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State Bar of Texas’ Jury Service Committee seeks juror feedback

The State Bar of Texas’ Jury Service Committee is seeking feedback from people summoned to jury duty about their experiences.

The committee has created an online survey designed to elicit a more thorough understanding of the juror experience regardless of court or county or whether or not the individual ended up serving on a jury. The committee hopes the information collected will result in recommendations to improve the jury service system where possible.

The survey can be found at texasbar.com/jurysurvey.

The State Bar of Texas Jury Service Committee concerns itself with improving the manner in which jurors are treated within the judicial process and developing and implementing programs to ensure broad citizen participation and support for the jury service system.

Original author: Amy Starnes
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Automotive savings

Your Member Benefit Program has savings on all things automotive: tires, loans, car sales and more. You’ll find offers on nearly any car brand, model or style. Check out the Automotive and Sports & Outdoors pages for more info.

Toyota H-Plan — The Toyota Employee Purchase Program, administered by Fred Haas Toyota Country (FHTC), gives you a good value when you purchase or lease a new Toyota. The Employee Purchase Program provides the extra incentive to get in that car, truck, van or SUV you’ve always wanted. myAutoloan.com — myAutoloan.com is your premier online auto finance and refinance marketplace. You’ll receive up to four loan offers within two minutes. Avis Car Sales — When you purchase a well-maintained, late-model pre-owned car, you’ll save $750. Shop thousands of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. TrueCar — Summer sales are here. Buyers save an average of $3,221 on MSRP with the TrueCar Employee Purchase Program. Volvo A-Plan — The Volvo A-Plan program provides you with the same attractive pricing Volvo employees enjoy. Purchase prices are 6% below MSRP and equate to the vehicle’s invoice price. TireBuyer.com— TireBuyer.com provides the fastest, easiest way to buy tires. State Bar of Texas members save 10% on any set of four tires or rims. Stio — Offering everything from technical ski outerwear, responsibly sourced down jackets and synthetic insulators to merino wool sweaters, jeans and custom-design tees, Stio has something for everyone. You can save 15% on all Stio apparel.

Current offers provided by Beneplace.

For more information on other discounts you’re eligible for as a member of the State Bar of Texas, visit texasbar.com/benefits.

Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange
The Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange is a multi-carrier private exchange designed for State Bar of Texas members and their staff and dependents. Available to both individuals and employer groups, the exchange offers a wide range of health insurance choices and more.

State Bar of Texas – Benefits & Services

Lifestyle
Spend time on you—life doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Browse offers Office
Make your practice more efficient with new tools and programs. Browse offers Travel
Make your plans for anything and anywhere, from a much-needed vacation to a quick business trip. Browse offers Insurance and Finance
Get peace of mind with health insurance and a retirement plan that work for you. Browse offers Technology
Get up to speed on everything from building a website to billing clients. Browse offers Additional Benefits
Look through hundreds of offerings to find just what you need—and things you didn’t even know about. Browse offers
Original author: Staff Report
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Vick: Supreme Court approves changes to State Bar election process

Tom Vick

Editor’s note: State Bar of Texas President Tom Vick sent the following message to members on Thursday. 

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Texas amended Article IV of the State Bar Rules to implement changes to the bar’s election process designed to ensure fairness and a level playing field among all candidates.

The rules changes, which were approved by the State Bar Board of Directors in January, update election procedures for president-elect and district directors and define a six-month period when candidates who are seeking election by petition may collect signatures. The amended rules also require the State Bar board to nominate president-elect candidates in September, instead of the following January as traditionally has been done. Taken together, these changes ensure the campaign periods are equivalent for president-elect candidates whether they are nominated by the board or certified through petition.

As a result of these changes, petition candidates may begin collecting signatures September 1 of each year. The Nominations and Elections Subcommittee will interview candidates who wish to seek election through the board’s nomination process in August of each year, and the full board will vote on the nominees at its September meeting.

In January, the board also approved sweeping changes to its policy manual that relaxed or removed many campaign guidelines to ensure that director and president-elect candidates are able to freely present their views of and visions for the bar.

Click here to read the full Supreme Court order and new text of Article IV.

If you are interested in more information on how to run for president-elect or district director, please click here.

Sincerely,

Tom Vick 
President, State Bar of Texas

Original author: Lowell Brown
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Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky. Decided 06/14/2018

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Sponsored Content: 8 Legal Tech Tips for Law Office Administrators

It’s no secret that office administrators at law firms wear many different hats. One responsibility that often does not receive the attention it deserves (at least not until there’s an emergency) is managing technology effectively at one’s law office.

Below are eight technology tips for law office administrators, shared by an ex-office administrator who has since joined our team at GlobalMac IT. These tips came from a discussion centered around this question: “If you were speaking to a new office administrator, and giving them tips about technology, what are the things you knew when you left that you wished you had known when you started?”

1. Clarify asks for new technology

It’s common for someone at a firm to get excited about how the latest whiz-bang app or gadget is going fix everything. They’ll likely ask to get it moving forward ASAP, but these quick-fire solutions can lead to multiple issues: The technology may not be properly tested ahead of time, or features of the new tech may already exist within solutions the firm currently uses, which can cause confusion. A shiny new solution may seem great, but it may not be the best option for your firm.

I recommend having a set of questions for every idea that comes in to clarify what’s being asked for and ensure the solution chosen will be a good fit:

Purpose: What do you want to accomplish? Importance: What’s the biggest difference this new solution will make? Ideal Outcome: What does the completed project look like? Success Criteria: What has to be true when this project is finished?

Taking the time to define these will go a long way in capturing what is expected and why.

2. Be intentional with trial periods

These days, trial periods for new technology are rarely leveraged properly. It is not uncommon for some law firm IT managers to skip the trial period for new software and jump right in, figuring things out along the way.

However, this approach often reduces the chances that new technology will succeed at your law firm.

If you’ve asked the right questions to clarify what’s being asked of a new tech solution, you’ve already determined what you are looking to get out of a new solution, i.e., your success criteria.

Before you even sign up for a trial, you need to create a list of success criteria so you can quickly and intentionally look for what you need. If you sign up for a trial and aimlessly poke around the software, you may see things you like, but you may also forget to check for some of the most important items needed.

Another tip when it comes to trials is to ask for extensions when necessary. As a law firm office administrator, your schedule can change quickly, and you may not have as much time for a software trial as you originally thought.

If you signed up for a 14 day trial only to have the next two weeks dedicated to another, more critical project, don’t hesitate to email the vendor you’re considering, explain your situation, and request an extension. While not all vendors will accommodate you, many will, especially with an explanation.

Tip: Some vendors offer personalized demonstrations, making it even easier to evaluate new tech solutions despite your busy schedule. For example, you can schedule a free demo of Clio, and get your questions answered quickly and efficiently.

See the full list of tips here.

 

 

Original author: Guest Blogger
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HUSTED, OH SEC. OF STATE v. RANDOLPH INSTITUTE, ET AL.. Decided 06/11/2018

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SVEEN, ASHLEY, ET AL. v. MELIN, KAYE, ET AL.. Decided 06/11/2018

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CHINA AGRITECH, INC. v. RESH, MICHAEL H., ET AL.. Decided 06/11/2018

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Secretary Pablos Convenes First Border Trade Advisory Committee Meeting of 2017

In his capacity as the state's Border Commerce Coordinator, Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today convened his first meeting as Chair of the Border Trade Advisory Committee (BTAC).
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Secretary Pablos Leads Rural Economic Development Summit In Lufkin

Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today led the second in a series of rural economic development summits as part of Governor Abbott's Texas Rural Economic Development Initiative.
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Secretary Pablos Celebrates Israel's 69th Independence Day With Israeli Consulate Southwest

On Monday evening, Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos joined the Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest United States to celebrate and deliver the keynote address on the occasion of Israel's 69th Independence Day.
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Secretary Pablos Leads Texas Economic Development Mission To China

This week, Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos led a delegation of Texas public officials and private sector leaders for an economic development mission to strengthen commercial ties between Texas and China.
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Secretary Pablos Participates In 2017 Invest In America! Summit

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today participated in the 2017 Invest In America! Summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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Secretary Pablos Welcomes World's Energy Leaders To 2017 Offshore Technology Conference

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today welcomed energy leaders from across the globe to the 2017 Offshore Technology Conference at a luncheon hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce's SelectUSA program, the Greater Houston Partnership, and the U.S. Commercial Service.
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Secretary Pablos Leads Rural Economic Development Summit In Gregg County

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today led the first in a series of rural economic development summits beginning in Gregg County as part of an initiative by Governor Greg Abbott.
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Secretary Pablos Addresses SMU Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center First Annual Keynote Dinner

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today addressed the first annual Keynote Dinner for the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center at Southern Methodist University.
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Secretary Pablos Meets With Government Officials, Industry Leaders In Mexico City

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos this week met with key government officials and private sector leaders on his introductory trip to Mexico as Secretary of State.
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Secretary Pablos Appointed Border Commerce Coordinator

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos has been appointed to serve as the Border Commerce Coordinator by Governor Greg Abbott.
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Secretary Pablos Addresses Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs In San Antonio

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today addressed the Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs (AEM) in San Antonio to discuss opportunities for Mexican entrepreneurs in the State of Texas and the future of Texas-Mexico relations.
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Texas Senate Confirms Rolando Pablos As Secretary of State

Today, Rolando Pablos received Senate confirmation to serve as Texas’ 111th Secretary of State.
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