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Kutak Rock Elects 26 Attorneys to Firm Partnership

News - Press Release | January 5, 2022

Kutak Rock LLP has elected 26 new partners from its attorney ranks in 13 of the firm’s 19 offices—Chicago, Denver, Fayetteville, Irvine, Little Rock, Minneapolis, Omaha, Philadelphia, Scottsdale, Spokane, Springfield, Washington, D.C. and Wichita. The promotions became effective on January 1, 2022.

“Our new partners have shown they are deeply committed to serving our clients, evidenced by their strategic navigation of the ongoing challenges and opportunities brought about by the second year of the pandemic,” said Jay Selanders, Chair of Kutak Rock. “These accomplished lawyers are an integral part of our firm’s future and they embody the core values of Kutak Rock that can be traced back to our founders. We are pleased to recognize their contributions and are proud to welcome them to the partnership.”

Kutak Rock’s 2022 partner class reflects the firm’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion with 56% from diverse backgrounds, 50% women and 15% identifying as races and/or ethnicities other than white/Caucasian.  

The attorneys elected to the partnership are: 

Vanessa N. Alvarez (Scottsdale) focuses her practice on commercial real estate and financing transactions, including construction financing, multistate acquisitions, refinancing, leasing, and development. She possesses a broad range of experience in negotiating financing documents and conducting due diligence in the representation of commercial lenders, REITs, and real estate investors for a wide variety of transactions.

Dwyer Arce (Omaha) focuses his practice on appellate proceedings in state and federal courts nationwide, in addition to commercial trial litigation primarily in state and federal courts in Nebraska, Iowa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Dwyer serves on the Nebraska Supreme Court Committee on Practice & Procedure and chairs the Nebraska State Bar Association Practice & Procedure Committee. Before entering private practice, Dwyer clerked for the Supreme Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He maintains an active practice there and was elected to serve as President of the Virgin Islands Bar Association for the 2023 bar year. Outside of his commercial work, Dwyer provides pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations and serves as amicus curiae counsel to the Virgin Islands Bar Association in cases implicating the civil rights of Americans living in U.S. territories. Dwyer also serves on the Board of Directors of MICAH House, a family emergency shelter providing temporary housing to those in need in the Omaha metro area and western Iowa.

John H.T. Bales (Denver) serves as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, lender’s counsel, borrower's counsel and underwriter's counsel for transactions involving the issuance of a variety of debt instruments, including affordable housing, single family housing, higher education, charter schools, 501(c)(3)s and private activity bond infrastructure projects.

Jill Batter (Omaha) works with clients on a variety of real estate transactions including secured lending, real estate financing, sales and acquisitions. She represents a broad range of clients consisting of financial institutions, banks, investment funds, real estate investors and other entities in transactions throughout the United States.

Anne D. Bensard (Denver) focuses her practice on municipal finance transactions where she serves as bond, disclosure and underwriter's counsel for tax-exempt municipal financings. She works with different issuers in transactions, consisting of general obligation bond issuances, lease purchases, direct loans to governmental entities, credit-enhanced securities and revenue-backed financings secured by sales taxes, property taxes, tax increment, system revenues, intergovernmental revenue-sharing arrangements, and public improvement fees.

Jennifer A. Forbes (Minneapolis) is skilled in condensing elaborate legal and regulatory issues into straightforward, practical legal advice to counsel businesses, nonprofits and healthcare providers. She has years of experience handling complex business transactions that consist of business formation and planning, business acquisitions, intellectual property protection, contracting and joint ventures, and licensing agreements, sales, reorganizations, mergers and dissolutions.

Julie H. Gabel (Chicago) focuses her practice on real estate and commercial finance transactions involving new markets tax credits, historic tax credits, low-income housing tax credits, and other federal and state financing incentives. Her experience as in-house counsel for a major tax credit syndicator provides her with unique insight on how to efficiently and effectively balance clients’ business and legal needs.

Meaghan M. Gandy (Omaha) represents employers in all stages of employment litigation by defending employers in matters involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, the equal pay act, and wrongful discharge claims under state and federal law. She also advises employers on day-to-day issues such as employee discipline, paid time off, pregnancy accommodation issues, and application of the ADA and FMLA. She also specializes in drafting employment handbooks for employers.

Gregory L. Grattan (Omaha) focuses his practice on transactions involving low-income housing tax credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits, and renewable energy tax credits. He primarily represents institutional lenders, national syndicators, and other corporate investors in connection with equity and tax aspects of lower-tier investments. He has experience representing investors in the closing of affordable housing transactions across the country involving a variety of financing sources and structures. In these matters, he assists clients with structuring and strategy, negotiation of key documents, and analysis and resolution of various tax issues.

Caitlin M. Gustafson (Omaha) advises clients on a broad spectrum of corporate matters and transactions, including corporate governance, business entity formation, and middle-market mergers and acquisitions, as well as bank regulatory and securities law matters. She also counsels issuers and investors in venture capital financings, private placements and private security offerings as well as represents public companies involved with SEC and stock exchange compliance and disclosure matters.

Jed J. Herblan (Omaha) represents state and local governments, school districts, special infrastructure districts, lending institutions, tribal governments and investment banking institutions in a variety of complex public finance transactions. He also represents lenders and issuers in the multifamily housing industry and acts as special counsel to lenders for the acquisition and documentation of interest rate caps in multifamily housing transactions.

Pierce G. Hunter (Little Rock) focuses his practice on transactional and business-related matters affecting both public and private companies, including securities regulation, corporate governance, executive compensation, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity fund formation, as well as a wide range of legal matters affecting limited liability companies, close corporations, and partnerships.

Judd W. Larson (Denver) focuses his practice on complex financial transactions in the representation of banks, funds, investors, lenders and projects in new markets tax credit (commercial), investment tax credits (solar), historic tax credits and opportunity zone transactions, as well assists public and private companies, mutual funds, and investment trusts with finance, offerings, regulatory and tax matters.

Tanya L. Lawless (Spokane) focuses on providing services as bond, disclosure, issuer’s and underwriter’s counsel in public finance transactions for a variety of municipalities, including special districts, cities, towns and counties and educational institutions. Tanya’s practice also includes advising public school districts and charter schools on various education and employment law matters, with a unique expertise in special education law. She received her law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law, where she graduated first in her class, and she is admitted to practice in Washington and Idaho.

Heather A. McKee (Denver) concentrates her practice on real estate and general corporate transactions. She represents clients in connection with a variety of commercial transactions throughout the United States, including the acquisition, development, construction and disposition of residential, commercial office, multi-family housing, shopping centers, hotels, warehouse and industrial properties.

James E. Meadows (Springfield) focuses his practice on contract disputes, real estate claims, construction payment and defect claims, insurance coverage actions, and employment cases.

David C. Murphy (Minneapolis) has worked in public finance for more than 20 years. He routinely serves as bond, underwriter’s, purchaser’s, trustee and borrower's counsel on tax-exempt bond financings for affordable housing projects, hospitals and long term care providers, senior living facilities, public and nonprofit colleges and universities, independent schools, industrial development facilities, and other 501(c)(3) organizations.

Joseph Reid (Springfield) has over 26 years of civil litigation experience representing a wide array of businesses and individuals, including manufacturers, large and small commercial businesses, banks, hospitals, medical providers, and various other professionals. An accomplished trial lawyer, Joseph has successfully tried more than 20 cases in state and federal courts in Missouri and Mississippi. Joseph has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America © in the areas of health care litigation, medical malpractice, and product liability.

Lisa M. Saccomano (Denver) is a seasoned trial attorney who advocates effectively on behalf of her clients in high-stakes commercial disputes. As a former prosecutor, Lisa has extensive courtroom experience. She is a quick study and masters the subject matter of her cases, whether arising from a public infrastructure project, oil and gas operation, or employment dispute.

Jane C. Silver (Philadelphia) concentrates her practice on complex commercial litigation. She has extensive experience in healthcare, antitrust, unfair trade practices, insurance coverage, and employment.

Jason D. Stitt (Wichita) has extensive experience representing companies in a variety of areas of litigation, including employment, wage and hour class and collective actions, and commercial disputes. His practice also includes preventing lawsuits by assisting employers in drafting and revising their handbooks and advising employers regarding day-to-day employment and wage and hour issues as they arise.

Emily Tomek-McCarthy (Omaha) concentrates her practice on real estate matters for low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) and historical tax credit (HTC) transactions. She primarily represents tax credit investors and syndicators in investing in affordable housing properties across the United States, and has assisted in closing well over 100 deals for various clients, including several portfolios which included 13, 14 and 21 individual multifamily properties, respectively. A portion of her practice focuses on advising and representing clients in the divestment of affordable housing assets.

Marie J. Wadler (Washington, D.C.) is a finance and tax credit attorney focused on representing investors and community development entities (CDEs) in connection with New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) transactions, and investors in both Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and Historic Tax Credits (HTC) transactions. Marie has an extensive background in structuring and closing commercial real estate transactions, and in community development, tax-exempt bond financings, public subsidies and governmental incentives.

Brian J. Wagner (Irvine) focuses his practice on commercial, real estate, employment, and consumer finance litigation. He handles matters for his clients from pre-litigation through trial and appeal. He primarily represents lenders, real estate developers, property management companies, family offices, as well as small and mid-sized companies.

Joshua S. Weiner (Omaha) concentrates his practice in complex civil litigation, with a focus on professional liability defense; LLC, partnership and shareholder disputes; and personal injury defense. His practice also includes representing contractors and design professionals in construction disputes.

Scott E. Wray (Fayetteville) has provided legal services to individuals and businesses ranging from closely held to Fortune 500 companies throughout Northwest Arkansas and beyond. He has successfully represented clients in matters including commercial transactions, litigation in state and federal courts and agencies, as well as in arbitrations, and has participated in multiple informal dispute resolutions.

About Kutak Rock LLP
With a footprint spanning 19 offices in 14 states and the District of Columbia, Kutak Rock’s 550+ attorneys work seamlessly to provide clients excellent, responsive legal services. The firm’s multidisciplinary practice comprises more than 25 areas of focus and dozens of discrete specialties.