Attorney Profiles

Tom C. Toner – Of Counsel

Tom Toner grew up in Sundance, Wyoming.  He graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law with honors in 1973.  He has practiced law in Sheridan, Wyoming his entire career.  He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.  His practice areas are: litigation (except personal injury and criminal defense); natural resources; estate planning; and commercial and real estate transactions.

John F. Araas – Partner

John F. Araas is a native of Sheridan, Wyoming.  He graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1983.  Mr. Araas served as Managing Editor of the Wyoming Land and Water Law Review from 1982-1983.  After graduation from law school, he clerked for Judge James E. Barrett on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cheyenne, Wyoming from 1983-1984.  Mr. Araas joined the law firm in August, 1984.  He is licensed to practice before the Wyoming Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming and the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Araas practices primarily in the areas of trust and estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate and business planning.

Jay A. Gilbertz – Partner

Jay Gilbertz is a Wyoming native that grew up on a cattle ranch and remains active in his family’s ranching businesses.  He graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1996 and joined Yonkee & Toner later that same year.  He is an AV® rated attorney by Martindale Hubbel, an inducted member of the Order of Barristers and invited Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America.  He is licensed to practice in Wyoming State and Federal Courts, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.  Jay is primarily a trial lawyer and represents both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury and wrongful death cases.  Jay has litigated soil contamination cases, property damage cases, business and contract disputes and has represented doctors and hospitals in litigation.

Kendal R. Hoopes – Partner

Kendal Hoopes is a Wyoming native.  He graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law with honors in 2000.  He was a member of the Order of Coif and the Order of Barristers.  He served as a Case Note Editor for the Wyoming Law Review in 1999-2000.  Kendal served as a member of the Wyoming Board of Law Examiners from 2007 through 2011.  He is licensed to practice in both the Wyoming State and Federal Courts, and in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Kendal practices in the transactional and litigation areas affecting landowners in Wyoming.  Kendal also practices in the area of education law and advises school districts with respect to legal issues.  His practice includes oil and gas law, real property, contracts, land use and planning, business formation and agricultural lending.

Kevin K. Kessner – Partner

Kevin Kessner grew up in Rock Springs, Wyoming.  He graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 2007 and joined Yonkee & Toner that year.  Kevin is licensed to practice in both Wyoming State and Federal Courts.  Kevin is a trial attorney and represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of litigation throughout the State of Wyoming.  Kevin’s primary focuses of practice include personal injury and business litigation and criminal law, real estate transactions, probate administration and small business and estate planning matters. Outside of work, Kevin spends most of his time with his wife and two daughters in Wyoming’s outdoors.

Christopher M. Sherwood – Associate Attorney

Christopher Sherwood grew up in Long Island, NY, and has lived in several eastern states, but always had his eye on the mountain west. He is an owner and director of a family-run manufacturing company, and before attending law school at the University of Wyoming, he worked in both the financial and trust department industries. During law school, he published a comment for the Wyoming Law Review and sat on the editorial board. Christopher graduated with honors in May of 2013 and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Before joining Yonkee & Toner, he clerked for the Honorable Judge Thomas T.C. Campbell in Cheyenne. Christopher and his wife Alice are excited to join the Sheridan community and are delighted to call Wyoming their home.

Mary Brezik-Fisher – Certified Paralegal

Mary Brezik-Fisher received her paralegal certification from the Denver Paralegal Institute in 1986, a program approved by the American Bar Association.  She has worked as a litigation paralegal since that time.  In addition to providing paralegal support to the attorneys, she is the primary contact person at Yonkee & Toner, LLP for potential clients.