CHAIR MICHAEL C. SMITH, of Siebman, Burg, Phillips & Smith in Marshall, specializes in complex commercial and intellectual property litigation. He is a former chair of the Eastern District of Texas’s 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 a past chair of the State Bar Litigation Section and has served on the State Bar Board of Directors. VICE CHAIR RHONDA HUNTER, a partner in Farrow- Gillespie & Heath, 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 serves in the American Bar Association House of Delegates and the American Bar Association Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity and is a former member of the State Bar Board of Directors. BEN L. ADERHOLT is a member in Looper Reed & McGraw 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 Law Center. TALMAGE BOSTON is a shareholder in the Dallas office of Winstead. 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. Over the past six years, he has written five featured articles in the Texas Bar Journal. REBEKAH STEELY BROOKER is an attorney with Passman & Jones in Dallas, where she manages the firm’s estate planning and administration and probate practices. Brooker is president-elect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association and has served as TYLA treasurer and as a director. She is an executive adviser to the Low Income Texans and Community Education committees. She also serves on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and the board of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers. JOHN G. BROWNING is the administrative partner in Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith 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. DIANE DEVASTO, of Potter Minton in Tyler, specializes in mediation for both patent and other civil cases. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, American Law Institute, the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association, T. John Ward Inn of Court, and is a past president of the Smith County Bar Association. De- Vasto retired in 2006 as a justice of the 12th Court of Appeals. She serves as the director, District 2, of the State Bar of Texas. HARPER ESTES is a shareholder in Lynch, Chappell & Alsup 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 University. 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 Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He also serves as courtappointed attorney on the Dallas County Indigent AppointmentWheel. 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 in Houston. She is board certified in labor employment law. She currently serves on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors. 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 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), and the Austin Bar Mentoring Program. 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. He 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 the 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 in Harlingen, where he practices transactional, commercial, health care, and employment litigation. He is a qualified general civil 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 and offices in Fort Worth, where she focuses on civil appeals and provides legal support for all phases of complex commercial litigation. She recently completed three years of service as co-chair of the Appellate Practice Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, chair of the Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee for the Business Volume, and a member of the council of the Appellate Section of the State Bar of Texas. Precella is a leader of the firm’s appellate practice group. LILAN REN, of Meyertons, Hood, Kivlin, Kowert & Goetzel of Austin, specializes in intellectual property law with an emphasis in patent prosecution and counseling. She has authored numerous articles on emerging issues in patent law and has been an active member of the American Inn of Courts in Washington, D.C., and Austin. Ren served on the board of directors of the Austin Young Lawyers Association as a liaison of the Austin Asian American Bar Association. She co-chaired the Minority Report Card Committee with leaders of other minority bar associations, and most recently, she was a member of the 2013 LeadershipSBOT class. ANDREW SEFZIK is an attorney with Strasburger & Price in Frisco, where he practices commercial litigation in state and federal courts. He is a member of the 2012 LeadershipSBOT class. J. MITCHELL SMITH is a partner in Germer 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 is editor of the Jefferson County Bar Journal.
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