Alumni Class Notes

Ashton G. Cumberbatch, Jr., Class of

McGinnis Lochridge welcomes Ashton G. Cumberbatch, Jr. as a special counsel in the firm, effective May 1. His primary practice areas include alternative dispute resolution and labor-employment law. He is rejoining McGinnis Lochridge after working at the firm previously from 1989 to 2002, including a period as leader of a period as leader of the employment law section.

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James W. Larimore, Class of

Director

James W. Larimore was honored in the Chambers & Partners 2018 USA Directory in the corporate/commercial area of legal practice. Larimore is an attorney in Crowe & Dunlevy's Oklahoma City office.

Michael J. Gibbens, Class of

Director

Michael J. Gibbens was honored in the Chambers & Partners 2018 USA Directory in the litigation: general commercial area of legal practice. Gibbens is an attorney in Crowe & Dunlevy's Tulsa office.

Raymond A. Villareal, Class of

Raymond A. Villareal's first novel entitled "A People's History of the Vampire Uprising" will be published on June 5, 2018 by Little, Brown and Company. Film rights were sold to 20th Century Fox in a pre-empt deal in 2017. There is plenty of case law in the novel so Raymond made good use of his law degree!

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Jocelyn Tau, Class of

Partner

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has promoted Jocelyn Tau to partner. Jocelyn focuses her practice on federal income tax law with an emphasis on domestic business transaction planning. She has significant experience advising publicly traded partnerships on capital formation, ongoing qualification, and acquisition and disposition activities.

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Britney Harrison Dieng, Class of

Family Law Attorney

GoransonBain family law attorney Britney Harrison Dieng has made her debut appearance on the Super Lawyers 2018 Texas Rising Stars list. This recognition places her among the only 2.5 percent of Texas' nearly 97,000 attorneys who receive the annual honor.

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Kelly Caperton Fischer, Class of

Continuing the legacy of leadership, Goranson Bain Ausley family law attorney Kelly Caperton Fischer has been honored with inclusion in the Super Lawyers 2018 Texas Rising Stars, rating her among the only 2.5 percent of Texas' nearly 97,000 attorneys who receive the annual honor. This is her fifth appearance on the Rising Star list.

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Dave Wishnew, Class of

Dave Wishnew proudly announces the launch of his firm, Crawford, Wishnew & Lang PLLC. Dave has a diverse litigation practice with a primary focus in business, employment and intellectual property disputes. SuperLawyers named Dave a Rising Star each year since 2012, including Top 100 in 2017 and 2018. D Magazine recognized Dave in its Best Lawyers in Dallas and Best Lawyers Under 40 for 2018. News agencies across the country published stories of Dave’s client, after awarding her $1.08 million.

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Gil Guethlein (née Gillespie), Class of

Senior Landman

Gil Guethlein (née Gillespie), class of 2011, has been named one of Denver Business Journal's Top Women in Energy. This annual list honors 40 risk-takers changing the energy industry in Colorado.

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Scott Tuthill, Class of

Scott Tuthill has joined the Dallas office of Jackson Walker as a partner in the firm's real estate practice group. His practice includes commercial real estate transactions, particularly those involving the acquisition, financing, development, management, leasing, and disposition of office, industrial, multifamily, and retail development projects.

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Jim Hill, Class of

Sullivan Hill is pleased to announce that Jim Hill, has once again been recognized by the independent attorney rating service, Super Lawyers. Hill has been selected to the Super Lawyers list for the last 12 years in the areas of Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, and Creditor Debtor Rights.

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James McNeel, Class of

James McNeel has joined Chamberlain Hrdlicka as a shareholder in its San Antonio office. His practice will focus on fiduciary litigation in the area of estates, trusts, contested guardianships, and other related litigation. He will handle claims by and against estate administrators, trustees, beneficiaries, and closely held family businesses in all areas of law related to estate, trust, guardianship, and tax-related litigation.

James E. (Jim) Smith, Class of

James (Jim) Smith recently joined the Crain Caton & James (CCJ) law firm as Shareholder in the Environmental and Intellectual Practice Areas. His practice principally focuses on environmental matters including counseling, supporting transactions, and trying cases. He also has experience in intellectual property matters and is registered before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a patent attorney.

Ryan Gorsche, Class of

Ryan Gorsche, class of 2007 and member of the Order of the Coif, has been named 2018 Texas Rising Star by Super Lawyers. Texas Rising Stars is an annual list of exceptional lawyers in the state who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, and who are either 40 years old or younger or have been practicing for 10 years or less.

Daniel Sternthal, Class of

Shareholder

Daniel Sternthal, a shareholder in the Baker Donelson's Houston office, will be ranked in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA as a leading practitioner in the area of healthcare.

John Schwartz, Class of

My new book, “This is the Year I Put My Financial Life in Order,” is being published by Penguin Random House on April 3. Part personal finance guide and part memoir, the book has some fun memories of my days in Austin at UT and UT Law.

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S. Camille Payton, Class of

Greensboro attorney S. Camille Payton of Ward Black Law was recently inducted as a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. This national organization honors those attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the field of workers’ compensation. Nominees are selected based on the outstanding traits they have exemplified in their practice of twenty years or more.

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Diana Perez Gomez, Class of

Diana Pérez Gomez has joined Chamberlain Hrdlicka as a shareholder in its Houston labor and employment practice. At Chamberlain Hrdlicka, her practice will focus on complex labor and employment disputes in state and federal courts. She will also serve as a mediator on a variety of civil matters.

Sabine Romero, Class of

Scripps College chose Sabine Romero as their 2018 Lois Langland Alumna-In-Residence. As the 2018 LLAiR, Sabine presented a series of career-inspired events, themed "Open Government: Ten Ways to Make a Difference in the World".

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David A. Breston, Class of

David A. Breston

David A. Breston is a criminal defense attorney who works in Houston. He is a proud graduate from the 1997 class and has built a name in the community of Houston for being a top-rated criminal defense attorney and Immigration lawyer at The Law Offices of David A. Breston. Additionally, David has taught seminars at Princeton and is a proud member of several associations in Texas such as the American immigration lawyers association and the Texas criminal defense lawyers association.

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F. Daniel Knight, Class of

Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry elevated Mr. Knight to Shareholder in January 2018. He practices in Houston in the areas of Admiralty & Maritime law as well as Commercial Litigation.

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Robert E. Booth, Class of

Mr.

Robert E. Booth has been elected Managing Partner of Mills Shirley LLP with offices in Galveston and Houston. Mills Shirley LLP has 18 attorneys and is recognized by the State Historical Survey Committee as the oldest continuously operated law firm in the State of Texas.

Michelle Michaelsen Alden, Class of

Last year, Ms. Alden was named the Director of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and received the Pro Bono Coordinator Award from the State Bar of Texas.

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Michelle Schulz, Class of

Partner

Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, continued its Texas expansion with a team of five international trade lawyers and business professionals, led by partners Michelle Schulz and Elsa Manzanares in Dallas. The group joins Akerman's Government Affairs and Public Policy Practice Group from a regional law firm, where Schulz and Manzanares served as co-chairs of the International Trade Group. Schulz also served as chair of the International Practice.

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Martha Todd, Class of

On February 1, 2018, Martha Todd joined McGinnis Lochridge—a legal fixture in Austin for 90 years—as Associate. McGinnis Lochridge has a strong presence in Austin and Houston, providing legal counsel on business and financial matters, and advocating for clients before administrative agencies, at the state capitol, and in courthouses across Texas and throughout the Southwest.

Shana McGirl, Class of

On February 1, 2018, Shana McGirl joined McGinnis Lochridge—a legal fixture in Austin for 90 years—as Associate. McGinnis Lochridge has a strong presence in Austin and Houston, providing legal counsel on business and financial matters, and advocating for clients before administrative agencies, at the state capitol, and in courthouses across Texas and throughout the Southwest.

Ed McHorse, Class of

On February 1, 2018, Ed Mchorse joined McGinnis Lochridge—a legal fixture in Austin for 90 years—as Partner. McGinnis Lochridge has a strong presence in Austin and Houston, providing legal counsel on business and financial matters, and advocating for clients before administrative agencies, at the state capitol, and in courthouses across Texas and throughout the Southwest.

Martin Lutz, Class of

On February 1, 2018, Martin Lutz joined McGinnis Lochridge—a legal fixture in Austin for 90 years—as Partner. McGinnis Lochridge has a strong presence in Austin and Houston, providing legal counsel on business and financial matters, and advocating for clients before administrative agencies, at the state capitol, and in courthouses across Texas and throughout the Southwest.

Alison Lenner, Class of

On February 1, 2018, Alison Lenner joined McGinnis Lochridge—a legal fixture in Austin for 90 years—as Associate. McGinnis Lochridge has a strong presence in Austin and Houston, providing legal counsel on business and financial matters, and advocating for clients before administrative agencies, at the state capitol, and in courthouses across Texas and throughout the Southwest.

Ali Gallagher, Class of

On February 1, 2018, Ali Gallagher joined McGinnis Lochridge—a legal fixture in Austin for 90 years—as Of Counsel. McGinnis Lochridge has a strong presence in Austin and Houston, providing legal counsel on business and financial matters, and advocating for clients before administrative agencies, at the state capitol, and in courthouses across Texas and throughout the Southwest.

Cliff Ernst, Class of

On February 1, 2018, Cliff Ernst joined McGinnis Lochridge—a legal fixture in Austin for 90 years—as Partner. McGinnis Lochridge has a strong presence in Austin and Houston, providing legal counsel on business and financial matters, and advocating for clients before administrative agencies, at the state capitol, and in courthouses across Texas and throughout the Southwest.

James P. Hill, Class of

James P. Hill was elected as the Chair of California Lawyers Association (CLA) by his fellow members of the CLA Board of Representatives. The CLA officially launched on January 1, 2018, shifting oversight of the 16 Sections together with the California Young Lawyers Association from the State Bar of California to a new voluntary bar association. CLA’s mission is focused on providing educational and networking opportunities.
Hill practices primarily in bankruptcy, insolvency and commercial law.

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Reid Phillips headshot

Reid Phillips, Class of

University of Texas School of Law alumnus Reid Phillips was among 39 Brooks Pierce attorneys recognized as industry leaders in the 2018 edition of North Carolina Super Lawyers. This prestigious list is announced annually to honor top lawyers in North Carolina. Phillips, who received his law degree in 1977, was recognized as a “Super Lawyer” for Business Litigation. He was also ranked amongst the Top 100 attorneys in North Carolina.

David Johnson, Class of

Partner

Michelman & Robinson, LLP (“M&R”) is pleased to announce that David Johnson has joined the firm as a partner. With the hiring of Mr. Johnson, who is based out of M&R’s San Francisco office, the firm adds to its already robust healthcare practice. Mr. Johnson is a seasoned healthcare attorney who primarily represents healthcare plans and providers across a broad range of litigation, transactional and regulatory matters.

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Steven Espenshade, Class of

Member

Steven Espenshade was named a member of Austin-based Pirkey Barber PLLC, one of the largest firms in the United States practicing exclusively in the fields of trademark, copyright and unfair competition law. His practice includes advising clients regarding the selection and clearance of trademarks, obtaining domestic and foreign trademark registrations, and handling trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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Salvador Davila, Class of

Attorney at Law

Salvador Davila, an attorney in the Austin office of Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, has been accepted into the Austin Bar/Austin Young Lawyers Association (AYLA) Leadership Academy class of 2018. In his practice at Littler, Davila advises and represents employers, focusing on matters involving discrimination, retaliation, workplace safety, workers’ compensation retaliation claims, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance.

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Sherri Eastley, Class of

Member

Sherri Eastley was named a member of Austin-based Pirkey Barber PLLC, one of the largest firms in the United States practicing exclusively in the fields of trademark, copyright and unfair competition law. Her practice includes management of domestic and international trademark portfolios across a wide variety of industries.

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Becky H. Diffen, Class of

Partner

McGuireWoods LLP promoted Becky H. Diffen to partner effective Jan. 1, 2018. Based in the firm's Austin office, Becky represents developers, private equity firms, investment banks, and other public and private companies in the renewable energy, energy storage, power generation, and oil and gas industries in complex transactions, including the acquisition, development, joint venture, financing and sale of energy projects and companies.

Michael Whellan, Class of

Armbrust & Brown, PLLC—a distinguished homegrown law firm in Austin—today announced that Michael Whellan, a former president and shareholder of Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody, will officially join the firm on Jan. 15, 2018. Joining along with Whellan will be Travis Phillips, a former shareholder of Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody.
For more than 25 years, Whellan has represented clients in land-use and business matters at the courthouse and before city and county government.

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Daniel O. Ramón, Class of

Partner

Seyferth Blumenthal & Harris LLP is pleased to announce that attorney Daniel O. Ramón has been promoted to partner, effective Jan. 1.

“Danny joined our firm as a transplant from Austin, Texas, in 2016, and we have been excited to have him in Kansas City ever since,” said Kim Jones, Seyferth Blumenthal & Harris managing partner. “In that short time, he has quickly established deep roots not only in our law firm and with our clients but also in the Kansas City community."

Kelsi Stayart White, Cameron Byrd, Class of

In October, Cameron Byrd and Kelsi Stayart White won a secured lending federal jury verdict in the Southern District of Texas. Cameron Byrd was first chair, and Kelsi White was second chair. They both practice at AZA in Houston, Texas.

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Ashley L. McMillian, Class of

Partner

Susman Godfrey LLP has named Ashley McMillian to the firm’s partnership, effective January 1, 2018.

McMillian has already made her mark at the Texas-based litigation boutique, most recently in energy litigation, as part of the team that won a $43.2 million jury verdict for client Apache, in Apache Deepwater LLC v. W&T Offshore, Inc. She also helped obtain an early summary judgment dismissing a plaintiff’s damages claim of hundreds of millions of dollars for client Hess Bakken, in Spring Creek

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Karen Turner, Class of

Family Law

Karen Turner and Ashley McDowell join to form Turner McDowell, PLLC, in Dallas.

Jay Jackson, Class of

Attorney

Attorney Jay Jackson of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz has been named to the Texas Super Lawyers list for 2017. This marks Mr. Jackson’s sixth consecutive year of selection to the Super Lawyers list.

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Jamie T. Hall, Class of

Jamie Hall, Land Use and Environmental Attorney and President of the Laurel Canyon Association in Los Angeles, spearheaded an effort to acquire 17 acreas of open space in the Hollywood Hills to preserve as wildlife habitat. The “Let’s Buy a Mountain” project was a collaboration between the Laurel Canyon Association, Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. Over $1.6 million was raised to acquire the parcel. Donors included Don Henley.

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Peter Sakai, Class of

Judge

Judge Peter Sakai, presiding judge of the 225th District Court, Bexar County, Texas was honored by St. Philip’s College, San Antonio, Texas, to be the 2017 Distinguished Commencement Speaker. The Texas Diversity Council recognized his contributions to the San Antonio community by naming him the DiversityFIRST Individual Award Winner. The Bexar County District Court judges have unanimously elected Judge Sakai to be Local Administrative Judge for a two year term, effective January 1, 2018.

Robert S. Glass, Class of

GableGotwals is pleased to announce Robert S. Glass was selected as a 2017 Oklahoma Super Lawyer in the practice areas of Health Care, Business Litigation and Business/Corporate Law. Robert has been elected to Super Lawyers since 2006.

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David L. Bryant, Class of

GableGotwals is pleased to announce David L. Bryant was named to the Top 50 List of Attorneys in Oklahoma. He was selected as a 2017 Oklahoma Super Lawyer in the practice areas of Business Litigation, Insurance Coverage, and Professional Liability. David has been elected to Super Lawyers since 2006.

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Adam Arikat, Class of

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP announced that Adam Arikat has joined its Dallas office as an associate in the Firm’s Tax, Executive Compensation & Benefits Department. Prior to joining Weil, Arikat served as an Upstream Business Services attorney at ExxonMobil, where he worked on the structuring of upstream transactions, divestments and joint ventures. Arikat earned an Executive LL.M. in Taxation from New York University and previously completed his J.D. at The University of Texas School of Law.

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David E. Keglovits, Class of

GableGotwals is pleased to announce David E. Keglovits (1990) was selected as a 2017 Oklahoma Super Lawyer in the practice areas of Business Litigation, Utilities and Construction Litigation. David has been elected to Super Lawyers since 2006.

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