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September 14 2005

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September 14 2005 Powered By Docstoc
					September 15, 2005

Lawrence Boze
Vice President
Texas Board of Law Examiners


VIA FACSIMILE (713) 520-6194

Dear Vice President Boze:

On September 2, 2005 the Supreme Court of Texas issued the following Order:

Until further order of this Court, and notwithstanding Texas Government Code
chapter 81, subchapter G, an attorney holding a valid law license issued by Louisiana,
Mississippi, or Alabama, who is in good standing with the attorney’s respective state bar,
and who is displaced from the attorney’s home jurisdiction due to Hurricane Katrina, is
permitted to practice law for 30 days from the date of this order from a location in Texas
as if the attorney were located in the state in which the attorney is licensed.

Under this Order, a lawyer who holds a valid law license issued by Louisiana,
Mississippi, or Alabama may only represent existing clients pertaining to matters that are
governed by their respective state’s law while that lawyer is presently living in Texas as a
result of Hurricane Katrina. This Order is set to expire on October 2, 2005. We believe
this Order is too narrow to adequately support many lawyers who have been displaced to
Texas. This is especially the case for solo and small firm lawyers.

This Order should be expanded in two significant areas:

    1. The Order should be extended beyond 30 days. A reasonable time should be
       established to allow lawyers who have been displaced to Texas to continue to
       practice law in Texas. Most legal matters cannot be resolved or litigated within a
       30-day window. We suggest that this time line be extended for at least 6 months
       up to a year.

    2. Displaced lawyers should be allowed to establish a practice within the State of
       Texas since many have lost all or a significant portion of their practice as a result
       of Hurricane Katrina. Accordingly, a specific period of time should be set before
       a lawyer is required to sit for the Texas Bar Exam. (e.g. 6 to9 months) Licensed
       Texas lawyers may be assigned to supervise these lawyers during this interim
       period. We suggest creating a temporary special bar card for lawyers who choose
       to practice in Texas under Texas law that will expire after a specified period of
       time. In short, we are proposing that Texas establish temporary reciprocity with
       Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
   3. Additional, we recommend the creation of special temporary courts for lawyers,
      clients, and judges to hear cases until the court system is reestablished in areas
      impacted by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. (e.g. the
      U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit is considering moving or has moved to
      Houston.)

We hope these recommendations are helpful in exploring alternatives to assist the
thousands of displaced lawyers in rebuilding their law practices.


Sincerely,


Juan R. Thomas
NBA Board Member-At-Large
On Behalf of the National Bar Association Task Force on Hurricane Relief

				
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