The Houston Bar Association recognized Benny Agosto, Jr. as the new president of the 11,000-member association and recognized several Houston attorneys for outstanding service at the HBA Annual Dinner last week.
Agosto, a partner at personal injury firm Abraham Watkins, succeeds Bracewell partner Warren Harris. Bill Kroger, energy litigation section chair at Baker Botts, was confirmed as president-elect and will be the 10th Baker Botts attorney to lead the bar association. Agosto and Kroger will co-chair the HBA’s 150th Anniversary Gala in May 2020.
The first Spanish-speaking president of the HBA, Agosto has made diversity a key issue for his term. He has planned a summer conference to educate the legal community and the community at large on diversity and inclusion issues.
Over his career, Agosto has received a number of awards, including the Top Latino Lawyers Award from the National Diversity Council, the Outstanding Public Service Award from the South Texas College of Law Houston and the Thurgood Marshall Legacy Award from the law school’s Student Bar Association.
The HBA also celebrated several attorneys for their service to the legal profession at the Annual Dinner.
The Honorable Ruby Kless Sondock, who was the first woman to serve on the Texas Supreme Court and the first woman district court judge in Harris County, received an award named in her honor recognizing outstanding achievement and leadership for women in the law.
“Justice Sondock is a trailblazer for women in the law in every sense of the word. This award will be given in the future to top women attorneys in the Houston Bar,” Agosto said in a statement.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman presented the Eugene A. Cook Award, the HBA’s top honor for professionalism, to Vinson & Elkins partner Harry Reasoner and Fred Hagans of Hagans, Montgomery & Rustay.
Reasoner has served as chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission since being appointed to the post by the Supreme Court of Texas in 2009.
While serving as co-chair of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Professionalism in 1989, Hagans led the effort to make Texas the first state to adopt a mandate to govern the conduct of all lawyers. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Texas Lawyer’s Creed.
The HBA also presented a special President’s Award for Service to the Houston Court of Appeals to Christopher Prine, who serves as the Clerk of Court for both the First Court of Appeals and the Fourteenth Court of Appeals.