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Texas Supreme Court chief justice delivers State of the Judiciary

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht delivered the State of the Judiciary on February 1 to a joint session of the state legislature, touching on issues including judicial security and compensation, access to justice, electronic records, and the bail system. “As important as it is for courts to be efficient, it is more … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit seeks input on proposed rule change

The United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit is accepting comments about a proposed amendment to Circuit Rule 32.4 concerning extra-length briefs. After receiving public comments following recent amendments to the Federal Rules for Appellate Procedure involving word-count limits, the court decided not to opt out but to propose an amendment to Rule … Continue Reading

Dallas Bar Association teaches public about courts through program

The 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas took a recent oral argument from the courtroom to the classroom as a part of a Dallas Bar Association program to educate students and the public about the courts system. With the “Appealing to the Public” initiative—in its 10th year—the DBA aims to improve the community’s understanding of … Continue Reading

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals celebrates 125 years

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals celebrated its 125-year anniversary with a celebration in its courtroom on Thursday. “For a moment, consider what it was like in 1891,” Presiding Judge Sharon Keller said, listing off the differences between the year the court was established and more than a century later to the former judges, briefing … Continue Reading

Hays County Bench Bar Conference in October

Registration is now open for the sixth annual Hays County Bench Bar Conference on October 25 at Camp Lucy in Dripping Springs. The event—hosted by the Hays County Bar Association in partnership with the Caldwell and Comal County bar associations—will feature county court judges, state appellate judges, and other speakers and will include networking opportunities, … Continue Reading

Dallas legal community to celebrate civility, professionalism

Lawyers and judges in the Dallas legal community will reaffirm their commitment to civility and professionalism during a new program next month. The Day of Civility and Professionalism, which will be observed in all Dallas state and federal courts, on September 9 aims to encourage attorneys and those serving in the judiciary to reemphasize their … Continue Reading

Harris County judiciary, Houston Bar present pro bono awards

The Harris County judiciary and Houston Bar Association presented their Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards at a ceremony May 2. Law firms, individuals, and a corporate legal department received the accolades for their work to provide legal services to low-income Harris County residents. The awards were established eight years ago in an effort to encourage … Continue Reading

Juror questions answered

Editor’s Note: This information was originally published in the February 2005 issue of the Texas Bar Journal. The child age exemption was 10 at the time of publication; it has since been changed to 12. The information included in this column is for educational and informational purposes only. Please consult an attorney regarding specific legal … Continue Reading

The Justice Scalia I knew

On February 13, 2016, this nation lost one of the greatest legal giants ever to sit on its highest court with the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Regardless of whether one agreed with the opinions he issued over the span of nearly 30 years on the court, one could not deny the … Continue Reading

#LongLunchThursday program preps young lawyers for trial

If you happen to be in the Tarrant County Family Law Center around noon on the first Thursday of the month, you will find 30 to 50 chipper young (and mature) lawyers eagerly learning trial skills from Judge William Harris. What is taking place on these first Thursdays? It’s a new program called #LongLunchThursday. #LongLunchThursday was … Continue Reading

ABA launches guide for appointing counsel in civil cases

Texas judges who are considering appointing counsel in civil cases can now consult the ABA Directory of Law Governing Appointment of Counsel in State Civil Proceedings. The directory, released by the American Bar Association in 2014 with the assistance of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, provides state-by-state guidance on when judges … Continue Reading

Judge shows binge-drinking video to juvenile alcohol offenders

A former paramedic and police chief, Judge Kevin Madison knows the dangers of teenage drinking in terrifying detail. “I’ve had to remove bodies from cars,” Madison said. “It’s bad enough when they’re adults. But 15, 16 years old … it’s horrible.” Many of those wrecks were the result of alcohol, Madison said, and as presiding … Continue Reading

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals welcomes three new judges

Three judges of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals were sworn in during a formal investiture ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, at the House Chambers of the Texas Capitol. Bert Richardson, Kevin Patrick Yeary, and David Newell, all of whom were elected to the bench by the public in November 2014, are the newest … Continue Reading

Seeking nominations for municipal judge award

The Municipal Judges Section of the State Bar of Texas is accepting nominations for its Judge Michael L. O’Neal Outstanding Jurist Award. Now in its 15th year, this accolade is named in honor of the former chair of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct who helped write the ethics rules for the judiciary. Judge O’Neal … Continue Reading
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