Tex Parte Blog

Amy Hancock, director of Professional Development, Andrews Kurth, Houston

Andrews Kurth Helps Houston Law School with Career Development Program

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The University of Houston Law Center launches a mandatory career development program for first-year students with help from Andrews Kurth.

Texas AG Launches Website Showing Detail, Demographics of Police Shootings

By Miriam Rozen |

According to the OAG's website, since Sept. 1, when the OAG's site launched, Houston, Freeport, El Paso and Balch Springs police departments have each reported one shooting by police officers; no police departments statewide have reported shootings of police officers during the same time period.

Steve DeWolf and his 1942 AT-6 Texan, which was used to train U.S. Navy pilots for WWII

Solo Defends His Love for Noisy Old Airplanes

By John Council |

Solo lawyer and amateur pilot Steve DeWolf is in love with WW II-era training planes—especially the distinctive yellow 1942 AT-6 Texan that he stores and flies from Dallas' Executive Airport.

Law School Admissions Officers Bracing for Influx of Applications

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Law school admiissions officers who participated in a survey expect to see more applications over the 2015-2016 application cycle than the previous year, according to a 2015 Kaplan Test Prep survey.

Thomas Wilson

International Law Section Launches Human Rights Committee

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Committee may recommended amendments to Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct in regards to giving advice to clients doing business in countries with civil rights issues.

State Launching Online Pro Se Tool

By Angela Morris |

"I hope [lawyers] think it's a good thing because we are working in areas we know there are a lot of self-represented litigants," said David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of Court Administration.

David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of Court Administration

Texas to Revamp Data on Court Cases

By Angela Morris |

Texas recently won a national award for collecting high-quality data about court cases. But the state is not stopping there.

Christopher K. Gilbert

Lawyer Offering Motorcycle Tours in Cuba

By Angela Morris |

"I'm essentially making up my mind to not be chained to my desk for the rest of my life," said Chris Gilbert, a former State Bar of Texas board member.

Second DA Requests Handgun Opinion

By Angela Morris |

For the second time in two months, a district attorney has asked the Texas Office of the Attorney General whether a county is allowed to ban handguns in a justice center that houses courts and other departments.

Texas to Celebrate Constitution Day

By Miriam Rozen |

"As criminal defense lawyers, HCCLA members fight daily to protect the Constitution and its safeguards, many of which are set forth in amendments to this cherished document," the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association wrrote about its commemorative event.

DLA Piper's Role in Truancy System Reform

By Angela Morris |

"I think the constitution's protections apply to every individual regardless of age and we wanted to help vulnerable children facing these life-altering circumstances ensure their rights were respected," said Courtney Stewart.

Former Continental GC Steps Down From Big United Airlines Job

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Jeffery Smisek, once the senior vice president and general counsel of Houston-based Continental Airlines, gets severance package from United Airlines including $4.875 million cash payment.

Joanne Du and Phillip Georgiou, partners, Baker Botts, Hong Kong

Baker Botts Hires Three Lateral Partners in Asia

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three lawyers leave Jones Day's Hong Kong office to join Baker Botts' Hong Kong office.

Texas Supreme Court: Accelerate Appeals of Juveniles' Adult Certifications

By Miriam Rozen |

The Supreme Court of Texas issued an order requiring juvenile court judges to tell youths whom they have certified to be tried in adult criminal courts that they may immediately appeal those rulings.

Gaylord Hughey

The Eastern District Gets a Lobbyist

By John Council |

"Obviously we want the Eastern District to be treated fairly with other districts and not be singled out for purposes of venue," said Gaylord Hughey, who will serve as the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association's lobbyist in front of Congress. "That's an issue that I'm focused on.''

Fort Worth Courthouse Gives Defense Lawyers Security Bypass

By John Council |

"Just because it gets me in doesn't mean it gets me to a courtroom any faster," said Fort Worth criminal defense attorney Kenny Mullen, who said a badge will get him past the courthouse's security line, but not into its busy elevators.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider

Judge Michael Schneider Takes Senior Status

By John Council |

U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider of Tyler, who is the Eastern District of Texas' most mobile jurist, will take senior status on Jan. 7, 2016.

Increased E-Filing Fee Effective Sept. 1

By Angela Morris |

Lawyers who use e-filing in civil cases will notice higher bills in September, when the e-filing fee increases to $30 from $20. That's just one of the changes in store for Sept. 1, when many new laws become effective.


Ex-Client Nonsuits Houston Lawyer in Suit Filed Over Divorce

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A woman nonsuited Houston lawyer James Patrick Smith in suit alleging that he mishandled her divorce, but a related suit against Houston lawyer Paul Nugent set for trial in 2016.

Texas Women GCs Rank High on Best-Paid List

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Women who are general counsel of large Texas companies hold three of the top five spots on the best-paid GC list included in Texas Lawyer's annual Corporate Roster report on GC compensation.

Glenn Ballard

Houston Litigator Glenn Ballard Set to Join Dentons

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Glenn Ballard, a former head of the trial section at Bracewell & Giuliani, will join Dentons on Aug. 17 as managing partner of the Houston office.

Francisco Mendez, partner, Mayer Brown, Mexico City and Houston

Mayer Brown Opens Mexico City Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Mayer Brown, which has an office in Houston, just got approval from the Mexican government to open a Mexico City office.

Mexican Offshore Worker Nonsuits Houston Lawyer

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Mexican offshore worker nonsuited Hosuton lawyer Jason Webster from a suit alleging that he was "illegally and unethically solicited" in connection with a personal injury suit stemming from a deadly 2007 mobile offshore oil platform accident.

Martha Hardwick Hofmeister with George W. Bush

Dallas' Most Famous Person Shows Up for Jury Duty

By John Council |

"I just went down to watch them pick a jury. And Brian Shaw said, 'Guess who's going to be on our panel? He's the most famous person in Dallas,'" said Martha Hardwick Hofmeister, a partner in Dallas' Shackelford. "And I said, Dirk Nowitzki?" She was wrong.

Two More Join DA's Panel Investigating Sandra Bland's Death

By Miriam Rozen |

"We want to be sure this is done correctly. We want clarification on that," said Lewis White, a criminal defense lawyer who has volunteered for the panel.

Judge Larry Meyers of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

CCA Judge's Attack on Voter ID Law to Proceed

By Angela Morris |

"I've been analyzing constitutional situations for 25 years or more because I've been on the bench so long, so I have a little bit of a handle in how this works and how it's analyzed," said Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Larry Meyers.

Dee J. Kelly Jr., managing partner in Fort Worth's Kelly Hart

Only Coincidental: Assistant AG's Move and Paxton News

By Miriam Rozen |

"We have been talking to her for years," Dee Kelly Jr., managing partner of Kelly Hart & Hallman, said about April Farris, who will move from the state agency to his Fort Worth law firm.

Darby Dickerson, dean of Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock

Texas Tech University School of Law Welcomes Scribes

By Miriam Rozen |

Ink-stained advocates should turn their eyes in the direction of Lubbock.

Ken Paxton

Paxton Prosecutors Spotted at Grand Jury Room

By Angela Morris |

A Dallas TV news crew at the Collin County Courthouse on Tuesday caught footage of two special prosecutors who have investigated Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton as they entered a grand jury room.

DA Requests Opinion on Banning Handguns

By Angela Morris |

Can a county bar people from carrying concealed handguns into the district attorney's office and other departments in the courthouse?

Michael K. Hurst

A First: DWLA Honors Man With Award for Advancement of Women Attorneys

By Miriam Rozen |

For the first time in more than two decades, the Dallas Women Lawyers Association will honor a man for his contributions to the advancement of women lawyers.

Judge Ron Clark, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

New Federal Court in Sherman?

By John Council |

The numbers add up for adding another judge in the Eastern District of Texas said Chief Judge Ron Clark, who will attend a conference that lays out the groundwork for getting a new court.

Casey Kennedy

Texas Courts' Website Wins National Award

By Angela Morris |

David Slayton of the Texas Office of Court Administration said that txcourts.gov won the honor for being user-friendly and dynamic, providing helpful information about the courts and making it easy to find information.

Certified Mess: Texas Supreme Court Takes On Stanford

By John Council |

What's $6 million in Golf Channel advertising really worth if it's purchased by R. Allen Stanford and his Ponzi scheme? The Texas Supreme Court has agreed to tell us.

Ken Paxton

Paxton Campaign Not Paying for Criminal Defense

By Angela Morris |

While Ken Paxton's latest campaign finance report does include $19,340 for legal spending, no payments went to three law firms representing him in an ongoing criminal investigation for alleged securities law violations.

Scott C. Wallace

Holland & Knight Taps New Leader in Dallas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Corporate finance partner Scott Wallace is new executive partner in Holland & Knight's Dallas office.

UTA Shuttering Legal Clinic for Students

By Miriam Rozen |

The shutdown means that Keisha Ware will no longer serve as the attorney for the students, her title for the past 10 years at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Judge Thomas R. Culver III

Retired Judge Recalls 34 Years on the Bench

By Angela Morris |

"Some really great lawyers have come to my court over the years," said Judge Thomas R. Culver III. "They require you to stay on top of your game. But by the same token, they are really professional."

Bar Exam Agency to Begin Online Transactions

By Angela Morris |

Soon law graduates who are signing up to take the Texas bar exam will be able to fill out applications and pay exam fees electronically.

Supreme Court Won't Hear Appeals From BP, Anadarko Over Oil Spill Fines

By Angela Neville |

On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeals of BP and Anadarko Petroleum over potential federal fines for their role in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ken Paxton

Emails Between Texas Clerks Reveal Frustration With Texas Leaders

By Mark Bauer |

The emails, obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in an information request, indicate that the Texas clerks feel a little hung out to dry regarding those who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Ken Broughton

Reed Smith Picks Managing Partner for Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Kenneth Broughton, who helped launch the office in 2013, is now managing partner in Houston.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of the Western District of Texas

Judge Lifts Stay on Earlier Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

By Angela Morris |

A U.S. district judge lifted a stay on a previous order that barred the Texas government from enforcing its same-sex marriage ban, related provisions in the Texas Family Code and any other law that prohibited same-sex marriages.

Mitchell Katine in front of the U.S. Supreme Court

Lawyer Who Helped Convince SCOTUS to Strike Down Texas Sodomy Law Reacts to Ruling

By John Council |

"Is that a coincidence or what?" said Katine, of Katine & Nechman, who celebrated "Obergefell" in his office with his partner and his two 13-year-old children. "They really quote extensively from the 'Lawrence v. Texas' case," Katine said of the majority opinion in "Obergefell": "It makes me feel really good that we had a hand in getting it to this point."

Gray Reed’s Jack Emmott Honored by State Bar of Texas and the Houston Bar Association

Jack Emmott Honored for Collaborative Law Work

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Gray Reed & McGraw member in Houston gets awards from Houston Volunteer Lawyers and the Collaborative Law Committee of the State Bar of Texas.

William Brewer III

Bickel & Brewer Has New Name, Location

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

More than a year after founding partner John Bickel left Bickel & Brewer, the firm changes its name.

Josh Tucker

Pro Bono Lawyer Scores Robot Controller Patent

By Angela Morris |

Controlling your robots is now cheaper because of an invention by a group of teenagers, who recently won a patent thanks to the work of a pro bono lawyer.

Perry's Campaign Taps Former FEC Chairman as Counsel

By Miriam Rozen |

Don McGahn, a partner in the D.C. office of Jones Day, served previously as chairman and as a commissioner at the Federal Election Commission, where he led what his firm's website bio characterizes as a "revolution" in campaign finance.

Michelle May O'Neil

Family Law Attorney Leaves Godwin Lewis to Open New Firm

By John Council |

"My clients were not super happy with me being at a big firm. And I was having trouble getting my clients to come into a big firm,'' said Michelle May O'Neil.

New O&G Monopoly Game Fuels Strong Interest Among Students

By Angela Neville |

The Asa Low Intermediate School in Mansfield, Texas, will hold its first- ever oil and gas Monopoly game tournament on May 30. The school anticipates that around 60 students will participate in the event. The tournament will feature students playing the customized oil and gas version of Monopoly created by the industry publication Offshore Engineer in celebration of its 40th anniversary. The limited-edition release of the game takes the traditional destinations and game pieces and replaces them with items specific to the oil and gas industry.

Patent Troll Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

By Angela Morris |

There's only one hurdle left for a bill that would authorize the Texas attorney general to sue so-called patent trolls that send demand letters in bad faith about patent infringement.

Innocence Project of Texas Chief Counsel Resigns, Unhappy with NY Branch

By John Council |

Amarillo criminal defense lawyer Jeff Blackburn has a certain flair for the dramatic, as is demonstrated in his recent resignation letter as chief counsel of the Innocence Project of Texas.

Firearms Lawyers to Educate on Open Carry

By Angela Morris |

As business lawyers prepare to counsel companies on new policies and procedures under a bill to legalize people to carry holstered handguns openly, another company plans to educate gun owners about the change.

Richard Burton's new book:

Employees Gone Wild: Sex, Drugs and Crime

By John Council |

"Literally having sex in front of co-workers," Richard Burton said of one of the employee stories he tells in a new book. "Some are less shocking, like embezzlement."

Lawyers Speak at All Nine Texas Law School Graduations

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Judges, a general counsel, professors and a government official will speak to Texas law school graduates.

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, vice chairman, Senate State Affairs Committee

Bill Eases Burden for Post-Conviction DNA Testing

By Angela Morris |

A bill that would make it easier for convicts to win appeals for post-conviction DNA testing has landed on Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

Clockwise from top left: Jonathan Bridges, Michael Maslanka, Brian Owsley, Reynaldo Valencia

UNT Dallas College of Law Hires Four New Faculty Members

By Miriam Rozen |

New public downtown Dallas law school plans to keep hiring more faculty next year.

Bill Proposes More Training for Guardianship Lawyers

By Angela Morris |

Lawyers who hope to become certified to be guardians for elderly or disabled people would have to take an extra hour of continuing legal education if a bill that the House and Senate have passed becomes law.

Ellen Solender

Former SMU Law Professor Donates $2M to School to Help Advance Gender Equality

By Miriam Rozen |

She earmarked the money for school to hire new law professor who conducts research through a gender lens.

Want to Be a Judge? Signatures Not Required

By Angela Morris |

Judicial candidates for statewide office and benches in highly populated counties would no longer have to gather signatures to get on the primary ballot if House Bill 3880 becomes law.

Lawyer's 'Pandering to Idiots' Letter to Abbott Goes Viral

By John Council |

Bedford solo Todd Smith, a Republican former lawmaker, got plenty of attention—CNN and The New York Times included—when he wrote Texas Gov. Greg Abbott about his decision to have the Texas State Guard monitor U.S. military training exercises.

Jerry K. Clements, chair, Locke Lord

Jerry Clements Named Baylor Lawyer of the Year

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Jerry Clements, chairwoman of Locke Lord, received the 2015 Baylor Lawyer of the Year.

Lawyer Oath Bill Headed to Governor

By Angela Morris |

A bill to require new lawyers to swear to behave with integrity and civility has sailed through the Texas Legislature and will soon land on Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

Ken Stewart

Ken Stewart Adds Big Role at Norton Rose Fulbright

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Ken Stewart, the nonexecutive chair in the United States for Norton Rose Fulbright, will also become global chair on May 1.

Steven Selsberg

Houston Litigator Steven Selsberg Goes Solo

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Litigator Steve Selsberg, whose client list include Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, left a big firm to open his own firm in Houston.

Bill Privileges Sermons From Discovery by Government

By Angela Morris |

It sparked a nationwide debate last fall when the city of Houston, embroiled in a lawsuit over its LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance, subpoenaed pastors for copies of their sermons. It also sparked action by the Texas Senate.

Six Texas Firms Make Am Law 100 List

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Six firms based in Houston or Dallas are among the nation's 100 highest-grossing firms.

House OKs Bill to Repeal Attorney Occupations Tax

By Angela Morris |

Lawyers would no longer have to pay the $200 annual occupations tax if lawmakers pass a bill that the Texas House recently approved.

Ken Paxton

Prosecutors in Paxton Complaint Vow Nonpartisan Approach

By Angela Morris |

A judge has appointed Houston attorneys Kent Schaffer and Brian Wice to investigate a complaint against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that alleged that he committed a felony under state securities law.

Neal S. Manne, managing partner, Susman Godfrey, Houston

Cognac, 'Relocated' Statue Boost Susman Godfrey's Associates' Morale

By Miriam Rozen |

Neal Manne, co mananging partner, responds to inquiry with droll, revealing answer.

Courtroom Named in Honor of Dallas Civil Rights Pioneer

By John Council |

And in a fitting tribute after the conclusion of lectures about Louis A. Bedford, who became Dallas' first African-American judge in 1966, the historically black college's mock courtroom was named in honor of him.

Tax Scam Hits UT Law Professors, Staff

By Angela Morris |

Tax day might be unpleasant, but it was extra bad for some professors and staff at The University of Texas School of Law.

Bar Gives $250,000 to Fund Lawyers' Treatment

By Angela Morris |

Of its $47.22 million in total spending, the State Bar of Texas's new budget sends $250,000 to a fund that provides lawyers with money for substance abuse and mental health treatment.

State Bar Deletes CLE Exemption for Elderly Lawyers

By Angela Morris |

Current state bar rules and regulations exempt attorneys over 70 from taking 15 credit hours of CLE each year. The approved change deletes those exemptions.

Hand and judicial robe photo illustration..Photo by Jason Doiy and S. Todd Rogers.8-29-13.062-2013.

Want to Be a Judge in the Western or Eastern District of Texas?

By John Council |

Senators seek to fill Plano and Midland benches.


Orthodox Jewish Congregation Files Counter Claim Against Dallas

By Miriam Rozen |

The congregation alleges the city violated the state's religious freedom statute and wants to keep meeting in a North Dallas home.

South Texas College of Law to Open Immigration Clinic

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Houston law school will provide general immigration work on a pro bono basis at a clinic set to open in August.

Tax Group Joins McDermott's Dallas Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Todd Welty and two partners move to McDermott Will & Emery from Dentons.

(Left to right) Dr. Robert Ivany, president of the University of St. Thomas, and Donald J. Guter, president and dean of South Texas College of Law/Houston.

South Texas College of Law Launches JD/MBA Program With a Houston University

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Students can earn J.D. and MBA in as few as four years through new joint degree program.

Donald J. DeGabrielle

Chaffe McCall Hires Former U.S. Attorney

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

One-time U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas joins Houston office of New Orleans firm to head government investigation and white-collar crime defense practice in Texas.

Texas Lawyer Honored for its Civil Rights Act Commemorative Issue

The issue examined those Texans who were an integral part of the act, which continues to influence Texas law and lawyers.

Bradley J. B. Toben, dean of Baylor University School of Law in Waco

Which Texas Law School Is Rated Among the Best for Practical Training?

By John Council |

This same law school, rated in a recent issue of The National Jurist magazine, is also the oldest in Texas.

Andrew Strong, partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Houston

Lawyer Returns to Pillsbury to Build Life Sciences Practice

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Andrew Strong rejoins Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in Houston after two general counsel jobs.

Under Bill, Messing With Texas Laws Might Bring Lawsuits

By Angela Morris |

If a local government violated Senate Bill 1673's provisions and it hurt someone, he could sue, and the local government wouldn't have immunity. The plaintiff might collect damages, costs and attorney fees.

Houston attorney Annie Garcia with daughter Ariana

Lawyer Setting Up Nonprofit to Fund 3-D Heart Models

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Annie Garcia, a former corporate associate in Houston, is establishing a charity to provide 3-D models of babies' hearts to pediatric cardiac surgeons.

Bill Would Waive Tax for Pro Bono Lawyers

By Angela Morris |

Rep. Kenneth Sheets said that some of his law school classmates are now stay-at-home moms, but still represent clients pro bono. They also still have to pay an annual attorney occupations tax. House Bill 1129 would fix that.

Bill OKs Lawsuits Over Frivolous State Regulatory Actions

By Angela Morris |

Under House Bill 3662, a successful plaintiff would win damages caused by the regulatory action, plus costs and attorney fees in defending himself in the administrative proceeding and appeal.

Bill Raises E-filing Fee From $20 to $30

By Angela Morris |

The statewide e-filing fee for civil cases would cost $10 more if the legislature were to pass a recently filed bill.

Aggie Acrimony: Donors Sue Texas A&M 12th Man Foundation Over Kyle Field Seating Assignments

By Miriam Rozen |

Plaintiffs propose class action and seek temporary injunction barring any more reassigning of seats.

Bill Would Cut Copy Fees for Uncertified Copies

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The bill's author says it does not make sense to charge people a fee for a document that they can access online.

Lawmaker: Pay Student Loans or Lose Your Law License

By Angela Morris |

It seems that one lawmaker thinks that if an attorney were to default on his student loan, he should lose his license to practice law.

Bar Exam. Photo By Hewlett Askew

Lawyer Fights for Breastfeeding Accommodations for Texas Bar Exam

By Angela Morris |

Illinois lawyer and mother wants to ensure that other nursing moms get necessary accommodations throughout the bar exam.

Judge Vacates Order After Clerical Error in Nina Pham Lawsuit

By Miriam Rozen |

The judge in the case mistakenly issued an abatement order.

Should Texas Allow Online Law Degrees? Here's One State Lawmaker's Proposal

By Angela Morris |

What if you could skip those grueling law school classes, hit up the Internet for a law degree and still become a licensed lawyer in Texas?

OAG Warns of Scam Email

By Miriam Rozen |

Stumbling vocabulary should wave a red flag for Texans to not respond to fraudulent email using his name, Ken Paxton's office said.

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright, now a partner in Bracewell & Giuliani in Austin

Bracewell Picks New Head of Austin Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dale Wainwright, a partner who is a former Texas Supreme Court justice, is the office's new managing partner.

Former 4th Court of Appeals Chief Justice Catherine Stone

21-Year Appellate Chief Settles Back Into Private Practice

By Angela Morris |

"They want me to head up their appellate practice, and form it in a way … we think would be most beneficial for clients and the firm," said Former Fourth Court of Appeals Chief Justice Catherine Stone.


Texas Tech Law Student Loses Bid to Colonize Mars

By Mark Bauer |

He's not going to Mars, but he's still a red raider.

Bill: Judge Education for Unaccompanied Minor Cases

By Angela Morris |

House Bill 1439 calls upon the children's commission to publish an educational guide to help judges determine jurisdiction and how to preside over cases involving children who are eligible for special immigrant juvenile status.

Agency Proposes Changes to Board Certification Requirements

By Angela Morris |

Hal Moorman, chairman of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, said, "What we are trying to look at is: What is realistic for someone who practices in the area?"