The Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors approved the nominations of Baili B. Rhodes of College Station and Alex L. Yarbrough of Amarillo as 2016-2017 president-elect candidates. This year, nominees for president-elect are from nonmetropolitan counties. Biographies of the candidates are featured here. Interviews with the two candidates will be included in the April issue. Votes for TYLA president-elect and district directors can be cast via paper ballot or by voting online from April 1 to May 2. On April 1, attorneys eligible to vote will be mailed an election packet, including a paper ballot and campaign brochures. Attorneys may either submit their paper ballot via mail or vote online using the information provided. The deadline to cast ballots is 5 p.m. CST on May 2. Baili B. Rhodes College Station Baili B. Rhodes is an associate of West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry. She practices in civil litigation, focusing on family and employment law. Rhodes, the current vice president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, has been a member of the TYLA Board of Directors since 2012, serving as secretary in 2014-2015. Rhodes has served as co-chair and vice chair of the Law Focused Education and Family Law committees and vice chair of the Community Education and National Trial Competition committees. She also served as executive committee adviser to the Diversity and Public Service committees. Rhodes has worked on many TYLA projects, including BSAFE: Battling Substance Abuse for Everyone, Breathe Free: A Guide to Immigration, Attorney General Guide, Ten Minute Mentor, Educating Educators, If I Knew Then: Life Lessons from Legendary Texas Lawyers, and Hiring an Employee with a Record. She has served as editor of the Lawyers who Lunch blog and as a contributing author for TYLA eNEWS. She is a member of the Texas Bar Foundation, the Texas Bar College, the Texas Aggie Bar Association, the Brazos County Bar Association, and the Brazos Valley Young Lawyers Association. Rhodes earned her B.A. from Texas A&M University in 2005 and her J.D. from Baylor University Law School in 2008. She is married to Casey Rhodes, and they have two children, Cooper and Stella. Alex L. Yarbrough Amarillo Alex Yarbrough is an associate of Sprouse Shrader Smith where he practices civil litigation. He devotes a significant portion of his practice to representing cities, counties, law enforcement, and the railroad industry. Yarbrough has served on the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors since 2013, most recently as treasurer. In 2014, Yarbrough received the TYLA President’s Award of Merit for his exemplary service to the public and the bar. In 2012, Yarbrough graduated from LeadershipSBOT, a joint program of the State Bar of Texas and TYLA. LeadershipSBOT is designed to prepare Texas attorneys, who have already shown a dedication to improving their practice and their community, to become successful state and local leaders. Yarbrough also serves on the board of directors of the Amarillo Area Young Lawyers Association, and from 2012 to 2015, he was on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation, serving most recently as the secretary of the West Texas affiliate. Yarbrough received his bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University in 2007 and earned his J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2011. He and his wife, Kelsey, have a three-year-old daughter named Payton and a seven-month-old son named Zane. 2016-2017 TYLA Executive Committee Election At the January meeting of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors, the following members were unanimously approved to run for the specified offices. A ballot was sent to all TYLA directors, and the winner of each race is listed below in the left-hand column. CHAIR-ELECT John W. Shaw John W. Shaw is a plaintiff’s personal injury trial lawyer with the Parker Law Firm in Bedford, where he represents individuals who are seriously injured or the parties of individuals who were killed through the negligence of others. Shaw is a past president of the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association and has served as the District 10, Place 2 director to the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors for the past four years. Shaw was also previously elected and served as treasurer of TYLA in 2014 and was a president-elect candidate for TYLA in 2015. Kimberly C. Clark Kimberly C. Clark is a civil attorney for the Special Prosecution Unit in Huntsville. She currently serves as a Texas Young Lawyers Association minority-at-large director. Clark co-chairs the Public Service Committee and is serving her second year on the National Trial Competition Committee. During her first year, she worked on JustDrive and Bigger than Bullies. She also received the TYLA President’s Award of Merit for her work on various TYLA projects. Prior to TYLA, Clark was a member of the LeadershipSBOT Class of 2013-2014. She also serves on the State Bar of Texas Child Abuse and Neglect Committee. VICE PRESIDENT Sally Pretorius Sally Pretorius is an associate at KoonsFuller in Southlake and is a board-certified family lawyer. She is currently secretary of the Texas Young Lawyers Association and serves on the Diversity Committee, which is initiating the Strength in Unity program geared at rebuilding community and law enforcement relations. She served as co-chair of the National Trial Competition and has previously worked on TYLA eNews and projects including Educating Educators, TYLA Pocket Guide: Social Media 101, and A Welcoming Home: Be a Foster Family. Pretorius co-received TYLA’s Outstanding First Year Director Award in 2013 and Outstanding Director Award in 2014. Alex Bell Alex Bell is a senior associate with the law firm of Fletcher, Farley, Shipman & Salinas, where he practices civil litigation in the areas of construction, products liability, dram shop defense, transportation, and general tort defense. He currently serves as the Texas Young Lawyers Association District 5, Place 3 director and has been involved with TYLA’s National Trial Competition since 2009. He is co-chair of the TYLA Competitions Committee. Board certified in criminal appellate law, Bell relied on his prior experience as a prosecutor in Waco in contributing to this year’s lead TYLA project, And Justice for All: Preventing Wrongful Convictions Through Education. He also serves on the State Bar’s Administration of Rules of Evidence Committee and on the board of directors for BvB Dallas, a nonprofit that raises money for Alzheimer’s research and caregiver support. Alex and his wife, Kim, reside in Dallas with their daughter, Laura. SECRETARY Amanda A. Abraham Amanda A. Abraham is an associate with the Roth Law Firm in Marshall, where she practices intellectual property, products liability, and personal injury litigation. She is the Texas Young Lawyers Association District 1 director and is president of the Harrison County Bar Association. Abraham currently serves as co-chair of TYLA’s Diversity Committee and has served as project lead for the TYLA JustDrive campaign and TYLA Roadshows. Since joining the board in 2013, she has worked on many TYLA projects, including BSAFE, End Bullying Now, the Minority Scholarship program, and the launch of TYLA’s mobile website. She received the TYLA President’s Award of Merit in 2015. Sara Anne Giddings Sara Anne Giddings is an associate with Smith Rose Finley in San Angelo, where she practices tax, estate planning, and business law. She is the Texas Young Lawyers Association District 15 director and president of the Tom Green County Young Lawyers Association. As a TYLA director, Giddings serves on the Public Service and Member Outreach committees. Giddings has been instrumental in organizing and presenting on the Breaking the Silence panels. As a director, Giddings has contributed to numerous TYLA initiatives, including Permanent Kinship Placement, Cyclists Be Careful, How to Get Involved in Nonprofit Boards, and the Local Affiliate Toolkit. TREASURER Nick Guinn Nick Guinn is an associate with the intellectual property boutique firm of Gunn, Lee & Cave in San Antonio, where he assists clients with protection and enforcement of their intellectual property rights. As a Texas Young Lawyers Association director, Guinn cochairs the Member Outreach Committee and has worked on a number of projects, including Cyclists Be Careful and How to Get Involved in Nonprofit Boards. Guinn is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a member of the Texas Bar College of the State Bar of Texas. Guinn received TYLA’s Outstanding First Year Director Award in 2015. Courtney Barksdale Perez Courtney Barksdale Perez is a senior associate with Carter Scholer Arnett Hamada & Mockler in Dallas. Perez is a Texas Young Lawyers Association minority-at-large director and serves on the Diversity and Online Member Services committees. Perez has contributed to numerous TYLA initiatives, including the National Trial Competition; Pregnancy in the Workplace: Know Your Obligations, A Guide for Employers; Pregnancy in the Workplace: Know Your Obligations, A Guide for Employees; the Employment Law Guide; Strength in Unity; and How to do a Pro Bono Clemency Petition. Perez is a graduate of the LeadershipSBOT Class of 2011-2012.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.