Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Summer 2011

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Law Notes: St. Mary's University School of Law Newsletter Summer 2011


St. Mary's University School of Law


Commencement 2011: Evening Law Program Produces Top Graduates, West Meets East: Institute Expands Borders and Opportunities, Supreme Court Bar Admits Law Alumni


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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S t.   M a r y ’ s U n i v e r s i t y


S c h o o l o f L aw

Summer 2011

Evening Law Program PRODUCES Top Graduate
West Meets East: Institute Expands Borders and Opportunities Supreme Court Bar Admits Law Alumni

Dear Fellow Graduates, I hope this issue of Law Notes finds you enjoying the summer. The St. Mary’s School of Law Class of 2011 just sat for the July Bar Exam and now anxiously awaits the results. We hope they do as well as our February bar takers, who posted St. Mary’s best results in recent years with an almost 97 percent pass rate. I congratulate the students, faculty and staff, and particularly the Office of Academic Support, for the fine showing. As you will read in this issue, our Chinese Institute of Law and Business is evolving. In addition to internships at some of China’s top law firms, this summer our students interned at a non-government organization and at Mary Kay Inc., under the leadership of Nathan Moore ( J.D. ’92), Chief Legal Counsel for Mary Kay in China. Here at home, St. Mary’s University has received another accolade for our service to the community, with the Presidential Award from the President’s Higher Education Service Honor Roll. This award was given in recognition of the University's many service and outreach efforts, including work at the law school such as the Community Justice Program in Bexar County, the Wills Clinics, the People’s Law School, and Ask-a-Lawyer workshop. I have made it a priority to establish a culture of giving within the St. Mary’s legal community, and you, the alumni, have set a tremendous pace. Some graduates have taken the initiative, such as Mike Bassett ( J.D. ’87), who established the Class of 1987 Scholarship and is encouraging classmates to help current and future students through these efforts. To date, we have raised more than $7 million in cash and pledges for scholarship funds since 2007. I hope that you have enjoyed receiving the most current news at the law school through the first few issues of my eNote e-mail messages. During the academic year, we will be sending these monthly to keep you informed about the great things happening at your law school. If you aren’t receiving them, please fill out the form on the back of this issue. 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

Institute Expands Borders and Opportunities
West Meets East

After participating in a program unique to the St. Mary’s University School of Law, Andrew Fields and Joshua Sisam will be offering prospective employers something they hope few law graduates will have— first-hand experience living and doing business in China.
“I have always wanted to focus in the area of business law,” said Sisam, a May graduate. “I believe that it’s impossible to work in the field of business law without having some level of knowledge of the global market. It would be like claiming to be an economist without ever taking macro-economics. Other than the United States, which in the past few years has lost a lot of momentum, China is the new ‘big man on campus.’” Fields, a third-year student, believes his experience will bring similar benefits during his future career. “I spent two years in Beijing working and studying Chinese. When I returned to the U.S. and began applying to law schools, I


Robert Hu, program codirector, and CantÚ wi th Nathan Moore (J.D. ’92 ), of Mary Kay Inc. in China .

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looked at law schools across the country for international law programs, and was ecstatic to find one in my own backyard,” Fields said. “I knew this program would give me an experience unrivaled by other law schools in Texas, and it would build knowledge and experience that would better prepare me for a career in international law and government.” Fields and Sisam are among the 50 St. Mary’s School of Law students who participated in the first two classes of the St. Mary’s Institute on Chinese Law and Business. The students set up residence on the campus of Beihang University in Beijing for a five-week immersion in Chinese culture, law and business. Unique to the St. Mary’s Institute is the internship program. In addition to coursework, students compete for internships at some of China’s largest law firms. This summer Chinese agencies and private industry internships were added to the offerings, due to St. Mary’s China connections. One student was placed at Mary Kay Inc. in Shanghai, under the guidance of Nathan Moore ( J.D. ’92), chief legal counsel. Another St. Mary’s graduate, Cao Jian (LL.M. ’02), an international business lawyer in Guan Tao Law Firm, hired three students from the summer program as interns in his Beijing firm. Students Bethel Zehaie and Jasmine Brown worked for Jia Ping, a Chinese human rights lawyer who runs a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that monitors how China handles international funding to fight AIDS and HIV. The students will continue to work for Jia remotely using e-mail and Skype after they return to the U.S. Jia attended law school in China, but was taught by St. Mary’s Professor of Law and China program codirector Vincent Johnson when he taught in China as a Fulbright Scholar in 1998. The fledgling Institute has already become a draw for students interested in China’s expanding global economy. Kirsten Ruehman, a 2011 graduate, earned her undergraduate degree in Chinese languages and cultures at the University of Kansas, and lived in China for more than a year, even taking her first law class in China. “While working for the Austin Asian American Chamber of Commerce, I learned how big a demand there is for people knowledgeable about doing business with China,” Ruehman said. “St. Mary’s is the only law school in Texas—at least when I applied—to have any classes on the law of China, let alone an entire program devoted to doing business with China. The China Institute at St. Mary’s is going to do much to help fill this growing need in Texas.”


The St. Mary’s China program is an opportunity to help the American law student dive into the Chinese legal system.
Andrew Fields

The program includes five classes which introduce participants to lawyering in China, including an introduction to Chinese law taught by St. Mary’s Professor of Law Chenglin Liu, which seems to be a student favorite. “Professor Liu did an incredible job teaching us about the history of the Chinese legal system and how it has evolved to be the legal system it is today,” Fields said. “As an American, it can be very difficult to understand the vast government of a country just as large as ours.” Fields remarked that Liu’s course is one of the most interesting of his law school career. “The vagueness of the Chinese government was largely demystified in his class and I would encourage any law student with an interest in Asia to take this course,” he said. “China is too great a nation for an international law student not to have a basic understanding of its legal system.” Ruehman agreed. “I have taken many courses on China and usually they are either biased largely in favor of the Western perspective or in favor of the Chinese perspective. Professor Liu’s class was perhaps the best at removing the biases and giving a well-balanced picture of the Chinese legal system,” she said. During the session, students take field trips to the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, a world-renowned commercial arbitration agency, and the China Patent Office’s State Intellectual Property Office, one of the busiest patent authorities in the world. Still, there is time for sightseeing. Students toured The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, Beijing’s Olympic sites and, of course, the Great Wall, all the while soaking in the cultural divide.

“From the menus in a restaurant, to the brands in a store, to the colloquialisms and tact in an everyday exchange, there is nothing similar,” said Fields. “Being in an exciting new country while learning about that country and its laws, which directly affect American businesses, is fascinating.” Students noted the differences in food and everyday life, but the camaraderie with the Chinese people and their fellow students are standout memories for most. “The awe of the Great Wall of China, the natural beauty of the Summer Palace and most importantly the warmth and friendliness of random Chinese people including the staff at my internship employer, King and Wood, were my favorite experiences,” said Francis Nathan, an evening law student and recent graduate, who interned at China’s largest law firm while in the program last summer. While Nathan interned at the King and Wood Law Firm in 2010, Fields and three others worked at the Jun He Law Offices. Fields was transferred to Jun He’ Shanghai office to work full-time after completing the course work. “Among the most interesting aspects of the internship was learning the cultural differences in Chinese law versus American law,” Fields noted. “Four thousand years of both stability and turmoil in China have led to a largely similar system that is vastly different when viewed between the lines and from the roots.” Students observed that the vast social disparities in doing business range from the time spent building relationships to the treatment of contracts. “I believe the Western attorney who wants to be successful in Asia should be required to understand such cultural differences and St. Mary’s China program is an excellent opportunity to help the American law student dive into the Chinese legal system,” said Fields. Along with the summer program and internships, the Institute on Chinese Law and Business also includes a faculty exchange between St. Mary’s and Beihang University. Johnson will direct Guo Dong, a Beihang University doctoral student, this fall. The two will work on a mass tort litigation paper comparing the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the British Petroleum Compensation Fund to that of China’s tainted milk compensation fund. A Beihang University faculty member, Gao Qi, will also be on St. Mary’s law campus from September to January to conduct research. For more information on St. Mary’s Institute of Chinese Law and Business, visit at ■

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H i s t o r y r e v i s i t e d a s p r o g r a m g r a du at e s f i r s t c l a ss

When St. Mary’s University School of Law the idea was to attract talented, motivated

brought back the evening law program in 2007, students who would be able to balance their

professional lives with the demands of law school. The program, which just finished its fourth year, has not only done that, it also produced the top graduate for the Class of 2011, Bernie Kray.

Admission and graduation requirements are the same for students in both the full-time day and the part-time evening programs. Evening students complete their first year of
After a long hiatus, the evening program was redesigned and reinstated in 2007. Pictured is that year’s entering class, many of whom graduated this May.

law school in three semesters, including one summer class. After the first year, students are on track to obtain their degrees in four years, including some summer study. About 180 students are enrolled in the evening program for Fall 2011.


The evening program—which early in the history of the School of Law was the only option—now accounts for a quarter of the School of Law’s student body. This time around, the evening program was designed as an option for students with significant work experience who needed or wanted to keep working while attending law school. “The evening program is a difficult one,” said Dean Charles E. Cantú. “It requires a different set of skills to balance fulltime careers with legal education. These students not only excel in the classroom, but are involved in extracurricular activities such as the Clinical Program, the Advocacy Program and the scholarly journals.” This spring, the St. Mary's School of Law Foundation awarded scholarships to the top students in each class, two of whom were evening students (Kray for the third-year class and Viera Buzgova, for the second-year class). Several evening students were staff writers and editors in the St. Mary's Law Journal and The Scholar, including Kray, Tiffany House, Alicia Calzada, Carolyn Rangel and Sarah Minter. Some, including Nicole Hines-Glover and Marion Reilly, have excelled in the advocacy programs. “I was really impressed with the level of my fellow students,” said Alicia Calzada, a successful photojournalist who completed the program in December and passed the bar in February. She remained an evening student throughout her education, but took summer courses and internship credits to finish early. “It was an

intelligent group that was already so accomplished. I enjoyed getting to know them.” “Faculty members have stated one reason they enjoy teaching evening students is they are very hard workers who understand clearly the reasons they are in law school,” said Michael Ariens, professor of law, who served as Assistant Dean of Evening Studies for the program’s first four years. By the midpoint of their legal educations, many students accelerate into the full-time day program and take leave from full-time careers. The flexible program encourages students to fulfill their legal education in a way that fits their routines and professions. Richard Johnston, a certified public accountant for Valero, was looking to beef up his résumé with an advanced degree, but not a drastic career change. Johnston, a California transplant, graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio and had already completed a career in the U. S. Air Force and worked in public accounting before joining Valero. “I’m an older student; I knew where I was going at the end of the day,” Johnston said. But balancing a fulltime career had its ups and downs. “Some days were worse than others. Once you get past the initial shock of going back to the classroom, it becomes tolerable. You realize you can do it. It is tough, but doable.” The sentiment is echoed by Kray, who also had a career in the U.S. Air Force. He earned his undergraduate degree in telecommunications from the University of Denver and was a

Bernie Kray (left), the Class of 2011’s top graduate, completed the evening law program.

technical support engineer for Qwest Communications when he came to St. Mary's. Kray chose the evening program to continue his career while studying law. “I wanted to hedge my bets and didn’t want to quit my job with the economy,” said Kray. “After my first semester I realized, ‘I can do this’ and took advantage of a layoff opportunity at my company.” While no longer working fulltime, Kray chose not to accelerate into the day program, but decided to concentrate on academic activities like the St. Mary's Law Journal and fine tuning legal skills through experiential internships. At the journal, he spent a year as a staff writer and last year served as articles editor. He worked as law clerk at Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza from August 2009 to July 2010 and as legal research assistant for law professor Chenglin Liu. Kray also did a stint as a judicial intern with Judge Edward Prado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In his home life, Kray got married three weeks before beginning law school and now has one son. Johnston worked with St. Mary's Academic Support program tutoring firstyear law students for two years. He was the lone evening student who took on clinic hours in the Criminal Justice Clinic, and

all the while continued working full-time at Valero. “The faculty was very accommodating. I was working on an acquisition in Europe and they worked with me through that as I traveled out of the country,” Johnston said. Like most of his classmates, he has spent this summer studying for the July bar. “The School of Law did a great job providing the evening curriculum with all the core classes and making sure we had a core education to prepare us for the bar. The other side of that is we didn’t get the opportunity to take some of the electives we would have liked to take, but there are only so many hours and so many professors,” Johnston said. The same scheduling challenges face the new graduates as they study for the bar. Johnston takes his bar preparation course online and does an hour at lunch and a couple hours at night. After passing the bar, Kray hopes to concentrate in intellectual property law and Johnston may move into a more legal position within his company. Calzada

continues working as a photojournalist with her established clients, but the only new clients she accepts these days have legal issues. Calzada was inspired to go to law school after working closely with the National Press Photographers Association on issues that photographers face, such as access to sporting events, harassment while shooting in public areas and First Amendment rights. Now, the National Press Photographers Association is her first client. In the fall she will be doing contract work for an attorney who concentrates on photographer issues as well. “I learned as a photographer how many legal needs I had and now I am really excited to be in a position to help photographers,” Calzada said. “This is what I envisioned when I started law school and now I’m doing it.” ■



International Competition Tops Off Impressive Year
A team of St. Mary’s University School of Law students brought home the bronze from the prestigious Warsaw Negotiation Round 2011, which was held recently in Warsaw, Poland. St. Mary’s, the only U.S. law school invited to the competition, also won first place in the Mediation round. St. Mary’s reputation in the advocacy world coupled with the impressive résumés of Tristan Dau, Joseph Haeggquist and Trevor Hall, all of whom graduated in May, earned the team one of the coveted 12 competition berths. Teams from top business and law schools around the world, including schools from China, Germany, Hungary, Holland, Belgium and Poland, participated in the two–day contest last month. Last year, Columbia Law School was the only U.S. school invited. The team is coached by Allen Craddock ( J.D. ’97), who is also an adjunct professor. Finishing third in the Warsaw Negotiation Round tops off another banner year for the St. Mary’s Advocacy Program. This year’s highlights included winning the national title at the Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition at Emory University (claiming both Best Brief Writer and Best Advocate awards) and the St. Mary’s Black Law Student Association mock trial team finishing second the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition national championship. St. Mary’s also finished as runner-up at the Texas Young Lawyers Association State Moot Court Competition held at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in June.

U.S.News Names Most Diverse Law Schools
U.S.News & World Report included the St. Mary’s University School of Law on its 2011 list of Most Diverse Law Schools. The publication created a diversity index based on the total proportion of minority students and the mix of racial and ethnic groups on campus to identify law schools where students are most likely to encounter classmates from a different racial or ethnic group.

Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition National Runner Up team of Christian Johnson, Lauren Cadilac, Heather Marcus and Brian Cromeens, with coach Daryl Harris (J.D. ’04).

HLAA honors Nelson Wolff
The Hispanic Law Alumni Association (HLAA) recognized The Hon. Nelson W. Wolff ( J.D. ’66) at its 17th Annual Henry B. Gonzalez Awards Dinner. With a theme of “Un Legado de Liderazgo—A Legacy of Leadership,” the association recognized Wolff ’s lifetime of public service, including terms as city council member, state senator, mayor, and currently county judge. Wolff ’s public service mirrors that of award namesake Henry B. Gonzalez. The HLAA also paid tribute to the life and legacy of The Hon. Andy Mireles ( J.D. ’75), Bexar County 73rd District Court Judge, for his dedication to juvenile justice.

Immigration Debated on Campus
Local experts weighed in on the immigration issue during a roundtable discussion held at the School of Law this spring. Titled “The Great Debate: Immigration Issues in Texas and the U.S,” the event featured U.S. Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez ( J.D. ’72); George Rodriguez, president of the San Antonio Tea Party; Nina Perales, National Litigation Director for the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF); Lee Teran, St. Mary’s law professor; and Benita Veliz, a St. Mary’s graduate affected by the Dream Act. Moderated by San Antonio immigration attorney Joseph B. De Mott, panelists presented ideas on the issue and answered questions from law students, faculty and community members. The debate was sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Immigration and Nationality Law Section, the St. Mary’s Hispanic Law Students Association, and the St. Mary’s Hispanic Law Alumni Association.

ABA Gold Key Goes to Student
The American Bar Association (ABA) presented St. Mary’s University School of Law student Trevor Hall with its highest student honor during the spring Board of Governors meeting in New Orleans.


The Law Student Division Gold Key is awarded to a student who has demonstrated the highest degree of service, dedication, and leadership along with furthering the Trevor Hall ABA Law Student Division’s purpose of achieving solutions to societal problems, strengthening law student participation in programs and activities, and encouraging the educational and professional development of law students. A limited number of Gold Keys are given to ABA Law Student Division Board members for exceptional service each year; Hall was the only one to win the award at the 2011 meeting. Hall, then a third-year law student, served as an ABA Law Student Division Governor for 2010-2011. Last year, he was recognized by the ABA as a Star of the Division Recipient. At St. Mary’s, he participated in the successful advocacy program as a member of its moot court, negotiation and arbitration teams. Hall was also a research assistant for Vincent Johnson, professor of law.

Porter Honored for Social Justice Work Supreme Court Bar Admits Alumni
Dean Cantú sponsored a group of nine St. Mary’s School of Law alumni and friends to be admitted before the Supreme Court of the United States on May 2. This is the second time since 2009 Cantú has taken a group to Washington, D.C., for this purpose. Pictured with Cantú are, back row, Jonathan L. Hardt ( J.D. ’06), Thomas Semmes ( J.D. ’83), St. Mary’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law André Hampton and Justice Gregory T. Perkes ( J.D. ’87), and, front row, Courtney McKendrick, Justice Paul W. Green ( J.D. ’77), Justice Sandee Bryan Marion ( J.D. ’80), Sara Dysart ( J.D. ’81) and Steve A. Chiscano ( J.D. ’97). The group was sworn in before the nation’s highest court. After the ceremony, Cantú hosted events attended by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Sen. John Cornyn ( J.D. ’77), and Adrienne Urrutia Wisenberg ( J.D. ’89), president of the St. Mary’s Alumni Association D.C. Chapter.
J. Reid Porter ( J.D. ’02) was honored at the Law Homecoming Reunion as the 2011 Distinguished Young Alumnus, which recognizes an alumnus who has graduated in the last 10 years and has excelled in the legal profession. Porter, committed to social justice work, left his position as a partnership-track, civil


Cantú, J. Reid Porter (J.D. ’02) and then Law Alumni Association President Elizabeth Rogers (J.D. ’88).

litigation associate at a Dallas law firm and founded Advocates for Community Transformation, known as ACT. ACT is a faith-based, inner city justice ministry in West Dallas seeking justice for the oppressed and under-served residents. Founder and president, Porter also functions as the organization’s general counsel. As a member of St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association, he was instrumental in forming the first Law Alumni Association chapter in Dallas, which has served as a model for other chapters.

Federal Bar Association Funds Competition
The Federal Bar Association’s (FBA) local chapter has pledged $20,000 to sponsor the FBA San Antonio Chapter Moot Court Competition, an annual internal School of Law student contest. The prize money will go to the first and second place teams as well as the top oral advocate. The award amounts will be determined by the faculty director and the FBA each year. The FBA will also recognize the award winners at a chapter luncheon and provide volunteer judges for the competition. David C. Rivela ( J.D.’96), chapter president, was influential in securing this sponsorship for the School of Law.

Law Foundation Board Members Peter Hosey (J.D. ‘79), far left, and Joe Casseb (J.D. ‘77), far right, with Cantú and top students Viera Buzgova, Bernie Kray and Stephanie Miller.

Law Foundation Presents Scholarships
scholarships to the student with the highest GPAs in each class. Bernie Kray, a May graduate, Viera Buzgova, a second-year law student and first-year law student Stephanie Miller, who had a 4.0 GPA in her first semester as well as the highest LSAT score in last fall’s entering class, were the first recipients of the scholarship. The Foundation is dedicated to assisting the School of Law in its The St. Mary’s School of Law Foundation awarded three $10,000

Cedillo, Herrmann Honored at Commencement
The 77th annual St. Mary’s University School of Law commencement ceremony celebrated the educational achievements of 249 new graduates on May 14. The commencement speaker was Ricardo G. Cedillo, who received his bachelor of arts degree from St. Mary’s University in 1974 and then graduated from the Harvard School of Law. During the ceremony, Cedillo was presented a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for his outstanding professional achievements and recognitions, as well as his support to the School of Law. Additionally, three were honored at the ceremony, including Ronald J. Herrmann (B.A. ’57, J.D. ’59), who received the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award. Herrmann, chair of various family–owned businesses including manufacturing, retail, restaurant and real estate investments, is a former member of the University’s Board of Trustees and a 2007 Distinguished Alumni. He is a longtime supporter of St. Mary’s University and the

mission to produce attorneys who serve their communities and excel in their profession. It supports the law school by providing scholarships, professorships, technology improvements, library upkeep, faculty enrichment and other assistance.

Ronald J. Herrmann (B.A. ’57, J.D. ’59), 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award winner, with his wife Karen.


School of Law, and has an extensive record of philanthropy and service to the community. The Hon. Xavier Rodriguez, United States District Court in the Western District of Texas, was presented the 2011 Rosewood Gavel Award, which is given to an outstanding judge or justice in recognition of contributions to constitutional democracy. The Hon. Patrick E. Higgenbotham, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, was presented the St. Thomas More Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions to legal education, the legal profession or government.

The Hon. J. Taylor Brite, LL.B., Pleasanton, published his book Albertus Brite and Descendants of Kentucky, Missouri, Texas and California in 2008. He retired from the legal profession in 1997, having served in courtrooms for 46 years.

Larry Waks, J.D., Austin, a partner at Jackson Walker LLP, was recently named chair of the Litigation Division and a member of the Governing Committee of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries.

Laura A. Cavaretta, J.D., San Antonio, has formed a new firm, Cavaretta, Katona & Francis PLLC, for which she serves as managing member and secretary. Jonathan Cluck, J.D., Fair Oaks Ranch, was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy with a term to expire Jan. 31, 2017. Cluck is a partner at the Nunley Firm.

Charles J. Muller III, J.D., San Antonio, heads the San Antonio office of Chamberlain Hrdlicka where he specializes in civil and criminal tax litigation, white-collar crime, False Claims Act litigation, and federal, state and local taxation matters.

Mary Jo McCurley, J.D., Dallas, earned a place on D Magazine’s 2011 listing of The Best Lawyers in Dallas. McCurley is a name partner in the family law firm of McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing LLP.

William A. Gage Jr., J.D., Houston, a partner in the law firm of Buck Kennan LLP, was elected to the board of trustees at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he also serves on the university’s executive committee for the alumni association.

Charles Willette Jr., J.D., Brownsville, managing partner of Willette & Guerra LLP, with offices in Brownsville and McAllen, was selected as a Super Lawyer for 2010.

Robert J. Barrera, J.D., San Antonio, was elected to the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Board of Directors.

E. Allen Nye Jr., J.D., Dallas, has joined Oncor, a regulated electricity distribution and transmission business, as senior vice president and general counsel. Barbara Scharf-Zeldes, J.D., San Antonio, was elected the first woman chair of the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind Board. She has been a member of the board since 2007 and served as chair of the Committee on Directors and as vice chair.

J. Stephen Green, J.D., Houston, was promoted to the rank of Knight Commander with Star within the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Catholic chivalric and charitable order.

The Hon. Tom Corbett, J.D., Harrisburg, Pa., governor of Pennsylvania, was awarded Lebanon Valley College’s 32nd Annual Founders Day Award, which recognizes those whose character and leadership contribute to the enhancement of life in central Pennsylvania. Edward Vaughan, J.D., Bulverde, has been named chair of the Texas Water Development Board by Gov. Rick Perry. The board oversees statewide water planning and the administration of financial programs for water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and conservation projects.

Kevin L. Kelley, J.D., Dallas, has been named to D Magazine’s 2011 listing of The Best Lawyers in Dallas. He has also been recognized by The Legal 500 directory as the leader of his firm’s real estate group. Kelley practices in the area of commercial real estate for the Dallas law firm of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP. Michael McCrum, J.D., San Antonio, honored as a Texas Super Lawyer and Best Lawyer in America in the area of criminal defense and white-collar crime, has opened his own law practice.

Henry W. McGowen III, J.D., Brownwood, is assistant district attorney for Brown County. Thad D. Spalding, J.D., Dallas, has joined the Law Offices of Marc H. Richman.

R. Michael Casseb, J.D., San Antonio, was promoted to the rank of Knight Commander within the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Catholic chivalric and charitable order. Peter S. Vogel, J.D., Dallas, has been honored by the State Bar of Texas for his exceptional contributions to the bar’s continuing legal education efforts. Vogel is chair of the Electronic Discovery Group and Technology Industry Team at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP.

Nancy Belinsky, J.D., San Antonio, has been named general counsel for the San Antonio Water System, where she will lead the attorneys and professional staff responsible for providing legal services for the city’s water and wastewater utility. The Hon. Mark Philip Haby, J.D., Castroville, was elected to a third term as Medina County Justice of the Peace, Precinct No. 2. He continues to serve as the municipal court judge for the city of La Coste and remains a partner in the San Antonio law firm of Haby & Hernandez. Walter T. Price IV, J.D., Amarillo, was elected to the Texas Legislature to represent House District 87.

Mary Amanda “Mandy” Balch, J.D., Austin, has joined the Austin office of Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated. As senior counsel, Balch continues assisting clients with government relations needs while also focusing on financial institutions law. Martin M. Van Brauman, J.D., Dallas, was appointed secretary/treasurer of Zion Oil & Gas Inc. after having served as a company director and CFO.

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Gregory N. Jones, J.D., Houston, joined BoyarMiller Attorneys at Law as a shareholder and chairman of the Litigation Group.

Michael Hernandez, J.D., San Antonio, is vice president of Legal Services and Risk Management for the University Health System. Brianna Hinojosa-Flores, J.D., Coppell, a patent attorney at Research in Motion, has been elected as the first Hispanic female to the Coppell City Council. Yvonne Knight, J.D., Washington, D.C., has been named senior director in the American Dental Education Association Center for Public Policy and Advocacy. L. Gayle Nelson, J.D., Corpus Christi, has been appointed Municipal Court Judge for the City of Corpus Christi. Tanya S. Rupp, J.D., Morrisville, N.C., is a project analyst for the State of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Service Regulation.

Vista Community College with a focus on nonprofit management.

Mark L. Hill, J.D., Dallas, is a shareholder in the law firm of Cowles & Thompson PC.

was also selected to participate in the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Alex Briseno Leadership Development Program. Jennifer Owen Tharp, J.D., New Braunfels, has been elected Comal County’s first female district attorney.

Naomi Gonzalez, J.D., El Paso, was elected to the Texas Legislature to represent House District 76. Jenee Margo Gonzales, J.D., San Antonio, has been named Assistant Director of Development for St. Mary’s University. She

Karina Cantu, J.D., San Antonio, an attorney with Jackson Walker LLP, was named to the 2011 Rising Star list. Lauren Ciminello, J.D., San Antonio, an attorney with Jackson Walker LLP, was named a 2010 San Antonio Business Journal 40 Under

Dara (Grisbee) Hegar, M.A., J.D., Houston, a managing attorney of the Lanier Law Firm, has been named to the 2011 Rising Star list, the fifth year she has made the list. Shawn McCaskill, J.D., Dallas, a shareholder in Godwin Ronquillo PC, has been named to the 2011 Rising Star list as one of the top young lawyers in the state. Polando Pablos, J.D., Denton, has joined SNR Denton’s public law and policy strategies practice as a senior adviser. Pablos will assist foreign clients to establish operations and expand their markets in the United States. Michael Simpson, J.D., Olmos Park, has been named Olmos Park City Manager. Matt Todd, J.D., Houston, has been named equity partner at Novak Druce & Quigg LLP.

Desiree Marie Leverett, J.D., Allen, is senior vice president and operational risk manager at Bank of America. Susan (Waller) Ramos, J.D., El Paso, has been named senior counsel at Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated.

Christopher Massey, J.D., Tyler, is corporate counsel for Brookshire Grocery Co.

Faculty Members Elected to Renowned Institute
St. Mary’s has six current faculty members who have been elected to the American Law Institute (ALI), widely considered the most prestigious law reform organization Reams and David Schlueter, and in the back row are Michael Ariens and Gerald Reamey. St. Mary’s also boasts five graduates in ALI (including Cantú). Not pictured are Texas Supreme Court Justice Paul Green (J.D. ’77), Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Barbara Hervey (J.D. ’79), Fulbright & Jaworski LLP Partner Robert Newman (J.D. ’83) and Michael S. Goodrich (J.D. ’85), partner at the firm of Goodrich Postnikoff Albertson & Petrocchi LLP in Fort Worth.
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Clayton S. Binford, J.D., San Antonio, a partner at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, is a 2011 San Antonio Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree. Mariana Peralta Dannelley, J.D., San Antonio, an adjunct professor of managerial communications at St. Edward’s University in Austin, also teaches continuing education classes for working professionals at Northwest

in the United States. In the front row from left are Vincent Johnson, Cantú, Bernard

R. Porter Corrigan, J.D., San Antonio, an associate attorney with McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing LLP, was named to the 2011 Rising Star list. James B. Griffin, J.D., San Antonio, an attorney with Brown & Ortiz PC, has been accepted into the Real Estate Council of San Antonio’s Leadership Development Program. Ivan Ramirez, J.D., San Antonio, has opened his own law firm where he specializes in the representation of businesses and individuals in the areas of business transactions, bankruptcy and estate planning. J. Barrett Shipp, J.D., San Antonio, an associate attorney with the estate planning and probate litigation firm of Heinrichs & De Gennaro PC, was named to the 2011 Rising Star list.

associate attorney with the estate planning and probate litigation firm of Heinrichs & De Gennaro PC, was named to the 2011Rising Star list. She was also named to the Planned Giving Council at the University of the Incarnate Word, where she is an adjunct professor of estate planning.

Robby Chapman, J.D., Corpus Christi, is an assistant district attorney in the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office. S. Jordan Smith, J.D., an associate attorney with the San Antonio branch of Jackson Walker LLP, has been accepted into the Real Estate Council of San Antonio’s Leadership Development Program.

The portrait of J.A. “Tony” Canales (J.D. ‘69), partner in the Corpus Christi litigation firm of Canales & Simonson PC, was unveiled in the spring. It hangs on the Wall of Honor in the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library.

40 honoree as well as a legal Rising Star. Grady L. Williamson, J.D., Austin, has joined the firm of Kemp Smith LLP as an associate in the firm’s Litigation Department.

Kelly D. Canales, J.D., San Antonio, has been named associate attorney for The Law Offices of Albert M. Gutierrez PC. Krystal Maria Gomez, J.D., Brownsville, is the advocacy and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas in Brownsville. Kristin M. Kaye, J.D., Palestine, is an assistant district attorney with the Anderson County District Attorney’s Office, focusing on Class C misdemeanor cases in the Justice of the Peace Courts.

Brandy D. Marty, J.D., Austin, who has worked in the Texas Governor’s Office since 2007, has been named Director of Budget, Planning and Policy by Gov. Rick Perry. Jason C. Petty, J.D., Houston, has joined the admiralty and maritime law firm of Royston Rayzor. Petty previously clerked for Supreme Court of Texas Justice Paul W. Green ( J.D. ’77) and for U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell in the Western District of Louisiana. Maurine Shipp, J.D., San Antonio, an

Laura Langham, J.D., Austin, has joined the law firm of Hilgers & Langham PC. Marc Whyte, J.D., Dallas, an attorney with Jackson Walker LLP, was named to the 2011 Rising Star list.

1940s Charles A. Robertson Jr. (LL.B ’49), San Antonio, died April 3, 2011. 1950s Marcellus F. Lipinski (LL.B. ’50), Lincolnwood, Ill., died Nov. 14, 2010. The Hon. William E. Bender ( J.D.’69), Seguin, died April 4, 2011. 1970s William M. Gatewood Jr. ( J.D. ’70), Floresville, died Jan. 7, 2011. Deborah F. McClung ( J.D.’83), Horseshoe Bay, died Jan. 18, 2011. Karen Jo Linares Weaver ( J.D.’87), Overland Park, Kan., died March 13, 2011. 1990s Kim W. Mercier ( J.D.’92), Dallas, died Jan. 9, 2011. Robert A. McGlohon Jr. ( J.D.’93), Kerrville, died April 7, 2010.

Harry J. Burns (LL.B. ’51), San Antonio, died March 3, 2011. Lt. Col. Robert E. Cann, USAF (Ret.), (LL.B ’53), San Antonio, died March 1, 2011.
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John Z. Sifuentes ( J.D.’72), Austin, died March 31, 2011. Robert W. Shannon ( J.D.’79), Palacios, died Aug. 15, 2010. 1980s Teresa A. Hunter-Gutierrez ( J.D.’81), Laredo, died Feb. 26, 2011. Rees R. Oliver Jr. ( J.D.’82), San Antonio, died May 11, 2011.

George I. Middaugh, (LL.B. ’58), Victoria, died March 7, 2011. 1960s

Lemuel Lopez ( J.D.’94), Edinburg, died Oct. 13, 2010. Francis Clare Koontz ( J.D.’96), Uvalde, died March 11, 2011. Theodore D. Canfield ( J.D.’96), Tyler, died April 8, 2011.

G.A. Benesh (LL.B. ’64), Wichita Falls, died May 23, 2010.

Douglas S. Malany ( J.D.’82), McAllen, died March 3, 2011.

CALENDAR Summer 2011
Aug. 9 Aug. 22 Aug. 23 Sept. 13 Sept. 19 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 12 Oct . 13-15 Oct. 21 Oct. 25 Oct. 27 Power Breakfast Series Classes Begin Power Breakfast Series Power Breakfast Series Dallas Breakfast for St. Mary’s Judicial Alumni Dallas Alumni Reception Power Breakfast Series Denver Alumni Reception Power Breakfast Series Washington, D.C., Alumni Reception Lone Star Classic Distinguished Law Graduate Dinner Power Breakfast Series San Antonio Red Mass




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

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 Summer 2011,” St. Mary's Law Digital Repository, accessed May 23, 2019,

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