Quincy University will induct two individuals and one mock trial team into the Legal Hall of Fame at the 2024 induction ceremony on Saturday, April 20 in the Pete Brown Mock Trial Room in the Center for Legal Studies on QU’s main campus, 1800 College Avenue. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. Dinner and a ceremony will follow.

The 2024 individual inductees are Maria Bocanegra ’04 and Richard Schulte ’91.

Maria Bocanegra ’04, JD, serves as Chief Legal Officer for the Port of Cleveland, where she oversees all legal matters both internally and externally for the Port including its ethics, risk, compliance, labor, contracts, governance and managing outside counsel. Bocanegra also provides strategic support on all of the Port’s government relations matters. Previously, she was appointed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to serve as Commissioner with the Illinois Commerce Commission, regulating investor-owned electric, gas & water utilities in highly complex and technical matters. Her other political appointments include service as an ALJ at the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission and as the Public Member to the Illinois Department of Labor Advisory Board. Before entering public service, Bocanegra practiced law focused on workers’ compensation, wage and hour and personal injury claims.

Bocanegra has been recognized by Fortnightly’s Under 40, Negocios Now’s 40 Under 40, Negocios Now’s Who’s Who In Hispanic Chicago, Negocios Now’s Rising Star and by Latino Leaders Magazine. Her work has been featured in Utility Dive, T&D World, Bloomberg Law & American Association of Port Authorities. She has presented/spoken before FERC, EPA and DOE, among others. In 2021, Negocio’s Now selected her as one of the 50 Most Influential Latinos in Chicagoland. In 2023, Bocanegra was selected by Crain’s Cleveland to its Notable Latino Leaders list. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new restaurants and cuisines, amateur map collecting, attending comedy shows, travel and learning all things real estate investing.

Richard Schulte ’91, JD, is a partner at Wright & Schulte, LLC in Dayton, Ohio. He currently serves on the board of Ohio’s state trial bar, the Ohio Association for Justice, First Bankers Trust Company, the Spriska Insurance Company, and our country’s national trial bar, the American Association Association for Justice. Schulte has represented the state of Ohio for 13 years on the board of Governors for the American Association for Justice. He also serves on the Executive Committee’s for First Bankers Trust Company and Spriska. Schulte built his law practice from the ground up, starting as a sole practitioner with his own law firm. He built a national legal practice focused on complex civil litigation and seeking justice for individuals injured by corporate wrongdoers and insurance companies. Schulte has represented clients across the country in legal areas including mass torts, toxic tort, product liability, wrongful death, fraud, constitutional law, complex litigation, and Title IX.

Schulte is committed to ensuring that America’s courtrooms are always open to ordinary citizens, and his legal career has been marked by pivotal moments protecting these rights. In his years of practice, Schulte has recovered billions on behalf of a vast and diverse group of plaintiffs. Throughout his legal career, he has been a leader in the prosecution of many of the country’s largest coordinated civil litigations. He has served as lead counsel in six separate nationally coordinated litigations. Schulte received the Ohio Association for Justice President’s Award for Distinguished Service to the Trial Bar in 2009, and is routinely recognized by the Super Lawyers directory, which features experienced attorneys that exhibit excellence in their practice of law.

The mock trial team being inducted is the 2005 Mock Trial Team, the first mock trial team in QU history to qualify for the American Mock Trial Association top-flight Gold National Tournament held at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The QU mock trial team finished behind Rhodes University whose teams took first and second place honors. QU placed ahead of teams from Vanderbilt, University of Missouri-Kansas City and St. Louis University, finishing with a 6-1-1 record.

Members of the QU 2005 Mock Trial Team include Christopher Blaesing ’05, partner with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in St. Louis, MO; Garrett Ruffin ’07, who works in corporate finance in Northwest Arkansas; Emily Depauw Stolarski ’05, Administrative Director for Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, MO; Nikki Hendricks ’05; Brett Bozarth ’05; and Richard Appelbaum ’07.

Reservations are required. The cost of the event is $30 per person. For reservations, contact 217-228-5227 or go to quincy.edu/alumni/events/.

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University is a small Catholic university emphasizing the sciences, liberal arts and the professions. Quincy University offers undergraduate, graduate and adult education programs integrating practical experience and Franciscan values. Faculty and advisors work with students to design customized success plans to help them graduate on time, find their passion and prepare them for life. QU is a member of NCAA Division II for intercollegiate athletics. For more information, please visit www.quincy.edu or contact the Office of Community Relations at (217) 228-5275 or communityrelations@quincy.edu. Quincy University. Success by Design.