St. Mary’s University School of Law and Law Alumni Association honored Chief Justice Catherine M. Stone (J.D. ’82), Fourth Court of Appeals, and Laredo attorney James Kenton Jones Jr. (J.D. ’81) as the 2011 St. Mary’s Distinguished Law Graduates at an awards dinner in October.The annual award is given to two individuals with outstanding achievements in the legal profession and dedicated service to St. Mary’s School of Law.
Stone was appointed to the Fourth Court of Appeals by Gov. Ann Richards in 1994 and was sworn in as Chief Justice in 2009. She served on the St. Mary’s Law Journal while at St. Mary’s, and has practiced trial and appellate law with the San Antonio law firm of Watkins, Mireles, Brock, and Barrientos, before furthering her appellate practice in the Law Offices of Catherine M. Stone. She served on the Texas Supreme Court Task Force on Foster Care from 1994 through 2007, and currently serves as a member of the Texas Multidistrict Litigation Panel.
Jones, an accomplished oil and gas attorney specializing in mineral owners’ rights, is a partner in the Laredo law firm of Jones and Gonzalez. In his 30-year career, he has been admitted to practice by the Texas Supreme Court, the Federal Courts for the State of Texas in the Southern and Western Districts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Supreme Court of the United States. He has also argued pro hac vice in courts in the Republic of Mexico.
Jones serves on the St. Mary’s School of Law Foundation. He is a trustee of the Helen Richter Watson Charitable Foundation, which promotes fine art study and appreciation throughout South Texas. A fifth-generation Texan, Jones often speaks to groups on his family’s history and about raising children in midst of violence on the border.
The Distinguished Law Graduate Award Dinner was hosted by Charles E. Cantú, St. Mary’s University School of Law Dean and St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association President David Courreges. Last year’s honorees were Bexar County Probate Judge Polly Jackson Spencer and Charles A. Beckham Jr., partner with Haynes and Boone, LLP in Houston. Other past winners include Justice Paul W. Green, Judge Barbara Parker Hervey, Judge Carol R. Haberman Knight-Sheen, U.S. Representative Charles A. Gonzalez, Senator John Cornyn, Paul E. Casseb, Jack Paul Leon, Frank Herrera and U.S. Representative Henry B. Gonzalez.