Bulletin April 2015
In this issue: ■
TCYLA’s Annual Thursday, April 16, 2015 • 5:30PM April Luncheon Speaker Dean Jennifer Collins SMU Dedman School of Law
Reflections on the career of Justice Sidney Farrar
See your name in lights!!! Or at least in the TCBA Bar Bulletin!
Become a member of the exclusive TCBA “2014-2015 100 Club” and see your firm’s or organization’s name in print in every issue of the Bar Bulletin for the remainder of this bar year! To qualify, law firms, government agencies, law schools, and corporate legal departments of four attorneys or more must have 100% of their attorneys enrolled as members of the TCBA. If your firm is not listed, please contact our Director of Membership, Cindy Rankin, at 817.338.4092 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are proud of the 100% 2014-2015 bar membership for the following law firms and other groups!
100 Club Members Adams Lynch & Loftin, PC
Dawson Parrish, PC
Murphy Mahon Keffler Farrier, LLP
Albert Neely & Kuhlmann LLP
Decker Jones, P.C.
Naman Howell Smith & Lee, PLLC
Allmand Law Firm, PLLC
Forshey & Prostok, LLP
Nelson Bumgardner Casto, PC
Anderson & Riddle, LLP
Friedman, Suder & Cooke
Noteboom Law Firm
Anderson Law Firm
Padfield & Stout, LLP
Baker Monroe PLLC
Gardner Aldrich, LLP
Phelps Dunbar LLP
Bakutis McCully & Sawyer PC
Gordon & Sykes, LLP
Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Ray, LLP
Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP
Griffith, Jay, & Michel, LLP
Jim Ross & Associates
Beadles Newman & Lawler PC
Harris, Finley & Bogle, PC
Ross & Matthews, PC
The Berenson Firm PC
Harrison Steck PC
Second Court of Appeals
Blaies & Hightower, LLP
Haynes and Boone, LLP
Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP
The Blum Firm, PC
Holland Johns & Penny LLP
Stephens, Anderson & Cummings,LLP
Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, PC
Jackson Walker L.L.P.
Tarrant County DA’s Office
Boyle & Lowry, LLP
Johnston Legal Group, PC
Taylor Olson Adkins Sralla & Elam, LLP
Brackett & Ellis, PC
Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP
Texas A & M School of Law
Broude Smith & Jennings PC
Koons Fuller, PC
Thompson & Knight, LLP
Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, PC
Law, Snakard & Gambill, PC
Wallach & Andrews, PC
Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell, LLP
Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
Watson Caraway Midkiff & Luningham LLP
Bruner & Pappas LLP
Lively & Associates, LLP
Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC
Cantey Hanger LLP
Lovelace Killen, PLLC
Whitley Penn, LLP
City Attorney’s Office-City of Fort Worth
Macdonald Devin PC
Wilson, White & Doby, LLP
The Colaneri Firm, PC
McDonald Sanders Law Firm
Cook Childrens Health Care System
Martinez Hsu, P.C.
The Wolf Law Firm, PC
Cotten Schmidt & Abbott, LLP
Mellina & Larson, PC
Curnutt & Hafer, LLP
Moses, Palmer & Howell, LLP
I by Mike Henry
n reviewing my last letter, I noted we were all enjoying a relatively warm winter and that the weather had been very kind to us, but having lived in Texas my entire life I was smart enough to note that things can change very quickly. It seems like February has been one storm after another. I had the experience of driving home from Tyler on Friday, February 27, when we were hit with a snow and ice storm. It makes me realize that I’m not as young as I used to be and do not enjoy the challenge of bad weather like I used to. By the time you read this, we will be shortly anticipating our 22nd Bench Bar Conference. If you have an opportunity, please thank all of our wonderful sponsors. However, be sure to thank Fritz Quast, who is the Chair of the Committee, and John Shaw, who is the Chair-Elect. Greg Lehrmann, the Finance Chair, has been in that position for so long that he probably doesn’t even expect to be thanked. Nick Bettinger is the Board Liaison, and as always, has done a super job. The entire Committee has 22 members and as such are too numerous to mention but check out the previous Bar Bulletins, find out who they are, and thank them. As I mentioned previously, I am working on my golf game and my playing should add additional humor to the gathering. Retrospectively, thank everyone who participated in and sponsored Tortfeasors. Once again, thanks to the generous sponsors and participants; it was a success and will allow the Foundation to do good deeds with the funds. I would like to personally thank Ryan Scharar for his invaluable work as President of the Tarrant County Young Lawyers. He was diligent in his attendance at all Board meetings and his contribution was greatly appreciated. His work in conducting activities that benefit Cook Children’s Hospital, as well as other fundraisers for other charities, were incredibly beneficial to the community as a whole. I think you will be hearing about Ryan in the future in regard to Bar service. He’s too good at it to just fade away. Chris Stoy will be Ryan’s able replacement and is an excellent young lawyer with whom I am personally familiar. Also, thank all of you who attended and sponsored the Court Staff Appreciation Reception and Awards. It is always a privilege to honor those who help all of us so much. I hope everyone who is still in the position to have their kids under their control had a good Spring Break. To those of you, such as me, whose kids avoid trips with their parents, I still hope you had a wonderful introduction to spring. ■
Spring Fiesta Thursday April 16, 2015
817.338.4092 ■ Fax 817.335.9238 website: www.tarrantbar.org e-mail: email@example.com
5:30 PM Joe T. Garcia’s RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817.338.4092
$25 per person in advance * $35 per person at the door
President. . . . . . . . . . . . Michael J. Henry President-Elect . . . . . . . David E. Keltner Vice President . . . . . . . . . Robert G. West Secretary-Treasurer . . . .Dabney D. Bassel
2013-2014 Elected Directors Nick Bettinger Steven K. Hayes Claudine Jackson
2014-2015 Elected Directors
3 4 12
Tarrant County Bar Association
Leslie Barrows John Cayce Lance Evans
April Lunceon Speaker
2014-2015 Appointed Directors
Reflections on the Career of Justice Sidney Farrar
Connie Hall Karmen Johnson
Immediate Past President
Court Staff Appreciation Awards
Fort Worth-Tarrant County
Young Lawyers Association Departments Chris Stoy, President (Spring 2015) 1 President’s Page Amber Altemose, President (Fall 2015) 6 Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association Executive Director Patricia Graham, PLS, CLAS 7 LegalLine Ex-Officio Members 8 Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans State Bar of Texas Directors 10 Other Associations’ News & Information Robert E. Aldrich, Jr. 11 TVAS J. Benjamin Barlow ABA Delegate 15 Obituaries - Decker / Hughes Janna W. Clarke 16 Snippets Bar Bulletin 18 The IP Domain John F. Murphy, Editor 21 Lawyer Referral and Information Service H. Dennis Kelly, Assistant Editor Ameera Hallaq, Staff Editor 23 New Members email@example.com • 817.338.4092 23 Lawyers on the Move & in the News Graphics/Production Share with your clients, family and friends! Park Place Enterprises, Inc. 24 People’s Law School firstname.lastname@example.org • 817.877.8901
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Jennifer M. Collins April 14 Luncheon Speaker Topic: “Women in the Law”
ennifer M. Collins is the Judge James Noel Dean and Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law. She received her B.A., cum laude with Distinction in the Major (History) from Yale University in 1987 and her J.D., magna cum laude in 1991 from Harvard University, where she also served as an Editor for the Harvard Law Review. Prior to joining SMU, Dean Collins was a member of the law faculty at Wake Forest University since 2003. She most recently served as Vice Provost and Professor of Law. At Wake Forest, Dean Collins taught courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, family law, gender and the law, and career development and legal professionalism. She received numerous awards for excellence in teaching. Dean Collins clerked for the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit after graduating from Harvard Law School and worked in private practice in Washington, D.C., before joining the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel as
New Location for April 14, 11:45 a.m. this meeting has moved to City Club 301 Commerce Street • Fort Worth, TX 76102
an attorney-adviser in 1993. She then served as Assistant U.S.Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia from 1994 to 2002, working in the homicide section for the last six of those years and prosecuting more than 30 jury trials. She returned to private practice in 2002 at Sidley Austin before moving to Wake Forest. She is the co-author of Privilege or Punish? Criminal Jennifer M. Collins Justice and The Challenge of Family Ties, published by Oxford University Press in 2009. In addition, she has written many other law review articles and essays featured in Yale Law Journal, Boston University Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, and more. Dean Collins’ scholarship is focused on issues involving families and the criminal justice system.■ rsvp to Sherry at 817.338.4092 or firstname.lastname@example.org. One hour CLE requested
Celebrating 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta Law Day 2015 Awards Dinner May 5 at the Fort Worth Club Honoring Our Recipients Blackstone Award Art Brender
Silver Gavel Award
Chief Justice Terrie Livingston
Professionalism Award Sharon S. Millians
Outstanding Young Lawyer Jared Harrell
Outstanding Mentor Award Judge Michael D. Lynn April 2015
Reflections on the
Career of Justice Sidney Farrar by Perry Cockerell
etired Senior District Judge Sidney Farrar’s long, distinguished career as a practicing attorney, trial judge and Associate Justice on the Second Court of Appeals exemplifies his love of the law and hard work. His oral interview was taken on January 30, 2015, at Texas A&M Law School as part of the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section/ Oral History Committee effort to record the histories of the state’s appellate justices. The interview is available at http://youtu.be/AiEsf7rO4Vw. Farrar is a Fort Worth native and a Paschal High School graduate. He attended Texas Christian University for two years and received a BBA from the University of Texas. He graduated from University of Texas Law School in 1955, and after passing the bar, being subject to the draft, he enlisted in the United States Army as a private and served for the next two years in Korea. He returned to Fort Worth in 1957 and was hired on the spot by Kelly, Morris & Walker, where he worked with Jearl Walker and Garrett Morris, primarily handling insurance defense cases Like many new attorneys, he came to the practice of law without knowing a single attorney or even what lawyers did except that he wanted to become one. “The day I got word that I had passed the Bar Exam, I thought people ought to be able to look at me and know that I’m a lawyer. I was so proud of being a lawyer, and I never ever wanted to do anything that would detract from that.” In 1962, he joined with Jim Claunch to set up the law offices of Farrar & Claunch in downtown Fort Worth after tossing a coin to decide how to name the firm. He was active in the Tarrant County Bar Association serving as a Director of the Tarrant County Bar Association and Chairman of the Grievance Committee. In 1980, he received a call from Judge Ardell Young, who was retiring. Judge Young suggested that Farrar seek the appointment to the 153rd District Court in Tarrant County.
One of the amazing aspects of Judge Farrar’s career was that he was appointed to the bench by two Texas governors from different political parties. In 1981, Republican Governor William P. Clements appointed him to serve as Judge of the 153rd Judicial District Court with no request that he switch parties. Clements just wanted the best attorney for the position. Farrar’s position during the selection process was that “you knew I was a Democrat when you invited me down here.” As a trial judge, his job “was to let the parties and their lawyers put their case on the best that they could and being fair to everybody involved. It’s not my job to try to determine or to make a case. That’s just not a judge’s job.” Farrar held the job for the next 11 years. In 1992, Governor Ann Richards appointed him to the Second Court of Appeals, where he served for the next two years as an Associate Justice. At the Second Court of Appeals, he did not realize that the majority of the docket was criminal cases and that many of the cases and arguments were similar. During his two years on the court, he authored many published opinions at a time when opinions were not always submitted for publication. He voted to publish opinions only if a case was unique or new. He learned the difference between being an appellate justice, where there was time to make decisions, and his days on the trial court bench, where decisions had to be made fast. He handled cases by this rule: “As a judge I have to put away my personal opinions about the type of case that it is and rule based upon what is presented to me and what the law is.” After his time on the court of appeals, he continued to serve as a visiting judge through 2011 when he retired. His family now has a legacy of attorneys as his son Stephen Farrar is an attorney practicing in Hurst. The State Bar of Texas has been proudly served by his contribution to the practice of law and to the Texas judiciary. ■
… from the Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C.
www.texlawyers.com Handling meritorious personal injury and wrongful death cases, including 18-wheeler trucking collisions.
RESULTS DETERMINATION INTEGRITY EXPERIENCE COURAGE AGGRESSIVENESS KNOWLEDGE CONFIDENCE CHARACTER PERSISTENCE ACHIEVEMENT SUCCESS Experienced Lawyers for Serious Cases®
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www.texlawyers.com April 2015
t o h s p a n S YLA
t’s hard to believe it, but it’s April - one of my favorite months of the year. Why? Because that means it is time for Spring Fiesta! That’s right, TCYLA’s annual spring fundraiser is here. Spring Fiesta is on April 16th at 5:30 p.m. at Joe T. Garcia’s. For all that have attended before, no promotion is necessary. For those who have Chris Stoy never been to Spring Fiesta, I want President, TCYLA you to close your eyes and imagine a large patio filled with friends and colleagues. Imagine enjoying margaritas, enchiladas and fajitas with those friends while a mariachi band plays in the background. Imagine winning raffle prizes and mingling with judges. Imagine that the money you spend on your sponsor-
Spring Fiesta Thursday April 16, 2015 5:30 PM Joe T. Garcia’s RSVP to email@example.com or call 817.338.4092
$25 per person in advance * $35 per person at the door
ship, ticket or donation all go to benefit the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association. Now open your eyes and come to Spring Fiesta and see those imaginations take form. In other news - it’s official! The organization formerly known as the Fort Worth – Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association is now simply, and elegantly, the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association. The name change was proposed by the board and approved by the organization’s members at the February luncheon. You will see the new logo displayed on the heading of the page! If you are interested in joining TCYLA and participating in any of our great events, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again to all our members and see you at the next event!
he Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association (“TCYLA”) is planning its 19th Annual “Spring Fiesta” for young lawyers, which will be held on April 16, 2015 at Joe T. Garcia’s. We will be celebrating a successful year of service to our community and raising funds to support TCYLA’s future service projects, CLE opportunities, and social events. Spring Fiesta is our primary fundraising event for the year; the funds raised here will provide TCYLA with financial support for the year to come. TCYLA lawyers are heavily involved in giving back to the community at large through toy drives, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and Cook Children’s Hospital, and providing pro bono legal services for those in need. Yet, service is just one aspect of TCYLA’s mission in Tarrant County.
We are asking for your help. Your financial support will allow TCYLA to better support the community at large and its members. There are five levels of sponsorship for Spring Fiesta:
PORTRAIT UNVEILING CEREMONY
SPRING FIESTA SPONSORSHIP LEVELS
Will receive 12 tickets for young lawyers and the option to have firm logo featured in the July, 2015 TCBA Bar Bulletin magazine sponsor recognition
Platinum Will receive 10 tickets for young lawyers $750-$999 Gold Will receive 6 tickets for young lawyers $500-$749 Silver Will receive 4 tickets for young lawyers $250-$499 Bronze Will receive 2 tickets for young lawyers $100-$249
I hope you agree that Spring Fiesta and the TCYLA are worthy of your sponsorship. Besides contributing to the development of young lawyers in Tarrant County, this is an excellent opportunity for your firm to be recognized as a generous sponsor. If you are interested in supporting this event, please e-mail email@example.com or fax 817.335.9238 ■
You are Cordially Inivted To The
HONORABLE DEBRA H. LEHRMANN Justice, Supreme Court of Texas Former Judge, 360th District Court
April 30, 2015 4 p.m.
Assembly Room, Family Law Center 200 E. Weatherford, Fort Worth
Special Guest Former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson Reception to Follow Sponsored by Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association & Tarrant County Bar Association Please join us to celebrate after the reception at The Flying Saucer, 111 E. Third Street, Fort Worth
Save the Date Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association and the Tarrant County Bar Association sponsored
Golf Tournament Monday, September 28 Mira Vista Golf Hole Sponsorships support the Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s Texas A&M University School of Law Student Internship
Thank-you to these volunteers: 2/12/2015
Perry Abbott Norma Bazán Joe Colvin Zoe Courtney Sylvia Duarte George Lockwood Scott Phillips
Norma Bazán Joe Colvin John Corbin Sylvia Duarte Franklin Moore Scott Phillips
We always need volunteers!!! Please consider donating two hours of your time the 2nd and 4th Thursday, January through November from 6-8pm. Bring a friend. LegalLine is a valuable community service outreach program that needs your time and skills. If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring, please contact Carolina at 817.338.4092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. April 2015
Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans
Tarrant County Chapter
Profiles in Service: Legal Aid of Northwest Texas (“LANWT”) TLTV’s ability to effectively serve veterans depends on its collaboration with other organizations in the community. Legal Aid of Northwest Texas (“LANWT”) is an example of one of those partnerships. Over the years, TLTV and LANWT have worked together to provide pro bono legal services to veterans through the monthly legal clinics and LANWT’s acceptance of casFreida Edwards-King es through the TLTV program. In this series, TLTV extends its appreciation to LANWT and profiles one of its valued employees: Freida Edwards-King has been employed with the Fort Worth office of LANWT for ten years. Freida is a paralegal with the Equal Justice Volunteer Program (EJVP) and is responsible for three monthly clinics hosted by LANWT, as well as serving as LANWT’s representative for the TLTV clinics. Freida’s dedication to the delivery of services to lowincome Texans began prior to her employment. In fact, before she worked for LANWT, she was a volunteer in the Fort Worth office and volunteered with West Texas Legal Services in the Midland office. Freida, who has been involved with the TLTV Veteran Clinic since its inception in 2010, was a member of the original planning committee for the clinic and provided important insight into the effective structure of clinics and their processes. During the past four years, Freida’s involvement with the clinic has been multifaceted: she has been an intake worker, a recruiter of clinic volunteers, and a trainer of intake workers, paralegals, and law students. Presently she attends the monthly TLTV clinic and is primarily responsible for the financial-eligibility screening of the veteran applicants, but offers additional assistance wherever she is needed. She also participates in the monthly case staff meetings, contributing to recommendations for case placements. In Freida’s words, “It is gratifying contributing my time to the TLTV clinics, knowing I am making a difference in someone’s life. Sometimes it may not be legal assistance that the veterans need: it could be resources or simply just reassurance with a smile.” ■ 8
Profiles in Service: Tarrant County Law Firms
ince its inception in 2010, TLTV has been fortunate to have the support of Tarrant County law firms. Law firms can sponsor a monthly legal clinic, as well as provide the manpower through attorney volunteers and legal staff. This partnership ensures pro bono services for area veterans and provides numerous benefits to the participating law firms. The legal clinics, for example, offer new attorneys an opportunity to enhance their practical skills by interviewing veterans and accepting smaller cases to handle on their own. Legal clinics are also an ideal way to participate in a service project with a corporate client, a community partner, or a summer law clerk. From the beginning, Kelly Hart & Hallman, L.L.P. has been a steadfast supporter of TLTV through its generous sponsorship of TLTV’s legal clinics. Kelly Hart attorneys routinely attend the clinics and accept pro bono cases through TLTV’s program. Kelly Hart attorneys also have served in leadership roles for TLTV, including Jeff Whitfield (as TLTV’s past chair) and Ezra Kuenzi (as a committee member). In 2015, Kelly Hart sponsored TLTV’s legal clinic in February, and Kelly Hart attorneys (pictured next page) served as attorney volunteers at the clinic. Kelly Hart plans to sponsor another clinic in June and staff the clinic with its attorneys and summer clerks. TLTV is pleased that Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. will also sponsor a legal clinic this year and looks forward to working with its attorneys in providing pro bono services to low income veterans and spouses of deceased veterans.
If your law firm is interested in volunteering or sponsoring a clinic, please contact email@example.com. ■
! e t a D e h t Save Friday, May 8 1 to 5 PM
At The Bar Center
General Practice CLE: Street Smart Answers To “Routine” Client Problems Criminal • Employment Family • Bankruptcy Landlord-Tenant • Social Security Consumer Protection
$25 Sponsored By Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans – Tarrant County Chapter (“TLTV”) PHOTOS BY GLEN ELLMAN
Other Associations’News & Information Arlington Bar Association Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. President, Larry Gaydos. For location & information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214.651.5622.
Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association Meets at 12 noon on the 4th Tuesday of each month at Family Law Center Assembly Room on the 2nd floor. For more information, contact President David Kulesz at 817.226.1100 or david@LKattorneys.com.
Black Women Lawyers Association For meetings and information, contact Sue Allen, President at 817.926.5005 email@example.com.
Tarrant County Probate Bar Association Meets on the 1st Thursday of each month at the Petroleum Club—members free, guests $30. For more information, contact Tena Fox, 817.280.0811 or tfox@ leachlaw.com.
Dee J. Kelly Law Library Welcomes Bar Members! For the latest Texas A&M University School of Law library hours and information, please visit http://law. tamu.edu, or call 817.212.3800. Fort Worth Chapter Association of Legal Administrators Meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the City Club, 301 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, 76102. For more information, contact Lisa Boyd, 817.339.2478 or LBoyd@BELaw.com. L. Clifford Davis Legal Association (f/k/a Tarrant County Black Bar Association) holds its meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. For more information, contact President Mary Panzu at 817.260.9778. MABA (Mexican American Bar Association) Meets on the last Thursday of each month at Rivas Mexican Restaurant, 5442 River Oaks Blvd., River Oaks 76114. For more information, contact President Eloy Sepulveda at 817.332.1285. Northeast Tarrant County Bar Association (NETCBA) Meets for CLE luncheons on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at La Hacienda Restaurant, Hwy. 121. Contact President Leslie Barrows at 817.481.1583, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDlA) meets every 2nd Thursday at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. For more information, contact President Randy Bowers at 817.348.8094 or LELERB@sbcglobal.net.
Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association Meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Joe T. Garcia’s. For more information, contact John S. Jose at 817.288.8988. Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association 20142015 new Bar Year began September 1, 2014. If you need an application or meeting information, call 817.338.4092, email email@example.com, or go to the website at tcyla.org. Texas Association of Defense Counsel Meets for lunch every 4th Wednesday at Angelo’s. Contact George Haratsis, McDonald Sanders, 817.336.8651 for more information.
Learn More About the Transition to Law Practice Program All new lawyers interested in having an experienced mentor to guide them in the practice of law should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Don’t Miss Out on this Valuable Opportunity!
Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services Merrit Klapperich has devoted her legal career to providing pro bono legal services to those who cannot otherwise afford representation. Merrit, Managing Attorney for Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT), handles family law cases, approximately 99% of which involve situations where a spouse or a child has been abused. She also works to recover children who have been kidnapped by a family member Merrit Klapperich and taken out of Texas. Merrit is a graduate of Paschal High School, the University of Texas at Arlington, and The University of Tulsa College of Law. Her family moved to Fort Worth when she was two. After graduating from The University of Tulsa College of Law in 2004, she opened her own practice, office-sharing with Jay Printz. Jay served as a mentor for Merrit and allowed her to use a spare office for free until she could afford to pay rent. While in private practice, Merrit represented individuals concerning wills, estates, probate, family, and criminal defense matters, and she was able to start paying rent during her second month in practice. Also, while in private practice, Merrit began performing pro bono work and maintained a strong pro bono caseload. Her friends and family referred people to her who could not pay for her legal services. Although she did prepare some wills pro bono, she primarily handled domestic violence cases, and she recovered her first child who had been
abducted by a family member who fled the state with that child. In 2007, Merrit became employed at LANWT. Merrit has also been involved with the Fort Worth Teen Court since 2007, initially serving as a judge and now as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors. When not at LANWT or assisting Teen Court, Merrit spends time with her husband of nine years, Victor, and her two children: Jacob, 18; and Madaline, 8. Merrit also admits that she is a bit of a foodie, trying out many area hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and, if she had the time, she could spend all day at the Fort Worth Library. As an employee of LANWT and a Texas attorney, Merrit is a strong advocate for pro bono work. Merrit regularly interacts with people in the Tarrant County community who live far below poverty guidelines and do not have the ability to finance anything, much less something as important as legal representation. She believes that, because attorneys have a specific skill set, attorneys have a duty to the legal profession and to Tarrant County to help this impoverished community. Additionally, Merrit notes that, if attorneys do not perform pro bono work, whether someone can afford representation may become the deciding factor in how a matter is determined, rather than what is just, and that undermines the integrity of what attorneys and judges strive for each day. Merrit greatly enjoys her family law cases at LANWT. On a day-to-day basis, she learns of horrific circumstances under which these individuals are living. Through her representation of them, she gives these families the resources and tools to start over in a healthier and more positive manner. Merrit humbly describes her legal work as simply helping Tarrant County families, one family at a time. â–
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2015 Court Staff Appreciation
OUTSTANDING COURTS STAFF AWARDS Presented to the following recipients for Exemplary Service and Outstanding Contributions to the Legal Profession and Court System: OUTSTANDING CIVIL COURTS STAFF AWARD REGINALD BUTLER Court Reporter 96th Civil District Court OUTSTANDING CRIMINAL COURTS STAFF AWARD DAWN GALLAGHER Court Coordinator Criminal District Court #2 OUTSTANDING FAMILY COURTS STAFF AWARD RON EMBRY Bailiff 323rd District Court OUTSTANDING FEDERAL COURTS STAFF AWARD BOB BARNES Operations Support Specialist U.S. District Clerk’s Office
Bar! at the
2015 Court Staff Appreciation
Thank You to our Sponsors Haslam & Gallagher, LLP
Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell, LLP In Memory of Justice Sam Day, by Paula Day Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, L.L.P. Richard Bourland, Bill Bowers, Kelly DeBerry, Ross Griffith, James V. Jay, IV, Thomas Michel & Mark Petrocchi Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP KoonsFuller, P.C. Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association Winstead PC Evans, Daniel, Moore, Evans & Biggs McDonald Sanders Law Firm
Naman Howell Smith & Lee, PLLC Andrea K. Stoller, P.C. Thompson & Knight, LLP Rickey G. Ward Watson, Caraway, Midkiff & Luningham, L.L.P.
The Barrows Firm J. Kevin Clark The Coffey Firm Law Office of Nancy A. Gordon, P.C. Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Ray, L.L.P. Samples Law Group
Camacho Law Firm, PLLC Aldrich PLLC Tom Carr Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, PC Law Office of Carole Cross Judge David L. Evans The Brender Law Firm Law Office of Trey Gordon Fort Worth Paralegals Association Roland K. Johnson Haynes and Boone LLP Law Office of Andy Nguyen, PLLC Bob Leonard Law Group, PLLC Law Office of Kathy E. Roux The Law Office of Lori A. Spearman, P.C. Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P. Stickels & Associates, P.C. The Family Law Firm of Donna Smiedt PLLC Wallach & Andrews, P.C Stephens, Anderson & Cummings Tarrant County Court Staff Wick Phillips Gould & Martin, LLP
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In Memoriam In Memoriam In Memoriam J
acob Alan Decker (“Jake”) passed away March 1, 2015 in Dallas. Jake was born March 9, 1981 in Independence, Kansas, son of Larry Clay and Lindy Lou Decker. The proud Texan lived across his beloved state in Houston and Midland, and after his high school years, in Alaska. Jake made his final home in Dallas. He graduated from Jake Decker Texas A&M University in 2004. He was active in baseball, football and golf. Jake played in the Houston Shell Open and held a PGA card. He obtained his JD from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2007. In Dallas, Jake focused on the practice of bankruptcy at Allmand Law Firm, where he was a junior partner and where helped thousands of clients. He was also active and supportive with his wife in Dallas philanthropy includ-
ing the SPCA of Texas, Paws Cause, Dallas Pets Alive, and Cattle Barons Ball. Jake loved animals dearly and always opened his home to animals in need. Jake is survived by a circle of loving family including his beloved wife Cassie Evans Decker of Dallas; his three month old daughter, Hattie Pearl Decker; his brother Matt Decker of Oklahoma City, OK and his parents Larry and Lindy Decker of Edmond, OK. Other surviving family inlcude his cousin, his parents-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and his maternal and paternal grandparents. Jake will be interred in the family cemetery in Duffau, Texas near Hico, Texas, where he loved to hunt, fish, and enjoy the land. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate Memorial Contributions to a special fund which has been established for his beloved infant daughter, Hattie Pearl Decker: send to Morgan Stanley (Attention: Tres Evans) at 2775 Sand Hill Road, Suite 120, Menlo Park California 94025. ■
illiam “Bill” L. Hughes Jr., 83, passed away Monday, March 9, 2015, in Arlington. Judge Hughes was born March 17, 1931, to Professor William L. Hughes and Martha Woodson Hughes. He was a lifetime resident of Arlington, where he attended public schools and then Arlington State College, the present UTA. His junior year, 1953, he transferred to the University of Texas School of Law to complete his legal education, but between his second and third year, he entered the U.S. Army. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant of the U.S. Army Military Police Corps at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Through mutual friends, he met Barbara A. McNair, and they were married on September 4, 1955, in Lawton. After his two years of military service, he returned to law school and received his law degree in 1956. Judge Hughes was a Life Member of the University of Texas Alumni Association. He began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Tarrant County in 1956. He was an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas from 1958 to 1965. In 1961, he was appointed Chief of the Criminal Section, where he served until 1965. He then joined the law firm of Cantey, Hanger, Gooch, Munn & Collins to begin his private practice and his professional service to many organizations. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to a Presidential Task Force on Crime where he served for several years. He served as District Director of the State Bar of Texas, 1974-1977 and was a member of the Pattern Jury Charges Committee, 1976-1984. He served as Chairman of the State Bar of Texas Convention in 1978 held in Fort Worth. His professional service including serving as President of the Tarrant County Bar Association, 1980-1981, and as a member of the American Bar Association, Texas Bar Foundation, American College of Trial Lawyers, and American Board of Trial Advocates. In November 1981, he was appointed judge of the 48th
William “Bill” L. Hughes, Jr.
District Court. After serving on the bench for ten years, Judge Hughes retired and returned to private practice at Cantey & Hanger LLP. He received many honors from his fellow attorneys. In 1993, Judge Hughes was named the Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Texas Chapter of ABOTA. He received two of the highest awards given by the Tarrant County Bar Association: the Blackstone Award in 2000 and the Silver Gavel Award in 2012. Judge Hughes was a Sustaining Charter Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and served on its Board of Directors from 2004 to 2006. Judge Hughes was a life member of First Presbyterian Church, Arlington, where he served on many committees and was an ordained deacon and elder. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Barbara; son, W.L. “Bill” Hughes III and his wife, Beth; grandsons, Travis and his wife, Sarah, Reid, and Patrick; great-grandson, William Grayson Hughes; sister, Helen Hughes Schrickel; three nieces; a nephew; and his beloved Brittany Spaniel walking buddy, Tigger. ■ April 2015
Civil and Criminal by Judge Bob McCoy
Travis Ave. – Col. William B. Travis was commander at the Alamo and died in the massacre. Mathias Travis was licensed to open a trading post in 1885 at Narrow Bone Springs, later known as Johnson’s Station, 3 miles south of Arlington.
Ask Judge Bob Judge Bob, when may a trial court discharge from duty a juror who suffers from a serious disability? “A ‘disability’ as used in [Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann] Article 36.29 includes, ‘any condition that inhibits [the] juror from fully and fairly performing the functions of a juror.’” Holloway v. State, 446 S.W.3d 847, 854 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2014).
Ask The Danes Ramses and Moses, can a dog be the subject of a contract? Sure. Consider Mr. Fulton, who did not return a dog to Mr. Reed as contracted. Mr. Fulton was sued for breach of contract and lost. See Reed v. Fulton, 384 S.W.2d 183 (Tex. Civ. App.—Corpus Christie 1964). The Danes’ Quote Of The Month “I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons.” —Will Rogers Ramses
CRIMINAL ITEMS OF INTEREST 1. Serious Bodily Injury “‘Serious bodily injury’ is bodily injury that ‘creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.’ Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 1.07(a)(46) (West Supp. 2014). ‘[T]here are no wounds that constitute “serious bodily injury”’ per se. Serious bodily injury may be established without a physician’s testimony when the injury and its effects are obvious. The person who sustained the injury at issue is qualified to express an opinion about the seriousness of that injury.” Holloway v. State, 446 S.W.3d 847, 853 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2014) (internal citations omitted). 2. Speedy Trial “The right to a speedy trial attaches once a person is ei16
Probate Court No. 2
County Criminal Court No. 3
Who’s That Street Named After?
Co-Editor Lin Morrisett Associate Judge
ther arrested or charged. A speedy trial claim is analyzed on a case-by-case basis by balancing the following factors: (1) length of delay; (2) the reason for the delay; (3) the defendant’s assertion of his right; and (4) the prejudice inflicted on the defendant by the delay. No single Barker factor is either necessary or sufficient to establish a violation of the right to a speedy trial. Rather, the Barker factors must be considered together, along with any other relevant circumstances.” State v. Wei, 447 S.W.3d 549, 553 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014) (internal citations omitted). 3. Voluntary Waiver of Rights “Voluntariness is determined by looking at the totality of the circumstances. The totality of the circumstances includes the accused’s experience, background, and conduct. It also includes the characteristics of the accused. The voluntariness of a confession given by a mentally ill person is assessed under the same standard of review, the totality of the circumstances, as that used for a person who is not mentally ill.” Umana v. State, 447 S.W.3d 346, 351 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014) (internal citations omitted). 4. Confrontation Clause “Generally, courts have construed the Confrontation Clause to prohibit prosecutors from admitting ‘testimonial’ out-of-court statements against a defendant unless the defendant has been afforded the opportunity to crossexamine the declarant. A statement is testimonial ‘when the surrounding circumstances objectively indicate that the primary purpose’ for the declarant making the statement was ‘to establish or prove past events potentially relevant to later criminal prosecution.’” Fuelerg v. State, 447 S.W.3d 304, 317 (Tex. App.—Austin 2014) (internal citations omitted). 5. Disqualification or Recusal “Therefore, in addressing either disqualification under article 30.01 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or recusal under section 18b(b)(1) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, the ultimate issue is the same—would ‘a reasonable member of the public at large, knowing all the facts in the public domain concerning the judge and the case, . . . have a reasonable doubt that the judge is actually impartial’” Fuelerg v. State, 447 S.W.3d 304, 310 (Tex. App.—Austin 2014). 6. Double Jeopardy “A multiple-punishments double-jeopardy violation may arise either in the context of lesser-included offenses
(when the same conduct is punished under both a greater and a lesser-included statutory offense) or when the same criminal act is punished under two distinct statutory provisions, but the legislature intended only one punishment.” Aekins v. State, 447 S.W.3d 270, 274 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014).
CIVIL ITEMS OF INTEREST 1. Procedure vs. Right to Appeal “Our procedural rules are technical, but not trivial. We construe such rules liberally so that the right to appeal is not lost unnecessarily.” Burbage v. Burbage, 477 S.W.3d 249, 258 (Tex. 2014). 2. Prior Restraint “A prior restraint is a ‘judicial order forbidding certain communications when issued in advance of the time that such communications are to occur.’ Such orders are highly disfavored under federal law and even more highly disfavored under Texas law.” Burbage v. Burbage, 447 S.W.3d 291, 303 (Tex. App.— Austin 2014) (internal citations omitted). 3. Mistake in Arbitration “A reviewing court is not authorized to set aside an arbitration award for a mere mistake of fact or law.” Ameripath v. Herbert, 477 S.W.3d 319, 338 (Tex. App.— Dallas 2014). 4. Terminable-at-Will Not a Defense “The terminable-at-will status of a contract is no defense to a tortious interference cause of action.” Ameripath, Inc. v. Herbert, 447 S.W.3d 319, 342 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2014). 5. Enforcing Arbitration “A court should not deny arbitration unless the court can say with positive assurance that an arbitration clause is not susceptible of an interpretation that would cover the claims at issue.” Branch Law Firm, L.L.P. v. Osborne, 477 S.W.3d 390, 394, 395 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014). 6. Forcible Detainer Jurisdiction “A justice court has exclusive jurisdiction to decide the issue of immediate possession, which may not be infringed upon as long as the justice court merely determines possession. . . . . [However,] when the right to possession cannot be determined without resolving a title dispute, the justice court does not have jurisdiction” Pinnacle Premier Props., Inc. v. Breton, 447 S.W.3d 558, 562, 563 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014). 7. Waiver on Appeal “To raise an issue on appeal, a party must provide clear and concise arguments for the contentions made. Mere reference to its summary judgment response is not an appropriate way to make arguments on appeal.” Santander Consumer U.S.A., Inc. v. Palisades Collection, L.L.C., 447 S.W.3d 902, 910 (Tex. App.—Dallas, 2014) (internal citations omitted).
8. Ripeness “Whether claims are ripe is ‘determined at the time of adjudication.’ Ripeness should be decided on the basis of all the information available to the court. Intervening events that occur after decision in lower courts should be included, just as must be done with questions of mootness. Although a claim is not required to be ripe at the time of filing, if a party cannot demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that the claim will soon ripen, the case must be dismissed.” Bridgeport ISD v. Williams, 447 S.W.3d 911, 917 (Tex. App.—Austin 2014) (internal citations omitted).
Lawyer’s Quote Of The Month “The law of England is very strange: it cannot compel anyone to tell the truth . . . . But what the law can do is to give you seven years for not telling the truth.” —Mr. Justice Darling
Old News In 1958, 17-year-old Robert G. Heft designed our current 50star flag as a high school class project. He received a B-. Two years later, after it was chosen as our national standard by presidential proclamation, his teacher increased the grade to an A. Wikipedia, Robert G. Heft (February 21, 2015); Barrie Barber, Hats off to Saginaw Flag Designer Who Gave America 50 Stars, The Saginaw (Mich.) News, December 17, 2009. ■
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THE IP DOMAIN:
The Broad Reach of Lanham Act False Advertising Claims By Tom Williams and Dustin Johnson
rior to 2014, the issue of standing in Lanham Act false advertising claims perplexed practitioners, as circuit courts had adopted at least three different tests. However, in 2014, the Supreme Court adopted a standing test, and it is not one any circuit court had ever recognized. In Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., Justice Scalia, writing for a unanimous Court, adopted a “zone of interests” test requiring a court to determine, “using traditional tools of statutory interpretation, whether a legislatively conferred cause of action encompasses a particular plaintiff’s claim.” Lexmark Int’l, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1377, 1387 (2014). Because § 45 of the Lanham Act explicitly lists “protect[ing]
Tom Williams (top left) is a partner in the Fort Worth office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. He may be reached at thomas.williams@haynesboone. com or 817.347.6625. Dustin Johnson (bottom left) is a partner in the Fort Worth and Richardson offices of Haynes and Boone, LLP. He may be reached at email@example.com or 972.739.6969. Richard Rochford, a partner in the New York office of Haynes and Boone, LLP, assisted in the preparation of this article.
persons engaged in [interstate] commerce against unfair competition” as a purpose of the Act, the Court held that Static Control’s claims of false advertising under § 43(a) of the Act—which allege lost sales and damage to business reputation—“no doubt” fell within the statute’s zone of interests. Id. at 1393. Lexmark makes and sells laser printers that work only with its own toner cartridges. To ensure that customers return spent cartridges to Lexmark for refurbishment and resale, Lexmark developed a “Prebate” program and a microchip that disables the cartridge when empty. The microchip must be replaced during refurbishment to re-enable the cartridge. Static Control does not make or remanufacture toner cartridges and thus is not a direct competitor to Lexmark, but it makes and sells a microchip that could mimic the microchip in Lexmark cartridges. By purchasing the Static Control microchip, therefore, remanufacturers could compete with Lexmark in the refurbishment and resale of Lexmark cartridges. Lexmark sued Static Control for copyright infringement, and Static Control counterclaimed under the Lanham Act alleging (1) Lexmark “purposefully misleads end-users” to believe that they are legally bound by Prebate terms to return spent cartridges to Lexmark, and (2) Lexmark sent letters to remanufacturers falsely stating that Static Control was engaging in illegal conduct and that it was illegal for remanufacturers “to use Static Control products to refurbish” Lexmark cartridges. See id. at 1384. Static Control further alleged that it lost sales and suffered injury to its reputation because of the allegedly false statements. Id.
The District Court dismissed those claims, holding that Static Control lacked standing under the five-factor “antitrust” standing test applied by the Third, Fifth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits to false advertising claims. See Static Control Components, Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc., 697 F.3d 387, 402 (6th Cir. 2012). The Sixth Circuit reversed based on its application of the “reasonable interest” test established by the Second Circuit. See id. at 410. The Supreme Court rejected both of those tests, noting that the “antitrust” test “can yield unpredictable and at times arbitrary results,” and the “reasonable interest” test wrongly focuses on whether the plaintiff’s interest is reasonable rather than “whether it is one the Lanham Act protects.” Lexmark Int’l, Inc., 134 S. Ct. at 1392-93. The Court also rejected the “direct competitor” test employed by the Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits as “distorting the statutory language” of the Act, which prohibits unfair competition even where there is no direct competition. Id. at 1392. Rather, said the Court, “a plaintiff must allege an injury to a commercial interest in reputation or sales” to come within the zone of interests of § 43(a). Id. at 1390. Furthermore, the plaintiff must show that its injuries were proximately caused by violations of the Lanham Act by showing the existence of “economic or reputational injury flowing directly from the deception wrought by the defendant’s advertising,” which must occur “when deception of consumers causes them to withhold trade from the plaintiff.” Id. at 1390-91. The Court held that Static Control’s claims met the proxi-
mate-cause requirement because it alleged that its reputation was damaged by Lexmark’s allegations of illegal business activities and that Static Control’s alleged injury “flows directly from the audience’s belief in the disparaging statements.” Id. at 1393-94. Static Control’s lost-sales claim satisfied the proximate-cause requirement because its loss of microchip sales was likely to be commensurate with any cartridge sales lost by the remanufacturers to Lexmark. Id. at 1394. Thus, the Court provided a roadmap for plaintiffs pleading a Lanham Act false advertising claim, even if the defendant is not a direct competitor. A plaintiff must plead and prove “an injury to a commercial interest in sales or business reputation proximately caused by the defendant’s misrepresentations,” id. at 1395, a standard that the Court agrees carries “broad language” and has aspects that are “not especially demanding.” Id. at 1389. This pleading standard may invite more Lanham Act claims, even when the claimant faces challenges developing evidence of lost sales and reputation flowing directly from the alleged misrepresentations. See, e.g., Robers v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 1854 (2014). A false advertising claim can be a powerful weapon, particularly in promoting the “good guy” in an intellectual property or other commercial dispute. As the Lexmark case demonstrates, the heat of litigation, or an incipient battle, often provokes companies to issue ill-advised statements or customer letters with disparaging comments about another business, which are now, more than ever a bad idea. ■
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WENDNESDAY, April 1 11:30am-1:30pm . . . . . . Pro Bono Challenge TCBA Office FRIDAY, April 3 All day. . . . . . . . . . . . . TCBA Office closed in observance of Good Friday THURSDAY, April 9 Noon-1 pm . . . . . . . . . . Energy Section Luncheon City Club 6pm-8pm . . . . . . . . . . . LegalLine TCBA Office FRIDAY-SATURDAY April 10-11 Women Lawyers Section Retreat Gaylord Texan SATURDAY, April 11 11am-3pm . . . . . . . . . . . People’s Law School TAMU School of Law TUESDAY, April 14 11:45am-1 pm . . . . . . . . Membership Luncheon Speaker, Dean Jennifer Collins of Deadman School of Law City Club WEDNESDAY, April 15 Noon-1 pm . . . . . . . . . . Business Litigation Section Luncheon City Club Noon-1 pm . . . . . . . . . . Corporate Counsel Section Luncheon TCBA Office THURSDAY, April 16 11:45am-1 pm . . . . . . . . Appellate Section Luncheon Petroleum Club Noon-1 pm . . . . . . . . . . Construction Section Luncheon TCBA Office 5:30 pm . . . . . . . . . . . . YLA Spring Fiesta Joe T. Garcia’s MONDAY, April 20 Noon-1pm . . . . . . . . . . Bankruptcy Law Section Luncheon Fort Worth Club TUESDAY, April 21 11:30am-1:30pm . . . . . . Tax & Estate Section Luncheon City Club Noon-1pm . . . . . . . . . . Labor & Employment Law Section Luncheon Petroleum Club WEDNESDAY, April 22 Noon-1pm . . . . . . . . . . Intellectual Property Section Luncheon City Club THURSDAY, April 23 6pm-8pm . . . . . . . . . . . LegalLine TCBA Office FRIDAY-SUNDAY, April 24-26 Bench Bar Conference XXII La Torretta Hotel & Spa Montgomery, Texas TUESDAY, April 28 1pm-4pm . . . . . . . . . . . Last Tuesday CLE TCBA Office 4:30pm . . . . . . . . . . . . . Solo and Small Firms Section Mixer Law Offices of Joshua Graham WENDNESDAY, April 29 Noon-1pm . . . . . . . . . . Environmental Section Luncheon TCBA Office THURSDAY, April 30 4pm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Justice Lehrmann Portrait Hanging Assembly Room, Family Law Center
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Haynes and Boone, LLP announces that, effective March 23, they moved their offices to a new location: 301 Commerce Street, Suite 2600, Fort Worth 76102. They can still be reached on the same phone 817.347.6600 and fax 817.347.6650. Susanna Johnson announces her return to work as Senior Law Clerk for Judge John McBryde, at 401 U.S. Courthouse, 501 West Tenth Street, Fort Worth 76102. ■
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Published on Mar 26, 2015
In this issue, check out a recap of the Court Staff Appreciation events. Find out who is speaking at this month's membership luncheon and s...