Et Al.

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

It is just by coincidence that the Focus for this issue of our magazine is "Ethics", and that in the spring of this year I was asked to present an ethics speech to our local association’s (NTALA) Spring Seminar. At that time, I thought "they don’t want to hear the same old boring speech about ‘don’t give legal advice’ and ‘don’t quote fees’ and ‘confidence is of the utmost importance’, etc.", so I tried to come up with a different idea for making those same points, thus coming up with some "Laws" to the path for professionalism. Those comments will appear below for you.


Javan Johnson,CLAS 
President, 2000-2001

However, before we get to that, I cannot let this issue slip by without saying a tremendous thank you to the outgoing Board of Directors, and to our outgoing President, Lisa Sprinkle. We had an outstanding year, with the highlight being the success of our first LAU! Lisa’s leadership, dedication and professionalism to this association and to the legal assistant profession will never be forgotten. The "State of the Division" speech she gave at the annual meeting in June was a great historical look at LAD, and it appears in this issue, so enjoy. I know that she will continue to serve LAD in many capacities and we wish her, as well as all of the outgoing board members, kudos for a job well done!

Now, enjoy this issue of TPJ, and get refreshed on this very important topic that will continue to be of utmost importance as the State Bar of Texas continues its review and revision of the current statutes with regard to the Unauthorized Practice of Law. This will make an even further impact on legal assistants. We will continue to keep you updated on those proposals.

THE PATH TO PROFESSIONALISM

"Ambition never has its fill!" (author unknown)

Just being a part of the legal profession... does that make us professionals? The answer? No! The profession is fast-growing and draws a lot of people. Whenever you have lots of people, you have a lot of personalities and a lot of backgrounds that are brought to the profession. We, therefore, see a lot of ethical violations. So what sets apart those who really want to be leaders in the field—to be a true "professional"? Let’s look at the definition of professional — "engaged in one of the learned ethical standards of a profession; participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs"; then the definition of professionalism —"the conduct, aims or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person."

We all know that a lot of amateurs have entered this field, which can be taken either way—either amateur due to inexperience in the field (which is common among our students or persons changing careers who strive to learn and make their mark), or amateur as "one who engaged in a pursuit, study, science or sport as a pastime rather than as a profession." This is where we must focus. To really become a true professional in this legal field, we must strive to place ourselves ahead in the race. There must be the desire to succeed, the desire to learn, the desire to be loyal, the desire to become involved, the desire to be ethical, and so much more. Therefore, we meet the path to professionalism. How do we become that type of person, rather than staying the "amateur"? These are some of the "laws" to the path to professionalism:

  1. Professionalism develops daily, not in a day!
  • Just like investing your money, you have to let it compound every day and learn from it.
  • It takes a lifetime to really develop your investment to the fullest.
  • Build relationships with your employers, with other legal professionals, with your clients, with court personnel, with vendors. Make yourself known so that you will be remembered.
  • Be conscious that you are ignorant of facts or knowledge at times, and let that be a learning lesson
  1. The true measure of professionalism is influence!
  • Be a good influence on others and they will follow you.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Take time to teach, and thank those that teach you.
  • You achieve excellence when people will follow you, even if it is only out of curiosity.
  • It’s not the position that makes you a professional, it is the professional that makes the position.
  1. Professional ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness!
  • You can work hard to increase your dedication to success and excellence, but you must also increase your leadership abilities.
  • The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be—let’s make it a positive influence.
  • Personal and organizational effectiveness is proportionate to the strength of leadership.
  • There are smart, talented, successful people who are able to go only so far because of the limitations of their leadership.
  1. Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course!
  • Draw on past experience.
  • You must go through a process in order to be successful.
  • A leader sees more than others see, sees farther than others see, and who sees before others do.
  • Listen to what others have to say.
  • If the leader can’t navigate the people through rough waters, he is liable to sink the ship.
  • Chart your course:

Determine a course of action
Set your goals
Adjust priorities
Head into action
Expect problems
Always point to the successes
Always review your plan.

  1. People naturally follow professionals who are stronger than themselves!
  • Become involved on a local, state and national level to see other professionals at work.
  • Networking with other professionals is essential.
  • When you are respected as a person, you are admired. When you are respected as a friend, you are loved. When you are respected as a leader, you are followed.
  1. Trust is the foundation of professionalism!
  • You cannot take shortcuts in your profession, not matter how long you have been in it.
  • To build trust, you must exemplify competence, connection and character.
  • Character makes trust possible, and trust makes leadership possible. This creates a solid ground for trust.
  • Admit your mistakes and learn from them.
  • Put what is best for the followers (others) ahead of your own personal agenda.
  1. Who you are is who you attract!
  • Check your negative attitude at the door.
  • The better leader you are, the better leaders you will attract.
  • If you think the people you attract could be better, then it’s time for you to improve yourself.
  • Be a magnet—attract the professionals.
  • It is your job to initiate connection with who you attract.
  1. Professional potential is determined by those closest to you!
  • Leaders are not "Lone Rangers"; if you are alone, you are not leading anybody, are you?
  • Find greatness in those around you, and help them find it in themselves.
  • First, know your own abilities and motivate yourself—then find the abilities in those around you and motivate them.
  1. Secure professionals give power to others!
  • Other’s capacity to achieve is determined by their leader’s ability to empower.
  • A weak professional worries that if they help others, they will become dispensable, but in reality it is the only way to be indispensable is by continually empowering others and helping them develop.
  • Be prepared for change—it is the price of progress.
  • The greater things will happen when you give credit to others.
  • Be committed to helping others.
  1. It takes a professional to raise up other professionals!
  • Just as it takes a giant killer to produce other giant killers, it takes a leader to raise up other leaders.
  • To develop other leaders, you must become a better leader.
  • Continue your own development as a professional. Spend time with other leaders.
  • Remember it is the team approach—everyone on the team must work together for the team to win.
  1. Professionals understand that action is not necessarily accomplishment!
  • Keep prioritizing. We are all accountable to someone so priorities must begin with what is required of you.
  • Satisfy multiple priorities with each activity, delegate to others so that you can spend your time in your strength areas.
  1. A professional must give up to go up!
  • Make sacrifices to accomplish your goals.
  • Swallow your pride.
  • Set an example.
  • Sacrifice is an ongoing process, not a one-time payment.
  • When you become a leader, you lose the right to think about yourself.
  • If you have to give up to go up, then you have to give up even more to stay up.
  • "For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something." —Ralph Waldo Emerso.

SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS

In the article "A Sit Down With One of Austin's Top Guns" (Summer 2000), Chris Gunter's name was misspelled. We apologize for the mistake.


ANNUAL MEETING

Exceptional Pro Bono Merit Award

by Jodye Kasher, CLA

The Legal Assistants Division of the State Bar of Texas is proud to present this year’s Exceptional Pro Bono Merit Award to Sharon Wagner.

Sharon’s career as a paralegal followed her prior work experience as a police officer in Koontz, Texas. She received her paralegal certificate from Southwestern Paralegal Institute, and has served as a legal assistant for over fifteen (15) years in various areas of the law.

 


Mitchell Katine, Lisa Sprinkle, and
Sharon Wagner Spencer

Currently, Sharon works as a contract paralegal in many different areas of the law, with her current primary focus on medical malpractice and credit reporting. Sharon is serving as the Public Relations Chair of the Legal Assistants Division of the State Bar of Texas this year, and has served on the Board of Directors in the past for the Houston Legal Assistants Association. She is also a member of the Corporate Legal Assistants Association, and has been a member of NFPA since 1991.

Approximately nine years ago, Sharon was asked to serve as chair of pro bono for her location association (Houston Legal Assistants Association). She fondly recalls that one of the first things they did was to participate by working in a face painting booth at an annual children’s festival sponsored by Child Advocates. Sharon and other legal assistants from the Houston Legal Assistants Association painted over 2000 children’s faces in one weekend! Her interest in pro bono work was definitely sparked that weekend, and she generously pursued it.

Over the years, Sharon has devoted countless hours in the areas of HIV and AIDS legal assistance and education to the public, without compensation. Additionally, she has donated numerous hours as a volunteer in helping educate the public, law students, high school students, and healthcare professionals on all aspects of HIV and AIDS. Sharon has also provided services that simplify the legal process for and increase the availability and quality of legal services to those in need of such services, but who are without the means to afford such services; specifically, people with HIV and AIDS who are indigent and need legal assistance. She has worked with the Houston Volunteer Lawyer’s Association on Advo Kits for assistance of children in court, and other programs such as "Wills on Wheels" at local county hospitals. Sharon has also been a speaker at HIV/AIDS Panel World AIDS Day, Planned Parenthood World AIDS Day, the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program on HIV and AIDS, Womens HIV Coalition, CASA/Child Advocates, Inc. and has served as a volunteer case manager for abused and neglected children. Sharon has also served as vice president of Mothers Voices Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter, a New York based organization established to educate children about AIDS awareness.

Sharon believes that her pro bono activities have made her a better legal assistant, because it allows her to give back to the community. It has also helped her learn about the diversity of people and how to look at things from a different perspective. She also believes the rewards are tremendous, and states she "feels good about doing things for other people." If you had to sum Sharon up in words, they would undoubtedly be: "loving, giving, unconditional friend, mother and wife."

Sharon is married to Kirk Spencer, who is an R.N. at Hermann Hospital ER Trauma. Her daughter, Courtney Wagner, is 15 and currently a sophomore at Pearland High School, and her step- daughter, Cassie Spencer, is 17, and a senior at Pearland High School.

Although it’s hard to imagine how Sharon could find the time for any hobbies with all that she does, she loves redecorating, organizing, crafts, and organic gardening. She also was fortunate enough in June to take what she describes as "the perfect vacation." An avid lighthouse collector, she and her husband spent a relaxing 10 days seeing Massachusetts, Nantucket, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and the many lighthouses in those areas.

Sharon’s pro bono activities made her an outstanding candidate for the Exceptional Pro Bono Merit Award, and it comes as no surprise that her favorite saying is:

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Editor’s Note: Sharon has been selected by Channel 8, Houston’s public television station, as one of their honorees for the Speaking of Women’s Health Conference. The recipients are women who have made a difference in the community with regard to health issues. The conference will be held at the Warwick Hotel on October 28, 2000.

CONGRATULATIONS, SHARON!

 

Pro Bono Partners
Second Annual Award Recipients

by Michele Boerder, Legal Assistant, Hughes & Luce, L.L.P.

The Second "Pro Bono Partners" Team to receive an award for the most pro-bono hours contributed was recognized at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting held in San Antonio this past June. The winning team was comprised of Kristine Farmer, now President-Elect of the Legal Assistants Division—State Bar of Texas, (as well as the current President of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association) and her employer attorney, Tommy Rodgers, both from Dallas, Texas.


Tommy Rodgers and Kristine Farmer

Mr. Rodgers, a solo practitioner, adopted a policy for his practice of working on two pro bono family law cases at a time. Mr. Rodgers began working on cases with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (formerly known as North Texas Legal Services) shortly after opening his law practice in 1995, and continues to take pro bono cases. Kristine Farmer, who is Mr. Rodgers’ only paralegal, is Texas Board of Legal Specialization certified in Civil Trial Law (1997) and has worked as a legal assistant since 1990. Kristine also holds a BBA in Labor Management from the University of North Texas (1992).

The Joint Pro Bono Partners Project (by the Legal Assistants Division and the Legal Assistant Committee of the State Bar) began in 1998 at the Corpus Christi Annual Meeting. The Project was endorsed and promoted by then State Bar President, Dean Frank Newton by his remarks at the LAD Annual meeting Luncheon. The first Pro Bono Partners Award was given last year to the Dallas team of Gerald Lotzer and Jodye Kasher.

The joint project is intended to generate increased participation in pro bono legal services in Texas by a team (or "partner") approach of lawyer and legal assistant . Texas Lawyers Care, part of the Public Services Division of the State Bar of Texas, maintains Pro Bono Publico, Attorney’s Guide to Pro Bono Opportunties, which assists groups/organizations that provide free legal services to low-income persons by providing information about those groups/organizations and how to contact them to volunteer for pro bono services. In addition, Texas Lawyers Care also tracks the pro bono service hours for the Pro Bono Partner team members, both lawyers and legal assistants.

For more information (or questions) about Pro Bono Partners, please contact Michele Boerder at (214) 939-5746 (email: boerdem@hughesluce.com), or Texas Lawyers Care at the State Bar of Texas.

 

LAD HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING IN SAN ANTONIO

The Legal Assistants Division of the State Bar of Texas held its Annual Meeting luncheon in conjunction with the SBOT’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio June 23, 2000. The Honorable Jerry Buchmeyer was speaker at the luncheon and provided an enormous amount of wit and wisdom. The luncheon, attended by over 100 legal assistants, attorneys and supporters, was also highlighted by outgoing LAD President Lisa Sprinkle’s address, installation of the Division’s officers for 2000–2001 and presentations of special recognition to LAD members.

LAD’s Pro Bono Award was presented to Sharon Wagner of Houston for her exceptional pro bono contributions, which are especially geared to HIV/AIDS groups. Sharon currently serves as LAD’s Public Relations Committee chair. The Pro Bono Partners Award was presented to Kristine Farmer and Tommy Rodgers who work together to continue to provide legal services free of charge. Kristine was installed as President Elect at the luncheon. The Award of Excellence was presented to TPJ’s Editor Nancy C. McLaughlin for her long term contributions to promoting the Division and the profession.

In conjunction with the Annual Meeting, LAD sponsored seminars in the areas of internet research, and appellate and criminal matters featuring speakers Jennifer Till, Wallace Jefferson and Sam Bayless.

The Honorable Jerry Buchmeyer of Et Cetera fame (he's also the Chief Justice of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas) was the keynote speaker at the LAD Annual Meeting luncheon. As can be easily ascertained from the photos, he was at his best regaling the crowd with his extremely humorous legal anecdotes.

 

STATE OF THE DIVISION

by Lisa Sprinkle, CLAS

Sometimes in order to understand and appreciate where we are at any given moment, it is beneficial to look back and see where we have come from. My State of the Division speech will be a little different this year. I would like to spend a few moments looking back to see how far we have come.

The year was 1981, Chariots of Fire was the movie of the year, the space shuttle Columbia was the first spacecraft to be used twice and IBM introduced the personal computer. The legal Assistants Division of the State Bar of Texas was formed.

In 1982 E.T. was the film of the year, Apple Computer has reached the 1 billion dollar mark in annual sales, USA today newspaper made its debut, Cats was the new hit on Broadway and the Vietnam Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. The LAD had 1,013 charter members.

By 1984 Geraldine Ferraro of New York became the first woman chosen as her party’s nominee for vice-president, people were going to the movies to see Amadeus, Beverly Hills Cop and Ghostbusters. The megabyte chip was invented and the first woman walked in space. The LAD introduced its first issue of a division newsletter.

1985, eight years after Elvis Presley’s death, The Attorney’s Guide to Practicing with Legal Assistants was published.

In 1986 the shuttle Challenger exploded, killing 7 people, America celebrated its 100th birthday and the State Bar of Texas adopted the ABA definition of a legal assistant.

1990 saw the debut of Garth Brooks, the film Dances with Wolves was a huge success and LAD hired Norma Hackler as the Division’s first Executive Director. Today we refer to the position as Division Coordinator but Norma still holds the position and we appreciate her hard work and dedication for the last ten years. Thank you Norma.

While Schindler’s List was the big hit of 1993, membership opened in the State Bar sections for legal assistants. 1993 also saw the death of 86 Branch Davidians in Waco and NAFTA was ratified. In this same year, the Texas legislature resolved that October 23rd was Texas Legal Assistant’s Day and the specialty certification for legal assistants was approved by the Supreme Court of Texas.

In 1994, while Elton John was writing the music for Lion King, 154 individuals were taking the legal assistant specialty exam given by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. 15 million people were now using the internet, Pulp Fiction was the movie being talked about, O.J. Simpson was accused of murder and the Texas Paralegal Journal changed to a magazine format.

In 1996 the Legal Assistant Standing Committee completed the pamphlet entitled "Why Your Firm Needs a Legal Assistant" and the Division began taping and airing the Legally Speaking program.

During 1997 the Long Range Planning Task Force prepared a digest about licensing, regulation and certification. The division established its own Pro Bono award.

In 1998 the Legal Assistants Standing Committee and the Division created the Pro Bono Partners Program, local bar associations adopted resolutions recognizing legal assistants as legal professionals in an attempt to obtain MCLE accreditation for Division seminars. The Division produced a video entitled "Profiling the Paralegal Profession". In June 1998 the Division held its first public forum on regulation and developed its website.

That brings us to this past year—In the Fall we held our last forum on regulation in Austin in conjunction with a meeting with the LAD and the legal educators. Justice Abbott of the Texas Supreme Court was one of the members of the forum panel. LAD distributed the video "Profiling the Paralegal Profession" to all law schools in Texas. The Division held its first LAU with 270 registrants—a faculty of over 60 and over 80 volunteers made it a reality. LAU made a substantial profit allowing the Division to support other projects and members needs. Financially we are in an excellent and strong position.

A scholarship procedure has been put into place and two scholarships will be awarded for attendance to this years LAU scheduled for September 20–23 in Austin.

The Division addressed the complex and difficult issue of individuals who have been convicted of a felony applying for division membership. Procedures and guidelines have been established for reviewing and then denying or approving those applications.

Communication lines between the division and the LAC have been opened and strengthened.

The TPJ continues to be an outstanding publication created for and by legal assistants in Texas. Our website has grown and provides links to other valuable sites.

We continue to work toward a recommendation for the future of our profession with regard to regulation and anticipate that the recommendation will come in the next year or so.

Local associations in conjunction with the Division held CLE seminars in various locations around the state.

As always, the Division looks to its membership for guidance. Let us know where you want to go, what you need to improve your profession. Your directors and officers are committed to serving you.

The State of the Division is strong but only as strong as its membership. Thanks to the Board of Directors, Norma Hackler, all the committee chairs and sub-chairs, and all the other volunteers across the state. The Legal Assistants Division of the State Bar of Texas continues to be an example for all other states.

Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of this wonderful history and this excellent professional organization.

*Presentation by LAD President Lisa Sprinkle, CLAS at the Legal Assistant’s Division Annual Meeting luncheon held in San Antonio, Texas on June 23, 2000.

Above: LAD Committee Chairs Kristine Farmer, Debra Crosby, Sharon Wagner Spencer, and 
Ellen Lockwood; Above Right: Annual Meeting Committee Co-Chairs Ellen Lockwood and 
Melinda Jackson with President Lisa Sprinkle; Below: Passing the Gavel, Lisa Sprinkle, CLAS and Javan Johnson, CLA; Below Right: Outgoing Directors Leigh Burton, Jan Bufkin, Connie Gray, Martha Maze, Kimberly Spivey, and Deane Burks.

 

2000–2001 BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Back Row: Tamara Null, CLA, District 12 Director; Kim Cantu, CLA, District 12 Director; Mariann Porter, CLA, District 16 Director; Jeanne Fairman, CLA, District 6 Director; Karla Schwemmer, District 8 Director; Debra Crosby, District 5 Director; Michelle P. Salazar, District 15 Director; Pat Hammer, CLA, District 3 Director; Joyce Biggar, District 9 Director; Ingrid Bumstead, CLAS, District 10 Director; Carolyn Goff, District 13 Director; Mary McDowell, CLA, District 11 Director. Front Row: Joan Beishir, CLA, District 14 Director/Treasurer; Kristine Farmer, President-Elect; Javan Johnson, CLAS, President; Rhonda Brashears, CLA, District 7 Director/Secretary; Diane McQuire, District 1 Director/Parliamentarian

Javan Johnson, CLAS— President
Javan is a freelance paralegal who began her own business in Longview in February 1999, specializing in civil trial work, after working for 18 years with one attorney. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Education from Baylor University. Javan obtained her CLA in 1990, earned the NALA civil litigation specialty designation in 1993, and became certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1996. Javan served LAD for many years as sub-chair on various committees, as Membership Chair from 1992–1997, then joined the Board of Directors as the District 14 Director in 1997. She received the Outstanding Chair of the Year award in 1995. Javan has also served as a member of the Long Range Planning Task Force Committee for LAD since 1993. In addition to being a charter member of LAD, Javan is also a charter member of the Northeast Texas Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NTALA), in Longview, and has served that organization since its inception in 1988, as President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Education Chair, Membership Chair, Scholarship Chair, Newsletter Committee Chair, and Legal Assistant of the Year Chair after receiving the honor of Legal Assistant of the Year in 1996. She additionally serves NTALA as a speaker for continuing legal education programs, including the annual CLA Review Course that NTALA offers each Fall. Javan participated in the birth of the Legal Assistant program at Kilgore College in 1988, and has been a part time instructor in that program since that time. Of all of these accomplishments, Javan is most proud of her husband of 15 years, Brett, and her son, Cameron, age 12. She says that nothing she has done in her career would have come to fruition without their staunch support...and patience!
S. Kristine Farmer— President-Elect
Kristine is a senior litigation paralegal with the Law Offices of Tommy R. Rodgers, P.C and has been working a paralegal since 1990. Prior to her working with Mr. Rodgers in the area of family law, she previously worked within the areas of labor/employment law and complex commercial litigation. She received her baccalaureate degree in Labor Management from the University of North Texas in 1992 and became a Board Certified Legal Assistant in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997. An active member of the Legal Assistants Division since 1995, Kristine formerly served as Director for District 2 (Dallas) since 1997, and served as the Division’s Parliamentarian from 1998 through 2000. Kristine also previously chaired the Division’s Professional Development Committee and was the recipient of the Outstanding Committee Chair of the Year Award in 1997. Kristine is also a member of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association where she is currently serving as DAPA’s President. She has been a member of DAPA since 1994 and served as a member of the Board of Directors since 1997. She is also a member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, where she serves at the Unauthorized Practice of Law Research Co-Coordinator.
Rhonda J. Brashears, CLA—Secretary
Rhonda was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle and has lived in Amarillo for the last 27 years. She is a member of the First Baptist Church and is active in the Mission Friends program at her church. Married to Rod, the Point of Sale Manager for Budweiser Distributing, Rhonda is the mother of two children, Cody 16 and Caitlyn 6. Her hobbies include family, scrap booking, and her career. Rhonda graduated from West Texas A&M University with a BGS. She attained her CLA designation in 1996 and was board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law in 1998. Rhonda has worked as a Legal Assistant since 1988 and has been employed by the law firm of Underwood, Wilson, Berry, Stein & Johnson, P.C. since 1990 where her primary focus is civil litigation. A part-time instructor at Amarillo College teaching paralegal classes in their Paralegal Studies program, Rhonda also serves on the Advisory Committee for Amarillo College’s Paralegal Studies program. "Education for legal assistants is something that I am very focused on at this point in my career. I believe that the future of the profession depends on educating tomorrow’s legal assistants," Rhonda says. A member of the LAD since 1990, she became director for District 7 in 1996 and has served as Secretary to the Division since June 1999. Rhonda is also a member of the Texas Panhandle Association of Legal Assistant where I have been President, President-Elect, Treasurer and NALA Liaison.
Joan Beishir, CLA— Treasurer
Joan has been actively employed in the legal profession for nearly 20 years. She is currently employed by Erskine & McMahon, L.L.P. in Longview, Texas and specializes in personal injury law. She received her Legal Assistants Degree with highest honors from Kilgore College in 1995, and received her CLA designation in 1996. She became a member of LAD in 1997 and served District 14 as Nominations and Elections Co-Chair during 1997 and as Public Relations Co-chair from 1998-1999 before being elected Director in 1999. She is currently Director of District 14 and is also serving as Treasurer. Joan is also active in Northeast Texas Association of Legal Assistants where she has served in the following capacities: President, 1997; Legal Assistant of the Year, 1996; First Vice President, 1996; Secretary, 1994- 1995; Audit Chair, 1993-2000; and has also served on numerous committees from 1991-Present. She is also active in her local neighborhood association and is serving as President at the current time. Joan has been married to her husband, Ken, for 32 years and they have two sons, Kenneth and Robert. Kenneth was a stockbroker for nine years before resigning to join the U.S. Peace Corps. He is currently stationed in Poltava, Ukraine. Robert is the land developer for Norwood Homes in Houston, Texas.
Diane McQuire— Parliamentarian
Diane is a legal assistant in the Williams Bailey Law Firm L.L.P., where she handles primarily personal injury cases. She is responsible for handling all aspects of the case from initial client contact to trial preparation and participation. Ms. McQuire received her A.A.S. degree from Central Texas College and currently attends the University of Houston where she is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Ms. McQuire is board certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She has taught real estate law at Central Texas College and has been a speaker at Wharton Junior College in the paralegal program and was the course director at the General Practice Institute sponsored by District 1 of the Legal Assistants Division of the State Bar of Texas. Ms. McQuire is a member of the Legal Assistants Division of the State Bar of Texas (Director of District 1) and the Houston Legal Assistants Association. She has also received her Houston Professional Legal Assistant designation through the Houston Legal Assistants Association and is a member of the Paralegal Section of The American Trial Lawyers Association.

 


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