FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2023
Contact: Lowell Brown
Communications Director, State Bar of Texas
Keynote speakers announced for 2023 State Bar of
Annual Meeting in Austin
AUSTIN—Former U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr, Texas Supreme Court Senior Justice Debra H. Lehrmann, Uniform Law Commission Executive Committee Chair Timothy Berg, and Chet Garner of PBS’ The Daytripper will be keynote speakers at the 2023 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Austin.
The annual meeting attracts hundreds of attorneys from across the state and beyond for two full days of continuing legal education and networking. This year’s conference will take place June 22-23 at the JW Marriott Austin.
Barr, the 77th and 85th U.S. attorney general, will keynote the Bar Leaders Recognition Luncheon on June 22. Lehrmann and Berg will share the stage as keynote speakers at the Bench Bar Breakfast on June 23. Garner will keynote the General Session Luncheon on June 23, which also will feature the swearing in of 2023-2024 State Bar of Texas President Cindy V. Tisdale.
The annual meeting offers an engaging way for attorneys to earn a year’s worth of continuing legal education in just two days, and nearly every practice area is represented in the diverse programming schedule. Early bird registration is underway through May 23 at texasbar.com/annualmeeting.
A native New Yorker, Barr earned his A.B. and M.A. degrees at Columbia University and, while working at the CIA, earned his law degree at night at George Washington University. After a prestigious judicial clerkship, Barr spent a decade practicing law at a Washington firm, interrupted by a stint in the Reagan White House.
President George H.W. Bush successively appointed Barr assistant attorney general, deputy attorney general, and finally the 77th attorney general, where he played a key role in seminal events of that era, including the invasion of Panama, Pan Am 103, the Gulf War, the S&L crisis, and the LA riots. After that service, Barr spent 15 years as general counsel of GTE Corporation, and its successor company, Verizon. Retiring at the end of 2008, Barr served on a number of corporate boards and consulted for corporate clients.
In late 2018, Barr agreed to serve again as attorney general. Taking office in February 2019, Barr was called on to address many foreign and domestic challenges.
Barr is a founder and managing director of the Torridon Group LLC and Torridon Law PLLC, and a distinguished fellow at the Hudson Institute. His memoir, One Damn Thing After Another, published in March 2022, was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller.
Senior Justice Debra Lehrmann
Debra H. Lehrmann is the senior justice on the Texas Supreme Court and the court’s longestserving woman justice in Texas history. With a total of almost 35 years of judicial experience, she was a trial judge in Tarrant County prior to her appellate service.
Nationally known, she is a past chair of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, a commissioner on the Uniform Law Commission, and a member of the American Law Institute. She has also been an active leader in the Texas legal community for many years; she served as the inaugural chair of the State Bar of Texas Child Protection Law Section, is an emeritus member and past president of the Lloyd Lochridge Inn of Court, is a past president of the Texas Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the Texas Bar Foundation, and the Tarrant County Bar Foundation.
Senior Justice Lehrmann has received numerous awards, including the Champion for Children Award, the Texas Women Lawyers Pathfinder Award, the Child Protection Law Section Founder’s Award, the Texas Bar Foundation’s recognition for Best Law Review Article, the CASA Scott Moore Award, and the Eva Barnes Award.
A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she received her undergraduate degree with high honors from the University of Texas, her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, and her LL.M. degree from Duke Law. Senior Justice Lehrmann and her husband, attorney Greg Lehrmann, have a wonderful family: sons Gregory and Jonathan, both practicing lawyers, daughter-in-law Sarah, and grandchildren Jack and Haley.
Timothy Berg, of Phoenix, Arizona, is general counsel with Fennemore and a distinguished attorney in the firm’s business litigation practice group, focusing primarily in the areas of civil appeals, state constitutional and public law, public records law, and public utilities regulation.
Throughout his career as an appellate attorney, he has participated in the briefing or argument of more than 500 appeals before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Tenth Circuit, the Second Circuit, the Fourth Circuit, the Fifth Circuit, the Eleventh Circuit, the Federal Circuit, the Supreme Court of Arizona, and both divisions of the Arizona Court of Appeals. His appellate practice spans a broad field of substantive areas, including Arizona constitutional and public law, public records law, insurance coverage, medical malpractice, product liability, environmental, state and local taxation, business torts, real property and mineral rights, bankruptcy, public lands, and public utilities. Berg represents state and local governments and agencies, as well as companies and individuals in disputes with the government.
As an appellate attorney, Berg represents business and government clients in litigation arising under Arizona and other states’ public records law, and regularly assists clients in protecting their personal, proprietary, or confidential information from improper disclosure as a result of public records requests. Berg also represents clients before the Arizona Legislature and state agencies.
In his role as an Arizona uniform laws commissioner, he serves on drafting committees for projects involving uniform state laws and model acts for adoption by American Indian tribes. He clerked for Judge Richard H. Chambers, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Outside of his work as an appellate attorney, he enjoys date nights with his wife, Pat, going to the theater, reading, or watching sports. He is a devoted Arizona Diamondbacks fan.
Chet Garner is the creator, host, and executive producer of The Daytripper, a 13-time Emmyaward- winning Texas travel show airing on PBS stations across the country.
Born in Comanche and raised in Port Neches, Texas, Garner’s love for storytelling began at a young age around the Boy Scout campfire and toting around his grandfather’s VHS video camera.
Garner earned a degree in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin and went on to graduate first in his class from Baylor Law School. However, after practicing law for three years, he decided to follow his passions and simultaneously inspire folks to appreciate the beauty, history, and food of the Lone Star State.
What followed was a crash course in travel, filmmaking, marketing, and doing whatever it takes to start a successful TV show. When not traveling, Garner is at home in Georgetown, Texas with his wife and five children (14, 12, 9, 7, and 3)—although he’s usually got them on the road too.
Learn more about The Daytripper at http://thedaytripper.com.
Media note: Photos of the keynote speakers are available upon request.
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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 facebook.com/statebaroftexas, or visit texasbar.com.