Posted inNews

Texas Bar College to honor five attorneys at summer school course

The Texas Bar College will honor five distinguished lawyers at the Texas Bar College Summer School Course on July 21 at Moody Gardens in Galveston.

Jerry D. Bullard, of Grapevine, will be presented with the Franklin Jones Best CLE Article Award for his article, Looking over the 87th Lege: An Overview of Selected Bills That Passed and Those That Didn’t (But You Ought to Know About Anyway). He is certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and specializes in handling civil appeals and assisting trial counsel with legal and strategic issues in complex civil litigation.

Collin “Jay” Spring, of Dallas, is the recipient of the Steven G. Condos Award for Outstanding New Member to the College. He is a litigation associate in the Dallas office of Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser, where his practice focuses on commercial litigation, insurance coverage, and professional malpractice matters.

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Posted inState BarTexas Supreme Court

Grievance Oversight Committee seeks public input on attorney disciplinary system at July 23 meeting

The Grievance Oversight Committee is seeking public feedback regarding the Texas attorney disciplinary system.

The committee will meet on July 23 in Houston. If you have suggestions, observations, or other input regarding the attorney grievance system and are interested in scheduling a time to meet with the committee during its July 23 meeting, please email info@txgoc.com.

The Texas Supreme Court has charged the committee with reviewing the Texas attorney disciplinary system and reporting its observations and recommendations to the court. The committee is not a part of the attorney disciplinary process and cannot accept, consider, resolve, or interfere with any grievances or individual complaints involving attorney-client issues.

To learn more about the committee, go to www.txgoc.com.

Posted inNewsState Bar

Former State Bar of Texas President Randy Sorrels named 2022 Trial Lawyer of the Year by Texas Chapter of ABOTA

Former State Bar of Texas President and Houston attorney Randy Sorrels has been named the 2022 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Texas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, or TEX-ABOTA.

“This is one of the highlights of my career, and I am thankful to TEX-ABOTA, my partner and wife, Alex, as well as the other attorneys and team members at Sorrels Law,” said Sorrels, who served as 2019-2020 State Bar of Texas president and is the co-founder of his firm, Sorrels Law, in a press release.

The Trial Lawyer of the Year award is presented to a lawyer who has shown excellence in advocacy, holds a superb reputation of ethics, has achieved outstanding recent results, maintains service to ABOTA, and exemplifies its ideals. The mission of ABOTA is the preservation of the right to trial by jury guaranteed by the 7th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the independence of the judiciary, and civics education.

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Posted inSponsored Content

Sponsored Content: Challenges of Starting a Solo Law Private Practice

Tired of the overbearing boss, long hours, not being appreciated enough at work, and never seeing your family? Then opening up your law practice might be the best decision you will ever make. You’ll be your own boss and achieve that work-life balance you have always wanted! However, you must know this is a considerable step you must think through properly. The competition is fierce, so this won’t be a walk in the park. Let’s see what the challenges of starting a solo law private practice are and how to overcome them!
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Posted inLaw Firms and Legal Departments

Scams continue to target Texas attorneys

Update 6/28/22: We received reports of two more scams. Scammers are emailing attorneys through their online profiles on texasbar.com as phishing attempts. One targeted attorney received an email that states,”Hi, I work with MCJ ASSETS, LLC. We are a new surplus funds business wanting to operate in Galveston County. We have all legal documents, sales tax, and clients ready! We will like to work with you. If you’re interested we will like to run ALL excess proceeds recoveries through you, which means constant business! We will like to offer 10% of our profit from the recoveries. We will have all the documents completed. All we need is you to look over the documents and file the claim.”

Another attorney reported an attempted scam on them and their firm in what appears to be an elaborate scheme. The attorney was contacted by “Mateo Santiago” of Four Tech Intelligence in Mexico. The original email said, “Hi There. I want to Inquire if your firm specializes in IP cases. Our corporation is seeking an attorney in your state who can represent us in a license infringement matter by a business partner of the corporation. Contact me if this is your area of expertise or if you can make a referral. Thanks.” The scammer claimed they had been doing business with a company named HBS Systems Inc. in Richardson (which the attorney called and verified is a real company), that HBS had violated a copyright on some software, had admitted to this, and had settled on $2.9 million as a settlement. The attorney was to write a demand letter, accept the payment in their bank account, and receive 5% of the proceeds. The attorney had sent the company their standard engagement agreement to sign, requested a retainer check, and gave them wiring instructions to their IOLTA account. In response, they received this email. The referenced “Bar Code Integrators” in the email appears to be another company they tried to scam. After the attorney received that email, they called HBS and spoke to someone in their accounting department and said they thought they were being scammed but were trying to confirm. They asked if they had done any business with a Mexican company named Four Tech Intelligence and asked if they owed them $2.9 million. A person there confirmed this had to be a scam and also said they knew that the CEO of HBS had received other scams, they had turned away all but one, and that the one was difficult to get out of.

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Posted inNews

Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health opens registration for 5th annual Judicial Summit on Mental Health

Registration is now open for the 5th annual Judicial Summit on Mental Health, hosted by the Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health, or JCMH, that will be held November 2-4, 2022, at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine.

The JCMH, a joint commission under the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, is hosting this year’s event in hybrid format. In-person capacity is limited, but those who are unable to attend in person can register for the virtual live stream option.

The summit will include opportunities to connect with colleagues, obtain new resources, and engage in learning sessions. Participants will receive tools to help navigate the complex mental health laws.

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Posted inNews

American Bar Association announces 2022 winners of the Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts

John Browning, a former justice on the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas and a partner in Spencer Fane, is part of the team of the Oklahoma Bar Journal to be recognized as one of eight recipients of this year’s American Bar Association Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts.

The award, which recognizes outstanding work that fosters the public’s understanding of law and the legal system, has been presented annually by the ABA since 1958. Award categories include books, documentaries, drama and literature, newspapers, magazines, and radio and television. Winners are selected based on factors such as the work’s impact on the public; thoroughness and accuracy in presentation of issues; the work’s creativity, originality, and effectiveness in presenting information; and the educational value of the legal information or issues addressed.

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Posted inGuest BlogState BarTexas Lawyers' Assistance ProgramTLAP

Stories of Recovery: There is an army out there to help you

Editor’s note: This post is part of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program’s Stories of Recovery blog series. TLAP offers confidential assistance for lawyers, law students, and judges with substance use or mental health issues. Call or text TLAP at 1-800-343-8527 (TLAP) and find more information at tlaphelps.org.

After interviewing to move my solo practice to another firm, I celebrated at home with a “solo” bottle of wine. I tried to share the news with my wife, but I couldn’t complete a sentence without slurring. She took a video of me on her iPhone as I tried to re-explain what I had just told her about my interviews. That was a wake-up call.

While I had long dealt with depression, matters only got worse years earlier when my then-firm closed its office and I went solo. Solo practice was not only isolating, but financially terrifying. If clients slow-paid or didn’t pay at all, the food on my table, the tax payments, mortgage, private college tuition payments, and every other bill were literally at stake, too often leaving me working paycheck to paycheck. My family asked why we had to cut the corners off the corners we had already cut even when I was working around the clock seven days a week.
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Posted inUncategorized

State Bar board creates new diversity committee, extends building committee

A new standing committee will work to develop and promote strategies and best practices for the State Bar of Texas in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The board of directors voted June 8 to create the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and asked 2022-2023 State Bar President Laura Gibson to submit a roster of proposed committee members for approval at the board’s next scheduled meeting on September 30.

The committee will identify opportunities within the State Bar to create an environment conducive to diversity, equity, and inclusion; assist in the creation of measurable goals; and periodically report on progress toward achieving the goals set by the board of directors, according to the resolution creating the committee. Continue Reading

Posted inAbout The BarState Bar

State Bar of Texas seeks candidates for 2023 president-elect race

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors is soliciting candidates for the 2023 president-elect race. State Bar rules stipulate that all potential candidates for 2023 president-elect shall come from any county of the state. 

Any member of the State Bar who meets the eligibility requirements for officers set forth in the State Bar Act and the State Bar rules is eligible for nomination for president-elect. The board of directors policy manual describes the criteria for selecting nominees. The board will consider potential nominees’ involvement as a member of the board or in State Bar committee work, knowledge of State Bar operations, participation in local and specialty bar associations, and other activities demonstrating leadership ability and sincere interest and competence in dealing with issues concerning the State Bar of Texas. Potential nominees should submit a resume and a statement of their views on the key issues facing the bar, the role they would play in dealing with those issues, and what they would seek to accomplish during their tenure as president, all within the overall strategic plan of the State Bar.  Continue Reading

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