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Keep Calm and Lawyer On: Managing Stress & Maintaining Civility
Original Program Date :
Length: 60 Minutes

This panel will be a discussion on dealing with the stressors of life – personal and professional – while maintaining civility in the practice with other lawyers. We all encounter varying levels of stress in the legal profession. Lawyers can work in an adversarial environment with demanding schedules and heavy workloads. These professional stressors are exacerbated by a world of external forces, ranging from pandemic-related challenges to hostilities within the current environment. This panel will offer practical insight into effective stress management, resiliency, and preserving civility that will benefit both litigators and transactional attorneys.  Learning to maintain our stress is the first step to maintaining a successful practice. Our panelists will be the Honorable Lauren Reeder of the 234th Civil District Court, Houston, Texas, Amy Tomlinson at Liskow & Lewis, and Marcus Augustine at Calpine, and the discussion will be moderated by Chauntelle Wood at Baker Botts LLP. Each of these panelists bring unique experiences from their personal lives and professional and will share how they are able to maintain their civility in trying times.

Chauntelle Wood, Baker Botts L.L.P.

Senior Associate at Baker Botts LLP, Houston. Chauntelle is an experienced first-chair trial lawyer, having tried over 40 jury trials. Chauntelle’s practice includes defending companies in oil and gas matters, general commercial litigation matters, white-collar matters, internal investigations and construction failure matters. She was a member of the Institute for Energy Law’s Leadership Class for 2020 and continues to be involved with IEL.

Prior to private practice, Chauntelle served as an Assistant District Attorney, from which she gained a significant portion of her trial experience. Chauntelle has also previously taught at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law where she taught Trial Simulation. Finally, Chauntelle served the world’s greatest Air Force Reserves for 8 years and is a proud Veteran. 

Marcus Augustine, Calpine Corporation

Senior Counsel at Calpine, Houston. Marcus currently provides in-house legal representation for Calpine, America’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources. Prior to Calpine, he was in-house legal counsel at Shell focused on midstream & MLP matters. He also previously served as a senior attorney for a regulated electric utility company, where his practice focused on providing day-to-day risk and contract advice for the company’s construction projects, advising the company’s management team in the negotiation of project agreements, and dispute resolution. Marcus was a member of the Institute for Energy Law’s Leadership Class for 2020-21. 

Judge Lauren Reeder, Judge of the 234th Civil District Court

Judge Reeder is the presiding judge of the 234th Civil District Court, Houston, Texas. Judge Reeder is a dedicated public servant. She maintains a busy trial docket and a large hearing docket. Judge Reeder is regularly involved in mentorship and speaking events for the various committees of the Houston Bar Association. Prior to her time on the bench, Judge Reeder was an experienced civil and criminal litigator, where she was seasoned first chair trial lawyer. She has worked in large law firms, a specialized litigation boutique, and as an Assistant District Attorney for Harris County. She was named a Rising Star by Texas Super Lawyers Magazine and is also on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Judge Reeder has a fierce love for the law, which is exemplified by her work ethic on the bench. Judge Reeder is known for her preparedness, her comprehension of all facets of the law, and her ability to get the heart of complicated legal disputes. She does all of this with a respectful and friendly temperament to both sides and with a deep respect for the justice system. With two young children, a husband who is also an attorney, and maintaining her role as a judge, Judge Reeder is ideal for discussing ways to maintain civility in our profession.

Amy E. Tomlinson, Liskow & Lewis

Associate at Liskow & Lewis, Houston. Amy is a member of the Energy Litigation Practice Group. Before joining Liskow, Amy worked in both public and private practice in a variety of industries. Amy has successfully managed large dockets. She is a proven litigator with first and second-chair trial experience. Amy has tried nearly 30 cases during her time practicing law. Amy has represented many of clients in high stakes litigation matters. Amy has a wide-ranging motion practice in state and federal court. Amy advises clients in all aspects of dispute resolution, from pre-litigation to trial to post-trial proceedings.

Amy is originally from South Florida. She is a first-generation American and her family is of Jamaican descent. She has a deep appreciation for service and giving back. Amy is deeply involved in the community. She participates in mentoring and tutoring programs and has always made a point to help others. Amy has a vision to be a positive influence in underserved communities. She also firmly believes in the importance of diversity and inclusion.


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