Posted inCourtsJuryNews

Jury duty scams are an increasingly common threat for Texans

By Doryn Glenn

The State Bar of Texas Jury Service Committee is warning the public against criminals that would seek to make them victims of scams that are becoming increasingly common.

Individuals, pretending to be local law enforcement officers, are calling citizens stating that they have failed to appear for jury duty or some other court proceeding. These individuals go on to claim that a warrant has been issued for the citizen’s arrest and/or a large sum of money is owed as a fine for failing to appear. Continue Reading

Posted inAccess to JusticeNewsPro Bono

Hispanic Issues Section and Texas Access to Justice Foundation to host virtual “LAW-teria” game night

The State Bar of Texas Hispanic Issues Section and the Texas Access to Justice Foundation will host a “LAW-teria” to benefit the Texas Access to Justice Foundation and legal aid efforts throughout Texas. The virtual game night will take place from 5 to 6:30 pm. on September 16 via Zoom.

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Posted inHurricaneNews

Texas lawyers can assist their Louisiana colleagues affected by Hurricane Ida

Texas attorneys, willing and able to help their counterparts in Louisiana, can assist via a disaster response message board the Louisiana State Bar Association created in the wake of Hurricane Ida’s devastating impacts on the state.

The message board allows lawyers to post what they need or how they can help their colleagues and allows those with needs to match with those who can help. To learn more, view the message board.

Posted inCLEDay of CivilityLocal BarsSpecial Event

Statewide Day of Civility CLE webinar planned for September 17

Join local bars and the State Bar of Texas in celebrating the Texas Day of Civility in the Law from noon to 1:30 p.m. CDT on September 17 via Zoom. Register here.

The free CLE webinar will feature keynote speaker Judge Carl Stewart of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and panelists Jennifer Brown, chief legal officer, Baylor Scott & White Health; Dr. Cindy Pladziewicz, J.D., Ph.D.; Allen Pusey, senior editor of The Texas Lawbook and former editor and publisher of the ABA Journal; the Hon. Carolyn Wright, retired chief justice of the 5th District Court of Appeals; and moderator Douglas S. Lang, of Dorsey & Whitney LLP and former justice of the 5th District Court of Appeals.

The event is hosted by the Dallas Bar Association, along with the Houston Bar Association, Smith County Bar Association, Tarrant County Bar Association, and State Bar of Texas Professionalism Committee.

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Posted inCourtsNews

Texas Office of Court Administration selects three vendors to support statewide Uniform Case Management System

The Texas Office of Court Administration has selected three vendors to support the new statewide Uniform Case Management System, or UCMS. The three vendors selected to support the UCMS are Icon Software, iDocket, and Tyler Technologies.

UCMS is an opt-in court case management system aimed at supporting Texas counties with a population less than 20,000, which equates to more than half of the state’s counties. Counties will be able to choose one of the three vendors to access UCMS. The system is free to counties and supported by more than $30 million in state appropriations to OCA.

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Posted inJudiciaryLocal BarsNewsPeople

Dallas Bar announces Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn as inaugural DBA Jurist of the Year

The Dallas Bar Association has named Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, as the inaugural recipient of the DBA’s Jurist of the Year Award. Lynn will receive her award at the DBA’s Bench Bar Conference in Horseshoe Bay, which is scheduled for November.

Lynn was nominated by President Bill Clinton to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in March 1999. She was confirmed in November 1999. Lynn became chief judge of the court in May 2016, being the first woman to hold the position.

The award was established to honor judges who make significant contributions to the legal community in North Texas and demonstrate high ideals, exemplary personal character, and judicial competence. The award will henceforth be known as the Barbara M.G. Lynn Jurist of the Year Award.

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Posted inNewsState Bar

State Bar Executive Committee to meet on August 31

The State Bar of Texas Executive Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. CT on Tuesday, August 31. Members and the public can watch the meeting live on the State Bar of Texas YouTube page.

The agenda for the meeting may be viewed here. To sign up to speak during the meeting, please email or call (800) 204-2222, Ext. 1706 (toll free) before 5 p.m. CT on Monday, August 30.


Posted inAccess to JusticeNewsPro Bono

Texas Access to Justice Foundation receives $20 million grant to provide COVID-19-related housing legal services

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TAJF, received a $20 million Housing Stability Services Program grant package from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for COVID-19-related housing legal services.

The grant will allow legal aid organizations throughout Texas to provide free civil legal services to eligible households experiencing housing insecurity. Services include offering housing stability clinics to assist COVID-19-impacted low-income households in applying for the Texas Rent Relief Program or Texas Eviction Diversion Program and providing legal information and representation for low-income households in COVID-19-related eviction proceedings in justice of the peace courts and eviction appeals in county courts.

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Posted inCourtsGuest BlogJudiciaryPeopleTexas Supreme Court

A Tribute to Osler McCarthy: A Life Well Lived in the Law

Editor’s Note: The following tribute was originally published by the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section and is reprinted with permission. 

By Wallace B. Jefferson
Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court (Ret.)

Lawyers and journalists know why today is important in the life of Texas law. The Supreme Court just issued the term’s final weekly regular orders—a compilation reflecting the sweat and tears of intense litigation. For most litigants, these orders are the culmination of years of struggle over fundamental propositions that govern not only personal disputes, but also our social construct. How should early Texans understand the rights bestowed on a new Republic in 1836? Who will define relationships during and after the Civil War? Who owns the water and minerals fueling our economy? How will students acquire the tools necessary to be productive citizens? Who prevails, in the constant battles among our three branches of government, when the lines of demarcation are obscure? When must state law succumb to federal supremacy? Vital to these questions is the public’s comprehension of them. For a long time, longer than the history of the Republic and its incorporation into the Union, the public was often left in the dark—the answers were hoarded by an elite class of lawyers, legislators, and publishers. Continue Reading