Movers and Shakers

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Michael S. McGovern has been promoted to partner in MWR Legal, 620 Congress Ave., Ste. 320, Austin 78701.

Ryan Kellus Turner, general counsel and director of education for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center in Austin, received the 2016 Outstanding Government Lawyer Award from the State Bar of Texas Government Law Section.

Sherine E. Thomas, of the Travis County Attorney’s Office, received the Texas District and County Attorneys Association’s Gerald Summerford Civil Practitioner of the Year Award.

Charmaine Wilde, previously with the Hays County District Attorney’s Office, is now an associate of the Law Office of John McGlothlin, 133 W. San Antonio St., Ste. 400, San Marcos 78666.

Dirk R. Moore, previously with Campbell & Riggs, is now of counsel to Hajjar Peters, 3144 Bee Caves Rd., Austin 78746.

David C. Lawrence, previously with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, is now a shareholder in Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, 303 Colorado St., Ste. 2600, Austin 78701. Adam J. Richie, previously with Coats Rose, is now an associate of the firm.

Katie A. Fillmore, previously with Bowman and Brooke, is now counsel to Butler Snow, 1250 Capital of Texas Hwy. South, Bldg. 3, Ste. 400, Austin 78746.

Carlos M. Zaffirini Jr., of Adelanto HealthCare Ventures, has been appointed to the Texas Access to Justice Foundation Board of Directors.

Tamra J. Wilkinson English is now senior associate general counsel and managing attorney of the general law section in the Office of General Counsel for the University of Texas System, 201 W. Seventh St., Sixth Fl., Austin 78701. Omar A. Syed is now associate vice chancellor and deputy general counsel to the system.


M. Edward Burdzinski has opened the firm M. Edward Burdzinski to the general public, with its main office in Houston.

S. Benjamin “Benjy” Shabot, previously with Bettison, Doyle, Apffel & Guarino, is now a partner in Simpson, Beeton, Shabot & McConnell, 2200 Market St., Ste. 801, Galveston 77550. Stakely McConnell, also with the firm, has been promoted to partner.

Blue Rannefeld is now a senior associate of the Potts Law Firm in Houston and Fort Worth, 100 Waugh Dr., Ste. 350, Houston 77007.

Thomas Smith, previously with BG Group, is now executive vice president and general counsel for Direct Energy, 12 Greenway Plz., Ste. 250, Houston 77046.

Thomas C. Turner Jr. and Jocelyn L. Buckley have founded Buckley & Turner, 1302 Waugh Dr., Ste. 326, Houston 77019.

Mark R. Zeidman, Richard L. Spencer, J. Beverly, Kenneth H. Holt, and Edward Williamson, all previously with Dow Golub Remels & Beverly, have founded Zeidman Spencer Beverly & Holt, 9 Greenway Plz., Ste. 500, Houston 77046. Kimberly A. Chojnacki, previously with Dow Golub, and Nicole L. Phillips are now associates of the firm.

Emily R. Lee, of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz in Houston, has been appointed vice chair of the American Bar Association Health Law Section’s business and transactions interest group.

B. Todd Patterson, of Patterson & Sheridan in Houston, has been inducted as a Master of the Bench into the Honorable Nancy F. Atlas Intellectual Property American Inn of Court.

Dan Linebaugh, of the Linebaugh Law Firm in Baytown, was named a diplomate of trial advocacy by the American Association for Justice.

Howard L. Katz, a founding partner in Coveler & Katz, is now of counsel to the firm, 820 Gessner Rd., Ste. 1710, Houston 77024.

Brent L. Vannoy is now a partner in Hughes Watters Askanase, 1201 Louisiana St., 28th Fl., Houston 77002.

Jack Roady, Galveston County criminal district attorney, received the Prosecutor of the Year Award from the State Bar of Texas Criminal Justice Section.

Taylor P. Evans, previously with Bracewell, is now a partner in Hogan Lovells, 700 Louisiana St., Ste. 4300, Houston 77002.

Benny Agosto Jr., of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend in Houston, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Houston Baptist University and was inducted into the HBU Sports Hall of Honor.

Alejandro “Alex” Cestero, of Frank’s International in Houston, was appointed to serve on the state’s Judicial Compensation Commission by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Dawn Allison, previously in private practice in El Campo, was appointed as Wharton County district attorney by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Allen H. Zwernemann, of the Zwernemann Law Firm in Houston, was inducted into the Texas Bar College.

Christopher Richardson, previously with Mubadala Petroleum, is now a partner in Andrews Kurth, 600 Travis St., Ste. 4200, Houston 77002.


Jennifer Bley Sweeny has been named a partner in Dowell Pham Harrison, 505 Pecan St., Ste. 101, Fort Worth 76102.

Dennis Cassell is now of counsel to Scheef & Stone, 500 N. Akard St., Ste. 2700, Dallas 75201.

Katherine A. Kinser, of Kinser & Bates in Dallas, is now the 2016-2017 president-elect of the Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Jonathan J. Bates, also with the firm, was elected 2016-2017 president of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists.

Bill Hicks, previously with MehaffyWeber, and Sharon Hicks, previously with Frac Tech, are now senior attorneys with Eggleston King, 201 Fort Worth Hwy., Weatherford 76086.

G. Michael Brown, previously with the Ben Carson presidential campaign, is now an attorney with Jordan, Houser & Flournoy, 10000 N. Central Expy., Ste. 800, Dallas 75231.

Julia F. Pendery has closed the Pendery Law Firm and is now of counsel to Cowles & Thompson, 901 Main St., Ste. 3900, Dallas 75202.

Kathryn J. Murphy, of GoransonBain in Plano, was appointed chair of the State Bar of Texas Family Law Section.

Eric G. Begun, previously with Intel Security, is now a partner in King & Fisher, 13155 Noel Rd., Ste. 900, Dallas 75240.

Wes Bearden, of Bearden Investigative Agency in Dallas, received the Hudgins-Sallee Award from the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators.

Zachary K. Ferguson II, previously with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, has founded the Law Office of Zach Ferguson, 5001 Brentwood Stair Rd., Fort Worth 76112.

Sadaf R. Abdullah has been promoted to partner in Skiermont Derby, 2200 Ross Ave., Ste. 4800W, Dallas 75201.

Ryan Jenlink is now an associate of Harness, Dickey & Pierce, 2601 Network Blvd., Ste. 100, Frisco 75034.

Vienna Flores, Lamar L. Jones, and Maris Matocha are now associates of Kane Russell Coleman & Logan, 1601 Elm St., Ste. 3700, Dallas 75201.

Jennifer Rymell, judge of the Tarrant County Court at Law No. 2, is now chair-elect of the State Bar of Texas Judicial Section.

Preston Dugas III, previously with the McDonald Law Firm, is now of counsel to Broude, Smith & Jennings, 309 W. Seventh St., Ste. 1100, Fort Worth 76102. Lyndsey Segars Cheek, previously with the McDonald Law Firm, is now an associate of the firm.

Charles W. Shewmake, previously with BNSF Railway Corporation, is now a partner in Thompson & Knight, 1722 Routh St., Ste. 1500, Dallas 75201.

Robbie Malone, Bruce Akerly, and Xerxes Martin have founded Malone Akerly Martin, 8750 N. Central Expy., Ste. 1850, Dallas 75231. Cooper Walker is now an associate of the firm.

Jodi Bender has been promoted to partner in Duffee & Eitzen, 4311 Oak Lawn Ave., Ste. 600, Dallas 75219.

Alexis L. Angell, of Polsinelli in Dallas, was chosen for the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Leadership Class of 2016.


Kristen Hunter, previously with Kelly A. Matthews & Associates, has founded Halverson Hunter at Law, 9100 I-10W, Ste. 200, San Antonio 78230.

David Henderson, previously with Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, is now an attorney with Cowen Mask Blanchard, 6243 I-10W, Ste. 801, San Antonio 78201.

Vanessa Russell-Evans is now general counsel to and vice president of legal services for Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, 1 Randolph Brooks Pkwy., Live Oak 78233.

Tracy C. Almanzan and Emily K. Dawson, both previously with the El Paso County Attorney’s Office, are now managing partners in the Almanzan & Dawson Law Office, 521 Texas Ave., El Paso 79901.


Antonio Garza, of White & Chase in Mexico City, Mexico, was named a governance and board leadership fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Jon Pitcher is now a senior associate of Smith Simmons, 252 N.W. 70th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73116.TBJ

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