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Updated: 50 min 59 sec ago

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.

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