FIDUCIARY DUTIES OF A TRUSTEE
Trustee Liability: Do We Accept the Responsibility or Will We Live to Regret It?
Our February meeting is a joint meeting with the Solo- Small Firm section of the Austin Bar Association. The meeting will be on the fourth Thursday (February 28th), instead of our usual third Wednesday, and will be held in the large meeting room at the Austin Bar Association located at 816 Congress Ave., Suite 700.
Jessica Warren, TCWLA Treasurer, will make an hour long presentation on the liability a lawyer assumes as a trustee. Jessica is Vice President and Trust Officer of US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. She is responsible for the administration of trust accounts and investment management accounts for which the bank has fiduciary responsibility.
The program will cover the general duties of trustees and five specific duties to invest, inform beneficiaries, enforce and defend claims, confidentiality, and to administer the trust. Jessica will have words of advice concerning the administration of IOLTA and other client fund accounts held by attorneys. This program has been approved for 1.0 hours of participatory Ethics CLE credit by the State Bar of Texas.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
My husband Jamal has been a coach for the undergraduate mock trial team at the University of Texas for many years. He’s a wonderful teacher and gets as much back from the students as he gives to them. As a result of his involvement, we have an unusually high number of young Generation Y-ers in our lives, many of whom are applying to law school. So this past month, we’ve both been doing the rounds of writing letters of recommendation and reviewing personal statements for law school applications. Some things have changed about applying to law school since I went through the process over a decade ago: the process is a lot more high-tech and centralized, and it’s even more competitive now. What hasn’t changed is that most young people applying to law school are bright, full of enthusiasm, and looking for someone to give them the tools to make a difference in our society.
I vaguely remember writing my own personal statement for law school applications (the thought of reading it now makes me shudder – what little I remember makes me cringe at the cheesiness of it now.) I know it ended with some kind of plea to admit me to law school to give me the tools to make a difference in the world. This morning, I was meeting with a young prospective law student with a similar ending to his own personal statement, the gist of which was his desire to return to his hometown and work as a public defender in a system that isn’t meeting the needs of the people there. As I was talking him through tweaking the statement, I realized that he doesn’t know yet what Iknow. Thatgettingalegaleducationnotonlyopensthedoorforyouprofessionallytoaparticularcareerpath;it puts you in a network of incredible resources and incredible people. If I have a particular cause that I’m interested in supporting, it takes only a few emails or a few phone calls and I have any number of lawyers lined up to financially contributetoaworthycause. Orifafriendorfamilymemberisgoingthroughatoughsituationandneedshelp,afew calls and I have the right expert ready and willing to help them. Law school will not only make that student a lawyer, it will expose him to a new world of resources that will enable him to repair what’s broken in the system.
We are part of a legal community that is always working together to try to make this world a better place. We lawyers are always coming up with community service projects, leading nonprofits, and energizing people into communityaction. Howmanyotherprofessionsarethisconnectedandcommittedtopublicservice?It’sanintangible benefit of being a lawyer, but it’s one of the best things about it. The more you get involved in organizations like this one, the more you experience the depth and wealth of your community of lawyers. It makes you rich beyond measure to be plugged in to this network, this source of real power that so many are denied.
So this month, I encourage you to appreciate all of the intangibles that come with being a lawyer, and share it with the world around you. Your community, your peers, and all of those future students need you to participate to make it all that it can be. If you’re looking for a place to start, TCWLA is hosting several events designed to inspire and connect in February and March. Invest in your network. It’s one of your best assets.
￼￼￼Laurie M. Higginbotham
2008 TAKE YOUR DAUGHTERS TO WORK DAY
This is your opportunity to volunteer on Travis County Woman Lawyers Association’s award winning program by serving as a mentor, even if it’s only for one day. TCWLA has scheduled their premier program, “Take Your Daughters to Work Day”, on Thursday, April 17, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This program reaches out to young girls in the fifth grade at Norman Elementary School located in East Austin. The principal, teachers, and counselors will select twenty (20) girls who have good attendance and grades to participate in the program. This will be our 2nd year to have a mock trial where the State seeks a protective order on a dating violence claim. The past five years our mock trial involved a DUI.
In the past, the TYDTW program has received the following two awards from The Texas State Bar: “Outstanding Partnership” and “Certificate of Achievement”.
If you wish to participate in planning the event or helping on the date of this event, please contact the Chair, Judge Orlinda Naranjo, at 854-4023 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always need help with drivers.
Color of Justice Paves the Way for a More Diverse Future
Approximately 50 minority students from local Austin High Schools will have the opportunity on February 15th to participate in the Color of Justice program, a program started by the National Association of Women Judges to introduce minority students to a diverse group of minority judges, lawyers, and law students whose stories illustrate the many career options available in the law and judiciary.
The intent of the program is to inspire minority high school students to consider the law as a career, and to aspire to be a judge as well as a lawyer.
The Travis County Women Lawyers Association is joining with the NAWJ, the Austin Bar Association and UT Law’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Law to bring this exciting opportunity to the students. This half-day event at the UT Law School will feature two panel discussions with speakers sharing their personal experiences and encouraging the students to pursue a career in law. The Color of Justice video, created by the NAWJ, will also be shown to the students.
The first panel, titled “The Color of Justice: Making a Difference,” will be led by several esteemed judges, including Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright, Judge Fortunato “Pete” Benavides of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Orlinda Naranjo of the Travis County District Court and Judge Wilford “Wil” Flowers of the Travis County Criminal District Court. The panel will be moderated by Bea Ann Smith, former justice for the Third Court of Appeals.
The second panel, titled “Law as a Career: Preparing the Way” will be led by a mix of legal professionals, including Karen Kennard of the City of Austin’s Attorney Office; Bill Hopkins of Brown McCarroll, Vinh Tran of the Law Office of Vinh M. Tran; Daniel Rodriguez, UT Law Professor and a UT Law student.
The program is spearheaded by board member Liz Branch and Judge Elisabeth Earle.
Court Appointed Advocate CLE – 7.25 Hours Rent this DVD now or watch online (coming soon!)
TCWLA sponsored, and filmed, a CLE titled “What You Need to Know to be a Court Appointed Advocate” on May 21, 2007. The CLE covered the nuts and bolts of representing children and parents in CPS cases, as well as teaching the participants about available services for clients with mental illnesses and other disabilities, ethical considerations, mediation of CPS cases, attorney general and DRO cases, and guardianships. The CLE lunch portion featured a judicial panel, in which the following Texas judges and former judges participated: the Hon. Craig Enoch (former Texas Supreme Court Justice), the Hon. Eva Guzman (14th Court of Appeals, Houston), and the Hon. Darlene Byrne (126th Judicial Civil District Court (Travis County)). The panel was moderated by TCWLA board member, the Hon. Orlinda Naranjo (419th Judicial Civil District Court (Travis County)).
Viewing of this DVD qualifies for 7.25 hours of CLE credit with the Texas Bar, including one hour of Ethics, and counts towards the 30 hour training requirement in Travis County.
Rental fee: $100 plus shipping & handling for DVD rentals
For questions concerning the rental of this DVD, please contact Paige Chappell at email@example.com.
Save the Date – Advanced Court Appointed Advocate Training – Friday, April 4, 2008
TCWLA will be hosting a full day advanced training course for court appointed advocates on Friday, April 4, 2008, at the offices of Winstead PC, located at 401 Congress Avenue, Suite 2100. The cost will be $80 for TCWLA members and $100 for non-members. The panel at this year’s lunch will feature Texas Supreme Court Justice Scott A. Brister. If you have any questions, please contact Paige Castañeda at firstname.lastname@example.org, Cameron Vann at email@example.com, or Rande K. Herrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the Date!
Mark your calendars, the TCWLA mixer with the UT Law School’s Women’s Law Caucus is just around the corner! This annual fun event is a great way for women law students to socialize with our group. The event will be at the home of TCWLA member D’Ann Johnson on Wednesday, March 26th from 5:30-7:30. Check your email in the upcoming weeks for the invitation and more details. Feel free to contact Li zBranch at512- 565-4464 for more information as well.
Meet Your Board Member
Name: Joey Williams Moore Activities Co-Chair
I am the Manager of Legal Services for the Texas State Teachers Association. TSTA is a state-wide professional association for public school employees that is also affiliated with National Education Association. I represent public school employees in employment-related matters.
I am married to Mark Moore, an attorney in the Tax Division of the Attorney General’s office. I am also the mother of two adorable girls—Alison, 4 and Audrey, 16 months.
Why am I involved in TCWLA? I have met some of the most amazing women through my involvement in TCWLA. I have met women in all practice areas that I would not have had the opportunity to meet. I have been able to become involved in some wonderful projects that support women and children in Travis County. Finally, I have made many professional contacts that have served me well, both professional and personally.