News From Around The Bar

Jane Bland sworn in to Texas Supreme Court

The Texas Supreme Court welcomed Jane Bland to the bench in a ceremony September 11 at its chambers in Austin. Administering the oath was Gov. Greg Abbott, who appointed Bland to the Supreme Court, describing her previous work in the judiciary as “extraordinary.” Her experience includes 15 years as a judge on the 1st Court of Appeals in Houston, as well as once delivering a tiebreaking majority opinion for the Texas Supreme Court after being appointed to hear a single case due to a justice’s recusal. Bland takes over the seat left vacant by Jeff Brown, who after six years on the court took the oath of office as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Above: Jane Bland was sworn in as a justice of the Texas Supreme Court by Gov. Greg Abbott at a ceremony on September 11. Photo by Eric Quitugua.

State Bar of Texas Past President Allan K. DuBois Honored

San Antonio attorney and State Bar of Texas Past President Allan K. DuBois will receive the inaugural Community Champion Award from the San Antonio Council on Alcohol & Drug Awareness, or SACADA, on October 31. DuBois will receive the award during the council’s Red Ribbon Luncheon—which coincides with Red Ribbon Week, a nationwide drug awareness and prevention campaign—at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. The award recognizes DuBois for his work with SACADA and as a member and officer of its board of directors. DuBois is credited with helping expand the impact of community programs and outreach in his two decades with the council. As a nonprofit organization, SACADA focuses on educating communities on preventing the use, abuse, and addiction to alcohol and other drugs. For more information, go to

Texas Supreme Court Clerk Blake Hawthorne Receives Award

Blake Hawthorne, clerk of the court for the Texas Supreme Court, will be honored with the Kathleen McCree Lewis Award for Appellate Justice by the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers in April 2020. Hawthorne is being recognized by the group for his trailblazing work in transforming court records to electronic format, said Houston lawyer Kevin Dubose, treasurer of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, in a press release. “We have known for years that Blake’s significant contributions to streamlining the Texas Supreme Court’s records have significantly benefited not only lawyers but the public,” said Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht in a press release. “But this award confirms the national reach of what he has done.” The last recipient of the periodic award, given in 2016, was retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

John Grisham Keynotes Texas Access to Justice Foundation 35th Anniversary Dinner

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation celebrates 35 years with a dinner featuring keynote speaker John Grisham, an attorney and bestselling author known for his compelling legal thrillers. Founded in 1984 by the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Access to Justice Foundation administers funding for civil legal aid for indigent Texans. Since its inception, the foundation has granted nearly $770 million to legal aid organizations across Texas, helping more than 150,000 Texans each year attain access to justice. The dinner will be held October 25 at the Fairmont Austin. For sponsorship and ticket information, go to

Skip Watson Named 2019 Pope Award Winner

The Texas Center for Legal Ethics announced Charles “Skip” Watson, of Austin, as the recipient of the 2019 Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award. The Pope Award is given annually to a judge or attorney who personifies the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in appellate law. Watson is an appellate attorney with Greenberg Traurig in Austin. He is an American Academy of Appellate Lawyers fellow, chaired the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section committee that drafted the Texas Standards of Appellate Conduct, and also serves on the Supreme Court of Texas Rules Advisory Committee. Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht presented the Pope Award to Watson on September 6, 2019, at the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Dinner in Austin. For more information about the Texas Center for Legal Ethics, go to

State Bar Offers Guidance on New Attorney TV Advertising Law

SB 1189, regarding television advertising, took effect September 1, 2019, in Texas. Based on clear legislative intent, the State Bar of Texas Advertising Review Department considers Section 81.151 to apply only to television advertisements for legal services regarding medications or medical devices. The department has prepared a “frequently asked questions” document to offer additional guidance to attorneys on the new law. To read the FAQs, go to


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