Page 1

Dallas Bar Association

HEADNOTES February 2014 Volume 39 Number 2

Focus Family Law

President’s Council: E. Leon & Debra Carter Donate $30,000 to EAJ Campaign by Alicia Hernandez

On the last day of 2013, Leon Carter quietly slipped into the Belo Mansion to personally deliver a check for $30,000 for the Equal Access to Justice Campaign benefitting DVAP, a personal gift from him and his wife Debra for a cause they believe in. “It has always been my dream to be a lawyer. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to do what I love every day,” said Leon Carter. “While our profession does good in so many ways, it has always been my belief that a person is not judged or measured by the profession he/she is in, but by what he/she gives back to the community. That is why Debra and I decided to give to Equal Access to Justice.” Even though the President’s Council level gift was not expected, the way Mr. Carter gave it did not surprise the Campaign’s leadership at all. “Leon truly believes that his gift comes from the giving itself,” said Aaron Tobin, Co-Chair of the 2014 Equal Access to Justice Campaign. “He does not seek publicity or accolades for anything he does and receives much satisfaction from just writing the check, with no fanfare whatsoever.” The “giving itself” will go a long way in helping less fortunate people in Dallas get access to justice. Every day, Dallas citizens are denied access to the basic rights to which they are entitled under the law simply because they cannot afford a lawyer. Equal access to justice can make all the difference in whether people get to keep their homes or live on the streets, are protected from domestic violence, can secure child support for their children, or can defend themselves from fraudu-

Leon and Debra Carter

lent consumer practices. Known in the Dallas legal community as a top-notch commercial litigator, trial attorney, and the ultimate professional, Mr. Carter has a strong commitment to community service. He has been active in the Dallas Bar Association, and he has served on the Boards of Camp John Marc, Vickery Meadows Learning Center, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Martin Luther King Center, and the Volunteer Center of Dallas County. He decided to become a lawyer when he was a child after

his late mother told him that a lawyer had helped to change segregationist Jim Crow laws. He wanted to be a part of that kind of change, a change for equality, and supporting DVAP today is a natural extension of the desire for equality for all, including those who cannot afford an attorney. Leon has been married to Debra Carter for over 30 years, and they have a son and a daughter. Debra is also active in the Dallas community. “As Debra always says,” said Leon, “we have been blessed to be a blessing to others.” Not only will the Carter’s support of DVAP help many, many clients in the coming year, the assistance extends to the volunteers who provide the pro bono representation. Donors make it possible for volunteer attorneys to receive mentoring support, training, and malpractice insurance coverage from the DVAP, all of which are essential to a successful pro bono program. “It is inspiring to have Leon and Debra Carter supporting our program because I see a lot of similarities between the Carters and our volunteers,” said Michelle Alden, Managing Attorney for DVAP. “Our volunteers are committed to community service and making sure that their pro bono clients’ rights are protected regardless of their income. Our volunteers, who tend to be very humble, serve with no expectation of thanks.” For more information on the Campaign or the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, please contact Alicia Hernandez at   HN (214) 220-7499 or Alicia Hernandez is the director of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and the DBA director of community services. She can be reached at

Slack & Davis LLP Donates $15,000 to DVAP Campaign by Alicia Hernandez

Slack & Davis LLP has donated $15,000 to the Equal Access to Justice Campaign benefitting the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. The firm’s donation has helped the Equal Access to Justice Campaign, a joint fundraising effort of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, net a record high donation amount of $914,652. Slack & Davis, an Austin-based personal injury firm with an office in Dallas, specializes in aviation and catastrophic collisions, is a third time donor to the Equal Access to Justice Campaign, donating $45,000 to the program over the last three years. The funds help the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program carry out its mission to recruit, train, and support volunteer attorneys in providing pro bono legal aid to the poor in Dallas. Like the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, Ladd Sanger, Paula Sweeney and all of the attorneys at Slack & Davis are committed to helping the little guy. Without strong advocates in their corners, the families that Slack & Davis represent would be at a complete disadvantage. Similarly, DVAP volunteer attorneys unlock the courthouse doors for their DVAP clients, most of whom would be at a complete loss as to how to represent their interests and simply terrified of stepping into a courtroom alone. “Equal justice for all is an American

promise, but many people do not have access to legal representation or our court systems without programs like the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program,” said Ms. Sweeney. “We are proud to support a program that makes our justice system more accessible to the public.” DVAP and its volunteers help people overcome legal problems such as evictions and landlord tenant disputes, divorce cases, child support claims, domestic violence, and fraudulent housing and consumer cases. Without pro bono help, people facing these issues are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the system or simply shut out because they do not know or understand the law and civil procedure. Left unrepresented, the financial and personal distress that DVAP clients face oftentimes increases substantially and makes it even more difficult for them to succeed in their daily lives. “Marcus,” a young man whose former girlfriend was expecting his child, was one of those clients. Marcus desperately wanted to have a relationship with his child, but his former girlfriend decided she wanted to give the child up for adoption despite his repeated objections. She allegedly had married another man, who planned to act as the presumed father of the child and sign the necessary paperwork to give up his legal rights. The mother also refused to let Marcus know the baby’s due date and where the baby would be born. Marcus, frantic to have a relationship

Standing (left to right): Paula Sweeney, Paula Knippa, Ladd Sanger, Suzanne Kaplan, John Jose, Mark Pierce, Donna Bowen. Seated (at table): Mike Davis. Seated (on table): Mike Slack

with his child, applied for help from DVAP. Sandra Fusco, of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, accepted his case, obtained a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the adoption, and obtained a temporary order allowing Marcus to be present at the hospital for the child’s birth. Because of Ms. Fusco’s efforts, DVAP’s coordination of pro bono legal services to the poor, and donors like Slack & Davis, Marcus was able to meet and hold

his newborn son and is looking forward to being a part of his son’s life. For more information on the Campaign or the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, please contact Alicia Hernandez at (214) 220-7499   HN or  Alicia Hernandez is the director of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and the DBA director of community services. She can be reached at

Inside 6 Marital Property Agreements - Business Tools 10 The Inauguration of Scott McElhaney 19 Top Ten Tips for Temporary Orders Hearings 21 Working with School Districts – Common Issues

DBA MEMBER REMINDER: All members who have not yet renewed for 2014 will be dropped on March 3, 2014! Renew TODAY in order to continue receiving all your member benefits. Thank you for your support of the Dallas Bar Association!

2 He a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 


February Events FRIDAY CLINICS


“Survey Issues and Texas Title Endorsements: A Top Ten List,” Kevin Hays. (MCLE 1.00)* RSVP to kzack@


“Rules Governing Independent Contractors vs. Employees,” Alan Busch. (MCLE 1.00)* At Two Lincoln Centre, 5420 Lyndon B. Johnson Frwy., Ste. 240, Dallas, TX 75240. Parking is available in the Visitor’s Lot located in front of the entrance to Two and Three Lincoln Centre. There are several delis within the building. Food is allowed inside the Conference Center. Thank you to our sponsor The Dallas Bar Foundation. RSVP to


“Non-Party Discovery Under the Texas Rule of Civil Procedure,” Matthew Sikes. (MCLE 1.00)*. RSVP to


Tax Law Section “§ 1411—The Net Investment Income Tax,” C. Clinton Davis. (MCLE 1.00)*


5:15 p.m. Legalline. Volunteers welcome. Second floor Belo.

7:45 a.m. Dallas Area Real Estate Lawyers Discussion Group 8:30 a.m. DVAP Family Law Nuts & Bolts Video (MCLE 6.00; Ethics 2.00, pending)* For information contact


Bench Bar Conference Committee

Criminal Justice Committee

5:15 p.m. Legalline. Volunteers welcome. Second floor Belo.


CLE Committee

Publications Committee

Lawyer Referral Service Committee

DAYL Freedom Run Committee

St. Thomas More Society

Dallas Asian American Bar Association

Tort & Insurance Practice Section “Trial Techniques for Plaintiffs’ Cases,” Ellen Presby. (MCLE 1.00)*



Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Section “The Golden Parachute Tax Rules of 280G and the Current Issues Under Those and Techniques for Addressing those Issues,” Brian Cumberland and J. D. Ivy. (MCLE 1.00)* Real Property Law Section/ABA Section of Litigation “Sharpening the Practice of the Real Estate Litigator, and Recent Developments in the Law of Eminent Domain,” Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, Judge Eric V. Moyé, Tom Perkins, Chuck Dannis, David Poole, Paul Beard. Cost: $140 members/$200 non-members. Contact khucks@ (MCLE 3.25, Ethics 1.00)* Solo & Small Firm Section “Law Practice Management: Tips for Managing the Financial Side of Running a Solo & Small Firm,” Sean M. Duncan, CPA. (MCLE 1.00)*

Juvenile Justice Committee

Public Forum Committee

DAYL Judiciary Committee




Alternative Dispute Resolution Section “The Power of Forgiveness in Mediation and Negotiation,” Celestin Musekura. (MCLE 1.00)* Real Property Law Section “They Want to Do it Cheap and Then They’re in it Deep: Counseling the Client About the Pitfalls of Shortcutting Pre-Acquisition Environmental Due Diligence for Real Estate Deals,” John Slavich. (MCLE 1.00)*

Peer Assistance Committee


Business Litigation Section “New Arbitration Rules and Procedures You Need to Know,” Cecilia Morgan. (MCLE 1.00, Ethics 0.25)*

Legal History Discussion Group “The Texas Constitution: Then and Now,” William Chriss. (MCLE 1.00)*

Mergers & Acquisitions Section “Latest Hot Button Issues in Private M&A Agreements and How to Address Them,” Robert B. Little, Gregory A. Odegaard and Melissa L. Persons. (MCLE 1.00)*

Legal Ethics Committee DAYL Lawyers Promoting Diversity DAYL Lunch & Learn CLE. For more information, contact

Play Golf and Support Pro Bono Save the date for the 22nd Annual Pro Bono Golf Classic, benefitting the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program.

Thursday, May 1, 2014 at Brookhaven Country Club


Appellate Law Section “Appeals in Removals and Remands,” Ken Carroll. (MCLE 1.00)*

Minority Participation Committee

Christian Legal Society

DAYL Animal Welfare Committee

Dallas Gay & Lesbian Bar Association


Friday Clinic at Belo “Non-Party Discovery Under the Texas Rule of Civil Procedure,” Matthew Sikes. (MCLE 1.00)*. RSVP to

Transition to Law Practice Committee


Computer Law Section “35 U.S.C. 101: The Current Landscape for Patentability of Computer and Software Patent,” Kenneth P. Kula. (MCLE 1.00)*

Securities Section “Insider Trading Update and the Mark Cuban Case,” Bill Mateja and Tom Melsheimer. (MCLE 1.00)*

Golf Tournament Committee

DAYL Solo & Small Firm Committee

6:00 p.m. J.L. Turner Legal Association


5:30 p.m. Bankruptcy & Commercial Law Section “New Developments in Bankruptcy Case Law,” Judge Harlin D. “Cooter” Hale, Rakhee Patel and Gerrit Pronske. (MCLE 1.00)*

Friday Clinic at Belo “Survey Issues and Texas Title Endorsements: A Top Ten List,” Kevin Hays. (MCLE 1.00)* RSVP to

Non-Profit Law Study Group

11:30 .m. House Committee Walk Through

Christian Lawyers Fellowship

6:00 p.m. DAYL Board of Directors Meeting


DAYL Attorneys Serving Troops Committee

Construction Law Section “Sovereign Immunity and Construction Issues for the 84th Legislature,” Rep. Paul D. Workman. (MCLE 1.00)*

Judiciary Committee


6:00 p.m. Home Project Committee

Summer Law Intern Program Committee


Visit for updates on Friday Clinics and other CLEs.

Corporate Counsel Section “Practical Implications of Enterprise Risk Management,” Jill Brooks, Jeff Dempsey and Stan Eigenbrodt. (MCLE 1.00)*


February 2014

Friday Clinic-North Dallas** “Rules Governing Independent Contractors vs. Employees,” Alan Busch. (MCLE 1.00)* At Two Lincoln Centre, 5420 Lyndon B. Johnson Frwy., Ste. 240, Dallas, TX 75240. Parking is available in the Visitor’s Lot located in front of the entrance to Two and Three Lincoln Centre. There are several delis within the building. Food is allowed inside the Conference Center. Thank you to our sponsor The Dallas Bar Foundation. RSVP to

Government Law Section “Civil Service Update,” Melissa H. Cranford and Julia Gannaway. (MCLE 1.00)*

Trial Skills Section “Building Confidence in Cross Examination of Experts,” Quentin Brogdon and Greg Marks. (MCLE 1.00)*


Labor & Employment Law Section “LGBT Employment Law: Boh Bros. and Beyond,” Jessica Cohen. (MCLE 1.00)*

Senior Lawyers Committee


Franchise & Distribution Law Section Topic Not Yet Available.

International Law Section Topic Not Yet Available.

Speakers Committee

DAYL Elder Law Committee


Energy Law Section Topic Not Yet Available

Health Law Section “The New Jobs Act and the Volker Rule What It Means for The Healthcare Industry,” Rachel V. Rose. (MCLE 1.00)*

Law Day Committee

Library Committee

Pro Bono Activities Committee


Probate, Trust & Estate Law Section “Marital Property,” Prof. Tom Featherston. (MCLE 1.00)*

American Immigration Lawyers Association

6:00 p.m. Dallas Hispanic Bar Association

Experience Exchange Mentoring Dinner An exchange of ideas and experiences to build relationships in the community. Attorneys: $20. Law Students: $10. Scholarships available. Contact Sponsored by the DBA Minority Participation Committee.


Sports & Entertainment Law Section “Meeting Insurance Needs in Entertainment,” Craig Crafton. (MCLE 1.00)*

DAYL Equal Access to Justice Committee

DAYL Foundation Board Meeting

DVAP New Lawyer Luncheon. For more information contact

Municipal Justice Bar Association


Collaborative Law Section “The Participation Agreement, Your Road Map to Settlement,” Sherrie R. Abney. (MCLE 1.00, Ethics 0.25)*

Criminal Law Section “Expunction Law Update,” Larissa Roeder. (MCLE 1.00)*

Environmental Law Section Topic Not Yet Available


Intellectual Property Law Section “ITC Actions,” Mark Whitaker. (MCLE 1.00)*

DAYL CLE Committee



“The Texas Constitution: Then and Now” Speaker: William Chriss, of Gravely & Pearson, Austin

Registration includes a sleeve of golf balls, goody bag, lunch, on-course beverages, post-tournament reception and awards dinner. The tournament is a 4-person scramble format—limited to the first 128 golfers. Plus, we have first-rate team awards for 16 teams, a raffle and other fun contests and games! Check-in and practice range open at 10 a.m. and shotgun start is at 1:00 p.m. A reception and awards dinner will follow the tournament at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 11, Noon at Belo

Register online at For more information on sponsorships, contact Rhonda Thornton at

MCLE 1.00 Sponsored by the DBA Legal History Discussion Group

If special arrangements are required for a person with disabilities to attend a particular seminar, please contact Cathy Maher at 214/220-7401 as soon as possible and no later than two business days before the seminar. All Continuing Legal Education Programs Co-Sponsored by the DALLAS BAR FOUNDATION. *For confirmation of State Bar of Texas MCLE approval, please call Teddi Rivas at the DBA office at 214/220-7447. **For information on the location of this month’s North Dallas Friday Clinic, contact

Fe bru a ry 2 0 1 4  

KM_HN 2014 Feb dceo_final.pdf



D al l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 3

5:53 PM

The Team to Trust KELLY McCLURE Family Law Board Certified




with your family and fortune.





McClure Law Group’s high caliber legal team has decades of extensive family law knowledge to handle any family law case, whether in the courtroom or in collaboration.


No matter what the family law concern, clients trust McClure Law Group with their matrimonial issues: divorce, modifications, valuation and property division, pre- and post-marital agreements, and custody disputes. Armed with leading-edge asset tracing techniques, sophisticated trial strategy, and a wealth of experience, the McClure Law Group fights vigorously for the client’s best outcome. McClure Law Group‘s highly skilled legal team shares a genuine commitment to protect family relationships and safeguard their clients’ resources from the outset of every case.

When family and fortune matters, McClure Law Group will fight for yours.

4 He a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 

February 2014


President's Column

“What Have You Done For Your Country Lately?” Scott M. McElhaney

Inaugural Address given on January 11, 2014 Someone from whom I learned many things was my first boss after law school—Judge Barefoot Sanders. I had the great privilege of serving as a law clerk for him after I graduated. Many of you knew him too. He probably swore most of you in to practice before the Northern District of Texas. Judge Sanders taught all of us many things by the example he set. He was universally respected for his dedication to public service. He was admired for the way he treated everyone with respect; there was no arrogance or superiority about him. After my clerkship, fellow former clerks and I would regularly visit his chambers for lunch, where tuna sandwiches, jalapeños and Fritos were always on the menu. One thing he always asked as we arrived was: “What have you done for your country lately?” The message in what Judge Sanders was saying is something that I—and I think all of us—should constantly be reminded of. It is essentially this: all of us have a responsibility to attend to the needs of others. And we as lawyers have a unique role to play. Judge Sanders’ message starts with the Biblical injunction “From whom much is given, much is expected” and emphasizes that what is expected of us as citizens—and especially as lawyers—is service to the public. We have been given many advantages—to live at this time and in this country, and to be part of a great learned profession. We thus have an obligation not just to chase the next client, or case or billable hour, but also to take some time out of our day or week to do what we can to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Of course, this idea is not new. When he sat on the New York Court of Appeals, Justice Benjamin Cardozo called membership in the bar “a privilege burdened with conditions.” Being a lawyer meant that you were given the right to practice law, but it also meant inclusion in what he called an “ancient fellowship for something more than private gain” that included becoming “an instrument or agency to advance the ends of justice.” What we do in our practices—the cases we win or the deals we close—may be important to ourselves, to our partners or to our firms, and they may increase our reputation or even our compensation. But practically every religion in the world tells us that, if we put our greatest hopes in achieving fame or power or money, we will inevitably be disappointed. Working for others—or as Judge Sanders put it, doing something for your country—helps fulfill our responsibilities to society. And it helps us personally. As Ghandi recognized, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Our community also expects more from us as lawyers than working just for private gain. Last year, the Pew Research Center found that lawyers ranked at the bottom of all of the occupations measured when people were asked whether the group contributed to society’s well-being. Only 18 percent thought lawyers did so. And that was down from a 23 percent figure the last time the survey was conducted. Now, much of that comes from the same basic fact that explains why there are so many lawyer jokes: People usually interact with lawyers when there is some problem or conflict, and even if a person has a “good” lawyer on his or her side, there is a lawyer on the other side who is perceived to be standing in the way. But there are still ways to address the declining perception of lawyers. *** Doing something for your community, or country, is the surest way to fulfill our responsibilities. This is true if that something is responding to an educational system that, while improving, still faces challenges in its efforts to graduate enough students ready for good jobs or higher education. It is also true if that something is responding to the legal needs of our neighbors who, as former DBA president Frank Stevenson has put it, bring not a lavish retainer, but only heartbreaking need. Thanks to many of you here, we have much to be proud of. This Bar Association has a long tradition of doing its share of carrying out our responsibilities as a profession. Mark Twain said that few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example, and the good examples that you have set surely continue to inspire others to do the same. You served students from Dallas and across the State through a host of educational programs. • You have shown over 350 students this year that they can succeed in school and become whatever they want to through our E-mentoring program. • You have educated students about the legal system through our Law in the Schools and Lawyers in the Classroom programs and through the essay, art and photography

contests you run in connection with our annual Law Day Luncheon. • You helped coordinate Appealing to the Public, which gives hundreds of DISD students an up-close look at how courts approach competing sides of legal arguments through the appellate process. • You recruited law firms to hire 30 DISD students through the Summer Law Intern Program last summer so students could learn about working in a law firm and gain valuable experience in the working world. • And you put on the State’s High School Mock Trial program by writing the case as well as running and serving as judges for the Dallas area, Metroplex area and state-wide tournaments in which about 2,000 students from across the state participated. Members of the Dallas Bar have also served the broader community and those in need. • You collected school supplies for needy elementary school children. • You sponsored open forums on important topics though our Public Forum programming. • And you built the DBA’s 22nd Habitat for Humanity home, continuing our tradition of being the longest running whole-house sponsor in the area. Perhaps most importantly—given that only we are permitted to practice law—you gave your time to support legal services for those who cannot afford it. • You staffed phones for free consultations twice per month through our LegalLine project. • You volunteered at the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Project’s 11 clinics, going out into the community to meet and advise people at places such as the VA Hospital and the Martin Luther King Center. • And as volunteer attorneys you took over 1,000 cases last year for which people needed full representation. By taking these cases, you saved families from eviction based on false allegation of wrongdoing; you obtained restraining orders against abusive boyfriends of single mothers; you helped custodial parents reunite with children who had become pawns in custody battles; and you protected elderly neighbors from disreputable repair shops that demanded ten times what they had contracted to charge. These are all great achievements for which we are justly proud. But there is more that needs to be done. While we provided assistance in court over a thousand times, and advice and counseling thousands of more times, there were still hundreds who came to us seeking legal help but were turned away because there were not enough volunteers available. Now it may be said that providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford it is difficult in a time that combines lawyer layoffs, intensifying competition for work, and client pressure for lower rates. Of course, similar things could have been said at any time over the past few decades. Changes in technology and the economy affect legal practice in much the same way they affect other industries, and these changes are real and sometimes difficult. But if you were to peruse bar journal articles from 30 or 40 years ago, you would find the same sentiments. The refrain that the practice of law is becoming more like running a business has been with us for a very long time. More troublesome, though, is the view expressed among some cynics that serving the community (and even bar membership) has changed from an essential duty into a needless expense. However, adapting to changing circumstances while preserving our essential traditions and values makes what we do a profession that has endured for centuries. And one of the central traditions and values our profession has stood for is helping those who need legal help but who cannot afford it. Over the 140-year history of this Bar Association, we have seen great economic, political and social changes. Within the lifetimes of many of us here tonight, Dallas has changed from a regional city of less than 300,000 to the center of the country’s 4th-largest metropolitan area, with 6.7 million people. We have changed from an Association in which applications for membership by African-Americans were not acted upon to a place where having presidents, officers and directors of color is commonplace. And gender roles have changed dramatically. One former (and now deceased) president’s inaugural address saluted women by explaining that “Lawyers need wives more than anybody does” because helping a lawyer “enjoy victory” or giving “solace in defeat” “comes best from his wife.” Unpacking all of the assumptions about gender roles in that talk would take quite a while. Now, thankfully, things are different. Four of the last 10 DBA presidents have been continued on page 16

Published by: DALLAS BAR ASSOCIATION 2101 Ross Avenue Dallas, Texas 75201 Phone: (214) 220-7400 Fax: (214) 220-7465 Website: Established 1873 The DBA’s purpose is to serve and support the legal profession in Dallas and to promote good relations among lawyers, the judiciary, and the community. OFFICERS President: Scott M. McElhaney President-Elect: Bradley C. Weber First Vice President: Jerry C. Alexander Second Vice President: Rob Crain Secretary-Treasurer: Audrey Moorehead Immediate Past President: Sally L. Crawford Directors: Tatiana Alexander (President, J.L. Turner Legal Association), A. Shonn Brown (At-Large), Wm. Frank Carroll, Laura Benitez Geisler (Vice Chair), Hon. Martin Hoffman, Hon. David Horan (Judicial At-Large), Michael K. Hurst (Chair), Krisi Kastl, Michele Wong Krause, Meyling Ly (President, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers), Karen McCloud, Courtney Barksdale Perez (At-Large), Sakina Rasheed (President, Dallas Asian American Bar Association), Mary Scott, Scott Stolley, Diane M. Sumoski, Robert L. Tobey, Aaron Tobin and Elisabeth A. Wilson (President, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association) Advisory Directors: Jonathan Childers (President-Elect, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers), Monica Lira (President-Elect, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association), Bill Richmond (PresidentElect, Dallas Asian American Bar Association) and Ebony Rivon (President-Elect, J.L. Turner Legal Association). Delegates, American Bar Association: Rhonda Hunter, Hon. Liz Lang-Miers Directors, State Bar of Texas: Lawrence Boyd, Wm. Frank Carroll, Andy Payne, Florentino A. Ramirez and Ike Vanden Eykel HEADNOTES Executive Director/Executive Editor: Catharine M. Maher Communications/Media Director & Headnotes Editor: Jessica D. Smith In the News: Judi Smalling Art Director: Thomas Phillips Display Advertising: Deni Ackerman, Tina DeRobertis, Annette Planey, Jessica Smith Classified Advertising: Judi Smalling PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE Co-Chairs: Dawn Fowler and Jared Slade Vice-Chairs: Paul Clevenger and Meghan George Members: Timothy Ackermann, Vincent Allen, Natalie Arbaugh, Benjamin Barmore, Joi-lee Beachler, Martha Beard-Duncan, Lisa Blackburn, Jason Bloom, Eric Blue, Leigh Bradford, Bobby Braxton, Kandice Bridges, Kelsey Brock, Sara Ann Brown, John G. Browning, Casey Burgess, Eliot Burriss, Stacie Cargill, Nancy Carroll, Lance Caughfield, Julie Chandler, Joel Crouch, Walter Dean, Lea Dearing, David Dodds, Adam Dougherty, Brandon Duck, Christopher Elam, Alexander Farr, J. Martin Futrell, Jenny Givens, Jennifer Gjesvold, Andrew Gould, James Gourley, Nadia Haghighatian, Susan Halpern, William Hammel, Jordan Harrison, Jeremy Hawpe, John Herring, Zachary Hilton, Kelli Hinson, Tyler Hokanson, Alison Hollender, Mary Louise Hopson, Mandy Jenkins, Soji John, Cynthia Jon-Ubabuco, Yoon-Joo Jung, Tiffany Kamuche, Nicholas Kennedy, Adam Kielich, Michelle Koledi, Matthew Kolodoski, Susan Kravik, Norman Lofgren, Sixuan Lu, Margaret Lyle, Ashley Mason, Andrew Mayo, Jennifer McCollum, Christina McCracken, R. Sean McDonald, Scott McElhaney, Elizabeth “Jodi” McShan, John McShane, Michael Merrick, Christopher Meuse, Aaron Michelsohn, Wendy Mills, Constance Mims, Ethan Minshull, Paige Montgomery, Caitlin Morgan, Hon. Jim Moseley, Terah Moxley, Derek Neilson, Nick Nelson, Christopher Norcross, David Parham, Murali Pasupulati, Seth Phillips, Keith Pillers, Amiee Pingenot, Kirk Pittard, Irina Plumlee, Laura Anne Pohli, Ellen Pryor, Gabriel Reyes, Edward Rice, Morgan Richards, David Ritter, Carl Roberts, Richard Salgado, Joshua Sandler, Brandon Schwarzentraub, Calvin Scott, Ifeyinwa “Ify” Seales, Isabel Segarra, Micah Skidmore, Crystal Smith, Phillip Smith, Bradley Smyer, Yon Sohn, Thad Spalding, Timothy Springer, Jacob Stasny, Cori Steinmann, John Stevenson, Scott Stolley, Brian Stork, Amy Stowe, Billye Summers, Kristopher Tate, SaKinna Thomas, Pryce Tucker, Brent Turman, Peter S. Vogel, Bradley C. Weber, Suzanne Westerheim, Elisabeth Wilson and Andrew Wirmani DBA & DBF STAFF Executive Director: Catharine M. Maher Accounting Assistant: Shawna Bush Communications/Media Director: Jessica D. Smith Controller: Sherri Evans Director of Community Services: Alicia Hernandez Events Director: Rhonda Thornton Executive Assistant: Mary Ellen Johnson Executive Director, DBF: Elizabeth Philipp LRS Program Assistant: Biridiana Avina LRS Interviewer: Marcela Mejia Law-Related Education & Programs Coordinator: Kimberlynn Taylor Membership Coordinator: Kimberly Watson Projects Coordinator: Kathryn Zack Publications Coordinator: Judi Smalling Receptionist/Staff Assistant: Teddi Rivas DALLAS VOLUNTEER ATTORNEY PROGRAM Director: Alicia Hernandez Managing Attorney: Michelle Alden Volunteer Recruiter: Chris Reed-Brown Paralegals: Whitney Breheny, Miriam Caporal, Tina Douglas, Marisol Guzman, Andrew Musquiz, Carmen Perales Program Assistant: Patsy Quinn Copyright Dallas Bar Association 2014. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this publication is allowed without written permission from publisher. Headnotes serves the membership of the DBA and, as such, editorial submissions from members are welcome. The Executive Editor, Editor, and Publications Committee reserve the right to select editorial content to be published. Please submit article text via e-mail to (Communications Director) at least 45 days in advance of publication. Feature articles should be no longer than 750 words. DISCLAIMER: All legal content appearing in Headnotes is for informational and educational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. Opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the Dallas Bar Association. All advertising shall be placed in Dallas Bar Association Headnotes at the Dallas Bar Association’s sole discretion. Headnotes (ISSN 1057-0144) is published monthly by the Dallas Bar Association, 2101 Ross Ave., Dallas, TX 75201. Non-member subscription rate is $30 per year. Single copy price is $2.50, including handling. Periodicals postage paid at Dallas, Texas 75260. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Headnotes, 2101 Ross Ave., Dallas, TX 75201.

Fe bru a ry 2 0 1 4  

D al l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 5




there is that crucial team member, an unbelievably









hard worker for his clients, a great legal mind, an outstanding colleague and mentor, with an ethical reputation of the highest order. For family law in North Texas, that description fits Mike DeBruin. The Connatser Family Law attorneys have already

the list of Texas Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters 2003-

demonstrated our commitment to results-oriented,

2013) and as one of Texas’ Best Lawyers (Woodward

creative problem solving in every divorce, large-

White 2009-2011).

asset negotiation, child custody matter, pre- and postmarital agreement, divorce decree modification, and collaborative law matter. INTEGRITY drives our uncompromised professionalism. INTENSITY keeps us focused on our clients’ goals. INTUITION guides us to achieve those goals. We now add a fourth element, the INDISPENSABLE attorney, Mike DeBruin. After 23 years with the largest family law firm in the area, he brings a wealth of experience and good judgment to the clients of Connatser Family Law. “I am humbled and honored to have Mike DeBruin join our firm,” says Aubrey Connatser, founder and managing member of Connatser Family Law. Mike is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has been selected to

Many of his cases involve complex property and business matters, intractable child custody and visitation issues, asset tracing, tax matters and the validity of marital agreements. His clients include professionals in law, medicine and finance, high-level business executives, professional athletes and their spouses. Mike joins a family law team whose ingenuity and




tenacity along with exceptional negotiating skills


enable us to successfully finalize matters in the


courtroom and the boardroom. Our clients look to us


for clear direction, insight and compassion, along with meticulous attention to detail during tumultuous times.


We never fail to deliver on this promise, and will even more so with the addition of Mike DeBruin.

INTEGRITY. INTENSITY. INTUITION. AUBREY M. CONNATSER, PLLC 300 Crescent Court, Suite 270, Dallas, Texas 75201

214 306-8441

6 H e a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 


February 2014

Family Law

Marital Property Agreements - Business Tools by Karen Blakely Turner

Under the Texas Family Code, there are three types of agreements spouses or future spouse may execute that affect ownership of presently owned property or property to be acquired in the future. The first type of agreement is the premarital agreement, which the parties enter into prior to marriage and which becomes effective upon marriage. The second type of agreement is the post-martial property agreement entered into between spouses. The terms of both of these agreements are limited only by the creativity of the parties and attorneys. However, most address the creation of separate versus community estates and the mechanisms of how those estates are created. The third type of marital agreement is an agreement to convert separate property to community property. This can be a stand-alone document or may be included as part of either a premarital agreement or the post-marital property agreement. All of the types of marital property agreements require no consideration to be enforceable. They must be in writing and signed by both parties. The policy of the State of Texas is to enforce marital agreements. Therefore, there is a presumption that marital agreements are valid. If a spouse seeks to have the agreement found unenforceable, the challenging spouse has the burden of proof to show that either (a) the agreement was not signed voluntarily, or (b) the agreement was unconscionable when it was signed and, before the signing of the agreement, the party was not provided a disclosure of the financial estate, did not waive disclosure, and did not have adequate knowledge of the estate. The

case law on “voluntariness” has narrowly construed what is involuntary. Marital property agreements are no longer only for the wealthy. Couples with various financial situations frequently enter into marital property agreements. If a future husband has substantial debt or a business that by its nature is financially risky, the future spouses may want to consider entering into a premarital agreement to protect the future wife’s assets and income from the existing and potential creditors of the future husband. It is sound business planning for members of a family, who share an interest in a family business or trust, to insist that the family member who is marrying enter into a premarital agreement to protect the passing of wealth from one generation to another as separate property. Some partnership agreements are now requiring that partners, prior to entering into a marriage, enter into premarital agreement with the future spouse in an effort to keep the partnership interest and partnership income separate property. That way the partnership avoids being dragged into a divorce business valuation situation, having to produce the financial records of the partnership, and/or potentially having the non-partner ex-spouse being awarded an interest in the partnership. All too often, divorce clients come to their attorneys with a marital property agreement that has been signed and then stuffed away in a drawer and never looked at again. The couple then conducts their finances and business without regard to the marital agreement. This often has a devastating effect on the spouse who believed that his assets were protected. The best advice for such a client is to

Health Care Is Under a Microscope. Jody Rudman Has Seen It All.


Health care providers need experienced legal counsel in responding to the increase in Accusations of regulatory and coding violations Fraud allegations Criminal investigations A former assistant AG and federal prosecutor, Jody Rudman is uniquely prepared to represent doctors and other clinicians in these critical legal challenges to their licenses and livelihoods. Our firm appreciates your referrals.

Jody Rudman

3232 McKinney, Suite 700 | Dallas, Texas 75204



review the marital agreement and consult with a family law lawyer prior to doing any major purchases, business formation or restructuring of entities. A common example is the client whose financial planner recommends that the client borrow funds on margin to make investments, since it is a better financial deal than liquidating assets. Under Texas law, assets purchased on credit are community property, unless the marital property agreement provides otherwise. So, even though the client had the intent to make the investment with her separate property funds since all the assets in her brokerage account were separate property, by borrowing the funds on margin, she created a commu-

nity asset. Another example of mistakes made when the marital property agreement is not reviewed and followed is when the agreement states that salary is community property and earned income is separate property. If the spouse who owns an interest in a closely-held company listens to financial advice that it is best to be paid in the form of salary instead of profit distributions, he will inadvertently create a larger community estate than potentially intended, instead of easily creating a separate estate by using income distributions   HN instead of salary. Karen Blakely Turner has been Board Certified in Family Law since 1994. She may be reached at

2013 FAMILY LAW NUTS & BOLTS VIDEO CLE February 12, 2014 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Belo MCLE 6.00 | 2.00 Ethics (pending) Sponsored by the DBA Family Law Section and DVAP For more information, contact Alicia Perkins at

IOLTA Prime Partners “Banking on Justice” The Supreme Court of Texas requires attorneys to place IOLTA accounts at eligible banks—those that pay interest rates comparable to other similarly situated accounts. To see a list of committed banks or for more information on Prime Partners, contact the Texas Access to Justice Foundation at or 512-3209-0099.

F e bru a ry 2 0 1 4 â€

D al l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 7

Quaid & Quaid, LLC Family Law Congratulates

Christopher M. Farish on becoming Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and Being Named Member of the Firm Which Will Now Be Known As

QUAID FARISH, LLC 8150 N. Central Expy., Ste 600 | Dallas, Texas 75206 | (214) 373-9100 |

8 He a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 

February 2014

DBA Board Elects Chair and Vice Chair Staff Report

At its January Organizational Meeting, the Dallas Bar Association Board of Directors elected Michael K. Hurst Chair of the Board and Laura Benitez Geisler Vice-Chair of the Board for 2014. Mr. Hurst, of Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank LLP is the immediate past Chair of the Campaign for Equal Access to Justice and is the Chair of the Bylaws Committee and the Trial Skills Section. His service as a DBA Committee Chair includes Chair of the Judiciary Committee, the Law Day Committee and the Finance Committee. He joined the DBA Board of Directors in 1999 as President of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL). Mr. Hurst is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a Fellow of the Dallas Bar Foundation and serves as a Director and member of the Executive Committee of the South Texas College of Law. Ms. Geisler, principal at the Geisler Law Firm, has been active in the DBA for many years, first joining the DBA Board of Directors in 2007 as President of DAYL. She is currently the Chair of

Michael K. Hurst

Laura Benitez Geisler

the Judicial Investiture Committee and Co-Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee. Her past service includes Chair of the Transition to Law Practice Program, Chair of the Entertainment Committee and Chair of the Bench Bar Conference. A graduate of SMU Dedman School of Law, Ms. Geisler is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, the Dallas Bar Foundation, and the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation. She also serves on the DBA’s Community Service Fund Board of Directors. The Board also appointed Hon. David Horan, U.S. Magistrate Judge, to fill the judicial at-large position.

Hon. David Horan

Judge Horan is a graduate of the Yale Law School. He is the Board Advisor to the Library Committee and Health Law Section. Filling a two-year at-large director position is Courtney Barksdale Perez. Ms. Perez, a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, is Of Counsel at Carter Scholer Stafford Arnett Hamada & Mockler, PLLC, where her practice focuses on alternative dispute resolution, complex commercial litigation and employment litigation. She has been active in numerous DBA sections and committees throughout the years and is currently the Chair of the Admissions & Membership Commit-

Courtney Barksdale Perez

tee, as well as the Board Advisor to the Real Property Law Section and the Senior Lawyers Committee. The 2014 board will also include: President Scott McElhaney; PresidentElect Brad Weber; First Vice President Jerry Alexander; Second Vice President Rob Crain; Secretary-Treasurer Audrey Moorehead; Immediate Past President Sally Crawford; and Directors Tatiana Alexander, A. Shonn Brown, Wm. Frank Carroll, Hon. Martin Hoffman, Krisi Kastl, Michele Wong Krause, Meyling Ly, Karen McCloud, Sakina Rasheed, Mary Scott, Scott Stolley, Diane Sumoski, Robert Tobey, Aaron Tobin and Elisa  HN beth A. Wilson.

Receiving Confidential Documents from an Unauthorized Source: A Lawyer’s Ethical Duties by Fred C. Moss

Client hands Lawyer a confidential document that Client admits was purloined from the opposing party. The document helps Client’s case. Assuming the document’s owner is unaware of the theft, what are Lawyer’s ethical duties? Must Lawyer refuse to accept the document? Must Lawyer notify the owner’s attorney? Must Lawyer use the document to Client’s advantage? Who decides, Lawyer or Client? These vexing questions confront Texas lawyers probably more than ever since documents can be easily misappropriated on a thumb drive. Unfortunately, no Texas ethics rule or ethics opinion addresses these questions. Arguably, however, guidance may be found in the case of In re Meador, 968 S.W.2d 346 (Tex. 1998). In Meador, defendant’s employee covertly copied defendant’s privileged documents and gave them to plaintiff and her counsel. Plaintiff’s counsel did not notify defendant’s lawyer. When the theft was discovered, the trial court

ordered plaintiff and her counsel to return the documents and not use them in the litigation. The trial court, however, refused to disqualify plaintiff’s counsel. The Court of Appeals granted defendant’s mandamus petition, citing ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 94-382 (1994) as the appropriate standard of conduct that plaintiff’s counsel had violated. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals, ruling that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to disqualify plaintiff’s counsel. In so holding, the Supreme Court discussed both ABA Opinion 94-382 and the duties of lawyers who receive material from an unauthorized source. The Court noted that “no specific Texas disciplinary rule applies to the circumstances of this case.” ABA Opinion 94-382 advised that, when a lawyer receives confidential or privileged material that was obtained from an opponent by an unauthorized source, the lawyer should 1) refrain from reviewing it further; 2) notify the opponent’s lawyer; and either 3) follow the opponent’s instructions, or 4) refrain from using the material until a court rules

Dallas Judiciary Supports Campaign The Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas held their annual Equal Access to Justice Campaign benefitting the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. This year a number of Dallas’ judiciary committed major support. Please join the DBA and Legal Aid in recognizing and thanking the following Judges for their generous gifts to the Campaign*:

Hon. mary brown Hon. king fifer Hon. mark Greenberg Hon. Deborah G. Hankinson Justice Douglas S. Lang Hon. Marty lowy The Mike and Barbara Lynn Philanthropic Fund Hon. Kenneth h. Molberg Hon. Craig smith Hon. w. Kenneth Tapscott, Jr.

on its proper disposition. The Supreme Court held that: Discovery privileges are an integral part of our adversary system. By protecting attorney-client communications and an attorney’s work product, they encourage parties to fully develop cases for trial . . . . Thus, a lawyer who uses privileged information improperly obtained from an opponent potentially subverts the litigation process. [W]e . . . agree . . . that ABA Formal Opinion 94–382 represents the standard to which attorneys should aspire in dealing with an opponent’s privileged information. The ABA’s approach reflects the importance of the discovery privileges, and ensures that the harm resulting from an unauthorized disclosure of privileged information will be held to a minimum. (In re Meador, 968 S.W.2d. at 351.)(Emphasis added.) However, after adopting Model Rule of Professional Responsibility 4.4(b) in 2002, the ABA withdrew Op. 94-382. Rule 4.4(b) addresses inadvertently sent information and imposes upon the receiving lawyer only a duty to notify the sender. The ABA’s ethics committee felt there was no basis in the Model Rules to support Op. 94-382’s additional requirements. See ABA Opinion 06-440. Guidance on what a lawyer should do upon receiving unauthorized material not inadvertently sent, the Committee said, must be found outside the Rules. While Texas has not adopted Model

Rule 4.4(b), it is an open question whether the adoption in 1999 of Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 193.3(d), the “claw back” rule, is inconsistent with Meador. Rule 193 does not require the recipient of inadvertently sent privileged information to notify the sender. This may signal that a Texas court likewise would not require the recipient of stolen information to do so. However, receiving inadvertently sent material is not the equivalent of receiving stolen material. Theft and receiving stolen property are crimes. Moreover, Rule 193 applies only to litigation discovery, whereas the purloined property problem can arise in non-litigation contexts. Therefore, even if Rule 193 prevents the application of Meador to inadvertently sent discovery, it does not necessarily affect the duties of the recipient of stolen property, particularly in non-litigation situations. The use of stolen privileged information subverts the lawyer-client privilege and lawyer-client relationships. Allowing the use of such information creates an incentive to steal and puts everyone at risk of having their privileged and confidential information used against them. On receiving an opponent’s stolen property, Texas lawyers should consult ABA Op. 94-382 and Meador for   HN guidance. Fred Moss taught legal ethics at the SMU Dedman School of Law until he retired in 2009. He is a member of the State Bar’s Committee on the Rules of Ethics. The opinions expressed are his alone. He can be reached at

Need a Referral? Take out an Area of Practice and/or Foreign Language Proficiency listing in the 2014 DBA Member Directory to get great exposure for your practice. For just $25 per listing you will be included in both the printed and online DBA Member directory.

Listing cost:


*Judicial donors as of press time.

For more information and an order form contact Judi

For more information about the Campaign see For additional donors, see page 17.

Smalling at or (214) 220-7452.

F e bru a ry 2 0 1 4 â€

Family Law

Lightning Rod Issues and High Stakes

D al l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 9

Top to Bottom

Donald E. Godwin* Marilea Lewis** Carmen Elaine Eiker*** Keeli L. Rule**

Divorce...If you are faced with anything from a high-profile divorce or child custody dispute to a pre-marital agreement, domestic violence or child visitation issue; think of Godwin Lewis PC. The Family Law team at Godwin Lewis never forgets that we are here to help people through the stress and uncertainty of difficult times. * Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization ** Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization *** Board Certified in Family Law and Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

mission critical litigationÂŽ Dallas | Houston | Plano 214.939.4400

10 H e a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 

February 2014

The Inaugural of Scott M. McElhaney The Inaugural of Scott M. McElhaney, DBA’s 105th President, was held January 11, 2014. It was an elegant evening, with stylishly dressed guests, a silent and live auction and a casino party and dancing. Each year, the Inaugural is the culmination of the Campaign for Equal Access to Justice. This year, a record-high amount of $914,652 was raised for the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. Congratulations to this year’s Ticket to Drive Raffle winner: Autumn Kraus, who will take home a 2014 Mercedes Benz and runner up Mike Wright, winner of the trip to Key West.


F e bru a ry 2 0 1 4  

Dal l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 11

105th President of the DBA


12 H e a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 


February 2014

Family Law

Digital and Virtual Assets in Divorce by Chris Meuse

The digital revolution has been upon us. A recent poll conducted by the company McAfee found that, in the U.S., people value their digital assets at nearly $55,000.00; nonetheless, digital and virtual assets are often overlooked or go unvalued in divorce. As our daily lives are increasingly played out on digital and virtual landscapes, family law practitioners need to start thinking about digital and virtual assets when assessing marital estates. The first step, as with any asset in divorce, is determining whether a party has any digital or virtual assets and identifying those assets. Digital assets are intangibles that only exist in a digital form (i.e. data in the form of binary digits). Such assets may include: email and social network accounts; websites; domain names; digital media, such as pictures, music, e‑books, movies, and video; blogs; reward points; digital storefronts; artwork and data storage accounts. These assets, although intangible, are marital property and are subject to characterization, valuation and division, during divorce. Virtual assets are intangibles used in virtual worlds or massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs for short). Popular, online communities, such as World of Warcraft, Second Life and Entropia, draw millions of users worldwide, who spend billions of dollars each year within these virtual realms. In 2009, 3.8 billion dollars were spent on MMORPGs, with over $100 million going towards virtual assets in these online communities. These assets range from virtual pets; avatars; accessories for those avatars (clothing, weapons, etc.);

prizes; virtual real estate; to virtual currency. The popularity of these virtual worlds and games is only growing, and family law attorneys must realize these assets are out there and should start asking if they are a part of marital estates. After a digital or virtual asset is identified, its separate or community property character must be determined, as well as its value. Since this is still an emerging issue, national case law is sparse on what divorce courts are doing with digital and virtual assets; however, there is no indication that a digital or virtual asset would be characterized differently than a tangible asset. Thus, Texas courts may apply characterization techniques and law, such as tracing and inception of title, as if the digital/virtual asset were any other tangible property. For example, if a blog was started during the marriage, it should be considered community property. If a blog were started before the marriage, but it was monetized and produced income during the marriage, that income would likely be considered community property. And, if the spouse who did not come into the marriage with that blog contributed to it by posting to it, editing it, or advancing it in any way, the community estate may have a reimbursement claim against the other spouse’s separate property estate for increase in value to that blog. How one values a digital or virtual asset varies, depending on the asset. Many personal, digital assets, such as photos or videos, have little to no market value but have great sentimental value to parties. Other digital assets, such as websites, personal blogs, or domain names can have great value. For instance, the most expensive domain name ever sold,, went for $35 million in

2007. Many web-based services are available to value digital assets, and many of those same services can be used to sell such assets. The value of virtual assets can often be determined in the virtual marketplace. Thousands of transactions take place daily for virtual goods, and like digital assets, the value of virtual goods should not be underestimated. In 2010, for example, a virtual nightclub, Club Neverdie, ran by Jon Jacobs in the virtual Entropia Universe (a virtual world with a real-cash economy) sold for $635,000.00. After a digital or virtual asset is identified and its character and value determined, parties must still figure out how to assign or divide that asset. Some digital assets, such as airline miles or membership points, can be transferred. Other digital assets, like digital photos or vid-

eos can be copied. But some assets, like e-books or other digital media files cannot be transferred. When parties own digital or virtual assets that cannot be transferred or copied, practitioners must value such assets, award them to one party, and provide value to the other party, in lieu of those digital/virtual assets. The world of digital and virtual assets is vast, and as we continue to spend more time and money on digital and virtual goods, family law attorneys must be asking the questions to discover digital and virtual assets. If these assets are overlooked, attorneys and parties could be leaving real, not virtual, dollars on the   HN table. Chris Meuse is an associate at KoonsFuller, P.C. and can be reached at

YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THESE EVENTS! Mark your calendars for: Golf Tournament (Brookhaven Country Club) – May 1 Law Day Luncheon – May 2 Mother’s Day Brunch – May 11 Bar None XXIX – June 11-14 Bench Bar – October 23-25


Your 2014  dues  statements  have  arrived  and  we  ask  that  you  consider renewing as a Sustaining Member ($500).   200,000+  members  and  guests  use  the  building  each  year  and  your  contribu�on  at  the  Sustaining  Member  level  will  help  us  con�nue the essen�al upkeep needed to preserve our beau�ful  building—as the premiere bar headquarters in the na�on. Thank  you for your support.  All Sustaining Members will be prominently recognized in Headnotes and at our Annual Mee�ng. 

Our mediation office in Dallas, Texas serves clients in an atmosphere of fairness and excellence. Focused on Resolution

Contact Us

Mike McCullough works to resolve your case in a fair and efficient manner. You can trust our staff to serve with balance and respect.

Phone: (214) 365-9000 9400 N. Central Expwy., Suite 1305 Dallas, TX 75231

Fe bru a ry 2 0 1 4  

D al l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 13

Inside Rick Robertson

Newest Shareholders!

Dynamic Duo in North Texas

A class act reinvents the courtroom with iPad see page 4.

Ashley McDowell, Sean Abeyta and Rebecca Tillery - see page 8

Bradshaw prove critics wrong

Heather King and Charla H. see page 12


u n i v i r s i t y

KoonsFuller Times

Studying and family support makes all the difference By Robert McEwan

What “difference” do I want to make as a Texas attorney? I asked myself this question five years ago when I set the goal to become Board Certified in Family Law. For me, entering the workforce rkfo and having a family made passing this comprehensive exam extremely difficult, more so than the Bar Exam. I understand now why it’s such an honor to hold the title, because it’s an exercise of long term planning, expert intelligence and love. As with any goal, I discussed my hopes and plan with my friends, family and colleagues. Their support at home, socially and at work made the difference. Now that I’ve passed, the “difference” is being the best attorney I can be, serving the public interest and advancing the standards of our profession. McEwan on page 11

February 2014

Vol. 1, 1978

KoonsFuller Goes 4 for 4 en Route to Board Certification!

In usual fashion KoonsFuller proves victorious By: Richard W. Harmer

Head Coach, Ike Vanden Eykel and Team Captain, Rick Robertson say team work and dedication are what this team is about. “Being Board Certified in Texas by the TexasBoard of Legal Specialization is hard work and it shows the experience KoonsFuller attorneys have, and how hard they work day in and day out for their clients,” Robertson says. Having 4 eligible attorneys to take the test to become Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization is one thing...but for fo all to pass and do well, that’s another thing! “We couldn’t be more proud of our team, Robertson says, with the many changes of 2013, the future is looking good and brighter than it’s ever been for KoonsFrom Left, New Board Certified Attorneys Rebecca Armstrong, Robert McEwan, Emiliy Miskel, Eric Navarrette Fuller.” that way since 1978 and will hard for every client, no matter lead this team in the 2014 Chemistry and cross collaberthe case’s complexity or obstacles. remain that way. Rick Roberand KoonsFuller will remaation are a big part of what we do. Call it company culture, it’s been tson and Ike Vanden Eykel will in... Reality is, we will continue to work Vanden Eykel on page 9

Strong leaders emerge from Board Certification Being Board Certified matters and it’s no easy task

Board Certified Attorney Rebecca Armstrong

The great thing about working for KoonsFuller, is that they value Board Certification and help you find all the tools that you need in order to become Board Certified. According to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS), only 7,000 out of an estimated 70,000 attorneys are a Board Certified. In the area of family law, it is imperative that an attorney who has been practicing at least

5 years become Board Certified. In order to apply to take the Board Certification exam, an attorney practicing in the area of family law has to have had extensive courtroom experience, multiple references including a member of the judiciary that you have practiced before, befo and a significant amount of TBLS Continuing Legal Education course requirements. There are often family lawyers who apply to take the Board Certification exam in family law that end up not meeting the stringent application requirements and are denied the ability to take the exam. A law yer ye that has the qualification of Board Certified, Miskel & Navarrette page 20

KoonsFuller, P.C. Family Law Community News - For questions or comments call (214) 871-2727

14 H e a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 


February 2014

Family Law

The Empty Nest Divorce by Angeline L. Bain

Since an all-time high in the 1980s, divorce rates have been generally going down for most segments of the population. However, in the over-50 demographic, often an “empty-nest” couple, divorce rates have been increasing. An article in Reuters (June 12, 2013) reports a poll of American divorce lawyers that finds 61 percent have seen an increase in the divorce rate of people over 50. The typical reasons for divorce often apply in the long-term marriage: adultery, abuse, and substance abuse. Often, however, the marriage has been unhappy for years, but the leaving party or both have been waiting until the children grow up and leave the nest. When a couple divorces after many years of marriage, when their children are adults or almost adults, the emotional dynamics are unique and the financial stakes are high. The empty nest couple may be in the throes of financing college for one or more children. One or both of the spouses may have long-term health issues. A couple divorcing in their fifties or sixties does not have long to financially rebuild before retirement. Many nonworking spouses are unwillingly thrust into the work world, perhaps unprepared. And, the stark reality is, especially for women, the older they are, the less likely they are to remarry. Here are some of the issues of an empty nest divorce of which to be cognizant. Many long-term marriage divorces involve the division of one or more qualified retirement plans. The myriad of retirement plans existing today can be complex and tricky. Texas law controls the characterization of a retirement plan,

separate or community property, and its award to spouses upon divorce. However, the federal laws contained in ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code must be followed when dividing a qualified plan. These rules are fraught with traps and pitfalls. A mistake in the mechanics of dividing a qualified- or non-qualified-plan can be financially devastating in the dissolution of a long-term marriage. For instance, a defined benefit plan typically has a surviving spouse right that may be irrevocably designated notwithstanding a divorce. The surviving spouse benefit should be valued and factored into the divorce division scenario. Dividing non-federally qualified retirement benefits has its own set of traps. Most often, the company granting the benefit will not recognize the rights of a former spouse. Therefore, all provisions must be carefully drafted to be contractual obligations of the employee spouse. The savvy family law attorney and spouse contemplating divorce or involved in a divorce proceeding should 1) obtain a copy of any retirement plan Summary Plan Document to familiarize him or herself with the benefit, and 2) hire a Qualified Domestic Relations Order specialist to prepare the court order which effectuates the division intended by the parties. A state court may not make orders regarding the receipt of social security benefits. However, a general knowledge of the effects of divorce on social security benefits is essential. In brief, a divorced spouse may qualify to receive a social security payment earned by his or her former spouse if 1) their marriage lasted 10 years or more; 2) the applicant has attained the age of 62; 3) the applicant remains unmarried; and 4) the amount of

Library of

texas Employment Law Forms Just released! With over 1,300+ pages of content, the Library of Texas Employment Law Forms book with CD contains over 145 sample documents — both plaintiff and defense side — from client-intake to the appeal process, encompassing a wide variety of state and federal employment matters.

benefit he or she has earned themselves is less than one-half of the monthly benefit earned by the former spouse. The monthly benefit for the applicant will be one-half of the monthly benefit earned by their former spouse. Because the benefit qualification rules in the case of divorce, death and surviving minor children may uniquely effect each individual situation, each effected person should review their situation with the Social Security Administration. One often overlooked aspect of the empty nest divorce is the emotional reaction of, and toll on, adult children. When people divorce with young children they are more likely to attempt to shield the children from the details and emotions. Adult children almost always find them-

• Hands-on civil trial skills training program/CLE • For solo or small firm lawyers • For lawyers with a civil practice in state or county courts • For lawyers licensed five years or less • Combines lectures and demonstrations by seasoned attorneys and live exercises by participants For more information or to apply, please contact Alicia Hernandez at

Law Day 2014 LAW DAY LUNCHEON ~ Honoring our State & Local Judiciary ~ Friday, May 2, Noon at Belo

Keynote Speaker: Honorable Jennifer Walker Elrod U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Major Sponsor: Law Pay (www. Switch to LawPay at no cost and save up to 25% off standard credit card processing fees. For more information, visit or contact Mary Ellen Johnson at


When nature doesn’t give you the protection you need, make sure you have the best liability insurance available. Texas Lawyers’ Insurance Exchange offers affordable legal malpractice protection to over 5,000 Texas lawyers and judges. TLIE has been a consistent and reliable source of liability coverage for over 33 years. After you’ve been ambushed and a claim has been filed is not the time to wonder if you have dependable coverage. Make sure you do.

Included in each section are author Steven E. Clark’s invaluable commentary and practice tips.

512.480.9074 1.800.252.9332

Focusing on employment and labor law, attorney Steven E. Clark also advises business clients, assisting them in the review and drafting of agreements, and the acquisition and sale of assets. He is a seasoned litigator in Texas federal and state courts. Clark has lectured and written on subjects such as choice of business entity considerations, trade secrets, non-competition agreements, partnerships, employment matters, construction law, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Angeline L. Bain is a member of GoransonBain, PLLC, and can be reached at

Is the 2014 DBA Trial Academy a Good Fit for You?

Use the forms as templates, and save valuable time researching and drafting. This softcover book contains a printed version of each form and a CD of forms in Word, allowing for easy drafting and editing.

For a limited time, call 800.756.8993 to order your copy for only $199 (list price $249.95).

selves confided in, which makes it difficult not to take sides. Additionally, adult children of divorce are forced to question what they may have thought was ideal, constant. This questioning can shake the roots of their self-perception leading to relationship difficulties of their own. We divorce professionals often counsel parents to obtain counseling for their children. We should similarly suggest it for the adult children of the empty nest divorce. When couples divorce after many years of marriage, the case should be analyzed and handled with the many unique   HN issues in mind. 


Defend yourself.

F e bru a ry 2 0 1 4  

Dal l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 15

Everything is bigger in Texas... And now so are we. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. But in this case, it’s a definite advantage. We’re pleased to announce the addition of new partners Lindley Bain, Clint Westhoff, and Aimee Pingenot, and the opening of our new Austin office. That means a bright new option for family law that is supported by the full resources and expertise of one of the most respected firms in Texas. At GoransonBain, we take a reasoned approach to family law. Since 1987, we’ve worked hard to help clients maintain a constructive atmosphere while achieving the best possible outcome. Our approach not only helps control costs and minimize the disruption to our clients’ daily lives, but has also earned us a reputation as one of the premier family law firms. Our ability to foster a constructive, positive dialog is just one reason we were selected for the “Best Law Firms” 2013 list as a Tier 1 firm in Family Law and Family Law Mediation by U.S. News – Best Lawyers. When you need real family law expertise, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. To make a referral or to find out more, call us today or visit

Goranson Bain, PLLC :: Dallas 8350 N. Central Expy :: Ste. 1700 :: Dallas, TX 75206 P 214.373.7676 Plano 6900 N. Dallas Pkwy :: Ste. 400 :: Plano, TX 75024 P 214.473.9696 Austin 3307 Northland Dr :: Ste. 290 :: Austin, TX 78731 P 512.368.4384 (From left to right: Lindley Bain, Clint Westhoff, and Aimee Pingenot, all Board Certified – Family Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization)

16 H e a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 


February 2014

Family Law

Understanding CPS Investigations and Litigation by Michelle Warmbrodt

Child Protective Services (CPS) matters are an important component of the practice of family law. If you are an attorney wanting to branch into the CPS arena or have been hit-up for CPS legal advice by a friend or relative, having a roadmap through the statutes and some practice pointers will help get you on your way. People generally find themselves involved with CPS because someone has contacted law enforcement or CPS directly and reported child abuse or neglect. By ringing your doorbell, calling on the phone, or visiting a child at school, CPS is trying to determine the veracity of an abuse or neglect allegation and also assess the risks, if any, that are posed to the child involved. If you are representing the investigated parent, please read Chapters 107 and 262 of the Texas Family Code as well as Title 40, Chapter 700 of the Texas Administrative Code. Many contingencies can arise in a CPS case, and understanding these statutes will help you confirm whether you are following the right course of action for your client. One’s best chance for avoiding CPS

litigation and their child going to foster care is being cooperative during the investigation and alleviating CPS’s concerns about the child. CPS investigations include interviews of the accused individual, the child, and others who are well-acquainted with the child’s family. CPS will often ask people to sign a release for their medical and other personal records and will probably want to see the child’s home. CPS will make a determination of whether or not it believes child abuse or neglect has occurred. It will also determine if it believes the family should be further monitored and/or assisted by CPS or if the child should be removed from the home. While conducting its investigation, CPS will make a judgment call whether to remove the child from the parent. A removal could, and likely will, occur before the investigation is complete. If a child is removed, CPS must file a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR), have an initial hearing, and obtain an emergency order from the court to keep the child in CPS custody. The initial hearing is often held just a few moments after CPS files the SAPCR but must take place within one

working day of the child’s removal. Section 262.106 of The Texas Family Code (TFC) allows the hearing to be ex parte and for CPS to submit its proof by sworn petition or affidavit. Following the initial hearing, TFC §262.201 requires the court to conduct a full adversary hearing where CPS must present evidence against the parent if CPS is seeking temporary managing conservatorship of the child. This hearing must take place within 14 days of the date that CPS took the child into its possession. The full adversary hearing is a mini trial that, depending on the court, could last anywhere from 20 minutes to a week or more. At the conclusion of that hearing, the court will determine if the child should be returned to the parent or should remain in CPS’s care while the SAPCR is pending. Of course, your client’s goal should be to avoid litigation altogether by successfully satisfying CPS during its investigation that the child has not been abused or neglected and that there is no future risk to the child. Below are some practice pointers on how to keep your client’s family intact: 1. Thoroughly interview your client

and determine the accuracies and inaccuracies of the allegations. 2. Send a letter of representation to CPS directing them to contact you instead of your client directly and request notice of any court appearances. 3. Consider possible criminal implications for your client and advise him to seek advice from a defense attorney. 4. Prepare your client to meet with CPS. 5. Make sure the client’s home and yard is clean and free from safety hazards. 6. Teach your client to be respectful and not defensive. 7. Devise a plan with the client that puts protective, corrective or preventative measures in place that guarantee the child’s safety and well-being. CPS is an enormous agency, but there is no need to feel out-matched when faced with an investigation or litigation. As in any case, preparing your client and understanding the applicable statutes supports your best chance for   HN success. Michelle Warmbrodt is a former Assistant District Attorney and a partner at Warmbrodt & Associates, PLLC. She can be reached at

“What Have You Done For Your Country Lately?” continued from page 4

women. And for the second time, all of the presidents of our sister bar associations are women. During the course of this year, we are going to take a look back at some of these changes. This year is the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and a group led by Kevin Wiggins, Ed Cloutman, Betsy Julian and Richard Stewart—among several others—is helping to plan a series of events commemorating the need for and achievements of the Civil Right Act. I encourage you to attend and support these events. So while the DBA has seen many changes, there is an ongoing tradition of service that we must carry on. There is a spirit in this Bar Association that recognizes that serving those less fortunate than ourselves by providing legal representation to the poor is one of the things that makes our profession great, and the DBA one of the best bar associations in the country. It is this spirit that moved Mer-

rill Hartman in 1982 to start showing up at the Bethlehem Center, a low-income day-care center in South Dallas, on Tuesday evenings to visit with anyone who needed legal help. It is this spirit that motivated Judge Hartman, Will Pryor, Brenda Garrett and Chris Reed-Brown to then start the South Dallas Legal Clinic at the MLK Center. And it is this spirit that expanded that clinic to 10 other places around town and instituted the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. Today, the poor and growing numbers of the middle class are going without representation and thus access to the justice system. The Legal Services Corporation says that more than 60 million Americans qualify for its services—34 percent more than in 2005— but 80 percent of the legal needs of the poor go unmet. Here in Dallas, more than 600,000 people have an income low enough to qualify for pro bono legal services. And the need burdens both parties and the courts. Judge Tena Callahan reports that about half of the 25,000 cases in her family court

have a party trying to represent him- or herself. An ABA Study last year found that the average amount of pro bono service provided by attorneys was 56.5 hours per year. If those of us who have not found time to volunteer at a legal clinic or take one of the DVAP cases that go unclaimed were to do so and come close to lawyers’ average pro bono time commitment, our country and our profession would be so much the better for it. Taking these cases makes us better lawyers, as we will learn new skills and sharpen those that we have. It will also make us better citizens, as we will help fulfill the promise of justice for all. The things that make me proud to be a lawyer are rooted in helping others. I suspect the same is true for you. This year will bring opportunities to become involved and contribute your time. I hope you will take advantage of them. Of course, we all have responsibilities to our practices and our families. But focus on personal financial stability alone is ultimately not the only

JRFRIM_Ad2012.indd 1

measure of success. In the last 30 or so years, the average American house has become 50 percent bigger and we have modern conveniences that were previously unimaginable, but economists and psychologists report that we have not grown happier as a result. Focusing on the rat race is ultimately insufficient. As has been said, if you win a rat race, you are still a rat. I am honored by the opportunity to serve as president of the Dallas Bar. I will do my best. I will also be thinking about Judge Sanders’ question. I realize, though, that neither I nor the officers and directors of the Bar can accomplish anything of significance without your help. Now, I understand that Twain noted that “to be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and also no trouble.” But just as I view this year as an opportunity to challenge myself, I want to encourage you to help continue the best traditions and values of the Bar by thinking about what you have done for your country lately and what you can   HN do to bring justice for all.

10/9/12 10:39 AM

Fe bru a ry 2 0 1 4  

Dal l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 17







Dear Citizens of Dallas: The Equal Access to Justice Campaign is an annual fundraising drive benefiting the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program or DVAP, is a free, civil legal aid program of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas. Through DVAP, over 3,000 volunteers donate their time and legal skills to help low-income people in Dallas resolve their legal problems. Those who have bravely served our country, innocent children, the elderly, and the disabled are some of the many people DVAP helps every day. The support of our donors is more important now than ever. Over 600,000 people in Dallas County already qualify for DVAP’s help, while the number of people living in poverty continues to grow. Please join us in thanking our generous donors for their support of access to justice for all.

Scott McElhaney 2014 DBA President

Sally L. Crawford DBA Immediate Past President

Shonn Brown Campaign Co-Chair

Aaron Tobin Campaign Co-Chair

Visit a Clinic & Apply for Legal Help. • East Dallas Legal Clinic Grace United Methodist Church, 4105 Junius St. at Haskell

1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month – 6:00 p.m. • South Dallas Legal Clinic

MLK Jr. Center, 2922 Martin Luther King BLVD., Room 122

1st, 2nd, and 4th Tuesday of each month – 6:00 p.m. • West Dallas Legal Clinic Wesley Rankin Community Center, 3107 North Winnetka Ave.

2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month – 6:00 p.m. • Garland Legal Clinic Salvation Army, 341 W. Avenue D (Garland)

3rd Thursday of each month – 6:00 p.m.

PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL ($30,000) E. Leon & Debra Carter

CHAIRMAN’S COUNCIL ($25,000) Anonymous Crain Lewis, LLP Honorable Deborah G. Hankinson Payne Mitchell Law Group L.L.P.

DIAMOND ($15,000)

Anderson Tobin, PLLC AT&T Connatser Family Law Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank LLP Slack & Davis

PLATINUM ($10,000)

Andrews Kurth LLP Baker Botts L.L.P. D Magazine Deans & Lyons, LLP Exxon Mobil Corporation Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP Godwin Lewis PC The Hartnett Law Firm Haynes and Boone Foundation Jackson Walker L.L.P. Jones Day KoonsFuller, PC Locke Lord LLP Mike & Erin McKool Sidley Austin L.L.P. Simon, Greenstone, Panatier & Bartlett, P.C. Thompson & Knight Vinson & Elkins LLP

GOLD ($5,000)

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Jerry C. Alexander Baker & McKenzie LLP Baron & Budd, PC Bloom Strategic Consulting Bracewell & Giuliani LLP Business Litigation Section Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, L.L.P Carter Stafford Arnett Hamada & Mockler, PLLC Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Elrod PLLC Energy Future Holdings, Luminant & TXU Energy Cheryl A. Engelmann Estes Okon Thorne & Carr PLLC Fish & Richardson Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Half Price Books Community Services Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP Holland & Knight LLP Husch Blackwell LLP Mark & Laurie Johansen Jordan, Houser & Flournoy, LLP K&L Gates Norton Rose Fulbright LLP Patton Boggs LLP Tax Section Texas Lawyer

SILVER ($2,500)

Roger Bivans & Sarah Donch A. Shonn & Clarence Brown Construction Law Section Corporate Counsel Section Nina Cortell Sally L. Crawford Family Law Section Greystone Foundation Robert A. & Marianne S. Gwinn Family Foundation The Mike and Barbara Lynn Philanthropic Fund Will & Ellen Pryor Securities Section Daniel Sheehan Aaron & Jennifer Tobin Trial Skills Section Peter S. Vogel Joel & Terilyn Winful

BRONZE ($1,500)

Anonymous Kim J. Askew Bankruptcy Section In Memory of Honorable Joe B. Brown, Jr. Robert M. Cohan Deb & Scott Coldwell Linda M. Dedman James Donohoe John C. Eichman David C. Haley J. Mark Hollingsworth Michael K. Hurst



J.L. Turner Legal Association Foundation Ralph S. Janvey Michael A. Krywucki Hon. Martin Lowy John H. Martin Mergers & Acquisitions Section Daniel J. Micciche Robert T. Mowrey Diana C. Robinson Jason L. Sanders John D. Solana Joe A. Stalcup Ross W. Stoddard III Robert L. Tobey

SPONSORS ($1,000+)

Deborah Ackerman Charla Aldous W. Mike Baggett Barry Barnett W. Ralph Canada, Jr. Richard A. Capshaw David Carlock Elizann Carroll William D. Cobb, Jr. James E. Coleman, Jr. Victor Corpuz Diane P. Couchman Dallas Asian American Bar Association Dallas Hispanic Bar Association Dallas Women Lawyers Association Jeff Dalton Robert Edwin Davis Leann W. Diamond Ben K. Dubose Timothy S. Durst Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Section Hasseena J. Enu Hon. King Fifer Kara E. Gehan Laura Benitez Geisler Paul R. Genender Don M. Glendenning Hon. David C. & Beverly Godbey Hon. Mark Greenberg Joseph F. Guida Sally Hartman Health Law Section Paul M. Hood Randall K. Hulme Intellectual Property Section Kathleen E. Irvin Allison Jacobsen Victor C. Johnson Darrell E. Jordan Hon. Robert W. Jordan Kristina Kastl Daniel W. Keene Elizabeth Kellow Jill A. Kotvis Lewis T. LeClair Jeffrey S. Levinger Brian Loncar Ted B. Lyon Jacob B. Marshall David R. McAtee, II Tommy McBride Kelly McClure Christina L. McCracken P. Mike McCullough, Jr. John H. McDowell Scott M. McElhaney Harriet E. Miers Retta A. Miller Hon. Kenneth H. Molberg E. Lee Morris Timothy W. Mountz Erle Nye Joan & Terry Oxford Jeff & Annette Patterson Courtney Barksdale Perez Florentino A. Ramirez Brent M. Rosenthal Bobby M. Rubarts Gregory W. Sampson Mary L. Scott Lewis Sifford Hon. Craig Smith Solo & Small Firm Section Barry Sorrels Rex J. Spivey Paul K. Stafford Frank E. Stevenson II Richard & Sandra Stewart Robert J. Stokes Dena Denooyer Stroh Diane M. Sumoski Walter O. Theiss & Sandra Fava Theiss Karin B. Torgerson Jim A. Watson Brad Weber Justice Mark L. Whittington Amy K. Witherite

Who Does DVAP Assist?


• Friendship West Baptist Church Legal Clinic 2020 West Wheatland Rd.

3rd Wednesday of each month – 5:30 p.m. • Triangle Neighborhood Clinic St. Phillip’s Community Center, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

3rd Thursday of each month – 6:00 p.m.

• Veterans Legal Clinic (for Veterans and their families)

Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program clients must meet strict financial eligibility guidelines before they can get legal help through the program.


• Predominantly single mothers with children • Predominantly the working poor • Living in poverty

TYPE OF CASES: • Benefits • Family • Probate • Consumer • Housing

• Real Property • Employment • Landlord-Tenant • Wills

Dallas VA Medical Center, 4500 S. Lancaster Rd.

1st Friday of each month – 1:30 p.m. By Appointment Only – Call 214-857-0388

To donate to the campaign, visit To learn more about DVAP, visit www. For more information, contact Cathy Maher, Executive Director, (214-220-7401 or

18 H e a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 

DBA Presents the 22nd Annual MLK Justice Award The Dallas Bar Association’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award is presented to local leaders whose lives and practice exemplifies the principles embodied by Dr. King’s leadership. This year’s award was presented to Texas State Representative Rafael Anchia, of Haynes and Boone, LLP. Since 1993, the DBA has bestowed the MLK Justice Award on deserving recipients. The luncheon on Monday, January 20, marked the DBA’s 22nd Justice Award presentation.

February 2014

Fe bru a ry 2 0 1 4  


Dal l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 19

Family Law

Top Ten Tips for Temporary Orders Hearings by Carson Epes Steinbauer & Madison McBee

Family lawyers know that a temporary orders hearing is a possibility, if not a probability, in divorce and other family law cases. Adequate preparation for a temporary orders hearing is imperative to obtain the best outcome for your client. Here are 10 important factors to follow when preparing for a temporary orders hearing in any family law case. 1. Get the Facts. Lawyers like to talk, tell war stories and critique opposing counsel when meeting a potential client. We want to get hired. Much of the consultation is spent talking to the client and “selling ourselves” rather than gathering information. Treat the consultation like a deposition. Ask as much as you can about marital history, causes of the breakdown in the marriage, fault, children and custody goals, substance abuse and/or family violence, marital and separate property, modification or enforcement issues, etc. Family law cases are extremely fact-specific—the devil is in the details. If you do not have all of the facts you cannot effectively represent your client. 2. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. Treat a temporary orders hearing as you would a final trial. Frequently, a temporary order sets the precedent for rulings issued at final trial. It is difficult to have a temporary order vacated or modified on appeal or at final trial. It is a mistake to try a temporary orders hearing on the fly. Prepare a notebook containing your opening and closing statements; direct and cross examination questions; exhibits; case law; a cheat sheet of objections; briefs on any legal issues; and a summary of requested relief.

3. Know the Law. Judges are real people too. Do not expect them to always know the fact-specific application of the law you assert is controlling. Judges expect you to have fully researched the law in advance and to present it in support of your case. Bring your Family Code, Family Law Handbook, Rules of Evidence and Procedure, case law, briefs, etc. to aid the court. If your books and binders are too cumbersome, iPads or other tablets can be great tools in court. Not only will you have your witness questions and outlines available electronically, you will have instant access to many Apps linking you to various law libraries for quick legal research. 4. Know the Rules of Evidence and Procedure. In nearly every hearing it will be necessary to object to opposing counsel’s line of questioning. To be effective, you must properly object and know the rules. A helpful hint—the Tool Kit from the State Bar of Texas is great to have during the hearing and contains an extensive list of commonly used objections. 5. Know the Judge, Rules of Court and Local Rules. Many courts set a limit on the amount of time attorneys have to present their case. Generally, 20 minutes per side is the rule. If there is an applicable time limit, you should file a Motion to Increase Time. It is rare that all contested issues can be heard in 20 minutes. 6. Prepare your Client. Many lawyers make the mistake of putting a client on the witness stand cold and unprepared. Provide your client with questions you plan to ask in advance, so that you face no surprises later. Also, prepare the witness for an aggressive cross examination and discuss possible responses to

questions from opposing counsel. 7. Anticipate your Opponent’s Case. Take time to anticipate your opponent’s story, theories of the case, and legal arguments so that you are prepared to respond appropriately. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent’s case and the law that supports their case. Good preparation includes anticipating your opponent’s approach. 8. Prepare a Financial Information Statement. If there are issues concerning child support, spousal support, debts or liabilities, bring a financial information statement and pay stubs to offer in court. Have your client review the information in advance because your client will be cross examined or questioned directly by

the judge. 9. Offer a Summary of Requested Relief. These hearings are typically very fast. It is important to inform the Judge of the relief your client seeks. Prepare a detailed summary of relief to present in opening or closing arguments. 10. Offer a Proposed Order. Often, there is a gap between the hearing date and the actual drafting and entry of the temporary order. Bring a proposed order to the hearing to present to the judge for   HN entry. Carson Epes Steinbauer is head of the litigation section at Calabrese Huff, and can be reached at carson@calabresehuff. com. Madison McBee White is an associate at Calabrese Huff and can be reached at

‘Experience Exchange’ Mentoring Dinner ~ 20 Years In 2 Hours ~ Tuesday, February 25 ~ 6 - 8 p.m. ~ The Belo Mansion Sponsored by the DBA Minority Participation Committee.

An exchange of ideas, experiences, questions, answers, concerns, resources and success stories between senior, mid-level and junior attorneys of color—to further the growth and careers of younger attorneys and build relationships within the minority legal community. Ideal for lawyers licensed less than 10 years. Registration Fee: $20 for lawyers (or $10 for law students). Includes dinner and parking. Registration deadline: Friday, February 21. Contact or (214) 220-7499.

WeComplete. As lead counsel, co-counsel, or a trusted advisor, we offer complete estate, trust and guardianship litigation services throughout Texas.

713.260.3926 • • 214.389.0887 Ford+Bergner Headnotes Ad 2014.indd 1

1/6/14 12:39 PM

20 H e a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 

February 2014

Default Judgments: Texas Supreme Court Decisions To Consider by Thad D. Spalding

The Mayan calendar told us the world would end in 2012. The Texas Supreme Court’s calendar, however, told us it was the year of the default judgment, and taught us: Even a bad excuse is good enough for Craddock. The court approved excuses given in two cases to satisfy Craddock’s requirement that a defendant’s failure to answer not be intentional or the result of conscious indifference. In Milestone Operating, Inc. v. ExxonMobil Corp., 388 S.W.3d 307 (Tex. 2012), the defendant could not remember being sued or turning over suit papers to his counsel. In Sutherland v. Spencer, 376 S.W.3d 752 (Tex. 2012), the defendant remembered being sued, but simply forgot about the citation “because of limited time spent at the office due to weather conditions over a nearly three-week period during the Christmas holiday season.” Sutherland drew a strenuous dissent, which decried the court’s approval of “I forgot” as a legitimate excuse to set aside a default. Yet, both cases stand as further support that “[a]n excuse need not be a good one to suffice.”

You can get relief by bill of review if a party never receives notice of trial or judgment. To succeed by bill of review, a defendant must prove (1) a meritorious defense (2) that it was prevented from asserting by fraud, accident, or wrongful act of the opposing party or official mistake (3) unmixed with any fault or negligence on its own part. However, proof of the first two elements is unnecessary, and the third is conclusively established when a defendant is never served with process. In Mabon Ltd. v. Afri-Carib Enters., Inc., 369 S.W.3d 809 (Tex. 2012), the Court extended this rule to a post-answer default, where the defendant was not given notice of the trial setting or default judgment with sufficient time to pursue the usual remedies. Despite being represented by counsel who received notice of both, the Court found the lack of notice to the party to be the equivalent of no service and a violation of the defendant’s due process rights, which justified relief by bill of review. The difference between a void and a voidable judgment, and what constitutes extrinsic fraud. In PNS Stores, Inc. v. Rivera, 379 S.W.3d 267 (Tex. 2012), the Court declared that “[w]hen a defective citation is served, but the citation

Professionalism Tip

puts the defendant on notice of asserted claims in a pending suit, and the technical defects are not of the sort that deprive a litigant of the opportunity to be heard,” the judgment is merely voidable, not void, and must be attacked directly by motion for new trial, restricted appeal, or bill of review. A bill of review must be filed within four-years of the date the judgment was rendered, unless the defendant proves extrinsic fraud, which can toll limitations. While opposing counsel’s failure to abide by the Texas Lawyer’s Creed (“I will not take advantage, by causing default or dismissal to be rendered, when I know the identity of an opposing counsel…”), and other unethical conduct was not evidence of extrinsic fraud, counsel’s failure to provide the clerk with the defendant’s last known address, when he knew the last known address, was “sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding extrinsic fraud and its effect on limitations.” Citation by publication is “a poor and hopeless substitute for actual service.” The court addressed the Family Code’s six month deadline to challenge parental termination judgments in In re

E.R., 385 S.W.3d 552 (Tex. 2012) and declared that deadline unenforceable when service violates due process. Noting that service by publication is a “generally inadequate” and “probably futile” means of service, the Court required evidence of a “diligent search” before citation by publication will satisfy due process—a search that “must include inquiries someone who really wants to find the defendant would make, … measured not by the quantity of the search but by its quality.” Sending a few faxes, checking websites, and making three phone calls (none to the parent or her family) did not constitute a diligent search. Because service violated the parent’s due process rights, the six-month deadline did not foreclose an attack on the default. Default judgments were a frequent topic in 2012, resulting in new guidance on the standards for satisfying Craddock, bills of review and service by publication. And, in doing so, the Court’s calendar, unlike the Mayans’, showed us that default judgments are not the end of the   HN world. Thad D. Spalding is an attorney at Kelly, Durham & Pittard, LLP and can be reached at

Rep. Anchia Recognizes DBA President

I will be courteous, civil, and prompt in oral and written communications. I will not quarrel over matters of form or style, but I will concentrate on matters of substance. Excerpt from the Texas Lawyers Creed. Find the complete Creed online at

DVAP’s Finest Mandy Price

Mandy Price is a corporate associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. She has handled several DVAP matters, including wills, landlord-tenant, adoption and guardianship cases. She regularly volunteers at the South Dallas Legal Clinic and organizes a DVAP CLE to be held at her firm every year. Thank you for all you do, Mandy!

Pro Bono: It’s Like Billable Hours for Your Soul. To volunteer or make a donation, call 214/748-1234, x2243.

Texas State Representative Rafael Anchia (left) presented DBA President Scott McElhaney with a resolution recognizing his professional achievements and congratulating him on becoming the 105th president of the Dallas Bar Association.

COST MATTERS!! If You Want to Settle Your Case CALL HERB (214) 369-1171

Introductory mediation cost as low as $250 per party Board Certified Family Law since 1975

Fe bru a ry 2 0 1 4  


D al l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 21

Family Law

Working with School Districts – Common Issues by Jodi Bender

Eventually, every attorney who deals with children and families will work with school district personnel and their attorneys. While school district personnel are almost always willing to help, they are required to comply with a myriad of federal, state, and local rules. Attorneys with a basic understanding of these constraints are better equipped to make school district personnel an ally. .

1. Access to school records

School districts must comply with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), which protects the privacy of student educational records. Under FERPA, parents always have the right to their own child’s records, unless otherwise provided by court order. FERPA also provides stepparents with a right of access in many circumstances. Therefore, if a client wants to restrict access to a child’s school records, a court order should specifically address the restrictions regarding access and a copy of the order should be provided to the school district. When an attorney needs access to the school records of a client’s child, the easiest and most efficient way to get the records is to have the client request them. Most school districts will gladly provide records and sign a business records affidavit on very short notice to avoid sending a staff member to court to testify as to their authenticity. If a school district receives a subpoena for school records, the district

is required under FERPA to notify the parents of the subpoena, so both parents will be alerted to the request for the records.

2. Subpoenas

School districts disfavor having their personnel subpoenaed to testify in court because of the costs involved. When an educator is subpoenaed, the district must pay the educator, pay for a substitute, and pay for an attorney to accompany the educator to court. Many school districts routinely file a motion to quash if all of the requirements of Rule 176 are not met, including the payment of the witness fee. Some school districts have implemented policies requiring service to be completed either before or after school hours and will not allow process servers to interrupt a teacher during class time. When serving a subpoena on an educator, be sure to follow the rules for issuing subpoenas and be prepared for a challenge.

tional decisions for his or her children, it is wise to grant the exclusive right to make educational decisions to one parent, and require that the designated parent to inform and/or consult with the other parent when making educational decisions.

4. Court orders

Court orders should be as specific as possible to provide guidance to school district personnel. Any limitations on a parent’s rights should be spelled out in detail in the order. For example, the order should address the following issues: (1) access to records, (2) communication with teachers, (3) access to the child during the school day, (4) authority to remove the child from school, (5) the right to be listed on the emergency contact list, (6) the right to designate other individuals as contacts and (6) the right to grant the school

3. The right to make educational decisions

Many problems are created when divorced parents have joint rights to make educational decisions for their children. This is especially true when dealing with children who have disabilities. When parents have equal rights to make educational decisions and cannot agree, children may not receive the services they need or school personnel may be left making the ultimate decision about what is in the best interest of the children. Thus, if it is important for your client to be the one making educa-

authorization to dispense medication. Likewise, “school-related activities” should be defined. One area where it may not help to be specific in a court order is in naming a campus where the child is to attend. While this information may be part of a court order, the school district has the right to assign the child to any school within the district according to its board policy. Finally, when a court order is in place, a copy of the signed order should be provided to the school to be placed in the student’s records. Often parents will provide the school with a petition or a proposed, unsigned order, but school district personnel cannot—and will not—act on anything but a signed   HN order. Jodi Bender is an associate at Duffee + Eitzen, LLP and can be reached at

Keep up with the

Dallas Bar Association online:

Member Benefit Provider


your transactions to the only merchant account recommended by over

60 bar associations!

Attract Clients Increase Business Control Cash Flow Reduce Collections Lower Fees up to 25%

LawPay credit card processing

AffiniPay is a registered ISO/MSP of Harris, N.A., Chicago, IL


22 H e a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciation 

In the News

February 2014



Kelly Hine, of Perkins Coie LLP, spoke at the Business Valuation, Forensic and Litigation Services Conference of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. Maxine Aaronson spoke at the 2013 Austin TSCPA Chapter Annual Tax Conference. Ellen Bennett, of Burdette & Rice, PLLC, and Barkley T. Miller, of the Law Office of Barkley T. Miller, spoke to the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Collin County Bar Association. Colin Cahoon, of Carstens & Cahoon, LLP spoke at the 51st Annual Conference on Intellectual Property Law.


Will Montgomery, of Jackson Walker L.L.P., was appointed to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee by Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. Justice Douglas S. Lang, of the 5th District Court of Appeals, has been appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for a term of six years.

Marilea Lewis, of Godwin Lewis PC, is now the firm’s Managing Shareholder and Chief Operating Officer.

Jason Binford, of Kane Russell Coleman & Logan PC, has been promoted to Director.

Chuck Jacaman and Kate Landrum joined Winstead PC as Shareholder and Associate, respectively.

Kirk D. Willis, of The Willis Law Group, has been invited to join the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance.

Melissa Dorman, of Hartline Dacus Barger & Dreyer was elected Chair of the Women and the Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.

Travis D. Shahan joined FedEx Office and Print Services, Inc.

Marc W. Taubenfeld, of McGuire, Craddock & Strother, P.C., has been elected 5th Circuit Vice-President in the Federal Bar Association. Valerie Parks Thomas, of Krage & Janvey, L.L.P., has been promoted to Partner. Christopher Gleason, of Sidley Austin LLP, has been promoted to Partner. Robert H. Kroney, of Kroney Morse Lan, P.C., received the Beverly L. Brooks Leadership Award from the Dallas Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. Jonathan R. Childers, Trey H. Crawford and Michael J. Lang, of Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank LLP, have been named Partners. Jason Marlin, Jason Mueller and Seth Roberts, of Locke Lord LLP have been promoted to Partner.

Texas High School Mock Trial Competition – Judges Needed! Help judge the Regional and State Mock Trial Competitions this February and March 2014! A variety of dates and times are available. Earn self-study CLE credit. Food and Beverages will be provided! To register, visit or contact

Jason Bloom, Ryan Cox, Alan Herda, Brent Huddleston, Thomas Kelton, Chris Rogers and Jennifer Wisinski, of Haynes and Boone, LLP have been promoted to Partners.

Sonja J. McGill joined HMS Holdings, Inc. in Irving, Texas. Spenser E. Reese joined McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing, L.L.P. as Associate.

Michael Wysocki, of McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing, L.L.P, has been promoted to Partner.

Linda Wilkins, of Wilkins Finston Law Group LLP, moved to 12001 N. Central Expressway, Suite 1150, Dallas, TX 75243.

Brian P. Shaw, of Shackelford, Melton & McKinley, LLP, has been named a partner.

Sarah R. Duff opened The Duff Law Firm, PLLC, 206 S. Tennessee, McKinney, TX 75069.

Joseph M. Kidwell, of Husch Blackwell LLP, has been named Partner.

Blair Green joined McCathern, PLLC as Associate.

Kendal B. Reed, of Anderson Tobin, PLLC, has been promoted to partner.

Brandon Zuniga joined Carstens & Cahoon, LLP as Associate.

On the MOVE

Wande Elam and Christina Stephenson joined Shackelford, Melton & McKinley, LLP. Robert D. Allen opened the Law Offices of Robert D. Allen, PLLC, 10440 N. Central Expressway, Suite 1450, Dallas, TX 75231. Benjamin L. Stewart joined the firm Bailey Brauer PLLC as Counsel. Robert Banta, Jaspal Hare and Jack Sheedy joined Scheef & Stone, L.L.P. as Partner, Associate and Of Counsel, respectively. Philip K. Bean joined The Bassett Firm. J. Paulo Flores and Christopher Scifres joined Ford Nassen as Shareholder and Associate, respectively. Daniel Baucum, Jim E. Bullock, J. Michael Colpoys and Charles H. Smith joined Cantey Hanger LLP as Partners. Brian Casper joined as Counsel.

Elsa Manzanares joined Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP as Partner. Neil J. Orleans joined the Law Offices of Judith W. Ross as Of Counsel. Brittani A. Luecke joined the firm Brousseau Naftis & Massingill as Associate. Joseph Gregory III joined The Willis Law Group as Partner. Clay Cosse and Leigh Taylor joined Fletcher, Farley, Shipman & Salinas, LLP as Associates. J. Seth Moore, R. Douglas Scott and Dennis Siaw-Lattey joined Anderson Tobin, PLLC as Partners and Associate, respectively. Steve Jenkins joined Jackson Walker L.L.P. as Partner. News items regarding current members of the Dallas Bar Association are included in Headnotes as space permits. Please send your announcements to Judi Smalling at

ABA Publication Discount For DBA Members Dallas Bar members can purchase ABA books at a 15% discounted rate. For a complete list of titles or to place an order, visit Enter code “PAB7EDBA” upon checkout and the 15% discount will be automatically applied to your order. Discount does not apply to ABA-CLE iPod products. For assistance, call (312) 988-6112.

Habitat House $60,000

$50,000 $40,000 $30,000 $20,000 $10,000 $5,000

Support the DBA Home Project Help us reach our goal of $60,000 to build our 23rd house for Habitat for Humanity. For more information, log on to or contact Co-Chairs KC Ashmore ( or Greg McAllister ( Make checks payable to Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and mail donations: c/o Teddi Rivas, Dallas Bar Association, 2101 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201

To donate, log on to

Fe bru a ry 2 0 1 4  


D al l as Bar A ssoci ati on l Headnotes 23



Economic Damages Experts - Thomas Roney has more than twenty five years’ experience providing economic consulting services, expert reports and expert testimony in court, deposition and arbitration. His firm specializes in the calculation of economic damages in personal injury, wrongful death, employment, commercial litigation, IP, valuation and divorce matters. Mr. Roney and his experienced team of economic, accounting and finance experts can help you with a variety of litigation services. Thomas Roney LLC serves attorneys across Texas with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston. Contact Thomas Roney in Dallas/Fort Worth (214) 665-9458 or Houston (713) 5137113. “We Count.” Mexican Law Expert - Attorney, former law professor testifying since 1997 in U.S. lawsuits involving Mexican law issues: FNC motions, Mexican claims/ defenses, personal injury, moral damages, contract law, corporations. Coauthor, leading treatise in field. J.D., Harvard Law. David Lopez, (210) 2229494.


Offices with window views available for rent with law firm located in Dallas Class A building near 635 & Coit. Amenities include use of 3 conference rooms, parking garage, photocopy/scanner/postage/ facsimile and related amenities. Contact Alicia at (214) 347-4259. Downtown Dallas – Office available, located in the historic KATY Building directly across from the Dallas County Courthouses. Receptionist, phone system, conference room, wifi, fax and copier available for tenants use. No lease required. Please inquire at (214) 748-1948. Offices available for rent with law firm located in Downtown Dallas Class A, arts district building. Amenities include conference room, law library, secretarial station, kitchen, parking garage, photocopy/scanner/postage/facsimile and

related amenities. Contact Laura at (214) 922-9265. Park Cities/Central Expwy – Law firm has up to 3 window offices in Class A building for lease. Great location at 8080 Central Expwy. at Caruth. Spectacular views of downtown and Park Cities. Elevator exposure and expensive finish out. Large conf. room and kitchen. Secretarial space, high speed scanner/copier, broadband, extra storage and other amenities available. Call John/(214) 546-6337 or (214) 292-4202. Large furnished office space available within small real estate law firm located at 4054 McKinney Avenue. Shared Conference and break room, copier, fax, DSL & phone equipment are available if needed. There is a possibility of Overflow real estate work. No long-term commitment and a monthly rate of $750.00. Call Tom Smith at (214) 520-0600. North Dallas Tollway/LBJ – Class A Building - Lincoln Centre. Approx. 5,000 sq. ft. of office space for sublease. Several varying sized offices available. Shared Amenities include: Receptionist, use of conference rooms, copiers, postage meter, high speed Internet, phones, kitchen area and parking garage. Contact : Cindy Robbins (972) 458-5358. Office Space - Nicely decorated in North Dallas has 2 window offices available to share with a Board Certified Family Law specialist. Great location and easy access from either LBJ or Central Expressway. Free covered parking, large conference room, copier, highspeed Internet, phones, kitchen and on site new health facility are all included. $975/month. Call (214) 580-8000 or email us at Fort Worth, two blocks west of Tarrant County Courthouse, space available on reservation basis. Individual furnished offices with twelve-seat conference room. Includes 24-hour access with electronic security and parking. Call Susan Taylor (817) 335-4500, ext. 100.


This is an excellent opportunity for

Does Advertising Work? It Just Did! Don’t miss your opportunity to advertise (print & online) in the #1 “Legal Resource & Expert Witness Guide” in Dallas County.

Contact PJ Hines at (214) 597-5920 or

PARKING OPTIONS AROUND BELO Please plan to arrive at your noon meetings early. Parking is limited at Belo during the noon hour. To view other parking options in the area, log on to:

attorneys with five to seven years of litigation experience to join a mid-size civil litigation firm in Dallas. Firm is young, aggressive, growing, and has offices throughout Texas. Practice areas and caseload will include broad motion practice and related trial practice responsibilities. Good writing, oral advocacy, and research skills are required. Deposition experience is a plus. Meaningful chance for advancement. Competitive salary and benefits are provided. Paid garage parking. Qualified and interested candidates should send their resumes and a writing sample to Palmer & Manuel, LLP seeks two experienced family law attorneys with established practices to join our family law team. Practice with us, not for us. Our formula based compensation system allows attorneys to keep a substantial portion of their fees. See our website at pamlaw. com or contact Steve Palmer or Rebecca Manuel at (214) 242-6444. Attorney Position Available. Growing Collin County (Craig Ranch) AV Preeminent™-rated litigation and business boutique is seeking attorney(s) who believe they are ready to “do their own thing” with like-minded attorneys. Firm to provide beautifully-furnished office and everything needed for successful practice, including collegial atmosphere. Applicant will keep what s/he collects after contributing reasonable fraction to overhead. For self-motivated lawyer(s) with some portable business and looking to “make the leap” and control their own destiny, please email resume and cover letter to Civil Trial Attorney Position. 2+ years minimum experience in civil law. Other requirements: Please do not be afraid to work hard. You have to be able to laugh at yourself, but never at others. Lose the ego – you’re not that special. Treat the staff like you would treat your best client. Be willing to do things our way. For goodness sake, DO NOT throw people under the bus. The Bassett Firm provides competitive salaries and exceptional benefits. Interested applicants send resume to


Real Estate and Finance Lawyer. More than 15 years major firm experience representing purchasers/sellers/lenders in commercial transactions, including multistate portfolios. Prefer real estate section of law firm. Excellence and responsiveness are priorities. Dallas/North Dallas area. Respond to: Dallas Bar Association, Box 14–02, 2101 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75201. (Principals only please.) Mass Tort Case Manager/Litigator. Managed and settled hundreds of mass tort cases including multi-million dollar wrongful death. Significant first chair medical malpractice and personal injury deposition, briefing, motion hearing and trial experience. Licensed in Texas and Oklahoma.


Diamond and Gold Buyer. Buying all types of Diamonds, Immediate Cash Paid. Consignment terms available @ 10 -20% over CASH. For consultation and offers please call (214) 739-0089. Oil and Gas Buyer. Buying royalty interests, overriding royalty interests and non-operating working interests. Send descriptive information to for a prompt and fair evaluation. Owner is SBOT and DBA member. To place an affordable classified ad here, contact Judi Smalling at (214) 220-7452 or email

Connect jobseekers with employers in the legal field. Run your ad in the DBA’s online Career Center. www.


The DBA Lawyer Referral Service Can Help. Log on to or call (214) 220-7499.

Need Help? You’re Not Alone. Need Help? You’re Not Alone. Texas Lawyers’Need Assistance Program…………...(800) 343-8527 Help? You’re Alone. Need Help? You’re Not Not Alone. Alcoholics Anonymous…………………………...(214) 887-6699 Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program…………...(800) 343-8527 Narcotics Anonymous…………………………….(972) 699-9306 Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program…………...(800) 343-8527 Alcoholics Anonymous…………………………...(214) 887-6699 Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program…………...(800) 363-0461 343-8527 Al Anon…………………………………………..…..(214) Alcoholics Anonymous…………………………...(214) 887-6699 Narcotics Anonymous…………………………….(972) 699-9306 Alcoholics Anonymous…………………………...(214) Mental Health Assoc…………………………….…(214) 887-6699 828-4192 Narcotics Anonymous…………………………….(972) 699-9306 Al Anon…………………………………………..…..(214) 363-0461 Narcotics Anonymous…………………………….(972) 699-9306 Crisis Hotline………………………………………..1-800-SUICIDE Al Anon…………………………………………..…..(214) 363-0461 Mental Health Assoc…………………………….…(214) 363-0461 828-4192 Al Anon…………………………………………..…..(214) Suicide Crisis Ctr SMU.…………………………...(214) 828-1000 Mental Health Assoc…………………………….…(214) 828-4192 Crisis Hotline………………………………………..1-800-SUICIDE Mental Health Assoc…………………………….…(214) 743-1200 828-4192 Metrocare Services………………………………...(214) Crisis Hotline………………………………………..1-800-SUICIDE SuicideHotline………………………………………..1-800-SUICIDE Crisis Ctr SMU.…………………………...(214) 828-1000 Crisis Suicide Crisis Ctr SMU.…………………………...(214) 828-1000 Metrocare Services………………………………...(214) 743-1200 Suicide Crisis Ctr SMU.…………………………...(214) 828-1000 Metrocare Services………………………………...(214) 743-1200 DBA Peer Assistance Committee Metrocare Services………………………………...(214) 743-1200 DBA Peer Assistance Committee DBA Peer Assistance Committee

24 H e a d n o t e s l D a l l a s B a r A s s o ciationâ€

February 2014

February 2014 Headnotes  

February 2014 Headnotes