Posted inEducationJudiciaryLocal BarsNews

Dallas Bar Association teaches public about courts through program

DBA Appealing to Public 2

The 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas took a recent oral argument from the courtroom to the classroom as a part of a Dallas Bar Association program to educate students and the public about the courts system.

With the “Appealing to the Public” initiative—in its 10th year—the DBA aims to improve the community’s understanding of the Texas justice system and appeals process.

More than 300 Dallas Independent School District students packed into the Belo Mansion on September 26 to hear a live oral argument in an actual probate case in front of the 5th Court of Appeals.

Posted inNews

Jury duty scam spreading across Texas

September 29, 2016, update: Jury duty scams continue to spread across Texas. A Houston attorney was a recent victim of the fraud, sending $1,000 to scammers after he received a message claiming there were warrants out for his arrest for missing jury duty. Read more in the ABA Journal.

Earlier: Counties across Texas are reporting recent attempts where scammers call individuals and accuse them of missing jury duty. They then demand that the victims pay a hefty fine over the phone. The callers, however, are not affiliated with a court and are simply trying to trick the victims into giving them money.

Fort Bend County’s website is alerting people that “identity thieves have … asked for confidential information and claimed to be with County District Clerk’s Offices.” But the county warns, “these scammers are threatening jurors in an attempt to fraudulently receive money. Do not give them money or credit card information. The staff of the Fort Bend County District Clerk’s Office will never call you and ask for your Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information.”

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Posted inEducationNewsTexas Young Lawyers Association

McAllen city, schools embrace TYLA Vote America! project

Voter America Proclamation Mayor Darling Victor Flores Balli Rhodes Kids Photo_092616

McAllen community leaders recently proclaimed October 3-7 “Vote America! Rally Week,” in support of the Texas Young Lawyers Association civics education project ahead of the upcoming voter registration deadline.

TYLA’s Vote America! project aims to educate students about the fights for equality and democracy throughout U.S. history in an effort to remind them of their civic duty to vote.

The city of McAllen and the McAllen Independent School District adopted proclamations at their recent board meetings setting aside the first full week of October to mark the occasion.

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Posted inEducationNewsTexas Supreme Court

Event highlights book on shared constitutional history of Texas, Mexico


Contrary to what most might think, the first Texas constitution wasn’t that of the Republic adopted in 1836—but a set of rights and laws from a decade before.

That document—the constitution of Coahuila y Texas when the Lone Star State was a part of Mexico—and the proceedings that led to its adoption are the focus of a new two-volume book, which was highlighted at a September 22 reception at the Lorenzo de Zavala State Library and Archives Building.

Actas del Congreso Constituyente de Coahuila y Texas de 1824 a 1827, or Acts of the Constituent Congress of Coahuila and Texas, 1824–1827, by Manuel González Oropeza and Jesús Francisco de la Teja, is a compilation of translations, excerpts, and analysis of the historical context and deliberations that led to the constitution of Coahuila y Texas—what was then one of the states within the country of Mexico.

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Posted inLocal BarsSpecial Event

Dallas Bar honors excellence in legal reporting

The Dallas Bar Association honored Dallas-Fort Worth area journalists who exemplify excellence in legal reporting with its 33rd Annual Stephen Philbin Awards on Friday.

The grand prize was awarded to Michael Hall of Texas Monthly for “The Outcast,” which tells the story of a convicted sex offender who proclaims his innocence while trying to live under Texas’ restrictive laws. Hall also won a Texas Gavel Award this year for the same piece. Continue Reading

Posted inCourt of Criminal AppealsJudiciaryNews

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals celebrates 125 years


The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals celebrated its 125-year anniversary with a celebration in its courtroom on Thursday.

“For a moment, consider what it was like in 1891,” Presiding Judge Sharon Keller said, listing off the differences between the year the court was established and more than a century later to the former judges, briefing attorneys, and others gathered for the occasion.

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Posted inNewsPeople

Past State Bar of Texas President Gibson Gayle Jr. dies at 89

Gibson Gayle Jr., who served as president of the State Bar of Texas in 1976-1977, died September 16. He was 89.

Gayle, a Waco native, served in the U.S. Army during World War II before earning his law degree from Baylor Law School, after which he received the highest score ever at the time on the Texas Bar Exam in 1950.

He spent his legal career at Norton Rose Fulbright (then Fulbright, Crooker, Freeman and Bates and previously Fulbright & Jaworski) in Houston as an associate, partner, managing partner, executive committee chairman, and of counsel from 1950 to 2016.

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Posted inFamily LawGuest BlogLaw Practice Management

Build your family practice without spending a penny

During the initial consultation between an attorney and a person or couple considering divorce, matrimonial lawyers frequently encounter issues like alcohol abuse, drug abuse, mental illness, child abuse, infidelity, emotional abuse, psychiatric illnesses, and personality disorders.

In addition, clients who are considering divorce often have to talk about difficult issues, such as loss of assets; visitation, custody, and child support; moving, career changes, and loss of income; and the end of a long-term relationship leading to major changes in the family structure.

With these tough conversations, come significant negative emotions. Seeing a matrimonial lawyer can be an upsetting experience even for a well-adjusted individual. Clients can often leave feeling frightened, sad, anxious, depressed, and devastated. Recalling a painful history and a sequence of upsetting events can cause some clients to feel worse than when they came in.

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Posted inJuryNews

Fifth Court of Appeals launches new online records system

The 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas has debuted an online system allowing attorneys to access case documents not available to the public, making it the first appellate court in the state to do so, the court announced Monday.

The Texas Appellate Management and E-filing System attorney portal—or TAMES—is initially being introduced in the appeals court as a pilot program and will eventually be available in all state appellate courts, including the Texas Supreme Court, according to the court’s announcement.

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