SBOT president Liberato launches web portal Lynne Liberato

During her year as State Bar president, Houston attorney Lynne Liberato sought to reach out to members via technology by launching MyTexasBar, a web portal for news, research, and resources. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Spivey serves as SBOT president Broadus Spivey

Austin attorney Broadus Spivey served as State Bar president in 2001-2002. As president, Spivey focused on the middle school mediation project Mediators Achieving Peace, the implementation and development of the newly created Texas Access to Justice Commission, and the continuation of the web portal MyTexasBar. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Bankruptcy Law Section formed


Harrison elected president of State Bar Guy Harrison

Longview attorney Guy Harrison served as State Bar president in 2002-2003. As president, Harrison helped lead the State Bar through a successful sunset review and worked to publicize programs such as the Client-Attorney Assistance Program and Law-Related Education, along with the work of the Texas Access to Justice Commission. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


SBOT undergoes successful sunset review


Whitaker serves as SBOT president Betsy Whitaker

Dallas solo practitioner Betsy Whitaker served as State Bar president in 2003-2004. As president, Whitaker focused on helping the State Bar make more tools and information available online through TexasBar.com to benefit attorneys and the public. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Michelle Hunter named SBOT interim director


Frels leads State Bar as president Kelly 


Houston attorney Kelly Frels served as State Bar president in 2004-2005. As president, Frels worked to improve the processes and institutions that facilitate the State Bar’s efforts on behalf of both lawyers and the public. He also focused on improving the bar’s infrastructure through technology. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


John P. Edwards named executive director 

Poverty Law Section formed


Rodriguez serves as SBOT president Eduardo R. Rodriguez

Brownsville attorney Eduardo R. Rodriguez served as State Bar president in 2005-2006. As president, Rodriguez helped organize the Future of the Practice of Law symposiums, providing law students and lawyers with tools to help them manage their careers. He also introduced the “Pipeline Project,” adapted from an ABA program, that matches lawyers with fourth-grade classes throughout the state in an effort to give students a role model and keep students in school. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Dickie elected president, draws attention to mental illness among attorneys Martha S. Dickie

As State Bar president in 2006-2007, Austin attorney Martha S. Dickie helped draw attention to the issue of depression and other mental illnesses that can affect lawyers through the video “Practicing from the Shadows.” (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Workers’ Compensation Section formed


Walton serves as SBOT president Gib 

Houston attorney Gib Walton served as State Bar president in 2007-2008. Walton’s initiatives as State Bar president included public education, building diversity in the profession, emphasizing the importance of helping lawyers with depression and mental health issues, and increasing support for legal services to the poor. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Immigration and Nationality Law Section formed

July 22—State Bar of Texas joins Facebook On this day, the State Bar of Texas joined Facebook and published its first post, a call for entries for the 2008 YouTube contest “Ideals That Unite Us.”

Oct. 6—Hunter picked as executive director

On this day, the State Bar announced Michelle Hunter as the new executive director to replace the retiring John P. Edwards. Hunter assumed the position after serving as the bar’s deputy executive director. She previously served as the State Bar’s finance division director, information manager, and corporate counsel. Prior to her service with the State Bar of Texas, Hunter was in the private practice of law, served as an assistant attorney general, and was legal counsel for the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.


Estes serves as State Bar president, launches LeadershipSBOT Harper Estes

On June 27, 2008, Harper Estes of Midland was sworn in as State Bar president during the Annual Meeting in Houston. As part of his presidential year, Estes helped launch LeadershipSBOT, a program designed to increase diverse leadership participation within the legal community through the nomination of lawyers who possess both the desire and the potential to assume leadership roles in their communities and the State Bar of Texas. Central to the program’s mission is ensuring that participant demographics represent the diversity of the State of Texas — culturally, ethnically, geographically, and in practice area. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


June 26—Historian talks Lincoln, leadership at SBOT annual meeting Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the author of “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” discussed Lincoln’s leadership and influence during the 2009 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting General Session Luncheon.

July 29—SBOT sends first tweet The first tweet from the official State Bar of Texas Twitter account was posted on this day. The tweet advertised the Dallas Bar Association Law Jam 2, a benefit concert by lawyer musicians.


Johnson leads State Bar as president Roland Johnson

Fort Worth attorney Roland K. Johnson, a managing shareholder with the Fort Worth firm of Harris, Finley & Bogle, served as State Bar president in 2009-2010. Johnson initiated the After the Bar Exam project, which provides information and resources to future bar members during the three-month gap between when they take the bar exam and when they become licensed. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Collaborative Law Section formed

Nov. 11—Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans provides 20 pro bono legal clinics < Lawyers throughout Texas stepped up to serve veterans and their families through more than 20 pro bono legal clinics within a week of Veterans Day. The clinics were organized through Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans, a major initiative of then-State Bar President Terry Tottenham. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Tottenham serves as president, focuses on legal services for veterans Terry Tottenham

On June 11, 2010, Austin attorney Terry Tottenham was sworn in as State Bar president during the Annual Meeting in Fort Worth. As president, Tottenham created the successful pro bono initiative Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans (texasbar.com/TLTV) to assist low-income veterans and their families in obtaining access to legal advice and services. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Sept. 26—State Bar, Supreme Court of Texas focus on records preservation On this day, former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III spoke at the Texas Law Center after a Supreme Court of Texas hearing on the preservation of court records. Baker spoke on the importance of history and preservation of historic records. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Black serves as State Bar president Bob 

Beaumont attorney Bob Black, a managing shareholder of MehaffyWeber, was sworn in as president of the State Bar of Texas at the Annual Meeting in San Antonio on June 24, 2011. As part of Black’s public education initiative, the State Bar Law-Related Education Department developed the online resource Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! Civics Resources for Texas Students and Teachers, an interactive web-based project to help Texas teachers and students prepare for new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards in social studies. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Files focuses on professionalism, ethics during presidency On June 15, 2012, Tyler attorney Buck Files was sworn in as president of the State Bar of Texas at the Annual Meeting in Houston. As president, Files traveled extensively in an effort to inspire lawyers and judges to work together to strengthen the legal profession. Files, a 50-year lawyer who has been a prosecutor or defense attorney his entire career, also worked to advance the importance of civility and professionalism and was instrumental in getting the Supreme Court of Texas and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to reaffirm the Texas Lawyer’s Creed. (Source: State Bar of Texas)


Petition candidate makes presidential ballot Rockport attorney Steve Fischer was approved as a petition candidate for president-elect in February after submitting 5,166 eligible signatures from State Bar members. Fischer was not the first candidate to successfully petition the membership, having been preceded by Tom Sharpe in 1986.

April 30—Runoff announced in president-elect race On this day, State Bar of Texas officials announced that Trey Apffel of League City and Steve Fischer of Rockport would face one another in a May 9-23 runoff election for president-elect after no candidate received a majority of votes in a three-person race. Rebekah Steely Brooker was named president-elect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. (Source: State Bar of Texas)

May 23—Apffel elected SBOT president in runoff On this day, State Bar of Texas officials announced that Trey Apffel of League City defeated Steve Fischer of Rockport in a runoff election to become the next president-elect. (Source: State Bar of Texas)

June 19, 2013—Justice Alito, in town for Annual Meeting, throws first pitch at Rangers game On this day, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito threw the ceremonial first pitch at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and watched the game with then-Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson. Alito was in the Dallas area to speak at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting.

June 21—Tatum sworn in as first African American SBOT president San Antonio attorney Lisa M. Tatum made history on this day when she became the first African American president of the State Bar of Texas. As president, she has focused on two main projects: the civics education curriculum I was the first. Vote for Me! and the Care Campaign, which seeks to support and empower attorneys to provide pro bono services to low-income Texans.

Nov. 1—SBOT launches private insurance exchange Individual enrollment began on this day for the Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange, a multi-carrier private exchange designed for State Bar of Texas members and their staff and dependents. (Source: State Bar of Texas)

Nov. 18—SBOT announces move to Prime Partner bank On this day, the State Bar of Texas announced it was moving its accounts to a Prime Partner bank to show support for the Texas IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts) Prime Partner program of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. Prime Partner banks voluntarily pay higher interest rates on IOLTA accounts, helping close the gap in legal services funding. (Source: State Bar of Texas, Texas Access to Justice Foundation)

1868-1970 | 1970-2000

Online Resources

* 2000-01—Lynne Liberato
* 2001-02—Broadus Spivey
* 2002-03—Guy Harrison
* 2003-04—Betsy Whitaker
* 2004-05—Kelly Frels
* 2005-06—Eduardo R. Rodriguez
* 2006-07—Martha S. Dickie
* 2007-08—Gib Walton
* 2008—LeadershipSBOT
* 2008-09—Harper Estes
* 2009-10—Roland Johnson
* April 20, 2010—Bob Black
* June 11, 2010—Terry Tottenham
* July 23, 2010—Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans (TLTV)
* Nov. 11, 2010—TLTV provides 20 pro bono legal clinics
* May 2, 2011—Buck Files
* June 24, 2011—Bob Black
* Aug. 24, 2011—Ronald E. Bunch
* May 1, 2012—Lisa M. Tatum
* June 15, 2012—Buck Files
* April 30, 2013—Election runoff
* May 23, 2013—Trey Apffel
* Nov. 18, 2013—Prime Partner bank

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