TexasBar.com

State Bar of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2009

Contact: Kim Davey, kdavey@texasbar.com, 800.204.2222 x 1713 or 512.427.1713

Austin Individuals and Organizations Honored by State Bar of Texas

DALLAS – Presentation of awards honoring exceptional service to the public and the legal profession will be a highlight of the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, to be held June 25-26 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

The following Austin individuals and organizations are among those being honored:

Emily Jones, a Presidential Citation for serving as an example to all Texas lawyers in her commitment to the ideal of access to justice for all. Jones previously served as the executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Commission and director of the State Bar Texas Lawyers Care Department.

Cynthia Knox, Teacher of the Year for Law-Related Education, a first-time award presented by the Texas Lawyers Auxiliary. Knox teaches high school social studies at Austin Independent School District's Leadership Academy/Day School.

Terry W. Loessin, Honorary Leon Jaworski Award for Teaching Excellence. The Jaworski Award is presented by the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors to recognize educators who have made an outstanding contribution to law focused education and whose programs foster understanding of the values of our legal and judicial systems. Loessin is a social studies curriculum specialist with Austin ISD.

Scott Medlock, J. Chrys Dougherty Legal Services Award, presented by the State Bar Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters Committee. Medlock is the Prisoners' Rights Attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP). Due to Medlock's success, the Texas Access to Justice Foundation provided TCRP with funding to expand the Prisoners' Rights Attorney program and, in 2008, it assisted over 200 individuals. This award honors an outstanding legal services staff attorney and is named for J. Chrys Dougherty, who helped build a strong working partnership between the State Bar of Texas and legal services providers.

Vinson & Elkins LLP Veterans' Initiative, W. Frank Newton Award, presented by the State Bar Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters Committee. V&E has assisted veterans with matters ranging from improper denial of benefits and efforts to take unfair financial advantage of deployed personnel, to defending military men and women in custody battles, evictions, and even in military proceedings. To ensure that its legal services for this project are going to those who have the strongest and most urgent needs, V&E has partnered with the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other groups. The Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) will honor the following: David Courreges, TYLA President's Award of Merit, for spearheading the effort to create and implement "Vote America! Honor the Fight, Exercise Your Right." As a result, most high school seniors in the Austin ISD have viewed the video and learned about the hard fight various groups waged for the right to vote. Courreges will serve as TYLA secretary for 2009-10.

Zachary Hall, TYLA President's Award of Merit for his work on the State Moot Court Competition.

Clint Harbour, TYLA President's Award of Merit for his work on the National Trial Competition and assisting with "Vote America! Honor the Fight, Exercise Your Right."

Anne Yeakel, Liberty Bell Award. This award honors an outstanding non-lawyer who has made a selfless contribution to his or her community to strengthen the effectiveness of the American system of justice. Yeakel was selected from local young lawyer affiliate nominees statewide. Yeakel recently retired after serving for 11 years as executive director of the Texas Bar Foundation. TBF is the largest charitably-funded bar foundation in the country and has distributed more than $10 million in grants.

Additional awards to be celebrated include:

Gonzalo Barrientos, Jr., Tom Diamond Award of Excellence, presented by the American Indian Law Section.
Randall Chapman, Noble Award in Poverty Law.
Kevin Dietz, Impact Award in Poverty Law.

Judge Wilford Flowers, Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award, presented by the Texas Bar Foundation. This award honors an active Federal or State Judge who exhibits an exceptionally outstanding reputation for competency, efficiency and integrity.

Hon. Elliott Naishtat, Impact Award in Poverty Law.

Judge Bob Shannon, Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award, presented by the Texas Bar Foundation. This award recognizes attorneys whose practice spans 50 years or more, and who adhere to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and service to the public.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system.

Media Note: Photos are available on request for most award winners.