July 20,  2010

Contact: Meg Meo, Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations
512-494-2867 or mmeo@echristianpr.com
Erika Gonzalez, Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations
512-494-2864 or egonzalez@echristianpr.com      

New Commissioners Appointed to the Texas Access to Justice Commission
Commissioners Appointed by Supreme Court of Texas and State Bar of Texas

AUSTIN, Texas - The Supreme Court of Texas and the State Bar of Texas have appointed five new commissioners and reappointed one commissioner to the Texas Access to Justice Commission. The Court created the Commission in 2001 to expand civil legal aid services for low-income Texans.

“The Commission is hugely important in making sure that low-income Texans can get help with civil legal problems. It is an outstanding group of people, and the new appointees bring a wealth of experience and energy to the table,” Justice Nathan L. Hecht, the Texas Access to Justice Commission and Foundation Supreme Court of Texas liaison, said.  “I look forward to working with them to ensure that all Texans have equal access to justice.”

The appointments are as follows:

Supreme Court of Texas Appointments

Justice Georgina Benavides, Edinburg
Thirteenth Court of Appeals

David Hall, Weslaco
Executive Director, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.     

Scott Rozzell, Houston
General Counsel, Centerpoint Energy

Judge Al Bennett, Houston
Civil District Judge of the 61st Civil District Court and Administrative Judge

State Bar of Texas Appointment

Cristy Keul, Tyler
Executive Director, Smith County Bar Association

State Bar of Texas Reappointment

Judge Katie Kennedy, Houston
Greenway Mediation

"We are delighted to have these outstanding new Commissioners join us. They will make a great contribution to the Commission's mission to provide access to justice to the millions of Texans who cannot afford to hire lawyers," Harry M. Reasoner, chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, said.

The Supreme Court of Texas created the Texas Access to Justice Commission to increase services for people who need legal help but may not be able to afford it or find it. The Texas Access to Justice Commission assists legal aid organizations to help more than 100,000 low-income Texas families each year with their civil legal needs. The Commission’s goals include reducing barriers to the justice system and increasing resources and funding for legal aid. The Commission, chaired by Harry M. Reasoner of Vinson & Elkins LLP in Houston, consists of 21 commissioners, each serving a three-year term.

The Texas Access to Justice Commission was created in 2001 by the Supreme Court of Texas to develop and implement policy initiatives designed to expand access to and enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for low-income Texans. The Commission has created several initiatives to increase resources and awareness of legal aid. For more information, please visit www.TexasATJ.org.