Texas Representative Receives First Texas Access to Justice Legislative Hero Award

The Texas Access to Justice Commission and Texas Access to Justice Foundation honored the first recipient of the Texas Access to Justice Legislative Hero Award, Texas House Representative Pete P. Gallego, for his contributions to improving access to justice in Texas. He received the award on July 17 at a special presentation at the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid office in Alpine, Texas.

With more than 5.3 million Texans qualifying for legal aid, the Texas Access to Justice Commission and Texas Access to Justice Foundation launched the Legislative Hero Award program in 2010 to recognize legislators who, through their efforts, have significantly advanced access to justice in Texas by assisting with the appropriation of funds and/or other substantive activities related to the provision of legal aid in the state.

As a leader in the House of Representatives on access to justice issues, including last session’s general appropriation of more than $20 million for civil legal services, Gallego has been an advocate for underserved areas throughout the state including those with vulnerable populations and remote locations. Gallego's efforts helped ensure that basic legal services are available in rural and remote areas of the state, including Alpine, where people would otherwise have to travel great distances to access those services.

Gallego is the first Hispanic to represent District 74. He was elected in 1990 to represent the largest House district and the largest Texas U.S.-Mexico border district covering nearly 39,000 square miles. Gallego has served on the Texas Access to Justice Foundation board of directors since 1996.

Bar considers amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct

On July 7, 2010, the Supreme Court of Texas asked the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors to consider revised proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and provide recommendations or comments to the Court by Oct. 6, 2010.

State Bar of Texas members will likely vote on the proposed amendments in November or December 2010.

The State Bar will soon hold public education hearings around the state on the proposed amendments. Click here for the hearing schedule [PDF]

To read the proposed amendments to the Disciplinary Rules, click here [PDF], and for a redlined version, click here [PDF].

For background on the process, please visit www.texasbar.com/rulesupdate

To provide input on the proposed amendments, please leave a comment below.

Random Profile - Chad Ruback, Dallas

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

Community involvement: former president, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers

Mentors: Justice Lee Ann Dauphinot of the Fort Worth Court of Appeals. During the year I spent as Justice Dauhpinot’s briefing attorney, she taught me a lot about the law and even more about life.

Memorable vacation: Rio de Janeiro.  I had so much fun that I missed my flight back to Dallas. . . on purpose.  I’m looking forward to taking my wife to Rio in December for our better-late-than-never honeymoon.



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PBS Profiles Harris County Veterans' Court

PBS Need to Know logoThe Harris County Veterans' Court is being profiled this Friday evening on the national PBS series "Need to Know." The show will look at how veterans' courts are being set up to help veterans suffering from untreated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injuries who end up in the criminal justice system. KUHT in Houston is airing it at 8:30 p.m. For your local affiliate and broadcast time, visit PBS.org. 

TYLA, Dallas Bar and El Paso Bar take 3 of 4 national LexisNexis Community Outreach Awards

The National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) today announced that it will recognize four recipients of the 2010 LexisNexis Community and Educational Outreach Awards at the ABA annual meeting Aug. 6 in San Francisco. Honorees include the following Texas programs:

  • The Texas Young Lawyers Association's "R U Safe? Protecting Yourself in Cyberspace," a four-part DVD that educates children and their parents about dangers on the Internet and provides tools for online safety.
  • A collaborative effort of the Dallas Bar Association and Big Brothers Big Sisters - the Amachi Texas Program - that recruits lawyers, judges and other legal professionals to mentor the children of prison inmates.
  • The El Paso Bar Association's Access to Justice Legal Fair, a collaborative effort to assist those who cannot afford legal representation. Nearly 400 people received free legal assistance during the six-hour event.

The community and educational outreach awards honor bar associations and bar foundations for commitment to public service. Also being honored is the Indiana State Bar Association.

Congratulations to all involved in serving the people of Texas through these exceptional service projects and making Texas lawyers proud!