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.





























































January 2013

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Are you ready for the challenges of being a law firm partner?
By:  Robert Booth, Mills Shirley LLP

It’s been exactly one year since the firm elevated me to partner. Learn from my experience and be prepared when you become partner.


Did you bill many hours in November and December? Neither did the rest of the attorneys in your office. As a partner your take-home depends on how many hours are billed. As a new partner, don’t expect large distributions in January or February. Depending on your expenses, you probably will need a cash reserve of at least three months of living expenses and probably much closer to six.

Top Story
Top Story

Texas Supreme Court Proposes Rules for Expedited Actions and Dismissals
By:  Dan Worthington, Atlas Hall & Rodriguez L.L.P., McAllen, Texas

In 2011, the 82nd Texas Legislature passed House Bill 274, which directed the Texas Supreme Court to adopt proposed rules for dismissals and expedited actions.

The proposed rules were published in December’s Texas Bar Journal. The Texas Supreme Court is currently accepting comments which must be delivered by February 1, 2013 to Marisa Secco, Rules Attorney, Texas Supreme Court, PO Box 12248, Austin, Texas 78711.

Feature TYLA Project

From the Inside Out: In-House Counsel’s Advice for Young Lawyers
By: Morgan L. Gaskin

As one of the 2012-2013 TYLA Board projects, representatives from the Texas Young Lawyers Association partnered with members of the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division to develop From the Inside Out: In-House Counsel’s Advice for Young Lawyers. The Guide is the result of an online survey created by both state bodies which was completed by in-house counsel across various industries. In approaching the project, TYLA and the Florida Bar YLD identified an opportunity to provide invaluable insight into the expectations in-house counsel have when working with outside counsel. TYLA and the Florida Bar YLD developed the survey questions with a keen eye toward highlighting parts of the in-house practice that may not be readily apparent to outside counsel.

Young Lawyer Spotlight
Young Lawyer Spotlight

TYLA Profile: DaSean A. Jones, Attorney and Army Veteran
By: Topher Sanders

Countless veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan in the past few years. These men and women have been lauded as heroes. Many have earned medals for valor, meritorious service, and other accomplishments for which they will be heralded for years. But despite their sacrifices, many of these same warriors will return unable to find suitable employment. Leaving a stable job and income for unchartered territory is uncomfortable. The transition can be unpredictable. I spoke to one veteran, DaSean A. Jones, about his experience.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

Seventeen Simple Rules for Better Jury Selection
By:  Mark W. Bennett

After watching many inauspicious jury selection efforts, I realized that I might be able to contribute to practitioners’ jury selection by codifying a few of the things I’ve learned in seventeen years of trying cases and many hours of extracurricular study.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Take the High Road – It Will Serve You Well
By:  Fred Raschke, Mills Shirley LLP

Describing lawyers as modern day warriors is a tired metaphor routinely invoked by judges, news media and the bar journals. For example, routine profiles in Texas Super Lawyers herald lawyers as fighting for their clients. [1] Continuing legal education frequently features lawyer “war stories." But as we all know, lawyers are not actual warriors. Lawyers do not carry swords, sleep in barracks, nor do they salute fellow lawyers at the Courthouse. Nevertheless, despite the lawyers’ desire to be warriors, many lawyers are less than chivalrous.

Texas Access To Justice Commission Update

The Commission Gears Up for Legislative Session

The 83rd Texas Legislative Session kicked off on Tuesday, January 8th and the Texas Access to Justice Commission is looking forward to educating new and returning Legislators on the issues surrounding low-income Texans’ access to legal services.  Later this month, the Commission will be co-hosting an informative breakfast for newly elected and second term House members to provide them with an overview of the civil legal aid system and how it impacts their constituents.  The Commission and our partners will follow up with visits to legislators during our annual Access to Justice Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 20th. These visits provide a valuable opportunity to discuss one-on-one the importance of civil legal aid in our communities and urge state lawmakers to support funding for civil legal aid.

Important Dates To Remember
Important Dates To Remember

January 31, 2013
TYLA presents it's newest public service video Slavery Out of the Shadows: Spotlight on Human Trafficking at South Texas College of Law.  For more information on the event please click here.

February 1, 2013
TYLA director nomination petitions appear in the Texas Bar Journal and are mailed to the outgoing TYLA Directors and Local Affiliate Presidents

February 1, 2013
TYLA notice of Minority At-Large Director Place 1 election mailed to all TYLA Board of Directors, Local Affiliates, Minority Bar Associations and Texas Bar Journal

February 1, 2013
TYLA Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas Award, Liberty Bell Award and Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas Award rules and criteria mailed to TYLA Local Affiliate Presidents, local bars, and minority bars

February 6, 2013
TYLA Officer election results are announced

February 7-9, 2013
ABA YLD midyear meeting; House of Delegates - Dallas

February 18, 2013
Holiday - Presidents Day (Texas Law Center closed)

Take Note
Take Note

Click here to view this month's TYLA President's Opinion
C.E. Rhodes, TYLA President


We would like to thank our Platinum Sponsor FTI Consulting


TYLA presents it's newest public service video Slavery Out of the Shadows: Spotlight on Human Trafficking at South Texas College of Law, Thursday, January 31, 2013 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  The video and presentation has been approved for 1 hour CLE credit, and lunch will be provided.  The Houston Bar Association is a co-sponsor.  For more details on the event, please click here.


Lawyers Needed to Judge Competition during ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas
The ABA Law Student Division needs 85 lawyers and judges to participate as competition judges for the 2012-13 Negotiation Competition National Finals during the ABA Midyear Meeting February 8-9, 2013 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, TX. Lawyers interested in objectively evaluating the negotiation skills of the top 24 (out of 228) law student teams from across the country and giving them useful feedback are asked to visit here for more details and to sign up. Texas lawyers may earn self study CLE credit.  Please contact Peggy Pissarreck if you have questions.


Insurance and Member Benefits Update
The State Bar of Texas Insurance and Member Benefits Subcommittee continues to study ways for the State Bar to better serve members. The State Bar is offering a free CLE webcast, Affordable Care Act: Important Information About Your Choices,  on January 30 and March 6 to educate members about health insurance and the Affordable Care Act. To register, visit texasbar.com/insurancetraining. Participants will receive 1.5 hours of CLE credit.

This February, solo and small firm practitioners will receive a survey from the State Bar gauging their interest in participating in a group plan to try to get lower cost health insurance. The survey results will determine if there is enough member interest for group coverage. As an incentive to complete the survey, an iPad Mini will be given away for every 5,000 returned surveys.

Visit texasbar.com/insurance to take advantage of current options available through the State Bar of Texas Insurance Trust and eHealthInsurance.


Savings through the State Bar Member Discount Program
Visit texasbar.com/discounts to take advantage of the State Bar Member Discount program. Save money on vacations, computers, clothing, gourmet chocolate, televisions, and more! Visit often – the site is updated regularly with new deals!

Friday Update

The State Bar of Texas is committed to keeping its members informed on proposed legislation that might be of interest to the legal profession as the legislative session progresses. The Friday Update is a weekly e-newsletter which includes summarized information and links to relevant bills. To subscribe, please click here.


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.


Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay!
State Bar of Texas Past President Bob Black worked with the State Bar Law-Related Education Department to create Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! Civics Resources for Texas Students and Teachers, an interactive web-based project to assist Texas teachers and their students in preparing for the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards, which took effect August 1, 2011. The website includes links to landmark court decisions that students are required to learn, case studies, videos and multimedia tools, teaching strategies, and other online resources. For a printed toolkit contact Blair McBride or call (800) 204-2222, ext. 1726.


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 Robert E. Booth and Leif Olson.

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.

Make New Connections with Texas Bar Circle
More than 15,000 of your peers have joined Texas Bar Circle - our 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 here.

TYLA Annual Report 2011-2012
Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the 2011-2012 Annual Report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2011-2012 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send one.


TYLA is Co-Sponsoring the Following CLE Courses.  Register now to save $50! TYLA members can save $75!  New attorneys can attend for $95!  Please see below for more information:

Success Strategies and Key Lessons for Young Lawyers
Houston - Live Presentation - March 1, 2013, Crowne Plaza River Oaks (713-523-8448)
More Info or Register

Handling Your First (or Next) DWI Case 2013 
Austin - Live Presentation - March 1, 2013, Texas Law Center 
MCLE Credit: Approximately 6.5 hours, including .75 hr ethics expected.
More Info or Register

Can't make it to Austin? Watch via Live Webcast in the comfort of your own home or office!
LIVE WEBCAST - March 1, 2013 - From 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
More Info or Register

17th Annual Choosing & Courting a Jury Course: Legends in the Courtroom
Houston - Live Presentation - March 8, 2013, Westin Galleria Hotel (713-960-8100)
MCLE Credit: 6.5 hrs (including 1 hr ethics) which applies to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Appellate, Civil Trial, Criminal Appellate, Criminal, Family, Juvenile and Personal Injury Trial Law.
More Info or Register