Welcome to 2017!  Ready or not, here we are.

We had our first Board of Directors meeting last week where we took up the issue of membership dues.  For many young attorneys, especially those just starting out on their own, the flat dues fee of $150 has been a deterrent to joining our Association.  And, for our senior attorneys, the flat rate of $150 was well below the dues charged by most trial lawyer associations of similar size.  We have not addressed our dues structure in many, many years and DTLA found itself among a very small and ever-shrinking minority of trial lawyer associations that do not have a tiered dues structure.  Recognizing the above, and following much analysis and discussion, your Board approved the following dues structure that is now in effect for the 2017 year:  

Years Licensed:

0-3 years                                 $75.00

4-10 years                               $150.00

11+ years:                               $200.00

Anya will be sending out invoices later this week.

The 85th Session of the Texas Legislature began last week on January 10. And on Friday, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.  To some this is a time marked by fear and uncertainty.  Many believe that we are entering a political and historical cycle that only comes around every 60 to 75 years or so – a cycle that will bring a significant change in American society.  If this is true then it presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to affect real and long-lasting change. So I hope you will join me.  It’s time to double down and get more involved – not only as trial lawyers, but as citizens.  Many of us are leaders in our communities and are listened to and respected by many – we must use it.  And we must begin using it now.  We need to engage our representatives.  We need to engage our family and friends and church members and neighbors and clients.  Volunteer.  TTLA has five-day-chair opportunities to go down to Austin for a week and help out.

DTLA’s Mission Statement is: “Empowering and supporting Dallas trial lawyers in achieving justice for those who have been harmed.”  As trial lawyers it is crucial that we remain champions of a self-governing system that resolves conflicts and disputes in a non-violent manner and observes the rule of law. And as trial lawyers, within the rule of law, we must speak up and fight with frequency, and urgency, and clarity – not only for our clients and their 7th Amendment rights, but for all who may be harmed, especially the most vulnerable among us.

Margaret Mead reminds us to never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; for indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. I am so thankful to be a member of this small group of thoughtful and committed trial lawyers. It is my privilege and honor to serve as your DTLA President.  I look forward to working for you.


                                                                                    Jason Franklin
                                                                                    DTLA President 2017