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Seeking Nominations for HIS Awards – Due April 29!

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 29

 

The Hispanic Issues Section is seeking nominations for its annual awards. 

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE NOMINATION FORM – NOMINATIONS DUE APRIL 29!

 

Each year HIS gives out three named awards and several additional awards based on your nominations:

 

The Reynaldo G. Garza Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an attorney or judge who is a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas that has demonstrated a long commitment to and made great achievement in addressing concerns and issues affecting the Hispanic community and to the Hispanic Bar in Texas and has worked toward advancing diversity and access to justice in the practice of law. The award is named after the Honorable Reynaldo G. Garza, who became the United States’ first Mexican-American federal judge when he was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas in 1961. Judge Garza was later nominated by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 1979 and served on that court until his death in 2004. Additional information about Judge Garza may be found here.

 

The Pete Torres, Jr. Community Service Award recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated a history of service and commitment to the Hispanic community. The award is named after Peter Torres, Jr., the first Chair of the Hispanic Issues Section (when it was known as “Concerns of the Spanish Speaking Community”). Mr. Torres practiced law for over 40 years and was a former city councilman of San Antonio. He received a variety of awards honoring his long service to San Antonio as well as to the overall Hispanic community in Texas, including the MABA-TX Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hispanic Issues Section Reynaldo G. Garza Lifetime Achievement Award, and the St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association Henry B. Gonzalez Award.

 

The James W. Wray, Jr. Founder’s Award recognizes exceptional achievements on behalf of the Hispanic legal community.  The award was named after its first honoree, Mr. James W. Wray, Jr. of Corpus Christi. Mr. Wray’s incredible effect on the Hispanic legal community in Texas cannot be measured. He helped to create, along with the work of several others while facing what has been described as vitriolic opposition, the predecessor organization to the current Hispanic Issues Section.

 

HIS also gives out awards each year in these categories:

 

  • Hispanic/Mexican American Bar Association of the Year
  • Judge of the Year
  • Legislator of the Year

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

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HIS Celebrates Women’s History Month

The Hispanic Issues Section of the State Bar of Texas celebrates Women’s History Month and recognizes our many members who have contributed greatly to the progress of women in the legal profession and the judiciary, and serve as role models for future generations of leaders.  

 

 

Highlighting some of the wonderful members in our leadership and on our council:

 

First row (L-R): Judge Antonia (Toni) Arteaga, 57th Civil District Court, Bexar County, Texas; Judge Maria Salas-Mendoza, 120th Civil District Court, El Paso County, Texas

 

Second row (L-R): Angelica Hernandez, Linebarger; Chief Justice Dori Contreras, 13th Court of Appeals of Texas; Veronica Legarreta, Legarreta Law Firm

 

Third row (L-R): Erica Benites Giese, Jackson Walker; Ashley Aten, Munsch Hardt

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Join HIS for a Free CLE on March 30 at 1 PM

The Hispanic Issues Section of the State Bar of Texas is delighted to host a free CLE webinar titled Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence: Where We Were and Where We Are Now.

 

This webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, March 30, and it has been approved for one hour of MCLE credit. Use the link below to register.

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence: Where We Were and Where We Are Now

 

Wednesday, March 30

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. CDT

 

FREE

1 hour MCLE credit

 

Description:

 

The landmark Vanessa Guillen Act changed the law for many sexual assault and domestic violence victims. Join our distinguished panel as they discuss these changes and learn why they are so important.

 

Speakers:

 

Panelist: Natalie Khawam

Natalie Khawam is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. She also holds an M.B.A. and an M.S. degree. Attorney Khawam founded the highly regarded Whistleblower Law Firm in Tampa, Florida and is also the founding partner of Khawam Ripka, LLP based in Washington, DC. Khawam Ripka focuses on active-duty military medical malpractice cases.

 

She is passionate about serving our military and veterans, fighting for justice, and seeking truth and accountability. Ms. Khawam practices federal law, with a focus on whistleblower laws, while she advocates military rights and protections. Natalie proudly spearheaded the passage of two bills in Congress for her clients: the SFC Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act and the I Am Vanessa Guillen Act. These acts provide new rights and protections that our military never had before.

 

Natalie doesn’t just change the law — she changes history!

 

Panelist: Jacquelyn “Jackie” Davis

Jacquelyn “Jackie” Davis is an attorney and group coordinator for the Domestic Violence and Family Law Team at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA). For the past 15 years, Jackie has dedicated her practice to working with survivors of violence in family law and immigration matters. The DV & Family Law Team covers 68 counties of Southwest Texas and is TRLA’s largest practice group. In addition to leading the team, Jackie manages attorneys and her own litigation caseload.

 

Jackie is a 2006 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, a proud third-generation Longhorn following in the footsteps of her grandfather from Del Rio, Texas, who was the first in his family to attend college. Jackie is drawn to the creative problem-solving and consensus building inherent in the practice of law, particularly as someone raised in a mixed-heritage household, and the only lawyer in a big family. Jackie serves as a law school mentor for aspiring public interest lawyers and on the weekends can be found cheering her kids on from the sidelines or rescuing dogs.

 

Moderator: Veronica I. Legarreta

Veronica I. Legarreta founded the Legarreta Law Firm, PLLC, bringing nearly two decades of litigation and negotiation experience to her current practice which is focused on criminal defense cases and family law matters. She has worked with clients at all phases of the litigation process and is an empathetic and fierce advocate committed to fighting for a just outcome no matter how challenging the circumstance.

 

Throughout her career, Veronica has repeatedly been recognized as one San Antonio’s Top Criminal Defense/DWI Attorneys (2016, 2017, 2018, and 2021) and was recently honored by SA Scene Magazine as one of the Best S.A. Female Lawyers in 2021. Veronica serves as a member of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, as well as a member of the San Antonio Bar Association, and was invited to join the Hispanic Issues Section of the State Bar of Texas as a council member. Veronica has also received the Latino American Who’s Who award twice and continues to actively participate as a public speaker on a variety of legal topics. As a sustaining member of the Junior League of San Antonio Veronica continues to promote volunteerism and support community outreach.

 

Veronica earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and served as an American diplomat stationed in Mexico City where she interned for the Department of Justice and for the NSA. She attended St. Mary’s University School of Law where she was inducted into the Order of the Barristers for her exceptional skills in trial advocacy.

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

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Announcing the Return of LawTeria! September 16, 2021

In 2020, the Hispanic Issues Section raised over $40,000 benefiting legal aid through its LawTeria event, which was a phenomenal success thanks to our sponsors and many ticket purchasers!

 

LawTeria returns for 2021, and we hope you can join us as we again raise money to benefit legal aid programs serving those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Date: September 16, 2021
Time: TBD
Held via Zoom
Door Prizes and Intermission Entertainment!

 

Title Sponsor: Chamberlain Hrdlicka

 

LawTeria Flyer 2021

 

Donate at the Texas Access to Justice website here!

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HIS CLE on Texas Courts of Appeal – SBOT Annual Meeting

The Hispanic Issues Section is co-sponsoring an exciting CLE program entitled An Overview of Texas Courts of Appeal, which will be presented by 10 chief justices. This CLE program is part of the State Bar of Texas virtual Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 17.

 

To sign up for the program, go to the State Bar’s website, and register for the Thursday of the virtual Annual Meeting. The registration fee for the day is $185, and you can watch up to 10 hours of the CLE programs that are presented.

 

Take a peek at the full course brochure to review the additional 45+ CLE programs you can watch throughout the day.

 

The presentations are only available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CDT on June 17, so mark your calendars now! This topic has been approved for two hours of CLE credit, including 0.5 hours of ethics.

 

 

An Overview of Texas Courts of Appeal

 

Co-sponsored by:

Hispanic Issues Section

Texas LatinX Judges

Appellate Section

Women and the Law Section

LGBT Law Section, State Bar of Texas

National Association of Women Judges

Texas Women Lawyers
Mexican American Bar Association of San Antonio

 

Thursday, June 17

During the SBOT Virtual Annual Meeting

 

2 hours of MCLE credit, including 0.5 hours ethics

 

Registration: $185 (Thursday only)

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Hispanic Issues Section Announces Hardship Committee – Please Take Our Survey

The Hispanic Issues Section is announcing the creation of a Hardship Committee to identify needs of and to assist section members facing difficult issues in their lives and practices, whether or not related to the pandemic or recent winter crisis.

 

Please see this letter for more details. 

 

And please help us identify needs and useful resources by completing this survey. (We expect the survey to take on average 15 minutes to complete.)

 

With your help, we can support our colleagues when they need us most!

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Join Us for “LAW”teria on September 16!

PLEASE VISIT THIS TEXAS ACCESS TO JUSTICE FOUNDATION LINK TO SIGN UP AND DONATE!


DATE AND TIME: September 16, 2020, 5:00 – 6:30 pm

The Hispanic Issues Section is sponsoring a fun game night featuring a version of the popular loteria game benefiting legal aid.


Benefiting  

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation and legal aid efforts throughout Texas.


Special Guests

Distinguished Guest: Justice Eva Guzman
Host: Sylvia Firth, SBOT President-elect
Retired Judge Elsa Alcala
Justice Leticia Hinojosa
Justice Rebeca Martinez
Amanda Arriaga
Pablo Almaguer
Domingo Garcia
Jim Harrington


Where

Zoom
The Zoom link will be sent to you upon registration. 


Door Prizes & Intermission Entertainment!


SIGN UP HERE!


Flyer with More Information

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HIS Joins Affinity Sections and Committees Statement in Response to SBOT President Comments

The Hispanic Issues Section has proudly joined its colleagues in the African American Laywers Section, the Asian Pacific Interest Section, the LGBT Law Section, the Native American Bar Section, the Women in the Law Section, and the Texas Minority Counsel Program, in issuing a joint statement regarding recent comments by State Bar of Texas President Larry McDougal, and in support of the position taken by the African American Lawyers Section.

Read the entire statement here.

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2020 Hispanic Issues Section Awards and Video Presentation

View the video presentation here!

The Hispanic Issues Section gives out three named awards each year at the Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Texas, along with several other awards.

This year our awards recipients are:

  • Reynaldo G Garza Lifetime Achievement Award: Roy R. Barrera, Sr.
  • Pete Torres Jr. Community Service Award: Jose Angel Gutierrez and Chris Luna
  • James W. Wray, Jr. Founder’s Award: Renato Santos, Jr.
  • Judge of the Year Award: Justice Gisela D. Triana
  • Legislator of the Year Award: Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia
  • Chair’s Award: Justice Gina M. Benavides
  • Access to Justice Award: El Paso Bar Association

You can learn more about our awards, and find a list of our past award recipients, by clicking this link.

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Nominate an Attorney for LeadershipSBOT!

The Hispanic Issues Section encourages all members to nominate attorneys to apply for the LeadershipSBOT program, a diversity initiative designed to recruit, train, and retain Texas lawyers for leadership positions in the legal community and the State Bar of Texas.  See the nomination form (click here) or the notice letter (click here) for more details!  The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, June 30.

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Upcoming Events

Here is a list of upcoming events involving the Hispanic Issues Section or local Hispanic bar associations, or other sections of the State Bar of Texas.  Click on event listings for registration information.

Special Events

Want your event on the list?  Email us!

  • June 25, 2020 – SBOT Virtual Annual Meeting (HIS programming is in the afternoon) – Details

Local Hispanic Bar Association Monthly Meetings

This list has information about regular monthly meetings for local associations around Texas.  If you have any updated information or want to add your group to the list, please email us!

Austin – Hispanic Bar Association of Austin

When held, monthly meetings typically are held on the second Friday of the month at noon at the offices of the Austin Bar Association, 816 Congress Avenue, 7th Floor.  Main websiteemail

Houston – Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston

Monthly meetings typically are held on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 (monthly CLE) and 6:45 (meeting) at Lupe Tortilla, 1511 Shepherd Drive.  Facebook pageemail

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Judge Timoteo (Tim) Gonzalez, 1950-2019

HIS was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Judge Timoteo (Tim) Gonzalez, an HIS Member, as well as a member of the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas and a former president of the Dallas Mexican American Bar Association.

 

A memorial mass for Judge Gonzalez will be held Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 6:30 pm at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 9643 Ferndale Road, Dallas, TX 75238.

 

You can read Judge Gonzalez’s obituary information here.  Our thoughts are with Judge Gonzalez’s family at this difficult time. 

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Legal Resources for El Paso Support; Texas Bar Journal Article

The Hispanic Issues Section and all of its members’ thoughts are with the citizens of El Paso following the tragedy that unfolded on August 3, 2019.

Attorneys from El Paso and throughout the state have mobilized to provide a variety of forms of assistance to survivors, their families, and others affected.

The State Bar of Texas has collected a list of resources that are available – please click here to review the list.

The Texas Bar Journal has published an article about El Paso and the El Paso Bar Association and the legal community’s tremendous response.

Click here for the Texas Bar Journal’s online version of the article.

Click here for a PDF of the article.

Article republished courtesy of the Texas Bar Journal and Amy Starnes.

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New 2018-2019 HIS Officers

The Hispanic Issues Section has selected its officers for the 2018-2019 bar year.  Your officers for 2018-2019 are:

 

  • Justice Gina M. Benavides, Chair
  • Valerie Carrillo, Chair-Elect
  • Larry Banda, Vice-Chair
  • Judge Victor Villareal, Secretary
  • Jamie Vasquez, Treasurer
  • Betty Balli Torres, Immediate Past Chair
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FREE CLE Webinar on Federal Court Appointments – December 1

The Hispanic Issues Section of the State Bar of Texas, Texas Latinx Judges, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, and the Cameron County Bar Association are delighted to host a free CLE webinar titled Navigating the Federal Court Appointment Process.

 

This panel-based webinar is scheduled for noon – 1 p.m. CST on Wednesday, December 1, and it has been approved for one hour of MCLE credit.

 

Use the link below to register.

 

REGISTER HERE

 

PROGRAM BROCHURE

 

Navigating the Federal Court Appointment Process

Hosted by:

Hispanic Issues Section, State Bar of Texas

Texas Latinx Judges

Dallas Hispanic Bar Association

Cameron County Bar Association

 

Wednesday, December 1

Noon – 1 p.m. CST

 

FREE

1 hour MCLE credit

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FREE CLE October 7 – COVID-19 and In-Person Trials

Join us for a FREE CLE at noon CDT on Thursday, October 7 titled COVID-19 and In-Person Trials: What You Need to Know.

 

This panel-based webinar is jointly hosted by the Hispanic Issues Section of the State Bar of Texas, and the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston.

 

The webinar has been approved for one hour of MCLE credit. Use the link below to register.

 

COVID-19 and In-Person Trials: What You Need to Know

Co-hosted by Hispanic Issues Section, State Bar of Texas and Hispanic Bar Association of Houston

 

Thursday, October 7
Noon – 1 p.m. CDT

 

FREE for current section members
$20 for non-section members

 

1 hour MCLE credit

 

Receive a complimentary membership in the Hispanic Issues Section
with your $20 registration for this CLE!

 

REGISTER HERE