Foundation grant to help prosecutors attend Conference on Crimes Against Women

About 20 Texas prosecutors and legal professionals will attend an upcoming conference on combating violence against women because of funding from the Texas Bar Foundation.

The foundation provided $10,000 in scholarship funding for the Ninth Annual Conference on Crimes Against Women, which is happening March 31 through April 2 in Dallas.

The money will allow about 20 prosecutors and legal professionals from across the state to attend as Texas Bar Foundation scholarship recipients. That means scholarship proceeds will cover their registration expenses and, if needed, hotel costs, according to the Dallas nonprofit group Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, which presents the conference with the Dallas Police Department.

The conference is described as a national clearinghouse for training and best practices regarding the identification, investigation, and prosecution of all types of violent crimes against women, including domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking.

For more information or to register, visit the conference website. You can also find the conference on Facebook and Twitter


Texas Bar Foundation Call for Award Nominations

The Texas Bar Foundation is calling for entries for their 2014 Award Program. The Texas Bar Foundation award categories include the following:

  • Dan Rugeley Price Award recognizes an attorney who is an accomplished legal writer and researcher.
  • Lola Wright Foundation Award is given to an attorney who exemplifies the highest standards of legal ethics.
  • Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award recognizes an attorney whose practice spans 50 years or more and adheres to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and service to the public.
  • Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award is awarded to an attorney who has demonstrated high ethical and moral standards and has demonstrated exceptional professional conduct, thus enhancing the image of the trial lawyer.
  • Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award is given to an active current Federal or State judge who has served on the bench for a minimum of 10 years and exhibits an exceptionally outstanding reputation for competency, efficiency, and integrity.
  • Outstanding Law Review Article Award which honors a law review article published by one of the Texas law schools.
  • Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award recognizes an attorney who exhibits an outstanding appellate practice and strong moral compass while maintaining a strong commitment to providing legal services for the underserved and mentoring of young lawyers.

For more information and to view the nomination form, please visit the Texas Bar Foundation website and click on the "2014 Awards Submissions" ribbon.

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. in the Texas Bar Foundation office.

The Texas Bar Foundation is located at 515 Congress Ave., Ste. 1755, Austin, 78701. You may contact them at 512-480-8000, Fax: 512-480-8005, or

Fresh off reform vote, Mongolian bar president visits North Texas legal mentors

The president of Mongolia’s top lawyers’ association was in Dallas-Fort Worth on Friday for meetings on how to improve the country’s bar and implement its newly adopted Bar Act.

Batsukh Dorjsuren, president of the Association of Mongolian Advocates, held private meetings with legal mentors including Judge Joe Spurlock II, a Texas Wesleyan University law professor who founded and directs the law school’s Asian Judicial Institute, which focuses on educating former communist nations about the rule of law and judicial independence.

Just weeks ago, Mongolia’s national legislature passed a Bar Act based largely on the 1939 act that created an integrated Texas bar, Spurlock said. The Mongolian bar now must write its bylaws and establish committees to carry out the reforms, and Batsukh came to Texas to see how the institute could help.

“This is a big step,” said Spurlock, who has been working with the country to develop an integrated bar system since the mid-1990s. “Now that they’ve got it, they don’t want to lose their momentum.”


The change means all lawyers, judges and prosecutors must be a member of the bar association to practice in Mongolia, Spurlock said. The bar also will begin administering lawyer testing, discipline, law school certification, and continuing legal education, he said.


“They are trying to transition from the nonintegrated bar to the integrated bar, and they’ll have a lot of issues on how to get all the lawyers under their umbrella as quickly as possible,” said Dallas attorney Matthew Toback, a cofounder of the Asian Judicial Institute who also met with the Mongolian bar president.

Batsukh previously visited Fort Worth in 2008 as part of the Asian Judicial Institute’s annual training session for Mongolian attorneys and public officials. The Texas Bar Foundation helped fund the institute with a $25,000 grant, which Spurlock called critical seed money.

Also that year, Batsukh and other Mongolian attorneys visited the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Supreme Court in Austin, where they received additional training and information.

“Today’s talk was very helpful,” Batsukh said through an interpreter Friday after meeting with Spurlock. “I’m looking forward to working in the future with this school and the Asian Judicial Institute and the Texas bar association. What we’re doing is very similar to the Texas bar association in its structure, and it was very nice to have the good information.”

Read more about the institute here. For more information on the Texas Bar Foundation, visit

Pictured, from left, are Batsukh, Spurlock, and Mongolian interpreter Baasanjar Baska.



Texas Bar Foundation announces the Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award

By Holly Priestner

The Texas Bar Foundation is pleased to announce a new addition to their annual awards program, the Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award. Established by Yetter Coleman LLP in honor and memory of its name partner, Gregory S. Coleman,  the award celebrates the high ideals and standards that Greg demonstrated in his appellate practice and personal life. 

The recipient should exhibit an outstanding appellate practice while maintaining a strong commitment to providing legal services for the underserved. Dedication to mentoring young attorneys should be evident as well as a strong moral compass to guide both professional and personal pursuits.

Applications are now being accepted. Submissions will be accepted in the Texas Bar Foundation office until January 13 at 5:00 p.m. For more information and an application, visit the Texas Bar Foundation website

Award categories include:

  • Dan Rugeley Price Award
  • Lola Wright Foundation Award
  • Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award
  • Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award
  • Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award
  • Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award – NEW for 2012!

Holly Priestner is the development director for the Texas Bar Foundation.