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.





























































February 2012

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Do You Ever Have Déjà Vu?  Wait, Didn’t I Just Ask You That?
By:  Kenneth C. Riney, Hermes Sargent Bates, LLP, Editor, eNews

A little over a week ago, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, indicating there will be six more weeks of winter.  Almost twenty years ago, Punxsutawney Phil played a supporting role in the movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray.  In the movie, Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a self-centered meteorologist for a Pittsburgh television station who loathes his annual assignment of covering the Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Top Story
Top Story

The Unconscious Truth
TYLA Initiative Addresses Underage Binge Drinking

By: Ellen Carnes 

In February, the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) unveiled The Unconscious Truth: Physical and Legal Effects of Underage Binge Drinking. The new initiative is designed to educate adults and teenagers about the consequences —both physical and legal — of underage binge drinking.

“We wanted to make young adults and their parents aware of the liabilities,” said TYLA Executive Committee Chair Brooke Ulrickson Allen. “Not only the legal liabilities involved with underage binge drinking, but also the more tragic physical consequences, like death or permanent brain damage, that can result from alcohol poisoning.”

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

Appealing your Home Appraisal
By: Cameron Cox

This spring, TYLA Directors Priscilla Camacho, Cameron Cox, and Brooke Allen are teaming up to develop an easy-to-use resource for all  Texas homeowners to use when appealing the appraisals on their homes for purposes of reducing their property taxes. This project is the result of TYLA President Natalie Koehler and Director Brooke Allen’s discussion earlier in 2011 about the process required and deadlines you have to meet in order to protest and appeal your home property appraisal within your governing appraisal district.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

San Antonio Young Lawyers Association: Focusing on Family
By:  Ty Hunter Sheehan

Like many bar organizations, the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association (SAYLA) hosts a successful monthly CLE and networking luncheon, after-work happy hour social events, formal evening charity functions, service oriented events, and importantly, two kickball teams.  Instead of the usual suit and tie cocktail gathering, CLE function, pro bono events, or social happy hour, which result in the participation of only members, judges and other lawyers, SAYLA members have requested a family friendly event be hosted to which they could bring their spouses and children. SAYLA listened to its members and has hosted two new events oriented towards fostering personal relationships among its members and their families.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

What Does it Take to Make Rain?
By:  Cordell Parvin

     A lawyer I am coaching asked, “What is the one most important attribute that rainmakers have that the average attorney lacks?”
     I said, “They have a burning desire to succeed and help their clients succeed and they work hard at it each and every day.”
     I thought about that when I watched watched Anna Nordqvist win the McDonald’s LPGA Championship. For those of you who are not fans or did not see the final round, Anna Nordqvist, the unlikely winner, was playing in just her fifth professional tournament. If you go on her website you get a sense of why she is a success. Here is the quote on the home page.
     "Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard for it."

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

“Loser Pays” Bill Provides New Weapons, But Also New Risks
By: Daniel Elms & Heath Cheek, Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP

On May 30, 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 274, described as a “loser pays” reform bill designed to lower litigation costs.  HB 274 provides Texas litigators with several new tools, but practitioners should be wary of the risks involved.

I. Motion to dismiss

HB 274 provides Texas’s first ever motion to dismiss mechanism.  Tex. H.B. 274, 82nd Leg., R.S. at § 1.01 (2011).

Access To Justice Commission Update

Poverty Law Conference
APRIL 18-20, 2012

The 2012 Poverty Law Conference will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Austin April 18-20.  This three day event provides valuable training on poverty law issues affecting low-income and poor Texans.  The conference offers targeted continuing legal education with a specific public interest focus. The conference will feature presentations from some of the most knowledgeable poverty law practitioners and private attorneys in their respective fields.

Important Dates To Remember
Important Dates To Remember

March 1, 2012
Filing deadline for nominating petitions for SBOT and TYLA Director and President-elect positions - 5 p.m.

March 1, 2012
SBOT and TYLA Director and President-elect nominees' campaigns begin outside of their offices

March 2, 2012
Drawing for positions on the ballot - 10 a.m., President's Conference Room, 3rd Floor, Texas Law Center - Austin

March 2, 2012
TYLA notice of ABA/YLD District 25 Representative election mailed to all ABA/YLD District 25 affiliate presidents

March 2, 2012
Success Strategies and Key Lessons for Young Lawyers, Houston

March 5, 2012
TYLA notice to all TYLA Local Affiliate Presidents announcing deadlines for the TYLA and the ABA/YLD Award of Achievement Competition

March 9, 2012
TYLA Joseph M. Pritchard Inn membership application mailed to all past and present officers and directors of TYLA

March 15, 2012
TYLA deadline to receive completed nomination forms for the Minority At-Large Director Place 2 election

March 16, 2012
TYLA deadline to receive completed nomination forms for the ABA/YLD District 25 Representative election

March 19, 2012
TYLA ballots for the ABA/YLD District 25 Representative election mailed to all ABA/YLD District 25 affiliate presidents

March 23-25, 2012
TYLA National Trial Competition - Austin 

Take Note
Take Note

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

How to Get a Job After Law School: The Unclassified Story
The TYLA Law Student Outreach Committee is pleased to announce that it will be holding its job-search seminar, How to Get a Job After Law School: The Unclassified Story, this spring at law schools across the state.  The purpose of the seminar is to give practical advice to students about finding a job.  Of note is the seminar’s focus on students who traditionally do not find employment through the on-campus interview process.  Student attendees will also receive the newly drafted TYLA “Tip Card” that contains advice on networking, interviewing, and building a job search strategy.  The Tip Card also contains information about non-lawyer jobs for lawyers.  Below is a list of dates and locations for the seminars.  For more information, please contact the TYLA office at tyla@texasbar.com or 800-204-2222, ext. 1529.
Texas Wesleyan University School of Law – February 23, 2012
TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law – March 1, 2012
Texas Tech University School of Law – March 5, 2012  
University of Texas School of Law – March 6, 2012
SMU Dedman School of Law – March 6, 2012
St. Mary’s University School of Law – March 21, 2012
South Texas College of Law – March 22, 2012
University of Houston Law Center – March 29, 2012 
Baylor Law School, March 30, 2012

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.

2012 National Trial Competition Needs Your Help!
In less than a month, 28 teams comprised of some of the best future trial lawyers around the country will be in Austin and are looking for your assistance. Each year, TYLA and the American College of Trial Lawyers host the National Trial Competition. The competition is the preeminent mock trial competition in the country. Over 160 law schools with more than 300 mock trial teams are presently competing in 14 regional mock trial competitions held across the country. Only the top 28 teams will advance to the 37th Annual National Trial Competition Championship Rounds. These rounds will be held at the Capitol Extension in Austin on Thursday and Friday, March 22-24.

There are three preliminary championship rounds scheduled at the Capitol as follows:
(1) Round 1: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 22;
(2) Round 2: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 22; and
(3) Round 3: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday, March 23.

TYLA needs a minimum of 56 attorneys to judge each of the rounds. If you are interested in serving as a judge in one or more of the rounds, please contact Chike Okpara at (512) 200-2059; or Priscilla Camacho at  (210) 734-7092, ext. 1114.
TYLA looks forward to nurturing the careers of aspiring young law students who will soon join us as members of the Bar and TYLA. If you can help, please contact us as soon as possible.

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 includes 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.