CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS ATTEND ANNUAL MEETING The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s 29th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course on June 16-18 in San Antonio featured caselaw updates, continuing legal education, and honors for practitioners. William T. Habern and Edward Mallett of Houston and Shirley Baccus-Lobel of Dallas were inducted into the Hall of Fame; Richard Gladden of Denton and Brian Wice of Houston received Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year Awards; Sen. Rodney Ellis received an award named in his honor recognizing his commitment to the state’s criminal justice system; Past State Bar President Buck Files was celebrated for his 200th article published in the association’s magazine; Robert Fickman was recognized for his role in establishing annual readings of the Declaration of Independence; and John A. Convery of San Antonio was sworn in as the 46th president of the association. BAR LEADERS CONFERENCE RECOGNIZES PRO BONO WORK OF ASSOCIATIONS At the Bar Leaders Conference July 15-16 in Houston, the State Bar of Texas Collaborative Law Section and Collaborative Divorce Texas as well as the El Paso and Austin bar associations received Pro Bono Service Awards, presented by State Bar President Frank Stevenson on behalf of the Texas Access to Justice Commission. The Smith County Bar Association, El Paso Bar Association, Dallas Bar Association, and Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association received Deborah G. Hankinson Awards for their efforts to expand and promote legal aid. HOUSTON VETERANS PROGRAM GETS GRANT The Houston Bar Association’s volunteer lawyer service received a $125,000 boost for its Veterans Legal Initiative, which serves more than 2,300 veterans and spouses of deceased veterans annually by providing free civil legal advice at weekly clinics. The grant from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance will allow Houston Volunteer Lawyers to dedicate two full-time staff attorneys—both U.S. Army veterans—to the project and provide limited funds to veterans who face court-related fees that cannot be waived. TEX-ABOTA honors civil jury trial champions The Texas Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates recognized individuals for their efforts to preserve the right to a civil jury trial at its annual meeting June 11 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Past State Bar President Terry O. Tottenham of Austin received the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award; Hon. Mary Lou Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Amarillo was named Jurist of the Year; and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban received the Champion of Justice Award for his seven-year fight and eventual acquittal by a jury in a federal trial over insider trading charges. Celebrating civility in Dallas On September 9, the Dallas legal community will celebrate the Day of Civility and Professionalism, which will be observed in all Dallas state and federal courts. The new event aims to encourage attorneys and those serving in the judiciary to reemphasize their dedication to the Texas Lawyer’s Creed and to promote civility in the legal profession. The initiative is a collaboration among the Dallas Bar Association, the Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the State Bar of Texas Professionalism Committee, state and federal judges in Dallas, and local inns of court. Attorneys can attend a free half-day seminar from noon to 4 p.m. at the Belo Mansion, 2101 Ross Ave. in Dallas. Speakers at the event will include federal and state judges, the DBA president, and Dallas attorneys.
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