Six from Houston’s AZA Named among Best Young Lawyers in Texas
March 8, 2013

HOUSTON – Houston attorneys Elizabeth Pannill Fletcher, Chris Lacy, Alisa Lipski, Steven Mitby, Tim Shelby and Monica Uddin from the complex commercial litigation law firm AZA, or AZA, have earned selection to the 2013 Texas Rising Stars list, which honors the best Texas lawyers under age 40 and those who have practiced less than 10 years.

 “AZA is lucky to have so many superb young lawyers growing with us and enriching what we can do for our clients,” says John Zavitsanos, an AZA founding partner.

The honored AZA attorneys represent both plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation, including cases involving the energy sector, contract and business disputes, and claims covering trade secrets and covenants not to compete.

The Texas Rising Stars list appears in the April 2013 issues of Texas Monthly and Texas Rising Stars magazines. The annual listing of the state’s top young lawyers is published by Thomson Reuters’ legal division, with less than 2.5 percent of eligible Texas attorneys earning selection each year.

Ms. Fletcher is a fourth-generation Texas trial lawyer with experience in complex civil litigation, including antitrust, securities, employment, trademark, trade secret, commercial contract and tort disputes. Her recent wins include an award of more than $800,000 in attorneys’ fees for her client after a defense verdict. She attended William & Mary Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the William and Mary Law Review. This is her second selection to the Texas Rising Stars list.

Mr. Lacy focuses on complex commercial litigation, arbitrations and appeals. He has successfully represented clients as first-chair lead counsel in trial and appellate cases with up to $10 million at stake. He has been a key member of litigation teams representing clients with up to $2 billion at stake. His legal track record includes work for clients in the energy, financial services, real estate, telecommunications, construction and health care industries. He graduated fifth in his class at the University of Houston Law Center. This marks his third appearance on the Texas Rising Stars list.

Ms. Lipski is a seasoned patent lawyer who is licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and has handled numerous Markman hearings. Her experience includes several appellate arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Licensed to practice law in Texas and California, she was a name partner in a successful IP boutique before joining AZA. Ms. Lipski has successfully litigated patents covering software, communications, satellite, oilfield, and medical technology. She has a University of Houston Law Center law degree and a biochemistry degree from the University of Texas.

Mr. Mitby is an AZA partner who represents clients in intellectual property and complex commercial litigation. He was first named to the Texas Rising Stars list in 2011. A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, he helped win the second-largest patent infringement verdict in the United States in 2011 – a $392 million award. Mr. Mitby’s significant appellate experience includes being named “Appellate Lawyer of the Week” by Texas Lawyer newspaper based on an important win for a firm client at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

Mr. Shelby was first named to the Texas Rising Stars list in 2008. He routinely handles energy litigation, securities litigation, professional liability matters, and real estate disputes. He recently represented an oilfield supplier that faced $35 million in potential damages when the company hired AZA. Rather than any damages being awarded against his client, Mr. Shelby helped the company earn a multimillion-dollar cash settlement. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Shelby also served as a Teaching Fellow in Harvard’s Department of Economics.

Ms. Uddin is a trial lawyer who focuses on complex commercial litigation. In 2012, she helped Fort Bend County win a take-nothing defense judgment in a civil rights lawsuit filed by a former sheriff’s department employee who claimed his rights were violated when he was fired. Ms. Uddin, who makes her inaugural appearance on the Texas Super Lawyers list in 2013, attended the University of Chicago Law School where she was a Levitan Scholar, an award-winning member of the Hinton Moot Court and served as a staff member for the Chicago Journal of International Law.

AZA, or AZA, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property, securities fraud, construction and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized by U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms in the 2013 listing of the nation’s leading law firms. National corporate counsel named AZA one of the country’s best in client service among law firms serving the Fortune 1000. AZA has been hired on many occasions by the same companies the firm has prevailed against at trial. Read more at


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