Governor Abbott Appoints McCraw Judge Of 469th Judicial District Court

August 18, 2015 (http://gov.texas.gov/news/appointment/21321) Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Piper McCraw of McKinney as judge of the 469th Judicial District Court in Collin County for a term to expire at the next general election in November 2016. This appointment will be effective Sept. 1, 2015. Piper McCraw is owner of Piper McCraw, P.C. and previously served as an assistant district attorney for Collin County. She is a member of the Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Association Board of Directors and the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, and she is a charter member of the Collin County Women Lawyer’s Association and the Curt B. Henderson American Inn of Court. She is also board member and secretary of the Hope Women’s Center. McCraw received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and a Juris Doctor from Texas A&M School of...

Governor Abbott Appoints Miskel Judge Of 470th Judicial District Court

August 18, 2015 (http://gov.texas.gov/news/appointment/21322) Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Emily Miskel of Dallas as judge of the 470th Judicial District Court in Collin County for a term set to expire at the next general election in November 2016. This appointment will be effective Sept. 1, 2015. Emily Miskel is an associate attorney at KoonsFuller, P.C. and is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She currently serves as an adjunct professor of family law at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, barrister of the Henderson American Inn of Court and fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Additionally, she is a member of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, Collin County Bar Association Family Law Section, and the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas. Miskel received a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law...

Governor Abbott Appoints Swanson Judge Of 143rd Judicial District Court

August 14, 2015 (http://gov.texas.gov/news/appointment/21311) Governor Greg Abbott has appointed John M. “Mike” Swanson as judge of the 143rd Judicial District Court, covering Loving, Reeves, and Ward Counties, for a term set to expire at the next general election in November 2016. Mike Swanson has been a solo law practitioner for 19 years. He is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and he serves as chief juvenile probation officer for Ward County. He previously served as city attorney for the City of Monahans and on the board of directors of the Monahans Economic Development Corporation. Swanson received a Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University and a Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University School of...

Governor Abbott Appoints Lunceford Judge Of 61st District Court

July 8, 2015 (http://gov.texas.gov/news/appointment/21184) AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Erin Lunceford as judge of the 61st Judicial District Court in Harris County for a term to expire at the next general election in November 2016. Erin Lunceford is the managing shareholder at Sprott, Newsom, Lunceford, Quattlebaum & Messenger, PC. She is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law, is a current Board member and committee chair of the Houston Bar Association, associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and certified medical malpractice specialist with the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. She was also selected as a Texas Super Lawyer from 2008 to 2014 and in 2011 was selected as one of 20 Winning Women Trial/Appellate Lawyers in Texas. Lunceford received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a law degree from the University of...

TCJL Session Summary – 84th Legislature

Texas Civil Justice League 84th Texas Legislature Session Summary June 19, 2015 Session Overview When the 84th Legislature convened in January, it was unclear what the new world order (at least in the Capitol) was going to look like.  Two-thirds of the state leadership and a significant number of the House and Senate members were new. Two of the Big Three leadership offices (Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker) had new captains at the helm. The Senate, led by newly-elected Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, was decidedly more conservative as evidenced by the aggressive agenda set forth early on, including open- and campus-carry legislation, enhanced border security, property tax relief and budget reform, and expanded parental choice in public education. The “middle office” now led by Governor Greg Abbott proposed a more centrist agenda: a quality pre-kindergarten program, franchise tax relief, ethics reform, and enhanced funding for transportation. Returning incumbent, Speaker Joe Straus, easily won his fourth-term as Speaker and set out a bipartisan agenda concentrating on transportation infrastructure funding, reducing reliance on dedicated revenue to balance the budget, broad-based tax relief, and a responsible state budget.Lt. Governor Patrick’s first order of business was moving his colleagues to override the Senate’s longstanding tradition of requiring a two-thirds vote to bring legislation to the floor, settling on a three-fifths supermajority. This rule change meant that 19 out of the 20 Republican Senators could bring up any bill over the objection of the 11 Democrats. The new rule served its purpose as the Senate passed most of its major bills early in the session, with party-line votes on most of the more controversial measures. Basically...