Class Notes: 1990s

Class Notes: 1990s


Rong-Wei “Ron” Cai ’90, partner-in-charge and chief representative of Davis Wright Tremaine’s Shanghai, China, office, has been appointed to serve as arbitrator for the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC). One of the most active international business arbitration bodies in the world, CIETAC resolves cross-border economic and trade disputes through arbitration. Handling roughly 1,000 cases annually, CIETAC has gained a reputation in China and abroad as an independent, impartial, and extremely efficient arbitration institution. Cai, who has been working at Davis Wright Tremaine’s Shanghai office for the past 10 years, concentrates his practice on foreign investment in China, handling general business and corporate matters for multinational companies doing business there. He brings more than 20 years of experience assisting clients in U.S.-China business projects. Cai also serves as a mediator for the U.S.-China Business Mediation Center, which consists of 24 dispute resolution experts—12 from the United States, and 12 from China. Beyond his law practice, Cai served as chair of the legal committee for the American Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai, between 2008 and 2010, and as a board member for the China Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. He also serves as the copresident of the Columbia University Alumni Association in Shanghai.


Todd Beaird ’91 relocated to Dallas with his wife, Jenny, and daughter, Kayla, to take a corporate vice president position with New York Life Insurance.

Michael D. Rap ’91 cofounded a start-up venture, Serious Integrated, based in Phoenix. Serious Integrated provides original equipment manufacturers and electronic design firms with a complete human interface platform that enables rapid and cost-effective replacement of existing text display and push-button technologies with graphics touch screen interfaces for a broad range of industrial, office, medical, and consumer devices. He can be reached at 1747 E. Morten Avenue, Suite 209, Phoenix, Arizona 85020,,

Teresa A. Statler ’91 was awarded the Gerald H. Robinson Excellence in Advocacy Award by the Oregon Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The award recognizes accomplishments of chapter members who demonstrate excellence in advocating for the rights of immigrants. Statler is also a coeditor of the bar’s recent publication Rights of Foreign Nationals.


Sibylle Baer ’92 announced the formation of the law firm of Cartwright Whitman Baer, formerly Cartwright & Associates. The new firm will continue to provide legal services for individuals and professionals in the areas of estate, trust, and elder financial abuse litigation; estate and trust administration; and protective proceedings and appeals.

Gilion Dumas ’92 was recently elected to the board of the Cascade Policy Institute. Dumas is a partner with O’Donnell Clark & Crew and has substantial experience in commercial, real estate, and tort litigation.

Sim Gill ’92 was the keynote speaker for the 2011 Davis County Democratic Party Convention on May 7. Gill is the district attorney for Salt Lake County, Utah.

Heidi Olsen Strauch ’92 returned to private practice, advising small business owners and providing estate planning and general civil litigation services, after three years as a contract litigation attorney. She can be reached at


Benjamin Bloom ’93 was appointed to the Jackson County Circuit Court for the Seventh Judicial District in Medford and will fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Mark Schiveley. Bloom was a partner at Hornecker, Cowling, Hassen & Heysell in Medford, where he has practiced civil litigation since 1993 with a focus on professional negligence defense. He has represented multiple municipalities in certain state and federal court cases. He has served two terms on the Oregon Council on Court Procedures, three terms on the Local Rules Committee of the U.S. District Court, and as an executive committee member on the Litigation Section and Products Liability section of the Oregon State Bar. Bloom also served as judge pro tem for the past five years.

Kimberly Zdenek ’94 was named the manager in the geosciences group at ENVIRON in Newark, New Jersey. She has over nine years of experience in the environmental science and engineering fields, including environmental compliance, due diligence, risk assessment, site assessment, investigation and remediation, environmental health and safety (EHS), permitting and compliance, solid and hazardous waste management, federal and state land use permitting, and development of budgets and remediation cost estimates. She also has 10 years of experience as an attorney in several areas of practice, including multistate environmental litigation. Zdenek has significant experience in multimedia compliance audits, Phase I environmental site assessments, remediation data evaluation, sampling plan development, field coordination, project coordination, proposal preparation, and budget review and analysis.


Nancy Perry ’95 was named senior vice president of government relations for the ASPCA in Washington, D.C. Perry will be responsible for the overall strategic and tactical direction of the ASPCA’s legislative efforts and public policy at the local, state, and federal government levels, and she will serve as spokesperson and as a member of the senior management team. Perry joins the ASPCA from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), where she served as vice president of government affairs and oversaw HSUS’ state and federal legislative efforts, including ballot measure campaigns and nationwide grassroots activities. During her 16-year tenure at HSUS, Perry led successful efforts to secure federal legislation preventing the distribution of notorious animal crush videos, prohibiting the practice of shark finning, requiring truthful labeling of fur garments, banning the import of puppies from foreign puppy mills, prohibiting the interstate commerce of birds for fighting, requiring disaster planning for pets, banning tigers and other big cats as pets, securing greater protections for pet food safety, and defunding government-supported horse slaughter. She cofounded Lewis & Clark’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, as well as cofounding the Animal Law Journal and organizing the country’s first animal law conference—an event that recently celebrated its 19th anniversary. Perry is an advisory board member of the Animal Law Review, teaches animal law at both George Washington University and Lewis & Clark Law Schools, and has published several articles on animal law.


Henry Darwin ’96 was named director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality by Governor Jan Brewer. Darwin, a longtime ADEQ staff member, had been serving as acting director of the agency since the departure of Benjamin Grumbles in December. Darwin said he was inspired to go into government work by his father’s example of public service as a physician. A licensed attorney in Arizona, Darwin was the primary author of ADEQ’s Compliance and Enforcement Handbook and also developed the Arizona Environmental Performance Track program. In earlier positions with ADEQ, Darwin served as deputy director and chief of staff for the agency, overseeing its day-to-day operations. He also has served as acting director of the Water Quality Division and as administrative counsel of the agency. In 2001, Darwin received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Bronze Medal, the highest award given to non-EPA staff. A year later, he was honored with the ADEQ Supernova Star Award, the highest award given to an ADEQ employee. In 2006, Darwin received the ADEQ Bronze Star Award for his promotion of innovative and efficient operations within the agency.

Kyle Sciuchetti ’96 was elected to shareholder at the Portland office of Bullivant Houser Bailey. Sciuchetti maintains an active construction and hospitality practice throughout Oregon and Washington. He regularly advises businesses and manages the legal needs of many companies ranging from construction contractors to hotel management companies.


Joseph O’Leary ’97 joined the executive team at the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), where he will lead the policy planning and legislative analysis division. O’Leary served as general counsel to Governor Kulongoski for the past two years. He also served the governor as a senior policy adviser in public safety and telecommunications issues and oversaw seven statewide public safety agencies within the executive branch of state government. He can be reached at 11410 S.W. 68th Parkway, Tigard, Oregon 97223.

Erika Soublet ’97 was appointed chief deputy district attorney for Coos County. Previously, she was a senior deputy prosecuting attorney in Clallam County, Washington. She got her start as a prosecutor in the Multnomah County district attorney’s office and, after moving to Washington, worked for the Skagit and Yakima county prosecuting attorney offices. She can be reached at Coos County District Attorney’s Office, 250 North Baxter, Coquille, Oregon 97423, 541-396-3121.

David Western ’97 published Arabic Vocabulary Made Easy, Volume 2. In this book, Western introduces 300 new words with a focus on business, military, and media.


Amrit Kulkarni ’98 was named one of the Top 20 Under 40 lawyers in California by the Daily Journal. He was also recently named to the inaugural list of California’s Top 25 Land Use Lawyers by the Daily Journal. Kulkarni is the head of the land use litigation practice for Meyers Nave in Oakland, California. His practice focuses on all aspects of land use and environmental law. Kulkarni transformed and broadened the firm’s land use practice and led the firm’s land use expansion into Southern California. He has represented public entities and private clients in numerous matters and cases involving the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the State Planning and Zoning Law, the Coastal Act, the Tidelands Trust, the Subdivision Map Act, the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Act, the Mitigation Fee Act, the Clean Water Act, and civil rights claims in the land use context. Several of these cases have resulted in published appellate decisions.

James Blair ’98 is opening a pub, Creek Monkey, in Martinez, California. His goal is to eventually open a full production brewery adopting the name Excelsior for his microbeer. He is using as a model Oregon’s McMenamin brothers, who are famous for turning disused historic buildings slated for the wrecking ball into hipster paradises. The name of Blair’s establishment stems from a local urban legend of simian sightings where the famous beavers now call home.

Michele Stone ’98 was named by Portland Daily Journal of Commerce as one of the Up & Coming Lawyers of 2010. Stone, an associate with Markowitz, Herbold, Glade & Mehlhaf, is a trial lawyer focusing on commercial litigation.

Matthew Whitman ’98 announced the formation of the law firm of Cartwright Whitman Baer, formerly Cartwright & Associates. The new firm will continue to provide legal services for individuals and professionals in the areas of estate, trust, and elder financial abuse litigation; estate and trust administration; and protective proceedings and appeals.


Joshua Husbands ’99 was elected to the board of directors of the Estate Planning Council of Portland. The interdisciplinary organization of estate planning professionals is dedicated to fostering an understanding of the proper relationship among the attorney, insurance professional, trust officer, accountant, and other parties involved in estate planning and to encourage cooperation among those parties. Husbands is a member of Holland & Knight’s private wealth services practice group. He represents clients in an array of business, tax, business succession, and estate planning matters, including business reorganizations, acquisitions, and divestitures.

He often writes and speaks on a number of business, tax, life insurance, and asset protection matters concerning business and high net-worth individuals. Husbands teaches estate planning as an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark Law School and has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine for the past two years.