1 NEWSLETTER Official newsletter of the San Antonio Bar Association February 2012 Vol. LXXXVII Number 7 in this issue ABA Workers Comp Conference in SA Memorial Service 49 th Annual Criminal Law Institute Basics of Veterans Training CLE Joe Frazier Brown Award Nominations Submit a Recipe to the CJP Cookbook SBOT President-Elect Candidates Ethics Follies Video Presentation 2012 CJP Celebrity Golf Tournament Don Philbin Honored by BCDRC District Clerk Expands Online Dockets Hon. Bull Receives Amicus Award President s Message SABF Page Community Justice Program Committee Corner Briefly Announcements New Member Welcome Listings February Calendar departments Extreme Family Law Makeover X, Feb. 24 The Family Law Section s Extreme Family Law Makeover seminar will celebrate its 10 th anniversary on February 24, 2012 at The University of the Incarnate Word Sky Room. It was started in 2003 by family law attorneys Karen Marvel and Richard Loza. For its first two years the seminar had a different name but became known as the Extreme Family Law Makeover seminar in The seminar was held at The Bright Shawl from 2003 to Due to its popularity as the premier annual seminar by San Antonio family law attorneys for San Antonio family law attorneys, the seminar outgrew that location. It was held at The Pearl Stable in 2010 and This year will be its first year at the Sky Room. The Sky Room provides a spacious comfortable conference space that should accommodate the seminar for years to come. About 250 people registered for last year s seminar, and more are expected this year. Attorneys from neighboring counties and from as far away as Corpus Christi make it a point to attend this valuable event. This year s seminar provides 7.5 hours of CLE, including 2.0 hours of ethics, of practical information for attorneys. The luncheon speaker is Joe Dittmar, a survivor of the 9-11 tragedy. His story is sure to be inspiring. You can register online for this very affordable seminar by going to Seminar brochures are available at the Presiding Civil District Court. You can also contact the seminar directors, Kim Pettit at Amber Liddell Alwais at or Mark Thompson at com for more information. Save the Date: ABA Midyear Meeting, 2/1-7 March Subpoena Deadline, 2/10 CJP TRLA Clinic, 2/14 Last Chance Videos, 2/16-17 CJP Veterans Clinic, 2/17 Bexar County Holiday, 2/20 Ethics Follies Video, 2/22 SABA Monthly Luncheon, 2/23 Extreme Family Law Makeover, 2/24 49 th Criminal Law Institute, Mar SABA s highly acclaimed Criminal Law Institute is just around the corner on March 23-24, This Institute represents the 49 th anniversary of this CLE program, designed to provide judges and counsel with thorough, scholarly presentations on crucial criminal law issues of the day. Co-sponsored by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer s Association, this year s Institute continues its long tradition of providing valuable information on topics of interest to both new and experienced lawyers and judges. The Criminal Law Institute, in honor of the late Honorable A.A. Semaan, will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel, 37 N.E. Loop 410, - continued on page 5 -
2 2 President s Message Look Back, But Move Forward We are six months into the SABA budget year, and it s a time to look back for perspective and then move forward as to issues impacting the Bar and attorneys in San Antonio. One issue in particular is still front and center ACCESS TO JUSTICE. My first Subpoena article as SABA President was about pro se litigants at the Courthouse. Most recently after intense discussions and lobbying, mostly from family law attorneys, and support from Bar Associations across the state including the SABA Board the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors voted to request that the Supreme Court suspend the work of its Forms Task Force and refer the issue to the State Bar for further review and study. Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson has responded to this request in a letter to State Bar President Bob Black. The Justice s response is thank you for your interest; we are moving forward on the project and we welcome your input and participation in the process. Self Help centers in various forms have been established in other cities. In Bexar County, a Self Help clinic open to the public was first approved and then dissolved by Commissioners Court. Currently, some basic forms can be purchased at the Law Library and the Staff Attorney s office for the Civil District Judges reviews final orders for the judges before the pro se docket. Legal Aid and volunteer attorneys for the Community Justice Program offer services, but only to a limited number of eligible recipients. During all of my discussions with parties on this issue there is agreement that anyone who meets Legal Aid economic guidelines should be afforded some services. The disagreement comes from what monies and/or services should be provided to those who decide to represent themselves. People ask, why are taxpayer dollars being used to support people who may be able to afford legal services, but don t want to hire a lawyer? Some in the legal community want to know why our Supreme Court, the Office of Court Administration and even our own State Bar organizations are supporting efforts that encourage pro se AKA self-represented litigants. As President of SABA and a former sole practitioner, I understand how both the economics of practicing law and the proper handling of legal matters by pro se litigants is a cause for concern. The flip side of the argument is the hat I wear as General Administrative Counsel to the Bexar County Civil District Courts. Like it or not, self represented litigants are coming to Court. If there were no Staff Attorney s Office to assist in the process as we have now, they would still show up at the Courthouse. Without some oversight of orders being presented to the Judges and docket control, delay will result in the Civil Presiding Court. Administration of our dockets and justice require us to take some action. The Access to Justice Commission is asking local bar associations to pass a resolution supporting the voluntary $150 contribution to Access to Justice which is in our annual State Bar dues statement. I have heard several attorneys state that family law lawyers will not only organize to boycott paying those voluntary dues, but they will also pull back their support of the San Antonio Community Justice Program, which provides legal services to persons qualified to receive Legal Aid. The thought of crippling a highly successful attorney volunteer program helping the poor in San Antonio is shortsighted and counter-productive. What does this mean for the future of handling pro se litigants in Bexar County? One thing is clear the Supreme Court is moving forward, so the time to complain about their policy is in the past, and the time to find solutions is here and now. Despite their opposition to the Forms Project, I will be looking to tap into the leadership demonstrated by the Family Law Section to help carve out a local solution in Bexar County prior to any mandates from the state level. This will take open discussion and compromise, but I am confident in the talent and resolve of our local Bar to work out an acceptable solution to the important issues of access to the Courts and proper and necessary representation of peoples legal rights.
3 3 ABA National Workers Comp Conference comes to S.A. The ABA is coming to San Antonio in March for its annual National Workers Compensation conference! Don t miss this year s national program on national trends and emerging issues affecting workers compensation laws in all states. Mark your calendars and sign up for March 8-10, 2012 at the Westin Riverwalk in warm, welcoming San Antonio! This can t miss program is open to anyone and applicable to all aspects of the work done in the workers compensation field: claimant and defense attorneys, self insured and insured employers, insurance company executives and adjusters, governmental entities, and medical providers. The discussions will be candid and spirited but always educational! Topics include: Natural Disasters and Their Aftermath: Picking up the Pieces; Undocumented Workers; Veterans Benefits and Federal Workers Compensation; Medical and Legal Causation; Social Networking: Investigation and Surveillance in the Technology Age; Evolution of the Personal Comfort Doctrine; Controversial Diagnosis Cases in Occupational Disease; Workers Compensation Reform; and Teaching Workers Compensation in the Law Schools Following this amazing program, the annual College of Workers Compensation Lawyers will hold their annual dinner on Saturday evening. Tickets and invitations are required for this event. Join your fellow workers compensation practitioners, judges, and many others whose work is impacted by this dynamic field and stomp your boots in the collegial and lively atmosphere of San Antonio! Leave your ties and heels at home and join us March 8-10, Register online at tort_trial_insurance_practice.html or visit the ABA website for more details. The Fourth Court of Appeals & the San Antonio Bar Association will sponsor a Memorial Service Thursday, February 9 th for Anthony Nicholas and Hubert Green Services begin promptly at 3 p.m. in the Fourth Court of Appeals Courtroom Bilingual Mediation & Arbitration Insurance Law Construction Law Employment Law Rene Diaz Former District Judge TMCA Credentialed Mediator One of S.A. s BEST Mediators SCENE IN SA Magazine (2007, 2008, 2009) Family Law Personal Injury Probate Law The Historic Milam Bldg. 115 E. Travis, Suite 333 San Antonio, TX P: F:
4 The San Antonio Bar Foundation To more accurately reflect the purpose of the San Antonio Bar Foundation, its Board of Trustees approved the following revised Mission Statement on December 13, 2011: The San Antonio Bar Foundation enhances the rule of law and the system of justice in Bexar and surrounding counties by soliciting contributions and providing funding and facilities for programs that relate to ethics in the legal profession, the administration of justice, legal assistance for the indigent, and legal scholarship and publications. SABF & St. Mary s University School of Law to host 18 th Annual People s Law School, Feb. 18 From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 18, 2012, the 18 th Annual People s Law School will be held at St. Mary s University School of Law. Free and open to the public, the seminar is designed to provide basic legal concepts on three primary topics or Tracks : Elder, Family and Business Law. Participants may sign up for the track that is most relevant to them and attend up to four 45-minute classes on those topics, which are taught by local attorneys. For example, the Elder Law track will include: Living Wills and Powers of Attorney, Social Security Disability & Social Security, Wills and Managing Your Money. Sponsored by the San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF) in conjunction with St. Mary s University School of Law, the People s Law School allows participants to ask questions and speak personally with the instructors. The SABF is pleased to offer these classes to the general public, said Richard Loza, an attorney who serves as Project Director for the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid Family Justice Center and as chair of the event. Those who attend get their questions answered for free, and the attorneys who participate can feel good that they donate their time for a worthy cause. It is a beneficial situation for everyone. St. Mary s University School of Law is located at the intersection of Culebra and 36 th Street and participants are asked to enter from the NW 36 th Street entrance. Like the seminar, parking is free. Light refreshments will be offered. The mission of the SABF is to enhance the rule of law and the system of justice in Bexar and surrounding counties by soliciting contributions and providing funding and facilities for programs that relate to ethics in the legal profession, the administration of justice, legal assistance for the indigent, and legal scholarship and publications. If you would like to receive fliers and/or more information, please contact Jennie Badger at or x25. Tributes In honor Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP for fulfilling their commitment to the restoration and preservation of the historic Bexar County Courthouse - from the Hidalgo Foundation BG (Ret.) Scott and Janet Magers Thanks to a great team of Peacemakers and extraordinary leaders; advancing out front as a stellar military family, strengthening the quality of our Alternative Dispute Resolution community, and spearheading the innovative Amigos in Mediation program in local schools. With much appreciation for your lifetime of dedicated service, and best wishes for more rewarding experiences together in retirement. - from Pam and Allan DuBois In memory Bill N. Camp Father of J. Bradford Camp - from Rick Noll and Diane Abdo
5 5 Criminal Law Institute (cont.) - continued from front page - across from North Star Mall. Free parking is available on a space-as-available basis. Onsite registration for the Institute will begin on March 23, at 8 a.m., and the Institute program will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m hours of MCLE credit, including 2.0 hours of ethics credit have been requested. These hours will also apply towards felony appointment status in Bexar County for Credit for attendance at the San Antonio Criminal Law Institute may be utilized toward the total continuing legal education requirements for the certification and recertification of attorneys in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The pre-registration deadline is 5 p.m., March 19, at a cost of $225. Please note that the fee MUST be received at the San Antonio Bar Association office no later than 5 p.m. on March 19 in order to receive the preregistration discount. Registration after March 19 and on the day of the event is $275. The fee includes seminar materials and Friday lunch. Federal, State, County and Municipal Court Judges, as well as their staff attorneys/briefing attorneys/ law clerks, are entitled to attend this institute on a complimentary basis. They will be provided with written materials at cost when attending. This privilege is not transferable. Seminar brochures will be mailed in mid-february. For further information please call th Annual Criminal Law Institute In Honor of District Judge A.A. Semaan Moderators: John Convery and Robert Price March 23-24, 2012 DoubleTree Hotel San Antonio, Texas SABA is active on Facebook and Twitter! You can follow us on or like us on Facebook! The DoubleTree Hotel is located in the heart of San Antonio s thriving city center and one mile from San Antonio International Airport. The hotel is also only a short drive from Sea World of Texas, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, The Alamo, Alamodome, The Riverwalk, North Star Mall, the beautiful Texas hill country and many other entertainment and business venues. Apply towards MCLE hours for felony appointment status in Bexar County 12.
6 6 Thank You January CJP Volunteers! St. Mary s Wills Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P. Emily Baine Samantha Dyal Kathy Grant John Hernandez Michael Parker Steve Peirce Ashley Senary Blake Stribling Bill Sullivan Jeff Webb John Weber Tina York Valero Energy Corporation Timothy Ammons Ann Barron Jennifer Bligh Megan Bluntzer Jeff Bryan Les Caldwell Diane Hirsch Lisa Hodges Virginia Honeyman Cristina Jennings Ethan Jones Patrick Porter Angela Sanchez Other Attorneys Deborah Jackson Casandra Ortiz David White Ashley Graham Atressia House Naomi Howard Amanda James Asad Kahloon Sarah Anne Lishman Amanda López Jamie Nance Matthew Powell Jacqueline Sánchez Gerrit Schulze Sarah Sudduth Paige Thomas Leigh Thompson Gavin Uttecht Adam Wheeler Zachary Zurrek Volunteer Support Notaries & Support Staff Daniel Aguilar Christine Cook Claude D Souza Del Gomez Monica Harris Theresa Hughes Peggy Knox Francesca Quintanilla Farah Pourzadi Monica Roberson Dana Thompson Evangeline Vasquez Susan Wilen SAVE THE DATE! The Community Justice Program is excited to announce the date for our 2012 CJP Celebrity Golf Tournament. Our tournament will be held on Thursday, April 12, The tournament will again be held at the beautiful Golf Club of Texas at Briggs Ranch. Be sure to mark your calendars and stay tuned to the Subpoena and SABA blasts for more details to come soon. If you are ready to reserve your foursome s spot or commit your sponsorship, contact the CJP at or Volunteer of the Month Program Giuliano Peña Santos Wilen Each month, we highlight a CJP volunteer(s) that has gone above and beyond or done an exceptional job with the CJP. The February CJP Volunteers of the Month are Patricia Giuliano, Mary Peña, Lisa Santos and Susan Wilen. These remarkable women work tirelessly on behalf of the Community Justice Program to recruit volunteer support staff and notaries for each of the four CJP legal clinics. Patti Giuliano is the LAD Coordinator for the TRLA Family Law Clinic; Mary Peña is the SALSA Coordinator for the St. Mary s Wills Clinic; Lisa Santos is the Coordinator for the Wesley Community Center Clinic; and Susan Wilen is the Coordinator for the Veterans Clinic. Paralegals, notaries and legal support staff are critical to the success of each clinic and we are extremely fortunate to have these four ladies working on our behalf. We thank Patti, Mary, Lisa and Susan for their continued hard work, commitment and dedication to the program. Mentors Henry Amen Carl Werner Law Students Matthew Allen Evan Anders Katrina Ayala Dave Bevins Warren Craig Kimberly Ford Volunteer law students listen attentively to Judge Larry Noll (not pictured) as he gives the CJP volunteer orientation prior to the start of the January 17 CJP Wills Clinic at St. Mary s Center for Legal & Social Justice.
7 7 If you would like to volunteer to Just Take One pro bono case, we welcome and appreciate your participation. Volunteer attorneys are eligible to receive 5.0 hours of free CLE credit, including one hour of ethics, for taking a case. The Community Justice Program will hold a Family Law Clinic and Veterans Clinic during the month of February: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, 1111 North Main Avenue, San Antonio, Texas Clinic starts at 5:30 p.m. FAMILY LAW CLINIC Friday, February 17, 2012 at the Audie L. Murphy Veterans Hospital, 7400 Merton Minter Street, San Antonio, TX Clinic starts at 2:00 p.m. VETERANS CLINIC. If you need to finalize your CJP case or have questions about a current CJP case, please contact Suzanne DeWalt at or , x26. Please visit our website at for the full 2012 clinic calendar. CJP CO-CHAIRS Judge Larry Noll & Justice Sandee Bryan Marion CJP DIRECTOR Amanda Reimherr Buckert CJP ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR Suzanne DeWalt MANAGING ATTORNEY, SA OFFICE Ann Zaragoza (TRLA) Volunteer attorneys and support staff from Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P. participate at the January Wills Clinic. This is the 10 th year that Fulbright & Jaworski volunteers have participated in a CJP legal clinic. PARALEGAL CLIENT COORDINATOR Maria Lulu Villanueva (TRLA) LAD COORDINATOR (TRLA) Patricia Giuliano St. Mary s Clinic COORDINATOR Mary Peña WESLEY CLINIC COORDINATOR Lisa Santos Notary/Paralegal Coordinator Susan Wilen (Veterans Clinics) Valero Energy Corporation attorneys and support staff volunteer at the January 17 Wills Clinic. To volunteer to Just Take One pro bono case per year; call Amanda Reimherr x24
8 8 The Basics of Veterans Benefits Training CLE The Community Justice Program invites you to join us for a free 3.0-hour CLE on Friday, March 9, a.m. in the Central Jury Room of the Cadena- Reeves Justice Center. The Basics of Veterans Benefits Law is designed to give attorneys a primer in this growing area of legal practice. The course will primarily focus on VA disability benefits and what is necessary to secure these benefits on behalf of our veterans. The CJP is pleased to be able to offer this CLE for FREE to attorneys willing to volunteer at an upcoming CJP Veterans Clinic. For more information or to register for this free CLE, please contact Suzanne DeWalt at x26 or by at Subpoena Subpoena (USPS #010728) (ISSN # ) is published monthly at the annual rate of $20 by the San Antonio Bar Association, Bexar County Courthouse, Suite 500, San Antonio, Texas Periodicals postage paid at San Antonio, TX POSTMASTER send address changes to: Subpoena, San Antonio Bar Association, Bexar County Courthouse, Suite 500, San Antonio, Texas Press releases, calendar announcements and inquiries about the Subpoena must be sent by the 10 th of the month preceding publication to the attention of: Kimberly Palmer Editor ; Fax: ; SABA website: SABA office hours: Monday-Friday 8-5 p.m.; Closed weekends and County holidays The Community Justice Program presents The Basics of Veterans Benefits Training March 9, 9 a.m. Central Jury Room, Cadena-Reeves Justice Center FREE to future CJP volunteers! 3.0 hours CLE RSVP: or x26
9 9 Submit your nominations for the 12 Joe Frazier Brown, Sr. Award! Nominations are now being accepted for the Joe Frazier Brown, Sr. Award of Excellence, created in 1994 for the purpose of recognizing an outstanding Joe Frazier Brown, Sr. lawyer in the community. The award was established as a long-term tribute in honor of Joe Frazier Brown, Sr., who had a distinguished career and also taught and influenced many attorneys throughout the years. He was the 150 th District Court Judge from 1957 until 1963 and president of the San Antonio Bar Association from 1964 until Judge Brown died in The award recognizes an attorney (or attorneys) who exemplifies all that is good about our profession. He or she should demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, exceptional skills as a counselor and advocate and such personal attributes as honor, integrity, service and intelligence. He or she should be a model of the Texas Lawyer s Creed and an inspiration for others in serving our clients and fulfilling our responsibility to the legal system. The Joe Frazier Brown, Sr. Award of Excellence will be presented to the recipient(s) at the annual Law Day luncheon in May of Names of all recipients are permanently on display in the San Antonio Bar Association offices, located on the 5 th floor of the Bexar County Courthouse. Letters of nomination should be submitted to the San Antonio Bar Association, Bexar County Courthouse, Suite 500, 100 Dolorosa, San Antonio, TX Nominations letters should be no longer than three pages and will be accepted though Tuesday, February 28, CJP Cookbook Do you have a recipe for a delish dish, scrumptious sweet or amazing appetizer that you want to share with the San Antonio legal community? If so, please consider submitting the recipes for all your culinary creations to the first ever CJP Cookbook. This cookbook will benefit the CJP and be a perfect gift or addition to your kitchen collection. We will be collecting recipes from all members of the legal community: lawyers, judges, paralegals, Auxiliary members, all spouses, clerks, court reporters, etc. to be included in the cookbook, which will be printed in You can submit your recipes via our online form at org. For any questions, please contact Suzanne DeWalt or Kim Palmer at Thank you for your submissions, and let s get cooking!
10 10 SBOT nominates Steve Bolden of Dallas & Lisa Tatum of San Antonio as president-elect candidates The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors has approved the nomination of attorneys E. Steve Bolden II of Dallas and Lisa Tatum of San Antonio as candidates for president-elect. Texas attorneys will cast their votes during an election this spring. Election results will be announced May 1. The president-elect will serve as president of the State Bar of Texas from June 2013 until June Steve Bolden is a shareholder at Mahomes Bolden PC in Dallas where he focuses on a variety of corporate and securities matters, including mergers and acquisitions of publicly traded and privately held companies, public securities offerings, private equity transactions and bond transactions. Prior to joining Mahomes Bolden PC in 2008, he practiced at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Jackson Walker LLP. Bolden has served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, Nominations and Elections Subcommittee, Policy Manual Subcommittee and chaired the Section Representatives to the Board Committee. He has served on the Dallas Bar Association Board of Directors. He serves on the Business Law Section Council and chaired the African American Lawyers Section. He is currently serving as a trustee on the Dallas Bar Foundation Board where he chairs the Collins Clerkship Program. He has served on the board of The Entrepreneurship Institute of Dallas and the First Tee of Dallas. He is a recipient of a J.L. Turner Legal Association Presidential Citation and a Dallas Bar Association Presidential Citation. He served as president of the J.L. Turner Legal Association in 2008 and under his administration the organization received recognition as Region V Affiliate Chapter of the Year. Bolden received his A.B. in government from Dartmouth College and his J.D. magna cum laude from Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, where he was a member of the Board of Advocates. Lisa Tatum is the founder and owner of LM Tatum, PLLC (The Tatum Law Practice) in San Antonio with a practice that focuses on corporate, education, employment and public finance law. Tatum serves as outside and general counsel to corporate clients, public and private, as well as individuals. Prior to forming her own firm, Tatum was managing associate at West & Associates L.L.P., an associate with Escamilla & Poneck, Inc., and served as a Bexar County Assistant Criminal District Attorney in San Antonio. Tatum has served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Budget Committee, and Audit & Finance Committee, among others. She has served as co-chair and chair of the Discipline and Client Attorney Assistance Program Committee, and currently serves as vice chair of the Commission for Lawyer Discipline. She has been awarded a State Bar Presidential Citation and Outstanding Third Year Director Award. She is a past president and former director of the San Antonio Black Lawyers Association, past chair, former vice chair and member of the African American Lawyers Section of the State Bar, and a member of the Bexar County Women s Bar Association. She is a member of the San Antonio Bar Association, American Bar Association and National Bar Association. Tatum received a B.A. in government from Smith College and her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law, where she was inducted as a national member of the Order of Barristers.
11 11 Ethic Follies Video Presentations Return with Cloud 9, Feb. 22 Law Office of Appeals Briefed/Argued Error Preservation Dispositive Motions Original Proceedings Jury Charges Research Flexible Arrangements (Hourly, Contingency, Flat Fee) Not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization Jeff Small Civil Appeals Litigation Support Appellate Mediation f: Ethics Follies uses music and comedy, performed by local attorneys, physicians, judges and actors to raise awareness of the business and legal ethics issues, and it s now available to view monthly at the San Antonio Bar Association! If you missed the live performance in October, this is your opportunity to see Cloud 9 on DVD! Beginning in December, the video will be shown twice on the 5 th floor of the Bexar County Courthouse on the fourth Wednesday of every month. The morning video presentation will begin promptly at 9 a.m. and the afternoon video begins at 2 p.m. The 2011 Ethics Follies show is called Cloud 9, and it s the story of a geeky IT employee of Decent Food and Drugs who has a lucky discovery that leads him to open his own cloud computing company. While the show covers serious ethics and compliance issues in an enjoyable way, it also reminds us about the positive financial impact of doing the right thing. All businesses and law firms will benefit from the ethics issues raised. This year, we ll also see the emerging ethics issues for attorneys who use remote computing for their client s files. The South/Central Texas Chapter of The Association of Corporate Counsel has hosted the ethics conference for 14 years in San Antonio. It is produced in cooperation with The San Antonio Bar Association, the San Antonio Bar Foundation and the Las Casas Foundation, which is donating the use of the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre. The net proceeds of both performances of Ethics Follies and the raffle benefit The Community Justice Program. To date, the South/Central Texas Chapter of The Association of Corporate Counsel has donated over $75,000 to the CJP! Registration is $60 to SABA and ACC members and $100 to nonmembers. Attendees will receive 2.0 hours of the most enjoyable, entertaining ethics CLE credit available! RSVPs to are appreciated, but walk-ins are always welcome.
12 12 Committee Corner The District Courts Committee convened at Noon on January 5, 2012, in the 5 th Floor Courtroom. About 21 members were in attendance along with District Judges Renée McElhaney, Barbara Nellermoe, Larry Noll and Sol Casseb. Gary Hutton gave a brief report about progress on various construction projects around the Courthouse and said that parts of the new Presiding Court complex on the first floor could be usable by March. The Committee s guest speaker was James Ehler, who heads up the local office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas. The office has five attorneys and its mission is to protect the public from unethical conduct by attorneys. Mr. Ehler said that 95 percent of his office s referrals come from the public, with grievances against family lawyers, criminal lawyers and personal injury lawyers making up the vast majority of those complaints. He noted that all these specialty areas involve matters causing people great personal stress. Complaints about immigration and bankruptcy matters are on the rise. The typical respondent is a white male aged 45 to 55 years old, but lately newer lawyers, frequently without mentors, are getting into trouble more often. Mr. Ehler gave a detailed description of the various steps in the grievance process. He said that the most common source of grievances is failure to communicate with the client. Failure to use a written contract of employment and failure to return a client s file are the next most common and conflicts of interest round out the top four categories. Conflicts of interest arise in multiple representation situations where it is unclear which party a particular attorney represents. Such situations include small businesses, criminal co-defendants, probate and real estate matters and divorces. The most interesting discussion concerned socalled non-refundable retainers. Mr. Ehler said that, except in very narrow circumstances, almost no fees are earned-on-receipt fees. Thus, a retainer remains the client s property until it has been earned in accordance with the fee agreement. The Committee appreciated Mr. Ehler s presentation, and everyone present learned District Courts COMMITTEE
13 13 something from it. Next month s meeting will be at noon on February 2, 2012, in the same place. Our guest speaker will be the Hon. Keith Hottle, Clerk of the Fourth Court of Appeals, who will speak on the new e-filing procedures at that Court. - Steve Weakley, Chair Mentor COMMITTEE Before her election as a State Civil District Judge, Cathleen (Cathy) Stryker was a trial lawyer in Philadelphia and San Antonio. In her remarks January 19 to an audience of 32 mentors and mentees, she focused on the Civil Presiding Judge System of Bexar County and motions for summary judgment. She reminded mentors, and informed mentees that accurate time estimates are required by the presiding judge. She thinks good practice is to confer with your opponent about time estimates, so that the estimates are accurate. She indicated the penalty for an inaccurate time estimate can be pretty severe: a mistrial when you have not finished the hearing by the end of the estimated time, which will cause you to have to return to presiding and start over. She also thinks good practice is calling your opponent when your opponent fails to appear for docket call. (Sometimes there is a good excuse. Wouldn t you like to be called if you forgot, or were sick, or had a flat tire on the way to court? And wouldn t you like to help the presiding judge, who would prefer ruling on the merits, instead of by default?) Judge Stryker gave some advice about when to request a hearing by a specific judge: Ask the presiding judge to assign you to a specific judge if that judge has recently heard other matters in the case. Ask the specific judge to hear the matter if that judge tried the case, or if you are requesting that the judge reconsider a previous ruling by that judge. Do not ask that the case be set on the presiding court docket if the matter should be heard by the judge who tried the case, or made the ruling in question; ask the specific judge to set the case on that judge s docket for a hearing. An exception to the presiding judge system is a case which has been designated as complex. Move for an order designating your case as complex, if, for example, there are lots of out of town witnesses, there are multiple parties, the issues are complex and require explanation by an expert. Another exception is the monitoring judge system. The monitoring judge hears matters relating to scheduling of jury trials, and lengthy non jury trials, including motions for level 3 discovery control plans by which there is a motion to set the case on the docket for trial to a jury. Every judge is different. Although the rules of procedure and of evidence are the same in every court, the rules of practice differ in each court. Try to learn the practice of each judge who might hear a motion for summary judgment: Does the judge want to hear oral argument as soon as you walk into the courtroom? Or does the judge want just a brief summary of the case, and presentation of motions for summary judgment, responses in opposition and summary judgment evidence, which the judge will read before ruling? Don t assume the judge knows anything about the case: Introduce yourself, your client, and whether you are moving or just responding. Inform the judge about the issues and give a summary of the summary judgment evidence. Help the judge with a one page cheat sheet which lists the attorneys, their clients, and the issues in the case. Further help comes in the form of a notebook which contains the motion, response and summary judgment evidence. Bring a hard copy of all motions, responses, evidence. Unfortunately, the computer system used by the judges is not efficient, and judges are frustrated when parties expect them to find the motion or response in the computer. We thank Judge Stryker for mentoring us. I thank the mentors and mentees for attending this program. And thanks, too, for assistance from Liz Castillo and Elyssa Mendez from the SABA. I also want to acknowledge our new mentees: Alex Salazar, Robert C. Gunn, Alysian Thomas, Byron Miller, Allen K. Al Lowe, Marissa Giovenco, and Cathy Lockhart. I want to note that mentee John Muller has been promoted to the rank of mentor. Thank you, John, for agreeing to support the program as a mentor, and for helping to build the membership of SABA. I know there are other potential mentors elsewhere and among the ranks of the mentees. Please let me know if you would like to participate as a mentor. Our next program, February 22, 2012, noon: Paul Fletcher, Attorney at Law: Can they really get away with that? In answering the question, he will give an introduction to claims against local governments. As an outside lawyer to local governments and agencies, he has the experience to answer the question and to introduce you to claims against local governments and agencies. Place: 9 th floor conference room at Langley and Banack located at 745 East Mulberry St. at U.S. 281 N. MCLE credit: 1.0 hour. You are invited to join us if you are a mentor or mentee, or a potential mentor or mentee. Reservations to Robin Teague, - Robin Teague, Chair ADR Section presents Intuition and Critical Thinking Applying Both Thinking Systems to Mediation Rob Eichelbaum, Davis Law Firm Mediator and Adjunct Professor at St. Mary s Law School Tuesday February noon - 1 p.m. 6 th floor SABA Board Room, located on the upper level of the Bexar County Law Library CLE: 1.0 hour RSVP to Jerry King at or
14 2012 CJP Celebrity Golf Tournament! The Community Justice Program is proud to announce the third annual CJP Celebrity Golf Tournament! So start practicing your putts and round up your foursomes for the April 12, 2012 tournament at The Golf Club of Texas at Briggs Ranch. The tournament will be a 4-person scramble format with registration starting at 7:30 a.m. and a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start. The cost is $125 per person. Many sports and judical celebrities will be playing! Prime rib lunch after play On-course BBQ and refreshments during play 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. FREE golf clinic with Bryan Gathright, rated by Golf Magazine as one of the top 100 golf instructors in the U.S. Western breakfast Gatorade and bottled water in each cart Goodie bags including great golf accessories, including tees and range balls $10 Mulligans - each mulligan also includes one additional door prize ticket Roving Keg driven by CJP co-founders Justice Phylis Speedlin and Judge Karen Pozza! Great door prizes and contest prizes including rounds of golf at some of the area s best courses Contests: Team skins game (cash only); Longest drive (male/female); Closest to the pin (male/female) Sponsorships for holes, prizes and more are available Name Address City/State/Zip Code Phone Address Number of players (max 4) Name(s) of each player on your team/ handicap IMPORTANT: Please note each player s handicap! Number of Mulligans Each Mulligan entitles you to one extra door prize ticket. Show your firm, company, organization or team support by becoming a sponsor. Please see attached sheet for complete sponsorship information. Please indicate your preferred level of sponsorship below. I would like to be a: otitle ochampion omasters oeagle obirdie opar Name as you would like it to appear on your sponsor signage: o VISA o Mastercard o Discover o AmEx CVV2/CVC2: Credit Card# Exp. Date o I enclose $ for the tournament, mulligans and/or sponsorship. Return form & payment to: The Community Justice Program Bexar County Courthouse, Suite 500, San Antonio, Texas For registration and more information visit For questions, contact Suzanne DeWalt or Jimmy Allison at or via at and
15 15 Don Philbin honored by Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center The Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center (BCDRC) provides mediation services to county residents and businesses through a network of volunteers. At its annual volunteer appreciation dinner, the BCDRC honors mediators whose body of work has made a lasting impact and whose spirit of volunteerism and commitment to the mission of the BC- DRC serves as a model for others. At this year s event, BCDRC Director Marlene Labenz-Hough presented Don Philbin with a Distinguished Service Award for Marlene commended Don for his extensive service to the BCDRC over the past five years in a wide range of cases, but particularly in complicated multi-party and public policy disputes. Don is highly regarded for his perseverance and determination as a mediator, always working diligently with the mediation participants to help them reach a settlement. Don is in private practice as an attorney and mediator, and is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He serves on the SBOT Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council and is Co-chair of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section s Negotiation Committee. The RAM Group - Investigative & Security Consultants Ricardo A. Martinez, Private Investigator Certified Fraud Examiner Thorough Investigative Methodologies Background Investigations Legal Nurse Consultant Process Service Notary Public TX License#C17167 T: Retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent Over 20 years experience Where Professional Service and Integrity Matter
16 16 Briefly q Tinsman & Sciano, Inc. is proud to announce that Stephen F. Lazor, formerly a shareholder in Tinsman & Houser, Inc., has joined the firm. After having practiced law for eleven years with Tinsman & Houser and twenty-three years with Garza & Lazor, P.C., Stephen has rejoined his former colleagues, Richard Tinsman and Dan Sciano. At Tinsman & Sciano, Inc., Stephen Lazor s practice will continue to focus on his handling bodily injury and wrongful death claims arising from medical negligence, vehicular collisions, industrial accidents, unsafe premises, and defective products. q Escamilla, Poneck & Cruz, LLP, is pleased to announce that Jennifer Lehmann Hall has become a partner in the firm. Ms. Hall joined the San Antonio office of the firm in 1998 and focuses her practice in the areas of employment and education law. Additionally, Orlando Jay Juarez, Jr., has joined the firm as an associate attorney at the firm s Laredo office. Mr. Juarez graduated from The University of Texas School of Law in 2010 and will primarily practice in civil litigation. q Charlie Gustin has become an associate at The Crosley Law Firm, P.C., 755 East Mulberry, Ste. 250, San Antonio, TX He will open the firm s Houston office in early q Jackson Walker associate Elena Villaseñor was recently accepted to Leadership San Antonio Class of 2012 (Class 37). The class gives participants a chance to develop an understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the San Antonio community. Applicants are selected for their dedication to the community, as well as their interest and the desire to increase their service to the area in key leadership positions. Ms. Villaseñor is a trial and appellate attorney and international trade attorney. In both practice areas, Ms. Villaseñor serves as advisor and counselor to clients seeking to prevent legal quandaries and a zealous advocate to clients who find themselves in the midst of litigation. Ms. Villaseñor received her B.A. degree, cum laude, in International Studies from Boston College. She received her J.D. degree from the University of Southern California Law School. Additionally, Orlando Jay Juarez, Jr., has joined the firm as an associate attorney at the firm s Laredo office. Mr. Juarez graduated from The University of Texas School of Law in 2010 and will primarily practice in civil litigation. q Kirk L. James, formerly with Strasburger Price Oppenheimer Blend, has joined King & Sommer, LLP, as of counsel. Mr. James is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Commercial Real Estate Law, and has over 30 years of experience in commercial real estate, farm and ranch and other general real estate law matters. His expertise involves acquisitions, sales, leasing, financing, development and construction transactions, loan workouts, foreclosures and other issues relating to commercial real estate and farm and ranch transactions. He can be reached at or by at q Brad L. Sklencar has joined the law firm of Burns & Black, PLLC, located at 750 Rittiman Road, San Antonio, TX ; telephone number ; fax number ; Mr. Sklencar is board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and he will continue his practice in the areas of labor and employment law, commercial and business litigation, professional malpractice defense, construction law, insurance defense, and attorney disciplinary defense. q James O. Deegear III, PLLC (formerly Deegear & Matthews) is pleased to announce that Trevor A. Hall, St. Mary s Law School, 2011, joined the firm as an Associate Attorney from January to August when he will take leave to serve as a Law Clerk for the Hon. Micaela Alvarez, United States District Judge, Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division. Michelle Matthews-Kasson continues her association with the firm, of counsel. q Tuggey Fernandez LLP is proud to announce that Tim Tuggey has been elected president of the Board of Directors of the Brackenridge Park Conservancy. Mr. Tuggey, who previously chaired the VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority, will lead the Conservancy s advocacy efforts for the Park and its natural, historic and recreational resources. Recognized as the crown jewel of San Antonio s parks, Brackenridge Park is located just below the headwaters of the San Antonio River, and is centrally located near downtown San Antonio. q Charles Chad Muller, shareholder in the San Antonio office of national law firm Chamberlain Hrdlicka, was named a finalist for Tax Analyst s Person of the Year award. This prestigious distinction recognizes tax attorneys nationwide who have made significant contributions to tax policy, legislation, practice and academia. Muller has been in private practice for more than 40 years, focusing his work on a combination of criminal and civil tax matters. A former assistant U.S. attorney and Justice Department trial attorney, he received his LLM in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center and his JD from St. Mary s School of Law. q The Law Office of John P. Garan is proud to announce that their Paralegal, Ms. Maria Marcela Ordonez, has completed her first semester at the University of Massachusetts Law School. Ms. Ordonez is a graduate of Sam Houston State University with a major in Criminal Justice. Garan Law concentrates in Immigration Law in the Boston area and nationally with offices located at 175 Main St., Pawtucket, RI Tel
18 18 Running out of time? SA Chapter of the Federal Bar Association presents Get your CLE with SABA-sponsored Last-Chance Videos Advanced Tax Law February 16 th and 17 th Videos start promptly at 8:30 a.m. 5 th floor, Bexar County Courthouse Military City USA: A Government Contract Law Update April 12-13, 2012 Adrian Spears Judicial Training Center INFO: Joan Kelley Fowler Gluys we re St. Mary s University School of Law Office of Career Services is hosting interviews and a networking reception for small firms and solo practitioners looking to hire law clerks and associate attorneys. February 9, 2012 St. Mary s University School of Law Sarita Kenedy East Law Library on Small Firms For more information and to reserve your spot, contact Suzanne Patrick, Director of Career Services, at (210) or SchooL of Law
19 19 Congratulations & WELCOME to the NEWEST members of the San Antonio Bar Association! Jennifer Ann Abodeely Susan S. Alberto William M. Bill Clanton Laura M. Clark Angelica M. Coronado Amelia Morten Edelman Michelle Enyart Sean Thomas Flynn Robert Christian Gunn Gwendolyn Jaramillo Anne Elizabeth Ohlrich Eli Gerard Phillips, Jr. David C. Rivela Jonathan P. Sellers Kelsey Sproull Cassia Ysaguirre
20 20 District Clerk Expands Online Dockets In a continuation of putting public information online, District Clerk Donna Kay McKinney has worked with Bexar County Information Technology to begin posting a full week s of civil and criminal district court dockets on Ms. McKinney s Web site on Monday, January 9. Ms. McKinney began posting the dockets in November; however, only three days of criminal dockets and one day of civil dockets were available at a time. Prior to putting the information on the Internet, dockets were posted on the walls of the courts or the attorneys and public had to call the district clerk s office to retrieve the information. Ms. McKinney has an aggressive plan to modernize the District Clerk s Office with the use of technology to share public information. Among her projects, the most recent included posting felony criminal records of 267,000 cases filed since 1974, and future endeavors will include the ability to purchase plain and certified copies of documents from the Internet using credit or debit cards. To access the District Clerk s Web-based services and information, go to org/dcand find the online services tab at the top of the page. On Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at Haven for Hope, the Hon. Judge John Bull received the Amicus Award, given by the St. Mary s University School of Law s Clinical Programs, based on his demonstrated service to our community. Judge Bull exemplifies outstanding service to the homeless community by working to solve the problems that lead to criminal charges in the homeless population, rather than waiting for charges to be filed and simply presiding over those charges. In particular, Judge Bull works with the real life hurdles of the Haven for Hope population and has been innovative with sentencing alternatives and providing opportunities for the homeless to clear warrants and other impediments to employment and permanent housing. His creative and tenacious solutions have allowed many people who have entered the doors of Haven for Hope to achieve success. St. Mary s School of Law welcomes back alumni and friends to the 2012 Law Homecoming CLE and Reunion. The day will consist of a free CLE program, a luncheon honoring the Class of 1962 and the 2012 Young Distinguished Graduate, and the Dean s reception after the CLE has concluded. A detailed schedule can be found on the website closer to the event. Friday March 23, 2012 Law Classroom Building For additional information, contact Amanda Montemayor at or