Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Fall 2012

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Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Fall 2012


St. Mary's University School of Law


A Note from the Dean, Entrepreneurial Spirit, A World of Opportunity, Earn CLE Credit in China, Campus Briefs, Meet Our New Faculty Members, Distinguished Law Graduate Dinner, Kudos and Class Notes, In Memoriam, Law Alumni Association President's Corner,


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, Jeffrey J. B. Diles, Israel Ramon Jr., Beth Barbee


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




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S T.   M A R Y ’ S U N I V E R S I T Y



Fall 2012

Distinguished Law Graduates





Dear Fellow Graduates, Producing lawyers who seamlessly join the workforce is always a top priority at the St. Mary’s School of Law. Thanks to the diligent work of our students and our Office of Career Services, we have been excelling in that despite a tough job market. The American Bar Association now requires detailed employment data, and as a result, St. Mary’s has received quite a bit of attention. You might even have read in the Wall Street Journal this summer about our strong reputation for post-law school, full-time employment, as we were among the nation’s best. That employment data played a part in St. Mary’s being named a 2012 Best Value Law School by The National Jurist. In fact, we were one of two private institutions on the list. Featured in this issue is the 2012 Distinguished Law Graduate dinner — the best yet. We broke records in attendance and alumni support, selling 90 tables for the event. Thank you to everyone who bought tickets and tables and joined us to honor Dwain Dent ( J.D. ’76), Larry Noll ( J.D. ’72) and Jennifer Tharp ( J.D. ’03). By the time this issue reaches you, St. Mary’s University will have installed its 13th president, Thomas M. Mengler, J.D. If Tom is at an alumni event in your area, I encourage you to attend and get to know him as we continue to keep a close relationship with the University and build our strategic plan for the future of our institution. With your help, we have established 72 new scholarships, ranging from $25,000 to $1 million (with three in the $1 million category) during my tenure. Last month, you received a letter about our Law Fund Campaign. Your support contributes to the success of our law school, our students and our reputation in the legal field, and we appreciate your generosity. Also in this issue, we illustrate how we are pushing to make St. Mary’s great through a top-quality faculty and student body. Enjoy reading Law Notes, come back to St. Mary’s often, and keep up the good work in your lives and communities. Sincerely, Charles E. Cantú ( J.D. ’64) Dean and South Texas Distinguished Professor of Law

Far photo: Luis deBonoPaula (third from right), now a second-year law student, is a retired U.S. Air Force combat aviator and officer. Right photo: The successful entrepreneur has opened and closed the NASDAQ (fourth from right).

Like most law students, Luis deBonoPaula has many irons in the fire. The retired U.S. Air Force pilot is a husband, father of four, marathon runner and entrepreneur. Maybe it was the 22 years in the military, but deBonoPaula is committed to each duty. A second-year law student, he has built a has a reputation as a successful entrepreneur who knows how to make projects work. deBonoPaula has owned several small businesses and guided each to the million dollar-sales benchmark. He’s licensed craft products distributed to Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Target and Wal-Mart, surpassing $20 million in sales. He’s also a judge for the University of Texas’ Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, a prestigious showcase of student companies. He has even mentored one of those companies after the competition, joining its board and helping raise $2 million in venture capital. His most recent venture, Spirit Monkey, has become the latest schoolyard craze. The company produces cloth, patch-like tags called “spirit sticks” that are used to decorate backpacks, lanyards, instrument cases and key rings. Schools use them to

motivate and reward students for achievements such as attendance, reading, sports participation and honor roll. The idea came to deBonoPaula’s wife, Lisa who, as a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) president, was brainstorming new incentives for students beyond the usual unhealthy foods or worthless trinkets. Lisa thought of cloth tags similar to the ones she’d seen on airplane landing gear. Through their contacts from other business ventures, Luis and Lisa created spirit sticks. “Schools are finding amazing success with these incentives,” said Luis deBonoPaula. “Many are collecting data on how the spirit sticks have improved attendance and decreased tardiness, which is important to schools with state funding. And the kids love these things.” DeBonoPaula said principals have offered spirit sticks for attending low-turnout events such as science labs, and

then watched the events become standing room only. Not only are spirit sticks popular, they’re affordable for schools that don’t have money specifically budgeted for incentives. Spirit Monkey began selling spirit sticks to school districts 15 months ago, now projecting $2.5 million in sales this year. “For the first 10 months, we sold 500,000 sticks,” deBonoPaula said. “We sold 500,000 sticks last month.” At last count, Spirit Monkey’s spirit sticks were being used by almost 300 schools in eight states. Elementary schools are the largest market, but even high schools are using the company’s patches and key rings. How does deBonoPaula balance law school with his burgeoning business? By working 20 hours a day, he said. He has recently taken on partners, which he hopes will help him concentrate more on school. He admits that it can all be “very overwhelming,” but has secrets to his success. He records audio from all his classes and has classmates do it for him when he’s away at meetings. “I am religious about keeping up with my outlines,” deBonoPaula said. “I don’t have time to catch up, so I never get behind.” He seems to be an expert at the balancing act — he’s ranked third in his class. “Unlike most law students, I didn’t come back to school to change careers or make more money,” deBonoPaula said. “I love learning and have always enjoyed learning about the law. I wouldn’t rule out practicing law — I’d love to be a litigator — but for now I’ll be applying it in my businesses.”

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Law students come from every walk of life and embark on the journey of a legal education with many different career goals in mind. We asked South Texas cattleman and law student Jeffrey Diles to share his experience in China and how it may have changed his endgame.
The easily recognizable scents of straw, dust and manure filled the warm arid afternoon as a couple dozen red and white beef cows, tethered side by side, watched over their days-old calves wandering around exploring their new world. The modest concrete and metal structure where the cattle were housed was relatively new and designed as a ‘convertible’; the temporary half of the roof had been removed to allow for ventilation. The surrounding low mountains, draped in quilts of green farmland interspersed with occasional patches of ambers and browns, were visible through the open side of the roof. At the far end of the barn, one of the farm workers in slightly tattered and soiled blue coveralls and rubber boots was methodically sweeping the last bits of leftover silage from the dual purpose feed and water bunk that ran the length of the barn in front of the cows. After 18 years in the beef bull business, it was an encounter that was, at once, both familiar and foreign. The scene on this particular day was the backdrop for discussions of genetic strategies, nutritional challenges and the potential for cross-border business opportunities. And, in these particular discussions, I was engaging with beef producers, college professors and government officials of China. It was day two of an exploratory side trip to the Gansu Province to learn about the beef industry of China while
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By Jeffrey J.B. Diles who participate simply to experience another culture and see an exotic land will likely gain little else. On the other hand, study-abroad programs can provide an excellent occasion for some students to make connections and build relationships that may significantly impact their future careers. There is an old Chinese saying, “Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.” For me, the St Mary’s program offered the opportunity to ‘catch more than one calf with a single loop.’ Participating in the St. Mary’s China program included the obvious objective of earning some summer school hours, and also the very real benefit of seeing some of the many wonders of one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Most importantly, however, the program offered the possibility of leveraging my past experience in a unique way by blending my beef production know-how with my new career path in the expanding Chinese beef market. I already had connections in the U.S. beef business with connections in China, and the courses available to me through the St. Mary’s program were designed with an emphasis on doing business in China. My personal mission was to connect the dots and position myself to help facilitate trade in the beef cattle business between the U.S. and China. Because I had previously marketed beef genetics into Australia, Brazil, Mexico and

on an extended break from summer law classes at Beihang University in Beijing. The classes were offered through the St. Mary’s School of Law Institute on Chinese Law and Business. When I began my career in the beef bull business in South Texas, I did not consider factoring in an option for a late-in-life, second career in law. The inclination to pursue the law seems now to have always been with me, and at 40-something, had just naturally matured into action. Exposure to legal issues through business and life events had deepened my understanding of the importance of the law, and positive encounters with capable attorneys made it easier for me to see promise for myself within the legal profession. As odd as it might have been for most folks in my situation, the transition just seemed to make perfect sense for me. The decision to enter law school, however, did not include the slightest inkling that I might study law in China; that development was altogether chance and circumstance. My perception of study-abroad programs had always been that they were designed primarily for students enjoying the benefits of extensive parental support, and that the programs were of very little practical value to the average student. I now realize that study-abroad programs are just like everything else in life: The benefit received is directly proportional to the effort invested. Students

Earn CLE Credit in China
St. Mary’s is providing an opportunity for licensed attorneys to earn 10 hours of Texas CLE credit in the St. Mary’s University Institute on Chinese Law and Business. The modified four-day program will be held May 27-30, 2013. American and Chinese experts will address challenges of representing clients doing business with China in these areas: international business transactions, international intellectual property, Chinese Law (including the new tort code) and international commercial arbitration.
Jeffrey Diles (second from right) with Chinese agricultural professors in Gansu Province.

Venezuela, and directed the expansion of international marketing programs for a U.S. beef breed association in Central and South America, I was quite familiar with the notion of a global beef industry. China, however, had in China as in the U.S. — about 80 million head. Additionally, because of the rapid improvement in the standard of living for Chinese citizens during the past two decades, the demand for high quality beef has driven prices to $40 - $50 USD per pound. These dynamics are creating significant challenges, as well as opportunities, for beef producers in China and sending similar substantial ripples of possibility across much of the global beef complex. My visit to China was relatively brief, and my exposure to the beef industry there was little more than a scratch of the surface. But, I took away from the experience a couple hundred photos, dozens of great memories, several new friends, four useful law school credits, some solid business contacts and multiple ‘what-ifs.’ Thanks in large part to the St. Mary’s program, doors are now open, and a foundation that could support a future venture in China is taking shape. It at least seems plausible that my history in the beef bull business and my future law career might one day amount to some sort of natural ‘yin and yang’ for me in China.

The fee for the program is $995. Cultural excursions to the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven are available on Friday, May 31 to June 2 for an additional fee.

Visit for more information or email

never been on my ‘Places to Market Bulls’ list, even though that list is intentionally left openended to include all potential customers. My simplistic preconceptions were that Chinese citizens were probably not big on eating beef, and that there were probably very few beef cows in China. Those preconceptions, as it turns out, are both true and false, like many of the first-year law exam answers seemed to me. China consumes very little beef on a per capita basis, but because of the multiplier effect of the massive Chinese population, the total consumption is roughly half of what is consumed in the U.S. annually. There is also roughly the same number of beef cattle

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Guinn Elected ABA Vice Chair
Nick Guinn, St. Mary’s University School of Law third-year law student and Student Bar Association president, was elected to a national position at this summer’s ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. Guinn was elected vice chair of Student Bar Associations in the ABA’s Law Student Division, where he will serve as virtual president of the nation’s student bar associations and oversee all association activity. This is the highest position a law student may serve on within the national organization.

St. Mary’s a ‘Best Value Law School’
The St. Mary’s University School of Law was selected by The National Jurist magazine as a 2012 Best Value Law School in the United States. St. Mary’s is one of two private institutions on the list and the only private institution in Texas on the list. St. Mary’s received a grade of B+ and is one of 18 law schools with a weighted employment rate above 85 percent. The National Jurist determined this by using the detailed employment data released by the American Bar Association (ABA), assigning full weight to full-time, long-term, bar passagerequired employment and calculating all other employment at lower percentages.

Law School Among Nation’s Best in Employment
According to the Wall Street Journal’s analysis of employment data for 2011 law school graduates, St. Mary’s is among the best in the nation for post-law school employment. St. Mary’s reported that, within nine months after graduation, 78 percent of its law school graduates are in full-time, long-term jobs that require a law license. Across the nation, schools reported that only 55 percent of the class of 2011 was similarly employed. The data was compiled by the American Bar Association (ABA). Of note, St. Mary’s was one of a handful of unranked schools that posted full-time employment numbers so high in this analysis.

Free Texas Case Law Updates Offered
The St. Mary’s Law Journal, ranked for more than 10 years in the top two percent of most frequently cited law reviews in state and federal court decisions, is offering a resource to keep practitioners up-to-date on Texas appellate and Fifth Circuit cases. With permission of Thomson Reuters, each day Westlaw Watch uploads brief summaries of appellate cases to the Journal’s website. The central purpose of the St. Mary’s Law Journal is to publish legal periodicals that not only are of scholarly merit, but of practical use. In an effort to assist practitioners on a timely basis and fill a void of case law updates, the Journal hopes this service can provide practitioners a valuable resource. To use this tool, visit

2012 Lone Star Classic Held
St. Mary’s hosted their national invitational mock trial tournament, the Lone Star Classic®, in October. This year, 16 law schools from across the nation competed in tournament with Faulkner University Jones School of Law besting Georgia State University College of Law in the final round. The St. Mary’s Board of Advocates planned and ran the competition with the support of the local bench and bar, which volunteers time and courtrooms. The three finals judges were The Hon. Patrick Higginbotham, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; John Murphy, First Assistant United States Attorney; and Donna Coltharp, Supervising Attorney in the Office of the Federal Public Defender.

Elizabeth Gutierrez, a third-year law student was selected for the National Association for Law Placements (NALP) and Public Service Legal Careers (PSJD) 2012 Pro Bono Publico Award. Gutierrez was called ‘a tireless advocate and true change-maker in the San Antonio public service legal community’. She was honored for her work through the Center for Legal and Social Justice and her internship with Catholic Charities of San Antonio where she offers bilingual legal services to immigrants. Gutierrez Pictured with Steve Grumm, Director of Public Service Initiatives for NALP.

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Cultural Exchange
The expanding LL.M. program is truly an international experience, with 21 students hailing from 10 countries: China, England, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Slovenia, Ethiopia, Mexico and the United States. Pictured here are LL.M. students who introduced fellow law students to their cultures at a luncheon.

Meet Our New Faculty Members
This fall, three unique young professors joined the faculty at the St. Mary’s University School of Law: Amy Hardberger, Ramona Lampley and Angela Walch.

Hardberger, a registered professional geoscientist who earned her law degree at Texas Tech University, served as an attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) before joining the faculty at St. Mary’s. There, she was national co-leader for the National Petroleum Council Environmental and Regulatory Section Study and the lead on the organization’s efforts to stop authorization of TXU Energy’s proposed coal plants. She also led the partnership with cities and cooperated with Texas state agencies on municipal water conservation policies. Before EDF, she clerked for the Hon. William Wayne Justice, Eastern District, and worked as an environmental consultant and project manager for Universe Technologies Inc., at Kelly Air Force Base. She began her teaching career as a visiting professor at Texas Tech University School of Law teaching Land Use Planning, International Water Law and Texas Environmental Law, among others.

Lampley graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2004, where she was named Outstanding Graduate by the National Association of Women Lawyers. After law school, she served as a law clerk for The Hon. Harris L. Hartz, who sits on The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Before joining the faculty at St. Mary’s, Lampley practiced complex civil litigation at Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP in Denver, where she specialized in commercial class-action disputes, corporate disputes, arbitration enforcement, punitive damages, and professional malpractice. While in Denver, she was chair of the board of directors for The Gathering Place, a day shelter that provides a wide range of services to individuals in need. Lampley was also named one of Denver Business Journal’s 2012 “Forty under Forty” promising business professionals and a Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2011.

Walch graduated from Harvard Law School in 2002, where she was selected to the Board of Student Advisers and taught Legal Research and Writing. Before joining the faculty at St. Mary’s, she practiced corporate law at the firm of Ropes & Gray in Boston, where her practice included venture capital, life sciences and emerging companies work. After Ropes & Gray, Walch served as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at Harvard University. While at Harvard, she advised on general transactional matters and federal grants for international projects. Walch also practiced transactional law in London, where she worked in-house for a large British supermarket chain and served as general counsel for a venturebacked consumer events company with events and offices around the world.

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Distinguished Law Graduate Dinner
Thank you to our sponsors
Border Health PAC Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys St. Mary’s University School of Law and Dean Charles E. Cantú

The Hon. Israel Ramon, Law Alumni Association President, with 2012 Distinguished Law Graduates The Hon. Larry Noll and Dwain Dent, Distinguished Young Alumna Jennifer Tharp, and Dean Cantú. The St. Mary’s University School of Law and the Law Alumni Association honored the Hon. Lawrence “Larry” E. Noll ( J.D. ’72), Bexar County’s 408th District Court Judge, and Dwain Dent ( J.D. ’76), founder of Fort Worth’s The Dent Law Firm, as 2012 Distinguished Law Graduates at a dinner in October. The annual awards are given to two individuals with both outstanding achievements in the legal profession and dedicated service to the St. Mary’s School of Law. A new addition to the annual dinner, the Distinguished Young Alumnus award was presented to Jennifer A. Tharp ( J.D. ’03), Comal County’s Criminal District Attorney. Noll practiced real estate and family law privately and served as Justice of the Peace and municipal judge before election to his current bench in November 2006. Noll has held many leadership positions in state and local bar associations. He is a past president of the St. Mary’s University Alumni Association and current board member of the Hispanic Law Alumni Association. He has been inducted into the St. Mary’s University Athletic Hall of Fame, the Archdiocese of San Antonio Catholic Schools Hall of Fame and the Holy Cross High School Hall of Fame. He’s also a St. Mary’s University Distinguished Alumnus and a winner of the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s Doctoral Achievement Award.
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Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, L.L.P. Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated Friends of Dwain Dent Haynes and Boone, LLP The Nunley Firm The Hon. and Mrs. Israel Ramon Jr. Unico Cattle Company Valero Energy Corporation

Dent founded The Dent Law Firm in Fort Worth in 1990. A personal injury trial lawyer, he has led the way for many class-action pharmaceutical suits and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, limited to trial lawyers who have won a verdict or settlement of $1 million or more. He is the founder of the Spencer B. Dent Memorial Foundation dedicated to youth sports activities and a member of the board of directors (and a coach) for the West Side Lions Little League in Fort Worth. Also a history buff, Dent is a member of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society, and he has won numerous awards from the Historic Preservation Council for Tarrant County. Tharp made history as the first female district attorney in Comal County. She began working in Comal County in 2004 as a juvenile prosecutor. She worked in Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s general litigation division. Tharp currently serves as president of the Comal County Sexual Assault Response Team and vice president of the New Braunfels Republican Women. Tharp, a co-founder of Comal Cops for Kids Foundation, also is active with the Teen Court Task Committee, the Comal County Bar Association, the Sheriff ’s Citizen Academy, Leadership New Braunfels, the Children’s Advocacy Center for Comal County and Court Appointed Special Advocates. ■


The Law Office of O.G. Alvarez & Associates Jon Christian Amberson, P.C. The Hon. Karen Angelini, The Hon. Phylis Speedlin, The Hon. Rebecca Simmons, The Hon. Steven Hilbig and The Hon. Marialyn Barnard ARAMARK Ariel House Law Office Law Offices of William Douglas Bineham and Law Offices of Aida R. Rojas The Hon. Mary Anne and Coll Bramblett Brown Fox Kizzia & Johnson PLLC Burt Barr & Associates, L.L.P. Law Offices of San Juanita Reyna Campos and Law Offices of Ryan Solis and Becky Solis The Law Office of Tony Canales Dallas Law Alumni Association Chapter/Donnie Pollard Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza, Inc. Davis Law Firm The Dent Law Firm Dilley Law Firm Drought, Drought & Bobbitt, L.L.P. Ruben Gabriel Duarte Jeff and Renna Embry Friends of Dwain Dent #2 Gardner Aldrich, LLP The Hon. Ana Lisa Garza Law Office of Robert Garza Arnulfo (Fofo) and Janice Gonzalez Gonzalez Chiscano Angulo & Kasson, PC Goode Casseb Jones Riklin Choate & Watson, P.C. Grady’s Bar-B-Q and Costco Liquors The Hon. Paul W. Green Albert Hartman A.L. and Charlotte Hernden The Herrera Law Firm The Hon. Barbara Parker Hervey and Richard Langlois

The Hon. Eligio “Kika” de la Garza II, LL.B., McAllen, a United States Congressman for 32 years representing South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, has been honored by the city of Mission with a bronze statue in Mission’s Rotary Park.

The Hon. John H. Cayce Jr., J.D., Fort Worth, has been elected to the board of directors of the Tarrant County Bar Association.

Carman M. Garufi, J.D., Binghamton, N.Y., is president of the Broome County Bar Association. Kimberly L. Kiplin, J.D., Austin, is senior counsel for Dykema Gossett PLLC. Terry E. Mitchell, J.D., Austin, is president of Momark Development. Edgar A. Saenz, B.A., Los Angeles, is an attorney specializing in estate planning. The Hon. Phylis J. Speedlin, J.D., San Antonio, a justice of the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals, was honored by Girls Inc. of San Antonio for her humanitarian and public service efforts.

Frank Herrera Jr., J.D., San Antonio, and his sons Javier L. Herrera, (J.D. ’10), and Jorge Herrera, attorneys with the Herrera Law Firm, received the Family Excellence Award at the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Business Awards Dinner. Hispanic Law Alumni Association Hornberger Sheehan Fuller Beiter Wittenberg & Garza, Incorporated Jackson Walker L.L.P. Jefferson Bank James K. Jones Jr. Kennard Law P.C. Patrick J. Kennedy Sr. Langley & Banack, Inc. David McQuade Leibowitz, P.C. Professor Aloysius A. Leopold Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, LLP The Hon. Alma L. López-Cavazos and Emilio Cavazos Anita Lozano/Jones, Galligan, Key & Lozano Law Firm Law Offices of Margaret M. Maisel, P.C. The Hon. Sandee Bryan Marion and The Hon. Polly Jackson Spencer Law Office of Tony Martinez, PC The Law Offices of Willie McAllen and The Law Offices of Jose G. Gonzalez Mexican American Bar Association of San Antonio The Hon. Larry Noll Richard Noll and Sara Dysart Pearl Associates, L.C. Pelaez-Prada, PLLC Anthony E. Pletcher Plunkett & Gibson, Inc. RAB Law Firm P.C. The Hon. and Mrs. Mario E. Ramirez Jr. Ray, Valdez, McChristian & Jeans Jack and Laura Richmond Rio Grande Valley Law Alumni Association Chapter/ Jose G. "Joey" Gonzalez Jr. The Hon. Irene Rios/San Antonio Young Lawyers Association Rogers & Moore PLLC Rose • Walker, L.L.P. The San Antonio Bar Association-Family Law Section San Antonio Bar Foundation Smith Law Group, P.C. Scott and Teresa Spears St. Mary’s Law School Foundation St. Mary’s University Star Shuttle & Charter/Gray Line Tours The Hon. Catherine Stone, The Hon. Toni Arteaga, The Hon. Monica Gonzalez, The Hon. Renée McElhaney, The Hon. Barbara Nellermoe and The Hon. Laura Parker Strasburger Price Oppenheimer Blend George A. Taylor The Hon. Jennifer A. Tharp Paul R. Vahldiek Jr. Law Office of Beth Watkins and Wilson, Pennypacker & Thomson L.L.P. Law Office of Clark B. Will, P.C. Yzaguirre & Chapa Law Firm

G. Michael Curran, J.D., Dallas, is a name partner with Curran Tomko Tarski LLP.

Anthony E. Pletcher, J.D., Corpus Christi, is chief strategy officer for Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP.

J. Matthew Dow, J.D., Austin, managing partner of the Austin office of Jackson Walker LLP, has been named to the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America and to the 2012 Texas Super Lawyers list.

Carol Campbell, J.D., Austin, was named Assistant Attorney General of the Year for the Attorney General of Texas’ Child Support Division’s main office in Austin.

Anne Marie Gorman, J.D., LL.M. ’08, Shanghai, is a senior corporate legal counsel with Cambridge Industries Group.

Patrick M. Flachs, J.D., Portland, Ore., is assistant chief counsel for the Army Corps of Engineers Northwest Division. Lawrence A. Waks, J.D., Austin, a partner in the Austin office of Jackson Walker LLP, has been named to the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Patrick T. Peranteau, J.D., San Antonio, and Cynthia E. Masson, J.D. ’98, are partners in Masson & Peranteau PLLC.

James C. Kuvet, J.D., San Antonio, was named Assistant Attorney General of the Year for the Attorney General of Texas’ Child Support Division’s San Antonio region.

Mary Jo McCurley, J.D., Dallas, a name partner in McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing LLP, has been named to the Texas Super Lawyers list as one of the state’s top Family Law attorneys for the 10th consecutive year and was named one of the Top 50 female attorneys in Texas. Linda G. Moore, J.D., Dallas, is a partner at Taber Estes Thorne & Carr PLLC. Franklin Scott Spears Jr., J.D., Austin, a name partner at Arenson and Spears, has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas Parental Rights Advisory Panel.

Maria Cristina Gonzalez, J.D., New York, is a partner with Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP. Darrell G. Stewart, J.D., San Antonio, the 2012 Fiesta Oyster Bake chairman and president of the St. Mary’s University Alumni Association, was named the 2012 Volunteer of the Year by the Texas Festivals and Events Association.

Sharon N. Humble, J.D., Philadelphia, managing partner of the Philadelphia office of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP, received a Brava! Award, which recognizes Greater Philadelphia’s top women business leaders, from Philadelphia SmartCEO magazine and received a Minority Business Leader Advocate Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Patrick B. Tobin, J.D., San Antonio, managing partner of the San Antonio office of Jackson Walker LLP, has been named to the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

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Julia C. Mann, J.D., San Antonio, a partner in the San Antonio office of Jackson Walker LLP has been named to the 2012 Texas Super Lawyers list. Christopher W. Willis, J.D., Cumming, Ga., is an attorney in the Atlanta office of Clinton & Clinton.

Jennifer Owens Tharp, J.D., New Braunfels, the Comal County Criminal District Attorney, has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas Parental Rights Advisory Panel.

Ashley Murray Judd, J.D., McKinney, is an attorney at Barrett Daffin Frappier Tuner & Engel LLP. C. Brett Waller, J.D., Seattle, is an attorney with the Strata Law Group PLLC. Brittany M. Weil, J.D., San Antonio, is an associate with Burleson LLP. Jason W. Whitney, J.D., San Antonio, is an associate with Haynes and Boone LLP.

Annette Agius Idalski, J.D., Atlanta, a shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka, has been named to the 2012 Georgia Super Lawyers Business Edition. Jon T. Koenig, J.D., Austin, is a trust team manager with Wells Fargo Wealth Management.

Virginia M. “Ginny” Lewis, J.D., Austin, is associate director of the Texas Association of Regional Councils.

David C. Courreges, M.P.A./J.D., Austin, a partner at Hay Compere PLLC, has received the Nancy L. Garms Memorial Award from the State Bar of Texas honoring his outstanding dedication to the advancement of local political and legal education. Lauren B. McKinney, J.D., Austin, is a compliance analyst in the Texas Governor’s Office.

Elizabeth C. Edwards, J.D., El Paso, was named Assistant Attorney General of the Year for the Attorney General of Texas’ Child Support Division’s El Paso region. Matt D. Manning, J.D., Houston, is an associate with McGlinchey Stafford PLLC. Jennifer Prunty, J.D., San Antonio, and Tony Alvarado were married on March 10, 2012.

Scott M. Noel, J.D., San Antonio, is managing partner of the San Antonio office of McCathern Mooty Grinke LLP. A. Alex Perez, J.D., San Antonio, is managing partner of the San Antonio office of Burleson LLP.

Karin R. Crump, J.D., Austin, is a partner with Hay Compere PLLC.

Jennifer L. Parks, J.D., Fort Worth, is a contracts manager with Steamtech & Co. LLC. Tucker B. Royall Jr., J.D., Austin, has joined the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as executive assistant/counsel to Commissioner Toby Baker. John W. Shaw, J.D., Fort Worth, a supervising attorney at Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, is president of the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association and member of the Texas Young Lawyers Association board of directors. S. Toti Walia, J.D., Seattle, is an attorney with Bennett Bigelow & Leedom P.S.

Susan M. Crippin, J.D., New Braunfels, is a hearing officer with the Texas Workforce Commission. Hayley C. Ellison, J.D., Dallas, is an associate with Elrod PLLC. Andria Aguayo Franco, J.D., Austin, is a policy analyst in the Texas Governor’s Office. Steven W. “Wroe” Jackson, J.D., Austin, is General Counsel for the Texas Secretary of State.

Lisa Dreyer Ball, J.D., Dallas, has opened the Ball Law Firm with offices in Stephenville and Dallas. Cynthia E. Masson, J.D., San Antonio, and Patrick T. Peranteau (J.D. ’87), San Antonio, are partners in Masson & Peranteau PLLC. Ashley Watkins McDowell, J.D., Dallas, received certification in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in January 2012. Amy N. Nelson, J.D., Pearland, is a trust manager with Rice Trust Inc., the trust management subsidiary of Rice University. Dayla S. Pepi, J.D., San Antonio, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at St. Mary’s University, is an S.A. Scene S.A. Lawyers: Best of 2012 honoree in the family law category.

Catherine A. Chesley, J.D., Tyler, is an attorney with Flowers Davis PLLC. Carson R. Guy, J.D., San Antonio, has opened the Law Office of Carson R. Guy. Holly B. Jones, J.D., Plano, is a corporate counsel with the United American Insurance Company. Kristina M. Ross, J.D., Tyler, is an associate with Stephen L. Hubbard PC.

John R. Childers, J.D., Dallas, and Joe W. Judd, J.D., McKinney, are co-authors of Landman Lease and Title Manual. Childers is president of Dallasbased Energy Production Company, and Judd is vice president of Land and Legal at PetroMax Operating Company; they both worked in the oil and gas industry as landmen before entering law school. Bruce A. Moseley, J.D., Amarillo, has received the John F. Mead Faculty Excellence Award from Amarillo College where he is director of the Paralegal Program. The Hon. Amanda N. Torres, J.D., Corpus Christi, a Nueces County Justice of the Peace, is a member of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors.

Manuel Peláez Prada, J.D., San Antonio, has opened a new law practice, Peláez Prada PLLC.

Megan K. Kempf, J.D., Bulverde, is an Equal Justice Works Fellow with Family Violence Prevention Services Inc. Erica L. Mirehouse, J.D., Austin, is a briefing attorney to Judge Lawrence E. Meyers of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Mary E. Neal, M.A./J.D., Corpus Christi, is an associate with Hoblit Ferguson Darling LLP.

Patricio Iturralde, LL.M., Mexico City, is a name partner in Iturralde Rosas Priego SC.

Christopher T. St. Jon, J.D., Jersey City, N.J., is deputy chief counsel for the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s New York Office.

p.8 | law notes


by Israel Ramon Jr., LAA President

The Hon. Gene L. Dulaney, LL.B.’49, Fort Worth, died Aug. 8, 2012.

semester and get ready for spring to my fellow alumni and to our

As we conclude the fall 2012

2013, I wanted to offer these thoughts recent graduates. The Law Alumni Association (LAA) and its board members are committed to listening to suggestions on how the LAA can better serve you. Our priority continues other and with our alma mater. Also, we encourage networking a few suggestions to meet these goals. INVOLVEMENT state. Presently, we have active chapters in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Laredo, the Rio Grande Valley, St. Louis and in Washington, D.C. We are also planning of the state. By becoming active with your chapter, we have an opportunity to reconnect and enjoy the many activities and throughout the state. We urge you to join one of the many chapters throughout the to emphasize involvement with each

Col. Viviano Gomez Jr., LL.B. ’50, San Antonio, died July 20, 2012. Harry P. Stuth Jr., LL.B. ’52, Hollywood, Fla., died Dec. 29, 2011. James K. Gardner, LL.B. ’53, Montgomery, died June 26, 2012. The Hon. B.B. Schraub, LL.B. ’54, Seguin, died June 7, 2012. Lt. Col. Paul Weisend, J.D. ’55, Pomona, Calif., died July 27, 2012. Joe J. Medina, LL.B. ’58, San Antonio, died Sept. 22, 2012.

Adolph F. Spitta, LL.B.’60, San Antonio, died July 9, 2012. John W. Bell, LL.B. ’64, Corpus Christi, died Aug. 21, 2012. Billy D. King Jr., B.A./J.D. ’66, Richmond, died May 27, 2012. Charles Robert McConachie, J.D. ’68, Dallas, died July 22, 2012.

opportunities with our new graduates. Toward that end, here are

Jesse M. Villarreal, J.D. ’70, Richardson, died July 19, 2012. Morris R. Buell, J.D. ’72, Sterling, Kan., died May 2, 2012. John D. Evans, J.D. ’76, Jupiter, Fla., died July 28, 2012.

Maria Louisa Holmgreen, J.D. ’82, San Antonio, died June 17, 2012. John F. “Jeff” Dietze Sr., J.D. ’84, Cuero, died Aug. 14, 2012. Emile H. Sonet III, J.D. ’85, Conshohocken, Pa., died Aug. 23, 2012.

additional chapters in Brownsville, Harlingen and in other parts

Gregory T. Warden, J.D. ’09, Sugar Land, died June 23, 2012.

opportunities available in our area or sponsored by our law school DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE DINNER were proud that we sold 53 tables for our Distinguished Graduate Dinner. This year I am happy to report that we sold an all-time banquet. Special thanks to all those alums and other generous scholarships and alumni-sponsored student services. I was looking at the fall 2009 LawNotes and I discovered that we

high of 90 tables and had a great time at the Marriott River Center sponsors for a successful event that will continue funding law school NETWORKING WITH LAW STUDENTS student for an internship. By doing so, you assist the student in understanding some of the practical aspects of the practice of law. At the same time, the student networks with you and has an in finding an intern, you should contact the law school’s Career her staff will gladly assist you. One of the things that we can do as alums is hire a law

St. Mary’s University School of Law Newsletter
President Thomas M. Mengler, J.D. School of Law Dean Charles E. Cantú ( J.D. ’64) Editor Beth Barbee

opportunity to obtain invaluable experiences. If you are interested Services Office at 210-436-3511. Assistant Dean Faye Bracey and Finally, please join me in congratulating Dean Cantú, Assistant

Dean Al Hartman, director of Law Alumni Relations and

Development Collanne West, and administrative assistants Ruby our alumni events successful. We are proud of our alma mater.

Contreras and Amanda Montemayor for their hard work in making

Nov. 16 Nov. 20 Nov. 29 Dec. 8 March 1 March 22 April 6 April 5 April 19-20 May 18

6th Annual St. Louis Chili Dinner Portrait Unveiling: Margaret Maisel Fort Worth LAA Chapter Reception Completion of Legal Studies Ceremony 12th Annual St. Mary’s Law Journal Symposium School of Law Homecoming CLE and Reunion St. Mary’s Homecoming Mass and Oyster Bake The Scholar Immigration Symposium Fiesta Oyster Bake School of Law Commencement

For more information on these or other events, please check our website at For alumni event information, please contact Collanne West at


ar ytx.ed


One Camino Santa Maria San Antonio, Texas 78228

Keep us up-to-da te on your ac complis hments droppin by g us a n ote. You can sub mit you r inform to ebar ation bee@st mar ytx or by fa .edu x at 21 0-431-4 388.

We wan t from yo a note u


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St. Mary's University School of Law, “Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Fall 2012,” St. Mary's Law Digital Repository, accessed May 23, 2019,

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