On November 10, 2020, the Institute for Energy Law honored Diana E. Marshall with the Lifetime Achievement in Energy Litigation Award. Former Chairman and CEO of Reliant Energy Don Jordan introduced Ms. Marshall, and IEL Advisory Board Chair Laura M. Robertson presented the award.
Ms. Marshall’s acceptance speech highlighted her ability to tell a story. From her early days growing up on a Gulf Oil camp in West Texas to her career representing major energy and power companies as a partner at Baker Botts, Ms. Marshall weaved a tale of her life-long connection to the energy industry. She spoke about finding a job as a typist with famed trial lawyer Warren Burnett after her father became paralyzed for three years and she showed up at Mr. Burnett’s office wearing white gloves to ask his administrator, Charlotte, who had two cigarettes burning at the same time, for a job to support her family.
Ms. Marshall went on to become the first female attorney hired straight out of law school by Baker Botts and the firm’s first female trial lawyer to make partner. She discussed changes in the profession since she began practicing in the 1970s and one of her major trials with Houston Power & Lightning. She told of her drive to become a great trial attorney and recalled hiding her typewriter at Baker Botts so that others would not confuse her with the firm’s clerical help. The end of Ms. Marshall’s acceptance speech was as memorable as the stories that preceded, as she concluded with a song, a welcomed first for an IEL acceptance speech.