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Bulletin December 2016

Holiday Party "Santa's Workshop" Thursday, December 8, 2016 5pm - 7pm, TCBA Bar Center



The Election is Over. Now Let's Celebrate Thanksgiving!


s this message is written in early November, a few days after the elections, I am very thankful that the long election process has ended for another cycle. We can now get on with the important Thanksgiving Day celebration, which is my favorite holiday of the year. by Robert G. West I enjoy spending the day with family and eating more than I should and watching a few football games from the comfort of my home with the children of the family playing inside or nearby outside! Let me reflect a moment longer about the elections. I confessed to you in my column last month that I am a political junkie. I really do enjoy reading or hearing the latest news reports on the issues, personalities, and processes of the campaign, and this year’s election overflowed with such reports from many different directions. I love my cell phone (which is much smarter than I am) and its ability to let me view real-time events by live streaming electronic media and to enjoy the informative, creative, and often flagrantly biased messages, posts, and tweets from a wide variety of reporters, “experts,” analysts, and acquaintances. I also love the political cartoons in the print and electronic media, the biting jokes on late night television talk shows (if I can stay awake that long), and the stinging satire about the candidates on Saturday Night Live during the election season. To me, it is all a fun and healthy mix that honors the diversity of opinions, demographics, and contrasts of our American culture. But I also revere the fact that when the elections are over, there is a peaceful transition of power to the newly elected leaders. This peaceful transition is often hard to comprehend and swallow immediately following the end of bareknuckled political campaigns that challenge the limits of our highly-valued constitutional rights to freely exercise the freedoms of speech, press, and peaceful assembly. In these few days following the end of the elections, I am pleased and encouraged to see and hear (and watch live on my smart phone)

very gracious and seemingly sincere expressions from both the winning and the losing candidates and from the other leaders of the political parties about the need to come together as a nation. I hope that after a few days of mostly peaceful protests and emotional letters to the editor and other expressions of dissatisfaction or glee about the results of the election, we citizens will return to our daily lives to help our families, friends, and neighbors in our own communities and that the newly elected or re-elected leaders will soberly and reasonably reflect on the needs of our nation and will enact policies that will truly make America greater for all its citizens. Let me take this opportunity to thank commercial trial and appellate litigator and bar leader, Talmage Boston, for his very informative and timely presentation to the CLE Membership Luncheon on November 7, the day before the election, on the topic “Presidents and Lawyers: The Tie That Binds.” I appreciated his list of “Ten Commandments of Leadership” and how those ten key characteristics of ethical and effective leadership have been exemplified by particular Presidents of the United States, and how those leadership traits are echoed in the Texas Disciplinary Rule of Professional Conduct. I look forward to reading his book CrossExamining History: A Lawyer Gets Answers from the Experts About Our Presidents (Bright Sky Press, 2016). Please come to the TCBA Holiday Party at the Bar Building on Thursday evening, December 8, which is the cover story on this issue of the Bar Bulletin. I think I recognize that guy in the red suit in the middle of the photo! Committee Chair Julie Sladek and Chair-Elect Dana Manry and their terrific committee have planned great fun, food, games, and chatting plus a number of nice door prizes. Remember to bring one or more stuffed bears or other stuffed critters as your entry fee, to be used as comforting friends for the children on National Adoption Day (November 18) and in Family Court cases. If I have not yet met you in person and you have a great idea to improve the TCBA, please take the initiative to contact me, or one of the other current officers or directors of TCBA. I’ll see you at the Holiday Party on December 8! g

Bob West

December 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 1

Tarrant County Bar Association


Features 15 Tortfeasors 19 Diversity Spotlight 22 Destination CLE 7

Departments 1 President's Page 4 Calendar of Events 4 YLA Snapshot 5 100 Club 6 Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services 6 Lawyers on the Move & in the News 8 Snippets 11 Membership Report 11 Benefits of Membership & Vendor List 13 Judicial Profile Judge Patrick W. Ferchill 14 LegalLine 17 Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans 18 Other Association's News & Information 20 In Memoriam Joyce Stevens & Sheldon Anisman 21 Lawyer Referral & Information Service News 22 CLE Corner 22 A Word from Our Sections

817.338.4092 ▪ Fax 817.335.9238 website: email:

2016-2017 Officers 15 President...............................Robert G. West President-Elect....................Nick Bettinger

Vice President...........................Lance Evans Secretary-Treasurer...................John Cayce Directors

Term Ends 2017


Advertiser's Index Alfred Santos...................................................................9 Edward Jones...................................................................6 JurisFabrilis................................................................7 KoonsFuller.......................................Inside Front Cover Law Office of Jason Smith.........................................23 Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C............................10 LawPay...................................................................24 LexisNexis..........................................Inside Back Cover McGrath Mediations....................................Back Cover Parker Law Firm.............................................................12 Stephens Anderson & Cummings............................23 Texas Lawyers' Insurance Exchange.......................18 Tindall Square Office Complex................................18

2 ▪ December 2016

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

Cody L. Cofer Veronica C. Law Lu Pham

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

Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association President 2016 Fall

Susan Smith 2017 Spring

Tennessee Walker

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.

Rodeo Gathering

January 12, 2017, 5:30pm Reata, Downtown Fort Worth Free for TCBA Members, $20 for Guests


eehaw! It’s time to dust off those boots and get ready for our annual Rodeo Gathering on January 12, 2017, to kick off the Fort Worth Stock Show Season.

Mark your calendars and get your plans in place for this big event.

Silent Auction There will be a silent auction with all proceeds benefitting the Tarrant County Bar

Association. The deadline for donating items is January 5, 2017. If you would like to donate items or for more information, please contact Sherry Jones at 817.338.4092 or by email at

Sponsorship Levels & Benefits • Rodeo Sponsors - $5,000

8 tickets to attend the January event, network with the attendees, a full page ad in the Bar Bulletin, recognition in all event advertisements including the Association’s social media and signage at the event.

Bull Rider Sponsors - $2,500 6 tickets to attend the January event, network with the attendees, a half page ad in the Bar Bulletin, recognition in all event advertisements including the Association’s social media and signage at the event.

Team Roper Sponsors - $1,000 4 tickets to attend the January event, network with the attendees, a quarter page ad in the Bar Bulletin, recognition in all event advertisements including the Association’s social media and signage at the event.

Steer Wrestler Sponsors - $500 2 tickets to attend the January event, network with the attendees, recognition in all event advertisements including the Association’s social media and signage at the event.

Belly-Up to the Bar Sponsors - $250 2 tickets to attend the January event, network with the attendees and signage at the event.

Calendar of




December 2016 1 5 6 6 7 8 9 13 15 15 23 26

2 5 10 10 11 12 12 16 17 19 19 24 26 26 27 31 31

Construction Law Section Mixer 5pm, Del Frisco's Grille Bankruptcy Section Christmas Luncheon 12pm, Fort Worth Club Tax & Estate Planning Section Luncheon 11:30am, Petroleum Club International & Immigration Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Catholic Charities Business Litigation Section Luncheon 12pm, City Club Holiday Party 5pm - 7pm, TCBA Office Women Attorneys Section Holiday Luncheon 11:30am, City Club Last Tuesday CLE 1pm - 4pm, TCBA Office Judge Dana Womack Retirement Celebration 3pm, Civil Courts Building Judge Mike Sinha & Associate Judge Cindy Mendoza Reception 4pm, 360th District Court Christmas Holiday Office Closed Christmas Holiday Office Closed

January 2017

New Year's Holiday Office Closed Justice Elizabeth Kerr Investiture 3:30pm, Second Court of Appeals Environmental Law Section Luncheon 11:30am, TCBA Office Judge Mike Wallach Investiture 3:00pm, Charles Murray Courtroom Corporate Counsel Section Luncheon 12pm, City Club Rodeo Gathering 5:30pm, Reata, Downtown Fort Worth LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office Martin Luther King Holiday Office Closed Real Estate Section Luncheon 12pm, Petroleum Club Construction Law Section Luncheon 12pm, TCBA Office Justice Anne Gardner Retirement Reception 5pm, Fort Worth Club Justice Lee Ann Dauphinot Retirement Reception 4:30pm, TCBA Office Fort Worth Business & Estate Section Luncheon 11:30am, City Club LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office Brown Bag Seminar 12pm, TCBA Office Last Tuesday CLE 1pm, TCBA Office Solo & Small Firms Section Mixer 5pm, Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P.

4 ▪ December 2016

Susan Smith, President TCYLA


appy Holidays! December is generally a month full of parties and charitable events. TCYLA is combining the two on December 13 at Wild Acre Brewing (1734 E El Paso St #190, Fort Worth, TX 76102) starting at 6 p.m. for its annual holiday party. TCYLA will be collecting monetary donations for “necessities bags” for the homeless. These bags will include an assortment of personal items from small shampoos and toothpaste to deodorant and socks. If you would like to donate either in-kind items or money, please feel free to contact me at Each TCYLA officer and board member has committed to donating at least $20 for this project. I hope that, together, we can help improve the quality of life for the homeless population in our midst. In November, I had the opportunity to attend the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) Board of Directors meeting in Austin, Texas. It was a privilege and an honor to be invited to participate. TYLA is spearheading several initiatives that can directly benefit our lawyers and our community. The “Strength Through Unity” project takes direct aim at the problems facing our law enforcement and minority groups by promoting an open dialogue between the two groups. We hope to bring one or more “Strength Through Unity” presentations to the DFW area soon. TCYLA is also looking for speakers for its Spring CLE event, “Bridging the Gap,” which is designed to help new lawyers “hang a shingle.” If you, or anyone you know is interested in speaking on law office management, IOLTA practices, or your specific area of law, please contact Chris Gee at g

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 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 Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP 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

Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services TVAS Receives Special Recognition from Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas


n October 27, 2016, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT) recognized Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services (TVAS) because of TVAS’s collaboration with LANWT in the provision of legal assistance to low income residents of Tarrant County. Over the past year, TVAS has recruited volunteer attorneys to assist LANWT clients obtain uncontested divorces at three different legal clinics. TVAS’s next legal clinic that will assist LANWT clients is on December 6, 2016. g

TVAS Family Law Clinic Tuesday, December 6, 2016 5:00pm - 8:00pm TCBA Bar Center

Lawyers on the Move &

in the News

Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C., is proud to announce that James E. (“Jim”) Griffis (formerly of Brown Pruitt Wambsganss Ferrill & Dean, P.C.), has become affiliated with the firm. Jim brings to HFB a decade of employment and labor law experience, in addition to a significant background in commercial real estate and corporate law. He can be contacted at 817.870.8755 or by email at


Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C., is proud to announce that Blake C. Billings (formerly of Wilson, Robertson & Cornelius, P.C.), has become affiliated with the firm. Blake joined HFB’s business transactions section in 2016. His corporate practice supports North Texas businesses at all stages: from formation and planning to acquisition or dissolution. In addition, he assists businesses and individuals with contracts, agreements and compliance. He has also represented financial institutions in secured transactions, operations,

6 ▪ December 2016

workouts and dispute resolution. Blake can be contacted at 817.870.8771 or by email at

Season’s Greetings During this holiday season, we wish you all the best.   

   Member SIPC

Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C., is proud to announce that Michael K. Reer (formerly of Babst Calland), has become affiliated with the firm. Michael comes to HFB from Pennsylvania, with a background in environmental law and natural gas regulation. Michael will concentrate on civil and commercial litigation, with an emphasis in energy litigation, and is licensed to practice in both Texas and Pennsylvania. He can be contacted at 817.870.8741 or by email at Cotten Schmidt & Abbott, LLP is pleased to announce the move of their Fort Worth Offices to the 20th Floor of the Pier 1 Building. The new office address will be 100 Energy Way, Suite 2000, Fort Worth, Texas, 76102. The telephone numbers and email addresses remain the same. You can find them at the web site at www.csa-lawfirm. com. John Jose, Managing Partner of Slack & Davis’ Fort Worth office, has been named the 2016 recipient of the H.G. Wells Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award by the Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association (TCTLA). The award was presented on November 16, 2016 at the TCTLA Annual Meeting. Jose has practiced personal injury trial law since he was admitted to the bar in 1981, handling catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases arising from oilfield accidents, electrocution accidents, gas explosions, heavy truck collisions and construction accidents. g

You are Invited to the Retirement Reception of

Justice Anne Gardner 2nd Court of Appeals Thursday, January 19, 2017 5 p.m. Fort Worth Club, 12th Floor R.S.V.P. to by Friday, January 6, 2017

Sponsored By

The Appellate Section And the Tarrant County Bar Association

You are Invited to the Retirement Fiesta of

Justice Lee Ann Dauphinot 2nd Court of Appeals Tuesday, January 24, 2017

4:30 p.m.

Tarrant County Bar Center 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth R.S.V.P. to by Friday, January 20, 2017 Sponsored by the Appellate and Criminal Law Sections and the Tarrant County Bar Association

December 2016 â–Ş TCBA BULLETIN 7


Civil and Criminal by Judge Bob McCoy


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

County Criminal Court No. 3


Tam-O-Shanter comes from the name of the main character in Robert Burns’s poem. Tam-O-Shanter is a Scottish round cap with a tassel in the center. —From Werner Magnus, Who Was Hulen? An Attempt to Find the Origins of Street Names in Fort Worth.

second part of an inquiry made pursuant to Terry relates to the scope of the detention. … [A]n investigative detention ‘must, like any other search, be strictly circumscribed by the exigencies which justify its initiation.’” Peucker v. State, 489 S.W.3d 592 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2016).


3. And Now, a Little Latin

Judge Bob, what is “forfeiture by wrongdoing?” Under forfeiture by wrongdoing, the defendant is barred from asserting his right of confrontation when he has wrongfully procured the unavailability of the witness. Shepherd v. State, 489 S.W.3d 559 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2016).


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


Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.



To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs. —Aldous Huxley

CRIMINAL ITEMS OF INTEREST 1. Demeanor While in the Courtroom

“The defendant’s demeanor while in the courtroom is also an inappropriate subject for the State to discuss because it concerns facts not in evidence.” Orellana v. State, 489 S.W.3d 537 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016).

2. Terry v. Ohio

“In Terry, the Court adopted a two-part examination to determine the reasonableness of an investigative detention. The first part of the analysis is to determine whether the officer’s action at its inception was reasonable. … The test is whether the facts available to the officer at the time of the seizure or search would cause a man of reasonable caution to believe the action taken by the officer was appropriate. … The

8 ▪ December 2016

“De minimis non curat lex: ‘The law is not concerned with trifles.’ Ballentine’s Law Dictionary (3d ed. 1969).” Parker v. State, 489 S.W.3d 609 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2016).

4. Circumstantial Evidence

“A jury may infer a defendant’s intent from circumstantial evidence such as the defendant’s words or conduct.” Douglas v. State, 489 S.W.3d 613 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2016).

5. Voluntariness

“When the defendant challenges the voluntariness of his statement, ‘the trial court must make an independent determination in the absence of the jury as to whether the statement was voluntarily made.’ Under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, it is the State’s burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the statement was voluntary. However, this burden does not arise unless the defendant offers evidence raising a voluntariness question." Douglas v. State, 489 S.W.3d 613 (Tex. App.— Texarkana 2016).

6. General Warrants

“The United States and Texas constitutions prohibit general warrants which fail to particularly describe the property to be seized and allow ‘general, exploratory rummaging in a person’s belongings.’” Aguirre v. State, 490 S.W.3d 102 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016).

7. Robbery

“Robbery is an assaultive offense. The gravamen of the offense of robbery is the assaultive conduct, not the theft. Theft is only the underlying offense. The allowable unit of prosecution for robbery is the number of persons assaulted, not the number of thefts.” Davis v. State, 490 S.W.3d 268 (Tex. App.— Fort Worth 2016).

8. Traffic Stop

“The legality of a traffic stop based on reasonable suspicion does not depend upon a showing that an actual offense was

committed; it is sufficient to show that the officer reasonably believed that an offense was in progress.” State v. Torrez, 490 S.W.3d 279 (Tex. App.— Fort Worth 2016).

or as to claims arising after the debtor filed the bankruptcy petition.” Thuesen v. Amerisure, 487 S.W.3d 291, 297 (Tex. App.— Houston[14th Dist.] 2016).


6. Not a Prevailing Party

1. Production Payment

“A production payment, sometimes referred to as an ‘oil payment’ when so limited, is a share of production from described premises, free of production costs at the surface, terminating when a given production volume has been paid or when a specified sum from its sale has been realized. Production payments may be created from different estates and in a variety of ways. When, as in this case, the production payment is carved from the lessee's working interest, it is like an overriding-royalty interest, except for its more limited duration. And, like an overriding royalty, ‘anything that terminates the lease necessarily destroys the [production] payment.’” Apache Deepwater v. McDaniel Partners, 485 S.W.3d 900, 905 (Tex. 2016).

2. Libelous Opinion

“Merely expressing a defamatory statement in the form of an ‘opinion’ does not shield it from tort liability because opinions often imply facts.” Backes v. Misko, 486 S.W.3d 7, 24 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2015).

3. Disappearing Evidence

“As a result, courts hold that a non-attorney representative cannot appear for a limited liability company or present a case on its behalf. Mr. Day Rents was not represented by a licensed attorney during the trial. Instead, Boston attempted to present evidence supporting Mr. Day Rents' conversion claim against Sherman. Because Boston is not an attorney, his presentation had no legal effect, thereby rendering the evidence legally insufficient to support a judgment in favor of Mr. Day Rents.” Sherman v. Boston, 486 S.W.3d 88, 95–96 (Tex. App.— Houston[14th Dist.] 2015).

4. Venue

“If the record contains any probative evidence that venue was proper, even if the preponderance of the evidence is to the contrary, we must uphold the trial court's venue determination. . . . . Additionally, we evaluate the venue determination in light of all the evidence, even evidence that was not before the trial court when it made the venue ruling. . . . . This unusual standard of review can result in an appellate court reversing a trial court's judgment based on a venue ruling that was correctly decided at the venue hearing.” Double Diamond-Del., Inc. v. Alfonso, 487 S.W.3d 265, 269–70 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2016).

“Because Thuesen nonsuited in time, the trial court was not permitted to grant the Rule 91a motion or to dismiss the challenged claims under Rule 91a, and the trial court did not do so. In this context, the Swamplot Parties cannot be considered prevailing parties on the Rule 91a motion, and therefore, the mandatory award of costs and attorney's fees under Rule 91a.7 is not available.” Thuesen v. Amerisure, 487 S.W.3d 291, 303 (Tex. App.— Houston [14th Dist.] 2016).


You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. —Justice Evelyn V. Keyes, Hovel v. Batzri, 490 S.W.3d 132 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2016). I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it. —Edith Sitwell

Legal Quote of the Month

The Judge should not be young; he should have learned to know evil, not from his own soul, but from late and long observation of the nature of evil in others; knowledge should be his guide, not personal experience. —Plato


The first man made object to orbit the earth was Sputnik, on October 4, 1957. The first animal to go to space, a dog named Laika (Russian for “barker”), flew on November 3, 1957. There was no provision for her return, so she was euthanized in space, and remained in orbit for about 5 months. The first human into space was Yuri Gargarin, April 10, 1961. America finally gained some parity in the space race by launching Alan Shepard into orbit on, May, 5, 1961. He is the first human to pilot a craft in space and the first to return in his capsule (Gargarin parachuted back to earth). —, corroborated, Space_Race. g

5. Bankruptcy Stay Not Applicable

“[T]he bankruptcy stay does not preclude a state court from proceeding as to claims asserted by the bankruptcy debtor

December 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 9

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 Meritorious Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases *Texas Super Lawyers, Top 100 (2005-2013, 2015) - Thomson Reuters

Wishing Everyone a Joyous Holiday Season!

l aw

O ffi ces

o f

S t e v e n C . L a i r d, P. C . 817.531.3000



Membership Report Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

e sure to check our website to see all of the exciting events we have coming up in the New Year!

If you have any questions regarding your membership, please contact Sandy at the bar office or e-mail her at g

A Big Welcome to the New Members of TCBA Attorneys: Ryan Anderson Anneke Cronje Jasmit Dhaliwal-Perez R. Matthew Graham Ryan Peabody David Trout


Students: Beverly Cawyer Brian Danilowicz Matthew Loeffelholz Mac Thompson

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




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

December 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 11

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 Call me

O: 817.503.9200 C: 817.925.2272


by Perry J. Cockerell

Judge Patrick W. Ferchill


arrant County attorneys were surprised to learn that Judge Patrick W. Ferchill resigned as Judge of Probate Court Number 2 effective August 31, 2016. His resignation ended a 40 year judicial career that began in 1976 as a Municipal Judge with the City of Fort Worth. Brooke Ulrickson Allen was appointed to the court on October 4, 2016, by the Tarrant County Court Commissioners. She followed the same appointment process that Judge Ferchill did when he was appointed by the commissioners to the court in 1981 when Probate Court 2 was created. When he turned 70, Judge Ferchill realized that it was time to retire rather than continuing to serve. He submitted his paperwork on Monday, August 30, and his resignation was effective the next day on Tuesday, August 31. He now serves as Visiting Judge of Probate Court Number 2 and has been “working harder now that I am presiding over my former docket as well as the docket of my former associate judge.” Judge Ferchill was born in Longview, Texas and graduated from Longview High School in 1964. He chose Southern Methodist University for college because “the prettiest girls went to SMU.” In 1967, while at SMU, he met his wife Martha Cantey Hendricks (“Cantey”), who was the Duchess of Fort Worth at the Tyler Rose Festival, while he was escorting the Duchess of Longview. He graduated from SMU with a B.B.A. degree in Corporate Finance in 1968. He then moved to Austin and graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1971. He and Cantey married that same year at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in downtown Fort Worth. Then, they moved to Paris, France, where Patrick studied French in anticipation of becoming an international lawyer. After a year, they returned to Fort Worth where Patrick accepted a position as the City Prosecutor with the Fort Worth City Attorney’s office. He succeeded to Assistant City Attorney and Tax Attorney, and in 1976, he was appointed judge of the Municipal Court in Fort Worth on the same day

that his son Beau was born. In February 1978, he resigned to run for the County Court Number 1 being vacated by John G. Hill. He won in a four way contested race against Carmen Glaser, Wayne Roberts, Kerry Mosely, and in the primary race against Wayne Roberts. In 1981 when Probate Court Number 2 was created, he sought the appointment because “I thought I would be an interesting thing to do. I really liked the idea of a specialized court.” Judge Ferchill’s passion has always been with the probate and estates and he actively promoted probate, guardianship and mental health legislation throughout his career. Judge Ferchill served on the Mental Health Code Task Force in 1982 to 1983 and on the Texas Commission for Judicial Efficiency in 1995 to 1997. From 1997 to 2002 he was the chief presiding officer of the Guardianship Advisory Board for the State of Texas. He previously served as a board member of the National Guardianship Association and as a trustee of the National Guardianship Foundation, now the Center for Guardianship Certification. In 2004, Judge Ferchill’s court’s guardianship monitoring program was named as one of four model programs in the United States by the United States Government Accountability Office. In 2007, he was named Elected Public Official of 2007 by the National Association of Social Workers, Texas Chapter, Tarrant County Branch, and also received the 2007 Outstanding Advocacy Award from the Mental Health Association of Tarrant County. In 2009, Judge Ferchill received the 2009 Cornerstone Award from the Center for Guardianship Certification for outstanding contributions in the field of professional guardianship in the United States. Other judicial positions never interested him. “I had a chance to be a district judge but I didn’t follow up. I became interested in an appellate bench but then I got settled in the probate court and decided that it was what I liked to do, and I had no desire to pursue another court.” During his tenure, the probate court process changed. “In the 1980s, we had frequent jury trials involving will contest cases. Those were the meat and potatoes of the probate court but in the ‘90s, the will contest cases began to disappear due to the success of mediation. The surge in mediations has virtually eliminated the will contest cases from the docket. Now the biggest challenge is hearing breach of fiduciary duty cases.” He recalls trying two cases that took seven weeks each. “These are long proceedings for probate

December 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 13

courts, and they stand out more than any other cases.” “Another significant change during my long tenure has occurred in guardianship proceedings. When I began on the bench, there was barely a dribble, but they have now grown to be the most time-consuming and frustrating part of the modern docket.” “I can remember when there were no mandatory appointments of attorneys ad litem for proposed wards and the medical evidence constituted nothing more than a doctor’s statement on a prescription pad. That is a far cry from the due process and the intricacies of today’s guardianship laws.” As for his successor, he says that “she will have to keep a lot of balls juggling with the daily chore of putting out fires. There are emergency proceedings and appointments of temporary guardianships involving the adults found in settings of extreme neglect, and these hearings bring everything else to a halt.” The judge has great words of advice and admiration for his staff, Steve Fields, who is the Court Administrator, and Jeff Arnier, who is the Court Investigator. “The court administrators are the lifeline to the attorneys and those attorneys transitioning into the probate practice. They can help inform a new attorney to the court’s procedures. Attorneys should call the court and ask about the court’s policy. A stat-

utory probate court is the only court where employees are there to help the new attorneys get their sea legs. Also, don’t under-estimate how important it is to be nice to the court staff. They can really be crucial if you are running out of time to meet a deadline.” Judge Ferchill heaped praise on the Tarrant County Probate Bar: “I’ve really enjoyed working with the probate bar. They are wonderful attorneys who are exceptionally altruistic and who care deeply about their clients.” The Judge has been asked to serve as a “Visiting Judge” statewide, but stated: “I don’t think that’s part of my future.” He hopes to sit as “Visiting Judge” in the Tarrant County probate courts on an “as needed” basis. During his retirement, Judge Ferchill will endeavor to restore a 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom 1 that belonged to his father and that was last driven in 1959. “I also have a new grandchild to get acquainted with, and I’m going to regain my fluency in French.” Judge and Cantey Ferchill have two sons, Beau and Cantey. Judge Ferchill performed the wedding of Beau at a family chapel at a cousin’s home in 2015. He will do the same for his other son Cantey in October. They have one grandchild, Paige. g



egalLine has wrapped up for 2016, and let me say it has been a great year for LegalLine! Thirty-eight volunteers answered over 1,342 calls in 2016. Our services were not just for residents of Tarrant County or even the DFW area. Included in the call totals were individuals from Houston to El Paso and just about every state in the union. Helping all these callers were many outstanding volunteer attorneys who gave a couple hours of their time in return for free pizza and the satisfaction that comes


from doing a mitzvah for the community. For the uninitiated, LegalLine is a service offered by TCBF. Volunteer attorneys anonymously answer phone calls from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. The FREE legal-advice hotline helps the public get simple legal advice, answers to legal questions, and referrals to helpful resources over the telephone. I wish to extend a warm thank-you and give special recognition to our sponsors because we would not have been nearly as successful this year without their continued support. They provided us with a steady stream of food, staffing, support, and encouragement. In particular, I wish to recognize Martinez Hsu and the Knight of Columbus. These are all good things, but as with any endeavor, we can do more. Watch this space next month for some announcements as we forge ahead in our attempt to broaden our impact to entice more of the DFW legal community to join us. Please consider joining us in the New Year! g

Scott Phillips

14 ▪ December 2016

TCBA Holiday Party

Santa's Workshop Thursday, December 8 5:00pm - 7:00pm TCBA Bar Center Fun, Games, Photo Booth, Door Prizes, Drinks, Food and More. Bring your donation of stued animals or make a monetary contribution.

Thank You to Our Sponsors Bank of Texas

La Hacienda Treatment Center Merrill Lynch

Mike Schneider Thomson Reuters

The Tarrant County Bar Foundation Presents

A Lawyer Sketch Comedy Show - Tarrant County Style Featuring Tarrant County Attorneys

Saturday, March 25, 2017

6:30pm - Reception

7:00pm - Show

Sponsorships are available. Contact 817.338.4092.

You Are Cordially Invited To Attend A Retirement Reception Honoring

Elizabeth Kerr

Judge Dana Womack

invites you to attend her Investiture as Justice, Place 3 Second Court of Appeals  Thursday, January 5, 2017 3:30 p.m.  In the Courtroom of the Second Court of Appeals Tim Curry Justice Center Ninth Floor  Reception to follow

348th District Court

Thursday, December 15, 2016 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 348th District Courtroom, Third Floor Tom Vandergriff Civil Courts Building 100 N. Calhoun Street, Fort Worth, Texas Reception hosted by Friends of Judge Dana Womack & Tarrant County Bar Association

 


 

      

16 ▪ December 2016

Tarrant County District & County Clerk Civil E-Filing Fee


he Tarrant County Clerk’s office and the District Clerk’s office will no longer be charging a $2 e-filing fee. Tarrant County was allowed to cover part of its hardware costs under the last legislation. In order to comply with the statute, both the District Clerk and the County Clerk have ceased to collect this fee. This took effect October 1, 2016. Additional information on e-filing for the Tarrant County Clerk’s office can be found at county-clerk/civil-courts/county-courts-at-law/efiling.html or the District Clerk’s office at http://access.tarrantcounty. com/content/dam/main/district-clerk/District_Clerk_Newsletter_October_2016.pdf. g

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

Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

Tarrant County Chapter News from TLTV

TLTV Participates in Access to Justice for Veterans Seminar at Pepperdine Law School

TLTV Participates in the 8th Annual Cowtown Stand Down for Homeless Veterans

On November 3, 2016, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans – Tarrant County Chapter (TLTV) participated in a panel discussion at Pepperdine School of Law’s “Access to Justice for Veterans: Coordinated Responses of a Grateful Nation.” TLTV joined representatives from Texas A&M University School of Law (TAMU Law), Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT), Catholic Charities Fort Worth (Catholic Charities), Veterans Coalition of Tarrant County (VETCO) to speak about their holistic approach to assisting veterans through the collaboration of their programs.

On November 8, 2016, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans – Tarrant County Chapter (TLTV) participated in the 8th Annual Cowtown Stand Down at the Resource Center of Tarrant County. The Stand Down provides food, services, hygiene kits, resources, and clothing to homeless and unemployed veterans. TLTV distributed food and legal resources. TLTV’s partners, MHMR of Tarrant County’s Military Peer to Peer Network and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, participated in the event as well. g

The panelists were (pictured left to right) Karon L. Rowden (Texas A&M University School of Law Family and Benefits Clinic), Merrit Klapperich (Managing Attorney, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas), Lynn Rodriguez (Texas A&M University School of Law Veterans Clinic), Melissa Rankin (Program Manager – Veterans Services, Catholic Charities Fort Worth), and Megan Cooley (Pro Bono Programs Director, Tarrant County Bar Association/Foundation).

TLTV Holds Last 2016 Clinic at the VA Outpatient Facility


n November 18, 2016, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans – Tarrant County Chapter (TLTV) held its final clinic of 2016 at the VA Outpatient Facility in Fort Worth.

December 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 17

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TLIEnduring With over 36 years in the business, and our enduring commitment to 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. TLIE is also a Preferred Provider of the State Bar of Texas and has returned over $41,550,000 to our policyholders. See why our enduring commitment, exceptional coverage and remarkable staff make the difference. 512.480.9074 / 1.800.252.9332 INFO@TLIE.ORG / WWW.TLIE.ORG

Gary Maitre, Senior Vice President Underwriting

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 at the 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 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


18 ▪ December 2016

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.


Spotlight Article Written By: Antonio U. Allen, Dowell Pham Harrison, LLP


Texas Minority Counsel Program (TMCP)

he 24th Annual Texas Minority Counsel Program was held November 9-11, 2016, at the Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas in Dallas, Texas. The TMCP was created in 1993 with the mission of increasing opportunities for minority and women attorneys to provide legal services to corporate and government entities and to expose those organizations to the talent found in the minority and woman lawyer community in Texas. This year’s event offered its nearly four hundred attendees the opportunity to 1) earn up to 8.75 hours of MCLE credit (including 2.75 hours ethics); 2) network with in-house and outside counsel attorneys from across the state; and 3) participate in informational interviews with companies actively looking to provide legal work to minority and women attorneys. The Fort Worth legal community was well represented in the planning and participation of this year’s program. The following Tarrant County Bar Association members played visible roles in the execution of this year’s TMCP: Caroline Harrison, Dowell Pham Harrison LLP Co-Chair, TMCP Steering Committee Hon. Don Cosby, 67th District Court, Tarrant County Panel Moderator Arturo Errisuriz, Texas A&M University School of Law Panel Participant Susan F. Smith, Gardner & Smith, PLLC Panel Participant Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Sponsor Cantey Hanger LLP Sponsor Decker Jones, P.C. Sponsor Dowell Pham Harrison LLP Sponsor

Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP Sponsor Texas A&M University School of Law Sponsor

In addition to the usual networking opportunities offered through participation in the Golf Tournament, Spa Retreat, Networking “Dine-Arounds,” and Networking Receptions, TMCP offers attendees a unique networking opportunity through its Networking Through Service event. In-house and outside counsel attorneys enhance their networks while making a difference at local elementary schools by presenting a curriculum designed to inspire students to pursue careers in the legal profession. This year TMCP attendees teamed up to deliver classroom presentations to fourth and fifth graders at Farine Elementary School in Irving, Texas. The 25th Annual TMCP will be held in Austin, Texas, November 8-10, 2017. g



Joyce Eileen Stevens


oyce Eileen Anderson Stevens, beloved mother, grandmother, sister, friend and colleague, passed away at a Mansfield medical center on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, at the age of 76. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society in Joyce's honor may be made at Joyce was born on Nov. 30, 1939, at the family farm house west of Coleridge, Neb. She operated her own law practice, Joyce E. Stevens, Attorney at law P.C., for over twenty years. She was well respected in the law community and a fellow in the College of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation and the Tarrant County Bar Foundation; and a member of the Arlington Bar Association. Her family affectionately nicknamed her "Counselor." Joyce was a lifelong conservative republican and a member and former president of the Republican Women of Arlington. She was an active member in P.E.O. since 1969. She joined Chapter ER, Arlington in 1974 and remained active in that chapter until her death. Both daughters were initiated into ER and Joyce and Nicole were members of the ER singing group

"Starlight," which gave many performances, including multiple Texas State Conventions and the International Convention in Milwaukee, Wis., in 2001. Joyce was an active member in church for all of her life, most recently at St. John the Apostle United Methodist Church in Arlington. She was a big sports fan, always watching Nebraska Cornhusker Football, Texas Rangers baseball and the Dallas Cowboys on TV, and the reputed "loudest fan in the stands" at her family's sporting events through the years. Her greatest joy in life was her two children and her four grandchildren. Joyce will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She was predeceased by parents, Vincent Anderson and Josephine Joslin Anderson; and brother, Lawrence Anderson. Survivors: Brothers, Randal Anderson and wife, Shirley, of Hartington, Neb., and Glen Anderson and wife, Deanna, of Coleridge, Neb.; sister, Janice Anderson-Brookes and husband, David, of Windsor, Colo.; children, Nicole Garner and husband, James, of Cypress and Natalie Bierman and husband, Ronnie, of Haslet; grandchildren, Zoe Garner, Brett Garner, Hayley Oberbeck and Hannah Oberbeck; their father, Robert Oberbeck; and many, many cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. g

Published in the Star-Telegram on October 30, 2016

Sheldon Anisman


heldon Anisman passed away peacefully Sunday morning, Nov. 6, 2016. Mr. Anisman was 82. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, consideration of contributions to Beth-El Congregation, Community Hospice of Texas or a charity of choice , in his memory, is suggested. Born the son of Abe and Ida Marcus Anisman in Memphis, the bustling county seat of Hall County, Texas, on May 18, 1934, Sheldon was destined to lead a life worthy of emulation. Desiring to take advantage of educational opportunities not readily available in isolated Hall County, at a young age he left home, first attending Peacock Military Academy in San Antonio, followed by a brief year at

20 â–Ş December 2016

home. He completed his high school education at Wentworth Military Academy, located in Lexington, Mo. When home, Sheldon spent his time assisting his parents in the operation of their successful dry goods store, which served the needs of the farmers and citizens of Hall County. After graduating from Wentworth, Sheldon enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin, where he eventually became a member of Sigma Alpha Mu. Sheldon was one of a handful of student leaders tapped to join the Texas Cowboys, whose membership is based on exceptional leadership, spirit, character, and service. Following undergraduate school, he remained in Austin and enrolled in the University of Texas School of Law, graduating in 1957. While in the midst of beginning a storied legal career, Sheldon found time to serve in the Texas Air National Guard, driven by his keen interest in all things aeronautical while at the same time desiring to serve his country. Within a short time he found employment with the Fort Worth law firm of Simon & Simon, where he eventually rose to the position of partner and added his name to the firm's title. Following an amicable dissolution

of the firm, Sheldon was thereafter employed with Jackson & Walker, where he concluded his law practice of more than 50 years. A quiet, unassuming man with a keen intellect and an unmatched sense of justice and fair play, he was greatly admired by all who encountered him: judges of both the federal and state courts; his partners; his clients; his adversaries. In May 2004 the Tarrant County Bar Association bestowed upon him its highest honor, the Blackstone Award, presented in recognition of a legal career that exemplifies professional aptitude, integrity, and courage. It is fitting that Sheldon received the Blackstone Award in tandem with his former classmate and lifelong friend, Dick Simon. A sterling legal career was but one facet of Sheldon's exemplary life. In 1974 he married Karen Barnett Ault and found time to be a wonderful husband and a father to four children. In the midst of a successful law practice and an equally busy domestic life, Sheldon's natural abilities as a quiet, effective leader and thinker compelled others to seek his assistance in the advancement of important works. He was called upon at various times to serve as the president of Beth-El Congregation, the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County and the Dan Danciger Community Center. In all these endeavors, Sheldon excelled. His many friends and family will readily recall the broad scope of his interests and


his passion for a wide variety of fields. He was fascinated by cars, planes, cameras and electronic gadgetry; he was an enthusiastic traveler; doted on a long succession of dogs and cats; and loved his farm in Cleburne, where he spent many happy weekend hours with his family and friends like Jimmy Brittain in the 1970s and '80s. Most of all, however, he loved his family, which shone through in his words, his conduct, and the very expression on his face when his wife, a child, or grandchild entered the room. That love is a legacy that will abide with all of us. He was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law, Urban Barnett and Margaret and Henry Dinklage; and his oldest grandson, Michael Douglas Brown. Survivors: In addition to his wife of 42 years, Karen, Sheldon is survived by his children, Jessica Rains and her husband, Reagan, Brent Ault and his partner, Tom Boswell, Sabrina Webster and her husband, Lon, and Amber Jens and her husband, Andrew; grandchildren, Lucinda and Archie Rains, Marie and Charles Webster and Sam and Evelyn Jens; as well as a host of cousins; and special family friend, Monica Marchi Jackson. g

Sheldon was also a 2003 Blackstone Award Recipient of the Tarrant County Bar Association. Published in the Star-Telegram on Nov. 9, 2016

Lawyer Referral & Information Service News

anta has come early for the Lawyer Referral & Information Service! LRIS has collected over $73,000! Thank you to the attorneys who make it all possible with their referral fees: Shmyla Alam Jason Amon Monty Buhrow Courtney Burns Neal Callaway Bill Catterton Andrea Casanova Danielle Dulaney Todd Durden Bodie Freeman Lacie Friday Earl Hargrave An Lee Hsu

Leslie Hunt James Jinks Dustin Lee Breanne Lilley Mansfield & Mansfield Michael Martinez Brian McGrath Edwardo Meza Kenneth Newell Michael Remme Amanda Rodriguez Carey Thompson.

We are still looking for more attorneys in all categories for the fields of: Administrative Law Insurance Law Intellectual Property Medical Malpractice Securities/Commodities Social Security Veterans Issues Workers Compensation

As always, thank you to the LRIS staff: Sandy Tilley, Carolina Ibarra, and Brittany Gilbert, for all of their hard work and dedication to making this department run as smoothly as it does! g

If you have not yet joined our Referral Service and would like to, please send an e-mail to either or

December 2016 â–Ş TCBA BULLETIN 21


. . . And Now a Word

from our Sections

Brown Bag Seminar Series Appellate Law February 17, 2017

Sherry Jones Associate Executive Director

Upcoming Brown Bag Seminar Series January 27 Personal Injury

March 31 Child Welfare

February 17 Appellate Law sponsored by the Appellate Law Section Reception to Follow

June 9 Legislative Update


he Appellate Law Section is proud to bring Tim Terrell, a nationally renowned authority in legal writing from Emory School of Law, to present on best practices for legal and appellate writing. He works around the country with appellate judges and attorneys and is the co-author of the popular legal text Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Writing and Editing. g

Destination CLE Advanced Criminal & Immigration Law


February 6-12, 2017 g 16 Hours of CLE

he Tarrant County Bar Association International & Immigration Law Section presents Spanish CLE in Heredia, Costa Rica. Attorneys, Investigators, Legal Assistants and your families are invited to join us as we learn Spanish in Heredia, Costa Rica through Advanced Criminal and Immigration Law conducted in Spanish but interpreted for English speakers.

Stay with a local family for complete Spanish immersion, or stay at a property of your choice. The object of the trip is to have a cultural experience while improving Spanish legal skills. A local (Tico) will be present in the classroom and will role play as a client and will suggest ways of interpreting the English legal terms into Spanish. g

For more information, contact Sherry Jones at 817.338.4092 or 22 â–Ş December 2016

Law Offices of Jason Smith

Trials and Appeals Employment, Personal Injury, Insurance Board Certified Civil Appellate Law

Jason Smith 817.334.0880 600 8th Aveue Fort Worth, TX 76104

Amerian Board of Trial Advocates

2017-2018 Candidate Request for Board of Directors


f you are interested in serving on the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Board of Directors, please contact the Bar Offices at 817.338.4092 for a Director Candidate Request Form or you may download it from our website at https://tarrantbar. org/home/tarrant-county-bar-association-boarddirectors-2/. All candidates must be an attorney in good standing with the Tarrant County Bar Association. The election of the 2017-2018 Board of Directors will be held in April 2017. For more information, contact Trisha Graham by email at or at 817.338.4092. g


December 2016 â–Ş TCBA BULLETIN 23

You Are Cordially Invited To A

Reception Honoring

Judge Mike Sinha and

Associate Judge Cindy Mendoza of the 360th District Court

Thursday, December 15, 2016 4:00 p.m. 360th District Courtroom, Fourth Floor Family Law Center 200 E. Weatherford Street, Fort Worth, Texas

Reception Hosted By

Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association & Tarrant County Bar Association

24 â–ª December 2016

Solo & Small Firms Section Mixer Tuesday, January 31, 2017 5:00pm Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P. 309 West 7th Street, Suite 815 Fort Worth, 76102

Thank You to Our Sponsor Thomson Reuters

32 â–Ş September 2016

Bar Bulletin ▪ December 2016 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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Tarrant County Bar Association December 2016  

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