First Annual Outstanding Young Lawyer: Sean D. Reyes
By Melissa Dewey Brumback
Melissa Dewey Brumback is an associate editor of The Affiliate and practices with the Raleigh, North Carolina firm of Ragsdale Liggett PLLC.
A 1997 honors graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Reyes began practicing law at Utah’s largest law firm, Parsons Behle & Latimer, and in 2004, Reyes became one of the first minority lawyers to make partner at a major firm in Utah. Reyes’ practice centers on complex commercial litigation, with substantial experience in tort, First Amendment, environmental, and employment law. He has argued or briefed cases that have gone to the Utah Supreme Court, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Reyes has also been extremely active in the Utah bar. From 2004 to 2005, Reyes served as President of the Utah Minority Bar Association (UMBA) raising over $120,000 to recognize pioneering minority lawyers and to fund scholarship awards for minority students.
Reyes has also served as an Officer of the Executive Council for the Utah State Bar Association YLD, a Delegate to the ABA YLD Assembly, and a Liaison to the Utah Supreme Court’s Committee on Standards and Professionalism. In addition, Reyes has served twice as an ex-officio member of the Utah State Bar Commission, the governing body of the Utah Bar.
Somehow, Reyes still finds time to be extremely active in his community. He helped to arrange a clothing exchange for impoverished immigrants, instituted community English classes, and organized workshops on topics such as budgeting, home repair, and self defense. He has been a basketball coach and a Boy Scout leader, and for several years, he dedicated over thirty hours a week as a counselor and then bishop for his LDS church congregation, where he counseled parishioners and performed weddings, funerals, baby blessings, and baptisms.
Reyes is an Advisory Board member of the Asian Chamber of Commerce and the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a founding member, Board member, and Vice-President of the Utah Hispanic Business Leadership/Education Foundation. Reyes is also a member of the Utah Republican Hispanic Assembly and sits on the Utah Hispanic Latino Legislative Taskforce.
Notably, Reyes provides hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services each year relating to landlord-tenant, immigration, and debt relief issues.
Reyes and Saysha, his wife of 12 years, have five children: Kai, Samuel, Kalia, Aidan, and Kenoa. Congratulations to an award well-deserved!
FINALISTS: Claudine Germain Jackson and Daniel Schwartz
Claudine Germain Jackson and Daniel Schwartz were recognized as Finalists for the National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.
Within months of graduating from law school at Baylor University, Claudine Jackson argued her first case before the Fort Worth Court of Appeals. After an aspiring start at other firms, Jackson was recruited by Bracket & Ellis, P.C., to assist in the defense of a variety of medical malpractice claims throughout Texas, where, barring a one-year in-house counsel job, she has remained ever since. In 2005, Jackson was unanimously voted into the firm as the youngest shareholder her firm had ever selected.
Jackson is also a dedicated leader of the Fort Worth Bar. She began her service with the Fort Worth Tarrant County YLA, serving as Director, Secretary, Vice-President, President-Elect, and President. Jackson implemented the organization’s first-ever “Self Management Seminar” and assisted in planning CLE luncheons, a golf tournament, a Christmas project for low-income children, and the High School Mock Trial Competition.
In 1999–2000, Ms. Jackson served as a Director of the Tarrant County Bar Association (TCBA). She has also served on various TCBA committees, including the Fundraising Committee, the Professionalism Award Committee, and the Law Day Committee. Jackson has also been involved with her state bar. She has chaired local committees promoting projects of the Texas YLA and has assisted with many other TYLA projects, including “Aspiring Youth,” “Get Out the Vote,” and “We the Jury.”
Jackson has provided legal services to the poor for over thirteen years and started the Liberation Pro Bono Legal Clinic. In addition, Jackson served for seven years as a member of the Private Attorney Involvement Board for West Texas Legal Services. She also served at the statewide level on the Texas Legal Services Center Board of Directors and as a member of the State Bar of Texas’ Pro Bono College, which requires an attorney to perform a minimum of seventy-five hours of qualified pro bono legal services in one year. Jackson was recently selected as a member of the Leadership Fort Worth Class for 2007–2008.
Jackson is married to Greg Jackson, a fellow lawyer, and is the mother of five-year-old Grant and three-year-old Sarah.
Since his graduation in 1995 from Washington University School of Law, Schwartz has represented clients before the National Labor Relations Board and argued before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Sixth Circuits.
A member in the Hartford office of Pullman & Comely, LLC, Schwartz’s practice involves major trial work, with an emphasis on commercial and employment matters for international corporations and regional companies.
Schwartz is also active in the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA), serving as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, and Chair of the Diversity Committee. He has also served on the Long Range Planning Committee, Awards Committee, the Task Force on Executive Compensation, and on the Executive Committee of the Labor & Employment Section.
In addition, Schwartz has served in a variety of roles with the CBA’s Young Lawyers Section, including the role of Treasurer and President, where he expanded the YLS’ Basic Practice Series and developed a new quarterly newsletter. The YLS received numerous awards from the ABA YLD for these accomplishments, including Best Newsletter and Best Public Service Project.
Since 1999, Schwartz has worked with Lawyers for Children America in representing neglected and uncared-for children on a pro bono basis. He has also been a judge for the Connecticut Middle School Mock Trial Competition and currently serves as an Advisory Board member for the Urban League of Greater Hartford and as an Event Board member of the Mental Health Association of Connecticut. In addition, Schwartz serves on the Avon Democratic Town Committee.
Schwartz is also a recognized leader in the ABA YLD. Since 2002, Schwartz has been an active leader and volunteer, as Chair of the ABA YLD’s Labor & Employment Committee and a member of the ABA YLD’s Membership Board. He was appointed to the YLD’s Council and currently serves as Liaison to the Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education.