About Kevin Featherly

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Kevin Featherly Articles written 21

Articles written by Kevin Featherly

Smart From the Heart

Employment law attorney Sheila Engelmeier aims to make a difference as pragmatically as possible

If one case has defined Sheila Engelmeier’s life and career, it’s Sandra Huffman’s in 1994. Huffman, then in her mid-20s, was often the only woman on the third-shift loading crew at a Burnsville PepsiCo Inc. loading dock. She was subjected to frequent catcalls, whistles and derogatory sexual comments. Sexually explicit men’s magazines and cartoons were placed in the break room, and sexually explicit computer games were installed on company computers. At one point, two co-workers reached …

Font of Wisdom

Mike Fontham has saved Louisiana consumers more than a billion dollars

Mike Fontham’s most notorious case might be among the least representative of the New Orleans attorney’s long career. As a court-appointed counsel in 1977, Fontham, now 64, ran the defense in the first reverse discrimination suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act ever to hit the U.S. Supreme Court in the wake of affirmative action legislation. At the time, Fontham had already earned a solid reputation thanks to his representation of consumer advocate and supermarket-chain kingpin John …

The Change of Heart of Don Nichols

For years he was a leading DWI defense lawyer but suddenly stopped to handle employment class actions

Simply put, he got sick of it. Fifteen years ago, Minneapolis attorney Don Nichols was among the nation’s top DWI lawyers. A former engineering student, he had successfully crusaded against faulty intoxilyzer machines used in DWI arrests. He had won perhaps 1,500 DWI cases and was making good money. He had written books and chaired national conventions devoted to the subject. Within lawyerly circles nationally, he was known as “the DWI guy.” But something wasn’t sitting right. Things …

Barristers of the Ballot Box

How five Wisconsin lawyers got involved in the political process

Although only 14 percent of Wisconsin state legislators currently hold J.D. degrees, the state has a rich tradition of attorneys mixing law and politics. Here are five lawyers carrying on that tradition.   The General Counsel Reince Priebus Michael Best & Friedrich It’s not an unreasonable question to ask: Does Reince Priebus ever sleep? The Milwaukee attorney heads up construction litigation for Michael Best & Friedrich, a big job in its own right. Then there are the side …

Lawyers of the Sky

Attorneys at the intersection of aviation and law

Mustang Joe Joseph Thibodeau took a long, looping path to coupling his lifelong passion for aviation with his love of lawyering Joseph H. Thibodeau has been a tax attorney since 1966. But you'd almost think that career was incidental. The guy is an aviation fanatic. He is listed in Who's Who in Aviation and Aerospace, and in November was named to Colorado's Aviation Hall of Fame. Since 1996 he has flown in the National Championship Air Races, winning three times-once with his vintage P-51 …

The Fine Line Between Mercy and Murder

Rick Simmons defends a doctor accused of post-Katrina ‘mercy killings'

Rick Simmons has done it all. Simmons, 63, is a former Army JAG Corps lawyer who assisted in the appellate defense of My Lai Massacre commanding officer Lt. William Calley. He has represented politicians and government contractors in high-profile racketeering and corruption cases. He has represented manufacturers, and insurance and financial services firms. But the case that may define his career is not yet mentioned on his firm's official biography—because he's still working on it. Simmons, …

Home of the Brave

Three attorneys tell of serving their country

A Matter of Public Service James W. Kelleher's military experience led him to serve again, in the aftermath of 9/11 At the peak of the Vietnam War, James W. Kelleher was denied a law school deferment due to a surplus of military lawyers. Fortunately, he was sent to Germany in January 1973, although it was at a time when the U.S. and USSR were at the height of their Cold War tensions. Kelleher, now a partner at Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling in Dayton, served four years in the Army infantry, …

Steven Voigt’s Quest to Renew America

In conservative principles he trusts

"For individuals interested in politics and public policy, there are two kinds of people: those in it for themselves, and others who have a bit of fire in their belly for their communities." Those are the words of Steven Voigt, of counsel at Reed Smith in Philadelphia. He counts himself among the latter. As he does Alan Keyes. "I've got to tell you, I really like him," Voigt says of the perennial presidential candidate of the far right. Which is why he served as chief of staff to the "We Need …

Home of the Brave

Three attorneys tell of serving their country        

The Accidental Attorney P3 Orion pilot Jim Muldoon never figured on becoming an attorney. It just sort of happened. Jim Muldoon's career has followed a kind of hopscotch pattern—though he prefers the term "serendipitous." The managing partner at Marjama Muldoon Blasiak & Sullivan in Syracuse specializes in intellectual property litigation in the federal and state courts. But 25 years ago he was a fresh MIT engineering school graduate who had attended on a Naval ROTC scholarship. Right …

The Tattler

Hydro-bikers, multitasking meatheads and more

Michael Canning of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla in Middletown has been certified as a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a 3,000-member national group open only to those who have won million-dollar or multimillion-dollar verdicts. Samuel Davis of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon in Teaneck organized a rally of 51 volunteers on hydro-bicycles at Liberty State Park on Veterans Day to raise awareness for injured veterans. Frederick J. Dennehy of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer made the …

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