Alumni Class Notes

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.

Amanda Halter, Class of

Pillsbury lawyer Amanda Halter 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. According to the foundation, Halter’s election is a mark of distinction and a recognition of her contributions to the legal profession. Halter, a counsel in Pillsbury’s Environmental & Natural Resources practice, helps companies resolve environmental liabilities and manage financial and reputational losses associated with a crisis. She is based in Houston.

Jack Emmott, Class of

Gray Reed family law senior counsel Jack H. Emmott has been named in the National Law Journal (NLJ)’s second annual "Divorce, Trusts & Estates Trailblazers" list. According to the NLJ, each of the attorneys honored have "shown a deep passion and perseverance in pursuit of their mission, having achieved remarkable successes along the way." Emmott was selected from a competitive field of nominees, all of whom have “changed the practice in their respective fields through innovative and exceptional legal strategies.” Emmott, a board certified family law attorney and one of two Houston-area lawyers recognized by Collaborative Divorce Texas as a Master Credentialed Collaborative Professional, focuses his practice on collaborative divorce.

Brad Caldwell, Class of

Brad Caldwell earned his second consecutive selection to D Magazine’s annual listing of the Best Lawyers in Dallas based on nominations from other lawyers and an extensive review conducted by the publication’s researchers and editors. His selection to the 2017 roster of Dallas’ top attorneys follows Mr. Caldwell’s successful representation of clients in three multimillion-dollar lawsuits last year against technology giant Apple Inc. The three cases were tried in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, and all three ended with top-ranked verdicts that helped Mr. Caldwell earn two national Litigator of the Week honors from The American Lawyer magazine.

Ray Guy, Class of

International law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP today announced that Ray Guy of the firm’s Dallas office has been named to D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas 2017 list.

Phillip Sharp, Class of

Phillip Sharp has joined Baker Donelson's Business Litigation Group in Houston as a shareholder.

Virginia Snell, Class of

Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP is pleased to announce that the Louisville Bar Foundation has approved the nomination of Virginia H. Snell to its Board of Directors.

James Hill, Class of

Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel is pleased to announce that Jim Hill has been listed in San Diego Magazine as 2017 Top Lawyers in San Diego. Mr. Hill is the founding member of the firm, 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. His bankruptcy experience includes representation of creditors, bankruptcy trustees and select bankruptcy debtors in Chapter 11 business reorganization cases. He also works regularly with clients on asset sales and acquisitions, on state and federal court receivership cases, and on business workouts and dissolution matters, among other commercial law matters.

Victor Villarreal, Class of

On April 27, 2017, the Webb County Commissioners Court appointed Victor Villarreal Judge of Webb County Court at Law No. 2. The appointment is effective on April 14, 2017. Mr. Villarreal was the 2005-2006 C/HLSA President.

The news report of Judge Villarreal's appointment

Thomas Melsheimer, Class of

Tom Melsheimer has been elected to the Executive Committee of Winston & Strawn LLP. He is Managing Partner of the firm's Dallas office.

Amber Rogers, Class of

Amber Rogers has been promoted to Partner at Hunton & Williams LLP. Ms. Rogers focuses her practice on complex employment litigation, labor relations and related litigation.

Kat Hacker, Class of

Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP is pleased to announce that Katherine L.I. Hacker has been elected partner of the firm.

Brian B. Kilpatrick, Class of

Brian B. Kilpatrick, a real estate attorney with Wilson Cribbs + Goren in Houston, has been selected to the 2017 Texas Rising Stars list.

Andrew Weaver, Class of

Polsinelli, an Am Law 100 law firm with a fast-growing presence in Texas, recently named Houston-based shareholder Andrew Weaver vice chair of the Medical Device/Mechanical Engineering Patent Prosecution practice group within the firm’s recently created Intellectual Property department.