Fred has practiced law since 1978, always as a sole practitioner, with a special interest in business law that grew from his undergraduate degree from the University Of Houston School Of Business.
While a student in Houston, he worked his way through U. of H. and South Texas College of Law at various businesses and at law firms that dealt with business issues.
During the five years that he practiced law in Houston, he was affiliated with several attorneys that had established business law practices. In 1983 he moved back to Waco, his hometown, to open a law practice and to raise his family.
Fred is married to the former Jane Weisenfelder of Beaumont, and they have three sons; Will, born in 1981 and married to the former Beth Stone, Conor born in 1985, and Alex born 1988.
Fred and his sons all graduated from Reicher Catholic High School in Waco, where Jane, a CPA, is currently employed as Director of Finance.
Fred has been active for many years in his community and in his church. Some of the positions he has held are:
- President, Northwest Waco Rotary Club
- Chairman, St. Louis School Board
- President, Central Texas Soccer Referees Association
- Chairman, Reicher Catholic High School Alumni Association
- Chairman, St. Mary’s Church Board Board Member, Texas Structural Pest Control
- Board Member, North Texas State Soccer Referee Committee
- Board Adviser, Waco Soccer Association
- McLennan Community College – Adjunct Faculty
With a passion for hiking and the outdoors, Fred and his family have enjoyed countless vacations hiking in many of the nation’s State and National Parks.
Fred has been active in the Waco and North Texas soccer communities as a coach and a referee since 1989.
Ben Selman’s professional career has centered on litigation practice with extensive jury and non-jury trial experience including a number of complex and multiparty cases, on both Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s sides of the docket centered on family law services, medical and legal malpractice, disciplinary defense, and disciplinary adjudication.
Ben holds a current certification from the Board of Legal Specialization in family law, and is Of Counsel to the Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee law firm in Waco. Ben has served for the last 33 years as an adjunct professor of law at Baylor University School of Law, where he received his law training. Ben is a frequent lecturer and writer in family law, and professional responsibility. Primary areas of ongoing academic interest and emphasis include children’s rights and adoption services with an emphasis on Native American children, Texas consummations of international placements for adoption; and, attorney-client ethical relationships and enhancement of the delivery of legal services to the public by the law profession, including law office management. Ben has conducted and participated in hundreds of alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including: arbitration, mediation, informal settlement conferences, and collaborative law proceedings. Since 1986 to the present time, Ben has served throughout the Attorney Disciplinary system, including both local and state service. Ben is an ordained elder and deacon of his family’s church; and, an active-duty police, fire and rescue officer with the City of Woodway. Chryl and Ben met when they were 14 years of age and have three children and five grandchildren.
Cris Houston, Esq. obtained her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2004 from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Finance in 2000 from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Attorney Houston is a licensed attorney (since 2005) and a mediator (since 2018) in Texas.
Attorney Houston currently works as the Compliance and Equity Officer at Waco Family Medicine. Attorney Houston's career as a professor, Legal Research and Writing Program Director, and Academic Success and Bar Preparation Program Director spans a combined total of fifteen (15) years. Attorney Houston has taught Legal Research and Writing, Appellate Advocacy, Academic Success, Bar Preparation, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Business Law, Business Leadership and Ethics, and Employment Law courses. Furthermore, she has practiced law, primarily in wills and estate planning, for a total of fifteen (15) years.
Since 2018, Attorney Houston has passionately performed mediation services at every opportunity, garnering experience mediating a wide variety of cases with the objective of bolstering her mediation skills in order to build a successful career in mediation and other fields of ADR. She is also currently completing an American Arbitration Association A. Leon Higginbotham Fellowship to strengthen her alternative dispute resolution skills.
Attorney Houston serves her community through her involvement in the Harvard Alumni Association Early College Awareness Program, Christian Women's Job Corps Volunteer Program, Lone Star Legal Aid Pro Bono Attorney Program, and Greater Waco Legal Services Board of Directors, to name a few of her community service endeavors.
John Palmer is a trial attorney, mediator and arbitrator. John’s diverse litigation practice ranges from a state law domestic and toxic tort litigation practice to federal district court cases. John serves as a mediator and arbitrator in probate, family, general civil litigation, personal injury, and employer/employee disputes at the state and federal court level.
John’s experience in federal court trial practice began when he served as a briefing attorney for retired United States District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr. from 1988-1989. Since that time, John has been involved in a variety of federal cases including those sounding in diversity, federal questions, school law, and class action lawsuits. John is admitted to practice law in the state of Texas, all Texas federal district courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Federal Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.
John’s state court experience includes jury and non-jury trials in cases involving property disputes, custody, divorce, adoptions, personal injury and property damages. John is the former president of the Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers, and the Waco-McLennan County Bar Association.
John received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and received his law degree in 1988 from St. Mary’s University School of Law. After his clerkship with Judge Smith, John has practiced law with Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee, P.C., Waco, Texas. John taught as an adjunct professor at Baylor University School of Law in client counseling and at McLennan Community College in family law.
John is a credentialed distinguished mediator by the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association. He received basic mediator training from the Attorney-Mediators Institute in 1992, and family mediation training from Sam Houston State University in 1998. He became an ADR Fellow at the University of Texas School of Law Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution in 2002. John is approved to serve as a mediator in the Federal District Court, Western District of Texas, Waco Division. John chaired the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Texas from 1997-1998. John was president of the Texas Association of Mediators from 2001-2002. In 1998, John received the Waco Peacemaker’s Alliance, “Jerry Burks Peacemaker of the Year Award”. John was the recipient of the Justice Frank G. Evans Award (ADR Section, State Bar of Texas) in 2001. The Texas Association of Mediators (TAM) recognized John’s efforts in promoting and furthering the use of mediations in Texas by presenting him with the Susanne C. Adams Award in 2017. John served as chair of the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association (TMCA) and currently serves on the TMCA Board. John has previously chaired the Waco-McLennan County Settlement Week committee from 1992-1996 and the Federal ADR Committee for the Waco Division. John was a charter member of the McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center board of directors, served as its inaugural chair from 1996-1997, and has served on several terms on the board.
John served nine years as president of his eleven years as school board trustee for the China Spring Independent School District.
John lectures and authors papers on federal court practice, ethics, divorce mediation, aspects of mediation in general, and serves as a volunteer trainer in a variety of mediation settings.
Anthony (Tony) Silas has represented clients in Central Texas for over 20 years. He has had offices in Waco, Clifton, and Whitney. Tony handles a wide variety of legal matters and appears regularly in the various courts of Hill, Bosque, and McLennan Counties. His courtroom experience includes bench trials, jury trials and appellate work.
As a small town lawyer, Tony handles the day to day issues his friends and neighbors hire him to resolve. These matters have included family law, business law, civil litigation, commercial collections, construction law, property disputes, wills, probate, and although he does not currently practice criminal defense, he has tried both felony and misdemeanor cases to a jury. Tony’s broad legal background is an asset to his mediation practice where he can pull from his experience and help litigants resolve their issue and avoid the uncertainty of trial.
Tony is regularly appointed to represent children and parents in Child Protective cases, and as a mediator by the courts. Tony volunteers as a mediator at the Dispute Resolution Center in Waco.
Tony graduated from Baylor Law School in 1995 and began his career at the law firm of Sleeper, Johnston and Helm in Waco, McLennan county, Texas. In 1998 Tony joined the Robertson & Roberson Law Firm in Clifton, Bosque county, Texas where he became a partner. In 2008 Tony opened his solo practice in Whitney, Hill county, Texas.
Tony and his wife, Lisa, have lived in Whitney, Texas since 1992 and have two children.
Computer Science, University of Texas at Tyler, 1991
Baylor Law School, 1995
ACTIVITIES AND CERTIFICATIONS
Association of Attorney Mediators
Hill County Bar Association
Spring R. Thummel grew up in southwest Kansas, and attended Sterling College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science. Spring has made the Waco area her home since 2000, when she relocated to attend Baylor University School of Law. Spring earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2003. While at Baylor University School of Law, she was a member of the Baylor Order of Barristers.
Spring is a member of the Texas Bar Association, McLennan County Bar Association, and Texas Bar Foundation. Spring previously has served on the Board of Directors for the McLennan County Bar Association, Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association, and Waco-McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center.
Spring currently owns and operates Thummel Law Firm, PLLC, a family law practice in Waco, Texas, and has been providing family law legal services to McLennan County and the surrounding counties since 2004. A central portion of Spring's legal practice is representing children that are placed in foster care.
Contact Spike Pattillo directly at 254-741-6410 email@example.com.
In 1971, Spike graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in accounting. He graduated from Baylor Law in 1977, and started practicing with Pakis Cherry Beard and Giotes in Waco. In 1981 he was a founding partner in Williams, Pattillo & Squires, later Williams, Pattillo & Wren. At the end of 1999, Spike withdrew from the firm and started a Waco based, state-wide mediation practice which he has maintained for the past 16 years. Additionally, he was of Counsel to Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee from 2008-2011. Spike has mediated cases dealing with virtually every area of the law. "If you can file your case in a Texas trial court, I've probably mediated a case very similar to it before."
Robin holds undergraduate degrees in industrial management and aviation technology. He graduated from the University of Houston law school in 1981 and has been Board Certified in Family Law since 1992.
Robin practiced law in Houston until 1986 when he joined the Pakis, Cherry, Beard and Giotes firm in Waco. From 1992 through 1999 he practiced with Cherry, Davis, Harrison, Montez, Williams & Baird, and from 1999 through 2006 with Montez, Williams & Baird. Since 2006 Robin has operated the Law Offices of Robin Baird and has served as General Counsel to RAM Aircraft, L.P. in Waco. Robin has participated, as both mediator and advocate, in hundreds of mediations, and is a frequent volunteer mediator at the McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center.
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