The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting April 25 at the Magnuson Grand Hotel in Amarillo. Among the meeting’s highlights: Board chair selected. Roger A. Key of Lubbock was elected chair of the board of directors for 2014-2015. He will take office during the incoming board meeting on June 26 in Austin and will serve as chair until June 2015. Key is a partner in Key & Terrell in Lubbock, where he practices business and transactional law. He holds a B.B.A. in finance from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law. Key has served as a director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (1985-1987), president of the Lubbock County Bar Association (1999-2000), and president of the Texas Association of Bank Counsel (2010-2011). He is a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas. He also is president of the Texas Tech Law School Foundation Board and chair of the Lubbock National Bank Board. Minority member appointed. El Paso City Attorney Sylvia Borunda Firth was appointed a minority member of the State Bar Board of Directors for a three-year term beginning in June 2014 and expiring in June 2017. Firth holds a B.B.A. from St. Mary’s University and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. Prior to her current position, she worked as chief of staff to El Paso’s mayor/director of intergovernmental affairs (2004-2010), senior assistant city attorney of El Paso (2001-2004), general counsel of American Garment Finishers (1991-2001), assistant city attorney of El Paso (1989-1991), associate with Grambling & Mounce Law Firm (1985-1989), and associate with the Law Office of Merton Goldman (1984-1985). She is involved with multiple professional and community organizations, including the El Paso Bar Association, the Texas City Attorneys Association, and the International Municipal Lawyers Association. Finance and budget. The board approved the State Bar of Texas 2014-2015 proposed budget for presentation to the Texas Supreme Court. Aging lawyers task force report accepted. The board discussed and accepted a report from the State Bar of Texas Task Force on Aging Lawyer Issues, which includes a number of recommendations regarding education, pro bono service, mental health and cognitive issues, and the discipline system. The report recommends elimination of the MCLE age exemption for practicing emeritus attorneys (lawyers 70 years or older), which would require them to take 15 hours of CLE each year. At the same time, the report recommends that TexasBarCLE offer reduced pricing for emeritus attorneys who register for its CLE courses. The State Bar Minimum Continuing Legal Education Committee will now consider the proposed policy change and present any rule amendments and an implementation schedule to the State Bar Board of Directors for consideration. Any MCLE rules changes approved by the State Bar Board would go to the Texas Supreme Court for adoption. The report also encourages the development of a website, brochures, CLE programs, and other educational materials to provide information on aging lawyer issues to attorneys, local bars, judges, and law firms. To read the full report, go to texasbar.com/aginglawyerreport. International law task force report presented. The board heard a report from the Task Force on International Law Practice in Texas, appointed by the Texas Supreme Court in 2009 to consider changes and revisions to the rules governing admission to the State Bar. The court made changes to the rules in 2005, reflecting international trends relating to the certification of foreign legal consultants, but the changes did not address foreign attorneys’ admission to the bar or pro hac vice admission to practice in the state. Despite its size, Texas lags behind New York in the number of foreign lawyer applicants sitting for the bar exam, according to the report. The task force is proposing amendments intended to reflect changing market realities facing the state and to offer Texas-based law schools, firms, and clients greater access to international resources. For a list of the proposed amendments, read the task force report online at supreme.courts.state.tx.us/ilptf/pdf/final report.pdf. Section update. The board approved name changes for two State Bar sections. The Section of Taxation was renamed the Tax Section, while the Justice of the Peace Section became the Justice of the Peace Courts Section. The board also approved the creation of a Legislative and Campaign Law Section for attorneys who practice in the areas of campaign finance, campaign law, election law, and legislative advocacy law, as well as attorneys who represent businesses or individuals needing expertise in those areas. Resolutions. Judge John B. Board of the 181st District Court and Amarillo attorney Mark S. Logsdon were honored with resolutions for their contributions to the profession. Judge Board was instrumental in creating a regional drug court program covering Potter, Randall, and Armstrong counties in an effort to reduce the number of drug and alcohol offenders who violate probation. The court has become a community corrections resource that works to produce sober, productive, and lawabiding citizens and to reduce recidivism. Logsdon, a partner in Mullin Hoard & Brown, is a dedicated volunteer for multiple bar organizations and community groups. He is actively involved with the Amarillo Area Bar Association and Foundation’s Trial Academy, an advocacy seminar on jury selection and examination directed toward new or inexperienced lawyers.
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