Austin Breakfast Meeting to Focus on Content Marketing for Lawyers

The Austin City Group of the Legal Marketing Association will host a breakfast meeting and webinar on Tuesday, April 7, entitled “Thought Leadership: Follow the Leader/Microsite Content Marketing” at the Law Offices of Winstead at 401 Congress Ave., Suite 2100.

The meeting gets underway at 7:15 a.m. with registration and coffee, followed by the webinar from 7:30 to 8:30.

The webinar is described as follows:

Thought leadership centers on earning trust and credibility. Thought leaders get noticed by offering something different –  information, insights, and ideas. Thought leadership positions you and your firm as an industry authority, resource and trusted advisor by establishing your reputation as a generous contributor to your industry.

We will discuss internal challenges to get this initiative off the ground and how to build a strategic, marketing plan with actionable items. We will show several examples of thought leadership micro sites and relate their success stories.

Attendees will learn:

  • The value of thought leadership micro sites and why they are on the rise
  • The difference between thought leadership micro sites and blogs
  • How to sell a thought leadership micro site internally
  • How to plan and build thought leadership micro sites

The speakers include:

John Byrne recently launched Glencoe Media Group Inc. to help law firms create relevant and compelling content that supports their business development strategies. A veteran of legal marketing, he left Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in spring 2014 after eight years, the last four of which he served as its CMO. John holds journalism and law degrees, earning his stripes in both newsrooms and courtrooms. At home, his teenage triplets have helped teach him not only the patience and perseverance, but also the perspective and presence of mind necessary to succeed in the legal business.

Jacqueline Madarang is the Marketing Technology Manager at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, a 450-attorney law firm with seven offices across the Southeast where she focuses on developing digital and communications programs that further business development objectives. She oversees and manages all aspects of the firm’s digital marketing including its website, blogs, social media programs, client relationship management database (CRM), and email marketing.

Prior to moving to Birmingham from California and working at Bradley Arant, she has worked in marketing roles at both law firms and wealth/investment management firms, including Best Best & Krieger, Venable, and Northern Trust.

Jacqueline is an active member of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), and has been a committee member of the LMA Technology Conference West committee and International LMA Technology committee in the past few years. She is also the Chair of Communications/Technology for the Los Angeles chapter.

Molly Porter. For the last 12 years, Molly Porter has focused on digital content strategy, content marketing and social media in the legal industry. In her current role as Content Marketing Manager at Seyfarth Shaw, she is responsible for the development and execution of content strategies that promote the firm as aleader on innovation and value in the legal industry.

Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, she developed and implemented the digital communications strategy for DLA Piper, where she lead the firm to a strong number one finish in social media reach, engagement and owned media in “The Social Law Firm Index” by Above the Law and Good2BSocial.

Molly also moderates a LinkedIn group called Content Strategy for Law Firms, a networking group for the in-house law firm marketers and communicators who conceive, plan, create, produce, govern, manage and analyze content across a variety of media.

Per Casey. Per founded Tenrec in 1999 with a single goal in mind, to create a company that specialized in web technology and that could build applications, solve problems and provide support to companies utilizing advanced internet-based systems.

Over the next ten or so years, the internet industry tanked, then blossomed, then tanked again and then more or less took off into the stratosphere. Through it all Tenrec has been doing exactly what the company set out to do, helping businesses design, build, connect, launch, and maintain their web-based systems.



Austin Attorney Elected Shareholder at Winstead

Winstead PC ( has announced that Karl Seelbach has been elected one of the firm’s new shareholders for 2015.karlseelbach-pr

Seelbach, who is an Austin attorney, participates in the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Labor & Employment Practice Groups.  He represents clients in a wide variety of complex litigation matters, including employment law, real estate and financial services.  His docket includes a large number of employment-related litigation matters for Fortune 50 and Fortune 100 corporate retailers,

Prior to joining Winstead, he was a member of South Texas College of Law’s award-winning appellate advocacy program where he received multiple awards ranking him among the top advocates in the state and nation.



Women’s Power Summit on Law and Leadership Set for April

The Center for Women in Law will convene leaders in law in Austin for the 2015 Women’s Power Summit on Law and Leadership on April 15-17.

The Women’s Power Summit, which is held every two years, is one of the most significant gatherings of women attorneys in the country. Offered by invitation only, the Women’s Power Summit convenes the preeminent women in law: general counsel, judges, law firm managing partners, government officials, law school deans, and state bar presidents.

The theme of the 2015 Women’s Power Summit is Using Power for Change. Susan L. Blount, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Prudential Financial, Inc. is the chair.

This high-level discussion tailored to the most senior industry leaders will provide a ground-breaking guide for leading change and flourishing in a rapidly changing environment. Through real-life examples from business, academia, government, and law practice, Women’s Power Summit participants will explore how they can successfully lead their legal institutions to get results in critical areas such as parity in compensation and advancing to the C-suite.

For more information, visit

Austin Attorney Explores Whether Pro Se Estate Planning Forms Are Coming to Texas?

By Brad Wiewel, of The Wiewel Law Firm

Many state Supreme Courts have pro se forms for people to use when filing different types of legal actions. A Senate proposal in Texas is proposing that the state’s Supreme Court be required to create forms for estate planning and probate.WiewelB_

Many people cannot afford lawyers or they do not believe they need lawyers for their legal needs. This has spawned an industry that sells standardized legal forms for people to fill out and file with the courts. These forms are often cheaper than hiring an attorney on the front-end. On the other hand, if the forms are inaccurate or filled out incorrectly, then hiring attorneys to fix any problems can get expensive.

One response from state courts is to create their own official forms and offer them for free. This is especially common in family law.

The Wills, Trust & Estates Prof Blog reports on a current debate in the Texas Senate to require the Supreme Court to create standardized forms in estate and probate law. The article is titled “Texas Senate Bill Proposes Pro Se Estate Planning Forms.”

One potential downside to this proposal is that it might encourage even more people to think all they need to do estate planning is to fill out a form instead of hiring an attorney. The truth, however, is that the more complex your assets and your family situation is, the more you need an attorney.

If you have few assets and wish to leave them all to your spouse, then a form Will might in fact be good enough. When things get just a little bit more complex than that, then you really need the advice of an estate planning attorney.

Contact an experienced estate planning attorney because, when it comes to protecting your loved ones and your assets, do-it-yourself planning puts everything at risk.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (March 9, 2015) “Texas Senate Bill Proposes Pro Se Estate Planning Forms”

DuBois, Bryant & Campbell Adds Bankruptcy Attorney

Bankruptcy Attorney Seth E. Meisel has joined DuBois, Bryant & Campbell LLP.

Meisel, who was previously at Streusand, Landon & Ozburn, LLP and at K&L Gates, LLP, has been actively involved in all stages of Chapter 11 bankruptcy representation, both from a creditor’s and a debtor’s perspective. He also has substantial experience litigating a wide range of complex commercial disputes,seth.meisel employment disputes, bankruptcy matters, and a multitude of contract disputes and business torts with experience in jury trials, bench trials, administrative proceedings, private arbitration, and mediation.

Meisel is a graduate with honors from the University of Texas School of Law.

The University of Texas CLE will host The Land Use Conference in Round Rock March 26-27

Entering its 19th year, the conference offers high-level, detailed coverage of the key issues, strategies, challenges, tools, and opportunities facing municipalities, counties, and developers. It focuses on real-world problems with practical solutions presented by an outstanding faculty, including developers’ attorneys, land use planners, local government attorneys, engineers, and state and local regulators.

The agenda for the conference, which will be held at the Marriott Austin North, will include the following highlights:

Thursday and Friday luncheons on current topics in land use law around the nation

The effects of drought and population growth on land use with an emphasis on turf grass limitations, irrigation system requirements and xeriscapes

Environmental issues that impact the use of land in Texas and beyond

Updates in significant land use cases, including The State of Texas v. Cooper, Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District and Stafford v. Town of Flower Mound

An exploration of dark sky cities—the growing trend to protect the natural night sky

An update on the limitations of the Fair Housing Act

Attorneys can earn up to 2.50 hours of ethics with presentations on avoiding open government pitfalls, the work product privilege, sovereign and governmental immunity, and governmental approvals.

To register, visit:

Reed & Scardino Promotes Three to Partner, Announces Other News

Reed & Scardino, LLP, an Austin, Texas-based business law firm focused on intellectual property law, patent litigation and prosecution, corporate transactions, and commercial real estate, has announced three new partners, the hiring of two senior lateral attorneys, and the addition of two new practice groups.

The following three Reed & Scardino attorneys have been promoted to partner in Reed & Scardino’s IP Practice Group: Kirk Dorius, Ray Mort and Steven Tepera. Dorius is a mechanical engineer, licensed patent attorney and serves as Chair of the firm’s IP Patent Prosecution and Licensing Practice Group. Mort is an electrical engineer, licensed patent attorney and focuses his practice on IP litigation and counseling. Tepera is an aerospace engineer, licensed patent attorney and focuses his practice on IP and commercial litigation. Reed & Scardino has great depth and experience in its IP Practice Group with 24 full-time attorneys on its IP team.

Reed & Scardino has also announced that Peyton N. Smith has joined the firm as partner and chair of the firm’s new Labor & Employment Practice Group. Smith focuses his practice on counseling management on employment matters and defending employers in employment-related litigation.

In addition, the firm announced that Dawn Norman has joined the firm as Of Counsel. Norman represents a broad spectrum of business and energy clients and focuses her practice on commercial, energy and environmental litigation.

Hill Country Conservancy Elects Austin Attorney to Board

The Hill Country Conservancy has elected Eric Hoffman, an associate at Norton Rose Fulbright (Fulbright & Jaworski), to its board.

Hoffman focuses exclusively on the representation of health care providers in state and federal courts.

Hoffman grew up in Austin and received a B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies at Cornell University. He received his J.D. from Washington and Lee University, where he served as university student body president and honor council chair.

‘Just Drive’ Champion Backs Texas Lawmakers’ Efforts to Ban Texting/Driving, Bill Moves Through Committee

Robin Garza knows trauma. She sees it on a daily basis as trauma services program manager for one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in the U.S.—Harris Health System’s Ben Taub Hospital. In fact, her advocacy to raise awareness about the dangers of trauma led her to develop Just Drive, a statewide campaign to discourage distracted driving, including texting and driving.

Her work has even been noticed in Austin, as lawmakers consider a statewide ban on texting and driving. House Bill 80 is making its way through the halls of the 84th Texas Legislative Session. The bill, if adopted into law, would make it a crime for a person to use a portable wireless communication device to read, write or send a text while operating a motor vehicle.

The statewide ban on texting and driving is something Garza and her team support. They see thousands of trauma cases through Ben Taub’s renowned Ginni and Richard Mithoff Trauma Center suffer life-threatening injuries resulting from vehicle crashes (several attributed to distracted driving), industrial mishaps, acts of violence or accidental falls. While some accidents are unavoidable, those that can be avoided are the ones that frustrate Garza, a registered nurse of more than 30 years.file0001333255866

“People who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash,” she says. “When drivers send or read a text message, their reaction time is limited. Humans cannot multi-task safely. When someone gets behind the wheel, full attention should be on driving.”

According to research, sending or reading a text takes one’s eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds and is like driving blindfolded the length of an entire football field at 55 miles per hour. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reported that more than 3,300 people were killed and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.

As chair of the injury prevention committee for the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, as well as for the Texas EMS Trauma and Acute Care Foundation (TETAF), Garza spearheaded Just Drive, a statewide TETAF-sponsored campaign that kicked off in late 2013.

“Driving is a responsibility that should be taken seriously by anyone who sits behind the wheel,” she says. “If your eyes aren’t focused on the road, if your hands are not on the wheel or your mind is not focused 100 percent on driving, you are a distracted driver.”

Notable distractions according to the Just Drive campaign:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player
  • Driving while fatigued, physically impaired or emotionally upset

More recently, the Texas Tribune reported that the House Transportation Committee had cast its support behind the bill.

“I am elated House Bill 80 has been reported favorably by the committee and is moving through the legislative process,” state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, the bill’s author, said in a written statement. “I truly believe this legislation will ultimately save lives.”

Forty-four states now ban text messaging while driving, according to the Tribune. In Texas, 38 cities, including Austin, have local bans on texting while driving.

Jackson Walker Announces New Parter

Jackson Walker LLP has named Jorge Padilla as a partner.

Padilla’s  practice focuses on serving clients in a variety of complex commercial litigation matters, including partnership and fiduciary issues, trust litigation, media litigation, healthcare litigation, real estate disputes, as well as business contract disputes.padilla

Padilla also serves as the Secretary of the Young Men’s Business League/Austin Sunshine Camps and on the Board of Directors of the Austin Young Lawyers’ Association.