Vanderbilt Law School Background Image

Class of 1997

Facebook Like

Class Notes posted in the order they were received, with the newest posts on top.

Do you have news you would like to share or just want to let everyone know what you are up to these days? Submit your class note online, email Class Notes, or call 615-322-2606.

Amy McDougal was honored to be named as a 2020 Cannabis Law Trailblazer by the National Law Journal. Amy is serving her second term as a Director of the International Cannabis Bar Association and also chairs its Ethics Committee. She and her committee have been working with the American Bar Association and state bars to amend the rules of professional conduct, paving the way for attorneys to advise and assist cannabis industry clients. Earlier in 2020, Amy and her company CLEAResources were named as a Finalist for Compliance Week's Excellence in Compliance Awards in the category of Best Compliance and Ethics Consultant. In addition to her cannabis industry work, Amy is a founding Director of the International Association of Independent Corporate Monitors. She serves as a monitor for several organizations under deferred prosecution agreements and other government agency administrative compliance agreements. In her free time, Amy advocates regularly for various veteran-related causes, including for the Women Veterans Business Coalition. Posted 9.22.20

Timothy Hoover Timothy W. Hoover has been installed as the President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for 2020. Posted 4.3.20




Greg Wehrer was appointed managing partner of the Squire Patton Boggs Houston office. Greg is a trial lawyer with 20 years of experience representing US and international corporations in complex commercial disputes. His practice focuses on representing international companies in contract disputes with customers or suppliers and in warranty or indemnification claims. Mr. Wehrer also has experience representing those clients in fraud/breach of fiduciary duty claims, construction matters and insurance coverage disputes. He is frequently asked to provide training to his clients' employees on litigation avoidance and corporate best practices. Posted 1.15.19

Amy McDougal has been designated Chair of the Ethics Committee of the National Cannabis Bar Association. She continues to grow CLEAResources, a legal consulting business that provides legal risk assessment and other compliance and ethics program support to corporations across all industries, including the nascent cannabis industry. Amy frequently presents on legal ethics at National Cannabis Bar Association, National Cannabis Industry Association, Women Grow, and marijuana business conferences nationwide. Last March, Amy launched the International Association of Independent Corporate Monitors, as a founding Director. IAICM is the first trade association centered on promoting the practice and transparency of corporate monitorships. Recently, Amy joined Ward & Berry, a boutique client-centered firm in Washington DC, as Of Counsel. Posted 3.27.18

Joel Tragesser has been awarded the Professionalism Award from the Indianapolis Bar Association. The professionalism award spotlights lawyers and judicial officers whose career exemplify the high calling and higher achievement of lawyers in modern society. Joel is a partner at Quarles & Brady and is a member of the firm’s intellectual property practice group. Posted 3.27.18

Jeffrey L. Levy has been honored with the Justice Joseph W. Henry Memorial Award for Outstanding Legal Writing by the Tennessee Bar Association. He was honored for his point/counterpoint articles, “Confusion/Clarity: Family Law Attorneys on How to Balance Best Interests of Children and Doctor-Patient Privilege”, published in May 2016. Jeff has been a family practitioner in Nashville but recently relocated to South Carolina and is in the process of retiring. Posted 8.1.17 

Jennifer Karrels Menzie has been promoted to executive vice president, director of strategic planning and assistant general counsel for Cumberland Trust. Posted 8.1.17

Alisa W. Ellenburg of Atlanta, died December 9 after battling ovarian cancer for 6 years. In 1985 she graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism and political science before earning her law degree from Vanderbilt. She was the managing attorney in the Atlanta office of Vernis & Bowling. She enjoyed hiking, traveling, biking and running. She successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, and completed several marathons, half-marathons and sprint distance triathlons. She is survived by her husband, Howard and her daughter Ava Brooke. Posted 1.19.17

Robert W. Briley was elected to Shuttleworth Williams' board of directors. He has been an attorney with Shuttleworth Williams since 2009. Posted 7.28.16

Scott Smith (D’97), partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Huntsville, Alabama, has been elected as fellow in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Posted 7.27.16

Leah Dundon’s , “Time to Do More about Youth Suicide” was published in the Tennessean. She is an attorney in Nashville whose practice focuses on environmental law and is currently working on a Ph.D. in environmental engineering, management and policy at Vanderbilt. Posted 5.17.16

Jennifer Roscoe Smith joined Maynard Cooper & Gale’s commercial lending practice group as counsel. Posted 4.8.16

James Albert Crumlin Jr. received the Justice A.A. Birch Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes an attorney or judge who has contributed an outstanding commitment of time, resources and talent to the community, the legal profession and/or the Napier-Looby Bar. James is a member in the Nashville office of Bone McCallester Norton where he focuses on labor and employment law. Posted 4.5.16

Timothy W. HooverTimothy W. Hoover is now a partner with Hodgson Russ in Buffalo, NY with the firm’s business crimes, regulatory offenses & corporate investigations and false claims & whistleblower representation practice teams. Posted 2.25.16

Vanessa Simmons Scott was appointed chief diversity officer for Sutherland Asbill & Brennan where she is a tax partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Posted 2.25.16

Travis Randall McDonough was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee Dec. 7. He replaces Judge Curtis Collier, who took senior status in 2014. Travis practiced law in Chattanooga at Miller & Martin from 1997 to 2013. He became a partner in the firm in 2005 and was named head of its litigation practice in 2012. In 2013, he joined the administration of then newly elected Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke as chief of staff and counselor. Posted 12.17.15

Renee M. H. Yuen (BA’94) has been promoted to assistant chief counsel of The Walt Disney Company, where she will lead the legal support for Disney Stores.  Prior to her promotion, Renee spent 11 years with the Walt Disney World Resort legal department in Orlando, Florida.  Renee and her family relocated to Burbank, California in June. Posted 7.8.15

Travis Randall McDonough has been nominated to fill a vacant seat on the federal bench. Travis practiced at Miller & Martin and headed its litigation department before taking his current role as chief of staff and counselor for Chattanooga’s Mayor Berke. Posted 2.18.15

Amy McDougal Hutchens recently launched her own practice in corporate compliance and ethics. CLEAResources provides proactive support in compliance, legal, ethics and risk in the commercial and government sectors and serves as a corporate monitor. Amy was also recently appointed by the Virginia Speaker of the House to the Virginia Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council, recently formed by the General Assembly after the indictment (now conviction) of former Governor McDonnell. Posted 11.19.14

Gordon D. Woolbert II has joined Day Ketterer as a Member in its Litigation and Business Law Practice Groups. Gordon regularly represents area businesses before many federal and state trial courts, employment commissions, and arbitrators. In addition to having had a successful law practice spanning more than 16 years with Black McCuskey, L.P.A., Woolbert has also been an active member of the community. He currently serves as a Board Secretary of the Paul and Carol David YMCA in Jackson Township, coaches local sports teams in which his children are involved, serves as a den leader and committee member for his sons' Boy Scout troop, and is an active congregant in his church, John Knox Presbyterian Church in Jackson Township. Posted 8.12.2014

Wilton Anthony Hom has joined Howard & Howard Attorneys in the firm's Royal Oak, Michigan, office. Wilton concentrates his practice in all areas of immigration law, commercial transactions, international law, and tax law. Posted 11.25.13

Timothy M. Spear , partner and active member of the energy industry practice group at Gardere Wynne Sewell, has earned selection to the 2012 "Who's Who in Energy" listing. Compiled by the editors of the Houston Business Journal and its sister publications in Dallas, Denver, St. Louis, San Antonio, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the annual list includes 100 key professionals from each respective city.Tim, a corporate partner, represents domestic and international clients in acquisitions, divestitures and the financing of oil & gas properties and power facilities, including renewables, midstream properties, chemical plants and refineries. He also handles related workouts, restructuring and distressed debt transactions. Posted 1.4.13

Renee M. H. Yuen and her family joyously announce the birth of Owen Wai-Lun Juden on September 24, 2012. The family resides in Orlando, FL where Renee is Principal Counsel at Walt Disney World Resort. Posted 1.4.13

Matthew Curley has rejoined Bass Berry & Sims as a partner in the firm's compliance and government investigations group. Matt served as an assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the U.S. Attorney's office Civil Division for approximately one year during 2011-12. Matt also serves on Vanderbilt Law School's adjunct faculty, teaching Healthcare Fraud and Abuse. Posted 11.15.12

Joel Edward Tragesser married Kirsten Pedersen Graham on September 14, at Morse Park in Noblesville, Indiana. Kristen works at Riley Hospital for Children at IU North, and Joel is a member at Frost Brown Todd, practicing law in the areas of intellectual property and business settlements, arbitration and litigation.. The couple will reside in Westfield, Indiana, with their four children. Posted 10.8.12

Travis Randall McDonough has been named the new head of Miller & Martin's litigation department. Travis has served with the firm for 15 years and as vice chairman of the department for five years. Travis focuses his practice in the areas of corporate disputes, white-collar criminal defense, class actions, intellectual property rights and complex litigation. Posted 8.31.12

Jennifer Karrels Menzie has joined Cumberland Trust as a vice president and trust officer. Jennie began her career at the Nashville law firm Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. She worked as a senior tax consultant at Arthur Andersen and then served as assistant general counsel of WebMD Envoy. Most recently, she held the position of vice president at Thompson & Associates, working in the area of charitable estate planning. Posted 8.1.12

Tamsen Douglass Love (MA'93), of Atlanta, Georgia, died June 5. She is survived by her husband, John Lariccia, and children, John Douglass Lariccia, Phoebe Katharine Lariccia, Thomas Albert Lariccia and Katherine Marsch Lariccia. Posted 6.11.12

Dustin Carfield has been named director of resort markets for CalCon Mutual, a nationwide mortgage banker. Dustin joins CalCon from NextStar Funding, a mortage lending company he co-founded in 2002. Before co-founding NextStar, Duston practiced international transactional law. Posted 5.9.12

Michael Duff has joined Sidley Austin as a partner in the Los Angeles office. Michael practices in the area of federal taxation, with an emphasis on matters relating to renewable energy, partnership taxation and infrastructure/project finance. Posted 4.3.12

Reece Alford has been named general counsel and secretary at Acosta Sales & Marketing, a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry. Reece joins Acosta from The St. Joe Company, a publicly held real estate development company, where he served most recently as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Posted 2.20.12

Darin Michael Klemchuk has been elected Managing Partner of Klemchuk Kubasta, an intellectual property law firm he co-founded in Dallas, Texas. Darin focuses his practice on all aspects of intellectual property with emphasis on patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret litigation. Posted 1.10.12

Wade Turner was named executive vice president and general counsel of Academy Sports Outdoors. Turner's in-house career began in 2005 at Home Depot, where he was senior corporate counsel in charge of litigation. In 2009, he joined Academy Sports Outdoors as general counsel. Posted 1.10.12

Renee Yuen has been appointed by the Florida Secretary of Business and Professional Regulation to a three-year term on the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Division of Hotels and Restaurants, Hotels and Restaurants Advisory Council.Renee is an in-house counsel for the Walt Disney World Resort. Posted 10.17.11

Daniel W. Van Horn took office as president of the Tennessee Bar Association at the association's annual convention in Chattanooga. He is the youngest member of the TBA to hold that office. Danny practices law at the Memphis firm of Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens & Cannada, where he focuses on commercial litigation, including business torts, unfair competition, insurance disputes and product liability. He also leads the firm's commercial litigation group. Posted 10.17.11

Timothy W. Hoover was elected to partner in the Buffalo, NY office of Phillips Lytle. Timothy, who joined Phillips Lytle in June 2008, focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense matters, government and internal investigations, civil and commercial litigation in state and federal courts, and appeals. Posted 3.10.11

Vanessa ScottVanessa A. (Simmons) Scott of Southerland Asbill & Brennan in Washington, D.C. is a recipient of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation's 2011 Nolan Fellowships which was awarded during a luncheon at the section's Midyear Meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, on January 22. Nolan Fellows are young tax lawyers who are actively involved in the section and have demonstrated leadership qualities. Posted 1.28.11



Mark Alan Helm died at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, December 17, 2008. Before earning his law degree at Vanderbilt, Mark earned his undergraduate degree at Bates College and attended Oxford University. He worked as a public defender in New York City, Washington D.C., Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Mark was an active member of the Trial Lawyers College and served in various capacities as part of the organization. He also served as a consultant to the Albert Ellis Institute. He was a true and compassionate advocate for those who struggled. Those who knew him appreciated his sense of humor and his sense of style. He is survived by his mother, Sandra Berlin Helm, his brother, Robert Helm, and his sister, Leslie Stone, and five nieces and nephews.