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									                                            CLINIC NEWS
                                            The newsletter of the Texas Tech University School of Law Clinical Programs



                                               TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
                                           RECIPIENT OF FIRST TEXAS ACCESS TO JUSTICE LAW
                                              SCHOOL COMMITMENT TO SERVICE AWARD
              FALL 2008



INSIDE THIS                        The Texas Access to Justice Commission            programs, student involvement and other
EDITION:                           initiated two annual pro bono awards designed to initiatives was presented to Texas Tech
                                   encourage pro bono activity early in a new        University School of Law.
From the Desk of Larry
Spain……….……………......2
                                   lawyer’s career and to urge law schools to
                                   become more involved in the delivery of legal
From the Desk of Vaughn
E. James ………………....…3              services to individuals who cannot afford the
                                   services of an attorney. Justice Harriet O’Neill
From the Desk of Wendy
Tolson Ross…………...…...4            presented the awards at the new lawyer
From the Desk of Patrick S.
                                   admission ceremony on November 18, 2008 in
Metze ………………….….…5                 Austin for individuals passing the July, 2008 bar
From the Desk of Glenn             examination. One student from each law
Roque-Jackson …………...6
                                   school in Texas who has demonstrated a
From the Desk of Jeff              commitment to the delivery of legal services to
Blackburn and Natalie
Roetzel……...……….……...7             the poor was selected and recognized at the
                                   ceremony. Alma Gonzalez, a student in the                Pictured above is Associate Dean Wes
Clinic Staff Installed as
President of WTPA......….. 8       Civil Practice Clinic, was recognized from Texas          Cochran accepting the award from
                                   Tech.                                                    Justice Harriet O’Neill and Jim Sales
TTU School of Law Hosts
Seminar …….…………..…. 9

From the Desk of Gene                                                                 Congratulations to the faculty, staff and
Valentini and Nicie
Pratt.…….………..….….....10
                                                                                      students of Texas Tech University School of
                                                                                      Law! TTU School of Law has had a long
LITC Welcomes
Administrative Student                                                                tradition of providing pro bono legal services to
Director …….................….11
                                                                                      low-income individuals in the community
Clinical Program Welcomes                                                             beginning with a formal partnership with the
Clinic Fellow ………….….11
                                                                                      Equal Justice Volunteer Program of Legal Aid of
Law and Justice Magnet
Program ..…………...…....12
                                                                                      NorthWest Texas (formerly known as the
                                                                                      Private Attorney Involvement Program of West
Faculty & Students Support
Pro Bono ..………………. 12
                                         ATJ Law Student Finalists (L to R):          Texas Legal Services) in 1991. Over the past
                                          Alma Gonzalez (TTU Law); Evan               few years, TTU School of Law has significantly
Experience Exceeds
Expectations….……..…...14
                                       Johnson (UH Law Ctr); Justice Harriet          increased its commitment to access to justice
                                       O’Neill; Alexis Hoff (TWU Law); and
                                                                                      issues and encouraged both students and faculty
CCAV Seeks Volunteers for                    Jessica Cassidy (UT Law)
VITA …………………..……15                                                                    to contribute their time and effort to pro bono
Snapshot Corner ......….. 16                                                          service benefiting underserved populations
Recent Cases
                                   The inaugural Law School Commitment to             through a variety of programs, activities and
Of Interest …..…….…….. 17          Service Award recognizing a law school that        accomplishments.
Faculty, Co-Directors              most prominently advances the delivery of legal
And Staff ……………..…..18
                                   services through clinics, public interest
                                                                                                                    (continued on page 13)
                                                                                                                CLINIC NEWS | 2



From the Desk of Larry Spain
Director of Clinical Programs and Civil Practice Clinic

During the fall semester, the following              claims, civil rights claims, wills and estate
students were enrolled in Professor Spain’s          planning, and consumer matters.
section of the Civil Practice Clinic: Andrew
Anderson, Renee Brosch, Julie Caskey, Leslie       During the semester, most of the students had
Chaggaris, Britton Douglas, Jorge Leal,            an opportunity to complete a divorce case from
Suzanne Meredith, Victor Rodriquez and             beginning to end and have a final hearing held
Aaron Shnider.                                     before the court. Two students, Renee                    Teaches Civil Practice
                                                                                                            Clinic, Family Law,
                                                   Brosch and Julie Caskey, had temporary
                                                                                                            Professional
Over the course of the semester, a total of 32     hearings set before the court and were                   Responsibility, and
new client cases were undertaken, 8 cases were supervised by Terri Morgeson.                                Advanced ADR Clinic.
completed and closed and 34 cases remain                                                                    Before joining the faculty
open and will be carried over to the spring        Suzanne Meredith has a divorce pending                   at Texas Tech, Professor
                                                                                                            Spain was the Director of
semester. Each of the students, in addition to before the court involving claims for                        Clinical Programs at the
being exposed to a variety of legal problems       reimbursement                                            University of North
through the evening Pro Bono Clinics,              and economic                                             Dakota School of Law for
participated in the Night Court Divorce Project, a contribution                                             eighteen years, where he
                                                                                                            established several new
                                  program          when her separate
                                                                                                            clinical programs and
                                  offered in       property funds                                           expanded the range of
                                  collaboration    from receipt of                                          clinical opportunities
                                  with the         life insurance                                           available to students.
                                                   proceeds received                                        Prior to entering legal
                                  Lubbock
                                                                                                            education, he worked for
                                  County Courts during the marriage were used to benefit her                several legal services
                                  to provide       spouse’s separate property estate. Leslie                programs in Nebraska.
                                  representation Chaggaris had filed a Deceptive Trade
to low-income individuals in simple divorces       Practices Act (DTPA) claim against an                    In addition to law
                                                                                                            teaching and legal
with hearings held before Judge Judy Parker in individual who had engaged in                                practice, he has also been
the evening at the Law School. In addition to misrepresentation and poor workmanship in                     active in the field of
these activities, each of the students has been    replacing the roof on an elderly couple. After           alternative dispute
kept busy carrying an individual caseload of 4-5 the defendant default, a judgment will be                  resolution, serving as
                                                   sought for actual damages, treble damages and            Chair of the Governing
clients throughout the semester and assumed
                                                                                                            Board of a university-
primary responsibility for representing clients attorney fees.                                              affiliated community
in matters involving family law, disability                                                                 dispute resolution center
                                                                                                            as well as being a frequent
                                                            CONGRATULATIONS PROFESSOR SPAIN                 trainer and practitioner in
                                                                ON BEING NAMED PRO BONO                     mediation skills.
                                                             CHAMPION BY THE TEXAS ACCESS TO
                                                                  JUSTICE COMMISSION!!                      Professor Spain is actively
                                                                                                            involved in the field of
                                                                                                            clinical legal education
                                                                 “We are all proud of Larry for his
                                                                                                            nationally, currently
                                                             commitment to providing legal services to      serving as editor of the
                                                                  persons who would otherwise be            newsletter of the Clinical
                                                             unrepresented – and who would not have         Legal Education
                                                             access to justice – and this recognition by    Association (CLEA).
Back Row (L to R): Julie Caskey, Suzanne Meredith, Andrew     the State Bar of his dedicated service in
Anderson, Victor Rodriguez, Aaron Shnider, and Professor      the public interest is a fitting tribute. “
Larry Spain Front Row (L to R): Britton Douglas, Renee
Brosch, Leslie Chaggaris, and Jorge Leal                                             Walter B. Huffman
                                                               Dean and W. Frank Newton Professor of Law
                                                                                                                         CLINIC NEWS | 3



From the Desk of Vaughn E. James
Tax Clinic Director

We are approaching the end of a wonderful               office; and the equally indefatigable Samirah
semester of working together in the Income              Abdalah who answers the phones, welcomes
Tax Clinic. We have taken on many cases,                our clients, keeps us well-stocked with various
and helped many low income taxpayers.                   supplies, and, of course, provides us with
Indeed, our clients are largely happy with the          candy for that extra surge of energy.                     Teaches Elder Law, Federal
services we provide. As a result, I am happy; I                                                                   Estate and Gift Taxation,
am satisfied.                                               Earlier this semester, my chest swelled with          Federal Income Taxation,
                                                            pride as I sat at the Tax Court watching Brett        International Taxation, Law
I am aware, however, that none of this would Gilmore and Dominica Moore representing a                            and Religion, and Low
                                                                                                                  Income Tax Clinic.
be possible without                                                                    client before the court.
the wonderful team “The opportunity to work in the Low-Income Tax Clinic has They did such an                     Professor James is admitted
                       been very rewarding. All too often, law students' exposure to
of students and                                                                        excellent job! Later on    to practice in New York,
                       the law is limited to the pages of a casebook. The clinic
support staff who                                                                      in the semester, Jack      Texas, United States Tax
                       provides practical, real-world experience where tax law is
                                                                                                                  court, and the United States
make up the Income applied to real people and real problems. While working in Starks participated in a            District Court for the
Tax Clinic. I am       the clinic this semester, I've had the opportunity to represent conference with the
                                                                                                                  Northern District of Texas.
eternally grateful to several clients before the I.R.S. and to resolve a variety of    IRS. Jack made us all
                       their complicated income tax issues. Clinical experience
them all: Brett                                                                                                   Outside the classroom,
                       provides a much needed exposure to the community and to the proud. We look
Gilmore, our first                                                                     forward to even better     Professor James is very active
                       practice of law. I am fortunate to have been a part of it.”
                                                                                                                  on the national and
ever Student                                                                           things and more            international scenes. A
Administrative                                                         Levi Siebenlist experiences in the next
                                                                                                                  musician and recording
Director; the hard-                                                                    semester – and in the      artist for over thirty years,
working student lawyers who are in direct                   New Year.                                             Professor James still records
                                                                                                                  and performs with his
contact with our clients – Cory Boggess, Ryan                                                                     calypso and reggae band,
Damiano, Alexandra Eaker, Dominica                          I wish you all a happy holiday season, and a          King Shakey & the Banned.
Moore, Traci Robison, Levi Siebenlist, Jack                 very successful New Year. To the Tax Clinic           In May 2007, he was
Starks, and Elizabeth Watson; the                           team I say: rest and relax well, for we have          awarded the Heritage
indefatigable Elma Moreno who manages our greater things coming our way in 2009.                                  Legend Award by the
                                                                                                                  University of the West
                                                                                                                  Indies—Dominica Center.
                                                                                                                  A graduate of the Seventh –
                                                                                                                  day Adventist Theological
                                                          Congratulations to Professor James on his               Seminary and an ordained
                                                                                                                  minister of religion,
                                                          new book, The Alzheimer’s Advisor: A                    Professor James spends most
                                                          Caregiver’s Guide to dealing with the Tough Legal       weekends in pulpits in
                                                          and Practical Issues (New York, NY: Amacom              America and the rest of the
                                                          Books 2008) which was published on                      world speaking on religious
                                                                                                                  topics, especially as they
                                                          October 1, 2008, and on receiving a “Starred            relate to Religious Freedom,
                                                          Review” from Library Journal Xpress on                  the First Amendment and
                                                          November 12th.                                          the Civil Rights Act of 1964
                                                                                                                  (as amended). He is
                                                                                                                  involved in various
                                                          Congratulations also to Professor James who
                                                                                                                  organizations and has
                                                          received a Lifetime Achievement Award                   received numerous awards
Back Row (L to R): Dominica Moore, Alexandra              from FAME Dominica on October 24th and                  and recognitions and has
Eaker, Elizabeth Watson, and Traci Robison                the Pioneer of Calypso Music Award from                 authored several
                                                          the Dominica Calypso Music Hall of Fame                 publications.
Front Row (L to R): Cory Boggess, Ryan Damiano,
Jack Starks, Professor Vaughn James, Levi Siebenlist,     on the same day.
and Brett Gilmore
                                                                                                              CLINIC NEWS | 4



From the Desk of Wendy Tolson Ross
Civil Practice Clinic Director

This semester I had eight students enroll in        that we have started working
my section of Civil Practice Clinic. These          on this semester.
students were: Alma Gonzalez, Alexander
Kessler, William McCamish, Gilda                    This semester we had a
McDowell, K’lisha Pace, Melinda Powell,             couple of landlord/tenant
Matthew Sapp, and Crystal Soria.                    cases. We represented a
                                                    client both at the Justice of                       Teaches Civil Practice
                                                                                                        Clinic, Negotiations, and
The majority of cases                                                     the Peace Court and on
                                   “…. Mr. McCamish was very                                            Race and Racism.
worked on by the students          helpful, attentive, polite, caring     appeal to the County
were family law cases. We          and knowledgeable.”                    Court. We also have a         Prior to joining us at the
have accepted many                                   Civil Clinic Client  security deposit case.        beginning of the summer
divorces, both with and                                                                                 2005, Professor Ross was a
                                                                                                        Clinical Instructor of Law at
without children and some                                               Finally, we had a number        St. Mary’s University School
custody suits.                                      of probate cases. We were able to complete          of Law . She served as a
In one of the divorce cases, we were able to        one will and complete a Muniment of Title           Clinical Instructor from
obtain spousal support for a client.                case in Probate Court.                              1999 thru 2005. She was
                                                                                                        also Acting Associate
Additionally, we have a few adoption cases
                                                                                                        Director for the Office of
                                                                                                        Academic Excellence.
                                                                                                        Professor Ross joined the
                                                                                                        faculty to teach a section of
                                                              “The Civil Clinic has been a              the Civil Practice Clinic and
                                                              rewarding learning experience. I am       to teach negotiations in the
                                                              learning practical skills through hands   Spring of 2006 which she
                                                              on training which is not provided in      continues to teach every
                                                              the traditional classroom setting.        Spring semester. She
                                                              The clinics allow us to seek assistance   earned her B.A. from Texas
                                                              from knowledgeable attorneys who          Tech University and her law
                                                              truly care about the work they do. It     degree from University of
                                                                                                        Missouri - Columbia Law
                                                              has been a great pleasure to work with
                                                                                                        School. In addition to
                                                              the clinics staff and my colleagues—my    teaching one section of the
                                                              classmates.”                              Civil Practice Clinic,
Back Row (L to R): William McCamish, Matthew Sapp,
Alexander Kessler, Melinda Powell, and Professor Wendy                                                  Professor Ross also teaches
                                                                                       Alma Gonzalez    Race and Racism during the
Tolson Ross
Front Row (L to R): Crystal Soria, K’lisha Pace, Alma                                                   Fall semester.
Gonzalez, and Gilda McDowell
                                                                                                        Professor Ross is currently
                                                                                                        past President of the
                                                                                                        Mexican American Bar
                                                                                                        Association and has served
                      “Being a part of the Civil Practice Clinic has afforded me the opportunity        on various other
                          to engage in community service while gaining real world practical             organizations throughout
                           experience. No other experience in law school exposes you to the             the years.
                     challenging situations that you encounter while in the Civil Practice Clinic.
                          Like the pieces of a puzzle, the Civil Practice Clinic has helped me
                         understand how the courses I have completed fit together to make a
                     finished product. Under the supervision of Professor Spain, I have had the
                       opportunity to correct and refine the skills necessary to succeed as a civil
                                         practice attorney.”
                                                                                          Jorge Leal
                                                                                                                            CLINIC NEWS | 5



From the Desk of Patrick S. Metze
Director, Criminal Justice Clinic - Defense Section

Just a short note to let everyone know the                    Worth in December and the 29th Annual
students in the Criminal Defense Clinic are                   Prairie Dog Lawyer Seminar here at the Law
busy representing real people in real cases in School in March and the TCDLA Board
real time. Since the beginning of this                        meetings to follow. All students are members
                                                                                                                       Patrick Metze became a
semester, students have handled or are                        of the Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyers
                                                                                                                       full-time faculty member
handling 77 cases for                                                                       Association and the        teaching and directing
60 different                                            “The criminal defense clinic is one Texas Criminal
                                                        of the more practical and                                      the Criminal Defense
clients. Students                                       challenging opportunities that I    Defense Lawyers            Clinic this academic
handle all phases of                                    have experienced at Tech            Association.               year. Pat is an
representation from                                     Law. This program allows                                       experienced criminal
initial interview                                       students to apply their knowledge Cases currently              defense practitioner in
                                                        and advocacy skills to represent                               Lubbock who is a Past
through appearance                                                                          pending include: 9
                                                      people that would not otherwise be                               President and current
in Court. To date, of heard. The professors and staff provide a comfortable yet             DWI's, 2 Failure to
                                                                                                                       Director of the Lubbock
those 77 cases there      professional learning environment. From jail visits with          Identify to Police
                                                                                                                       County Criminal
have been 24 pleas of     clients to pre-trial hearings, I have learned so much about the Officer, 3 Possession
                          criminal justice system and even more about myself. I cannot of Marijuana <2 oz, 3           Defense Lawyers
guilty and 6                                                                                                           Association. He is
                          imagine graduating without having experienced everything
dismissals. Having        that the Criminal Defense Clinic brings!”                         Class B Theft, 1 Class     enthusiastic about
represented clients in                                                    Melissa Moreno A Theft, 6 Domestic           continuing the
the Magistrate Court,                                                                       Violence Assault, 1        development of our
the Lubbock County Courts at Law, and the Prohibited Weapon, 1 Unlawfully Carrying a                                   Criminal Defense Clinic
District Courts are Sosa “Ann” Thomas, Gail Weapon, 1 Evading Arrest, 1 Criminal                                       and providing a quality
Schroeter, Jason Rew-Hunter, Luz Martinez-                    Trespass, 1 Traffic ticket, 2 Driving While              experiential program for
Bernal, Melissa A. Moreno, Paul Harrell, T.J. License Invalid, 1 Felony Possession of a                                our students.
Roberts, and Tifanee Baker. Five of the clinic Controlled Substance, 1 Felony Tampering
                                                                                                                       Received a Bachelor of
students at the present time have or will soon With a Governmental Record, 7 Burglary of a
                                                                                                                       Arts from Texas Tech
have at least one case each set for a jury                    Motor Vehicle, 2 ALR Hearings, 1 Abuse of                University and his
trial. Ann Thomas and Melissa Moreno each 911 Call, and 2 Class A Assault. Cases                                       Doctor of Jurisprudence
are set in January for an administrative                      disposed of through pleas or dismissals                  from The University of
hearing on a driver's license                                 include 1Prostitution, 6 Domestic Violence               Houston. He was
revocation. Please congratulate them all for                  Assault, 1 False Report to a Police Officer, 7           admitted to practice in
their hard work. Also, Ann Thomas, Jason                      Failure to Identify, 1 Resisting Arrest, 2 Class         the State of Texas on
Rew-Hunter and Gail Schroeter attended the B Theft, 3 DWI, 7 Possession of Marijuana, 1                                April 29, 1974.
quarterly board meeting of the Texas                          Theft of Service, 1 Juvenile Detention
                                                                                                                       He is one of only 14
Criminal Defense Lawyers Association in                       Hearing, and 2 Evading Arrest.
                                                                                                                       attorneys qualified for
Austin in October. All students have the
                                                                                                                       appointment as first chair
opportunity to attend a board meeting in Ft.                                                   (continued on page 6)
                                                                                                                       in Capital Murder cases
                                                                                                                       in the 45 counties of the
                                                                                                                       9th Administrative
                                                                             Back Row (L to R): Luz                    Judicial Region and the
                                                                              Martinez-Bernal, Gail                    only attorney in Lubbock
                                                                          Schroeter, Melissa Moreno, and               who is qualified and
                                                                                   Ann Thomas                          solicits appointments to
                                                                             Front Row (L to R): T.J.                  indigent clients for
                                                                             Roberts, Tifanee Baker,                   misdemeanors, juveniles,
                                                                           Professor Patrick Metze, Paul
                                                                                                                       felonies, death penalty
                                                                          Harrell, and Jason Rew-Hunter
                                                                                                                       cases, and appeals in all
                                                                                                                       courts.
                                                                                                                 CLINIC NEWS | 6



From the Desk of Glenn Roque-Jackson
Director, Criminal Justice Clinic - Prosecution Section

There are seven talented students enrolled in defense attorneys have periodically addressed
the 2008-2009 Prosecution Section of the             the students to supplement their instruction.
Criminal Justice Clinic: Megan Batchelor,            They have learned quickly and, as a result, are
Meredith Coffman,        “The prosecution clinic offers something most law         beginning to serve      Teaches: Criminal
Kathryn Kennon,          school courses cannot: real cases and real courtroom      as lead trial           Prosecution Clinic
Brandon Price,           experience. You learn first-hand from some of the         counsel on their
Joseph Rueda, and        best investigators, attorneys, and judges in Texas. It's  own cases. It is        In law school, Professor
                         pretty sweet.”                                                                    Roque-Jackson was the
Benson Varghese.                                                     Russell Frost
                                                                                   expected that
                                                                                                           Trial Director of the
Judges, veteran                                                                    before the year is
                                                                                                           Harvard Defenders, a
prosecutors, and experienced law                     over each student will obtain a significant           student-run public
enforcement officials have provided these            amount of trial experience and will learn what        defender office. After
students with weekly instruction on the skills it takes to be an effective and ethical                     graduation, he worked as a
needed to practice criminal law. Prominent           prosecutor.                                           law clerk for Chief U.S.
                                                                                                           District Judge Harry Lee
                                                                                                           Hudspeth in El Paso and
                                                                                                           then as a litigation
                                                                                                           associate with Fulbright &
                                                             “By preparing and conveying plea offers       Jaworski, L.L.P. in
                                                             to dozens of defendants and having            Houston. From there, he
                                                             tried "real world" cases before a judge or    joined the U.S. Justice
                                                             jury, I have learned more about the art       Department where he
                                                             of lawyering in three months as a mem-        currently serves as an
                                                             ber of the Prosecution Clinic than I          Assistant U.S. Attorney.
                                                             have in over two years of law school.”        He has extensive jury trial
                                                                                              Joe Rueda
                                                                                                           experience and has
(L to R): Professor Glenn Roque-Jackson, Joseph Rueda,                                                     successfully prosecuted a
Megan Batchelor, Benson Varghese, Kathryn Kennon,                                                          wide variety of offenses
Brandon Price, Meredith Coffman, and James Frost.                                                          including: computer
                                                                                                           crime, drug trafficking,
                                                                                                           organized crime, public
From the Desk of Patrick S. Metze                                                                          corruption, violent crime,
                                                                                                           and white collar fraud. As
Director, Criminal Justice Clinic - Defense Section                                                        a result of his success as a
                                                                                 (continued from page 5)
                                                                                                           prosecutor, he has
                                                                                                           received awards for
Every three weeks the students spend 12                McClendon, Robin Matthews, Mike Brown,              superior performance
hours with one of eight different criminal             and Laurie Key. All mentors are members of          from U.S. Attorney
defense lawyers                                                                       the Lubbock          General Janet Reno and
                    “The clinic has given me the confidence and experience that I
in Lubbock                                                                            Criminal Defense     U.S. Attorney General
                    need to practice in the area of criminal defense. There is no
rotating            doubt that this is the work I was meant to do. I would be         Lawyers              John Ashcroft and
through each        proud to be among the extraordinary defense attorneys that I      Association, a       commendations from a
                    have met in Lubbock County and throughout Texas.”                                      wide variety of law
office,                                                                               financial
                                                                       Gail Schroeter                      enforcement agencies
experiencing                                                                          supporter of the
                                                                                                           including: the Bureau of
criminal practice by observing and by doing. Texas Tech School of Law and the Criminal                     Alcohol, Tobacco, and
Mentors for the Criminal Defense Clinic, all Defense Clinic. During the course of each                     Firearms, the Drug
local attorneys practicing criminal law, are           semester each student will spend 220 hours          Enforcement
Chuck Lanehart, Danny Hurley, Dwight                   representing their clients, working with their      Administration, and the
McDonald, Steve Hamilton, Trey                         mentors and practicing law.                         Federal Bureau of
                                                                                                           Investigation.
                                                                                                                   CLINIC NEWS | 7



From the Desk of Jeff Blackburn and Natalie Roetzel
Innocence Project of Texas

This semester has been particularly successful Chapter 64 motions for DNA testing in other
for the Innocence Project of Texas Clinic                non-Dallas cases where DNA testing could
("IPOT Clinic"). We acquired a stellar group conclusively prove an individual's guilt or
of 15 students who each have their own                   innocence. These motions will later be
unique reasons for joining the clinic. Despite reviewed by IPOT attorneys who will represent                 Jeff Blackburn handles
their various motivations for engaging in the            the students' clients on their post-conviction      criminal defense and civil
clinical program, the students are all dedicated innocence litigation.                                       rights cases throughout
to providing the                                                                                             Texas. He also represents
best possible                                                                   One noteworthy DNA           the wrongfully convicted.
                            "This experience has given me knowledge
                            about the Texas criminal justice system I                                        He represented 38 people
investigative services                                                          case currently being
                            would have never learned in a classroom.                                         falsely convicted in the
for those seeking                                                               worked on by IPOT            infamous Tulia drug
                            I feel my participation in the Innocence Pro-
the clinic's                ject of Texas gives me the opportunity to           Clinic students is that of   bust, eventually obtaining
assistance. Because         change the world one case at a time."               Timothy Cole. Cole was       full pardons and civil
of their                                                       Victoria Muniz   a Lubbock man who died       damages. He is the
commitment to the                                                               in prison serving time for   founder of and chief
cause of seeking justice for the wrongfully              a sexual assault that DNA now proves he did         counsel to the Innocence
convicted, they have made great strides in               not commit. As a result of the diligent efforts     Project of Texas. He was
several IPOT cases.                                      of clinic students, IPOT is now petitioning a       named criminal defense
                                                         Travis County Court for a Court of Inquiry          lawyer of the year by the
                                                                                                             State Bar of Texas for
Currently, Texas Tech IPOT Clinic students               into Cole's wrongful conviction. IPOT
                                                                                                             2002/2003. He has
have three cases that are undergoing DNA                 attorneys chose this route because normal           received the Frank
testing. Initially, the students reviewed the            avenues of post-conviction relief are               Scurlock award, the
clients' files, made recommendations for DNA unavailable to Cole because he is deceased.                     Henry B. Gonzales
testing to a review committee consisting of              The petition, which was filed on behalf of          award, and the Maury
IPOT attorneys and representatives from the Cole's surviving family members and the                          Maverick award for his
Dallas DA's Office, filed requests for the               primary rape victim, is largely unprecedented.      civil rights work. He is
location of physical evidence, and ultimately            If IPOT is successful with the petition, Cole       Board Certified in
succeeded in securing DNA testing for three              could become the first individual receiving a       Criminal Law by the
men who claim innocence for the crimes of                formal posthoumous DNA exoneration                  Texas Board Legal
                                                                                                             Specialization.
sexual assault, kidnapping and murder. The               recognized by the Texas courts.
students are also in the process of drafting
                                                                                     (continued on page 8)




                                                                                                                   Summer Students
                                                                                                                     included L to R:
                                                                                                                    Sarah Hegi, Craig
                                                                                                                 Cosper, Adam Tisdell,
                                                                                                                 Stephen Coy, and Ray
                                                                                                                          Lopez



L to R: Natalie Vanhouten, Victoria Muniz, Christina Conway, Michelle
Jackson, Victoria Beles, Natalie Roetzel, Tania Ward, Kelli Stumbo, Stefanie               For more information visit:
Gonzalez, Joel Norris, Lara Tomlin, Alec Pourteau, Vanessa Burgess, Nick
Vilbas, Amber Cash, and Paul Cash.                                                              www.ipoftexas.org
                                                                                                                 CLINIC NEWS | 8



From the Desk of Jeff Blackburn and Natalie Roetzel
Innocence Project of Texas                                                     (continued from page 7)


In addition to the DNA cases, the clinical              their research. The two students investigating
students work regularly on investigating claims that particular case have steadily moved the
of innocence made by inmates who do not                 case toward the litigation stage, and they are
have the luxury of       “I am 2L currently working in the Innocence Project       optimistic that a writ
DNA evidence in          Clinic. The amount of experience and knowledge that       seeking the reversal
their cases. Over        the clinic has provided me is invaluable. My classroom    of the inmate's          Natalie Roetzel is
the past few             knowledge meets the real world. My work at the clinic     conviction will be       currently working as the
                         has inspired me to become a defense lawyer and has                                 Staff Attorney/Executive
months, they have        showed me the impact attorneys have on people. It has
                                                                                   ready for filing in
had particular                                                                     early 2009.              Director of the
                         made me realize what great power our profession pos-
                                                                                                            Innocence Project of
success investigating sesses. Unfortunately I have seen how the misuse of
                         power has imprisoned innocent people but with hard                                 Texas Clinic. She
a Harris County                                                                    All in all, the IPOT     received her J.D. from
capital murder case      work and dedication we can provide hope and freedom       Clinic staff
                         to innocent people. While at the same time learn how                               the Texas Wesleyan
where an individual to put our professions power to good use. Jeff Black-          consisting of Jeff       University School of Law,
was convicted based burn and Natalie Roetzel have taught me so much and I Blackburn (Chief                  where she served as a
on the theory of         am thankful that I am able to work and learn from         Counsel), Natalie        Founder and Director of
shaken baby              them.”                                                    Roetzel (Staff           the Wesleyan Innocence
                                                                    Tania Ward                              Project. While in law
syndrome. As part                                                                  Attorney / IPOT
of their investigation, the students have               Executive Director), and Lupe Ponciano              school, Natalie was a
communicated with medical experts who are (Intake Coordinator) is immensely proud of                        Notes and Comments
                                                                                                            Editor for the Texas
known world-wide for their research on                  the work that the IPOT Clinic students have
                                                                                                            Wesleyan Law Review,
shaken baby syndrome, they have met with                put into their cases this semester. We look         and she competed on
attorneys who have successfully litigated               forward to an equally successful Spring term!       several successful moot
shaken baby cases, and they have discussed                                                                  court teams. Natalie was
investigation strategies with several IPOT                                               Natalie Roetzel    recognized as the best
attorneys who are assisting the students on                                          Executive Director     oral advocate in the
                                                                                                            nation at the National
                                                                                                            Moot Court Competition
Clinical Program Staff Installed as President of                                                            where the American
West Texas Paralegal Association                                                                            College of Trial Lawyers
                                                                                                            presented her with the
                                                                                                            Fulton Haight Award for
Elma Moreno, Clinical Program Office Manager/                                                               excellence in oral
Legal Assistant, was inducted as President of the West                                                      argument. In addition to
Texas Paralegals Association for 2008-2009 on October                                                       her work at the
22nd at Texas Land & Cattle Steakhouse. WTPA                                                                Innocence Clinic, Natalie
                                                                                                            also assists in the
(formerly The West Texas Association of Legal
                                                                                                            coaching of Texas Tech
Assistants) was organized on October 8, 1983, and
                                                                                                            moot court teams.
celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The
organization was formed primarily as a means of legal
education for legal assistants.

Pictured are (L to R): Mary Helen Valdez (Secretary), Elma Moreno (President), Kay Daniel
(Treasurer), Jan Bufkin (President-Elect), and Rebecca Veach (Second Vice-President). Elma
has been a member of WTPA since October 2006, but has been associated with WTPA for
many years as the former Private Attorney Involvement Coordinator for Legal Aid of
NorthWest Texas. For more information on WTALA you can visit our website at
http://www.wtparalegals.org/index.htm.
                                                                                                         CLINIC NEWS | 9



     TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW HOSTS 3RD ANNUAL                                         “Mega-Congratulations to
                                                                                                  Paul W. Horn
                              FACULTY UPDATE SEMINAR                                              Professor of Law Susan
                                                                                                  Saab Fortney on her
Faculty from Texas Tech University School of     Participants included attorneys from             selection as an
Law offered a CLE program without cost to        Advocacy, Inc., Legal Aid of NorthWest           Extraordinary Woman
legal services attorneys and public interest     Texas, Legal Aid Society of Lubbock, Inc.,       in Texas Law. This
practitioners on September 25th & 26th.          Lone Star                                        selection reflects her status
Texas Tech University was the first law school   Legal Aid,                                       as one of the 30 female
in the state to offer such a program which       Texas                                            lawyers who have had the
arose out of recommendations of a committee      RioGrande                                        most impact on law and
of the Texas Access to Justice Commission as     Legal Aid, and                                   lawyering in the State of
to how law schools can contribute to the         City                                             Texas over the last five
delivery of legal services to the indigent. This Attorney’s                                       years. This significant
will continue to be an annual event.             Office.                                          honor not only signifies
                                                 Several attorneys with private practices also    Susan’s personal excellence
                    Professor Larry Spain, who attended.                                          and reputation within the
                    serves as Director of                                                         legal profession, but also is
                    Clinical Programs at Texas This was the first year that the seminar was       one more example of the
                    Tech Law School organized provided to individuals unable to attend in         exceptional strength of our
                    the program which            person. They were able to view the seminar       faculty at the Texas Tech
                    showcased Texas Tech Law via live webcast. Thank you to Beixin Ni and         University School of Law.”
                    School’s finest faculty on   Eric Martinez
                    topics such as The Effective who devoted                                             Walter B. Huffman
Use of Technology to Improve Your Law Practice, both days to                                      Dean and W. Frank Newton
The Basics of Texas Intestate Succession Law,    making it                                                  Professor of Law
Ethical Issues When Working with An Interpreter, possible.
Preparing Your Family Law Client for Mediation,
Estate Planning with an Alzheimer’s Orientation, The Faculty
Direct and Cross-Examination Skills in a Family  Update was a                                     WHERE ARE THEY
Law Case, Family Law Update, Ethical issues in great success and                                  NOW?
Dealing with Unrepresented Parties, and Opinion Texas Tech Law
                                                 will continue to offer this program on an        James Beam (Tax Clinic
Testimony: Lay and Expert. The following
                                                                                                  ’07-08) is working for a
faculty members from Texas Tech’s law school annual basis.
                                                                                                  general business law firm
participated in this program: Professors Larry                                                    in Stephenville, Texas. He
Spain, Patrick Metze, Jorge Ramirez, Gerry        “Thank you for putting this program! It is      is currently working in a
Beyer, Gene Valentini, Vaughn James, and          always great to get some legal education di-    number of different
Robert Weninger.                                  rected specifically at the problems public      practice areas including
                                                  interest and pro bono lawyers see every day.”   entity formation, oil and
Approximately 39 individuals attended the                                          CLE Attendee   gas, corporate books,
seminar either in person or via live webcast.                                                     financial planning,
                                                                                                  litigation, etc.

                                                                                                  Steve Forsberg (CJC ’07-
                                                                                                  08) has passed the New
                                                                                                  Mexico bar. He is working
                                                                                                  in the Alamogordo office
         To find out more about the TTU Clinical Programs, visit                                  of the New Mexico Public
              https://www.law.ttu.edu/acp/programs/clinical/                                      Defender.
                                                                                                           CLINIC NEWS | 10



From the Desk of Gene Valentini and Nicie Pratt
Health Care & Bioethics Mediation Clinic

The Health Care and Bioethics Mediation             on conflict in health care, with special
clinic and program is in its third year with a      emphasis on concerns related to
new crop of dynamic participants. In order to       communication, behavior, medical staff,
allow trainees to observe and conduct               administration and external stressors on
mediations earlier in the semester, the class       health care delivery such as reimbursement,      Teaches Legal Malpractice,
“front-loads” the training with a three-day         regulatory agencies and the uninsured.           Health Care and Bioethics
intensive program where participants obtain                                                          Mediation Clinic, Bioethics,
                                                    To give participants different perspective, a    and Professional
24 hours of training before the start of the                                                         Responsibility
semester. In September, the clinic students         number of experts visited the class for open
began observing mediations and co-mediating         panel discussions.                               Prior to joining the faculty,
cases. In addition to academic credit, the                                                           Professor Fortney practiced
class participants obtain credentialing at the      A physician panel explored how medical staff     law in both the public and
                                                    and hospital administration have a common        private sectors. She
conclusion of the semester.                                                                          developed her love of
                                                    goal of quality patient care, yet are quite
                                                                                                     teaching, first as an instructor
This year’s trainees included nine law              autonomous and often have different              in the business schools at the
students, as well as nine providers from the        interests that can lead to disputes. They also   University of Texas at
community (pictured on page 11). In                 discussed how disruptive behavior and poor       Arlington and Dallas, and
                                                    communication have a direct impact on the        later as an adjunct professor
addition to obtaining mediation training, the                                                        at the University of Texas
providers shared their rich experience and          quality of patient care. Bradley Snodgrass,      School of Law. She currently
personal insights on health care delivery and       M.D., Internal Medicine and Former Chief of      teaches and publishes in the
conflict resolution. The professionals              Staff of Covenant Health System; Obie            areas of professional liability
effectively serve as co-teachers, enriching the     Stalcup, M.D., Urologist of Grace Clinic; and    and ethics. In 2007 she
                                                    Scott Robins, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of     completed with her co-author
experience for all. The providers from the                                                           Professor Vincent Johnson
Lubbock area health institutions were:              Covenant Health System.                          Legal Malpractice Law:
                                                                                                     Problems and Prevention.
•    Texas Tech University Health Sciences          Additionally an attorney panel offered their     This is the first law school
Center: Glenda Helfrich, Sr. Associate General      own personal experiences in the law of health    textbook that focuses on
                                                    care and their opinions regarding mediation      lawyers’ professional liability.
Counsel; John Hall, MD, JD, Anesthesiology;
Thomas Tenner, Jr., Associate Dean for Faculty      and how it can be most effective in the          Professor Fortney has earned
Affairs and Development Professor; Michael          delivery of healthcare. Roger Key of Key &       recognition for her
Blanton, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department     Terrell, LLP and member of the Covenant          contributions as a teacher,
of Pharmacology                                     Heath System Board of Directors; Thomas          scholar, and public servant.
• University Medical Center: Greg Bruce, Vice       Riney of Riney & Mayfield, LLP in Amarillo a     In 2005 she received the
President of Corporate Services; Jeffrey Hill,                                                       Texas Tech University
                                                    health care litigator; and Grady Terrell of      President’s Academic
Division Director, Support Services                 Craig, Terrill, Hale & Grantham, LLP who         Achievement Award for
• Covenant Health System: Tavia Hatfield,           represents many physicians in the Lubbock        excellence in teaching,
Director of Mission Services; Doyle Patterson,      community; Debbie Miller, RN, JD and AVP         service, and research. In
Chaplain; Melanie Oblender, M.D., Pediatric         of Corporate Compliance for Rehabcare out        2006 she was recognized as
Oncologist, Chief of Staff of Covenant Children’s                                                    the Texas Tech University
                                                    of St. Louis, Missouri.                          recipient of the Chancellor’s
Hospital and Medical Director of Palliative Care
program.                                                                                             Distinguished Teaching
                                                Private mediator s offered their experiences         Award. Most recently
                                                and gave their insight into mediating various        Professor Fortney was named
In addition to learning about conflict                                                               an “Extraordinary Woman in
resolution and developing mediation skills,     disputes including health care disputes. John
                                                                                                     Texas Law”.
the clinic gives participants an opportunity to Simpson of Splawn, Simpson & Pitts, LLP;
learn about health care delivery and health     and Randy Pyles, a solo practitioner.
law issues. A number of class sessions focused                              (continued on page 11)
                                                                                                                 CLINIC NEWS | 11



From the Desk of Gene Valentini and Nicie Pratt
Health Care & Bioethics Mediation Clinic                                        (continued from page 10)


Dr. Juliann Scholl of the Texas Tech                 Nurse Practitioner at Grace Clinic.
Communication Department conducted a
session that helped define disputes and how          In addition to hosting panelists, the class
people tend to deal with them and ways to            visited the Garrison Geriatric and Health              D. Gene Valentini is the
respond to certain behaviors.                        Center where Kena Dubberley, Assistant                 Director of the Dispute
                                                     Administrator gave the class a tour of the             Resolution Department of
A Case Managers & RN panel gave the                  facility and discussed with the type of disputes       Lubbock County, an
students insight into their daily routine and        that arise in such a special setting and how           administrative entity that
specifically focused                                                                     the staff          manages an innovative
                                                                                                            ADR System, which began
on their duties as                                                                       addresses
                                                                                                            in 1985. He is also
being central to all                                                                     various            responsible for the
communication in                                                                         disputes           statewide USDA
a healthcare                                                                             including          mediation program. A
setting, whether it                                                                      resident to        mediator since 1981 and
be physician to                                                                          resident           an active trainer for the
patient, family to                                                                       matters, family    past eighteen years, Gene
physicians,                                                                              to staff matters   is the Master of Dispute
                      Back Row (L to R): Matthew Rittmayer, Tom Tenner, John Hall,                          Resolution for the courts
administration to MD., J.D., Brett Gilmore, Michael Blanton, Kristin Avots-Avotins, and even staff
physicians, nurses and Andrew Ross, Front Row (L to R): Gene Valentini, Brandon to staff                    of Lubbock County, Dean
                                                                                                            of Texas' ADR System
and staff to          Lipps, Jaime Canaves, Tavia Hatfield, Melanie Oblender, MD,        matters.
                                                                                                            directors and also co-
physicians, etc.      Jennifer Bartnesky, Glenda Helfrich, Chelsea Kartler, Nicie Pratt,
                                                                                                            teaches the Spring ADR
They also discussed and Doyle Patterson.                                                 We sincerely       course.
how they coordinate and manage disputes              believe that this training has been worthwhile
that arise in the course of health care delivery for the law students, the health care providers
amongst the various relationships. Ann               and the communities we serve. In addition to           CLINICAL PROGRAM
Utterback, Professor at Texas Tech University the wonderful networking opportunities for                    WELCOMES CLINIC
Health Sciences Center School of Nursing;            all involved, we are pleased that the                  FELLOW
Darlene Bently, RN, BSN, CCM Manager,                completion of each semester produces a new             Terri Morgeson, a
Case Management & Social Services of                 “crop” of mediators that are prepared to               practicing attorney, was
Covenant Health System; Joanie Wells,                mediate health care related disputes.                  hired as a Law Clinic
                                                                                                            Fellow in September 2008.
                                                                                                            Terri assists the directors
                                                                                                            of the Civil Practice clinic
LITC Welcomes Administrative Student Director                                                               (both sections) and the
                                                                                                            Criminal Defense Clinic
Two new individuals joined the clinical program staff during the Fall 2008 semester. Brett                  with a variety of
Gilmore, a 3L who is scheduled to receive his J.D. in December, was hired as a Student                      responsibilities. Terri is a
Administrative Director for the Low Income Tax Clinic. Brett has assisted Tax Clinic                        2004 graduate of TTU
Director Vaughn E. James in supervising the students. He was the “one” student enrolled                     School of Law. Prior to
during the summer sessions in the LITC. Brett represented twenty plus clients through                       joining the clinical
intake, engagement, counseling, negotiation, petition, trial, appeal, settlement, resolution,               program, she ran her own
                                                                                                            private practice with an
and closure. Supervised eight student attorneys. Developed community outreach and
                                                                                                            emphasis in family law
educational programs and made presentations to the community. Provided tutorial                             including CPS defense
instruction to law students. Prepared for organizational audits, contributed to grant writing,              and additional experience
completed registration and exemption filing for nonprofit organizations, extensive research                 in misdemeanor criminal,
and writing, drafted and implemented policies, procedures, and forms. Brett has been a great                probate and guardianship
asset to the Low Income Tax Clinic and we wish him well!                                                    cases. Welcome Terri!
                                                                                                     CLINIC NEWS | 12



Clinical Program Continues to Provide Preceptorship to Estacado High
School Law and Justice Magnet Program

Estacado High School Law and Justice            High School
Magnet Program students have been very          Law and
helpful to the clinical programs during the     Justice                                         Nicie Pratt was a provider
Fall semester. Students have started working    Magnet                                          participant in the first
on a large project of scanning and archiving    Program                                         Health Care & Bioethics
closed files. They have also assisted with      which                                           Mediation Clinic taught by
                                                                                                Professor Susan Fortney and
other administrative type duties. The two       intends to
                                                                                                Gene Valentini three years
students completing their rotation this         provide additional educational resources and    ago. This is the first year for
semester were Teresa Rodriguez and              help guide students toward their goals of       Nicie to teach as an adjunct
Samantha Revilla. An additional student,        attending law school.                           professor. She has a passion
Stephanie Silva (pictured on the right) also                                                    for introducing law students
                                                                                                to the world of health law
joined Teresa on one occasion.                  Elma Moreno and Samirah Abdalah have            and enjoys hosting a student
                                                been working closely with the students and      each semester through the
The preceptorship in the clinical program is    the program instructor, Lucio R. Trevino, to    externship program. Nicie
the continuation of a five-year partnership     make the preceptorship rotation visits a        was delighted when
                                                                                                Professor Fortney extended
between the School of Law and the Estacado      learning experience.                            an invitation for her to co-
                                                                                                teach the clinic with Mr.
                                                                                                Valentini this semester.
                                                                                                 
Thanks to Faculty and Students Supporting Pro Bono                                              Nicie currently serves as
                                                                                                Assistant Vice President and
                                                                                                Corporate Counsel for St.
Thanks to the following faculty members         addition, the following students from the       Joseph Health System of
participated in Pro Bono Clinics held in        Student Public Interest Initiative, Volunteer   Orange, CA. She received
                                                                                                her Bachelor of Arts degree
conjunction with Legal Aid of NorthWest         Law Student Association and Family Law
                                                                                                in Psychology from SMU in
Texas and co-sponsored by the Law School        Society assisted at the Pro Bono Clinics        Dallas in 1996 and received
faculty during the fall semester of the 2008-   during the fall semester:                       her law degree from the
2009 academic year: Dean Arturo Torres (3                                                       Texas Tech School of Law in
clinics); Professors Gerry Beyer (2 clinics),   T. Kyle Bryant, Kayla Childs, Kertisha          2004. Before law school,
                                                                                                Nicie began work with St.
Jarod Gonzalez (2 clinics), Wendy               Dixon, Marisa Dunagan, Amber Gilchvest,         Mary Medical Group and
Humphrey (1 clinic), Brian Shannon (1           Cynthia Henrie, Jonathan Henry, Natalie         Covenant Medical Group in
clinic), Brie Sherwin (2 clinics) and Larry     Hill, Jessica Holt, Katy Hopkins, Taly          1996 as the Business
Spain (5 clinics).                              Jacobs, ShaMedria Jones, Tiffany Kamuche,       Manager and then later the
                                                                                                Compliance Director.
                                                Guillermo Lara, Mary P. Louden, Katie
                                                                                                During her employment
The Law School faculty co-sponsored with        Maxwell, Carolyn McLaughlin, Mary Lisa          with the Medical Group she
Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas two Pro Bono       Merritt, Aaron Moncibaiz, Jean Moss,            administered the
Clinics held at St. John’s United Methodist     Sondet Parnell, Margaret E. Perry, Tyler        Compliance Program,
                                                                                                provided CME to physicians
Church during the month of September and Pitrat, Bertrand Pourteau, Sarah Preston,
                                                                                                regarding coding and
assisted with three Pro Bono Clinics during the Marianne Sanchez, Lara Tomlin, Jody             documentation guidelines
fall semester organized by the                  Warner, Meagen White, Megan Wells, and          and offered guidance
Student Public Interest Initiative, Volunteer Jennifer Wertz.                                   regarding HIPAA and CMS
Law Student Association and Family Law                                                          regulatory compliance
                                                                                                including fraud and abuse
Society. All students in both sections of the   If you are interested in participating in a     and false claims. As AVP &
Civil Practice Clinic participate in the Pro    future Pro Bono Clinic, contact Elma Moreno     Corporate Counsel, she now
Bono Clinics as part of their clinical work. In at elma.moreno@ttu.edu .                        provides general legal
                                                                                                services to Covenant Health
                                                                                                System in Lubbock.
                                                                                                             CLINIC NEWS | 13



                                                                                                       A WORD FROM
Texas Tech University School of Law Recipient of First Access to Justice
                                                                                                       OUR
Law School Commitment to Service Award                  (continued from page 1)
                                                                                                       STUDENTS:
All of these pro bono efforts have been                One faculty member was also recently            “I can
carried out without a full-time coordinator for        named a Texas Access to Justice Pro Bono        only
pro bono activities. Additionally, these               Champion.                                       say
activities are widely communicated among the •                                                         great
                                                       A Wills Project was implemented during
                                                                                                       things
law school community to both recognize                 the Fall of 2005 which conducted                about
those individuals who have contributed their           community-based clinics for low-income          the
time but also to encourage others to                   clients to prepare their wills and other        Clinic. It is an experience
participate as well.                                   advance planning documents.                     that I will never forget and
                                                   •   In 2005 the Student Public Interest             that I have already learned so
A sampling of the projects and activities              Initiative in cooperation with a faculty        much from. Currently I had
carried out through the Texas Tech University          sponsor initiated a Homeless Experience         the opportunity to execute a
School of Law include the following:                   Legal Protection (H.E.L.P) Clinic at the        Will, prove-up a divorce, have
                                                       Salvation Army Shelter.                         a temporary orders hearing,
•   Since 2000, the Law School has initiated                                                           and so much more. Thanks,
                                                   •   Since 2006, the law school faculty have
                                                                                                       Professor Spain!!
    new clinical programs which provide                annually sponsored a free one and 1/2
                                                                                                                         Renee Brosch
    practical skills training for nearly 100 law       day CLE program specifically designed for
    students annual while contributing                 legal services attorneys, public interest       ”The Healthcare and
    critical legal services to low-income              practitioners and pro bono attorneys on         Bioethics Mediation clinic
    individuals in the community as well as            topics of interest to their practice.           has been an invaluable
    other public service.                          •   The Student Public Interest Initiative          learning experience. The class
•   Outreach to Women’s Protective Services            annually sponsors a Public Interest             structure involving both law
    through the Civil Practice Clinic.                 Forum.                                          students and health care
•   Night Court Divorce Projected                  •   SPII also raises funds from an Annual           practitioners made it possible
    implemented in January 2007.                                                                       to have class discussions that
                                                       Auction to fund summer law student
                                                                                                       provided insight from a
•   Innocence Project Clinic instrumental in           positions with public interest legal            multitude of backgrounds. In
    creating a consortium of other schools to          organizations.                                  addition, the hands-on
    create the Innocence Project of Texas.         •   A number of student organizations               experience gained from
•   Extensive externship program placing               actively support pro bono service and other     mediating actual cases
    students in a variety of public and non-           community service projects.                     through the Dispute
    profit offices for academic credit.            •   Each year the law school recognizes a law       Resolution Center allowed me
•   The faculty of TTU School of Law have              student for their pro bono contributions        to not only learn the
    for nearly twenty years co-sponsored and           with the Elma Moreno Pro Bono Award             mediation process, but also to
    staffed evening community-based pro bono                                                           see attorneys in action. As a
                                                       named after the long-time pro bono
    walk-in take clinics for low-income                                                                future attorney, it was
                                                       coordinator of West Texas Legal Services.       interesting to observe how
    individuals seeking civil legal services.      •   A faculty member volunteers weekly at           attorneys handled their clients
•   Three faculty members have been                    the offices of Legal Aid of NorthWest           during a mediation. The skills
    honored as the recipient of the John Crews         Texas conducting client intake.                 I learned to become a
    Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award given by     •   The law school as well as various student       mediator will undoubtedly be
    the Lubbock County Bar Association and             organizations host a variety of speakers        useful as I practice law
    LANWT; several have been awarded the               throughout the year that focus on access        because of the increase in the
    Legal Clinic Volunteer Award; and several          to justice issues and public interest           use of mediation as an
    have been recognized for meeting the 50                                                            alternative to trial.”
                                                       careers.
    hour annual aspirational goal for
                                                                                                       Thanks!
    providing pro bono services as                                                                     Mandi Duncan
                                                                              (continued on page 16)
    recommended by the State Bar of Texas.
                                                                                                           CLINIC NEWS | 14




Clinical Program Experience Exceeds Expectations                                                     A WORD FROM
By: Brett Gilmore                                                                                    OUR
                                                                                                     STUDENTS:
                    Participating in Clinical       numerous mediations where parties left
                    Programs is a tremendous        excited feeling like they both won. I            “I would just like to say that
                                                                                                     working at the Innocence
                    professional development        negotiated settlements encapsulating my
                                                                                                     Project of Texas has been a
                    advantage. It allows the        clients’ wishes and resolving their disputes.    great experience. The clinic
                    student to synthesize all of                                                     gives students an opportunity
                    the theory obtained in the      Clinical Programs significantly contributes to   to advocate for a real cause
                    first years of law school and   the community by providing legal services that   and help those in need, while
practically apply their knowledge with real         otherwise may not be available or affordable.    getting practical experience
clients in actual courtrooms and other legal        I sincerely acknowledge how fulfilling being     dealing with clients and
settings. One has to conquer the anxiety that       an attorney can be by volunteering. Words        criminal law. Jeff Blackburn
accompanies them on their first trip beyond         cannot express looking into a mother’s eyes      is an awesome attorney and
the bar before a court. I have discovered,          when she believes she has nowhere else to        role model, especially for those
                                                                                                     of us who plan to practice
through proper preparation and confidence           turn and explaining how you can work to
                                                                                                     criminal law in the future.
in myself and my mentors, every time I step         shoulder some of her burden knowing exactly      HE sincerely cares about the
foot into a courtroom, mediation,                   how you are prepared to do the heavy lifting.    students – not only our
negotiation, or client conference I feel more       Then to see her look down behind her right       clinical work, but our whole
relaxed, knowledgeable, competent, efficient,       leg to the small child hiding there and say,     law school experience.
and autonomous. I am prepared to practice           “Everything is going to be alright, baby.” The   I would recommend this clinic
law. Clinical Programs has been an                  experience is truly priceless.                   to anyone with the slightest
invaluable experience putting me light years                                                         interest or curiosity, especially
ahead of my peers right out of law school.       Texas Tech University School of Law has             those students who plan to
                                                 exceeded even my wildest expectations for a         become prosecutors, as this
                                                                                                     clinic will be an eye-opener for
There is nothing more liberating than            legal education. I had no idea how much I
                                                                                                     many.”
encountering a real world situation where a      would be exposed to in the short time my
total stranger is relying on your judgment to    professors, mentors, faculty, and staff had to                   Stefanie Gonzalez
help change their life as it currently stands    influence my thinking and mold my
and knowing exactly what to do. I had the        character. Clinical Programs has helped me
pleasure several times during my Clinical        develop into a well-rounded attorney. I am          “I will be joining a law firm
Programs commitment to work with clients to leaving this program ready to substantially              with a strong Inventorship
resolve their issues very much in their favor. I impact my community, support the legal              Dispute Resolution practice
traveled to Federal Court and left with my       profession, and make a significant                  in the fall of 2009. In the
client triumphant and confident that their       contribution to society.                            field of patent law, mediation
                                                                                                     is becoming the alternative of
problems were behind them. I presided over
                                                                                                     choice to solve complex
                                                                                                     disputes instead of costly
                                                                                                     litigation and arbitration.
                                                                                                     The Clinic has equipped me
                                                                                                     with the skills I need to hit
    Selection process for Clinical Program will be held in late                                      the ground running, and it
                                                                                                     has been one of the most
   February and early March for the 2009-2010 academic year!                                         rewarding and exciting
    Watch for announcements in mid-February and visit the                                            experiences during law
                                                                                                     school.“
               clinic website for more information.
                                                                                                     Best regards,
                                                                                                     Jaime M. Canaves, Ph.D.
                                                                                                          CLINIC NEWS | 15



CCAV Seeks Volunteers for Upcoming Income Tax Season                                                 WHERE ARE THEY
By Elma Moreno                                                                                       NOW?

                                                                                                     Kyle Kovel (Tax Clinic ’07-
                   As a member of the Board of     Session I                                         08) passed the Virginia bar
                   Directors of the Coalition of   Wednesday, January 7th                            and is working at a law
                   Community Assistance            5:30 pm – 9:30 pm        Room 154                 firm in Bethesda, MD
                   Volunteers I am seeking         Session II                                        doing tax law and estate
                                                   Thursday, January 8th                             planning.
                   volunteers to assist with the
                   tax season around the           5:30 pm – 9:30 pm        Room 363
                   corner. The Coalition of        Session III                                       Patrick Garcia (CJC ’06-
                   Community Assistance            Saturday, January 10th                            07) is a prosecutor
                                                   9:00 am – 3:00 pm        Room 154                 with the U.S. Attorney's
Volunteers is asking that you consider
                                                   Session III (repeated)                            Office in El Paso, Texas.
volunteering your time and talents to prepare
and e-file income tax returns FREE for low         Saturday, January 17th
income taxpayers in our community.                 9:00 am – 3:00 pm        Room 154                 Alex Benavides (CJC ’07-
                                                                                                     08) is a prosecutor with
                                                   (Lunch will be served both Saturdays.)            the Hidalgo County
Because of law student and community
                                                                                                     District Attorney's Office.
volunteers, CCAV was able to assist more
than more than 2,900 taxpayers to save           Tax preparers must either attend all three
approximately $590,000 in tax prep and rapid     sessions or do on-line training and testing         Oscar Mendez (Civil
refund loan fees, while bringing $2.9 million in through the IRS Website. Volunteers who             Clinic ’07-08) is currently
refunds into the local economy. Next year we     prefer to do on-line training are encouraged to     in El Paso working for
expect to assist 3,500 taxpayers. As the         attend a brief review session on Saturday,          Scherr & Legate doing
                                                                                                     Labor and Employment
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)           January 17 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 154 of Texas
                                                                                                     and Personal Injury cases.
program continues to grow, so does the need      Tech’s Business Administration Building or if
for your participation.                          there are enough law student volunteers, I will
                                                 schedule a training session for you here at the     Laura Tones (Civil Clinic
If you can take the training (either in person law school sometime during the week of                ’07-08) is the newest
                                                                                                     associate at Mayo
or on-line), assist in the preparation of simple January 12th.
                                                                                                     Mendolia and Starr in
tax returns, and help make a difference in                                                           Tyler, Texas, doing Estate
our community, we are in need of your help.        Please note that, since our volunteers handle     Planning and
Please contact me in the clinic offices at 742-    so much confidential information, a new           Administration,
3787, Ext. 222, or by e-mail                       policy has been implemented requiring that a      Guardianships, Family
(elma.moreno@ttu.edu) to let me know of            criminal background check be performed on         Law and some Insurance
your interest in this project. I will send you     each volunteer. Of course, this will be done at   Defense work.
the necessary volunteer forms at that time.        no cost to you.
                                                                                                     LaShonda Taylor (CJC
Volunteers are needed to greet taxpayers or to     Volunteers need not have prior tax-return         ’07-08) is an Assistant
prepare basic individual income tax returns on     preparation experience. It’s a very simple        Public Defender with the
an easy-to-use computer program. Volunteers        software program for electronic filing and you    Kaufman County Public
are trained by CCAV and the IRS, and enjoy         are trained on how to use it.                     Defender's Office.
protections under state and federal Volunteer
Protection Acts.                                   If any questions or you would like the forms      Savannah Meyer (Tax
                                                   to be completed with additional instructions,     Clinic ’07-08) is working
Training for tax preparers will be held in         please feel free to come by my office (108F -     at The Carlson Law Firm,
                                                   clinic offices) or send an email to               out of the Temple office.
January, 2009 at Texas Tech’s Business
                                                   elma.moreno@ttu.edu.                              The law firm has about 15
Administration Building as follows:
                                                                                                     offices with the main
                                                                                                     office is in Killeen, Texas.
                                                                                                             CLINIC NEWS | 16



Texas Tech University School of Law Recipient of First Access to Justice                               WHERE ARE THEY
                                                                                                       NOW?
Law School Commitment to Service Award                 (continued from page 13)
                                                                                                       Julie Bohrer (Civil Clinic
•   A number of faculty and staff serve or           Assistance (VITA) program assisting low           ’07-08) just finished
    have served on a variety of boards and           and moderate income individuals in                working with the Travis
    committees devoted to access to justice          preparing their income tax returns.               County Elections
    issues.                                      •   Faculty and students have been active             Department, making sure
                                                                                                       the presidential election
•   A faculty member was an invited speaker          participants in the Texas Access to Justice
                                                                                                       went smoothly in
    at a national conference held at                 Summer Internship Program since its               Austin. I was a technical
    Columbus School of Law, The Catholic             inception.                                        troubleshooter - which
    University of America in October 2007. •         Finally, the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic,          means that she worked
•   Faculty have engaged in scholarship on           in partnership with LANWT annually                with the electronic voting
    access to justice issues.                        conducts community education forums               equipment fixing anything
•   Access to justice issues are often raised in     for low-income clients on tax issues,             that went wrong and
    law school courses.                              public benefits and legal problems.               ensuring that polling sites
•   Faculty, staff and students annually             commonly encountered.                             were functional.
    participate in the Volunteer Income Tax
                                                                                                       Kacee Harvey (Civil Clinic
                                                                                                       ’07-08) is working in
“Major kudos go to our entire clinical faculty and staff, the students taking clinic courses,          Levelland at Ricker Law
                                                                                                       Firm handling family law
and all students and faculty members who have participated in the pro bono opportunities
                                                                                                       and CPS cases.
which the law school sponsors.”
                                                                                  J. Wesley Cochran
                                                             Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and   Ashley Smith (Civil Clinic
                                                                           Maddox Professor of Law     ’07-08) is in Dallas, Texas,
                                                                                                       working at The Blend Law
                                                                                                       Firm doing Real Estate
                                                                                                       Litigation and Bankruptcy.
                                Snapshot Corner
                                                                                                       Sheena Swift (Molsbee)
                                                                                                       (CJC – ’07-08) is currently
                                                                                                       working at the Texas
                                                                                                       Court of Criminal Appeals
                                                                                                       with the Honorable Judge
                                                                                                       Tom Price as his briefing
                                                                                                       attorney. Now that she
                                                                                                       has passed the bar, she
                                                                                                       plans to start applying for
                                                                                                       an assistant district
                                                                                                       attorney position at the
                                                                                                       DAs office.

                                                                                                       Joseph Baker (CJC ’07-
                                                                                                       08) is working in Midland
                                                                                                       at Hinkle, Hensley,
                                                                                                       Shanor & Martin, LLP.

                                                                                                       Stacy Marlin Street (CJC
                                                                                                       ’06-07) is a prosecutor with
                                                                                                       the District Attorney's
                                                                                                       Office in Midland, Texas.
                                                                                                                    CLINIC NEWS | 17



Recent Cases of Interest

Tax Clinic—The most rewarding case for Brett Gilmore was when         misrepresented that he had been engaged in the roofing business
an elderly couple came in last summer because their bank account,     for many years and offered to replace their roof for $500 in labor
where their social security checks are deposited, had been            with the clients to furnish the materials at their cost. The roofing
frozen. They were panicking because social security was their only    contractor subsequently asked for $800 and, after beginning work,
source of income and they had medication and other healthcare         demanded an additional $400. Despite guaranteeing the roof for
expenses immediately due. Additionally, they were unsure where        10 years, the roof began leaking three days after the job was
they were going to get money to eat or buy gas to get to the          completed during a rainstorm and a few weeks later many of the
doctor. Brett was able to immediately get them access to their        shingles were blown off the roof because of improper
bank account and within days had their issues resolved by meeting     installation. This resulted in further damage to the interior of
in person with representatives from the State Comptroller's office.   their home. After the contractor failed to make repairs or respond
We settled their case for less than 10% of what the government        to a demand letter, suit was filed under the Texas Deceptive Trade
claimed they owed during that meeting. Afterwards, Brett drafted      Practices-Consumer Protection Act. A default judgment was
correspondence to the State Comptroller asking for a waiver of all    recovered on behalf of the clients for actual damages of $7,120.09,
penalties and fees due to exigent circumstances and taxpayer          treble damages of $21,360.27 and attorneys fees of $905.00.
health problems. Brett believes this couple actually ended up
getting money back from the whole ordeal.                           Suzanne Meredith (Civil Clinic) represented a client in a divorce
                                                                    in which the parties were married for approximately 6
Levi Siebenlist (Tax Clinic) represented a grandmother who was ½ years. Five years into the marriage, she received approximately
denied an Earned Income Tax Credit on behalf of her new-born        $240,000 from life insurance proceeds after the death of her
granddaughter. Client's daughter (the baby's mother) was            former husband. Within a year thereafter, the money had been
diagnosed with a severe medical condition that required her to live exhausted and her husband abandoned her. Upon submitting a
with her mother. Client supported not only her daughter in 2005, brief to the Court, the client was awarded a judgment and liens
but also her granddaughter and was entitled to the tax credit on    against the separate property of her husband for over $11,500 for
their behalf. We were able to obtain enough legal support to        claims for reimbursement and economic contribution upon a
convince the I.R.S. to change it's position and allow my client     finding that her separate property funds were used to benefit her
to take the full tax credit worth over $2,000.                      husband’s separate property residence by payoff of the existing
                                                                    mortgage, real estate taxes, and repairs and improvements. In
Leslie Chaggaris (Civil Clinic) represented a couple who            addition, a motor vehicle had been purchased for the husband
contracted with an individual to replace their roof and who         with separate property funds.



                                                    Snapshot Corner
                                                                          CLINIC NEWS | 18


CLINIC DIRECTORS:

Larry R. Spain
Civil Practice Clinic
ADR Clinic

Vaughn E. James
Low Income Tax Clinic

Wendy Tolson Ross
Civil Practice Clinic

Glenn Roque-Jackson
Criminal Prosecution
Clinic
                        CLINIC FACULTY & CO-DIRECTORS
Patrick S. Metze
Criminal Defense
Clinic

Susan Fortney
Health Care &
Bioethics Mediation
Clinic

Jeff Blackburn
Innocence Project

CO-DIRECTORS:

Gene Valentini
Health Care &
Bioethics Mediation
Clinic and ADR Clinic

Natalie Roetzel
Innocence Project
                        CLINIC STAFF
Nicie Pratt
Health Care &
Bioethics Mediation
Clinic

Terri Morgeson
Clinic Fellow
Attorney at Law

STAFF:

Elma Moreno
Office Manager/
Legal Assistant

Samirah Abdalah
Legal Secretary

Janie Gonzales
LITC Community
Outreach Coordinator
                                           CLINIC NEWS
Brett Gilmore
                                            Fall 2008 Edition
LITC Administrative
Student Director
                        1802 Hartford Avenue , Lubbock, TX 79409 - (806) 742-4312

								
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