Alumni Class Notes

Mason Hester, Class of


Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. (Munsch Hardt) announces the hire of Mason Hester as Shareholder in the firm's construction practice. The fourth largest city in the country, Houston continues seeing unprecedented growth, and Munsch Hardt has responded by more than doubling its construction practice in the Houston office in the last two years.

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Ima Nsien, Class of

ADLI Law Group, a Los Angeles-based law firm, welcomes Associate Attorney Ima Nsien. Nsien joins the firm’s civil litigation practice focusing on healthcare and family law with a special interest in assisted reproduction technologies (ART). She has experience in a variety of civil matters, all stages of litigation, as well as dissolution, legal separation, support and child custody.

Mary Evelyn McNamara, Class of

Mary Evelyn McNamara, of Rivers McNamara in Austin, has been admitted as a fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. McNamara specializes in family law and family law appeals.

Joshua W. Mermis, Class of

Joshua W. Mermis, name partner in the Houston-based litigation boutique West Mermis PLLC, has been recognized on the list of Texas Super Lawyers for the second consecutive year. Mr. Mermis is named to the select list in the area of construction law. For almost 15 years he has focused on the representation of property owners, contractors, and other companies involved in the development of condominium high-rises, master-planned residential communities, single-family homes, and public buildings.

Patrick E. Gaas, Class of

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton announced today that it has opened an office in Houston. With the firm successfully expanding into Dallas in 2015, Kilpatrick Townsend now has two offices in the Lone Star State. A team of 13 deep-rooted Texas attorneys – led by partners Patrick Gaas and Daniel Shank – bring well-recognized practices to Kilpatrick Townsend.

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Brad Caldwell, Class of

University of Texas School of Law graduate Brad Caldwell of Dallas’ Caldwell Cassady & Curry once again has earned a spot on the annual Texas Super Lawyers list, and he also has been named as one of only 25 attorneys in the state on the Lawyers on the Rise list by the publishers of Texas Lawyer newspaper. He was recognized in both listings for his work in intellectual property litigation and business litigation.

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Melissa Bailey, Class of

Melissa Bailey recently joined one of North Carolina's leading law firms, Brooks Pierce, as an associate. She will work in the Raleigh office, focusing her practice on corporate transactional law and commercial real estate law.

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Ana Ward, Class of

Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Ana Ward was appointed as Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Ovid Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focusing on rare neurological disorders. In addition to her J.D., Ms. Ward holds a bachelor of arts in French, a masters of science in molecular biology and a M.B.A -- all from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a master of science in bioscience regulatory affairs from Johns Hopkins University.

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T. Ray Guy, Class of


T. Ray Guy, a partner in Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s Dallas office, has been named a Texas Super Lawyer. Texas Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas that is based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Though published in Texas through Texas Monthly magazine, the ratings are conducted through a national publication, Super Lawyers magazine, which publishes Super Lawyer rankings in each of the 50 states.

Chris Hamilton, Class of


High-profile Dallas trial lawyer Chris Hamilton and attorney Paul Wingo have teamed up to form Hamilton Wingo, LLP, to represent individuals and companies in high-stakes litigation. The two lawyers’ commitment to fight for justice and their shared passion for helping people in tough legal disputes sparked their decision to establish a new law firm together. The firm's clients include companies in all types of business disputes and individuals seriously injured through corporate negligence.

Mike Hatchell, Class of


Mike Hatchell has joined Haynes and Boone, LLP as counsel in the firm’s highly regarded Appellate Practice. He will be based in Haynes and Boone’s Austin office. Chambers USA 2017 (Chambers & Partners) recently described Hatchell as the “dean of Texas appellate practice.” He has been lead counsel in more than 400 appeals, handling cases in all 14 courts of appeals in Texas and in federal courts across the country.

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John Flynn, Class of


John Flynn was listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2018 for his work in Litigation Construction and Construction Law.

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Ephraim (Fry) Wernick, Class of

Mr. Ephraim Wernick

Ephraim (Fry) Wernick, '03 has been named Asst. Chief of the international corruption unit within DOJ's Criminal Fraud Section, where he supervises prosecutions of corporations and individuals who violated the FCPA, money laundering, and other criminal laws. In June, Fry also was selected to serve a temporary detail as Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he has been advising on criminal and national security matters. Fry lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Lea and two sons.

Michael Schira, Class of

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP is proud to announce that Michael Schira, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and a 1990 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, has been included on the 2018 Best Lawyers in America list. Schira was selected as a Best Lawyer in Real Estate Law.

Marvin E. Blum, Class of

Trusts & Estates magazine has announced the winners of its 2017 Distinguished Author awards. Marvin E. Blum, JD, CPA has been named the winner of the Trusts & Estates 2017 Distinguished Author award in the Thought Leadership category. Blum is a nationally-recognized estate planning expert known for creating customized, cutting-edge estate plans. His firm, The Blum Firm, P.C., has offices throughout Texas and has grown to be the largest group of estate planning attorneys in the state.

Carlos Eduardo Cardenas, Class of

Carlos Eduardo Cardenas '80 is serving as the 2017-2018 Chair of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas.

Virginia Hamilton Snell, Class of

Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP is pleased to announce that Virginia Hamilton Snell, Partner and University of Texas School of Law alumna, has been recognized by Woodward White's The Best Lawyers in America©, one of the most highly regarded peer-review publications for the legal profession. Ms. Snell received recognition for her work in the following practice areas:
• Appellate Practice
• Bet-the-Company Litigation
• Commercial Litigation
• Litigation - Securities

Christopher Hawkins, Class of

Sullivan Hill shareholder Christopher V. Hawkins has been appointed Vice President of the California Bankruptcy Forum for the 2017-2018 term. As Vice President, Hawkins will manage the Pro Bono Project and oversee all pro bono efforts of CBF. CBF is committed to supporting pro bono efforts of the various local Bankruptcy Forums and County Bar Associations throughout the state. Hawkins practices insolvency and commercial bankruptcy, business transactions, and commercial and business litigation.

Dana Davis Paul, Class of

Dana Paul, owner of Paul Law Firm, PLLC, has been appointed to the school board for Life Way Christian School in Centerton, Arkansas, a K-12th grade private school with over 500 students.

James P. Hill, Class of

James P. Hill ’78 was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. 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, Hill practices primarily in the areas of bankruptcy, insolvency and commercial law.

Christopher V. Hawkins, Class of

Christopher V. Hawkins ’ 93 was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. Hawkins is the Managing Partner of the firm and member of the Executive Committee; he practices in the Insolvency and Commercial Bankruptcy, Business Transactions, and Commercial and Business Litigation practice groups.

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Jamila Mensah, Class of

Jamila Mensah, a Sr. Associate at Norton Rose Fulbright in Houston, has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for her work in employment law. Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review.

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Stuart F. Miller, Class of

Stuart F. Miller, a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Houston office, was named to the 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in the area of Health Care Law.

Virginia Hamilton Snell, Class of


Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP is pleased to announce that Virginia Hamilton Snell, Partner, has been recognized in Litigation Law and Securities Law by Best Lawyers® as “Lawyer of the Year” for the publication’s 2018 edition. Best Lawyers® is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Only one lawyer in each practice area in a given community is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.”

Karin & Adam Zaner, Class of


Karin and Adam Zaner (both from the class of 1994) have formed Zaner Law PC, with offices in Dallas and Austin. Karin has recently joined the Advisory Council for UT's College of Liberal Arts, and Adam proudly serves on the Advisory Council for UT's Harry Ransom Center.

Visit their website

David Conrad, Class of


David Conrad, a principal in Fish & Richardson’s Dallas office, has been named a “Lawyer on the Rise” by Texas Lawyer. The award honors Texas’ most promising lawyers under the age of 40 who have wielded influence and are excelling in their practice areas in the Lone Star State. An intellectual property litigator, Conrad, who has in-depth knowledge of computers, software and engineering, represents clients in matters relating to business litigation, patent litigation and trade secret litigation.

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Reid Phillips, Class of

Brooks Pierce managing partner Reid Phillips has been recognized by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly as one of its 2017 North Carolina Leaders in the Law.

Ayanna Clinton, Class of

Chief Human Resources Officer, Dykema Cox Smith

Dykema Cox Smith, a leading national law firm, has announced the addition of Ayanna Clinton as the firm’s Chief Human Resources Officer. Clinton, who brings more than a decade of human resources experience with her to Dykema Cox Smith, joins after serving as Chief Human Resources Officer of Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia—a large hospital in the Tenet Healthcare system—where she was responsible for all Human Resources operations.

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Ryan D. Ellis, Class of

Lanier Law Firm associate Ryan D. Ellis has been selected by Texas Lawyer to the magazine’s 2017 Lawyers on the Rise list of leading young attorneys in the state.

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Scot Clinton, Class of

Scot Clinton has joined Wilson Cribbs + Goren, PC as a senior attorney in its Real Estate Litigation practice. An experienced trial lawyer, Clinton will focus his practice on real property and real estate, including lien, contract and warranty issues, as well as construction and general business litigation.

Winford Dunn, Class of

Texarkana lawyer Winford Dunn recently was honored by the Arkansas Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas in recognition of 50 years of legal practice in each state. Dunn, a Texarkana native, has practiced in the same firm—Dunn, Nutter & Morgan—his entire career. Dunn serves as national director of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has been named Texas Lawyer of the Year by TEX-ABOTA and has received the Meritorious Service Award from the East Texas Chapter of ABOTA. East Texas ABOTA created the Winford L. Dunn Jr. Meritorious Service Award, which is given annually to an outstanding East Texas ABOTA lawyer.

Kennon L. Wooten, Class of

Kennon L. Wooten has been elected to the American Law Institute. As an attorney at Scott Douglass McConnico, she represents individuals and entities involved in complex commercial litigation, general civil litigation, and civil appeals. At the trial level, she represents both plaintiffs and defendants. To the appeals, she brings experience and expertise that she gained as the rules attorney and as a law clerk to former Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson of the Supreme Court of Texas.

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Jane Webre, Class of

Jane Webre has been elected to the American Law Institute. She practices civil appellate law at Scott Douglass McConnico and handles most of the firm's appeals. Her practice also includes trial court litigation involving complex matters that present significant legal issues, including oil and gas litigation and land use regulation. Jane has argued appeals in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Fifth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Texas, and many of the courts of appeals around the state.

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John Browning headshot

John Browning, Class of


John G. Browning (Class of '89) has been selected, along with Chief Justice Carolyn Wright of the Fifth District Court of Appeals, to receive the J.L. Turner Legal Association Foundation's "Texas Legal History" Award at the Foundation's annual gala on October 21, 2017 in Dallas. The award recognizes Mr. Browning's and Chief Justice Wright's achievement and body of work in researching and writing about the earliest African-American lawyers in Texas, published in the Howard Law Journal and others.

Don Bivens, Class of

Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education Honors Don Bivens with the Walter E. Craig Distinguished Service Award

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David Campbell, Class of

O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo, PC is growing with three offices in Texas and 10 attorneys. David Campbell recently joined the firm's Austin Office to assist with the firm's trial and appellate practice. Before entering private practice, Mr. Campbell interned for Justice Wainwright at the Texas Supreme Court and later served as the briefing attorney for the Honorable Terry Jennings, Senior Justice for the First Court of Appeals of Texas. Since entering private practice, he has represented various clients in a wide array of litigation matters in state and federal courts throughout Texas. He also serves as an adjunct legal research and writing professor at Texas Law.

Jim Aycock, Class of

The Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section of the State Bar has selected Jim Aycock as the 2017 Recipient of the Distinguished Texas Probate and Trust Attorney Lifetime Achievement Award.

David C. Frederick, Class of

The Washington law firm formerly known as Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C., has recently become Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C. David Frederick ’89 has become a name partner.

Scott McDonald, Class of

Scott McDonald was cited as a noted practitioner in the prestigious Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business publication.

Theanna Sedlock, Class of

Theanna M. Sedlock has joined Polsinelli’s Dallas office as a new associate in the Labor and Employment practice. Sedlock has experience representing employers in state and federal court litigation, arbitrations, and mediations involving claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, failure to accommodate, unpaid wages and breaches of contract, and draws on her valuable pre-practice experience in the Human Resources department of a national insurance company.

Andrew Keller, Class of

Andrew Keller recently joined Hogan Lovells as a partner in the international trade and investment group. His practice focuses on economic sanctions, export controls and other national security and international legal matters. Immediately prior to joining Hogan Lovells, Andrew served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterthreat Finance and Sanctions at the U.S. Department of State. He has also served in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the State Department and as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Reid Phillips headshot

Reid Phillips, Class of

The 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognized Brooks Pierce partner Reid Phillips for Litigation: General Commercial. Phillips was previously nominated by his peers for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America” in Commercial Litigation, Banking & Finance Litigation, and Intellectual Property Litigation, and was named “Lawyer of the Year” in 2015 for Banking and Finance Litigation.

L. Jean Noonan, Class of

Jean Noonan, a partner in Hudson Cook’s Washington, D.C., office and a founding member of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers (ACCFSL), has been elected an officer on the ACCFSL’s Board of Regents. Her position is secretary.

Salvador Davila, Class of

Salvador “Sal” Davila, an attorney in the Austin office of Littler, has been voted president-elect of the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin. In his practice at Littler, Davila advises and represents employers, focusing on matters involving discrimination, retaliation, workplace safety and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance. In addition to serving in a leadership role for HBAA, Davila is a chairperson on the Board of Directors of the Austin Young Lawyers Association.

Cullen M. “Mike” Godfrey, Class of

Cullen M. “Mike” Godfrey of College Station received the 2017 Lola Wright Foundation Award from the Texas Bar Foundation. The Lola Wright Foundation Award, established in 1985, is presented in memory of Coleman Gay, who was a distinguished Texas lawyer and who exemplified the highest standards of professional ethics. The award is presented in recognition of outstanding public service in advancing and enhancing legal ethics in Texas. Mr. Godfrey will be publicly recognized at the Texas Bar Foundation Annual Dinner held on June 23, 2017 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. He has selected Voices for Children, Casa of the Brazos Valley to receive a $5,000 donation in honor of his acceptance of the Lola Wright Foundation Award.

Daniel Sternthal, Class of

Daniel Sternthal, a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Houston office, has been ranked as a leading practitioner in the recently released 2017 edition of Chambers USA in the "Up and Coming" category in the area of health care in Texas.

Sanford Cox, Jr., Class of

Sanford Cox passed away on May 14, in El Paso, where he practice law for over half a century. He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Holly Cox; his two sons, Curtis Cox and Chris Cox; his daughter-in-law, Sylvia Cox; and his adored granddaughter, Heather Cox. A memorial in his honor will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of El Paso.

Mr. Cox's Obituary

Charles W. Schwartz, Class of

Charles W. Schwartz was recently elected as Chairman of the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System.

Chalon Clark, Class of

Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that partner Chalon Clark has been recognized as a recipient of the 2017 "40 Under Forty" Achievement Awards by The Network Journal (TNJ). Clark, a member of the firm’s Financial Services & Capital Markets group, serves on Husch Blackwell’s Diversity Council. She assists clients in disputes involving contracts, review of contracts and leases to identify potential litigation risks, employer/employee relations, collection-related matters, foreclosures, fraud, banking, partnership, real property, mortgage lending, construction and brokerage/securities issues. Clark is active in the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers and the Dallas Bar Association, and is a Mentor for the Dallas Women Lawyers Association.

Edward Mark Barcus, Class of

Edward Mark Barcus has been appointed as an Immigration Judge with the Executive Office of Immigration Review of the United States Department of Justice. Prior to his appointment by Attorney General Loretta Lynch in January of this year, Judge Barcus served as an trial judge for over 14 years in the Oklahoma state court system, including as a District Court Judge for Tulsa County. He will hear Immigration cases at the Imperial Immigration Court in Imperial, California.