Cooper (pictured) received the award based on his contributions while serving as chairman of the HBA’s Historical Committee. He says that under his leadership, the committee digitized interviews previously conducted with senior members of the bar and judges as part of the HBA’s Living History Program.
“One of the things I’m very proud of is to be able to preserve all the videotaped interviews in a more modern and durable format,” Cooper says.
He says the HBA can use the interviews for programs and on its website. The first interviews to be highlighted on the website, he says, are those with former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker; Ruby Kless Sondock, the first woman to serve on the Texas Supreme Court; and John Hill, a former state Supreme Court chief justice and a former Texas attorney general.
Also during his tenure the committee expanded the interviews to included noteworthy cases, Cooper says. He says the Andrea Yates murder case is the first to be highlighted. Although convicted in 2002 of the drowning deaths of her five children and sentenced to life in prison, Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity in her 2006 retrial.
This marks the second time that Cooper has received the HBA’s President’s Award. He also received it in 2010.
Cooper says he graduated from Tulane University Law School in 1984 and joined a predecessor of Gardere in 1985. He is a partner in the firm’s trip group and is cochairman of the policyholder specialty practice group.
— Mary Alice Robbins
Robbins is an Austin-based freelance writer and a former Texas Lawyer senior reporter.