TYLA PRESIDENT’S PAGE
A New Year Filled With New Resources to Help Lawyers and the Public
Happy New Year and welcome to 2021! Now that the holiday decorations are coming down, the vacations are ending, and hopefully we’ve all eaten our black-eyed peas, it is time to get back to business. It is hard to believe we are now over halfway through the 2020-2021 bar year.
With the start of the new year, the Texas Young Lawyers Association is continuing to produce new resources to assist lawyers and the public. For the litigators out there (especially all of you newly licensed attorneys), TYLA is excited to provide the Evidence Guide and Predicates Guide series. The first group of guides serves as a quick reference for common evidentiary issues in state court trials. Free materials will be available online in PDF and Word format. You can easily print a copy for your trial notebook or copy and paste a particular section directly into your trial outline. The next set of guides focuses on the federal rules of evidence and depositions.
Additionally, by presidential proclamation, January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Unfortunately, Texas is the second highest state in the nation for human trafficking. During this pandemic, criminals continue to prey on vulnerable populations and get creative with targeting potential victims. Even with global lockdowns, traffickers are not deterred. Many have moved their focus to local areas and increased online victimization. TYLA is currently updating our Slavery Out of the Shadows: Spotlight on Human Trafficking program.
Slavery Out of the Shadows seeks to build awareness of human trafficking, a global epidemic affecting the lives of tens of thousands of victims within our own borders. This year TYLA Director Julia Rubio, of Laredo, took the lead on updating our resources to include a guide for educators. We are also creating flyers that will be disseminated to businesses that are frequently targeted by traffickers.
Another project on the horizon is The Consequences of Vaping: The Physical and Legal Effects of Underage Vaping and Possession. TYLA aims to develop a multimedia project to educate communities regarding the dangerous health effects associated with prolonged vaping and the other negative consequences of using e-cigarettes, including criminal charges and school disciplinary actions. We plan to provide resources for schools and parents on recognizing the warning signs and recommendations on how to talk to teens about the health and legal ramifications associated with underage vaping.
Finally, we are putting the final touches on our Expunction Clinic in a Box materials, Seal or Clear: A Guide to Expunctions and Orders of Nondisclosure in Texas. This resource will be made available on our website and can be used by individuals or local affiliates wanting to provide pro bono clinics to the public.
Overall, even in this first month of the year, our board is delivering resource after resource. We are looking forward to sharing these with you in the coming months. Here’s hoping 2021 will bring everyone joy, prosperity, and an effective COVID-19 vaccine. Happy New Year!