May 2, 2017
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director, State Bar of Texas
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1706, or (512) 427-1706

State Bar of Texas to hold runoff for president-elect; Sally Pretorius named president-elect of TYLA

AUSTIN — Texas attorneys will be able to vote for Chad Baruch of Dallas or Joe K. Longley of Austin in a runoff election for State Bar of Texas president-elect.
Baruch and Longley were the top two vote-getters in a month-long, three-way race for the position that ended May 2. Longley received 41.46 percent of the 27,190 votes cast while Baruch received 30.02 percent. Laura Bellegie Sharp of Austin received 27.96 percent. Write-in candidates composed nearly 0.56 percent of the votes cast.
Since no candidate received a majority of votes, the runoff election for president-elect will be held May 11 through 5 p.m. CT May 25. The winner will serve as president of the State Bar of Texas from June 2018 to June 2019.

Chad Baruch
Chad Baruch

A longtime solo practitioner, Baruch is now a shareholder in Johnston Tobey Baruch in Dallas. He is board certified in civil appellate law.

Baruch has served on the State Bar Board of Directors and as chair of the Texas Bar College, Consumer & Commercial Law Section, and Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section.

A frequent continuing legal education speaker, Baruch received the 2015 State Bar of Texas Gene Cavin Award for lifetime contributions to CLE and the 2016 Texas Bar Foundation Dan Rugeley Price Memorial Award for excellence in legal writing and commitment to the profession. The Texas Access to Justice Commission has named him a Pro Bono Champion. 

Alongside his legal career, Baruch has served as a college and high school head basketball coach and government teacher. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Joe K. Longley
Joe K. Longley

As a solo practitioner, Longley has been prolific throughout his legal career in helping pass laws that benefit lawyers and their clients.

In 1973, Longley co-authored and nurtured the passage of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act, together with the private remedies sections of Article 21.21 (Now Chapter 541) of the Texas Insurance Code. Since then, he has co-authored Chapters 542 (prompt pay) and 544 (unfair discrimination) of the Insurance Code, the Texas Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, the Texas Home Solicitation Act, and landlord-tenant protections.

Longley has authored numerous seminar papers, taught insurance law at the University of Texas School of Law, and served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, the District 9 Grievance Committee, and as chair of the State Bar Consumer Law Section, now called the Consumer and Commercial Law Section. In 2011, he received the State Bar Insurance Law Section’s Insurance Legend Award.

Longley and his wife, Maggie, have three grown children and five grandchildren.

State Bar Board of Directors

In other results, the following individuals were elected to the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors:

Neil D. Kelly, Houston, District 4, Place 2; K. Nicole Voyles, Houston, District 4, Place 6; Jerry C. Alexander, Dallas, District 6, Place 3; David C. Kent, Dallas, District 6, Place 4; Leslie W. Dippel, Austin, District 9, Place 1; Robert E. McKnight, Jr., Victoria, District 11; Alison W. Colvin, Brownsville, District 12; Amie S. Peace, Denton, District 14; Aldo R. Lopez, El Paso, District 17.

There will be a runoff for the District 4, Place 4 seat. Cynthia Owens and Dinesh H. Singhal, both of Houston, were the top two vote-getters in that race. Voting begins May 11.

Texas Young Lawyers Association election

Sally Pretorius

In the Texas Young Lawyers Association election, Sally Pretorius of Dallas was elected president-elect and will serve as TYLA president from June 2018 to June 2019. Pretorius received 55.28 percent of the 5,009 votes cast; her opponent, Jenny Lee Smith of Austin, received 43.64 percent. Write-in candidates composed 1.08 percent of the votes cast.

Sally Pretorius is board certified in family law and is an associate at KoonsFuller in Dallas. She is the current vice president of the TYLA Board of Directors.

Pretorius previously served on the TYLA board’s Executive Committee as secretary 2015-2016. She earned the Director of the Year Award in 2014 and the First Year Director of the Year Award in 2013. She has led or participated in numerous TYLA service projects, including the Divorce Guide (for teenagers and children); Strength in Unity; Pregnancy and the Workplace; Educating Educators; A Lawyer’s Guide to Social Media; the Family Law Toolkit; and A Welcoming Home: Be a Foster Family. Pretorius also chaired the National Trial Competition and served on the Health and Fitness Initiative Committee. 

She is a member of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, the Junior League of Dallas, and the Dallas Museum of Art Junior Associates. She was listed in Super Lawyers 2014-2016.

Outside of the courtroom, Pretorius enjoys running, spinning, and spending time with her husband, Adam; miniature Dachshund; and rescue German Short Hair Pointer. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2009.

The following individuals were elected to the TYLA Board of Directors: 

Ricky Shelton, Hughes Springs, District 1; Matthew L. Harris, Lubbock, District 3; Lindsay Forbes Billups, Dallas, District 5, Place 1; Andy Jones, Dallas, District 5, Place 3; Joel T. Towner, Houston, District 6, Place 3; Arthur L. Bryan, II, Houston, District 6, Place 5; Rachel L. Grove, Beaumont, District 7; Susan F. Smith, Fort Worth, District 10, Place 1; Erin R. Clegg, Lewisville, District 11; Lauren Renee Sepulveda, Pharr, District 13; Sara Anne Giddings, San Angelo, District 15; Rebecca Patterson Linehan, Midland, District 17; J. Barrett Shipp, San Antonio, District 18, Place 1; Jonathan Garcia, Laredo, District 19; Jonathan Zendeh Del, Galveston, District 21

There will be runoffs for two TYLA director seats. In District 8, Place 1, Katherine “Katie” Fillmore and Meagan T. Harding, both of Austin, were the top two vote-getters. In District 9, Savannah Stroud of Killeen and Matthew L. Czimskey of Waco will advance to the runoff.

Detailed election results are available at

Media Note: High-resolution photos of the president-elect candidates are available upon request.

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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. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at, or visit

The Texas Young Lawyers Association, organized in 1930, is commonly referred to as the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas. TYLA’s primary purposes are to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All licensed Texas lawyers 36 years old or younger or in their first five years of practice, regardless of age, are automatically members of TYLA. For more information, visit


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