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Ecosystem Sherpas: The Entrepreneurial Law Firm’s Role in Start-up Success

Total Credits: 3

Shari Wynne Ressler |  Richard Ressler |  Brian Hall |  Mark Murdock |  David Reiter |  Edward Cavazos
3-Hour CLE
Audio and Video
Never expires.


Lawyers who represent entrepreneurs have a responsibility as trusted counselors to grow their knowledge of key players, engage with support organizations, and immerse themselves in their clients' industries.  Learn from experienced entrepreneurial attorneys and their clients regarding how to build the kind of effective attorney-client relationship that will support success from start-up to exit.



  • Introduction
  • Become Trusted Counsel by Developing Smart and Effective Client Relationships (1-hr CLE)
  • Helping Clients Navigate and Connect to the Resource Ecosystem (1-hr CLE)
  • Legal Counsel from Start-up to Exit (1-hr CLE)


State Activity Number

TX: 928002269



Shari Wynne Ressler's Profile

Shari Wynne Ressler Related seminars and products: 4

Founder EBA Global

EBA Global

Shari Wynne Ressler is the Founder of EBA Global and the Managing Partner of RWR Legal. Shari’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to helping people achieve success drives the firm’s purpose, vision and mission.  She leads the strategic planning for the firm and manages the execution of the firm, with a focus on client service, marketing and development.

Shari Wynne Ressler is a self-made, serial entrepreneur, starting her first business at the age of 16.  She co-founded RWR Legal in 1996, with the goal of serving all clients with the same skill, vigor and intelligence that benefits the largest companies in the world.  In 2006, she created 6Degrees Connect, a personalized referral match company founded to connect the firm’s small business clients with proven, vetted service providers.  In October of 2011, RWR Legal launched Incubation Station, now SKU, Shari’s brainchild for the first and leading consumer products accelerator that connects stellar, market-validated companies with the industry resources and mentorship needed to succeed.  In 2015, at Austin’s SXSW, RWR Legal launched the Entrepreneurial Law Bar Association (EBA) bringing together business counsel worldwide to establish best practices for Startup/Entrepreneurial Law, designed to help innovators achieve success and grow businesses in the new economy.

Shari is currently active in the Central Texas Angel Network, the Advisory Committee of the Food Lab, at the University of Texas, Austin, the Innovation Committee for the Austin Development Zone and an active speaker on entrepreneurial and investing issues. She is President of SKU. She is a Past President and Membership Chair of the Austin Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global association of business owners; past co-Chair of the Austin Business Journal’s Fast-Fifty Executive Advisory Board and Past President and Co-President for RISE: Women, dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs.  Shari has been honored on multiple occasions for her service to the Austin Entrepreneurial Community.

Shari Wynne Ressler, along with Richard Ressler, the firm’s Managing General Counsel, provides legal and strategic counsel to the firm’s clients not only analyzing legal issues but guiding critical business decisions. She mentors and connects RWR Legal clients with expertise and resources.

Shari Wynne Ressler started her legal career as an attorney for the Plan Benefits Security Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, where she litigated on behalf of the Secretary of Labor, breach of Title I of ERISA, fiduciary duty matters in connection with the investment and/or administration of pension plan assets. Thereafter, she was associated with the national law firms of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Jacobson, as well as McDermott, Will & Emery. She practiced employee benefits law with a focus on fiduciary issues, and other Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issues such as funding, diversification, compliance, tax qualification and plan termination in connection with corporate/real estate transactions.

She was honored with the Labor Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Award as the co-counsel in one of the leading cases in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals with respect to the fiduciary status and obligations of plan fiduciaries; see, Reich v. Lancaster, 843 F. Supp. 194 (N.D. Tex. 1993), aff’d, 55 F.3d 1034 (5th Cir. 1995).

Richard Ressler's Profile

Richard Ressler Related seminars and products: 1


RWR Legal

Richard “Rick” Ressler is RWR Legal’s Managing General Counsel and has over 30 years of varied and extensive legal experience. Mr. Ressler’s practice includes corporate and tax law, mergers and acquisitions, securities and financing, contract law, real estate, intellectual property over­sight and licensing, and labor and employment issues, including stock and benefit plans. Mr. Ressler is an indispensable strategist and consultant as he guides clients to use law as a powerful and complex decision making tool.


Richard Ressler offers clients a unique perspective because he has served both large and small companies, publicly traded and private, simultaneously as an attorney and corporate officer. This includes time working for a technology incubator. Mr. Ressler strongly feels that legal advice in a vacuum is not enough. Rather, his strategy and advice takes into consideration and directly facilitates clients’ long-term business goals.


Mr. Ressler has worked on over 100 public offerings and private placements, representing underwriters, issuing companies, and both large and small investors. He also has extensive experience in venture capital and other start-up investments, bank and other loan financ­ings, structured financing, sophisticated leasing arrangements, and mergers and acquisitions. He has guided joint venture and financing transactions involving entities in Mexico, Japan, Brazil, Argentina and England, as well as financings for the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.


Prior to joining RWR Legal, Richard Ressler served as Vice President and Corporate Counsel to Centex Corporation in Dallas, Texas. He also served a concurrent role as General Counsel to Centex Title and Ancillary Services, a Centex subsidiary. Previously he served as Assistant General Counsel to Union Pacific and Vice President and General Counsel to FENIX, a Union Pacific Corporation subsidiary. For nine years Mr. Ressler also worked in private practice for the prestigious law firms Sullivan & Cromwell and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.


Mr. Ressler received his Juris Doctorate cum laude from Harvard Law School and his Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Princ­eton University. He is admitted to practice law in Texas, New York and Pennsylvania (inactive in Pennsylvania). Mr. Richard Ressler is AV-rated, the highest rating given for legal ability and ethics from Martindale-Hubbell.

Brian Hall's Profile

Brian Hall Related seminars and products: 1


Traverse Legal

Brian A. Hall is a member of Traverse Legal, PLC and the managing partner of its Austin, Texas office, doing business as Hall Law.  He has represented enterprise Internet and technology companies, tech startups and brand owners throughout the world with their Intellectual Property and Internet Law issues, including such areas as digital and social media, advertising and promotions, privacy and data matters.  Brian regularly advises clients on the acquisition of, enforcement of, licensing and monetization of intellectual property, and he has extensive experience with countless corporate transactions involving an entity's business-critical IP.  


Brian has served as outside general counsel, including in-house in a secondment role, for Austin, Texas based WPEngine, Inc. from 2014-2015 as well as Notley Ventures from 2015-present.


Brian has also litigated cases across the United States involving trademark, domain name, copyright, software trade secret, online defamation and privacy/personal rights issues.  He is a regular author and speaker on legal topics of particular interest to technology companies given his background as an IT Consultant with the global IT firm Accenture.  Brian has been chosen by his peers as a Rising Star in Intellectual Property, as rated by SuperLawyers, for the years 2010-2017.


Brian is also a limited partner in StartupRunner, a seed stage venture capital fund and is an active angel investor with the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN).  He regularly mentors and advises entities at all stages of the startup ecosystem.     

Mark Murdock's Profile

Mark Murdock Related seminars and products: 1


Lehrman Group

Mark Murdock is a Technology Lawyer with over 35 years of experience, including over 30 years at IBM specializing in technology and product development, manufacturing and licensing, then over 5 years at Thompson & Knight, L.L.P. working closely with early stage tech, clean energy and life sciences companies in Austin. Mark is an Entrepreneur In Residence at the UT- Austin Cockrell School of Engineering and a member of the Gulf Coast RCIC in connection with the Texas Emerging Growth Fund. Mark has judged numerous Idea 2 Product, MOOT CORP and TVL business plan competitions at UT-Austin, similar competitions at St. Edward's University in Austin and the 2013 Rice University Business Plan Competition in Houston, and has mentored early stage companies in Austin in connection with Rice Alliance, SXSW-ECO and other programs.

Mark is a member of the TOBI Board of Directors, is a member of the Advisory Boards of the National Association of Corporate Directors-Austin, The School of Management and Business at St. Edward's University in Austin, and of TeXchange Austin, a non-profit organization devoted to the education and mentoring of the founders and leaders of early stage technology and life sciences companies in Austin. Mark lives in Austin. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Texas Tech University and a Law Degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

David Reiter's Profile

David Reiter Related seminars and products: 1


Reiter, Brunel & Dunn, PLLC

David has more than 20 years’ experience counseling executives at public and private companies in industries ranging from computer hardware to mobile software to life sciences. In addition to co-founding Phillips & Reiter, PLLC, David has more than 13 years of experience in serving as General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for publicly-traded companies, including Luminex Corporation, a leading life sciences company (NASDAQ: LMNX) and 724 Solutions, Inc., a wireless software solutions provider (NASDAQ: SVNX, formerly Tantau Software, an Austin Ventures Company). David’s career also includes tenure as Senior Counsel of Compaq Computer Corporation, supporting Worldwide Sales & Services, Supply Chain Management and the Consumer Products Group. He began his career in private practice in Los Angeles. He currently serves as a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

During his career as general counsel and in private practice, David has counseled clients on a variety of commercial and technology transactions, ranging from complex licensing, development and sales transactions to purchasing and logistics agreements, including all aspects of drafting and negotiating. He has led multiple negotiations in the acquisitions of public and private companies, and assisted his clients in being acquired, including all aspects of drafting and negotiating purchase agreements, complying will applicable laws and regulations and leading the legal due diligence process. He is experienced in managing corporate governance matters, including all interactions with the Board of Directors for public and private companies, compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and public requirements, implementing policies and procedures. He has also served as the corporate compliance officer.

In addition, David has experience managing labor issues, including hiring and firing matters involving personnel and in establishing compensation and benefits structures for both executive and non-executive employees. His work includes assisting clients in resolving disputes outside of litigation and where necessary navigating and effectively resolving matters in court. He has assisted clients in developing and analyzing their overall business strategies and structures and has been responsible for managing government affairs and human resources.

During his career in private practice, David has counseled the following sample of early to mid-stage companies: Clear Orbit, Inc. (Acquired by Take Solutions), Perficient, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRFT), RenewData (acquired by LDiscovery), QuickArrow, Inc., NextIO, Inc., Resolution EBS, Inc., and Biometric Access Corporation.

David is happily married with two teenage children. In his free time he is a competitive tennis player and enjoys cycling and fly fishing.


Edward Cavazos's Profile

Edward Cavazos Related seminars and products: 1


Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Ed Cavazos is the Managing Partner of Pillsbury’s Austin office and a member of the firm's Intellectual property section.  He routinely counsels clients regarding general corporate, licensing, technology transactions, and intellectual property matters, as well as a variety of related issues.  He negotiates complex technology-related transactions and routinely advises on corporate and general business matters, licensing, strategic partnerships, development contracts, data rights and privacy issues.  He also has civil jury trial experience in both state and federal courts, and has litigated and is currently handling disputes involving copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secret, breach of contract and Internet-related claims.  A former general counsel at a pioneering internet company, Ed represents internet, e-commerce, software, hardware, video game and media/entertainment clients.  He also litigates complex IP disputes, including patent, trade secret, copyright, trademark, contract breach and internet-related claims.  Most of his clients are in the e-commerce, Internet, software, and computer hardware industries.  

Sherpas MCLE

This course has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the MCLE Board of the Supreme Court of Illinois in the amount of 3-credit hours, of which 0 credit hours will apply to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit.

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