Rocket Docket | September 2019

Rocket Docket Newsletter

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September 2019
Past Issues

Master Teacher Call for Nominations: Professor Tom Featherston

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We've recently become aware of another nomination of a Baylor Law professor for Master Teacher appointment at Baylor University. Baylor Lawyer Celeste Lawton, JD '01, is seeking support for her nomination of Baylor Law professor Tom Featherston for an appointment as a Master Teacher.

Master Teacher appointments were created by Baylor University to be the highest honor granted to Baylor faculty members for sustained excellence in teaching at the University. The appointments occur every 5 years and are based on the profound impacts of faculty members in the classroom and on students' lives as judged by the record of the faculty members' achievements and the observations of the various nominators.

The committee evaluating nominations want to hear about the impact he has had on his students. Did Professor Featherston have a significant impact on you when you were a student or has he helped you since you've graduated – or both? Has what you've learned from Professor Featherston in his classes had a significant impact upon your practice of law? The nominators and evaluation committee would love to hear about this in your own words.

If you can help with a letter of support for Professor Featherston's nomination, please address your letter to:
Nominating Committee
Baylor University
Waco, Texas

Please forward your letter (PDF Format) to:

We are so honored at Baylor Law to have multiple professors who are so deserving of the Master Teacher designation! Anything you can do to help Professor Featherston stand out before the committee as an excellent teacher and mentor will be critical for his nomination. Thanks in advance for your help!

Please note… the deadline to be included in Celeste's nomination package for Professor Featherston is Wednesday, October 2.

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Baylor Law welcomes one of the nation's most distinguished patent law jurists, Chief Judge Sharon Prost of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, as she discusses the current state of the American Patent System. As a part of her remarks, Chief Judge Prost will be joined by Chief District Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

October 2, 2019
4:00 – 5:00 PM
Baylor Law, Room 127


This event is open to the public.
Walk-ins welcome subject to seating.

This course has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the
State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of one credit hour.

Baylor law students will receive one hour of Professional Development credit for attendance.

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Professor Jim Wren Named the Leon Jaworski Chair of Practice & Procedure at Baylor Law

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Baylor Law Professor James (Jim) Wren has been named the Leon Jaworski Chair of Practice & Procedure at Baylor Law. The Chair was previously held by Baylor Law luminaries Matt "Mad Dog" Dawson, Louis Muldrow, and Bill Underwood. . . Full Story

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Crowd Gathers at Baylor Law for Lecture by Professor Robert George

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It was standing room only for Baylor Law's fifth annual Starr Federalist Papers Lecture Series presented by John, JD '52, and Marie Chiles. Special guest Professor Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program at Princeton University, deliver a compelling lecture titled "Restraints on Federal Power: Constitutional Structures and Civic Virtue," explaining the system of constitutional structural constraints on the exercise of power by the federal government. . . More Photos

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Baylor Law Welcomes Latest LL.M. Candidates

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The latest class of Baylor Law's Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management candidates were welcomed to the Law Center for the Fall 2019 LL.M. orientation. As part of orientation, these exceptional attorneys were given an overview of the LL.M. curriculum, broke into small groups to discuss specific topics, and took advantage of individual advising by Baylor Law's distinguished LL.M. faculty. . . More Photos

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Dual Degreed: Erika Griffin Thrives in Healthcare Law and Administration

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Erika Griffin, a twenty-eight-year-old 3L is blazing a new trail at Baylor Law. Griffin will be the first student in Baylor's Dual-Degree program to simultaneously complete the Law School's Healthcare Law Professional Track and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in healthcare administration at the Hankamer School of Business. . . Full Story

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The Baylor Law Alumni Association invites you to celebrate Baylor Homecoming with Dean Brad Toben, Dean Leah Teague, fellow Baylor Lawyers, faculty, staff, students, and friends.

Registration is not needed for this event.

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For more information contact Sarah Wannarka at or Craig Cherry at

Payments can be made to Sarah Wannarka at:
Venmo: @Sarah-Wannarka or PayPal:

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For more information, please visit, e-mail Katie Casper, or call 254.710.4346.

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Whether you're looking for a summer clerk or full-time attorney, someone experienced or right out of school, the Baylor Law Career Development Office stands ready to assist you. You can post a job on our website or contact the Career Development Office at or 254.710.1210 to discuss your specific need. Hire a Baylor Lawyer today!

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.

John Weber, Jr., JD '73, with Norton Rose Fulbright in San Antonio, will received the 2019 Ethical Life Award from The Association of Corporate Counsel, South/Central Texas Chapter.
Jimmy Vaught, JD '80, with Vaught Law Firm in Austin, is board certified in both family law and civil appellate law. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Jimmy was honored in 2019 for his outstanding work ethic and legal expertise by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, and U.S. News.
Keith Nelson, JD '83, name partner with Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, LLP, was recognized for his work in Family Law in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in America.
Dan Wuthrich, JD '88, and his wife, Cheryl, have moved to the Eatonville, WA area from Arizona to fill the open head pastor position at Tanwax Country Chapel. As a member of an organization called Village Missions, Wuthrich began his ministry career in 2012 after more than two decades in law.
Bryan O. Blevins, JD '90, with Provost Umphrey Law Firm LLP in Beaumont, was listed in Texas Super Lawyers 2019 for the 16th consecutive year.
Hon. Vicki Menard, JD '90, was presented the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award by the McLennan Community College Foundation. Judge Menard became the first woman to serve as a state district judge in McLennan County when former Governor Rick Perry appointed her the first judge of the 414th District Court when it was created in 2005.
Susan Moore, JD '90, corporate vice president of corporate responsibility at Advanced Micro Devices in Austin, has been selected as a 2019 Woman Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal.
Darren L. Brown, JD '91, with Provost Umphrey Law Firm LLP in Beaumont, was listed in Texas Super Lawyers 2019 for the sixth consecutive year.
Sharon Ramage, JD '92, of the Ramage Law Group, was named an Elite Lawyer. She was honored for her devotion to advocacy for families with special needs children, helping them obtain services they need and deserve.
Christopher Trowbridge, JD '98, chairman of the litigation section of Bell Nunnally, has been named to Best Lawyer's "Best Lawyers in America" list for 2020.
William E. Hammel, JD '02, joined Fox Rothschild LLP law firm as a partner focusing on labor and employment matters in Dallas.
Matthew Matheny, JD '03, with Provost Umphrey Law Firm LLP in Beaumont, was listed in Texas Super Lawyers 2019 for the fourth consecutive year.
Christian Otteson, JD '03, a partner with Shapiro Bieging Barber Otteson LLP in Denver, was featured in the August 2019 issue of the Denver Business Journal regarding legal trends in banking and bank acquisitions.
Shivali Sharma, JD '05, was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Staff Attorney Award by the Texas Association of Appellate Court Attorneys. The award was given by the attorneys of the fourteen appellate courts to recognize Shavali's service to the community, profession, and to the Texas Appellate Courts.
Sherry Hill Rodriguez, JD '11, has been named as Houston Development Director for Texans Can Academies, a network of dropout recovery high schools in Texas. In her role, Sherry is responsible for building strategic relationships and fundraising in support of the organization's mission.
Kevin Keller, JD '13, was recently named the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office Chief of the Criminal Division.
Morgan McPheeters, JD '14, formed the law firm McPheeters Law, PLLC, focusing on civil appeals and litigation strategy & support. She currently serves on the Advocates Board of Directors for the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association Board of Directors. She was also recognized as a 2019 Rising Star in the Appellate category.
Molly Wilson, JD '18, is the new Chief of Staff for District 29 Representative Ed Thompson in Austin.
Joanna Raines, JD '19, joined Kelly Hart & Hallman as an associate in the Appellate section.
Marylynn Smitherman, JD '19, joined Kelly Hart & Hallman as an associate in the Litigation section.
In Memoriam
Captain James Olis "Jim" Price, JD '54 Full Obituary
Andrew George Khoury, JD '94, Full Obituary
October 2019

October 3, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hosted by Jackson Walker LLP
100 Congress Ave., Suite 1100
Austin, Texas 78701

November 2019

CLE Presented by the Baylor Law Alumni Association and MCCDLA
November 8, 2019
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Baylor Law School, Room 127
1114 S. University Parks Drive
Waco, TX 76706

November 12, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hosted by Duffee + Eitzen
4311 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 600
Dallas, Texas 75219

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