Legal Briefs


Former justice donates personal collection to law school

UNT Dallas College of Law, which will enroll its first class in fall 2014, recently received a historic gift to its Law Library, the personal law library of former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jackson “Jack” Pope. Pope’s donation includes signed copies of his personal set of Southwest Reporters covering the 35 years he served on the Court of Appeals and on the Texas Supreme Court. “UNT Dallas College of Law, as the newest public law school in the state, is especially honored to receive this generous gift from Justice Pope, who served the people of Texas as judge longer than any Texas jurist in history,” said Royal Furgeson, founding dean of the new law school.

Pope served as the 23rd chief justice from 1982-1985, crowning a long career of law practice and judicial service. A graduate of Abilene Christian College and the University of Texas School of Law, Pope was first licensed to practice law on June 7, 1937. He began his career in Corpus Christi in private practice. During World War II he was exempted from military service as the father of two young children, but he enlisted in the Naval Reserve and served for the final two years of the war. He returned briefly to private practice before his first appointment in 1946 to the 94th Civil District Court. He went on to serve on the Court of Civil Appeals and then was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1964. He was appointed chief justice in 1982 by Gov. William P. Clements and served until his retirement in 1985. During his 38-year judicial career, Pope was the author of more than 1,100 opinions. After his retirement, he was a founding member of the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society. Pope signed the original Texas Supreme Court order that created the IOLTA program, a method for providing funding for legal services for the poor from interest on lawyers’ trust accounts. In May 2013, Gov. Rick Perry signed the Jack Pope law, which raised the level of IOLTA funds that can be transferred for legal services. UNT Dallas College of Law is a new public law school located in a recently renovated historic building in downtown Dallas. Authorized by the Legislature in 2009, it is now accepting applications for the inaugural class, which will be seated next fall.

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TEXAS BAR GIVES TO SAFEHAVEN SafeHaven of Tarrant County received a grant of $13,900 from the Texas Bar Foundation to fund a project that will help women who are fleeing abusive relationships better navigate the criminal justice system. The grant is the second from the Texas Bar Foundation to SafeHaven since 2011 to assist victims of domestic violence with the many legal obstacles that arise when ending an abusive relationship. The money will allow SafeHaven to pay certain court fees. Not all SafeHaven clients qualify for this assistance. As a result, SafeHaven developed its own legal team and remains distinct among women’s shelters in Texas in that few offer clients pro bono, in-house legal services through a fully staffed legal department.

THOMPSON & KNIGHT TOP FUNDRAISER Seventeen top law firms in Dallas-Fort Worth met outside the courtroom in a different type of competition – raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through the 2013 Light The Night Walk. The firms, including Thompson & Knight, Baker Botts, Jackson Walker and Grant Thornton, raised more than $160,000 through the Law and Financial Industry Challenge. The funds raised benefit research and patient services for local blood cancer patients. Thompson & Knight beat the other firms by raising more than $35,500 this year. The fundraising effort involved everyone from the partners to the associates and non-attorney staff. The LLS mission is a personal one for the employees of Thompson & Knight. They raise money to remember Peter J. Riley, the firm’s managing partner who died of a blood cancer several years ago, and to honor an employee who is a survivor of multiple myeloma. Over the last five years, the firm has netted more than $100,000 for LLS through the Light The Night Walk and is consistently a top fundraising team. The North Texas Chapter of LLS hosts three evening walks in late October. In 2013, corporate and friends and family teams raised more than $1.2 million for LLS. This nationwide event commemorates lives touched by blood cancers.

HOUSING AGENCY RECEIVES GRANT The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and Comerica Bank awarded a $20,000 grant to Housing Opportunities of Fort Worth Inc. to provide counseling for families in need. This is the second partnership grant the housing agency has received in the past few years. The money will be used to augment other funds the agency receives for homebuyer education and counseling in default delinquency and reverse equity mortgages. HOFW serves about 500 families a year with one-on-one counseling.