Legal Briefs: Spirit of Enterprise, aviation law

Spirit of Enterprise The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Chairman’s Spirit of Enterprise Award will honor Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, the first time the award has been presented to a law firm. Kelly Hart is a nationally prominent Fort Worth-based law firm that has grown from five lawyers when founded in 1979 to a 257-employee firm with a wide range of practices at offices here and in Austin. “Kelly Hart & Hallman has stood with Fort Worth and Tarrant County through thick and thin, always bringing their considerable expertise to the public or private sector when legal help has been needed and serving as a model of civic involvement,” said Chamber President and CEO Bill Thornton. “We are pleased to recognize their exceptional commitment to this community.” The firm has a client base ranging from leading families to Fortune 500 companies. “We’ve been blessed to have wonderful clients and people from the very beginning,” said founding partner Dee Kelly. “Clients have got to have confidence in their lawyers, not only in their legal ability but their integrity and loyalty as well,” he said. KH&H success is a result of faithful service and loyalty to clients, he added. Managing partner Dee Kelly Jr. was succinct about the award: “It means that we’re doing a few things right,” he said. Whit Smith, outgoing chamber chairman who, with three other past chairmen, selected this year’s honoree, noted the firm’s civic efforts and pro bono work for nonprofits. “For nearly 35 years, Kelly Hart & Hallman has made a difference for Fort Worth, providing trusted counsel and expertise to local government and industry as well as leadership in civic efforts and pro bono work for nonprofits,” Smith said. Kelly Hart attorneys are each encouraged to devote 50 hours annually to pro bono work and to participate in charitable and civic organizations of their choice. They have volunteered many hours to groups such as CASA of Tarrant County, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Fort Worth, Lena Pope Home, Safe City Commission, Tarrant County Women’s Center and the Van Cliburn Foundation.

Aviation law Slack & Davis LLP, with offices in Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth, has announced that Mark D. Pierce has been named a partner. Pierce is a trial lawyer who has obtained a number of significant verdicts since joining Slack & Davis in 2008. He has had three Top 10 Texas verdicts in 2011 and 2012. “Mark has distinguished himself and brings great credit to the firm with exceptional work and a history of substantial verdicts,” said Michael L. Slack, managing partner of Slack & Davis. “We are more than pleased to be announcing this news and adding him to our team of partners.” Pierce currently serves as treasurer of the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association and board member of the Texas Aviation Association. He also is vice chairman of the Aviation Law Section of the American Association for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America). In addition, he is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA), for which he has served on the board of directors; Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association; Austin Bar Association and El Paso Bar Association. Besides aviation matters, Pierce handles a variety of major personal injury and death cases involving unsafe products, construction site and workplace disasters, automobile and truck wrecks. Pierce graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 1979.