News From Around The Bar
Talmage Boston receives State Bar of Texas
Litigation Section’s Luke Soules Award
The State Bar of Texas Litigation Section announced Dallas attorney Talmage Boston as the recipient of this year’s Luther “Luke” H. Soules III Award for Outstanding Service to the Practice of Law. The annual award is given to an attorney who embodies excellence in the practice of law, exemplary service to the bar, and has demonstrated outstanding professionalism and community impact throughout their career. Boston, a partner in the Dallas office of Shackelford Law, handles commercial litigation in both trials and appeals. During his 44-year career, he has successfully represented clients in state and federal court lawsuits and arbitrations involving oil and gas, real estate, banking, intellectual property, and partnership disputes. He is certified in both civil trial law and civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. An active bar volunteer, Boston serves on the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Directors and on the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors. He is a past chair of the State Bar of Texas Litigation Section, a former director of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, and a past chair of the Dallas Bar Foundation. Boston is the author of several books including Raising the Bar: The Crucial Role of the Lawyer in Society and Cross-Examining History: A Lawyer Gets Answers From the Experts About Our Presidents. Luther “Luke” Soules III was the first recipient of the award in 2008. Boston received the award on December 9 during the 39th annual Litigation Update Institute in Houston. As part of the award, a $1,500 honorarium is provided to a law-related charity of the recipient’s choice. Boston has chosen the Texas Bar Foundation for this year’s donation.
Texas Bar Foundation Funds Clearer Language
for Court Forms
A $10,000 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation will help Texas Appleseed develop a plain language packet for pro se defendants in debt collection lawsuits. The information will educate them about the court process, making it easier to participate in the lawsuit. Texas Appleseed will release a report with findings and final language recommendations for court forms in the first quarter of 2023. According to Texas Appleseed, a justice advocacy nonprofit, consumer debt claim cases in Texas have increased by 87% from 2017 to 2021 in justice courts, where the majority of such cases are filed. “Debt collection lawsuits are exploding in Texas, and the majority of judgments are default judgments,” said Ann Baddour, Texas Appleseed’s Fair Financial Services Project director. “People who lose those lawsuits can face aggressive collection actions, including losing all the money in their bank account. These high stakes make it essential to have a fair court process and provide debt defendants with access to information to help them better participate in the process.” Texas Appleseed, through funding from the Texas Bar Foundation, designed a study to implement recommendations from the Texas Judicial Council, which in 2020 adopted several resolutions aimed at improving access to justice for defendants in debt claim lawsuits. For more information about the Texas Bar Foundation, go to txbf.org. For more information about Texas Appleseed, go to texasappleseed.org.
Fifth Circuit Adopts Rule Change
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit adopted a change to its rules in November. The approved amendment is as follows:
FIFTH CIRCUIT RULE 47.5.4
47.5.4 Unpublished Opinions Issued on or After January 1, 1996. Unpublished opinions issued on or after January 1, 1996, are not precedent, except under the doctrine of res judicata, collateral estoppel or law of the case (or similarly to show double jeopardy, notice, sanctionable conduct, entitlement to attorney’s fees, or the like). An unpublished opinion may be cited pursuant to FED. R. APP. P. 32.1(a). The party citing to an unpublished judicial disposition should provide a citation to the disposition in a publicly accessible electronic database. If the disposition is not available in an electronic database, a copy of any unpublished opinion cited in any document being submitted to the court must be attached to each copy of the document, as required by FED. R. APP. P. 32.1(b). The amended rule, which went into effect November 28, 2022, was approved by the court following a public comment period that ended on October 21, 2022.
Texas Bar Foundation Awards $30,000 Grant
to Catholic Charities of Central Texas
Catholic Charities of Central Texas, or CCCTX, is expanding its Immigration Legal Services program with the aid of a $30,000 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation. The faith-based social services organization will provide pro bono legal representation to Afghan families resettling in Central Texas after the fall of the country’s government in August 2021. “CCCTX is urgently responding to this humanitarian crisis for the Afghan people,” Immigration Legal Services Director Justin Estep said in a press release. “This grant will help keep Afghan families together and put them on a path to a successful new life here in Central Texas.” Afghan nationals may qualify for immigration processes such as asylum, special immigrant visas, or temporary protected status. With the help of Texas Here to Stay and Refugee Services of Texas, CCCTX has provided legal services to more than 12 Afghan families consisting of at least 60 people. Additionally, CCCTX and Texas Here to Stay have hosted pro bono clinics to help refugees complete paperwork and receive other consultation. The clinics have helped more than 20 people with asylum and special immigrant visa paperwork. For more information about Catholic Charities of Central Texas, go to ccctx.org. For more information about the Texas Bar Foundation, go to txbf.org. TBJ