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Posted on: Feb 18, 2020

Collage of photos from the 2020 Fun Run


Photos by Anthony Rathbun Photography


Congrats to the race winners!



Open Men's
1st - Vinson & Elkins LLP
2nd - Covenant Gym
3rd - South Texas College of Law Houston #1

Open Women's
1st - Bracewell LLP
2nd - MADD Women (Thurgood Marshall School of Law)
3rd - South Texas College of Law Houston #5

Open Mixed
1st - Serpe, Jones, Andrews, Callender & Bell, PLLC
2nd - Anne & Don Fizer Foundation
3rd - Ship Ship Hooray for an 8K! (Shipley Snell Montgomery LLP)

Master Men's
1st - Parker & Sanchez PLLC

Master Mixed
1st - Clark Hill Strasburger

Law Firm
1st - Clark Hill Strasburger (President's Trophy!)
2nd - Vinson & Elkins LLP
3rd - Serpe, Jones, Andrews, Callender & Bell, PLLC

Law School
1st - South Texas College of Law Houston #1 (Law School Traveling Trophy!)
2nd - Albertus All Stars (University of Houston Law Center)
3rd - South Texas College of Law Houston #3


Overall Women's Open
Lauren Stroud

Overall Men's Open
Calum Neff

Overall Women's Masters
Catherine Kruppa

Overall Men's Masters
Chris Stelzer

Overall Women's Veterans
Allyson Serrao

Overall Men's Veterans
Mark Speets

14 and under
1st - Sienna Rossmiller, Carson Crockett
2nd - John Eikenburg III
3rd - Jayden Chen

15 - 19
1st - Ritika Palacharla, Anthony Vasquez
2nd - Alex Galka
3rd - Dylan Lightfoot

20 - 24
1st - Shruthi Prabhu, Luke Phillips
2nd - Mariah Noyola, Joel Phillilps
3rd - Meredith Spillane, Chance Siller

25 - 29
1st - Kim Lowry, Kevin DiVerde
2nd - Erin DeLong, Derrick Sweeney
3rd - Janie O'Connor, George Alvarado

30 - 34
1st - Claire Barrie, Richard Powell
2nd - Jennifer Wells, Levent Karabulut
3rd - Megan Keudelka, Kit Cho

35 - 39
1st - May Shek, Art Sherry
2nd - Christin Faykus, Tom Wille
3rd - April Venable, Mark Brasher

40 - 44
1st - Flora Lai, Andres Sanchez
2nd - Amy Craft, Carlos Thorne
3rd - Monica Gutierrez, Chadwick Holmes

45 - 49
1st - Sandra Ruiz, Peter Lawrence
2nd - Joanna Ira, Alan McClain
3rd - Marie Carlisle, Ronan Harris

50 - 54
1st - Melanie Bell, David Huff
2nd - Juka Smits, Steve Schroeder
3rd - Lisa Thompson, John Spiller

55 - 59
1st - Lynn Malloy, Avi Moss
2nd - Kathy Kersh, Predrag Bojovic
3rd - Melissa Hurta, Liam Gough

60 - 64
1st - Rhonda Emerson, Dan Byrne
2nd - Sandy Nielsen, Rich Fredrich
3rd - June Harris, Elijio Serrano

65 - 69
1st - Theresa Pearsall, Jamal Jamalyaria
2nd - Karen Lancer, Scott Bounds
3rd - Kathleen Mahon, John Polisini

70 - 74
1st - Ben Harvie
2nd - Dave Stadnick
3rd - Jim Carlson

75 - 79
1st - Fred Steves
2nd - Gabriel Lara
3rd - Tom Dower

80 and over
1st - Pamela Willmon


Thank you to the 35th race sponsors!


$3,000 Gold Sponsors




$1,000 Silver Sponsors



Friends of the Fun Run, In-Kind Donors, and Other Sponsors



Jeffry S. Abrams


Thank you to the partners, vendors and supporters who helped make this event possible.



Thank you, door prize donors!



Fun Run Planning Committee Co-chairs:
Brooksie Bonvillain Boutet • Steven Howard • Alex Kamel

Logo Designer:
Daniela Desire Díaz Martínez


Ready, set, GO! The @houston_bar_assoc #HBAFunRun is off! Go runners!

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Posted on: Feb 14, 2020

Charles Shearn Elementary School celebrated the grand reopening of its library with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 14 at 9802 Stella Link, Houston, TX 77025. A special project of the Houston Bar Association (HBA)’s Lawyers for Literacy Committee, the Shearn Elementary library underwent a well-deserved transformation, which included a complete remodel along with brand new books, furniture and more thanks to generous donations.

HBA President Benny Agosto Jr. delivered a message to students in attendance at the ceremony.

"Whatever it is that you want to do, dream about it and make it happen,” Agosto said. “That is what you need to do. I encourage you to never stop studying or learning—never stop dreaming—so your dreams can come true.”

Lead by Benny Agosto Jr., Lawyers for Literacy Committee Co-chairs Alvin Adjei, Karan Ciotti and Chanler Langham, with help from the HISD Department of Library Services and community partner Weekley Family YMCA, the HBA raised $30,000 from individuals and law firms, including $15,000 in matched donations by Nichole Agosto and Benny Agosto Jr.

“A love of reading and knowledge is the most important legacy we can leave our children,” Mr. Agosto said. “Along with our Lawyers for Literacy Committee and our generous donors, we are honored to be able to contribute to that legacy for the children of Shearn Elementary School.”

Originally, Shearn Elementary's library books were decades out of date with no designated school librarian and little to no technological resources for students due to lack of funding. Now, the converted space has an entirely new book collection, appropriately-sized shelves and furniture for children, a designated librarian, a state-of-the-art book return desk and much more. The innovative space fosters 21st-century collaborative learning, and the school hopes to utilize the library as a community resource.

“The library will represent the love for reading,” Mayra Romero, Shearn Elementary School Principal, said. “[It will be] a cozy place for students to cuddle up with a book with their families because the library will be available outside of school hours. [We are] building the love for reading [in] our students.”

Part of the Willow Meadows and Willowbend area in southwest Houston, Shearn Elementary serves students in Pre-K through fifth grade, the majority of which are economically disadvantaged, bilingual and at-risk. The school offers special education, advanced academics and multilingual programs and services.

Thank you, donors!

Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner

Nikki & Benny Agosto, Jr.

Peri Alkas

Alvarez Stauffer Bremer PLLC

HBA Animal Law Section

Susan Bauch

Nelson Block

Burritt | Adjei, PLLC

Randi Capone

Karan Ciotti


Casey Minnes Carter

The Honorable Clarinda Comstock

Amanda Cooley

Scott Cunningham

Mindy & Josh Davidson

Archangela DeSilva

Tracy Dunford

Joanne Ericksen

Sarah Frankfort

The Friends of the Phoenix

Karen Gerstner

Victoria Gipson

Allan D. Goldstein

Tara Grundemeier

Giselle Guerra

James Harris

Hartline Barger LLP

Hasley Scarano, L.L.P.

Catina Haynes

Marquette Hobbs

Nancy Hoesl

Cisselon Nichols Hurd

Monica Hwang

The Honorable Maria T. Jackson

Jenkins & Kamin LLP

Donna Johnson

Gramm J. Klein

Chanler Langham

Laredo Energy

Brenna Lemon

Susan & Alex Lidback

Karl Long

Maricela Lopez

William Morris

Sue & Jonathan Needle

HBA Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Section

Somer Padilla

David Passarelli

Lindsey Postula

Megan Prout

Emery Richards

Andrea & Ron Riojas

Lindsey Rutherford

Carrie Schadle

Tara & John Shockley

Smith, Murdaugh, Little & Bonham LLP

In Memory of Lori J. Stout, an avid book lover and supporter of our local library

HBA Taxation Section

Fey Tomoye

Kristina Vu

Kathryn Wagner

Jordan Warshauer

The Honorable Fran Watson

Weekley Family YMCA Board of Directors

Lawrence Winsor

Posted on: Feb 11, 2020

Join us in celebrating the accomplishments and mission of the Houston Bar Foundation at its 2020 Annual Luncheon, Tuesday, February 25 at the Marriott Marquis. Doors open at 11:00 a.m., with lunch beginning at 11:30 and concluding at 1:00 p.m.

Susan Bickley headshotSusan L. Bickley of Blank Rome LLP will succeed Travis Torrence of Shell Oil Company as chair of the Houston Bar Foundation. The HBF will recognize winners of this year’s service awards for Houston Volunteer Lawyers, the Dispute Resolution Center, and The Houston Lawyer. Harry M. Reasoner of Vinson & Elkins LLP will be honored with the James B. Sales Pro Bono Leadership Award.

The event will also feature a keynote address by Reid Ryan, Executive Advisor of Business Relations for the Houston Astros.

Tickets are $145 per person, with tables of 8 and 10 available. Click here to purchase tickets or tables online. Click here to download the printable order form to pay via check or cash. Don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets for a chance to win an American Express gift card!

For more information on this event, contact Diane Cervenka at or (713) 759-1133.

The Houston Bar Foundation is the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of the Houston Bar Association, providing funding for public service projects such as Houston Volunteer Lawyers, the Juvenile Justice Mock Trial Program, the Houston Legal Handbook, the Fifth Ward Center for Urban Transformation, and more. You can support the Foundation in the following ways:


Houston Bar Foundation logo

Posted on: Feb 3, 2020

The Houston Bar Association has launched its monthly online Houston Bar Bulletin to serve members with timely, interactive communication about events and activities, CLE, sections, networking, professional development, volunteer opportunities, and other member benefits.

You will receive an email each month giving you a direct link to the newsletter. The Houston Bar Bulletin also will be posted on the homepage of the HBA website, and you can read the newsletter on your desktop or mobile devices.

Click here or below to read the February 2020 issue.



You will be able to print the Houston Bar Bulletin on your office or home printer, if you prefer a paper copy.

To zoom in on a page in the electronic reader, click on the magnifying glass icon in the toolbar above the page, or double-click anywhere on the page and use the + and – buttons in the bottom left corner to adjust zoom.

Members will still receive the e-Bulletin every Monday; the CLE Update every Wednesday; the bimonthly print magazine, The Houston Lawyer; and special emails highlighting upcoming events or important information. The monthly online Houston Bar Bulletin will join that lineup to give you more in-depth information on HBA activities for the coming month, as well as photos and recaps of events.

If you have questions about the Houston Bar Bulletin, please contact Associate Executive Director Tara Shockley,, or Web Manager Carly Wood,, or call (713) 759-1133. The deadline to submit information for next month’s Bulletin is Tuesday, February 18.

Posted on: Jan 24, 2020

The State Bar of Texas reminds the public that in many cases it is a crime in Texas for a lawyer or someone representing a lawyer to contact a person for purposes of legal representation if the person has not first requested the call or personal visit.

The contact is not illegal if the attorney is not seeking payment or has a preexisting professional-client or family relationship with the person being contacted.

If you witness something you believe to be improper solicitation, or barratry, please get the name and phone number of the person making the contact and report it to your local law enforcement authority or to the State Bar of Texas Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office toll free at 866-224-5999.

Posted on: Jan 8, 2020

On Monday, January 20, 2020, the HBA website will launch new features as part of a larger transition to a new member management and database system. With this new system in place by spring 2020, the HBA is committed to enhancing service to its members through new technology that will provide more flexibility, interactivity, and convenience.

The new web system will include these convenient features for members.

  • MyPage, a customizable dashboard tailored to your specific membership information – committees, sections, registered events, announcements and more.
  • Easy recovery of your username and password with an updated process.
  • Faster registration for upcoming CLEs and other bar programs and events.
  • A redesigned interface for watching CLE videos.

In order to protect our members’ information, passwords will not automatically transfer to the new member management database. Please watch for an email on how to update your login information on the HBA website after January 20.

Much of the website will still look and function the same way as before. All website visitors will still have access to the HBA events calendar, blog posts, information on various programs, and helpful resource and reference materials. The web address,, will remain the same. If you have questions or concerns, please call the HBA office at (713) 759-1133 or email

Posted on: Dec 5, 2019

The Houston Bar Association (HBA) today released the results of its 2019 Judicial Evaluation Questionnaire. The results are posted on the HBA website,

Every two years, the HBA asks its members to evaluate members of the judiciary that serve in Harris County, as well as the Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals. The judges are evaluated in categories that include knowledge of the law, impartiality, efficiency, courtesy, written opinions, and an overall evaluation. Each person evaluating a judge is asked to base his or her opinions on firsthand knowledge only. Judges who had not been on their current bench for at least six months as of the date the questionnaire was prepared do not appear on the Judicial Evaluation.

The Judicial Evaluation Questionnaire does not represent an endorsement by the HBA of any judge.

Click here for the 2019 Judicial Evaluation Questionnaire Results

There were 1,276 evaluations returned, representing 13.6 percent of HBA membership with access to the online evaluation.

The 2019 Judicial Evaluation Questionnaire includes federal judges; magistrate judges; immigration judges; state and local appellate judges; civil, criminal, family, juvenile, and probate judges; associate judges in the family, juvenile and probate courts; IV-D associate judges; county civil and criminal court at law judges; justices of the peace; and municipal judges.

Believing that the quality of the judiciary is of crucial importance to the legal profession and the community, the Houston Bar Association has conducted judicial polls since the early 1970s.

Posted on: Nov 14, 2019

The 70th Harvest Celebration raised a record $873,874 to support pro bono legal services for low-income Houstonians. The largest annual fundraising event of the Houston legal community is sponsored by the Houston Bar Association, Houston Bar Foundation and Houston Bar Association Auxiliary.

Nearly 950 Houston Bar Association (HBA) members and guests filled River Oaks Country Club the evening of November 11. Greeting guests were HBA President Benny Agosto, Jr. and Nikki Agosto; Houston Bar Foundation Chair/Harvest Celebration Co-chair Travis Torrence and Heath LaPray; HBA Treasurer/Harvest Celebration Co-chair Jennifer A. Hasley and Greg Hasley; and HBA Auxiliary President Keisha Phillips and Felix Phillips.

“The HBA is committed to increasing its community service through much-needed pro bono legal services,” said Agosto. “The 70th Annual Harvest Celebration was truly record setting, and we want to thank all of the sponsors, the HBA team and Houston lawyers who are dedicated to making the HBA and Houston the best that it can be. Certainly, raising over $870,000 in one night for Houston Volunteer Lawyers absolutely proves that.”

The Harvest Celebration supports the Houston Volunteer Lawyers (HVL), a project of the HBA that provides pro bono legal services for low-income families including veterans, the elderly, people with disabilities, and other low-income Houstonians with family law, consumer law, probate and other legal problems. Although the Harvest Celebration has been the legal community’s main social event since 1949, it was designated a fundraiser 20 years ago and has raised almost $9.5 million for pro bono legal services in Harris County.

Held on Veterans Day this year, the event also celebrated the service of HBA members who are veterans and called attention to the Veterans Legal Initiative, which provides legal aid for low-income veterans through HVL. “Pro bono lawyers play a vital role in ensuring that our most vulnerable Houstonians have access to justice to meet their basic legal needs,” said Torrence. “I’m proud that the Harvest Celebration’s record-breaking fundraising has enabled us to be at the forefront of guaranteeing our neighbors and veterans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income.”


Thank you to our underwriters!

Click here to see photo booth pictures from Genesis Photographers







Posted on: Oct 23, 2019

On Tuesday, October 22, two dozen medical and legal professionals visited 10 elementary schools in Harris County through the HBA’s IDEA (Interprofessional Drug Education Alliance) program. Together, the pairs of experts delivered interactive presentations to fifth-graders about the medical and legal consequences of substance abuse. These semiannual presentations are coordinated by the HBA IDEA Committee.

Thank you to the participating schools: Chancellor Elementary (Alief ISD), Cobb Elementary (Channelview ISD), Crenshaw Elementary (Channelview ISD), Jefferson Elementary (HISD), Lyons Elementary (HISD), MacGregor Elementary (HISD), Meador Elementary (Pasadena ISD), Osborne Elementary (HISD), Piney Point Elementary (HISD), and Pleasantville Elementary (HISD).

Thank you to the volunteers: Dr. Veena Charakula, Angelica M. Hernandez, Alexander Herrera, Celeste Herron, Savana Hooper, Dr. Rida Khan, Keona Lanae, Daniella Landers, Mac Light, Deanna Longo, Derick Mendoza, Dr. Ngozi Okorafor, Ruben Perez, Jessica Platt, Erika Ramirez, Arturo Roque, Dr. Liliana Rueda, Meagan Scott, Dr. Divya Subramanian, Dr. Lisa Thoyakulathu, Dr. Ama Vega, Rehana Vohra, and Michael Von Blon.

If you are a medical professional or legal professional and would like to volunteer as a presenter for the next IDEA session on February 4, 2020, submit the electronic form here. If you would like to request an IDEA presentation for your fifth grade class, click here. Questions about IDEA? Contact Christina Trevino at or (713) 759-1133.



Posted on: Sep 30, 2019

Because of your generosity, the $30,000 fundraising goal was reached as of September 30. The HBA Lawyers for Literacy Committee thanks you for your contributions. Donations will still be accepted through 5:00 p.m. September 30.

With 93% of its students being economically disadvantaged, Shearn Elementary School needs your help to improve the reading experience. The library is currently located in a temporary trailer outside the school’s main building. Decorations are sparse and the students have nowhere comfortable to sit. The shelves are too tall for most students to reach. Many of the books in the library are older than the students.

Your donation will go toward:

  • New books of all kinds
  • Low shelving units designed for children
  • Comfortable chairs and tables
  • Kid-friendly decorations and activities
  • And more.

A generous anonymous donor is matching $15,000 in donations to support this project.

Click here to make a donation online via credit card.

Cash or check made out to the Houston Bar Foundation (HBF) with “Literacy” in the memo are also accepted. Mail to Houston Bar Association, ATTN: Lawyers for Literacy, 1111 Bagby Street, FLB#200, Houston, Texas 77002.

Donors who contribute $500 or more will be included on a commemorative plaque in the new library. So far, these donors include Alvarez Stauffer Bremer PLLC, Burritt | Adjei, PLLC, Karan Ciotti, The Friends of the Phoenix, Karen Gerstner, Victoria Gipson, James Harris, Hartline Barger LLP, Monica Hwang, Jenkins & Kamin LLP, Chanler Langham, William Morris, the HBA Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Section, In Memory of Lori J. Stout, the HBA Taxation Section, and the Weekley Family YMCA Board of DirectorsThe committee would like to thank all who have made donations thus far.

100% of donations go to the library project at Shearn Elementary School. Donations are also tax-deductible in accordance with IRS rules; the Houston Bar Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, EIN#76-0029594.



Thank you for your help!