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CARPENTER, TIMOTHY I. v. UNITED STATES. Decided 06/22/2018

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Vick: Attorney volunteers needed at the border

Tom Vick

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

I am writing with a quick update on the recent events occurring on our southern border. Although the Trump administration signed an executive order to end family separations, the need for volunteer attorneys remains strong—particularly Spanish-speaking immigration lawyers.

Whenever we have had manmade or natural disasters in this state, Texas lawyers have risen to the occasion to help those who cannot help themselves. I have found the only impediment is not knowing how to help. Below are resources for you to get involved and make a difference.

On Monday, the Austin Bar Association will offer training on how to help families separated at the border. The in-person CLE session titled Responding to Zero-Tolerance: Credible Fear and Immigration Bond Hearing Training is sold out, but the Austin Bar will live-stream the training on Periscope for all who wish to watch and learn more. For more details on how to download Periscope and watch, click here.

The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)—a joint project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association—is requesting volunteers who are fluent in Spanish and have some background in immigration law. For more information, go here.

Catholic Charities is seeking attorneys able to provide direct representation for children’s immigration cases and is also accepting donations including books, toys, supplies, and other items, for detained children. To express a desire to provide representation, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

American Gateways has reported that it could use attorneys immediately to help with limited representation for Credible Fear Interviews and Reasonable Fear Interviews, and help preparing for bond hearings. You can sign up to volunteer here.

This news story contains a list of legal and humanitarian organizations that are mobilizing to help immigrant children and families. And the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative has this page on how to help. Many of the organizations listed on both of these pages are seeking volunteers or donations.

Assuring equal access to justice and supporting the administration of the legal system are essential parts of our State Bar’s mission. We will continue to identify and provide resources to lawyers and the public to aid in responding to this situation.

Sincerely,

Tom Vick 
President, State Bar of Texas

Original author: Lowell Brown
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Vick: State Bar board hires firm for transparency review, elects general counsel

Tom Vick

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

I am writing to update you on yesterday’s State Bar of Texas Board of Directors meeting in Houston that precedes our 2018 Annual Meeting. We have two days of informative CLE sessions starting today. Learn more at texasbar.com/annualmeeting.

Transparency efforts

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve hiring an independent advisory firm, Weaver, to complete an examination of the State Bar’s transparency efforts and to make recommendations for improvement.The findings will be reported to the board and shared publicly.

The board voted unanimously in April to request proposals from qualified firms to conduct a thorough, independent review of transparency at the bar. The Audit and Finance Committee recommended Weaver to the board out of four responses to the RFP.

This is the latest in a series of transparency improvements at the State Bar in recent months, including the launch of the Our Finances webpage and the videotaping of board meetings, which can be found here. Video from yesterday’s meeting will be posted by next week. 

President-elect task forces

The board accepted reports and recommendations from President-elect Joe K. Longley’s Transparency Task Force and Financial Responsibility & Fiscal Control Task Force and voted to allow the terms of the task forces to expire on Friday along with the term of the president-elect, as our policy provides. We thank the members of both task forces for their service to the bar. We will fully consider their recommendations.

You can read the task force reports here.

General counsel election

The board voted unanimously to elect Ross Fischer of Austin as general counsel to the board, under the terms laid out here.

The board voted in January to approve the hiring of a general counsel, a statutory position under the State Bar Act. The General Counsel Search Committee interviewed six Texas lawyers out of 12 respondents for the position before recommending Fischer to the board in May.

Fischer is an attorney with the Gober Group who specializes in legislative and campaign law, professional ethics, and government integrity matters. His clients include elected officials, candidates, trade associations, political committees, local governments, municipalities, and corporations. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Fischer is regularly called upon to advise public entities on matters involving legislative law, public integrity, and campaign and election procedures. The board looks forward to working with him.

Leadership changes

Randy Sorrels and Laura Gibson, both of Houston, will be sworn in today as president-elect and board chair, respectively. President-elect Longley will be sworn in as 2018-2019 president of the State Bar on Friday.

It has been my absolute honor to serve you as president over the past year.

Tom Vick 
President, State Bar of Texas

Original author: Lowell Brown
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SOUTH DAKOTA v. WAYFAIR, INC., ET AL.. Decided 06/21/2018

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Pereira v. Sessions, Atty Gen.. Decided 06/21/2018

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LUCIA, RAYMOND J., ET AL. v. SEC. Decided 06/21/2018

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WISCONSIN CENTRAL LTD., ET AL. v. UNITED STATES. Decided 06/21/2018

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State Bar of Texas board elects Ross Fischer as general counsel

Fischer

Fischer

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors voted unanimously Wednesday to elect Ross Fischer of Austin as general counsel to the board.

Fischer is an attorney with the Gober Group who specializes in legislative and campaign law, professional ethics, and government integrity matters. His clients include elected officials, candidates, trade associations, political committees, local governments, municipalities, and corporations.

Click here to read the full news release.

Original author: Amy Starnes
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Austin Bar Association offers training on how to help families separated at the border

The Austin Bar Association is hosting a training for attorneys who want to help families separated upon entering the United States.

The training, titled Responding to Zero-Tolerance: Credible Fear and Immigration Bond Hearing Training, will be held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, June 25 at the Austin Bar office. The in-person training is sold out, has more than 100 attorneys already signed up and a growing waitlist, said Nancy Gray, director of communications for the Austin Bar.

Due to the enormous demand, the course will be live streamed on Periscope. If you would like to watch remotely, prepare by downloading Periscope to your mobile device, creating a Periscope account, and following the Austin Bar at @austinbarassociation.

Click here for instructions on how to sign up for Periscope. The training will also be videotaped and available at austinbar.org after the training has been completed.

The training will be taught by University of Texas School of Law immigration clinic professors Barbara Hines, Denise Gilman, and Elissa Steglich.

Original author: Amy Starnes
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TCLE previews new subscription-based CLE program at Annual Meeting

Texas Center for Legal Ethics announced its plans for State Bar of Texas 2018 Annual Meeting where attendees can earn CLE and preview the center’s newest ethics CLE subscription-based program launching later this Fall.

The subscription program aims to provide new and current TCLE members with an intuitive online resource to access continuing education courses on-demand, as well as TCLE’s vast library of ethics and professionalism resources. The center will preview the program during Annual Meeting exhibition hours at Booth 107.

To read the full news release, go here.

Annual Meeting attendees also can earn one hour of ethics CLE credit during TCLE’s popular morning break-out session on Thursday titled, “Your Brain on Ethics: How That Thing Between Your Ears Can Lead You Astray.” To learn more about Annual meeting and registering, go here.

 

Original author: Amy Starnes
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CHAVEZ-MEZA, ADAUCTO v. UNITED STATES. Decided 06/18/2018

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GILL, BEVERLY R., ET AL. v. WHITFORD, WILLIAM, ET AL.. Decided 06/18/2018

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Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach. Decided 06/18/2018

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ROSALES-MIRELES, FLORENCIO v. UNITED STATES. Decided 06/18/2018

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State Bar board to meet June 20-21 in Houston

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors will meet June 20-21 in Houston.

The meetings will take place at the Marriott Marquis, 1777 Walker St. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Click here to view the agendas and other meeting materials.

Original author: Lowell Brown
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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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