Attorney Intel is pleased to announce The Top 50 Attorneys of San Antonio for 2022. As the 7th largest city in the United States, San Antonio has experienced steady growth in major areas including aerospace, IT and cybersecurity, healthcare, and green technologies. This year’s awardees provide legal counsel for individuals and large corporations within the city limits. Their industry knowledge, legal expertise, and sound judgment are highly sought after.
Among this year’s awardees is Christopher Cain, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel for iHeartMedia, who manages a team of attorneys and provides legal advice to company executives and business units, overseeing all transactional and regulatory matters. Awardee Ed Koellner, Senior Attorney of Payments and Fintech for USAA Federal Savings Bank, is known for being an accomplished corporate intellectual property leader in the development of IP management, licensing, patent, trademarks, and copyrights. Also awarded is Christina Markell-Balleza, Managing Director and General Counsel for CAPTRUST, who has vast experience in representing investment advisors with respect to organizational matters, registration, securities and regulatory issues, compliance, fund formation, and investor negotiations.
These individuals provide expert advice and are in great demand in their respective fields. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Attorneys of San Antonio for 2022.
1. Brenna Nava
VP & Deputy General Counsel, Rackspace Technology
Brenna Nava is the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Rackspace Technology, a multi cloud solutions expert. The firm provides software solutions that support and manage cloud platforms, as well as offers managed hosting, colocation, security, data processing, and enterprise application development. Nava has over 15 years of legal experience, including 10 years as a corporate lawyer. She is a corporate generalist with significant hands-on and management experience in many aspects of a global legal function including employment and benefits matters, litigation, commercial transactions, M&A, privacy, security, compliance, and ethics. Nava began her career in 2007.
Before joining Rackspace Technology, Nava was an associate attorney at Haynes and Boone, LLP. She graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law with a JD and from West Texas A&M University with an undergraduate degree in fine arts.
2. Christopher Cain
SVP & Associate General Counsel, iHeartMedia
Christopher Cain began his professional career 27 years ago. Today, he is a Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel for iHeartMedia. With over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S. and over 129 million social followers, iHeartMedia has the largest national reach of any radio or television outlet in America. As the leader in multiplatform connections, it also serves over 150 local markets through 858 owned radio stations. Gain provides legal advice to company executives and business units, overseeing all transactional and regulatory matters, and managing a team of attorneys in support of this division.
Cain has diverse general counseling experience including traditional and digital media, acquisitions/divestitures, compliance, and other transactional matters. He first got his start in 1995 as an associate attorney at Sessions & Sessions. Cain graduated from the University of Houston Law Center with a JD and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree.
3. Kipling Giles
VP & Deputy General Counsel, CPS Energy
Kipling Giles began his professional career 19 years ago. Today, he is a Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally owned natural gas and electric company. It provides safe and affordable service to 821,000 electric and 347,000 natural gas customers in the Greater San Antonio area. Giles works extensively on litigation-related work including open records, subpoenas, discovery, and claims resolution.
Prior to joining CPS Energy, Giles was an associate at Strasburger & Price (now Clark Hill), where he worked broadly on general litigation matters. He earned a law degree from St. Mary’s University and an undergraduate degree from Angelo State University.
4. Ryan Sullivan
Trial Attorney, DLA Piper
Ryan Sullivan is a Trial Attorney for DLA Piper, a multinational law firm with offices in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He is an experienced litigator who has second-chaired trials in state and federal court. Sullivan joined DLA Piper in 2021 from the San Antonio office of a national firm.
Sullivan has a track record of obtaining a directed verdict for a client at trial in a tortious interference action. In a breach-of-contract action, he has successfully argued for death-penalty sanctions, resulting in default judgment in favor of his client and in a shareholder derivative suit, obtained dismissal of all claims against his client and an award of attorneys' fees and sanctions. Prior to practicing law, Sullivan earned a master's degree in urban planning and served as a presidential management fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Sullivan is a 2014 graduate of the George Washington University School of Law.
5. Lindsay Leifeste
Attorney, Old Republic Title
Lindsay Leifeste began her professional career 13 years ago. Today, she is an Attorney for Old Republic Title, one of America's 50 largest shareholder-owned insurance businesses. It operates through a national network of company-owned offices, affiliates, authorized agents, and approved attorneys, which allows the company to service its customers in both large and small markets across the country. Leifeste is an attorney licensed in TX, AL, and NM, and a commercial escrow officer. She helps provide a smooth closing process for commercial real estate lenders, developers, brokers, and all other interested parties. She has either directly closed or been a part of the closing team for a combined more than $810 million in commercial real estate transactions since mid-2019.
Leifeste’s previous legal experience was in business, complex commercial, and insurance defense litigation, including two jury trials. She first got her start in 2009 as a multimedia news producer at Gannett Company, Inc. From there, she went on to the U.S. Attorney's Office, before eventually rising to become a senior associate attorney at Plunkett, Griesenbeck & Mimari, her most recent position prior to joining Old Republic Title. Leifeste graduated from Mercer University - Walter F. George School of Law with a JD and from Northwestern University with an undergraduate degree in journalism.
6. Lisa Hill
General Counsel, Visionworks of America
Lisa Hill began her professional career 18 years ago. Today, she is the General Counsel of Visionworks of America, the industry-leading, national vision care company with 700+ locations in 40 states. Its stores offer designer and exclusive brand frames, lenses, sunglasses, and accessories along with leading technology in vision correction. Its comprehensive eye care services include eyewear, contact lens dispensing, in-store labs and doctors of optometry at or next to every store. Visionworks is committed to providing an unparalleled customer experience and high-quality products and services with the best value and selection in the industry.
Hill first got her start in 2004 as an associate attorney at Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated. From there, she went on to Community Hospital Corporation before eventually rising to become a general counsel at Shannon Medical Center, her most recent position prior to joining Visionworks of America. Hill graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a JD and from Texas A&M University-Kingsville with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
7. Ed Koellner
Senior Attorney of Payments and Fintech, USAA Federal Savings Bank
Ed Koellner is a Senior Attorney of Payments and Fintech for USAA Federal Savings Bank, the mission focused bank serving the military and their families. Koellner is a legal advisor for entrepreneurial fintech initiatives including advanced payments platforms, virtual banking, bill pay, blockchain, ACH, wire, and Zelle. He is known for being a regulatory legal subject matter expert for Reg. E, CC, UCC-4 and 4(a) and NACHA, and advises on technology innovations for the USAA Innovation Lab. Koellner has 19 years of experience. He began his career in 2003.
Koellner is an accomplished corporate intellectual property leader in the development of IP management, licensing, patent, trademarks, and copyrights. He is the executive manager of several international compliance departments developing and implementing innovative compliance programs. Koellner graduated from Marquette University with a JD, from the University of Mississippi School of Law with an LLM, from Texas Christian University - M.J. Neeley School of Business with an MBA, from Arizona State University with an MS in global technology & development, and from West Virginia University with an undergraduate degree in chemistry.
8. Ken Gitter
AVP & General Attorney, O'Melveny & Myers
Ken Gitter is an Associate Vice President and General Attorney for O'Melveny & Myers, one of the largest law firms in the world, employing approximately 740 lawyers in offices in California, Washington, D.C., New York City, Beijing, Brussels, Hong Kong, London, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo. Formed in 1885, it played a key role in making Los Angeles and Southern California one of the world’s population and business centers. It has important clients in the entertainment and media industries, including Walt Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Time Inc. It represents corporations in many other fields and government agencies in the United States and abroad. At the beginning of the 21st century, O’Melveny & Myers played an important role in the globalization of the world economy and the major changes occurring due to the Information Age and electronic commerce. Gitter has 36 years of experience. He began his career in 1986.
Before joining O'Melveny & Myers, Gitter was an associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP. He graduated from Rutgers Law School.
9. Jeffrey Calfa
IBM Technology Attorney, Axiom
Jeffrey Calfa is the IBM Technology Attorney of Axiom, doing transactional work for cloud services company Taos Mountain LLC, an IBM company. Calfa’s experience includes mergers and acquisition, all forms of technology agreements, licensing, patent, and trademark prosecution and enforcement, government contracting, and corporate governance. He is a US Navy Veteran, a former nuclear submarine engineering officer, and former utility engineer.
Before joining Axiom, Calfa was an associate general counsel at Navistar Inc where he provided all legal support for the formation of a telecommunications affiliate including negotiation of all supplier agreements, customer agreements, privacy policies, compliance determinations, license and formation agreements. Earlier in his career he worked with GE as a startup, test and operations engineer. Calfa graduated from Suffolk University Law School with a JD and from Stony Brook University with an undergraduate degree in engineering chemistry.
10. Erika Robinson
General Counsel, Trinity University
Erika Robinson is the General Counsel of Trinity University, a private university founded in 1869, with a student body consisting of about 2,600 undergraduate and 200 graduate students. SHe is a skillful, thoughtful and collaborative education attorney, who has provided strategic advice and counsel to K-12 school districts, higher educational institutions, and school leaders throughout her career. In addition to her roles with Trinity University, she is an Adjunct Professor for Tulane University Law School instructing two online courses on subjects in the Title IX Certificate and Specialization Program.
Before joining Trinity University, Robinson was a general counsel and Title IX coordinator at Jackson Public Schools, and before that, an associate general counsel in labor and employment at Shelby County Schools. Earlier in her career she worked with SEED Public Charter School of Washington DC as a residential instructor. Robinson graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law with a JD, from Ohio University with an MEd, and from Agnes Scott College with an undergraduate degree in political science.
11. Adelita Cavada
Attorney, City of Corpus Christi
Adelita Cavada is an Attorney for the City of Corpus Christi. She first took on this role in 2021.mpany in 2021. The mission of the City of Corpus Christi, Texas is to deliver municipal services which meet the vital health, safety and general welfare needs of the residents and which sustain and improve their quality of life. Cavada is licensed to practice in the Northern, Western, and Southern Districts of Texas.
Previously, Cavada was an attorney at Adelita Cavada Law supporting a portfolio of clients including presidents, CEOs and senior management staff where she provided general legal advice on business operations and corporate governance and HR-related legal matters, including employment issues and contract negotiations and identifying potential areas of vulnerability and risk. Before that, she was an attorney associate at Daw & Ray, LLP. Earlier in her career she worked with Bexar County as a compensation analyst. Cavada earned a JD from St. Mary's University School of Law, an MA in industrial and organizational psychology from St. Mary's University, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
12. Cynthia Grimes
Attorney, Clark Hill
Cynthia Grimes is the Attorney of Clark Hill, a full-service commercial law firm for business legal challenges. It offers its clients an exceptional team, dedicated to the delivery of outstanding service. Grimes is a member of the firm's Healthcare Business Unit group and focuses on commercial disputes and litigation in health law and medical products including credentialing and Medical and Dental Board disputes. She has 46 years of experience. She began her career in 1976.
Grimes has tried 69 jury trials involving complex issues and catastrophic damages including nine brain injury cases. She has been board certified in two areas by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1984, Civil Trial Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation. Before joining Clark Hill, Grimes was an attorney at Groce, Locke & Hebdon. She graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law with a JD and from the University of Houston with an undergraduate degree in political science.
13. Christina Markell-Balleza
Managing Director & General Counsel, CAPTRUST
Christina Markell-Balleza began her professional career 19 years ago. Today, she is a Managing Director and General Counsel for CAPTRUST, one of the largest independent retirement plan and investment advisory firms in the country. It specializes in providing consultative advisory services to retirement plan sponsors, endowments, foundations, institutional investors, executives, and high-net-worth individuals. CAPTRUST’s core values represent the firm’s collective heartbeat and direct how it serves its clients, relates to its colleagues, interacts with its vendors and partners, and addresses its communities.
Markell-Balleza first got her start in 2003 as an associate attorney at Haynes and Boone, LLP. From there, she went on to South Texas Money Management as co-CEO, her most recent position prior to joining CAPTRUST. Markell-Balleza graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with a JD and from St. Mary's University with an undergraduate degree in political science.
14. Brandon Durrett
Attorney, Jackson Walker
Brandon Durrett is a Board Certified Oil and Gas attorney in the San Antonio office of Jackson Walker LLC. Practicing in Texas and New Mexico, he counsels petroleum industry clients in oil and gas acquisitions and divestitures, commercial petroleum industry agreements, and complex disputes over oil and gas assets. He has broad experience negotiating purchase and sale agreements for both upstream and midstream assets, plus related marketing, financing, confidentiality, and transition agreements. He also works closely with corporate partners on energy-related mergers, capital investments, and private equity deals.
Before joining Jackson Walker, Durrett was a partner at Dykema, and before that, a senior attorney at Dykema Cox Smith. Earlier in his career he worked with Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend as a law clerk. Durrett graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law with a JD and from Brigham Young University with an undergraduate degree in English.
15. Danielle Rushing
Senior Attorney, Dykema
Danielle Rushing is a Senior Attorney for Dykema, a leading national law firm serving business entities worldwide, from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, on a wide range of complex legal issues. Dykema is distinguished by its cost-effective and collaborative partnerships with its clients. It delivers practical, results-oriented counsel earning accolades from clients nationwide for its efforts on their behalf in the courtroom and in the boardroom. Unparalleled client service is at the heart of Dykema’s approach to the practice of law. That focus has been a cornerstone of its success for the past 85 years.
Rushing first got her start in 2016 as an associate attorney at Curl Stahl Geis. From there, she went on to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Craig A. Gargotta, her most recent position prior to joining Dykema. Rushing graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law with a JD and from Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College with an undergraduate degree in agricultural business.
16. Tara Richardson
Senior Litigation Attorney, Cordell & Cordell
Tara Richardson is a Senior Litigation Attorney of Cordell & Cordell, an international and domestic litigation firm that is frequently cited as the largest men's divorce law firm in the country with more than 150 offices and 300 attorneys in 45 states and two countries. Its divorce attorneys are dedicated to providing high quality service in family law. The Wall Street Journal has described the firm as among the most ambitious of a breed of law firms that has emerged to capitalize on the fathers' rights movement. Richardson has 17 years of experience. She began her career in 2005.
Before joining Cordell & Cordell, Richardson was an attorney at Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, and before that, an attorney at Mauzé Law Firm. Earlier in her career she worked with Fulbright & Jaworski as a project manager. Richardson graduated from South Texas College of Law Houston with a JD and from The University of Texas at San Antonio with an undergraduate degree in English.
17. John Nisbet
General Counsel, Phyllis Browning Company
John Nisbet began his professional career 18 years ago. Today, he is a General Counsel for Phyllis Browning Company. Since 1989, PBC has provided South Texas real estate services. It is the largest independent, locally owned residential real estate company in Central Texas, with over 250 agents in 5 offices. Nisbet is Board Certified in Residential Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The foundation of his practice in his chosen specialty is his ~$40 million experience in real estate sales and background as a third-generation broker. A San Antonio native, he has been dually licensed as both an attorney and broker since 2006 and 2007, respectively.
Nisbet first got his start in 2004 as an associate at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. From there, he went on to Nisbet Ranch Sales, LLC, before eventually moving on to become a property manager at Dijon North COA, his most recent position prior to joining Phyllis Browning Company. Nisbet graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree.
18. Xochil Rodriguez
Attorney & Policy Expert, San Antonio River Authority
Xochil Rodriguez began her professional career 13 years ago. Today, she is an Attorney and Policy Expert for the San Antonio River Authority (SARA). SARA, created in 1937, is one of many such active river authorities in the State of Texas. Its jurisdiction covers 3,658 square miles - all of Bexar, Wilson, Karnes and Goliad Counties. Rodriguez is an experienced lawyer with a demonstrated history of working in higher education and local government. She is skilled in writing, policy analysis, hearings, administrative law, and legislative analysis.
Rodriguez first got her start in 2009 as an assistant city attorney at City of San Antonio. From there, she went on to The University of Texas at San Antonio as an associate counsel where she was an in-house attorney responsible for advising and independently handling and managing a high volume of legal matters across all University departments and programs. Rodriguez graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with a JD and from Rice University with an undergraduate degree in architectural studies.
19. Charla Davies
Attorney, Langley & Banack
Charla Davies began her professional career 20 years ago. Today, she is an Attorney for Langley & Banack. The firm is committed to the efficient representation of clients with national, statewide, and regional interests, including financial institutions, public entities, trusts, corporations, nonprofits and individuals. Davies’s practice is focused on all matters related to family law, including divorce, custody, child support and adoptions.
Davies has extensive experience in high conflict family law matters including, divorce, property division, child custody, child support, and enforcement of court orders. In addition to her trial practice, she also practices Collaborative Family Law. She was honored to serve as the president of the Collaborative Divorce Professionals of San Antonio and served as the chair of the San Antonio Bar Associations' s Family Law Section. She has been elected to the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Bar Association. Davies had the honor of being named a Rising Star in Family Law in Texas Monthly Magazine as well as a Rising Star in Family Law in Scene in SA Magazine. She has also earned the distinction of being on the list of Best Lawyers in San Antonio in Scene in SA Magazine as well as a Top Family Lawyer for 2020. In 2021, Davies was selected for inclusion in the 27th edition of The Best Lawyers in America. She graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at San Antonio with an undergraduate degree in political science and government.
20. Ed Allred
Attorney & Partner, Watts Guerra
Edward Allred is the Attorney and Partner of Watts Guerra. He first joined the firm in 2004. Watts Guerra is a true nationwide litigation practice. Its trial lawyers handle some of the largest cases nationally for catastrophic injury and death, product liability, commercial litigation, and mass torts. Its resources are larger than most firms, enabling the firm to invest tens of millions of dollars at once to battle the largest corporations in the world. Watts Guerra has a proven track record of serious, high-value results, and has beaten the largest and most powerful corporations in America, yielding substantial verdicts and settlements and, more importantly, greater consumer safety for everyone. Allred’s primary practice is within catastrophic personal injury and death litigation, specializing in railroad and roadway collisions.
Prior to joining Watts Guerra, Allred was a litigation counsel with Valero Energy Corporation. He first got his start with Baker & McKenzie as a litigation attorney. Allred earned a JD from St. Mary's University School of Law and an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University.
21. Dave Hague
Attorney, Fabian VanCott
Dave Hague began his professional career 20 years ago. Today, he is a Attorney with Fabian VanCott, a full-service business law firm and one of the western region’s most powerful law practices. Additionally, Hague joined the St. Mary's University School of Law in 2016, where he is a tenured professor of law.
Hague is experienced in representing secured and unsecured creditors, debtors, debtors-in-possession, trustees and receivers in federal and state courts. He has successfully represented clients before the Tenth U.S. Circuit and the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Tenth U.S. Circuit. He is familiar with all aspects of the Uniform Commercial Code, having litigated in both federal and state court several complex issues involving Articles 2, 3, 4, and 9 of the UCC. Hague also handles complex commercial litigation cases where he teams with Fabian VanCott attorneys with expertise in the firm’s core competency areas. In litigation, he represents clients on issues involving leasing, secured transactions, real property, ERISA, employment, and the FDCPA. He received his law degree from the University of Kansas and earned his undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Utah, graduating with honors.
22. Craig Wood
Attorney, Walsh Anderson Brown Schulze & Aldridge
Craig Wood began his professional career 33 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney with Walsh Anderson Brown Schulze & Aldridge, a law firm representing the interests of schools in Texas and New Mexico. It has six offices and serves hundreds of school districts, charter school and private school clients. The firm has been providing reliable and effective representation to school districts and other governmental entities since 1983. Its experienced team of attorneys serve as fierce advocates in the areas of employment, special education, constitutional law, civil rights, construction and business. They are innovators in client service and pride themselves on practical, straightforward counsel on matters involving personnel, student issues, facilities & business, special education and litigation.
Wood first got his start in 1989 as an attorney at Langley & Banack. He graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with a JD and from Oklahoma State University with an undergraduate degree in political science.
23. Jason Pagel
Attorney, Steinger Greene & Feiner
Jason Pagel is an Attorney with Steinger Greene & Feiner. He first joined the firm in 2022. Steinger, Greene & Feiner is a proven legal team whose number one goal is to get injury victims every dollar they truly deserve. Since 1997, it has been serving and defending the rights of its clients and their families through some of life's most challenging times.
Previously, Pagel was an attorney at Herrman & Herrman, and before that, a staff attorney at Chavez Legal Group. Earlier in his career he worked with The Giardinelli Law Group as a law clerk. Pagel earned a JD from St. Mary's University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in philosophy and history from the University of Redlands.
24. Monica Trollinger
General Counsel, Southwest Research Institute
Monica Trollinger is the General Counsel of Southwest Research Institute. Southwest Research Institute is an independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organization. Its multidisciplinary nature allows it to rapidly assemble diverse teams to tackle problems from multiple directions. SwRI pushes the boundaries of science and technology to develop innovative solutions that advance the state of the art and improve human health and safety. Operating as a nonprofit since its 1947 inception, the company works in the public’s best interest and toward the betterment of humanity.
Trollinger joined SwRI in 1996 as a deputy general counsel where she supported and advised staff on all regulatory, compliance and contractional matters. She was later promoted to chief compliance officer where she was responsible for the oversight, assessment, administration, and improvement of SwRI’s Compliance Program and Standards of Conduct. Trollinger earned a JD from St. Mary's University School of Law, and an MBA from Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
25. Skip Hulett
VP & General Counsel, NatureSweet
Skip Hulett is a Vice President and General Counsel for NatureSweet. He first joined the company in 2018. NatureSweet is the leading grower of premium fresh tomatoes in North America under the NatureSweet® brand. As the number one brand of tomatoes in the U.S., its growing operations comprise over 1,000 acres of greenhouse facilities and proudly employ over 5,000 associates.
Hulett is an accomplished attorney, with extensive and broad legal experience. He has repeatedly distinguished himself as chief legal counsel of a fast-growing entrepreneurial company, state district court judge, and founder of a successful law firm. His ability to adapt to dynamic environments, collaborate with a variety of people and manage complex legal matters has made him and his organizations successful. After graduating from law school, Hulett made a bold move and started his own law firm. He quickly developed a respected reputation in the community and the firm flourished. In 1997 he was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Young Lawyer Award for his professional proficiency, service to the profession, and service to the community. Former President George W. Bush, while Governor of Texas, appointed Skip as judge for 317th State District Court. After his term expired, he joined a high-growth telecommunications services company as its sole attorney and built an office of General Counsel. The firm quickly grew annual revenues from $15 million to over $1 billion and expanded across the nation. Hulett received his JD from Texas Tech University School of Law after graduating with High Honors from Lamar University. He is currently an active member of the State Bar of Texas as well as the Association of Corporate Counsel.
26. Michael Puryear
General Counsel, Holt Cat
Michael Puryear began his professional career 30 years ago. Today, he is a General Counsel for Holt Cat. Holt Cat sells, rents and services Caterpillar machines, engines and generator sets in a 118-county Texas territory spanning from the Red River to the Rio Grande. They also offer total machine and engine rebuild capabilities, sell used equipment around the world and fabricate their own line of land clearing equipment and HOLT Spray King® water tankers. Puryear is responsible for all legal, insurance, risk management, contract and real estate matters for the company.
Puryear first got his start in 1992 as a general counsel at McLane Company, Inc. From there, he went on to Astrodome USA as president. Puryear graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law with a JD.
27. Anthony Brown
VP & General Counsel, Resolve To Save Lives
Anthony Brown is a Vice President and General Counsel at Resolve To Save Lives. He first joined the company in 2021 as vice president of legal. Resolve to Save Lives helps governments and civil society implement scalable, proven strategies to prevent millions of deaths from cardiovascular disease and epidemics. It focuses on accelerating action in low- and middle-income countries through speed, simplicity, and scale. In its first four years, Resolve has worked with countries to help protect millions of people from exposure to artificial transfat. It has partnered with countries that are treating more than 2 million patients for high blood pressure and has supported more than 20 countries in Africa to improve epidemic preparedness and response. Resolve To Save Lives aims to save 100 million lives from cardiovascular disease and to prevent epidemics.
Previously, Brown was a senior legal counsel at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. He earned a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, an MBA from The Wharton School, and an undergraduate degree in Latin American studies from Columbia University in the City of New York.
28. Michael Boyd
General Counsel, USAA Real Estate
Michael Boyd is a General Counsel for USAA Real Estate. With approximately $29 billion in assets under management and 11 global offices, USAA Real Estate is an industry leader in acquiring, developing, financing and managing the highest quality real estate assets in North America and Europe. Its mission is to serve the financial interests of its investor clients by strengthening the profitability and diversity of the USAA investment portfolio, which includes multifamily, industrial, office and hotel properties, as well as e-commerce logistics and distribution centers, media production facilities and data centers. Aligned with a series of strategic partnerships cultivated over decades of co-investment, USAA Real Estate engages with preeminent sector leaders demonstrating proven domain expertise in a shared drive to achieve superior, risk-adjusted returns. Boyd has 34 years of experience. He began his career in 1988.
Before joining USAA Real Estate, Boyd was a partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth. He graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
29. Jason Zehner
General Counsel, CCC Group
Jason Zehner is a General Counsel for CCC Group. He first joined the company in 2011. CCC Group is a nationally ranked heavy industrial general contractor with over 1,500 employees and six domestic and two international offices. Founded in 1947, the group provides multi-disciplined construction and fabrication services to a wide variety of markets both in the U.S. and select foreign locations. One of its major strengths is its ability to perform 95% of a project with its own specialty crews. With core competencies in civil, concrete, structural, equipment setting, piping, electrical, instrumentation and fabrication, CCC is uniquely positioned to provide clients with comprehensive construction expertise.
Zehner earned a JD from St. Mary's University School of Law and an undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
30. Joshua Eyestone
Attorney & COO Heard & Smith
Joshua Eyestone is an Attorney and Chief Operating Officer for Heard & Smith, a social security disability law company that was founded on the principles of compassion, humility and the relentless desire to pursue financial and medical assistance for its clients. Heard & Smith attorneys have been helping clients obtain Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits for over thirty years. Eyestone has 22 years of experience. He began his career in 2000.
Before joining Heard & Smith, Eyestone was an attorney at the Law Office of J.C. Eyestone. Earlier in his career he worked with The Web Head Group as an internet marketing manager. Eyestone graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law with a JD and from Penn State University with an undergraduate degree in Spanish.
31. Adam Boland
Attorney, Strasburger & Price
Adam Boland began his professional career 16 years ago. Today, he is the Attorney of Strasburger & Price, a Dallas, Texas-based law firm catering to the needs of start-ups, medium-sized and Fortune 500 companies, particularly those based in Texas. Boland works out of the San Antonio office. He is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor and Employment Law. He represents large and small companies as a strategic business partner with all types of labor and employment issues. Boland provides extensive counseling and training to his clients regarding any employment related issue. He also represents companies before state and federal agencies and defends employers in lawsuits brought in state and federal courts across Texas, involving claims of workplace discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower violations, leave violations, and wage and hour claims.
Boland regularly provides presentations and training regarding compliance with Title VII, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and other state and federal statutes. He first got his start in 2006 as an attorney at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart. Boland graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law with a JD and from McMurry University with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
32. Amy Davis
General Counsel & VP of Legal Services, Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union
Amy Davis is the General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Services of Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union. She first joined the company in 2016 as a senior counsel. At RBFCU, helping its members improve their economic well-being and quality of life is more than just a goal – it’s the mission behind everything the company does. Davis has experience with all aspects of business and commercial litigation including managing files from pre-suit demands through trial or arbitration in a variety of matters. She has specific experience in intellectual property litigation, financial services litigation, insurance defense and energy litigation.
Previously, Davis was an associate at Dykema Cox Smith. She earned a JD from The University of Texas School of Law and an undergraduate degree in history from LeTourneau University.
33. Chris Laia
General Counsel, Bestow
Chris Laia is a General Counsel for Bestow. He first joined the company in 2018. Bestow is the leading digital platform for life insurance. As both a direct-to-consumer destination and an infrastructure provider, Bestow powers instant life insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes, across any channel. The company's platform leverages a proprietary algorithmic underwriting engine to instantly determine risk and give consumers immediate access to comprehensive life insurance services, without working with an agent, lengthy applications, or medical exams, enabling customers to access insurance products that are affordable and available instantly with no medical exam. In a world full of unknowns, Bestow is on a mission to make life insurance accessible to millions of underserved families by creating the best possible products and experiences that serve future generations.
Previously, Laia was a general counsel at RedCrow Equity Crowdfunding, and before that, a deputy general counsel at USAA. Earlier in his career he worked with Lord Day & Lord as an associate. Laia earned a JD from Willamette University College of Law, an LLM from Tulane University Law School, and an undergraduate degree from Stony Brook University.
34. Bertina York
Attorney, Fulbright & Jaworski
Bertina York began her professional career 19 years ago. Today, she is an Attorney with Fulbright & Jaworski. In 2013, the firm became part of the global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, a Swiss Verein and a global law firm that provides the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP has more than 4000 lawyers based in more than 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East, representing clients in the energy, financial and healthcare industries.
York joined the San Antonio office in 2003. As counsel, her practice focuses primarily on litigation and medical malpractice matters. She also has experience with product liability litigation, including cases involving a faulty oven, contaminated steroids and vaginal mesh. Prior to joining Norton Rose Fulbright, she was a partner with a San Antonio-based law firm. York graduated from Baylor University School of Law with a JD and from the University of Oklahoma with an undergraduate degree in communication and journalism.
35. Chad Muller
Attorney, Chamberlain Hrdlicka
Chad Muller is an Attorney with Chamberlain Hrdlicka, a diversified tax and business-focused law firm with offices in Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia and San Antonio, and attorneys that provide value at the highest level of client service. The firm represents both public and private companies, Fortune 100 corporations, as well as individuals and family-owned businesses across the nation. Its practice areas include appellate law, insurance, and construction law, commercial litigation, corporate securities and finance, estate planning and administration, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax, and white-collar criminal defense; and primarily caters to the healthcare, aviation, real estate, energy, life sciences, government, hospitality, and financial services sectors. Muller has 11 years of experience. He began his career in 2011.
Muller graduated from St. Mary's University with a JD and from Georgetown University with an LLM.
36. James Gilman
General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Methodist Healthcare System
James Gilman is the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Methodist Healthcare System. He first joined the health organization in 2008. Methodist Healthcare System is a faith based $2B nonprofit/for-profit partnership that owns and operates an integrated health system of eleven hospitals located on 10 campuses with a total of 2,200 patient beds, 12,000 employees and more than 3,000 affiliated physicians. They are the largest provider of healthcare in Central and South Texas. MHS owns & supports an ambulatory care network with more than 28 outpatient centers and clinics, 8 provider-based emergency rooms, and 10 urgent care centers, as well as manages five rural health care institutions. Gilman is responsible for all legal aspects of enterprise including governance, ethics & compliance, joint ventures, physician Contracting and Relationships, Mergers and Acquisitions, Real Estate & Construction, licensure, fraud & abuse, nonprofit and tax-exempt entities, privacy & cybersecurity, enterprise risk management, litigation management, labor & employment, medical staff operations, research, educational affiliations, and intellectual property.
Before joining Methodist Healthcare System, Gilman was a partner at Cox Smith Matthews Inc., and before that, an SVP at McKenna Health System where he was part of the senior executive and legal counsel responsible for numerous operational departments including compliance, risk management, patient advocates, HR, health information management, biomedical equipment, and security. Earlier in his career he worked with Shook, Hardy & Bacon as a senior associate responsible for defense case portfolios, primarily in pharmaceutical and medical device matters. Gilman graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a JD, and from The University of Dallas with an undergraduate degree in political philosophy.
37. Vicky Sullivan
Senior Staff Attorney, Texas Appleseed
Dr. Vicky L. Sullivan is a Senior Staff Attorney at Texas Appleseed, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote social, economic, and racial justice. Appleseed, a network of 16 justice centers across the United States and Mexico, unites research, organizing, policy advocacy, and impact litigation to build systemic solutions for under-resourced, directly impacted communities. Texas Appleseed is located in Austin, Texas and concentrates on education justice, criminal justice, fair financial services, disaster recovery, fair housing, juvenile justice, homeless youth, and foster care. Dr. Sullivan first joined Texas Appleseed in 2020 as a Legal Intern and returned in 2021 as a Senior Staff Attorney. She practices in Public Interest Law, Civil Rights Law, and Education/School Law through direct representation, movement lawyering, and legal & policy advocacy. Prior to pivoting to a second career in law, Dr. Sullivan worked in public school education for 26 years, where she provided leadership in numerous supervisory roles. She spent the last decade of her tenure as director of the department deemed an internal legal hub where school district staff sought counsel on a variety of student legal issues.
Previously, Dr. Sullivan practiced Criminal Defense and Family Law with Zarka Law Firm. From there, Dr. Sullivan continued active private practice as a freelance Criminal Appellate Attorney at Angela Moore & Associates. Dr. Sullivan earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) from St. Mary’s University School of Law and a Doctor of Education (EdD) from The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, she earned an undergraduate degree double majoring in physics and mathematics from St. Mary’s University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from The University of Texas at San Antonio.
38. Bill Sullivan
Attorney, Norton Rose Fulbright
Bill Sullivan is an Attorney with Norton Rose Fulbright. He joined the firm's San Antonio office in 2005. As counsel, his current practice focuses primarily on representation of property owners in disputes involving ad valorem taxation at both the administrative and judicial levels. His practice also includes commercial, medical malpractice, nursing home, and health care litigation, including all aspects of pretrial and trial work.
Sullivan has tried a variety of cases, both in first and second chair positions, many of which involved claims in excess of $1 million dollars. His experience includes representation of property owners, physicians, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care organizations. In addition, he has handled a variety of other civil litigation matters in areas including collections, contracts, deceptive trade practices, and commercial disputes. Sullivan earned a JD from St. Mary's University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in business administration from St. Mary's University.
39. Edward Rizzuti
EVP, General Counsel & Secretary, Alamo Group
Edward Rizzuti is an Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for the Alamo Group, a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-quality agricultural equipment for farms and ranches and infrastructure maintenance equipment for governmental and industrial markets. The firm was founded in 1969, though some of its member companies have been in business over 100 years. Rizzuti has serve as the chief legal officer for the publicly traded industrial and agricultural equipment manufacturing company. He hs a trusted advisor to the CEO, senior management team and other business leaders across the company. His responsibilities include directing the legal affairs in the areas of corporate governance, M&A, SEC reporting, dispute resolution/litigation, corporate compliance, employment and intellectual property matters.
Before joining Alamo Group, Rizzuti was a VP, general counsel and secretary at Erickson Incorporated where he managed all legal affairs for the aviation services and manufacturing company, with an in-house team of lawyers and support staff. Before that, he was an associate general counsel at Hyster-Yale Group where he acted as the principal legal advisor for the company’s Asia-Pacific and China business units. Earlier in his career he worked with Clifford Chance as an associate. Rizzuti graduated from Penn State University with a JD and from Rutgers University with an undergraduate degree in engineering.
40. Jason Thompson
Attorney, The Thompson Law Firm
Jason Thompson is an Attorney for The Thompson Law Firm. The Thompson Law Firm represents clients in civil and commercial litigation; business and real estate litigation; probate, trust and estates litigation; wills and trust; professional negligence and insurance litigation; serious injury and wrongful death claims on the Central Coast, and throughout California. The firm also serves as co-counsel and local counsel for other firms, including out-of-state firms. It is committed to professional excellence, the highest ethical standards, civility in its business and professional relationships, and service to the community.
Thompson previously spent time as a talk radio host with Clear Channel Communications. He earned a JD from St. Mary's University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in economics from Texas A&M University.
41. Joshua Nieto
General Counsel & Chief Compliance HIPPA Officer, University Health
Joshua Nieto began his professional career 19 years ago. Today, he is a General Counsel and Chief Compliance HIPPA Officer for University Health, a nationally recognized teaching hospital and comprehensive network of outpatient healthcare centers, and owned by the people of Bexar County. It is a national leader in advanced treatment options, new technologies, and clinical research. University Health is committed to delivering patient-centered, culturally competent and high-quality healthcare for adults and children, based on a strong foundation of outcomes‐based research and innovative teaching. It is one of the largest public health systems in the state of Texas and one of the largest employers in Bexar County, with over 6,000 employees, and more than 700 physicians.
Nieto first got his start in 2003 as an associate attorney at Brin & Brin. From there, he went on to Nieto & Nieto practicing general civil law before eventually returning to Brin & Brin as a partner where his primary focus was within litigation defense in the areas of medical malpractice, employment, personal injury, health care law, and construction. Nieto graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law with a JD and from Texas A&M University with an undergraduate degree in English language and literature.
42. Ronald Rocha
Attorney, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson
Ronald Rocha began his professional career 28 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney for Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, a national law firm with a practice dedicated to the collection of delinquent accounts receivable for the government. The firm collects outstanding payments for taxes, parking tickets, traffic citations, and toll violations on behalf of the government. The collection agency was founded in 1976 as a small tax collection firm and, over the past 46 years, has grown into a debt-collection powerhouse. Its services allow its clients to spend more of their time and limited resources on providing the core services their constituents expect, while avoiding unnecessary tax increases and cuts to essential public services. The firm currently manages more than $10 billion in delinquent accounts receivable for its public sector clientele and has become renowned for its aggressive collections strategies.
Rocha graduated from Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law with a JD.
43. Stephanie Strolle
Trial Attorney II & Asst Disciplinary Counsel, State Bar of Texas
Stephanie Strolle began her professional career 30 years ago. Today, she is the Trial Attorney II and Assistant Disciplinary Counsel for the State Bar of Texas, 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. Strolle represents the Commission for Lawyer Discipline in attorney discipline proceedings before grievance committees and in district courts, primarily in central and south Texas. She is a speaker on ethics and professional responsibility topics for CLE presentations.
Strolle first got her start in 1992 as an associate attorney at Speiser, Krause, Madole & Mendelsohn Jackson. From there, she went on to Mendelsohn & Jackson before moving on to her solo practice focusing on probate and personal injury litigation. Strolle graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at San Antonio with an undergraduate degree in criminal justice.
44. Gabriel Head
Attorney, Cokinos Bosien & Young
Gabriel Head is an Attorney for Cokinos Bosien & Young. He first joined the firm in 2017. Well known for leadership and undisputed construction expertise since 1989, Cokinos Bosien & Young, with a team of over 100 dedicated professionals, has led the way in smart, knowledgeable construction & commercial real estate law, that provides all aspects of construction law to clients of all sizes through M&A transactions, venture financings, asset and equity acquisitions, IPOs, leveraged transactions and mezzanine financings. In today’s complex and constantly changing business environment, Cokinos Bosien & Young continues to use practical experience and pragmatic approaches to manage serious legal challenges.
Previously, Head was an associate at Curry, McSwain & McKendrick. Earlier in his career he worked with Ellis, Koeneke & Ramirez as an associate. Head earned a JD from Baylor University School of Law, and an MA in history from Texas State University.
45. Christopher Harris
Attorney, Davis Law Firm
Christopher Harris is an Attorney for Davis Law Firm, a business litigation and insurance coverage law firm that represents businesses and individuals in all aspects of civil and business litigation. The firm addresses ERISA, employee benefits and executive compensation, labor and employment, general corporate, fund formation, and tax. Davis Law Group attorneys are seasoned practitioners with experience in some of the largest firms in the world. These experienced lawyers form the foundation of the firm, and enable it to offer clients greatly increased efficiency in providing legal services. They have successfully served a diverse range of clients, from large Fortune 500 multinationals and name-brand traditional brick-and-mortar companies to small start-ups. Harris has 14 years of experience. He began his career in 2008.
Before joining Davis Law Firm, Harris was an attorney at Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, and before that, a law clerk at Fitzpatrick, Hagood, Smith, Uhl. Earlier in his career he worked with the United States District Court, Western District of Texas as a records and reproduction clerk. Harris graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at San Antonio with an undergraduate degree in psychology.
46. Kathy Grant
Special Attorney, Shearman & Sterling
Kathy Grant is a Special Attorney for Shearman & Sterling. She first joined the firm in 2021. Shearman & Sterling has been advising many of the world's leading corporations and financial institutions, governments and governmental organizations for more than 140 years. Grant’s practice primarily focuses on litigation involving pharmaceutical products, including claims of false advertising and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, trademarks and copyrights.
Previously, Grant was a false advertising litigation attorney at Norton Rose Fulbright. She earned a JD from The University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in industrial engineering and an undergraduate degree in bioengineering from Texas A&M University.
47. Leslie Byrd
Leslie Byrd is the Attorney of Bracewell. She first joined the firm in 2000 as a partner. For over 75 years, Bracewell has focused on delivering superb service and sophisticated insight. It excels where collaboration and deep sector knowledge provide the edge, particularly in energy, infrastructure, finance and technology. Byrd has practiced labor and employment law representing employers for over 35 years, specializing in FLSA collective actions, USDOL regulatory advice and investigations and OFCCP administration and enforcement.
Previously, Byrd was a partner at Wells Pinckney & McHugh, and before that, a partner at Matthews and Branscomb. Earlier in her career she worked with Manitzas, Harris and Padgett. Byrd earned a JD from The University of Texas School of Law and an undergraduate degree from Tulane University.
48. Brandon Keith
Market Attorney, Defense Health Agency
Brandon Keith is a San Antonio Market Attorney of the Defense Health Agency. He first joined the agency in 2022. The DHA is a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and ready medical force to Combatant Commands in both peacetime and wartime. The DHA supports the delivery of integrated, affordable, and high-quality health services to 9.5 million Military Health System beneficiaries and is responsible for driving greater integration of clinical and business processes across the MHS. The DHA oversees the delivery of health care services like the TRICARE Health Plan, pharmacy, public health, and health information technology. It carries out these operations using a global health care network of military and civilian medical professionals and more than 400 military hospitals and clinics.
Previously, Keith was an educational director and officer in charge for the US Navy where he was the instructor in 27 different yearly course offerings providing instruction on ethics and standards of conduct, constitutional law, and military criminal justice. Keith earned a JD from Willamette University College of Law and an undergraduate degree in politics from Whitman College.
49. Mark Cooper
Attorney, Naman Howell Smith & Lee PLLC
Mark Cooper is an Attorney with Naman Howell Smith & Lee, one of the oldest firms in Texas. It is committed to providing personalized legal solutions, tailored to the facts, circumstances, and needs presented. It is dedicated to helping resolve legal and business issues and disputes while providing the one-on-one attention that each client deserves. The firm has more than 70 lawyers in Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Waco. With four offices located along the Interstate 35 corridor and an active practice in courts throughout the State of Texas, Naman Howell Smith & Lee is uniquely situated to serve the needs of clients throughout this State. The firm also practices in many courts throughout the U.S., have represented and advised clients in business deals from coast to coast and beyond, and have the legal and practical capabilities to serve a wide variety of clients across a large geographic footprint. Cooper has 18 years of experience. He began his career in 2004.
Before joining Naman Howell Smith & Lee, Cooper was an attorney at Ball & Weed. Cooper graduated from Baylor University School of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree.
50. Andrew Dahm
Attorney, Clear Channel Communications
Andrew Dahm is an Attorney for Clear Channel Communications. He first joined the company in 2011. Clear Channel International (CCI) is the international business division of leading global out-of-home media company, Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. Its diverse out-of-home portfolio spans 22 countries throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America, reaching an audience of 400M+ worldwide. The company is driven by a perfect storm of social and consumer trends, fuelled by technology, enriched with data, and amplified by the flexibility and creative engagement possibilities of digital out-of-home, the world’s oldest advertising medium is transforming into a 21st Century digital media.
Previously, Dahm was an attorney at Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated. Dahm earned a JD from the University of Texas Law School and an undergraduate degree in English and computer science from Rice University.