Memorials

Submit a memorial at texasbar.com/memorials or call (512) 427-1830. For information on closing a deceased attorney’s practice, go to www.texasbarcle.com/materials/closingapractice.html.


Richard F. Martin

Richard MartinMartin, 70, of Richardson, died June 24, 2017. He served in the U.S. Navy and Reserves from 1964 to 1974. Martin received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974. He was an associate of Chancellor & Wood in Dallas from 1974 to 1977; a partner in Chancellor, Wood & Martin in Dallas from 1977 to 1985 and in private practice or managing partner with associates in Dallas from 1985 through 2014. Martin was an active member of St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church in Richardson, where he served as an elder, trustee, captain of an ushering team, and in many other positions. He was a certified Dallas County Master Gardener and worked on numerous projects within the organization. Martin is survived by his wife of 49 years, Clare Martin; sons, Christopher R. Martin and Eric J. Martin; brothers, John Martin and Les Martin; and one grandchild.


Natalie Stewart Cortez

Natalie Stewart CortezCortez, 40, of Dallas, died January 10, 2018. She received her law degree from Stanford Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2009. Cortez was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 2002 and the District of Columbia Bar in 2003. She was an associate of Powell Goldstein in Washington, D.C., from 2002 to 2007; an associate of Sayles Werbner in Dallas from 2008 to 2012; and an associate of Priest Johnson in Dallas from 2012 to 2013. Cortez is survived by her husband of 14 years, Nathan Cortez; son, Hugo Cortez; daughter, Mia Cortez; father, Randy Stewart; mother, Nancy Stewart; brothers, Trey Stewart and Nick Stewart; and sister, Carmen Clipper.


Donald Ross Patterson

Donald Ross PattersonPatterson, 78, of Tyler, died October 10, 2017. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, his LLM from Southern Methodist University School of Law, and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964. Patterson served in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1965 to 1982. He was in private practice in Tyler from 1982 to 2009 and an attorney in the immigration law section of a Tyler firm from 2009 to 2012. Patterson was a member of the Texas Bar College and certified in immigration law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The highlight of his career was arguing Miller v. Albright before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997. Patterson was an honest lawyer and admired by all. He enjoyed photography, model railroading, and collecting fountain pens and watches. Patterson is survived by his wife of 52 years, Peggy Ann Patterson; sons, D. Ross Patterson and Jerome Ashley Patterson; daughter, Gretchen Anne Patterson Lees; brother, W. Wayne Patterson; and eight grandchildren.


Michelle Leek Sutton

Michelle SuttonSutton, 49, of Rockwall, died November 28, 2016. She received her law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2000. Sutton was an assistant district attorney in the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office, an associate judge and special sitting judge on Dallas County Probate Court No. 3, a Dallas County Probate Courts investigator/guardianship attorney, and a solo practitioner with Sutton Law Offices. She is survived by her husband of 18 years, Rob Sutton; daughters, Mary Ann Sutton and Monica Lynn Sutton; father, Len Leek; mother, Patricia Leek; brother, Brian Leek; and sister, Monica Leek.


Merle Richard Flagg

Merle Richard FlaggFlagg, 88, of Frisco, died January 14, 2018. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Flagg received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1956. He was an assistant district attorney with Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade; an attorney with Gilliland, Cates & Flagg; and with Flagg Law Corporation from 1980 to 2015. Flagg served on the Dallas Bar Association Fee Disputes Committee and was a practicing certified public accountant and a lifetime member of the Texas Society of CPAs. He was a man of deep faith and integrity, serving as chairman of deacons and choir president at First Baptist Dallas. Flagg enjoyed traveling the country with his wife in their motorhome. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lottie Lee Flagg; sons, Mark Flagg, attorney Neal Flagg, and attorney Brett Flagg; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Lawrence A. Melcher

Lawrence MelcherMelcher, 92, of Lubbock, died January 20, 2018. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946 and in the Reserves from 1947 to 1955. Melcher received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1950. He was a solo practitioner in Lubbock from 1950 to 2013. Melcher was dually appointed and qualified as an attorney and counselor of the U.S. Supreme Court. He owned and operated land in Hall County, where he raised cotton, alfalfa, and cattle. Melcher is survived by his daughters, Melynie M. Greaser and Mellisa M. Talley; brother, Robert Melcher; sister, Margaret McWilliams; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.


Emily Inin Burnett

Emily Inin BurnettBurnett, 32, of Durham, North Carolina, died November 23, 2016. She received her law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2012. Burnett was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 2015 and to the New York State Bar in 2014. She was an intern in the Office of the Tribal Prosecutor for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, North Carolina, from May to August 2011; a defense counsel for juveniles as a certified law student at the Juvenile Justice Clinic in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from August to December 2011; a law clerk to Judge J. Scott Hacker, of the U.S. District and Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas (Laredo Division), from August 2012 to August 2013, to Judge Mary Lou Robinson, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Amarillo Division), from August 2013 to August 2014, and at the Massachusetts Superior Court in Boston and New Bedford from September 2014 to September 2015. Burnett had a drive to help those in need and for animal rescue. She will be remembered for her intelligent wit and kindness. Burnett is survived by her father, Bruce K. Burnett; mother, Gail L. Burnett; brothers, Michael J. Burnett and Iain C. Burnett; half-brother, Ryan Burnett; and half-sister, Ashley Burnett. Contributions to the Emily’s Light Cystic Fibrosis Foundation would be greatly appreciated.


Eddie Mack Tubb

Eddie Mack TubbTubb, 77, of Spring, died January 15, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1969. Tubb was a partner in Tubb, Lowder & Easterwood in Hereford from 1969 to 1971 and a partner in Tubb & Easterwood in Hereford from 1971 to 1986. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and golf. Tubb is survived by his wife of 52 years, Melissa; daughters, Penny Tubb and Libby Tubb Garavito; brother, Joe Tubb; and four grandchildren.


Bernard B. Athey Jr.

Bernard AtheyAthey, 86, of Dallas, died January 6, 2018. He served in the U.S. Army from October 1953 to October 1956. Athey received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1962. He was an attorney for Vinson & Elkins in Houston and London, England, United Kingdom, from 1971 to 1978. Athey helped open the Vinson & Elkins London office and worked there from 1972 to 1977. He was an attorney for Looper, Reed & McGraw in Houston from 1978 to 2003 and of counsel to Looper, Reed & McGraw in Dallas from 2003 to 2013. Athey was certified in oil and gas law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, received an Outstanding 50-Year Lawyer Award from the Texas Bar Foundation in 2012, and was a member of Delta Theta Phi law fraternity. He had a lifelong love of hunting, was an avid skeet shooter, and was a dedicated swimmer. Athey is survived by his wife of 57 years, Shirley Athey; son, David Athey; daughters, Barbara Romano and Sarah Buchanan; brothers, William Athey and John Athey; and five grandchildren.


Susan K. Knoll

Susan KnollKnoll, 58, of Houston, died January 24, 2018. She received her law degree from the South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1988. Knoll worked at Arnold, White & Durkee, which later became Howrey, from 1988 to 2008; McDermott Will & Emery from 2009 to 2010; and Wong Cabello Lutsch Rutherford from 2012 to 2015. She was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and was admitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Knoll is survived by her life partner, Dan Liebman; father, LeRoy Knoll; and sisters, Lee Ann Jones, Kara Reynolds, and Teresa Darnell.


John Hess McElhaney

JOhn McElhaneyMcElhaney, 83, of Dallas, died January 27, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958. McElhaney was a partner in Turner, Rodgers, Winn, Scurlock & Sailers from 1958 to 1976 and in Locke, Purnell, Boren, Laney & Neely (now Locke Lord) from 1976 to 2016. He was elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers, served in several leadership capacities for the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas, and received the SMU Dedman School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007. McElhaney enjoyed scuba diving trips to remote locations, biking through New England to see fall foliage, and exploring Europe by riverboat. He is survived by his wife of almost 56 years, Jackie McElhaney; son, Scott M. McElhaney; daughter, Victoria McElhaney Benedict; and four grandchildren.


Leland A. Sebastian

Leland SebastianSebastian, 88, of San Antonio, died October 30, 2017. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Sebastian received his law degree from the George Washington University Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1986. He worked as a patent examiner in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and as a volunteer attorney in legal aid, helping with immigration amnesty programs. Sebastian also worked for many years as a court-appointed attorney in criminal juvenile defense and adult criminal defense. He enjoyed reading and traveling and was known for his desire to always help others. Sebastian is survived by his wife of 42 years, Maria Carmen, and his sister, Ludeen Duck.TBJ

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