Rocket Docket | March-April 2022

Rocket Docket Newsletter

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March-April 2022
Past Issues

Baylor Law Celebrates Exceeding Its $50 Million Campaign Goal

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Baylor Law celebrates its achievement of exceeding its $50M Give Light fundraising goal through the generosity of Baylor Law alumni and friends. Baylor Law’s Give Light priorities included opportunities which expand areas of existing excellence and pursue new areas of strategic importance with the support of growing endowment resources. . . Full Story

Professor Josh Borderud Honored by the American Inns of Court at the United States Supreme Court

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Josh Borderud (L) Accepts the American Inns of Court Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service from Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr. (R) of the Supreme Court of Delaware.

Baylor Law faculty member and Waco City Councilman Joshua G. Borderud, JD ’09, received the 2020 American Inns of Court Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service at the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C. The American Inns of Court presents the Sandra Day O’Connor Award to honor a member in the first ten years of practice for excellence in public interest or pro bono activities. . . Full Story

Andrew Boone Takes Top Spot in Sixth Annual Ultimate Writer Competition at Baylor Law

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The 2022 Ultimate Writers at Baylor Law, L-R, Dean Brad Toben, Charlie Frazier, Riley Zoch, Andrew Boone, Max Atchity, Rachel Rickel, and Kirk Pittard

Andrew Boone won first place in Baylor Law’s annual The Ultimate Writer legal writing competition, drafting the best legal document out of several competitors. For his efforts, he was awarded an $8,000 cash prize thanks to the generous underwriting of the Charles and Lisa Frazier Endowed Fund for Excellence in Writing and the law firm of Durham, Pittard & Spalding LLP. . . Full Story

Baylor Lawyer Shannon Sedgwick Davis Honored as the 2022 International Citizen of the Year by the World Affairs Council of San Antonio

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Baylor Law congratulates Shannon Sedgwick Davis, JD ’00, on her selection as the 2022 International Citizen of the Year by the World Affairs Council of San Antonio. Sedgwick Davis was honored at a celebration held at the Red Berry Estate in San Antonio. . . Full Story

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Diverse Candidates Are Encouraged to Apply

Director of Alumni Relations
Baylor Law seeks an enthusiastic and energetic Baylor Lawyer to serve as the Director of Alumni Relations to build upon current alumni relations programming and implement new objectives to enhance and enrich alumni participation in the life of the Law School. . . More Information

Baylor Lawyer Hon. T. John Ward To Be Honored by Texas Bar Foundation

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Judge T. John Ward, JD ’67, the United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Texas who retired from the bench in 2011, will be honored as a recipient of the Texas Bar Foundation’s Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award. . . Full Story

Baylor Lawyer Ben Selman To Be Honored by Texas Bar Foundation

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The Texas Bar Foundation has selected Baylor Lawyer and Adjunct Professor of Law Ben Selman, JD ’73, as the 2022 recipient of the Lola Wright Foundation Award for outstanding public service and the promotion of legal ethics in Texas. . . Full Story

Baylor Law Announces Law Schools Participating in Top Gun XIII

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Law students from the best trial advocacy programs in the country will travel to Waco June 1-5 to take part in Baylor Law’s thirteenth annual Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition. The invitation-only, winner-takes-all contest is the nation’s most prestigious and intense mock trial competition. . . Full Story

Lauren Leveno and Jamie Mills Win Baylor Law’s 2022 Faegre Drinker Spring Moot Court Competition

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Finalists and Winners of the 2022 Faegre Drinker Spring Moot Court Competition: (L-R) Varun Reddy, Amber John, W. Neil Rambin (JD '79), Senior Counsel with Faegre Drinker in Dallas, Jamie Mills, and Lauren Leveno.

Baylor Law’s annual Faegre Drinker Spring Moot Court Competition ended with students Lauren Leveno and Jamie Mills taking the top spots. Eighty-four teams participated in this challenging competition, making it one of the largest tournaments ever held at Baylor Law. . . Full Story

Baylor Law Honors Outstanding Students at the 2022 John William and Florence Dean Minton Student Awards Ceremony and Lecture Series

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On Thursday, March 31, 2022, Baylor Law held its annual awards ceremony to honor outstanding student accomplishments during the past year. The John William and Florence Dean Minton Student Awards Ceremony and Lecture Series celebrates those Baylor Law students who excel both in and out of the classroom. Baylor Law honored students for excellence in academics, advocacy, work on the Baylor Law Review, and pro bono and public service at the ceremony. . . Full Story

Baylor Law Offers Free Wills for First Responders

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For the fifth straight year, Baylor Law’s Legal Clinics will honor the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice of McLennan County’s law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical services. During May, Baylor Law’s Estate Planning Clinic will offer free wills and simple estate planning to police, firefighters, EMTs, and their spouses living or working in McLennan County. . . Full Story

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One of the cornerstones of Baylor Law’s high profile is the support it receives in the form of generous gifts. Join the Baylor Law Legacy Challenge and your gift can receive a boost of up to $25,000. Visit to learn more.

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The Baylor Law Alumni Association provides programming, events, and initiatives specifically tailored to you. The BLAA and Baylor Lawyers are the perfect partnership!

Join the BLAA or pay your dues online at

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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!

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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.

Honorable T. John Ward, JD ’67, trial lawyer and former federal judge of Longview based Ward, Smith & Hill PLLC, was recognized by the Texas Bar Foundation with the Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award. The honor is given to attorneys who have practiced law for more than 50 years and who adhere to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession.
Bill Nesbitt, JD ’70, has served as CEO of Central National Bank in Waco since 1987. The board recently elected his son, Joe Nesbitt, as the bank’s new chief executive officer. Bill will continue as a director and as chairman of the board.
Ben Selman, JD ’73, was honored with the 2022 Texas Bar Foundation “Lola Wright Foundation Award.” The award is presented each year in recognition for outstanding public service in advancing and enhancing legal ethics in Texas.
Robert L. Klawetter, JD ’81, has been instrumental in the merger of Schouest, Bamdas, Soshea & BenMaier PLLC (SBSB Law) and Eastham, Watson, Dale & Forney, LLP to form SBSB Eastham. The new firm’s key practice areas include Admiralty and Maritime, Defense Base Act, Longshore, Business and Commercial Litigation, Business Transactions, Personal Injury Defense, Energy, Environmental and Toxic Torts, Transportation and Trucking, General Liability, Insurance, Labor and Employment, Federal and State Workers’ Compensation, Premises Liability, Arbitration, and Appellate. SBSB Eastham has approximately 110 lawyers in six cities across the country – Houston, Corpus Christi, New Orleans, Chicago, Boca Raton, and Milwaukee.
Pamela Sellnow O’Rourke, JD ’84, was honored in the inaugural class of Legendary Women of Brainerd Public Schools in Brainerd, Minnesota. The district selected 20 women who have gone through the district and have made an impact in the world around them. Pamela has practice law for more than 38 years. Through leadership and donations, she has been involved with various Brainerd area organizations, including Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection, Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp., Central Lakes College Board of Trustees, Brainerd Public Schools Foundation, PORT Group Homes and Trinity Lutheran Church. In 2013, she earned the Women Making Waves Award from the Brainerd Lakes Area Women’s Fund.
Bill Jones, JD ’85, principal and owner of The Jones Firm in Austin, was named to the Ryan Board of Managers. Ryan is a global tax services and software provider.
Ben Martin, JD ’86, has been selected by peers for D Magazine's 2022 Best Lawyers in Dallas edition.
Tahira Khan Merritt, JD ’88, been appointed as an Associate Judge for the Dallas County Civil District Courts.
Susan Moore, JD ’90, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Responsibility & Government Affairs and the AMD Foundation President of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), was recently honored as one of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Austin for 2022 by Women We Admire in Austin, Texas.
Bobbi Reilly Sheahan, JD ’91, was a contributing author to the book Autism in Lockdown (Arlington, Texas, Future Horizons 2020). She and two of her children, Evelyn Sheahan and Bella Sheahan, were honored to be invited to author a chapter, “Everyone, Go to Your Rooms,” about the unique challenges posed by neurodivergency during the COVID pandemic. Their coauthors included their personal heroes and giants in the field of autism, including Temple Grandin, Carol Gray, and Carol Kranowitz.
Rogers Pope, Jr., JD ’92, was selected as a 2022 Distinguished Alumni by Longview ISD. Rogers serves as Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Texas Bank and Trust.
Gene Wolf, JD ’92, partner in the Business Department and Managing Partner of Kemp Smith Law, was selected to serve on the board of The Family Endeavors Foundation in El Paso, Texas. Endeavors, a San Antonio-based nonprofit, is a longstanding national nonprofit agency that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, veterans and those struggling with mental illness, disabilities, disasters, or emergencies.
Chris Aycock, JD ’96, formerly a shareholder at Cotton, Bledsoe, Tighe & Dawson, PC and Vice President of Land at ExL Petroleum, has formed Permian Mediation, PLLC. Chris is combining his trial, appellate, and business experience to assist parties in achieving justice through voluntary settlement.
Honorable Derek Gilliland, JD ’98, was sworn in as a new federal magistrate judge in Waco. He will help manage the nation’s leading and fastest-growing patent law docket.
Jeremy Counseller, JD ’00, Professor of Law at Baylor Law, was honored with the Baylor University Outstanding Faculty (Untenured Teaching) Award.
Karissa Waterbury Cotton, JD ’01, was promoted to Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Litigation and Operations Services for The Williams Companies, Inc. Williams is a FORTUNE 500 investment grade corporation headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with operations across the natural gas value chain spanning the United States.
Traylor Rains, JD ’04, has been named the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s new state Medicaid program director.
Elizaveta Dolghih, JD ’06, founded Dolghih Law Group PLLC in Dallas, Texas.
Travis J. Odom, JD ’06, has joined Duane Morris LLP as a partner in the firm’s Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group in its Houston office.
Lane A. Haygood, JD ’08, is head of the Odessa office of Bailey & Galyen. He primarily handles personal injury cases but is also board-certified in Criminal Appeals. Lane has received the President’s Award from the Texas Criminal Defendant Lawyers Association, and he has taught a CLE course on DNA-based writs for the Center for American and International Law. He is a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association and actively involved in free-speech litigation.
Ryan Walters, JD ’11, was elected as a partner at Jennings Haug Keleher McLeod. His practice focuses on commercial litigation and criminal appeals. The firm has offices in Phoenix and Albuquerque.
Andrea Broyles, JD ’12, has been promoted to senior counsel for Bracewell LLP in Dallas. She focuses on complex commercial litigation, government investigations, and internal investigations. She represents clients in various industries and sectors, including consumer finance, banking, real estate, energy, healthcare, local government, and telecommunications. She has been named “One to Watch” in Dallas commercial litigation by The Best Lawyers in America.
Saba F. Syed, JD ’13, has been promoted to Partner at Bell Nunnally. Saba is a litigator who routinely represents companies and high-net-worth individuals in complex commercial litigation, including matters involving securities, business torts, patents, trademarks, partnership disputes, and real estate. She also works with clients in the live events and hospitality industries, assisting with trademark issues and providing industry-specific legal counsel. Recognized by her peers, Saba was named to D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas” list for 2021 and 2022. She was also listed as The Best Lawyers in America’s “Ones to Watch” list for 2021 and 2022 and has also been named to the “Texas Rising Stars” list published by Super Lawyers. In 2019, Saba was awarded the Dallas Bar Association’s “Outstanding Minority Attorney Award.”
Timothy Pullin, JD ’16, has joined Litchfield Cavo LLP as an Associate Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri.
Skylar M. Moore, JD ’17, has joined the firm of Albin Oldner Law in Frisco, Texas. Skylar's diverse practice focuses on family law, real estate and construction, business litigation, and general litigation matters. She also conducts family and civil mediations. Skylar has been recognized as a “Texas Rising Star” by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers – Rising Stars since 2021 and was named a 2021 Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Attorney by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys.
In Memoriam
Curtis Cullen Smith, Jr., JD ’50, Full Obituary
Edward N. Smith, Jr., JD ’54, Full Obituary
W. Hays Parks, JD ’66, Full Obituary
John Wesley LaGrone III, JD ’72, Full Obituary
Gregory Mack Pipes, JD ’73, Full Obituary
Brian Quentin Crews, JD ’78, Full Obituary
June 2022

June 9, 2022
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Marriott Marquis
Hunters Creek Room
1777 Walker Street
Houston, Texas 77010

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

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