ADJUNCT PROFESSORS, FALL 2016

CRIMINAL LAW PRACTICUM

Adjunct Professor Ignacio Perez de la Cruz will teach the Criminal Law Practicum in Fall 2016. Professor Perez de la Cruz currently works as a trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice in Dallas. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brown University in molecular biology and a Ph.D. from MIT in neurobiology. He then graduated from Harvard Law School in 2008. Before and during law school, he worked as a patent agent at Ropes & Gray LLP in Boston, drafting and securing biotechnology patents before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. After graduating from law school, Professor Perez de a Cruz joined the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Tax Division, in Washington D.C. as a trial attorney. At DOJ, he investigated and prosecuted tax fraud and related white-collar offenses throughout the country, including in California, Alaska and Wyoming. He also served two six-month stints as a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) in Washington D.C. and in San Diego. As SAUSA in D.C., he conducted over twenty trials. As a SAUSA in San Diego, he prosecuted primarily immigration and drug smuggling crimes. 

EMPLOYMENT LAW PRACTICUM

Adjunct Professor Sadaf Abdullah will teach the Employment Law Practicum in Fall 2016. Professor Abdullah received her undergraduate degree in Political Science with honors from Duke University, and received her J.D. from Harvard Law School. While in law school, Professor Abdullah was a Student Advocate in the Employment Discrimination and Family Law section of the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center.  In addition, she was a summer associate with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, MA. Professor Abdullah is a Partner at the Dallas and Los Angeles-based boutique firm Skiermont Derby LLP. Previously, she was a Senior Associate at international firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in New York City. Her practice concentrates on all facets of litigation, trial, and appellate practice, including in the areas of employment, intellectual property, and business relations. She has served as trial counsel and as litigation counsel in numerous large-scale civil and criminal matters, and has briefed and argued appeals. Professor Abdullah is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, New York, and Texas.

IMMIGRATION LAW II

Adjunct Professor Danial Gividen will teach Immigration Law II in Fall 2016.  He received his undergraduate degree from Webster State University and his J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2009. Following law school, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Jorge Solis, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas.  Because he had held summer internships in several public defender’s offices, he joined the criminal defense firm of Sorrell, Udashen & Anton following his judicial clerkship.  Soon after, he received an opportunity to serve as Assistant Chief Counsel for the Office of Chief Counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security. He now also serves as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, working with ICE and with the United States Attorney’s Office.  His interests and experience focus on use of prosecutorial discretion in immigration removal actions, and he has written and presented on immigration-related topics.

INCOME TAX II

Adjunct Professor Eric Reis will teach Income Tax II in fall 2016. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 1992 and his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. In law school he served as an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review and was admitted to the Order of the Coif. Following law school, he joined the law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP, where he specializes in tax and estate planning. He is Board Certified in both Tax Law and Estate Planning & Probate Law; is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC); and is listed in the Best Lawyers in America and Texas Super Lawyers. He previously served on the Council of the Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law section of the State Bar of Texas and was chair of the section’s Decedents’ Estates committee, where he helped develop probate legislation for adoption by the Texas legislature.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Adjunct Professor Richard Salgado will teach Intellectual Property I in Fall 2016. Professor Salgado is a Partner at Dentons US, LLP, the largest law firm in the world. He received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Brigham Young University and began his legal career by clerking for the Honorable Fortunato P. Benavides on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. After working in the Issues & Appeals practice at Jones Day for five years, Professor Salgado joined Dentons in 2012. He has obtained significant wins for clients in cases of all types, including class actions, antitrust, intellectual property and commercial litigation matters, in state and federal courts across the US. In the intellectual property space specifically, Professor Salgado recently obtained the first Federal Circuit opinion considering the interplay between the America Invents Act and joinder rules under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and a precedent-setting Federal Circuit decision establishing the amount of due diligence that an employer must exercise in order to enforce employees’ assignment agreements concerning IP rights.Texas Lawyer magazine recently honored Salgado as one of 20 “Lawyers on the Rise” state wide, a recognition for attorneys 40 and under who have established a record of accomplishments and have demonstrated that they are top contributors to the practice of law and their communities.

LEGAL WRITING

Adjunct Professor Lacey W. Breeden teaches in the first-year legal writing program.  She is an associate at Husch Blackwell LLC, specializing in energy and natural resources law. She received her undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism from University of Southern California, and her J.D. from Texas Tech Law School.  She started her legal career as corporate and regulatory counsel for a wind energy company. Her current practice involves interpreting and complying with the complex regulatory requirements that govern generators and utilities' operations within the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), as well as representing clients before these agencies. Her experience includes project and finance transactions for power generation and other energy-related projects, including power generation facilities, interconnection agreements, tax equity investors, ERCOT compliance issues, and renewable energy development projects and financing. She serves on the board of the Texas Renewable Energy Industry, and has authored articles and chapters relating to energy and environmental law issues.  

Adjunct Professor Richard Cella teaches in the first-year legal writing course.  He is an associate at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP.  Professor Cella received his B.A. magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2008 and his J.D. with honors in 2011 from the University of Texas School of Law. In law school, Professor Cella was the champion of the 2010 Locke Lord Bissell Mock Trial Competition, and received the competition’s award for Best Advocate. He was honored with the Dean’s Achievement Award for his outstanding performance in the study of legislation, and was also a member of the Legal Research Board, a student-run research organization that invites the top five legal writers from each of the four first year law school sections.  In his law practice, he focuses on litigation involving breaches of contract, fraud, and fiduciary duties, representing clients in numerous industries, including aerospace, energy, financial services and insurance.  Professor Cella is an active participant in his firm’s pro bono work and has helped clients obtain relief in civil rights litigation, immigration proceedings, and petitions under the Violence Against Women Act.

Adjunct Professor Jillian Harris teaches in the first-year legal writing program.  She is an associate with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.  She received her undergraduate degree in journalism with high honors in the Senior Fellows Honors Program of the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas. She earned her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, where she served as Chief Articles Editor of the Texas Intellectual Property Journal, and as research assistant to Professor William Forbath. She is an associate of the Patrick Higginbotham Inn of Court and a volunteer with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program.  Her law practice focuses on securities litigation and government enforcement investigations. She has represented clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, energy and insurance. She also advises clients in complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy.

Adjunct Professor John Summers teaches in the first-year legal writing program.  He is an attorney as Caldwell Cassady & Curry P.C.  He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Nathan L. Hecht, the now Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, as well as the Honorable David C. Godbey, of the Northern District of Texas.  He attended the University of Texas School of Law on the Ellen Waters Olson scholarship, where he graduated with high honors.  In law school, Professor Summers served as an associate editor of the Texas Law Review.  He also received the Dean’s Achievement Award – given to a class’s top overall performer – in Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Trademarks, and Environmental Law.  Before law school, Professor Summers attended Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music as an opera performance major.   Professor Summers’ law practice focuses on intellectual property and commercial litigation.  He has had the opportunity to work on some of the country’s biggest intellectual property cases, including Smartflash LLC v. Apple Inc. and VirnetX, Inc. v. Apple Inc., each of which resulted in verdicts over $500 million.  

Adjunct Professor Johannes Walker teaches in the first-year legal writing program.  He graduated cum laude from Texas Wesleyan School of Law in 2007 and was selected a National Member of The Order of Barristers.  During law school, he was a member of law review and was heavily involved in his school’s moot court program, where he earned both State and ABA Regional titles. He was also a finalist in what is considered the oldest and most prestigious moot court competition in the nation, the New York City Bar Association’s National Moot Court Competition.  Upon graduation, Walker served a one-year term as Justice Anne Gardner’s briefing attorney at the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth.  Since 2008, he has worked as staff attorney at the Second Court of Appeals to Justice Dixon W. Holman and Justice Bill Meier. In his position as a staff attorney, Professor Walker has assisted the Second Court in researching and drafting numerous criminal and civil opinions.  He is board certified in Criminal Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

OIL AND GAS II

Adjunct Professor Joseph R. Dancy will teach Oil & Gas II in Fall 2016.  Over the last 22 years, he has taught courses in Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas Environmental Law, and Environmental Law at the SMU Dedman School of Law and the SMU Cox School of Business and serves as Faculty Advisor to the student-managed SMU Spindletop Energy Fund.  He currently serves as President of LSGI Advisers, Inc. and manager of the LSGI Venture Fund, L.P., a private actively managed fund for SEC-accredited investors.  He obtained his undergraduate degree in metallurgical engineering and mineral processing from Michigan Technological University, an MBA from University of Michigan, and a J.D. from Oklahoma City University Law School.  His legal and business career has focused on oil and gas, energy, water, mining, debtor/creditor, bankruptcy and environmental issues, including practicing oil and gas and environmental law with private law firms in Oklahoma, serving as senior attorney with Enserch Corporation, and financial analysis and modeling of pipeline and business projects with TXU Corporation. He was appointed, at different times, by the Governor of Texas and the Governor of Oklahoma to serve as state delegate on the Interstate Oil & Gas Commission, and he has served on the Board of Directors of several private and state entities or foundations and is currently on the Board of Directors of a publicly listed NASDAQ manufacturing firm. He has presented and published numerous times on oil and gas, debtor/creditor, bankruptcy, and environmental topics, in forums that include the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Oil & Gas Tax Quarterly, multiple law journals, and the International Conference of the International Association of Energy Economics.

PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE FOR LAWYERS

Adjunct Professor Bob Probasco will teach Principles of Accounting and Finance for Lawyers in Fall 2016.  He received a B.S. in Industrial Administration (concentration in accounting) from Iowa State University in 1974, earning his CPA designation the same year.  After working for over twenty years in various accounting and business positions, including with a “Big 4” CPA firm and a Fortune 50 multi-national oil and gas company, he attended law school at the University of Virginia, where he earned his J.D. in 2000.  In law school, he served as an Articles Editor and member of the Managing Board of the Virginia Law Review, and was admitted to the Order of the Coif.  Following law school, he was a law clerk for the Honorable Sam A. Lindsay of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and then joined the law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP, where he specialized in tax.  In 2014, he formed his own law firm, where he continues a practice representing taxpayers in disputes with the IRS.  He was named a “Rising Star” in Tax Law by Texas Super Lawyers in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010.  He speaks and writes frequently on tax topics and is active in the leadership of the State Bar Tax Section, serving on the governing Council (2011-2019), as Vice-Chair of the Tax Controversy Committee (2010-2013), as Chair of the Pro Bono Committee (2012-2013), and as Chair of the Committee on Government Submissions (2013-2016).  Since 2008, he has participated in the Tax Section’s Tax Court Pro Bono Program, helping pro se taxpayers negotiate with IRS attorneys and prepare for their trials.  Professor Probasco has also served as an adjunct professor at SMU Dedman School of Law, teaching Tax Accounting and Federal Tax Procedure.

TAX LAW II

Adjunct Professor Eric Reis will teach Tax Law II in Fall 2016.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 1992 and his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. In law school he served as an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review and was admitted to the Order of the Coif. Following law school, he joined the law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP, where he specializes in tax and estate planning.  He is Board Certified in both Tax Law and Estate Planning & Probate Law; is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC); and is listed in the Best Lawyers in America and Texas Super Lawyers. He previously served on the Council of the Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law section of the State Bar of Texas and was chair of the section’s Decedents’ Estates committee, where he helped develop probate legislation for adoption by the Texas legislature.

WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATES

Adjunct Professor Sam Long teaches Wills, Trusts, and Estates.  He is Of Counsel to the firm of Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP.  He received his undergraduate degree from SMU with highest honors, and received his J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University.  At Vanderbilt, he was an Associate Editor on the Vanderbilt     Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif.  After graduation from law school, he joined the firm of Thompson & Knight, practicing in the areas of estate planning and taxation.  He is Board Certified in both Estate Planning and Probate Law and in Tax Law.  He has written and presented in multiple settings on wills, trusts, estate planning, and taxes.  He has over thirty years of legal experience in all aspects of comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, disability and end-of-life documents, family wealth planning, probate and administration, and planning and administering trusts and non-profit organizations. 

Page last modified on February 15, 2017 at 4:44 pm.