2014 Archives

SMU Dedman Law honors distinguished alumni

March 26, 2014

SMU Law QuadDALLAS (SMU) — Five internationally respected legal professionals were presented Distinguished Alumni Awards by SMU Dedman School of Law during ceremonies March 27 at the Belo Mansion & Pavilion in Dallas.

Since 1986, the Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony has been Dedman School of Law’s premier annual event. An alumni committee selects recipients who are standouts in their respective fields, and an honorary award given at the invitation-only ceremony also acknowledges exceptional service to the law school. This year’s award recipients are:

Mary L. Murphy ’83
Distinguished Alumni Award for Judicial Service

Mary L. MurphyMary L. Murphy is the first woman to serve as an administrative regional judge in Texas. In 2013 she was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to serve a four-year term as the presiding judge of the First Administrative Judicial Region, comprising 34 Texas counties. 

Prior to her appointment, Murphy served as a justice of the Fifth District Court of Appeals, a judge of the 14th Judicial District Court, and was the first civil court master to serve Dallas’ District Courts.

In 1991, Murphy became the first woman to be named litigation partner at Jenkens & Gilchrist, a major law firm with its principal office in Dallas. Previously Murphy was associated with the Denver law firm of Gorsuch Kirgis and was a partner at Rochelle Hutcheson & Murphy. 

Murphy received the American Board of Trial Advocates Dallas Chapter “Judge of the Year Award” in 2006 and has been an active leader and speaker for the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas and the Dallas Bar Association. She also chaired the Dallas Bar Foundation, serving as a trustee for eight years. In addition, she served the Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court as president and in other executive capacities.

Murphy began her legal career at age 19, working as a word processor in the firm of Thompson & Knight. After seeing the first female attorney to join the firm, she decided to become a lawyer.

The Athens, Texas, native earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Dallas, graduating cum laude. In 1983 she received her J.D. from SMU Dedman School of Law, for which she has been a guest lecturer and adjunct professor since 2004. Additionally, she has mentored SMU legal interns in her court chambers since 2001.  

William Stephen Boyd ’81
Distinguished Alumni Award for Corporate Service

William Stephen BoydSteve Boyd is the chief legal officer for Baylor Scott & White Health, where he has served as the healthcare organization’s general counsel and corporate secretary since 2007.

Prior to joining Baylor, Boyd was managing partner for the Texas offices of Hunton & Williams, for which he represented various regulated industries for 26 years.

Boyd was born in Texarkana, graduated from high school in Paris, Texas, attended Austin College and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1974. He earned his J.D. from SMU Dedman School of Law in 1981.

After law school Boyd worked for his mentor, Robert Wooldridge, at Worsham Forsythe & Wooldridge and continued with them after their merger with Hunton & Williams.

Boyd has authored and presented several articles and papers for industry groups such as Edison Electric Institute and the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel.

His philanthropic and community work has focused primarily on the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, for which he has chaired the club’s Youth & Family Center board and Charitable Properties board.

Boyd also has served on the Dallas Heritage Village board and is a member of the Committee for Qualified Judiciary board as well as the SMU Dedman School of Law Executive Board.

Shen Shiaoming ’81
Distinguished Global Alumni Award

Shen ShiaomingShen Shiaoming, an international legal consultant with more than 25 years experience, works with the San Francisco firm Mackenzie and Albritton on multinational ventures in energy, oil and gas, semiconductors, real estate, agriculture and banking. The Beijing, China, native also is an international authority on business development in the People’s Republic of China.

During her career, she has been instrumental in drafting significant elements of China’s business legislation, including its Joint Venture Law and Trademark Law.

She also was involved in creating a joint venture between the China National Petroleum Corporation and two French oil companies to explore the resources in the Bohai Sea.

She has been a legal advisor to Warner Brothers in a joint project with China Central TV, and serves as legal counsel to Beijing Tourist Group Company for hotel development in San Francisco and Paris. She also has been an arbitrator with the Chinese International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission.

She received her bachelor’s degree from China University of Political Science and Law, and her graduate degree from the Law Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. She earned her M.C.L. degree from SMU Dedman Law in 1981, an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School and her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Since 1998 she has been a visiting professor at SMU Dedman School of Law, teaching the comparative law course “Doing Business in China, ” and actively participates in the Sohmen Scholarship Program for legal scholars from China.

Travis Tygart ’99
Distinguished Alumni Emerging Leader Award

Travis Tygart Travis T. Tygart is the chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. He works closely with his board to carry out the organization’s mission of preserving the integrity of competition, inspiring true sport and protecting the rights of U.S. athletes.

In 2013 Tygart was named by Time Magazine100 Most Influential People in the World,” and also has been named one of Sports Illustrated’s “50 Most Powerful People in Sports.”

He has served as an advocate for the integrity of sports and drug-free athletes, testifying before a number of U.S. Congress committees, including the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports, the need for hGH testing in all sports, regulation of the supplement industry and ratification of the UNESCO international treaty against doping in sport.

During his 12 years at USADA, Tygart has worked as the director of legal affairs and as senior managing director and general counsel. He has prosecuted cases on behalf of clean athletes before the American Arbitration Association and the Court of Arbitration for Sport and was actively involved in drafting the Protocol of Olympic Movement Testing.

Prior to joining the USADA Tygart was an associate in the sports law practice at Holme Roberts & Owen LLP in Denver. While at HRO LLP, Tygart worked with individual athletes as well as the United States Olympic Committee, USA Basketball, USA Swimming, USA Volleyball and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

Tygart, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned his J.D. from SMU Dedman School of Law in 1999.

Elizabeth Lang-Miers
Distinguished Honorary Alumna Award

Elizabeth Lang-MiersElizabeth Lang-Miers is a justice on the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals, for which she has served since 2003. She also serves as a member of the Multidistrict Litigation Panel for the State of Texas.

As chair of the Appellate Judge’s Education Institute she also has worked closely with SMU Dedman School of Law, which partners with the American Bar Association to sponsor top-level appellate judicial education in the U.S.

Prior to her judicial appointment Lang-Miers spent 28 years working on commercial civil litigation and employment law cases at what is now the firm Locke Lord LLP.

Lang-Miers was born in Minnesota and grew up in Missouri. She received a B.A. in history and a J.D. from the University of Missouri at Columbia. She began her legal career as law clerk to the honorable James A. Finch, Jr. of the Supreme Court of Missouri.

Lang-Miers has served as president of the Dallas Bar Association; in several leadership positions for the State Bar of Texas; as a delegate for the American Bar Association; as chair of the Appellate Judges’ Conference; and as an officer and board member of the Texas Center for the Judiciary. In addition, she has served as chair of the Dallas Bar Foundation, as trustee of the Texas Bar Foundation, as an active member of the American Bar Foundation and as a board member of the Texas Access to Justice Commission.

Lang-Miers volunteers her time and resources to help the Center for American and International Law, the Dallas Assembly, The YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas, the United Way, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Dallas, The Dallas Foundation, Attorneys Service the Community and the Church of the Incarnation.

She holds awards from the Dallas Bar Association, the Texas Center for the Judiciary, the State Bar of Texas, Legal Services of North Texas and Dallas Women Lawyers’ Association.

For more details about the Distinguished Alumni Awards or SMU Dedman School of Law, visit law.smu.edu or contact (214) 768-8617 or smulaw@smu.edu.