Page 1

April 2016


resident’s page

The Blackstone Award and Marshall Searcy The Blackstone Award will be bestowed on Marshall Searcy. Marshall is a real trial lawyer. Although his career started at Rain, by David E. Keltner Harrell in Dallas, Dee Kelly lured him to Fort Worth to be a partner at Kelly Hart & Hallman. Since then, he has been a mentor to dozens of aspiring trial lawyers. One of the ways you can tell whether a lawyer is a mentor is whether his or her photograph appears in another lawyer’s office. Marshall’s photograph is proudly displayed in many Kelly Hart offices. More about Marshall later.

The Blackstone Award was Conceived by Luther Hudson luther Hudson proposed that the Tarrant County Bar Association annually recognize an outstanding lawyer. He suggested that the award be given to a lawyer who had practiced in Tarrant County at least 15 years and who had attained 65 years of age. The Tarrant County Bar Association agreed and established the award. let me confess that Mr. Hudson was my father’s longtime partner in the Hudson, Keltner, Smith & Cunningham firm. As a result, i was around Mr. Hudson from the earliest time i can remember until he passed away.

The Blackstone Award is Not a Popularity Contest it was important to Mr. Hudson and the Association that the Blackstone Award not be based on popularity or achievements in other activities, but be awarded solely on the basis of proven ability, integrity and courage in the practice of the law. As a result, the bylaws of our Association provide: The selection of the recipient of the Blackstone Award shall be made solely on the basis of consistent ability, integrity and courage as a lawyer. no other attainments or activities, civic, political, religious, military,

social, judicial or otherwise, shall be considered. Tarrant County Bar Association Bylaws, Article Viii(c)(5). The award was named after Sir William Blackstone, an early Oxford university law professor. in the 1700s professors were paid by the number of people who signed up for their classes. Sir William was not the most entertaining of speakers and had difficulty filling his classes. But in 1765 he published the first volume of his famous Commentaries on the Laws of England. The Commentaries are divided into four volumes. Volume 1 is based on the rights of persons (civil rights), Volume 2 on the rights of things (property), Volume 3 on private wrongs (torts), and Volume 4 on public wrongs (criminal law). Although they were controversial at the time, the Commentaries became popular because they were the first attempt to reduce the english common law, which had been developed by precedent rather than by statute, to an understandable form. Jeremy Bentham, a leading politician at the time, initially criticized the Commentaries because they demystified the law. After they were completed, however, Bentham changed his mind and applauded Blackstone’s attempt to explain common law in a way that it could be understood. Bentham pointed out that Blackstone was the first to apply the common law to new scientific discoveries successfully. even though the last of the Commentaries was released in 1769, they are still cited weekly in courts around the globe as a reliable source for the origins of common law. But we ought to remember a few things about luther Hudson too.

Luther Hudson the Lawyer early in his life, Mr. Hudson was wounded by a friend in a hunting accident. After that, he got around with some difficulty. But it never really seemed to bother him. He couldn’t pursue the outdoor adventures that he enjoyed, so he immersed himself in books. His favorites were murder mysteries. He read incessantly, and it was the rare murder plot he could not figure out within the first few chapters. He used the plots and themes in his law practice. He continued on page 10 April 2016

TCBA BulleTin


Tarrant County Bar Association


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





law Day Awards Dinner


Judicial Profile Judge Steve Owen


Diversity Spotlight The Washington Firm, P.C.


Tarrant County Bar Foundation Pro Bono Awards Recipients


Geffrey Anderson Dwayne W. Smith

Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association President

Immediate Past President

President’s Page YlA Snapshot Snippets 100 Club

Michael J. Henry


Other Associations’ news & information Texas lawyers for Texas Veterans - Tarrant County Chapter legalline

Cle Corner - Section news in Memoriam - Joseph W. Colvin lawyers on the Move & in the news lawyer Referral and information Service news

April 2016

J. Benjamin Barlow Gary l. nickelson

ABA Delegate

John F. Murphy, editor H. Dennis Kelly, Assistant editor April Holland, Staff editor Graphics/Production Park Place enterprises, inc. • 817.877.8901

TCBA Member Benefits Vendor list

Ex-Officio Members State Bar Of Texas, Directors

Bar Bulletin

Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services

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

Executive Director

Patricia Graham, PlS, ClAS

Janna Clarke

Membership Report

2015-2016 Appointed Directors

2016 Spring erin Cofer 2016 Fall Susan Smith Hollingshead



Directors Term Ends 2016 leslie Barrows John Cayce Term Ends 2017 Tawana Gray Gary l. Medlin Jason C. n. Smith

Departments 1 6 12 16 17 18 19 20 21 21 21 22 22 22

President. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David e. Keltner President-elect . . . . . . . . . . . Robert G. West Vice President . . . . . . . . . . . . . nick Bettinger Secretary-Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . lance evans


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.

Law★Day TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2016 Fort Worth Club, 306 W. Seventh Street, 12th Floor


6:30 pm – Reception • 7 pm – Dinner $65 per person R.S.V.P. by Tuesday, April 26 Call Sherry Jones at 817.338.4092 or by email at

aw Day, May 1, is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. This year’s theme marks the 50th anniversary of perhaps the nation’s best-known u.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona. The 2016 law Day theme — Miranda: More than Words — will explore the procedural protections afforded to all of us by the u.S. Constitution, how these rights are safeguarded by the courts, and why the preservation of these principles is essential to our liberty. in Tarrant County, the Tarrant County Bar Association and the Tarrant County Young lawyers Association have traditionally celebrated this day by honoring and recognizing outstanding members of the bar and judiciary. These award recipients stand out in their service to our legal community and the community at large. The Blackstone Award has been given annually since 1963 and recognizes a legal career that exemplifies professional aptitude, integrity and courage. Marshall M. Searcy’s career has been this and more. The Silver Gavel Award recipient, Judge Judith Wells, reflects the criteria of this award which is given to a member of the judiciary who has served on the bench for at least ten years and who has made a substantial and noteworthy contribution as a result of their service. The Professionalism Award is given to a member of the bar who has displayed outstanding professional conduct, which this year’s recipient, Phillip W. McCrury, has unequivocally displayed in his interesting career. The Outstanding Young Lawyer recipient is given by the TCYlA and is given to a young lawyer who is recognized for their proficiency, service to the profession and service to the community. Dwayne W. Smith has been active in TCYlA and has been involved with several community service programs. The Outstanding Mentor Award recognizes an attorney or judge who has demonstrated a commitment to mentoring young lawyers in the legal community. Judge William “Bill” Harris has been devoted to giving a hand to young lawyers who are beginning their career and provides group lunches each month.

The Blackstone Award Marshall M. Searcy grew up in rural Collin County and defines himself by his deep Texas roots. Becoming a lawyer was almost by happenstance. “i had an uncle who was a farmer and i worked with him one hot summer,” Searcy

said. “He said to me, ‘if you don’t like this work, you should become a lawyer. They sit inside in the air conditioning and live the life of the weak and indolent’.” Marshall took the unintended advice to heart and attended the university of Texas School of law. in 1969 he received his B.A. (economics), cum laude, and completed his J.D., cum laude in 1972. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While attending law school, he was an editor of the Texas Law Review, a member of The Order of the Coif (top 10%), and a Chancellor (top 5%). Marshall has been licensed to practice law in Texas as well as the various federal trial and appellate courts located in this state for more than 43 years. He began his law practice in Dallas and worked for a legendary trial lawyer, Morris Harrell. During that early period of his career, he was able to participate in scores of significant trials, both criminal and civil, and learn from numerous great trial lawyers and judges. He was a partner in one of the largest law firms in Texas, locke, Purnell, Rain Harrell, for approximately 20 years. During that time, he tried hundreds of cases, throughout Texas and the united States, involving a wide variety of subjects. in 1993, he moved to Fort Worth to work with another legend, Dee J. Kelly, and became a partner in the Fort Worth firm of Kelly Hart & Hallman llP. Since 1993, his practice has been mainly limited to commercial litigation, legal malpractice defense or personal injury defense. in a previous article, his dear friend, Dee Kelly, stated, “Marshall is a great mentor to young lawyers, he is an excellent leader, but what really stands out about him is integrity. His word is his bond.” Marshall is very proud of all of his seven children, and gratified that his passion for the law has been passed down to two (and, hopefully, to some of his 12 very bright grandchildren). A son, Marshall Searcy, is a distinguished graduate of Harvard law School and a partner in the los Angeles law firm of Quinn, emmanuel & urquhart. A daughter, Merrill Hoult, is a felony prosecutor in Modesto, California. Despite his professional success and many accomplishments, Marshall said he has no plans to retire. “i’m still in pretty good health and have some degree of acuity so i’m going to keep going,” he said. “i’m sure i wouldn’t like retirement at all.” Searcy and his wife, Annette, have another small home in Tennessee, which they enjoy visiting. in his limited free time, he enjoys reading and studying Russian history. He is a life Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation. in 2013, The Texas Bar Foundation presented him with its prestigious Ronald Segrest Outstanding Trial Lawyers Award (an award that was April 2016

TCBA Bulletin


also marked by a gracious resolution from the Texas Senate). He has been a Fellow in the American College of Trial lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates for almost three decades. He has been listed in The Best lawyers in America since 1997. in 2006, he was named one of the top 10 attorneys in Texas by Texas Monthly’s annual Texas Super lawyers magazine. in 2007, he was selected as the “GoTo lawyer” in legal malpractice law by Texas lawyer in its 2007 Go-To Guide. Similarly, Marshall has been voted one of the outstanding trial lawyers in Tarrant County by both Fort Worth magazine and the Fort Worth Business Press. in 2014, the Fort Worth Business Press awarded Marshall its Legend award.

The Silver Gavel Award Judge Judith Wells was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and has two sisters. She grew up in Frederick, Maryland, and attended Frederick High School. While in high school, Judge Wells decided she wanted to be a lawyer after doing a research paper on the Teapot Dome scandal. She knew that it would be a good career and began her law journey by attending Baylor university. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree, she graduated from the Baylor law School in August, 1979 and was licensed by the State Bar of Texas in november, 1979. She began her legal practice as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Fort Worth shortly after receiving her law licensed. in April, 1981, she joined Sarraine S. Krause to form the first all-female law firm in Tarrant County. Judge Wells practiced family law in Tarrant County for over 10 years before her appointment as the Associate Judge of the 325th District Court. On January 1, 1995, she became the elected judge of the 325th District Court, where she has since presided. Her court handles a variety of family law matters ranging from domestic violence cases, divorce cases and, custody cases to termination of parental rights and adoption cases. Judge Wells had the honor of being the first female presiding Judge of the Tarrant County District Judges and served in that capacity from 2007 to 2009. in 2005, the Tarrant County Family law Bar Association honored Judge Wells with the Eva Barnes Award, which is given to an attorney/judge in recognition of that person’s outstanding service, leadership and uncommon contributions to Family law. The Award is now named in honor of Judge eva Barnes, a legendary Tarrant County lawyer and jurist, who was its second recipient in 1988. in addition to her many duties as a family district Judge, Judge Wells also finds time to serve on the boards of DFW Pug Rescue, Girls inc. of Tarrant County, and Trauma Support Services of north Texas. Judge Wells is married to Gary edwards, who is retired from the Missiles & Fire Control Division of lockheed Martin. They share two nephews and one niece plus several pugs. When asked what she loved about her career as an attorney/judge, she stated, “i get to help people and do very important work in this community.” in her role as a family judge, it is rewarding to grant adoptions and talk with young 4 ■ April 2016

people about the importance of getting a good education and selecting a career that you love – like she did!

The Professionalism Award This year’s recipient, Phillip W. McCrury, is well-known to many lawyers and judges across Texas for a niche specialty of his practice, which is providing tax and trust advice regarding personal injury settlements, and assisting with preparation of Special needs Trusts, Qualified Settlement Funds, Structured Settlement Annuities and other arrangements to hold and protect settlements. Growing up in Odessa, Texas, Phil knew he wanted to be a lawyer by the time he started elementary school. He received a B.A. in 1966 from the university of Texas and a J.D. from the uT School of law in 1968. in 1978, Phil received an ll.M. in tax from Dedman School of law at SMu. Phil began his career as an assistant district attorney in Corpus Christi before joining the Auforth & Bonniwell firm in Corpus. After obtaining his ll.M., he was hired by Phillips Petroleum Company to work on financing and legal affairs for the north Sea and north Slope oil developments. He then became a partner of the national law firm, Kutak Rock, working on public offerings of corporate debt, collateralized securities and tax-exempt bonds. He returned to Texas in 1988 to join Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, l.l.P., as he says, “to have real people and real business owners, not publicly-traded corporations, as clients. Besides, i was tired of constantly riding airplanes and especially tired of working with 21-year-old new York investment bankers who knew absolutely everything.” After joining Shannon Gracey, Phil served on the firm’s executive Committee for more than 18 years and was elected managing partner a number of those years. His broad range of experience as a business and tax lawyer is an invaluable asset to his clients. Phil has been involved in a wide variety of transactions including acquisitions, recapitalizations, mergers, franchising, and the formation of joint ventures, corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and professional associations. His clients range from mature, multi-state manufacturers to start-ups. He also assists clients with generational wealth transfer strategies, asset protection planning and estate planning. Phil was a founding member of the board of Knightsbridge Advisers and on all of the boards of the various Knightsbridge venture capital funds for 35 years, retiring from his board activities in January of this year. Knightsbridge, with offices in Boston and london, manages approximately $5.5 billion in venture capital investments for public and private pension funds and university endowments. He is a member of the Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma bars, and a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas. He is a member of Fort Worth Business and estate Council, the national Academy of elder law Attorneys and a Sustaining life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and Tarrant County Bar Foundation. He has been selected a “Texas Super lawyer,” and “Texas Power lawyer” and identified as one the outstanding lawyers in Tarrant County in all of the

polls published by the Business Press and Fort Worth Magazine since 1999. Phil is also active in civic affairs in Fort Worth and recently was honored with the first-ever lifetime Achievement Award by the north Texas Community Foundation for his 20 years of service as a board member and chairman of the organization. Phil says that he loves being a lawyer because it is challenging on many different levels: analyzing problems, communicating clearly and offering workable solutions. He says the most rewarding aspect of being a lawyer is his relationships with his clients and fellow lawyers. When reading the numerous letters of support for his nomination, it becomes clear that Phil has longstanding relationships with many attorneys, spanning all ages and practice groups of the bar. To quote one of them, “the best evidence of Phil’s professionalism is the fact that a great many of his clients are other lawyers. He is called on by lawyers throughout Texas to assist their clients with trust, tax, estate and business advice, and to assist those lawyers with the same advice for themselves and their family members.” His partners at Shannon Gracey say, “When Phil comes up in a conversation, we often hear him referred to as a ‘lawyer’s lawyer.’” “He can usually be found in his office on weekends, putting his clients’ interests ahead of his own. But if you ask him about that, he replies, ‘i’m not working hard – i’m just enjoying the privilege of doing what i always wanted – be a lawyer.’” Phillip and his wife, Ann Manning McCrury, have been married for 30 years. They are active participants in the board and committees of Mira Vista Country Club, where Ann plays golf and they have many friends. They also enjoy overseeing the ranch in Oklahoma that Ann inherited from her parents and visiting the nation’s national Wildlife Refuges to watch birds.

The Outstanding Young Lawyer Award Dwayne W. Smith was born and raised in Houston. He received his B.A. from the university of Texas and his J.D. from the university of Texas School of law. He has an older brother who is a jazz saxophonist and a younger sister who is an elementary school teacher. Dwayne is married to Mary H. Smith, an attorney with Kelly Hart & Hallman. They met when Dwayne was assigned to be Mary’s student mentor at uT law. Dwayne and Mary have two children: Austin (3) and emily (1). Dwayne is a member of Gardner & Smith, PllC, which is located in the Museum District of Fort Worth. He handles a variety of civil litigation matters but primarily focuses on helping people maintain their children, assets, and relationships through and after the divorce process. He serves as a director of the Tarrant County Bar Association and as a mentor for the family-law TVAS clinics throughout the year. Dwayne is a member of the eldon B. Mahon inn of Court, and the Tarrant County Family law Bar Association, the Tarrant County Young lawyers Association, and is a life Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation, and a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. in addition to his service to the

Bar, Dwayne is a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the board of directors for the Arlington Youth Symphony. Dwayne loves being a lawyer because “i feel like i’m making a real difference in my clients’ lives. One of the most rewarding things that i do as a lawyer is help people navigate the most difficult time in their lives and find positive outcomes under negative circumstances.”

Outstanding Mentor Award Judge William “Bill” Harris was born in Fort Worth in 1954 and grew up in euless. He has two older brothers: Ray, who is retired from the Texas Prison System, and Mac, who is a retired executive Vice President for Carolina Power & light. Judge Harris graduated from the university of Texas at Arlington with his B.S. and then went on to Texas Tech university School of law where he received his J.D. in 1982. During his years after college, Judge Harris was a Police Officer for the Arlington Police Department. He states that he decided to become a lawyer after watching Ronald Aultman try a jury trial when he was a police officer in the courthouse as a witness. [Ronald Aultman practiced in Tarrant County for 50+ years.] in 1983, he began his law practice in Bedford, where his practice focused on Family and Civil law. He served as a Municipal Judge Pro Tempore, for Hurst in 1986. From 1986 through 1989, Judge Harris was an instructor for Tarrant County Junior College where he taught Criminal law and Procedure as well an instructor for the university of Texas at Arlington teaching a Paralegal Studies Program. in April of 1995, upon the appointment of Judge Brigham to the 2nd Court of Appeals, he was appointed as Judge for the 233rd District Court and where he currently serves. His involvement with the Tarrant County Young lawyers Association began in January 2015 when he took over hosting a monthly luncheon for the young lawyers at the Family law Center. He estimated that 60 to 75 young lawyers attend these monthly luncheons. each month attorneys or judges discuss a variety of topics about practicing law with an emphasis in family law and ancillary matters. His favorite thing about being a judge is the day to day action of a trial court, hearing very diverse cases, and the ability to help the young lawyers become competent and ethical lawyers. Judge Harris has been involved and served in many areas, some of which include local Administrative Judge for the Tarrant County District Courts, Chair of the Tarrant County Juvenile Board, and member of the executive Committee for the Tarrant County Board of District Judges. He has served as faculty for the State Bar of Texas Advanced Family law Course and served as Director for the Tarrant County Family law Bar Association. He is married to the love of his life, Cathy Harris. They have two sons; one is an iraqi Freedom Marine Veteran, and the other is a Fort Worth Police Officer. They have one grandchild, with another expected in May. ■

April 2016

TCBA Bulletin


t o h s p a n S

Erin Cofer, President TCYLA



pril is a busy month for TCYlA. We start the month off with a Happy Hour on April 14—stay tuned for a location—and our Cle luncheon at Reata follows on Tuesday, April 19, at 11:45am. Finally we end the month with one of my favorite TCYlA events, Spring Fiesta. This year we celebrate our twentieth Spring Fiesta on April 28, 2016, at 5:30pm at Joe T. Garcia’s. Spring Fiesta is our opportunity to celebrate a successful year of service to our community and to raise funds to support TCYlA’s future service projects, Cle opportunities, and social events. Fiesta is our primary fundraising event for the year; the funds raised provide TCYlA with financial support for the year to come and ensure that we are able to continue our presence in the community. This year’s Fiesta will feature live music by Brad Thompson, delicious Mexican food, and of course, Joe T’s legendary margaritas.

Spring Fiesta also provides TCYlA an opportunity to honor this year’s liberty Bell Award winner. The liberty Bell is the bar association’s highest honor bestowed upon a nonlawyer. liberty Bell Award recipients are recognized for their outstanding contribution to strengthen the effectiveness of the American system of justice by instilling a better understanding and appreciation of the law. The TCYlA 2016 liberty Bell Award winner is our very own Cindy Rankin. Cindy has served the lawyers and community of Tarrant County at the bar office for more than sixteen years, and it is our honor to recognize her at this year’s Spring Fiesta. We hope you will join us. Tickets and sponsorships are still available for Spring Fiesta. Contact Martin Garcia for details. ■


TLIExceptional Because of our exceptional coverage, Texas Lawyers’ Insurance Exchange has been voted best professional liability insurance company in Texas four years in a row by Texas Lawyer magazine. That same exceptional coverage and over 36 years in the business has also made TLIE a Preferred Provider of the State Bar of Texas. Not to mention, we have returned over $41,550,000 to our policyholders. See why exceptional coverage makes the difference. 512.480.9074 / 1.800.252.9332 INFO@TLIE.ORG / WWW.TLIE.ORG

Cindy Kolb, Senior Member Services Representative


April 2016


We know you’re not


…and the Annual Blood Drive is the opportunity for you to prove it. On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., the Tarrant County Bar Association, the Tarrant County Bar Foundation, and the Tarrant County Family law Bar Association will jointly host an annual Blood Drive to benefit the Carter Blood Care Center. The Blood Drive will take place in the jury assembly room on the first floor of the Tom Vandergriff Civil Courts Building located at 100 n. Calhoun Street, Fort Worth, Texas. Carter Blood Care Center will operate the blood donation services.

in addition to giving you the ability to prove that you are not bloodless, we will: • Award ten door prizes to attendees, chosen at random (some really neat stuff, including a $75 gift certificate to Bob’s Steak and Chop House, and a night on the town gift certificate). • Provide self-guided tours of the Charles Murray Courtroom in the Civil Courts Building. • Recognize and give travelling trophies to the firms and organizations in the following categories who have the most individuals donate blood: small firm (1-10 attorneys), medium firms (11-40 attorneys), large firms (41+ attorneys), organizations (1-99 attorneys) and large organizations (100+ attorneys). everyone you bring—including staff—who gives blood count towards the entity recognized in each category. • Have snacks in the morning and afternoon, and uno’s Pizza during the noon hour! Carter Blood Care Center will have eight stations available so you can get in and out quickly, and you can even schedule a time to donate blood going to their website at Just think—the convenience of a haircut, but no itchy neck and shoulders afterwards. We intend to make this as much fun as it can be. So come on down on April 13, and help us help the Carter Blood Care Center provide blood to those who need it. See you then!

WEDNESDAY APRIL 13, 2016 April 2016

TCBA BulleTin




By Perry Cockerell

For the past sixteen years, Judge Steve Owen has been serving as Associate Judge of one of Tarrant County’s two iV-D courts. The iV-D child support program was originally established under Title iV-D of the Social Security Act to recover public assistance payments made by the federal government. Over the years, the system has grown to assist virtually any party with any child support issue. Judge Owen grew up in southwest Fort Worth. His father was a life-long employee of lockheed. His mother was a school teacher. Steve grew up with one sister. After graduating from Southwest High School in 1973, he was off to the university of Texas because “i always knew that i would be a longhorn.” After securing a degree in Government from the university of Texas, he set his sights on law school, but not before spending a year as a ski bum in Aspen. Back from Aspen, he graduated from Texas Tech School of law in 1981. After passing the bar, Steve returned to his hometown, practicing at first with Joe Brent Johnson, then with Jack Beech. later he shared offices with Jim Munford and Jerry Wood. He handled family, criminal, probate, and personal injury work in the beginning before evolving exclusively into family law by 1990. in 1990 he joined with Terry Casey, Rick Griffin, and Frank Colosi to form the firm of Griffin, Casey, Colosi & Owen in the old Western union building on Main Street. His name was last on the letterhead because “i was able to choose the corner office above Razoo’s.” Steve remembers the firm opening the windows to be a part of the Main Street Arts Festivals and the Stock Show Parades. During this time, Steve also served as a Director of the Tarrant County Family law Bar Association. When an opening occurred in the iV-D court in 2000, Judge Jeff Walker, then presiding Judge of the 8th Administrative Region, selected Steve as the new judge. A typical iV-D docket begins at 8:30 am. Monday through Thursday with forty to seventy cases set in each court and hundreds of people waiting on the first floor of the Tarrant County Family law Center for their cases to be reached. All of the odd-numbered cause numbers are assigned to Judge Owen, and the even-numbered cases are assigned to Judge Cherami Jenkins. The Attorney General prosecutes iV-D cases in Texas, first by negotiation and then in the 8

April 2016

courtroom, if necessary. The courts hear proveups, conduct short hearings, appoint legal counsel for contempt cases, issue warrants, and sign multitudes of orders throughout the day. Judge Owen says that access, current child support, and retroactive child support are the most-often-tried issues and that current support can be difficult to decide when there is an underemployed or self-employed obligor whose income is not fixed or predictable. Contested cases exceeding one hour are usually set on Fridays. As with all family law associate judges, an appeal from the iV-D court is to the appropriate family law district court. Judge Owen recommends that parties, even if they have private counsel, apply for iV-D services because the Office of Attorney General has many additional resources to collect and enforce child support payments that are not available to the private bar. His court has local rules and procedures that are available online. Cases with private legal counsel are given daily priority, but they cannot cut in the line by going directly to the associate judge and by-passing the Attorney General. no child may be brought to court for any purpose without the prior approval of Judge Owen. For those attorneys who have never had a case in his court, his advice is to talk to an experienced lawyer who has been through his court, then to ask for appointments in contempt cases if they are interested. “We are by necessity informal in much of what we do. i always encourage attorneys, especially new ones, to drop in to observe and ask questions. i enjoy visiting with attorneys and giving advice and helping out as much as i can.” Steve is married to Donna Owen and has three stepsons: Brandon, Brody, and Brice. He enjoys playing golf and vacationing in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he hopes to retire one day. ■

Refer your clients to a friend Wrongful Death • Serious Personal Injury • Trucking and Auto Accidents • Bad Faith Insurance Practice

When a serious injury needs serious attention, trust your client to a friend. You can be confident that I will give your referral my utmost attention. My firm returns every call, same day, and prepares your case for trial. In other words, we’ll treat your client like you would treat your client. Board Certified • Personal Injury Trial Law Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Changing your perception of personal injury lawyers. 2317 Plaza Parkway, Suite 100, Bedford, Texas 76021 O: 817.503.9200 C: 817.925.2272

Call me April 2016

TCBA BulleTin


PRESIDENT’S PAGE continued from page 1

was always curious about behind-the-scenes motivations. He carefully plotted his adversaries’ actions in order to predict their next move. As a result, he always was one step ahead. Mr. Hudson was also a student of the law. He and a group of other lawyers gathered one evening a month in one of their libraries and read Vernon’s Annotated Black Statues from the first volume to the last. When they completed the task, they would start again. He confided in me that appreciation of the law was enhanced by a bottle of whiskey. Mr. Hudson’s greatest skills were in legal research. He once told Kleber Miller that he knew Kleber would be successful because he had the type of “iron ass” necessary to sit through marathon legal research projects. Mr. Hudson was no stranger to those projects and could often be found in the library with his feet propped up on a table puffing on a pipe full of Sir Walter Raleigh tobacco. He often traced a legal theory back to its origin. As a result, his research often dead-ended at Blackstone’s Commentaries. He had an abiding respect for Sir William and his observations of the common law. That explains the title of our Association’s most prestigious award.

One of Texas’ Largest Judgments During his mid-career, Mr. Hudson caught the oil and gas litigation wave. He and his firm were general outside counsel to a number of independent oil and gas companies, such as Texas Pacific Oil & Coal Co. and Southland Royalty. His greatest victory happened in Crane County, Texas in a celebrated oil and gas case. Gulf Oil Corp. v. Southland Royalty Co., 496 S.W.2d 547 (Tex. 1973). With all due respect to Joe Jamail, Gulf v. Southland had a greater monetary impact than Pennzoil v. Texaco. And it also demonstrated luther Hudson’s cunning. Mr. Hudson discovered that a significant part of the Permian Basin was leased in the 1920s by major oil companies using startlingly similar lease forms. Those forms provided for a 50-year lease in the habendum (granting) clause with a separate force majeure (excuse) clause. After he analyzed the leases, Mr. Hudson came to the conclusion that the 50-year habendum clause controlled over any extensions that might be invoked by the force majeure clause unless there had been a complete cessation of production. The 50-year term was fast approaching. Mr. Hudson advised Southland Royalty to top lease as much of the Permian Basin as possible and obtain reversionary interests on top of the major oil companies’ leases. As he predicted, the majors responded by filing a declaratory judgment action in Crane County on a particularly large lease of over 45,000 acres. Gulf and the majors claimed that the proration rules and regulations 10 ■ April 2016

adopted by the Texas Railroad Commission were intervening events anticipated by the force majeure clause. As a result, they argued that the leases should be extended. The proration rules came into effect in 1938 on the eve of World War ii and continued through 1967, when they were replaced by other regulations that limited production in order to prevent waste. Gulf calculated that, on the Crane lease, it was denied a total of over 4,661 days of production and asked that the lease be extended for that additional period of time. But Mr. Hudson knew that the force majeure clause would apply only if a complete cessation of operations occurred. He wrangled a stipulation from Gulf that proration rules and regulations never caused a complete cessation of production even though wells were not allowed to produce to their full capacity. nonetheless, Gulf and the other majors were confident that they would win in Crane County. They were the largest employer in the county, and most of the remaining businesses depended on big oil for their existence. But Mr. Hudson knew something big oil did not. He never planned for the case to be submitted to a jury. His research showed that Judge Austin seldom granted summary judgments. instead, Judge Austin allowed the plaintiff to complete its presentation to a jury. After the plaintiff rested, the Judge seriously considered matters raised in summary judgment as the basis for granting a directed verdict. Gulf’s Dallas lawyers put on a case based on the unfairness of the proration rule and argued that the only fair thing was to extend the lease. Confident that they had won over the jury, Gulf rested. Mr. Hudson orally made the motion for directed verdict. Judge Austin did not hesitate and granted the motion from the bench. The result was pandemonium. Gulf and the other major companies had counted on the leases continuing. Their earnings estimates and SeC filings depended on continued leases. Gulf promised an immediate appeal and, good to its word, filed in the el Paso Court of Civil Appeals. A divided court affirmed Judge Austin, but there was a strong dissent in favor of big oil. The case was appealed to the Texas Supreme Court. When the court granted writ, the new York Stock exchange halted trading in Gulf’s stock. in a move unheard of at the time, the exchange asked the Texas Supreme Court to alert it prior to the issuance of any decision so that stock trading could be halted again until the results of the decision were fully digested. The Supreme Court affirmed Judge Austin in an opinion authored by Justice Tom Reavley. The result was the transfer of billions of dollars of oil and gas interests that dwarfed the $13 billion Pennzoil/Texaco judgment. And luther Hudson did all of that from right here in Fort Worth, Texas.

Mr. Hudson’s strategy was studied but risky. He pitted his client against one of the largest and most influential oil companies of the time. That courage won the day. To luther Hudson, courage in the practice of law was important. no wonder courage rather than popularity is the standard for the Blackstone Award.

Luther Hudson the Man Mr. Hudson was not the most friendly of men. in fact, he could be quite abrupt. One of the more infamous stories about him was that, upon being introduced to the new CeO of a client, he inquired how a man of such mediocre talent could reach such a high position. naturally, the firm was dismissed as the client’s counsel the next morning. Mr. Hudson had lunch every day at a table at the Men’s Grill in the Fort Worth Club. He started each lunch with a bottle of Heineken beer. He proudly claimed that his doctors told him that the beer was good for him, would fill him up, and prevent him from eating too much. He almost never invited anyone to join him, and people seldom did. even so, he was a man of great charm. When he liked you, he made no secret about it. long before the days of emails and texts, Mr. Hudson would jot and mail notes to his friends on the smallest of matters. it was always exciting to receive one of his messages. The people that worked for Mr. Hudson were fiercely loyal. His secretary was Maifred Cullen, who had previously been the Clerk of the eastland Court of Appeals. Mrs. Cullen, worked with Mr. Hudson for over thirty years. She became part of his family and ours, too. From junior high through high school, i was hired by Hudson, Keltner to service and update its library. in those days, loose-leaf services were all the rage, and there were always instructions on how to insert new pages in the binders and discard old ones. Once mastered, the task was bearable; but until mastered, it struck fear in young and old alike. if a misstep were to occur, the loose-leaf service binder could seldom be rehabilitated and was rendered useless. One unfortunate Saturday afternoon, i messed up the firm’s only copy of the Fort Worth City Code. i could not reconstruct it no matter how hard i tried. On the next Monday after school, i caught a bus downtown and went to City Hall to purchase a new code book out of my own funds. That way, i would not have to confess to Mr. Hudson that i had ruined the firm’s copy of the Code. it took a while, but i finally located the right department. A nice man asked me why i wanted a copy, and i told him my sad tale. He asked me to wait, and in about twenty minutes he came back with a new copy with the inserts already installed. He refused my offer of payment and told me my secret was safe with him. But it wasn’t. He called Mr. Hudson and told him that a young man had tried to buy a new copy of the Code because he had ruined the firm’s copy. When i didn’t say

anything about it on the next Saturday, Mr. Hudson called me into his office, closed the door and told me he was going to talk to me like a Dutch uncle. luckily, i didn’t know what a Dutch uncle was. The bottom line was that he was disappointed that i didn’t tell him of my mistake but appreciated my effort to make sure the firm’s copy was up to date. He then took me into the library and gave me some advice i will never forget. He said, “The library can be either your best friend or your worst enemy…and you have to determine which it will be.” He then sat down and showed me how he researched. i often think about what Mr. Hudson would think about computerized research. i think he would have loved it. He could do all of his work in less than half the time. He would have been disappointed about one thing, however. He revelled in finding cases that had been mis-headnoted or mis-Shepardized. He had a long list of them that he kept in a notebook in his office, and he always thought it gave him an advantage. if so, it was an advantage that came from hard work. And luther Hudson was a hard worker. in 1984, Mr. Hudson was selected as the recipient of the Blackstone Award he created. After a legal career that demonstrated competence, integrity and courage, he deserved it.

Marshall Searcy Deserves the Blackstone Award The truth is that some of our members who deserve the Blackstone Award did not receive it, but no one who received it was undeserving. Marshall Searcy is a classic example of a lawyer who deserves the Blackstone. in another article, you will read about Marshall’s accomplishments. But the important thing is that Marshall is courageous. He has taken on the representation of lawyers accused of misdeeds, often without the expectation of payment. He has taken on unpopular causes and sued the State of Texas over the General land Office’s bogus surveys. in other words, he did not think about the personal consequences of representing the client; he only thought about what the client needed. That is the kind of courage the Blackstone Award demands. Marshall’s integrity and ethics cannot be questioned. Finally, Marshall is a skilled trial lawyer. like luther Hudson, Marshall learned early that dealing with people is 90% of the practice of law. On that point, he has no equal. He is as fast on his feet as anyone you will encounter, and his cross examinations are legendary. At least two victims of Marshall’s cross examinations later hired him as a lawyer to avoid being cross examined by him again. Somewhere, luther Hudson is smiling over the selection of Marshall Searcy as this year’s Blackstone Award recipient. And so is Dee Kelly. ■


April 2016

TCBA Bulletin



Civil and Criminal by Judge Bob McCoy

Rusk Street—Rusk Street was changed to Commerce Street in 1917. it was in the center of Hell’s little Acre, and this seemed too undignified to the good citizenry. General Thomas Jefferson Rusk (1803–1857) campaigned against indians and also fought in San Jacinto against the Mexicans (in 1836). He was Secretary of War in the Republic of Texas. He co-signed the Texas declaration of independence in 1836 and was Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 1838 to 1840. He was elected u.S. Senator in 1846. —From Werner Magnus, Who was Hulen? An Attempt to Find the Origins of Street Names in Fort Worth.

Ask Judge Bob Judge Bob, Can a contract be composed of more than one document?” Yes, a court may determine, as a matter of law, that multiple documents comprise a written contract, and in appropriate instances, may construe all the documents as if they were part of a single, unified instrument. In re Estate of Guerrero, 465 S.W.3d 693, 703 (Tex. App.— Houston [14th Dist.] 2015).

Ask The Danes Ramses and Moses, is there any control over the sale of dogs by roadside vendors? Yes, the commissioners court of a county with a population of more than 1.3 million by order may regulate the following in the unincorporated area of the county if they occur on a public highway or road, in the right of way of a public highway or road, or in a parking lot: (1) the sale of . . . live animals[.]” Tex. Transp. Code § 285.001 (West 2012).


The Danes’ Quote Of The Month “The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” —Samuel Butler, “Higgledy Piggle”

Criminal Items Of Interest 1. Motion for New Trial “The purposes of a hearing on a motion for new trial are (1) to determine whether the case should be retried and 12

April 2016

Probate Court No. 2

County Criminal Court No. 3

Who’s That Street Named After?


Co-Editor Lin Morrisett Associate Judge

(2) to prepare a record for presenting issues on appeal if the trial court denies the motion. A hearing on a motion for new trial is not an absolute right. A hearing is not required when the matters raised in the motion for new trial are subject to being determined from the record.” Reyes v. State, 465 S.W.3d 801, 805 (Tex. App.—eastland 2015). 2. Fails to Object “if the party fails to object until after an objectionable question has been asked and answered, and he can show no legitimate reason to justify the delay, his objection is untimely, and the party waives any error.” Swilley v. State, 465 S.W.3d 789, 796 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2015). 3. Disruptive Juror “A trial court has the discretion to arrest a disruptive juror for causing an outburst during voir dire, but abuses that discretion when it arrests a juror for speaking honestly about his inability to hear a case impartially.” Drake v. State, 465 S.W.3d 759, 766 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015). 4. Subject Matter Jurisdiction “Subject-matter jurisdiction is essential to a court’s power to decide a case. Subject-matter jurisdiction cannot be conferred by consent, estoppel, or waiver.” In Re S.A.H, 465 S.W.3d 662, 665 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015). 5. Authentication “The preliminary question for the trial court to decide is simply whether the proponent of the evidence has supplied facts that are sufficient to support a reasonable jury determination that the evidence he has proffered is authentic. . . . [T]he fact that an electronic communication on its face purports to originate from a certain person’s social networking account is generally insufficient, standing alone, to authenticate that person as the author of the communication.” Dering v. State, 465 S.W.3d 668, 671 (Tex. App.— eastland 2015). 6. Search Warrant “The task of the issuing magistrate is simply to make a practical, common-sense decision whether, given all the circumstances set forth in the affidavit, including the ‘veracity’ and ‘basis of knowledge’ of persons supplying hearsay information, there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place.” Taunton v. State, 465 S.W.3d 816, 822 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2015).

Civil Items Of Interest 1. Property Owner Rule “Thus, as with expert testimony, an owner’s property valuation may not be based solely on the owner’s ipse dixit. An owner may not simply echo the phrase ‘fair market value’ and state a number to substantiate the owner’s claim; the property owner must provide the factual basis on which the opinion rests. This burden is not onerous, particularly in light of the resources available today. But, the valuation must be substantiated; a naked assertion of ‘fair market value’ is not sufficient. even if unchallenged, the property owner’s testimony must support the verdict, and conclusory or speculative statements do not. in addition, under this court’s precedent, evidence of the amount paid in the past to purchase property, by itself, is legally insufficient to support a finding as to the property’s market value at a later date.” DZM v. Garren, 467 S.W.3d 700, 703 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015). 2. Purchase Price Alone Insufficient “[T]he Fourteenth Court of Appeals has respectfully disagreed with this part of Burns, concluding that it conflicts with authority from the Supreme Court of Texas that the purchase price alone is legally insufficient evidence to establish market value at a later date and concluding that the failure to object or to submit controverting evidence does not transform legally insufficient evidence into legally sufficient evidence.” DZM v. Garren, 467 S.W.3d 700, 705 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015). 3. No Contempt Imprisonment for Disobeying Sanctions Fees “[C]ontempt judgments ordering imprisonment for disobeying a sanctions order to pay attorneys’ fees or costs are void as an unconstitutional imprisonment for a debt.” In re McLaurin, 467 S.W.3d 561, 565 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015). 4. Limitations Not Running from Judgment Date “[F]or an action to enforce a payment ordered by the judgment but predicated on future conditions, the dormant judgment statute does not begin to run on the date the judgment becomes final; rather, it begins to run when the payment becomes due.” Abrams v. Salinas, 467 S.W.3d 606, 611 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015). 5. Vesting Limitations in Paternity Dispute “Rightly or wrongly, the legislature had determined when the child was born that a four-year statute of limitations applied to a suit to adjudicate paternity and had not yet endorsed the exception relied upon by Husband in this case. Thus, S.T.’s right to rely on that limitations period as a defense vested.” In re S.T., 467 S.W.3d 720, 727 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2015). 6. Adjustments in Comparable Sales “Making adjustments is part of the basic comparable sales method. The question of the appropriateness of

adjustments for differences relating to zoning was not a question of whether the basic comparable sales methodology was reliable. instead, it was a fact-intensive question of whether, in the judgment of the expert witness based on facts obtained during his investigation, adjustments permitted by the well-accepted methodology were appropriate in this circumstance.” Café Ribs, Inc. v. State, 468 S.W.3d 94, 118 (Tex. App.— Houston [1st Dist.] 2014). 7. Attorneys Fees Mandatory Under 91a “The parties do not cite, and we have not found, any authority addressing whether a prevailing party on a [Tex. R. Civ. Proc.] Rule 91a motion is entitled to recover appellate attorney’s fees. . . . Therefore, we conclude Zheng is entitled to recover reasonable and necessary appellate attorney’s fees, but not necessarily all of his appellate fees because he is the prevailing party only relative to his claim against Vacation network under the Act.” Weizhong Zheng v. Vacation Network, Inc., 468 S.W.3d 180, 187–88 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015).

Quote Of The Month

“Admiration. n. Our polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves.” —Ambrose Bierce

Legal Quote of the Month “Justice without strength is helpless, strength without justice is tyrannical. unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just.” —Blaise Paschal

Old News Tsutomu Yamaguchi was an engineer for the shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy industries when he went to Hiroshima on a business trip on 6 August 1945. He was badly burned by the first atomic bomb that was dropped less than two miles away. He spent the night in an air raid shelter before returning home two days later. As such, he was at home in nagasaki on 9 August when the second atomic bomb bomb devastated that city. He is the only man known to have survived two nuclear attacks. Tsutomu Yamaguchi, Wikipedia (Mar. 11, 2016, 4:20 PM), ■


alendar of Events Please visit our website for a complete list of upcoming events. April 2016

TCBA BulleTin




April 2016



The Washington Firm, P.C.


his month’s Spotlight on Diversity features The Washington Firm, P.C. (The W Firm), which was formed in 2006 by the husband and wife team, nate and Katrina Washington. nate, a former Assistant District Attorney, and Katrina, a former civil and criminal litigator, are fearless advocates who always maintain respect and integrity. The Washington Firm’s mission is to be a strong, informed, and persuasive voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Together, the partners have over twenty years invested in legal practice. in the ten years since The W Firm was formed, the Washingtons have prided themselves on providing employment opportunities to other minority lawyers. Two of their former lawyers continued their legal advocacy and became judges. The firm encourages staff, and attorneys, to become involved in the legal community and are supportive of their participation in local bar associations and other community organizations. The Washington Firm believes that lawyers can and should have a positive impact on the communities where they work, and their lawyers truly believe in service to the community. in addition to representing those injured by the negligence of others, The W Firm continues to be active in a variety of community service projects, including sponsorship of school programs, which is determined each year based upon information submitted by teachers and counselors. in recognition of Black History Month and in an effort to inspire children and youth to accomplish their goals, The Washington Firm has sponsored a Black History Month essay Competition each February. in conjunction with local churches, the Washington Firm has awarded prizes such as laptop computers, iPads, iPods, and gift cards to participants at various churches. The firm’s lawyers actively participate in Kappa league Mentoring, Junior league, and other local and national community and faith-based programs. Their lawyers have been called upon to be guest speakers at a number of local elementary, junior high, and high schools and have served as guest lecturers at a number of colleges and universities, including the upward Bound College Preparatory Program, Texas

Christian university, Southern Methodist university, and Texas College. The Washington Firm, P.C.’s practice is primarily focused on personal injury litigation; however, they often represent business owners and churches in general civil litigation. ■

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

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. Lacy Lyster Malone & Steppick, PLLC 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-

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 Paup, Shutt & Associates, P.C. Phelps Dunbar LLP Plains Capital Bank Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Ray, L.L.P. 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 School of Law The Wolf Law Firm, P.C. Thompson & Knight, LLP Underwood Law Firm Varghese Summersett, PLLC Wallach & Andrews, P.C. 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 Sandy Tilley at 817.338.4092 or email her at

Other Associations’

News & Information

Arlington Bar Association Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. President, larry Gaydos. For location & information, email arlingtonbarassociation@yahoo. com or call 214.651.5622. Black Women Lawyers Association For meetings and information, contact Sue Allen, President, at 817.926.5005 or sue@sueallenlaw. 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, 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 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 cgayden@ 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, 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 or 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. April 2016

TCBA BulleTin


Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

Tarrant County Chapter

TLTV News TLTV Holds First United Way Clinic

Volunteer Profile John Corbin, Law Office of John Corbin

On March 4, 2016, Texas lawyers for Texas Veterans – Tarrant County Chapter (TlTV) held its first free legal clinic under a Veterans Fund grant from the united Way of Tarrant County. The clinic was held at Tarrant County College’s downtown Trinity River Campus. At the clinic, attorney volunteers provided free legal consultations to veterans who have returned to civilian life after active duty service in the military. law students and community volunteers also volunteered at the clinic.

Thanks For Taking A Case Thanks to Atticus Gill (The Gill law Firm) for assisting a veteran from the TlTV/united Way Clinic with his legal issues. TlTV extends its thanks to legal Aid of northWest Texas (lAnWT) and Texas A&M university School of law’s Veteran Project for assisting veterans from TlTV programs. 18

April 2016

John Corbin has been a loyal TlTV volunteer since its inception. John currently is a member of TlTV’s committee and chairs TlTV’s Communication subcommittee. John attends most of the monthly legal clinics, and has provided pro bono representation to a number of veterans in probate, family, and other matters. Why do you enjoy volunteering for Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans – Tarrant County Chapter? “As a general solo practitioner in civil law, i have represented clients in a variety of legal fields, including personal injury, family law, bankruptcy, debtor-creditor relations, business litigation, as well as estate probate. Over the years i have had to become proficient at thoroughly interviewing clients in order to get the case facts accurate and to understand their particular concerns. in this regard, i have learned a great deal from my voluntary participation as an attorney interviewing our military veterans and giving them legal advice at the free legal clinics offered monthly by the Texas lawyers for Texas Veterans-Tarrant County Chapter.”

Want To Help? TlTV is always looking for new volunteers to get involved with the committee, attend a clinic, or take a case. At this time, TlTV is trying to place income eligible veterans with bankruptcy and family law attorneys. Please contact Megan Cooley at if you are interested in assisting a veteran from the TlTV program. ■

Thank you to these volunteers: 03/10/2016




norma Bazán Sylvia Duarte Bryce King Scott Phillips

Bryce King Scott Phillips Sandra Thompson

CPA/Attorney Tram le

Law Students Danielle Bateni Kathleen Bausell

Staff Carolina ibarra Dinner sponsored by the Tarrant County Bar Foundation

CPA Michele Soriano

Law Students elizabeth Anderson Kathleen Bausell Jesse Calderon Bridget Davidson Kenny Mcentire Kimberly Roberts

Staff Carolina ibarra Dinner sponsored by the Tarrant County Bar Foundation

Space For Lease in the historic

Tindall Square Office Complex in Downtown Fort Worth

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Parking available Up to 10,000 square feet of office space available with rates starting at $18.50 psf. Current office tenant base includes attorneys, private investment firms and accountants. Executive suites for attorneys available, call for details. Secure record storage facility conveniently located on site with rates as low as $120/month Within walking distance to local restaurants and Sundance Square Office Space and Record Storage Space Available Immediately

Contact Debara Herring ■ 817.632.6364 505 Pecan Street, Suite 101 ■ Fort Worth, Texas 76102 April 2016

TCBA BulleTin


New Faces

of the Bar

The Tarrant County Bar Association welcomes two new faces to their staff. April Holland joins us as our Communications Director and Sandy Tilley joins us as our Membership Director. We are pleased to have these ladies as part of our staff. ■

April Holland

Sandy Tilley




on’t forget benefits of membership in the TCBA. With Spring Break came a lot of members purchasing discounted zoo tickets. The tickets are good through December 31 and are a big savings. Don’t forget about them this summer when you are vacationing or have company from out of town. Other benefits include the eighteen Substantive law Sections; reduced rates on Cle (Brown Bags, luncheons, Section meetings, last Tuesday Cle); reduced rates on room rental at the TCBA Bar Center; monthly Bar Bulletin (by email or mail) as well as updates on upcoming events by email; Community Service Opportunities through the Foundation: legalline, Texas lawyers for Texas Veterans, Tarrant Volunteer Services; as well as through community service committees: People’s law School, Annual Food Drive, Blood Drive, elder law Committee, and others; reduced rates on advertising in the Bar Bulletin and on the TCBA website; mentoring program for young lawyers; and reduced rates on office supplies, Sprint, uPS, and shredding documents.


April 2016

We would like to take this time to welcome the new members of the TCBA: Attorneys


Adison Banks Cade Harris Rob Hayden Alicia Kreh Beverly Lee Beth Harkins Miller Justin D. Murray Heather Nevarez Jeffrey C. Rodriguez Marc M. Rose Ryan Sellers Kobby Warren

Trace Anderson Mary R. Wintermote

Students Daniel Carter Laura Gordey Carrie Murdock Brian Steinocher Danielle Taylor

if you have any questions regarding your membership, please contact Sandy at the bar office or email her at

TVAS Held April Uncontested Divorce Clinic with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas


n April 4, 2016, Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services (TVAS) held an uncontested divorce clinic in partnership with legal Aid of northWest Texas (lAnWT). At TVAS’s uncontested divorce clinics, attorney volunteers meet with low income Tarrant County residents screened by TVAS or lAnWT. The attorney volunteers file divorce pleadings and represent the client through the conclusion of the divorce. if you are interested in volunteering at a future TVAS clinic, please contact Megan Cooley at

VOLUNTEER PROFILE Christie lindsey (Berend & lindsey, PllC) is a repeat attorney volunteer for TVAS, and has assisted TVAS and lAnWT clients with wills and estate planning and uncontested divorces. TVAS awarded Christie its Volunteer Attorney Award at the Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s annual meeting for her steadfast commitment to the program and service to low income residents in Tarrant County. WANT TO HELP? TVAS is always looking for new volunteers to get involved with the committee, attend a clinic, or take a case. Please contact Megan Cooley at if you are interested in assisting the TVAS program. ■

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. 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. 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.


April 2016

Christie Lindsey

CLECorner Sherry Jones Associate Executive Director

Section News Happy Spring! it is time to get started with electing new section chairs. Some sections have a rotation process and others solicit for volunteers to run for office. However your section handles it, now is the time to get the process going. Your new chairs need to be elected by May 30 and they will take office on July 1, 2016. Please contact your section chair or Sherry Jones if you are interested in serving on your section’s board. let’s get this ball rolling! ■ April 2016

TCBA BulleTin


In Memoriam In Memoriam In Memoriam Article written by Mark J. Petrocchi


arrant County lost an excellent lawyer and compassionate human being on March 18, 2016, with the passing of Joseph Wesley Colvin. He epitomized the values that every Tarrant County lawyer should strive to attain. He was a local product of Fort Worth laneri High School and of the university of Texas in Austin. An area native, he learned to balance his family, the rights of his clients, the collegiality of the bar, and the interests of the community. licensed to practice law in the state of Texas for over 50 years, he earned friendship and respect from members of the bar, clients and the judiciary. As a former Tarrant County Bar President and dean of the Bankruptcy Bar, he influenced the lives and careers of many of us. Joe was regularly honored by different associations with Super lawyer of Texas types of accolades but modestly chose not to publicize himself. Joe showed an inspirational dedication to the law without forgetting the reasons that life is really important. At the age of 78 years, he did things many of us only wish we could do. He was a loving husband, a father to six well-rounded and generous children, grandfather of twelve and great grandfather of five. Many of his family and closest friends called him uncle Joe. He was willing to listen, understand and attempt to work on the problems of others. embracing the role of counselor, he doled out practical solutions along with legal advice. Joe loved the law and loved the puzzle. When it came to a financial challenge or a legal problem, he would humbly reveal his sharp intellect. Joe was able to perform amortization schedules in his head and could dissect and reassemble

a cash flow projection in minutes using only a yellow pad and a pencil. Joe remembered more law than most of us will learn in our lifetimes, but he always presumed that he needed to re-read relevant statutes and cases as a foundation in preparing every matter. Though he was a very patient man, he was quick to offer improvement and to mentor any attorney that asked for assistance. Joseph W. Colvin in addition to his dedication to the rule of law and the practice of law, Joe was always present in the community. He supported the schools of his children with his funding and with his time. He was supportive of Catholic charities and often provided complimentary legal services to charitable organizations and churches, including many of different faiths. At the end of his practice, he became of counsel and acted as an attorney in a limited role, but he never gave up his support for the community and was a regular participant in legalline. While Joe had a chance to say goodbye to his family and his friends, there was no need for him to make peace with the world. Joe’s life allowed him to be in balance and to be peaceful both within himself and with those around him. We have lost a great lawyer, but more importantly, we have lost a great person. in tribute to him one of his friends noted, “He was easy to like.” ■

Lawyers on the Move &

Lawyer Referral and Information Service

in the News

Jeffrey A. Rattikin and the law firm of Rattikin & Rattikin, llP are pleased to announce that Thomas R. Turet has joined the firm as Of Counsel. Tom, an AV Preeminent-rated attorney and board certified in Commercial Real estate law, has practiced real estate, title, energy, corporate and mortgage lending law for 38 years. Jeff and Tom look forward to expanding the firm’s real estate, title, exchange and online legal services platforms to markets across the state. Tom may be reached at The law firm of Adams, Lynch & Loftin, P.C. is pleased to announce that M. Chad Berry, Jerry D. Bullard, Allan S. Graves, Cory S. Hartsfield and Richard E. Hill have become Shareholders in the law firm. You can contact the firm at 817.552.7742. ■

Tarrant County Bar Association - Fort Worth Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans - Tarrant County Chapter


April 2016



he lRiS is growing and staying busy. in March, the lRiS staff made over 75 referrals in one day! That doesn’t happen too often, but needless to say it was a busy day for the staff, and we hope that the attorneys receiving the referrals get some good cases. Thanks to our lRiS attorneys for their referral fees sent in this month: William Brotherton, Andrea Casanova, Danielle Dulaney, James Jinks, and Sarah Seltzer. ■

Advertisers’ Index FALCON DOCUMENT SOLUTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 JURIS FABRILIS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 KOONSFULLER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSIDE FRONT COVER LAW OFFICES OF STEVEN C. LAIRD, P.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSIDE BACK COVER LAWPAY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 LEXISNEXIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 PARKER LAW FIRM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 STEPHENS ANDERSON & CUMMINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BACK COVER TEXAS LAWYERS’ INSURANCE EXCHANGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 TINDALL SQUARE OFFICE COMPLEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

April 2016


TCBA BulleTin


Each year, lawyers are asked to make the $150 Access to Justice Contribution on their dues statement. Last year, less than 8 percent of lawyers donated. If every lawyer gave, nearly $15 million would be raised. You + $150 = $15 Million The need is great. 5.8 million Texans qualify for legal aid. 1 in 5 actually get assistance. Without help, our most vulnerable neighbors lose their homes, the medical care they need, the wages they worked hard to earn, and occasionally, their lives. The statewide Justice for All Campaign funds legal aid organizations in your community and around the state that work tirelessly to prevent these tragedies and to preserve the rule of law and fairness in our justice system. You can help! • • • •

Make your Access to Justice Contribution right now! Participate in the Firm Competition, April 11-22 Wear jeans on Justice for All Jeans Day, April 15 Join the Champion of Justice Society to show your strong support of access to justice.

Contact Catherine Galloway at (512) 427-1892 or for more information.


April 2016

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


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


Advertising NOTICE

Classified ads no longer appear in the Bulletin, but can be found on the website

Tarrant County Bar Association April 2016 Bar Bulletin  

Take a look inside and see what's happening at the Tarrant County Bar Association

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you