Nominations are now open!
The deadline for making your nomination is Monday, February 20, 2017.
A plaque is awarded to an author of an outstanding CLE article presented during the year. All articles must be submitted no later than December 1 of each year in order to be considered for the Best CLE Article Award. The award is named in honor of Franklin Jones, Jr. of Marshall, Texas, a co-founding father of the College.
For 2015 the award goes to Justice Jane Bland and Laura Lee Prather for their article, “Bullies Beware: Safeguarding Constitutional Rights through Anti-SLAPP in Texas”.
Justice Jane Bland
Justice Bland was appointed to the First Court of Appeals in 2003 and was elected in 2004, 2006, and 2012. Before becoming an appellate judge, she served for six years as a civil trial judge, having been appointed in 1997 and elected in 1998 and 2002.
Justice Bland is board certified in civil appellate law and civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is a member of the American Law Institute. Before serving on the bench, she practiced with Baker Botts L.L.P., focusing on civil trial and appellate work. Before that, she clerked for Judge Thomas Gibbs Gee on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
She earned her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law with high honors, where she was Vice-Chancellor, an associate editor of the Texas Law Review, and a member of the Order of the Coif. She received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and honors business from the University of Texas at Austin, with highest honors.
Justice Bland serves on the Texas Supreme Court’s Rules Advisory Committee and its Commission to Expand Civil Legal Services. She is the chair of the State Bar of Texas’s Oversight Committee on the Texas Pattern Jury Charges, having previously served on the Business, Consumer and Employment Law volume. In March 2006, while sitting by special commission, she delivered the majority opinion in Hyundai v. Vasquez for the Texas Supreme Court.
In November 2010, United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presented Justice Bland with the William H. Rehnquist Award, given annually by the National Center for State Courts to a state court judge who exemplifies the highest level of judicial excellence, integrity, fairness, and professional ethics. The Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists named her trial judge of the year in 2003 and appellate judge of the year in 2007 and 2015. She also has twice received President’s Awards for her work with both the Houston Bar Association and the Houston Young Lawyers Association. She serves on the boards of Houston Volunteer Lawyers, the UT Law School Foundation, and St. John’s School.
Laura Lee Prather
Laura Prather is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. Laura focuses her practice on First Amendment, intellectual property and media and entertainment litigation and appeals. She has significant government relations experience as an advocate at the Texas Legislature on First Amendment and open government concerns. Laura advises an extensive array of content providers including online and traditional newspapers, magazines, radio and broadcasters, cable television stations, production companies and music and sports entities. Laura was the lead author and negotiator for the three most significant pieces of First Amendment legislation in recent history in Texas – the reporters’ privilege, the anti-SLAPP statute, and the Defamation Mitigation Act. Through her efforts, Laura both formed and led the coalitions in support of all three of these measures. All three laws are designed to promote and protect free speech rights in Texas.
Clyde J. “Jay” Jackson, III, Houston
“Texas Supreme Court Update” presented at TexasBarCLE’s 30th Annual Advanced Personal Injury Law Course.
Richard R. Orsinger, San Antonio
“170 Years of Texas Contract Law” (Written for the TexasBarCLE’s The History of Texas Supreme Court Jurisprudence 2013).
Award is shared by Lawrence M. Doss, Jeremy C. Martin, Chris Nickelson, Georganna L. Simpson, Rebecca Tillery, and Jimmy Vaught
“Appellate Practice From Every Angle,” presented at TexasBarCLE’s 38th Annual Advanced Family Law Course.
John G. Browning, Dallas Texas
“Social Media in the Jury Box” (Written for the TexasBarCLE 34th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course 2011.)
Pamela Stanton Barron, Austin Texas
“Supreme Court Docket Analysis” (Written for the TexasBarCLE 24th Annual Advanced Civil Appellate Law Course 2010.)
Richard R. Orsinger, San Antonio
“Practicing Family Law In a Depressed Economy Part I: Your Law Practice” and “Your Clients – Part II: The Economy” (Written for the TexasBarCLE Advanced Family Law Course 2009)
Byron F. Egan, Dallas
“Director Duties: Process and Proof”(Written for the TexasBarCLE Webcast: Corporate Minutes/Director Duties)
Hon. Patrick J. Garza, San Antonio
“Police Interaction with Juveniles” (Written for the Juvenile Law Institute’s 20th Annual Juvenile Law Conference in Houston)
James N. Hidgon, San Antonio and Stehanie J. Bandoske, San Antonio
“War and Peace-Military Benefit Issues in War Time”
Thomas M. Featherston, Jr., Waco
“What a Spouse Can Do To Unilaterally Protect That Spouse’s ‘Estate” From the Other Spouse and the Other Spouse’s Creditors and Heirs”
David B. Young, Austin
“Selected Consumer Bankruptcy Issues”
Steve Akers, Dallas
“Trustee Selection; Retaining Strings Without Getting Strung-Up“
Thomas P. Goranson, Dallas
“What Every Family Lawyer Should Know About the Civil Practices & Remedies Code, Property Code, and Business & Commerce Code”
James E. Brill, Houston
“Dealing With The Death Of A Solo Practitioner”
Eric E. Sigsbey, Midland
David H. Pace, Dallas
David B. Young, Austin
Kathryn Hinkel, Dallas
Walter P. Wolfram, Amarillo