ONLINE VOTING - Click here to continue to electronic voting
- Online voting begins June 16 and closes June 28.
- The online voting option will appear under the Member Resources tab.
- Members will receive an email notification when voting begins with a link to the voting portal.
Meet the members on the 2016-2017 Officer Slate!
2016-2017 Office Slate:
President-Elect — Beth Watkins
Vice President — Santos Vargas
Secretary (choose one) — Tom Crosley or John Ritenour, Jr.
Treasurer — David Evans
Directors (choose four) — Jason Bashara; Catherine Casiano; Dawn Finlayson; Daryl Harris; Pedro Hernandez, Jr.; Derek Hilley; Richard Price; Christine Reinhard
President-Elect — Beth Watkins
Beth Watkins is an appellate attorney in private practice. In addition to her full-time practice, she has taught a class of Legal Research and Writing at St. Mary’s University School of Law for the past ten years.
Watkins received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia in 1999 and her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2002. Before starting her own law firm, she worked for the Fourth Court of Appeals as a Briefing Attorney for Justice Catherine Stone. Watkins became Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law in 2008.
Watkins currently serves as SABA Vice President and has also served as a SABA Director (2008-12), Treasurer (2013-14) and Secretary (2014-15). She has held a number of positions, including Chair, of the SABA Appellate Practice Section from 2003 to the present. Watkins has served on the Board of Directors for the St. Mary’s University Law Alumni Association since 2003. Watkins volunteers for and chairs numerous committees in the legal community.
She is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Associations (TTLA) and the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association (SATLA) and served in various capacities on SATLA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee since 2008. She is a Fellow of the San Antonio Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation. Watkins is currently working on a program to help indigent litigants navigate their way through the appellate process.
Watkins also gives back to her neighborhood by serving on the board of directors of her neighborhood association. She was President of that neighborhood association in 2006-07.
Watkins was named the Outstanding Young Lawyer of San Antonio by the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association in 2007. She has also been recognized as one of San Antonio’s Best Appellate Lawyers by S.A. Scene Magazine and a Texas Monthly Rising Star and Super Lawyer in Appellate Law.
In law school, Watkins competed on St. Mary’s Moot Court Team. In 2002, she won the ABA Moot Court National Championship and was named the best speaker in the nation.
Watkins enjoys traveling and spending time with her niece and nephews. She has two labs and owns a historic home that breaks every time she saves a little bit of money.
Vice President — Santos Vargas
Santos Vargas is a partner at Davis & Santos, P.C., where he runs a practice focused on complex business litigation matters. Vargas currently serves as the Secretary of the San Antonio Bar Association and has previously served as SABA Treasurer and SABA Director.
Vargas was also President of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, an organization in which he held positions as Director, Secretary, Vice President, President-Elect, President and Immediate-Past President.
Vargas currently serves as a member of the State Bar of Texas Local Bar Services Committee, which organizes the annual Texas Bar Leaders Conference and provides support to local bar associations throughout the State of Texas. In addition, Vargas has served as a member of the State Bar of Texas’ Annual Meeting Committee.
Vargas is a graduate of Class 34 of Leadership San Antonio, which is co-sponsored by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Vargas is also a graduate of the Alex Briseño Leadership Development Program Class of 2005, sponsored by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Vargas was also a founding member of VISION-San Antonio and served on their board from 2005-09.
Vargas started his career at Cox Smith Matthews and ran his own practice for four years prior to joining Davis & Santos. Vargas received his bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Mary’s University in 1999 and received his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 2004.
Vargas plans to draw upon his extensive leadership experience with SABA and other organizations to diligently and faithfully carry out the duties of SABA Vice President.
Outside of the practice of law, Vargas enjoys spending time with his wife, Patricia, and their two children Laura (6) and Santos (4). Vargas also enjoys cooking and participating in outdoor activities.
Secretary — Candidate A: Tom Crosley
Tom Crosley is the current SABA Treasurer and previously served as a Director for four years. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in 1988 and his law degree from the University of Houston in 1992. He was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1992 and is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Prior to forming the Crosley Law Firm, P.C. in 2005, he was a partner with Branton & Hall, P.C. in San Antonio, where he worked for ten years. He began his legal career in Houston as an associate at Brown McCarroll, LLP for four years. Crosley is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and Board Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is a Past President of the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association.
From 2001 to 2005, he served under appointment by the Bexar County Commissioners Court to the Advisory Board for the Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center. He has been an active member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association (Director, 2005-present; Advocates Director, 1999-2001), the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association (Director, 2000-01; President, 2002), the American Board of Trial Advocates (inducted 2004; Secretary, 2014; Treasurer, 2015; Vice President, 2016), the American Bar Association, the Texas Young Lawyers Association (Director, 1997-2001), the San Antonio Bar Association (Director, 2004-06, 2013-15), the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association (Director, 1997-2001; Vice President, 2000) and the American Inns of Court. Crosley is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the San Antonio Bar Foundation and a member of the State Bar College. In 2001, he received a SABA President’s Award for pro bono service.
Crosley enjoys an active trial practice, having tried 50 civil cases as lead counsel. He is a frequent author and speaker at legal seminars on topics related to personal injury trial law. He has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer each year since 2004 by Thomson Reuters as published in Texas Monthly. Three times in the past decade, he has achieved one of the top ten personal injury verdicts in Texas as reported by VerdictSearch.
Crosley’s docket of cases includes personal injury and wrongful death cases arising from automobile and trucking accidents, defective products, medical malpractice and related areas. Crosley is married to Karen, and they have four children.
Secretary — Candidate B: John Ritenour, Jr.
John “Bud” Ritenour, Jr. is a solo attorney practicing criminal defense in trial, appellate and post-conviction matters in both State and Federal Court. He also practices state parole release and revocation. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a Fellow Member of the College of the State Bar of Texas. He is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 2013, Ritenour and co-counsel Warren Wolf won a death-penalty habeas corpus case, Trevino v. Thaler, in the U.S. Supreme Court, argued by Wolf. That same year they were recognized as co-recipients of both the TCDLA Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year award and the SACDLA Kim Young Defender of the Year award. Ritenour has been recognized several times as one of the top criminal defense lawyers in San Antonio (“as selected by their peers”) by Scene S.A. Magazine. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (Past President, current Webmaster) and the San Antonio Bar Association. Ritenour currently serves as Chair of the Bexar County Public Defender Oversight Board and co-chairs the SABA Criminal Law and Procedure Committee with Judge Ron Rangel.
Ritenour spent 27 years on active duty with the U.S. Air Force, primarily as a communications-computer officer, retiring as a Colonel in 1992. His duty assignments included Vietnam, Greece, England, Saudi Arabia and seven states. He and his wife moved 21 times in those 27 years. After retiring from the Air Force, Ritenour attended St. Mary’s University School of Law, graduating in 1995. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Ohio State University and a master’s in computing sciences degree from Texas A&M University.
Ritenour is originally from Ohio, but was enlightened when he married the former Carolyn Thompson of Devine, Texas. They have two children, Steven in League City and Debbie in Austin, and two grandchildren, Josie and Callum. They currently live in Helotes, Texas, and enjoy a good mystery, keeping up with friends around the world and spoiling grandchildren.
Treasurer — David Evans
Dave Evans is a sole practitioner, practicing primarily employment and commercial law. He grew up in San Antonio, graduating from Jefferson High School the same year Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” hit the Billboard 100. He left for college in Louisiana, where he met the wonderful woman he would eventually marry, Katie Cherie. After a year doing nothing particularly noteworthy with his business degree, he started law school at the University of Texas, graduating in 2001 and taking a job at Akin Gump’s San Antonio office, where he cut his teeth on employment law.
He then worked at Langley & Banack for a dozen years before going out on his own in February 2016. He has been an officer for the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, the San Antonio Bar Foundation and presently serves as a SABA Director. He and Katie enjoy spending time with their children, Sophia and Shepherd.
Directors (four spots available) — Candidate A: Jason S. Bashara
Jason S. Bashara was born and raised in San Antonio where he graduated from high school from the Texas Military Institute. Thereafter, Bashara obtained his bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University. He graduated from St. Mary’s School of Law and was licensed by the State Bar of Texas in May 2002.
Bashara worked for Plunkett & Gibson, Inc., where his primary focus was products liability, medical malpractice defense and insurance defense. In 2004, he shifted his practice to include family law. Bashara opened the Law Office of Jason S. Bashara in 2007 in order to focus on creating a quality, boutique firm focusing on family law and litigation that derives from family law disputes such as judgment collections.
Bashara became Board Certified in Family Law in 2012 and is currently the President of the San Antonio Family Law Association. He has been recognized by Texas Monthly as either a Rising Star or Super Lawyer for 2005-09 and 2011-16 (doesn’t know what happened in 2010!). Bashara was named as one of the Top 30 Family Lawyers in San Antonio by S.A. Scene Magazine for 2016.
Throughout the years, Bashara has volunteered in the “Just Take One” Community Justice Program as well as the VA program. Both he and his wife, Elizabeth, are very involved in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and have supported the Center for Family Relations. Bashara and Elizabeth are the parents of Alexandria (7) and Samuel (10).
Directors — Candidate B: Catherine Casiano
Catherine “Cathy” Casiano is the Director of Recruitment in the Office of Law Student Recruitment and Admissions at St. Mary’s University School of Law where she is responsible for nationwide outreach and recruitment of prospective law students, diversity programming and coordination of pre-law events. Additionally, Casiano is a co-director of the St. Mary’s Undergraduate Moot Court Competition and, last summer, created St. Mary’s Leadership in Law Summer Camps, which provide high school students a week-long opportunity to learn from and interact with professionals in the legal community.
Casiano is a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, Boston College and Incarnate Word High School. Prior to working at the law school, she was the staff attorney at the Bexar County Domestic Relations Office, where she assisted indigent non-custodial parents with the enforcement of their visitation rights and also maintained a solo practice handling criminal and pro bono immigration cases.
Casiano is a Past President of the St. Mary’s Hispanic Law Alumni Association and currently serves as a board member of the St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association, the St. Mary’s Hispanic Law Alumni Association and the Mexican American Bar Association where she serves as the Chair of the Scholarship Committee. As a member of SABA, Casiano was involved in the Mentoring Committee and continues to serve as a mentor to high school, college and law students. She was honored as the 2016 Sister Grace Walle Mentor of the Year by the Hispanic Law Students Association of St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Casiano is an active member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, was the Flower Chair for this year’s St. George Episcopal School Second Grade Float and created a YouTube video showing parents how to make paper flowers. Casiano enjoys baking, planning parties and spending time with her husband, fellow attorney Jason Cruz, and their two kids, Diego and Paloma.
Directors — Candidate C: Dawn Finlayson
Dawn Bruner Finlayson practices employment law and is a partner at Barton, East & Caldwell, PLLC. Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, she has been in private practice with San Antonio firms for more than 35 years, including five years as department head of the labor and employment law group at Matthews & Branscomb. Dawn also served as Senior Counsel for Clear Channel Communications for more than four years.
Finlayson currently serves as a SABA Director. She has served on and chaired the speakers committee for SABA’s monthly luncheons for many years and recently served on the 2016 SABA Law Week Committee. She is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a member of the State Bar of Texas (SBOT) and the American Bar Association. She is also a member of the San Antonio Manufacturers Association and has served on the executive boards of several alumni and charitable organizations.
An author of numerous articles and papers on substantive legal issues, Finlayson has lectured on advanced litigation for the SBOT, the University of Texas and numerous other groups that devote resources to the education of licensed attorneys and also regularly addresses students, business leaders, human resources professionals and attorneys on all aspects of employment law. She was selected by her San Antonio peers as 2015 Lawyer of the Year – Labor and Employment by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers in America. She is regularly recognized by Best Lawyers and is also recognized by Thompson Reuters Super Lawyers.
When she began her law career, Finlayson served as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas and served as special law clerk to the Honorable W. S. Sessions. Finlayson received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and, in 1978, her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Finlayson and her husband of more than 30 years, Dan, have deep San Antonio community roots. Dan is a realtor who has spent years working with Alamo Heights and North San Antonio clients. They can often be seen with their rescue dog, Woody, walking on the San Antonio Riverwalk. When no one is looking, Finlayson goes shopping for vintage clothing at estate sales.
Directors — Candidate D: Daryl Harris
Daryl Harris is an Assistant District Attorney in the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, where he has served since 2004. During his tenure at the District Attorney’s Office he has served primarily as a trial attorney, representing the State of Texas in more than 60 criminal trials. He’s also advocated on behalf of individual plaintiffs in more than 20 petitions for protective and restraining orders. Harris is a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law and has served for years as an adjunct professor of Trial Advocacy, where he’s helped to train the next generation of trial lawyers in Bexar County. He’s a member of the San Antonio Black Lawyer’s Association (SABLA) and an active contributor to their Wills Clinics and other outreach programs provided to working class communities on the east-side of San Antonio.
Harris is a 2007 Fellow of the African American Leadership Institute (AALI) sponsored by the Alamo City Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation. He is an active member of the Grace First Baptist Church and is a leader within the education ministry, mentoring high school students in 2016 Texas YMCA Youth in Government – Mock Trial Competition, SAT/ACT test preparation and written/oral advocacy competitions. Harris is also a life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and an energetic participant in its community service projects, specifically Project Alpha, which seeks to educate young men about their role in reducing teenage pregnancy. Harris delivered the commemorative message at the 22nd Annual San Antonio Citywide Interfaith Worship Service in January 2009 and the text — “Dr. King’s Legacy on Tolerance” — was published in the January-February 2010 issue of San Antonio Lawyer. He has also authored “By Any Means Necessary: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Texas’ DNA Testing Law in the Adjudication of Free-Standing Claims of Actual Innocence” published in The Scholar, St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority Issues, in the fall 2003.
Harris is a retired Army Officer who is “airborne” and has served in a variety of command and staff positions world-wide through his 20 years of service. In addition to his law degree, Harris holds a master’s degree in operations research and systems analysis from Kansas State University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Aside from his community involvement, Harris enjoys music, chess, cycling, working out (whenever he makes the time), reading a good mystery and fellowshipping with friends from all walks of life. Harris is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio — who “got to Texas as soon as I could!” — and has been happily married to his bride, Deborah, for more than 30 years. He and Deborah have two adult sons.
Directors — Candidate E: Pedro Hernandez, Jr.
Pedro V. Hernandez, Jr. is a graduate of SMU Dedman School of Law, Texas A&M International University (MBA), Baylor University (B.S.) and Holy Cross High School. Twenty-one years ago, he returned to his home town to practice bankruptcy, business, probate and family law as a sole-practitioner. Prior to then, Hernandez practiced law in Dallas at Gardere & Wynne and Rochelle & Balzersen and also served as a former U.S. Bankruptcy Court law clerk. He is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed since 1982, and has received training as a Mediator.
Hernandez previously served in various leadership roles within the SABA Family Law Section, including as a board member and President. He is also a Past President of the SA Bankruptcy Bar Association. Hernandez has spoken to both organizations on legal topics, including valuation, bankruptcy and family law.
In the community, Hernandez volunteers as a mediator at the Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center and currently serves on the school advisory board at St. Mary Magdalen Elementary School. He is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and Member of the Texas Bar College. Hernandez and his wife, Alejandra, enjoy traveling together; however, he is on his own when hacking away at high-handicap golf.
Directors — Candidate F: Derek Hilley
Derek Hilley is a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, the University of Texas and Clark High School. He started his law firm with partner Carlos Solis two years ago after leaving the District Attorney’s Office.
Prior to starting his litigation practice, Hilley worked at the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office where he interned after his first year of law school. After graduating law school in 2008, he began his legal career for the Law Firm of S. Mark Murray, working on commercial litigation and estate litigation cases.
Seeking additional trial experience, Hilley worked at the Bexar County District Attorney’s office. He practiced in the misdemeanor courts and was later promoted to the Family Justice Unit, where he advocated for children and families affected by abuse. Hilley then worked in the Elder Fraud Unit, prosecuting those who defrauded elderly individuals, including contractor fraud, identification fraud and mishandling of estate matters. He volunteers as a speaker throughout Texas, educating members of our community about the dangers of consumer fraud and how to avoid falling victim. Hilley was voted a 2015 and2016 Best San Antonio Lawyer for Criminal Law and was recently listed as a Rising Star.
Hilley has been happily married to his wife, Jennifer, for more than eight years, and they have two wonderful children, Lyndin and Weston. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking and helping his daughter work on her garden.
Director — Candidate G: Richard Price
Richard Price presently serves as Judge of the 285th District Court, having been elected in November 2010. Price currently serves as a Director of the San Antonio Bar Association (SABA).
Price was born and raised in San Antonio. He received his law degree at Washington & Lee University School of Law, bachelor’s degree from Trinity University and master’s degree in business administration at Incarnate Word University.
Price has been a licensed attorney for more than 27 years. Prior to becoming a judge, he handled cases primarily in personal injury, premises liability, product liability, construction litigation, toxic tort, mold, foundation, first party, uninsured and underinsured litigation and pro bono family law.
Price’s professional memberships and community involvement through the years include SABA and SABA’s District Courts Committee, Alternate Dispute Resolution Section, Construction Law Section, Family Law Section, Litigation Law Section and Membership Committee; State Bar of Texas (SBOT) and SBOT’s Judicial Section; Texas Bar Foundation; Juvenile Board of Bexar County, Infrastructure Liaison Committee and Programs Committee; Civil Jury Assignment Clerk Oversight Committee; Williams S. Sessions American Inns of Court; and Any Baby Can Board.
Directors — Candidate H: Christine Reinhard
Christine E. Reinhard is a founding partner of the locally-based, nine-lawyer firm, Schmoyer Reinhard LLP. Her practice focuses on all aspects of management-side labor and employment law, and as an active trial lawyer, she regularly defends employers in employment-based litigation throughout the state. Reinhard is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Reinhard has been an active member of the local bar community, having served as a Director of the San Antonio Bar Association and Foundation since 2014. This past year, Reinhard helped lead, along with the Honorable Judge Renee Yanta, Group 3 of the William S. Sessions Inns of Court in their January presentation, and she is currently assisting the Bexar County Women’s Bar Foundation with the establishment of their LEAD Academy. Reinhard has served as the Chair of the SABA Mentor-Mentee Committee and is a Past President of the Bexar County Women’s Bar Association and Foundation. She also recently wrapped up her three-year term as Chair of the Human Resources Committee for Seton Home, having previously served on its Board of Governors from 2009 to 2014.
In 2014, Reinhard was named an Outstanding Lawyer by the San Antonio Business Journal. She also has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America since 2011 and as Super Lawyer or Rising Star since 2006. In 2012, she was named by Best Lawyers as their inaugural San Antonio Litigation-Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year.
Reinhard is a proud graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law and Texas A&M University. In the fall, you can find her at every A&M home football game with her Aggie husband of 25 years, Zane, her Aggie daughter, Brittani, and soon-to-be son-in-law, Tyler Chance (an Aggie too!). Reinhard enjoys reading, traveling and being a San Antonio downtown denizen.