Random Profile - Charles B. "Brad" Frye, 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?

Best thing about being a lawyer: Helping people when they need it.

Bet you didn’t know: That I played college basketball fifty pounds ago.

Another little known fact: My mother didn't like my moustache.

Continue Reading...

Deadline Approaching in State Bar YouTube Contest

There's still time to enter your videos in the 2010 State Bar YouTube contest! The deadline is April 1, and entering is simple: Just go to www.texasbar.com/texansonjustice for the contest rules and entry form. Then, pull out your video camera and shoot a 30-second PSA-style video that answers one of these two questions:

  1. Why are lawyers important to our society?
  2. How is the court system important to our society?

Winners will be announced April 30 as part of the State Bar's Law Day celebration. Prizes of $500 each will be awarded in the Under 18 and 18 and Over categories, as well as for the People's Choice Award. The contest is a great project for your children and their classmates or even for your local bar. So, get creative and show us why the legal system is so important to our society!

Law Goes to the Dogs

Annvi Utter loves dogs. We mean, loves them. And that’s a funny story because, at first, she wasn’t a big fan. She didn’t grow up with them. She wasn’t comfortable with them. She just didn’t understand the appeal of them. But now, she’s more than a friend to canines — the Houston attorney is a proud dog mom (to Rocky and Zeus) and dog treat baker who’s out to help dogs of all kinds.

For every Barkin’ Doggie Biscuit that's sold, Annvi gives one to a shelter dog (Barkin’ Doggie’s slogan: “You buy one. We give one.”). She wanted to do something similar to TOMS Shoes — they donate a pair of shoes to a needy child for every pair sold — but for dogs. And so, she and her husband tested dog treat recipes and researched ways to keep their product all natural and safe. A couple of burnt batches of dog treats later, she came up with Barkin’ Doggie Biscuits in three different flavors. Best of all, the dog treats have ingredients such as all-natural peanut butter, whole wheat, mint, and flaxseed, which help keep doggie joints jointy, doggie breath not-so-breathy, and dogs oh-so-happy. Sound too healthy for you? That’s cool, but your pup will love them, since, you know, dogs are less concerned with ingredients than with simply getting a tasty treat.

Barkin' Doggie Biscuits are available at three Houston stores (Heights Urban Dog and Cooper Animal Clinic, and One Green Street), as well as Fur-Get-Me-Not in Arlington, Va., and the DC Dog Shop in Washington D.C. Annvi hopes to expand to more cities soon. Barkin' Doggie Biscuits currently partners with nine shelters, from Atlanta, Ga., to Seguin. She says donating the biscuits to the dogs is just one way to help shelter animals who are waiting for homes. After working at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care in Houston, Annvi saw how stressful shelter life can be for animals.

And, after working in the corporate world as a tax attorney, Annvi found she longed for a different way to apply her law degree. So, she launched the gourmet dog treat company in January with her husband. “I just fell in love with dogs — I wanted to put my law degree to work for the betterment of (dogs),” she says.

Practicing Law and Wellness

State Bar President-Elect Terry Tottenham is working with TexasBarCLE and the Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program for the 2010-2011 fiscal year to produce a panel of speakers to address addiction and mental health issues for attorneys. At many popular TexasBarCLE live courses, the panel will discuss signs for colleagues to look for, intervention techniques, and resources for attorneys with addiction and mental health issues. A DVD of this topic, "Practicing Law and Wellness:  Modern Strategies for Lawyers Dealing With Anxiety, Addiction and Depression," will be produced and made available for local bar associations to show to their membership.

Local bar association to treat Federal Circuit judge to East Texas hospitality

Today's issue of The Recorder, an ALM publication in California, includes an article about the Eastern District of Texas ("Big Tech Shouts 'Yipee!,' Patent Bar Chattering as Rader Heads to Texas"). 

To help prepare for his imminent elevation to chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Judge Randall Rader will preside over five cases in Texas' Eastern District in April. While the article devotes much of its space to describing the tension between the Eastern District and the Federal Circuit and the stir Rader's early rulings have provoked, it concludes with as fine a representation of East Texas hospitality as you're likely to find. Members of the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association are continuing a tradition from before the days when the Court had a resident judge by preparing a dinner in honor of Rader at a small, lakeside lodge. According to Michael C. Smith, a partner in the Marshall office of Siebman, Burg, Phillips & Smith, L.L.P. who maintains a blog about the Eastern District, the menu will include "fried chicken, catfish, slaw, vegetables, pancakes, and cobbler."

In 2006, Smith wrote an article for the Texas Bar Journal about the Marshall Court's patent docket ("Rocket Docket: Marshall Court Leads Nation in Hearing Patent Cases"). The article is worth linking to if only for the photo that manages to capture in a single frame a successful patent application, the courthouse, the U.S. flag, and a pick-up truck. East Texas hospitality, indeed.


Random Profile - LaDonna B. Key, Dallas

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?

Family: I have one daughter, Amber, who plans to pursue meteorology at OU in the Fall.

Areas of practice: Entertainment Law, Construction Law, Family Law, and Consumer Law.

Education: Texas A&M, Commerce – BA Journalism; Texas Wesleyan University School of Law - JD.

Memorable vacation: My daughter was a contestant on Kids Jeopardy and we spent a fabulous week in Beverly Hills, CA.

Favorite saying/quote: If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re absolutely right.

Little known fact: I worked full-time and attended law school at night and some weekends I supplemented my income as a wedding photographer.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: I was told “You can do anything you set your mind to do,” by my mom, my grandma, my coaches, and my teachers…it takes a village!

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Perish the thought! Actually, I would probably still have a job dealing with regulations. Perhaps I’d be the Commissioner of the NFL or a compliance officer for an athletic conference.

Continue Reading...

Bar Journal artist captures Longhorn baseball

Gilbert Sauceda (pictured, right), a freelance illustrator for the Texas Bar Journal for 20 years, recently presented a large-format painting to University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido (pictured). The painting hangs in the media room at Disch-Falk Field. It celebrates the Horns’ 2005 national championship season and the recent renovation of the stadium.

Sauceda, who became friends with Garrido while the two were collaborating on a book project, explained that with Garrido’s input he focused the painting on the essence of the sport of baseball, which is the energy of the players and the competition. “Some people think of baseball as a serene sport,” said Sauceda, “but it’s not. Augie believes there is a major battle in every pitch: either the pitcher or the batter wins with every throw.” Sauceda said prints of the painting should be available soon through the U.T. baseball program.

Sauceda also recently presented a painting to U.T. quarterback Colt McCoy, which depicts McCoy in a running stance with the U.T. Tower in the background. “He really appreciated it,” said Sauceda. “He’s a classy dude.”

Sauceda estimates he has done around 500 illustrations for the Texas Bar Journal and State Bar over the years. Why does he work for us? “I like the challenge of coming up with new ideas to depict legal topics,” he said. “Plus I have a running bet with a cousin who can’t wait for the day I run out of ideas for the magazine." Sauceda says one of his favorite pieces for the State Bar has been the creation of Lone Star, an anthropomorphic Texas flag who stars in the “Lone Star Waves Proudly” children's books published by the State Bar Law-Related Education Department.

See more of Sauceda’s work at www.gilbertsauceda.com and www.colorfactoryllc.com

Asian Pacific Interest Section seeks nominations for 2010 Justice David Wellington Chew Award

The Asian Pacific Interest Section of the State Bar of Texas (APIS) is seeking nominations for the 2010 Justice David Wellington Chew Award, which honors individuals whose contributions benefit the Asian-Pacific American legal community in Texas. The award was named after Justice Chew, one of the first Asian-Pacific Americans in the Texas judiciary, who currently presides as Chief Justice of the Eighth Court of Appeals.

The deadline for receipt of nominations is Friday, March 26, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. The award will be presented on Saturday, April 17, 2010 at the Fourteenth Annual APIS Conference and Retreat to be held in Austin, Texas . More details can be found at http://texasapis.org/award.php.

2010 Law Day student contests

Do you know a budding writer, artist, or photographer? The State Bar, along with the Texas Young Lawyers Association, is inviting students grade K-12 to show off their skills by entering the 2010 Law Day editorial, photography, and poster contests. 

The theme of this year's Law Day is "Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, Emerging Challenges." Judges are looking for essays, photographs, and posters that creatively describe or depict how the modern world is changing the way we practice law. All entries should be submitted to your local bar association or young lawyer affiliate. Winners may receive up to $1000 in prizes, plus an invitation to the State Bar of Texas Law Day Luncheon on Friday, April 30th. The deadline for all contests is April 1st.

More information on the contests is available here. To contact your local bar association, check out the State Bar's Local Bar Services.

Dress to Impress

Happy new year! Okay, so we're a little late for that, but it's still a (fairly) new year and there are new things to do — and wear. We know you have been looking pretty dapper lately, but may we suggest something else to spice up your closet in 2010?

Maybe something along the lines of a softer-than-a-cuddly-bear long-sleeved sporty top and a svelte vest? The State Bar's new apparel — vests, long-sleeved sports tops, and more — is fashion-forward and fills the void of utility that those old-timey polos just couldn't (we've still got some polos, but they certainly AREN'T old-timey). The State Bar has women's items and men's, too.

Maybe you didn't even know the State Bar sold merchandise. Now you do. So, now you can sport your State Bar pride on your threads and even your luggage. And flash drives. And coffee mugs. You get the picture.

TYLA helps keep kids safe with new video, "R U Safe? Protecting Yourself in Cyberspace"

“R U Safe? Protecting Yourself in Cyberspace” is designed to educate children and their parents about online dangers and give them the tools needed to be safe while online. The DVD was created by the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) and is available for viewing and downloading at www.tyla.org/rusafe or may be requested by calling 512.427.1529.

The video covers such topics as cyber bullying, social networking sites, chat rooms, sexting, and online predators. Each part of the four-part DVD is 15-20 minutes in length and geared toward a specific age group, helping kids and parents learn how to report suspicious activity and understand the legal ramifications of certain online behavior.

The project is made possible by a generous grant from the Texas Bar Foundation, the largest charitably-funded bar foundation in the country. Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has distributed over $10 million in grants.

Members of the TYLA Cyber Awareness Committee include Brett Busby, Houston, Adrienne Clements, Fort Worth, Kirsten Cohoon, Houston, Alyssa Long, Houston, Erin O’Driscoll, Houston, Jobe Rodgers, Lubbock, and David Anderson, Dallas. 

Tags: ,

This month in the Texas Bar Journal

  most links point to PDF files

Social Media and the Law — Blogging and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have quickly become a part of our daily lives. This month, the Texas Bar Journal examines the role social media is playing in a changing legal landscape. Among the highlights:

Service of Process Via Social Media by John G. Browning

How Social Media Is Changing the Law by Kendall Kelly Hayden

Ethically Navigating the Social Media Landscape by Debra Bruce

Internet Defamation by Alyssa J. Long

Dangers of the Online Juror by John G. Browning 

Profiles — Texas lawyers take their passions seriously, as you'll see from stories about a Houston lawyer, who, along with his wife, is restoring the Historic Rocksprings Hotel, and an Austin lawyer who has turned her love of adventurous dining into a blog, Foodie is the New Forty.