Page 1

Bulletin February 2017

April 28 - 30, 2017 Hilton Lakefront Resort Rockwall, TX See Insert for More Details


Page Plans For a New Executive Director


s was announced in last month’s Bar Bulletin, Executive Director Trisha Graham has given notice to the TCBA Board that she will be retiring from her position effective June 30, 2017, which is the end of TCBA’s current by Robert G. West fiscal year. Trisha and husband Joe have some silly plans about spending more time with family and relaxing and traveling to exotic places like Arizona, Colorado, and Alaska to fill their time! Trisha has been our Executive Director since 1992 when the TCBA Board of Directors, led by then TCBA President (now The Honorable District Judge) David L. Evans, hired Trisha to be a one person staff for the TCBA, administering a meager budget and working out of a small spare office at the Hooper & Evans law firm in the Fort Worth Club Building. Since TCBA leaders and members have seen an expanded level of participation and activities during the past 25 years, the bar staff now has 8 full time members plus several interns from the Texas A&M University School of Law and many attorney and non-attorney volunteers. The TCBA currently has about 2,800 members, 36 committees, 18 sections, and an annual budget of about $870,000, and it manages a Bar Center of 6,700 square feet. The Executive Director of TCBA also serves as Executive Director of the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association and the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and its pro bono programs. At its meeting in December, the TCBA Board appointed a Search Committee to locate a new Executive Director to recommend to the Board of Directors to fill Trisha’s big chair. The Search Committee is chaired by TCBA’s current President-Elect Nick Bettinger, who will become the President on July 1, 2017, about the same time that a new Executive Director is expected to be in place, plus or minus a few weeks of transition for the new Executive Director. Also on the Search Committee are Bar Foundation officers Patti Gearhart Turner and Neal Adams; Susan Smith as a representative and immediate Past President of the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association; current TCBA Vice President Lance Evans; and current TCBA directors Tawana Gray and Veronica Chavez Law. Advisory members of the

Search Committee will be John Cayce, Joe Cleveland, Artie Errisuriz, Judge David Evans, David Keltner, and myself. A copy of the Job Announcement and detailed job description for the Executive Director position has been posted on the website of the National Association of Bar Executives, or can be obtained from Trisha Graham or Nick Bettinger. Those interested in applying for the position should submit their resumes electronically to by January 31, 2017. The Search Committee will then meet as needed to review and discuss the resumes received, to hold follow-up phone call interviews, and to conduct later personal interviews with the finalists for the position. The Search Committee hopes to submit its recommendation for a new Executive Director to the Board of Directors by March or April, so that the person selected can be prepared to take over the position about June or July 2017. An appropriate celebration of Trisha’s retirement will be held near the time of her retirement. We will have details of that event soon from the planning committee being organized and headed by Celebration Party Planner-in-Chief Janna Clarke. You should start compiling your notes now of stories about Trisha that can be shared at her retirement event! Trisha’s retirement also means, of course, that TCBA will lose the regular services of Trisha’s husband, Joe Graham, who retired from his long-time job at Bell Helicopter a couple of years ago. Joe has been TCBA’s chief handyman, plumber, bartender, bouncer, security guard, van driver, and best friend for many years, and we will miss him greatly at our events. I’m not sure whether the Search Committee has focused yet on the need to replace Joe as well as Trisha! If you have ideas or names to share with the Search Committee please contact Nick Bettinger or one of the members of the Search Committee. g

Bob West

February 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 1

Tarrant County Bar Association


817.338.4092 ▪ Fax 817.335.9238 website: email:

Features 3 Women in the Law 13 12 Attorneys Celebrateof 50 Years Practice 21 Law Firm Security Departments 1 President's Page 4 YLA Snapshot 5 100 Club 6 Calendar of Events 7 Lawyers on the Move & in the News 8 In Memoriam Massie Tillman & James Shaw Sr. 9 LegalLine 12 Judicial Profile 14 Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans 15 CLE Corner 15 A Word from Our Sections 16 Snippets 19 Membership Report 19 Benefits of Membership & Vendor List 20 Lawyer Referral & Information Service News 24 Other Association's News & Information



Term Ends 2017

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


Advertiser's Index Alfred Santos.................................................................20 Family Access Services................................................20 Hutchison & Stoy PLLC...................................................4 JurisFabrilis............................................................20 KoonsFuller.......................................Inside Front Cover Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C............................18 LawPay..................................................................21 LexisNexis..........................................Inside Back Cover Parker Law Firm............................................................11 Stephens Anderson & Cummings............Back Cover Texas Lawyers' Insurance Exchange.......................24 Tindall Square Office Complex..................................24

2 ▪ February 2017

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

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.

Tarrant County Bar Association

WOMEN in the LAW LUNCHEON Honoring the

Female Jurists of Tarrant County Keynote Speaker: Harriet Miers Past President of the State Bar of Texas Tuesday, February 28, 2017 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. City Club, 2nd floor 301 Commerce Street, Fort Worth

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Carson Hearing Care

Table Sponsors Cantey Hanger LLP Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Texas A&M University School of Law Drawing Sponsors

Tiffany & Co. by Higginbotham Insurance Gift Certificates by Grissom’s Fine Jewelry $35 Per Person $500 Reserved Table (10 seats) $1000 Table Sponsor

Recognition in all event advertisement & Association’s social media platforms. Reserved full table (10 seats) to the event.

$1500 Event Sponsor

Recognition in all event advertisement & Association’s social media platforms. Full page ad in the Bar Bulletin. Reserved full table (10 seats) to the event.

Other sponsorship opportunities available. RSVP by February 20, 2017 to Sherry Jones at 817.338.4092 or

6 ▪ January 2017

Warriors for Justice e are trial lawyers, committed to obtaining justice


for individuals in a legal system that is skewed in favor of corporations and insurance companies. We represent people of all races, genders, ages, religions and physical abilities. We believe that every human being has value— that everyone matters—and that everyone should have the right to due process. We are dedicated to fighting for the preservation of the right to a jury trial guaranteed for every individual by the U.S. Constitution.


Blood Drive May 4, 2017 8am - 4pm Tom Vandergriff Civil Courts Building Phone: 817.820.0100 g Fax: 817.820.0111

509 Pecan Street #201, Fort Worth, TX 76102



Susan Smith, President TCYLA


017 is off to a great start! The Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association was able to collect over $1,000 in December and January for our necessity bags for the homeless. We will be providing these bags to the Union Gospel Mission. If you would still like to donate either in-kind items or money, please feel free to contact me. These bags will include an assortment of personal items from small shampoos and toothpastes to deodorant and socks. Due to the success of this drive, we will likely be hosting a second one in a few months! On Thursday, January 19, TCYLA hosted its annual “Bridging the Gap” CLE. This CLE was designed to help new attorneys or those interested in “hanging a shingle”

4 ▪ February 2017

learn about the business side of law. We had a terrific turnout and hope to continue offering this benefit to our members in coming years. TCYLA will also be holding board elections on February 21 at our monthly luncheon at Reata in downtown Fort Worth. If you or someone you know would like to serve on the TCYLA Board of Directors, please submit your nomination no later than February 10. Nominations should be sent to If you have any questions about the nomination process or about duties while on the Board of Directors, please feel free to reach out to me or any other TCYLA officer or director.

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 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

Calendar of Events

7 9 16 16 17 20 21 22 23 23 23 27 28 28 28

February 2017

Membership Luncheon "50 Year Lawyers" 12pm, City Club LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office Fort Worth Business & Estate Section Luncheon 11:30am, City Club Construction Law Section Luncheon 12pm, TCBA Office Brown Bag Seminar 12:30pm, TCBA Office President's Day Holiday Office Closed Tax & Estate Planning Section Luncheon 11:30am, City Club Corporate Counsel Section Luncheon 12pm, City Club Energy Section Luncheon 12pm, Petroleum Club Docket Call Social (Sponsors: TAMU Law Review & Property Journal) 5pm, T&P Station LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office Bankruptcy Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Fort Worth Club Women in the Law Luncheon 11:30am, City Club Last Tuesday CLE 1pm, TCBA Office Solo & Small Firms Section Mixer 5pm, Hurr Law Office P.C.

3 7 9 9 21 21 23 23 25 28 28 29 30 31

March 2017

Marketing Seminar 12pm, TCBA Office Environmental Section Luncheon 12pm, City Club Construction Section Luncheon 12pm, TCBA Office LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office Tax & Estate Planning Section Luncheon 11:30am, Petroleum Club Real Estate Section Luncheon 12pm, City Club Court Staff Appreciation Reception & Awards 12pm, City Club LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office Tortfeasors7 7pm, Fort Worth Community Arts Center Last Tuesday CLE 1pm, TCBA Office Solo & Small Firms Section Mixer 4:30pm, The Barrows Firm, P.C. Women's Spring Fashion Show 5:30pm, White House Black Market (downtown) Fort Worth Business & Estate Section Dinner 5pm, Petroleum Club Brown Bag Seminar Series - "Child Welfare" 12pm, TCBA Office

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

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

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

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

Thank You to our Sponsors:

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

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

6 ▪ February 2017

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

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

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

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

Lawyers on the Move &

in the News

The Fillmore Law Firm, L.L.P. has moved. Its new address is 1200 Summit, Suite 860, Fort Worth, 76102. They can be reached by phone at 817.332.2351. Marianne Auld has been elected as the new Managing Partner of Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP. She succeeds Dee Kelly Jr., who stepped down from the position. As Managing Partner, Marianne Auld will provide strategic leadership and direction, manage over 350 employees, and coordinate recruiting and community initiatives for the firm. She can be contacted at 817.878.3543 or at Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas names Maria ThomasJones as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. During her tenure with LANWT, she has served as a staff attorney, the Supervising Attorney of Family Law Unit in Dallas, Deputy Director, and Interim CEO. Maria can be reached at 817.336.3957 or by email at Thomas-jonesm@ Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P. is pleased to announce that Monika Cooper has joined the firm. Monika can be reached at 817.255.9108 or by email at mcooper@mph-law. com.

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP is pleased to announce David H. Garza, Preston R. Mundt, Clark H. Rucker, Kim D. Uskovich and Jeff Whitfield have been elected Partners of the Firm. David H. Garza focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation. Preston R. Mundt is an experienced trial lawyer with a wide variety of complex commercial litigation including oil & gas litigation, breach of contract, business torts, premises liability, intellectual property, insurance coverage disputes, marital matters, employment disputes, and probate and trust litigation. Clark H. Rucker focuses his practice on oil, gas and energy litigation and transactions. Kim D. Uskovich focuses her practice on creating and implementing estate plans for individuals including estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning. Jeff Whitfield represents businesses and individuals facing a wide variety of legal and policy challenges, including, but not limited to, contract disputes, election challenges, securities litigation, products and premises liability, international law issues, statutory construction, and questions of constitutionality. Aimee L. Stone has joined Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P. Aimee will continue practicing in the areas of estate planning, tax, probate, trust, and business law. Aimee’s new address is Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P., Oil & Gas Building, 309 West 7th Street, Suite 815, Fort Worth, 76102. She can be reached by phone at 817.877.8175 (Office Direct) and 817.255.9100 (Main), and by email at astone@ g

James L. Young, with Culhane Meadows, PLLC, has changed his office address to 3400 Silverstone Drive, Suite 114, Plano, 75023. He can be reached at 927.789.5169 or by email at John Bonds, Christian Ellis, Josh Eppich, Roland Schafer, and Brandon Jones have left Shannon Gracey and formed the law firm of Bonds Ellis Eppich Schafer Jones LLP. Joining them are retired federal bankruptcy Judge D. Michael Lynn, Joe Spence, Charles Curry, Patrick Sheridan, and Paul Lopez. The firm’s new address is 420 Throckmorton Street, Suite 1000, Fort Worth, 76102. They can be reached at 817.405.6900, and at The firm specializes in bankruptcy and reorganization, construction law, business litigation, insurance law, oil and gas transactions and litigation, and corporate transactions. Congratulations to Sonyia Byrd as she takes the helm as the new Board Chair of the McDonald Southeast YMCA, 2801 Miller Avenue, Fort Worth, 76105. She can be reached at 817.924.6700. Congratulations to Tarrant County District Judge Mark Pittman on being the newest Justice of the Second District Court of Appeals. He has been serving as the judge for the 352nd Judicial District Court. He can be reached by email at

February 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 7



Massie Tillman 1937-2016


orn Aug. 15, 1937, in Corpus Christi, Massie Tillman was 79 years of age when he died on Christmas morning. Massie was not a one-dimensional person. Massie was a man's man, a lawyer's lawyer and a judge's judge. After graduating from Baylor University and Baylor Law School, Massie was an active trial lawyer for 26 years representing parties on both sides of the docket. Massie was an author, publishing "Tillman's Trial Guide" from 1970 1986, the first book of its kind in Texas. At age 28, he was the first solo practitioner in Texas to receive an AV rating in the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory. For many years, Massie was listed in "Who's Who in American Law," "Who's Who in America," and "Who's Who in the World." He was a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Trial Attorneys of America; a founding member of both the Fort Worth Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates and the Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association; he was also a member of the Fort Worth/Tarrant County Bar Association. Massie sat as the United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, for 14 years after being appointed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2001, after serving as a judge, Massie began a mediation and arbitration business from his downtown Fort Worth office where he also operated an art gallery, the Spur Ranch Gallery. He also became certified as a hearing examiner for the Texas Education Agency where he heard disputes between school districts and school employees all over Texas. He also heard many condemnation cases as a special commissioner for Tarrant County Judges, including many

cases which paved the way for the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington. Massie once owned and showed cutting horses; he shot competitive shotguns internationally; he was an avid quail hunter; and he loved to fish the shallow bays of South Texas. Massie loved the mountains, particularly those of Northern New Mexico and the Pecos River. He loved the Hill Country of Texas along the Frio River where his family still owns property. At age 71, he participated in a wild bison (buffalo) horseback round-up on Antelope Island, a 25,000 acre ranch in the middle of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Massie was an avid fan of the Baylor Bears and the Baylor Lady Bears and enjoyed traveling to many football and basketball games, tournaments and championships. Massie was a member of the Nature Conservancy. He was formerly a member of the board of directors of the Texas Boys Choir and the Fort Worth Opera. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a hospital corpsman and was very proud of his service. Most importantly and above all else, Massie loved the Lord and was a follower of Christ Jesus. He was a faithful and active member of Travis Avenue Baptist Church and more recently, Christ Chapel Bible Church. Massie was a very loyal friend to many and spent many hours helping friends though personal and professional hardships. Massie was predeceased by his parents, Artie Stewart Tillman and Clarence Tillman; his sister, Peggy Tillman Marett; and his brother, Clarence Tillman Jr. Survivors: Wife of 23 years, Karen; son, Jeff Tillman and his wife, Lisa, from Fort Worth; his daughter, Holly Cornelius and her husband, Bryan, from Keller; grandchildren, Jeffrey Tillman, Riley Tillman, Hayden Cornelius and Jake Cornelius; brother, Joe Tillman of Corpus Christi; numerous nieces and nephews. g Published in Star-Telegram on Dec. 27, 2016

James Howard "Jim" Shaw Sr. 1950-2016


im Shaw went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, surrounded by his wife, children and best friend as they sang his favorite hymns. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the First Tee of Fort Worth (, Bobby Bragan Foundation (www.bobbybragan. org), or Reformed University Fellowship (

8 â–Ş February 2017

James Howard Shaw Sr., husband, father, grandfather, golfer and a gregarious larger-than-life personality, was born on Sept. 12, 1950, to William Joseph Shaw Jr. and Betty Jean Howard Shaw. A lifelong resident of Fort Worth, Jim attended Paschal High School, graduating in 1968. He left town briefly to attend Louisiana Tech University where he was awarded a full scholarship as a hurdler. He received his undergraduate degree in 1971. Jim completed his studies at Texas Tech Law School from which he graduated in 1974. Happily returning to Fort Worth, Jim began his legal career in the office of the Tarrant County District Attorney.

In 1975, he left prosecution and became an attorney in private practice. For 41 years, Jim zealously worked in criminal defense, representing accused individuals statewide. A larger-than-life spirit, Jim was a fixture within the community of the Tarrant County criminal bar, renowned not only for his legal acumen but also for his quiet support of lawyers, both prosecutors and defense attorneys, as well as bailiffs, clerks, coordinators and clients who found themselves down on their luck due to illness, natural disaster or because Jim felt they were being treated unfairly. When not practicing law, Jim was an avid golfer, seasoned traveler and lawn art collector. Mistletoe Heights has not been the same without his herd of bronze cattle.

More important than the courthouse or clients was Jim's family. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Suzanne. Survivors: He is survived by his beloved wife of 19 years, Carol Christy Shaw; children, James Shaw Jr. and wife, Erin, Benjamin Shaw and wife, Marianna, Tim Shaw and wife, Heather, Steven Prewitt and wife, Jonetta, and Aimee Plummer and husband, Steven; grandchildren, Samuel, Benji, Henry, Lucas, Emma Grace, Mallory, Brooks, Blake, Carson, Brylee and Braydee; his brothers and their wives, Bill and Margaret, David and Ann and Greg and Kathy; a host of aunts, uncles and cousins; and his best friend and caretaker, Steve Killpack. g Published in Star-Telegram from Dec. 30, 2016 to Jan. 1, 2017

LegalLine 817.335.1239

No Experience Necessary for LegalLine Written by: Judge Michael Hrabal, County Court at Law #3


CBA's LegalLine program is a valuable service to people who would not otherwise have access to legal information. Many lawyers hesitate to participate thinking they can only assist people in areas of the law they are practice in. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if you spend the day poring over oil and gas leases or on IT patents, you can help out at LegalLine. In reality, most calls are easily answered. A small percentage may require specific information that you actually lack, and experienced lawyers are commonly available to help with these. With 80% or more of the questions involving information you should have at hand, don’t be hesitant to volunteer your time. Surely you have friends who informally asked you for help with a legal problem. LegalLine gives callers who don't know a lawyer a chance to talk with one. Still, their questions are enormous to them but relatively quite routine for any practicing lawyer. Some callers have been sued but have no idea where to turn. Just explaining the nessecity of an answer and of legal help (thru Lawyer Referral Service) will bring them comfort. Perhaps a caller has notice of a default judgment and fear having their wages garnished or their car taken away. Surely you know Texas law related to garnishment of wages. There may be a stray caller who is facing eviction and wants to know what their rights are to remain in the property even though they can’t afford to

pay rent. First year Contracts gives you the answer that they don’t want to hear. Admittedly there are sometimes more complicated questions, but the beauty of LegalLine is that there are a group of lawyers available. If you get stumped with a question on how to respond to a Writ of Sequestration, and Carolina knows it’s not in your wheelhouse or if you find yourself with a complicated QDRO question and no one is available to help, you can always promote a thirtyminute consultation for $20 with a Lawyer Referral Service attorney. Only one of 280 Texans is an attorney. You have been exposed to legal education denied to 279 of your fellow citizens. Even if your day is filled with fighting copyright infringement, at least one Thursday night or two a month can be filled with sharing your basic knowledge of Texas law with others.

February 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 9

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

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

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

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

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

United States Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cureton


nited States Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cureton in the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, built his career on establishing long-lasting relationships and training himself professionally to handle civil and criminal matters in both federal and state court. Now, seven years into his first eight-year term, he considers being a Federal Magistrate Judge “the best job I have ever had.” Born in Dallas, Judge Cureton grew up in Euless, Texas, and graduated from Trinity High School in Euless in 1986. His father worked for three decades for the City of Dallas Water Utilities Department, and his mother ran a distribution center in the fabric industry. He has one older sister who still lives in the area. He chose Baylor University for both his undergraduate degree in psychology and his law school degree and refers to himself as a “Double Bear.” Judge Cureton worked the summer before law school as a laborer on a construction team in Waco, Texas, and while he enjoyed the physical work, “It made me appreciate the value of an indoor career in Texas.” After law school, Judge Cureton accepted the position of briefing attorney for legendary Fort Worth federal judge Eldon Mahon. This experience and his personal relationship with Judge Mahon were critical to his formative legal career and shaped his philosophies. It was during law school that Judge Cureton met his future wife, Leticia (Letty) Martinez, also a “Double Bear” with an undergraduate degree in piano performance and a law degree from Baylor. They married in May 1994, shortly after her law school graduation, in a civil ceremony conducted by Judge Mahon in San Antonio, Texas. Letty then joined Cureton in Fort Worth by taking a job with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office under long-time D.A. Tim Curry, where she remained until this past year when she joined the criminal defense firm Varghese Summersett here in Fort Worth. After the briefing attorney position ended, Judge Cureton worked for approximately one year with the Fort Worth firm of Friedman, Young Suder, PC. Then, in 1995, Cureton joined his wife in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office. “I decided that if I was ever going to learn to try a case, I better do it while I’m still young - I got so

12 ▪ February 2017

much experience, it was great.” He recalls that on his very first day at the office, he met attorney Steve Gordon, and the two tried a case together beginning that same day. He remained at the DA’s office for the next two years handling misdemeanor and felony court cases, trying approximately fifty-five jury trials to verdict during his stint with the District Attorney’s office. “Being an ADA was some of the best experience that I could ever have, and I got to be in trial with and against some of the very best trial lawyers in Tarrant County, such as Tim Evans and Ward Casey.” One evening during a dinner at Joe T. Garcia’s restaurant in 1997, Judge Mahon asked Cureton if he was interested in returning to serve as a career law clerk for Judge Mahon. “It made a lot of sense in that I wanted to transition to civil practice, and when someone of that caliber asks you to work for them, you have to do it.” After another three years with Judge Mahon, Cureton decided to return to private practice. He took an associate position with the Fillmore Law Firm in Fort Worth. “At that time the firm was handling nursing home litigation and some insurance defense. They taught me a lot about handling civil cases and discovery practice, and I value my time with them.” In 2003, Judge Cureton joined with Steve Gordon and Bruce Beasley to form the law firm of Beasley, Cureton & Gordon LLP with offices in the Mallick Tower in Fort Worth. In this firm, he handled federal and state civil and criminal litigation. “It was good for me. From my experience, I was able to handle any state or federal civil or criminal case that came through the door – it’s everything that I do now. It was a good mix to prepare me for my judicial career.” From 2006 to 2010, the firm continued as Cureton and Gordon LLP, and he and Steve Gordon purchased an office building, near Airport Freeway, that they still own and operate. In 2010, when U.S. Magistrate Judge Bleil retired, Cureton applied for the open position and was “fortunate to be selected.” The duties of a magistrate judge are numerous and varied. A typical day includes appointments with United States Attorneys and federal agents over criminal complaints, search warrants, and all types of applications for email and phone records warrants. He conducts initial appearances on arrested individuals and persons accused of supervised release violations and all detention hearings. “If a criminal defendant is arrested one day, they will usually be

in my court that day or the next. I am generally the first person that they will see in the judicial process. I stay busy. My online schedule is updated every seven minutes, and while I may have nothing on my calendar to start a day, by the end of the day I will have had several hearings and appointments.” On a typical Wednesday morning, Judge Cureton conducts an arraignment docket. While a not-guilty plea may take only five to seven minutes, a guilty plea can take up to an hour or so. Early on, Judge Cureton streamlined his hearings so that he can take multiple guilty pleas during one hearing and tailor the hearing to cover the charges and specifications relevant to the offenses of each individual defendant. In this way, he can handle from eight to ten defendants at the same time, and this prevents attorneys from having to wait a long time for a guilty plea of one client. As magistrate judge, Judge Cureton also handles civil pretrial management, discovery disputes, and mediations referred from the district judges as well as a “consent docket” of cases assigned directly to him. He conducts jury empanelment procedures on a regular basis and performs

naturalization ceremonies. He has one career law clerk, Kristi Verna, who assists him with his civil docket and legal writing. Many of his lengthier opinions deal with Social Security appeals and involve writing between twenty to twenty five pages for each opinion. However, there is a good deal of written orders and opinions that are constantly being issued in other pending cases. One of his most interesting duties involves his annual prisoner transfer hearings that occur in Mexico. These hearings concern United States citizens who are imprisoned in Mexico and who are to be transferred to the United States for completion of their sentence under a treaty between the U.S. and Mexico. He conducts the hearings in Mexico, then travels back with the prisoners on the U.S. Marshal plane commonly referred to as “CON AIR.” “It is a really enjoyable experience to deal with the state departments of both countries in performing those hearings. Also, the experience of flying on CON AIR makes for an interesting trip.” “This is the best job I’ve ever had. I'm in the court room on a daily basis and I love what I am doing.” g

Membership Luncheon

Tarrant County Bar Foundation

12 Attorneys Celebrate 50 Years of Practice


Tuesday, February 7, 2017 11:45am City Club


$26 for members $31 for non-members RSVP to

welve of Tarrant County’s most distinguished attorneys will be recognized for their 50 years of practice at the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Membership Luncheon on Tuesday, February 7. Honoree Frank Jelinek III will be speaking and will also recognize the other honorees.

Congratulations Congratulations Congratulations Congratulations Congratulations Harry E. Bartel David Chappell William P. Hallman Jr. Judge John G. Hill John W. Hughes Frank R. Jelinek III Michael R. Knox St. Clair Newbern III John W. Sweeney Jr. Alex R. Tandy Tim Truman Judge Jeff Walker

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

Monetary Donations Only Please February 1 - March 10


his year, we postponed the drive until after the New Year to bring awareness to the fact that the Tarrant Area Foodbank and other worthy causes in our area need our donations all year, and not just during the holiday season. Every $1 donated can provide five warm meals to those in need, so skip your $5 coffee and buy 25 meals! To make your tax deductible donation to this worthy cause, make your check payable to the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and send it to Annual Food Drive, Tarrant County Bar Foundation, 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth 76102. MONETARY DONATIONS ONLY PLEASE. You will receive a tax letter from the Foundation, and your name will not be on any mailing lists for any charities. If you would like to know more, please contact Edwin R. Jensen II at, Lauren McDonald at, or Anne Palmer at g

February 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 13

Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

Tarrant County Chapter News from TLTV


exas Lawyers for Texas Veterans – Tarrant County Chapter (TLTV) is glad to welcome Melissa Wilks as its new chair of the TLTV committee. Melissa holds a Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Texas Christian University. Melissa has been a steadfast volunteer for the TLTV program, and primarily practices immigration law and family law. Melissa enjoys the TLTV program because “coming from a family with a long history of military service, I have seen firsthand some of the challenges veterans face. Using our expertise as attorneys to serve these men and women can help alleviate some of those challenges and shows our veterans that we value their service to our country.” g

Upcoming 2017 TLTV Clinics Friday, February 17 Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus (Idea Store) Friday, April 21 University of Texas at Arlington, Veterans Assistance Center Friday, May 19 University of Texas at Arlington, Veterans Assistance Center Friday, June 16 Texas Wesleyan University (Lou’s Place) Friday, July 21 Tarrant County Bar Association Friday, August 18 Tarrant County College, South Campus Friday, September 15 Tarrant County College, South Campus Friday, October 20 Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus (Idea Store) Friday, November 17 Veterans Affairs Outpatient Facility

Tarrant County Bar Association Solo & Small Firms Section

Mardi Gras Mixer Tuesday, February 28, 2017 4:30pm Law Offices of Michele DeLotto & Randy Hurr 4717 Fletcher Avenue Fort Worth, 76107 If you can RSVP for the mixer, fine. If you can't RSVP and find you can attend, please do! or 817.338.4092

14 ▪ February 2017


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

March 31 Child Welfare 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 February 2017 â–Ş TCBA BULLETIN 15


Civil and Criminal by Judge Bob McCoy


Samuels Avenue. Baldwin L. Samuels was an early settler and landowner. He was one of the contributors to the railroad fund in 1870. He also donated the land for the Pioneer Rest Cemetery, located in the then fashionable part of Fort Worth in the 1880s. Information taken from the book “In Old Fort Worth” and furnished by J’Nell Pate, a historian. -From Werner Magnus, Who was Hulen? An Attempt to Find the Origins of Street Names in Fort Worth.


Judge Bob, what is adoption by estoppel? The doctrine exists to prevent “a situation where it would be inequitable and grossly unfair to the adopted child, who has performed services and rendered affection, for the adoptive parent or his privies to deny the adoption.” It would be “inequitable and unjust” to allow the parent to fail to comply with an agreement to adopt “when he has taken the child at such an age that [he] had no will or choice of [his] own in the matter [and] after the child has performed everything contemplated by the relation provided for."Thompson v. Moseley, 344 Mo. 240, 125 S.W.2d 860, 862 (1939). Under those circumstances, the law protects the minor child by holding that “the intended adoptive parent or his heirs will be estopped” from denying an adoption. Dampier v. Williams, 493 S.W.3d 118 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2016).


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

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.


Recollect that the Almighty, who gave the dog to be companion of our pleasures and our toils, hath invested him with a nature noble and incapable of deceit. -Sir Walter Scott, The Talisman Ramses

16 ▪ February 2017


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

County Criminal Court No. 3


For a peace officer to stop a motorist to investigate a traffic infraction, as is the case with any investigative stop, “proof of the actual commission of the offense is not a requisite." Leming v. State, 493 S.W.3d 552 (Tex. Crim. App. 2016).

2. Avoid trial

A defendant cannot avoid trial by intentionally disabling himself. Smith v. State, 494 S.W.3d 243 (Tex.App.--Texarkana 2015)

3. Confrontation Clause

That a statement may qualify as an excited utterance (see Tex. R. Evid. 803(2)) “does not alter its testimonial nature.” Bates v. State, 494 S.W.3d 256 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2015).

4. Routine traffic stop

On a routine traffic stop, police officers may request certain information from a driver, such as a driver’s license and car registration, and may conduct a computer check on that information. Richardson v. State, 494 S.W.3d 302 (Tex. App.—Waco 2016).

5. Confrontation Clause

The State asserts that the protections afforded by the Confrontation Clause do not apply to the punishment phase of a criminal trial. However, the Court of Criminal Appeals has held otherwise. Ellison v. State, 494 S.W.3d 316 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2016).

6. Criminal recklessness

“Mere lack of foresight, stupidity, irresponsibility, thoughtlessness, ordinary carelessness, however serious the consequences may happen to be,” does not rise to the level of criminal recklessness. Wampler v. State, 494 S.W.3d 367 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2016).

7. Commitment question

Litigants are given “broader latitude” . . . to inquire “into a prospective juror’s general philosophical outlook on the justice system” when they conduct voir dire. . . . A question is proper if it seeks to discover a juror’s views on an issue applicable to the case. . . . But litigants may not ask commitment questions. . . . A commitment question is a voir dire question that seeks to “commit a prospective juror to

resolve, or to refrain from resolving, an issue a certain way after learning a particular fact.” Wampler v. State, 494 S.W.3d 367 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2016).

CIVIL ITEMS OF INTEREST 1. Improvement Offsets

Texas Property Code section 22.021 does not allow for direct reimbursement for money spent, but rather for the value of the improvements offset by the value of use and occupancy. Even if the Lemuses’ belief that they possessed superior title was plausible, and that they made the improvements in good faith, the Lemuses only provided receipts for material and labor and no evidence as to the value of the improvements to the land. The Lemuses possessed and controlled the property from January 2009 until the trial court ordered the deed void. There is no evidence whether the value of the Lemuses’ use and occupancy of the property for the preceding five years would outweigh any amount of increase in the property’s value. Lemus v. Aguilar, 491 S.W.3d 51, 61 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2016).

2. Interlocutory Appeal Bars Mandamus

When the legislature has created the right to bring an interlocutory appeal, the remedy is adequate. Interlocutory appeals lie as of right and must be decided on the merits; mandamus, on the other hand, is an extraordinary remedy, not issued as a matter of right, but at the discretion of the court. Sustainable TX Oyster Res. v. Hannah Reef, 491 S.W.3d 96, 111 (Tex. App.— Houston [1st Dist.] 2016).

3. Ruling on Motion

When a party properly files a motion with a trial court, the act of considering and ruling on that motion is ministerial. To establish entitlement to mandamus relief for a trial court’s refusal to act, the relator must establish that the trial court had a legal duty to perform a ministerial act, relator made demand for performance, and the court refused to perform. In re Dong Sheng Huang, 491 S.W.3d 383, 385 (Tex. App.— Houston [1st Dist.] 2016).

4. Damages for Trades Secrets Misappropriation

A “flexible and imaginative” approach is applied to the calculation of damages in misappropriation-of-trade-secrets cases. Damages in misappropriation cases can therefore take several forms, including the value of the plaintiff’s lost profits, the defendant’s actual profits from the use of the secret, the value a reasonably prudent investor would have paid for the trade secret, the development costs the defendant avoided by the misappropriation, and a reasonable royalty. SW Energy Prod. Co. v. Helfand, 491 S.W.3d 699, 710–11 (Tex. 2016).

cannot be based on sheer speculation. If too few facts exist to permit the trier of fact to calculate proper damages, then a reasonable remedy in law is unavailable. SW Energy Prod. Co. v. Helfand, 491 S.W.3d 699, 711–12 (Tex. 2016).

6. (Non)Contractor

In other words, the parties had not entered into a contract and, it follows, Carpenter could not be a party to that nonexistent contract and, therefore, he was not a “contractor” as the term is ordinarily used. Carpenter v. First Tex. Bancorp, 492 S.W.3d 326, 329 (Tex. App.— Austin 2014).

7. Mandamus Prerequisite

Equity generally is not served by issuing an extraordinary writ against a trial court judge on a matter that was never presented in the trial court and that the trial judge had no opportunity to address. Accordingly, a request for action by the trial court and a refusal of that request is generally a predicate to mandamus relief. Thus, mandamus will not issue unless: (1) the relator has made a demand on the respondent, and (2) the respondent has denied relief or otherwise refused to act. In re Oceanografia, S.A. DE, 492 S.W.3d 330, 335 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2014).


Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. -André Gide


The only medicine for suffering, crime, and all the other woes of mankind is wisdom. -Thomas Henry Huxley


At 268,601 square miles, Texas is the second biggest state and at an estimated 27,469,114 people, (25,145,561 on the 2010 U.S. Census) the second most populous state in the U.S. Texas is larger than many nations of the world, including every country in Europe. If it were a country, it would be the 40th largest country in the world, after Myanmar and ahead of Afghanistan. By itself, it would be the 48th most populous country in the world, falling just behind Saudi Arabia and just ahead of Yemen., citing the CIA Factbook; http://www.ipl. org/div/stateknow/popchart.html; earth/area_top50.aspx. g

5. Damage Approximation

[L]ack of certainty does not preclude recovery. . . . [T]he plaintiff need only demonstrate “the extent of damages as a matter of just and reasonable inference, even if the extent is only an approximation[.] . . . Damage estimates, however,

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

February 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 17

Steve Laird

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

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

Please come see us at our new location!

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 Bring on the New Year! Welcome to Our New Members! Attorneys Deborah Bankhead Kendra Calhoun Chris Granaghan Linda Hem Kimberly Roberts Monica Smith

Students Connor White Associates Cyndi Livermore Margie Reinhart

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

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



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

February 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 19

Family Access Services is now providing Supervised Visitation Supervised Visitation Services and Services and Monitored Exchanges in Tarrant County and Surrounding areas. Our goal,Exchanges as a neutral third-party, is Monitored “Helping Families Maintain a Healthy & Safe Interaction.”

"Helping Families Maintain a Healthy & Safe Interaction"

Lawyer Referral & Information Service


Ringing in the New Year in style! hank you to the attorneys who make it all possible with their referral fees:


Family Access Services Phone: 512-387-1932

Jason Amon Leslie Barrows Courtney Burns Andrea Casanova Bill Catterton Stephen Clark David Cook Jennifer Dillon Todd Durden Andrea Dwyer Bodie Freeman Lacie Friday Andrew Gore Earl Hargrave An Lee Hsu Roger Hurlbut Frank Jacobini

Christian Jenkins Dustin Lee Caleb Moore Francis Nathan Gary Nichols Josh Norrell Will Pruitt Amanda Rodriguez Sarah Seltzer Carey Thompson Chris Vickers Jacob Wallace Laurie Weir Chris Whitaker David Wright Brett Wyatt Paul Youngblood

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

20 ▪ February 2017

Law Firm Security Step 1: Identify Your Cyber-Assets Provided by: LawPay


Your path to a more secure law firm starts today!

ur mission with the LawPay Security Series is to promote better data protection in law firms through simple, manageable steps. With the increase of cyber-crime and the associated risk to your firm, securing your assets is more important than ever. As the preferred payment provider for the legal industry, we are in a unique position to share our knowledge and expertise in data security with our partners and colleagues.

Security Step 1

The path to a more secure office starts with creating a simple document detailing your firm’s IT assets. To the best of your knowledge, list all the technology you use at your firm. If you have an IT service or office manager, have them fill in any missing areas they know about. This inventory should include: Networking infrastructure: Do you have wired (LAN) and Wi-Fi networks? What is connected to each? Is there a guest network? What people have the Wi-Fi passphrase(s)? Systems and other hardware: What PCs, laptops, mobile devices, printers, file servers or network attached storage are present in the practice? Applications and data: What business software are you using and what are those applications responsible for? Common software for law firms include QuickBooks or other financial applications, practice management suites, and

search and discovery tools. What information do they manage and where does that data reside (both cloud-based and on premises)? Don’t forget about any backups and archives that you may have residing in different locations. Users: Who are the users with accounts on your systems and what privileges or capabilities do those users have? For example, you might have administrative rights on your PC, but you may have created an account for your bookkeeper with access restricted to certain folders or files. Ask all members of your staff to help ensure this information is as complete as possible. Once you have this information recorded in your IT asset inventory you have officially taken the first steps toward becoming a more secure law firm. In our next installment, we will talk about simple but effective measures you can take to secure your various accounts. LawPay is proud to be the preferred payment partner of more than 35,000 law firms, providing attorneys with a simple, secure, and online way to accept credit cards in their practice. The LawPay platform was designed specifically to separate earned and unearned payments, giving attorneys peace of mind that their credit card transactions are always handled correctly. Members of the Tarrant County Bar Association typically save 20-25% off standard credit card fees. To learn more, call (866) 376-0950 or visit g

February 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 21

g n i n e p p a It’s All H Around the Bar Solo & Small Firms Section Mixer at Law Office of Nancy A. Gordon, P.C.

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Other Associations’

News & Information

Arlington Bar Association Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. President, Ruth Lane. For location & information, email arlingtonbarassociation@yahoo. com or call 214.651.5622. Black Women Lawyers Association For meetings and information, contact Judge Maryellen Hicks, President, at 817.451.7100 or Dee J. Kelly Law Library Welcomes Bar Members! For the latest Texas A&M University School of Law library hours and information, please visit or call 817.212.3800. Fort Worth Chapter Association of Legal Administrators Meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the City Club, 301 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, 76102. For more information, contact Lisa Boyd at 817.339.2478 or Fort Worth Paralegal Association General Membership Meetings are held at noon every 4th Thursday of the month at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. FWPA Board of Directors meets at noon every 1st Tuesday of the month at the Bar Center. For more information, go to L. Clifford Davis Legal Association (f/k/a/ Tarrant County Black Bar Association) holds its meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00pm. For more information, contact President Albert Roberts by email at mr.albert.roberts@ MABA (Mexican American Bar Association) Meets on the last Thursday of each month at Rivas Mexican Restaurant, 5442 River Oaks Blvd., River Oaks, 76114. For more information, contact President Eloy Sepulveda at 817.332.1285. Northeast Tarrant County Bar Association (NETCBA) Meets for CLE luncheons on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at La Hacienda Restaurant, Hwy. 121. Contact President Fred Howey at 817.835.0555 or Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDLA) Meets every 2nd Thursday at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. For more information, contact President Brad Shaw at 817.237.1254 or Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association Meets at noon on the 4th Tuesday of each month 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

Jeffrey Hobkirk, Underwriter


24 ▪ February 2017

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

32 â–Ş September 2016

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


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


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




Classified Advertising NOTICE

Classified Ads no longer appear in the Bulletin. They can be found on our website at

Bench Bar Conference XXIV

Thank You to Our Sponsors Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz, PLLC Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C. McDonald Sanders, P.C. Winstead PC LexisNexis Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. KoonsFuller Family Law Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Harris, Finley & Bogle PC Lively & Associates, LLP State Bar of Texas Bush Rudnicki Shelton, P.C. Barlow Garsek & Simon, L.L.P. Barrows Firm, P.C. Juris Fabrilis, Inc. Decker Jones, P.C. Friedman, Suder & Cooke Law Office of Greg Lehrmann Law Office of Nancy Gordon

Tarrant County Bar Association

Boot Scootin Bench Bar Conference XXIV Hilton Lakefront - Rockwall, Texas Registration


April 28-30, 2017

Registration includes: Accommodations Friday & Saturday nights, six meals, hospitality suite, and 7.75 hours MCLE credit including 2 hours Ethics. Partial scholarships available, contact the Bar Office.

$550 - for Friday & Saturday nights if paid by February 22, 2017 $600 - for Friday & Saturday nights if paid by March 10, 2017 $650 - for Friday & Saturday nights if paid by March 30, 2017 $170 - for early arrivals on Thursday night $150 - add for Non-Members to cover TCBA membership dues

*Rates are the same for single and double rooms.

First time attendee?


# years practicing _______

No If yes, invited by? _____________________________________ # years attended Bench Bar ________

Guest Room Reservation

(This facility is 100% non-smoking) Single Room (limited availability) Double Room Gender



*Rates are the same for single and double rooms.

Roommate ________________________________________ All roommates must be registered to attend. If a roommate is not designated, we will assign one for you. If ADA requirements are necessary, please indicate ________

Scholarship Contribution

(Please consider making a contribution toward the scholarship fund) Total Enclosed $___________________

There are also sponsorships available. Contact Sherry Jones at the Bar Office for more information.


Sponsored Events (Free for all attendees)

Wild West Trivia Night


Registration Total: $_____________

$45 Golf (Friday) Golf (Hdcp/Avg. score_____) $65 Golf (Saturday) Golf (Hdcp/Avg. score_____)

Scholarship Total: $_____________

Paid Events

$50 Painting with a Twist (Saturday)

Golfing Event Total: $_____________ Grand Total Enclosed: $_____________

Name ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Firm/Office _______________________________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Fax _________________ Cell Phone _________________ Email ____________________________________________ Area of Practice ____________________________________________________________________________________ My check is enclosed _____ Please charge my registration fee to my: ____ MasterCard ____ Visa ____ American Express Card Number __________________________________________________ Expiration Date _____/______/_____ Billing Zip Code ________________ Security Code ____________ Signature _____________________________________________________ Date ____________________________ Casual attire only! Send form and make check payable to TCBA, 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102-6504 Phone: 817.338.4092 Fax: 817.335.9238 Cancellations are allowed until April 3, 2017, but a fee of $50 will apply. After the deadline, no refunds are allowed. No exceptions.

2017 Conference Details Join Fellow Members

Join fellow members of the Bench & Bar at the Hilton Lakefront in Rockwall, Texas, April 28-30, 2017 for a memorable opportunity to network and build relationships while enjoying several interesting speakers and presentations. This is a beautiful resort featuring numerous great amenities, exceptional dining, and a perfect setting for our conference social activities.

Recruit Your Friends

Friday Evening Event

Immediately following dinner, all those who may be interested are invited to Wild West Trivia Night. Immediately following dinner, the attendees will divide into teams for a fun filled night of Wild West Trivia in the Pergola. This is a free event.

MCLE Credit

TCBA will be requesting 7.75 hours of MCLE credit, inEach returning Bench Bar attendee is challenged to cluding 2 hours of ethics. recruit as many first time attendees for Bench Bar XXIV as possible. The attorney who recruits the most first time attendees who register, pay and attend will Hilton Lakefront in Rockwall Texas win a free registration to Bench Bar XXV (2018). 2055 Summer Lee Dr. Rockwall, TX 75032 214.771.3700 From Downtown Dallas: Take I-30 East to Rockwall and exit Horizon Rd. Turn right on Horizon Rd. and First-time attendees who have been licensed for right on Summer Lee Dr. Follow Summer Lee Dr. to five years or less are eligible for partial scholarships. the lakefront and the entrance to the hotel. For details and a scholarship form, call Sherry at From Downtown Fort Worth: Take I-30 East to Rock817.338.4092. Apply Now! wall and exit Horizon Rd. Turn right on Horizon Rd. and right on Summer Lee Dr. Follow Summer Lee Dr. to the lakefront and the entrance to the hotel.


Scholarships for First-Time Attendees


Envy is a powerful emotion! If your name is not engraved on the “Judges’ Cup,” then start practicing now. The traveling Judges’ Cup Trophy will be presented to the winners of the Saturday Golf Tournament during the Saturday evening Awards Presentation.

Barlow Big Heart”Award

James B. Barlow was a loyal attendee and supporter of the TCBA Bench Bar Conference. Jim made everyone feel welcome and was a positive role model for all who attended the conference. In memory and special recognition of him, attendees can nominate a member who actively promotes positive relationships between the bench and bar during the conference. The attendee who is selected will receive the James Barlow “Big Heart” Award.

Daily Conference Schedule Friday, April 28, 2017 9:55 am

10:00 am 11:00 am 11:30 Noon 12:30 pm 1:00 pm 1:30 pm 2:00 pm

3:15 pm 3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Welcome and Opening Remarks Leslie Barrows - Chair, Bench Bar Committee & Jim Pruitt - Mayor of Rockwall Ethics Kenda Culpepper - Rockwall District Attorney State Bar Update Tom Vick – President Elect of the State Bar of Texas Are You Really “Fully Insured?” Steve Laird Lunch Ethics & Malpractice Issues in the Use of Current Technology Jett Hanna - Texas Lawyers Insurance Exchange Updates in Sports & Entertainment Law Christian Dennie The Lawyer’s Eminent Domain Checklist John Allen Chalk, Sr. ShotgunTopics (Judges will discuss their court programs) Judge Carey Walker – First Offenders Drug Program, Judge Robb Catalano - Tarrant County’s Felony Alcohol Intervention Program, Associate Judge Ellen Smith – Tarrant County Family Drug Court for Child Protective Services & Judge Brent Carr Adjourn 9 Hole Golf at Waterview Golf Club Lawyer Olympics Sunset Dinner on the Pergola – Western Attire Wild West Trivia Night

Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:00 am 9:00 am

10:00 am 10:30 am 11:00 am 11:30 am 11:55 am Noon 1:30 pm 7:00 pm

Breakfast New Judges’ Court Rules Judge Brooke Allen – Probate Court #2, Justice Leza Kerr – Second Court of Appeals, Judge Scott Walker – Court of Criminal Appeals & Judge Patricia Baca Bennett – 360 District Family Law Court Gun Laws An Le Hsu Recent Issues in Federal Court Judge Reed O’Connor & Judge Jeff Cureton Mental Health Issues Ronnie Hall Protective Orders Marvina Robinson Presentation by Bench Bar Committee Adjourn Judges’ Cup Golf Tournament at Buffalo Creek Golf Club Painting with a Twist Dinner and Awards

Sunday, April 30, 2017 8:00 am

Breakfast and Departure

The Hospitality Suite will be open during the conference from Friday noon through late Saturday night, located in the Harbor View Room on the 5th Floor.

Tarrant County Bar Association February Bar Bulletin  

Take a look inside and see what is happening at the Bar Association.

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