Houston 2023 Annual Dinner & Awards Honors Legends in Law

The Houston chapter held its Annual Awards Dinner & New Member induction on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at the Briar Club in Houston.

ABOTA National President, Steve Quattlebaum was there to give a rousing talk about ABOTA and to administer the Oath to the 15 new Houston members, one of whom he’d known for many years., Tracie Renfroe.

Warrior of the 7th Amendment awards were presented to Diana Marshall and National ABOTA President, Craig Lewis. This award is for lawyers who have practiced law for 50 years! Other members who received this honor were John R. Gilbert, Allyn  Hoaglund, Richard L. Josephson, Jack Edward Urquhart, Steve Jay Watkins and Jo Ben Whittenburg.

Sentinel of the 7th Amendment is an award that was presented to Jim Perdue, Sr., one of the founders of the Houston chapter in 1977. A Sentinel is a soldier whose job is to stand guard to challenge all comers and prevent a surprise attack. His son, Jim Perdue, Jr., presented the award.

ABOTA Houston Chapter’s Sentinel of the Seventh Amendment Award recognizes members who have steadfastly protected our Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury in their law practice, as an ABOTA member, and beyond.

Our Sentinels not only embody ABOTA’s high standards of civility and ethics, they also actively stand guard against the forces that seek to take away our constitutional right to trial by jury.

Sentinel award recipients are those members who have always answered the call without question. And so, we honor them tonight for all they have done for our profession and community.

Paul Stallings Award for Exemplary Civility & Ethics was presented to Rusty Hardin and Richard Mithoff. Don Jackson introduced Rusty Hardin and Sherie Beckman introduced Richard Mithoff.

In 2022, each chapter in TEX-ABOTA created an award that identifies and honors a member who has been a model of the ideals of civility and ethical practice that are the cornerstone of ABOTA’s mission.  Houston ABOTA named its award after Paul Stallings.  Paul was the head of the tort section at Vinson & Elkins for many years, and he exemplified professionalism, civility, integrity, and humility.  He demanded nothing less of his lawyers, and quite a few lawyers in our chapter are the product of his leadership.

The night was full of history and emotion as some of the great names in our chapter’s history recalled poignant and humorous tales.

President Sherie Beckman closed the evening by turning over the gavel to Hon. Caroline Baker, who will be President in 2024.

Nearly 200 people enjoyed the evening, punctuated with a few tears and many much-deserved standing ovations throughout the evening.