GCBA September 2015 Newsletter

President's Welcome

I am honored to serve as President of the Galveston County Bar Association—the oldest local bar association in the State of Texas, and look forward to a year of exciting events for our membership and the Galveston community.   September signifies “back to school” for most of us, and for our members is already shaping up to be a very busy month! 

I would be remiss without acknowledging the tireless work of our past-president, Robert Booth.  One project he initiated during his tenure on the board of the GCBA and continues to foster are the legal clinics for the Galveston County Veterans.  Our first clinic this year will be held on Saturday, September 12th, from 9 a.m. to noon at the VA Outpatient Clinic at 3828 Avenue N in Galveston.  If you have never volunteered for this event, we urge each of you to do so as it is a highly rewarding experience to give back to our Veterans!  During the clinic we will screen each veteran for eligibility and provide you reference materials and staff support.   Your time commitment can be limited to just the Saturday clinic or even just a portion of the Saturday clinic. There is no obligation to take on continuing matters.  We hope to see you there on Saturday!

The following week brings our first monthly GCBA meeting, which will include a very interesting presentation on Space Law: International, National, Regulatory and State by Giugi Carminati.  Ms. Carninati is an effective litigator with experience representing clients in a wide variety of fields. She has represented whistleblowers, criminal defendants, and several energy companies in the business of marketing and transporting energy products. Additionally, she has also represented aerospace consulting companies on high-stakes, high-profile projects.  Please join us next week to hear her exciting presentation, which has already been approved for CLE credit with the State Bar of Texas. 

Additionally, the Galveston County Bar Association is hosting a two day ad litem seminar in the Jury Assembly Room at the Galveston County Courthouse on Thursday, September 17 and Friday, September 18.  Please register as soon as possible to ensure your space.

The GCBA board has an interesting, innovative and fun year planned.   With your unwavering support, the Galveston County Bar Association will continue to build our membership, enhance the legal profession and empower the community at large.  Thank you for helping us make the GCBA the Best It Can Be! 

Kelly M. Haas

President, GCBA

GCBA Membership
Membership in the GCBA provides: 
  • free access to eight luncheons with knowledgeable speakers throughout the year,
  • entrance to our annual Law Day Celebration in April,
  • an invitation to the December holiday party, 
  • access to continuing legal education (CLE) courses in Galveston *Additional fees may be required for some CLE events.
  • the chance to network with others in the legal profession (see our member list ), 
  • volunteer opportunities that are well organized and allow you to give back to your community,
  • Free membership to the Galveston County Young Lawyers Section for all who meet the GCYLS membership criteria and
  • much more.
The GCBA membership rolls over every year on July 1 and the membership dues are as follows:
  • Attorneys in Private Practice: $150/year 
  • Government Attorneys: $125/year 
  • Members age 70+ and Honorary Members: Free
Individuals interested in joining the GCBA or renewing their membership are encouraged to email  contact@galvestoncountybar.org. You will receive a registration form and invoice from DRDA to submit your annual dues payment online.


 Young Lawyers

  • Friday, October 23, 2015 (5pm) – Happy Hour at Oktoberfest 
  • Wednesday, November 11, 2015 (noon) – Lunch Meeting at Olympia 21 
  • Wednesday, January 13, 2016 (noon) – Lunch Meeting at Olympia 21
  • Thursday, February 11, 2016 (5pm) – Happy Hour at TBD Location
  • Wednesday, March 9, 2016 (noon) – Lunch Meeting at Olympia 21  

  Volunteer Opportunities 
  • Veteran’s Legal Clinic
    Saturday, September 12th
    9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    VA Outpatient Clinic
    3828 Avenue N
    Galveston, Texas 77550
    Please volunteer to provide legal assistance to our Galveston County Veterans.We will screen each veteran for eligibility and provide you reference materials and staff support. 
Your time commitment can be limited to just the Saturday clinic or even just a portion of the Saturday clinic. There is no obligation to take on continuing matters. 

Contact Robert Booth if you need more information.
Volunteers are asked to arrive a little early for a brief orientation on how we can help veterans.


  • Lone Star Legal Aid 
    Please contact Linda S. Good, Directing Attorney at lgood@lonestarlegal.org if interested in helping on either of these cases.

    1507-020351-CIU: Guardianship/Custody of Client's 10-year-old Brother; Harris/Galveston County 
    The client is a 25-year-old college student who graduates from Texas Tech in December 2015 and plans to go on to graduate school. He needs help obtaining guardianship or custody of his 10-year-old brother as a result of their mother's sudden and unexpected death in late July 2015 due to pulmonary fibrosis. These 2 brothers have had more than their share of misery in their young lives. Their mother who just died adopted them as a single woman after their birth mother's rights were terminated and she was incarcerated for murdering the younger brother's father. Later their adoptive mother married, but their stepfather did not adopt them. Their adoptive mother's brother and his wife live in La Marque where the 10-year-old will live and go to school until the client graduates from college in December and returns to take over the care of his minor sibling. Their adoptive mother had other foster children as well, but the client and his brother are the only children she adopted. There are no parents, conservators, or guardians to serve and no other adult siblings to serve. Until the adoptive mother died less than a month ago, they had been living in Katy, in Harris County. Although the client is back Lubbock to resume college, he can return to the area for hearings as needed with advance notice.

    1503-006256-CIU: Divorce only; Galveston County
    Permanently disabled mother of a 16-year-old (born before the marriage and not the husband's child) needs help obtaining a divorce. Married in 2006, they separated in 2011 because of basic incompatibility. There is no property other than personal effects.
  • Transitional Learning Center (Galveston)
    A patient at their long-term care facility, TideWay, is in need of legal representation.  This gentleman was injured on the job and sustained both a brain injury and partial spinal cord injury.  He has received rehabilitation at TLC which was paid for by Workmen's Comp.  Work Comp is also paying for his current long term stay at TideWay.  At the time of the brain injury/spinal cord injury he was married with 3 children, and living in his own home in the Dayton, Texas area.  After his acute hospitalization he was admitted to TLC for post-acute rehabilitation. The initial plan was for him to return home after rehabilitation.  His wife agreed to be trained to provide care, and Work Comp agreed to modify the home for a motorized wheel chair (and other modifications, such as grab bars, larger bathroom, etc.).  Unfortunately, Work Comp reneged on the plan, stating that they only renovate homes in cases where the renovations will allow for independent living.  To add insult to injury, his wife had an affair while he was here in rehab and became pregnant with another man's child.  She has since had the baby and filed for divorce.  So rather than returning home, TLC transitioned this gentleman to their long-term care facility here in Galveston.  Recently, he received divorce papers and child support papers and has 50 days to respond. He does not have an attorney.  Please let us know if you can help this unfortunate gentleman obtain good counsel.
    Contact: Gary S. Seale, Ph.D.
    Director, Clinical Programs
    Transitional Learning Center (TLC) at Galveston
    1528 Post Office Street
    Galveston, Texas 77550
  Upcoming Events 
  • Galveston County Ad Litem Seminar
    Galveston County Justice Center Jury Assembly Room
    600 59th Street
    Galveston, TX 77550
    THURSDAY 8 hours CLE, 2 ethics
    Civil Ad Litem Training 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    Property Tax Ad Litems 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    box lunch included
    FRIDAY 8 hours CLE, 2 ethics
    Probate/ Guardianships 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
    Family/ CPS/ Children 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    box lunch included
  • Galveston Republican Women Annual Fundraiser
    Saturday, September 26, 2015
    6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
    Moody Gardens Hotel
    Ballroom 2 South 
    Seven Hope Boulevard
    Galveston Texas 77554
    Guest of Honor-Vic Pierson
    Featured Speaker-Texas Supreme Court Justice, The Honorable Eva Guzman
    Cash Bar, Dinner & Las Vegas Style Entertainment                                               
    For more information contact Yolanda Waters by email: yoewaters@aol.com  or (409) 655-5055.
  • 3rd Annual Living Wage Conference
    Monday, September 28, 2015
    6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
    St. Patrick Catholic Church Auditorium
    1010 35th Street
    Galveston, Texas 77550
  • Save the date - GCBA Holiday Party
    Thursday, December 3, 2015
    5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
    Viewfinders Terrace at the Moody Gardens Hotel
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