Class Notes: In Memoriam

Eric Lacktman, Class of

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

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Steven Dahl Thomas, Class of

Steven Dahl Thomas passed away on June 21, 2018. Born August 25, 1952 in Lubbock, Texas, he was the oldest son of the late James Elbert Thomas and Joyce Dahl Thomas. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s College (SF74) and a law degree from The University of Texas at Austin. In 1983 he joined the prestigious law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. After six years, he left the law firm and joined Financial Security Assurance as Associate General Counsel.

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

James Meyers, Class of

James Rezia Meyers passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 88 on February 25th 2017 in Austin, Texas. He was student body president at Rice, then Order of the Coif and a Chancellor at the School of Law. After his private practice, he became Judge of the 126th District Court in Travis County in 1966. As a retired District Judge, he was well known and respected as a mediator and arbitrator. He will be remembered for his quick and impish wit, his legal intellect and rigor, and promoting access to the judicial system. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Volunteer Legal Services ( or The Judge James R. Meyers Scholarship c/o The University of Texas Law School Foundation, 727 East Dean Keeton, Austin TX 78705.

Obituary in the Austin American-Statesman

Andrew Jackson “Jack” Pope, Class of

Former Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court

Jack Pope, who spent 38 years as a Texas judge, including two decades on the Texas Supreme Court with a two-year term as Chief Justice, died Saturday at age 103 in Austin. A service is scheduled for Friday, March 3rd at the University Avenue Church of Christ with burial following at the state cemetery. “Chief Justice Jack Pope was a judicial icon, His hard work, scholarship, common sense, humor and integrity are legendary,” said the court’s current chief justice, Nathan Hecht. “He was my mentor, role model, counselor and, most especially, my friend. Texas has lost a great, great man.”

The Austin American-Statesman on Jack Pope

Phillip Mann, Class of

Phillip Mann died suddenly at home on June 3, 2016. Former colleagues at his firm Miller & Chevalier described Mr. Mann as "an outstanding tax lawyer and even better person. One of the kindest and most generous people I know.: "His touchstone in life was friendship. Clients became friends with Phil." In the words of Anthony Shelley, Chair of Miller & Chevalier's Executive Committee, "Phil was a preeminent lawyer, a strong leader both inside and outside the firm, a loyal colleague and a cherished friend to his clients and peers. He will be greatly missed by so many."

Remembering Phillip Mann, from the ABA website

John Ballard Bennett, Class of

John Ballard Bennett, died January 24, 2017 in Kerrville, Texas. He was born April 1, 1929 in Edinburg, Texas and was the son of Irene and John Bennett. At the University of Texas, where he was an editor of The Texas Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif, he met the love of his life and wife of 61 years, Mary Frances Chupick. After law school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served as a Captain in the Judge Advocate’s General Corp. Later, he co-founded Balcones Minerals Corporation in Flatonia, Texas with his father-in-law, John Chupick. He returned to the Rio Grande Valley where he practiced law for many years. The family invites you to send condolences at

Trevor Taylor, Class of

Trevor Anthony Taylor died on January 23, 2017. He was 47. Trevor loved the law. A trial lawyer with his own practice, he was a tireless advocate and a true believer in the civil justice system. Trevor's heroes were lawyers, beginning with his father, Bill. Trevor relished an argument and fought passionately for the rights of those who couldn't fight for themselves. He was greatly respected by his colleagues, a past president of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, a board member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Lloyd Lochridge Inns of Court. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to a charity of your choice or The Southern Poverty Law Center.

Read Trevor Taylor's full obituary here

Herschel C. Winn, Class of

Herschel Clyde Winn died May 17, 2016 in Irving, Texas. Retired in November 1997 as senior vice president and secretary of Tandy Corporation after 29 years of service, Mr. Winn was honored in 2010 by the State Bar of Texas as a “50 Year Lawyer.”

Read Herschel C. Winn's full obituary

Ralph W. (Bud) Dau, Class of

Ralph W. Dau, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge and former partner with the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers, has died. He was 78.

Read Judge Dau's full obituary here

Duke Whitney Gatlin, Class of

Duke Whitney Gatlin passed away June 1st, 2016 in Nashville, TN.

Read Mr. Gatlin's full obituary

James W. Smith, Class of

James W. Smith, Jr. (Jim) passed away on April 26, 2016. Jim earned a B.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1965 and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law in 1967. Jim started his law career in 1968 at Childs, Fortenbach, Beck, and Guyton, where he became a partner of the firm. He continued his law practice at Butler and Binion when the two firms merged in 1987. In 1993 he formed his own law firm, Snell and Smith, until the firm merged with Thompson and Knight in 2000. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Susan, and his daughters, Robin Clark and Lisa Smith ('03).

Ardon B. Judd, Jr., Class of

Ardon Berkeley (RB) Judd, Jr. died April 25, 2016 in Houston, Texas. He was born in Houston on October 7, 1936 and married Nancy Ruina (Rue) Wallace on June 5, 1965. They raised their two daughters, Nancy Alston Judd and Sallie Matthews Judd, in Arlington, Virginia. He was a natural joiner, and in equal measures took joy from and gave joy to all around him. Ardon is survived by a large and loving family.

Read Ardon Judd's Houston Chronicle Obituary

Catherine Fant, Class of

Texas Law alum Catherine ‘Cathy’ Fant recently passed away. Ms. Fant was the founder and first editor of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights.

Mark Kincaid, Class of

Alumnus, adjunct faculty member, and dear friend Mark Kincaid '83 has passed away. A partner in George Brothers Kincaid & Horton LLP, he was the president-elect of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

Julien Devereux Weeks, Class of

Julien Devereux Weeks, 80, retired Senior Public Service Associate with the Carl E. Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia and active community volunteer, passed away on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. He received his B.A. in Political Science and J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. His father, Oliver Douglas Weeks, was a UT political science professor until his death in 1970.

Tom R. Moody Jr., Class of

Tom Rush Moody Jr. died on November 5, 2015 in Trappe, MD. During his time at Texas Law, Rush was Associate Note Editor of the Texas Law Review.

Carlos Alberto Villarreal, Class of

Carlos Alberto Villarreal passed away on August 26, 2015, in Corpus Christi. He was 53.

Carlos was a Texas Monthly Super Lawyer in Appellate Practice and proud UT Law School alum who worked for the same law firm from 1986 until his death. Originally, the Corpus Christi firm was called Hunt Hermansen McKibben & Barger, but is now McKibben & Villarreal. Carlos became a partner in 1992 and name partner in 1997.

Carlos is survived by his wife of 25 years, Amy Harren de Villarreal ('86).