State Bar of Texas
June 24, 2008

Contact: Kim Davey, 800.204.2222 x 1713 or 512.427.1713

Houston Individuals Honored by State Bar of Texas

(Houston) – Presentation of awards honoring exceptional service to the public and the legal profession will be a highlight of the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, June 26-27, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

The following Houston area individuals are among those being honored:
Wendy Miller – Certificate of Merit presented by the State Bar Board of Directors and past presidents. Miller coordinated the award-winning project Camp COOL (Children's Orientation on Law) and created and led the School of ROK (Rights of Kids), a law-related education program. She chaired the Houston Young Lawyers Association's Child Custody & Adoption Pro Bono Committee, and Big Brothers Big Sisters Committee.

Miller was also the recipient of the Texas Young Lawyer's Association (TYLA) President's Award of Merit. Miller incorporated TYLA's award-winning "They Had a Dream Too" civil rights curriculum into a half-day conference to educate youth about their rights and responsibilities, and how they can make a difference. Lan Tuyet Nguyen – Certificate of Merit presented by the State Bar Board of Directors and past presidents, for exemplary efforts in providing pro bono legal services, legal education, and mentoring. Her efforts in Houston's Asian community have served as a model for outreach across the state.

Jane K. Swanson of The Woodlands – Frank J. Scurlock Award. Swanson provided more than 2,200 hours of sophisticated legal work in the Frew v. Hawkins case on behalf of 2.8 million indigent Texas children and youth during 2006-2007. She was involved in the case from its early stages as a legal aid attorney. She has worked on cases that have reshaped the landscape of legal rights for poor Texans. Swanson serves as president of the Montgomery County Women's Center, where she has helped create and develop the center's legal program to represent indigent victims of domestic violence.

Presidential Citations will be presented by outgoing president Gib Walton of Houston to the following individuals to honor their contributions and commitment over the past year: David Beck, Tom Cunningham, Amy Dunn Taylor, Karen Mohr, Barrett Reasoner, Rocky Robinson, Allan Van Fleet, and Hon. Ken Wise.

The Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) will also honor the following:
Brad Allen – TYLA President's Award of Merit. Allen served as editor in chief of the TYLA eNews, which is distributed to more than 23,000 young lawyers. He is instrumental in the monthly planning and organization of the newsletter and serves as author to many of the articles.

Kimberly Burke – TYLA President's Award of Merit. Burke served as the ABA/YLD District 25 Representative and co-chaired the Family Law/Seniors Committee. She was instrumental in planning, organizing and presenting a CLE course on "Legal Advocacy for Cancer Patients," which was co-sponsored by TYLA, the American Bar Association Breast Cancer Task Force and the South Texas College of Law Health Law Society.

Rabecca Cross – TYLA President's Award of Merit presented for her commitment to the TYLA/ Pro Bono Asylum Representation (ProBAR) Unaccompanied Children's Project. Cross assisted in training lawyers throughout the state on how to represent children detained at our borders. Last month, her ProBAR client was granted asylum after having been at a detention center for more than a year.

Shane McClelland – TYLA President's Award of Merit. McClelland is a solo practitioner who served on the Community Education Committee. He was instrumental in the drafting of the "Employment Law Basics for New Employers" handbook.

Erin O'Driscoll – TYLA President's Award of Merit for being the driving force behind the success of the sponsorship efforts for the National Trial Competition Committee. In a first-year fundraising effort, she raised donations sufficient to cover exhibits and funds for the competition.

Additional awards to be presented include:
Debra Tsuchiyama Baker – Ma'at Justice Award, presented by the Women and the Law Section to recognize and celebrate attorneys who have contributed to the furtherance of justice in our society.

Wendy K.B. Buskop – Lawyer of the Year Award, presented by the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section.

Warren Cole – Dan Price Award, presented by the Family Law Section.

James L. Cornell – Legends Award, presented by the Insurance Law Section.

Henry Flores – Community Service Award, presented by the Bankruptcy Law Section.

Harry Gee, Jr. – Justice David Wellington Chew Achievement Award, presented by the Asian Pacific Interest Section.

Salvador Gonzales and Martha Orozco – Impact Award in Poverty Law, presented by the Poverty Law Section.

Hon. Berta A. Mejia – Michael L. O'Neal Outstanding Jurist Gavel Award, presented by the Municipal Judges Section.

Charles Newton – Distinguished Counselor Award, presented by the Antitrust & Business Litigation Section.

John F. Nichols, Sr. – Gene Cavin Award, presented for substantial lifetime contributions to TexasBarCLE.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system.