Luncheons for September, 2014

Texas Attorney General’s Race

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Time: 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Location: Austin Bar Association

816 Congress Avenue, Suite 700

Program: Texas Attorney General’s Race

The scene: November 4th, a voter is in the voting booth (properly identified, of course, with packets of photo i.d.’s, birth certificate, driver’s license, concealed-carry permit, genealogy table, etc.).

The voter’s thought bubble: “Let’s see, now the Attorney General’s race. How should I vote?

“The Republican is Ken Paxton. I remember him. The Texas State Securities Board disciplined him in May. He admitted under oath that he violated the Texas Securities Act. And Texans for Public Justice filed a third-degree-felony criminal complaint against him based on that sworn admission. And The Texas Coalition on Lawyer Accountability filed a grievance against him because he allegedly took a secret kickback for referring clients to an investment advisor—and then the clients lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. So … he could be convicted of a felony and disbarred. I don’t know, but somehow having a disbarred lawyer who is a convicted felon as Attorney General—it just doesn’t sound right. Do many states have disbarred-lawyer felons as Attorneys General? I should have researched that before I got here. But of course Perry has been indicted. Maybe it’s a just Republican fad, sort of their new Fall fashions—stripes, I guess.

“Okay now, this Libertarian candidate is Jamie “The DWI Dude” Balagia. That’s catchy. And the State Bar sued him in May, alleging that he misapplied client monies. So, I guess he could be disbarred, too. Man, that stuff’s spreading.

“All right, this last guy is the Democrat, Sam Houston. Now that’s a good name! I know I’ve heard that somewhere before. And everyone says he’s a serious and well-respected lawyer, really smart, with unimpeachable integrity. But can someone like that be Attorney General in Texas?

“So in this race I have a real choice. I can vote for lawyers who are potentially subject to disbarment and felony conviction, or I can vote for an honest, respected professional. Geez, this is tough! What the hell, I’ll take a chance on the honest, ethical guy—Sam Houston it is.”


Sam Houston – When Sam ran in 2008, he received more votes than any other Democrat on the ballot in Texas. Sam grew up in Colorado City in West Texas and worked in his family’s hardware store. He has been a successful, practicing attorney for 26 years. He is a graduate of UT and then Baylor Law School, he worked at the law firm of Andrews & Kurth, and he currently works at Shepherd, Scott, Clawater & Houston, LLP. He lives in Houston with his wife Jantha and their two children.

Erica Gammill – Erica is the Acting Executive Director of the non-profit Texas Coalition on Lawyer Accountability (TCLA). TCLA’s Coalition members include the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Public Citizen, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP), and the Texas Housing Justice League (THJL). Erica filed the grievance against Ken Paxton and has researched his legal background extensively. (Yes, amazingly enough, Paxton well could be indicted and disbarred—but he was the Republican Tea Party choice over Representative Dan Branch in the run-off.)

Door Prizes:

1.     Rick Perry, The Rapidly Increasing Importance of the Presumption of Innocence In Modern Jurisprudence—and Why That Sucker Needs To Be Irrebuttable. And Like Really Quick!

2.     Ken Paxton, Modern Securities Laws, Criminal Laws, Ethical Rules, and Other Irrelevant Technicalities.

3.     Ken Paxton & Rick Perry, Maybe We Should Air-Condition Texas Prisons, After All.

“New (now Old) Reservation Policy Alert” – Please note our new policy on canceling reservations.  As a result of recent last-minute cancellations and no-shows, we will have to start charging for persons who make a reservation but do not attend.  The Forum still has to pay for those lunches, and at times we’ve had to absorb over $150 in costs for non-attendees who made reservations.  We now offer the option to pay online in advance for your lunch.  If you cancel at least 24 hours before the meeting, there will be no charge.  We apologize for any inconvenience and we appreciate your cooperation.

Cost:  lunch is $15.00 for members, $20.00 for non-members.

Purchase Tickets Here

Parking: 816 Congress Avenue/IBC Bank parking garage.  Enter the parking garage on 9th Street, between Colorado and Congress.  Bring your ticket to the receptionist on the 7th floor and you will be given a coupon to use to exit the garage at no charge.

Reservation required: To reserve your seat, email or or call Chuck Herring or Judy Erben at 320-0665.  Please tell us if you intend to bring a non-member guest and if you have any special dietary concerns.  PLEASE MAKE RESERVATIONS BY 5:00 P.M. ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014.

About the Forum: The Forum meets monthly for lunch to hear Democratic speakers.  Membership is $120/yr.  Non-members may attend, but members have priority and receive discount prices for lunches.