Joint Naturalization Ceremony in Texarkana

On September 27, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Texas and the Western District of Arkansas held what is believed to be the first joint naturalization ceremony, conducted on the front steps of the federal courthouse that sits on the state line dividing Arkansas and Texas in Texarkana.

Presiding were Judge Robert W. Schroeder III for the Eastern District of Texas, and Magistrate Judge Barry A. Bryant for the Western District of Arkansas. Approximately 60 individuals from 21 countries were naturalized as U.S. citizens at the event. took the oath of Allegiance which will finalize their path to citizenship. “Today’s the happiest thing we do in federal court,” Judge Bryant told the audience.

The program was presented by the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Texas and the Western District of Arkansas and the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

2019 EDTX Bench Bar – post 4

The panels have been coming fast and furious over the past couple of days, and culminated in the conference dinner at AT&T Stadium last night.

Attendees heard from agents that helped take down Columbia’s druglord Pablo Escobar, and then saw special presentations to federal law enforcement that have played important roles in stemming the flow of illegal drugs. The evening concluded with the traditional toast in honor of the Seventh Amendment.

Special Agent Richard Martinez was honored for a career of service.

Toasting the Seventh Amendment

2019 EDTX Bench Bar – post 2

Judge Gilstrap opened the 23rd EDTX bench bar conference by encouraging attendees to considering representing victims of domestic violence, and dedicated this year’s conference to Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Schell of Plano, a.k.a. The Godfather of the EDTX bench/bar, as he was chief judge when the conferences began. Conference chair Clyde Siebman reported a record 550 registered this year, including over 100 judges.