The HisBA Forums Present: U.S. Election 2020

October 27, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Virtual Meeting



Hector Chavez maintains an active general civil litigation practice representing defendants and plaintiffs in complex lawsuits, arbitrations, and appeals. His areas of focus have included patent litigation, trade secrets, commercial disputes, oil and gas disputes, civil rights, and white collar defense. His background as an engineer enables him to understand and dissect complex issues of technology in order to help tell his client's story and deliver successful results. Mr. Chavez has been chosen as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers, 2017-Present, and recognized as a "Future Star" by Benchmark, 2015-Present.

Mr. Chavez received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (Signals Processing), cum laude in 2006 from Columbia University, where he received Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2011, where he was a Cravath International Fellow. Mr. Chavez is a member of the Executive Committee of the Hon. Nancy F. Atlas IP Inn of Court, with which he has spent the past four years helping organize and oversee Houston-area student scholarships and mentorship opportunities. 


Edgar Colón formed his own legal practice in Houston in 2003, where his emphasis is in public finance and all forms of commercial transactions, corporations, partnerships, commercial lending, real estate and secured (asset based) transactions, mergers and acquisitions, asset purchase agreements, employment matters, contract drafting and negotiation, and other related corporate and business matters; in addition to construction contracts, international transactions.

In addition to his law practice, since 2008, he is a full-time lecturer in Political Science, Department of Social Sciences, at the University of Houston-Downtown, where he teaches Federal Government, Texas Government, Hispanic Politics, American Legal System, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Introduction to American Constitutional Law and Legal Considerations for Non Profit Organizations (in the Masters in Non Profit Management program).

Until 2003, Mr. Colón worked as Senior Counsel with Bechtel Corporation, a global engineering-construction organization that provides technical, management and related services to develop, manage, engineer, build and operate installations for customers worldwide. His emphasis was in the negotiation of multi-million dollar engineering, procurement and construction contracts for pipeline and petroleum and chemicals projects in Latin America (particularly Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela).

Prior to Bechtel Corporation, Mr. Colón served as Assistant General Counsel at Bank United of Texas FSB; as an associate with Sheinfeld, Maley & Kay; and as an associate at Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright).

With respect to community activities, in 2008, Mr. Colón was appointed as Chairman of the Board, Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation. The Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation operates and develops various public facilities at Reliant Park, including the Astrodome and Reliant Stadium. In addition, Mr. Colón has served on the Board of Directors of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce since 1993 and served as Chairman of the Board for two years (2006-2008). He served on the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Bar Association and served in other capacities such as Vice President (1992), President-Elect (1993), President (1994) and Immediate Past President (1995). He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Hispanic Bar Association.

Mr. Colón graduated from the University of Houston with a B.B.A. in Economics (cum laude) in 1980, received his M.B.A. in Finance from University of Houston in 1984 and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1984. Mr. Colón then obtained a LL.M. in Banking Law in 1986 from Boston University School of Law. In 2000, he received a Masters Degree and in 2003 a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Houston, where his research interest is the judicial systems of Latin American countries. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas.



Michele Leal is a community leader and communications strategist with over fifteen years of experience in the public, nonprofit and corporate sectors. Michele’s professional experience and community involvement has centered around a passion for Latino community empowerment, women’s rights and LGBTQ equality.

Michele worked in the Texas Legislature for two sessions, before beginning a career in Houston’s nonprofit sector. Michele was the Development Director for El Centro de Corazón, a community health center serving the uninsured community in Houston’s East End. During her tenure, Michele led fund development and public affairs, as well as handled legislative advocacy initiatives. Michele also served as a development officer for the Montrose Center, a social services organization serving Houston’s LGBTQ community, where she launched the organization’s signature annual fundraising event. She has been responsible for two multi-million dollar capital campaigns and consulted on a $26.5 million LGBTQ senior housing project. Currently, Michele is a Consultant with EnFocus Group, a Houston-based consulting firm aimed at creating more inclusive workplaces through LGBTQ diversity and inclusion consulting.

Michele is a current board member and past co-chair of Latino Texas PAC, where she works to engage the next generation of leaders in Texas politics. Her passion for Latino political equity and women’s empowerment motivated her to run for State Representative in 2019 in response to an unexpected vacancy. Michele also serves as past President of Latin Women’s Initiative, an organization devoted to uplifting Latina women and children through volunteerism and financial support. Michele was recognized by the Houston Chronicle in 2018 for her philanthropic contributions and by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce as a “Woman in the Fast Lane of STEAM”. She serves on the Advisory Council of the Houston Arts Alliance and is a Senior Fellow in American Leadership Forum’s Class XLIX.

matthew wright

Matthew Wright is an appellate and post-conviction criminal defense attorney in Amarillo, Texas. After graduating from the University of Arkansas School of Law, he clerked for the Honorable Kenneth M. Hoyt here in Houston. Aside from brief stints working for two law firms, he has toiled his entire career in the salt mines of the federal court system, advocating for people accused and convicted of crimes. He has served as lead counsel in scores of cases before the Fifth Circuit, including two arguments in front of the en banc court. He also had the pleasure of sitting second chair at two cases argued at U.S. Supreme Court, in 2011 and 2019, which is tempered only by the knowledge that the same Court has often chosen other people’s petitions over his much-more-deserving candidates for certiorari. When he is not working, he is usually yelling at one of his four children or arguing with someone on Twitter, where in 2019 he won an award from the Texas Bar’s Appellate Section for a 280-character appellate brief.


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