Tex Parte Blog

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?"


Texas Has Second-Best Legal Job Market in US

By Angela Morris |

"Booming oil production and a strong mining industry have made Texas one of the strongest economies in the nation, and that is driving legal employment," according to The National Jurist magazine.

Three judges reviewing case

Bill: AG Could Request Three-Judge Court for Suits Against State

By Angela Morris |

State lawmakers filed identical bills that would allow the Texas attorney general to request a special three-judge panel to hear litigation against the government over school finance, redistricting or other significant matters.

Nine Senators Want 'Civility' in Lawyer Oath

By Angela Morris |

Under SB 534, new lawyers would have to swear to "conduct oneself with integrity and civility in dealing and communicating with the court and all parties."

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

Could Obama Fill All Empty Texas Benches?

By John Council |

The White House got off to a slow start in filling federal benches in the Lone Star State, but the pace has picked up during President Barack Obama's second term.

Six-Year Terms for District Judges?

By Angela Morris |

District judges currently serve four-year terms in office, but House Joint Resolution 81 by Rep. Richard Pena Raymond would lengthen the job to six years.

US Magistrate Makes Plaintiffs Lawyer's Last-Hour Rescheduling Expensive

By Miriam Rozen |

A federal magistrate in Dallas ordered a plaintiffs attorney, who called up only one hour in advance of a scheduled settlement conference to report her no-show status, to pay for defendants' travel expenses.

Woodie Jones, a partner in Alexander Dubose Jones & Townsend in Austin

Woodie Jones Back at Firm He Founded in 2003

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Woodie Jones, former chief justice of the Third Court of Appeals in Austin, has returned to Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend.

Bill Would Limit Health Care Liability Claims

By Angela Morris |

House Bill 956 addresses a 2012 Texas Supreme Court case that ruled that a claimant doesn't have to be a patient in order to bring a health care liability claim.

David J. Beck of Beck Redden & Secrest

Governor Appoints David Beck as UT System Regent

By Angela Morris |

David Beck, partner in Beck Redden, has roots in the University of Texas School of Law. He earned his law degree there in 1965, and he has stayed in touch during his legal career.


Fifth Circuit: Bump the Competition

By Miriam Rozen |

Ruling says slogan is not antitrust.


Online Outage for Fifth Circuit Gets the Tardy a 'Pass'

By Miriam Rozen |

The appeals court system was down from 5 p.m. until this morning.

Uninsured? No Exemplary Damages for You!

By Angela Morris |

House Bill 820 would prevent an uninsured driver who had been in a car accident from recovering exemplary and noneconomic damages in a lawsuit for bodily injury, death or property damage.

Lawmakers Hold Strings on Public Integrity Unit Funding

By Angela Morris |

The Texas House recently released a preliminary budget that would restore some of the public integrity unit's funding, contingent on the Legislature enacting reforms.

Thompson & Knight Adds Lawyer in Mexico City

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Luis Gomar moves to Thompson & Knight from Strasburger & Price.

Mike Daniel and Laura Beshara, partners, Daniel & Beshara, Dallas

Housing Civil Rights Case Takes Lawyer to SCOTUS With DOJ Assist

By Miriam Rozen |

It's always nice to get a lift from the U.S. Department of Justice on your way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Chess Board Set for 2015 State Bar Election

By Angela Morris |

It's official: Texas lawyers Randy Howry and Frank Stevenson will face off this spring, vying to become the next president-elect of the State Bar of Texas.

Lawyer Ad Review Fee Increasing in June

By Angela Morris |

The State Bar of Texas Advertising Review Committee proposed the increase, which bumps the lawyer advertising review fee from $75 to $100.


Judicial Mumbling Prompts Seating Request at 5th

By Miriam Rozen |

Akin Gump partner seeks to stay close to Judge Higginbotham so he hears what he says.

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

House Committee: Appellate Judges Should Serve Longer Terms

By Angela Morris |

A House committee recommended that appellate jurists should serve eight years rather than six, but did not recommend any judicial-selection changes, despite judicial leaders' desire for major reforms.

Committee Sidesteps Full Criminal Procedure Revisions

By Angela Morris |

"The most practical and helpful recommendation may simply be that more focused efforts are needed in the future," according to the Texas House Select Committee on Criminal Procedure Reform.

Nico LaHood, the newly elected Bexar County DA

New DA Looking to Hire 13 Prosecutors

By Angela Morris |

"They will be supervisory attorney positions, to primarily work with some of our younger misdemeanor prosecutors," said Woodrow Halstead, first assistant for new Bexar County Criminal District Attorney Nico LaHood.

Former V&E Managing Partner Joins Greenhill & Co. in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Joseph Dilg, who practiced at Vinson & Elkins of Houston for 38 years, joins Greenhill & Co. in Houston.

Texas Tech Law Students Learn From the Lege

By Angela Morris |

A group of law students from Lubbock are among the Texans who are watching and waiting as the big pink building in Austin comes to life again for the 2015 legislative session.

New Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, right, takes the oath of office on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, from his predecessor, new Gov.-elect Greg Abbott. Pictured with Paxton is his wife, Angela.

Paxton Takes Over as Texas Attorney General

By Angela Morris |

After becoming Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton noted that he has "big shoes to fill," and raised his foot towards outgoing A.G. Greg Abbott. "I want you to know, Gov.-elect, I wear a size 12," Paxton said.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas Supreme Court to Travel to Tyler for Oral Arguments

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Until Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1997, the state's highest civil court was prohibited from hearing cases outside of Austin. Justice Johnson said the court receives invitations from around the state to hear arguments in cases at various sites.

12/14/08 -- Larry Macon (front), a trial attorney from San Antonio was given balloons after crossing the finish line of the Dallas White Rock Marathon in Dallas, Dec. 14, 2008. Macon broke his own world record with this, his 105th marathon of the year.

Lifetime Achiever: San Antonio Lawyer to Run His 1,410th Marathon

By the end of 2014, San Antonio lawyer Larry Macon will have run 36,942 miles in his lifetime.

Kim Williams (center, in stripes) pleads guilty on Dec. 30, 2014 for her role in the murders of the Kaufman county DA, his wife, and prosecutor Mark Hasse in 2013. Williams was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Kim Williams Pleads Guilty for Role in Kaufman Murders

By John Council |

Kim provided crucial testimony against her husband, former judge Eric Williams, including that she accompanied him in a car during the murders.

What Laws Must Change When Pot Is Legal?

By Angela Morris |

If pot ever becomes legal in Texas, South Texas College of Law in Houston might be ground zero for lawmakers trying to figure out what statutes to change in the new marijuana economy.

Chuck Herring, partner in Herring & Irwin, in Austin on April 26, 2011.

Legal Ethics Lawyer Flies High With Drones

By Angela Morris |

Legal ethics author and speaker Chuck Herring declined to comment on the exact number of drones he owns, explaining that it would be best if his wife and law partner didn't know the number.

MLP GC Moving to Norton Rose Fulbright

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Stephanie Hildebrandt will join Norton Rose Fulbright as a partner in February.

Face-to-Face Contact=Good Business

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Cognitive theory establishes that face-to-face contact with others makes us more productive, efficient and accurate in our work.

Randy Howry (left) and Frank Stevenson, State Bar of Texas president-elect candidates in 2015

Bar Subcommittee Picks 2015 President-Elect Nominees

By Angela Morris |

After interviewing five lawyers on Dec. 12, the bar's elections and nominations subcommittee chose Randy Howry and Frank Stevenson as potential candidates.

Bryan Blevins, partner at Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont

Legislative Session: Who Will Be Swinging the Bat for Plaintiffs?

By Angela Morris |

Who is going to bat for plaintiffs and trial lawyers in the 2015 legislative session?

fire alarm

Dallas Fire Evacuates Nearly 400 Gardere Employees

By John Council |

Gardere's executive director Judy Vetkoetter said property management handled the fire evacuation well.

Asking Lawyers to Swear To Be Civil Met With Hostility

By Angela Morris |

"I don't think it has any place in an adversarial profession where tempers run high," said Supreme Court Advisor Committee member Richard Munzinger about a proposal to amend the new-lawyer's oath.

Alex Roberts, associate (partner as of Jan. 1, 2015), Beck Redden, Houston

Lawyer Moves Up From Records Room to Partner

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Alex Roberts, who becomes a partner on Jan. 1, 2015 in Beck Redden in Houston, started in firm's records room.

Jim S. Adler, 'The Texas Hammer,' is the founder of Jim S. Adler & Associates in Houston

'The Hammer' Pounds Online Lawyer Advertising

By Angela Morris |

Jim "The Texas Hammer" Adler wrote that the "misrepresentation and dishonest aura" surrounding pay-per-click advertising might violate existing ethics rules.

Mike Bengtson, partner-in-charge in Austin for Baker Botts

Baker Botts' Austin Office Gets New Leader

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Mike Bengtson is now partner-in-charge for Baker Botts' Austin office.

Texas Supreme Court building

Convicted County Attorney's Legal Career Ends

By John Council |

Scott Tidwell was convicted of four felonies and two misdemeanors but was released from jail temporarily so he could run his steak restaurant.

David Greenstone, partner in Dallas' Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett

Dallas firm sets up cancer scholarship fund

By John Council |

"We wanted to help all cancer victims and those who don't have the ability to file a lawsuit," David Greenstone said of reasons his plaintiffs law firm established a scholarship fund for Dallas students who are impacted by the disease.

Police could collect payment for court fines?

By Angela Morris |

The bill doesn't discuss whether a person would have to enter any plea to pay immediately. Could the person talk to a lawyer first? If the person paid up, could he still fight a charge in court?

Houston law school announces oil & gas institute

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

South Texas College of Law wants to better prepare lawyers for oil and gas industry work.

Resolution seeks quickly appointed lawyers in CPS cases

By Angela Morris |

"The hearing is the first opportunity really where everyone involved in the case will discuss the state's evidence for removing the child," said Children's Commission executive director Tina Amberboy.

Business people shaking hands in the office, finishing a meeting

Norton Rose Fulbright sets target for women partners

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

By 2020, the firm hopes to have 30 percent women partners globally.

Greenberg Traurig hires five lawyers in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Greenberg Traurig hires three shareholders and two associates for Austin office.

Richard Hammett, North American managing partner, Baker & McKenzie, Houston

New North American Managing Partner for Baker & McKenzie

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Rick Hammett, a partner in Baker & McKenzie in Houston, is the firm's new North American managing partner.

Which Law School had the Highest July 2014 Bar Exam Pass Rate?

By Jeanne Graham |

A total of 1,629 Texas law school graduates took the exam for the first time in July 2014, according to the TBLE.

Legislative session fast approaches

By Angela Morris |

Candidates learned last week they would become newly minted lawmakers in the fast-approaching 2015 legislative session. Now legislators can begin prefiling bills on Nov. 10.

Clients Texting At All Hours? One Lawyer's Solution

By Angela Morris |

The problem is that clients text on weekends or late at night.

Health Law and Policy Institute Revises Book on Public Health Emergencies

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The University of Houston Law Center's Health Law and Policy Institute issues revision of book that compiles laws relating to infectious diseases.

Thomas Wilder, Tarrant County District Clerk

Free Court Records? This Isn't Dallas County

By John Council |

Tarrant County District Clerk Tom Wilder tells an Arlington solo he can't get to see court records for free on the Web because it's an "abuse of the taxpayer."

Texas Prosecutors Discuss Their Novels at Texas Book Festival

By Angela Morris |

At the Texas Book Festival in Austin this weekend, two prosecutors will discuss assassinations, espionage, "blood letters" and terrorist attacks.

Nelson Bunker Hunt, Remembered by His Bankruptcy Lawyer

By Miriam Rozen |

Russell Munsch represented the famously wealthy son of the legendary H.L. Hunt in his bankruptcy, which still ranks as the largest personal Chapter 11 filing in history.

Vanita Gupta of the ACLU

Vanita Gupta: From Tulia, Texas to Leading DOJ's Civil Rights Division

By Miriam Rozen |

When Attorney General Eric Holder announced Oct. 15 that he had appointed Vanita Gupta, he tapped a lawyer who cut her teeth in Tulia, Texas.

Richard Mithoff

Richard and Ginni Mithoff Give $1 million to UT Pro Bono Program

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston trial lawyer Richard Mithoff and his wife, Ginni, give a second $1 million to pro bono program

Jury Service Scam Warning in Harris County

By Miriam Rozen |

The website for the Harris County District Clerk posted on Oct. 13 a warning about a "jury service scam."

UH Law Center Debuts Database of Compliance Codes for All Fortune 500 Companies

By Miriam Rozen |

What started as a business-development plan has led to a commitment to improving compliance practices at corporations nationwide.

Daniel L. Butcher, managing partner of Strasburger & Price in Dallas

Strasburger's Mexican Subsidiary in Joint Venture with Mexican Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Strasburger & Price's Mexican subsidiary in joint venture with Struck, Palafox y Perez Ortega

GC Pay Packages Dwarf BigTex Partner Compensation in 2013

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The general counsel of 50 companies on the Fortune 1,000 list are among the highest-paid executives at their companies.

J. Tullos Wells, senior partner in the San Antonio office of Bracewell Guiliani (of counsel (as of Nov. 1. 2014) and managing director, Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, San Antonio (as of Nov. 1. 2014)

Tullos Wells Takes Job at Charitable Foundation

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Tullos Wells, now a senior partner in Bracewell & Giuliani in San Antonio, will switch to of counsel on Nov. 1 to manage a charitable foundation in San Antonio

Harley Clark flashes the 'Hook 'Em Horns' in front of the Tower at UT Austin in 2001.

District Judge Harley Clark, Who Popularized UT's 'Hook 'Em' Sign, Dies at 78

By John Council |

Clark was judge of the 250th District Court in Travis County who was most noted for issuing a ruling in 1987 declaring Texas' public education financing system unconstitutional. But Clark is more famous amongst UT supporters as the man credited with inventing Hook 'Em during the 1950s.

Jim Grace Jr. Moves to Greenberg Traurig

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Government relations lawyer, whose clients include CenterPoint Energy and Lyft, moves to Greenberg Traurig from Baker Botts.

McKool Smith Partner Feels Cool Breeze of Hawaii in Tax Case

By John Council |

The case is one of many that Gary Cruciani is handling across the country on behalf of governments who are attempting to collect allegedly unpaid hotel taxes owed by several online travel companies.

Top Bar Exam Administrator Leaving for Love

By Angela Morris |

"I've considered it an honor and privilege to serve the state, and I feel it's a fine agency," said Julia Vaughan about the Texas Board of Law Examiners.

T. Boone Pickens, chair of BP Capital Management, Dallas

T. Boone Pickens Weighs In on Mexico's Energy Reforms

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Dallas businessman known for predicting oil prices said anyone who makes accurate predictions is lucky.

Buena Vista Lyons, a shareholder in the Dallas office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

Vista Lyons Joins Ogletree Deakins in Dallas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Buena Vista Lyons left Ford & Harrison, where she was managing partner of the Dallas office, to join another labor and employment firm.

signing documents

Portal helps indigent defense lawyers report work time

By Angela Morris |

If lawyers fail to report their work time by Oct. 15, a criminal court judge could assess a penalty, including removal from the list of attorneys eligible to receive future court appointments.


3 top women in Texas' largest firms share thoughts on path to partnership today

By Jeanne Graham |

If you were starting your legal career today, what would you do differently than you did 10, 20 or 30 years ago?

Sayles Werbner's Mark Werbner

Picture Dallas' Mark Werbner Closing Arguments in Big Brooklyn Trial

By Miriam Rozen |

In a drawing posted on the blog of courtroom illustrators, the partner in Sayles/Werbner appears attentive and forceful as he questions a witness. Attention has focused on Werbner since he began serving as lead plaintiffs lawyer in a high-profile case filed by alleged victims of terrorist attacks against the Arab Bank. On Sept. 18, closing arguments were scheduled to begin in that precedent-setting case.

Eleventh attempt to repeal 'homosexual conduct' statute

By Angela Morris |

"There is no valid reason, legal or otherwise, to keep penal code §21.06 'on the books,' said a legislative proposal by the State Bar of Texas LGBT Law Section.

Darrell Jordan

'Uncle Darrell' reunites with former colleagues

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas lawyer Darrell Jordan joined Diamond McCarthy, where a number of lawyers he used to work with now practice.

no plastic bags

Plastic Bag Ban Legit? Depends on Purpose

By Angela Morris |

A recent attorney general opinion found that if a city bans plastic bags to protect animals, that's OK. But if the goal is solid waste management, the city's bag ban might conflict with state law.

Indigent Criminal Defense Lawyers Must Report Work Time

By Angela Morris |

A new law that goes into effect on Sept. 1 requires criminal defense lawyers who accept indigent defense appointments to report the percentage of time that they spend on adult criminal cases and juvenile delinquency cases.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas Supreme Court to study controversial expedited action rules

By Angela Morris |

"We are embarking on an evaluation to see how those rules are going and whether any tweaks are necessary," said David Slayton, executive director of the Texas Judicial Council, at the council's Aug. 22 meeting.

Coming soon: glitzy changes to appellate case system

By Angela Morris |

The case management system that all of the state's appellate courts use will soon get two major enhancements for lawyers and judges.

Paul Coggins

Action!: Paul Coggins Demolishes as Movie Star

By Miriam Rozen |

Veteran Dallas lawyer, a former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, appears in flick in unlikely role.

Background with money american hundred dollar bills

Show me the money: Harris County to spend millions on e-filing

By Angela Morris |

In the wake of the Texas Supreme Court's e-filing mandate, Harris County's spending on e-filing upgrades accounts for a huge chunk of such spending across Texas.

How Do Texas Firms Fare on Revenues, Head Count?

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Citi Private Bank survey compares firms from around the country.

#tbt San Antonio man bills federal court $16,800 for jury duty, unleashing judge's fiery scorn

By Mark Bauer |

The invoice was the culmination of a months-long attempt to avoid serving on a jury. "Please be as prompt with payment as you were with your order," Williamson wrote to the court in February of that year.

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht

'Narrow the justice gap': Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice speaks at UNT Dallas College of Law convocation

By Miriam Rozen |

By the fall, the school expects its inaugural class to have about 150 full- and part-time students.

Disciplining Judges: State Commission on Judicial Conduct Must Strike a Balance Between Confidentiality, Openness at First Public Hearing

By Angela Morris |

"We have to make sure we are not commenting or acknowledging anything of a confidential nature," Seana Willing, executive director of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, said about commission members and staff.