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Jackson Walker Elects 11 New Partners

02-09-2012 04:41 AM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: Jackson Walker L.L.P.

DALLAS – Jackson Walker L.L.P. announces the election of 11 attorneys to the firm’s partnership. From the Austin office, Susan D. Ayers, Marilyn M. Montano, and Joshua A. Romero were named partners. From the Dallas office, Sara K. Hollan, Kevin A. Jones, Mary Emma Karam, Nathan T. Smithson, and Shannon Zmud Teicher were named partners. From the Fort Worth office, Joel W. Heydenburk was named partner. From the Houston office, April Vasquez Leibman, and Marlene C. Williams were named partners.

Susan D. Ayers, Austin, has experience in civil litigation and appeals in state and federal courts in cases involving land use issues, eminent domain, personal injury, wrongful death, toxic tort, free speech, and professional malpractice. Her clients have included municipalities, chemical manufacturers, railroads, telecommunications companies, casinos, oil and gas producers, and accounting firms. Ms. Ayers was briefing attorney to Justice Mack Kidd of the Texas Court of Appeals for the Third District of Texas in Austin in the 2000-2001 term. Ms. Ayers is a licensed teacher in Texas and has more than nine years of teaching experience.

Joel W. Heydenburk, Fort Worth, focuses his practice on real estate and finance transactions. Mr. Heydenburk regularly represents landlords and tenants in the preparation and negotiation of commercial office, retail, and industrial property leases in Texas and other states across the nation. His experience consists of representing buyers and sellers in acquisitions and sales of commercial properties ranging from $1 million to more than $200 million.

Sara K. Hollan, Dallas, focuses her practice on corporate and construction litigation as well as related appellate work. Ms. Hollan’s corporate litigation practice involves breach of contract and business tort disputes. Her construction practice involves cases relating to construction defects, breaches of contract, and mechanic’s liens. Ms. Hollan also has practiced in a wide variety of other areas.

Kevin A. Jones, Dallas, represents public and private companies in a variety of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, and other complex business transactions. Mr. Jones has significant experience representing both corporate and private equity clients in structuring, negotiating, documenting, and closing public and private mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions.

Mary Emma Karam, Dallas, is a former partner who has practiced law at Jackson Walker consistently for over 32 years, during which time she and her husband have had six children. She re-joins the category of partner in the firm. Her practice consists of representing various organizations as outside general counsel and coordinator of legal work. She is an adviser in health care and managed care contracting and consults in litigation matters involving emerging health care issues. Ms. Karam is a recognized authority in the field of health care/managed care law and was appointed by the Texas Attorney General to serve a term as Special Outside Counsel to the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Texas for consultation in health care/managed care matters for the state (2000 - 2001).

Marilyn M. Montano, Austin, has experience in a wide variety of commercial litigation, having developed particular expertise in eminent domain matters, labor and employment issues, class action litigation, and the availability of mental health and substance abuse coverage under benefit plans governed by ERISA.

Joshua A. Romero, Austin, represents both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts in complex commercial litigation, bad-faith insurance claims, construction litigation, and corporate litigation. He also has experience handling complex class actions. After graduating cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law, Mr. Romero served as a law clerk at both the Texas Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Nathan T. Smithson, Dallas, focuses on federal income tax planning for corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies with respect to both their domestic and international operations, which includes formations, acquisitions, roll-ups, divisions and reorganizations. Additionally, Mr. Smithson has a significant amount of experience in executive compensation, including drafting and negotiating partnership equity and phantom equity compensation plans, including the use of “profits interest” arrangements.

Shannon Zmud Teicher, Dallas, litigates and counsels in the fields of libel and privacy defense, trademarks and unfair competition, trade secrets, copyrights, gaming/sweepstakes law and class actions. Ms. Teicher is a Dallas native. She attended the University of Missouri to study journalism and became enamored with the law after a required First Amendment course. While attending law school at The University of Texas, she was Co-Editor-In-Chief of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.

April Vasquez Leibman, Houston, assists clients with complex commercial real estate transactions including leasing, acquisitions, and dispositions of real estate. She has represented both sellers and purchasers of commercial properties in transactions ranging from $1 million to more than $100 million. Ms. Leibman also represents developers and owners in the preparation and negotiation of construction contracts.

Marlene C. Williams, Houston, has experience representing employers and management in all aspects of employment law, including discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, wrongful discharge and workers’ compensation matters, wage and hour cases, non-compete disputes, and trade secret matters. She also regularly advises clients on personnel matters, internal investigations and government investigations and audits. She has represented clients in state and federal courts throughout Texas and the United States.

Jackson Walker L.L.P. has more than 120 years of experience in providing legal counsel to clients throughout Texas, the United States and internationally. The firm provides a strong regional base of more than 340 attorneys in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Angelo and San Antonio. For more information, visit


Michelle Steckel
Communications Manager
Jackson Walker L.L.P.
901 Main, Suite 6000
Dallas, Texas 75202
Ph: 214-953-5686

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