The State Bar of Texas announced in a press release tonight that F.R. “Buck” Files, a shareholder in criminal-defense firm Bain, Files, Jarrett, Bain & Harrison in Tyler, has been elected to serve as president-elect of the State Bar. Files defeated Guy Choate, a partner in personal-injury law firm Webb, Stokes & Sparks in San Angelo. C.E. Rhodes, U.S. operations and compliance counsel at Baker Hughes Inc. in Houston, defeated David Courreges, of De Leon and Washburn in Austin, to become president-elect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA). Voting in both races ended today at 5 p.m. According to information on the State Bar's website, in the State Bar president-elect race, Choate received 9,883 votes, Files received 10,364 votes, there were 204 write-in votes and 759 no votes for a total of 21,210 votes cast. In the TYLA president-elect race, Courreges received 1,701 votes, Rhodes received 2,179 votes, there were 31 write-in votes and 492 no votes for a total of 4,403 votes cast. Files and Rhodes will be sworn in as presidents-elect during the State Bar's annual meeting to be held June 23-24 in San Antonio, and they will serve as president of the State Bar and TYLA respectively from June 2012 until June 2013, according to the State Bar's press release.
-- Colleen Bridget McGushin
Update on State Bar president-elect race:
Files says running for president-elect was one of the “greatest experiences” in his life and he feels pleased and humbled that he won the race. “I have been involved in the State Bar for over 30 years and have been immersed in it for the past seven. Realizing I’ll have the opportunity to be a leader in the Bar is a challenge,” Files says. He says he has ideas about what he’d like to accomplish as president, but he says he left the board of directors four years ago and wants to reacquaint himself with changes since then before discussing his goals. On the campaign trail, Files says he tried to talk with as many lawyers as possible and listen to their thoughts. Lawyers like the Bar’s Internet-based continuing legal education programs and expressed concern aboutlast year’s rules referendum, he says. “All in all, they were very positive about what the State Bar is and is doing,” Files says. Choate says “[Y]ou’re always disappointed” when losing an election, but he wishes Files luck during his term as Bar president. Bar spokeswoman Kim Davey says 88,129 lawyers are eligible to vote in the State Bar president-elect race. With 21,210 ballots cast, that makes the voter turnout 24 percent.
-- Angela Morris
Update on TYLA president-elect race:
Rhodes says, “I really do look forward to the opportunity to lead this organization.” He credits his campaign supporters for his success. Rhodes says he has ideas for new TYLA projects to attract more young lawyers to participate in the organization. For example, Rhodes says he wants to create a guidebook to help young lawyers learn best practices when working as outside counsel for in-house attorneys. He wants to create an informational pamphlet or DVD about the criminal justice system that prosecutors and defense attorneys could use to help educate crime victims or defendants. In addition, Rhodes says he wants to educate middle, high school and college students about possible law careers and about how they can use legal services in their lives. Courreges says he thinks Rhodes will do a “great job” as TYLA president-elect, and he felt disappointed upon losing, because he thinks TYLA is “a great organization, and I’m proud to be a part of it.” He says he thinks Rhodes ran a “great campaign.” Davey says 24,829 young lawyers were eligible to vote. With 4,403 votes cast, turnout was 18 percent.
-- Angela Morris