Skip to main content

Spencer Fane Elects 10 Attorneys to Partnership in 2024

January 9, 2024

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce 10 attorneys have been elected to the partnership, reaffirming its long-standing commitment to providing an internal path to leadership from within the firm. The new partners are spread across eight offices and include Courtney Creal (Nashville); Colin Goodman (Houston); Trevor Hall (Houston); Jay Ji (St. Louis); Ariel Lierz (Minneapolis); Hillary Martel (Overland Park, Kansas); Hannah McCalla (Denver); Jeremy Rucker (Plano); Caleb Rush (Plano); and Shelby Wood (Springfield, Missouri).

The elections were effective January 1, 2024.

“Each of these 10 attorneys have proven to be exceptional examples of our firm’s commitment to providing thoughtful, collaborative and communicative service to clients,” Spencer Fane Chair Pat Whalen said. “Spencer Fane remains committed to both attracting and retaining the most talented attorneys in the legal profession, and we are proud to welcome this group to our partnership in recognition of their dedication and attentiveness to our valued clients.”

Meet each of the firm’s newest partners below.

Courtney Creal, Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Courtney focuses her legal practice on commercial litigation and family law, having developed a respected and successful profile in handling highly contested divorces and custody actions. Her broad range of experience also includes orders of protection, business disputes, personal injury, professional liability, legal and medical malpractice, premises liability, entertainment law, and criminal defense.

Previously, Courtney worked for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the 16th District Attorney General’s Office. She completed her undergraduate studies at Belmont University and earned her Juris Doctor from the school’s College of Law.

Colin Goodman, Health Care

Colin regularly defends clients in the health care industry against medical malpractice lawsuits and actions involving peer review. Additionally, he has valued experience advising health care entities and providers on licensing issues, contract negotiations, and compliance with Federal and state law. He also assists in navigating the unique intricacies of False Claims Act litigation.

After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame, Colin earned his Juris Doctor and health law certificate from the Loyola University (Chicago) School of Law.

Trevor Hall, Financial Services and Business Litigation

With a proven track record of favorable verdicts and resolutions in helping banks, factoring companies, and other business interests, Trevor’s practice involves maximizing his clients’ rights to recovery and protecting their interests against other parties. He regularly utilizes his experience handling trials and case management to efficiently and effectively achieve his clients’ goals, often navigating many competing interests.

Prior to entering private practice, Trevor clerked for the Hon. Micaela Alvarez in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas’ McAllen Division, and then for the Hon. Fortunato P. Benavides in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He completed his undergraduate studies at Wabash College and earned his Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law.

Jay Ji, Business Transactions

Jay helps clients navigate complex legal and regulatory issues, allowing them to meet the increasing demands of today’s business environment while maintaining successful operations and taking advantage of growth opportunities. He handles a wide variety of corporate business and transaction matters, including mergers and acquisitions, private securities offerings, corporate governance and compliance, and contract review and drafting.

After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago, Jay earned his Juris Doctor from the Saint Louis University School of Law. He served as a law clerk for Honorable Audrey G. Fleissig and John A. Ross, both from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Ariel Lierz, Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Serving clients across a broad spectrum of industries, Ariel focuses her national practice on high-stakes business and employment-related litigation. She has extensive experience in complex multi-party, multi-claim disputes in the areas of antifraud, antitrust, breach of contract, indemnification, insurance coverage, insurance defense, and commercial disputes. Ariel also has a background in Federal Indian Law as a certified student attorney in Menominee Tribal Court.

Ariel completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Kansas and earned her Juris Doctor summa cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law.

Hillary Martel, Health Care

Hillary’s blend of medical and legal experience gives her unique insight into the legal concerns of health care entities, informing her ability to handle a wide variety of legal issues critical to operations. She counsels clients ranging from large health systems and hospitals to specialty providers and solo physician practices in an effort to navigate the constant changes in the industry, while protecting their ability to focus on what matters most: providing quality patient care.

Before law school, Hillary worked as a nurse in an intensive care unit at a large academic medical center. She obtained her degree in nursing from the University of Kansas and later earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s School of Law.

Hannah McCalla, Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Hannah represents clients in Colorado, Montana, and other states in all aspects of complex commercial litigation matters from intake and through to trial and appeal when necessary. Her practice focuses on defense of insurance bad faith claims and class actions, and she leverages considerable experience examining witnesses at trial and taking key fact and expert witness depositions to achieve beneficial outcomes for her clients.

Prior to entering private practice, Hannah clerked for the Hon. Sam E. Haddon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Montana and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Montana School of Law.

Jeremy Rucker, Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

Jeremy provides valued leadership to businesses navigating the evolving and complex landscape of data privacy, security, and incident response. He regularly counsels clients on emerging federal, state, and international data laws and regulations and brings a proven ability to serve as a breach coach to guide organizations of all backgrounds through national data breach notification processes and resultant regulator investigations. Jeremy also sits on the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Privacy Law Specialist Advisory Board.

In addition to holding certifications as a Certified Information Privacy Professional for United States law (CIPP/US) and European law (CIPP/E) and as a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM – IAPP), Jeremy earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Juris Doctor from the Texas A&M University School of Law.

Caleb Rush, Financial Services

Guiding lenders and borrowers through the structuring, documentation, and negotiation of various financial transactions, Caleb’s experience includes a broad range of successful projects, including construction, builder finance, hotel development, floor plan financing, and residential and retail developments. He also brings significant experience in managing related collateral, such as accounts receivable and inventory, commercial real estate, and aircraft.

Caleb completed his undergraduate studies at York College (Nebraska) and earned his Juris Doctor from the Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.

Shelby Wood, Real Estate

Shelby  assists clients seeking to buy, sell, manage, finance, and redevelop environmentally impaired properties. This includes regularly helping stakeholders manage, investigate, and remediate CERCLA (Superfund) sites and contaminated properties in state-run voluntary cleanup programs in addition to negotiating environmental use controls, restrictive covenants, and other agreements associated with managing long-term liability at contaminated sites.

In addition, Shelby has experience representing clients with more traditional real estate legal needs, including the acquisition, disposition, due diligence, and leasing of industrial, commercial, multifamily, and mixed-use properties. He completed his undergraduate studies at William Jewell College and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law.