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Bulletin April 2017

Mattie Peterson Compton Blackstone Award

Judge Dana Womack Silver Gavel Award

Vincent P. Circelli Outstanding Young Lawyer Award

Mack Ed Swindle Professionalism Award

Kenneth McAlister Outstanding Mentor Award

Law Day Awards Dinner

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 g 6:30pm g Fort Worth Club




A Tribute to Our Friend Trisha Graham

he time has almost arrived for us to wish our friend Trisha Graham a happy and successful retirement. Trisha has been the Executive Director of the Tarrant County Bar Association for 25 years, when then TCBA President Terry Gardner and by Robert G. West then President Elect (and now District Judge) David Evans had the great wisdom and long-term vision to hire her in 1992 to serve as TCBA’s first full-time Executive Director. The official Retirement Reception for Trisha will be held at the Tarrant County Bar Center on Thursday, April 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. But I fully expect that some of her friends who cannot attend the evening reception will stop by the Bar Office throughout that day to wish her the best and talk about the good old days of TCBA years past and present and her plans for the future. Trisha will not get a lot of work done that day!! I understand that Trisha plans to be in the Bar Building and on the job for another week after her retirement reception until the Bar Office closes for Easter weekend. She will then be out of the office a lot using her accrued vacation and sick leave, but still attending events like the Bench Bar Conference at the end of April and the Law Day dinner on May 9 before officially leaving her TCBA employment at the end of the current fiscal year on June 30. Trisha and her husband, Joe Graham (who has also provided commendable service to TCBA over many years), plan to celebrate their freedom from an office by traveling near and far in the coming weeks, months, and years. But I expect that, at least for a while, Trisha will be only a phone call away from whomever may need to call her for the history of a particular matter or for advice on how to solve the emergencies of the day. As many of you are aware, I have known Patricia Graham for 35 years, since she began work as legal secretary at the downtown Fort Worth law firm then known as Godfrey, Decker, McMackin, Shipman, McClane & Bourland, of which I was then one of the younger partners. Trisha was not my primary legal secretary during the four years that she worked at the “Godfrey Decker” firm, but she shared a small secretarial office with my legal secretary across the hallway from my office. Trisha and my secretary got along very well

and would back up each other when the other was out of the office. I relied on Trisha as much as I relied on my own secretary. I soon recognized and learned to trust Trisha’s excellent skills as a top notch legal secretary who had about as many years of experience in a law office as I did in those days, and she knew a lot more than I did about how letters, documents, pleadings, motions, briefs, and orders needed to be written. She knew all of the court clerks and most of the judges, and she knew how to best expedite a matter through the legal system in Tarrant County and Johnson County. Trisha is a graduate of Fort Worth Polytechnic High School and later attended Tarrant County Junior College, while working full time as a legal secretary. She began her career in the law as a legal secretary for Jon Paul Hammond in Cleburne; then worked at the family law firm then known as Mayo, Pickering, Hoover & Carter, located at the Summit Towers; then was a legal secretary at Godfrey Decker working primarily for my business law partner Michael B. Hunter and pitching in to help me and Robert Decker and our legal secretaries whenever needed, which was often. Trisha then returned to Cleburne to work as a legal secretary and legal assistant for Hammond & Dulick, and later worked in Burleson as a legal secretary/legal assistant/office manager for Wilson & Associates. Trisha has always been a professional in her law work and has set high standards of ethics, integrity, courtesy, and professionalism for herself and those around her. In her “spare” time after office hours, she has always been active in the professional associations for her work. As a legal secretary, she was a very active member of the Fort Worth Legal Secretaries Association, including service as its President in

Continued on page 20

April 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 1

Tarrant County Bar Association


817.338.4092 ▪ Fax 817.335.9238 website: email:

Features 3 Law Day 10 Bench Bar Conference XXIV 12 Annual Blood Drive



Term Ends 2017

Tawana Gray Gary L. Medlin Jason C. N. Smith Term Ends 2018

Departments 1 President's Page 7 LegalLine 8 YLA Snapshot 9 Calendar of Events 9 Membership Report 11 100 Club 14 Snippets 17 Judicial Profile - District Judge Jesse Nevarez Jr. 19 Lawyers on the Move & in the News 20 Lawyer Referral & Information Service News 22 In Memoriam 26 Other Association's News & Information 27 Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans 27 Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services



Advertiser's Index Deborah Adame...........................................................13 Family Access Services................................................28 JurisFabrilis............................................................28 KoonsFuller.......................................Inside Front Cover Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C............................24 LawPay..................................................................13 LexisNexis..........................................Inside Back Cover Lone Star Ag Credit......................................................21 Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P.......................................9 Parker Law Firm............................................................16 Stephens Anderson & Cummings............Back Cover Texas Lawyers' Insurance Exchange.......................26 Tindall Square Office Complex..................................26

2 ▪ April 2017

2016-2017 Officers President...............................Robert G. West President-Elect....................Nick Bettinger Vice President...........................Lance Evans Secretary-Treasurer...................John Cayce

Cody L. Cofer Veronica C. Law Lu Pham

2016-2017 Appointed Directors Raul A. Canez Julie A. Sladek

Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association President 2017 Spring

Tennessee Walker 2017 Fall

Christopher Gee

Immediate Past President David E. Keltner

Executive Director Patricia Graham, PLS, CLAS

Ex-Officio Members State Bar of Texas, Directors Gary L. Nickelson Curtis Pritchard ABA Delegate Janna Clarke

Bar Bulletin John F. Murphy Editor H. Dennis Kelly Assistant Editor April Holland Staff Editor/Graphics/Production The Tarrant County Bar Bulletin is a monthly publication of the Tarrant County Bar Association. Articles, photos, suggestions or comments should be directed to: 1315 Calhoun Street ▪ Fort Worth, TX 76102-6504 Deadline for submission is the 20th day of the month, two months prior the date of the issue (e.g. March 20 for the May issue). Items for publication may be emailed to in Word format. Articles published in the Bar Bulletin do not necessarily re�lect the opinions of the Tarrant County Bar Association, its of�icers, or the Board of Directors. Advertisements, and feature articles should not be considered an endorsement of any service, product, program, seminar or event.



May 9, 2017 g 6:30pm Reception g 7:00pm Dinner & Awards g Fort Worth Club RSVP to Sherry Jones at 817.338.4092 or $65 Per Person g $130 for Two Tickets g $600 for Reserved Table of 8 g $750 for Reserved Table of 10


aw Day, May 1, annually, is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. 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. Mattie Peterson Compton’s career has been this and more. The Silver Gavel Award recipient, Judge Dana Womack, 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, Mack Ed Swindle, has unequivocally displayed in his interesting career. The Outstanding Young Lawyer Award 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. Vincent P. Circelli 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. Kenneth McAlister has been devoted to giving a hand to young lawyers who are beginning their career and mentoring them in many various ways.

Blackstone Award

because the world was not eagerly awaiting another Smith woman with a B.A. in Political Science. That is how she came to graduate from the University of Michigan Law School in 1975. She calls herself an “accidental lawyer.” She says that college in Massachusetts and law school in Michigan convinced her that she is not designed for life in the frozen tundra. So after a brief stint solo practicing in Ann Arbor, she returned to Fort Worth to practice law in the City Attorney’s Office, followed by a federal clerkship with the late Hon. David O. Belew Jr. For the last 35 years, she has served in a variety of capacities in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, including as a civil AUSA, a deputy civil chief, and a deputy criminal chief. Mattie has combined work with service to the legal profession as a long-time board member of Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, and a recently completed term as the Chairman of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation. She is a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. She is the proud mother of son, Joseph Emerett Compton, IV, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She often says

Mattie Peterson Compton

Mattie is a Fort Worth native, having graduated from Dunbar High School on the eastside of Fort Worth. She recalls sitting at the dining room table listening to the woman talk of her mother, a vice-principal at Dunbar, a neighbor who was a maid for a wealthy west side family, and her mother’s University of Michigan graduate school roommate, who was a judge in Chicago. Mattie, though growing up in a segregated FWISD school system, naively thought that becoming a lawyer and a judge was just one of the options open to every African American woman. While in the fall of her senior year at Smith College, a friend called her and told her she should pursue some graduate degree,

April 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 3

that she is just trying to live up to the accomplishments of her 100 year-old Mother, Mae Cora Peterson, and she is very grateful for the support given to her by her brother and sisterin-law, John and Laura Peterson. Her professional associations include the Tarrant County Bar Association, the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, and the L. Clifford Davis Legal Association (formerly Tarrant County Black Bar Association). She is a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. She has previously served the State Bar of Texas on the Liaison to the Federal Judiciary Committee and the Disciplinary Review Committee. Throughout her career, she has been active in the Fort Worth community, serving and leading numerous boards. To name a few, she has served on the board of directors of Child Study Center, Easter Seals Society of Tarrant County, Sickle Cell Anemia Association, The Women's Center, Multicultural Alliance, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Van Cliburn Foundation, Fort Worth Zoological Association, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, and Tarrant County Bar Foundation. She has also served on the Alumnae Fund Committee of Smith College, the Board of Visitors at Texas Wesleyan University, and is the Chair of the Harriet Tubman Scholarship at Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University, and Baylor University. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Worth.

Silver Gavel Award

Dana Womack

In October, 2015, Judge Dana Womack announced that she would not run for a sixth four-year term as Judge of the 348th District Court. Her term ran through December 31, 2016, and she served twenty years as a Civil District Judge in Tarrant County. Her career as a judge has been filled with numerous accolades and appreciation from peers. Though she says she was a judge who liked to "stay under the radar," her office told a different story. On one wall was a handwritten note and photograph that read: “To Dana Womack, with appreciation, every good wish and very best regards, Ronald Reagan.” Certificates of appreciation from the Tarrant County District Clerk’s Office and the Tarrant County Commissioners Court line other walls. She has also served as President of the Fort Worth Republican Forum and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of North Texas, Inc. and Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas, Inc. Judge Womack obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology from Baylor in 1982. In 1983, she graduated from Baylor Law School. How did she finish law school one year after college? She began taking college

4 ▪ April 2017

courses at Navarro College while attending high school in Corsicana. She transferred those credits to Baylor and later was permitted under an existing program to enroll in Baylor Law School before graduating. Once in Baylor Law School, she studied straight through every quarter without a summer break until she graduated in November 1983. She met her future husband, Keith Branyon, in law school where they were partners in Practice Court. They were told that if they could make it through Practice Court together, marriage would be a snap! The prognosticators were correct; Judge Womack and Keith celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary in March. Judge Womack began her career as an Assistant County Attorney in Odessa (Ector County). She handled civil and criminal cases during her time in that office. She and Keith moved to Fort Worth in early 1985, and she began the second phase of her career as an Assistant District Attorney for Tarrant County shortly thereafter. Judge Womack always did civil work while in Fort Worth, representing Tarrant County and its officials. During her time in Tarrant County, she also became Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Civil Appellate Law. In late 1995, Judge Womack decided to run for judge of the 348th District Court. Though the first-ever judge of that court, Michael Schattman, was not seeking re-election, Judge Womack had 4 opponents in the race. The campaign was long and grueling, and in the midst of it her father died in January, 1996. She took her oath of office in January, 1997, and had proudly served until her retirement. Judge Womack has not decided what she will do in the next phase of her life. She loves animals, and she loves to travel. If she can combine the two, she does so. She and Keith fell in love with the Canadian Rockies in the late 1980s, and she looks forward to hiking and photographing elk, deer, moose, black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, and coyotes on her trips there. In the summer of 2015, they traveled to the Arctic Circle, where they saw polar bears, seals, puffins and walruses.

Professionalism Award

Mack Ed Swindle

Mack Ed Swindle grew up in Abilene, Texas, attended Abilene High School and Abilene Christian College (now ACU), where he majored in economics and was a gymnast. He attended Baylor Law School, where he was an editor of the Baylor Law Review and graduated in 1974. Mack Ed’s practice is in Texas state courts and federal courts in various states. He has been licensed to practice since 1974 and began his practice

in Lubbock with the Nelson, McClesky, Harriger & Brazil firm. In 1977, he moved to Fort Worth and became a founding partner of what is now Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC. Mack Ed represents parties in civil disputes and complex litigation and arbitration. He also handles intellectual property licensing and disputes. He is board certified in Civil Trial by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mack Ed had been named a Super Lawyer from 2003 to the present, and has been named in the Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, in the Texas Super Lawyers, and has been named one of the top 100 lawyers in the Dallas/Fort Worth region. He has been named a Top Attorney in Intellectual Property Litigation and in Civil Litigation from 2008 forward, and named an Attorney of Excellence by the Fort Worth Business Press for the years 2003 forward, and recognized as a Power Attorney by the Fort Worth Business Press. Mack Ed says that he married above himself to his beautiful wife, Sharon, and he is especially proud of his two daughters, Cameron and Sommer, both of whom are married and live in the Fort Worth area. His main joy consists of time with his four grandchildren and giving them music lessons. Mack Ed says he especially enjoys practicing law in Tarrant County where the lawyers are known for their excellent advocacy coupled with collegiality and professionalism.

Outstanding Young Lawyer Award

Vincent P. Circelli

Vinny Circelli grew up in Aledo, Texas, and attended Texas Christian University (B.A. 2005, cum laude), and SMU School of Law (J.D. 2008, cum laude). While in law school, Vinny interned for federal judge Sam Lyndsey, tried several jury cases as part of SMU’s criminal justice clinic (under supervision and with a provisional bar card), and clerked at Kelly, Hart & Hallman and Haynes & Boone in Fort Worth. In 2014, Vinny and his partners George Parker Young and Kelli Walter formed Circelli, Walter & Young, PLLC—a complex commercial litigation/mass-litigation boutique in downtown Fort Worth. Before forming the new firm, all three worked together for several years in the litigation section of Haynes & Boone. Vinny greatly appreciates the high-quality experience, training, and friendships he gained at his former firm. He strongly believes that young lawyers should seek as many different substantive legal experiences as they can find as early as they can find them. His favorite trial was a pro bono case in an area of law far outside Vinny’s normal

practice: Vinny was lead counsel for a Congolese citizen seeking refugee status after he suffered horrific governmentsponsored torture but who was facing immediate deportation back to the Congo (the client was granted refugee status at the conclusion of the deportation/removal trial). Through this trial process, Vinny gained invaluable experience in preparing his client (who did not speak English) for testimony and cross-examination and other important skills that can be utilized in his regular trial practice. Vinny is a former president of the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, where he met several good friends and colleagues. He is an officer on the Business Litigation Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association, is a Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation, and received the 2015 State Bar of Texas Substantive Law Series of Articles Award (presented to TCBA for series written by Vinny, Tom Williams, and Dustin Johnson). Vinny has been recognized as a Top Attorney in Civil Litigation by Fort Worth, Texas Magazine (every year 2010-present) and as Thompson Reuters’ Texas Rising Star published by Texas Monthly Magazine (every year 2013-present). Vinny met his wife Chelsea in high school (they were also neighbors), and they now have three children: Emiliana (6); Vincent, Jr. (2); and Evangeline (7 mos.). He and his family regularly volunteer and contribute to Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Catholic Charities, Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth, and Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Outstanding Mentor Award

Kenneth McAlister

Kenneth L. McAlister is a Fort Worth native. For two years, Ken pursued his original dream of becoming a fighter pilot at Annapolis until he realized that his dreams had changed. In his letter of resignation to the Naval Academy, Ken said that he needed to serve his country in another way by becoming a lawyer. After working as a child protective social worker for what is now known as the Department of Human Services, Ken applied and was accepted to Texas Tech School of Law. Ken began his practice working as a commercial trial lawyer for McLean Sanders Price Head & Ellis and then for Shannon Gracey Ratliff & Miller. After practicing for 14 years, Ken left his commercial litigation practice to become a solo family law practitioner and continued to serve his community in his family law practice for over 20 years. His experience as a social worker enabled him to understand the human aspects of family law and the importance of lis-

April 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 5

tening to his clients and paying attention to the results on the children affected by divorce. As of last year, Ken made another significant career change within his legal practice. Ken used his knowledge gained in commercial litigation to transition into real estate law and, after some years of learning the practice, formed Texas Secure Title Company with three trusted associates. Practicing law, and in particular practicing trial law, gave Ken the opportunity to help people in a way that was unique and extremely valuable, and that opportunity was a gift that needed to be shared with the upcoming generations of attorneys. Ken began mentoring early into his career by meeting with young attorneys at his office; in time his ambition to share and teach grew with his legal practice. Ken dedicated even more of his time to mentoring by assisting new attorneys at the courthouse and eventually by joining the Transition to Practice Program of the Tarrant County Bar Association. He also mentored through the Outdoor Mentoring Program for


Benefits of Membership

hy be a member of the Tarrant County Bar Association? Besides wonderful networking opportunities and camaraderie in the legal community, membership has other benefits such as: 1. The TCBA has eighteen Substantive Law Sections offering CLE and networking with members interested in the same areas of law. 2. Reduced rates on CLE (Brown Bags, Luncheons, Section Meetings, 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 e-mail. 5. Community Service Opportunities through the Foundation: LegalLine, Texas Lawyers for Texas VeteransTarrant County Chapter, 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, UPS, shredding documents, the Fort Worth Zoo, and more. 9. The all-important fun networking opportunities. So the next time someone asks you why join the TCBA, please let them know. We thank you for your continued membership. This Bar Association is great because of its members like YOU! If you have any questions regarding your membership, please contact Sandy at the bar office at 817.338.4092 or by email at g

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Big Brothers Big Sisters. For almost two decades he has assisted in taking children from the city into the great outdoors to experience nature, the shooting sports, and hunting. Aside from being an attorney, Ken managed to keep his first and more important job as “dad” a top priority. Ken has been married to Pamela McAlister for 41 years and has two successful daughters, Kelly and Kathleen. Ken was active in his daughters’ pursuits and extracurricular activities of dance and soccer. He coached, then managed, his daughter’s soccer teams and served as a director and president of the Fort Worth Youth Soccer Association. He serves his church family for many years first as president of the men’s club, then on the pastoral council, finance committee, as a lector and now as a cantor. Ken is a member of the Texas Bar, Tarrant County Bar, and Tarrant County Family Law Bar Associations and the American Board of Trial Advocates. Ken has been board certified in Civil Trial law for over 30 years. g

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 material - 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. Texas Rangers Baseball discount tickets are available by going to, selecting a game and entering the coupon code. Contact Sherry Jones for the coupon code by email at 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, so check out UPS for your needs at 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. Call the TCBA office for details. Expanco is N.A.I.D. AAA-Certified document-destruction service offering 40% off to TCBA members. Call the TCBA office for details. g

Retirement Reception for

Trisha Graham April 6, 2017 5:30pm - 7:30pm TCBA Bar Center BBQ and all the trimmings Please join us as we celebrate Trisha Graham and her 25 years of service to the Tarrant County Bar Association. If you cannot make the reception, please feel free to stop by the Bar Office throughout the day to wish her the best.

LegalLine 817.335.1239

Winner Announced for Quarterly Drawing H. Franklin Moore


ongratulations to Franklin Moore on being the winner of a $200 Del Frisco Gift Card for the Quarterly Drawing. Franklin is of Counsel and practices civil litigation at Griffith, Jay, & Michel, LLP. He is the Chair-Elect of LegalLine and has also been a past president (1986) of the Tarrant County Bar Association. Congratulations and thank you for your service to the community through LegalLine. g

April 2017 â–Ş TCBA BULLETIN 7



Tennessee Walker, President TCYLA


CYLA has a newly minted slate of officers and board members. I am honored to take the reins as president. Thanks to our most recent president, Susan Smith, and those who came before her, TCYLA is stronger than ever and poised to increase its service to the Tarrant County bar and community as a whole. Despite my first name, I am not from Tennessee— although that would probably make introductions easier. I am from Tehuacana, Texas—a tiny town of 300 people located just north of Mexia. Good luck with those pronunciations. I considered myself destined to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a horse trainer. My father talked me out of that career path and sent me to college. Upon leaving Limestone County, I obtained my undergraduate degree from Texas A&M and my law degree from Baylor. I began my legal career with Harris Finley & Bogle, P.C. in 2008. After eight invaluable years at Harris Finley, I decided to make a change. In June 2016, I joined Patterson Law Group and committed my practice to plaintiff’s personal injury work. I have been actively involved in the Tarrant County Bar since 2008, and I have served on the TCYLA Board of Directors since 2012. Whether all that makes me qualified to serve as TCYLA President, I do not know, but the job is mine for the time being. My goal for TCYLA over the next six months is simple: increase our community service. To accomplish this goal, we will be building on existing community service projects

The Tarrant County Bar Association is Participating in the

and adding additional projects. Some of our current projects include providing necessities bags to the homeless, providing back-to-school backpacks for children in need, and raising money at happy hours to support any number of local charities. We are also working to set up dates for our members to volunteer and fill boxes at the Tarrant Area Foodbank and to serve meals at the Ronald McDonald House. In addition to community volunteerism, TCYLA is proud of its partnership with Texas A&M School of Law. We just finished the second year of the Texas A&M Professionalism and Leadership Program. This program strives to instill practical/soft skills in 1L law students. As we all know, soft skills are vitally important to the practice of law. As part of the program, TCYLA volunteers work in conjunction with Texas A&M staff to provide invaluable soft skill training. Texas A&M’s Professionalism and Leadership Program is first class, and TCYLA is proud to have a key role in the program. Finally, TCYLA’s annual Spring Fiesta is scheduled for April 13 at Joe T. Garcia’s. This is always a fun event for both our current and former members. This year’s event is sure to be a blast, and we are particularly excited about honoring Trisha Graham, this year’s Liberty Bell Award winner. Trisha’s service to the TCBA and TCYLA deserves a tip of every Tarrant County lawyers’ hat. Trisha (it’s part of your job to read this), TCYLA wishes you well as you ride off into retirement, but we will miss you dearly. g

Saturday, April 22, 2017 Clearfork in Fort Worth 5000 Clearfork Main Street Fort Worth, 76107 For more information and to register with the TCBA Team visit RacefortheCure/FTW_GreaterFortWo rthAffiliate?pg=entry&fr_id=6724

8 ▪ April 2017

Calendar of Events

6 7 12 12 13 13 14 17 18 19 20 22 25 25 25 27 27 28

April 2017

Trisha Graham Retirement Reception 5:30pm, TCBA Office 214/817 Night at the Ballpark 5pm (doors open), Globe Life Park in Arlington Appellate Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Fort Worth Club Women Attorneys Section CLE 12pm, One Safe Place TCYLA Spring Fiesta 5:30pm, Joe T. Garcia's LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office Good Friday Holiday TCBA Office Closed Bankruptcy Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Fort Worth Club International & Immigration Law Section Luncheon 12pm, TCBA Office Labor & Employment Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Petroleum Club Construction Law Section Luncheon 12pm, TCBA Office People's Law School 12:30pm-4:00pm, Texas A&M University School of Law Tax & Estate Planning Section Luncheon 11:30am, Petroleum Club Last Tuesday CLE 1pm, TCBA Office Solo & Small Firms Section Mixer 4:30pm, Anderson Law Firm Energy Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Fort Worth Club LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office Bench Bar Conference XXIV April 28-30, Hilton Lakefront in Rockwall

4 4 9 10 11 16 17 19 23 23 24 25 29

May 2017

"Live to Give" Blood Drive 8am-4pm, Tom Vandergriff Civil Courts Building Women Attorneys Section 5:30pm, Times Ten Cellars Law Day Awards Dinner 6:30pm, Fort Worth Club Coorporate Counsel Section Luncheon 12pm, City Club LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office Real Estate Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Petroleum Club Transition to Practice Luncheon 12pm, TCBA Office Women Attorneys Section End of Year Happy Hour 5pm, Kent & Co. Wines Tax & Estate Planning Section Luncheon 11:30am, Petroleum Club Last Tuesday CLE 1pm, TCBA Office Labor & Employment Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Petroleum Club LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office Memorial Day Holiday TCBA Office Closed

Membership Report Welcome to Our New Members Attorneys Amy Allin Steven Matthew Baker Don W. Bryeans Timothy Davis Lisa Falcone Kate Gardner Tracie Greene Amy Gurecky Alex Haynes Emily Kirby John Kleinwachter Christina Lee Demetrice M. Lopez Jonathan Lowe Pharra McDonald

Violet Nwokoye Stephen Parker Chad Reed Michael Reer Rick Sanchez Kathleen Simpson Eric Jeffrey Starnes Jeanette Strange Students Colin Heinrich Regina Palmer-Coleman Associates Dan Burgess Timothy McKay

April 2017 â–ª TCBA BULLETIN 9

Just a Few Weeks Away April 28-30, 2017 Hilton Lakefront Resort Rockwall, TX 7.75 Hours of CLE Credit Murder Mystery Dinner, Wild West Trivia, Golf, Painting with a Twist, and Lots More... Come join fellow Bar Members and the following Judges for a great weekend! Judge Patricia Baca Bennett Judge Brooke Allen Judge Wade Birdwell Judge Brent Carr Judge Robb Catalano Judge David Cook Judge Don Cosby

Judge Jeff Cureton Judge Bill Harris Justice Leza Kerr Judge Susan McCoy Justice Bill Meier Associate Judge Lin Morrisett Judge Reed O'Connor

Judge Don Pierson Judge Jennifer Rymell Associate Judge Ellen Smith Judge Carey Walker Judge Scott Walker Justice Sue Walker Judge Mike Wallach

Register online at Thank You to Our Sponsors Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz, PLLC Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C.

Harris, Finley & Bogle PC Lively & Associates, LLP State Bar of Texas


Bush Rudnicki Shelton, P.C.

McDonald Sanders, P.C. Winstead PC

Barlow Garsek & Simon, L.L.P.

Tarrant Couny Bar Foundation Cantey Hanger Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. KoonsFuller Family Law Brackett & Ellis, P.C.

Barrows Firm, P.C. Juris Fabrilis, Inc. Decker Jones, P.C. Friedman, Suder & Cooke Law Office of Greg Lehrmann Law Office of Nancy Gordon The Medlin Law Firm, PLLC

Members of the 2016-2017

100 Club

Adams Lynch & Loftin P.C. Albert Neely & Kuhlmann LLP Allmand Law Firm, PLLC Anderson & Riddle, LLP Baker Monroe PLLC Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP Blaies & Hightower, L.L.P. Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, PC Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Broude Smith & Jennings PC Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell LLP Brown Pruitt Wambsganss Ferrill & Dean, P.C. Bruner & Pappas LLP Cantey Hanger LLP City Attorney's Office-City of Fort Worth Cook Children’s Health Care System Curnutt & Hafer, L.L.P. Dawson Parrish, PC Decker Jones, P.C. Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP Edison, McDowell & Hetherington, LLP Forshey & Prostok, L.L.P. Friedman, Suder & Cooke Gordon & Sykes, LLP Griffith, Jay & Michel, LLP Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. Holland Johns & Penny LLP Jackson Walker, L.L.P. Jim Ross & Associates Joshua Graham & Associates, PLLC Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

KoonsFuller, P.C. Lacy Lyster Malone & Steppick, PLLC Law, Snakard & Gambill, P.C. Lively & Associates, LLP Loe, Warren, Rosenfield, Kaitcer, Hibbs, Windsor, Lawrence & Wolffarth, PC 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. Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Ray, L.L.P. Second Court of Appeals Stephens, Anderson & Cummings Suzanne I.Calvert & Associates Tarrant County CDA's Office Taylor, Olson, Adkins, Sralla & Elam, L.L.P. The Berenson Firm P.C. The Blum 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 Whitley Penn, LLP Wick Phillips Winstead PC The Wolf Law Firm, 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 2016-2017 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-

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 on July 1, if you have not paid your renewal invoice, contact our Membership Director Sandy Tilley at 817.338.4092 or email her at g

Knowing that you’re still not BLOODLESS Thursday, May 4, 2017 8am - 4pm Tom Vandergriff Civil Courts Building


n May 4, 2017 the Tarrant County Bar Association, Tarrant County Bar Foundation and the Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association will be hosting their annual Blood Drive. This year’s event will be held again in the Jury Assembly Room of the Tom Vandergriff Civil Courts Building located at 100 N. Calhoun Street starting at 8am and ending at 4pm. The annual Blood Drive benefits our locally operated Carter Blood Center. Thanks to so many of you who helped to make the 2016 Annual Blood Drive our most successful drive ever with over 120 people participating. The Blood Drive Committee has been working diligently to make our 2017 Blood Drive event just as successful. Already the Committee has secured door prizes to be given to selected participants, and the list continues to grow!!!!: Sundance Square Date Night for 2 Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Wine Basket Trio Bryan & Shauna Wright Prince Lebanese Grill Dinner for 2 TCU Baseball game tickets Dutch’s gift card Amazon ($25) gift card Massage Envy (1 hour) gift card Gourmet/wine gift basket Starbucks ($25) gift card 12 Bundtlets Nothing Bundt Cakes (Camp Bowie) Mary Kay Basket Marissa Diaz-Sims, Mary Kay Consultant With last year’s event, the Committee initiated the recognition and awarding of its “travelling trophies” presented to law firms and organizations that have the most individuals donating blood. The categories for awards include: small firms (1-10 people); medium firms (11-40), large firms (41+), organizations/associations (up to 99) and large or-

12 ▪ April 2017

ganizations/associations (100+). Everyone (attorney, staff, friend, etc.) who participates can associate with any entity in hopes of winning one of these beautiful travelling trophies. Last year’s trophy winners included the Tarrant County Domestic Relations Office, the Second Court of Appeals, the Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP law firms, and the Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association. Who knows if they will maintain their trophies in 2017. Come early to enjoy a coffee social and light breakfast provided by Corner Bakery, or visit at lunchtime for delicious UNO's pizza. Carter Blood has assured us that there will be plenty of stations for timely donations. Appointments/sign-ups can NOW be made at The Blood Drive Committee is excited and sincerely hopes that each of you can participate this year. Mark your calendars now (May 4) for this fun event and for an opportunity to provide blood for those who are in need of this invaluable lifeline. g

The Tarrant County Bar Foundation


Monetary Donations Only Please Now - April 6, 2017


he Tarrant County Bar Foundation gratefully requests your participation in the Annual Food Drive for the Tarrant Area Foodbank. Every $1 donated can provide five warm meals to those in need, so skip your $5 coffee and buy 25 meals! To make your tax deductible donation to this worthy cause, make your check payable to the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and send it to Annual Food Drive, Tarrant County Bar Foundation, 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth 76102. MONETARY DONATIONS ONLY PLEASE. You will receive a tax letter from the Foundation, and your name will not be on any mailing lists for any charities. If you would like to know more, please contact Edwin R. Jensen II at, Lauren McDonald at, or Anne Palmer at


Civil and Criminal by Judge Bob McCoy


Ellis Ave./Rd. Merida G. Ellis was an early settler and dairy man, also a contributor to the railroad fund (1876), and he developed the Ellis Division. His childhood was spent in the Sycamore Creek area. He built the first school on the Northside after donating the property and was called the “Father of the Northside.” He came to Fort Worth at the age of two with an aunt and uncle, Mr. & Mrs. Samuel P. Loving, who raised him. —From Werner Magnus, Who was Hulen? An Attempt to Find the Origins of Street Names in Fort Worth.


Judge Bob, what varieties of temporary injunctions are there? There are two general types of temporary injunctions: prohibitive and mandatory. A prohibitive injunction forbids conduct, and a mandatory injunction requires it. Health Care Serv. v. E. Tex. Med. Ctr., 495 S.W.3d 333 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2016).


which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous)

Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.


Co-Editor Lin Morrisett Associate Judge Probate Court No. 2

County Criminal Court No. 3

extinguished by inaction alone.” Glover v. State, 496 S.W.3d 812 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016).

2. Circumstantial Evidence

Because a conviction may be had on circumstantial evidence, there is no requirement that the proof must point directly and independently to each element of the offense. Grimm v. State, 496 S.W.3d 817 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016).

3. Indigent Defendant

While a State need not “purchase for the indigent defendant all the assistance that his wealthier counterpart might buy,” the defendant may be entitled to the “basic tools of an adequate defense or appeal” when such assistance is needed for him “to participate meaningfully in a judicial proceeding in which his liberty is at stake.” However, “a defendant does not have an absolute right to a state-appointed expert.” Sitawisha v. State, 496 S.W.3d 826 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2016).

4. Mistake of Fact Instruction

Mistake of fact “is a defense to prosecution that the actor through mistake formed a reasonable belief about a matter of fact if his mistaken belief negated the kind of culpability required for commission of the offense.” A defendant is only entitled to a mistake of fact instruction if there is some evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the appellant, that negates the culpable mental state. Aleman v. State, 497 S.W.3d 518 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2016).

THE DANES’ QUOTE OF 5. Exigent Circumstances THE MONTH The police may not create their

Ever consider what dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come Ramses back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul—chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we’re the greatest hunters on earth. —Anne Tyler


Almost every right, both constitutional and statutory, may be forfeited by the failure to object. Systemic rights are those rights “widely considered so fundamental to the proper functioning of our adjudicatory process” that they “are not

14 ▪ April 2017

own exigency to make a warrantless arrest or search. Exigent circumstances do not meet Fourth Amendment standards if the government deliberately creates them. Bonsignore v. State, 497 S.W.3d 563 (Tex. App.— Fort Worth 2016).

6. Territorial Jurisdiction

Theas has territorial jurisdiction over an offense if any part of the actus reus, or prohibited conduct, of the offense occurs within the State of Texas. Lee v. State, 497 S.W.3d 591 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2016).

7. Mistrial

When the trial court sustains an objection and instructs the

jury to disregard but denies a defendant’s motion for a mistrial, the issue is whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying the mistrial. Only in extreme circumstances, when the harm caused by the improper remark is incurable, that is, “so prejudicial that expenditure of further time and expense would be wasteful and futile,” will a mistrial be required. Reed v. State, 497 S.W.3d 633 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2016).

5. Judicial Error as Superseding Cause


6. Recent Improvement Insufficient

1. Inmate Litigation

The failure to file the [Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 14.004(a)] affidavit or declaration relating to previous filings can result in dismissal without notice or hearing, even if the failure to comply with Chapter 14 can be remedied. Brown v. Jones, 492 S.W.3d 360, 361 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2016).

2. Administrative Issue Preservation

Many of our sister courts . . . have held that a party’s failure to raise an argument before an appraisal review board will deprive the district court of jurisdiction to hear that argument in a trial de novo. While we respect these courts’ reasoning and desire for precise argument at all levels of the case, we decline to adopt this approach. We do not believe that the burden of issue preservation should start at the level of the appraisal board. Sebastian Cotton & Grain, Ltd v. Willacy Co. Appraisal Dist, 492 S.W.3d 824, 828–29 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2016).

2. Trial De Novo

[A]s a general rule, a trial de novo cures all procedural defects in the proceedings below. Sebastian Cotton & Grain, Ltd v. Willacy Co. Appraisal Dist, 492 S.W.3d 824, 829 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2016).

3. Attorneys Fees

[A]dopting the reasoning of our sister courts in Aaron Rents and Zapata, we conclude the language in section 42.29 is mandatory, and affords the trial court no measure of discretion in determining whether to award attorney’s fees. Sebastian Cotton & Grain, Ltd v. Willacy Co. Appraisal Dist, 492 S.W.3d 824, 836 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2016).

4. No Adult Adoption by Estoppel

Unlike a person who is adopted when he is a child and has “no will or choice of [his] own in the matter,” Thompson held that justice did not require that “an adult, who is capable of caring for himself and contracting for himself” at the time of the adoption be protected by the doctrine of adoption by estoppel. . . . With the legal procedures in place for an adoptive parent to either (1) legally adopt the adult or (2) provide for that adult in his will, we are unwilling, as an intermediate appellate court, to hold that an adult may be adopted by estoppel. Dampier v. Williams, 493 S.W.3d 118, 123, 125 (Tex. App.— Houston [1st Dist.] 2016).

A judicial error is a reasonably foreseeable result of an attorney’s negligence if “an unbroken connection” exists between the attorney’s negligence and the judicial error, such as when the attorney’s negligence directly contributed to and cooperated with the judicial error, rendering the error part of “a continuous succession of events” that foreseeably resulted in the harm. Stanfield v. Neubaum, 494 S.W.3d 90, 100 (Tex. 2016) Evidence of a recent improvement does not absolve a parent of a history of irresponsible choices. In re E.M., 494 S.W.3d 209, 226 (Tex. App.— Waco, 2015).


Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. —Lao-Tze


But the question is not what evidence there isn’t, it’s what evidence there is. Grimm v. State, 496 S.W.3d 817 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016).


Two hundred years ago, New England and much of the northern hemisphere suffered severe weather which was widely known as the Year Without a Summer. There was frost in late May, a freeze as late as June 10, ice on Pennsylvania lakes and rivers in July and August, and then crop killing frosts again in September. The weather is attributed mainly to five volcanic eruptions which pushed ash into the atmosphere. (reviewed on Dec. 1, 2016).

Stay CONNECTED to Us Tarrant County Bar Association - Fort Worth Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans - Tarrant County Chapter




April 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 15

JudicialProfile D

by Perry J. Cockerell Adkerson Hauder & Bezney

District Judge Jesse Nevarez Jr.

istrict Judge Jesse Nevarez Jr., 231st Judicial District, has a motto that he applies to all families entering his court: he will try to make them better off when they leave his court than when they came in. Now in his fourth year on the bench, his life is a model of one who has risen from humble beginnings to find his life-long passion. Born in Sinton, Texas, in San Patricio County, Judge Nevarez grew up in a large family. His father and mother were migrant workers working the cotton farms of South Texas with him and his five siblings. He was the second oldest of the children, with three brothers and two sisters. The family moved to Garland, where he played high school baseball and graduated in 1977. He attended Texas Tech University and continued to play baseball, but he decided to leave college to join the Air Force. In 1981, he enlisted as an Airman First Class and was trained at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, in communications. Then he was sent to England for three years and was stationed at RAF Chicksands southeast of Bedford, Bedfordshire, in England. His last six months were at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. His tour with the Air Force ended in 1985. For the next seventeen years, he worked in the corporate world with companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in employment tax and payroll and balancing the books of a Fortune 500 company. He and his wife, Rudeene, met while working for the same company. They have been married for 27 years. In 1999, Judge Nevarez returned school to complete his education, and he received his undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Texas in Dallas and his law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. During law school, he anticipated practicing in the corporate world. But things changed for him during his last year in law school. On Fridays, while living in The Colony, he made a regular hundred-mile round trip to Fort Worth to participate in a mentoring program for middle school students. “It was fun. I found out that kids had issues, and maybe this was what I wanted to do.” The mentoring program changed his priorities. The corporate world no longer interested him. He be-

came interested in family law, but his friends cautioned him. One said, “They are broke. They grieve you (file a state bar grievance against you) all of the time. You will never be happy.” Another friend said, “What is wrong with you? You’ll never get anywhere with it.” He was not persuaded. The future judge told his wife that family law was “what I want to do.” In 2003, Judge Nevarez started his own law practice in Northside of Fort Worth with his brother who had offices in Fort Worth and Weatherford. He handled over 3,000 family law cases during the next ten years in Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and Dallas County. His passion for his profession was noticed in 2013 when Governor Rick Perry tapped him to fill the vacancy in the 231st District Court after Judge Randy Catterton retired. He was elected in 2016. As an attorney, he enjoyed family law. “What I didn’t expect were families that couldn’t afford to pay. Sometimes I could help. I handled adoptions, and this made me feel I was doing something good.” He participated in National Adoption Day as a student and continues to do so as a judge. “That’s one day set aside on the weekend before Thanksgiving to allow parents to adopt children.” “I’m not an idealist, but in family law, sometimes you have to be. I enjoy helping people. You can see that I enjoy my work. I was always a corporate guy, but I found my passion. It got me here and to the bench. I sometimes assign new attorneys to veteran attorneys to be a mentored. I’ve been mentoring new attorneys for the last ten years." The Judge has advice for litigants: “In family law cases we have to look at the kids. Sometimes an attorney may want to throw everything out there, but at the end of the day, you want to leave them in a better place than when we found them, if possible. I have the discretion as a judge when it comes to children. What we do affects people the rest of their lives. This affects the aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, and sisters in the community. We can’t get complacent. We have to take each case on a case-by-case basis. We do this while following the law and the Constitution.” The Judge’s work could not be accomplished without his Associate Judge Lindsey Devos. He and his staff work hard. The court is known for its high disposition rate of cases on a monthly basis. “I couldn’t do this without them,” he said. His mentors are District Judges Judith Wells, Jerome Hennigan, and Bill Harris. In his spare time the Judge likes running and has participated in twelve marathons in the last ten years that included 26-mile and 31-mile ultra-marathons. He ran his first marathon when he was 49 years old. He also plays golf and softball. g

April 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 17

Court Staff Appreciation Reception & Awards Congratulations Award Recipients

Linda Blair

Court Coordinator, 352nd District Court Presented by Justices Mark Pittman & Bonnie Sudderth

Lindsey Baker

Court Coordinator, 322nd District Court Presented by Judge Nancy Berger & Assoc. Judge Jim Munford

Tommie LaRue

Court Coordinator, 396th District Court Presented by Judge George Gallagher

Shoshana Cordova

Clerk, Second Court of Appeals Presented by Justice Sue Walker

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Aldrich PLLC Bill Kirkman Anderson & Riddle, LLP Berenson Law Offices Blaies & Hightower, L.L.P. Brackett & Ellis, PC Cantey Hanger LLP W. Brice Cottongame & Associates, P.C. Gardner & Smith PLLC Griffith, Jay & Michel, LLP - Ross Griffith, James V. Jay IV, Mark Petrocchi, Thomas Michel, Kelly E. DeBerry, and Richard Bourland In Memory of Justice Sam Day by Paula Day Jackson Walker LLP KoonsFuller Family Law Myers Law Stephens, Anderson & Cummings Thompson & Knight, LLP Varghese Summersett PLLC The Law Firm of Roger “Rocky” Walton, P.C. Winstead PC Law Office of Jason Smith

18 ▪ April 2017

Bourland, Wall & Wenzel Camacho Law Firm, PLLC Fort Worth Paralegal Association Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. Lacy Lyster Malone & Steppick, PLLC Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P. Parker Law Firm Theresa Copeland Paralegal Division, State Bar of Texas - District 3 The Weaver Firm PC The Barrows Firm, P.C. Tom Carr Law Office of Carole Cross Duarte Law Office, PLLC Judge David L. Evans Roland K. Johnson Juris Fabrilis, Inc. Judge Jennifer Rymell Judge Mike Wallach Law Office of Lori A. Spearman

The Tarrant County Bar Association & The Tarrant County Bar Foundation Presents the 13th Annual

The Following Sessions Will Be Offered: • Wills & Trusts • Medicaid • Family Law • Probate & Probate Alternatives • School Law • Social Security • Adult Guardianship • Landlord / Tenant • Identity Theft

Lawyers on the Move & Cheryl Coon announces that she has moved to Passman Jones, PC. She can be reached at 214.698.3567 or by email at David J. Pels is pleased to announce that he has joined Brown, Dean, Proctor & Howell as a partner at 306 West Seventh Street, Suite 200, Fort Worth, 76102. He can be reached by phone at 817.332.1391 or by email at DPels@ Nathan A. Winkler has joined Brown, Dean, Proctor & Howell as an associate. Nathan will focus his practice in the areas of aviation and railroad litigation. He can be reached by phone at 817.332.1391 or by email at Cantey Hanger announces that Timothy Davis has joined the firm as a Partner. His primary area of practice is commercial, health care and employment litigation. He can be reached by phone at 817.877.2804 or by email at tdavis@ McDonald Sanders has announced the promotion of Craig P. Barbolla and Donald A. Kaczkowski to the positions of Shareholder and Director of the firm. Craig Barbolla’s practice focuses on general corporate governance, business, and estate planning and related commercial, estate, and trust litigation. He can be contacted at 817.336.8651 or by email at Donald Kaczkowski’s practice focuses on business litigation, bankruptcy/creditors’ rights, and in-

in the News

surance defense law. Donald can be reached at 817.336.8651 or by email at Peter C. Hogue, an attorney practicing in probate, business and commercial litigation for business and individuals, has been added as the newest associate to the law firm of Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. He can be reached at 817.877.1088. The Law Firm of Ogletree Deakins takes pleasure in announcing that Patrick J. Maher, has joined the firm as Senior Cousel in the Dallas Office. He can be reached at or by phone at 214.987.3800. Lacy Lyster Malone & Steppick, PLLC has moved to a new location at 303 Main Street, Suite 200, Fort Worth, 76102. They can be reached at 817.349.8409. Seltzer & Dally, PLLC has a new address. They are now located at 3617 Hulen Street, Fort Worth, 76107-6813. They can be reached at 817.887.9206 or by email at lawyers@ Scott Lindsey, formerly with Aldrich PLLC, has joined Gardner & Smith PLLC as a partner. Scott practices civil litigation and appellate law, including commercial, personal injury/consumer, and family litigation, and he consults with trial lawyers to prepare for appeal before, during, and after trial. Scott may be reached at slindsey@gardnersmithlaw. com, 817.737.4000, and 3821 Camp Bowie Boulevard, Fort Worth, TX 76107. g

April 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 19

...President's Page continued from page 1 1987–1988; she was honored by FWLSA as its Legal Secretary of the Year in 1986. I was proud to be her accompanying boss at several of the annual FWLSA Bosses Banquets during the years that she worked with me at Godfrey Decker. Then, as now, she knew everyone in the room and made you feel very special to be in her company. While she was working in Johnson County, Trisha helped organize and was the Charter President of the Johnson County Legal Secretaries Association in 1975. Trisha was an active member of the Texas Association of Legal Secretaries for 20 years, and she served as its CLE Chair in 1975, its Recording Secretary in 1980, and its Convention Chair in 1986. She also was a long-time member of the National Association of Legal Secretaries and earned her Certificate as a NALS Professional Legal Secretary in 1988. When her law job duties changed to legal assistant in the late 1980s, she became a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants, from which she earned recognition as a NALA Certified Legal Assistant in 1990 and a NALA Legal Assistant Specialist/Civil Litigation in 1991. During transition periods between her positions as a legal secretary, legal assistant, and law office manager, Trisha worked as a temp for many of the downtown Fort Worth law firms. All of these work experiences allowed Trisha to work with and meet a wide variety of Tarrant County and Johnson County attorneys with many different practice areas and personalities. That diverse knowledge of the practice of law and, plus her exemplary work and leadership in the professional associations of which she was an active member and leader at the local, state, and national levels, were

key factors that led Trisha’s selection as the TCBA’s Executive Director. Her skills, competence, and work ethic, and her proven ability to work well with all lawyers, judges, and their supporting staff, and her ability to manage an office filled with like-minded professionals, have led to Trisha’s success as our Executive Director and to the growth and development of the TCBA under her staff leadership. When Trisha became Executive Director of the TCBA, she immediately joined the National Association of Bar Executives, and she has regularly attended its programs and meetings; she served on the NABE Program Committee in 1999–2000. I can personally attest to the fact that when attending state and national joint programs for bar executives and bar leaders, Trisha has friends at every table, and she can point an inexperienced Bar President-Elect or President in the right direction for the workshops, receptions, and dinners. She has provided the same guidance for all TCBA leaders for the past 25 years, and she will be greatly missed as our knowledgeable guide at such events. In summary, let me again commend my dear friend and your friend Trisha Graham on her 25 years as a dedicated Executive Director of the Tarrant County Bar Association. She is a hard worker who has helped TCBA achieve great success under her staff service and leadership, but it is really Trisha’s gentle kindness and ability to work with all of her bar officers, members, staff, and the public that we will miss most after her retirement. Thank you, Trisha, for a job very well done!! And best wishes to you and Joe on fulfilling your retirement plans. g

Bob West

Lawyer Referral & Information Service


f you or another attorney you know are interested in joining our Referral Service, please send an email to either or As of March 13, 2017 we have brought in a total of $105,197.00 for the 2016-2017 Bar year. Thank you to the following attorneys who made it possible this month with their referral fees: Allen Blake Kenneth Newell Josh Borsellino David Robinson Carter Hampton Andrew Seibert Kelcie Hibbs Laurie Weir

20 ▪ April 2017


As always, thank you to the LRIS staff Sandy Tilley, Carolina Ibarra and Brittany Gilbert for all their hard work and dedication to making this department run as smoothly as it does. We are still in need of attorneys in all categories for the follwoing fields: Administrative Law Securities/Commodities Insurance Law Social Security Intellectual Property Veterans Issues Medical Malpractice Workers Compensation

In Memoriam

Edward E. Moseley


dward E. Moseley, 92, passed away Saturday, March 4, 2017. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer's of Tarrant County and Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children. Ed was a Local Attorney who practiced with his son, Kerry and grandson, Scott. A 50-year master mason and former Calif of Moslah Temple Shrine Bedouins. Retired from General Dynamics. Member and former chairman of the board of trustees of the Genesis

United Methodist Church. He loved his family and enjoyed life. Preceded in death by his first wife of 52 years, Jerry Jean Moseley. The family expresses a special thanks to the staff of Renaissance Multi Care Center and VITAS Hospice for their special and kind care given to their dad. Survivors: Wife of 20 years, Gay Moseley; daughters, Christy Daniel and husband, Jimmy, Darlene Couch and husband, David; Sons, Kent Moseley and wife, Carolyn, and Kerry Moseley and wife, Ann; nine grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law, George Richardson and wife, Ramona, and Bill Richardson. Published in Star-Telegram on March 6, 2017

Craig P. Dickson


raig Paul Dickson, 57, passed away on Monday, March 13, 2017, in Fort Worth. Craig was born May 13, 1959, in Little Rock, Ark., but got to Texas within just a few months, so he considered himself a native Texan. He grew up in Lubbock and Galveston.

Craig graduated from Texas Tech University Law School and practiced in Lubbock and Fort Worth. Known as a quiet man with a big heart, Craig was an honest, hard-working family man active as an adult leader in Boy Scout Troop 50. Craig was preceded in death by his infant son, Virgil; his father, Paul Dickson; and his sister, Barbara Dickson Newton. Survivors: His wife, Dana Della-Rose Dickson; sons, Carter and Reed Dickson; his mother, Kay Dickson; and many extended family members. Published in Star-Telegram on March 17, 2017

Ed Winton McKinney


d Winton McKinney, 77, passed away Friday, March 17, 2017. Memorial Service: will be held in July when all family will be able to attend. Ed graduated from Paschal High School and TCU, where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He graduated from

UT Law School and practiced law for 50 years, primarily in Fort Worth. Ed enjoyed playing golf, watching Horned Frog sports, and visiting with his children and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Rickie. Survivors: Daughters, Cindy Pimpo and husband, Steve, Amy Nettle and husband, Austin; and eight grandchildren. Published in Star-Telegram on March 22, 2017

Larry Kent Montgomery


arry Kent Montgomery died Tuesday morning, March 21, 2017, at home. Memorials: Donations may be made to the charity of your choice. Larry Montgomery was an attorney for 54 years. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends. He spent a lifetime hanging out

22 â–Ş April 2017

with the people he enjoyed the most. Whether at the beach in Port Aransas, the Long X Ranch in far west Texas or in Fort Worth, Larry's larger-than-life personality captivated audiences wherever he went. He never met a stranger. He was known for his clever insight, unparalleled sense of humor and charismatic character that drew people to him. Larry was born April 5, 1939, in San Angelo to Monty and Jewel Montgomery. At 11 he and his family moved to Fort Worth. In his youth, he served as a square dance caller, sang in the All Saints Church choir, became a musician, played in Dix-

ieland bands and was a great dancer. Larry graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1956. In 1960, he graduated from Texas Christian University where he was a member of the SAE fraternity. He graduated with honors from University of Texas Law School in Austin in 1963. Among his many achievements throughout his career, Larry served as executive director of the State Bar of Texas (1986-1990). He also served as municipal judge pro tem for the city of Fort Worth. Additionally, while practicing law, he owned the popular restaurant-bar the Rangoon Racquet Club and was an independent oil operator. He enjoyed attending sporting events of his grandchildren. He loved rooting for the TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas Longhorns. He relished presiding over the weekly "board meetings" at Buttons Restaurant. Larry lived his life to the fullest and played by his own rules.

Larry was preceded in death by his mother, Jewel; his father Monty Montgomery; and his granddaughter, Madeline May. Survivors: Wife, Mary Joe Goetzke Montgomery; daughter, Kristi Kuenstler and husband, Kevin; grandsons, Kort and Kole Kuenstler of Fort Worth; daughter, Kelli Montgomery and husband, Bee May; granddaughter, Alaina May of Austin; stepdaughter, Lucy Weber Furlong and husband, Clay; granddaughters, Mary Fru Furlong, and Eleanor Furlong of Kent; brother, Ronnie Montgomery and wife, Ann; nieces, Cynthia Montgomery Pavlakovic, Lisa Montgomery Adams, Laurie Montgomery Ingram and their families. g

Published in Star-Telegram on March 26, 2017

Globe Life Park, Arlington, TX, Hall of Fame Suite Doors Open at 5:00 p.m.

Dallas & Tarrant County Judges, Lawyers, and Families are Invited

Tickets (includes game ticket, buffet dinner): $35* *Limited time offer

Ticket pricing will be listed online at the link below After initial offering, event pricing increases to $50/ticket until reduced pricing is sold out. Once reduced pricing is sold out, the usual price of admission will apply. Organized by the Arlington Bar, Dallas Bar & Tarrant County Bar Associations Register online at

Thank You to our Sponsors:

Dallas County Judges Planning to Attend: Hon. Tena Callahan Hon. Rob Cañas Hon. Tina Yoo Clinton Hon. Dominique Collins Hon. Danielle Diaz Hon. King Fifer Hon. Bonnie Goldstein Hon. Carl Ginsberg Hon. Martin Hoffman

Hon. Margaret JonesJohnson Hon. Jim Jordan Hon. Nancy Kennedy Hon. Gracie Lewis Hon. Lincoln Monroe Hon. Regina Moore Hon. John Peyton Hon. Monica Purdy

Hon. Jeff Rosenfield Hon. Doug Skemp Hon. Craig Smith Hon. Ken Tapscott Hon. Drew Ten Eyck Hon. Dale Tillery Hon. Don Turner Hon. Ingrid Warren Hon. Staci Williams

Tarrant County Judges Planning to Attend: Hon. Wade Birdwell Hon. Robb Catalano Hon. Jamie Cummings Hon. Lindsay DeVos Hon. David Evans Hon. George Gallagher Hon. David Hagerman

Hon. Diane Haddock Hon. William Harris Hon. Cherami Jenkins Hon. Molly Jones Hon. Steven King Hon. James Mumford Hon. Jesus Nevarez, Jr.

Hon. Steve Owen Hon. Jennifer Rymel Hon. R.H. Wallace Hon. Carey Walker Hon. Judith Wells

April 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 23

Steve Laird

Steve Laird is one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Texas* There’s a Reason

It takes years to establish a good reputation Handling Personal Injury Wrongful Death & 18-Wheeler Cases *Texas Super Lawyers, Top 100 (2005-2013, 2015-2016) - Thomson Reuters

Proud Sponsor of Bench Bar for 24 Years

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JUSTICE FOR ALL: Putting Words Into Action


illions of Texans cannot afford legal representation. Their circumstances are desperate, their needs are dire, and their only lifeline is legal aid. The Justice for All Campaign was created by the Texas Access to Justice Commission to support local legal aid organizations, and give these vulnerable Texans a measure of relief. As a lawyer and member of the Tarrant County Bar Association, your commitment to justice is as inspirational as it is vital. That’s why we urge you to contribute to our statewide campaign; funds raised support organizations in your community and around the state. The success stories are a continual reminder of the needs – and especially of the needs met – of our fellow Texans, like Hector Gamboa. Diagnosed with brain cancer requiring chemotherapy treatments five days a week, Mr. Gamboa had no choice but to stop working. Because of the dreadful side effects and need for constant care, so did his wife. They relied on their daughter for support while Mr. Gamboa applied for assistance. Unbelievably, his request for disability insurance was denied. A second request was also denied. The Gamboas were on the verge of losing their home. That’s when they turned to the legal aid for help. Aziza Travis, Staff Attorney at Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas recalls, "I knew the Gamboas desperately needed our help. In their case, disability insurance was nothing short of life-sustaining." She was able to obtain both current and retroactive benefits for Mr. Gamboa, securing his home and granting enormous peace of mind. In the words of the Mr. Gamboa’s daughter: "Ms. Travis’ patience and determination helped us win our twoyear battle with disability. We were able to catch up on our bills, and stop the foreclosure of our home. My dad is fighting a big battle and now he knows his family will be taken care of. We are forever grateful for the wonderful service we have received from legal aid." Justice for All is not just a nice phrase, it’s a powerful, life- changing marching order. Please donate today!

Don’t miss the Champions of Justice Firm Competition April 10-21, 2017!

Firms with the highest overall contribution and the highest overall percentage of contributing attorneys will be recognized in the Texas Bar Journal and at the Justice for All reception in October. Firm size categories are as follows: • boutique (1-10 attorneys); • small (11-25 attorneys); • medium (26-75 attorneys); and • large (75+ attorneys). Few causes are more worthy than Access to Justice. Firms raised more than $170,000 to support civil legal aid through the competition last year!

Justice for All Jeans Day April 14

Slip on those denim duds and strut your stuff for ATJ!

ATJ Contribution – You’re On Time Anytime

Make an ATJ contribution on your dues statement through your MyBarPage, the Commission’s Donation page, in person or by mail. Your contribution can mean security for survivors of domestic violence, protection from exploitation for the elderly, medical benefits for children with special needs, and so much more. Last year, the Justice for All Campaign raised more than $1.3 million to help low-income Texans with their basic civil legal needs. Contributions are distributed to civil legal service providers across the state that help low-income Texans. Justice for All - It’s not just a phrase. It’s a real thing you can be part of!


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TLIEnsure TLIE delivers exceptional service. We provide our insureds with outstanding defense counsel when they need it most. • Voted best professional liability insurance company in Texas five years in a row by readers of Texas Lawyer magazine • Over 37 years in the business • Preferred Provider of the State Bar of Texas • Only highly qualified, experienced and trusted lawyers are hired to defend TLIE’s insureds

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Other Associations’

News & Information

Arlington Bar Association Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. President, Ruth Lane. For location & information, email arlingtonbarassociation@yahoo. com or call 214.651.5622. Black Women Lawyers Association For meetings and information, contact Judge Maryellen Hicks, President, at 817.451.7100 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. 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 at 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 6:00pm. For more information, contact President Albert Roberts by email at mr.albert.roberts@ 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 Fred Howey at 817.835.0555 or Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDLA) Meets every 2nd Thursday at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. For more information, contact President Brad Shaw at 817.237.1254 or Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association Meets at noon on the 4th Tuesday of each month, with location to be announced. For more information, contact president Norma Bazán, 817.735.4000 or Tarrant County Probate Bar Association Meets on the 1st Thursday of each month at the Petroleum Clubmembers free, guests $30. For more information, contact Lara Aman at 817.390.6040 or Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association Meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Joe T. Garcia’s. For more information, contact Mark Anderson at 817.294.1900. Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association The 2016-2017 new TCYLA Year began September 1, 2016. If you need an application or meeting information, call 817.338.4092, email, or go to the website at

Patricia Peterson, Claims Attorney


26 ▪ April 2017

Texas Association of Defense Council Meets for lunch every 4th Wednesday at Angelo’s. Contact George Haratsis, McDonald Sanders at 817.336.8651 for more information.

Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

Tarrant County Chapter

TLTV Partners with LANWT and Texas Legal Services Center for a Remote Legal Clinic


n Friday, March 31, 2017, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans – Tarrant County Chapter (TLTV) held a remote clinic at Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT) to serve veterans residing in Hood County. The clinic was a project of Texas Legal Services Center in an effort to promote remote clinics to assist low income veterans residing in rural counties. At the clinic, TLTV volunteers counseled veterans in Hood County through video conferencing at LANWT’s Fort Worth office. The organizations are grantees of Texas Access to Justice Foundation. TLTV thanks its many law student volunteers who attended, as well as volunteer attorneys John Corbin (Law Office of John Corbin), Michael McBride (J. Michael McBride, P.C.), Lynn Rodriguez (Texas A&M University School of Law), and Trevin Ware (Law Office of Trevin Ware) who counseled veterans and braved the new technology. g

Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services


TVAS Volunteers Needed Save the Date

VAS need volunteers for the following clinics. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Megan Cooley at • Uncontested Divorce Clinic - Tuesday, April 25, 5:00pm at the TCBA Bar Center. • General Advice Clinic - Thursday, May 18, 5:30pm at the Presbyterian Night Shelter and Morris Foundation Women and Children's Shelter.

Free CLE for TCBA Members & TVAS Volunteers

Divorce CLE - Thursday, April 13, 3:00pm-5:00pm at the TCBA Bar Center. • Wills & Estate Planning CLE - Tuesday, April 18, 11:30am-1:30pm at Kelly Hart & Hallman. If you are interested in attending, contact Megan Cooley at

In March 2017, several volunteers from Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services (TVAS) participated in two separate legal clinics at local community organizations. Volunteers counseled residents of Union Gospel of Tarrant County and clients of Northside Inter Community Agency on a variety of legal areas and provided legal resources to the low income individuals. The Union Gospel clinic was held in honor of Frost as a Guardian of Justice Sponsor at the 2016 Advocates for Justice Luncheon. g

April 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 27

Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association 21st Annual

Spring Fiesta 2017


April 13, 2017 at Joe T. Garcia’s

he 21st annual Spring Fiesta will celebrate a successful year of service to the community and raising funds to support TCYLA’s future service projects, CLE opportunities, and social events. Spring Fiesta is the prmary fundraising event for the year and is a way of saying “Thank You!” to the members of Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association for volunteering for service projects year round. TCYLA lawyers are heavily involved in giving back to the community at large through toy drives, clothing for the indigent project, necessity bag project, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and Cook Children’s Hospital, and providing pro bono legal services for those in need. Yet service is just one aspect of TCYLA’s mission in Tarrant County. TCYLA also promotes the professional and personal development of its members by hosting family picnics, charity sporting events, golf tournaments, law school professionalism and mentorship programs, and educational seminars throughout the year. These social and professional events are designed to foster camaraderie among members and establish the type of professional connections that make Tarrant County the best place to practice law in Texas. We are asking for your donation. By becoming a

sponsor of Spring Fiesta, you are supporting the professional and personal development of Tarrant County’s young lawyers. If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Lindsay Daniel at g

Diamond - $1,000+

Will receive 12 tickets to Spring Fiesta and the option to have firm logo featured in the TCBA Bar Bulletin sponsor recognition.

Platinum - $750

Silver - $250

10 tickets to Spring Fiesta

4 tickets to Spring Fiesta

Gold - $500

Bronze - $100

6 tickets to Spring Fiesta 2 tickets to Spring Fiesta Additional benefits to being a Sponsor: •Recognition at Spring Fiesta. •Recognition on all Spring Fiesta invitations circulated to members of the judiciary, several hundred Tarrant County young lawyers; and Past-Presidents of the TCYLA. •Your firm will be named in the TCYLA’s e-newsletter, with a circulation of hundreds of Tarrant County area young lawyers. •Your firm will be listed on a large poster at the event. g Family Access Services is now providing Supervised Visitation Supervised Visitation Services and Services and Monitored Exchanges in Tarrant County and Surrounding areas. Our goal,Exchanges as a neutral third-party, is Monitored “Helping Families Maintain a Healthy & Safe Interaction.”

"Helping Families Maintain a Healthy & Safe Interaction"

Family Access Services Phone: 512-387-1932

28 ▪ April 2017

32 â–Ş September 2016

Bar Bulletin ▪ April 2017 Tarrant County Bar Association 1315 Calhoun Street Fort Worth, TX 76102-6504 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED


If any of your contact information is incorrect, please submit the corrected information to Sandy at the TCBA of�ice at 817.338.4092, fax to 817.335.9238 or email to


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




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