TCWLA LEGAL MATTERS. A PUBLICATION OF THE TRAVIS COUNTY WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION October 2008 Important Updates to Meetings this Fall

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1 TCWLA LEGAL MATTERS A PUBLICATION OF THE TRAVIS COUNTY WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION October 2008 Important Updates to Meetings this Fall Please note our NEW LOCATION at Scott, Douglass and McConnico Please go to by October 10th to reserve your lunch! Remember, if you don t RSVP, we can t order you a lunch and no shows will be billed!! Your Bar Association Please join us for our monthly CLE where we will receive an update on our state bar association! This CLE will include information on how your bar association works for you. Find out what exciting programs are being offered by the state that will make your life easier and explore the many ways for lawyers to get involved! Adoption Day: November 20, 2008, at Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center This amazing event is right around the corner, and its organizers want to make sure the day is just as fantastic for the children and families this year as it was last year. In the face of economic worries and in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, donations have been limited. Thus, we are in need of more new or gently used books, new stuffed animals (specifically large teddy-bears), and financial contributions). If you or your law firm would like to make any of these donations, they can either be dropped off at the Austin Bar Office, 816 Congress Ave, Suite 700; or contact the Austin Bar at for pick-up of multiple items. Also, Amanda Taylor will be happy to collect any donations at TWCLA s next membership meeting, October 15, at 12:00, at SD&M. Your Bar Association Speaker: Sylvia Cardona, President of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Date: October15th, 2008 Time: 11:45 am to 1 pm Place: Scott, Douglass & McConnico, LLP 600 Congress Avenue 15th Floor Austin, TX CLE: 1.0 hours of ethics Menu: Chicken Piccata Green Salad Broccoli Cheese Side Iced Tea Cupcakes Lunch cost: $15.00 Go to to reserve your lunch by October 10th. 1

2 FROM THE PRESIDENT October 2008 The times they are a-changin Bob Dylan Last month I began this message with the faux Chinese curse may you live in interesting times. Well the events of the last 30 days certainly illustrate why this may be considered a curse. One thing is certain, in the immortal words of the bard Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin. We will all be called upon to do more with less. Those who live and practice law within the path of Hurricane Ike have it even tougher. The State Bar of Texas is coordinating efforts to assist victims of Ike. They are providing a practice manual and special 3.5 hour training sessions for attorneys who are able to assist. No particular area of practice is required. Please go to the State Bar website, to learn more about how you can help. All of us constantly battle to find a workable balance between family, career, and community. What that means for each of us is different. Family may include children, aging parents, spouses, siblings, extended families through divorce and marriage, and even today s substitute for family, very close friends. Career may include a full time law practice, part-time law practice or a non-law practice professional position. Community may involve churches, schools, medical support groups, interest based clubs, and community service organizations. These lists are by no means exhaustive, but there is one thing all have in common, and that is they make demands on our time. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done. I recently came across an article that identified the top challenges facing the professional woman based on a survey of working women. The article also suggested solutions. I want to share a few of these with you. One of the biggest challenges is needing to be in two places at the same time. The suggested solution is to make technology work for you. Today s wireless products no longer keep us chained to a PC. More people connect to the internet through web-enabled cell phones and other small mobile devices than through a PC. Although cautioned against using these devices while driving due to the increased risk of an accident, they enable a lot of work to get done while sitting in the airport, waiting in a professional s office, or waiting for a child to finish an activity and need transportation. Another big challenge identified is getting you and everyone for whom you are responsible where they need to be on time and ready to participate. The suggested solution is to get organized the night before. Figure out what hangs you up in the morning and organize the night before to make sure things go smoothly. This could include laying out clothes, packing lunches, and packing brief cases and backpacks the night before. I personally always make myself fill the car up on the way home, no matter how tired I am. You can never predict how heavy traffic will be or how long the line at the gas station will be first thing in the morning. To see more challenges and solutions go to I ll be sharing more tips for achieving balance in the newsletters to come. In the meantime, please share your best strategies for achieving balance with me at I would love to put them in an article or tip column for the newsletter. Best regards; Rande Herrell President, TCWLA 2

3 Upcoming Austin Events and Volunteer Opportunities The last day to register to vote is October 6th and early voting begins October 20th. The Settlement Home for Children is looking for volunteers for their annual Charity Garage Sale. Come out to help them set up on November 1 at 900 Barton Springs Road. For more details: The Austin Junior League is accepting donations for Coats for Kids. Please see for more details. Check out the 13th annual Food for Thought benefitting CIS on October 2nd at the Austin Music Hall The Texas Book Festival is November 1 & 2 at the State Capitol Grounds. texasbookfestival.org October 12-15th and 19-22nd is Restraunt Week in Austin. restaurantweekaustin.com/restaurants.html The Black and White Ball benefitting the Texas Advocacy Project is October 17th at the Four Seasons in Austin. Purchase tickets at Beginning Evening Spanish Classes Starts October 8th October is Breast Cancer Awareness month for more information Meet Your Member: Kristin Etter Practice Area: Kristin is board certified in criminal law and practices in federal, state and juvenile court, with an emphasis on the crosssection of immigration and criminal law. Employer: Sumpter & González, LLP Education: Kristin grew up in Montana. She attended the University of Montana and earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a law degree in Employment: After law school, Kristin was an Assistant Federal Public Defender along the Texas-Mexico border representing hundreds of individuals in federal court. She joined Sumpter & González, LLP in 2003 and became a partner in She frequently speaks on topics ranging from federal criminal law to immigration issues. In addition to educating others on her areas of expertise, Kristin assists to structure the law to better serve her clients and all Texas citizens. She lobbied for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association during the 80th Legislative Session to advocate for systemic criminal justice changes and will lobby again in the upcoming 81st Legislative Session. Organizations: State Bar of Texas, State Bar of Montana, Southern District of Texas, Western District of Texas, District of Montana, Fifth Circuit; Travis County Women Lawyers Association, Austin Young Lawyers Association, Federal Bar Association, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Kristin also serves on the Defender Services Committee and is on the Board of Janes Due Process and Austin Young Lawyers Association. Interests: Kristin loves traveling and most recently spent several weeks backpacking around Rajastan, a northern state in India. She also enjoys running, yoga and cooking and is passionate about Constitutional issues and civil liberties. 3

4 Lawyers for Women Fighting Breast Cancer Lawyers for Women Fighting Breast Cancer, an initiative sponsored by TCWLA, VLS and the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law at UT School of Law, provides free legal services to low-income women diagnosed with breast cancer with any civil legal issues that have developed as a result of being diagnosed with breast cancer. The goal is to provide pro bono legal services to all low-income clients of Komen Austin grantees. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Anna K. Meyers at VLS at , ext 304 or and mention the breast cancer project. See Page 10 for application. Women s Resource Fair: March 28, 2008, at First United Methodist Church Family Life Center The WRF Task Force, led by TWCLA s own Liz Branch, has begun planning for this year s wonderful event! We would like to update you on what WRF will feature, and encourage all of you who are interested in participating to please contact Liz Branch or Amanda Taylor asap! The WRF is a comprehensive all day event that will provide to homeless and battered women a variety of free resources and services, including legal assistance, medical services, job skills and educational counseling, social services, and veteran s assistance, haircuts, shelter referrals, mental health counseling, spiritual care, child care, breakfast, lunch, and transportation. If you are interested in serving on one of the many Task Force subcommittees that bring together all of these components, please let us know! Our next Task Force Meeting is October 22, at 12:00 at the Austin Bar Office. We also would love to hear from you if you would like to volunteer your time on that day or if you or your law firm would like to make a charitable donation to the event. All are appreciated! Race For the Cure Please contact Paige Pritchett at if you are interested in forming a team for TCWLA! registration now open at Race day November 2nd, 2008 Calendar of Events October 8th, :00-1:00 Board Meeting October 15th, :45-1:00 Membership Meeting October TBA Williamson County Bar/TCWLA Mixer November 2nd, 2008 Susan G Komen Race for the Cure November 12th, :00-1:00 Board Meeting November 19th, :45-1:00 Membership Meeting December 10th, :00-1:00 Board Meeting December 2008 TBA Holiday Party 4

5 Meet Your Board Member: Mindy Montford, CLE Co-Chair Practice Areas: Criminal law Employer: Law Office of Mindy Montford Education: Mindy grew up right here in Austin, attending Westwood High School. She attended the University of Texas for both her undergraduate and law degrees. Employment: After law school, Mindy worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Harris County. She moved back to Austin in 1997 and served as the General Counsel for State Senator Eddie Lucio. Following the 1999 legislative session, she was hired as an Assistant District Attorney in Travis County where she worked until May Mindy has also been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas School of Law teaching the Prosecution Course/Externship. Organizations: Mindy has been a previous board member for the Girl Scouts, the Junior League, and TCWLA (Take Your Daughters to Work Chair). In addition to serving as the CLE Co-Chair for TCWLA, she is currently a board member for Crime Prevention Institute and Center Stage. Interests: Mindy enjoys cooking, snow skiing and traveling. Her favorite places to visit are Colorado and the East Coast. Family: Mindy s favorite time of the day is early evening snuggled up to her 4-year old reading bedtime stories. She is single and has one younger brother and one younger sister. Her parents live in Austin and San Antonio. Announcements Have something you want to share with membership? Let us know! Office space downtown available for sublease immediately. Professional setting including offices and cubicles available. Use of fax, reception area, bilingual receptionist, conference rooms, and kitchen facilities included. Please contact Corinne for additional information. Do you have an article you would like to share with the organization? Submit it to today $60/hr contract attorney with seven years of experience in general litigation, employment and appellate law available for research, briefing and document review. Contact Elizabeth Branch at (512) Seeking attorney full or part-time, flexible hours, to do employee benefits, labor and employment work. Excellent writing, analytical, research and communication skills required. Small, progressive law firm in Northwest Austin. Fax resume to (512) Need to get some of the required 30 hours in Travis Co.to be a court-appointed special advocate? Contact Paige Chappell at for details on how to rent a copy. Interested in admitance to the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas? Rent the mandatory CLE video from TCWLA. Visit us at or for more details 5

6 Thanking the Iron-Jawed Angels By Laurie Higginbotham (Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk, Conn. Serving 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. ) Women in Saudi Arabia can t do it. Neither can women in Vatican City. In Lebanon, they can t do it without proof of education. There are places on this earth that we all share where women do not have that most basic of human rights, the right to vote. Like any right worth having, it has never been easily won. But like all societies complacently rich with freedom, many Americans have forgotten the price paid by women only two generations ago for the right to vote in the United States. If you ask most Americans what they picture when thinking of a suffragette, they would probably say a woman in a long, ruffled gown with a hat, a sash, and a picket sign, who might just as well have walked off of an old-fashioned Coca-Cola tray. Or maybe the frazzled lady of the house in Disney s Mary Poppins, the British version in the ruffled gown with the sash, rushing out of the house to go marching for Votes for Women! It s so quaint an image, they might as well be picketing for varietal tea sandwiches and better table manners. The battle for suffrage wasn t won by being pretty, or quaint, or convenient. It was, in fact, a battle. It didn t happen overnight or because the men in power benevolently decided that American ideals called for something greater. It happened because many brave women walked a brutal, bloody, and torturous road so that they and we could live out those American ideals of democracy. In 1917, as Woodrow Wilson began his second term, suffragettes demonstrated outside the White House demanding the right to vote. Alice Paul, Lucy Burns and other leaders of the National Woman s Party held round-the-clock vigils, hung Wilson in effigy, and held banners criticizing the hypocrisy of Wilson making the world safe for democracy when there was no true democracy in the United States. Refusing to back down despite calls for the country to focus instead on World War I, the demonstrators began to be arrested for obstructing traffic and thrown in jail. Many protestors endured nightmarishly inhumane conditions at the Occoquan workhouse prison in Virginia or the District of Columbia jail. The protestors were given rancid food full of worms, denied medical care and refused visitors. Blankets were washed once a year. There were open toilets which could only be flushed only from outside the cell at the whim of unsympathetic prison guards. On the Night of Terror on November 15, 1917, under orders from W.H. Whittaker, superintendent of the Occoquan Workhouse, more than forty guards went on a violent rampage, beating 33 women jailed for political protest. The guards beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her there in torture position to hang for the night. Guards threw Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate Alice Cosu, believing Mrs. Lewis to be dead, suffered a heart attack but was denied medical care. According to affidavits, women were dragged, beaten, choked, slammed, kicked, and tortured, including a 73 year-old woman. One woman was stabbed between the eyes with a broken banner. 6

7 (l-r, Dora Lewis, Lucy Burns, Alice Paul) Many prisoners, including Alice Paul, went on a hunger strike in prison and were force-fed. The hunger strike garnered these brave freedom fighters the moniker Iron-Jawed Angels in the press. Alice Paul was finally so weak from her hunger strike that she was taken by stretcher to the prison hospital. Once there, she was held without the ability to see any visitors or an attorney. Prison officials threatened to transfer her to the prison psychopathic ward and the government s institution for the insane if she did not break the hunger strike. When she refused, they made good on their threat and took her to the prison psych ward and treated her like a mental patient. She could not sleep for more than a few minutes at a time because an electric light was shined on her face once an hour throughout the night. Finally, through the help of a well-known supporter (and lawyer) Dudley Field Malone, she was returned to the jail hospital and released a week later. In May and June 1919, Congress passed the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, but it was still necessary to secure ratification by the legislatures of thirty-six states (three-quarters of the-then forty-eight). Many believed that this would take twenty years or more, but with the leadership of Alice Paul and others, the 36 th state ratified in August In November 1920, American women voted in a presidential election for the first time. It took seventy-two years from the first convention for women s rights at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848 for American women to finally secure this right. Almost the same time has now passed between the passage of the 19 th Amendment and this election. Eighty-eight years later, have we forgotten our grandmothers sacrifices? Maybe we distance ourselves from suffragettes because we don t want to believe our freedom is fragile, or that it doesn t automatically come with your birth certificate. And it s easy to forget; after all, American women are reaching heights never before reached in both parties. But that doesn t mean you can sit back, relax and let someone else pull that lever (or spin that wheel on the E-slate machines). Women voters will decide the outcome of this election, and many critical issues to women are on the line. We have to show up at the polls. We owe it to our foremothers, to the freedom fighters like Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, Dora Lewis, Susan B. Anthony, and many, many more. And we owe it to ourselves, and to our children, to take the time to choose our leaders thoughtfully, because your vote matters. Alice Paul was one of us. After surviving torture in prison and mental institutions, she became a lawyer. She studied law at the Washington College of Law and went on to receive a Master s and Doctorate legal degrees from American University (Washington, D.C.) in 1927 and Could you look her in the eye and give her any excuse for staying home on Election Day? Neither could I. If you aren t registered to vote, time is running out. Don t wait one more day, go to and register. The immeasurable debt that we owe to these Iron-Jawed Angels can only be repaid in one way, over and over again. Vote. Ms. Higginbotham is a partner with Archuleta, Alsaffar & Higginbotham. She is the immediate past president of TCWLA and Chair of the Travis County Women Lawyers Foundation. 7

8 As Small Business Freedom Fighters at IT Freedom, We Liberate Companies from the Headaches and Hassles of... Computer Malfunctions, Information Loss, Network Downtime, and Workflow Breakdowns Our Complete Freedom Services Plan Protects IT Freedom s Customers from... Computer Hackers, Virus Terrorism Data Disasters, and System Crashes! To save money, reclaim your time, and improve productivity, call IT Freedom today for a complimentary IT Freedom Liberate Your Business IT Freedom Austin, Texas What s Going On? If you are an attorney, or legal professional who has recently changed jobs, opened up a new office, received an award, or hired new staff...we want to know what s going on. Please with your announcements and photos. YOUR AD COULD BE HERE! $30 for 3 months for a 2.5x2.5 Free Classifieds Ads for Members For more information please contact Paige at TCWLA OFFICERS & BOARD MEMBERS President: Activities Co-Chairs: CLE Co-Chairs: Rande Herrell Laura Moriaty (w) (w) (f) (f) President Elect: Cindy Connolly Mindy Montford Elizabeth Poole (w) (c) (w) (f) (f) Scholarship Co-Chairs: Amie Rodnick Past President/TCWLF Membership Co-Chairs: (w) And ABA Liason: Laura Merritt Laurie Higginbotham (w) (w) (f) Velva Price (f) (w) Michelle Apodaca Secretary: (w) (915) Website: Amanda Taylor Molly Leder Hepkin (w) (h) (512) AYLA/WLC Liaison: Treasurer: Katherine Howard Publicity: Jessica Warren (w) Patricia Cofty (w) (w) (f) (f) Take Our Daughters To Work: Color of Justice: The Honorable Orlinda Naranjo Executive Director: Elizabeth Branch (w) Paige Pritchett (f) (c)

9 T C W L A Travis County Women Lawyers Association 2008 CALENDAR YEAR MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Name: Date: New Member: Renewing Member: Firm/Company/School Name: Mailing Address: Zip Code: Office Phone: Office Fax: (For newsletters and notices) Practice Areas Please indicate your practice areas for publication in the online directory: Administrative/Regulatory Education/School Malpractice Appellate Environmental Personal Injury A D R Family Probate/Estate Planning Banking/Finance Government/Municipal Property Tax Bankruptcy Health Oil & Gas Business Transactions Immigration Real Estate Civil/Business Litigation In House Counsel Securities Civil Rights/Discrimination Intellectual Property Tax Consumer International Telecommunications Corporate Insurance Defense Water Criminal Insurance (Other) Workers Compensation Employment/Labor Juvenile Other Committee Information I am interested in the following committees: Membership Federal Court Seminar/Other Seminars Take Our Daughters to Work Activities Website/Directory Lunch Programs Speakers Bureau Color of Justice Program Susan G. Komen/TCWLA Project What I hope to get out of TCWLA membership: What I can give to get the most out of TCWLA membership: Things I would like TCWLA to do: Speakers/topics I recommend for TCWLA membership programs: Feedback/Suggestions Holiday Gift Memberships: Give TCWLA membership as a gift to your friends and colleagues by duplicating and completing this form for each recipient. Please submit the form and the appropriate amount for dues. Please specify if the gift is anonymous. Have questions? Call (512) 370-WLAW (9529) or send an to if you have questions about membership. TCWLA membership is on a calendar year basis (January 1 - December 31). Dues: $40.00 per year; $20.00 per half-year Lifetime Membership: $400.00; Law Student: $20.00 Additional Voluntary Contribution: $ ***Please renew your membership January 1, 2007*** Send completed application and check to: TCWLA, P.O. Box , Austin, TX

10 LAWYERS FOR WOMEN FIGHTING BREAST CANCER ATTORNEY VOLUNTEER SIGNUP FORM A Project of Travis County Women Lawyers Association in Partnership with Volunteer Legal Services and the William Wayne Justice Public Policy Center at the University of Texas School of Law Volunteer Attorney: Bar No. Firm: Address: City, State, Zip: Phone: Fax: I am a member of Travis County Women Lawyers Association ***************************************************************************************** Note: Our Case Referral Coordinator will call to discuss individual referrals with you. I will accept pro bono cases in the following areas of law: Bankruptcy General Litigation Probate Consumer Guardianships Real Estate Debt Collection Defense Housing Social Security Benefits Education Insurance Tax Employment Problems Landlord/Tenant Torts Defense Family Law License Revocation Wills Wills, Homebound ****** I am willing to mentor a UT Law Student assigned to help with a case. I am willing to keep pro bono cases on my personal docket routinely. When I close a case or a case is inactive, you may call me to take another. I speak Spanish fluently. Comments: PLEASE RETURN FORM TO: QUESTIONS? Contact Anna K. Meyers Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas (512) , ext Congress Avenue, Suite 701, Austin, TX Fax: (512)

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