TYLA Officers


Rebekah Steely Brooker, President


Dustin M. Howell, Chair


Sam Houston, Vice President


Baili B. Rhodes, Secretary


John W. Shaw, Treasurer


C. Barrett Thomas, President-elect


Priscilla D. Camacho, Chair-elect


Kristy Blanchard, Immediate Past President

TYLA Directors


Amanda A. Abraham, District 1


Sharesa Y. Alexander, Minority At-Large Director


Raymond J. Baeza, District 14

    Aaron J. Burke, District 5, Place 1

Aaron T. Capps, District 5, Place 2


D. Lance Currie, District 5, Place 3


Laura W. Docker, District 10, Place 1

    Andrew Dornburg, District 21
    John W. Ellis, District 8, Place 2
    Zeke Fortenberry, District 4

Bill Gardner, District 5, Place 4


Morgan L. Gaskin, District 6, Place 5

    Nick Guinn, District 18, Place 1

Adam C. Harden, District 6, Place 6


Amber L. James, District 17


Curtis W. Lucas, District 9

    Rudolph K. Metayer, District 8, Palce 1

Laura Pratt, District 3

    Sally Pretorius, District 8, Place 2

Baili B. Rhodes, District 2


Alex B. Roberts, District 6, Place 3

    Eduardo Romero, District 19
    Michelle P. Scheffler, District 6, Place 2

John W. Shaw, District 10, Place 2

    Nicole Soussan, District 6, Place 4
    L. Brook Stuntebeck, District 11

C. Barrett Thomas, District 15

    Judge Amanda N. Torres, Minority At-Large Director

Shannon Steel White, District 12

    Brandy Wingate Voss, District 13
    Veronica S. Wolfe, District 18, Place 2

Baylor Wortham, District 7

    Alex Yarbrough, District 16


Justice Paul W. Green, Supreme Court Liaison


Jenny Smith, Access To Justice Liaison


Brandon Crisp, ABA YLD District 25 Representative


Travis Patterson, ABA/YLD District 26 Representative


Assistant Dean Jill Nikirk, Law School Liaison


Belashia Wallace, Law Student Liaison


TYLA Office

Tracy Brown, Director of Administration
Bree Trevino, Project Coordinator

Michelle Palacios, Office Manager
General Questions: tyla@texasbar.com

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 12487, Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711-2487
(800) 204-2222 ext. 1529
FAX: (512) 427-4117

Street Address

1414 Colorado, 4th Floor
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 427-1529


Views and opinions expressed in eNews are those of their authors and not necessarily those of the Texas Young Lawyers Association or the State Bar of Texas.





























































December 2013

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

By: John W. Shaw, Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC

I really enjoy writing the Editor’s Column for the December issue. Given the nature of time, I’ve only been able to do it twice in the last two years. (Unfortunately, time is something that I have yet to find an answer for. There’s only so much of it, and usually, that’s never enough!) Part of the reason that I enjoy it so much is because it allows me to reflect and give thanks for all the good work that TYLA and its members have accomplished over the last calendar year and to also look forward to the amazing things that we have in store for the New Year.

Top Story

Electronic Filing Update In A Nutshell
By:  Blake A. Hawthorne, Clerk of the Court, Supreme Court of Texas

The past year has been an extremely active one for electronic filing in Texas courts. Here in a nutshell is what every Texas lawyer should know about recent developments in electronic filing:

Feature TYLA Project

By: Aaron Capps

If you’ve never been to Lubbock (which I can proudly say is no longer the case for me), you’ve likely never heard of The Children’s Home of Lubbock. It is home to numerous children and teens removed from their homes for one reason or another. These children find themselves at a difficult point in their lives. Luckily, The Children’s Home has a great staff in place that works to help them through this period, and in some instances, place them into new homes.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

By:  David C. Courreges

Over the course of the week before Halloween, heavy rains pounded Central Texas, prompting minor flooding throughout the area. Even the tree hovering above Lady Bird Lake — a monument to the recent extreme drought — was enveloped by rising waters. Once the rains ended Halloween morning, it appeared that much of the area was spared any major damage. It would be a perfect night for tick-or-treating.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Practical Tips on Client Development for Young Lawyers
By:  Cordell Parvin

I have done a lot of work helping associates with client development in my old firm and now as a coach. In this article I want to share with you my practical ideas for young lawyers on client development.

Tips for Young Lawyers
Tips for Young Lawyers

Pulling Back the Curtain: A Primer on the Texas Public Information Act
By:  Bill Richmond

People naturally fear what they don’t understand. In the classic film The Wizard of Oz, pulling back the curtain to reveal that the Wizard was just a surly old man instead of a deity certainly helped to calm Dorothy and give her a proper perspective. So it is with the Texas Public Information Act, which appears daunting at first but actually provides a reasonable mechanism for the citizenry to request and receive public records from all governmental and certain non-governmental agencies in Texas.

Health Tips for Young Lawyers
Health Tips for Young Lawyers

By:  Emmy Lu Trammell, MS, RDN, LD

The holiday season is a time for celebration, spending time with family and friends, and, of course, eating delicious food. Many become very busy with planning and attending holiday events. With all the joy also comes the potential of drifting away from some of the healthy habits we acquired over the year. Below are some of the common statements and questions one may ask as the season approaches.

Texas Access To Justice Commission Update

Legal Aid Helps Texans Stay in Their Homes
By: Harry M. Reasoner, Chair, Texas Access to Justice Commission

The families of Las Lomitas were in danger of losing their homes until Texas RioGrande Legal Aid intervened. These families purchased undeveloped agricultural land in Travis County and spent years building homes and developing their own water supplies, septic systems, and roads.

Important Dates To Remember

December 24-26, 2013
Holiday - Christmas (Texas Law Center closed)

January 1, 2014
Holiday - New Year's Day (Texas Law Center closed)

January 15, 2014
Texas Bar Foundation spring grant submission deadline

January 17-19, 2014
TYLA Board of Directors Meeting - Fort Worth

January 20, 2014
Holiday - Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Texas Law Center closed)

January 22, 2014
TYLA officer ballots mailed to TYLA Board of Directors

Take Note

Kristy Blanchard, TYLA President
Click here to view this month's TYLA President's Opinion, written by TYLA Chair Cameron Cox.



Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange – Enroll now in the Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange (memberbenefits.com/texasbar), a multi-carrier private exchange designed for State Bar of Texas members, their staffs, and dependents. Member Benefits, Inc., staff can assist members and their staffs in estimating whether they qualify for a premium tax credit through the federal government. Individuals can also create an online account and shop for benefits for themselves and their families, choosing from a wide variety of health plans that compete for enrollment within the exchange. Members can also purchase dental, vision, life, and disability insurance at special pricing.

As of December, Employers can create an account on the exchange, set a budget, and provide employees with a fixed amount of money (a “defined contribution”). Employees use the contribution to purchase the coverage and options of their choosing. If employees choose plans or mixes of benefits that cost more than the employer-defined contribution provided, they pay the difference. Decision support tools and live customer support will be available to help Texas lawyers determine their best course of action.


Support a Veteran — Support a veteran in your area by volunteering at a free legal services clinic! The State Bar offers resources to help, including the Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans clinic-in-a-box, which contains supplies, promotional materials, evaluation forms, and much more. The State Bar also offers two FREE CLE webcasts for attorneys who pledge to volunteer at a veterans legal clinic or take one pro-bono case serving a veteran in the upcoming year. Register for The Basics of Veterans Benefits Law: Part I and The Basics of Veterans Benefits Law: Part II. Each course is accredited for 3 hours of CLE and covers the ins and outs of veterans benefits. For more information on VA Attorney Accreditation, click here.


I was the First. Vote for Me!
The State Bar of Texas has launched I was the first. Vote for Me!, a multimedia project educating elementary students on some of the historic figures featured in the new social studies TEKS standards. In addition to lessons on historic firsts, students will also learn about math, citizenship, reading, and voting. The website includes animations of historic figures; curriculum materials for teachers; and links to other resources for students, teachers, and attorneys. In addition to the web-based materials, an e-reader and hard-copy book are available and can also be accessed in PDF format from the website. The book and animations are prepared in both English and Spanish.


Professional Liability Insurance
Two professional liability insurance providers have options specifically for State Bar of Texas members. Learn more about USI Affinity and the Texas Lawyers' Insurance Exchange and how they can help Texas lawyers here.


Texas Bar Today
Texas Bar Today is an online media network designed to promote the news and commentary of Texas lawyers, law students, and legal professionals who maintain blogs or submit guest articles. The site, TexasBarToday.com, is updated weekdays with selected blog and video posts and Texas legal headlines, which are also promoted on the Texas Bar Today Twitter account.

Texas lawyers who want to include their blog or video on Texas Bar Today, or submit a guest article for posting, can send an email request to webmaster@texasbar.com. The State Bar of Texas has full editorial discretion regarding which blogs are linked, and all opinions and statements in blogs are those of their authors and not the State Bar. All attorney websites, including blogs, must comply with State Bar of Texas advertising guidelines, TexasBar.com/adreview.


Savings through the State Bar Member Discount Program
Take advantage of discounts offered through the State Bar of Texas Member Discounts Program. Save money on clothing, cellular service, computers, televisions and other office supplies!  For more information please visit www.texasbar.com/discounts.  Visit often – the site is updated regularly with new deals!


The Texas Bar Journal wants to hear from you!
Have you received an honor or recognition? Have you recently accepted a new position or moved? Keep the Texas legal community informed by submitting your news at texasbar.com/tbjsubmissions. Your news could appear in an issue of the Texas Bar Journal.



Success Strategies and Key Lessons for Young Lawyers Course 2014
Cosponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers Association
MCLE Credit: Approximately 6.5 hours including 1.5 ethics hours expected.

Houston - Live Presentation (One site only!)
February 28, 2014
Crowne Plaza River Oaks Hotel
Register now and save $50! Texas Young Lawyers Association members save $75!
Attorneys licensed 5 years or less attend for half off!

More Info or Register

For questions or to register by phone during regular business hours call 800-204-2222, ext 1574.


TYLA Local Leader Directory
Please email the TYLA office if there are any changes to your local affiliate's 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 Anita BarksdaleLeif Olson, Sally Pretorius and John Shaw.

Ten Minute Mentor
Ten Minute Mentor debuted in 2004 to share concise and practical advice that is always accessible online. Since then, 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 www.tenminutementor.com.

Support Pro Bono Legal Services and Let Everyone Know It!
TYLA 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 costs only $35.00 per year, or $70.00 for a personalized plate.

$25.00 from the purchase of each plate will go to support legal services to the poor.  To buy your plate, simply fill out an application and send your check, payable to the Texas Department of Transportation, to:

Vehicle Titles and Registration Division (SPB)
Texas Department of Transportation
Austin, TX 78779-0001
To pay online click here.

TYLA Annual Report 2012-2013
Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the Annual Report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2012-2013 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send one.