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

Dublin Core


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


St. Mary's University School of Law


A State of Gold and Blue: St. Mary's Law Grads Abundant in Texas Governor's Office, Community Leaders Celebrated at Commencement, Speedlin Honored by ABA and State Bar


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




English, en-US







PDF Search


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 2012

A State of Gold and Blue
St. Mary’s Law Grads Abundant in Texas Governor’s Office



Community Leaders
Celebrated at Commencement

Speedlin Honored
by ABA, State Bar

Dear Fellow Graduates, The St. Mary’s School of Law Class of 2012 is the largest in memory, having graduated 284 new attorneys. You can read more in this issue about our top graduates and our award recipients including two of our school’s great friends, Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., and Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez ( J.D. ’72). Cotrell ended his 13 years as president in May, and now goes back to his first love, teaching. Congressman Gonzalez is retiring after 14 years in service and wish them well in their future endeavors.

the U.S. House of Representatives and a lifetime of public service. We thank them for their years of dedication and

This spring, the St. Mary’s Advocacy Program brought home the third

national championship trophy in program history by winning the Federal Bar

Association’s Thurgood A. Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition. Two

of St. Mary’s law professors, Geary Reamey and Stephanie Stevens, were named to Martindale-Hubbell’s Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers list with an AV Preeminent ranked them at the highest level of professional excellence. rating as criminal law experts. This is a significant accomplishment as their peers

Our law students are embarking on a wide range of legal and educational opportunities this summer. Participants in our Institute of World Legal Problems in Innsbruck, Austria, will learn from U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Antonin Scalia, who is serving as Distinguished Visiting Jurist for the fourth Program, in conjunction with professors who have established our judicial internships throughout the years, has placed a number of students in

time and teaching a course on separation of powers. Our new Practice Credit

externships and internships across the country, including at a number of state and federal courts and a variety of organizations. A large group will spend time at the Bexar County Courthouse in our Observership Program. In Beijing, St. Mary’s students at the Institute on Chinese Law and Business will intern with some of China’s largest law firms and private companies.

Many of these opportunities have developed through cooperation with our alumni, and we deeply appreciate those relationships. I have had the chance to visit with many of you this semester as we welcomed our new chapters in El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio, as well as at the annual State Bar meeting in Houston. I encourage you all to become involved in your local chapter. If there isn’t one, let me know and we will work on establishing one in your area.

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

A State of Gold and Blue
S t. Ma r y ’ s Law G r a d s A b u n d a n t i n T e x as Governor’s Office

Christopher Burnett
J.D. ’97

Andria Franco
J.D. ’10

Kelly McBride
J.D. ’10

Lauren McKinney
J.D. ’06

David S. Morales
J.D. ’94

Tucker Boyd Royall Jr.
J.D. ’07

Christopher Sterner
J.D. ’07

Mary Anne Wiley
J.D. ’73
Key members of Gov. Perry’s staff who are St. Mary’s School of Law alumni pictured with the governor and the dean in the Governor’s Reception Room of the Texas State Capitol: Lauren McKinney (J.D. ’06), Kelly McBride (J.D. ’10), Christopher Sterner (J.D. ’07), David S. Morales (J.D. ’94), Gov. Perry, Dean Cantú (J.D. ’64), Tucker B. Royall Jr. (J.D. ’07), Andria Franco (J.D. ’10), Christopher Burnett (J.D. ’97) and Mary Anne Wiley (J.D. ’73).

The larger-than-life portraits of Texas heroes like Stephen F. Austin, Mirabeau Lamar and Barbara Jordan line the halls of the Texas State Capitol, powerful reminders of the heavy responsibility of crafting and enforcing the laws of the State of Texas. Just across the Capitol lawn, a small army of St. Mary’s University School of Law alumni — eight, in total — are doing just that as members of Gov. Rick Perry’s staff. David S. Morales (J.D. ’94) is the governor’s top legal adviser as General Counsel. He spent the first 15 years of his career as an assistant attorney general and then deputy first assistant attorney general before joining Perry’s staff in 2011. “As General Counsel, the legal issues that I am presented with are often years in the making, and they remain regardless of whether any litigation is pending. The breadth of those legal issues, which necessarily arise when working for the Governor of the second-largest state, is both the biggest challenge and the most appealing part of my work,” Morales said. “At the Governor’s Office, the pace is non-stop. Fortunately, I have great attorneys and professionals here in my shop to support me.” Two more St. Mary’s alums are among Morales’s team: Christopher Sterner (J.D. ’07) and Mary Anne Wiley (J.D. ’73). Sterner is Assistant General Counsel and made the move like Morales from the Attorney General’s Office. Wiley’s career path was not such a direct route. When she first graduated, many private firms were not interested in hiring women attorneys: “In job interviews for attorney positions at some private firms back then, I was asked if I could type and take shorthand!” Wiley found the public sector more accessible. She spent nearly 15 years as a criminal law trial attorney before moving to the Court of Criminal Appeals as a staff attorney and then to state agencies. She is grateful to have spent almost 40 years working in the public sector. “Since it is a field of law that is very people oriented, I have had the opportunity to see them at their best and at their worst. When you serve the public you feel as if you give back each day because you get to do things no one could ever compensate you for,” Wiley said. In her current capacity as deputy general counsel to the governor, Wiley’s duties include advising on

Note: At press time Tucker Royall left the Governor’s Office for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

criminal justice matters. Perry appointed Wiley to back-to-back terms on to the Crime Victims’ Institute Advisory Council, a panel that directs the compilation and study of information on the impact of crime and creates related policies. Two other law alumni play key roles in the Criminal Justice Division. Christopher Burnett (J.D. ’97) is executive director and assistant general counsel of the division. Kelly McBride (J.D. ’10) interned in Governor’s General Counsel Office and returned as a program specialist. Prior to law school, McBride worked in local government in Ohio for four different cities, serving in a range of capacities from economic development director to city manager. “While working in local government gave me a good starting point to understand how government works, state government has so many more challenges to deal with on a daily basis,” McBride said. “One day we may be discussing opportunities to help victims of human trafficking, and the next day, equipment needs for border towns and border security.” Still more St. Mary’s alumni are in various capacities. In the Compliance Division, Lauren McKinney (J.D. ’06) is a compliance analyst who shares a special bond with the governor: she is also a Texas A&M University graduate. Before a bill becomes law, it is thoroughly scrutinized from every angle. That’s where policy analysts like Andria Franco (J.D. ’10) and Tucker Boyd Royall Jr. (J.D. ’07) come in. Franco advises Perry on policy relating to the Department of Family and Protective Services and the Department of State Health Services. Royall is a budget, planning and policy analyst, advising Perry on issues relating to energy and the environment. McBride said that the work of the governor’s office is rewarding for her and her colleagues. “Even when I was serving as an intern for General Counsel, I really enjoyed the team atmosphere that permeated the Governor’s Office. Everyone was so friendly and willing to help,” she said. “I find that sentiment is still true in my current position… and I am proud that my colleagues all share a commitment to serve the people of Texas.”

law notes | p.1

Law School Celebrates Community Leaders
A public servant, teacher and mentor dedicated to the cause of justice: This describes not one, but all three prominent and successful community and civic leaders who were honored by the St. Mary’s University School of Law with its highest awards during the Commencement the St. Mary’s School of Law community.

Exercises this May. All three have left their mark on legal education, the profession of law and

p.2 | law notes

Lifetime Achievement: Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez (J.D. ’72)
Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez was honored with the School of Law’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his distinguished career and achievements in the legal profession and public service. “Congressman Gonzalez epitomizes public service,” said Charles E. Cantú, Dean of the St. Mary’s School of Law. “As a teacher, judge and eminent congressman, he has been a torchbearer for our school, our community and our state. We are grateful for his dedication and accomplishments, and are proud to call him one of our own.” Gonzalez began his career as a fifth grade teacher. After attending St. Mary’s School of Law, he entered the legal profession in private practice. He served as a municipal court judge, Bexar County judge and then district judge before running for office in 1977 as the U.S. Congressman for Texas’ 20th District. He is currently in his seventh term, and will retire in Janurary. He is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and serves on the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and House Administration. He developed the Hispanic Judiciary Initiative for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to identify and recommend qualified Hispanic candidates to fill federal court vacancies, working toward the goal of a judicial branch that more accurately reflects the communities it serves.

The St. Thomas More Award: Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D.
During his final School of Law Commencement Exercises as St. Mary’s University president, Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., was awarded the St. Thomas More Award for exceptional contributions to legal education, the profession or government. “Not only has Dr. Cotrell served the School of Law and St. Mary’s University as professor, leader and president, but his commitment to public service reaches far, beyond the gates of St. Mary’s,” said Cantú. “His tireless work with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has touched countless lives and may have had the greatest impact of all his contributions. His commitment to teaching, scholarship and service is undoubtedly worthy of the St. Thomas More Award.” Cotrell served as the University’s 12th president for 13 years before stepping down in May to return to teaching full time. He has guided the University’s growth in academic excellence, expanding boundaries, community service and financial stability, while emphasizing the Catholic and Marianist mission and identity. Cotrell has led the revitalization of the neighborhood surrounding St. Mary’s and, during his presidency, numerous facilities have been added to campus including Founders Hall, the AT&T Center for Information Technology, and Barrett Memorial Bell Tower, among others. In addition, several facilities have been renovated, beautification projects have been completed, and a new outdoor sports complex is under construction. The University’s Board of Trustees has named Cotrell as President Emeritus in recognition of his leadership.

The Rosewood Gavel Award: The Hon. Pamela A. Mathy
The Hon. Pamela A. Mathy, United States District Court of the Western District of Texas, was presented with the Rosewood Gavel, which recognizes an outstanding judge or justice for contributions to the system of constitutional democracy. “The unseen backbone of the federal court system is the magistrate judges,” said Vincent Johnson, St. Mary’s Professor of Law. “They handle a huge range of matters that are of pivotal importance in deciding how most cases are resolved. As a U.S. magistrate judge in San Antonio, Judge Mathy has performed in accordance with the highest and best traditions of the Anglo-American justice system.” Mathy earned her juris doctor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her master of laws from Georgetown University. Before she became a magistrate judge in 1998, she was a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas for 15 years. She has received highest honors both as a prosecutor and as a judge from the Texas Governor’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. State Department. For more than a decade, Mathy has mentored St. Mary’s law students who have interned in her court. She provides them with firsthand learning opportunities, involves them in the judicial decision-making process, and helps them perfect their legal research and writing skills. More than 30 St. Mary’s law students have served as interns in her court. “The quality of her supervision has made these internships as demanding and educationally enriching as any in the nation,” Johnson continued. “Judge Mathy is the epitome of a great judge: honest, hardworking, open minded and fair.”

Left to right: U.S. Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez (J.D. ’72); Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., St. Mary’s University President Emeritus; The Hon. Pamela Mathy; Dean Charles E. Cantú (J.D. ’64) and The Hon. Nelson Wolff (J.D. ’66) on the St. Mary’s School of Law campus.

law notes | p.3


Wolff, Graduates Honored at Commencement
St. Mary’s University School of Law held its 78th Commencement Exercises in May, graduating 284 new lawyers. The Class of 2012 made up of 274 juris doctor candidates and 10 masters of laws recipients was the largest class in memory, due in part to the robust evening law program. Kendra Joy-Holtmann Harris finished as the top student. The Pro Bono Service Award for exemplary service to the Center for Legal and Social Justice Pro Bono Programs was given to Ann Marie Matonak. Cheryl L. Auster, who graduated with J.D. and M.B.A. joint degrees, was given the American Legal Institute-American Bar Association Scholarship and Leadership Award. Commencement speaker Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff ( J.D. ’66) was recognized for his longtime support of St. Mary’s University, his success in business and leadership in the San Antonio community with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. A member of the legal, civic and business community of San Antonio, Wolff is an entrepreneur, most notably with Sun Harvest Farms grocery stores and Green Fields Market, and a public servant who served in the Texas State Legislature from 1971 until 1975, as well as mayor of San Antonio and currently as Bexar County Judge. He has supported St. Mary’s throughout his career, including his service on the St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees and his support of the University’s proposal to use Bexar County venue tax revenues for a the new outdoor sports complex, which is currently under construction. A new early admission initiative called The Hon. Nelson Wolff Law Early Admission Left: Congressman Gonzalez with Kendra Joy-Holtmann Harris, this year’s top student. Right: Flag bearers Lauren Alberts, Board of Advocates chair; Allison Stewart Ellis, St. Mary’s Law Journal editor-in-chief; Cheryl Auster, The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority Issues editor-in-chief; and Jenna Reblin, Student Bar Association president.
p.4 | law notes

Program at St. Mary’s University allows qualifying St. Mary’s undergraduate students to enter law school after completing the third year of undergraduate study. These students can earn both their bachelor’s and law degrees in just six years, as Wolff did in 1966. He has received numerous honors, among them the St. Mary’s University Distinguished Alumnus Award, St. Mary’s University School of Law Distinguished Graduate Award, Russell H. Perry Award from the Texas Department of Transportation, University of Texas at San Antonio President’s Award, Amistad Award from the Mexican Consulate of San Antonio, Boys and Girls Club National Hall of Fame and the World Affairs Council International Citizen of the Year. Additionally, he was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.

Left Top: The St. Mary’s School of Law Class of 2012 and members of the law faculty. Below: Federal Bar Association Thurgood A. Marshall Memorial Moot Court finalists Erin Oglesby and Meagan Scott and winners Rachel Felderhoff and Phillip Ripper.

Recruitment Program Seeks Employers
The St. Mary’s Fall Recruitment Program is designed specifically for employers with hiring needs for the spring or summer of 2013 or who are seeking students for permanent positions from the Class of 2013. Through the program, student résumés and other application materials are collected and distributed electronically to employers. The Office of Career Services schedules interviews on campus; however, employers who are unable to come to campus can still receive applications. To register for the Fall Recruitment Program, contact Alicia Mendoza at 210-436-3511 or

St. Mary’s Wins National Championship
The St. Mary’s University School of Law Moot Court team of third-year law student Phillip Ripper and second-year law student Rachel Felderhoff won the 2012 Federal Bar Association Thurgood A. Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition this spring in Washington, D.C. St. Mary’s team of third-year law student Erin Oglesby and second-year law student Meagan Scott finished in third place. “This is the first time that two St. Mary’s teams have been able to accomplish the feat of taking two of the top three positions at a national competition,” said Ricky Poole ( J.D. ’90), adjunct law professor and advocacy coach. “To my knowledge, no other law school had both of its teams break into the round of eight at the tournament, much less reach the semifinals.” It is the second national title in the past two years for St. Mary’s Moot Court teams and the third in program history. This prestigious national competition addressed emerging issues of federal statutory and constitutional law and fielded 36 teams. The judges included distinguished members of the federal bench and bar from across the country. The St. Mary’s team advanced to the finals of the competition over Southern Methodist University School of Law and beat Georgetown Law School for the title.

After the Bar: What Now?
The School of Law is offering a series of programs for recent graduates to ease the transition from law student to working lawyer. The free program, sponsored by the Offices of Career Services, Academic and Student Affairs and Alumni Relations, includes programs beginning August 14. The session topics include updating résumés, using Law Alumni Association and Texas Bar Association resources, student loan and debt management tips, stress relief while waiting for bar results, and information on going solo and obtaining court appointments. For information or to make a reservation, contact Collanne West at 210-436–3774 or

law notes | p.5

During San Antonio’s Fiesta week, the School of Law celebrated the Class of 2012’s student award winners at Fiesta Farewell. Pictured with Sister Grace Walle (very back) are (next row) Melissa Lesniak, Marianist Service to Community Award; Jenna Reblin, Campus Ministry/Law Alumni Service Award; Ann Marie Matonak, San Antonio Bar Foundation’s Pro Bono Service Award; Shari Mao, Judge Andy Mireles Achievement Award; (middle row) Evening Bar Association represented by Liz Gutierrez, Charles Cantú Spirit of Service Award; (front row) Nicole Monsibais, Class of 1977 Educating for Justice Award; Victoria Bongat, St. Thomas More Student Leadership Award; Dean Cantú and Jami Nance, Adele Advocate for the Poor Award.

Center for Terrorism Law Defending Marine
Jeffrey Addicott, Director of the Center for Terrorism Law, and his research fellows are defending Marine Lt. Joshua Waddell against accusations that he violated combat rules of engagement (ROE) during a combat operation in Afghanistan. Addicott and his team maintain that the case is an example of how overly restrictive rules of engagement can lead to injustice against troops in the field and contribute to military deaths. Addicott has been working with members of the House Armed Services Committee to draft legislation to remedy the problem, touted as the “Waddell Bill.” According to Addicott, the legislation proposes the creation of a military ROE review board in the battlefield. Once established, it would provide an impartial review outside the chain of command, a layer of oversight that does not currently exist.

Campus Minister Funds Internship
Sister Grace Walle, F.M.I., D.Min., has raised funds for hundreds of projects from peanut butter-and-jelly lunches to Innsbruck program scholarships during her 30-year career at St. Mary’s University and the School of Law. She also has tucked some away to begin funding legal aid internships. The first three recipients will work in McAllen and Harlingen this summer. Walle sees the importance of students working in public interest fields, whether nonprofits, government or judicial, but many cannot afford to work non-paying internships without some sort of funding. She hopes to expand her internship funding initiative to other cities.

Student wins Pro Bono Award
Third-year law student Jami Nance was awarded the 2012 AT&T Excellence in Pro Bono Legal Service Award from the San Antonio Bar Association. The award is designed to encourage law students to develop a strong commitment to pro bono legal service while in law school, so that they foster a lasting commitment to pro bono service in their future professional practice. The award recipient must be in the top third of the class and commit to serve as a student intern for the San Antonio Bar Association’s Community Justice Program. Nance completed more than 400 pro bono hours as a law student, not including her final spring semester. She was involved with Wills Clinic, Ask-a-Lawyer, the Community Justice Project and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, where she volunteered her time every Saturday from January to mid-April. ■

p.6 | law notes

The Hon. Charles A. Gonzalez, J.D., San Antonio, who represents the 20th Congressional District of Texas, received the Ohtli Award from the Government of Mexico. The Ohtli Award is the highest recognition given to U.S. and Canadian leaders who have contributed to the development of Mexicans living abroad.

John D. Bray, J.D., San Antonio, is a name shareholder in Elder Bray and Bankler PC.

Justin M. Jackson, J.D., Cedar Park, an attorney at the Jackson Law Firm, has been named a Texas Rising Star, identifying him as one of the top young lawyers in the state, in the annual Super Lawyers survey. Marc K. Whyte, J.D., San Antonio, an associate at Jackson Walker LLP, has been named a Texas Rising Star, identifying him as one of the top young lawyers in the state, in the annual Super Lawyers survey.

Julie A. Crockett, J.D., San Antonio, is Vice President, Oil and Gas, at Frost Bank. Kimberly Kuhler Dabbs, D.O., J.D., Oklahoma City, graduated from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and is an emergency medicine resident at the INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center.

Joseph Casseb, J.D., San Antonio, has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the State Bar Foundation in recognition of his professional achievements and commitment to improving the justice system in Texas.

R. Porter Corrigan II, J.D., San Antonio, an associate with McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing LLP, has been named a Texas Rising Star, identifying him as one of the top young lawyers in the state, in the annual Super Lawyers survey. Bruce E. Toppin, J.D., San Antonio, has joined Rosenthal Pauerstein Sandoloski Agather LLP as an associate.

Charlotte P. Youchem, J.D., Corpus Christi, is a senior city attorney for Corpus Christi.

David E. Chamberlain, J.D., Austin, a partner at Chamberlin McHaney, is president of the Austin Bar Association and treasurer of the Texas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Richard M. Robertson, J.D., Dallas, a partner with Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, was named to D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas” list.

The Hon. Robb D. Catalano, J.D., Fort Worth, judge of Tarrant County Criminal District Court No. 3, has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Governor’s Criminal Justice Advisory Council. Bret E. Helmer, J.D., Fort Worth, is an attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jeffrey W. Martin, J.D., Plano, is an associate with Brice, Vander Linden & Wernick PC.

Deborah A. Ackerman, J.D., Dallas, formerly vice president-general counsel for Southwest Airlines, has joined Strasburger & Price LLP. Fred R. Jones, J.D., San Antonio, has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the State Bar Foundation in recognition of his professional achievements and commitment to improving the justice system in Texas. Mary Jo McCurley, J.D., Dallas, a name partner at McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing LLP, was named to D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas” list.

Scott D. Bankler, J.D., San Antonio, is a name shareholder in Elder Bray and Bankler PC.

John D. Ledbetter, J.D., Austin, is an associate at the Peissel Law Firm and licensed in both Texas and North Dakota.

Adriana Benavides Maddox, J.D., Laredo, has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect and Improve Child Welfare.

Lanette Heilbron Glasscock, S.A.S.L. ’30, died May 26, 2012. Joe Villarreal Jr., LL.B. ’62, died May 26, 2012. Lt. Col. Edward O. Fallis Jr., J.D. ’72, San Antonio, died May 26, 2012.

Jason C. Zehner, J.D., San Antonio, is corporate counsel for CCC Group Industrial Construction.

Richard M. Roberson, J.D., Dallas, a partner with Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, was named to D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas” list. The Hon. James F. Shrewsbury, J.D., St. Louis, Mo., a former City of St. Louis Alderman, has been appointed by Gov. Jeremiah Nixon to serve on the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority which oversees the publicly-financed Edward Jones Dome and America’s Center.

Patty Hurtado, J.D., Sunnyside, N.Y., is a Principal Court Attorney with the Kings County Family Court in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jesse M. Gamez III, J.D. ’64, died March 20, 2012.

Bradley B. Clark, J.D., Manor, an attorney with Gray & Becker PC, has been named a Texas Rising Star, identifying him as one of the top young lawyers in the state, in the annual Super Lawyers survey. Jenee Margo Gonzales, J.D., San Antonio, is Director of Government Relations and Community Collaborations at St. Mary’s University.

Arnold N. Miller, J.D. ’74, died May 30, 2011. Richard S. Johnson, J.D. ’77, died April 21, 2012.

Kevin L. Kelley, J.D., Dallas, a partner with Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, was named to D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas” list.

W. David Moore, J.D. ’88, died April 17, 2012.

Cindy S. Hudson, J.D. ’01, died May 2, 2012. Andrew D. White, J.D. ’10, died Nov. 18, 2011.

law notes | p.7

president’s Corner
by David Courreges, LAA President As I end my time as president of the Law Alumni Association, it is a good time to reflect on the past year and those who have helped us accomplish so much. We began the year with simple goals: increase communication and foster involvement. You responded with new chapters started across the country, which have helped increase alumni participation both locally and nationally. Our chapters serve as a base for alumni activity, increasing networking opportunities for alumni and students. The long-overdue San Antonio Chapter will hold its first event on Aug. 16. Thank you to Doug Bineham ( J.D. ’90), Richard Loza ( J.D. ’87), and the chapter’s inaugural president, Lee Cusenbary ( J.D. ’92), for making this happen. Wherever you live, I encourage you to get involved with your local chapter. For more information, visit our website at Another significant accomplishment was the establishment of the Young Alumni/ Law Student Division. Student leaders Chris Mazzola, a third-year law student, and Student Bar Association President Jenna Reblin ( J.D. ’12) worked diligently with their fellow students and the Law Alumni Association to create this important network. Thank you both. This past year we enjoyed the largest Distinguished Law Graduate Dinner in our school’s history. We could not have done this without the tireless work of our past president, perpetual fearless leader, and event chairman Joe Casseb ( J.D. ’77). Special thanks also to Emilie Herrmann Petty ( J.D. ’08), our former Director of Alumni Relations and a new mom. We continue to strive for better communication and new opportunities for our members. We created the monthly online newsletter, The Mid-Month Update, increased the accessibility and content of our website, and established a presence in social media. We will continue to develop these avenues, as well as create new ways to communicate with you. I also thank our executive team for its guidance and assistance: President-elect Judge Israel Ramon ( J.D. ’77), Vice President Marty Truss ( J.D. ’96), Secretary Judge Irene Rios ( J.D. ’90), Treasurer Steve Chiscano ( J.D. ’97) and Immediate Past President Elizabeth Rogers ( J.D. ’88). Also, thank you to Dean Charles Cantú ( J.D. ’64), Assistant Dean Al Hartman ( J.D. ’73), Director of Alumni Relations Collanne Bramblett West ( J.D. ’10), and law alumni staff Amanda Montemayor and Ruby Contreras. I look forward to helping each of you continue the growth and advancement of the Alumni Association. I want to give special acknowledgment to Joe Casseb, Britt Buchanan ( J.D. ’89) and Karin Crump ( J.D. ’97), who are leaving our Board after years of distinguished service. I appreciate the time each of you has given and know you will continue to promote our University and alumni. Additionally, we welcome Peter Hosey ( J.D. ’79) who will serve as treasurer for the 2012-2013 Bar Year, as well as Justice Paul Green ( J.D. ’77), Sonja Sims ( J.D. ’07), Doug Bineham ( J.D. ’90) and Judge Ana Lisa Garza ( J.D. ’87), who will serve as directors. Let me finish with an acknowledgement of you, our alumni. Thank you for the time and dedication that each of you gives our law school, our students and the legal community. I am proud to be an alumnus of the St. Mary’s University School of Law, and am equally proud to share that distinction with you.
p.8 | law notes

L aw A L u m n i A s s o c i at i o n

The Hon. Phylis J. Speedlin (J.D. ’83).

Alum Recognized for Outstanding Service to Poor
The Hon. Phylis J. Speedlin ( J.D. ’83) sits on one of the highest courts in Texas, but it is her dedication to serving disadvantaged clients that really stands out. Speedlin, a justice on the Fourth Court of Appeals, is the co-founder of the San Antonio Community Justice Program and president of the Community Justice Foundation. The American Bar Association recently gave the Community Justice Program the 2012 Harrison Tweed Award for the top pro bono program in the country, which will be presented in August. Additionally, Speedlin is the first recipient of the State Bar of Texas’ Judge Merrill Hartman Pro Bono Judge Award, which recognizes a judge who has provided exemplary pro bono service, including outreach to attorneys to increase the quantity and quality of pro bono representation. Jay Patterson, chair of the State Bar’s Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters Committee, called Speedlin’s commitment to providing legal services to the poor “exceptional.” She received the award on June 14 at the State Bar Annual Meeting in Houston. The Community Justice Program is a collaborative effort between the San Antonio Bar Association and the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, using lawyers from about 30 San Antonio legal organizations to provide free legal representation to underserved populations. Faculty and student attorneys from St. Mary’s School of Law and the Center for Legal and Social Justice (which has hosted the monthly Wills Clinic since 2003), regularly provide pro bono assistance and participate in the program’s newest clinic for veterans at the Audie L. Murphy Veterans Hospital. Under Speedlin’s leadership, the Community Justice Program has matched more than 6,000 pro bono cases to volunteer attorneys. Speedlin joined the Fourth Court of Appeals in April 2003 and after served as district judge of the 408th Judicial District Court in Bexar County. Before her distinguished career on the bench, Speedlin was a nurse with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. She earned a master’s degree in health care administration from Trinity University, and was in private practice for 17 years as a trial lawyer specializing in medical malpractice and health care law.

Aug. 14 Aug. 16 Aug. 20 Aug. 28 Sept. 11 Sept. 25 Oct. 9 Oct. 11-13 Oct. 19 Oct. 23 Oct. 25 After the Bar Series First Year Orientation San Antonio LAA Chapter Kickoff Event First day of fall classes After the Bar Series After the Bar Series After the Bar Series After the Bar Series Lone Star Classic St. Mary’s Distinguished Graduate Dinner After the Bar Series San Antonio Red Mass




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

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

Help keep us up-to-date on your accomplishments by dropping us a note. You can also submit your information to or by fax at 210-431-4388.
Personal Information __________________________________________________ Name __________________________________________________ Class Year __________________________________________________ Home Address __________________________________________________ Phone __________________________________________________ E-mail

Employment Information __________________________________________________ Employer/Firm Name __________________________________________________ Business Address __________________________________________________ Phone __________________________________________________ E-mail __________________________________________________ Job Title __________________________________________________ Type of Business

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID St. Mary’s University

We want a note from you!

Class Notes Information __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

One Camino Santa Maria San Antonio, Texas 78228



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

Document Viewer