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.





























































March 2013

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Discard Outdated Practices
By: Robert Booth, TYLA Director, District 21

Do you write your documents in Times New Roman? Do you end pleadings with “WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED”?

Technology is changing the practice of law. As a young lawyer, you’re likely a digital native dealing with old lawyering. Discard old practices and find new solutions.

Top Story
Top Story

TYLA eNews Q&A for President-Elect Candidates (2013)

Editors Note: During the month of April, you will be able to vote for the next TYLA President-Elect. We asked the two candidates to answer the same set of questions. We encourage you to visit the website for Rebekah Steely Brooker and you can follow Alfonso Cabañas on Twitter @Cabañaslawfirm.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

TYLA/ACTL National Trial Competition - Advocacy at its Best
By: Wendy Adele Humphrey, TYLA District 3 Director, NTC Co-Chair

A famous musician.  Drugs.  Death.  Yes – it’s that time of the year again – time for the top 28 law school mock trial teams in the nation to compete in the National Trial Competition!  The 38th annual National Trial Competition (NTC), which is hosted by the Texas Young Lawyers Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers, will be held in San Antonio, Texas, on April 3-6, 2013.  More than 320 law school mock trial teams competed in regional competitions last month and the top two teams from each of the 14 regions will compete in the national competition. Click here to view the 28 teams participating in this year’s national competition.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

Justice Harriet O’Neill to Speak about Human Trafficking at the Galveston County Young Lawyers’ Law Day Luncheon.
By: Lindsay Glover, Mills Shirley L.L.P.

The Galveston County Young Lawyers Association is pleased to announce that Justice Harriet O'Neill, former justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, will be the keynote speaker for the Galveston County Law Day celebration on Thursday, April 25th at the Galveston Island Convention Center.

The ABA’s Law Day theme for 2013 is “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All,” in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. While the country has made great strides against injustices based on race and gender over the past 150 years, a new kind of slavery in the form of human trafficking has emerged over recent decades and currently affects 20 to 27 million people around the world.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

The Prisoner Playbook
By:  Brandon T. Winn, Winn Law, Gilmer, Texas

These are tough economic times, and circumstances are not likely to change soon. Many young lawyers are going to find themselves with a bar card and no job. At some point you, like me, might realize that being self-employed is the only option.

Once you have started your own firm, you will realize that one way to get a new client is by having that client be assigned to you by the court. Then if you are like me, you will walk into a jail for the first time in your life. There, you will be confronted with the “Prisoner Playbook.”

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Feeling blue? You are not alone.  Local bar associations across Texas have support groups just for you.
By:  Amber Altemose, Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC

Out of 105 professional careers surveyed, lawyers rank number one in suffering from major depression.[1] The rate of suicide among lawyers is six times the rate of the general population,[2] and suicide is the third leading cause of death among lawyers after cancer and heart disease.[3]

One reason lawyers are more susceptible to depression and suicide is our personality characteristics.[4] We tend to be perfectionist and competitive; thrive on stressful situations; and work long hours.[5] Another reason is our substance abuse problem—one in five lawyers is addicted to alcohol, and substance abuse among lawyers is double the national level.[6]

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

The Texas Access to Justice Commission is delighted to unveil our new electronic newsletter. Coming to your email inbox from now forward, the e-edition of the UPDATE will provide you with the same great stories on civil legal aid in Texas that you have been receiving by regular mail for years. By converting to an electronic format, not only has the Commission saved printing and mailing costs, the new e-UPDATE will also provide a much more efficient way of keeping you up-to-date on the latest happenings at the Commission and around the state on access to justice issues.

Important Dates To Remember

April 1, 2013
Distribution of SBOT and TYLA paper and electronic election ballots

April 1, 2013
Deadline for receipt of Law Day contest entries from Local Bar Associations.

April 1, 2013
TYLA deadline for receive completed ballots for the ABA YLD District 26 Representative election - 5 p.m.

April 3-6, 2013
TYLA National Trial Competition - San Antonio

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


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.

Recently, solo and small firm practitioners received a survey from the State Bar in order to gauge 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.


State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting is June 20-21 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. 
Register online now at texasbar.com/annualmeeting  for a year’s worth of CLE! 
Choose the courses best suited to your practice.  Breakfast and lunch included both days. 

Keynote Speaker U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito
Thursday, June 20, Bar Leaders Recognition Luncheon

Keynote Speaker Alan Lowe, Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Friday, June 21, Bench Bar Breakfast

Keynote Speaker U.S. Senator John Cornyn
Friday, June 21, General Session Luncheon

The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald
Friday, June 21, Probate Court No. 1 in the Old Criminal Courts Building followed by a reception at the Sixth Floor Museum


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.


Deadline for State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting Resolutions
According to Board policy, resolutions must be filed at the Texas Law Center by 5 p.m. April 1, 2013, to be considered at the Annual Meeting in Dallas, June 20-21, 2013.

State Bar Rules require that proposed resolutions be filed with the Executive Director, according to these guidelines. Proposed resolutions should be sent to: State Bar Executive Director, P.O. Box 12487, Austin, TX 78711-2487. The State Bar Resolutions Committee will consider adopting resolutions during the Annual Meeting and submit its recommendations to attendees of the General Session. Adopted resolutions express the majority opinion of individuals attending the General Session, not the majority opinion of State Bar membership.

For more information, please contact Candiss Held (800) 204-2222, Ext. 1416 or cheld@texasbar.com.


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.