News From Around The Bar
Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans raises approximately
The Texas Access to Justice Commission with its co-sponsor, the State Bar of Texas, honored veterans throughout the state at the 2021 Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans on April 6, 2021, via YouTube. This year, the commission raised approximately $448,000 to help provide civil legal services to low-income Texas veterans. Texas Supreme Court Justices Eva Guzman and Brett Busby, both court liaisons to the commission, were masters of ceremony and welcomed guests to the virtual event. Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht and former Texas Supreme Court Justices Deborah Hankinson and Harriet O’Neill talked about the history of the commission, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the importance of providing civil legal services to low-income Texans. The following award recipients were recognized: Beth Mitchell and Allison Eichenfeld Neal both received the James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award, R. Paul Yetter received the Harry M. Reasoner Justice for All Award, and Fred Fuchs received the Emily C. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award. Texas Access to Justice Commission Chair Harry M. Reasoner introduced keynote speaker Gen. Larry O. Spencer, former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force who retired in 2015 after 44 years of distinguished service to the U.S., having earned the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit. Spencer said he tries to support those whom he thinks are the backbone of the military—the enlisted. He talked about three enlisted men who inspired him to join the military. “Because they instilled this sense of patriotism in me and they instilled in me this sense of love for our country,” Spencer said. “And that it’s all about responsibility to make this country as strong as it can be.” For more information about the Texas Access to Justice Commission, go to texasatj.org.
Frank Stevenson elected Western States Bar Conference president
Frank Stevenson, of Locke Lord in Dallas and a past president of the State Bar of Texas, has been elected as president of the Western States Bar Conference. The WSBC is a forum for the interchange of ideas among the leaders of the 15 WSBC member states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming). The two-and-a-half day conference includes discussion on cutting-edge issues for the legal profession, bar governance, and how best to manage bar associations. The WSBC president works collaboratively with the executive director of the current conference host state to develop programming and themes in consultation with other bar leaders. Stevenson previously served as WSBC president-elect and vice president. For more information about WSBC, go to westernstatesbarconference.com.
Texas Bar Foundation selects four Outstanding 50 Year Lawyers
The Texas Bar Foundation has selected Allan DuBois, Kelly Frels, Harriet Miers, and Terry Tottenham to receive Outstanding 50 Year Lawyers Awards. All four recipients are past presidents of the State Bar of Texas. The award recognizes attorneys whose practice has spanned 50 years or more and who adhere to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and service to the public. DuBois is a solo practitioner in San Antonio, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and volunteers for Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans. He is chair-elect of the Texas Center for Legal Ethics. Frels is of counsel to Bracewell in Houston. He is considered by many as the “father of Texas school law.” Frels previously chaired the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and is a Texas Bar Foundation sustaining life fellow. Miers is a partner in Locke Lord in Dallas. She currently serves on the Texas Access to Justice Commission, is co-chair of the Legal Services Corporation Leaders Council, and chairs the Center for American and International Law Board of Trustees. Tottenham is of counsel to Norton Rose Fulbright US in Austin. He has been certified in personal injury and civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1987. Tottenham launched Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans—a program modeled after one started by the Houston Bar Association—which provides pro bono legal services to needy veterans and their families. The four are slated to be honored at the Texas Bar Foundation Annual Dinner on June 18, 2021, at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.
South Texas College of Law Houston adds five members to board
South Texas College of Law Houston added five new members to its board of directors. New members are Michael E. Cokinos and law school alumni Aparna Dave, Ephraim del Pozo, Mary-Olga Lovett, and Aaron M. Reimer. “We are proud to welcome five exceptional new board members to South Texas College of Law Houston,” said Michael F. Berry, president and dean, in a press release. “The new board members bring a wealth of business and legal experience to their leadership roles at our nearly 100-year-old law school. From expertise in domestic and international energy, to corporate law, finance, intellectual property litigation, and family law, these new members of the STCL Houston family ideally are positioned to support the law school’s strategic plan leading into our centennial celebration in 2023.” Cokinos is president and CEO of Cokinos Energy Corporation. Dave is managing counsel to Wells Fargo Bank in Houston. Del Pozo is an attorney at Porter Hedges in Houston. Lovett is senior vice president of Greenberg Traurig. Reimer is a partner in Jenkins & Kamin in Houston. For more information about South Texas College of Law Houston, go to stcl.edu.
State Bar of Texas Women and the Law Section announces 2021
Texas Law Student Writing Competition winners
The State Bar of Texas Women and the Law Section announced that Taylor Feldt, of SMU Dedman School of Law, took first place in the 2021 Texas Law Student Writing Competition. Brooke López, of UNT Dallas College of Law, earned second place honors. Feldt’s essay “Are Men and Women Treated Equally in the Workplace?: A Pregnant Question,” earned her the 2021 Harriet E. Miers Writing Competition Award and $1,000 toward law school educational expenses. López’s essay “Title IX and Tampons: How the Department of Education is Failing Menstruators Nationwide,” earned the second place honor and includes $500 for law school educational expenses. The section sought essays for identifying and analyzing legal challenges for women in Texas and/or nationwide based on recent news reports. Read the winning entries at txwomenlawsection.org/winning-law-student-essays/. For more information about the Women and the Law Section, go to txwomenlawsection.org.TBJ