TX Bar President Challenges Attorneys to Take Up Cause for Separated Families

State Bar of President Joe Longley issued a call to arms for Texas attorneys to put their minds together and find a way to reunite immigrant children with their parents and protect their rights to due process.

Just after taking the oath of office to become this year’s bar president—a historic event, as Longley is the very first state bar president elected by seeking lawyers’ signatures on a petition—Longley said that the family separation crisis has become a national disaster in his view.

“We have got to figure out a way as lawyers and members of this noble profession to give honor to the words on the statute of liberty: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,’” said Longley to applause. He showed an image of a toddler girl wailing as an officer arrested her mother shortly after they crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico to Texas.

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PDF: new-state-bar-president-challenges-texas-attorneys-to-find-solution-for-reuniting-separated-immigrant-children

Voting Begins for Next President-Elect of the State Bar of Texas

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.

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PDF: Voting Begins for Next President-Elect of the State Bar of Texas _ Texas Lawyer

State’s Disciplinary Rules Now Allow for Subpoena of Lawyers Under Investigation

The Texas Supreme Court has changed the state’s disciplinary procedural rules to give attorney disciplinary counsel the power to subpoena lawyers who are under investigation, and create new guidelines for imposing sanctions.

The Texas Legislature called upon those changes to the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure last year when it passed the State Bar of Texas’ Sunset review bill. The changes are slated to become effective for any grievance filed on or after June 1.

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PDF: State’s Disciplinary Rules Now Allow for Subpoena of Lawyers Under Investigation _ Texas Lawyer

New Disciplinary Committee Members Appointed by SCOTX and State Bar

The new year has brought a new procedure for changing attorney disciplinary rules and the referendum process that gives lawyers the vote on rule changes.

The Texas Supreme Court and State Bar of Texas have appointed members to the new Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda, which the Texas Legislature created last year in Senate Bill 302. That legislation—the bar’s sunset review bill—also spelled out a new way for the committee to draft rule changes, take feedback from lawyers and seek approval from the state bar and supreme court.

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PDF: New Disciplinary Committee Members Appointed by SCOTX and State Bar _ Texas Lawyer

Handling Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey didn’t significantly impact most law students and law professors of Houston’s three law schools—South Texas, the University of Houston Law Center, and Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. But students and professors who lost everything have struggled to get back on track, and they could face long-term impacts as they slowly and painstakingly work to recover.

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PDF: Handling Hurricane Harvey _ Texas Lawyer

It’s a New Day in State Bar of Texas Presidential Politics

The State Bar of Texas has suspended a gaggle of election guidelines that restricted the way that candidates could campaign for votes.

The move recognizes a growing trend for candidates to run for president-elect by gathering lawyers’ signatures on a petition—in addition to a bar subcommittee picking two candidates. State bar leaders are also acknowledging that the election guidelines were likely unconstitutional restrictions on free speech and campaign spending.

“It’s a pretty radical change, but it’s a reflection of the times that we live in right now,” said State Bar President Tom Vick Jr. “The idea is to level the playing field for everyone who wants to run and make it clear that all lawyers are entitled to do what they want to do and support the candidate they want to support.”

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PDF: It s a New Day in State Bar of Texas Presidential Politics _ Texas Lawyer