The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors approved the nominations of Chad Baruch of Dallas and Laura Bellegie Sharp of Austin as president-elect candidates at its meeting in McAllen on January 20, 2017. Joe K. Longley of Austin was approved February 28, 2017, as a petition candidate for president-elect after being certified with 5,332 signatures from eligible State Bar members. Texas lawyers will vote for the president-elect and district directors April 3 to May 2. A run-off election, if needed, will take place May 11-25. The chosen lawyer will serve a one-year term as president-elect from June 2017 to June 2018, and then will serve as president of the State Bar of Texas from June 2018 to June 2019. For more information, go to texasbar.com/elections. Chad Baruch, Dallas Chad Baruch is certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. A longtime solo practitioner, Baruch is now a shareholder in Johnston Tobey Baruch in Dallas. Baruch has served as a member of the State Bar Board of Directors and Executive Committee and as chair of the Texas Bar College, Council of Chairs, Consumer and Commercial Law Section, and Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section. A frequent continuing legal education speaker, Baruch received the 2015 State Bar of Texas Gene Cavin Award for lifetime contributions to CLE and the 2016 Texas Bar Foundation Dan Rugeley Price Memorial Award for excellence in legal writing and commitment to the profession. The Texas Access to Justice Commission has named him a Pro Bono Champion. Alongside his legal career, Baruch has served as a college and high school head basketball coach and government teacher. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. Joe K. Longley, Austin Joe K. Longley is a solo practitioner in Austin, specializing in consumer and policyholder class actions. His Austin office overlooks the UT Tower and the Capitol. In 1973, Longley co-authored and nurtured the passage of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act, together with the private remedies sections of Article 21.21 (now Chapter 541) of the Texas Insurance Code. Since then, he has co-authored Chapters 542 (prompt pay) and 544 (unfair discrimination) of the Insurance Code, the Texas Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, the Texas Home Solicitation Act, and landlord-tenant protections. Longley has authored numerous seminar papers, taught insurance law at the University of Texas School of Law, and served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, the District 9 Grievance Committee, and as chair of the State Bar Consumer Law Section, now called the Consumer and Commercial Law Section. In 2011, he received the State Bar Insurance Law Section’s Insurance Legend Award. Longley and his wife, Maggie, have three grown children and have been blessed with five grandchildren. Laura Bellegie Sharp, Austin Laura Bellegie Sharp is an AV-rated trial attorney handling all forms of litigation for the Sharp Firm in Austin. Sharp has served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and the State Bar of Texas Insurance Trust Board of Directors and is a current member of the board of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Sharp was a member of the bar’s Court Rules Committee, the Grievance Committee, and the Women in the Profession Committee. She is a Texas Bar Foundation life fellow and a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. Sharp was the 2003-2004 president of the Austin Bar Association and held director and officer positions from 1998 to 2003. She is a founding fellow of the Austin Bar Foundation, having served twice as chair, and continues to serve as treasurer. She has been a delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates since 2008, is on the board of the National Conference of Bar Foundations, and is an American Bar Foundation life fellow. Sharp received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a J.D. from Baylor Law School.
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