Rocket Docket | October 2018

Rocket Docket Newsletter

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October 2018
Past Issues

Thank You to the Baylor Lawyers and Friends Who Joined Together for the 9th Annual Baylor Law Alumni Weekend - September 21-22, 2018

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On September 21, over 120 Baylor Lawyers and friends gathered for fun and fellowship during Baylor Law's Alumni Weekend tradition: "Burgers and Blue Bell." Held at the home of Dean Brad and Beth Toben, the festivities also served to honor the members of the Class of 1968 as well as recognize current Sustaining Lifetime Members and the Executive Committee of the Baylor Law Alumni Association.

On September 22, Baylor Lawyers and their guests joined Baylor Law faculty, staff, and current students at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center for barbeque brisket, Dr. Pepper, and pre-game tailgating excitement before Baylor football's win over Kansas. . . More Photos

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Renowned Constitutional Scholar and Former Presidential Advisor Philip Bobbit Speaks at Starr Lecture Series

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One of America's leading constitutional scholars and former presidential adviser Philip Bobbitt delivered the featured lecture at the fourth annual Starr Federalist Papers Lecture Series sponsored by John, JD '52, and Marie Chiles. Professor Bobbit spoke on "Why We Study the Federalist Papers," and discussed the essays of Hamilton, Madison and Jay as they apply to contemporary legal questions. . . More Photos

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A gathering for judges, judicial clerks, and current Baylor Law students.
Hosted by the Baylor Law 2018 judicial clerkship class.

Please contact Angela Cruseturner, Assistant Dean of Career Development, at or 254.710.3331 by November 14 to RSVP.


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Baylor Law Hosts Judge Thomas M. Reavley, Senior Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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Judge Thomas M. Reavley, Senior Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, who has spent most of his 70-year legal career in public service, spoke on "A Life in the Law," to an audience of Baylor Law students, faculty, staff, and members of the community. Joined by Dean Brad Toben, Judge Reavley shared about his faith, morality, professionalism, and his unwavering dedication to protecting and advancing the rule of law. . . More Photos

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Zambian Justice Project Student Reunion

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From left to right: Ashley Shultz, Claire Mosley, Professor Brian Serr, Robyn Leatherwood, Ashley Richardson, Fallon Seitz, UP Zambia Founder Sara Larios, Sarah Beth Toben, Daniel Basham

Over the summer, Baylor Law launched its first global field placement program. Led by Professor Brian Serr, the Zambian Justice Project works in partnership with UP Zambia, an organization founded by Sara Larios, a commercial lawyer based in Zambia.

A group of Baylor Law students spent two months in Zambia working with UP Zambia lawyers, law students, and interns to provide legal aid to Zambian juveniles held in adult prisons, many of whom are held based on overly severe charges, one-sided trials, and convictions based on little or weak evidence. Recently, the group of Baylor Law students reunited with Sara Larios to recount their experiences.

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Baylor Law Federalist Society Welcomes Judge Priscilla Owen

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Baylor Lawyer and Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Priscilla Owen, JD '77, was hosted by the Baylor Law Federalist Society and spoke about her experiences serving on both the Texas Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. . . More Photos

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The Paper Chase Legal Writing Competition is Underway

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Baylor Law is pleased to announce The Paper Chase Legal Writing Competition for 2018. Formerly known as The Ultimate Writer, this competition is the premier legal writing contest in Texas. $7,000 in cash prizes are up for grabs along with the honor of being named the best legal writer at a Texas law school. . . Full Story

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Participants in the 2019 The Closer Transactional Law Competition Announced

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Baylor Law is pleased to announce the roster of schools participating in the 2019 The Closer transactional law competition. Beginning in 2017, this unique competition has become one of the premier transactional law contests in the country. Students from participating schools vie for a total of $10,000 in cash prizes and bragging rights as a top closer. Ten schools were selected for this year's competition. . . Full Story

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The Baylor Law Alumni Association invites you to celebrate Baylor Homecoming with Dean Brad Toben, Dean Leah Jackson Teague, fellow Baylor Lawyers, faculty, staff, students, and friends. Registration is not needed for this event.

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Renew your membership or join the Baylor Law Alumni Association as a Lifetime or Sustaining Lifetime Member! Through your financial support, the Association is able to provide alumni reception and reunion events, networking opportunities, and programming for our alumni community of more than 7,400 Baylor Lawyers.

Contributes at least $100 per year for five consecutive years.

Sustaining Fellow
Achieves the Fellow level and continues to contribute at least $200 per year for five consecutive years.

Lifetime Member
Status is achieved once $1,500 has been given.

Sustaining Lifetime Member
Contributes $200 or more per year after becoming a Lifetime Member.

Membership dues can be paid online by clicking here or sent by mail. For a list of Sustaining Lifetime and Lifetime Members, please visit

If sending dues by mail, please make checks payable to "Baylor Law School" with "Baylor Law Alumni Association membership dues" in the memo line. Checks may be mailed to:
Baylor Law Alumni Association, One Bear Place #97026, Waco, Texas 76798

Questions? Contact

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The Baylor Law Career Development Office extends a thank you to the employers who participated in our 2018 On-Campus Interview Program. For information about hiring a Baylor Lawyer or providing an opportunity to our students, please contact Daniel Hare, director of employer relations and engagement, at or call 254.710.1210.

47th District Attorney's Office

Andrews Myers

Arnold & Itkin

Baker Botts


Bell Nunnally & Martin

Bergquist Law Firm

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners

Bowman and Brooke



Burdett, Morgan, Williamson & Boykin

Burford & Ryburn

Cherry Petersen Landry Albert

Cokinos | Young

Collin County Criminal District Attorney

Cooper & Scully

Cotton Bledsoe Tighe & Dawson

Dallas County Public Defender's Office

Davis, Gerald & Cremer

Dobrowski, Larkin & Johnson

Drinker Biddle

Dykema Cox Smith

Engvall & York

Ferguson Braswell Fraser Kubasta

Foley Gardere (Houston & Dallas)

Fowlkes Law Firm

Fulkerson Lotz

Gray Reed & McGraw

Haley & Olson

Haltom & Doan

Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer

Herzog & Carp

Hiersche, Hayward, Drakeley & Urbach

Hogan Lovells

Holland & Knight

Holman Fenwick Willan

Husch Blackwell

J Michael Design and Construction

Jackson Walker

Kelly Hart & Hallman

Kirkland & Ellis

Kwon Law

Locke Lord


McGinnis Lochridge

McMahon Surovik Suttle

Mounce, Green, Myers, Safi, Paxson & Galatzan

Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr

Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee

Nix, Patterson & Roach

Norton Rose Fulbright

Office of the Attorney General - Child Support Division

Office of the Attorney General - Administrative and Legal Divisions

Office of the State's Attorney - Cook County, IL

Orgain Bell & Tucker

Padfield & Stout


Porter Hedges

Reed Smith

Robbins Travis

Serpe Jones Andrews Callender & Bell

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Sommerman, McCaffity & Quesada

Sprouse Shrader Smith

State Counsel for Offenders

Tekell & Tekell

Texas General Land Office

The Lanier Law Firm

Thompson & Knight

Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons

U.S. Army JAG Corps

U.S. Navy JAG

United States Marine Corps

Vela Wood


Walsh Gallegos


Zinda Law Group

Alumni NOTES
Alumni Notes are published based on the information we receive from our alumni.
If you have been recognized or have other professional news to share, please e-mail for inclusion in a future issue of Rocket Docket.

The Hon. David Hodges, JD '73, was selected by the McLennan County Commissioners Court to fill a new general associate judge position in McLennan County.
Marilea Lewis, JD '78, Of Counsel at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, LLP, has been selected for the seventh year among the Top 100 attorneys in Texas by Texas Super Lawyers. Lewis also was named to the list of the Top 50 female attorneys in Texas.
Keith Nelson, JD '83, Partner at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, LLP, has been selected among the Top 100 attorneys in Texas by Texas Super Lawyers. Nelson has been selected among the state's top Family Law attorneys every year since 2003.
The Hon. Vincent J. Messina, JD '85, of County Court at Law #1 in Hood County Texas, was elected to the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas - Judicial Section during the Annual conference of Judges. Judge Messina will serve a 3-year term.
Cynthia Olsen, JD '85, a shareholder with Wilson Cribbs + Goren in Houston and a member of the firm's Real Estate Law and Lending Law practices, has been elected as president of the board of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Risk Management Association (RMA) in Houston for a one-year term.
Tresi Moore Weeks, JD '87, attorney and founder of the Weeks Law Firm, PLLC in Plano, Texas, has been appointed as Board Chair of the Disability Rights Texas Board of Directors. Weeks served the last two years as Vice Chair and has been on the Board for five years. She was previously Chair of the Board Strategic Planning Committee and a member of several other Board Committees. She was a member of the DRTx Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Advisory Council for four years where she served as Chair of the Council for two years.
Charles E. Sutton Jr., JD '89, was named of counsel to corporate and insurance defense firm Wanek Kirsch Davies LLC in New Orleans, LA.
Chris Elliott, JD '90, Shareholder at Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody in Austin, was inducted into the Commerce Independent School District's Hall of Honor. The Hall of Honor is a yearly recognition of graduates, teachers or administrators of Commerce ISD who have had a distinguished career or who have made a significant impact on the students of CISD.
Aaron Burkes, JD '93, has been selected as the CEO and executive director of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. Burkes previously served as president of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He also served two years in the Arkansas General Assembly as a state representative and was executive dean of economic and workforce development at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
The Hon. René De Coss, JD '95, has been named the city attorney of Brownsville through a unanimous vote by the Brownsville City Commission. De Coss previously served as a municipal judge for the 445th Judicial District Court in Cameron County.
Laura Hallmon, JD '99, of Cantey Hanger in Fort Worth, has become a Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation.
Joshua Searcy, JD '05, of Searcy and Searcy, PC in Longview, Texas, has been named to the 2018 American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) "40 Under 40" Emerging Leaders in Insolvency Practice. The list identifies 40 top industry professionals under the age 40. Searcy will be recognized at a special luncheon during the ABI's 2018 Winter Leadership Conference.
Eliot New, JD '07, has joined the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, office of the Greenspoon Marder firm in its nationwide complex litigation group. New was formerly a member of Germer PLLC, in Beaumont, Texas.
Hunter Lewis, JD '10, of Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, LLP, has been selected for the sixth year among the Top 100 attorneys in Texas by Texas Super Lawyers.
Jackie Wheeler Davis, JD '12, an associate at Jackson Walker, has earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation through The American College of Financial Services. With this designation, Jackie is prepared to help clients put together legal strategies that accomplish their wealth planning goals while creating inspired legacy plans.
Joseph Hoelscher, JD '16, has been appointed Co-Chair of the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association Retention Committee. He has also been elected Senior Manager of the firm Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC, a law firm focused on criminal defense, family law, and Child Welfare cases. The 2nd edition of Hoelscher's LexisNexis/Matthew Bender Practice Guide: Texas Drunk Driving Law, will be published this year.
In Memoriam
Benjamin E. Jarvis, JD '50, Full Obituary
Jerry Myers Johnson, JD '66, Full Obituary
Jerry Doyle Miller, JD '73, Full Obituary
Snow E. Bush, JD '82, Full Obituary
November 2018

November 1, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hosted by Clark Hill Strasburger
2301 Broadway Street
San Antonio, Texas 78215

November 3, 2018
7:00 am - 9:30 am
Law School tent, front lawn of Morrison Constitution Hall
1410 S. 5th Street

November 13, 2018
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Hosted by Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey PC
2800 Post Oak Blvd., 57th Floor
Houston, Texas 77056

November 29, 2018
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
TX District and County Attorney Association Reception in conjunction with Elected Prosecutor Conference
Embassy Suites by Hilton
1001 E McCarty Ln.
San Marcos, Texas 78666

January 2019

Date TBD
Hosted by Holland & Knight

There are many more upcoming alumni events! Visit the Baylor Law Alumni Association Events webpage for a full list of upcoming Baylor Law alumni events.
Give now

Baylor Law School, Alumni Relations, One Bear Place #97288, Waco, Texas 76798
254.710.8357 |

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