The Houston Bar Association, or HBA, presented a new award for outstanding achievement and leadership for women in the law to former Texas Supreme Court Justice Ruby Kless Sondock at its annual dinner meeting on May 16.

Sondock was the first woman to serve on the Texas Supreme Court and the first woman district court judge in Harris County. The University of Houston established the biennial “Ruby Kless Sondock Lecture in Legal Ethics” in her name, and in 2015, the State Bar of Texas Litigation Section recognized her as a Texas Legal Legend.

Now with the HBA’s creation of the Justice Ruby Kless Sondock Award, top women attorneys in the Houston Bar will be recognized, said HBA President Benny Agosto Jr. in a press release. “Justice Sondock is a trailblazer for women in the law in every sense of the word.”

The Justice Eugene A. Cook Award, established in 2018 and the HBA’s highest award for professionalism, was awarded to Harry M. Reasoner, of Vinson & Elkins, and Fred Hagans, of Hagans Montgomery & Rustay.

Reasoner has served as chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission since being appointed by the Texas Supreme Court in 2009. Hagans, appointed in 1989 as co-chair of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Professionalism, led the effort to make Texas the first state to adopt a mandate to govern the conduct of lawyers.

Christopher A. Prine, court clerk for both the 1st and 14th Courts of Appeals in Houston, was honored with a special HBA President’s Award for Service. Prine oversees and coordinates the courts’ administrative operations, including human resources, information technology, purchasing, accounting, and budgeting, in consultation with the justices of each court.

Also honored for outstanding leadership and service were:
• Judge Mike Engelhart, of the 151st District Court; Erin Lunceford, of Norton Rose Fulbright; and Texas Supreme Court Justice J. Brett Busby as co-chairs of the 25th Bench Bar Conference.
• Rob Ford, of Fogler, Brar, Ford, O’Neil & Gray; and Sean Gorman, of Bracewell; as co-chairs of the Continuing Legal Education Committee.
• Judge Michael Gomez, of the 129th District Court; Judge Daryl Moore, of the 333rd District Court; and Stewart W. Gagnon, of Norton Rose Fulbright; as co-chairs of the County Law Library Committee.
• Jacquelyn McAnelly, of Cersonsky, Rosen & Garcia; Amy Parker, of Bracewell; and Angeles Cassin, of Greenberg Traurig; as co-chairs of the Gender Fairness Committee.
• Maria Lowry, of the Law Office of Maria S. Lowry, and Tara Grundemeier, of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, as co-chairs of the Lawyers for Literacy Committee.
• Diana Gomez, of Chamberlain Hrdlicka; Staci Wilson, of Bracewell; and Ashley Brown, of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; as co-chairs of the Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession Committee.
• William G. Hagans, of Hagans, Montgomery & Rustay; Yvonne Ho, of Bracewell; Lonny Hoffman, of the University of Houston Law Center; and J. Robin Lindley, of Buck Keenan; as co-chairs of the Professionalism Committee.
• Justice Ken Wise, of the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, and Richard F. Whiteley, of Bracwell, as co-chairs of the Teach Texas Committee.
• Polly Fohn, of Haynes and Boone, as editor in chief of The Houston Lawyer.
• Mark Trachtenberg, of Haynes and Boone, as chair of the HBA Appellate Practice Section.
• Angela Stout, of the Stout Law Firm, as chair of the HBA Family Law Section.
• Nicole Singer, of Santo Petroleum, as chair of the HBA Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Section.

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