Alumni Class Notes

Stephanie DeBrow, Class of

Stephanie DeBrow has been promoted to partner at Norton Rose Fulbright in Houston. She is an accomplished litigator in the firm's Austin office whose practice focuses on patent litigation and appeals. She represents clients in a variety of fields, including mechanical, telecommunications, computer, semiconductor, e-commerce and Internet technologies.

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Jared L. Levinthal, Class of

Jared Levinthal has joined Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC as a partner in the firm's Houston office. Jared represents plaintiffs and defendants in all types of litigation. He handles disputes involving commercial and business issues, product liability, professional malpractice, intellectual property, insurance coverage and bad faith, serious personal injury and wrongful death.

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Robert A. Wilkins, Class of

Robert A. Wilkins has joined Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC as a partner in the firm's Houston office. Wilkins represents both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts as well as before arbitral tribunals. He has a particular focus on commercial litigation involving the oil and gas industry, including business divorce cases, fiduciary duty issues, breach of contract claims, securities disputes and related matters.

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Christie Alcalá, Class of

Vinson & Elkins LLP has promoted Christie Alcalá to counsel effective Jan. 1, 2020. Alcalá advises and represents employers on all aspects of employment and labor law in business transactions, day-to-day operations, administrative proceedings and litigation, including issues relating to wage and hour laws, restrictive covenants, employment and severance agreements, reductions-in-force, employee privacy rights, internal investigations, anti-discrimination, leaves, unions and drug testing.

Emery Choi, Class of


Vinson & Elkins LLP promoted Emery Choi to counsel effective Jan. 1, 2020. Choi represents clients in domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, joint ventures and a variety of energy matters. Among his notable experience, Choi advised Devon Energy in the $2 billion sale of certain non-core upstream assets to multiple buyers.

Matthew Falcone, Class of


Vinson & Elkins LLP promoted Matthew Falcone to counsel effective Jan. 1, 2020. Falcone focuses his practice on representing private equity funds, financial sponsors and public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions, equity financings, joint ventures and other strategic transactions, particularly in the energy infrastructure sector.

Taylor Holcomb, Class of


Vinson & Elkins LLP promoted Taylor Holcomb to counsel effective Jan. 1, 2020. Holcomb helps clients develop and permit domestic projects, operate in compliance with federal and state laws and defend against claims brought by the government and other groups. He primarily practices before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Railroad Commission, the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Stephanie Rzepka, Class of

Stephanie Rzepka has been promoted to Counsel at Tucker Ellis LLP. Stephanie represents clients in class action and complex commercial litigation matters across a variety of areas, including price premium, securities fraud, wage and hour, resale price maintenance, and
pay for delay.

Robert L. Tobey, Class of

President, Dallas Bar association

Robert L. Tobey has been elected President of the Dallas Bar Association, a professional, voluntary organization of more than 11,000 Dallas-area attorneys.

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Stephanie Sivinski, Class of

Promoted to partnership effective January 1, 2020, Sivinski is a member of the intellectual property litigation practice group in Haynes and Boone's Dallas office. She has obtained trial victories in technologically complex cases ranging from patent-infringement to breach-of-contract matters. Her practice has touched on technology as varied as pharmaceuticals, thermodynamics, computer software, and semiconductor manufacturing.

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Carla Cox, Class of

Carla Cox passed away November 29, 2019. Carla was a trusted and fearless lawyer on behalf of her clients, a leader at Jackson Walker, and a trailblazer for women in the legal profession. Carla’s commitment to elevating the legal profession, healthcare industry, and Austin community was demonstrated through her service as a member of the Leaders Circle at the University of Texas Center for Women in Law (CWIL), as well as her work with the Chancellor’s Council of the University of Texas System, among many other worthy causes. Among her many accolades was the Travis County Women Lawyers Association 2017 Pathfinder award, given to women lawyers who have been trailblazers in the legal profession in Travis County.

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Wes Watts, Class of


Promoted to the Vinson & Elkins LLP partnership effective Jan. 1, 2020, Watts represents entrepreneurial enterprises and venture capital investors in the creation, financing and operation of technology and growth companies. He also advises emerging companies with respect to mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions, in addition to general corporate and governance matters.

James Longhofer, Class of


Promoted to the Vinson & Elkins LLP partnership effective Jan. 1, 2020, Longhofer focuses on syndicated, acquisition and structured/mezzanine financings and debt restructurings, including debtor-in-possession facilities and complex intercreditor arrangements and preferred equity investments, primarily in the energy space. His industry experience includes oil and gas exploration and production; midstream; oilfield services; refining, distribution, storage and transportation; and retail.

Chris Perkins, Class of

Dallas, Dec. 20, 2019 – International law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has added a new associate in its Dallas office: Chris Perkins, Corporate.

Niko Lane, Class of

Dallas, Dec. 20, 2019 – International law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has a new associate in its Dallas office: Niko Lane, Corporate.

Misty Farris, Class of

Senior Counsel

Misty Farris was selected by peers for positions on the American Association for Justice’s Committee on the Judiciary and its Women Trial Lawyers Caucus Publications Committee. Farris focuses on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation and environmental litigation at Dallas-based Fears Nachawati Law Firm.

Jeffrey Leider, Class of


The international law firm Milbank LLP has promoted Jeffrey Leider to partner effective January 1, 2020. He is a member of the Global Project, Energy and Infrastructure Finance Group, based in New York. Mr. Leider’s experience includes the representation of financial institutions and project sponsors in domestic and international project and structured financings.

Lisa Fitzpatrick, Class of

Texas Law graduate Lisa Fitzpatrick recently joined Phelps Dunbar as an associate. Fitzpatrick is a 2002 alumna of the University of Texas School of Law, where she graduated with honors. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from the University of Virginia in 1997. Fitzpatrick works in the New Orleans office in Phelps’ insurance practice.

Michael D. Fritz, Class of

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan announces the appointment of Michael Fritz '12, to serve as an Assistant County Attorney with the Hospital District Practice Group. Fritz holds a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Juris Doctorate from The University of Texas School of Law. He joins the office from Diamond McCarthy, LLP where he practiced complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy law in various areas.

Christine P. Payne, Class of


Redgrave LLP, the premier law firm focusing exclusively on eDiscovery and information law, is proud to announce that partner Christine P. Payne '06 was named to the 2019 “Women Worth Watching” list published by Profiles in Diversity Journal. Now in its 18th edition, “Women Worth Watching” recognizes women executives who are leading the way to excellence in the workplace, marketplace, and the world.

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David J. Beck, Class of


Beck Redden LLP is pleased to announce that David J. Beck has been appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to chair the newly formed Texas Commission on Judicial Selection. The 15-member Commission is comprised of four State Senators, four members of the Texas House of Representatives, two former Chief Justices of the Texas Supreme Court, and others. It is charged with evaluating the merits of alternative methods of judicial selection, and to produce findings and recommendations for reform to the Legislature by December 31, 2020.

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Russell H. Falconer, Class of

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has elected Russell H. Falconer to partnership, effective January 1, 2020. Falconer has extensive experience representing clients who operate in heavily regulated industries, including broker-dealers, airlines, electric utilities, investment firms, and pharmaceutical companies. He has played a substantial role in a wide range of high-stakes appeals, trials, and litigation. Falconer graduated in 2009 with highest honors from The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, where he was the Grand Chancellor of his class and served as a member of the Texas Law Review.

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Lauren Corbeil, Class of

Lauren Corbeil was promoted to partner in the Houston office of Locke Lord. Lauren focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, corporate restructurings, joint ventures, private equity and venture capital transactions, corporate governance and other general corporate and commercial matters.

Marissa Marquez, Class of

Ms. Marissa Marquez with Legacy Community Health has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. Fellows of the Foundation are selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system throughout the state of Texas. Election is a mark of distinction and recognition of Ms. Marquez's contributions to the legal profession.

Catherine G. Kirkland, Class of

Starnes Davis Florie LLP welcomes Catherine (“Cat”) Kirkland as a partner to the firm’s Mobile office. Cat joins the firm’s transactional and regulatory healthcare practice. Cat’s nationwide practice focuses on advising healthcare providers on a variety of reimbursement, regulatory, compliance, and operational matters. She brings considerable experience with supplemental Medicaid programs, physician contracting, hospital collaborations, complex financial modeling, and compliance planning.

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Russell Parish, Class of

Co-Founding Principal

Having served a general counsel role to a variety of businesses (including a Class 1 Railway company, a forest-products/real-estate conglomerate in TempleInland, and a family co.) as well as having worked in large law firms, I am excited to return to small private practice with my former H&K colleague and Christian brother John T. Wright. Together, I believe our nimble boutique firm is offering partner-level experience at a predictable price point that is below many big-law associates.

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Phyllis Y. Young, Class of

Phyllis Young '01, an accomplished transactional lawyer who advises public and private companies, commercial banks and investment funds in financing transactions and has extensive energy industry experience, has joined McGuireWoods’ debt finance practice as a partner in the firm’s Dallas and Houston offices. Young advises lenders and borrowers in debt financings and counsels clients on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and other corporate matters. She has served as outside general counsel to clients in the oil refining and drilling sectors and the steel distribution industry. She joins McGuireWoods from Akin Gump.

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Frank Garrettson Evans, III, Class of

Chief Justice

Frank Garrettson Evans, III '51, retired Chief Justice of the Texas First Court of (Civil) Appeals passed away peacefully at his home, on November 9, 2019, at 91 years of age. He is indelibly recorded in Texas history for providing citizens with access to justice that improved the lives of countless people who never knew his name, yet benefited greatly from the conflict resolution methods that he pioneered and implemented, including mediation and arbitration. He became widely known as the "father of alternative dispute resolution," because of his groundbreaking work developing conflict resolution processes and programs outside the usual legal system throughout Texas.

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Ross Sutherland, Class of


Ross Sutherland joined litigation firm Scott Douglass & McConnico. Sutherland began his career as an entrepreneur servicing South Texas oil-field companies and brings that experience to his legal practice focused in the oil and gas industry.

David Calvillo, Class of

Senior Counsel

David Calvillo, Senior Counsel in the Houston and San Antonio offices of Chamberlain Hrdlicka, has been invited into the Houston Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Calvillo was formally welcomed into the Houston Chapter during the Annual Dinner and New Member Induction on October 26, 2019. ABOTA is a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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James B. Sales, Class of

Of Counsel

On Thursday, November 14, 2019, the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas will induct James (“Jim”) B. Sales, member of the class of 1960 and recipient of the Order of the Coif, as a Texas Legal Legend at South Texas College of Law Houston in the Joe M. Green Auditorium. The induction will be followed by a reception sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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Alexander Berger, Class of

General Counsel

Alex Berger is now General Counsel for the Motorcycle Industry Council, the national trade association for the motorcycle industry, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (trade association for all-terrain vehicles), the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (trade association for ROVs), and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Adi Sirkes, Class of

Trial Attorney

Adi Sirkes has joined Houston litigation firm Reynolds Frizzell LLP as an associate. As a trial attorney, his practice focuses on advising clients across a wide array of industries to protect their legal rights and provide strategic remedies.

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Garrett Brawley, Class of


On October 22, 2019, Beck Redden LLP obtained a $176 million unanimous jury verdict on behalf of our client, HP Inc. The verdict followed a week-long trial in a Houston federal court in which the jurors deliberated for less than five hours and found that defendants Quanta Storage Inc. and Quanta Storage America Inc. knowingly and intentionally violated U.S. antitrust laws. By law, the damages could be tripled by U.S. District Judge David Hittner.

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Alistair Dawson, Class of


On October 22, 2019, Beck Redden LLP obtained a $176 million unanimous jury verdict on behalf of our client, HP Inc. The verdict followed a week-long trial in a Houston federal court in which the jurors deliberated for less than five hours and found that defendants Quanta Storage Inc. and Quanta Storage America Inc. knowingly and intentionally violated U.S. antitrust laws. By law, the damages could be tripled by U.S. District Judge David Hittner.

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William T. Allen, Class of


William T. Allen, a renowned jurist, scholar and counselor, who helped establish the law governing the conduct of corporations through many landmark judicial decisions, has died at age 75. Appointed by Governor Mike Castle, Allen served as chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery from 1985 to 1997. Often under national scrutiny, Allen wrote hundreds of opinions related to corporate law. He is considered by peers as one of the most accomplished judges of his era.

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Reid Phillips, Class of

Brooks Pierce managing partner Reid Phillips, who received his juris doctorate from the University of Texas, was recognized in the 2020 edition of Benchmark Litigation as a “Local Litigation Star” for Antitrust, General Commercial, Intellectual Property, Product Liability and Securities. Benchmark Litigation serves as the definitive guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys. Rankings are based on a six-month period where Benchmark researchers conduct extensive interviews.

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Warigia M. Bowman, Class of

Dr. Warigia M. Bowman

Warigia M. Bowman, a 1994 honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law. She teaches water law, natural resources law, energy regulation, and administrative law at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Her article "Dustbowl Waters: Doctrinal and Legislative Solutions to Save the Ogallala Aquifer before both Time and Water Run Out," will appear in 91 U. Colorado Law Review, 4 (2019)

Preston Moore, Class of

Preston Moore, a Dallas-based associate in the Corporate Department of international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, has received the Outstanding In-House Attorney Award from the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP). The award recognizes Moore’s exceptional pro bono work on behalf of DVAP and his outstanding efforts in the justice system. Earlier this year, Moore was announced as Weil’s 12th Lend-a-Lawyer and spent two months working full-time on-site at DVAP.

Nathan Johnson, Class of


The law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP is pleased to announce that Dallas attorney and State Senator Nathan M. Johnson has joined the firm as Counsel in the Trial Practice Group in Dallas. Mr. Johnson is a commercial and bankruptcy litigator and currently represents District 16 in the Texas State Senate.

Fred Moore, Class of


Fred Jones Moore, died peacefully August 11, 2019, at his home in Seguin, Texas. He was born June 12, 1929, in Bells Texas, to Fred and Lila (Jones) Moore. At UT, he also received a BBA and met and married his wife of 64 years, Catherine (Tsardoulias) Moore. After law school, Moore served in the United States Army, retiring as a full Colonel in 1974. He then opened a law practice in Seguin and served as a Guadalupe County Judge from 1983 to 1994, and as a visiting judge for many years later.

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T. Ray Guy, Class of

T. Ray Guy, a Litigation partner in the Dallas office of international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, has earned recognition as a 2019 Texas Super Lawyer. Texas Super Lawyers rates lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is based on independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations, and only 5% of attorneys in each state are included in the Super Lawyers list each year.

Mike Schira, Class of

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP is proud to announce that Vorys Attorney Mike Schira, who is a University of Texas School of Law alumnus, has been included in the 2020 Best Lawyers in America list.

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George Lee, Class of


George Lee has been named one of the 2020 Best Lawyers in America in the Corporate Law category. This distinction is based entirely on a peer-review survey in which attorneys cast votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

James H. Billingsley, Class of


James H. Billingsley has been recognized as one of the 2020 Best Lawyers in America in the Litigation and Bankruptcy categories. This distinction is based entirely on a peer-review survey in which attorneys cast votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

Chris Kirchmer, Class of


Provost Umphrey Lawyer Christopher T. Kirchmer was listed in the Best Lawyers of America for his work in Mass torts, Class Actions, Personal Injury and Product Liability.

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Andrew Hoffman, Class of

DLA Piper Partner

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that Andrew Hoffman, a partner in the firm's Litigation practice, has been named to the Daily Journal's 2019 Top 40 Under 40 list honoring young California lawyers across a range of practice areas. Hoffman represents pharmaceutical manufacturers and other life sciences companies in government investigations and related litigation.

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James P. Hill, Class of


James P. Hill, was named by his peers for inclusion in the 26th Edition of Best Lawyers in America®. Hill is a founding member of Sullivan Hill, member of its Executive Committee and chair of the firm’s Insolvency and Commercial Bankruptcy practice group. He is recognized in the fields of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.

David D. Vineyard, Class of


David Vineyard, JD, MD, had the pleasure of leading a charity climb up Mount Kilimanjaro last July to benefit Neema Village, an orphanage in Arusha,Tanzania

F. Lee Duggan, Jr., Class of


F. Lee Duggan, Jr., Class of 1955, died on June 16, 2019 at age 87, surrounded by his family. He is remembered, not only for his incredible legacy of public service, but as a beloved patriarch. Duggan’s career spanned 6 decades, and included serving as a State Legislator, State Court of Appeals Justice, State District Judge, Assistant District Attorney and trial lawyer. A man of integrity, he strove to ensure that everyone was treated fairly under the law. Please see link to obituary.

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