Former U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, now working in private practice in Austin, was hired to investigate alleged fraudulent activities by a former employee of the University of Texas School of Law.
Texas Lawyer used the Texas Public Information Act request to get a copy of the legal contract for the lawyer that the University of Texas system hired to investigate Jason Shoumaker, who faces six counts of tampering with a government record for allegedly falsifying his time sheets. Prosecutors claim he filled out time sheets claiming he was working in his job as facilities director at Texas Law during times that his credit card statements showed he was actually making travel charges to lavish vacation destinations like Las Vegas, Miami, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and more. Shoumaker was arrested and booked into jail on May 4; he bonded out May 7.
A district judge who was wrongfully convicted of nine felonies has sued the prosecutors involved in the case, alleging they prosecuted her maliciously for a political agenda.
Because of the convictions, former 380th District Judge Suzanne Wooten of Collin County had to resign her bench and saw her law license suspended, but last May a court acquitted her of all charges, declared her actually innocent, and she became a licensed lawyer again in June 2017. Wooten has now brought a federal civil rights lawsuit against the prosecutors she claims conspired to wrongfully indict and prosecute her by “inventing and perverting law, misleading judges and juries” and dismantling Wooten’s life and career.
“She wants to be vindicated. This lawsuits serves as the last chapter in her struggles to vindicate herself and show what happened to her was wrong and unjust. They ruined her life,” said Dallas solo practitioner Scott H. Palmer, who represents Wooten. “Her civil rights were trampled on, and she wants to prove that.”
Texas law graduates would no longer face the Texas bar exam, and instead take a test with fewer essay questions that could qualify them for a law license in 29 states, if the Texas Supreme Court accepts a recommendation from one of its task forces.
In a report this week, the Task Force on the Texas Bar Examination, which the high court created in June 2016, said that Texas should ditch the Texas bar exam in favor of the uniform bar exam, which still includes the multistate bar exam, but supplements those tests with a new online test focusing on Texas law.
One of the African-American women on a golf course, whose co-owner said they were playing too slowly and called the police, is a Pennsylvania lawyer and president of the local NAACP chapter.
Sandra Thompson and her friends were golfing on April 21 at Grandview Golf Club in Dover Township, where they are members, when the co-owner of the golf course alerted police about their pace of play and asked them to leave. The women denied they were golfing too slowly, and they stayed put.
Like the recent incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks where an employee called police about two black men who did not immediately place an order while waiting on a friend, the golfers’ fiasco has spread quickly among national media like The Associated Press, Newsweek and ESPN, and was even featured on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in a segment about people calling police on others “for being black in public.”
PDF:Golf course called police on lawyer
A group of 150 women attorneys is set to descend upon the Oklahoma State Capitol on April 9 to help negotiate a deal between lawmakers and teachers over school-funding woes.
Teacher walkouts across the state since April 2 have ground schools to a halt, prompting Tulsa lawyer Becki Murphy to organize the group, made up mostly of women lawyers with children. The effort has received support from men attorneys as well, she said.
“It puts heat on this legislature to get something done,” said Murphy, whose practice focuses on family law.
PDF: 150 Women Lawyers Plan Brigade to Oklahoma Capitol Over Teacher Pay _ Law.com
Lawyer Barry Fox of New York could be in danger of losing his penthouse apartment after an appellate court ruled he isn’t entitled to rent-stabilization protections.
Fox, senior counsel with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, who lived in the Upper East Side building since 1975, never knew his former landlord was getting tax benefits for his apartment being rent-stabilized. He was paying market rent—$25,000 per month—and it wasn’t until 2014, when his building changed hands and a new landlord said it wasn’t going to renew his lease, that he learned he might have protections against eviction.
PDF: Penthouse in Peril for Cleary Gottlieb Lawyer _ New York Law Journal
Lawyers begin voting today to decide whether Lisa Blue or Randy Sorrels will become the next president-elect of the State Bar of Texas.
Lawyers have 30 days to cast their ballots, and the winner of election will serve as president-elect for one year, starting this summer, and then become state bar president in June 2019.
PDF: Voting Begins for Next President-Elect of the State Bar of Texas _ Texas Lawyer