CHAIR MICHAEL C. SMITH, of Siebman, Burg, Phillips & Smith, L.L.P., in Marshall, specializes in complex commercial and intellectual property litigation. He is a former chair of the Eastern District of Texas’ Local Rules Advisory Committee; publishes EDTexweblog.com, a blog on practice in the Eastern District; and edits O’Connor’s Federal Rules — Civil Trials. He is chair of the State Bar Litigation Section and has served on the State Bar Board of Directors. VICE CHAIR RHONDA HUNTER is certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is a past president of the Dallas Bar Association, the J.L. Turner Legal Association, and the Dallas Association of Black Women Attorneys. She has served on the State Bar Board of Directors, the Child and Family Guidance Centers, the North Texas Food Bank, and as chair of the Dallas Bar Community Service Fund. BEN L. ADERHOLT is a member in Looper, Reed & McGraw, P.C., in Houston, where he focuses his practice on commercial transactions and litigation in the construction industry. He is a past president of the Houston Bar Association and a past director of the State Bar of Texas. He is former chair of the Houston Mayor’s International Affairs and Development Council — Americas. He teaches commercial law at the University of Houston. KRISTY PIAZZA BLANCHARD is a lawyer in the Plano office of KoonsFuller, P.C., where she practices family law. She serves on the State Bar Board of Directors and is presidentelect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. She also serves on the board of the Collin County Bench Bar Foundation, and is a past director of the Collin County Bar Association and the Collin County Young Lawyers Association. TALMAGE BOSTON is a shareholder in the Dallas office of Winstead, P.C. He is a past director of the State Bar of Texas and has served as chair of the State Bar Litigation Section, State Bar Council of Chairs, and State Bar Annual Meeting Committee. He is certified in civil trial law and civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In the past four years, he has written four featured articles in the Texas Bar Journal. JOHN G. BROWNING is a partner in Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, L.L.P., in Dallas, where he handles commercial litigation, employment, health care, and personal injury defense matters in state and federal courts. He is an award-winning legal journalist for his syndicated newspaper column, “Legally Speaking,” and the author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Social Networking. He is an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. SYLVIA A. CARDONA is a shareholder in the San Antonio office of Langley & Banack Inc., where her practice focuses on business and oil and gas related litigation and hospitality law. Fluent in Spanish, Cardona also has experience representing clients in crossborder transactions. She is a director of the State Bar of Texas, representing District 10, Place 2. Cardona is a past president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, a former member of the State Bar Executive Committee, and past chair of the San Antonio Bar Association’s Litigation Section. HARPER ESTES is a shareholder in Lynch, Chappell & Alsup, P.C., in Midland. He is a past president of the State Bar of Texas and the Midland County Bar Association. Estes is certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His practice focuses on commercial litigation. He also frequently serves as a mediator and arbitrator. STEVE FISCHER, of Rockport, serves on the State Bar Board of Directors. He has been a professor at the University of Texas–Permian Basin and worked on cases in Midland and Odessa. Before that, he was Willacy County District Attorney. He has also practiced in El Paso, Denton, and Huntsville, and has authored numerous articles on demographics and education. He has a B.A. with honors from the University of California Berkeley, a J.D. from Indiana University, an M.P.A. from the University of North Texas, and an M.A. in Criminology from Sam Houston State. ALBERT GAVALDON is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Business and the University of Texas School of Law, and is presently engaged in the private practice of criminal defense in the DFW metroplex. He also serves as court-appointed attorney on the Dallas County Indigent Appointment Wheel. His public sector law career includes serving as misdemeanor trial chief at the El Paso County Public Defender’s Office and as senior felony trial attorney at the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office. LAURA GIBSON is a founding partner of Ogden, Gibson, Broocks, Longoria & Hall, L.L.P., in Houston. She is board certified in labor employment law. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Bar Association. She served on the State Bar Advertising Review Committee from 2004 to 2010, including three years as chair. She has also served as president of the Association of Women Attorneys in Houston and the Houston Lawyer Referral Service. In addition to handling employment matters, Gibson is an experienced commercial litigator with an active trial practice with a concentration on financial services litigation. FRANK A. KING is an assistant attorney general with the General Litigation Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office. He is the incoming chair of the Austin Bar Association Civil Litigation Section and serves on the Judicial Affairs Committee, the Legal Build Committee (in association with Habitat for Humanity), the Austin Bar Mentoring Program, and the Animal Welfare Committee. He is a barrister with the Lloyd Lochridge Inn of Court, and volunteers with Meals on Wheels. King formerly served on the Austin Bar Association Board of Directors, where he received the Outstanding Director Award, and also received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Austin Young Lawyers Association. MILES J. LEBLANC, a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, is an assistant general counsel in the Legal Services Department of the Houston Independent School District. His public sector law career includes serving as an assistant district attorney in Taylor County; a federal district law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Jorge A. Solis, Northern District of Texas; an assistant attorney general in the General Litigation, Consumer Protection and Administrative Law Divisions of the Office of Texas Attorney General; and in-house legal counsel at the University of Houston and Houston Community College. DAVID R. MCATEE II is an in-house lawyer at AT&T, where he is a senior vice president and assistant general counsel. He is a past president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, a former chair of the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors, and a former chair of the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. WILLIAM L. POPE is a partner in Adams & Graham, L.L.P., in Harlingen, where he practices in transactional, commercial, health care, and employment litigation and counsel. He is a qualified general and family law mediator and has served for more than two decades as a municipal judge and state magistrate. KAREN S. PRECELLA is a partner in Haynes and Boone, L.L.P., in Fort Worth, where she specializes in civil appeals and provides legal support for all phases of complex commercial trials. She recently completed a threeyear term as co-chair of the American Appellate Practice Committee. She has served as chair of the State Bar Pattern Jury Charges – Business, Consumer, and Employment Committee and on the State Bar Appellate Section Council. J. MITCHELL SMITH is a partner in Germer Gertz, L.L.P., in Beaumont, where he practices commercial litigation, FELA litigation, intellectual property litigation, and civil appellate law. He is an active member of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel and International Association of Defense Counsel, and serves on various boards in the Southeast Texas area. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and editor of the Jefferson County Bar Journal.
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