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Posted on: Jan 8, 2021

To all members of the Houston Bar Association:

The Houston Bar Association joins many state and local bar associations in condemning this week's violent assaults on our Capitol and efforts to upend the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another. As lawyers, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law, including the decisions of our courts. We have a special responsibility to ensure that what happened this week never happens again.

We are living in a time of great challenges in our nation. We face attacks on our governmental and political systems from division and chaos. We face a deadly pandemic that threatens our families, our economy, and our lives. The only way to effect meaningful change is for responsible Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, to stand up for our Constitution, our democracy, and our shared values.

As we celebrate 150 years as the Houston Bar Association, I hope we can come together as lawyers and renew our commitment to upholding our constitutional processes, to equal justice and equal rights under the law, and to healing our divided nation.

Bill Kroger Signature
Bill Kroger
President, Houston Bar Association

Posted on: Jan 5, 2021

The Houston Bar Association has launched its monthly online Houston Bar Bulletin to serve members with timely, interactive communication about events and activities, CLE, sections, networking, professional development, volunteer opportunities, and other member benefits.

You will receive an email each month giving you a direct link to the newsletter. The Houston Bar Bulletin also will be posted on the homepage of the HBA website, and you can read the newsletter on your desktop or mobile devices.

Click here or below to read the January 2021 issue.

 

 

You will be able to print the Houston Bar Bulletin on your office or home printer, if you prefer a paper copy.

To zoom in on a page in the electronic reader, click on the magnifying glass icon in the toolbar above the page, or double-click anywhere on the page and use the + and – buttons in the bottom left corner to adjust zoom.

Members will still receive the e-Bulletin every Monday; the CLE Update every Wednesday; the bimonthly print magazine, The Houston Lawyer; and special emails highlighting upcoming events or important information. The monthly online Houston Bar Bulletin will join that lineup to give you more in-depth information on HBA activities for the coming month, as well as photos and recaps of events.

If you have questions about the Houston Bar Bulletin, please contact Associate Executive Director Tara Shockley, taras@hba.org, or Web Manager Carly Wood, carlyw@hba.org, or call (713) 759-1133. The deadline to submit information for next month’s Bulletin is Friday, January 22.

Posted on: Dec 22, 2020

The latest issue of The Houston Lawyer celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Houston Bar Association and looks at legendary members of the legal profession who have shaped the bar association and the city.

Be sure to visit The Houston Lawyer committee webpage.

Physical copies of the magazine have been sent to HBA members. If you would like a subscription to the magazine, email Carly Wood at carlyw@hba.org.

 

Behind the Lines: The Houston Lawyer Podcast

Check out the latest episode of The Houston Lawyer's official podcast here! Download or stream via Buzzsprout.

 

HBA members can earn 1.5 hours of MCLE credit for listening to this episode. Click here.

Posted on: Dec 16, 2020

"During times of crisis, Houston lawyers have always stepped up," says HBA President Bill Kroger in a new video message to members on the crucial need for pro bono legal services in our city. Much of the economic impact of COVID-19 will be felt in 2021. Through Houston Volunteer Lawyers, you can make 2021 a year of recovery and lift up those who lost so much during the pandemic.

The greatest need of HVL's clients is pro bono representation in eviction and family law cases. Volunteers handling pro bono cases will be assigned an HVL staff attorney mentor who will help with developing case strategy and provide sample forms and templates. If you are interested in volunteering, please call (713) 275-0140 or email probono@hvlp.org.

Posted on: Dec 7, 2020

​Thank you again to all who donated to the 2020 Harvest Campaign, supporting the crucial work of Houston Volunteer Lawyers. We offer a special thanks to law firms that participated in the new Peer-to-Peer Giving Program by actively promoting the ability to donate any amount to the 2020 Harvest Campaign among attorneys and staff. We also appreciate the outstanding support of our judiciary for the Harvest Campaign.

Click here for the full list of 2020 Harvest Campaign donors.

The following firms participated in the Peer-to-Peer Giving program by actively promoting the ability to donate any amount to the 2020 Harvest Campaign:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Baker Botts L.L.P.
Beck Redden LLP
Blank Rome LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Gibbs & Bruns LLP
King & Spalding LLP

Twenty-five members of the judiciary donated to the 2020 Harvest Campaign:

Hon. Nancy Atlas
Hon. Jane Bland
Hon. Christina Bryan
Hon. Rabeea Sultan Collier
Hon. Jason Cox
Hon. Julie Countiss
Hon. Jennifer Walker Elrod
Hon. Mike Engelhart
Hon. Tanya Garrison
Hon. Mike Gomez
Hon. Kristen Hawkins
Hon. James Horwitz
Hon. Rebeca Huddle
Hon. David Medina
Hon. Beau A. Miller
Hon. Margaret Mirabal
Hon. Daryl L. Moore
Hon. Fredericka Phillips
Hon. Ravi K. Sandill
Hon. Robert Schaffer
Hon. Chuck Silverman
Hon. Charles Spain
Hon. Barbara Stalder
Hon. Clinton Chip Wells
Hon. Ken Wise

Posted on: Nov 12, 2020

Do you live in Texas and can't afford your rent? The Stop TX Eviction Portal can help you.

Stop TX Eviction is a collaboration between the three main legal aid providers in Texas (Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Lone Star Legal Aid, and Legal Aid of Northwest Texas) and the state legal aid support center, Texas Legal Services Center, with generous funding from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.

The portal provides a toolkit can help you understand your rights, the typical eviction process, and what steps you should take to protect yourself. All of the information and resources are available for free.

Go to hba.org/eviction for more eviction resources on the Houston Bar Association website.

Posted on: Oct 6, 2020

The Houston Bar Association (HBA) today released the results of its 2020 Judicial Preference Poll. The results are posted at hba.org/poll.

The Judicial Preference Poll is not an endorsement by the Houston Bar Association.*

In each election year, the HBA asks its members to indicate their preferences in contested judicial races and some administrative races. The 2020 Judicial Preference Poll includes Democratic, Libertarian and Republican candidates in contested races for the Supreme Court of Texas, the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Houston Courts of Appeals, Harris County District Courts, Harris County Courts at Law, Justice of the Peace Courts, Harris County District Attorney, Harris County Attorney, and Harris County Clerk. The poll was conducted through online voting, with 1,645 ballots cast, representing a return rate of 20 percent of eligible HBA voters.

“A record turnout is expected for the election, with many citizens voting for the first time.” said HBA President Bill Kroger.  “We hope the poll results will be one tool that Harris County voters can consider when making an informed choice on judicial candidates.”

Believing that an informed electorate is vital to the efficient administration of justice, the Houston Bar Association has conducted judicial polls since the early 1970s.

 

* The Judicial Preference Poll is not an endorsement by the Houston Bar Association and any use of the information contained in this poll, including publication or advertising, must reflect that the poll is not an endorsement by the Houston Bar Association.

Posted on: Sep 22, 2020

Election Day is November 3. Here is how you can get involved.

Law Day 2020 Theme logoStep 1: Register to vote by October 5.

Step 2: Volunteer as a deputy voter registrar to help others vote.

In observation of this year's theme - Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy - the HBA Law Week Committee would like to encourage all HBA members not only to register to vote, but also to volunteer as a deputy voter registrar to help our fellow Houstonians register to vote.

Eligibility requirements to serve as a deputy voter registrar and details about upcoming training sessions are available from the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office at hctax.net/voter/deputy.

HBA Law Week Committee logoStep 3: Register for the HBA Election Law CLE Webinar.

The Law Week Committee and Harris County Attorney's Office are partnering to bring you a special webinar on Thursday, October 1, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Special Assistant County Attorney Douglas Ray (Office of Vince Ryan, Harris County Attorney) will provide an overview of legal issues that affect voters in Harris County. Topics will include voter registration, voters’ rights at the polls, and issues affecting early voting and voting by mail.

Free to everyone. Accredited for 1 hour MCLE, including .25 hour ethics. Click here to RSVP.

Step 4: Become a poll worker to help ensure a safe, fair election for all.

The HBA is asking members to help alleviate the poll worker shortage in Harris County. Between early voting October 13 - 30 and Election Day on November 3, the county needs a workforce of 8,000 to 12,000. Lawyers and law students have the analytical skills and attention to detail that make us good candidates.

Click here for the poll worker application. On the application question that asks how you heard about the need for poll workers, please check “Other” and write in the Houston Bar Association, so we will be able to identify our members who are assisting with this important work.

Poll workers are paid for their time. Learn more about poll worker opportunities in this video with HBA President Bill Kroger, HYLA President Krisina Zuñiga, and Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins.

Posted on: Sep 21, 2020

Statement by HBA/HBF/HBA Gender Fairness Committee on the Passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Share Your Reflections and Recollections

A head shot of Justice GinsburgWe honor the life and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was one of the finest lawyers of our times — as a leading scholar, lawyer, and jurist. She accomplished as much as any person of her era to advocate for and expand the legal rights of millions of Americans, especially in the areas of employment and education.

Justice Ginsburg's impact spans generations. She began her legal career at a time when few women were admitted to law school or worked at law firms. She blazed multiple trails through those challenges — in academia, as an advocate in court, and ultimately with her appointments to the D.C. Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. There, she authored many landmark decisions. Her relationship with Justice Antonin Scalia showed Americans the meaning and importance of true friendship, especially when friends hold profoundly different views.

As a loving wife, mother, and grandmother to her family throughout the course of her remarkable professional career, she was a pioneer of “work life balance” as a means towards gender equality. She was a role model for everyone, regardless of gender, who strives for success in both work and family. Her life teaches us how a good life is lived.

We welcome your reflections and recollections on Justice Ginsburg. Please email Tara Shockley at taras@hba.org and we will post thoughts on the HBA website, as well as share on social media.

May her legacy as a fierce champion of justice and fairness for all inspire us always.

Houston Bar Association
Bill Kroger, President

Houston Bar Foundation
Susan L. Bickley, Chair

HBA Gender Fairness Committee


For me, Justice Ginsburg represented what women are capable of when given a chance. I know we say, “strong women - may we know them, raise them, and be them,” but let’s:

  • Value them
  • Reward them
  • Honor them
  • Hire them
  • Promote them to executive positions
  • Make them partners at law firms
  • Listen to them
  • Elect them to offices
  • Not interrupt them while speaking
  • Take them seriously
  • Not question their abilities
  • Appoint them to offices and to the SCOTUS

—Marissa Marquez, 2019-2020 HBA Gender Fairness Committee Co-chair

 

I met RBG in late 1996/early 1997. I was in Washington DC to see my mother who was living there at that time. And, to attend a small St Mary’s University Law School reception honoring RBG. The Dean from the law school was in attendance. Some of my former law professors were in attendance. Law school donors were in attendance. There were maybe 50 people at the reception. It was a very special occasion, and the reception was formal. The food for the reception was intentionally San Antonio style - queso, chips, fajitas, guacamole. Mom was my +1 for the reception. To my horror, she double-dipped the queso. She got back into me loudly when I scolded her under my breath. I turned bright red. That was Mom. Later, standing close to RBG - she was so very tiny — I noticed she seemed aloof, and totally uninterested in questions she was being asked by her admirers .. about the law, the court, court decisions. She turned ever so slightly in my general direction and I made my move. I couldn’t think of an intelligent question. So, I simply asked how she was doing after being mugged while out walking in D.C. To my astonishment, she spun around, faced me directly and started to tell me all about her mugging. She didn’t want to talk about her work. She wanted to talk that night about life. When she stopped, I stood there frozen. I froze. The crowd quickly engulfed her again and she was gone. But in that moment, it was just me & RBG. Mom never ever stopped double-dipping queso.

—Teresa J. Waldrop, Law Offices of Teresa J. Waldrop, P.C.

 

Photo of Justice Ginsburg memorial in front of SCOTUSPhoto of a dog in a lace collar in front of the Justice Ginsburg memorial
Flowers and messages in chalk for Justice Ginsburg
A memorial for Justice Ginsburg in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building. Photos by Beth Malks, Sarah Malks, and Margaret Wohler, courtesy of Susan Bickley.

Posted on: Aug 3, 2020

As the moratorium on evictions under the CARES Act has expired, we would like you to know what the Houston Bar Association is doing to help those in our community who are in danger of losing their homes.

Our Houston Volunteer Lawyers is part of a collaboration including Lone Star Legal Aid, South Texas College of Law, the University of Houston Law Center and the Thurgood Marshall School of Law that is coordinating efforts to provide legal advice and representation to low-income people facing eviction. In August, the group will kick off a pilot project with the Justice Courts from Precinct 2 and Precinct 7. In its eviction notices, the courts will include a phone number for the Harris County Pilot Eviction Project, where people can have their case reviewed by one of the legal service providers.

The Dispute Resolution Center also will assist with evictions in cases appropriate for mediation, and the Houston Lawyer Referral Service is available as a resource for those seeking to hire an attorney.

HVL is recruiting volunteers to handle eviction cases and will provide training and mentoring. If you are one of the attorneys who has already volunteered to help, thank you. If you would like to volunteer, please email evictionvolunteer@hvlp.org.

We have gathered resources for the public and attorneys on our new Evictions webpage, hba.org/evictions. Please feel free to share this information with your colleagues and anyone you know who could benefit from these services, and please share the link on your social media.


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