Posted inMember BenefitsMember Benefits and ServicesMember Discount Program

Discounts for financial planning

Spring is a great time to clean up your finances! As a State Bar member, you have access to the Beneplace website, where you can browse and compare deals to save on purchases large and small. You can refinance your car, compare identity/credit protection services, and get your taxes done. Visit the Beneplace page to start saving today.
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Posted inCLENews

An update on MCLE reporting on State Bar of Texas website

The State Bar of Texas appreciates the patience of our attorneys as we transition to a new online system for minimum continuing legal education reporting.

During the course of the past week, technical problems arose that required the online MCLE portal features be taken offline. Our IT staff has been working around the clock to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Should you need assistance with reporting your hours, you may contact the MCLE department at mcle@texasbar.com; (800) 204-2222, ext. 1806; or (512) 427-1806.

Posted inAccess to JusticeEducationLaw SchoolsSpecial Event

Register now to attend University of Houston’s “People’s Law School”

The “People’s Law School” returns to the University of Houston on April 1.

The event, sponsored by the Houston Lawyer Referral Service and the Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center, will host more than 40 volunteer lawyers, judges, and law professors as they teach courses for the public in 15 different areas of law.

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Posted inTLAP

Stories of Recovery: Alcohol was not my friend

Editor’s note: This post is part of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program’s Stories of Recovery series. TLAP offers confidential assistance for lawyers, law students, and judges with substance abuse or mental health issues. Call TLAP at (800) 343-8527 and find more information at tlaphelps.org.

I was raised by hardworking and loving parents in a large Mexican-American family. My parents provided for eight children the best they could, including sending us to private Catholic elementary and high schools. I took advantage of the educational opportunities, studied hard, and exceled academically. By age 25 I had undergraduate and law degrees from prestigious universities, and I was working as an associate at a major national law firm. At age 25, I was also drinking alcoholically. Continue Reading

Posted inIntellectual Property LawNews

Workshops held for Rio Grande Valley inventors, entrepreneurs

state_bar_of_texas_129794Inventors and entrepreneurs will learn from attorneys about pertinent patent and trademark topics at free intellectual property workshops in the Rio Grande Valley.

The full-day workshops, one in Brownsville on March 23 and one in McAllen on March 24, are geared toward underserved inventors and entrepreneurs who may just be getting ideas off the ground and starting up businesses. Volunteer lawyers and examiners will be available for one-on-one private consultations about those ideas.

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Posted inUncategorized

SXSW panel tackles entertainment law ethics

Top legal experts offered guidance and perspective on ethics in the constantly evolving and fairly unconventional field of entertainment law at a South By Southwest panel titled “Ethics Matter.”

Peter Strand, a partner at the Chicago-based Leavens Strand & Glover LLC; Lawrence Waks of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP; and retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas Wallace B. Jefferson walked attendees through the 4 Cs of ethics:

  • Competence
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Confidentiality
  • Compensation

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Posted inAccess to JusticeNews

AG’s office warns public about IRS scams

Attorney General Ken Paxton is warning Texans to beware of a tax-related scam preying on individuals as the April 18th income tax deadline approaches.

The scam involves unsolicited phone calls from individuals who claim to be Internal Revenue Service agents, according to a press release issued by the Office of the Attorney General. The scammers claim the person owes back taxes and will be arrested if he or she doesn’t provide immediate payment.

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Posted inNewsSXSWTechnology

SXSW law-related panels roundup

Attorneys had the opportunity to learn about new trends and topics in the law at many sessions at South by Southwest March 10-19. Here we provide a recap of some of the panels.

Read some of our past coverage about others involving crowdsourcing for access to justice, privacy and the Fourth Amendment in an evolving digital age, copyright infringement and music policy, and the possibility of law on Mars.

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Posted inEntertainment LawNewsSXSW

Copyright infringement, music policy explored at SXSW panels

From recounting infamous music copyright cases to predicting what the future of policy in Washington, D.C., holds, several sessions at South by Southwest tackled hot-button issues in the industry.

Copyright infringement

“This is about deep-pocket defendants,” entertainment attorney Stan Soocher said as he opened the March 17 panel “Copyright Infringement: Get a Hit, Get a Writ.”

Soocher, a tenured associate professor of music and entertainment industry studies at the University of Colorado’s Denver campus, took attendees through a musical history of copyright infringement lawsuits starting with litigation over George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord,” which, he said, was the most famous musical copyright infringement case of all time before the most recent “Blurred Lines” case involving Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke.

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Posted inNewsSXSWTechnology

SXSW panel: How attorneys are crowdsourcing to increase access to justice

With wide interest in closing the access to justice gap, lawyers at South by Southwest’s “Crowdsourcing Justice” panel on March 13 discussed creative ways to use technology to meet the rising demand for legal assistance.

The panel focused on how lawyers have used several new crowdsourcing projects—which consist of gathering information from a large number of people remotely using the internet—in an effort to meet the needs of a mounting number of immigration clients and cases.

“This is a work in progress,” said Texas patent attorney and panelist Rafael Baca, “but ultimately it’s all about using the multiplier effect to use technology to bring access to justice.”

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