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.





























































June-July 2014

Top Story
Top Story

You Are A Member of TYLA
By:  Rebekah Steely Brooker

Hello! I am excited to serve as the 2014-2015 president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA). 

Most Texas attorneys know that TYLA is “the young lawyer group,” which is true.  Our members are lawyers 36 years of age and younger or within the first five years of their legal practice.  Membership in TYLA is automatic, so any licensed Texas attorney that meets the age or years of practice requirement is a TYLA member. 

Read More
Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

And the winner is . . .
By:  Sam Houston

TYLA’s Local Affiliates Committee plays two important roles in TYLA’s overall goal of providing support to local affiliates across the state. The first of those roles is to review grant applications submitted by local affiliates and to make recommendations to the TYLA Board of Directors as to which grants should be funded. The second role, which is intimately related to the first, is to review the applications submitted for the annual Awards of Achievement. Those awards are handed out at the annual Bar Leaders Conference. Big city and small city affiliates are separately recognized for projects that serve the bar; projects that serve the public; newsletters; projects focusing on diversity; and the comprehensive nature of the year’s projects.   

Read More
Tips for Young Lawyers
Tips for Young Lawyers

Knowledge = Safety:  Practical Tips to Avoid Three Unique Summer Dangers
By: Chip Brooker

At long last, summer is finally upon us.  School is out.  Temperatures continue to rise.  Armed with previously filed vacation letters, litigators across the state breathe a sigh of relief and hope for a summer ceasefire.  Likewise, transactional lawyers hope their vacation plans dovetail with those of their clients, as deals slow down before the end-of-the-year push.

Read More
Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Educating Educators
By:  Laura W. Docker

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

                                                                                    ~Nelson Mandela

TYLA is jumping right into the new bar year with projects designed to educate the public on law-related issues.  The Law Focused Education Committee is especially proud to unveil Educating Educators, which will be available later this month on the TYLA website.  Educating Educators is a resource guide designed to educate teachers and administrators about their rights, responsibilities and legal obligations. 

Read More
Law Students
Law Students

Introducing TYLA’s New Law Student Liaison

     Belashia Wallace is the new chair of the Law Student Division for the State Bar of Texas and the law student liaison for TYLA. She is a native of Missouri City, Texas, and alumna of Lamar University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Communications-Print Journalism. Her heart to serve is fueled by her history as a troubled youth, whereby she was repeatedly told that she would never amount to anything. She says she now serves as proof to youth and adults alike that with God, all things are possible. Her track record of excellence reflects her self-coined acronym, “L.A.W.”: Leadership, Advocacy, and Writing.

Read More
ABA YLD Update
ABA YLD Update

By:  Travis Patterson

The ABA’s Young Lawyer Division is getting ready for the upcoming 2014 ABA Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.  The meeting is scheduled for Aug. 7-10, 2014. Texas is sending 12 delegates to this year’s ABA-YLD Assembly, which is the principal policy-making body of the YLD. More information, including how to register, can be found here.

Read More
Texas Access To Justice Commission Update
Texas Access To Justice Commission Update

Access to Justice Contribution Campaign & Champion of Justice Society

More than 5.7 million Texans qualify for civil legal aid, yet only 20 percent of the need is able to be met.  You can help by making the $150 Access to Justice (ATJ) Contribution on your dues statement. Your tax-deductible contribution helps legal aid provide critical support to the elderly, veterans, victims of domestic abuse, and at-risk families facing issues like home foreclosure, and victims of natural disasters.

Read More
Important Dates To Remember

July 31-August 3, 2014
SBOT Local Bar Leaders and TYLA Local Affiliates Conference - Westin Galleria, Houston

August 5-12, 2014
ABA/NABE/NCBP/NCBF and ABA/YLD annual meetings; House of Delegates - Boston, MA

August 22, 2014
TYLA Deadline to receive grant applications for the 2014-15 Local Affiliate Grant Program.

September 1, 2014
Holiday - Labor Day (Texas Law Center closed)

September 5-7, 2014
TYLA Board of Directors Meeting - Sheraton Hotel, Dallas

September 11-13, 2014

October 9-12, 2014
ABA/YLD Fall Conference - Portland, OR

October 17, 2014
Handling Your First (or Next) Employment Law Case CLE
Register to Attend at the Law Center by October 3, and Save $75

October 19-25, 2014
National Pro Bono Week Celebration


Read More
Take Note

Rebekah Steely Brooker, TYLA President

Click here to view this month's President's Opinion.


Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange Special Enrollment Period
Now that the 2014 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) has ended, members will need to experience a qualifying life event to enroll in a qualified health insurance plan through the exchange. Below are some guidelines for how the Special Enrollment Period works:

Members must experience a qualifying life event in order to open up a Special Enrollment Period. What is a qualifying life event?
• Birth or adoption*
• Marriage or divorce*
• Move to a new coverage area
• Involuntary loss of coverage*
• Loss of subsidy eligibility
• Loss of Medicaid/CHIP eligibility
• Current plan closes*
• Gaining citizenship
• Leaving incarceration

Effective Date Rules
• Enroll between the 1st and 15th of the month: Effective 1st day of following month
• Enroll between the 16th and 31st of the month: Effective 1st day of the second following month

If none of the above qualifying events have occurred, there are still options that you may want to consider, such as a Short-Term Health Plan. The next open enrollment is scheduled to begin on Nov. 15, 2014, and stays open until Feb. 15, 2015. Click here or call (800) 282-8626 for more information about qualifying for a Special Enrollment Period or Short-Term Health Plans.

*Effective date is based on the date of event.


Legal Research
The State Bar of Texas is the first and only bar association to offer its members free access to both Fastcase and Casemaker, giving members unprecedented access to two nationwide legal research services. Firms of 11 lawyers or more will have free access to Fastcase’s extensive Texas Plan, while solo practitioners and firms of 10 lawyers or fewer will have access to Fastcase’s Premium plan. State Bar of Texas members have access to Fastcase’s intuitive legal research tools, training webinars and tutorials, mobile apps, and live customer support. The free member benefit has no restrictions on time or number of transactions and includes unlimited printing, unlimited reference assistance, and unlimited customer service. Casemaker’s expanded offerings include access to premium services at no cost for all members. These services were previously available only to paid subscribers. Casemaker has also added its new Subsequent History feature especially for Texas attorneys. At a glance, researchers can now determine writ and petition history. Casemaker’s new statute annotator feature is now available to Texas attorneys as well. At a click, researchers can quickly get an accurate picture of how the courts have cited, applied, interpreted, and construed each statute. Click here for more information.


The State Bar of Texas is excited to announce the launch of a new mobile site. Now, when you access TexasBar.com from your smart phone, you will instantly have access to the bar's most visited sites—Find a Lawyer, Contact Us, and the State Bar Calendar of Events. On the Find a Lawyer tab, you can find an attorney in the directory and call him or her from your mobile phone with just one click. The mobile-friendly site also features links to our blogs, Texas Bar Blog and Texas Bar Today.

The “Find a Lawyer” search function is the most visited part of TexasBar.com. Recently, the search function on the website and mobile site was improved to make finding the attorney you are looking for even faster. Make sure your profile information is up-to-date and your list of practice areas is current. Log onto your My Bar Page to update your profile and picture now.


Professional Liability Insurance
Two professional liability insurance providers have options specifically for State Bar of Texas members. Learn more about USI Affinity and the Texas Lawyers' Insurance Exchange and how they can help Texas lawyers.


Texas Bar Today
Texas Bar Today is an online media network designed to promote the news and commentary of Texas lawyers, law students, and legal professionals who maintain blogs or submit guest articles. The site, TexasBarToday.com, is updated weekdays with selected blog and video posts and Texas legal headlines, which are also promoted on the Texas Bar Today Twitter account.

Texas lawyers who want to include their blog or video on Texas Bar Today, or submit a guest article for posting, can send an email request to webmaster@texasbar.com. The State Bar of Texas has full editorial discretion regarding which blogs are linked, and all opinions and statements in blogs are those of their authors and not the State Bar. All attorney websites, including blogs, must comply with State Bar of Texas advertising guidelines.


State Bar Member Discount Program
Take advantage of discounts offered through the State Bar of Texas Member Discounts Program. Save money on clothing, cellular service, computers, televisions and other office supplies!  For more information please visit texasbar.com/discounts.  Visit often – the site is updated regularly with new deals!


The Texas Bar Journal wants to hear from you! 
Have you received an honor or recognition? Have you recently accepted a new position or moved? Keep the Texas legal community informed by submitting your news at texasbar.com/tbjsubmissions. Your news could appear in an issue of the Texas Bar Journal.


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 Chair Sally Pretorius.

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.

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.


TYLA Annual Report 2013-2014
Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the Annual Report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2013-2014 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send one.

Read More