Joe K. Longley

Editor’s note: State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley sent the following message to members on Friday.

Dear Member,

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and its Executive Committee held meetings today in Austin. I’m writing to update you on some of the major developments from the meetings.

Committee Review Subcommittee Formed
Much of the State Bar’s work is done by volunteers on 30 standing committees, and there is a safeguard in place to make sure those committees remain effective. At least every other year, the Executive Committee is required by statute to review the existing standing and special committees of the State Bar. The last review was done in April 2017.

This year, I will chair the seven-member Committee Review Subcommittee of the Executive Committee. Over the next three months, the subcommittee will assess whether there is a continued need for each committee, whether the committees are fulfilling their purposes, and whether any of their activities overlap.

This oversight process has led to a streamlining of the committee process and structure over the years. For example, as a result of the last review, one committee was eliminated as duplicative and five others updated their purpose clauses to more closely align with the purposes of the State Bar. During prior committee reviews, term limits were implemented to rotate committee membership and give more members an opportunity to serve.

President-elect Nominees Approved
The Board approved the nomination of Jeanne “Cezy” Collins of El Paso and Larry P. McDougal Sr. of Richmond as candidates for 2019-2020 State Bar president-elect, accepting the recommendation of the Nominations and Elections Subcommittee. The candidates will appear on the ballot in April 2019 along with any certified petition candidates. Click on the names below to read the candidates’ interest letters to the Nominations and Elections Subcommittee.

Potential petition candidates have until March 1 to submit their nominating petitions to the State Bar for certification. For information on how to run for president-elect, go here.

Courthouse Access Badge Task Force Created
The Board approved President-elect Randy Sorrels’ request for a Courthouse Access Badge Task Force. The task force will study the development and implementation of a statewide courthouse security access badge that would give lawyers expedited access to Texas courthouses. State Bar Director Christy Amuny of Beaumont and Granbury attorney Cindy V. Tisdale are co-chairs of the 17-member task force. View the full roster here.

2019-2020 Budget Update
The board’s Budget Committee met Thursday to discuss the budget process and the timeline for preparing the 2019-2020 budget. The committee is scheduled to meet next on December 13 to finalize a proposed budget for presentation to the Executive Committee and to the board at their respective January meetings.

Chief Disciplinary Counsel Retiring
Linda Acevedo is retiring in January 2019 after nearly 10 years as chief disciplinary counsel and 33 years with the State Bar, and we thanked her for her many years of service. She previously served in the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel as first assistant, appellate counsel, trial counsel, corporate counsel, counsel to the local grievance committee, and liaison to the Supreme Court of Texas Professional Ethics Committee and Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. The job opening was posted today on the State Bar website. If you are interested in applying, go here.

Board Resolution Presented
Austin attorney Shannon H. Ratliff, a shareholder in Davis, Gerald and Cremer, has been honored for his lifetime of dedicated service to the legal profession and to this country.

Mr. Ratliff has been a trial and appellate lawyer for more than 50 years and is a leading authority on oil and gas legal matters. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark and served as an assistant to Lyndon Baines Johnson in his roles as U.S. Senate majority leader, vice president, and president. Dr. Kyle Longley, director of the LBJ Presidential Library, attended the board meeting to help us honor this longtime LBJ advisor.

If you have any questions about the board meeting, please let me know. For more information on the board or to read meeting agendas and materials, go to

With kindest regards,

Joe K. Longley 
President, State Bar of Texas 2018-2019