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                                                                LAWYER Volume 113, Issue 7                       April 2004

                                         From Your
DCBA Officers
President, Gary Kollmeier
Immediate Past President, Michelle
President-Elect, David Bouschor
Vice President, Brian Cartwright
                                         S   ummer is just around the corner,
                                              and we have only two meetings
                                         left this program year.
Secretary/Treasurer and Membership,
    Jim Ashmore
CLE Director, Charles E. Beachley, III   We have many exciting things planned
                                         for the next few months. Look for
                                         details shortly about the golf
DCBA Directors                           tournament at Robson Ranch from Bill      Gary Kollmeier
Tiffany Haertling, Hugh Coleman,         Neal and Patricia Ryan. The
    Darcy E. Loveless, Earl Dobson       tournament, on Friday, April 30 will      be very fun and informative. Door
                                         benefit Hannah’s House. You are           prizes will be given away.
DCBA Committee Chairs                    encouraged to bring guests. We are
Courts Committee, Brian Cartwright       also finalizing plans for the year-end    We hope to unveil the new website at
Library Board of Governors,              social in June.                           the May meeting. We will also
    Roger Yale                                                                     distribute the membership directory
Social Committee,                        I am excited to report that membership    that day so we can include the new
    Earl Dobson, Scott Alagood           is up this year. Monthly meetings have    local rules as approved by the
Fee Arbitration, Darcy E. Loveless       consistently broken records. The          Supreme Court. Please attend to pick
CLE Committee, Chuck Beachley            CASA Ad Litem seminar drew over           up your new directory.
Newsletter, Camille Milner               150 attendees. The upcoming Bench-
Internet/Web Page, Gary Kollmeier        Bar and Young Lawyer’s CLE                If you would like to become a director
                                         seminars and luncheon meetings will       or officer, please review the bylaws
DCBA Membership                          also draw large crowds.                   posted on the Bar website and contact
Your DCBA Membership includes                                                      any director or officer for information
• Free and discounted CLE programs       The April 2 Bench-Bar Conference,         about the process.
                                         coordinated by Chuck Beachley,
• Monthly lunch and happy hours
                                         includes an informative and interesting   To allow for greater continuity, one of
• Networking opportunities               program. The CLE for the April lunch      our strategic goals this year was to
Your DCBA Membership offers              meeting will be led by Bob Eames and      implement a program to determine
• Family Law Section                     Curtis Loveless and will focus on the     which new and ongoing programs and
                                         grievance process. All Denton County      activities will be supported in the next
• Real Estate, Trust, and Probate Law
                                         attorneys are invited. Lunch for          year. Please let me or David
                                         nonmembers costs $15.00.                  Bouschor, your incoming president,
• Criminal Law Section
                                                                                   know of programs or functions you
• Denton County Trial Lawyer’s           The Denton Young Lawyers have             would like to see next year. Your input
                                         lined up a varied program appealing to    helps plan events and programs that
•   Greater Denton County Young
                                         all lawyers. This May 7 seminar will      appeal to all members.
    Lawyers Association
2004 Bench-Bar Conference
Friday, April 2, 2004
Oakmont Countr y Club, Corinth, TX
Time       Topic                                             Speakers
8:15 AM    Registration                                      None

8.55 AM    Welcoming/Opening Remarks                         Gary Kollmeier

9:00 AM    District Judges Panel Discussion (Family)         Judges Jake Collier, Lee Gabriel, Vicki Isaacks, Bruce
                                                             McFarling, Carmen Rivera-Worley, L.D. Shipman*

9:45 AM    Judges Panel Discussion (Civil)                   Judges Margaret Barnes, Jake Collier, Lee Gabriel, Vicki
                                                             Isaacks, Bruce McFarling, Carmen Rivera-Worley, L.D.

10:30 AM   Break                                             None

10:45 AM   District Judges Panel Discussion                  Judges Jake Collier, Lee Gabriel, Vicki Isaacks, Bruce
           (Criminal)                                        McFarling, Carmen Rivera-Worley, L.D. Shipman*

12:00 PM   How to Avoid a Grievance II                       Robert Eames, Curtis Loveless
           (DCBA Monthly Luncheon Meeting)

1:30 PM    County Criminal Court Judges Panel                Judges Joe Bridges, Jim Crouch, David Garcia, Richard
           Discussion                                        Podgorski, Virgil Vahlenkamp*

3:15 PM    Break                                             None

3:30 PM    Contested Matters in Probate Court                Judge Don Windle, Associate Judge Tom Whitlock

4:15 PM    Juvenile                                          Judge Darlene Whitten

                          Yes, Your Honor, perhaps I am
                          an ignoramus for missing Your
                          Honor’s presentation at the 2004
                          DCBA Bench-Bar Seminar.

                                                             Program Cost
                                                             • Lawyers licensed two years or less, $75.00
                                                             • Lawyers licensed two years or more, $100.00

                                                             CLE Credit
                                                             • Seminar offers 6.00 hours of CLE credit.
                                                             • Luncheon offers 0.50 hours or CLE credit.
                                                                 Some Judges may not be able to attend this session.
Family News
SectionLaw Section News

The Good that Trial Lawyers Do
By David S. Casey, Jr., President ATLA; Contributed by Frank G. Lyle

As last year came to a close, I             without trial lawyers, America would         Reports of civil lawsuits that have
received an e-mail message that             be more like Pottersville—that is,           resulted in more responsible business
described 2003 as the year of the           Bedford Falls without George Bailey.         practices and a safer society would fill
greatest assault on the US civil justice                                                 volumes. Consider these: A 1970 case
system in history. From my                  Safety and Responsibility                    of a four-year-old burned badly by
perspective, it certainly appeared that     Many in positions of power do not like       highly flammable pajamas led to
way. Without trial lawyers, what would      the scrutiny that litigation brings. These   congressional action setting tougher
our country be like? That question          powerful interests seek to close the         standards. Injuries and deaths caused
makes me think of the experience of         doors of the justice system to the           by the Dalkon Shield intrauterine
George Bailey, Jimmy Stewart’s              public. They want to dismantle a legal       device gave rise to litigation that
character in the classic film It’s a        system that is the envy of the world.        forced the manufacturer, A.H. Robins
Wonderful Life.                             A US senator once told a corporate           Co., to remove its product from the
                                            CEO that our civil justice system is the     market. As a result of a 1998 lawsuit
We all know the story: At a moment of       “moral compass” for American                 brought by a Boeing employee who
crisis, George can’t see the good he        business because it compels                  contracted leukemia after continual
has done for his family and community,      companies to integrate safety and            exposure to electromagnetic pulse
and he is tempted to give up. The           responsibility into their culture. We        radiation, the company implemented
revelation that his life and work have      have seen what happens when                  safety procedures to protect others.
made a difference gives him hope and        companies ignore safety and                  And most recently, after numerous
a renewed sense of purpose.                 environmental considerations in pursuit      lawsuits were filed seeking
                                            of profit: Society pays, in increased        compensation for deaths linked to the
Like George, we occasionally need to        health care costs and decreased              dietary supplement ephedra, the FDA
be reminded of the good we have             productivity.                                banned the product.
done. For years, we have made
insurers pay losses when they are due.      Our colleague Joe Jamail—in his              Those who attack civil justice do not
We have forced auto makers to design        autobiography, Lawyer: My Trials             understand that they are attacking the
safer cars, minimizing injuries and         and Jubilations—describes a verdict          legal system that protects them. In a
saving innumerable lives. Because of        (one of many in his extraordinary            now well-known ironic tragedy, one
our work, industrial polluters have         career) that not only compensated his        tort “reform” advocate learned this the
compensated those they have harmed          client but forced a product recall. He       hard way: A medical association
and cleaned up the environment.             writes:                                      lobbyist, Frank Cornelius, who had
Legislation didn’t change tobacco                                                        worked for passage of a medical
industry marketing campaigns aimed at           This is the exercise of law at           malpractice damages cap in Indiana in
children; trial lawyers did. Where              its most fundamental level, the          the 1970s, later became a victim of
sexual abusers have preyed on                   protection of the public                 medical negligence. When he sought to
innocent victims—in the therapist’s             interest. If there is a                  hold those who had injured him
office, the workplace, or the church—           distinction I believe justifies          accountable, the very law he had
trial lawyers have forced institutional         my existence on Earth, it is             helped enact limited his rights. He
changes and held the abusers                    this: I am personally                    worked to change that law until his
accountable.                                    responsible for three national           death.
                                                recalls—by Remington Arms,
America’s standards for product                 Honda, and Parlodel drugs.               Many legislators support tort “reform”
safety and professional conduct are             They can engrave that on my              except when they or their families
among the highest in the world. But             tombstone.                                Trail Lawyers continued on page 4.
Section News
Denton County Fee Arbitration
              Fee                                                                    Section Meetings
By Darcy Loveless
                                                                                     Family Law
The Denton County Bar Association offers a Fee Arbitration Committee for             Date:
your use and benefit. The committee is made up of several panels of three—two            April 26, 2004, 5:30 PM
attorneys and one nonlawyer per panel, split evenly across gender and area of            networking, 6:00 PM program
county residence. Each August we replace both attorney and nonlawyer                 Program:
members of the committee.                                                                Real Estate in Family Law,
                                                                                         Speakers: Scott Alagood,
The committee arbitrates any fee dispute, but has no method to force a fee               Ronnie Anderson
arbitration. If you have a fee dispute, contact my office for an inquiry form to     Location:
complete. After receiving the completed form, we will inform the other party             The Greenhouse
that an arbitration has been requested. If the other party agrees to participate,
we will assign a panel of abitrators and arbitration date. If the other party does   REPTL
not agree, a Judge must order you and the other party to participate in an           Date:
arbitration before we can schedule the arbitration. The arbitration panel issues a       April 24, 2004, 12:00 PM
written award to the parties.                                                        Program:
                                                                                         TX Principal and Interest Act &
For those wishing to add fee arbitration to their contract, my office has some           TX Prudent Investor Act,
language, which I believe was adopted from Mike Gregory. Other resources                 Speaker: Rex Hogue
include many attorneys in town who have provisions that make fee arbitration         Location:
mandatory. It would be my hope that for attorneys with mandatory fee                     Courtyard Café
arbitration in a contract, the Courts would be likely to order disputes to our
committee. To use this resource, contact Darcy Loveless at (940) 387-3776 or         Trial Lawyers
(972) 484-3844.                                                                      Date:
                                                                                         April 21, 2004, 12:00 PM
Trial Lawyers continued from page 3.
                                                                                         Negotiation of Health Care
become the victims of wrongdoing—then they don’t hesitate to turn to the
                                                                                         Claims and Hospital Liens,
courts for justice. This is hypocrisy at its worst.
                                                                                         Speaker: Doug Robinson
Consumers do not want their rights restricted for the sake of greater
                                                                                         The Radisson Hotel
corporate profits. What they do want are sensible laws and a jury system,
one not subject to political pressure, where people like themselves can make
                                                                                     CLE Credit
reasoned decisions. They recognize that jurors, who are regularly entrusted
                                                                                     These meetings provide 0.50 hours of
with deciding whether a criminal defendant will live or die, are clearly             CLE credit with specialization credit in
capable of sorting through complex issues to make fair decisions in civil            one or more related areas.

The past year was a challenging one, and 2004 will
probably bring ever greater threats to the civil justice
system. The attacks will stop only if trial lawyers stop
representing people harmed by powerful interests. As long
as we remain dedicated to the public good, that won’t                       Meeting your content needs
happen, and ATLA will continue leading the charge against                   •    Brochures       •    Publications
every assault on citizens’ rights.                                          •    Forms           •    Trial Exhibits

Reprinted with permission of TRIAL (February 2004).                      1413 E. McKinney • Denton, TX 76209
Copyright the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.                           (940) 384-9407 x 227


                                                                                         KARIN SELIGMANN
                                                                                          RESIDENTIAL SPECIALIST
                                                                                           Direct     (940) 391-1131
                                                                                           Office     (888) 484-9411 Toll Free
                                                                                           Fax        (940) 382-2773

                                                                                          2434 Lillian Miller Parkway
                                                                                              Denton, TX 76205
                                                                                           An Independent Member Broker

                                                       Serving Individual Investors Since 1871

                                                       Laura Gentry
                                                       Investment Representative

                                                       502 W. Oak Suite 101
                                                       Denton, Texas 76201
                                                       940.566.4757 local
                                                       888.566.2738 toll free
                                                       940.387.3743 home
                                                       888.397.8244 fax

                                                       KAUFFMAN SUMMARIES
              Certified Shorthand Reporters
                                                                  Quality Deposition Summaries

               JANEL M. STOFFELS, CSR
                                                                         Julie Kauffman
     (940) 565-9797 FAX: (940) 565-9197 800-52-COURT
                                                       2512 John Dr.                                       (940) 381-2175
      207 W. HICKORY, STE. #304 DENTON, TX 76201
                                                       Denton, TX 76207                     

                                                                  HEXTER-FAIR TITLE COMPANY
                                                                                         REBECCA L. ARNOLD
                                                                                            Senior Vice President
          ORR & ASSOCIATES                                                                     Area Manager
               COLLABORATIVE LAW
      CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATIONS/ADOPTIONS                                                        940-243-3510
                                                                                               940-243-3519 Fax
                                                                                             940-391-0575 Mobile
PEYTON ORR                                                                                     3201 Teasley Lane
5535 MARTEL                             214-823-7179                                               Suite 801
DALLAS, TX 75206                 PEYTONO@YAHOO.COM                                           Denton, Texas 76210

DCBA in Histor y

The Search for the
Holy Grail
Or, Sometimes a Lawyer Can’t
Or,                    Can’t
Help but do Good

T   he practice of law is a business.
     Some are good and some are bad
at business. But, sometimes the bad
                                           One afternoon, George requested I get
                                           involved in a capital murder case
                                           involving a murdered Dallas Police
businessman/lawyer leaves a legacy         officer. It was a most controversial        By Staff Writer and DCBA Historian
that all lawyers aspire to achieve. A      case involving the then unknown                      (photo circa 1968)
case in point is that of George A.         Randall Dale Adams. Though claiming
Preston.                                   innocence, Adams had been convicted         partly due to the strain of the Adams
                                           and sentenced to death in Dallas on         case. Adams remained in prison with
George was born, raised, and educated      the word of Teresa Turko, a Dallas          only George Preston working to free
in Denton County. His mother was           Police officer.                             him. More than a decade of work,
from a distinguished family and his                                                    interviews, gathering evidence, cajoling
father ran Jagoe Public before his         We met with Adams’ visibly shaken           witnesses, and seeking help followed
untimely death. George’s mother            lawyer, Dennis White. White told an         for George without hope of
started the Selwyn School when she         incredible story of prosecutorial           reimbursement.
decided she wanted more education          misconduct. White, about thirty at the
for her son than was provided by the       time, was so disgusted he never again       One day a filmmaker named Errol
Denton Public Schools. George grew         practiced law to my knowledge.              Morriss became interested and
up privileged, went into the Peace                                                     produced a film called “Thin Blue
Corps after college, attended UT Law       As there was limited money, we              Line” outlining the fraud, perjury, and
School, and came back to Denton            brainstormed a bit and I left the matter    corruption of the prosecution of
County to practice law.                    to George and Melvin Bruder. They           Adams. George recruited his friend
                                           ultimately appealed the case to the US      from Houston, Randy Shaeffer, to help
Intrigued by criminal law, George soon     Supreme Court, which overthrew the          with the legal problems and they got a
began hanging out in the flesh-pots of     death penalty as applied and reversed       hearing.
that calling. He became a partner with     the case—a wonderful win in a
Alan Levy and Hal Jackson for some         difficult case.                             At the end of the hearing Adams was
time. On the death of County Judge                                                     freed, the true killer confessed in
John Crawford, he was appointed            Unexpectedly, Henry Wade, the               prison and a case doggedly pursued for
County Judge. Being County Judge           District Attorney of Dallas County,         more than a decade against all odds
was probably the last time George          asked the Governor to commute the           and financed from George’s own
made money as a lawyer.                    death sentence to one of life. The          pocket ended in a victory for the
                                           Governor complied, and Adams was to         defense.
When his County Judge term ended in        remain in prison for life, despite all of
the late seventies, George moved his       the effort.                                 There was a small victory party;
practice to Dallas and became a                                                        Adams went home to Ohio and never
partner of Melvin Bruder, a storied,       More years went by and more appeals         contacted George again. George
colorful, and brilliant criminal lawyer.   and writs of habeas corpus were filed       Preston died a few years later from
They barely scraped by on criminal         in Federal Court to no avail. Bruder        brain tumors.
cases.                                     and Preston broke apart in the interim,
                                                                                                       Address Service Requested

                                                                                            Denton, TX 76202
                                                                                            P.O. Box 1621
                                                                                            Denton County Bar Association

DCBA: The Place to Be, 2003-04!
April Bar                                       May Bar                                       ournament
                                                                                        Golf Tour nament

Luncheon                                        Luncheon
                                                                                        The DCBA will sponsor a golf
                                                                                        tournament on Friday, April 30 at
                                                                                        Robson Ranch. Proceeds benefit
Time:                                           Time:
                                                                                        Hannah’s House. For more
   Noon, Friday, April 2                           Noon, Friday, May 7
                                                                                        information, please contact
Place:                                          Place:                                  Patricia Ryan at 940-591-1191 or
   Oakmont Country Club                            Oakmont Country Club                 Bill Neal at 972-436-9300.
   1200 Clubhouse Drive                            1200 Clubhouse Drive
   Corinth, TX 76210                               Corinth, TX 76210
                                                                                        Member Joys and
Program:                                        Program:
   How to Avoid a Grievance II                     Annual Business Meeting
                                                                                        • Helena Rose Coleman was born
Speakers:                                       Dsitribution:                               on February 10, 2004 to Bar
   Robert Eames, Curtis Loveless                    Membership Directory                    Director Hugh Coleman and his
                                                                                            wife, Bernadette.
                                                                                        •   Jim Ashmore’s father, John
                                                                                            Ashmore, passed away on
For more information, contact Camille Milner at 940-383-2674 or
                                                                                            March 12, 2004.

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