Back on the Board

I’m pleased to report that I was just voted back onto the State Bar of Texas board of directors, and am looking forward very much to serving again. The State Bar board of directors is comprised of about five dozen members and half a dozen officers. About four dozen are directors, of which most are regional representatives, but six are elected representatives from the State Bar’s various Sections, and several others are public members appointed by the Governor. There are another dozen or so liaisons from the state and federal judiciary and various other entities. It’s a terrific group of individuals, and Jamie and I enjoyed our three years traveling the state and occasionally beyond to work on issues. I was fortunate at the end of my term to receive a Presidential Citation from President Gib Walton for my work in the area of member benefits, as well as an Outstanding Third Year Director award from board chair Travis Vanderpool. Collectively, the board establishes policy for the State Bar. The State Bar president makes a lot of appointments to committees and acts as a representative for the Bar, but aside from a significant role in preparing the Bar’s budget for their year as president really doesn’t have a significant policymaking role within the Bar – that is delegated to the Bar board both by statute and by State Bar rules. My first three-year term from 2008-2010 I was an elected representative for District 1, which covers 24 counties in northeast Texas. This past month I was nominated by the Computer & Technology Section as a candidate for one of the two section representative slots and was elected at the recent Council of Chairs meeting in Austin of Friday. This isn’t unusual – sections reps often return later as elected directors or vice versa. Again, this is a really great group to be able to work with, and I’m looking forward to the next three years.

They know when you’re sick and they care when you die

One of the quotes that’s stayed with many of us who saw Bill Moyers’ Emmy-award winning documentary “Marshall, Texas, Marshall, Texas” in 1984 was that Marshall was a place where they knew when you were sick and cared when you died. (The other was that Miss Selma Brotze was the Bear Bryant of senior English, and local sentiment was that he likely wasn’t that tough. I’m not joking – she wouldn’t give my mother an extension on a paper when she had an emergency appendectomy – and she was my grandparents’ next-door neighbor).

I was reminded of that last week when Louis Kariel’s family’s last stop after the funeral – after having lunch at Neely’s of course – was at the old shoe store to take a family photo at the old Hub that’s marked their family’s business since 1897, draped for the services with Louis’ portrait. We gave a lot of tours to visiting family during the week – they’d always heard of “the Hub”, but some had never been there before it closed in 2001 after a 104 year run. So we had more tourists on the sidewalk taking pictures during the week than you’d think.

As many readers know, our firm’s offices occupy the Hub, but we deliberately left the side that’s used by visiting lawyers with Hub memorabilia to tell the story of one of Marshall’s most prominent mercantile families and give visitors tours often. (We are offended if you don’t take a Hub coffee mug when you go). Last week we were very glad to be able to share that history with some of Louis’ family and friends, because, as Joe Goulden told Billy Don back in 1984 – we really do know when you’re sick and care when you die.

RIP Louis Weisman Kariel, Jr.

It’s a sad day in Marshall and especially at the Hub as we learned of the passing of Louis Kariel this morning. Louis’ great-uncle Mose Weisman opened the Hub shoe store which now serves as our firm’s law offices in 1897, and Louis followed his father Louis Sr. as owner through 2001.

Louis Jr. and Sr. outside the shoe store in the 1970s.

Audrey and Louis in the building during construction in 2010.

After selling me the building in 2009 Audrey and Louis Kariel were our biggest cheerleaders through the renovation, and stopped by often to see how the building was coming along, including as our guests of honor when the historical marker for the store was dedicated in 2012. Like his father and wife, who both served as mayors of Marshall, Louis was a leader in the Marshall business community, and will be greatly missed.