DBA State Bar President’s Update
By Bob Black
The legal profession in Texas has a rich history, one that is not only relevant to the practice of law today but also compelling—and sometimes entertaining. Much of our history is told through the documents we keep. Some of these have been well preserved, but many others have not. The State Bar is proud to partner with the Texas Supreme Court Texas Court Records Preservation Task Force to bring many of these important documents back to life—and to tell their stories.
After an investigation into the state of court records storage of 254 Texas counties, the Task Force held a hearing in September in Austin. What
the Task Force found was astounding, and what it shared was even better. Twenty notable historical documents were unveiled at the hearing, including a Jack County District Court minute book that is the only surviving record of the trial of Kiowa Chiefs Satanta and Big Tree and a Jim Wells
County injunction filed by Lyndon B. Johnson against his 1948 U.S. Senate race opponent, Coke Stevenson. Those are just a couple of the important papers we might have missed sharing with future generations. This month’s issue of the Texas Bar Journal highlights these historic documents and the importance of preserving our past in order to educate future generations.
Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay!
Last fall, the State Bar launched Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay!, a new webbased civics education project aimed at helping Texas students and teachers. Since the Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! website (www.texasbar.com/civics
) went live last September, it has had more than 6,000 visitors, and middle and high school teachers have given it an overwhelming thumbs-up. An important component of the website is a series of educational videos on the five landmark decisions that eighth-grade students need to understand to successfully meet assessment tests for government and history. Those five videos—Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, Gibbons v. Ogden, Worcester v. Georgia, and Dred Scott v. Sandford—are now all available on the website. The Texas Bar Foundation recently awarded a generous grant to the State Bar to help provide additional resources for the Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! project.
Law Day 2012
This year’s Law Day provides another great civics education project for students, and the State Bar is privileged to host the statewide celebration on May 1, 2012, at the Texas Law Center in Austin. This year’s theme is “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom.” For more information, contact the State Bar Local Bar Services Department at (800) 204-2222, ext. 1514 or email email@example.com
. I look forward to seeing some great submissions from your area students!
Save the Date!
This year’s State Bar Annual Meeting is set for June 14-15 in Houston. We are excited to welcome former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker
III and bestselling author Richard North Patterson as our luncheon keynote speakers. In addition to a great selection of CLE, a special display of
the historical documents preserved by the Texas Court Records Preservation Task Force will be available for viewing. For more information and to register online, visit www.texasbar.com/annualmeeting
Bob Black is the 2011-2012 State Bar of Texas President. Log on to www.texasbar.com for more information.