August 2008



Meet the TYLA Board


August 22
TYLA Minority Scholarship appliations and brochures mailed to all participating TX ABA-accredited law schools.

August 25
TYLA deadline to receive first committee report

September 1
Labor Day (Texas Law Center closed)

September 12-13
TYLA Board of Directors meeting - Garrett Creek Ranch, Paradise TX

October 3-4
ABA YLD Fall Conference - San Diego, CA

October 6
TYLA grant checks mailed to TYLA Local Affiliate grant recipients

October 17
TYLA deadline to receive TYLA Minority Scholarship applications

October 20
TYLA deadline to receive second committee report


Meet the NEW TYLA Board

Sylvia A. Cardona, San Antonio

Clay B. Scheitzach, Dallas

Kirsten Barron Cohoon, Houston

Natalie Cobb Koehler, Meridian

David Anderson, Dallas

Cori A. Harbour, El Paso

C.E. Rhodes, Houston

William W. Miller, Jr., Texarkana


Hector A. Beltrán, El Paso
Natasha L. Brooks, Midland
Kelly L. Burris, Dallas
J. Brett Busby, Houston
Alfonso Cabañas, San Antonio
Hon. Rob Cañas, Dallas
Jeff Chandler, San Angelo
Kelly-Ann F. Clarke, Galveston
Carvana Y. Cloud, Houston
Adrienne M. Clements, Fort Worth
David C. Courreges, Austin
Geoff A. Gannaway, Houston
Israel Garcia, San Antonio
Don Jones, Corpus Christi
Natalie Cobb Koehler, Meridian
Keith L Krueger, College Station
Demetra Liggins, Houston
Alyssa Long, San Antonio
Christy Martin, Houston
John Massouh, Amarillo
Jennifer Evans Morris, Dallas
Chike Okpara, Austin
Daniel Peugh, Denton
Connie H. Pfeiffer, Houston
Kristy Sims Piazza, Plano
Donato D. Ramos, Jr., Laredo
Jaime S. Rangel, Corpus Christi
Kenneth C. Riney, Dallas
Jobe Rodgers, Lubbock
Paul Tu, Houston
Brooke Ulrickson, Fort Worth
Rebecca Vela, McAllen
John D. West, Jr., Beaumont
Kristie Wright, Texarkana


Justice Dale Wainwright, Texas Supreme Court

Jeff Edwards, Access To Justice

Kirby D. Hopkins, ABA YLD District 25

Christopher Rogers, ABA YLD District 26

Dean Charles E. Cantú, Law School

Ian Pittman, Law Student


Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 12487
Austin 78711-2487
Physical Address:
1414 Colorado, 2nd Floor
Austin 78701
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1529
(512) 427-1529
fax: (512) 427-4117

Tracy Brown, Director
Denny Sheppard, Project Coordinator
Bree Trevino, Office Manager


  • TYLA Web site
  • TYLA Committee Info
  • CareerCenter
  • Contact TYLA
  • State Bar of Texas
  • TexasBar CLE

  • Editor's Column

    Are You Prepared?
    By Rebecca Vela

    Rebecca Vela

    We do it every day. We prepare for the big meeting, deposition, mediation, and trial. Most of us were taught that in order to ensure success, you must be well prepared. While you probably prepared for anything that may come up for work, are you prepared for those things that you cannot anticipate?

    Recently, the Galveston/Houston area was hit with a tropical storm and the Rio Grande Valley was hit with a hurricane. Fortunately for both areas, the damage was nothing compared to what hurricanes Rita and Katrina left behind. But, the question remains, were we prepared? (Cont.)

    Top Story

    Vote America! Honor the Fight, Exercise Your Right
    By Sylvia A. Cardona

    Cathy Davenport, David Courreges, Sylvia Cardona,
    Hilary Shelton (Director, NAACP Washington Bureau),
    Natasha Brooks, and Alfonso Cabanas

    I am excited to share with you great news about Texas Young Lawyers Association's current project, Vote America! Honor the Fight, Exercise Your Right. Vote America! is an 11th and 12th grade curriculum and video project tasked to remind us of our most important civic responsibility — our vote. Vote America! educates students about the heroic efforts made by many for equality in the right to vote. The 15th, 19th, and 26th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, struggles of the civil rights era, and the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, are all chronicled in this historical video. While I take great pride in introducing this video to our community, I take greater pride in sharing with you the hard work performed by the Texas Young Lawyers who made Vote America! possible. (Cont.)


    Feature TYLA Affiliate

    DAYL WILL LET FREEDOM RUN on September 11th
    By Ken Riney

    The 8th Annual Freedom Run 5K and Bill Carollo One Mile Walk, organized by the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, will take place on the evening of Thursday, September 11th at 6:30 p.m. The Freedom Run is excited to announce that, for the first time, the race and festival will be held in downtown Dallas at the City Hall Plaza.

    The Freedom Run is also pleased to announce the support of SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket, the 2007 Marconi Award winner for the “Best Sports Station in America” and flagship affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys radio network. From 3-7pm on September 11th, The Hardline will be broadcasting live from Dallas City Hall Plaza.(Cont.)

    Please email the TYLA office if there are any changes to your local affiliates contact information.

    If your affiliate has an upcoming event that you would like featured in eNews, please forward the information to Bree Trevino or contact eNews Co-Chairs Brad Allen, Ken Riney or Rebecca Vela.


    Feature TYLA Project

    If you have not browsed the TYLA website in the past year, you have been missing out! In the past year, Texas Young Lawyers have been hard at work creating new resources on topics relevant to citizens and young lawyers of Texas.

    Many of these recent projects generated web-worthy content that has been archived online at the Texas Young Lawyers Association's webpage, If you have not visited the site before, or recently, here are the things you need to know about: (Cont.)


    Tips for Young Lawyers

    Four Things Every Trial Lawyer Must Know About The Changing Insurance Landscape
    By Christopher W. Martin

    Most insurance policies and Texas insurance law itself have changed drastically over the last several years creating several significant legal malpractice traps for un-weary practitioners. Lawyers who evaluate lawsuits which implicate insurance policies based on what they learned several (or many) years ago face significant risks due to changes in policies and the law which can significantly harm the interests of their clients. (Cont.)


    Articles of Interest

    FLDS Update
    By Brooke Ulrickson

    Unless you are one of the lucky ones who has the time to catch up on the latest news you may not know that the children in the middle of the El Dorado custody battle were returned to their homes in May. Now, the Texas Department of Child Protective Services is seeking custody of eight of the returned children because their mothers are refusing to agree to keep them away from the men practicing and promoting underage marriage. (Cont.)

    ABA YLD Update

    TYLA Honored by ABA YLD
    By Chris Rogers

    In New York from left to right: Brian Miller, Bill Miller, Natalie Cobb Koehler, C.E. Rhodes, Kirsten Cohoon, David Anderson, Sylvia Cardona and Cori A. Harbour.

    On August 9, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division presented its annual Awards of Achievement, highlighting state and local young lawyer organizations and their best projects from the past year of bar and community service. Young lawyer organizations are judged against their peer (similarly sized) organizations and awards are given in each of the following categories: (Cont.)

    If you have any questions about ABA YLD conferences or projects, please contact: Kirby D. Hopkins, ABA YLD District 25 Representative or Chris Rogers, ABA YLD District 26 Representative through these email links.

    Upcoming Events

    Survive and Thrive Your First Years of Practice!
    Two back-to-back courses cosponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers Association:

    Click to register online: Success Strategies for New Lawyers 2008

    Click to register online: Essential Practice Skills for New Attorneys 2008

    Take Note

    TYLA Annual Report 2007-2008
    Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the 2007-2008 annual report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2007-2008 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send you a copy.

    Get Involved and Sign Up Today!

    If you want to be involved as an active volunteer in TYLA, now is the best time. The new Bar year is just getting underway, and you can get in on the ground floor and really help shape the work of our public or member service committees of your choice. Visit our website to find out more about TYLA committees and their focus ... then sign up online!

    Please note: if you signed up for a committee prior to June 2008, you will need to sign up for your committees again. Committee memberships are reset each year on June 1.

    The Texas Young Lawyer Association is adding new segments to the Ten Minute Mentor library. Ten Minute Mentor is a TYLA project that debuted in 2004 as a means for sharing concise and practical advice that is always accessible online. Since that time, it has proven its enduring appeal as one of TYLA's most successful projects. More than 50,000 people have visited the site, and we continue to average more than 2,000 segments viewed each month. You can visit the site at

    Support Pro Bono Legal Services and Let Everyone Know It!

    The Texas Young Lawyers Association needs your help to support and promote free legal services for indigent Texans by purchasing a specialty license plate. The license plate proudly states that you support "Justice for All" and can be purchased for only $30.00 per year.
    $25.00 from the purchase of each plate will be deposited into an account
    supporting legal services to the poor. If you would like that plate personalized, you can get your plate for $70.00 per year. To purchase your plate today, simply fill out an application and send your check, payable to the Texas Department of Transportation, to the following address:
    Vehicle Titles and Registration Division (SPB)
    Texas Department of Transportation
    Austin, TX 78779-0001

    2008-2009 YouTube Contest: Ideals that Unite Us
    What are the ideals that unite us as citizens of this country? That's the theme of the State Bar's new YouTube video contest. To enter the contest, create a video no longer than three minutes that captures your vision of the ideals that unite us as Texans. You must be a Texas resident or an attorney licensed to practice in Texas.

    Online entry forms will be available by October 1, 2008. The deadline for entries is March 16, 2009. You can enter the contest as an individual or as part of a group. We encourage local bar associations to submit their own video entry. The call for entries video and additional contest details can be found at

    Make New Connections with Texas Bar Circle
    Nearly 5,000 of your peers have joined Texas Bar Circle - our new social and professional network for Texas lawyers. Join today and reconnect with colleagues, find jobs, explore opportunities, and have fun. The power of Texas Bar Circle is in the connections you will make. Visit

    Member Benefits Program
    Are you looking for ways to save this summer? Take advantage of exclusive money-saving offers from the State Bar of Texas Member Benefits Program. Bar members are eligible for discounts on products and services including car rental, clothing, computer hardware and software, office supplies, and more. For details on the State Bar Member Benefits Program, visit .