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Dallas Bar Elects 2019 Officers

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 10:59 -- admin25

Robert Tobey Elected President-Elect

by Jessica D. Smith

Members of the Dallas Bar Association proudly elected its 2019 officers during the Annual Meeting on November 2.

Robert Tobey, of Johnston Tobey Baruch, was elected president-elect and will serve as the Association’s 111th president in 2020.

Mr. Tobey began his service on the DBA Board of Directors in 2012. He was later elected Chair of the Board in 2016. He currently serves as the Board Advisor to the Courthouse and Library Committees and to the Collaborative Law and Tort & Insurance Practice Sections. In addition, Mr. Tobey was the Co-Chair of the 2014-2015 Equal Access to Justice Campaign. He has served as Chair on various DBA Committee and Sections and also serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Mr. Tobey has been featured by Texas Monthly as one of the Top 100 Attorneys in Texas, listed as a Texas Super Lawyer, Texas Best Lawyers, and in D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas.

Other officers elected at the Annual Meeting were: Aaron Tobin, of Condon Tobin Sladek Thornton, elected first vice-president; Karen McCloud, of Karen D. McCloud, P.C., elected second vice-president; and Ashlei Gradney, of Gradney, P.C., elected secretary-treasurer. Michael K. Hurst, of Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, will serve as immediate past president, and Laura Benitez Geisler, of the Geisler Law Firm, will serve as president in 2019.

Additionally, on November 7, ballots for director positions were sent to members and six of the following nominees will assume director positions in 2019: Vicki D. Blanton, Rocio Cristina Garcia Espinoza, Sakina Rasheed Foster, Martin Hoffman, Daniel Kelly, Brian D. Lauten, Bill Mateja, Audrey Moorehead, and Danny Tobey. Ballots were due back November 19 and results were not available at press time. The 2019 presidents of the minority bar associations will also serve on the board as Directors, and the president-elects of these associations will serve on the board as Advisory Directors.

This year the DBA held a separate Awards Luncheon to honor our DBA award recipients, including the Morris Harrell Professionalism Award, the Outstanding Minority Attorney Award, the Jo Anna Moreland Outstanding Committee Chair Award, and the Cathy Maher Special Section Award.

Each year, the Texas Center for Legal Ethics & Professionalism co-sponsors the presentation of the Morris Harrell Professionalism Award with the DBA. The award was created in 1999 in honor of DBA Past President Morris Harrell to recognize an attorney who best exemplifies, by conduct and character, truly professional traits who others in the bar seek to emulate. This year’s Morris Harrell Professionalism Award recipient was Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Terry Bentley Hill, of The Law Offices of Terry Bentley Hill, Chair of the Peer Assistance Committee; and Erin Nowell, of Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC, Chair of the Public Forum Committee, received the Jo Anna Moreland Outstanding Committee Chair Award. The Science & Technology Law Section, chaired Mina R. Saifi, of AccentCare, received the Cathy Maher Special Section Award. And, the Outstanding Minority Attorney Award was presented to Elsa Manzanares, of Akerman LLP.  

Presidential Citations were also presented to behind-the-scenes members who have faithfully performed often time-consuming tasks for the association. This year’s recipients were Philip Bush, of Locke Lord LLP, Dan Kelly, of Vistra Energy, and Kathryne “Kate” Morris, of Clark Hill Strasburger, for their outstanding assistance in setting up the DVAP Endowment; Rocio Garcia Espinoza, of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, and Chalon Clark, of Husch Blackwell LLP, for their work on community service opportunities for the DBA Board of Directors; Kelly Rentzel, of Texas Capital Bank, for her open and honest work on mental health issues among lawyers through the DBA’s Peer Assistance Committee; Aaron Tobin, of Condon Tobin Sladek Thornton PLLC, and Hon. Martin Hoffman, of the 68th District Court, for their work on the Saving the Jury Trial program. Rhonda Hunter, of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, for her work on the 2018 Diversity Summit; Jennifer Ryback, of McGuire, Craddock & Strother, P.C., and Hon. Tina Yoo Clinton, of County Criminal Court No. 8, for their work on the DBA/DAYL Second Chair Program; Bill Pedersen, of the Law Office of Bill Pedersen, III, PLLC, for his work on the Dallas County Criminal Practice Seminar; Shonn Brown, of Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, and Ophelia Camina, of Susman Godfrey LLP, for their work on the DBA WE LEAD program; and Tricia DeLeon, of Holland & Knight LLP, Shereen El Domeiri, of ORIX USA Corp, and Hon. Doug Lang, of the Fifth District Court of Appeals, for their work on the Day of Civility.

Jessica D. Smith serves as the DBA’s Communications/Media Director. She can be reached at

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