Alumni Class Notes

Ephraim (Fry) Wernick, Class of

Partner

Ephraim “Fry” Wernick, former Assistant Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Unit and a veteran federal prosecutor, has joined Vinson & Elkins as a partner in the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense practice. Wernick is based in V&E’s Washington, D.C. office.

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J. Robert Beatty, Class of

J. Robert "Rob" Beatty has retired from Locke Lord LLP after forty years of practice. He and his wife Leslie reside in Manchester-By-The-Sea, Massachusetts.

Megan Gray, Class of

Megan Gray is now General Counsel and VP of Policy for DuckDuckGo, Inc., a private search engine and online privacy company. Recently, I was the counsel of record, on the briefs and seated at counsel's table, in a case before the US Supreme Court -- https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/iancu-v-brunetti/ -- the Court is presented with the question of whether the federal government can prohibit trademark registration for FUCT on streetwear clothing as a "scandalous" mark.

Carlos Eduardo Cardenas, Class of

Carlos Eduardo Cardenas (J.D. 1980) has been elected as Fellows Secretary to the Board of Trustees of the Texas Bar Foundation. Carlos took office June 14, 2019.

Founded in 1965 by attorneys determined to assist the public and improve the profession of law, the Texas Bar Foundation has maintained its mission of using the financial contributions of its membership to enhance the rule of law and the system of justice in Texas.

E. David Coligado, Class of

Shareholder

Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. (Munsch Hardt) is proud to announce that David Coligado was recognized on D Magazine’s 2019 “Best Lawyers in Dallas” list. Each year, the publication honors peer-nominated lawyers who offer unparalleled counsel in their specific practice area. David graduated from The University of Texas School of Law and currently serves as the head of Munsch Hardt’s Real Estate Section. His practice focuses on the ownership, development and investment of commercial real estate.

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Charles M. Stam, Class of

Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC is proud to welcome Charles Stam, who joins the firm's Houston office as an associate. Stam maintains a general litigation practice focusing on commercial litigation, corporate recoveries, product liability and catastrophic injury. He graduated cum laude from the University of Texas School of Law and joined the firm after completing a one-year clerkship with a federal district judge.

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Kirk Tucker, Class of

Kirk Tucker has joined the Houston office of Jackson Walker as a partner. His Corporate & Securities practice focuses on oil & gas and infrastructure investment matters.

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Lauren Schoenbaum, Class of

Ruffner Schoenbaum PLLC was a finalist for the Rising Star award as part of the fourth annual Austin Woman's Way Business Awards by Austin Woman Magazine. The firm was selected for recognition from over 300 nominees. Founding partners, Eleanor Ruffner and Lauren Schoenbaum, lead their team of litigators and transactional attorneys in Austin, TX. For more information, please contact Molly Smith at firm@rslawtx.com or 512-275-6277.

Brad Caldwell, Class of

Name Principal

Brad Caldwell of the Dallas intellectual property and business litigation firm Caldwell Cassady & Curry has earned selection as the only Texas lawyer and one of only 10 attorneys in the country as a “Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar" by the national legal news publication Law360. Mr. Caldwell was named among the nation’s best based on his courtroom victories during 2018, including a $502.6 million patent infringement verdict against Apple Inc.

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Marc Grossberg, Class of

Marc Grossberg, who has practiced law in Houston for more than fifty years, will release his book, "The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors," in October. His debut novel offers a glimpse into the world of Houston lawyering.

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Smita Bhakta, Class of

Partner

Kruger Carson, PLLC, has promoted Smita Bhakta to Partner of the law firm, which works with a wide range of business clients from its offices in San Antonio and Austin. Bhakta focuses on complex commercial real estate matters. She joined Kruger Carson in 2016 as Attorney and Counselor.

Bhakta served on the 2016 and 2017 Board of Directors for the San Antonio chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). She is active in the Real Estate Council of San Antonio.

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Scarlet McNellie, Class of

Head of Corporate, M&A and Securities, United States

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has appointed partner Scarlet McNellie as its head of corporate, M&A and securities in the United States. Based in Dallas, Scarlet leads a team of more than 100 corporate lawyers who advise businesses across a spectrum of matters, including public takeovers, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, disposals, debt and equity capital markets transactions, and corporate governance, general commercial, corporate advisory and SEC compliance matters.

Rick R. Flores, Class of

Name Partner

Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. (formerly Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins) is proud to announce that Rick R. Flores has been elected Name Partner. Rick joined the 56-year-old Austin office in 2011 and practices criminal defense and family law.

Eric Lacktman, Class of

After a long illness, Eric Lacktman passed away at 76 on May 13, 2019.

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Brett Berly, Class of

Shareholder

Brett T. Berly, a shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka's Houston office, was ranked in the 2019 Chambers USA Guide as a top-tier attorney in High Net Worth Law (Up and Coming) in Texas.

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Peter D. Williamson, Class of

Shareholder

Peter D. Williamson, a shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka's Houston office, was ranked in the 2019 Chambers USA Guide as a top-tier attorney in Immigration (Senior Statesman) in Texas.

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Larry A. Campagna, Class of

Shareholder

Larry A. Campagna, a shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka's Houston office, was listed in the 2019 Chambers USA Guide as a top-tier attorney in Tax Fraud (Band 1) nationwide, and Tax Litigation (Band 1) in Texas.

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Patricia O’Connell Alvarez, Class of

Justice Patricia O. Alvarez

Justice Patricia O'Connell Alvarez was recently re-elected to the Fourth Court of Appeals. She is grateful to her friends and family for their support.

Nick Ducoff, Class of

Nick Ducoff '06, CEO of Edmit, was invited to the White House Office of Innovation last week to discuss the challenges and opportunities to better serve the American worker and close the skills and jobs gap. Edmit was also the 2019 SXSW Edu launch competition winner and is partnering with the Dept. of Education, College Coach, and financial institutions nationwide to help more people get access to an affordable college education. He credits much of his success to the education he received at UT Law.

Learn more about Nick's work with Edmit here.

Chris Reynolds, Class of

Litigation Partner

Reynolds Frizzell Partner Chris Reynolds was inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) at their 2019 Annual Meeting. Founded in 1954, the Academy is known for an extremely rigorous vetting process and is recognized as the most prestigious organization of trial lawyers in the world. The Academy seeks out Fellows who have achieved a career of excellence as shown by their skills in trial, and as demonstrated by their integrity and professionalism.

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Clinton “Tres” Dye, III, Class of

Partner

Taylor English Duma LLP is pleased to announce the expansion of its Atlanta office with the addition of partner Clinton “Tres” Dye. Dye will be a member of the firm’s real estate practice group.

Dye has more than 19 years of experience in transactional law. His practice focuses on commercial real estate transactions, and he has extensive experience representing owners and developers in the acquisition and development of multi-family, office, retail, hospitality, and mixed-use developments.

Stuart F. Miller, Class of

Shareholder

Stuart F. Miller, a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Houston office, has been ranked in Band 4 in the area of healthcare in Texas by the 2019 edition of Chambers USA.

Daniel Sternthal, Class of

Shareholder

Daniel Sternthal, a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Houston office, has been ranked in Band 4 in the area of healthcare in Texas by the 2019 edition of Chambers USA.

Erica Benites Giese, Class of

White collar defense attorney Erica Benites Giese has joined the San Antonio office of Jackson Walker as senior counsel. Erica is a former Chief of the Financial Litigation Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas. She has also served as Chief of the San Antonio and Del Rio divisions.

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Amanda Halter, Class of

Managing Partner

Pillsbury has named Amanda G. Halter managing partner of the firm’s 20-lawyer Houston office. Halter, who joined the firm in 2013, is the first woman to lead the 16-year-old office.

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Nina Fantl, Class of

Ms.

After a 3-year stint serving as general attorney for the Big Bend Sector of U.S. Customs & Border Protection in Marfa, I now work as Assistant General Counsel for the San Antonio sub-office in Harlingen of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Jim Hill, Class of

Shareholder

Sullivan Hill is pleased to announce that Shareholder Jim Hill ‘78 has been selected as a 2019 Super Lawyer. Each year no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected to receive the honor of being included in the Super Lawyers list. Hill has been selected to the Super Lawyers list for the last 13 years in the areas of Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, and Creditor Debtor Rights.

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Tracy L. McCreight, Class of

Tracy L. McCreight has joined Duane Morris LLP’s Austin, Texas office as partner in the firm’s Trial Practice Group. McCreight has broad experience in complex litigation and arbitrations, including litigating a variety of commercial, construction, partnership, contract, and real estate disputes, in both state and federal courts in Texas and throughout the country. In her construction practice, she focuses on representing owners in construction defect matters and contract disputes.

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Ned Sherman, Class of

Ned Sherman has been appointed Leader of the newly minted Digital & Technology Transactions Unit at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP. Sherman is a partner at the firm as well as director of Manatt Digital & Technology Consulting, the firm's management consulting division. He is also manager of Manatt Venture Fund, the firm's venture capital arm. Sherman joined the firm in 2017.

Nick Transier, Class of

Partner

Intellectual property and technology law firm Patterson + Sheridan LLP has promoted Nick Transier to partner in the firm’s San Diego office. Transier joined the firm in 2017 as of counsel. He has more than a decade of experience in both prosecution and litigation and currently focuses on building patent portfolios for clients, especially in the area of data science including artificial intelligence, software, telecommunications, automotive technologies and consumer electronics.

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Rodney Koenig, Class of

Rod Koenig is currently serving as President of UT Midshipmans Foundation, serving as President of Monument Hill Chapter of Sons of the Republic of Texas, and serving as President of Black Jack Cemetery Association in Fayette County. He is active as a Trustee on Jackson Foundation, Williams Foundation, Gray Foundation, Orton Foundation and serves on a number of other Boards.

Justin Constant, Class of

Associate, Patent Litigation, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's Houston office

Justin Constant was named a Texas Rising Star for 2019 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. This distinction is given to only two percent of young attorneys in Texas.

Charles B. McFarland, Class of

Owners’ Counsel of America (OCA), a nationwide network of leading eminent domain attorneys, is pleased to announce the recent selection of Charles B. McFarland as the new member representative for the State of Texas. Charles is the founding member of McFarland PLLC, a boutique law firm focused exclusively on eminent domain law and condemnation litigation. Although his firm is based in Houston, he is well known throughout Texas for his fierce advocacy on behalf of landowners and his skill and experience in the courtroom.

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The Honorable Jane N. Bland, Class of

Partner

Former Texas First Court of Appeals Justice Jane Bland has joined Vinson & Elkins as a partner. Bland brings to the firm more than 20 years of experience as a state appellate justice and civil trial judge. She will be based in V&E’s Houston office. As a member of the firm’s Appellate practice, Bland will focus on civil appeals and litigation.

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John Summers, Class of

The leaders of the Dallas-based intellectual property and business litigation law firm Caldwell Cassady & Curry have promoted experienced firm attorney John Summers to principal. Mr. Summers earned the new title based on his years of success for clients and proven leadership within the firm.

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Chris Stewart, Class of

The leaders of the Dallas-based intellectual property and business litigation law firm Caldwell Cassady & Curry have promoted experienced firm attorney Chris Stewart to principal. Mr. Stewart earned the new title based on his years of success for clients and proven leadership within the firm.

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Madeline Mathews, Class of

Liskow & Lewis is pleased to announce Madeline Mathews has joined the firm's Houston office. She has represented clients in all phases of energy exploration, development, and production and has handled a variety of matters from lease drafting and contract negotiation to complex litigation.

Carolyn Gutierrez Bartelli, Class of

Partner

Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P. is proud to announce Carolyn Gutierrez Bartelli has been named a Partner in the firm. Carolyn leads the firm’s corporate immigration practice group and represents U.S. and international companies in the technology, healthcare, international trade, and professional services sectors with respect to all immigration-related matters.

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Jonathan Castelan, Class of

Partner

Latham & Watkins LLP is pleased to announce that Jonathan Castelan has joined the firm's Houston office as a partner in the Corporate Department and member of the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice. Castelan represents private equity firms and energy companies in acquisitions, divestitures and strategic joint ventures involving midstream assets.

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Elizabeth “Heidi” G. Bloch, Class of

Shareholder

Elizabeth “Heidi” G. Bloch, a prominent Texas appellate lawyer, has joined the Austin office of global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP as a shareholder. The addition of Bloch to the firm further extends the depth and experience of Greenberg Traurig’s Texas Appellate Practice while also strengthening the firm’s already robust foothold of more than 125 attorneys in Texas.

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Ian Shelton, Class of

Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that Ian S. Shelton has joined the Austin office as counsel in the Litigation Practice Group, bolstering the commercial disputes practice with a focus on intellectual property and technology, complex commercial litigation and appeals. Prior to joining Eversheds Sutherland, Mr. Shelton was an attorney with Los Angeles-based Quinn Emanuel & Sullivan LLP.

Dustin J. O’Quinn, Class of

Shareholder & Immigration Team Chair

Lane Powell Shareholder & Immigration Team Chair Dustin J. O'Quinn has been selected to participate in the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity's (LCLD) 2019 Fellows Program, a select group of experienced attorneys from diverse backgrounds who have been recognized for their potential as leaders in their organizations. LCLD is a growing organization of 300+ corporate chief legal officers and law firm leaders who are personally committed to creating a truly diverse legal profession.

John W. Martin, Class of

Managing Partner

Baker Botts L.L.P., announced that John W. Martin has been elected as the firm's 15th Managing Partner. Mr. Martin's four-year term will commence April 1, 2019. “John is a bold and dynamic leader, and the perfect choice to lead our 179-year old firm in these changing times. I know that with John's selection the future of the firm is in great hands,” said Andrew M. Baker, the current Managing Partner of Baker Botts.

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Bryce Linsenmayer, Class of

HOUSTON, TX, February 13, 2019 – Taylor English Duma LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Bryce Linsenmayer as a partner in the firm’s Corporate practice. In his third decade of practice, Linsenmayer has built a reputation for assisting top national and global clients. He focuses his practice on securities law and mergers and acquisitions with a particular focus on the energy, technology, cybersecurity, environmental, travel and leisure and healthcare industries.

Ben Maddox, Class of

Lieutenant

Ben Maddox (’14) currently serves as a Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) at the Washington Navy Yard. He was recently selected as a 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholar, which is a leadership development initiative in partnership with the George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon Johnson presidential libraries. As part of the program, Ben’s leadership project will address the large racial disparities in military justice.

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Michael McBride, Class of

Partner

Michael McBride, an intellectual property lawyer, was promoted to partner at Houston-based Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. Jan. 28, 2019. Mr. McBride focuses on patent litigation and patent prosecution matters. He earned a degree in electrical engineering at UT and worked for Fujitsu-AMD Semiconductor in Austin before becoming a lawyer. He has prosecuted patents in hardware and software, aerospace and energy. Mr. McBride is a repeat honoree on the Texas Rising Stars list.

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Ryan Hackney, Class of

Partner

Commercial litigator Ryan Hackney was promoted to partner at Houston-based civil trial law boutique Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. on Jan. 28, 2019. He has represented energy companies in a variety of disputes and previously worked as a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group. Mr. Hackney has earned recognition on Super Lawyers magazine's peer-reviewed Texas Rising Stars list of top young lawyers the past two years. Less than 2.5% of lawyers in Texas are chosen.

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Scott W. Clark, Class of

Partner

Intellectual property lawyer lawyer Scott W. Clark, JD 1998, was promoted to partner at Houston-based civil litigation boutique Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. on Jan. 28, 2019. Mr. Clark is a registered U.S. patent attorney with over 15 years of experience representing clients in all aspects of intellectual property. He has litigated over 30 civil cases, including 25 patent disputes. He earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from UT in 1993.

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Jackob Ben-Ezra, Class of

Principal

Fish & Richardson has elevated Jackob Ben-Ezra to principal in the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group in Houston. Overall, 11 attorneys were promoted to principal. Ben-Ezra represents the world’s largest tech companies in complex patent litigation.

Eliot Turner, Class of

Partner

Norton Rose Fulbright has promoted Eliot Turner to partner. Turner is a member of the firm’s antitrust disputes group and he represents clients in defending and prosecuting claims under the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act, and state antitrust laws, as well as other complex matters. Based in the firm’s Houston office, Mr. Turner is an executive editor of Litigation, the journal of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation.