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Fidelity’s National Financial Services Orders GPB Private Placements Removed

Originally published by P. Clarkson Collins Jr..

National Financial Services, which is Fidelity Investments’ clearing and custody unit, has given its brokerage firm clients 90 days to get rid of all GPB Capital Holdings private placements from its platform. The announcement means that investors and their financial advisers will have to move their GPB fund assets to a different custodial firm. Considering that there are a lot of broker-dealers who use National Financial as their primary custodial firm and to clear the investments of clients, the decision is likely to impact a lot of parties.

A main reason for the edict is that, reportedly, neither Fidelity nor National Financial are clear about the actual value of the GPB private placements. Third-party vendors typically provide this information. According to InvestmentNews, Fidelity spokesperson Nicole Abbott said that at the moment GPB is not meeting her company’s policy regarding alternative investments.

In Trouble with Investors and Regulators
The news is another blow to GPB, which has been in a lot of trouble with regulators, investors, and even a former partner. With a portfolio holding over 160 companies and investing mostly in trash hauling companies and car dealerships, its private placement funds have plunged in value significantly. The GPB funds, which were once together valued at $1.8B, are now worth around $1.1B.

Investors, meantime, have lost around $600M in the process while, reported InvestmentNews, brokers and their firms reportedly earned around $167M in commissions from the transactions. With private placements, it is common practice for a broker to make a 7% commission from a sale, with another 2% fee going to the broker-dealer.

Brokerage Firms Under Scrutiny for GPB Sales
Over 60 broker-dealers, including Purshe Kaplan Sterling, Woodbury Financial Services, SagePoint Financial, and Royal Alliance Associates have sold GPB funds. Questions are now being raised about what any of these firms knew about the private placements even as they were selling them to investors.

For example, late last year, ex-Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments compliance officer Toni Caiazzo Neff filed a lawsuit accusing the firm of firing her after she brought up concerns about how the broker-dealer went about approving alternative investments such as GPB Holdings.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) are reportedly investigating GPB, as is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which raided the GPB office in New York earlier this year. In September, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin announced that he was investigating 63 brokerage firms that sold GPB-controlled partnerships.

Also not happy with GPB is Patrick Dibre, one of its former operating partners. They are suing each other, with Dibre last year accusing GPB Capital Holdings controllers Jeffrey Schneider and David Gentile of using funds to support their lavish lifestyle, including $550K for a plane in August 2017. Gentile also allegedly paid his dad’s accounting firm $100K a month for services that were either never rendered or overbilled.

Dibre contends that GPB sued him to conceal the fact that the company was being run like a Ponzi scam and sustaining losses.

GPB Investor Fraud Claims
If you or someone you know suffered losses from investing in GPB Capital private placements, you may have grounds for pursuing a claim for broker fraud against the advisor or broker-dealer that sold you the investments. Our GPB private placement fraud lawyers have been working with clients nationwide in filing their claims for losses and damages. Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas LLP (SSEK Law Firm) today.

The post Fidelity’s National Financial Services Orders GPB Private Placements Removed appeared first on Securities Fraud Attorney.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

Original author: P. Clarkson Collins Jr.
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Rent-to-own Owners Receive New Protections Against Criminal Charges

Originally published by Broden & Mickelsen LLP.

Many people who rent-to-own furniture and other goods in Texas don’t realize failing to make payments can result in criminal charges or even a term in jail.

However, a bill enacted this summer by the Texas legislature has helped close a loophole that allowed people who could not afford to make payments to be prosecuted.

For years, companies in Texas have been able to file criminal charges against people who fail to make payment for their products under rent-to-own contracts.

A clause added to the Texas Penal Code in 1977 allows felony charges and up to two years in jail for people who default on payments for furniture. The Texas Tribune reported rent-to-own companies have pressed charges against thousands of Texas. Some of them made most of their payments and others returned the loaned items.  The ability to press charges for unpaid bills is unique to the rent-to-own industry and is only allowed in certain states. The Tribune reported only two people testified in favor of the bill in 1977: a pair of lobbyists for the rental industry. No one opposed it.

Critics of the law likened it to a debtor’s prison. Earlier this year, a new bill tackled the unconstitutional prosecution of people for their inability to make payments to the rent-to-own companies.

A new law that comes into force in September will prevent rent-to-own companies from prosecuting people who are unable to keep up with payments under Texas’ “theft of service” statute.

However, the rent-to-own companies will still be able to press for charges against people who try to abscond with goods or are ill-intentioned. It removes the original presumption that customers who don’t return goods or respond to a certified letter after they miss a payment intend to steal the goods.

The Tribune reported consumer advocates, criminal prosecutors, and rent-to-own companies including Rent-A-Center based in Plano, provided input into the bill that was signed by Governor Greg Abbott on June 14. The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Morris Miles who said rent-to-own companies, which are used by many low-income people, habitually use the criminal justice system to collect on debts that should be handled using civil remedies.

However, the change may strengthen the hand of rent-to-own companies against people accused of willful failure to pay. It reduces the time certain renters have to respond to a letter before a company can press charges.

The theft-of-service statute still applies to traditional rental businesses that lease cars, heavy machinery, and other tools. Rent-to-own companies can press prosecutors to file theft charges against their people if it’s clear the renter intended to steal the property.

Our experienced Dallas defense attorneys can help you if you have been charged with a crime under the ‘theft of service’ statute or any other offense. Please call us today at (214) 720-9552.

The post Rent-to-own Owners Receive New Protections Against Criminal Charges appeared first on Dallas Criminal Defense Attorneys |State & Federal Lawyers.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

Original author: Broden & Mickelsen LLP
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Memo to Law Firm CMOs: Don’t Skimp on Those Partner Bios

Originally published by Texas Lawyer.

 

A new survey tracks differences in the ways in-house counsel, C-suite executives and law firm marketing chiefs consume and promote information.
      

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

Original author: Texas Lawyer
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Article on You Settled it, Right? Family Settlement Agreements in Probate, Trust, and Guardianship Disputes

Originally published by Gerry W. Beyer.

J. Ellen Bennett, Mark R. Caldwell, & Donovan Campbell, Jr. recently Article entitled, You Settled it, Right? Family Settlement Agreements in Probate, Trust, and Guardianship Disputes, 11 Tex. Tech Est. Plan. Com. Prop. LJ, 213-254 (2019). Provided below is an…

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

Original author: Gerry W. Beyer
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What Legal Teams Need to Know About Ransomware

Originally published by Texas Lawyer.

It’s 9 a.m. on a Monday after a long weekend. You arrive at your downtown office prepared to tackle a brief for the new multinational corporation you

       

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

Original author: Texas Lawyer
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Register now for TAPS 2019

The State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division will host the 2019 Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar from September 18 to 20 at the DoubleTree in Austin.

“There’s No Place Like TAPS” will include CLE, socials, a keynote luncheon, and the Paralegal Division Annual Meeting on September 20.

The keynote luncheon speaker will be Judge Darlene Byrne, of the 126th Judicial District Court in Travis County. She is a commissioner on the Texas Children’s Commission; serves on the Judicial Council for National CASA; is an advisory council member for TexProtects, Partnerships for Children, and the Seedling Foundation; chair of the Texas Statewide Collaborative for Trauma-Informed Care; and on the editorial review board for the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ Juvenile and Family Court Journal. Byrne is a member of the Travis County Juvenile Justice board and a founding team member of the Travis County Family Drug Treatment Court and the Travis County Model Court of Children, Youth and Families.

Other highlighted speakers include M. Jack Martin, president of Martin, Frost & Hill in Austin; Leigh De La Reza, a partner in Noelke Maples St. Ledger Bryant in Austin; and Judy Kostura, of Judge, Kostura & Putman in Austin.

TAPS attendees can earn up to 13 hours of advanced CLE during the seminar.

Additionally, a panel of paralegals certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization will be on hand to answer questions about preparing for and taking the TBLS certification exam.

Registration opened on June 1 and can be completed at txpd.org/TAPS. The deadline for early registration is August 6. All registrations after will include a $35 late fee.

Original author: Adam Faderewski
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Veterans can receive legal advice through HBF Saturday clinics

The Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative continues its traveling Saturday legal clinics of the summer with a stop in Tomball on July 13.

The Veterans Legal Initiative hosts the clinic along with the Houston Northwest Bar Association and the Montgomery County Bar Association.

The clinic will offer veterans and spouses of deceased veterans advice and counsel from volunteer attorneys in any area of law, including family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate and tax law, and disability and veterans benefits. Those who qualify for legal aid and are in need of ongoing legal representation may be assigned a pro bono attorney to take their case.

The clinic, which does not require an appointment, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Tomball VA Outpatient Clinic, 1200 W. Main St., Tomball 77375.

Additional Saturday clinics:

Galveston (Galveston VA Outpatient Clinic, 3828 Ave. N., 77550)—July 27, 9 a.m. – noon. Lake Jackson (Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic, 208 Oak Drive S., 77566)—August 10, 9 a.m. – noon. Katy (Katy VA Outpatient Clinic, 750 Westgreen Blvd., 77450)—September 14, 9 a.m. – noon.

For more information, go to hba.org or contact the Veterans Legal Initiative at 713-759-1133.

To view a list of other free veteran legal clinics around the state, please go to the State Bar’s Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans webpage at texasbar.com/veterans.

Original author: Eric Quitugua
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Two Texas attorneys named to Fastcase 50 list of top innovators

Two Texas attorneys were included in the annual Fastcase 50 list, which honors top innovators in the legal field.

Michael Dreeben, retired deputy solicitor general for the U.S. Department of Justice, and Shawn Tuma, a partner in Spencer Fane, were named to the list alongside other attorneys, professors, and entrepreneurs from around the world.

Dreeben was honored for his criminal law work with the Department of Justice. He is one of only seven people to have tried more than 100 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Dreeben argued his first Supreme Court case in 1989, against now-Chief Justice John Roberts.

Tuma was recognized for his cybersecurity work, including cyberrisk management, incident response, and security for a variety of companies in and outside of the law. In addition to providing consulting services to clients, he also sometimes represents them in related litigation. Tuma is an officer of the State Bar of Texas Computer & Technology Section.

Original author: Adam Faderewski
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In Memoriam — June 2019

The State Bar of Texas’ Membership Department was informed in June 2019 of the deaths of these members. We join the officers and directors of the State Bar in expressing our deepest sympathy.

• Frederick P. Ahrens, 81, of Dallas, died May 29, 2019. He received his law degree from Marquette University Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978.
• William A. Allen, 71, of Austin, died April 21, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976.
• James Wade Campbell, 77, of Richardson, died May 11, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1966.
• Christopher Albert Clark II, 81, of Oro Valley, Arizona, died October 5, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1993.
• Stanley Crawford, 75, of Austin, died May 25, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1967.
• Richard B. Davies, 96, of Houston, died April 13, 2017. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the State Bar in 1952.
• Timothy Flint Davis, 83, died July 22, 2017. He received his law degree from the University of Denver College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1969.
• John W. Dixon, 94, died March 19, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1948.
• Cornelius T. Dorans, 88, of Plano, died May 23, 2017. He received his law degree from New York University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1992.
• Lee Duggan Jr., 87, of Houston, died June 16, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1955.
• Billy W. Flanagan, 67, of Mount Pleasant, died October 8, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976.
• Word Lee Gidden, 98, of Elgin, died April 30, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1949.
• Leon G. Halden Jr., 83, of Kingwood, died February 6, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1960.
• Edward Heller, 82, of Houston, died April 25, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Buffalo School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1979.
• B.J. Lange Hoffman, 85, of New Braunfels, died May 7, 2019. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1961.
• Walter M. Holcombe, 84, of League City, died March 26, 2018. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1971.
• Steven Huff, 67, of Mequon, Wisconsin, died May 22, 2019. He received his law degree from Boston University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2009.
• Richard P. Keeton, 81, of Houston, died April 20, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1963.
• John Moore Killian, 84, of San Antonio, died May 16, 2019. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1965.
• Davey Lamb, 66, of Dallas, died November 18, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1979.
• Christopher Lane, 67, of Florida, died April 5, 2019. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978.
• Robert E. Lang, 75, of San Antonio, died April 26, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Akron School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1990.
• Kennard Lawrence, 76, of Burton, died April 23, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Washington School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1968.
• Vincent Ka-Lin Lo, 68, of Sugar Land, died January 29, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1997.
• Eugene O. Marquette III, 85, of Cookeville, Tennessee, died November 5, 2018. He received his law degree from Western State College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1987.
• Leonard N. Martin, 88, of Boerne, died July 22, 2017. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1961.
• Carol M. McGilvray, 63, of Shreveport, Louisiana, died October 21, 2018. She received her law degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1979.
• Herbert H. Medsger, 90, of League City, died June 18, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1969.
• Gary C. Miller, 63, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, died August 25, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980.
• Jerry Doyle Miller, 69, of Destin, Florida, died September 20, 2018. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973.
• Sean Arleigh Moore, 71, of Houston, died December 4, 2018. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1977.
• William Neil, 79, of Dallas, died May 29, 2019. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1966.
• Albert Perez, 74, of Fort Worth, died May 2, 2019. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974.
• Jack G. Ponder, 93, of Richardson, died September 12, 2018. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1952.
• Noe Reyna, 61, of Corpus Christi, died May 21, 2019. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985.
• Mary Elizabeth Rogers, 61, of Corpus Christi, died May 18, 2019. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1991.
• Charles A. Rubiola Jr., 70, of San Antonio, died March 29, 2019. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1975.
• Richard Edric Salisbury, 48, of Austin, died April 28, 2019. He received his law degree from Columbia Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2001.
• John Shannon, 67, of League City, died May 21, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976.
• Stephen Shoultz, 63, of Fort Worth, died June 23, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980.
• Malcom Carey Smith, 75, of Johnson City, died June 2, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1967.
• Cavitt Foster Wendlandt, 59, of Austin, died June 10, 2019. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1987.
• David Vandiver Wilson II, 51, of Houston, died June 3, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1993.
• William H. Yowell, 88, of Killeen, died February 6, 2017. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1951.
• Thomas Michael Zulim, 60, of Hockley, died December 28, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1992.

If you would like to have a memorial for a loved one published in the Texas Bar Journal, please go to texasbar.com/memorials. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Texas Bar Journal at 512-427-1701 or toll-free at 800-204-2222, ext. 1701.

Original author: Adam Faderewski
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Secretary Whitley Convenes First Border Trade Advisory Committee Meeting Of 2019

"Texas Secretary of State David Whitley today convened the first Border Trade Advisory Committee (BTAC) meeting of 2019, bringing together stakeholders from throughout the Texas-Mexico border region to advance initiatives to address challenges related to international trade with Mexico."
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ICYMI: Secretary Whitley Participates In Voting Rights History Tour In Alabama With Secretaries Of State

"Last week, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley joined 19 other statewide election officials from across the nation to participate in the first-ever voting rights history tour in Alabama. "
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Secretary Whitley Announces Settlement In Litigation On Voter Registration List Maintenance Activity

"Today, the parties to LULAC v. Whitley (and consolidated cases) agreed to a settlement in the litigation regarding the Texas Secretary of State's voter registration list maintenance activity announced on January 25, 2019 to identify and remove non-U.S. citizens registered to vote in Texas."
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Secretary Whitley Encourages Texans To Vote Early, Make Preparations To Cast A Ballot In May 4th Election

"Texas Secretary of State David Whitley today encouraged all eligible Texas voters to take advantage of the early voting period ahead of the May 4th election, which begins on Monday, April 22nd and ends on Tuesday, April 30th. "
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Secretary Whitley Meets With U.S. Census Bureau To Discuss Achieving Complete Count For Texas In 2020 Census

"Texas Secretary of State David Whitley this week met with regional and local representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau to discuss achieving a complete count for the State of Texas in the 2020 Census."
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July must-reads

The July issue of the Texas Bar Journal is out now. What are your favorites? Here are ours from this month’s look at the changing practice of law. And don’t forget to check out the latest in Movers and Shakers, Memorials, and Disciplinary Actions.

Alexa, Testify
New sources of evidence from the internet of things.
By John G. Browning and Lisa Angelo

Developing Talent
Why are women attorneys leaving the practice of law at a point when they should be advancing in their careers?
By Belinda May Arambula

The Power of Words
Best practices in communication for lawyers, courtesy of Winston Churchill.
By Talmage Boston

Before the Bench
Unique aspects of Texas Supreme Court practice.
By Scott A. Keller

Original author: Eric Quitugua
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Winners of the 2019 Texas Gavel Awards announced

Stories that examined how Texas judges are elected and showed how law enforcement agencies are using the Texas Public Information Act to withhold information about deceased suspects are among the winners of the 2019 Texas Gavel Awards.

Journalists representing The Texas Tribune, KXAN-TV in Austin, KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi, Super Lawyers Magazine, and the Victoria Advocate were selected as winners. The Texas Gavel Awards, hosted by the State Bar of Texas Public Affairs Committee, honor journalism that deepens public understanding of the legal system.

The winners are listed below by award category, along with descriptions of their entries:

Online-only: Emma Platoff of The Texas Tribune wins for a series of articles that explored Texas’ system of partisan judicial elections. Among the issues she covered were: the perception, true or not, that judges are inclined to lean a certain way on the law based on their ideology; the low name recognition for judicial candidates, even at the highest levels of the state’s judiciary; and the possibility for partisan sweeps that can propel inexperienced judges into office based not on qualifications but on party affiliation.

Broadcast, Major Metro: An investigative team that involved Josh Hinkle, Sarah Rafique, and Andrew Choat at KXAN-TV in Austin wins for an investigation that began with questions about how a teenager, detained in the back of an Austin police cruiser, obtained a gun and shot himself and developed into the discovery of a loophole in the Texas Public Information Act that allows law enforcement agencies to withhold the details of incidents such as this from the public and even families of the deceased for decades.

Broadcast, Non-Metro: Jessica Savage of KRIS-TV Corpus Christi wins for a trio of stories following a Nueces County woman’s five-year fight to have her day in court while the defendant in the criminal case employed delaying tactics in a crowded court system.

Print, Major Metro:  Steve Knopper wins for a Super Lawyers Magazine feature in which seven Texas lawyers tell — in their own words — what it’s like to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Print, Non-Metro: Jessica Priest of the Victoria Advocate wins for a series of stories covering the Calhoun County Port Authority after it hired former U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold as a lobbyist in May 2018. Priest’s reporting uncovered that the board’s action may have violated the Texas Open Meetings Act and highlighted a general lack of oversight for ports and special purpose taxing districts. Farenthold resigned from his port position in January 2019.

The State Bar of Texas features winner bios and links to the stories at texasbar.com/gavelawards.

The State Bar of Texas will present the awards to the winners on September 20 at the John Henry Faulk Awards luncheon during the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas’ statewide conference, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency, 208 Barton Springs Road, in Austin. For more information or to register for the conference, visit foift.org.

Original author: Amy Starnes
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State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting podcasts available for listeners

During the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting 2019 on June 13-14 in Austin, State State Bar of Texas PodcastBar of Texas Podcast host Rocky Dhir was in full swing interviewing keynote speakers, panelists, and attendees. Working in conjunction with the Legal Talk Network, Dhir and guest hosts recorded 14 episodes on-site, which can be heard on Apple podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and the Legal Talk Network website. As a special offer, State Bar of Texas members who listen to the episode titled “State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting 2019: Josh Team and the Adaptable Lawyer” can get one hour of self-study MCLE credit. For more details, simply click on that episode page.

The Science of Speaking with Noah Zandan
Adaptable Lawyer keynote speaker Noah Zandan, CEO and co-founder of Quantified Communications, discusses how his company uses advanced data analytics to help people better convey their ideas and messages.

Representing Diverse Clients
Disability Rights Texas Senior Litigation Attorney Lia Davis and Monty & Ramirez Managing Attorney Jake Monty share their thoughts on how lawyers can better serve a diverse client base.

A View from the Bench with Judge Roy Ferguson
Judge Roy Ferguson, of the 394th Judicial District, talks about common procedural mistakes lawyers make that can put their clients’ at risk.

Free Press and the First Amendment with David McCraw
David McCraw, general counsel of the New York Times, talks about the state of the free press, the impact of new technology on journalism, and future challenges.

What Kanye Can Teach Us About Litigation
DHD Films’ Elliot Mayén and Bell Nunnally & Martin Senior Associate Brent Turman joined the podcast to talk about artist and musician Kanye West—and the lessons he can teach attorneys about litigation.

The U.S. National Debt with Larry Gibbs
Larry Gibbs, senior counsel to Miller & Chevalier and former IRS commissioner, talks about the rising national debt, urging citizens to take an interest in the topic and to take action in addressing it.

Ethical Use of Contract Lawyers with Penny Robe
Attorney Penny Robe discusses ethical ways of hiring a contract lawyer and resources practitioners can turn to.

“Get Paid and Have a Life” with Judge Audrey Moorehead
Dallas County Criminal Court 3 Judge Audrey Moorehead shares tips from her presentation on law practice management in hopes of helping attorneys to “get paid and have a life.”

Ted Boutrous and Tom Leatherbury on Open Government Law and Fake News
Tom Leatherbury, a partner in Vinson & Elkins, and Ted Boutros, of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, examine the ramifications of “fake news” and discuss whether open government law could possibly be a vaccine (or pathogen) for it.

Bench Bar Breakfast with Wil Haygood
Award-winning author and journalist Wil Haygood, the keynote speaker at the Bench Bar Breakfast on June 14, dives deep about the subject of his book Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court.

Conversation with Keynote Speaker Asha Rangappa
Asha Rangappa, a CNN analyst and former FBI agent, talks about the history, current status, and issues surrounding disinformation and “fake news” in the U.S. Rangappa delivered the keynote speech during the General Session Luncheon on June 14.

Bar Presidents Randy Sorrels and Benny Agosto Jr.
Texas Young Lawyers Association President Victor A. Flores joined Rocky Dhir to talk with State Bar President Randy Sorrels and Houston Bar Association President Benny Agosto Jr.—both of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz—about what to expert during their terms and why bar diversity is a priority. Sorrels was sworn in as president of the State Bar of Texas on June 14.

Josh Team and the Adaptable Lawyer
Keller Williams Realty President Josh Team joined host Rocky Dhir for a Q&A in front of a “live audience” to talk about how companies need nimble lawyers who can keep up with the fast pace of innovation. Team delivered a keynote address as part of the Adaptable Lawyer.

Fooding in Austin
State Bar of Texas Public Information Director Amy Starnes, State Bar Pro Bono Programs Administrator Hannah Allison, Web Content Specialist Jennifer Dunham, and Texas Bar Journal Assistant Editor Eric Quitugua discuss barbecue, doughnuts, and their favorite Austin eateries.

Original author: Adam Faderewski
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Houston Bar Association establishes LGBTQ+ Committee

Houston Bar Association President Benny Agosto Jr.’s newly formed LGBTQ+ Committee will meet July 8 to set goals and discuss programming for the upcoming year, including participation in the HBA Diversity Summit on July 11.

“As our nation prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, it is important that our bar association recognizes there is much work to be done to ensure diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, as well as in our communities,” Agosto said. “We are proud to work alongside organizations like the Stonewall Law Association of Greater Houston to make sure that everyone has equal opportunities under the rule of law.”

Agosto has planned the Diversity Summit as a celebration of the HBA’s history of inclusion and outreach, as well as a program to educate attorneys and non-attorneys on implicit bias, the gender spectrum, allyship, seeking and retaining a diverse workforce, gender fairness and the changing face of parental responsibility, and business development.

Founding members of the bar association’s LGBTQ+ Committee:

Judge Steve Kirkland, of the 334th District Court—Co-chair; Judge Daryl Moore, of the 333rd District Court—Co-chair; Judge Kim Ogg, Harris County District Attorney—Co-chair; Judge Alice Oliver-Parrott, of Alice Oliver-Parrott, P.C.; Travis Torrence, of Shell Oil Company; Deborah Lawson, of the Stonewall Law Association of Greater Houston; Bryan Vezey, of Cozen O’Connor; Lena Laurenzo, of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz; Jessica Rodriguez, of the Ramsey Law Group; Joseph Sanchez, of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office; Charles Shaw, of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office; Benny Agosto Jr., of the Houston Bar Association; Mindy Davidson, of the Houston Bar Association; and Tara Shockley, of the Houston Bar Association

For more information on the Diversity Summit and LGBTQ+ Committee, go to hba.org/committees/lgbtq.

Original author: Eric Quitugua
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DOD Hosts Early Career Workshop to Serve as Change Initiative Platform for the Acquisition Workforce

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord hosts the inaugural Early Career Workshop at the Pentagon.
Original author: DoD News
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DOD Hosts Early Career Workshop to Serve as Change Initiative Platform for the Acquisition Workforce

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord hosts the inaugural Early Career Workshop at the Pentagon.
Original author: DoD News
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