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.
Karen Dykes, Staff Attorney
Karen Y. Dykes was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She graduated from Hampton University summa cum laude with a degree in Computer Information Systems, having received a full academic scholarship. Karen went on to The University of Texas School of Law where she was awarded a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. Since then, she has been licensed to practice law in Texas and California and has taken on a myriad of challenges as an Assistant District Attorney, working as an associate at a leading regional firm. She is excited to work with CLEAT and its members.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Abel Herrero has a long-standing relationship with CLEAT and Texas law enforcement as a local attorney and council member. But his connection to law enforcement is much more personal than that... His brother is a recently, honorably retired Corpus Christi police officer. Abel earned a political science degree at Texas A&M University, and a law degree at the University of Texas, Austin.
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 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
Kathy Reyes, Staff Attorney
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.
Alyssa Urban, Staff Attorney
Alyssa Urban graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law with a concentration in workplace law. Prior to joining CLEAT, she worked in private sector labor relations representing unions and union members all over the country. During her work in private practice, Alyssa participated in the first civil service appeal hearing in Arlington, Texas. Alyssa has always had a strong passion for workers’ rights and advocating on behalf of first responders.
Fort Worth, Texas
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.
Benjamin Casey graduated Summa Cum Laude from The University of Texas at Dallas and Magna Cum Laude from Tulane University Law School. He has been licensed to practice law in the State of Texas since 2013. Benjamin comes to CLEAT after several years practicing healthcare law, corporate law, criminal law, and general civil litigation. He is honored to join such a dedicated team of professionals and looks forward to serving those who serve us.
Lance Sumrall, Staff Attorney
Lance received his Bachelor’s degree in Justice Administration from Wayland Baptist University in 2012 and his Juris Doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2014. He practiced general civil law in Lubbock, Texas after graduating from Texas Tech until February 2018. In 2018 Lance moved to Clovis, New Mexico to work as a criminal prosecutor for the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office before deciding to return to Texas and joining CLEAT in May 2019.
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.
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.
Ericka Gutierrez is a native of Dallas. She worked for many years with the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #588. She joined CLEAT in 2018 as a Membership Assistant and recently transitioned into the role of assistant to the Legal Staff in Dallas. She enjoys volunteering her time at Law Enforcement events, helping the families of fallen Officers, and providing overall support to Officers and their families, something she has dedicated her professional life to for more than 17 years.
Shay came to CLEAT in November 2019. She was in the Air Force JAG Corps as Paralegal for 12 years, the last five years working as an Area Defense Counsel Paralegal.
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.