RE: “Mentorship” March 2016, p. 202 I enjoyed reading Allan K. DuBois’s article about great mentors, including some in the Army. I, too, have been blessed by occasional mentors. Some of my Army mentors taught me good lessons about standing my ground, although that was the opposite of their aim in a case where court-martial jurisdiction was lacking because of the civilian status of my client. He had fraudulently enlisted at 16 years of age. I understood that they had the perspective of career officers while I had intended much more limited service. Please keep writing in the Journal. WILLIAM W. RITTENHOUSE Austin Just read the article by our President Allan K. DuBois. I also had some outstanding mentors. It is an honor and a privilege to have a career as an attorney. Thank each and every one of our fellow lawyers who have reached out to those starting young. SYLVIA R. BRAUERM Houston RE: “Et Cetera: May the Force Be With You,” March 2016, p. 264 The “humor” section of the March issue of the Journal disturbs me at almost every level—as a woman, a person of color, a member of the State Bar of Texas, and a member of the communications field. Men of color—one a Texas attorney and the other a plaintiff in an employment discrimination case—are the butt of two of three race-based jokes. The butt of the third joke, a woman who misunderstood a question. Law is the least diverse profession in the U.S. It’s less diverse than engineering, medicine, and accounting; so, clearly, this barrier is not attributable to ability but to the structure of the legal profession itself: a structure held in place by our nation’s bar associations. It’s embarrassing that the column made it to print, and it’s a shame that it was funded by the association dues that Texas attorneys are required to pay to practice. KIM JARRETT Austin RE: “Emeritus MCLE Exemption Status Removed,” March 2016 p. 261 I have changed my status to non-practicing and/or inactive as required “to ensure that all active, practicing attorneys remain current in the law.” While the intention of this action is laudable, it appears to be somewhat flawed. I was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1969 after I accepted a position as intellectual property counsel for a corporation in Houston. I never practiced anything beyond IP matters. I never appeared in a Texas court. Thus, my need to “remain current in the law” was superfluous. Even though I later relocated to California and was admitted to the California Bar, I continued to pay the dues to the State Bar of Texas. When I reached 70, I was granted the MCLE and dues exemptions. Oh, happy day, because the Cal Bar did not extend this privilege, and I elected to go inactive. I was able to continue my IP-limited practice by citing my Texas attorney status to the U.S. Patent and Trade mark Office. My position that the removal of the MCLE requirement is flawed is also based upon Disciplinary Actions printed in that same issue. It is commendable that these miscreants be disbarred or suspended from practice. The important point to be discerned is that of 19 “bad guys (and gals),” only one was reported to have achieved the age of 70. G.D. WEBER JR. Orange County, California RE: “Practice Management,” April 2016, p. 313 I practice immigration and criminal defense out of Houston and couldn’t agree more. I currently am an associate and plan on starting my own business in the future. CHARLES ZAVALA Houston RE: Disciplinary Actions, April 2016, p. 314 I applaud the decision of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Texas Bar Journal to include a link (scjc.texas.gov) when reporting judicial discipline. This allows lawyers and the public to find out what judges actually did to warrant the discipline imposed. We now know that some were disciplined recently for reducing marijuana cases to parking violations, assessing fines in excess of the statutory maximum, and dismissing cases without the consent of the prosecutor. KEN SPARKS Fort Worth ON TWITTER Austin Bar member Christine Hoang featured in #TexasBarJournal #austinbarinaction Austin Bar Association ( @theaustinbar) RE: “RESOURCE SITE,” APRIL 2016, P. 280 Our mission to serve the legal research needs of all Texans is featured in the @statebarof texas’s Texas Bar Journal! Texas State Law Library (@SLLTexas) Tell us what you think via @statebaroftexas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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