The Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors approved the nominations of Amber James of Odessa and C. Barrett Thomas of Sweetwater as 2014-2015 president-elect candidates. This year, nominees for president-elect are from small towns. Biographies of the candidates, in alphabetical order, are included here. Interviews with the two candidates will be included in the April issue. Votes for TYLA president-elect and district directors can be cast via paper ballot or by voting online from April 1 to April 30. On April 1, attorneys eligible to vote will be mailed an election packet, including a paper ballot and campaign brochures. Attorneys may either submit their paper ballot via mail or vote online using the information provided. The deadline to cast ballots is 5 p.m. CST on April 30. Amber James Odessa Amber James is a shareholder in the firm of Atkins, Hollmann, Jones, Peacock, Lewis, & Lyon in Odessa, where she maintains a commercial litigation practice. Prior to joining the firm, she practiced civil litigation with Sprott, Rigby, Newsom, Robbins, & Lunceford in Houston. As a TYLA director, James serves as vice chair of the Low Income Texas and Community Education, Law Student Outreach, and Diversity committees. She previously served on the Law Practice Management Committee of the State Bar and was a member of LeadershipSBOT in 2011-2012. James is currently serving a second term as vice president of the Ector County Young Lawyers Association and previously served as social chair and vice president of the Ector County Bar Association. In 2012, Legal Aid of North- West Texas awarded James the Spirit of Dedication Award for her commitment to pro bono legal services. James earned a B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law. She was born and raised in Nederland, near Beaumont. C. Barrett Thomas Sweetwater Barrett Thomas is a felony prosecutor in the 32nd Judicial District and practices family law in Sweetwater and Abilene. Thomas has been a TYLA director since 2011, serving most recently on the Executive Committee. He is a Texas delegate to the American Bar Association; executive adviser to the Local Affiliates and Law Student Outreach committees of TYLA; has chaired the Community Education Committee; and served on the Budget, Law Focused Education, and Member Services committees, among others. He is the creator and co-author of the project Remaining Civil, which is taught at police academies across the state. Thomas previously served as treasurer and president of the Abilene Young Lawyers Association. He is the current president of the West Central Children’s Advocacy Center of Texas and volunteers with Project Read and as a police academy instructor and reserve deputy. Thomas earned a J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law, an M.C.J. from Tarleton State University, a B.B.S. from Hardin-Simmons University, and holds a Master Peace Officer certificate from T.C.O.L.E. 2014-2015 TYLA Officer Nominations At the January meeting of the TYLA Board of Directors, the Nominations Committee interviewed board members to ascertain interest and qualifications for officer positions. The committee recommended two candidates for each position, which were unanimously approved. The nominees are listed here in alphabetical order. TYLA directors elect these officers. • CHAIR-ELECT Priscilla D. Camacho currently serves as the vice president of Education & Workforce Development for the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. She is the secretary for TYLA and has served as a co-chair for the Slavery Out of the Shadows project and 38th Annual National Trial Competition. She is a prior vice chair/co-chair for the Family Law, Community Education, and Diversity committees, along with The Unconscious Truth project. Prior to serving on the TYLA Board, Camacho was a member on the TYLA National Trial Competition and State Moot Court committees. She received the TYLA President’s Award in 2013 and the President’s Award of Merit in 2009 and 2012. Camacho is a past president of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association and past director of the San Antonio Bar Association. Bill Gardner is the District 5, Place 4 TYLA director for Dallas County and an attorney at Macdonald Devin, where he advises design professionals and entrepreneurs in litigation and business matters throughout the United States. As a member of the TYLA Board, Gardner’s greatest interest is providing support to underserved individuals across Texas. Prior to his service on the TYLA Board, Gardner served as a director of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, where he received the 2010 Outstanding Committee Chair Award. • VICE PRESIDENT D. Lance Currie is a securities and general business litigator at Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal in Dallas and has served on the TYLA Board since 2011. He is a co-chair of TYLA’s BSAFE project. Currie has co-chaired the Law Focused Education and Community Education committees, and he is the course director of TYLA’s Federal Courts Practice CLE. He has presented numerous TYLA projects, including Slavery Out of the Shadows, R U Safe?, Vote America!, You’re Hired. Now What?, and They Had a Dream Too. Currie has contributed to numerous TYLA initiatives, including Breathe Free: A Guide to Immigration, TYLA Pocket Guide: Social Media 101, and TYLA Pocket Guide: Grievance and Malpractice 101. As a member of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Currie has served as chair of the Equal Access to Justice and Counsel with Kids committees. Sam Houston is a shareholder in Houston Dunn, a civil appellate law firm in San Antonio. Board certified in civil appellate law, Houston provides law-intensive support to trial lawyers. He has co-chaired a number of TYLA committees, including the Law Focused Education and Member Services & Outreach. He has contributed to the BSAFE project, which tackles the dangers of substance abuse, and the TYLA Pocket Guide: Social Media 101. As a result of his work on projects such as What Do Lawyers Do?, he was recognized as the 2012-2013 Outstanding TYLA Director. • SECRETARY Laura Pratt is an assistant city attorney in Lubbock. Prior to joining the TYLA Board, she contributed to TYLA’s Slavery Out of the Shadows project. For her service, Pratt received a 2013 TYLA President’s Award of Merit. She currently is a co-editor for TYLA’s eNews and serves as vice chair for the Law Student Outreach, Law Focused Education, Long-Range Planning, and Online Member Services committees. Additionally, she contributes to various TYLA committees by presenting projects, planning events, and promoting TYLA’s efforts across the state. She is a past secretary of the Lubbock Area Bar Association. Baili B. Rhodes is an associate with West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry in College Station, where she practices general civil litigation, including family and employment law. She currently serves as TYLA District 2 director and as secretary for the Brazos Valley Young Lawyers Association. As a TYLA director, Rhodes has served as cochair and vice chair of the Law Focused Education and Family Law committees and vice chair of the Community Education and National Trial Competition committees. She has worked on many TYLA projects, including BSAFE, What Do Lawyers Do?, and Breathe Free: A Guide to Immigration. • TREASURER Sally Pretorius is an associate with the Law Office of Becky Beaver in Austin. She serves as co-chair of numerous committees and has been integral to the TYLA Pocket Guide: Social Media 101 project, the monthly publication of eNews, the new Health and Fitness program, and the A Welcoming Home: Be a Foster Family project. She received the TYLA New Director of the Year Award in 2013. John W. Shaw is an attorney at Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz in Fort Worth and practices business, intellectual property, and general civil litigation. He currently serves as chair of the Online Member Services Committee and as an editor and contributor to TYLA’s monthly eNews. In his second year on the board, he was a co-author of the recently released TYLA Pocket Guide: Social Media 101. Shaw is a past president of the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association and is currently chair of the Board of Texas Legal Services Center.
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