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February 2016



February 2016


resident’s page

Bench Bar Conference


he Bench Bar Conference is right around the corner—April 22–24. Several major changes are in store. Because it will be in Rockwall, the commute to the conference takes about an hour instead of a five-hour road trip. This year the emphasis will be on judicial speakers and by David E. Keltner panels. I very much appreciate our local judiciary volunteering as speakers. So, if you ever want to know what judges think on a particular subject—come to the Bench Bar Conference. John Shaw is the Chair, and he and his committee have done a tremendous job. In addition to the CLE, there will be a golf tournament, a casino night, and other fun events. Remember, what happens at Bench Bar stays at Bench Bar!

Diversity Survey

The Association’s Diversity Committee has been hard at work. The purpose of the committee is to foster and promote diversity and inclusion. Texas lawyers serve Texas clients best when the population of the bar is as diverse as the population of the state. In recent years, the demographics in Texas have radically changed. Unfortunately, the demographics of the bar have been slow to catch up. It was only a generation ago that membership in our association was limited to white males. African Americans were not permitted. Fortunately, the World War II veteran generation changed that. Our first African American member was Clifford Davis, and he made us proud. He led the legal fight to integrate the Fort Worth Independent School District and accomplished that goal while earning the respect of his adversaries. As a result, long overdue integration happened in Fort Worth without the pain encountered elsewhere. Judge Davis went on to become a well-respected district judge and an iconic figure in the Texas bar. Several years ago we presented Judge Davis with our highest honor, the Blackstone Award. In his acceptance speech, he made it clear that he was not bitter about his initial exclusion and instead expressed appreciation to the bar leaders that changed that policy. In these days of political bickering and insults, we lawyers can learn a lot from Judge Davis. Our Diversity Committee, in collaboration with the Women Attorneys Section, the Mexican-American Bar Association, the Black Women Lawyers Association of Tarrant County and the L. Clifford Davis Legal Association will soon be sending a diversity survey to our lawyers and law firms. Please understand that the survey is not an accusation that you are not doing enough. Specific law firm information will not be disseminated. Instead, the purpose of the survey is to monitor our progress and determine what we can do better. We did a survey several years ago and not all law firms participated. We hope that all of you will participate so that we can gauge our progress. I want to thank Angel Williams and her committee for the fine work they are doing. Rick 1

February 2016

Cruz is chairing the survey and our hats are off to Angel and Rick.

One more word about CLE

The highest calling of all bar associations is to educate its members so that its members can provide the most efficient and effective legal services possible. Over the last four decades, the State Bar of Texas has administered the best CLE program in the nation. The effort was started by Gene Cavin. Gene, who was a partner in one of the largest law firms in Houston, left his lucrative practice to develop the State Bar of Texas CLE initiative. He envisioned a total volunteer effort that encouraged the best practitioners to share their secrets and approach. Forty years ago, most bar executives did not believe that lawyers would share their secrets to success. But, the last forty years have told a different story. Our best lawyers answered Gene’s call and the rest is a success story. Gene’s idea was to keep CLE fees as low as possible and to provide the same CLE opportunities in Sweetwater as were delivered in Houston. Over the years, the live courses proved to be a problem because Sweetwater lawyers had to leave town and travel to Houston or Dallas for those programs, while Houston lawyers simply walked down the street. Julene Franki and Pat Nester took over from Gene. They recognized the problem and quickly put together the country’s first online and satellite CLE programs. Those served as the model of other bar associations and commercial presenters. Now these online programs are on the Texas Bar CLE website, and any lawyer can download those programs and customize the CLE to his or her practice. Julene left to run ALI/ABA, the national CLE organization created by the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association. She took many of the innovative Texas programs with her and exported Texas–sized ideas to the rest of the country. Pat came back to the State Bar of Texas and improved on Texas Bar CLE’s success. He actively encourages new programs with new speakers. As a result, the programs remain fresh and cutting-edge. If you are interested in presenting a CLE topic, call Pat and he will put you to work. I am proud to say that many members of the Tarrant County Bar Association serve as speakers for Texas Bar CLE programs. Our live programs are directed more towards practice in Tarrant County, and the presentations by local judges and outstanding practitioners are extraordinary. A good example is our upcoming Appellate Brown Bag Seminar, which will feature justices from the 2nd Court of Appeals as well as staff attorneys from both the Dallas and Fort Worth Courts of Appeals. Of course, we will have outstanding appellate practitioners as well, including our own Russell Barton, Mary Smith and Dwayne Smith, and Matthew Kita. Many thanks to Jody Sanders for putting this CLE activity together. ■


Tarrant County Bar Association


817.338.4092 ■ Fax 817.335.9238 website: email: 2015-2016 Officers


President. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David E. Keltner President-Elect . . . . . . . . . . . Robert G. West Vice President . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nick Bettinger Secretary-Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . Lance Evans




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Judicial Profiles Carey and Sue Walker Robb and Kim Catalano Fred & Linda Davis

Geffrey Anderson Dwayne W. Smith

Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association President

Diversity Spotlight African-American History Month

2015 Fall Amber Altemose 2016 Spring Erin Cofer


Chris Harris & Mark L. Hart, Jr. TCBA Member Benefits Vendor List Lawyers on the Move & in the News

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February 2016

Term Ends 2017 Tawana Gray Gary L. Medlin Jason C. N. Smith

2015-2016 Appointed Directors

Departments 1 President’s Page 3 Membership Report 4 100 Club 8 Other Associations’ News & Information 8 YLA Snapshot 9 The IP Domain 12 Snippets 14 Lawyer Referral and Information Service News 14 Transition to Practice 14 Our Sections 14 LegalLine 15 In Memoriam 16 18

Term Ends 2016 Leslie Barrows John Cayce

Immediate Past President Michael J. Henry

Executive Director

Patricia Graham, PLS, CLAS

Ex-Officio Members State Bar Of Texas, Directors J. Benjamin Barlow Gary L. Nickelson

ABA Delegate Janna Clarke

Bar Bulletin


John F. Murphy, Editor H. Dennis Kelly, Assistant Editor April Holland, Staff Editor Graphics/Production Park Place Enterprises, Inc. • 817.877.8901 The Tarrant County Bar Bulletin is a monthly publication of the Tarrant County Bar Association. Articles, photos, events for the calendar, suggestions, or comments should be directed to: 1315 Calhoun Street • Fort Worth, Texas 76102-6504 Deadline for submission is the 1st day of the month, one month prior the date of the issue (e.g. April 1 for the May issue). Items for publication may be emailed to in Word format. Articles published in the Bar Bulletin do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Tarrant County Bar Association, its officers, or the Board of Directors. Calendar listings, classifieds, advertisements, and feature articles should not be considered an endorsement of any service, product, program, seminar or event.




t’s hard to believe we are half-way through our bar year! The Membership Committee is meeting and working on increasing membership while also trying to increase benefits of membership. Did you know that besides being a wonderful networking opportunity in the legal community, membership has other benefits? 1) Eighteen Substantive Law Sections offering CLE and networking with members interested in the same areas of law


Membership Luncheon

21 Attorneys Celebrate 50 Years of Practice

2) Reduced rates on CLE (Brown Bags, Luncheons, Section meetings, and Last Tuesday CLE) 3) Reduced rates on room rental at the TCBA Bar Center 4) Monthly Bar Bulletin (by email or mail), and updates on upcoming events by email 5) Community Service Opportunities through the Foundation: LegalLine, Texas Lawyers for Texas VeteransTarrant County Chapter, and Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services; and through community service committees: People’s Law School, Annual Food Drive, Blood Drive, Elder Law Committee, and others 6) Reduced rates on advertising in the Bar Bulletin and on the TCBA website 7) Mentoring or being mentored through the Transition to Practice program 8) Reduced rates on office supplies, Sprint, UPS, and shredding documents 9) Discounted tickets to the Fort Worth Zoo So the next time someone asks you why you joined the TCBA, please let them know. We thank you for your continued membership. This Bar Association is great because of its members like YOU! We would like to take this time to welcome the new members of the TCBA: Attorneys Theo Bruton Matt Buckalew Darren De La Cruz George Gallagher, Jr. Irene Garcia Peter J. Gieseking Julie N. Johnson Kimberly Nhim Andrew J. Ramsey

Landon A. Wade Zachary Wooley Herschel V. Woods Landon D. Young Associates Joy Rice Students Shawn Pullum

If you have any questions regarding your membership, please contact Cindy at 817.338.4092 or email her at cindy@ ■ 3 ■ February 2016


Tuesday, February 9 11:45am City Club $26 for members $31 for non-members RSVP to

wenty-one of Tarrant County’s most distinguished attorneys will be recognized for their 50 years of practice at the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Membership Luncheon on Tuesday, February 9. Judge David Evans, 48th District Court, will be the guest speaker. Chair Roland Johnson will recognize the following 50 year attorneys: Dudley D. Beadles


Congratulations to these attorneys and thank you for your service! ■

Members of the 2015-2016

100 Club

Adams Lynch & Loftin P.C. Albert Neely & Kuhlmann LLP Anderson & Riddle, LLP Baker Monroe PLLC Bakutis McCully & Sawyer PC Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP The Barrows Firm, P.C. The Berenson Firm P.C. Blaies & Hightower, L.L.P. Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, PC Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Broude Smith & Jennings PC Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell, LLP Cantey Hanger LLP City Attorney’s Office-City of Fort Worth Cook Children’s Health Care System Curnutt & Hafer, L.L.P. Decker Jones, P.C. Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP Edison, McDowell & Hetherington, LLP Fillmore Law Firm, L.L.P. Forshey & Prostok, L.L.P. Friedman, Suder & Cooke Griffith, Jay, & Michel, LLP Harrison Steck P.C. Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. Holland Johns & Penny LLP Jackson Walker, L.L.P. Jim Ross & Associates Johnston Legal Group, P.C. Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP KoonsFuller, P.C. To be eligible for the 100 Club, any law firm, government agency, law school, or corporate legal department that has four or more attorneys and attains 100% TCBA membership compliance for the 2015-2016 bar year qualifies for “The 100 Club”! The firms/organizations listed (above) have already paid their membership dues and qualify for 100 Club membership for the new bar year. Any firm/or-


February 2016

Lacy Lyster Malone & Steppick, PLLC Law, Snakard & Gambill, P.C. Lively & Associates, LLP Loe, Warren, Rosenfield, Kaitcer, Hibbs, Windsor, Lawrence & Wolffarth, PC Martinez Hsu, P.C. McDonald Sanders Law Firm Mellina & Larson, P.C. Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P. Murphy Mahon Keffler Farrier, LLP Naman Howell Smith & Lee, PLLC Noteboom Law Firm Padfield & Stout, LLP Law Offices of Paup, Shutt & Associates, P.C. Phelps Dunbar LLP Plains Capital Bank Schneider Law Firm Second Court of Appeals Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP Stephens, Anderson & Cummings Suzanne I. Calvert & Associates Tarrant County CDA’s Office Taylor Olson Adkins Sralla & Elam, LLP Texas A&M University School of Law The Wolf Law Firm, P.C. Thompson & Knight, LLP Underwood Law Firm Varghese Summersett, PLLC Watson Caraway Midkiff & Luningham L.L.P Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC Wick Phillips Gould & Martin LLP Winstead PC ganization that qualifies in the future will have its name published in every issue of the Bar Bulletin for this bar year. TCBA is proud of the participation of these law firms and other groups! The new bar year began July 1, so if you missed your renewal invoice in your email, contact Membership Director Cindy Rankin at 817.338.4092 or email her at

5 ■ February 2016

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February 2016

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7 ■ February 2016

Other Associations’

News & Information

Arlington Bar Association Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. President, Larry Gaydos. For location & information, email or call 214.651.5622. Black Women Lawyers Association For meetings and information, contact Sue Allen, President, at 817.926.5005 or Dee J. Kelly Law Library Welcomes Bar Members! For the latest Texas A&M University School of Law library hours and information, please visit, or call 817.212.3800.

t o h s p a n S YLA

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@ Fort Worth Paralegal Association - General Membership Meetings are held at noon every 4th Thursday of the month at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. FWPA Board of Directors meets at noon every 1st Tuesday of the month at the Bar Center. For more information, go to L. Clifford Davis Legal Association (f/k/a Tarrant County Black Bar Association) holds its meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. For more information, contact President Crystal Gayden at 817.496.8408 or by email at 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, lbarrows@barrowsfirm. com. 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 Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association Meets at noon on the 4th Tuesday of each month at Family Law Center Assembly Room on the 2nd floor. For more information, contact President Kevin Schmid, 817.377.3000 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 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 2015-2016 new Bar Year began September 1, 2015. If you need an application or meeting information, call 817.338.4092, email, or go to the website at 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.

8 ■ February 2016

Amber Altemose, President TCYLA


s I wrap up my term as President, I can’t help but reflect on everything that TCYLA has accomplished over the last few months. TCYLA hosted another successful golf tournament, which raised $8,000 for the Tarrant County Bar Foundation; created a new CLE program to bridge the gap between law school and the practice of law; partnered with A&M Law School to deliver a professionalism program to law students; prepared lunch for families residing at Ronald McDonald House; and continued to provide CLE and networking opportunities for its members. None of this could have been accomplished without the time and dedication of TCYLA’s Board of Directors, volunteers, and members; Cindy Rankin; and Trisha Graham. Last month, TCYLA held several events benefiting its membership. TCYLA teamed up with Fort Worth CPAs to host a networking happy hour at Shipping & Receiving. TCYLA members also volunteered their time to prepare lunch for families residing at Ronald McDonald House. Justice Bonnie Sudderth presented “The Do’s and Don’ts of Appellate Advocacy” to TCYLA members at its monthly luncheon. And finally, TCYLA mentors attended a Back-to-School-Event at Acre Distillery with their mentees from A&M Law School. I want to thank Rob Henry, Patrick Rose, Jake Ramsey, Kat Hopkins, and Trisha Graham for their help in organizing these events. Looking forward, TCYLA will host another Buzz for a Cause event at Little Red Wasp on February 18. TCYLA will be raising money for Animal Hope Pet Adoptions, a non-profit organization that provides injured and sick animals with medical treatment and placement in loving homes. We hope you can attend to support this great organization and see our celebrity bartenders! Finally, TCYLA will be conducting another Salary Survey! TCYLA members will have an opportunity to participate in the anonymous survey, so be on the lookout for an email containing more information about the survey. ■



Lanham Act Ban on Disparaging Trademark Registrations Is Unconstitutional By Tom Williams and Dustin Johnson


n a ruling surprising to many, a divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the statutory ban on registering “disparaging trademarks” violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In re Tam, No. 20141203 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 22, 2015) (en banc). The Federal Circuit expressly overruled In re McGinley, 660 F.2d 481 (C.C.P.A. 1981), which found no First Amendment violation because a rejected trademark applicant remains free to use the “disparaging” mark, just without the benefit of federal registration. In In re Tam, the Federal Circuit vacated the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) denial of trademark registration for “The Slants,” the name of an Asian-American dance-rock band. The USPTO had denied registration of the mark based on Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which bars disparaging marks. 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a). Simon Shiao Tam had filed for registration of the mark for his band, The Slants, which he said he chose in an effort to “reclaim” and “take ownership” of Asian stereotypes. In re Tam, at 10-11. Tam felt that Asians should be proud of their cultural heritage and not be offended by stereotypical descriptions. Id. The USPTO found that the mark referred to people of Asian descent in a disparaging way and that a substantial composite of persons of Asian descent would find the term offensive. Id. at 11-12. In analyzing whether a mark is disparaging under the Lanham Act, the USPTO considers whether the mark “dishonors by comparison with what is inferior, slights, deprecates, degrades, or affects or injures by unjust comparison.” Id. at 9. To determine if a mark is disparaging under § 2(a), a trademark examiner considers: (1) the likely meaning of the matter in question, and (2) if that meaning refers to identifiable persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols, whether it may be disparaging to a substantial composite of the referenced group. Id. at 10, quoting Trademark Manual of Exam. Proc. § 1203.03(b)(i) (Jan. 2015 ed.). On appeal, the Federal Circuit applauded the Lanham Tom Williams is a partner in the Fort Worth office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. He may be reached at or 817.347.6625. Dustin Johnson is a partner in the Fort Worth and Richardson offices of Haynes and Boone, LLP. He may be reached at or 972.739.6969.


February 2016

Act’s goals of (1) protecting the public so it may be confident that it will get the product that it requests and wants, and (2) protecting the markholder’s investment from misappropriation from others. Id. at 5. But the Federal Circuit drew the line at the restrictions in § 2(a) based on the expressive nature of the content, reasoning that the restrictions on disparaging marks do not further the Lanham Act’s purposes of preventing consumers from being deceived and protecting the markholder’s investment. Id. at 7. The Federal Circuit concluded that the Lanham Act’s prohibition on registration of disparaging marks is an unconstitutional discrimination against unpopular speech. Writing for a six-judge majority, Judge Kimberly Moore stated that “[m]any of the marks rejected as disparaging convey hurtful speech that harms members of oft-stigmatized communities. But the First Amendment protects even hurtful speech.” Id. at 4. The Federal Circuit continued, “[i]t is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment that the government may not penalize private speech merely because it disapproves of the message it conveys,” and as such, “[t]he government cannot refuse to register disparaging marks because it disapproves of the expressive messages conveyed by the marks.” Id. The ruling may hold significant ramifications for the Washington Redskins football team, whose federal trademark registration was revoked in June 2014, when the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board concluded that the REDSKINS mark is disparaging to Native Americans. In a possible nod to the REDSKINS case, the Court in Tam complained that the disparaging mark exclusion can actually undermine the Lanham Act’s goals by allowing a party to challenge a mark many years after its issuance and after the markholder has invested millions of dollars protecting its brand identity. Id. at 7-8. The football team has appealed the revocation to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it is making First Amendment arguments similar to those adopted in ProFootball, Inc. v. Blackhorse, No. 1:14-cv-01043-GBL-IDD, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90091 (E.D. Va. July 8, 2015), appeal docketed, No. 15-1874 (4th Cir. Sept. 6, 2015). The question of denying federal trademark registration for “disparaging” marks may ultimately be determined by the Supreme Court, especially if the Fourth Circuit decides the Redskins case differently than the Federal Circuit decided Tam, which would create a circuit split only the Supreme Court could resolve. ■



By Perry Cockerell

This month we are profiling our “Judicial Sweethearts.”

Carey and Sue Walker The Walkers met during law school at Texas Tech University over thirty years ago. Now both have been serving on judicial benches since Carey was elected to Tarrant County Criminal Court Number 2 in 2014. Carey was in his third year of law school at Texas Tech School of Law, only two months from graduation, when he met Sue, who was in her first year. They had a whirlwind romance, and less than a year after their first date, they were married in March 1985, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Amarillo, where Sue grew up. Carey took a position with the Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office during Sue’s next year and a half in law school. After Sue graduated, they secured jobs and moved to Arlington in 1987. Sue’s first job out of law school was as a law clerk with the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas. Her experience later as a staff attorney for that court had a significant influence on her. “I was so fortunate to have Craig Enoch, James Baker, and Ed Kinkeade as mentors. They all served as justices on the Dallas court when I worked there.” She hoped that she would be an appellate justice someday. “I always had that as my dream,” she said. After becoming Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law in 1993, Sue focused her career in that area, and ultimately established her own solo law practice handling civil and criminal appeals exclusively. In 2001, she was elected to Place 5 on the Second Court of Appeals. She is now serving her sixteenth year on the court. Sue enjoys her work on the court. “I really like a written work product. I like words, writing, researching, and problem solving. The court was a good fit for me.” After leaving the Lubbock County DA’s office, Carey worked for two different law firms in Fort Worth and Arlington. In 1995, he set up his own law firm, where he practiced civil and criminal law until he was elected to the bench. He made a smooth transition to his judicial post and is now 10 ■ February 2016

entering his second year of service as a judge. He says he “now looks forward to Monday mornings.” Carey said his legal career was most influenced by then Lubbock County District Attorney Jim Bob Darnell, whom he credits for teaching him how to correctly prepare and try cases while maintaining the highest ethical standards. “Wayne Ward and Harry Cure taught me how to properly practice law in Tarrant County,” he said. “And I always admired Judge Billy Mills and Judge Vince Sprinkle, and I hope to live up to the standards set by these two outstanding judges.” As the newest two-judge couple in Tarrant County, the Walkers have made the adjustment. “There is, I guess, somewhat of a novelty to it. I’ve known doctors, dentists, and policemen who were married,” but for married members of the judiciary, “you don’t see it quite as often,” said Sue. “Because we’ve always been in the legal profession together since day one, it is not much different,” was Carey’s perspective. Now married for over thirty-one years, Sue and Carey Walker have two grown, married children: Janie and Benjamin. They have one granddaughter, Lucy. They are known to Lucy as Lovie and Poopaw, and they agree that Lucy is the apple of their eye. When they do have time to vacation, their favorite vacation spot is Ouray, Colorado.

Robb and Kim Catalano Robb and Kim Catalano are the second husband and wife judicial team being featured this month. Robb has been the Judge of Tarrant County Criminal District Court No. 3 for five years. Kim has been a Municipal Court Judge for the City of Fort Worth since 2006. Robb grew up in Arlington, Texas, where he graduated from Arlington Martin High School in 1988. He graduated in 1992 from St. Edward’s University in Austin with a degree in Criminal Justice. Kim grew up in Fort Worth, graduating from Boswell High School in 1988 and from St. Mary’s University in 1993 with degrees in Vocal Performance and Speech Communication. On a Friday night, while they were studying during law school at St. Mary’s in 1993, Robb asked Kim if she would like to see a movie at the dollar theater. “I’m sure she was really impressed,” he said. She must have been because they married three years later in 1996 at Holy Family Catholic Church here in Fort Worth.

After law school, Robb held positions as an attorney with the Dallas City Attorney’s office, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Fort Worth Division. In 2001, he was appointed Municipal Court Judge for the City of Fort Worth. In 2010, he was elected to the Criminal District Court bench. Robb became interested in law while working on his degree in criminal justice at St. Edward’s University. For Robb, being elected to the Criminal District bench “is an honor and has been a rewarding experience.” After law school, Kim first worked at Paul Van Ness and Associates in Dallas and then at Kirkley, Schmidt & Cotten. Then she became a Director with Brackett & Ellis. Her primary practice was in insurance defense. In 2006, she set up her own law office to continue handling guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem appointments. That same year she was also named Pro-Tem Municipal Court Judge for the City of Fort Worth, where she continues to serve. As far as balancing their home and professional life with three active boys, ages 14, 13, and 10, “the schedule is difficult because we are always going in different directions, but we work as a team and it all comes together,” said Robb. For Kim, being a Pro-Tem Municipal Court Judge and having her own legal practice allows her the flexibility to be there for her family. Her position as a Municipal Judge allows her to work during the school hours, nights, and weekends. “I love being a judge, lawyer, wife and mom. In my career, I like helping people while making sure they understand the legal process. At home, I love being there for my husband and three boys when they need me,” said Kim. In response, Robb said, “Even though she doesn’t have a regular full-time job, she is working more than full-time. I couldn’t do what I do without Kim.”

Fred and Linda Davis On paper, Fred and Linda Davis are now retired from the Tarrant County judiciary, but that does not mean they have stopped working. After leaving the 17th District Court in 2009, Fred Davis transitioned to a mediation practice in Arlington and continued serving as a visiting judge. Last year, he worked sixty days as a visiting judge. Linda Davis retired in 2013 as Judge of the Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 and remains active, although for the moment she is recovering from knee surgery. Fred was born in San Angelo, Texas. While growing up, he worked with his father, who ran three motion picture theaters in Alpine, Texas, and eventually Fred became the movie projectionist. After graduating from Alpine High School in 1956 and Sul Ross in 1960, he chose law school at Baylor University. 11 ■ February 2016

He knew he would be a lawyer early on. “I knew I was going to law school because I knew I did not want to be a coach or a doctor.” He told his banker that he had good news and bad news: “The good news is that I’m going to law school. The bad news is that you have to pay for it.” His banker responded: “Flag Freddy’s account and when he gets $500 overdrawn, send him a note for $1,000.” When he graduated from law school in 1962, he owed the bank $5,000. After law school, Fred moved to Arlington and joined Jack Harris and Chester Ball. He recalls them handing him files and saying “go try these.” He tried thirty jury trials from 1963 to 1965. “I learned from the lawyers who I tried cases with. The better lawyer I had, the happier I was.” In 1965, he set up his own law practice in downtown Arlington. “All of the Arlington lawyers had a general practice back then.” He practiced for the next twenty-three years, handling civil trial law, workers compensation, family law, criminal law, and real estate transactions. He even owned an interest in a title company. In 1988, Judge William Brigham, a good friend, urged Fred to run for the 17th District Court. He did and won. It was during that campaign that he met Linda. They were married in 1992 by Judge Brigham. In 2008, he decided not to run for reelection. “I was there for twenty years, and I thought it was enough. I wanted to transition to a mediation practice after leaving the bench and didn’t believe I would do that if I ran for one more term.” Looking back at his time as a judge, “I tried to be the best judge I could. I let the lawyers run the case. I did not interfere with them, and I did not force them to try a case that was not ready.” When Fred and Linda met, she had just sold her Century 21 real estate franchise and was taking pottery lessons from Judge Brigham. It was during one of her classes that Judge Brigham encouraged her to apply for the new Tarrant County Jury Administrator position. She was selected, and during her term, she designed, developed, and implemented the One Day/One Trial Jury System for Tarrant County. Her system won a National Award and served as a model jury system. In 1998, she decided to run for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2 in Arlington. “I knew that I would do a good job for the citizens of Precinct 2.” She won and remained in office until 2013. While in office, Linda developed a justice court that was used for training throughout the state for other JP Courts. Linda says that having a District Judge as a husband was valuable to her understanding of her job. She continues to serve as a visiting judge for the JP Courts. Linda was an instructor for the Texas Justice Court Training Center during her tenure. Fred and Linda live in Arlington, where they can access the Shady Valley Golf Course using their own personalized golf cart. Linda gave Fred this golf cart as a Valentines gift. The front of the cart says “Happy Valentine’s Day,” and the left says “Judge” while the right says “Justice.” Fred makes time to play two rounds of golf a week with friends. Retirement is good for the Davis judges. ■


Civil and Criminal by Judge Bob McCoy

Pantego Drive is the road to Pantego. The town published a booklet that explains the name: The settler Foscue became good friends with an Indian named Pantego, whom he had hired. His loyalty to Foscue was legendary. —From Werner Magnus, Who was Hulen? An Attempt to Find the Origins of Street Names in Fort Worth.

Ask Judge Bob Judge Bob, just what exactly is “prima facie” evidence? Prima facie evidence is evidence that, until its effect is overcome by other evidence, will suffice as proof of a fact in issue. In other words, a prima facie case is one that will entitle a party to recover if no evidence to the contrary is offered by the opposite party. Saratine v. Blunt, 466 S.W.3d 352, 358 (Tex. App—Austin 2015).

Ask The Danes Ramses and Moses, are there any new laws concerning rabies vaccination? Yes. The goal behind HB1740 was to improve access to rabies vaccinations. Previously, a licensed veterinarian was required to complete a full examination of an animal before it could be vaccinated for rabies, based on an administrative rule requiring the establishment of a veterinarian clientMoses patient relationship. HB1740 exempts a veterinarian employed by a county or city with a rabies control program from the requirement that a full examination be given before a rabies vaccination. Shelby Bobosky, Animal Law, Tex. Bar J., Oct. 2015, at 700. Ramses

The Danes’ Quote Of The Month “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”—Mark Twain

Criminal Items Of Interest 1. Diminished Capacity “Texas does not recognize diminished capacity as an affirmative defense. Rather, it is a ‘failure-of-proof defense in which the defendant claims that the State failed to prove that the defendant had the required state of mind at the time of the offense.’” Henry v. State, 466 S.W.3d 294, 298 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2015).

February 2016

Probate Court No. 2

County Criminal Court No. 3

Who’s That Street Named After?


Co-Editor Lin Morrisett Associate Judge

2. Circumstantial Evidence “[T]he State was entitled to rely upon circumstantial evidence because it ‘is as probative as direct evidence in establishing the guilt of the actor, and circumstantial evidence alone may be sufficient to establish guilt.’” Jones v. State, 466 S.W.3d 252, 260 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015). 3. Hearsay “A statement is not hearsay if its relevancy does not hinge on its truthfulness.” Jones v. State, 466 S.W.3d 252, 263 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015). 4.

Admission of a Drug-Ledger Journal “[T]he trial court correctly admitted the drug ledger because it was “a ‘tool of the trade’ and . . . an item commonly associated with the practice of trading in illegal narcotics. The court of appeals concluded that the ledger was not offered to prove the truth of the matters contained therein because it was not ‘used to prove particular drug transactions that were elements of extraneous crimes or of any type of drug conspiracy.’” Jones v. State, 466 S.W.3d 252, 266 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015).

5. Categories of Offenses “We distinguish offenses into three different categories of offenses based on the offense-defining statute’s gravamen, or focus: ‘result of conduct,’ ‘nature of conduct,’ or ‘circumstances of conduct’ offenses. Result-of-conduct offenses concern the product of certain conduct. Nature-ofconduct offenses are defined by the act or conduct that is punished, regardless of any result that might occur. Lastly, circumstances-of-conduct offenses prohibit otherwise innocent behavior that becomes criminal only under specific circumstances.” Robinson v. State, 466 S.W.3d 166, 170 (Tex. Crim. App. 2015). 6. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law “[N]o statute authorizes findings of fact and conclusions of law after a bench trial in a criminal case.” Robinson v. State, 466 S.W.3d 166, 172–73 (Tex. Crim. App. 2015). 7. Theft “Evidence of possession alone is not legally sufficient evidence of theft. Possession must be accompanied by ‘other facts connecting the defendant with the unlawful taking of the property,’ such as that the possession of stolen property was ‘recent, personal, unexplained, and involved a distinct and conscious assertion of right to the property.”

Torres v. State, 466 S.W.3d 329, 334–45 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2015).

Civil Items Of Interest 1. Commute from Temporary Housing is Employment. “[W]e conclude that Interstate Treating’s business called for employing specialized, non-local work crews in constantly changing, remote locations on temporary assignments. Interstate Treating’s business required its installation workers, like Lopez, to obtain temporary housing and travel from that temporary housing to that temporary, remote location. Lopez’s travel from his temporary housing to the Ridge job site and, more importantly, the risks associated with such travel were dictated by Interstate Treating’s business model and enabled by Interstate Treating’s provision of the vehicle and payment of per diem and other expenses. . . . . Accordingly, we hold that the relationship between Lopez’s travel and his employment ‘is so close that it can fairly be said that the injury had to do with and originated in the work, business, trade or profession’ of Interstate Treating.” SeaBright Ins. Co. v. Lopez, 465 S.W.3d 637, 644 (Tex. 2015). 2. Judicial Admission “A judicial admission is a formal waiver of proof that dispenses with the production of evidence on an issue and bars the admitting party from disputing it. As long as the statement stands unretracted, it must be taken as true by the court and jury; it is binding on the declarant and he cannot introduce evidence to contradict it.” In re Estate of Guerro, 465 S.W. 3d 693, 705 (Tex. App.— Houston [14th Dist.] 2015). 3. Must Request Attorneys Fees “Having grounds to seek attorney’s fees is not the same as requesting attorney’s fees. Likewise, being entitled to attorney’s fees is not the same as seeking to recover them. A request for affirmative relief requires positive action—an ‘ask.’” Stoman v. Tautenhahn, 465 S.W. 3d 715, 718 (Tex. App.— Houston [14th Dist.] 2015). 4. Mandamous Available Only When There is a Sole Rational Decision “A writ of mandamus may issue when the facts and circumstances dictate only one rational decision under unequivocal, well-settled, and clearly controlling legal principles.” Hous. Firefighters Relief & Retirement v. Hous., 466 S.W.3d 182, 187 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015). 5. Merger Clause Vitiated by Fraudulent Inducement “[E]ven a written contract containing a merger clause can be avoided for fraud in the inducement, and the parol evidence rule does not stand in the way of proof of such fraud.” Wilmont v. Bouknight, 466 S.W.3d 219, 230 (Tex. App.— Houston [1st Dist.] 2015). 13 ■ February 2016

6. Post Judgment Foreclosure not Subject to Appeal “This court has recently articulated the general rule that ‘post-judgment orders made for the purpose of enforcing or carrying into effect a prior judgment are not subject to appeal because they are not final judgments. . . . . In sum, we conclude that the judicial foreclosure order is a postjudgment enforcement order. Accordingly, in line with our Walter precedent, we lack jurisdiction to consider this appeal from a post-judgment enforcement order.” Kelly v. Wiggins, 466, S.W.3d 324, 327, 329 (Tex. App.— Houston[14th Dist.] 2015) (citing Walter v. Marathon, 422 S.W.3d 848, 855 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014). 7. Texas Public Information Act for Private Parties “[Texas Gov’t Code s]ection 522.104’s exception applies to both the government and private parties and may be invoked by either to protect the privacy and property interests of a private party in accordance with its terms.” Boeing Co. v. Paxton, 466 S.W.3d 831, 838 (Tex. 2015). 8. Percentage Responsibility “Because [Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 33] evidences the legislature’s intent that the factfinder determine the ‘percentage of responsibility,’ its plain language requires the factfinder to compare the conduct of those who allegedly violated a legal standard—even if the plaintiff could not hold all of them liable for the resulting harm.” ExxonMobile Corp. v. Pagayon, 467 S.W.3d 36, 50 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015).

Quote of the Month “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.” —Aldous Huxley

Memorable Quote from County Court at Law Number 3 Judge: What has been getting you into trouble? Accused: I have been thinking too fast. I need to slow my thinking down.

Legal Quote of the Month “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.” —Reinhold Neibuhr

Old News Fifty Years Ago: Average House Cost: $14,200; Average Car Cost: $2,600; Average Salary: $6,900; Supreme Court hands down Miranda decision, Star Trek debuts, Beatles perform last commercial concert, and start recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts club band. Gallon of Gas: $0.32, Inflation was 3.1%, top of the line IBM 360 computers are sold, which will perform up to 10 million instructions per second, with up to 4 megabytes of memory, meaning that the mid-range Iphone 6 is 140 times faster and has 16,000 times more memory. The Year 1966 from the People History, www.thepeoplehistory. com (November 25, 2015); Wikipedia (November 25, 2015).

Lawyer Referral and Information Service


News TOur ADR Section

he LRIS has received $93,410.19 in referral fees since July 1! Special thanks to William Brotherton, Bill Catterton, David Cook, James Culbertson, James Davidson, Sylvia Duarte, Todd Durden, Joan Durkin, Bryan Fears, Lacie Friday, Andrew Gore, James Graham, Earl Hargrave, Christian Jenkins, James Jinks, Lyndell Kirkley, Brian McGrath, Thomas McKenzie, Chris Miltenberger, Caleb Moore, Stephen O’Rear, Dustin Payne, Michael Remme, Lantis Roberts, Sarah Seltzer, Daniel Smith, Brian Walker, Jerry Walker, Jacob Wallace, and Brett Wyatt. Thank you all! We wouldn’t be here without you! Also a special thank you to staff members Carolina Ibarra and Brittany Gilbert for all they do to make sure reports are sent and returned in a timely manner, as well as referring the many callers to our attorney members. ■

2016 Transition to Practice Mentoring Program off to a Great Start


And, now a word from…

he Transition to Practice mentoring program kicked off the 2016 year on January 20. The program was titled “Getting Hired and Getting Paid, Employment Contracts, Billing, and IOLTA Accounts.” The program included an orientation for mentors and mentees, followed by a panel. It was a great way to start off the program for young lawyers beginning a new practice. The Committee is putting together informative programs with the newly licensed attorneys in mind, “What do They Need to Know?” The program needs more mentors. If you are an attorney who has been practicing ten years or more, then TCBA needs you. It only takes an hour a month, and it will help a young lawyer tremendously! The Transition to Practice mentoring program pairs you with a young lawyer who practices in the same area of law. There are six meetings a year with free CLE and lunch at the TCBA offices. You can use that time to visit with your mentee and answer questions or just get acquainted. The other six months of the year, we ask you to meet with your mentee by phone, over coffee, or at lunch. If you are a new lawyer, this program is for you. If you know any other attorneys who are newly licensed or have been practicing for three years or less, let them know about the program. The programs are set up with you in mind, getting you familiar with the practice of law, and helping you navigate the pitfalls. If you have questions or are interested, please contact Cindy at or at 817.338.4092. ■ 14 ■ February 2016

he Tarrant County Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section is back! Our first meeting received high praise as Christian Dennie, Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP, presented “Recent Developments in Sports Arbitrations.” One attendee stated, “That was a very fun and informative presentation!” We will have more informative and interesting speakers on a wide range of topics involving dispute resolution. We are also working with other bar sections to provide useful CLE and workshops to assist ADR practitioners. We are also working with other ADR Sections throughout Texas in an effort to promote cooperation and discussion among ADR practitioners statewide. We hope you will consider joining as we push forward toward a successful 2016. If you have any questions about the Tarrant County Bar ADR Section please feel free to contact me. Dan Paret, Chair, ADR Section •

Advertisers’ Index

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Help! LegalLine for 2016 has begun and we need volunteers. Please consider donating two hours of your time the 2nd & 4th Thursday, January through November from 6:00pm-8:00pm. 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 Dinner served at 5:30pm for all volunteers.

In Memoriam In Memoriam In Memoriam


ormer state lawmaker Chris Harris died peacefully on December 19, 2015, in Fort Worth. His funeral was held at Crossroads Christian Church in Grand Prairie on December 22, 2015. The family wishes that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Senator Chris Harris’s honor to the JoAnne Harris ScholChris Harris arship Fund at the University of Texas at Arlington or the American Heart Association. Chris was born February 22, 1948, in Pasadena, California. He was the son of attorney Jack Harris and artist JoAnne Harris. Chris graduated from Arlington High School in 1966. He attended Texas Christian University, and he earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Baylor Law School in 1971. He was the longest-serving Republican in the Texas Senate. Harris spent almost three decades representing parts of Tarrant, Dallas, Denton, Johnson, and Parker counties in the Legislature. Harris served as Chairman of the Senate Administration Committee for five terms and was the Senate President Pro Tempore in 2001. He led an extensive overhaul of the Texas Family Code in the mid-1990s. When he retired, Senator Harris was the ranking Republican in the Legislature. Harris spearheaded efforts to increase funding for the University of Texas at Arlington, especially for the College of Nursing and Health Innovation and the College of Engineering. In 1999, Senator Harris received the University’s Honorary Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2011, he was added to the UTA Walk of Fame. Harris is the Founding Partner of Harris Cook, L.L.P. with its principle office in Arlington. Harris was a civil trial litigator, primarily representing businesses and families in civil courts and family courts for almost forty-five years. Additionally, Senator Harris was a respected fee attorney in the title industry for over twenty-five years. He worked closely with the Texas Land Title Association and the Real Estate Industry. His title company in Arlington currently represents First American Title. Chris is survived by his loving wife of thirty-nine years, Tammy Allred Harris; his five children, Heather Harris Heftler and her spouse Jerry Heftler; Don Harris and his spouse, Adrianne Harris; Chris Harris, Jr.; Justin Harris and his spouse, Amy Harris; and his six grandchildren: Halley Harris, Caitlin Clasin, Harrison Beagles, Jesse Harris, Alley Harris, and Courtney Harris. Chris was predeceased by his father, Jack Harris; his mother, JoAnne Harris; his brother, Grady Harris; and his son, Courtney Harris. ■ 15 ■ February 2016


ttorney Mark L. Hart Jr., of Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, passed away on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2015, after fighting a sixteen-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. A memorial service was held on Wednesday, December 30, at University Christian Church in Fort Worth. Mark was born on April 21, 1943. His parents were Frances Shear Hart of Waco Mark L. Hart Jr. and Mark Lafayette Hart of Fort Worth. He graduated from R.L. Paschal High School in 1961 and from there went on to attend the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas School of Law in 1968, where he was Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review and where he graduated with honors. Mark was an avid athlete in baseball and basketball. In high school, he was a three-year starting pitcher and a two-year starting forward. During his freshman year in college, he pitched for the Longhorns, and from there he was heavily involved with intramural sports. He was All-University eleven times in four different sports, and he held the record for the longest softball throw at University of Texas. During law school, as a quarterback, he led the “Legal Eagles” to two university titles. In his honor, the Mark L. Hart Jr. Endowed Scholarship is awarded annually to two UT students who are involved in the intramural sports program. The University of Texas School of Law also created the Mark L. Hart Jr. Endowed Chair in Corporate and Securities Law in his honor. In 1968, Mark began his law career at Vinson Elkins Law Firm in Houston. In 1969, he married his true love, Adele Perry. He and Adele had three children: Mark Hart III, Mary Lipscomb, and Elizabeth Hart. Mark decided to move his family to Fort Worth in 1972, and in 1979, he founded the law firm of Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP along with partners Dee Kelly and Bill Hallman. Mark was the managing partner of the firm until he retired, and after his retirement, he remained of counsel until his death. Kelly Hart & Hallman is one of the largest and most respected firms in all of Texas. Mark was very active in the community and served on many charitable boards. He was special advisor to the board for the Kimbell Art Museum, president of the Board of Trustees of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, president of the local branch of the American Cancer Society, and president of the Board of Trustees of Fort Worth Country Day School. Although Mark was very involved with the community and with his work, he was devoted to his family and spent much time coaching his children’s sports teams and doting on his wife. Numerous people knew him as a mentor who offered wise, sound counsel. He always had a sense of humor and taught many what it means to be brave and dignified. Mark is survived by his wife, Adele Hart; his son, Mark Hart III and wife, Shannon, and their children, Mark, James, and Mary Shannon; his daughter, Mary Lipscomb and her husband, Blake, and their children, Jody and Miles; his daughter, Elizabeth Hart; and his sister, Harriet Hart and her husband, Sonny Wallace. ■

TCBA Member Benefits Vendor List TCBA members may take advantage of discounts provided by the following vendors:


ABA Retirement Funds program provides full-service 401(k) plans to benefit the legal community. To learn more, contact local rep. Jacob Millican at 817.451.5020 or visit AMO Office Supply offers TCBA members the lowest price guaranteed on office supplies, with next-day delivery and free shipping! Call 800.420.6421. Falcon Litigation Solutions offers discounts on copying, litigation displays, trial boards, etc. Call 817.870.0330. Fort Worth JSB Co., Inc., offers a 10% discount to TCBA members on printed materials—business cards, letterhead, envelopes, business forms, brochures, flyers, and more. For a quote, call 817.577.0572.

R E A L E S TAT E B R O K E R AG E PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 1253 W. Magnolia Ave., Ft. Worth, TX 76104 | 817.920.0000

Fort Worth Zoo, discount tickets - $9.50 adult, $6.50 for child or senior. For tickets, contact or 817.338.4092. If mailing or charging tickets, add 50 cents. Sprint offers 15% off the monthly service. For info, contact cindy@ or 817.338.4092.

Twitter @TarrantBar @TLTVinTarrant @TVASFW

UPS - TCBA has signed an agreement with UPS for TCBA members to receive discounts on shipping. The discounts vary according to the type of shipment, but check out UPS for your needs. or 1.800.PICK.UPS. For IT help: Juris Fabrilis-Cool Tools for Lawyers offers members discounted rates on web-based tools to help you manage your law practice. 817.481.1573 ext. 101. For Shredding and Document Disposal: Magic Shred is a secure shredding business that shreds your documents on-site. Magic Shred offers a 10% discount to TCBA members. Expanco is N.A.I.D. AAA-Certified document-destruction service offering 40% off to TCBA members. Call TCBA office for details on both.

16 ■ February 2016


alendar of Events

Please visit our website for a complete list of upcoming events.

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February 2016

Lawyers on the Move &

in the News

Lindsay P. Daniel has joined the Fort Worth office of Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee, PLLC as an Associate. She can be contacted at 817.509.2025, 817.509.2039 or Dena G. Weaver, formerly with the Jones, Day firm, and R. David Weaver, formerly with The Weaver Law Firm, P.C., has formed the Law Offices of Weaver & Weaver, PLLC. The firm is located at 1601 E. Lamar Blvd., Suite 102, Arlington, Texas 76011, and may be contacted at 817.460.5900. Dena’s email is, and David’s email is Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP is pleased to announce that Judge D. Michael Lynn has just joined the firm’s Bankruptcy Group as a Senior Counsel. Judge Lynn recently retired after presiding over a U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth for 14 years. He can be contacted at 817.877.8114 or Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP is pleased to announce that Paul Lopez has joined the firm as a Bankruptcy Associate. Mr. Lopez clerked for Judge D. Michael Lynn prior to joining the Firm. He can be contacted at 817.877.8168 or ■

19 ■ February 2016



African-American History Month


ebruary is National African-American History Month in the United States, when the contributions that AfricanAmericans have made to American history in the struggles for freedom and equality are celebrated. The origins of National African-American History Month began in 1915 when historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Through this organization, Dr. Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week in February 1926. Dr. Woodson selected the week in February that included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two key figures in African-American history. In 1975, President Ford issued a Message on the Observance of Black History Week urging all Americans to “recognize the important contribution made to our nation’s life and culture by black citizens.” In 1976, ASALH extended this commemoration of black history in the United States to Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, and President Ford issued the first Message on the Observance of Black History Month that year. In subsequent years, Presidents Carter and Reagan continued to issue Messages honoring African-American History Month. In 1986, Congress passed Public Law 99-244 to designate February 1986 as “National Black (Afro-American) History Month.” This law noted that February 1, 1986, would “mark the beginning of the sixtieth annual public and private salute to Black History.” Since 1996, Presidents have issued annual proclamations for National African-American History Month. The Tarrant County legal community, along with other legal communities across the country, has had a long road to travel toward gaining diversity and inclusion. After the turn of the century, there were no black lawyers to represent black defendants. Likewise, all the police, judges, prosecutors, and juries were white. Like most of Texas, Fort Worth society was strictly segregated into separate and unequal communities, which resulted in the formation of associations, communities, and businesses created by and for African-Americans. In 1954, there were four African-American male lawyers in the City of Fort Worth. One of the four, L. Clifford Davis, hung his shingle on what later became the first African-Amer-


ican owned law firm in private practice in the area. In 1956, Davis filed Jackson v. Rawdon in the U.S. District Court in Dallas, a suit that resulted in the desegregation of the Mansfield Independent School District. In 1959, he filed Flax v. Potts, another federal civil rights suit, which led to the desegregation of the Fort Worth Independent School District. From 1954 to 1976, the number of African-American lawyers practicing in Fort Worth increased to twelve. It included John T. White, Jr.; Louis Sturns; Huey Mitchell; Wayne Salvant; Leon Haley; and others. During the 1950s and 60s, Davis was denied membership in the Tarrant County Bar due to his skin color. However, in the early 1970s he was invited to become a member of the Tarrant County Bar but declined. Instead, the African-American lawyers formed their own association, the Fort Worth Black Bar Association (FWBBA) in 1977 with John T. White, Jr. as the first president. The FWBBA became an affiliate of the National Bar Association. In 1990, the association’s name was changed to The Tarrant County Black Bar Association (TCBBA). And most recently, it was renamed the L. Clifford Davis Legal Association (LCDLA). Since 1981, LCDLA has held a scholarship-and-awards banquet to award scholarships to minority students seeking to pursue a law degree and to honor those individuals who have been selfless and devoted to community service. On February 16, 2016, LCDLA will host a Kick-off Event to celebrate the start of its fundraising endeavors. The proceeds will be used toward the scholarships awarded at their September banquet. Another association, Black Women Lawyers Association (BWL) of Tarrant County, was founded in 1986 and in keeping with their tenet, “Champions of Justice Peace & Freedom,” has awarded approximately $40,000 in scholarships. BWL has also served the community through various programs such as Adopt-A-School, National Law Program, and their annual “Hotter than July” scholarship fundraiser. Although, February has been designated as National African-American History Month, diversity, equality, and inclusion of all should be celebrated, championed, and worked out 365 days a year. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Diversity Committee, please contact Chair Angel Williams at or at 817.680.8930. ■

Article Submitted by Katrina L. Lea, Contract Analyst – Law, BNSF Railway Company

February 2016



February 2016

BAR BULLETIN • February 2016 Tarrant County Bar Association 1315 Calhoun Street Fort Worth, Texas 76102-6504 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

INTEGRITY. HONESTY. AND A STEELY FORTITUDE TO FIGHT THE BIG BATTLES. Being a trial lawyer is not just a job – it’s a calling. A dedication to stand up for the rights of every person. A commitment to the rule of law and the right to trial by jury. The pursuit of truth, justice and compensation for victims. We at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings have


If any of your contact information is incorrect, please submit your corrected information to the TCBA office at 817.338.4092, fax to 817.335.9238 or e-mail to


Twitter @TarrantBar • @TLTVinTarrant @TVASFW Facebook: Tarrant County Bar Association - Fort Worth Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans - Tarrant County Chapter

answered that calling. And we are dedicated to giving a voice to all those who cannot be heard. Let’s win this.





t o d ay


PERSONAL INJURY | WRONGFUL DEATH TRUCK & AUTO LITIGATION | REFERRAL FEES HONORED Jason Stephens is licensed in Texas and Oklahoma. Seth Anderson is Board-Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. John Cummings is Board-Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and in Civil Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

STEPGENL5011_Ad_Integrity_3.625x10.indd 1


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1/15/16 12:20 PM

Tarrant County Bar Association February 2016 Bar Bulletin  

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