Elizabeth Fitch has been promoted to shareholder at Hallett & Perrin, P.C. in Dallas. She joined Hallett & Perrin in 2016. A member of the firm’s litigation section, Fitch has experience at every level of dispute resolution, from the initiation of a lawsuit through appeal. While she represents both individuals and companies in a broad range of matters, her emphasis is on commercial and construction litigation, as well as employment law.
On the Move
Wesley Watts is the founding partner of the new Austin office for midsize venture capital law firm Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP, with with a focus on private equity work. Watts has a history of working with technology companies in Austin through transactions and private equity matters. Previously he worked at Vinson & Elkins.
Luke Thomas helped open new Austin office for the venture capital law firm Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP, with with a focus on private equity work. Thomas, a senior associate, has experience working on transactions and public offerings as an attorney and has previously worked as a financial adviser. Previously he worked at Vinson & Elkins for about five years.
Charles Stam is now a trial attorney at Zehl & Associates PC. He represents plaintiffs, mainly individuals who have been seriously injured or killed in oilfield, 18-wheeler, maritime, plant and refinery, and other catastrophic accidents.
Michella Gibbs joined Shook, Hardy & Bacon as a new associate. Gibbs participates in all aspects of litigation, with key areas of focus in product liability. She also has experience handling labor and employment disputes. She issues reports to clients assessing factual, legal and procedural aspects of cases, including liability analysis, litigation strategy and settlement evaluation for purposes of early dispute resolutions.
Douglas McNiel joined Shook, Hardy & Bacon as a new associate in the Product Liability Group. He has experience in drafting motions, document review, preparing witnesses for trial and managing discovery for product liability and mass tort matters. Douglas also wrote a report on Texas cannabis laws and public policy.
Jason E. Boatright has joined Duane Morris LLP as special counsel in the firm’s Trial Practice Group in its Dallas office. Boatright has held senior legal positions in state government in both Dallas and Austin. He is a former justice of the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals, the appellate court that reviews trial court decisions in Collin, Dallas, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman and Rockwall counties.
Bill Swart joined Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. as Shareholder in the firm’s Dallas office on March 1. Swart regularly represents clients in sale transactions, expansion strategies and recapitalizations. He has also gained experience with private equity structures and practices, managing expectations among buyers, sellers, lenders, management and other parties associated with complex transactions.
Julie Offerman was recently elevated to income shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka. Named among the Up-and-Coming 50: 2020 Texas Women Rising Stars, Offerman is an experienced litigation attorney in Chamberlain’s Houston Labor & Employment practice. She has been named to Texas Super Lawyers in 2020 after being named Texas Rising Star in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019. She has also been named among Houstonia Magazine Top Lawyers in 2019 and 2020.
Christopher D. Kratovil was promoted to National Recruiting Partner at Dykema, a leading national law firm. This follows a five-year stint as Managing Member of Dykema’s Dallas office where Kratovil helped to develop the office through laterals of top legal talent. In his practice, Kratovil remains in Dallas as a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, focusing on appellate matters. Kratovil has made a name for himself as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in Texas”.
BakerHostetler has elected Thomas A. Donaho to the partnership, effective Jan. 1, 2021. His practice in Houston will focus on complex commercial and business litigation. He has experience representing clients in a wide range of contract matters, business torts and real estate disputes. Donaho earned his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and his A.B. from Duke University. He was previously an associate at the firm and is a member of the Litigation Practice Group.
Scott Keller co-founded a new national boutique law firm, Lehotsky Keller LLP, with an initial office in Washington, D.C. The firm will help clients litigate cases challenging government regulations, handle complex civil cases throughout the country, and analyze and address cutting-edge legal issues. Before founding Lehotsky Keller LLP, Keller headed Baker Botts LLP’s Supreme Court Practice. He has also served as the Solicitor General of Texas, the State’s chief appellate litigator.
The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dennis J. Windscheffel, of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2021 class.
The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Erica E. Valladares, of Langley & Banack, Inc., to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2021 class.
The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael J. Ritter, of the Fourth Court of Appeals, to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2021 class.
The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of George Luis Salinas Jr., from the Law Offices of George Salinas, PLLC, to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2021 class.
The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Carol Bertsch, from The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, P.C., to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2021 class.
The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of the Honorable Richard B. Farrer, a United State Magistrate Judge, to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2021 class.
The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of William B. Kingman, from the Law Offices of William B. Kingman, P.C., to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2021 class.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has named attorney Barbara E. Griffin the new chair of the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security Board. She is the first woman and the first African-American to be named to the position. Griffin is the Director of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation’s Pro Bono Center, where she creates, manages, and supports legal services programs that provide volunteer attorneys to low-income persons facing legal issues that threaten basic human needs.
Carmel Martin has been selected by President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to serve as deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council for Economic Mobility for the White House. Martin worked as a senior policy advisor for the Biden campaign and previously served as the assistant secretary for policy and budget at the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama-Biden administration.
Michael Blake is happy to announce the 17th anniversary of his Intellectual Property Law Practice in Milford, Connecticut. Blake is licensed before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Connecticut Bar, the State Bar of California (inactive), the United States District Court (USDC) District of Connecticut, and the USDC Central District of California (inactive). Before opening his own firm, Blake was an attorney at the patent law firm Cantor Colburn in Connecticut. Prior to that he was an attorney with Sierra Patent Group in Nevada.
Basil A. Umari has joined leading national law firm Dykema as senior counsel in the firm’s Bankruptcy Practice Group in Texas. Umari offers representation in corporate bankruptcy matters.
Ann Gill Howard was elected in November 2020 as Travis County Commissioner for Precinct Three. She is a Dean’s Distinguished Graduate from the College of Liberal Arts (BA, Sociology, 1985), a Texas Exes Life Member and a Friar, Dean’s Distinguished Graduate for Service from the Law School (JD, 1988), and a Barbara Jordan Fellow for the LBJ School (MPA, 1988).
McGinnis Lochridge is pleased to welcome Daniel C. Clemons as Of Counsel in the firm’s Corporate and Tax practice group in Austin. He brings a remarkable mix of financial and legal experience to his new role, having previously served as outside counsel, in-house counsel, head of legal operations, and as a revenue analyst. Clemons will focus his practice on outside general counsel representation, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing, and other commercial transactions.
Claire Rosston has been elected to the Holland & Hart’s partnership, effective Jan. 1, 2021 in the firm’s Boise office. Rosston represents buyers and sellers in asset and equity acquisitions, with significant experience in the animal healthcare industry. She also assists clients with corporate governance, operational contracts, as well as business formation, restructuring, and disputes.
The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is proud to announce that Edward Festeryga has joined the firm as an Associate. His current legal practice focuses on a wide range of personal injury matters, including catastrophic injuries, commercial motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, plant and refinery explosions, and wrongful death.
Rosebud Nau was promoted to partnership of the law firm Haynes and Boone, LLP effective Jan. 1, 2021. Nau is a member of the Capital Markets/Securities Practice Group in Haynes and Boone’s Dallas office.
Kellie Bobo was promoted to partnership of the law firm Haynes and Boone, LLP effective Jan. 1, 2021. Bobo is a member of both the Investment Funds and M&A Practice Groups in Haynes and Boone’s Austin office.
Zachariah T. Evans has been named partner at the law firm of McGinnis Lochridge. Based in the Austin, TX, office, Evans focuses his practice on water and wastewater utilities and also represents local government entities. He advises water districts, water supply corporations and municipalities on virtually all matters regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Evans also provides counsel on matters involving open government, personnel issues, procurement, annexations, licensing and regulation of public rights-of-way, and ordinance drafting.
Bollier Ciccone LLP is happy to announce attorney Elizabeth J. Ayala has joined our growing family law practice. Elizabeth is an exceptional family law attorney, specializing in complex custody cases, protective orders, and cases involving mental health experts. She is a skilled litigator and experienced client advocate involved in all aspects of client cases. Elizabeth works exclusively for the firm’s Family Law section.
Lyda Ness Garcia has been elected the next Family Law Judge for the 383rd Judicial District Court. As the only Child Welfare Law Specialist serving on the bench in El Paso, she is hoping to bring innovative changes in meeting the needs of the litigants of her Court. She is humbled and excited to begin serving the children and families of El Paso, Texas on January 1st, 2021.
Romulo L. “Romy” Diaz, Jr. of Philadelphia has been elected a public-service independent director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. Diaz retired as General Counsel of PECO Energy Company of Philadelphia in 2020 and was recently honored with the Others Award by The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia.
Edward Festeryga has joined the Houston personal injury law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner as an Associate. His current legal practice focuses on a wide range of personal injury matters, including catastrophic injuries, commercial motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, plant and refinery explosions, and wrongful death.
Jasmine M. Harding has joined Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.,in Austin, TX. In two consecutive years, 2019 – 2020, Harding was named by the Austin Monthly Magazine as a Top Employment Lawyer in Austin and was also named as an Up and Coming Attorney in the Austin Black Business Journal.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Chief Executive Gerry Pecht appointed Richard Krumholz as the law firm’s new Global Head of Litigation and Disputes. Krumholz will lead one of the world’s largest Litigation and Disputes Practice Groups, with more than 1,200 lawyers across 52 cities worldwide. Krumholz has led the US Litigation and Disputes Practice Group since 2014.
Emily Stephens has joined Vinson & Elkins LLP as a partner in its Investment Funds practice. Stephens, who previously served for more than 14 years in managing director roles for global alternative investment management firm Oaktree Capital Management, participated in all aspects of fundraising for several of Oaktree’s largest funds, including what was, at the time, the world’s largest closed-end distressed debt fund at $10.9 billion. She also served as an investment team member and lead lawyer for Oaktree’s flagship investment strategy focused primarily on distressed credit opportunities.
Zach Burford has joined Reynolds Frizzell LLP as a litigation associate. As a trial attorney, Burford advises clients across a wide array of industries. Previously he clerked for Judge Jane J. Boyle of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Lee Yeakel in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Kevin M. Richardson has been elected to the partnership at Latham & Watkins LLP in Houston, effective January 1, 2021. He is a member of the firm’s Corporate Department who focuses his practice on complex corporate transactions, including M&A, capital markets transactions, securities, and corporate governance matters. He regularly advises public and private companies in the energy industry, private equity sponsors, and investment banking firms.
Julian T. Lopez is a personal injury attorney who practices at the Villarreal & Begum Law Firm and helps injured clients throughout Texas. He is a graduate of the Class of 1980 and worked as a prosecutor before becoming a plaintiff’s attorney. He is a member of several local law associations, including the State Bar of Texas, San Antonio Trial Lawyers, and the Texas Bar College.
Julian loves one-on-one interactions with his clients and helping them recover the maximum compensation.
Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. hired three Houston Shareholders from the law firm of Baker Donelson, including Texas Law alumnus Daniel Z. Sternthal. This team of well-respected attorneys helps Munsch Hardt significantly broaden the capabilities of its health care practice, as well as further strengthens the Firm’s commercial litigation experience. Chambers USA-Texas (2020) ranked and Board Certified in Health Law, Daniel Sternthal is a recognized authority in advising on regulatory, business, and policy issues related to health care.
Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. hired three Houston Shareholders from the law firm of Baker Donelson, including Texas Law alumnus Stuart F. Miller. This team of well-respected attorneys helps Munsch Hardt significantly broaden the capabilities of its health care practice, as well as further strengthens the Firm’s commercial litigation experience. Chambers USA-Texas (2019-2020) ranked Stuart F. Miller helps health care providers and other health care entities manage their legal and business needs in an efficient and compliant manner.
Justice John Browning was appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeals by Governor Greg Abbott on Aug. 24, 2020. Before joining the Court, he was a trial and appellate lawyer for 31 years as a partner with large national law firms and his own small law firm.
McAfee & Taft, Oklahoma’s largest law firm, has announced the addition of Thomas P. Goresen, Jr., a 2020 graduate from the University of Texas School of Law, as an associate in its Oklahoma City office. Goresen is an environmental lawyer with a broad practice involving environmental litigation and regulatory compliance with state and federal environmental health and safety regulations.
Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright announced Michael A. Swartzendruber as Partner-in-Charge of its Dallas office. Swartzendruber, who joined Norton Rose Fulbright in 1996, currently leads its litigation practice in Dallas. His litigation practice involves complex, high-stakes business disputes with a significant emphasis on securities, antitrust, and class action matters, including the successful representation of a number of the nation’s largest theater companies.
Kirby D. Hopkins, managing member of Drucker Hopkins, has founded a new law firm, Hopkins, Centrich, Winkelman & Drucker, with fellow Longhorns Joe Centrich (UT ’02, Texas Law ’06) and Lee Winkelman (UT ’99). Located in The Woodlands, the firm serves as business counsel in the Greater Houston Area and litigates across Texas.
Gregory Sapire ’94 has co-founded Soltero Sapire Murrell PLLC after roughly 20 years with K&L Gates LLP as a partner in the trial practice section. He continues to practice complex commercial litigation, with a focus on commercial and construction issues including breach of contract and fiduciary obligations, securities fraud, noncompetition obligations, warranty disputes, trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, products liability, and professional negligence.
Devon Asphall received the 2020 Wittliff Cutter Fellowship, as the firm’s first Fellow. Wittliff Cutter started the Fellowship to demonstrate the firm’s commitment to the local legal community and to diversity as it provides training, development and work experience in a law firm environment to an outstanding Texas law school graduate.
A health problem led one Mexican-American family to get creative with the food on their table—and take an entire industry by storm. Texas Law alumnus Miguel Garza, JD ’12, co-founder and CEO of Siete Family Foods, is one of the seven Garza family members—all of whom attended UT Austin—behind the brand.
Jay Zweig has joined Ballard Spahr LLP as a partner. He was previously a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, and has 25 years of experience practicing employment law and commercial litigation.