Posted inAccess to JusticeNewsPeople

David Insley awarded first Randall Chapman Fellowship

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TEAJF, and Texas Legal Services Center, or TLSC, announced David Insley as the first recipient of the Randall Chapman Fellowship.

Insley is a recent graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law. During the two-year fellowship, he will focus on serving economically disadvantaged families struggling to navigate the justice system—a passion he developed while working at the Texas Office of the Attorney General Child Support Division’s Access and Visitation Hotline.

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Posted inNewsState Bar

State Bar board to meet Sept. 20 in Corpus Christi

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors will hold its quarterly meeting September 20 in Corpus Christi.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Downtown Marina (Texas Riviera Ballroom), 797 N. Shoreline Blvd.

Members of the public are welcome to attend.

The agenda includes a vote on the Nominations and Elections Subcommittee’s nomination of Pablo Almaguer of Edinburg and Sylvia Borunda Firth of El Paso as candidates for 2020-2021 State Bar of Texas president-elect.

Click here to view the meeting agendas and materials.

Posted inNewsTexas Supreme CourtU.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch attends Texas Supreme Court justice’s investiture ceremony

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch administered the ceremonial oath of office to Brett Busby September 6 at the Texas House chamber. Selected to the Texas Supreme Court by Gov. Greg Abbott, Busby was previously a U.S. Supreme Court clerk, in private practice, and a judge on the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston from 2012 to 2018. Busby, who has been serving on the court since March 20 when his nomination was confirmed by unanimous vote by the Senate and he was sworn in later that day, filled a spot left vacant after Justice Phil Johnson retired in December 2018.

Above: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch swore in Brett Busby to the Texas Supreme Court on September 6.

Above: The Texas Supreme Court also thanked former Justice Phil Johnson for his 13 years on the bench.

Posted inAward NominationsNews

AWA Foundation seeks nominations for Premier Women in the Law and Rising Star awards

The Association of Women Attorneys, or AWA, Foundation in Houston is seeking nominations for its Premier Woman in the Law and Rising Star awards for 2020.

The Premier Woman in the Law award and Rising Star award are presented to women attorneys who have contributed to Houston’s legal community through their professional achievement and community involvement and by actively seeking to advance other women in the law.

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Posted inBlogNewsTexas Supreme Court

Jane Bland sworn in to the Texas Supreme Court

The Texas Supreme Court welcomed Jane Bland to the bench in a ceremony September 11 at its chambers in Austin. Administering the oath was Gov. Greg Abbott, who appointed Bland to the bench, describing her previous work in the judiciary as “extraordinary.” Her experience includes 15 years as a judge on the 1st Court of Appeals in Houston, as well as once delivering a tiebreaking majority opinion for the Texas Supreme Court after a justice was recused in a case. Bland takes over the seat left vacant by Jeff Brown, who after six years on the court, took the oath of office as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Above: Jane Bland was sworn in as a justice of the Texas Supreme Court by Gov. Greg Abbott at a ceremony on September 11.

Photo by Eric Quitugua

Posted inGavel AwardsNewsPeopleSpecial Event

Legislative aides to receive James Madison Award for strengthening Texas Public Information Act

Kelsey Erickson, general counsel to Sen. Kirk Watson, and Katy Aldredge, capitol director for Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, are this year’s recipients of the James Madison Award presented by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

Erickson and Aldredge were chosen for their efforts to create and pass legislation that makes important repairs to Texas’ open records law, according to a news release from the foundation. The legislation ensured that Texans will have access to key information contained in government contracts with private entities.

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Posted inSponsored Content

Sponsored Content: Law Firm Cash Flow

By: Claude Ducloux
Board Certified, Civil Trial Law and Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Director of Education, LawPay

As a veteran of nearly 39 years of legal practice, I know the importance of cash flow. In my quest for financial security and success, I have perused every bar journal article, attended numerous practice management CLEs, and varied my approach to billing and collections to see what worked.

Doing good work, of course, has been the overwhelming focus of my practice, and thankfully, I have had very few complaints in that department. But what I have learned about getting the money in the door promptly and securely has proven to be an art.

I am happy to tell you that last year I had a billing collection rate of approximately 97 percent, which is far above the national average for solo-small firms. But with a broad practice, there is no single magic secret to this achievement. It is a combination of excellent communication, billing discipline, and intentional follow up.

Bearing this in mind, here are a few tips I’ve put to work in my practice to help me achieve my collection rate.
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Posted inNewsPeopleTexas Supreme Court

Texas Supreme Court Clerk Blake Hawthorne receives award

Blake Hawthorne, clerk of the court for the Texas Supreme Court, will be honored with the Kathleen McCree Lewis Award for Appellate Justice by the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers in April 2020.

Hawthorne is being recognized by the group for his trailblazing work in transforming court records to electronic format, said Houston lawyer Kevin Dubose, treasurer of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, in a press release.

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