Posted inTexas Young Lawyers Association

TYLA Director Spotlight: Cali Franks

Editor’s Note: In this blog series, we are getting to know the members of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors. TYLA, commonly called the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas, works to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All TYLA programs are accomplished through the volunteer efforts of its board and committee members, with the cooperation of local affiliate young lawyers associations. Learn more at tyla.org.

Name: Cali Franks

Firm: Bocell Ridley, P.C.

Area of Law You Practice: Insurance Defense, Civil Litigation

Position Held in TYLA: American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division District 26 Representative
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Posted inState Bar

Joint statement of State Bar of Texas and Texas Young Lawyers Association leaders regarding comments by Larry McDougal

Online comments made by Larry McDougal regarding #BlackLivesMatter do not reflect the values of the State Bar of Texas and we denounce them in the strongest terms. As leaders of the 105,000-member State Bar of Texas and the 26,000-member Texas Young Lawyers Association, we are united against racism and dedicated to the bar’s mission of advancing diversity and inclusion in the administration of justice and the practice of law. Indeed, we applaud any organization whose primary goal seeks to ensure equal justice for all Americans. Recent official statements by State Bar of Texas and TYLA leaders reflect this commitment to equality, including Executive Director Trey Apffel’s column in the July 2020 issue of the Texas Bar Journal titled “It’s Past Time to Reckon with Racial Injustice.”

We know that the State Bar of Texas has an obligation to improve the quality of legal services, and this includes improving diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our bar. We know many of our members don’t feel included as part of the bar or question the bar’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. We pledge to change that. We will work closely with and support the State Bar Office of Minority Affairs and the State Bar sections and committees that are committed to advancing the goals of diversity and inclusion and equal justice under the law. We also support President-elect Sylvia Borunda Firth’s plans to create a task force to further advance these issues. We look forward to reporting more about these efforts in the weeks ahead.

The State Bar of Texas and our legal profession are larger than any one person, but we believe each person can be a vehicle of change and we hope for positive change throughout the remainder of this bar year.

Sylvia Borunda Firth, President-elect
Randy Sorrels, Immediate Past President
Charlie Ginn, Chair of the Board
Trey Apffel, Executive Director
Britney Harrison, TYLA President
Victor Flores, TYLA Immediate Past President
Jeanine Rispoli, TYLA President-elect

Posted inMust-ReadsNews

Must-reads for July/August 2020

Ready for the latest issue of the Texas Bar Journal? Check out our July/August issue, covering civil rights and individual liberties and introducing the 2020-2021 presidents of the State Bar of Texas and Texas Young Lawyers Association. And don’t forget to check out Movers and Shakers, Disciplinary Actions, and Memorials. Continue Reading

Posted inAbout The BarCoronavirusCourt of Criminal AppealsCourtsCriminal LawLocal BarsNewsState BarTexas Supreme Court

Task force to study how to resume criminal court proceedings

A task force designed to help the Texas courts system resume criminal proceedings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic won approval June 24 from the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors.

The board approved the Presidential Task Force on Criminal Court Proceedings at the request of 2020-2021 State Bar President Larry McDougal, a Richmond criminal defense attorney.

The 17-member task force will meet by videoconference and advise the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals regarding the resumption of criminal jury trials and other criminal law issues “to make sure we do it right,” McDougal told the board. Continue Reading

Posted inLaw Firms and Legal Departments

Scams continue to target Texas attorneys

Update 7/8/2020: We received an update from the Texas attorney who was being impersonated by someone out of Staten Island, NY. They received another call from their managing partner that it happened again, this time out of Las Vegas, NV. Someone hacked their State Bar page and is misrepresenting them as their attorney. The Texas attorney has never been licensed in Nevada. Continue Reading

Posted inTexas Young Lawyers Association

TYLA Director Spotlight: Tim Williams

Editor’s Note: In this blog series, we are getting to know the members of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors. TYLA, commonly called the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas, works to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All TYLA programs are accomplished through the volunteer efforts of its board and committee members, with the cooperation of local affiliate young lawyers associations. Learn more at tyla.org.

 

Name: Tim Williams

Firm: Sprouse Shrader Smith PLLC

Area of Law You Practice: General Commercial Litigation

Position Held in TYLA: Chair

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Posted inBar ExamCoronavirusLaw SchoolsNewsTexas Supreme Court

Texas Supreme Court cancels July bar exam, adds October online test

The Texas Supreme Court, in an order issued Friday, canceled the two-day in-person July Texas bar examination in response to accelerating COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions in the state.

The court directed the Texas Board of Law Examiners (BLE) to keep plans for a two-day September in-person exam “subject to guidance from public health authorities” and add an alternative online test on October 5 and 6. Continue Reading

Posted inBlog

How the legal profession has changed since 1970 

In my view, among the multiplicity of changes in the legal profession since 1970 are the following: technology, advertising, the draconian 2003 tort reform (HB 4/Proposition 12), mandatory arbitration, result-oriented appellate decisions reversing jury verdicts and the resultant reduction/diminishment of jury trials, the cost of legal education and legal services along with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic since December 2019.   Continue Reading

Posted inCoronavirusNewsTechnologyTeleconferencing

What a plaintiff’s law firm learned from the coronavirus pandemic

Law school does not prepare you for the day your government says: “Everyone is ordered to stay home indefinitely.” The stay-at-home orders issued during the coronavirus pandemic shone a light on just how unprepared a large thriving personal injury law firm was for an event of this nature. However, it also gave us a chance to learn more about our need for sensitivity to the community and our ability to adapt and change. In the end, we learned about the importance of timing in advertising, the importance of having the right information technology team, the importance of having “A”-quality employees, and the future of providing legal services.

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