Featured, from left: Rep. Óscar Longoria, D-La Joya, Vice-Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Gary VanDeaver, R-New Boston, Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, and Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe gather during a break on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives during the Regular Session of the Texas Legislature during Spring 2017.
Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Rep. Óscar Longoria selected for Young Alumnus Award by UT School of Law, joining distinguished list of previous honorees that includes Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Daniel Hodge, the former Chief of Staff for Gov. Greg Abbott
By CHRISTOPHER ROBERTS
By LEROY LOYA
Rep. Óscar Longoria, D-La Joya, has been chosen as a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Texas School of Law, joining a distinguished list of previous honorees that includes Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Daniel Hodge, the former Chief of Staff for Gov. Greg Abbott
Five of Texas Law’s most accomplished and illustrious alumni are being honored later this Fall by the Texas Law Alumni Association and Dean Ward Farnsworth.
Longoria ’07, will be named the Association’s Outstanding Young Alumnus.
The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award is presented to a graduate, 40-years-old or younger at the time of the announcement of the award, who has made significant achievements in his or her career and service to the University of Texas and/or the School of Law.
“I am honored and humbled to have been selected as the Outstanding Young Alumnus by the Texas Law Alumni Association,” said Longoria. “My education from both the University of Texas and the University of Texas School of Law have paved my career in law and public service. I’m part of something so great and I’m blessed and honored to have been recognized from among so many very deserving UT Law Alumni.”
Along with Longoria, other alumni being honored are:
• Houston lawyer and civic leader Richard Mithoff ’71, who will receive the Association’s Award for Lifetime Achievement;
• Dallas-based Sandra Phillips ’91, Group Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Toyota Motor North America, will be honored as Outstanding Alumna;
• Carrin Patman ’82, Chair of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, will be recognized as the Distinguished Alumna for Community Service; and
• David Frederick, a partner at Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C. in Washington, D.C., will be bestowed Dean’s Honor for Appellate Advocacy.
The awards will be presented at an invitation-only dinner in Austin in October 2018.
Nominations are made by members of the alumni community.
A special committee of the Law School Alumni Association chooses a final nominee from all of the submissions and makes a recommendation to the Alumni Association Executive Committee. The full executive committee then votes on the nominees.
Longoria was chosen from a pool of 16 nominees.
In the Fall of 2017, Longoria was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award. This recognition is awarded to Texas Exes age 39 and younger who made significant achievements in their careers and service to the university.
He is a Life Member of the Texas Exes Association.
In the 85th Legislative Session, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, appointed Longoria as Vice-Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
Having served two previous sessions as an at large member on the committee, this powerful new appointment builds upon Longoria’s influential leadership position and significant impact on the budget writing process.
In Spring 2018, Straus appointed him to the Legislative Budget Board, which is tasked with recommending a budget to the Legislature before the legislative regular session begins.
Additionally, he also serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Articles I, IV, and V, on the Investments & Financial Services Committee and Local & Consent Calendars Committee.
Longoria is a member of the Texas House of Representatives for House District 35, serving his third term in office. HD 35 encompasses both Hidalgo and Cameron Counties and includes cities and towns of: La Joya, Sullivan City, Peñitas, Alton, Mission, Edinburg, Hargill, Monte Alto, Edcouch, La Villa, Mercedes, Weslaco, Santa Rosa, Primera, Palm Valley, Combes, Harlingen, and La Feria.
RICHARD WARREN MITHOFF
Mithoff has been described by the National Law Journal as “one of the nation’s highest profile litigators,” and the Texas Lawyer, noting his “impressive trial record,” has described his approach to the law as “magic.”
He has consistently been named among the top trial lawyers in the country.
His diverse list of clients has included Conoco-Phillips, Harris County in the Tobacco and VW litigations, Texas Heart Institute, BP shareholders in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation, Willie Nelson, the family of former Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams, the family of police-shooting victim Pedro Oregon, the Democratic Party of Texas, J.P. Morgan Chase in the Enron shareholder litigation, the families of five men killed in the 2005 BP Texas City explosion and the families of six elderly people burned to death in the 2005 Hurricane Rita evacuation bus fire.
In naming Mithoff the “Best Civil Lawyer” in Houston in 1998 and again in 2004, the Houston Press described his courtroom style as “dazzling his opposition with pretrial maneuvers and connecting emotionally with any juror he needs,” while noting that he has “earned a reputation for honesty and forthrightness with clients, judges, and the media.”
A native of Lufkin and reared in El Paso, Mithoff attended the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Business Administration, then enrolling in the UT Law School, graduating in 1971. Following graduation, he clerked for U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice. In 1974, he went into practice with legendary trial attorney Joe Jamail with the firm that later became Jamail, Kolius & Mithoff. In 2006 he established the Mithoff Law Firm.
Mithoff has served on the Supreme Court of Texas Committee on Judicial Appointments, on the State Bar of Texas Committee on Pattern Jury Charges, and as Special Assistant Disciplinary Counsel to the Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline. He has also been a guest speaker at many seminars on a variety of topics throughout the country. He has served as president of the Houston Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and president of the Houston Trial Lawyers.
SANDRA PHILLIPS ROGERS
Rogers is group Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA). In this role, she oversees the legal services function for Toyota’s North American operations, Toyota Legal One (“TL1”), and the representation of the company and its affiliates.
Rogers directs the strategy to help Toyota navigate significant business and legal challenges while supporting its expansion as a global mobility company, one that is an industry leader in autonomous, connected and sustainable vehicle technologies.
She also provides strategic guidance in areas such as global transactions, cybersecurity, privacy, government and regulatory investigations, complex litigation, labor and employment and intellectual property, among others. She serves as an advisor to the TMNA Executive Committee and is a member of the company’s global leadership team.
Previously, Rogers was Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc.
Prior to joining Toyota in June 2012, Rogers was a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where she focused on complex litigation management and strategy, including crisis management. She also served as Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Chief Litigation Counsel at Pfizer Inc., where she was responsible for the company’s global product litigation and environmental litigation strategies.
Previously, she was Managing Partner of the Houston office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon.
Rogers is a founding member of and serves on the Executive Committee for the Center for Women in Law at The University of Texas School of Law, which is devoted to the success of the entire spectrum of women in law. In recognition of her leadership in advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, she received the 2016 Legacy Award from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
In 2017, Rogers received the Burton Foundation Legend in Law Award and was named “GC Impact Player of the Year” by D CEO.
Black Enterprise has recognized Rogers as one of its “75 Most Powerful Women in Business”(2017) and “300 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America” (2018).
Rogers serves on the board of directors for the YWCA USA, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and MSA Safety Incorporated, and is a trustee of the University of Texas Law School Foundation. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Patman is Chair of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. She is METRO’s first woman chair, appointed in 2016 by Mayor Sylvester Turner. She previously served on the board from 2010 to 2013.
Patman was a partner of Bracewell where for three decades she worked as a trial lawyer representing diverse clients in major litigation involving commercial disputes, securities matters, antitrust and competition issues, and regulatory compliance. She was the first woman elected to the firm’s seven-member Management Committee. Carrin retired from Bracewell in 2016.
Patman graduated from Duke University (with honors) and from the University of Texas School of Law (Texas Law Review).
In 2014, Patman completed a year-long Advanced Leadership Fellowship at Harvard University. One area of focus concerned transportation (including urban transit) and infrastructure. She is also an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow (Class XXIX).
Patman’s civic involvement reflects her passion for community service. Currently, she is on the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development Board. She is a founding board member of the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law and a senior trustee of the UT Law School Foundation.
Some prior activities include serving as a board or executive committee member of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Legacy Community Health Services Endowment, Texas Appleseed, Girls Inc. of Greater Houston and Sheltering Arms Senior Services. Patman was Vice Chair of the Houston Bar Foundation, and former President of the University of Texas Law Alumni Association and UT Law Review Association.
Patman has chaired or co?chaired fundraising events for worthy causes, including for Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, American Leadership Forum, the Texas Defender Service, the Houston Area Women’s Center, Girls Inc. of Greater Houston Revised November 2017, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and the Houston School for Deaf Children (now the Center for Hearing and Speech).
Patman’s awards for professional achievements and community service include becoming the first woman to receive the Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award, given by the Anti?Defamation League Southwest Region. In 2000, she was selected as a Woman on the Move by the Houston Chronicle, Channel 11 and Texas Executive Women.
In 2012, she was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.
Frederick represents clients across a broad spectrum, and has argued more than 100 appeals, including 50 in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court, he has represented individuals, workers, investors, immigrants, classes of consumers, farmers, Native Americans, small corporations, public-sector unions, trade associations, large companies, foreign governments, States (Alaska, Delaware, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont), the European Union, and the United States.
Between 2005 and 2017, Frederick was the only advocate in private practice to have won or successfully settled cases in the Supreme Court each year within that 13-year period.
In the lower courts, among other clients, Frederick has served as lead counsel for the National Credit Union Administration in its efforts to recover significant losses from Wall Street banks’ sale of faulty mortgage-backed securities that caused five of the largest credit unions to fail in the Great Recession. To date, those efforts have resulted in the recovery of more than $5.2 billion to the NCUA.
He also represented retired football players in their historic settlement with the National Football League for concussion-related injuries and illnesses.
A former law clerk to Justice Byron White and Judge Joseph Sneed, Frederick graduated from the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with honors); University of Oxford (University College) (D.Phil.), where he was a Rhodes Scholar; and University of Pittsburgh (B.A., summa cum laude), where he was a Truman Scholar.
Frederick served in the Department of Justice as Assistant to the Solicitor General (1996-2001) and as Counselor to the Inspector General (1995-1996).
He is the author of three books: Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy (West 2d ed. 2010, with a foreword by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg); The Art of Oral Advocacy (West 2d ed. 2011); and Rugged Justice: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the American West, 1891-1941 (UC Berkeley 1994, with a foreword by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor).
Since 2001, Frederick has been a partner at Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C.
David A. Díaz contributed to this article.