After a Tough Week, Media Scores Texas High Court Win

In contrast to the hit last week that the media took from the Trump administration, a Texas reporter and newspaper—and their pro bono lawyers of 13 years—have won a First Amendment victory in the Texas Supreme Court.

The Texas Supreme Court in an opinion released Jan. 27 found that a news article in the West Fort Bend Star covered a matter of public concern, which meant the trial court below should have made plaintiff Wade Brady meet a tougher standard in proving that statements in the article were false and that the media defendants acted with actual malice. The decision in Brady v. Klentzman, however, was not a complete victory for the newspaper. The justices ordered a new trial.

Link.

PDF:

 

‘There’s a lot of Fear,’ Gordon Quan on Immigration Ban

Houston lawyer Gordon Quan knows more than a little about immigration bans. His parents and grandparents all came from China, and Quan was born there, but raised in the United States from a young age. He thought the United States would have learned its lesson from the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned laborers coming from China from 1882 to 1943.

Link.

PDF: There s a lot of Fear Gordon Quan on Immigration Ban _ Texas Lawyer

Big Law Onsite Day Care: The Trend That Wasn’t

(This story published originally on http://www.law.com on Jan. 13, 2017.)

Big Law couple Liz and Matthew Dubeck both made partner at their respective Los Angeles firms this year, thanks in part to wallabies, cheetahs, pandas and giraffes.

“I currently have a giraffe and a panda,” said Liz Dubeck, referring to her son Emmett, 5, and daughter Lillian, 3. Their animal identities came from their classes at Hope Street Friends, a day care co-sponsored by Dubeck’s firm, O’Melveny & Myers—which partnered with Munger, Tolles & Olson and an investment firm to start the day care.

“We don’t see how it would have worked without the flexibility of having the day care center there,” said Dubeck, whose practice focuses on finance and real estate development, and whose husband is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. “It has made it possible to stay. From a practical standpoint, I really don’t know how I would continue working full-time without it.”

It’s common for law firms to provide emergency or back-up child care for lawyers who must work nights or weekends, or who need child care during school holidays or when kids are sick. But very few have taken the next step by opening full-time, onsite day care, despite their lamentations about the exodus of women from Big Law once they start families. Cost, it seems, is the primary reason the service hasn’t caught on.

Law firms that are providing onsite day care for the children of attorneys and staff say they see benefits in recruiting lawyers and keeping them at the firm.

Read the rest of the story on law.com or download a PDF.

Leaving an LGBT Law Legacy

Derek Mergele was already out of the closet for 20 years when he moved to Lubbock to study at Texas Tech University School of Law.

The openly gay, married law student’s mission was to knock down LGBT stereotypes in the conservative West Texas community and to be so visible that anyone questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity knew that Mergele was a friend and available to talk.

Link.

Leaving an LGBT Law Legacy _ Texas Lawyer

South Texas College of Law Houston Student, Former Undocumented Immigrant Receives ‘Law Student Pro Bono Award’

It’s typical for a child to be afraid of the dark, monsters under the bed or being alone. When she was a kid, law student Maria Ivañez was afraid of deportation.

Her family moved from Venezuela when Ivañez was a child, and for ten years, she lived as an undocumented immigrant. When it came time to graduate from high school, she needed her legal status to qualify for in-state college tuition at the University of Houston.

Link.

PDF: South Texas College of Law Houston Student Former Undocumented Immigrant Receives Law Student Pro Bono Award _ Texas Lawyer

 

Texas Supreme Court Justice Gap Commission Calls for Better Referral System, Training

The Texas Supreme Court has some new ideas about tackling the justice gap that’s keeping poor and middle-income people from being able to afford lawyers.

Those ideas, identified in a Dec. 6 report by the high court’s Commission to Expand Civil Legal Services, include creating a statewide referral system to send modest-means clients to lawyers whom they can afford, supporting legal incubators to teach law students to make a living representing those clients, and launching an online portal for lawyers to bid on representing clients who post about their legal problems.

Link.

PDF: Texas Supreme Court Justice Gap Commission Calls for Better Referral System Training _ Texas Lawyer