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  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022 2:30 PM | Matthew Phillips

    Dear DHBA Familia,

    Happy New Year!  Welcome to the kick-off of a new DHBA year.  I look forward to serving as President of your DHBA in 2022. 

    It was a pleasure serving as President-Elect in 2021 in support of our President and my good friend, Javier Perez. Thank you Javier for all of your hard work in 2021, and we look forward to your contributions in 2022 as Immediate Past President!  We also applaud the outstanding years of service of outgoing Board veterans, Immediate Past President Isaac Faz and Treasurer Claudia Guerrero. 

    Our 2022 Board members have already rolled up their sleeves to brainstorm ideas that will make this year a success.  But an organization cannot accomplish its mission without the active support and participation of its very foundation – the members.  Like everything else, the pandemic has placed significant restrictions on our ability to engage with our members over the last few years.  Whatever this year may bring, I plan to prioritize my efforts on increasing engagement by our members.  What can DHBA do to better serve our members?  What do they need from DHBA?  What do we do well, and where do we have opportunities to grow?  How can we make participation even more meaningful to our members so that they feel invested and motivated to advance the mission of DHBA?  We have so much important work to do, and we need all of our members to help us carry it out.  I look forward to working with all of you on this important task ahead to make DHBA an even stronger organization.  To kick off 2022, we would appreciate your feedback to our first member survey here.  It will take less than 5 minutes to complete!

    If you want to get more involved with DHBA, please come forward.  Don't be shy!  We need ALL of our members fully engaged and active.  Reach out to me or one of our board members.  Sign up for a committee.  Take us up on our request for volunteers.  Make new friends at the social events.  This is your organization and its success is completely dependent on you.  And don't forget our responsibility to our community.  I recently returned from an HNBA board meeting in Houston.  As part of our trip, we were invited to visit Wesley Community Center to talk with elementary school students about our careers as lawyers.  When I entered the room, I saw a little girl with glasses seated at a picnic table by herself.  My colleague and I walked past her to take our seats at the front of the room.  She immediately looked up and practically jumped out of her chair with excitement.  She could not wait to start asking questions.  The center's director told us the kids were excited to see us, but I was not expecting that kind of reception.  Are you ready to share your inspiring story with young Latino students in Dallas?  While we go about our daily lives in the practice of law, it is easy to forget the impact our very presence can have in their lives.  If we don't show up, then who will?      

    Looking forward to seeing you all in 2022!

    Un fuerte abrazo,


  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022 2:27 PM | Matthew Phillips

    Hasta Pronto – See You Soon!

    Many of you have heard me refer to DHBA as a family.  Like so many, I am the first lawyer in mine and many of you have stepped in to fill out that family tree.  I remember in one of my first depositions, a former DHBA president sat across the table from me; I felt moved to be one of those who got to sit in one of these hard-fought roles - an advocate.  When the lawyer went out of his way to pronounce my name correctly on the record, it was an affirmation that my presence there was legitimate and that I was worthy to be there.  Thinking it was merely incidental, I shared this with him years later and he confirmed that was in fact his intent.  Thank you, Rudy.

    Another called me when he saw me show up on a case and told me he felt proud to see me on a panel for a State Bar CLE – to, in his words, “show these folks how to practice law.”  And in true big brother fashion, he then went on to tell me why my case was doomed.  I’ll spare your name, but I want you to know it meant a lot to be seen and validated.   

    One hermano we lost this year hit particularly me hard: Chris Montez.  For those of us that knew him, Chris’s big laugh and even bigger heart were unforgettable.  When I received the Estrella award, I invited Chris to sit at my table.  He had been a mentor to me since he introduced himself at a CLE, saying he recognized me from a law school newsletter.  He was generous with his time and advice; even when we had a case opposite each other, he was respectful and somehow still encouraging.  It meant everything to me, and he will be missed.

    I am so grateful to our membership, and in particular, our past presidents and those who have served on our Board of Directors.  It is truly a labor of love for our community, and you deserve our gratitude for the sacrifices you and your family have made to support this work.  We have a responsibility to lead and to serve and it has been an absolutely privilege to carry your mantle forward.

    To our 2021 Board, I know we went through it this last year.  Our monthly Zooms started to feel like family meetings around the kitchen table, just without the comidita.  But to Isaac, Elsa, Carla, Claudia, Jake, Eddie, Fabiola, and Berenice – I want to thank each of you for showing up when the world was burning around us, willing to work together to find a way to make a difference.

    And to our community, like siblings, or tias, or whatever role you’re assuming at the time – you have always shown up when we needed you.  We have been blessed to see so many of you step up when we needed your time or expertise, and yes, even your money.  Por todo su apoyo, we are so grateful.

    Speaking of apoyo, we know that family is uniquely positioned to bring out our best.  And I want to thank my own family who never faltered in believing in me and pushing me to “keep going.”  And with complete certainty, I can absolutely promise you that none of what I’ve been able to do would be possible without my wife, Caelie.  Those of you that know her understand why; those of you that don’t, you should Mi vida, thank you for everything.

    It has been a unique honor to lead this organization, for just two terms, and I am so grateful for the opportunity.  I look forward to the ways in which it will continue to grow in the more than capable hands who will guide it.  Thank you.

  • Tuesday, December 07, 2021 5:15 PM | Matthew Phillips

    The National Law Review highlighted Edward J. Loya, Jr.'s election to Vice President of the DHBA's Board of Directors and Epstein Becker & Green's role in sponsoring DHBA's Judicial Externship Program. Celebrating Edward's contributions to the DHBA and the creation of the Judicial Externship Program, Epstein Becker & Green's Managing Director, Jim Flynn, stated:

    "Edward has been a champion of diversity within the Dallas/Fort Worth legal community. In support of his efforts, EBG supported, financially and philosophically, the launch of DHBA's Judicial Externship Program, which will provide Texas law students interested in practicing in DFW the opportunity to extern in the chambers of local federal and state judges. We are proud to have Edward serve in such a respected role and to continue our support of the DHBA."

  • Friday, November 12, 2021 7:23 PM | Matthew Phillips

    DHBA is leading the way with back-to-back programming for our Latina lawyers and professionals. On October 6, for the sixth year in a row, the DHBA hosted the 2021 Latina Leadership Program. Latina attorneys and law students came together for a hybrid event to join Dr. Jill Lynch Cruz in a workshop on how impostor syndrome can show up in Latina attorneys’ careers and successful strategies for overcoming. Distinguished Latina trailblazers U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez, former DBA President Laura Benitez Geisler, and federal law clerk Brenda Balli lead an insightful panel discussion. The program ended with intimate small group discussions. This year’s program was a huge success!  Thank you to our generous co-sponsors HNBA, Jackson Walker, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C., and Cowles and Thompson.  DHBA Latina Leadership Committee members:  Maria Alonso, Erica Benites Giese, Ashley Aten, Laura Torres, Elizabeth Margolis, Lina Forero-Niño, Regina Montoya, Megan Flores, Elizabeth Ramirez-Washka, Norma Garcia, Liliana Sanchez, Angela Lopez, and Elsa Manzanares.

    On October 7, DHBA joined forces with PwC and Bell Nunnally and Martin to co-sponsor the Latina Executive Summit at the offices of Bell Nunnally.  This first-ever program brought together senior Latina in-house counsel and Latina business executives in Dallas to discuss compensation and pay inequity for Latina professionals.  Dr. Jill Lynch Cruz opened the program over lunch with an overview of the pay disparity issues facing Latina professionals, followed by a moderated panel discussion featuring leading Dallas Latina luminaries Stephanie Zapata Moore (Vistra Energy), Maria Castañon Moats (PwC), Marisia Parra-Gaona (AT&T), and Dania Duncan Moreno (Bell Nunnally).  The inspiring afternoon ended with a networking happy hour.  A LinkedIn group has been created for attendees to continue the conversation.  Planning Committee:  Dania Duncan Moreno, Vanessa Salinas Beckstrom, and Elsa Manzanares.

  • Wednesday, October 14, 2020 4:00 PM | Matthew Phillips

    DHBA is promoting the vote and celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a VIRTUAL 5K! Please join us virtually by walking, running, or biking with your friends, family, and pets!

    You can participate with these three easy steps below:

    1. Buy a T-Shirt for $20 each (proceeds will be donated to the Dallas Hispanic Bar Foundation);2. Complete your 5K, send us pictures, tag us on social media, use the hashtag #dhbavotes; and

    3. VOTE!!!

    Early voting runs from October 13th to October 30th.

    Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd.

    Make sure to follow us on Facebook at @DallasHBA; on Instagram at @dallashba; and on Twitter at @DallasHBA.

  • Thursday, June 18, 2020 1:00 PM | Matthew Phillips

    For Immediate Release:
    June 18, 2020

    Dallas Hispanic Bar Association Releases Statement
    Supporting U.S. Supreme Court Decision

    Dallas, TX – Today the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Dreamers. In Department of Homeland Security et al. v. Regents of the University of California et al. the Court, in a major 5-4 decision, rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Specifically, the Court found that the Trump administration’s decision to terminate DACA was “arbitrary and capricious.”

    This is a great day for DACA recipients, Dreamers, families, and immigration advocates,” stated Dallas Hispanic Bar President Isaac Faz. “For many who benefit from DACA, this country is the only country they know, the only anthem they sing, the only place they call home. Texas has the second highest number of DACA recipients. They are our neighbors, our family, our essential workers including doctors and educators.”

    DACA is an Obama-era program that began in June of 2012 which provided work authorization and a temporary reprieve from deportation to eligible undocumented immigrants who had arrived in the United States as minors. To be eligible, these young immigrants needed to meet several requirements, including not being convicted of a felony, being currently enrolled, or having graduated from high school, or honorably discharged from the military. Applicants were also required to pay a $495 application fee, which the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association has sponsored in the past to support Dreamers.

    DACA recipients are contributing members in our society and have quite literally embodied the American Dream. These are hardworking individuals, including approximately 27,000 health workers fighting Covid-19, and over 450,000 undocumented students who are enrolled in higher education. They also contribute to our economy by paying federal, state, and local taxes,” added Faz.

    A Center for American Progress report found that DACA recipients and their households hold $24.1 billion in spending power and pay $5.7 billion in federal taxes and $3.1 billion in state and local taxes annually. By any measure, Dreamers form a critical part of our society and support the communities they call home.

    This decision is only the beginning. We still need to find a permanent resolution to protect the 700,000 DACA recipients and the other individuals that were too young to apply. It’s time for Congress and this administration to act. We must continue to advocate, to educate and voice our opinions via the ballot box in local, state, and federal elections.”


    Contact: Mauricio Navarro

  • Thursday, June 04, 2020 4:00 PM | Matthew Phillips

    The J.L. Turner Legal Association, working with the Dallas Community Police Oversight Coalition and Dallas Office of Community Police Oversight, is creating a volunteer legal team to collect information about showing and use of force by the Dallas Police Department during the protests. The work will all be remote.

    They need attorneys to help work over phone/video chat with protest participants to collect a statement. Training for attorneys will be announced the week of 6/8.

    They also need help from paralegals, legal assistants, law students, and recent law grads to assist with screening phone calls to determine whether someone will receive a follow-up call to submit a statement. Training for screeners will be virtually, Friday 6/5 from 5:30-6:30 PM OR Saturday, 6/6 from 12:00-1:00 PM.

    If you can help, sign up here.

  • Thursday, June 04, 2020 2:40 PM | Matthew Phillips
    The J.L. Turner Legal Association is signing up attorneys willing to provide pro bono and/or reduced rate legal services for individuals impacted by the social justice protest events. If you can help, sign up at
  • Monday, June 01, 2020 5:10 PM | Matthew Phillips

    Contact Lynn Dempsey
    214-768-8617 or

    June 1, 2020


    DALLAS (SMU) — Beginning June 1, SMU Dedman School of Law will launch a clinic project with an emergency helpline that offers North Texas residents the opportunity to secure free legal assistance with matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as housing, immigration and consumer protection. Working under the supervision of SMU Law Clinic faculty, more than 45 law students will staff the COVID-19 Legal Helpline, which may be reached by dialing 214-SMU-COVD (214-768-2683).

    Callers seeking assistance with certain COVID-19 related legal problems can receive assistance through the SMU legal clinics or, when necessary, referral to local law firms and attorneys providing free services in some specialized areas. Dedicated community partners like the law firm, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and SMU Law alumnus Mark Melton, whose pro bono project includes more than 80 volunteer attorneys, are already working with the law school to take referrals. Other partners for the project will include the Dallas Bar Association, Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP), Legal Aid of Northwest Texas and UNT Dallas College of Law.

    “This project is a wonderful example of how deeply committed SMU is to helping our students and to serving the beautiful city in which we are so fortunate to be located,” said Jennifer Collins, Dean of SMU Dedman School of Law. “We are very grateful to have such committed partners and to be able to provide support to our community as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”

    The COVID-19 Emergency Helpline Project has two primary goals:

    • To fill gaps in the availability of reasonably fast, reliable and necessary legal information and advice in certain key areas through a dedicated helpline
    • To provide SMU law students with meaningful opportunities to develop important professional values and skills as they work collaboratively with each other, supervising faculty, and volunteer attorneys

    “We hope the Helpline will be an important resource for members of our Dallas/Fort Worth community who are struggling,” said professor Mary Spector, Associate Dean for Clinics at SMU. “It will also provide SMU Law students with the chance to gain valuable legal experience and professional skills. I’m proud of our students’ eagerness to step up to the legal challenges the pandemic presents.”

    Those interested in making a financial contribution or supporting the Helpline project may visit the SMU Dedman School of Law giving page at


    The School of Law at SMU was founded in 1925. It was named Dedman School of Law in 2001 in honor of Dallas benefactors Nancy and Robert H. Dedman, Sr., and their family. SMU Dedman Law enjoys a national and international reputation of distinction. It is among the most competitive law schools in the country for admission, as well as one of the most successful in the placement of its graduates.

    In 1947, SMU Law was one of the first law schools in the country to sponsor a community legal clinic as part of a law school curriculum. Today, legal clinics are essential to Dedman School of Law’s mission of preparing students to be leaders in the legal profession and in business while serving the needs of their community.

  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020 2:22 PM | Matthew Phillips

    S.T.E.E.R. flyer (PDF)

    As the nation faces the first significant economic downturn since 2008, your local bar associations have teamed up to form STEER, a program that aims to provide lawyers with employment and career advice related to changes in the economy and the profession because of CoVID-19. If you have been furloughed, are concerned you might be or are just starting your career and are finding it difficult to land employment, this program will connect you with Dallas’ most experienced and well connected lawyers who will be available in an advisory capacity to help you navigate a difficult market and changing times. To learn more or to sign up, please click on this link to fill out a very brief application.

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