Email yourself a case with Casemaker 2.1

File this one under "the small things that count." Casemaker 2.1, our free legal research tool, has quietly added some new printing options you'll find useful.

Looking at the full text of a case, you'll see a print dialogue in the upper right (see below) which now allows you to print the case, save it as a PDF or Word doc, or email it to yourself. You can also create a PDF of or email Casemaker search results.


Using the email feature, for example, you might have a Gmail account dedicated to legal research where you email cases for access anywhere.

Texas attorneys can access Casemaker 2.1 anytime from My Bar Page on or on Casemaker now includes free case law from all 50 states and an expanded federal library.


In Memoriam: Pete Serrano

Pete Serrano of Amarillo, a member of the inaugural class of LeadershipSBOT, was killed Sunday in a car accident. He had been at the Local Bar Leaders Conference last week, as a member of the Local Bar Services Committee. Pete was a dedicated attorney committed to professionalism and public service with a bright future ahead. He will be missed.

Amarillo Globe-News memorial


Kim Askew Testifies at Sotomayor Hearing

On July 16, Dallas lawyer Kim J. Askew, chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, testified regarding the ABA's rating of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as "well qualified" to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Askew is a partner in K&L Gates and a former chair of the State Bar of Texas board of directors. In case you missed her testimony, here it is:

A Milestone for the State Bar's Social Network

In May, Bill Medaille of Austin became the 10,000th Texas lawyer to register for Texas Bar Circle, our social and professional network for State Bar of Texas members. Since then, 800 more lawyers have joined the ranks.

We’re recognizing user 10,000 because he met a goal of the 2008-2009 State Bar Web Services Committee, which helped launch the community in 2007 as the first-ever social network by a bar association. Recently, the California, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, and Tennessee state bars, and others, launched or announced their own communities.

So how is Texas Bar Circle doing? The trend line of registrations for the first half of 2009 matches lawyer adoption of LinkedIn, which Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog called an “avalanche” and Stem Legal’s Steve Matthews estimated at 840,000 in June 2009, up from 406,000 in December 2008. Of course our numbers won’t approach those, but it seems the legal industry is catching on to the value of social networking.

Texas Bar Circle users have created more than 250 groups on topics ranging from business development (Solo and Small Firm Practice, Rainmaking) to regions (Houston Attorneys, Austin Attorneys) to hobbies (Biker Barristers,  Musical Lawyers) to eclectic (God Forsaken Places to Practice; Killers, Thieves, and Lawyers). They’re also making direct connections and finding opportunities on a platform which we hope, as an exclusive community of lawyers, has a unique value among tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, which lawyers should also embrace.

If you’re a Texas lawyer and not yet a Circle member, check it out at You won’t find the bells and whistles of a Facebook or LinkedIn, but you will find a usable tool for building relationships – which is what social networking is all about.



Texas Attorney Rocked with MJ

While thousands of fans around the world are remembering the time they first fell in love with Michael Jackson’s music, Texas attorney Eliot D. Shavin will remember the month he spent on stage with the King of Pop.

In the late 1970s, Shavin had just finished grad school and was biding his time before he entered law school when he received a call from his musician brother about a month-long gig with The Jacksons.

Shavin, a classically trained cellist, didn’t know much about the band he would be touring with, but it paid about $100 a day, so he agreed. “I remember that I had no interest or knowledge of pop music at that time,” says Shavin, a Dallas private practitioner and a lecturer in the Civil Clinic of the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law’s Clinical Program. “I think that I looked down my nose at pop music at the time, but I really enjoyed playing the music. The music was more challenging than I expected it to be.” The one song that Shavin remembers playing? “Ben,” a song about Michael’s beloved pet rat.

Though Shavin had little interaction with the Jacksons — the family traveled in a separate bus than the backup band — he remembers once tossing a ball around with his brother and Tito. Shavin's closest brush with fame came after a concert in Birmingham. A teenage girl asked Shavin for his autograph after realizing that Shavin would be the closest she’d get to MJ and his siblings. “I remember thinking, “This is pretty cool,’ ” Shavin says with a laugh.

Even though Shavin didn’t appreciate The Jacksons’ music at the time, he now says he realizes the error of his ways. “[The Jacksons] were a talented group of performers — they really did create a sensation. I never really appreciated Michael Jackson until Thriller, but he was really very talented.” 

Random Profile - Stacey Holley Valdez, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Areas of Practice: Criminal and Family Law.

Most Important Career Lesson: Don't bury your head in the sand.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Ride on the back of my husband's Harley.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? When I saw the movie And Justice For All. It inspired me.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Keeping current of changes in the law.

Favorite TV Program: Reality television.

Pet Peeve: Stupid people.

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