Posted inAccess to JusticeNewsTexas Supreme Court

Supreme Court allows out-of-state attorneys help during winter storm recovery

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday issued an emergency order permitting out-of-state attorney to practice Texas law temporarily due to legal assistance needed by Texans recovering from the recent winter storm.

The State Bar of Texas legal access division has created a web page——for in-state and out-of-state attorneys who would like to volunteer their time helping survivors of the winter storm recover.

Resources for the public are also available at

Posted inCoronavirusCourtsMust-ReadsNewsTexas Supreme Court

Supreme Court issues new emergency order on Texas court proceedings

Editor’s note: The Texas Supreme Court issued the following advisory on March 5. 

In the 36th emergency order issued Friday responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Supreme Court has removed requirements that all but certain proceedings be remote but encourages remote trials and hearings and gives local presiding judges authority to require masks for participants and imposing physical distances for in-person proceedings.

The order also lifts the prohibition on in-person municipal and justice court proceedings but now allows those courts to hold proceedings by electronic means. It retains courts’ authority to “modify or suspend any and all deadlines and procedures” through June 1.

Three justices dissented to the order. The order expires June 1 unless extended by the chief justice.
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Posted inMust-ReadsNewsState BarTexas Supreme Court

Texas lawyers approve rule amendments in 2021 rules vote

Texas lawyers approved all eight proposed amendments to Texas’ disciplinary and procedural rules in a monthlong voting process that ended March 4. The Texas Supreme Court now may adopt or reject the proposals approved by the bar’s membership.

Go here for election results and visit for details on the proposed amendments.  Continue Reading

Posted inState Bar

Voting ends today in 2021 State Bar of Texas rules vote

Voting ends at 5 p.m. CST today, March 4 in the 2021 State Bar of Texas rules vote. There’s still time to cast an online ballot.


Summary of Proposed Amendments

In the video below, Austin lawyer Claude Ducloux, a member of the Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda, explains how the proposed changes to the disciplinary rules—including a rewrite of the advertising rules—would affect Texas lawyers.

Go to for more information on the proposed rule changes, including “redline” and “clean” versions of the proposed rules.

Posted inBlogNews

TexasBarCLE offering free webcast on claims from freezes, power outages, broken pipes

On March 4, noon – 1 p.m. CST, TexasBarCLE and the State Bar of Texas Insurance Law Section will broadcast a free CLE discussion on claims arising from the recent polar vortex and power outage that struck Texas, including applications for governmental disaster relief and property insurance issues.

Speakers include Corpus Christi-based attorney William J. Chriss; Brittanny Perrigue Gomez, of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in San Antonio; and Lisa A. Songy, of Tollefson Bradley Mitchell & Melendi in Dallas.

To register, go to

Posted inState Bar

State Bar of Texas rules vote: Voting ends tomorrow!

Voting ends at 5 p.m. CST tomorrow, March 4 in the 2021 rules vote. You still have time to cast an online ballot!


Summary of Proposed Amendments

Want to learn more? Watch the video below from Lewis Kinard, chair of the Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda.

Go to for more information on the proposed disciplinary rule changes, including “redline” and “clean” versions of the proposed rules.


Posted inState Bar

State Bar of Texas president-elect candidate forum set for March 25

The two candidates for 2021-2022 State Bar of Texas president-elect will participate in a virtual forum on March 25 sponsored by the state’s metro bar associations.

Candidates Sara Dysart, of San Antonio, and Laura Gibson, of Houston, will discuss their qualifications for office, plans for the future, and the challenges facing the State Bar and the profession during a discussion moderated by Jo Ann Merica, of Austin. The online event will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. CDT.

Register here. Continue Reading

Posted inGuest BlogState BarTexas Lawyers' Assistance ProgramTLAP

Stories of Recovery: Diagnosis was the beginning of my story

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on September 22, 2015.

Editor’s note: TLAP offers confidential assistance for lawyers, law students, and judges with substance use or mental health issues. Call or text TLAP at 1-800-343-8527 (TLAP) or find more information at

My first experience with clinical depression was at 13. It wasn’t called “clinical depression” in those days, of course. I was just “having a rough transition” to my first year of high school or “becoming a teenager.” It was 1983, pre-Prozac, and psychiatric care, especially for children and teenagers, was limited. So, I was encouraged to “tough it out.” And I did. Barely.
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Posted inAmerican Bar AssociationNewsTexas Opportunity & Justice Incubator

TOJI nominated for ABA Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access

The Texas Opportunity & Justice Incubator, or TOJI, has been nominated for the American Bar Association Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access.

The Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access is presented to programs and projects that advance access to legal services for those of moderate income in ways that are exemplary and replicable.

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Posted inNewsPeople

TexasBarCLE honors outstanding volunteers

Six attorneys were recognized for their exceptional contributions in 2020 to the State Bar of Texas’ continuing legal education efforts.

TexasBarCLE gave Standing Ovation Awards to Kirby B. Drake, of Dallas; Rhonda Hunter, of Dallas; Marc Markel, of Boerne; Chris Ritter, of Austin; Mike Tolleson, of Austin; Mark C. Walker, of El Paso; and Zach Wolfe, of The Woodlands.

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