Tex Parte Blog

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bar Exam. Photo By Hewlett Askew

Texas Bar of Law Examiners to test takers: No risks, expect grades

By Miriam Rozen |

All's well now, reported Julia Vaughan, executive director of the Texas Board of Law Examiners. The 2,929 people who took the Texas bar exam in late July should receive their grades by Nov. 6, as originally scheduled, Vaughan said.

Screen grab from Pete Reid Law commercial, Austin, Texas

Scottish-Born Austin Lawyer Gets Creative With TV Ad

By Angela Morris |

The Austin Aztecs—Reid's client in real life—assisted him with the soccer scene.

Fernando Cano-Lasa, of counsel, Squire Patton Boggs, Houston

Squire Patton Boggs nabs former oil and gas in-house counsel

By Miriam Rozen |

Cano-Lasa also recognized that as a Pemex-trained lawyer, he had skills that would help newcomers understand "the legal implications" of the business opportunities in Mexico.

.Academy awards statue, the Oscar. Photo courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences....An Oscar statuette earned by Frank Capra’s 1942 documentary “Prelude to War,” the first film in the United States Army Special Services’ seven-picture “Why We Fight” series, has been removed from the auction block and was returned to the care of the U.S. Army this evening (9/3/08)...Pictured: The duplicate statuette requested by and granted to the Department of Defense in 1958 in connection with a special exhibition.

That's a wrap! Judge makes sure fake Oscar statuettes are on the cutting room floor

By Miriam Rozen |

With his order, Sparks also temporarily enjoined De La Rosa from selling any statuettes that bear the copyrighted design and marks of Oscar or otherwise calculating "to cause purchasers to believe that" his "products are sponsored, endorsed or approved by the Academy."


If Neil Armstrong stubbed his toe on a moon rock, who's liable?

By Mark Bauer |

When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon 45 years ago, people didn't give a great deal of thought to the legal implications of sending objects into space.


Rising from the ashes: firm to celebrate inauguration of new building after devastating fire

By Angela Morris |

"It's like coming home; it really is," said Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project.

John G. George Jr., a San Antonio lawyer and amateur motorcross racer pictured at Cycle Ranch in Floresville, Texas

Flying high: Lawyer revs up for Motocross championship

By John Council |

"I've broken 25 bones over the years. And my whole right side is pretty much metal,''said John G. George Jr., an associate in the San Antonio office of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons.


Dinosaur tale: Happy ending for Houston lawyer

By Miriam Rozen |

Return of the bones culminates an effort that began in 2012, when Robert Painter of Houston's Painter Law Firm helped his client, Elbegdorj Tsakhia, the president of Mongolia, halt a planned auction of a Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton.

Darrell L. Keith, Fort Worth solo

Cowtown lawyer Darrell Keith saddles up for downtown move

By John Council |

"We no longer needed the large offices we needed in 1996," said Keith. "And the Landmen Association came along and made us an offer we couldn't refuse for the entire building."

Confederate flag

Court: Banning Confederate flag license plate violates the First Amendment

By John Council |

"The government may not 'selectively … shield the public from some kinds of speech on the ground that they are more offensive than others,'" wrote Judge Ed Prado in a majority opinion joined by Judge Jennifer Elrod.

Which Big-D Powerhouse Locked in a Spot on Vault's List of Best Summer Associate Programs?

By John Council |

"We never want to win an award for the best summer camp program. This is a real experience for them if they came to work here," founding partner Mike Boone said of Haynes and Boone's summer associates.

Go ask Alice: Software patents and EDTX

By John Council |

How should plaintiffs plead their complaints to survive 'Alice,' and how will the decision play out in the Eastern District of Texas?

Tax lawyer takes helm of Cotton Bowl Athletic Association

By John Council |

Daniel P. Novakov still has fond memories of defeating Darrell Royal's Longhorns and ending their 30-game winning streak in Dallas' Fair Park outdoor stadium in 1971.

State Bar of Texas members gain some new perks

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Wish you got more bang for your buck from your state bar dues? Well, now you get two types of free legal research.

Producing Electricity and Pondering Climate-Change Proposals

"Expect a ramp-up of gas production," said Bracewell & Giuliani Austin partner Tim Wilkins, who heads a firmwide environmental and natural resources practice group.


U of H Law prof: It's only rock 'n' roll law but I like it

By Miriam Rozen |

University of Houston Law Center Professor Michael Olivas—who identifies himself as an avid rock 'n' roll fan bereft of any musical talent of his own—reviews legal developments in music and entertainment law on his weekly radio show. "The Law of Rock 'n'Roll."

Texas Lawyer: Live from the State Bar of Texas annual meeting

By Angela Morris |

Texas Lawyer reporter Angela Morris will be live tweeting cutting-edge legal issues and experts' advice for lawyers. Follow her on Twitter: @AMorrisReports.