Posted inTexas Young Lawyers Association

TYLA Director Spotlight: John Ellis

Editor’s Note: In this blog series, we are getting to know the members of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors. TYLA, commonly called the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas, works to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All TYLA programs are accomplished through the volunteer efforts of its board and committee members, with the cooperation of local affiliate young lawyers associations. Learn more at tyla.org.

Name: John Ellis

Firm: Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP

Area of Law You Practice: Commercial litigation with an emphasis in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, energy-related disputes, and mass torts litigation

Position Held in TYLA:

ABA Young Lawyers Division, District Representative for South/Central Texas, District 25
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Posted inCoronavirusCourtsCriminal LawJudiciaryJuryLaw Firms and Legal DepartmentsNewsTechnologyTeleconferencingTexas Supreme Court

Coronavirus Legal News Briefing — May 22, 2020

Editor’s Note: The State Bar of Texas is providing this collection of important links, blog posts, and media stories to keep its members and the public informed of the latest news and resources related to the novel coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the legal community.

Important links

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Legal Resources Page — Texasbar.com/coronavirus

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Public Resources Page — Texasbar.com/COVIDHelp

Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program Well-being Resources page — Texasbar.com/remote-well-being

Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann, husband test positive for coronavirus — The former Tarrant County jurist calls her COVID-19 infection ‘very perplexing,’ coming as it did after two months of being ‘extremely careful.’ — The Dallas Morning News

Federal judge denies motion to release former state District Judge Rudy Delgado from prison — He filed an emergency motion for compassionate release last month, when COVID-19 swept through the federal prison system. — KRGV – Rio Grande Valley Continue Reading

Posted inCoronavirusLocal BarsNewsPro Bono

Houston Volunteer Lawyers offers free legal representation in eviction cases for low-income Harris County residents

Houston Volunteer Lawyers is offering low-income individuals who may face eviction proceedings the opportunity to apply for free legal representation.

Applications may be submitted online at makejusticehappen.org/Apply-Online, by email at info@hvlp.org, and by fax to 713-228-5826. Applicants should be prepared to give as much information about their case as possible, including an eviction case number if available. HVL is expediting eviction applications as the Texas Supreme Court moratorium on evictions for nonpayment expired on May 18 and court proceedings are expected to resume on June 1.

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Posted inAccess to JusticeCLECoronavirusNewsPro Bono

Texas legal aid providers offer “Bankruptcy in a Box” online CLE free of charge

The state’s three major legal aid programs — Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, Lone Star Legal Aid, and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid — are offering a three-hour online CLE course designed to help attorneys learn about Chapter 7 bankruptcies while helping others.

The  “Bankruptcy in a Box Pro Bono” CLE is offered free of charge to each attorney who commits to take two Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases from one of the three legal aid providers during the next two years. The providers are expecting a surge of bankruptcy cases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue Reading

Posted inAccess to JusticeNewsPeoplePro Bono

Former State Bar of Texas director honored with ABA pro bono award

G. Allan Van Fleet

G. Allan Van Fleet, who served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors from 2005 to 2008, will be awarded a 2020 Pro Bono Publico Award by the American Bar Association at its upcoming virtual ABA Annual Meeting.

The Pro Bono Publico Awards are the top honors given by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. They honor individual lawyers, law firms, and corporate law departments for demonstrating outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged. Continue Reading

Posted inCoronavirusCourtsJudiciaryJuryLaw Firms and Legal DepartmentsNewsTechnologyTeleconferencingTexas Supreme Court

Coronavirus Legal News Briefing — May 21, 2020

Editor’s Note: The State Bar of Texas is providing this collection of important links, blog posts, and media stories to keep its members and the public informed of the latest news and resources related to the novel coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the legal community.

Important links

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Legal Resources Page — Texasbar.com/coronavirus

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Public Resources Page — Texasbar.com/COVIDHelp

Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program Well-being Resources page — Texasbar.com/remote-well-being

The jury and the screen: Judges, lawyers reflect on Texas’ experimental Zoom jury trial — “I can’t think of any other time—other than a global pandemic—that we would be able to make that happen that quickly,” Judge Emily Miskel said. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Texas Supreme Court hears arguments in vote by mail case (audio) — At issue: whether election officials in Harris County and elsewhere broke the law by telling voters fear of contracting COVID-19 was a valid reason for requesting an absentee ballot. — Houston Public Media Continue Reading

Posted inCoronavirusCourtsFamily LawJudiciaryJuryNewsTechnologyTeleconferencing

Coronavirus Legal News Briefing — May 20, 2020

Editor’s Note: The State Bar of Texas is providing this collection of important links, blog posts, and media stories to keep its members and the public informed of the latest news and resources related to the novel coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the legal community.

Important links

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Legal Resources Page — Texasbar.com/coronavirus

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Public Resources Page — Texasbar.com/COVIDHelp

Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program Well-being Resources page — Texasbar.com/remote-well-being

‘I want to see the person’s face’: Houston judges poll attorneys about face masks, COVID-19 reopening precautions — As Texas courts prepare to reopen in-person proceedings as soon as June 1, the Harris County judiciary sent an online survey to measure local lawyers’ feelings about face masks, jury selection and more. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer

Office of Court Administration issues updated statement about ransomware attack — As the investigation and identification of the breach draws to a close, OCA has shifted fully to repair and recovery of the network. — Texas Bar Blog Continue Reading

Posted inCoronavirusCourtsCriminal LawJuryLaw Firms and Legal DepartmentsNewsTechnology

Coronavirus Legal News Briefing — May 19, 2020

Editor’s Note: The State Bar of Texas is providing this collection of important links, blog posts, and media stories to keep its members and the public informed of the latest news and resources related to the novel coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the legal community.

Important links

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Legal Resources Page — Texasbar.com/coronavirus

State Bar of Texas Coronavirus Public Resources Page — Texasbar.com/COVIDHelp

Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program Well-being Resources page — Texasbar.com/remote-well-being

Texas tries a pandemic first: a jury trial by Zoom — Lawyers in an insurance dispute in Collin County District Court on Monday picked a jury to hear the case by videoconference, in what officials believe is the first virtual jury trial to be held nationally amid the COVID-19 crisis. — Reuters

Commentary: Are virtual trials our future? — Can due process be suspended indefinitely? — Above the Law Continue Reading

Posted inAppellateCoronavirusCourt of Criminal AppealsCourtsJudiciaryNewsTechnologyTexas Supreme Court

Office of Court Administration issues updated statement about ransomware attack

Editor’s note: The Office of Court Administration made the following updated statement on the security breach that began impacting the judiciary on May 8.

On Friday, May 8th, the Office of Court Administration (OCA), the information technology (IT) provider for the appellate courts and state judicial agencies within the Texas Judicial Branch, identified a serious security event in the branch network, which was later determined to be a ransomware attack.

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