Congratulations to newly elected Lucy Forbes in the State Bar of Texas Director. Her campaign was to serve as your Director and serve her colleagues by helping Larry McDougal and SBOT strive towards further reforms for our benefit, including:
(1) Grievance Reform. As a start, require complainants to understand that they are leaving more than a Google or Yelp review when they file a grievance, raise the burden of proof to clear and convincing, appoint grievance committee members who practice in the areas that are often grieved, and implement the vexatious complainant designation. None of this will come fast or easy, but this is the time to fight for it because many Directors, if elected, are reform minded;
(2) Texas Lawyer Assistance Program. Continue funding and supporting TLAP. Someone significant in my life was personally touched by TLAP and, therefore, so was I. The availability of this program is crucial, should any colleague need it;
(3) Advertising Review. This department needs an upgrade to 2020 standards. It needs more funds allocated to it, but not at the expense of increased dues. It has email yet will not accept email submissions. Having spent a lot of time on SBOT’s website to find your emails, I have seen many instances of “John David ‘John’ Smith.” I made up that name, but why does the department put your name in quotes when it is already there? And, it could improve its current methodology of circling “violations” and putting a rule number beside them, without further description of how the rule has been violated; and
(4) Universal Courthouse Badges. Preferably electronic badges or an app on your phone, but whatever it takes so that every court’s security team and you feel comfortable with it. And most important, every court must accept the one badge.