New SBOT, TYLA leaders take office


The State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting saw a changing of the guard in the leadership of the State Bar and Texas Young Lawyers Association.

San Antonio attorney Lisa M. Tatum took the oath as State Bar president, replacing 2012-2013 President Buck Files of Tyler. Galveston County personal injury lawyer Trey Apffel, who won a runoff election in May, succeeded Tatum as president-elect. Also, Granbury attorney Cindy V. Tisdale replaced Frank E. Stevenson II of Dallas as chair of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors.

During the meeting, Tatum previewed her initiatives for the year, including the Care Campaign for low-income Texans, which is designed to connect lawyers and clients, increase pro bono efforts, and encourage service providers and programs to coordinate to meet needs. The program will include a Care Kit, providing materials for attorney groups to hold legal services clinics, she said.

Tatum, the first African American lawyer to serve as State Bar president, also is spearheading the web-based civics project Vote for Me, I was the First!, which highlights important “firsts” in U.S. and Texas history included in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills social studies standards for elementary school students. The project will feature 22 animated historic figures explaining their accomplishments in 30-second vignettes.

Plano family law attorney Kristy Blanchard took office as president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, replacing 2012-2013 President C.E. Rhodes of Houston. Flower Mound attorney Cameron J. Cox replaced Alyssa J. Long of San Antonio as TYLA chair.

The meeting took place June 20-21 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

Above: Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, left, swears in Lisa M. Tatum of San Antonio as the 2013-2014 State Bar president. Below, at top: Texas Supreme Court Justice Phil Johnson, left, swears in Trey Apffel of League City as the 2013-2014 State Bar president-elect. At bottom: Cindy V. Tisdale, a Granbury attorney, speaks after being sworn in as the 2013-2014 chair of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors. 



Oswald mock trial to air as special TV broadcast Saturday in DFW










One of the highlights of last week’s State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Dallas was the mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald for the 1963 killing of President John F. Kennedy.

The mock trial, which ended in a hung jury, will be the subject of an hour-long TV special at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 29, on WFAA in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Until then, you can catch up on highlights of the trial at the links below.

Dallas Morning News story

WFAA story

CBS/DFW story

Bush library director speaks at SBOT meeting


President George W. Bush stood atop the ruins of the World Trade Center on Sept. 14, 2001, and addressed the rescue workers through a bullhorn.

“I can hear you!” he said, in what later would be known as a defining moment of his presidency. “The rest of the world hears you! And the people—and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

That bullhorn is among the items on exhibit at the new George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, which has welcomed more than 80,000 visitors since opening to the public May 1 on the Southern Methodist University campus. The library director, Alan Lowe, offered an overview of the items Friday during a keynote speech at the Bench Bar Breakfast, part of the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

Other objects on display include Florida ballots with “hanging chads” from the disputed 2000 presidential election and steel beams from the remains of New York’s Twin Towers after the 9/11 terrorist attacks—a jarring and emotional sight for many visitors, Lowe said.

Texas now has three presidential libraries, including the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin and the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station. That’s more than any other U.S. state.

“I’ve lived here long enough to know you wouldn’t have it any other way,” Lowe said.

Visit the official website for more information on the Bush library.

Above: Lowe speaks during the Bench Bar Breakfast on Friday in Dallas.

Alito explains Supreme Court work in State Bar speech

DALLAS--Justice Samuel Alito offered a glimpse into the inner workings of the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday during the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting.

Alito, speaking during the Bar Leaders Recognition Luncheon, offered a "top 10" list of things he believes most people don't know about the court, saying his fellow justices' recent TV talk show appearances inspired the David Letterman-style countdown.

Among them: Most cases don't involve constitutional law; oral arguments--although high profile--are only a small part of the job; and, despite some tartly worded dissents every now and then, the justices basically get along.

Alito, who joined the court in 2006, spoke to a crowd of more than 1,300 people inside the Hilton Anatole on the first full day of the bar's annual meeting. The meeting continues Friday.

For a schedule of remaining events, visit

Alito explains Supreme Court work in State Bar speech


State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting: Day 1 Preview

State Bar Annual Meeting highlights in Houston today include:

- Adaptable Lawyer Legal Innovation track: Learn about the latest in social media and other legal technology, including a keynote presentation by Merrilyn Astin Tarlton on new busines models for attorneys at 1:30 p.m., Room 360ABDE.

- Texas Legal History: Explore Texas' legal history through 21 fascinating legal documents recovered and restored thanks to the efforts of the Supreme Court of Texas' Texas Court Records Preservation Task Force. 10 a.m., Room 320AB.

- Bar Leaders Recognition Luncheon featuring James A. Baker III, former U.S. Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush. Noon-1:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom.

- Receptions: Catch up with law school buddies or section colleagues, or rub elbows with fellow writers, at receptions starting at 4 p.m. Most are in the Hilton Americas Hotel; check Page 31 of your events guide for locations.

Stay up to date on this year's Annual Meeting! Visit and as we live tweet and post highlights throughout the day.

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

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