Texas attorneys will choose between Lisa Blue of Dallas and Randy Sorrels of Houston in the race for the next president-elect of the State Bar of Texas. The State Bar Board of Directors today approved their nominations as president-elect candidates during its quarterly meeting in San Antonio.
Also, the Texas Young Lawyers Association recently nominated Raymond Baeza of El Paso and Victor Flores of Denton as candidates for TYLA president-elect.
State Bar of Texas and TYLA members will cast ballots April 2 to May 1, and election results will be announced May 1. The winner of each race will serve as president from June 2019 until June 2020.
Here are the candidates:
State Bar of Texas candidates
Lisa Blue practices in the Dallas law firm of Baron and Blue. With her late husband, Fred Baron, she supervised 800-plus employees and managed all financial aspects at Baron & Budd, which became one of the largest environmental law firms in the U.S. Before that, she worked in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted more than 125 cases to verdict before advancing to the DA’s Organized Crime Unit. Blue has tried 80-90 complex civil cases to verdict.
Blue served as president of the American Association for Justice from 2014-2015 and was inducted into the National Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame in 2015. She has been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, one of the Top 50 Women Litigators in the U.S. by National Law Journal, and received numerous other state and national recognitions for her legal expertise.
Blue received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, two master’s degrees in counseling psychology from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of North Texas, and a J.D. from South Texas College of Law Houston. Blue is currently a full-time practicing lawyer with a caseload of over 500 individual cases ranging from nuisance, defect cases, negligence, and general personal injury.
Randy Sorrels practices law and manages a law firm. The product of a military family, his approach is straightforward: have a disciplined plan, use common sense, build consensus, and work hard.
Sorrels is double board certified in personal injury trial law and civil trial law. He is the managing partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz, which is the oldest plaintiffs personal injury law firm in Texas. While he is regularly recognized by Texas Monthly as one of its Top 100 Lawyers in Texas in his client representation, he also is passionate about pro bono work. His philanthropy has established The Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics at South Texas College of Law Houston, which houses 19 different clinics supporting the Houston community.
Sorrels also has been a leader in the legal community. He has served as president of the Houston Bar Association, the Houston Trial Lawyers Association and the Texas Association of Civil Trial & Appellate Specialists. He serves on the board of directors of South Texas College of Law Houston and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. He is a past chair of the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation.
A magna cum laude graduate of both Houston Baptist University and South Texas College of Law Houston, Sorrels is married to a lawyer and has four children, including two who seek to become lawyers.
Texas Young Lawyers Association candidates
Raymond Baeza is a trial attorney for Farmers Insurance in El Paso. He serves as the vice president of the TYLA Board of Directors and the District 14 director. He has served as a co-chair to the Law Focused Education and Public Service in the Community committees.
Baeza received the TYLA President’s Award of Merit in 2015 and 2016. He has contributed to and presented multiple TYLA programs, including: Resources for Foster Care Children, Vote America, and I Was The First. You Can Be a Lawyer Too! He is a graduate of the LeadershipSBOT program and a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow.
Baeza is a board member of the El Paso Young Lawyers Association, serving twice as the treasurer and most recently, the vice president. In 2016, Baeza was awarded El Paso’s Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year.
When he’s not in the courtroom, he tries to keep up with his wife, Melissa, and their 2-year-old son, Ethan.
Baeza graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2010.
Victor Flores is a U.S. Marine Corps Iraq War veteran. He practices government law in Denton and serves on the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors, State Bar of Texas Government Law Council, Texas Young Lawyers Association, and ABA Young Lawyer Division Council.
Flores has led many TYLA projects and partnerships including, Vote America!, which inspired civic engagement among youth; Strength in Unity, aimed at improving police-community relations; Breaking the Silence, addressing attorney mental health; and One Love, helping students avoid abusive relationships.
He also is a Texas Bar Foundation fellow, frequent speaker at State Bar continuing legal education programs, a mentor with Communities In Schools of North Texas, and legal counsel for his church.
For his service to the public and the bar, Flores has received the Pedro “Pete” Serrano Leadership Award, a resolution from 2016–17 State Bar President Frank Stevenson, and TYLA’s President’s Award of Merit.
Flores’ favorite breaks from work are date nights with his wife, Kristal, and reading bedtime stories with his son, Brennan.