Lawyer Convicted of Forging Millionaire’s Will Faces Disbarment


A West Texas lawyer who was convicted of forging a will to steal the estate of a multimillionaire now faces disbarment, while also seeking a new trial in his criminal case.

John Stacy Young of Sweetwater, currently incarcerated in the Tom Green County Jail in San Angelo, is arguing in a motion for new trial that a new witness has come forward saying her ex-husband, another Sweetwater lawyer, actually forged the multimillionaire’s will. Young pleaded not guilty in the case.


PDF: Lawyer Convicted of Forging Millionaire_s Will Faces Disbarment _ 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.


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

Texas Law School Enrollment Outpaces National Percentage Growth

The size of this year’s entering class at Texas law schools rose by 4 percent this year compared to last, but total enrollment numbers for 2017 still dropped by 0.3 percent.

Legal educators closely watch the size of the first-year class, since it has financial implications for a law school for the next three years. There were 2,199 first-year law students at the 10 Texas law schools in the Fall of 2017, which is 89 students more than the Fall of 2016.


PDF: Texas Law School Enrollment Outpaces National Percentage Growth _ Texas Lawyer

Houston-area Courts Crippled by Hurricane Harvey

Pummeled by Hurricane Harvey, federal and state courts along the Texas Gulf Coast have closed their doors and suspended all operations, grinding to a near halt one of the busiest jurisdictions in the country.


PDF: Houston-area Courts Crippled by Hurricane Harvey _ Law

Austin Solo’s License in Jeopardy After Pleading Guilty to Heroin Possession

The Commission for Lawyer Discipline is seeking to take the law license of an Austin solo practitioner who was indicted in a murder-for-hire plot, but instead received deferred adjudication for possessing and intending to deal heroin.

In a petition for compulsory discipline, the commission noted that James N. Walker was indicted in Travis County on May 20, 2016, for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in penalty group 1 in an amount between 4 and 200 grams. It’s a first-degree felony that could bring up to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Published on on Aug. 18, 2017.

PDF: Austin Solos License in Jeopardy

Disciplinary Suit Filed Against Lawyer for Filing Frivolous Legal Mal Case

Mark Womack, a Houston solo practitioner who beat back a legal malpractice case after eight years of litigation, said he’s gratified that the State Bar of Texas filed a disciplinary lawsuit against the lawyer who represented the plaintiff who sued him.

The Commission for Lawyer Discipline sued Houston solo practitioner Armando Lopez in Harris County District Court, alleging he violated rules that ban a lawyer from bringing a frivolous lawsuit, lying to a court or being dishonest, fraudulent, deceitful or misrepresentative. The original petition said that Lopez represented a plaintiff in an underlying malpractice suit against Womack, who eventually filed the grievance against Lopez.

“It was serious misconduct,” said Womack. “I’m gratified the state bar has made the decision to enforce the rules in this fashion. I think it shows the system works.”

Published on on Aug. 8, 2017.

PDF: Disciplinary Suit Filed Against Lawyer for Filing Frivolous Legal Mal Case _ Texas Lawyer

Surviving Law School: Advice From Those Who Know

As summer winds to an end, a new crop of law students is preparing for the grueling first year of law school, and veteran students are gearing up to return to studying.

Before Texas law schools open their doors for a new school year in late August, Texas Lawyer reached out to members of law school communities across the Lone Star State, asking for their advice for new and returning students. Students, deans, professors, career services deans and student affairs professionals answered the call.

Here are their tips for new and returning law students to tackle their studies and navigate their career paths, while staying happy and healthy. Their responses have been edited for brevity, clarity and style.

Published in Texas Lawyer magazine’s August 2017 issue.

PDF: Surviving Law School Advice From Those Who Know _ Texas Lawyer