News Archive - December 2011

A legal battle over a Twitter user's identity

Twitter once again finds itself at the center of a conflict over the right to anonymity on the Web, this time in a case involving a sympathizer with the Boston offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Read the story. (New York Times) [12/29/2011]

Southwest Airlines wants new ad law off the books

Southwest Airlines Co. and several other carriers want the feds to back off a new law requiring them to advertise the the actual price of tickets, saying the law violates their First Amendment right to free speech. Read the story. (Houston Chronicle) [12/28/2011]

GoDaddy rivals aim to capitalize on SOPA controversy

Go Daddy rivals including Hover,, and Namecheap are still looking to capitalize on the world's largest domain registrar's initial decision to support the Stop Online Piracy Act. Read the story. (PCWorld) [12/28/2011]

Felony charges filed against university and professor after fatal fire

A research assistant was fatally burned when chemicals burst into flame. Her death three years ago has focused attention on safety issues. Read the story. (Los Angeles Times) [12/28/2011]

Houston criminal defense lawyer creates smartphone app of cases, statutes

Criminal-defense lawyer Jonathan J. Paull has created a smartphone application that he says gives lawyers easy and ready access to legal codes and statutes. Read the story. (Tex Parte Blog) [12/27/2011]

Life of Texas judge inspires strange short story

A former judge from the Lone Star State passed away in Chicago on Dec. 31, 1867 without knowing he would be immortalized in a short story that may be far more fact than fiction. Read the story. (San Marcos Mercury) [12/27/2011]

Tyler attorneys honored for work

Two Tyler criminal defense attorneys were honored for their work on Wednesday with a special award from the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Read the story. (Tyler Morning Telegraph) [12/22/2011]

The voice of Santa Claus

For decades during this time of year Santa Claus would be busy working the phones and calling the children of Houston. Read the story. (Houston Chronicle Web) [12/21/2011]

Texas Tech law grad scores highest of Texans on July Bar Exam

Texas Tech University School of Law student Jason Jordan attained the third-highest score on the Texas Bar Exam last July, which also was the highest score among graduates of Texas law schools. Read the story. (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal) [12/21/2011]

State Bar grant benefits UTEP LSPI, CASA collaboration

The Texas Bar Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to UTEP's Law School Preparation Institute in support of its collaboration with Court Appointed Special Advocates of El Paso, or CASA. Read the story. (El Paso, Inc) [12/20/2011]

SJC Judge Faulkner receives honor for continuing education

San Jacinto County Judge Fritz Faulkner has been recognized by the Texas Judicial Academy for meeting and exceeding the state requirements for continuing judicial education. Read the story. (Eastex Advocate) [12/20/2011]

The John O'Quinn Foundation plays Santa with $500,000 gift to the Children's Assessment Center

The legacy of John M. O'Quinn continues with the Foundation having just contributed $500,000 to CAC. Read the story. (Culturemap Houston) [12/20/2011]

Houston law firm and staff partner with Houston Bar Association-AIDS Outreach Committee

Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas, LLP, is proud to announce today that it’s staff has donated and delivered new and used household items, clothing, and toys for the Mwamba Family of four to make Christmas a little brighter this year. Read the story. (Emailwire) [12/19/2011]

County attorney's office opens satellite office on Cohen Street

Northeast residents can now take advantage of free legal services offered by the El Paso County attorney's office without having to drive downtown. Read the story. (El Paso Times) [12/19/2011]

Raising the quality of defense for indigents

The office of Public Defender is a county agency that represents persons charged with crimes when they cannot afford to pay for a lawyer. Read the story. (Houston Chronicle) [12/16/2011]

County judge retains post at Texas Conference of Urban Counties

Williamson County Judge Dan A. Gattis has been re-elected as the Texas Conference of Urban Counties vice chairman of policy. Read the story. (Austin American-Statesman) [12/16/2011]

Conroe Municipal Court busier than ever with growing caseload

The Conroe Municipal Court's caseload has increased dramatically over the past several months. Read the story. (Conroe Courier) [12/16/2011]

It's Bill of Rights Day: Do you know your rights?

December 15 is "Bill of Rights Day;" on this date 220 years ago, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified. Read the story. (Public News Service) [12/15/2011]

Legal Aid to give free phone advice event marks agency's 60th anniversary

In recognition of the 60th anniversary of Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, the San Angelo office of the organization is offering legal advice free over the phone today. Read the story. (San Angelo Standard-Times) [12/14/2011]

Legal Aid of Northwest Texas gets new home

After 34 years in the same home, the Legal Aid Society of Northwest Texas is getting a new home. Read the story. (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal) [12/14/2011]

BNA, ABA release deadline for writing contest for young IP attorneys

Legal and business publisher BNA and the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law announced the deadline for the second annual writing contest for young lawyers practicing intellectual property law. Read the story. (Technology News) [12/14/2011]

County program receives award

The Texas Association of Counties has awarded Lubbock County a Best Practices award for its work with special needs defendants. Read the story. (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal) [12/13/2011]

Cornyn named recipient of Quasar Award

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership will honor U.S. Sen. John Cornyn with its prestigious 2012 Quasar Award for exceptional leadership in economic development at BAHEP’s Quasar Banquet. Read the story. (Friendswood Journal) [12/13/2011]

West Texas Disability Rights program receives grant

The Texas Bar Foundation recently awarded a $6,000 grant to the Texas Civil Rights Project for its new Disability Rights Program in Odessa, which serves 35 counties including Brewster, Jeff Davis, and Presidio. Read the story. (Alpine Avalanche) [12/09/2011]

Attorney shares holiday spirit with $200,000 gift

Houston attorney and philanthropist John Eddie Williams Jr. and his wife, Sheridan, have donated $200,000 to the Houston Chronicle Goodfellows program, continuing a family tradition of helping underprivileged children. Read the story. (Houston Chronicle) [12/09/2011]

Texas law schools, speakers prepare for winter hooding ceremonies

Tis the season for roasting chestnuts, sipping hot cocoa, and celebrating winter hooding ceremonies at five of Texas’ nine American Bar Association-accredited law schools. Read the story. (Texas Lawyer Web) [12/09/2011]

Woodlands attorney helps bring fuel to Swaziland

A Woodlands attorney is key to a deal which could possibly provide a reliable 90-day fuel source to Swaziland and other portions of West Africa. Read the story. (Conroe Courier) [12/08/2011]

Bret Strong admitted to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court

Attorney Bret L. Strong of The Strong Firm P.C. was officially admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court in a swearing in ceremony at the Supreme Court Building in Washington D.C. Read the story. (Woodlands Online) [12/08/2011]

Legal eagles swarm at River Oaks Country Club and raise $561,000 for Houston Bar Foundation

The 62nd Harvest Party raised a record $561,000 for pro bono legal services in Harris County. Read the story. (Culturemap Houston) [12/07/2011]

Guidelines a surprise as UT case awaits Supreme Court consideration

New guidelines from the Obama administration on the use of affirmative action in college admissions have stirred up the legal waters just as the U.S. Supreme Court is about to consider whether to hear a case involving the University of Texas. Read the story. (Austin American-Statesman) [12/06/2011]

Texas asks Supreme Court to halt redistricting 

Texas is asking the Supreme Court to stop federal judges from redrawing its congressional districts for next year’s elections. Read the story. (Conroe Courier) [12/06/2011]

Carl, among Texas' first female attorneys, dies at 106 

Carl was chairwoman of the women's section of the Houston Bar Association, and, in 1951, became the first woman to serve on the agency's board of directors. Read the story. (Houston Chronicle) [12/06/2011]

Texas water plan set for approval but complicated by population growth, reservoir dispute  

Facing a severe drought and dwindling water sources, Texas is moving toward adopting its next five-year state water plan. Read the story. (Dallas Morning News) [12/05/2011]

Texas power grid operator says blackouts possible  

Last winter's rolling blackouts in Texas and the summer's near-blackouts could occur again in the coming year if extreme weather stresses the power grid more than normal, the state's grid operator said Thursday. Read the story. (Houston Chronicle) [12/02/2011]

Should states be allowed to collect sales tax on online purchases? Texas lawmakers weigh in

Texas lawmakers made their voices heard Wednesday at a congressional hearing over whether retailers should collect state sales taxes on online purchases. Read the story. (San Antonio Express-News) [12/01/2011]

Burn bans remain in effect in 152 counties

Burn bans are now in effect in 152 of the state's 254 counties after rainfall improved conditions in some areas. Read the story. (Austin American-Statesman) [12/01/2011]

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