Class Notes: On the Move

Clinton “Tres” Dye, III, Class of


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.

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


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.

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.

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


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


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


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


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.

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.

Michael McBride, Class of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.

Molly E. Butkus, Class of


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.

Brian Scrivani, Class of


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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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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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.

Andrew F. Newman, Class of

Andrew F. Newman has joined the law firm Clark Hill Strasburger as a member of its Litigation Practice in Dallas. Newman handles complex contract and business tort issues and has significant experience representing technology providers in software development and licensing disputes. He also has a strong background in alternative dispute resolution. Previously Newman served as a law clerk for the Honorable A. Joe Fish of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Jack S. Wilson, Class of

John "Jack" Wilson has joined Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP as an associate in its Midland office. Mr. Wilson will focus his practice on oil, gas, and energy litigation and transaction.

Arleas Upton Kea, Class of

Arleas Upton Kea, the President of Texas Law's Alumni Association, has been named Chief Operating Officer and Deputy to the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Kea replaces Barbara Ryan, who retired as COO on July 27. Prior to her appointment as COO, Ms. Kea served as director of the Division of Administration, a post she has held since May 1999.

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Elizabeth Copeland, Class of

International law firm Clark Hill Strasburger announced that Member Elizabeth Copeland has been confirmed to the U.S. Tax Court. Senators approved her appointment on the evening of August 28, 2018 in a voice vote. Elizabeth was nominated by President Trump in August 2017 and was approved by the Senate Finance Committee in June 2018.

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Kent McKinley, Class of


Kent McKinley has joined the Boston firm Hermes, Netburn, O’Connor & Spearing as a litigation associate. Kent counsels clients across a range of industries including corporate defense, product manufacturing, heavy machinery and automotive.

Judge Aurora Martinez Jones, Class of

Judge Aurora Martinez Jones '07 has been elected to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) Board of Directors. Currently, her judicial position is dedicated to the child welfare dockets in Travis County including the specialty Family Drug Treatment Court. She is the chair-elect for the Texas Children’s Justice Act Task Force, the past president of the Austin Black Lawyers Association and the former chair of the Austin Court Appointed Family Advocates (CAFA). She is also a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow and a member of the Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court.

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Joe Hardt, Class of

Joe Hardt is CEO and owner of Presco Polymers LP, a vertically integrated manufacturer of safety marking products and custom engineered films in Sherman, Texas. Previously, he was an attorney at the Dallas law firm, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC and CEO of AMX Corp.

Samuel Kan, Class of

Assistant Professor of Law

In August 2018, Samuel Kan began serving as the Assistant Dean of Academic Success and Bar Preparation at Barry University School of Law in Orlando Florida. As Assistant Dean, he will continue teaching tax, estate planning, and criminal law subjects as he taught during the 2017-2018 academic year. He initially joined the Barry law faculty as a tenured track Assistant Professor of Law after becoming a Florida licensed attorney and retiring from the Army JAG Corps, last serving as the Tax Counsel for the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel from 2014 to 2017 at the Pentagon.

Thomas Laughlin, Class of

Kirkland & Ellis LLP recently announced that it is expanding with the opening of an office in Dallas. Thomas Laughlin, one of Dallas' top transactional lawyers, will join the new office as partner. Mr. Laughlin focuses on private equity investments, energy transactions and M&A.

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Adam Schramek, Class of

Adam Schramek is president of the Austin Bar Association for 2018-19. A commercial litigation partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, Schramek plans to focus his term on increasing participation by Austin lawyers in pro bono cases, such as working to reunite immigrant families separated at the Texas border.

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Megan Gray, Class of

Megan Gray has resigned from the Federal Trade Commission to join DuckDuckGo as its General Counsel and Policy Advocate. She will be based in Washington, DC. DuckDuckGo is an online search engine that protects users' privacy.

Rachel E. Ehlers, Class of

Rachel E. Ehlers has joined national workplace law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. as Of Counsel in its Austin, Texas office. Ms. Ehlers specializes in corporate governance and internal investigations, data privacy and cybersecurity, and workplace training. She has served in multiple in-house legal and compliance roles, in all sizes of companies—from startups to Fortune 500 companies.