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May 9, 2022
Contact: Bambi Hall
Public Affairs Director, State Bar of Texas
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1706, or (512) 427-1706

Keynote speakers announced for 2022 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Houston

AUSTIN—The State Bar of Texas is excited to welcome three dynamic keynote speakers for its 2022 Annual Meeting in Houston, on June 9 and 10. Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd, internationally best-selling novelist Corban Addison, and Simon Tam—an activist and bassist of The Slants, will speak separately over the two-day event held at the Marriott Marquis Houston.

“After two years of virtual meetings, we couldn’t be more excited to gather this year in Houston for two days of CLE sessions and networking events,” said Sylvia Borunda Firth, 2021-2022 president of the State Bar of Texas. “And we are thrilled to present these outstanding keynote speakers.”

Shepherd, a James Beard award winner who has helped change the landscape of the Houston culinary scene for the past 10 years, will headline the Bar Leaders Recognition Luncheon at noon on Thursday, June 9. Shepherd’s foundation Southern Smoke has distributed more than $9.7 million to people in the food and beverage industry in need via the Emergency Relief Fund.

Addison, also an attorney and activist, will keynote the Bench Bar Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, June 10. The author wrote best-sellers A Walk Across the Sun, The Garden of Burning Sand, The Tears of Dark Water (winner of the inaugural Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize), and A Harvest of Thorns, all of which focus on some of today’s most pressing human rights issues. He will speak on his upcoming book Wastelands.

An author, musician, activist, and self-proclaimed troublemaker, Tam will be featured at the General Session Luncheon at noon on Friday, June 10. He is the founder and bassist of The Slants, which he describes as the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock band. But it’s his work as an activist that has earned him worldwide recognition. As the recipient of the Mark T. Banner award from the American Bar Association and the Hugh M Hefner First Amendment Award, Tam may be best known for winning a landmark case at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017. The case (Matal v. Tam) was named Milestone Case of the Year from Managing IP Magazine. His memoir, Slanted: How an Asian American Troublemaker Took on the Supreme Court, was named "One of the Best Books on the Constitution of All Time" by BookAuthority and won an award for Best Autobiography/Memoir from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Media note: Photos of the keynote speakers are available upon request.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at, or visit


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