TYLA Officers


Rebekah Steely Brooker, President


Dustin M. Howell, Chair


Sam Houston, Vice President


Baili B. Rhodes, Secretary


John W. Shaw, Treasurer


C. Barrett Thomas, President-elect


Priscilla D. Camacho, Chair-elect


Kristy Blanchard, Immediate Past President

TYLA Directors


Amanda A. Abraham, District 1


Sharesa Y. Alexander, Minority At-Large Director


Raymond J. Baeza, District 14

    Aaron J. Burke, District 5, Place 1

Aaron T. Capps, District 5, Place 2


D. Lance Currie, District 5, Place 3


Laura W. Docker, District 10, Place 1

    Andrew Dornburg, District 21
    John W. Ellis, District 8, Place 2
    Zeke Fortenberry, District 4

Bill Gardner, District 5, Place 4


Morgan L. Gaskin, District 6, Place 5

    Nick Guinn, District 18, Place 1

Adam C. Harden, District 6, Place 6


Amber L. James, District 17


Curtis W. Lucas, District 9

    Rudolph K. Metayer, District 8, Palce 1

Laura Pratt, District 3

    Sally Pretorius, District 8, Place 2

Baili B. Rhodes, District 2


Alex B. Roberts, District 6, Place 3

    Eduardo Romero, District 19
    Michelle P. Scheffler, District 6, Place 2

John W. Shaw, District 10, Place 2

    Nicole Soussan, District 6, Place 4
    L. Brook Stuntebeck, District 11

C. Barrett Thomas, District 15

    Judge Amanda N. Torres, Minority At-Large Director

Shannon Steel White, District 12

    Brandy Wingate Voss, District 13
    Veronica S. Wolfe, District 18, Place 2

Baylor Wortham, District 7

    Alex Yarbrough, District 16


Justice Paul W. Green, Supreme Court Liaison


Jenny Smith, Access To Justice Liaison


Brandon Crisp, ABA YLD District 25 Representative


Travis Patterson, ABA/YLD District 26 Representative


Assistant Dean Jill Nikirk, Law School Liaison


Belashia Wallace, Law Student Liaison


TYLA Office

Tracy Brown, Director of Administration
Bree Trevino, Project Coordinator

Michelle Palacios, Office Manager
General Questions: tyla@texasbar.com

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 12487, Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711-2487
(800) 204-2222 ext. 1529
FAX: (512) 427-4117

Street Address

1414 Colorado, 4th Floor
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 427-1529


Views and opinions expressed in eNews are those of their authors and not necessarily those of the Texas Young Lawyers Association or the State Bar of Texas.





























































December 2010

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Be Thankful (and Helpful) This Holiday Season
By: Katy Boatman

In these difficult economic times, it is easy to forget that lawyers—even those currently struggling with finding a job or worrying about when the next client will pay—have a unique position in society that comes with the ability to help those less fortunate.

Top Story
Top Story

Welcome to the Bar!
By: Jennifer Evans Morris

I recently had the great pleasure of speaking at the Austin and Dallas swearing in ceremonies for our newly licensed attorneys. Although I have not been able to speak to all our newly licensed lawyers in person this month, I want to officially welcome all of our newly licensed attorneys to the practice of law!

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

There are young lawyers in Arlington—who knew? The newest TYLA Affiliate is formed.
By: Daniel B. Mathis

Four years ago, when I began practicing law in Arlington, Texas, if you had told me I would soon be part of an “Arlington Young Lawyers Association,” I would have thought you were joking. In fact, I made that joke a few times myself after attending a couple of the “big” Arlington Bar Association’s monthly CLE luncheons—there were no other lawyers under forty to be found.

Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans
Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

Bar Organizations Across the State Promote Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans
By: Kristy Sims Piazza

In commemoration of Veterans Day, bar organizations across the state held events promoting the Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans project (TLTV). On November 11th, members of TYLA and the State Bar participated in the Veterans Day Parade held in Dallas.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

TYLA Provides Help For Small Businesses
By: Erin O'Driscoll

Are you an entrepreneur? If so, how do you bring your ideas to life and create a blueprint for success? TYLA directors Adrienne Clements, Erin O’Driscoll, former director J.P. LeCompte, and committee members Jacob Stasny and Luis Gomar have prepared a Small Business Toolkit to familiarize small business owners with legal issues they may encounter when deciding to open and run a small business.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

Becoming the Go-To Lawyer
By: Jennifer Evans Morris

It’s a late night. The partner rubs her eyes and tries to think if there is some way around the problem she is facing. She remembers these issues vaguely, but she learned them so long ago. All she is left with are vague strings tugging at the back of her mind. Just then, she remembers seeing a note in the firm bulletin a few months back that might apply.

Article of Interest

Director and Officer Fiduciary Duties to Creditors
By: John A. Tancabel and Michelle C. Jacobs

I. Introduction

     Corporate officers and directors ordinarily do not owe fiduciary duties to the corporation’s creditors. When a corporation becomes insolvent or is on the brink of insolvency, however, corporate fiduciaries must consider the interests of creditors, who may assert breach of fiduciary duty claims against them.

Access To Justice Commission Update
Access To Justice Commission Update

Three Ways to Give This Season
By: Benet Magnuson

It’s the season for giving, and your pro bono service is needed now more than ever. This has been an incredibly difficult year for low-income families. With unemployment doubling in the past few years, 1.8 million children in Texas—one in four—now live in poverty.

ABA YLD Update

An Update on the ABA YLD Fall Conference
By: Chip Brooker and C.E. Rhodes

Approximately 200 young lawyers attended the ABA YLD’s Fall Conference held October 14-16, 2010 in Santa Fe, NM.

Council Meeting

The ABA YLD Council met on Thursday, October 14, 2010, to discuss the business of the organization. The highlights of the Council meeting included: 

Important Dates to Remember
Important Dates to Remember

December 24
Holiday - Christmas (Texas Law Center closed)

December 31
Holiday - New Year's (Texas Law Center closed)

Take Note
Take Note

View This Month's TYLA President's Opinion

Jennifer Evans Morris
TYLA President 2010-2011

“Justice for All” License Plate Contest
According to the license plate reports we are making a difference in the number of Justice For All plate purchases! However, we don’t know which affiliate is contributing the most. The contest ends December 31st, so be sure to send a receipt, notice or picture of the plates to Brooke Ulrickson Allen. The following affiliates have entered the contest and we appreciate your continues efforts to support pro bono legal services: Austin Young Lawyers Association, Collin County Young Lawyers, Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association and Waco McLennan County Young Lawyers. $25 of the $30 cost of each license plate is deposited into a special account supporting civil legal services to the poor. To join the challenge email Brooke and then copy her on at least two emails to your members promoting the contest and asking for participation. Post the challenge on your website through December 31, 2010. Good luck!

Participate in Legal Education Survey

TYLA Members Asked to Participate

Participate by Clicking Here

All TYLA members are asked to participate in an online survey about law school education. Input is needed from all types of lawyers, from those well established in a law practice to those who have recently finished a Juris Doctor degree, and lawyers at every stage in between. Thank you in advance for your opinions!

Supreme Court Orders Referendum on Disciplinary Rules

The Supreme Court of Texas has ordered a referendum of all Texas lawyers on proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. Texas lawyers will vote only on the proposed rules from January 18 to February 17, 2011. For more information, see the December issue of the Texas Bar Journal or visit www.texasbar.com/rulesupdate.

IOLTA Needs Saving
By: Betty Balli Torres and Clint Harbour

The Access to Justice Foundation is asking for Texas lawyers to take quick action to support federal insurance protection for IOLTA accounts. Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), a large funding source for legal aid in Texas, was inadvertently excluded from full FDIC coverage in the recent Wall Street Reform Act (Dodd-Frank Act). The current unlimited insurance expires on December 31, 2010 and a legislative fix is needed before Congress recesses in early December.

In a quick and tremendous show of support, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas introduced a bill (H.R. 6398) on November 15 to help fix this problem by extending full FDIC protection for IOLTA. Many individual lawyers and groups quickly joined in the efforts by sending letters of support to their local Congress member. As of Nov. 30, this bill has passed the House and will now go before the Senate. Please stay tuned for further action needed by Texas lawyers to help save IOLTA by visiting www.teajf.org and following TAJF on Facebook.

Betty Balli Torres, Executive Director, Texas Access to Justice Foundation
Clint Harbour, TYLA liaison, Texas Access to Justice Commission

Get Involved and Sign Up Today!
If you want to be involved as an active volunteer in TYLA visit our website to find out more about TYLA committees and their focus ... then sign up online! Please note: if you signed up for a committee prior to June 2010, you will need to sign up for your committees again. Committee memberships are reset each year on June 1st.

TYLA Annual Report 2009-2010
Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the 2009-2010 annual report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2009-2010 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send you a copy.

TYLA Local Leader Directory
Please email the TYLA office if there are any changes to your local affiliates contact information.

If your affiliate has an upcoming event that you would like featured in eNews, please forward the information to Bree Trevino or contact eNews Co-Chairs Ken Riney or Brooke Ulrickson

Ten Minute Mentor

Ten Minute Mentor is a TYLA project that debuted in 2004 as a means for sharing concise and practical advice that is always accessible online. Since that time, it has proven its enduring appeal as one of TYLA's most successful projects. More than 50,000 people have visited the site, and we continue to average more than 2,000 segments viewed each month. You can visit the site at www.tenminutementor.com.

Support Pro Bono Legal Services and Let Everyone Know It!

The Texas Young Lawyers Association needs your help to support and promote free legal services for indigent Texans by purchasing a specialty license plate. The license plate proudly states that you support "Justice for All" and can be purchased for only $35.00 per year.
$25.00 from the purchase of each plate will be deposited into an account
supporting legal services to the poor. If you would like that plate personalized, you can get your plate for $70.00 per year. To purchase your plate today, simply fill out an
application and send your check, payable to the Texas Department of Transportation, to the following address:
Vehicle Titles and Registration Division (SPB)
Texas Department of Transportation
Austin, TX 78779-0001
To pay online click

Make New Connections with Texas Bar Circle
More than 12,000 of your peers have joined Texas Bar Circle - our social and professional network for Texas lawyers. Join today and reconnect with colleagues, find jobs, explore opportunities, and have fun. The power of Texas Bar Circle is in the connections you will make. Visit https://texasbar.affinitycircles.com/sbot/auth/login.

Member Benefits Program
Are you looking for ways to save this summer? Take advantage of exclusive money-saving offers from the State Bar of Texas Member Benefits Program. Bar members are eligible for discounts on products and services including car rental, clothing, computer hardware and software, office supplies, and more. For details on the State Bar Member Benefits Program, please click here.