News From Around The Bar
May 2022


Charles A. Beckham Jr. Elected President of the American College of Bankruptcy

Charles A. Beckham Jr., a partner in Haynes and Boone in Houston, has been elected president of the American College of Bankruptcy. Beckham, who will serve a two-year term as president, will assume the role of principal operating officer of the college and will also lead and participate in numerous college programs and activities around the country. During more than 20 years of affiliation with the college, Beckham has held positions as a fellow, 5th Circuit regent, and chair of the college’s board of regents. “We are excited for Charlie as he begins his tenure as the president of the American College of Bankruptcy,” said Frasher Murphy, a partner in Haynes and Boone and chair of the firm’s restructuring practice group, in a press release. “Charlie’s career has been defined by excellent service and dedication to his clients, colleagues, and the bankruptcy bar at large.” The American College of Bankruptcy is dedicated to the enhancement of professionalism, scholarship, and service in bankruptcy and insolvency law practice. Beckham is a former chair of the State Bar of Texas Bankruptcy Law Section and a former president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. He is a former member of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. Beckham serves on the Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee for the University of Texas System. In 2010, he was named the Distinguished Law Graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law.



Houston Bar Foundation Inducts New Chair and Recognizes Recipient of the James B. Sales Pro Bono Leadership Award

Christian A. Garza, senior counsel to Enterprise Products, took office as chair of the Houston Bar Foundation, or HBF, on February 15 at the foundation’s annual meeting and luncheon at the Corinthian Houston. Garza succeeds Polly Fohn of Haynes and Boone. The HBF provides grants to support pro bono civil legal services for low-income Texans through the Houston Volunteer Lawyers and other programs. “I am so honored and privileged to serve such an incredible organization,” Garza said in a press release. “I look forward to working with our board, the Houston Bar Association, Houston Volunteer Lawyers, and our community partners to build on the success Polly and her board have built upon in the past year.” Prior to his 15-year career as in-house counsel, Garza practiced at the international law firm of King & Spalding in Houston. At the luncheon, Bill Kroger, a partner in Baker Botts, received the James B. Sales Pro Bono Leadership Award, the foundation’s highest honor. Kroger is the immediate past president of the Houston Bar Association, a former chair of the Houston Bar Foundation, and a sustaining life fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation. “Bill was instrumental in not only guiding the HBA and its members to help the greater Houston community weather the pandemic, but also ensured support for pro bono activities through its charitable arm, the Houston Bar Foundation,” said Susan L. Bickley, who served as chair of the HBF while Kroger served as president of the Houston Bar Association, in a press release. The foundation established the James B. Sales Pro Bono Leadership Award to recognize excellence in community service, which has been the hallmark of the foundation’s leadership.



TexasBarCLE Honors Five Outstanding Volunteers

Five attorneys were recognized for their exceptional contributions in 2021 to the State Bar of Texas’ continuing legal education efforts. TexasBarCLE presented Standing Ovation Awards to Erica Grigg, of Austin; Administrative Judge Amber Morgan, of Hewitt; Jacob G. Straub, of West; Dena Stroh, of Plano; and Christine Wakeman, of Dallas. “All of our volunteers deserve our gratitude for contributing to the continuing education of their peers,” said TexasBarCLE Director Hedy Bower in a press release. “Nevertheless, some stand out each year for extraordinary dedication and commitment. The staff looks forward to singling out individuals that not only gave enormously to our efforts, but also were gracious, easy to work with, and—oftentimes—helped us out in a real pinch. Without volunteers, CLE from the State Bar couldn’t be nearly as high quality, as abundant, or as affordable.”



Texas Access to Justice Foundation Receives $20 million Grant for Housing-related Legal Services

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TAJF, one of the state’s largest funding sources for civil legal aid, has received a $20 million grant from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, or TDHCA, for housing-related legal services. “We are so grateful to receive this critical funding from TDHCA to help Texans dealing with housing insecurity that was exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Deborah Hankinson, TAJF chair and a retired Texas Supreme Court justice, in a press release. The funds are provided by the U.S. Treasury Department through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2021. For more information on the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, go to tajf.org.



Call for Nominations for 2022 Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award

The Texas Center for Legal Ethics is accepting nominations for the 14th annual Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award. The award is presented annually to an appellate lawyer or appellate judge who epitomizes the highest level of professionalism and integrity. The award honors one of the center’s three founders, former Chief Justice Jack Pope, who was the recipient of the inaugural award in 2009. Both active and retired lawyers and judges are eligible. The award will be presented at the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Hemphill Dinner in September 2022. Nominations should include a one-page explanation of the nominee’s qualifications as well as a bio or CV. The deadline for nominations is May 31, 2022. You can submit nominations by email to jonathan.smaby@texasbar.com; via fax to 512-427-4125; or via mail to Texas Center for Legal Ethics, 1414 Colorado, 4th Floor, Austin, Texas, 78701.



Call for Texas Appellate Hall of Fame Nominations

The State Bar of Texas Appellate Section is accepting nominations for this year’s Texas Appellate Hall of Fame class. The Hall of Fame posthumously honors advocates and judges who made a lasting mark on appellate practice in Texas. New Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a luncheon ceremony held by the Appellate Section during the State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice course on September 7. Nominations should be submitted in writing to halloffametx@outlook.com no later than May 30 and should include the nominator’s contact information, the nominee’s biography or resume, the nominee’s photo if available, and reasons for the nomination, including the nominee’s unique contributions to the practice of appellate law in Texas.TBJ

 

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