News Archive - May 2011

Local lawyer volunteers, earns standing ovation

Attorney Michael C. Smith was honored by the State Bar of Texas for his exceptional contribution in 2010 to the bar’s continuing legal education efforts. Read the story. (Marshal News Messenger) [05/31/2011]

Longtime Baylor Law School dean dies in crash

Angus McSwain, Jr., who served as dean of Baylor Law School from 1965 to 1984, died Sunday in a one-car crash. Read the story. (KWTX-TV) [05/30/2011]

Breaches lead to push to protect medical data

Recent lapses the privacy of medical records may slow efforts to require electronic health records. Read the story. (New York Times) [05/30/2011]

State lawmakers ordered back to work

The 82nd Legislative Session ended Monday, and Gov. Perry has called legislators back for a special session. Read the story. (Austin American-Statesman) [05/30/2011]

Fort Bend Lawyers CARE receives grant of $15,000

Fort Bend Lawyers CARE (FBLC) extends sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Texas Bar Foundation for granting FBLC $15,000. Read the story. (Fort Bend Star) [05/26/2011]

Senate approves texting and driving ban

The Texas Senate approved a measure that would ban texting and sending e-mails and instant messages while driving. Read the story. (Texas Tribune) [05/26/2011]

Senate leader warns against House's quick fix on school aid 

A looming deadline has ratcheted up the pressure on legislative leaders to craft a solution to the school finance problem. Read the story. (Austin-American Statesman) [05/25/2011]

Legislators seek compromise to buy time until the 2013 session

Legislative leaders continued to look for a compromise school funding plan Tuesday to allocate $4 billion worth of public school cuts they say is necessary to avoid a special session this summer. Read the story. (Houston Chronicle) [05/25/2011]

Filibuster season officially open

Today is the opening of filibuster season in the Texas Senate. Read the story. (San Antonio Express-News) [05/25/2011]

Senate passes ban on puppy mills

The so-called puppy mill bill is one step closer to becoming law after the Senate tonight approved a less stringent version of the measure that would regulate cat and dog breeders. Read the story.

(Texas Tribune) [05/24/2011]

American Legion Post gets permanent charter

The local American Legion post, which received a provisional charter a year ago, marked receiving its permanent charter from its national organization. Read the story. (Gilmer Mirror) [05/20/2011]  

Marshall lawyer James Rodney Gilstrap nominated to Eastern District of Texas bench

President Barack Obama today nominated Marshall lawyer James Rodney Gilstrap to become a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall. Read the story. (Texas Lawyer) [05/20/2011]

Bill aims to beef up border judges

A sweeping law enforcement crackdown on drug smuggling and illegal immigration has led to an avalanche of criminal cases that last year buried federal Judge Alia Moses in Del Rio. Read the story. (San Antonio Express-News) [05/19/2011]

Lawyers for Patriots: Soldiers' plight focus of seminar

El Paso Lawyers for Patriots will host a conference May 20-21 to educate local attorneys and legal professionals to help them better serve active-duty military and veterans. Read the story.

(El Paso Times) [05/13/2011]

Texas survival stories show need for disaster plans

The Texas Department of State Health Services has released its "Surviving Disaster: How Texans Prepare" documentary series about Texas disasters and emergency preparation. Read the story. (Atascocita Observer) [05/12/2011]

Legislature sends barratry bill to Gov. Rick Perry

A bill that would create a $10,000 civil penalty for violating barratry laws headed to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk yesterday after passing the House 142-0 on May 5. Read the story. (Texas Lawyer Web) [05/11/2011]

Houston's Lone Star Battalion helps open school in Afghanistan

Kids in the Afghan village of Now Abad will get the chance to go to school for the first time, thanks in part to Houston's 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment. Read the story. (Houston Chronicle) [05/10/2011]

The Hispanic National Bar Association kicks off another Legislative Day

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is honored to host nearly one hundred HNBA lawyers from across the country to convene in Washington, D.C. from May 10-11 to address the dire need for comprehensive immigration reform and greater diversity in the federal judiciary with Members of Congress in both the House and Senate. Read the story. (PRNewswire) [05/10/2011]

Last judge signs off on Smith County Veterans Court

Veterans who live in Smith County will now have a place to go when they encounter the justice system. Read the story. (Tyler Morning Telegraph) [05/09/2011]

Rules set to protect mentally ill immigrants

Immigration judges will now have to follow specific guidelines designed to protect the rights of mentally ill immigrants in removal proceedings based on a decision issued this week by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Read the story. (Houston Chronicle) [05/06/2011]

Senate bills raises fees for lobbyists, ranchers

Legislation that would increase fees for many Texans, including Capitol lobbyists, ranchers and auto insurance companies, was approved Thursday by the Texas Senate as a way to raise more than $129 million to shore up sagging state finances in the next two years. Read the story. (Austin American Statesman) [05/06/2011]

Suit wants $3.5 billion for state computer glitch

A second class-action lawsuit has been filed in a Houston federal court against Comptroller Susan Combs on behalf of 3.5 million Texans whose personal information was exposed to public access on a government computer server for more than a year. Read the story. (Houston Chronicle) [05/06/2011]

Texas House passes bill to help keep students from being bullied

The Texas House gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that cracks down on school bullies by defining bullying and requiring school districts to help prevent it, to assist students who are targeted, and to protect whistle-blowers who tell about it. Read the story.

(Fort Worth Star-Telegram) [05/05/2011]

Eighth-graders see federal court system at work

Courthouse events were staged as a part of the Smith County Bar Association and Smith County Bar Foundation annual Law Day activities. Read the story. (Tyler Morning Telegraph) [05/05/2011]

Results in State Bar of Texas, TYLA president-elect races announced

F.R. “Buck” Files, a shareholder in criminal-defense firm Bain, Files, Jarrett, Bain & Harrison in Tyler, has been elected to serve as president-elect of the State Bar, and C.E. Rhodes, U.S. operations and compliance counsel at Baker Hughes Inc. in Houston, has been elected president-elect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA). Read the story. (Texas Lawyer Web) [05/03/2011]

Deer Park ISD to promote cyber safety

The Deer Park Independent School District will show students various presentations about Internet safety from Monday, May 2, through Friday, May 6. Read the story. (Ultimate Pasadena) [05/03/2011]

Olen Underwood reappointed to indigent task force

Gov. Rick Perry has reappointed Olen Underwood of Willis and Anthony Odiorne of Amarillo to the Task Force on Indigent Defense for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2013. Read the story. (Conroe Courier) [05/02/2011]

Time may be ripe for national oversight of attys

A recent proposal by a group of law firm general counsels for national oversight of attorneys could be the first step in a movement to replace the existing patchwork of regulations that firms must contend with in their interstate practices, industry experts say. Read the story. (Law 360) [05/02/2011]