ACU pre-law adviser recognized as best in the country

With more than 20 years spent providing guidance to undergraduate students considering a career in the law, Mel Hailey of Abilene Christian University has been recognized as the top pre-law adviser in the nation. On March 23, 2015, the Pre-Law Advisors National Council announced that Hailey would be the recipient of its 2015 Dean Gerald Wilson Award for Excellence in Pre-Law Advising, which he will accept at the council’s southwestern regional association meeting in October. He was selected for the recognition among pre-law advisers at all U.S. colleges and universities.

Continue Reading...

Houston Bar to host Will-A-Thon for seniors

Attorneys will be on hand to prepare free simple wills and basic medical directives for Harris County senior citizens during a Will-A-Thon on April 8. The event, hosted by the Houston Bar Association’s Elder Law Committee, will take place at the Third Ward Multi-Purpose Center, 3611 Ennis, Suite 118. Documents will be completed and executed on May 13.

The Will-A-Thon is open to low-income senior citizens 60 and over, as well as disabled persons and veterans of any age who meet the income guidelines. Individuals interested in applying for assistance must call (713) 228-0735 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., by April 3, to complete a pre-screening.


TexasBarCLE, TYLA provide young lawyers insight into profession










“I don’t know what motivated you to join the legal profession. But what I do know is that a lot of my peers got into this profession to help people. I hope that the same calling will drive you to help others as well.” – C. Barrett Thomas, TYLA president-elect

More than 100 young lawyers learned useful information regarding networking, client development, and the importance of pro bono work, and heard advice from judges and experienced courtroom advocates, during a CLE program Friday in Austin.

TexasBarCLE and the Texas Young Lawyers Association hosted “Building Your Career: A Guide for New Lawyers” at the Texas Law Center and also offered the event as a live webcast. Legal professionals devoted their time to share key skills and advice they learned to propel their careers.

“The best advice that I have received from a mentor was to 1.) be excellent in all that you do, 2.) meet as many people as you can, and 3.) give thanks,” Adán D. Briones of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners in Houston said.

Continue Reading...

Hard Work Out West

Roy B. Ferguson and his attorney wife, Pene, started their careers in Houston, but in 1999, they moved almost 600 miles to one of the state’s least-populated regions, a place with high-desert vistas of the Davis Mountains and Big Bend where both of them have family roots. Their law office in Marfa, which they opened years before the tiny town became a tourist destination, has been the only full-time practice in Presidio County for more than 13 years. In 2012, Ferguson was elected judge of the 394th Judicial District, which encompasses Brewster, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Hudspeth, and Presidio counties and covers more of the U.S.-Mexico border than any other district in Texas. Here Ferguson talks about shooting it straight, staying on the judge’s good side, and letting clients cry.

photo by Carolyn Miller/Fort Davis, TX

The way to make it.

The skills and traits most helpful for lawyers seeking to succeed in the small-town setting are, I think, a strong work ethic, personal integrity, and empathy. Lawyers are retained based on word-of-mouth. Your reputation—personal and professional—determines your level of success. The community must trust you not only to work hard for them but also to treat them fairly. Because everyone knows where you are at all times—they recognize your car, for example—you must put in the hours at the office. You must act professionally, both in the courtroom and at the local bar. Stories spread quickly. If you act like a buffoon or fall asleep in court even one time, your business will suffer. If you get drunk in public, or flirt openly with a married woman, your clientele will quietly taper off.

Continue Reading...

SXSW panelists present litigation update

During the SXSW panel “Litigation: The Cases We Need to Know,” D’Lesli Davis, a partner in the Dallas office of Norton Rose Fulbright, and Stan Soocher, associate professor of music and entertainment industry studies at the University of Colorado Denver, offered an overview of some legal situations currently impacting entertainment law. In their allotted hour, they walked attendees through a number of specific cases, including the following selections.

Gaga, ooh law law
Wendy Starland v. Rob Fusari

When Lady Gaga burst onto the music scene in the late 2000s, her stellar voice, stage dramatics, and avant-garde sense of style drove her to become one of the world’s most predominant musicians—perhaps more popular than her producer Rob Fusari could have imagined. Before Gaga achieved fame, Fusari made an oral agreement to split his revenues earned from the singer with the person who discovered her.

Continue Reading...

Member benefits - pet, auto, and liability policies

Spring is nearly here, and your State Bar of Texas Member Discount Program has lots of ways to save. Check out the deals available to you today.

Continue Reading...

AYLA resource fair to be held this weekend

On Saturday, March 28, the Austin Young Lawyers Association will host its annual Women’s Resource Fair, a free one-day clinic that brings together professionals from the legal, medical, and social services communities to serve individuals in one location. Since its launch in 2008, the annual resource fair has supported nearly 2,500 women in the Austin area.

This year, attendees can receive legal assistance, medical care and mental health services, job skills and educational counseling, social services, financial advising, haircuts, and access to a clothing closet at no cost. Breakfast, lunch, and child care will also be available during event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Schmidt-Jones Family Life Center, 1300 Lavaca St., Austin.

For more information, contact AYLA Director Debbie Kelly at (512) 472-0279.

State Bar board member picked as president of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Beaumont orthopaedic surgeon David D. Teuscher, M.D., a member of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, became president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Board of Directors today.

“David is a skilled orthopaedic surgeon, a distinguished veteran of our armed forces, a hardworking academy volunteer, and a passionate advocate for patients and the orthopaedic profession,” said Frederick M. Azar, M.D., outgoing academy president, in a statement. “We are fortunate to have such an experienced and committed individual at the helm of this organization.”

Teuscher is a longtime academy member and leader and a past president of the Texas Orthopaedic Association and the Jefferson County Medical Society. Before entering private practice in 1993, he served in U.S. Army operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and was chief of surgery at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

In a statement, Teuscher said he is honored to serve in a leadership capacity with the academy and looks forward to the challenges ahead. As president, his goals include improving surgical safety, protecting the value of musculoskeletal care, and increasing access to the academy’s educational programs.

Teuscher serves as a public member on the State Bar’s Board of Directors and as chair of the board’s Facilities and Equipment Subcommittee. He also serves on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and as a team physician for Lamar University’s NCAA Division I athletic teams.

For more information about the academy, visit


SXSW panel on drones fever: benefits vs. privacy

“Drones are here to stay, and to me that's a very good thing.”

Presenting at SXSW Interactive—where just days before the Austin Police Department had banned all drones from flying in the skies above the festival—Lisa Ellman spoke enthusiastically about the benefits that drones bring and how industry and government can satisfy those who are concerned about drones encroaching on personal privacy.

Ellman—who helped craft Obama administration policies on the use of drones in the United States—presented the positives and the negatives, from what she sees as smart and nonsensical regulation as well as the worthy and concerning usages of drones.

“When I first started working for President Obama, drones were just a blip on the radar,” Ellman said. “Now they are everywhere. They are the present and are quickly becoming the future. I believe the key to good policy making in this area ... is poli-vation—policy makers and innovators working together.”

Continue Reading...

People's Law School at UH Law helps public learn basic rights

The University of Houston Law Center will host the People’s Law School from 9 a.m. to noon April 4. More than 40 volunteer attorneys, judges, and law professors will teach courses and answer questions on various topics at one of the country’s oldest and most notable law programs for citizens.

Richard M. Alderman, University of Houston Law Center professor emeritus, said more than 50,000 people have attended the People’s Law School and discovered that knowledge is power when it comes to law.

“The People’s Law School won’t make you an attorney, but it will help you settle disputes and avoid problems,” Alderman said in a statement. “Whether you are buying a car, preparing a will, dealing with a debt collector, or in a dispute with your neighbor, knowing your legal rights can make a difference.”

Attendees can visit three sessions and acquire information on their basic rights in business, tax, employment, health insurance, consumer, credit and debt collection, wills and estates, family, insurance, landlord and tenant, justice court, and Social Security law.

The free event is a partnership with the university’s Center for Consumer Law and the Houston Bar Association. Coffee and donuts will be served.

Registration is limited to the first 1,000 people. Take advantage now and register for the event by visiting