Posted inNews

February 2018 Texas Bar Exam results released

Congratulations to everyone who passed the February Texas Bar Exam!

We’re looking forward to seeing you all at the New Lawyers Induction Ceremony at 10 a.m. May 14 at the Frank Erwin Center.

The Texas Board of Legal Examiners website has posted the full pass list for exam. Pass-rate statistics are also available on the site.

Posted inMust-ReadsNewsSXSWTechnology

Texas Bar Journal Must-Reads for May

Check out the May issue of the Texas Bar Journal for a recap of SXSW legal panels, the First Amendment and social media, cyberspace estate planning, and lawyers’ role in the future of cryptocurrencies. Don’t forget to catch up on Movers and Shakers, Memorials, and Disciplinary Actions. Continue Reading

Posted inAbout The BarEthicsSocial MediaTexas Center for Legal Ethics

Confidentiality and E-Communications

A prudent lawyer would no doubt avoid communicating sensitive client information in a crowded room where bystanders would be able to hear the conversation. However, in the rapidly changing technological landscape, the reasonable steps necessary to ensure lawyer-client communications are truly private are often less intuitive. So what steps should a lawyer take before hitting send on an email to a client? And what considerations apply to communications made by text message, or through mobile apps or social media messaging?
Continue Reading

Posted inJuryNewsSpecial Event

Promoting Jury Appreciation Week

The following article first appeared in the summer 2017 In Chambers magazine and is republished with permission.

Serving on a jury—few understand the fundamental importance of jury service more than trial judges and appellate justices. But, how well do we communicate the significance or express our appreciation for those who are answering the summons to serve?

Continue Reading

Posted inState BarTexas Young Lawyers Association

Randy Sorrels of Houston elected State Bar of Texas president-elect

Texas attorneys have elected Randy Sorrels of Houston as president-elect of the State Bar of Texas. Sorrels received 58 percent of the 32,445 votes cast during the month-long voting period that ended May 1. His opponent, Lisa Blue of Dallas, received 41 percent of the votes.

The 32,445 votes set a record for the highest total of votes ever cast in a State Bar election. With 31.8 percent of the bar membership voting, it was also the highest turnout percentage since 2000.

In the Texas Young Lawyers Association election, Victor Flores of Denton was elected president-elect.

View State Bar election results here; click here for TYLA results. For the news release, click here.

Posted inJuryNews

State Bar of Texas warns public of jury duty scams

As Texas’ annual Jury Appreciation Week approaches in the first week of May, the State Bar of Texas wants to warn Texans about the proliferation of jury duty scams across the state in recent months.

There have been widespread reports of scammers calling residents and accusing them of failing to show up for jury duty. The scammers may claim to be with a local sheriff’s department, the U.S. Marshal’s Office, a district or county clerk’s office, or even a court.

The callers threaten that the person answering will be arrested unless he or she pays an amount, typically $500 but it may vary, using either prepaid gift cards or a wire transfer.

The callers have some knowledge of the jury duty system and often use language that makes them sound legitimate. The callers can get very aggressive and may also ask for personal information, like social security numbers.

Texans should know that no government agency will demand payment over the phone.

If you receive this type of call, hang up the phone. Do not send money and do not answer their questions. Call your local sheriff’s department, district attorney’s office, or court clerk’s office using publicly available phone numbers to report the scammers.

Posted inState Bar

Final Updates from the 2018 State Bar President-elect Candidates

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to State Bar of Texas members on Tuesday. 

In an effort to encourage voter participation and educate members on the 2018 State Bar president-elect candidates, the State Bar is sending periodic emails with messages submitted by the candidates addressing topics of their choosing. The seventh and final messages are available at the links below.

Note: Opinions expressed by the candidates do not necessarily reflect the views of the State Bar of Texas.

Lisa Blue
Dallas

Randy Sorrels
Houston

Click here to read Lisa Blue’s message.  Click here to read Randy Sorrels’ message. 

Continue Reading

Posted inState Bar

Jury Appreciation Week: A time to honor jurors

By Kaci Singer

As Texas celebrates its third annual Jury Appreciation Week starting today, we pause to honor those citizens who give of their time to participate in our judicial system.

Jury Appreciation Week was created by the 84th Legislature and was first celebrated in 2016. To mark the occasion, the State Bar of Texas has produced the Jury Appreciation Week Guide to offer ideas on how to celebrate Jury Appreciation Week in your communities. Please note that although Jury Appreciation Week is designated to occur during the first week in May each year, it may be observed anytime. Continue Reading

Posted inAbout The BarNewsPeopleState Bar

Laura Gibson chosen State Bar of Texas board chair-elect

Laura Gibson

Houston attorney Laura Gibson was chosen to be chair-elect of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors during the board’s meeting in Fort Worth on Friday.

Gibson will take office during the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting to be held June 21-22 in Houston. She will serve as chair until June 2019.

Read the full news release here.

Posted inState Bar

Vick: State Bar of Texas Board Takes Action on Transparency, Budget

Tom Vick

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

I’m writing with an update on today’s State Bar of Texas Board of Directors meeting in Fort Worth, which included action on transparency, the budget, and president-elect task forces; an update on possible advertising review changes; a next step in our general counsel search; and the election of a new board chair. As promised, the meeting was taped, and the video will be available at texasbar.com/board by next week.

Transparency Efforts
The board voted unanimously to request proposals from qualified firms to conduct a thorough, independent review of transparency issues at the State Bar. The findings will be reported to the board and shared publicly.

This is a positive step that further illustrates our commitment to being a leader in open government. It is the latest in a series of transparency improvements at the State Bar in recent months, including the launch of the Our Finances webpage and the videotaping of board meetings. We are looking into technology to allow possible live streaming of future board meetings. Continue Reading

LexBlog