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.





























































May 2013

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

A Salute to Families
By: Sally Pretorius, Andrae Law PLLC

With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day surrounding us, I am reminded of all the moms and dads who are out there.

Who could forget the parents who raised us and supported us through all of life’s challenges? The guiding stars that changed our diapers, taught us how to walk and talk, motivated us through our educations, and encouraged us when we thought we were going to fail law school or, worse, fail the bar. Our parents are amazing people who have sacrificed for our well-being and shaped us into the people that we are today. Where would we be without them?

Top Story
Top Story

TYLA Welcomes New Directors and President-elect; State Bar Election Moves to Run-off
By:  Leif Olson, The Olson Firm, PLLC

Rebekah Steely Brooker of Dallas was elected by TYLA’s members last month to serve as President-elect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association for the 2013–14 bar year and President in 2014–15. Brooker is an associate at Passman & Jones in Dallas where she practices probate and estate law. She and her husband, Chip, an associate with Haynes & Boone, have three children. She currently serves as TYLA Secretary. She and her fellow President-elect nominee, Alfonso Cabañas of San Antonio, campaigned throughout Texas. Coincidentally, both Brooker and Cabañas welcomed newborn children in February before beginning their campaigns in March.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

A Welcoming Home:  Be a Foster Parent
Sally Pretorius, Andrae Law PLLC

In honor of National Foster Care Month, TYLA will be launching a new public service project called “A Welcoming Home: Be a Foster Parent” for the month of May. A Welcoming Home was the brainchild of TYLA President C.E. Rhodes, whose family has strong connections to the foster care community. Several of C.E.’s extended family have opened their homes to foster children, and C.E. was able to experience first-hand the benefits and the impact of a loving foster home.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

El Paso Young Lawyers Promote Young Lawyers’ Wellness
By: Aldo Lopez, James & Haugland, P.C.

Given the hectic schedules we lawyers have between deadlines, hearings, families, and social lives, it is easy for us, especially young lawyers, to ignore taking care of ourselves. Because of this, the El Paso Young Lawyers Association came up with the Living as a Young Lawyer project. The project provides information to young lawyers about eating right, working out, and the importance of seeing doctors not only when sick but also for preventative health screenings. The project also includes presenting information available from the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program regarding mental health, depression, and substance abuse. The project will culminate with a 5K and 1-mile walk on June 9, 2013.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

At Risk Youth: Identifying, Intervening, and Responding
By: Suma Ananthaswamy and Kavita Desai, Children at Risk

As lawyers, we are often called upon to represent children in an ad litem or court-appointed capacity. Frequently, these children have had some interaction with child protective services or the juvenile justice system and may be in foster care. It is important to keep several considerations in mind when working with this population and to recognize the unique position we as attorneys have to identify, intervene, and respond to these issues.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Making a Difference In the Lives of Others
By:  Kristy Blanchard, TYLA President-elect

Most of us get caught up in the everyday grind of our law practices and find little time to do much else.  This is not the case for Dallas lawyer Brittany Byrd. Brittany is an associate at Winstead’s Finance and Banking Group in Dallas. But that’s not all Brittany does. In 2006, Brittany’s mother was sentenced to an 8-year prison sentence. As a result of this experience Brittany, at the age of 22, created a non-profit organization called Girls Embracing Mothers (“GEM”) aimed at empowering young girls aged 7–17 whose mothers are incarcerated. GEM offers various programs to these girls that include providing enhanced visitation and communication for the daughters and mothers, mentoring, and character cultivation.

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

Individuals wishing to show their strong support may join the Champion of Justice Society. Membership is on an annual basis and benefits include a Champion of Justice Society reception at the State Bar Annual Meeting; Champion of Justice Society crest displayed next to your name on the State Bar website’s “Find a Lawyer” page; and listing in the Texas Bar Journal and the Commission’s newsletter, website, and Facebook page.

Important Dates To Remember

May 16-19, 2013
ABA YLD Sping Conference - Minneapolis, MN

May 27, 2013
Holiday - Memorial Day (Texas Law Center closed)

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


State Bar of Texas President-elect runoff election
Don’t forget to vote in the State Bar of Texas President-elect runoff election between Trey Apffel of League City and Steve Fischer of Rockport. Voting takes place until May 23 at 5:00 p.m. CST and you can vote online now by clicking here. To learn more about the candidates and to view the results of the recent State Bar District Director and TYLA elections, visit the elections home page. 


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.

Readers can subscribe to Texas Bar Today’s RRS feed and email to receive content from the site, which also includes links to other State Bar of Texas social media sites and blog.

Currently, about 130 blogs are fed into the site and placed in more than 50 categories such as bankruptcy, criminal law, dispute resolutions, energy and environment, probate, hobbies and humor, and divorce.

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.


New! Professional Liability Insurance
The State Bar of Texas is now offering two professional liability insurance providers through the Member Discount Program USI Affinity and the Texas Lawyers’ Insurance Exchange. Take advantage of their special rates and learn about discounts on a variety of products and professional services offered only to Texas lawyers by visiting the Member Discount Program.


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.


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


TYLA State Moot Court
MOOT COURT JUDGES NEEDED! The TYLA State Moot Court competition will be held at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, and we need lawyers to serve as oral argument judges on Tuesday, June 18 (rounds at 9:00, 11:00, 2:30, and 4:30) and Wednesday, June 19 (rounds at 9:00, 11:00, and 2:30). The problem involves criminal law issues, and we will provide you with a bench brief. Please contact Bree Trevino if you can volunteer two hours of your time to further law students' advocacy skills.


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.

2013 National Trial Competition
The top 28 teams out of more than 300 competed in the 38th Annual National Trial Competition Championship Rounds on April 4-6 in San Antonio, Texas.  Congratulations to the 2013 NTC Champion Team, Georgetown University Law Center! Click here for a full list of the results.

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.