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Leadership Biographies

Eugene Alcala

Eugene Alcala

Eugene is currently employed as a Paralegal with Tenet Healthcare Corporation. In this position, his duties include responding to subpoenas and working with in-house and co-counsel on various legal matters. He has worked in the legal profession for over 20 years. He attended El Centro’s Paralegal Program and the Professional Development Institute of the University of North Texas.
 
Eugene's professional and volunteer associations include:

  • Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA)
    • President 2015
    • President-Elect 2014
    • Membership Vice President (2011 thru 2013 terms)
    • Member since 1993
    • Past Chair of the Mentor Program
    • Past Chair of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Section
  • National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) - Region II Representative to the Nominations Committee (2014-15)
  • Currently serving on the NFPA Ethics Board
  • Member of the State Bar of Texas, Paralegal Division and Texas Bar College
  • Paralegal Division – District 2 Director (2018-2020)
  • Investigator on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) Committee - Dallas
  • Volunteer with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program – Legal Aid of North West Texas
Erica Anderson

Erica Anderson, ACP

Erica Anderson has served the Paralegal Division in many positions, including Chair of the Public Relations, Membership, and 2016 TAPS Committees. She currently serves as Chair of the Public Relations Committee and as an Ambassador, a position reserved for past Presidents. She is a contributing editor of the Paralegal Ethics Handbook. Erica is a paralegal at the Underwood Law Firm in Amarillo, Texas, and a member of the Computer & Technology Section.

A member of the Paralegal Division since 2004, she served as Membership Chair for three terms (2008-2011) prior to being elected as District 7 Director, Treasurer, President-Elect in 2014-2015 and President in 2015-2016. She chaired the TAPS 2016 Planning Committee.  She has served in several different positions to the Texas Panhandle Paralegal Association, including Public Relations Chair, Professional Development Chair, TAPA Chair and President. With her memberships in these associations and in NALA, Erica is able to participate in a variety of ways to help develop the paralegal profession. Erica is a former Chair the Advisory Committee to Amarillo College’s Paralegal Studies program and adjunct professor on technology for Amarillo College’s Continuing Education for Seniors program.

Erica began her career as a file clerk and worked diligently to become the lead paralegal on several matters at a firm in Amarillo before finding herself at the Underwood Law Firm.  In January 2006, she earned her Certified Paralegal status from NALA, and in 2009, received notice that she had achieved the designation of Advanced Certified Paralegal in Trial Practice. Erica has given several presentations on ethics, technology, and promoting professionalism, and continues to be active in the community with various charitable and pro bono organizations.

Erica has two children, Rich and Libby.  

Michele Boerder

Michele Boerder, CP, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified - Civil Trial Law

Michele Boerder is a litigation paralegal in the  Dallas office of Morgan Lewis and has 38 years of experience.  She has a Master's and a Bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas, and has an A.A. from the El Centro College Paralegal Program in 1979.

She is a Board Certified Paralegal - Civil Trial, Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a Certified Paralegal (“CP” through NALA) as well as a past President of the Paralegal Division, State Bar of Texas and a past President of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association.

Michele also has served on the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Committee (1991 - 2009), the TBLS Paralegal Civil Trial Commission, NFPA's Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam Standards Committee, and Paralegal Today magazine’s editorial review board.

She received the Dallas Area Paralegal Association’s Paralegal of the Year Award in 1995, NFPA's Paralegal of the Year award in 2005, the Dallas Area Paralegal Association Lifetime Achievement award in 2006 and NFPA’s William R. Robie Leadership Award in 2011.  Michele is also an instructor in the Paralegal Certificate Program at SMU’s Continuing and Professional Education department.

 

 

Susi Boss

Susi Boss

Susi Boss has been a paralegal for over 35 years with experience in bankruptcy, personal injury and family law and has been a Senior Paralegal at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, LLP for 15 years. 

 

Susi has been a member of the Paralegal Division since 2003 and currently serving as District 5 Director as well as President of the San Antonio Paralegal Association.  Susi has an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from the Kaplan College of Paralegal Studies.   

 

Susi has been married to her husband Russ for 45 years.  They have a son and daughter and 5 grandchildren.  In her spare time, she is involved in many aspects of her church as well as her dogs, cats and horse.  She and Russ enjoy cruises.

Rhonda J Brashears

Rhonda J Brashears, CP, TBLS-BCP, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified - Personal Injury Trial Law

Rhonda Brashears is a paralegal with the firm of Underwood Law Firm, P.C., Amarillo, Texas, and has been in the legal profession for over 30 years. She specializes in personal injury and civil trial defense law. She received her B.G.S. from West Texas A&M University in 1998, her Certified Paralegal designation from the National Association of Legal Assistants in 1996, and was board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law in 1998.

Rhonda has been a member of the Paralegal Division since 1990. She currently serves the Division as an Ambassador.  In addition, she served as Director of District 7, 1996 until 2001, Secretary, 1999 to 2001, President Elect in 2001 and 2007, and President of the Division in 2002 and 2008.  She has also previously served as Chair of the On-Line CLE Committee, the TAPS Planning Committee, the Publications Committee and as Editor of the Texas Paralegal Journal.  Rhonda is a member of the Texas Panhandle Paralegal Association, where she has served as President, President-Elect, Treasurer and NALA Liaison.

 

Clara Buckland

Clara Buckland, C.P.

Clara is the 2014-2015 Past-President of the Division and served the Division in several capacities before then.  Namely as District 16’s 2005-20016 sub-chair on the Professional Development Committee, and District Director for two terms from 2006 to 2010.  While on the Board of Directors, Clara served as liaison for the National Association of Legal Assistants and the Association of Legal Administrators, and on the Division’s Executive Committee as its 2007-2009 Secretary, and 2009–2010 Parliamentarian. Clara served as Chair of the Membership Committee from June 2012 to June 2013, the same year she was elected as the 2013-2014 President Elect.

Clara is a Certified Paralegal and EEO Legal Investigator in the office of the General Counsel of the El Paso Electric Company (“EPEC”).  In her role as in-house Equal Employment Opportunity Investigator she investigates matters which may be construed as a violation of any state or federal employment laws, or the Company’s policies and procedures.  In her capacity as paralegal, she works on employment, civil and commercial litigation matters, and represents the Company’s interests in Appeal Hearings before the Texas and New Mexico unemployment Commissions.  Prior to her move to EPEC, Clara worked at Kemp Smith LLP, in the specialty area of Labor and Employment Law for 17 years, and with former Associate Judge, Kathleen C. Anderson, in the area of Family Law for five years.  Clara has been a paralegal for over 25 years and has been very vocal on the imposition of mandatory continuing education requirements for all Texas paralegals.

Clara received her A.A.S. in Paralegal Studies from the El Paso Community College and has served on the college’s Advisory Committee for the Paralegal Program.  Clara is a former member of the El Paso Paralegal Association and has served on that organization’s board in various capacities, including President in 2003, the same year she received the Paralegal of the Year Award.  Clara is in the process of joining the Association of Workplace Investigators.

Clara enjoys many interests, including reading and research on the Tudor court of England, artistic projects and hiking.  Clara has an identical twin, Claudia.  She is married to Bucky (Mark) and they have two lovely daughters, Jazmine and Olivia.  In addition, they have been blessed with six beautiful grandchildren, Jason, Raymond, Jordan, Jayden, Gabriel and Trynity.

Debra Crosby

Debra Crosby

Debra Crosby has been a paralegal for over 30 years and is currently a freelance contract paralegal in Austin.  She received a Bachelors Degree from Houston Baptist University with majors in English and Speech.  She also received her Masters in public address and communication from the University of North Texas. 

Debra is a Charter member of the Paralegal Division (PD) of the State Bar of Texas.  She served on the State Bar of Texas Standing Committee on Paralegals, and served on the Legal Assistant Advisory Commission for the preparation, administration and grading of the first Specialty Certification Examinations for Legal Assistants (paralegals).  She has also held many positions with the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas including Tesas Paralegal Journal (TPJ) Editor, Chair of the Long Range Planning Task Force, and Chair of the Annual Meeting Committee.  She also served the PD as Director of District 5 for six years and was PD President from 1993 to 1995.  In 2002, the PD gave her the Award of Excellence for her many years of volunteer service.

She is also a charter member of the Alamo Area Professional Legal Assistants and has held several positions with the organization including President. 

Debra resides in Austin, TX along with her husband, Russ Johnson, an attorney. 

Joncilee M. Davis

Joncilee M. Davis, ACP

Joncilee M. Davis, ACP has been a member of the Paralegal Division since 1998. She has previously served the Division as District Two Membership Committee Subchair, Membership Committee Chair, District Two Director, Public Relations Committee Chair, President-Elect, and President (2012-2013).  She has also served on the TAPS Planning Committee in various capacities.

As a paralegal with over twenty years of experience, Joncilee’s civil litigation practice areas include commercial litigation, intellectual property, , premises liability, commercial trucking accidents, and wrongful death cases.  She has previously worked in the fields of insurance defense, , appellate law, family law, criminal law, and toxic tort.  Currently, she is employed by Polsinelli as a litigation paralegal.

Joncilee attended Texas A&M University and obtained her degree in Political Science, with a double minor in History and Sociology. Following her graduation, Joncilee worked as an assistant probation office for the Dallas County Criminal District Courts, working with adult felons. Some of the attorneys at the courthouse discussed her becoming a paralegal, and loving the idea, she attended Southeastern Paralegal Institute and obtained her Paralegal Certificate with Honors.  She also received her Master of Science degree Magna Cum Laude from Amberton University in Human Relations and Business. 

Joncilee received certification as a Certified Paralegal from NALA in 1998 and the Advanced Paralegal Certification in Trial Practice in 2007.

Joncilee is a charter member of the North Texas Paralegal Association. Having been a member since 2001, she has served in the following capacities: President (2003-2005, 2017 - 2018), First Vice President – Membership (2001-2002), Second Vice President – Education and Elections (2009 – 2011), NALA Liaison (2012 – present), Publications Committee Chair (2008-2009), and Parliamentarian (2006). She is also a charter member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, Paralegal Division.  In 2005, she was honored with being elected to the Kaplan Education Alumni Hall of Fame. Joncilee was voted as one of Paralegal Gateway’s 2012 Paralegal Superstars. 

Pamela M Etie, ACP

Pamela M Etie, ACP

Pam Etie has been in the legal field for more than 40 years in numerous capacities (receptionist, legal secretary, law firm administrator, and paralegal), spending the last 18 years as a paralegal working primarily in business and corporate transactional law/mergers and acquisitions.  She has been employed by DuBois, Bryant & Campbell, LLP in Austin for 13 years. 

In 1983, Pam sought and earned her first legal certification as a Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) from the National Association of Legal Secretaries (now known as the Association for Legal Professionals).  She became a NALA Certified Paralegal (CP) in 2003 as well as earned Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) certifications from NALA in Business Organizations: Incorporated Entities in 2008 and Business Organizations: Unincorporated Entities in 2016.  She holds a Specialized Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies from the Kaplan College for Professional Studies.

Pam has been a voting member of the Paralegal Division since 2003.  She was elected as District 4 Director in a 2017 special election and currently serves on the 2017 TAPS Planning Committee as Registration Chair.  Pam previously served on the TAPS Planning Committee-Speakers Committee (2014), as Membership Committee Chair (2015-2017), and as District 4 Membership Committee Sub-chair (2014-2017).  Pam was honored by the PD Board of Directors in 2016 with the Outstanding Committee Chair Award as Membership Committee Chair.

Pam has also been a voting member of the Capital Area Paralegal Association (CAPA) since 2003.  She is currently CAPA’s Membership Chair (2015-present), Web Team Co-chair (2012-present), and Rules and Bylaws Committee Chair (2015-present).  She has also served CAPA in many other roles, including Parliamentarian (2007-2009), Treasurer (2009-2010), Web Team Chair (2009-2012), Rules and Bylaws Committee (2010-Present), Job Bank Coordinator (2007-2016), President-Elect (2012), NALA Liaison (2012), NALA Delegate for the 37th Annual Convention (2012), President (2012-2013), Ethics Officer (2012-2013), 35th Anniversary Planning Committee (2012-2013), Immediate Past President (2013-2014), Paralegal of the Year Award Committee Chair (2013-2014), and TAPA Delegate (2009, 2012-2014),.  Pam was honored by CAPA as the Paralegal of the Year in 2012.  She received CAPA’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2009 and 2014, and the CAPA President’s Award in 2011 and 2013.  Pam also received the NALA Affiliates Award at the NALA convention in 2012.

Pam has been married to Alba Etie for 23 years, and they live in Spicewood, Texas, with their two dogs (Doug and Diane) and one cat (Kirby Baker), all rescues.  Pam enjoys reading and traveling, and she is a longtime, deeply devoted Aerosmith fan.

Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans, CP, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified - Civil Trial Law

Jennifer Evans has been in the legal field for 19 years, beginning her career at Vinson & Elkins in 1997.  She is currently a paralegal at Hartline, Dacus, Barger, Dreyer, LLP in Houston, Texas.  Her career motivated her to become a NALA Certified Paralegal (2012), as well as to become certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a Board Certified Paralegal (2015) in Civil Trial Law.  She has worked in many different areas of litigation, including: retail, personal injury, maritime, subrogation, and construction/commercial.  In addition to her work as a legal assistant, Jennifer often serves as a technical resource in the law firms in which she is employed, including serving as Software Administrator for several years. 

In addition to the Paralegal Division, Jennifer is also a member of the Houston Paralegal Association, where she currently serves as the Third Vice President in Public Relations.  She is also a member of the Houston Metropolitan Paralegal Association. 

This year, she will graduate with a dual Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Global Business, along with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

 

In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys traveling the globe with her fiancée, Jeff, and 16-year old son, Jake.  Scuba diving, gardening, and reading are some of her favorite hobbies. 

Edna W. Garza, TBLS-BCP

Edna W. Garza, TBLS-BCP, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified - Civil Trial Law

Edna will be serving as the new Director for District 15 for 2015 - 2017.  She has been a member of the Paralegal Division since 2011 and has served as the District 15 Continuing Legal Education Committee Sub-Chair from 2011 - present.

Edna has 25 years of experience as a Paralegal. She obtained her Paralegal certificate from South Texas Vo-Tech in McAllen, Texas in 1991.  She was also a Paralegal Instructor for 4 years at South Texas Vo-Tech from 1994 - 1998.  Edna obtained her board certification in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in December 2014.  For most of her paralegal career, Edna has worked in litigation, specializing in personal injury/wrongful death cases, commercial/lender-liability, employment and collection work.

Edna will be completing her Associate of Arts Degree (Interdisciplinary Studies) in December 2015.  She will be seeking a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Organizational Leadership at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas.  Edna obtained her real estate license in May 2012 and is a part-time Realtor.  Since her licensure, she has acquired experience in REO (bank-owned) properties and works with buyers and sellers in residential sale transactions.  She also has experience working in property management.  Edna is a member in the Greater McAllen Association of Realtors; The Texas Association of Realtors; and the National Association of Realtors.  

Patricia Giuliano

Patricia Giuliano

Patti became a member of the Paralegal Division (PD) of the State Bar of Texas in 2001. Her first volunteer experience with the PD was in 2003 co-chairing the Socials Sub-Committee of the LAU (now TAPS) Planning Committee, and then served as Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee in 2004. Subsequent to Annual Meeting, she served two terms as director of District 5 for the greater San Antonio area.  Toward the end of her second term, Patti was elected by the Board of Directors as President-elect, and then served as President during the 2007-2008 PD Board year.  Following her presidency, Patti has continued to serve the Division as the Ambassador Chair and as the Continuing Education Committee Sub-Chair for District 5.  Also, Patti has served on the TAPS Planning Committee in various capacities since 2003.

In addition to working with the Division, Patti has served on the Board for the Alamo Area Paralegal Association, Inc.   She is also the Volunteer Coordinator for the San Antonio Bar Association's Community Justice Program, having served in this capacity since the program's inception in 2002.

Patti is an intellectual property paralegal with Dykema Cox Smith, and has over 18 years experience working in this field of law. Prior to her IP days, she worked in medical malpractice defense and practiced in corporate and estate planning law.  She has worked in the legal field for over 25 years.

Patti is married to Steve Giuliano.  Having traveled throughout the United States as a military spouse, she has been fortunate to gain experience with the legal process in California, Indiana, and Ohio. She attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and received her degree in paralegal studies from the ABA-approved program at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.

Megan Goor-Peters

Megan Goor-Peters, TBLS - BCP, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified - Personal Injury Law

Megan is the Senior Paralegal and Office and Property Manager of The Brender Law Firm, located in the medical district of Fort Worth. She has worked for Art Brender since 1983, after starting her career in the legal field as a legal secretary in 1982 for another law firm. Megan graduated from Southwest High School in 1983 and while working for Art Brender, obtained her B.A. from the University of Texas at Arlington. Megan’s experience at The Brender Law Firm includes handling personal injury, product liability, insurance bad faith, criminal, civil rights, probate, medical negligence, mass torts, class actions, sexual harassment, and employment discrimination cases from intake through trial and appellate litigation, including two cases before the United States Supreme Court, Watson v. Fort Worth Bank & Trust, 487 U.S. 977, and Trevino v. Texas, 503 U.S. 562.

Megan is a board-certified paralegal in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (2008).  Megan currently serves as the President-Elect (2018-2019) and Ambassador of the Paralegal Division.  She has previously served as President (2016-2017), Director of District 3 (2012-2015), Parliamentarian (2014–2015), former Board Advisor to the Pro Bono Committee, Annual Meeting Committee, and Vendor Liaison Ad Hoc Committee, and former Liaison to the Texas Young Lawyers Association and the American Bar Association.  Megan also served as the Fort Worth Paralegal Association’s Professional Development Chair and as the SBOT Liaison to the Paralegal Division. Megan was awarded the Fort Worth Paralegal Association’s Paralegal of the Year 2014 Award.

As Editor of the Texas Paralegal Journal, Megan concurrently serves as the Paralegal Division’s Publications Chair.  Megan has been appointed by the State Bar of Texas to the Texas Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters Committee (2017-2020).  Megan has most recently been awarded the “2018 Award of Excellence.”

Professional affiliations: Active Member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas, Active Member of the Fort Worth Paralegal Association; member of The College of the State Bar of Texas; Paralegal Affiliate Member of AAJ; and an Associate Member of the Tarrant County Bar Association.

Megan has served as Advancement Chair and Committee Member of Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scouts, Pack 9 (2008–2013), and Committee Member on the Vision Committee 2013 of St. Paul Lutheran Church.

Special Announcement

President-Elect Megan Goor, TBLS-BCP was appointed by State Bar President Tom Vick to the Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters Committee, a Standing Committee of the State Bar of Texas, in 2017 to serve a three-year term.  The mission of the committee is:  To concern itself with creation and means of implementation of programs, such as legal aid or pro bono efforts, to assure delivery of legal services to persons who are unable to afford counsel to represent them in civil matters.  The composition of the committee shall include members of legal aid, legal services and pro bono programs, including at least one director from a Legal Service Corporation-funded field program. This committee works in collaboration with Texas Access to Justice Commission, Texas Access to Justice Foundation, Legal Access Division, and others.  Megan is the first paralegal/Paralegal Division member to be appointed to this committee.  To learn more about the Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters Committee, visit their website.

Shannon Happney

Shannon Happney, CP, TBLS, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified - Family Law

My name is Shannon Happney (previously Shannon Watts). I am a prior District 14 Director (2008- 2012). I currently work for R. L. Whitehead, Jr. and have since March, 1991. I have an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Legal Assisting from Kilgore College where I was a Kilgore Rangerette. I received my NALA paralegal certification in January 1997 and am also Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law since December 2009. I am a current member of the Northeast Texas Association of Paralegals where I currently serve as secretary for the 2018 year and have served as Secretary for several terms prior to this year. I am also a member of the State Bar of Texas, Family Law Section.

I am fortunate to be married to a wonderful man, William Happney who is a Construction Senior Superintendent for a company in Dallas. We have been married 6 years now. I have a wonderful step-son who is a Marine Reservist and he lives in the Dallas area. My greatest joy in life is being the mother of twin girls who are now 18 years old and in their first year of college. Megan plays soccer for the University of Texas at Tyler and hopes to obtain a degree in Sports Psychology and minor in Kinesiology. Jessica is attending Kilgore College this year before she transfers to Texas Tech where she hopes to obtain a teaching degree and be an AG Teacher.

Sherylyne Hollinger, RP, PHP

Sherylyne Hollinger, RP®, PHP

Sherylyne (“Sherie”) Hollinger, RP®, PHP is a Paralegal with the law firm of Porter Hedges LLP in the practice area of corporate law.  Sherie has over 30 years of experience in the legal profession in multiple areas of law, including corporate governance, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and dissolutions, SEC, real estate, bankruptcy, toxic tort/asbestos, personal injury and commercial litigation.  In 2013, Sherie became a PACE Registered Paralegal through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. and received her Paralegal Certificate from the University of North Texas, Professional Development Institute.

Sherie has been a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas since 2013.  Sherie is currently serving as the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas as District 1 Director and Secretary, and has served as Elections Sub-Chair and Professional Development Sub-Chair for District 1.

Sherie joined the Board of Directors of Houston Metropolitan Paralegal Association in 2015.  Sherie is currently serving HMPA as Second Vice-President, CLE (2018-2019), and has served as President (2017-2018), President-Elect (2016-2017), Second Vice-President, CLE (2015-2016), HMPA 2016 Texas Alliance of Paralegal Associations Committee, Programs Committee Chair, Continuing Legal Education Committee Chair, Education Liaison Committee Chair and CP Review Course Committee Chair. 

Sherie has served on the Lone Star College North Harris (ABA Accredited) Paralegal Program Advisory Board since 2016.  Sherie is also a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas Business Law Section and Child Protection Law Section, Houston Paralegal Association, and Houston Corporate Paralegal Association.

Javan Johnson

Javan Johnson, ACP, TBLS-BCP, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified - Civil Trial Law

Javan Johnson, ACP, is a Charter member of the Paralegal Division (PD) of the State Bar of Texas.  She has served PD for two terms as President (2000 - 2001; 2006 - 2007), a member of the Board of Directors, Membership Committee Chair, Public Relations Committee Chair, and the Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar Planning Committee, as well as many other positions.  She is a co-author of the Paralegal Ethics Handbook. She has been honored with various awards including the highest Award of Excellence in 2004 and in 2016 for her volunteer efforts with the PD.  Javan is a PD Ambassador and is a frequent speaker for PD on ethics and numerous civil trial and personal injury topics.  Javan is currently serving her second term as Director of District 14 in Northeast Texas, and is serving as a Mentor for PD Proteges.  

Javan owns Professional Paralegal Services, a freelance paralegal service which opened in February 1999.   She specializes in civil trial and personal injury litigation, and has more than 35 years paralegal experience.  She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Education from Baylor University.   Javan obtained her Certified Paralegal (CP) from the National Association of Legal Assistants in 1990, earned the NALA Advanced Civil Litigation specialty designation in 1993, and became certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1996.

Javan is devoted to the paralegal profession and educating paralegals all over the State.  She is also a charter member of the Northeast Texas Association of Paralegals, Inc. in Longview and has served that organization in numerous positions since its inception.  Javan also assisted in organizing and starting the Paralegal Program at Kilgore College, and has taught in that program since 1988 and serves on the Advisory Board.  She has served on the Paralegal Civil Trial Commission for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and has served on the Board of Trustees for the Texas Center for Legal Ethics. 

Her husband, Brett, of more than 30 years has been very supportive of her career goals and volunteer efforts.  They have one son, Cameron.

Ellen Lockwood

Ellen Lockwood, ACP, RP®

Ellen Lockwood received her Bachelor of Music degree from Southwestern University and her paralegal certificate from Southwestern Professional Institute in Houston. 

She is a past president of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas.  She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Paralegal Division from 1995 to 1997 and 2001 to 2006.  She served as Treasurer of the Division from 1996 to 1997 and again from 2002 to 2004.  She is also a past president of the Alamo Area Paralegal Association.

Ellen is Chair of the Professional Ethics Committee of the Division, a position she also held from 1997 to 2004, and from 2007 to present.  She is the lead author of the Paralegal Ethics Handbook published by Thomson Reuters..

In 2008, Ellen was honored to receive the Paralegal Division’s Award of Excellence and San Antonio Paralegal of the Year award.

Ellen has more than twenty years of paralegal experience in intellectual property and civil litigation.  She is a frequent speaker and writer on paralegal ethics and is currently employed as a a Trademark Paralegal for Schwegam Lundberg Woessner.

You may follow Ellen on Twitter @paralegalethics.

Rebecca Lopez

Rebecca Lopez

Rebecca Lopez is currently employed as a Paralegal with the Office of General Counsel for El Paso Water Utilities, City of El Paso.  Prior to this she worked with sole practitioners, mainly in the areas of personal injury and medical malpractice for about 16 years.

 

Rebecca has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and an AAS in Paralegal Studies. She recently participated in the local El Paso Community College DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) process which is comprised of a panel of expert workers, in this case paralegals, who analyze the tasks that successful workers in an occupation need to be able to perform on the job.  This process was used to create relevant, up-to-date, and localized training programs and in developing the curriculum for a new paralegal program.  Rebecca is also involved in various charity events throughout the city, both as a participant and/or volunteer.

 

Professional affiliations: Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas, El Paso Paralegal Association, Texas Bar College, National Association of Legal Assistants and El Paso Bar Association.

Kara O'Shaughnessy

Kara O'Shaughnessy

Kara L. O’Shaughnessy is a paralegal at The McCall Firm in Austin, Texas and has been with her firm for 15 years.  Kara has been a member of the Paralegal Division since 2014 and is currently the Online CLE Committee Co-Chair.  Kara is also the Treasurer of the Capital Area Paralegal Association (CAPA), a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), a member of the Law Student Division of the State Bar of Texas, and the Justice for the Garner Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity (PAD).

 

Kara holds a BS in Zoology from UT Austin and is currently working toward a JD at St. Mary’s University Law School.  Kara lives in Dripping Springs with her husband, three children, and two dogs.  When not working, studying, or spending time with her family, Kara is more than likely trying to convince her children she is a ninja that sees and knows all and/or is day-dreaming about taking a nap.

 

Lisa Pittman

Lisa Pittman

Lisa Pittman has been a paralegal with the law firm of Hayes, Berry, White, & Vanzant, LLP working with partner Richard Hayes for over eighteen years.  She has extensive experience in residential and commercial real estate, oil & gas, transnational, eminent domain, and civil litigation.

Lisa served the State Bar Paralegal Division as chair of the Public Relations Committee and Mentor/Protégé Committee from 2009-2012; as subchair for the Public Relations Committee from 2007-2008; and as a TAPS on-site volunteer for eleven years.  Lisa is a member of the Denton County Paralegal Association and has served DCPA in a variety of roles over the years:  as Secretary/Parliamentarian in 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2011; and as Treasurer from 2009 to the present.  She served as Committee Chair for the Legal Directory Committee, Bylaws Ad Hoc Committee, and Newsletter Committee. 

Lisa and husband, Todd, have two adult children, Shaun & Natasha, three beautiful granddaughters, Nevaeh, Savannah & Kelci, one rambunctious grandson, Kason. In her spare time, Lisa also enjoys spending time with her family, road trips with her husband on their Harley Davidson, reading, sewing, and crocheting. Lisa, her husband and daughter breed, raise and show their purebred Arabian horses. 

Francesca Romans

Francesca Romans, ACP

Francesca Romans is a paralegal with Eichelbaum Wardell Hansen Powell & Mehl, P.C., which specializes in school law defense. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business from Concordia University Austin, and is a NALA Advanced Certified Paralegal in Discovery and Trial Practice.

Francesca joined the Paralegal Division in 2013, and has previously served as District 4 Professional Development Sub-Chair, District 4 Membership Committee Sub-Chair, and Membership Committee Chair.  In addition, she has been a member of the TAPS Planning Committee and the Annual Meeting Committee.  Francesca is an active member of the Capital Area Paralegal Association, where she is currently the Public Relations Committee Chair.  She has previously served as Membership Committee Chair, Treasurer, Acting President-Elect, and President, and was the recipient of the CAPA President’s Award in 2015 and 2016.  She is also a member of the Texas Bar College.

Francesca lives in Leander with her husband Lee Romans, and they spend their spare time trying to keep up with their two sons, David and Nicholas.

Shannon Shaw

Shannon Shaw

Shannon Shaw is a trial paralegal with the law firm of Cotten Schmidt,  L.L.P., located in The Woodlands, Texas and currently served as the Director of District 10.  Shannon has over 20 years experience in the legal field and practice in the areas of civil litigation, family law, bankruptcy, maritime law and personal injury.  Shannon has worked with the same shareholder at Cotten Schmidt, L.L.P. for over 13 years.

After graduating high school, Shannon's first job was working in a law office.   In 1996, Shannon received an Associates Degree in Applied Sciences and Paralegal Studies from El Centro Community College in Dallas, Texas.   In 1998, he received his certificate in Paralegal Studies from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas as well as a Bachelor's degree in Legal Studies.  He will graduate with a Masters Degree in Business Administration in December of 2018.   

Shannon joined the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas in 2013.  That same year, he served as the Vendor Liaison Committee Co-Chair and District 10 CLE Sub-chair.  He continued to served the Paralegal Division in that capacity until 2016.   From 2016-2017, Shannon served as the Online CLE Committee Chair.  Shannon is also a current member of National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

Shannon volunteers with several different local organizations in the Greater Houston area and spend his spare time enjoying outdoor sports.  

 

Pamela Snavely, ACP

Pamela Snavely, ACP

Pamela Snavely, ACP, has been a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas since 2008 and is currently serving as Chair of the District Continuing Legal Education Committee.  She is employed by Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, L.L.P. as an Advanced Certified Paralegal in the Family Law section of the firm.  She has previous experience in the fields of business and commercial litigation, real estate and transactional matters.

Pamela obtained her paralegal certificate from Texas Women’s University in 2006, and earned the Certified Paralegal designation through the National Association of Legal Assistants in 2009.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Women’s University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Government, Legal Studies emphasis, and English minor.  Pamela earned the Advanced Certified Paralegal credential for Family Law (Child Custody, Support and Visitation) through NALA in 2013.

Pamela is a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas, National Association of Legal Assistants and the Denton County Paralegal Association.  She previously served District 12 of the Paralegal Division as the Professional Development Sub-Chair 2009-2010, Membership Sub-Chair 2010-2011, District 12 Director 2012-2014, Board Advisor to Elections Chair and Professional Ethics Chair 2012-2014, and as Socials Co-Chair for the TAPS Planning Committee 2015.  Pamela has been active in her local association in Denton since 2008.  She served as Social Committee Co-Chair 2008-2011, Secretary/Parliamentarian 2015-2016, and is President-Elect for 2016.

Pamela enjoys serving as a volunteer for the annual Denton County Wills for Heroes Program and supports programs that benefit local charities.  She has been a Hospitality Committee Volunteer for her church since 2003 and participates in various outreach services within the community.

Stephanie Sterling, TBLS-BCP

Stephanie Sterling, TBLS-BCP, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified - Civil Trial Law

Stephanie has been a member of the Paralegal Division since 2003.  She was elected as President-Elect for 2017-2018 and has served as District 4 Director from 2014-2017 while also serving as Parliamentarian from 2015-2017. Stephanie is also currently serving on the TAPS 2018 Planning Committee as Scholarship Chair and has previously served as Chair on the Governing Documents Ad Hoc Committee, Marketing Chair on the TAPS 2014 Planning Committee as well as several other committees in various roles with the Division. Additionally, Stephanie was appointed to serve as a the only paralegal member of the State Bar of Texas Technology Program and most recently  was extremely  honored to be appointed to the State Bar of Texas Pro Bono Workgroup.

Stephanie is a seasoned paralegal with over 19 years’ experience in many areas of law such as toxic tort, personal injury trial, construction, business torts, insurance defense, and intellectual property.  She is a paralegal with the law firm of DuBois, Bryant & Campbell, LLP in Austin where she manages intellectual property and litigation matters.  She became a Board Certified Paralegal in Civil Trial Law through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2015.  Stephanie earned her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies with honors from Lamar University, an ABA accredited program, and went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in History with honors from West Texas A&M University.       

Stephanie is a member of Capital Area Paralegal Association (CAPA) and has served CAPA in many board positions and committee roles over the years, including President in 2013-2014.  She is also a member of the Texas Bar College and NALA – The Paralegal Association.  

Stephanie was honored to have received the Paralegal Division’s highest Award of Excellence in 2017 for her outstanding contribution to the professional enhancement of paralegals in Texas.   She was also honored to have been CAPA’s Paralegal of the Year in 2013.  CAPA recently awarded Stephanie with the President’s Award for 2017-2018 for her integrity, professionalism, dedication, and her many contributions to CAPA over the years.  CAPA has also awarded Stephanie with its Volunteer of the Year in 2011 for her outstanding volunteerism, and then again in 2014 for her extraordinary commitment and dedication to CAPA.  Additionally, Stephanie was awarded with the NALA Affiliates Award in 2013 for her contribution and dedication to the advancement of the paralegal profession.   Stephanie has been a contributor to the Texas Paralegal Journal, the Paralegal Pulse, and CAPA’s The Brief.  She continues to be and has been a frequent speaker at various legal events and paralegal classes.     

Stephanie has been married to Clint for 26 years and they have 1 child, Caleb, who is a junior in high school.  She has served the local PTA organizations as Legislative Action Chair, Website Coordinator, and Homeroom Mom for numerous years as well as a teacher in AWANAs for several years.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, reading, dancing, hiking, and participating in various obstacle runs and 5Ks. 

Mona Tucker

Mona Tucker, ACP

 

Mona Hart Tucker, ACP, has been a member of the Paralegal Division since 2001. She previously served as Secretary, Treasurer, President-Elect, and President (2017-2018)  of the Division, as well as Paralegal Division Director for District 14 for the term years 2004-2006, 2006-2008, 2012-2014, and 2014-2016.

Mona works as a contract paralegal in the civil litigation field. She has previously worked in the oil & gas, real estate, estate planning, probate areas of law. During her years as PD Director, she was instrumental in organizing pro bono estate-planning clinics for veterans and their spouses in District 14.

Mona graduated cum laude from East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, and while there, also obtained her formal paralegal education in ETBU’s ABA-accredited program. She earned her Certified Paralegal credentials from NALA in 2001, earned the Advanced Certification in Trial Practice in 2009, and Advanced Certification in Discovery in 2012. She was selected as a member of NALA’s inaugural LEAP class. She currently serves on the advisory committee for the ABA-approved paralegal program at Texas A&M-Commerce.

An avid amateur genealogist, Mona enjoys research and “dead ancestor hunts”. She presently serves as President of the Trevat Cemetery Association in Trinity County. Mona and her husband Lonnie live with their Chihuahua, Jamie, in Daingerfield.

Susan Wilen

Susan Wilen, RN

Susan Wilen is a Nurse Paralegal for Hoblit Darling Ralls Hernandez and Hudlow, LLP in San Antonio, Texas and has been involved in healthcare litigation since 1992.  She graduated in 1970 from Kings County Hospital School of Nursing in Brooklyn, New York and received a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Trinity University in 1983. 

Susan has been a member of the Paralegal Division since 2004.  She was appointed as Director of District 5 for the 2007-2009 term and elected for a second term in 2009.  The Board of Directors of the Paralegal Division elected her to serve as President Elect of the Paralegal Division for 2010-2011 and President for 2011-2012.  She has also served on the Paralegal Division Ad Hoc Committee for Misdemeanors and the Pro Bono Service Definition Ad Hoc Committee.  She has served on the Texas Advanced Paralegal Serminar Planning Committee since 2009 and as Chair of the Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar in 2012, and co-chair in 2013. 

She currently serves as a public member of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Committee of the State Bar of Texas and as an Ambassador for the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas; she has also served as a public member of the Paralegal Committee of the State Bar of Texas.  She is a member of the State Bar College and the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, a member of the San Antonio Paralegal Association and Bexar County Women's Bar Association in San Antonio.  She has served on the planning committee of the annual San Antonio Paralegal Day celebration from 2006 to 2017.  She participates on a monthly basis as a volunteer for the Community Justice Program and serves as volunteer chair for the Veteran's Legal Aid Clinic at the Audie Murphy Veteran's Hospital.

Volunteer and pro bono activities have been a major source of personal growth and a vehicle for community involvement with children at risk and adults with special needs.  She has provided testimony to the Public Health Committee of the Texas House of Representatives, supporting legislation for harm reduction and needle exchange programs in the State, and received the Exceptional Pro Bono Service Award from the Paralegal Division in 2014.

She has two sons and a daughter.  Her major interests are cooking, art, and travel. She has climbed the Great Wall of China with her son in 2002 and Mount Kilimanjaro on her own in 2007.  The Great Wall of China was easier.

As a PD Ambassador, her areas of expertise include medical record review, utilization of paralegals in law practices, Paralegal Ethics, and the ethical responsibilities of paralegals in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

 

Mary Wintermote

Mary Wintermote

Mary R. Wintermote is a senior litigation paralegal in the Fort Worth office of Cotten Schmidt & Abbott, LLP.   Mary’s work as a paralegal spans more than 25 years with an emphasis on civil trial practice in the areas of complex personal injury and wrongful death cases nationally involving theories of premises liability, products liability, and medical malpractice.  Mary also serves as liaison to several of the firm’s major clients and assists with technology training at the firm’s offices in Fort Worth, New Orleans, Houston (The Woodlands) and Corpus Christi.

Mary received her legal assistant certificate from the University of Texas - Arlington in 1991 and previously attended Pennsylvania State University and Harrisburg (PA) Area Community College. Prior to that time, Mary worked in the public safety and emergency management fields in Pennsylvania eventually moving to Texas in 1989.

Mary is a member of the Fort Worth Paralegal Association and serves as its Paralegal Division Liaison.  She was named the 2017 Fort Worth Paralegal Division Paralegal of the Year.  Mary has been a member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas since 2013 and served as Secretary (2016-2018), Director (2015-Present) as well as holding Board Advisor and Liaison positions on the Board. 
Mary and her husband, John, live in Arlington.  They have two children, Katharine and Joseph, two rescue dogs and one cat.  She is a staunch advocate and committed volunteer reading tutor for the Reading Partners program.   Mary also has a variety of hobbies and enjoys volunteering for several civic and charitable organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.


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The Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas
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