News Affecting PLS Members and Their Clients

Poverty Law Conference
September 5 – 7, 2018
Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark
Registration and Agenda

Poverty Law Conference and Annual Meeting
Our annual meeting will be held at the Poverty Law Conference on September 5 at 5:30 p.m. in Austin at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark. The Poverty Law Conference is a three-day event that provides valuable training on poverty law issues affecting low-income and poor Texans. The conference offers targeted continuing legal education with a specific public interest focus. The conference will feature presentations from some of the most knowledgeable poverty law practitioners and private attorneys in their respective fields. Conference agenda and registration are here. We encourage you to attend, learn from, and network with a great number of the poverty law community.

First Fridays:  Our First Fridays material can be found below:

“First Friday CLE”
~One of the benefits of membership~

In the 97th installment of our First Friday CLE program series, the Poverty Law Section is hosting a one-hour live webinar/teleconference.

“Advanced Topics in Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence Using VAWA”

Presented by:
Mireya Granados
Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas

June 8
Noon to 1 p.m., CST

The presentation will focus on all aspects of a VAWA case. People who may be eligible—such as spouses, children, parents, and same-sex partners—will be discussed, and an overview of the requirements for each type of case will be provided. Information about adjustment of status after VAWA approval will be covered.

Please register by 10 a.m. Friday, June 8 by emailing your name and bar card number to First Friday CLE. Those who RSVP will be provided with a webinar access code.

If you have problems receiving the dial-in information, please send an email to Shelby Jean.

Past First Friday Presentations:

“Nuts and Bolts of Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption”
Presented by:
Jenny L. Womack, Attorney at Law
November 3
Noon to 1 p.m., CST
This presentation will provide an overview of Texas adoption law, voluntary and involuntary relinquishments, roles of Attorney Ad Litem and Amicus Attorney, as well as a step-by-step process for obtaining an Order of Termination and an Order Granting Adoption.

Installment of the PLS Friday CLE Series
“Nuts and Bolts of Expunctions and Nondisclosures”
Presented by:
Paul Quinzi, Attorney at Law
March 11, 2016
Noon – 1 p.m.
1 hour MCLE credit
This presentation will provide an overview of expunctions and nondisclosures, including some important changes to the rules governing nondisclosures. This is a great presentation for those new to this area of practice or as a refresher for those who have a working knowledge of the law, but want to know more about the recent updates.

81st Installment of the PLS Friday CLE Series
“Should I Stay or Should I Go: Limits of the Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy”
Presented by:
John Grieger, Attorney at Law, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas
Friday, February 19, 2016
Noon – 1 p.m.
1 hour CLE credit
What does the automatic stay in bankruptcy stop? Is it always automatic? This presentation will examine what actions are and are not stayed by the filing of a bankruptcy. It will consider the impact of multiple bankruptcy filings, the timing of the bankruptcy, and the type of proceeding or action that the debtor wants to stay. It will look specifically at the impact, if any, of a bankruptcy filing on your client’s eviction or foreclosure.

80th Installment of the First Friday CLE Series
“Implementing the New Guardianship Alternatives in Your Practice”
Presented by:
Julie Balovich, Attorney at Law, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Richard LaVallo, Attorney at Law, Disability Rights Texas
Friday, December 4, 2015
Noon to 1 pm
1 hour CLE credit
The 84th Texas Legislature passed significant guardianship reforms and is the first state in the U.S. to enact supportive decision making agreements. A disability rights attorney and a guardianship attorney will talk about how to implement the new guardianship reforms into the practice of a legal aid attorney.

78th Installment of the First Friday CLE Series
*Free for Poverty Law Section Members*
“Nuts and Bolts of the Texas Transfer-on-Death Deed”
Presented by:
Lucille D. Wood, Clinical Professor, Public Service and Legislative Internship Programs,
University of Texas School of Law
Friday, October 2, 2015
Noon to 1 pm
1 hour CLE credit
This month’s First Friday CLE will present the nuts and bolts of the new Texas Transfer-on-Death Deed statute. The discussion will begin with the seemingly intractable problems that led to the passage of the new law, review of the statute itself, and finish with best practices in implementation.

76th Installment of the First Friday CLE Series
*Free for Poverty Law Section Members*
“Fighting Property Tax Lenders”
Presented by:
Richard Tomlinson, Attorney at Law, Lone Star Legal Aid
Friday, August 7, 2015
Noon to 1 pm
1 hour CLE credit
Participants will learn how property tax lenders violate the Truth in Lending Act and the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act in nearly all of their transactions, and how these violations can be used to obtain lien releases and serve as defenses to foreclosure.

Update from the Committee on Rule 145:

In April 2014, the State Bar of Texas Poverty Law Section appointed a committee to gather statewide information on problems associated with filing affidavits and statements of inability to pay to support further resolution of the issues and to document needed changes in law, procedures and rules.. Providers of legal services from around the state reported barriers and issues encountered by lawyers and pro se litigants. In December 2014 the committee compiled and submitted a detailed report to the Poverty Law Section. In addition the reported data was included in the Texas Access to Justice Commission’s Supplemental Report to the Supreme Court of Texas on Proposed Revisions to Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 145, submitted on January 21, 2015. Both reports are posted here. Many thanks to all who provided the details of these ongoing access to justice issues. Contact Mary Christine Reed at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid with questions or to report new problems. (, 512-374-229)

Report Affidavits and Statements of Inability to Pay committee with Exhibits Final

1a-Supplemental Report R145-FINAL-1 With exhibits