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.





























































October 2010

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

A Month To Celebrate
By: Shivali Sharma

It is my favorite time of year. I am the kind of person that is always thrilled to see the leaves change, the air cool, and the holidays peek around the corner. It is National Popcorn Poppin' Month, National Sarcastic Awareness Month, and Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month. I put down my oversized cup of java to think about some of October’s more serious observances and how we can all celebrate them through TYLA public service. After all, October 23rd is Make A Difference Day!

Top Story
Top Story

Calling All Young Lawyers
TYLA Commits to State-Wide Veterans Clinics
By:  Geoff Gannaway

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

With these words in 1781, George Washington emphasized that veterans deserve to be appreciated and held in high regard. Fast forward to 2010 and you will find that with Veterans’ Day quickly approaching on November 11th, TYLA is heeding Washington’s call as it attempts to return a small measure of the service that our country’s veterans have rendered to us. Specifically, TYLA has committed to have each of its state-wide slate of directors participate in at least one pro bono veterans’ clinic this bar year, and is now asking all young lawyers in Texas to do the same.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

El Paso Young Lawyers Association
By:  Carlos G. Madrid

It’s halfway through the fall and the El Paso Young Lawyers Association (“EPYLA”) is working hard and going full speed ahead to ensure that we have another successful year, providing valuable services to our members and reaching out to the El Paso community. Recently, EPYLA hosted its annual golf tournament. In line with TYLA’s and the State Bar’s focus on Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans, the golf tournament honored our American heroes. Veterans from all of the local VFW posts played as our guests of honor at the tournament. Prior to the golf tournament, EPYLA conducted its first of two rollouts of the State Bar’s and TYLA’s Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans pamphlets.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

Vote America
By:  Kimberly Smith and David Courreges

While the fundamental right to vote was not historically afforded to all, today, every adult American citizen regardless of race, gender, religion, or socio-economic background has the opportunity to vote. TYLA created a thirty minute video program entitled Vote America designed to educate high school students about heroic efforts of the past, fueled by the dreams of our founding fathers. To encourage understanding of our necessary role in defending democracy today, the video discusses the enactments of the Fifteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and the struggles associated with the 1965 Voting Rights Act. (To view the video, visit http://www.tyla.org/index.cfm/projects/vote-america/.)

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

Practical Tips for Drafting Conflict Waivers
By:  Lindsey Griffin, Hermes Sargent Bates, LLP

As law firms continue to grow and lawyers seek to expand their client list, lawyers must remain acutely aware of and learn to effectively handle the ethical dilemma known as conflicts of interest. To balance the ethical duty to avoid conflicts of interest with the demand to build business, lawyers will often seek conflict waivers to represent clients who have a potential conflict of interest with current or former clients of the law firm.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Texas Supreme Court Expands the Definition of “Seller” and a Manufacturer’s Duty to Indemnify
By:  Kenneth C. Riney, Hermes Sargent Bates, LLP

Recently, a unanimous opinion was issued by the Texas Supreme Court which held that in a products liability action, a contractor that installed construction materials on a home was also a “seller” of the product. The Court further held that unless a manufacturer establishes a contractor’s independent liability, a manufacturer’s statutory obligation to indemnify a seller covers a settlement payment made by a contractor to a homebuilder where the contractor was independently obligated by contract to indemnify the homebuilder. In Fresh Coat, Inc. v. K-2, Inc., the Texas Supreme Court held that a manufacturer is only relieved of its obligation to indemnify a seller if it proves that the loss was caused by the seller’s tortious or otherwise culpable act or omission for which the seller is independently liable.

Access To Justice Commission Update
Access To Justice Commission Update

National Pro Bono Week Celebration
By:  Catherine Nahay

The Texas Access to Justice Commission, the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, and the State Bar of Texas will join the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service in celebrating its third annual National Pro Bono Celebration October 24th through October 30th. This nationwide event showcases the extraordinary impact pro bono attorneys can have on a person’s life, their community, their state, and the entire justice system. The celebration also aims to recruit additional pro bono volunteers to serve the legal needs of the nation’s indigent population by increasing awareness of the tremendous need for civil legal aid.

Important Dates to Remember
Important Dates to Remember

October 14-17
ABA/YLD Fall Conference - Santa Fe, NM

October 15
TYLA deadline to receive TYLA Minority Scholarship applications

October 25
TYLA deadline to receive second committee report

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
Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association leads the “Justice for All” license plate contest! TYLA is getting a great response to the contest and wants to hear from your local affiliate. Please support pro bono legal services by emailing news about your members’ license plate purchases to Brooke Ulrickson. $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.

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 $30.00 per year.
$22.00 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.