Gardere Welcomes New Partner to the Firm’s Austin Office

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP has announced that Arcie I. Jordan has been hired as a partner in the firm’s Austin office. Ms. Jordan joins Gardere from Jackson Walker LLP and brings more than 20 years’ experience in counseling a broad spectrum of companies expanding internationally to and from the United States.

“Arcie’s international practice expertise is consistent with our strategic focus in Mexico and Latin America,” said Gardere Chair Holland N. O’Neil. “Arcie likewise compliments our burgeoning International Trade Group, which advises clients related to FCPA compliance, anti-trust compliance, import/export and other supply chain regulations around the world.  She is well-known in this area of practice, and our clients will be well-served by her acumen in this complicated, but critically important, area of the law.”

Ms. Jordan’s practice encompasses international transactional, transportation, trade and immigration matters. She routinely assists clients with acquisitions and divestitures, corporate governance, structuring and formation, foreign investments, immigration issues, cross-border labor and employment and tax-related issues, and regulatory permitting, licensing and compliance (including those related to U.S. exports).Arcie I. Jordan

“I am thrilled to join Gardere,” says Ms. Jordan. “I recall Gardere attorneys blazing the trail for U.S. investors entering Mexico in the mid-1980s, when I was still a neophyte aspiring to be an international attorney. It is an honor to be joining such a well-known and respected international firm.”

Since the early 1990s, Ms. Jordan has been extensively involved with the international business community in Austin. She has held leadership roles in the International Partnership of Greater Austin and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Camino Real District Export Council and the Pan American Roundtable, and actively supports the U.S. Export Assistance Center.

Additionally, Ms. Jordan is a founding member of the International Business and Law Roundtable, a networking and knowledge management group for executives involved in international business, and the International Business and Law Council of Texas, a group comprised of in-house corporate counsel dealing with international legal issues. Ms. Jordan has lived and traveled throughout Mexico and several South American countries. She is fluent in Spanish, and she is equally comfortable negotiating and drafting legal documents in Spanish as she is in English. Ms. Jordan also has a working knowledge of French and has set a personal goal of learning Portuguese.

Ms. Jordan received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. She also completed the advanced studies program on Comparative U.S./Mexico Legal Systems sponsored by the law schools of University of Monterrey and St. Mary’s University.

“We are excited to have Arcie join our Austin office,” says Gardere Austin Office Executive Partner Kimberly A. Yelkin. “As a leader in the industry, Arcie’s proven track record and wealth of experience will be of great benefit to the Firm’s international practice and to our multinational clients.”

The addition of Ms. Jordan comes on the heels of Gardere’s recent announcement in July that it is entering into an agreement with joint venture partner, Arena y Asociados S.C., to combine all Mexico operations into Gardere, Arena y Asociados, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gardere (see the Firm’s July 28, 2014 press release here). She also joins several high-profile attorneys who have made the move to Gardere’s thriving international practice, including Juan M. Alcalá (Austin), Michelle Schulz (Dallas), Elsa Manzanares (Dallas) and Alfredo Ramos (Houston).

New Law Firm, Beckstead Terry PLLC, Pairs Attorneys from DLA Piper and Greenberg Traurig

Amy Beckstead and Jana Terry are joining forces to launch Beckstead Terry PLLC, an employment and commercial litigation boutique law firm based in Austin.  Beckstead is a former equity partner at DLA Piper. Terry a former senior attorney at Greenberg Traurig with her own successful solo practice the past three years.

“Beckstead Terry (http://www.becksteadterry.com) is the latest chapter in our legal careers, which have spanned working for the largest law firms in the world to working in smaller, more agile, business-focused platforms,” said Amy Beckstead.  “Business has been great for both Jana and me and it made sense to join forces to leverage our respective skillsets and optimize the services we could offer clients.”

Beckstead is an AV-Preeminent rated attorney, licensed to practice in both California and Texas.  Formerly of DLA Piper, the world’s largest international law firm, Beckstead recently worked in a smaller, boutique labor and employment firm prior to launching Beckstead Terry this year.  Her practice focuses on helping employers comply with the myriad of state and federal employment laws, as well as defending her clients when they are sued for employment-related matters.

Terry, a former law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge John D. Rainey, has had her own successful commercial litigation practice for the past three years since leaving Greenberg Traurig, one of the U.S.’s largest law firms.  Terry’s practice focuses on addressing the commercial litigation needs of her clients, with a specific focus on litigation involving employment disputes, commercial real estate, breach of commercial contracts, and creditor’s rights.  Terry also provides transactional advice with respect to employment matters.

Terry and Beckstead first became acquainted during the early days of “MAMA’s” (the Mother Attorney Mentoring Association in Austin).  MAMA’s, conceived and founded by Beckstead, now has a membership of more than 350 women attorneys and has grown into a fixture of the Austin legal community.

Terry summarized the new venture:  “Amy and I have known each other for years and our approach to serving our clients is identical: we are laser-focused on providing incredibly responsive, strategic, and practical advice to our clients regarding their employment and commercial litigation needs.   We are excited to partner with each other and continue to provide value and exceptional service to our clients.”

First Austin Law Firm Recognized by National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms

Austin-based labor and employment boutique law firm, Hutcheson Bowers LLLP, www.hutchesonbowers.com, has announced that it is the first Austin firm to be selected to join the prestigious National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF). The association admits only “elite law firms that have a proven track record representing Fortune 500 corporations.”

“We are honored to be invited to join NAMWOLF and to be recognized nationally with other distinguished firms,” said Shannon Hutcheson. “We look forward to working with the members of NAMWOLF and their corporate partners.”

NAMWOLF uses a detailed screening process, described at www.namwolf.org, to evaluate law firms for potential admission, which includes:

  • Recommendations from Fortune-ranked firm clients.
  • In-depth interviews with the firm’s clients to ensure that the firm offers the highest level of legal service.
  • Review of peer surveys to evaluate the firm’s reputation for ethical conduct and legal excellence.
  • Verification of the firm’s AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Hutcheson Bowers LLLP is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). In addition, the firm is designated as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) by the Texas Building and Procurement Commission (TBPC).

Austin Attorney: Is a Power of Attorney Enough?

Central Texas trust law attorney Brad Wiewel recently wrote about the power of attorney and its acceptance:

Most of the time people are advised that they should have a general durable power of attorney so that someone can handle their finances in the event of incapacitation. However, as powers of attorney are becoming increasing popular, it is also becoming more and more difficult to get financial institutions to accept them.WiewelB_

General Durable Powers of Attorney are an important part of almost all estate plans. They provide a cheap and effective way for someone to designate a person to handle financial matters in the event of incapacitation due to an accident or old age. The New York Times reports in Power of Attorney Is Not Always a Solution that the very popularity of powers of attorney has led to an increasing difficulty in getting financial institutions to accept them. The problem is that powers of attorney can also be used to commit elder abuse and fraud. Banks do not want to get sued and as a consequence will refuse any power of attorney that is irregular. The New York Times article tells the story of a woman who went by her middle name but the document her brother signed giving her power of attorney used her first name. Banks were not willing to accept that she was the same person named in the power of attorney without hassle.

The article suggests that banks are more willing to accept revocable trust documents. Whether or not that is true depends on individual banks. Certainly banks will not refuse every power of attorney. An important takeaway, however, is to make sure that everything in your general durable power of attorney is accurate. For example, the person given the power should be named in the same way that he or she is on a government-issued ID. Talk to an estate planning attorney about ways to make your power of attorney more likely to be accepted and whether a trust might be a better option for you.

Reference: The New York Times (August 22, 2014) “Power of Attorney Is Not Always a Solution

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Local Health Law Attorney to Share Expertise at Texas Health Law Conference

Attorney Fletcher H. Brown, a partner at the Austin office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, has been selected to speak at the Texas Health Law Conference at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the University of Texas campus on Sunday, October 12.Fletcher Brown

The annual event, which is co-produced by the Health Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Hospital Association, is a popular draw for lawyers who work in the health care sector or advise health care clients.

Brown and other panelists will participate in a session that is entitled ‘The Tangled Web of Hospital Operations and Relations.” The session, which begins at 2:30 and ends at 5:30, will kickoff the three-day event.

The session has been described as ideal “for those looking at these issues for the first time and those looking for a refresher. This session will cover some of the strands of hospital operations and relations. Topics will include licensing, regulatory compliance, medical staff issues, contracting challenges, and other situations regularly faced by providers and their attorneys.”

Joining Brown on the stage will be Lisa Frenkel, vice president and chief legal officer, Gulf Coast Division, HCA Holdings Inc., Houston; Larry “Max” Maxwell, regional chief legal officer, Adventist Health System, Winter Park, Florida; and Hilary H. Young, partner, Joy & Young LLP, Austin

“Given the credentials of the people who will be serving on the panel with me as well as the other sessions that are being presented, I am honored to be a speaker at this prestigious conference,” he said.

Brown has consistently been recognized by Chambers USA as a leader in Texas health law.  In addition to this honor, he has been named a “Super Lawyer” in the Health Law Field by Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazine for the past decade.

To attend the event, visit http://www.tha.org/HealthCareProviders/Education/ConferenceSeminarLi0972/TexasHealthLawConfe0963/ProgramCostandRegis0997/

 

Allensworth & Porter Brings New Associate Aboard

Allensworth & Porter—an Austin-based construction law firm—today announced the addition of J.B. Lajzer as an associate with the firm. HiRes-JB_Lajzer-8279

Prior to joining Allensworth & Porter, Lajzer was an associate in the Dallas office of Godwin Lewis PC, where he was a member of the Halliburton team, working in connection with all civil litigation and investigations concerning BP’s Macondo well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lajzer received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and graduated with degrees in economics and international relations from Hendrix College.

The Loewy Law Firm Basks in Another High Profile Victory

The Loewy Law Firm has obtained a $775,000 settlement for a client who was TASED by a police officer and sustained a serious brain injury.

Noe Niño de Rivera was breaking up a fight between two students at Cedar Creek High School last November when Two Bastrop sheriff deputies confronted him. After a brief interaction, one of the deputies shocked him with a TASER.  The man fell back and hit his head on the ground.  He subsequently was placed in a medically induced coma for 51 days.

The Loewy Law Firm was hired a day after the incident.

“The case was very difficult because Bastrop County authorities and the Texas Rangers cleared the police officer involved and stated he did nothing wrong,” said Adam Loewy. “We of course disagreed and filed suit in Federal Court.”AdamLoewy-12

Loewy suggests there is a bigger picture at stake.

“We selectively handle civil rights cases because we believe that when the Government seriously hurts or kills a citizen, the Government needs to be held accountable,” he said. “These cases are very difficult but also very important.”

Central Texas Attorney, Two Others, Honored by The College of the State Bar of Texas

The College of the State Bar of Texas has honored three attorneys for their achievements in the profession, one of which is based in Bastrop.

Kirsten L. Ruehman, an Assistant District Attorney in Bastrop County, is the recipient of the College’s 2014 Steve Condos Most CLE Hours Award. The award is given annually to the College member who, in his or her initial year of membership, attends the most CLE, with not more than 25 hours counted for any one CLE event. The award is named for Steve Condos, an influential and hardworking member of the first College Board for a brief period before his untimely death. According to the State Bar’s MCLE department, Ruehman earned 257 hours in 2013.

Ruehman handles misdemeanor and juvenile prosecutions. A member of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association (TDCAA), she attended her first law school class in the People’s Republic of China where she studied Chinese language and culture at Nanjing University. She helped establish the China Pioneer Scholarship in honor of Dean Charles E. Cantu’s efforts to develop the St. Mary’s University School of Law Institute on Chinese Law and Business. In addition to her passion for China studies, Kirsten is also interested in administrative/regulatory law, estate planning for ranching families, and the changing face of the juvenile justice system.

John G. Browning is the recipient of the College’s 2014 Jim Bowmer Professionalism Award. The award has been presented annually since 1994 to an outstanding College member based on achievement or contribution to professionalism. A plaque is given to the recipient and a cash award of $1,000 is given to the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation, or the law school of their choice, in the name of the award recipient. The award is named in honor of Jim D. Bowmer, the originator of the idea of the State Bar College and a co-founding father of the College.

Browning is the managing partner of the Dallas office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, where he handles civil litigation in state and federal courts in areas ranging from employment and intellectual property to commercial cases and defense of products liability, professional liability, media law, and general negligence matters. Some of his honors include being rated “AV,” the highest commendation issued by Martindale-Hubbell for legal ability, ethics, and professionalism; selected as a “Super Lawyer” in the field of Civil Ligation Defense; inducted as a Charter Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, and elected to the American Law Institute. A noted legal writer and frequent contributor to national and regional legal publications, he writes a respected weekly syndicated newspaper column, “Legally Speaking” and authored The Lawyer’s Guide to Social Networking: Understanding Social

Richard R. Orsinger is the recipient of the College’s 2014 Franklin Jones, Jr. CLE Article Award for Outstanding Achievement in Continuing Legal Education. Named for another co-founding father of the College, the award is given to an author of an outstanding CLE article presented during the prior year. Orsinger was honored for his article, “170 Years of Texas Contract Law,” presented at TexasBarCLE’s History of Texas Supreme Court Jurisprudence Course.

A partner in the Dallas-based firm of Orsinger Nelson Downing & Anderson L.L.P, Orsinger is regarded as one of Texas’ top family law and appellate lawyers. Texas Lawyer newspaper named him the top Family Lawyer in Texas in 2007 and among the state’s top five Family Lawyers in 2002 and 2012. He has been honored as one of the state’s Top 10 attorneys by Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters Legal Division in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. He also has been named among the “Top 100 Lawyers in Texas” in the Texas Super Lawyers list every year since 2003. This is his second time (the first being for 2009) to receive the Franklin Jones, Jr. award.

The College of the State Bar of Texas is an honorary society of lawyers, the only organization in the United States formed for this purpose. Chartered by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1981, the College recognizes and encourages lawyers who maintain and enhance their professional skills and the quality of their service to the public by completing at least twice the number of required hours of continuing legal education each year. The College also sponsors or assists in educational activities of significant merit, relevance, and applicability to the legal profession.

 

Perry Draws $133,000 from State Account to Pay Attorneys

The Texas Tribune has reported that Gov. Rick Perry has billed taxpayers approximately $133,000 to pay the attorneys who are defending him against public corruption charges.

After he was criticized for this practice, his office announced that in the future, he would use campaign funds to compensate his legal team, according to the media outlet.

It went on to detail the fact that Perry has used state money to pay $98,000 to Botsford & Roark, the firm of his lead criminal defense attorney David Botsford, who reportedly charges $450 an hour. Perry’s office has also spent $15,000 to hire the Houston-based law firm Baker Botts and $19,890 to hire attorney Jack Bacon.

Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed told the Texas Tribune (www.texastribune.org) that “the firms worked with the Governor’s Office attorneys to protect the governor’s interest during the grand jury process, including legal research, witness interviews, and dealing with the court and the prosecutor on a broad range of issues.”Perry’s office has defended the expenditures as “appropriate because he believes the charges against him — which he says were politically motivated — stem from his duties as governor.”

University of Texas School of Law Set to Host Annual Sports Law Symposium on September 12

Featuring a strong cast of speakers, the 2014 Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law (TRESL) annual symposium promises to be this year’s can’t-miss sports law event in Austin.

The symposium, which is entitled “Shifting Landscapes: New Approaches to Entertainment and Sports Law” and will be held on September 12 at the Eidman Courtroom at the University of Texas School of Law, gets off to a traditional start at 8:30 a.m. with breakfast and registration.

But there will be nothing traditional from that point forward with some highly stimulating panels.

The first panel is entitled “Issues with Ownership: How Streaming Changes the Industry” and features Adam Mandell of Millen White Zelano & Branigan PC, Ed Fair, Amy Mitchell, and Lisa Normand of Haynes and Boone, LLP.

That panel will be followed at 10:45 by “The Evolving Landscape of College Athletics” and another select cast of speakers: Gregg Clifton and Ben Tulis, both of Jackson Lewis.2012 spring 027 (2)

Mark Conrad, the Director, Sports Business Concentration, of the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University, will be the luncheon speaker, providing insights into “New Technologies, Sports and the FCC — How the Role of Communications Policy Shapes the Business Models.”

He’ll be followed by Red McCombs, former owner of the Spurs, Nuggets and Vikings, as well as the namesake of the McCombs School of Business at UT, who is tentatively set to speak at 1 p.m.

“Balancing Legal Ethics in a Non-Stop Media World” will be the next panel discussion, hosted by Carla Varriale of Havkins, Rosenfeld Ritzert & Varriale and sports law journalist Holt Hackney.

Closing out the day’s activities will be keynote speaker Andrew Brandt, beginning at 3 p.m. Brandt is Director of Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law, Villanova School of Law.

A Happy Hour will follow shortly thereafter.

Finally, 5.5 hours of TX CLE credit is available.