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Supreme Court Celebration recognizes Drake Law School family

March 17, 2008
photo of Robert J. Grey Jr.
Robert J. Grey Jr. addresses a crowd of 400 at the Supreme Court Banquet.

The 71st Annual Supreme Court Celebration's
activities honored not only students for their accomplishments, but also
alumni, faculty, the legal community and Iowa Supreme Court justices who work
together to enhance the educational experiences of Drake law students.

"The Supreme Court Celebration is so remarkable, so
gratifying and so significant to our sense of purpose and promise," said
Dean David Walker. "The celebration reflects a tradition that goes back to
the beginning of Drake Law School in the 19th Century."

The celebration featured former American Bar Association
President Robert J. Grey Jr. as the keynote speaker for the Supreme Court
Banquet. View photos of the banquet in the online gallery. 

"His talk was very well-received," Walker said.
"He talked about the rule of law and the process of law in America and
emphasized the importance of independence in the law profession and the

Grey is a partner at Hunton and Williams law firm in
Richmond, Va., where he focuses on administrative matters before state and
federal agencies. He also is affiliated with McCammon Mediation Group Ltd.,
which allows him to continue practicing mediation and dispute resolution on a
state and national level.

He served as president of the American Bar Association from
2004-05, where he worked to review and update ABA programs, increase diversity
in the legal profession, advance ABA’s international rule of law efforts and
safeguard the profession’s independence. He also served as chair of the ABA
House of Delegates, becoming the first African American to be an officer of the

During his visit to Des Moines, Grey and Associate Dean Russ
Lovell met with leaders of the Des Moines branch of the NAACP at the Neal and Bea Smith Law
Center/Drake Legal Clinic. 

photo of David Walker and Alan Fredregill
Dean David Walker presents Alan Fredregill with the Alumni of the Year Award.

Alumni of the Year honored

Dean David Walker introduced the Law School's Alumni of the
Year Award winner, Alan Fredregill, LW'75.

"Alan has demonstrated exceptional professional
achievement, consistent and distinguished service to the Law School and the
profession, and public service, characteristics that define a profession, and
the qualities we look for in our best leaders," Walker said.

"Among his undeniable qualities, in addition to his
judgment and leadership, are unfailing loyalty and true resilience,"
Walker added.

Fredregill has been a partner of Heiman, Redmond,
Fredregill, Patterson, Plaza, Dyykstra and Prahl law firm in Sioux City, Iowa,
for more than 30 years. He is a member of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers,
the Iowa State Bar Association, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Iowa
Defense Counsel Association and the American Bar Association.

He has been a longtime President's Circle member and
supporter of the Law School, serving on the Board of Counselors and its
Executive Committee. He also was president of both the Iowa Defense Counsel
Association and the Iowa State Bar Association.


photo of Marsha Ternus and Jacob Lofgren
Marsha Ternus presents the Rodney L. Hudson Appellate Advocacy Award to Jacob Lofgren.

Student awards

Student Bar Association President Sean Bagniewski welcomed a
crowd of more than 400 people and introduced the Iowa Supreme Court justices.

"On behalf of the students we were happy to be able to
give a gift to Dean Walker recognizing his two terms as dean," Bagniewski said. "I've been hearing a lot from our students about how impressed they are with the way we recognize not only our students but our alumni, and the dedication of our alumni. Students are happy to know that alumni have an ongoing relationship with Drake and the Law School family even after they leave
Law School."

Supreme Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court Marsha
Ternus, LW'77, took the stage to announce the winner of the best oralist award
in the Supreme Court Competition. The recipient of the Rodney L. Hudson
Appellate Advocacy Award is Jacob Lofgren.

Justice Ternus discussed the history and structure of the
competition, which is a tradition for the Supreme Court Celebration.

Each year, outstanding advocates in the law school compete
in the competition for the honor of presenting final arguments to the Iowa
Supreme Court. The competition is based upon a real case, using an actual
record that was pending before the Iowa Supreme Court, thus giving competitors
a realistic experience.

This year's case involved a personal injury claim related to
lead poisoning against the landlord and property manager of a residence
containing lead paint. 

In addition to Lofgren, Ternus recognized the three other
Supreme Court Competition finalists: Ashley Dose, Anna Ryon and Kevin Teets.

Supreme Court justices judge writing competition

The celebration also honored students involved in a
school-wide Iowa Supreme Court Writing Competition, which is sponsored by
George LaMarca, LW'70, of the LaMarca and Landry law firm.

Students wrote essays on topics picked by Drake faculty
members Mel Weresh, Lisa Penland and Luke Meier. The faculty members select the
top five essays that are judged by the Supreme Court justices.

Nathan Swanson won the first place Iowa Supreme Court
Writing Award. The second place award went to Adam Gregg. Three finalists who
received honorable mention are: Mackenzie Breitenstein, Kyle Hanson and Brant

Other student award recipients are:

  • Sean
    Bagniewski, Timothy N. Carlucci Award
  • Victoria
    Morgan Nwasike, Timothy N. Carlucci Award
  • Cyrus
    Sinclair, Timothy N. Carlucci Award
  • Dustin
    Miller, The Ferguson Prize Silver
  • Fritz Ebinger, The Ferguson Prize Gold
  • Sean
    Bagniewski, Martin Tollefson Award
  • Andrew
    Wilcox, Martin Tollefson Award
  • Nathan
    Swanson, William and Ellen Cooney Hoye Award
  • Jacob
    Lofgren, The Jeffrey and Elizabeth Goodman Outstanding Advocate
  • Amber
    Hakes, International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award
  • Kathryn
    Kostelny, International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award
  • Annie
    Fox, Robert J. Kromminga Award


News Photo
SBA President Sean Bagniewski presents the Leland Forrest Outstanding Professor of the Year Award.

Faculty recognized

Matt Doré, the Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished
professor of law, was recognized with The Leland Forrest Outstanding Professor
of the Year Award. He was selected by third-year law students to receive the

Drake's Student Bar Association presented awards to key
faculty and staff members for the first time as part of the Supreme Court

Also recognized were:

  • Jerry
    Foxhoven, assistant professor and director of the Joan and Lyle Middleton
    Center for Children's Rights
  • Russ
    Lovell, associate dean and professor of law
  • Susan
    Dittmer, budget and office manager
  • Sue
    Lerdal, reference librarian and associate professor of librarianship
  • Bill
    Hennan, assistant dean

The Supreme Court Celebration
also included dinners for the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, Drake Law
Review and Drake Moot Court. In addition, the Iowa Supreme Court held oral
arguments in two cases in the courtroom of Drake's Neal and Bea Smith Law