Rocket Docket | August/September 2022

Rocket Docket Newsletter

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October 14, 2022
Past Issues

Michael P. Heiskell Named 2022 Baylor Lawyer of the Year

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Baylor Lawyer of the Year, Michael Heiskell (center), with Ambassador Ron Kirk, Baylor Law Alumni Association President Cynthia Clack, Baylor University President Linda Livingstone, and Dean Brad Toben at the Fort Worth Club on Thursday, September 15, 2022.

The Executive Committee of the Baylor Law Alumni Association selected Michael P. Heiskell (J.D. ’74) as the 2022 Baylor Lawyer of the Year. Cynthia Clack (J.D. ’78), President of the Baylor Law Alumni Association, presented Heiskell with the award during a recognition luncheon at the Fort Worth Club on Thursday, September 15th. . . Full Story

Professor Jeremy Counseller Appointed Judge Abner V. McCall Endowed Chair of Evidence Law

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Professor Jeremy Counseller was appointed as the Judge Abner V. McCall Endowed Chair of Evidence Law by Baylor University Provost Dr. Nancy Brickhouse. The chair was previously held by retired Practice Court Professor Gerald Powell who taught 35 years in Baylor Law’s Practice Court Program, 15 of which as the program’s director.

Professor Counseller recently received Baylor University’s 2021-2022 Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching (Tenured). Baylor University’s Outstanding Faculty Awards recognize the best all-around professors based on teaching capabilities, research achievement, effective committee service, time spent with students, and civic and church involvement. . . More about Professor Counseller

Baylor Law and the Texas District and County Attorneys Association Celebrate a 20-Year Partnership

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Participants in the Texas District and County Attorneys Association’s (TDCAA) Advanced Appellate Program in the Gibson Gayle Jr. and Uriel Dutton Reading Room at Baylor Law.

Since 2002, Baylor Law has hosted the Texas District and County Attorneys Association’s (TDCAA) Advanced Trial Advocacy Course during the ‘intersession’ between the Summer and Fall Quarters. Building on this long partnership, Baylor hosted two of TDCAA’s educational programs this summer: the Advanced Trial Advocacy Course and the Advanced Appellate Course. . . Full Story

Baylor Law Wins E. Earle Zehmer Workers’ Compensation Moot Court Competition

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Baylor Law students Rhasean Stephens, Canon Hill, Will Onyeike, and Carisa Brawley at the E. Earle Zehmer Workers’ Compensation Moot Court Competition.

For the third time in five years, Baylor Law’s Moot Court interscholastic team has clinched another national championship at the E. Earle Zehmer Moot Court competition held in Orlando. In a testament to the depth of talent of Baylor Law’s moot court teams, two Baylor Law teams advanced to the final round of the competition and faced off for the championship. . . Full Story

McKinney and Zermeno Win Baylor Law’s 2022 Dawson & Sodd Moot Court Competition

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2022 Champions Maria Zermeno and Catherine McKinney after the Final Round of the 2022 Fall Moot Court Competition.

The team of Catherine McKinney and Maria Zermeno edged out the team of Danielle Hayes and Tiffany Dunkin to take the top spot as winners of the 2022 Dawson & Sodd, PLLC Moot Court Competition at Baylor Law. . . Full Story

Patricia Diaz-Rodriguez Elected To Serve as Region II President of the Hispanic National Bar Association

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Patricia Diaz-Rodriguez (LL.M.’19) was recently elected Region II President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). Region II serves members of the HNBA in New York. She was sworn in during the National Hispanic Bar Conference in Washington, D.C. . . 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!

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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.

Michael P. Heiskell, JD ’74, was sworn in as President Elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Heiskell is owner of the firm Johnson Vaughn & Heiskell in Fort Worth, Texas, focusing primarily on white-collar criminal defense. He is Past President of the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA), becoming the first African American to hold both posts. Heiskell has received numerous honors in recognition of his work, including the Lawyer of the Year Award from the Tarrant County Black Bar Association on two separate occasions, as well as the Presidential Award of Excellence from TCDLA in 1994, 1995, and 2003. He was elected to the TCDLA Hall of Fame in 2015 based on his extensive proven trial skills, legal acumen, and service to the profession. He currently serves on TCDLA’s Legislative Committee, where he has supported lobbying efforts pushing back against proposed harsh reforms of the bail system and discovery process. Heiskell is also the 2020 recipient of the Blackstone Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a Tarrant County Bar Association member in recognition of a legal career that exemplifies professional aptitude, integrity, and courage. He is currently serving a three-year term on the Baylor University Board of Regents and was named 2022 Baylor Lawyer of the Year.
Tom Myers Thomas E. Myers, JD ’79, received the “Kelly Frels Lifetime Achievement Award” from the State Bar of Texas School Law Section. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes one lawyer annually who has made outstanding contributions to the practice of school law jurisprudence. The award is named after Kelly Frels, a former President of the State Bar of Texas and its first recipient. Myers began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Tarrant County and has practiced school law with Bracket & Ellis in Fort Worth for over two decades. He has represented the boards of numerous independent school districts, charter schools, and private and independent schools and school districts. He has successfully represented schools before the Texas Commissioner of Education as well as federal and state district and appellate courts.
Hon. Kevin J. Schmid, JD ’84, was sworn in as the Associate Judge of the 231st Judicial District Court in Tarrant County, Texas.
Tresi Moore Weeks, JD ’87, of the Weeks Law Firm in Plano, has been selected to the 2022 Texas Super Lawyers. She was also elected to serve as President of the Estate Planning Council of North Texas and as a board member of the Texas National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
Hon. Penny Roberts, JD ’89, long time judge of the Tom Green County Court-at-law No. 2, is retiring. She has served the court since October 1995.
Hon. Robert “Bobby” Garcia, JD ’92, was selected as the new Municipal Judge for the City of Waco. Judge Garcia has served as a municipal court judge in Corpus Christi, Pearland, and Harlingen. In Harlingen, Judge Garcia created a program where he conducted courtroom simulations in local high schools to teach students about the consequences of criminal activity. This year, the Texas Municipal Court Association named Judge Garcia the 2022 Outstanding Municipal Court Judge of the Year.
William D. Ellerman, JD ’98, has joined McKool Smith as Principal in the Dallas office with a focus on complex commercial and IP litigation.
Derek Gilliland, JD ’98, United States Magistrate Judge in the Waco Division of the Western District of Texas, is teaching the Patent Litigation Management course in Baylor Law’s Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management program for the fall.
Vincent Allen, JD ’99, has been named equity partner for the former Carstens & Cahool LLP in Dallas. The firm is now Carstens, Allen & Gourley, LLP.
Jenifer Shahan McIntosh, JD ’00, has joined FBFK law firm as a shareholder. She will continue her focus on Intellectual Property litigation and Data Privacy and Security.
Wade Faulkner, JD ’01, has been appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the 478th Judicial District Court in Bell County. He is a Partner at the Law Office of Wade Faulkner, PLLC, and is a former U.S. Army Judge Advocate with more than 20 years of experience in criminal law.
Britta Stanton, JD ’02, has returned to the commercial litigation firm Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann.
Holli Clements, JD ’03, was appointed City Attorney for the City of Killeen, Texas.
David Findley, JD ’03, has been promoted to partner at the family law firm Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, LLP. David is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and works out of the Frisco office.
Matthew C. Matheny, JD ’03, a partner at Provost Umphrey in Beaumont, has been accepted into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).
Clinton Butler, JD ’04, oil and gas attorney with Langley & Banack, has been elected as President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) Texas Chapter.
James Hatchitt, JD ’10, joined the Austin-based boutique litigation firm Weisbart Springer Hayes LLP as senior counsel.
Leah Graham, JD ’13, has been promoted to partner at Houston-based Rusty Hardin & Associates. Leah focuses her practice on high-stakes business disputes both at trial and in arbitration. She has been recognized as a Texas Rising Star by Thomson Reuters every year since 2018 and was named to the 2019 and 2020 list of Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers by National Trial Lawyers.
William “Wills” Collier, JD ’15, of Heim, Payne & Chorush, has earned selection in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America based on his expertise in patent lawsuits and other intellectual property disputes.
Louie Cook, JD ’16, has joined The Carlson Law Firm in Corpus Christi as Of Counsel.
Elizabeth Brabb, JD ’17, has been promoted to partner at Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons LLP. She is an appellate and litigation attorney in the Austin office.
Claire Dykeman, JD ’18, has been named Vice President of Business Development in addition to her role as General Counsel at A-1 Construction Services Houston.
Rachel Koehn, JD ’18, has joined the faculty at South Texas College of Law Houston as a visiting assistant professor of law.
Cody Coll, JD ’19, joined the Austin-based boutique litigation firm Weisbart Springer Hayes LLP.
Patricia Diaz-Rodriguez, LL.M. ’19, was elected to serve as Region II President of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Region II serves members of the HNBA in New York. Diaz-Rodriguez is Senior Director for Ankura Consulting Group.
Caylin Craig, JD ’20 joined Crowe & Dunlevy, a member of the Bankruptcy & Creditor’s Right and Litigation & Trial Practice Groups, as an associate in the Dallas office.
In Memoriam
James Henry Verschoyle, JD ’70, Full Obituary
John Will Odam, JD ’71, Full Obituary
Charles Scott Sexton, JD ’71, Full Obituary
George Jefferson “Jay” Mason, III, JD ’74, Full Obituary
James David Pobjecky, JD ’77, Full Obituary
Hon. William Lee “Bill” McAdams, JD ’79, Full Obituary
John Edward Burleson, Jr., JD ’81, Full Obituary
Cary Jay Cross, JD ’86, Full Obituary
October 2022

October 22, 2022
7:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Baylor Campus
Lawn in front of Morrison Constitution Hall
Hosted by Baylor Law Alumni Association
No registration required.

There are many more upcoming alumni events! Visit the Baylor Law Alumni Association Events webpage for a list of upcoming Baylor Law alumni events.

Give now

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