Page 1

Bulletin September 2016

Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association & Tarrant County Bar Association



Mira Vista Country Club Golf Course Monday, September 26, 1pm Shotgun Start

President’sPage I

Invitation to Serve the Legal Profession and the Community

n my first President’s Page, for the July/August issue of the Bar Bulletin, I told you more than you probably ever wanted to know about my background from Wichita Falls and Midwestern University, to UT Law School and the Texas Legislative Council, to Fort Worth by Robert G. West as a baby lawyer, and to my prior work within the TCBA. In this President’s Page for September, I want to focus on opportunities available to you to participate in the TCBA, and I want to encourage you to explore some of the opportunities that are of most interest to you in order to "give back" to the legal profession of which you are a part and to give you a better sense of actively belonging to our awardwinning Tarrant County Bar Association. My first opportunity to be a "leader" in the Tarrant County Bar Association came at the request of Louis Sturns shortly after he was elected President of the TCBA in 1996, when he asked me to organize and chair a new local CLE committee that became the TCBA’s Brown Bag Seminar Committee. The Brown Bag program is still providing local CLE programs seven months of the year and helps Tarrant County attorneys fulfill their annual educational and ethics requirements at a low cost and in a local venue. I still remember the first few meetings of the Brown Bag Committee, where our initial committee offered ideas for how to structure, publicize, and conduct the seminars. I remember helping to select, as the program logo, the longhorn cow (a traditional symbol of Fort Worth) holding a brown lunch bag in its mouth, hungry for legal education. I also still recall meeting other members of that committee who were there solely to serve the legal profession with their volunteer service as committee members, working with Trisha Graham and Sherry Jones as our patient, helpful, and encouraging TCBA staff members. It’s easy to be a leader or member of a TCBA committee when you have a great staff to guide your way! As of the July start of the current TCBA activity year, we have over 30 committees beginning their work on programs and activities for our association. The current array of committee opportunities includes: Educational programs planned and coordinated by the CLE/Brown Bag Committee;

Social events including the popular Docket Call Socials throughout the year, Holiday Party in December, Rodeo Gathering in January, Women in the Law Luncheon in February, Court Staff Appreciation Seminar and Reception in March, and the Law Day Awards Dinner in May; Administrative committees with responsibilities for the annual Audit, review and update of the Bylaws, review of Finances, seeking Sponsorship of TCBA programs and activities, and Strategic Planning; Communications by the Bar Bulletin committee and Editors; Membership events and services, including the 50-year Lawyers Luncheon each February, Diversity Program, Fee Arbitration, TCBA Elections, Judicial Evaluations & Polls, Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS), Membership growth and development, and a Transition to Practice/Mentor Program; Several bar related community service programs including the continuing programs of Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services (TVAS), Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans-Tarrant County Chapter (TLTV), LegalLine, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Elder Law, and additional events such as a Blood Drive, Food Drive, Bears & Friends, National Adoption Day, and People’s Law School, and annual fundraisers. Advocates for Justice Luncheon in October and Tortfeasors in April are organized and operate as committees of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation under the excellent guidance of Pro Bono Programs Director Megan Cooley. Each of these programs and events needs attorney volunteers like you and your lawyer friends. Each committee allows its members an opportunity to meet and work with fellow attorneys with similar interests, and allows those committee members to bond and network through their shared service to the bar. I personally believe that this interaction of attorneys at the committee level and as participants at the events and activities that the committees plan and host promotes the collegial atmosphere in the Tarrant County legal community that is applauded and envied by attorneys throughout the state. TCBA is like most other organizations including faith-based organizations. You can attend and sit and listen to the information offered at the group meetings of the organization, but you will get a much better experience by participating in smaller group settings like committees, service groups, and support teams. There are simply too many opportunities in TCBA for you to participate in them all, but if you will select the one or two most interesting to you and continued on page 29

September 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 1


Features 3 North Texas Giving Day 5 Charity Golf Tournament 10 Advocates for Justice 24 CLE in Cozumel Departments 1 President's Page 4 YLA Snapshot 7 100 Club 8 Tarrant County Bar Foundation 12 Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans 14 A Word From Our Sections 15 Calendar of Events 16 Judicial Profile 18 Snippets 20 LegalLine 20 Benefits of Membership & Vendor List 21 Membership Report 25 Lawyer Referral & Information Service News 25 Other Association's News & Information 26 Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services 29 Lawyers on the Move & in the News 30 It's All Happening Around the Bar 33 A Glimpse in the Past

Tarrant County Bar Association 817.338.4092 ▪ Fax 817.335.9238 website: email:

2016-2017 Officers 28 President...............................Robert G. West

President-Elect....................Nick Bettinger Vice President...........................Lance Evans Secretary-Treasurer...................John Cayce Directors

Term Ends 2017



Advertiser's Index Deborah Adame...........................................................25 Dispute Resolution Services......................................22 Edward Jones................................................................15 Fathers for Equal Rights...............................................23 Juris Fabrilis...................................................................11 KoonsFuller.......................................Inside Front Cover Law Office of Jason Smith.........................................22 Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C............................27 LawPay...................................................................9 Parker Law Firm.............................................................17 Red Mass Committee..................................................21 Stephens Anderson & Cummings..........Back Cover Texas Lawyers Insurance Exchange.......................22 The Collie Firm..............................................................28 Tindall Square Office Complex................................11

2 ▪ September 2016

Tawana Gray Gary L. Medlin Jason C. N. Smith Term Ends 2018

Cody L. Cofer Veronica C. Law Lu Pham

2016-2017 Appointed Directors Raul A. Canez Julie A. Sladek

Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association President 2016 Fall

Susan Smith 2017 Spring

Tennessee Walker

Immediate Past President David E. Keltner

Executive Director Patricia Graham, PLS, CLAS

Ex-Officio Members State Bar of Texas, Directors 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 20th day of the month, two months prior the date of the issue (e.g. March 20 for the May issue). Items for publication may be emailed to in Word format. Articles published in the Bar Bulletin do not necessarily re�lect the opinions of the Tarrant County Bar Association, its of�icers, or the Board of Directors. Advertisements, and feature articles should not be considered an endorsement of any service, product, program, seminar or event.

Support the Bar’s Pro Bono and Community Programs on North Texas Giving Day


AVE THE DATE for the eighth annual North Texas Giving Day on September 22, 2016. On September 22, individuals can support the Bar’s community and pro bono programs by visiting and making a donation on the Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s profile page. Every gift of $25 or more will go further with more than $2.5 million dollars in bonus funds and prizes. Gifts made to the Tarrant County Bar Foundation on North Texas Giving Day will increase its ability to support community programs like LegalLine, the People’s Law School, and the Elder Law Handbook. Gifts will also allow

the Tarrant County Bar Foundation to continue to devote resources to the two pro bono programs supported by the Tarrant County Bar Association’s volunteers: Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans–Tarrant County Chapter and Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services. These programs provide legal education to the Tarrant County community and free legal resources to veterans and low-income residents in Tarrant County. Please share this giving opportunity among your colleagues, friends, and law firms. For more information, please contact Megan Cooley at g


6am–midnight 5 EASY STEPS TO DONATE: 1. Wake up on September 22 2. Log on to your computer between 6am and midnight 3. Go to

and search for Tarrant County Bar Foundation 4. Make a donation! 5. Tell your friends #NTXGivingDay

CLE Membership Luncheon Tuesday, September 13 g City Club g 11:45am Keynote Speaker: Prof. Lynne Rambo


ynne Rambo is a Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law. She received her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University, and her JD from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she edited the law review and was recognized by the Order of the Coif. After clerking for an Eleventh Circuit judge, she spent eight years as a litigator working civil, criminal, and employment discrimination cases. At A&M, she teaches Constitutional Law, First Amendment, and Evidence, and her current scholarship focus is the judiciary and the first amendment. “I have

the world’s best job,” she says, “teaching the best subjects to the best students. Our students are a delight.” g This CLE membership luncheon, will be held at the City Club on Tuesday, September 13, at 11:45am. The City Club is located at 301 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, 2nd floor. Lunch will be $26 for members with advanced reservations and guest and walk-ins will be $31. Dress is business casual - suit and tie not required. To make your reservation, please contact Sherry at 817.338.4092 or or go to the calendar section of our website at For directions and contact information, please visit the City Club website at

YLASnapshot Susan Smith, President TCYLA


CYLA just elected its newest slate of board members and officers for the Fall/Winter term. We are excited to continue the many projects and events scheduled in the upcoming months. As TCYLA’s new President, I will try my best to fill Erin Cofer’s shoes. She did a great job leading us through the spring and summer. As a brief introduction, I graduated from Texas Tech School of Law and began my legal career in litigation at Cantey Hanger. I hung my shingle after five years at Cantey Hanger and am now a partner at Gardner & Smith, PLLC, where I continue to focus my practice on litigation and family law. I have served on the TCYLA Board of Directors since 2012. As a board member, I have had the opportunity to take part in several projects to help the community as well as the young lawyers within Tarrant County.

4 ▪ September 2016

Our annual Fall Fete is coming up September 15, 2016, at 5:30pm at Bird Cafe. This is a great opportunity for our members to meet the Tarrant County Judiciary and mingle with other members. In addition, our golf tournament is scheduled for September 26, 2016, at Mira Vista; this is always a great event and should be better than ever. I hope to see all of you there!

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 1:00 PM Shotgun Start • $125 per Golfer 4 Person Team Scramble. Register as a team or individually. Winning Team, Closest to the Pin, and Longest Drive SPONSORSHIPS Sponsorships are Tax Deductible and available for $400 Your sponsorship will include a tee box sign, recognition in promotional materials, recognition at the awards ceremony and tournament, and 10% off 1 team entry.

All sponsorship funds will benefit the Tarrant County Bar Foundation, which was established in 1997 to support and expand its commitments to “justice, service, and professionalism” by funding important community service projects. These projects include crucial legal services to needy citizens and education

of the public about their rights and responsibilities under the law. For more information please contact 6600 Mira Vista Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76132

Entry Form Players: 1.







Please submit the entry form with your check made payable to TCYLA to 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102. You may also fax your form to 817.335.9238 or email it to Contact Clark Rucker at for further questions.


Golfers: x $125 = Apply Sponsor Discount (10%)

$ $[


Separate $400 Check to TCBF Enclosed Total Amount Paid


September 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 5

News from the

State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting


he State Bar of Texas held its Brittany Gilbert and Liam Gilbert (granddaugh- Annual Meeting ter and great-grandson of Joe & Trisha Graham) during June 16-17 leading the Pledge of Allegiance. here in Fort Worth. Many of the Tarrant County Bar Association members were involved with the Annual Meeting. Patti Gearhart Turner, Texas Wesleyan University, was the Moderator for "Civility as a Strategy for Effective Advocacy." Randy Turner, Law Offices of Randall E. Turner, PLLC, spoke to the Animal Law Section about "Animal Law Caselaw Update." Vianei Lopez Braun, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP, spoke to the Business Law Section and the Corporate Counsel Section about "Hot and Emerging Topics in Texas Employment Law and the Effect of Obergefell on LGBT Employment Non-Discrimination." Christian Dennie, Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP, was the Moderator for the Entertainment and Sports Law Section regarding "Ethics and Sports: Stepping onto the Field." Sarah K. Walls, Cantey Hanger LLP, spoke to the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section about "Fielding the Environmental Question: Tips for the Non-Environmental Practitioner." Gary L. Nickelson, Law Office of Gary L. Nickelson, spoke to the Family Law Section about "Pepto Bismol Moments: What to Do When You Mess up and How to Save Yourself." Chris Nickelson, Law Office of Gary L. Nickelson, spoke to the Family Law Section about "Post-Trial Motions." Kimberly M. Naylor, Loveless & Naylor, spoke to the Family Law Section about "Creative Possession Schedules." Stephen J. Naylor, Law Office of Stephen J. Naylor, P.L.L.C., spoke to the Family Law Section about "Enforcement of Child Support and Possession." Roland K. Johnson, Harris, Finley, & Bogle P.C., spoke to the Poverty Law Section about "Resources for Attorneys Working with Low-Income Clients." David Keltner, Fellow, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society and Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, participated in a discussion and also spoke to the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section on "Reenactment of Oral Argument Before the All Woman Supreme Court: Johnson v. Darr." He also spoke to the Appellate Section and the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section about the "Texas Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit Update." Steven Hayes, Law Office of Steven K. Hayes, spoke to the

6 â–Ş September 2016

Appellate Section and the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section about "Common Problems in Error Preservation." The Hon. Mark X. Mullin, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, and St. Clair Newbern, III, Law Offices of St. Clair Newbern, III, PC, spoke to the Bankruptcy Law Section about "Practical Tips on Collections and Remedies In and Out a Bankruptcy Court." Joseph F. Cleveland, Brackett & Ellis, P.C., spoke to the Intellectual Property Law Section about "Trade Secret Pattern Jury Charge." The State Bar recognized the Bar Association's Bulletin entry of News Article written by Tom Williams and Dustin Johnson for the IP Domain article. Megan Cooley accepted the Award Certificates on their behalf from State Bar President Allan K. DuBois. It was another successful year thanks to the 2016 Annual Meeting Committee: W. Bradley Parker, Co-Chair Cindy V. Tisdale, Co-Chair J. Benjamin Barlow Hon. Diane V. DeVasto Robert Earl Aldrich Bruce A. Ashworth Virginia Campbell Janna Ward Clarke Megan Moser Cooley Arturo Errisuriz Hon. David Evans Patricia Graham Caroline C. C. Harrison Michael J. Henry

Roland K. Johnson Melissa Ballou Kates David E. Keltner Heather L. King Stephen C. Maxwell Gary L. Nickelson Chuck Noteboom Hon. Jennifer Rymell John Weldon Shaw Stephen L. Tatum Patti Gearhart Turner Hon. Melody Wilkinson Dan Allan White

Save the Date for Next Year

State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting 2017 June 22-23, 2017 Hilton Anatole, Dallas, TX

Members of the 2016-2017

100 Club

Adams Lynch & Loftin P.C. Albert Neely & Kuhlmann LLP Anderson & Riddle, LLP Baker Monroe PLLC Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP Blaies & Hightower, L.L.P. Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, PC Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Broude Smith & Jennings PC Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell LLP City Attorney's Office-City of Fort Worth Cook Children’s Health Care System Curnutt & Hafer, L.L.P. Dawson Parrish, PC Dowell, Pham & Harrison, LLP Edison, McDowell & Hetherington, LLP Forshey & Prostok, L.L.P. Friedman, Suder & Cooke Gordon & Sykes, LLP Griffith, Jay & Michel, LLP Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. Holland Johns & Penny LLP Jackson Walker, L.L.P. Jim Ross & Associates Joshua Graham & Associates, PLLC Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Lacy Lyster Malone & Steppick, PLLC

Law, Snakard & Gambill, P.C. Lively & Associates, LLP Loe, Warren, Rosenfield, Kaitcer, Hibbs, Windsor, Lawrence & Wolffarth, PC McDonald Sanders Law Firm Mellina & Larson, P.C. Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P. Murphy Mahon Keffler Farrier, LLP Naman Howell Smith & Lee, PLLC Noteboom Law Firm Paup, Shutt & Associates, P.C. Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Ray, L.L.P. Second Court of Appeals Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP Stephens, Anderson & Cummings Tarrant County CDA's Office The Berenson Firm P.C. The Blum Firm, P.C. Thompson & Knight, LLP Underwood Law Firm Varghese Summersett, PLLC Wallach & Andrews, P.C. Watson Caraway Midkiff & Luningham L.L.P Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC Wick Phillips Winstead PC The Wolf Law Firm, P.C.

To be eligible for the 100 Club, any law firm, government agency, law school, or corporate legal department that has four or more attorneys and attains 100% TCBA membership compliance for the 2016-2017 bar year qualifies for the “100 Club.” The firms/organizations listed (above) have already paid their membership dues and qualify for 100 Club membership for the new bar year. Any firm/or-

ganization that qualifies in the future will have its name published in every issue of the Bar Bulletin for this bar year. TCBA is proud of the participation of these law firms and other groups! The new bar year began on July 1, if you have not paid your renewal invoice, contact our Membership Director Sandy Tilley at 817.338.4092 or email her at

Students from the Texas A&M School of Law Gain Experience and Class Credit Through the Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s Pro Bono Programs


or the past two years, law students at Texas A&M School of Law have had the opportunity to work with the pro bono programs of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and the Tarrant County Bar Association through an internship program. The internship is made possible by the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association's (TCYLA) annual golf tournament in September. The TCYLA donates the funds raised by the golf-hole sponsorships to the Bar Foundation; those funds are ultimately provided to law students as stipends for semester internships. The Bar Foundation also provided an externship opportunity to a law student this summer. Through the externship program, law students have an opportunity to work side by side with volunteer attorneys on pro bono cases while receiving class credit. The law students also work closely with the pro bono committees by evaluating eligible cases, researching various legal issues, and attending the legal consultations. Below are profiles of law students who have participated in the internship and externship programs over the past year.

Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth is a rising 2L at TAMU Law School interested in pursuing family law or public interest law. She is the 2016-2017 President of the Family Law Student Association and will be competing on a Mock Trial travel team in the upcoming year. Elizabeth was awarded a Law Fellowship public interest stipend for a summer internship at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Texas. Elizabeth states, “During my Spring 2016 internship with TCBF, I particularly enjoyed my direct interaction with so many varied people in the Tarrant County area. I learned to interview and communicate with clients and often got to experience a client's relief and joy when we were able to match him or her with an attorney willing to represent him and tackle the legal issue. I also benefitted from meeting attorneys in professional yet informal settings who were taking time to assist with clinics and work on pro bono cases." "The attorneys I met were always willing to take time to explain the law, the process, or the strategy involved that could best assist the client. The internship was a terrific introduction to pro bono work and how to bring together attorneys with community members in need who would oth-

8 ▪ September 2016

erwise be unable to find or afford a skilled, competent advocate.”

Karmah Stokes

Karmah is a rising 2L at TAMU Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Texas Tech University in 2014. Prior to law school, Karmah worked as a legislative aide for Representative Nicole Collier. Karmah is interested in a legal career in public interest law or family law. Karmah notes the following about her experience as an intern during the summer for the pro bono programs: “I am very thankful for the opportunity to have worked for the TCBA Foundation programs. I was able to observe the more compassionate side of the legal system that is rarely highlighted. During my internship, I was able to assist low-income families locate legal resources within the county, conduct income screenings for potential clients seeking assistance with uncontested divorces or wills, and observe how swiftly attorneys working with the veterans had to issue spot and identify conflicts of interest. It was great to be able to witness how Tarrant County attorneys were so eager and willing to commit their time to the less fortunate. Some even took on pro bono cases outside of the programs simply because they saw a need and wanted to help. This experience has encouraged me work in the public sector after I pass the bar and obtain corporate law experience."

Rebecca Ward

Rebecca is a rising 2L at TAMU Law School and received an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin in violin performance and music business, along with a business foundations certificate from the McCombs School of Business. Prior to law school, Rebecca was the special projects manager at Texans for Lawsuit Reform. Rebecca served as an intern during the second half of the summer, and participated in a veteran legal clinic and a TVAS legal clinic at Presbyterian Night Shelter. In her free time,

she enjoys hiking with her border collie, Clyde, and solving Sudoku puzzles. Rebecca notes, “With respect to my internship with the TCBF pro bono programs, I most enjoyed working hands on with the clinic attendees and getting the opportunity to work closely with Tarrant County attorneys. I learned how to efficiently interview clients in a way that would best match him or her to a volunteer attorney. The most rewarding experience working at the legal clinics was seeing how attorneys interact with clients and seeing the relief and gratitude in a client’s smile upon receiving much-needed assistance. Now, I am even more excited than I was prior to law school to become a lawyer so that I may offer legal help to those in need.”

Sam Johndroe

Sam participated in the externship program over the summer and will be a 3L in the fall at TAMU Law. Sam graduated from Texas Tech University in 2013 and has been a volunteer with the TLTV and TVAS programs since April 2014—prior to starting law school. He received the TVAS Student Volunteer of the Year Award for 2015. Sam’s experience as an extern included participating in three TLTV clinics; researching cases for TLTV placement committee meetings; assisting attorneys with TLTV

cases; and drafting information for small claims cases, homeless resources, and employment law education. He also participated in his second TVAS Presbyterian Night Shelter clinic, for which he actually had previously written the application forms as a volunteer. Sam notes, “I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with TLTV and TVAS, both this summer and before, and look forward to continuing with the programs as a volunteer in the future, both as a law student and hopefully as an attorney. I was lucky enough to get a rare opportunity last summer to work pre-2L year at a mid-sized law firm and was happy that I got to experience a different side of law this summer working with TLTV and TVAS. Getting to work with the programs more closely than as a regular volunteer has further expanded my views on how important these programs truly are—and how many people there are who truly need help but would not be able to get it without these programs. It has strengthened my resolve that I developed as a volunteer to do whatever I can, both as a law student and later as an attorney, to serve this underserved group.” g

Please Remember 2016-2017 membership dues must be paid no later than October 1, 2016. Contact Membership Director Sandy Tilley for more information at 817.338.4092 or

September 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 9

Tarrant County Bar Foundation

Luncheon Supporting the community & legal service endeavors of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation & Tarrant County Bar Association and celebrating their volunteers and community partners.

Thursday, October 13, 2016 11:30 - 1:00pm City Club

Keynote Speaker: Chief Justice Nathan Hecht 27th Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Texas  $10,000 Champion of Justice, includes a table at the luncheon, prominent placement in all brochures and sponsorship material, and a law student fellowship named for you or your organization.  $7,500

Soldier of Justice, includes a table at the luncheon, recognition in all brochures and sponsorship material, and named sponsorship of a legal clinic held by Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans - Tarrant County Chapter in 2017.

 $5,000

Guardian of Justice, includes a table at the luncheon, placement in all brochure and sponsorship material, and named sponsorship of a general advice, family law, or wills and estate clinic held by Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services in 2017.

 $2,500

Patron of Justice, includes a table at the luncheon and recognition in all brochures and sponsorship material.

 $1,250

Supporter of Justice, includes a one-half table at the luncheon and recognition at the luncheon.

Tables will seat 10 persons. Individual tickets for the luncheon cost $150 and all other donations in connection with the Advocates for Justice program will be listed in the luncheon program.

Sponsor Name___________________________________________________________________________________ I would like__________________________tickets (at $150 each) for a total of $_______________________________  I am unable to attend, but I would like to make a tax-deductible contribution in the amount of $______________ Name__________________________________________ Firm____________________________________________ Phone__________________________________________ Fax_____________________________________________ Address__________________________________________________________________________________________ Method of Payment  Check/Check#_______________  Credit Card#________________________________  MC  Visa  AmEx Expiration___________________________ Security Code____________________ Name on Card___________________________________________________ Billing Zip Code___________________ Please make your check payable to Tarrant County Bar Foundation and mail with this ticket order form to Tarrant County Bar Foundation 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102 g 817.338.4092 g


Advocates for Justice Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht Supreme Court of Texas

athan L. Hecht is the 27th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. He has been elected to the Court six times, first in 1988 as a Justice, and most recently in 2014 as Chief Justice. He is the longest-serving Member of the Court in Texas history and the senior Texas appellate judge in active service. Throughout his service on the Court, Chief Justice Hecht has overseen revisions to the rules of administration, practice, and procedure in Texas courts, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to the federal Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. Chief Justice Hecht is also active in the Court's

efforts to assure that Texans living below the poverty level, as well as others with limited means, have access to basic civil legal services. Chief Justice Hecht was appointed to the district court in 1981 and was elected to the court of appeals in 1986. Before taking the bench, he was a partner in the Locke firm in Dallas. Chief Justice Hecht holds a B.A. with honors in philosophy from Yale University and a J.D. cum laude from the SMU School of Law, where he was a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar. He clerked for Judge Roger Robb on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps. Chief Justice Hecht is a Life Member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Texas Philosophical Society. His term ends December 31, 2020. g

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

September 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 11

Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

Tarrant County Chapter News from TLTV

TLTV Holds Summer Legal Clinics at Texas Wesleyan University, MHMR’S Liberty House, and the Tarrant County Bar Association


n June, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans–Tarrant County Chapter held its first legal clinic at Texas Wesleyan University. The clinic was generously sponsored by Kelly Hart & Hallman, and attorneys from the firm volunteered as well.

On July 15, 2016, TLTV held two separate legal clinics at two different locations to accommodate veteran need and volunteer interest. One clinic was held at the Tarrant County Bar Association and was staffed by a group of corporate attorneys from the DFW Chapter of Association

of Corporate Counsel. The second clinic was held at MHMR of Tarrant County’s Liberty House, where volunteers assisted residents of the organization. TLTV thanks Pinnacle Bank for its generous sponsorship of TLTV’s July clinic.

Want to Help TLTV? Participate in North Texas Giving Day on September 22, 2016 The Tarrant County Bar Foundation, which supports TLTV, is participating in North Texas Giving Day on September 22, 2016. Donations can be made on the Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s profile at Participants may direct their donations to TLTV by making a note of that intention on the donation page. g

Thanks for Taking a Case

Thanks to the following volunteer attorneys for taking a veteran’s pro bono case:

Katherine Allen (Allen & Weaver, P.C.)

Kathy Roux (Law Office of Kathy E. Roux)

Jessica Buchert (J. Buchert Law) is assisting a female veteran with the adoption of a child.

Mallory Schuit (Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP)

agreed to help a veteran with a family law issue.

John Corbin (Law Offices of John Corbin) accepted referrals for two separate cases from the legal clinic at MHMR’s Liberty House.

John Johnson (Johnson Johnson)

is assisting several veterans with criminal matters.

Marcus Mungioli (Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP) is assisting a veteran and his wife with will and estate planning services.

12 ▪ September 2016

is assisting a veteran with a family law matter.

agreed to help a spouse of a deceased veteran from the Texas Wesleyan University clinic.

Beth Thurman (Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP) assisted a veteran and her husband with real estate matters.

Patti Gearhart Turner (Texas Wesleyan University) assisted a veteran with will and estate planning services.

Thank You for Sponsoring Legal Clinics and Supporting TLTV June Clinic

July Clinic

Would you like to sponsor a clinic? For more information on how you can sponsor a clinic or other ways to support TLTV, please contact Megan Cooley at

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming TLTV Clinics September 16, 2016 Tarrant County College South Campus 5301 Campus Drive Fort Worth, TX 76119

October 21, 2016 Tarrant County College South Campus 5301 Campus Drive Fort Worth, TX 76119

November 18, 2016 Veterans Affairs Outpatient Facility 2201 SE Loop 820 Fort Worth, TX 76119

September 2016 â–Ş TCBA BULLETIN 13

. . . And Now a Word From Our Sections The Tarrant County Bar Association has several sections that hold a variety of events throughout the year. If you are interested in joining a section, please contact the section chair of your choice, or contact Sherry Jones at 817.338.4092 or for more information. Alternative Dispute Resolution Dan Paret, Brown Pruitt Wambsganss Ferrill & Dean, P.C. 817.338.4888 – Dues: $25

Environmental Law Cheryl Coon, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP 817.882.7620 - Dues: $15

Appellate Jody Sanders, Kelly Hart & Hallman 817.878.3523 – Dues: $25

FW Business & Estate Stuart Isgur, New York Life Insurance Company 817.878.3217 – Dues: $45 for attorneys

Bankruptcy Kat Hopkins, Kelly Hart & Hallman 817.878.9377 – Dues: $50 Business Litigation Rollie Schafer, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP 817.877.8189 – Dues: $30 Collaborative Law Kate Smith, Law Office of Kate Smith 817.479.0562 - Dues: $20 Construction Law Cara Kennemer, Underwood Law Firm 817.885.7529 – Dues: $30 Corporate Counsel Tom Ryder, Lacy Lyster Malone & Steppick, PLLC 817.349.8409 – Dues: $20 Criminal Law Brad Clark, The Clark Firm, P.C. 817.332.7739 - Dues: $15 Energy Law Lisa Lumley, Lisa Lumley Law 817.238.8985 - Dues: $20

Intellectual Property Law Jeff Williams, Law Office of Jeff Williams, PLLC 817. 225.6561 - Dues: $25 International & Immigration Law Veronica Garza, Garza & Morton, PLLC 817.289.2809 – Dues: $20 Labor & Employment Law Walt Taylor, Taylor Law Firm 817.770.4343 – Dues: $20 Real Estate Law Beth Thurman, Kelly Hart & Hallman 817.332.2500 – Dues: $15 Solo & Small Firms Carter Hampton, Law Office of Carter Hampton 817.877.4202 - Dues: $20 Tax & Estate Planning Rob Schmid, Norman & Norman 817.335.5000 – Dues: $35 Women Attorneys Rachel Hale, Hagan Law Group 214.289.1420 – Dues: $30

Calendar ofEvents

September 2016 8 12 13 14 14 16 16 20 20 22 22 22 22 26 26 27 27 28 30

Labor Day Holiday Office Closed LegalLine 6pm - 8pm, TCBA Office New Member Reception 5:30pm, TCBA Office CLE Membership Luncheon 11:45am, City Club TLTV Committee Meeting 12pm, TCBA Office Intellectual Property & Business Litigation Sections Luncheon - 12pm, Petroleum Club Tech Tips II 12pm, TCBA Office TLTV Clinic 2pm, TCC South Campus Real Estate Section Luncheon 12pm, Petroleum Club TVAS Wills Clinic 5pm, TBA North Texas Giving Day 6am - Midnight, Online Fort Worth Business & Estate Section Luncheon 10:30am, City Club Construction Law Section Luncheon 12pm, TCBA Office LegalLine 6pm - 8pm, TCBA Office Charity Golf Tournament 1:00pm, Mira Vista TVAS Committee Meeting 12pm, TCBA Office Tax & Estate Planning Section Luncheon 11:30, Petroleum Club Last Tuesday 1pm, TCBA Office Corporate Counsel Section Luncheon 12pm, City Club Brown Bag Seminar 12pm, TCBA Office

12 13 13 13 14 17 18 19 20 20 20 21 21 24 25 26 26 27 27

Environmental Law Section Luncheon 12pm, City Club Advocates for Justice Luncheon 11:30am, City Club Energy Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Petroleum Club LegalLine 6pm - 8pm, TCBA Office Juvenile Brown Bag Seminar 11:30am, TCBA Office Bankruptcy Law Section Luncheon 12pm, Fort Worth Club Tax & Estate Planning Section Luncheon 11:30, Petroleum Club TLTV Committee Meeting 12pm, TCBA Office Fort Worth Business & Estate Section Luncheon 11:30am, City Club Construction Law Section Luncheon 12pm, TCBA Office Docket Call Social 5pm - TBD Retirement Seminar 1pm - 4:30pm, TCBA Office TLTV Clinic 2pm, TCC South Campus TVAS Committee Meeting 12pm, TCBA Office Last Tuesday 1pm, TCBA Office TVAS Guardianship CLE 9am, TCBA Office Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Luncheon 12pm, City Club Solo & Small Firms Section Mixer 5pm - Parker Law Firm LegalLine 6pm - 8pm, TCBA Office

Calendar of Events on the

TCBA Website

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You can also visit our website for a list of upcoming events.

To learn more about your education savings options, call or visit a financial advisor today.   



October 2016 Member SIPC

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

September 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 15


by Perry J. Cockerell

Judge Mike Thomas


udge Mike Thomas is entering his fourteenth year as Judge of Criminal District Court Number 4 in Tarrant County. When he graduated from law school in 1969, he never imagined that he would occupy the same criminal district court once held by the Honorable Judge Joe Drago and the Honorable Gordon Gray. Judge Thomas was born in Bridgeport and raised in DeLeon, Texas. His parents were Roy and Florene Thomas, who had three children. His father ran Thomas Butane in DeLeon and was an Army veteran of World War II. Judge Thomas’s family settled in that area after his grandfather, Paul Thomas, came to Fort Worth in 1904, arriving at the T&P Station. As a 1962 graduate of DeLeon High School, Thomas headed to Baylor University where he received a fouryear football scholarship. College was a busy time for him. He red-shirted his first year and lettered the next four years. He met his wife, Patsy, during his years at Baylor. They were married in June 1967 at Bethany Baptist Church in Dallas, the same month that he graduated from Baylor with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He was accepted to Baylor University Law School, and he graduated in 1969. In 1970, he joined the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor when Frank Coffey was the District Attorney. Patsy accepted a teaching position at Wedgewood Middle School after receiving her Master’s Degree in Education from Baylor University. In 1972, after trying sixty jury trials, he decided to leave the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office to take a position with Foster, Garrett & Thomas in Arlington. There he handled criminal cases and was the part-time city attorney for Bedford and Pantego. He remembers being appointed to his first federal criminal appointment and winning it. “You are not supposed to win your first federal appointment. It was a long time before I won another one,” he said. In 1976, he moved his office back to Fort Worth and set up a practice in the former Union Bank building across from the Tarrant County Courthouse. The next year, he became Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Then, in 1980, he moved his office to the Tandy Center. In 1985, Thomas and Fort Worth attorney Bill Magnussen decided to share offices in the Waggoner Building. They were not partners, but they covered each other’s cases and worked together on a handshake. Thomas and Magnussen, his friend and colleague, handled mostly felony and misdemeanor criminal cases in state and federal courts. In 2002, Thomas decided to run for the Criminal District Court Number 4 after learning that the Honorable

16 ▪ September 2016

Joe Drago would be retiring. Thomas defeated a Republican primary opponent and an opponent in the general election after receiving much support in the community. He raised over $150,000 in campaign donations—an unprecedented amount of money at the time. He was sworn into office in 2003 at the age of 58 and having practiced law for thirtytwo years. He said at that time that he wanted to serve at least three terms “until I’m seventy.” In 2008, he defeated Glynis McGinty in the Republican primary and had no opponent in the general election. In 2012, he had no opponent in the Republican primary and defeated Kim Campbell in the general election. During his tenure, he would rise at 3:30 a.m. and be at the courthouse at 8 a.m. He has served on the Board of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Advisory Board to the Gladney Home, Girl’s Club Board, and the Charities Committee at Colonial Country Club that provided funds for youth programs. Patsy has been active in the community for years with the Mental Health Connection, on the board of the Fort Worth Crime Control and Prevention District, and as Director of the Crime Prevention Resource Center. Times have changed since Judge Thomas began practicing law. “In the old days it used to be ‘locking them up and locking them up for good,’ but now we have specialty courts, drug treatment programs, and re-entry courts who really do a good job of rehabilitation. I like to say that’s why I’ve decided to stay a while longer.” Judge Thomas’ recommendations to all attorneys are to “be prepared. If you don’t know something, then ask.” He says that the criminal court system has a well-known docketing system that “sets things out pretty well. The preliminary docket, consultation, evidence exchange, motions, and status dockets are well known.” He advises new attorneys to find a mentor. “Sit in a trial and get the feel of it. Not too many weeks ago, a lawyer came to observe a trial and that was a good way to get an idea of what they are to do.” Judge and Patsy Thomas have three grown children: Michael, Brandon and Anne. They have four grandchildren. g

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Civil and Criminal by Judge Bob McCoy


Jones Street: Anson B. Jones (1798–1858) was a prosperous farmer. He was the last President of the Republic of Texas. He also was co-founder of the first Masonic Lodge in Texas. —From Werner Magnus, Who was Hulen? An Attempt to Find the Origins of Street Names in Fort Worth.


Judge Bob, what is a writ of coram nobis and when is it available? "The function of the writ is to secure relief from a judgment rendered while there existed some fact that would have prevented its rendition if it had been known to the trial court and that, through no negligence or fault of the defendant, was not brought forward before rendition of the judgment." Pinder v. State, 474 S.W.3d 490 (Ark. 2015). But it is not recognized in Texas. Ex Parte Massey, 249 S.W.2d 599,601 (Tex.Crim.App.1952).


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? Moses The referenced case from last month’s article, Lira v. Greater Houston, has been handed down (No.14-0964) by our Supreme Court. According to local attorney Don Feare, who has spoken on this subject, the Court’s opinion means Ramses that if the animal control ordinance does not contain express language divesting the dog owners of ownership, they continue to retain ownership and can seek recovery of their dog.


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

County Criminal Court No. 3


“The initial burden of proof is on the defendant to show that the trial is closed to the public. If the defendant fails to carry that burden, the analysis is concluded. Only after a trial is closed to the public is it necessary to determine if the closure was justified.” Cameron v. State, 482 S.W.3d 576 (Tex.Crim. App. 2016).

2. Objections

“Regarding its specificity, the objection must simply be clear enough to provide the judge and the opposing party an opportunity to address and, if necessary, correct the purported error.” Degar v. State, 482 S.W.3d 588 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015).

3. Decision to Waive Counsel

“A decision to waive counsel and represent oneself is made voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently if it is made with a full understanding of the right to counsel, which is being abandoned, as well as the dangers and disadvantages of selfrepresentation.” O’Brien v. State, 482 S.W.3d 593 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015).

4. Interactions Between Law Enforcement Officers and Citizens

“A consensual encounter takes place when an officer approaches a citizen in a public place to ask questions, and the citizen is willing to listen and voluntarily answers. . . . Consensual police-citizen encounters do not implicate Fourth Amendment Protections. . . . An investigative detention occurs when a citizen yields to the police officer’s show of authority under a reasonable belief that the citizen is not free to leave.” Torres v. State, 482 S.W.3d 629 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015).

MOSES’ AND RAMSES’ MONTHLY 5. Robbery PARAPROSDAKIAN (a figure of speech in which the “The focus of the offense of robbery is the assaultive conlatter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous). "A Canadian psychologist is selling a video that teaches you how to test your dog’s IQ. Here’s how it works: If you spend $12.99 for the video, your dog is smarter than you." —Jay Leno, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

18 ▪ September 2016

duct against the victim.” Balentine v. State, 474 S.W.3d 682 (Tex. App.— Beaumont 2013).

6. Possession of Contraband

“If ‘the accused is not in exclusive possession of the place where the [contraband] is found, it cannot be concluded that

the accused had knowledge of and control over the contraband unless there are additional independent facts and circumstances which affirmatively link the accused to the contraband.’” Dominguez v. Ramos, 474 S.W.3d 688 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2013).

CIVIL ITEMS OF INTEREST 1. Remand on No Evidence

“Ordinarily, appellate courts render judgment when sustaining a no-evidence issue. However, when there is evidence to support some damages it is not appropriate to render judgment. In that situation, we must remand for a new trial unless a remittitur would be appropriate. . . . When liability is contested, courts may not grant a new trial on unliquidated damages solely. Instead, we must remand for a new trial on both liability and damages.” Pointe W. Center, LLC v. It’s Alive, Inc., 476 S.W.3d 141, 149–50 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015).

2. Physical Impairment

“Physical impairment, sometimes called loss of enjoyment of life, encompasses the loss of the injured party's former lifestyle. To receive physical impairment damages, the plaintiff must prove that the effect of his physical impairment extends beyond any impediment to his earning capacity and beyond any pain and suffering to the extent that it produces a separate and distinct loss that is substantial and for which he should be compensated. That is, the plaintiff must show that (1) he incurred injuries that are distinct from, or extend beyond, injuries compensable as pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, or other damage elements and (2) these distinct injuries have had a ‘substantial’ effect.” Katy Springs & Mfg. v. Favalora, 476 S.W.3d 579, 599 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015).

3. Authority

“Express authority exists when the principal has made it clear to the agent that the principal wants the act under scrutiny to be performed. Implied authority is the authority of an agent to do whatever is necessary and proper to carry out the agent's express powers. An agent that does not have express actual authority cannot have implied authority.” Sanders Oil & Gas GP, LLC v. Ridgeway Elec., 479 S.W.3d 293, 301 (Tex. App.—El Paso, 2015).

4. Name Change

“We agree with the Dallas and Fort Worth courts that a party making a name change request under Section 160.636(e) must establish both ‘best interest’ and ‘good cause.’” In re C.M.V., 479 S.W.3d 352, 358–59 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2015).

5. Common Law Marriage

second anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased living together, it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to be married.” In re C.M.V., 479 S.W.3d 352, 361 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2015).

6. Zoning Notice

“The general rule is that the notice is sufficient if it reasonably apprises those for whom it was intended of the nature of the pending proposal to the extent that they can determine whether they should be present at the hearing. While the notice need not be complete and perfect in every respect, it must be of such a character to afford the recipient an opportunity to oppose the measure if he desires.” City of Dall. v. E. Village Ass’n, 480 S.W.3d 37, 40 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2015).

7. Failure to Specify Missing Element(s)

“A no-evidence motion that fails to specify the elements as to which there is no evidence is defective and cannot support summary judgment, even if the nonmovant fails to object to that deficiency below.” Ordonez v. Solorio, 480 S.W.3d 56, 61 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2015).


“No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full.” —Sulla (Lucuis Cornelius Sulla Felix), Roman general, 138 B.C.–78 B.C. “When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become president. I’m beginning to believe it.” —Clarence Darrow

QUOTE FROM COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT NO. 3 Q. “What have you learned from this experience [conviction for indecent exposure]?” A. “Don’t get naked.”


“Law is order, and good law is good order.” —Aristotle


John Hanson was arguably the first elected president of the United States. He won election to the then largely ceremonial position of President of the Continental Congress after the Articles of Confederation were ratified in March 1781. He was really only the country’s second President, however, as Samuel Huntington was currently serving as President when the articles were ratified. Who was the First President of the United States?, http:// g

“We also emphasize that if a proceeding in which a common law marriage is to be proved is not commenced before the

September 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 19

LegalLine C

OME ONE, COME ALL! Tarrant County Bar Association is happy to report that the latest LegalLine event on August 25th was a success. LegalLine is thankful to the following lawyers who generously donated their time and expertise to help serve their community:

Courtney Burns Bill Huebner An Lee Hsu Cynthia Maragoudakis

LegalLine is every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 6-8 PM. Dinner for all volunteers is provided at 5:30 PM. We encourage everyone to come join us and network with our other stellar lawyers! The next event (Sept. 8th) will be sponsored by Martinez Hsu, P.C. RSVP to Carolina at

Francis Nathan John Penn Scott Phillips

These lawyers provided assistance on topics such as bankruptcy, civil litigation, family law, probate, and immigration. Together, they answered 90 calls from the community.

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

20 â–Ş September 2016

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 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, the Fort Worth Zoo, and more. 9. The all-important fun networking opportunities. So the next time someone asks you why join the TCBA, please let them know. We thank you for your continued membership. This Bar Association is great because of its members like YOU! If you have any questions regarding your membership, please contact Sandy at the bar office at 817.338.4092 or by email at g

Membership Report


he 2016-2017 TCBA Bar year has begun. Membership renewals are coming in and we appreciate each and every one of you! We will be hosting a new member reception on Monday, September 12, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. at the Bar Association offices. If you have not become a member yet, or know someone who would like to join, this reception would be the perfect time to do so, along with learning about our committees and sections.

Reminder: If you wish to continue to receive a hardcopy of the Bar Bulletin, please include an additional $20 with your renewal or application. All others will receive the E-Bulletin. 2015-2016 Bar memberships are good through September 2016 only. If you have any questions regarding your membership, please contact Sandy at the bar office or e-mail her at g

We would like to take this time to welcome the new members of the TCBA: ATTORNEYS Laurie Ackermann J. Cody Acuff Alix Allison Collin Ashworth Christopher Baca Sorana Ban Katarzyna Brozynski Kelly Burns Ola Campbell Allison Carroll Tyler Clardy Antonio Devora Paul Elkins Joshua Eppich

Keegan Etheredge Jeff Griffin Jessica Gunnels Randy Hall Stephen Huschka Alissa Janke Gem Jones Merrill Jones Mary-Margaret Lemons Paul Lopez Rosalia Maddock James McBride Jennifer McDaniel Juan Mendoza Jason Mills

Kevin Mitchell Rebecca Morley Chandni Patel Kerri Phillips Chance Reynolds Jessica Robinson Kyle Russo Rachel Saltsman Michael Schneider Kasi Schuelke Jim Scott Graham Simms Lisa Sofos Matthew Tadlock Aziza Travis

William Wallace Robert Yadao STUDENTS Cielo Fortin-Camacho ASSOCIATES Stacy Alvarez Richard Goeke Melinda Jones Vincent Littleton Chloe Schultz Andrea Simons Robert Sutherland Brent Young

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth

Red Mass September 29, 2016

The Red Mass Committee of Fort Worth, Texas, cordially invites all attorneys, judges, public officials, and their families and staffs to attend the 2016 Red Mass on Thursday, September 29, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. at Saint Patrick Cathedral in downtown Fort Worth. The Red Mass is an ancient tradition of the Church and Bar and is offered to invoke divine guidance and strength through the coming judicial term. A reception will immediately follow Mass at the Saint Patrick Parish Center adjacent to the Cathedral. This year's guest speaker is the Most Reverend Bernard Hebda, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Heavy hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served at the reception. There is no cost to attend the Mass or the reception, but we gratefully accept donations to underwrite the event. To RSVP, learn more about the Red Mass, or make a donation, please contact David Pels at 817.877.8141 or, or visit

September 2016 â–Ş TCBA BULLETIN 21


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22 â–Ş September 2016

600 8th Aveue Fort Worth, TX 76104

Amerian Board of Trial Advocates

PRESS RELEASE Fathers for Equal Rights Needs 5 New Volunteer Attorneys Fathers for Equal Rights, Inc. (FER) located in Dallas, Texas has opened a new branch office in Fort Worth, Texas. The office is located at 1500 N. Main Street, Suite 120, Fort Worth, Texas 76164. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Fathers for Equal Rights is a non-profit organization serving Tarrant, Dallas, and surrounding counties. FER was incorporated in 1974 and is the oldest civil rights organization in the state, working on behalf of fathers, children, and families in Texas. FER assists approximately 1,800 members per year. The primary role of Fathers for Equal Rights is to assist fathers with family-related legal dilemmas such as child custody, child support, visitation enforcement, working with the Attorney General’s office, help with social studies and psychological evaluations, etc. Members can have routine legal documents prepared for them on a low-cost affordable basis, under the supervision of our volunteer attorneys. Moreover, members can consult with FER volunteer attorneys daily on a first-come, first-served basis at no additional charge. Between our two offices, FER has over 60 hours of access to attorneys, provided by 20 volunteer attorneys. Other services, which are currently available or will soon be available to members, include DNA testing, process serving, and access to mental health professionals. The latter is especially important when a psychological evaluation or social study is required. While the primary focus of Fathers for Equal Rights is assisting its member with the legal problems they confront, bigger picture items are also addressed. FER consults regularly with the Texas Attorney General’s office to address problems members have when dealing with that agency. Promotion of the concept of a responsible co-parenting arrangement whereby each parent shares equally in the rights and responsibilities of child rearing is a primary focus of Fathers for Equal Rights. FATHERS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS IS CURRENTLY LOOKING FOR FIVE (5) ADDITIONAL ATTORNEYS WITH A FOCUS ON FAMILY LAW TO VOLUNTEER AT OUR FORT WORTH OFFICE, DALLAS OFFICE, OR BOTH! For additional information, please contact: IVAN HERNANDEZ Director of Fort Worth FER 1500 N. Main Street, Ste 120 Fort Worth, Texas 76164 Tel: (817) 870-4880 Fax: (817) 624-4345

DOUG CLARK Director of Dallas FER 701 Commerce Street, Ste 302 Dallas, Texas 75202 Tel: (214) 953-2233 Fax: (214) 749-4622

CLE in Cozumel O

n June 23-27, 2016, a group of 38 adventurers, including 15 Tarrant County attorneys and their friends and families, embarked on a journey to Cozumel, Mexico. Based at the luxury resort Cozumel Palace, they enjoyed all the amenities offered: four restaurants, spa services, dolphin excursions, scuba diving, snorkeling, taking the ferry to Cancun, and hanging out in the swimming pools or in-room Jacuzzi. The attorneys attended CLEs presented by Cynthia Gustafson, Tom Henry, An Lee Hsu, Charla Moore, and Michael Schneider. Topics included jury selection, an update on firearms trusts, preparing for temporary orders in family law cases, protective orders, and representing estates in probate matters, including ethical considerations. Before the afternoon sessions, the divers boarded Aqua Safari’s dive boat and headed south. Five divers took refresher courses, and six new divers experienced Discover Scuba. On the final day of diving, several experienced divers joined the new divers on Paradise Reef. Leading the group was Michele DeLotto, who sometimes had to “encourage” the group to move to the next event, especially when they were forced to surrender their wristbands at the all-inclusive resorts and head to the Sun Country charter flight back to DFW. The group anticipates returning to Cozumel Palace in 2017, and we would love to have you join us! If you are interested, please contact Sherry Jones at 817.338.4092 or g

Other Associations’

News & Information

Arlington Bar Association Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. President, Ruth Lane. For location & information, email arlingtonbarassociation@yahoo. com or call 214.651.5622. Black Women Lawyers Association For meetings and information, contact Judge Maryellen Hicks, President, at 817.451.7100 or Dee J. Kelly Law Library Welcomes Bar Members! For the latest Texas A&M University School of Law library hours and information, please visit or call 817.212.3800. Fort Worth Chapter Association of Legal Administrators Meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the City Club, 301 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, 76102. For more information, contact Lisa Boyd at 817.339.2478 or Fort Worth Paralegal Association General Membership Meetings are held at noon every 4th Thursday of the month at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. FWPA Board of Directors meets at noon every 1st Tuesday of the month at the Bar Center. For more information, go to L. Clifford Davis Legal Association (f/k/a/ Tarrant County Black Bar Association) holds its meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00pm. For more information, contact President Crystal Gayden at 817.496.8408 or by email at

Lawyer Referral & Information Service



he Lawyer Referral Service started the new bar year on July 1, 2016, and we ended the month with over $41,000! Please remember that if we did not receive your 2016-2017 renewal by July 1, 2016, you will no longer receive referrals. A SPECIAL THANK YOU to our LRIS attorneys who make it all possible with their referral fees: Josh Borsellino Paul Francis Margaret Crosby Douglas Hafer Kelly Curnutt Bryce King Dustin Lee Kenneth Newell Wayne Fowler Scott Phillips Also, a big thank you to the LRIS staff, Carolina Ibarra and Brittany Gilbert, for all of their hard work and dedication to making this department run as smoothly as it does! g

MABA (Mexican American Bar Association) Meets on the last Thursday of each month at Rivas Mexican Restaurant, 5442 River Oaks Blvd., River Oaks, 76114. For more information, contact President Eloy Sepulveda at 817.332.1285. Northeast Tarrant County Bar Association (NETCBA) Meets for CLE luncheons on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at La Hacienda Restaurant, Hwy. 121. Contact President Fred Howey at 817.835.0555 or Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDLA) Meets every 2nd Thursday at Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce. For more information, contact President Brad Shaw at 817.237.1254 or Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association Meets at noon on the 4th Tuesday of each month at the Family Law Center Assembly Room on the 2nd floor. For more information, contact president Kevin Schmid, 817.377.3000 or Tarrant County Probate Bar Association Meets on the 1st Thursday of each month at the Petroleum Clubmembers free, guests $30. For more information, contact Lara Aman at 817.390.6040 or Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association Meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Joe T. Garcia’s. For more information, contact Mark Anderson at 817.294.1900. Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association The 2016-2017 new TCYLA Year begins September 1, 2016. If you need an application or meeting information, call 817.338.4092, email, or go to the website at Texas Association of Defense Council Meets for lunch every 4th Wednesday at Angelo’s. Contact George Haratsis, McDonald Sanders at 817.336.8651 for more information.

September 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 25

Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services The TCBA’s Tax & Estate Planning Section Donates to TVAS


he Tarrant County Bar Foundation and Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services extend their sincere appreciation to the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Tax & Estate Planning Section for its generous donation of $10,000 to TVAS. The funds will support TVAS’s current programs that assist low-income individuals with uncontested divorces and simple will and estate planning documents. The donation will also support the staff and overhead costs associated with TVAS’s development of legal clinics for low-income clients served by several community organizations in Tarrant County,

including Presbyterian Night Shelter and Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County. The Tax & Estate Planing Section was established in 1988 and has over 118 members. The 2016-2017 Chair of the section is Rob Schmid (Norman & Norman), and the 2015-2016 Past Chair is Shelli Harveson (Brown Pruitt Wambsganss Ferrill & Dean, P.C.). The Tax & Estate Planning Section’s donation was made possible in large part to the Bank of Texas’ continued support of the section and its initiatives.

TVAS Holds Free Legal Clinic at Presbyterian Night Shelter On July 26, 2016, TVAS held a free legal clinic for residents of Presbyterian Night Shelter. TVAS met with 50 residents during the two-hour clinic. TVAS thanks the following attorneys and volunteers for participating: Attorneys Virginia Carter John J. Cope Katherine Hopkins John Johnson Lisa Sofos Emmanuel Sofos

Volunteer Paralegals

Volunteer Law Students

Katrina Lea Starlene Moore Janice Piggot Michele Rayburn Julie Sherman

Gretchen Diebel Stacie Dowell Sam Johndroe Rebecca Ward

Thanks to the Following Attorneys for Providing Additional Assistance to Presbyterian Night Shelter Residents Outside of the Legal Clinic: John Johnson (Johnson Johnson) Virginia Carter (Law Offices of Virginia Carter) Dwayne Smith (Gardner & Smith, PLLC) 26 ▪ September 2016

SAVE THE DATE Wills & Estate Planning Clinic September 20

Volunteer attorneys can assist low-income residents with simple wills and estate planning documents. CLE is available. If you are interested in volunteering for the wills and estate planning clinic, please contact Megan Cooley at

Want To Help TVAS? Participate in North Texas Giving Day on September 22, 2016

The Tarrant County Bar Foundation – which provides support for TVAS - is participating in North Texas Giving Day on September 22, 2016. Donations can be made on the Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s profile at https:// Participants may direct their donations for TVAS by making a note of that intention on the donation page. g

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


Installation of the New 2016-2017 TCBA Officers & Directors


n July 12, the new 2016-2017 TCBA Officers & Directors were installed during the CLE Membership Luncheon at the City Club of Fort Worth. Guest speaker Frank Stevenson, 2016-2017 President of the State Bar of Texas, spoke on the programs of the State Bar of Texas. Judge Louis Sturns

installed the new TCBA 2016-2017 Officers & Directors.The TCBA thanked immediate past president David Keltner for his service to the bar this past year and the TCBA's new President, Robert West, spoke on his plans during his year as president for the TCBA. g

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


Secure Access for Attorneys

ttorneys, did you know that you have the ability to view and print your civil and probate case documents securely from the web? The Tarrant County Clerk’s Office is now offering Secure Access for Attorneys to promote flexibility and cut down on time and money spent commuting. To get this valuable feature contact the Tarrant County Clerk’s Office at 817.884.1765 or visit g



28 ▪ September 2016

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




Lawyers on the Move &

in the News

The Southlake firm Robbins Travis PLLC is pleased to welcome DeReall R. Moore as a new lawyer in the firm. DeReall is a graduate of TCU and of Harvard Law School. After clerking on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, he has worked for two major Dallas firms and a large insurance company before coming to Robbins Travis. He can be reached at 817.918.2304 or Kelly Hart & Hallman is pleased to announce that Katherine T. Hopkins is the 2016 recipient of the Romina L. Mulloy-Bossio Achievement Award. Katherine was honored during the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, held June 1617 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Ms. Hopkins is an associate with Kelly Hart & Hallman’s Bankruptcy Practice. She can be contacted at 817.878.9377 or at Hal R. Ray, Jr., formerly a partner in Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Ray, LLP, has been appointed United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Wichita Falls Division. He can be contacted by email at or 940.767.1902. Husch Blackwell, LLP has appointed Rick Illmer as a managing partner of its Dallas office. Illmer is a litigation partner with the firm’s Financial Services group and also serves on the firm’s Partner Board. His civil trial practice involves complex commercial and business tort litigation, including class action litigation, contract disputes, and fraud and antitrust claims. Rick can be contacted at rick.illmer@ or 214.999.6112. The law firm of McDonald Sanders is pleased to announce the addition of associate attorney, Jeffrey M. Griffin. Jeff’s

practice focuses on the areas of business transactions, real estate and oil and gas. He can be contacted at 817.347.3658 or Kelly Hart & Hallman is pleased to announce that James C. Scott joins the firm as a partner in the Litigation Practice Group, Fort Worth office. Mr. Scott’s practice centers upon civil litigation at the trial and appellate levels in a broad range of commercial matters including oil and gas litigation, and financial and real estate litigation. He can be contacted at 817.878.3541 or Stephen Huschka, a graduate of Texas A&M University School of Law, has joined the litigation section of Cantey Hanger LLP as an associate. Stephen can be contacted at 817.877.2800 or by email at D. Gordon Bryant, Jr. has been selected by the district judges of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas to serve as United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division. He can be contacted at 806.472.1933. Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C., is proud to announce that Catherine H. Goodman (formerly of Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP), has become affiliated with the firm. Catherine continues to concentrate her over twenty-year practice in estate planning, probate and guardianship matters and related litigation. She can be contacted at 817.870.8700 or Jennifer Bley Sweeny has been named Partner of the firm Dowell Pham Harrison LLP. She has focused her career on representing employers of all sizes with labor and employment issues ranging from day-to-day counseling and handbook drafting to complex discrimination lawsuits and labor disputes. Her areas of practice will be Appellate, Labor/Employment and Litigation. Jennifer can be contacted at 817.632.6314 or g

...President's Page continued from page 1 channel your interest and energy into that smaller group, it will create a much better connection for you within the larger organization and will allow you to better experience the personal satisfaction of volunteer service to your profession and community. If there is not already something in TCBA that interests you, please give us your suggestions for improvements to the existing programs or for new programs or activities that might be added to help support you in your law practice and your life. The next Membership CLE Lunch will be on Tuesday, September 13, at 11:45 at the City Club of Fort Worth. Our speaker that day will be Professor Lynne H. Rambo of the Texas A&M University School of Law, who will be

speaking to us on the Right to Vote. This topic is particularly timely in this fall season of 2016 before the very significant national, state, and local political elections on November 8. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently increased the relevance of this topic in Texas and locally by its ruling on July 20 against the Texas Voter ID Law in the case of Veasey v. Abbott (Case No. 14-41127), which Professor Rambo will discuss as a part of her presentation. I look forward to continuing to meet more of you during the coming year. g

“Skipper” Bob West September 2016 ▪ TCBA BULLETIN 29

g n i n e p p a It’s All H Around the Bar Cindy Rankin's Retirement Party

Crimmigration Seminar

Past President's Luncheon

Sherry Jones 20th TCBA Anniversary

National Adoption Day Friday, November 18, 2016 8:30 a.m. Tarrant County Family Law Center


Thank You to our

Crimmigration Seminar Sponsors Event Sponsor


n National Adoption Day, we will celebrate and help place children from the foster care system with new forever families. If you are interested in being on the National Adoption Day committee, volunteering at the event, or making a financial contribution, 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.

Lunch Sponsor

Break Sponsor

Mixer Sponsor

32 â–Ş September 2016

A Glimpse In the Past

54 Years Ago

Bar Bulletin ▪ September 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




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September 2016 Tarrant County Bar Association Bar Bulletin  

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