Rocket Docket | January 2021

Rocket Docket Newsletter

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January 2021
Past Issues

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs Stephen Rispoli’s Statement on Proposed Rule 6.05

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I write to encourage you to vote to adopt Proposed Rule 6.05 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. As you know, our current Texas conflicts rule requires that each lawyer ensure that there is not a conflict with a potential client before meeting with the potential client to learn about the situation and give advice and counsel. However, this sound rule does have an unintended consequence. The rule poses a particular hardship for law school clinics and pro bono providers across the state who have walk-in clients. . . Read More

Winners Announced for The Closer, Baylor Law's Elite National Transactional Law Competition

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On Sunday, January 17th, Floy Gaidarski, of SMU Dedman School of Law, and Preston Chaffee, of University of San Diego School of Law, were named the winners of the 2021 The Closer Competition, the most challenging transactional law competition in the country. Runners up for this year's competition were Madalyn Clary of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and Jacob Landsberg of University of Oregon School of Law. . . Full Story

Baylor Law’s Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management Announces New National Advisory Panel

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Baylor Law’s Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management leads the field in teaching effective litigation strategy and developing innovative and systematic approaches for lowering and controlling litigation costs. To enhance this expertise, Baylor Law announces the creation of a National Advisory Panel. Comprised of nationally recognized experts, the Panel includes elite trial lawyers representing both sides of the docket, top in-house counsel, judges, and legal technology specialists. . . Full Story

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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.

David C. Kent, JD ’78, was appointed to a 3-year term as a Commissioner on the Texas Board of Legal Specialization's Civil Trial Law Examination Commission.
John D. Penn, JD '82, Firmwide Chair of the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice of Perkins Coie LLP, was recently recognized by Best Lawyers 2021 for both Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Litigation - Bankruptcy. He has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America in those categories each year since 2003. John is also recognized in Bankruptcy/Restructuring by Chambers & Partners, publishers of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
Hon. R. Jack Cagle, JD ’86, has been appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the Task Force on Disaster Issues Affecting Persons Who Are Elderly and Persons Who Are Disabled for a term set to expire in February 2025. Judge Cagle has served as County Commissioner for Harris County Precinct 4 since 2011.
Kirk Pittard, JD ’99, partner at Durham, Pittard & Spalding, was named to the Top 100 attorneys in Texas, Top 100 attorneys for the Dallas/Fort Worth area and as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers Magazine in the Appellate category.
James Stainton, JD ’00, was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott as the District Attorney of the 271st Judicial District in Jack and Wise Counties. James has served as Wise County Attorney since 2009. He is a member of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, a former board member of the Wise County Domestic Violence Task Force and a founder of Wise County Teen Court.
Danielle Ahlrich, JD ’09, has joined Reed Smith LLP in Austin as partner. Danielle has represented taxpayers challenging assessments and seeking refunds of overpaid taxes before the Texas Office of Administrative Hearings, in state district courts and on appeal.
Elizabeth A. Voss, JD ’10, was elected partner at Dykema. She works in the Dallas office in the area of Labor & Employment.
Andrew Guthrie, JD ’11, has been promoted to partner at Haynes & Boone LLP. Andrew is a member of the Appellate Practice Group in the Dallas office. He focuses his practice on appeals and critical trial court briefing across an array of subject matters, including business disputes, government investigations, bankruptcy, energy, products liability, intellectual property, and the False Claims Act.
Lauren Sepulveda, JD ’11, was appointed by the McAllen City Commission as the Municipal Court Judge for the City of McAllen.
Connor Buchanan, JD ’15, has been elected a shareholder of the law firm of McCreary, Veselka, Bragg, & Allen, P.C. Connor’s practice includes representation of local governments in the areas of ad valorem taxation, valuation, and litigation.
Joseph Craven, JD ’15, has been named a partner at The Carlson Law Firm. Joseph’s practice focuses on mass torts and product liability at the state and federal level.
Daniel M. Krchnavek, JD ’19, the Regulatory and Compliance Counsel for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, was awarded the State Superintendent Award for Excellence in Public Education for exemplary service to North Carolina students, teachers, and educational community.
Carson May, JD ’20, joined the Dallas office of Munsch Hardt Kopt & Harr.
Brandon Stendara, JD ’20, joined the Dallas office of Munsch Hardt Kopt & Harr.
In Memoriam
Paul Eugene Lokey, JD ’64, Full Obituary
Melvin Bateman, Jr., JD ’71, Full Obituary

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