About Marc Ramirez

Marc Ramirez Articles written 21

Marc Ramirez is a veteran journalist currently based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of California-Berkeley, he has worked for The Seattle Times, Phoenix New Times, The Dallas Morning News, USA TODAY and The Wall Street Journal. In his spare time, he is an avid food and drink enthusiast. Marc is also a dedicated fan of the Seattle Seahawks.

Articles written by Marc Ramirez


Former Navy nuclear propulsion engineer Alfonso Chan is a ‘workhorse’—and ‘crazy smart’

As an intellectual property litigator at McKool Smith, Alfonso Chan has to take complex topics such as semiconductors, electronics, biomaterials and medical devices and make them understandable for laypeople. Those can be sink-or-swim moments before juries. It’s a skill he honed in the Navy—where it was literally sink or swim. As assistant to the director of the naval reactors program, he taught sailors to service their submarines and trained commanding officers to oversee emergency …

A Desire to Serve

Brian Newby has worked in the governor’s office, spent three decades at his law firm, and retired from the Air Force with two stars

Brian Newby has spent 31 years at Cantey Hanger, served 35 years with the Air Force, and logged 20 with the Texas Air National Guard. Most of this was concurrent, of course—he’s not that old—but it’s meant long days. “I haven’t had much time for anything, outside of maybe [watching] college football,” he says. “Up until three years ago, I was putting in 150-plus days on active duty on top of my 9-to-5 job.” Newby, who became Cantey Hanger’s first Black managing partner in …

Furthering Justice

For Warren Harris, the legal system doesn’t stop at the courtroom door; he’s bringing it into Texas schools

Warren Harris leans over one of a half-dozen tables at which groups of seventh-graders are sorting sheets of paper. The sheets list the various courts of the Texas justice system, from municipal on up to the Supreme Court of Texas. The appellate attorney addresses two boys in a sonorous, measured Texas tone: “Let’s see what this says: Cases from this court are appealed to the Court of Appeals.” He points to one sheet, then another above it. “OK, so we know this one goes from here to …

All In

When Jamila Brinson signs up for a volunteer role—from AIDS outreach to holiday drives for the needy—she comes with sleeves rolled up

Jamila Brinson spent the summer after college graduation volunteering at a Planned Parenthood facility run by her aunt in her parents’ native Belize. In college, that same health care-focused mindset had led her to pursue a summer program in public health, where a mentor sparked her curiosity about a possible legal career. But it wasn’t until she joined the Peace Corps that Brinson became inspired to pursue law. That spark came while working with AIDS support agencies on the island nation …

'Punching a Hole in the Ground with Fingers Crossed'

Oil and gas attorneys on what they love most about their clients: a spirit of resilience

The signature braggadocio of Texas was shaped in large part by the pursuit of oil in an age of wildcatters and handshake deals. While those Old West ways are on the wane, attorneys who practice oil and gas law say an enduring spirit of brashness, resilience and ingenuity is among the reasons they enjoy the industry.  “These are people who’ve taken significant personal and financial risks to obtain what they have,” says Dallas lawyer Chrysta Castañeda, who attended Southern Methodist …

Helping Them Upward

For Michael Rodriguez, that goes for clients and community

It was by accident—literally—that patent attorney Michael Rodriguez met the person who would have the greatest influence on his career. In the early 1990s, Rodriguez, an electrical engineering grad fresh out of Texas A&M University, was working for TXU Energy in Fort Worth when he got into a wreck in a company vehicle en route to a construction site. At the energy company’s legal firm, the accident case file landed on the desk of lawyer Melody Wilkinson, who in the weeks to come would …

The Inside Story

Prisoner rights attorney Scott Medlock says making a mistake shouldn’t mean losing your dignity

During the brutal Dallas summer of 2011, Larry Gene McCollum, 58, overweight and imprisoned at a state facility, suffered heat stroke when, according to the prison’s records, the heat index neared 150 degrees on a July evening. His death would prompt the Texas Civil Rights Project to sue the state, where—according to The New York Times—only 21 of 111 state-run prisons were fully air-conditioned at the time. Ten inmates, including McCollum, died that summer as a result. For Scott Medlock, …

Promoting Pro Bono

Philip Vickers inspires colleagues to help others move forward in life

At a Fort Worth nursing home for low-income people, one of the residents, a disabled man in his 50s, met a woman and married her, then watched as she moved to a different facility and began dating someone else. He wanted a divorce, but he was short on funds. That’s when he approached Legal Aid of Northwest Texas.  The case fell to Philip Vickers, a litigator who had been wanting to take on some pro bono work. “That’s how I got started,” he says. Growing up in Brady, a hunting community …

After the Storm

Local law firms pitched in to help Houston recover from Harvey’s wallop

Last summer, the Texas legal community came together with many Houstonians to revive the city battered by Hurricane Harvey, which slammed into southeast Texas in August 2017. Then—as if it had found a place to nest—it stalled, dumping as much as 60 inches of rain even while the gusts subsided.  “We’ve been through many hurricanes,” says Houston business litigator Robin Gibbs of Gibbs & Bruns, “but we’ve never had one that just sat on us. It filled this area up like a …

The Deal-Maker

Rodrigo Dominguez’s negotiating skills are helping change the energy game in Latin America

Rodrigo Dominguez remembers sitting at the kitchen table as a teenager in Veracruz, Mexico, talking with his father, who owned a construction company, about career options. Dominguez said he was thinking about business school. “Are you sure about that?” his dad asked. “You’re always trying to cut deals and negotiate, and you always tend to find the middle ground to make people agree. That might be a good trait for a lawyer.”  At Mexico City’s Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de …

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