Program to help attorneys handle pro bono tax cases

Attorneys can learn how to handle a tax controversy case, audit techniques and procedures, and other helpful information at a free CLE program Feb. 7 in Houston.

Houston Volunteer Lawyers, together with the Houston Bar Association Tax Law Section and the Texas Young Lawyers Association, will present “How to Handle a Pro Bono Tax Case” from 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 7 at South Texas College of Law.

The program will also teach attorneys when and how to litigate a tax case, the use of administrative appeals, and innocent spouse/injured spouse relief.

Attorneys who attend the seminar and accept a pro bono tax controversy case from Houston Volunteer Lawyers between Dec. 1, 2013, and Feb. 7, 2013, will be eligible to win an iPad, courtesy of Stratos Legal, that will be given away at the seminar.

Read the agenda and register here.

Houston attorney Benny Agosto Jr. to address South Texas College of Law graduates

On Dec. 14, personal injury attorney Benny Agosto Jr. will deliver the keynote address at the commencement ceremony of his alma mater, the South Texas College of Law in Houston.

STCL graduates can learn from Agosto’s personal story, particularly as they prepare to take the Texas bar exam and enter a less-than-prime job market. Although Agosto’s parents had no more than a sixth grade education, they instilled in him the value of hard work and a good education. He was recruited by Houston Baptist University for his soccer skills and went on to graduate from college, obtain his law degree, and have a successful law career.

Additionally, Agosto established the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation in 2006 and in 2011 served as the president of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Earlier this year he received the Peter Torres Jr. Community Service Award from the State Bar Hispanic Issues Section and the Litigation Counsel of America’s Peter Perlman Service Award.

Houston Law Student Awarded Association of University Women Fellowship

South Texas College of Law student Stephanie deJesus of Houston has been awarded a 2013-14 Selected Professions Fellowship by the American Association of University Women, the association announced this week.

As part of the fellowship, deJesus will speak at local high schools on the importance of education, opportunities available to graduating students, ways to apply and pay for college, and how to choose a career.

“When I discovered that I was a fellowship recipient, I was honored and appreciative,” deJesus said in a statement. “Education is important to an individual and society as a whole. I am excited that I can further my educational goals and also help others reach theirs.”

A native of Fresno, Calif., deJesus received her undergraduate degree in English and communication studies at Vanderbilt University and has long been an active community volunteer. A J.D. candidate, she will graduate in May 2014 and plans to practice law in Houston.

“I remember wanting to go to college, but not knowing how I would fund it, or even how to apply,” she said. “It was due to the kindness of a stranger, a college counselor, that I was able to apply for schools and learn that despite my modest resources, I could attend a great university. I hope that others will also realize their potential.”

The association awarded a total of $3.7 million to 245 scholars, research projects, and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls through six fellowships and grants for the 2013-14 academic year.

South Texas College of Law names new dean

The Texas Lawyer blog reported today that Donald J. Guter is the new dean of South Texas College of Law. He comes to South Texas from Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, where he served as dean from 2003 through 2008.

Guter's tenure begins Aug. 1, following the retirement of South Texas College of Law dean James Alfini, who has served as the school's dean and president since 2003.

Guter served in the U.S. Navy for 32 years, retiring in 2002 as a Rear Admiral, Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG). He climbed the ranks of the JAG corps serving as trial counsel, legislative counsel, special counsel to the Chief of Naval Operations, and ultimately became the 37th Judge Advocate General of the Navy from 2000-2002. He has since served as the CEO for the Vinson Hall Corporation and the executive director of the Navy Marine Coast Guard Residence Foundation. He currently serves as the president of the Judge Advocates Association Foundation, is on the board of the St. Thomas More Society, and chairs the American Bar Association’s standing committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel.