Contact: Bill Lee

Online Registration

Registration for this event is now closed.  
Sep 17, 2015 11:30 AM – 1:15 PM
United States

Celebration of CONSTITUTION DAY and Tribute to Judge Hal DeMoss

September 17, 2015

featuring Harry Reasoner and Gerald Treece

​(please note this program will begin at 11:45 am sharp and end promptly at 1:15 pm)

Constitution Day celebrates the signing of the U.S. constitution September 17, 1782. We all live in a country of competing views and our guests will discuss some of the current issues in the press. While the constitution is a source of our most cherished and unifying political ideals, it also provides some of our sharpest quarrels as its principles and protections are debated and applied to present circumstances.

Our September 17 program brings together two legal scholars of the constitution, Dean T. Gerald Treece and Harry M. Reasoner. It is dedicated to the idea that open dialogue is fundamental to America's constitutional legacy.


We in the Rotary Club of Houston have the distinct privilege of having Judge Hal DeMoss as a fellow Rotarian in our club. Judge DeMoss has been a distinguished jurist since being appointed to the bench by President George H. W. Bush in 1991. He is a noted constitutional scholar, and it is fitting that our club should honor him on Constitution Day on the occasion of his retirement from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Bill Lee,

2015-2016 Program Chair

Judge DeMoss graduated from Rice University, class of 1952, and the University of Texas School of Law, Class of 1955.  After graduation, he practiced law with the firm of Bracewell and Patterson from 1957 to 1991, when he was appointed to the 5th Circuit position by President George H.W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate.

The Rotary Club of Houston is proud to honor one of its long time members, Judge Hal DeMoss, for a lifetime of service to the law and to the Constitution of the United States of America. Judge DeMoss, has lived his life as a gentleman, in constant search for truth, goodness and knowledge.  Fellow Rotarians look forward to what the next chapter of life DeMoss’ life will hold for him and his family and are excited to hear about it at the meeting Thursday, September 17.

Harry M. Reasoner, Vinson & Elkins Senior partner and former Managing Partner, 1992-2001, has spent his entire legal career with V&E since graduating from the University of Texas School of Law in 1962, as Editor of the Texas Law Review and number one in his class. In his honor, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Jamail endowed the Harry M. Reasoner Regents Chair in Law at the University. He graduated from Rice University in 1960. Harry is a member of the Rotary Club of Houston and is a Rotary Foundation Fellow.

During his career, he has handled antitrust, securities, and energy litigation, among others. Early in his career and under the mentorship of famed attorney David Searls, Harry was thrust into the middle of constitutional issues when he was appointed by Chief Judge John Singleton to represent inmates of the Texas Prison System and argued three times before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of prisoners’ First Amendment Rights. He also worked with Joe Jamail on the winning appeal to the historic multi-billion-dollar Pennzoil v. Texaco case, as well as taking on many cases involving the U.S. Constitution, including one of the early cases involving affirmative action issues at the university level, the Hopwood Case at the University of Texas in the 1990s.

T. Gerald Treece has been at South Texas College of Law for thirty years. He is the W. James Cronzer Distinguished Professor of Advocacy and has been Associate Dean and Vice President. He also is the director of the school's top-ranked Advocacy Program. Teams coached by Dean Treece have developed into a national powerhouse, having won over one hundred competitions. Dean Treece started his teaching career at Pepperdine University Law School.

Dean Treece holds a JD degree from The University of Houston Law Center and specializes in civil rights, constitutional law, torts, and trial and appellate advocacy. He has clerked for a U.S. Federal District Court Judge, was special adviser to President Reagan on the debates of 1984, and has argued over 100 appellate cases in tort and constitutional law.

Dean Treece often can be seen on TV as the legal expert on KHOU Channel 11.

Join us for a special retirement presentation to Judge DeMoss by Treece and Reasoner on Thursday, September 17.