Thank you to the 14 writers who submitted entries to the Texas Bar Journal Short Story contest this year.

Author names were removed from entries before being submitted to judges in order to keep the contest fair and impartial. Two panels of judges faced the challenging task of selecting winners, and for each round, the same evaluation form was used for consistency. Five entries advanced to the final round, which was judged by Pamela Buchmeyer, of Dallas and Jupiter, Fla.; Mike Farris, of Dallas; and last year’s winner, Mark Ratway, of Dallas.

The winner, “The New Client,” by Jeff Kramer, earned the highest number of points.

Please congratulate these attorney-authors for making it through the competitive first round of judging to the finals.

“The New Client,” by Jeff Kramer (first place)

“The Guardian,” by Carly Gallagher Murray (second place)

“The Same Difference,” by Victor Segura (third place)

“The Jury Doctor,” by Frank J. Gonynor

“Status Normal—All Fouled Up,” by Cynthia F. Burham


Here’s an excerpt from “The New Client”:

Molly was calling me “mister,” which must mean there’s somebody in the office who wants to talk to me. I closed the browser window from the article I was reading. According to the Extraordinary Humans section of the Dallas Morning News (the politically correct media avoided using the terms “Superhero” and “Supervillain” these days), there had been a break-in at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant and two pounds of enriched uranium was missing. The FBI suspected The AtomSmasher was behind the heist, but nobody has claimed responsibility yet.

“What is it, Molly?”

She opened and closed her mouth several times before speaking. “There’s a gentleman here, he says he wants to hire you.” She looked pale and unsteady on her feet.


The entire story, along with the second-place and third-place entries, will be published in the June issue of the Texas Bar Journal.