Title: Lawyer (Retired)
Location: El Paso, Texas, United States
Clinton Ferguson Cross, Retired Lawyer, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in business law.
For 46 years, Mr. Cross worked tirelessly on deceptive business practice prosecution, retiring from the practice of law in 2015. He began practicing in 1969 as an attorney with the first publicly funded legal aid program, the El Paso Legal Assistance Society. From 1973 to 1976, he contributed his services as an Assistant Attorney General in the first regional office to the Attorney General of Texas. This experience helped pave the way to his next role as the Director of the Texas Legal Services Center, which he helmed from 1977 to 1985. After this position, he went into private practice until 1993, where he then joined as an associate at Gage, Gage and Kern LLP until 1996. In addition, Mr. Cross served as an assistant county attorney for the Office of the El Paso County Attorney from 1985 to 1986 and 1996 to 2010. Furthermore, he helped prepare future generations of legal professionals as an instructor at the El Paso Community College from 1974 to 1976 and 1989 to 1992.
In his own academic pursuits, Mr. Cross received a Bachelor of Arts from Pomona College in 1962. That same year, he joined the US Marine Corps Reserve and remained among the reservists until 1968. He also earned an LLB from The University of Texas at Austin in 1968 and admittance to the State Bar of Texas the very same year. In addition, Mr. Cross was admitted to practice with the United States District Court Western District of Texas in 1987, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 1986 and the United States District Court Northern District of Texas in 1972. Since 2008, he has been the editor of the El Paso Bar Journal.
During his career with the El Paso County Attorney’s office, Mr. Cross initiated a program for using arbitration to help resolve deceptive criminal business practice cases. Most of these claims were filed against people who had accepted payment in advance for work they had allegedly failed to complete. The approach for resolving criminally deceptive business practice cases could be characterized as a form of “restorative justice,” which in this case entails the defendants returning of all “stolen” money to the victims in exchange for dismissal of the pending criminal charge. A trained arbitrator would oversee the agreement, thus saving the court’s time and the taxpayers’ money. This initiative held the defendants accountable if a crime had been committed and allowed the victims, if any, to receive their money faster than they would have in a court. Though not all people approved of Mr. Cross’ program, the Council of Better Business Bureaus in Arlington, VA, recognized him with a national award.
In his career, Mr. Cross has been recognized with a number of awards, including the Albert Armendariz Senior Award in 2015, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the El Paso Bar Association in 2015 and the President’s Award from the El Paso Bar Association in 2011, 2013 and 2014. In 2010, he received the County Attorney Award, as well as the Outstanding Senior Lawyer Award from the El Paso Bar Association. In 2005, he was honored as the Community Adviser of the Year from the Office of the El Paso County Attorney. Mr. Cross also maintained professional affiliation with a variety of organizations, including the El Paso Bar Association, Texas Lawyers Care, the Committee on Legal Services to Indigent in Civil Matters and the American Bar Association. In his career, Mr. Cross served on the board of directors of the El Paso Legal Assistance Society, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and Texas Appleseed.
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