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 2011

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Six Percent Decide Constitutional Amendments
By:  Brooke Ulrickson Allen, Attorney, Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell LLP

In early November, less than 6% of the registered voters in Texas voted on 10 Texas Constitutional Amendments – LESS THAN 6%! First, as one of the “six percenters,” I want to encourage the other 94% to get out and vote. These amendments impact our state revenues and budgets which I believe everyone can agree have been under scrutiny and debate the last few years. In addition, they provide more power to state officials, and we should all want to make our voices heard – for or against the additional power. Here are the results:

Top Story
Top Story

Texas Lawyers Assistance Program Needs Volunteers!
By:  Bree Buchanan, J.D.

Are you a lawyer, judge, or law student who has at least one year recovery from:

 - alcohol and drug abuse

 - depression, anxiety or other mood disorders, or

 - training or experience with substance abuse or mental health issues, including suicide?

Feature TYLA Affiliate

Greater Denton County Young Lawyers Association - Kinship Fair
By: Cameron Cox, Attorney, Elsey & Elsey

It was a beautiful Saturday on October 22nd--the perfect sort of day for the annual Kinship Fair. Kinship Fair is an event that is a joint effort of the Greater Denton County Young Lawyers Association, CASA of Denton, and social workers from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The Kinship Program is a program in which children who are taken into protective family are placed with their extended families instead of a foster homes. Often these families do not receive the same support from the State as foster families; and, just as often, these families are not in a position to take on the extra economic burden these children present.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

TYLA Supports Local Veterans
By: Kristy Sims Piazza

To commemorate Veterans Day, the Texas Young Lawyers Association, along with local Waco area young lawyers, participated in the annual Waco Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2011. The lawyers in attendance included TYLA board members Kimberly Smith, Kristy Sims Piazza, Cameron Cox, Angela Cruseturner and Natalie Koehler, as well as local attorneys Scott Omo, Rebecca Griffin, Spring Thummel, Lewis Giles, Andy Powell, Shannon Brandt, and Baylor Law student Josaphat Plater-Zybert.

Tips For Young Lawyers

A Mediator's Thoughts on Mediation
By: Carla Cotropia, Attorney, Mills Shirley L.L.P.

One day in 1999, I received a letter from former Judge Samuel B. Kent appointing me as a mediator to a case in his court. Shortly after my appointment, the Fifth Circuit slapped Judge Kent's hand and told him he could not mandate who would be the mediator on cases filed in his court. So much for Kent-appointed mediations, but I was hooked on the process of mediating and wanted to learn more. First stop – Mediation School.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Indirect Transfers: Circumventing Transfer Restrictions—Delaware and Texas
By:  Ty Sheehan, Attorney, Hornberger, Sheehan, Fuller & Beiter

Frequently, the governance documents of closely held businesses (shareholders agreements, company agreements and partnership agreements, among other ownership and governance documents) provide for transfer restrictions which prevent the outright and free transfer of interests in the entity in question. These are sometimes referred to as anti-assignment provisions. By restricting the transfer of interests in a closely held company, the owners have some assurance regarding who their "partners" will be in the future.

ABA YLD Update
ABA YLD Update

By: Jobe Rodgers, Attorney, McCleskey, Harriger, Brazill & Graf, L.L.P.

Happy Holidays from the ABA/YLD. As the each year closes, we often take the time to write resolutions and seek to make improvements in ourselves for the upcoming year. The ABA/YLD wants to help.

First, join us in New Orleans the first weekend in February to take advantage of the New Year’s first opportunity to network and learn from some of the greatest lawyers from around the country. The Midyear Meeting is always a great way to meet people and get some top quality CLE along the way.

Access To Justice Commission Update
Access To Justice Commission Update

Peace on Earth and Justice For All
By: Deborah G. Hankinson, Vice Chair, Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Like you, I receive many appeals this time of year from the various community and religious organizations with which I am affiliated. And while we give for a variety of reasons, as lawyers, part of our professional responsibility includes finding time to participate in or support legal services to the disadvantaged.

Important Dates To Remember
Important Dates To Remember

December 23, 2011
Holiday - Christmas (Texas Law Center closed)

December 26, 2011
Holiday - Christmas (Texas Law Center closed)

Take Note
Take Note

View This Month's TYLA Chair's Opinion
Alfonso Cabanas
TYLA Chair


The ABA Section of Litigation Mass Torts Committee is seeking co-chairs for its Young Lawyers Subcommittee.  The co-chair position offers young lawyers a number of excellent, nationwide networking, mentoring and publishing opportunities.  If you are interested, please contact the Mass Torts Committee co-chairs, Beatrice O’Donnell, Duke Maloney or Rudy Perrino.
The ABA Section of Litigation Mass Torts Committee offers unique opportunities to learn about procedural and substantive legal and factual issues involved in complex cases, including: pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, toxic tort litigation, aviation, MDL and class action, experts & evidence, and ADR.  In addition, the committee co-sponsors two annual regional seminars and the annual ABA Environmental, Mass Torts and Products Liability Litigation Committees Joint CLE Seminar.  If you are interested in joining the committee as a member, please contact Beatrice O’Donnell.

Save the Date – 30th annual Texas Forum, Feb. 24, 2012, Courtroom Sciences, Inc., Irving, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Learn from attorneys and paralegals on “Paralegal Utilization: Discover What a Paralegal Can Do,” including ethical and professional considerations. Sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Standing Committee on Paralegals. For more information, email texasforum@texasbar.com.

Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay!
State Bar President Bob Black has worked with the State Bar Law-Related Education Department on Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! Civics Resources for Texas Students and Teachers, an interactive web-based project to assist Texas teachers and their students in preparing for the new Texas Essential and Knowledge Skills (TEKS) standards, which took effect Aug. 1, 2011. The website will include links to landmark court case decisions that students are required to study, as well as videos and other multimedia tools, and teacher resources. Toolkits are also available that include information on the new TEKS standards, as well as a sample case summary, sample teaching strategies, a list of online resources, and other curriculum ideas from Law-Related Education.  For a toolkit, which includes a video sample on Marbury v. Madison, contact Judy Marchman or call (800) 204-2222, ext. 1520.

Back-to-School Savings through the State Bar Member Discounts Program
Take advantage of the State Bar Member Discounts Program to save money on computers and books. Visit texasbar.beneplace.com for more great savings from dozens of retailers and service providers. State Bar Member Discounts — A new way for Texas lawyers to shop!

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 Kenneth C. Riney or Brooke Ulrickson Allen.

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 here.

Make New Connections with Texas Bar Circle
More than 14,000 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 here.

TYLA Annual Report 2010-2011
Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the 2010-2011 annual report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2010-2011 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send you a copy.