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Week of Nov. 29, 2010

Gregory Coleman: 1963 - 2010

Austin attorney Greg Coleman of Yetter Coleman was killed in a plane crash Nov. 23. A former Texas Solicitor General, Coleman was a highly respected appellate attorney.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, Dec. 2 at 11:00 a.m. at the Austin Stake Center, 1000 E. Rutherford Lane.

Our thoughts are with the Coleman family and the Yetter Coleman law firm.

Click here for an article from Texas Lawyer on Greg Coleman's life.

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Space Still Available: Federal Court Practice Seminar! Nov. 30

Presented by the Austin Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the Austin Bar Association, this seminar includes the nuts and bolts of federal-court practice, with a focus on practicing in the Western District of Texas, as well as timely topics, including electronic filing, federal sentencing, and electronic discovery. The seminar satisfies the course requirement for admission to the Western District of Texas.

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 30
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Location: Austin Bar Association, 816 Congress Ave., Suite 700
Featured speakers: federal judges, experienced civil practitioners, criminal prosecutors, and federal public defenders.
MCLE: [Pending] 7 hours, including 1 hour of ethics
Cost: $150.00; free to current FBA members who have registered before Nov. 9, 2010.
Registration forms postmarked after Nov. 16, 2010, must include an additional $15.00. Click here for the registration forms.

UPDATE: SPACE IS STILL AVAILABLE. Don't miss this opportunity to see and hear from each of the Austin Division's district, magistrate, and bankruptcy judges!

Registration is available at the door, or e-mail Matthew Powers at or Zeke Derose at

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Judge Suzanne Covington's Retirement Luncheon, Dec. 1 - Please bring tickets!

If you have purchased tickets for the luncheon honoring Judge Suzanne Covington, you should have received them by mail. Please bring your tickets with you so that everyone can be seated quickly.

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 1
Time: Noon
Location: Four Seasons Hotel, Main Ballroom

Only a few seats remain available for the luncheon. If you have not purchased tickets, please contact the Austin Bar at 472-0279, x100.

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Austin Bar Foundation Gala Sponsor Deadline, This Friday, Dec. 3

Join the Austin Bar Foundation for our annual Gala Jan. 29, 2011 and enjoy a Night in Havana!
Date: Saturday, Jan. 29
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: The Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto Blvd.

Don't miss this opportunity to participate in the Gala festivities as a sponsor or table sponsor. Contact DeLaine Ward at 472-0279 x104 or by Friday, Dec. 3, to be listed on the Gala invitation.

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Divorce Basics Training Seminar, Dec. 3

Date: Friday, Dec. 3
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Location: Austin Bar Association, 816 Congress Ave., Suite 700

On Friday, Dec. 3, Volunteer Legal Services is holding its annual nuts and bolts seminar geared towards training lawyers, who do not typically practice family law, how to handle divorce and custody cases. Attendees will earn 6.5 hours of CLE, including 1.25 hours of ethics. The seminar is free for attorneys who commit to take two family law cases involving domestic violence through VLS during 2011. For all others, the cost is $190. Register by contacting Anna K. Meyers at 476-5550, x304 or

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Need Volunteers for AYLA's Christmas for Kids THIS Saturday, Dec. 4

AYLA's 18th annual Christmas for Kids event is on Saturday, Dec. 4, and AYLA is seeking volunteers and law firm sponsors to support the event. Christmas for Kids helps bring the holidays to some of the most deserving children in the Austin area, in recent years hosting up to 250 foster children and their families for an afternoon of holiday fun. Activities include horseback rides, cookie and ornament decorating, a moon bounce, and more. The highlight of the event is Santa arriving to hand out an individual present for each child.

If you are interested in volunteering at the event or if your firm is interesting in providing financial support, please contact co-chairs Anna Geismar-Bowman at or Lea Brigtsen at

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Support Protection for Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts!

After discussions with State Bar leaders, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett introduced a bill to extend full FDIC protection for Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts. The prior protection was not continued in the Wall Street reform law; Doggett's bill, H.R. 6398, is designed to correct that. Revenue from IOLTAs are among the most significant sources of funding for programs that help provide civil legal services to assist the working poor, low-income veterans, persons with disabilities, and others near or below the poverty line. In the lame-duck Congress it will be difficult to pass the legislation, and additional challenges must be confronted in the new year, but given the importance of these accounts, Doggett is working to restore the FDIC protection from which IOLTAs have historically benefitted.

If you live outside of Congressman Lloyd Doggett's district, please contact your member of Congress to urge support of H.R. 6398.

Central Texas Districts:
Congressman Michael McCaul
U.S. House of Representatives
Texas Congressional District 10
131 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
ph: 202-225-2401

Congressman Lamar Smith
U.S. House of Representatives
Texas Congressional District 21
2409 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
ph: 202-225-4236

Congressman John Carter
Texas Congressional District 31
409 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
ph: 202-225-3864

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Help Spread Holiday Cheer with AYLA's Holiday Baskets

AYLA is still working hard to organize its 28th Annual Holiday Baskets Project. This year, AYLA's goal is to provide holiday dinners, toys, phone cards, and a legal-resource guide to 75 local families in need. It will require many volunteers and approximately $140 per family to provide all of these things this year.

Unfortunately, AYLA is far short of its fundraising goal. Please send whatever you can spare to help families who cannot afford holiday dinners or gifts this year. Visit and click on the Holiday Basket tab under the photo of the 360/Pennybacker Bridge, to donate online or send your tax-deductible donation, payable to the AYLA Foundation, to:

Austin Young Lawyers Association
Attn: Debbie Kelly
816 Congress Ave., Ste. 700
Austin, TX 78701

Volunteers are also needed to purchase, sort, package, and deliver the gifts and groceries. The greatest need will be on Dec. 10 & 11, the day before and the day of delivery. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Monty Exter at or 467-0071.

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Three Hours of Ethics - FREE!, Dec. 17

Holiday Ethics CLE
Date: Friday, Dec. 17
Time: 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Austin Bar Association, 816 Congress Ave., Suite 700

The Austin Bar Association is offering members a special holiday gift - three hours of free Ethics CLE. Enjoy this afternoon gathering featuring CLE speakers: Claude Ducloux, Betty Blackwell, John Dzienkowski. It's a great way to gain CLE credit while networking with some of the most knowledgeable members of Austin's legal community.

To RSVP, please contact Michelle McFayden at 472-0279, x111 or e-mail

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Cyberspace Law Institute, Jan. 28

The Cyberspace Law Institute will be held in conjunction with the American Bar Association's Cyberspace Law Committee's annual Winter Working Meeting, which will take place on Friday, Jan. 28 and Saturday, Jan. 29 at The Driskill. The WWM is a great opportunity for participants to exchange views, explore new issues, and work with Committee members on various projects. Austin Bar attorneys are welcomed and encouraged participate in the Winter Working Meeting component.

For more details and to register for the ABA's Cyberspace Law Committee's annual Winter Working Meeting, visit 2011 Cyberspace Law Institute is still accepting sponsors. Please call Phillip Schmandt at 495-6087 if you have questions or are interested in participation as a sponsor.

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Austin Bar Requesting Donations for Kristi Couvillon Wise's Family

In this season of giving, the Austin Bar Association is asking that you help a family in our own Austin legal community.

On October 1, Austin attorney Kristi Couvillon Wise, 34, committed suicide after struggling with postpartum depression. She leaves behind her husband, John, and their 6-month-old daughter Vivienne. John is a young lawyer who has a criminal law practice. Not only is John trying to figure out how to make ends meet and take care of a baby as a single parent, he is also coping with terrible grief.

A fund at Chase Bank has been set up to help with expenses for Vivi. You can send a check made payable to Vivienne Wise and mail to the Austin Bar Foundation, 816 Congress, Ste. 700, Austin, Texas 78701. Or you can call the Austin Bar office at 472-0279, x100 to charge a donation. If you cannot give money, donations of gently used baby clothing and toys will be gladly accepted at the bar office as well.

For more information about Kristi, visit or

In addition, if you or someone you know is suffering from depression, you are not alone. Please call the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program, at 1-800-343-8527. TLAP is a 24-hour confidential crisis counseling and referral program to help lawyers. TLAP can screen you for financial assistance with therapy and medication through the Austin Bar Foundation's Justice Mack Kidd Fund.

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Upcoming Meetings

Wednesday, Dec. 1 - Family Law Section December Happy Hour & Dinner

Thursday, Dec. 2 - Environmental, Natural Resources, and Water Law Section Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 8 - Labor & Employment Law Section Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 8 - Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Section Meeting

Thursday, Dec. 9 - Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 14 - Real Estate Law Section Meeting

The following Austin Bar Committees are meeting at the Austin Bar office, 816 Congress, Suite 700 at noon. Parking is available in the adjacent garage, accessible from 9th Street. Please feel free to attend any that interest you. Since lunch is provided, please RSVP to Marissa at 472-0279, x100 or by noon the previous day with your name and the name of the committee, unless otherwise specified.

Tuesday, Dec. 7 - LegalBuild Committee Meeting
RSVP to Julie Gau at 472-0279, x108 or

Thursday, Dec. 9 - Women's Resource Fair Committee Meeting
RSVP to Debbie Kelly at 472-0279, x105 or

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Proud corporate sponsors of the Austin Bar Association