Page 1

Bulletin January 2017

Photos courtesy of Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo


Page Happy New Year! Time to Get Back to Work and to TCBA Activities!


hope that you and your friends and family had a wonderful holiday season and a very happy and successful New Year! The TCBA Annual Holiday Party on December 8 was a great success, by Robert G. West just as planned since last summer. Chair Julie Sladek and Chair-Elect Dana Manry and their team of elves provided a variety of delicious solids and liquids, a jolly red-suited Judge, a photo booth (I think the photos were a success since I have not yet received a blackmail demand or a subpoena to testify), and many nice door prizes that were conveniently announced throughout the event. But the highlight of the evening in my opinion was the multitude of stuffed bears and their fauna friends to be given to children as comforting sidekicks in adoptions and other Family Court cases. As I write these comments in mid-December, I have just attended the retirement party for Judge Dana Womack in the 348th District Court. I am no longer an active litigator, but over the past several years I have occasionally attended hearings as an interested spectator doing a quiet wave to support my clients in matters before Judge Womack. From my perspective, she was a model jurist who was always calm, cordial, well informed, and fair to the attorneys, clients, and jurors in her courtroom. Mostly I know Judge Womack as one of the few remaining every year attendees of the annual Bench Bar Conference, where she frequently provided her helpful comments on a judicial panel discussing how to handle your civil cases better in District Court. The courtroom at her reception was filled with attorneys and friends wishing her well as she graduates off the 348th bench to serve as a visiting judge in Tarrant County and perhaps in other courtrooms across the state. I also attended the first hour or so of the reception honoring departing District Judge Mike Sinha and his Associate Judge Cindy Mendoza, who have served with distinction in the 360th District Court on Family Law cases. The reception was far from over when I had to leave. I also know both of these fine jurists from recent Bench Bar Conferences, where they regularly personally prepared and provided gift bags of goodies to the golfers and Judge Mike would show his skills on the golf course. At the reception, the 360th

courtroom was overflowing with many family law attorneys, staff, and friends with eyes filled with tears of gratitude for their dedicated and compassionate service and with many best wishes for their respective future work in the legal profession. The holiday season and New Year is a time for giving thanks and gifts; for participating in joyful celebrations; for seeking reconciliation of family, work, and life issues; for reflection on the year ending; and for planning and setting goals for the New Year. As you reflect in early 2017, I wish you peace and happiness and that you can achieve a good balance in 2017 for your demanding law work and for your non-work activities. One of your first opportunities to mix and mingle in the New Year will be the second annual Rodeo Gathering at Reata restaurant on Thursday, January 12. Details are in a separate article in this Bar Bulletin. Put your boots on and come strolling down to the Reata to belly up to the bar with your existing lawyer colleagues and to meet a few new friends! Also, add to your calendar the date of Tuesday, February 7, at the City Club Ballroom, 11:45am to 1:15pm, for the annual Membership Luncheon recognizing 50 Year Lawyers! I have some plans for that group that I will discuss briefly at that event. On Friday evening, April 7, we will have what we expect will be the first annual 214/817 Night at the Ballpark, jointly organized by the Arlington Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Association, and the Tarrant County Bar Association, at the Globe Life Park in Arlington. See the separate notice in this Bar Bulletin about the details of that event. About 50 judges from Dallas County and Tarrant County have already notified us of their plans to attend this event, and you will get a chance to visit with them at a reception in the Hall of Fame Suite and at the baseball game that evening between the Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics. This event will be open to judges, lawyers, and their families. Get your tickets soon for the best price. Thank you for your participation in the Tarrant County Bar Association. I hope to see you on January 12 at Reata for the Rodeo Gathering and at other upcoming events! g

Bob West

January 2017 â–Ş TCBA BULLETIN 1

Tarrant County Bar Association


817.338.4092 ▪ Fax 817.335.9238 website: email:

Features 4 Tarrant County Adoption Day 18 Judicial Profiles 22 Destination CLE


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.................................................................15 Deborah Adame...........................................................16 Family Access Services...................................................9 JurisFabrilis..............................................................11 KoonsFuller.......................................Inside Front Cover Law Offices of Jason Smith........................................24 Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C............................12 LawPay...................................................................28 LexisNexis..........................................Inside Back Cover McGrath Mediations....................................Back Cover Parker Law Firm.............................................................17 Stephens Anderson & Cummings............................24 Texas Lawyers' Insurance Exchange.......................21 The Collie Firm...............................................................28 Tindall Square Office Complex................................21

2 ▪ January 2017


Term Ends 2017

7 Departments 1 President's Page 8 100 Club 9 Calendar of Events 10 Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services 13 Membership Report 13 Benefits of Membership & Vendor List 14 Snippets 20 Lawyers on the Move & in the News 20 LegalLine 21 Other Association's News & Information 22 CLE Corner 22 A Word from Our Sections 25 Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

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.

Rodeo Gathering

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tarrant County Adoption Day 2016


he Family Law Center was full of “Super Heros” to greet the 70 children who were adopted on November 18, 2016, at the Tarrant County Adoption Day celebration. The children left the courthouse with their new forever families – 45 new families in all. Many of the children were sibling groups including one family of six children adopted together into one family. In 16 years, Adoption Day has grown from 9 events in its first year to 400 events across the U.S. Every year, more than 100,000 children in foster care are available for adoption. Many spend more than three years waiting for permanent, loving homes. Between 2000 and 2015, approximately 58,500 children were joined together with their forever families as part of Adoption Day activities nationwide. Locally, the Tarrant County National Adoption Day has joined hundreds of children with their forever families! A special thank you to Judge Tim Menikos and the other members of the planning committee, all of the volunteers who donated their time, all the community partners who provided donated items and funds to support the event, all the attorneys and CPS case workers who put in the work to get the cases ready, and all the judges who volunteered for the event. An even bigger thanks to all the families who decided to be a super hero and bring a child or children into their families on NAD. What a fantastic way to start the holiday season! A special thank you also goes to Heroic Inner Kids for supporting the event with 30 volunteers dressed in costume as Captain America, Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Robin, Supergirl, Black Widow, Wonder Woman and many more characters. Volunteers at the event helped the families throughout the day, in the courtrooms and in the reception area. The families were provided, by generous donations from the community, many special items – a personalized necklace for each adopted child, a bear for each child in attendance, Certificates of Adoption, a yellow rose for the adoptive mothers, a keepsake pen the judge used to sign the Order finalizing the adoption, a welcome bag of goodies, new backpacks, an autographed book and a super hero cape for each of the adopted children. The laughter and smiles

4 ▪ January 2017

that lit up the faces of all those involved spoke volumes to another successful year. The Tarrant County Bar Foundation has supported NAD since its inception in 2000. The Foundation and Association collect stuffed animals for each child to take home. Kubes Jewelry provides necklaces to each child with their new family name. A generous financial donation was made this year by the American Endowment Fund. g

Special Thanks to Our Judiciary

Pictured L to R: Judge Jesus Nevarez, Jr. Judge Cynthia Mendoza Judge James Munford Judge Jerome Hennigan Judge Lindsay DeVos Judge Mike Sinha Judge Tim Menikos Judge Jean Boyd (ret.) Judge Nancy Berger Judge Diane Haddock (not pictured)

Special Thanks to Our Planning Committee and Attorneys Abbey Kirby, Co Chair Heather Ogier, Co Chair Frank Adler Katherine Allen Jill Anderson Leslie Barrows Robert Blankenship Nick Bettinger Sonya Carrillo Megan Cooley Gil Daley Karen Denney Trina Dorsey

Eric Freeby Linda Garcia Nancy Gordon Trisha Graham Sherry Jones David Joyce Jessica Juarez Wendy Lee Jessica Llanes Dana Manry James Masek Sylvia Medrano Justin Murray Kerry Owens Belker Paschall Ruth Pope

Kellye Reeves Rene Sanchez Robley Sicard Matthew Smid Amy Smith Shawana Smith Lori Spearman Jennifer Sterling Lindsey Stewart Kim Stoner Amanda Warren Cindy Williams Vicki Wiley

Thank You to Our Sponsors

CASA of Tarrant County Department of Family & Protective Services Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court Family District Courts of Tarrant County Juvenile Courts of Tarrant County Our Community. Our Kids Tarrant County Bar Association Tarrant County Bar Foundation Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Texas A&M University School of Law

Special Thanks to Our Donors ACH Child & Family Services Arrow Child & Family Ministries American Endowment Foundation Barrows Firm, P.C. Bob Leonard Law Group Bo Parker & Michael Board, Photographers Circle of Care In-Home Pediatric Therapy CK Family Services Cornerstone Childcare Schoolers Law Office of Gil L. Daley, II, PC District Clerk Tom Wilder Fort Worth Paralegal Association

Gladney Center for Adoption Gladney Family Assoc. Network Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. Heroic Inner Kids Hope Fort Worth House of Blades Jake Brittain, Author Juris Fabrilis Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP KoonsFuller Kubes Jewelers Lockheed Martin Leadership Association Pearl Snap Kolaches Samantha Ratner Mike & Miriam Richard Second Court of Appeals Kendra Scott Target Tarrant County Delegation of Elected Officials Tarrant County Employees Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association Tarrant County Probate Bar Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association Underwood Perkins Wallach Andrews

January 2017 â–Ş TCBA BULLETIN 5

You Are Cordially Invited to the

Annual Meeting & Pro Bono Awards of the

Tarrant County Bar Foundation Thursday, January 26, 2017 g 5:30 p.m. Tarrant County Bar Center g 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth 76102 R.S.V.P. to

Come Join Us As We Welcome Our

2016 Fellows & 2017 Chair Patti Gearhart Turner and

As We Honor The Volunteers Of


Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services (TVAS) Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans – Tarrant County Chapter (TLTV)

TVAS Pro Bono Awards Attorney Volunteer

Jordan Woody

Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors Mentor Attorney

Law Firm Partner

Cantey Hanger LLP Law Student Volunteer

Elizabeth Anderson

Amy Fuqua

Texas A&M University School of Law

Paralegal Volunteer

Presbyterian Night Shelter

Fuqua Law Firm, P.L.L.C.

Janice Piggott

Community Partner

TLTV Pro Bono Awards

Eagle Service Award

Michele DeLotto

Community Volunteers

Thomas Huffman & A. Reneé Evins

Hurr Law Office P.C.

Veteran Volunteers from MHMR’s Peer to Peer Network

Attorney Volunteer

Law Student Volunteers

Sarah Seltzer

Seltzer & Dally, PLLC Law Firm Partner

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Community Partner

Texas A&M University School of Law 6 ▪ January 2017

Deanna Franzen & Kaylene Garcia Texas A&M University School of Law Corporate Partner

Dallas Fort Worth Chapter of Association of Corporate Counsel

Tarrant County Bar Foundation



n December 5, 2016, a check for $8,400 was presented to Texas A&M University School of Law for their Student Internship Program. This program gives law students an opportunity to work for the pro bono programs of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation. These funds were raised by the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association and the Tarrant County Bar Association at its 2016 Annual Golf Tournament through the Hole Sponsors. g Pictured from L to R: TCBF Chair-Elect, Patti Gearhart Turner (Texas Wesleyan University); TCBA President, Robert West (Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz, PLLC); TCBF Director, Dee J. Kelly Jr. (Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP); TCBF Chair, Mattie Peterson Compton (U.S. Attorney's Office); TCBF Vice Chair, Neal W. Adams (Adams, Lynch & Loftin P.C.); TCYLA President, Susan Smith (Gardner & Smith PLLC); TCBF Treasurer, Joe Cleveland (Brackett & Ellis, P.C.); Sr. Director of Development, Myke Holt (Texas A&M University School of Law); TCBF Director, Artie Erisuriz (Texas A&M University School of Law)

Trisha Graham Announces Her Retirement


xecutive Director Patricia “Trisha” Graham has announced her retirement effective June 30, 2017 after 25 years with the Tarrant County Bar Association (TCBA). Trisha was hired as the Association’s first Executive Director in June 1992. Trisha has seen many changes in the Association over the years. She states, “In 1992, the office of the Bar Association was an extra office in the Hooper & Evans law firm in the Fort Worth Club. As our activities increased, so did the need for more staff and more office space. Today, thanks to the support of the Tarrant County legal community, we have a 6,700 sq. ft. Bar Center that houses the Association and its

staff of nine. The Bar Center is used daily for the activities of the Association, Foundation, and/or the Young Lawyers Association as well as serving as a place for mediations and depositions.” As Executive Director, Trisha is responsible for the overall operations of the Association, Tarrant County Bar Foundation, Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, and the Mahon Inn of Court and of course, the Bar Center. In her retirement letter, Trisha stated, “It has truly been an honor to serve as your Executive Director and to be an ambassador of the Association, Foundation, and YLA. During my tenure, it has been my pleasure to make so many lasting friendships. The Association, Foundation, and YLA have earned reputations of achievement and each has established itself as an exemplary organization. I am privileged to be a small part of the many awards won over the years by these organizations. As these organizations move forward, I am confident that each one will continue its longstanding tradition of service to its members and the community and will remain a model for others.” g

January 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 7

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 2 5 10 10 11 12 12 16 17 18 19 19 24 24 25 26 26 26 27 31 31

January 2017

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

Events 7 9 16 16 17 20 21 23 23 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 12pm, TCBA Office President's Day Holiday Office Closed Tax & Estate Planning Section Luncheon 11:30am, TBD Energy Section Luncheon 12pm, Petroleum Club LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office 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.

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

"Helping Families Maintain a Healthy & Safe Interaction"

50 Year Lawyers February 7, 2017

Women in the Law February 28, 2017

March 25, 2017

Bench Bar COnference XXIV April 28-30, 2017

Family Access Services Phone: 512-387-1932

January 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 9

Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services TVAS Holds Uncontested Divorce Clinic with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas


arrant County Volunteer Attorney Services (TVAS) held its last legal clinic of 2016 on December 6, 2016. At the clinic, TVAS attorney volunteers met with low income clients from Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT), and had the opportunity to file the divorce pleadings at the clinics. The TVAS volunteer attorneys will represent the LANWT clients through the completion of their divorces. Paralegal volunteers from the Fort Worth Paralegal Association attended the event, as well as volunteers from DepoTexas. TVAS thanks Judge Judith Wells and Judge Mark Pittman for attending the clinic and speaking to the TVAS volunteers. TVAS also thanks Philip Vickers (Cantey Hanger LLP), Lori Spearman (Law Office of Lori A. Spearman), and Dana Manry (Bailey & Galyen) for conducting the free CLE provided to TVAS volunteers prior to the legal clinic. TVAS extends its appreciation to the following volunteers who attended the clinic:

Attorney Volunteers Sue Allen Chris Brown Ola Campbell Derek Carson James Greer Nancy Gordon Jill Johnston Courtney Key Christie Lindsey Kathlynn Pack

TVAS Selects Pro Bono Award Recipients

TVAS Volunteers Assist Foster Parents at National Adoption Day

The following individuals and organizations will be recognized for their contributions to the TVAS program at the Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s Annual Meeting on January 26, 2017. Attorney Volunteer: Jordan Woody Mentor Attorney: Amy Fuqua Paralegal Volunteer: Janice Piggott Law Firm Partner: Cantey Hanger LLP Law Student Volunteer: Elizabeth Anderson Community Partner: Presbyterian Night Shelter

Save the Date TVAS Reception Celebrating Its Fifth Anniversary

Please join TVAS in celebrating its fifth anniversary at an informal reception to be held on January 26, 2017 at the Tarrant County Bar Association from 4:30pm-5:30pm. The reception will be held immediately prior to the Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s Annual Meeting.

10 ▪ January 2017

Hannah Parks Josh Ross Denise Russell Ellen Sacco Wendy Walton Aaron Young

Volunteer Paralegals Jessica Acosta Susan Davis Stephanie Fletcher Brandi Harris Katrina Lea Monty Mayes Star Moore Janice Piggott Julie Sherman Gladys Bowie-Young

Volunteers Brian Brisco, TVAS Co-Chair Merrit Klapperich, LANWT Managing Attorney Alexandra Esparza, LANWT Karla Howes, DepoTexas Janice Eidd-Meadows, DepoTexas Stephanie Rayburn, DepoTexas Marlee Rogers, DepoTexas

On November 18, 2016, attorney volunteers for Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services assisted income eligible foster parents with the pro bono adoption of their foster children at National Adoption Day. TVAS thanks volunteer attorneys Eric Freeby and Alyssa Jacobs (Brown Pruitt Wambsganss Ferrill & Dean, P.C.) and Belcher Paschall for assisting the families this year. g

You are Invited to the Retirement Reception of

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

Sponsored By

The Appellate Section And the Tarrant County Bar Association

You are Invited to the Retirement Fiesta of

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

4:30 p.m.

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

January 2017 â–ª TCBA BULLETIN 11

Steve Laird

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

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

Wishing Everyone a Joyous Holiday Season!

l aw

O ffi ces

o f

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


Membership Report Happy New Year!


e are ringing in the New Year with new members! Let’s welcome them all! (And let’s not forget to check out our new website and see what’s happening). Attorneys Dennis Bentley Caroline Brownlie Lindsay Daum Catherine Edwards Susan Fortney Katherine Gardner James Gibbs Brandon Gibbons Jane Hatch Jeremy Hayes Richard Ross Hyde, Jr. Pamela McKay Kenner Eric Laue


Jane Magnuson Anthony Parker Michael R. Parker Robert Probasco J. Andrew Robertson David M. Sarnacki Emma Stewart Jeffrey S. Valliere Students Jarrod Azopardi Allison Baker Cash Barker Milo Bobbitt Kendal Carnley

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

If you have any questions regarding your membership, please contact Sandy at the bar office or e-mail her at g Laurel Curtis Patrick Dean Wesley Dolan David Donnel Eleanor Dulles Kevin Hernandez Matthew Koronczok Jordan Kozlowski Keeli Lane Nicole Macut Spencer Mainka Derek McKee Bailey Michell Erin Milliken

Megan Morales Najmu Mohseen Kristin Newby Heather Nichols Hallie O’Connor Brady Odom Taylor Pollock Jason Sheffield Bat-Sheva Tabakman Sarah Turner Jake Wiggins Associate Robert Humphreys

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

January 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 13


Civil and Criminal by Judge Bob McCoy


Dallas Avenue—Named after Vice-President George Mifflin Dallas. Mrs. Martha Gilbert of Fort Worth suggested the name for a settlement east of Fort Worth (Dallas). She lived in Birdville in 1841, which was formerly named Elm Ford. —From Werner Magnus, Who was Hulen? An Attempt to Find the Origins of Street Names in Fort Worth.


Judge Bob, I prevailed in an excessive appraisal appeal against my local taxing authority. Am I entitled to attorney’s fees? Although the language in the appropriate tax code section (42.29) indicates that you “may be awarded attorney’s fees,” at least four courts of appeals have held that the award of attorney’s fees is mandatory. Sebastian Cotton v. Willacy Appr. Dist., 492 S.W.3d 824 (Tex. App—Corpus Christi 2016).




If my dog escapes and I don’t immediately find it, do I lose my ownership right if the dog ends up with a rescue organization? Probably not. “The Greater Houston German Shepherd Dog Rescue cites no common-law authority, nor can we find any, holding that dog owners’ property rights are lost because their dog escapes and cannot be located for a few days.” Lira v. Hous. German Shepherd Dog Rescue, 488 S.W.3d 300 (Tex. 2016).

THE DANES’ QUOTE OF THE MONTH: Be kind to your four footed friends.

“It is not lawful to pass by any beast that is in distress . . . but to endeavor to preserve it, as having a sympathy with it in its pain.” —Flavius Josephus (A.D. 37–c.100), The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 4, Ch. 8, ¶ 30.


“It is true, as the State notes, that sex offenders do not constitute a protected class for purposes of an equal-protection analysis.” Schlittler v. State, 488 S.W.3d 306 (Tex. Crim. App. 2016).

14 ▪ January 2017


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

County Criminal Court No. 3

2. New Trial

“The trial court cannot grant a new trial just because it personally believes that the defendant is innocent or received a raw deal. . . . Nor may a trial court grant a new punishment trial based only on second thoughts about the sentence that it imposed upon a defendant. A trial court does not generally abuse its discretion in granting a motion for new trial if the defendant: (1) articulates a valid legal claim in his motion for new trial; (2) produces evidence or pointed to evidence in the trial record that substantiates his legal claim; and (3) under the standards in Rule 44.2 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.” State v. Simpson, 488 S.W.3d 318 (Tex. Crim. App. 2016).

3. Indigency

“Once declared indigent, a defendant is ‘presumed to remain indigent unless there is a “material change” in his financial status, and in the absence of any indication in the record that his financial status has in fact changed, the evidence will not support an imposition of attorney fees.’” Kirkland v. State, 488 S.W.3d 379 (Tex. App.—Beaumount 2016).

4. Probable Cause

“Although Brenes denied permission for Foreman to search his car, when Foreman approached the automobile and detected the odor of marihuana emanating from it, Foreman then possessed probable cause to search it.” Brenes v. State, 489 S.W.3d 384 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2016).

5. PSI

“The Court of Criminal Appeals has held that when a PSI is used in a non-capital case in which the defendant has elected to have the trial court determine sentencing, there is no violation of a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation.” Sell v. State, 488 S.W.3d 397 (Tex. App.— Fort Worth 2016).

6. Motive

While motive is not an element of murder, it may provide circumstances indicative of guilt. Parish v. State, 488 S.W.3d 422 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016).


“[W]e conclude that the [Texas Citizens Participation Act] requires an award of ‘reasonable attorney's fees’ to the successful movant. A ‘reasonable’ attorney's fee ‘is one that is

not excessive or extreme, but rather moderate or fair.’ That determination rests within the court's sound discretion, but that discretion, under the TCPA, does not also specifically include considerations of justice and equity.” Sullivan v. Abraham, 488 S.W.3d 294, 297 (Tex. 2016).

2. Pattern Jury Charge

“Well-settled pattern jury charges should not be embellished with addendum.” Clay v. AIG Aerospace Ins. Servs. Inc., 488 S.W.3d 402, 412 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2016).

3. Community Contribution

“Thus, it is not sufficient for the party seeking reimbursement to prove that the value of property has simply increased over time; the party seeking reimbursement must prove that the enhanced value of the property ‘was actually due to the renovations’ or other improvements. Nor is evidence of the cost of improvements alone sufficient to prove enhanced value.” In re Marriage of McCoy, 488 S.W.3d 430, 435 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015).

sets forth when an absent party must be joined in a lawsuit; whereas, Rule 39(b) addresses whether a lawsuit ‘in equity and good conscience’ should proceed when the absent party cannot be made a party. Tex. R. Civ. P. 39(a)-(b). Rule 39(b) is inoperative unless a person described in Rule 39(a) ‘cannot be made a party.’ To determine whether to proceed without the City as a party, therefore, the trial court was required to determine first whether the City was a necessary party." Conrad Constr. v. Freedman’s Town Pres. Coal., 491 S.W.3d 12, 16–17 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016).


“I’ve gone into hundreds of [fortune-teller’s parlors], and have been told thousands of things, but nobody ever told me I was a policewoman getting ready to arrest her.” —New York City Detective

Legal Quote of the Month

“Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen.” —George Savile

4. Proprietary-Governmental Dichotomy in OLD NEWS World Human Population reached: 1 billion in 1804, taking Contracts “We therefore hold that the common-law distinction between governmental and proprietary acts—known as the proprietary-governmental dichotomy—applies in the contractclaims context just as it does in the tort-claims context.” Wasson Interests v. City of Jacksonville, 489 S.W.3d 427, 439 (Tex. 2016).

5. Forum Non Conveniens (Non) Evidence

“In making a forum non conveniens determination, the trial court is not required to consider only evidence admitted at an evidentiary hearing on the motion. Instead, the trial court may consider any evidence properly before it, including evidence attached to the defendant's forum non conveniens motion.” Crumb & Foster v. Creekstone Builders, 489 S.W.3d 475, 481 (Tex. App.— Houston [1st Dist.], 2016).

130,000 years, give or take ten thousand; 2 billion in 1927, taking 123 years; 3 billion in 1960, 33 years later; 4 billion in 1974, 14 years later; 5 billion in 1987, 13 years later; 6 billion in 1999, 12 years later; 7 billion in 2011, 12 years later. Current Population is estimated at 7,453,000,000 as of September 29, 2016. —United Nations Secretariat, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, The World At Six Billion (1999), p. 8, cited at php?unit=5&secNum=4; See http://www.worldometers. info/world-population/ for current estimate. g


6. Medical Examination

“[A]n order denying a physical or mental examination may be subject to review by mandamus. . . . The party seeking the examination must show both (1) good cause and (2) that the mental or physical condition of a party is in controversy. . . . There must be a greater showing of need to obtain a physical or mental examination than to obtain other sorts of discovery.” In re. H.E.B. Grocery, L.P., 490 S.W.3d 96, 99, 100, 101 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christie 2016).

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

7. Mandatory Joinder

“However, under [Tex. R. Civ. P.] Rule 39, the trial court must order joinder of necessary parties unless they cannot be joined. There is no requirement in the rule for the Coalition to request joinder once the lack of a necessary party had been brought to the trial court's attention. Rule 39(a)

January 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 15

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

November Sponsorships are available. Contact 817.338.4092.

You are Invited to the Investiture Reception of

Honorable Patricia Baca Bennett Judge of the 360th District Court &

Honorable Matthew F. Riek Associate Judge of the 360th District Court Wednesday, January 25, 2017 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Tarrant County Bar Center 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth

Sponsored By

Friends of Judge Bennett & Associate Judge Riek Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association and the Tarrant County Bar Association


16 ▪ January 2017

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


he Judicial Profiles section of the Bar Bulletin usually profiles a new or retiring Tarrant County judicial officials. This month we decided it would be interesting to profile several of the former judicial officials to find out about their life after they left the bench. There were so many to choose from that this article could not include all former officials. This is a selection from the federal, state and appellate bench.

Judge Ken Curry


udge Curry was born and raised in Fort Worth. He spent his early years in west Fort Worth and Springtown. His father worked at Consolidated (now Lockheed) Aircraft, having transferred from San Diego to Fort Worth when the bomber plant was opened in 1942. His mother was a stay at home mom until her kids were out of high school and she went to work as a bookkeeper. He grew up with one sister and two brothers. When he was in the ninth grade, his family moved to east Fort Worth where he graduated in 1969 from Eastern Hills High School. He received his B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1974 and his law degree from the University of Houston Law School in 1976. After law school, Curry returned to Fort Worth and took a position with a solo practitioner. After a year he went in-house with General Dynamics in Fort Worth for a year. He missed the opportunity to work with his father at General Dynamics as he retired in 1976. In 1979 he set up his own law office and practiced law for the next 13 years mostly in civil trial law. During his career, he had offices in Fort Worth in the stockyards area and on River Run Drive. When his two children were young, he and his wife Gloria moved to Colleyville and he moved his office to Hurst. In 1992, he successfully ran for the 153rd District Court. He held the bench for the next 20 years, facing no opponent during those years. Judge Curry enjoyed jury trials and interacting with attorneys in the cases. “The thing I miss as a judge are the jury trials and lawyers.” After leaving the bench in 2012, he took a year off to spend time with his family and to volunteer with community organizations. He has two grown children and two grandchildren. His family often spends time in Colorado, where they have a cabin. Judge Curry was raised a Master Mason in 1978 in Handley Masonic Lodge. He is on the Board of the Texas

18 ▪ January 2017

Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. “The Scottish Rite Hospital helps those children with no hope. Its philosophy is to promote what is right in accordance with the Masonic philosophy of doing what is right to be a better person.” He still sits as a visiting judge in Tarrant, Johnson and Denton counties and handles some mediations. He does not intend to return to the practice of law and sees it as being a conflict with his position as a visiting judge. Judge Curry’s advice to attorneys is “be honest and credible. Be forthright. If you are not honest with the judge then your credibility will suffer. Toss out the bad stuff and tell the judge what the problems are.”

Justice David Farris


ustice David Farris was elected to the Second Court of Appeals in 1986 to replace retired Justice Clyde Ashworth, leaving office at the end of 1994, following the election that saw Tarrant County complete the change from a Democratic county to a Republican county. From January 1995 through August 2003, Justice Farris served as a visiting justice on seven courts of appeals, including the Second Court in Fort Worth, and as a visiting trial judge in north-central and northeast Texas. Farris and his wife Joy own a country place in Cass County Texas, adjoining Arkansas and Louisiana; thus, east Texas “road” commissioners applauded his appointment as a visiting trial judge in their counties because they were not required to reimburse Farris for hotel expenses. In late 1999, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips assigned Farris and one other former justice to the Fifth Court of Appeals to assist that court in addressing a tremendous backlog of appeals. From that time until September 2003 Farris served almost exclusively on the fifth court. The campaign to reduce the backlog was successful. By 2003, lawyers appealing cases to the Dallas court were scheduled for oral argument within a few weeks of final briefing, and opinions were often handed down within a

month or two of submission. But all good things must end, and in 2003, the Texas legislature reduced the funding of the judicial branch, ending Farris’s judicial service. Beginning in September 2003, Farris began his association, of counsel, with what is now Lively and Associates, PLLC. Farris has been board certified in civil appellate law since 1989, and his law practice is primarily civil appeals. Whenever possible, he and Joy steal away to their place in the East Texas piney woods. Several years ago they sold their cows and gave their horses to a granddaughter, choosing to be timber ranchers exclusively. Tree ranchers don’t incur feed or veterinarian expenses.

Judge Sue Koenig


. Sue Koenig is the former Judge of the 360th Family District Court and now lives in west Fort Worth. Sue has a successful part-time mediation practice at 732 N. Main Street in Fort Worth. She retired from the bench in 2000 after being diagnosed with Lyme Disease. She has spent years battling the neurological and heart damage from the disease and she counts her blessings each day for the improved health that she currently enjoys. Sue graduated from Baylor Law School in 1979 and was hired by the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office to handle child welfare cases. “I didn’t choose Family Law,” she said, “It chose me.” Sue later entered private practice and became one of the partners in the law firm of Auld, Koenig, Stephenson and Mansfield, where she handled family law before being elected in 1988. Her first few years on the Family Court bench were a learning experience. “I felt like I was doing a good job for the lawyers and the families that came through my court.” Sue believes that being a judge is much more difficult now than it was when she was elected, due in part to the widespread use of the internet, “We, as judges, are held to the highest pubic standards, yet our code of ethics precludes us from responding to unjust criticism.” Sue married Les Bailey 17 years ago and they enjoy a happy life together with their four grown daughters and seven grandchildren. After leaving the bench she and Les moved to Silverado in Parker County. “Country life, fresh air, sunshine and garden vegetables are good for the soul.” While there she become an avid student and researcher into the field of energetic medicine and other natural healing methods. The couple now divide their time between west Fort Worth and their summer home near Ruidoso, New Mexico. Sue is a strong believer in mediation. “We still try Family Law cases under the adversarial common law system. It is a bad way for families to solve their problems. As

a mediator, I try to listen respectfully to each litigant in a confidential setting, and then work toward a resolution without all the negative emotions. Mediation works great in big property cases as well. In court, it was frustrating when you received widely conflicting evidence about property values. In the mediation office we aren’t as restrained by the rules of evidence and procedure, so I can ask a party to go on line and print out an updated statement showing current values. Then I can plug that information into the XL spreadsheet program that I designed for property cases, and it will automatically calculate the percentage of the net community estate in each spouse’s column. It makes the work so easy! “I am grateful that I am able to enjoy my grandchildren and help people in my mediation practice. Life has been good to me and I would like to return the favor!" She can be reached at 817.996.5704. Her email is

Judge Michael Lynn


ennis Michael Lynn served as the Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division from 2001 through 2015. He was born in Chicago and graduated from Maine Township East High School in Parkridge, Illinois. “It was Hillary Clinton’s High School.” After high school he left for Wisconsin to attend Lawrence University in Appelton, Wisconsin and graduated in 1965 with a B.A. in Government. After one year at Columbia Law School he changed courses and joined the United States Navy and served on active duty from 1967 to 1970. Lieutenant Junior Grade (Ltjg) Lynn was the communications officer aboard the U.S.S. Cochrane (DD-21) and had two Vietnam tours of duty. “I felt it was the right thing to do.” After active duty he returned to Columbia Law School and graduated in 1972. After law school, he moved to Dallas where he practiced bankruptcy law for the next 30 years with four Dallas law firms. He also served as a visiting professor teaching bankruptcy law at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law and Texas A&M University School of Law. Judge Lynn is the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg Law: Bankruptcy Treatise and contributing author for Collier’s prestigious bankruptcy publications and former columnist for Bloomberg Law. In 2001, he was appointed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals as the United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. Attorneys enjoyed appearing in his court that was known for its professionalism and home of some of the largest and most sophisticated bankruptcy filings such as the In re Mirant Corp., Continued on page 26

January 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 19

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

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

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

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

Thank You to our Sponsors:

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

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

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

Lawyers on the Move &

in the News

Elle Whitaker, an attorney practicing in business transactions and business planning, has been added as the newest associate to the law firm of Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. 817.877.1088. David R. Seidler is pleased to announce that he has joined Lacy, Lyster, Malone, Steppick, PLLC. David will continue his Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation practice. David’s new address will be 303 Main Street, Second Floor, Fort Worth, Texas 76102. He can be reached at 817.349.8409 by email at Larry A. Gaydos is now part of GaydosDuffer LLP located in the Skymark Tower at 1521 North Cooper Street, Suite 710, Arlington, TX 76011. g

20 ▪ January 2017

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

LegalLine 817.335.1239


ark your calendars for the next upcoming LegalLine on Thursday, January 12, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Contact Carolina for more information at carolina@

Opportunities to Volunteer for Upcoming LegalLine Events January 12 & 26 February 9 & 23

March 9 & 23 April 13 & 27

May 11 & 25 June 8 & 22

Space For Lease in the historic

Tindall Square Office Complex in Downtown Fort Worth

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

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

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

TLIEnduring With over 36 years in the business, and our enduring commitment to exceptional coverage, Texas Lawyers’ Insurance Exchange has been voted best professional liability insurance company in Texas four years in a row by Texas Lawyer magazine. TLIE is also a Preferred Provider of the State Bar of Texas and has returned over $41,550,000 to our policyholders. See why our enduring commitment, exceptional coverage and remarkable staff make the difference. 512.480.9074 / 1.800.252.9332 INFO@TLIE.ORG / WWW.TLIE.ORG

Gary Maitre, Senior Vice President Underwriting

Other Associations’

News & Information

Arlington Bar Association Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. President, Ruth Lane. For location & information, email arlingtonbarassociation@yahoo. com or call 214.651.5622. Black Women Lawyers Association For meetings and information, contact Judge Maryellen Hicks, President, at 817.451.7100 or Dee J. Kelly Law Library Welcomes Bar Members! For the latest Texas A&M University School of Law library hours and information, please visit or call 817.212.3800. Fort Worth Chapter Association of Legal Administrators Meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the City Club, 301 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, 76102. For more information, contact Lisa Boyd at 817.339.2478 or Fort Worth Paralegal Association General Membership Meetings are held at noon every 4th Thursday of the month at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. FWPA Board of Directors meets at noon every 1st Tuesday of the month at the Bar Center. For more information, go to L. Clifford Davis Legal Association (f/k/a/ Tarrant County Black Bar Association) holds its meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00pm. For more information, contact President Albert Roberts by email at mr.albert.roberts@ MABA (Mexican American Bar Association) Meets on the last Thursday of each month at Rivas Mexican Restaurant, 5442 River Oaks Blvd., River Oaks, 76114. For more information, contact President Eloy Sepulveda at 817.332.1285. Northeast Tarrant County Bar Association (NETCBA) Meets for CLE luncheons on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at La Hacienda Restaurant, Hwy. 121. Contact President Fred Howey at 817.835.0555 or Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDLA) Meets every 2nd Thursday at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. For more information, contact President Brad Shaw at 817.237.1254 or Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association Meets at noon on the 4th Tuesday of each month at the Family Law Center Assembly Room on the 2nd floor. For more information, contact president Kevin Schmid, 817.377.3000 or Tarrant County Probate Bar Association Meets on the 1st Thursday of each month at the Petroleum Clubmembers free, guests $30. For more information, contact Lara Aman at 817.390.6040 or Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association Meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Joe T. Garcia’s. For more information, contact Mark Anderson at 817.294.1900. Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association The 2016-2017 new TCYLA Year began September 1, 2016. If you need an application or meeting information, call 817.338.4092, email, or go to the website at


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.

January 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 21


. . . And Now a Word

from our Sections

Brown Bag Seminar Series Appellate Law February 17, 2017

Sherry Jones Associate Executive Director

Upcoming Brown Bag Seminar Series January 27 Personal Injury

March 31 Child Welfare

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

June 9 Legislative Update


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

Destination CLE Advanced Criminal & Immigration Law


February 6-12, 2017 g 16 Hours of CLE

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

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

For more information, contact Sherry Jones at 817.338.4092 or 22 â–Ş January 2017


Brown Bag Seminar Series

PERSONAL INJURY WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW January 27, 2017 Join us for CLE credit at the Tarrant County Bar Association 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth 76102 Moderator:

Mark Anderson, Anderson Law Firm

Noon 12:30 p.m.

Check In How to Screen a Potential Injury Case Mark Anderson, Anderson Law Firm

1:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

Understanding Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverages Tom Herald, Noteboom Law Firm

2:00 p.m.


2:15 pm.

Evidence in Personal Injury Cases John Cummings, Stephens, Anderson & Cummings

2:45 p.m.

Ethical Issues Faced in Personal Injury Cases Robert Kisselburgh, Anderson Law Firm

3:15 p.m. 3:45 p.m.

Trucking Litigation 101: What You Need to Know Wade Barrow, Barrow Law Firm

Liens—What You Need to Watch Out For Jason Smith, Law Offices of Jason Smith

Adjourn 3 hours of CLE credit requested, including .5 hour ethics (This program will be recorded for showing throughout the year)


Brown Bag Registration: January 27, 2017 _____ $70 TCBA Member _____ $95 non-TCBA Member _____ $35 TCBA Member Staff _____ Brown Bag Season Pass Holder _____ $12 for a boxed lunch Add $5 if registering after January 25 Please complete this form and return to the TCBA office at 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102 with a check payable to TCBA or with credit card information. If you have questions, please call Sherry Jones at 817-338-4092 (Fax: 817-335-9238). Name: ______________________________________________________________ Phone: ______________________________ Firm: _______________________________________________________________ Fax: ________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________________________________ Billing Zip: _____________ Method of Payment: _____ Check _______ Check Number ______ MC _________ Visa ________ Am Ex Credit Card Number ___________________________________________________ Expiration ___________________________ Name on Card ________________________________________________________ Security Code ________________________

January 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 23

Law Offices of Jason Smith

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

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

Amerian Board of Trial Advocates

2017-2018 Candidate Request for Board of Directors


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

24 â–Ş January 2017


Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

Tarrant County Chapter News from TLTV

TLTV to Hold First Clinic at Tarrant County College’s South Campus


exas Lawyers for Texas Veterans – Tarrant County Chapter (TLTV) will hold its first clinic of 2017 at Tarrant County College’s South Campus on Friday, January 20, 2017. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Megan Cooley at

TLTV to Recognize Pro Bono Award Recipients at Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s Annual Meeting

TLTV will recognize the following individuals and organizations for their work on behalf of the program at the Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s Annual Meeting on January 26, 2017. g

Eagle Service Award Michele DeLotto, (Hurr Law Office P.C.) Attorney Volunteer Sarah Seltzer, (Seltzer & Dally, PLLC) Law Firm Partner Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Community Partner Texas A&M University School of Law Community Volunteers Thomas Huffman & Reneé Evins (Veteran Volunteers from MHMR’s Military Peer to Peer Network) Law Student Volunteers Deanna Franzen & Kaylene Garcia (Texas A&M University School of Law) Corporate Partner Dallas Fort Worth Chapter of Association of Corporate Counsel

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


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

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

Elizabeth Kerr

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

January 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 25

...continued from page 19

et al., Debtors, Case No. 03-46590-DML-11 proceeding filed in 2003. Mirant emerged from bankruptcy in 2005 after having what has been called the longest and most thorough valuation hearings in Chapter 11 history. In 2010, the Texas Rangers bankruptcy proceeding was filed in his court while the Rangers were in first place in the American West. “I enjoyed the dynamics of the Mirant case and was pleased by the outcome of the Texas Rangers case. I liked writing opinions. My favorite opinion was in the Talsma case on section 1107(b).” Judge Lynn settled a dilemma that debtors often faced prior to their bankruptcy filing with regards to professionals with outstanding fees when he issued his decision in the case of In re Talsma, 436 B.R. 908 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 2010). Professional fees were typically paid in full prior to the bankruptcy filing in order to prevent the professionals from being disqualified from serving the debtor after the filing. Judge Lynn ruled that professionals with outstanding claims were not disqualified. The opinion was a relief to debtors and paved their way to conserve assets prior to their bankruptcy filing while permitting them to retain their preferred professionals post-bankruptcy. The Judge said that Carolyn King of the Fifth Circuit is his favorite judge. After leaving the bench, Judge Lynn did not retire from the practice of law. He has a successful bankruptcy practice with the firm of Bonds, Ellis, Eppich, Shafer & Jones in downtown Fort Worth located in the Chase building. His words of advice are “Remember everything you write and say will be used against you. Be careful how you say it. Proofread it.”

Judge Frank Sullivan


en years ago when Judge Frank Sullivan left the 322nd Family District Court Bench he never looked back and never stopped working. A full time mediation practice with a large number of mediation cases consume his time these days. He also serves as a visiting judge between 20 to 30 days a year. “I mainly work all the time,” he said. Judge Sullivan was born and raised in Fort Worth and graduated from Arlington Heights in 1965 and the University of Texas Austin in 1970. He was a Congressional Intern in Jim Wright's office and worked for former Fort Worth State Senator Don Kennard in the 1967 legislative session. “While I was at UT in the late sixties, I didn't 't have the ‘hippie’ experience because I spent three years with the Texas Department of Public Safety as a computer operator. I may have been the only student on campus with a burr haircut!” “I never REALLY learned to study until my first year of law school at Texas Tech. Tech gave me the chance I

26 ▪ January 2017

needed. I was on the first Tech Law moot court team to win the state championship and was President of the Class of 1973. I've been a pilot, have over a hundred ocean dives, ridden my own Harley and have a life-long affliction of being an absolutely terrible golfer. All things considered, my life has had a lot more ‘ups’ than ‘downs.’” Judge Sullivan and his wife, Dr. Ann Wildemann, travel each year. They visited Europe, Italy, and Hong Kong and have had “a few cruises along the way.” Hong Kong impressed him the most. “I always wanted to stay at The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong where the British surrendered. I was surprised how it is a massive economic and incredibly modern city. I was blown away by it. Our next trip is to St. Petersburg in Russia. I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland and Venice was cool, too.” An avid Texas Ranger fan, he attended Ranger events as the guest of his longtime law partner and Texas Ranger Manager, Tom Schieffer who “was kind enough to include us in special events.” He is known for his caution to attorneys handling family law matters with a motto of “Thou shall do no harm.” A recurring issue he noted during his career was “an increasing lack of civility in and out of the courtroom between lawyers. I hope the low point is behind us. It is better now than it was 10 to 12 years ago.” “Lawyers work very hard and it gets tougher to make a living. I see that we need to start spending more time on families and less on career and the sooner the better as it will come back to bite us. Lawyers should treat themselves better. Honesty is everything. If they lose that reputation then I don’t know how you get it back.”

Judge Jeff Walker


ince leaving the 96th Judicial District Court in 2010, Judge Jeff Walker remained active for the next two years serving as the Presiding Judge of the 8th Administrative Judicial Region through the end of 2012. He took a year and a half off from work but it didn’t take long for him to realize that he enjoyed being around the courthouse. He began serving as visiting judge, traveling often to Houston, Conroe and Galveston as well as surrounding counties of the metroplex. He is known to handle some of the most controversial motions filed and ones that are politically sensitive. In Montgomery County, he handled the recusal motion filed by the District Attorney in the Adrian Peterson Case. Most of the spectators in court were from the print and television media. He denied the motion. Born in Refugio, Texas, Judge Walker graduated from Texas A&M in 1963 and received his law degree from

the University of Houston in 1967. After law school he served two years as the Assistant District Attorney in Victoria, Texas. He began his practice of law in Tarrant County in 1969. Governor Clements appointed him to the 96th Judicial District Court in 1987 and he held on to the position for the next twenty-three years. Judge Walker received the Silver Gavel Award from the Tarrant County Bar Association in recognition of his outstanding judicial service. Many may not know that Judge Walker owns three planes and has been an active pilot during his career. He flew with friends Charlie Webb and Jack Garrett and made many solo flights to see the sights, flying as high as 11,000 feet and traveling 1,900 miles on one solo flight. He flew to observe the landscape and to see the sights. He loved the view up there. “There’s a canyon located between Decatur and Jacksboro that cannot be seen from the ground. It can only be seen from the air,” he said. His 1,900 mile solo flight was from Fort Worth to Oshkosh, Wisconsin and back. Along the way he diverted to Washington, Missouri due to the weather and to avoid military areas of operation. “You can’t go through those without permission or you just have to go around. I was basically going radio silent.” He spent two days in Oskosh, sleeping under the wing of the plane at night. His wife Mary asked him why he did it. “I wanted to prove that I could do it.” When flying to see his grandchildren, he once had

to make an emergency landing with one of them. He gave up flying a year ago. He decided that he did not want to continue with the periodic flight review requirements and it was time to move on. “I had a lot of great experiences in my flying days. It was a great way to clear my mind. Young lawyers should also find a way to decompress.” Judge Walker has fond memories of his service to Tarrant County. “Tarrant County is blessed to have a Bar Association and other associations that are localized and where you can run into members of the Bar Association. For the young lawyers to meet other lawyers on a social level vastly improves the chances of resolving disputes on a professional level.” g

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




Volunteers Needed for High School Mock Trial Mock Trial Competition Date Saturday, January 21, 2017


housands of high school students from across the state participate each year in this highly motivating, energetic, and challenging academic competition! The program provides a great way for students to gain an “insider’s view” of our judicial system, plus, they gain confidence speaking in front of others and have a lot of fun at the same time. The competition is open to all high school students – public, private and home school. Former participants say that the benefits of preparation and participation in the mock trial program are well worth the time and effort spent. Through a grant from the Tarrant County Bar Foundation, the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court hosts the regional high school mock trial for schools in Region 11 of the

Texas Education Agency’s districts. On January 21, 2017, approximately 14 high school teams will compete at the mock trial competition at the Family Court Building. Attorney volunteers are needed on January 21 to serve as judges of the mock trial competition, and general volunteers are also needed to help work behind the scenes at the competition. g

To volunteer, or for more information, contact:

January 2017 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 27

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

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

Thank You to Our Sponsor Thomson Reuters


28 â–ª January 2017

32 â–Ş September 2016

Bar Bulletin ▪ January 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