Jackson Walker Alumni Newsletter | Spring 2023

April 10, 2023 | Newsletters

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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, and share the latest news, insights, and events from around JW.

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.


Meet Amanda

Former Houston real estate associate Amanda Dworak is the Senior Vice President and Regional Counsel at Brookfield Properties. Recently, we caught up with Amanda as she discussed her role, her time at Jackson Walker, and where she sees her career heading. View the Q&A »

JW Alumni News

  • Faye Hilpert joined the Steffens Lane Braswell Group of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management as a Senior Vice President, Partner, and Financial Advisor.


Imagine There’s No Non-Competes

By G. Scott Fiddler and Michael Drab | The Federal Trade Commission proposed a rule that would prohibit non-compete agreements in every workplace in the United States and greatly limit their use in business transactions. The proposed rule has us imagining a Texas without non-competes, asking how we got here, and how the FTC’s proposed rule might affect Texas businesses.

EPA Tackles PFAS Discharge in Water

By Daniel Vineyard and Tyler Self | EPA recently issued the Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15 to address the widespread “forever chemicals,” known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), found in water, air, fish, and soil around the world. As EPA carries out Plan 15, the agency will be issuing regulatory determinations for all contaminants listed in Contaminant Candidate List 5 (CCL 5), which will certainly result in additional PFAS water discharge standards, especially regarding landfills and industrial zones.

Supreme Court Holds “Daily Rate” Not a “Salary”

By G. Scott Fiddler and Jackie Staple | The U.S. Supreme Court decided Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. et al v. Hewitt, a case involving a recurring issue under the Fair Labor Standards Act: what constitutes a “salary.”

What Employers Should Know About Emojis and Liability

By Baker Howry, Shannon Wright, and Jamila Brinson | This article provides an overview of what emojis mean for employers, including the potential for miscommunication, how courts have analyzed them, and key considerations for risk management.

Overview of US Government Actions After Bank Closings

By John Wittenberg | This article is a brief synopsis of the failures of Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”) and Signature Bank, NA (“Signature Bank”) and the actions taken by the U.S. government in response to these failures.

Future-Ready Business Podcast

AI, Automation, and the Rise of ChatGPT
Erin Camp and Art Cavazos discuss AI, automation, and how ChatGPT and similar tools may influence industries in the near future.

Next in Fashion: Influencers, IP, and Sustainability
Outside of Jackson Walker, William Nilson runs a bespoke clothing consultancy, and Courtney White reaches the masses through her Courthouse Couture blog and social media. In this episode of FRB, Erin and Art engage in a conversation with William and Courtney about fashion and the intersection of art and business.

Jackson Walker Fast Takes Podcast

Three Actions Health Systems Should Take Before COVID Blanket Waivers Expire
The COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency end on May 11, 2023. Jeffrey Frost shares three actions health systems should take now to ensure compliance once the emergency declaration expires.

Immigration Issues When Contemplating Layoffs or Reductions in Force
Kelly Cobb and Sang Shin cover key considerations that employers with foreign national workers should keep in mind in the event there are layoffs or reductions in force, as not all visas are created equal.

Three Elements of a Successful D&I Program
What factors drive a successful diversity and inclusion program at a company? Dawn Holiday shares how well-intentioned D&I programs miss the mark and provides the essential elements for success.


Supporting SALSA Expunction Intake Clinic

On November 15, 2022, Mark Comuzzie, Mark Miller, Roderick Faulk, and Brian Pettis participated in San Antonio Legal Services Association’s (SALSA) Expunction Intake Clinic, providing simple estate plans for two veterans while also mentoring four students from St. Mary’s Law School. The expunction clinic offered free assistance for low-income veterans interested in clearing qualifying criminal offenses from their record and obtaining estate plans.

SALSA is an organization of attorney volunteers coordinated by a professional staff to provide free legal services across a variety of civil legal issues and multiple areas of substantive law, to those with limited means and are vulnerable or at-risk.

Their programs are designed to meet significant legal needs in San Antonio and surrounding communities that otherwise would go unaddressed. SALSA’s current program areas are housing and homelessness, estates and disability, veterans legal services, and special projects.

SALSA offers many different kinds of volunteer service opportunities for attorneys, including legal clinics and issue-specific programs with extensive training resources and expert oversight.

Jackson Walker is honored to support SALSA and those in need, including the veterans, in our community. 

Representation of Afghan Soldier Abdul Wasi Safi

After escaping Afghanistan to evade torture and execution from the Taliban for helping the United States, Afghan soldier Abdul Wasi Safi was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border while attempting to seek asylum in the U.S. As a result of the outstanding advocacy of Erica Benites Giese and Zachary Fertitta, charges have been dismissed. Read more »

Oklahoma State Attorney General Requests to Vacate Richard Glossip’s Death Row Conviction

On April 6, 2023, Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond filed a motion to vacate the conviction of Richard Glossip, a state inmate who has been on death row for 25 years, and remand the case to the district court for a new trial. AG Drummond’s motion was filed three days after Independent Counsel submitted a final report asserting that the State can no longer stand behind Glossip’s 2004 conviction and death sentence.

The newly revealed evidence was first reported to the public by the Reed Smith/Jackson Walker/Crowe & Dunlevy investigative team on March 27 in a Fifth Supplemental Report to its ongoing independent investigation into Glossip’s case and conviction. The potential Brady and Napue violations cited in Duncan’s report were found in a box of evidence (Box 8) from the District Attorney’s Office Case Files that were only made available in February 2023 after AG Drummond took office.

“We are grateful for Attorney General Drummond’s reversal of his predecessor’s decision to withhold Box 8, and for setting the record straight today with his motion to vacate,” said Christina Vitale, one of the Jackson Walker partners working on the investigation. “We are also thankful for the prompt and thoughtful investigation of Independent Counsel Duncan, and for the privilege of representing the Oklahoma legislators who sought clarity in this important matter.”

Read more »


Jackson Walker Welcomes New Partners

Karl BakerKarl Baker
Real Estate
San Antonio
Sabina BramlettSabina Bramlett
Trusts & Estates
Tim DavisTim Davis
Fort Worth
Graham McCallGraham McCall
Corporate & Securities
Lisa PetersonLisa Peterson
Corporate & Securities
Fort Worth & Dallas
Tara PottsTara Potts
Trusts & Estates

Client Results

  • The Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Helena Chemical Company, reinstating a summary judgment in a lawsuit alleging that an aerial application of herbicide damaged cotton fields in Mitchell County, Texas. This appeal addressed critical issues of causation and expert testimony and set important precedent. The team representing Helena included Robert Soza, Jennifer Caughey, and Danica Milios, as well as trial team members Stephen Calhoun and Amanda Crouch. Read more »
  • The Texas Supreme Court granted Hidalgo County Water Improvement District No. 3’s petition for review on an important eminent domain appeal, which addresses what happens when one condemning authority seeks to use another public entity’s land. The team included Jennifer Caughey, Brad Anderson, and Danica Milios. Read more »
  • JW represented an international oil company in affirming an $18 million default judgment in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a contribution action against the former owner/operator of a Superfund Site in Bakersfield, California. Christopher Thompson and Daniel Vineyard represented the client at trial, and Jennifer Caughey, Peter Hansen, Danica Milios, and Christopher Thompson handled the appeal. Read more »
  • The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in favor of Flight Training International regarding an FAA order concerning pilot certification requirements. The team was led by Jennifer Caughey and included James Struble, Justin Lee, and Cody Martinez. Read more »
  • The San Antonio Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Houston Forward Times (“Media Intervenors”) for the third time, reversing a trial court’s order and rendering judgment denying an amended motion to seal 14 trial exhibits in the case of Title Source v. HouseCanary. The Media Intervenors were represented by Chip Babcock, Amanda Crouch, and Joshua Romero. Read more »
  • CNN obtained a victory in the Southern District of Texas when the court granted its motion to dismiss a defamation case brought by a Texas doctor who publicly advocated for the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. Bob Latham and Demi Williams represented CNN in the matter. Read more »
  • Cirrus Logic was listed among the top 300 U.S.-issued patent assignees for 2022 by the Intellectual Property Owners Association. Brian Prewitt, Temple Keller, Andrea Thai, and Tori Emery assisted in obtaining 126 of Cirrus Logic’s 165 patents issued in 2022. In fact, since 2012, the team has had a hand in helping Cirrus Logic secure 738 granted U.S. patents and 332 foreign patents. Read more »
  • JW and lead counsel Kirkland & Ellis are representing Nautical Solutions, L.L.C. and its debtor affiliate in their Chapter 11 reorganization. The team includes Matthew Cavenaugh, Jennifer Wertz, Victoria Argeroplos, Javier Gonzalez, and Beau Butler. Read more »
  • JW served as lead real estate counsel for D.R. Horton, Inc. in the acquisition of Riggins Custom Homes, one of the largest builders in Northwest Arkansas. The team was led by Tim Taylor and included Lenora DuBose, Spence Howden, Allyn Hurley, and John Stevenson III. Read more »

Firm Announcements

Jackson Walker Congratulates Its 2023 Texas Rising Stars

Sixty-three Jackson Walker attorneys were selected to Thomson Reuters’ 2022 “Super Lawyers – Rising Stars” list. Of those recognized, Chris Bankler, Amanda Crouch, Joshua Flores, Noah Galton, Joel Glover, Reagan Marble, and Zach Zurek were named among the “Up-and-Coming 100: 2023 Texas Rising Stars” list, and Amanda and Veronica Polnick were recognized among the “Up-and-Coming 50: 2023 Women Texas Rising Stars” list. Read more »

Jennifer WertzJennifer Wertz on Her Path Toward Restructuring

After spending four years as a bilingual kindergarten teacher, Jennifer Wertz intended to practice immigration law, an area in which she saw a need while teaching. But her unexpected love for learning contracts during her first year of law school coupled with the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers in her first month of law school refocused her attention to an area she had never considered: bankruptcy and restructuring. Read more »


  • Jackson Walker, as part of the newly formed Pre-Law Founding Circle, has partnered with PracticePro to help award at least eight Pre-Law Diversity Scholarships for underrepresented college students and graduates seeking legal careers. Read more »
  • Dan Berce, President and Chief Executive Officer of GM Financial, was recently presented with the 2023 Susan Halsey Executive Leadership Award. In honor of the late Susan Halsey, JW established the award to be presented each year at the Fort Worth Chamber’s Annual Meeting to a member of the community who demonstrates leadership excellence in business in the Fort Worth metropolitan area. Read more »


NAPE Summit Reception

Jackson Walker proudly sponsored the 2023 NAPE Summit Reception attended by attorneys and in-house landmen. NAPE is the energy industry’s marketplace for the buying, selling and trading of prospects and producing properties.

Women’s Business Conference

Jackson Walker is honored to support the Dallas Regional Chamber each year in presenting the Women’s Business Conference, which gathers the top professional women and business leaders in Dallas as they turn bold ideas into action to drive professional and personal growth throughout the entire year — and to create a stronger, more inclusive region. Many thanks to Monica Messick for speaking on behalf of the firm at the conference!


JW Careers

Our JW Recruiting team has posted several openings across the firm. You can visit our Lateral Attorneys page for a look at open positions. Also, please feel free to share opportunities with your networks.

Diversity & Inclusion

Visit our Diversity & Inclusion website to view our 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Report. For our quarterly news, see our Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter, Perspectives.

Launch of USA Business Digest

We launched the USA Business Digest, a newsletter by Manny Schoenhuber that covers legal insights for European companies and investors in the United States.

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.

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.

© 2023 Jackson Walker