Posted inAmerican Bar AssociationConferenceSpecial Event

Be Prepared: Essential Backup Practices for Your Paperless Office

By Jim Calloway and Ernie Svenson
ABA TECHSHOW Faculty 2015

Everybody appreciates the importance of good backup procedures. But everyone does not implement great backup procedures. Part of the reason is that hard drives today are much more reliable than those of a few generations ago. But the main reason is that because we are all so busy, it is easy for a backup procedure involving a lawyer or law firm staff to be overlooked or delayed.

A convincing argument can be made that good backup receipt procedures are not only a requirement of running a business today, but also an ethical requirement for lawyers. The need for a firm to appropriate backup to protect client data is implied in RPC 1.1, 1.3, and 1.4.

We are both strong believers in the need for a paperless office and digital workflows.

Many lawyers making the transition to paperless still keep a duplicate paper client file, but there are significant downsides in using a paper file as a backup. These range from the tendency of lawyers to revert to using the paper file and failing to update the digital file, to a lawyer relying on paper file at the last minute only to discover that the law firm’s reliance on paperless processes means that the paper file has not been updated and is missing important documents or notes. Continue Reading

Posted inLocal BarsPro BonoSpecial EventVeterans

Houston Bar Association’s ‘Will-A-Thon’ sets screening dates

Harris County residents who are older than 60, disabled or veterans, and who meet low-income guidelines, qualify for free help with simple wills and basic medical directives provided through a “Will-A-Thon” hosted by the Houston Bar Association’s Elder Law Committee.

To apply for assistance through the Will-A-Thon, you must call 713-228-0735 between 9 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., before April 8 to complete a screening application over the phone. Qualifying applicants must meet the Houston Volunteer Lawyers’ low-income guidelines.

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Posted inMember BenefitsMember Discount Program

Member discounts for Valentine’s Day gifts

Find the perfect gift for your valentine with your State Bar of Texas Member Discount Program, where you have access to great deals and exclusive discounts on flowers, gifts, jewelry and more!

You can’t go wrong with a beautiful bouquet. Send a truly original arrangement from 1-800-FLOWERS.COM – where you save 20% on flowers and other gifts. Save 30% on artistically arranged, hand-delivered bouquets from Teleflora. All bouquets are delivered in a beautiful vase – never shipped in a box – by a local Teleflora florist.

Save 20% on all flowers, plants and gifts, with a 7-day satisfaction guarantee on all arrangements, when you order from FTD.

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Posted inLocal BarsNewsPeopleSpecial EventVeterans

Austin Bar Foundation holds annual gala, honors 5 outstanding lawyers, judges

(L-R) Judge Orlinda Naranjo; Thomas Ausley; Karen R. Johnson; Austin Bar President, Judge Eric Shepperd; David Sheppard; and Judge Lora Livingston.

(L-R) Judge Orlinda Naranjo; Thomas Ausley; Karen R. Johnson; Austin Bar President, Judge Eric Shepperd; David Sheppard; and Judge Lora Livingston.

More than 500 members of Austin’s legal community turned out for the Austin Bar Foundation’s annual Gala on Saturday.

The Austin Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the Austin Bar Association. The foundation was established in 2003 to support and expand the provision of legal-related charitable and educational programs and services in Central Texas. Gala attendees enjoyed dinner and dancing while raising funds through both silent and live auctions.

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Posted inPeopleRandom Profile

Random Profile: Janice Suchyta, Richmond

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 98,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We’ve found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

JaniceSuchytaBorn: I was born in Coldwater, Michigan on January 6, 1963.

Family: My husband, Tom, and I have two daughters: Haley, who is 14, and Miranda, who is 12. We also have two dogs: Austin, our 90-pound golden retriever and Henry, a seven-month-old border collie mix.

Areas of practice: I’m general counsel for a community health center so my days revolve around contracts, health law, and employee law issues.

Education: I graduated from the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!) with a B.A. in Art History and English Literature. I went to law school at the University of Detroit/Mercy Law School.

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Posted inTexas Bar Journal

Enter the Texas Bar Journal Short Story Contest

ShortStory2016LogoYou’ve got your closing arguments down. Now take your storytelling skills to paper and pen your passion. You’ve got 2,000 words to state your case. Dream big. There can be only one winner. Will it be you?

Submit your manuscript to the Texas Bar Journal Short Story Contest by 5 p.m. March 1, 2016.

To be eligible, you must be a lawyer admitted to practice and a member of the State Bar of Texas in good standing. Members of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors are not eligible. All stories should be unpublished and must deal with or be related to the law or lawyers in some fashion. One entry per person is accepted and manuscripts should not exceed 2,000 words.

The top three winning entries as selected by an independent panel of judges will be featured in the June 2016 issue of the Texas Bar Journal. For more information, go here.

Posted inAccess to JusticeLocal BarsPro Bono

Dallas campaign raises more than $1 million for pro bono legal services

Dallas-area lawyers raised $1,031,314 for pro bono legal services for the poor as part of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program’s “Equal Access to Justice Campaign.”

Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP) is a joint program of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas. The program provides free legal assistance to more than 4,000 low-income families each year by hosting legal clinics each month at seven community locations. DVAP also provides specialty clinics for veterans and the elderly.

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Posted inMust-ReadsNewsState BarTexas Bar Journal

Texas Bar Journal’s Must-Reads for February

Feb 2016 Must-Reads v3 NEW NEW

January is gone and February is here already. Which means that another issue of the Texas Bar Journal is in route to tens of thousands of attorneys spread across the Lone Star State. In addition to the reader favorites of Disciplinary Actions and Memorials, this edition examines a few hot topics within the local and national legal communities (including a piece co-authored by the Tweeter Laureate of Texas). To save you time and to showcase some exceptional work by our contributing writers, Bar Journal editors have selected February’s top four must-read stories. Check out the links below.


Posted inDiversityLaw SchoolsLocal Bars

Houston Bar interview workshop prepares law students for success

By Rehan Alimohammad, Guest Blogger

interview workshop with panelistsThe Houston Bar Association’s Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession (MOILP) Committee held its annual interview workshop January 20 to prepare applicants for upcoming interviews with potential employers through the MOILP 1L Summer Clerkship and Mentoring Program.

Over 75 students from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, South Texas College of Law, and the University of Houston Law Center attended the workshop. Continue Reading