AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas School of Law Alumni Association recently honored four of its members for their outstanding work. On Feb. 27, Bernard I. Dow, '56, received the Lifetime Achievement Award; the Honorable Edith H. Jones, '74, was named Outstanding Alumnus of the year; the Honorable James DeAnda, '50, was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service; and the Honorable Bruce Gibson, '78, was awarded Honorary Order of the Coif.
"We are delighted to honor Bernie Dow, Judge Jones, Judge DeAnda, and Bruce Gibson. Their professionalism, talent, and good work have made an important difference for Texas and for our school. We are justifiably proud of these graduates and their accomplishments," Dean Bill Powers said.
Bernard O. Dow
Bernard O. "Bernie" Dow is a partner in the Houston law firm of Dow Golub Berg & Beverly. He graduated with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from The University of Texas and received his LL.B. from the Law School in 1956. Before beginning his practice, Dow served in the U.S. Air Force as an instructor in military law. He then joined his father and brother in the real estate law firm of Dow, Cogburn & Friedman. He is a well-recognized authority in real estate mortgages and leasing, has been board certified in commercial real estate law since the inception of the certification program, and has published more than one hundred outlines and articles on a wide range of real estate topics. Dow received the Lifetime Achievement Award to a Distinguished Real Estate Attorney from the State Bar's Real Estate, Probate, and Trust Law Section, and the First Annual Award for Texas Lawyer Professionalism from the College of the State Bar of Texas. For twenty consecutive years he was listed in The Best Lawyers in America. He is a member of the American Law Institute, a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and a life fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation.
Judge James DeAnda graduated from UT Law in 1950, when there were only a handful of Hispanic law students, and the year the first African American law student, Heman Sweatt, was enrolled. Before law school, DeAnda attended Texas A&M and served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific theater during World War II. After graduation from the Law School, DeAnda began practicing with Houston attorney John J. Herrera. In the mid-1950s he moved to Corpus Christi, and through his associations with the American GI Forum, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, DeAnda became involved in landmark cases dealing with discrimination in the public education system in Texas. Those cases include Hernandez v. State of Texas, Hernandez v. Driscoll CISD, and Cisneros v. Corpus Christi ISD. In Cisneros, the U.S. Supreme Court extended for the first time Brown v. Board of Education to Mexican Americans. In 1979 President Jimmy Carter appointed DeAnda to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The judge became only the second Mexican American appointed to the federal bench. Since retiring from the bench in 1992, DeAnda has continued to practice law with the Houston law firm of Solar & Associates and to be involved in the struggle to secure civil rights for all citizens.
After graduating from UT Law School in 1978, Gibson returned to his hometown of Godley to practice law and engage in farming and business pursuits. In 1980 Gibson was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, where he served six terms. During his twelve years in the Texas House, Gibson served on the Conference Committee on Tort Reform, Workers Compensation Reform, and School Finance. He authored and passed legislation establishing the Texas Ethics Commission, and the Finance Commission of Texas reform legislation. He also authored the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation sunset legislation, Texas interstate and branch banking legislation, and legislation requiring timely reporting of last-minute campaign contributions. Gibson served as chair of the Texas House Committees on Government Organization and Financial Institutions, and as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Judicial Reform, the Joint Committee on Deceptive Trade Practice Act, the Ways & Means Committee, and the Commerce Committee. Texas Monthly named Gibson to its "Ten Best Legislators" list in 1987 and 1989, and he received an Honorable Mention for his legislative service in 1985. He was named one of the "Seven Best Legislators" by the Dallas Morning News in 1991, one of the "Ten Best Legislators" by the Dallas Morning News in 1985, and "one of the most diligent, capable members of the Legislature" by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1985. In 1992 Gibson was appointed executive assistant to Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock. In 1994 he returned to the business world, first as president and chief executive officer of the Texas Chamber of Commerce, then as vice president of Houston Industries Incorporated, and finally as senior vice president of Reliant Energy. In 2003 Gibson reentered public service as chief of staff to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst.
Edith H. Jones
Judge Edith H. Jones, circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, is widely recognized as an outstanding jurist and one of the nation's leading experts on bankruptcy law. Jones, a 1974 graduate of the Law School, served as an editor of the Texas Law Review. Upon graduation, she joined the law firm of Andrews, Kurth, Campbell & Jones, L.L.P. (now Andrews & Kurth, L.L.P.), where she was the first woman to make partner in the history of the firm. Nominated by President Ronald Reagan to become a judge on the Fifth Circuit, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 3, 1985. During her 19 years on the bench, Jones has written nearly six hundred opinions. She has served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules for the Judicial Conference of the United States and, in 1995, was named by Chief Justice William Rehnquist to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission. Appointed by President George W. Bush to the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, Jones is deeply involved in the selection process for White House Fellows. Jones has authored or coauthored more than 15 publications on the topics of bankruptcy law, mass tort litigation, arbitration, religion and the law, judicial workloads, and the judicial selection process. Jones serves on the executive board of the Texas Law Review Alumni Association, and on the board of directors of the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In 2003 the council awarded her its highest honor for her years of service to scouting. She has worked for many years with the mock trial team at St. Thomas Episcopal High School in Houston, and she is an active member of the Garland Walker Chapter of the American Inns of Court. In 1998 the Texas Review of Law and Politics honored her with its inaugural Jurist of the Year award.