The former assistant general counsel for Altria Client Services Inc., WILLIAM YODER, has returned to Shook, Hardy & Bacon, where he will be a partner in the firm’s global product liability practice. Yoder will be based in Washington, D.C.
 
This will be Yoder’s second stint as partner in Shook’s product liability practice, a position he vacated in 2007 to join Altria. In addition to his in-house experience, Yoder specializes in a variety of litigation matters, and has defended claims including negligence, fraud, design defect, conspiracy, and professional malpractice. 
 
Altria Group Inc. is the parent company of Altria Client Services, as well as tobacco giant Philip Morris USA Inc., a longtime Shook client. In 2011, the firm successfully defended the cigarette maker in a case brought by the widow of a man who died of lung cancer. The firm was also involved in defending both Philip Morris and Lorillard Tobacco Company in the so-called Engle progeny cases, a collection of some 8,000 suits brought by Floridians that emerged from a 1994 class action that the Florida Supreme Court split into separate cases. Shook’s tobacco ties were further highlighted last year when a team of over 20 lawyers from the firm defected to Hughes Hubbard & Reed as a result of regulatory changes that prompted tobacco companies to demand that outside law firms sever ties. The Shook lawyers who decamped for Hughes Hubbard had ties to Philip Morris competitor Lorillard. 
 
In other Churn News…
 
MICHAEL DURHAM has moved to Adams and Reese, where he will serve as special counsel in the firm’s Baton Rouge office. Formerly at Crawford Lewis, Durham focuses on energy, construction, economic development, litigation, and taxation and tax credit development. 
 
Crowell & Moring welcomes JUDAH “JUD” SOMMER as a senior counsel and chair of the firm’s public policy group. Most recently, Sommer was the senior vice president of government affairs for UnitedHealth Group, where he was responsible for managing the organization’s operations and relationships at all levels of government. He will be based in Washington, D.C.
 
Tax attorney KLAS HOLM has joined Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle as a partner in the firm’s international tax practice. Formerly a partner at Baker & McKenzie, Holm specializes in tax-related matters, including the structuring and execution of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, and spin-off transactions. He will be based in New York. 
 
In Chicago, Faegre Baker Daniels has added JAMES GOEDKEN as a partner in the intellectual property group. Formerly with K&L Gates, Goedken specializes in the preparation, prosecution, litigation,  and licensing of software, electrical, and business method patents. 
 
ANNA STERBA has moved to Fish & Richardson‘s trademark and copyright group in Washington, D.C. as of counsel. Sterba specializes in trademark prosecution and counseling, false advertising, unfair competition, copyright, licensing, and litigation matters. She was previously at Rothwell, Figg, Ernst, & Manbeck. 
 
Fox Rothschild‘s San Francisco office has gained MICHAEL SWEET as a partner. Previously at Meyers Nave, Sweet specializes in financial restructuring and bankruptcy, as well as complex litigation and election law issues. 
 
Gardere Wynne Sewell has strengthened its Mexico and Latin America practice with the addition of JUAN ALCALÁ as a partner in Austin, where he will head the firm’s Latin America litigation and dispute resolution practice. Alcalá also specializes in domestic litigation, as well as trial and appellate law. He was previously at King & Spalding. 
 
In a move aimed at expanding its intellectual property and technology practice, McKenna Long & Aldridge has added ROBERT NISSEN as a partner in Washington, D.C. Nissen, previously a managing partner at Nissen & Associates, concentrates on patent, trademark, and copyright litigation. 
 
Former Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan attorney ROBERT SCHEEF has jumped to McKool Smith as a principal in the firm’s New York outpost. Scheef specializes in complex business litigation, with a focus on disputes related to complex financial products, corporate governance, securities law, and consumer law. 
 
White & Case has gained JOHN TIVEY as a partner in the firm’s mining practice. Tivey, who will work out of White & Case’s Singapore and Hong Kong offices, specializes in the mining and energy sectors, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. He was previously a partner at Australian firm Freehills. 
 
Former federal prosecutor and trial lawyer RALPH CACCIA has jumped to Wiley Rein‘s Washington, D.C., office, where he will be a partner in the white collar defense practice. Previously at Akerman Senterfitt, Caccia concentrates on matters including white collar crime, corporate internal investigations, health care fraud, criminal antitrust cases, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Congressional investigations, and the defense of government enforcement actions. 
 
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.