These alumni notes reflect the period from August 2013 to the present.
George A. Snell III has joined the firm of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. Snell will focus his practice on energy law, particularly in oil and gas title opinions, in the firm's Houston office.â€¨â€¨ Before joining Steptoe & Johnson, Snell had maintained a private practice in Amarillo since 1972. His career began as a general practitioner and litigator until he merged his practice with a long-time oil and gas title attorney in 1979. Snell turned his focus to title opinions and since then has prepared thousands of opinions for energy companies throughout the nation.
W. Mike Baggett of Winstead PC, has been named Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year in 2012 Dallas Litigation - Real Estate by Best Lawyers.
James T. "Jim" Odiornehas been appointed Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner for the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
W.H. "Bill" Brian Jr. has bee named the 2014 Baylor Lawyer of the Year. Brian is a partner with the firm of Courtney, Countiss, Brian & Bailey, L.L.P. in Amarillo.
Kenneth Stohner of the firm Jackson Walker was selected for inclusion in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. He was ranked in the category of Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Texas). He also was selected for inclusion in D Magazine's "Best Lawyers in Dallas" list. The publication was released in May 2013. D Magazine conducted a citywide search for the best in the legal profession, inviting qualified attorneys to nominate their peers based on reputation and legal excellence. The nominations were reviewed by the magazine's editors, alongside a panel of well-respected local lawyers, to determine the final list.
The Honorable Leonard E. Davis, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, has been selected as the Texas Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates Jurist of the Year for 2013. Chief Judge Davis also is the 2012 Baylor Lawyer of the Year.
Marvin W. Jones has been appointed to a three-year term as managing shareholder of the law firm of Sprouse Shrader Smith in Amarillo. Jones is a shareholder with 35 years of experience practicing law, focusing on complex commercial litigation, power and utilities, and natural resources. He concentrates on litigation in a wide range of areas, including litigation on behalf of public utilities and in products liability, oil and gas, fiduciary, groundwater law and insurance defense. Jones has substantial experience representing clients in matters relating to groundwater rights. He has represented clients before groundwater districts, the Texas Water Development Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Jones has been a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 2005 and is certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a member of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel, International Association of Defense Counsel, Defense Research Institute and American Board of Trial Advocates.
Brenda Jeffers Damuth has been hired by the national law firm Wilson Elser to work in its Dallas office. Damuth has practiced law in Texas since 1978. Her practice primarily focuses on representing health-care professionals and resolving disputes as a mediator. She has extensive first-chair trial experience, representing clients in civil litigation disputes with an emphasis on personal injury. She also represents physicians and nurses before the Texas Medical Board and other administrative bodies.
The Hon. Marilea W. Lewis has been named managing shareholder and chief operating officer for the Dallas-based law firm of Godwin Lewis PC. A fifth-generation Texan and former district judge, Lewis assumed her new role on Dec. 1. In 2012, she became one of the few women in history to become the named shareholder of a major Texas law firm. In addition to her roles as managing shareholder and COO, Lewis will continue to serve as the chair of Godwin Lewis' family law litigation and arbitration/mediation practice groups. Lewis joined Godwin Lewis in 2011 after serving as judge of the 330th District Court in Dallas from 2002 to 2010. She previously served as the master/referee of the 305th District Court from 1986 until 1992, and as an associate judge of the 330th District Court from 1992 to 2002.
John Eddie Williams of Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas, LLP took office as 2014 Chair of the Houston Bar Foundation on Feb. 25 at the Foundationâ€™s Annual Meeting and Luncheon. Welcoming him and serving as keynote speaker was The Hon. Kay Bailey Hutchison, former U.S. Senator from Texas and now senior counsel in the Dallas office of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. Williams' firm specializes in representing plaintiffs in mass tort cases and in representing workers and organized labor. Williams serves on the board of governors of the American Institute for Justice, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, and the Houston Police Foundation. Williams served on the executive committee of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and has served on the Houston Bar Foundation board since 2009. He is a graduate of Baylor University and Baylor Law School, where he was editor in chief of the Baylor Law Review.
Lee Haney was appointed the new municipal court judge by the Brownwood City Council. Haney was the associate municipal court judge under Don Clements, who recently retired. Haney had been serving as interim municipal court judge since Clements' retirement. Haney has served Brown County as an attorney in many capacities, including county judge, district attorney and as the Early city judge. Haney will continue to serve as Early's city judge.