Susan Martin 0000-00-00 00:00:00
A Real Knowl Out Most attorneys enjoy the verbal sparring of a trial, which has been called a boxing match with words. Only a few would take it a step further and actually climb into the ring with an opponent, even for a good cause. On Dec. 3, 2011, Galveston County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Kristena Glenn became the first lawyer to compete in the Battle of the Badges, a boxing event held at Moody Gardens Convention Center in front of more than 5,000 screaming fans. Glenn was one of 30 participants in the event, which was sponsored by Galveston law enforcement officers and firefighters to raise money for charity. The Las Vegas-style bouts began with the entrance of the Grim Reaper heralded by an ominous 10-bell count, the national anthem sung by the daughter of former heavyweight champ George Foreman, and a video montage ending with Glenn shadow-boxing up the steps of the county courthouse, punching to the theme from Rocky. Each fighter approached the ring with unique fanfare and trash talk for three one-minute rounds scored by professional boxing officials. Four of the 15 bouts showcased female fighters. Glenn had participated in dance team, ballet, and competitive horseback riding, but not boxing. Galveston Police Lt. Jorge Trevino, the event’s director, recalled Glenn’s first appearance in the gym. Boxing coaches concluded Glenn was “very small and a bit awkward with her punches,” so Trevino initially told Glenn that her prospects for competing were not good. But Glenn persisted, beginning daily workouts in August that included jumping rope, punching heavy bags, hitting mitts, sparring, and having an eight-pound weight repeatedly dropped on her stomach — all followed by daily two-mile runs. Glenn’s coach Carlos Patina, who trains boxers of all ages and abilities at a Galveston Boy’s and Girl’s Club gym, was a successful amateur boxer himself and is the father of two undefeated professional fighters. “The first time I was hit in the face, I wanted to run out of the ring,” Glenn recalled, but she found that the more she practiced, the faster her reflexes became and the more she wanted to fight. Trevino was impressed by her tenacity and found an opponent for Glenn in his own office: GPD Officer Loraine Franco. Glenn entered her bout “surprisingly very calm” and “trying to take punches while focusing on my training.” Franco was victorious by decision, but Glenn fought through every round, not sustaining any injury “except a little whiplash” from Franco’s punches to her head. Glenn says the experience taught her “I can pretty much do anything I put my mind to.” She added, “It is one of those things I can check off my list and say I did. I picked up a new hobby and made a lot of new friends.” The assistant district attorney will shortly resume her boxing workouts and wants to compete in the 2012 Battle of the Badges. As Glenn declared in her trash-talking intro, “State’s ready!” Doing What’s Right Harper Estes could have taken the easy way out of pro bono work after his year as president of the State Bar of Texas. But, that’s just not how the Midland attorney rolls. After his 2008–2009 presidency wrapped up, he got back to his regular routine at Lynch, Chappell & Alsup, P.C. — and with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT). “He could have easily said, ‘My work is done.’ ” says Pete Fierro, Equal Justice Volunteer Program coordinator of LANWT in Midland. “But, he continues to take cases and mentor young attorneys. He embodies what a State Bar president should do.” For his work, Estes was given LANWT’s Midland County Attorney of the Year Award for most pro bono cases taken. (Estes is in good company this year — he tied for this year’s award with fellow Midland attorney Mike T. Morgan, an attorney with Bullock Scott, P.C. and the Pro Bono Champion featured in the April 2009 Texas Bar Journal.) “If you are going to ask others to do pro bono, you have to do the same. You can’t ask someone to do something that you aren’t already doing,” Estes says. One fellow attorney who serves as inspiration to Estes is John Ferguson, of Weaver & Ferguson in Big Spring, who has received LANWT’s Howard County Attorney of the Year Award for most pro bono cases taken since 2005. “John is just one of those attorneys who feels that pro bono is just part of the job,” Estes says. “Every time I think I’m doing pretty good on something, I look around and I see somebody doing something better. Those kind of people have always inspired me — John Ferguson is one of those people.” Estes says he understands the reluctance to do pro bono work due to strained resources or inexperience with other areas of law. But, without the specialized help from lawyers, the legal system breaks down when people don’t have access to the courts. “Lawyers are in a really unique position to help those who cannot afford a lawyer,” he says. “If we lawyers can be a small part of helping them access legal help, then it’s not just good for the profession, but it’s also good for the soul.” — PG TEXAS PEOPLE Marshall J. Doke Jr. Partner, Gardere, Wynne, Sewell, L.L.P., Dallas Appointed chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Audit following his re-election by the ABA Board of Governors to a three year term. Joseph Geary Founding shareholder, Geary, Porter & Donovan, P.C., Addison Named by the French government a Knight of the Legion of Honor, the highest military decoration in France, based on his service in the liberation of France during World War II. Dr. Walter Sutton Associate general counsel — legal administration and external relations, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, Ark. This Texas-licensed attorney was awarded the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Justice Award by the Dallas Bar Association. Texas Sen. Kirk Watson Partner, Brown McCarroll, L.L.P., Austin Received the Texas Access to Justice Legislative Hero Award from the Texas Access to Justice Commission and Foundation for his work to improve access to justice in Texas.
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