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Austin Convenes Contact Group at 'Pivotal Moment' for Ukraine

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III urged nations to "not lose steam" in their efforts to supply Ukraine with the means to defend itself from the Russian invasion during the third meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.
(Originally posted by Jim Garamone)
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State Bar board creates new diversity committee, extends building committee

A new standing committee will work to develop and promote strategies and best practices for the State Bar of Texas in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The board of directors voted June 8 to create the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and asked 2022-2023 State Bar President Laura Gibson to submit a roster of proposed committee members for approval at the board’s next scheduled meeting on September 30.

The committee will identify opportunities within the State Bar to create an environment conducive to diversity, equity, and inclusion; assist in the creation of measurable goals; and periodically report on progress toward achieving the goals set by the board of directors, according to the resolution creating the committee.

Adam Schramek

The committee grew out of 2021-2022 President Sylvia Borunda Firth’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, said director Adam T. Schramek, the outgoing chair of the board’s Policy Manual Subcommittee, which brought the resolution to the board. The committee “will continue the work of the task force—the very important work that was started,” he said.

The 15-member committee will include a representative from each of the following State Bar standing committees and sections: Disability Rights and Issues Committee, Diversity in the Profession Committee, Women in the Profession Committee, African American Lawyers Section, Asian Pacific Interest Section, Hispanic Issues Section, LGBT Law Section, Native American Law Section, and Women and the Law Section.

The board also voted to continue the Building Planning Special Committee for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The board created the committee in September 2021 to advise the State Bar on decisions related to remodeling, repairs, and uses of the bar’s building and property at 1415 Lavaca St. in Austin.

Leadership Changes

Cindy Tisdale

Granbury family law attorney Cindy V. Tisdale was sworn in as president-elect during the board’s June 9 meeting. Chad Baruch, a Dallas civil appellate lawyer, succeeded Santos Vargas as chair of the board.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann administered the oath to new officers, directors, section representatives, and liaisons to the board.


Borunda Firth presented presidential citations to Roland and Cindy Johnson, of Fort Worth, for their work facilitating the LeadershipSBOT program and to Punam Kaji, of Dallas, for her service on the Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She also presented a presidential commendation in honor of 1978-1979 State Bar President Cullen Smith Jr., who died on April 16 at the age of 96.

Vargas, the outgoing board chair, presented the Public Member Award to director G. Michael Vasquez, of Austin, and the Outstanding Third-Year Director Award to Andrés E. Almanzán, of El Paso, and Adam T. Schramek, of Austin.

State Bar Executive Director Trey Apffel presented a Staff Excellence Award to Virginia Izaguirre, the director of program planning for TexasBarCLE.


Watch the meetings at Materials from the meetings can be viewed at

Original author: Lowell Brown
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Russia's Grand Strategy for Ukraine Takeover Unmet, Says DOD Official

In the broadest sense, Russia has thus far failed to secure its strategic objectives in Ukraine, the undersecretary of defense for policy said.
(Originally posted by David Vergun)
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Austin to Host Ukraine Contact Group Meeting in Brussels

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will preside at another meeting with representatives from up to 50 nations to identify and examine the next steps needed to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression.
(Originally posted by Jim Garamone)
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Military Medicine Is Preparing for the Next Conflict

As the Pentagon prepares today's force for a near-peer fight against a large military adversary, the Military Health System is challenged to provide life-saving support for large-scale and dispersed operations.
(Originally posted by Janet A. Aker, MHS Communications)
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State Bar of Texas seeks candidates for 2023 president-elect race

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors is soliciting candidates for the 2023 president-elect race. State Bar rules stipulate that all potential candidates for 2023 president-elect shall come from any county of the state. 

Any member of the State Bar who meets the eligibility requirements for officers set forth in the State Bar Act and the State Bar rules is eligible for nomination for president-elect. The board of directors policy manual describes the criteria for selecting nominees. The board will consider potential nominees’ involvement as a member of the board or in State Bar committee work, knowledge of State Bar operations, participation in local and specialty bar associations, and other activities demonstrating leadership ability and sincere interest and competence in dealing with issues concerning the State Bar of Texas. Potential nominees should submit a resume and a statement of their views on the key issues facing the bar, the role they would play in dealing with those issues, and what they would seek to accomplish during their tenure as president, all within the overall strategic plan of the State Bar. 

Any other qualified member shall also be privileged to stand for election to that office as a candidate when a written petition, in a form prescribed by the board and signed by no less than 5% of the active members of the State Bar who are in good standing, is filed by or on behalf of such member with the executive director on or before March 1 preceding the election for the ensuing organizational year and such petition is certified by the executive director. State Bar rules state that a petition signature is invalid if it is not dated or the signer signed the petition before September 1 of the year before the election.

The board’s Nominations and Elections Subcommittee is accepting names of and background information for potential candidates. Please write the subcommittee to recommend potential candidates. 

c/o Sylvia Borunda Firth and Santos Vargas,
Nominations and Elections Subcommittee Co-Chairs
P. O. Box 12487
Austin, TX 78711-2487
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Anyone submitting a name for consideration should first obtain that person’s consent. 

Original author: Lowell Brown
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Austin: How the U.S. Walks, Chews Gum at the Same Time

The Indo-Pacific is a U.S. national security strategy priority, but the United States is a global power with global interests and responsibilities, and "we are walking and chewing gum at the same time," Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in Bangkok.  
(Originally posted by Jim Garamone)
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Austin Impressed by Partnership and Professionalism Exhibited by U.S. Unit in Thailand

The U.S. military effort in Thailand is truly a joint endeavor and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III had the opportunity to see it as he met with soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group – Thailand.
(Originally posted by Jim Garamone)
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Austin Visits U.S. Troops, Civilian Mariners in Singapore

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with service members and civilian mariners whose work keeps the international sea and air lanes open during a stop at Singapore's Sembawang Naval Base.  
(Originally posted by Jim Garamone)
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Austin Holds Trilateral Meetings With Indo-Pacific Allies

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III held several meetings with allies and partners at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore following his speech detailing U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.
(Originally posted by Jim Garamone)
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Austin Emphasizes Partnership as Path for Peace in Indo-Pacific

The U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific is at the heart of American national security strategies, and the power of the partnerships that regional nations have built with the U.S. forms the core for a peaceful and prosperous world, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. 
(Originally posted by Jim Garamone)
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Rudy Giuliani Charged With Ethics Violations in DC for Baseless Election Lawsuit

DC's attorney discipline office found Giuliani had "no non-frivolous basis" to bring election fraud claims in Pennsylvania.

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Leadership Key to Moving Defense Department Toward Data-Driven Future 

Getting after what motivates people — the incentives — is how the department will further its data and AI goals, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks said.
(Originally posted by C. Todd Lopez)
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ICYMI: Will DOJ Really Bring Criminal Monopolization Charges?

The Department of Justice has signaled that criminal monopolization cases could be on the horizon. Axinn's Tiffany Rider illustrated what such a case could entail.

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'This Is Not Proper:' Judge Loses Patience With Pro Se Trump Aide Emailing His Chambers

Peter Navarro, a former Trump adviser charged with contempt of Congress, had sent messages to a courtroom deputy without copying prosecutors.

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Judges Seem Skeptical of States' Challenge to Biden's ICE Enforcement Guidance

Judge Jeffrey Sutton said he was "very dubious" of relying on recent immigration arrest data, suggesting the COVID-19 pandemic may have had an impact on the numbers.

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Sacha Baron Cohen Attorney Urges 2nd Circuit to Toss Roy Moore's Defamation Suit on Free Speech Grounds

Attorney Larry Klayman said his client deserves to have his case heard by a jury, drawing an analogy to the recent verdict in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial.

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Austin Meets With Singapore, Indo-Pacific Defense Officials

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, the first in an intense round of meetings with Indo-Pacific allies.
(Originally posted by Jim Garamone)
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U.S., U.K. Working to Build Seamless Command and Control Network

The United States and United Kingdom are working to build a faster, more secure network to communicate seamlessly during joint operations.
(Originally posted by JIM GARAMONE)
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American Bar Association to honor two Texas lawyers for pro bono work

The American Bar Association, or ABA, will honor Texas lawyers Maddy Dwertman and Mark Melton with the Pro Bono Publico Award for demonstrating outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for low-income and disadvantaged persons on August 5 during the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

This award is the highest honor given by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. It spotlights pro bono efforts of individual lawyers, small and large law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law departments, and other institutions in the legal profession.

Dwertman is a senior associate of Baker Botts in Austin. Since 2018, she has provided volunteer pro bono services for American Gateways, a Central Texas nonprofit whose mission is to champion the dignity and human rights of immigrants, refugees, and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict, and human trafficking. In the past two and a half years, Dwertman has donated more than 865 pro bono hours, with 320 of them during the pandemic year of 2021.

Melton, a partner in Holland & Knight in Dallas, recruited more than 250 Dallas lawyers to help tenants navigate the complex legal process of eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Melton’s leadership, and after more than 2,500 hours of his own pro bono work, the ad hoc pro bono project has grown into a nonprofit called the Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center. The nonprofit employs a team of full-time lawyers and staff and has helped more than 6,000 tenants in Dallas in the past two years at no charge.

For more information on the ABA and its Pro Bono Publico Award, go to


Original author: Will Korn
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