The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting Sept. 19 at the Moody Gardens Hotel in Galveston. The meeting’s highlights appear below. Minority director sworn in. Greenberg Traurig shareholder Annapoorni “Anna” Sankaran of Houston was sworn in as a minority director after being appointed to fill an unexpired term. Sankaran has a thorough history of leadership and has earned many distinctions and awards for her volunteer service. Her term expires in 2016. Annual Meeting resolutions referred. The 2014 Annual Meeting general assembly adopted two resolutions. The board forwarded the first resolution regarding limited partnerships and professional associations to the Tax Section for consideration. The second resolution asks that Texas Supreme Court orders, requests, and instructions be published in the Texas Bar Journal and on the State Bar website. The Bar Journal already does so, and staff members have created a page on texasbar.com for Supreme Court-related information. The board referred the second resolution to the State Bar Communications Division for continued implementation. MCLE age exemption discussed. The board heard an update on a proposal to eliminate the MCLE exemption for attorneys over age 70. The State Bar Task Force on Aging Lawyer Issues presented a similar recommendation to the board in April, and the issue was forwarded to the MCLE Committee for its recommendation. The issue is being considered by the board. Request to file amicus approved. The board voted to ratify the Ad Hoc Submission Committee’s approval of an emergency request by the State Bar Bankruptcy Law Section to file an amicus in Baker Botts LLP v. ASARCO LLP. The brief was filed on Aug. 29. Immigration efforts outlined. President Trey Apffel discussed efforts by the State Bar to provide information to attorneys who want to volunteer to help meet the legal needs created by unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. A State Bar Web page, texasbar.com/volunteer, offers helpful information and allows attorneys to submit a volunteer interest form. The bar also created texasbar.com/immigration to provide general resources on immigration law to the public, including Spanish-language videos on notario fraud. Jonathan Ryan, executive director of RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services), and Charles Foster, co-chairman of the global immigration law firm FosterQuan, also addressed the board on efforts by other Texas legal organizations. SBOT Legislative Program approved. The board adopted the State Bar’s Legislative Program. The program includes 20 proposed bills submitted by the Animal Law, Family Law, LGBT Law, and Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law sections. The program is available at texasbar.com/legislativeprogram. Diversity and Inclusion Retreat discussed. Immediate Past President Lisa M. Tatum presented a recap of the State Bar’s Diversity & Inclusion Retreat, which was held in May for State Bar and Texas Young Lawyers Association minority directors, diversity section chairs, and diversity committee chairs. The event united key leaders involved with the bar’s diversity efforts to share projects, ideas, and ways to work together. Animal Law Section bylaws amended. The board approved revisions to the Animal Law Section’s bylaws, adding financial provisions required by the policy manual and updating the section’s purpose clause. Attorney, judge honored. The board approved resolutions honoring Judge Janis L. Yarbrough and attorney Doryn Danner Glenn for their community service and contributions to the profession. Yarbrough, of Galveston County’s 306th Judicial District Court, has been actively involved with the Galveston County Adoption Day Foundation, and Glenn, the governmental affairs director for the Galveston County District Clerk’s Office, is also active in Galveston County Adoption Day as well as the preservation of historic Texas court documents. Employee of the Quarter recognized. Executive Director Michelle Hunter recognized Office of Minority Affairs Director Caren des Vignes as the Employee of the Quarter. In September, des Vignes led the staff support for the 2014 Texas Minority Counsel Program, which set an alltime record for attendance at 455.
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