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News from Texas Tech University School of Law

Faculty / Staff

December 2017

Professor Robert A. Weninger

Professor Robert A. Weninger passed away on November 30, 2017. Professor Weninger, the J. Hadley Edgar Professor of Law and a beloved faculty member, joined the Law School as a visitor during the spring 1974 semester.

Prior to joining the law school, he was a trial attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in Seattle, engaged in several years of private practice in San Diego, and taught at California Western School of Law.

At Tech Law, his primary teaching areas were procedure, evidence, and litigation. His publications have appeared in such national law journals as the Virginia Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, and the Southern California Law Review. UC Hastings Distinguished Professor of Law, Richard L. Marcus, referred to Weninger as “a path-breaker in use of empirical methods to inform legal scholarship.”

A distinguished scholar and exceptional teacher, Professor Weninger will be best remembered as a generous person with a remarkably good nature. He received the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award and won the Outstanding Professor Award on two occasions. Currently, he is the Law School’s nominee for the Texas Tech University’s Barnie E. Rushing Distinguished Research Award.

Weninger was a mentor to his colleagues and inspired generations of students with his passion for teaching. He will be missed.

The Law School will hold a memorial service on campus. A date for this memorial service will be announced once it is confirmed with Weninger’s family. You may share condolences and favorite stories here.


    Features

    December 2017

    Texas Tech Law’s advocacy program had an extraordinary month.

    3Ls Ryley Bennett and Jordan Fowler started things off securing Texas Tech Law’s 42nd national advocacy championship at the National Health Law Moot Court Competition in Carbondale, Illinois. The duo also won every top award en route to their championship, with Bennett winning Best Advocate for both the preliminary rounds and final round, and Fowler’s brief taking first prize.

    Then in Salt Lake City, 3L Erika Sparkman and 2L Benjamin Falk finished second at the regional rounds of the ABA Negotiation Competition. That finish earned them a spot at the national finals in Chicago in early February. This marks the third straight year Tech Law has sent a team to the national finals, with 3L teammates Bailey McGowan and Ana Navarrete having won the regional championship last year.

    To top it all off, 3Ls Davinder Jassal, Rachel Holland-Hadjis, and Kristen Gavigan brought home the championship, Best Brief trophy, and Best Advocate bowl at the regional rounds of the National Moot Court Competition. The trio will move on to the national rounds of the competition in late January/early February in New York City. Jassal and Holland-Hadjis shared the brief-writing duties, and Gavigan was unanimously named the competition’s best advocate by a panel that included judges from both the Fort Worth and Dallas courts of appeals.

    Special thanks to alums Brandon Beck (’12), Jamee Cotton (’13), Larry Doss (’99), Stephen Higdon (’13), Ron Miller (’16), Lauren Murphree (’13), Dane Norman (’13), Drew Robertson (’15), Skyler Stuckey (’11), Kristen Vander-Plas (’16), and Anna Watkins (’16) for assisting these teams. With such strong alumni support, it’s no wonder Tech Law Advocacy swept all awards at two separate moot court competitions this month.


      Features

      December 2017

      July 2017 Bar Exam Results

      Texas Tech Law congratulates the 142 graduates who passed the July 2017 Texas Bar Examination! With a first-time pass rate 87.12%, Texas Tech Law ranked third among Texas law schools. A detailed results summary is available here.

      Texas Tech Law hosted a breakfast reception in Austin to honor those who passed the bar exam. The law school also co-hosted a swearing-in ceremony for new attorneys inside the Hunt Courtroom on November 15.


        Development

        December 2017

        For 50 years, Texas Tech Law has produced lawyers who are respected, proven, and professional. To ensure this tradition continues, classes are competing to create 50 new scholarship endowments.

        Five classes have already begun to Go for Gold!

        Go for Gold! Underway

        Classes are competing for highest participation percentage, largest Go for Gold! class endowment, and most given overall. However you designate your gift, at whatever level, your tax deductible contribution counts.

        Join your classmates and Go for Gold! Leave a legacy and provide for the long-term future of Texas Tech Law.


          Features

          November 2017

          Supreme Court of Texas Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht Featured Huffman Distinguished Lecture Series Speaker

          Texas Tech University School of Law and the Texas Tech Law Review hosted Supreme Court of Texas Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht as this year’s distinguished Huffman Lecture Series lecturer on Monday, November 6, 2017. Chief Justice Hecht presented on “Change in the Legal Profession and Texas Judiciary.”

          Chief Justice Hecht has been elected to the Court six times. He is the longest-serving Member of the Court in Texas history and the senior Texas appellate judge in active service. Throughout his service on the Court, Chief Justice Hecht has overseen revisions to the rules of administration, practice, and procedure in Texas courts, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to the federal Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. Chief Justice Hecht is also active in the Court’s efforts to assure that Texans living below the poverty level, as well as others with limited means, have access to basic civil legal services.

          Chief Justice Hecht was appointed to the district court in 1981 and was elected to the court of appeals in 1986. Before taking the bench, he was a partner in the Locke firm in Dallas. Chief Justice Hecht holds a B.A. degree with honors in philosophy from Yale University, and a J.D. degree cum laude from the SMU School of Law, where he was a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar. He clerked for Judge Roger Robb on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps.

          The Texas Tech Law Review initiated the Huffman Distinguished Lecture Series in 2010 to honor Walter B. Huffman, Dean Emeritus of Texas Tech University School of Law, past Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tech Law Review, and a retired Major General of the United States Army.


            Features

            November 2017

            Roderick Wetsel Featured Speaker for Energy Law Lecture Series

            Texas Tech University School of Law hosted Roderick E. Wetsel as part of its Energy Law Lecture Series on Thursday, November 9, 2017. Wetsel discussed “A Whirlwind Tour Through the Exciting New World of Wind Energy.”

            Wetsel, partner of Wetsel, Carmichael & Allen, LLP in Sweetwater, Texas, has practiced law for 38 years. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on Texas Wind Law in the spring, and co-teaches a Wind Law class with Professor Ernest E. Smith in the fall.

            In 2011, Mr. Wetsel co-authored the first treatise on Texas Wind Law with Professor Ernest E. Smith, Steven K. DeWolf, and Becky H. Diffen, which is published by LexisNexis and revised annually. Additionally, Mr. Wetsel has written numerous other articles on wind energy as well as oil and gas law. He is a frequent speaker on wind energy issues throughout the United States.


              Alumni

              November 2017

              Eric A. Clinton joined Sprouse Shrader Smith as an associate attorney. His practice includes oil and gas title examinations, real estate, business organizations and banking.


                Alumni

                November 2017

                Michael Davis was sworn in as 369th Judicial District Court judge on Tuesday, November 21.

                Davis will serve the unexpired term of Judge Bascom Bentley, who retired in March, after serving nearly three decades on the bench. Bentley’s unexpired term runs until December 31, 2018.


                  Alumni

                  November 2017

                  The Texas State Securities Board, the government agency responsible for enforcing state securities laws, named Clinton Edgar as deputy securities commissioner.

                  Edgar has been working for the board since 2010, first as staff attorney for the inspections and compliance division and later, as director of the registration division. In those roles, Edgar investigated securities firms and individuals registered with the state for regulatory violations.


                    Alumni

                    November 2017

                    Kimberly Elmazi ('17) of Dallas

                    Kimberly Elmazi joined immigration law firm Davis & Associates. Elmazi specializes in all areas of immigration law including visas, green cards, deportation, family immigration, business immigration, appeals, and political asylum.


                      Alumni

                      November 2017

                      John Phillip Hays was sworn in on Wednesday, November 15 as judge of Lubbock County Court at Law 3. Hays was appointed to the bench by County Commissioners on October 23. He was one of 12 attorneys who applied for the position that opened when Judge Judy Parker (’85) was appointed in August by Gov. Greg Abbott to the Seventh Court of Appeals.


                        Alumni

                        November 2017

                        Christy Jack ('01) of Fort Worth

                        Christy Jack, a partner at the law firm of Varghese Summersett PLLC, was named a 2017 Great Woman of Texas by the Fort Worth Business Press.

                        Jack was celebrated along with other North Texas women on Tuesday, Nov. 14, during a ceremony at the City Club of Fort Worth. The annual award honors women for being trailblazers in their profession and for their dedication to family and the community.


                          Alumni

                          November 2017

                          Eric J. Matthews joined Sprouse Shrader Smith as an associate attorney. Matthews practice focuses on real estate, corporate & securities, business transaction, oil & gas, as well as non-profit formation.


                            Alumni

                            November 2017

                            Isreal J. Miller ('02) of Dallas

                            Isreal J. Miller joins the Gray Reed Dallas tax section from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts where he was assistant general counsel.