The firm's practice is focused on the representation of local government entities in El Paso, Texas, and private clientele with business interests or locations in the Southwest, including West Texas and Southern New Mexico. The lawyers at Blanco Ordoñez Mata & Wechsler, P.C., are committed to serving the needs of their clients, and we direct our resources toward the success of that goal.
Steven J. Blanco was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He attended El Paso public schools and graduated from Eastwood High School in 1987. Mr. Blanco attended the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. Following his graduation from UTEP, Mr. Blanco attended law school at Baylor University where he graduated cum laude in 1996. At Baylor, he was a member of the Baylor Order of Barristers and served as Notes and Comments Editor and Assistant Executive Editor of the Baylor Law Review.
Mr. Blanco is licensed to practice law in both Texas and New Mexico. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1996 and the State Bar of New Mexico in 1997.
Mr. Blanco is a shareholder and Chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Group at the Firm. He is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His practice is focused on representing employers and local government entities in labor and employment law matters, including defense of wrongful discharge and discrimination claims, managing employee relations, representing employers before state and federal agencies and related employment law matters. Mr. Blanco is a member of the State Bar of Texas Labor and Employment Law Section, the El Paso and American Bar Associations and the El Paso Society for Human Resource Management. Mr. Blanco currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Workforce Solutions Borderplex Workforce Development Board and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association of Texas. He is the past president for the American Lung Association of Texas Western Region Advisory Board and past chairman of the Legislative Committee for the El Paso Society for Human Resource Management.
Mr. Blanco is a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment law topics for both regional and national human resource management training companies. He has authored articles for the State Bar of Texas Advanced Employment Law Course and the Texas Labor Letter. Mr. Blanco has served as a faculty member for the Human Resources Management: PHR/SPHR Review Course presented by the University of Texas at El Paso Division of Professional and Continuing Education.
In 2007 and 2008, Mr. Blanco was named a Texas "Rising Star" by the publishers of Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazines. "Rising Stars" are considered among the best in their profession. Those receiving the honor represent the top 2.5% of up and coming Texas lawyers who are 40 years of age and younger or have practiced law less than 10 years. The Texas "Rising Stars" were selected from the results of an extensive nomination and polling process conducted by Law & Politics and published in the Texas Monthly and the Rising Stars edition of Texas Super Lawyers magazine. Since 2009 and through 2018, he has been selected for inclusion in the Texas Super Lawyers list published in Texas Monthly Magazine.
He is a member of the Texas Council of School Attorneys, the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys and is a Graduate of Leadership El Paso, Silver Anniversary Class of 2003.
Mr. Blanco practices in the Firm's Labor & Employment, Litigation and Local Government & School Law Practice Groups.
National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys, Member
Isaac Joel Blanco was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He attended public schools in the area and graduated from Hanks High School in 2011. In 2015, Mr. Blanco earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Texas at Austin with a major in Government and minor in History. While at UT Austin, Mr. Blanco was a recipient of the Undergraduate Research Grant and presented his research on the effect of anti-immigration legislation on Hispanic voter turnout as a Research Fellow. Mr. Blanco also served as the Intramural Chair for his fraternity.
After graduating from UT Austin, he attended Texas Tech University School of Law and received his Juris Doctor in 2018. While at Tech Law, he served as the Vice Chair of Judges for the Board of Barristers, the Curriculum Representative for his class, a Pupil for the American Inn of Court Tech Law Chapter, the President of the Longhorn Bar Association, and graduated from the Excellence in Legal Research Program. He was also a Champion of the Board of Barristers Advanced Moot Court Competition and a Quarterfinalist and Top Speaker at the 2018 Nelson Mandela International Negotiations Competition in Brooklyn, New York.
During his second year in law school, he worked at Lubbock Legal Aid Society as a Law Clerk and assisted indigent clients in family law and estate matters. During his third year in law school, he served as a Student Mediator in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinical Program mediating multiple civil and family law disputes at the Lubbock Office of Dispute Resolution. He then became certified as a Mediator in the State of Texas and continued to mediate civil and family law disputes at the Office of Dispute Resolution during his last semester and while studying for the Texas Bar Exam.
Mr. Blanco formally joined the Firm in 2019, where he practices Labor & Employment and Local Government & School Law.
Priscilla de Mata was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. A first-generation American, Ms. Mata is fully bilingual. She is a 2005 graduate of Americas High School. In 2009, Ms. Mata earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) where she was a member of the Chicano/a Pre-Law Society. Ms. Mata also received from UTEP a Master's in Leadership Studies with a concentration in border and international administration.
Prior to law school, Ms. Mata worked with Del Pueblo Press, Inc., in El Paso's Segundo Barrio and served as the founding editor of its bilingual immigration resource guide and publication.
Ms. Mata graduated with a Juris Doctor from the University of Idaho College of Law where she was elected as the first Mexican-American to lead the critical legal studies journal as its editor-in-chief. Ms. Mata was a member of the Latino Law Caucus and the Native American Law Student Association. During her summers she facilitated legal representation for at-risk communities during a 2012 internship with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. Ms. Mata also interned with the U.S. Attorney's Office in El Paso.
As a law student, Ms. Mata was the recipient of the 2013-2014 Judge Faye C. Kennedy Scholarship and received the "Pro Bono Service with Distinction" recognition as a result of contributing more than 250 hours of legal service in Texas and Idaho.
Prior to graduating from law school, Ms. Mata served as the 2013 Patricia and Paul Yetter Summer Clerk to the Honorable David C. Guaderrama as part of UTEP's Law School Preparation Institute (LSPI). That same summer she served as a case law instructor for LSPI's High School Law Camp for which she taught both criminal law and torts to a cohort of about 43 area high school students.
During her third year of law school, Ms. Mata worked with the College of Law's immigration legal aid clinic and served as a student attorney on a political asylum appeal while she worked part-time at a law office in the practice areas of family law and criminal defense.
In August 2014, Ms. Mata joined the Firm where she practices labor, employment, and school law in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at the Firm.
Jenée Duran was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She is a 2008 graduate of Eastwood High School and a National Hispanic Merit Scholar. Ms. Duran earned a Bachelor’s of Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensic Psychology and a concentration in Law and Society from New Mexico State University in May of 2012, where she was an active member of the Alpha Xi Delta Women’s Fraternity.
Ms. Duran graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law with the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence in May of 2017. While at Tech Law, Ms. Duran served as both President and Vice President of the Hispanic Law Students Association and was a member of and Comment Editor for the Texas Tech Law Review. In her last year of law school, Ms. Duran was selected as a student attorney in the Civil Practice Clinical Program where she managed cases in estate planning, family law, Social Security, and commercial law.
Ms. Duran is a member of the El Paso Bar Association, the El Paso Young Lawyers Association, and the El Paso Women's Bar Association.
Ms. Duran joined the Firm in 2017 where she practices in the areas of civil, commercial, international, and fiduciary litigation in the Civil, Commercial and Probate Litigation Groups.
Annai Escobedo was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She graduated from Clint High School in 2008. Ms. Escobedo earned the Presidential Excellence Scholarship to attend the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 2011. While attending UTEP, she was a member and Legal Research Guide to the Law School Preparation Institute. During her summer following graduation, Ms. Escobedo was selected to be the Graduate Fellow in the Office of General Counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC.
Ms. Escobedo earned a full tuition scholarship to the University of Iowa College of Law and graduated in 2014. At Iowa Law, she was President of the Latino Law Student Association, Student Writer of the Journal of Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems, Secretary of the Organization of Women Law Students and Staff and a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Ms. Escobedo received the Boyd Service Highest Honors Award which is given to students who show a commitment to community service by volunteering 200 hours of community service during their time in law school.
During her first summer in law school, Ms. Escobedo interned for the Honorable David Briones at the Unites States District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso. During her second summer in law school, Ms. Escobedo interned for the Honorable Guadalupe Rivera at the Eighth Court of Appeals of Texas in El Paso. Ms. Escobedo was also a Student Legal Intern at the Iowa Law Clinical Law Program where she managed cases in Estate Planning, International Human Rights and Family Law matters.
Ms. Escobedo was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2015. She joined the Firm in 2016, where she practices business entities and real estate law in the Firm’s Business and Real Estate Practice Group, and commercial and probate litigation in the Firm’s Civil, Commercial and Probate Litigation Groups.
Robert M. Estrada was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He attended parochial schools in the area and graduated from Cathedral High School in 2001. Mr. Estrada attended the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Following his graduation from UTEP, he attended law school at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University (TSU) where he graduated in 2011. At TSU, he was a member of the Hispanic Law Student Association and Asian Pacific Law Student Association and was named to the Dean's List numerous times. While in law school, he was the recipient of the 2010 Houston Bar Association Labor and Employment Division Scholarship.
Mr. Estrada is licensed to practice law in both Texas and New Mexico. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2011 and the State Bar of New Mexico in 2012. He is admitted to practice before all state courts in Texas and New Mexico and before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas and the US District Court for the District of New Mexico.
Mr. Estrada is an Associate of the Labor and Employment Practice Group at the Firm. His practice area is focused on representing employers and local government entities in labor and employment law matters, including defense of wrongful discharge and discrimination claims, managing employee relations, representing employers before state and federal agencies and related employment law matters. His practice also includes general litigation and school law. Mr. Estrada also is a certified Attorney Ad Litem.
Benjamin Fernandez was born in Chihuahua, Chih., Mexico. He attended school in Chihuahua City, where he graduated from the University of Chihuahua Law School in June of 1974. Mr. Fernandez is licensed in the States of Chihuahua and Coahuila, and the Federal Courts in Mexico. His practice in Mexico is principally commercial transactions, international loan transactions and foreign investments.
Mr. Fernandez is a Mexican attorney and member of the Commercial Practice Group at Blanco Ordoñez Mata & Wechsler, P.C. His practice is concentrated on international business and litigation matters involving the laws of Mexico.
Mr. Fernandez has been practicing law in Mexico for over 25 years, and he has extensive experience in the banking industry, representing several of the largest banks in Mexico for over 10 years. Mr. Fernandez has also worked in several Mexican government agencies, providing him with contacts and knowledge of government, internal processes and practices. Mr. Fernandez also has experience in public bids and negotiations, primarily with PEMEX and the Comision Federal de Electricidad.
Mr. Fernandez was certified by the Supreme Court of Texas as a Foreign Legal Consultant in Mexican Law. This certification authorized him to give professional legal advice regarding Mexican law in the State of Texas. Mr. Fernandez is not licensed to render legal services or give professional legal advice on the law of the State of Texas.
Mr. Fernandez has professional expertise in Mexican matters and his understanding of the Mexican culture and governmental workings makes him an essential part of the Commercial Practice Group at the Firm. Mr. Fernandez is a member of the Cd. Juarez Bar Association and El Paso Mexican-American Bar Association.
After graduating with honors from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Molecular Biology and obtaining her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Elizabeth Wechsler Mata practiced patent law for 22 years with Hamilton, Brook, Smith & Reynolds, P.C., an intellectual property law firm based in Massachusetts. For seventeen of those years, she telecommuted from her home office in El Paso, Texas.
Ms. Mata assisted clients in the biotechnology field, addressing advancements in the areas of molecular, cellular, structural, cell and developmental biology, protein and nucleic acid chemistry, genetics, genomics, epidemiology and biostatistics, pharmaceuticals, proteomics, immunology, assays, and diagnostics. She counseled on strategic patent prosecution and enforcement internationally as well as in the United States, and on patentability, patent validity, patent term extension, freedom-to-operate, interference, and infringement matters. In addition to addressing the patent needs of a wide range of clients -- including universities, research institutions, hospitals, and biotechnology companies of all sizes, from start-ups to international corporations - she counseled on aspects of complex intellectual property portfolio management.
Ms. Mata serves as an adjunct professor in the Chemical & Materials Engineering Department at New Mexico State University, biennially teaching the course, “Intellectual Property for Engineers and Scientists.”
Ms. Mata works in the firm's Business and Real Estate Practice Group with an emphasis in the areas of intellectual property, business organizations, and commercial transactions. Ms. Mata assists with creating, organizing and restructuring business entities; documenting commercial transactions involving the buying and selling of real estate and other business assets; and addressing trademarks and related intellectual property matters.
Ms. Mata is a member of the Massachusetts bar and admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. In addition, she is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Rodolfo “Rudy” Mata was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He attended El Paso public schools and graduated from Riverside High School in 1984.Mr. Mata attended Princeton University where he received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Architecture in 1988.Following his graduation from Princeton University, Mr. Mata attended graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and law school at Boston College Law School, where he pursed joint degrees of Master in City Planning and Juris Doctor and obtained each in 1994 and 1993 respectively. While at Boston College Law School, Mr. Mata served as Editor-in-Chief of the Boston College Third World Law Journal and received the Lyne, Woodworth and Evarts Award for Outstanding Editorial Work on Publications.
Mr. Mata is licensed to practice law in Texas, New Mexico and Massachusetts (inactive status). He was admitted to the State Bar of New Mexico and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Bar in 1994 and the State Bar of Texas in 1997. He is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Western, Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas and the District of New Mexico.
Mr. Mata was a Law Clerk to the Justices of the Land Court in Boston, Massachusetts, from 1995 to 1997 and served as Law Clerk to Honorable David Briones, United States District Court for the Western District of Texas from 1997 to 1999.
Mr. Mata is a shareholder and Chair of the Business and Real Estate Practice Group at the Firm. His practice is focused on commercial transactions, commercial real estate, business organizations and intellectual property. Mr. Mata also handles commercial litigation matters in the areas of commercial real estate, contract, business entity, and intellectual property disputes.
Mr. Mata is a member and past chair of the State Bar of Texas Hispanic Issues Section and a member of the El Paso Bar Association and member and past President of the Mexican America Bar Association of El Paso. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys, the Steering Committee for the Massachusetts Environmental Justice Network, and is a former member of the Boston Bar Association. Mr. Mata is a former member and chair of the board of directors for the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation in El Paso. Mr. Mata sat on the City of El Paso Brownfields Redevelopment Board, is a former member of the board of directors for the El Paso Collaborative for Community and Economic Development. He is a former member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the professional arm of the American Planning Association.
Areas of Practice
Daniel Ordoñez was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He attended El Paso public schools and graduated from Bel Air High School. Thereafter, he attended the University of Texas at El Paso and received a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1996. Mr. Ordoñez earned a full-tuition scholarship to Drake University School of Law and was granted a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1999. In law school, Mr. Ordoñez was President of the Latino Law Society for two years.
Mr. Ordoñez is licensed to practice before the Texas Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts for the Western District of Texas, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Ordoñez is a member of the El Paso County Bar Association, El Paso Probate Bar Association, and El Paso Mexican American Bar Association.
Mr. Ordoñez began his legal career as a prosecutor for the El Paso County District Attorney's Office. While he served as a prosecutor for over three years, Mr. Ordoñez dealt with all aspects of criminal prosecution of misdemeanor and felony cases and took over 40 cases to jury verdict. Thereafter, Mr. Ordoñez served over six years as an Assistant County Attorney with the El Paso County Attorney's Office. As an Assistant County Attorney assigned to the Civil Litigation Section, Mr. Ordoñez represented the County of El Paso in state and federal court in civil litigation matters. Mr. Ordoñez also represented County employees in constitutional litigation and in the defense of a wide variety of causes of action. In addition, Mr. Ordoñez provided legal counsel to all departments of the County of El Paso, including the El Paso County Sheriff's Department.
Mr. Ordoñez joined the Firm in 2009, where he practices primarily in the area of general civil litigation in the Firm’s Civil, Commercial and Probate Litigation Groups.
Rene Ordoñez was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He attended El Paso public schools and graduated from Bel Air High School. He graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts, with a major in Social Science and a minor in History in 1984. After graduating from UTEP, he earned a full-tuition scholarship to Drake University School of Law and was granted a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1987. While attending law school, Mr. Ordoñez was awarded the Distinguished Deans Service Award, the Drake Scholar Award, served as President of the Hispanic American Law Students Association (HALSA), and was a recipient of a merit scholar award and scholarship from the Law Student National Civil Rights Research Council.
Mr. Ordoñez is also a graduate of the United States Attorney General's Criminal Trial Advocacy Institute and the United States Attorney General's Civil Forfeiture Trial Advocacy Institute.
Mr. Ordoñez is licensed to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Tax Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas, and the Texas Supreme Court. He is a current member of Phi Alpha Delta, the American Bar Association, El Paso County Bar Association, El Paso Probate Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, El Paso Mexican-American Bar Association, the College of the State Bar of Texas, the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee, and the Defense Research Institute. Mr. Ordoñez has also served on numerous occasions as a lecturer on a variety of topics before the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the El Paso County Sheriff's Department, and the El Paso Community College. Mr. Ordoñez has also presided as Court Master over bench trials related to mental health commitment petitions filed by the State of Texas for a period of over 12 years.
After receiving his Doctor of Jurisprudence, Mr. Ordoñez was named General Counsel for the El Paso International Airport, where he served for approximately two years representing the El Paso International Airport in aviation and litigation related matters. After serving as General Counsel for the El Paso International Airport, Mr. Ordoñez was appointed to serve as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of El Paso, Texas, where he was responsible for litigating civil rights, construction, and commercial matters. Mr. Ordoñez was then appointed to serve as Assistant United States Attorney by the United States Attorney General under the administration of George H. Bush, where he prosecuted narcotics, organized crime, and white-collar crime cases. After serving as an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Ordoñez joined Delgado, Acosta, Braden & Jones, P.C. ("DABJ") in early 1998 as a shareholder.
Mr. Ordoñez served as a trial lawyer in DABJ's litigation department for nearly ten years, where he represented businesses, public utilities and individuals based in the United States and abroad. He also represented numerous foreign and American clients related to probate matters, defense of law enforcement officials in civil rights cases, and defense of school districts in civil matters. Mr. Ordoñez also served as counsel for the Republic of Mexico.
In 2007, Mr. Ordoñez joined the efforts of his current partners to found the law firm of Blanco Ordoñez Mata & Wechsler, P.C. Mr. Ordoñez, the Firm's managing partner, practices in the Civil, Commercial and Probate Litigation Groups, where he manages a docket comprised primarily of complex international, commercial, and probate litigation matters.