LATERALS

Murtha Cullina (Hartford, Conn.): Karen Kepler joins the firm's business and fin­ance department as partner in the Boston office and will represent clients in commercial real estate development and finance, with an emphasis on facilitating public-private partnerships through affordable housing and community economic development projects. Previously, Kepler was a partner at Dalton & Finegold.

Blank Rome: (Philadelphia): Laura Vendzules joins the firm's commercial litigation group as partner in the Philadel­phia office and will focus on commercial litigation including contract disputes, business torts and class actions. Previously, Vendzules was a partner at Dilworth Paxson.

Duane Morris: (Philadelphia): Steven Cowley joins the firm's trial practice as a partner in the Boston office and will focus on business litigation, including antitrust, trademark and copyright disputes. Previously, Cowley was a partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer.

Jones Day: Donna Healy joins the banking and finance practice as of counsel to the Hong Kong office and will focus on structured finance, banking and debt capital markets. Previously, Healy was of counsel to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Roetzel & Andress (Akron, Ohio): Rose Schindler joins the firm as partner in the Fort Laud­erdale, Fla., office and will focus on securities litigation, primarily arbitration, and regulatory issues. Previously, Schindler was a partner at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs.

Thompson & Knight (Dallas): Patrick McManemin joins the firm's trial practice group in the Dallas office as partner and will represent clients in jury trials and commercial arbitrations. Previously, McManemin was a partner at Patton Boggs. Additionally, Thomas Gilbert and John Vacalis join the firm's Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, offices, respectively, as counsel. Gilbert will focus on lawsuits involving financial and commercial transactions, and Vacalis will focus on business, mortgage-banking and commercial litigation. Previously, Gilbert and Vacalis were of counsel to Patton Boggs.

DISTINCTIONS

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (New York): Dixie Johnson, co-head of the firm's securities enforcement and regulation practice and white-collar criminal defense and securities enforcement practices, has been appointed chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Business Law. At the firm, Johnson represents businesses and individuals in government securities investigations.

Locke Lord: Matthew Blackburn, managing partner of the firm's San Francisco office, has been appointed vice chair of the patent litigation committee of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law. At the firm, Blackburn advises medical-products industry clients in intellectual property matters.

Snell & Wilmer: Don Bivens, a partner in the Phoenix office, has been elected chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation. At the firm, Bivens focuses his practice on complex litigation and corporate investigations.

NEW ARRIVALS

DLA Piper: Karen Nelson joins the firm's national health care enforcement and compliance practice as of counsel to the Austin, Texas, office and will advise providers and suppliers on Medicaid and Medicare laws and regulations. Previously, Nelson served as deputy inspector general and chief counsel for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Moore & Van Allen (Charlotte, N.C.): Scott Schools joins the firm's litigation team as partner in the Charleston, S.C., office and will focus on white-collar criminal defense, government investigations and defense of health care and financial fraud cases. Previously, Schools served as associate deputy attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Polsinelli (Kansas City, Mo.): Gemma Descoteaux joins the firm as partner in the Dallas office and will focus on corporate matters, including acquisitions, divestitures, strategic alliances and joint ventures. Prev­iously, Descoteaux was a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

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Movers is compiled and written by Tasha Norman. Please send material to her at The National Law Journal, 120 Broadway, Fifth Floor, New York, N.Y. 10271, or tnorman@alm.com.