Jackson Walker Alumni Newsletter | Fall 2021

October 19, 2021 | Newsletters

View our Jackson Walker Alumni page ¬Ľ

Staying Connected

While we miss having you as part of the Jackson Walker team, we look forward to staying connected through our biannual Alumni Newsletter and our Jackson Walker Attorney Alumni group on LinkedIn. In this newsletter, we spotlight former JW attorneys, review pro bono opportunities and success stories, share the latest news, insights, and events from around JW, and provide helpful resources like free CLE programs.

Share Your News

Have you received an award, participated in community organizations, or been hired or promoted? We want to hear about anything new and noteworthy happening to our alumni. To share your news, you can fill out this form.

You can also keep current and past Jackson Walker attorneys updated through our LinkedIn group, Jackson Walker Attorney Alumni.


JW Alumni in the News

  • Brad Nitschke¬†spoke with¬†The Texas Lawbook¬†about his work at Parkland Health & Hospital System as Associate General Counsel.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ
  • Robby Reeb, as Vice President and General Counsel of¬†Basic Energy Services, led Basic’s asset purchase agreements with Axis Energy Services, Berry Corp., and Select Energy Services as part of a sales process associated with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ


Jackson Walker Wins Release for Client Serving Life Without Parole Sentence

In partnership with the Buried Alive Project, a national nonprofit launched to help free prisoners sentenced to life without parole for nonviolent drug offenses, Edwin Buffmire, Shelisa Brock, and Lauren Ceckowski sought a reduction in the life sentence of Robert Dale Gray, who received a mandatory life sentence without parole in 1997 for a third felony drug conviction.

The team, along with local counsel Shook Hardy LLP, sought compassionate release for Mr. Gray under the First Step Act, which in part sought to reform drug sentencing laws that previously imposed mandatory life-without-parole sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

On September 8, 2021, Judge Douglas Harpool of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri ordered that Mr. Gray’s sentence be reduced to time served with 10 years of supervised release, citing the removal of mandatory sentencing guidelines combined with his current age and medical concerns. Now 69 years old, Mr. Gray has the chance to meet grandchildren he’s never before seen.

The win marks another example of Jackson Walker securing results for its clients, from the Fortune 100 and its executive suites to those less fortunate in our communities. Thousands of compassionate release motions are brought in federal courts throughout the country, but more than 80% are denied, nearly 90% are denied in the Western District of Missouri, and only a fraction of those granted lead to reductions in life sentences.


Jackson Walker Welcomes New Partners

Laura M. Kidd Cordova

A former assistant chief in the Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice‚Äôs Criminal Division, Houston partner¬†Laura M. Kidd Cordova¬†helps individuals and companies facing criminal or civil government enforcement actions.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Arthur Gollwitzer

Combining his experience gained as a federal prosecutor with 25 years in private practice, Austin partner¬†Arthur Gollwitzer¬†focuses on intellectual property litigation and also is highly experienced in criminal matters and internal investigations.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Taylor Holcomb

Austin partner¬†Taylor Holcomb¬†has spent his career helping clients develop and permit domestic energy projects, comply with state and federal laws, and defend against claims brought by the government and environmental activist groups.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Brad Mahanay

Dallas partner¬†Brad Mahanay¬†focuses on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and corporate finance for clients in the manufacturing, private investments, healthcare, real estate development, and energy services industries.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Claire Raggio¬†joined as a partner and the chair of the Dallas Wealth Planning group. Her practice is primarily devoted to advising high-net-worth individuals regarding trusts, estate planning, probate, and estate administration.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Recent Results

American Airlines Federal Credit Union 401(k) Management Suit
The Fifth Circuit affirmed, reversed, and vacated parts of the district court‚Äôs decision in a suit brought by two former American Airlines employees who sought to certify a class action. The team included¬†Jonathan Neerman,¬†Edwin Buffmire, and¬†Peter Hansen.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Amos Pictures Allowed to Film Sandy Hook Defamation Suits
Chip Babcock,¬†Josh Romero, and¬†Scott Weatherford¬†obtained permission allowing Amos Pictures to record and broadcast portions of the proceedings in five separate lawsuits brought by parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook against Alex Jones and InfoWars.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Puttshack Expands to Houston
On behalf of Brookfield Properties,¬†Michael Kuhn¬†negotiated the terms of a 26,000-square-foot lease to bring Puttshack, an indoor mini-golf entertainment venue, to The Shops at Houston Center.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Jackson Walker Advises Digital Turbine in Global Acquisitions
Mike Meskill led a JW team advising Digital Turbine in completing more than $1 billion in cross-border deals in 2021 through the acquisitions of Fyber, AdColony, and Triapodi Ltd. (d/b/a Appreciate).¬†Jimmy McDonough¬†and¬†Art Cavazos¬†also advised Digital Turbine on $500 million in credit facilities this year.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Appellate Victory in Suit Brought by Guest on Dr. Phil
Chip Babcock, Nancy Hamilton, and Joel Glover represented Dr. Phil McGraw, CBS Studios, and Peteski Productions in a case brought by a guest on¬†Dr. Phil¬†who claimed she had been made to look foolish and, as a result, suffered extreme emotional distress.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Grupo Cuprum Divestiture
Carlos Trevi√Īo¬†and¬†Michael Flatter¬†led a team representing Grupo Cuprum, the largest aluminum extruder in Latin America, in its sale of two Mexican subsidiaries to National Material of Mexico.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Grupo Lamosa Acquisition
Carlos Trevi√Īo¬†and¬†Michael Flatter led a team representing Grupo Lamosa, one of the world‚Äôs leading ceramic tile manufacturers, in the purchase of Grupo Roca‚Äôs flat ceramic division for $260 million. Read more¬†¬Ľ

Nexstar Journalist’s Subpoena Quashed
Bob Latham¬†and¬†Miguel Ortiz¬†successfully protected an investigative journalist from a subpoena to testify at a court-martial hearing of a Fort Bliss soldier accused of sexual assault.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Periscope Holdings Sale
A team led by¬†Brandon Janes, Carlos Trevi√Īo, and Jonathan Bryant advised Periscope Holdings in the sale of its business to mdf commerce inc. for $207 million USD. Through the acquisition, mdf commerce is positioned to become a public eProcurement leader in North America.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Quantum Loophole Joint Venture
A team led by¬†Cale McDowell¬†and¬†Andee Hartig¬†advised Quantum Loophole in forming a strategic joint venture with TPG Real Estate Partners (TREP) to purchase an approximately 2,100-acre property in Frederick County, Maryland and develop a first-of-its-kind gigawatt scale data center community.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

TAB Challenges State’s Drone Law
Paul Watler¬†and¬†Eric Wong¬†filed a friend of the court brief by the Texas Association of Broadcasters in support of a news photographer‚Äôs lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state‚Äôs law restricting the use of drones for newsgathering purposes.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Congratulations to Our 57 ‚ÄúTexas Super Lawyers‚ÄĚ of 2021

Jackson Walker proudly announces the selection of 57 attorneys to¬†Thomson Reuters‚Äô 2021 ‚ÄúTexas Super Lawyers‚ÄĚ list.¬†Each year, less than 5% of attorneys in Texas are named to the list. Selection is based off of peer nominations that are then reviewed by a research team. Each nominee is evaluated on his or her professional accomplishments, peer recognition, and community involvement.¬†View our announcement ¬Ľ

ICYMI‚ÄĒIn Other News

  • The Best Lawyers in America¬†has recognized 178 Jackson Walker attorneys across 6 offices and 67 specialty practice areas in its 2022 edition, including 8¬†Lawyers of the Year¬†and 31¬†Ones to Watch.¬†Read more ¬Ľ
  • Above the Law¬†has named Jackson Walker as one of the top 10 law firms nationally for Energy.¬†Read more ¬Ľ
  • Based on interviews with more than 350 leading legal decision makers,¬†The BTI Consulting Group has named Jackson Walker among its list of intimidating opponents as named in its recently released report on the litigation outlook for 2022.¬†Read more ¬Ľ
  • Jackson Walker ranked #73 in¬†The American Lawyer‘s 2021 Diversity Scorecard, up from #95 in 2020. The Diversity Scorecard records the average number of full-time-equivalent diverse attorneys‚ÄĒAsian-American, Black, Latino or Hispanic, Native American and self-described multiracial attorneys‚ÄĒat Am Law 200 and National Law Journal 250 law firms in the calendar year 2020. Lawyer counts are average full-time-equivalent figures.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ

Visit the JW News page for more ¬Ľ

Why Are Diversity & Inclusion Programs Missing the Mark on Meaningful Change?

In an article contributed to¬†Texas Lawyer,¬†Dawn Holiday¬†shares how proper planning, training, assessment tools, and periodic evaluation can make for effective diversity and inclusion programs and inspire meaningful change for workplaces.¬†Read more¬†¬Ľ


Diversity & Inclusion

Get the latest updates on our diverse attorneys by visiting our Diversity & Inclusion webpage. For our quarterly news, see our Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter, Perspectives.

Fast Takes Podcasts

On each episode of our Fast Takes podcasts, JW attorneys discuss quick, actionable takeaways to help you and your business navigate today’s complex, interconnected landscape.

COVID Newsletter & Microsite

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, JW launched a newsletter and microsite to keep businesses updated on how they can keep workers safe and their doors open.

These materials are made available by Jackson Walker for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice, and are not a substitute for legal advice from qualified counsel. The laws of other states and nations may be entirely different from what is described. Your use of these materials does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Jackson Walker. The facts and results of each case will vary, and no particular result can be guaranteed.

© 2021 Jackson Walker