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James A. Baker, III, to speak at President George H.W. Bush ceremony

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 15:00

Former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, will speak at the Remembering President George H.W. Bush Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on February 19 at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Houston.

Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton partner Talmage Boston will interview Baker, who was a dear friend of President Bush and served as his secretary of state from 1989 to 1992 and as his White House chief of staff from 1992 to 1993.

“Everybody knows that James A. Baker, III, was George H.W. Bush’s longtime best friend as well as his secretary of state during his presidency, and for that reason, the Bush Center was delighted that Secretary Baker would be willing to open up and talk about their friendship for this special program that is dedicated to remembering President Bush 41,” said Boston. “Secretary Baker was gracious enough to ask me to interview him for the program, which came from the fact that I’ve previously interviewed him for my books Raising the Bar: The Crucial Role of the Lawyer in Society and Cross-Examining History: A Lawyer Gets Answers from the Experts About Our Presidents. We feel sure that what Secretary Baker says in the interview will provide a deeper and more intimate picture of George H.W. Bush, the man as well as the president.”

Boston’s interview with Baker will open the two-part tribute to the late president and will be followed by former aides providing personal perspectives of working closely with President Bush before, during, and after his presidency.

Auditorium seating for the event is sold out, but overflow tickets are available. Tickets can be purchased at tickets.bushcenter.org. A livestream will be available at bushcenter.org and a recording will be available after the event.

State Bar LRE accepting applications for Leon Jaworski Award

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 11:00

State Bar of Texas Law-Related Education is now accepting applications for the 2019 Leon Jaworski Award for Teaching Excellence in Law Focused Education.

The award recognizes educators who have made an outstanding contribution to law-focused education. Educators’ programs should foster understanding of the values of the legal and judicial systems; inform and educate students about the roles in society of law, the courts, law enforcement agencies, and the legal profession; instruct students to recognize their duties and rights; encourage effective law-focused education programs in schools and communities; and increase communication and understanding among students, educators, and those involved professionally in the legal system.

Any public or private school classroom teacher in Texas with a minimum of five years’ experience may apply for the award. Entries must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. April 1.

For more information and to apply, go to texaslre.org.

Stories of Recovery: “I am a satisfied customer of AA”

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 08:00

Editor’s note: TLAP offers confidential assistance for lawyers, law students, and judges with substance abuse or mental health issues. Call TLAP at 1-800-343-8527 (TLAP) or find more information at tlaphelps.org.

I walked out of my first AA meeting confident I was not an alcoholic. The meeting was a speaker meeting, and the speaker told a horrendous story of what alcohol had done to her life. Judging myself against her, I was sure whatever she was, I was not. I thought I just over indulged sometimes. A few weeks later, at 21 years of age, I flipped my car drunk. That was my last drink. I surrendered and started working a twelve-step program. Since then, my life has become one of purpose and meaning; my life is filled with countless blessings that are all due to sobriety.

When talking about recovery, I always like to share a few aspects of sobriety that have been instrumental to me. First, sobriety means complete abstinence from all alcohol and other mind-altering substances. Before I actually worked the twelve steps, I confused sobriety with moderation, assuming sober people were rather moderating or sneaking an occasional drink (probably a sign I had a drinking problem). It was impossible for me to get sober by moderating my alcohol intake. Complete abstinence is a much easier way to get and stay sober.

Second, I cannot stress enough how important working the steps with a sponsor was for me. I heard a guy share at a meeting; he sounded like he knew what he was doing, so afterward, I asked him to be my sponsor. It is simple but vital. I owe a great debt to that man—he spent nine months taking me through the steps. Today, I get the opportunity to share that gift with others.

Finally, early sobriety can be incredibly uncomfortable—it was for me. Do not be discouraged. Just keep showing up. If I can do it, so can you. I had become accustomed to the instant gratification of take a drink, feel the effect. While I am fully gratified today, the twelve steps are not an instant fix.  At the time, I did not realize it, but my entire identity had somehow formed around alcohol. It only makes sense that the drastic life change of removing and instituting a new identity is going to be uncomfortable. This transformation can be lonely; I felt different and apart from everyone. But by the grace of God, which can be called luck, fortune, happenstance, or any synonym you like, I kept showing up. As time passed, the early struggles of sobriety did too, and I became more comfortable in sobriety. Today, I realize and accept that learning to handle life on life’s terms sober is a work in progress, rather than a destination.

Sobriety has provided me with so much that I feel compelled to give back. I feel responsible for helping others learn from my past poor choices. Today, I am blessed with the opportunity to share my experience with student groups, schools, youth groups, courtrooms, fraternities, etc. To date, I have spoken to nearly 50 different groups. Speaking is always a powerful and cherishable experience for me. Specifically, on one occasion, a student approached me afterward to let me know they were no longer going to try a drug that upcoming weekend that they had been planning to try for some time. I felt like I was right where I was supposed to be.

Do not let my speaking experience fool you—by no means am I Mr. AA. I just try to stay willing to practice the principles I have learned through the twelve steps. I do not ever want getting sober or being sober to be the greatest achievement of my life. There are certainly many greater hardships to face in life than sobriety. Ultimately, for some folks, like myself, sobriety is simply a necessary foundation to live a productive life.

Everything good in my life is due to sobriety. If you ever hear me share at a meeting, I often close with, “I am a satisfied customer of AA.” I am currently a 26-year-old law student. I intend to go into litigation. Today, I am content. I sleep easy—before sobriety I felt I could never turn off my brain. My relationship with my family is spectacular, and I am lucky enough to have married the love of my life. Coincidentally, our anniversary day and date falls on my sobriety date. All of this and much more because of sobriety. If alcohol is causing problems in your life, there is a solution. I am proof that the solution works, and for that, I am grateful.

Sponsored Content: LawPay unveils new 0% eCheck payment processing

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 23:01

Austin, TX, February 13, 2019 — LawPay’s easy-to-use payment solution was designed to help legal professionals accept online payments and improve cash flow. The company is now announcing even more ways for law firms to get paid. As of today, all LawPay accounts also come equipped with integrated eCheck payments. Users can now accept check payments online through LawPay for 0% and a simple, flat $2 per transaction.

“I’m so excited to announce one of our newest initiatives for 2019 is a fully integrated eCheck program built into our own technology,” said Amy Porter, founder and CEO of LawPay. “For over 10 years our mission has been to transform the way professionals get paid. Now you can manage all of your payments, whether they are credit card, debit card, or eCheck, all through LawPay.”

The LawPay platform has transformed payments for more than 35,000 law firms nationwide, helping them get paid as much as 39 percent faster with complete IOLTA compliance. Now with eCheck, legal professionals will have even more ways to increase their cash flow, as well as their clients’ satisfaction, with the same security, service, and ease-of-use they enjoy with card payments.

To start processing online credit card and eCheck payments with LawPay, create an account at https://lawpay.com/sign-up/.

About LawPay

LawPay was developed specifically to provide a sophisticated payment solution for legal professionals. The LawPay platform contractually protects client funds correctly separating earned and unearned fees and by restricting the ability of any third-party from debiting monies from a trust or IOLTA account. LawPay is available through all 50 state bars and the ABA as a vetted and approved payment solution for the legal industry.

 

Supreme Court Children’s Commission’s releases report on building trauma-informed child welfare system

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 15:42

Judge Darlene Byrne, of the 126th Civil District Court in Travis County, and the Supreme Court of Texas Children’s Commission presented its child welfare system report at the Texas Law Center in Austin on February 8.

The report, Building a Trauma-Informed Child Welfare System: A Blueprint, is a roadmap to better serving Texas children and families within the system by viewing them through a trauma-informed lens. It serves as a framework for creating such a child welfare system statewide, and includes short-term and long-term guiding principles and strategies.

The report is the result of an 18-month collaboration of more than 100 professionals representing multiple systems and perspectives on helping children and families overcome trauma. They make up the Statewide Collaborative on Trauma-Informed Care, led by Judge Byrne and charged with developing strategies for the report.

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration defines trauma as the result of “an event, series of events, or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” Children and youth who experience abuse or neglect are vulnerable to trauma, and suffer an adverse impact to their well-being as well as their interpersonal relationships.

Supreme Court of Texas Chief Justice Nathan Hecht and Justice Eva Guzman championed Blueprint and its statewide collaborative effort, writing in their opening letter in the report:

“The critical guidance provided in this Blueprint once again establishes Texas as a leader in charting a course to bring meaningful change to family and youth-serving systems that are immense, and quite often, incredibly complex … The opportunity for transformation is before us and we must embrace it. The future of Texas depends on it.”

For more information, go to texaschildrenscomission.gov.

Association of Women Attorneys Foundation recognizes Houston lawyers

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 09:00

Association of Women Attorneys Foundation Premier Women in Law 2019 honorees are, from left, Burke Butler, Betsy Kamin, Amanda McMillan, and Phyllis Young.

The Association of Women Attorneys, or AWA, Foundation will recognize four Houston attorneys for leadership in their practice areas during the 8th AWA Foundation Premier Women in Law Luncheon on March 20 in Houston.

Association of Women Attorneys Foundation Premier Women in Law 2019 honorees are, from left, Burke Butler, Betsy Kamin, Amanda McMillan, and Phyllis Young.[/caption]
Being honored this year are Burke Butler, special counsel to nonprofit law practice Phillips Black; Betsy Kamin, member in Clark Hill Strabsurger; Amanda McMillian, executive vice president and general counsel to Anadarko Petroleum; and Phyllis Young, global energy and transactions partner in Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

The foundation will also award six scholarships to women who are in their second or third years of law school and attend one of Houston’s three law schools—South Texas College of Law Houston, the University of Houston Law Center, and Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. The AWA Foundation Pro Bono Fellowship Program was created in 2017 in partnership with Houston Volunteer Lawyers and the Tahirih Justice Center to provide a paid fellowship with one of the partnering organizations.

The luncheon will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. For more information, go to awahouston.org/awa-foundation/pwil.

Registration now open for the 30th Annual Texas Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Convention

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 15:00

The 30th Annual Texas Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Convention will be held from May 31 to June 2, 2019, at the Austin Marriott South.

The convention will feature national speakers discussing current research on mental health, substance abuse recovery, and how to maintain a more balanced professional life. Attendees will be able to earn up to 6 hours of CLE (ethics) credits.

Reservations for rooms can be made here and the rate is $109 a night.

TLCL is a volunteer group of attorneys that works in partnership with the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, or TLAP.

For more information or questions, contact TLAP at (800) 343-8527.

Solo/Small Firm: Search Results

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 12:00

Emma Hanes busts five SEO myths. To learn more about how to successfully run your practice, read the entire February issue at texasbar.com/tbj.

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Hecht delivers State of the Judiciary

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 15:22

Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht delivered the State of the Judiciary to the 86th Legislature at the House chamber on February 6. Photo by Eric Quitugua

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht delivered the State of the Judiciary on February 6 at a joint session of the 86th Legislature at the Texas House chamber. Hecht discussed a number of issues facing the court system, asking for support on items such as response to natural disasters, bail reform, court treatment of people with mental illnesses, bolstering technology in record keeping, and help with judicial qualifications and compensation.

“Beaten but unbowed, Texas judges, clerks, administrators, and staff carried on, throughout the storm and since, in makeshift space—many at great personal sacrifice,” Hecht said, opening his remarks with stories of Hurricane Harvey recovery. “We haven’t fully recovered but we’re getting there. In my 38 years on the bench, I have never been prouder of the Texas judiciary.” 

Hecht detailed Aransas County District Clerk Pam Heard and her staff’s efforts to continue operations in a damaged building even as their own homes and courthouse were destroyed. Because they covered their computers with plastic—and filed documents electronicallywith the courts—the county lost no records. He also told the story of Judge Lincoln Goodwin, Justice of the Peace in Harris County, who worked with staff to recover and dry court documentsand used an emergency order from the high courts to share a courtroom in a neighboring precinct. Court administrations need more flexibility in response to the next Harvey, Hecht said, calling for support for SB 40.

Hecht called for strengthening access to justice in a number of ways, including restoring cut funding to Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault, a program he said has cleared 11,000 cases in the past two years; and answering Gov. Greg Abbott’s call to appropriate an additional $3 million for civil legal aid services for veterans.

Hecht also expressed concern with the judicial selection process. The November elections brought on board a large number of new judges who the chief justice believes were elected because of partisan politics and not qualifications. Voters, in knowing almost nothing about candidates, throw out very good judges who happen to be on the wrong side of higher races on the ballot, he said. The chief justice called for judicial qualifications to be raised.

Of all the issues Chief Justice Hecht talked about, technology was the biggest. In a state the size of Texas, with its 254 counties dotted by few very urban areas, Texas courts “need better data on cases and dockets to operate efficiently and plan for the future.” He then described the pros of a statewide online court records public access initiative, Re:SearchTX, which allows users to see e-filing from any of the state’s courts and download them for a fee.

Hecht also talked about a program called the Public Safety Assessment, which he said can accurately predict—using demographic information—whether a defendant poses a risk of flight, violence, or recidivism. The technology, he said, can help cut down on the amount of non-violent indigent defendants held in jail because they cannot afford bail—which then falls on the taxpayers to the tune of $1 billion each year and violates fundamental constitutional rights, he said. It also can cut down on the number of violent defendants released on bail. But judges are denied such a tool that can help make more informed decisions, Hecht said.

The family of slain Department of Public Safety Trooper Damon Allen was in attendance at the House chamber as Chief Justice Hecht urged legislators to pass the Damon Allen Act. Photo by Eric Quitugua

That discussion hit an emotional high point when Hecht described the role a lack of better technology played in the death of a law enforcement officer Damon Allen, whose family was in attendance at the House. On Thanksgiving Day 2017, Department of Public Safety Trooper Allen was killed outside of Fairfield while sitting in his car checking the driver’s license of a man he pulled over for speeding. While Allen was running a scan, the driver approached and shot and killed him. The driver was released on bond the same day. Just four months earlier, the same man led officers on a high-speed chase, during which he rammed a deputy’s vehicle, injuring the deputy. Despite being charged with evading arrest, aggravated assault of a public servant, and reckless driving, he was out on bail that time after paying about 10 percent of his bail. Hecht urged the Legislature to pass the Damon Allen Act, which he said would give judges more information and risk factors of a defendant before setting bail.

Hecht asked for support in other areas before summing up the State of the Judiciary, including a 15 percent increase in judicial pay, the Supreme Court’s Children’s Commission, diverting children from the criminal justice system, funding for training judges on mental health issues, and bolstering the monitoring of guardianship cases in all Texas courts.

“The Texas Judiciary is committed to upholding the law, to getting every case right, to operating efficiently, to searching out and adopting improvements and reforms, to making all our processes advance the precious cause of justice,” Hecht said.

Look for the entire speech in the March issue of the Texas Bar Journal.

DVAP, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas raise more than $1.1 million for access to justice

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 15:14

The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, or DVAP, and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas bested themselves with a record-breaking funding of $1,169,349 for pro bono legal services to the poor. Part of the “Equal Access to Justice Campaign,” the money helps provide assistance to over 4,000 low-income families with civil legal needs.

In addition to using the campaign proceeds to expand community work, DVAP will continue to find ways to keep access to courts open in Dallas in order to serve the more than 600,000 people who meet legal aid’s financial guidelines for assistance. DVAP will look to recruit more volunteer attorneys to represent clients in complex cases and contested family law cases.

The following made donations of $10,500 or more:

  • Champion of Justice ($40,500)—Debra and E. Leon Carter
  • President’s Council ($35,500)—Jerry and Sherri Alexander; Connatser Family Law; Crain Lewis Brogdon; and Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer
  • Chairman’s Council ($25,500)—Anonymous; Lisa Blue and Jeff Tillotson
  • Gold Patron ($20,000)—Margaret and Jaime Spellings
  • Diamond Sponsors ($15,500)—AT&T; Dallas Association of Young Lawyers; and Mike A. Myers
  • Platinum Sponsors ($10,500)—Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Botts; the Dallas Bar Association Business Litigation Section; DBA Corporate Counsel Section; Deans & Lyons; Exxon Mobil Corporation; Fears Nachawati Law Firm; the Hartnett Law Firm; Haynes and Boone Foundation; Jackson Walker; Jones Day; KASTL LAW; Kirkland & Ellis; Latham & Watkins; Locke Lord; Mike McKool; Schiff Hardin; Sidley Austin; Thompson & Knight Foundation; Trinity Industries; Vinson & Elkins; Vistra Energy; and Winston & Strawn

For more information on DVAP or the Equal Access to Justice Campaign, contact Michelle Alden, DVAP director, at aldenm@lanwt.org or (214) 748-1234.

Sabrina N. Jiwani named to TMCP Steering Commmittee

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 08:00

Sabrina N. Jiwani, an attorney in Bradley Arant Boult Cummings’ Houston office, was appointed to the Texas Minority Counsel Program, or TMCP, Steering Committee.

The TMCP, which was created in 1993 by the State Bar of Texas Office of Minority Affairs, is a client development, networking, and CLE event for diverse attorneys in Texas. Its mission is to increase opportunities for minority, women, and LGBTQ attorneys who provide legal services to corporate and government clients.

“We are proud of Sabrina’s work as a champion of diversity in the legal profession and we congratulate her on her new leadership role with the Texas Minority Counsel Program,” Bradley managing partner Ian P. Faria said.

Jiwani is a member of her firm’s construction and government contracts practice groups and focuses her own practice on commercial litigation. She has represented oil and gas service companies and operations, heavy equipment manufacturers, and dealers. Jiwani has also defended construction companies in multi-party suits involving large-scale infrastructure projects.

Before joining Bradley, Jiwani was an assistant vice president of and senior counsel to JPMorgan Chase, where she focused on collections litigation and sworn documents.

Jiwani, who is also a member of the Houston Bar Association’s Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession Committee, will serve on the TMCP Steering Committee through 2019.

For more information about TMCP, go to texasbar.com/TMCP.

Entertainment attorney and author Mike Farris is latest guest on State Bar of Texas Podcast

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 13:00

In the latest episode of the State Bar of Texas Podcast, host Rocky Dhir talks with Dallas entertainment lawyer and author Mike Farris about his career.

Dhir and Farris discuss the inspiration behind Farris’ books, such as A Death in the Islands, Poor Innocent Lad, and The Bequest, and take a look at his writing process. The two delve into Fifty Shades of Black & White, which was authored by Farris and Jennifer Pedroza and deals with the Fifty Shades of Grey series and ensuing lawsuit. Farris represented Pedroza, who was the plaintiff in the case.

Farris, a Texas Tech University School of Law graduate, was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1983. He has retired from practicing law and now spends his days writing full-time.

To read John G. Browning’s review of Fifty Shades of Black & White in the February issue of the Texas Bar Journal, go to http://ow.ly/pb9Y30nBx4J.

Listen to the episode here. The State Bar of Texas Podcast is produced in association with Legal Talk Network and is sponsored by LawPay.

Houston Volunteer Lawyers now pre-screening clients for ‘Will-A-Thon’

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 08:00

Low-income Houstonians in need of help preparing wills can receive assistance from volunteer attorneys during the 2019 Will-A-Thon, which is now pre-screening for clients.

The free two-clinic event takes place April 3 and May 1 at the Tidwell Community Center, 9720 Spaulding St., Houston 77016 and brings together the Houston Volunteer Lawyers, Houston Bar Association Elder Law Committee, and the city of Houston Department of Neighborhoods to help prepare the following documents for qualifying residents:

  • Wills
  • Medical power of attorney
  • Advance directive to physicians (living will)
  • HIPAA release
  • Statutory power of attorney
  • Declaration of guardianship
  • Appointment for disposition of remains
  • Transfer on death deed

Those eligible for assistance include low-income seniors age 60 and older, persons with disabilities, and military veterans and their spouses. Clinic times are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and clients must be able to attend both days of their scheduled appointment.

Those interested in the clinics must schedule an appointment for pre-screening by Friday, March 22. To do so, call the Houston Volunteer Lawyers at (713) 228-0735.

For more information, go to makejusticehappen.org.

MCLE extensions, fee waivers available for Texas lawyers affected by government shutdown

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 14:03

The State Bar of Texas is offering additional MCLE compliance time and waivers of MCLE non-compliance fees to Texas attorneys furloughed during the recent government shutdown.

Attorneys with December, January, and February compliance deadlines who were furloughed during the recent government shutdown may request an extension of time of up to 90 days and a waiver of non-compliance fees toward compliance with 2018- 2019 MCLE requirements.

Please contact  mcle@texasbar.com to request an extension or a waiver of a non-compliance fee.

TOJI launches fourth cohort

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 11:00

Members of the Texas Opportunity & Justice Incubator, pictured here at the Texas Capitol, met on January 28 for orientation at the Texas Law Center. Photo by Eric Quitugua

The Texas Opportunity & Justice Incubator’s fourth cohort met for orientation on January 28 at the Texas Law Center, where the program’s nine newest lawyers came ready to learn innovative ways to close the access to justice gap.

The program, known as TOJI, runs 18 months, during which attorneys with fewer than 5 years’ experience not only learn from TOJI Director Anne-Marie Rábago and her staff ways to best serve low- and modest-income Texans, but also bounce ideas off each other on points such as marketing, and payments or finding ones.

“I really wanted to get into a space where I can make a big impact,” Austin-based attorney Alex Shahrestani said. “What area of law could I be most beneficial to?”

Shahrestani, a University of Texas School of Law graduate, additionally pursued a computer science degree so he could focus on tech law. But his law program, he said, didn’t have a tech path built out for students, and he wanted an incubator experience that could guide him through running his own practice. It was through a professor in a professional responsibility class that Shahrestani heard about TOJI.

The first six months of the TOJI program serve as a business accelerator designed to quickly get the lawyers’ firms up and running. Each cohort spends the first three weeks (the boot camp phase) forming business plans and attending sessions that guide them on running a practice geared toward low- and modest-income Texans. Topics covered include business banking and required malpractice insurance. One early philosophical discussion the new group will have is just what is considered low- or modest-income as demographics shift over time.

“These are not low-income Texans,” said Mitchell Yager, a St. Mary’s University School of Law graduate and San Antonio-based attorney focused on probate law. “It’s the forgotten middle class we’re going after.”

Yager said he’s always been drawn to providing aid for small business owners, as someone interested in running one too. A person who owns a lawn mowing business is not just someone mowing lawns, but someone who has employees that need to be taken care of and who may have legal issues that need to be dealt with, he said.

Rábago and her staff select a new group of motivated attorneys every six months. Cohorts have a maximum of 10 attorneys, and at one time, when including all active groups, there can be a maximum of 30. Each participant is required to provide a minimum of 100 hours of pro bono legal services during his or her first year. Participants are encouraged to pursue pro bono service in their own areas of practice and in partnership with local and statewide pro bono organizations.

Alexandra Gullett, who trained as a barrister at the City Law School in London and earned an LLM from the University of Texas School of Law found out about TOJI during the program’s first cohort in 2017. She did litigation law for about a year before applying to and getting accepted into the program. Gullett, who enjoyed the “boutique experience” of litigation law—“clients are one-on-one with the attorney and can find out if they’re the right person for them”—now focuses on estate planning, tax law, civil litigation, and real estate law.

Getting to learn from people who have worked in these areas is a big draw.

“You’re not just doing this alone,” Gullett said. “You have people to talk to about business concerns or legal issues—without that support, I wouldn’t be able to start my own firm.”

For more information on applying to the July cohort of TOJI, go to txoji.com.

Free legal clinic for veterans in Richmond

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 15:39

Veterans in need of legal advice or assistance can visit a free clinic on Saturday, February 9, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Volunteer attorneys will give any veteran or spouse of a deceased veteran one-on-one advice in any area of law, including family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate law, tax law, and disability and veterans benefits. Veterans in need of ongoing legal representation and who qualify for legal aid may be assigned a pro bono attorney.

No appointment is necessary.

The clinic will be held at the Richmond VA Outpatient Clinic, 22001 SW Fwy., Ste. 200, Richmond 77469, and is a public service of the Fort Bend Lawyers Care, the Fort Bend County Bar Association, and the Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative.

For more information, call the Veterans Legal Initiative at (713) 759-1133 or go to hba.org.

To view a list of other free veteran legal clinics around the state, please go to the State Bar’s Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans website at texasbar.com/veterans.

In Memoriam—January 2019

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 12:37

The State Bar of Texas’ Membership Department was informed in January 2019 of the deaths of these members. We join the officers and directors of the State Bar in expressing our deepest sympathy.

Christopher B. Allen, 72, of Houston, died December 25, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973.
James Clyde Allums Jr., 85, of Dallas, died December 28, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1959.
Pablo L. Alvarado, 62, of Dallas, died December 22, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1982.
Roy C. Augesen, 77, of Odessa, died October 28, 2017. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1972.
Sybil L. Autrey, 86, of Lago Vista, died October 25, 2018. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1987.
Chester G. Ball Jr., 88, of Arlington, died January 3, 2019. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1955.
Gary Leon Brooks, 67, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, died September 2, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1994.
Paul Jonathan Brown, 48, of Houston, died December 22, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1998.
Samuel John Cuming Jr., 63, of Spring, died January 25, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1983.
Jeffrey Dirks, 70, of Argyle, died September 19, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2008.
Neal H. Dockal, 77, of Louisville, Kentucky, died August 30, 2017. He received his law degree from the University of Louisville School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1984.
C.W. Duncan Jr., 94, of Killeen, died December 27, 2018. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1950.
Nancy Kliewer Dunlap, 72, of Dallas, died January 21, 2019. She received her law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1983.
Ray Charles Estabrook, 81, of Santa Rosa, California, died August 9, 2018. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1969.
Robert C. Fults, 98, of Dallas, died January 16, 2019. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1951.
Gustavo Charles Garza, 65, of Los Fresnos, died December 27, 2018. He received his law degree from Creighton University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1982.
Leonard J. Gittinger Jr., 85, of San Antonio, died December 31, 2017. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1955.
DeEdward Greer, 77, of Houston, died December 15, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1968.
Richard Griffin Jr., 44, of Spring, died July 17, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2011.
David Wayne Hajek, 67, of Granbury, died January 10, 2019. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976.
Keith W. Harvey, 66, of Dallas, died January 14, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1983.
Curtis Clark Hinshaw, 50, of Borger, died December 27, 2018. He received his law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1995.
Oliver Holden, 83, of Henrico, Virginia, died April 20, 2018. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
Brandon Todd Hudson, 45, of San Antonio, died December 4, 2018. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1998.
Robert E. Jones, 88, of Spring, died August 25, 2017. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1954.
Duane O. Juvrud, 83, of El Paso, died October 27, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1956.
Herbert David Kelleher, 87, of San Antonio, died January 3, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1962.
Jack R. King, 95, of Beaumont, died January 4, 2019. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1950.
A.J. Lewis Jr., 86, of San Antonio, died August 3, 2018. He received his law degree from NYU School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1957.
Wales Madden Jr., 91, of Amarillo, died December 24, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1952.
Sean Markey, 45, of San Antonio, died December 18, 2018. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2006.
Marvin Menaker, 91, of Dallas, died December 30, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1959.
Roy L. Merrill Jr., 78, of Richardson, died December 30, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1965.
Romie Neal, 82, of Houston, died January 13, 2019. He received his law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985.
James Francis Parker, 72, of Dallas, died January 26, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1972.
Connor W. Patman, 98, of Texarkana, died December 10, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1946.
Jose Luis Perales, 62, of San Antonio, died June 18, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1982.
Joe Marion Pirtle, 92, of Seabrook, died January 7, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1971.
Charles R. Porter Jr., 96, of Corpus Christi, died January 1, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1948.
W. Richard Powell, 71, of Brenham, died October 13, 2018. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1972.
Charles Edwin Prichard, 87, of Corpus Christi, died August 6, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1954.
Donald J. Richard, 71, died June 24, 2017. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974.
Robert Mayo Richards, 78, of San Antonio, died January 3, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
Raul Rivera, 88, of San Antonio, died January 20, 2019. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958.
Mary Robinson, 92, of Amarillo, died January 26, 2019. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1949.
Marshall R. Roofner, 72, of Dallas, died December 23, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1975.
James Ross, 98, of Longview, died September 6, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1953.
John Robert Saringer, 72, of Abilene, died January 10, 2019. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973.
Mitchell O. Sawyer, 75, of Edinburg, died April 22, 2017. He received his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1971.
Jason R. Searcy, 65, of Marshall, died January 18, 2019. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978.
John A. Sickel, 66, of Canton, died November 21, 2018. He received his law degree from Gozanga University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1982.
C.A. Skibell, 86, of Dallas, died January 2, 2019. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1957.
Richard S. Stark, 89, of Gainesville, died April 13, 2018. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1951.
Benjamin H. Stephens, 58, of Dallas, died January 18, 2019. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1996.
Sean Stiver, 36, of Boerne, died August 7, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2007.
Steven B. Strange, 79, of Dallas, died January 18, 2019. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
J. Michael Sullivan, 76, of Fairview, died January 2, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1967.
Stephen A. Terry, 81, of Dallas, died November 26, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1965.
Earl Vaughn Tyler, 89, of Brownsville, died January 5, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958.
Leslie Byron Vance, 79, of Meadowlakes, died January 18, 2019. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1965.
Michael L. Williams, 68, of El Paso, died September 17, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974.
David E. Wood, 67, of McAllen, died December 6, 2018. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1986.
Jerry Wayne Woodlock, 73, of Gainesville, died May 19, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1970.
Harry Wright, 87, of Port Neches, died December 4, 2018. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1954.

If you would like to have a memorial for a loved one published in the Texas Bar Journal, please go to texasbar.com/memorials. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Texas Bar Journal at (512) 427-1701 or toll-free at (800) 204-2222, ext. 1701.

Texas Bar Journal Must-Reads for February

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 09:00

Check out the Texas Bar Journal editorial staff’s top picks from this month’s criminal law issue. And don’t forget to catch up on Movers and Shakers, Memorials, and Disciplinary Actions.

On Appeal
The basics of post-conviction habeas corpus.
By John C. Prezas

Protecting the Record
The top 10 ways lawyers unwittingly waive error for appeal.
By Kristen Jernigan

Municipal Courts
A primer on what they do and a look at the national conversation regarding indigent defendants.
By Sherry Statman

A New Way to Serve
The State Bar of Texas’ latest pro bono program, NOVA, enlists help from its inactive members.
By Eric Quitugua

Past State Bar President Darrell E. Jordan dies at 80

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 16:00

Darrell E. Jordan, 80, of Dallas, died January 30, 2019. He served as president of the State Bar of Texas from 1989 to 1990. Jordan was a partner in Diamond McCarthy in Dallas at the time of his death.

“We are saddened by the loss of Darrell Jordan, whose lifetime of service to the legal profession leaves a tremendous legacy,” State Bar Executive Director Trey Apffel said. “We extend our condolences to his family and friends.”

Jordan also served on the State Bar Board of Directors from 1983 to 1986 and 1988 to 1991, as a member of the Executive Committee from 1985 to 1986 and 1988 to 1991; as chairman of the State Bar Fact Finding Committee from 1985 to 1986; as a member of the Grant Review, Development, and Implementation Committee from 1984 to 1986; as the State Bar Board of Directors’ liaison to the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees from 1985 to 1986; and was a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Jordan also served on the District 6 Grievance Committee and the District 6 Prosecuting Committee. He was a member of the State Bar of Texas Litigation Section and the Antitrust and Business Litigation Section. Jordan was certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He was a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and a master of the Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court from 1992 to 2019.

Jordan was on the Center for American and International Law, formerly the Southwestern Legal Foundation, Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2019 and was Research Fellows chair from 1996 to 1997. He served on the Texas Bar Historical Foundation Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2007; on the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2011, including as president from 2000 to 2003; and was chair of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 Advisory Committee.

Jordan was a member of the Dallas Bar Association Board of Directors from 1975 to 1983, serving as vice chair, chair, vice president, and president (1982). He was a member of the Dallas Bar Foundation Fellows from 1990 until the time of his death and served as the foundation’s chair from 1994 to 1996. He was named a life fellow of the Dallas Bar Foundation.

Jordan served on the American Bar Association Board of Governors from 1995 to 1998, including on the Executive Committee from 1997 to 1998 and as chair of Committee Operations from 1997 to 1998. He served in the ABA House of Delegates from 1986 to 1998; as chair of the Commission on IOLTA from 2002 to 2005; and as president of the ABA Museum of Law Committee from 2003 to 2004.

He received numerous awards, including the Outstanding 50-Year Lawyer Award from the Texas Bar Foundation in 2015; the Charles O. Galvin Award for Extraordinary Service from SMU Dedman School of Law in 2005; the Special Services Award from the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and the DBA in 2003; the Harold F. Kleinman Award from the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation in 2003; an ABA Award for defending the constitutionality of IOLTA in 2003; the Stars of Justice Award from the Texas Access to Justice Commission in 2003; and the Justinian Award from the Dallas Lawyers Auxiliary in 2000. He received Presidential Citations from the State Bar of Texas in 1991 and 1999.

Jordan received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.

Network and save $150 on registration at ABA TECHSHOW 2019 in Chicago

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 13:25

Experience over 31 years of legal technology and innovation at the ABA TECHSHOW 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago from February 27 to March 2, 2019.

Learn all about how technology can work for you and your firm by registering for the ABA TECHSHOW 2019. Members of the State Bar of Texas can use code EP1917 to receive a $150 discount on standard registration.

Hear from the keynote speaker Elizabeth “Betsey” Ziegler, the first female CEO of 1871, the number 1 ranked tech incubator in the world. Other sessions include Polish Your PDF: Beyond the Basics, Security Practices that Won’t Bust Your Budget, and An Insider’s Tour of Office 365 and Office 2019.

Come expand your network in Chicago and learn something new!

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