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Seventh Annual Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal CLE and Expo

March 2015


Beck, Beyer & Johnston

Pictured [left to right]: Jesse Beck, Professor Gerry Beyer, and Evan Johnston.

Texas Tech Law’s Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal hosted its 2015 CLE and Expo on March 6 featuring presentations by leading Texas practitioners, nationally-recognized professors, and EPJ student editors.

Catherine H. Goodman, partner in the Fort Worth office of Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP, delivered the first lecture on guardianship remedies. EPJ Faculty Advisor Gerry W. Beyer, a nationally renowned estate-planning expert whose Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof. Blog has been named to the ABA Journal’s “Blawg 100” for the past five years, then updated the audience with recent judicial developments. He was followed by Craig Hopper, partner in Austin-based Hopper Mikeska, PLLC, who provided a legislative update on Texas estate and trust issues. Jeffrey N. Myers, a Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. shareholder, discussed estate planning and income-tax planning with mineral interests. After lunch, Jim Hartnett, Jr., partner in The Hartnett Law Firm in Dallas, discussed representation of fiduciaries who have breached their duties. Because a scheduled speaker’s flight was canceled, Beyer returned to the stage and presented a topic selected by the attendees, “What Every Estate Planner Needs to Know About Firearms.”

The program concluded with 2012 Distinguished Probate Attorney Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Edward V. Smith, III who debated whether professionalism is dead or “just on life support” and New York Law School Professor William P. LaPiana who weighed in on same-sex estate planning in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

“The distinguished speakers at the 2015 seminar are experts in their respective fields and positive feedback proves that all sessions provided valuable, cutting-edge insight into various aspects of estate planning,” said Beyer. “Jesse Beck, Evan Johnston, and other EPJ members organized the seminar, which was a stellar success as in past years. The students’ professionalism and hard work should be recognized and commended.”

2L Ashley Snell

Ashley Snell presents during the seventh annual EPJ CLE and Expo.

Several EPJ members presented on a range of topics. Recently elected Editor in Chief Ashley Snell (’16) explained why a new IRA rule would be destructive to taxable income and inherited IRAs. Aubrey Noonan (’16), the new executive comment editor, explored whether digital assets such as Bitcoin are reliable. Business Manager Jonathan Strom (’15) walked participants through the process of creating trusts for student-athletes, and Executive Comment Editor Crystal Rose (’15) closed the CLE with a presentation entitled, “Decanting Without Wine—The Trust Way.”

“This year’s CLE and Expo was a huge success with approximately 100 registrants,” said outgoing EPJ Editor in Chief Evan Johnston (’15). “Attendees were very impressed with the range of topics presented and the sheer magnitude of the event now in its seventh year. Like the journal itself, our CLE has grown into a major estate planning resource in Texas and nationwide, and we are extremely proud of that.”

Participants received 6.75 Texas CLE and CPE hours, including 1.25 ethics hours, and a one-year subscription to the Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal.

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