In June, Texas lawyers gathered at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston for two energizing days of CLE panels, general sessions, and Texas legal history during the 2012 State Bar Annual Meeting. This year’s highlights included presentations from former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III and author Richard North Patterson, an exhibit of preserved Texas legal documents, and a reenactment of Texas v. White at the historic Harris County Courthouse. Mark your calendars for next year’s Annual Meeting in Dallas June 20–21, 2013, at the Hilton Anatole. Buck Files Sworn In at General Session Luncheon On June 15, Tyler attorney Buck Files was sworn in as the 132nd president of the State Bar of Texas during the Annual Meeting General Session Luncheon. The focus of his term, which expires in June 2013, is working together to strengthen the profession. “I have been a lawyer for 49 years and it has been a great adventure,” Files said. “Just when I think I have seen it all, my clients bring me something new. A bad day as a lawyer is better than the best day you could have in any other profession.” Files also said he wanted to highlight attorneys’ civility, ethics, and professionalism, as well as continue successful programs such as Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! and Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans. Outgoing president Bob Black praised Files’ commitment to the lawyers of Texas. “Buck is a visionary when it comes to CLE,” Black said. “He is a faithful servant of the State Bar of Texas and he will be a wonderful president.” Files plans to make CLE a cornerstone of his presidency, setting aside significant funds to deliver affordable and innovative courses. When Files served as a Marine, he learned the importance of esprit de corps. Now he advocates esprit de bar. “We can develop ‘esprit de bar’ if we understand that each of us is the State Bar of Texas,” Files said. “There is no them. It’s us. We need to be dedicated to the bar and the profession. Focus on that which unites us — our love of the law and our respect for the rule of law.” Attorney and bestselling novelist Richard North Patterson was the luncheon’s keynote speaker. The Fall From Grace author discussed the judiciary system, the state of American political discourse, and why lawyers make the best authors. “I got here not despite my profession, but because of it. Litigation is basically training for writers,” Patterson said. “I don’t always make everyone happy, but that’s the lot of lawyers and novelists alike. “Attorneys have to be curious, open to argument, honest, and mindful that we serve the best interests of our society,” Patterson said. The author went on to address how negative campaigning, partisan bickering, and oversimplification of complex issues hurt the nation. “We face a time of national peril unique in our history,” Patterson said. “We must rise above this cacophony of meanness and regard each other with compassion and empathy. That is what we learn as lawyers and we have never needed it more than now.” America’s Place in the World Despite these difficult times, the United States continues to lead the world, says former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. As keynote speaker of the Bar Leaders Recognition Luncheon, he reminded those in attendance that while current political talk seems to focus on America’s supposed decline, this is not the first time the country has faced obstacles. “I’m old enough to remember when we were warned that democracies were too weak to defeat communism, that the European Union would eclipse the United States, and that the future belonged to Japan,” he said. “Of course, we all know how those predictions turned out.” Baker, a partner in Baker Botts, L.L.P., also gave some insight into how he made the jump from lawyer to politician. Baker has helped run election campaigns for three U.S. presidents. He served as the Undersecretary of Commerce to President Gerald Ford, served as chief of staff in the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, and was Secretary of the State in the Bush administration. It all started with his tennis partner, Bush, who asked Baker to run his campaign for the Texas senate. “I said, ‘Well that’s a great idea, George, except for two things: number one is that I don’t know anything about politics, and number two is that I’m a Democrat.’ ‘He said, ‘Well, we can handle that latter problem,’ ” Baker joked. Baker later said that while these difficult times give us a sense of apprehension, we need not worry. China, with its impressive economic transformation, is a country that appears to threaten the United States’ designation as the world’s leading economic power. But, Baker said that while formidable, China still lags behind the United States in several key areas: military, diplomacy, and government. China’s government “lacks the resilience conferred either by ideology or the consent of the governed.” He also warned that China should not be viewed as an enemy of the United States, but rather, as a collaborator. “Yes, there are strains in the bilateral relationships — differences on Taiwan, Iran, and Tibet come immediately to mind,” Baker said. “But, we should seek to magnify our areas of agreement and ways to manage our differences.” Mentioning India as another emerging world power, Baker said that these changes are not evidence of America losing its edge, but more of a sign that other countries are catching up to American ideals. “We should welcome that development,” he said. So, how should the United States move forward? “As with great nations throughout time, American power is not limitless,” Baker said, adding that bipartisanship is vital to restoring political strength. “I’ve seen this country pass through social revolutions, economic downturns, military setbacks, and political crises. … When all is said and done, much of our success comes right down to character. I am convinced that as long as we stay true to our national character, our future will be every bit as bright as the past.” Motivated by Service At age 16, Marshawn Evans attended a State Bar of Texas youth program that changed her life forever. The nationally known attorney, author, and entrepreneur said the Youth Stop the Violence Program showed her that she had opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. “I didn’t just see an opportunity to become a lawyer. I didn’t just see an opportunity to have influence,” said Evans, who grew up in Richardson and is author of SKIRTS in the Boardroom: A Woman’s Survival Guide to Success in Business and Life. Evans was the keynote speaker at the Bench Bar Breakfast. She encouraged lawyers to be purpose-driven and motivated by service instead of status. “The most important thing we bring to the marketplace is not our intellect; it’s our sense of purpose,” said Evans, founder of ME Unlimited, a corporate life-enrichment consulting firm. Evans, a former Miss District of Columbia, is also president of EDGE 3M Sports & Entertainment, which works to enhance the profile of entertainers and professional athletes. In 2005, Donald Trump hired her as a cast member on NBC‘s “The Apprentice,” where she led a successful Lamborghini advertising campaign. Named one of Atlanta’s Power 30 under 30, Evans is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a member of the State Bar of Georgia. Evans said her success stems from putting herself in situations where other attorneys wouldn’t go, and she urged lawyers to embrace risk by having a reward mindset. She also encouraged them to elevate their influence by writing books, articles in the mainstream media, and by giving speeches. “Doing things that are non-traditional opens up a whole world of possibilities,” she said. Texas Legal History One of the highlights of the State Bar Annual Meeting was the display of the 21 historical Texas court records recently preserved by the Texas Supreme Court-appointed Texas Court Records Preservation Task Force. Attendees had the opportunity to get an up-close look at these documents, which were featured in the March Texas Bar Journal. In addition, Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, Task Force Chair Bill Kroger, and Task Force member Judge Mark Davidson combined in a Thursday morning session to discuss the Task Force and its mission. “With every document saved, the information generally can be used to tell who we were, who we are, and who we will be,” said Chief Justice Jefferson. The panel looked at several of the 21 preserved court documents in greater detail. Showing a photo of a page from Travis County’s Minute Book C (March Texas Bar Journal, p. 195), dating to the 1850s, Kroger pointed out the beautiful script and the elaborate “tornadoes.” “This is a work of art. The clerk who did the lettering took great pride in his work,” Kroger said. Kroger and Judge Davidson also pointed to the importance of court records, such as Harrison County’s Estate Record E from the 1850s, that contain property records that include slave inventories. “These records are probably the only written records of the families of many African-Americans,” said Judge Davidson. “These are unique and irreplaceable.” The Task Force is taking a multifaceted approach to the preservation effort, including working with district and county clerks and, in the case of stolen records, with the Attorney General’s office and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. “As Texans, we love our history, but the history of our courts is an important part that remains unexplored,” said Judge Davidson. In another session that focused on Texas legal history, Michael Ariens, a professor of law at St. Mary’s University School of Law, talked about his book, Lone Star Law: A Legal History of Texas (Texas Tech University Press, 2011). The book traces the development of Texas’ legal culture and system from the 1700s to the 1920s and highlights various practice areas such as criminal, family, and business. In his talk, Ariens looked at several milestones in Texas legal history, such as the “reformer lawyer” Louise Raggio and her work on the Marital Property Act of 1967 and the establishment of an antitrust law in Texas thanks to the efforts of Jim Hogg, who, as attorney general in the late 1880s, successfully sued railroad companies to prevent a monopoly. Ariens said that, in the writing of Lone Star Law, he was struck by how fragile the rule of law is and that it is essential for lawyers to understand how they can assist in protecting the rule of law. Writing Is Rewriting The afternoon before his General Session keynote address, Richard North Patterson joined Dallas lawyer and author Talmage Boston before a packed audience for a discussion on the finer points of writing. Patterson and Boston, a partner in Winstead, P.C. and author of several books, most recently Raising the Bar: The Crucial Role of the Lawyer in Society (TexasBarBooks, 2012), shared their experiences and thoughts on writing, offering a number of helpful tips and techniques for aspiring lawyer-authors. On finding time to write with a lawyer’s busy schedule, Boston said it comes down to time management. “Make a commitment to write and carve time out of the day to do it,” he said. Patterson added, “Treat writing like a second job. If you’re waiting for inspiration in your daily lives, it will never come.” Patterson encouraged those wanting to write for enjoyment to join a writing group as a way to get feedback and to acquire practical skills. “You’re not alone as a writer,” he said. “Think about good constructive criticism from people you trust. You can make it better and learn from your mistakes.” Both Patterson and Boston are firm believers in “writing is rewriting.” Boston said the law is great training when it comes to revising and tightening a story and Patterson agreed: “Lawyers have the character to be writers.” An audience member asked Patterson how many times he revised his first book. “Thirteen revisions and three rewrites before I sold my first book for $5,000,” he answered. “It was not easy but very satisfying. Persistence pays off.” Patterson also stressed the importance of achieving clarity in one’s writing and in caring about the story and characters. “Reading should not be work. It should be enjoyable,” said Patterson. “I make a compact with readers to deliver something as good as I can make it. To do that, I have to care about it.” The Courtroom Is My Living Room If there’s anything to take away from Rusty Hardin’s panel, it is to have respect for the average person. “If you are a trial lawyer, you want to be able to listen to people and hear them the way the average person will, because average people make up juries,” Hardin said to a packed house during his panel, “The Courtroom Is My Living Room: Trial Tips & Strategies,” where he discussed his keys to success in the courtroom. Hardin, known for his seersucker suits and his recent representation of professional athletes such as National Football League player Adrian Peterson and former Major League Baseball player Roger Clemens, discussed his trial tips and strategies. One involved his infamous courtroom wardrobe — from seersuckers suits to light-colored suits and vibrantly colored ties. Hardin says his wardrobe often catches the attention of journalists covering his trials. He once asked a journalist why his wardrobe was newsworthy. The journalist then asked Hardin, who was wearing a tan suit, to go into the courtroom and observe the wardrobe of the other attorneys. All of them were wearing dark suits. “What the heck do you expect us to write about?” the journalist asked. Hardin says he takes observance of his wardrobe in stride. In fact, he believes standing out from the crowd is good for an attorney. “I’ve decided it’s a good thing that those in the courtroom — especially juries — pay attention to me. I’ll know that they are listening to me and to what I have to say.” Before trial, Hardin does not rehearse questions with witnesses, opting to discuss concepts. During trial, he’ll ask openended, rather than leading, questions. More than that, Hardin tries to calm the witness by simply having a conversation with them, as if he were speaking with them in his own living room. “I tell my witnesses, ‘If you and I are doing this right, then you’re going to forget about the jury,’ ” he said. “You want the witness to feel like the center of the universe. If you’re successful, the jury will take cues from you and the witness.” Hardin also advised those in the audience to observe and appreciate all types of people. Doing so will allow an attorney to better relate to juries. “If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I have the ear of the average person — I think you should too.” Most important of trial strategies, Hardin said, is to be genuine and respectful. “At the end of the day, a jury needs to feel like you believe in what you’re doing,” he said. “You are there to make sure that your client is fairly treated. If you do it in a way that is firm, but not confrontational, juries will respect you for that.” Houston Mayor Annise Parker Addresses Marriage Equality for Cities In January, the U.S. Conference of Mayors issued an announcement in support of equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian families. Houston Mayor Annise Parker was one of those mayors who signed the group’s statement. Parker, one of the first openly gay mayors of a major U.S. city, didn’t sign the statement purely for personal reasons, she said. Addressing the LGBT Section on the topic of marriage equal rights, Parker explained that “no politician worth their salt is going to take on an issue that does not directly benefit their city. There are a lot of things that I care about, but every initiative I launch as mayor, I have to ask myself, ‘Who benefits from this?’ If the City of Houston doesn’t benefit, I can’t do it, because my job is to serve the City of Houston. “The mayors of the largest cities of the United States did the political, social, economic, and cultural calculations and decided that (supporting equal marriage rights) was the right thing to do,” Parker said. “They support these rights because it made sense for their cities. This is an amazing sea change.” Parker attributes that change to family and friends of gay men and lesbians. “The reason we’re moving forward is because of our non-gay allies,” she said, adding that she is considered the black sheep in her family because she is a Democrat. Despite differences in political ideology, she said she has the support of her mother, a Tea Party activist. “My mother loves me and my partner and her grandchildren,” she said. “No one is going to treat her grandchildren like second-class citizens. There are a lot of people in America who are coming to the same conclusion.” Parker hopes shifting attitudes about equal marriage will help make the topic a non-topic for succeeding generations. “With each succeeding generation, attitudes about the LGBT community are changing,” Parker said. “My kids will have a different experience than I had, and their children won’t even know what we’re talking about.” Reenacting Texas v. White at the Harris County Courthouse Dozens of Annual Meeting attendees took a short bus trip to the historic Harris County Courthouse and ended up traveling back in time 143 years. They were witnesses to one of the meeting’s featured events and CLE opportunities, the reenactment of the 1869 U.S. Supreme Court case Texas v. White. The two-hour event was sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society. Texas v. White was prompted by a dispute over payment of U.S. bonds but is historically significant because of its role in establishing the United States as “an indestructible union” from which no state can secede. During the reenactment, Houston attorneys David Beck (plaintiff ) and Lynne Liberato (defense) presented arguments before a five-member panel of state and federal judges acting as the U.S. Supreme Court. The panel included Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, Texas Supreme Court Justices Dale Wainwright and Paul Green, and federal judges Jennifer Walker Elrod and Nancy Atlas. Former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Phillips provided background on the case before the reenactment began. At issue was $10 million in bonds that Texas received from the United States in 1850 to settle boundary claims. The bonds were payable to the state and redeemable after Dec. 31, 1864. Texas law required the governor to endorse the bonds before they could be redeemed or transferred. But the Confederate legislature repealed that requirement when Texas seceded from the Union in 1862 and created a military board to sell bonds to fund war supplies. In 1865, George White and John Chiles purchased bonds in exchange for cotton and medicine. After the war, the people of Texas established a constitution and elected a governor, authorizing him to recover the bonds. Texas filed suit in the U.S. Supreme Court and also asked the Court to enjoin the United States from paying the bonds because the governor didn’t endorse them and they were past due when presented for payment. White claimed the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction over the case and federal law didn’t apply when the bonds were transferred because Texas seceded and was not a state of the Union. During the reenactment, attorneys Beck and Liberato focused on the key issue of whether Texas was considered a state at the time. Beck, arguing on behalf of Texas, referred to the U.S. Constitution to make his point that Texas remained a state even during the Civil War. “A more perfect Union is … a Union you cannot tear apart,” he said. Later in his argument, Beck said, “The Union is indestructible — that’s why the war was fought.” Wainwright reminded Beck that the people of Texas adopted a new secessionist government in 1861. “Does the Constitution trump the people?” Wainwright asked. Beck countered, “The people cannot trump the Constitution.” Liberato, attorney for the defendants, asked the court to dismiss the case and claimed the justices had no jurisdiction over the issue. Texas was not a state because, among other things, it had no representation in Congress or the Electoral College, she said. “Today, Texas is not a state,” she said. After Beck and Liberato presented their arguments, Jefferson thanked them for their participation. “You may be surprised. The Court has come to a decision,” he said as laughter erupted in the courtroom. Phillips read the Court’s decision and further explained its impact to those watching the reenactment. The Court ruled that Texas remained a state despite joining the Confederate States of America and being under military rule when the case was decided. The Court further held that the U.S. Constitution does not permit states to unilaterally secede from the Union. Recognizing Future Leaders LeadershipSBOT added 19 individuals to its alumni list at a graduation ceremony during the 2012 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Houston. Members of the 2011–12 class include Sharesa Alexander, Alex Bell, Dennis Carter, Karen Denney, Capt. Deshun Eubanks, Katherine Fillmore, JoAnne Garcia, Aric Garza, Gilbert Gonzalez, Zachary Hall, Amber James, Shakeeb Mir, Courtney Barksdale Perez, Anna Sankaran, Andrew Sefzik, Manesh Shah, Christie Villarreal, Jennifer Wang, and Tania Ward. “This is an outstanding class,’’ said Natalie Cobb Koehler, the 2011–12 president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA). LeadershipSBOT, which began four years ago, is a diversity initiative of the State Bar of Texas and TYLA to recruit, train, and inspire attorneys to take on leadership roles within the Bar. Participants examine leadership qualities and receive guidance from current leaders on being effective in the profession and respected in the community. Class members are selected to reflect the demographics of the state, and participants make a yearlong commitment to attend meetings and a series of brown bag lunch conference calls on leadership topics. Class members also chose one of four group projects to complete over the year: Diversity, Access to Justice, Member Services, and Educational Outreach. The Diversity Project focused on improving the representation of disabled attorneys and included asking questions on the State Bar’s biennial survey. The results showed a high level of interest in attorneys who would join a Disabilities Section if it were created. The project also created a clearinghouse of resources for the five most common disabilities. The Access to Justice Project included a video focusing on the need for pro bono volunteers and avenues to get involved in pro bono work. The team also produced a video that provides basic information needed to prepare a will. The Educational Outreach Project was designed to assist teachers in educating students about civics and increase attorney participation in classrooms. The group created an outreach program for the Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! project and surveyed educators on how best lawyers can help them in the classroom. The group also created a presentation for lawyers to present in classrooms. The Member Services Project included publishing a pamphlet that provided an overview of the advertising and solicitation rules under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. At the graduation ceremony, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson addressed the group before presenting them with their framed certificates. He congratulated the class and urged them to use passion, vision, and a willingness to try something new in their leadership roles. He cited efforts to preserve historic records and the Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans program as examples of leadership initiatives that have produced significant results. Jefferson also advised the group to seek out others who have the same passion and then put together a plan to accomplish goals. “Each of you has a passion,’’ he said. “But you’re not the only one — there will be other people who show that passion.” During the ceremony, Zachary Hall was honored with the Pedro “Pete” Serrano Leadership Award, which is presented to the outstanding member of each year’s class. The award is named after Serrano, a member of the inaugural leadership class who died in 2009. “I love the Bar,” Hall said. “This is a great organization. I’ve always been proud to be a member of the Bar.” State Bar Awards Presidents’ Award Kenneth C. Raney, Jr. of Dallas for his efforts on behalf of the Texas Bar Historical Foundation and his assistance in creating a way for Texas lawyers to support the effort to preserve historical court documents. Certificate of Merit Bill Kroger of Houston for his vision in identifying and preserving important historical court documents and his energy and enthusiasm in ensuring that preservation continues. Presidential Citations Pablo Almaguer, Edinburg Tim Belton, Bellaire Sandra French Clark, Beaumont Alistair Dawson, Houston Beverly Godbey, Dallas Bill Kroger, Houston Kenneth C. Raney, Jr., Dallas Travis J. Sales, Houston Tom Vick, Weatherford Brian Webb, Dallas Jefferson County Bar Association Nancy L. Garms Memorial Award David C. Courreges of Austin for outstanding contributions to law-focused education. As a director of the Austin Young Lawyers Association and the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA), he has organized and presented TYLA programs to more than 10,000 students and teachers throughout the state, including videos highlighting the role teens played in the Civil Rights Movement. Leon Jaworski Award for Teaching Excellence Charles T. Armstrong of Mesquite teaches at the Mesquite Learning Center, Mesquite ISD and Lana Burns of Cypress teaches at Cypress Ranch High School, Cypress- Fairbanks ISD. The award is presented by the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors to recognize educators who have made an outstanding contribution to law-focused education and whose programs foster understanding of the values of our legal and judicial systems. Honorary Leon Jaworski Award for Teaching Excellence Lt. Kimberly Bustos uses the TYLA video R U Safe? Protecting Yourself in Cyberspace as one tool to educate the public about online predators in her role in the Cyber Crimes Unit of the Office of the Texas Attorney General. She also played an integral role in the creation of the video, advising TYLA members and appearing in the film to help teach parents, teens, and children about Internet safety. Gene Cavin Award George “Tex” Quesada of Dallas for his substantial contributions to State Bar continuing legal education. Frank J. Scurlock Award John O’Connor has volunteered with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP) since 2006, when he was a summer associate of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, L.L.P. In the last two years, he has continued his service through DVAP, logging close to 600 hours of pro bono legal services. J. Chrys Dougherty Legal Services Award Mickey Baden has been instrumental in the success of the Houston Bar Foundation Veterans Legal Initiative (VLI). Since he started working with VLI, Baden has increased the number of veterans served at each Friday afternoon clinic, while at the same time increasing the quality of services received by the veterans and the quality of the volunteer attorneys’ experience. Julie Balovich of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s Alpine office is currently the managing attorney for the Guardianship Team, previously serving as deputy group coordinator for the Domestic Violence and Family Law practice group. She played a lead role in the 2008–09 litigation on behalf of women who belong to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) in Eldorado. Pro Bono Award Human Rights Initiative’s William O. Holston, Jr. Pro Bono Program provides free legal representation to individuals seeking asylum and immigrant women and children who have experienced abuse, such as domestic violence, trafficking, neglect, and abandonment. In 2011, HRI volunteer attorneys donated 5,554 hours, an estimated value of more than $2 million. W. Frank Newton Award At Patton Boggs, L.L.P., lawyers are encouraged to do pro bono work, and associates and salaried of counsel are required to perform at least 100 hours of pro bono service each year. Through the Patton Boggs Pro Bono Program, coordinated through the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, the firm’s Dallas office donated approximately 8,000 hours to pro bono work in 2011. Judge Merrill Hartman Pro Bono Judge Award This award honors a judge who has provided exemplary pro bono service. Justice Phylis Speedlin has served on the Fourth Court of Appeals since her appointment to the appellate court in April 2003. Frustrated with the number of pro se litigants appearing before their courts, Justice Speedlin and Judge Karen Pozza decided to design a new pro bono program — a joint project of the San Antonio Bar Association, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, and other community organizations — the Community Justice Program, which has spurred the development of similar programs in nine counties. Pro Bono Coordinator Award As the Equal Justice Volunteer Program Coordinator with Legal Aid of North- West Texas’ Midland office for nearly 10 years, Pedro “Pete” J. Fierro, has focused on creating pro bono opportunities to recruit volunteers to provide civil legal assistance to low-income people in Glasscock, Howard, Martin, Midland, Reagan, and Upton counties. Fierro has demonstrated the importance of building collaborative partnerships in an effort to address the unmet legal needs of the client community. TYLA Awards Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas Award A partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Haynes and Boone, L.L.P., Karen C. Denney of Fort Worth has coordinated high school mock trials and developed programs for elementary students and mentored law students. She has held many leadership roles in her community and continues to serve the State Bar while exemplifying all the good things that people expect of an attorney. Liberty Bell Award Tracy Brown of Austin is the director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association and has more than 20 years experience with the association. Through her leadership, the organization has developed countless nationally recognized projects and services unmatched by other law organizations in the country. Joseph M. Pritchard Inn Outstanding Director Award Lacy L. Durham of Dallas spearheaded TYLA’s Diversity and Dialogue Dinner in Dallas, an event that showcased Ron Hall, a New York Times best-selling author of Same Kind of Different as Me. Her work also yielded the most scholarship applications ever received for the annual TYLA Minority Scholarship Program. She also coordinated TYLA’s first “Ladies Night Out” at the Alamo Drafthouse in San Antonio, where TYLA presented Healing the Wounds for victims of domestic violence, followed by an evening of pampering, dinner, and a movie. Outstanding Mentor Award One of the most respected judges in Dallas, Hon. Martin J. Hoffman has become synonymous with the term “mentor” in the city. He has been a role model for a multitude of young lawyers, law students, and high school students for many years. Outstanding First-Year Director Victor Villarreal of Laredo assisted with many projects throughout the year and tripled the number of TYLA’s followers on Twitter and Facebook as a member of its Marketing/PR Committee. Most notably, Villarreal coordinated the first annual “Attorneys Without Borders” event in Laredo, marking the first time the Supreme Court of Texas visited Webb County, resulting in more than 300 students attending the court’s oral arguments. TYLA President’s Award Brooke Ulrickson Allen of Fort Worth organized and helped produce The Unconscious Truth: Legal and Physical Effects of Underage Binge Drinking and coordinated filming, helped write scripts, and implemented this program at Texas Christian University. For the last three years, she has served as a co-chair of the Online Member Services Committee, working on eNews and championing the Ten Minute Mentor Goes to Law School program. President’s Awards of Merit Rebekah Steely Brooker, Dallas Priscilla D. Camacho, San Antonio Tammy T. Fisher, Lubbock Sam Houston, San Antonio Dustin M. Howell, Austin Wendy A. Humphrey, Lubbock Kenneth C. Riney, Dallas TYLA Minority Scholarship Program Recipients Lynette M. Boggs St. Mary’s University School of Law Randel Cross Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law Texas Bar Foundation Awards Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award As the first recipient of the Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award, David Keltner of Fort Worth demonstrates the same high ideals and standards as the award’s namesake. Keltner’s dedication to his community and the legal profession is demonstrated through his volunteer service as chair for the State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee, the Executive Board of the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, and the Board of Visitors for the University of Texas McDonald Observatory. Outstanding Law Review Article Dallas attorney John G. Browning’s article, “Digging for the Digital Dirt: Discovery and Use of Evidence from Social Media Sites,” was published in the Southern Methodist University Science and Technology Law Review, Summer 2011, Volume XIV, No. 3. His work as a journalist has been recognized in the past with numerous awards, including the Clarion Award for Outstanding Newspaper Column, the Texas Press Association’s Outstanding Column Award, and a 2007 nomination for a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. The Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law will receive a $1,000 donation in honor of Browning. Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award Judge Lee Yeakel of Austin is well regarded in the legal community for his outstanding competency, efficiency, and integrity. Since his 1998 appointment to the Third Court of Appeals by then Gov. George W. Bush, he has gained the respect of fellow judges, attorneys, and the public. Beyond his judiciary responsibilities, Judge Yeakel serves as an active member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, the American Law Institute, and the American Judicature Society. The University of Texas School of Law will receive a $1,000 gift from the Texas Bar Foundation in honor of Judge Yeakel. Dan Rugeley Price Award Kelly Frels’ commitment to the Texas legal profession is unparalleled and exemplifies the essence of this honor. As past president of both the State Bar of Texas and the Houston Bar Association, Frels has had an enormous impact on Texas attorneys. His commitment to the legal community continues today as he serves on the Board of Trustees for the Texas Center of Legal Ethics. A $1,000 donation will be made in Kelly Frels’ name to the University of Texas School of Law Foundation. Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award Steve McConnico of Austin is known among his peers as a highly competent and ethical trial lawyer. McConnico exhibits the highest ethical and moral standards and exceptional professional conduct in everything he does. He has served as chair of the State Bar of Texas Litigation Section and president of the Texas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, and the Baylor Law School Alumni Association. In 2012, McConnico was selected by the Austin Bar Association to receive its Distinguished Lawyer Award. Lola Wright Foundation Award Fred Hagans of Houston works diligently through his law practice, Hagans, Burdine, Montgomery & Rustay, P.C., to promote the highest standards of professionalism and legal ethics. Hagans has served as a member of the Houston Bar and State Bar of Texas Committees on Professionalism and as co-chair of the Texas Supreme Court Professionalism Committee, which is responsible for establishing the Texas Lawyer’s Creed. Hagans has also dedicated much of his time to teaching others through speaking engagements and law review articles. Healthcare for the Homeless – Houston will receive a $5,000 donation in Hagans’ name. Outstanding 50-Year Lawyer Award After law school, E. William Barnett of Houston returned to Houston and joined the firm of Baker Botts, L.L.P. The firm more than doubled in size under his leadership and resulted in his serving as senior counsel until 2004. Outside of his outstanding legal career, Barnett has also served on countless boards for educational and health care institutions. His service has earned him numerous awards and honors including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Texas Law School, the Gold Medal Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Rice University Alumni, and the Corporate Director of the Year Award from the National Association of Corporate Directors. John Estes of Dallas knew at age six that he wanted to attend the University of Texas and become a lawyer. He made his mark as a trial lawyer who mentored young attorneys and who was extensively involved in bar activities. As his practice matured, Estes shifted his focus from litigation to mediation and had mediated more than 1,300 cases. He has served as a trustee for the University of Texas Law School Foundation and remains involved today. Estes’ most noted hobby is hunting, and he has earned the highest award given by the Safari Club International, the World Hunting Award. After law school, Harry M. Reasoner clerked for Judge Charles Clark of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which became a defining moment in his career. In 1964, Reasoner joined Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P. and became partner in 1970. Reasoner’s devotion to the legal profession and the public was exemplified when he led the firm to develop a pro bono policy that is now a model for other firms. He is also credited with establishing a strong diversity program for the firm. Reasoner also helped start the University of Texas School of Law’s Alumni Giving Program. In 2009, the Texas Supreme Court appointed Reasoner as chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission. After serving as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II, George Spencer of San Antonio enrolled in the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1948. During the past 50 years, Spencer has been honored numerous times for his commitment to the legal profession and for his service to the public. He was one of the original lawyers listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” and was listed in every edition until his retirement. Spencer has also been awarded the San Antonio Bar Association’s Joe Frazier Brown, Sr. Award of Excellence and the Ethical Life Award. Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr. of Houston is regarded as a devoted family man, a fair and compassionate judge, and a selfless public servant. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Judge Werlein began his legal career with Vinson & Elkins. He was made partner in 1972. In 1992, he was appointed U.S. District Judge, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, by President George H.W. Bush. Judge Werlein has used his talents to make a significant impact on the Texas legal community and was instrumental in implementing the Texas Lawyer’s Creed. The Texas Bar Foundation has honored Judge Werlein in the past with the Lola Wright Foundation Award and the Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award.
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