CHAIR JOHN G. BROWNING is a partner in Passman & Jones 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 column, “Legally Speaking,” and the author of the Social Media and Litigation Practice Guide and a forthcoming casebook on social media and the law. He is an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. VICE CHAIR RHONDA HUNTER, a partner in Farrow-Gillespie & Heath in Dallas, is certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is a past president of the Dallas Bar Association and the J.L. Turner Legal Association. She serves in the American Bar Association House of Delegates and the ABA Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity and is a former member of the State Bar Board of Directors. BEN L. ADERHOLT is an attorney with Coats Rose 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 a former chair of the Houston Mayor’s International Trade and Development Council for the Americas. He teaches commercial law at the University of Houston and construction law at South Texas College of Law. DIANE DEVASTO, of Potter Minton in Tyler, specializes in mediation for patent and other types of 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, the Honorable T. John Ward American Inn of Court, and is a past president of the Smith County Bar Association. DeVasto retired in 2006 as a justice of the 12th Court of Appeals. She serves as the District 2 director of the State Bar of Texas. MICHELLE HOOGENDAM CASH, of the Cash Law Firm in Houston, focuses her practice on employment law matters. She is a member of the employment bar in Houston and has served as chair for several local employment law sections and chapters. She is a past editor-in-chief of Houston Lawyer magazine and a former chair of the State Bar of Texas Women in the Profession Committee. She has been certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1995. 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’s Litigation Section, Council of Chairs, and Annual Meeting Committee. He is certified in civil trial law and civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Over the past seven years, he has written six feature articles in the Texas Bar Journal. JOE ESCOBEDO JR., of Escobedo & Cardenas in McAllen, specializes in commercial and tort litigation and is a certified mediator. He is certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Escobedo is a member of the State Bar Board of Directors, the Council for the Hispanic Issues Section, and the College of the State Bar of Texas. AFTON SANDS-PURYEAR is an attorney with Husch Blackwell in Austin, where she practices commercial and health care litigation in state and federal courts. She is a member of the 2014 LeadershipSBOT class. ALBERT GAVALDON is a criminal defense attorney in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He is also a court-appointed attorney for indigent defendants in Dallas County. He has served 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. 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. Certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, he focuses on commercial litigation. He also frequently serves as a mediator and arbitrator. 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 Texas Bar Foundation Fellows. WILLIAM L. POPE is a partner in Adams & Graham in Harlingen, where he practices transactional, commercial, transportation, and employment litigation. He is a qualified general civil and family law mediator and has served nearly three decades as a municipal judge and state magistrate. KAREN S. PRECELLA is a partner in Haynes and Boone in Fort Worth, where she co-chairs the firm’s appellate practice group, focuses on civil appeals, and provides legal support for all phases of complex commercial litigation. She recently completed three years as co-chair of the Appellate Practice Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, and she has served as chair of the Texas Pattern Jury Charges Committee for the Business Volume and as a member of the council of the Appellate Section of the State Bar of Texas. 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 Leadership-SBOT class. ROBERT PAINTER is a member in the Painter Law Firm in Houston, where he handles medical malpractice cases for plaintiffs. He previously defended hospitals and doctors in a Houston mega-firm’s health law section. Before law school, he was a U.S. Army officer, serving as a hospital administrator. He has been the editor-in-chief of Houston Lawyer magazine since 2012. LAURA GIBSON is a founding partner in Ogden, Gibson, Broocks, Longoria & Hall in Houston. She is certified in labor employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is a member of the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas and is president-elect of the Houston Bar Association. Gibson 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 concentrating 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 immediate past chair of the Austin Bar Association’s Civil Litigation Section and serves on the association’s Judicial Affairs Committee and Mentoring Program Committee. He is a barrister with the Lloyd Lochridge American Inn of Court and a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. 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 assistant general counsel to 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 law clerk for Judge Jorge A. Solis of the U.S. District Court for the 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 inhouse legal counsel to the University of Houston and Houston Community College. MICHAEL C. SMITH, of Siebman, Burg, Phillips & Smith in Marshall, specializes in complex commercial and intellectual property litigation. A former chair of the Local Rules Advisory Committee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Smith 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 the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors and has served on the State Bar Board of Directors. C. BARRETT THOMAS is a felony prosecutor and family law practitioner in the 32nd Judicial District, which serves Nolan, Mitchell, and Fisher counties. Thomas has been a Texas Young Lawyers Association director since 2011 and is the president-elect of TYLA. He is the creator and co-author of the project Remaining Civil: An Officer’s Guide to Responding to Non-Criminal Calls for Service, which is now taught at police academies across the state. Thomas previously served as treasurer and president of the Abilene Young Lawyers Association.
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