December 1, 2015
Practice as if Santa Were Watching

’Tis the season of good tidings and Christmas cheer, a time when we are called to put aside petty differences, love our fellow man, and maintain a selfless spirit. Working with lawyers for a living, however, can prove difficult.

November 1, 2015
See the Struggle and Help

Not too long ago, I was a first-year law student and single father. When I had my twin five-year-olds every other week, it was a total whirlwind. There were times when I couldn’t find childcare and I had to take them to class with me. I remember one of those days in particular. Running late, I raced through the law school with the boys in tow. My face clearly showed concern that either my sons or myself would be kicked out of school by the day’s end.

October 1, 2015
Giving Back to Our Veterans

During my career as a lawyer, I have always practiced in areas where a large percentage of the population was active military. I started off in Abilene right next to Dyess Air Force Base, and now I practice in Waco, which is down the road from Fort Hood and home to a large Veterans Affairs ospital. Having a working knowledge of how military duty affects criminal and civil litigation is a must for practitioners living in these and other military areas. Yet, it certainly doesn’t come naturally.

September 1, 2015
A Child's Story

In my past life as a prosecutor, I was often assigned to sexual assault cases involving children. The outcomes of cases such as these are quite frequently dependent on the testimony of one child victim, and getting an unbiased and complete statement is crucial. Years later, as a criminal defense and family law attorney, I have come to realize that the challenges and necessity of procuring impartial child testimony aren’t unique to one side of the bar. The question is, how do we get that kind of testimony?

July 1, 2015
Building Business

I recently spoke at a new lawyer CLE in Austin, but it might have been me who learned the most during the course. One question particularly caught my attention. A young lawyer asked, “How do you develop business when you spend all your time with attorneys?” That question was particularly notable to me because I have a new private practice myself. Business development is certainly on my radar and has been since I began my private practice part time in 2010.

June 1, 2015
The Power of Perception

As I write this article, news is breaking that six Baltimore officers are being indicted on charges related to the death of Freddie Gray while he was in police custody. I am reminded of other young black men whose names have been in the news lately—Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, and Michael Brown. While each of these cases is distinctly different, all have a common underlying catalyst that cannot be ignored.

May 1, 2016
The Honor Of A Lifetime

My personal journey with the State Bar of Texas began in 2010 when my wife, Charla, and I both accepted jobs with the Taylor County District Attorney’s Office. A co-worker asked us to attend an Abilene Young Lawyers Association meeting. I had never even heard of this affiliate of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, but we went because she made it sound so fun. In no time, I met several other young lawyers who were also learning what life as a lawyer was really like. They had great advice about local judges and their rules and the do’s and don’ts of everyday practice. They offered unconditional support and advice simply because I was a fellow lawyer. I immediately loved the camaraderie of AYLA and all that it was about.

April 1, 2016
Be Impactful!

This simple phrase is the theme for the year in which I will serve as TYLA’s president. TYLA obviously effects positive change across the state as the public service arm of the State Bar of Texas. Through this theme, I am challenging our members to continue to find ways to positively impact our profession and our communities.

March 1, 2016
Every Vote Counts

Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina—each of these states brings to mind the long and arduous process that is our presidential election. But should we view it that way? Is it really that challenging to get engaged and educated on who the candidates are for any election? As I write this piece, both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary have come and gone. I am reminded of the importance of voting in an election but also of being informed and informing others of its importance and the qualifications of the candidates.

February 1, 2016
Celebrating Diversity by Recognizing Humanity

February is African American History Month, and it brings to mind many of the black lawyers who have made a profound impact in Texas and across the country—people like Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston, Constance Baker Motley, Johnnie Cochran, and too many others to name here.

January 1, 2016
New Year--New You

It’s time to make our New Year’s resolutions! Unfortunately, I imagine that by the time this is printed, many of us may have already broken them. It’s never too late to start over though, right?