About Alison Macor

Alison Macor
Alison Macor Articles written 42

A former film critic, Alison Macor has been working as a freelance writer and editor for more than 25 years. She’s followed filmmakers to Sundance and shadowed top breast cancer surgeons and trial lawyers. She’s written for Texas Monthly, Vogue Knitting, Thomson Reuters, and Humanities Texas, to name just a few. Alison also holds a Ph.D. in film history and is the author of three non-fiction books, including the forthcoming Making The Best Years of Our Lives: The Hollywood Classic That Inspired a Nation. She lives in Austin.

Articles written by Alison Macor

Karen Burgess' Happy Place

That would be in front of a jury

If you happened to be walking the halls of Austin’s federal courthouse last October, you might have heard the chorus to “Luckenbach, Texas” spilling out of Judge Dustin Howell’s federal courtroom. It wasn’t a recording of Waylon Jennings’ 1977 hit. It was Austin litigator Karen Burgess singing live in front of the jury. “Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas, with Waylon and Willie and the boys…” Burgess has many strengths, but she’s the first to admit vocal prowess isn’t at the …

The Superpowers of Don Scaramastra

The Seattle attorney says all lawyers have the ability—and obligation—to help others around them

As a law student at the University of California, Berkeley, Don Scaramastra quickly realized the responsibility that comes with having a J.D. “It gives you the ability to do things for the betterment of society or the people around you that no one else can do,” says Scaramastra. “Having a law degree, particularly at a sizable firm, is like havinga superpower.” Scaramastra considered working for the government and civil legal aid programs before landing at Garvey Schubert Barer (now …

Community Spirit

Like his attorney dad, Paul C. Perkins Jr. always finds time for doing good

Each time Paul C. Perkins Sr. spoke at Orlando’s Shiloh Baptist Church about raising money for various causes, his namesake would look on with pride. “He was always telling jokes and making everyone laugh,” says Paul C. Perkins Jr. “I didn’t even realize he was giving back.” Perkins Sr. was a notable Orlando trial lawyer and civil rights activist. In the early 1950s, he and Thurgood Marshall defended four Black men wrongfully accused of sexual assault of a white woman in a case …

From IP to Distillery

Zachary Hiller’s new hobby is years in the making

It’s not a stretch to say that when you take a sip of a William Price spirit, you’re also savoring a bit of history. The 2-year-old Houston-based distillery is named for William Price Clary, co-owner Bryan Clary’s great-great-great-great-grandfather and, says partner Zachary Hiller, the first of the pair’s ancestors to move to Texas. The distillery’s namesake operated a grocery and liquor store in Illinois in the 1800s, and would later serve under Abraham Lincoln during the Black Hawk …

Going With the Flow

Water has guided James Muela’s life and practice

James Muela has always been drawn to water. The 33-year-old attorney has fond memories of growing up in Austin and spending time at his grandparents’ home on Lake Austin; family lore has it that he was fished out of the lake many times before he learned to swim. Today, he is a member of the Water Practice Group at Lloyd Gosselink, one of the oldest environmental law firms in the state. And while his caseload often encompasses a variety of natural resources, much of what he does these days …

New York Visa Requirements

Looking at the different types, what they require, and other immigration legal tips

Jennifer Oltarsh remembers a time when the process to obtain an immigrant visa for a family member went much faster. “When I started practicing 30 years ago, you applied for a visa for your child in Barbados, and in three months they’d be in the United States,” says Oltarsh. “Now, it takes two years.” The process has changed, too. “You used to be able to apply for almost everything overseas,” says Oltarsh, an immigration attorney at Oltarsh & Associates in Manhattan. “Now …

Going 20 for 20

Seven perennial Texas Super Lawyers listees reflect on the last 20 years

Twenty years ago, when boutique firms, flash drives and camera phones were a novelty, the first standalone Super Lawyers magazine was published, complete with a list of Texas’ top attorneys. For this anniversary issue, we spoke with seven of the lawyers whose names have appeared on the list every single year. They told us how tort reform and the rise of mediation have changed how they practice, and why Zoom for law is here to stay. Some long for a return to more jury trials, and more kindness …

The Accidental Activist

A personal tragedy prompted Janice Langbehn to find her voice

In the spring of 2007, Janice Langbehn, her wife, Lisa Pond, and three of their four children were in Miami, getting ready to set sail on a cruise for gay and lesbian families hosted by Rosie O’Donnell. Then a social worker for Child Protective Services, Langbehn had met Pond in 1988 when they were undergraduates at the University of Puget Sound. By 1991, they had solidified their commitment with a ceremony at Tacoma’s Metropolitan Community Church. Over the next six years, they fostered 25 …

Dream Career

How Soulmaz Taghavi’s connections with immigrants shaped her pathway to the law

As a young teen in the early 2000s, Richmond native Soulmaz Taghavi visited a theme park in Iran with her cousins who lived there. Guests had to thread their way through orderly lines to get to each ride, even if there wasn’t much of a crowd. At one such ride, seeing an opening in the queue, Taghavi ducked under the rope to save time. “What are you doing?” her Iranian cousins demanded. “A girl doesn’t do that.” Having spent many summers in Iran, Taghavi was no stranger to the …

More at Stake

Jack Siegel repped his biggest client—Mom—against CVS

Ask Jack Siegel why he became an attorney, and he responds with characteristic directness. “I’m a five-foot-eight-inch Jewish kid. I was never going to be an athlete,” he says. “This is what I do instead.” To be more exact, what the 39-year-old employment litigator does is win. “I just don’t go into cases thinking I’m going to lose,” he says. “The way I see law is, it’s a fight. Am I going to get my ass kicked? Or am I going to outfight them?” That’s what he did in the …

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