State Bar Board of Director – District 4:
On June 12, 2019, Diane St. Yves will be sworn in as a member of the State Bar Board of Directors. In a hard-fought campaign, Diane articulated a clear agenda to help the lawyers in Houston and consequently in Texas on several issues.
An issue of great importance is the utilization of the Texas Lawyer’s Assistance Program (“TLAP”). Lawyers have now become the profession with the highest rate of suicide among its members. The stigma of addiction and mental health issues has caused many attorneys to leave untreated their addiction and mental health issues. Left untreated, these issues lead to the loss of their license and, sometimes, their life. TLAP provides information, resources and education for those who are in need of assistance. Disseminating information relating to addiction and mental health issues, reducing the stigma attached and assuring that each member of the State Bar of Texas have an opportunity to receive treatment and financial assistance is tantamount to supporting and improving the profession that I love. I am prepared to advocate for the inclusion of addiction and mental health issues as part of each lawyer’s continuing legal education program in which they participate. Encouraging activism and involvement for attorneys to help other attorneys in crisis will be a priority during my term as Director.
I additionally hope to streamline the grievance process where individuals with valid and supported grievances are able to file a grievance which would require verification under the penalty of perjury. The grievance itself would need to be proven by clear and convincing evidence. The process would be beneficial to allocate resources for egregious attorney behavior to protect the public’s interests and protect attorneys from unwarranted complaints.
I am a strong advocate for one statewide security badge so that attorneys can proceed into courthouses around the state without going through security; provided, however, that each attorney pass a rigorous criminal background check and pay all associated fees.
In addition, I am strong advocate for support for smaller firms and solo practitioners. Additional resources need to be provided to the smaller firms and solos so they can effectively manage their practices, provide legal representation to all and have the support of the legal community.
I am honored and humbled to have been elected as Director and promise to represent the Houston area attorneys and their valued interests to the best of my ability. I am surrounded by amazing advocates and attorneys who will join me in these efforts.
HOUSTON BAR ASSOCIATION COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS:
On May 30, 2019, Benny Agosto, Jr., President of the Houston Bar Association, appointed me to serve on the Houston Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the 2019-2020 year along with serving on the Communities in School and Fun Run Committees for 2019-2020. I am strong and fervent supporter of diversity and fairness within the profession and look forward to working with a committee of strong and staunch advocates to advance ideas and goals to improve diversity and fairness in our profession and community. Having placed strong emphasis on education in my life and the lives of children, I look forward to working the Communities in School Committee to reach more young students and encourage them in their education and reaching their goals for strong and healthy lives. Running is a passion and I have been a sponsor of and have participated in the Law Day Fun Day for consecutive years. I look forward to working with other runners and supporters to raise money through the Law Day Fun Run for various charitable organizations and to encourage healthy activity in the community.