She is now practicing in family law and child protection, with plans to expand her areas of practice in the near future. As long as she keeps winning awards, I think Rachel will do just fine. I’m hoping she can earn top honors at the Deer River Bar-B-Que and Brew Fest and/or the North Star Stampede Rodeo and/or the Northwoods Pond Hockey Championship. There are lots of opportunities to shine! Chuck Berendes continues to practice primarily immigration law at Pittman & Pittman in La Crosse,WI, but he knows some things about some other things as well. To entertain the kids while they were out of school, the Berendes family got a trampoline (which took over three months to arrive)

status and with her Maryland State bar license. Texas is one of 34 states that accommodate the spouse of an active duty military member ordered to serve in the state. Sopanha is currently at HilliardMartinez Gonzales LLP, serving as their Intake Attorney Manager, evaluating all the cases that come through the firm as well as dipping her feet into the mass torts/class action/MDL and medical malpractice arenas. Unwittingly, Sopanha also took on the role of a 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th grade teacher in the midst of COVID-19. However, it is unlikely that her Texas Teacher License will come through before her husband is reassigned to a new military post in another state. I talked to TimHart on the phone the other day. He still knows a bunch of stuff about immigration law and he’s still a really good guy. On May 2, 2020, Adela Meraz and Chris Ramirez welcomed Dolores Olive (pictured below) into the safer at home world. Olive enjoys appropriately distanced socializing, being outside, and she can’t wait to party more in short intervals. (If a person can party in short intervals and nap in proportional intervals, I think they’ve really got it figured out.) Adela and Chris are healthy and, although often tired, pretty happy.

matters, including sexual harassment, whistleblower retaliation, discrimination and other forms of workplace conduct by employers. Kaarin has also been named a Rising Star and Super Lawyer every year since 2014, and she regularly speaks at employment and trial law conferences. Kaarin also serves on the board of the Innocence Project of Minnesota. Mike Will has become the new General Counsel for FOXO BioScience LLC of Minneapolis. FOXO’s website states that the company is “Reimagining the future of underwriting and supporting the growth of the global life insurance market with a next-generation protocol and consumer engagement platform focused on molecular health and wellness.” Finally, I have changed positions at the Attorney General’s Office, and I now manage the staff of the Residential Utilities Division. The RUD advocates for residential and small business utility ratepayers, mostly in front of Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission. This has been both a wonderful and difficult change, because I really loved my previous job providing legal counsel to the PUC. But I have a fantastic team of attorneys and financial analysts, which has made the transition as smooth and easy as possible. Thanks for those of you who provided updates, and we will wait to hear from the rest of you soon! Ian Dobson Class of 2007 Send your 2007 class notes and photos to Chuck Berendes ( After years of lobbying different jurisdictions to institute temporary bar licensure for military spouses, Sopanha Anderson has finally been able to take advantage of the opportunity. In June 2020, Sopanha became the first military spouse in Texas to waive in under her military spouse

dirt next to the house that serves as an ever-evolving bike jump and a neighbor or two shooting Nerf guns from the tree fort, while a neighboring mom and toddler check the chicken coop for eggs. Class of 2008 Send your 2008 class notes and photos to Andrea Hoversten (

Holly Fistler is now senior counsel at Thrivent. Suzanne Jones is now a

partner at Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP (Minneapolis). Suzanne represents insurance companies in complex first and third-party insurance coverage disputes in state and federal courts across the country. Her practice also covers equine law. Kelly Micheletti was elected managing partner at her law firm of Yost & Baill, LLP. Yost & Baill is a boutique firm that specializes in a national subrogation practice. Kelly focuses her litigation practice on product liability dealing with large fires and explosions. Congratulations, Kelly! Breia Schleuss is President of MinnesotaWomen Lawyers for 2020-21. Breia is a partner at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Minneapolis). Class of 2009 Send your 2009 class notes and photos to Lisa Thimjon ( Greetings Class of 2009, I think we can agree that 2020 has been a weird and memorable year! I’ve been staying busy working on the state’s COVID-19 response as the legislative director for the Minnesota Department of Health and, if nothing else, my career in health policy has never been boring. Nate Dahl is enjoying his second year as a shareholder overseeing the Meshbesher & Spence Waite Park office and continues to represent plaintiffs

Rachel Weis has opened her own private law practice,Weis Legal Solutions LLC, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, www. After graduating law school, Rachel clerked for Judge Hawkinson in Itasca County for nearly two years before being hired

and upgraded the tree fort (pictured above). A typical scene in Chuck’s backyard recently involves somebody bouncing on the trampoline, a boy launching his bike off the massive pile of

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