News From Around The Bar

Three Texas judges and one lawyer perform at ABA Hispanic Commission’s Cinco de Música

Three Texas judges and a Texas lawyer performed songs as part of the American Bar Association Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities’ Cinco de Música on May 5. U.S. Magistrate Judge Miguel A. Torres, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, and El Paso lawyer Karen Dykes performed one song. Another was performed by Judge Nicole Garza, of the 37th Civil District Court in Bexar County, and Judge Antonia “Toni” Arteaga, of the 57th Civil District Court in Bexar County, as part of the band Loitering at the PET (PET is short for the Paul Elizondo Tower, or the Bexar County Justice Center). The nationwide musical celebration raised awareness and support for the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, which is chaired by Betty Balli Torres, the executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. Grammy Award winner Emilio Estefan was the honorary chair of the event, which showcased five performances from lawyers and judges from across the nation.

TLAP debuts new, free CLE targeting depression and suicide among lawyers

The Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program has created a one-hour video and educational program that seeks to educate the legal community about the signs that someone may be suffering from depression and vulnerable to suicide. Lawyers can earn one hour of free ethics continuing legal education credit for watching the film Just Ask: How We Must Stop Minding Our Own Business in the Legal World. It can be viewed by selecting the “Free Online Classes” link at It can also be found along with other resources on TLAP’s website, TLAP hopes the film helps legal professionals understand when they or their colleagues might be suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. The film includes personal stories from lawyers on how suicide and depression touched their lives and provides concrete ways to help colleagues or loved ones who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts. “There is no issue more important to TLAP or the State Bar of Texas than preventing suicides among our colleagues in the legal profession,” TLAP Director Chris Ritter said. “We hope this program can help educate legal professionals about this critical issue.” The film and accompanying educational project was made possible by a $54,000 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation. The Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program provides confidential help for lawyers, law students, and judges who have substance use and/or mental health concerns. Call or text 800-343-TLAP (8527) to get help.

St. Mary’s University hosts 27th annual People’s Law School online for Law Day

St. Mary’s University hosted its first virtual People’s Law School via Zoom on May 1. On Law Day, St. Mary’s University School of Law’s Pro Bono Program and the San Antonio Bar Foundation offered a variety of presentations on topics from tenants’ rights to immigration law. Speakers focused on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Winter Storm Uri on residents’ lives. For more information on the People’s Law School, go to

State Bar awarded grant to help educate students, public about jury service

The Texas Bar Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant to the State Bar of Texas Law-Related Education Department and Law Focused Education, Inc. to fund their newest project: Jury Service: Your Call of Duty. The project is designed to educate students and the public about the role of jury service in our democracy and will debut in spring 2022. The project will be located on the Texas Law-Related Education website——and will be accessible in English and Spanish. Jury Service: Your Call of Duty is a project of the State Bar of Texas Law Focused Education and Jury Service committees. “LFEI thanks the Texas Bar Foundation for this grant,” Daniel Hu, president of Law Focused Education, Inc., said. “Jury service is one of our most important civic duties and ensures a fair and just resolution of criminal cases and civil disputes. These materials will help ensure we have informed, educated jurors.”

Tarrant County Bar hosts discussion on diversity and inclusion programs

The Tarrant County Bar Association Diversity Committee hosted a discussion titled “Is Your Diversity & Inclusion Program Falling Short?” on April 29. Guest speakers Kenya Woodruff, a partner in and deputy general counsel to Katten Muchin Rosenman, and Brian Newby, managing partner in Cantey Hanger, led a discussion on measuring the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion in addressing racism and creating more equitable workplaces. Barriers to diversity and inclusion programs were discussed. The panel also explored affirmative action and other minority recruitment and promotion efforts in the profession and in education. The program is part of the Tarrant County Bar’s SIDE (Striving for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity inside the Bar) Bar Conversations series and was co-hosted by the L. Clifford Davis Legal Association and Black Women Lawyers Association. For more information, go to


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