The TSALD has been a fundamental building block of my career for over three decades. The Digest is the home of my alter egos—the Law Dawg and ARD Man. I have been privileged to write for this publication, and eventually to edit it and then to own it. But the time has come for change, and so along with the cessation of the print edition, I have sold my ownership interest in Park Place Publications to good friend and longtime partner, Ted Siff. Ted will carry on the activities of Park Place and the Digest with professionalism and integrity. But as I sign off, let me offer a bit of history and a lot of thank yous.
Dr. Frank Kemerer, of the University of North Texas, started the Legal Digest. The first edition was published in November, 1984. The lead article was written by Joe B. Hairston, an attorney with the one-year old law firm of Doyal, Hairston and Walsh, P.C. That article was about student discipline in light of the recently enacted H.B. 72 and its provisions for “teacher removal.” We are still trying to figure that law out.
The Legal Developments section of the publication first appeared in the third issue. The very first case discussed was New Jersey v. T.L.O., the Supreme Court’s decision about search and seizure in the school setting.
In 1986 the Digest expanded to 10-issues per year, attorney Eric Schulze became the editor, I began contributing the Law Dawg column, and the Digest began hosting one day conferences.
Frank and Barbie Kemerer owned and operated the Legal Digest until 2005. After that, Ted Siff and I published and managed it. Every issue of the Legal Digest has been printed and mailed by the company now known as Eagle & Wheeler. Thanks to the Eagle & Wheeler team including Kraig Springer, Kathy Jackson, Cindy Blasko and Phaedra Strecher. Special thanks to Phaedra, now an independent contractor, who has been our longtime graphic designer and printing artiste par excellence.
We have had outstanding editors over the years: Eric Schulze set the tone of professionalism, accuracy and relevance. Laurie Maniotis, co-author of The Educator’s Guide to Texas School Law, served as editor or co-editor from 1992 to 2006. Jennifer Childress picked up that torch in 2001 and has continued to serve through this final edition. Along the way, shorter stints as editor were served by Jackie Lain, Paula Maddox Roalson, Stacy Tuer Castillo and Scott Stebler.
Lead articles in the publication have come from well respected lawyers representing many firms and organizations: David Thompson, Jeff Horner, Janet Horton, Cheryl Mehl, Paul Lyle, Lynn Rossi Scott, Jim Raup, Jay Brim, Merri Schneider-Vogel, Karen Johnson, Cobby Caputo, Wayne Haglund, Chris Gilbert, Dave Richards, Neal Adams, Kaye DeWalt, Kevin Lungwitz, Lisa Brown, David Backus, Paul Taylor, Sarah Orman and Tom Brandt. We got contributions from academia: Frank Kemerer, John Crain, Fred Hartmeister and Dr. David Thompson.
But most of all, we got support and contributions from my colleagues at the firm of Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green and Trevino, P.C.: Joe Hairston, Denise Anderson, Judy Brown, John Aldridge, Elena Gallegos, Chris Elizalde, Nan Seidenfeld Hundere, Dorcas Green, Oscar Trevino, Therold Farmer, Mark Goulet, Bridget Robinson, Sandra Carpenter, Bob Russo, Susan Graham, Denise Hays, Paula Maddox Roalson, JoAnn Wright, Marquette Maresh, Elvin Houston, George Grimes, Christine Badillo, Karla Schultz, Jan Watson, Laura Rodriguez McLean, Haley Turner, Robb Decker and Joey Moore.
For all of this I am most grateful. But I want to particularly thank three people. Joe Hairston invited me to be a part of this venture, and persuaded Frank Kemerer that a Q and A humor column might work. Frank gave me the opportunity to express myself through the Dawg and to speak at the conferences hosted by the Digest. And Ted Siff has been a steady partner and friend for the past ten years.
The operations of Park Place and the Digest will continue. It is only the print edition that comes to a close.
Finally, I hope you will continue to keep up with the Law Dawg at his new home: www.edlawdawg.com. This old Dawg has learned new tricks! He has at long last reluctantly entered the 21st Century, and is sending out Dawg Bones every day, digitally. Take a look! Few things in my career have given me more satisfaction than hearing one of you recount some story and then telling you: “That’s going into the Law Dawg!” So let’s stay in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org.