Azle Attorney Mr. Kent Durham Honored by Texas Bar Foundation
Mr. Kent Durham has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation for oustanding achievements.
All in the Family
An article published in the Texas Bar Journal, September 2009 Edition.
Local Lawyer Spins into Family Pastime
A news article published in the Fort Worth Business Press on June 8, 2009.
Local lawyer spins into family pastime
BY BETTY DILLARD
Fort Worth Business Press
June 08, 2009
Kent Durham has a few tricks up his sleeve, but never in the courtroom.
Name partner at Fort Worth law firm Durham & Galindo PLLC, Durham is known for practice areas that include general business and corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, commercial and residential real estate transactions, and contracts.
Outside his law practice, the 32-year-old attorney is becoming known for something a bit fancier.
Durham teams with his dad Kenneth Durham and seven-year-old son Chandler Durham to make up the award-winning Durham Family Trick Ropers, billed as the world’s most complete trick and fancy roping act. The three generations of Durhams perform at rodeos, wild west shows, schools, conventions, corporate and private parties, in videos and commercials and on TV.
“It’s a fun sideline,” Durham said. “We’ve never done it for a living but it’s helped me a lot. It’s distinguished me from other lawyers. Sometimes when I’m working on a deal, I’ve had other attorneys who’ve Googled me and they’ll ask if I really am the trick roping guy. It really surprises some of them when I say yes.”
A native of Bells, a small rural town near Sherman and Denison, Durham grew up exhibiting the usual menagerie of steers, pigs and sheep at county shows and fairs. He won a scholarship from the San Antonio Livestock Exposition and graduated summa cum laude from Texas Tech University with a degree in agricultural and applied economics. A course in ag law steered him to Texas Tech University School of Law, from which he graduated with honors in 2001.
Following admission to the State Bar of Texas and marriage to college sweetheart and law school classmate Gracie Galindo – the Galindo in the firm – Durham began practicing corporate and securities law in the Fort Worth office of Kelly, Hart & Hallman LLP. He later joined the in-house legal team of Canadian-based IESI Corp., where he negotiated and documented the company’s acquisitions for its U.S. operations. He and his wife formed their firm in January 2008. Galindo currently serves as a counselor for the Fort Worth Independent School District and practices part time in small estate planning and wills and trusts.
“The recession has slowed down mergers and acquisitions,” Durham said, who also serves as an officer and director of two Virginia-based solid waste companies. “We’re starting to see some improvement in the economy. Things are picking up with the waste companies I’m with.
Durham was a youngster when his father started teaching him the ropes of spinning and throwing skills using lassos. The lasso is a well known tool of American cowboys, who developed roping to catch animals. Trick roping as a form of entertainment grew from these ranching skills.
“It wasn’t easy to learn but lots of fun,” Durham said. “It’s a good way to keep up with our past and our heritage.”
Now 68 and retired after 41 years at Kaiser Aluminum Corp., the elder Durham learned roping from his father and grandfather on their Oklahoma ranch.
“I always wanted to be a cowboy. It’s all I ever wanted to be,” said Kenneth Durham. “My dad’s 95 and could still spin a pretty good loop when he was about 92,” he added.
While in college, Kenneth befriended 1966 world champion roper Junior Eskew, who became his mentor and instructor until Eskew’s death in 1977.
“If it hadn’t been for him I never would have been much of a roper,” Kenneth said.
Another of Kenneth’s mentors was Frank Dean, a friend of Will Rogers. Rogers is considered by many to be the foremost trick and fancy roper.
“Will Rogers is by far the most famous trick roper. He learned a lot of that on his own, which is amazing,” Kent said. “I’ve spent a lot of time trying to do stuff I’ve seen him do on video and I can’t do it the way he did it.”
Both Durhams are bullish on their pastime and are fierce competitors in national and international contests. Kenneth received the Will Rogers Trick Roper of the Year award in 2006 and took top honors for horse catching three years running. Kent was named Trick Roper of the Year in 2005 and also has picked up awards for horse catching, a more difficult fancy trick he learned from his father.
Kenneth said there are many trick ropers around today but few fancy ropers, and he considers his son to be one of the best, particularly at horse catching.
“He usually performs that because he’s more perfected at it than I am,”Kent said. “That’s something unique among trick ropers and fancy ropers.”