Governor signs Pope Act Gov. Rick Perry formally signed a bill on May 28 that provides funds for legal aid through expanded Texas attorney general civil penalties. House Bill 1445, also called the Chief Justice Jack Pope Act, was named for retired Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jack Pope, who nearly 30 years ago signed the order creating Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts, a way to fund legal aid by collecting interest on lawyers’ trust accounts and using it for grants to Texas legal aid providers. Above, from left: Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht; Rep. Senfronia Thompson, DHouston, the bill’s primary author; Gov. Rick Perry; Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, the bill’s Senate sponsor; retired Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jack Pope; and Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson. Dallas attorney receives State Bar CLE award Dallas attorney Peter S. Vogel received the 2013 Gene Cavin Award for Excellence in Continuing Legal Education, which honors people who make substantial contributions to continuing legal education. Vogel, a partner in the law firm of Gardere Wynne Sewell, L.L.P., served on the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas, where he was the founding chair of the Computer and Technology Section. He also teaches courses on eDiscovery and the Law of eCommerce as an adjunct professor at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and is on the founding board of advisors of the SMU Computer Law Review and Technology Journal. The bar established the Gene Cavin Award in 1989 to honor long-term participation in State Bar CLE seminars and publications. The award carries the name of the professional development program’s founder who, during his service from 1964 to 1987, brought the program to international prominence. Houston attorney receives top honor from Mongolian president The president of Mongolia recognized Houston attorney Robert Painter in May with the Order of the Polar Star, the country’s highest state honor for foreign nationals. President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj honored Painter after he successfully represented the Mongolian government in a case that led to the repatriation of a fossilized Tyrannosaurus skeleton that had been smuggled out of the country. The skeleton was scheduled for auction in New York City before Painter intervened. Above, center left: Robert Painter of Houston receiving the honor. TYLA film, panel highlight problem of human trafficking in U.S. The Texas Young Lawyers Association held a panel discussion May 10 at the Texas Supreme Court to shine a spotlight on the problem of human trafficking. Roughly 800,000 children go missing every year in the United States, including between 46,000 and 47,000 Texas children, said panelist David Boatright, the executive director of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Texas regional office. Eighty percent of those Texas children are at risk of becoming a child sex-trafficking victim, he said. Former TYLA President C.E. Rhodes moderated the panel, which also featured Texas Assistant Attorney General Geoff Barr; Lawrence Feldman, the vice chair of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools; Beth Klein, an anti-human-trafficking attorney; and Terry Lord, the senior vice president of WebSafety Inc. The event included a showing of Slavery Out of the Shadows, a TYLA-produced film featuring stories of human-trafficking victims and the lawyers who prosecute the cases. Visit tyla.org to watch the film.
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