Van S. Wiltz, J.D. ’12, has been hired as an associate at Dallas-based firm Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP. He is a member of the firm’s corporate and securities and mergers and acquisitions practice area and serves as counsel to public and start-up companies in various industries, including oil field services, oil and gas exploration and production, insurance and financial services. Prior to joining Bell Nunnally, Wiltz worked in the corporate and securities practice group for Thompson & Knight LLP.

Erin Smith Aebel ’93 (history), J.D. ’96, has been appointed to the board of directors at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts. A partner at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP in Tampa, Aebel is also co-chairwoman of the Tampa health law department and is certified as a health law specialist by the Florida Bar. She was named Tampa Bay Business Journal 2014 Businesswoman of the Year – Legal Services.

Ricardo H. "Rick" Puente, J.D. '96, has been named a partner in the Miami office of Jones Day. A Latin America cross-border litigation and arbitration specialist, Puente represents individuals, financial institutions, and corporate entities in litigation, arbitrations, and trials involving complex business, torts, and investment disputes. He has served as lead counsel in matters involving fraud, deceptive trade practices, and investment and cross-border disputes for plaintiffs and defendants.

Puente previously practiced with the firm of Concepción Martinez & Puente. 

Kernan “Kerry” Hand, Jr., J.D. '98, has joined Kean Miller LLP in New Orleans as Special Counsel.

Kerry is a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist, as certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. He concentrates his practice on tax and corporate matters, including sophisticated domestic and international tax planning, corporate and partnership transactions, private equity offerings, restructurings, and mergers and acquisitions. Kerry has particular experience in the oil and gas, construction, real estate, health care and entertainment industries.

Richard S. Busch, J.D. '90, has been named a Billboard Top Music Lawyer for 2015. 

Busch, a partner in the Nashville, TN firm of King & Ballow, has won numerous cases with huge implications for the music industry. 

Amelia Hoppe, J.D. '14, has joined the Louisiana Civil Justice Center as Program Director. 

Amelia is a barred attorney in Florida, a Family Mediator who satisfies the Louisiana Revised Statute Section 9:334 requirements and a certified legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild. She is also a member of the LSBA Access to Justice Departments Self-Represented Litigants subcommittee.

Amy Duncan, J.D. '13, has joined the Louisiana State Bar Association as Projects and Training Counsel for the Access to Justice Program.

Earl Campbell, J.D. ’97, an assistant U.S. attorney, volunteers monthly at the University Hospital in Shreveport, entertaining children in the pediatrics unit by performing magic tricks.

Campbell is Assistant U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division, Louisiana - Western District. 


Tom Cortazzo ’84 (public administration and management), J.D. ’87, has been re-elected to a third term on the executive committee of Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer LLC in New Orleans.

Naveen Parmar, J.D. ’02, has been named a fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity for 2015. Mr. Parmar is the Director of Government Relations for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.