2015 – 2016 Editorial Board

2015 – 2016 CLR Editorial Board


Editor in Chief

CLR Prof Pic KZ

Kaela Zihlman

Kaela is a Colorado native with no plans to leave.  She first became interested in pursuing a legal career when she participated in mock trial at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  After working for a family law firm for two years, she knew she definitely wanted to become a lawyer.  Kaela is interested in all types of litigation, including family law, constitutional and civil rights, and criminal law.  Outside of school, Kaela can be found enjoying happy hours and brunches around town.

Senior Article Editor

John Joyner

John Joyner

John grew up in a small town in California.  After high school, he spent 5 years in the Marine Corps and then went to Berkeley for undergrad.  After doing odd jobs for a few years, John decided to come to Colorado for law school.  In his free time, John likes to cook, go for moderately-paced jogs, and try to keep his apartment clean.

Managing Editor

Michael Lagarde

Michael Lagarde

Michael is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before law school, he served two years as an AmeriCorps member in Fort Collins, Colorado. In law school he has worked with DU’s Civil Rights Clinic, several mental health courts in Colorado, and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C. He has refined fondness for stouts, board games, and campfires.

Executive Editor


Charles Dow

Charlie grew up dangerously close to a large nuclear waste site in Eastern Washington, and as a result has never ceased glowing. While studying in the winters to get a BA in Political Science, he worked as a forest firefighter in the summers to afford school and extensive travel abroad, to include places like Ireland, China, Mongolia, Finland to name a few. After joining CLR in October 2012, he is presently loving his current position. After graduating and passing the bar, Charlie seeks to work for one of several federal law enforcement agencies before retiring on his Christmas tree farm. While not in class or in the forum, Charlie typically cannot be found.

Business Editor


Demi Arenas

Demi is a Colorado native who loves to spend time outdoors with her fiancé and their two bulldogs, Crosby and Roscoe. She received her BSBA from the University of Denver with a focus in Marketing and a minor in Business Ethics and Legal Studies. Demi’s interest in criminal law stems from her background working in inmate healthcare and obsession with watching crime-dramas. In her free time, you can find her spending time with her family hiking, biking, netflix-marathoning, and enjoying all the beauty Colorado has to offer.

Online Editor


Mattson Smith

Mattson Smith was raised in South Carolina and attended college at Furman University. After Graduating, Mattson packed up his 2002 Honda Accord with all of his belongings and made the long drive across Kansas to arrive in Denver for Law School. Mattson interests include running around Washington Park, exploring Colorado’s mountain towns, snowboarding, and discovering the best BBQ Denver has to offer (recommendations are welcomed). After graduation, Mattson intended to peruse a career as a public defender.

Events Editor

Steven Visioli

Steven Visioli

Steven was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Colorado. After high school, he attended CU Boulder where he studied political science and Italian language while working part time at various dead-end jobs and volunteering at a few legal organizations. Steven has been with the Criminal Law Review since his first semester at DU SCOL, is involved with several other student groups, and is a big fan of the United States Constitution. Steven presently works for a criminal defense law firm, but, as an independent contractor, he will take pretty much whatever legal work comes across his desk. When his hands are not full with law school and work, Steven enjoys taking naps, hiking, hanging out with his cat, Sock, and arguing for the sake of argument.

Recruitment Editor

Samit Bahala

Samit Bhalala

Since completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Arizona in 2013, Samit Bhalala now lives in snowy Denver, Colorado, where he is pursuing a JD/MBA at the University of Denver.  Samit is eager to be the recruitment editor for the CLR for the 2015-16 school year, and looks forward to meeting all of the potential CLR candidates!

Solicitation Editor


Kevin Benninger

Kevin Benninger is a third year law student interested in criminal law and civil rights work. Kevin graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in History and English Literature. He has since interned at the Public Defender’s offices in Jefferson County and Arapahoe County in Colorado and is currently in his third semester in the University of Denver Civil Rights Clinic.

Alumni Communications Editor

Nicole Savino

Nicole Savino

I’m a 3L law student. I’m the Alumni Communications Editor for the Criminal Law Review. When I graduate I hope to become a Public Defender and fight the good fight!

Article Editors

Sandy Ramlo

Sandy Ramlo

Sandy Ramlo was born and raised in Truman, MN. She attended South Dakota State University, earning both a B.A. and M.A. there. She worked as an English instructor at South Dakota State University in South Dakota, McCook Community College in Nebraska, and the University of Phoenix in California before attending law school. She is a MN Vikings fan, has climbed Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, and loves motorcycle rides. She lives in Greeley with her husband and son.


Melissa Youngpeter

Melissa Youngpeter is a 3L who was born and raised in Denver. Prior to attending law school, she received a dual bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and a master’s degree in legal administration at the University of Denver. Melissa worked in advertising before returning to DU to study law. In the summer of 2015, Melissa interned for the Honorable Kandace C. Gerdes in the Denver District Court, assisting with both domestic and criminal dockets.


Morgen Oswood

“Morgen Oswood is currently a 3L at Sturm College of Law. As an undergraduate she attended Santa Clara University. She grew up in Montana and is hoping to enter the world of criminal defense upon graduation. She has worked for a private criminal defense attorney, participated in the DU Criminal Defense Clinic, and worked in Arapahoe County for the Public Defender’s.” 

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