Michaels Stores Associate GC Janie Perelman is a brilliant legal strategist and courtroom tactician who seems to be able to go without sleep. She’s led the defeat of several class action lawsuits and helped prevent even more. No lawyer has ever handled a major data breach as successfully as she did. Just one warning: Don’t call her crafty.
For years, Jeff Hunt piloted E-2C Hawkeye planes for the Navy, including several encounters with the Russians. Now, he’s senior counsel at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in Dallas, where he navigates the military contractor through a labyrinth of global laws and regulations on contracts and transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars. As The Texas Lawbook reports, Hunt also had an amazing career as a Navy JAG officer.
In the 2nd grade, Adelle Casey watched a movie about the Supreme Court and told her mother she wanted to be a judge. Today, she is the associate general counsel of The Freeman Company, the world’s largest event marketing business, where she is leading business-changing deals. She is not, however, on the Supreme Court. Yet.
Barry Thomas’ earliest memories as a boy were with his dad out in the oil patch. Now an associate GC at Pioneer Natural Resources, Thomas is one of the most respected energy lawyers in Texas. He is also the top lawyer for a non-profit consortium of 20 energy companies that are investing time and money to improve living conditions for the people of the Permian and West Texas.
AT&T senior counsel Belinda Boling is a pro bono ball of fire. She has handled multiple asylum cases, including a heartbreaking representation of a teenaged girl whose mother’s murdered body was found by the FBI. She recruited more than a dozen other lawyers at AT&T to help asylum-seekers with their applications. She expanded AT&T’s pro bono program to its Latin America offices and joined forces with Akin Gump to help about 2,000 U.S. military veterans get legal assistance.
Ben E. Keith Assistant GC Punam Kaji is the hands-on GC of the future. She walks her company’s food distribution warehouse and rides along with sales people to catch issues before they become problems. Oh, and this is important, she actually cares about the people she works with.
Burton Brillhart won a $3.1 million trade secrets case and a copyright victory at the U.S. Supreme Court. He finalized Bain Capital’s $2.5 billion acquisition of Varsity. But Brillhart’s really good stories are about his grandfather, Homer Dean, a South Texas lawyer for 60 years and a close personal friend of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Dean was the Jim Wells County Attorney in 1948 when the infamous Precinct 13 ballot dispute occurred giving the U.S. Senate election to LBJ. Now that’s news.
Alan Dorantes worked on the set of Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July.” He was once Matthew Broderick’s stand-in and he is almost certainly the only corporate lawyer in Texas with an award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The AT&T senior counsel is a national expert on diversity in the legal profession and is involved in several groundbreaking public service projects in Texas. He’s also packing his bags and leaving town.
Chris Luna won his Dallas City Council election by 156 votes, earning him the nickname Landslide Luna. Now chief counsel for Metro by T-Mobile, Luna is one of the leading and most influential voices in the Texas corporate legal community. During his 35-year career, Luna has played a critical role in several major corporate transactions and advocated tirelessly for increased diversity in the legal profession. The Association of Corporate Counsel’s DFW Chapter and The Texas Lawbook are honored to give the 2019 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award for Lifetime Achievement to John Christopher Luna.
To Kimberly-Clark executives, Chasity Henry is a critical strategic advisor. To the legal profession, the associate GC is a disruptor who is forcing much needed change. To scores of young women lawyers of color, she is a role model who has made a substantive difference for diversity in the world of corporate law. To Henry herself, she is just being the lawyer she always wanted to be.