Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Fall 2009

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Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Fall 2009


St. Mary's University School of Law


Making their Mark: Alumni Build Prestige with Success Giving Back, 2009 Distinguished Graduates, New Deans, Red Mass, In Memoriam: Solomon Casseb Jr.


St. Mary's University School of Law


St. Mary's University School of Law San Antonio Texas, St. Mary's University School of Law, Sarita Kenedy Law Library




Charles E. Cantu, Beth Barbee


Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter




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Fall 2009

St. Mary’s University | School of Law

INSIDE: 2009 Distinguished Graduates New Deans Red Mass

» Making their Mark
Alumni build prestige with success, giving back » continued p. 1

Dear Fellow Graduates, We are in the middle of an exciting fall semester at your law school. You will be happy to know the new first year class is the top of the recruiting crop – in fact, according to academic quality indicators, it is the highest quality and most talented class of students we have ever had. One of the hallmarks of St. Mary’s University and the School of Law is small class sizes to provide for more personal attention and interaction between students and faculty. Beginning this fall, the School of Law has intentionally focused on reducing enrollment to concentrate on higher quality students and personal attention and overall success of every student. Although applications to the school have increased by more than eight percent this recruiting season, the focus on smaller classes allows us to maintain our admission selectivity which has resulted in this year’s outstanding incoming class. Of course, we will not stop there in our quest to offer a first class legal education for our students. You will read in this issue about some of the administrative changes we’ve made – cementing our commitment to our clinical programs and career services by adding associate and assistant dean positions in those areas – as well as new faculty on the library and teaching staff. I want to personally thank all my fellow graduates for your involvement in our alumni chapters. We have vigorous groups in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley and Washington, D.C., and we are on our way to productive chapters in Corpus Christi, St. Louis and Denver. It is a pleasure for me to travel from chapter to chapter to visit with fellow graduates and stay abreast of the impact you are making on the legal community. We have been keeping you up to date on the budding study and exchange program in China. We have now finalized a partnership with the Law School of Beihang University in Beijing, China. The program has gone through all the channels and the inaugural program is set for next summer. We are hoping to take a class of 24 students to China to be immersed in learning how to do business in China. Please enjoy this issue of Law Notes, come back to St. Mary’s as often as possible, and keep up the good work in your lives and communities.

Sincerely, Charles E. Cantú Dean and South Texas Professor of Law

Making Their Mark
» continued from cover
“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” – President Barack Obama For 75 years, St. Mary’s law graduates have been persevering, determined to make their mark on the legal profession in San Antonio, South Texas and beyond. Success in this field cannot be measured in sheer numbers – number of graduates, number of jobs, number of cases, number of dollars – but in impact on individuals. Today, St. Mary’s alumni are impacting the lives of others more than ever, in leadership positions in their profession as well as giving back to the school in order to propel the next generation forward.


Counter clockwise starting above Dean Charles E. Cantú (J.D. ’64) and the group on the steps in front of the Supreme Court Charles Beckham (J.D. ’79), U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and Cantú Cantú, Diann Bartek (J.D. ’78) and Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts Ronald Herrmann (J.D. ’59), U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (J.D. ’77), Karen Herrmann and Cantú


Leaders impact the law and two St. Mary’s graduates are doing just that. Cynthia Hujar Orr (J.D. ’88) was installed in August as president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and on the other side of the coin, United States Magistrate Judge Thomas C. Mummert III (J.D. ’76) of the Eastern District of Missouri is currently the president of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association (FMJA). Orr’s career began with a clerkship for Fifth Circuit Judge Emilio Garza when he sat on the U.S. District Court bench in San Antonio. During her first year in practice, she was counsel on the amicus brief in CNN vs. General Manuel Noriega before the United States Supreme Court where she successfully defended the unpopular defendant’s attorney-client privilege. Other notables in her career include obtaining the first confession of error by the State of Texas in a death penalty case. She has served as president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and authored the Annual Report on the Criminal Justice System for the ABA Defense Function Committee entitled The State of Criminal Justice for the past two years. Mummert is in his 14th year of serving as a magistrate judge and was previously on the St. Louis circuit court. He has been touted by prosecutors and defenders alike as a ‘favorite’ judge, by peers as a ‘standup judge’ and a ‘role model’, and is known for his way of bringing opposing sides together and gaining consensus on issues. Mummert is also known for his impeccable ethics after serving for several years on the FMJA’s Code of Conduct Committee. Closer to home, St. Mary’s is overwhelmingly represented in the leadership of the legal community. Four alumni were appointed Bexar County Court judges this year: Monica Gonzalez (J.D. ’85), Ernest Acavedo Jr. (J.D. ’75), Michael La Hood (J.D. ’67) and former Justice of the Peace Linda Penn (J.D. ’96). Another recent

appointee is Amanda N. Torres (J.D. ’07), Justice of the Peace in Nueces County. The San Antonio Bar Association is presided over by Robin Teague (J.D. ’79), while president-elect is Justice Phyllis Speedlin (J.D. ’83). Speedlin, of course, is a justice of the Fourth Court of Appeals, along with fellow St. Mary’s graduates Chief Justice Catherine Stone (J.D. ’82), Justice Sandee Bryan Marion (J.D. ’80), Justice Karen Angelini (J.D. ’79) and Justice Marialyn Barnard (J.D. ’92). Corpus Christi’s Bar Association is under the leadership of president L. Gayle Nelson (J.D. ’91). “The list of our leaders could go on and on,” said Charles E. Cantú, St. Mary’s School of Law dean. “We couldn’t be prouder of our graduates who take the helm in their bar associations, courts, and the day-to-day business of the law.” Cantú’s support of his fellow alumni and leaders was evident this spring as he took a group of 10 (the maximum number allowed at a time) to be sworn in before the nation’s highest court. Diann Bartek (J.D. ’78), Charles Beckham Jr. (J.D. ’79), Ricardo Cedillo, Rex Easley Jr. (J.D. ’80), Jeffrey Embry (J.D. ’97), Renna Rhodes Embry (J.D. ’97), Ronald Herrmann (J.D. ’59), Clem Lyons (J.D. ’62), Karen Ellert Pena (J.D. ’02) and Nona Walker were admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court. Afterward, Cantú hosted a reception for his guests including Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, Justice Alito, Sen. John Cornyn (J.D. ’77) and Stuart Bowen (J.D. ’91), Inspector General for Iraq. Cantú plans to take another group next spring.   The dean has also been working closely with alumni across the state and the country to bolster scholarships for current and future students. Through the generosity of alumni and friends, Cantú has raised more than $6 million for endowments and scholarships in his two years as dean.

» continue


“The most precious asset of any law school is its graduates,” said Cantú. “St. Mary’s finds itself with a wealth of successful and generous graduates with a sense of service and an urge to give back to the next class.” This fall, the School of Law hosted a ‘Leader to Leader’ reception inviting community leaders to come back to the school to meet the leaders of tomorrow – today’s students. More than 75 lawyers, judges and elected officials took time out of their busy schedules to meet and mentor students. Many alumni joined with the law school's Office of Career Services this fall in On Campus Interviewing, an annual event where employers interview students for summer employment, usually through internships. There were a few employers looking for full-time attorneys in 2010 as well. 

“Alumni participation is vital,” said Faye Bracey, assistant dean of Career Services and Adjunct Professor of Law. “The connection our students have with graduates who practice law, the learning, mentoring, and networking that takes place, is absolutely necessary in placing St. Mary’s School of Law students with the best employers, many of whom are alumni.” “All in all, St. Mary’s School of Law would undoubtedly not be what it is today without graduates who have gone on to be successful stewards of the law, who raise the prestige of the school in the legal community and whose heart for service brings them back time after time to their alma mater,” said Cantú. ❑


2009 Distinguished Graduate Dinner
Thank you to all who participated in the 2009 Distinguished Graduate Dinner. Special thanks to those who bought a table; all proceeds will fund law school scholarships and alumni-sponsored student services. CHAMPIONS Law Office of Paul R.Vahldiek Jr. UNDERWRITERS Beirne, Maynard & Parsons LLP Clear Channel Law Offices of Jack Paul Leon Valero Energy Corporation SPONSORS OG Alvarez & Associates PC Jon Christian Amberson PC Austin Chapter Law Alumni Association Brock Person Guerra Reyna PC Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated Davis Law Firm Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza Inc. The Gardner Law Firm PC Law Offices of Rosa Maria Gonzalez Gonzalez, Chiscano, Angulo & Kasson PC Goode Casseb Jones Riklin Choate & Watson PC The Hon. Paul W. Green Albert Hartman Haynes and Boone LLP The Hon. Barbara Parker Hervey and Richard Langlois Melissa Parker Hervey Hornberger Sheehan Fuller and Beiter Incorporated Jackson Walker LLP The Hon. Michael T. La Hood and Nico La Hood Langley and Banack Inc. Professor Aloysius A. Leopold Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson LLP Margaret Maisel Law Offices of Pat Maloney PC The Hon. Sandee Bryan Marion and The Hon. Polly Jackson Spencer Antonio Martinez David and Angela Moore The Hon. Barbara Nellermoe, The Hon. Gloria Saldana, The Hon. Martha Tanner, The Hon. Larry Noll and Rick Noll Manuel Pelaez-Prada Tony Pletcher/Watts, Guerra, Craft LLP Polunsky & Beitel LLP Providus and Alfonso Kennard Jr. RAB Law Firm Law Office of Donato D. Ramos Rio Grande Valley Chapter Law Alumni Association Tom Rhodes Law Firm PC and The Law Office of Clem Lyons San Antonio Bar Association San Antonio Bar Foundation San Antonio Young Lawyers Foundation Shivers & Shivers Bill and Beth Squires and Wilson & Pennypacker LLP Star Shuttle & Charter/Gray Line Tours St. Mary’s University St. Mary’s University School of Law and Dean Charles E. Cantú Strasburger and Price LLP The Law Offices of George A. Taylor PC and Adami, Shuffield, Scheihing & Burns PC Peter and Marguerite Vogel Winstead PC








2009 Distinguished Law Graduates Hervey and McCaul Celebrated
St. Mary’s University School of Law honored Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Barbara Parker Hervey (J.D. ’79) and Congressman Michael McCaul (J.D. ’87), who represents Texas’ 10th district, as the 2009 St. Mary’s Distinguished Law Graduates at an awards dinner Friday, Oct. 23 in San Antonio. The award is given each year to two individuals with both outstanding achievements in the legal profession and dedicated service to St. Mary’s School of Law. Judge Hervey was elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in November 2000. The New Jersey native earned a bachelor of arts

degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her juris doctorate from St. Mary’s in 1979. She worked in private practice with the Law Office of M.M. Peña Jr. in San Antonio before moving to the the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, where she spent 16 years as an assistant criminal district attorney in the appellate section. Judge Hervey is an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law, past president of the St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association and a member of the State Bar of Texas, Bexar County Women’s Bar Association and the Bexar County Republican Women. Michael McCaul is currently serving his third term representing Texas’ 10th District, which stretches across eight counties from Austin to the Houston suburbs. He is the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee’s Intelligence Subcommittee and also serves on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and as an Assistant Whip for the 111th Congress. Before being elected to Congress, McCaul served as Chief of Counter Terrorism and National Security in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Texas, as

Texas Deputy Attorney General under current U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (J.D. ’77), and served as a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section in Washington, D.C. St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association President Jeff Davis (J.D. ’91) and Charles E. Cantú, dean of the law school, hosted the evening to a capacity crowd of 500.

Fort Worth Chapter Names Inaugural Outstanding Alumni Award Winner
The St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association’s Fort Worth Chapter named Mark G. Daniel as the 2009 Outstanding Alumnus at a ceremony on Sept. 22 at The Fort Worth Club. Daniel, who earned his juris doctorate from St. Mary’s in 1980, is a criminal attorney in private practice and is a frequent author and speaker at State Bar of Texas, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Project and Center for American and International Law CLE programs. He is the 2009 recipient of the Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year award, presented to the outstanding criminal defense lawyer in Texas.


Dean Cantú, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, Judge Barbara Hervey, President Cotrell and Jeff Davis at the 2009 Distinguished Graduate Dinner.

“Mark was an excellent choice for the chapter’s inaugural award,” said Charles E. Cantú, St. Mary’s School of Law dean. “He has excelled in so many areas and is recognized for his involvement in civic affairs as well as being held in high esteem by all of his peers.” Cantú hopes the chapter award will catch on with other chapters. “We have so many strong alumni making their mark across the state and the country; I would like to see more of them recognized on the chapter level.”

and the Hon. Elma Salinas Ender, 341st Judicial District, Laredo, offering reflections on the importance of this occasion to the legal profession. Red Mass dates back to 1245. The name is derived from the scarlet robes worn by judges and red vestments worn by priests in honor of the Holy Spirit. Red Mass is celebrated throughout the country for the purpose of requesting God’s blessings and guidance on the administration of justice. The Bexar County yearly tradition is organized by St. Mary’s University School of Law with the Catholic Lawyers Guild of San Antonio and representatives from San Antonio legal organizations, the judiciary and the State Legislature for the entire legal community.

and South Texas is truly outstanding,” said Charles E. Cantú, dean of St. Mary’s School of Law. St. Mary’s Center for Legal and Social Justice provides a supportive learning environment for law students who, under the supervision of a faculty member, are the attorney of record for indigent clients not adequately served by other providers. The faculty balances a rigorous teaching agenda while working with law student volunteers to service the needs of clients in three practice areas – civil, criminal, and immigration and human rights. In addition to the clinic’s work, law students plan and participate in many other pro bono and community service projects throughout the year. The Texas Access to Justice Commission was created by The Supreme Court of Texas to coordinate services for people who seek legal representation but may not be able to afford it. The Commission works to reduce barriers to the justice system for low-income Texans.

57th Annual Red Mass
The San Antonio legal community joined together on Oct. 29 to celebrate the 57th annual Red Mass, inviting blessings on the judicial year at San Fernando Cathedral. Archbishop José H. Gomez was the principal presider with the Rev. Rudy Vela, S.M., D.Min., St. Mary’s University vice president for Mission and Identity, delivering the homily

St. Mary’s Receives Access to Justice Award
The Texas Access to Justice Commission has selected St. Mary’s University School of Law as the 2009 Law School Commitment to Service Award recipient. This award recognizes the law school that has most distinguished itself by actively educating its students about access to justice issues, thereby carrying forward one the finest traditions of the legal profession in Texas. The Commission identified St. Mary’s University School of Law’s commitment to the provision of legal services to the poor as “truly exceptional.” “The Center for Legal and Social Justice faculty, staff and students are truly deserving of this accolade as their service and commitment to providing legal services to the poor and disenfranchised of San Antonio

Mock Trial Team Wins Second at Nationals
The St. Mary’s Black Law Student Association Mock Trial Team recently won second place in the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial National Championship in Irvine, Calif. The competition is hosted yearly by the National Black Law Students Association and was sponsored by the Navy JAG and DLA Piper, an international law firm. The winners of the six regional contests met at the national championship held in

Red Mass


The panel consists of Judges Patrick E. Higginbotham, Emilio M. Garza and Edward C. Prado. Holding the oral arguments on the St. Mary’s campus provided a unique opportunity for the law school community to witness firsthand advocacy on important cases pending before the court.

St. Mary’s University School of Law has bolstered its career services department adding Faye M. Bracey as assistant dean for Career Services and Suzanne Patrick as director. A St. Mary’s School of Law alumna, Bracey has been dedicated to the students and alumni of St. Mary’s School of Law throughout her career and is more than prepared to take the Office of Career Services to a higher level of service for both students and alumni, according to Charles E. Cantú, dean of St. Mary’s School of Law. Bracey earned her bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and her juris doctorate degree in 1981. Faye M. Bracey While at St. Mary’s, she was the editor-in-chief of the St. Mary’s Law Journal and was inducted into the Harlan Society, the honor society for the top 10 percent of each graduating class. Active in the San Antonio legal community and well known in legal circles across the state, Bracey practiced at several area firms, specializing in commercial real estate, and has taught for a number of years as an adjunct professor. She has served as president of St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association and as a member of the St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees. Bracey is a member of the Supreme Court of Texas Grievance Oversight Committee, the National Arbitration Forum, Bexar County

Front row from left to right: Christian Johnson, Bridgett Clay, Nicole Hines-Glover, and Lysette Rios. Back row left to right: Coaches Ken Bell and Daryl Harris

July Bar Exam Results Released
Results from the most recent Texas Bar Examination were released in early November with 83 percent of St. Mary’s University School of Law graduates passing. Of the 157 St. Mary’s graduates who took the bar exam for the first time in July, 130 passed.“While we are not where we aim to be in regard to the bar passage rate, we are proud of our students and confident they have received a quality educational foundation and will be successful in their legal careers,” said Charles E. Cantú, dean of St. Mary's School of Law. “We remain committed to graduating students that will one day become legal professionals with a dedication to excellence, a passion for service and a commitment to the ethical practice of law.” While this isn’t in keeping with the momentum the School of Law has gained more recently, a passage rate above 80 percent is in line with the last four years of higher results. Before the July results were released, St. Mary’s had climbed in the three previous testing cycles. In February, 87.5 percent of St. Mary’s graduates passed the exam and exceeded the state average of 81.5 percent.

conjunction with the group’s 41st Annual National Convention. St. Mary’s team members were Lysette Rios and Bridgett Clay for the defense and Nicole Hines-Glover and Christian Johnson for the prosecution. They are coached by Daryl Harris and Ken Bell. To advance to the national finals, the team won the Rocky Mountain Regional Tournament several weeks ago in Colorado. St. Mary’s made it into the national championship round after beating Jones-Faulkner School of Law, St. John’s School of Law, Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia Law School. Virginia and St. Mary’s met again in the finals and Virginia was named the winner by a split panel of judges.

Fifth Circuit Held Court at St. Mary’s
A panel of three U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit judges heard oral arguments in the St. Mary’s School of Law Courtroom last semester. The sessions were open to the public. The court is seated at the John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans and has jurisdiction over Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Bracey, Patrick Guide Career Services
With a goal of providing the students the best career counseling available,


Women’s Bar Association, Texas Bar Foundation, State Bar of Texas, and the San Antonio Bar Association. She has been admitted to the Supreme Court of Texas and the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas. Patrick earned degrees from the State University of New York, her bachelor's from the University Suzanne Patrick at Albany and her juris doctorate at the University at Buffalo Law School. She is licensed to practice in Maryland and worked at the international law firm of Reed Smith LLP before joining St. Mary’s. She has counseled students and alumni at The George Washington University Law School and the University of Buffalo Law School. Before moving in the direction of career development, she practiced law at an international trade association enforcing copyright laws in software piracy cases in the U.S. and Canada. Bracey and Patrick are diligently working with a renewed emphasis on placing students in more internships and jobs, providing more interactive services earlier in students’ law school careers and engaging alumni in the career placement process. Additionally, the Office of Career Services is working with alumni who are interested in a job change, providing résumé review and career counseling.

St. Mary’s Hosted Lone Star Classic
From Oct. 15-17, St. Mary’s hosted the 2009 Lone Star Classic, an annual invitational mock trial tournament open to ABA-accredited law schools nationwide. The field consisted of 16 teams from the following schools: American University Washington College of Law; Baylor University Law School; Brooklyn Law School; Cumberland School of Law; Emory University School of Law; Florida State University College of Law; University of Houston Law Center; Louisiana State University Law Center; Michigan State University College of Law; Pace University Law School; Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law; South Texas College of Law; Texas Wesleyan University School of Law; Tulane University School of Law; Villanova University School of Law; and Washington University School of Law. The rounds were held at the Bexar County Courthouse and St. Mary’s courtroom. The law school’s Board of Advocates assisted with many of the logistical challenges of the event, such as finding 90 lawyers to judge the preliminary and semi-final rounds in the competition and 50 students to serve as either bailiffs or marshals for each round.

Kinder was awarded his juris doctorate from St. Mary’s in 1979. Before becoming an elected public servant in 1992, Kinder worked as an attorney, a real estate representative and associate publisher of the Southeast Missourian. Kinder served 12 years in the Missouri Senate, where he was elected President Pro Tem. He was elected Missouri’s 46th lieutenant governor in 2004. Throughout his career he has been a champion for seniors and veterans, helping create and pass the Missouri Rx Plan, the 2006 Assisted Living Bill and the Missouri Military Family Relief Fund. At the commencement ceremony, 203 new juris doctorate degrees were awarded as well as five Master of Law degrees. Blake Wilson Stribling finished first in the class as the Class of 2009 Valedictorian. St. Mary’s honored local attorney Roy R. Barrera Sr. with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Barrera graduated from the law school in 1951 and founded the law firm Nicholas & Barrera with his partner. His legendary career has spanned half a century. Barrera served as Texas’ Secretary of State from 1968 to 1969. He has been named by Texas Monthly Magazine as one of the Top 10 Criminal Lawyers in Texas and as a Texas Super Lawyer many times. Barrera was St. Mary’s 1975 Distinguished Law Graduate. The law school also presents two awards to those who have made exceptional contributions to the legal profession and education. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was awarded the Rosewood Gavel Award; he was not present at the ceremony and will receive the award at a later date. The St. Thomas

St. Mary’s School of Law Holds 75th Graduation
The School of Law held its 75th commencement ceremony on May 16, with St. Mary’s alumnus and Missouri’s Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder delivering the keynote address.


More Award was presented to Phil Hardberger, former San Antonio Mayor and retired Chief Justice for the Fourth Court of Appeals.

Americans Held Hostage in Columbia Told Their Story
In 2003, three American civilians crash-landed in the mountainous Colombian jungle and were held hostage for the next five and a half years by one of the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations. This past spring semester, Marc Gonsalves and Keith Stansell recounted their harrowing tale of survival, brotherhood and rescue at the School of Law as part of the Center for Terrorism Law’s Distinguished Speaker Series. The men were prisoners of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also known as FARC, a Colombian terrorist and Marxist rebel organization, and have written a book about their plight, Out of Captivity: Surviving 1,967 Days in the Colombian Jungle. The event was held in the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library Law Alumni Room in front of a standing-roomonly crowd of both law students and community members. Founded in 2003, St. Mary’s Center for Terrorism Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit academic institution dedicated to the study of current and potential legal issues related to terrorism.

Novoa Named Dean of Clinical Programs
St. Mary’s School of Law Dean Charles E. Cantú, after consulting with St. Mary’s Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Andre Hampton, named Ana M. Novoa to the new position of associate dean for Clinical Education and Public Interest. “Professor Novoa’s commitment to excellence in legal education and to the poor, underprivileged and disenfranchised, along with her devout Catholic faith make her a natural for this position,” said Charles E. Cantú, dean of St. Mary’s School of Law. According to Cantú, the appointment of an associate dean for Clinical Education and Public Interest – one of only a handful of such positions in the nation’s law schools – unequivocally demonstrates the School of Law’s commitment to Catholic and Marianist principles and to clinical legal education. Novoa, Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs, was the first Mexican American woman to receive tenure at St. Mary’s University. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law and was in private practice in San Antonio prior to joining the faculty. Under her leadership, both the Clinical Program and the Public Interest Program have grown substantially, providing a greater number of law students the opportunity to engage in legal representation of indigent clients and service the needs of the poor.

her impressive work in the area of immigration litigation,” said Ana M. Novoa, St. Mary’s associate dean for Clinical Education and Public Interest and professor of Law. “For many years, Professor Terán has been a champion of the poor and marginalized and a leader in the defense of basic human rights. She continues to be an inspiration to her students and colleagues. St Mary’s is very lucky to have her as part of our faculty.” Founded in 1968, MALDEF has celebrated 40 years of advancing Latino civil rights at the organization’s birthplace in San Antonio. MALDEF hosts four annual regional awards galas in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Antonio.

Supreme Court of Texas Cases Available on iTunes U
Since 2006, St. Mary’s University School of Law and the Supreme Court of Texas have partnered to provide the Court’s oral arguments to the public through access to live and archived webcasts. Now, the archived arguments are available on iTunes U. In all, nearly 400 video, audio and transcripts tracks are available for public consumption. This service is provided by St. Mary’s School of Law and the Supreme Court of Texas for students, the legal community and general public. Before the arguments are posted on iTunes U, the live webcasts are available on St. Mary’s School of Law website,, and recordings are usually posted within a few hours of the oral argument. St. Mary’s iTunes U is found at

Terán Honored by MALDEF
The 2009 Excellence in Legal Service Award was given to St. Mary’s Clinical Professor Lee Terán by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) at their 25th Annual San Antonio Awards Gala on Sept. 18 at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel. “We are delighted that Professor Terán has been recognized by MALDEF for

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Solomon Casseb Jr.
Friend and champion of St. Mary’s University and the School of Law, Judge Solomon Casseb Jr. of San Antonio and Laredo died on Oct. 16, 2009 at the age of 94. Born and raised in San Antonio, he attended Central Catholic High School, St. Mary’s University and the University of Texas School of Law. At the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served overseas earning the rank of major. He returned to private practice until being appointed – then elected – to the 57th District Court. Judge Casseb also served as presiding judge of both Bexar County District Courts and the Fourth Administrative District before acting as a Senior District Judge of Texas. He returned to private practice until 1985. In his prominent career, Judge Casseb was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Supreme Court of Texas and of the Joint Task Force and honored with many accolades such as Texas Trial Lawyers Association’s 1965 Outstanding Judge, the Texas Bar Foundation’s 1987 Outstanding Jurist Award, and a citation for his contributions to the legal profession from the American Trial Lawyers Association. He earned Lifetime Achievement awards from the San Antonio Bar Association, San Antonio Bar Foundation and the Laredo/Webb County Bar Association. At St. Mary’s, Judge Casseb was the University’s Distinguished Graduate in 1961 and was later presented with the St. Thomas More Award by the School of Law. Among his many civic and community commitments, he served as co-trustee of the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust. Through Judge Casseb’s leadership, the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust has endowed two scholarships of $1 million each to the School of Law.

1940s Mary Louise Villaret, L.L.B. ’41, San Angelo, died Feb. 16, 2009. 1950s Barbara Mansell, L.L.B. ’50, San Antonio, died July 7, 2009. Anthony J. Pons, J.D. ’50, San Antonio, died May 26, 2009. G. Bert Smith, J.D. ’50, Odessa, died May 4, 2009. Ramiro Martinez, J.D. ’53, McAllen, died May 2, 2009. David O. Arendt, L.L.B. ’58, Little Rock, Ark., died March 2, 2009. 1960s Robert Shelley Bambace, L.L.B. ’61, Houston, died Aug. 17, 2009. Arnoldo Garcia, L.L.B. ’64, Corpus Christi, died May 26, 2009.

Richard Ream Storm, L.L.B. ’64, San Antonio, died April 2, 2009. 1970s Benjamin Norris Samples, J.D. ’70, San Antonio, died March 5, 2009. John J. Ezzell, J.D. ’71, Dallas, died March 21, 2009. Alberto R. Huerta, J.D. ’72, Corpus Christi, died July 15, 2009. William H. Ervine Jr., J.D. ’73, Houston, died Oct. 6, 2008. Leo Alvarado Jr., J.D. ’74, San Antonio, died June 5, 2009. William McDonnell, J.D. ’76, East Brunswick, N.J., died June 28, 2008. Kathleen Dee Teal, J.D. ’77, San Antonio, died Aug. 16, 2008.

1980s Mercedes J. Kutcher, J.D. ’80, San Antonio, died July 23, 2009. Richard H. Klitch Jr., J.D. ’81, San Antonio, died Aug. 9, 2009. Willa Gaspard, J.D. ’85, San Antonio, died Sept. 9, 2009. 1990s Patrick Waters, J.D. ’97, Beeville, died Jan. 5, 2009. 2000s Pedro Marrero Serrano, J.D. ’07, Odessa, died July 19, 2009. Alfonso Martinez Jr., J.D. ’08, San Antonio, died April 28, 2009.
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’73 Eric S. Clifford, J.D., Paris, was elected district judge for the 6th Judicial District of the State of Texas, currently presiding over Lamar, Fannin and Red River Counties. ’75 W. McGregor Dixon Jr., J.D., Troy, Ohio, was elected as Miami County (Ohio) Juvenile/Probate Judge. Michael J. Ryan, J.D., Corpus Christi, retired from the Office of the Attorney General of Texas after 29 years as Assistant Attorney General. ’78 David A. Baram, J.D., Bloomfield, Conn., was elected State Representative for the 15th Assembly District for Bloomfleld and Windsor, Conn. He is the former mayor of Bloomfield and a former chairman of the Capitol Region Council of Governments. He is a partner in the Bloomfield Law Firm of Clayman, Tapper & Baram, practicing in the area of business law, municipal and zoning law, commercial transactions and family law. David E. Chamberlain, J.D., Austin, was elected treasurer of the Austin Bar Association and named its Outstanding Board of Director of 2008. He has also been named to the Texas Super Lawyer list in Texas Monthly magazine for the fourth straight year. ’81 Norma Hand Brill, J.D., North Fort Myers, Fla., was named a 2009 Super Lawyer for the third consecutive year by Florida Super Lawyers Magazine, published by Law & Politics. She is board certified in Elder Law by the Florida Bar and by the National Elder Law Foundation, and concentrates her practice in the areas of life care planning, estate planning and estate administration. Mary Brennan Stich, J.D., San Antonio, former vice president and associate general counsel for Clear Channel Communications, has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as deputy general counsel.
p.12 | LAW NOTES

’82 Vickie Barbee Issacks, J.D., Carrollton, retired from the district bench and is now working as a visiting judge and as a mediator and arbitrator in Denton. ’91 Jennifer Setser Rymell, J.D., Fort Worth, was appointed as a member of the board of trustees to the Texas Bar Foundation for a three-year term. ’92 Dina Bernstein, J.D., Burke, Va., is the health law and policy attorney for the U.S. Department of the Navy. As a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserves, she performs reserve work with the Administrative Law Directorate, Office of the Judge Advocate General in the Pentagon. ’93 Karen Schroeder, J.D., Arlington, is of counsel with the Bob Brown Law Firm PC. ’97 David S. Angulo, J.D., San Antonio, is a partner in the law firm of Gonzalez, Chiscano, Angulo & Kasson PC, along with two other partners, Steve Chiscano, J.D. ’97, and Richard J. Kasson, J.D. ’97. They were classmates at St. Mary’s School of Law. Kelly Fitzgerald, J.D., Laredo, was named Law Day Chair by the LaredoWebb County Bar Association in recognition of her work in representing four mothers from the YFZ compound in Eldorado. William Francisco, J.D., Johnson City, Tenn., is assistant district public defender for the First Judicial District of Tennessee. ’98 Thomas C. Washmon, J.D., Austin, is now a shareholder in Kuperman Orr & Albers PC since merging his law firm with the group. He practices real estate and corporate law and was named a Rising Star, Super Lawyers in Real Estate as published in Texas Monthly. He is a Fellow in the Texas Bar Foundation and is a Founding Fellow of the Austin Bar Foundation.

’99 John T. Hubert, J.D., Kingsville, is district attorney for Kleberg and Kenedy counties. Sonia M. Rodriguez, J.D., San Antonio, was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame. Amanda J. Tenpenny Schulz, J.D., Houston, is president and attorney for the Law Office of A.J. Schulz PC. ’00 Jason W. Fatheree, J.D., Dallas, is a partner at Crouch & Ramey LLP and was selected for inclusion in the Texas Monthly and Law & Politics Texas Super Lawyer – Rising Stars Edition. Patrick E. Mayo, J.D., San Antonio, was promoted to captain in the U.S. Navy. ’01 Damian L. Martinez, J.D., Las Cruces, N.M., is a shareholder with Holt Babington Mynatt PC. ’02 Eric Benites Giese, J.D., Del Rio, is an assistant United States Attorney with the Department of Justice United States Attorney’s Office. ’04 Ashlee Thames Woods, J.D., Dallas, is director of development for Texas Ballet Theater, which made its debut as the resident ballet company this fall at the Dallas Center for Performing Arts Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. ’05 Roland Abel Hernandez, J.D., San Antonio, graduated from the University of the Michigan Medical School in May 2009. He is currently doing his residency in general surgery at the DartmouthHitchcock Medical Center in Hanover/ Lebanon, N.H. ’07 Art Martinez de Vara, J.D., San Antonio, mayor of Von Ormy and partner with the Law Firm of Ramirez, Marrou & Martinez de Vara, has been named one of the 25 Extraordinary Minority Lawyers in Texas by Texas Lawyer Magazine.

Fall 2009

-----------------------------------------------February 19 St. Mary’s Law Journal 9th Annual Symposium Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility -----------------------------------------------February 27 9th Annual Minority Pre-Law Symposium -----------------------------------------------March 27 St. Mary's University Homecoming -----------------------------------------------April 16-17 Fiesta Oyster Bake ------------------------------------------------





For more information on these or other events, please check our website at For alumni event information, please contact Al Hartman at . Career Services available to alums: All St. Mary’s law alumni have access to the resources in the Office of Career Services, including the job bank portal. For access to the job bank, please e-mail

St. Mary’s University School of Law Newsletter
President Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. (B.A. ’62, M.A. ’64) School of Law Dean Charles E. Cantú (J.D. ’64) Editor Beth Barbee


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St. Mary's University School of Law, “Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Fall 2009,” St. Mary's Law Digital Repository, accessed May 23, 2019,

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