Posted inTexas Young Lawyers Association

TYLA Director Spotlight: Jeanine Novosad Rispoli

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: Jeanine Novosad Rispoli

Employer/Organization: Pakis Giotes Page & Burleson

Practice Area(s): Family Law
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Posted inUncategorized

Mediation in the Post-Pandemic World

By Kent Altsuler

Remember when mediations were in person? Since March 2020, I’ve conducted hundreds of mediations, and almost all of them have been by Zoom. Zoom mediations started because of health concerns, of course. Even though the coronavirus appears to be finally in check, it seems that this trend in favor of Zoom may go on forever. Aside from safety benefits, remote mediations are good because adjusters and representatives don’t have to travel. So even though some people prefer to share an actual conference room with their opponents during the general session of a mediation, Zoom is obviously here to stay. The purpose of this article is to discuss the traditionally important aspects of mediations, while taking into account the reality—and potential effect—of this development.

Purpose of the Mediation

The first thing to consider when formulating your approach to a particular mediation in a particular case is: Why am I mediating? Do I actually want to settle this case? Is there information that I’m only going to get during mediation? Do I want to eyeball my opponent in a non-deposition environment? Or am I only mediating because the judge ordered me to?

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Posted inSponsored Content

Sponsored Content: How to Relocate Your Law Firm With Minimal Disruption

Establishing a successful law practice is a process that takes effort and time. So when the moment comes to relocate your law firm to new premises, it can be pretty challenging. It inevitably takes its toll on all employees and partners. However, it’s especially true for law firms because they often have a lot of ongoing cases and appointments. Running a law firm comes with building valuable networks and dealing with a lot of sensitive information. So simply ‘packing bags’ and cutting the ties is out of the question.
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Posted inGuest BlogState BarTexas Lawyers' Assistance Program

Gibson: Know the Warning Signs & Save a Life

Laura Gibson

Suicide is a leading cause of death among lawyers. In fact, 11% of lawyers have had suicidal thoughts at some point in their careers.

In recognition of these facts, and in honor of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the State Bar of Texas wants all Texas lawyers to be aware of the life-saving resources available to them. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call 911 for immediate help or call 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

In addition, the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, or TLAP, and TexasBarCLE are offering Just Ask: How We Must Stop Minding Our Own Business in the Legal World, a complimentary, one-hour online CLE on depression and suicide prevention. Register through the TexasBarCLE website here. Continue Reading

Posted inNewsPodcastSocial MediaState Bar

State Bar of Texas wins national award for 2022 bar election communications

State Bar of Texas staff members accept a 2022 Luminary Award for Excellence in PR/Marketing/Social Media Campaigns from the National Association of Bar Executives Communications Section. Pictured, from left, are Texas Bar Journal Associate Editor Eric Quitugua, SBOT Communications Director Lowell Brown, Texas Bar Journal Managing Editor Patricia McConnico, SBOT Digital Content Specialist Geoffrey Hinkson, and SBOT Public Affairs Director Bambi Hall.

The State Bar of Texas received a national award for communications related to its 2022 elections.

The National Association of Bar Executives Communications Section on September 23 awarded the State Bar of Texas a 2022 Luminary Award for Excellence in PR/Marketing/Social Media Campaigns in the large bar category.

The State Bar deployed a multimedia campaign to promote participation in the 2022 bar elections. Voting took place from April 1 to May 2 and included races for State Bar of Texas and Texas Young Lawyers Association presidents-elect and district directors. Continue Reading

Posted inDiversityNewsState Bar

State Bar of Texas Board of Directors to meet September 30 in McAllen

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors will hold its quarterly meeting at 9 a.m. CDT on September 30 in McAllen. Attorneys and members of the public can attend the meeting in person or watch it live on the State Bar’s YouTube channel.

Public comment will be accepted. Those who wish to address the board in person should fill out a speaker card onsite and submit it to a staff member. To sign up to speak remotely, please email lowell.brown@texasbar.com or call 512-427-1713 or 800-204-2222 (toll free) before 5 p.m. CDT on September 29. Written comments regarding agenda items may be sent to boardofdirectors@texasbar.com and must be received before 5 p.m. CDT on September 26 for timely distribution to the directors before the meeting.

Find the complete agenda and background materials here. Continue Reading

Posted inTexas Young Lawyers Association

TYLA Director Spotlight: Hisham A. Masri

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: Hisham A. Masri

Employer/Organization: Flowserve Corporation

Practice Area(s): Labor and Employment Law
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Posted inGuest BlogState BarTexas Lawyers' Assistance ProgramTLAP

Stories of Recovery: Life can get better

Editor’s note: This post is part of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program’s Stories of Recovery blog series. 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) and find more information at tlaphelps.org.

I have always felt like an outsider and a loner. As a child, living in a household with parental drug addiction, poverty, severe physical abuse, and serious violent trauma, certainly contributed to those problems. I worked very hard to make a better life for myself and took pride in leaving my past in the past. I scorned weakness in others.
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Posted inAccess to JusticeNews

Texas Access to Justice Foundation awarded additional $20 million to provide free housing legal services

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TAJF, announced it received an additional $20 million in funding from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, or TDHCA, to continue the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The state’s largest funding source for civil legal aid, TAJF was granted the first $20 million in August 2021 to help Texans access legal assistance with housing issues during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP, provides legal information and representation to help Texans maintain or obtain housing. The new funds granted by the TDHCA will support a second year of the program’s legal services through August 31, 2024.

“Since 2021, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has provided legal services and housing stability clinics to thousands of Texans across the state,” said TAJF Executive Director Betty Balli Torres in a press release. “The program’s work to keep Texans housed plays a vital role in our mission. With these funds, we can continue helping current and future generations of Texans.”

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Posted inSponsored Content

Sponsored Content: 9 Creative Ways Legal Document Automation Drives Greater Efficiencies

With limited time in the day and more and more work piling up, law firms of all sizes, corporate legal teams, and government agencies are looking for better ways to maximize their efforts. Their answer? Automation.

While it’s true that automation can help you streamline workflows, saving time and money, it can be intimidating to take the first step in adopting this new technology when you need to maintain your current day-to-day operations and workload. And with so many different types of automation technology on the market, developing a clear understanding of what automation could actually look like for your legal practice or agency can be difficult. Where should you start?

Because so much of legal work begins and ends with documents, the best way to immediately benefit from workflow automation is through legal document automation. By automating your document processes, you’ll not only receive significant benefits with the least amount of disruption to your current operations, but also create a solid foundation for bigger workflow automation upgrades in the future.
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