Screen Time It was lights, camera, action for Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and Justice Eva Guzman of the Supreme Court of Texas as they filmed a public service announcement in an Austin courtroom on the importance of jury duty. The PSA is a special project of the State Bar Jury Service Committee, which hopes to combat the problem of jury “no shows” by raising public awareness of this civic duty. The PSA, which was shot in both English and Spanishlanguage versions, will be aired by television stations around the state later this year. Above, from left: Committee member John Browning of Dallas, committee chair Susan Burnette of Amarillo, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, and Judge Orlinda Naranjo of Austin (whose Travis County courtroom doubled as the location for the shoot). Keeping Houston Green Members of the Houston Bar Association and their families planted 1,100 trees at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center as part of the Houston Arboretum’s Arbor Day Celebration. More than 300 members purchased the trees and volunteered their time in an effort to replace trees lost to last year’s drought. Above: Houston Bar Association President Brent Benoit next to a sign of appreciation. Call for Nominations The Texas Center for Legal Ethics is now accepting nominations for the fifth annual Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Awards. One award each will be presented to an appellate judge and an appellate lawyer who epitomize the highest level of professionalism and integrity. Active and retired lawyers and judges are eligible. Awards will be presented during the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Dinner in June. Nominations should include a one-page explanation of the nominee’s qualifications as well as a biography or C.V. The deadline for nominations is April 1. You can submit nominations by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; via fax to (512) 427- 4125; or via mail to Texas Center for Legal Ethics, 1414 Colorado, 4th Floor, Austin 78701. Indigent Defense Efforts Gideon at Fifty: The Way Forward was the theme of this year’s Annual American Bar Association Indigent Defense Summit. State Bar of Texas President Buck Files presented information on how Texas has furthered indigent defense efforts and his remarks will be published in Human Rights Magazine. Above, from left: Program participants Jim Bethke of Austin, Julie Doucet of Dallas, Russell Wilson, Vicent Perini of Dallas, Judge Barbara Hervey of Austin, David Pughes, Lynn Pride Richardson of Dallas, and Buck Files. Accepting Nominations The State Bar of Texas Child Abuse and Neglect Committee is now accepting nominations for the Fairy Davenport Rutland Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families. Candidates must have made a substantial contribution to the field of advocacy for abused and neglected children. Only practicing attorneys are eligible (private or government); judges and members of the Child Abuse and Neglect Committee are ineligible. Nominations should include a one-page explanation of the nominee’s qualifications, the nominee’s address and phone number, and a statement advising whether the nominator will permit publication of his name as the nominator of the nominee in print media. The deadline for nominations is April 8. You can submit nominations to Fernando Guerrero, committee coordinator, via fax (512) 427-4328; or via mail State Bar of Texas, P.O. Box 12487, Austin 78711-2487. World Premiere The Texas Young Lawyers Association premiered its newest public service video, Slavery Out of the Shadows: Spotlight on Human Trafficking, at South Texas College of Law in Houston. The free event, co-sponsored by the Houston Bar Association, featured a panel discussion on the laws regarding human trafficking and actions that can be taken to curb it. Panelists included Ed Gallagher, deputy criminal chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas, and Dawn Lew, senior staff attorney with Children at Risk. Slavery Out of the Shadows, created to educate the public about the crime of human trafficking, features interviews with survivors and human-trafficking experts, including attorneys who prosecute such cases. The project was funded with a grant from the Texas Bar Foundation. Over the next few months, TYLA will be holding video-watching events in select Texas cities. To view the video, go to tyla.org or contact TYLA at (800) 204-2222, ext. 1529 to request a DVD copy. Above, from left: Galveston attorney Kelly- Ann Clarke, TYLA board members Baili B. Rhodes, Patrice B. Childress, President C.E. Rhodes, Lacy L. Durham, and TLYA Department Director Tracy Brown. Free Law Classes The Lubbock Area Bar Association and Texas Tech University School of Law teamed together to provide non-credit law courses to the public at no cost. Attorneys and law professors shared their knowledge and expertise on two areas of study, and topics from each track ranged from consumer law taught by Larry Spain of Texas Tech University School of Law to child support moderated by Shelly Horton of the Office of the Attorney General. Board Certified Fifteen paralegals and 170 Texas attorneys were officially board certified in their specific areas of law at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. They join about 7,000 others who have earned a Texas Board of Legal Specialization designation. The voluntary program certifies Texas lawyers in 21 specific areas of the law. During the Feb. 3 ceremony, TBLS honored Dallas attorney William Frank Carroll with the Tom Garner Award, which recognizes a volunteer for his extraordinary contributions to the certification program. Above: Attorneys at the ceremony. Education First Texas Law Related Education hosted its 2013 Annual LRE Conference in Austin. At the event, State Bar President-elect Lisa Tatum provided a sneak peek of a new initiative, Vote for me, I was the First! The civics education program is aimed at elementary students and focuses on the firsts in both Texas and U.S. history that are part of the TEKS standards. Raining Popcorn Media executives discussed how historical figures featured in the project will be brought to life through animation—a fun way for kids to learn. Above, from left: Raining Popcorn Media officer Lisa Avila, LRE Director Jan Miller, Raining Popcorn Media officer Art Avila, and Lisa Tatum. Texas Supreme Court Historical Society The first book-length history of the Supreme Court of Texas in nearly 100 years was presented to justices during a ceremony at the Historic Supreme Court Courtroom at the Capitol. The Texas Supreme Court: A Narrative History, 1836–1986, by James L. Haley, marks the culmination of a 16-year project by the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society to raise public awareness and appreciation of the court. Haley spoke during the ceremony and then held a book signing at a reception at the Texas Law Center. Above: Author James L. Haley signing a copy of The Supreme Court: A Narrative History, 1836–1986. American Indian Law Conference The State Bar of Texas American Indian Law Section Conference was held at the Texas Law Center on Feb. 8. In addition to exploring various topics, the conference featured the Eagle Point Singers along with traditional dancing and drumming. A golden eagle and white redtailed hawk made appearances thanks to special guests Bill Voelker and Troy from Sia, the Comanche Nation Ethno- Ornithological Initiative. Also during the event, Jay Hurst of Austin was presented with the Section’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Ronald Jackson of El Paso received the Tom Diamond Award. Above, from left: Ray Torgerson of Houston, Gaines West of College Station, Ruth Soucy of Austin, Jay Hurst, Arnold Battise of Livingston, and Ron Jackson of El Paso. Bar Talk The American Bar Association midyear meeting took place from Feb. 5 to Feb. 11 in Dallas. The joint meeting of the National Association of Bar Presidents, National Association of Bar Executives, and National Association of Bar Foundations received immense support from the Texas legal community. Some of the Texas lawyers who spoke at various conference programs include Rhonda Hunter, Michele Wong Krause, Tom Mighell, Randy Sorrels, Victor Corpuz, Al Ellis, and Ron Massingill. Also presenting from the State Bar of Texas were President Buck Files, Immediate Past President Bob Black, Executive Director Michelle Hunter, and Legal Counsel John Sirman. Above, from left: Bob Black and Rhonda Hunter. Texas Celebrates Gideon Anniversary On March 18, Texas will mark the 50th year of Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring states to provide counsel to indigent defenders. Featured speakers at the Texas Commemoration of the 50th of Gideon include the Honorable Sharon Keller, President of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Lydia Clay-Jackson, Senator Rodney Ellis, State Bar of Texas President Buck Files, professor Bruce Jacob, and a representative from the U.S. Department of Justice. For more information about the celebration, which is co-sponsored by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, State Senator Rodney Ellis, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, visit texasbar.com/gideon.
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