Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to all members on January 5.
This message includes updated information related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other State Bar of Texas information. We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
Supreme Court of Texas Emergency Orders
The Texas Supreme Court recently issued two emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic and evictions in Texas. The 31st Emergency Order renews the Texas Eviction Diversion Program, a statewide housing-assistance program designed to help tenants behind on rent avoid evictions. Learn more about the program at txcourts.gov/eviction-diversion.
The court’s 32nd Emergency Order extends deadlines for eviction procedures to reflect recent actions taken by Congress to continue certain eviction protections afforded in the CARES Act.
MCLE Deadlines Extended
We understand that the pandemic has made it difficult for some attorneys to complete their MCLE requirements on time. In response, the State Bar of Texas MCLE Department granted several extensions. Below are the current extensions offered. Attorneys with the following birth months:
- October—granted a 90-day extension with a final deadline of January 31.
- November—granted a 60-day extension with a final deadline of January 31.
- December—granted a 60-day extension with a final deadline of February 28.
- January—granted a 60-day extension with a final deadline of March 31.
The MCLE department continues to review compliance deadlines due to the pandemic. Please contact the MCLE department at 800-204-2222, ext. 1806, or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the extensions or MCLE compliance requirements.
Register Now for Rules Vote Informational Forums
Texas lawyers have been called upon to exercise their right of self-governance by voting on proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. Voting will take place from February 2 to March 4 by paper and electronic ballot.
Public forums for the 2021 rules vote will take place via webinar on the following dates:
- January 5, 2021 (1 p.m. CST) – Register now
- January 14, 2021 (1 p.m. CST) – Register now
- January 26, 2021 (1 p.m. CST) – Register now
- February 9, 2021 (1 p.m. CST) – Register now
Each event will include a one-hour CLE presentation on the proposed disciplinary rule amendments (approved for one hour of MCLE ethics credit) featuring members of the Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda, followed by a live forum where attendees can ask questions and provide comments regarding the proposed amendments.
Registration is free and open now. Register early to ensure you have a spot. If you can’t make it to a live event, a recorded version will be available on demand. Go to texasbar.com/rulesvote to learn more.
Stay Up to Date on State Legislation
The 87th Texas Legislature will meet from January 12 to May 31. During each legislative session, the State Bar of Texas offers the Friday Update email newsletter to keep members up to date on legislation of interest to the legal profession. The newsletter includes links to relevant bills with status information. Subscribe at texasbar.com/fridayupdate.
Take Care of Yourselves
In this challenging time, it’s important to take care of yourselves. We invite you to take advantage of the well-being resources for remote living collected by the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program and to attend TLAP’s monthly Remote Well-Being Wednesday program that will be held at noon CST on January 27. The topic is Making Healthy Habits Happen. The panelists are:
- Vance Hinds, Texas attorney
- Erica Grigg, TLAP attorney
- Chris Ritter, TLAP director
State Bar of Texas
Resources to Keep You Informed: The State Bar of Texas continues to updatetexasbar.com/coronavirus with the latest resources and information to help you stay informed of the changes affecting our profession. You can also sign up for the State Bar’s Daily News Briefing attexasbar.com/dailynews to receive the latest legal news updates in your inbox every weekday.