2022 Whitehurst Public Interest Summer Fellowship Honorees
The Whitehurst Public Interest Summer Fellowships are supported by a generous multi-year gift from Stephanie Whitehurst and Bill Whitehurst, ‘70. Each summer, the Whitehursts name the fellowships for lawyers and others they admire in hopes that the recipients will be inspired by the honorees’ work in the public interest.
Summer 2022 Whitehurst Public Interest Summer Fellowship Honorees
E.A.“Trey” Apffel III became executive director of the State Bar of Texas in December 2017. A longtime Galveston County trial lawyer, he previously was the owner and principal of the Apffel Law Firm in League City, where he focused on personal injury litigation, toxic torts, medical malpractice, and family law. He is certified in both civil trial law and personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Trey has served as State Bar of Texas president (2014-2015), on the State Bar Board of Directors, and as a member of the board’s Executive Committee. He is a former member of the Commission for Lawyer Discipline, a member of the Texas Bar College, a Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow, and served on the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees.
The Trey Apffel Public Interest Law Fellowship is awarded in hopes that the recipient will be inspired by what successful lawyers like Trey Apffel do in the public’s interest as an essential part of their career, and will make a similar commitment.
Lynn Bradshaw has practiced litigation for more than three decades, working on cases and representing individuals where she believes she can make a difference. She was raised in rural Kansas, graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso and then Columbia Law School. She began her law practice in Houston, at Mayor, Day & Caldwell (now Hunton Andrews Kurth). During her first year of practice, she volunteered to work on a political asylum case for a man from Central America. She managed to win his trial, giving him a path to U.S. citizenship. Realizing that she was better suited for working with individuals than corporations, she joined a small plaintiff’s firm, and became a partner at Cook, Doyle & Bradshaw. After almost a decade working on products liability, crash worthiness, and worker’s safety issues, Lynn joined forces with Kaeske Law Firm, handling similar complex cases with important consequences in state and federal courts across the country: “I’ve been fortunate to work with great people, for amazing clients, whose lives I hope I’ve made a little better, and in the process, the world a little safer.”
As a single mom with two children, Lynn tried to remain accountable to them, and present in their lives. When her children were in high school, she stepped back from a full-time law practice and enjoyed what she says were the very best years of being a mom. She also fulfilled a personal goal, studying alongside them and receiving a Master of Arts degree at the University of Texas in Art History with an emphasis on Women and Gender Studies. When Zach (U.T. Law ‘18) and Kate (U.T. ‘16) went to college, Lynn threw herself back into the practice of law.
Most recently, her law firm worked with a team of lawyers who successfully tried five cases to verdict in federal court in Raleigh in a large, high-profile environmental injustice case involving hogs raised in confinement and the waste and pollution created by these operations. They secured not just winning verdicts, but an opinion by the Fourth Circuit affirming the verdicts. Judge Wilkinson wrote: “At the end of all this wreckage lies an uncomfortable truth: these nuisance conditions were unlikely to have persisted for long—or even to have arisen at all—had the neighbors of Kinlaw Farms been wealthier or more politically powerful…. All this and more this nuisance lawsuit has laid bare.” Lynn’s response was: “Because at heart I’ll always be a Kansas farm girl, this opinion is one of the highlights of my career.”
At the end of this case, emotionally and physically spent, Lynn also understood that although the cases she had worked on were rewarding, she had not done any meaningful pro bono work since the beginning of her career. For the last few years, she had been working on another uncomfortable truth: the problems with our criminal justice system. She worked on several post-conviction relief cases, both involving ineffective assistance of counsel in advising clients who entered plea agreements. Because of her background handling technical issues and Daubert challenges in civil cases, she was drawn to the forensic science used as conviction evidence. She focused on the DNA issues, specifically unsound mixture analysis and questionable statistics used to put innocent people in prison.
Lynn has assisted on several death penalty cases, including an indigent Austin man who has been on death row since 1999, his conviction based on junk DNA evidence. These cases can take years and meanwhile, the accused remain in solitary on death row, a shocking truth in a civilized nation. She more recently volunteered to defend a Beaumont man, currently on death row, in the retrial of a double-homicide. This year, the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed his conviction due to contaminated DNA evidence and false testimony by the state’s forensic witness. He will have this new trial only because of the outstanding work of the Office and Capital and Forensic Writs, a group of attorneys who work tirelessly with little reward who inspired her to do more and do better.
At the same time, Lynn started working on a nonfiction book about the death penalty in the early Utah territorial period, looking specifically at firing squads and the first death penalty case decided by the Supreme Court (which she has turned into a musical screenplay and says she will probably never finish. “But I’m okay with that.”)
Lynn is also actively involved in issues impacting the legal profession related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She was an invited member of the Texas State Bar Task Force assigned to investigate and address systemic problems within our practice related to DEI. She served on the State Bar’s Women in the Profession Committee and will serve as the Chair in the upcoming year, which has allowed her to meet extraordinary women who like her, “want to do great things with our careers, to find a higher purpose in our work, while we somehow manage to keep a healthy balance in our lives for ourselves, and those we love.”
The Lynn Bradshaw Public Interest Law Fellowship is awarded in hopes that the recipient will be inspired by what successful lawyers do in the public’s interest as an essential part of their career, and will make a similar commitment.
Claude Ducloux received his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas in 1972 and his law degree from St. Mary’s University in 1976. He is admitted to the Bars of Texas, California, and Colorado as well as various US District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeal. His career has been multifaceted and full of honors.
Claude began as an assistant general counsel for the State Bar of Texas from 1978 to 1980. He practiced at the law firms of Robinson, Felts, Starnes, Angenend & Mashburn from 1980 to 1987, Wood, Lucksinger & Epstein from 1987 to 1989 and Hill, Ducloux, Carnes & de la Garza from 1989 to 2016 as a civil trial attorney. He is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Civil Appellate Law and an associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
From 2016 to the present, he has had his own private practice and serves as Director of Education, Ethics and Compliance for Affinipay-LawPay. Dedicating much of his time to Continuing Legal Education, Claude has authored over 121 Bar Journal commentary columns under the title “Entre Nous”, presented over 100 educational articles and made over 500 CLE speeches and presentations nationwide. He received the 1918 National Outstanding Program Award.
Claude’s professional activities are legendary including President, Travis County Bar Association (now, Austin Bar Association); Trustee and Chair, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Texas Bar Foundation, Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism and College of the State Bar of Texas. He also served as Trustee and President of St. Mary’s Law School Alumni Association.
Claude also served as Director, Austin Lawyers Care (now, Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas). He was a member and co-founder of Bar & Grill Singers, a lawyer group performing musical parody across the country, and raising over $300,000 for pro bono causes. He received the W Frank Newton Award (annual pro bono award given by the State Bar of Texas) and the Pro Bono Award four times from Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas.
Other professional honors include the State Bar College Pat Nester Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in CLE and the Lola Wright Foundation Award for Promotion of Legal Ethics.
The Claude Ducloux Public Interest Law Fellowship is awarded in hopes that the recipient will be inspired by what successful lawyers like Claude Ducloux do in the public’s interest as an essential part of their career, and will make a similar commitment.
Laurie Eiserloh is a 1990 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law where she was inducted into the Friars Society and was named Outstanding Woman Law Graduate. She initially worked as a lobbyist for the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas (now Equality Texas) and later became the Executive Director where she fought to restore AIDS funding and to repeal discriminatory legislation.
Dan Morales, the last Democrat to serve as Texas AG, hired Laurie as a litigator and she rose through the ranks to Deputy Chief. As an Assistant Attorney General, Laurie was lead counsel in State and Federal Court and handled numerous appeals. Upon leaving the public sector, she became a senior associate at the law firm of Bickerstaff, Health, Smiley, Pollan, Kever and McDaniel where she was mentored by the late Myra McDaniel, Texas’ first African American Secretary of State.
After the birth of her first child, Laurie returned to the public sector as a Senior Attorney for the City of Austin and later moved to the Travis County Attorney’s Office where she served as Chair of the Employment Team. Currently, Laurie is the Democratic Nominee for the 455th Civil District Court having won 86.7 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.
From the time of her graduation until the present day, Laurie has volunteered to assist marginalized members of our community. She has served on the boards of AIDS Services of Austin, El Buen Samaritano (clinic, ESL and Food Bank) and the Austin Center for Child Guidance. She has served as volunteer for Trinity Center (shelter for those experiencing homelessness), Meals and Wheels, and Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas (VLS). In 2007, Laurie was recognized by the Travis County Women Lawyers for her work in Government Service. In 2021, she was recognized by the State Bar of Texas for outstanding delivery of legal services to low-income Texans and has been honored by LGBTQ organizations across the state for service to LGBTQ Texans.
Laurie and her wife of many years, Jessica Chapin, have two children, Oliver (22) and Helen (19). They are active members of St. David’s Episcopal Church.
The Laurie Eiserloh Public Interest Law Fellowship is awarded in hopes that the recipient will be inspired by what successful lawyers like Laurie Eiserloh do in the public’s interest as an essential part of their career, and will make a similar commitment.
Marcy Hogan Greer is the Managing Partner of Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP, a nationally recognized appellate boutique firm. She has been acclaimed for her work in federal and state trial and appellate courts throughout the country. Ms. Greer received the 2021 Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award from the Texas Bar Foundation, which honors Greg Coleman’s legacy to the appellate bar, requiring that the recipient demonstrate an outstanding appellate practice while maintaining a strong commitment to providing legal services for the underserved, dedication to mentoring young attorneys, and a strong moral compass to guide both professional and personal pursuits.
Marcy additionally received the 2022 Pro Bono/Community Service Award from the University of Houston Law Center Alumni Association. Her practice consistently includes class action and mass tort cases, including federal multidistrict litigation. This experience contributed to her recognition in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in Appellate Litigation—Texas; listing in The Best Lawyers in America in Appellate, Bet-the-Company, and Commercial Litigation; and selection as the “Lawyer of the Year” in 2016 and 2012 for Austin Appellate Practice. Ms. Greer also has been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer for her appellate work since its inaugural list and has been repeatedly listed in the Top 100 Texas Lawyers, Top 50 Central Texas Lawyers, and Top 50 Women Lawyers recognized by that publication.
Marcy clerked for the Hon. Carolyn Dineen King, the former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 1993–94. After her clerkship, Ms. Greer joined the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. (now Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP), where she practiced for almost twenty years and was a partner for ten years. She has been board-certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1997.
Marcy has been a member of the State Bar Pro Bono College for almost all of her career, requiring at least 75 hours of pro bono work each year. She is currently representing her second death-row inmate, Louis Castro Perez, and has obtained orders from the Texas criminal court staying execution and permitting DNA testing and reanalysis in order to support a claim for actual innocence.
In June 2017, Ms. Greer was awarded the Louise B. Raggio award given by the Texas Bar Association’s Women and the Law Section to recognize an attorney who has actively addressed the needs and issues of women in the legal profession and in the community. She also served as the Lead Pro Bono Partner with Texas Appleseed on a major project for the Supreme Court of Texas focused on improving the lives of foster children in Texas and was awarded the Texas Bar Association’s Frank J. Scurlock Award for Outstanding Legal Services to the Poor in 2011.
Ms. Greer was elected to the American Law Institute and is a member of the by-invitation-only Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. She currently serves as the Diversity Officer for the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section and on the Executive Committee of the Center for Women in Law.
Ms. Greer received her B.A. from Emory University and her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center.
The Marcy Greer Public interest Law Fellowship is awarded in hopes that the recipient will be inspired by what successful lawyers like Marcy Greer do in the public’s interest as an essential part of their career, and will make a similar commitment.
Since receiving her JD from the University of Texas School of Law and her law license in 2001, Erica Grigg has gained experience as a criminal prosecutor; general counsel in the Texas Legislature; Special Assistant to the Chancellor of Texas Tech University; and as a personal injury, civil rights, and wrongful death litigator at Spivey & Grigg, LLP. She has appeared on HLN and CNN for commentary regarding her involvement in high-profile civil right cases.
Erica is currently Director at the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program (TLAP) where she helps connect judges, lawyers and law students to the mental health and substance abuse recovery resources they need. She is presently pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health. Interestingly, Erica attended the 2018 Academy Awards for her role as plaintiff’s counsel in an Oscar nominated HBO short documentary, Traffic Stop.
The Erica Grigg Public Interest Law Fellowship is awarded in hopes that the recipient will be inspired by what successful lawyers like Erica Grigg do in the public’s interest as an essential part of their career, and will make a similar commitment.