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.





























































June-July 2013

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

By:  John Shaw, Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC

I cannot help but think about law graduates throughout Texas who are preparing to take the July State Bar Exam. It is not as often as it once was that I actually know anyone young enough to be sitting for the exam but my mind seems to wonder back to when I was preparing for some reason. I recall concern over what will actually be on the test (please no essays on oil and gas); concern over what would happen if I didn’t pass (how in the world will I ever be able to repay my loans); and concern about what I would I be doing if I did in fact pass (I have no idea how to be a lawyer; and, how in the world will I ever be able to repay my loans).

Top Story
Top Story

Annual Meeting Update
By:  Sally Pretorius

This past June, the Texas Young Lawyers Association said farewell to an inspiring and fulfilled bar year and welcomed the prospect of a new bar year full of fresh ideas and new leadership.

On June 21st, the Texas Young Lawyers Association held its Annual Meeting at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. The night included a recollection of last years amazing accomplishments and global outreach under the leadership of then President, C.E. Rhodes. The accomplishments included recognition of the creation of landmark projects including “What Do Lawyers Do?,” “Slavery Out of the Shadows: Spotlight on Human Trafficking,” “A Welcoming Home: Be a Foster Family,” a “Truancy Guide,” as well as the continuation of current projects including “Vote America, ” “Healing the Wounds,” and many others. 

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

TYLA Helps To Provide Free CLE To Texas Lawyers
By: Kristy Blanchard, TYLA President

Providing legal aid to indigent Texans is a big job, so the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) and the Family Law Section of the State Bar are teaming up to help with this massive undertaking.  This effort will kick off Friday, July 26, 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., at the Belo Mansion in Dallas, when TYLA and the Family Law bar will provide the first joint FREE CLE titled “How to Do a Pro Bono Divorce.”  This session will provide 3.75 hours of FREE CLE (.5 of ethics) to lawyers from all practice areas and give them the tools to handle a pro bono divorce case. Attendees will learn how to file a divorce, how to deal with domestic violence, child and property issues, how to finalize the divorce and the ethics of pro bono.

Feature TYLA Affiliate

By:  Amanda Torres

The Corpus Christi Young Lawyers Association is off to a great year.  With a dynamic group of officers and directors, CCYLA is out to promote camaraderie, while continuing to offer education and advocate community outreach.  CCYLA has accomplished this by providing several opportunities for local young lawyers to get together and learn.

Tips for Young Lawyers

DON’T Feel the Burn
By:  Laura A. W. Pratt

Here in Texas, you don’t have to spend too much time outside to know that the summer sun is out in full force.  Weather experts are predicting widespread areas of above-normal temperatures for the summer months.  Even though most summer hours for attorneys are spent indoors, who doesn’t love an occasional cook-out, day at the lake or beach, or swim?  However, the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are considered the most hazardous for sun exposure, and overexposure to UV rays can lead to severe sunburns, premature aging of the skin, wrinkling, and skin cancer or melanoma.  It’s important to balance fun in the sun with a healthy dose of proper sun protection.  Good news is there are several quick and easy options for proper sun protection.


Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act
By:  John W. Shaw, Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC

“AN ACT relating to the adoption of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act…”

So begins S.B. 953 of the 83(R) legislative session which amended Title 6 of the Civil Practices and Remedies Code by adding Chapter 134A whose short title is the “Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act.” 1

The Act will become effective as of September 1, 2013 and will be applicable to misappropriation of trade secrets on or after that date. “A misappropriation of a trade secret made before and a continuing misappropriation beginning before the effective date of this Act are governed by the law in effect immediately before the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.”2

Texas Access To Justice Commission Update
Texas Access To Justice Commission Update

The 83rd session of the Texas Legislature – A report on funding for Legal Aid
By:  Georgia Trapp Nolan, Texas Access to Justice Commission

This session, the Texas Legislature appropriated $17.6 million in state general revenue for civil legal aid. In addition, Gov. Rick Perry signed HB 1445, the “Chief Justice Jack Pope Act,” into law, increasing the funds dedicated to legal aid for indigent Texans from civil penalties and civil restitution recovered by the Texas Attorney General.

Important Dates To Remember

July 26-27, 2013
SBOT Local Bar Leaders and TYLA Local Affiliates Conference - Westin Galleria, Houston 

August 6-12, 2013
ABA/NABE/ECBP/NCBF and ABA/YLD annual meeetings; House of Delegates - San Francisco, CA

August 23, 2013
TYLA deadline to receive grant applications for the 2013-2014 Local Affiliate Grant Program

September 2, 2013
Holiday - Labor Day (Texas Law Center closed)

September 6-8, 2013
TYLA Board of Directors Meeting - Fredericksburg, TX

September 12-14, 2013
LeadershipSBOT - Austin, TX

Take Note

Kristy Blanchard, TYLA President
Click here to view this month's TYLA President's Opinion

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 students about the historic figures in Texas and U.S. history featured in the new TEKS standards. Through these 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.


Disaster Response
The State Bar of Texas has established a disaster legal hotline to assist people with basic legal questions following the devastating plant explosion in West, Texas. The hotline, which is answered in English and Spanish by Lone Star Legal Aid, is intended to help low-income persons affected by the disaster with such issues as replacing lost documents, insurance questions, landlord-tenant issues, and consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process. For  help, call (800) 504-7030.

A partnership between the State Bar of Texas, Texas Young Lawyers Association, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Lone Star Legal Aid, local bar associations, and other legal services providers throughout Texas is making a range of assistance available. To access additional resources, please visit texasbar.com/disasterresponse and texaslawhelp.org.


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.

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.

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 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.