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.





























































November 2012

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

By: Sally Pretorius

About a year ago, I had the privilege of listening to a U.S. District Judge speak on a panel of esteemed legal professionals about personal interaction in the legal community. His message has stuck with me for some time now: Why aren’t lawyers today friendlier with each other? Why don’t we pick up the phone and talk to opposing counsel or try to meet with them before or after a hearing? Imagine how much more could be accomplished if we could just sit down and discuss our problems. He spoke of the “old days,” where you would grab a drink with opposing counsel after a hearing and you knew your opposing counsel personally—because it might provide some insight as to how the case was being handled.

Top Story
Top Story

Human Trafficking: Myths, Facts, and Remedies
By:  Stacie Jonas of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Human trafficking is increasingly in the spotlight throughout Texas and the nation. Just last month, President Obama decried human trafficking as “one of the great human rights causes of our time,” announcing a redoubling of the Administration’s efforts to eradicate trafficking. The Texas Legislature’s bipartisan Joint Committee on Human Trafficking held three state-wide public hearings on the issue in the last year alone,1 and there are a number of active anti-trafficking coalitions and task forces throughout the state. The Texas Young Lawyers Association is also preparing to launch a public awareness campaign entitled “Slavery Out of the Shadows: Spotlight on Human Trafficking.”2

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

TYLA Diversity Committee Partners with International Law Section (ILS) of the State Bar on “Rule of Law” Panel Discussion
By:  Erin E. O’Driscoll, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

On November 8, 2012, the TYLA Diversity Committee and ILS hosted a networking lunch featuring an in depth panel discussion about the “Rule of Law in a Diverse World” moderated by TYLA President, C.E. Rhodes, in Houston, Texas held at Vinson & Elkins LLP.  Panelists included:  George Gonzalez, Partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP; Hon. Luz E. Nagle, Professor of Law, Stetson University; Ignacio Pinto-Leon, Assistant Director, University of Houston Center for U.S. and Mexican Law; and William Russell, Attorney, Schirrmeister Diaz-Arrastia Brem, LLP.  We had fifty attendees composed of current practitioners as well as Houston-area law students interested in pursuing an international practice.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

DAYL Dinner with the Judiciary Provided Interesting Discussion of Legal Ethics Issues in High-Profile Cases
By:  Jennifer M. Larson

On October 23, 2012, the DAYL Judiciary Committee held its annual Dinner with the Judiciary at the Tower Club. This event lived up to its reputation as one of the most anticipated DAYL events of the year. Following a social hour where attorneys had the opportunity to mingle with local state and federal judges, the panel began a very interesting discussion regarding the plethora of legal ethics issues that a lawyer may confront in a high-profile case.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

Remember the Basics
By:  Sadie Fitzpatrick, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

It is exciting to be a lawyer! We are part of a large community of professionals who have the opportunity and skills to make a big impact in the world. That being said, it is easy to get lost in the intellect and prestige of our profession. We must not forget about the basic practices that can guide us in achieving our career goals. Here are a few reminders:

Texas Access To Justice Commission Update
Texas Access To Justice Commission Update

General Counsel Forum & Texas Access to Justice Commission Inaugural Charity Golf Classic Raises $25,000 for Legal Aid

November 8 was not only a beautiful day in San Antonio but also a great day for Legal Aid. More than 80 golfers, including several Texas Supreme Court Justices, enthusiastically supported the Inaugural Texas General Counsel Forum Golf Classic, contributing $25,000 to the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.

ABA YLD Update

The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is coming to Texas! Starting February 7, the ABA will host the YLD and other great divisions and sections of the ABA at the Midyear meeting. Registration is already open and you can sign up at the ABA website. Because the YLD will be in Texas, we hope that you will make every effort to send delegates to gain CLE, network, and grow as practicing lawyers. Affiliates must register their delegates by December 1. To learn more about the delegate process and how YLD helps shape the practice of law, visit the YLD’s website

Important Dates To Remember
Important Dates To Remember

November 22-23, 2012
Holiday - Thanksgiving (Texas Law Center closed)

December 24-26, 2012
Holiday - Christmas (Texas Law Center closed)

Take Note

Click here to view this month's TYLA President's Opinion
C.E. Rhodes, TYLA President


We would like to thank our Platinum Sponsor FTI Consulting

Call for Entries! 2012 State Bar of Texas YouTube Contest
The State Bar of Texas celebrated Constitution Day on September 17 with the launch of its 2012 YouTube Contest. This year's theme is "Compromise in a Democratic Society" and is geared toward Texas middle school and high school students. Students are asked to create a video between 1 and 2 minutes long answering the following question: "Why is compromise important to our democratic society?" Students are encouraged to think about how compromise played a significant part in the framing of the U.S. Constitution, in significant moments in U.S. history, and in their own lives. The contest has two categories, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12, with one $1,000 scholarship available in each category. Students may enter individually or as a team/class. The deadline for entries is December 14, so there's plenty of time to enter. Please spread the word to students you know! For more information, visit www.texasbar.com/justicefortexas.


Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay!
State Bar of Texas Past President Bob Black worked with the State Bar Law-Related Education Department to create 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 Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards, which took effect August 1, 2011. The website includes links to landmark court decisions that students are required to learn, case studies, videos and multimedia tools, teaching strategies, and other online resources. For a printed toolkit contact Blair McBride or call (800) 204-2222, ext. 1726.

Savings through the State Bar Member Discounts Program
Visit texasbar.com/discounts to take advantage of the State Bar’s Member Discount program. Save money on vacations, computers, clothing, gourmet chocolate, televisions, and more! Visit often – the site is updated regularly with new deals!


TYLA Local Leader Directory
Please email the TYLA office if there are any changes to your local affiliate's 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 Robert E. Booth and Leif Olson.

Ten Minute Mentor
Ten Minute Mentor debuted in 2004 to share concise and practical advice that is always accessible online. Since then, 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!
TYLA 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 costs only $35.00 per year, or $70.00 for a personalized plate.

$25.00 from the purchase of each plate will go to support legal services to the poor.  To buy your plate, simply fill out an application and send your check, payable to the Texas Department of Transportation, to:

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 15,000 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 2011-2012
Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the 2011-2012 Annual Report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2011-2012 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send one.


TYLA is Co-Sponsoring the Following CLE Courses.  Register now to save $50! TYLA members can save $75!  New attorneys can attend for $95!  Please see below for more information:

Handling Your First Jury Trial 2012
Austin - Live Presentation - December 7, 2012, Texas Law Center
More Info or Register

Can't make it to Austin? Watch via Live Webcast in the comfort of your own home or office!
LIVE WEBCAST - December 7, 2012 - From 8:25 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
More Info or Register

Handling Your First (Or Next) Divorce Case
Austin - Live Presentation - January 18, 2013, Texas Law Center
More Info or Register

Can't make it to Austin? Watch via Live Webcast in the comfort of your own home or office!
LIVE WEBCAST - January 18, 2013 - From 8:40 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
More Info or Register

Success Strategies and Key Lessons for Young Lawyers
Houston - Live Presentation - March 1, 2013, Crowne Plaza River Oaks (713-523-8448)
More Info or Register

Handling Your First (or Next) DWI Case 2013 
Austin - Live Presentation - March 1, 2013, Texas Law Center 
MCLE Credit: Approximately 6.5 hours, including .75 hr ethics expected.
More Info or Register

Can't make it to Austin? Watch via Live Webcast in the comfort of your own home or office!
LIVE WEBCAST - March 1, 2013 - From 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
More Info or Register

17th Annual Choosing & Courting a Jury Course: Legends in the Courtroom
Houston - Live Presentation - March 8, 2013, Westin Galleria Hotel (713-960-8100)
MCLE Credit: 6.5 hrs (including 1 hr ethics) which applies to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Appellate, Civil Trial, Criminal Appellate, Criminal, Family, Juvenile and Personal Injury Trial Law.
More Info or Register