TWO IS A TEAM During the last round of the 37th annual National Trial Competition in Austin in March, Mark Walraven and Chaille Graft Walraven faced off. There was a moment of tense silence among the com- petition’s judges when Mark objected during one of Chaille’s remarks. “All of the judges knew that we were married and were waiting to see if we were going to clash at all,” laughs Mark, who graduated, along with Chaille, from Baylor Law School in April. “Afterward, the judges said the look on my face at that moment was priceless. I knew that she knew what I was going to say and thought, ‘Why did I do that?’ ” In the end, Mark and teammate Steven Lopez took top honors over Chaille and her teammate Joel Towner — Mark also took home Best Advocate honors. There are no sore feelings, Chaille says. “It was the first time we competed against each other and I was so excited for him,” she says. “It’s almost harder for us to compete against each other because we can anticipate each other’s moves, but it was also fun because we knew Baylor would come out on top regardless of who won.” Up until last year, the Walravens had been on the same mock trial team. The couple has been inseparable since they met as first-year law students at Baylor. They tied the knot last July, amid a complicated class-action suit they were assisting Chaille’s father with. The couple continue to work with Chaille’s father, C.B. Graft, an attorney in Clinton, Okla. Fittingly, their offices open up to each other’s. “We complement each other well,” says Chaille. “It’s not hard working with each other. We make a really strong team.” Both Mark and Chaille say the key to their relationship is one of the cornerstones of the practice of law: effective communication. “What has worked so well for us — and helps us to avoid arguments — is that we communicate really well with each other,” says Mark. “We have clear communication.” — P.G. The newest member of Martin, Bode, Werner & Mann, P.L.L.C. is hard- working, respected, and handsome — and eats more than 100 bales of hay each year. The Houston oil and gas firm recently sponsored a police horse as part of the Houston Police Depart- ment’s “Adopt-A-Horse” Program. “It’s a really amazing program,” says partner Keith Werner. “We heard about it in the Houston Chronicle and it looked like something the firm would be interested in.” Werner and fellow partner John Bode made the trek out to the Houston Police Department’s stables to select a horse. They made sure to bring along the experts: Bode’s 4 1/2- year-old daughter and her friend, the daughter of another firm member. With much “ooohing” and “ahhhing,” they selected a beautiful dappled grey out of the herd. “All of the horses were so well-cared for, but this horse stood out to us. We found out later that he leads the parades. He seemed like the grand- est horse of all these grand horses,” Werner says. Bode and Werner sent out a firm-wide email soliciting names for their new friend. “ ‘Royalty’ was the winner — a play on words, considering that we are an oil and gas firm,” Bode says. The firm’s sponsorship covers Royalty’s costs for an entire year, including plenty of hay, feed, and bedding. The Houston Police Department uses the Mounted Patrol to handle large crowds, perform search and rescue missions, con- duct public service demonstrations, and represent the Houston police in a ceremonial capacity. There are about 30 to 35 horses in the program. Other sponsors include Pappas Restaurants (their horse is named Lil’ Pappas), Chevron Corporation (Techron), and Proler Southwest, Inc. (Scrappy and Billie Fay). Royalty recently swung by the firm’s office for a visit. “Royalty climbed the stairs to say hello. We attracted a crowd of onlookers,” Werner says. “These horses are wonderfully cared for and trained. We really encourage other companies to take part in this program.” To learn more about the “Adopt-A-Horse” Program, visit houstonpolicefoundation.org/mounted. — E.C. TEXAS PEOPLE William D. Elliott Partner, Elliott & Thomason, L.L.P., Dallas Appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the board of directors of the North Texas Tollroad Authority. Elliott is a former chair of the board of the State Bar of Texas. Lisa Pennington Managing Partner, Baker Hostetler, L.L.P., Houston Selected as the inaugural recipient of the Houston Association of Women Attorneys’ Premier Woman in the Law Award for her efforts in advancing women in the legal profession. Fran E. Phillips Partner, Gardere, Wynne, Sewell, L.L.P., Dallas Elected to the board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Alumni Association, Inc., a nationwide community of former employees of the EPA. Victor Vital Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, L.L.P., Dallas Appointed to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ Business/Arts Initiative. The initiative’s goal is to encourage leaders in the business community to support the arts.
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