JW Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter – November 2022

November 17, 2022 | Newsletters

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Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, Marisela Peña Gonzalez and Javier Gonzalez joined Jackson Walker’s Fast Takes podcast to share how their upbringings shaped their journeys.

As a fourth-generation Texan and a first-generation college graduate, Marisela proudly serves as an example to other Latinas that they too can succeed if they make the most of every opportunity.

Having grown up in a close-knit community centered around family, Javier treats every individual, even adversaries in the courtroom, with the utmost respect.

Listen to the episode »


Mansfield 5.0 Certification Plus Status

Jackson Walker proudly announces our achievement of Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification Plus status. Our firm is one of the more than 160 law firms that successfully completed Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification Program. Launched by Diversity Lab in 2017, the Mansfield Rule was designed to improve diversity within law firm and legal department leadership.

The Mansfield Certification Plus status indicates that, in addition to accomplishing the baseline certification requirements, our firm has successfully achieved at least 30% underrepresented lawyer representation in a notable number of current leadership roles. Read more »

Suzan Kedron and Chad ColeRelated: Elevating JW’s Commitment to DEI

Check out Suzan Kedron and Chad Cole‘s interview on the Fast Takes podcast as they discuss the Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification Program and the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Listen here »

Announcing Our Most Diverse NFA Class Yet

Jackson Walker is strengthened by hiring and training attorneys who have excellent academic records, demonstrated leadership ability, strong work ethic, and diverse backgrounds that reflect our clients and the communities we serve.

This year, we welcomed 18 law school graduates as part of our most diverse class of new fall associates in our firm’s history. Of our 18 new fall associates, 16 are women or diverse individuals.

Skyler Arbuckle
Dallas, ERISA
Kshitiz Gautam
Dallas, Litigation
Alexander Leseney
Dallas, Litigation
Sarah Starr
Dallas, Litigation
Caroline Capili
Houston, Real Estate
Shayan Gaziani
Dallas, Corporate
Mark Mariani
Austin, Litigation
Anais Stevens
Austin, ERISA/Labor & Employment
Sydney Carroll
Dallas, Finance
Graeme Hawkins
Houston, Energy
Kristen Peña
Austin, Real Estate
Ryan Watkins
Dallas, Litigation
Anabelle Copeland
Dallas, Real Estate
Baker Howry
Houston, Litigation
Victoria Ramos Queneau
Austin, Corporate
Shannon Wright
Houston, Litigation

The Tiny Talker

As the mother of a once-nonverbal son, Brittani Rollen worked with her husband, Ryan, to develop an alternative speaking device, named The Tiny Talker, to help their son and other nonverbal children learn to communicate their needs. In August 2022, Brittani, Ryan, and their son, Lucas, spoke with Shaun Rabb from FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth about the story behind the simple, low-cost push button speech tablet. Learn more »

Welcoming New Diverse Talent

As we continue to intensify our efforts to recruit diverse talent, we are proud to have welcomed the following women and diverse attorneys from August 2022 through October 2022:

Henry Gilmore
Senior Counsel, Austin
Manonh Soumahoro
Associate, Dallas
Carolyn Mulvey
Senior Counsel, San Antonio
Chandler Stephens
Associate, Dallas
Emily Flynn Meraia
Associate, Houston
Heather Waters
Associate, Houston
Emily Rhine
Associate, Dallas

Achieving Results for Clients

Attorneys across various practices and backgrounds come together to serve the needs of our clients. From the pitch to the end result, our teams include women and diverse attorneys who are involved at every stage of the representation. The following matters from August 2022 to October 2022 were handled by teams that were led by or included women and diverse attorneys:

  • Christina Vitale led the pro bono representation of death row inmate Richard Glossip with his 60-day stay of execution in Oklahoma. Obtaining the stay was critical to allow time for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to review a request for a new evidentiary hearing in his case. Glossip was convicted in 2004 of a murder for hire based on the testimony of the confessed killer, Justin Sneed, who agreed to testify against Glossip to avoid the death penalty. Read more »
  • Jennifer Freel and Emily Rhine won an appeal at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for a Mississippi inmate who was fighting to have his habeas corpus petition heard. The Fifth Circuit held that the lower court had miscalculated the deadline for filing his petition by failing to include a 90-day period during which the client could have sought U.S. Supreme Court review of the underlying conviction. Read more »
  • Josh Romero and Emilio Nicolas successfully represented Kirk Weddle, the photographer behind Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind album cover featuring a swimming baby grabbing for a dollar bill on a fishhook, in a dispute brought by Spencer Elden. Mr. Elden is the now-adult subject featured on the album cover. Read more »
  • Atlas Copco, a Swedish industrial tools and equipment manufacturer, acquired Montana Instruments Corporation for an undisclosed purchase price. Raman DewanJessica PalvinoAlyca Riley GarrisonRobert Soza, and Andrea Thai were a part of the team that advised Montana Instruments. Read more »
  • Nancy Hamilton co-led the representation of Dr. Phil McGraw, Peteski Productions, Inc., and CBS Media Ventures in a case brought by a former guest who alleged the staff of Dr. Phil recommended and arranged for her treatment at Turn-About Ranch, where she claims she was sexually assaulted. Read more »
  • Andrea Thai and Tori Emery were a part of the Jackson Walker team that assisted Cirrus Logic in obtaining 670 granted U.S. patents and 293 foreign patents since 2011. Cirrus Logic’s outstanding number of patent registrations over recent years has landed the company among the Patent 300 in 2019 and 2020. Read more »
  • Jackson Walker represented Novaria Group in completing six acquisitions in seven months. The team included Sara Borrelli, Greta Cowart, Taylor Cummins, Raman Dewan, Alyca Riley Garrison, Sara Harris, Kayla Matus, Sarah Montgomery, Amanda Neinast, Jessica Palvino, David Schlottman, Robert Soza, Sara Thornton, Ashley Withers, and Chelsea WoodRead more » 
  • Demi Williams represented CNN in a $100M defamation suit filed by Dr. Stella Immanuel, a Houston-based doctor and member of a group called “Americas Frontline Doctors”. The Southern District of Texas – Houston Division granted CNN’s motion to dismiss, finding that CNN’s reports were not false, were protected opinion, were fair comments on a matter of public concern, and/or were published without actual malice. Read more » 

Recognizing Achievements

During the third quarter of 2022, the firm received the following recognitions:

  • Jackson Walker achieved Mansfield 5.0 Certification Plus status. Our firm is one of the more than 160 law firms that successfully completed Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification Program. Read more »
  • The firm is participating in the Mansfield Rule 6.0 Certification process, the most challenging yet, which runs from July 2022 to July 2023. Read more »
  • Jackson Walker has been recognized by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) with the 2022 Compass Award. The award recognizes individuals and organizations for showing a strong commitment to building a more diverse organization and a more inclusive legal profession. Read more »

In addition, the following women and diverse individuals received notable achievements:



CAIL 75th Anniversary Gala

Jackson Walker sponsored The Center for American and International Law’s (CAIL) 75th Anniversary Gala October 19, 2022. Shannon Zmub Teicher, Skyler Arbuckle, Shayan Gaziani, and Dana Nguyen represented JW at the event.

Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair 

Joseph Guajardo and Genevieve Graham represented JW at the 2022 Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair held July 27-29, 2022. The National LGBTQ+ Bar Association’s annual conference and career fair helps foster community and inclusion for LGBTQ+ candidates in the legal profession.

“Fill the Backpacks”

Jackson Walker’s Dallas office partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas and Community Partners of Dallas, filling up backpacks with school supplies to make sure local students have what they need to succeed.

Houston Children’s Back2School Program

Jackson Walker attorneys and staff in Houston successfully put together 50 backpacks filled with school supplies for Houston Children’s Charity Back2School Program.

Holiday Olé Market

On October 21, 2022, San Antonio JW2 hosted an event at the Holiday Olé Market that included drinks, lite bites, networking, and complimentary admission to shop at the Holiday Olé Market.

Make-A-Wish Fundraiser

Our Austin office raised over $16,000 for Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas to grant Carson’s wish to go to Disney World. In celebration, the Austin office hosted Carson and his family with a Disney send-off party.

Lambda Legal’s Landmark Dinner

Jackson Walker sponsored Lambda Legal’s Landmark Dinner, which was attended by Suzan Kedron, Luke Franz, Joseph Guajardo, and Chad Cole on August 6, 2022. Hosted every year, the event celebrates Lambda Legal’s work to provide legal and lived equality for all LGTBQ+ people and everyone living with HIV.

Black Tie Dinner

Suzan Kedron, Luke Franz, Joseph Guajardo, and Genevieve Graham attended the Black Tie Dinner held on September 24, 2022. Since its inception in 1982, Black Tie Dinner has been the largest fundraising dinner for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community in the nation. Each year, Black Tie Dinner selects up to 20 North Texas beneficiaries to receive dinner proceeds as well as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the Dinner’s national beneficiary. To date, Black Tie Dinner has distributed over $25 million. Jackson Walker is a proud sponsor of this event.

ACC Business Conference and Expo

Jackson Walker sponsored the Asian American Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Business Conference and Trade Forum on August 26, 2022. Mahira Khan, Shari Mao, Paisley Park, Jeremy Sheng, and Sang Shin attended and represented JW at our conference exhibitor table. Sang, Shari, and Jeremy also presented at the conference.

Women In The Know

Jackson Walker’s Dallas office hosted Women In The Know’s “Stop the Bleed of Talent” luncheon, which was moderated by Shelisa Brock and featured industry-leading panelists, on July 28, 2022.

United Way Campaign

Jackson Walker’s San Antonio office raised a record high $34,660 – an increase of $5,645 from the previous year for United Way’s 2022 campaign.


Youth Justice Alliance Fellows in Austin

Raman Dewan, Alicia Duleba, Christopher Mugica, Michael Roberts, and Joshua Romero joined a luncheon and tour of our Austin office for the Youth Justice Alliance Fellows, who are recent high school graduates selected by YJA to participate in a four-year program that will assist in prepping them on applying to law school. We are a proud sponsor of YJA and the fellowship programs they provide to support underserved communities.

Texas Minority Counsel Program Reception

Nate St. Clair, Dana Nguyen, and Miguel Ortiz attended the Texas Minority Counsel Program (TMCP) reception on September 15, 2022, in Dallas. Nate is a member of the TMCP Statewide Steering Committee and the Co-Chair of the Dallas City-Planning Committee.


DISCO Fireside Chat

Chevazz Brown sat down with DISCO CEO Kiwi Camara for a fireside chat discussing DISCO’s journey from a small startup in 2013 to a $2.4 billion IPO last year.



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.

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