State Bar Director Spotlight
By Eric Quitugua
Hometown: Lake Jackson
Position: Attorney and mediator with the Tolchin Law Firm and 713 MEDIATOR and founder of "Texas Lawyers" Group
Board Member: District 5, from 2015 to 2018
FROM AN EARLY AGE
legal issues were a common topic at the dinner table. I so enjoyed these lively conversations with my father, an attorney, and with my brothers too. Through this, we learned to articulate our arguments from any which side. Around the time my father became a judge, all three of us became attorneys.
A DIRECTOR, I’M ESSENTIALLY A MEDIATOR
between the membership and the bar’s leadership. I listen to each and convey to the other. The goal is always to bring about mutual understanding.
ONE OF MY PASSIONS IS BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER,
whether that’s helping to advocate for everyone’s needs with the State Bar or bringing people together online to ensure that everyone has a voice. It brings me great personal satisfaction to help parties with emotionally charged, differing points of view find common ground, mutual understanding, and resolution.
THE MORE UNUSUAL AND DETAILED THE DISPUTE,
the more I enjoy it.
YOU HAVE TO PATIENTLY ENSURE EVERYONE IS HEARD
and also that everyone feels heard. Many times exploring concerns in a private caucus away from the other party can be effective at reducing tension. Maintaining confidentiality and only disclosing discrete facts or offers as authorized is essential.
EMOTION IS AT THE HEART OF MANY DISPUTES
people make decisions emotionally and then back these up with logic.
I SAW THERE WAS A BROAD CROSS SECTION OF THE BAR,
largely solo and small firm practitioners and rural attorneys, who did not feel heard or who felt unrepresented. It is my mission to help bridge the communication between the State Bar and all members, to ensure that everyone is heard.
IT’S BEEN A TEAM EFFORT, AND SOME BIG
reforming elections, bridging the communications with membership, and gaining the recognition of the online legal community. TBJ