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Bulletin February 2018

President’s Page


Be Safe. Be Healthy. Be Happy.

ow is your New Year’s resolution going? Congratulations if you are still motivated and on track with your goal(s) for 2018. If you had a setback, don’t give up. An eleven month resolution is still possible and would be a great accomplishment! Hang by Nick Bettinger in there. I would love to hear about your innovative resolutions, so drop me an e-mail or share your goal on the TCBA Facebook page. I am very excited about two events this Spring. On March 2, 2018, the Solo & Small Firm Section is sponsoring a Wellness Retreat from 12:30 to 4:30 at the TCBA office. The 3 hour CLE program will include speakers on fitness, mindfulness, and the State Bar TLAP program. The demands of our profession can produce very negative physical and psychological results. We work instead of working out. We like to mediate and not meditate. We sit for hours at a desk trying to stand up for our clients. Wellness should be a priority in our lives, and to succeed, it takes hard work. Thanks to Joseph Horn and the Solo & Small Firm Section for hosting this important event. I hope to see a full house that day. On April 20-22, TCBA is proud to host the 25th annual Bench Bar Conference. As I hope you have heard, we are beginning a three year run at the Horseshoe Bay Resort in Central Texas. This great locale in the Hill Country offers great views, memorable golf courses, and acres of relaxing landscape. The Bench Bar committee, led by chair Kim Stoner, has an exciting slate of speakers lined up. Among the very relevant CLE topics are the new Tax Law, Sexual Harassment, and Risk Management for lawyers. Social events include the prestigious Judge’s Cup golf tournament, Trivia Night, and a Saturday afternoon wine tour. And for the first time, spouses are welcome (but not required) to attend. Scholarships are available, including one in honor of Janna Clarke, a dear friend of Bench Bar who will be missed. If you’ve never been to Bench Bar, this is a great year to start. Tech Time Free Wi-Fi !!!! Did I get your attention? We all get a little jolt knowing that we won’t be cut off from the rest

of the cyber world thanks to public Wi-Fi. I’ll bet you don’t think twice about connecting your laptop, tablet or mobile phone to any open network. After all, those stories about hackers stealing your digital information over the Starbucks Wi-Fi network aren’t true, right? Wrong. Connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network carries with it certain privacy and security risks. To eliminate the risk, you should first make sure you are using a firewall and anti-virus software. Next, if you are using a computer and you do not turn off file sharing, others on the network could access documents on your computer. Shutting off file sharing differs on PCs and Macs, so do an internet search for the steps specific to your operating system, or drop me a line and I’ll walk you through it. Finally, you want to make sure your internet browsing on public Wi-Fi is secure. Any site that uses the “https” prefix is secure because the transmission between you and the site is encrypted. But what about all other sites? Well, you can implement the same encrypted transmissions for all of your internet traffic by using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. With a VPN, your network traffic passes through a private tunnel, preventing others on the same public Wi-Fi network from seeing your traffic. You can do this on computers as well as tablets and phones. There are hundreds of VPN providers out there. Many are free. Just be sure to do some research on the providers before you choose one. The PC Magazine website ( has a list of the best VPN services, both free and paid providers. Taking the above steps may add a minute or two of inconvenience to your quest to be connected to the outside world, but it will give you a sense of security that nobody else in the hotel, airport, coffee shop, etc. will be able to access your device or your communications. TCBA events this month Women in the Law Luncheon. Always a great gathering. The speakers at this year’s luncheon Celebrating the Impact of Female Attorneys in the Tarrant County Community – include Mayor Betsy Price, Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson, and Senior Assistant City Attorney Laetitia Brown. Mark your calendar and RSVP to Sherry Jones. 50 Year Lawyers. The February membership luncheon (February 13 from 11:45-1:00 at the City Club) is our opportunity to recognize Tarrant County CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 FEBRUARY 2018 TCBA BULLETIN 1


Features 7 TCBF Report 21 Bench Bar Conference XXV the Gap in Texas, 23 Closing One Question at a Time

26 Breakfast with the Tarrant County Judiciary Departments 1 President's Page 3 100 Club 4 YLA Snapshot 5 Calendar of Events 9 LegalLine 10 Lawyers on the Move & in the News 10 Membership Report 12 Benefits of Membership 13 Judicial Profile - Judge Cheril Hardy 14 Vendor List 16 Snippets 22 Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans 22 Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services 24 Other Associations' News & Information 25 A Word From Our Sections 25 Lawyer Referral & Information Service News 26 CLE Corner 27 In Memoriam Advertiser's Index Juris Fabrilis........................................................24 KoonsFuller.................................Inside Front Cover Law Offices of Jason Smith..................................25 Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C.......................10 LawPay................................................................9 Parker Law Firm...................................................20 Stephens Anderson & Cummings...........Back Cover Texas Lawyers' Insurance Exchange......................6 Tindall Square Office Complex.............................26 The Collie Firm.....................................................6




Tarrant County Bar Association 817.338.4092 ▪ Fax 817.335.9238 website: email: 2017-2018 Officers


President................................Nick Bettinger President-Elect..........................Lance Evans Vice President.............................John Cayce Secretary-Treasurer...............Gary L. Medlin

Directors Term Ends 2019

Director..............................Susan Hutchison Director............................Jason C. N. Smith Director............................Tennessee Walker

Term Ends 2018


Director..................................Cody L. Cofer Director..............................Veronica C. Law Director..........................................Lu Pham

2017-2018 Appointed Directors

Appointed Director.......................Joe Regan Appointed Director................Lori Spearman

Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association Fall 2017 President.............Christopher Gee Spring 2018 President.....Katherine Hopkins

Immediate Past President......Robert G. West Executive Director.................Megan Cooley Ex-Officio Members State Bar of Texas Director............................Gary L. Nickelson Director...............................Curtis Pritchard Bar Bulletin Editor...................................John F. Murphy Assistant Editor.....................Kathleen Flacy Graphics/Production............Elizabeth Banda TheTarrant 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 to 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 reflect the opinions of the Tarrant County Bar Association, its officers or the Board of Directors. Advertisements and feature articles should not be considered an endorsement of any service, product, program, seminar or event.

Members of the 2017-2018

100 Club

*List Reflected Below is as of January 25, 2018 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, LLP Bonds Ellis Eppich Schafer Jones, LLP Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Broude, Smith, Jennings, McGlinchey & Fitzgerald, P.C. Brown, Dean, Proctor & Howell, LLP Bruner & Pappas, LLP Cantey Hanger, LLP City Attorney's Office - Fort Worth Cook Children's Health Care System Curnutt & Hafer, LLP Dawson Parrish, P.C. Decker Jones, P.C. Dowell Pham Harrison, LLP Forshey Prostok, LLP Friedman, Suder & Cooke, P.C. Gordon & Sykes, LLP Griffith, Jay & Michel, LLP Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. Harrison Steck, P.C. Haynes and Boone, LLP Holland, Johns & Penny, LLP Jackson Walker, LLP Jim Ross Law Group, P.C. Joshua Graham & Associates, PLLC Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP KoonsFuller, P.C. Lacy Malone & Steppick, PLLC Law, Snakard & Gambill, P.C.

Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP Lively and Associates, LLP Loe, Warren, Rosenfield, Kaitcer, Hibbs, Windsor, Lawrence & Wolffarth, P.C. Martinez Hsu, P.C. McDonald Sanders, P.C. Mellina & Larson, P.C. Moses, Palmer & Howell, LLP Murphy Mahon Keffler & Farrier, LLP Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee, PLLC Nelson Bumgardner, P.C. Noteboom Law Firm Padfield & Stout, LLP Parker Straus, LLP Phelps Dunbar, LLP PlainsCapital Bank Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Taplett, LLP Schneider Law Firm, P.C. Second Court of Appeals Stephens, Anderson & Cummings, LLP Suzanne I. Calvert & Associates Tarrant County CDA's Office Taylor Olson Adkins Sralla & Elam, LLP The Berenson Firm The Blum Firm The Colaneri Firm, P.C. The Wolf Law Firm Thompson & Knight, LLP Underwood Law Firm, P.C. Varghese Summersett, PLLC Watson, Caraway, Midkiff & Luningham, LLP Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz, PLLC Wick Phillips Winstead, 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 members and attains 100% TCBA membership compliance for the 2017-2018 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/organization 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 Lauren McKnight at 817.338.4092 or email her at g

YLA Snapshot Christopher Gee, President TCYLA


n a follow up to last month’s article, I am excited to inform our members that the TCYLA Board of Directors (Board) approved a bylaw amendment proposal to change the leadership structure of TCYLA. As a recap, the proposed changes would establish one-year terms for officers and Directors and impose four-year term limits on Director positions. Additional changes include reducing the number of officer positions to only include a President, President-Elect, and Secretary/Treasurer. Officers will be voted upon by the sitting Board, and to be eligible for an officer position, you must have served at least one term as a member of the Board. A recruitment committee will be established to make recommendations for open Director seats, and the elections will shift to an online voting system vs. being held at the monthly CLE luncheons. In addition, the President will have the authority to appoint two members of their choosing to serve on the Board. Assuming these proposed amendments pass, the changes will go into effect for the 2018-2019 bar year. Accordingly, there will be one last leadership term under the current system from March 2018 to August 2018. A summary of the proposed revisions was distributed to the membership in January for their review, and the vote for this amendment will occur at the monthly CLE luncheon on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. In addition to the bylaw vote at the monthly CLE luncheon, we will hear from former Judge Marilea

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 lawyers who have practiced for half a century. I feel like I have been in practice for a long time, yet I am only halfway to these professionals. Please join me in recognizing our brethren on this fantastic milestone in their careers. I look forward to hearing their experiences and advice for the future. Breakfast with the Judiciary. If you are a newly licensed attorney or have been in practice for less than five years, come by the TCBA office on February 16 between 7:30-9:00am to meet our Tarrant County judges and learn about TCBA programs relevant to your practice. 4


Lewis who will speak to us on evidentiary issues and general advice on avoiding malpractice. We will also conduct our election for the Officers and Board of Directors for the March 2018 – August 2018 leadership term. Furthermore, we are working on some spring service projects, a joint mixer with the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, and the Texas A&M School of Law Professionalism Program will be kicking off soon, so stay on the lookout for announcements on these events. My term as President and 6 years of service on the TCYLA Board of Directors will conclude at the end of the month. It’s been a great experience, and I am most grateful for the friendships I’ve made through TCYLA over the years. For those young lawyers out there looking to get more plugged into the legal community or Fort Worth in general, I would encourage you to take advantage of TCYLA and get more involved through running for the Board, volunteering for a service project, or even helping out with a committee. The legal profession is like many others, and success can depend on having strong relationships and a support network; you can begin building that here. I wish my successor, Kat Hopkins, the best of luck as she takes the reigns in March, and I want to thank the current Board of Directors for their service this term and being open to changes that I feel will be a turning point for this organization. n

Balloon of the month. A weatherproof Frosty.

Have a great month. g


Calendar of Events

February 2018

7 Transition to Practice - “What Every Lawyer Should Know: Probate, Appellate Law and Court Coordinator’s Thoughts” 11:30 am, TCBA Office 8 Energy Law Section Luncheon 12 pm, Petroleum Club 8 LegalLine 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, TCBA Office 13 Membership Luncheon Celebrating 50 Year Attorneys 11:45 am, City Club 15 Fort Worth Business & Estate Section Luncheon 11:45 am, City Club 15 Construction Law Section Luncheon 12 pm, TCBA Office 16 Breakfast with the Tarrant County Judiciary 7:30 am - 9:00 am, TCBA Office 19 President's Day Holiday Office Closed 20 Labor & Employment Law Section Luncheon 12 pm, Petroleum Club 21 Women Attorneys Section CLE Luncheon 12 pm, Petroleum Club 22 Court Staff Seminar 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, TCBA Office

March 2018

2 Solo & Small Firms Section Wellness Retreat 12 pm, TCBA Office 8 LegalLine 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, TCBA Office 20 Real Estate Section Luncheon 12 pm, City Club 22 Court Staff Seminar 12 pm, City Club Court Staff Reception to follow at 5 pm 22 LegalLine 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, TCBA Office 23 Brown Bag Seminar - Child Welfare 12:00 pm, Lynn Ross Juvenile Detention Center 27 Tax & Estate Planning Section Luncheon 11:30 am, Petroleum Club 27 Business Litigation Section 12 pm, City Club 27 Last Tuesday CLE 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, TCBA Office 3 hours CLE in Ethics 29 Fort Worth Business & Estate Section Luncheon 11:45 am, City Club 30 Good Friday Holiday Office Closed

22 LegalLine 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, TCBA Office 23 Brown Bag Seminar - Appellate Law 12:30 pm - 3:45 pm, TCBA Office 27 Tax & Estate Planning Section Luncheon 11:30 am, Petroleum Club 27 Women in the Law Luncheon - Guest Speaker: Betsy Price 11:30 am, Fort Worth Club 27 Last Tuesday CLE 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, TCBA Office 3 hours CLE in Ethics



Membership Luncheon Celebrating 50 Year Attorneys

"The Legal Profession in the Next 50 Years" Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 11:45 AM | City Club $26 for Members $31 for Non-Members

0.75 Hour CLE, 0.25 Ethics requested

Sponsored by Camacho Law Firm, PLLC


Marianne Auld, Managing Partner at Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Milan Markovic, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Assessment, Strategic Analysis, and Reporting at TAMU Law Craig Woodcook, General Counsel, Secretary and Vice President of Legal Affairs at Ben E. Keith

RSVP to Sherry Jones at

GRIEVANCE DEFENSE When your license, livelihood, and reputation are at stake

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▪ FEBRUARY 2018 / / (512) 480-9074

Tarrant County Bar Foundation



he Tarrant County Bar Foundation held its Annual Meeting on January 10, 2018. At the meeting, new Fellows and Life Fellows of the Bar Foundation were recognized. Judge David Evans installed the 2018 Board of

2018 Board of Directors Chair Chair-Elect Vice Chair Treasurer Director Director Director Director Director Director Director Director Immediate Past Chair Executive Director Pro Bono Programs Director

Neal W. Adams Joe Cleveland Artie Errisuriz Dee Kelly, Jr. Judge Don Cosby Justice Lee Gabriel Lisa Jamieson David Keltner Heather L. King Jackie Robinson Andy Sims Philip A. Vickers Patti Gearhart Turner Megan Cooley Melissa Sircar

Directors and new Chair Neal Adams. The Bar Foundation also presented Patti Gearhart Turner, Immediate Past Chair, with a plaque and thanked her for her service as Board Chair in 2017.

New 2017 Fellows Life Fellow Life Fellow Life Fellow Life Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow Fellow

Scott Fredricks Kelli Walter Tennessee Walker Melissa Wilks Michael Appleman Laetitia Coleman Brown Katie Copeland Allan Graves Joe Greenhill Leann Guzman Caroline Harrison Cory Hartsfield Justin Malone Evan McGuire Larry Moore Christopher Mosley Travis Patterson Lu Pham Will Pruitt Melinda Ramos Enrique “Rick” Sanchez, Jr. Michael Schneider John Shaw Kate Smith Susan Smith Louis Stefanos Tyler Wallach



Tech Vendor Fair and TCBA Docket Call


n January 11, 2018, TCBA held a Tech Vendor Fair and Docket Call. TCBA members were able to visit with various vendors who offer technology and professional services, as well as catch up with their colleagues at the Docket Call. g

The Harbinger eDiscovery platform provides law firms an affordable, easy to use eDiscovery tool for rapid review of ESI documents in a secure environment managed by Certified Forensics Specialist.

LawPay are the experts in legal payments, offering the only proven payment technology developed for lawyers, with the highest levels of legal compliance, support, and security.

Juris Fabrilis is a technology services company based in Bedford, Texas that provides tech services to lawyers.

VARIDESK provides a variety of office products that give individuals the option to sit-to-stand at their workstation allowing for a healthier, happier and a more productive you! Thomson Reuters offers industry-leading legal technology, investigative tools, and professional services to help you deliver trusted answers to your clients.

Veritext Legal Solutions is a full service deposition firm based out of Fort Worth. With a top of the line client repository, remote deposition capability, paperless exhibits and the best data security in the business, Veritext has you covered. Private Investigation team using the best 3D scanning equipment to help prove causality.



LegalLine HELP!

Please join the Tarrant County Bar Foundation in congratulating the LegalLine Pro Bono Award Winner. His dedication to providing pro bono legal services to our community is greatly appreciated.

LegalLine Pro Bono Award Recipient

LegalLine for 2018 has begun and we need volunteers.

Attorney of the Year Scott Phillips

Please consider donating two hours of your time the 2nd & 4th Thursday, January through November, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Bring a friend. LegalLine is a valuable community service outreach program that needs your time and skills. If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring, please contact Carolina at 817.338.4092 or

Dinner served at 5:30 p.m. for all volunteers.



Handling meritorious personal injury and wrongful death cases, including 18-wheeler trucking collisions.


• FORT WORTH, TEXAS 76104 • TEL 817.531.3000 • FAX 817.923.2228

Welcome New Members of the TCBA:

ATTORNEYS Claire Blankenship John K. Byers

Membership Report


appy New Year! In January, we provided technology-focused events as our main member benefit. Jeff Sanford of Juris Fabrilis hosted a luncheon focused on how to make your data safer. The TCBA hosted a Tech Vendor Fair and Docket Call where members could visit with several technology vendors on a come and go basis. Later in the month, Harbinger eDiscovery sponsored a CLE luncheon focusing on mobile device forensics. We are extremely grateful for our sponsors who made these events happen and hope you took advantage of January’s technology-focused benefits! On February 7th, we look forward to seeing our attorneys who have practiced for less than five years at our first Breakfast with the Judges. The Membership Committee is proud to host this networking event where young attorneys may network with members of the Tarrant County Judiciary and can hear about TCBA programs that can help lawyers as they are starting out. If you are interested in attending the event, please contact Thank you again for your continued support of the Tarrant County Bar Association! We hope to see you at an event soon! g

Lawyers on the Move &

in the News

Litchfield Cavo, L.L.P., is excited to welcome Christopher S. Greer (“Chris”), a former partner with Kelly Hart & Hallman, LLP, as a partner in its Dallas/Fort Worth office, located in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.

Punam Kaji has been named Assistant General Counsel – Employment & Litigation for Ben E. Keith Company. Previously, Ms. Kaji had an active employment law practice as an associate at Haynes and Boone, LLP. g If you are a TCBA member and would like to place an announcement in the Bar Bulletin, we would like to hear from you. Please submit information by email to Elizabeth at

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 Thank you to Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP for sponsoring February's Free Legal Advice Clinic For Veterans.



Why 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:



The TCBA has eighteen Substantive Law Sections offering CLE and networking with members interested in the same areas of law.

The 2017-2018 TCBA Bar year has begun!

Reduced rates on CLE (Brown Bags, Luncheons, Section Meetings, Last Tuesday CLE).


Community Service Opportunities through the Foundation: LegalLine, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans-Tarrant 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.


Monthly Bar Bulletin (by email or mail) and updates on upcoming events by e-mail.


Free CLE and professional seminars.


Mentoring or being mentored through the Transition to Practice program.


Reduced rates on room rental at the TCBA Bar Center.


Reduced rates on office supplies, UPS, shredding documents, the Fort Worth Zoo, and more.


The professional 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 Lauren at the bar office at 817.338.4092 or by email at


by Perry Cockerell

Judge Cheril Hardy


irst elected in 1996 after a contested Republican primary and general election, Judge Cheril Hardy, County Criminal Court #7, is now in her twenty-first year on the bench and in her reelection without opposition. The bench was a good choice for her. Born in Weslaco, Texas, Judge Hardy grew up in Snyder in an extended family with relatives who were influential in the west Texas town and in her own life. Her father, Malven Stevenson, was the city’s mayor, the school board president and a local realtor. Her grandmother founded the Fort Concho Museum in San Angelo. Her father’s uncle was United States Congressman George Mahon, who spent most Thanksgivings with her family in Colorado City. For years she heard stories by Mahon about the White House and Washington. George Mahon and former federal judge Eldon Mahon were great influences in her decision to study law. Judge Hardy loves west Texas with its ranching and oil and gas influence. She recalled stories of her great grandmother venturing around Texas buying oil and gas leases. “It was great growing up in Snyder. I appreciate a real rancher, the oil and gas industry, and real cowboys!” After graduating from Snyder High School, Judge Hardy left for Fort Worth to attend Texas Christian University. Moving to Fort Worth was an easy choice for her because her family often went to TCU football games, attended concerts and frequented many plays at Casa Mañana. “Everyone in my family attended Texas Christian University going back to the 1800s when the school first started.” At TCU she majored in English and graduated with a degree in Education. After graduation she taught school in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area and pursued a Master’s Degree in Education Supervision at the University of North Texas. She taught school until her first child was born. Soon afterwards she returned to work selling real estate and realized that it was time to go to law school. Her parents encouraged her to take law school seriously, “and I did.” Law school would be difficult being married with three young children and living in Fort Worth. After being accepted at Southern Methodist University, she made the daily commute to Dallas and on some days brought all three children with her to class. After graduating from SMU Law School, Judge Hardy was hired by McDonald Sanders law firm, practicing real estate, corporate and banking law. When all three of her children were in school she went out on her own and handled primarily family law matters. Judge Hardy served several years on the

board of the Family Law Bar Association and served as its president in 1990. Later, she joined forces with Mary Holland and Janet Denton in Bedford. Before long she began a transition to criminal law and moved her offices to Fort Worth where she worked for a short time with Jim and Bill Lane before taking the bench. Her other civic work included serving on the Teen Court and the Texas State Bar Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. In 1996 Judge Hardy decided to run for the bench of the Criminal County Court, #7 and would face an incumbent judge. “It was a next step, a challenge, something that I wanted to do. I have more the temperament of a judge than as an attorney. After a while I get tired of that aggressive mode.” Judge Hardy won the election and she has enjoyed the court since then. “I love the people I work with. I like to mentor the new attorneys assigned to my court by the District Attorney. I give research notes, case law, and articles as well as open discussions of their skill and ideas for improvement. I have close associations with the attorneys in my court and I have no problem handling people. It helps to have a jail cell and big bailiffs beside me.” Once she heard someone say, “Family law is where good people act bad and criminal law is where bad people act good.” She never forgot that, but did soon realize that not all family law people are good and not all criminals are bad. The kind of cases in the county criminal courts are diverse. “We do a lot of DWI [driving while intoxicated] offenses, assaults, and theft. I would guess that upwards of sixty percent of those cases filed in my court are DWIs.” Like all courts Judge Hardy’s work on the court never ends. “There are ten county criminal courts. Each court gets approximately 250 to 300 new cases a month. Close to ninety percent of those cases are pled so the difference goes to the contest docket. That ten percent per month adds up so jury trials are prevalent.” Everyone has a job to do in her court and there are constant demands on the court and staff’s time. “It is like a revolving door. We have from approximately ninety to onehundred people in the court twice a week. I respect people’s skills and talents. I have a court coordinator, so I don’t do her job. The same is true with the clerks or the bailiff. I don’t micromanage anyone. Everyone does their job very well.” Her regular weekly routine begins with Mondays and Tuesdays being reserved for trials. Wednesdays and Thursdays are the docket days for pleas, motions to suppress, and other kinds of evidentiary motions. Thursdays also include a voir dire but juries are generally chosen on Fridays.” Her advice to new attorneys is “to ask questions and to sit in as many trials as you are able. Go to advanced seminars and learn more than you have to.” 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.

2018 OUTSTANDING COURT STAFF AWARDS BALLOT The Tarrant County Bar Association seeks your vote for the outstanding Court Staff. Court staff personnel of the courts of Tarrant County, including Deputy District Clerks, Deputy County Clerks assigned to judicial functions; Court Reporters, Court Coordinators, Bailiffs, Court Security Officers, Probate Auditors, Judges’ non-lawyer clerical staff, and auxiliary court coordinators are eligible. Open to TCBA members.

Voting ballots can be downloaded at

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.

Ballots must be received in the Bar office no later than midnight on February 8, 2018. For more information, please contact Sherry Jones at or 817.338.4092.

Tarrant County

Fort Worth Zoo discount tickets - $11.00 adult, $8 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 documentdestruction service offering 40% off to TCBA members. Call the TCBA office for details. Thomson Reuters Exclusive TCBA offer of 10% off Firm Central subscriptions to Bar members* Please contact Amanda Olson, your local Account Executive, for more information at: g



Court Staff Appreciation Reception & Awards BE A SPONSOR!

The Tarrant County Bar Association is hosting its Annual Tarrant County Court Staff Appreciation Reception & Awards on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 5:00 pm at the City Club (301 Commerce Street, 2nd Floor). This reception is an opportunity for the legal community to say “Thank You” to the court staff for all courts (federal, state, and county) in Tarrant County who work very hard to serve our courts, assist the public, and facilitate efficiency in our legal system. Sponsors will be listed on signage at the reception and be recognized in the Bar Bulletin. Sponsors will also be recognized in flyers for the event on the TCBA’s social media. Join TCBA in honoring those who help to make the legal community of Tarrant County a great place to practice law by becoming a sponsor. Your sponsorship will assist in underwriting the food, beverages, and related expenses to host the reception. If you or your firm would like to be listed as a sponsor of this event, please contact Sherry Jones at no later than March 2, 2018. g

Mark Your Calendar for the Appreciation Reception & Awards Presentation and Plan to Join Us in Honoring Our Outstanding Court Staff!

WOMEN in the LAW LUNCHEON Leadership in the Bar, Bench, and Community

Celebrating the Impact of Female Attorneys in the Tarrant County Community Tuesday, February 27, 2018 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. $35 per person $500 for Reserved Tables of 10 Fort Worth Club 306 W. 7th Street, Fort Worth

Special Guest and Panel Members: Mayor Betsy Price Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson & Senior Assistant City Attorney Laetitia Brown To make your reservations, contact Sherry Jones at 817.338.4092 or by email at Event Sponsor - $1500

Includes a reserved full table (10 seats) to the event and a 1/2 page color ad in the Bar Bulletin. Event sponsors will be recognized at the event and publicized on the TCBA’s website, in the Bar Bulletin, and on the TCBA’s social media.

Table Sponsor - $1000

Includes a reserved table (10 seats) to the event. Table sponsors will be recognized at the event and publicized on the TCBA’s website, in the Bar Bulletin, and on the TCBA’s social media.

Gift Sponsors - $500-$1000

Gift sponsors will be recognized at the event and publicized on the TCBA’s website, in the Bar Bulletin, and on the TCBA’s social media.


Civil and Criminal

Co-Editor Judge Carey Walker, County Criminal Court No. 2

by Judge Bob McCoy g County Criminal Court No. 3


213th District Court Judge Louis Sturns’ three favorite activities: 1. Traveling to my East Texas ranch and spending time with my family and friends; 2. Relaxing in my backyard with a good book and music; 3. Being a trial court judge.


Judge Bob, what is the “substantial truth doctrine”? Under the “substantial truth doctrine,” a publication’s truth or falsity depends on whether the publication “taken as a whole is more damaging to the plaintiff’s reputation than a truthful [publication] would have been.” D Magazine Partners, L.P. v. Rosenthal, 529 S.W.3d 429, 434 (Tex. 2017).



figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous) I didn’t say it was your fault; I said I was blaming you.



The emotional bonds between people and their dogs remain private and powerful, often unhindered by contractions or reality, free to grow and expand in ways outsiders can never fully grasp. Jon Katz, “Donna and Harry”

CRIMINAL ITEMS OF INTEREST 1. Accomplice Witness Rule

The accomplice-witness rule provides: A conviction cannot be had upon the testimony of an accomplice unless corroborated by other evidence tending to connect the defendant with the offense committed, and the corroboration is not sufficient if it merely shows the commission of the offense. Bible v. State, 524 S.W.3d 257 (Tex.App.—Waco 2016).



2. Misdemeanor Guilty Plea

In a misdemeanor case, the trial court may accept a plea and assess punishment without consideration of any evidence. “A plea of ‘guilty’ or a plea of ‘nolo contendere’ in a misdemeanor case may be made either by the defendant or his counsel in open court; in such case, the defendant or his counsel may waive a jury, and the punishment may be assessed by the court either upon or without evidence, at the discretion of the court.” State v. Jarvis, 524 S.W.3d 267 (Tex.App.—Waco 2016).

3. Rules for Bail

Article 17.15 lists five factors to be considered in determining what bail is appropriate: 1. The bail shall be sufficiently high to give reasonable assurance that the undertaking will be complied with. 2. The power to require bail is not to be so used as to make it an instrument of oppression. 3. The nature of the offense and the circumstances under which it was committed are to be considered. 4. The ability to make bail is to be regarded, and proof may be taken upon this point. 5. The future safety of a victim of the alleged offense and the community shall be considered. Ex parte Brossett, 524 S.W.3d 273 (Tex.App.—Waco 2016).

4. TRE Rule 403

A trial court, when undertaking a Rule 403 analysis, must balance (1) the inherent probative force of the proffered item of evidence along with (2) the proponent’s need for that evidence against (3) any tendency of the evidence to suggest decision on an improper basis, (4) any tendency of the evidence to confuse or distract the jury from the main issues, (5) any tendency of the evidence to be given undue weight by a jury that has not been equipped to evaluate the probative force of the evidence, and (6) the likelihood that presentation of the evidence will consume an inordinate amount of time or merely repeat evidence already admitted. Of course, these factors may well blend together in practice. Gerron v. State, 524 S.W.3d 308 (Tex.App.—Waco 2016).

5. Admissibility of Evidence

Evidence of a past crime, wrong, or other act is inadmissible to prove a person acted in conformity with a character trait. But inadmissible evidence may become admissible when a party “opens the door” to such evidence. “A party opens the door by leaving a false impression with the jury that invites the other side to respond.” Even if a party “opens the door,” however, the trial court still has discretion to exclude the evidence under Rule 403. A trial court may exclude evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, or misleading the jury. Kulow v. State, 524 S.W.3d 383 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2017).

6. Search & Seizure

Ordinarily, a police officer may not conduct a seizure and search of a suspect without probable cause that a crime has been committed. An exception to the requirement of probable cause allows the police to make a Terry stop and briefly detain a person for investigative purposes if the officer has a reasonable suspicion supported by articulable facts that criminal activity may be afoot, even if the officer lacks probable cause. Reasonable suspicion is a less demanding standard than probable cause, but the officer still must be able to articulate something better than an inchoate suspicion or hunch. State v. Garza, 526 S.W.3d 487 (Tex.App.—Corpus Christi 2017).

7. Right to Jury Trial

The United States and Texas Constitutions guarantee a person the right to trial by an impartial jury. U.S. Const. amend. VI; Tex. Const. art. 1, § 10. When a person serves on a jury but is partial, biased, or prejudiced and that juror is selected not through the fault or lack of diligence of defense counsel but based on inaccurate answers in voir dire, a new trial can be obtained. Ashton v. State, 526 S.W.3d 490 (Tex.App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2017).

CIVIL ITEMS OF INTEREST 1. Medical Malpractice

Importantly, when the evidence demonstrates that “there are other plausible causes of the injury or condition that could be negated, the plaintiff must offer evidence excluding those causes with reasonable certainty.” Bustamante v. Ponte, 529 S.W.3d 447, 456 (Tex. 2017).

2. No-evidence point

A no evidence point is preserved through: (1) a motion for instructed verdict; (2) a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict; (3) an objection to the submission of the issue to the jury; (4) a motion to disregard the jury’s answer to a vital fact issue; or (5) a motion for new trial. TXU Portfolio v. FPL Energy, 529 S.W.3d 472,287 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2016).

3. Suit to quiet title

The elements of a suit to quiet title are: (1) the plaintiff has an interest in a specific property; (2) title to the property is affected by the defendant’s claim; and (3) the defendant’s claim, although facially valid, is invalid or unenforceable. A suit to quiet title is an equitable proceeding, and the principle issue in such suit is “the existence of a cloud on the title that equity will remove.” The purpose of a suit to quiet title is to remove an encumbrance or defect from a plaintiff’s title to the property. Roberson v. Odom, 529 S.W.3d 498, 503 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2017).

4. Health-Care liability claim

A Rule 202 proceeding “is not a separate, independent lawsuit, but is in aid of and incident to an anticipated suit.” We conclude appellees’ position that the 120-day time period is triggered by a Rule 202 proceeding is inconsistent with the plain language of section 74.351(a), which describes

requirements pertaining to “each physician or health care provider against whom a liability claim is asserted.” Drake v. Walker, 529 S.W.3d 516, 526 (Tex.App.—Dallas 2017).

5. Recusal

The movant bears the burden of proving recusal is warranted, and the burden is met only through a showing of bias or impartiality to such an extent that the movant was deprived of a fair trial. The test for recusal is “whether a reasonable member of the public at large, knowing all the facts in the public domain concerning the judge’s conduct, would have a reasonable doubt that the judge is actually impartial.” Drake v. Walker, 529 S.W.3d 516, 529 (Tex.App.—Dallas 2017).

6. Joint venture

A joint venture is governed by the same rules as a partnership. Enter. Prods. v. Energy Prods., 529 S.W.3d 531, 541 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2017).

7. New trial

An order granting a new trial within the trial court’s plenary power is generally “not subject to review either by direct appeal from that order, or from a final judgment rendered after further proceedings in the trial court.” Two exceptions to the general rule have been recognized: (1) when the trial court’s order is void; (2) when the trial court erroneously concluded that the jury’s answers to special issues were irreconcilably in conflict. Nelson v. Gulf Coast Cancer & Diagnostic, 529 S.W.3d 545, 548 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2017).


The law is the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public. —Samuel Johnson


Miriam Amanda Ferguson, often referred to as “Ma” because of her initials and her devotion to her family, became the first female governor of Texas in 1925. Her first term was filled with controversy and a failed impeachment attempt. She was elected to a second term in 1932. Miriam Ferguson died in Austin on June 25, 1961. g

Law Day Dinner & Awards Tuesday, May 8, 2018 Fort Worth Club Special :Guest:

Justice Eva Guzman, Supreme Court of Texas FEBRUARY 2018


The Tarrant County Bar Foundation Presents

A Lawyer Theme Skit Show - Tarrant County Style Featuring Tarrant County Attorneys

Saturday, March 31, 2018 6:30pm - Reception 7:00pm - Show

Fort Worth Community Arts Center g 1300 Gendy Street g Fort Worth 76107

Tickets General Public - $25; Law Students - $10 November

2016 â–Ş TCBA

Sponsorships are Available. Contact 817.338.4092. Title Sponsor..................................................................$5,000 -Name recognition on all promotional items -Full page ad in the show program location of choice -40 tickets to the show with reserved seating -Special recognition in the Bar Bulletin

Producer Sponsor.........................................................$2,500 -Full page ad in the show program -20 tickets to the show with reserved seating -Special recognition in the Bar Bulletin

Director Sponsor...........................................................$1,000 -Half-page ad in the show program -8 tickets to the show with reserved seating -Special recognition in the Bar Bulletin

Actor Sponsor...................................................................$500 -Fourth-page ad in the show program -4 tickets to the show with reserved seating -Special recognition in the Bar Bulletin

Stage Hand........................................................................$250 -Special recognition in the show program -2 tickets to the show with reserved seating -Special recognition in the Bar Bulletin

The Tarrant County Bar Foundation Supports the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court High School Mock Trial Competition


n January 2018, the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court held its fourth high school mock trial regional competition. The Tarrant County Bar Foundation has supported the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court’s mock trial competition each year through a grant that underwrites the associated costs of the event. Attorneys, law students, and judges from the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court participated in the mock trial as volunteers. The three preliminary rounds of the high school mock trial competition occurred on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Family Courts Building. Four teams advanced to the semi-final round held on Friday, January 19 at the Family Courts Building. Later that evening, teams from Covenant Classical School and L.D. Bell participated in the final round presided by Justice Mark Pittman. Covenant Classical School won

the competition, and will proceed to the state round held in March 2018. Ten teams signed up for the competition, and eight teams ultimately competed. Teams hailed from high schools in the Burleson, Birdville, Denton, Lewisville, and Mansfield ISDs. The Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court extends its appreciation to the many people who supported the event, including its own members, the Tarrant County Commissioners who approved access to the courthouse and use of the sheriff deputies for the entire competition, the family court judges who shared their courtrooms, and the Tarrant County Bar Association members who volunteered for the event. g

The Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court Hosts DFW Joint Inn Program On January 9, 2018, the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court hosted the joint Inn of Court program for local Inn chapters. President Russell Barton (Harris, Finley & Bogle) presided over the meeting, and Justice Lee Gabriel presided over the presentation of the 2017 inductees to the Serjeant’s Inn, including the Eldon B. Mahon Inn’s inductee, Judge R.H. Wallace. Marianne Auld (Kelly, Hart & Hallman) moderated a panel discussion on ethics and civility with Judge Patrick Higginbotham, Judge Catharina Haynes, and Judge James Graves of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Over 250 judges, attorneys, and law students from the Dallas-Fort Worth area attended the event. g



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Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans Tarrant County Chapter


lease join the Tarrant County Bar Foundation in congratulating the TLTV Pro Bono Award Winners. Their dedication to providing pro bono legal services to veterans in our community is greatly appreciated.

TLTV Pro Bono Award Recipients

Eagle Service Lynn Rodriguez Texas A&M University School of Law Attorney Volunteer Ola Campbell Law Office of Ola Campbell, PLLC Law Student Volunteer Katherine Hawkins Texas A&M University School of Law Community Partner Tarrant County College Community Volunteer Freida Edwards-King Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Steadfast Service John Johnson Johnson & Johnson Service after Service Sim Goodall retired United States Air Force

Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services


lease join the Tarrant County Bar Foundation in congratulating the TVAS Pro Bono Award Winners. Their dedication to providing pro bono legal services to our community is greatly appreciated.

TVAS Pro Bono Award Recipients Attorney Volunteer Nancy Ribaudo Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Attorney Mentor Shauna Wright Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Paralegal Volunteer Doris Jackson William S. Harris, Attorney at Law and Paul A. Conner, Attorney at Law Law Firm Partner Varghese Summersett, PLLC Community Partner The Gatehouse



If you were unable to attend our Pro Bono Awards Luncheon, here is an article by the speaker, Hannah Allison. She addressed the benefits of pro bono along with an exciting new way to participate in pro bono, Texas Legal Answers.

Closing the Gap in Texas, One Question at a Time


utside of Arlington, Judith Rojas heard the alert on her phone—"a volunteer attorney has responded to your question." She had been feeling increasingly helpless in her attempts to get her landlord to repair her heater. As the temperatures dropped, she was forced to leave the stove open at night for heat, which she knew was dangerous. Worried about her safety, Judith’s brother told her about a new, free online legal advice clinic called, where she would be able to communicate with an actual attorney. Sighing with relief, Judith read the attorney’s encouraging, step-by-step advice and felt empowered and hopeful for the first time in months. Meanwhile in Fort Worth, Angela Wilson logged off Texas Legal Answers just as her son climbed into her car, already excitedly recounting the day’s adventures. While waiting in the elementary school pick-up line, she had answered a question from a young mother, not so unlike her, who was having trouble with her landlord. She had told the woman what she needed to know to get her landlord to fix her heater, hopefully before the next major cold front. Although she sometimes felt overwhelmed balancing her busy work and family life, making time to give back was important to her and Texas Legal Answers made it easy. Since reading about it on Facebook, she had already answered several questions, each time spending about 20 minutes from start to finish. She loved that she could squeeze it in whenever she had a couple minutes and that she could choose which questions she wanted to answer, but the real reason she kept going back was that it always lifted her spirits. Together these two stories illustrate the exciting mission of the State Bar’s newest pro bono initiative— to help close the justice gap one question at a time. This past June, the State Bar’s Legal Access Division launched, a free, online legal advice clinic where Texans trying to make ends meet can post their civil legal questions and get answers from volunteer attorneys. The format ensures that rural Texans and others who lack access to traditional legal aid can get help, and it provides a flexible volunteer opportunity for lawyers across the state. So far, users have posted more than 2,500 civil legal questions and over 240 Texas attorneys have signed up to volunteer. A new volunteer recently said, “I like to think

that by answering these questions, I am helping those who have had to make the choice between purchasing groceries or paying attorney fees.” Texas Legal Answers has also developed exciting partnerships with law schools across the state. Under the supervision of faculty, students at St. Mary’s and University of Houston have answered questions posted on the site as part of class assignments intended to give students hands-on experience researching and answering real legal questions in plain language. Meanwhile, Baylor hosted a Texas Legal Answers clinic at a local law firm where the students worked in groups with practicing attorneys to answer questions. It was so successful they are planning to make it an ongoing event. Similarly, South Texas College of Law Houston is incorporating Texas Legal Answers into its clinical program

to provide additional pro bono opportunities for students as well as the chance to work closely with faculty. After a great response from the legal community and the public in the first six months, the focus for Texas Legal Answers now will be on recruiting more volunteer attorneys and building partnerships with law firms, corporate legal departments, bar associations, and other groups who are interested in an easy, innovative pro bono opportunity. If you are ready to #Give20Minutes to help your neighbor, visit and click on ‘Volunteer Attorney Registration’ to get started. If you would like to learn more about hosting a Texas Legal Answers clinic or to schedule an MCLE-accredited presentation about Texas Legal Answers for your members or employees, please contact g



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 Zachary Ferguson by email at zfergusonlaw@ MABA (Mexican American Bar Association) Meets on the last Thursday of each month with location to be announced. 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 Traci Hutton at 817.442.9352 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 2017-2018 new TCYLA Year began September 1, 2017. If you need an application or meeting information, call 817.338.4092, email, or go to the website at 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.




Blood Drive May 16, 2018 8am - 4pm Tom Vandergriff Civil Courts Building

. . . And now a Word From Our Sections


elcome to February, the shortest month of the year. But we are not short on section events. As we move through the bar year, please be aware that each of our 18 sections accepts new members throughout the year. Once you become a section member you will begin receiving notices for events specific to that section. It’s always nice to be in the know, know what the topics will be at events and who will be presenting the information. Attendance at section events provides an opportunity to network with others who have a similar work area or interest. So don’t just join a section, be an active participant. It’s to your benefit. g

Sherry Jones Associate Executive Director

The Transition to Practice Committee welcomes all TCBA members to attend: “What Every Lawyer Should Know: Appellate Law, Probate Law, and Court Coordinator Tips”

Lawyer Referral & Information Service



he LRIS has received $30,139.82 in referral fees for the month of December! Special thanks to Ola Campbell, Bill Catterton, Bradley Clark, Kelly Curnutt, Lori Dally, Jennifer Dillon, Todd Durden, Stephen Geis, Andrew Gore, William Huebner, Christian Jenkins, Breanne Lilley, Jerry Murad, Kenneth Newell, Leigh Ann Schenk, Andrew Seibert, and Ryan Sellers. Thank you all, we wouldn’t be here without you! Also a special thank you to staff members Brittany Gilbert and Carolina Ibarra for all they do to make sure reports are sent and returned in a timely manner, as well as referring the many callers to our attorney members. g

Law Offices of Jason Smith

Sheila Finney of Criminal District Court No. 3 and Leslie Young of the 233rd District Court Shelby White of Harris, Finley and Bogle Mark Sullivan, Court Administrator of Probate Court No. 1

February 7, 2018 1 1:30 AM - 1 PM TCBA Office  Sponsored by

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he January Brown Bag Seminar on Firearms was very interesting. There are so many things we should know. If you would like to rent the DVD for CLE credit or for general information, it will be available at the bar office soon. The February 23rd Seminar will be on Appellate Law and will be held at the bar office. The March 23 Seminar will cover Child Welfare and the topic of the May 18 Seminar will be Pre-Trial. Hope to see many of you at these events. If anyone is interested in joining the CLE-Brown Bag Seminars committee, please contact me. g

Contact Debara Herring ■ 682.316.2072 500 East 4th Street, Suite 175 ■ Fort Worth, Texas 76102

Breakfast with the Tarrant County Judiciary for newly licensed attorneys and attorneys with less than 5 years experience Friday, February 16, 2018 7:30 AM - 9 AM TCBA Offices Attorneys can meet the Tarrant County Judiciary and learn about TCBA programs for their practice. 26


RSVP with Sherry Jones at



Thomas Brookman, Jr. 1929-2017


homas Henry Brookman, Jr. passed away Saturday, November 25, 2017. Thomas, also known during his life as Tom, Tommy, Lawyer Brookman, Daddy, Grandaddy, Papa, Papa Tom and Honey, was born in 1929 to Velma Johnston and Thomas Henry Brookman, Sr. The family lived in Strawn, Texas and Fort Worth. Following graduation from Texas A&M, Tom became Claims Manager for The Hartford Group. He graduated from SMU School of Law in 1962 and practiced law in Fort Worth for many years as a sole practitioner. When his daughter, Robin Baird Kinsel, and son, John Walton Brookman joined him they formed the firm of Brook-

man, Baird and Brookman until Tom retired in 1995. He was loved by all who knew him for his kindness, tolerance, loyalty and love of life. He was definitely one of a kind. SURVIVORS: He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Brenda Brookman; his children, Robin Baird Kinsel and her husband Jeff, Mark Thomas Brookman and his wife, Nellie, John Walton Brookman and his wife, Bari, and their mother, Mary Lou Brookman Bryant; step-children, Jami deLorimier and her husband John, Dede Echols, and Max Stone; Seventeen grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; two nieces and three nephews. He was an exceptional father to all of the children and took tremendous pride in his grandchildren and great grandchildren. g Published in Star-Telegram on Nov. 30, 2017

Bobby Blake Cox 1960-2017


obby Blake Cox died peacefully Tuesday, December 19, 2017, surrounded by family and friends, after contracting pneumonia. A much-loved husband, father, friend and real estate legal expert, Blake was born January 6th, 1960, in Slaton, Texas to Bobby and Sandra Cox. Blake grew up in the panhandle town of O'Donnell, farming cotton with his father through college. Blake was a Red Raider to his core, calling himself a "QuadT." After earning his BA from Texas Tech, double-majoring in Political Science and History, he continued on to Tech Law School, where he met the love of his life Heidi Bruegel. He was a member of the Board of Barristers. Blake and Heidi were married May 24, 1986, moving to Fort Worth, where Blake worked as an accomplished attorney for 31 years. A partner at Law, Snakard and Gambill, Blake became the go-to legal expert for Texas realtors. Writing and speaking to his beloved real estate clients was his passion, in addition to

advocating for better, more understandable real estate contracts. Blake had recently helped to make several significant changes to real estate contracts, and he spent the weeks before his death doing exactly what he loved–educating realtors on the new changes. An avid reader, Blake had a love for history, literature, movies and music. Blake was a constant learner, and he was loved for his ability to engage with everyone, at every level, sharing his deep understanding in so many areas. He was a loyal friend, and family meant everything to him. He was preceded in death by his father. SURVIVORS: Wife, Heidi; sons and their loves, Patrick (Brianna Gray) and Riley (Kelsi Tucker ) of Fort Worth; mother, Sandra Cox Kizer, step father Cecil Kizer, and brother, Brent Cox all of O'Donnell; aunts, Sheila Skipper (Truett) of San Antonio, and Holly Mize of Lamesa; great aunt, Bertha Mae Gardenhier of Tahoka; and many nieces, nephews, and favorite in-laws. He will also be missed by his precious pups, Rufus and Jackson. g Published in Star-Telegram on Dec. 21, 2017



In Sterling James Elza 1974-2017


terling James Elza, 43, died at noon on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Amarillo, Texas. He passed away in a room filled with family and close friends. Sterling was born Sept. 4, 1974, in Amarillo to James and Gay Elza. He was a graduate of Amarillo High School (1993), Rice University (1997) and the University of Houston Law Center (2000 cum laude). Sterling played football at AHS and Rice, where he was on The Southwest Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll. After law school, he joined the Fort Worth law firm of Brown, Dean, Proctor & Howell, LLP, where he had practiced since 2000. Sterling focused his law practice on representing Texas businesses, including insurance companies, railroads and construction companies. He was honored over multiple years as a "Texas Rising Star" in the legal fields of business litigation and insurance coverage law and as a Top Attorney in Tarrant Coun-


ty from 2013-17. Sterling was recognized with the "Always a Sandie" Scholarship Award in 1992. Sterling served as a volunteer with the Rice Admissions Office, was a past president of Ballet Concerto, served on the Board of the Sanders Education Foundation, and was a long-time member of Trinity Episcopal Church (Fort Worth) and St. Andrews Episcopal Church (Amarillo). Sterling loved to travel, attend concerts and play music. He had a large group of friends that he regularly traveled and spent time with. He was a huge supporter of Rice Athletics. SURVIVORS: Sterling is survived by his mother, Gay Chalfant and Gailyn "Doc" Rodgers; father, James Elza; brothers, Slater C. Elza, wife, Shanna Elza, and nephew, Sterling Elza, and Sam Elza, wife, Holly Elza, and niece, Chloe Elza. He is also survived by his uncle, Jay Chalfant; and cousins, Tim, Mike, Pat and Chris Chalfant and their families. He had amazing friends, who are too numerous to list. g Published in Star-Telegram on Nov. 27, 2017

Winfred "Win" Hooper Jr. 1928-2017


infred “Win” Hooper Jr., beloved husband, father, mentor and wellrespected trial lawyer, crossed the bridge into eternal life on November 9, 2017. He died as he lived with great strength, courage and dignity. Win was born to Erma Lovell and Winfred Hooper Sr., on February 9, 1928 in Baird, Texas. After serving in the U.S. Marines, he received degrees from Texas Tech University and University of Texas Law School. Raised by a single mom, he remained a champion for women throughout his life. He tried more than 100 cases in his fifty-year tenure practicing law. He received the distinguished Blackstone Award in 1983. A true Renaissance man, he loved practicing law, reading good literature, and listening to music. He will be remembered for his unwavering passion for justice, his strong will and courage, and for all the hearts he opened. The strength of character of Win was on full display in the weeks preceding his death. He shared the deep love he felt



for others, lifting up the spirits of those who came to bid him farewell. The family would like to give a special thanks to Win’s devoted caregivers, Sharon Edwards, Nicole Jackson, Demetra Prince, Delain Taylor and Jessica Wilson. He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Jane; three beautiful children, Michael Kent Hooper, John Curtis Hooper and his wife, Debbie Lynne Hooper, and Melanie Lynn Holt and her husband, Steven Don Holt; seven grandchildren, three great grandchildren, a legion of friends and three faithful dogs. g Published on Thompson Funerals website on Nov. 9, 2017

In Stephen J. Livens 1954-2017


tephen J. Livens passed away on November 6, 2017 at his home in Grapevine. He was 63 years of age. Stephen was born on January 12, 1954 in Dubuque, Iowa to Joel and Janet Livens. He was the founder and principle shareholder of the Livens Law Firm. The Livens Law Firm specializes in Estate, Medicaid, VA Aid and Attendance, Elder Law and Special Needs Planning. Mr. Livens graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1974, earning his Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics. Mr. Livens continued his education in business and in 1979 graduated from Drake University, earning his Masters in Business Administration. Shortly thereafter, in 1982 Mr. Livens became a licensed Texas Certified Public Accountant. In 1987, Mr. Livens received his Juris Doctorate degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was an active member in several national, state and local professional organizations including the Academy of Special Needs Planners, Wealth Coun-


sel, Elder Counsel, Elder LawAnswers, Special Needs Alliance, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Bar Association, Texas State Bar, Tarrant, Travis and Dallas County Bar Associations, Dallas Bar Estate Planning Section, Tarrant County Estate and Tax Planning Section, the Dallas Estate Planning Council, Wealth Counsel Forum Advisors, National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and is endorsed by AARP. Mr. Livens was a co-author of the best seller Generations Planning Your Legacy and Ways and Means Understanding Retirement Plans. Mr. Livens' was also a part of Love, Control and Money, which was published in January, 2004. Mr. Livens was named as one of the top estate planning attorneys in Texas by Fort Worth, Texas magazine. SURVIVORS: His loving wife, Lina Livens; daughters, Lindsey Reed and husband, Chad, and Chelsea Casiano and husband, Abdel; son, Jonathan Martinez; grandson, Cylus Martinez; brothers, Gene and Michael Livens; and many loving family and friends. g Published in Star-Telegram on Nov. 8, 2017




PRESORTED Bar Bulletin ▪ February 2018 STANDARD Tarrant County Bar Association U. S. POSTAGE PAID 1315 Calhoun Street FORT WORTH, TX Fort Worth, TX 76102-6504 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED PERMIT 1807

justice IS



✯ YOUR ✯


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

CONNECTED Honoring your clients, as well as your referral fee.


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CONTINGENT-FEE LITIGATION REFERRAL FEES HONORED Jason Stephens is licensed in Texas and Oklahoma. Seth Anderson is Board-Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. John Cummings is Board-Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and in Civil Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

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Tarrant County Bar Association Bar Bulletin (February 2018)  

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

Tarrant County Bar Association Bar Bulletin (February 2018)  

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