Rocket Docket | February 2019

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February 2019
Past Issues

The Making a Difference Conference: Rising Up Against Injustice

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Baylor Law, LEAD Counsel, and the Baylor Law Black Law Student Association hosted the third annual Making a Difference Conference: "Rising Up Against Injustice." The conference inspires and equips attendees to become servant leaders who put their passions into practice.

Richard Muñoz, JD '99, Assistant General Counsel for Buckner International, addressed the importance of advocating for vulnerable populations and was followed by a panel discussion on challenging racial disparities moderated by Michelle Simpson Tuegel, JD '10, Partner, The Simpson Tuegel Law Firm, PLLC and featuring Michael Heiskell, JD '74, Senior Attorney, Johnson, Vaughn, & Heiskell, and Mark O'Mara, Founder, O'Mara Law Group.

Breakout sessions with Heiskell, O'Mara, and Tuegel followed and community involvement opportunities were available throughout the conference.
More Photos

Hundreds Visit Baylor Law to Participate in the 2019 People's Law School

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On Saturday, February 9, hundreds of Central Texas residents braved the cold rainy weather to participate in Baylor Law's popular People's Law School, a free half-day event designed to educate consumers about their legal rights and to make the law "user friendly". . . Full Story

Baylor Lawyers Elected to Appellate Courts in Houston

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The Hon. Richard Hightower, JD '80, was elected to the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas and the Hon. Charles Spain, JD '88, was elected to the Court of Appeals for the 14th District of Texas.

Hightower, a 5th generation lawyer, practiced law for over 35 years in large and small counties and firms. He was a trial partner with Brown McCarroll & Oaks Hartline, and later opened his own law practice focusing on the interests of public-school districts and other education entities. During this time, he also served as a certified mediator in hundreds of legal disputes.

Spain served as an associate municipal court judge for the City of Houston since 2010. As a lawyer, he built an over 30-year career on a deep understanding of the law and his experience with the court system. Board certified in Civil Appellate Law, Spain worked for 23 years in the Texas appellate courts prior to serving on the bench.

DWI-Drug Court Named Best in State Presided Over by Baylor Lawyer

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The McLennan County DWI-Drug Court that the Hon. Vikram "Vik" Deivanayagam, JD '96, presides over was given the Texas Center for the Judiciary's outstanding program of the year award. The DWI-Drug Court is a successful, life-changing program for people committed to freeing themselves from the grips of substance abuse. . . Full Story

Baylor Law Hosts the Nationally Acclaimed The Defamation Experience

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Members of the community, Baylor students, faculty, and staff gathered at Baylor Law to serve as the jury for the nationally acclaimed The Defamation Experience, a riveting courtroom drama and discussion exploring the highly charged issues of race, class, religion, gender, and the law. . . More Photos

Baylor Law's 2019 Winter Commencement

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Congratulations to the Baylor Law graduates who officially became Baylor Lawyers during the 2019 Winter Commencement ceremony! Dean Brad Toben presided over the ceremony and Baylor University's Dr. Gary Carini, Vice Provost for Graduate Professional Education and Professor of Management, conferred the degrees. Charles Hardy gave the invocation and Shaina Hayes Swanson addressed the class as the highest-ranking student. Professor Jeremy Counseller delivered the commencement address and Dr. Carini, Dean Toben, and Associate Dean Leah Teague presented the diplomas. Professors Jerry Powell and Rory Ryan hooded the graduates.
More Photos | Watch Full Ceremony | Watch Prof. Counseller's Remarks

Congratulations to our newest Baylor Lawyers!

Highest Ranking Student
Shaina Marie Hayes Swanson

Asha Monet Brown
Jessica Marie Arnold
James Christopher Bearden
Brayanna Jean Bergstrom
Morgan Kaylea Blair
Brenda Mariela Carrillo
Marion Margaret Charles
Kyle Austin Coker
Jess Michael Gambrell
Carrie Colleen Gorner
Christina Melanie Grey
Abigail Lee Griffith
Courtney Lynne Haggett
Charles Emmerich Hardy, Jr.
Luis E. Herrera Sebastian
Daniel Milan Krchnavek
Chase Ann Lalouette
Jon Edward Niemeyer
Rainier Ann Osouli
James Brian Walker Shepherd
Anthony Taylor Stokes
Shaina Marie Hayes Swanson
Leah Ann Towe
Leah Catherine Tucker

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.

Robert "Bob" Wortham, JD '74, was named a 2019 Distinguished Alumni by Lamar University, recognizing his dedication to his profession, his service to the community of Beaumont and his loyalty to the university.
The Hon. Richard Hightower, JD '80, was elected to the First District Court of Appeals in Houston.
The Hon. Charles Spain, JD '88, was elected to the 14th District Court of Appeals in Houston.
Angela Albers, JD '00, has been appointed as the Wood County criminal district attorney by Governor Greg Abbott.
Amanda G. Taylor, JD '04, has joined the Austin office of Butler Snow. Taylor is a board certified civil appellate specialist who routinely assists trial counsel and represents clients in both district and appellate courts across Texas. Her practice areas are widely varied and include disputes regarding contracts, business organizations, shareholders, fiduciaries, trusts, the Texas Citizens' Participation Act, real property, franchise and sales tax, employment, fraud/misrepresentation consumers, and high-asset divorces. She has been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Texas Super Lawyer for appellate law and by Texas Lawyer as a "Rising Star" in civil appeals. She also was named one of "2018 Top 50 in Central/West Texas Lawyers" by Thompson Reuters.
Will Dixon, JD '05, was appointed as the Navarro County district attorney by Governor Greg Abbott.
Jenny Palmer, JD '05, has joined the law offices of Mike Head and Justin Weiner in Athens. Palmer is a former assistant district attorney who has handled thousands of cases in her almost 14 years of public service. Palmer now primarily focuses her practice on the areas of family law, guardianship, wills, probate, juvenile, and misdemeanor criminal law.
Joshua Cummings, JD '06, partner with Atlas Hall Rodriquez in McAllen, earned Board Certification in Property Owners Association Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Heather A. Kanny, JD '08, is now a shareholder with Hiersche, Hayward, Drakeley & Urbach, P.C. in Dallas. She was named to the 2018 Texas Rising Stars List in Super Lawyers and to the 2019 Best Lawyers Under 40 in D Magazine.
Terah Moxley, JD '10, has been promoted to partner for litigation boutique Estes Thorne & Carr, PLLC in Dallas. Terah is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Her work has earned her recognition on the Texas Super Lawyers' Rising Stars listing.
Lacy G. Brown, JD '12, is a senior associate with Hogan Lovells in their Houston and Denver offices.
Taylor Mohr, JD '12, with the family law boutique Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson (ONDA), is now Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
J. Joseph Vale, JD '12, a new partner with Atlas Hall Rodriquez in McAllen, earned his Board Certification in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Macy Matthews, JD '18, joined Hiersche Hayward Drakeley Urbach, P.C. as an associate attorney in the firm's Corporate Practice Section in Addison.
Jessica Wright, JD '18, has been hired as a misdemeanor prosecutor for Harrison County.
In Memoriam
The Hon. Churchell William "Bud" Duncan Jr., JD '50, Full Obituary
James Wesley Hightower, JD '50, Full Obituary
The Hon. Jack R. King, JD '50, Full Obituary
Wanza Sue Floyd Reid, JD '61, Full Obituary
Larry C. Roseborough, JD '65, Full Obituary
Charles Edwin "Ed" Hinshaw, JD '74, Full Obituary
Jason Riley Searcy, JD '78, Full Obituary
April 2019

April 4, 2019
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Hosted by Bell Nunnally
2323 Ross Avenue
Suite 1900
Dallas, TX 75201

April 12, 2019
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Hosted by the Baylor Law Alumni Association and the Baylor Public Interest Legal Society
Baylor Law School
1114 S. University Parks Drive
Waco, TX 76706

April 23, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hosted by Scott Douglass & McConnico
303 Colorado Street
Suite 2400
Austin, TX 78701

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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