Section reports are included in the July issue of the Texas Bar Journal to keep Texas lawyers updated on State Bar section activities. The reports do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the State Bar of Texas. State Bar policy is formulated by the State Bar Board of Directors or by the membership through referendum. For more information or to join sections, visit texasbar.com/sections or call (800) 204-2222, Ext. 1420. AFRICAN-AMERICAN LAWYERS Audrey Moorehead, Chair The African-American Lawyers Section hosted the Quest for Justice book signing honoring legendary Judge L.A. Bedford, Jr., the first black judge in Dallas County. Participants included Hon. Sam Lindsay, Fifth District Court, and the Hon. Craig Watkins, the first African American district attorney in the state of Texas. The section participated in the Hispanic National Bar Association Convention, co-sponsoring the Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry. The section supported the Texas Minority Counsel Program and Texas Minority Attorney Program, and provided panelists LaKeisha Forte and Leah Hayes for the State Bar Law Student Division Mentoring Program. Audrey Moorehead was a keynote closing speaker at the National Black Pre- Law Conference and met with members of the German Marshall Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting transatlantic relations and collaboration. The section participated in the Law Firm Diversity Report, and Moorehead attended the installation of Paul Stafford, the first African American male elected president of the Dallas Bar Association. At the 2012 Annual Meeting, the section cosponsored the Diversity Forum, and the section’s CLE included the Hon. Amy Clark Meachum and Judge James Stanton presenting “The Jury Speaks: What Jurors Really Think.” The section also introduced the National Diversity Council, featuring its President Dennis Kennedy, with “Branding that Increases Revenue.” Highlighting the Annual Meeting was naming the Trailblazer Award for Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson. The award was presented to Rhonda Hunter of Dallas. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION Joe L. Cope, Chair The Alternative Dispute Resolution Section concentrated its efforts this year in offering high-quality CLE programs and in providing additional benefits and services to its membership and to Texas citizens. On Jan. 30, the section and TexasBar- CLE co-sponsored “Mediating in the Red Zone” at the Radisson-Town Lake in Austin. Tracy Allen of Detroit, Mich. and Eric Galton of Austin teamed up to present a oneday version of their well-received training for experienced mediators. Capitalizing on the football analogy of scoring once a team has entered the “red zone,” Allen and Galton provided strategies and techniques for moving past impasse and securing a welcomed and durable mediation agreement. The section monitored and communicated to its members regarding the proposed rule impacting ADR processes in the expedited trial process under House Bill 274. With input from ADR professionals throughout the state, the Supreme Court Rules Committee has recommended a version of the rule that allows expedited trial matters to be referred to mediation upon agreement by the parties. In the presence of funding shortfalls for the Texas Access to Justice program resulting from the drop in interest rates paid from IOLTA accounts, the ADR Section Council approved a significant contribution to the ATJ program to benefit Texans who have little or no access to the legal system. The section plans additional improvements to its website, including an enhanced members section. AMERICAN INDIAN LAW Ruth Soucy, Chair The American Indian Law Section continues to offer high-quality continuing legal education at low or no cost to section members. In addition to the program offered by the section at the State Bar Annual Meeting, the section held its 2011 American Indian Law Conference in Austin. The conference, held at the Texas Law Center, provided informative programs on current Indian law issues and cases. The program also included an informative, interactive discussion featuring representatives of the three federally recognized Texas Indian nations: the Alabama- Coushatta, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. The conference provided a rare opportunity for attendees to hear and discuss with tribal representatives the various legal issues facing tribal communities in Texas and nationwide. There is no other conference in Texas that regularly brings together representatives of the three federally recognized Texas Indian nations for this type of discussion and interaction. The section also honored Lee Walters and Pascal Regimbeau, individuals who were instrumental in creating the Austin Powwow and American Indian Heritage Festival, with its Tom Diamond Award. The section presented the American Indian Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award to the Hon. Steve Russell, a longtime section member and past chair. The section continues its outreach to tribal justice systems in Texas by including in its membership nonlawyer legal professionals working in these systems. As part of the State Bar’s Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! civics education initiative, section members participated in a video for Texas students, discussing Worcester v. Georgia from the tribal perspective. ANIMAL LAW Randy Turner, Chair The Animal Law Section progressed on a number of fronts this year. The Website Committee completed its upgrade of the section website, which now gives access to archived newsletters, research tools, and information regarding significant member accomplishments. The Newsletter Committee is completing this year’s newsletter, which should be distributed in late spring. The Education Committee devoted its year to establishing an animal law journal and student writing competition. The journal, which will be managed by section members with editing assistance from students at South Texas College of Law, will be published at least annually and will include articles of interest to Texas practitioners. The writing competition will be run each year and is open to all students enrolled in Texas law schools. This year’s winners were announced at the section’s Animal Law Institute held in Fort Worth. Four students were honored, with each receiving an offer to publish in the new journal and cash awards going to the top three papers. Speakers at the institute addressed various issues, including ecoterrorism, rescue and wildlife sanctuary representation, and veterinary malpractice defense. The section also recognized council member Don Feare for his accomplishments in the field of animal law with the Donald D. Feare Animal Advocacy Award. The Legislative Committee continues its work to amend Texas’ dangerous dog statute, which currently limits appeals to certain jurisdictions. Although the section’s last proposed amendment died in committee, the section will make an additional attempt in 2013. ANTITRUST AND BUSINESS LITIGATION Wallis Hampton, Chair This year, the Antitrust and Business Litigation Section embraced the sort of technology on which its membership increasingly relies. The section published four issues of the Texas Business Litigation Journal and loaded the last 16 years of its journals onto its website. The section also began the shift to an electronic journal containing hyperlinks to cited authorities. In this same vein, the section rolled out the ABLIT Newsstand for its membership this spring. The ABLIT Newsstand is a daily email containing legal articles and stories on topics of particular interest to members. Thus far, the feedback on the ABLIT Newsstand has been overwhelmingly positive. The section sponsored three CLEs this year. Last August, it co-sponsored a halfday CLE in Houston on e-discovery. In February, the section and the Dallas Bar Association Securities Section co-sponsored a panel discussion regarding recent developments in regulatory and private actions under the Texas Securities Act. The section’s annual meeting this June included a two-hour panel discussion on recent class-action developments. The panel for this CLE was tremendous. It included the Hon. Royal Furgeson, Jr., the Hon. Vanessa Gilmore, and the Hon. Xavier Rodriguez, as well as several leading class-action practitioners. The section also awarded the Distinguished Counselor Award to Gary McGowan at its annual meeting. APPELLATE Scott Rothenberg, Chair The Appellate Section, in conjunction with the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, admitted the inaugural class into the Texas Appellate Hall of Fame. First year inductees were W. James Kronzer, Rusty McMains, Hon. Robert Calvert, and Hon. Joe Greenhill The section participated in a one-year pilot program designed to provide its members with two hours of no-cost video CLE from the Annual Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course. The section increased financial support to intermediate appellate court staff attorneys and briefing attorneys to allow them to attend the Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course in Austin. The section co-sponsored with the Austin Bar Association an “Evening with the Supreme Court of Texas” in April. Seven members of the Court answered questions posed by a standing room-only audience. The Appellate Advocate continues to grow in number of pages and in the scope, variety, and quality of its columns, articles, and other resources of great interest to appellate lawyers and judges alike. The Rules Committee of the section is assisting the Texas Supreme Court in revising appellate rules pertaining to size limitations for petitions for review. The rules shift consideration from number of pages to word count. ASIAN PACIFIC INTEREST Zeena Angadicheril, Chair On March 30–31, the Asian Pacific Interest Section hosted its 16th annual Conference and Retreat at the Hilton Hotel in Austin. Conference attendees were treated to high-quality CLE presented by leading attorneys from across the state and at numerous social and networking events. The conference featured a keynote luncheon with a candid discussion from the distinguished panel. This year’s keynote panelists included Paul Bae (senior VP-Administration and general counsel to St. Jude Medical, S.C., Inc.), Barry Burgdorf (vice chancellor and general counsel to the University of Texas System), Suzy Fulton (general counsel, formerly SoftLayer Technologies, Inc.), Jonathan Perkel (senior VP and general counsel to Travelocity), and moderator Patrick Conroy (shareholder in Shore, Chan, Bragalone, DePumpo, L.L.P.). The section was also proud to award the 2012 Chief Justice Wellington Chew Award to Gordon Quan of Foster Quan, in honor of his countless professional and civic achievements on behalf of Asian Americans throughout the state. Chief Justice David Wellington Chew was in Austin to present Quan with the award. At this year’s State Bar Annual Meeting in Houston in June, the section co-sponsored a Diversity Forum and hosted a joint reception with the African-American Lawyers, American Indian Law, and His- panic Issues sections. The section also presented a CLE at the Annual Meeting in Houston on the “Top 10 Hot Topics in Employment Law,” featuring Mark Oberti and Danielle Herring. BANKRUPTCY LAW Hon. Harlin D. “Cooter” Hale, Chair The Bankruptcy Section had a good year. In June, more than 300 lawyers, judges, and other insolvency professionals attended the section’s bench/bar meeting. The section’s 2013 conference is already in the planning stages. In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court caused a commotion with Stern v. Marshall, a historic case on federal judicial powers. The section immediately hosted a webcast, one of the first in the country to cover this important decision. In September, the section sponsored advanced business and consumer seminars. In February, the section sponsored the annual Elliot Cup Moot Court Competition in New Orleans. Law schools from Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi competed, with the final round at the Fifth Circuit Courthouse. Baylor University won. The University of Texas School of Law, an Elliot participant, won the next competition, the Duberstein, held in New York. In March, the section again sponsored an international consumer bankruptcy trip, this time to China. Match that, other sections! The section’s Young Lawyers Committee continued as a very important component of the section, taking the lead in “Starting Out Right” programs for newer bankruptcy lawyers. In February, one of the section’s young lawyers, Omar Alaniz, won the American Bar Association’s 2011 National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award. Nonlawyer members of the section — accountants, experts, and financial advisors — became very involved. This group hosted several educational events and a great webinar on valuation. Finally, the section continued educating young Texans on money management through the Moneywise program, which is presented in schools across the state. BUSINESS LAW SECTION David Harrell, Chair This year, the Business Law Section sponsored and conducted several continuing legal education courses, including the Advanced In-House Counsel Course held in Summer 2011, the Advanced Business Strategies Course held in October 2011, and the Essentials of Business Law Course held in May 2012. These courses provided legal education on a wide variety of business-oriented topics, designed for attorneys across a broad spectrum of experience levels. Other educational activities included the section’s work to prepare a Business Entities Practice Manual for publication. Dodd-Frank and the JOBS Act potentially impact state securities rules. The section’s Securities Law Committee has begun working with the State Securities Board staff to identify those rules. The committee is also working to index and summarize the staff’s no-action and interpretive letters. The Legal Opinions Committee has participated in a national legal opinions project, while other section committees have focused on emerging areas of law and potential legislation in those areas, including the Uniform Commercial Code, the Finance Code, and the Business Organizations Code. The Membership Committee has worked to increase the section’s membership, which is now more than 4,100 members. That effort has included presentations at law schools around the state, offering free or discounted memberships to new lawyers, and providing members with discounts at several section-sponsored CLE seminars. The Donated Legal Services Committee has actively promoted pro bono opportunities for lawyers whose practices are transaction-focused, rather than focused on litigation. COLLABORATIVE LAW Norma Levine Trusch, Chair Since its creation in 2009, the Collaborative Law Section has jointly sponsored a spring Collaborative Law Conference with TexasBarCLE and the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas. Attendance at the conference continues to increase every year. Members of the section make presentations on collaborative law to various organizations throughout Texas, as well as nationally and internationally. Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law has established a three-hour course in collaborative law, which is taught by a member of the section. At the State Bar Annual Meeting in Houston, the section sponsored a Collaborative Law booth and conducted its annual meeting. The meeting included the election of officers, a continuing education program, and an interactive discussion that centered on the expansion of the use of the collaborative process for resolving disputes in all areas of law. The section plans to expand its website to highlight and update activities of the section. Members of the section were individually involved in the passage of the Family Collaborative Law Act (not part of the State Bar legislative package), which became effective Sept. 1, 2011. This year, the section and the ADR Section are jointly sponsoring the Texas Uniform Collaborative Act (UCLA). In 2013, a bill will be introduced in the 83rd legislative session to create a new Chapter 161 in the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which will expand the benefits of a collaborative law statute to all areas of law. The sponsors are hopeful that the Texas UCLA will be included in the State Bar’s legislative package. COMPUTER & TECHNOLOGY Ralph H. Brock, Chair This has been an unprecedented year for the section. First, membership more than doubled to more than 2,000 members, thanks in large part to the popularity of the Texas Legal App for smartphones and web devices. The app, a free benefit for section members, contains the text of more than 50 state and federal statutes, codes, and rules. This year, the app was updated through the end of the last legislative session, and soon it will be expanded to include nearly all of the Texas codes. The section also developed an automated email resource to help users install and use their app. Last, the section has developed a specialized app specifically for the Tax Section. Several members of the council attended the 2012 ABA TechShow in Chicago and blogged about the new technology. The section partnered with the State Bar to produce the Adaptable Lawyer Legal Innovation Track at this year’s Annual Meeting. Council members presented programs on cloud computing, copyright, IP transactions, and technology in the practice of law. Our presentation, “60 Apps in 60 Minutes,” has been so popular in the past that it was presented twice this year. As our pro bono contribution, the section continues to provide complimentary memberships (and access to the app) to all Texas legal aid lawyers, as well as all members of the Judicial Section and newly licensed Texas lawyers. Looking ahead, the section is also exploring a partnership with members of the Law Student Division for access to the app, cultivating future section memberships. CORPORATE COUNSEL Steve Stein, Chair The section continued to provide numerous benefits to its 3,400-plus members this year. The section entered its second year providing the Corporate Counsel Newsstand, which allows section members to receive a daily or weekly customizable email that keeps them up to date on subject areas of specific interest to corporate counsel. The section expanded to three newsletters, all now published electronically. For more in-depth articles, the section provided its members with the Corporate Counsel Review, a law journal published semi-annually in conjunction with the South Texas College of Law. The section continued its project to expand and modernize its website to provide easy access to materials and articles for the members. Client alerts and other substantive materials are aggregated on the website for easy searching and viewing. CLE was provided in a live format at three separate venues. First, the Corporate Counsel Institute, a two-day program jointly provided with the University of Texas School of Law and held in both Dallas and Houston, allowed attendees to fulfill their annual CLE requirements. Second, the 2011 State Bar Annual Meeting CLE, a one and a half-day event, was presented in San Antonio jointly with the Business Law Section. Finally, the advanced in-house counsel CLE program was presented in Dallas (again jointly with the Business Law Section). Finally, the section continued its support of pro bono efforts, making grants (or allocating funds therefore) in the amount of $35,000. These grants support multiple pro bono programs statewide, including legal aid for Texas veterans. ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS LAW Mitzi Brown, Chair Members of the section are entitled to 1) receive the Texas Entertainment and Sports Law Journal, 2) join the section list serve, 3) receive a discount on the cost of the annual Entertainment Law Institute (ELI), and 4) become part of the growing Texas-based entertainment and sports law community. The section’s website, teslaw.org, is new and improved, and we hope will be the first place that members as well as out-of-state attorneys visit to retrieve Texas, national, and international entertainment and sports lawyer information. This past fall, the section held the 21st annual ELI at the Hyatt Regency Austin. ELI is the premier event for Texas entertainment lawyers. The 22nd ELI will be held in Austin on Oct. 25–26. In March, the section hosted its second annual mixer at SXSW in Austin. This was a huge success and a great opportunity for our members to network. The section just published its spring edition of the Texas Entertainment and Sports Law Journal. Check it out at teslaw.org. ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES Cynthia Cooke Smiley, Chair This year, the section began offering the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section Newsstand, in addition to the Greenwire and Newspaper Clips email publications that are already available. Newsstand supplements the other email publications by providing searchable and customizable information on various environmental topics. The Law School Committee continued to award scholarships to the highest-ranking students in the introductory environmental law courses at each of Texas’ nine law schools and funded internships for law students at several Texas agencies. Members of the section attended law school events to speak with students about careers in environmental law, and the section expanded its internship program to include a county government position with an environmental focus. In August 2011, the section sponsored the 23rd annual Texas Environmental Superconference and in February 2012, cosponsored “The Changing Face of Water Rights in Texas.” Also in February, the second edition of The Essentials of Texas Water Resources was released. This book, a project of the section, has been updated and expanded, and it is an invaluable resource for everyone who is interested in water topics. Other section-sponsored activities include publication of the Texas Environmental Law Journal, which is distributed electronically and online, as well as online access to a series of judicial interviews, “From the Bench: Judicial Perspectives on Environmental/Administrative Cases.” The interviews include discussions with judges serving on the Texas Supreme Court and other state and local courts, as well as administrative law judges and hearings examiners. The interviews can be found on the section’s website (texenrls.org). FAMILY LAW Thomas L. Ausley, Chair Upon learning of the Texas Supreme Court Uniform Forms Task Force, appointed at the request of the Texas Access to Justice Commission to promulgate pro se litigation forms, the Family Law Section contacted its members and appealed to 2011–12 State Bar President Bob Black to address this significant issue. In an effort to address the needs of indigent litigants in Texas, the Family Law Section conducted pro bono seminars held in Corpus Christi, El Paso, Midland, Nacogdoches, Sulphur Springs, and Wichita Falls. At those seminars, lawyers received seven hours of CLE credit in exchange for volunteering to take two pro bono cases. More than 628 lawyers across the state have attended these seminars and have signed on to represent more than 1,200 indigent family law litigants. The section is gearing up for the 2013 legislative session and has approved a package of several bill recommendations. The section has worked closely with the Family Law Foundation in developing the legislative package. That package includes revisions to topics such as child custody evaluations, grandparent access, spousal maintenance, standing in Section 102.004 of the Family Code, use of contempt in child support enforcement, military deployment, and alternative exchange times in the standard possession order. The Family Law Section continues to provide, free of charge to members, the “Family Law Toolkit,” a handy booklet that includes child support guidelines, objections, and visitation calendars. For more information about the section, visit sbotfam.org. GENERAL PRACTICE, SOLO & SMALL FIRM Joyce E. Stevens, Chair The General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm council has continued its outreach to law schools this year by holding questionand- answer sessions with law students. Council members met with law students at St. Mary’s University School of Law and Baylor Law School. The section partnered with Baylor again this spring to present the General Practice Institute. In addition to attending the live presentations, registrants could participate online and can access the entire session online at a date of their choosing. The speakers were some of the top attorneys in Texas and also included a Court of Appeals judge. Section members receive an electronic version of the fall, winter, and spring digest. If you have never read or reviewed the GPSOLO Digest, you have missed a very professional publication with articles contributed by learned members of the profession. Many of the section’s members say the Digest is the reason they belong to the section. We also send emails periodically updating members on actions by the State Bar of Texas. Ther section continues to grow as it meets the needs of sole and small firm practitioners. The section’s website can be found at gpsolo.com. HISPANIC ISSUES Jana Ortega, Chair This past year has been very productive for the Hispanic Issues Section. The section was happy to be a part of the Justice for All calendar and assist in the distribution of this resource to Texans all across the state. The section was also happy to support the efforts of the Texas Access to Justice Prime Partner Banks Initiative by distributing information on the project to our members. The section participated in and cosponsored the 2012 Law Student Conference along with the Mexican American Bar Association and Austin-area law firms. The section was able to address attendees and encourage them to become active in the State Bar upon graduation and to join the various sections and committees that cater to their interests. The students showed great enthusiasm and interest in becoming active members of the State Bar. Members of the section also attended the historic unveiling of the Tejano Monument on the grounds of the State Capitol in Austin. IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY Maggie Murphy, Chair The Immigration and Nationality Law Section kicked off the year with a healthy membership drive. In its fourth year, the section topped the 500-member mark and raised enough money through membership dues to start an annual grant for organizations that contribute services or outreach to the immigrant community in the United States. The section received 32 applications and is reviewing the applications to determine how the funds will be allocated. Part of the mission as a section is to bring low-cost CLE opportunities to Texas attorneys that practice or have an interest in U.S. immigration law. This year, the section continued to partner with the State Bar and several Texas law schools to provide immigration-related programs open to law students, attorneys, and the public. In February, the seciton cosponsored a program with the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, which featured two nationally known attorneys who are involved in current challenges to state anti-immigrant statutes: Nina Perales, director of litigation to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Sam Brooke, staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project. In March, the section co-sponsored a full-day CLE event on immigration law with St. Mary’s Law School and The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority Issues that featured a keynote speech by Professor Michael Olivas on birthright citizenship. INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES Allyson N. Ho, Chair Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the section continued to provide top-notch programming and resources on a wide variety of constitutional topics. As in the past, members received the University of Texas School of Law’s Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, which publishes cutting-edge articles at the intersection of law, politics, and society written by judges, lawyers, professors, and students. The section’s updated website, irrtx.com, provides easy access to interesting and informative resources to members and the legal community. The section hosted its annual Bill of Rights Course with outstanding presentations by leading experts in constitutional and civil liberties law and practice. The course covered a broad range of topics including religious freedom, due process, immigration, election law, and the always-popular judges panel. In addition, at the 2011 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, the section joined with the Appellate Section to present a full morning of outstanding CLE covering issues of interest in constitutional and appellate law, including a U.S. Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit update by practitioners who regularly appear before those courts. INSURANCE LAW John Tollefson, Chair This year has been a productive and eventful year for the Insurance Section. Membership is steady, revenue is good, and we look forward to carrying on in the future. The section has greatly expanded the editorial staff of the Insurance Section Journal, has published each of the issues in a timely fashion, and is building on this good start for the future. The section co-sponsored several successful CLE programs, including the Advanced Insurance Law Course with TexasBarCLE in April 2012 and the Annual Insurance Law Institute with the University of Texas School of Law in October 2011. The section also reached out to colleagues in South Texas and put on an insurance law seminar in South Padre in May 2012, which was well received. The section hopes to build on this program in the future. Due to a number of significant developments in insurance law, the “Right Off the Press” weekly email updates on new cases continued to be a valuable resource and continued to complement the Journal of Texas Insurance Law. We would like to thank all of the other members of the council, membership, and the Bar in general for helping make this a successful and productive year. INTERNATIONAL LAW Alejandro “Alex” Cestero, Chair The International Law Section is halfway through a two-year strategic remodeling project focused on expanded programming, enhanced networking opportunities, and improved communications. The section’s annual meeting in June 2011 featured a new mission statement and an outstanding CLE presentation, “Texas Business and the Global Marketplace.” In Fall 2011, the section started delivering more geographically balanced events around Texas, including the Law Student Outreach program visiting a record six law schools: South Texas College of Law, St. Mary’s University School of Law, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law, the University of Houston Law Center, and the University of Texas School of Law. The International Law Specialization study group held events in many cities to discuss the feasibility of such a program, and the section supported the American Bar Association International Law Section Spring Meeting. The section’s 24th Annual International Law Institute in March featured a general counsel panel and keynote speaker Admiral Bobby R. Inman. Administratively, the section also redesigned its leadership structure, rebalanced positions between in-house and private practitioners, and re-designed committees to better serve members and engender more participation. The section website (ilstexas.org) was upgraded to offer more content and improve usability and communications tools. Thanks to member dues and generous law firm and legal department sponsorships for the Annual Institute, the section is financially healthy and equipped to offer excellent, affordable programs for current and prospective members. JUDICIAL Hon. Elizabeth Lang-Miers, Chair In September 2011, at the Annual Judicial Education Conference in Dallas, the Judicial Section honored retired Chief Justice John Boyd with the Judicial Lifetime Achievement Award. The legislative committees have been preparing the legislative priorities for the 83rd Legislature in 2013. They have established three categories of priorities for the coming legislative session: 1) judicial compensation, 2) judicial retirement, and 3) judicial education. The section will continue to work closely with the Judicial Compensation Commission as they meet and prepare to issue a report in the fall. Other committees were also busy this year. The Web Site Committee has worked very hard to upgrade and update the Judicial Section website to provide information about member benefits and resources and links for section members. The committee will continue to upgrade and update the website. The Membership Committee was also busy this year looking at ways to increase and expand membership and to educate the judiciary about benefits of section membership. The section is also pleased to announce that it has partnered with the Computer & Technology Section to provide its Texas Legal Research App to members of the Judicial Section in the coming year. This app provides more than 50 state and federal statutes, codes, and rules and was recently updated with information from the last legislative session. The app will soon be expanded to include nearly all of the Texas codes. Judicial Section members will be contacted in the near future with directions on how to access and use the app. JUVENILE LAW Jill Mata, Chair The Juvenile Law Section continued its proud tradition of providing quality continuing legal education during the 25th annual Robert O. Dawson Juvenile Law Institute held in San Antonio in February 2012. Attendance increased this year to more than 500 participants. In addition, the conference silent auction helped raise more than $8,000 to help provide college scholarships and financial support to several deserving Texas Youth Commission (TYC) students. Next year’s institute will be Feb. 11–13, 2013, at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio. The section continues to participate with the Juvenile Justice Roundtable, a monthly meeting of juvenile justice advocates and stakeholders facilitated by Texas Care for Children. The section also continues its collaboration with Texas Lawyers for Children, Inc. (TLC) to provide online resources for TLC attorney members to utilize communication tools such as an email network, an online discussion board, and document vault. This service offers a private, secure way for attorneys to discuss practice tips and share expertise about juvenile delinquency cases. Senate Bill 63, passed by 82nd Legislative Session, resulted in the creation of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) on Dec. 1, 2011. The existing TYC and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission (TJPC) were abolished and duties were transferred to TJJD. The section hopes to continue its strong collaboration with the agency that has allowed us to respond effectively to community safety and in meeting the critical needs of youth in the justice system. To learn more about the section, visit juvenilelaw.org. LAW STUDENT DIVISION Tammy T. Fisher, Chair The Law Student Division’s recruiting efforts this year resulted in a membership of 482 members. The division created some new marketing and recruiting initiatives for State Bar representatives at the nine Texas law schools to help grow those numbers. The division hosted 15 programs at law schools on topics including section mentoring, law practice management, and access to justice/opportunities in legal aid. It also assisted the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA), which held events at each of the nine law schools titled “How to Get a Job.” The division continued its three scholarship programs, with the assistance from the State Bar and TYLA: TYLA Minority Law Student $1,000 Scholarship, State Bar of Texas Law Student Division Legal Professionalism $1,000 Award, and the State Bar of Texas Law Student Division $1,000 Essay Contest. This year’s goals were to promote alternative ways of getting jobs and increase job opportunities for law students in this rough economy/job market. To promote law student networking, the division has been working with State Bar Sections in hopes of obtaining free memberships for Law Student Division Members to all sections. Additionally, TYLA agreed to print and put online a project designed to dispel some of the myths seasoned attorneys may have about hiring a new lawyer and the different ways to do so. The division’s message to you: Hire, mentor, create an internship for law students or recent law grads, or volunteer at the law school in your area today. LITIGATION Linda McDonald, Chair This year, the section has placed a great deal of emphasis on its commitment to supporting equal access to justice, improving member benefits, and promoting education and excellence in the legal profession. The section continues to publish its widely acclaimed publication, The Advocate, with this year’s symposium issues devoted to energy law litigation, consumer and commercial law developments and doctrine, and the Texas disciplinary rules. The section also continues to publish three electronic issues of News for the Bar. The section funded eight law student summer legal internships in the amount of $4,000 to Texas legal services providers. In addition, four scholarships were given to legal service attorneys to attend the Litigation Update Course, and the section awarded an additional $26,000 to various organizations across the state to support programs that fund legal aid and indigent causes. The section again sponsored a number of featured speakers at the 2012 State Bar Annual Meeting in Houston, including a lively debate on the Constitutionality of the Health Care Reform Act and the General Session Luncheon keynote address by author Richard North Patterson. Additionally, the section co-sponsored a full track with the ADR Section and another track on its own project, Texas Legal Legends. The Litigation Section has also increased its efforts to memorialize some of our greatest litigators and their contributions to the civil justice system in Texas. To view the section’s growing library of “Texas Legal Legends,” visit litigationsection.com. MUNICIPAL JUDGES Hon. Celeste I. Villarreal, Chair During the past year, the Municipal Judges Section has grown in membership, stature, and participation in State Bar activities. The section’s chair has attended all Council of Chairs meetings, representing the section and reporting on a monthly basis to the membership. Included in the monthly reports is information on committee activities, content shared from other sections, and requests from other section chairs seeking our input and collaboration. The section continued to co-sponsor receptions with the Texas Municipal Courts Association at the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center judge seminars under the leadership of Judge David Indorf. The goodwill and camaraderie resulted in the section gaining new members. The section also supported the Texas Access to Justice Foundation through the chair’s attendance of the Foundation’s Gala in Austin and of the 60th anniversary of Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas in Lubbock. Preparations for the upcoming 83rd Texas Legislature are underway, with Committee Chair Judge Paul McNulty collecting legislative proposal ideas from section members. Work on updating the bylaws is ongoing and continues to be a priority. The highlight of the year was the 2012 State Bar Annual Meeting in Houston, where section members from across the state gathered to conduct section business, elect new officers, and discuss topics relevant to the bench. The keynote speaker was Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina, who provided inspiring and interesting remarks relevant to the judiciary. OIL, GAS, AND ENERGY RESOURCES William B. Burford, Chair The section’s principal focus this year has been to maintain and enhance its educational and informational resources. The section has introduced an electronic version of the Section Report, which includes hyperlinks to cited cases, in addition to the printed one. The section saw record attendance at its two largest CLE conferences, the one-day Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute, cosponsored with the University of Texas School of Law in the spring, and the twoday Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law course in the fall. Primer courses preceding both events have also proven extremely popular. The section has also continued its involvement in UTCLE’s Gas and Power, International Upstream Energy Transactions, and Wind, Solar and Storage Institutes. The section-supported committee charged with drafting and maintaining pattern jury charges for oil and gas cases seems to be evolving toward formal integration with the State Bar’s jury charge publications, where the work will carry on. The section continues to work with the Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section to draft and revise title examination standards and commentary. This year, as in the past several, the section awarded scholarships to outstanding students in the oil and gas law courses at each of the state’s law schools and has given financial support for student internships at energy-related state agencies. Section members have participated in law student organizations’ events and the section is excited to have begun co-sponsoring networking events for young professionals. One valuable benefit of membership is the section website, oilgas.org. PARALEGAL DIVISION Susan M. Wilen, President The Paralegal Division continues to promote member participation in pro bono activities throughout the state of Texas. Paralegal support in Texas RioGrande Legal Aid clinics, veterans clinics, and CASA involvement are but a few of the many pro bono services supported by division members. The division has an online directory that allows its members to track their pro bono hours, and it is hoped that these hours will support the State Bar’s effort to secure funding for pro bono services throughout the state. The division provided more than 50 hours of CLE in its member districts. The division sponsored the Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar in north Fort Worth with approximately 250 attendees. The seminar had more than 60 presenters in more than 10 different specialty areas, allowing members to accrue a possible 14 hours of CLE. The division developed an online membership application — a process that was laborious and time-consuming. However, we believe that this transition from a paper application to an online process will be more efficient and cost-effective for the division. One of the division’s greatest member benefits continues to be the e-group, a tool that allows paralegals from all over the state to find answers to questions quickly — some attorneys find that the egroup is worth the price of membership in the division. The division continues to expand its use of social media with ongoing access through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the Paralegal Division blog (blog.txpd.org). POVERTY LAW Shelby Jean, Chair The Poverty Law Section, one of the newest sections of the State Bar, boasts more than 500 members consisting of attorneys, law professors, and students, as well as those outside the “traditional” nonprofit poverty law arena, including attorneys in private practice and those who are employed by municipalities or state agencies. In the coming year, the section hopes to add to its membership base and deepen its diversity. For dues of only $15 each year, the section offers several no-charge benefits to members, including the very popular “First Friday CLE,” a one-hour teleconference presentation on current topics of interest in poverty law by experts in their areas. The section also is working with a State Bar committee to develop legal specialization in poverty law. The section’s members are an amazing group. Some are legal firebrands. Some love the art of negotiation. Some believe that saying “I’m sorry” can sometimes move the hardest of hearts. But whatever the style of practice, the common thread that unites the section is the belief that the judicial system will not work if it only works to the exclusion of those who cannot afford its benefits. To learn more about the section, visit povertylawsection.com. PUBLIC UTILITY LAW Roger B. Borgelt, Chair The Public Utility Law Section is dedicated to the support and continuing education of attorneys practicing utility regulatory and transactional law. The section’s primary event of the year is its annual section meeting and seminar, which will take place on Aug. 3 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin. This year, the meeting will cover developments in electric, telecommunications, gas, and water issues from a regulatory perspective. There have been major developments in the areas of eminent domain, electric power generation resource adequacy, power transmission, and universal service. These matters will be a major focus of this year’s meeting. Invited speakers include each of the Public Utility Commission of Texas commissioners, who will be joined by some of the best utility lawyers from around the state. Check out the section’s website (texas publicutilitylaw.org) to find links to state and federal regulatory agencies and learn more about this year’s seminar. Also this year, for the first time ever, the section participated in the State Bar Annual Meeting in Houston, where Bill Magness, general counsel to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas gave an overview of resource adequacy issues facing Texas in generating sufficient electric power to meet its needs. The section also began providing a daily utility news email service, through Lexology, at no additional charge to its members and is actively exploring other potential benefits of membership. REAL ESTATE, PROBATE & TRUST Craig S. Adams, Chair The Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section continues to implement new member services and improve existing services. The section is adding additional content and features to its website and Reporter (reptl.org) and is treading further into the world of social networking. The goal is for the website and Reporter to be a fully integrated and searchable resource and research tool. The Real Estate Division has worked with and at the request of the Texas Real Estate Commission to develop the curriculum for the commission’s “Broker Responsibility” continuing education course. It has also prepared a proposed technical amendment to the Texas Assignment of Rents Act. The Probate and Trust Division is working on proposed amendments to the Texas Trust Code and the probate and guardianship provisions of the new Estates Code. It is working with other sections and organizations to develop a revised Power of Attorney Act. Both divisions are prepared to monitor real estate, probate, and trustrelated legislation that is proposed during the upcoming legislative session. The section’s Public Service Committee is developing new ideas that will serve the needs of the public as well as the needs of section members. The section has approved another significant contribution to Texas C-Bar. SCHOOL LAW Joey Moore, Chair The School Law Section hosts its 26th annual School Law Retreat at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop on July 13–14. The retreat has become known over the years for its high-quality, engaging CLE topics and presenters, while also being set in a family-friendly environment. The retreat is a place where attorneys who represent various parties in the school setting come together to learn about legal issues affecting clients. Topics this year include high-stakes testing, charter schools, Title IX update, and ethical considerations in the digital age. Coupled with the CLE is the section’s annual Tom Garner Memorial Golf Tournament, named after one of the founding members of the section. In the past year, the section has been involved with the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families. Past Chair Joy Baskin served on the Education Committee, working to improve the educational outcomes for children in the foster care system. In a related effort, the section is exploring opportunities to partner with other sections to develop joint events to examine cross-practice issues. Finally, the section was proud to contribute several articles to the October 2011 edition of the Texas Bar Journal, which focused on school law. Leticia McGowan, co-editor of the section’s newsletter, spearheaded that effort. TAXATION Mary McNulty, Chair The Taxation Section continues its awardwinning pro bono program of assisting pro se litigants during U.S. Tax Court calendar calls throughout Texas. The section’s Committee on Government Submissions prepared and submitted five significant comment projects addressing changes to the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury regulations, and U.S. Tax Court rules. The section continued to add to its CLE webcast library, available on the section’s website (texastaxsection.org). See videotaped interviews with Texas Tax Legends such as Buford Berry, Richard Freling, Ron Mankoff, Bob Davis, and Larry Gibbs. The section continued its longstanding live CLE events, including the Tax Section Annual Meeting, the Texas Federal Tax Institute, and the 2012 Advanced Tax Law Course. The section’s electronically published Texas Tax Lawyer is available on the section’s website and now includes a “Practitioners’ Corner,” with forms and other useful information. The section held the inaugural session of its Leadership Academy this year. This program helps young tax lawyers develop leadership skills and provides an opportunity to network with other tax lawyers throughout the state. The section’s Law School Outreach Program holds luncheons each year at law schools throughout Texas. The section sponsors a Law School Student Paper Competition each year. Coming soon will be a tax app to access federal and Texas tax materials on section members’ iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, along with a web-based app. Finally, the section selected Emily A. Parker as the 2012 recipient of the Texas Outstanding Tax Lawyer Award. She is the first woman to receive this award. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION Joe R. Anderson, Chair The Workers’ Compensation Section has been active this year by increasing the number of newsletters sent out to its members from one to three. Ken Wrobel, a benefit contested hearing officer with the Division of Workers’ Compensation, has agreed to serve as the newsletter editor. Also, Maggie Knott of Dallas has agreed to serve as the website editor. The section is in the process of expanding the website’s features. Also, the membership has been actively engaged in communication through the use of the section’s list serve. The section co-sponsored the State Bar’s 2011 Advanced Workers’ Compensation Seminar. In connection with the seminar, the third annual charity golf tournament was held. The funds raised are donated to charities that have a direct connection to our section members. Due to its popularity and success, the tournament will continue in conjunction with the 2012 Advanced Workers’ Compensation seminar.
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