Posted inFifth Circuit Court of AppealsNews

Fifth Circuit seeks comments on proposed rule change

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit is accepting comments about a proposed amendment to circuit rule 35.5.

Read the full notice, which includes the proposed redline changes, on the court’s website.

The court is accepting written comments through March 9 by email at Changes@ca5.uscourts.gov or by mail at:

Clerk of Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
ATTN: Rule Changes
600 S. Maestri Place
New Orleans, LA 70130

Posted inAnnual MeetingNewsSpecial Event

Registration now open for State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting 2018

Registration is now open for the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting on June 21-22 at the Marriott Marquis—Houston.

Attorneys can select their choice of courses to earn up to a year’s worth of CLE credits in two days for just one low price, hear from motivating keynote speakers, and network and socialize with other professionals and influencers in the legal profession.

For more information about registering online and making hotel reservations, go to texasbar.com/annualmeeting.

Posted inNewsSocial Media

Send us our next social media cover art

We want to highlight on our Facebook page and Twitter profile where you live and work.

We’re looking for photos of your town or city’s landmarks, skylines, courthouses, prominent buildings, monuments, natural areas, and anything else you might think to be unique to where you live and practice. Be sure to send in a pic of your law firm or workspace too.

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Posted inGuest Blog

A New Day for Children

It is a new day for our most precious resource—our children. The creation of the State Bar of Texas Child Protection Law Section became a reality on January 26, when the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors voted unanimously to form the new section. Both the Family Law and Juvenile Law sections enthusiastically supported this effort. This significant accomplishment represents decades of hard work on the part of many legal professionals throughout the state who are committed to improving the lives of children.
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Posted inNewsState Bar

Ex-FBI agent: State Bar of Texas response to 2012 embezzlement ‘adequate and proper’

Procedural changes made by State Bar of Texas staff immediately after a 2012 embezzlement case were “adequate and proper” and should be enough to prevent another such theft, according to a member of the financial task force appointed by President-elect Joe K. Longley.

Dallas attorney William D. Brown, a former FBI special agent and a forensic accountant who specializes in fraud and misconduct investigations, analyzed the internal control system at the State Bar before and after the crime. The bar’s current written controls are sufficient to address the issues raised by the embezzlement, Brown said during a State Bar Board of Directors meeting Friday in San Antonio.

“I think the controls and the changes that were made subsequent to the discovery of the theft are adequate and proper, and I think we should probably not have any problems like this in the future,” Brown said, noting that it’s virtually impossible to entirely rule out such a crime. He later added: “The proper corrective actions were taken.” Continue Reading

Posted inLaw Firms and Legal Departments

Scams Continue to Target Texas Attorneys

Update 1/30/2018: We received a report of another scam. A Texas attorney recently received an email that is part of an ongoing scam directed to attorneys in which the scammer is attempting to get the attorney to wire real funds after receiving fraudulent payments (bad checks or fake credit cards). The text of the email is as follows:

Hello,

I am in need of your legal assistance regarding a breach of loan agreement I provided a friend of mine in the amount of $750,000. He needed this loan to complete an ongoing project he was handling last year. He now resides in your jurisdiction and the loan was for 24 months with interest accrued at the rate of 7.5%. The capital and interest were supposed to be paid May last year but he has only paid $50,000 which was in October.

Please let me know if this falls within the scope of your practice, so that I can provide you with the loan documents and any further information you need to know.

Thanks,

Scott Steinberg. Continue Reading

Posted inMember BenefitsState Bar

Update from State Bar President Tom Vick—Candidates Approved and Other News

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

I hope the new year finds you well. Please read below for updates from Friday’s quarterly meeting of the State Bar Board of Directors in San Antonio.

2018 President-elect Race

The State Bar board unanimously approved the nominations of Lisa Blue of Dallas and Randy Sorrels of Houston in the race for the next president-elect. Click here to read the news release and to learn more about these candidates, and pick up the April issue of the Texas Bar Journal for a Q&A. Voting is April 2 to May 1, and results will be announced May 1. The winner will serve as State Bar president from June 2019 until June 2020.

Election Policy Changes  

The board approved changes to State Bar policy and rules to update our election procedures for president-elect and district director to ensure that the process is fair and all candidates have the same opportunities to campaign. The board voted to add a 180-day expiration date on petition signatures—a provision that matches the law governing petitions in other state elections. The board also decided to approve board-nominated candidates in September in future years, instead of January. Taken together, these changes will ensure that the campaign periods are roughly equal for president-elect candidates, regardless of whether they are nominated by our board or certified through petition.

As part of the same process, the board approved sweeping changes to the board policy manual that relaxed or removed many campaign restrictions to ensure that director and president-elect candidates are all able to freely present their views of and visions for the bar. Continue Reading

Posted inAbout The BarNewsPeopleSpecial Event

State Bar of Texas, TYLA announce president-elect candidates

Texas attorneys will choose between Lisa Blue of Dallas and Randy Sorrels of Houston in the race for the next president-elect of the State Bar of Texas. The State Bar Board of Directors today approved their nominations as president-elect candidates during its quarterly meeting in San Antonio.

Also, the Texas Young Lawyers Association recently nominated Raymond Baeza of El Paso and Victor Flores of Denton as candidates for TYLA president-elect.

State Bar of Texas and TYLA members will cast ballots April 2 to May 1, and election results will be announced May 1. The winner of each race will serve as president from June 2019 until June 2020.

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Posted inNewsState Bar

Update: State Bar considers policy for internal records requests

Update: At the board meeting today, the policy manual subcommittee informed the board it was delaying action on this proposal to allow for more study.

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors is considering a policy that would establish a process for handling certain internal records requests from State Bar officers and directors.

The proposed policy sets forth guidelines for records requests from officers and directors other than requests subject to the Texas Public Information Act, or TPIA. The State Bar would continue to follow the TPIA and all applicable state and federal law in providing public access to State Bar records.

The board’s executive committee voted 11-1 to approve the proposed policy during its January 11 meeting, with President-elect Joe K. Longley voting against it. The full board of directors will consider the policy for approval at its January 26 board meeting in San Antonio. Continue Reading

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