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.





























































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.

1. First and foremost, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER lie or stretch either the facts or the law to a judge.  If you don’t know the answer to a judge’s question about the facts or the law, candidly admit that you don’t and offer to either locate the necessary facts or brief the law on the subject; don’t shoot from the hip unless you tell the judge that you are.  Should you ever be discovered telling a judge something that is not so, the judge may forgive you for your conduct, but forgiving doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting.

2. Don’t try to demean your opponent.  Opposing counsel may be some Neanderthal who has absolutely no grasp of the law or the application of the facts to your case.  All you need to do is concentrate on the best kind of presentation you can make of your position.  If you try to make your opponent look bad, you may be able to achieve that aim but it will be done at the price of making you look smaller.  If your opponent is an idiot or the rear end of a horse, the judge will figure that out pretty quickly without your pointing it out.

3. Be prepared.  If you file things with a court or (God forbid) go to court without a full grasp of what you need to prove, it will certainly show.  One device that is often used is — before you prepare your pleadings — try to prepare a jury charge for the issues you anticipate will arise in your case.  This will force you to concentrate on the things you will need to plead and which you will be required to develop in preparation for trial.

4. Be courteous to court personnel.  The judges usually work on a regular basis with their clerks, bailiffs, reporters, and coordinators and often become friends with them.  It costs you nothing to be polite and respectful to them and the judges notice your demeanor toward them.