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Three Underwood Lawyers Recognized as Texas Super Lawyers- Rising Stars 2022

The Underwood Law Firm is pleased to announce that Jason Fenton, Stephanie James and Brad Timms have been selected as 2022 “Texas Rising Stars.” To be honored as a Rising Star, attorneys must be age 40 or younger, or have practiced fewer than 10 years. Rising Star selections are based on nominations from fellow attorneys who previously were honored in the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list. Only 2.5 percent of the total lawyers in Texas are listed as “Rising Stars.”

Jason Fenton – Jason Fenton practices civil litigation with a focus on commercial disputes, real estate, construction, personal injury defense and banking. In his practice he represents individuals and non-profits, as well as multi-billion dollar companies. 

Stephanie James – Stephanie James’ practice consists of a wide variety of civil litigation, healthcare and employment matters. She represents clients in personal injury litigation, nonsubscriber litigation, healthcare litigation, commercial litigation, construction disputes, employment disputes, and general civil litigation.

Brad Timms – Brad Timms has experience representing a wide range of clients, from individuals and small businesses to large publicly-traded corporations, in a variety of business and commercial cases in state and federal court. His practice focuses on construction, business and insurance litigation. In addition to his litigation practice, Brad also assists clients with preparation of contracts and business-related negotiations. 




Chris Wrampelmeier Made a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)

Chris Wrampelmeier has been made a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), the premier national organization of family law attorneys. He is one of 129 AAML fellows in Texas and the only one in private practice in the Texas Panhandle.

In February, Chris served on the faculty of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists seminar in New Orleans. The two-day seminar addressed property and child-related issues through demonstrations and discussion. Some faculty played members of the Addams Family, with Chris appearing as Pugsley Addams, the son of the divorcing Gomez and Morticia Addams. He appears in the photo in the striped shirt with Pugsley’s pet alligator. (Photo courtesy of Douglas Fejer and used with permission.)




Roger Cox Invited to Serve on the 2022 Bench Bar Planning Committee

Roger Cox has been invited to serve on the 2022 Northern District of Texas Bankruptcy Bench Bar Conference Planning Committee. The committee will assist in planning the conference educational program.




Underwood Attorney Slater C. Elza Presents at the Texas City Attorneys Association’s 2022 Riley Fletcher Basic Municipal Law Seminar in Austin, Texas

Underwood attorney Slater C. Elza recently presented the topic “Municipal Liability: Understanding the Texas Tort Claims Act” at the Texas City Attorneys Association’s 2022 Riley Fletcher Basic Municipal Law Seminar in Austin, Texas.  Slater serves as Second Vice-President of the TCAA, which is an affiliate of the Texas Municipal League that was formed to promote, encourage, and advance the professional development of municipal attorneys throughout Texas. TCAA currently has a membership of over 400 attorneys with a continued focus on meeting the needs, concerns, and problems of its members through educational and other opportunities.

Slater Elza’s practice focuses on representing businesses and governmental entities in litigation matters. As a litigator, Slater has tried over 125 matters through verdict in state courts, federal courts and arbitrations. Over the past few years he has handled significant litigation in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin, Virginia and Pennsylvania for clients.




Governor Greg Abbott Reappoints Underwood Shareholder, Roger Cox as Canadian River Compact Commissioner

Underwood Shareholder, Roger Cox has been reappointed by Governor Greg Abbott as Canadian River Compact Commissioner. 

Roger Cox is counsel to the region’s leading financial institutions and businesses. He is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate LawFarm & Ranch Real Estate Law, and Business Bankruptcy Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

To view the Governor’s announcement, visit here




Underwood Attorney Slater C. Elza Selected as a Member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (“FDCC”)

Underwood attorney Slater C. Elza has been selected as a member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (“FDCC”), an organization of attorneys who defend civil litigation and the corporate executives who oversee such litigation.  The FDCC is composed of recognized leaders in the legal community who are dedicated to promoting the knowledge, fellowship, and professionalism of its members as they pursue the course of a balanced justice system and represent those in need of a defense in civil lawsuits. The privilege of membership is restricted to those who have differentiated themselves professionally and personally and whose exemplary reputations have been earned.  Potential members must be nominated for membership and are subject to the rigorous vetting of multiple references, opposing counsel and judges familiar with the nominee.




Underwood Shareholder, Jennie Knapp is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

A huge accomplishment for one of our Underwood Shareholders! Jennie Knapp is now Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a distinction achieved by less than one percent of lawyers in Texas.

Board certification is a voluntary designation program certifying Texas attorneys in specific areas of law. To qualify for Board Certification in Civil Appellate Law, attorneys must be licensed for at least five years, devote a certain percentage of their practice to civil appellate law, have handled all or a substantial part of at least a dozen appellate cases, receive judicial and fellow lawyer recommendations, attend continuing education seminars, and pass a rigorous six-hour written examination.

Jennie heads Underwood’s Appellate Section and practices appellate and trial law.




Underwood Lawyers Recognized by Fort Worth Magazine as 2021 Top Attorneys

Three Underwood Lawyers were recently recognized by the Fort Worth Magazine as 2021 Top Attorneys. Top attorneys are selected from peer nominations from colleagues within the region.

Cara Kennemer for Construction Law. Cara is chair of Underwood Law Firm’s Construction Section and is Board Certified in Construction Law. She assists Underwood’s clients in all aspects of the construction process on projects involving underground utilities, event venues, wastewater treatment facilities, residential developments and subdivisions, public facilities and paving, higher education buildings, and numerous other types of commercial and residential projects. She also negotiates design and construction contracts on a wide array of projects.

Janet Bubert for Education/School Law. Janet focuses her practice on representing the boards of numerous independent school districts, charter schools, universities, community colleges and education foundations. She advises clients on all aspects of education law and represents schools in both federal and state courts and before the Texas Commissioner of Education as well as other federal and state agencies.

Mitchell Moses for Real Estate Law. Mitchell represents businesses, public entities and financial institutions in matters related to property, technology, governance and finance. Representative matters include the representation of portfolio companies in mergers, acquisitions and financings; representation of real estate companies in the acquisition, disposition, leasing, financing and construction of property; representation of school districts in matters regarding property, contracts, bond offerings and 313 Agreements; and representation of financial institutions in lending matters.




Underwood Law Firm Welcomes New Associates

Erin Milliken graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in business. She then attended Texas A&M University School of Law and received her Juris Doctorate with concentrations in both Environmental Law and Water Law. An Austin native, she fell in love with the culture and easy-going lifestyle Fort Worth and the surrounding areas provided, and made the permanent move, buying a house and laying down roots.
 
In her free time, Erin enjoys her family and friends, as well as tending to her garden, plant collection and numerous pets. Erin’s love for all things natural has driven her passion for Environmental Law, Oil and Gas, and Real Property Law, where she focuses her practice. 
 
Gabrielle Bechyne focuses primarily on Employment Law and Public Education matters. At Texas Tech University School of Law, Gabrielle participated in the Civil Practice Clinic as a student attorney and served as a comment editor for Texas Tech Law’s award-winning Estate Planning and Community Property Law Journal. She served on the Pro Bono Student Board of Directors and graduated cum laude.
 
Gabrielle and her husband Ryley live in Amarillo with their pets Winnie and Oatmeal. She enjoys spending time in local coffee shops and playing card games with friends and family. 
 
Jarod Russell is a native of Amarillo. He served as an educator for seven years and earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from West Texas A&M University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and economics from The University of Texas at Austin and graduated summa cum laude from Texas Tech University School of Law. Jarod served as an articles editor for the Texas Tech Law Review and was chaplain for the Christian Legal Society.

During law school, Jarod clerked for the Seventh Court of Appeals, working on both civil and criminal cases. His practice focuses primarily on School Law and Municipal Law. 
 
Jake Ware was born in Amarillo and raised in Wheeler. He attended Texas Tech University, where he graduated from the Texas Tech Honors College with a degree in Honors Arts and Letters. He then attended the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Prior to joining Underwood, Jake worked as a law clerk at the Office of General Counsel to the Board of Regents at the University of Oklahoma. Jake also served as the editor-in-chief of the University of Oklahoma’s Oil and Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Journal.
 
Jake enjoys spending free time flyfishing, playing music and being outdoors. He also loves spending time with friends and family.




Underwood Shareholder Slater Elza Presents “Ethics + Best Practices = Great Business” at the 85th Annual TAMIC Convention and Seminar

Underwood Shareholder Slater Elza recently presented “Ethics + Best Practices = Great Business” at the 85th Annual TAMIC Convention and Seminar in Round Rock, Texas. The Texas Association of Mutual Insurance Companies is an insurance trade organization comprised of farm mutual insurance companies which provides property and casualty insurance coverages for the people of Texas.