Free Advice from Fellow Lawyers

One of State Bar President-Elect Terry Tottenham's initiatives is to provide guidance and advice to attorneys in this challenging economic environment. To that end, he is behind the development of a series of career development webcasts to be known collectively as Practice Tips in Good Times and Bad. A new one will premiere the last Thursday of each month on Each webcast will be free of charge to registered users of the site. (Site registration is also free.)

The first webcast, Jumpstart Your Law Practice with Social Media, will be May 27 from 12:30 to 1:30pm CDT. (It is not MCLE-accredited.) Click here to register.

To learn of upcoming Practice Tips programs, visit each month and click the Webcasts tab.

Laughing it up with John Ramsey

I like to think that I'm a pretty funny person, but if you'd ask my family and friends, they'd probably characterize me more as obnoxious. The sad, hard truth is that it's hard to be funny. Sure, you can make some folks laugh, but you've probably also bored or offended the rest.

So, I may not be destined to be a stand-up comic, but I know a good comedian when I see one. John Ramsey is one such comic. The Austin attorney-funnyman always keeps it clean and is always funny. Don’t believe me? He’s been named one of the top comic acts in Austin and he’s performed in Aspen for HBO’s USA Comedy Arts Festival and in New York City for Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham series. Most recently, he came in second place in CMT’s Next Big Comic online contest. I told you he’s the real deal.

Lately, Austin has been noticed nationally for its many high-quality comedians. Ramsey, an attorney with Nunis and Associates, says that being surrounded by so many high-caliber comics keeps him on his feet and helps him to improve his act. “At this point, I’m just really interested in getting better and making more people laugh,” Ramsey says.

Ramsey returns to the stage — this time as a headliner — May 19–22 (that's this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) at Cap City Comedy Club. This will be Ramsey’s first time headlining a national A-list club, and it just so happens to coincide with his five-year anniversary of graduating law school and starting stand-up comedy (which happened at the exact same time). “I’m excited because it’s a new step for me,” Ramsey says. “I’m also just curious to see where five years of doing this has taken me.”

So, be sure to catch Ramsey before the rest of the country catches on to him — that way you can tell all your friends that you saw this dude way back when. It won’t make you funny, but, at the very least, it’ll add to your cool cred.


Bob Black named president-elect; Natalie Cobb Koehler president-elect of TYLA

State Bar of Texas officials announced April 30 that Bob Black of Beaumont was elected by the state's lawyers to serve as president-elect of the organization. Natalie Cobb Koehler of Meridian was elected president-elect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA).

Bob Black is the managing shareholder at MehaffyWeber, where his practice is concentrated in mediation, arbitration, and civil litigation.

Natalie Cobb Koehler is the Bosque County attorney and a sole practitioner in Meridian.

Black and Koehler will be sworn in as presidents-elect during the State Bar's Annual Meeting June 10-11, 2010 in Fort Worth, and will serve as president of the State Bar and TYLA respectively from June 2011 until June 2012.

Also elected to the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors are Roy Dayton Brantley of College Station, Greg M. Dykeman of Beaumont, Michael W. McDonald of Hillsboro, Christina Melton Crain of Dallas, Jo Ann Merica of Austin, Victor H. Negron, Jr. of San Antonio, Barrett H. Reasoner of Houston, R.W. "Ricky" Richards of Jacksonville, Stephen J. Schechter of Boerne, and Frank E. Stevenson II of Dallas.

Visit for additional election information. Click here to read the news release.


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This month in the Texas Bar Journal

  [Most links point to PDF files.]

Agricultural Law — This month, the Texas Bar Journal presents a special section on some of the legal issues involved in one of the state's largest and most vibrant industries. Among the highlights:

Oh Bury Me (Not) On the Lone Prairie: Establishing Family Cemeteries on Texas Farms and Ranches by Doug Jordan

Contracts as Fences: Representing the Agricultural Producer in an Oil and Gas Environment by Harper Estes and Douglas Prieto

Landowner Liability for Recreational Activities by Boyd Kennedy

From Fever Ticks to Feral Swine: Protecting Texas' Animal Agriculture by Wallace Eugene "Gene" Snelson II

Profiles — Texas lawyers take their passions seriously, as you'll see from stories about a pair of Houston lawyers and their love of their dogs and a Dallas lawyer who practices equine law and competes in an event known as musical freestyle dressage.

To read the digital edition of the Texas Bar Journal, click here.