Random Profile: Raul Sandoval, Jr., Austin

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Family: The best parents anyone could ask for; older brother; younger sister; and three amazing nephews.

Areas of practice: Exclusively Family Law.

Education: Washington & Jefferson College (BA, double-major in English and Sociology, minor in Philosophy, cum laude). Texas Tech University School of Law (J.D.).

Culinary talent: Anything on the grill or in a smoker.

Most important career lesson: Exude confidence at all times.

Favorite saying/quote: “To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.”  — Chief Justice Marshall.

Pet peeve: Austin traffic.

Favorite TV program: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The last movie I saw: Wrath of the Titans

Favorite food: Baby-back ribs or beef fajitas.

Favorite restaurant: Magnolia’s Café (if only considering Austin, TX).

Hobbies: Playing basketball, exercising (running, lifting weights, plyometrics), reading.

If I had more time, I would: Travel much more.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? A basketball coach (any level: from middle school to college).

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? It seems like everyone has an iPAD in Court these days.

Raul works at Cordell & Cordell, P.C. in Austin.

You can also view Raul's TexasBar.com profile.

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.


Sens. Hutchison, Cornyn Announce Application Process for U.S. District Judge Vacancies in the Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas Invite Qualified Attorneys to Seek Appointment

 WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX) today announced that they were accepting applications for three judicial vacancies in Texas. A vacancy for U.S. District Judge is open for nomination in the Eastern District of Texas in Texarkana. A second vacancy for U.S. District Judge is open for nomination in the Southern District of Texas in Corpus Christi and a third is open for nomination in the Western District of Texas in San Antonio.

Sens. Hutchison and Cornyn have established a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas to help identify the most qualified candidates to fill these vacancies. This panel, known as the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, will review applications, interview candidates, and make recommendations to the Senators.

“Texas has a long history of being served by accomplished judges,” said Sen. Hutchison. “Serving on the federal bench is one of our most important judicial positions. I look forward to working with interested candidates and making a recommendation to the President.”

“Texans deserve the finest legal minds and ablest professionals to serve as U.S. District Judges throughout our state’s four federal judicial districts. Public service is a great calling, and, as a former judge, I encourage everyone who is interested in serving in these important positions to apply,” said Sen. Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sens. Hutchison and Cornyn invite qualified attorneys to seek appointment to these critical positions by submitting their resumes and completed questionnaires to both lawmakers’ offices.

Completed application packets must be received at the following email addresses no later than June 1, 2012. Email is strongly recommended because of delays due to the enhanced security procedures involving Congressional mail.

The comprehensive questionnaire is available at www.hutchison.senate.gov and www.cornyn.senate.gov. Submitted questionnaires will be reviewed by the Federal Judiciary Evaluation Committee, and selected candidates will be interviewed.

Under the U.S. Constitution, the executive and legislative branches of government share responsibility regarding the appointment of federal judges and U.S. attorneys. The President nominates individuals and the Senate provides its advice and consent on the appointments.

Congratulations to our Texas Citizen Bee winners!

The Texas Citizen Bee is a statewide civic education program and competition that offers teachers and high school students (9th-12th grades) a way to reach and study America's heritage. Students use an online "Study Guide" program created by the Bill of Rights Institute that covers the U.S. Constitution, important documents, people, issues, civic values and skills and a Bill of Rights Institute article/current events category.

This year's competition was held May 12 at the Texas Law Center in Austin.

This year's winners are listed below.

First Place
Region 7- Whitehouse ISD
Student- Asa Johnson- $1,000 Scholarship
Teacher/Sponsor- David Bell- $ 750 Award

Second Place
Region 10/11- Plano ISD
Student- Taylor A’Latorre- $750 Scholarship
Teacher/Sponsor- Tim Murray- $500 Award

Third Place
Region 10/11- Frisco ISD
Student- Kristina Morton- $500 Scholarship
Teacher/Sponsor- Patience LeBlanc- $250 Award

Fourth Place
Region 8- Chapel Hill ISD
Student- McKinley Terry- $250 Scholarship
Teacher/Sponsor Lily Svrcek- $250 award

Civic Conversation Award
Region 10/11- Frisco ISD
Student- Kristina Morton- $500 Scholarship
Teacher/Sponsor- Patience LeBlanc- $250 award

Dueling and Law Licensing in 1853

As the newest lawyers in the State of Texas prepare to be sworn in on May 14, the Archives Department of the State Bar presents one of its most unusual items: a law license from 1853.

The item, donated to the Texas Bar Historical Foundation by Robert M. Minton, shows that the new attorney was certified by the Supreme Court to practice law in Texas. The faded signature of Chief Justice John Hemphill can be seen on the front. The reverse side of the law license (see below) shows a very different Oath of Attorney. Careful reading shows that Jesse H. Parsons swore that “since the adoption of the Constitution of this State by the Congress of the United States, I, being a Citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, or aided, advised, or assisted any person thus offending. SO HELP ME GOD.”

More information about the Archives Department can be found in the March 2012 Texas Bar Journal or by visiting our web page.



Texas Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers 23rd Annual Convention

The Texas Lawyers Assistance Program and Texas Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers are co-hosting their Annual Convention in San Antonio, June 1st - 3rd. Participation is a great way to meet other members of the legal profession who are in recovery from substance abuse and/or mental health problems and to learn about how these issues affect lawyers’ lives and practices. Attendees are asked to maintain the confidentiality of those in attendance. Registration information and agenda are available at: www.TexasBar.com/TLAP. Things to know: registration is $220 but scholarships are available, up to 9.5 hours of ethics CLE is pending, exciting speakers from around the country are lined up. Questions? Call TLAP at 1-800-343-8527.

This month in the Texas Bar Journal

In this issue of the Texas Bar Journal, we provide an article by Steve Fischer that discusses the patterns of growth and employment for lawyers in Texas, providing statistical data including two comprehensive lists on statewide attorney-to-population ratios and caseload numbers. Associate Editor Patricia Garcia examines the issue of diversity in the legal profession, while John Browning and Robert Bogdanowicz share their experiences as mentor and mentee, respectively, and the benefits of the mentoring process to the betterment of the profession. Managing Editor Judy Marchman takes a look at the new law school being developed in Dallas and talks with incoming Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Michael H. Schwartz. Let us know your thoughts. Email us at tbj@texasbar.com.

In addition, you can learn more about this year's Annual Meeting, which heads to Houston June 14-15, 2012.

Champions of Justice Gala Raises $413,000 for Veterans

The Texas Access to Justice Commission honored the service of veterans throughout the state at the Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans on Tuesday, May 1, at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center in Austin. More than $413,000 was raised to help provide civil legal services to low-income Texas veterans.

“The Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans honored the service of the brave men and women who have sacrificed for our country,” said Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan L. Hecht, the Court’s liaison for access to justice issues. “These individuals dedicate their lives to our country, yet many do not receive assistance with civil legal matters, including improper denial of health benefits. With the funds raised at the gala, we are able to continue the fight to improve access to justice for all Texans.”

For more information, please visit www.texasatj.org. 

Lisa M. Tatum named President-elect of State Bar of Texas; Kristy Sims Piazza named President-elect of Texas Young Lawyers Association

State Bar of Texas officials last tonight announced that Lisa M. Tatum of San Antonio was elected by the state's lawyers to serve as president-elect of the organization. Kristy Sims Piazza of Plano was elected president-elect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA). Read the election results. Also announced were those elected to the State Bar of Texas Board Board and TYLA directors. Read the full press release.

Keeping them safe is not enough: foster youth deserve an education lifeline

Contact: Teri Moran
Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families

3 p.m. news conference, May 3, Texas Supreme Court Courtroom

Placing children in foster care might remove them from abuse or neglect, but keeping them in foster care often means a life filled with failures, especially educational failures, partly because they often move from home to home.

That’s the conclusion of a report to be released May 3 that offers a blueprint identifying dozens of ways schools, courts and social workers can help foster kids perform better in school, keep them there until they graduate from high school and prepare them to go on to college.

The report is the conclusion of a select committee of judges and Texas leaders in education and Child Protective Services appointed in 2010 by the Supreme Court of Texas. The report was for the Court’s Permanent Judicial Commission for Children Youth and Families, chaired by Justice Eva Guzman.

The report will be released at a 3 p.m. news conference in the Supreme Court Courtroom in Austin and is the culmination of almost two years of work.

“While there are often more challenges than opportunities in how we meet the needs of our children and youth in care,” Justice Guzman said, “we must strive to provide for these kids as we would our own.”

Justice Guzman praised the efforts of District Judge Patricia Macias from El Paso, who chaired the 14- member Education Committee, its members and the Children’s Commission Assistant Director, Tiffany Roper, for developing concrete strategies to change the system. 

Studies show children in foster care score lower on standardized tests, are more likely to repeat a grade, be truant, suspended or expelled and, finally, give up and drop out of school. Those who grow up in foster care have an increased risk as adults of homelessness and unemployment, chemical dependency, physical- and mental-health problems, and winding up in jail.

"We can no longer allow their education to fall through the cracks," District Judge Patricia Macias said. 

Foster kids fall behind because changing schools means their coursework changes, credits don't always transfer, and school records don't keep up with them, causing enrollment delays. Education Committee members worked for one and a half  years identifying numerous barriers in their respective organizations – courts, Child Protective Services and schools – and proposing practical ways to remove or overcome them.