Senior Status Plans

If she’d wanted to, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Judge Carolyn Dineen King could have scaled back her work and taken senior status 10 years ago. But she didn’t. Now, after 34 years on the court, King, who served as the court’s chief justice from 1999 until 2006, finally decided it’s time to take advantage of a reduced workload and will take senior status on Dec. 31. “I’m looking forward to being a senior judge. My whole professional life, I’ve always worked for various charities. I’m doing it now, and this gives me the opportunity to do more of that,” says King, who serves as vice chairwoman of the Baylor College of Medicine board of trustees. Meanwhile, the White House is considering an interesting potential list of candidates to replace King and two of other Fifth Circuit judges from Texas who took senior status last year.

Aggie Law

Texas A&M University School of Law will award its first law degrees on Dec. 13, when 47 graduates will receive degrees at the hooding ceremony. Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp will deliver the keynote address during the graduation at the First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth. The law school, formerly operated by Texas Wesleyan University, has operated under Texas A&M since the beginning of the fall semester. A&M acquired the law school this year. According to information provided by the law school, the graduation ceremony will feature a “decidedly Aggie flavor.” Charles Schwartz, a partner in Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Houston who is a member of the Texas A&M University System, will speak on behalf of the board. Also, Marty Holmes will speak for The Association of Former Students, and a rendition of “The Spirit of Aggieland” will conclude the ceremony. Others who will address the crowd include Aric Short, interim dean of Texas A&M School of Law, and Kamyar Maserrat, who elected by his classmates as student speaker.

Talking to Students

Benny Agosto Jr., a partner in Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend of Houston, will deliver the keynote address at the Dec. 14 graduation ceremony at South Texas College of Law in Houston. Agosto, a 1995 graduate of South Texas, said he will talk about a lawyer’s responsibility not only to represent clients, but also to be a “true advocate” for people in need. He said South Texas is known for training lawyers to be advocates, and graduates need to take that to heart and “jump in, not sit idle.” Agosto, a trial lawyer who was a teacher before he became a lawyer, said it is a “great honor” to speak at the hooding ceremony for the students who are graduating. The ceremony is at the Hilton Americas in downtown Houston.

Whose Warhol?

The University of Texas fight over Farrah Fawcett’s Andy Warhol artwork continues. No end yet appears in sight, according to David Beck, a partner in Houston’s Beck Redden, who represents UT against actor Ryan O’Neal. In a California state court, UT and O’Neal are duking it out over ownership of Andy Warhol artwork, including a portrait of the late Farrah Fawcett. The actress, who starred on the TV show “Charlie’s Angels,” was a sometimes companion of O’Neal and, at the time of her death in 2009, bequeathed her artwork to UT, her alma mater. The trial began in the middle of November but Beck, when asked about the scheduling of closing arguments, wrote back in a Dec. 10 email: “Not sure yet.” Martin Singer of Lavely & Singer who represents O’Neal in the litigation, did not return a call seeking comment.