The American Numismatic Association has named Hollie L. Wieland, of Karp Neu Hanlon P.C., as its general counsel.
She replaces Flint, Mich., attorney Ronald Sirna, who was named general counsel on Oct. 16, 2007.
Wieland was formerly of Sears & Swanson P.C. and lists among her publications American Numismatic Assoc. v. Cipoletti (Colo. App. 2011). Wieland represented the ANA in its case against Christopher Cipoletti, who served as the association’s executive director from June 2002 through October 2007. His termination embroiled the ANA in four years of litigation.
The decision to name Wieland as general counsel was made during a closed session of the ANA Board of Governors on Jan. 11 and announced publicly in what was described by ANA education director RyAnne Scott, the ANA’s marketing and communications manager, as an “impromptu open session” immediately after the closed session. A motion to confirm the appointment passed in closed session.
Sirna and the ANA are currently being sued by former ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd in an Illinois court. The lawsuit alleges that the ANA and Sirna, acting in the capacity of the ANA’s legal counsel, made false claims against Shepherd.
ANA President Tom Hallenbeck stated on Jan. 23 that the general counsel position is a political appointment made by the ANA’s president and that Sirna was not fired; rather, his contract ended Dec. 31, 2012.
Hallenbeck explained that the ANA’s leadership thought that it would be better to go with a local attorney based in Colorado, adding that the announcement “didn’t have anything to do with the lawsuit.”
Hallenbeck confirmed that the ANA does not have a contract with Wieland, and that the ANA could achieve cost savings with this move, as Wieland will charge the ANA in time-based increments, whereas Sirna was on retainer. ■