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Mark Wawro Honors Dean John Sutton on His 90th Birthday

Photo of Mark Wawro, Melanie Gray, Larry Sager, Nancy Sutton, and John Sutton

Mark Wawro, Melanie Gray, Larry Sager, Nancy Sutton, and John Sutton
Photo credit: Marsha Miller

Dean Larry Sager announced that Mark Wawro, ’79, and his wife, Melanie Gray, have donated $1 million to endow the Dean John F. Sutton, Jr. Chair in Lawyering and the Legal Process. Wawro, a former student of Sutton’s, is a partner in the Houstonbased law firm of Susman Godfrey, and Gray is a partner in the Houston office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

“John Sutton was a very important dean of this law school, and it is wonderful that we can honor him in this way,” said Dean Larry Sager. “The UT Law School is very much in the debt of Mark Wawro and Melanie Gray for their great generosity.”

Wawro’s achievements as a trial lawyer have been widely recognized. He is featured in The Best Lawyers in America, and listed as a “Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly and Inside Houston. He has been called one of the “Best Lawyers: Business Litigation” and “Best Lawyers: Commercial Litigation” by The American Lawyer and one of the “World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers” by International Commercial Litigation. He is ranked one of the best lawyers in the United States by both Chambers Global and Chambers USA.

Wawro also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including Texas Appleseed, Inprint, Inc., and the Gulf Region Advocacy Center. He is on the Advisory Board of the Texas Innocence Network and a member of the Museum of Fine Arts Film Committee.

Gray, a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law, concentrates her practice in complex commercial litigation, with particular emphasis in bankruptcy, energy, and employment litigation. She co-chairs her firm’s bankruptcy litigation practice. Gray is a trustee of Syracuse University and an Executive Committee member of Syracuse University College of Law. She is a board member of Planned Parenthood of Southeast Texas, board chair of the Post Oak School, and Executive Board member of the Society for the Performing Arts. Gray is a former board member and former president of Girls Incorporated of Greater Houston. She is also a former board member of the Texas American Civil Liberties Union, the Plaza Club, Bo’s Place, the Texas Accountants & Lawyers for the Arts, and the Children’s Fund.

Sutton, a 1941 graduate of the Law School, taught at UT Law for forty-six years, retiring from the classroom in 2003. He served as dean of the Law School from 1979 to 1984. His areas of research and teaching included professional responsibility, evidence, and torts. He was the principal drafter of the Model Code of Professional Conduct. In addition, Sutton served as a Member and the Reporter for the Texas Committee which drafted the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct adopted by the State Bar of Texas in 1990. Sutton is an author of the widely used evidence book with Dean Charles McCormick and Professor Guy Wellborn, and he wrote a professional responsibility book with Professor John Dzienkowski, ’83. This year, Sutton was appointed by the president of the State Bar of Texas to a three-year term on the Standing Committee on the Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. When not working from his office at the Law School, Sutton and his wife, Nancy Ewing Sutton, also a 1941 graduate of the Law School, live in San Angelo, Texas.

Tom Henninger