Tell us what you think via @statebaroftexas, email@example.com, or P.O. Box 12487, Austin, TX 78711-2487. Letters addressed to the Texas Bar Journal may be edited for clarity and length and become the property of the magazine, which owns all rights to their use. RE: “THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD” I just read James E. Brill's article [February 2015, p. 160] in the Texas Bar Journal and would like to thank him for writing it. I found it quite inspiring and encouraging. As a result of reading it, I will be moving forward with pursuing my solo practice specializing in probate matters. Thanks again! NIKE LADAPO Addison I am catching up on my Bar Journal reading this week, and I wanted to let James E. Brill know that I thoroughly enjoyed his article. That is one of my favorite books, and it provides inspiration in many difficult circumstances. JENNIFER WALKER ELROD Houston RE: “HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY” The theme of the March issue was the untoward decline in jury trials and how this supposedly harms clients and society. In “Honesty Is the Best Policy” [March 2015, p. 210], the authors assign part of the “blame” for this trend on an unwarranted bias against jury trials. Perhaps the legal profession should accept part of the blame instead of belittling tort reformers' concerns about jury trials. Corporate defendants often prefer ADR because of burdensome and costly discovery, unnecessary delays, vague laws, potentially ruinous damages, and (to be candid) the unsuitability of jurors to decide many types of business disputes. Let's see some emphasis on reforms to make litigation less expensive and more predictable. Many large law firms have arbitration clauses in their engagement letters; if lawyers lack confidence in the civil justice system, how can we expect the public to bemoan the decline of jury trials? MARK PULLIAM Austin Finally someone speaks out on an issue that has troubled me and other jury trial lawyers for years. Lawyers with no or practically no jury trials have been creating mythical trial resumes. Those few with real trial resumes have been forced to compete with these imposters. This is not unique to plaintiff or defense. Until you have experienced real voir dire, opening statements, examining witnesses, dealing with often difficult real judges, making final arguments, and-most of all-surviving the emotional impact of numerous jury buzzers, you have no right to fraudulently hold yourself out as a real trial lawyer. Will Professor McCormack's call for honesty make a difference? I am hopeful, but not optimistic. Self-promotion and money trumps honesty almost every time. KENNETH TEKELL Houston RE: “CATEGORIES” The article titled “Categories” [March 2015, p. 244] should have included a reference to Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978. As IRS Publication 1976 explains, Section 530 is essentially a free pass to avoid the well-known but complex IRS 20 point test. If the employer has consistently treated the workers as independent contractors (i.e., gave them 1099s) and had a reasonable basis to do so, the IRS is prohibited from reclassifying the workers as employees. Reasonable basis includes judicial precedent, prior audit, showing that a significant segment of the industry treats similar workers as independent contractors, and reliance on advice of a lawyer or accountant. Once the taxpayer makes a prima facie showing that Section 530 applies, the burden shifts to the IRS to prove that the taxpayer's position is wrong. A Section 530 analysis should always be done when the IRS questions the classification of workers. RICK K. DISNEY Fort Worth Authors' note: Section 530 goes beyond the scope of our article, which is directed to “clients” trying to understand the basics of classification, and most importantly, urging them to get help with this issue whether before the Texas Workforce Commission or IRS. In contrast, Section 530 is an IRS-only mechanism that may be invoked after the IRS begins questioning your classifications. ON TWITTER RE: “THE SXSW 2015 GATHERING OF LEGAL MINDS,” MARCH 2015, P. 216 Love the lede, @LSmader @statebaroftexas. Guide to #CLE events at #sxsw Eva Ruth Moravec (@EvaRuth) RE: “OFFICE TALK,” FEBRUARY 2015, P. 178 Great article by my colleagues! Jim Chester (@trade_attorney) RE: “FIGHTING BACK,” MARCH 2015, P. 206 Just read this in the TX Bar Journal. A must read for “litigators.” Jacob Thomas (@NTXLitigator) Congrats to @vitaladvocacy & @NickSarokhanian for their article making the cover of the TX Bar Journal #triallawyer Ty Stimpson (@TyStimpson)
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