June 2019

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 law_alumni@baylor.edu, for inclusion in the next issue of Rocket Docket.

Thomas A. Forbes, JD '75

Thomas A. Forbes has joined the regulatory and government group of the Butler Snow office in Austin. He has been recognized Best Lawyers for administrative/regulatory law and government relations practice since 2007 and as Austin's government relations practice "Lawyer of the Year" in 2017.




Steve McConnico, JD '76

Steve McConnico was named 2019 Trial Lawyer of the Year by TEX-ABOTA. Steve has been an active and ardent supporter of ABOTA and TEX-ABOTA for more than 30 years. He served as the president of TEX-ABOTA in 1997, and president of the Austin chapter from 1993-95.




Jerry Clements, JD '81

Jerry Clements has been selected to serve as chair of the Baylor University Board of Regents. Clements is a partner in the international Dallas-based law firm Locke Lord LLP. She served as chair of the firm from 2006 to 2017, overseeing two mergers and an increase in annual revenue from $222 million to $449 million.




Charles Olson, JD '79

Charles Olson was named to the Board of Trustees of Southwestern University. He also serves as the president of the Southwestern Alumni Association.




Andy Messer, JD '85

Andy Messer announced that north Texas-based Messer, Fort & McDonald has merged with Austin-based Akers & Akers. Andy has more than 28 years of municipal legal experience.




Jeffrey T. Nobles, JD '86

Jeffrey T. Nobles joined Husch Blackwell's Houston office as a partner. He works with the firm's technology, manufacturing and transportation industry group, and its commercial litigation practice group.




Hon. Kevin R. Sweazea, JD '88

Hon. Kevin R. Sweazea was nominated to serve as Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. Kevin is currently serving as Magistrate Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. Before being selected as a Magistrate Judge in 2017, Judge Sweazea served as a Judge on New Mexico's Seventh Judicial District Court since 2001, including ten years as Chief Judge.




David Schulze, JD '90

David Schulze was recently appointed as the first executive level Chief of Staff for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART).




Eric Hill, JD '96

Eric Hill was appointed to the Board of Directors for Light Engine Design Corporation and will serve as Chief Executive Officer for the company.




Melanie Okon, JD '99

Melanie Okon has joined the complex litigation and employment law teams of Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas.




Heath Cheek, JD '06

Heath Cheek, with Bell Nunnally & Martin, was recognized as one of D Magazine's "Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas."




Bruce Wilkin, JD '06

Bruce Wilkin joined Shackelford Bowen McKinley & Norton LLP to open their new Houston office. Wilkin handles trials and appellate cases in the practice areas of energy, environmental, and insurance disputes.




George Gutierrez, JD '07

George Gutierrez joined Reed Smith LLP as a partner in its recently opened Dallas office. He handles transactions in the oil and gas space, with a focus on exploration and production and midstream companies. He helps companies with acquisitions and divestitures and assists banks in their deals with E&P entities.




Casie Rivas, JD '08

Casie Rivas founded the firm Rivas Law, PLLC in Sherman, Texas. Rivas Law specializes in business, transactional, corporate, and health law.




Jessica Kirker, JD '10

Jessica Kirker was named as Employment Relations Counsel for Torchy's Tacos in Austin




Jeanine Novosad Rispoli, JD '11

Jeanine Novosad Rispoli has been elected to serve as District 9 Director for the Texas Young Lawyers Association's Board of Directors.




Lauren Renee Sepulveda, JD '11

Lauren Renee Sepulveda has been sworn in as the President of the Hidalgo County Young Lawyers Association and has been re-elected to serve as District 13 Director for the Texas Young Lawyers Association's Board of Directors.




Veronica Lynn Sepulveda, JD '11

Veronica Lynn Sepulveda has rejoined the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney's Office Felony Division.




Leah Maxwell Graham, JD '13

Leah Maxwell Graham was named to the Top 40 under 40 roster of Texas civil plaintiff trail lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers. She was also recognized as a 2019 Texas Rising Star. Leah is with Hicks Thomas LLP in Houston.