Day Pitney partner MICHAEL SHEA has been appointed federal judge to the United States District Court in Connecticut, following his nomination by President Barack Obama in February. 

The seat was vacated in 2011, when Judge Christopher Droney was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 

At Day Pitney, Shea heads the firm’s full-service appellate practice group, representing clients in a variety of civil and criminal cases. There has been no announcement yet on when exactly he will leave the firm.

In the past a number of attorneys at Day Pitney have been nominated to the federal bench, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill for the District of Connecticut, and in 2011, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos to the Southern District of New York.

In other Churn news … 

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz announced the addition of CARLA GUNNIN in its Atlanta office. After practicing at Constangy, Brooks & Smith where she was a partner, Gunnin is joining Baker Donelson as a shareholder and a member of the firm’s labor and employment group to focus on labor relations matters and occupational safety and health issues.

Atlanta-based Burr & Forman continues its expansion with the arrival of immigration attorney and new partner ANTON MERTENS. Burr & Forman has grown to nearly 300 attorneys, a 20 percent jump in a year. Mertens is joining the firm from Smith, Gambrell & Russell, where he specialized in counseling on business and professional visas, labor certifications, consular representation, and other immigration matters. 

Dorsey & Whitney is welcoming its latest partner SCOTT SMITH, who is now working with the patent and life sciences practice group in Palo Alto. Formerly managing partner of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear’s Silicon Valley office, Smith’s practice has been focusing on the medical device industry.

Tax attorney PATRICK CONNOLLY is the latest hire at DLA Piper. Connolly was last a principal in the international tax services group at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he specialized in the technology sector. Connolly is based in Los Angeles.

RICHARD KALIKOW has joined as a partner in Herrick, Feinstein’s 50-lawyer real estate group in New York. After practicing at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for 25 years, Kalikow was last a partner at Diamond McCarthy. 

Two former attorneys at Bingham McCutchen, partner COLLEEN DOYLE and counsel DIANA MARTIN, have joined Hunton & Williams’s Los Angeles office. Earlier in 2008, their partner Scott Burton had already made the move and the team will now be reunited under the firm’s environmental practice group.

TINA MCKEON is bringing her expertise in intellectual property, research, and litigation in biotechnology to Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. Based in Atlanta, McKeon will be working as a partner with the rest of the health and life sciences team. She is making the move from McKeon, Meunier, Carlin & Curfman (now Meunier, Carlin & Curfman) along with three other patent agents. 

Perkins Coie has lost one of its attorneys of 15 years, STEVEN GONZALES, who left to head Lee Tran & Liang’s employment litigation practice in Los Angeles. Joining as a partner, Gonzales will focus on defending cases involving claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, defamation, breach of contract, and other employment matters.

Former U.S. Marine Corps officer MARTY LORENZO is now practicing law at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo in the corporate and securities group. Lorenzo joins a number of other military veterans in the firm’s San Diego office, which has one of the largest concentrations of former military forces in the area. 

The Churn is compiled from law firm releases and announcements. Moves based on our own reporting will note this. Please send all announcements and news releases to thechurn@alm.com.