JOURNALISTS TAKE HOME 2015 GAVEL AWARDS Former Texas Gov. Mark White and former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby joined a crowd of about 175 on September 17 at the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas’s annual state conference and awards luncheon to recognize legislators and journalists who push for transparency in government. Former Sen. Don Adams received the James Madison Award for his legacy of writing and passing the first Texas Open Records Act (now called the Public Information Act) and modernizing the Legislature’s ethics requirements. The State Bar distributed its 2015 Texas Gavel Awards, which honor journalists whose work deepens public understanding of the legal system. Winners included Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle; Jessica Priest of the Victoria Advocate; Sally Hernandez, Josh Hinkle, and Mark Batchelder of KXAN-TV; Lorne Matalon of Marfa Public Radio and Fronteras; and Jordan Smith and Liliana Segura of the Intercept. Winners of the Nancy Monson Spirit of FOI Awards included the Dallas Morning News, NBC’s DFW affiliate KXAS, and the Temple Daily Telegram, while the Galveston County Daily News received an honorable mention. LAWYERS TEAMING UP TO PROMOTE CIVILITY Two San Antonio legal leaders are touring South Texas on a mission to promote civility among attorneys. Fred Jones, a shareholder and director of Goode Casseb Jones Riklin Choate & Watson, and Patricia O. Alvarez, a justice of the 4th Court of Appeals, have taken their message to St. Mary’s University School of Law and a growing number of counties in the region. “Our oath now includes a duty to ‘conduct oneself with integrity and civility in dealing and communicating with the court and all parties,’” Alvarez said. “This is certainly a huge step toward making civility part of our lives.” Barbara Jordan American Inn of Court accepting applications The Barbara Jordan American Inn of Court is accepting applications for 2016-2017 admission. All interested attorneys and judges involved in litigation are invited to submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a letter stating their interest (addressed to Frank A. King) to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is November 30. State Bar of Texas invites all lawyers to take new civility oath at Austin ceremony A new oath, approved by the 84th Texas Legislature and designed to advance civility and integrity in the practice of law, will be used to swear in Texas attorneys at the next New Lawyers Induction Ceremony. The State Bar of Texas invites all practicing attorneys in the state to join inductees, the Texas Supreme Court, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in reciting the new oath at 10 a.m., November 16, at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Students learn about jury selection process As high school students approach their senior year, they begin to think about careers, college, family, and other responsibilities that come after graduation. The Houston Bar Association and the 152nd Civil District Court of Harris County recently added another consideration to the list: jury duty. On September 24, as part of the 10th anniversary of the HBA’s Jury Service Program, Judge Robert Schaffer presided over a mock voir dire that introduced students from Houston’s Incarnate Word Academy to the jury system. The HBA says it has reached nearly 51,000 high school students and adults since the program’s founding.
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