Alumni Class Notes

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.

Jamila S. Mensah, Class of

Partner

Norton Rose Fulbright has promoted Jamila S. Mensah to partner. Mensah concentrates on all areas of employment law and has extensive experience in discrimination, retaliation and wage and hour issues. Based in the firm’s Houston office, Ms. Mensah represents clients in federal and state court and before administrative bodies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She counsels employers on hiring, termination, disability accommodation and drafting of personnel policies.

Brandon Byrne, Class of

Partner

Norton Rose Fulbright in Houston has promoted Brandon Byrne to partner. Byrne represents clients on capital markets and M&A transactions, including public and private securities offerings, mergers, stock and asset transactions, and private equity and venture capital investments. He also advises on securities compliance, corporate governance, and contractual matters.

Danielle Patterson, Class of

Partner

Vinson & Elkins has promoted Danielle Patterson to partner, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Patterson advises domestic U.S. and international clients in mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, joint ventures and project development transactions. She most frequently represents public and private companies, private equity funds and financial institutions involved in the energy industry, particularly in the upstream and midstream oil and gas and renewable power sectors.

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Leanne Loper Flatter, Class of

Associate

Fish & Richardson announced today that Leanne Flatter has joined the firm as a first-year associate in its Austin office. Flatter previously was a summer associate with the firm and focuses her practice on patents in the life sciences, medical devices and software industries. She received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 2018 and her M.S. (2015) and B.S. (2014) in bioengineering from Clemson University.

Jeffrey J. Zissa, Class of

Shareholder

Jeffrey J. Zissa has joined the Dallas office of national law firm Polsinelli as a shareholder in its thriving Real Estate Finance practice. With a broad range of experience over almost three decades, Zissa has advised on all aspects of complex commercial real estate and mortgage transactions on a national scale, involving virtually every product line. He is board certified in Commercial Real Estate Law and Residential Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Mark D. Strachan, Class of

Counsel

Mark D. Strachan joined the Dallas office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as Counsel. He has tried patent cases to verdict in Texas federal courts and has argued at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. A native of East Texas, he has served at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall as an adjunct professor. He is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a Texas Super Lawyer.

Stacy D. Simon, Class of

Senior Attorney

Stacy D. Simon has joined Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as a Senior Attorney in Dallas. Ms. Simon represents business clients in complex commercial disputes in arbitration and in state and federal courts. Her expertise includes antitrust claims, contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims, trade secret and non-competition issues, securities and transactional fraud, FOIA requests, partnership and shareholder disputes, as well as libel defense.

William S. Snyder, Class of

Partner

William S. Snyder has joined the Dallas office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP as a Partner. Mr. Snyder has an active practice in state and federal courts and in arbitration. He represents clients in a broad spectrum of business litigation and is included in The Best Lawyers in America, and was named a Texas Super Lawyer for the last 10 consecutive years. He has argued cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Texas appellate courts.

Jay Jackson, Class of

Associate

Attorney Jay Jackson of the Houston personal injury law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz has been selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list for 2018. This marks Mr. Jackson’s seventh consecutive year of inclusion on this list which is published annually in the Texas Monthly and Texas Super Lawyers magazines. Only the top five percent of attorneys practicing in Texas are recognized each year and selection is based on peer nominations and evaluations and research.

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Molly E. Butkus, Class of

Partner

Bracewell LLP is pleased to announce the election of Molly E. Butkus to the 2019 partnership class. Butkus represents clients in upstream oil and gas acquisitions, divestitures, exchanges, service agreements and other operational matters. She also advises on transactions in the water supply, disposal and infrastructure space, as well as transactions in the midstream energy sector.

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Matt Sheehan, Class of

Litigation Associate

Matt Sheehan has joined Reynolds Frizzell LLP as a litigation associate in Houston. A trial attorney, his practice focuses on complex litigation for clients in the energy, real estate, and financial industries.

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Alexander Berger, Class of

Associate General Counsel

Alex Berger has joined the Motorcycle Industry Council as Associate General Counsel, serving the national trade association for the motorcycle industry, as well as affiliated powersport associations -- the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (all-terrain vehicles), the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROVs), and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Alex is in the associations' government relations office in Arlington, Virginia.

Lowry Crook, Class of

Lowry Crook has joined the law firm Best Best & Krieger LLP as a partner in the Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice group. He is in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

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Patrick J McLain, Class of

The Law Office of Patrick J McLain, an national practice of federal criminal law and an international practice of military law, is moving to Founders Square (900 Jackson Street, Suite 635, Dallas, Texas 75202). He welcomes on UT Law grads who have business next door at the US District Court in downtown Dallas to come by for a visit.

Carolyn Owen, Class of

Carolyn Owen, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Farm Credit Bank of Texas, will retire form the cooperatively owned wholesale funding bank on Dec. 31, after 35 years of Farm Credit Service. Owen joined the legal department of the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Texas in 1983. Over the years and through several bank name changes, she has held the positions of attorney, senior attorney, associate general counsel, assistant general counsel and deputy general counsel.

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Brian Scrivani, Class of

Partner

Brian Scrivani will be a partner in the corporate department. A member of the mergers & acquisitions group, Mr. Scrivani advises a diverse range of public and private clients on acquisitions, sales and divestitures, leveraged buyouts, mergers-of-equals and private equity transactions. He also advises boards and special committees on corporate governance and fiduciary matters. Mr. Scrivani earned his J.D., with distinction, from The University of Texas School of Law, and his B.A., with distinction, from the University of Virginia.

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Erland Modesto, Class of

Partner (Formerly Counsel)

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has elected Erland Modesto as a member of the Firm, effective January 1, 2019. In addition to Erland’s promotion to Partner, he was recognized as a 2018 “Lawyer on the Rise” by Texas Lawyer magazine. Erland advises clients on banking, credit and other corporate matters, with a particular focus on the energy sector.

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Korb Maxwell, Class of

Shareholder

UT Law alumnus Korb Maxwell, in partnership with his Polsinelli colleague Nancy Hawes, has been selected by Missouri Lawyers Media as a 2018 Top Legal Innovation Award winner. 16 honorees from around the state were recognized for their work to drive new practice areas, services and business strategies.

Maxwell was instrumental in launching Polsinelli’s newest practice in October, the Opportunity Zones Practice Group, in response to a sweeping program created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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Abraham Kant, Class of

University of Texas School of Law alumnus Abraham Kant is proud to be one of the recipients of the "10 Best Attorneys in Texas" award for outstanding client service in 2017. Awarded by The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys, this honor is extended only to the selected family law attorneys who have reached the top of their profession, all while making the client's satisfaction paramount.

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Bill Shirer, Class of

Dallas Injury Attorney

Bill Shirer is proud to be one of only 2% of Texas attorneys who is board-certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Shirer represents individuals in all areas of personal injury including car collisions, cycling accidents, product defects, and other tort claims. He is a proud partner of Mcgillberry & Shirer in Dallas and has over 28 years of trial law experience. Bill is a proud alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin.

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Linda L. Addison, Class of

KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, is pleased to announce the appointment of Linda L. Addison '76 as an independent director to its U.S. Board of Directors. Addison is the immediate past U.S. Managing Partner (CEO equivalent) of Norton Rose Fulbright, one of the world's largest global law firms.

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Yvonne Puig, Class of

Yvonne Puig '78 received the 2018 Distinguished Service Award from the Health Law Council of the State Bar of Texas. The Distinguished Service Award is presented biannually to a Texas health lawyer who has encouraged the practice of health law, mentored lawyers new to the practice, fostered health law through participation in professional organizations or provided service to the Section or the community in matters related to health law.

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Abbe Miller, Class of

Abbe Miller has accepted a position as Assistant District Attorney in the Child Welfare section of Hidalgo County, Texas. Miller will be representing the Department of Family and Protective Services in child abuse cases.

Lauren Fitte, Class of

Lauren Fitte, an international tax and estate planning associate at the Austin firm of Giordani, Swanger, Ripp, & Jetel, LLP, has been named a Rising Star for 2018 by Texas Super Lawyers. Texas Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars recognizes up-and-coming attorneys who are either 40-years old and younger or have been practicing for 10 years or less. Each year, no more than 2 percent of lawyers in the state are named rising stars.

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