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NEW POSITIONS . . . Ann T. Lebeck has joined Gibbs & Bruns in Houston as an associate. . . . Robert W. Ivey III has joined Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr in Dallas as an associate with the restructuring and corporate finance practice group. . . . The following have joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Dallas as associates: Regina Merson, real estate; John O’Connor and Benjamin Stewart, litigation and regulatory; Lucas E. Spivey, corporate finance; and Rebecca A. Thomas, business finance and restructuring. . . . Anna M. Baker and Susan S. Vance have joined Alexander Dubose Jones & Townsend in Austin. Baker previously was with Scott, Douglass & McConnico, and Vance was a law clerk for 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Reavley. . . . Elizabeth H. Drought has joined Drought, Drought & Bobbitt in San Antonio as an associate. Her practice focuses on trusts and estates, wills and probate, real estate, corporate law and contracts. . . . G. Kenneth Smith has joined Dewey & LeBoeuf in Austin as counsel in the intellectual property practice group. He previously was vice president, chief patent counsel and head of business development for Alpharma Inc. . . . Heather King has joined Koons, Fuller, Vanden Eykel & Robertson as a partner and head of the firm’s new Southlake office. APPOINTMENT . . . Drew Miller, a partner in Kemp Smith in Austin, has been appointed co-chairman of the energy, environment and natural resources group of State Law Resources Inc., a network of independent firms. Miller is a member of Kemp Smith’s environmental, administrative and public law department. AWARDS . . . Pauline E. Higgins, chief diversity officer for Thompson & Knight in Houston, has received a Local Heroes Award from Bank of America. The award recognizes five members of the Houston community who contribute to neighborhood vitality through their accomplishments and leadership. Higgins is a partner in the firm’s finance practice group. . . . Stephen F. Gates, senior vice president and general counsel for Houston-based ConocoPhillips, has received the 2007 Corporate Leadership Award from the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution. The institute is a membership-based nonprofit alliance of global corporations, law firms, scholars and public institutions dedicated to the principles of conflict prevention and alternative dispute resolution. ELECTIONS . . . The Hispanic Bar Association of Houston has elected the following officers for 2007-2008: president Gregory V. Luna; president-elect Christian A. Garza; vice president Diana Perez; secretary Kristalee G. Leija; and treasurer Juan E. Vasquez Jr. Michael Gomez is the immediate past president. HONORS . . . The Hispanic National Bar Association has selected Justice Gina Benavides of the 13th Court of Appeals in Edinburg and Corpus Christi as Latina Judge of the Year. . . . U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings of the Northern District of Texas was honored as Baylor Lawyer of the Year for 2007. . . . David W. Holman of the Holman Law Firm in Houston has been named the 2007 Distinguished Alumnus for South Texas College of Law. . . . Robert M. Castle III, an associate with Bracewell & Giuliani in Dallas, has been named 2007 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year by the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, a joint program of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of Northwest Texas.

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