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January 26, 2017




Jan. 26, 2017 - See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."

St. Louis Area
Wendy Wiedemann Hudson has been promoted to the position of chief counsel-torts for the U.S. Postal Service National Tort Center. She graduated from St. Louis University School of Law and worked in private practice for 11 years prior to joining the U.S. Postal Service law department.
 

Husch Blackwell has elected three new attorneys from the St. Louis office to the firm’s partnership. The promotions became effective January 1, 2017.

John Andrew Crossett, Real Estate, Development & Construction
Andy Crossett advises commercial real estate clients on purchases, sales, mortgages and leases. His clients span multiple real estate concerns – including retail, office and housing – and he guides developers, builders, investors, banks and mortgage lenders in making decisions that positively influence their business goals. He also advises financial institutions on asset-based lending transactions and is skilled in negotiating various agreements involving real property. Crossett holds a J.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law (2008) and a B.A. in Political Science from Truman State University (2005).

Ernesto R. Segura, Real Estate, Development & Construction
Ernesto Segura represents developers and public bodies in some of the most high-profile real estate and public financing transactions in the region. He advises clients on all aspects of development work, from the acquisition of land through the construction and leasing of commercial, industrial and residential properties. He regularly counsels clients on matters relating to public financing tools and incentives, such as tax increment financing, tax abatement, special taxing districts and state and federal tax credits.  Additionally, Segura has extensive experience in drafting state legislation and assisting in its refinement and passage through the legislative process and also represents public bodies with regard to a variety of professional sports franchise facilities, focusing on the negotiation, adoption and implementation of public financing incentives. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Saint Louis University School of Law (2008) and holds a B.A. in environmental, population and organismic biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2000).

Elise V. Senti, Real Estate, Development & Construction
Elise Senti advises national and international clients on the acquisition, development, sale and leasing of commercial property throughout North America. Her clients span multiple industry sectors, including distribution, transportation, retail, telecommunications and manufacturing in matters involving office buildings, inventory and data warehousing, restaurants, telecommunication structures and public property. She holds a J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law (2005) and a B.S. in hotel administration from Cornell University (2001).

Kansas City Area
Cecilia Abbott has been appointed as city attorney for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. She officially took over as the City’s top attorney on Jan. 1, one day after her predecessor Bill Geary retired.

Abbott’s ascension makes her the 61st city attorney for Kansas City, Missouri, and only the second woman to hold this position, following the trail blazed by fellow St. Teresa’s Academy alum Kathy Hauser.

“I grew up in Brookside and attended St. Teresa’s Academy, just like the first female city attorney did, so it’s interesting that we have that in common,” Abbott said.

Hired as an assistant city attorney in 1990, Abbott’s been promoted five times during her career. She has distinguished herself as a capable leader of the law department, which has 52 attorneys and 24 support staff members.

Along the way Abbott has compiled a distinguished list of honors and affiliations, including:

  • Local Government Fellow, International Municipal Lawyers Association
  • Former board member, UMKC Law Alumni Association
  • Graduate of the Kansas City Chamber’s Centurions Leadership Program
  • Admitted to practice law in Missouri and Kansas
  • First public sector attorney to serve as:
    – President, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Section
    – Chair, Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section

Her City work is equally impressive, with such notable big-ticket items as the negotiated $2.4 billion sewer overflow consent decree with the EPA and the $30 million arbitration of the MAST pension issue on her resume.

But Abbott said staff development remains a top priority going forward.

“For me, the most rewarding part (of the job) is talking to the other attorneys about their goals and crafting career plans to help them meet their goals,” she said.

City Manager Troy Schulte named Abbott to succeed Geary last July. He said then she was the obvious choice.

“Cecilia knows the City and the issues that we’re facing, so it makes perfect sense to ensure that we’ll sustain not only the legal excellence that we’re accustomed to, but also maintain the continuity to allow for a seamless transition of duties,” Schulte said.

Other Areas
Husch Blackwell has elected three new Missouri Bar members from other states to the firm’s partnership. The promotions became effective January 1, 2017.

Megan P. Caldwell, Denver, Energy & Natural Resources
Megan Caldwell advises clients on a broad range of issues involving federal environmental laws and their state counterparts, as well as the health and safety requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. She leads federal, state and local environmental and permitting due diligence efforts for wind and solar energy projects across the country for developers, investors and lenders. She guides clients through regulatory compliance issues encountered in day-to-day operations, such as permitting, release reporting, internal compliance audits, inspections and enforcement actions, and counsels clients on environmental issues that arise in real estate transactions. Caldwell also represents companies in complex, multi-party environmental lawsuits throughout the various stages of litigation and facilitates environmental cleanup of contaminated sites nationwide. She earned her J.D., cum laude, from Saint Louis University School of Law (2008) and has a B.S., summa cum laude, in chemistry from Saint Louis University (2005).

Jennifer L. Dlugosz, Chicago, Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation
Jen Dlugosz focuses her practice on defending businesses in toxic tort and product liability matters, managing day-to-day operations of cases and working closely with clients and co-counsel to develop and implement overall defense strategies. She has served as national coordinating counsel for toxic tort claims and defended clients in repetitive litigation and pre-litigation claims stemming from product liability issues and recalls. In addition to product liability and toxic tort experience, her broad range of litigation experience includes commercial litigation, white collar investigations, qui tam litigation, insurance litigation and contract disputes. Dlugosz earned her J.D. with high honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law (2006) and holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Lake Forest College (2002).

Dominique Savinelli, Chicago, Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation
Dominique Savinelli litigates and advises on behalf of clients in the pharmaceutical, chemical, and agribusiness industries in high-stakes toxic tort and product liability cases. She deposes and defends authoritative witnesses across various disciplines for bench and jury trials and arbitration proceedings. She also manages expert teams for complex commercial and mass tort litigation. Prior to her career as a litigator, Savinelli worked as a forensic chemist for the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory, where she routinely responded to scenes, analyzed scientific evidence and testified in jury trials as an expert witness. She earned her J.D. from the Boston University School of Law (2007) and holds a M.S. in analytical chemistry from Tufts University (1995) and a B.S., summa cum laude, in chemistry from Merrimack College (1993).
 

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