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Bell Nunnally Attorneys Named 2018 "Texas Rising Stars"

Seven Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP attorneys – Alana K. Ackels, R. Heath Cheek, Kristopher D. Hill, Danica L. Mathes, Benjamin L. Riemer, Brent A. Turman, and Ross A. Williams – have been named to the 2018 “Texas Rising Stars” list published by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication and rating service.

“Texas Rising Stars” recognizes lawyers across more than 70 practice areas who are 40 years old or younger, or are in the first 10 years of practice. Inclusion is based on a highly selective process comprised of detailed and comprehensive peer nominations, evaluation and research – yielding only those who have both a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Just 2.5 percent of eligible lawyers in Texas are named to the list, set to be featured in the April issue of Texas Monthly.

Ackels is a partner and a member of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits and Litigation practices. Licensed in Texas and California, she has extensive experience litigating disputes in state and federal courts and arbitration. Ackels advises employers on how to navigate the multitude of state and federal laws governing the employer-employee relationship and ways their businesses can minimize risk. She routinely represents employers in claims involving discrimination, harassment and retaliation; wage and hour claims; trade secret litigation; and non-compete matters. Ackels also litigates complex commercial matters, non-subscriber negligence claims and employee benefit challenges under ERISA. She earned both her legal and undergraduate degrees at Southern Methodist University (J.D., cum laude, 2009; B.A., cum laude, 2006). This is Ackels’ fourth consecutive year on the “Texas Rising Stars” list.

Cheek is a partner, practicing in the firm’s Litigation group. He focuses on trials and disputes, representing Fortune 500 companies to start-up businesses and high-net-worth individuals in industries including private equity, financial services, energy and real estate. Cheek is an active member of the community, having served in various board or leadership positions for the Dallas Museum of Art, Cotton Bowl Council, North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, Texas Tech Alumni Association, Republican Lawyers of Dallas and Christian Legal Society, among others. 2017 was his third year as vice chair of the State Fair of Texas Development Team, helping the event raise more than a million dollars in scholarship funds for inner-city Dallas and rural Texas students. Cheek is a graduate of Baylor Law School (J.D., 2006) and Texas Tech University (B.A., magna cum laude, 2003). This is Cheek’s fifth consecutive selection to the “Texas Rising Stars” list.

Hill is a partner, practicing in the firm’s Litigation and Labor, Employment and Benefits practices. He focuses on complex business disputes and trials involving business torts, contract issues and similar high-stakes commercial litigation matters. Hill’s trial docket regularly includes disputes involving: non-compete, confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements; corporate raiding; fiduciary duties; trade secrets; oil and gas investments; and construction defects. He also regularly advises both employers and employees regarding the terms of non-compete agreements and related departing employee issues, including non-solicitation and confidentiality obligations. Hill is a graduate of Baylor Law School (J.D., 2008) and Texas Tech University (B.B.A., cum laude, 2005). This is his fifth consecutive appearance on the “Texas Rising Stars” list.

Mathes is a partner and heads the firm’s Intellectual Property, Entertainment, Advertising and New Media practices. Some of the most well-known national and international brands and biggest names in entertainment have trusted her with their creative assets and brand reputation. Mathes has represented Grammy-winning recording artists, songwriters and producers, Oscar-nominated filmmakers, authors whose books regularly appear on the New York Times Best Sellers list, independent record labels and music publishers, amateur and professional athletes, reality television show participants, mobile app and game developers, e-commerce, interactive media and startup ventures, as well as international food, beverage, toy, cosmetics, fashion, literary publishing, retail and traditional media companies. A frequent presenter and author, including on her “I’M WITH THE B(R)AND®” blog, Mathes also served as an adjunct professor of Entertainment Law at Washington University School of Law for five years. She is a graduate of Washington University School of Law (J.D., 2001) and DePauw University (B.A., 1998), and is licensed in Texas and Missouri. Elected a Texas Bar Foundation “Fellow” in 2018 and featured in The Best Lawyers in America since 2007, this is Mathes’ third consecutive selection to the “Texas Rising Stars” list.

Riemer is a partner whose practice focuses on complex commercial litigation. He is an aggressive litigator, who has devoted his career to high-stakes business disputes. Riemer has successfully advocated for his clients in all arenas, including state and federal courts, appellate courts and arbitration forums across the U.S. He has delivered favorable outcomes for clients in a variety of industries, including securities, construction, banking, real estate, oil and gas and more. Riemer’s litigation docket routinely includes “business divorce” cases, partnership disputes, business torts, contractual disputes, fiduciary duty claims and misappropriation of trade secrets. He often defends clients against overly restrictive non-compete agreements, and pursues claims against employees who flout the terms of reasonable non-competes. Riemer is a graduate of Albany Law School (J.D. cum laude, 2008) and Syracuse University (B.A., 2002). This is his fourth selection to the “Texas Rising Stars” list.

Turman is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Entertainment, Advertising and New Media practices. His commercial litigation practice covers a variety of matters including business disputes, complex arbitration, construction and intellectual property. Turman’s entertainment law practice touches various industries including film and television production, media development and distribution and literary publishing. He serves as the president of the Texas Association of Motion Media Professionals and is a past chair of the Dallas Bar Association Entertainment, Art & Sports law section. Turman earned both his legal and undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University (J.D., cum laude, 2012; B.B.A. and B.A., cum laude, 2007). This is his second selection to the “Texas Rising Stars” list.

Williams is a partner and a member of the firm’s Litigation and Appellate practices. He has experience in complex matters involving trade secrets, contract disputes, business torts and non-competes litigation. Williams has represented creditors on promissory notes, guarantees, unpaid accounts and the foreclosure of secured properties. He is also experienced in handling cryptocurrency-related litigation matters, internet defamation issues and employee non-subscriber defense. Notably, Williams has briefed appellate matters before Texas courts of appeal and the Supreme Court of Texas, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court (at certiorari). In 2017 he was selected, based on his district’s city councilman’s recommendation, and served on Dallas’ first ever Citizens Bond Task Force Economic Development and Housing Subcommittee, helping shape a billion-dollar ballot initiative aimed at supporting key infrastructure projects. Williams is also a city official, serving as District 14’s commissioner on the City of Dallas’s Community Development Commission. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with honors, 2008) and Tulane University (B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 2005). This is Williams’ fifth consecutive year on the “Texas Rising Stars” list.

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