New Chair Elected, Rules Changes Advance, and Other News From Board Meeting in Horseshoe Bay The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting April 15 in Horseshoe Bay. Highlights follow. Board chair election. Joe Escobedo Jr. of McAllen was elected chair of the board of directors. He will take office at the June 2016 board meeting and will serve as chair until June 2017. Escobedo is a partner in Escobedo & Cardenas. Certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, he represents clients in complex commercial and tort-based litigation. He also is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Escobedo received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1989 and is certified as a mediator by the school’s Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution. Minority director appointments. Angelica Hernandez of Houston and Rudy Metayer of Austin were appointed minority directors for three-year terms beginning in June 2016. Hernandez is a partner in Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson and has served in many leadership roles, including as president of both the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston and the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston. Metayer, who works as special counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, has served as president of the Austin Black Lawyers Association and as a board member of the Austin Bar Association, among other leadership positions. Finance and budget. The board approved the State Bar’s 2016-2017 proposed budget for presentation to the Texas Supreme Court. Sheeran-Crowley Trust update. At the time of the meeting, the State Bar was closing in on its goal to raise $500,000 for the nonprofit Sheeran-Crowley Memorial Trust during the 2015-2016 bar year. President Allan K. DuBois reported that more than $480,000 has been raised under the initiative. The State Bar is accepting donations at texasbar.com/trust-donate. Learn more about the trust by visiting its new website at sheerancrowley.org. Proposed rules changes. The board approved updates to the State Bar rules that would: (1) require members to provide an email address for use in the statewide e-filing system and court communications; (2) streamline the process for voluntary resignations from membership for reasons other than disciplinary actions; (3) codify the process for granting hardship and service waivers of membership fees and late payment penalties; and (4) provide for a one-time expunction of an administrative dues suspension if certain conditions are met. The board also approved updated rules for hearings in which an attorney is contesting that a student loan is in default. The proposed changes now go to the Texas Supreme Court for final action. Resolutions. Mandy K. McCary, of McCary & McCary in Marble Falls, received a resolution for outstanding service. A past president of the Highland Lakes Bar Association, McCary was honored for her work providing pro bono civil legal assistance to veterans and for her commitment to community organizations and events that support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Employee of the Quarter. State Bar Executive Director Michelle Hunter recognized Local Bar Services Coordinator Erin Feemster as the Employee of the Quarter. A State Bar employee since December 2013, Feemster works to facilitate communications among state and local bar leaders through programs such as the Bar Leaders Conference, Law Day, and Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans.
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