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Bulletin July/August 2017

Nick Bettinger TCBA President 2017-2018




Let's Get it Started

am honored to serve as President of the Tarrant County Bar Association for the 2017–2018 Bar year. For those who don’t know me, I am a Fort Worth native. I graduated from Nolan Catholic High School in 1984, spent by Nick Bettinger seven memorable years at Baylor University (BBA ’88; JD ’91), and returned home to start my practice. Last year was my 25th anniversary at my firm, McDonald Sanders. My wife, Nicole, and I have two teenage daughters and a ten-year-old son. Rounding out the family is a four-year-old Yorkie/Golden Retriever mix named Brandi. I primarily represent employers who opt out of the Texas workers’ compensation system (a/k/a nonsubscribers), a focus I owe more to timing than anything else. The legislative overhaul of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act during my first year of practice prompted many employers to seek counsel on how to become a nonsubscriber. Those who do know me often call me the Technology guy. This hobby—now, it seems, a part-time job at my firm—also relates to timing. In the early 90s, IBM PCs were beginning to find their way onto the desks of attorneys. Having become somewhat skilled at WordStar and Lotus 123 as an undergrad, I guess I qualified to inherit a 386 machine that, while mildly productive, inspired me to learn DOS, followed by Windows 3.1. In 1996, I authored our firm’s first web page. These days, mobile devices and social media are the technology topics that I find myself addressing at seminars. In the mid 2000s, I took up balloon twisting as stress-relief from the grind of being a full time litigator. I like to volunteer at events such as National Adoption Day, where I routinely get “fifty smiles per hour.” I also dabble in the art of balloon sculpting, accepting requests and challenges from family and friends to make balloon creations for special events. During this bar year, I want to focus on TCBA member benefits. Our fantastic new Executive Director, Megan Cooley, has some great ideas that we hope to share with you in the coming months. One benefit I am planning for the fall is a technology fair for our members. This will be a great opportunity

to evaluate the various law practice management offerings to assist with document management, calendaring, time tracking, research, and billing. I will also strive to include more tech-related education in our Bulletin. On that note, I hope that you are reading this article in the electronic version of our Bulletin. At my urging, we launched the electronic version in January 2015. In addition to allowing us to more quickly distribute the Bulletin to our members, you can read it at your leisure from your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can even view and download all previous electronic issues from the TCBA website. The electronic Bulletin also allows our advertisers to increase their visibility by hyperlinking their websites within the advertisement. As you read this edition, we are in the middle of another Texas summer. If vacation plans take you to a more temperate location, please travel safely and enjoy some time away from work. If you are in town and want to enjoy an evening of major league baseball, don’t forget that TCBA has discounted tickets to the Texas Ranger games. The TCBA summer calendar includes our first Membership CLE Luncheon of the new Bar year on Tuesday, July 11, at 11:45 am, at the City Club. Our new State Bar President, Tom Vick, will give us a “big bar” update, after which the new TCBA officers and directors will be installed. And in case you were not aware, you can make your luncheon reservation on the TCBA website. LegalLine continues throughout the summer, with volunteer opportunities on July 13, July 27, August 10, and August 24. If you can spare one of those Thursday evenings (6 pm-8 pm) to provide legal advice to those who cannot afford it, please consider volunteering for a session or two. Those with family and/or criminal law experience can be especially helpful, but all practice areas are welcome and appreciated. We’ll even serve you dinner thanks to our gracious sponsors. Lastly, I want to thank “Skipper” Bob West for his service to the Tarrant County Bar Association, most recently as Bar President. Bob has donated a great deal of his time over the years to many TCBA projects and events. Bob, thanks for all that you have done, and keep up the good work. I look forward to a productive and enjoyable 2017– 2018 Bar year. Let’s get it started! g


July/August 2017


Tarrant County Bar Association


817.338.4092 ▪ Fax 817.335.9238 website: email:

Features 6 Confessions of a New Executive Director 16 IP Domain 20 Law Firm Security Step 3


Susan Hutchison Jason C. N. Smith Tennessee Walker Term Ends 2018

Departments 1 President's Page 4 YLA Snapshot 4 Lawyer Referral & Information Service News 5 Calendar of Events 7 100 Club 8 Judicial Profile - State District Judge Mollee Westfall 9 Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans 12 Snippets 14 Other Association's News & Information 15 CLE Corner 18 Membership Report 18 Section News 19 Lawyers on the Move & in the News 19 Benefits of Membership & Vendor List 22 Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services 23 It's All Happening Around the Bar


Advertiser's Index Dispute Resolution Services......................................15 Edward Jones...................................................................5 Jensen & Associates.....................................................21 JurisFabrilis...........................................................10 KoonsFuller.......................................Inside Front Cover Law Offices of Jason Smith..........................................25 Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C............................17 LawPay..................................................................25 Lawyer Coaching............................................................6 Lone Star Ag Credit......................................................11 Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P....................................15 Stephens Anderson & Cummings............Back Cover Texas Lawyers' Insurance Exchange.......................14 Tindall Square Office Complex..................................14 The Colaneri Firm, P.C..................................................25 The Collie Firm..............................................................10

▪ July/August 2017


Term Ends 2019

"Fortify Your Network"


2017-2018 Officers President...............................Nick Bettinger President-Elect........................Lance Evans Vice President.............................John Cayce Secretary-Treasurer............Gary L. Medlin

Cody L. Cofer Veronica C. Law Lu Pham

2017-2018 Appointed Directors Joe Regan Lori Spearman

Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association President 2017 Spring

Tennessee Walker 2017 Fall

Christopher Gee

Immediate Past President Robert G. West Executive Director Megan Cooley

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

Bar Bulletin John F. Murphy Editor Kathleen Flacy Assistant Editor April Holland 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 reflect the opinions of the Tarrant County Bar Association, its officers, or the Board of Directors. Advertisements, and feature articles should not be considered an endorsement of any service, product, program, seminar or event.

CLE Membership Luncheon Tuesday, July 11


City Club


11:45 am

Guest Speaker: G. Thomas Vick Jr. State Bar of Texas President, 2017-2018


. Thomas Vick Jr. is a partner with Vick Carney LLP in Weatherford. Board certified in family law, he has published dozens of works on various aspects of the law and lectured widely. Mr. Vick chaired the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees in 2013-2014. He served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors from 2005 to 2008 and the Texas Access to Justice Commission from 2006 to 2009. A former mayor of Weatherford, Vick has served as president of both the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists and the Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, as a chair of the State Bar of Texas Family Law Section, and as chair of the Supreme Court Task Force

to Expand Legal Services Delivery. Mr. Vick was named the 2008 State Bar of Texas Family Law Section Outstanding Family Lawyer, given the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists Judge Sam Emison Award, and named the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers’ Fellow of the Year in 2009. He received presidential citations for service to the State Bar in 2008 and 2012. He received a bachelor’s degree from Austin College in Sherman in 1977 and his J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 1981. The luncheon is co-hosted by the Tarrant County Bar Association and the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association. The CLE topic will be State Bar Update, and the presentation will be followed by the installation of the TCBA new officers and board of directors. It will be held at City Club on Tuesday, July 11, 11:45 am. City Club is located at 301 Commerce Street (2nd floor) in downtown Fort Worth. Cost for lunch is $26 for members with reservations and $31 for guests and those without reservations. Dress is business casual – suit and tie not required. To make reservations, please contact Sherry at 817.338.4092 or For directions to the location, please visit the City Club website at g


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




July/August 2017




Tennessee Walker, President TCYLA


We Are Blessed

e work long hours, nights, and weekends. We shoulder other people’s burdens and problems. We deal with stress that we selfishly think others could not even fathom. All of that is true, but so is the fact that we as lawyers are extremely blessed—a fact we all too often forget. Our current TCYLA board is working to keep our blessings in focus and give back to those in need.

TCYLA Making a Difference

We recently spent a great evening packing boxes at the Tarrant Area Food Bank.

Feeding the families of those dealing with very sick kiddos really puts things into perspective. If you feel called to give back by volunteering at the Tarrant Area Food Bank or Ronald McDonald House, you can get started by going to and/or

We Also Like a Good Boondoggle

It was a truly rewarding experience—and a pretty good workout. We look forward to returning soon, and we encourage all of you to make time to volunteer at the food bank. Shortly after our night of packing boxes, TCYLA was back at it, making a difference. This time, TCYLA volunteers cooked and served dinner at the Ronald McDonald House.

We recently made time for a little networking, golf, and fun. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Veritext, TCYLA members spent a great evening at Top Golf on June 8. Regardless of whether you are a golfer, Top Golf is top notch (could not help myself). Gather a group of friends or colleagues and go check out Fort Worth’s best new entertainment venue.

Keep an Eye on Us

If you ever want to know more about TCYLA or what we are up to, you can get the full rundown at www. g

Lawyer Referral & Information Service News Time To Renew – Don’t Miss Out on the Referrals!


on’t forget the new bar year begins July 1, 2017, and the last referral for 2016-2017 members will be given on June 30, 2017. If we have not received your 2017-2018 renewal by July 1, you will not receive any referrals.


▪ July/August 2017

Thinking about Joining? The LRIS is a great way to develop or supplement your client base. If you are interested in joining, you can download the 2017-2018 application at or call Carolina Ibarra at (817) 335-9238.

July 2017

Calendar of Events

August 2017

11 Membership Luncheon 11:45am, City Club 13 LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office 25 Last Tuesday CLE 1:00pm, TCBA Office 27 LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office

10 Energy Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Petroleum Club 10 LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office 17 Construction Law Section Luncheon 12pm, TCBA Office 21 Bankruptcy Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Fort Worth Club 24 LegalLine 6pm, TCBA Office 29 Last Tuesday CLE 1:00pm, TCBA Office

Save the Date for TCBA's Membership Events

Holiday Party

Women in the Law Luncheon

50 Year Attorney Luncheon

Bench Bar Conference

Thursday, December 7, 2017 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:45 a.m.

Keynote Speaker: Mayor Betsy Price Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 11:30 a.m.

Celebrating 25 Years

Horseshoe Bay Resort Friday, April 20, 2018 – Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sponsorship opportunities are available for all events. Please contact Megan Cooley at for more information.

Add Saving for Education to Your Back-to-School List To learn more about your education savings options, call or visit a financial advisor today.

   Member SIPC

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

July/August 2017


Confessions of a New Executive Director


he Tarrant County Bar Association starts a new bar year this July with just a “minor” change . . . . the retirement of Patricia “Trisha” Graham, its Executive Director for the past 25 years. I am honored to have been chosen to serve as the new Executive Director of the Tarrant County Bar Association (Bar Association), Tarrant County Bar Foundation (Bar Foundation), and Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association (TCYLA). It seemed fitting to introduce myself and, to make it interesting, offer a few confessions as I begin this new adventure with all of you. I am honored to work with and represent the Tarrant County legal community. I am proud to be an attorney in Tarrant County, and I am proud of the impact our profession makes in our community. At the Bar Association, I have the privilege of working with talented judges, attorneys, legal staff, and professionals to improve and support our profession. We have countless members who volunteer their time and talents to support the Bar and our community through committees, boards, sections, and various programs. I feel lucky to have a front row seat to all of it. I am not crazy about discovery, and have been working “for free” for the last couple of years. Before working at the Bar Association, I primarily practiced commercial litigation for over 13 years at Kelly Hart & Hallman. During that time, I was lucky to have great colleagues and mentors in the legal community. I also did a lot of discovery, which I don’t miss at all. I started working at the Bar Association over two years ago as the Pro Bono Programs Director and quickly became a self-proclaimed “bar geek.” It has been a pleasure to work with the Bar Association’s pro bono volunteers who graciously offer their time (for free!) to help improve the lives of low income veterans and other members of our community. I am glad that my predecessor in the position – Aleed Rivera – has agreed to come back as the Interim Pro Bono Programs Director to carry on the good work of our volunteers. I know I have big shoes to fill. Words are inadequate to describe Trisha and Joe Graham’s legacy to the Bar, legal profession, and Tarrant County community. Every day, I learn to appreciate Trisha’s years of hard work, vision, and determination more than ever. What she helped build over the last 25 years is humbling, and it inspires me. I don’t know all of Tarrant County’s legal history, but I am learning as fast as I can. The Bar Association has grown into a venerable organization in large part to the many leaders in the Tarrant County legal community who have contributed their vision, time, and talents to its gover-


▪ July/August 2017

nance and growth. There are many people to thank for the Bar Association’s major accomplishments and milestones, including the purchase and improvement of the building that houses the Bar Association and its activities, the establishment and support of over 40 programs and committees that address the needs of the legal community, and the strategic planning for the continued success of the Bar Association, Bar Foundation, and TCYLA. I continually learn about how our members have contributed to Tarrant County legal community and our Bar Association over the years, and I am excited about working with the next wave of leaders and volunteers who will put their own stamp on the profession and our organizations. There are new faces at the Bar Association. You may have noticed some staff changes at the Bar Association. We are glad to have bar “veterans” like Sherry Jones and Carolina Ibarra with us, but we are also transitioning a new Communication Director and Membership Director to the organization. The Bar Association has a great staff of hard working and dedicated individuals, and we look forward to working with all of you. I did not always appreciate the Bar and its members (but I do now!). Before working at the Bar Association, I suffered from tunnel vision. I volunteered for the Bar, but I did not fully appreciate what it offered me personally and professionally. Now I realize that Bar involvement provides significant opportunities for professional development, meeting new and interesting people, and the chance to make a fulfilling impact in the community. It is our goal at the Bar Association to support our members in their legal and professional practice, as well as their day to day lives. We continue to investigate ways to improve your experience as a member, and the benefits we can offer you. If I haven’t already, I hope to meet you and learn how the Bar Association can help you and our profession. g

Members of the 2017-2018

100 Club

*List Reflected Below is as of June 22, 2017

Adams Lynch & Loftin P.C. Albert Neely & Kuhlmann LLP Baker Monroe PLLC Brown, Dean, Proctor & Howell, LLP Bruner & Pappas LLP Cook Children's Health Care System Dawson Parrish, P.C. Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP Friedman, Suder & Cooke Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. Harrison Steck P.C. Jackson Walker, LLP Martinez Hsu P.C. McDonald Sanders Law Firm Murphy Mahon Keffler Farrier, LLP Nelson Bumgardner, P.C. Stephens, Anderson & Cummings Varghese Summersett, PLLC Watson, Caraway, Midkiff & Luningham, LLP Wick Phillips 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 2017-2018 bar year qualifies for the “100 Club.� The firms/organizations listed (above) have already paid their membership dues and qualify for 100 Club membership for the

new bar year. Any firm/organization that qualifies in the future will have its name published in every issue of the Bar Bulletin for this bar year. TCBA is proud of the participation of these law firms and other groups! The new bar year began on July 1, if you have not paid your renewal invoice, contact the Bar Office at 817.338.4092. g


by Perry Cockerell

Judge Mollee Westfall


any people might not realize that State District Judge Mollee Westfall has been on the bench for almost eleven years. When first elected in 2006, she was the youngest of the county’s district court judges and the fourth woman ever elected as a criminal district court judge. Born in Abilene, Texas, she was the third of four siblings. Her family moved to Vernon and later to Lubbock where they settled and she graduated from Monterey High School in 1988. She chose the University of Texas for college and enrolled in the “Plan II” degree plan, which was an interdisciplinary major consisting of sixty core hours. Her major was English and her minor was in French literature. After graduation in 1991, she returned to Lubbock, where she enrolled in Texas Tech School of Law. During law school she was a member of the Law Review and Board of Barristers. During her third year she was Editor of the 5th Circuit Symposium. It was in her first year during a moot court competition that she met her future husband, Greg Westfall, who was the coach of the opposing team. Her team lost, and she was unhappy with her team’s performance. Westfall complimented her on a job well done, “which was blatantly false,” she said. She ended up going out with him. After graduating from law school in 1994 she joined Greg in Fort Worth where they were married that same year at All Saints’ Episcopal Church. During her first year in law practice she worked for attorney John Hart handling civil discovery matters. After a year she knew her calling was in the courtroom, and she accepted a position in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. In 1996, Westfall was assigned to the misdemeanor court and handled DWI and family violence cases. By 1997 she was promoted to felony prosecution and assigned to County District Court #1, a felony court presided over by then Judge Sharen Wilson. In Judge Wilson’s court, Westfall learned the value of always being extremely well-prepared for every case. Judge Wilson ran a strict court, but Westfall came to learn that if she knew the case law, the procedural rules, and the court rules that she would never go wrong. In 1998 she was transferred to the Crimes Against Children Special Prosecution Unit that consisted of four attorneys handling two felony courts each. The unit tried cases


▪ July/August 2017

involving multiple victims, high profile pastors, teachers, and cases with a history of violence, all involving young children. “These were vertical prosecutions, where the prosecutor is involved in the entire investigation through the trial. It was a disturbing job at times. You had to learn to put the child abuse cases in a box and close it at the end of each day when you left work.” In 2002 she moved to the 396th District Court and later to the 372nd District and 213th District Court continuing to handle felony prosecutions. During these years she and her husband had two small children. “Getting them dressed, to school and in court was quite a chore. At that time I just hoped I had matching shoes and no spit-up on my jacket. One of my co-workers might say, ‘Hey, what’s that on your shoulder?’ and I was off to the bathroom with a sigh.” In 2004 she was encouraged to become active in the local Republican Party. She liked the people, felt comfortable with the party and believed she could pursue a future life as an elected official. By this time she had tried over 70 felony jury trials with the District Attorney’s office and was ready for a change. In 2006 she ran for the 371st District Court, winning the primary by defeating an incumbent Republican judge. She faced no Democrat opponent in the fall. While it was difficult running against an incumbent judge at the time, she does not look back. “That is ancient history now,” she said. Like her colleagues her schedule is busy. On Monday she holds her trial docket and jury selection, on Wednesday mornings she has a status docket call, and on Fridays are probation revocation hearings and motions. Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for completing jury trials. However, every morning the 371st starts court business hearing SWIFT court violations. The SWIFT program means “Supervision With Intensive Enforcement” and is designed to address probation violations more quickly. The program deters defendants from violating their probation by imposing small doses of punishments rather than delaying until later violations that could result in probation being revoked and a defendant being sent to prison. The goal is for the successful completion of probation and decreased reliance on incarceration. The program is modeled after a similar program called the “HOPE” program that originated in Hawaii. Judge Westfall was encouraged by the HOPE program after she learned about it and helped launch the SWIFT program in Tarrant County in 2011. Some days she handles between 5 and 20 probation violations. Her biggest day topped out at 31 violation hearings.

She noted that judges spend a lot of time on inchamber work such as reviewing bonds, supervising attorney appointments for indigent defendants, probation meetings and issues, reviewing warrants, and administrative tasks required of district judges, such as providing oversight for the juvenile probation system and empaneling and supervising a grand jury. A judge has to learn how to balance all of these requirements efficiently. “I run a very efficient court. I have the lowest docket of the felony criminal judges. We have a docketing system in the felony courts that keeps you on track if you follow it. The goal is for every case to be adjudicated

within one year. That is what I shoot for and I hit that mark in almost every case.” Her advice to attorneys is to “zealously represent your client and do it within the bounds of professional courtesy. Nothing is easier for a judge than to preside over two skillful attorney teams trying a case. Nothing is more difficult than to watch one side that is not prepared. Go to my website, read my rules and look at the docket. I want to have an efficient but comfortable working environment for everyone. Be on time, read the code, and you will be fine.” g

Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

Tarrant County Chapter New Bar Year, New Resolution


s a New Bar Year starts, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans- Tarrant County Chapter (TLTV) Committee Members, Volunteers and its Chair, Melissa Wilks, prepare to continue serving low income veterans in need of legal assistance in our county. During the past year, the TLTV has provided hundreds of legal consultations to the brave man and women of the armed forces. Attorney volunteers represented military veterans in family matters and issues dealing with bankruptcy, insurance matters, expunctions, and consumer matters. In its seventh year of providing services, the program has grown due to the dedication of the many Tarrant County attorneys that have donated hundreds of hours of pro bono work. As this new bar year starts, the TLTV Committee invites you to make a new resolution and join the TLTV program. Please consider attending one or more of the legal clinics during the year. The clinics are scheduled for the third Friday of every month from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, and the location is different every month. July’s legal clinic will be at the Tarrant County Bar Association on Friday, July 21, from 2 to 5p.m. Also, you can either take one or more cases in your area of practice or learn about a new area of law with the help of a mentoring attorney. Finally, the Committee is looking for new members for this upcoming year. Committee members: • attend various events throughout the year to promote the program; • plan and manage the legal clinics; • attend meetings for the various TCBA sections totalk about the program and recruit volunteers; and • plan the different events to help support and recognize the volunteers of the program. If you do not have the time or your current position prevents you from participating in the program, consider donating to support TLTV. You can “adopt” a clinic or you can

make an in-kind donation. Please give us a call and we can discuss in detail the current needs of the program. Thank you to Kelly, Hart & Hallman, LLP for supporting TLTV. Since 2011, Kelly Hart has “adopted” the February and June TLV clinics each year. On June 16th, Kelly Hart attorneys and the firm’s summer clerks attended the clinic and provided consultations to 27 veterans.

The Pro Bono Programs Director or TLTV Chair are available to answer any of your questions. Please contact Aleed J. Rivera at or (817) 338-4092. g

July/August 2017


“Live to Give” Annual Blood Drive Successful Again!


n May 4th, 115 individuals helped the Carter Blood Center by donating 93 units of blood. This annual event, titled “Live to Give,” is co-sponsored by the Tarrant County Bar Association and the Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association. With additional help from sponsors Corner Street Bakery and Uno Pizzeria, along with numerous door prize donations from Shauna and Bryan Wright (wine basket trio), Marissa DiazSims (Mary Kay products), Lori Spearman (wine basket), Antonio Allen (gift card), Jennifer Sweeny (TCU baseball tickets/Dutch’s Hamburgers), Wes Dauphinot (Prince Lebanese Grill), Theresa Copeland (spa basket), Nothing Bundt Cakes (buntinis), Becky Holland (flower arrangements), Starbucks (gift card), Massage Envy (gift card), and Kelly Hart & Hallman (Sundance Square package), this blood drive became an

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



▪ July/August 2017

even more successful and attractive event. Along with the door prizes, the following entities were awarded trophies for having the most participants in their respective categories: Dowell Pham & Harrison LLP (small law firm); 2nd Court of Appeals (medium law firm); Kelly Hart & Hallman (large law firm); Tarrant County Domestic Relations Office (small legal organization) and the Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association (large legal organization). These winners will keep their trophies until next year’s blood drive as well as have their names engraved on plaques presently hanging in the Bar Association building. Congratulations to these winners! Many thanks to all participants, sponsors, donors and to this year’s hardworking Blood Drive Committee: Judge Don Cosby (chair); Jessica Sangsvang (vice chair); Shauna Wright (past chair); Antonio Allen, Jennifer Sweeny, Wes Dauphinot, Wayne Ward, Lori Spearman, Sandy Tilley, and Becky Holland. g


Co-Editor Lin Morrisett

Civil and Criminal by Judge Bob McCoy


Which institution introduced trial by jury in England? (A) The Barons (B) Parliament (C) The Crown (See answer at end of article.)


Cherry Street. Johnson Blair Cherry (1901-1966) was the football coach at the Northside High School from 1927 to 1930. Then he moved to Lubbock and later became head coach of the Texas Longhorns. —From Werner Magnus, Who was Hulen? An Attempt to Find the Origins of Street Names in Fort Worth.


Judge Bob, I have received a right-to-sue from the Texas Workforce Commission. Is the 60-day window in which I have to bring suit include filing and service, or does the due diligence rule apply to service? The latter appears to be correct. See Zamora v. Tarrant Cty. Hosp. Dist., 510 S.W.3d 584, 591 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2016).


Ramses and Moses, is a sniff a search? Because a dog sniff could reveal only the presence of contraband, and there is no legitimate privacy interest in the possession of contraMoses band, a sniff by a trained drug-detection dog of the exterior of a vehicle was “generally” not a Fourth Amendment search, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the courts of appeals have held that officers initiating a dog sniff must Ramses only “have the right to be where they are at the time they initiate a dog sniff.” Jones v. State, 511 S.W.3d 202 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2015).


The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world—the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous—is his dog. George Graham Vest, Senate speech, 1884

CRIMINAL ITEMS OF INTEREST 1. Citizen-Eyewitness 12

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County Criminal Court No. 3

The federal courts and our lower Texas courts have consistently held that a stop based on facts supplied by a citizeneyewitness, which are adequately corroborated by the arresting officer, do not run afoul of the Fourth Amendment. . . . The level of corroboration required … is "considerably less than proof of wrongdoing by a preponderance of the evidence,” but an officer’s mere “[o]bservation of easily obtained facts and conditions (such as identifying information) will generally not provide the requisite corroboration.” State v. Hneidy, 510 S.W.3d 458 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2013).

2. Speedy Trial

We analyze speedy trial claims by weighing and then balancing four factors: (1) the length of the delay, (2) the reason for the delay, (3) the defendant’s assertion of his right to a speedy trial, and (4) prejudice to the defendant because of the length of the delay. State v. Gomez, 510 S.W.3d 532 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2015).

3. Community-Caretaking

Because the reasonableness of a community-caretaking seizure sprouts from its dissociation from the competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime, “a police officer may not properly invoke his community caretaking function if he is primarily motivated by a non-community caretaking purpose.” Byram v. State, 10 S.W.3d 918 (Tex. Crim. App. 2017).

4. Investigative Detention

There are two inquiries when determining the reasonableness of an investigative detention: (1) whether the officer’s action was justified at its inception; and (2) whether it was reasonably related in scope to the circumstances that justified the interference in the first place. State v. $90,235.00, 511 S.W.3d 136 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2014).

5. Witness’s Credibility

Jury argument as to the truthfulness of a witness’s credibility is proper as long as it is based on the evidence presented and proper deductions from the evidence, including a witness’s demeanor while testifying. “During jury argument, a party may allude to a testifying witness’ demeanor if the jury had an equal opportunity to observe the witness.” Orcasitas v. State, 511 S.W.3d 213 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015).

6. Unanimous Verdict

In Texas, the jury must “reach a unanimous verdict about the

specific crime that the defendant committed.” This means “the jury must agree upon a single and discrete incident that would constitute the commission of the offense alleged." The unanimity requirement ensures the jury agrees on the factual element underlying the charged offense, not that it merely agrees that a statute was violated. Ansari v. State, 511 S.W.3d 262 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015).

7. Reasonable Suspicion

The "reasonable suspicion" necessary to justify such a stop “is dependant upon both the content of the information possessed by police and its degree of reliability.” The standard looks “solely to whether an objective basis for the stop exists” and considers the totality of the circumstances. State v. Jennings, 511 S.W.3d 306 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2016).

CIVIL ITEMS OF INTEREST 1. Inverse Condemnation Responsibility

A governmental entity may be held liable for compensation under article 1, section 17 of the Texas Constitution if it (1) knows that a specific act is causing identifiable harm; or (2) knows that the specific property damage is substantially certain to result from an authorized governmental action—that is, that the damage is necessarily an incident to, or necessarily a consequential result of, the government's action. Under this standard, a governmental entity responsible for a construction project cannot avoid its constitutional obligation to compensate private property owners for resulting damage simply by proving that the project was carried out by contractors rather than the entity itself. Padilla v. MTC. Auth. of Harris Cty., 497 S.W.3d 78, 87 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016).

2. Exclusive Arbitration Vacatur Grounds

[Tex Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Section 171.088] could not be plainer: the trial court “shall confirm” an award unless vacatur is required under one of the enumerated grounds in section As the court of appeals correctly determined, the TAA leaves no room for courts to expand on those grounds, which do not include an arbitrator's manifest disregard of the law. Hoskins v. Hoskins, 497 S.W.3d 490, 494 (Tex. 2016).

3. Criminal Expunction a Civil Proceeding

Further, although the expunction statute is located in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, an expunction proceeding is civil rather than criminal in nature. In re Expunction, 497 S.W.3d 505, 507 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2016).

4. Exception To Will Benefits Estoppel

The prevailing recognition and application of the exception in other jurisdictions to acceptance of benefits under a will, and the consistent application of the exception in Texas to acceptance of benefits under all other instruments, including judgments, persuades us that the exception applies to will challenges and may apply to these facts.

In re Meeker, 497 S.W.3d 551, 555 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2016).

5. Baseless Lawsuit Dismissal Deadline

[T]he 45–day period during which a court “shall” deny or grant a Rule 91a motion to dismiss is merely directory rather than mandatory. … … It is in the interest of justice and the orderly conduct of the courts for baseless lawsuits to be dismissed sooner rather than later, but it is better for them to be dismissed later rather than not at all. Koenig v. Blaylock, 497 S.W.3d 595, 599 (Tex. App.—Austin 2016).

6. Findings of Fact

If a party requests additional findings and conclusions, the request “should sharpen, not obfuscate, the issues for appeal.” Nicholas v. Environmental Sys., 499 S.W.3d 888, 894 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016).

7. No Discretion on Unsettled Law

A trial court has no discretion in determining what the law is or applying the law to the facts, even when the law is unsettled. In re CVR Energy, Inc., 500 S.W.3d 67, 73 (Tex. App.— Houston [1st Dist.] 2016).


A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking. -Earl Wilson


The act is not criminal unless the intent is criminal. —Legal maxim


(C) The Crown was responsible for establishing jury trials in England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. Village, shire, and other assemblies determined whether a party had successfully performed an oath taking or ordeal, but deliberation on testimony and evidence only occurred with juries, which only the Crown could convene. (Source: The Legal History Project) g

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



July/August 2017



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Other Associations’

News & Information

Arlington Bar Association Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. President, Ruth Lane. For location & information, email arlingtonbarassociation@yahoo. com or call 214.651.5622. Black Women Lawyers Association For meetings and information, contact Judge Maryellen Hicks, President, at 817.451.7100 or Dee J. Kelly Law Library Welcomes Bar Members! For the latest Texas A&M University School of Law library hours and information, please visit or call 817.212.3800. Fort Worth Chapter Association of Legal Administrators Meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the City Club, 301 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, 76102. For more information, contact Lisa Boyd at 817.339.2478 or Fort Worth Paralegal Association General Membership Meetings are held at noon every 4th Thursday of the month at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. FWPA Board of Directors meets at noon every 1st Tuesday of the month at the Bar Center. For more information, go to L. Clifford Davis Legal Association (f/k/a/ Tarrant County Black Bar Association) holds its meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00pm. For more information, contact President Albert Roberts by email at mr.albert.roberts@ MABA (Mexican American Bar Association) Meets on the last Thursday of each month at Rivas Mexican Restaurant, 5442 River Oaks Blvd., River Oaks, 76114. For more information, contact President Eloy Sepulveda at 817.332.1285. Northeast Tarrant County Bar Association (NETCBA) Meets for CLE luncheons on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at La Hacienda Restaurant, Hwy. 121. Contact President Fred Howey at 817.835.0555 or Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDLA) Meets every 2nd Thursday at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. For more information, contact President Brad Shaw at 817.237.1254 or Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association Meets at noon on the 4th Tuesday of each month, with location to be announced. For more information, contact president Norma Bazán, 817.735.4000 or Tarrant County Probate Bar Association Meets on the 1st Thursday of each month at the Petroleum Clubmembers free, guests $30. For more information, contact Lara Aman at 817.390.6040 or Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association Meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Joe T. Garcia’s. For more information, contact Mark Anderson at 817.294.1900. Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association The 2016-2017 new TCYLA Year began September 1, 2016. If you need an application or meeting information, call 817.338.4092, email, or go to the website at

Patricia Peterson, Claims Attorney



▪ July/August 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.



Sherry Jones Associate Executive Director

Is it Your Birthday Month? Need CLE? Need Ethics? The TCBA Can Help! Last Tuesday CLE DVD Rentals CLE Online ach September we present a three-hour ETHICS CLE course at the Brown Bag Seminar. The seminar is recorded and shown at the bar office throughout the year on the Last Tuesday of the month. If you can’t make it here on the Last Tuesday of the month, you can rent a DVD, watch it, return it and get the CLE credit. We have other DVDs available for viewing at the bar office, or for rental so you can watch at home or in your office in your own time. We record all of the Brown Bag Seminars and keep those DVDs available for rentals. DVDs are also sent to CLE Online. As a member of the TCBA you can get a discount when getting your CLE through them. Check, then call me at 817.338.4092 for the discount information. g


July/August 2017


The IP Domain: Supreme Court Declares Lanham Act’s Ban on “Disparaging” Trademarks Unconstitutional


or two years, this column has followed the litigation challenging, on First Amendment grounds, the Lanham Act’s ban on registering “disparaging trademarks.” On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court, by an 8-0 vote, held that the “disparagement clause” violates the First Amendment, concluding that it “offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.” Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___, No. 15-1293, slip op. at 1—2 (2017). Tam arose from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) denial of trademark registration for “The Slants,” the name of an Asian-American dance-rock band. Simon Tam, the band’s lead singer who sought the registration, said he chose the name in an effort to “reclaim” and “take ownership” of Asian stereotypes. (Slip op. at 6—7). The USPTO denied registration of the mark based on Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits registration of trademarks that may “disparage…or bring…into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” 15 U.S.C. §1052(a) (2012). Tam unsuccessfully challenged the denial before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, but on appeal the Federal Circuit found the disparagement clause to be unconstitutional. In re Tam, 808 F.3d 1321 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (en banc). The Government then filed a petition for certiorari. The Government offered three arguments in support of the statute: (1) that trademarks are government speech, not private speech; (2) that trademarks are a form of government subsidy; and (3) that the clause should be tested under the “government program” doctrine. In an opinion by Justice Alito, the Court rejected all three arguments. The Court easily dismissed as “far-fetched” the argument that by issuing a trademark registration the Government turns the mark into government speech. “If the Tom Williams is a partner in the Fort Worth office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. He may be reached at thomas. or 817.347.6625.


▪ July/August 2017

federal registration of a trademark makes the mark government speech,” Alito’s opinion observed, “the Federal Government is babbling prodigiously and incoherently,” and “saying many unseemly things.” (Slip op. at 14—15). Next, the Court declined to find a trademark registration to be a “government subsidy,” noting that “government subsidy” cases involve cash subsidies or their equivalent from the government, while an applicant for a trademark registration must pay a fee to the government. (Slip op. at 19). And finally, the Court concluded that “government program” cases, in which the government confers a benefit to further activities the government desires to promote, are “far removed from the registration of trademarks.” (Slip op. at 20). The Supreme Court’s decision, of course, also affects challenges to the marks of several professional sports teams, most notably including the National Football League’s Washington Redskins. The team’s trademark registrations were revoked by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in 2014, when the Board concluded that the football team’s marks are disparaging to Native Americans. The Redskins appealed that revocation to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it made First Amendment arguments similar to those advanced by the Slants. In November, 2016, the Fourth Circuit placed the case in abeyance pending the Supreme Court’s decision in Tam, and on June 21, 2017 the Court asked the parties to state their positions on the need for oral argument in light of the Tam ruling. Presumably, the team’s trademarks will be reinstated. Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse, 112 F. Supp. 3d 439 (E.D. Va. 2015), appeal docketed, No. 15-1874 (4th Cir. Aug. 6, 2015).

Dustin Johnson is a partner in the Fort Worth and Richardson offices of Haynes and Boone, LLP. He may be reached at dustin.johnson@haynesboone. com or 972.739.6969.

Steve Laird

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Membership Report

Don’t Forget – It’s Time to Renew Your Membership with the TCBA


he 2017-2018 TCBA Bar Year begins on July 1. Thanks to all of you who have already renewed your memberships. We look forward to another great year with new CLE, events and programs, as well as the established membership programs and events enjoyed each year.

Do You Need Your Membership Renewal Invoice?

Membership renewals have been emailed or mailed to current TCBA members. You can also renew your membership online. Membership renewals were also sent to many firm/organization administrators. Please check with your administrator to see if they have received the renewal invoices and if they have paid them before you submit your own payment. If you need a renewal invoice, please contact Carolina Ibarra at Note: If you wish to continue to receive a hard-copy of the Bar Bulletin, please include an additional $20 with your invoice. All others will receive the E-Bulletin. Pick the Right Volunteer/Leadership Fit for You at the TCBA The TCBA offers a number of volunteer and leadership opportunities through its committees and sec-

tions. You can fill out a committee volunteer form or contact Sherry Jones at to join one. Can’t serve on a committee but still want to be involved? Let us know what programs and events interest you,and we will find a way for you to be involved. Questions? Contact the TCBA or visit the TCBA’s website at to learn more about membership. g

Welcome New Members Attorneys Trent Appleby Kenyatta Braggs Jeremy Brown Valerie Carrillo Michael Cole Peter Hogue Jessica Jackson Amber James Kolter Jennings Luke McMahan

Lindsay McMulen Kristin Newman J. Spencer Nilsson Michelle O’Neil Ross Robinson Allison Schluckebier Michael Wysocki Associates Kayla Harrington Lezlee Liljenberg

Section News


veryone should be getting their dues paid for the 2017-2018 bar year. Remember to join the section of your choice. We have 18 sections from which to choose. To join any section, please contact Sherry Jones at 817.338.4092 or Sherry@ g Dues: $25

Environmental Law

Dues: $15

Appellate Law Dues: $25

FW Business & Estate

Bankruptcy Law Business Litigation

Dues: $50

Intellectual Property Law

Dues: $45 for attorneys Dues: $25

Dues: $30

Dues: $20

Collaborative Law

Dues: $20

International & Immigration Law Labor & Employment Law

Construction Law

Dues: $30

Real Estate Law

Dues: $15

Corporate Counsel Dues: $20 Criminal Law Dues: $15

Solo & Small Firms

Dues: $20

Tax & Estate Planning

Dues: $35

Energy Law Dues: $20

Women Attorneys

Dues: $30

Alternative Dispute Resolution


▪ July/August 2017

Dues: $20

Lawyers on the Move &

in the News

Dustin Payne announces that he has moved and changed the name of his firm to Dustin L. Payne, PLLC, 101 Summit Avenue, Suite 400, Fort Worth TX 76102. He can be contacted at 817.877.1969. Aimee L. Stone has joined the J.P. Morgan Private Bank as an Executive Director Trust Officer in the Fort Worth office. Aimee’s new contact information is 817.884.4159 Nick Gerner, an attorney practicing in commercial real estate law, has been added as the newest associate to the law firm of Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. 817.877.1088. g


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 the bar office at 817.338.4092 or by email at g


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




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

July/August 2017


Law Firm Security Step 3: Fortify Your Network Provided by: LawPay


i-Fi networks make it easy to connect the systems in your practice, both to each other and the outside world. However, they often make it easy for an intruder to gain access to those same systems and the data therein. You can significantly reduce this risk by making a few important changes to your network configuration.

Secure Administrator Access

Start by setting a strong password for administrative access to your wireless router. Many networks are breached because the default password was never changed. You will need to log in to your router’s configuration website to reset this password and update the other security options discussed in this tip. For most wireless routers, you access this website by entering “” or “” into your browser address bar. (Make sure you are connected to your network first, either via an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi.) With administrator access locked down, you should now secure access to the network itself. Most wireless routers today support a primary Wi-Fi network, one or more guest networks, and wired, local network (LAN) ports to connect directly to the router. We recommend that you keep your office devices and staff on the primary Wi-Fi (your “private” Wi-Fi network) or LAN, and use a guest network for any clients or visitors who need internet access.

Enforce Wi-Fi Authentication

Access to all of your Wi-Fi networks needs to be password-protected. For small businesses, the predominant standard is referred to as WPA2-PSK or WPA2-Personal, or just WPA2 (WPA2-Enterprise can provide more flexible authentication options for larger practices with many users, but requires additional configuration, which may require IT services). With WPA2-PSK, a shared password is used to access the network. Use your password manager to generate a different, strong password for both your private and guest Wi-Fi networks. From your browser, you will need to find the wireless settings section of your router’s configuration. For each wireless network, you should: • Set a network name, or SSID. This is what users will see when they choose from available wireless networks. Clearly differentiate your private and guest network names. • Choose “WPA2-PSK” for the network authentication method and “AES” for the encryption method. Depending on your router, these may be grouped together


▪ July/August 2017

or split into two separate options, and they may use different labels like “WPA2-Personal” or “WPA2”. Do not use “WEP," “WPA” (without the “2”), or “TKIP” (without “AES” included), as these options are less secure and may be easily circumvented. • Enter the password you generated for the network, also known as the pre-shared key.

Limit Guest Access

Your guest network is there to keep your clients and visitors separate from your private network — and out-of-reach of your confidential information. If you’re not careful, however, you may inadvertently allow your guests much greater access. When configuring your guest network, you may see an option to allow guests to access your LAN, local network, or intranet. Make sure you do not allow LAN access so that your guests cannot reach office systems that are wired directly to the router.

Physical Security

Keep in mind that wireless routers can typically be reset to their factory configuration with the push of a button or a straightened paperclip. Once reset, the default password is the only defense between an attacker and your network. If possible, keep your wireless router in a locked enclosure or cabinet with the reset mechanism inaccessible. After completing these steps, you will have locked down access to your network configuration and created a secure way to connect your staff and clients to the network resources they need. 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


Putting clients first for over 26 years.

Keith M. Jensen is pleased to have had a good first year.

“Poverty must not be a bar to learning and learning must offer an escape from poverty.” - Lyndon Baines Johnson

“It has been a little harder giving my money away to deserving candidates than I thought. Samuel McDuffie submitted a fine essay and I’m delighted to make him our first scholarship recipient. I hope to spend more time this year getting the word out so at least three qualified recipients can be awarded scholarship monies annually for many, many years to come. This years essay topic asks students to rank the top five health care systems in the world by country and defend their selections under a wide range of criteria. Please encourage your college-bound, college and graduate student friends and Fund is an IRS section 501(c)(3) public charity. Keith Jensen will match all donations made to relatives to compete.” the fund up to $250,000.00. With monies Keith Jensen has donated to date, the Fund anticipates being able to provide annual scholarships, hopefully in perpetuity, as follows: $3000-$5000 1st place $2000-$3500 2nd place $1500-$2000 3rd place The Jensen Annual Scholarship Essay

If you would like more information, are interested in making a donation or are willing to volunteer your time for essay review, please contact Jack McDuffie at Jensen & Associates. 817.334.0762 Keith M. Jensen is able to spend his time, effort, and resources on this charity because he has successfully put his clients’ interests first for 26 years. See, results.

Jensen & Associates | 1024 N. Main St., Fort Worth, TX 76164 | 817.334.0762 |

Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services TVAS Partners with Kelly Hart to Serve Residents of Gatehouse

All Photo Credits: Glenn Ellman


s part of its community partnership initiative, Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services (TVAS) has partnered with community organizations in Tarrant County to find ways to connect the legal community with low income individuals in need of assistance. For TVAS’s latest project, TVAS partnered with Kelly, Hart & Hallman LLP to bring a wills/estate planning clinic to residents of Gatehouse in Grapevine, Texas. The Gatehouse is an initiative of the 501(c)(3) project HandUp, whose mission is to offer women a practical hand up with life’s challenges. The Gatehouse is a supportive living community where women — single or with children — in crisis receive safe refuge, ample time, practical resources and healthy relationships to discover new paths for permanent, positive change. Over the past year, TVAS has worked with the Gatehouse to help connect its residents with legal resources and information. TVAS thanks attorney volunteer Dwayne Smith (Gardner & Smith), for example, for meeting with Gatehouse staff and educating them about family law procedures and common issues that arise when the staff assist Gatehouse residents. The wills/estate planning project with Gatehouse began with TVAS volunteers meeting with Gatehouse residents and providing them with an overview of estate planning issues. For this effort, TVAS thanks Lori Campbell (Bank of America) for speaking with the residents and for the members of the Fort Worth Paralegal Association for meeting with the residents to help them complete paperwork. Earlier this spring, interested volunteers and TCBA members were treated to lunch and a free CLE by Kelly Hart to cover the simple will and family law issues associated with providing pro bono assistance to the


▪ July/August 2017

Gatehouse residents. TVAS thanks CLE speakers Phil McCrury and Torrie Poehls (Kelly Hart) and Lori Spearman (Law Office of Lori Spearman) for serving as the CLE speakers. The CLE was recorded and available to view for free at the TCBA. On May 30, volunteer attorneys met with Gatehouse residents at the Gatehouse facility to finalize their simple will and estate planning documents. TVAS thanks Kelly Hart attorney Shauna Wright for coordinating and managing the event, as well as the following Kelly Hart attorney volunteers and staff members for participating:

Attorneys Caroline Brownlie Katherine Hopkins Brandon Hurley Paul Lancaster Cheryl Leb Nathan McCune Marcus Mungioli John Phair Nancy Ribuado

Howard Rosenthal Mallory Schuit Staff Charman Adams Nikki Becraft Tammy Gibson Judy Hall Dana Law Kathryn Moore

TVAS also thanks its loyal volunteers from the Fort Worth Paralegal Association for helping at the event, including Katrina Lea, Joan Parma, Julie Sherman, and Mary Wintermote. For this event TVAS received the support of members of the community that served as witnesses for the execution ceremonies, thank you to Colvin Coffey, Sheryl Hillebrand, Tom Moore and Thomas Moore. If you are interested in participating in any of these events or have any questions, please contact Aleed J. Rivera at or at 817.338.4092. g

It's All Happening Around the Bar Law Day Awards & Dinner

Docket Call Social June 8, 2017 Legal Draft Beer Company Arlington, TX

TCBA Welcomes its 2017-2018

Officers & Directors

President Nick Bettinger McDonald Sanders, P.C.

Director (Term Ends 2019) Susan Hutchison Hutchison & Stoy, PLLC

President-Elect Lance Evans Evans, Daniel, Moore, Evans and Biggs

Director (Term Ends 2019) Jason C. N. Smith Law Office of Jason Smith

Director (Term Ends 2018) Director (Term Ends 2018) Veronica Chavez Law Lu Pham Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP

Vice President John Cayce Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

Director (Term Ends 2019) Director (Term Ends 2018) Tennessee Walker Cody L. Cofer Patterson Law Group Federal Public Defender

Appointed Director Joe Regan Winstead PC

TCYLA President TCYLA President (Spring 2017) Immediate Past-President (Fall 2017) Tennessee Walker Robert G. West Christopher Gee Patterson Law Group Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Department of Homeland Security Schwartz PLLC


â–ª July/August 2017

Secretary-Treasurer Gary L. Medlin The Medlin Law Firm

Appointed Director Lori Spearman Law Office of Lori Spearman

Executive Director Megan Cooley Tarrant County Bar Association

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

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July/August 2017



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


justice IS



✯ YOUR ✯


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


Honoring your clients, as well as your referral fee.


efer your personal injury clients to us and we’ll fight for them with passion, integrity and grit – and pay you a referral fee, to boot. We do our clients justice and we’ll do the same for yours by marshaling our resources and securing results that truly make a difference.

Call us today

817.920.9000 |



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

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




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Tarrant County Bar Association July/August Bar Bulletin  

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