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 2012

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Starting the New Year off on the Right and Left Foot
By:  Cameron J. Cox

On New Year’s Eve of every year, almost everyone makes some sort of resolution to make one or more changes in their lives for the betterment of themselves. (Editor’s note: I used to think resolutions were pointless and we should spend every day to better ourselves, but I have recently adapted to and now enjoy the New Year’s resolution as work and life take up more of my free time). So, I personally made a resolution to run my first marathon in Washington, D.C. in October, and even started off on the right foot early at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of New Year’s Day with a 10k run.

Top Story
Top Story

Sean Pevsner: Venit, Vidit, Vicit
By:  Mark Whitburn

Sean Pevsner was born a breech baby on January 20, 1971.  He was clinically dead for about 45 minutes before an anesthesiologist resuscitated him.  One obstacle overcome, Mr. Pevsner set out to tackle more, despite the severe cerebral palsy and speech impediment that drastically limited both his mobility and his communication abilities from that point forward.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

TYLA and DAYL Diversity, Dinner, and Dialogue: Creating a Culture of Inclusion
By: Amanda Navarette

Each year the TYLA diversity committee hosts a dinner to helps raise awareness and explore diversity in the legal community. On January 12, 2012, TYLA will host its annual diversity dinner, celebrating a special time for Diversity, Dinner, & Dialogue.  This year’s dinner will focus on “Creating a Culture of Inclusion” and will be held at The City Club in Dallas.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

“¿Habla español?” – Want to learn? You can, over lunch! HYLA’s Spanish Class Program sets a language-learning precedent for lawyers across Texas
By:   Mike Springer

For over seven years, HYLA has offered a lunchtime Spanish class program, with overwhelming and consistent success. Over 500 lawyers have participated in the program, with classes forming regularly throughout the year.

The classes are taught by HABLA, a leading Texas-wide Spanish school based in Houston, specializing in Spanish classes for lawyers and other professionals. The classes are offered at least three times a year, with next round of classes starting in January (See www.hablahouston.com to register, or to get a program started).

Tips For Young Lawyers

Make Yourself Credible
By:  Bailey Moseley, Justice of the Texas Sixth Court of Appeals, Texarkana

Perhaps the most potent arrow in a lawyer’s quiver is the credibility that lawyer carries – particularly when dealing with judges.  A trial judge is forced to deal fairly quickly with questions that arise during trial, sometimes with issues the judge has never addressed before.  That judge is generally not in the position of telling the litigants and the jury to wait while research is done to determine what ruling is appropriate.  As a result, the judge must often rely on the attorneys to present logical arguments as to the correct ruling.  Often, the ruling made will depend on which attorneys present themselves most credibly.  Realizing that this may sound a bit like advice one would give to Boy Scouts, here are some tips on ways to present yourself most credibly to that judge.

Article of Interest

New Employment Law Program at Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Attempts to Address the Employment Related Legal Problems of Poor Texans
By:  John W. Shaw, Supervising Attorney, Project HIRED

While the Texas unemployment rate is lower than the national average, some Texans are unable to find work no matter how hard they try. For them, it’s not matter of trying or even job availability. Instead, incomplete or inaccurate information on their criminal records keeps them from being gainfully employed.

Founded on the principal that being employed is the primary vehicle through which individuals and families can escape or avoid poverty, Project HIRED is an innovative program started by Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT) in 2010. The mission of Project HIRED, an acronym for Helping Individuals Remove Employment Disadvantages, is to help job seekers remove legal obstacles to their employment.

ABA YLD Update
ABA YLD Update

By:  Jobe Rogers

Happy New Year from the ABA YLD!  In the season of resolutions and renewals, I want to take the time to let you know about some opportunities the ABA and YLD are offering to help you along your path to becoming a better lawyer.

First, the ABA Mid-Year Meeting in New Orleans is just around the corner; February 2-4 to be exact.   With more than 10 educational programs, you will surely find the CLE to keep you on the right path.

Important Dates To Remember
Important Dates To Remember


January 12, 2012
TYLA and DYLA present Diversity, Dinner, & Dialogue - Dallas

January 12-15, 2012
TYLA Board of Directors Meeting - Frisco

January 16, 2012
Holiday - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Texas Law Center closed)

January 18, 2012
TYLA Officer ballots are mailed to the TYLA Board of Directors

Take Note

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

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 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.