Posted inDiversityIntellectual Property LawTechnology

Intellectual Property Law Section accepting applications for women and minority law student scholarships

The Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas is seeking applications for two $2,500 scholarships that will go to women and/or minority law students.

The scholarships facilitate and encourage women and minorities to enter the practice of intellectual property law in Texas and to become active members of the State Bar IP Section by assisting these students with their financial needs.

Any woman or member of a recognized minority group, including but not limited to African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans who intends to practice IP law in the State of Texas, is eligible to apply. Applicants must be enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school in Texas at the time the application is submitted. Individuals who have been accepted to law school but have not yet started classes at the time the application is submitted are ineligible.

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Posted inNewsState Bar

State Bar Board Update: Candidates Approved, Election Policies Changed

Lisa Blue

Randy Sorrels

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors voted January 26 to approve Lisa Blue of Dallas and Randy Sorrels of Houston as candidates for president-elect in the 2018 election. There are currently no additional president-elect candidates, although members have until March 1 to run as a petition candidate by submitting a petition signed by at least 5 percent of the State Bar membership.

Voting will take place April 2 to May 1 by paper and online ballot. The winner will serve as president-elect from June 2018 to June 2019 and as president from June 2019 to June 2020. Additional information on the election, including a Q&A with the candidates, will appear in the April issue of the Texas Bar Journal.

The board also updated procedures for president-elect and district director races. Candidates’ petition signatures will now have a 180-day expiration date—a provision that matches the law governing petitions in other state elections. The board also decided to move its approval of board-nominated candidates from January to September in future elections, which means the board will vote on the 2019 president-elect candidates in September 2018. Continue Reading

Posted inNews

New video from the Texas AG educates and aids Texans in fight against human trafficking

A new comprehensive training video introduced by Attorney General Ken Paxton aims to educate Texans about and combat against human trafficking. Be the One in the Fight Against Human Trafficking was put together by the Office of the Texas Attorney General’s Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime Section and debuted to the public at the Austin ISD Performing Arts Center in January.

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Posted inNews

From ROTC to the DOJ: A Q&A with retired Army JAG John Siemietkowski

John Siemietkowski credits the Army with giving him his first law experience. An ROTC scholarship helped him graduate from Georgetown University and eventually Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. His work as a judge advocate put him in a federal court as a special assistant U.S. attorney just a few years out of law school. Coupled with his experiences as a judge, litigating with the military led him to working in Afghanistan as NATO counter-corruption director and to his current roles as a trial attorney with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and a lecturer on government contracts.

The recently retired Army JAG spoke with the Texas Bar Journal about law school, his faith in the jury system, and how lawyers should be themselves in the courtroom.

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Posted inGuest Blog

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor underscores need for expanded ethics instruction during visit to UH Law Center

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, urged law schools to weave ethical training into course curriculum earlier and to encourage students to participate in pro-bono work in a recent discussion held at the University of Houston Law Center.
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Posted inNewsVeterans

Free legal clinic for veterans in Texas City

Veterans in need of legal advice can get free consultations at a legal clinic at the Texas City VA Outpatient Clinic on Saturday, February 10.

Veterans or spouses of deceased veterans can receive counsel from volunteer attorneys in any area of law, including family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate law, and tax law, as well as disability and veterans benefits.

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Posted inState BarTexas Young Lawyers Association

Update from State Bar President: Election Season is Here

Editor’s note: State Bar of Texas President Tom Vick sent the following message to members Friday.

It’s election season, which means it’s time to get to know your candidates for State Bar president-elect.

We’re planning a number of communications to make sure the president-elect candidates have a fair and equal chance to reach you with their messages and visions for our bar. Those include a Q&A in the April issue of the Texas Bar Journal and brochures that you’ll receive by mail with your ballot at the beginning of April.

We also hope to encourage more voter participation this year through a series of emails that will include a message from each president-elect candidate on topics of their choosing. The State Bar board’s Nominations and Elections Subcommittee voted today to approve the email series as part of its work to ensure that all candidates have the same opportunities to campaign. Continue Reading

Posted inNews

HBA’s annual ‘Will-A-Thon’ to provide wills and medical directives

The Houston Bar Association Elder Law Committee will sponsor a “Will-A-Thon” at the Tidwell Park and Community Center.

The event will provide wills and basic medical directives at no cost to senior citizens 60 and over, disabled persons, and veterans of all ages who are Harris County residents and meet the Houston Volunteer Lawyers’ low-income requirements.
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Posted inAmerican Bar Association

State Bar of Texas ABA Delegate Applications Sought

The board of directors of the State Bar of Texas has adopted a procedure to ensure diversity in the State Bar’s delegation to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. The House of Delegates is the policy-making body of the ABA. Members serve two-year terms and no person may serve as a delegate of the State Bar for more than six consecutive years.
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Posted inNewsPeopleState Bar

James Woo joins State Bar board

Texas Supreme Court Justice Phil Johnson, left, congratulates San Antonio attorney James C. Woo after administering the oath of office to Woo, a new at-large director on the State Bar board.

San Antonio attorney James C. Woo has joined the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors as an at-large director.

The board approved Woo’s appointment on January 26 at its quarterly meeting in San Antonio. His term was effective immediately and expires in June 2020.

Woo is a shareholder at the firm of Davidson Troilo Ream & Garza and is board certified in estate planning and probate law.

He is a former chair of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has served in numerous leadership positions for the State Bar of Texas, San Antonio Bar Association, and other organizations.