Class Notes: On the Move

Justice David M. Medina, Class of

Chamberlain Hrdlicka recently elevated Justice David M. Medina to equity shareholder during the firm's annual meeting on February 8. Justice Medina holds a LL.M. in Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law from The University of Texas School of Law’s LL.M. Program – one of the top LL.M. programs for energy law in the world

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Matthew Dunlap, Class of

Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce that Matthew Dunlap has joined the firm’s London office as a partner in its Finance practice. Mr. Dunlap brings to the firm extensive experience in cross-border corporate and private equity finance transactions, with a particular emphasis on high yield debt offerings.

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Elizabeth Myers, Class of

The national law firm Thompson Coburn is proud to announce the firm’s new office in Dallas, it's sixth nationwide. Elizabeth Myers is one of four litigators to join the Firm's new office. Elizabeth Myers represents clients in the health care and oil and gas industries in high-stakes litigation in state and federal courts around the country, including commercial disputes and product defects, consumer fraud and securities class actions.

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Charles C. Foster, Class of

Charles C. Foster has been elected Vice Dean of the Houston Consular Corps, the third largest consular corps in the U.S., as the Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of Thailand. He has been elected Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston and elected Vice Chairman of the George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations.

Jonathan K. Frels, Class of


Bracewell LLP Partner Jonathan K. Frels, UT Law Class of 2001, was recently appointed chair of the CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare Board of Directors. This vital 501(c)3 non-profit has been providing healthcare and social services to underserved communities of all faiths, ages and cultures in the Greater Houston/Galveston areas since 1966. It also serves as a safety net to the underinsured and uninsured through community clinics, school-based clinics, mobile clinics and homeless outreach.

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Melanie Cogburn, Class of

Coats Rose, P.C., a transactional and litigation law firm focused on development, is pleased to announce the addition of attorney Melanie Cogburn, along with four other attorneys in its Houston, Austin, Dallas and New Orleans offices. Melanie joins the Austin office as an of counsel in the real estate practice.

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Julie G. Edelman, Class of


Chamberlain Hrdlicka recently elected Julie G. Edelman as an income shareholder during the firm's annual meeting on February 8.

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Katy Cox, Class of

Caplin & Drysdale is pleased to announce that Katy Cox has joined the firm as an Associate in the Complex Litigation and Bankruptcy practice groups. Ms. Cox represents both individual and corporate clients in state and federal matters across the country. Her practice centers around complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on bankruptcy litigation. In particular, she works to protect the rights and interests of creditors, tort claimants, and official creditors’ committees in mass tort b

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September Rea, Class of

The University of Texas School of Law alumnus September Rea joined Am Law 100 firm Polsinelli as Principal in the Los Angeles office. September joined Polsinelli's Labor and Employment practice, which will focus on advising California and national employers within multiple industries on all aspects of employment.

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Daniel Lynch, Class of

University of Texas School of Law alumnus Daniel Lynch has been promoted to partner at Akin Gump.

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Jason Davis, Class of

The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jason Davis to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2020 class.

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Grant T. McFarland, Class of

The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Grant T. McFarland to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2020 class.

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Michael Mery, Class of


The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of the Honorable Judge Michael Mery to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2020 class.

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Daniel “Neel” M. Lane, Jr., Class of

The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel "Neel" M. Lane, Jr. to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2020 class.

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Jay Dewald, Class of

The San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jay Dewald to the SABF Fellows Program newly-elected 2020 class.

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Ross Angus Williams, Class of

University of Texas School of Law alumnus Ross Angus Williams has been named to Dallas Business Journal’s “40 under 40” list.

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Michael Hurta, Class of

Wright Close & Barger welcomes the University of Texas School of Law alumnus Michael Hurta, who will bolster the firm’s trial and appellate practice.

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Thomas H.L. Selby, Class of


On January 1, 2020, Tom Selby was elected as one of the six members of Williams & Connolly’s Executive Committee.

Barry Kamar, Class of

Vice President and Legal Counsel

After nearly 10 years in public service with both the SEC and the Department of Justice, Barry Kamar joined litigation funding advisory firm Westfleet Advisors.

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Josh Ling, Class of


Josh Ling recently joined the Houston office of Chamberlain Hrdlicka as an associate in the tax practice. He is an associate in the Tax Planning & Business Transactions group. Prior to joining Chamberlain Hrdlicka, Josh worked in Grant Thornton's M&A Tax practice, where he focused on tax planning for businesses throughout various stages of the transaction life cycle.

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John Lockett, Class of

I recently left the partnership at Morris, Manning & Martin LLP to start my own law practice, The Lockett Law Firm, a boutique firm based in Atlanta, Georgia specializing in business litigation.

Stephanie DeBrow, Class of

Stephanie DeBrow has been promoted to partner at Norton Rose Fulbright in Houston. She is an accomplished litigator in the firm's Austin office whose practice focuses on patent litigation and appeals. She represents clients in a variety of fields, including mechanical, telecommunications, computer, semiconductor, e-commerce and Internet technologies.

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Jared L. Levinthal, Class of

Jared Levinthal has joined Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC as a partner in the firm's Houston office. Jared represents plaintiffs and defendants in all types of litigation. He handles disputes involving commercial and business issues, product liability, professional malpractice, intellectual property, insurance coverage and bad faith, serious personal injury and wrongful death.

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Robert A. Wilkins, Class of

Robert A. Wilkins has joined Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC as a partner in the firm's Houston office. Wilkins represents both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts as well as before arbitral tribunals. He has a particular focus on commercial litigation involving the oil and gas industry, including business divorce cases, fiduciary duty issues, breach of contract claims, securities disputes and related matters.

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Christie Alcalá, Class of

Vinson & Elkins LLP has promoted Christie Alcalá to counsel effective Jan. 1, 2020. Alcalá advises and represents employers on all aspects of employment and labor law in business transactions, day-to-day operations, administrative proceedings and litigation, including issues relating to wage and hour laws, restrictive covenants, employment and severance agreements, reductions-in-force, employee privacy rights, internal investigations, anti-discrimination, leaves, unions and drug testing.

Emery Choi, Class of


Vinson & Elkins LLP promoted Emery Choi to counsel effective Jan. 1, 2020. Choi represents clients in domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, joint ventures and a variety of energy matters. Among his notable experience, Choi advised Devon Energy in the $2 billion sale of certain non-core upstream assets to multiple buyers.

Matthew Falcone, Class of


Vinson & Elkins LLP promoted Matthew Falcone to counsel effective Jan. 1, 2020. Falcone focuses his practice on representing private equity funds, financial sponsors and public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions, equity financings, joint ventures and other strategic transactions, particularly in the energy infrastructure sector.

Taylor Holcomb, Class of


Vinson & Elkins LLP promoted Taylor Holcomb to counsel effective Jan. 1, 2020. Holcomb helps clients develop and permit domestic projects, operate in compliance with federal and state laws and defend against claims brought by the government and other groups. He primarily practices before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Railroad Commission, the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Stephanie Rzepka, Class of

Stephanie Rzepka has been promoted to Counsel at Tucker Ellis LLP. Stephanie represents clients in class action and complex commercial litigation matters across a variety of areas, including price premium, securities fraud, wage and hour, resale price maintenance, and
pay for delay.

Stephanie Sivinski, Class of

Promoted to partnership effective January 1, 2020, Sivinski is a member of the intellectual property litigation practice group in Haynes and Boone's Dallas office. She has obtained trial victories in technologically complex cases ranging from patent-infringement to breach-of-contract matters. Her practice has touched on technology as varied as pharmaceuticals, thermodynamics, computer software, and semiconductor manufacturing.

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Wes Watts, Class of


Promoted to the Vinson & Elkins LLP partnership effective Jan. 1, 2020, Watts represents entrepreneurial enterprises and venture capital investors in the creation, financing and operation of technology and growth companies. He also advises emerging companies with respect to mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions, in addition to general corporate and governance matters.

James Longhofer, Class of


Promoted to the Vinson & Elkins LLP partnership effective Jan. 1, 2020, Longhofer focuses on syndicated, acquisition and structured/mezzanine financings and debt restructurings, including debtor-in-possession facilities and complex intercreditor arrangements and preferred equity investments, primarily in the energy space. His industry experience includes oil and gas exploration and production; midstream; oilfield services; refining, distribution, storage and transportation; and retail.

Chris Perkins, Class of

Dallas, Dec. 20, 2019 – International law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has added a new associate in its Dallas office: Chris Perkins, Corporate.

Niko Lane, Class of

Dallas, Dec. 20, 2019 – International law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has a new associate in its Dallas office: Niko Lane, Corporate.

Jeffrey Leider, Class of


The international law firm Milbank LLP has promoted Jeffrey Leider to partner effective January 1, 2020. He is a member of the Global Project, Energy and Infrastructure Finance Group, based in New York. Mr. Leider’s experience includes the representation of financial institutions and project sponsors in domestic and international project and structured financings.

Lisa Fitzpatrick, Class of

Texas Law graduate Lisa Fitzpatrick recently joined Phelps Dunbar as an associate. Fitzpatrick is a 2002 alumna of the University of Texas School of Law, where she graduated with honors. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from the University of Virginia in 1997. Fitzpatrick works in the New Orleans office in Phelps’ insurance practice.

Michael D. Fritz, Class of

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan announces the appointment of Michael Fritz '12, to serve as an Assistant County Attorney with the Hospital District Practice Group. Fritz holds a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Juris Doctorate from The University of Texas School of Law. He joins the office from Diamond McCarthy, LLP where he practiced complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy law in various areas.

David J. Beck, Class of


Beck Redden LLP is pleased to announce that David J. Beck has been appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to chair the newly formed Texas Commission on Judicial Selection. The 15-member Commission is comprised of four State Senators, four members of the Texas House of Representatives, two former Chief Justices of the Texas Supreme Court, and others. It is charged with evaluating the merits of alternative methods of judicial selection, and to produce findings and recommendations for reform to the Legislature by December 31, 2020.

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Russell H. Falconer, Class of

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has elected Russell H. Falconer to partnership, effective January 1, 2020. Falconer has extensive experience representing clients who operate in heavily regulated industries, including broker-dealers, airlines, electric utilities, investment firms, and pharmaceutical companies. He has played a substantial role in a wide range of high-stakes appeals, trials, and litigation. Falconer graduated in 2009 with highest honors from The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, where he was the Grand Chancellor of his class and served as a member of the Texas Law Review.

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Lauren Corbeil, Class of

Lauren Corbeil was promoted to partner in the Houston office of Locke Lord. Lauren focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, corporate restructurings, joint ventures, private equity and venture capital transactions, corporate governance and other general corporate and commercial matters.

Catherine G. Kirkland, Class of

Starnes Davis Florie LLP welcomes Catherine (“Cat”) Kirkland as a partner to the firm’s Mobile office. Cat joins the firm’s transactional and regulatory healthcare practice. Cat’s nationwide practice focuses on advising healthcare providers on a variety of reimbursement, regulatory, compliance, and operational matters. She brings considerable experience with supplemental Medicaid programs, physician contracting, hospital collaborations, complex financial modeling, and compliance planning.

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Russell Parish, Class of

Co-Founding Principal

Having served a general counsel role to a variety of businesses (including a Class 1 Railway company, a forest-products/real-estate conglomerate in TempleInland, and a family co.) as well as having worked in large law firms, I am excited to return to small private practice with my former H&K colleague and Christian brother John T. Wright. Together, I believe our nimble boutique firm is offering partner-level experience at a predictable price point that is below many big-law associates.

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Phyllis Y. Young, Class of

Phyllis Young '01, an accomplished transactional lawyer who advises public and private companies, commercial banks and investment funds in financing transactions and has extensive energy industry experience, has joined McGuireWoods’ debt finance practice as a partner in the firm’s Dallas and Houston offices. Young advises lenders and borrowers in debt financings and counsels clients on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and other corporate matters. She has served as outside general counsel to clients in the oil refining and drilling sectors and the steel distribution industry. She joins McGuireWoods from Akin Gump.

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Ross Sutherland, Class of


Ross Sutherland joined litigation firm Scott Douglass & McConnico. Sutherland began his career as an entrepreneur servicing South Texas oil-field companies and brings that experience to his legal practice focused in the oil and gas industry.

Alexander Berger, Class of

General Counsel

Alex Berger is now General Counsel for the Motorcycle Industry Council, the national trade association for the motorcycle industry, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (trade association for all-terrain vehicles), the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (trade association for ROVs), and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Adi Sirkes, Class of

Trial Attorney

Adi Sirkes has joined Houston litigation firm Reynolds Frizzell LLP as an associate. As a trial attorney, his practice focuses on advising clients across a wide array of industries to protect their legal rights and provide strategic remedies.

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Warigia M. Bowman, Class of

Dr. Warigia M. Bowman

Warigia M. Bowman, a 1994 honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law. She teaches water law, natural resources law, energy regulation, and administrative law at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Her article "Dustbowl Waters: Doctrinal and Legislative Solutions to Save the Ogallala Aquifer before both Time and Water Run Out," will appear in 91 U. Colorado Law Review, 4 (2019)

Nathan Johnson, Class of


The law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP is pleased to announce that Dallas attorney and State Senator Nathan M. Johnson has joined the firm as Counsel in the Trial Practice Group in Dallas. Mr. Johnson is a commercial and bankruptcy litigator and currently represents District 16 in the Texas State Senate.

Daniel Joel, Class of

Joel Daniel recently joined Foran Glennon as a commercial litigation attorney. He will focus his work on civil defense litigation and first-party insurance disputes, including bad faith claims, environmental damage, builder’s risk claims, and construction and design defect claims.

Ephraim (Fry) Wernick, Class of


Ephraim “Fry” Wernick, former Assistant Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Unit and a veteran federal prosecutor, has joined Vinson & Elkins as a partner in the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense practice. Wernick is based in V&E’s Washington, D.C. office.

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