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.





























































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.

Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely a fan of technology. I was one of the first in line to get my hands on the new iPhone, and I am currently trying to find a way to rationalize the purchase of an iPad Mini. But I do feel that technology and computers have taken away from the personalization of our practice. It is so much easier to respond to an email while waiting in line for your coffee than to wait to make a call once you get into your office. But does this type of communication work? All too often, the tone of a message can be misconstrued in email or even a letter—so much can be taken from someone’s tone of voice or body language.

Since hearing this advice, I have tried a more personal approach on numerous occasions, and it has been surprisingly difficult to do. I pick up the phone and call opposing counsel, only to be directed to their voicemail; I wait the requisite one-to-two day period for a return call that never comes. So, I send a letter or an email saying that I would like to take some time to talk to them to discuss our case and still no response. Then, I try calling to schedule a time to talk, and the response is a request to email them what I want to talk about and they will respond via email. Believe it or not, this has happened on several occasions. I understand getting agreements in writing, but can’t we just talk about the case?

There have also been some encouraging situations, when I can get opposing counsel on the other side on the phone, and it is amazing how much we can get accomplished for our clients by just talking things out and discussing what the heart of the case’s issues are. Sometimes we can work the issues out, and sometimes, of course, we have to submit the issues to the Court. But we enter the process with an understanding of the true issues in the case and a respect for opposing counsel that benefits the integrity of the legal system.

In the November issue of eNews, we are featuring great articles and I hope that as we read these articles, we will all keep in mind the power of communication and how important it is to make sure that we as lawyers never lose our greatest asset- the ability to communicate.