CLEAT lawyers are a world apart from the lawyers in the phone book or the lawyers from the late night television commercials. CLEAT attorneys specialize in working only for Texas law enforcement personnel. There are former police officers, a retired judge, former law professors, former district attorneys and a former TCLEOSE commissioner who are standing by 24/7 to look after our member’s best interest. Whether you’ve been involved in a shooting, a critical incident involving a custodial death or just facing a disciplinary hearing, you will find no greater advocate than a CLEAT attorney.
CLEAT was the first and only law enforcement organization in Texas to hire attorneys full time to work exclusively for our members. When our members need help, we don’t want them to go to the back of the line waiting for an attorney to bail out a crack dealer or finish up a divorce case. We know you need us now or you wouldn’t have called. Our attorneys personally go to the site of shootings, when they occur and represent our members when they need us—not the next day or whenever they can get around to it.
Our attorneys are highly educated, trained and experienced in every aspect of the law. From representing officers in arbitrations, court proceedings, all the way to the Supreme Court or just designing a free will for your family—nobody does more for Texas officers than CLEAT.
The founders of CLEAT wanted lawyers working just for Texas officers and that has been the extraordinary model of success for more than 40 years.
Bob Leonard, General Counsel
Robert is a retired NYC Police Officer and has been an attorney in the San Antonio office since 2005. He received a BA in History at the University of New York, Stony Brook, and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. In 1983, Robert joined the U.S. Army and was a military police officer. In 1985 he joined the National Guard where he served honorably for 15 years. Prior to joining CLEAT Robert served as an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County, New York.
San Antonio, Texas
Morris Munoz, Senior Supervising Attorney for South Texas
Morris returned to CLEAT in September 2014 after spending more than a decade in private practice specializing in labor and employment law. During that time, he also served as Detention Monitor and Intergovernmental Administrator for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, which has given him valuable insight on how jails are managed and operated. He also has experience in collective bargaining for public sector employees. Morris works out of the San Antonio office and serves members across South Texas as he did during his first tour with CLEAT in 2001 and 2002. He earned his J.D. from South Texas College of Law.
Karl Brehm, Staff Attorney
Karl is a San Antonio native who joined CLEAT in December 2007. Karl attended East Central High School in San Antonio and Texas Lutheran University in Seguin before going to law school at St. Mary’s University.
Tanner Barnes is a young attorney who was recently hired on by CLEAT after working in different law offices over the years. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2013, and a Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2016. Tanner has a passion for helping people, leading him to receive a certificate from the Texas Pro Bono College for his pro bono work during law school. Tanner’s goal when he was licensed to practice law was to help defend people’s rights, and is thus perfect for our organization, where he spends time fighting for the rights of our members. Tanner obtained his license to practice law in Texas in 2017. Tanner was born in Austin, Texas, but has spent his entire professional career working in San Antonio.
El Paso, Texas
Jim Jopling, Senior Supervising Attorney for North & West Texas
Jim joined CLEAT in 2008. He is originally from Fort Worth. Jim completed his undergraduate studies at UT Austin in 1986. He was a buyer at Lockheed Fort Worth Company before going to law school, and graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1996.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Celeste Robertson, Staff Attorney
Celeste came to CLEAT after spending many years practicing fiduciary litigation, as well as handling probate and estate planning. She is also a mediator. Celeste graduated from the University of Houston Law Center in 1994. She has three children.
Paul Barnes, Staff Attorney
Paul earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. While in school, Paul volunteered at a few student-run nonprofit organizations. His drive to help others led him to South Texas College of Law in Houston. After receiving his Juris Doctorate in May of 2015, he passed the Texas State Bar and earned his law license in November of 2015. Before joining the CLEAT legal team in January of 2017, he spent his first year as an attorney getting a wide range of legal experience while trying to build his own practice. Paul was born and raised in Houston, Texas.
Bridgett Brumbaugh is a highly-accomplished attorney complemented with 8 years of legal experience specifically in the area of litigation, real estate, contract and family law. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Columbus State University and Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. Bridgett has an extensive background in legal ranging from working in various law offices as a Law Clerk/Legal Assistant, Assistant District Attorney in Cameron County and managing Assistant Attorney General. She came to CLEAT as the owner of her own general practice.
J.R. Ramirez, Staff Attorney
J.R. Ramirez has over fifteen years of experience in law enforcement, working with the City of McAllen and Mission Police Department. JR found an interest and love for union work and was an executive board member of the local police union for thirteen years of his law enforcement career. JR also block walked and help put civil service on the ballot and did the same for binding arbitration. He began as a patrol officer and then became a detective. As a property crime detective for the City of McAllen, he focused on credit card fraud and financial crime cases, working alongside the Secret Service. His career led him to pursue a major in Criminal Justice and received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas-Pan American in 2009. He immediately continued his education and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 2011 from the University of Texas-Pan American.
Inspired by his younger brother and family, he went on to receive his Juris Doctorate in December 2015
Carol Gustin, Staff Attorney
Carol Gustin has practiced criminal law in both the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office and as a criminal defense attorney for the past 16 years. She is a former member and past President of the Board of Directors for the Northeast Texas Crisis Center and Children’s Advocacy Center. Carol was also a member of the Multi-Disciplinary Team and Sexual Assault Response Team for the Northeast Texas Crisis Center and Children’s Advocacy Center where she worked closely with Law Enforcement Agencies, Child Protective Services, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and Crisis Center Advocates in evaluating cases and ensuring that evidence was preserved for prosecution. Carol is married to Ivan Gustin, who is a retired City of Greenville Police Officer. Together they have a son and a daughter and four grandchildren.
Kathy has been practicing law for seventeen years in Austin,Texas, focusing on general litigation. Prior to joining CLEAT, she worked as an associate attorney with the Evans Family Law Group, West Short & Associates, and Mitchell Williams. With a background that includes family members in law enforcement, Kathy turned down more lucrative offers to come to CLEAT where she hopes to make a real difference by assisting those who protect and serve. Kathy was born and raised in Austin Texas. She received her undergraduate Degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Fort Worth, Texas
Robyn Trosper comes to CLEAT with over four years of labor and employment law litigation in Tarrant and Dallas Counties, handling a diverse array of legal issues for local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel. While attending law school, Robyn interned for the CLEAT Fort Worth Regional Office for over two years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Sociology from Tarleton State University, a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington and a law degree from the Texas A&M University School of Law.
She was also recently selected by her peers as one of Fort Worth's Top Attorneys in Employment Law in Fort Worth Magazine and served as Vice-Chair of the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section.
Jane graduated from the University of Texas in Austin in 1987 and received her law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1992. She is licensed to practice in the Northern and Eastern Districts of federal court as well as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. She began her law career as a staff attorney with Texas Conference of Police and Sheriff’s (TCOPS) in February 1993, a state-wide labor association headquartered in Dallas. While working for TCOPS, Jane represented law enforcement officers from various agencies throughout the State of Texas including Dallas, Irving, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and Constables, Midland, TABC and Carrollton. Jane worked as a contract attorney for Dallas Police Patrolman’s Union (DPPU) from January of 1998 until September of 2003. Since then Jane has represented law enforcement officers primarily in the North Texas area in various administrative and employment related matters as well as officer involved shootings and critical incidents, federal civil rights and whistle blower litigation, criminal defense, civil service arbitration, and mediation.
Joyce Lopez, Legal Services Coordinator
Joyce Lopez is one of the longest serving members of the CLEAT Staff. She attended San Antonio College for her legal studies and obtained extensive legal experience before coming to work for CLEAT. She has over 25 years in serving CLEAT members in San Antonio and across South Texas.
Carol Whitfield, Wills Program Coordinator
Carol has been with CLEAT since 1994 and is now a Certified Estate Planner assigned to the Legal Services Division as Wills Program Coordinator. In addition, Carol was recently assigned to become the CLEAT Retiree Association Coordinator, assisting the newly formed board with marketing and recruiting for the CRA. Prior to serving the legal division, Carol obtained both Life & Health and Property & Casualty insurance licenses and managed the CLEAT Benefit Plan, servicing the participating locals.
Mayra Marquez, Legal Coordinator for North & West Texas
Mayra comes to us from the District Attorney’s office in El Paso where she was an Administrator for two County Courts.
There she kept track of misdemeanor case files. Mayra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice.
Jeanette Chamberlain, Legal Assistant
Jeanette was born and raised in San Antonio. In 2014, she moved to Houston with her husband Joseph and their two daughters. Prior to working for CLEAT, she worked for Whataburger Home Office as an Administrator.
Sonya Manor, Legal Assistant
Sonya came to CLEAT in November 2014 after working for the Travis Central Appraisal District for eight years. She was born and raised in Austin.
Michael Rickman, Corporate Counsel
Mike Rickman served as an officer in the Mesquite Police Department for nearly a decade before going to Texas Tech University Law School where he graduated in 1993. Mike met and married Mesquite Officer Gay Rickman, who is now retired. They have two sons.