Local Government Fellows Program

The prestigious IMLA Local Government Fellows Program was established to recognize attorneys as legal specialists in the field of local government law and to encourage attorney proficiency and competency in the local government legal field.

The Program offers local governments a reliable benchmark for determining experienced and knowledgeable practitioners. IMLA publishes an annual listing of Local Government Fellows in the Municipal Lawyer, and all Fellows are recognized at a luncheon ceremony during IMLA’s Annual Conference.

Attorneys who meet the Program’s criteria will receive a plaque and the designation of IMLA Local Government Fellow.

View the Fellows Program Syllabus

At the 2021 86th Annual Conference, new and re-certified Fellows were recognized. Congratulations to the following Fellows:

2021 Class of IMLA Fellows

Rita Meng-Chi Liu Ballard
Assistant City Attorney
Mesquite, Texas

James E. “Jeb” Brown
Assistant County Attorney
Riverside County, California

W. Andrew Kelly
Assistant City Attorney
Charlotte, North Carolina

Sarah R. Martin
Assistant City Attorney
Arlington, Texas

Nathan M. Nickolaus
Lawson, Missouri
Lauber Municipal Law, LLC

Bethany Rudd Sanchez
Assistant City Attorney III
Henderson, Nevada

Kristine Stone
Attorney
Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.

2021 Re-Certified Fellows

Christopher R. Behrens
2016-2026
City Attorney
Appleton, Wisconsin

Steven J. Britzman
2011-2026
City Attorney
Brookings, South Dakota

Sharon L. Dickgrafe
2016-2026
Chief Deputy City Attorney
Wichita, Kansas

Donna Marie Fairweather
2016-2026
Assistant City Attorney
Galveston, Texas

Benjamin E. Griffith
2001-2026
Attorney at Law
Griffith Law Firm

Garry E. Hunter
2001-2026
General Counsel
Ohio Municipal Attorney’s Association

Victoria Huynh
2016-2026
Deputy City Attorney
Plano, Texas

David S. Johnson
2016-2026
Assistant City Attorney
Arlington, Texas

William C. Mann, III
2001-2026
Senior Litigation Counsel
Arkansas Municipal League

Shannon T. O’Connor, Esq.
2016- 2026
Associate
Goldberg Segalla LLP

Ursula Monroe Patterson
2011-2026
Assistant City Attorney
Arlington, Texas

Randall Van Vleck
2001- 2026
Town Attorney
Kirtland, New Mexico

Eligibility Requirements

The Program is offered to applicants having been admitted to the bar for not less than five years with not less than five years experience in the field of local government law and at least three years of which must have been as a municipal attorney, assistant municipal attorney, county attorney, assistant county attorney, state league counsel, or assistant state league counsel. Local government lawyers practicing in Canada who meet these requirements are also eligible to apply.  To apply, applicants must also be in good standing and full members of IMLA.

As part of the application process, applicants are required to submit letters of recommendation attesting to the ability of the applicant in the field of local government law.  In addition, the applicant must have attended a minimum of one IMLA seminar or conference or other IMLA event in the previous two years.

Applicants must also show completion of at least six CLE credits in the field of local government law on national legal issues in the past two years and completion of at least six CLE credits in the field of local government law in the state/province of the applicant in the past two years. Passage of a two-part written examination is required for designation.

There is an initial application fee of $250.00 with an additional fee of $100.00 to cover the administration of the exam and issuance of Certificate evidencing the designation. The Fellows program is run on an annual.

Important Dates

March 23, 2021 – Application Materials Are Due
April 13, 2021 – Exam is Emailed to Each Qualified Applicant
June 24, 2021 – Completed Exam Must Be Received By IMLA

Important Documents:

Fellows Rules and Regulations

New Fellow Materials

New Fellow Application
Fellow Reference Form

All applications and supplemental materials must be submitted to IMLA electronically. All materials can be sent to info@imla.org.

Applicants need to reach out to their references and send their references the correct form. Please ask references to send the completed form to IMLA at info@imla.org.

Important Dates

June 24, 2021 – Application Materials are Due

Important Documents

Fellows Rules and Regulations

Re-certification Materials (Class of 2002, 2007, 2012, and 2017)

Re-certification Application
Re-certification Reference Form

All applications and supplemental materials must be submitted to IMLA electronically. All materials can be sent to info@imla.org.

Applicants need to reach out to their references and send their references the correct form. Please ask references to send the completed form to IMLA at info@imla.org.

Class of 1999

Marianne Landers Banks, Assistant City Attorney, Springfield, Missouri
Scott A. Brandt-Erichsen, Borough Attorney, Ketchikan-Gateway, Alaska
Stephen P. Chinn, City Attorney, Fairway, Kansas
Frank B. Gummey, III, City Attorney, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Susan Emery McGannon, City Attorney, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Howard Swanson, City Attorney, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Class of 2000

Sheryl King Benford, General Counsel, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
Thomas M. Carpenter, City Attorney, Little Rock, Arkansas
James B. Lampke, Town Counsel Hull, Massachusetts
Brad Neighbor, City Attorney, Garland, Texas
Charles W. Thompson, Jr., Executive Director IMLA

Class of 2001

William Geary, City Attorney, Kansas City, Missouri
Benjamin E. Griffith, Board Attorney, Griffith Law Firm
Garry E. Hunter, Attorney, Nelsonville, Ohio
William C. Mann, III, Chief Deputy City Attorney, Little Rock, Arkansas
Randall Van Vleck, General Counsel, New Mexico Municipal League

Class of 2002

Phyllis L. Carlyle, General Manager Law & Community Safety, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Timothy S. Hollister, Town Attorney, Colchester, Connecticut
James W. Porter, II, Attorney
Diane C. Wetherbee, Attorney (Retired)

Class of 2003

Mary Ellen Bench, City Solicitor, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Class of 2004

Lori Grigg Bluhm, City Attorney,Troy, Michigan
Rose Humway-Warmuth, City Solicitor, Wheeling, West Virginia
Martin R. McCullough, Attorney(Retired)
Miles Risley, City Attorney, Corpus Christi, Texas
Teris L. Solis, City Attorney, Arlington, Texas

Class of 2005

Wanda J. Cochran, City Attorney, Orange Beach, Alabama
Neil Robertson, Legal Counsel, Regina Police Service, Robb & Dowling

Class of 2006

David Barber, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
R. Ivan Bland, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Douglas C. Haney, City Attorney, Carmel, Indiana
Warren Kraft, City Attorney, McFarland, Wisconsin
Stephen C. Nick, City Attorney, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Class of 2007

Marilyn Craig, Deputy City Attorney, Reno, Nevada
John Dorman, City Attorney, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Douglas L. Johnson, Assistant City Attorney, Coon Rapids, Minnesota
Lori Riordan, City Attorney, Bellevue, Washington
Nancy Yendes, City Attorney, Blue Springs, Missouri
Charles E. Zech, Assistant City Attorney, Cibolo, Texas

Class of 2008

Donald Jarrett, Chief Counsel, Johnson County, Kansas
Stephen M. Kemp, City Attorney, Peoria, Arizona
Paige Mims, City Attorney, Plano, Texas
Marion J. Radson, City Attorney (Retired)
Jerome Roache, Assistant City Attorney, Bellevue, Washington
Siona D. Windsor, Assistant City Attorney, Bellevue, Washington

Class of 2009

Melinda Barlow, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Charles J. Brown, Associate Counsel, WMATA

Class of 2010

Julian Grant, Senior Assistant City Attorney, Corpus Christi, Texas
Cindy Harmison, City Attorney, Lenexa, Kansas
Scott H. Howard, City Attorney (Retired), Glendale, California
Jennifer Smout, Solicitor II, London, Ontario, Canada

Class of 2011

Steven J. Britzman, City Attorney, Brookings, South Dakota
Debra Drayovitch, Principal, Drayovitch P.C.
Ursula Patterson, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas

Class of 2012

Daniel D. Crean, Attorney, Crean Law Office
Raymond L. Heise, Village Attorney (Retired), Oak Park, Illinois
Elisabeth Kaylor, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Dorothy G. Palumbo, Of Counsel, Bojorquez Law Firm PLLC
Mack Reinwand, Assistant  City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Molly Shortall, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas

Class of 2013

Ronald R. Ball, Of Counsel, Best, Best & Krieger
Roberta B. Cross, Township Attorney, The Woodlands, Texas
Robert Fugate, Assistant City Attorney,Arlington, Texas
Pamela Hutson Johnson, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Eddie Martin, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas

Class of 2014

Cecilia Abbott, Sr. Associate City Attorney, Kansas City, Missouri
Monica Buck, Assistant City Attorney, Bellevue, Washington
Kinley Hegglund, City Attorney, Wichita Falls, Texas

Class of 2015

Andrea Lynn Chism, City Attorney, Enid, Oklahoma
Robert C. Widner, Partner, Widner Michow & Cox LLP
Beth Anne Wilkening, City Attorney, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Alan S. Zimmet, Shareholder, Bryant Miller Olive P.A.

Class of 2016

Christopher Behrens, Deputy City Attorney, Appleton, Wisconsin
Sharon Dickgrafe, Chief Deputy City Attorney, Wichita, Kansas
Donna Fairweather, Assistant City Attorney, Galveston, Texas
Victoria Huynh, Deputy City Attorney, Plano, Texas
David Johnson, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Shannon O’Connor, Associate, Goldberg Segalla LLP

Class of 2017

Charlotte Ferns, Associate City Attorney, Kansas City, Missouri
Matthew Gigliotti, Associate City Attorney, Kansas City, Missouri
Douglas Hoffer, Assistant City Attorney, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Demetri Kachafanas, Regional Solicitor, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
Megan Mahan, Assistant City Attorney, Grand Prairie, Texas

Class of 2018

Christopher Balch, City Attorney, Brookhaven & Pine Lake, Georgia
Terence Boga, City Attorney, Westlake Village, California
Alan Bojorquez, Managing Attorney, Austin, Texas
Wynetta Massey, City Attorney, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Charles Michels, III, Associate, Nashville, Tennessee
Sherri Russell, City Attorney, Lake Jackson, Texas
Darren Shulman, City Attorney, Delaware, Ohio
Michael Vanderburg, City Attorney, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Class of 2019

Kenneth Robert Bennett, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Crista M. Cuccaro, Assistant City Attorney, Durham, North Carolina
Michelle D’Andrea, Assistant City Attorney III, Plano, Texas
Jennifer A. DeCurtis, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Galen Glenn Gatten Jr., Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Lisa C. Glover, Senior Assistant Town Attorney, Cary, North Carolina
Leann Guzman, Senior Assistant City Attorney, Fort Worth, Texas
Joseph G. Lauber, City Attorney, Lawson, Missouri
James Aaron McKechnie, Senior Assistant City Attorney, Wichita Falls, Texas
Maggie Moran, Deputy City Attorney, Kansas City, Missouri
Julia M. Vasquez, First Assistant City Attorney, Wichita Falls, Texas

Class of 2020

Shauna R. Billingsley, City Attorney, Franklin, Tennessee
Mark Edward Dempsey, Deputy City Attorney, Grand Prairie, Texas
Nghiem V. Doan, City Attorney, League City, Texas
Michael C. Hayes, City Attorney, Kerrville, Texas
Andrea Leslie-Fite, Senior Assistant City Attorney, Charlotte, North Carolina
Patricia L. Link, Senior Assistant City Attorney, Austin, Texas
Kathleen M. McDaniel, City Attorney, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Steven Eric Meyer, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Thomas E. Powers III, Senior Assistant City Attorney, Charlotte, North Carolina
B. Eric Shytle, General Counsel, Municipal Association of South Carolina
Cynthia Withers, Senior Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas

Class of 2021

Rita Meng-Chi Liu Ballard, Assistant City Attorney, Mesquite, Texas
James E. “Jeb” Brown, Assistant County Attorney, Riverside County, California
W. Andrew Kelly, Assistant City Attorney, Charlotte, North Carolina
Sarah R. Martin, Assistant City Attorney, Arlington, Texas
Nathan M. Nickolaus, Lawson, Missouri, Lauber Municipal Law, LLC
Bethany Rudd Sanchez, Assistant City Attorney III, Henderson, Nevada
Kristine Stone, Attorney, Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.