Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Spring 2010

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Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Spring 2010


St. Mary's University School of Law


Innsbruck Anniversary: Program Marks 25 Years of Success, Haiti Earthquake Reaches St. Mary's, Supreme Court of Texas on Campus, Distinguished Faculty Named


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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Spring 2010

St. Mary’s University | School of Law

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INSIDE: Haiti Earthquake Reaches St. Mary’s Supreme Court of Texas on Campus Distinguished Faculty Named

Program Marks 25 Years of Success

Dear Fellow Graduates, The new decade has started with a very busy and productive spring at your law school. We have mentored prospective law students, including high school and college students from around the state at the Minority Pre-Law Symposium. We have provided legal advice to the community through the People’s Law School and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. By the time you read this issue, we will have hosted the Supreme Court of Texas in our courtroom. The Court, including Justice Paul W. Green (J.D. ’77), agreed to hear oral arguments on three cases on our campus, providing a definitive learning experience for our students. Meanwhile, as we wind up the legal education of one class and prepare them for the bar exam, we are in the midst of recruiting another stellar group. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank all of you who have hosted – or just stopped by – our admitted student receptions around the state. Your influence and advice illustrates the strong network among our alumni and is so important to the decision-making process for prospective students. Also important to prospective students is that our law school is accessible and affordable. Growing our scholarship funds, so that all students may have the opportunity to promote peace and justice in our society, is essential to our mission and Marianist heritage. To date, we have raised a little over $6.5 million, the lion’s share in scholarship money. I want to thank you for your continued financial support and generosity. A record number of fellow graduates returned to our campus in March for our annual Homecoming Reunion and CLE. It was my pleasure to reconnect and visit with so many of you and participate in an intellectual and engaging CLE program. If you weren’t able to make it, we honored the Class of 1960 and our Distinguished Young Alumna Sonia Rodriguez (J.D. ’99) at the luncheon. In this issue of Law Notes, we are featuring our study and exchange program in Innsbruck as we prepare to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Over the years, many talented professors and students have participated in this innovative program, and it has served as a model for international study programs across the country. Speaking of study and exchange programs, we are currently accepting applications for the inaugural Institute of Chinese Law and Business, scheduled to depart for Beijing July 4. Partnering with Beihang University School of Law, co-directors Robert Hu and Vincent Johnson have developed a premier summer program that will introduce students to the Chinese legal system and the challenges of representing clients who are conducting 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 (J.D. ’64) Dean and South Texas Professor of Law

Program Marks 25 Years of Success
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This summer, St. Mary’s University School of Law’s Institute on World Legal Problems celebrates 25 years of legal education in Europe. The groundbreaking program has grown from a fledgling idea to a robust five-week summer session attended by as many as 130 students annually from law schools around the country. With specialized courses, world-renowned guest speakers and a campus nestled in the picturesque Austrian Alps, the program shows no sign of slowing down. The Institute has been held at the University of Innsbruck in Innsbruck, Austria since 1986. The City of Innsbruck, the Governor of the Tirol and the University of Innsbruck are all planning to commemorate the long and prosperous partnership with St. Mary’s School of Law when the program returns this July. It was the brainchild of two enthusiastic, young St. Mary’s law professors, Gerald Reamey and Vincent Johnson, who convinced then-dean James Castleberry it would be a worthwhile endeavor for the school. It seems now that every law school has an off-campus summer program, but in the 80s this was not the case. When St. Mary’s took its first 25 students to Austria, only 40 American law schools had international summer programs; today that number is close to 200.   Even though faced with competition among other summer study abroad programs across the country, St. Mary’s program remains
Familiar faces: St. Mary’s first group in Innsbruck, July 1986.


(top) Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts teaches a class at Innsbruck. (bottom) Students pose for photos with Justice Samuel Alito at the Institute's Grand Reception.

popular. Literally thousands of students from more than 130 law schools have attended since its inception. With the addition of a Distinguished Visiting Jurist to the program, the popularity soared. When Johnson, director of the program from 1989 to 2001, returned to St. Mary’s after spending time on a Supreme Court fellowship, he parlayed his contacts into a boon for the program by luring Justice William Brennan as the first Distinguished Visiting Jurist. However, for health reasons he wasn’t able to travel, and the spot was filled with Harvard Professor of Law Laurence H. Tribe. “This was a breakthrough for the program,” said Reamey. “We immediately saw a big increase in students which continued upward as we brought in Supreme Court Justices, as well as jurists from the Tirol and United Nations International Criminal Tribunals.” Distinguished Visiting Jurists usually teach a course and also interact with students and faculty at receptions during the session. Past Distinguished Visiting Jurists in the St. Mary’s Innsbruck program have included seven members of the Supreme Court of the United States: the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Justices Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Sandra Day O’Connor. Internationally known Distinguished Visiting Jurists include then-President of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, and Richard Goldstone, retired Justice of the South Africa Constitutional Court and Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.  This summer’s Distinguished Visiting Jurist is Judge András Sajó of Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Human Rights, which sits in Strasbourg, France. “It’s an intimate setting,” said Reamey. “Most law students – or lawyers for that matter – never meet a Supreme Court Justice. In Innsbruck, students have the unique opportunity to learn from them and sometimes even get to know them.”

Photo by Alicia Wagner Caldaza

One such student’s encounter impacted him so much that he changed his career path. Emil R. Infante earned his LL.M. degree in 2000. Infante

remembers spending one summer afternoon at a small café discussing the intricacies of law with some professors, which included Chief Justice William Rehnquist who taught as a distinguished jurist for two weeks during four summers.  Over that summer in Innsbruck, Infante’s eyes were opened to a new world of opportunities in international law and business. He is now the managing partner of Infante, Zumpano, Hudson & Miloch, LLC in Florida. His firm’s thriving practice represents clients from all over the world, concentrating on Central and South America. “That summer studying abroad in Europe was the most enlightening experience of my life, not only because of the group of friends and professors I studied with, but because it gave me an opportunity to explore other cultures and realize the importance of thinking globally,” said Infante. Today, Infante funds an annual scholarship to offer St. Mary’s students the same life-altering education he experienced. This summer he will revisit the Innsbruck campus as a guest lecturer. Reamey, Johnson and other professors who have overseen the program throughout the years often spend quite a bit of time with the notable guests, many times entertaining them. In 1992, Reamey arranged to take Rehnquist on a private visit of the Stone Age Iceman, or Oetzi, that had been discovered high in the Alps near Innsbruck by some hikers. Radiocarbon dating established his age as approximately 5,300 years, the oldest intact human specimen ever discovered. The only place to house him with adequate environmental conditions was the University of Innsbruck. While the testing and discovery was taking place, visits to the Iceman were restricted. After pulling some strings with a friend who happened to be the head of Anatomy at the University, Reamey and Rehnquist stood behind glass peering at the Iceman. “As we were leaving the building, I told the Chief Justice, ‘I was just in the same room with two people who have been on the cover of

Time magazine,’” recalled Reamey. “The Chief Justice quickly replied ‘Yes, but I’ve been on the cover twice!’” While the Distinguished Visiting Jurists are a major draw for students, they are not the heart of the program. The courses differ from what is generally taught in regular semesters at law schools. In the program’s 25 years, international law classes have become mainstream at St. Mary’s. International business, human rights, intellectual property and lawyering abroad are the bread and butter of the Institute. More specialized classes, like St. Mary’s Professor Al Leopold’s International Law of Stolen Art and Artifacts, are distinctive. Being in Austria gives students a unique and relevant vantage point. After all, this is the place where art stolen during World War II is still being recovered and returned to Jewish families, such as works by Gustav Klimt that turned up in an Austrian gallery a few years ago, or the hidden works found in nearby Neuschwanstein Castle. Comparative Constitutional Law is another of the Institute’s popular courses not found year round at most law schools. Michael Ariens, professor of Law and associate dean of the Evening Program, examines with students the structural issues and differences in building constitutions, including separation of powers, judicial review and individual rights. Other highlights for most students are the field trips and travel. Experiential learning trips are scheduled throughout the sessions to nearby courts and factories like Swarovski Crystal. Since classes do not meet on Friday, extended weekends allow students to explore the Alps and the Tirol, and to travel to Hungary, Switzerland, France, Germany and Italy, which are only short train rides away. “Year after year, there is a recurring theme with the students after the trip,” said Bernard Reams, this year’s co-director with Reamey. “They had never visited a foreign country, this was their first trip abroad, and they feel they just experienced the legal world in a completely new way.” ❑


A Tale of Two Law Students:
How the Haiti earthquake reached St. Mary’s


wo third-year law students, Kennedy Granger and Justin Yarborough, have found themselves at the center of one of St. Mary’s most inspiring stories and a media whirlwind since they traveled to earthquake-ravaged Haiti to rescue Granger’s soon-to-be adoptive daughters. Granger’s story was showcased on national television when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewed Yarborough, Granger and her three young girls, Angel (16), Fafane (13) and Bianca (11), soon after their joyous reunion. The story was also featured on the front page of the San Antonio Express-News and on local TV and radio stations. The against-all-odds story began soon after the 7.0 earthquake hit on Jan. 12. Granger, a 26-year-old who grew up in Haiti before moving to the United States, had been trying for four years to adopt Angel, Fafane and Bianca. The terrified mother watched news reports of the earthquake from San Antonio fearing the worst. All of her attempts to reach the three girls had failed. One of Granger’s fellow law students introduced her to Yarborough, a resourceful lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve, as someone who might know the best methods of communication in a disaster situation. But that meeting quickly turned into a rescue planning meeting. Within days, the two set off for Haiti, via the Dominican Republic, to find the girls and bring them home to San Antonio.

Through a series of serendipitous events, Granger was miraculously reunited with Angel, Fafane and Bianca. Help from the U.S. Embassy and a push from Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell’s parallel

St. Mary's law student Kennedy Granger and her three adopted daughters after their reunion in Haiti.

efforts to smooth the adoption process during this critical time helped the girls’ adoption packages clear the U.S. Embassy and Customs. Fortunately, the girls were able to enter the United States legally. Granger now has the assistance of the St. Mary’s Civil Justice Clinic to help complete the adoption process. Granger and Yarborough are back in class finishing their last semester of law school and preparing for the bar exam. Granger, her husband, young son and the girls are adjusting to their new family life. Angel, Fafane and Bianca are adapting to American culture and their new school and enjoying the highlight of their week – Taekwondo lessons. But the story doesn’t end there. Granger and Yarborough are now busy behind the scenes establishing a nonprofit aid foundation called We Hear Your Voice to help Haitians who are trying to rebuild their lives. The story of the Granger family will also be a part of an upcoming documentary about the earthquake and its toll on the adoption process. Granger and Yarborough returned to Haiti during spring break with a film crew and medical relief workers to work on their dual efforts. Expect to hear more about the “We Hear Your Voice” documentary as it has some dedicated supporters behind it. Spearheading the efforts of the documentary are Matt Ogens, producer and director of several documentaries including CNN’s “Heroes” and George Clooney’s “Hope for Haiti” telethon, and Luis Peña, a global brand manager and interactive designer. San Antonio law firm Jackson Walker LLP has agreed to step in and handle various legal matters associated with the organization’s nonprofit status. Church on the Rock International and Angels In Cowboy Boots are among the many groups that have also offered their services to the movement. The documentary trailer was screened during Austin’s annual South by Southwest festival at a fundraiser held by Piryx,

a social media and web company, and the Seattle-based nonprofit Startup Weekend. Both Yarborough and Granger want the documentary to broaden Americans’ understanding of Haitians in order to enhance the relief efforts. “Haiti is known as a poor, disorganized, even corrupt country,” said Granger. “But to have lived there and known the people, it is so much more to me. I want people to understand the beauty of the people; they are more than stark statistics.” After their trips to Haiti, working together on the foundation and documentary, Granger and Yarborough—the classmates who had never met—have become fast friends. In February, the Granger family had Yarborough over for a traditional Haitian meal, then Yarborough took Angel, Fafane and Bianca and their entire family to the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo. “This was a case of perfect strangers,” said Yarborough. “We have helped one another and found a purpose and cause that is so close to both our hearts. I never would have dreamed of going to Haiti or understanding their plight.” “I don’t know how I can ever thank Justin for everything he’s done for me and my family,” said Granger. “He’s become Uncle Justin.”

To find out more about their nonprofit, visit their website at ❑


Hampton Appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs
The St. Mary’s Board of Trustees unanimously confirmed the recommendation by President Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. (B.A. ’62, M.A. ’64), to appoint André Hampton, J.D., as the vice president for Academic Affairs. Hampton, who joined St. Mary’s in 1994 as a professor in the School of Law, has been serving as the interim vice president since June 2008. During his tenure at St. Mary’s, he has served in various administrative and leadership roles, including as president of the Faculty Senate for five years.

Cotrell noted that during his time as interim vice president, Hampton had established trust and collaboration between faculty and staff and the Office of Academic Affairs. Hampton was also instrumental in several initiatives, among them working with the faculty committees on the core curriculum revisions for undergraduate degree programs, and developing a voluntary phased retirement program for faculty.

The proceedings were webcast live on St. Mary’s website. Since 2006, St. Mary’s 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. Archived arguments are available on or iTunes U at

Supreme Court of Texas Hears Arguments on Campus
The Supreme Court of Texas visited St. Mary’s School of Law on March 25 to hear oral arguments in the St. Mary’s Courtroom. The Justices heard three cases. One case in particular, Susan Combs and Greg Abbott v. Texas Entertainment Association Inc., has garnered statewide interest in whether the $5 tax on patrons at clubs serving alcohol with nude entertainment violates the First Amendment’s free-speech clause. The Court periodically hears arguments outside of Austin. Justice Paul W. Green (J.D. ’77) is a St. Mary’s School of Law graduate.

Constructive Spring Break
Continuing the tradition of service that netted them the State Bar’s Access to Justice Award in 2009 for pro bono and community service work, a group of more than 50 law students headed to New Orleans and the Rio Grande Valley on spring break service trips. The students dove headfirst into housing and property issues of the ongoing recovery efforts in New Orleans, and immigration and legal problems in McAllen’s colonias. In addition to aiding other service organizations, our students also developed materials and information for self-represented litigants in Louisiana while working at the Louisiana Bar Foundation.


Vice President for Academic Affairs André Hampton

In McAllen, students worked for the third consecutive year with Proyecto Azteca, whose mission is to build healthy and thriving communities. By assisting low income families with the construction of quality affordable housing, the group molds empowered and responsible home owners. The law students also assisted residents with translations and immigration law issues and sponsored an afternoon of fun for children from the colonias. Staying close to home, some law students spent a day of service with Meals on Wheels of San Antonio or Women at the Well, a transitional living experience for women released from prison. “Whether traveling near or far, the service experience – a hallmark of St. Mary’s University – contributes to the community, builds bonds through teamwork, and hopefully inspires a lifelong commitment to service for our students no matter in what community they eventually find themselves,” said Law Campus Minister Sister Grace Walle, F.M.I., who coordinates alternative spring break efforts. Travel costs were deferred through the assistance of Law Ministry, the Charles E. Cantú Fund and The Student Bar Association.

Along with the award, AT&T will offer a St. Mary’s law student a scholarship in exchange for five hours of work per week for the Bar Association’s Community Justice Program. According to the Bar Association, Ward was selected because of her high class ranking, a highly complimentary letter from a mentor, her passionate essay about the importance of pro bono efforts, and her volunteer efforts at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid and Catholic Charities’ Call-a-Lawyer program. A second-year law student at St. Mary’s, Ward has served as president of the St. Mary’s Criminal Defense Law Bar.

a brief-writing process and is part of the legal writing classes. This early exposure allows students an advocacyoriented perspective that enhances the traditional first-year coursework. In creating the award, Professor Schlueter noted that he and Linda have a special affinity for encouraging and supporting law students in moot court competitions. The two met while they were students at Baylor University School of Law and were partners in that school’s first-year moot court competition.

Hats Off to The Scholar
Some St. Mary’s University School of Law students took a break from writing and publishing The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority Issues to visit cancer patients at U.T. Health Science Center’s Cancer Therapy and Research Center and bring them gifts – new hats.

Schlueters Fund Moot Court Competition
Charles E. Cantú announced that David and Linda Schlueter have pledged a gift of $20,000 to the St. Mary’s University School of Law to fund the annual Linda and Dave Schlueter First Year Moot Court Competition. Schlueter is Hardy Professor of Law and director of Advocacy Programs, and his wife, who taught legal research and writing at St. Mary’s School of Law from 1983 to 1994, is president of Trinity Legal Center, a nonprofit legal foundation. Both have published nationally recognized treatises and been cited by the United States Supreme Court and numerous courts and legal commentators. All students at St. Mary’s are required to participate in a moot court competition during their first spring semester. The competition, which is run by the School’s Board of Advocates, is the culmination of

Student Wins San Antonio Bar Association Award
At a San Antonio Bar Association luncheon on Jan. 28, St. Mary’s University School of Law student Kimbell Ward was presented with the AT&T Excellence in Pro Bono Award. Ward is the first recipient of the award given by AT&T, a staunch supporter of pro bono efforts in San Antonio.

Scholar staff members Eric Bernal and Hayley Ellison deliver hats to the Cancer Research and Therapy Center.


In recognition of Cancer Awareness Month, The Scholar staff collected hats in October to donate to patients who have lost their hair during cancer treatment. The Scholar staff sponsors several community service projects

during the production of each issue and participates in the School of Law’s other service projects such as Ask-aLawyer, the Wills Clinic, Halloween Boo Bash and VITA.

On to Nationals for Mock Trial Team
A second place finish in the Rocky Mountain Regional of the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial competition sends St. Mary’s University School of Law’s Black Law Student Association Mock Trial Team on to the national round of the competition in Boston. The St. Mary’s team is made up of Bridgette Clay, Kristin Kaye, Christian Johnson and Lauren Cadillac. Veteran competitors Clay and Johnson were members of last year’s national runner-up team in the same contest. During the regional round at Louisiana State University, St. Mary’s team faced and defeated teams from the University of Tulsa College of Law, Texas Wesleyan Law School and Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. The team fell short of the University of Texas in the regional championship. The competition is hosted yearly by the National Black Law Students Association. The winners of the six regional contests meet at the national championship held in conjunction with the organization’s national convention.

St. Mary’s Law Alumni Room Wall of Honor. A revered public servant, Wolff currently serves as Bexar County Judge and has previously served as Mayor of San Antonio, State Representative and State Senator. Wolff was St. Mary’s Distinguished Law Graduate in 2001.

are designed to help participants understand their rights when facing situations such as discrimination and harassment, debt and foreclosure, filing a protective order or in cases of accident or injury.

Minority Pre-Law Symposium Honors Chicano Civil Rights Advocates
Voting rights advocates Henry Flores, Ph.D. (B.A. ’74), and Nina Perales, J.D., were recently honored at a banquet celebrating Chicano Civil Rights at St. Mary’s University. The Chicano Civil Rights Banquet is part of St. Mary’s University School of Law’s Minority Pre-Law Symposium, which invites high school and college students to learn more about the law school experience. This year’s banquet commemorated the landmark case of League of United Latin American Citizens v. Rick Perry, Gov. of Texas that demonstrated the crucial importance of the U.S. Census and its resultant effect on voting rights. Speakers reflected on the case and emphasized the importance of the 2010 Census for Latinos. “LULAC v. Perry was the result of a census redistricting process gone awry,” said Reynaldo Valencia, St. Mary’s School of Law Associate Dean for Administration and Finance and Professor of Law. “The work of both Nina Perales and Henry Flores in seeking to vindicate the Voting Rights Act merits recognition of their hard work and ultimate success. The case and Nina and Henry’s work in the voting rights arena is demonstrative proof of the importance of the decennial census.” Valencia chairs St. Mary’s Chicano Civil Rights

The Hon. Nelson Wolff (J.D. ’66) and his wife, Tracy, with St. Mary’s President, Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. and Dean Cantú at his portrait unveiling

People’s Law School Held on Campus
In February, San Antonio lawyers provided a free, one-day legal crash course to the community at St. Mary’s University School of Law. The People’s Law School is a joint project of the San Antonio Bar Foundation and St. Mary’s University School of Law. This event brings qualified local attorneys together to share their experience in a series of classes for the public. Each topic is addressed in a 45-minute presentation, enabling participants to attend four different sessions per track. After each session, participants are invited to ask questions and speak personally with the instructors. Topics included divorce and custody, wills and living wills, managing money and credit counseling, immigration law and citizenship issues. Sessions

Wolff Portrait Unveiled on Wall of Honor
At a reception following the Law Homecoming Reunion and CLE on March 12, a portrait of The Hon. Nelson Wolff (J.D. ’66), was unveiled and put on permanent display on the


Committee and is the founder of the Minority Pre-Law Symposium, now in its ninth year. Perales, Southwest Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, was the banquet’s keynote speaker. She was presented with the Chicano Civil Rights Award for her work arguing LULAC v. Perry before the U.S. Supreme Court. Flores, dean of St. Mary’s University’s Graduate School, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions and continued dedication to Latino voting rights issues. Nearly 300 high school and college students from around the state attended the Minority Pre-Law Symposium. They spent the day on St. Mary’s law campus learning about all aspects of law school from the admission process to career options. This year’s Symposium keynote speaker was Judge Peter Sakai of the 225th District Court in San Antonio.

Clients are given the opportunity to discuss their legal issues with law student volunteers while licensed attorneys are available to consult with the students on various legal topics.

Stevens Named to Distinguished Faculty
St. Mary’s University Alumni Association presented Stephanie Stevens (J.D. ’91, B.A. ’87) with a Distinguished Faculty Award at its Faculty Appreciation Dinner in January. Stevens, clinical professor of law, has been a supervising attorney with the Criminal Justice Clinic since 1996 and also teaches Juvenile Law and Texas Criminal Procedure. Recently, she has been working to establish a sustainable multi-school Innocence Program and to develop a criminal justice program for evening students who might be unable to participate in trial work during the day. Every year, Stevens has taken a pro bono case from the Community Justice Program. She also makes time for private criminal defense work, is an Associate Municipal Court Judge for the cities

of Shavano Park and Windcrest, and is an assistant editor of the Defender Magazine. Stevens has 33 opinions to her credit in state and federal courts and was awarded the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Defender of the Year in 2004 and 2006.

2010 Young Distinguished Alumna Recognized
St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association recognized San Antonio attorney Sonia Rodriquez (J.D. ’99) as the 2010 Young Distinguished Alumna at the Homecoming Reunion and CLE luncheon. Rodriguez is an equity partner in Branton & Hall, P.C. She is active in both the legal and civic engagement arenas in San Antonio. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Litigation Section of the San Antonio Bar Association, is the immediate past president of the San Antonio Trial Lawyers’ Association, and is a sustaining member and a director of the Texas Trial Lawyers' Association. Every year since 2004, she has been nominated as a “Rising Star” among Texas lawyers as published in Texas Monthly’s annual “Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Stars Edition.” Active in the community, Rodriguez serves as chair of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women in San Antonio; she was appointed by Mayor Phil Hardberger in 2005 and reappointed by Mayor Julián Castro. Already this year, Rodriguez spearheaded the Commission’s funding of the Pathways to Leadership Scholarship Fund to aid college-bound women in San Antonio. She serves on the Board of Advisors of the San Antonio Young Women’s Leadership Academy, the first all-girls public

Students Help Community at Ask-A-Lawyer Clinic
St. Mary’s School of Law students reached out to the community to answer legal questions at a free walk-in legal clinic. Begun in the early 1990s, the Ask A-Lawyer clinic is a cooperative program sponsored by St. Mary’s University School of Law, the Catholic Lawyer’s Guild and Catholic Charities of San Antonio to provide legal information, basic advice and referral service to underserved segments of the community.

Clinical Professor Stephanie Stevens


school in San Antonio. Last year, Rodriguez was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame for her professional and civic contributions in 2009. Rodriguez and her husband, Jon M. Haynes (J.D. ’02), have two children, Joaquin and Sofia.

The Hon. Paul Andrew Mireles (J.D. '75)
The Hon. Paul Andrew “Andy” Mireles (J.D. ’75, B.A. ’72) died in December at the age of 59 following a brief illness. Mireles was a native of Lockhart who received both his undergraduate and law degrees from St. Mary’s University. He was an active board member of St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association. His renowned career began in 1975 when he entered private practice in San Antonio. He later became a partner in the firm of Watkins, Mireles, Brock & Barrientos, P.C. He was elected to the 73rd District Court bench in 1989. Mireles was dedicated to a life of public service with a special commitment to the juvenile programs of Bexar County. Active in the community, he was a member of many professional organizations and civic boards and was awarded numerous awards throughout his career, including Mexican-American Bar Association Attorney of the Year, Texas Women’s Political Caucus Good Guy Award, Guardians of Justice Award and the San Antonio Bar Association Presidential Award, which he won twice.

Law Alumni Association President Jeff Davis (J.D. ’91) and Dean Cantú present the Young Distinguished Alumna award to Sonia Rodriguez (J.D. ’99).

He is survived by his wife, Margaret, and his two sons, Jonathan and Matthew.

1940s Luther G. Strange, J.D. ’47, Arlington, died Oct. 1, 2009. 1950s Clyde E. Johnson Jr., L.L.B. ’50, San Antonio, died Dec. 25, 2009. Henry X. Carrillo, L.L.B. ’51, San Antonio, died Dec. 29, 2009. 1960s Michael W. Bahan, J.D. ’67, San Antonio, died Oct. 18, 2009. Richard E. “Dicky” Haynes, J.D. ’69, B.B.A. ’65, Laredo, died Oct. 23, 2009. Louis James LaCrosse, J.D. ’69, San Antonio, died Nov. 22, 2009.

1970s Ignacio Resendez, J.D. ’71, San Antonio, died Dec. 27, 2009. Michael Gregory Charles, J.D. ’72, Scottsdale, Ariz., died Aug. 30, 2009. William Kent Riley, J.D. ’72, Fulton, died Dec. 7, 2009. Stephen A. Nisbet, J.D. ’72, San Antonio, died March 5, 2010.

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McHugh Elected First Woman Leader of UT Board of Regents
Colleen McHugh (J.D. ’81) was elected the Chairman of The University of Texas System Board of Regents on March 3, making her the first woman leader of the Board. McHugh was appointed to a six-year term by Gov. Rick Perry in 2005. McHugh was previously Chairman of the Texas Public Safety Commission in 2001 and was the first woman to serve on the Public Safety Commission when she was appointed to that post by then-Governor George W. Bush. She is Vice President, Compliance, Risk Management and Privacy Officer for CHRISTUS Spohn Health System. ’78 David E. Chamberlain, J.D., a partner of the Austin-based law firm of Chamberlain McHaney with 31 years of experience as a defense attorney, has been named a national director for The Voice of the Defense Bar (DRI). He joined DRI in 2000 and was the DRI State Representative for Texas. He received DRI’s 2006 Fred Sievert Outstanding Defense Bar Leader award and has chaired DRI’s Law Student/Law School Initiative Committee for two years. A former president of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Chamberlain is secretary of the Austin Bar Association. Peter E. Hosey, J.D., San Antonio, an attorney with Jackson Walker LLP, was named as a 2009 “Super Lawyer.” Lawrence A. Waks, J.D., Austin, an attorney with Jackson Walker LLP, was named as a 2009 “Super Lawyer.” ’80 David T. Emory, J.D., San Antonio, attorney with Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, was named a “Best Lawyer in San Antonio.” ’81 Mary Brennan Stich, J.D., B.A. ’78, San Antonio, joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as the firm’s deputy general counsel. Patrick B. Tobin, J.D., San Antonio, an attorney with Jackson Walker LLP, was named as a 2009 “Super Lawyer.” ’83 Charles E. Hardy, J.D., San Antonio, a partner with Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, was named a “Best Lawyer in San Antonio” by and selected to the “Texas Super Lawyers 2009.” ’84 Matthew J. Dow, J.D., Austin, a partner in the law office of Jackson Walker LLP, has been named managing partner of the firm’s Austin office. He was also named as a 2009 “Super Lawyer.” ’85 Sharon Breckenridge Thomas, J.D., B.A. ’82, San Antonio, spoke at the International Business Law Summit held in Luxor, Egypt, where she presented a paper, “Brave New Resurgence of Global Slavery: The Underbelly of Business.” The Summit was hosted by the Center for International Legal Studies and Suffolk University School of Law. Thomas teaches at Liberty University School of Law, Lynchburg, Va. Peter M. Koelling, J.D., Englewood, Colo., is the American Bar Association’s Justice Center Director and Chief Counsel. He serves as the director of the Judicial Division and has oversight of other Justice Center entities including the Standing Committee on Judicial Independence, the Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements and the Coalition for Justice. ’86 Michael W. Meier, J.D., Manassas, Va., retired as a colonel from the U.S. Army after serving 23 years in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He has taken a position in Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal Advisor for Political-Military Affairs. ’87 Sue T. Bentch, J.D., Fredericksburg, is actively involved in donor-intent litigation with The Future of Newcomb College Inc., the nonprofit organization supporting litigation against Tulane University to restore its women’s college that was wrongfully closed following Hurricane Katrina. The case already made law in the Louisiana Supreme Court when the court ruled that successors of a testator have standing to sue to enforce the terms of a will. It is now working its way through the court system on the substantive issue of the obligations or conditions imposed by the college’s founder, Josephine Louise Newcomb, that Tulane use her money to maintain the college.

’73 Robert C. Cowan Jr., J.D., B.B.A. ’65, San Antonio, was selected to participate in the Masters Leadership Program, an initiative of in-depth community relations sponsored by United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. ’75 James N. Higdon, J.D., San Antonio, a partner of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, was chosen by his peers to be a Texas Monthly 2009 “Texas Super Lawyer” in Family Law in Central and South Texas and by Scene in S.A. Monthly as one of the “Best Lawyers in San Antonio.” Higdon, who has been a member of the State Bar of Texas for more than 34 years, and who is Board Certified by the Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law and Civil Appellate Law, was also elected chair of the advisory board of the Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center and board member of the University of Texas Navy ROTC Alumni Foundation. He is a Navy captain and former aviator. Thomas H. Minkoff, J.D., Gulfport, Fla., was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court.

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’89 Harold C. Zuflacht, J.D., San Antonio, partner of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, was named a “Best Lawyer in San Antonio” and selected to the “Texas Super Lawyers 2009.” He is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law and is a fellow in both the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. ’93 Amy A. Geistweidt, J.D., San Antonio, partner of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, was named a “Best Lawyer in San Antonio” and selected to the “Texas Super Lawyers 2009.” Melissa Goodwin, J.D., Austin, an attorney with Potts & Reilly LLP, was appointed by Gov. Perry to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. ’94 Charlotte P. Yochem, J.D., San Antonio, is financial adviser for Herndon Plant Oakley. ’95 Jason D. Hawkins, J.D., Frisco, was named the first assistant of the Federal Public Defenders Office for the Northern District of Texas.
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’98 Lori Valenzuela McCleskey, J.D., San Antonio, was appointed a judge to the 437th Criminal District Court by Gov. Rick Perry. ’99 Melvin “Rex” Emerson, J.D., Kerrville, was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the 198th District Court of Kerr County for a term to expire at the next general election. Victoria Heyliger, J.D., Columbia, Md., is the sole practitioner of Heyliger Law Offices located in Washington, D.C. Dilipkumar M. Patel, J.D., Plano, opened the Law Office of Dilipkumar M. Patel, PLLC. ’00 Gus Glaser, J.D., Newport, Ky., is an estate tax attorney with the Internal Revenue Service. ’02 Harold Oliver, J.D., McQueeney, after serving on the staff of the late Sen. Frank Madla from 1994 to 2004, has established TX Capitol Consulting Group LLC to provide legislative, regulatory and business development services to clients with interests in the Texas Legislature and in local Texas governments. TX Capitol Consulting Group serves a diverse clientele, focusing on small and mid-sized businesses. Pamela Bell, J.D., San Antonio, was named a 2009 “San Antonio Rising Star” in Scene in S.A. Monthly. Joe Will Ross, J.D., San Angelo, formed the law firm of Joe William Ross, PC. ’03 David R. Rangel, J.D., San Antonio, is an associate attorney with Lindow Stephens Treat, LLP. ’05 Stephanie J. Bandoske, J.D., San Antonio, attorney with Higdon,

Hardy & Zuflacht, was named a 2009 “San Antonio Rising Star.” Karina Cantu, J.D., San Antonio, was named a 2009 “San Antonio Rising Star.” Lauren Ciminello, J.D., San Antonio, was named a 2009 “San Antonio Rising Star.” Grady Williamson, J.D., Austin, is an associate with the law firm of Davis & Wilkerson. ’06 Todd A. Marquardt, J.D., San Antonio, is sole practitioner in his law firm with a focus on elder law. Marc Whyte, J.D., San Antonio, is president of the Defense Council of San Antonio. ’07 Kimberly Marie Phillips, J.D., Dallas, an associate at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, was selected for inclusion in the Texas Monthly and Law & Politics “Texas Super Lawyers – Rising Stars Edition.” ’08 Samuel Jordan Smith, J.D., San Antonio, is an associate in the Corporate & Securities section of the law firm of Jackson Walker. ’09 Barrett Lesher, J.D., Richardson, is an associate with Hermes Sargent Bates, LLP.

’96 Peter E. Goodyear, J.D., Fair Oaks Ranch, is director of AML Governance for USAA, Enterprise Fraud and AML Management Division.

Alums Named to Top TYLA Posts
The Texas Young Lawyer Association has elected two St. Mary’s School of Law graduates as officers for the 20102011 year of service. David C. Courreges (J.D. ’05), an attorney with De Leon & Washburn, PC in Austin, was elected vice president. Chair-Elect, Alfonso Cabañas (J.D. ’06), is a managing attorney in the Cabañas Law Firm, PLLC in San Antonio.

Davis and Cantú with members of the Class of 1960 at Homecoming.

Spring 2010

-----------------------------------------------April 16-17 Fiesta Oyster Bake -----------------------------------------------April 17 St. Mary's Law Journal Banquet -----------------------------------------------May 07 University Baccalaureate Mass -----------------------------------------------May 15 School of Law Commencement ------------------------------------------------




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 Spring 2010,” St. Mary's Law Digital Repository, accessed January 25, 2020,

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