Bulletin. April Blackstone Award. Outstanding Young Lawyer Karen Denney. Silver Gavel Award Judge William L. Hughes, Jr.

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1 Bulletin April 2012 Blackstone Award Tim Evans Silver Gavel Award Judge William L. Hughes, Jr. Professionalism Award Stephen C. Maxwell Outstanding Young Lawyer Karen Denney

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3 Tarrant County Bar Association Phone: (817) Fax: (817) Website: Officers President.... Robert E. Aldrich, Jr. President-Elect... J. Benjamin Barlow Vice President... Ann L. Diamond Secretary-Treasurer... Michael J. Henry Elected Directors Lisa Callaghan Christie Glenn Karmen Johnson Rachel Moore Robert G. West Daniel A. White Appointed Directors Walker Friedman David Keltner Immediate Past President W. Bradley Parker FORT WORTH-TARRANT COUNTY YOUNG LAWYERS ASSOCIATION Gregory W. Monroe, President EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Patricia Graham, PLS, CLAS EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS STATE BAR OF TEXAS DIRECTORS Mark G. Daniel Judge Jo Ann Reyes ABA DELEGATE Judge David Evans BAR BULLETIN Roger Simon, Editor Tanya Pierce, Assistant Editor Pat Leake, PLS, CLAS, Staff Editor The Tarrant County Bar Bulletin is a monthly publication of the Tarrant County Bar Association. Articles, photos, and events for the calendar, suggestions, or comments should be directed to 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth, Texas Deadline for submission is the 20th day of the month, two months before the date of the issue (e.g. April 20th for the June issue). Items for publication may be sent by fax to or to in Word format. Articles published in the Bar Bulletin do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Tarrant County Bar Association, its officers, or the Board of Directors. Calendar listings, classifieds, advertise-ments, and feature articles should not be considered an endorsement of any service, product, program, seminar, or event. by Robert E. Aldrich, Jr. G reetings: It is April, and we are celebrating the winners of TCBA s annual Law Day Awards. The ABA s theme this year is No Courts No Justice No Freedom. It chose this theme in order to bring to light the looming crisis of funding cuts for both state and local courts. If this trend continues, then courts will lack the staff and other resources that they need to process cases in a timely and effective manner. To date, we in Texas have not seen these drastic cuts, but they are a real problem in many states. Americans have long looked at our courts as guardians of our fundamental liberties, protectors of individual rights, and arbiters of the Constitution and the laws of this land. The more that people know about the courts, the more that they understand that without them, we would have neither justice nor freedom. Those of us in the legal profession especially understand the correlation between courts, justice, and freedom. One of the ways that TCBA and FW-TCYLA celebrate Law Day is to recognize some of our outstanding members for the service that they have given to the courts, to justice, and to our freedom. These awards will be given during the Law Day Awards Dinner on May 3, but help me congratulate the winners as we announce them in this issue. The most prestigious award, the Blackstone, which is awarded on the basis of consistent ability, integrity, and courage as a lawyer, goes to an attorney who has been practicing in Tarrant County for at least 15 years and is 65 years of age or older. This year s recipient, Tim Evans, has all of these attributes in spades. Tim, who has been practicing law since 1970, received his law degree from Texas Tech and has been in the forefront of the practice of criminal law for many years. The Silver Gavel Award will be given to Judge William L. Hughes, Jr., for his distinguished service as judge of the 48th District Court for over ten years. The Professionalism Award goes this year to Stephen C. Maxwell, for his outstanding service to the legal profession and to the community of Tarrant County. In his conduct in the practice of law, Steve is a prime example of professionalism. The Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association has selected Karen Denney for the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, for her service to the community and to the FW-TCYLA. These attorneys are all worthy recipients, and I hope that you make a reservation to attend the Law Day Awards Dinner and show your support for these award winners. The month of April brings Bench Bar Conference XIX. I m looking forward to this conference for many reasons great CLE, great camaraderie with my peers and with the judges, and great time on the lake. I have a place on Possum Kingdom Lake, and it has long been one of my favorite parts of Texas. Although last year s disastrous fires have changed the landscape, the recent rains have produced a carpet of green. So come join us for BBC at PK. See you there! Robert Local chapter of LAWYERS CONCERNED FOR LAWYERS meets every Thursday at noon at the First United Methodist Church, Room 154 TCBA Bulletin April

4 L AW D AY A WARDS MAY 3, 2012 D INNER Fort Worth Club Horizon Room, 12th floor 306 West Seventh Street Fort Worth R.S.V.P. April 30, 2012 $60 per person 6:30 p.m. - Reception (Cash Bar) 7:15 p.m. - Dinner & Awards The Tarrant County Bar Association and the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association I NVITE Y OU T O A TTEND the Law Day celebration and recognition of outstanding members B LACKSTONE TIM EVANS A WARD S ILVER JUDGE G AVEL BILL A WARD HUGHES Awarded annually since 1963 to a senior member of the bar, based on a career demonstrating ability, integrity, and courage. Awarded annually since 1996 to a judge who has served on the bench for not less than ten years and has made a substantial contribution to the judiciary. P ROFESSIONALISM A WARD STEVE MAXWELL Awarded annually since 2000, based on professional conduct without regard to age, gender, practice area, number of years in practice, or any other limitation or restriction. O UTSTANDING Y OUNG L AWYER AWARD KAREN DENNEY To recognize a lawyer who is 36 years of age or younger and who demonstrates professional proficiency, service to the profession, and service to our community. 4 April 2012 TCBA Bulletin

5 THE CLE MEMBERSHIP LUNCHEON AND HONORING 50-YEAR ATTORNEYS ON APRIL 10 The April luncheon will be twofold. Featured speaker, Judge Royal Furgeson, Jr., Senior United States District Judge, will talk about "Working Together to Strengthen the Rule of Law." Judge Furgeson is a native of Lubbock and graduated from Texas Tech University with a BA degree and from the University of Texas School of Law with a law degree. He was in the U. S. Army, including serving in Vietnam, where he attained the rank of captain. He first served as law clerk to the Honorable Halbert O. Woodward and then was in private practice for 24 years with the Kemp Smith firm in El Paso. He has been a federal judge for over 17 years. He currently serves as senior U. S. district judge in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. Judge Furgeson has served the legal and private communities in many ways, including as president of the El Paso Bar Association and of the El Paso chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has been honored with many awards over his career and will face a new challenge in April 2013, when he assumes the role as founding dean of the UNT Dallas College of Law, in anticipation of the law school s opening in August The second purpose of the meeting will be to honor those attorneys who have attained the status of 50- year attorneys. These attorneys have been licensed and have practiced law for 50 years. The new members of this elite group are R. Gordon Appleman, Judge Max L. Bennett, T. H. Brookman Jr., William O. Callaway, Donald W. Cantwell, George F. Christie, Wallace Craig, Judge Fred W. Davis, E. Bruce Ebert, Taylor Gandy, Tom L. Larimore, Huey P. Mitchell, N. George Shaw, Judge John L. Sieren, Henry W. Simon, Jr., and Professor Joe Spurlock II. Please join us for the April luncheon at the Fort Worth Club, 306 West 7th Street, 12th floor, starting at 11:45 a.m. TCBA and the FW-TC YLA are joint hosts. The cost of the buffet meal is $23 for members of either association with reservations and $25 for guests and walk-ins. For reservations, contact Sherry at or tarrant bar.org. Dress is business casual suits and ties are not required. Parking is limited at the Fort Worth Club, but satellite parking may be available at nearby parking garages or at parking meters. For directions, visit the club s website at club.com. WHERE YOUR FOUNDATION DONATIONS GO! by Mike Sheehan, Chair Funds are Received - Because of the generous donation by Dee Kelly to pay off the building note and thus relieving the Foundation of additional note payments, the building income to the Foundation for 2011 was 52 % of the Foundation s annual income. Rental income is received from the TCBA and rental of the Dee Kelly Conference Center, which is used for SBOT hearings, mediations, and condemnation hearings, as well as section meetings and seminars. Of course, there will not longer be any note payments necessary, thus increasing the Foundation s net income. The next-largest income factor is designated donations sent for community-service projects such as Access to Justice, Carter Blood Drive, Tarrant Area Food Bank, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans, and Trinity Habitat for Humanity. Fellowship monies were the third largest revenue of $26,600. Each year, 40% of the Fellowship funds are deposited into the Foundation s endowment fund. The current balance of endowment funds is $288, The balance is used in the Foundation s annual budget. The 2011 Annual Fundraising Event, Tarrant Tortfeasors, had income of $14,205, with a $10,000 profit. The Foundation hopes that the 2012 Annual Fundraiser will continue to grow, so that all community projects can be funded without additional requests for donations. Funds are Used Building expenses (paydown of Building Loan before it was paid off, utilities, janitorial, maintenance & repairs, insurance, and management) were 75% of Foundation expenses in The balance of $32,551 was distributed through grants and/or contributions to the following: Access to Justice; Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans; Trinity Habitat for Humanity; Tarrant Area Food Bank; and other communityservice projects such as Bears & Books/National Adoption Day, Elder Law Handbook; People s Law School; and Rally for Education. All funds donated to the Foundation and not used for the Foundation expenses listed above are used to provide services to the community and to help further the legal community s involvement in community-service projects. Your donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. The Foundation appreciates the continued support of the Tarrant County legal community! TCBA Bulletin April

6 TARRANT COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION SALUTES ITS CLUB MEMBERS. Adams Lynch & Loftin, P.C. Albert Neely & Kuhlmann LLP Bakutis McCully & Sawyer PC Bank of America Barlow Garsek & Simon, L.L.P. Barrett, Daffin, Frappier, Turner & Engel, LLC Beadles Newman & Lawler, PC Beal Law Firm, The Berenson Firm P.C., The Bishop Payne Harvard & Kaitcer LLP Blaies & Hightower, LLP Blum Firm, The Bodoin, Agnew & Maxwell, P.C. Bourland & Kirkman, L.L.P. Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Law Office of Art Brender, The Broude Smith & Jennings PC Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell, LLP Bruner & Pappas LLP Law Offices of Suzanne I. Calvert & Associates Cantey Hanger LLP City Attorney s Office-City of Fort Worth Colaneri Firm, P.C., The Curnutt & Hafer, L.L.P. Decker Jones McMackin McClane Hall & Bates, PC Eggleston Flowers & King, LLP Fears/Nachawati PLLC Fillmore Law Firm, L.L.P. Forshey & Prostok, L.L.P. Frac Tech Services, LLC Friedman, Suder & Cooke Gardner Aldrich, LLP Goodrich Postnikoff & Associates, LLP Griffith, Jay & Michel, LLP Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. Harrison Steck P.C. Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. Holland Johns & Penny, LLP JP Morgan Chase Bank Jackson Walker, L.L.P. Johnston Legal Group, P.C. K & L Gates LLP Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Kirkley & Berryman, LLP Kobs, Haney & Hundley, LLC Law, Snakard & Gambill, P.C. Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Bob Leonard Law Group, PLLC Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, L.L.P. Loe, Warren, Rosenfield, Kaitcer, Hibbs, Windsow, Lawrence & Wolffarth, P.C. McDonald Sanders, P.C. Mellina & Larson, P.C. Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P. Murphy, Mahon, Keffler & Farrier, L.L.P. Noteboom Law Firm Padfield & Stout, LLP Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Ray, L.L.P. Ross & Matthews, P.C. Second Court of Appeals Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP Smith & Cross, L.L.P. Sproles Woodard LLP Tarrant County Probate Court # 1 Taylor Olson Adkins Sralla & Elam, LLP Texas Wesleyan School of Law Thompson & Knight, LLP Wallach & Andrews, P.C. Watson, Caraway, Midkiff & Luningham, L.L.P. Weaver and Tidwell, L.L.P. Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC Whitley Penn, LLP Wilson, White & Doby, LLP Winstead PC The Wolf Law Firm, P.C. Law firms, government agencies, law schools, and corporate legal departments with 100% of their attorneys (four or more) qualify for the 100 CLUB. TCBA is proud of the participation of these law firms and other groups in the Bar year. For information, contact Membership Director Cindy Rankin at or A TTENTION TCBA MEMBERS TTENTION TCBA MEMBERS The combined May-June issue of the Bulletin will NOT be mailed til mid-may in order to include the article about the Law Day Awards Dinner on May 3. Therefore, it will be the only issue that you will not receive until the middle of the subject month. Notice 6 April 2012 TCBA Bulletin

7 The TCBA Elections Committee presents the following nominees for placement on the ballot. Beginning on April 2, all attorney members should watch for an notice to go to Ballot Box and vote. Voting begins on April 2 and ends on April 20. The results of the election will be broadcast to all members on April 23 and announced during the Law Day Awards Dinner on May 3. President-Elect: Ann Diamond Vice President: Mike Henry Secretary-Treasurer: Christy Glenn Karmen Johnson David Keltner Robert West CALL FOR ELECTION OF OFFICERS Director, Place 4: Leslie Barrows Sadie Harrison- Fincher Kimberly Naylor Priscilla Park Director, Place 5: Dabney Bassel Frank Jelinek Ballot Box will have full biographies for each nominee in the election. If you wish to cast a paper ballot, please come to the TCBA offices by 5:00 p.m. on April 20 to do so. TCBA appreciates all the nominees for agreeing to run for the respective offices. We greatly appreciate your support to TCBA over many years. St. Clair Newbern Randy Turner Director, Place 6: John Cayce Joe Cleveland Gene DeBullet Steve Hayes The Transition to Practice mentoring program needs more mentor attorneys. The program lost 20 of its mentors, which means that the program has to double-up some of the current mentors. We currently have 32 mentors and 45 young lawyers. It takes just an hour per month to serve as a mentor in the program. That hour is very valuable to the newer MORE MENTORS NEEDED! lawyers who join the program looking for mentors. To qualify as a mentor, you need to have been licensed 10 years or more and be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas. If you have any questions or are interested in serving, please contact The next Transition to Practice mentoring program luncheon will be on May 23--please mark your calendar. Tarrant County Clerk Mary Louise Garcia will speak on the procedures for the County Clerk s Office. LAWYER REFFERAL & INFORMATION SERVICE UPDATE The Lawyer Referral & Information Service is going great, with more and more attorneys joining. If you need to enlarge your client list and want information regarding the service, please contact Cindy Rankin at tarrantbar.org or call the TCBA office at THANK YOU to our attorneys who have paid referral fees since the last article: Catherine Borum, Todd Durden, Margaret Fonvielle, Crystal Gayden, Jim Gordon, Andrew Gore, Patrick Kelly, Raul Loya, J. D. Milks, Rick Musal, M. J. Nachawati, Donald Nix, Gary Nichols, Dustin Payne, Aaron Schatz, Al Stidger, and Will Pruitt. Thanks also Joan Durkin and T Mastin for taking time out of their busy practices to train the LRIS staff in probate and workers-compensation issues. We appreciate their help, which will allow the staff to make more appropriate referrals to the participating attorneys. Note! If you are giving clients the LRIS phone number, please give them , rather than the main number to TCBA. In order to better service clients with referrals, LRIS is under a different telephone system, so clients must use in order to receive referrals. TCBA Bulletin April

8 JUDICIAL J udge Jennifer Rymell is in her ninth year as presiding judge of the County Court at Law No. 2 in Tarrant County. Childhood and Early Interest in the Law Judge Rymell grew up mostly in Houston, although her family moved frequently during her early school years, so that she had attended ten different schools by the time that she started seventh grade. She learned to adapt to being the "new kid" all the time. Her father was a college professor of geophysics who taught in Indiana, obtained a PhD in physics from Rice, and had a fellowship at the University of Illinois before the family settled in Houston, where he worked for Shell. Judge Rymell is the eldest of three children, including a sister who is four years younger and a brother who is thirteen years younger. Their mother was a homemaker. When Judge Rymell was sixteen years old, Shell transferred her father to Holland, and she attended the American School of The Hague during her junior year of high school. She loved the experience of living overseas. Many of her classmates' parents were attorneys, including one classmate s father, who was the U. S. Ambassador. Judge Rymell developed an interest in becoming a lawyer and thought that she would concentrate in international law. Law School and Experience Before Taking the Bench Judge Rymell attended Texas State University in San Marcos, where she majored in criminal justice. She graduated from St. Mary's School of Law in San Antonio, where she studied international law, but she decided that it was "not her cup of tea." She enjoyed the mock trials and criminal-law courses, so after graduating from law school, she applied across the state, seeking a position as an assistant district attorney. The County Attorney s Office for Parker County offered her an internship and an agreement of PROFILE JUDGE JENNIFER RYMELL, County Court at Law No. 2 By LYNN KELLY, Lynn Kelly Law Firm PC immediate employment as an assistant county attorney once she passed the bar exam. She passed the exam and began her duties as an assistant county attorney the very next day. She held that job for four and a half years. Judge Rymell then served as the assistant disciplinary counsel for the Fort Worth office of the State Bar of Texas. At age 30, she was appointed as a municipal judge for the City of Fort Worth, at which she presided over traffic and juvenile cases. She was the first presiding judge of the City of Fort Worth Truancy Court. After serving the city as a municipal judge for four and a half years, she resigned to run as judge for the County Court at Law No. 2, and she has continued to serve at that position for over nine years. Advice to New Attorneys Judge Rymell said, without any hesitation, that her primary advice to new attorneys is, "Your reputation is your most important asset." She explains that this means being candid and professional with the court and opposing counsel. Judge Rymell said that the court appreciates it if attorneys remember to inform the court if a hearing will not be needed. Many times, neither side calls to let the court staff know that the parties intend to cancel a hearing, resulting in unnecessary downtime for the court. Most Rewarding and Most Difficult Aspects of Her Position What Judge Rymell likes most about being a judge in the County Court at Law is working with the attorneys who appear before her and watching excellent trial lawyers. She notes that Tarrant County attorneys are, for the most part, very collegial, come to court prepared, and are respectful. She also enjoys working with her court staff, the clerks, and the other judges, all of whom do their parts to contribute to a pleasant work atmosphere. She is never bored and is still surprised at the frequency with which new and challenging legal issues arise in all types of cases. Judge Rymell says that the most difficult parts of being a judge on the county bench include the sheer volume of daily paperwork and dealing with the rising number of pro se litigants who don't understand the system or the rules. As to the former, careful time management is critical, because the court has a large number of hearings and trials, yet the judge must still set aside sufficient time for reviewing the materials required to make rulings in complicated matters. Recent Trends in the County Courts at Law Each of the three county courts at law in Tarrant County has approximately 1,800 2,000 pending cases. Case filings have steadily increased since Judge Rymell first took the bench. When she first became judge of County Court at Law No. 2, the docket consisted of roughly 1/3 debt cases, 1/3 motor-vehicle-accident cases, and 1/3 other matters. Currently, approximately 1/2 of the cases involve credit-card debt, 1/4 are motorvehicle-accident cases, and 1/4 are other matters. Judge Rymell anticipates an even bigger case flow with the change, in effect since January 1, 2012, raising the monetary-jurisdiction limit from $100,000 to $200,000. Judge Rymell notes that in addition to the court's jurisdiction over justice-of-the-peace appeals, the creditcard-debt cases often have pro se defendants, accounting for the rise in matters involving parties representing themselves. These cases tend to present challenges for the court, because parties who lack an understanding of the rules of civil procedure and evidence often think that they are not being treated fairly, so court proceedings in these matters may take longer than comparable proceedings in cases in which both parties are represented by counsel. What You Might Not Know About Judge Rymell Judge Rymell has an adventurous streak and loves to scuba dive. She has been on a shark dive on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, a nighttime dive with manta rays in Hawaii, and night "wreck diving" on a shipwreck in the British Virgin Islands. When she ran in her first campaign for County Court at Law No. 2, Judge continued to page 10 8 April 2012 TCBA Bulletin

9 A YLA S N A P S H OT by Greg Monroe, President, FW-TCYLA The Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association held elections on February 21, 2012, and the results are as follows: Officers: President Gregory W. Monroe, with Law, Snakard & Gambill, P.C. President Elect John Shaw, with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Vice-President Becky Mata, with the National Labor Relations Board Secretary Justin P. Huston, with McDonald Sanders, P.C. Treasurer Vincent Circelli, with Haynes and Boone, LLP Board Members: Amber Altemose, with Whitaker, Chalk, Swindle & Schwartz, PLLC Erin Cofer, an assistant district attorney with the Tarrant County District Attorney s Office Christopher Gee, with the Department of Homeland Security FORT WORTH-TCYLA ANNOUNCES Jenny Gravley, with GM Financial Emily Hollenbeck, with Ray, Valdez, McChristian & Jeans, P.C. Clinton Quisenberry, with Cantey Hanger, LLP Ryan Scharar, with Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Susan Smith, with Cantey Hanger, LLP Chris Stoy, with Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Tennessee Walker, with Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. Congratulations to the new officers and directors. On March 24, FW-TCYLA hosted a family picnic for its members and their families at Forest Park. A good time was had by all. In February, one of FW-TCYLA s newer groups, Running Objections, competed in the Cowtown Marathon. Congratulations to Becky Mata (who coached the runners), Amber Altemose (who finished 18th in her age category!), Emily Hollenbeck, Justin Huston, Ryan Scharar, John NEW OFFICERS Simpson, and Tony and Susan Ross (all of whom completed the race)! The Running Objections is generously sponsored by a grant from the Texas Young Lawyers Association. SECTIONS Have you joined one of the 16 sections offered by TCBA? Do you think, Why should I? There are several answers to that question. 1. you can get CLE credits while attending the section luncheons; 2. the luncheons and the speakers are focused on section topics; and 3. you network with other attorneys doing the same type of law that you are doing. Below are the sections and the general meeting times of each. Alternative Dispute Resolution - meets as needed on a date and at a place to be determined. Appellate - meets at least three times per year on a date and at a place to be determined. Bankruptcy - meets every other month, - THEY ADD A BOOST TO YOUR PRACTICE usually on the third Monday of the month, at the Petroleum Club. Business Litigation - the newest section plans to meet at least four times per year on a date and at a place to be determined. Corporate Counsel - meets on the first Wednesday of every other month at the Tarrant County Bar Center. Criminal - meets as needed on a date and at a place to be determined. Energy Section - meets on the second Thursday of every other month at the Petroleum Club. Environmental - meets at least three times per year on a date and at a place to be determined. Fort Worth Business & Estate - meets on the third Thursday of September, October, November, January, & February for lunch at the City Club. The March meeting is a dinner meeting at the Petroleum Club. Intellectual Property - meets at least three times per year on a date and at a place to be determined. International & Immigration - meets on dates and at places to be determined. Labor & Employment - meets on the third Tuesday of even-numbered months at the Petroleum Club. Real Estate - meets the third Tuesday of odd-numbered months at the City Club. Solo & Small Firm - meets on the last Tuesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. as a mixer at a member s law office. Tax and Estate Planning - usually meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Petroleum Club. Women Attorneys - meets on the first Friday of the month at the Petroleum Club. Join one or more today, and see the difference that it can make. TCBA Bulletin April

10 Arturo Errisuriz Arturo (Artie) Errisuriz, Attorney at Law 1. What is your philosophy about practicing law? My philosophy about practicing law was shaped by my experience as a criminal trial attorney. Before joining the administration at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, I served as an assistant criminal district attorney with the Galveston County District Attorney s Office. As a prosecutor, I learned the importance of service to the community, which is why I am very proud that Texas Wesleyan is one of only a few law schools in the country that require their law students to complete thirty hours of pro bono work in the legal community before graduation. Like most prosecutors, I started in the misdemeanor section and moved up to the felony section. When I started with the D.A. s Office, I was looking forward to and thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of being in the courtroom and trying cases, but I soon realized the importance of why I was there: to seek justice, protect the citizens of the county, and serve as an advocate for victims of crime. I tried my fair share of cases and sometimes picked two juries in one week. But, the one case that stands out the most and that reminded me that I was there to serve the community was a murder case. The facts were pretty simple. It was a drug deal gone bad. There were a mother and a daughter who lived in a rent-by-the-week motel. Mother had a boyfriend and daughter had a boyfriend. The boyfriends got into a fight. The smaller of the two went to his car (allegedly to grab a SPOTLIGHT ON DIVERSITY The Diversity Committee is committed to the inclusion of all people in the legal profession. Through its projects, it strives to enhance employment and economic opportunities for all minority and women attorneys and to promote the involvement of minorities and women in the Tarrant County Bar Association. One diverse member of our Bar is spotlighted each month. If you know of someone who would make a great subject, please contact the chair of the Diversity Committee, Antoinette Bone, at gun), and that is when the larger man stabbed him in the chest with a knife, killing him instantly. During the trial, the defense claimed self-defense and attempted to paint the deceased as a menace to society. My theme during closing arguments was that even though the deceased was not a model citizen, no one had the right to take his life. As the jury panel went back to deliberate, the mother of the deceased (who had been in the courtroom), tapped me on my shoulder and told me that she appreciated the comments that I had made about her son. I felt that I was truly serving my community and the victims. 2. How does your life experience influence your practice? I work full-time as the assistant dean for Career Services, so I don t practice anymore; however, I am involved in the local and state legal communities. These experiences influence how I counsel law students. I attempt to instill a sense of service in them and try to get them involved in the legal community as much as possible. 3. What is your best advice to a new attorney? My best advice to a new attorney is to take the time to learn his or her craft and become a competent lawyer who serves the community and the profession. Contact information Arturo Errisuriz, Assistant Dean for Career Services, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, 1515 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, Texas IN MEMORIAM JAMES T. BLANTON James Taylor Blanton passed away on Saturday, February 25, 2012, at the age of 78. He was born in Childress, Texas, and moved to Fort Worth in Jim entered the practice of law in 1958, after receiving his undergraduate B.B.A. from Southern Methodist University and his LL.B. degree from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. Jim served TCBA as a director during the terms and was a member of the Texas Bar Foundation. In 1959, he joined the law firm of Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year; when Jim joined, the firm s name was Brown, Herman, Scott & Young. After 50+ years of practice, he still came to the firm to work as a contract partner. His areas of practice included federal and state trial, business and commercial law, family law, and estate planning. Jim received many honors throughout his career, but his finest accomplishments were his loving, dedicated family and his beloved wife of 54 years. He had a winning, positive attitude that his countless friends found infectious and inspiring. Judicial Profile - continued from page 8 Rymell had to resign her municipal judgeship in order to run. After winning the primary, but before the general election, she enjoyed a month relaxing in Fiji. If she hadn't become an attorney, Judge Rymell would have enjoyed working as a political consultant or lobbyist. Judge Rymell has a six-year-old son, Dylan, who is in kindergarten at Fort Worth Country Day School and keeps her on her toes! 10 April 2012 TCBA Bulletin

11 IP DOMAIN: OF MICE AND MEN THE U.S. SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO CONSIDER REINSTATEMENT OF TEXAS JURY S $1.7 BILLION PATENT VERDICT In February, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up an appellate court s reversal of a $1.7- billion jury verdict, instead providing a lesson on the importance of adequate written descriptions in patent filings. The underlying suit involved the hugely profitable drug Adalimumab (Humira brand), as well as pharmaceutically engineered mouse and human antibodies used to treat arthritis. Beginning in the late-1980s, Centocor (plaintiff Janssen s predecessor-in-interest), together with researchers at New York University, created a genetically designed mouse antibody and, eventually, a chimeric antibody (made from combining mouse and human antibodies a Chimera is a mythological creature described in Homer s Iliad as having the body parts of several different animals). In 1991, Centocor filed a patent application on its chimeric and mouse antibodies, and it subsequently filed a series of continuation-in-part patent applications throughout the 1990s. While the continuation-in-part applications expanded the descriptions of the chimerical and mouse antibodies, these antibodies were still not ready for arthritis treatment in humans. At the same time, defendant Abbott Laboratories was working on its own arthritis-relieving antibodies, seeking to create a fully human antibody from scratch. In 1996, Abbott filed a patent application for its fully human antibody, Adalimumab, which it gave the trade name Humira. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent on the human antibody in 2000, and Abbott obtained regulatory approval to market Adalimumab in After Abbott had obtained its patent, Centocor finally perfected the transition of its chimeric antibodies BY DUSTIN JOHNSON AND VINCENT P. CIRCELLI, Haynes and Boone, LLP* into fully human versions. Because the patent family disclosing Centocor s chimeric antibody was still pending in 2002, Centocor filed claims (as part of a thirteenth application in the chain of applications that it began in 1991) that explicitly claimed fully human antibodies for the first time. Centocor then sued Abbott, alleging that the Adalimumab antibody marketed as the Humira brand infringed on various claims in its patents (which now included both the chimeric and fully human antibodies). After a five-day jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the jury found Abbott liable for willful infringement. The jury rejected Abbott s argument that Centocor s asserted patent claims were invalid, and it awarded Centocor over $1.67 billion in enhanced damages. Abbott moved for judgment as a matter of law on the invalidity of the relevant Centocor patent, but the district court denied the motion. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the district court s denial of judgment as a matter of law on the ground that Centocor s patent was invalid because of an inadequate written description of the fully human antibody. Centocor Ortho Biotech, Inc. v. Abbott Labs., 636 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2011), cert. denied, U.S., 80 U.S.L.W (U.S. Feb. 21, 2012) (No ). To predate Abbott s patent, the appellate court looked back to Centocor s pre-2002 patent application family. Patent law requires that a valid patent contain a written description of the invention. 35 U.S.C To satisfy this written-description requirement, the applicant must convey with reasonable clarity to those skilled in the art that, as of the filing date sought, he or she was in possession of the invention, and demonstrate that by disclosure in the specification of the patent. Centocor Ortho Biotech, 636 F. 3d. at 1348 (citations omitted). Upon close scrutiny, the appellate court found that Centocor s patent did not include a detailed written description of the fully human antibody, instead detailing only the chimeric version. Therefore, the court determined that Centocor s pre-2002 patents did not describe fully human antibodies in sufficient detail such that one skilled in the art could have reasonably concluded that the inventor constructively possessed them. Accordingly, the court held Centocor s key patent claims invalid for lack of a written description, and it reversed the trial court s decision. Id. at Janssen, on behalf of Centocor, then filed its petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the appellate court s standard for adequate description in a patent has become unhinged from the statutory text, is judicially unadministratable, and is erratic and unpredictable in outcome, depriving patent law of the certainty and stability that is essential to its proper functioning. The Supreme Court refused to take up the issue and denied Janssen s petition, leaving in place the decision reversing the $1.7- billion judgment and the guiding standard that the written description must be detailed enough to demonstrate constructive possession. Id. at Thus, this decision suggests that patent attorneys and their clients should devote sufficient time and thought to properly describing inventions at the application-drafting stage, particularly as the invention may be practically applied or commercially used. TCBA Bulletin April

12 This has been an exceptional year so far for Texas Wesleyan School of Law. AALS MEMBERSHIP On January 5, 2012, four law schools, including Texas Wesleyan, were approved for membership in the Association of American Law Schools at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. We are now one of 176 AALS member schools. The AALS is the nation s foremost scholarly organization for law schools. Founded in 1900, it is a non-profit educational association of law schools representing more than 10,000 members of law faculties in the United States. The AALS strives to improve the legal profession through legal education. Texas Wesleyan s AALS membership concludes a multi-year application process. The process included applying for membership in the association, securing an AALS consultant on readiness, preparing a self-study, being visited by the site evaluation team, having a meeting with the membership review committee, and, finally, having a meeting with the AALS executive board. Texas Wesleyan s membership is great news and a significant milestone. Our inclusion in AALS will afford the law school added resources and benefits. University President Frederick G. Slabach, who also served as dean of the law school from 2003 to 2006, said, Inclusion in AALS is a substantial accomplishment for the law school. It is an external validation of the excellence of our faculty and our students. We are proud of this recognition. Slabach added, Congratulations to all involved for their work in achieving this goal. LAW SCHOOL ADVOCACY COMPETITIONS I am also pleased to announce that our moot-court team has won an ABA regional championship and advanced to the national finals. In early March, LETTER FROM FREDERIC WHITE, DEAN OF TEXAS WESLEYAN SCHOOL OF LAW the team of 3L Jill Smith (oralist), 3L Scott Thompson (oralist and writer), and 2L Amy Herrera (writer) won the title of Regional Champions at the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition-New York Regional. Scott Thompson also received the third-place Best Advocate Award. The team now advances to the national finals in Chicago, which will be held from April 12-14, to compete for the national title with the other top-25 teams in the nation. Jennifer Ellis, director of the law school s advocacy programs, coached this talented and hard-working team. This accomplishment marks only the fifth team from our school to advance to the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition national finals. For the first time in our school s history, we have now advanced teams to the national finals in all three advocacy disciplines moot court, ADR, and mock trial in the same school year! PROJECT COMMUNITY Finally, I am excited to announce the very first Texas Wesleyan School of Law Project Community. This event will be held in conjunction with the fifth Annual Law School Crawfish Boil on Saturday, April 21, as part of the 2012 Law Alumni Weekend activities. Jill Smith, Scott Thompson, Amy Herrera and Jennifer Ellis Project Community is a one-day, community-wide effort to provide much needed non-legal volunteer services to social-service agencies in the Fort Worth area. We hope to make Project Community an annual event that will not only help the community, but will also attract new students, which will in turn enhance the law school s public-interest program. Our event cochairs, Adam Swartz and Jeremy Carroll, under the guidance of Rosalind Jeffers, assistant dean of student affairs, and Camesha Little, president of the Public Interest Law Fellowship, have invested a considerable amount of time and effort to locate sponsors for the event. They have done a superb job of identifying and communicating with organizations that can benefit from our day of service. This year, the Law School has agreed to provide volunteers for several organizations in Fort Worth, including the following: Union Gospel Mission Samaritan House American Red Cross Trinity Habitat for Humanity Goodwill Community Food Bank Tarrant County Food Bank Salvation Army Every Project Community volunteer will receive a free t-shirt (graciously provided by the Alumni Association) and a free breakfast (donated by Blue Mesa). From there, the volunteers will disperse to their various service sites. As I hope is evident, Texas Wesleyan Law is all about helping our community, as well as helping our students prepare to hit the ground running once they pass the bar exam. In addition to the advocacy and equaljustice programs, our experientiallearning and lawyering-skills programs are intended to make graduates of Texas Wesleyan Law ready to be practicing attorneys from day one. Please join us for the Crawfish Boil and Project Community. Sincerely, Frederic White Dean and Professor of Law Texas Wesleyan School of Law 12 April 2012 TCBA Bulletin

13 ENTRY DEADLINE: MAY 14, 2012 Paid Advertisement TARRANT COUNTY FAMILY LAW BAR ASSOCIATION 2012 ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT WHAT: WHERE: WHEN: WHY: PARTY: The 2012 TCFLBA Annual Golf Tournament Tierra Verde Golf Club, Arlington, Texas Friday, May 18, 2012; 1:30 p.m. Shotgun A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a charity designated by the directors of the Tarrant County Family Law Bar 19 th -hole party & dinner immediately following the tournament at the Tierra Verde Club House PRIZES: Closest to the pin, longest drive, dead last, 1 st, 2 nd, 3 rd place for each flight DOOR PRIZES: For registrants attending the party, there will be a drawing for door prizes COST: Golfers $99.00 per person Non-Golfers/Party Only $25.00 per person TEAMS: Sign up as a team or you will be assigned a team This will be a Florida Scramble - so skill is not a requirement. For questions about the golf tournament, contact DAVID KULESZ at GOLF REGISTRATION FORM NAME: ADDRESS: ADDRESS: PHONE: FAX: AVERAGE SCORE: and/or USGA HANDICAP: TEAM MEMBERS: Return this form together with your check for $99.00 made out to the TCFLBA to DAVID KULESZ, 601 W. Abram Street, Arlington, Texas CONTACT KARIN MAYER FOR INFORMATION ON SPONSORING A COST $ TCBA Bulletin April

14 F ROM NEW CRIMES THAT YOU MAY (OR MAY NOT) NEED TO KNOW ABOUT: It is now a crime to install an irrigation system without a license. Tex. Occ. Code Ann DID YOU KNOW? Back in the day, personal hygiene had much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. Thus, in order to smooth out their complexions, women often spread bee s wax over their facial skin. If, when they were speaking to each other, one woman began to stare at another woman s face, she was told, Mind your own bee s wax. If the woman smiled, then the wax would crack hence the term crack a smile. In addition, if a woman sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt thus the expression losing face. [Thanks to Harold Carter for this item.] ASK JUDGE BOB: Judge Bob, what is a jurat, and when is it used? An affidavit is a written, factual statement signed by the person making it, sworn before an officer authorized to administer oaths, and officially certified by the officer under seal of office. A document which does not bear the third-party certification known as a jurat is not an affidavit and does not constitute proper summary-judgment evidence. Gonzalez v. Grimm, 353 S.W.3d 270, 274 (Tex. App. El Paso 2011, no pet. h.) (citations omitted). ASK THE DANES ABOUT A LITTLE CRIMINAL LAW: Cleo and Ramses, can a deadlyweapon finding be used to enhance an animal-cruelty case? Yes. [Defendants] were charged under section (b)(1) of the T HE C IVIL S IDE BY JUSTICE BOB MCCOY, 2 nd Court of Appeals Texas Penal Code, which makes it an offense to torture an animal or in a cruel manner kill or cause injury to an animal... We conclude that section , when interpreted according to its plain meaning, did not preclude the application of a deadly weapon enhancement to the charged offenses. Patterson v. State, 353 S.W.3d 203, (Tex. App. San Antonio 2011, pets. dism d & ref d) (citation omitted). THE DANES QUOTE OF THE MONTH: My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That s almost $21.00 in dog money. Joe Weinstein ITEMS OF INTEREST 1. Unilateral Contracts Unlike a bilateral contract, in which both parties make mutual promises, a unilateral contract is created when a promisor promises a benefit if a promisee performs... [A] unilateral employment contract is created when an employer promises an employee certain benefits in exchange for the employee s performance, and the employee performs. City of Houston v. Williams, 353 S.W.3d 128, (Tex. 2011) (citations omitted). 2. Anticipatory Breach of a Contract A party claiming anticipatory breach of a contract must establish the following three elements: (1) a party to a contract has absolutely repudiated the obligation; (2) without just excuse; and (3) the other party is damaged as a result. Berg v. Wilson, 353 S.W.3d 166, 174 n.11 (Tex. App. Texarkana 2011, pet. filed) (citations omitted). 3. Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 8 [N]either the trial court nor the clerk may communicate directly with a party who is represented by counsel. In re D.W., 353 S.W.3d 188, 192 (Tex. App. Texarkana 2011, pet. filed) (citation omitted). 4. Forum Selection Clauses Relator contends [that] real parties in interest failed to meet their burden of establishing [that] Indiana is a seriously inconvenient forum for trial. We agree. When inconvenience in litigating in the chosen forum is foreseeable at the time of contracting, the challenger must show that trial in the contractual forum will be so gravely difficult and inconvenient that he will for all practical purposes be deprived of his day in court. By agreeing to the forumselection clause, real parties in interest represented to relator that Indiana would not be so inconvenient that enforcing the clause would deprive them of their day in court. In re Zotec Partners, LLC., 353 S.W.3d 533, 536 (Tex. App. San Antonio 2011, orig. proceeding) (citations & internal quotation marks omitted). 5. Ripeness Ripeness is a requirement of justiciability... A case is not ripe if its resolution depends on contingent facts or upon events that have yet to come to pass. Transcon. Realty Investors, Inc. v. Orix Capital Mkts., LLC, 353 S.W.3d 241, 244 (Tex. App. Dallas 2011, pet. filed) (citations omitted). 6. Deed of Trust [A] deed of trust does not lose its character as a deed of trust merely because its maker imposes conditions and limitations on the trustee s power of sale. Riner v. Neumann, 353 S.W.3d 312, 320 (Tex. App. Dallas 2011, no pet. h.). 7. Alternative Pleading An alternative pleading cannot be used as a judicial admission. Id. (citations omitted) 8. Acceptance of an Option Acceptance of an option must be unqualified, unambiguous, and strictly in accordance with the terms of the agreement. Any failure to exercise an option according to its terms, including an untimely or defective acceptance, is simply ineffectual, and legally amounts to nothing more than a rejection. A timely and proper acceptance of an option, though, creates a binding bilateral contract. Davis v. Norris, 352 S.W.3d 715, 720 n.9 (Tex. App. Texarkana 2011, pet. filed) (citations omitted). 14 April 2012 TCBA Bulletin

15 9. Easement by Prescription As claimants seeking to establish an easement by prescription, the McClungs must have shown that their use of the Ayers land was: (1) open and notorious, (2) adverse to the owner s claim of right, (3) exclusive, (4) uninterrupted, and (5) continuous for a period of ten years. McClung v. Ayers, 352 S.W.3d 723, 727 (Tex. App. Texarkana 2011, no pet. h.) (citation omitted). 10. Recorded Lien [A] properly recorded lien provides notice to all persons of its existence. Netco, Inc. v. Montemayor, 352 S.W.3d 733, 739 (Tex. App. Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, no pet. h.) (citation omitted). 11. Damages As a general rule, the jury has broad discretion to award damages within the range of evidence presented at trial, as long as a rational basis exists for its calculation. The jury s findings will not be disregarded merely because its reasoning in arriving at its figures may be unclear. The fact that there is nothing in the record to show how the jury arrived at a specific amount is not necessarily fatal to the verdict. Instead, when the evidence supports a range of awards, as opposed to two distinct options, an award of damages within that range may be an appropriate exercise of the jury s discretion. But where there is no rational basis for the calculation, the jury s finding should be set aside. A jury may not arbitrarily assess an amount neither authorized nor supported by the evidence pre-sented at trial. Holland v. Lovelace, 352 S.W.3d 777, (Tex. App. Dallas 2011, no pet. h.) (citations omitted). 12. Comity [W]hen a matter is first filed in another state, the general rule is that Texas courts stay the later-filed proceeding pending adjudication of the first suit. In re Vinyl Techs., Inc., 352 S.W.3d 810, 814 (Tex. App. San Antonio 2011, orig. proceeding) (citations omitted). 13. Abandoned Pleading Whether a party has abandoned a pleading is a question of law that we review de novo. A stipulation may be sufficient to demonstrate abandonment of a pleading, and formal amendment is not required. In re J.M., 352 S.W.3d 824, 826 (Tex. App. San Antonio 2011, no pet. h.) (citations omitted). 14. Stipulation In construing a stipulation, we must determine the parties intent from the language of the entire agreement and the surrounding circumstances, including the state of the pleadings, the allegations made therein, and the attitudes of the parties toward the issue. We will not give a stipulation greater effect than the parties intended. Id. at 827 (citations omitted). 15. Bill of Review Extrinsic fraud is fraud that denied the petitioner the opportunity to litigate fully all the rights or defenses that could have been asserted at trial. Such fraud must be purposeful in nature. There must be proof of some deception practiced by the respondent, collateral to the issues in the case. Alderson v. Alderson, 352 S.W.3d 875, 878 (Tex. App. Dallas 2011, pet. denied) (citations omitted). 16. Unemployment Benefits A person is disqualified for benefits if [he] was discharged for misconduct connected with [his] last work.... However, [m]ere failure to perform the tasks to the satisfaction of the employer, without more, does not constitute misconduct which disqualifies an employee from benefits. Blanchard v. Brazos Forest Prods., L.P., 353 S.W.3d 569, (Tex. App. Fort Worth 2011, pet. filed). QUOTES OF THE MONTH Pigs I like pigs: cats look down on human beings, dogs look up to them, but pigs just treat us as their equals. Sir Winston Churchill Pigs is pigs. Chief Justice Jack Pope to Mike Wallace, on a 1989 episode of 60 Minutes OLD NEWS Until post reconstruction times, justices of the Supreme Court of Texas were not elected by popular vote. For example, both houses of Congress elected Republic of Texas Supreme Court justices. From 1866 until 1869, the Supreme Court was referred to as the Military Court ; from 1870 to 1873, it was referred to as the Semicolon Court. The opinions of those courts are regarded as binding on the parties and on land titles but were otherwise advisory. At the end of Reconstruction, the people of Texas had had enough of appointed officials, including Supreme Court justices, and virtually all state officials were elected by popular vote from that time forward. APPELLATE SECTION LUNCHEON May 16, 2012, at noon Petroleum Club Guest Speaker Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson Supreme Court of Texas $25 appellate section members; $30 non-appellate section members and walk-ins RSVP to Sherry Jones at or TCBA Bulletin April

16 SURROGACY LAWS OF TEXAS BY BRENDA FERGUSON HASENZAHL, Cotten Schmidt & Abbott, L.L.P., AND LAUREN GAYDOS DUFFER, Law Office of Lauren Gaydos Duffer A lthough struggles with conception and pregnancy are not new, the concept of surrogacy has become more widespread as celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, John Travolta, and Elton John have discussed their uses of surrogates to have children. Age is considered a factor associated with fertility issues, and in today s world, more women are having children at older ages than in years past. From 1970 until 2006, the number of women giving birth for the first time over the age of 35 increased by nearly 8 times. Because many states have not kept up with the scientific advances of assisted reproduction and surrogacy, Texas is becoming known as one of the more surrogacyfriendly venues. But there are still many misconceptions regarding the laws of surrogacy in Texas, and this article serves as a brief corrective. There are two general types of surrogacy: 1) traditional surrogacy; 2) gestational surrogacy (the more common type). In traditional surrogacy, a woman (the gestational mother) acts as both the egg donor and the surrogate. This practice is not recognized, codified, or protected in the Texas Family Code. Traditional surrogacy generally occurs when a couple who wants a child does not have viable eggs to fertilize and so requests a gestational mother to both have the child and donate the egg. As the gestational mother is the biological mother of the child, if she is married during these proceedings, her husband is deemed the presumed father of the child. Because of these potentially complicated legal risks, this method of surrogacy is not recognized in Texas. The more common type of surrogacy, and the one recognized by Chapter 160 of the Texas Family Code, is gestational surrogacy. The gestational mother carries a fertilized embryo that is implanted in her by assisted reproduction. The embryo is comprised of either the intended mother s egg or a donor egg and the intended father s sperm or donor sperm; thus, the child is not biologically related to the gestational mother or her husband. Under section of the Family Code, a prospective gestational mother, her husband (if she is married), each donor, and each intended parent may enter into a written agreement providing that the gestational mother agrees to pregnancy by means of assisted reproduction and relinquishes all parental rights and duties to the child who is born as a result of the assisted reproductive procedure. This statute eliminates the need for a legal proceeding, after the birth of the child, to terminate any parent-child relationship between the gestational mother and child. With a validated gestational agreement in place, once the child is born, the intended parents names are placed on the birth certificate, and they immediately become the legal parents of the child. In order for a gestational agreement to be validated, section requires that the intended parents be married to each other and that each intended parent be a party to the gestational agreement. The marriage requirement has sparked much debate among different Texas counties as to whether the statute requires an intended parent to be married or whether it implies only that if the intended parent is married, then both he or she and his or her spouse must be parties to the gestational agreement. To attempt to clarify this issue, the Texas legislature considered revising the gestational statute to apply to a single intended parent; however, the proposed revisions were not adopted. In addition, pursuant to section , the gestational agreement must require that the eggs used in the assisted reproductive procedure not come from the gestational mother, which signifies that traditional surrogacy is expressly not protected under the statute. The gestational agreement must also contain language that the physician who is going to perform the assisted reproductive procedure inform the parties of the rate of successful conceptions and births attributable to the procedure, the potential health risks associated with implementation of the procedure and fertility drugs, expenses related to the procedure, and any reasonably foreseeable psychological effects resulting from the procedure. Much like the sixty-day cooling off period required for finalizing a divorce, section requires that the gestational agreement be entered into at least fourteen days before the date of the transfer of any eggs, sperm, or embryos to the gestational mother for purposes of conception or implantation. Finally, the gestational agreement may not limit the right of the gestational mother to make independent decisions to safeguard her health or the health of an embryo. In order for the gestational agreement to be enforceable under Texas law, it must meet the requirements of section and the parties must obtain from the court an order validating it. This initial order validating the gestational agreement is often referred to by practitioners and medical professionals as the pre-birth order. It names the intended parents as the parents of any child born pursuant to the gestational agreement, orders that the intended parents be entitled to make all healthcare decisions regarding the child, orders any hospital or birthing center where the child is born to list the intended parents as the parents of the child on any birth certificate or vital records, and orders the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics to issue an original birth certificate listing the intended parents as the parents of the child. Upon the birth of the child, a Notice of Birth, which notifies the court that a child was born pursuant to the gestational agreement, is continued to page April 2012 TCBA Bulletin

17 Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C. CONTINUING TO BE YOUR TRUSTED COLLEAGUES FOR Wrongful Death - Personal Injury Referrals * Wrongful Death * Car Wrecks * Oil and Gas Field Injuries * Construction Accidents * Crane Accidents * Trucking Accidents * Workplace Injuries * Premises Liability * Select Individual and Business Litigation V isit our website to see who we are, what we do, and how we can help your clients, family, and friends E XPERIENCED L AWYERS FOR S ERIOUS C ASES TCBA Bulletin April

18 18 April 2012 TCBA Bulletin

19 TEN MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF TEXAS LAW --- BY DAVID A. FURLOW, Thompson & Knight, LLP As a guest speaker during TCBA s All-Star CLE on February 2, I gave a presentation based on a paper that I furnished to the attendees. Thank you for the great reception and interest in Texas s legal history. I researched ten myths of Texas history. The first is about origins. The myth is that Texas law began with Anglo-American common law during the 1836 birth of the Republic of Texas. But Texas s legal system goes back much further, at least to San Antonio s beginning in 1718, and further back to the arrival of Coronado s conquistadors in 1641 and the founding of El Paso (El Paso del Norte) in the late seventeenth century. Thus, a strong foundation of Castilian Spanish law undergirds Texas jurisprudence. Lorenzo de Zavala, the first vice president of the Republic of Texas, continued Spanish law and language in the Republic. Texas Chief Justice John Hemphill learned Spanish, cited Castilian law codes, and modernized its traditions, merging it with the common-law freedoms and constitutional rights, including the right to a trial by jury, that Anglo-American settlers brought to Texas with them. The second myth is that the defenders of the Alamo were all soldiers or adventurers. Not so. William Barrett Travis and five other lawyers made their Alamo Bar Association the most glorious in Texas history. These six attorneys gave their lives to defend constitutional law beneath the 1824 flag that symbolized the Mexican Constitution of 1824, a constitution that Lorenzo de Zavala signed in The third myth is that Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice John Hemphill decided one legal dispute by pulling a Bowie knife from beneath his black robe and slaying his opponent. The myth is that it was a long knife, but it was not necessarily a Bowie knife. The first chief justice was a learned man, and he made homestead protections and community-property rights for women part of Texas law. Myth four is one Ranger, one riot. That s usually been true, but not when the Republic s president, Sam Houston, tried to move the Texas Archives from Austin back to Houston, the town that bore his name. An Austin widow-woman, tavernkeeper Angelina Eberly, deployed a cannon and a riotous crowd to keep two Texas Rangers, ordered by Sam Houston to return the archives to Houston, from taking them out of Austin, the new capitol. Angelina s whiff of grapeshot won the Archives War. The fifth myth is that the Texas Constitution grants Texas the right to secede from the Union. It does not. The current Texas Constitution states, in Article I, Section I, that Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States. But it does not say that Texans can leave. Myth six is that saloon-tending Justice of the Peace Roy Bean hung em high while enforcing the Law West of the Pecos. Judge Roy Bean was one of the most legendary characters in the history of Texas law, but he hung only one or two men. Nevertheless, he coined memorable phrases while running a courthouse out of his saloon, where the drinks were never on the house. The seventh myth is that women did not serve as Texas judges until the 1960s. Governor Pat Neff put Texas at the forefront of Progressive Era politics by appointing America s first all-woman state supreme court for the decision in Johnson v. Darr, 114 Tex. 516, 272 S.W (1925), a case concerning Woodmen of the World insurance coverage. The three women some of the first female attorneys licensed to practice law in Texas served on that special panel and quickly decided the case. Myth eight is that Texas was on the sidelines of the Civil Rights movement. No in 1949 and 1950, it was not on the sidelines but on the frontline. U. S. Postal worker Heman Sweatt, an African-American who dreamed of a better day, hired later U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall as his NAACP attorney, won admission to the University of Texas Law School, and laid the foundation for Brown v. Board of Education and the end of separate but equal segregation in America. His continued efforts to establish civil rights led to the University of Texas at Austin beginning, in 1987, the Heman Sweatt Symposium in Civil Rights to commemorate the desegregation of Texas universities. The ninth myth is that Texas tort reform took wing because Joe Jamail s Pennzoil v. Texaco victory involved a grossly excessive punitivedamages award. But punitive damages made up only 40% of Pennzoil s actual damages, and the First Court of Appeals ordered a remittitur. Pennzoil s significance was in raising questions among judges, attorneys, and the media about the fairness of Texas s judicial system from the personalities of judges to the propriety of the rules governing jury trials and the requirement that appellants supersede the entire amount of a judgment, plus interest, in order to avoid collection. The last myth is that arbitration and mediation came to Texas in the late 1980s. These alternative means of dispute resolution have been a part of American law since Dutch and English settlers brought them to the Atlantic colonies in the 1640s. Arbitration has been part of Texas law since at least Alternative Dispute Resolution has become more prominent in recent years as part of a national trend away from using juries to decide disputes. Thanks for hearing me out. Y all have a good day. TCBA Bulletin April

20 TCBA 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 or visit AMO Office Supply offers TCBA members the lowest price guaranteed on office supplies, with next-day delivery and free shipping! Call Falcon Litigation Solutions offers discounts on copying, litigation displays, trial boards, etc. Call Fort Worth JSB Co., Inc., offers a 10% discount to TCBA members on printed materials--business cards, letterhead, envelopes, business forms, brochures, flyers, and more. For a quote, call Fort Worth Zoo, discount tickets $9.50 adult, $6.50 for child or senior. For tickets, contact or If mailing or charging tickets, add 50 cents. Sprint offers 15% off the monthly service. For info, contact or UPS - TCBA has signed an agreement with UPS for TCBA members to receive discounts on shipping. The discounts vary according to the type of shipment, but check out UPS for your needs. or 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 ext For Shredding and Document Disposal: Magic Shred. It is a secure shredding business that shreds your documents on-site. Magic Shred offers a 10% discount to TCBA members. Expanco is N.A.I.D. AAA-Certified document-destruction service offering 40% off to TCBA members. Call TCBA office for details on both. M EMBER B ENEFITS - V ENDOR L IST New New 20 April 2012 TCBA Bulletin

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