BAR  ASSOCIATION

TEXAS AGGIE

TABA Blog

  • Wed, May 22, 2013 7:47 PM | Dan Price
    To learn more, please log-in and visit:  http://aggielaw.org/Job_Board.
  • Mon, April 15, 2013 2:53 PM | Dan Price
    Bill Jones '81, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System and 2010 Aggie Lawyer of the Year will be this year's Campus Muster Speaker. 

  • Wed, January 23, 2013 5:11 PM | Dan Price

    The Texas Aggie Bar Association is proud to announce that Charles A. (Chuck) Ellison '76 has been named the 2013 Aggie Lawyer of the Year.

     

    Mr. Ellison is a longtime resident of the Brazos Valley, and a 1976 graduate of Texas A&M University.  After receiving his law degree from The Texas Tech School of Law in 1979, he spent four years in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.  Mr. Ellison is an "AV" rated lawyer by Martindale Hubble currently practicing real estate and transactional law at The Ellison Firm in College Station, Texas.    

     

    Mr. Ellison has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley and is chair of the Ethics Committee of Hospice Brazos Valley.  He is on the Advisory Council for the Texas Transportation Institute and served as Chair of the Campaign Drive for the United Way of the Brazos Valley in 2003.  He is a graduate of Leadership Brazos and the Brazos County Regional Leaders Forum.  In addition, Mr. Ellison has served on the Board of Directors of several banks and businesses in the Brazos Valley.

       

    Since graduating from A&M, Mr. Ellison has continued to serve the University in several capacities.  He served on the Texas A&M Vision 2020 Mid-Term Review Task Force, the Texas A&M University System's Chancellor's Century Council Executive Committee, and is currently serving on the Development Council for the George Bush School of Government and Public Service.  In 2004, Mr. Ellison served as President of the Association of Former Students.  In addition, he has also served as a board member of the Brazos County A&M Club and the Texas A&M University Corps Development Council. 

     

    He is married to Tedi and they have two children, Kim and Courtney, and two granddaughters Kathryn and Karter. 

     

    The Texas Aggie Bar Association congratulates all of the nominees and finalists for this award.  You make us all proud to be Aggie lawyers.

     

    Mr. Ellison and the TABA Scholarship Recipients will be honored at the Annual Conference Reception and Banquet at the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center on Saturday, March 2, 2013.  We hope to see you all at the Annual Conference.  Register today at  Annual Conference.  

  • Wed, December 12, 2012 4:26 PM | Dan Price

    Each year the TABA funds scholarships to assist first-year Aggie law students with law school expenses.  Only students or Former Students that have completed at least 40 undergraduate hours at Texas A&M University and intend to begin law school in the Fall of 2013 are eligible to apply for this scholarship. 

    Scholarship applications are available here: TABA Scholarship Application 2013.doc.

    DEADLINE: To be considered for a 2013 scholarship, all applications must be received at TABAscholarship@gmail.com no later than 4 PM CST, Wednesday, January 23, 2013.

  • Mon, November 19, 2012 7:48 AM | Dan Price

    Howdy Ags,

    Nissan is giving its official Heisman vote to the college football fans, and Johnny Football needs your help to get out the vote.   

    Please visit the following link to vote for Johnny Manziel for Heisman: 

    http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/nissan/heisman/2012/ballot/voteHeisman

     

    Thanks and Gig 'em!

  • Fri, August 03, 2012 9:38 AM | Dan Price

    What Every Lawyer Should Know About Intellectual Property

     

    The Texas Wesleyan School of Law Alumni Association is sponsoring a one-hour CLE on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 and has extended an invitation to all Texas Aggie Bar Associaton members to attend the CLE for free (lunch included).  If you would like to attend, please RSVP by Friday, August 10.

     

    Date:         Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Time:         11:30am

    Location:    Fort Worth Club

                     306 West 7th Street

                     Fort Worth, TX 76102

    Cost:         Free! (lunch included)

     

    Please RSVP by August 10 to alumni@law.txwes.edu or 817-212-3932.

     

    The presentation will provide an overview of intellectual property law, including the creation, registration, acquisition, and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the United States.  The primary intellectual property rights to be discussed will be patents, copyrights, trademarks/trade dress, and trade secrets.  The program will also address the impact of technology on intellectual property rights and some of the challenges posed by technology in securing and protecting those rights.

    Speaker: Mike Regitz

    Mike Regitz is a Senior Associate in the Dallas office of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. His practice focuses on general commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation, including cases involving patent infringement, copyright infringement, trademark and trade dress infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and unfair competition claims. Mike is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the SMU Dedman School of Law. He is licensed to practice in Texas, various federal courts, and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mike currently serves as president of the Texas Aggie Bar Association.

    Click here for more information 

  • Mon, July 16, 2012 5:02 PM | Mike Regitz

    Keith Krueger, Texas Aggie Bar Association Board Member, our colleague, and our friend, passed away on Saturday, July 14, 2012.

    Please keep Keith's family in your thoughts and prayers.

    Visitation:
    Wednesday, July 18, 5-8 p.m.
    Brenham Memorial Chapel Funeral Home
    2300 Stringer St.
    Brenham, TX 77833

    Funeral:
    Thursday, July 19, 11:00 a.m.
    Grace Lutheran Church
    1212 Jefferson Street
    Brenham, TX 77833

    Burial:
    Thursday, July 19, 2:00 p.m.
    Pilgrims Rest Cemetery
    2565 Pilgrims Rest Road
    Bellville, Austin County

    Donations in lieu of flowers can be given to the charity of your choice or
    to the following:

    Bethel Lutheran Church
    4221 Boonville Road
    Bryan, TX 77802

  • Fri, July 06, 2012 4:48 PM | Mike Regitz

    On July 6, 2012, the Texas Aggie Bar Association sent a letter to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents extending congratulations and support for the proposed Texas A&M University School of Law at Texas Wesleyan University.

    Click to view the letter

  • Mon, April 16, 2012 12:33 AM | Ross Robinson

     

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  Please tell us what Garza Program Management does.

    Richard Garza:  We are in the business of providing project-management and cost expertise to institutional and commercial real-estate users.  That involves everything from commercial real-estate brokerage, site collection, and all the other traditional services you would see in a traditional brokerage house for a typical private-sector client.  A third of our business caters to the public sector, including developing budgets and putting together information for bond referenda.

    Richard Garza

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  How did you get into this industry?

    Richard Garza:  My father was the small residential home builder and remodeler in Galveston, so I grew up in the single-family side of the business.  I went to Texas A&M and got into the Construction Science Department in the College of Architecture, which I found to be a degree I enjoyed and did well in.

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  Tell us about Garza Program Management’s selection as one of the Aggie 100.

    Richard Garza:  One of our employees nominated our company.  The award is based on growth over the previous three years.  We have had 72% growth over the last 3 years, which is something we are very proud of. 

    Texas Aggie Bar Association: You narrowly missed making the top 10, right?

    Richard Garza:  We ranked number 11, which was kind of shocking. We knew we had done really well, but we didn't know how well.

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  What do you attribute your growth to, particularly when it's been a down economy for construction?

    Richard Garza:  I attribute it primarily to relationships I cultivated throughout my career. The ability to earn trust so that clients know we will deliver for them is critical.  Perseverance also played a big part.  In addition, the public sector had ARRA tax-credit bonds to sell, so it was extremely advantageous for them to borrow money at attractive interest rates. 

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  Describe who usually hires you and what you are hired to do.

    Richard Garza:  On the public-sector side, our clients are entities like school districts, community college districts, counties, cities, municipal utility districts, airport authorities, and university systems. They often have a pretty lean staff and know they have a need but can't quantify it into dollars, so they hire us to come in and do preliminary budgets, partner with an architect, and take raw data that describes their needs and create an all-inclusive budget for the project. We also help clients promote the project to the public so that it becomes a bond program.  After that, we often manage the bond program on their behalf.  On the private-sector side, we help businesses with capital project requirements that need assistance pulling off a project.

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  What do you think about the new public-private partnership legislation?

    Richard Garza:  I suspect we are going to see a lot of growth in the public-private partnership mode of procurement going forward.  I understand that there is a mode of submitted unsolicited public-private partnerships to public entities.  I am curious to see how that goes forward.

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  As a successful business owner, what advice do you have for Aggie lawyers?

    Richard Garza:  Define the objectives of your clients early on and reconfirm those objectives during the course of the work you do for them.  Legal work can have a way of getting off track, which is often when disputes arise.  I would encourage them to revisit the client’s goals and expectations frequently.  In addition, be as lean as possible. I'm looking for people that are knowledgeable and get to the point.  Substance, not fluff, is very important to me.

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  What's the best advice you've given anyone?

    Richard Garza:  Build, earn, and keep trust.  People do business with people they know and have developed a trust relationship with over time.  That is where your clients are going to come from.  That's where the bulk of your billings are going to come from.  Try not to let anything get in the way of trust.  That's probably the best advice I can give. 

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  What is the best advice you've gotten?

    Richard Garza:  Do what you do best and hire others to do the tasks you don't do well.  For example, spend money on good accountants, good attorneys, and good marketing people, if you don't know how to do those things.

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  What's the biggest challenge in what you do?

    Richard Garza:  Communication with those outside my industry.  Sometimes I’m too close to the business, so when I meet people that are not associated with the real-estate industry or the architectural/engineering/construction industry, it is often difficult to help them understand what we do.  As a result, I have really tried to tone down the message on our website.  It's very specific. We are real-estate design and construction advisors.  I have worked to boil it down to a few words so people can digest it more easily.

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  What do you enjoy most about your work?

    Richard Garza:  Helping people accomplish their capital projects.  It's fascinating how people interact to solve a problem.  The interdisciplinary approach required to get projects done, involving attorneys, architects, engineers, owners, and users, is a lot of fun. 

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  What is the most productive way to develop trust among these different players involved in a project?

    Richard Garza:  Trust is built over time. It’s key to find team members that are going to be the best solution for the problem very early on in the project and develop a collaborative spirit on the project using an integrated project-delivery (IPD) method.  This is a trend that I think will continue.

    Texas Aggie Bar Association:  How can people find out more about Garza Project Management?

     

    Richard Garza:  The easiest way would be to go to our website at www.garzapm.com.

     

     

  • Thu, March 15, 2012 2:15 PM | Ross Robinson

    Vicki Niedermayer

     

    What is Helping Restore Ability?

     

    Helping Restore Ability is an independent non-profit agency that serves the entire state of Texas.  We assist people with physical disabilities so they can participate fully in society and live independent and active lives with dignity, respect, and care. 

     

    We provide home-attendant care to clients with severe physical disabilities, including senior citizens with age-related disabilities.

     

    The care includes assistance with basic daily living skills.  Our services are offered on a sliding-fee scale and are provided for those who may not have the financial ability to pay. With Helping Restore Ability's assistance, people who would otherwise most likely be dependent on institutions for care can stay self-sufficient with dignity.

     

    Helping Restore Ability is a recent Aggie 100 winner.  This is a very nice honor.  Please tell us about that.

     

    In one word, “Wow!”  As the CEO of Helping Restore Ability, the nature of the beast is that I do a lot of administrative work and don't, on a day-to-day basis, get to immerse myself in an environment in which I can learn from others in the business world.  During a typical day, I'm the leader, so I'm mentoring and teaching and coaching and educating others.  Being the CEO of one of the Aggie 100 has allowed me to be in the same room with many others I can learn from.  That has been a tremendous gift.

     

    The Aggie 100 is not really about me. It is about me in that I am the CEO and an Aggie; however, the award is a reflection of the work our team has done. 

     

    Therefore, when I accepted the award, it was with our team behind me.  I brought that back to them and said, “Look what we did!”

     

     

     

    Never mind the fact that I got to have my picture taken with Reveille.  That was a big deal for me!

     

    How did you get involved in this field?

     

    I went to Texas A&M and got a degree in Psychology. After I graduated, there was a big push to deinstitutionalize people who had mental retardation or autism.  I went to work for the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (“MHMR”) and helped open a group home in Tarrant County.  I focused on working with people with disabilities. I just loved my kids with autism.  I later became a director over all of MHMR’s residential services, which grew to 24 programs.  I worked for MHMR for 17 years.

     

    If you weren't the CEO of Helping Restore Ability, what do you think you’d be doing?

     

    I probably would be in the medical field.  Nursing or therapy of some sort.  Perhaps physical therapy.

               

    What is the best advice you've ever gotten?

     

    Pray first and then go with your gut.  There are times I have regretted thinking with my head and not listening to my heart.  I now know that I might not always be able to tell you exactly why something is not the right choice, but I often just have a feeling.  I believe that trusting those feelings in very important.

     

    What do you enjoy most about your work?

     

    Making a positive difference in the lives of others.

     

    What's the biggest challenge in what you do?

     

    In the non-profit world, the consistent struggle for funding is the biggest challenge.  As a result, my philosophy is that, if you hit a brick wall, you have to find a way to go around. I don't take “no” for an answer.  I try to be creative and come up with innovative ways to work with others to achieve the objective in question and serve others.

     

    Where is your favorite place?

     

    I have two, but not necessarily in order.

     

    Number one is underwater.  I'm a scuba diver, and I see diving as a glimpse into the majesty that heaven must be.  99.5% of the people on this planet never get to see that creation that exists, to see it and touch it and taste it and be immersed in it. The beauty that is there is unseen to the person standing on the beach.  That beauty brings tears to my eyes. 

     

    Number two is with my family.  My daughter is the apple of my eye and my husband is my partner in life. 

     

    As a $16-million enterprise, you probably come into contact with a lot of different professional service providers, including lawyers.  What advice do you have for them? 

     

    If you have a heart for what you do, then it's not just a way to earn a paycheck.  My experience has been that the biggest thing that makes a difference between someone who is a valuable partner for us versus not is those that really have developed a skill for listening. 

     

    Listen to what the person is saying to you, whether it’s a vendor, a client, or a person in the community. Don’t just hear the words.  Find the message in those words and what's being communicated between the lines. 

     

    The most valuable providers are those that truly listen to what the need is.  Not with an attitude of “what box does this fit in?” but rather “how can I really help this person?” That requires not just hearing with our ears but listening to the message and understanding what the need is and then trying to work to meet the underlying need. The truly valuable people to me are those that work with us to meet people's needs and have really learned how to and want to listen.

     

    What are you looking to accomplish in 2012 at Helping Restore Ability?

     

    We are continuing to look for ways to meet the needs of our community, our current clients, and the clients who will need us in the future.  With the decrease in funding that's happening with managed-care implementation and state budget cuts, we have to offer services that are meeting the needs of the people who have real problems. 

    We want to get better at marrying our knowledge with the people who need help so we can be sustainable into the future and serve our community. 

               

    What do you wish you were better at?

     

    Better at handling stress.  I don't always take care of myself.  I know it's an issue that I need to work on. I was in a car wreck that made me reflect a lot on what matters.  Whenever something like that happens, it makes you think about your priorities.  Taking care of myself the way I should is still a struggle.

               

    What is one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?

     

    I took improvisational comedy classes and just loved them.  I was not very good at it, but it was a lot of fun.

               

    How can someone get more information about Helping Restore Ability?

     

    Just go to our website at www.helpingrestoreability.org.  If they have more questions, they can just give me a call and I’ll be glad to help however I can.

     







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