When "It happens" we can help. Free phone consultation. Make the call today: 972-559-4548

When "It Happens" we can help. We will be happy to discuss your situation. The phone consultation is free so make the call today: 972-559-4548

State Bar of Texas

Subscribe to State Bar of Texas feed
News on the Lawyers and Legal Professionals of Texas
Updated: 6 hours 36 min ago

Texas Bar Journal Must-Reads for October

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 16:30

Limited time to read the October issue of the Texas Bar Journal? Our editorial staff’s picks have you covered. Check out our must-reads for in-depth articles exploring cybersecurity, data privacy issues, and more. And don’t forget to catch up on the latest Movers and Shakers, Memorials, and Disciplinary Actions.

Leadership Role
New laws are putting Texas at the forefront in addressing cybersecurity as a matter of public policy.
By Elizabeth Rogers

Privileges
Understanding applicability in cybersecurity cases.
By Shawn E. Tuma and Jeremy D. Rucker

Tech Savvy
Improve your cybersecurity without a Ph.D.
By Claude Ducloux

LeadershipSBOT Celebrates 10 Years
Classes develop skills to move diverse lawyers into leadership roles.
By Eric Quitugua

Texas Bar Journal Must-Reads for October

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 16:30

Limited time to read the October issue of the Texas Bar Journal? Our editorial staff’s picks have you covered. Check out our must-reads for in-depth articles exploring cybersecurity, data privacy issues, and more. And don’t forget to catch up on the latest Movers and Shakers, Memorials, and Disciplinary Actions.

Leadership Role
New laws are putting Texas at the forefront in addressing cybersecurity as a matter of public policy.
By Elizabeth Rogers

Privileges
Understanding applicability in cybersecurity cases.
By Shawn E. Tuma and Jeremy D. Rucker

Tech Savvy
Improve your cybersecurity without a Ph.D.
By Claude Ducloux

LeadershipSBOT Celebrates 10 Years
Classes develop skills to move diverse lawyers into leadership roles.
By Eric Quitugua

In Memoriam

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 16:30

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

Ralph Balasco, 99, of Houston, died June 23, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1947.
Justin Cunningham, 39, of Odessa, died September 10, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2006.
Frederick Dalley, 69, of Houston, died August 15, 2018. He received his law degree from Widener University Delaware Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1986.
Robert Dawson, 81, of Midland, died August 24, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1962.
Hobert Douglas Jr., 71, of Fort Worth, died August 20, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985.
Lawrence Durnford, 65, of El Paso, died March 7, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980.
Charlotte A. Harris, 67, of Lubbock, died August 23, 2018. She received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978.
Sam Z. Haviland, 59, of Seattle, died May 29, 2018. He received his law degree from Northwestern School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1987.
Joan Hayes, 75, of Richardson, died August 25, 2016. She received her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1998.
Walter L. Jefferson, 85, of Houston, died September 1, 2018. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
Stephanie Kan, 29, of San Gabriel, California, died April 1, 2018. She received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2016.
Rebecca R. Kieschnick, 72, of Sinton, died August 22, 2018. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1981.
George P. Kirkpatrick Jr., 83, of Silsbee, died December 20, 2017. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1961.
Margaret Ann Lake, 73, of Dallas, died September 5, 2018. She received her law degree from Nova Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1993.
David Wayne Lamb, 57, of Clemson, South Carolina, died March 10, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1986.
Andrew Lasky, 37, of Houston, died August 25, 2018. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2009.
Henry Lewis, 54, of Addison, died August 23, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2002.
John Stuart Lilly, 62, of Austin, died September 7, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1990.
Warren Case Lyon, 85, of Dallas, died July 27, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1961.
Larry Wayne McEachern, 65, of Plainview, died June 30, 2018. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1977.
Harold Dixon Montague, 66, of Houston, died August 19, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978.
John Onion Jr., 93, of Austin, died September 2, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1950.
Lee Roger Ratliff, 76, of Silsbee, died April 15, 2016. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
John L. Roach, 90, of Dallas, died September 12, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1951.
Karla J. Rogers, 64, of Vidor, died September 8, 2018. She received her law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1991.
Jack M. Sanders Jr., 65, of Woodlawn, died August 22, 2018. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980.
Beverly B. Skelton, 91, of Dallas, died August 9, 2018. She received her law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1971.
Wayne S. Smith, 72, of Magnolia, died September 5, 2017. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1971.
William M. Thacker Jr., 94, of Wichita Falls, died September 25, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1949.
Alda Trevino, 43, of Robstown, died March 25, 2018. She received her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2003.
Carolyn E. Walker, 67, of San Antonio, died August 10, 2018. She received her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1981.
Ray Weed, 84, of San Antonio, died August 31, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
Forrest Dean White, 71, of Canton, died August 27, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973.
Donald L. Young, 79, of Pearland, died August 6, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1989.

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

Free legal clinic for veterans in Galveston

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 08:00

The Galveston County Bar Association and the Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative are sponsoring a free legal clinic for veterans on Saturday, October 6, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Veterans and spouses of deceased attorneys can receive one-on-one advice and counsel from volunteer attorneys in family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate and tax law, and disability and veterans benefits.

Pro bono attorneys from the Houston Volunteer Lawyers may be assigned to veterans in need of ongoing legal representation and who qualify for legal aid.

No appointment is necessary.

The clinic will be held at the Galveston VA Outpatient Clinic, 3828 Avenue N., Galveston 77550.

For more information, go to hba.org or call (713) 759-1133.

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.

Free legal clinic for veterans in Galveston

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 08:00

The Galveston County Bar Association and the Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative are sponsoring a free legal clinic for veterans on Saturday, October 6, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Veterans and spouses of deceased attorneys can receive one-on-one advice and counsel from volunteer attorneys in family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate and tax law, and disability and veterans benefits.

Pro bono attorneys from the Houston Volunteer Lawyers may be assigned to veterans in need of ongoing legal representation and who qualify for legal aid.

No appointment is necessary.

The clinic will be held at the Galveston VA Outpatient Clinic, 3828 Avenue N., Galveston 77550.

For more information, go to hba.org or call (713) 759-1133.

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.

Free legal clinic for veterans in Galveston

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 08:00

The Galveston County Bar Association and the Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative are sponsoring a free legal clinic for veterans on Saturday, October 6, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Veterans and spouses of deceased attorneys can receive one-on-one advice and counsel from volunteer attorneys in family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate and tax law, and disability and veterans benefits.

Pro bono attorneys from the Houston Volunteer Lawyers may be assigned to veterans in need of ongoing legal representation and who qualify for legal aid.

No appointment is necessary.

The clinic will be held at the Galveston VA Outpatient Clinic, 3828 Avenue N., Galveston 77550.

For more information, go to hba.org or call (713) 759-1133.

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.

Longley: Committee review planned, president-elect nominees approved

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 14:39

Joe K. Longley

Editor’s note: State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley sent the following message to members on Friday.

Dear Member,

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and its Executive Committee held meetings today in Austin. I’m writing to update you on some of the major developments from the meetings.

Committee Review Subcommittee Formed
Much of the State Bar’s work is done by volunteers on 30 standing committees, and there is a safeguard in place to make sure those committees remain effective. At least every other year, the Executive Committee is required by statute to review the existing standing and special committees of the State Bar. The last review was done in April 2017.

This year, I will chair the seven-member Committee Review Subcommittee of the Executive Committee. Over the next three months, the subcommittee will assess whether there is a continued need for each committee, whether the committees are fulfilling their purposes, and whether any of their activities overlap.

This oversight process has led to a streamlining of the committee process and structure over the years. For example, as a result of the last review, one committee was eliminated as duplicative and five others updated their purpose clauses to more closely align with the purposes of the State Bar. During prior committee reviews, term limits were implemented to rotate committee membership and give more members an opportunity to serve.

President-elect Nominees Approved
The Board approved the nomination of Jeanne “Cezy” Collins of El Paso and Larry P. McDougal Sr. of Richmond as candidates for 2019-2020 State Bar president-elect, accepting the recommendation of the Nominations and Elections Subcommittee. The candidates will appear on the ballot in April 2019 along with any certified petition candidates. Click on the names below to read the candidates’ interest letters to the Nominations and Elections Subcommittee.

Potential petition candidates have until March 1 to submit their nominating petitions to the State Bar for certification. For information on how to run for president-elect, go here.

Courthouse Access Badge Task Force Created
The Board approved President-elect Randy Sorrels’ request for a Courthouse Access Badge Task Force. The task force will study the development and implementation of a statewide courthouse security access badge that would give lawyers expedited access to Texas courthouses. State Bar Director Christy Amuny of Beaumont and Granbury attorney Cindy V. Tisdale are co-chairs of the 17-member task force. View the full roster here.

2019-2020 Budget Update
The board’s Budget Committee met Thursday to discuss the budget process and the timeline for preparing the 2019-2020 budget. The committee is scheduled to meet next on December 13 to finalize a proposed budget for presentation to the Executive Committee and to the board at their respective January meetings.

Chief Disciplinary Counsel Retiring
Linda Acevedo is retiring in January 2019 after nearly 10 years as chief disciplinary counsel and 33 years with the State Bar, and we thanked her for her many years of service. She previously served in the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel as first assistant, appellate counsel, trial counsel, corporate counsel, counsel to the local grievance committee, and liaison to the Supreme Court of Texas Professional Ethics Committee and Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. The job opening was posted today on the State Bar website. If you are interested in applying, go here.

Board Resolution Presented
Austin attorney Shannon H. Ratliff, a shareholder in Davis, Gerald and Cremer, has been honored for his lifetime of dedicated service to the legal profession and to this country.

Mr. Ratliff has been a trial and appellate lawyer for more than 50 years and is a leading authority on oil and gas legal matters. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark and served as an assistant to Lyndon Baines Johnson in his roles as U.S. Senate majority leader, vice president, and president. Dr. Kyle Longley, director of the LBJ Presidential Library, attended the board meeting to help us honor this longtime LBJ advisor.

If you have any questions about the board meeting, please let me know. For more information on the board or to read meeting agendas and materials, go to texasbar.com/board.

With kindest regards,

Joe K. Longley 
President, State Bar of Texas 2018-2019
Joe.Longley@texasbar.com

Guest blog: Absent respondeat superior, a negligent entrustment action should not impose vicarious liability on the entrustor

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 13:00

In F.F.P. Operating Partners v. Duenez, 237 S.W.3d 680, 686 (Tex. 2007), the Texas Supreme Court stated that negligent entrustment is a form of vicarious liability. The basis for imposing liability on the owner of the object entrusted to another is that ownership of the object gives the right of control over its use (Id.). But perhaps the court applied this concept too broadly. Perhaps ownership of the object and control of the person using the object are two different concepts. Most Texas cases do not address this distinction because they have construed negligent entrustment in the context of the employer-employee relationship where vicarious liability is otherwise present through respondeat superior [See TXI Transp. Co. v. Hughes, 306 S.W.3d 230 (Tex. 2010); Schneider v. Esperanza Transmission Co.744 S.W.2d 595 (Tex. 1987); but see, Dao v. Garcia, 486 S.W.3d 618, 629 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2016, pet. denied)(friend liable for driver’s negligent driving where the driver had taken the friend’s keys without her knowledge); Williams v. Steves Industries, 699 S.W.2d 570, 571 (Tex. 1985); Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. v. Mayes, 236 S.W.3d 754, 758 (Tex. 2007); and McGuire v. Wright,140 F.3d 1038, 1998 WL 156342 at *2 (5th Cir. 1998) (unpublished)].

To establish negligent entrustment, a plaintiff has the burden to prove (1) entrustment of a vehicle by an owner; (2) to an unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless driver; (3) that the owner knew or should have known to be unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless; (4) that the driver was negligent on the occasion in question; and (5) that the driver’s negligence proximately caused the accident (Schneider, 744 S.W.2d at 596).

The doctrine of vicarious liability, or respondeat superior, makes the principal liable for the agent’s actions because the principal has the right to control the agent’s actions undertaken to further the principal’s objectives [Wingfoot Enterprises v. Alvarado,111 S.W.3d 134, 136 (Tex. 2003)]. A negligent entrustment cause of action, as a form of vicarious liability, functions seamlessly in an employer/employee context where the employer has the right of control over the employee and the employee, in operating a vehicle, is furthering the interests of the employer.

In cases where respondeat superior is not present, the policy reasons for imputing the negligence of the driver to the entrustor are not as convincing. For example, in a social context where a vehicle owner allows a buddy to drive his or her car, no respondeat superior is present. In the case of rental car companies, no respondeat superior is present (Rental car companies are protected from claims of negligent entrustment under 49 U.S.C. §30106, The Graves Amendment). Similarly, respondeat superior is not present when a parent permits a teenager to drive the family car, a customer permits a valet to drive his or her car, a car repair company loans a car to a customer, or a person borrows a vehicle from a coworker in order to drive to and from work. In such non-employment scenarios, the driver operates the borrowed vehicle for his or her own benefit, and not for an employer who has control over his or her livelihood and the driving choices that he or she makes. The entrustor is liable for his or her percentage of fault in entrusting the vehicle (In a non-employment scenario, an entrustor has no duty to investigate the driving record of a prospective driver as long as the driver maintains a valid driver’s license. [Avalos v. Brown Auto. Ctr., 63 S.W.3d 42, 48-49 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2001, no pet.)], but should the entrustor be responsible for the percentage of fault attributed to the negligent driver?  The justification supporting the imposition of vicarious liability on the entrustor is not present when the driver has no obvious connection to furthering the commercial interests of the entrustor. In one illustrative example, the court in Daofound that the driver had implied consent to drive his friend’s car, even though he took the car without her knowledge while she was sleeping. The court applied vicarious liability, and imposed joint and several liability on the driver and his friend, now the entrustor, for a fatality resulting from an accident caused by the driver.

The imposition of vicarious liability on the entrustor requires that the entrustor defend the actions of the driver, no matter the negligent driving operations. Furthermore, since under vicarious liability, the negligent driver is not required to be joined as a party and may not be available as a witness, legitimate defenses may be lost. It is not clear whether the entrustor has a post-verdict indemnification claim against the driver as an employer has against an employee [See Aviation Office of America v. Alexander & Alexander of Texas, 751 S.W.2d 179, 180 (Tex. 1980) (common law indemnity permitted under pure vicarious liability, but not between joint tortfeasors)]. The entrustor without control over the driver and whose interests are not being carried out, should be liable solely for his or her own negligence and not for the acts and omissions of the negligent driver. In F.F.P. Operating Partners, the Texas Supreme Court construed the Dram Shop Act, Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 2.02(b), a statute creating the dram shop’s legal duties, in conjunction with the Proportionate Responsibility Act, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 33.003 to hold that dram shops are responsible only for the proportion of damages they cause or contribute to cause (F.F.P. Operating Partners,at 692-93). The court specifically noted that the dram shop is responsible for the acts of its employees, but not responsible for the acts of the driver and thus did not have an indemnity claim against the driver. An employer has a common law right of indemnity against an employee (See Aviation Office of America v. Alexander & Alexander of Texas eat 180). Pursuant to Chapter 33 of the Proportionate Responsibility Act requiring the submission of responsibility of “each claimant, defendant, settling person, and responsible third party” to the jury, the dram shop properly had a contribution claim against the driver. Absent a right of control over the driver, absent a right of indemnity against the driver, and armed with a contribution claim against the driver, the liability of the non-employer entrustor should be determined like the liability of the dram shop in F.F.P. Operating Partners, i.e., without vicarious liability.

Katherine Knight is a shareholder in Henry, Oddo, Austin & Fletcher in Dallas, www.hoaf.com.

State Bar board approves Collins, McDougal as candidates for president-elect

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 10:52

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors voted unanimously September 28 to approve Jeanne Cezanne “Cezy” Collins of El Paso and Larry P. McDougal Sr. of Richmond as candidates for 2019-2020 president-elect.

Collins and McDougal will appear on the ballot in April 2019 along with any certified petition candidates. There are currently no additional president-elect candidates, although members have until March 1 to run as a petition candidate by submitting a petition signed by at least 5 percent of the State Bar membership.

Collins is general counsel for El Paso Independent School District and previously worked as a legal aid lawyer, an assistant county attorney, and a law firm partner.

She served on the State Bar Board of Directors from 2008 to 2011 and as chair of the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees in 2015-2016, chair of the Supreme Court Task Force to Expand Legal Services Delivery from 2009 to 2011, and president of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations in 2011-2012. Collins is a Founding Life Fellow of the El Paso Bar Foundation for which she served as president from 2008 to 2011, and was a commissioner for the Texas Access to Justice Commission. She is currently a member of the Board of Disciplinary Appeals.

Collins was honored with the 2017 President’s Award from the George A. McAlmon Inn of Court, El Paso and the 2013 Shattering Barriers Award from the Mexican American Bar Association of El Paso, among other accolades.

She earned her J.D. from University of Arizona College of Law-Tucson in 1991.

McDougal is board certified in criminal law and the founder of a namesake law office where he practices with his son. McDougal has previously served as a police officer, firefighter, and an assistant district attorney.

He served on the State Bar Board of Directors from 2012 to 2015 and continues to serve on the State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee. He is the District 5 Grievance Committee chair for the State Bar and District 5 nominating chair for the Texas Bar Foundation. McDougal also serves on the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Ethics Committee, Ethics Hotline, and Strike Force. He teaches legal ethics to lawyers around the state and is a member of several professional associations.

McDougal won the President’s Award from the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association in 2009, TexasBarCLE Standing Ovation Award in 2014, and the Outstanding Third-Year Director Award from the State Bar of Texas in 2015, among other accolades.

He earned his J.D. from South Texas College of Law Houston in 1990.

Collins and McDougal were recommended to the board by the Nominations and Elections Subcommittee, which interviewed six potential nominees from non-metropolitan counties.

SBOT Board of Directors honors Austin attorney Shannon H. Ratliff

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 10:21

Austin Attorney Shannon H. Ratliff (center), receives a resolution honoring him from from Kyle Longley, director of the LBJ Presidential Library (left), and State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley (right).

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors on Friday presented attorney Shannon H. Ratliff with a resolution honoring him for his service to the bar and the people of Texas and the United States and his overall commitment to the legal profession.

Ratliff is a shareholder in Davis, Gerald and Cremer in Austin. He has been a trial and appellate lawyer for more than 50 years.

Early in his career, Ratliff clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark and served as an assistant to Lyndon Baines Johnson in Johnson’s roles as U.S. Senate majority leader, vice president, and president.

Ratliff, a leading authority on oil and gas legal matters, has served as the lead trial lawyer in numerous complex lawsuits for Fortune 50, 100, and 500 companies in a variety of statewide and nationwide litigation.

He was appointed and served as a member of the University of Texas System Board of Regents from 1985 to 1991. He is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Austin Bar Foundation and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and American Board of Trial Advocates.

New TYLA project stocks courthouses with books for kids

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 16:01

A new Texas Young Lawyers Association project plans to put more books in children’s hands. Bookshelves in Courtrooms is promoting literacy by stocking shelves in courthouses across Texas with books for children of all ages. The program, TYLA Board Director Kaylan Dunn hopes, will help kids who may be going through a tough time.

“The project’s goal is to facilitate the availability of books in areas frequented by children in courthouses across the state of Texas to promote literacy, provide meaningful activity during a potential time of stress, and allow continued access to books even after a child’s visit has concluded,” Dunn said.

Bookshelves in Courtrooms was inspired by a similar project started in 2016 by Judge Karin Crump, of the 250th District Court in Austin. TYLA President Sally Pretorius, who herself had an unpleasant childhood experience at the Bexar County Courthouse, saw that program and wanted to adopt it to spread the initiative across Texas.

The books are donated to TYLA and range from board books for toddlers to young adult novels. Those gathered have come from TYLA members and their friends and family, social media groups, law firms, and church book drives, among others. Some bookshelves have been installed and others are being installed in courthouses in Fort Bend, Dallas, and Collin counties, with plans in store for expansion of the program in Smith, Tom Green, Menard, Anderson, Austin, Bexar, Howard, El Paso, and Harris counties.

“Children tend to be present in family, CPS, and juvenile courts most frequently, but TLYA is happy to install a bookshelf in any courtroom or courthouse that is interested in the program, as well as provide an initial supply of books,” Dunn said.

The next step is joining with local literacy organizations such as Lawyers for Literacy, Dunn said, to ensure books are always ready to stock shelves as needed. TYLA and its local affiliates are also in the process of reaching out to judges who may be interested in the supporting Bookshelves in Courtrooms.

“If you see a bookshelf in your local courthouse, please feel free to add books or donate them to the court to add when needed,” she said.

New or gently used books can be mailed to the TYLA office, 1414 Colorado St., 4th Fl., Austin 78701. TYLA also has an Amazon Wish List from which books can be purchased.

For more information on the program or introducing/expanding it in your area, contact Kaylan Dunn at kaylandunn@huntonak.com.

Sponsored Content: How is Cloud Computing Secured?

Sun, 09/23/2018 - 23:01

In today’s digital workplace, organizations are deciding to outsource services to the Cloud. Cloud computing is transforming IT, there are significant benefits to this which can introduce real cost savings and an abundance of flexibility to businesses.

When choosing to move to the Cloud, IT services, data, and infrastructure are transferred to a Cloud Provider. Essentially, the IT systems are moved to a secured data center somewhere in the world and clients just need a computer and internet connectivity.

Data is a valuable asset and must be protected, it is critical to understand your Cloud Security compliance as we are constantly reminded of Malware/Virus outbreaks, Ransomware attacks, Data misuse scandals and privacy breaches.

How is my data protected?

The security landscape is forever changing, frequent vulnerability scanning and fixes must be performed by security experts to keep one step ahead. Customer data networks and Cloud provider management networks must be segregated and encrypted to ensure only privileged users have access to sensitive client data, on a need-to-know basis.

Modern data centers are constructed to stringent physical and technical security safeguards, your Cloud provider must have audited access to the buildings, 24/7 security patrols, and extensive security camera protection. IT Systems must be protected with complex passwords and strong authentication methods.

Cloud Computers need to be constantly monitored and maintained to offer the best protection, the Cloud Provider is responsible to seamlessly manage and guarantee all the underlying server infrastructure is updated and regularly patched to provide robust antivirus protection.

Who has access to my data?

Data must be controlled and managed to provide greater data integrity standards. When organizations move to the Cloud, the IT Services are usually moved from the organizations head office. This immediately provides increased security as it separates the clients from their servers.

A virtual private network (VPN) is created which can grant site-to-site access to the Cloud. All other access can be restricted, allowing only privileged VPN users secured access.

Cloud Computers are built with many software-defined security policies which control user account privileges. Each user account has a unique set of security rights, this dictates which computer service and what data a user account can have access too.

Strict deny permissions are implemented to prevent users from accessing unauthorized files that are not within the user’s remit. These permissions can be managed centrally and are used to create a bespoke set of rules to control data access.

Where is my data located?

Cloud Computing providers offer 3 distinctive services; private, public and hybrid Cloud solutions. Finding the Cloud solution that matches your organization’s IT strategy is essential. This decision will ultimately affect where your data is located, which is extremely important when considering data privacy laws and data protection compliance.

For Organizations that handle secret, confidential and private data, private and isolated Cloud offerings would be beneficial. This will guarantee the user that data is geographically located in an appropriate data center for compliance and on systems for exclusive use.

Public Cloud is internet facing, public accessible Cloud Computing services. This is for companies who have no confidential data, typically this may be used on shared web hosting for public information.

Hybrid Cloud offers the best of both worlds, client private data can be stored in a secured location, and public services can be leveraged into a public provider.

If you are looking for a cloud hosting solution and are still not sure what you need, or need healthcare compliant HIPAA hosting then contact us and one of our sales engineers will be happy to guide you further.

About Moazzam Adnan Raja

Moazzam Adnan Raja has been the Vice President of Marketing at Atlantic.Net for 14 years. During Raja’s tenure, the Orlando-based, privately held hosting company has grown from having a primarily regional presence to garnering and developing attention nationwide and internationally. In collaboration with a skilled and dedicated team, Raja has successfully led a full spectrum of marketing campaigns, as well as handling PR work with major news outlets and the formation of key strategic alliances.

Texas Gavel Awards presented at FOIFT annual conference

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 15:12

From left: State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley; Jason Wheeler of WFAA-TV; Eleanor Dearman of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Anita Hassan, formerly of the Houston Chronicle; Jessica Savage and Veronica Flores of KRIS-TV, and Rudy England, chair of the SBOT Public Affairs Committee.

State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley and SBOT Public Affairs Committee Chair Rudy England welcomed journalists from around the state as winners of Texas Gavel Awards.

The Texas Gavel Awards recognize excellence in journalism that fosters public understanding of the legal system; educates the public about the rule of law, the legal profession, and the judicial branch of government; and discloses practices or procedures needing correction to improve the justice system.

Winners included Anita Hassan, formerly of the Houston Chronicle and now a member of an investigative team at the Las Vegas Review-Journal; Eleanor Dearman of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Krista M. Torralva, formerly of the Caller-Times and now a member of the San Antonio Express-News reporting staff; Jason Wheeler and Tanya Eiserer, both of WFAA; and Jessica Savage, Veronica Flores, Cameron Gorman, and Michael Salazar of KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi.

To read their winning entries and short bios of the recipients go to texasbar.com/gavelawards.

The awards were presented as part of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas’ annual conference and awards luncheon. At that same luncheon, First Amendment attorney Laura Lee Prather was awarded the foundation’s James Madison Award. The award honors those who demonstrate outstanding commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment and open government.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar was keynote speaker at the luncheon.

Texas Gavel Awards presented at FOIFT annual conference

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 15:12

From left: State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley; Jason Wheeler of WFAA-TV; Eleanor Dearman of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Anita Hassan, formerly of the Houston Chronicle; Jessica Savage and Veronica Flores of KRIS-TV, and Rudy England, chair of the SBOT Public Affairs Committee.

State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley and SBOT Public Affairs Committee Chair Rudy England welcomed journalists from around the state as winners of Texas Gavel Awards.

The Texas Gavel Awards recognize excellence in journalism that fosters public understanding of the legal system; educates the public about the rule of law, the legal profession, and the judicial branch of government; and discloses practices or procedures needing correction to improve the justice system.

Winners included Anita Hassan, formerly of the Houston Chronicle and now a member of an investigative team at the Las Vegas Review-Journal; Eleanor Dearman of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Krista M. Torralva, formerly of the Caller-Times and now a member of the San Antonio Express-News reporting staff; Jason Wheeler and Tanya Eiserer, both of WFAA; and Jessica Savage, Veronica Flores, Cameron Gorman, and Michael Salazar of KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi.

To read their winning entries and short bios of the recipients go to texasbar.com/gavelawards.

The awards were presented as part of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas’ annual conference and awards luncheon. At that same luncheon, First Amendment attorney Laura Lee Prather was awarded the foundation’s James Madison Award. The award honors those who demonstrate outstanding commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment and open government.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar was keynote speaker at the luncheon.

Texas Gavel Awards presented at FOIFT annual conference

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 15:12

From left: State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley; Jason Wheeler of WFAA-TV; Eleanor Dearman of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Anita Hassan, formerly of the Houston Chronicle; Jessica Savage and Veronica Flores of KRIS-TV, and Rudy England, chair of the SBOT Public Affairs Committee.

State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley and SBOT Public Affairs Committee Chair Rudy England welcomed journalists from around the state as winners of Texas Gavel Awards.

The Texas Gavel Awards recognize excellence in journalism that fosters public understanding of the legal system; educates the public about the rule of law, the legal profession, and the judicial branch of government; and discloses practices or procedures needing correction to improve the justice system.

Winners included Anita Hassan, formerly of the Houston Chronicle and now a member of an investigative team at the Las Vegas Review-Journal; Eleanor Dearman of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Krista M. Torralva, formerly of the Caller-Times and now a member of the San Antonio Express-News reporting staff; Jason Wheeler and Tanya Eiserer, both of WFAA; and Jessica Savage, Veronica Flores, Cameron Gorman, and Michael Salazar of KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi.

To read their winning entries and short bios of the recipients go to texasbar.com/gavelawards.

The awards were presented as part of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas’ annual conference and awards luncheon. At that same luncheon, First Amendment attorney Laura Lee Prather was awarded the foundation’s James Madison Award. The award honors those who demonstrate outstanding commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment and open government.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar was keynote speaker at the luncheon.

State Bar Board of Directors to meet September 28 in Austin

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 13:35

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors will hold its quarterly meeting Friday, September 28 in Austin.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Renaissance, 9721 Arboretum Blvd. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Click here to view the meeting agenda and backup materials.

Discounts for home improvement

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 08:00

Your Member Benefit Program has everything you need to spruce up your home without breaking the bank. Check out the Home & Garden page for more info.

  • SunPower Solar — Solar power lowers your monthly electric bill and helps protect the earth for the next generation. When you sign up for a free home evaluation from SunPower, you’ll get a rebate of up to $1,000.
  • Whirlpool With Whirlpool’s Inside Pass Program, you can enjoy substantial savings on trusted appliances, accessories, and other products for your home. Perks include exclusive promotions, easy payment, and more.
  • ADT Authorized Dealers ADT provides innovative security products and services. Get a free ADT monitored home security system, an $850 value, when you sign up for a new ADT monitoring service with Safe Streets USA.
  • iRobot — State Bar of Texas members receive 15% off select iRobot home-cleaning robots. All robots come with a 30-day, money-back guarantee and a one-year limited warranty.
  • Corelle Brands — With the Corelle Brands Employee Purchase Program, you can save 20% on cooking and cutlery products. Available brands include Pyrex, CorningWare, and more.
  • Easy Canvas PrintsEasy Canvas Prints lets you turn your treasured photos into works of art. Enjoy free shipping and 75% off a range of sizes.
  • Finecraft RugsThe Finecraft Designer Rugs collection includes rugs from Belgium, Turkey, and India. State Bar of Texas members save 50%.

Current offers provided by Beneplace.

For more information on other discounts you’re eligible for as a member of the State Bar of Texas, visit texasbar.com/benefits.

Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange
The Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange is a multi-carrier private exchange designed for State Bar of Texas members and their staff and dependents. Available to both individuals and employer groups, the exchange offers a wide range of health insurance choices and more.

State Bar of Texas – Benefits & Services

Discounts for home improvement

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 08:00

Your Member Benefit Program has everything you need to spruce up your home without breaking the bank. Check out the Home & Garden page for more info.

  • SunPower Solar — Solar power lowers your monthly electric bill and helps protect the earth for the next generation. When you sign up for a free home evaluation from SunPower, you’ll get a rebate of up to $1,000.
  • Whirlpool With Whirlpool’s Inside Pass Program, you can enjoy substantial savings on trusted appliances, accessories, and other products for your home. Perks include exclusive promotions, easy payment, and more.
  • ADT Authorized Dealers ADT provides innovative security products and services. Get a free ADT monitored home security system, an $850 value, when you sign up for a new ADT monitoring service with Safe Streets USA.
  • iRobot — State Bar of Texas members receive 15% off select iRobot home-cleaning robots. All robots come with a 30-day, money-back guarantee and a one-year limited warranty.
  • Corelle Brands — With the Corelle Brands Employee Purchase Program, you can save 20% on cooking and cutlery products. Available brands include Pyrex, CorningWare, and more.
  • Easy Canvas PrintsEasy Canvas Prints lets you turn your treasured photos into works of art. Enjoy free shipping and 75% off a range of sizes.
  • Finecraft RugsThe Finecraft Designer Rugs collection includes rugs from Belgium, Turkey, and India. State Bar of Texas members save 50%.

Current offers provided by Beneplace.

For more information on other discounts you’re eligible for as a member of the State Bar of Texas, visit texasbar.com/benefits.

Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange
The Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange is a multi-carrier private exchange designed for State Bar of Texas members and their staff and dependents. Available to both individuals and employer groups, the exchange offers a wide range of health insurance choices and more.

State Bar of Texas – Benefits & Services

Discounts for home improvement

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 08:00

Your Member Benefit Program has everything you need to spruce up your home without breaking the bank. Check out the Home & Garden page for more info.

  • SunPower Solar — Solar power lowers your monthly electric bill and helps protect the earth for the next generation. When you sign up for a free home evaluation from SunPower, you’ll get a rebate of up to $1,000.
  • Whirlpool With Whirlpool’s Inside Pass Program, you can enjoy substantial savings on trusted appliances, accessories, and other products for your home. Perks include exclusive promotions, easy payment, and more.
  • ADT Authorized Dealers ADT provides innovative security products and services. Get a free ADT monitored home security system, an $850 value, when you sign up for a new ADT monitoring service with Safe Streets USA.
  • iRobot — State Bar of Texas members receive 15% off select iRobot home-cleaning robots. All robots come with a 30-day, money-back guarantee and a one-year limited warranty.
  • Corelle Brands — With the Corelle Brands Employee Purchase Program, you can save 20% on cooking and cutlery products. Available brands include Pyrex, CorningWare, and more.
  • Easy Canvas PrintsEasy Canvas Prints lets you turn your treasured photos into works of art. Enjoy free shipping and 75% off a range of sizes.
  • Finecraft RugsThe Finecraft Designer Rugs collection includes rugs from Belgium, Turkey, and India. State Bar of Texas members save 50%.

Current offers provided by Beneplace.

For more information on other discounts you’re eligible for as a member of the State Bar of Texas, visit texasbar.com/benefits.

Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange
The Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange is a multi-carrier private exchange designed for State Bar of Texas members and their staff and dependents. Available to both individuals and employer groups, the exchange offers a wide range of health insurance choices and more.

State Bar of Texas – Benefits & Services

Hours for a Cause provides innovative way for attorneys to help

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 08:00

It’s no secret that the Texas legal community provides pro bono services, helping those in need. But while attorneys across the state may want to offer their assistance, they may not always have the time or necessary skills to do so. That’s where Hours for a Cause steps in. The website encourages lawyers to pledge to donate a day of billable hours to an organization that provides pro bono services.

Through the website, attorneys fill out an online pledge form, committing to match pay from a work day toward a nonprofit legal service organization that provides pro bono services. The site currently focuses on organizations that are helping with immigration issues, such as American Gateways, Kids in Need of Defense, and Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

Hours for a Cause was created by Liz Nielsen, of Austin-based Nielsen Law. During the recent family separation crisis, Nielsen wanted to help but needed to get creative with her busy estate-planning practice and lack of knowledge on immigration. Her solution: to donate a day of her billable time to a legal services organization that provides pro bono services to asylum seekers.

“It occurred to me that there were probably lots of attorneys like me, who wanted to give back in the wake of the immigration crisis but didn’t have the time or skills to provide pro bono legal representation,” Nielsen said.

She then created Hours for a Cause so that other attorneys could pledge to support causes they feel passionate about. Hours for a Cause sends out email reminders about pledges. Attorneys are instructed to donate directly with their preferred organizations.

For more information on Hours for a Cause and how to donate, go to hoursforacause.com.

Pages