Page 1

Bulletin May/June 2016

Featured Articles

Law Day Awards Recipients - page 3 Live to Give Annual Blood Drive - page 6 IP Domain - page 11 Bench Bar Conference XXIII - page 21 Tortfeasors6 - page 26

President’sPage B

ecause this is my last column, I wanted to write about someone who is important to us all. He is Trisha Graham’s husband, Joe Graham. In other columns, I have written about people who have made a difference in my practice and groups of people who have made a difference for all of us. Those groups inby David E. Keltner cluded the increasing number of women in the law, our support staffs, court staffs, and the TCBA executive staff. As everyone who is active in the Association knows, Trisha would not be able to be the world-class executive director she is, without Joe’s support. Everybody knows Joe. He is the one helping Trisha set up the room for the event. Once the event starts, Joe is the one making sure that everything goes according to Trisha’s plan. Joe is the man in cowboy boots serving you at the bar. Although Joe does not drink himself, he places himself behind the bar and gladly serves the rest of us. Joe is seldom without a smile and there is generally a twinkle in his eye. If he has met you more than once, he remembers your name. When Joe asks you how you are doing, it is not rhetorical. He listens to and cares about your answer. In other words, he cares about others and it shows. But there is a serious side too. When Joe becomes concerned about somebody, his concern is not idle. He wants to figure out what is wrong and what he can do to fix it. Joe doesn’t really care what or who caused the problem, he just cares about solving it and making sure it doesn’t happen again. Joe came by his empathy through experience. Before his retirement, he was a long time Bell Helicopter employee. But he was also the UAW Local 218 President. In that job, he dealt with all types of disputes, both real and imagined. I don’t know, but I’ll wager he was darn good at his job. Joe is as solid as they come. Every meal begins with a prayer. If there is someone he doesn’t like, I have yet to hear about it. And I have never heard a bad word about Joe. Joe is an outdoor guy, and he and Trisha often campout. But on most weekends, you can find Trisha and Joe at their ranch in Stephens County. If he can convince Trisha to take any time off, I am convinced Joe will take her on a prolonged trip to Alaska. He has been before but wants to spend

time getting to know the last frontier. Because the trip will take months, Trisha is not ready to go just yet. But it won’t be too much longer. Trisha started as Executive Director in June, 1992. Then President David Evans recruited her, and he made a wise decision. Twenty four years later, Trisha is still here and she is still going strong. At her job, Trisha is one of the best. I may have told you before, but at one State Bar of Texas leadership event, I asked a question about how to handle a certain program. One of the panel members, the Executive Director of the Houston Bar Association, simply responded, “Trisha is sitting right next to you. Ask her.” Everyone, including other bar executives, recognize Trisha knows the answers. Trisha’s weeks are busy. She provides support for the TCBA, the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, The Eldon Mahon Inn of Court, and the Tarrant County Bar Foundation. She attends board of directors meetings of each organization and most of the important committee meetings. These are not 9 to 5 jobs. Trisha’s work days often end past 9:00 p.m., and this past weekend, I know she worked all day Saturday. Joe is right there with her. Joe and Trisha were married in 1993, and since they have been together, Joe has attended every Blackstone/Law Day dinner. He has helped with all bench/bar conferences, except this year due to the death of a longtime friend, and virtually all of our membership events. Joe does this on his own time and it is time we thank him.

May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 1

Tarrant County Bar Association


Features 3 Law Day Award Recipients 6 Live to Give Annual Blood Drive 11 IP Domain 21 Bench Bar Conference XXIII 24 Tortfeasors 6

817.338.4092 ▪ Fax 817.335.9238 website: email:



Term Ends 2016

Leslie Barrows John Cayce Term Ends 2017


Departments 1 President's Page 5 YLA Snapshot 8 Judicial Profile 12 Snippets 14 100 Club 15 Lawyer Referreal and Information Service News 16 Others Association's News & Information 17 TCBA Member Benefits 18 LegalLine 18 Women Attorneys Section 19 Membership Report 20 Diversity Spotlight 22 It's All Happening at the Bar 23 Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans 28 Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services Advertiser's Index KoonsFuller.......................................Inside Front Cover Briggs Freeman...............................................................3 LawPay...................................................................7 Parker Law Firm..............................................................9 Dispute Resolution Services....................................15 Deborah Adame..........................................................16 Texas Lawyers Insurance Exchange.......................16 Tindall Square Office Complex................................19 Juris Fabrilis...................................................................19 Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C............................27 LexisNexis...........................................Inside Back Cover Stephens Anderson & Cummings..........Back Cover

2 ▪ May/June 2016

2015-2016 Officers President.............................David E. Keltner President-Elect....................Robert G. West Vice President.......................Nick Bettinger Secretary-Treasurer................Lance Evans

Tawana Gray Gary L. Medlin Jason C. N. Smith

2015-2016 Appointed Directors Geffrey Anderson Dwayne W. Smith

Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association President 2016 Spring

Erin Cofer 2016 Fall


Susan Smith Hollingshead Immediate Past President Michael J. Henry

Executive Director Patricia Graham, PLS, CLAS

Ex-Officio Members State Bar of Texas, Directors J. Benjamin Barlow Gary L. Nickelson 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 1st day of the month, one month prior the date of the issue (e.g. April 1 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.

Law Day Awards Recipients

Marshall M. Searcy Blackstone Award

Judge Judith Wells Silver Gavel Award

Phillip W. McCrury Professionalism Award

Thank You to Our Association Friends Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty Image Net Consulting Dwayne W. Smith Outstanding Young Lawyer

Republic Title

Judge William “Bill” Harris Outstanding Mentor Award

WHY SOTHEBY’S 1) It’s the NO. 1 LUXURY REAL ESTATE COMPANY in the WORLD, with $80 BILLION in U.S. home sales and the most properties listed over $10 MILLION. 2) With 18,000+ sales associates, in 800+ OFFICES across 60+ COUNTRIES, it’s the most powerful referral program in the WORLD. 3) attracts more HIGH-WEALTH BUYERS than any LUXURY REAL ESTATE website. Buyers average 12 focused minutes per visit. 4) Listings are distributed through the MOST SIGNIFICANT MEDIA COMPANIES and websites resulting in 140 MILLION PROPERTY VIEWS ANNUALLY. 5) Homes are marketed to more than 40 OF THE TOP PRINT and digital platforms that deliver 800 MILLION IMPRESSIONS WORLDWIDE. 6) Properties are connected to the NO. 1 AUCTION RESOURCE in the WORLD. With $60 BILLION in sales, it provides targeted exposure to a coveted and INFLUENTIAL AUDIENCE. WHY BRIGGS FREEMAN SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY 1) NO. 1 in the sale of properties OVER $1 MILLION in DFW. 2) NO. 5 out of 800+ OFFICES in the SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY NETWORK. 3) Producing Agents Average is nearly $10 MILLION--our team of the best and brightest is SERIOUS ABOUT REAL ESTATE. 4) We have one of the MOST COMPREHENSIVE MARKETING DEPARTMENTS in the NATION, with a FULL-TIME STAFF of photographers, videographers, digital, graphic and content specialists. WE ARE COMMITTED TO SHOWCASING PROPERTIES ON A GLOBAL, MULTI-MEDIA PLATFORM. 5) We SOLD the LARGEST LISTING in the Sotheby’s International Realty network-the W.T. WAGGONER RANCH.




May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 3

Thank You to the Sponsors of Court Staff Reception Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Bill Kirkman Winstead PC

Anderson & Riddle, LLP Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP Barrows Firm and Juris Fabrilis Blaies & Hightower, L.L.P. Brackett & Ellis Cantey Hanger LLP Jana McCrory is presented her Cofer Law P.C. award by Judge Russell Nelms. Evans, Daniel, Moore, Evans & Biggs Ross Griffith, James V. Jay IV, Thomas Michel, Kelly DeBerry, Mark Petrocchi, Bill Bowers, Richard Bourland In Memory of Justice Sam Day by Paula Day In Memory of Senator Chris Harris by Harris Cook, LLP KoonsFuller Family Law Slack & Davis, L.L.P. Stephens, Anderson & Cummings Thompson & Knight, L.L.P. Varghese Summersett PLLC Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC McDonald Sanders P.C.

Watson Caraway Midkiff & Luningham L.L.P. Wells, Purcell & Kraatz Anderson Legal Group, P.C. Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. Law Offices of Art Brender Camacho Law Firm, PLLC Fort Worth Paralegal Association Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. John David Hart Law Haslam & Gallagher, LLP Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. Lacy Lyster Malone & Steppick, PLLC Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP Moses, Palmer & Howell, LLP Naman Howell Smith & Lee, PLLC Parker Law Firm Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP Law Offices of Jason Smith Law Office of Kate Smith Wallach & Andrews PC Rick Ward/Ward Law Firm Wick Phillips

Harold Hammett

Judge Don Cosby Dowell Pham & Harrison LLP The Medlin Law Firm, PLLC Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas - District 3

Lateph Adeniji Tom Carr

Becky Holland is presen ted award by Monica Lindst her rom.

Christie Loveless is presented her award by Judge Mike Sinha.

award on Tommie LaRue acceptingrham Pa e rri Lo of alf beh by Judge Scott Wisch.

Law Office of Carole Cross Hutchison & Stoy, PLLC Roland K. Johnson Laura Elkind Law, PLLC Justice Debra & Greg Lehrmann Charla Moore Judge Mike Sinha & Judge Cindy Mendoza, 360th District Court Law Office of Steven K. Hayes District Clerk Tom Wilder


Erin Cofer, President TCYLA


ast month TCYLA hosted our twentieth annual Spring Fiesta at Joe T. Garcia’s. This year’s event was our most successful ever, raising more than $15,000. Those funds will be put to good use in the year to come as we serve young lawyers and our community. Martin Garcia and Lindsay Daniel were instrumental in ensuring a fun and flawless event. In May, I had the honor of presenting our annual Outstanding Mentor and Outstanding Young Lawyer Awards at the Law Day dinner hosted at the Fort Worth Club. Judge William "Bill" Harris took the honors for Outstanding Mentor, and Dewayne Smith walked away as our Outstanding Young Lawyer. Congratulations to both. This year the State Moot Court Competition will be held in Fort Worth on June 14-16, 2016. The competition is put on by the Texas Young Lawyer’s Association. Eight Texas law schools will compete in this “round-robin” moot court competition, and the success of the competition is premised on recruiting quality attorneys to judge the oral arguments. As the 2008 State Moot Court champion myself (cue eye-rolls for my shameless self-promotion), I want to encourage everyone to participate in the judging process. Lawyers of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to serve as judges. Anyone interested can e-mail Chris Stoy at Looking ahead to summer, we will host a TCYLA Family Picnic and a Habitat for Humanity work day. Please look for details to come.

The 2016 Liberty Bell Award

This year the Liberty Bell Award was given to TCBA's very own Cindy Rankin. The Liberty Bell Award is given to an outstanding non-lawyer community member whose contributions have strengthened the American Legal system.

Save the Date

Tarrant County Bar Foundation

Advocates for Justice Luncheon Thursday, October 13, 2016 11:30am City Club Speaker, Chief Justice Nathan Hecht 27th Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Texas Supporting the community and legal services endeavors of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation & Tarrant County Bar Association and celebrating their volunteers and community partners.

May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 5

Live to Give

Annual Blood Drive


n April 13, 2016, the Tarrant County Bar Association (TCBA) and Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association (TCFLBA) held a blood drive with Carter Blood Center at the Tom Vandergriff Civil Courts Building. Uno’s Pizza and Corner Bakery generously donated the food for the event. As part of the event, the Tarrant County Bar Foundation purchased traveling trophies for the winners of the blood drive competition. TCBA’s Blood Drive Committee, chaired by Shauna Wright (Kelly Hart & Hallman) with Chair-Elect Judge Don Cosby, put a tremendous amount of work into planning the event. The hard work resulted in a record turnout - 122 people volunteered to give blood, and Carter Blood Center collected 95 pints of blood. Thanks to the Blood Drive Committee, TCFLBA, and all of the people who came to the Blood Drive and donated blood. g

Blood Drive Committee, L-R: Steve Hayes, Antonio Allen, Jennifer Sweeny, Shauna Wright, Jessica Sangsvang, Lori Spearman & Judge Don Cosby

Congratulations to Our Winners Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP Small Law Office (1-10 attorneys)

Second Court of Appeals Medium Law Office (11-40 attorneys) Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Large Law Office (40+ attorneys) Tarrant County Domestic Relations Office Small Organization (1-99 attorneys) Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association Large Organization (99+ attorneys)

Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association

Tarrant County Domestic Relations Office

Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP

Shauna Wright on behalf of Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

6 ▪ May/June 2016

Bryce Perry on behalf of Second Court of Appeals

Congratulations to the Blood Drive Door Prize Winners

Eric Haeusser Date Night in Sundance Square (donated by Kelly, Hart & Hallman) Melanie Tell Gourmet Food/Wine Basket (donated by Lori A. Spearman) John Allen Chalk, Sr. Gift Card to Starbucks (donated by Mike Wallach) Eamonn Wiles Gift Card to Massage Envy (donated by Judge Don Cosby) Sharon Millians Nothing Bundt Cake (donated by Dana Manry, Ami Decker & Jessica Janicek) Rick Disney Nothing Bundt Cake (donated by Jill Johnston, Christie Loveless & Judge Lindsay DeVos) Andrew Sweeny Gift Certificate to Bob’s Steak House (donated by Steve Hayes) Charles Gunter TCU Baseball Tickets & Gift Cards to Dutch’s Hamburgers (donated by Jennifer Sweeny and Dowell Pham & Harrison LLP) Whitney Vaughan TCU Baseball Tickets & Gift Cards to Dutch’s Hamburgers (donated by Jennifer Sweeny and Dowell Pham & Harrison LLP) Katherine Hopkins TCU Baseball Tickets & Gift Cards to Dutch’s Hamburgers (donated by Jennifer Sweeny and Dowell Pham & Harrison LLP) Danielle Rissler Dinner for 2 Gift Certificate (donated by UNO’s Pizza) Allison Porterfield $25 Darden’s Dinner Gift Card (donated by Sherry Jones) Priscilla Jimenez Cookbook/Hand Towel Gift Set (donated by Cowtown Republican Women/Lori DeAngelis) Kelly Pence Rangers Game Tickets (donated by Judge Lindsay DeVos & Jeff McCarver) Courtney Wright Rangers Game Tickets (donated by Judge Lindsay DeVos & Jeff McCarver)

May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 7



by Perry J. Cockerell


arrant County has two full-time associate probate judges who handle overflow cases from its two statutory probate courts. The associate judge positions began as part-time positions in 2003 and became full-time positions in 2008 because of increased probate filings in Tarrant County since the turn of the century. The associate judges handle the same kinds of proceedings as the probate courts, including contested jury trials if the parties agree to waive their appeal to the probate court. The statutes governing associate judges for statutory probate courts are in the Government Code, §§ 54A.201 et seq. Judge G. Quentin McGown IV is the associate judge for Probate Court Number 1, which is presided over by Judge Steve M. King. Judge Lin Morrisett is the associate judge for Probate Court Number 2, which is presided over by Judge Patrick Ferchill. The associate judges serve at the discretion of the probate judges.

Associate Judge G. Quentin McGown IV George Quentin McGown IV is a fourth-generation Fort Worth attorney and a sixth-generation Texan. His great-grandfather, George Q. McGown Sr., opened his practice in 1896 after studying the law and apprenticing. He eventually brought two of his sons, H.T. and George Q. Jr., into the practice before expanding into one of the largest firms in the city, including partners Berl Godfrey, Harry Logan, and Robert W Decker, and many others. The firm carried the McGown name until 1978, when George Q. Jr. died. Judge McGown was born in Austin, Texas, while his father was attending law school at the University of Texas. After his father graduated from law school in 1960, his family returned to Fort Worth and settled in the Ridglea section of the city. He attended Fort Worth Country Day School from its inception in 1963 until he graduated in 1974. After Country Day, he left for the College of Charleston in South Carolina for three years, returning to Fort Worth to finish his senior year at Texas Wesleyan University in 1979, graduating with a B.A. in theater and a minor in history. He spent the next ten years in some form of show business, performing on area stages, including Stage West,

8 ▪ May/June 2016

Fort Worth Theatre, the Granbury Opera House, and the former Dallas Repertory Theatre. His love of history led him to serve as an early director of Thistle Hill and to chair the Tarrant County Historical Commission. He served on the staff of the Texas 1986 Sesquicentennial Commission before taking on the job of General Manager of the Sesquicentennial Wagon Train and its six-month, 3,000 mile historic journey around the state. Returning home, he directed the Chisholm Trail Round-up in the Stockyards and the Arts Council’s First Night Fort Worth celebration. In 1990 he became the Alumni Director at Texas Wesleyan University and later was in charge of gift planning. Then, in 1996, he decided to follow his long family lineage in law and enrolled in Texas Wesleyan’s newly acquired law school. After graduation in 2000, he took on the role of University Counsel and Assistant to the President. He entered into private practice in 2003, focusing on education, historic preservation, family, and probate law. In 2005, Judge Steve M. King selected him as associate judge for Probate Court Number 1. “The need for the two associate judges is great because of the increase in probate filings, particularly in mental health, where the docket seems to be growing exponentially. The filings have almost doubled in recent years because the county is growing so fast. There are well over 3,800 filings a year,” Judge McGown said. These cases are defended by court-appointed attorneys selected by the court based on their expertise and skill in working with patients. Hearings are held at John Peter Smith Hospital every Monday and Thursday. On Tuesday afternoons, both courts handle recommitment hearings by video conferences that save the county thousands of dollars. As far as the way Judge McGown likes his court to run, “I’m old-fashioned. I grew up around too many attorneys. I have strong adherence to the old rules and appreciate the way we can all still work together in Tarrant County. I won’t tolerate rudeness.” For new attorneys interested in probate law, the judge advised that they be prepared. Anyone wishing to serve must participate in a “boot camp” for new ad litem attorneys, during which Judge King provides invaluable practice information for all areas that they will work in. His advice to any new attorney is to “come to court and introduce yourself. If there is any interest, then there is a clear path to get involved, and there’s no shortage of work.” Quentin and his wife, Laurie McGown, will celebrate their 33rd wedding anniversary this year. continued on page 10

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

continued from page 8

Associate Judge Lin Morrisett

Associate Judge Lin Morrisett is the longest-serving associate judge, having been appointed in 2003. Born in Norfolk, Virginia, he is the son of a retired Navy fighter pilot and intelligence officer. While Judge Morrisett was growing up, his father’s Navy career took his family to many states, such as Michigan, Colorado, and Texas, where he lived in nine different Texas cities and towns. He considers Fort Worth his home. After graduating from Grand Prairie High School in 1981, he attended Texas A&M and the University of Texas. He graduated cum laude from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts with majors in government and computer science in 1985. For over two years, he worked as a programmer and project leader at EDS Systems in Plano, Texas. From 1988 to 1994, he was a systems analyst at AT&T in Dallas. Then he changed directions and chose to attend Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1995. During law school, he worked for the Tarrant County Bar Association as the assistant editor and as a database developer/systems analyst. After law school he was a briefing attorney for one year for Justices Hal Lattimore and Dixon Holman on the Second Court of Appeals. From 1996 to 2003, was involved in real estate and served as the legal counsel for the Hyder Companies.

In 2003, Judge Ferchill selected him as the adjunct judge of Probate Court Number 1. Although the position was part time, he was also an associate professor at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law from 2006 to 2008. Since he assumed a full time docket in 2008, his docket is actually a parallel docket to Judge Ferchill’s. “The associate judge does whatever the judge does. Attorneys set cases based on who is available,” he said. On Mondays and Thursdays, he and Judge McGowan conduct mental health hearings at the Trinity Springs Pavilion at John Peter Smith Hospital. “Probable-cause hearings can occur within forty-eight hours. A trial is conducted within a week. The trials can last from twenty minutes to four hours. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are for overflow cases from Judge Ferchill’s docket. Recommitment hearings are held every other Tuesday by video teleconference. Fridays can usually involve emergency protective orders involving abuse or neglect cases.” Judge Morrisett’s advice to all attorneys practicing in the probate court is to “read your paperwork before you bring it to the bench. If you have disputed matters, work them out amicably. If a dispute is in good faith, then I will rule. If it is in bad faith, then I will award sanctions. This is Tarrant County and we cooperate. Clients may be litigating, but our attorneys aren’t, and matters should be handled with as much cooperation as is possible. I’m very firm about that.” For attorneys with no experience in the probate court, his advice is to find a mentor to work with. “Find a probate attorney who will get you to the right place,” the judge advised. Judge Morrisett has three sons: Keylin, Avery, and g Rains.

12th Annual People’s Law School, The Largest Yet!


he Tarrant County Bar Foundation sponsored the 12th Annual People’s Law School (PLS) on Saturday, April 2nd. There were over 300 people from the community who attended this year’s event. Classes were offered on “Wills & Trusts,” “Do It Yourself Family Law,” “Veterans Issues,” “Probate & Guardianship,” “Divorce & Grandparent Rights,” “Social Security & Medicaid,” “How to Avoid Probate,” “Landlord/Tenant,” and “Consumer Law.” The Probate classes were full to overflowing at each session. The 2015-2016 PLS Committee wants to thank the speakers who gave of their time to work at this workshop. Thanks to Bill Catterton, Joan Durkin, Julie Glover, Dori Grubaugh, Frank Jacobini, Adam Luck, Rusty Russell, Karen Schroeder, Jamie Taylor, and Matthew Wright. Special thanks to the committee members: Steve Cocanower, Chair;

10 ▪ May/June 2016

Frank Jacobini, Chair-Elect; Ellen Flint, Scott Phillips, Karon Rowden, Rusty Russell, Jessica Sangsvang, Karen Schroeder, and Chris Troutt. If you would like to participate in this worthy community project, please let Sandy Tilley know by emailing her at Or you can fill out the Committee form when it’s mailed out this year. g

The IP Domain: Lanham Act Ban on Disparaging Trademark may be Headed to U.S. Supreme Court


egular readers of this column (and we certainly hope there are many) will recall from our February column that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently held that the statutory ban on registering “disparaging trademarks” violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In re Tam, 808 F. 3d 1321 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (en banc), petition for cert. filed sub nom. Lee v. Tam, (U.S. April 20, 2016) (No. 15-1293). In the Tam case, the Federal Circuit vacated 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. The USPTO had denied registration of the mark based on Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which bars disparaging marks. 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a). Now the USPTO is taking the issue to the United States Supreme Court, and the Federal Circuit has declined Tam’s unusual request to order the USPTO to begin processing his trademark application immediately rather than await the outcome of possible Supreme Court review. Fresh from his victory on the merits in the Federal Circuit, Tam demanded that the USPTO immediately publish his trademark application for opposition and in all other respects begin processing the application without regard for the disparagement provisions of the statute. On March 11, 2016, the USPTO refused, noting that the Tam decision “remains subject to potential Supreme Court review,” and that “consistent with USPTO practice following a Federal Circuit decision,” the office would undertake no further proceedings until either the deadline for filing a petition for writ of certiorari expires with no petition filed or, if a petition for writ of certiorari is filed, there is a final ruling by the Supreme Court. Tam then filed a petition for writ of mandamus in the Federal Circuit, asking the Court to order the USPTO to process his trademark application without further delay, arguing that the USPTO “does not…have the option of ignoring the ruling of a reviewing Court until ‘all the votes are in’ from all possible reviewing courts.” Once the Federal Circuit mandate issued, argued Tam, “the [USPTO’s] actions in disregarding [the] Court’s orders have no foundation in law and constitute an abuse of discretion.” The Federal Circuit was unmoved. In a brief order issued on March 30, 2016, the Court noted that mandamus “is available only in extraordinary situations to correct a clear abuse of discretion or usurpation of judicial power,” and found “no clear abuse of discretion” in the USPTO’s decision “to suspend the matter pendTom Williams is a partner in the Fort Worth office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. He may be reached at thomas. or 817.347.6625.

ing possible further proceedings before the Supreme Court.” In re Tam, Fed. Cir., No. 16-121 (March 30, 2016). So, for the time being at least, THE SLANTS will not enjoy the benefits of a federal trademark registration. With the USPTO’s petition for writ of certiorari being filed on April 20, 2016, there will be no action on Tam’s application until there is a final ruling in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins football team, whose federal trademark registrations were revoked in June, 2014, when the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board concluded that the team’s marks are disparaging to Native Americans, is appealing that revocation to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it is making First Amendment arguments similar to those the Federal Circuit adopted in Tam. The Redskins’ appeal has been fully briefed by the parties, and is pending, but on April 25, 2016, the Redskins took the unusual step of filing a pre-judgment petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court, arguing that if the Supreme Court grants certiorari in the Tam case, it should also take the Redskins’ case at the same time. Pro Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse, 112 F. Supp. 3d 439 (E.D. Va. 2015), appeal docketed, No. 15-1874 (4th Cir. Sept. 6, 2015), petition for cert. filed (U.S. April 25, 2016) (No. 15-1311). And another sports franchise, the Cleveland Indians baseball team, is citing the Tam case in urging the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to dismiss an effort to cancel the team’s federal trademark registration for its Chief Wahoo logo. People Not Mascots, Inc., et. al. v. Cleveland Indians Baseball LP, et. al., No. 92063171 (T.T.A.P., filed Feb. 16, 2016). The question of denying federal trademark registration for disparaging marks may ultimately be determined by the Supreme Court. Those who defend the statute point out that denying federal trademark registration to The Slants, the Redskins, and others with “disparaging” trademarks does not preclude the owners of those marks from speaking as they see fit or from using those names to describe their services; it only means they cannot enjoy the benefits of federal trademark registration. But for the applicants and owners of those marks, that is exactly the point: federal trademark registration, they argue, is a government program which confers a benefit on certain citizens, and having chosen to enact a trademark registration program, the government may not deny its benefits merely because it disapproves of the message the mark conveys. g 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.

May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 11


Civil and Criminal by Judge Bob McCoy

Who’s That Street Named After?

Rosen Avenue: Sam Rosen was the developer of Rosen Heights, which was surveyed in 1901. He came to Fort Worth in 1885, owned a clothing store, and bought land northwest of the stockyards. He worked with the help of his two sons, Ephraim and Joel, and built the family home at the corner of Rosen and Azle streets. Attorney Sam Rosen, at the Shannon Gracey firm, is the grandson of the developer. —From Werner Magnus, Who was Hulen? An Attempt to Find the Origins of Street Names in Fort Worth.

Ask Judge Bob

Judge Bob, what do I need to show in order to prove a DTPA “unconscionable action” claim? To prove an unconscionable action or course of action, a plaintiff must show that the resulting unfairness was glaringly noticeable, flagrant, complete, and unmitigated. Vause v. Liberty Ins. Co., 456 S.W.3d 222, 232 (Tex. App.— San Antonio 2015).

Ask the Danes


Ramses and Moses, when a stray dog is picked up by an animal control officer, and later turned over to a canine rescue group, can the dog’s owner retrieve the dog from the rescue group? The “if” and “when” answers to that question are presently on appeal to the Texas Supreme Court from Lira v. Greater Hous. German Shepard Dog Rescue, 447 S.W.3d 365 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014).


The Danes’ Quote of the Month

“You call to a dog and a dog will break its neck to get to you. Dogs just want to please. Call to a cat and its attitude is, ‘What’s in it for me?’” —Lewis Grizzard, “Pet Peeves”

Criminal Items of Interest 1. Double Jeopardy

The “Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution embodies three protections: (1) it protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal; (2) it protects against a second prosecution

12 ▪ May/June 2016


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

County Criminal Court No. 3

for the same offense after conviction; and (3) it protects against multiple punishments for the same offense. Extraneous offenses are frequently given consideration in sentencing decisions and the double jeopardy clause is not offended.” Carmon v. State, 456 S.W.3d 594, 600 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2014).

2. Rule 403 Analysis

“When conducting a Rule 403 analysis, courts must balance (1) the inherent probative force of the proffered item of evidence along with (2) the proponent’s need for that evidence against (3) any tendency of the evidence to suggest decision on an improper basis, (4) any tendency of the evidence to confuse or distract the jury from the main issues, (5) any tendency of the evidence to be given undue weight by a jury that has not been equipped to evaluate the probative force of the evidence, and (6) the likelihood that presentation of the evidence will consume an inordinate amount of time or merely repeat evidence already admitted.” Tucker v. State, 456 S.W.3d 194, 206–07 (Tex. App.— San Antonio 2015).

3. Scientific Evidence

“When a defendant challenges the reliability of scientific evidence in a motion to suppress, the State bears the burden at the hearing to establish reliability.” Schultz v. State, 457 S.W.3d 94, 103 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2014).

4. Guilty Plea

“A defendant may withdraw his guilty plea at any time before judgment is pronounced or the trial court takes the plea under advisement. Once a plea has been taken under advisement or guilt has been adjudicated, however, a request to withdraw the plea is untimely, and the withdrawal of the plea is within the sound discretion of the trial court.” Peraza v. State, 457 S.W.3d 134, 138 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2014).

5. Accomplice Witness

“When an accomplice witness’s testimony implicates the defendant in the charged offense, the accomplice-witness instruction is law applicable to the case, and the trial court must instruct the jury on the rule even without a request.” State v. Ambrose, 457 S.W.3d 154, 159 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015).

6. Defensive Opening Statement

“When a defensive opening statement follows the State’s opening, ‘the State may reasonably rely on this defensive opening statement as to what evidence the defense intends to present and rebut this anticipated defensive evidence during its case-in-chief as opposed to waiting until rebuttal.’ A defense opening statement can ‘open the door’ to the admission of extraneous-offense evidence in the State’s case-in-chief to rebut the defensive theories presented in the opening statement.” Knight v. State, 457 S.W.3d 192, 202 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2015).

Civil Items of Interest 1. Declaratory Judgement

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 37.003 authorizes a court “to declare rights, status, and other legal relations.” “The power to determine an issue of fact, however, ‘does not concomitantly carry with it the power to render such a finding of fact as a declaratory judgment. . . . Purely factual disputes are not properly resolved with a declaratory judgment.” Schuhardt Consulting v. Double Knobs Mountain Ranch, Inc., 468 S.W.3d 557, 565, 573 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015).

2. Economic Duress

“Economic duress occurs when one party takes unjust advantage of the other party’s economic necessity or distress to coerce the other party into making an agreement. It is a defense to the enforcement of the contract. A party claiming duress must show (1) a threat or action was taken without legal justification; (2) the threat or action was of such a character as to destroy the other party’s free agency; (3) the threat or action caused the opposing party’s free will to be overcome and caused the other party to do that which it would not otherwise have done and was not legally bound to do; (4) the restraint was imminent; and (5) the opposing party had no present means of protection.” Schuhardt Consulting v. Double Knobs Mountain Ranch, Inc., 468 S.W.3d 557, 578 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015).

3. Attorney’s Fees

“An argument that there was no evidence during a bench trial that attorney’s fees were reasonable is a sufficiencyof-the-evidence complaint that may be raised for the first time on appeal. . . . Our dissenting colleague concludes that Mae’s counsel’s statement that his fees were in compliance with local and state bar rules is evidence that he charged a reasonable rate. But, this statement is not a statement that a fee is reasonable.” Gibson-Jelks v. Gibson, 468 S.W.3d 600, 604, 605 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015).

4. Breach of Noncompetition Clause

“Proof of a continued breach of a noncompetition agreement by a highly trained employee constitutes prima fa-

cia evidence of probable injury.” Argo Group US, Inc. v. Levinson, 468 S.W.3d 698, 704 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015).

5. Unconstitutionally Economically Oppressive

“[T]he standard of review for as-applied substantive due course challenges to economic regulation statutes includes an accompanying consideration as reflected by cases referenced above: whether the statute’s effect as a whole is so unreasonably burdensome that it becomes oppressive in relation to the underlying governmental interest.” Patel v. Dept. of Licensing and Regulation, 469 S.W.3d 69, 87 (Tex. 2015).

6. Exemplary Damages Cap

“[T]he statutory cap on exemplary damages in [Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code] § 41.008(b) is neither an affirmative defense nor an avoidance subject to [Tex. R. Civ. P.] 94’s affirmative pleading requirement.” Zorrilla v. AYPCO Const. II, LLC, 469 S.W.3d 143, 157 (Tex. 2015).

7. Timeline Suspension

“Texas courts have held that state court time periods and deadlines are generally suspended by removal to federal court. Upon remand, the state court is to proceed from the point reached in the state court action prior to removal, as if no interruption had occurred.” In re Univ. of the Incarnate Word, 469 S.W.3d 255, 259 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015).

Quote of the Month

“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.” —Gore Vidal

Legal Quote of the Month

“Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.” —Martin Luther King

Old News

Adlai Stevenson (of the 1952 Democratic Party) and Thomas E. Dewey (of the 1948 Republican Party) were the most recent “brokered convention” presidential nominees of their respective parties, both winning on the third ballot. They had nothing on the 1924 Democratic National Convention, where divisions between Wets and Drys on Prohibition (and other issues) led to 102 ballots of deadlock between frontrunners Alfred E. Smith and William G. McAdoo. Dark horse John W. Davis was chosen as a compromise candidate on the 103rd ballot. The last winning U.S. presidential nominee produced by a brokered convention was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. A Brokered Convention in 2016: Why It Might Happen, What It Might Mean, G. Terry Madonna & Michael Young, December 22, 2015, articles/2015/12/22/a_brokered_convention_in_2016_why_ it_might_happen_what_it_might_mean_129119.html. g

May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 13

Members of the 2015-2016

100 Club

Adams Lynch & Loftin P.C. Albert Neely & Kuhlmann LLP Anderson & Riddle, LLP Baker Monroe PLLC Bakutis McCully & Sawyer PC Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP The Barrows Firm, P.C. The Berenson Firm P.C. Blaies & Hightower, L.L.P. Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, PC Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Broude Smith & Jennings PC Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell, LLP Cantey Hanger LLP City Attorney’s Office-City of Fort Worth Cook Children’s Health Care System Curnutt & Hafer, L.L.P. Decker Jones, P.C. Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP Edison, McDowell & Hetherington, LLP Fillmore Law Firm, L.L.P. Forshey & Prostok, L.L.P. Friedman, Suder & Cooke Griffith, Jay, & Michel, LLP Harrison Steck P.C. Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. Holland Johns & Penny LLP Jackson Walker, L.L.P. Jim Ross & Associates Johnston Legal Group, P.C. 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 Martinez Hsu, P.C. 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. Phelps Dunbar LLP Plains Capital Bank Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Ray, L.L.P. Schneider Law Firm Second Court of Appeals Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP Stephens, Anderson & Cummings Suzanne I. Calvert & Associates Tarrant County CDA’s Office Taylor Olson Adkins Sralla & Elam, LLP Texas A&M School of Law The Wolf Law 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 Wick Phillips Gould & Martin LLP Winstead PC

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 2015-2016 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 begins July 1, look for your renewal invoice in your email soon, contact our Membership Director Sandy Tilley at 817.338.4092 or email her at


Lawyer Referral and Information Service News

n February 1947, then, President Harry K. Brown explained to the Tarrant County Bar Association Board a proposed referral system. Lawyers may register with the Bar Secretary, and those who are seeking the aid of a lawyer will be referred to lawyers in rotating order. Forest Markward moved to begin the referral program, and the motion was seconded by Vice-President James M. Floyd. The motion carried unanimously, and the President and Secretary were instructed to begin such a service. Thus was born the Tarrant County Lawyer Referral Service. And as the TV commercial states, we have “come a long way baby!” The LRIS surpassed its budget and is once again moving beyond it financially. The LRIS is looking into purchasing “Case Management,” a self-reporting database that will enable LRIS attorneys to fill out their reports online. This means no reports going out to everyone each month, but instead a monthly reminder to go online and manage the cases. This will also include online-payment ability. The State Bar of Texas and Houston Lawyer Referral have been using this system for a while, and their attorney members really like it. We hope our members will as well. Once again, SPECIAL THANKS to our LRIS attorneys who make all of this possible with their referral fees:

Lisa Ajo Leslie Barrows Courtney Burns Neal Callaway Bill Catterton Ashley Conyers James Davidson Matthew Davidson Jennifer Dillon Sylvia Duarte Todd Durden Joan Durkin

Andrew Gore James Graham Joshua Graham Phillip Hall Dustin Lee Michael Martinez Jeff McCombs Josh Norrell Sarah Seltzer Laurie Weir Chris Whitaker

And a special thanks to the LRIS staff for their hard work as well: Brittany Gilbert and Carolina Ibarra. g

Calendar of Events Please visit our website for a complete list of upcoming events.

May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 15

Other Associations’

News & Information

Arlington Bar Association Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. President, Larry Gaydos. For location & information, email arlingtonbarassociation@ or call 214.651.5622. Black Women Lawyers Association For meetings and information, contact Sue Allen, President, at 817.926.5005 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, 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

TLIEmployees Because of our remarkable staff, Texas Lawyers’ Insurance Exchange has been voted best professional liability insurance company in Texas four years in a row by Texas Lawyer magazine. Those same noteworthy employees and over 36 years in the business are why TLIE is also a Preferred Provider of the State Bar of Texas. Not to mention, we have returned over $41,550,000 to our policyholders. See why our employees make the difference.

512.480.9074 / 1.800.252.9332 INFO@TLIE.ORG / WWW.TLIE.ORG

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 Crystal Gayden at 817.496.8408 or by email at 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 Leslie Barrows at 817.481.1583, Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDLA) Meets every 2nd Thursday at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. For more information, contact President Randy Bowers at 817.348.8094 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, Tarrant County Probate Bar Association Meets on the 1st Thursday of each month at the Petroleum Clubmember free, guest $30. For more information, contact Tena Fox, 817.280.0811 or Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association Meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Joe T. Garcia’s. For more information, contact John S. Jose at 817.288.8988. Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association The 2015-2016 new Bar Year began September 1, 2015. If you need an application or meeting information, call 817.338.4092, email, or go to the website at

Craig Spirduso, Vice President - Claims


16 ▪ May/June 2016

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

Tarrant County Bar Association Lawyers on the Move & in the News Receives Outstanding Kelly Hart & Hallman is pleased to announce that MeCommunity Partner Award linda H. Barlow joins the firm as senior counsel in the from Tarrant County College’s Litigation and Public Law Practice Groups. She can be contacted at or by phone at South Campus 817.878.3590.


n April 19, 2016, the Tarrant County Bar Association (TCBA) received the Outstanding Community Partner Award from Tarrant County College’s South Campus. The award was presented by Dr. Peter Jordan, President of South Campus, at the South College’s Celebration of Excellence. TCBA received the award along with Texas Wesleyan University and Emerson Independent School District. Past recipients of the Outstanding Community Partner Award include the City of Fort Worth and United Way of Tarrant County. The Tarrant County Bar Association received the award for its involvement on the campus and the community, including the veteran legal clinics held on the South Campus. g

Member Benefits Vendor List

TCBA members may take advantage of discounts provided by the following vendors: ABA Retirement Funds Program provides full-service 401(k) plans to benefit the legal community. To learn more, contact local rep. Jacob Millican at 817.451.5020 or visit AMO Office Supply offers TCBA members the lowest price guaranteed on office supplies, with next-day delivery and free shipping! Call 800.420.6421. Falcon Litigation Solutions offers discounts on copying, litigation displays, trial boards, etc. Call 817.870.0330. Fort Worth JSB Co., Inc., offers a 10% discount to TCBA members on printed material - business cards, letterhead, envelopes, business forms, brochures, flyers, and more. For a quote, call 817.577.0572. Fort Worth Zoo discount tickets - $9.50 adult, $6.50 for child or senior. For tickets, contact or 817.338.4092. If mailing or charging tickets, add 50 cents. Texas Rangers Baseball discount tickets are available by going to, selecting a game and enter coupon code. Contact Sherry Jones for 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, but 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. Expanco is N.A.I.D. AAA-Certified document-destruction service offering 40% off to TCBA members. Call the TCBA office for details on both. g

Congratulations to Bradley L. Clark with the Law Office of Bradley L. Clark, P.C. for being elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. Fellows of the Foundation are selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system throughout the state of Texas. Congratulations to Judge Nancy Berger for being honored with the award of the 2016 Voices for Children Judge Scott Moore Award for her dedication to the safety of children in foster care. Congratulations to Charlotte Staples who was announced the 2016 Voices for Children Attorney Ad Litem of the Year.

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. 1. The TCBA has eighteen Substantive Law Sections offering CLE and networking with members interested in the same areas of law. 2. Reduced rate 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 mail. 5. Community Service Opportunities through the Foundation: LegalLine, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans-Tarrant County Chapter, Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services; and through community service committees: People’s Law School, Annual Food Drive, Blood Drive, Elder Law Committee, and others. 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, and the Fort Worth Zoo. 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

May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 17


Thank you to our volunteers:


ATTORNEYS Norma Bazรกn Sylvia Duarte Bryce King Scott Phillips CPA/ATTORNEY Tram Le LAW STUDENTS Danielle Bateni Kathleen Bausell STAFF Carolina Ibarra



ATTORNEYS Bryce King Scott Phillips Sandra Thompson CPA Michele Soriano LAW STUDENTS Elizabeth Anderson Kathleen Bausell Jesse Calderon Bridget Davidson Kenny McEntire Kimberly Roberts STAFF Carolina Ibarra

ATTORNEYS Norma Bazรกn Clayton Everett Bryce King Scott Phillips LAW STUDENTS Elizabeth Anderson Jesse Calderon STAFF Carolina Ibarra


lease consider donating two hours of your time the 2nd & 4th Thursday, January through November from 6-8pm. Bring a friend. LegalLine is a valuable community service outreach program that needs your time and skills.

And, now a word from...

Women Attorneys


18 โ–ช May/June 2016

ATTORNEY Scott Phillips STAFF/LAW STUDENT Elizabeth Anderson

If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring, please contact Carolina by phone at 817.338.4092 or email her at Help! We always need volunteers!


he Women Attorneys Section met on Friday morning, May 6, at One Safe Place to learn more about the services and facilities of One Safe Place. The featured speakers included Michelle Morgan, Director of One Safe Place and the Honorable Sharen Wilson, Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney. Coffee and breakfast treats were provided.


Membership Report


ello all! I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Sandy Tilley, and I am the new Membership Director for the TCBA. Cindy Rankin is retiring. We will all definitely miss her and wish her well in her retirement! I am excited to be working with everyone and hope to meet all of you face to

face at some time. So now down to business! It is almost that time of year again: Time to renew your TCBA membership. The new bar year begins July 1, 2016. Renewal Invoices will go out by email the first of June. You may send in your invoice and dues for the upcoming bar year at anytime. We look forward to seeing everyone renew! Some of our benefits include the 18 Substantive Law Sections; reduced rates on CLE (Brown Bags, Luncheons, Section meetings, Last Tuesday CLE) along with reduced rates on room rental at the TCBA Bar Center. You may request a hard copy of the Bar Bulletin for $20 to be mailed to you,

just remember that it is also on our website at www.tarrantbar. org. The Community Service Opportunities through the foundation are LegalLine, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans, and Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services, as well as the community service committees: People’s Law School, Annual Food Drive, Blood Drive, Elder Law Committee, and others. Other member benefits include the mentoring program for young lawyers and reduced rates on office supplies, UPS, and document shredding. Don’t forget that we still have discount zoo tickets, as well as Ranger Game tickets. The tickets will be good until December 31, 2016. If you have any questions regarding your membership, please contact Sandy at the bar office or email her at

A Big Welcome to the New Members of the TCBA:

Attorneys Wendi Andino Thomas Duffy Elena Fernandez Jack Manhire Nonye Jude Menes Randy S. Myers Teresa Myers Eric Navarrette

Associates Todd Anderson Tanner Courrier

Students Jasmine Banks Candice Hughes Patrick L. Johnstone Travis Ryffel

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

May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 19

Diversity T

he Diversity Committee is committed to the inclusion of all in the legal profession. Through its projects, it strives to enhance employment and economic opportunities for all minority and women attorneys and to promote the involvement of minority and women in the TCBA. Over seventy people attended the “Implicit Bias” CLE and cocktail social held on April 30, 2016, at the Tarrant County Bar Office. Jack Manhire, from Texas A&M School of Law, delivered an awesome interactive presentation that left the attendees wanting more. This event was the first of hopefully many collaborative events for the Diversity Committee, the Women Attorneys Section, L. Clifford Davis Legal Association, the Back Women Lawyers, and the International and Immigration Law Section. Each respective organization would like to thank the following


firms for their attendance: Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP; Cantey Hanger LLP; City Attorney’s Office, Fort Worth; Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP; Griffith, Jay, & Michel LLP; Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.; Law, Snakard & Gambill, P.C.; National Labor Relations Board; Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP; Tarrant County DA’s Office; Taylor Olson Adkins Sralla & Elam, LLP; U.S. District Court; and Wick Phillips. Several solo practitioners also attended and made this event a success. Stay tuned for our Law Firm Demographics Survey! Respectfully submitted,

Angel Williams Diversity Committee Chair 2015-2016

SAVE the DATES Juvenile Brown Bag

National Adoption Day

Bench Bar Conference XXIV

Friday, October 14, 2016 11:30am Lynn Ross Juvenile Detention Center

Friday, November 18, 2016 8:30am Tarrant County Family Law Center

April 27-30, 2017 Rockwall, Texas

If any sections would like to sponsor the event (Solo Section or Criminal Section) please contact Leslie Barrows via email The event will be recorded by Juris Fabrilis.

If interested in being on the NAD committee or being a vendor, please email Remember that kids are being adopted year-round! Please continue to donate bears in the bins located at the Tarrant County Bar office and the Tarrant County Family Law lawyer’s lounge. Opening remarks will be recorded by Juris Fabrilis.

20 ▪ May/June 2016

We will meet the first Tuesday of every month at 4pm beginning June 7, 2016 at the TCBA office. If interested in joining the fun Bench Bar team, please contact the BBC chair Leslie Barrows via email If you are an associate TCBA member and are interested in becoming a vendor at this event, please email

Bench Bar Conference XXIII

May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 21

g n i n e p p a It’s All H Around the Bar Solo Small Firm Mixer

Women Attorney’s Fashion Show

Live to Give Annual Blood Drive

Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

Tarrant County Chapter News from TLTV

Join TLTV’s Supporters and Become a Clinic Sponsor

To help offset the costs of its monthly clinics, TLTV seeks sponsorships from local law firms, attorneys, or other organizations. Sponsorship has its perks, including promotion on TLTV’s social media accounts and inclusion in the Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s Advocates for Justice Luncheon program. Please contact TLTV committee members Wes Cooper at or Adam Simmons at for more details. Thanks to Kelly Hart & Hallman for sponsoring TLTV’s February clinic and staffing the clinic with its attorney volunteers.

Volunteers from Fidelity Investments Staff April Legal Clinic

TLTV held its April legal clinic at Tarrant County College’s downtown Trinity River campus. Attorneys and legal staff from Fidelity Investments volunteered at the clinic and worked with TLTV’s regular volunteers to provide over thirty veterans with free legal assistance.

Volunteer Profile

Michael McBride, J. Michael McBride, P.C.

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Michael went to Emory University for college in Georgia and returned to SMU School of Law to complete his studies. He began his career with a clerkship with a U.S. District Court Judge, and since then he has practiced both in Dallas and in Fort Worth. Michael’s practice involves representation of debtors/creditors who somehow get caught up in a bankruptcy. This could be as simple as a Chapter 7 liqui-

dation or as complex as the sale of an ongoing business in a Chapter 11 reorganization. Why do you enjoy volunteering for TLTV? My role at the Veterans Clinic is as a facilitator where I assist with the assignment of cases to the appropriate volunteer attorney. I also have taken cases pro bono on behalf of veterans with financial and/or bankruptcy issues. Whether at the monthly clinic or by taking a pro bono case, volunteering for the Texas Lawyer for Texas Veterans is a great way for lawyers to help those that have given so much in the service to our country. Using my legal knowledge and expertise to help someone else who may not otherwise have the opportunity to get legal advice is very rewarding. I also enjoy talking with the veterans and listening to their stories. It’s our country’s history that is passed down from individual to individual. What are your favorite success stories from TLTV clinics? I met a veteran at one of our legal clinics who needed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. After speaking with her at the clinic and providing initial advice, I agreed to engage her as a pro bono client. We quickly got her in the office, got her information, went through the procedures and filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for her. After her debts were discharged and the case was finished, we received the following note from her: “Thank you so much! I am grateful . . . . You all have lifted a great burden from me. . . . To have the extra gift of releasing me from the debts I accrued . . . it was a gift I know I don’t deserve, but gratefully receive! Life’s best to you all. When you feel discouraged, I hope you will remember the joy you’ve brought to others. With great admiration.” That is why I work with TLTV. g

Thanks for Taking a Case A special thanks to the following attorneys for providing veterans from TLTV’s United Way Clinic with bankruptcy assistance:

Frank Jelinek (Jelinek Law Firm)

Behrooz and Carla Vida (The Vida Law Firm, PLLC)

May/June 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 23

Thank You to the Sponsors of


Frost Wealth Advisors Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP McDonald Sanders Law Firm State Bar of Texas Texas A&M University School of Law


Cantey Hanger LLP Mattie Peterson Compton Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas, Inc. Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. Hoppes & Cutrer, LLC Jim Ross Law Group, P.C. Rik Sehgal, Modern Lawyer Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP Tarrant County Bar Association Board of Directors Thompson & Knight, LLP Patti & Randy Turner


Adams Lynch & Loftin P.C. Bank of Texas (Private Banking) The Barrows Firm PC & Juris Fabrilis Brackett & Ellis, P.C. John Cummings Patricia Graham & Aleed Rivera Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. Serendipitous Films Andrew D. Sims

Stage Hand Sponsor

The Brender Law Firm Perry J. Cockerell Decker Jones, P.C. Robert & Marsha West

Was a Great Sucess!


arrant Tortfeasors6, performed on April 3, was executed flawlessly and was the best performance since the show began six years ago. Presented by the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and performed by Tarrant County attorneys, the show continues to outperform the prior productions. Key performances by longtime members and new comers and strong direction and staff writing contributed to the continued success. A funny opening occurred when Director Rik Sehgal was interrupted by Donald Trump, who had to be escorted off stage while promising to build a wall between Tarrant and Dallas counties and that the Dallas County attorneys would pay for it. The two-hour performance with fourteen acts ranged from “Finding the Right Attorney” to a computer in “M.A.R.C.U.S.” who successfully defended its client, to a judge (Kevin Clark) in “Judge Jeebers” who spoke through a puppet (who was a “Fabric American”) because the judge had “judicial anxiety disorder” and whenever he had trouble ruling, Judge Jeebers helped him to make a decision. Attorneys Katie Copeland, Marshall Jacobini and Courtney Key broke ground this year with a musical number “Hello” sung to the words “Hello, it’s me, the lawyer that you hired back in 2003 . . . .” “The Cockroach” portrayed the unethical efforts of three law firm partners (Brad Dowell, Shannon Pritchard, and David Frisby) who attempted to manipulate an elderly associate (John Corbin) to quit the firm because of his ris-

ing healthcare costs. The partner trio’s efforts backfired because the elderly associate was “too positive to ever quit on his own”–even when as a last resort the evil partner trio had his keycard deactivated. A sequel from Tortfeasors5 skit “Back to the Future” featured two male colonial-era attorneys (James McGrath and Ronnie Hall) who traveled from a time when women did not practice law to a time when they could be outsourced by a virtual judge (played by Rik Sehgal) presiding from India while simultaneously working as a technical support representative for Microsoft. In “Trial by Combat,” a judge (Chris Troutt) declared that because he was unable to make a decision that was “clearly just and fair,” the case would be “decided by the Ancient Rite of Trial by Combat.” This declaration resulted in the bailiff quickly exchanging his uniform for a tuxedo and belting out the familiar refrain, “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!” To whoops and hollers from the audience, attorney Cynthia Gustafson enthusiastically chased attorney John Corbin around the stage and walloped him with her pugil stick as Corbin tried unsuccessfully to defend himself from the pummeling. After Corbin threatened to file a grievance against the judge for what he declared to be a “barbaric, senseless display” resulting in a “grievous miscarriage of justice,” the judge ordered Gustafson to “Finish him!” James McGrath is professional as any actor and at ease on stage. John Corbin always delivers funny performances.

A truly gag-inducing skit featured attorneys Shannon Pritchard, James McGrath, and Antonio Allen. Pritchard gave a hilarious performance as an over-protective mother joining her newly minted lawyer son, played by Allen, on a job interview with McGrath. The skit ended with the overprotective mother handing the lawyer son a large bottle after he declared to her that he was hungry–to the horrified amazement of the interviewer and the audience. One actor, David Zeller, successfully defended his client as a white-faced mime and without speaking a word in “Silence of the Law.” The rising star of the night was Antonio Allen in the finale skit “Sue,” where he convinced his client (Chris Troutt) to sue by singing to him along with a choir that came out to perform while he impressed his client with his voice. After finishing the song, Allen sat down and told his client that he had made himself clear. Trout asked him, “Do you always sing for your potential clients? Do you always have this choir behind you?” It was one of the funniest lines in the entire show. “Everyone contributes,” said Brad Dowell. “What is great about the show is that that Rik lets us figure out what is the funniest. Unlike other professions, we revel in mistakes about ourselves,” he said. There were many attendees this year as the crowd is growing each year as Tarrant Tortfeasors becomes a regular Tarrant County Bar staple. Tom Williams with Haynes & Boone, former Tarrant County Foundation Chairman

said afterwards, “Besides being a great way to support the Bar Foundation, Tortfeasors is always a fun evening. My personal favorites this year were the parodies of 'Hello' and 'Shout' that closed the two acts. Those lyrics could absolutely be appreciated by any lawyer who has ever tried to pitch a client or sign up a case.” Word of the rising Tarrant Tortfeasors show has made its way to Dallas as three Dallas Bar None attorney cast members ventured across the Trinity to see the show. Bar None cast member John Horany said, “I thought Tortfeasors6 was entertaining, with funny skits, good writing, and solid acting. Well done!” Former Dallas Bar president and Bar None cast member Rhonda Hunter agreed: “I think the writing in this show is phenomenal. It was good to see my friends hamming it up with the Tarrant County thespians.” After the show Director Rik Sehgal said, “Tortfeasors is like a funny episode of Saturday Night Live that’s completely lawyer themed. We do the show once a year, but the writing and rehearsing takes months. I consider myself the director in name only, as the cast and crew are the ones who make the show what it is.” Sehgal was assisted by Stage Managers Michelle DeLotto and Karmen Johnson. Technical Director was Brooke Mixon. Choreography was by Kimmy Stoner. The stage crew was N. Sue Allen, Leigh Atkinson, and Melissa Wilkes. g Congrats to the cast and crew of Tarrant Tortfeasors6 on a marvelous performance. Article written by Perry J. Cockerell

Steve Laird & Wade Barrow

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

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

Proud Sponsor of the Tarrant County Bar Association Bench Bar Conference XXIII

l aw

Offi ces

o f

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


Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services TVAS Volunteers Assisted Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Clients with Uncontested Divorces at April Clinic


n April 4, 2016, Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services (TVAS) held an uncontested divorce clinic in partnership with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT). Thanks to the following individuals who volunteered for the clinic and to those who are representing low income Tarrant County residents for free:

Attorneys: Zinzi Bonilla, Texas A&M University School of Law Brian Brisco, TVAS Co-Chair Virginia Carter, Law Offices of Virginia Carter Emily Cottingham, Parker Strauss, LLP Tom Duffy Emem O. Inyang Tolbert Greenwood Robin Grounds, Law Office of Robin Grounds Erik Hudak, Hudak Law Firm Merrit Klapperich, LANWT Christie Lindsey, Berend & Lindsey, PLLC Maria Macias, Justice for Our Neighbors Vanessa Murra-Kapon Justin Murray, The Barrows Firm, P.C. Kimber Nhim, Sike & Rachel, P.C. Nancy Ribaudo, Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Amanda Roark Melissa Sircar, Sicar Law Dwayne Smith, Gardner & Smith, PLLC Stephen Tobin, The Tobin Firm PC Aaron Young, TVAS Co-Chair Jordan Woody, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP

Paralegals: Jessica Acosta, Linegarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP Alexandra Esparza, LANWT Doris Jackson, Attorneys William S. Harris & Paul A. Conner Trisha Klement, Stephens, Anderson & Cummings Katrina Lea, Law Office of Stephanie R. Johnson Star Moore, Law Offices of Michel Kensel & Jo Ann Mean Janice Piggott, Law Office of William D. Pruett, PLLC Julie Sherman, Cantey Hanger LLP Law Student: Elizabeth Anderson Other Volunteers: Jonathan Panning, Fidelity Kristin Edstrom, Fidelity

If you are interested in volunteering at a future TVAS clinic, please contact Megan Cooley at


TVAS is always looking for new volunteers to get involved with the committee, attend a clinic, or take a case. Please contact Megan Cooley at if you are interested in assisting the TVAS program. g

28 ▪ May/June 2016

Bar Bulletin ▪ May/June 2016 Tarrant County Bar Association 1315 Calhoun Street Fort Worth, TX 76102-6504 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED


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


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




Classified Advertising NOTICE

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

Tarrant County Bar Association May June 2016 Bar Bulletin  

Take a look inside and see what happening at the bar.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you