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The Texas Lawbook Names Harry Reasoner and Carol Dinkins “Lions of the Texas Bar”

Published: 10-30-2015

Vinson & Elkins partners Harry Reasoner and Carol Dinkins (retired partner) have been named “Lions of the Texas Bar” by The Texas Lawbook, in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the legal profession.

Reasoner and Dinkins are among just 50 Texas attorneys, judges and educators selected for the distinction and both will be honored on November 12, 2015 at an event hosted by The Texas Lawbook in Houston.

In a pair of features recently appearing in The Texas Lawbook, the careers of both partners were profiled.

Reasoner, who has been a partner at V&E since 1970 and served as the firm’s managing partner from 1992 to 2001, has handled a broad range of complex litigation over the course of his career, in addition to championing a variety of causes for the disadvantaged.

“From winning a $1 billion judgment in an antitrust case to heading a 30-year effort to insure prison inmates’ First Amendment rights, Reasoner combines a litigator’s instinct with a strong sense of social justice,” The Texas Lawbook said.

In addition to highlighting Reasoner’s representation of “60 Minutes” correspondent Ed Bradley in a high-stakes libel suit and the record $1 billion judgment he won in an antitrust case against several western railroads, The Texas Lawbook lauded Reasoner for his career dedication to the underprivileged and his pursuit of equality.

Reasoner, who currently chairs the Texas Access to Justice Commission, represented the University of Texas School of Law pro bono in Hopwood v. Texas, a landmark affirmative action case. Outside the courtroom, he spearheaded the effort in 1997 to make V&E the first law firm in Houston to extend benefits to same-sex partners of the firm’s employees.

Dinkins joined V&E more than four decades ago and currently serves as V&E’s Environmental & Natural Resources Practice Group Leader. Dinkins “has blazed many trails over the course of her 44-year career,” according to The Texas Lawbook, which include becoming the first woman to serve as second in command at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Upon joining V&E, Dinkins became one of the first lawyers in Texas to develop a specialty in environmental law and was the first woman to make partner at a major Houston law firm, The Texas Lawbook noted.

Dinkins left the firm twice in the 1980s upon her appointment by President Ronald Reagan to fill high profile posts in the federal government, where she worked with members of Congress, the White House, the Cabinet and subcabinet officers on conservation policy, legislation and litigation.

In 1981, Dinkins served as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice — a position she held until 1983. Dinkins was tapped by President Reagan again in 1984 and became the first woman to serve as the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, the second-ranking official in the Department of Justice.

Following the end of her government career, Dinkins returned to V&E, where she spent the next 30 years handling complex environmental cases. The Texas Lawbook observed that, among other things, Dinkins once resolved two federal plea agreements in a single day for the same client involving environmental disasters 3,000 miles apart – a large Alaskan oil spill and a deadly explosion at a Texas oil refinery.

Dinkins also spent a year negotiating an unprecedented 300-page consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department to remediate 60 sites in a dozen states contaminated by a natural gas pipeline, according to The Texas Lawbook.

In separate interviews conducted by The Texas Lawbook, senior executives at two international energy companies described Dinkins as “probably the best environmental lawyer ever.”

Media Contact

Darrin Schlegel Director of Communications

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