News From Around The Bar

U.S. Supreme Court Justice to Keynote Hemphill Dinner

GorsuchU.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch will be the keynote speaker at the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society’s 24th annual John Hemphill Dinner on September 6 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. Marcy Hogan Greer, 2018-2019 society president, will preside over the evening program, which includes a presentation of the 11th annual Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award by the Texas Center for Legal Ethics. The award recognizes a Texas appellate lawyer or judge who demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and integrity. Proceeds from the dinner support the society’s archival and educational programs, including its journal and book publishing projects. For ticket information, go to or email

Benny Agosto Jr. is New Houston Bar Association President

AgostoBenny Agosto Jr., a partner in Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz, is the new president of the Houston Bar Association. Agosto was sworn in as the new president of the Houston Bar Association during the annual dinner meeting on May 16. He succeeds Warren W. Harris, a partner in Bracewell, who will serve on the HBA Board of Directors as immediate past president. Agosto is the first Spanish-speaking president of the HBA and the second Hispanic to lead the bar association. Other new officers are President-elect Bill Kroger, of Baker Botts; First Vice President Chris Popov, of Vinson & Elkins; Second Vice President David Harrell, of Locke Lord; Treasurer Jennifer A. Hasley, of Hasley Scarano; and Secretary Diana Gomez, of Chamberlain Hrdlicka. New directors for 2019-2021 are Collin Cox, of Yetter Coleman; Daniella Landers, of Reed Smith; Erin Lunceford, of Norton Rose Fulbright; and Pamela A. Medina, of Cadence Bank. Finishing terms as directors for 2018-2020 are Greg Moore, of Norton Rose Fulbright; Robert Painter, of the Painter Law Firm; Greg Ulmer, of BakerHostetler; and Mitch Reid, of Hunton Andrews Kurth. Photo courtesy of the Houston Bar Association.

D. Todd Smith is New Austin Bar Association President

SmithD. Todd Smith, a civil appellate attorney with Smith Law Group, was elected president of the Austin Bar Association for the 2019-2020 term. He has served on the Austin Bar Association Board of Directors since 2011. Smith plans to focus on attorney well-being during his term. Other members of the 2019-2020 executive committee are President-elect Kennon Wooten, of Scott Douglass & McConnico; Secretary David Courreges, of Courreges PC; Treasurer Amanda Arriaga, of the Texas Department of Public Safety; and past President Adam Schramek, of Norton Rose Fulbright.

Houston Bar Association presents awards at annual dinner

The Houston Bar Association presented a new award for outstanding achievement and leadership for women in the law to former Texas Supreme Court Justice Ruby Kless Sondock at its annual dinner meeting on May 16. Sondock was the first woman to serve on the Texas Supreme Court and the first woman district court judge in Harris County. The Justice Eugene A. Cook Professionalism Award was awarded to Harry M. Reasoner, of Vinson & Elkins, and Fred Hagans, of Hagans Montgomery & Rustay. Christopher A. Prine, court clerk for both the 1st and 14th Courts of Appeals in Houston, was honored with a special HBA President’s Award for Service.

Dallas’ Bishop Lynch places 10th at National High School Mock Trial Competition

Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas finished 10th out of 46 teams at the 2019 National High School Mock Trial Competition held from May 16 to May 19 in Athens, Georgia. This marked the second time in the past five years that a Texas team has placed in the top 10. In March, Bishop Lynch topped 28 Texas high school teams to earn its place at the national competition. Evelyn Penrose, of Wylie High School, took top honors out of eight artists competing in the national competition’s art contest. For more information about the National High School Mock Trial Competition, go to

Texas’ Newest Attorneys Sworn In

Texas’ newly licensed attorneys were sworn in May 13 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. The state’s highest courts, the State Bar, the Texas Board of Law Examiners, law school deans, and friends and family looked on as inductees took the Lawyer’s Oath during the New Lawyers Induction Ceremony. “It says a lot about who you are and what you are capable of,” said the bar exam’s highest scorer, Round Rock-based attorney Melanie McCammon. “First it shows you can think like a lawyer. You have the ability to think critically, analytically, creatively to take the facts that you’re given and question them and solve problems not just in the courtroom or across a negotiation table but in social media or whatever life throws at you.” To watch a video of the New Lawyers Induction Ceremony, go to the State Bar of Texas’ YouTube page at


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