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.





























































January 2011

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

A New Year and New Opportunities to Make Changes
By: Kenneth C. Riney, Hermes Sargent Bates, LLP, Senior Editor, eNews

As we enter the New Year, many of us are resolving to make changes in our lives. Some may resolve to watch what they eat and hit the gym. Others may resolve to spend more time with family. Many will resolve to cross out a few items on their life’s to-do list. However, the New Year not only provides an opportunity for us to make resolutions that will bring about positive change in our own lives, but it also gives us the chance to identify ways we can positively change the lives of others.

Top Story
Top Story

San Antonio Lawyer Recognized With National Award
By: Alyssa Long and Priscilla Camacho

San Antonio’s David Evans is the 2010 recipient of the American Bar Association’s National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award. This award recognizes a young lawyer who exhibits professional excellence; service to the profession and the bar; service to the community; and a reputation for, or the advancement of, legal ethics and professional responsibility. A shareholder with the firm Langley & Banack, Inc., David works primarily in the litigation section, focusing on employment and general litigation law.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

Houston Attorneys Getting The Word Out To Local Schools About Cyberspace Safety
By: Courtney Palm, President of the Houston Young Lawyers Association

Ever had your identity stolen? Ever wondered if you should "untag" that picture from your college days? Ever regret a tweet or message you posted? If you answered yes to any of these questions, imagine what it's like for the generation that has grown up with MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube. This year, the Houston Young Lawyers Association (“HYLA”) has joined forces with the Houston Bar Association (“HBA”) to educate schools on cyberspace safety based on the “R U Safe? Protecting Yourself in Cyberspace” program (“R U Safe?”).

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

Helping Texas Homeowners Fight Loan Modification Scams
By: Shivali Sharma

Each month, over 11,000 Texas families lose their homes to the emotionally strenuous process of foreclosure. Smelling desperation, scam artists are preying upon the vulnerability of those facing the daunting procedure. The vultures are not lurking behind the shadows. They are out in the open, masking themselves as “foreclosure consultants,” “mortgage consultants,” “foreclosure services,” “foreclosure rescue agencies,” and “loan modification companies.” This month, TYLA published the Loan Modification Scam Pamphlet in collaboration with The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. It identifies different types of loan modification scams, lists red flags homeowners can use to recognize companies perpetuating the fastest-growing white-collar crime in America, provides recommendations for self-help, and encourages reporting.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

3 Ways to Use the Internet to Grow your Law Practice
By: Sonia M. Gallagher, Esq.

We go to law school, take the bar exam, start working and many of us decide to go out on our own. How do we get clients though? When do we learn where to find attorney marketing tools and how to use them? You’ve got to know the answers to these questions in order to make your law firm thrive in this economy.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

The Smart Attorney
By: Patricia Cole

     The fiduciary duties owed by an attorney are set by to two principal sources, the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and Texas common law. The idea of a malpractice lawsuit or complaint to the State Bar does not bode well with any attorney; therefore, it is important to consider taking certain actions to prevent such an event from affecting your practice.

Access To Justice Commission Update

One at a Time: How HVLP Volunteer Attorney Robbie Charette Helps Families Provide for their Loved Ones
By: Catherine Nahay

Ms. Robbie Gail Charette has been a pro bono volunteer with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program since she became licensed in 2001.

When asked to share her most memorable cases with the Commission, Ms. Charette shared,

“My favorite cases with Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program (HVLP) have been probate cases for little old ladies, helping them with the titles to their homesteads after they have lost their spouses. I also enjoy serving parents whose incapacitated children are turning 18 and whose families need a guardianship in order to continue providing for their loved ones.

ABA YLD Update

ABA YLD Midyear Meeting in Atlanta
By: Chip Brooker

Do you want to rub elbows with young lawyers from across the country and around the world? Are you interested in being part of the policy-making body of the ABA YLD? Do you just need any legitimate excuse available to take your family to Atlanta? If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, then you should attend the next meeting of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (“ABA YLD”), which will be held at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting February 10-12, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Important Dates to Remember
Important Dates to Remember

January 10
TYLA deadline to receive third committee report

January 14
Texas Bar Foundation - Deadline for nominations for achievement awards

January 14
Texas Bar Foundation - Spring grant submission deadline

January 17
Holiday - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Texas Law Center closed)

January 27-28
SBOT Board of Directors and TYLA Board of Directors joint meeting - Hyatt Regency, Austin

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
Thanks for all the affiliates and young lawyers that participated in the Justice for All License Plate competition. We definitely impacted the number of plates purchased and thus, the amount donated to legal services for lower income Texans. We are currently tallying the purchases and will announce the winners in February’s eNews. If you have any last-minute pictures or purchases (prior to December 31st), please send them to Brooke Allen. Thanks again!

Supreme Court Orders Referendum on Proposed Ammendments to Disciplinary Rules
Texas lawyers will vote in a referendum on proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct from January 18 - February 17, 2011. It is important to be familiar with the Referendum ballot, which groups the proposed rules into six questions.  For more information, please visit:
Referendum Ballot
Guide to the Issues

TYLA Minority Scholarship Program
Annually, a $1,000 scholarship is awarded to one minority student at each Texas law school. The scholarship promotes diversity in the legal profession by assisting members of minority populations within the bar to: (1) enter the legal profession; and (2) participate in the programs and activities of TYLA and the State Bar of Texas. The application deadline is in October. The scholarship awards are distributed prior to the Spring semester. Please click here to view the winners for 2010.

TYLA Seeks Spanish Translators
Are you fluent in Spanish? Do you want to become more involved in TYLA? If your answer to both of these questions is “si,” TYLA is looking for your help. TYLA is currently in the process of translating several of our educational pamphlets into Spanish. These pamphlets are distributed throughout our communities and TYLA wants to expand the impact of these pamphlets to the Spanish-speaking communities. If you are interested in helping, please contact Michelle Palacios at mpalacios@texasbar.com.

Texas Forum XXVIII - Save the Date!
Learn from corporate counsel, private practitioners, and paralegals about "The Gray Area for Lawyers and Paralegals: Ethical Vulnerabilities Created by Business Scandals and Social Media." Feb. 25, 2011, Sheraton Dallas North Hotel, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.  Sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Paralegals Committee. For more information, email jmarchman@texasbar.com.

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 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

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.