Posted inMember BenefitsMember Discount Program

Member benefits – insurance

As summer comes to an end, it’s a great time to evaluate your current insurance coverage and consider your protection options. Your State Bar of Texas Member Discount Program has lots of convenient options and deals to help you find the right products and protection for you. Check out the deals available to you today.

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Posted inAmerican Bar AssociationLaw Firms and Legal Departments

Tips for Lawyers Who Want Good Results

I recently retired as the Isidor Loeb Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, which inspired me to write My Last Lecture: More Unsolicited Advice for Future and Current Lawyers. Some of the guidance in that article is specifically for law students, but most of it is about good lawyering. Here are some highlights.

Understand Your Clients’ Interests. Lawyers often assume that they know what their clients want: to get as much money or pay as little money as possible. While clients usually are concerned about their bottom line, they often have additional interests. In virtually any kind of case, parties may want to be treated respectfully and fairly, minimize the cost and length of the process, free up time to focus on other matters, reduce the emotional wear and tear caused by continued disputing, and protect privacy and reputations. Plaintiffs may have interests such as obtaining favorable tax consequences, getting non-monetary opportunities, and receiving explanations or apologies. Defendants may have interests such as receiving acknowledgments about the charges’ lack of merit, making payments in kind, stretching payments over time, sharing liability with other defendants, preventing ancillary harm, receiving favorable tax consequences, obtaining nondisclosure agreements, and avoiding future lawsuits. If you satisfy your clients’ interests, they are more likely to pay your bills, hire you again, and refer other clients to you.

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Posted inAward NominationsLocal BarsNewsPeopleSpecial Event

Mexican-American Bar Association hosts 10th anniversary scholarship dinner

The Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation will host its 10th anniversary scholarship dinner Thursday at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Houston.

The dinner will honor members of the community who exemplify the ideals of the foundation. The event will include a keynote address from Judge Jimmie V. Reyna of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

“It is important that we encourage a new generation of lawyers to not only be great lawyers but to also give back to the legal community,” said attorney Benny Agosto, Jr., a founder of the association’s foundation, and partner at the Houston-based firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend.

Scholarships will be awarded to outstanding law students from each of the three Houston-based law schools who best exemplify leadership, commitment, justice, and equality within the Hispanic community.

Banquet honorees this year include Armando Perez for outstanding service as a business executive, Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenbeg for outstanding service in the media, Judge Al Bennett for outstanding service as a public servants, Rep. Ana Hernandez (D-Houston) for outstanding service to the State of Texas, and Judge Debra Ibarra Mayfield as top Latina attorney age “40” and younger.

The Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation is a forum and a means for lawyers to promote the social, economic, and educational advancement of the people of Texas.

For more information on the foundation, please contact Benny Agosto, Jr. at (713) 222-7211 or

Posted inNewsTLAP

New video offers hope of recovery to struggling attorneys

The Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, or TLAP, is reminding Texas attorneys struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues that recovery is possible.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 4.54.22 PMIn a new video, “Courage, Hope, Help—TLAP is There,” Texas attorneys share their personal journeys from despair to productive and fulfilling lives as they sought help for substance abuse.

The video is an initiative of 2015-2016 State Bar President Allan K. DuBois, a San Antonio solo practitioner who has made attorney wellness a top priority of his term. DuBois is a vocal supporter of TLAP, which he credits for helping him recover from alcohol dependence more than two decades ago.

“When they asked me what my initiatives were, I said I’d like to do something I know,” DuBois said. “I know there’s recovery. I know there’s help. I know there’s hope.”

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Posted inMember BenefitsMember Discount Program

State Bar of Texas Member Discount Program

As summer is winding down, you’re probably starting to think about the upcoming school year. With your State Bar of Texas Member Discount Program, you can save a bundle on everything you need for the back-to-school season. Check out the deals available to you today.

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Posted inTexas Young Lawyers AssociationUncategorized

Lakeway municipal judge presents public viewings of TYLA underage drinking project


Lakeway Municipal Court Judge Kevin Madison is hosting public viewings of the Texas Young Lawyers Association’s video series “The Unconscious Truth: The Physical and Legal Effects of Underage Binge Drinking,” beginning Wednesday.

Madison also is requiring all minor defendants with deferred disposition probation orders involving alcohol possession or consumption to attend and watch the videos during one of the free public viewings.

“The Unconscious Truth” is a TYLA multimedia project designed to educate students and parents on the signs of alcohol poisoning and the legal and physical consequences associated with binge drinking.

The videos, based on actual events, portray what lead to the alcohol-poisoning death of a California 17-year-old who consumed alcohol at a friend’s house.

“By showing this video, I hope to get parents involved to help promote an awareness of the serious and sometimes catastrophic consequences that can occur when providing alcohol to minors,” Madison said.

The first showing will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 19 at Lakeway Municipal Court, 104 Cross Creek. Additional presentations are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Nov. 11 and Dec. 2 at the court.

To RSVP for a film viewing, call 512-314-7560.

Posted inNewsTexas Supreme Court

State Bar, Chief Justice Hecht promote importance of mentoring

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.29.30 PMThe Professionalism Committee of the State Bar of Texas has joined with Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht for a video on the importance of mentoring and professionalism — and to promote the Transition to Practice program.

The program matches newly licensed lawyers with experienced attorneys who volunteer their time and experience to mentor lawyers during their first several years of licensure. The program is intended to provide local bar associations (or corporate or governmental law departments) with the resources they need to adapt, develop, and implement a mentoring program.

The eight-minute video can be viewed via the link here. For a complete listing of mentoring resources, visit

Posted inEducationNewsSpecial Event

High schoolers to tour Capitol, meet leading historian on Constitution Day

The transition away from summer and into full-swing academia will be a little easier for select high schoolers who will soon explore the State Capitol and meet one of America’s leading historians. On September 17, 2015—recognized as Constitution Day—the Texas Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates will host its fourth annual James Otis Lecture featuring a talk by historian and professor H.W. Brands and will also include a tour of the Capitol’s House and Senate chambers and a lunch and book signing at the nearby historic First United Methodist Church.

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Posted inLegislatureNews

New net worth discovery law gives defendants more protection

Texas defense lawyers will have another arrow in their quivers in less than a month thanks to a bill passed during the 84th legislative session. Beginning with suits filed on or after September 1, 2015, defendants are getting an extra layer of protection for their financial information. Plaintiffs will no longer be able to obtain net worth information by making a discovery request; they instead have to file a motion for the information and show they have a “substantial likelihood” that their claim will be successful. Designed to promote settlement, it is almost a pseudo-trial on the sufficiency of the punitive damage case.

With SB 735, the Texas Legislature amended Section 41.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which provides the definitions to be used in the chapter, adding a definition for net worth to mean “the total assets of a person minus the total liabilities of the person on a date determined appropriate by the trial court.”

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Posted inAccess to Justice

Texas Access to Justice Foundation awards $63 million-plus for legal aid services

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation will distribute more than $63 million over the next two years to 30 nonprofit organizations across Texas to provide civil legal aid to disadvantaged residents.

The foundation recently announced its grant recipients, noting that each year more than 100,000 disadvantaged Texas families receive legal aid as a result of the program.

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