Texas Wesleyan University School of Law 1515 Commerce Street Fort Worth, Texas 76102 817-212-4000 www.law.txwes.edu DEAN Frederic White
2012 | volume 12 | issue 1
ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS Aric Short
Associate Dean for Faculty Research & Development Huyen Pham Associate Dean for Evening Division Programs Stephen R. Alton DIRECTOR OF THE LAW LIBRARY Michelle Rigual
Texas A&M and Texas Wesleyan partner to form new law school
Public Interest at Texas Wesleyan Law
Learning Practical Skills in the Law Clinic
Frederick G. Slabach Inaugurated as 20th University President
Alumni News & Notes
Texas Wesleyan School of Law Becomes AALS Member
Dallas County District Attorney A Hero to the Wrongfully Convicted
ASSISTANT DEAN FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS Rosalind Jeffers Director of Alumni Relations & EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Casey Dyer Oliver ’06 PRESIDENT Frederick G. Slabach PROVOST AND Senior Vice President Dr. Allen Henderson
Editorial Staff EDITOR Dan Brothers Staff WriterS Amy Batheja Cristina Noriega Sara Rogers COPY EDITOR Janna Franzwa Canard
ASSISTANT DEAN FOR CAREER SERVICES AND ACTING ASSISTANT DEAN OF ADMISSIONS & SCHOLARSHIPS Arturo Errisuriz
Please direct correspondence to: Dan Brothers, Editor Texas Wesleyan Lawyer 1515 Commerce Street Fort Worth, Texas 76102 firstname.lastname@example.org Texas Wesleyan Lawyer is published twice a year for the benefit of Texas Wesleyan University School of Law graduates, faculty and friends. The views and opinions expressed in Texas Wesleyan Lawyer are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. The School of Law is fully accredited by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60610, 800-2852221, www.abanet.org. Texas Wesleyan University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral level degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 (Web site: www.sacscoc.org) only for questions, comments or issues related to the accreditation of Texas Wesleyan University. Texas Wesleyan University shall not discriminate against any individual because of race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, age, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation or any other reason prohibited by applicable federal, state, or local laws.
from the dean
Dear Alumni and Friends, Public Service – Excellence – Community – Scholarship Texas Wesleyan School of Law was founded upon the mission to provide excellence in legal education, emphasizing service to our diverse student body, our profession, and our community. The law school continues to pursue this mission of excellence through outstanding teaching and scholarship, the development of innovative academic programs, a commitment to public service, and promoting the highest ethical standards in the practice of law. We are committed to providing a strong theoretical foundation and the practical skills necessary to traverse the dynamic legal landscape of the 21st century. Public service is at the core – the foundation – the heart of our law school. It is reflected in our grads, faculty, students and staff. As most of you probably already know, Texas Wesleyan University and Texas A&M University have entered into a letter of intent that, if all goes well, will result in our law school changing its name to Texas A&M University School of Law at Texas Wesleyan University. This process will no doubt take a while and nothing is guaranteed, so please be patient. As soon as we get additional news, we will let you know. Since 1998, our Law Clinic has helped hundreds of clients with family law, children’s issues, and Social Security and SSI disability cases. Following a Law Clinic site visit last November, the report by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation concluded – “TAJF was very much impressed with the quality effort and time that has gone into supporting and offering the clinic to law students. The clinic is a model of clinical learning and delivery of crucial legal services to lowincome individuals and families.” On Jan. 5, 2012, Texas Wesleyan was approved for membership in the Association of American Law Schools at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. We are now one of 176 AALS member schools. The AALS is the nation’s foremost scholarly organization for law schools. Texas Wesleyan is one of only a few ABA-accredited law schools to have a pro bono graduation requirement. Public interest is a way of life for our students. The Public Interest Law Fellowship (PILF), Wesleyan Innocence Project (WIP), and Presenting Legal Activities to Youth (P.L.A.Y.) provide opportunities for students to get involved in their communities by making a difference in the lives of others. This year PILF branched out to provide much needed community service to six Fort Worth area nonprofit organizations through Project Community. With the beginning of the fall semester, the law school started its 23rd year. Much has been accomplished in our first two decades. Much remains to be done and challenges lie ahead. But our stellar faculty, students, staff and alumni are up to the task. The future is ours to define. Sincerely,
Frederic White, Dean and Professor of Law 1
Texas A&M and Texas Wesleyan partner to form new law school by Texas Wesleyan University and Texas A&M Offices of Marketing & Communications
he Texas Wesleyan University Board of Trustees has
“In creating the Texas A&M University School of Law at Texas
approved a letter of intent for Texas Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University, we are finally expanding the Texas A&M
and Texas A&M University to enter into a strategic
brand into the field of law with a focus on emerging fields that
partnership that would provide premier legal education in the
require a growing legal expertise,” Chancellor Sharp said.
Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for decades to come. Under the
In a press release, Texas A&M University President R. Bowen
proposed multimillion dollar agreement, the school would be
Loftin praised the new arrangement, saying, “Expanding Texas
known as the Texas A&M University School of Law at Texas Wesleyan University.
A&M’s graduate professional programs is one of the key tenets
“Last October, Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp
country’s top 10 public institutions by the year 2020. If you
approached me about a unique strategic partnership,” Texas
look at the top universities – our peer institutions – most of
Wesleyan President Frederick G. Slabach said in a press
them have a law school.
of Vision 2020, our long-range plan to become one of the
conference at Texas Wesleyan School of Law on June 26, 2012. “After months of careful consideration, we both consider this to
“We see today’s [Tuesday, June 26, 2012] announcement
be a mutually beneficial collaboration with limitless possibilities.”
as the next step in Texas A&M’s dramatic evolution from its beginnings as a regional, military-focused institution into one
Among the future offerings would be a joint law school JD/
of the nation’s largest and most prestigious comprehensive
Texas Wesleyan MBA program and also a Texas Wesleyan
universities in a short period of four decades.”
undergraduate/law school 3+3 program. These new programs exemplify how the partnership would allow for the development
Under the agreement, Texas A&M would acquire ownership and
of collaborative academic programming that will have a lasting
operational control of the law school as a going concern and all
impact on students.
faculty and staff of the law school would be employees of Texas 2 2
and control of the law school building and four city blocks of land at the downtown Fort Worth campus and would lease the facilities to Texas A&M.
Photo by Dan Brothers
A&M. Texas Wesleyan University would retain ownership
“The synergy of this strategic partnership is extraordinary,” said Kenneth H. Jones, Jr., chairman of Texas Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees. “Texas A&M stands to benefit from an already established, ABA-accredited law school. Fort Worth and the metroplex would lay claim to an institution
Texas A&M stands to
poised for first-tier status. And Texas Wesleyan would gain new academic programs that drive our vision of preparing
benefit from an already
motivated students for graduate school.”
On June 29, 2012, the Texas A&M University Board of Regents, in an 8-0 vote, authorized the chancellor of The
law school. Fort Worth and
Texas A&M University System and the president of Texas A&M University to take any and all action to investigate and pursue a potential affiliation with Texas Wesleyan School of
the metroplex would lay
Law and to request approval of the partnership from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In addition,
claim to an institution poised
Texas A&M and Texas Wesleyan will be providing notification to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as
for first-tier status. And
well as seeking acquiescence from the American Bar Association.
Texas Wesleyan would gain
The presidents of the two universities will appoint a Strategic Partnership Academic Coordinating Council to advise them
new academic programs that
on additional collaborative academic initiatives that would serve the students of each campus.
drive our vision of preparing
President Frederick G. Slabach served as dean at Texas
motivated students for
Wesleyan School of Law from 2003 to 2006 and has remained a professor of law from 2006 to present. John
Sharp was appointed chancellor of The Texas A&M University System by the Board of Regents on Sept. 6, 2011.
The agreement is expected to be executed on or before June 1, 2013.
Karon Rowden â€™01, Law Clinic staff attorney; Celestina Contreras, Law Clinic professor; and Charlotte Hughart, director of the Law Clinic and professor of law â€” Photo by Dan Brothers
Learning Practical Skills
in the LawBy Cristina Clinic Noriega 4
n its more than 13 years in operation, the Law Clinic at Texas Wesleyan School of Law has helped hundreds of clients with family law, children’s issues, and Social Security and SSI disability cases. Opened in 1998, the Law Clinic serves as a law office, operated by the law school, in which students represent clients under supervision of a faculty member.
“One of the main goals of the Law Clinic
children’s issues, and Social Security and
filed in Texas and Florida. The Uniform
is to teach the students how to practice
SSI disability cases.
Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement
law. The real purpose is to learn how to handle a case. What do you do when a person comes in and tells you a problem? They learn the interview process, how to investigate the case, how to find out if it is a good case, do the legal research, draft pleadings, get people served, appear in court – many different things,” Charlotte Hughart, director of the Law Clinic and professor of law, said.
“We received our first grant in 2003 through SafeHaven of Tarrant County, which allowed us to also represent victims
Act case lasted almost two years, but resulted in a favorable end for the client and the students working on the case.
of domestic violence. That’s also when
The client is deaf. She was adopted
Celestina [Contreras] joined the clinic. In
from overseas as a child and didn’t learn
2005, we received a grant through United Way that allowed us to work on kinship cases. We hired Karon [Rowden] soon after,” Hughart said.
sign language until she was 10 years old. Because of her disability, her parents didn’t introduce a way of communicating early on. “All the students who worked on the
After the faculty approved the addition
case, except for the one who wrote the
Security cases. Since then the clinic
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act
has broadened to include three full-time
One of the Law Clinic’s recent noteworthy
The client’s ex-husband and father of their
faculty advisors and to include family law,
cases involved an interstate custody case
children came to Texas, pulled their two
of a new clinic, Hughart became the founding director in 1998. Back then, only one faculty advisor supervised the students, and the clinic focused on Social
brief, knew sign language and were able to communicate with her throughout the length of the case,” Karon Rowden ’01, Law Clinic staff attorney, said.
daughters out of school, and brought them to Florida where he resides. He lied to the officials at the school and to a judge in Florida in order to get the girls.
Dennis Thompson, a litigation consultant and co-founder of Trial
The client reached out to the Law Clinic for help in getting her children back to Texas and living with her.
“I worked with Kamryn on voir dire and helped her with her
Lab, LLC, volunteers with some of the law school’s advocacy teams and assisted Caldwell in preparing for the trial.
opening statement and closing statement – gave her a few pointers and ideas. I also assisted on a few sessions with the
“We enlisted the help of a Florida attorney. They did charge her a fee, but it was a nominal fee. I worked with her to get that case resolved,” Rowden said.
client to get her ready for trial. I went to trial with them and helped them pick the jury,” Thompson said.
“One of my students wrote a brief for the Florida judge on Texas law. It was a ‘brief’ brief, but it helped the judge understand what the differences are in Texas law and found that our argument was persuasive and the children belonged in Texas with their mother,” Rowden said.
The trial was reset a few times and ultimately moved forward
Ultimately, the case ended in favor of the client, and her two daughters were returned to her in Texas.
Fort Worth Convention Center for graduation.
during the week of the May 2011 graduation. In the end, the jury did not find in favor of the client, and the child remained with the foster family. Caldwell finished trying the case just in time to make it to the
“I was planning to miss graduation, but the jury deliberated quickly and came out with a verdict. I went back to talk to them
for a few minutes, and I made it just in time to be the last person to walk during graduation,” Caldwell said.
Students in the Law Clinic took part in the clinic’s first jury trial case. The client became ill and was told by her doctors she would need to stay in the hospital for a couple of weeks. She called friends, relatives, and enlisted the help of Rowden, but ultimately could not find anyone to care for her 3-year-old nephew who was in her care. In March 2010, she called Child Protective Services and made them aware of her situation. The child was taken out of her custody and placed with a foster home.
Even though the jury did not find in favor of Caldwell and her client, Caldwell said she learned valuable skills while working in the Law Clinic. “By far the biggest skill I gained [from working at the clinic] was advocacy. I was charged with the responsibility of fighting for my client and fighting for what she wanted to be accomplished,” Caldwell said.
Kamryn Caldwell ’11 was assigned to the case that eventually went to trial and represented the client in her attempt to regain custody of her nephew.
Not only do Law Clinic students gain practical skills while at the law school, but Hughart said they gain a built-in mentor they can speak to after they graduate.
“I was responsible for conducting the trial. I did the voir dire, the direct examinations, cross examinations, opening and closing. My supervisor [Rowden] really helped me with dealing with the court. She helped with objections and legal arguments that were made to the judge,” Caldwell said.
“From time to time, we get calls from former students who are
working on a case and need some advice,” Hughart said. “They ask to pick our brains on a particular topic, and we are more than happy to guide them in the right direction.”
“By far the biggest skill I gained [from working at the clinic] was advocacy. I was charged with the responsibility of fighting for
my client and fighting for what she wanted to be accomplished.” 6
Texas Wesleyan School of Law Becomes AALS Member By Dan Brothers and Cristina Noriega
New member law schools’ first delegates to the AALS House of Representatives are Robert Vischer, professor of law and associate dean for academic affairs, University of St. Thomas School of Law; Charles Smith, professor of law, North Carolina Central School of Law; Donald Tibbs, associate professor, Drexel University, Earle Mack School of Law; and Frederic White, dean and professor of law, Texas Wesleyan School of Law. — Photo courtesy of AALS
“This is great news and a significant milestone for our law school.”
he Association of American Law Schools approved the membership of Texas Wesleyan School of Law on Jan. 5, 2012, along with three other law schools, at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. There are now 176 AALS member schools.
application process. The process included applying for inclusion in the association, securing an AALS Consultant on Readiness, a visit by the site evaluation team, a meeting with the membership review committee, and, finally, a meeting with the executive board.
“I am proud to announce that the AALS House of Representatives voted favorably on the recommendation of the executive committee to admit Texas Wesleyan School of Law to full membership,” Dean Frederic White said. “This is great news and a significant milestone for our law school. Our inclusion in AALS affords the law school added resources and benefits. Congratulations to all the faculty and staff who contributed to this tremendous effort.”
Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick G. Slabach, who is also a former dean at the law school, noted, “Membership in AALS is very prestigious for Texas Wesleyan’s law school. It is an external validation of the excellence of our faculty and our students. We are proud of this recognition.”
The addition of four new law schools was the largest AALS yearly increase since the 1970s. In a National Law Journal article, AALS Executive Director Susan Westerberg Prager said, “This is a very special year, as far as membership. Each one of these schools brings its own personality to our membership.”
Founded in 1900, the Association of American Law Schools is a nonprofit educational association of 176 law schools representing more than 10,000 law faculty in the United States. The association strives to improve the legal profession through legal education.
Texas Wesleyan’s AALS membership concludes a multiyear 7
PILF branched out in 2012 to provide much needed community service in nonlegal ways to six Fort Worth area nonprofit organizations through Project Community. — Photo courtesy of Rosalind Jeffers
Public Interest at Texas Wesleyan Law By Rosalind Jeffers, assistant dean for student affairs
hours. The programs provide an insight to law school for those who are not familiar with the many tasks of a law student, while at the same time provide a unique opportunity to either: teach others about the legal system; serve others who are involved in the legal system; and/or provide a law-related service to a public interest organization.
ublic interest is a way of life for students at Texas Wesleyan School of Law. Of course there’s the 30 hour pro bono requirement that every law student has to complete in order to graduate, but that’s not all – students at Texas Wesleyan have a unique opportunity to participate in student-driven organizations that capitalize on helping others while focusing on service. The Public Interest Law Fellowship (PILF), Wesleyan Innocence Project (WIP), and Presenting Legal Activities to Youth (P.L.A.Y.) provide opportunities for students to get involved civically in their communities by making a difference in the lives of others. These organizations have sponsored programs and activities that have raised awareness about the law school’s commitment to public interest that has attracted prospective law students from all over.
As lawyers, we can probably all agree that performing pro bono work is an investment in common good, as well as in people and the community. When our students invest in their own legal education by performing pro bono work, not only are the unmet needs of the community addressed, but students also learn the importance of our profession – to serve others. At Texas Wesleyan, students are encouraged to become involved in pro bono projects after completing their first year of law school. Many of them choose to become involved in PILF, WIP and/or P.L.A.Y.
These student-led groups typically have functions that are designed to give their members chances to earn pro bono 8
When our students invest in their own legal education by performing pro bono work, not only are the unmet needs of the community addressed, but students also learn the importance of our profession – to serve others. While PILF is specifically known to most Texas Wesleyan alumni for their auction, which takes place in the fall semester, this year PILF branched out to provide much needed community service in nonlegal ways to six Fort Worth area nonprofit organizations through Project Community. Project Community served as the law school’s first “day of service” project, with the hopes of becoming an annual event. The public interest law fellows receive a small stipend to help sustain their livelihood while working at public interest organizations in a summer internship. These students gain invaluable professional experience working in various fields while having the ability to provide free service to those who otherwise could not afford legal services.
Rosalind Jeffers Rosalind Jeffers came to Texas Wesleyan School of Law in September 2011 from the Dallas City Attorney’s Office where she served as an executive assistant city attorney and chief of community prosecution and community courts. She received her B.A. in sociology/criminal justice from Howard University and her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Texas Wesleyan’s Innocence Project has gained attention throughout the state of Texas from inmates and their families, as well as prospective students, as an organization that gives law students the opportunity to work on real-life legal cases. WIP is most recognized by students for their exoneree luncheons and criminal law week, held in the fall semester. During these luncheons, people who were wrongly convicted speak to students about their experiences and the injustices that can occur when attorneys are not morally diligent. Exonerees also encourage students to be ethically-conscious attorneys who seek the truth.
Jeffers believes that she is a good fit for her position as assistant dean for student affairs at Texas Wesleyan because she can relate to the life struggles of law students from her personal experiences and by balancing work with family and with volunteering. As a part-time evening law student and a fulltime working commuter from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore daily, Jeffers learned firsthand the importance of having a balanced life. During her 1L year, she married her college sweetheart during spring break and became pregnant with their first child during her 3L year.
P.L.A.Y. aims to expose youth, who are in socioeconomic groups that are typically underrepresented in the legal community, to the legal profession. Most commonly known for presenting mock trial competitions and street law education to school-aged children, P.L.A.Y. provides firsthand access and knowledge of law school to these students while encouraging them to consider attending. P.L.A.Y. hosts events in the law school to students throughout the year.
Jeffers’ legal career has included practicing juvenile, family, criminal, civil, employment, professional responsibility and ethics, and administrative law. She is now looking forward to the world of academia.
So, as we move forward to another academic year, I encourage all Texas Wesleyan alumni to get involved in helping to support our pro bono organizations. Our students always look forward to hearing an encouraging word and receiving any and all support from alumni as they embark upon their future careers as lawyers. These organizations have the potential to make huge differences in the lives of those who need help the most, and your contributions to these groups can help direct the legal path of future Texas Wesleyan School of Law alumni. Carter Woodson, an educator, once said, “The true meaning of leadership is service.”
With a strong commitment to pro bono service and a love for working with families and youth, Jeffers serves as a planning and zoning commissioner for the city of Rowlett, is active in her sorority, Jack and Jill of America, and her church, as well as volunteers her time with various school districts by mentoring children and serving as a team member on a campus improvement committee. Jeffers and her husband also serve as the block captains of their neighborhood watch program.
President Frederick G. Slabach addresses university administrators, trustees, faculty, staff and guests during his inauguration on the Texas Wesleyan University campus on Jan. 27, 2012. â€” Photo by Tom Pennington
Frederick G. Slabach
Inaugurated as 20th University President By Cristina Noriega
Frederick G. Slabach was formally inaugurated as Texas Wesleyan Universityâ€™s 20th president during a ceremony on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, at the historic campus. The ceremony capped off a week of inaugural events that included a reception at the law school on Monday, a concert hosted by the department of music on Tuesday, a reception recognizing faculty scholarship on Wednesday, and an invitation-only inaugural gala Thursday night.
“The mission of this university – the mission of higher education – I believe is to transform the world by transforming lives, one student at a time.”
exas Wesleyan students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends were in attendance for the event, as well as U.S. Rep. Kay Granger and U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess. Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, served as the keynote speaker during Friday’s ceremony. “In 2006, after Fred became CEO of the [Harry S. Truman Scholarship] foundation, I began to work with him on a regular basis. And I can tell you now what you probably already know: that Texas Wesleyan could not have chosen a better leader,” Albright said. Slabach followed Albright’s speech and stressed the importance of emphasizing critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills in the classroom. “I believe that higher education is the greatest socioeconomic elevator ever devised by man,” Slabach said. “The mission of this university – the mission of higher education – I believe is to transform the world by transforming lives, one student at a time.”
Slabach began his term as 20th president of Texas Wesleyan University on Jan. 1, 2011. He served as Texas Wesleyan School of Law dean from 2003 to 2006.
Top left: President Slabach is presented with the university mace by Dr. Marcel Kerr, faculty chair (right), and Kenneth Jones, chairman of the university board of trustees (left), during inauguration activities on Jan. 27, 2012. — Photo by Tom Pennington Above: School of Law Dean Frederic White greets President Slabach and his wife, Melany Neilson, at a reception at the law school on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. — Photo by Sarge Hill Left: President Slabach joined Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, for her book signing at Martin Hall early Friday morning. — Photo by Tom Pennington
Dallas County District Attorney
A Hero to the Wrongfully Convicted By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
Craig Watkins ’94 both seeks the death penalty in Dallas County and uses DNA evidence to exonerate those wrongfully convicted. His family’s history helps drive him. On the way to witness his first execution in the town known as the “Execution Capital of the World,” the Dallas County district attorney stopped at the prison cemetery to find his great-grandfather’s grave.
DA Craig Watkins scanned row upon row of gray crosses and headstones, making quick progress in his usual cowboy boots until he found the boxy stone belonging to Richard Johnson, dated Aug. 10, 1932.
Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery in Huntsville is the final resting place of inmates whose families could not afford burial anywhere else. Tall pines guard the grassy expanse nicknamed “Peckerwood Hill,” where many gravestones bear prison identification numbers, not names.
Watkins knelt beside the grave in his suit. Engraved next to Johnson’s prisoner number – 101 – was a telltale X. His great-grandfather had been executed.
Dallas County DA Craig Watkins ’94, right, with the exonerated Richard Miles, who was wrongfully convicted of murder and attempted murder, for which he spent 14 years in prison. (LM Otero, Associated Press / Feb. 22, 2012)
People don’t know that my great-grandfather was executed by this state. And so that’s an issue we need to explore, as it relates to our justice system. Are we doing the right thing? 13
is dual missions that day in February – paying respects, witnessing the execution – embodied how Watkins, Texas’ first African-American district attorney, grapples with his role in meting out justice. Although morally opposed to capital punishment – he calls it “an archaic form of justice” – Watkins has sought the death penalty in nine cases, obtaining it in eight. He requested to see this execution, ordered before he took office, to fully experience the criminal justice system. Even as he enforces the law, Watkins cites evidence of a flawed system. He has emerged as a leader in a growing national movement to exonerate wrongly convicted prisoners, most of them black men. “As an African-American, you always have a doubt about the criminal justice system,” he said. A few days after Watkins, then 38, was elected to his first term in 2006, a Dallas police officer stopped him in his black $100,000 Mercedes G500 SUV. “Whose car is this?” the officer asked. Watkins, who at 6-foot-4 is imposing even when seated, explained that he was the new district attorney. “He had this surprised look on his face,” Watkins said. Watkins says people often assume he grew up poor in the slums of south Dallas. He actually grew up in the middle-class Oak Cliff neighborhood, the son of teachers. But he did have relatives who ran afoul of the law. When he visited the Huntsville prison as the district attorney, he was startled to recognize a visitor’s room. He had sat there as a child, waiting to see an incarcerated uncle.
Four years later, Hill announced he would not seek reelection. Instead, Watkins this time faced off against a prosecutor with more than 20 years’ experience. His great-grandfather’s story remained secret, as critics focused on his age and charged that he was too much of a novice to handle a staff of 250 lawyers and an annual budget of $36 million. A backlash against then-President George W. Bush swept Republicans from power in the Dallas area and helped Watkins eke out a victory with 51 percent of the vote. His first week in office, Watkins made two decisions that would change the course of his career. Dallas is one of few cities that stores forensic evidence dating back to 1969, when the crime lab was created following President Kennedy’s assassination. But storing evidence costs money, and county leaders asked him to start destroying old evidence. He refused. That same week, Watkins heard that a prisoner convicted under a previous district attorney was being exonerated based on DNA evidence. Watkins attended the hearing, and a reporter happened to be there. “I apologized to the guy, the reporter wrote a story and it just caught fire – a DA will admit that they’re wrong!” Watkins recalled. Suddenly, activists were calling him about other problematic cases. A member of his staff suggested starting a unit to investigate suspect convictions. Watkins hesitated. He thought about his nascent political career. He had planned so carefully. “I was under so much scrutiny, not just this office but the outside – the media – thinking, ‘He’s not qualified.’”
Watkins did not set out to right wrongs when he entered historically black Prairie View A&M University as an engineering major. A political science class and politically active relatives – an uncle was a four-term president of the local NAACP chapter – inspired him to go into public service.
But if he didn’t do it, who would?
He earned his degree in political science, went to Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and thought working as a prosecutor would lay the foundation for a political career.
By the time the unit started work in 2007, 400 prisoners convicted in Dallas County had appealed under a 2001 state law to have their DNA tested against evidence.
When the Dallas district attorney’s office rejected him three times – he’s not sure why – Watkins worked for the public defender and city attorney instead.
Start there, Watkins said.
In 2002, still a fledgling lawyer with a wife and young children, Watkins decided to run against DA Bill Hill. He lost, but garnered 48 percent of the vote.
He persuaded county leaders to spend about $450,000 to create the country’s first conviction integrity unit: two prosecutors, an investigator and a paralegal.
The unit began reviewing cases and sharing files with the New York-based Innocence Project, the Innocence Project of Texas in Lubbock, and defense attorneys. Based on DNA tests, it appeared there were potential problems with about half the cases, but it would take time to fully investigate.
By the time Watkins was up for reelection in 2010, his unit had helped exonerate about a dozen prisoners. Though critics complained he was thin-skinned, that he squabbled unnecessarily with county leaders, the exonerations proved popular and he was reelected by the same slim margin. Just a year earlier at a family reunion, Watkins had noticed a binder full of information about his great-grandfather. Growing up he’d heard vague comments about the execution but did not know details – how Johnson had walked to the electric chair singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” He read how Johnson had been convicted of murdering a white Fort Worth man by an allwhite jury that deliberated for less than 40 minutes. But Watkins didn’t reveal his family’s secret until February, a few days before witnessing the execution in Huntsville. He brought it up after attending an exoneration hearing for Richard Miles, a black man who spent 14 years behind bars for a murder and attempted murder he didn’t commit. “People don’t know,” Watkins said, “that my great-grandfather was executed by this state. And so that’s an issue we need to explore, as it relates to our justice system. Are we doing the right thing?” A flurry of questions followed: Did Watkins think his greatgrandfather was wrongfully convicted? (He’d read the trial transcript and had doubts about his guilt.) Did he now oppose the death penalty? (He still had reservations but would apply it.) “What’s really different about Craig Watkins is it is rare for a public official to have a public dialogue and admit he’s not sure of aspects of the system,” said Kathryn Kase, executive director of the Austin-based Texas Defender Service. So far, Watkins’ office has helped exonerate 25 inmates, all prosecuted under predecessors. Both had received life sentences for a 1983 rape and shooting. Seven other men exonerated under Watkins were serving life terms as well. Still, in cases prosecuted by his office, the conviction rate is 99.4 percent. Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project, said prosecutors have long feared that exposing wrongful convictions will undermine public confidence in their work. “Craig has proven that exactly the opposite happens,” Scheck said. “If you become known as the district attorney’s office that has a conviction integrity unit, if you bring a case before a jury, they will trust you more.”
Now district attorneys from Manhattan to Santa Clara have followed Watkins’ example and started similar units. The district attorney in Houston, a Republican former police officer, also launched one. Watkins’ approach still alarms some prosecutors. John Bradley, a Republican district attorney in Williamson County, outside Austin, thinks such units are unnecessary because prosecutors already dedicate staff to appeals and DNA analysis, and he has told Watkins so via email. “We have conviction integrity every time we receive and screen a case,” Bradley said. “We need to be investing all we can in how we do our job now so we will be less likely to have them reviewed in the future.” This spring, Watkins was at the Dallas crime lab watching from the back as the head of the conviction integrity unit explained its mission to members of the DA’s first citizens academy, which teaches residents how the office works. Prosecutor Russell Wilson flipped to a photograph of Charles Allen Chatman, convicted of aggravated rape in 1981 and sentenced to 99 years in prison. Chatman refused parole because it would have meant admitting guilt. With help from Watkins’ office, he was granted new DNA testing. “The test results excluded him and he was exonerated,” Wilson said, “And he’s here tonight.” The audience of about 40 gasped and erupted in applause as a burly man in a blue dress shirt rose from their midst, shaved head gleaming, and approached the microphone. Chatman, 51, had been imprisoned for 26 years. A hush fell over the room. Chatman looked to the back of the room, to the now familiar tall figure in suit and cowboy boots.
“I took care of myself in jail,” Chatman said. “I never thought I’d say another man was my hero. But this man right here is my hero.”
Copyright © 2012. Los Angeles Times. Reprinted with Permission.
I never thought I’d say another man was my hero. But this man right here is my hero. 15
notes of interest about campus events
Roland Johnson appointed to the board of directors of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation
WIP presents Third Annual Criminal Law Week
Fort Worth attorney Roland Johnson, a partner in Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C., and a former adjunct professor at Texas Wesleyan School of Law, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. The State Bar of Texas appointed Johnson to a three-year term on the foundation, which provides grant funding for civil legal aid in Texas.
For the third year in a row, the Wesleyan Innocence Project coordinated Criminal Law Week, a week of events to spotlight the different areas of criminal law.
The Texas Access to Justice Foundation is the largest statebased funding source for civil legal aid in Texas, and has awarded more than $300 million since its inception. The foundation board of directors consists of 13 attorneys and public members, seven of whom are appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas and six by the State Bar of Texas. “Access to justice in Texas has never been more important than now,” Johnson said. “The needs are greater and the resources are tighter. This is the gap where I want to be involved. “I am proud of Texas Wesleyan School of Law’s stance on access to justice issues, too,” Johnson said. “The school has a unique and compelling story to tell about its Equal Justice Program, its excellent law clinic, and its meaningful externship program. There is a firm commitment by the faculty and students toward bridging the gap and making a difference.” Charlotte Hughart, director of Texas Wesleyan’s Law Clinic, is grateful to the Texas Access to Justice Foundation for helping the clinic continue to assist children who are at risk for abuse and neglect. “If not for the funding the clinic receives from the foundation, hundreds of children might today be facing a life of pain and sadness,” Law Clinic Professor Celestina Contreras said. Johnson served as president of the State Bar of Texas for 2009-2010 and holds extensive memberships in professional legal associations. From fall 1999 until spring 2008, Johnson was an adjunct professor at Texas Wesleyan School of Law. He received the school’s distinguished adjunct faculty award in 2005. “I am proud to acknowledge that Roland Johnson continues his lifelong devotion to public service, just as he does on the Dean’s Advisory Council and as he did as a former adjunct professor,” Frederic White, dean of Texas Wesleyan School of Law, said.
Johnnie Lindsey was the guest speaker during the exoneree luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. WIP organized Criminal Law Week, Sept. 26-29, to provide more information to students about the various aspects of criminal law. — Photo by Cristina Noriega
This year’s event was held Monday, Sept. 26 through Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, and included two discussion panels and the annual exonoree luncheon. “The goal of Criminal Law Week is to inform students about the practice of criminal law and to let them know that WIP exists and what we do. It’s the first time that 1Ls really hear about WIP, and it’s our way of reaching out to the students and giving back to them,” 3L Marissa Warms, WIP president, said. On Monday, WIP hosted a criminal defense panel that included speakers Michelle Moore and Nancy Raine from the Dallas public defender’s office; Larry Moore, a criminal defense attorney; and Mike Ware, a criminal defense attorney. Tuesday was “Table Day,” where WIP members stationed themselves at tables outside the conference center to provide more information about their group to students. The group hosted a criminal prosecution panel on Wednesday with speakers Joe Shannon, Tarrant County district attorney, and Chuck Mallin, assistant Tarrant County district attorney, appellate division. On Thursday, WIP hosted Johnnie Lindsey as the guest speaker for the exoneree luncheon. Lindsey was convicted in 1985 for aggravated rape and sentenced to life in prison. After years of writing the court to request a test of the evidence, Lindsey was granted a DNA test in 2008. The test excluded him as the perpetrator of the crime, and he was released from prison on Sept. 19, 2008. Lindsey spoke to more than 100 law school students, faculty and staff during the luncheon and stressed the importance lawyers have on their clients. “Each day somebody’s life will fall in your hands,” he said. Lindsey said he always feels welcomed when he speaks to Wesleyan students, and he has hope in the criminal justice system and for the future generation of lawyers.
“You all can fix this. You all are the future lawyers, judges and senators.” 16
3L Martin Garcia, president of SBA; 2L Melissa Henke, vice president of the Texas Wesleyan Veterans’ Project and SBA secretary; U.S. Rep. Kay Granger; 2L Britney Tomberlin, SBA representative; and 3L Dave Olivas, president of the Texas Wesleyan Veterans’ Project — Photo by Amy Batheja
U.S. Rep. Kay Granger meets with law students Congresswoman Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, spoke to students, faculty and staff at Texas Wesleyan School of Law about the issues veterans face as they return home from active duty and the various ways Congress is helping to alleviate those issues.
a month for up to a year for education and job skill training; a year of transition assistance for service members transitioning out of the military; and the initiation of a program that will help the credentialing and licensing of veterans with certain skills into the civilian equivalent occupation. For example, a military medic should be able to easily transfer those military credentials into a civilian job licensing, but that is not always the case.
She urged those attendees who live
Granger, who is an alumna of Texas Wesleyan University, spoke on the eve of Veterans Day about her longstanding support of veterans, including working as mayor of Fort Worth to keep Carswell Air Force Base open (now Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base). In June 2011, she received the Semper Fidelis Award from the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation for her support of the military and its veterans. Only one individual receives the award each year, and Granger is the first Texan to be recognized with this honor.
“We’ve got these people coming home by the thousands from these two wars, and we also know that we don’t have the job market availability for them to come back and go into business for themselves or work in different industries,” Granger said. “They’re bringing back a great skill set - how do we work that into our communities and move forward?”
speak to our group and inform us how her
She also discussed the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (commonly called the “Super Committee”).
asked me for more information on a
Granger spoke about her support for HR 674. The bill includes significant veteran jobs provisions, including a tax credit for businesses that hire unemployed veterans; assistance similar to the Montgomery GI Bill that equates to approximately $1,400
“I hope you’re aware of what’s happening in Congress right now,” she said, giving a short explanation of the Super Committee. “The consequences [of the budget cuts] are enormous. The consequences for veterans will be enormous.”
Approximately 30 students, faculty and staff attended the event, held on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, and sponsored by the Texas Wesleyan Veterans’ Project and the Wesleyan Law Republicans.
outside of her district to contact their congressional
them that they “must come with a decision and … must act decisively because the challenges that are facing our veterans will be even worse if we don’t have the benefits that at many times we’ve promised them and that certainly we feel committed to.” “It was an honor to have Rep. Kay Granger work has affected us locally, in addition to keeping an eye out for veterans,” 3L Dave Olivas, president of the Texas Wesleyan Veterans’ Project and an active duty member of the Navy Reserves, said. “Her attention and care for us sets her apart from other leaders. Her assistant student who asked her about Tricare coverage, as the congresswoman wanted to follow up with her. Rep. Granger showed genuine concern for a member in our group, when she has the world to
contend with. Rep. Granger is a classy and amazing woman and I am glad she came to speak to us.”
New state historical marker recognizes posthumous exoneration of Timothy Cole
Students in Judge Joe Spurlock’s family law class listen to faculty in Mongolia present the class via Skype on a large screen in Room 204 at the law school. — Photo by Dan Brothers
Spurlock skypes from UB On Oct. 17, 2011, at 8 p.m. in Fort Worth, Texas, Wesleyan Professor of Law Joe Spurlock II was 13 hours ahead in UB, the local name Mongolians have given their capital of Ulaanbaatar. This was Judge Spurlock’s 11th trip to Mongolia as director of the Asian Judicial Institute. The time difference was significant because Judge Spurlock, three Texas Wesleyan law students, and a Mongolian contingent were conducting a class via Skype back to Spurlock’s family law class in Fort Worth. The 100 law students in Texas watched on a large screen as their professor conducted the class from the other side of the world. In UB, the professors included Judge Spurlock, the Hon. T. Tsogt, chief judge, Administrative Appeals Court of Mongolia; and the Hon. G. Ganzorig, assistant attorney general of Mongolia, former justice of the Supreme Court of Mongolia, and an adjunct professor of law at Texas Wesleyan School of Law. The Skype session was conducted in a classroom at the National University of Mongolia with 20 law students in attendance. During the opening of the Skype class, Judge Spurlock noted that the students in Fort Worth were test guinea pigs. “This is a very inexpensive way to conduct an international class,” he said. Judge Spurlock was accompanied on the trip by Texas Wesleyan law students 3Ls Spencer Nilsson, Justin Lewis and Scott Phillips. The three students were also assisting in judicial reform in Mongolia as part of the Asian Judicial Institute efforts. The class consisted of comparisons of marital property and family violence issues between Mongolia, the U.S. and Texas. A law professor from the National University of Mongolia served as a translator to facilitate the discussions. There was a question and answer session following the class with participation from both sides of the globe.
On Oct. 21, 2011, the Texas Wesleyan law student team gave lectures on the U.S. legal system to approximately 120 law students and faculty at Ikh Zasag University Law School.
The conference center at Texas Wesleyan School of Law was filled to capacity for an event honoring the life and memory of Timothy Cole. He was falsely convicted of rape in 1985 as a student at Texas Tech University and died in prison in 1999. Ten years later, Cole became the first person in Texas to be posthumously exonerated by DNA evidence. On Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, Cole’s family, friends and those involved with the case came together to honor his memory as a state historical marker was installed at Cole’s gravesite at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth. Cole’s case led to the passage of two state laws. As the historical marker notes, “In 2009, the 81st Texas Legislature enacted the Tim Cole Act, to compensate wrongly convicted individuals, and created the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions to reverse other wrongful imprisonments and prevent future miscarriages of justice.” Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann, state Rep. Lon Burnam, and Russell Wilson, head of the Dallas County Conviction Integrity Unit, were among the dignitaries who attended the noontime lunch event earlier that day at Texas Wesleyan School of Law. Speakers included Mike Ware, former head of the conviction integrity unit and now a Fort Worth lawyer, adjunct professor and advisor to the Wesleyan Innocence Project; Judge Charlie Baird, who served on the 299th Criminal District Court and oversaw the hearings that led to Cole’s exoneration; Jeff Blackburn, chief counsel for the Innocence Project of Texas and person who led the investigation into Cole’s innocence; Michele Mallin, the rape victim who came forward to help clear Cole’s name; Cory Session, Cole’s brother and policy director for IPOT; and exoneree Billy James Smith. “Today, I come to do the last thing I can for my boy Tim,” Smith said, “And that’s to honor him. … Today, he gets his honor back. … We’re going to praise him; we’re going to honor his memory; we’re going to honor what happened to him.” Michele Mallin, whose eyewitness identification during the 1985 trial led to Cole’s conviction, has spoken out on Cole’s behalf for several years. “I trusted the police,” she said at the event. “I had no reason not to. … I can’t even begin to tell you how shocked I was [when the real perpetrator came forward],” Mallin said. The justice system needs reform, she said, “so that victims are not victimized twice.” Session spoke about his brother’s life and what it means to the family that the state now recognized its mistake in convicting Cole. Session, who was 17 at the time of Cole’s conviction, told the crowd that Cole remained “the consummate big brother” to Session while in prison, writing him letters and making sure Session was doing well in school. Many of the speakers noted the importance of law students in the effort to exonerate the innocent, especially for the students’ “spirit that allows us older lawyers to get charged up,” as noted by Jeff Blackburn.
Session also reminded the students that “if you’re going to be lawyers, keep your focus on justice.” 18
Fellowship Auction and Game Show Night raises $48,342 Law school students, faculty, staff and friends were in attendance for the Ninth Annual Fellowship Auction and Game Show Night on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, and helped the fellowship raise $48,342. The event raised $24,171 from live and silent auction items, donations and a raffle, and Dean Frederic White provided a matching donation. “I was very thankful for the amount of participation that we had from professors and the surrounding community. We had several high valued items to auction. I think that the event was largely a success. The donations and auction committees did a fabulous job putting together a very entertaining and profitable event,” 2L Camesha Ethley, president of the Texas Wesleyan Public Interest Law Fellowship, said. Professor James McGrath was the auctioneer for the night, and although he was teaching in Beijing, China, for the 20112012 academic year on a Fulbright Scholar
Professor Neal Newman, 2L Christopher Austria and 3L Elizabeth Wilhelm play “The Price is Right” during the Ninth Annual Fellowship Auction and Game Show Night. — Photo by Cristina Noriega
grant, he flew in to town to be a part of the event. Items for this year’s live auction included a poker game night with Associate Dean for Evening Division Programs Stephen Alton and Judge Joe Spurlock II, lunch with Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins ’94, a bar review course, and a $1,000 gift certificate to Kubes Jewelers. In addition to the auction, attendees participated in games similar to “The Price is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal.” Audience members were called at random to play against each other to guess the price of an item. The contestant with the closest guess won a prize by either choosing what was in an envelope or a
mystery item behind a curtain. Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, was also Game 7 of the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers World Series. Ethley said the fellowship made a few changes to their event to accommodate the game. “We included a watch party that took place in the student lounge. We also ended up cutting out one of our games and truncating the event because people were getting restless and ready to go watch the game,” Ethley said. “But we were still able to pretty much provide the event that we wanted.”
Law school students participate in National Adoption Day Teddy bears, children’s books and balloons filled the courtrooms of the Tarrant County Family Law Center during National Adoption Day. Fifteen Texas Wesleyan School of Law students participated in the event, held on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, at the Family Law Center in downtown Fort Worth. Forty-one children in Tarrant County were adopted by 30 families. Since 2000, more than 35,000 children nationwide have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day. During the opening welcome, Judge Jean Boyd recognized the families who were there to adopt. “I want to thank each of you for being here, for opening your hearts and your homes to these wonderful children, and we’re so excited to be a part of making this a ‘forever family’ today.” Boyd also recognized the contributions of the students at Texas Wesleyan School of Law who volunteer their time to assist the lawyers. “Every year [the students] have worked with National Adoption
Day, and this is a wonderful opportunity for students who will become new lawyers to get their first experience in a courthouse.” The law school students, who worked with mentor lawyers throughout the fall semester to prepare the adoptions, stood with the children and their new families as the adoptions were finalized before a judge. “National Adoption Day is a great way for law students to get involved in the community and give back,” Rosalind Jeffers, assistant dean for student affairs, said. “By participating, law students witness attorneys, volunteers, CPS caseworkers and judges working together to join foster children with their ‘forever families.’ They receive hands-on training in the family court adoption proceedings, all while fulfilling their required pro bono hours.
“What better way is there to raise national observance and increase public awareness of the need for more adoptive families?” 19
Law fellowship presents Public Interest Law Week With the intent to raise awareness about public interest law and pro bono opportunities, the Texas Wesleyan Public Interest Law Fellowship presented a weeklong series of activities during the annual Public Interest Law Week. Members of the fellowship kicked off the week on Monday, Jan. 30, 2012, by hosting a table outside the conference center to provide students with information on fellowship experiences and encourage others to apply for fellowship awards later this spring. On Tuesday, the group hosted a panel lunch discussing the fellowship experiences from last summer and what it takes to work in the public interest sector. Wednesday, Feb. 1, was the 11th Annual Equal Justice Day. More than 25 public
interest organizations were set up in the law school’s conference center. Students were invited to network with the representatives to learn more about internship and pro bono opportunities. Organizations represented at Equal Justice Day included Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office, Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, and SafeHaven of Tarrant County. 2L Camesha [Ethley] Little, president of the Texas Wesleyan Public Interest Law Fellowship, said the week is intended to make law students more aware of public interest law. “The main goal for Public Interest Week is to increase awareness about public
interest law practice. Many students may not know about the importance of this service aspect of our profession or how versatile it can be,” Little said. “Not only do we want to inform about public interest law, we also take this week to advertise and encourage application for the Texas Wesleyan Public Interest Fellowship Award, a monetary award given for public interest summer internships.” The week ended on Thursday, Feb. 2, with members of the fellowship again hosting a table outside the conference
fellowship experiences and encourage others to apply for fellowship awards.
More than 25 public interest organizations were represented during the 2012 Equal Justice Day. The event is part of the annual Public Interest Law Week. — Photo by Cristina Noriega
center to share information about the
The Hon. Ed Kinkeade addresses class of 2011
Director of ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project speaks at Texas Wesleyan
The Hon. Ed Kinkeade, U.S. district judge and adjunct professor of law, was the guest speaker at Texas Wesleyan School of Law’s December commencement ceremony held on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, at the First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth. Kinkeade has been an adjunct professor at the law school for 20 years. The fall 2011 semester marked his last semester teaching at Texas Wesleyan.
Law school students, faculty and staff were in attendance on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, to hear Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project, present “Reflections on Litigating National Security Cases after 9/11.”
The Hon. Ed Kinkeade was the guest speaker at the December 2011 commencement ceremony. The fall 2011 semester marked his 20th and last semester teaching as an adjunct professor of law at Texas Wesleyan. — Photo by Dan Brothers
“It’s been a great 20 years,” Kinkeade said. “When I first started teaching here, the law school was inside a Catholic girls’ school in Irving. Now look where we are. “You could see in the eyes of those first law students their determination to make the most of their experience at the school.” Dean Frederic White provided opening remarks for the commencement ceremony and presented two awards. Jennifer Lee McNabb-Fjerestad received the Equal Justice Award, which recognized the more than 114 pro bono hours she performed while working in the law school’s Law Clinic. Dave Olivas received the MacLean & Boulware Endowed Scholarship. The award is given to a graduate selected by the faculty who demonstrated high moral character during his or her law school career and exhibits the potential and desire to become a successful, ethically conscious attorney. Bryce King, chosen by his classmates to be the class speaker, said he was appreciative to his class for choosing him to speak and thanked the family and friends of the graduates in the audience. “This is as much y’all’s graduation as it is ours,” King said. White presented Kaylei Elworth ’11, the inaugural Daniel Denton Award for her achievement in scoring the highest among her Texas Wesleyan classmates on the July 2011 bar exam. Elworth will receive a plaque and monetary award. The Daniel Denton Award is named after Daniel Denton ’10, a Texas Wesleyan graduate who scored the highest in the state on the February 2011 bar exam. The law school presented 42 students with the juris doctor degree. Aric Short, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law, presented each graduate with a purple academic hood, the color of which represents the discipline of law. Degrees were presented by White and conferred by Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick G. Slabach.
Gelernt discussed his experiences representing Abudulla Al-Kidd before the U.S. Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Al-Kidd, where he challenged the pretextual use of material witness warrants to detain noncitizens on national security grounds. “Immediately after 9/11, the focus of the U.S. government was domestic,” Gelernt said. “Dozens of Muslim men were being held under the umbrella of material witness warrants.” In May 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that Al-Kidd’s lawyers had not met the burden of proof needed to show that Attorney General John Ashcroft could be personally sued, that he was directly involved, or had explicit knowledge of the events. After the 30-minute presentation, Gelernt took questions from the audience during which he stressed to law students that they stay informed of current issues. “I urge you as law students to get involved, at either one side or the other.” Gelernt has been an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union since 1992 and works on immigration and national security issues. He currently holds the positions of deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project and director of the Project’s Program on Access to the Courts. The noontime presentation was hosted by the Texas Wesleyan School of Law chapters of the American Constitution Society, the Hispanic Law Students Association, and the Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association.
Texas Wesleyan Law Review hosts business leadership symposium The Texas Wesleyan Law Review hosted the 2011 Business Leadership Symposium on Nov. 4, 2011, at Texas Wesleyan School of Law in downtown Fort Worth. The event featured a special focus on intellectual property and employment law issues, and was held in the law school’s Amon G. Carter Lecture Hall and Bernie Schuchmann Conference Center. Other symposium topics included entrepreneurship, ethics, collaborative law, and early case assessment and resolution. Megan Carpenter, associate professor of law at Texas Wesleyan and director of the law school’s Center for Law and Intellectual Property, introduced the morning session that looked at intellectual property issues. Brian Holland, also a law professor at Texas Wesleyan, was the session’s moderator. The first presentation was “Contract Issues for Entrepreneurs and Attorneys” by Laurie Lucas, an assistant professor of legal studies at the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business. Other presenters during the morning session included Julie Machal-Fulks and Christopher Barnett, both attorneys with Scott & Scott, LLP; Herbert Hammond, a partner with the Dallas office of Thompson & Knight, LLP; David Carstens, a founding
partner with Carstens & Cahoon, LLP; Dr. Dolly Wu, vice president and counsel, IP Navigator Group; and Susan Hudson ’06, corporate counsel for Pier 1 Imports, Inc. The symposium’s luncheon speaker was Roger Nober, executive vice president of law and secretary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC. Nober led off his presentation by giving some background on BNSF, noting that the company has 40,000 employees and 32,000 route miles. He said that intermodal, coal, agriculture and business carloads were the principal commodities hauled by the rail line. In describing the efforts of the BNSF legal department Nober said, “We’re the defendant 99 percent of the time.” The company employs 28 full-time, inhouse attorneys. “We’re a very lean legal unit for a firm our size,” he said. “There are five railroad specific federal statutes that create this body of federal law that we must comply with.” The focus of the afternoon session was on employment law and was moderated by Neal Newman, professor of law at Texas Wesleyan.
Presenters for the afternoon included Megan Raesner, vice president and senior corporate counsel with Affiliated Computer Services, Inc.; Sujata Ajmera, an associate with Jackson Lewis, LLP; David Johnson, Jay Madrid and Joseph Regan with Winstead PC; Dan Hartsfield and Karen Griffin, both partners with Jackson Lewis, LLP; Eric Chaffee, associate professor of law at the University of Dayton School of Law; Dr. Daniel T. Ostas of the Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma; Anne Shuttee, attorney-mediator with the Law Office of Anne Shuttee; and Steven K. Hayes, a solo legal practitioner. “We had a record-breaking attendance at the symposium,” 3L Kate Echols, symposia editor of the Texas Wesleyan Law Review, said. “We had a great mix of attorneys, business persons and students. “In addition to offering a day filled with seven hours of CLE credit for attorneys,” Echols continued, “we were striving for engagement from the student body. Overall, I believe we created a forum for sharing ideas. I think the day was a great success.”
BLSA mock trial team advances to national finals The Black Law Students Association mock trial team of 3L Antonio Allen, 3L DeAndrea Jackson, 2L Matthew Jackson and 1L Marcus Johnson advanced to compete in the national finals of the Thurgood Marshall National Mock Trial Competition. The team placed third at the Rocky Mountain Regional BLSA Competition held Feb. 8-12, 2012, in Oklahoma City, securing a spot in the national finals in Washington, D.C., this past March. Doug Greene, of the Greene Law Firm, was the team’s coach. “I was impressed by the team’s hard work, dedication and work ethic. They were tireless in their efforts, and I’m looking forward to their success at the national competition,” Greene said. The mock trial team finished with a 4-1 record, defeating teams from St. Mary’s University School of Law, University of Tulsa
The BLSA mock trial team of 3L Antonio Allen, 1L Marcus Johnson, Coach Douglas Greene, 3L DeAndrea Jackson and 2L Matthew Jackson competed in the Thurgood Marshall National Mock Trial Competition. — Photo courtesy of Doug Greene
College of Law, and two teams from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, only losing to the first place winner from Texas Southern. Seventeen mock trial teams from across the nation competed for the national title.
According to Jennifer Ellis ’05, director of advocacy programs, the BLSA mock trial team is the law school’s second mock trial team to advance to a national finals. 22
ACADEMIA Cynthia Alkon
notes about Texas Wesleyan law faculty and administrators
Gender & the Law; Law & Religion; PSN: Effects of Conflict (Topic); PSN: Other Political Behavior: Race, Ethnicity & Identity Politics (Topic); PSN: Politics of Ethnicity (Topic); Political Behavior: Race, Ethnicity & Identity Politics; and National Security & Foreign Relations Law.
Associate Professor of Law Activities: Selected by the executive committee
of the Legal Education, ADR, and ProblemSolving (LEAPS) Task Force of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution’s Law School Committee to convene and join a panel of national experts in criminal law who will serve as consultants and advisors to other colleagues on how to incorporate practical problem-solving skills into their criminal law-related classes.
Op-ed with Khaled Beydoun, “Soccer, Egypt, and SCAF-Sponsored Hooliganism,” Atlantic Council, Feb. 10, 2012, http://www.acus.org/ egyptsource/soccer-egypt-and-scaf-hooliganism. Op-ed, “Racial Profiling by Law Enforcement is Poisoning Muslim Americans’ Trust,” The Guardian, Feb. 21, 2012, http://www.guardian. c o.u k /c o m m e n t i s f r e e /c i f a m e r i c a / 2 012 / feb/21/racial-profiling-law-enforcement-muslimamericans?newsfeed=true.
Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Evening Division Programs Activities: Received a 2012 Texas Wesleyan University Faculty Scholars award for his recent publication, “The Game Is Afoot!: The Significance of Donative Transfers in the Sherlock Holmes Canon.” (46 Real Prop., Tr. & Est. L.J. 125 (2011)).
Activities: Interviewed as part of a panel, Civil Rights Ten Years after 9/11, American-Arab AntiDiscrimination Committee, C-SPAN, Sept. 8, 2011. Spoke at an event, Then and Now: Civil Liberties and Interfaith Relations Ten Years After 9/11, Omaha, Neb., Sept. 11, 2011.
Elected to the Association of American Law Schools’ Part-Time Division executive committee at the AALS annual meeting, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4-8, 2012.
Presented at a conference, Navigating a Post9/11 World, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 15, 2011.
Presented at a conference, Race and Criminal Justice in the West, Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Wash., Sept. 24, 2011.
Professor of Law
Activities: Presented a paper, “The Rhetoric of Vulnerability and Agency When Women Kill Newborns,” at the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minn., Oct. 13, 2011.
Spoke at a conference, Muslim American Citizenship: A Decade Since 9/11, Columbia University, New York, N.Y., Oct. 7, 2011. Spoke at a conference, Confronting Discrimination in the Post-9/11 Era: Challenges and Opportunities Ten Years Later, sponsored by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C., Oct. 19, 2011.
Associate Professor of Law Publications:
Her chapter, “Terror(izing) the Muslim Veil,” (forthcoming in The Rule of Law and the Rule of God, Simeon Elsanmi, ed., University of Virginia Press, Spring 2012) was recently listed in January 2012 on SSRN’s Top Ten download list for several eJournals and topics: Women,
Presented on a panel discussion focusing on civil rights and racial and religious profiling, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 4, 2011. 23
academia Presented “Notes on a Scandal: The 2(a) Bar on Scandalous and Immoral Trademarks” as part of the faculty exchange program, Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, Texas, Feb. 17, 2012.
Presented her forthcoming article, “From the Oppressed to the Terrorist: American Muslim Women Caught in the Crosshairs of Intersectionality,” at a faculty workshop at Samford University Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Ala., Nov. 11, 2011.
Presented at Securing Our Rights, a national civil rights conference about national security, surveillance, and civil rights, San Francisco, Calif., Dec. 1-2, 2011.
Professor of Law
Publications: “Managing Buried Treasure Across Frontiers: The International Law of Transboundary Aquifers,” 36 Water Int’l 573-583 (2011).
Participated in a panel discussion, Muslim Women’s Rights under Secular and Religious Laws, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 14, 2012.
With Alice Aureli (UNESCO-IHP), “Strengthening Cooperation on Transboundary Groundwater Resources,” 36 Water Int’l 549-556 (2011).
Participated in Modern Global Revolution, the annual symposium for the Michigan State University College of Law’s International Law Review, East Lansing, Mich., Feb. 16-17, 2012.
With Brendan Mulligan (University of Calgary), “The Silala/Siloli Watershed in Bolivia/Chile: Lessons From the Most Vulnerable Basin in South America,” 27(3) Int’l J. of Water Resources Dev. 595 (2011).
Interviewed on the topic of police surveillance of Muslims, Inside Story Americas, Al Jazeera English television news channel, Feb. 23, 2012.
With Amy Hardberger (Environmental Defense), “Scientific, Legal, and Ethical Foundations for Texas Water Law,” Texas Law of Water Resources 5-35 (M. Sahs, ed., 2009; updated 2012).
Activities: Served as guest editor of a special issue [Volume 36(5)] of the peer-reviewed journal, Water International, on “Strengthening Cooperation on Transboundary Groundwater Resources,” published in September 2011.
Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law and Intellectual Property Publications:
Her chapter, “‘Will Work’: The Role of Intellectual Property in Transitional Economies,” was published in Creativity, Law, and Entrepreneurship 49-66 (Shubha Ghosh & Robin Paul Malloy, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing 2011).
Participated in the International Water Resources Association XIVth World Water Congress in Porto de Galinhas, Brazil, Sept. 25-29, 2011, where he:
Presented a CLIP Need-to-Know Workshop, About Art Law – Putting It All Down On (Legal) Paper, with Frank Snyder, professor of law, and students 3L Hope Catterton, 2L Jordan Hix and 3L Maya Koyfman, at the Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County, Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 15, 2011.
Gave the following presentations: • “Greening Water Law: Managing Freshwater Resources for People and the Environment” • “Managing Hidden Treasures Across Frontiers: Developing Customary International Law for Transboundary Aquifers”
Elected as chair-elect of the Association of American Law Schools’ Art Law executive committee at the AALS annual meeting, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4-8, 2012.
• The U.N. Watercourses Convention: Meeting the Challenges of Transboundary Water Management
Presented on a panel, Appropriation Art and Copyright Challenges, Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 30, 2012.
Moderated the plenary session on Knowledge Systems featuring Dr. Richard Norgaard 24
academia Beyond: Researching Election Law,” at the joint annual meeting of the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries and the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries, Lawrence, Kan., Nov. 3, 2011.
Participated in the executive board meeting of the International Water Resources Association Represented the International Water Resources Association at the meeting of the International Water Law Association
Michael Z. Green
Gave a lecture, “Alternative Strategies for Managing Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in Water Resources,” for the Sullivan & Worcester seminar and webinar, Washington, D.C., Oct. 6, 2011.
Professor of Law
Publications: “Reading Ricci and Pyett to Provide Racial Justice Through Union Arbitration,” 87 Indiana Law Journal 367 (2012).
Gave a keynote address, “Water Scarcity, Conflict, and Security in a Climate Change World: Challenges and Opportunities for International Law and Policy,” at the International Symposium on Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions, Xi’an, China, Oct. 21-23, 2011.
Activities: Presented his paper, “Racial Workplace Harassment and the Toxic Incivility of Unchecked Freedom-Based Defenses,” at the Sixth Annual Labor and Employment Law Scholarship Colloquium, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 16, 2011. Presented “The Toxicity and Incivility of FreedomBased Defenses to Racial Harassment” on the panel The Role of Race in IP, Freedom of Speech, and Law School at the LatCrit XVI conference, San Diego, Calif., Oct. 8, 2011.
Presented on “UNESCO’s International Shared Aquifers Resources Management (ISARM) Programme Session on Transboundary Aquifers – Linkages and Interactions with Lakes and Rivers” at the 14th World Lakes Conference, Austin, Texas, Nov. 3, 2011.
Spoke on “Preserving Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Protection Via E-mail: Merging Federal Evidence Rule 502 With Discovery and Ethics Rules” at the Fifth Annual ABA Labor & Employment Law Conference, Seattle, Wash., Nov. 5, 2011.
Presented on the panel Water Use and Water Law in Texas from an Oil and Gas Perspective at the conference Environmental Impacts of Oil and Gas Production, Houston, Texas, Jan. 13, 2012. Presented “Water Law for Oil and Gas Development” at the Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies Winter Meeting, Houston, Texas, Jan. 26, 2012.
Served as co-chair of the ABA labor and employment section’s regional student mock trial competition held in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 12-13, 2011. Featured in the spotlight on diversity segment in the December 2011 issue of the Tarrant County Bar Association Bulletin.
Presented “Water Law 101 for Oil and Gas Development” for the Section on Audit and Joint Interest meeting, Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies, Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 10, 2012.
Elected to the Association of American Law Schools’ Labor Relations and Employment Law executive committee at the AALS annual meeting, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4-8, 2012.
Quoted in an article by Matthew Watkins, “State Supreme Court Favors Water Rights,” The Eagle, Feb. 25, 2012, at 1.
Head of Public Services and Assistant Professor, Texas Wesleyan University
Presented his paper, “The Divide and Conquer Scheme to Eradicate Public Sector Unions: Partisan Politics and the Racial Consequences,” for the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law program on Public Employees: Legal, Political, Economic, and Social Issues at the AALS annual meeting, Washington, D.C., Jan. 5, 2012.
Activities: With Laura McKinnon, public services librarian and assistant professor, presented an educational program, “At the Ballot Box and
Presented at a symposium, The Role of ADR Mechanisms in Public Sector Labor Disputes: What Is at Stake, Where We Can Improve & How
Appointed to serve on the Executive Council of the International Association for Water Law.
academia We Can Learn from the Private Sector, at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 17, 2012.
Presented “Tax & Legislative Update: Recent Developments in Charitable Giving” at the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, Lone Star Council, Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 21, 2012.
Presented “Black Worker Voice in Times of Joblessness and Anti-Racism Backlash” on the panel Individuals, the Collective, and Democracy: Race, Class, Gender, Disability, and Individual Employee Rights at the symposium Democracy and the Workplace, University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law, Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 23, 2012.
H. Brian Holland Professor of Law Activities: Presented
“A Social Semiotic Approach to Copyright Law,” Drexel University School of Law, Oct. 12, 2011. Elected to the Association of American Law Schools’ Internet and Computer Law executive committee at the AALS annual meeting, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4-8, 2012.
Selected by the executive committee of the Legal Education, ADR, and Problem-Solving (LEAPS) Task Force of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution’s Law School Committee to convene and join a panel of national experts in labor and employment discrimination law who will serve as consultants and advisors to other colleagues on how to incorporate practical problem-solving skills into their labor and employment-related classes.
H. Dennis Kelly
Associate Professor of Law Activities: Participated in a panel discussion on
patent reform legislation at the All-Star Alumni CLE event, Texas Wesleyan School of Law, Oct. 14, 2011.
Public Services Librarian and Assistant Professor, Texas Wesleyan University Activities: Presented “Professional Learning
Associate Professor of Law Publications: His article, “Saving Smokers from
Communities and Personal Learning Networks in Information Science” at the Association for Library and Information Science Education Annual Conference, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 17-20, 2012.
Themselves: The Paternalistic Use of Cigarette Taxes,” has made several SSRN Top Ten Lists (forthcoming, Volume 80 University of Cincinnati Law Review).
Professor of Law Activities: Presented “The 411 on Representing
Professor of Law Activities: Elected
Charitable Organizations” for the Dallas Volunteer Attorneys Program Pro Bono Week Celebration, Dallas, Texas, Oct. 25, 2011.
to the Association of American Law Schools’ Sexual Orientation executive committee at the AALS annual meeting, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4-8, 2012.
Presented “Overview of Nonprofit Organizations: The Basic Framework” at the 29 th Annual Nonprofit Organizations Institute, Austin, Texas, Jan. 18, 2012.
Public Services Librarian and Assistant Professor, Texas Wesleyan University Activities: With Lisa Goodman, head of public
Presented “Public Charities: A Practical Guide to Key Issues, Choices and Risks” at the 29th Annual Nonprofit Organizations Institute, Austin, Texas, Jan. 18, 2012.
services and assistant professor, presented an educational program, “At the Ballot Box and Beyond: Researching Election Law,” at the joint annual meeting of the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries and the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries, Lawrence, Kan., Nov. 3, 2011.
Presented “Giving Strategies in the New Tax Climate” at the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, Lone Star Council, Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 21, 2012. 26
academia Timothy Mulvaney
Spoke at the Second Annual Conference on Sports and Entertainment Law, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Tempe, Ariz., Nov. 5, 2011.
Associate Professor of Law Activities: Spoke at the Aspiring Law Professors Conference, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Tempe, Ariz., Sept. 10, 2011.
Spoke at a symposium on sports law hosted by the Mississippi Sports Law Review, University of Mississippi School of Law, Oxford, Miss., Nov. 11, 2011.
Spoke at the Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship, Vermont Law School, Royalton, Vt., Sept. 23, 2011.
Quoted in an article by Mitch Mitchell, “Mistaken Identity Clouds TCU Drug Investigation,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Feb. 18, 2012, at A1.
Elected to the Association of American Law Schools’ Property executive committee at the AALS annual meeting, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4-8, 2012.
Successfully represented a client in a habeas application in Texas state court challenging that his plea was ineffective under Padilla v. Kentucky.
Presented “Judicial Givings” at a symposium on the topic of judicial takings, Widener Law School, Harrisburg, Penn., Feb. 17, 2012.
Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Research & Development
John F. Murphy
Activities: Presented “What Economic Impact Has Subfederal Immigration Regulation Had?” at the ClassCrits IV Conference, Criminalizing Economic Inequality, Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2011.
Associate Professor of Law Activities: Presented “Busted: Top Ten Legal Writing Myths” to the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Transition to Practice mentoring group, Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 21, 2011.
Associate Professor of Law
Neal Newman Professor of Law
Activities: Presented a workshop, “Critical Reading & Writing Skills: Undergraduate Work and the LSAT Exam,” as part of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity’s Road to Law School event, Texas Wesleyan School of Law, Sept. 24, 2011.
Activities: Presented his current work in progress,
“One Worldwide Set of Global Accounting Standards? – hmmm” at the Mid-Atlantic People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, Howard University, Washington, D.C., Jan. 27, 2012.
Mary Margaret “Meg” Penrose
Professor of Law
Professor of Law
Presented “The Technology Frontier: Tendering Evidence from Social Networking Sites” to the Family Law Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association, Tarrant County Family Law Center, Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 3, 2011.
Activities: Debated Michael Stern during the session, “Afraid of a Runaway Constitutional Convention,” at the Conference on the Constitutional Convention (Con-Con-Con), Harvard Law School, Boston, Mass., Sept. 24-25, 2011.
Participated in a debate with Professor Lino Graglia of The University of Texas School of Law, “What Does Constitutional Law Have To Do with the Constitution?” Texas Wesleyan School of Law, Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 10, 2011.
Quoted in an article by Chris Hawley and Matt Apuzzo, “NYPD Infiltration of Colleges Raises Privacy Fears,” The Associated Press, Oct. 11, 2011. 27
academia Peter Reilly
Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing Program
Associate Professor of Law Activities: Presented on the topic of persuasion in negotiation to the participants of Community Dialogue and Dispute Resolution of China, Texas Wesleyan School of Law, Fort Worth, Texas, Aug. 29, 2011.
Activities: Presented “Persuasive Writing: What to do if you represent Charlie Sheen” as part of the Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar Program held at the Marriott Hotel, Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 5, 2011.
Presented a draft of his article, “Resistance Is Not Futile: Harnessing the Power of Counter-Offensive Tactics in Legal Persuasion,” at Gonzaga School of Law, Spokane, Wash., Sept. 15, 2011.
Presented “Legal Research: A Review for the CLA Exam” to the Fort Worth Paralegal Association, Fort Worth, Texas, Dec. 10, 2011. Selected to serve on the Media Committee of the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.
Spoke on persuasion and negotiation at the Tarrant County Bar Association Women’s Legal Section, Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 7, 2011. Presented a one-hour CLE on negotiation for Texas Wesleyan alumni and other members of the legal community, Bedford, Texas, Jan. 10, 2012.
Joe Spurlock II
Professor of Law and Director of the Asian Judicial Institute Activities: Traveled to Mongolia with three 3L Texas Wesleyan students (Scott Phillips, Spencer Nilsson and Justin Lewis) to meet with government officials there working on judicial and prosecutorial reform projects. While there, Spurlock conducted a family law class via Skype from the National University of Mongolia back to the family law class at the law school, assisted by Judges Tsogt and Ganzorig of Mongolia and a professor from the local university. The three Texas Wesleyan law students taught a two-hour class on American law to an audience of about 120 Mongolian law students at the Ikh Zasag University Law School in Ulaanbaatar on Oct. 21, 2011.
Director of the Law Library and Associate Professor of Law Activities: Presented on the topic of career management at the joint annual meeting of the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries and the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries, Lawrence, Kan., Nov. 4, 2011. Spoke on the topic of Quick Response (QR) Codes to the Dallas Association of Law Librarians at Vinson & Elkins, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 30, 2011.
Presented a paper, “A Perspective on the Status of Mongolian Legal Reform,” to the International Forum on Mongolian Legal Reform and AsianPacific Legal Developments and Trends under sponsorship of the Shihihutag Law School at the National University of Mongolia’s School of Law in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Nov. 10, 2011.
Frank Snyder Professor of Law Activities:
Presented a CLIP Need-to-Know Workshop, About Art Law – Putting It All Down On (Legal) Paper, with Megan Carpenter, associate professor of law, and students 3L Hope Catterton, 2L Jordan Hix and 3L Maya Koyfman, at the Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County, Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 15, 2011.
Associate Professor of Law
Publications: “Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Disclosure:
Quoted in an article by David Segal, “Restaurant Bill Shock? Some Readers Say ‘Au Contraire,’” The New York Times, Jan. 22, 2012, at 5L.
Do We Have a Right to Know?” 3 Kölner Schrift zum Wirtschaftsrecht [KSzW] 328 (2011) (Ger.).
news from the office of alumni relations & advancement
Alumni Association Calendar of Events 2012-13 August
15 Fort Worth CLE Luncheon 23 Dean’s Donor & Scholar/Fellow Dinner
September 19 28
Plano Alumni Lunch Wesleyan Law Night at Rangers Ballpark
All Day Alumni All Star CLE
Dear Alumni and Friends, Generations upon generations of our law school’s graduates have distinguished themselves through their commitment to the profession and their dedication to the principles learned while at Texas Wesleyan School of Law. We are driven by the strength of our alumni network and the success of you, our alumni and friends. We are certainly proud of you – all that you have done and all that you will do. We are also grateful for the many gifts of time, talent and personal resources that we receive from you, our alumni and friends, as we grow stronger each year because of the investment you make in us. As you read through this edition of Texas Wesleyan Lawyer and see all the things that we are doing and all that we plan to do, I hope you will share in that sense of pride.
9 9 11 12
excited about what lies ahead. With you as our guide, we can continue to achieve greater things for our alma mater. I hope you had a wonderful summer with your families and friends, and I look forward to hearing from and/or seeing you soon. Please keep in touch!
Fort Worth Alumni Holiday Lunch (Joe T. Garcia’s with Toy Drive) Washington, D.C., Supreme Court Swearing-In Ceremony
January 16 29
With the recent news of a possible acquisition by Texas A&M University, we are
Fall Alumni Awards Dinner (Billy Bob’s) Real Property Law Symposium Austin Alumni Happy Hour Austin Swearing-In Ceremony for Recent Bar Passers
HEB CLE Luncheon Denton Alumni CLE Luncheon
February 21 22
Law Review Alumni Reception All Star Faculty CLE for Alumni
7 Dallas Alumni Happy Hour (House of Blues) 21-22 Law Review Energy Symposium
19-20 Alumni Weekend 19 The Greenhill Golf Tournament 20 Community Crawfish & Shrimp Boil
Casey Dyer Oliver ’06 Director of Alumni Relations
& External Affairs
Washington, D.C., Supreme Court Swearing-In Ceremony Fort Worth Alumni Happy Hour Austin Swearing-In Ceremony for Bar Passers
TBD State Bar of Texas Conference (Reception, Regional Lunch) 29
Dates subject to change.
Donor Spotlight Chris Long ’04 Texas Wesleyan School of Law donors are driven by a commitment to give back, providing opportunities for future generations of lawyers. Learn more about the reasons our donors give.
For 23 years, Long has served as chairman and CEO of Sovereign Mortgage Services, Inc./Primus Services Group LLC. She also served as an adjunct professor at Texas Wesleyan School of Law, and handles various cases through her solo practice. Long earned a B.A. in science (major in business) from Letourneau University in 1997, and a J.D. from Texas Wesleyan School of Law in 2004. Long is an active member of mortgage banker and mortgage broker associations, and previously served on the board of the Dallas Mortgage Bankers Association. She currently serves on the Compliance Committee of the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association.
burst into laughter – a nice break from the tension of first-year law school! Dean Alton smiled. Why do you give to Texas Wesleyan Law School? I give to Texas Wesleyan to be part of the ongoing community of the law school. The contributions we make as alumni help students have the same standard of student life we were afforded, and help increase this standard with time. Why is Texas Wesleyan School of Law important to you? Texas Wesleyan School of Law provided me with an excellent education. The opportunities that are available in my career would not be there without this school.
What is your favorite memory of Texas Wesleyan School of Law?
What makes Texas Wesleyan Law stand out from other legal educational institutions?
Dean Alton’s first year property class – a student who was in the military came into the classroom with 15 minutes left in the class. Dean Alton greeted him by saying, “Glad you could join us.” The student, who was wearing camouflage, said, “You are not supposed to be able to see me, sir!” The entire class
Texas Wesleyan provides students with access to professors and deans at the law school – that is unusual. This not only gives students access while in school, but after graduation gives them a network of professors and alumni that is second to none.
very gift to Texas Wesleyan School of Law is critical to the success of our students, our faculty, and our institution at large. Strong evidence of alumni support helps the law school leverage funding from other sources. Corporations, foundations and potential major gift donors often look at alumni participation rates when deciding whether to award grants or make significant
donations to the school.
FY 2013 Alumni & Advancement Goals
Giving Opportunities There are many ways you can invest in Texas Wesleyan School of Law. Here are some of the opportunties available: • Scholarships • Endowments • Awards • Sponsorships • Fellowships Make your gift online today at lawalumni.txwes.edu/donate.
• 10% alumni giving percentage • Increase Wesleyan Law School annual fund giving to $150,000 • Increase event attendance and participation in the alumni association by 5%
Please contact Casey Dyer Oliver ’06, director of alumni relations and external affairs, at email@example.com or 817-212-4145 for more information. You may also visit our website at lawalumni.txwes.edu for additional details about investing in your law school.
Together, we can make a difference! 30
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Attend Texas Wesleyan School of Law alumni CLEs and events, including our Alumni Community Crawfish & Shrimp Boil and The Greenhill golf tournament. Be a speaker at one of our CLEs or a guest lecturer for one of your favorite professors. Contact Casey Dyer Oliver ’06 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ways to Stay Involved! 11. Bring a friend to alumni association events and activities; encourage others to stay connected to help us build our network.
12. Nominate a fellow law school graduate for the Alumna/
Alumnus of the Year Award to be presented at our annual alumni awards dinner held in the fall. Visit our website at lawalumni.txwes.edu for the nomination form.
Get your five minutes of fame and share your accomplishments with our community! Send us your news … new positions, family additions and/or awards. Email Regan McDonald at email@example.com.
13. Utilize our library, meeting rooms and facilities with your
Recruit a well-qualified prospective student.
14. Let us know of open positions at your firm. We have
Make a donation to the law school! Your gift strengthens Texas Wesleyan School of Law and its programs. Email Casey Dyer Oliver ‘06 at firstname.lastname@example.org. Encourage your employer to interview on campus. Stay informed! Read the alumni emails, e-newsletters and Texas Wesleyan Lawyer. Not receiving these? Email Regan McDonald at email@example.com to get on our communications list. Take a leadership role in the Texas Wesleyan School of Law Alumni Association, join a committee, or run for the alumni board of directors. Email Casey Dyer Oliver ’06 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Refer a fellow Wesleyan law school graduate. 10. Utilize the research resources at the Dee J. Kelly Law
Library. The library is open to all alumni. For more information about library hours and services, email Regan McDonald at email@example.com.
very own alumni access card. Email Regan McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain your access card. The cost is $10. qualified candidates that can fill those positions!
15. Spread the good news of Texas Wesleyan School of Law and help strengthen the reputation of your alma mater!
your contact information and/or register with the alumni directory. When updating your information please make sure you select the information you would like shared, allowing others to view your information for referrals, etc.
17. Create your own endowed scholarship or student award.
Email Casey Dyer Oliver ’06 at email@example.com for more information.
18. Hire a Wesleyan lawyer or law student. 19. Sponsor an event such as alumni weekend, monthly CLEs,
or our annual fall awards dinner. Email Regan McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
20. Call or email a fellow classmate – Wesleyan law school alumni are not only great attorneys but also great friends!
Alumni Benefits and Services Alumni Directory
Looking for a friend, colleague and/or classmate? Search our online directory for your fellow alumni at lawalumni.txwes.edu.
Audit a Class
Alumni are able to audit a course depending on space, availability and instructor approval. Fees may be associated with courses. For more information, please contact Julie Edwards in the registrar’s office at email@example.com or by phone at 817-212-4049.
Career Services Resources
Alumni can benefit from the services offered by the Texas Wesleyan School of Law Office of Career Services including the online job bank, resumé review and interview preparation.
Alumni are offered free CLE hours throughout the year, as well as discounted prices to multiple CLE events hosted by the alumni association throughout the metroplex.
Invitations to Alumni Programs and Events
School of Law Publications
Alumni receive Texas Wesleyan Lawyer, the official alumni magazine, semiannually, as well as quarterly e-newsletters to keep alumni engaged and connected to the law school. If you are not currently receiving these publications, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with your current contact information.
Order a Transcript
Alumni may order a transcript online. Visit lawalumni.txwes.edu for more information.
If you plan to come on campus, as an alumnus you can park in our lot free of charge. Send an email to email@example.com before you visit to obtain your parking pass. Please allow 48 hours for processing.
Alumni may order a replacement diploma in the case of damage or loss to the original. To order your replacement diploma, contact the alumni office at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a fee associated with processing the additional diploma.
Alumni are invited to programs and events throughout the year, including lectures, symposia, guest speakers, alumni/ student interactive sessions, and special collaborations with community groups.
Admission to the Supreme Court of the United States
Each year qualified alumni are invited to register to attend a special swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C., to be admitted in open court to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. This is a unique benefit of the alumni association, as many law schools are not granted this opportunity. For more information, please visit our website at lawalumni.txwes.edu.
Two Opportunities to be admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar!
The Dee J. Kelly Law Library is open to our alumni community by presenting a Texas Wesleyan School of Law alumni access card. Alumni also have access to free Wi-Fi in the library and on campus. Contact the alumni office at email@example.com to request your alumni access card.
We are proud to offer two upcoming opportunities for alumni to be admitted in open court to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Swearing-In Ceremony Dates: Dec. 10, 2012 – Sign-up closed Aug. 16 May 20, 2013 – Sign-up starts January 2013
The alumni association provides many networking opportunities throughout the year including, but not limited to, happy hours, The Greenhill golf tournament, the Alumni Community Crawfish & Shrimp Boil, a reception during the state bar annual meeting, and the annual alumni awards dinner.
Sign-up and eligibility details are on the alumni website at lawalumni.txwes.edu.
Visit lawalumni.txwes.edu for a full list of alumni benefits and services, the alumni event calendar, and to see how the Office of Alumni Relations & Advancement can be of service to you! 32
The Texas Wesleyan School of Law Alumni Association congr atulates the following alumni and 3L students who passed the July 2011 State Bar of Texas Exam: Anne Akin
news & notes
Dr. Paul Hebda
Patricia Burns Cole
is currently starting his second year as hearing office chief administrative law judge in the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Anchorage, Alaska. As he wrote to Texas Wesleyan Lawyer: “Wonderful state, great job!”
1995 Craig M. Mixson
has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry as judge of the First Judicial District in Jasper, Newton, Sabine and San Augustine counties. Craig lives in Buna and is an attorney in private practice. He is also a member of the Buna Chamber of Commerce and an honorary member of the East Texas Mutual Aid Association. The appointment was effective March 1 and expires at the next general election.
was appointed to a three-year term on the Texas Wesleyan School of Law Dean’s Advisory Council in September 2011.
Christopher J. Parvin was profiled as
was elected treasurer of the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Business Litigation Section. Patricia is a shareholder at Decker Jones in Fort Worth.
Jason Mills made the list of Texas Monthly’s 2012 Rising Stars. Jason was also featured in a recent USA Today article (“Illegal immigrants draft legal plans in case of deportation,” available at http://www.usatoday.com/news/ nation/2010-10-12-1Adeportplans12_ ST_N.htm), and was also published in Texas Lawyer (“Discriminatory Hiring Practices Based on Immigration Status,” available at http://www.law.com/jsp/tx/ PubArticleTX.jsp?id=1202541097794). Cynthia Williams was elected president
of the board of directors of Guardianship Services, Inc. a local nonprofit organization that provides guardians to individuals who do not have any family members who can serve as guardians; money management assistance and services to individuals who need help with managing their (usually) government-provided money and benefit programs, including services for MHMR individuals; and training for volunteers who work with these individuals, all of whom reside in Tarrant County.
a 2012 Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star. Christopher’s practice with Palmer & Manuel, LLP, in Dallas focuses on estate planning and probate, business litigation, and consumer law.
was selected as a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2012 for the fifth year in a row. His Austin firm, Posey Law Firm, P.C., is focused on government relations, business and consumer fraud law.
2004 Caroline Akers Peterson
of Looper Reed & McGraw, P.C., was selected as a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2012 for estate planning and probate, and energy and natural resources law for the fourth year in a row. Caroline served as president of the law school alumni association board of directors from 2010 to 2011.
Donna Phillips has been appointed the executive director of the McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center in Waco. Prior to this position Donna practiced law in North Texas. Her practice focused on family law, probate, property, landlord/tenant, employment, and contract matters.
Scott Cain was recently elected as the mayor of Cleburne. Scott is the founder of Cain and Associates in Cleburne.
Jill Pollak and her husband, Patrick, welcomed a daughter, Brooke Alyse Pollak, on Oct. 17, 2011, at 8:56 a.m. She weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 19¼ inches.
was selected as a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2012 in family law, estate planning and probate for the second year in a row. The Law Office of Lindsay D. DeVos, PLLC, is located in Mansfield.
Lindsay D. DeVos
Brooke Ulrickson Allen,
an attorney with Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell, LLP, was honored as the 2011 Attorney of the Year by the Fort Worth Paralegal Association. Brooke was selected because of her service to the FWPA and the community and her
Thomas Anderson, Jr.
recently joined the firm of Shackelford, Melton & McKinley, LLP, as an associate in the firm’s Dallas office. Thomas represents clients in a wide range of real estate issues, including leases and working with lenders on loan matters, in addition to banking and business transactional work. Prior to joining the firm, Thomas worked as an attorney and commercial escrow officer with the Dallas commercial closing office Title Texas, Inc./Federal Title, Inc., where he helped close numerous commercial and residential purchase and loan transactions.
Russ was named shareholder of Mullin Law, P.C., in January 2012. Stephanie has been with the firm since 2006, and she focuses her practice on franchise and employment law.
J.D. Milks ’07 Current employment: Partner at Schatz & Milks, PLLC Practice areas: Business and commercial litigation, consumer protection, debtor/ creditor rights, family law, probate Education: J.D. from Texas Wesleyan School of Law, B.A. in political science from Southern Methodist University with minor in philosophy Community activities: Tarrant County Bar Association, Dallas County Bar Association, Arlington Bar Association, Texas Wesleyan School of Law alumni board, Order of Barristers, Phi Delta Phi, Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society), Golden Key Honor Society What are you most proud of professionally and/or personally? 1) My family and friends. I am continually amazed by my ability to fool such amazing people into thinking that I am worthy of their presence in my life. 2) Starting a law firm with Aaron D. Schatz. 3) Being part of the history-making Texas Wesleyan mock trial team (coached by Vince Cruz and including Wes Wynne, Chris Baumann and Cannon Jones). Why did you choose Texas Wesleyan School of Law? Wesleyan presented the invaluable opportunity to stay close to home and obtain a quality education in a thriving legal community. What do you like best about being a lawyer? And your job? I love the pressure of going to court and having my performance be the determining factor in the outcome of a client in need, whether it’s an individual or a small business. I love the variety of people and situations that I get to deal with on a daily basis. I love that one person with a law degree can make a huge difference in someone’s life. I love that I get to provide for my own family while doing the aforementioned. Who is your most favorite professor or mentor? And, why? Vince Cruz, Jim Bearden, and Christopher J. Parvin (the last two are Texas Wesleyan alums). Vince literally taught me everything from my first entrance into the courtroom to closing argument. Jim and Chris taught me the business of law. Jim passed away from pancreatic cancer in November of 2011. I am very proud to be able to share the story of Jim’s courage, how he lived, during the last 18 months of his life. Tell us a fun/random fact about yourself. I am 3-0 as an amateur boxer and I have shaken hands with Muhammad Ali, John Madden and William Shatner. Also, I am from North Little Rock, Ark., and I am not married to my sister. 35
legal career. This year, she spoke at an FWPA luncheon about landlord tenant law and authored an article for the newsletter on electronic discovery. She serves the community through her work on the boards of the Texas Young Lawyers Association and Santa Fe Youth Services. Brooke was also recently elected as the vice president of the board of directors of Santa Fe Youth Services. This is Brooke’s second year on the board where she has chaired the Governance Committee and been a member of the Courthouse Jam Committee.
news & notes Samuel Sanchez
was appointed to the Midwestern State University Board of Regents by Gov. Rick Perry. MSU is located in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Callie Vivion-Matthews was promoted to the position of regulatory compliance analyst staff within supply chain management contracts supporting F-16 international procurement at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. In addition, she continues to maintain a part-time law practice.
2007 C. Chad Lampe now serves as general counsel and manager of business development for THG Energy & Technology Solutions, LLC, in Fort Worth. Mary-Margaret Lemons
and her husband, Eric, welcomed their second child, son Thomas, on Jan. 19, 2012, at 10:34 a.m. He weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 21½ inches.
has been promoted to senior managing attorney at the Beal Law Firm. The Beal Law Firm practices exclusively family law.
David L. Pratt II
Texas 2012 David Jones
was selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in for the second year in a row. is a member of the Decker appellate practice group.
2008 Sharesa Alexander
received her LL.M. in international finance and U.S. taxation in May 2011. She was also selected to be a member of the 2011-2012 class of the State Bar Leadership Program.
Elisa Fox has joined Cantey Hanger LLP as an associate. She previously had been an attorney in the E.C. Fox Law Firm and general counsel with Cummings Electrical, Inc. Nathan Graham was named a 2012
Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star for consumer bankruptcy and was also named Best Bankruptcy Attorney for the second year in a row by the Lewisville and Flower Mound Leader in their 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards.
J.D. Milks and his wife, Terri, welcomed a son, Gage Walker Milks, on March 30, 2012, at 3:24 p.m. J.D. also recently opened his own practice, Schatz & Milks, PLLC, in Arlington with partner Aaron D. Schatz.
2010 Nicole Sallie Franklin, representing
the Austin division of Facebook, spoke to a group of students enrolled in the Law Enforcement and Legal Services Gold Seal Program of Choice at Eastern Hills High School in Fort Worth on Feb. 8, 2012.
In Memoriam The Texas Wesleyan School of Law community expresses deepest sympathy to the family, friends and classmates of our alumni who have recently passed away.
Asa L. Ellis ’03 Matthew Hyman ’06
2009 Lucy Lemons loves her new brother, Thomas.
child, Dexter Lyles Sherwood. Born on Jan. 29, 2012, at 5:07 p.m., Dexter weighed 8 pounds, 3.5 ounces and measured 20 inches.
Adam Miller recently opened the firm of Miller|Versace along with his business partner, Robert Versace. At Miller|Versace the goal is to run a general practice firm to help the local community resolve a large variety of legal issues. Christina Sherwood and her husband, Andrew, are excited to announce the arrival of their first 36
These are the obituary notices that the Office of Alumni Relations was made aware of. Please send obituary notices to Regan McDonald Texas Wesleyan School of Law 1515 Commerce Street Fort Worth, Texas 76102 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heidi S. Whitaker ’06 After a successful career in telecommunications and financial accounting and IT, Heidi transitioned to a general civil practice focused on personal injury, business law, family law, and estate planning. Current employment: Brotherton Law Firm in Highland Village, Texas Practice areas: General civil practice that includes litigation and transactional work in personal injury, family law, collaborative law, estate planning, and business and contract law
moment, I can be figuring out what evidence needs to be requested in a litigation discovery to prove or disprove claims. It doesn’t hurt that our offices are pretty casual and that my schedule has been flexible enough to allow me to spend time with my son as he completed high school and went off to college. Why do you choose to stay involved with the law school? A group of very special people took a leap of faith to start a law school in North Texas. That law school provided me, among many others, with a darn good education and basis for our practice. My involvement is a way to pay it forward and help others reach a dream and a goal. What makes you proud to be a Wesleyan law school alumna? Texas Wesleyan emphasizes real life practice. Between the
Education: J.D. from Texas Wesleyan School of Law (Moot Court Honor Society), B.S./B.A. in accounting and management information systems from University of Arizona
tenured or tenure-track professors and the adjunct professors
Community activities: Vice president and a director for the Flower Mound Bar Association; member of the Denton County Collaborative Professionals practice group; volunteer mediator with the Denton County Alternative Dispute Resolution Program; treasurer and first vice president of the Flower Mound High School Theatre Boosters Club
we have terrific alumni who bring honor on the school.
What is your favorite memory of law school? It is amazing that I have any memories of attending Texas Wesleyan at all since I was working full time, attending school at night, and raising a son. However, among my favorite memories: Justice Bob McCoy brought his Great Dane, Caesar, to Malone’s [Pub] one night. Caesar had his own bowl to drink from. … My son using legal principles on me to get a better reward for learning his multiplication tables or wondering aloud about planes flying through lightning as negligence. And, of course, closing down and opening up Starbucks when studying for exams with my study group.
who are still practicing, Wesleyan students learn how to both pass the bar exam and practice law, at least to the extent that any classroom can teach it. We don’t have a long history, but
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. I have successfully fought city hall. Along with the other attorneys in my firm, I represented a museum against the city of Dallas after the city sued our client. We counterclaimed and won our case. One of my proudest moments was arguing against the city’s claim of sovereign immunity against a former appellate justice and winning. Why did you choose to attend Texas Wesleyan? Texas Wesleyan School of Law chose me, more or less. I was working for a telecommunications company that was being sold and they had promised layoffs upon closing. I knew I was on the list due to their cost-cutting criteria. It reminded me that I had wanted to go to law school. I took the LSAT thinking that once I was in a new job I could start working on a plan
What do you like best about being a lawyer? Your job?
to enter school. With a really good LSAT score, I decided to
I like the variety in my cases and clients. One moment I can be helping a soon-to-be single parent figure out how their new life stage can work and protecting their interests. The next
Wesleyan would tell me that they had their class for the year
just try the Texas Wesleyan application. I really believed that and I could reapply later. Instead, I started a new job on a Monday and law school on that Saturday. 37
news & notes
Alumni Awards Dinner Honors Outstanding Members of the Law Community November 18, 2011 Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth
The 2011 Alumni Awards Dinner was held on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, at the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro. Alumni, their families, faculty, staff and friends of the law school gathered to pay tribute to this year’s three honorees. David L. Cook ’96 received the Richard Gershon Leadership Award, which honors someone who has demonstrated qualities that go above and beyond, who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, and who has persevered under extraordinary circumstances. Cook, a partner at Harris Cook, L.L.P., has not only achieved success in the courtroom but has also distinguished himself in the greater North Texas community. Cook was elected mayor of the city of Mansfield in 2010. He also serves as the municipal prosecutor for the city of Crowley. Most recently, Cook was honored by the Fort Worth Business Press as one of Fort Worth’s top professionals in their respective field with the “40 Under 40” award.
David L. Cook ’96; Dean Frederic White; Jill Pollak ’99; Dennis Thompson; Susan Schambacher Ross ’05, president of the alumni association board of directors; and Casey Dyer Oliver ’06, director of alumni relations and external affairs
Dennis Thompson received the Steve Chaney Friend of the Law School Award, which honors nonalumni for outstanding service to the law school. Thompson is an experienced litigation consultant and a frequent lecturer at the law school. Thompson serves as a consultant for the Law Clinic, devoting countless hours to the advancement of the law school. He also works with law students in mock trial and mock mediation competitions, coaching teams and serving as a judge for intramural competitions. Jill Pollak ’99 was named Alumna of the Year. The award honors a respected and distinguished graduate who has demonstrated exemplary service and continued commitment to the law school. Awardees have made significant contributions to the law school’s advancement, the law school community’s development, and the law school’s reputation.
Michele Audet ’95 and James Audet
Pollak is an associate with Terrence G. Turzinski, P.C., and is a leader in her law practice and in local bar associations. In 2008, she served as president of the Frisco Bar Association. She has also served on the board of the Dallas Young Lawyers Association and was a Founding Fellow of DAYL. Pollak has been a generous supporter of the law school, serving on the board of the Law Review Alumni Association from 2005 to 2009.
2011 Award Winners: Richard Gershon Leadership Award - David L. Cook ’96 Steve Chaney Friend of the Law School - Dennis Thompson Alma Hernàndez-Blackwell ’04 and Ronnie Blackwell ’04, adjunct professor
Alumna of the Year - Jill Pollak ’99 38
Kubes Casino Night co-hosted by Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association October 27, 2011, Billy Bob’s Texas Photo by Dan Brothers
Attendees try their hand at poker.
Ebony Todd ’11, Randi Hartin ’11, Amy Rice ’11 and Amber Hamilton ’11
Austin Alumni Happy Hour
November 11, 2011, The Driskill, Austin Photos by Deborah Barnett
Aric Short, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law, Kenneth Newell ’11, Wayne Cavalier ’11 and Dana Brown ‘11
Judge Kinkeade Reception
Annual Crawfish Boil
Judge Kinkeade retires after 20 years at Texas Wesleyan Law This year’s alumni weekend launched with a reception at the Ashton Depot on Thursday, April 19, 2012, for the Hon. Ed Kinkeade, who was an adjunct professor at the law school for 20 years. The fall 2011 semester marked his last semester teaching at Texas Wesleyan. “It’s been a great 20 years,” Kinkeade said. “When I first started teaching here, the law school was inside a Catholic girls’ school in Irving. Now look where we are.
Law school students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends gathered for a group photo at the Ashton Depot with Judge Ed Kinkeade. — Photo by Sarge Hill
“You could see in the eyes of those first law students their determination to make the most of their experience at the school.”
Alumni Community Crawfish & Shrimp Boil More than 400 alumni, students and friends of the law school attended the Fifth Annual Alumni Community Crawfish & Shrimp Boil, held in the law school parking lot on Saturday, April 21, 2012. Guests enjoyed crawfish, shrimp, hot dogs and much more.
Ronnie Blackwell ’04, Alma Hernàndez Blackwell ’04, Sierrah Blackwell, Steven Mosher ’95 and DeShun Eubanks ’04 — Photo by Cristina Noriega
At left: Kinkeade Reception: Aric Short, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law (right), presents Judge Ed Kinkeade with a Wesleyan Law gavel and other mementos honoring his two decades of service to the law school. — Photo by Sarge Hill Crawfish Boil: Dr. Bob Leone ’93 and his wife, Kelly Leone — Photo by Cristina Noriega Golf Photo: Martin Garcia ’12 urges a putt into the hole at The Greenhill golf tournament. — Photo by Glen Ellman
Courtney Leaverton ’11, “Crawdaddy” George Blackwell, Jeff Leaverton ’11, Emily Hollenbeck and Maria Johnson — Photo by Cristina Noriega
Thank You to the Alumni Weekend Committees! The alumni association would like to extend a special thank you to the planning committees of the Community Crawfish Boil and The Greenhill golf tournament. These groups worked to make both events a huge success!
Community Crawfish Boil
Scott Petty ’06, Martin Boyd ’03, P. Micheal Schneider ’06 and Trent Marshall ’07 — Photo by Glen Ellman
Lara Aman ’06, Chair Cheyenne Robertson Bell ’06 Mark Bohon ’06 Tiffany Burns ’00 Nikki Chriesman ’09 Rachel Davis ’07 DeShun Eubanks ’04 Alma Hernández-Blackwell ’04 Hunter Parrish ’09 Caroline Akers Peterson ’04 Susan Schambacher Ross ’05 Tony Ross ’05 Karon Rowden ’01 Katey Powell Stimek ’07
The Greenhill Rick Avery, Marcia Avery, Ashley Bragg and 1L Braxton Bragg — Photo by Glen Ellman
The Greenhill Golf Tournament The alumni association scholarship named for Chief Justice Joe Greenhill raised $12,462 during The Greenhill golf tournament this year, exceeding last year’s total. More than 90 people played in the golf tournament, making it a sell out for us! This is the first year we hosted the tournament at Sky Creek Ranch and it was an incredible success, which we attribute to Greenhill Golf Chair Mary-Margaret Spikes Lemons ’07. Her father, the late Thomas “Mac” Spikes, Jr. was the golf professional at River Crest Country Club, and we surely thank him for teaching his daughter everything there is to know about golf! We sincerely appreciate all that she has done to take our alumni golf tournament to the next level. Kudos, Mary-Margaret! We couldn’t have done it without you. 42
Mary-Margaret Lemons ’07, Chair Jeff Crook ’05 Beth Adcock ’07 Cheyenne Robertson Bell ’06 Judy Mattern Hearn ’95 Michael Huebner ’10 Scott Lindsey ’02 Bob Leone ’93 J.D. Milks ’07 Hunter Parrish ’09
2012 Alumni Weekend Sponsors
Texas Wesleyan School of Law would like to thank the following sponsors who made the 2012 alumni weekend activities a success. Their generous support benefits various programs and organizations on campus, including but not limited to, the endowed Chief Justice Joe Greenhill Scholarship and the Wesleyan Law School Annual Fund.
The Greenhill Golf Tournament Sponsors Haynes and Boone, LLP
Gardner Aldrich, LLP
Schneider Law Firm, P.C.
Jason Mills ’00
Bracewell & Giuliani LLP
Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Ray, LLP R. Mark Oliver – Brown Pruitt Peterson & Wambsganss, P.C.
Sisemore, Childress & Associates, PLLC
Falcon Document Solutions
Stephen Mosher ’95 – Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Sawyer, LLP
Cantey Hanger, LLP
Law Office of Steven K. Hayes
Law, Snakard & Gambill, P.C.
Fort Worth Business Press
Borum Law Firm, PLLC
Tarrant County Bar Association
Texas Wesleyan School of Law Alumni Association
Alumni Community Crawfish & Shrimp Boil Sponsors Law Office of Theresa Copeland ’04 Lori Campbell ’11 Michael Dawson ’09 – Dawson & Hogan, P.C. Neil Irwin ’10 Norma Bazán ’07 Pie Five Hon. Ralph Swearingin, Jr. ’94 Renea Overstreet ’08 in memory of Matthew Dunn The Law Office of Nikki L. Chriesman ’09 Trial Lab LLC Vural Law Firm, PLLC Wendy Flannigan ’06 Zach Burt ’09 – Harris Finley & Bogle, P.C. Texas Wesleyan Law Fellowship Texas Wesleyan Law Review Texas Wesleyan Law Veterans’ Project Texas Wesleyan School of Law Christian Legal Society Texas Wesleyan School of Law Cigar Society Texas Wesleyan School of Law Environmental Law Society Texas Wesleyan School of Law Labor Employment Law Association Texas Wesleyan School of Law Legal Entrepreneurships Society Texas Wesleyan School of Law Night Student Association Texas Wesleyan School of Law Outlaw Texas Wesleyan School of Law Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International
Texas Wesleyan School of Law Student Bar Association Chris ’04 and Cliff Long Dr. and Mrs. Charles Dyer III Parker McDonald, P.C. The Washington Firm Alma Hernández-Blackwell ’04 and Ronnie Blackwell ’04 Everett Chambers ’03 Casey ’06 and Mark Oliver Enterprise Home Health Solutions Judith Mattern Hearn ’95 Kaplan/PMBR Looper Reed & McGraw, P.C. Malone’s Pub The Lanier Law Firm, P.C. Caldwell & Associates, PLLC Lara Aman ’06 Harris Cook, LLP Judd & Jacks, P.L.L.C. Katey ’07 and Chris Stimek Law Office of Nancy A. Gordon, P.C. (’04) Peterson Equipment Co., Inc. Rachel ’07 and Rob ’07 Davis Storm Master, Inc. Caroline ’04 and Ben Peterson The Law Office of Lantis G. Roberts, PLLC (’09) The Depot Tony Ross ’05 – Ross Law Offices, P.C. Angela Gaither ’09 BarBri Wilson, Robertson & Cornelius, P.C. Clark Hampe ’07 Harmony Schuerman ’07 Jessica ’04 and Nathan ’08 Graham Karon Rowden ’01 in memory of Jim Bearden ’01
Boardroom Salon for Men Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Double Diamond Companies, The Cliffs Resort Leah’s Sweet Treats Metro Animals – Depot and Daycare for Dogs Nothing Bundt Cakes The Depot Stella and Dot - Shannon Berquist ’01
Attorney Job Banks A few years ago, I provided a listing of attorney job banks in our alumni magazine. Below, I have refreshed that list with revised access instructions in an effort to assist graduates who may be seeking new opportunities. As graduates of Texas Wesleyan School of Law, you continue to have access to the law school’s online job bank, powered by Symplicity. If you are unable to access our online job bank, or if you are interested in receiving the access codes for any of the password-protected job banks listed below, please contact me. Intercollegiate Job Bank: Brigham Young University Law School serves as the host of the Intercollegiate Job Bank. Each month, law schools upload their attorney job postings as a service to lawyers relocating to a new geographic area. To access the job bank, go to www.law2.byu.edu and select the Current Students link found at the top of the page. Next, select Careers on the right of the screen, and then Career Services Office (from the drop-down menu). Click on the Find a Job button and you will find the Intercollegiate Job Bank link under the Find a Job section. To gain access, both a username and password are required. State Bar of Texas Career Center: The SBOT offers an online career center where legal professionals can search jobs and post resumès. A username and password are not required to browse jobs. To access the career center, go to www.texasbar.com and select the Career Center link from the menu options at the top. Texas District & County Attorneys Association Job Bank: For those seeking positions with a district attorney’s office, the TDCAA job bank is an extremely helpful resource. It lists positions at offices throughout the state. A username and password are not required to view these postings. To access the job bank, go to www.tdcaa.com and select the Find a Job link from the menu options on the left of the page. Office of the Attorney General of Texas Job Postings: The Office of the Attorney General also makes viewing job postings online available. To view a current list of positions, go to www.oag.state.tx.us and select the Employment link from the menu options. Next, select the Job Postings link in the “Employment Pages” box. The OAG job bank allows you to view employment listings by division, location, title, monthly salary,
and posting date. It also allows you to tailor your job search by selecting a combination of categories. A username and password are not required to view the postings. Federal Government Jobs: USAJOBS serves as the official job site for the United States federal government. It is the one-stop source for federal jobs and employment information. To access the federal job bank, go to www.usajobs.gov. Enter the word ‘attorney’ in the “What” box and a city, state or zip code in the “Where” box then click on the Search Jobs button. A username and password are not required to view the listings. Local Bar Association Job Banks: Some local bar associations offer online job posting boards. To access the Tarrant County Bar Association’s job bank, go to www.tarrantbar.org and select the Classifieds link from the menu options at the top of the screen. Next, select Employment Opportunities. To access the Dallas Bar Association’s job bank, go to www.dallasbar.org and select Membership and then select the Career Center link. A username and password are not required to view either job bank. Texas Workforce Commission Job Bank: To access the TWC job bank, go to www.workintexas.com. Once on the site, you can register as a job seeker or, if you prefer to view positions without registering, select the Search All Jobs link under the Job Seeker Registration section. Enter the word ‘attorney’ in the text box and the system will allow you to view jobs. For a more detailed search, you can register and create an account. American Bar Association’s Career Center: The ABA’s Career Center also makes a job bank available at www.americanbar. org/resources_for_lawyers/careercenter.html. To access job postings, select the Search for Jobs link found on the left side of the page. You can browse jobs by doing a keyword search in the Quick Job Search section or create an account to conduct a detailed job search and apply for jobs. Sincerely,
Arturo Errisuriz, Assistant Dean for Career Services email@example.com
Texas Wesleyan School of Law Office of Career Services 1515 Commerce Street | Fort Worth, Texas 76102 817-212-4050 | 817-212-4059 fax | www.law.txwes.edu
Join us as we honor our
Save the date for the 2012 Alumni Awards Dinner! This year’s dinner will be held on Friday, Nov. 9 at Billy Bob’s Texas. This year we will recognize our 5and 10-year reunion classes, the classes of 2003 and 2008. See you there!
Susan Schambacher Ross ’05, immediate past president of the alumni association (left), and Jill Pollak ’99, 2011 Alumna of the Year — Photo by Sarge Hill
A Time of THANKS A note of special thanks to our outstanding committee chairs this year and past Alumni Association Board President Susan Schambacher Ross ’05. An associate at Foster & East, Susan juggled a thriving civil litigation practice, alumni association board meetings, and various committee assignments. She has a passion for the law school, especially our alumni, and it shows in all the volunteer time and leadership she gave to the association. Throughout her tenure as president, the association coordinated various activities for the alumni, hosting our most well-attended alumni awards dinner to date at the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro. We sincerely thank her and her husband, Tony ’05, for their dedication to us.
President Scott Lindsey ’02 took office on June 1, 2012. Scott is employed as a staff attorney for the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth, Texas. We look forward to the new initiatives he will implement during his term. As the past Greenhill golf chair, we are certain that 2012-2013 will be another exciting year.
Susan Schambacher Ross ’05
Scott Lindsey ’02