Press Release

Hughes Watters Askanase Attorneys Share
Panelist Role for Web-based Seminar Series

HOUSTON (April 16, 2008) - Attorneys with Hughes Watters Askanase L.L.P. (HWA) are participating as panelists in a series of bi-monthly Web-based seminars on "Hot Topics and Issues" sponsored by the Legal Services Committee of American Legal and Financial Network (AFN). The seminars, which are free to members of AFN, started in January 2008 and will continue for the foreseeable future.

HWA partners Carolyn Taylor and Dominique Varner and HWA attorney Brendetta Scott rotate on and off the panel each month based on the expertise needed and availability. Discussion topics typically include bankruptcy, foreclosure, loss mitigation and compliance with consumer protection laws. The seminars scheduled on April 16 and 30 respectively will focus on recent changes to the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act and new cases in the southeast region of the United States, including Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss. and Texas.

"The mortgage industry is a hotbed for litigation, and the environment is very volatile right now. We are seeing an increase in the number of class actions being filed. Attorneys have a tremendous amount of information to keep up with," Varner commented. "These webinars help attorneys, service providers and other AFN members stay up-to-date on regulatory changes and new court cases so they can better manage risk. HWA, as a Texas member of AFN, is proud to have a recurring role in helping professionals in the industry stay knowledgeable and successful."

AFN launched the Web-based seminars in response to the high volume of litigation cases in an effort to equip its members with current information and share best practices. Topics for the seminars, which vary based on current events and risks, are chosen based on recommendations of the committee and feedback from attendees. AFN CEO William Leroy moderates the seminars, which are delivered in a panel format followed by a question and answer session.

"Looking ahead to the remainder of 2008, the AFN and the attorney members of the Legal Services Committee will remain unflagging in our commitment to regularly educate our mortgage loan servicing partners about existing and potential litigation issues and risks," said Leroy. For more information, please contact AFN at (314) 878-2360 or

HWA, as a full service law firm with a strong mortgage banking default practice group, is ideally positioned to take on the broad ranging and complex issues faced by mortgage servicers and lenders caught in the throes of the subprime mortgage crisis and credit crunch.

About Carolyn Taylor

Taylor, who joined HWA in 1994, established the firm's mortgage banking default servicing group. She was instrumental in implementing the internal policies and procedures that enable her team to provide exemplary service and culminated in the selection of HWA to participate in the Freddie Mac Designated Counsel Program (Texas). Taylor is a member of AFN's Legal Services Committee. She has 28 years experience in creditor representation and is certified in both consumer and business bankruptcy law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. For more information, please contact Taylor at or (713) 328-2804.

About Dominique Varner

Varner, who joined HWA in 1995, focuses on creditor's rights, in bankruptcy and probate where she initiates dependent administrations on behalf of secured creditors. Board certified in consumer bankruptcy law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Varner provides guidance and solutions for her creditor clients in a variety of forums. As past president of the Houston Young Lawyers Association, she increased both the size of membership and the scope of the association's participation in community projects and projects serving the bar. Varner can be contacted directly at or (713) 328-2818.

About Brendetta Scott

Scott, who joined HWA in 2003, focuses on bankruptcy, mortgage law, credit union law and default servicing. She was named a Rising Star in the April 2007 and 2008 editions of Texas Super Lawyers Magazine. A certified mediator, Scott is a member of the Law Week Committee and the Professionalism Committee of the Houston Bar Association. She is also active in the College of the State Bar of Texas and the Houston Young Lawyers Association. Scott can be contacted at or (713) 328-2834.

About Hughes Watters Askanase L.L.P.

For more than 30 years, Hughes Watters Askanase L.L.P., based in Houston, Texas, has utilized its resources, timely action and prompt communication to assist its mortgage banking and financial services clients in their business endeavors. This dedication to quality service is the cornerstone of the firm's unparalleled success. The firm's practice focuses on five interrelated areas that provide the greatest opportunities and most challenging obstacles: business bankruptcy, business planning and strategy, real estate and finance, consumer financial services and commercial litigation. For more information on HWA, please visit


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