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CARRINGTON COLEMAN FOUNDER JIM COLEMAN LEAVES LASTING IMPACT ON LEGAL ETHICS, PROFESSIONALISM

For generations of lawyers, James E. “Jim” Coleman Jr. of Dallas defined what it means to practice law with professionalism and integrity. In a career spanning more than six decades, he was a role model and mentor to countless attorneys, a trusted advisor to his clients, a gifted and successful trial lawyer, and a tireless advocate who upheld the legal profession’s highest standards.

Jim Coleman passed away on Saturday, February 22, in Dallas. He was 96.


Mr. Coleman’s diligence on behalf of his clients and his reverence for the law profession leave a lasting influence not only on Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, L.L.P, the firm he founded in 1970, but also on those who knew him personally and professionally. For Mr. Coleman, being a lawyer was a calling, rather than about “winning and getting the biggest fees.” That dedication to justice motivated him to continue a regular work schedule at the firm he founded well into his 90s.

“I love being a lawyer because the law is the most beautiful thing you can do. It is about helping people,” he told Texas Lawbook in a 2013 profile published on the eve of his 90th birthday.

Mr. Coleman enlisted in the U.S. Army following the attack on Pearl Harbor, rising to the rank of Second Lieutenant. As a platoon leader in Gen. George Patton’s Third Army, he earned the Silver Star for gallantry in action in the historic march through Europe. Buoyed by the G.I. Bill, Mr. Coleman completed his undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech in 1948. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1951 shortly before receiving orders to report for deployment to Korea. Unknown to him at the time, the orders were actually from the Central Intelligence Agency, where he remained until 1953.

When he left the agency, he turned down the opportunity to join Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, the Atlanta-based law firm that his father-in-law, William Sutherland, helped to found. He instead opted to move his young family to Texas, joining Carrington, Gowan, Johnson & Walker, opening its successor firm, Carrington Coleman on Jan. 1, 1970.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Coleman represented such notable clients as Ford Motor Co., GM, Uniroyal, John Deere, Enron’s Ken Lay, and numerous Texas-based insurance companies and banks.

Famously ambivalent about professional accolades, Mr. Coleman preferred to let his dedication and the quality of his work stand on their own. A veteran of hundreds of jury trials and immensely successful on behalf of his clients, Mr. Coleman is perhaps best known for the impact he had as a legal mentor, a promoter of gender and racial equality in the profession, and a champion of high ethics and professionalism.

“This profession is better for the simple fact that Jim Coleman had a passion for the law,” says Bruce Collins, the firm’s managing partner. “We will not see another like him, in terms of his approach to the law and the way he worked with people, in our lifetimes. He was the right person to lead the way for positive change and his example and values will always be this firm’s guiding principles.”

BRENT RUBIN APPOINTED TO DALLAS CITY PLAN COMMISSION

Brent Rubin has been appointed to the Dallas City Plan Commission by Mayor Eric Johnson.

Mr. Rubin, who practices commercial and appellate litigation, is one of fifteen members of the CPC, which handles planning and zoning matters in the City of Dallas. As the Mayor’s appointee, Mr. Rubin serves in an at-large capacity, compared to the other commissioners, who each serve in one of Dallas’s fourteen city council districts.

“I’m grateful to Mayor Johnson for entrusting me with this responsibility,” said Mr. Rubin. “The CPC plays a critical role in ensuring that Dallas follows a forward-thinking path in development, so the city can thrive both economically and in terms of the quality of life of its citizens and can rise to meet the challenges of a fast-changing world. I look forward to serving the people of Dallas as a Commissioner.”

Mr. Rubin is deeply committed to his legal practice as well as serving his community. He was honored by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star and is active in the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers. He also serves as a board member of his synagogue, Congregation Shearith Israel, and as an executive committee member of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY ASHLEY MCMILLAN JOINS CARRINGTON COLEMAN

Carrington Coleman welcomes estate and tax planning attorney Ashley McMillan as Of Counsel.

Her comprehensive practice involves providing estate plans including wills and trusts, as well as probate, estate administration, wealth management, asset protection and business succession plans tailored to the individual needs of clients.

“Ashley brings extensive experience in all areas of estate planning and administration,” said Carrington Coleman Managing Partner Bruce Collins. “Her expertise will both complement and continue to elevate the work of this group, to the benefit of our clients.”

To learn more about Ms. McMillan, visit her bio.

A former corporate counsel for non-profit associations and a trained mediator, her practice also involves corporate formation and transactions. She is a member of the Dallas Bar Association’s Estate Planning and Probate Section and served as the 2013-15 co-chair of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers’ Elder Law Committee.

She earned her law degree in 2008 from Texas Tech University School of Law. While in law school she was a member of the Craven National Moot Court Team and a member of the Board of Barristers. A graduate of Ursuline Academy of Dallas, she earned bachelor of arts degrees in political science and psychology in 2005 from Wake Forest University.

LAURA HEBERT PROMOTED TO PARTNER

Carrington Coleman is proud to announce our newly promoted partner, Laura Hebert. Laura’s practice focuses on corporate, M&A, private equity, and healthcare transactions. She also handles real estate and lending transactions. Laura has experience across a broad range of industries, including restaurants, hotels, and manufacturing. In her healthcare practice, she has also formed and overseen the certification of healthcare non-profit corporations, negotiated physician employment agreements, and formed management services organizations (MSOs).

She joined Carrington Coleman after obtaining her Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law. She also holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Ancient Art and Archeology from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.

CARRINGTON COLEMAN BUILDING UPON MIDDLE MARKET EXPERTISE

Carrington Coleman has added three attorneys to its Dallas office, bolstering its corporate finance, tax, and public securities practices.

The addition of partners Bruce Hendrick and George Lee, and senior associate Andrea Perez will enhance the firm’s capability in handling corporate, mergers and acquisition and finance matters.

“These attorneys each have significant experience and expertise in transactional and regulatory matters here in Texas and nationally,” said Carrington Coleman’s Corporate & Finance practice group leader, Bret Madole. “Their addition is an exciting development in the continued expansion of our firm’s work on behalf of middle market clients.”

Mr. Hendrick’s practice focuses on business transactions within Texas. With a background as a certified public accountant and holder of an LL.M in taxation, he provides small companies, family businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, and social enterprises with a unique combination of legal, tax planning, finance, and accounting expertise, as well as deal negotiation and execution experience. Before launching his legal practice, Mr. Hendrick had a successful career on Wall Street, closing a number of deals for Fortune 100 companies while with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Citigroup.

Mr. Lee represents registered investment advisers, family offices, and private investment fund sponsors in matters intrinsic to the investment management industry, including fund formation, portfolio transactions, and securities compliance matters. He has been instrumental in helping shape state and federal rules including the SEC “Family Office Exception” under the Dodd-Frank Act and the Texas State Securities Board’s Exemptions from Registration rules for private fund management.

Ms. Perez works with public and private companies, private equity firms, and family businesses on a comprehensive range of complex corporate matters including mergers, entity formation, governance, intellectual property protection, and commercial contracts. Andrea also has a unique and thriving art law practice through which she assists galleries, museums, auction houses, collectors, artists, and art professionals with their unique art-related legal needs. She is also an adjunct professor of International Law and the Arts at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts.