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.





























































November 2010

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Proud To Be An American
By: Brooke Ulrickson Allen

The first Amendment to the Constitution reads in part:

Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It is at this time of the year, just after elections, that this right is more apparent than any other time. Not only is it a right we enjoy, but it is a “rule” by which Americans abide.

Top Story
Top Story

TYLA Presents “The Little Voice” at the 2010 Partners in Prevention Conference
By: Kristy Sims Piazza

TYLA directors Natasha Brooks and Kristy Sims Piazza presented TYLA’s newest project entitled “The Little Voice – Recognizing Child Abuse and Your Duty to Report It” at this year’s Partners in Prevention Conference held in Round Rock, Texas on October 28th. Conference attendees got a sneak peak of the public service announcement and the video that is currently in production and set for release around January 1st.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

MCYLA raising money for scholarship for UTPB
By:  Charity J. H. Rohlfs

The Midland County Young Lawyers Association and Ector County Young Lawyers Association hosted their fourth-annual "Evening with the Judges" event Thursday, October 7th at the Petroleum Club in Downtown Midland. More than 24 federal, state and county judges were in attendance and the Honorable Edward C. Prado, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, served as the distinguished speaker.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

TYLA Joins Prevent Child Abuse Texas In Walk To Action
By: Kristy Sims Piazza

In support of Child Abuse Awareness Month, TYLA directors, along with members of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association (SAYLA), participed in the Walk to Action benefiting Prevent Child Abuse Texas (PCAT). The Walk to Action was a 20 mile procession through San Antonio held on November 6, 2010.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

Are you Ready to Start Your Own Law Firm?
By: Sonia M. Gallagher, Esq.

Are you tired of working for someone else? Have you realized that partnership is not the path you want to take? Are you ready to step out on your own? Was that choice made for you by forces beyond your control?
Many attorneys are finding themselves in that position now more than ever. A lot of them are working for a Firm that has laid off people already and are still cutting the fat. Others are simply tired of working for someone else and want to feel the fulfillment of being their own boss.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Everything old is new again
By: Stacy Stanley, Chief Staff Attorney of the Sixth Court of Appeals- Texarkana

     After a 14-year hiatus, there is again only a single evidentiary sufficiency standard in criminal cases in Texas. In Brooks v. State, a splintered Court of Criminal Appeals held, in a plurality opinion issued October 6, 2010, that we all have been wrong since 1996. Instead of a legal and factual sufficiency review, there is only one standard for sufficiency of the evidence---the standard used to analyze legal sufficiency under the federal Jackson v. Virginia standard.

Access To Justice Commission Update
Access To Justice Commission Update

Young Lawyers Do Pro Bono
By:  Hannah Silk Kapasi

You have heard all of the excuses. Young lawyers don’t do pro bono. Young lawyers are so busy working on billable cases that they have no time for unbillable work. Partners look askance at pro bono work. Young lawyers can’t get the mentoring support they need on a pro bono case. But all of these justifications for not taking a pro bono case could not be further from the truth.

The truth is young lawyers do take pro bono cases. And, they take a lot of them! The truth is that unbillable pro bono work gives young lawyers great legal experience, something that can only benefit their paying clients.

Important Dates to Remember
Important Dates to Remember

November 5
Bar exam results released

November 11
Holiday - Veterans Day (Texas Law Center closed)

November 12-14
TYLA Board of Directors meeting - Adolphus Hotel, Dallas

November 22
New Lawyers' Induction Ceremony - Frank Erwin Center, Austin

November 25-26
Thanksgiving (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
Only one month left to turn in your license plate purchases. 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!

Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans
Get involved with Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans and do your part to help our military veterans. Local bar associations are establishing veterans legal advice clinics across the state and attorney volunteers are needed. State Bar President Terry Tottenham and TYLA President Jennifer Evans Morris have challenged local bars to conduct at least one veterans legal clinic a year. One of the goals of the program is for each local bar to host a veterans legal clinic on or around Veterans Day, November 11, 2010. For a list of current veterans clinics, visit www.texasbar.com/veterans. If you don’t see your local bar or TYLA affiliate listed, contact your local bar and encourage its participation in this important endeavor.

TYLA’s veterans resources brochure, TLTV: Resources for Veterans Seeking Help(link: http://www.texasbar.com/tylaveteransresourcespamphlet), has proven so popular that it’s already gone to a second printing. Copies of this pamphlet and its companion for lawyers, TLTV: Resources for Lawyers Assisting Veterans (link: http://www.texasbar.com/tylaattorneysassistingveteranspamphlet) can be ordered through the TYLA office or the State Bar’s Public Information Department at (800) 204-2222, ext. 1800.

Board Petitions Court for Referendum on Disciplinary Rules
On Nov. 5, 2010, the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors approved final recommendations to the Supreme Court of Texas regarding proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (TDRPC). The Board also requested that the Court authorize the State Bar to conduct a referendum of all Texas lawyers on the proposed TDRPC amendments. For more information, including the Board's recommendations to the Court, click here.

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.