Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Lynne Liberato presented the keynote address to 2,204 new Americans from 116 countries at an “awe-inspiring” naturalization ceremony last week in Houston. She spoke at the invitation of U.S. District Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas.
Liberato reflected on her family’s immigration to the U.S. from Sicily in the early 1900s. Naming some of the specific family members who immigrated to America, she told the audience: “Antonio, Morris and Leona—they are part of what made America great. By hard work and talent, they helped created a great nation that reflects mankind’s most cherished ideals. Now you will carry on that legacy and enrich the country that they and so many others have given us.”
“You are a testament to the greatness of this country,” she concluded. “One need look no further than this audience to find renewed enthusiasm and appreciation for our system and our people.”
During the ceremony, Ava Trachtenberg, daughter of Haynes and Boone Partner Mark Trachtenberg and great granddaughter of Morris and Leona, led the audience of more than 5,000 people in the Pledge of Allegiance to U.S. flag.
Afterward, Liberato posed for photos with the new citizens who shared sentiments with her, such as: “This is the happiest day of my life," "I have been working for this day for 40 years,” and ‘I am an American!"
Liberato described the experience as “an awe-inspiring event. It made me realize how much I take for granted.”
Liberato has led teams in some of the most significant appeals and trials in Texas. A prolific speaker and legal writer, she co-authored "Summary Judgments in Texas," often called the "bible" of summary judgments. Versions of this article have appeared in five law reviews since 1989, and it has been recognized as one of the 10 most-cited articles by appellate courts nationwide.
Liberato also is a member of the executive committee of the board of directors for Haynes and Boone.