Posted inLaw Firms and Legal Departments

Scams continue to target Texas attorneys

Update 8/4/2021: We received a report of another scam. A Texas solo attorney reported an attempted fraud scam. They received a notification from their lead generator through for a potential personal injury case. The scammer stated that he works offshore out of state, that he had been mauled by a pit bull last year, that he and the “homeowner” had reached a settlement for $225k (with no insurance involved and for which the attorney was provided a release signed by the scammer and the “homeowner”), and that he needed a Texas attorney to finalize everything per their agreement. The attorney was to get the settlement checks and deposit them to their IOLTA (the first installment was $99,500) and then wire transfer the funds less their fee to him. At first the attorney thought everything appeared to be legitimate until they got the check via FedEx.  It was made out to a completely unrelated party. The attorney made the “homeowner” aware, and the scammer quickly got another check to the attorney. The attorney’s gut was telling them something was off, and after doing some digging online, it became clear that there were several small details that were off on the check and the business that the check was drawn on. The attorney then received yet another check for the same amount but issued by a different bank. The attorney went to their bank, and the bank’s fraud department confirmed the checks are not real.
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Posted inNewsPeople

State Bar of Texas Government Law Council names Victor A. Flores 2021 Rising Advocate in Government Law

The State Bar of Texas Government Law Council named Victor A. Flores, of Brownsville, as its 2021 Rising Advocate in Government Law Award recipient during the 33rd annual Advanced Government Law Seminar.

The award recognizes a Texas lawyer who is employed by a government entity and has made outstanding contributions to the practice of government law and serving the public.

Flores is an attorney with the Brownsville City Attorney’s Office. He was also recognized for his contributions as a speaker and author at various statewide seminars for attorneys practicing government law.

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Posted inLaw SchoolsLocal BarsNewsPeople

Dallas Bar Association names Cheryl Wattley as Trial Lawyer of the Year

The Dallas Bar Association named Cheryl Wattley as the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, to be presented at the DBA’s Bench Bar Conference in Horseshoe Bay on November 4.

The award is given annually to the DBA member who best exemplifies the noble principles of the legal profession.

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Posted inNewsPeople

Past State Bar President James Branton dies at 83

James L. Branton, 83, of San Antonio, died July 19, 2021. He served as president of the State Bar of Texas from 1994 to 1995.

Branton was co-founder of Branton, Hall, Rodriguez, Cruz, where he focused primarily on personal injury litigation. He served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors from 1984 to 1987, was on the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees from 1987 to 1990 and served as its chair from 1989 to 1990. Branton also served as treasurer for the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism. He was a Texas Board of Legal Specialization director from 1990 to 1993.

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Posted inSponsored Content

Sponsored Content: An Introduction: Cloud Document Management

“You can’t fight gravity.” That’s what Andy Jassy says about moving to the cloud. And as the guy who’s taking the Amazon CEO reins from Jeff Bezos, he knows a thing or two.

But for legal professionals, adopting cloud-based tools is easier said than done. With constant competing demands most lawyers and in-house counsel face, you might be thinking, can any software actually make a difference?

Our answer: absolutely. But don’t just take our word for it.

Instead, we aim to help demystify the cloud, give tangible information and help navigate your understanding of the cloud.

Ready? Let’s get started.
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Posted inLocal BarsNewsPeople

Houston Bar Association celebrates achievements at annual dinner

The Houston Bar Association welcomed 2021-2022 President Jennifer A. Hasley and recognized outstanding service by members at its annual dinner on July 15.

David J. Beck, founding partner in Beck Redden, received the Justice Eugene A. Cook Professionalism Award, and Susan L. Bickley, a partner in Blank Rome, received the Justice Ruby Kless Sondock Award.

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Posted inAbout The BarNewsState Bar

State Bar of Texas will not seek rehearing of 5th Circuit panel decision

The State Bar of Texas will not seek rehearing of a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals panel opinion that upheld the constitutionality of most challenged State Bar activities and left intact the structure of the mandatory bar.

State Bar leaders announced the decision after the bar’s Board of Directors met Monday to consult outside counsel on the McDonald v. Sorrels litigation.

“We are pleased that the 5th Circuit panel upheld the constitutionality of nearly all of the State Bar of Texas programs and activities challenged by the plaintiffs,” State Bar of Texas President Sylvia Borunda Firth said. “Today the State Bar will inform the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals it will not be filing a petition for panel rehearing or a petition for rehearing en banc. We look forward to getting back to the trial court to bring this litigation to a conclusion.”

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Posted inSponsored Content

Sponsored Content: A No-Fail Process for Improving Your Law Firm

If you’re a law firm owner, partner or solo, you might be familiar with the nagging feeling that you’re missing opportunities to improve your practice.

But you’re an attorney not a technology guru, and you’re busy, so evaluating the myriad opportunities seems daunting. That’s a sentiment we hear regularly from legal professionals we talk to about their challenges with routine legal drafting.

When you’re trying to decide whether legal technology is right for you, there’s one simple rule to keep in mind: Fall in love with the problem.
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