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Atkinson is married to Vicki Atkinson. They have raised four sons together.

2013-2014 Exemplary Judicial Faculty Award: Hon. Cynthia Kent

Judge Cynthia Stevens Kent is in the private practice of law in Tyler,

Texas. She served as Judge of the 114th Smith County District Court

for 20 years and Judge of the County Court at Law No. 2 in Smith

County for four years before retiring from the bench in 2009. Prior to

taking the bench in 1984, Judge Kent was a practicing attorney. She

is a former assistant criminal district attorney for Smith County and a

former shareholder with the law firm of Kent, Good, Anderson & Bush,

PC. She is past chair of the Texas Center for the Judiciary and Judicial

Section of the State Bar of Texas. She is a former board member of the

Texas County Court at Law Judge Association, the Texas Center for the

Judiciary, the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Bar Foundation. Judge

Kent has also served as a faculty member for more than 10 years at

the The National Judicial College Advanced Evidence Course and for 20

years with the Texas Center for the Judiciary. Judge Kent has authored

more than 200 professional papers, the Texas Benchbook for County

Court at Law Judges, co-author of the

Texas Benchbook for District


co-author of

Presiding Over a Capital Case – A Benchbook for


published in 2009 by the National Judicial College, and co-authored with Judge Sharen Wilson an

article “Handling Capital Cases – Dealing with Media” in the

Texas Wesleyan Law Review,

Winter 2010,

along with several other published articles. She earned a Master of Judicial Studies from the University of

Nevada, Reno, JD from South Texas College of Law and her BA from the University of Houston. Judge Kent

has completed her coursework at the University of Nevada Reno PhD of Judicial Studies Program but has

not completed her dissertation.

2013-2014 Exemplary Non-Judicial Faculty Award:

Mr. Richard Orsinger

Richard Orsinger lives in San Antonio but practices out of both his

San Antonio and Dallas offices. He is board certified in family and civil

appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In September,

2009, he was listed as one of Texas’ Top Ten Lawyers in the Texas

Monthly Super Lawyers Survey and as Texas’ Top Family Lawyer in Texas

Lawyer’s Go-To-Guide (2007). Mr. Orsinger is former chair of the State

Bar of Texas’ Family Law Section and Appellate Law Section, and past

president of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists and the Texas

Family Law Foundation. He was chair of the State Bar’s Continuing Legal

Education Committee 2002-03. He has served on the Texas Supreme

Court’s Rules Advisory Committee since 1994, where he is chair of

the Subcommittee on Rules 16-165a. He served on the Texas Board

of Legal Specialization’s Appellate Law Exam Committee 1990-2006