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.





























































September 2011

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Be Ready for Disaster
By: Robert E. Booth, Attorney, Mills Shirley LLP

Living and practicing law on a sandbar one mile off the coast of Texas comes with the constant threat of a disaster. Local lawyers on Galveston Island learned many lessons during Hurricane Ike. The current wildfires raging across the state are a good reminder to the unaffected to take time to prepare for a disaster.

Top Story
Top Story

TYLA Introduces Helpful Resources for Helpful Clerks
By: Shivali Sharma, Attorney, Texas Sixth Court of Appeals

You can find the queen bee in the honeycomb of any court right behind the entrance. It’s the clerk. Court clerks have a difficult job. They handle court administrative functions, answer lawyers' phone calls and questions, and deal with the general public in a friendly, professional manner. Any attorney who has received assistance from a clerk knows that they can be your best friend in a time of need. The County & District Clerks Association of Texas (CDCAT) promotes professional standards of court clerks and educates them about the statutory and constitutional duties of their offices. On September 27th, CDCAT will hold its District Court Alliance Meeting in Kerrville, Texas at the Y.O. Ranch Resort Hotel & Conference Center. The dedication and spirit of service of our clerks can be seen in the title of their first meeting agenda item, presentation of “How To Be A Magnificent Public Server And Get Results.”

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

TYLA’s Probate Passport
By:  Rebekah Steely Brooker, Attorney, Passman & Jones, A Professional Corporation

I had only been licensed for a year and a half, when I received “the call”. The person on the other end of the phone was my grandmother, and she had several questions about probate. She really needed to probate my grandfather’s estate, and since I was now an attorney, she thought I could help her.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

Corpus Christi Young Lawyers Association
By:  Lisa Huerta

The Corpus Christi Young Lawyers Association held its annual presentation of Baseball with the Bench on June 16, 2011. Baseball with the Bench is a Continuing Legal Education seminar followed by a Corpus Christi Hooks’ baseball game. The CLE portion of the event has always included a roundtable in which members of our local judiciary discuss topics presented by a moderator ranging from individual courtroom policies and procedures, to effective trial tactics.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

Be a Person of Influence!
5 Leadership Principles to Help You Move UP the Ladder

By: Martha M. Newman

Distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack, not by leading laterally or down, but by leading UP... supporting your leader, adding value to the organization, and taking on more responsibility.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Implementing Dodd-Frank, Where Are We Now?
By: Alyssa J. Long

Just over one year ago on July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act” or “Dodd-Frank”)1.   Since the enactment date, proposed rules and rulemaking dominated the financial reform discourse. According to the American Bankers Association Dodd-Frank Tracker website, as of August 4, 2011, there were 2,964 (“and counting”) pages of Dodd-Frank proposed regulations and 1,273 (“and counting”) pages of Dodd-Frank final regulations and guidance.2  Also according to the financial reform tracking website of the law firm Morrison & Foerster, as of July 1, 2011, out of Dodd-Frank’s 400 required rulemakings, only 38 were in final form (26 rules missed their deadlines, 121 rules were proposed, and 215 had a future deadline).3  A May 2, 2011 Wall Street Journal article reported that the Dodd-Frank Act’s rulemaking “growing paper trail” is “20 times taller than the Statue of Liberty, 15 times longer than Moby Dick and would take the average reader more than a month to read, even if you hunkered down with it for 40 hours a week.”4  


ABA YLD Update
ABA YLD Update

Awards of Achievement
By:  Anita Barksdale

Texas has the best young lawyers in the country. Although some might argue with that statement, the American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) 2010-2011 Awards of Achievement read like a Who’s Who of Texas Young lawyers. The ABA’s Annual Awards of Achievement program provides the ABA Young Lawyer Division's (“YLD”) affiliated national, state, local, and specialty bar young lawyer organizations the opportunity to submit their best projects for evaluation by a jury of their peers. To be an affiliate, seventy-five percent or more of the organization's membership must be attorneys who are under thirty-six years of age or who have been admitted to their first Bar within the past five years. If you’re part of your local Young Lawyer bar, chances are you are a member of an ABA Affiliate.


Access To Justice Commission Update
Access To Justice Commission Update

Increasing Number of Pro Se Litigants Calls for Creative Solutions
By: Hannah Silk Kapasi

Newly elected YLA leaders from around the state who are interested in giving back to their communities attended workshops last month focused on increasing access to the courthouse for pro se litigants. These workshops were a part of the larger Local Bar Leaders Conference held in Houston in July. The attendees received a broad overview on how to improve access to the courts for self-represented litigants. The panelists also proposed some solutions for leaders to bring back to their own local organizations for implementation.


Important Dates to Remember
Important Dates to Remember

September 5, 2011
Holiday - Labor Day (Texas Law Center Closed)

September 9-10, 2011
TYLA Board of Directors Meeting

October 3, 2011
TYLA Grant Checks Mailed to TYLA Local Affiliate Grant Recipients

October 13-15, 2011
ABA YLD Fall Conference - Seattle, WA

October 14, 2011
TYLA Deadline to receive TYLA Minority Scholarship applications

Take Note
Take Note

View This Month's TYLA President's Opinion
Natalie Cobb Koehler
TYLA President

Making the Case
Texas lawyers work hard to protect the rights of everyday Texans. We also work hard to give back to our communities by volunteering and serving in leadership roles. We help communities recover from natural disasters and help veterans secure the benefits they deserve. We may not spend a lot of time talking about our commitment to public service, but we need to. The State Bar has created an online portal — www.texasbar.com/makingthecase — with resources to help you lead a conversation with a community group about the role of lawyers and the judicial system in our society. You’ll find a civic engagement toolkit as well as inspirational profiles about trailblazing Texas lawyers. You can also request a copy of the “We Are Lawyers” DVD by emailing Judy Marchman or calling (800) 204-2222, ext. 1520.

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.

TYLA's Minority Scholarship Program
The TYLA Minority Involvement Committee was created 26 years ago to facilitate and encourage minorities entering the legal profession as well as promote higher participation from minority lawyers in TYLA and State Bar of Texas activities and programing. TYLA's Minority Scholarship Program accomplishes both of these objectives. Aimed at helping ease the financial burden for law students, this scholarship program will award  a $1,000.00 scholarship for one student from each of the 9 ABA accredited law schools in Texas. Applicants must be a member of a recognized minority group which includes gender, race, national origin, racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation and gender identity and persons with disabilities. To access the application, individuals can go to the TYLA website or contact their respective law school's financial assistance office.  Applications need to be emailed, faxed or postmarked no later than October 14, 2011 to TYLA, 1414 Colorado Street, 4th Floor, Austin, Texas 78701, btrevino@texasbar.com.  Please help spread the word of this great opportunity for law students!

Liberty Day
Liberty Day asks all young lawyers in Texas to “adopt a 5th grade class”.   This entails receiving a free sample of our Liberty Day pocket Constitution and Teacher's Packet to show to their local elementary school principal and 5th grade teachers.    Liberty Day will supply a free sample to any young lawyer who volunteers for the program.   The cost to “adopt a class of 25 students” is $28 which includes a pocket Constitution for each 5th grader, a Teacher's Packet with detailed lesson plan on helping teach the 24 Q&A’s to the 5th graders and access to Liberty Day’s online teacher and student resource suite with additional information to help teachers teach the contents of the U.S. Constitution to their students and worksheet, activities, games and online quiz for the 5th graders. It also includes an American flag lapel pin for each student (while supplies last)! Shipping is included in the price. From more information, please contact Andy McKean, President of Liberty Day, or visit the Liberty Day website.

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.