2006 National Trial Competition
Largest Competition Ever!

For the second year in a row, the National Trial Competition (NTC) has seen record-breaking registrations for its annual law school mock trial competition. NTC, which is open to all 190 currently ABA-accredited law schools in the United States, is co-sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) and the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL). This year 150 law schools (and over 250 teams) are competing in the 13 regional competitions around the country. Regional competitions are being held the first three weekends in February. The top two teams from each region will advance to the championship rounds being held in Dallas from March 23-25, 2006. Volunteers are needed!!!

In 2002, TYLA increased the number of regions from 12 to 13 due to continued increases in school participation. The NTC Committee will likely review districts and recommend expansion again if participation levels of the past two years continue. "Because of the strong support from the ACTL, the Regional Hosts have not complained about the growth," says NTC Coordinator Tracy Brown,"but it is an issue we monitor due to the large commitment of manpower a competition requires from the Bar community." (continued)

Feature TYLA Project
Not Your Ordinary CLE ...
TYLA Roadshow and TYLA Crossroads

TYLA is frequently labeled the public service arm of the State Bar of Texas. And though it is true that many of TYLA’s committees are dedicated to public service projects, the rest are focused on projects that bring value to our members.

In the current fiscal year, TYLA is striving to educate young lawyers in new and innovative ways. Two prime examples are the continuation of the TYLA Roadshows, customized CLE donated to TYLA Affiliates, and TYLA Crossroads, a new and exciting CLE seminar designed specifically for the five-to-ten year lawyer who may be at a crossroads in his or her career. (continued)

Rebecca Vela, Hidalgo County YLA
Kelly-Ann Clarke -

Rebecca Vela

This holiday season Rebecca Vela, President of the Hidalgo County Young Lawyers Association, advises us all to take some time off. She cautions, “No one will remind you that you need to take your vacation, but you will be much more productive after the break.” Although she does not always follow her own advice, like all of us, she is working on it! Currently, Vela is busy in her civil litigation practice at Kittleman, Thomas, Ramirez & Gonzalez, L.L.P. in McAllen. She could not imagine a better place to work and describes the nine other attorneys in the firm as simply “wonderful.” Vela handles an assortment of commercial litigation and personal injury cases. Her practice allows her to handle both plaintiff and defense cases. (continued)

Electronic Discovery: Ten Tips for Outside Counsel Representing Corporate Clients
Chip Brooker -

Imagine you are a seasoned trial lawyer at a large, downtown firm. Following a successful “Beauty Contest” at the New York headquarters of Telco Corporation—a FORTUNE 500 telecommunications company—you are given the opportunity to represent Telco in future commercial disputes. To prepare, you begin to research Telco Corporation so that you are familiar with its management, core business, financials, and other issues potentially affecting future litigation.

During your research, you quickly discover that Telco is highly dependent on electronic information. For example, Telco receives up to 300 million external emails a month in addition to the 90 million internal emails that Telco employees send and receive. Telco also uses approximately 121,000 backup tapes each month, but it routinely recycles these tapes according to an internal document retention and destruction policy. On average, Telco stores approximately 800 terabytes of electronic information with each terabyte representing 500 billion typed pages. You quickly do the math and realize that Telco’s electronic information equates to 400 trillion typed pages. Immediately, you begin to sweat. (continued)

Looking Ahead: How to Establish Yourself as a Leader In and Out of the Office
Lynne Liberato, Robert Witte, and Kendyl Hanks Darby -

1. Leadership within your firm or practice

  • First and foremost, become an expert in your practice area.
  • Produce high-quality legal work on a timely basis––consistently.
  • Get to know as many of your colleagues (attorneys, paralegals and staff) as possible. Call people by name and treat everyone in your office with the same degree of respect.
  • Care about your client and be sure they know you do. (continued)


Seventh Annual Las Vegas CLE
By Joni Paul Kleinschmidt


The Amarillo Area YLA and Austin YLA have teamed up again to sponsor the seventh annual Las Vegas CLE. This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, February 18, 2006, at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Lawyers of all ages are invited on this pilgrimage to Las Vegas, which presents an opportunity to earn 6.75 hours of MCLE credit (pending approval). Register by January 18, 2006 to receive the early bird discount. (continued)

Judicial Poll : Electronic Voting Begins January 23rd
Beginning January 23, 2006, the State Bar will conduct a Judicial Poll on selected races. Online voting will be conducted from January 23 - February 1. Attorneys who do not vote online will be mailed a paper ballot on February 8, 2006. Visit the State Bar website to cast your vote!


Nominating petitions require signatures from 5% or 100 members in a district, whichever is less. It is not too soon to begin the process. (more info)

The nominating petition form is included below, as well as a chart indicating the districts up for election and the required number of petition signatures for the districts.

Position & Signature Chart
Nominating Petition Form

TYLA Minority Director Nominations
The deadline for nominations for minority at-large director positions on the TYLA Board of Directors is March 15. Written nominations should include a letter of nomination and a resume. Two positions are open: one candidate shall be selected from districts including the cities of Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio; the other shall be from cities in any other district. Send nominations to Texas Young Lawyers Association, Minority Involvement Committee, P.O. Box 12487, Austin 78711-2487. A recommendation for appointment will be made at the May TYLA Board of Directors meeting.

ABA-YLD Appointment Opportunities for 2006-2007
The ABA YLD Appointments Committee will soon be meeting to appoint young lawyers from around the nation to leadership positions within the YLD. The YLD offers a wealth of opportunities for involvement, whether you are a new graduate or a young lawyer who will soon be aging out of the YLD. (more info.)


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is expected to resume the court's operations in its New Orleans office on January 9, following its relocation after Hurricane Katrina. The temporary clerk's office in Houston has been closed. For filing of true emergency matters only, call 504-310-7700 and follow the instructions provided. (more info.)

Clarence Darrow: The Search for Justice
Performance: Austin - January 14, 2006 (2 pm and 8 pm)
Gary Anderson portrays Clarence Darrow and covers over 16 topical issues related to the law - ranging from freedom of speech, creationism versus Darwin, Federal government culpability, to vicarious liability - all in two hours!



    National Trial Competition
    Not Your Ordinary CLE
    Affiliates Team Up for Joint CLE
    Electronic Discovery
    Looking Ahead


    Las Vegas CLE
    Judicial Poll

    TYLA and State Bar Elections
    Minority At Large Director Nominations
    ABA-YLD Appointment Opportunities



    Jan. 11 - Wednesday
    Deadline Extended: Employer Registration Texas Off Campus Recruitment Program

    Jan. 15 - Sunday
    Texas Bar Foundation Deadlines: Achievement Awards nominations;
    Grant Applications

    Jan. 16 - Monday
    SBOT Holiday - Law Center Closed

    Jan. 18 - Wednesday
    Las Vegas CLE Early Bird Registration Deadline

    Jan. 26 - Thursday
    HYLA Final Thursday - Spencers at the Downtown Hilton (free to members / $20 nonmembers)

    Jan. 27-28 - Fri - Sat
    TYLA Board Meeting - San Antonio

    Feb. 9-12 - Thur - Sun
    ABA-YLD Midyear Meeting - Chicago, IL

    Feb. 17 - Friday
    TYLA Officer Election Results Announced

    Feb. 20 - Monday
    SBOT Holiday - Law Center Closed

    Mar. 1 - Wednesday
    TYLA Director Nomination Deadline

    Mar. 1 - Wednesday
    Deadline: ABA-YLD Affiliate Subgrant application

    Mar. 1 - Wednesday
    Deadline: 2006 Short Story Fiction Writing Contest

    Mar. 15 - Wednesday
    Minority At Large Application Deadline

    Mar. 23-25 - Wed.-Sat.
    National Trial Competition (Dallas)