Trey Apffel 2014-08-27 03:53:38
FORWARD THINKING “And if our efforts continue, and if our will is strong, and if our hearts are right, and if courage remains our constant companion, then, my fellow Americans, I am confident, we shall overcome.” — President Lyndon Baines Johnson ANOTHER ANNUAL MEETING HAS COME AND GONE. I have attended many over the years, but, for me, this year’s conference was anything but ordinary. Standing before an audience of my family and peers and reciting the oath as president of the State Bar of Texas was as exciting as it was humbling. I came away feeling even more resolved to fully commit myself in service to my fellow lawyers and the people of our great state. This issue of the Texas Bar Journal includes coverage of highlights from the Annual Meeting, so I thought I would use this opportunity to offer some of my own thoughts and takeaways. In my inaugural address, I shared my vision for the year ahead and my focus on improving communications, both between State Bar leadership and members and between the bar and the general public. In practice, that means seizing every opportunity—and every platform available—to engage people and connect them to the helpful programs and services that the State Bar offers. One way we are achieving this goal, which was evident at the Annual Meeting, is through a greater emphasis on social media and mobile platforms. Indeed, our 2014 conference was interactive like none before it. Attendees could download a revamped State Bar of Texas Events app on their smartphones to set their conference schedules, read speaker bios, find exhibitors, and share their experiences on social media. And share they did. More people than ever—attorneys, exhibitors, and journalists—were tweeting from the Annual Meeting this year, so much so that our hashtag, #sbot14, was “trending” in Austin. To be sure, there was plenty to tweet about. At the Bar Leaders Recognition Luncheon, former National Security Agency Director and retired U.S. Navy Admiral Bobby R. Inman spoke with authority on the most pressing issues facing the world. The Bench Bar Breakfast featured a fascinating panel discussion on President Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with his daughter Lynda Johnson Robb, former LBJ special counsel Larry Temple, and Dallas attorney and moderator Talmage Boston. And National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen offered an interesting analysis on current U.S. Supreme Court cases and the legacy of the landmark school desegregation decision of Brown v. Board of Education. Among the many useful CLE presentations, David Slayton, administrative director for the Texas Office of Court Administration, offered tips on how to comply with the Supreme Court of Texas’s 2013 electronic filing mandate. The State Bar has worked closely with the OCA and the court to disseminate information on e-filing and will sustain this work as implementation continues through 2016. These educational efforts include a story in the January 2014 Bar Journal (“Paperless Courts,” p. 24) and posts on our Texas Bar Blog that aim to help attorneys overcome common e-filing problems. The Bar Journal Board of Editors has chosen to devote the November 2014 issue to e-filing to offer even more information on this important topic. As I said at the swearing-in ceremony, my goal is to engage, inform, and inspire every attorney in Texas. As we celebrate three important milestones—the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the 75th anniversary of the State Bar Act, and, in 2015, the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta—it is a perfect time to recommit ourselves to protecting the rule of law and pursuing the path of justice in all we do as members of the bar. For three-quarters of a century, the State Bar has served Texas by improving the administration of justice, advancing the quality of legal services to the public, and upholding the ideals of integrity and competence in our profession. We have excelled in our roles of offering member services, nurturing and supporting local bar associations, and providing forums for the discussion of important legal issues. This is a proud tradition, and I am honored to continue this work in the months ahead. Won’t you join me? TREY APFFEL President, State Bar of Texas @ApffelT
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