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Local Heroes Time to Step Up for Equal Access to Justice From Adversity to Service: Houston Attorneys Find Ways to Turn Grief into Good 2nd Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards 25th John J. Eikenburg Law Week Fun Run Raises Nearly $65,000 for The Center Law Week Celebrates 21st Century Challenges



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Volume 47 – Number 6

May/June 2010

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contents Volume 47 Number 6

May/June 2010




10 Local Heroes to Step Up for Equal 18 Time Access to Justice By Glenn A. Ballard, Jr.

Adversity to Service: 20 From Houston Attorneys Find Ways to Turn Grief into Good

& Giuliani Hosts 26 Bracewell Minute Mentoring Program



By Carrin F. Patman and Catherine Ozdogan

Harris County 30 2nd Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards John J. Eikenburg Law Week 32 25th Fun Run Raises Nearly $65,000 for The Center

Week Celebrates 21st 36 Law Century Challenges

The Houston Lawyer



The Houston Lawyer (ISSN 0439-660X) is published bimonthly by The Houston Bar Association, 1300 First City Tower, 1001 Fannin St., Houston, TX 77002-6715. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. Subscription rate: $12 for members. $25.00 non-members. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The Houston Lawyer, 1300 First City Tower, 1001 Fannin, Houston, TX 77002. Telephone: 713-759-1133. All editorial inquiries should be addressed to The Houston Lawyer at the above address. All advertising inquiries should be addressed to: Quantum/SUR, 12818 Willow Centre Dr., Ste. B, Houston, TX 77066, 281-955-2449,, e-mail: Views expressed in The Houston Lawyer are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the Houston Bar Association. Publishing of an advertisement does not imply endorsement of any product or service offered. For article REPRINTS, please contact Wright’s Reprints: 1-877-652-5295. ©The Houston Bar Association, 2010. All rights reserved.


May/June 2010

contents Volume 47 Number 6

May/June 2010



departments Message 6 President’s By Barrett H. Reasoner the Editor 8 From By Ann D. Zeigler Reviews 40 Media Commercial Fraud Manual Reviewed by Ann Zeigler

The Lawyer’s Guide to Finding Success in Any Job Market Reviewed by Nicole Sain



Fame 101: Powerful Personal Branding & Publicity For Amazing Success Reviewed by N. Jill Yaziji

Black Water Rising Reviewed by Judy L. Ney Trends 42 Legal U.S. Supreme Court Rejects

Most “Constructive” Claims Under the PMPA By David M. Rodi

On Credit Card Cons Beware By N. Jill Yaziji in Professionalism: 44 ATheProfileHonorable Frank B. Rynd

Judge, 309th District Court

45 Off the Record

Lawyer by Day, Singer & Flautist on Weekends

Elaine McAnelly By Ann D. Zeigler

The Houston Lawyer

Cover Photo: This Law Day poster was created by Aylin Gonzalez, a 7th grader at Woodland Acres Middle School. The poster won first place in the 4th-8th grade category in the HBA Law Day Poster Contest and first place in the 6th-8th grade category in the State Bar of Texas Law Day Poster Contest.


May/June 2010

46 At the Bar 46 Placement Service 48 Litigation MarketPlace

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president’s message

By Barrett H. Reasoner Gibbs & Bruns LLP

The More Things Change...

The Houston Lawyer


his is the last column I have the honor to write in The Houston Lawyer and by the time you read this, I will have handed the reins over to my successor, Mark Kelly. As a result, this is obviously a time of great change in my life. My partners understandably expect a renewed focus on my law practice. My family quite rightly expects fewer absences from their activities. My partners and family have been extremely supportive of my efforts this year, and for that I will forever be grateful. I understand and welcome the changes they expect after a wonderful, but exhausting, year. As I look at the changes going on in the profession more generally, however, the feeling is more one of uncertainty and trepidation. Jobs for new lawyers are harder to come by than they have ever been. Moreover, the nature of the practice is changing dramatically, and one can only speculate about how things will look twenty years from now. Beyond the practice of law, at the national and global levels, we are undoubtedly living in what the old Chinese curse would refer to as “interesting times.” Disasters (both natural and man made), financial crises, and increasingly uncivil political dialogue from both ends of the spectrum leave you wondering where the world is headed. One thing I can say with certainty amid all of this is that the Houston Bar Association (HBA) will continue to be there to help with many of the problems and challenges facing our profession and our soci-


May/June 2010

summer. Similarly, our Consumer Task ety. I am not naïve enough to believe that Force added a needed dimension in these our bar is the cure all for any of these istimes to our existing legal advice clinics. sues; no single organization can be. What The group added specialists in bankruptI do know is that, for 140 years, this bar cy, consumer law, real estate, and tax to has been there, helping those less fortuour base of volunteers and partnered with nate and upholding the standards of our non-profit credit counseling organizaprofession. Great institutions have two tions. The result was that approximately critical things: a structure and culture 120 people received advice and counsel that sustains them as different officers on consumer-related issues at our clinics, come and go and a strong volunteer base. and the plan going forward is to incorpoWe obviously have Kay Sim as our corrate these services at some of our clinics nerstone, but through the work of Kay on a regular basis. My and others, we also hope is that both prohave that critical “One thing I can say grams will continue structure and culture. to enrich the bar’s More importantly, we with certainty amid already extraordinary have you. I have been array of services in amazed this year to all of this is that the the future. see the many areas in Houston Bar Association I look back with which Houston lawgreat appreciation for yers give their time will continue to be the opportunity to and money to help have served as Presithose less fortunate, there to help with many dent of the HBA. That often with little or no service only increased fanfare. I have also of the problems and my respect for the inbeen delighted to see stitution and its dedihow many lawyers challenges facing cated volunteers. We and judges make efour profession and have an organization forts large and small to be very proud of, to make our profesour society.” and one that is more sion better. needed than ever. This year, I am Mark Kelly will be an outstanding leader proud to say that the bar achieved a great as we move forward in these challenging deal. Thanks to the efforts of many, our times. The HBA’s good works have been partnership with Communities in Schools going on for 140 years and, with your has achieved extraordinary momentum. help, the organization is well positioned We are on pace to place in the range of to continue them many years into the sixty students from at risk schools in future. Houston in legal internship positions this

Search this issue and more than 40 issues posted online! THE HOUSTON


May/June 2010


from the editor

By Ann D. Zeigler Third Coast Consultants

Associate Editors

Mark A. Correro Attorney at Law

John S. Gray Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP

Robert W. Painter The Painter Law Firm

The Houston Lawyer

Don Rogers Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Tamara Stiner Toomer Attorney at Law


May/June 2010

Building on Editorial Boards Past


ou may have noticed that another perI have had plenty of opportunities to tell Fred under fectly good bar year is wrapping up. This my breath how right he was. We don’t lead people who is the moment when hard-working HBA are already leaders. We point out the goal, and perhaps members briefly come up for air and look make a few observations about suggested paths before around. So, what have we actually acour troops stop listening and start doing. Go for it! complished by all this running around— As I was walking around the HBA’s offices the other practice section CLE lunches, service committee planevening during my Legaline shift, I had another opporning meetings and activities, fund raising for another tunity to look at the HBA membership’s group photos Habitat home, rolling up from years past, when the our sleeves for the blood group was small enough drive. Is it just me, or are for everyone to fit in the the rest of you running into same photo. I see the styles yourselves in the hallways, in hair, beards, and coltoo? Tell yourself that belars come and go. But I see ing active in the HBA is the same determination to good training (so that in get done what needs to be your next life you’ll be a done, and to do it in the train—or not). The 2009-2010 Editorial Board of The Houston Lawyer: first row, from left, best possible way. Really, this organized Judy L. Ney, Hannah Sibiski, Al Harrison, Editor in Chief Ann Zeigler, Jill You know the expresform of giving back to Yaziji and Keri Brown. Back row, from left, Mark Trachtenberg, Associate sion about accomplishing Editor John Gray, Angela Dixon, Carolyn Benton Aiman, Associate Editor our community through Tamara Stiner Toomer, Associate Editor Don Rogers. Not pictured: Associate new goals by standing on bar service is more impor- Editor Mark Correro, Associate Editor Robert Painter, Shawn Bates, Patrice the shoulders of giants. If Childress, Nelson S. Ebaugh, Don D. Ford III, Dori Kornfeld Goldman, Misty tant than we individually Hataway-Coné, Catherine Le, Farrah Martinez, Robert Keith Morris III, you are over six feet tall, would think. Each activ- Linhuyen T. Pham, Nicole Sain, Mark Schuck, William R. Stukenberg. you have no idea what that ity by each of us may not seem important or signifimeans to those of us who are under five feet tall. But it cant, viewed in isolation. But we aren’t isolated. We are also means that I didn’t get here all by myself. The magamembers of a community. I would like to take this final zine you are holding is shiny, up-to-the-minute, and full opportunity as editor of The Houston Lawyer to look of great ideas about improving us as practitioners and back a little (okay, a lot) further than the traditional as humans. It is the product of a year’s worth of work by editorial farewell. my departing board. It is also the product of many years First off, my thanks to Carolyn Aiman, guest ediof work by many other dedicated editorial boards. tor of this special volunteerism issue. Her hard work So, I leave you with my thanks for the opportunimakes my point for me. In this year, I have not only ty to serve the Houston legal community as editor of worked with many wonderful editorial board members The Houston Lawyer. And I salute all my predecessors, and authors, I have had moments to think about this some of whom you know, some of whom you rememgroup, this magazine, and this organization as a living ber, some of whom you may have heard of, some of organism. Last spring I received the traditional Red Pen whom have vanished into the back stacks of the Great of Office from my dear friend and mentor, my predecesLaw Library. They have all contributed greatly to what sor Fred Simpson. As I hand the Pen on to John Gray, this magazine and this organization have become, and I pass on to him Fred’s advice about this position: this I honor all of them. isn’t a leadership position, it’s a cat-herding experience. My thanks to them and to you. It’s been fun.



Barrett H. Reasoner

M. Carter Crow



T. Mark Kelly

Denise Scofield

First Vice President

Past President

David A. Chaumette

Travis J. Sales

Second Vice President

Brent A. Benoit

DIRECTORS (2008-2010)

Benny Agosto, Jr. Laura Gibson

Todd M. Frankfort Warren W. Harris.

Alistair B. Dawson Jennifer A. Hasley

DIRECTORS (2009-2011) Hon. David O. Fraga Daniella D. Landers

editorial staff Editor in Chief

Ann D. Zeigler Associate Editors

Mark A. Correro Robert W. Painter Tamara D. Stiner

John S. Gray Don W. Rogers

Carolyn Benton Aiman Keri D. Brown Angela L. Dixon Don D. Ford III Al Harrison Catherine Anh Thi Le Robert K. Morris III Linhuyen T. Pham Mark Schuck Fred A. Simpson Mark R. Trachtenberg

Editorial Board

Shawn M. Bates Patrice B. Childress Nelson S. Ebaugh Dori Kornfeld Goldman Misty Hataway-Coné Farrah Martinez Judy L. Ney Nicole Sain Hannah Sibiski William R. Stukenberg Nejd Jill Yaziji

Managing Editor

Tara Shockley

HBA office staff Continuing Legal Education Coordinator

Executive Director

Kay Sim

Kelly Farrell

Administrative Assistant

Ashley G. Steininger Administrative Assistant

Karen D. Ramsey

Membership and Technology Services Director

Ronald Riojas Membership Assistant

Director of Education

Lucy Fisher

Billy Salinas

Community Education Coordinator

Melissa Lang Receptionist/Resource Secretary

Lucia Valdez

Communications Director

Tara Shockley Communications Assistant/ Web Designer

Brooke Eshleman

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May/June 2010


Local Heroes Each year, Houston Bar Association members donate over 45,000 volunteer hours to HBA programs alone. They also volunteer for countless other programs and community services. With the demands of billable hours, trials and research at the office, along with family responsibilities at home, how and why do they do it? The answers are as diverse as the HBA membership itself. The HBA members profiled here are representative of the committed, caring volunteers who are part of the HBA culture of commitment. They improve the profession, and they improve our communities.

local heroes

Denise Bradley

Cultivating Values, Self-Esteem Through Special Olympics and Girl Scouts

By Don Rogers


enise Bradley is an assistant district attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. She started working at the DA’s office as an intern while attending South Texas College of Law, and became a prosecutor in 1987 after obtaining her law degree. Since becoming a prosecutor, she has been assigned to various trial-level divisions, including the Major Offenders Division and the Gangs and Narcotics Division, and has tried over 100 felony cases, including 12 death penalty cases, numerous serial offender cases, and many other high profile cases. She has served as a District Court Chief Prosecutor, Chief of the Misdemeanor Division, Chief of Felony Division C, and was recently chosen to be the first Chief of the newly-formed Capital Trial Division. On a professional level, Denise volunteers on a weekly basis to work in the Harris County STAR Court program, short for “Success Through Addiction Recovery,” which works closely with drug addicts who are on community supervision for non-violent felonies. It provides them with drug treatment, transitional housing, and career counseling in an effort to keep them from returning to jail. While attending college, Denise be-

came involved with Special Olympics, a charitable organization sponsoring yearround sports training and competition for children and adults challenged with intellectual disabilities, with the goal of improving the quality of their lives. After becoming a Houston Bar Association member several years ago, she volunteered to serve on and became active with the HBA Special Olympics Committee, which coordinates and recruits volunteers to support many of the Texas Special Olympics’ 22 sports activities. She now spends a substantial amount of her time serving as a volunteer coordinator for the committee and, in that capacity, serves as a volunteer for the Special Olympics sports events with which the committee is involved, as well as recruiting and overseeing other volunteers from the Houston area to work as escorts, timers, scorekeepers, and cheerleaders at those events. Concerning her volunteer work with Special Olympics, Denise said, “I am constantly amazed by the things that Special Olympics athletes overcome to be successful competitors. I have the utmost respect for them, and the hard work and dedication they give to their respective sports. I am proud that the majority of volunteers I have recruited work at the DA’s office, and I honestly believe that, in light of the tragic situations we encounter every day as prosecutors, doing something as rewarding as Special Olympics benefits the volunteers as much as it does the athletes.” Denise, who is married to Robert Bradley, a Houston police officer, and has two daughters, also spends a considerable amount of her time as a volunteer with Girl Scouts of America. She currently serves as Troop Leader of the San Jacinto Council’s Troop 18041, which includes her daughter Marron and 27 other fifth graders attending Duchesne Academy. Her scout troop participates in assorted activities, such as camping, canoeing, sailing, and service projects, which are

designed to cultivate values, social conscience, and self-esteem in young girls. She also currently serves as Cookie Manager for 18 Girl Scout troops within the Tall Pines Service Unit. As to her volunteer activities with Girl Scouts, Denise says, “I was lucky enough to participate in scouting as a child and am happy that I have the opportunity to participate with my daughters. My fifth grade troop represents everything that Girl Scouts is about. The girls are resourceful and responsible. I have had the opportunity to see these girls develop into leaders and volunteers. I look at the girls in my troop and can’t wait to see the amazing things they will accomplish as strong and self-assured young women.” Don Rogers is an assistant district attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and a member of The Houston Lawyer editorial board.

Francis Chin and Sameera Mahendru

Bashing Trash and Beautifying Houston, One Park at a Time

By Hannah Sibiski


his year marked the twelfth annual Trash Bash, a park delittering and improvement project organized and run by Lawyers Against Waste, an HBA committee, in partnership with the City of Houston. Trash Bash commemo-

rates Earth Day and Law Day by offering Houston area attorneys and their families an opportunity to come help make Houston greener. Trash Bash Co-Chairs, Sameera Kapasi Mahendru from the City of Houston and Francis Chin from Waste Management, had fun cleaning and clearing and enjoyed seeing the large turnout of colleagues and their families come to help make Houston a better place. Sameera is a long-time volunteer on the committee; Francis is new to the Lawyers Against Waste Committee, but has been active on other HBA committees. Both feel the Trash Bash is a project close to their interests and their hearts. This year was a record-breaker in both bashing and beautification. Over 180 volunteers arrived at Mason Park at eight o’clock Saturday morning, May 8, 2010. For the next four hours, those volunteers cleared trash and brush from this 104acre park located near the confluence of Brays Bayou and Buffalo Bayou. While about 90 volunteers picked up litter, the other half cleared a large section of overgrown vegetation, shrubs, and trees. Thanks to the hard work of Sameera, Francis and other committee members, there were 45 door prizes awarded to lucky volunteers, ranging from a cooking lesson with Monica Pope to a happy hour at the Social. The volunteers were rewarded by more than snacks and prizes. They helped improve and protect one of Houston’s most important green spaces. Mason Park offers Houstonians recreation, relaxation, conservation, and flood protection. In addition to tennis courts, an ADA-compliant playground, a bike trial, a swimming pool, and a community center, the park also hosts three and a half acres of wetland environment that has been developed to clean pollutants from storm water before the water enters the bayou, to create an environment for animal and plant life, and to help prevent flooding and protect Houston homes and

May/June 2010


nesses. With the help of Sameera, Francis and the Lawyers Against Waste Trash Bash volunteers, Mason Park continues to serve Houstonians. Hannah Sibiski is a senior associate at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. and a member of The Houston Lawyer editorial board.

Justice Kem Thompson Frost

The Gift of Giving Unconditionally

By Jill Yaziji


or a justice with impeccable credentials, top-notch firm background, and ten-year-plus tenure on the 14th Court of Appeals, Justice Kem Frost sounds the opposite of a legal wonk when talking about the impact of volunteer work on her life. Volunteer work has rendered “[me] transformed, tenderized … by forming relationships with those who have been called ‘the least of these,’” she said. When she is not delivering opinions for the 14th Court of Appeals (she authored 158 civil and criminal opinions during the 2008-2009 court term, making her the most prolific justice on that Court), being a wife of an equally-committed professional, and a mother of four school-aged sons, she is volunteering her time in and around the City of Houston. Justice Frost manages to find time to serve on the board of the local American Inns of Court, co-chair the Law Week Committee of the HBA, advise school boards and her church, and give public talks to school kids—to the tune of more than 1,000 young students this year— to mention only a few of her volunteer


May/June 2010

activities. As co-chair of the Law Week Committee this year, she organized the first team poster competition for special needs students, giving them the opportunity to compete in the Poster Contest in a new category. Along with co-chair Warren Harris, she also helped organize a poster workshop for Hispanic youth in Houston’s East End, in conjunction with the Hispanic Bar Association and Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston. She and other judges and attorneys spent three hours talking to students, who ranged from kindergarten through eighth grade, about Law Day and helping them create entries to the poster contest, along with providing all the materials. Where do the time and energy come from, given all of her personal and professional duties? Quite simply, from the belief that volunteerism is not only an extension of her professional background, but also a projection of her passion and obligation to give back. Volunteer work is not about personal empowerment or financial gain, but personal growth is certainly a powerful byproduct of it: “Follow your heart in choosing a volunteer activity,” she said, because that will give you the opportunity to excel.” Such is her zest for life and for giving to others that she believes volunteering is the fruit of her faith, an expression of something bigger than herself, grown out of a commitment to help a wide sector of our society that is in need for help. Justice Frost readily admits that juggling personal, professional, and volunteer commitments is a challenge. Her advice to those who want to volunteer is to choose carefully, stick to regularly scheduled times, and commit one season at a time. A quick view of the hundreds of thankyou cards she received from school kids she talked to about our laws and justice system is testimony that her volunteer spirit touched them at a profound level. N. Jill Yaziji is the principal of The Yaziji Law Firm and a member of The Houston Lawyer editorial board.

Mitch Reid

LegalLine: A Life Line for Those with Legal Questions

By Nicole Sain


itch Reid is an attorney at Andrews Kurth LLP, doing commercial litigation, including life, health and disability insurance litigation, and business torts. Despite the demands of his busy practice, Mitch finds time to volunteer with both LegalLine and the Special Olympics. As a lawyer at a firm that is committed to volunteering and service, Mitch started out as an HBA LegalLine volunteer, manning the phones frequently. His interest in and commitment to LegalLine led Mitch to seek an appointment as a co-chair for the HBA LegalLine Committee, a position in which he has served for the past five years. He also serves as Andrews Kurth’s firm representative for the program. As an HBA co-chair and firm representative, Mitch works to ensure that there will be enough volunteers to staff the phone lines on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Mitch looks to his colleagues, lawyers at other firms, and attorneys at legal departments of corporations to serve the community by answering the LegalLine calls. He also offers them the chance to donate their time to the Special Olympics by staffing the fall and spring events on behalf of the HBA Special Olympics Committee. When working the LegalLine phones, Mitch and the other volunteers spend time answering simple questions for people that cannot afford to pay an attorney for consultation, or directing the caller to the appropriate resources when their question is one that cannot be answered simply. The questions are wide in range,

including family law, landlord tenant and property issues, basic consumer complaints and probate issues. Any legal situation that an individual might be faced with is fair game. Mitch’s volunteer work comes with a great perspective; he feels lucky to be where he is in life and realizes that not everyone is as fortunate as he is, and thus likes to give back. This is especially true for LegalLine, where the help being given must be supplied by a licensed attorney since not everyone is qualified to serve in this capacity. Mitch enjoys being able to use his education and knowledge to help the Houston community and inspires other attorneys to put their talent to similar use. “Nothing feels better than helping someone when they are in need – people should feel fortunate to have made it through law school and be a licensed attorney. To have that ability to help someone in a specific area is a great feeling, and a great service to the community.” Nicole Sain is a partner at OSTROM/Sain, LLP, a boutique focusing on probate litigation and estate planning. She is a member of The Houston Lawyer editorial board.

Scholarship and obtained her law degree from South Texas College of Law in 1996. Belinda became a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in 1997, and for several years was assigned to the Environmental Crimes Division, where she prosecuted a number of environmental criminal cases and cases arising from cruel treatment of animals. In 2009, Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos created a new Animal

Cruelty Section in the Special Prosecutions Bureau, and chose Belinda to be that sections’ first chief prosecutor, a position she currently holds. In her capacity as chief of that section, Belinda is responsible for the prosecution of all animal cruelty cases in Harris County, and supervision of all the DA’s office personnel assigned to the section. She also works closely with law enforcement agencies and other organizations, including Crime Stoppers,

18 years of professional experience as a residential and commercial sales broker.

Belinda Smith

Combining a Passion for Pets in Her Personal and Professional Lives

By Don Rogers


elinda Smith, an assistant district attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, has a life-long passion for animal welfare. After obtaining degrees in psychology and geology from the University of Houston, she was awarded the Dean’s Diversity

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May/June 2010


the Houston Humane Society, the Houston SPCA, Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP), the City of Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control (BARC), and the Harris County animal shelter (PHES), to deter animal cruelty and prosecute those responsible for it. Belinda is a frequent speaker on the subject of animal abuse and cruelty at programs, seminars, or classes sponsored by various institutions, including the Texas A & M University College of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Texas Law School, the University of Houston Law Center, South Texas College of Law, and assorted elementary schools, as well as at conferences or seminars sponsored by law enforcement agencies and other groups concerned with problems associated with animal welfare and abuse. She has appeared on several television episodes about animal cruelty broadcast on Animal Planet. Belinda volunteers some of her personal time and generously contributes some of her money each year to the

Houston Humane Society, a non-profit animal shelter dedicated to eliminating cruelty, abuse, and the overpopulation of animals. She and District Attorney Pat Lykos were honorees at the Humane Society’s 2009 annual gala, “The Fur Ball,” for their work in the area of animal cruelty and abuse. In addition, Belinda volunteered for and is currently chair of the HBA Animal Law Section, which was created in 2007 after she and two other HBA members suggested its formation to address legal issues in the emerging field of animal law. The Animal Law Section educates the legal community about issues affecting animals and their welfare through continuing legal education presentations, networking opportunities, and distribution of materials concerning laws, regulations, and court decisions dealing with animals. Past CLE programs sponsored by the section have included topics such as equine law, animal cruelty prosecution, and animals in entertainment.

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The Animal Law Section hosts an annual holiday party at which someone who has made a significant contribution to the animal welfare community is honored. It also sponsors or participates in activities such as (1) “Paw and Order SDU,” short for Special Dog Unit, which provides therapy dogs to visit with adults and children who are victims of domestic violence at the offices of the district attorney’s Family Criminal Law Division and at the Children’s Assessment Center; and (2) the Annual Crime Stoppers Anti-Dog Fighting Campaign, which raises awareness and educates the public on certain aspects of animal cruelty. Belinda says she feels fortunate to be chief of the DA’s Animal Cruelty Section and able to volunteer her time as chair of the HBA Animal Law Section, saying, “Now, with the support of District Attorney Pat Lykos, I have my dream job and I am able to promote animal welfare issues through my involvement in the HBA Animal Law Section. Volunteering with the HBA Animal Law Section is a natural extension of my duties with the DA’s office. As a prosecutor, I have a unique opportunity to promote animal welfare issues through the Animal Law Section. Sometimes my roles as Chief of the DA’s Animal Cruelty Section and Chair of the HBA Animal Law Section overlap, but the end result is twice as good because both animals and ultimately our community benefit from the programs.” Belinda, who is married and has two children, is also a member of and currently serves as Chair of the HBA Environmental Law Section, which offers monthly CLE presentations on subjects relevant to environmental laws and regulation, conservation, and law enforcement. Don Rogers is an assistant district attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and a member of The Houston Lawyer editorial board.

Connie Simmons Taylor Helping Women Become Dressed for Success

By Keri D. Brown

Connie Simmons Taylor, left.

“It’s an awesome feeling to know that I’ve helped change someone’s life.”


onating a business suit may be a routine task for many, seen as an easy way to clear out the closet to make room for a new wardrobe. But Connie Simmons Taylor knows that a donated suit often means the difference between having a job (and food to put on the table) or continuing to struggle to get by.

gram at the firm told Connie that the As a partner at Baker Botts L.L.P., Conpresident and founder of Dress for Sucnie spends her days as a real estate lawyer. cess Houston, Nancy Levicki, was lookAs a board member and active volunteer ing for an attorney to join their board. for Dress for Success Houston, Connie After visiting the lospends her free time cal Dress for Success changing lives. “Connie became involved store and seeing the Dress for Success in Dress for Success effect that a suit can began in New York in have on a woman 1996, and the Housbecause she wanted to who needs to go on ton affiliate took help the community and had a job interview but root in 1998. Dress literally has nothing for Success now has the ability to give back. appropriate to wear, more than 80 affiliShe remembered being Connie was hooked. ates worldwide, all Connie first served dedicated to improva law student and how on the board of Dress ing women’s lives by important it was to have for Success Houston providing them with from 2002 through professional cloththe perfect suit for the 2008, spending two ing, employment many job interviews.” of those years as programs, and conboard chair. After six tinuing support. years on the board, she moved on to the Connie’s involvement in Dress for Sucorganization’s advisory board for a year cess began in 2002, when she donated a in 2009. couple of suits to the annual Dress for This year, she was reappointed to the Success “Send One Suit” drive at Baker board and serves on the Projects ComBotts. The volunteer heading up the pro-

May/June 2010


mittee, where her real estate expertise comes in handy as she considers alternatives for Dress for Success Houston’s future growth. She also spearheads the annual Send One Suit drive at Baker Botts. Connie became involved in Dress for Success because she wanted to help the community and had the ability to give back. She remembered being a law student and how important it was to have the perfect suit for the many job interviews. She felt strongly about advocating for Dress for Success, and her role was a good fit for Baker Botts, with more than 100 women lawyers and numerous other female professionals who needed to do something with those gently-used suits that were no longer needed. As Connie says, serving Dress for Success shows her that “what we do makes a difference. In talking to the Dress for Success clients, I learn how much of a difference having a suit makes. Women will say to me, ‘this organization literally saved my life.’ That’s what matters.” Connie volunteers because she be-

lieves that everyone has something they can give back to their community. “If you don’t volunteer, you cheat yourself as well as the community,” Connie says. “Everyone should experience volunteering at least once, if only for the selfish reason that you feel good for doing it.” In addition to her work for Dress for Success, Connie serves on the advisory board for KIPP Houston, a charter school that develops successful academic skills, intellectual habits, and character qualities in underserved students, and she also serves with the Row House Community Development Corporation (a sister organization to Project Row Houses), an organization that assists low- and moderate-income Houstonians in obtaining housing, develops green space, and preserves historic sites. For more information on Dress for Success Houston’s work, visit www. Keri Brown is an attorney in the Private Clients Services section of Baker Botts

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Mark Wege

Law Week Fun Run a Year-Round Commitment

By Ann D. Zeigler


Mark Wege, third from left.

id you notice the thousand or so runners making their early-morning way from downtown’s Sam Houston Park over to South Shepherd and back on a Saturday morning in late March? That was the 25th Annual John J. Eikenburg Law Week Fun Run, one of the longest tenured running events in Houston, which this year raised nearly $65,000 for The Center, which makes independent lives possible for people with developmental disabilities. Mark Wege, a partner in King & Spalding’s bankruptcy section, has been an active HBA volunteer for many years. His big, continuing commitment is to the Fun Run, which he chaired in 2006. As with other large-scale activities, it isn’t a one-day commitment for Mark and the other Fun Run committee members. The race occurs in late March (the date is set as part of the schedule for HARRA, the Houston area runner’s organization which includes many runners as part of its competitive annual program). But the committee works year-round. In late September the committee begins fundraising in earnest, especially looking for the sponsors whose names and logos will go on the race shirts and brochures. Then in December the committee begins soliciting door prizes, as well as arranging for the T-shirt design and printing and

then in January the organization of the event itself, including numerous volunteer efforts. Mark gives special thanks to Constable Abercia and the Harris County constables who keep the racers safe and block off traffic during the event, to the HARRA organization which sanctions the race and includes many competitive runners, and to the HBA office, which arranges for many of the critical components of the Fun Run including the support of the City of Houston. The last two days before the race are full-time work for much of the race-day crew, getting registration check-in materials ready, issuing the race packets with the electronic strips that runners place on their shoes to monitor their race times. On race day the physical set-up crew begins their day at 5:00 a.m., with the materials from a warehouse on the ship channel, moving the start and finish line structures and other support materials to Sam Houston Park and the race course. Then the numerous race volunteers help the thousand runners, including

Mark’s other HBA volunteer activities not only HBA members but competiinclude participating in several Habitat tive runners as well as many residents of home “builds” and the HBA Consumer The Center who participate in the famTask Force. He is ily walk which folalso a past chair of lows the runners on “Mark gives special thanks the HBA Bankruptcy the course. By 11:00 to Constable Abercia and Section, and inforthey’re ready to take mally assists the misit all back down and the Harris County constables sion of the Houston haul it back to the who keep the racers safe Volunteer Lawyers HARRA warehouse. Program in developAbout a month latand block off traffic during ing mentoring and er, the accounting the event, to the HARRA training opportuniis complete and the ties for lawyers volcommittee finds out organization which sanctions unteering to provide the amount raised for the race and includes many some assistance to The Center. At the HBA’s annual spring competitive runners, and to the consumer debtors in bankruptcy. meeting in May, the HBA office, which arranges Busy? You bet. fund-raising results Loving it? No are announced and for many of the critical doubt. the HBA president components of the Fun Run...” presents the check to The Center. In June, Ann D. Zeigler is a the new committee organizes itself for senior consultant with Third Coast Conthe new bar year, and away Mark goes sultants. She is the editor in chief of The again. Houston Lawyer.

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May/June 2010


Time To

Step Up For


By Glenn A. Ballard, Jr.


t’s almost time to step up again for Equal Access to Justice here in Harris County. By working together, we have achieved phenomenal success by doubling the number of pro bono cases handled here in the last five years and by winning national awards in the process. We can now build on this success. As some may recall, I first announced my Equal Access to Justice Program on June 12, 2006 during my year as HBA president. The program was designed to increase the number of cases handled by the Houston Volunteer Lawyers program by increasing the number of cases that Houston law firms would take depending upon their size. We had categories for Solo’s (1-4 attorneys taking 1 case each), Boutiques (5-14 attorneys taking 3 cases each), Small Firms (15-34 attorneys taking 6 cases each), Midsize Firms (35-74 attorneys taking 12 cases each), Intermediate Firms (75-125 attorneys taking 25 cases each) and Large Firms (125 plus attorneys taking 50 cases each). We also established categories for corporations. Forty-five law firms, thirty-five solos and eleven corporations answered the call to become Equal Access to Justice Champions. All of the six largest firms signed on, and I remember Jack Balagia at Exxon Mobil and Cathy Lamboley at Shell leading the way on the corporate side. Prior to initiation of the Equal Access to Justice Program, the HVLP had never topped 1,000 cases handled in a year, but we topped that plateau in the first fiscal year of the program. The pro bono cases handled by HVLP in Harris County have

country. The HBA had never won it before. It was great to receive this kind of recognition for a pro bono program here in Houston. 2005 991 cases handled This June 2010, the Equal Access to Jus2006 1,042 cases handled tice Program will begin its fifth year. All 2007 1,536 cases handled of our Equal Access to Justice Champions 2008 1,756 cases handled 1 2009 2,280 cases handled committed to a five-year term. I hope that everyone will step up again in 2010 and In 2010, the number of cases handled is sign up for another five years. I would projected to top also like to see 2,400. During part icipat ion the course of the in the program Equal Access to grow and exJustice Program, pand so that we the pro bono clican continue the ents served have upward trend in increased from cases handled, 5,840 in 2005 to hours spent and 13,280 in 2009. pro bono clients The volunteer Glenn Ballard, right, and 2008-2009 HBA president, Travis Sales, served by the hours have also accepting the 2008 Harrison Tweed Award from Texas Supreme Court HVLP. Justice Deborah G. Hankinson, chair of the ABA Standing Committee increased from on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense. Many thanks 19,241 in 2005 to to all of those 26,586 in 2009. who have helped Again, these are make the dream extraordinary inof Equal Accreases in these cess to Justice a important numreality here in bers, and they Harris County. are the result, As lawyers, the at least in part, most precious of the increased thing we can part icipat ion give is our time, Volunteer attorneys counsel with a client seeking assistance through generated by the the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, which has been able to more and I greatly apEqual Access to than double the cases it handles through the Equal Access Initiative. preciate the time Justice Program. This is due to the hard that so many have devoted to our Equal work and extra effort of our Equal Access Access to Justice effort. Although we freto Justice Champions. Some lawyers and quently advertise the wonderful contrilaw firms have also become Grand Chambutions made by our Equal Access to Juspions by handling twice the number of tice Champions, a list of those champions cases that they committed to take. For is again published on page 29 of this example, Fulbright & Jaworski has been issue. a Grand Champion several times. The Houston Bar Association has also Glenn A. Ballard, Jr is head of the trial been recognized on a national level for section at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. He the Equal Access to Justice program by served as president of the Houston Bar winning the Harrison Tweed Award, givAssociation in 2006-2007. en by the American Bar Association each 1. The statistics in this article were graciously provided by the year for the best pro bono program in the director of HVLP, David Mandell.

also increased every year since the program’s first year in 2006, as the following chart reflects:

May/June 2010


From Adversity to


Houston Attorneys Find Ways to Turn Grief into Good

Successfully Thinking Pink

Cisselon Nichols Hurd, left, and Lynne Eckels

By Cisselon Nichols Hurd


n October 6, over 500 women will gather at River Oaks Country Club for the 7th Annual Think Pink! Zeta Tau Alpha Breast Cancer Luncheon. It may come as a surprise to some that this event was initially organized by T. Lynne Eckels, a partner at Shook Hardy & Bacon with an active litigation practice. The first luncheon was held in October 2004 with a small group of women in the Tea Room of the Junior League. The luncheon has since blossomed into a sold-out event in the Ballroom of the River Oaks Country Club that has donated more than $140,000 for Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) research. What motivated a successful trial lawyer with a busy schedule to create such an event? Lynne sums it up in just two words, her “personal connection,” and adds that she loves the practice of law, but her practice really didn’t give her the opportunity to give back to the community. This changed in 2003 when a very close friend and sorority sister, Jenee Bobbora, was diagnosed with IBC, an aggressive and deadly form of breast cancer that is fast growing and often mistaken for a rash or an infection. At that time, Lynne had never even heard of this form of cancer, which typically strikes young women in their 20s and 30s and frequently does not show up on mammograms. Lynne and other members of Zeta Tau Alpha wanted desperately to help

likely a direct result of Lynne having a their friend Jenee, who had told them personal connection to IBC and being that she could not find much informaable to convey how devastating the distion about IBC, even on the internet. ease can be. Second, take advantage of Upon learning of the dearth of inforyour employer’s desire to give back to mation regarding IBC, they reached out the community. Like many firms, Shook to M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, which Hardy & Bacon encourages its attorneys is home to the largest clinic in the world to get involved in the community, so her dedicated to the disease. However, in proposal was an easy sell. Still, Lynne 2003 the clinic was still in need of an says has been overwhelmed by the strong outside funding source. Through Lynne’s support she has received from the firm. efforts, Zeta Tau Alpha has become a maHaving achieved jor funding source its initial fund-raisfor the IBC Clinic. “Lynne has received ing goal for the exShe co-chaired the tremendous support from amination room, The luncheon in 2004 Think Pink! Founand served as chair her law firm, and she offers dation is in the midst in 2005 and 2006. the following advice for of another campaign By 2005, the lunthat began in 2009. cheon had doubled lawyers who want to get The campaign’s goal in size, and with its is to establish an ensuccess Zeta Tau their employer’s support for dowed IBC FellowAlpha founded the similar volunteer projects. ship for a physician Think Pink! Foundato devote full-time tion, which donated First, have a goal in mind to research for a $50,000 for the Jenee and create a proposal cure and research for Bobbora Examinatreatment options for tion Room at the IBC that you are comfortable the disease. The IBC Clinic. presenting to the firm.” Fellowship will enIn January 2007, courage outstanding Lynne’s personal young men and women to focus on all connection with IBC became even stronaspects of IBC, so Lynne is very excited ger when her sister-in-law, Katherine about these efforts. Howard, was diagnosed with the disease. She is also excited about the tremenThree months’ prior to Katherine’s diagdous support that the Foundation connosis, she had received a negative mamtinues to receive from members of the mogram and only became aware of her community and businesses. Survivors cancer because her chest became red and who attend the luncheon will receive swollen. Although Katherine lost her a beautiful “Think Pink! Scarf” debattle with the disease in 2008, Lynne is signed by Chloe Dao (winner of “Projvery grateful for the care that Katherine ect Runway”). This is the third year received at M. D. Anderson and cannot that survivors will be honored with the say enough about the wonderful staff. scarf and that is one of the things that Lynne has received tremendous supmakes this event so special. For more port from her law firm, and she offers the information about the 2010 Think Pink! following advice for lawyers who want to Luncheon, visit their website, www. get their employer’s support for similar volunteer projects. First, have a goal in mind and create a proposal that you are comfortable presenting to the firm. She Cisselon Nichols Hurd is senior litigation says Shook Hardy & Bacon has been very counsel at Shell Oil Company in the Litigenerous to the Think Pink! Foundation gation Group where she handles environwith its time, talent and money. This is mental litigation for the Downstream

May/June 2010


nesses. Cisselon has been an avid supporter of the Annual Think Pink! Zeta Tau Alpha Breast Cancer Luncheon since losing one of her closest friends, Drenaye L. Houston, to breast cancer four years ago.

Turning Tragedy into Force for Good

The Nicholas Alexander Higgins Memorial Golf Tournament funds education for future cardiologists and research on pediatric heart disease.

By Pauline E. Higgins


t was a summer night in June 1993 that I will never forget. We lost our twelveyear old son, Nicholas Alexander Hig-

gins. And what’s so special about that? Our family turned our tragedy, the death of our son, into a force for good. When Nicholas died from cardiomyopathy, we grieved endlessly. However, we decided that we could use our experiences from his death to effectively, and indelibly, benefit other children and their families who are experiencing heart disease. Yes, children do die from heart disease, too. On June 27, 1993, at 3:15 a.m., at home alone, I received a phone call informing me that Nicholas had died in his sleep while on summer vacation visiting my family in Toronto, Canada. The cause of Nicholas’ death was cardiomyopathy, a serious disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and does not work as well as it should. There may be multiple causes, including viral infections. Cardiomyopathy is often a silent killer. Nicholas was asymptomatic. Essentially, with this heart condition, the heart literally beats itself to death. The condition usually is not detected until it becomes fatal. Cardiomyopathy has taken the life

of many athletes, such as Hank Gathers and Reginald Lewis of the Boston Celtics. For some unknown reason athletes, and minority athletes in particular, are prone to this disorder. Since golf was a sport that Nicholas loved and played by participating in the city’s Lone Star Junior Golf Program at Hermann Park, our family and friends created the Nicholas Alexander Higgins Memorial Golf Tournament, benefiting Texas Children’s Hospital (“TCH�) Pediatric Cardiology. Each year our goal is to raise $100,000. Tournament proceeds primarily support TCH’s pediatric cardiology and charity care for Heart Center patients, research at Texas Children’s Hospital, and a summer fellowship program for minority pre-medical students from the Houston area. We, through our loss, are helping to make a difference in the lives of young people and families who seek vital and life-saving care at Texas Children’s Hospital. Additionally, our proceeds have benefited Covenant House, providing healthcare for home-












May/June 2010

less children, and St. James School in Third Ward. We could have simply made a personal donation, but we desired an active participation in educating the public and an ongoing contribution to encourage minority students to pursue cardiology, since minority representation in cardiology is very low. The cardiology internships, for which we provide the stipend, are given to inner city and minority premed students to perform research in cardiology toward, hopefully, careers in cardiology medicine. We raise the funds; we have not interfered in the process, and we leave the administration of proceeds and program to TCH. Dr. Antonio R. Mott, former associate in pediatric cardiology at TCH, expressed his gratitude to our family for the “unique opportunity they have given to this very gifted and talented group of people.” “This opportunity would not have happened if it had not been for your kindness and generosity,” Dr. Mott said in a letter addressed to our family. “People choose to honor the lives of loved ones in different ways. We are fortunate that you have chosen to honor Nicholas’ life by investing in dreams. What an incredible and honorable investment. Thanks so much for your support and vision. You have made an incredible difference in the lives of others.” Our sincere and deep thanks to our volunteers and friends who have journeyed with us over these twelve years of the Annual Nicholas Alexander Higgins Memorial Golf Tournament - together we have made a difference and we have planted “trees” under which we may never sit -- thanks from our hearts for your help in saving many little hearts! Our family has done its share of grieving for the loss of Nicholas. But we turned our grief into action to ensure the continuation of research on the “silent killer.” In turning our tragedy into a force for good, we honor Nicholas by using our loss to positively impact the lives of others.

For details about the 2010 Nicholas Alexander Higgins’ Memorial Golf Tournament, contact Junior Higgins at 281-7044855 or Pauline E. Higgins is a graduate of Tulane University School of Law. She has practiced in Houston law firms and corporate legal departments, was Associate General Counsel of JPMorgan Chase; Senior Partner and Chief Diversity Officer of Thompson & Knight LLP; and former

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. She has chaired numerous committees and programs for the Houston Bar Association, including the Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession Committee, where she was instrumental in developing the IL Summer Clerkship Program, and she founded the Transportation Law Section.

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Confronting a Disease to Support Research for a Cure

By John S. Gray or a few moments, consider how you would feel after you just found out that you have multiple sclero-


sis (MS); a dreaded disease that is unpredictable. For most of us, we would experience shock. Some may simply not be able to confront or accept it, experiencing denial and perhaps even anger that it happened to them­—­ “Why me?” Whatever other emotions a person recently diagnosed with such a serious Team Gardere in the 2010 BP MS 150 condition may experience, it will likely include fear—fear of an unfamiliar medical condition and fear of the unknown. Few of us would know what to expect—except


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for perhaps a realization of our worst fears. One thing we would know for certain, however, is that our life was about to change. Illness creates change. Multiple sclerosis creates change. What defines us as individuals is how we adapt to change once the shock and fear wear off. Some would accept their fate, resigning themselves to a disease that will slowly destroy their central nervous system. Others will take on the challenge of their disease, doing everything in their power to confront it and overcome it; leading as an example for all of us—those who have MS and those who don’t. John Pearson’s story and experience is that of a man who accepted his own MS challenge and turned his adversity into an opportunity for community service. John Pearson, an attorney with Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, was diagnosed with MS in the early 1990s. Upon receiving the bad news, John did what many good litigators with years of experience would do—he set out to learn about his disease and to create a plan to minimize

the damage it was doing to his body. With excellent doctors and strong family support, John learned to manage his disease such that for the last 20 years he has been consistently able to function both at home and at work. For most of us, that would be enough. But, John Pearson did more. He became very involved with Houston’s Lone Star Chapter of the National MS Society where he served for ten years as a board member and for two years as chairman of the board. It was during John’s tenure on the board that the Chapter’s main fundraising event—the BP MS 150 annual two-day spring bicycle ride from Houston to Austin—grew to become the premier event of its kind in North America. John Pearson first got involved in the BP MS 150 in 1999 as both a fundraiser and a rider. While John’s MS keeps him from competing with the fast riders, each of the last 11 years has seen him finish at least part of the 180-mile ride surrounded by friends and family. Although John sets no speed records, he definitely sets an example of what is possible for all who are afflicted with MS. He is also an example and inspiration for the attorneys who work with him. John was a founding member of Team Gardere, the firm’s BP MS 150 bicycle team and one of the team’s top fundraisers. John Pearson’s involvement with the MS Society did not end when he stepped down as chair. He recently joined the MS Society’s Fast Forward Cabinet responsible for trying to raise $30 million to support critical MS research initiatives. In addition to his own time, the Pearson family has also dedicated time to the National MS Society. His son, Dunagan Pearson, is a ride ambassador for the Northern California Chapter’s Bike MS

event. Recently the National MS Society inducted John into its National FundRaising Hall of Fame, recognizing the dedication he has displayed in the mission to create a world free of MS. While this is just one man’s story about how an HBA lawyer has dealt with adversity, it is a reminder for all of us how we can turn adversities into opportunities for community service. For information on the BP MS 150, visit For infor-

mation on the Lone Star Chapter of the National MS Society, visit http://www. index.aspx. John S. Gray is a partner in Gardere Wynne Sewell’s environmental practice group, where he co-chairs the firm’s Climate Change Task Force, and he is active as a council member for the HBA’s Environmental Law Section. He is an associate editor for The Houston Lawyer.

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May/June 2010


Bracewell & Giuliani Hosts

Minute Mentoring Program


By Carrin F. Patman and Catherine Ozdogan

uture women leaders from around Hous-

ton gained unique perspectives and advice from some of the country’s most successful women in business, law, journalism and politics at a Minute Mentoring event, organized and hosted by Bracewell & Giuliani LLP at its downtown Houston office on February 5, 2010. Attendees of this unique workshop benefited from the knowledge and career advice of women such as event co-found-

The Houston event builds on the sucers Dana Perino, former white house cess of the first Minute Mentoring event, spokesperson for president George W. Bush; Dee Martin, partner, Bracewell & Giuliani; and former U.S. Congresswoman Susan Molinari, now a senior principal with Bracewell & Giuliani. Perino teamed up with Martin and Molinari to create Minute Mentoring, a round robin-style Mark Evans, managing partner, Bracewell & Giuliani; Mrs. Barbara Bush; and Dana forum in which ac- Perino (mentor), co-founder, Minute Mentoring complished female professionals share held at Bracewell & Giuliani’s Washingtheir experiences with their young proton, DC office in November 2009. The fessional counterparts during rapid-fire firm plans to host a similar event at its meetings. New York office and to expand the pro“Mentoring opportunities for young gram to other cities across the country. women are too few and far between,” In her opening remarks to the assembly, said Perino. “Supply can’t keep up with Perino noted that through the program demand. Minute Mentoring is a proWeb site,, gram that brings together women of exshe has received inquiries from all over ceptional accomplishment with younger the world about hosting similar events. women anxious to follow in their footIn addition to Perino, Martin and Mosteps.” linari, Houston mentors included political leaders U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, 18th District of Texas and Annise Parker, mayor, City of Houston; as well as business leaders Carolyn Benton Aiman, senior corporate counsel, Shell Oil Company; Jean Becker, chief of staff to Former President George H.W. Bush; MiDeborah Cannon (mentor), president and CEO, Houston Zoo; Elana Robciuc (mentee), Societe Generale; and Stephanie Song, partner, Bracewell & chelle Bleiberg, director, Giuliani Burson-Marsteller Public Affairs; Deborah M. Cannon, presi“We’ve come a long way in the workdent and CEO, Houston Zoo; Kimberly force, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still Allen Dang, chief financial officer and have to overcome more hurdles—lots of vice president, investor relations, Kindthem,” said Molinari. “The mentors parer Morgan; Mary Flood, legal reporter, ticipating today have broken barriers Houston Chronicle; Victoria M. Garcia, to be successful, and they’re anxious to partner, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP; Laushare their experiences with those who ra Goldberg, business editor, Houston will benefit,” added Molinari.

May/June 2010


Chronicle; Melody Meyer, president, The event began with an address by Chevron Energy Technology Company; former first lady Barbara Bush, and inRoberta Ness, president, University of cluded her 10 rules to live by, includTexas Health Science Center at Houston; ing: “Don’t take yourself too seriously Roxann S. Neumann, or anything too persenior vice president sonally,” and “Don’t “The event began corporate affairs, Silbe afraid to take with an address by ver Eagle Distribuchances—you never tors, L.P.; Cisselon know where they’ll former first lady Nichols Hurd, senior take you.” In reBarbara Bush, and litigation counsel, marks interlaced included her 10 rules to Shell Oil Company; with a wry humor, Carrin F. Patman, Bush spoke elolive by, including: partner, Bracewell & quently of finding “Don’t take yourself too Giuliani LLP; Charone’s passion and lene A. Ripley, senior showing kindness seriously or anything too vice president and to others. The simpersonally,” and “Don’t be corporate counsel, ple truths that stand Linn Energy, LLC; the test of time took afraid to take chances— Jennifer L. Vogel, seon a whole new resoyou never know where nior vice president, nance when spoken they’ll take you...” general counsel, secby a woman who retary and chief comhas seen and lived pliance officer, Continental Airlines; an extraordinary life in her 84 years. and Jennifer M. Weston, partner, BraceThis is the goal of Minute Mentoring— well & Giuliani LLP. women helping women by sharing in-

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formation, life experiences and advice, with the hope that the knowledge will continue to be passed along to friends and colleagues. After opening remarks, mentees and mentors convened in small groups in designated meeting rooms, where they shared experiences and best practices regarding career and leadership goals. Mentees were allowed to rotate to new mentors every ten minutes. Mentees were provided with pre-printed books of mentor biographies with space on each page for the purpose of writing down the tips passed along in the sessions. At the conclusion of the speed rounds, mentees and mentors gathered together again for cocktails and continued networking. Perhaps today’s mentees will become tomorrow’s mentors. In any case, for those in attendance, it felt like the beginning of something big. Carrin F. Patman and Catherine Ozdogan are partners in the Houston office of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

Equal Access


What does it take to become an “Equal Access Champion”? The firms and corporations listed below have signed 5-year commitment forms that indicate they will uphold a pledge to provide representation in a certain number of cases each year, based on the number of attorneys in the firm or legal department. The goal is to provide pro bono representation in at least 1,500 cases through the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program each year, and to increase that goal each year. For more information contact Kay Sim at (713) 759-1133.

Large Firm Champions Andrews Kurth LLP Baker Botts L.L.P. Bracewell & Giuliani LLP Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. Corporate Champions Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Baker Hughes Incorporated BP CenterPoint Energy, Inc. ConocoPhillips Continental Airlines, Inc. ExxonMobil Corporation Marathon Oil Company Port of Houston Authority Rosetta Resources Inc. Shell Oil Company Waste Management, Inc. Intermediate Firm Champions Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, L.L.P. Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. King & Spalding Thompson & Knight LLP Mid-Size Firm Champions Adams & Reese LLP Baker & Hostetler LLP Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Martin Greenberg Traurig, LLP Howrey LLP Jackson Walker L.L.P. Jones Day Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Porter & Hedges, L.L.P. Strasburger & Price, L.L.P. Susman Godfrey LLP Weil, Gotshal & Manges Winstead PC Small Firm Champions Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto and Friend Beck, Redden & Secrest, L.L.P. Doyle, Restrepo, Harvin & Robbins, L.L.P. Gibbs & Bruns LLP Hays, McConn, Rice & Pickering, P.C. Hirsch & Westheimer, P.C. Hughes Watters Askanase LLP Johnson DeLuca Kennedy & Kurisky, P.C. Kroger Frisby Schwartz, Junell, Greenberg & Oathout, L.L.P Shook Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P. Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski & Zuber, P.C. Yetter Warden & Coleman LLP Boutique Firm Champions Abrams Scott & Bickley, L.L.P. Coane & Associates Connelly • Baker • Wotring LLP Edison, McDowell & Hetherington LLP Fullenweider Wilhite PC Funderburk & Funderburk, L.L.P. Hicks Thomas LLP Jenkins & Kamin, L.L.P. Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown, L.L.P. Ogden, Gibson, Broocks, Longoria & Hall, L.L.P. Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P. Strong Pipkin Bissell & Ledyard, L.L.P. Wilson, Cribbs & Goren, P.C.

Solo Champions Law Office of O. Elaine Archie Basilio & Associates Peter J. Bennett Bernard Bolanos PC Fatima Breland Law Office of Fran Brochstein Law Office of Barbara Calderon Law Office of Robbie Gail Charette De la Rosa & Chaumette Papa Dieye Frye & Cantu, PLLC Fuqua & Associates Law Office of David R. Garver Terry L. Hart Law Offices of James and Stagg, PLLC Katine & Nechman L.L.P. The Keaton Law Firm, PLLC Law Office of Kelly G. Kinto Clinton F. Lawson Gregory S. Lindley Law Office of Maria S. Lowry Martin R. G. Marasigan Law Offices The Law Office of Evangeline Mitchell, PLLC The Montalvo Law Firm Morley & Morley, P.C. Bertrand C. Moser Pilgrim Law Office Robert E. Price W. Thomas (Tommy) Proctor Gwen E. Richard Law Offices of Judy Ritts Cindi L. Robison Scardino & Fazel Shortt & Nguyen, P.C. Sadler Law Firm Jeff Skarda Teal & Associates Tindall & England, P.C. Diane C. Treich Norma Levine Trusch

2nd harris county bench bar pro bono awards

T Bench 2nd Harris County

he Harris County judiciary, in conjunction

with the Harris County

Bar Pro Bono Awards

Presented May 10

bar, presented the second annual Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards to law firms, corporate legal departments and an individual in a special ceremony on May 10 at the Harris County Civil Courthouse. The keynote speaker was Justice Jane Bland of the First Court of Appeals.

The awards program was established to recognize outstanding pro bono service through local legal service providers, and to encourage law firms, corporate legal departments and individual attorneys to volunteer direct legal services to low-income Harris County residents. A committee of seven judges and five at-

torneys selected the recipients in five self-nominated categories. This year, the selection committee added a new category for small corporate legal departments. Judges presented the following awards for outstanding service: From left: Karen Lukin of Marathon Oil Corporation, Large Corporation Winner; Glenn Ballard and Marcy Kurtz of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, Large Firm • Large Firm – Winner; Judith Ann Ritts, Individual Attorney Winner; Norman Ewart of Rosetta Resources, Inc., Small Corporation Winner; HBA President Barrett Reasoner; Administrative Judge Tad Halbach; Keynote Speaker Justice Jane Bland; Bill Jackson of Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs, PC, Small Firm Winner; Bracewell & and Kathy Patrick of Gibbs & Bruns LLP, Mid-size Firm Winner. Giuliani LLP tions. With a free lawyer, the law of supThen comes Monday morning. There • Mid-size Firm – Gibbs & Bruns LLP ply and demand does not operate, and is a feeling of “What have I done?” You • Small Firm – Jackson Gilmour & some days you field far too many phone run a law department at a big company. Dobbs, PC calls, and she is looking for answers that Like all companies right now, manage• Large Corporation – Marathon Oil have no legal solution. Her worries bement is not feeling flush. The powers Company come yours, and her sleepless nights are that be want your department to do more • Small Corporation – Rosetta occasionally contagious. As Stan Schwork with fewer people, and cost-cutting Resources, Inc. neider recently described it, you feel the is in the air. Or you work at a law firm. • Individual – Judith Ann Ritts of “pain of caring.” And the crush of your Goodness knows, now is not the time to the Law Office of Judy Ritts paying work and that little league coachcommit your lawyers to more unbillable Each year, the award winners names ing job you took on are stress enough. work when everyone is scrambling to will be featured on permanent plaques But there is the inspiration you find find work that pays. Or you are a solo, in the lobbies of the Civil Courthouse, in working for her, and, through her, for and everyone from your paralegal to the Criminal Justice Center, Family Law the common good. Your work is life-aflight company depends on you to pay the Center and Juvenile Justice Center in fecting: it addresses basic human needs. bills at the end of the month. You ruedowntown Houston. Shelter. Marital relationships. Parenting. fully walk into a colleague’s office and Children. Liberty. The relationship is explain what you have done. He wryly personal, and it is intense. This makes looks up and says, “Well, good luck with it deeply satisfying. With this legal work that.” But underneath the humor, he unRemarks of Justice Jane Bland more than any other kind, you recognize derstands that he has just become part Keynote Speaker, Harris County Bench the dignity of the human person. Inside, of your team. Bar Pro Bono Awards you cannot feel more alive. The giver’s You meet your client. She needs you. In a weak moment, you said, “yes.” The high is like a runner’s high: potent, and Not a website, not an unending menu call came on a Friday afternoon, on a overcoming any aches or bumps in the of voicemails to nowhere. She needs a beautiful spring day, and you were feelroad that hit you along the way. listener. An expert. One who entertains ing harmonious with the world. Or the The people in this room know this office visits, and even makes house calls. person on the other end of the line was feeling. It crept up on you, and filled you She has a problem, and she is looking to someone that you just could not say with the energy and the determination you to settle her affairs, to make sense of “no” to—after all, he does so much for you needed to put your effort on the line the legal trouble that the messy business our profession himself. As happens all for these most important of clients. You, of life has thrust her into. You can help. too often with the people gathered here, in turn, invigorate our profession. This The fact that you have a bar card uniqueyour heart simply overruled your head, we need. You are the Duke Blue Devils ly qualifies you to offer this kind of help. and you found yourself nodding. Yes, this year. Your weak moment was really You are not an expert in family law, or you will take the case. Yes, you will take one shining moment. On behalf of my in veteran’s affairs, or in elder care law, it “for the good,” which in Latin is “pro colleagues in the judiciary, I thank you so it is going to involve some work and bono.” And all of you thought it meant for what you have done. May your future some phone calls to other lawyers to “for free.” It does not. Nothing in life is legal career be filled with more weak seek their counsel. She is worth it. free. No, you took that call, and you said moments. The matter is not without its frustra“yes,” and you did it “for good.”

In a Weak Moment

May/June 2010


25th John J. Eikenburg Law Week Fun Run Raises Nearly $65,000 for The Center

To commemorate the 25th year, the HBA invited all former race chairs and co-chairs to participate. Pictured at the race are: front row, from left, Wesley Ward, Kara Philbin and Richard McGee. Second row from left: Mark Wege, Tom Stilwell, Scott Michelman, Dora Martinez, Shayne Newell, Kirk Worley, Phillip Sampson and Justice Jeff Brown. Top row: David Ratchford, Lori Aylett and John Shepperd.


May/June 2010

25th john j. eikenburg law week fun run


he 25th John J. Eikenburg Law Week Fun Run, held March 27t h i n S a m Houston Park, raised a record $64,815.61 for The Center, a nonprofit agency that provides opportunities that promote individual choice, personal growth and community involvement for persons with developmental disabilities and those needing similar services, so they may reach their maximum potential. This milestone 25-year event brings the total to nearly $881,000 in contributions to The Center over the life of the race. Over 1,000 walkers and runners participated in the event. Named after the late former HBA president who founded the race in 1985, the John J. Eikenburg Law Week Fun Run is truly a team effort that involves many months of planning and coordination. Race directors were Kara Stauffer Philbin of KBR and Wesley R. Ward of Watt, Beckworth, Thompson & Henneman, L.L.P. Honorary co-chairs were Marcy Kurtz of Bracewell & Giuliani and Richard McGee of Duke Energy Corporation, both longtime supporters and former chairs of the Fun Run. The 2009-2010 Fun Run Committee included Antroy Arreola, Marissa Arrecia, Eduardo Aviles, Brian Ayson, Janet Beck, Elizabeth Vinluan Bernal, John Black, Peter Blomquist, Hon. Jeff Brown, Blair Burnside, Tonja De Sloover, Clark Edgecomb, Evelin Molina, Danielle Harsany, Robert Jacobson, Todd Lonergan, Dora Martinez, Scott Michelman, David Moncure, Joshua Nix, John Shepperd, Kathrine Silver, Iain Simpson, Tom Stilwell, Ryan Tarkington, Sue Ann Tompkins, Caitlin Tucker, Christopher Watt, Mark Wege, Marshall White, Cheryl Worley and Kirk Worley.

Platinum Sponsor South Texas College of Law

Gold Sponsors

Runners take off in the 8K race

Baker Botts L.L.P. Exxon Mobil Corporation Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Houston Bar Association Auxiliary King & Spalding LLP Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P. Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

Silver Sponsors

Clients from The Center enjoyed participating in the one-mile family walk

HBA President Barrett Reasoner welcomes runners to the post-race festivities

Tony Lopez, winner of the Male 80+ Division

3B Allen & Oldham, LLP Amicus Search Group Bench Reporting Bracewell & Giuliani LLP CD Language Solutions Court Room Concepts Daegis De la Rosa & Chaumette Donovan & Watkins Doug & Hon. Jane Bland Haynes and Boone, LLP Houston Lawyer Referral Service Hughes Watters Askanase Jackson Walker LLP Johnson, Trent, West & Taylor, L.L.P. Legal Directories Publishing Co. Nell McCallum & Associates, Inc. Reynolds, Frizzell, Black, Doyle, Allen & Oldham LLP Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP Smith, Murdaugh, Little & Bonham L.L.P. Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, LLP US Legal Support Watt Beckworth Thompson & Henneman, L.L.P.

Bronze Sponsors

Members of the Eikenburg Family are out in full force every year to support the race.

Several Special Olympics athletes joined the race to show their support for residents of The Center.

Hon. Jeff Brown Equivalent Data Don Fizer Danielle Harsany HBA ADR Section Keais, Inc. Todd Lonergan

continue... May/June 2010


Bronze Sponsors, continued...

Monty Partners Kara Stauffer Philbin Paul A. Philbin & Associates Iain Simpson Brian Stine/Firehouse Copy Service Wesley R. Ward

25 for 25 Those listed below comprise a special category of contributors who registered at least 25 people for the 25th John J. Eikenburg Law Week Fun Run. Benny Agosto, Jr. David A. Chaumette Tonja De Sloover and Kara Philbin Hasley Scarano, L.L.P. Rosa Herst Houston Lawyer Referral Service David Moncure Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP Barrett H. Reasoner Kay Sim Kirk L. Worley

Brian Cohen, president of The Center’s Board of Governors, thanked participants for their contributions. Behind him is Lee Jolly, longtime emcee for the Fun Run.

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May/June 2010

The Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program (TLAP) is a confidential crisis counseling and referral program that helps Texas lawyers, law students and judges who are challenged by substance use and other mental health disorders, including clinical depression, anxiety, and stress related concerns. TLAP has teamed up with Houston Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) to offer a support group for lawyers with substance use issues that meets Tuesday at noon at 303 Jackson Hill Street, Houston, Texas. TLAP and local volunteers have also joined together to form the Houston Lawyers’ Forum on Depression, which meets on the first Monday of every month from 6-8 pm. This group provides participants with a light dinner, presentations by local mental health professionals and peer support. For more information, please call TLAP at

1-800-343-8527 2.25” x 5” • Houston Bar Association Ad

OTHER IMPORTANT SUPPORTERS Printing of Race Brochures Bowne of Houston

Security Constable Jack Abercia and the staff from Precinct 1

Master of Ceremonies Lee Jolly

Refreshments Faust Distributing Coca-Cola New York Bagel Shop Oak Farm Dairy Watermill Express Whole Foods Market – Bellaire

Grand Prize The Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Door Prizes Alley Theatre

Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino, Biloxi Bikram Hot Yoga Bistro Le Cep Carmelo’s Ristorante Children’s Museum of Houston Cookies By Design Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Doubletree Hotel Finish Strong Sports Fit Athletic Club Houston Aeros Houston Dynamo James Coney Island Main Street Theatre The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Pete’s Fine Meats Kay Sim Table 7 Bistro Taste of Texas Theatre Under the Stars Treebeard’s Mark Wege Cheryl Worley

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May/June 2010


Law Week Celebrates 21st Century Challenges


n 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed the first Law Day, May 1, as “a day of national dedication to the principle of government under law.” Since then, the American Bar Association has established an annual theme for Law Day and encouraged bar associations and other organizations across the nation to develop programs that educate people about the importance of the rule of law. The theme for Law Day 2010 was “Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions and Emerging Challenges.” The theme focused on the legal profession at a transformative stage in its history. Lawyers live and work in a borderless world. Technologies used by lawyers and their clients, and the cross-nature of today’s business, fuel globalization and challenge our place-based system of ethics and professional regulation. This year’s Law

Day theme provided an opportunity to reflect on transformations in the legal profession and the greater society in which lawyers practice. Each year the HBA Law Week Committee plans numerous educational and public service events that celebrate Law Day and its theme. The HBA Law Week Committee was co-chaired by Justice Kem Frost of the 14th Court of Appeals and Warren W. Harris of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. Committee members were Lauren Farr Barker, Josh Nathaniel Bowlin, Gregory V. Brown, J. Shannon Cavers, James Patrick Cohoon, Kristen A. Davenport, Mark Edward Harrington, Melissa L. Hotze, Billy Bruce Johnson, Jr., Jeffrey L. Oldham, Brendetta A. Scott, Ruth Ellen Shapiro, Anastassios Triantaphyllis and Caitlin M. Tucker.

Nearly 2,000 new citizens were naturalized at a ceremony on April 7 at M.O. Campbell Center. U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes, right, presided, and HBA President Barrett Reasoner welcomed the new citizens. A number of members of the Armed Forces became naturalized citizens during the ceremony. 36

May/June 2010

To commemorate Law Day, on April 27, Administrative Judge Tad Halbach, District Clerk Loren Jackson and HBA President Barrett Reasoner distributed copies of the Constitution to everyone who reported for jury duty at the Harris County Jury Assembly Room.

The HBA sponsored “Dialogues on Law in the 21st Century” in ten high schools in the Houston area. Teams of attorneys and judges gave interactive presentations on one of three topics: how would you reform our government?; music downloading and copyright issues; and piracy and the law. [top] U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore and Gordon Quan of Foster Quan at Austin High School. [bottom] Judge Mike Engelhart of the 151st District Court, left, and Brent Benoit of Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell at Worthing High School.

HBA volunteers read the book, O Say, Can You See?: America’s Symbols, Landmarks and Inspiring Words, to 196 classes in nearly 100 in elementary schools throughout the area, then donated the books to the schools. Dana Karni-Ilouz of the Karni Law Firm reads to students at Robert Beren Academy.

The winners of the HBA Law Day Poster and Essay contests were honored at the HYLA Law Day Luncheon, along with their parents and teachers. Pictured from left, Blake Pratz and Jo Simmons of The Pratz Simmons Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, who sponsored cash prizes for the contest winners; Amy Champagne, teacher at St. Anne’s School; Mr. and Mrs. Ruffeno; Ramsey Ruffeno, a student at St. Anne’s who won first place in the K-3rd Grade Poster Contest; Law Week Co-chair Justice Kem Frost; William Beresford, a student at Cypress Lakes High School, who won first place in the Essay Contest; Marsha Molden, teacher at Cypress Lakes High School; and Mr. and Mrs. Beresford. They are pictured with the winning poster from the 4th-8th Grade Poster Contest created by Aylin Gonzales of Woodland Acres Middle School, who was unable to attend.

HBA Law Week Co-chairs Warren Harris of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP and Justice Kem Thompson Frost of the 14th Court of Appeals.

May/June 2010


First Place: Houston Bar Association Law Day Essay Contest

The HYLA Liberty Bell Award, given to a non-attorney, was presented to Kay Sim, executive director of the HBA, for her outstanding contributions to legal education and legal services in the community. She is pictured at the HYLA luncheon with her daughter, Stacey Sim Walker of Dallas.

Law in the 21st Century: New Media, New Challenges for Teens By William Beresford, Cypress Lakes High School

The HYLA honored two members with the Woodrow Seals Outstanding Young Lawyer of Houston Award – Julie Baumgarten Pradel, left, of The Williams Companies, and Gindi Vincent Eckel of Pilsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, right, shown here with Tanya Garrison, immediate past president of HYLA.

Diana Perez Gomez, left, and Justice Kem Frost work with elementary and middle school students during a Law Week Poster Workshop, co-sponsored with the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston and the Hispanic Bar Association.


May/June 2010

“Ding!” Another new text message emerges on Drew’s phone like sharp fangs gnawing out of a venomous snake’s gums; a sin seemingly harmless, but growing to become poisonous and life altering. It takes awhile to load because it is not an everyday text message, but a picture message. And not just any regular picture message either. Drew has been harassing girls to send him pictures of themselves in inappropriate ways and antagonizing them to talk sexually to him. “It can’t hurt anything,” Drew things to himself. “It’s just a text message.” In fact, Drew is very wrong. Boys and girls all over the world are getting fined for a new issue known as “sexting.” Excitement and hormones run through the teenage Drew’s body like a drug running through an addict’s veins as the picture loads on the little, bright screen. “Promise me u will delete it…” Another text message appears on Drew’s phone from the harassed, helpless girl. “Of course i will!! u dont trust me?” Drew’s lies consume and poison the young girl’s mind as she trusts him with her body. The power of lust and “teenage-boy-ism” overwhelm Drew while he sits in his bedroom digitally, sexually harassing the girl. This is the beginning of a long night of “fun” for Drew, but will eventually lead to a life-changing mistake. Drew wakes up the next morning feeling like a million dollars from his “successful” night. With a grin the size of Texas on his face, he drives to school with his esteem at its highest. He did not delete any of the things the girl had sent him since he wanted to save them and show them to his friends. The school slowly comes into view as Drew races to his friends. The excitement in his heart is still pumping from the pictures and messages on his phone as he walks past familiar girls in the hallway at school. The

girls give him a look of disgust as he winks and whistles at them as he walks to the group of guys at the end of the walkway. “How many did you get last night Drew?! Drew’s friend Blake stands almost impatiently, bouncing on his toes and waving him over to the group of guys. “Cause I got four from Christine.” Blake’s evil smile grows across his face like a deadly cancer. As Drew walks over to the guys, he passes a little pink sign on the wall with a cell phone on it. The paper says “NO ELECTRONICS ALLOWED. IF SEEN, IT WILL BE CONFISCATED. IF CONFISCATED, THE AUTHORITY WHO HAS TAKEN THE PHONE HAS THE RIGHT TO GO THROUGH THE PHONE SINCE NOW IT IS CONSIDERED TO BE IN THEIR POSSESSION. AVOID THE RISK AND PUT IT AWAY.” Drew laughs at the sign and continues on his march to his friends. “I got a couple from Jessica,” Drew whispers to the guys. A loud roar of cheers thunders from the gang of boys. Drew pulls out his phone to show his friends the pictures Jessica sent him the night before. As soon as he flips his phone open, a large hand grabs the phone with a voice saying, “I’ll take that.” Mr. Woods was standing there with Drew’s phone in his hand. Drew’s heart stops in its tracks as he remembered he didn’t delete any of his collection he collected last night. “Mr. Drew! Why this should be entertaining to see what you’ve got in here!” shouts Mr. Woods as he taps the little pink sign that Drew laughed at earlier. Sweat breaks on Drew’s face as his hair turns into a wet mop. Regret and guilt swell throughout Drew’s head like a bee sting. All Drew can do now is wait… “Andrew Brian, please report to Mr. Woods’ office immediately.” The voice of the AP Mrs. Parkinson booms into Drew’s fourth period algebra class. Drew’s heart races as he gets out of his chair and makes his way to Mr. Woods’ office. Drew looks through the window to see his mom and dad standing there with terror across their faces. The next day, a letter comes from the courthouse telling Drew that he will be spending eight weeks in juvenile detention and he will be paying a very high fine. Drew’s full academic and baseball scholarships have been turned away also. These are consequences that Drew never knew he would come close to facing, but reality finally has caught up with him. Sexting, a seemingly innocent flirtation tool, now comes out to face the truth.

10 Reasons to join the HBA • Meet your MCLE requirements through 80+ hours of FREE CLE and 120+ hours of discounted online CLE programming each year • Support your profession and community • Professional networking opportunities. • Get to know the local judiciary • Pro Bono opportunities • Stay current on educational programs and events through HBA publications • Learn to lead through committee participation • HBA offers the right tools for your practice • Opportunities to participate in over 35 community programs • Partnership discounts at local venues and vendors

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May/June 2010


Media Reviews

COMMERCIAL FRAUD MANUAL Edited by Bruce Harwood American Bankruptcy Institute 149 pp., paperback, $35 (ABI members) / $55 (non-members). ISBN 978-0-9824026-4-1


The Houston Lawyer

Reviewed By Ann D. Zeigler f course you already knew this: Section 1702 of the Texas Occupations Code requires anyone conducting evidence collections, digital forensics, evidence analysis, and related activities for use before a court, board, officer, or investigating committee to be licensed. This does not mean a law license. It means a forensic investigator’s license. Your nearby document copy service probably does not meet this requirement, regardless of what their sales rep tells you. There are both misdemeanor and felony penalties for the unlicensed collection service, and for the person who hires it. So, what are you going to do about those hard drives you know are full of good evidence showing that your client’s employee committed fraud? This compact guide to fraud investigation is written for lawyers and other professionals to assist their clients in discovering and controlling fraud within a business—and doing it in a way that results in admissible evidence. The manual’s first chapter is a grand tour of fraud schemes and how to spot them. Chapter 2 is the how-to of forensic investigation, including how to avoid making great evidence inadmissible by violating Section 1702 and other similar laws. Chapter 3 is a detailed discussion of computer forensics, including how to approach many different sources of electronic data, and what “metadata” should mean


May/June 2010

to you even if you never get near a commercial fraud in your entire career. Chapter 4 is a detailed discussion of organizing the various interested parties in response to indications of fraud, including use of bankruptcy trustees and receiverships. Chapter 5 discusses cross-border fraud schemes and how to approach recovery of transferred assets from various favored off-shore jurisdictions. This is where you learn what you need to know about international evidence gathering, Mareva injunctions, and other actions. Chapter 6 is a summary of four of 2009’s great frauds— Madoff, Stanford, Dreier and Petters—and the actions that have been taken to deal with each of them. This small volume is your quick resource when you get the call from your corporate client, the one that starts, “I think something screwy is going on here.” Don’t be without it. Ann D. Zeigler is a senior consultant with Third Coast Consultants. She is the editor in chief of The Houston Lawyer.



Reviewed By Nicole Sain he Lawyer’s Guide to Finding Success in Any Job Market is an aptly named guide book. It is straightforward in its approach, logically laid out, and full of information as well as directions for finding additional information. Hermann

focuses on areas of law that he believes are either up and coming or ripe with opportunity for growth due to the recent economic turmoil experienced in the United States. He takes into account social, political, and economic factors in his suggested areas of exploration. His suggestions make both logical and intuitive sense, and for an attorney who is not absolutely wedded to his or her current practice, they seem to be worth investigating. The advice also seems valuable for an attorney who has a wide practice range and is looking to expand, or an attorney just out of law school. The book, however, does not well address the problems that an experienced practitioner might face if he or she has recently lost a job due to the economy or similar reason because such a person may not be in a position to learn a new area of law in order to take advantage of the opportunities that Hermann sees and sets out in this book. While the book is not specifically geared toward them, beginning lawyers, who have fewer socioeconomic constraints impeding exploration and change, may have an easier time taking advantage of Hermann’s advice. Nonetheless, the book is helpful for anyone wanting to expand into a new area of law. Nicole Sain is a partner at OSTROM/Sain, LLP, a boutique focusing on probate litigation and estate planning. She is a member of The Houston Lawyer editorial board.


Media Reviews

FOR AMAZING SUCCESS By Jay Jessup & Maggie Jessup Sutton Hart Press, 2010


Reviewed By N. Jill Yaziji emember... that every fame seeker needs a story because to the public and in the media it’s the story that sells; not the person.” Does this mantra by Jay Jessup and Maggie Jessup, authors of Fame 101, sound familiar to lawyers? The answer is most likely a “yes.” Indeed, it is remarkably similar to Jim Perdue’s message in his bestseller on effective advocacy: Winning with Stories: Using the Narrative to Persuade in Trials. Perdue states that “a trial is not a debate; it’s a contest of stories. The strongest … most persuasive, most inspiring story will win. Juries pick the story they want to win; they don’t pick the stack of facts they want to win….” Perdue’s mention is apropos in this context: as a lawyer with not just astounding professional and financial success, but also bestselling books, media presence, a professional following, and Texas Super Lawyers accolades to spare, he is the definition of a famed professional with a powerful personal brand the authors advocate. Fame 101 is not about the professionally famous having extraordinary talents and striking it big with serendipity. Quite the opposite: The authors, both publicists and marketing strategists with A-list clients, argue that fame is a formula anchored in the know-how of personal branding, fueled by publicity, disseminated by a platform of synergy, and enhanced by personal evolution. Since fame is a formula, we all are equally able to learn it and reap the benefits. Most importantly for a young, driven lawyer, this formula can yield tan-

gible results within a year and with “little or no money.” A skeptical reader, as lawyers mostly are, is tempted to quickly set aside such claims to fame and bury herself in an imminent discovery battle or approaching trial date. But the authors convincingly chronicle how famous professionals have built financial empires on the power of their brand by following these steps. From Mother Teresa to Joel Osteen, and from Martha Stewart to the gardener with bestselling books and a TV show, this formula works every time. To achieve fame, one must reach a wide audience and do so with a well-thought out message about what makes one’s brand special, authentic, stand out. Publicity is the catalyst for fame and it’s “what makes everything else work to its maximum effect.” The good news is that to achieve it one does not have to spend six figures monthly on advertising. Widely available social media is the vehicle. One must also participate in social media, over an extended period of time, to understand its power and build a following in it. Hence, a brief bio and contact info on LinkedIn by itself won’t do for lawyers. Likewise, while professional websites are omnipresent, understanding Internet geography and search engines can make the difference between prominence and mediocrity by simply enhancing the footprint of one’s website, and hence one’s brand. How to accomplish all this and still meet the discovery deadline? By synergizing your brand efforts: A well-written speech for a Texas Bar seminar can turn into a publication and, with a link on your website, also develop into a blog. Moreover, a powerful personal brand translates into material gains for the lawyer’s clients as well, since powerful branding lends immediate credibility to one’s message. At a time when economic realities have made it hard for young, talented lawyers to find employment and for seasoned ones to keep it, Fame 101 both inspires read-

ers and offers practical tips for the driven, persistent professional. N. Jill Yaziji is the principal of Yaziji Law Firm, specializing in business litigation and personal injury. She is a member of the The Houston Lawyer editorial board.

BLACK WATER RISING By Attica Locke HarperCollins, 2009


Reviewed Judy L. Ney uspense, legal action, civil rights, and Houston, Texas – this thriller combines all the elements that appeal to all readers of fiction. Author Locke balances the struggles and ambitions of a young African-American attorney, Jay Porter, a solo practitioner trying to provide a home and financial security to his wife and baby, against the reality he faces upon becoming intertwined in the legal system after his Good Samaritan act of coming to the aid of a drowning woman develops into a high-profile murder case. The resulting interplay between all of those factors will cause readers to question their everyday decisions. Author Attica Locke, a native of Houston, brings the city to life during the 1980’s. Places Houstonians recognize, such as Buffalo Bayou, the Fifth Ward, the University of Houston, Gilley’s, the Ship Channel, Market Street, Clinton Boulevard, and Memorial Drive, all come to life through her descriptions of Houston at a time of growth when oil was king and urban plight was only a neighborhood away. All Houstonians will enjoy the colorful images of the city as the setting of this novel.

May/June 2010


Media Reviews

Even more challenging than being an attorney are the obstacles of racial discrimination that have to be overcome when Porter tries to practice his profession in a growing Texas metropolis with a deep societal divide based on community standing, religion, color, and work status. The plight of racial divide is exemplified with a distinctively modern twist through an account of one of Porter’s cases showing the struggles of the working longshoreman versus the ultra rich petrochemical and oil industries. Strikes, scabs, and beatings are all described as part of the hero’s circle of family acquaintances, and challenges. Author Locke takes us on a rollercoaster ride of life, showing how the dreams of freedom can easily become confused with the quest for money, power, and politics. Ms. Locke is an entertainer in that each page is filled with illusions and pageantry so that the reader does not want the story to stop. Bravo to this new author on her blend of Houston heritage with the ordinary goals of a man who happens to be a lawyer.

The Houston Lawyer

Judy L. Ney is a judge for the TDI-Division of Workers Compensation. She is a member of The Houston Lawyer editorial board.


May/June 2010


U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Most “Constructive” Claims Under the PMPA


By David M. Rodi n March, the United States Supreme Court issued its first-ever decision construing the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (“PMPA”), which was enacted in 1978. Mac’s Shell Serv., Inc. v. Shell Oil Prods. Co., 130 S. Ct. 1251 (2010). In a unanimous ruling, the Court rejected most claims for “constructive termination” and “constructive nonrenewal” under the PMPA. This decision will benefit refiners and marketers who distribute gasoline through franchised dealers by adding certainty to the contract renewal process and limiting franchisees’ ability to assert claims for wrongful termination. The Scope of the PMPA and the Dealers’ “Constructive” Claims The PMPA regulates the termination and nonrenewal of motor fuel franchise agreements. Under the Act, a franchisor may only “terminate” a franchise agreement during its term or “fail to renew” a franchise relationship at the end of the term based on statutorily approved grounds. Franchisees may bring suit in federal court when a franchisor violates the PMPA, and the Act empowers courts to award injunctive relief, actual and punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees. Although the language of the PMPA indicates that Congress intended only to regulate actual terminations and nonrenewals of service station franchises, over the last 30 years some courts have allowed franchisees to pursue claims for “constructive termination” or “constructive nonrenewal.” In Mac’s Shell, a group of Shell-branded service station dealers asserted such constructive claims against Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises LLC, a joint venture company to which Shell assigned the dealers’ franchise agreement in 1998. The plaintiffs asserted that their franchise

agreements had been “constructively terminated” when Motiva ended a longstanding, voluntary rent rebate program that had enabled dealers to reduce their effective monthly rents by increasing their sales of gasoline. The plaintiffs alleged that termination of the rebate program had the effect of raising their actual rent each month—even though their written leases contained a provision setting forth the maximum rent. The plaintiffs also asserted that Motiva had “constructively nonrenewed” their franchise relationships as each dealer’s contract came up for renewal. The plaintiffs argued that Motiva had used bad faith in adopting a new formula for calculating rent, and that the change in formulas was intended to drive the dealers out of business. Testimony at trial indicated that Motiva’s new formula was consistent with prevailing industry practice at the time. Moreover, all of the plaintiffs had signed renewal contracts based on the new formula, although some plaintiffs signed “under protest.” A federal jury in Boston found for the plaintiffs on both the constructive termination and constructive nonrenewal theories. The First Circuit affirmed the judgment on constructive termination, but reversed on the dealers’ constructive nonrenewal claim. “Constructive” Termination Requires an Actual End to One of the Franchise Elements Overturning the judgment with respect to constructive termination, the Supreme Court held that, at the very least, “a franchisee cannot recover for constructive termination under the [PMPA] if the franchisor’s allegedly wrongful conduct did not compel the franchisee to abandon its franchise.” Id. at 1253. Considering both the ordinary and the technical meaning of the word “terminate” in the PMPA, the Court concluded that the “Act is violated only if an agreement for the use of a trademark, purchase of motor fuel, or a lease of prem-


ises is ‘put to an end.’” Id. at 1257. By contrast, “[c]onduct that does not force an end to the franchise... is not prohibited by the Act’s plain terms.” Id. at 1257–58. All of the plaintiffs in Mac’s Shell remained in business through the end of the franchise term or abandoned the franchise for other reasons. Accordingly, the Court concluded that none had been “terminated” within the meaning of the PMPA. Id. at 1262 & n.10. Because that principle was sufficient to resolve the issues before it, the Court reserved for another day Shell and Motiva’s argument that the PMPA does not create a cause of action for “constructive termination” under any circumstances. Id. at 1257 n.4, 1260 n.8. The Court’s holding effectively destroys the ability of franchisees to pursue a claim for constructive termination while remaining in operation of their service stations, as has become increasingly common in some circuits. Moreover, because the Court reserved the issue of whether “constructive” termination claims exist at all, franchisors remain free to advance the argument that no such claim exists under the PMPA. A Franchisee Who Signs Renewal Paper Cannot Claim “Constructive” Nonrenewal On the constructive nonrenewal claim, the Court adopted a bright-line rule that “a franchisee that chooses to accept a renewal agreement cannot thereafter assert a claim for unlawful nonrenewal” under the PMPA, even if the franchisee signs the renewal agreement “under protest.” Id. at 1262, 1263. Where a franchisee signs “under protest,” the Court reasoned, there has been no “failure to renew” the franchise relationship on the part of the franchisor. Therefore, no claim will lie under these circumstances. Id. at 1263–64. This bright-line holding will eliminate a great deal of the confusion that was created by Pro Sales, Inc. v. Texaco USA, 792 F.2d 1394 (9th Cir. 1986) and similar cases, which had allowed dealers to sign renewal agreements “under protest” and thereafter

file suit alleging “constructive” nonrenewal while continuing to operate their stations. The Court’s ruling will reduce franchisees’ ability to manipulate the renewal process by trying to have things both ways, simultaneously challenging renewal terms in court while proceeding to operate under them. Franchisors will benefit greatly from this increased certainty in the statutory renewal process. David M. Rodi is a partner at Baker Botts L.L.P., who practices in the areas of antitrust and energy litigation. Along with cocounsel, Baker Botts represented Shell and Motiva in the appeal of the Mac’s Shell case.

On Credit Card Cons Beware:

Your Sentence May Be Based on What Could Have Been Fraudulently Charged, Not What Was Actually Charged


By N. Jill Yaziji n U.S. v. Harris, _____ F.3d _____, No. 08-11121, and U.S. v. William, _____ F.3d _____, No. 08-11151, Harris and Williams pled guilty to bank fraud and conspiracy to use unauthorized access devices, respectively. Both defendants, however, challenged their sentences claiming the district courts wrongly interpreted the Sentencing Guidelines. The Guidelines base the offense level of a crime involving fraud on the amount of loss inflicted by a defendant—the bigger that loss, the longer the sentence. “Loss,” in turn, is defined as “the greater of actual or intended loss.” Therefore, how a court interprets “intended loss” is highly consequential. Indeed, both district courts interpreted the “intended loss” as the aggregate limits of the credit cards compromised instead of the aggregate amounts fraudulently charged to these cards.1 The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district courts’ decisions,2 holding Harris and Williams accountable for the aggregate limits of the compromised

credit cards. However, it provided important caveats on the use of aggregate limits as a measure of intended loss. First, the Court considered whether the “intended loss” calculation by the district courts was a question of law subject to de novo review, or one of fact accorded far more deference by the Court of Appeals. Naturally, both defendants argued it was the former; the Fifth Circuit agreed. It held that while the amount of loss incurred by the victims of fraud was a factual issue, the method of determining that amount involved a question of law. Second, while the Court ultimately agreed with the district courts’ method of determining the amount of intended loss in this instance, it cautioned against using the aggregate limit calculation as a bright-line formula and a misapplication of the holding in U.S. v. Sowels, 998 F.2d 249 (5th Cir. 1993) and other precedents. The inquiry must be specific: Did the defendant control the fraudulently accessed credit cards or did he transfer it to a third party whom he did not control, hence potentially jeopardizing the entire face value of the card? Was the offense complete when he was apprehended, or did he intend to charge the compromised cards further? Since both Harris and Williams transferred the cards to third parties whom they did not control, the Court of Appeals held that the district courts may infer the defendants intended the loss to be the entire aggregate limits of the credit cards and determine their sentences accordingly. N. Jill Yaziji is the Principal of Yaziji Law Firm, a downtown firm specializing in business litigation and personal injury, and a member of the editorial board of The Houston Lawyer. Endnotes

1. In both cases, the difference between the aggregate limits and the aggregate amounts was substantial. In Harris, for instance, the total amount fraudulently charged was less than $12,000, while the total credit limit of all cards fraudulently accessed was almost $90,000. 2. The Court of Appeals affirmed Harris’ sentence in its entirety and affirmed the district court’s determination that Williams should be held accountable for the entire aggregate limit of the credit cards he compromised but reversed his sentencing on procedural grounds.

May/June 2010


A Profile

in professionalism

The Honorable Frank B. Rynd Judge, 309th District Court

P The Houston Lawyer

racticing law is a profession in which we have the privilege of using our mind and our education in our life’s work. Notwithstanding the numerous jokes that poke fun at attorneys, it is my belief that most attorneys are responding to a call to serve others. The word “profession” has its roots in the Latin word professio, which means “public declaration.” When men and women enter religious communities as monks or sisters, the act of taking their vows is referred to as “professing vows.” They are considered professed members of their religious community once they have taken the vows that commit them to their vocation. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines profession as “(a) a calling requiring specialized knowl-


May/June 2010

edge and often long and intensive academic preparation; (b) a principal calling, vocation, or employment; and (c) the whole body of persons engaged in a calling.” Certainly any attorney reading this article recalls the rigorous academic preparation we engaged in in order to become members of this profession. I think the mark of professionalism in an attorney is the knowledge that he or she became an attorney in response to a calling coupled with a desire to serve others. This does not mean that attorneys have professed a vow of poverty! Certainly we can earn good incomes practicing law, but we should not forget that the profession exists to serve others. The beauty of being an attorney is that the profession gives us so many ways to do so while practicing law.


Lawyer by Day, Singer & Flautist on Weekends

W By Ann Zeigler

Elaine McAnelly

hen Elaine McAnelly’s youngest daughter, years as the Executive Sponsor for the Chase Houston Pride Team, Jaci, was an infant, Elaine resumed flute one of the diversity programs of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. lessons she had set aside since 7th grade. Elaine sang for 18 years with the Chase Employee Holiday Soon after, Elaine enrolled at Houston Choir, founded in 1946. Although that choir no longer presCommunity College for a chamber enents daily concerts during the holiday season, the tradition of semble class. The class was challenging holiday singing in Chase’s historic bank lobby continues through but fun, and it got Elaine out of the house and away from her law the Chase Holiday Choir Showcase, with Elaine serving on the firm desk. bank committee that brings area choirs Jaci is now an MBA/JD candidate at such as the HSPVA Madrigal Group and University of Houston. And pianist MarHouston Children’s Chorus to sing in cia Reed, whom Elaine first met in that the lobby during the holidays. HCC chamber ensemble class, has been Of all of her musical commitments, her accompanist on both flute and singElaine cherishes most her regular Suning since 1989. day evening gig at Clarewood House, Diligent lawyer by day, first in private a retirement facility. Elaine began perpractice, now in the litigation group at forming at Clarewood House after a dear JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., she is a neighbor moved there in 1992. Each flautist and singer on nights and week- Elaine McAnelly, left, with longtime accompanist Marcia Reed Sunday, Elaine leads a very lively group ends. Elaine notes with some bemuse- and young singer Alex Jaya. through hymns, spirituals and other inment that she has now been singing and playing the flute in public spirational music, including some singers in their 90’s and 100’s. for more than 20 years. She has an average of 50-60 residents attending most Sundays. She has sung concerts with the Bayou City Women’s Chorus, Elaine occasionally finds herself crooning with one or both of her sister group to the Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston—Bayou City favorite male soloists, ages 94 and 90, or her young “mentee,” boy Performing Arts. She sang the role of Annina in La Traviata in soprano Alex Jaya. 1999 for Opera in the Heights. In addition, Elaine has served for Elaine met Alex at Clarewood House in 2008 when he was persix years on the Board of the Houston Chamber Choir. forming there with Houston Young Artists Concerts. Elaine, wantAnd she has performed variously as character, singer and musiing to encourage Alex’s developing talent, began taking Alex along cian with “Night Court,” the Houston Bar Association’s raucous with her in May 2009 to lessons with voice teacher Carla Hamannual fundraiser, which is now in its 20th year. Elaine fondly mock. Now they both go for vocal coaching on Sundays followed remembers Night Court’s earliest days at Rice University’s Hamby showing his talent at the Sunday night gathering. man Hall, when every voice and instrument was necessary. Night In November 2009, Elaine teamed up with Alex and accompaCourt aficionados may recall Elaine crossing the stage in the renist Marcia, to perform at the UH Law Center 1974 Class Reunion. curring role of Magenta from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, as As a member of the UHLC Law Alumni Board, Elaine founded the well as her flute-playing with the early Night Court Orchestra. UHLC Reunions Committee, which she now co-chairs. Elaine also found the time during 2003-2004 to chair the HBA In addition to the Sunday night hymn singing, for 18 years Bankruptcy Section and to co-found The Honorable Arthur L. Elaine and Marcia have assembled small groups of vocalists (now Moller/David M. Foltz, Jr., American Inn of Court, an organizaincluding Alex) and instrumentalists three to four times per year tion of more than 100 seasoned lawyers that provides monthly to play and sing show tunes, opera, classical and other musical CLE presentations and mentors young lawyers practicing bankfavorites at Clarewood House on Saturday afternoons. ruptcy law. It doesn’t get any better. Elaine currently serves on the HBA Senior Lawyers Committee as well as the HBA AIDS Outreach Committee, and she volunteers Ann Zeigler is a senior consultant with Third Coast Consultants. at Omega House AIDS Hospice. She has also served for the last four She is the editor in chief of The Houston Lawyer.

May/June 2010


placement service


The Houston Bar Association Lawyer Placement Service will assist members by coordinating placement between attorneys and law firms. The service is available to HBA members and provides a convenient process for locating or filling positions. 1. In order to place an ad, attorneys and law firms must complete a registration record. Once registration is complete, your position wanted or available will be registered with the placement service for six months. If at the end of the six-month period you have not found or filled your position, it will be your responsibility to re-register with the service in writing. 2. If you are registered, resumes will be sent out under their assigned code numbers. Once a firm has reviewed the resumes, they are to contact the placement office with the numbers they are interested in pursuing. The placement coordinator will then contact the attorney, give him/her some background information on the inquiring firm, and the attorney will then let the coordinator know if he/she wishes personal information to be released to the firm. This process will insure maximum confidentiality and get the information to the firms and attorneys in the most expedient manner. 3. In order to promote the efficiency of the Houston Lawyer Placement Service. PLEASE NOTIFY THE PLACEMENT COORDINATOR OF ANY POSITION FOUND OR FILLED. 4. To reply for a position available, send a letter to HBA, placement coordinator at the Houston Bar Association, 1300 First City Tower, 1001 Fannin Street, Houston, Texas 77002 or e-mail Brooke Eshleman at Include the code number and a resume for each position. The resume will be forwarded to the firm or company. Your resume will not be sent to your previous or current employers. PLACEMENT DEADLINES Jan. 1 Jan./Feb. Issue Mar. 1 March/April Issue May 1 May/June Issue July 1 July/August Issue Sept. 1 Sept./Oct. Issue Nov. 1 Nov./Dec. Issue If you need further information about the Lawyer Placement Service, please contact HBA, placement coordinator, at the HBA office, 713-759-1133.

Positions Available

5082 Insurance coverage firm seeking attorneys with at least 3 years of experience with commercial property coverage. Strong writing/litigation skills required. Louisiana License, in addition to a Texas license, preferred.

commercial and personal defend depositions, and attend Recent large law firm retiree injury background. Competi- hearings. No criminal or family seeks contract work: appellate tive compensation package. law. briefing, forensic accounting, hidden asset searches, work5092 Prominent Houston 2092 Attorney with experience outs. personal injury law firm in business, health care and seeks litigation attorney. Ex- energy seeks position with law 2098 Licensed For 27 years; perience required. Board cer- firm or business entity. Experi- Moved From SA, TX; Seektification a plus. ence includes start-ups, M&A. ing Full/Part Time Work on Can Travel. Contract Basis; Ins. Defense; 5094 PROBATE LAWYER. Collaborative Family Law; Sugar Land estate planning/ 2096 Sr. Attorney / CPA – Mediator at $100 Hr / Party. probate firm with HoustonGalleria office seeking attorney with extensive experience in TX probate and trust at the bar administration, Form 706 preparation, estate and gift tax planning. 5098 Seeking litigation attorney with good academic credentials and prior firm experience of 3-6 years. Require first chair jury trial experience and ability to handle a number of files. Positions Wanted

2062 Very Experienced Trial Attorney intimately familiar with the mechanics and operation of the Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) industry, including the securitization process of commercial loans and the duties and responsibilities of Mortgage Loan Originators/Depositors, Underwriters of REMIC Trusts, Rating Agencies, Trustees, Servicers and Special Servicers. Looking for in-house position. 2064 Attorney with extensive experience in collections and enforcement of judgments will take cases on a fee-for-service or – if meritorious – on a contingency basis.

2086 Over ten years experience 5084 Full time associate po- in corporate, employment, and sition available. 5+ years ex- consumer law. Seeking contract perience required. Must have or of counsel work. Will take or 46

May/June 2010

A portrait of the Hon. Mark Davidson was unveiled in a ceremony honoring his service on the 11th District Court from 1989 until 2008. Joining him in unveiling the portrait are sons Tom, left and Will, along with his wife, attorney Sarah Duckers.

The HBA recently presented a check for $27,162.34 to the Houston Chapter of the American Red Cross, representing HBA members’ contributions to the Haitian Relief Fund. Pictured from left are Houston Bar Foundation Chair Rocky Robinson, Fulbright & Jaworski attorney and Red Cross board member Jeff Wray, and 2009-2010 HBA President Barrett Reasoner.

Join the Houston Bar Association’s 100 Club The Houston Bar Association 100 Club is a special category of membership that indicates a commitment to the advancement of the legal profession and the betterment of the community. The following law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools and government agencies with five or more attorneys have become members of the 100 Club by enrolling 100 percent of their attorneys as members of the HBA. Firms of 5-24 Attorneys Abraham Watkins Nichols Sorrels Agosto & Friend Abrams Scott & Bickley LLP Adair & Myers PLLC Ahmad Zavitsanos & Anaipakos PC Ajamie LLP Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP Andrews Myers Coulter & Hayes PC Bair Hilty PC The Bale Law Firm, PLLC Barker Lyman PC Bateman/Pugh PLLC Bell Ryniker & Letourneau PC Berg & Androphy Bingham, Mann, House & Gibson Boyar Miller Brewer & Pritchard PC Brown McCarroll LLP Buck Keenan Gage Little & Lindley LLP Burck, Lapidus & Jackson PC Bush & Ramirez PC Butler I Hailey Caddell & Chapman Cage Hill & Niehaus LLP Campbell & Riggs Christian Smith & Jewell LLP Cochran Baker Williams & Matthiesen LLP Cokinos Bosien & Young Conley Rose PC Connelly • Baker • Wotring LLP Cooper & Scully, P.C. Cozen O’Connor Crady Jewett & McCulley LLP Cruse Scott Henderson & Allen LLP Currin, Wuest, Mielke, Paul & Knapp, PLLC David Black & Associates De Lange Hudspeth McConnell & Tibbets LLP Devlin Naylor & Turbyfill PLLC Diamond McCarthy LLP Dinkins Kelly Lenox Lamb & Walker LLP Dobrowski LLP Dow Golub Remels & Beverly, LLP Doyle Restrepo Harvin & Robbins LLP Drucker Rutledge & Smith LLP Ebanks Taylor Horne LLP Ellis Carstarphen Dougherty & Griggs PC Essmyer Tritico & Rainey LLP Faubus & Scarborough, LLP Fibich Hampton & Leebron LLP Fisher Boyd Brown & Huguenard LLP Fizer Beck Webster Bentley & Scroggins PC Fleming & Associates LLP Foreman DeGeurin & Nugent Franklin Cardwell & Jones PC Fullenweider Wilhite PC Funderburk & Funderburk LLP Galloway Johnson Tompkins Burr & Smith PC Germer Gertz LLP Givens & Johnston PLLC Goldstein Faucett & Prebeg LLP

Gordon & Rees LLP Hagans Burdine Montgomery & Rustay PC Handlin & Associates Harris Hilburn & Sherer LLP Harrison Bettis Staff McFarland & Weems LLP Hays McConn Rice & Pickering PC Henke Law Firm, LLP Hicks Thomas LLP Hirsch & Westheimer PC Hogan & Hartson LLP Holm I Bambace LLP The Hudgins Law Firm Ireson & Weizel PC Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs PC Jenkins Kamin LLP Johnson DeLuca Kennedy & Kurisky PC Johnson Radcliffe Petrov & Bobbitt Johnson Trent West & Taylor Jones Walker Waechter Piotvent Carrere & Denegree LLP Kane Russell Coleman & Logan PC Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP Kelly Hart & Hallman, LLP Kelly Sutter & Kendrick PC Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP Liskow & Lewis A PLC Lorance & Thompson PC MacIntyre & McCulloch, LLP Manning Gosda & Arredondo LLP McGinnis Lochridge & Kilgore LLP McGlinchey Stafford PLLC McLeod Alexander Powel & Apffel PC Mehaffy Weber PC Mills Shirley LLP Morris Lendais Hollrah & Snowden Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC Nickens Keeton Lawless Farrell & Flack LLP Ogden, Gibson, Broocks, Longoria & Hall, LLP Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC Pagel Davis & Hill PC Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott Phelps Dunbar LLP Phillips & Akers Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Ramey Chandler McKinley & Zito Ramsey & Murray PC Reich & Binstock Roberts Markel PC Ross Banks May Cron & Cavin PC Rusty Hardin & Associates PC Rymer Moore Jackson & Echols PC Schirrmeister Diaz-Arrastia Brem LLP Schwartz Junell Greenberg & Oathout LLP Schwartz Page & Harding LLP Seyfarth Shaw LLP Shannon Martin Finkelstein & Alvarado PC Shepherd, Scott, Clawater & Houston, L.L.P. Shipley Snell Montgomery LLP

Short Carter Morris Singleton Cooksey LLP Slusser Wilson & Partridge LLP Smith & Carr PC Smith Murdaugh Little & Bonham LLP Smyser Kaplan & Veselka LLP Sprott, Rigby, Newsom, Robbins, Lunceford & Bell, P.C. Steele Sturm P.L.L.C. Strong Pipkin Bissell & Ledyard LLP Sutherland Asbill and Brennan LLP Tekell Book Matthews & Limmer LLP Thompson & Horton LLP Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons LLP Tribble, Ross & Wagner Tucker Taunton Snyder & Slade PC Ware Jackson Lee & Chambers LLP Watt Beckworth Thompson & Henneman LLP Westmoreland, Hall, Maines & Lugrin, P.C. Weycer Kaplan Pulaski & Zuber PC White Mackillop & Gallant PC Williams Birnberg & Andersen LLP Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas, LLP Williams Morgan & Amerson PC Willingham, Fultz & Cougill, LLP Wilson Cribbs & Goren PC Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker Wong Cabello Lutsch Rutherford & Brucculeri PC Wright Brown & Close LLP Yetter, Warden & Coleman, L.L.P. Ytterberg | Deery LLP Zimmerman Axelrad Meyer Stern & Wise PC Zukowski Bresenhan & Sinex LLP Firms of 25-49 Attorneys Baker & McKenzie LLP Beck Redden & Secrest LLP Gibbs & Bruns LLP Greenberg Traurig LLP Hoover Slovacek LLP Hughes Watters & Askanase LLP Jones Day Littler Mendelson PC Looper Reed & McGraw PC Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP Olson & Olson Susman Godfrey LLP Firms of 50-100 Attorneys Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Baker Hostetler LLP Beirne Maynard & Parsons LLP Chamberlain Hrdlicka White Williams & Martin PC Coats I Rose Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP Howrey LLP Jackson Walker LLP King & Spalding Martin Disiere Jefferson & Wisdom LLP Porter & Hedges LLP Thompson & Knight L.L.P Winstead P.C.

Firms of 100+ Attorneys Andrews Kurth LLP Baker Botts L.L.P. Bracewell & Giuliani LLP Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Haynes and Boone LLP Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP Vinson & Elkins LLP Corporate Legal Departments Anadarko Petroleum Corporation AT&T Texas BP CenterPoint Energy El Paso Corporation Kellogg Brown & Root Inc Lyondell Petrochemical Company MAXXAM Inc Newfield Exploration Company Petrobras America Inc. Plains Exploration & Production Co. Pride International Inc. Rice University Sysco Corporation Texas Children’s Hospital Total E&P USA Inc. University of Houston System Law School Faculty South Texas College of Law Thurgood Marshall School of Law University of Houston Law Center Government Agencies City of Houston Legal Department Harris County Attorney’s Office Harris County District Attorney’s Office Harris County Domestic Relations Office Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Texas Port of Houston Authority of Harris County Texas


Document Examiner

own secretarial space. Use of conference room, full kitchen, Expert Witness telephone system and high Petroleum Engineer speed internet connection Vance Usher, TX PE - $90/Hr included call 713-630-0022. 4400 Memorial Dr., #1101 Houston, TX 77007 DOWNTOWN HOUSTON 610-329-1056 (cell) / 713-880-2472(fax) OFFICE SPACE – Reduced (email) Price. Sublease in First City Expert Witness

Office Space

HOUSTON GREENWAY PLAZA AREA Window offices for sublease in fully furnished suite. Includes small lobby area, conference room, phone system, internet access, copier, fax, scanner and free parking. $500 per month. Contact Stephanie 713-337-6449 Incredible Galleria area law office sharing opportunity. Perfect for 1,2 or 3 lawyer law firm separated self contained space, large file room and copier available with space. Access to full kitchen and 3 large conference rooms. Phone system provided. Contact Michelle at 713-868-2222 x 102.


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brochures, websites, business cards, logos... 281.955.2449 x11 48

May/June 2010

Galleria Area - 1800 Bering, Suite 540. Sublease-3 partner window offices and 1 associate office. Conference room, kitchen, printer room, reserved covered parking, security guard, onsite cafeteria. Remodeled 2007. 713-468-4600 or UPPER KIRBY DISTRICT/ RIVER OAKS AREA OFFICE – Near Kirby and West Alabama, Unique office space, free standing building (up to two offices available) 1 large partner office upstairs with bathroom and 1 associate office downstairs, each with

Class A Building in Downtown Houston near Theaters, Court Houses, and other facilities for Rent Class A professional well appointed conference room with conference amenities available for rent in the Lyric Centre. People interested in corporate meetings, depositions, mediations, conferences,or other similar events can arrange to rent the conference room by hour or by day. Rates subject to availability and amount of time conference is utilized. Please call Toni at 713-335-5566 for rates and booking.

Tower on the top floor. Enjoy the prestigious address and spectacular views for less. Up to three offices and four cubicles available - inclusive of phone, internet, etc. Offices average 160 SqFt each. Receptionist on site. Shared use of two large conference rooms available at no additional cost. HOUSTON – TANGLEWOOD. Call 713-335-5490. Woodway Frost Bank Building. Window office(s) for OFFICE SUBLEASE 360 sq ft in shared 1500 sq ft sublease in beautiful suite furnished suite; 4203 Mon- furnished with antiques and trose, class A building. $1600/ Oriental rugs. Includes woodmonth. Private waiting room, paneled conference room, bathroom. Attractive, private. eat-in kitchen, advanced Great parking. Available phone system answered in6/1/10. First month free. Eliza- dividually for each attorney. beth Weinberg M.D., 713-520- Receptionist included in rent 5204. and available for secretarial work. Excellent shared-suite environment since 1991. OFFICE SPACE Available immediately one Call Lynn at 713-977-9600. and/or two attorney offices with secretarial area in Mon- Lorance & Thompson, P.C., trose with use of conference a well established litigation room, full kitchen, telephone firm, has a few extra offices system and high speed Inter- that were reserved for expansion. With the current econnet connection. omy, that isn’t gong to hapCall 713-529-0980. pen any time soon. The firm OFFICE SPACE at 3 Riverway would like to sublet them to Class “A” Building located off a small firm specializing in a Woodway drive and 610 West non-litigation practice. If inLoop. Law firm is primary ten- terested, please contact Phil Summers, 713-868-5560. ant. Several offices available. On-site management and seHouston Lyric curity guard, attached parking Office Centre garage for tenants and visitors, conference rooms, reception- 2 Beautiful Offices, 1 Secreist services, kitchen, wired tarial Office. Beautiful view of for broadband internet access. Courthouses. Referrals from successful P.I. Atty. Call Leigh Contact Lisa DeWild, 713-224-6774. 713-209-2934

Woodlands Offices for lease. Two office suite with clerk office or five office suite with file room in The Woodlands, close to I-45 and Town Center. Onsite management, receptionist, notary service, conference room with power point, T1 internet access, kitchen, monitored security system, fax, janitorial service, 24 hour access. Contact Judy 281-362-7082. www.woodlandsprofessional HOUSTON Beautifully remodeled building in fantastic location next to Memorial Park. 10,000 sq. ft. available. Includes file room, 19 offices and secretarial space, law library, three conference rooms, copier, fax, kitchen, telephone system, with excellent parking. Near 1-10, on Westcott. Non-smoking building. Call 713-861-3595

HOUSTON/DOWNTOWN Beautiful law office for rent within Class A building lo-

One Office space AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY, (approximately 12’ x 22’ plus secretarial) in office sharing suite with 5 other lawyers and CPA, includes conference room, shared receptionist, phones, internet, copier, fax, kitchen. Great location between Galleria and Greenway Plaza. Approx. $1300 per month. Call 713-629-0670. Positions Available

SEEKING ASSOCIATE LEGAL COUNSEL for Houston public pension fund, reporting to CLO and working with Trustees, staff and other professionals. Approx.4 years experience with retirement plans, employee benefits, administrative law, institutional investing or Texas local government law required. Excellent writing, research and interpersonal skills required. Occasional travel required. Competitive benefit package. Background checks and drug testing. Please e-mail resume to EOE.

and honors. Please reply to Box 1212, c/o QuantumSur, 12818 Willow Centre Drive, Suite B, Houston, TX 77066.


treeban k lane , texas 77070 tel: 28 1.894. 8608 cell: 71 3.202. 29 94 gsl007 @sbcg lobal. net houston

Professional Services

Tickets, DWI, Hit & Run, Suspended License and Driver License Issues, including DPS hearings. *Traffic Warrants Removed.* Personal injury and accidents. Eutsler Law Firm. Tel. 713-464-6461 MEXICAN LAW EXPERT. Attorney/former law professor testifying since 1997 in U.S. lawsuits involving Mexican law issues. Co-author, leading treatise in field. Plaintiffs/defendants. State/federal courts. David Lopez 210-222-9494 For Sale

BEAUTIFUL Stow Davis Mahogany “Chancellor� U-Shape Desk and Credenza—Desk 102� x 75� and Credenza is 90�. Call for pictures—Best offer! 713-467-8098

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Positions Wanted

10 year litigation attorney seeks full-time position/contract work. Top 10%; significant reputable firm experience with pleadings/motions, discovery, hearings, depositions; numerous awards

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For reprints services of articles in this magazine, contact

Wright’s Reprints 1.877.652.5295

For classifieds advertising, please contact:

Mary Chavoustie 281.955.2449 ext.13

May/June 2010


The Houston Lawyer

Executive Office Space Available: ranging from $850-$995 per month. Amenities include: 2 conference rooms; maid and reception services; full kitchen. Heights Boulevard address. Broker/owner.  713-880-4700.

cated downtown near courthouses. Office inside the Lyric Centre, overlooking downtown buildings. Space has lobby, conference room, break room, secretarial sections, file cabinets, copy machine with fax and scanner. If interested, please contact Toni Lister at 713-335-5566


HOUSTON / MUSEUM DISTRICT Newly remodeled Historic Home, minutes from the Court House. On-site Management, receptionist, three conference rooms, kitchen, small library, telephone system, internet access, copier, fax and free parking. Several offices available. Call 713-840-1840.

Houst on’s Premier Florist

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W W W . L E X I S F L O R I S T . C O M


The Houston Lawyer magazine, Volume 47, Number 6