Random Profile: Tracy M. Sorensen, Hunstville

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 93,000-plus attorneys 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: Making an impact in people’s lives hopefully making a difference, and not having to be at my desk all day long.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Condoleezza Rice.

Culinary talent: I’ve never caught the kitchen on fire.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Accounting or human resources.

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2013 Certification Application Filing Deadline Extended

The Texas Board of Legal Specialization is accepting certification applications for 2013 filing period. This year’s filing deadline is April 19, 2013.

Visit www.tbls.org for specific requirements for each of 21 specialty areas, and begin the application process at the “Get Certified” section of the website. The Attorney Online Application allows applicants to securely store, retrieve, and edit their application information at any time.

For more information, email tbls@tbls.org or call 1-855-277-TBLS.

2013 State Bar Election: Candidates Forum live webcast on March 28

Register now for a free live webcast, We the Candidates Forum, scheduled for Thursday, March 28, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. This year's candidates: Trey Apffel of League City, Steve Fischer of Rockport, and Larry W. Hicks of El Paso, will discuss issues facing the Texas legal profession, their visions for the future of the State Bar of Texas, and their experience and leadership styles.

If you register for the webcast but cannot view it on the scheduled date, it will be archived and available within approximately 3 business days from the broadcast date. When ready, it will be under the "Your Purchases" section located on the homepage of TexasBarCLE.com and available for viewing until April 30. 

The program will also be available in the "Free Online Class" section located on the homepage of TexasBarCLE.com within 3 business days of the broadcast for viewing until April 30. There is no MCLE credit for this webcast.

Election ballots will be distributed electronically and via mail on April 1, and State Bar of Texas members have until April 30 at 5:00 p.m. CST to cast ballots. View more information about the candidates and the election

Texarkana Young Lawyers Association presents mock trial to local area high school students


Members of the Mock Trial Team in front of the federal courthouse
in Texarkana.

On March 4, 2013, a crowd of spectators had the opportunity to watch mock trial proceedings of a civil suit at the federal courthouse. The mock trial was performed by Baylor Law School's American Association for Justice Mock Trial Team.

Local lawyers, high school teachers and an administrator, members of the community, courthouse staff, and 60 high school students were in attendance. The students represented Pleasant Grove High School, Texas High School, Liberty-Eylau High School, and Arkansas High School.

The presiding judge was Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant. A panel of judges and lawyers was at hand to deliver feedback: Chief Justice Josh Morriss, Justice Jack Carter, Justice Bailey Moseley, Judge Donald Dowd, Troy Hornsby, and Jason Horton. The day before the mock trial, the team had the opportunity to perform a practice session before Judge Ralph Burgess.

Texarkana attorney Justin B. Smith, who was in attendance, said the event was very successful. "The courtroom was packed with high school students, the Baylor team performed exceedingly well, and the panel of judges and lawyers gave great feedback."

Smith encourages other local affiliates to coordinate similar presentations. "High school students can get a lot out of it, and it puts the legal profession and young lawyers in a great light."

Accepting nominations - Fairy Davenport Rutland Award

The State Bar of Texas Child Abuse and Neglect Committee is now accepting nominations for the Fairy Davenport Rutland Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families. Candidates must have made a substantial contribution to the field of advocacy for abused and neglected children. Only practicing attorneys are eligible (private or government); judges and members of the Child Abuse and Neglect Committee are ineligible.

Nominations should include a one-page explanation of the nominee’s qualifications, the nominee’s address and phone number, and a statement advising whether the nominator will permit publication of his name as the nominator of the nominee in print media. The deadline for nominations is April 8. You can submit nominations to Fernando Guerrero, committee coordinator, via fax (512) 427-4328; or mail State Bar of Texas, P.O. Box 12487, Austin 78711-2487.

Call for nominations - Jack Pope Professionalism Award

The Texas Center for Legal Ethics is now accepting nominations for the fifth annual Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Awards. One award each will be presented to an appellate judge and an appellate lawyer who epitomize the highest level of professionalism and integrity. Active and retired lawyers and judges are eligible. Awards will be presented during the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Dinner in June.

Nominations should include a one-page explanation of the nominee’s qualifications as well as a biography or C.V. The deadline for nominations is April 1. You can submit nominations by email to jonathan.smaby@texasbar.com; via fax to (512) 427- 4125; or via mail to Texas Center for Legal Ethics, 1414 Colorado, 4th Floor, Austin 78701.

Dallas attorney receives Gene Cavin Award

Tex Quesada
George "Tex" Quesada, left, with Charlie Wilson

Dallas attorney George "Tex" Quesada , of the firm of Sommerman & Quesada, L.L.P., was named the recipient of the 2012 Gene Cavin Award for Excellence in Continuing Legal Education. He accepted the award at the Bar's recent Advanced Trial Strategies Course in New Orleans. A frequent and well-regarded CLE speaker, Quesada has served on several State Bar committees, including the local Grievance Committee. He is a past president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association. In addition, Quesada teaches Sunday school and is a long-time supporter of local charities.

Established in 1989, the Gene Cavin Award recognizes long-term participation in State Bar CLE activities, either seminars or publications. It is named for the founder of the Professional Development Program who during his service from 1964 to 1987 brought the program to international prominence.

Random Profile: Barbara Brown, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 93,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Mentor/hero: Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center - an amazing man who has made many contributions to our country

The part of my job I do best is: training new generations of attorneys.

What most people don’t know about me: I was on the archery team in high school.

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Deadline for State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting Resolutions

According to Board policy, resolutions must be filed at the Texas Law Center by 5 p.m. April 1, 2013, to be considered at the Annual Meeting in Dallas, June 20-21, 2013.

State Bar Rules require that proposed resolutions be filed with the Executive Director, according to these guidelines. Proposed resolutions should be sent to: State Bar Executive Director, P.O. Box 12487, Austin, TX 78711-2487. The State Bar Resolutions Committee will consider adopting resolutions during the Annual Meeting and submit its recommendations to attendees of the General Session. Adopted resolutions express the majority opinion of individuals attending the General Session, not the majority opinion of State Bar membership.

For more information, please contact Candiss Held (800) 204-2222, Ext. 1416 or cheld@texasbar.com.