2019 Outstanding Government Lawyer: Christy Drake-Adams

The Government Law Council created the Outstanding Government Lawyer Award to show its appreciation of one attorney who exemplifies excellence, dedication to public service, involvement in tough issues of the day, and most importantly who serves as a role model and mentor to up-and-coming attorneys.

This year's Outstanding Government Lawyer Award goes to Christy Drake-Adams, the assistant general counsel for the Texas Municipal League.

Ms. Drake-Adams received her J.D. from Baylor University and her M.P.A. and B.A. from Texas Tech University. She was in private practice in Austin for seven years, specializing in municipal and local government law.

In 3007, Ms. Drake-Adams began serving as an assistant attorney general on the Opinion Committee of the Office of Attorney General.

Since October 2010, she has served with the TML, where she advises member cities and officials in all areas of city business and provides legislative support services.

2018 Outstanding Government Lawyer: Alan Bojorquez

The Government Law Council created the Outstanding Government Lawyer Award to show its appreciation of one attorney who exemplifies excellence, dedication to public service, involvement in tough issues of the day, and most importantly who serves as a role model and mentor to up-and-coming attorneys.

This year's Outstanding Government Lawyer Award goes to Alan Bojorquez, a City Attorney or Special Counsel to cities across Texas. An outstanding speaker and accomplished advocate for the State of Texas, Mr. Bojorquez is currently the founder and Managing Attorney for Bojorquez Law Firm, PC.

Mr. Bojorquez represents home-rule and general-law cities across the state. He often conducts training on the subjects of Ethics and Open Government at national and local seminars.

Mr. Bojorquez attended Texas Tech University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English and political science in 1990. In 1996, he received his Master of Public Administration and Doctor of Jurisprudence. He received his Merit Certification in Municipal Law from the Texas City Attorneys Association in 2009.

He serves on several boards, including the Board of Directors of the Texas City Attorneys Association and The International Municipal Lawyers Association.

Mr. Bojorquez founded the Texas Center for Municipal Ethics, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and is the author of the Texas Municipal Law and Procedure Manual, which is currently in its sixth edition and is supplemented annually.

 

2017 Outstanding Government Lawyer: Karen H. Brophy

The Government Law Council created the Outstanding Government Lawyer Award to show their appreciation and to identify one attorney that exemplifies excellence, dedication to public service, their involvement in tough issues of the day, and most importantly serves as a role model and mentor to up and coming attorneys.

This year's Outstanding Government Lawyer Award goes to Ms. Karen H. Brophy, a Senior Assistant City Attorney in the City of Irving. Throughout 40 years of her career, she has devoted her skills and expertise to represent cities.

Her career started when she graduated from The University of Texas School of Law, as an assistant city attorney for Dallas in 1977. She further served as city council in Garland and Carrollton, planning and development services director for the City of Arlington, and in private practice for numerous North Texas cities.

In 2007, she came to the City of Irving as a legal counsel to finance, real estate and economic development counsel as well as advising the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau. She has handled many high-profile matters in her career; major deals in her work in the City of Irving include the Texas stadium lease, substantial bond deals, and multiple contracts related to the entertainment center community venue, with $80 million in public participation.

Karen has given back to the government law community by serving on this Section Council, Texas City Attorneys' Association and the International Municipal Lawyers Association. She is a frequent speaker and author on various municipal and governmental law issues.

Ms. Brophy was not able to accept her award in person. However, she did send in a short video. The City Attorney for the City of Irving, Kuruvilla Oommen, accepted the award on her behalf.

 2016 Outstanding Government Lawyer: Ryan Kellus Turner

Ryan Kellus Turner was honored with the 2016 Outstanding Government Lawyer award from the Government Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. The award was presented at the State Bar's Advanced Government Law seminar in Austin on July 28, 2016.

 2015 Outstanding Government Lawyer: Marcus Norris

Former Amarillo City Attorney Marcus Norris was honored with the 2015 Outstanding Government Lawyer award from the Government Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. The award was presented at the State Bar's Advanced Government Law seminar in Austin on July 30, 2015.

After 15 years of service, Norris retired from the City of Amarillo in July. With more than 20 years' experience in most aspects of municipal law and administration, Norris was often called upon to teach classes for department directors and other city staff, and to brief elected officials on a variety of laws and current issues. This year also marks the
ninth session of the Texas Legislature in which he participated as a witness, providing testimony for and against bills that impact Texas cities.

Norris has served on the Board of Trustees at Hardin Simmons University since 2011. He also has served as a Texas Municipal League board member, is the former president of the Texas City Attorneys Association, and is treasurer of the Amarillo Area Bar Foundation.

The Government Law Section of the State Bar of Texas has presented the Outstanding Government Lawyer Award for the past five years to recognize an outstanding government lawyer who has provided exemplary service to the profession and the public.

2014 Outstanding Government Lawyer:  Linda Halpern

On July 29, Assistant Attorney General Linda Halpern was named the 2014-2015 Texas Government Law Section Outstanding Government Lawyer at this year's Suing and Defending Governmental Entities seminar in Austin. An eloquent speaker, fierce trial lawyer, and accomplished advocate for the State of Texas, Linda is currently the Manager of Complex Litigation for the Attorney General's General Litigation Division.

Linda was recognized for her 21 years of government law experience in a distinguished 31-year career. Her first government law postings were with the United States Department of Justice from 1983-1989 and from 1998-2000, wherein she represented the United States in complex asbestos litigation, defended various civil cases against the federal government in the District of Columbia, and participated in Winstarlitigation before the United States Court of Claims. Her fine work did not go unrecognized: in 1989, she received a Special Achievement Award from the Department of Justice.

In 2001, Linda came to work for the Texas Attorney General. In her thirteen years there, she initially defended the State of Texas in various cases handled by the General Litigation Division, prosecuted high-dollar civil Medicaid fraud matters as the Deputy Chief of the Civil Medicaid Fraud Division, and then returned as Manager of Complex Litigation, where she most recently defended the State of Texas in the school finance litigation in federal court.

The Government Law Section proudly recognizes Linda Halpern as one of the finest lawyers in the State of Texas.

 

2014 Outgoing Chair: Joan Marshall Recognized by Council

 

Outgoing Council Chair Joan Marshall was recognized at the Government Lawyers Section Annual Meeting on July 30, 2014, for her service. A stalwart member of the Council and its leadership for many years, Joan's tenure as Chair was marked by increases in section membership and attendance at the section-sponsored Government Law Boot Camp, and by the revamp of the section webpage. New chair Kathy Davis presented Joan a commemorative plaque along with the appreciation of the Council for her service and friendship.

 

 

 2013 Outstanding Government Lawyer:  Stephen Sanders

Stephen Sanders is Chief Counsel for the Department of Defense’s Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) in Dallas. A 1982 graduate of Baylor Law School, Sanders was also Assistant Counsel for the DCMA - Lockheed Martin Fort Worth between 1997 and 2013, and a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer from 1987 to 1997.

An expert in the administration of government contracts, Sanders has been the recipient of many honors related to his work for DCMA, including the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal, the DCMA Peer Recognition Award, and the DCMA “Keeping the Promise” Award.

Exemplifying the values and achievements of government law practice, Stephen Sanders was the Government Law Section’s 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Government Lawyer Award.