President’s Awards Honor Outstanding Service to City, HBA


Alistair Dawson, 2017-2018 president of the Houston Bar Association, honored Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett for their outstanding leadership during Hurricane Harvey and throughout the area’s recovery. “Our entire community is incredibly indebted to Judge Emmett and Mayor Turner for leading us in a time of dire need,” said Dawson. Judge Emmett and his wife, Gwen, attended the dinner, and Ashley Turner accepted the award on behalf of her father, Mayor Turner.

Dawson also honored five members of the Harris County judiciary for their leadership and hard work in getting the courts back open shortly after the storm, in spite of unprecedented flooding and damage in the courthouse complex. He presented President’s Awards to Judge Robert Schaffer, Judge Sylvia Matthews, Judge David Farr, Judge Susan Brown and Judge Paula Goodhart. “All of the litigants and lawyers in Houston are deeply grateful to the wonderful leadership of these administrative judges,” said Dawson.

Dawson also presented President’s Awards to the co-chairs of six HBA committees for excellence in service during the 2017-2018 bar year.

AIDS Outreach Committee
Courtney Scobie and Jamila Brinson, Co-chairs

Under the leadership of Jamila and Courtney, the HBA’s AIDS Outreach Committee recruited 86 law firms, corporations and individuals to adopt families and individuals touched by HIV/AIDS for the holidays.


Eikenburg Law Week Fun Run Committee
John Strohmeyer, Cassandra McGarvey and Kimberly Chojnacki, Co-chairs

The Fun Run Committee raised a record $78,000 going to The Center, empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live meaningful and dignified lives.


Gender Fairness Committee
Elizabeth Campbell, Cheryl Elliott Thornton and Amanda Halter, Co-chairs

The committee planned an outstanding celebration of its 15th anniversary that featured American Bar Association President Hilarie Bass as keynote speaker and the introduction of a revised Gender Fairness Commitment statement for law firms and legal departments aimed at improving recruiting and retention of women attorneys.


Habitat for Humanity
Ryan Wooten and Sean Jain, Co-chairs

Sean and Ryan led the challenge to raise $75,000 among HBA members to build the HBA’s 21st home through Houston Habitat for Humanity for a hardworking Houston family.


LegalLine Committee
John Stavinoha, Matt Frogel, Louie Layrisson, Peter Danysh, Mitch Reid and Jessica Rodriguez, Co-chairs

This committee works year-round to recruit hundreds of attorneys to volunteer for two-hour shifts of LegalLine. After Hurricane Harvey, the co-chairs quickly mobilized to recruit an additional 421 attorneys for LegalLine assisting 2,759 people.


The Houston Lawyer
Farrah Martinez, Editor in Chief

Farrah and her outstanding editorial board produced six issues of our award-winning publication. They also quickly switched gears to produce an excellent special issue on Hurricane Harvey.