Featured Guests
Joe K. Longley

State Bar President Joe Longley has been prolific throughout his legal career in helping pass laws that benefit lawyers...

Trey Apffel

E.A. “Trey” Apffel III became executive director of the State Bar of Texas in December 2017. A longtime Galveston...

Your Host
Rocky Dhir

Rocky Dhir’s dual interest in innovation and the law prompted him to establish Atlas Legal Research, LP in 2000....

Episode Notes

In this episode of the State Bar of Texas Podcast, host Rocky Dhir welcomes State Bar President Joe K. Longley who, at the Bar’s upcoming annual meeting, will be one of the many honored for their 50 years of membership. Joe discusses the significance of this achievement and shares anecdotes from his long and colorful career. Also, joining Rocky is State Bar executive director Trey Apffel, who gives more information about what attendees can expect at this year’s annual meeting.

Joe K. Longley is the current President of the State Bar of Texas and has been an active member of the bar for 50 years.

Trey Apffel has served as executive director of the State Bar of Texas since 2017.

Special thanks to our sponsor, LawPay.

Transcript

State Bar of Texas Podcast
State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting & Celebrating the Bar’s Long Serving Members
05/01/2019

Rocky Dhir: We would like to thank LawPay for their support of this show. LawPay’s online payment solution was developed specifically for lawyers to correctly separate earned and unearned fees so you can accept credit cards in compliance with ABA and IOLTA Guidelines. A proud member benefit of the State Bar of Texas, LawPay is trusted by more than 50,000 lawyers and integrated with more than 30 practice management solutions. Schedule a demo today at lawpay.com/texasdemo.

[Music]

Intro: Welcome to the State Bar of Texas Podcast, your monthly source for conversations and curated content to improve your law practice, with your host, Rocky Dhir.

[Music]

Rocky Dhir: Hi and welcome to the State Bar of Texas Podcast. Joe Longley remembers the year 1969 that was the year he became a member of the State Bar of Texas and begin an illustrious his legal career.

Now, if you do the math and its okay, you can use a calculator, we all do it, 1969 was 50 years ago. Today, Joe Longley is the president of the State Bar of Texas. We will be celebrating him and his fellow 50 year lawyer at the State Bar Annual Meeting, which will be held in Austin on June 13th and 14th. President Joe Longley welcome to the show.

Joe K. Longley: Well thank you Rocky. It’s great to be here.

Rocky Dhir: This is – Joe, I am trying to think back. Are you perhaps the first State Bar President to actually be celebrating both 50 years, as well as commemorating a year as being State Bar President, are the first, do you know?

Joe K. Longley: Well I don’t know the answer of that question but I don’t know of any other. So if there have been others, it’s probably very few, that’s probably as accurate as I can get it.

Rocky Dhir: And probably happened more than 50 years ago so that’s.

Joe K. Longley: Might have, we are celebrating our 88th year from the creation of State Bar which took place in 1939. And so this is our 88th year anniversary and our annual meetings coming up and we are going to celebrate that not only with our 50 year lawyers but with a great deal of other lawyers as well. We have about a 104,000 lawyers now who are active members.

Rocky Dhir: Now out of those 104,000 about how many come to the annual meeting every year? Do you know off hand?

Joe K. Longley: I am guessing may be 1,500, 2,000 something like that. It’s usually a large number. It’s well attended.

Rocky Dhir: That is a large number. So tell us a little bit if you know about the 50 year lawyer celebration. I know what happens every year at the annual meeting, that’s kind of — it’s a very special moment but what exactly happens?

Joe K. Longley: Well there are honored at a special Luncheon of which the Swearing-In Luncheon for the new president and they get a plaque and they get recognized and there was a time when they get together and have their picture made together for those that are at the annual meeting and I forget exactly how many there this year but I think there is an excess of maybe 300, 400 lawyers who are 50 year lawyers.

Rocky Dhir: Oh, that’s great.

Joe K. Longley: Yeah it’s a pretty good number.

Rocky Dhir: That is fantastic.

Joe K. Longley: We actually have over 10,000 lawyers who are over 70-years-old, so once you get to be over 70-years-old, you are probably getting pretty close to a 50-year figure for being a member of the bar.

Rocky Dhir: Well sure but that’s a very good number. Now, who’s going to give you your plaque because you are the State Bar President? So are you going to hand yourself a plaque? How are the mechanics going to work?

Joe K. Longley: You know I really don’t know Rocky because no one has told me that yet but my guess is that the plaques are handed out separately because there will enough 50-year lawyers they are at the Luncheon that it would be fairly time-consuming to hand one to each as their names were called. Their names will be called, they’d be recognized but I don’t think the plaque is handed to them at the same time.

Rocky Dhir: So how we’re going to call yourself? Are you going to say and next me, is how do you figure that out yet, what’s?

Joe K. Longley: No I haven’t. I am not even sure I am the post that calls out the names. I hope I am not that way I won’t have to engage in that embarrassment but yeah, they call everybody’s names and they stand up and they wholly applause until everybody has been recognized and then at the end, they get a nice round of applause and they go home with a plaque.

Rocky Dhir: Can I ask you, this may be a rather indelicate question but now that I have got you. I want to ask you something that may be others have thought of and so please, please don’t take offense, it’s just, it’s a question that I think you might be in a good position to answer. So there is a celebration of lawyers who have been practicing for 50 years, the 50-year lawyers. Why should the rest of us be interested in that? Why should we care? Give us your thoughts on that?

Joe K. Longley: Well I think it’s – you care because these people have stayed the course as active bar members for 50 years.

Rocky Dhir: Sure.

(00:04:57)

Joe K. Longley: Most of them are still in practice. I know I am, I am 76-years-old and I have an active practice. I have cases filed in San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, State Court, Federal Court and I am still very active and I planned to stay active so long as I can keep up with all these younger lawyers.

Rocky Dhir: So what do you think younger lawyers can learn from those who have been practicing 50 years or more? What are the questions we should be asking you when we get you in a room?

Joe K. Longley: I would be interested and I don’t know the answer of this question but I would be interested to see that what types of practices do these 50 year lawyers have. What is it that has kept their attention for 50 years and that they’ve enjoyed the practice of whatever it is they do.

I know for me practicing law is like recreation. I can’t believe I get paid for doing this. A lot of people feel that way. But if you have been in for 50 years, there’s something about it that you really like and it’s within your practice, it’s within your personality and I would like to see some stats on that sometimes because I see a lot of people as either just about being president of the bar or having been around for 50 years, who they really get burned out of their practice.

It’s something that they really don’t like that type of practice they got into. Maybe, they are stuck in a library or they don’t get to go to court or some – or maybe they’re afraid to going to court and they have to go to court. Who knows what it is but there is something about staying in the course for 50 years that is going to be unique among people, who you haven’t dropped out before your 50 years is up and most of these folks are still practicing and it’s just interesting to see, it would be to me as to how they feel about practicing law and what’s kept them going it all these years.

Rocky Dhir: So what about — let’s have you answer your own question. You said it’s like recreation, but what is it about being a lawyer, may be several things but what is about being a lawyer that you’ve enjoyed so much?

Joe K. Longley: Well it’s — I came from a single mother family. I was raised by my mother and I did not know a lawyer, there was none either in my father or my mother’s family. I never met a lawyer until there was like a civics day in the eighth grade in Fort Worth and we all went down at the Oaks Club and everybody got assigned to a particular civil servant, who was in state local or city government.

And I just have to get lucky that day and got assigned to the district judge and there was a trial going on and he was very kindly old gentleman and he let me sit up there on the bench with him and I got to watch the trial go on, and it looked like something that was just extremely interesting. And as I said, that I watched it, it certainly dawned on me that there were going to be soon be a winner and a loser.

And that it was a contest and it was a competition, and I was always competitive and enjoyed that type of thing and I left the courtroom that day, never having been around a lawyer, a judge, a courthouse, never been around any of it. And my mind was made up that day as I walked out of the courthouse that I didn’t want to just be a lawyer, I wanted to be a trial lawyer because I have just seen what goes on there and therein I thought to myself, how long has this been going on because it was great.

Rocky Dhir: So let’s because I know you have what five grandchildren, do I have that number right?

Joe K. Longley: I have six now, we just had one, we had one about six weeks ago.

Rocky Dhir: Oh congratulations.

Joe K. Longley: Lyle Longley.

Rocky Dhir: Wow.

Joe K. Longley: Thank you. Yeah, no we got five boys and one girl.

Rocky Dhir: That girl is going to, she is going to know how to run circles around all the guys because she is going to be the little girl of the family so?

Joe K. Longley: No question about it. She is six years old and she and her cousin Joe, they are going to give the Pledge of Allegiance at the Annual Meeting Bar Leaders Luncheon and so they have all been practicing their Pledge of Allegiance and I witnessed this yesterday and they are doing just great.

Rocky Dhir: Well that is something else to look forward to. So let’s take any one of your six grandchildren, if they went to the courthouse when they are in the eighth grade, do you they would be as enthralled by today’s law practice and today’s — what goes on in our court room today, do you think you would enthrall them the same way that that case enthralled you back when you were in the eighth grade?

Joe K. Longley: Well you know, it’s probably yes or no, depending on the kind of case it was. If it was a bankruptcy case or wills or fake case, maybe not. But if it was the case like what I witnessed, which is an unfortunate event of the fellow woman who went to the beauty shop to get her hair dyed, and got her scalp burned, that was very interesting to me and it was interesting to hear her tell her story, it was interesting to see the defense lawyer with carefully crafted cross-examination questions, pull a different story out of her and it was just all around fascinating to me because I have never seen the adversarial process.

(00:10:03)

Everybody was very courtly and kind to each other in the courtroom, the judge was the same way and I just happened to be in a courtroom with an interesting trial going on that caught my attention. And so, that was probably was the facts and the type of case that was being heard and the fact that there was — it was like a play or a movie or something, and I was watching it but I wasn’t a part of it and I wanted to be a part of it.

Rocky Dhir: You have actually been fairly humble about your legal career so far. You have not talked about some of the highlights. I know for those who may have taken their bar review courses, they’ll remember studying about the DTPA and there are some lawyers who make an entire practice out of the DTPA, also the longhand of that is the Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act. You authored that statute, am I hearing that correctly?

Joe K. Longley: That’s correct. I had worked for Governor John Connally while I was in undergraduate school and I had worked for Governor Connally when I was in law school and it — I have been around the Capitol Building, all of my career and that was really a function of just coming to Austin to school, to go to the University of Texas and being lucky enough to go down and not be afraid, get a job. At first, I was an assistant sergeant in arms in the state senate with Lieutenant Governor President Smith.

Then I went over and applied with one of the executives with Governor Connally’s office. I’ve actually been his paper route boy when I was in Fort Worth and so I didn’t really know him. I knew his kids but I didn’t know him but I wasn’t afraid to go and ask for a job and sure enough, I got one in the mail room and I worked there for I guess it’s about six years. I was there — I started six weeks after he was wounded in the assassination of JFK.

Rocky Dhir: Sure, okay.

Joe K. Longley: And one of my jobs was to sign all of his mail and I had to mimic his signature and of course, as soon as I got there, he had been shot and he was signing everything left-handed when he was right-handed, I was right-handed but so it was really easy to mimic his signature because you couldn’t read one of us as to signature. We were both signing left-handed.

But it was mainly a function of geography. I just have to come to school at the right place, get a job at the right place, be interested in what was going on at my job at the right place. And so, I had the privilege of working for Lieutenant Governor’s office, the Governor’s office, the House of Representatives, the Attorney General’s office all through there and have those jobs till were I had the opportunity to write laws and help pass laws.

And as you mentioned, I did the DTPA that was in 1973. I was Chief of the Antitrust and Consumer Protection Division at the Attorney General’s office and that was of age 29, which was ridiculous because I barely knew what a courthouse was, much less what to do if you got in there.

And so I had a hand, the major drafting points of the Consumer Protection Act which was the DTPA, the insurance code sections, which at that time were the Unfair Practices Sections and later on, I helped draft the Prompt Payment of Claims Act, the Unfair Discrimination and the Insurance Act, helped draft the — what’s call the Texas Home Solicitation Act, the Door-To-Door Sales Act where you had a three day cooling-off period for any door-to-door sales. I helped draft the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, where people were being harassed on their jobs or harassed by telephone or just generally harassed by debt collectors.

And then finally, the insurance — the finance code regulations in which people charged too much interest or annual rights of interest and there were penalties for that, usury penalties, disclosures that went along with that. And then finally, I had a hand in drafting most of the Landlord Tenant Laws with regard to security deposits and utilities cutoffs that would protect tenants, who mainly were in the area of apartment rentals and things like that.

I also had a hand in drafting, help draft the Texas Sunset Act, which of course the State Bar is subject to. Every 12 years, the State Bar has to justify itself or re-justify its existence and that came from the Texas Sunset Act which was passed in that 1977 Session with Lloyd Doggett, our Congressmen, who is still our Congressmen. He was in the Senate at that time and he carried that bill and I helped — actually I helped put the State Bar of Taxes in there for the first sunset review, which took place in 1979.

Rocky Dhir: So then it sounds like your focus and it looks like your career has been — it sounds like you are advocating mostly for consumers on the consumer side of these transactions? Is that accurate or have you also been on the defense?

(00:14:56)

Joe K. Longley: No that’s totally accurate. I have always been a consumer advocate, and I always used as far as the advocacy was concerns, I always used I guess what you would call the profit motive. My approach to access to justice through passing all of these laws was using the Capitalist Free Enterprise System to make fraud unprofitable in the marketplace. And I guess that’s stand from my antitrust experience with treble damages and mandatory treble damages.

And so, if somebody did something wrong or that violate the law in the marketplace, they were subject to having three times what they had taken, issued against them and them having to pay three times of the penalties for getting caught. And so, the treble damages really is an offshoot of the antitrust laws and that’s basically utilizing the profit motive to make fraud unprofitable in the marketplace. And everyone of those laws which I just reeled off to you that I had a hand in, they all had attorney’s fees for the plaintiffs who were successful built into the law.

That was the first time where you could collect not only your damages and perhaps treble damages but also court calls and attorney’s fees. And that’s a different kind of access to justice, it was an early form of it, and it was very effective, and it still is today, where you can make someone pay three times of what they took, that’s a justice to me.

Rocky Dhir: So when you look back, you think back to when you were drafting these provisions and you look – now, in some cases, we’re talking 40 years later, where there is still, these statutes have gone through amendments, they have gone through some judicial interpretation, have you been surprised in any way by how they’ve been applied, and how they have been interpreted or is it been exactly what you expected it to be?

Joe K. Longley: Well actually it has kind of been what I expected it to be because —

Rocky Dhir: Oh interesting okay.

Joe K. Longley: — we passed those laws in a Throwing the Rascals Out session of the legislature that was a huge turnover in 1973 because of the Sharpstown bank scandal down in Houston. And as a result, we had a new Governor, we had a new Lieutenant Governor, we had a new Attorney General, we had a new speaker to house, both the Senate and House of Representatives both had over half of each turned away, and they were elected new people.

So we were painting on a blank canvas in 1973 and we surprised ourselves and that we got all of this legislation passed, and that all just about got passed in its original introduced form that wasn’t nearly the give-and-take that you would see in a normal session like what’s going on right now down the capital.

And so, when I saw that we had written, it was supposed to be very strong, I mean they were all stronger than mustard gas. And they came out and they got signed in the law pretty much that way. So we knew that these laws will be chipped away at in the future that they would have to be toned down and that would be the give-and-take of the legislature and future legislatures.

And so, it was not at all a surprise to any of us that worked on those builds to see that there would be some give-and-take in the future, and that they would finally settle in to be a law that would be understood by both sides, it would be fair and it would be easily administered by a judiciary that understood what the laws were there for.

Rocky Dhir: Interesting. We can probably talk for several hours about all of the things you’ve seen and all the landmark, statutes and decisions you’ve worked on. I want to go back for a second if you don’t mind to this concept of the 50-year lawyer because this is — we just talked about the importance of that and I guess the information you bring with you.

So when you became a lawyer in 1969, the 50-year-lawyers at that time would have become attorneys in 1919. So from 1919, all the way to the President, you have theoretically had access to about a hundred years worth of legal knowledge. And as you look back, we talk a lot about the changing times and the changing legal marketplace and landscape and so-and-so forth.

Are there may be some timeless lessons that we as lawyers could learn from that hundred year of history that you’ve been able to kind of have access to during your career?

Joe K. Longley: Well the main one is of course the consistency of the rule of law that our system of government, this republican form of government that we have in the United States has been only as strong as ever by who participates in it. And the one thing we all have to agree on or it doesn’t work, is the rule of law.

And everybody agrees that there is a rule of law and we have a system by which how that law is going to be administered and determined and if we don’t all play ball that way, then you we’re headed for anarchy. And so the rule of law is what holds the bricks together, it’s the mortar that holds the bricks together of our free society and the administration of justice in my view.

(00:19:58)

Rocky Dhir: I would like to talk with you more about this at the Annual Meeting. If you have got some time, I would like to sit down and hash this out with you and maybe we can get some more Texas lawyers out there to come and join in on that discussion, because that sounds like a very, very big topic.

But Joe unfortunately that is all the time we have for the moment, but I want to congratulate you. I mean you have had a landmark year as State Bar President and celebrating 50 years as a Texas lawyer. I mean wow, congratulations Joe.

Joe K. Longley: Well, thank you I appreciate it. I am the 138th President of State Bar of Texas, but I am the only President only that’s ever been at the State Bar of Texas who ran as a petition candidate. I was nominated by the petition process by having to get over 5,000 signatures on a petition. And so thus far –

Rocky Dhir: I remember.

Joe K. Longley: I’ve been the only candidate ever to get on the ballot by petition and actually win the elections. So hopefully, I have been an instrument for positive change and I think I have and I am very proud of having served. I am very thankful and appreciative of those who signed my petition and elected me.

Rocky Dhir: Well you are not done serving yet. We still get a few more months add to you before your turn is up.

Joe K. Longley: Got two more months.

Rocky Dhir: Yes indeed. Not that you’re counting, who’s counting?

Joe K. Longley: Now who’s counting?

Rocky Dhir: But Joe, thank you for being here. Now for those of you listening don’t go anywhere I have a little special bonus for you, so hang on right where you are.

[Music]

Rocky Dhir: You might remember Joe talking about the annual meeting. He and I talked about that quite a bit. Well, I have been very lucky to have attended every annual meeting since 2009. I have at last there. I see a lot of the same faces, but I would like to see some more. In fact, to be honest, I would really like to see you there, and I would love to meet you in person.

To find out what’s going on at this annual meeting I thought we would ask the State Bar of Texas Executive Director Trey Apffel, who by the way is also a past President of the State Bar of Texas. To help on the podcast and tell us what’s in the works this year. So Trey graciously agreed, and here he is Trey Apffel. Welcome.

Trey Apffel: Good afternoon Rocky, how are you?

Rocky Dhir: I am doing great — I am doing great. Thank you for joining us. This is indeed a rare privilege and honor for us.

Trey Apffel: Well I am looking forward to visiting with you. I have got some exiting information about the annual meeting that I would like to share with you when the time is right, and looking forward to having this discussion.

Rocky Dhir: Well, I just check my watch and guess what, it’s the right time. So tell us what’s on the agenda for this year. First of all, let’s start with preliminaries. When exactly is the annual meeting and where is it?

Trey Apffel: Rocky, our annual meeting this year is going to be in Downtown Austin at the JW Marriott, and it is scheduled for June 13th and 14th.

Rocky Dhir: Well good, because that’s what I told everybody. So I am glad that I give them the right information. I have been known for misdirection sometimes, so it’s good that, that didn’t happen this time. So what’s on the agenda? What can new comers expect to see there?

Trey Apffel: Well the best aspect of it, we had two full days of informative CLE sessions and a lawyer can come and complete a year’s worth of CLE credit in just two days. We’ve got a just as luck would have it, we have got an early bird registration, that it’s the members can register by May 13th, they get the early bird registration right at $295 and that’s a great bargain for anybody wanted to come and get that CLE done in two days.

Rocky Dhir: And I assume there’s still hotel space available as well?

Trey Apffel: Hotel space is available. We’re expecting the good attendance, and the best part of the attendance is going to be our networking events, where lawyers can make some new personal connections and renew old friendships. And I know as a practicing lawyer myself and having been to several annual meetings, it is just the place that one can go to reacquaint with the old colleagues and share notes and tell war stories as we will want to do every now and then. So it’s a great event.

Rocky Dhir: You have bring up an interesting and a very important point, because now a days with so much online CLE, I mean the State Bar provides a vast and very deep library of online CLE activities. You can theoretically get your CLE just sitting at your desk, so then that begs the question, why go out to an Annual Meeting and spent two days there. But it sounds like networking might be one reason to go, is there?

Trey Apffel: Well, as I travel the state and talk about the benefits of our State Bar. I tell young lawyers all the time to get out from behind their desk, because they could literally practice law 24/7 sitting at their desk, behind the computer, and do everything they need to do. But if they do that they are missing out on one of most enriching aspects of the profession, and that’s getting out, visiting with other lawyers, other colleagues, and sharing notes and learning new techniques and learning about new law firms and resources that are available to lawyers and this is just a best way to do it.

(00:25:03)

Rocky Dhir: Okay, so let’s maybe talk about some examples, because this sounds exciting. Let’s talk about maybe some of the topics, or some of the — some of the speakers that we are expecting this year. Who is on the roster and on the agenda that people might want to come listen to?

Trey Apffel: Oh we have got three outstanding keynote speakers beginning with Dan Rather of News & Guts.

Rocky Dhir: The Dan Rather, okay.

Trey Apffel: The Dan Rather, who got his start reporting on Hurricane Carla in 1961, that hit Galveston, my hometown.

Rocky Dhir: Wow.

Trey Apffel: And so he is going to be there. He will be speaking at the Bar Leaders Recognition Luncheon. We also have Wil Haygood. Wil is an acclaimed biographer of a Pulitzer Prize Finalist, and an award-winning author and reporter. He will be speaking at our Bench Bar Breakfast.

And then lastly, our third speaker is Asha Rangappa, and she is a former FBI Agent who is now a senior lecturer at Yale University and a CNN contributor and she will be our keynote speaker at the General Session Luncheon.

Rocky Dhir: And what’s Asha is going to be talking about?

Trey Apffel: She is going to be speaking about her experiences as an FBI Agent and world events and her view on some of those world events. And she is an incredible speaker as I understand, I’ve never seen her personally, but I have heard reports of her — of her style. And I know that she can mesmerize an audience with her knowledge and intellect about world events and worldviews.

Rocky Dhir: Okay so this actually sounds really cool. Now I know there’s also a lot of different tracks, and so can you — for those who aren’t familiar, maybe have never gone, can you describe what we mean by the different tracks of the Annual Meeting?

Trey Apffel: Well with the different tracks we’ve got something for all interests. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary of the popular adaptable lawyer track for instance, and this spans both days of the conference.

This particular track is a technology focus track that includes the popular 60 apps in 60 minutes and adaptable lawyer talk sessions. And these were modeled after TED Talks.

So this is something that we’re really interested and excited about putting on as I understand it. I think you have got the role to play in that particular adaptable lawyer session. Can you share that with me?

Rocky Dhir: Well, hey you have just turned the tables on me. I have become the guest on my own podcast. This is I can tell you were probably a deadly lawyer when you were practicing. Well, I am glad I was never against you. Good. But okay, so yeah, I was actually — so I was one of the lawyers who helped found the Adaptable Lawyer track. Gosh, like you said 10 years ago, 2009 and —

Trey Apffel: That’s what I understand.

Rocky Dhir: And it was the really the brainchild of Mike Maslanka, who is now a Professor at UNT Dallas College of Law, and I was just kind — I just kind of went along for the ride and hung on to his coattails and water skied behind him, but the idea was to talk about the developing trends in the law, things that may be lawyers aren’t thinking about.

So in 2009, it was issues like social media, today its issues such as Artificial Intelligence and what that might bring for us.

I am actually going to be moderating a Panel this year talking about diversity, and it’s not just in terms of having diversity at your law firm, that’s obviously very important. But it’s also talking about how lawyers need to be more attuned to the issues of diversity for purposes or being able to attract and connect with the right kinds of clients.

So we’re taking that, that issue and saying how do you really grow your practice by becoming more diversity oriented. But that’s just one of them. Like you said, 60 apps in 60 minutes, there is standing room only. Every year for both days, I mean we’ve to do that twice in a row, because people just love that session, and it is absolutely fastening. I walk away spending hundreds of dollars on apps.

Trey Apffel: Yes, and I would just going to add that that format has been a very successful format for us at the annual meeting and we’re looking forward to another packed house.

Rocky Dhir: I anticipate nothing less. I know some years ago we had a really — a really cool track where different lawyers and judges, very prominent ones, were reading from, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and I think that was marking may be hundred years since To Kill a Mockingbird had been published, something to that effect, and I remember that was just the buzz at the Annual Meeting that year. So we’ve had some really interesting people there that kind of come through and you get to rub shoulders with them and you get to know them and get to meet them, it’s been fascinating.

(00:30:08)

Trey Apffel: Absolutely, it’s a great, and like I said it’s a great opportunity to get to see different vintages of lawyers and lawyer, the quality of lawyer that’s involved in it. We have our own President Joe Longley, whom I understand you have spoken to already, but we’re honoring our 50 year lawyers this year by recognizing all those lawyers who were licensed in 1969. Joe Longley, our current President was one of those such lawyers, and I am looking forward to getting a chance to honor him at that.

Rocky Dhir: Absolutely and Joe and I had a very, just a wonderful talk about 50 years of law practice and what it means and he certainly only open my eyes to some very interesting aspects of having made it that long and that far in the legal field. So yeah, congratulations to Joe and all of his 50-year colleagues for sure.

Now, Trey as you look back from your time as President of the State Bar and as a practicing lawyer you were very active in the Bar even during your years of practice. How should people make the most out of the Annual Meeting, when you go there? And obviously you can just go in and sitting on CLEs, there is other things you can do. What did you do to kind of maximize your time there and get the most out of it?

Trey Apffel: Rocky, I always tried to get the program in advance, kind of map out a strategy more or less to take in as much of the CLE as I could, as well as plan for some of the downtime in between CLEs, where I had a chance to visit some of the booths, see some of the resources that the State Bar has to offer, and then obviously run into colleagues and friends in the halls and have a chance to visit with them as well. So I think just a little advanced planning goes a long way in trying to maximize your time at the Annual Meeting.

Rocky Dhir: That’s a great point. When I go to the annual meeting I have been told this, and I have certainly seen in practice. The State Bar of Texas it really is unlike any State Bar in the country. I mean we have got — we have got probably the best State Bar, pardon the expression, Bar none throughout the country. It’s a pretty amazing group of people and I will tell you my favorite part of the annual meeting is I get to hang out with the State Bar staff and that we have got some amazing staff people. The folks that are working at the Law Center 365 days a year, they are just phenomenal people. So I tell people all time, just come out there to get to know your State Bar staff. They’re just lovely — lovely individuals.

Trey Apffel: Well, the Annual Meeting event, it’s a team effort led by volunteer Annual Meeting Committee and supported by many other volunteers, our State Bar staff, our State Bar Sponsors and exhibitors. We are very grateful for their hard work. I can tell you that our State Bar staff is second to none. I am so proud of the way that they go about their business, they truly care about what they do and how they do it. They care about the lawyers, they care about the law, they care about the rule of law. They just go do an excellent job and I’m proud to stand with them each and every day.

Rocky Dhir: Well absolutely. Well Trey, I think I know I am excited, and I hope others will come out there. If you’re out there listening, please come. I would love to meet you. I know Trey would love to meet you. We would all just love to have you there and to welcome you to the Annual Meeting.

So please, pencil that in, you can still get an early bird. Take advantage of that by May 13th, book your stay, and just come spend a couple of days getting to know your fellow lawyers. So Trey, thank you for kind of giving us that overview and for telling us what’s out there.

I also want to thank Joe Longley for joining us earlier and of course, I want to thank you for tuning in, and I really hope you will make it to the Annual Meeting, I really do. If you do, I will be at the Legal Talk Network desk recording podcasts. So please do stop on by. Oh, and by the way this podcast is brought to you thanks to the generous support of LawPay. So thank you LawPay. We love you.

If you like what you heard today please rate us and review us in Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or your favorite podcast app. Until next time, remember life’s a journey folks. I am Rocky Dhir signing off for now.

[Music]

Outro: If you’d like more information about today’s show, please visit legaltalknetwork.com, go to texasbar.com/podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts and RSS.

Find both the State Bar of Texas and Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn or download the free app from Legal Talk Network in Google Play and iTunes.

The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by the State Bar of Texas, Legal Talk Network or their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, or subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.

[Music]

 

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Episode Details
Published: May 1, 2019
Podcast: State Bar of Texas Podcast
Category: Legal Entertainment , Legal News
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State Bar of Texas Podcast
State Bar of Texas Podcast

The State Bar of Texas Podcast invites thought leaders and innovators to share their insight and knowledge on what matters to legal professionals.

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