TCWLA and TCWLF Speaker Mary Beth Rogers
Mary Beth Rogers has had a distinguished career in politics, media, and academia over the past thirty years. Rogers received the prestigious Teaching Excellence Award at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, for her graduate seminars in politics and power when she held the Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Business and Government Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. A former Deputy Treasurer of Texas under Ann Richards, she served as campaign manager for Ms. Richards and directed the political victory of the first female governor of Texas in fifty years. She then served as Governor Richards’s chief of staff for nineteen months. From 1997 through 2004, as chief executive officer for Austin’s PBS affiliate, KLRU-TV, she made the station a vibrant source of original programming.
She is a founding board member of The Women’s Museum – An Institute of the Future, the nation’s only comprehensive women’s history museum. Honored for her contributions in history, politics, and civic leadership, she is a member of the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award. She is the author numerous books, including her most recent: Barbara Jordan: American Hero (Bantam). Ms. Rogers currently serves on the boards of the RGK Foundation, the Foundation for Women’s Resources, and the Carol KneelandProject which is a national program designed upgrade the quality and ethics of local television news. She recently moved to Dallas to write, consult, and spend time with her family.
￼FROM THE PRESIDENT
￼My year as President is at an end, and I have truly grown in so many ways from this experience. For me, this year has also involved other personal challenges, and I would not have managed it all without the tremendous support of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association Board. These phenomenal women have made this program year a real success, and this last newsletter is dedicated to them for all their hard work.
TCWLA is ending as always with a bang of a program luncheon on June 7 at the Four Seasons Hotel. We hope you will join us for this festive occasion and help us honor our award recipients. Also, we are honored to share this event with the Foundation which is handing out the most money ever granted in the history of Travis County Women Lawyers’.
It has been a real honor and pleasure leading this organization this last year, and I will treasure every memory.
2006 TAKE YOUR DAUGHTERS TO WORK DAY: DWI MOCK TRIAL AND JAIL TOUR
On May 2, 2006, twenty fifth-grade girls from Norman Elementary visited the Travis County Courthouse and Jail. Judge Orlinda Naranjo, a Board Member of TCWLA, hosted the girls as part of “Take Your Daughters to Work” Day. Eight of the lucky girls were able to participate as an assistant prosecutor, co-defense counsel, and jurors in the DWI Criminal Mock Trial held in Judge Naranjo’s Courtroom.
Mary Sanchez, solo-practitioner, Rae Ann Allong, Assistant County Attorney, and TCSO Deputy Jeffrey Givens participated as the attorneys and arresting officer. After a full morning of hands-on participation in our legal system, the girls were given a tour through the jail, the intake area, and the intoxylizer room. The students were presented with an official TYDTW t-shirt, a souvenir photo with Judge Naranjo, and a Certificate of Appreciation for their participation in the event.
A special thanks goes to the volunteers, sponsors Ewbank and Byrom, P.C., Papa Johns, our participants, and to Sheriff Greg Hamilton for his help in organizing the jail tour. This was an excellent opportunity for these girls to see role models and to have a positive, learning experience about our legal system, judges, and deputies.
By Judge Orlinda Naranjo
Travis County Court at Law #2
Chair, Take Our Daughters to Work Day
Mandatory IOLTA Compliance Now Available Online
New process could mean more money for legal aid.
By Laura Figueroa, Communications Manager, Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation
This year, Texas attorneys will be able to submit their mandatory IOLTA compliance information online beginning May 1. The Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation is requesting that all Texas attorneys comply online at www.teajf.org.
The Texas Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program, administered by the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation, was established by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984. Interest earned on qualifying IOLTA accounts is allocated to the Foundation, which grants the funds to nonprofit groups that provide free civil legal aid to indigent Texans. The funds help poor clients resolve their legal issues, such as obtaining protection from abusive spouses, maintaining public benefits and gaining recourse when faced with consumer scams.
The key to ensuring a successful transition to online IOLTA compliance is persuading attorneys to actually utilize the new technology. Attorneys can easily fill out compliance information online with the touch of a few computer keys; it’s quick, convenient and secure. Most important, the more attorneys who comply online at www.teajf.org, the more funds that can be dedicated to helping low-income Texans attain justice in civil matters.
Prior to 2006, the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation mailed compliance statements to more than 70,000 Texas attorneys to obtain updated IOLTA information as per Supreme Court of Texas Rule 4. Distributing and collecting compliance statements in hardcopy cost the Foundation approximately $46,000 annually, including printing and mailing fees. On average, about 83 percent of compliance statements were completed and returned. The Foundation would then conduct a reminder mailing, bringing to 94 percent the total number of compliance statements returned.
“The compliance process is a vital tool in maintaining a healthy IOLTA program,” Joyce Lindsey, Foundation associate director, explained. “But every dollar allocated to the administration of the program is a dollar that could be used to assist low-income Texans. Employing technology to minimize expenditures is the smart thing to do.”
In the early 1990s, IOLTA revenue reached upwards of $10 million per year. As the economy softened and interest rates plummeted, IOLTA revenue declined to $3.2 million in 2003. The Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation has worked diligently to increase revenue with an awareness campaign geared at attorneys and financial institutions. A highly important facet of the campaign includes encouraging attorneys to bank at IOLTA-friendly financial institutions—those that do not charge service fees. Attorneys now have more than 400 IOLTA-friendly financial institutions available in Texas from which to choose.
As part of the IOLTA compliance process, Texas attorneys must report to the Foundation whether they hold an IOLTA account and have endeavored to place it in an IOLTA-friendly bank, or whether they do not handle qualifying client funds which would require an IOLTA account. The Foundation is required to provide the Supreme Court of Texas with a list of attorneys who do not submit their compliance information.
The 2006 IOLTA online compliance period will begin May 1. Visit www.teajf.org to access your IOLTA compliance information.
Meet Your Board: Paige Chappell
￼Practice Area: Victim Witness Counselor, LMSW
Employer: Travis County District Attorney’s Office
Education: I graduated from Paschal High School in Fort Worth, TX. After graduation, I moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. I received my BA in Human Development. Upon graduation, I returned to Fort Worth where I went through an alternative certification program for my degree in Special Education. I taught Life Skills in Keller ISD for 3 years before deciding to return to school for an advanced degree. In 2002, I graduated from the University of Texas, Austin with an MSSW. I worked in Fort Worth ISD for 1 year before deciding that I missed Austin terribly and applied to the District Attorney’s Office where I have been for the last 3 years.
Family: Myparent’sAnnandDavid live in Fort Worth. My father is an attorney in private practice (Corporate Litigation) and my mother is a consultant for Habitat for Humanity. Ihaveoneyoungersibling,Wade. He also resides in Fort Worth and is a Land Man for Finley Resources. We are a very close family and I enjoy going home to see them as well as having them here often in the Fall for UT Football. I have been dating John Pritchett for 1 year; he lives in Austin as well.
Loves to do: I love to cook, travel, read, play games and scuba dive. I have run a marathon (San Diego 2005) and walked a marathon (Austin 2006). John recently bought a canoe, so we spend many weekends on Town Lake pretending to fish. Tidbits: I am hoping to return to school for a PhD in Criminal Justice. I love working in the DA’s office and hope that I can take what I have learned there to the collegiate level to educate others about the Criminal Justice System. I would also love to become an expert witness.
Give a Pint Blood Drive Gets Pumping
The Pump-a-Pint Blood Drive kicks off this Thursday, June 1, with a press conference at the Blood and Tissue Center. Join the Austin Bar Association as we battle it out through the month of June against the Austin CPA Society and the Travis County Medical Association to see who can collect the most blood.
You can donate at the Blood & Tissue Center and a variety of mobile locations throughout June or at the Austin Bar Association office June 27. Sign up today and tell your fellow attorneys, staff members, family, and friends as well. Let’s pull together for a good cause – and to beat those other professionals. To sign up to donate, go to www.lonestardonor.com. The sponsor code is pumpapint.
Donate to Legal Aid When You Pay Your State Bar Dues
Each year, Texas attorneys have the opportunity to make a voluntary “Access to Justice Contribution” when paying their State Bar of Texas dues. The suggested donation is $100, but you can always donate more!
Legal aid organizations use the funds to help indigent Texans attain justice in civil matters. Without legal aid, many of these individuals and families could lose their homes, be compelled to stay in abusive relationships or become the victim of predatory lenders.
The voluntary Access to Justice Contribution is especially critical in light of the fact that, due to a lack of resources, legal aid organizations must turn away half of all qualified applicants. Additionally, since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast, the demand for legal services has put a strain on the legal aid delivery system, particularly in Houston and East Texas. Thus far, Texas legal aid providers have helped more than 8,000 hurricane victims with their civil legal needs. And there are still cases pending.
When you pay your State Bar of Texas dues, remember to donate $100 or more for access to justice. Your contribution helps give hope to people who have nowhere to turn.
Pay your dues at www.texasbar.com.