State Bar Board Meets in Bastrop On Jan. 20, the State Bar Board of Directors met in Bastrop for its quarterly meeting. Among the highlights: • Supreme Court Uniform Forms Task Force — The Board heard remarks from 24 members of the public concerning the Supreme Court Task Force on Uniform Forms and the family law forms developed to assist indigent self-represented litigants in non-contested divorces. The Board approved the following resolution: That the Board affirms the Executive Committee’s action of Jan., 5, 2012, to: Ask the Supreme Court of Texas to suspend the work of the Uniform Forms Task Force and ask the Bar to study the issue of indigent self-represented litigants in the State’s courts, including collecting data demonstrating the number of these litigants, gathering information about how these cases are being handled by Courts throughout the state, and reviewing possible solutions to the issue. In a Jan. 25 letter, Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson informed the State Bar that the Court decided to refer the Task Force report to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee. In the letter, Jefferson said “we encourage the State Bar to present recommendations to the Advisory Committe and to the Court. This should allow all who wish to participate to be heard.” In response to that letter, State Bar President Bob Black appointed SOLUTIONS 2012, a task force to collect data, information, and recommend potential solutions regarding issues faced by indigent pro se litigants. The task force is co-chaired by Tim Belton of Bellaire, a public member of the State Bar Board of Directors, and Tom Vick of Weatherford. The task force will provide a report to the State Bar Board of Directors at its April 13 meeting in Fort Worth and to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee at its April 13-14 meeting in Austin. Information about this issue is available at texasbar.com/solutions . Interested parties are also encouraged to provide input and suggestions at texasbar.com/solutionscomments . • Candidates Approved — The Board approved Steve Bolden of Dallas and Lisa Tatum of San Antonio as candidates for president-elect of the State Bar of Texas in 2012–2013. (See p. 182.) The election will be April 2 through May 1. The candidates for chair of the Board are Jo Ann Merica of Austin and Frank E. Stevenson II of Dallas. The chair of the board will be elected by the board at its April meeting. • Budget and Finance — The State Bar received an unqualified opinion, or “clean audit,” for its financial audit for FY 2011. The Board approved for publication in the Texas Bar Journal the State Bar’s proposed FY 2013 budget. (See p. 232.) • Volunteers Honored for Wildfire Response — The Board passed resolutions honoring the Austin Bar Association, the Bastrop County Bar Association, and the members of the Central Texas Wildfire Legal Response Team for their work in organizing pro bono legal clinics to aid victims of the wildfires that ravaged Bastrop in September 2011. During the two months that legal advice clinics were open, more than 100 Central Texas area attorneys volunteered to ensure that 1,000 wildfire victims and their families received some form of legal assistance. • Employee of the Quarter — State Bar Executive Director Michelle Hunter presented the employee of the quarter award to Meetings and Sponsorships Manager Kanice Spears.
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