Class Notes: On the Move

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

Partner

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

Associate

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

Counsel

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

Partner

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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Megan Gray, Class of

Megan Gray is now General Counsel and VP of Policy for DuckDuckGo, Inc., a private search engine and online privacy company. Recently, I was the counsel of record, on the briefs and seated at counsel's table, in a case before the US Supreme Court -- https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/iancu-v-brunetti/ -- the Court is presented with the question of whether the federal government can prohibit trademark registration for FUCT on streetwear clothing as a "scandalous" mark.

Charles M. Stam, Class of

Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC is proud to welcome Charles Stam, who joins the firm's Houston office as an associate. Stam maintains a general litigation practice focusing on commercial litigation, corporate recoveries, product liability and catastrophic injury. He graduated cum laude from the University of Texas School of Law and joined the firm after completing a one-year clerkship with a federal district judge.

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Kirk Tucker, Class of

Kirk Tucker has joined the Houston office of Jackson Walker as a partner. His Corporate & Securities practice focuses on oil & gas and infrastructure investment matters.

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Smita Bhakta, Class of

Partner

Kruger Carson, PLLC, has promoted Smita Bhakta to Partner of the law firm, which works with a wide range of business clients from its offices in San Antonio and Austin. Bhakta focuses on complex commercial real estate matters. She joined Kruger Carson in 2016 as Attorney and Counselor.

Bhakta served on the 2016 and 2017 Board of Directors for the San Antonio chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). She is active in the Real Estate Council of San Antonio.

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Scarlet McNellie, Class of

Head of Corporate, M&A and Securities, United States

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has appointed partner Scarlet McNellie as its head of corporate, M&A and securities in the United States. Based in Dallas, Scarlet leads a team of more than 100 corporate lawyers who advise businesses across a spectrum of matters, including public takeovers, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, disposals, debt and equity capital markets transactions, and corporate governance, general commercial, corporate advisory and SEC compliance matters.

Rick R. Flores, Class of

Name Partner

Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. (formerly Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins) is proud to announce that Rick R. Flores has been elected Name Partner. Rick joined the 56-year-old Austin office in 2011 and practices criminal defense and family law.

Clinton “Tres” Dye, III, Class of

Partner

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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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

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.

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

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.