Asher Griffin and John Ellis to Speak at Texas Bar CLE Course for New Lawyers
On March 28, 2017, Asher Griffin and John Ellis will speak at the upcoming Practical Skills for New Lawyers continuing legal education course, which is co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association. The course will be held at the Texas Law Center in Austin. Ellis is also serving as the course director for this annual course, which will include presentations by state and federal judges, in-house counsel for leading companies, and many other notable lawyers from across the state. The course covers a broad range of topics with particular emphasis on best practices and important lessons to help young lawyers build good habits for a successful practice. More information about the course, including registration instructions and a copy of the course brochure is available here.
Scott Douglass & McConnico Presents Corporate Counsel Ethics CLE and Networking Event on March 31
Together with the Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas, Scott Douglass & McConnico will sponsor a Complimentary Ethics CLE and Networking Event at Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Austin on March 31. SD&M attorneys Asher Griffin and Cindy Saiter will be featured speakers at the event. The program will address the attorney-client relationship from the perspective of in-house counsel, including issues that may arise when multiple entities are involved and the impact of these issues on confidentiality, the attorney-client relationship, and work product privileges. More information about the event, including registration details, can be found here.
SDM Attorneys Serve in Diverse Legal Leadership Roles
Each year, SDM attorneys dedicate significant time serving in a variety of legal leadership roles. This year, these SDM attorneys will serve on the following diverse local and state-wide boards and committees:
Anthony Arguijo is the President-Elect of the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin and serves as the Association’s representative to the Austin Young Lawyers Association.
Dan Bitting serves on the Board of the Texas Aggie Bar Association.
Sara Clark serves on the Board of the Litigation Section of the Austin Bar Association, the Board of Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, and the Downtown Austin Community Court Advisory Committee.
Cindy Saiter serves on the Board of the Austin Bar Association and is Co-Chair of its Membership Committee. She also serves on the Nominating Committee for District 9 of the Texas Bar Foundation, the State Bar Committee on Women in the Profession, and the Board of the Travis County Women Lawyers Scholarship Fund, and is Chair of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Foundation.
John Ellis serves on the Board of the Texas Young Lawyers Association where he is Co-Chair of the Marketing and Technology Committee, serves on the Outreach and Public Service Committees, and serves as the Association’s representative to the Austin Young Lawyers Association.
Asher Griffin serves on the Steering Committee for the Texas Minority Counsel Program of the State Bar Office of Minority Affairs.
Olga Kobzar is the President of the Texas Energy Law Association and Treasurer for the Oil, Gas and Energy Law Section of the Austin Bar Association.
Ray Langenberg serves on the Comptroller’s Taxpayer Advisory Group, which advises the Comptroller on tax policy matters.
Carroll Martin serves on the Council for the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar.
Ryan Squires is Co-Chair of the Austin Bar Association’s 2016 Leadership Academy Committee.
Jane Webre serves on the Board of the Austin Bar Foundation.
Kennon Wooten serves as a member of the Board of the Austin Bar Association, the Board for the Texas Legal Services Center, and the Editorial Board for The Advocate, a quarterly publication of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas. Kennon is also Vice Chair of the State Bar of Texas Court Rules Committee, Chair of the Austin Bar Association's Publications Committee, and Editor-in-Chief of Austin Lawyer, an Austin Bar Association publication.
To learn more about the missions of these organizations, visit their websites:
Austin Bar Association
Austin Young Lawyers Association
Downtown Austin Community Court Advisory Committee
Hispanic Bar Association of Austin
State Bar of Texas
Texas Aggie Bar Association
Texas Energy Law Association
Texas Young Lawyers Association
Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association
Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas
Scott Douglass & McConnico Attorneys Prevail, Defeating Motion to Dismiss in Structured Finance Securities Fraud Case
Scott Douglass & McConnico attorneys Casey Dobson, Asher Griffin, and John Gasink won a motion to dismiss before the New York Supreme Court in New York County regarding a collateralized debt obligation (CDO) note buyer’s purchase of Subordinated Notes from an investment bank. The firm represents the plaintiff, Basis Yield Alpha Fund (Master), which sued Morgan Stanley for common law fraud and fraudulent concealment. The primary issue before the Court involved whether the risk disclosures and reliance disclaimers in the CDO offering documents barred the plaintiff from pursuing its claims against Morgan Stanley. The Court refused to grant the motion to dismiss, finding that the reliance disclaimers and risk disclosures were an insufficient basis for barring the plaintiff’s claims given the allegations concerning Morgan Stanley’s peculiar knowledge of the problems with the CDO and its underlying assets, which were predominantly residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). The Court also rejected all of Morgan Stanley’s arguments concerning pre-investment due diligence, actionable misrepresentations, and loss causation. This is one of a number of cases in which the firm has represented domestic and international clients in fraud matters relating to structured finance securities such as CDOs, RMBS, and SIVs (structured investment vehicles). The Court's opinion can be found here.