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September 17, 2014
Bickerstaff named a Champion of Justice Law Firm
The Texas Access to Justice recognized Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta among firm with the Highest Percentage of Participation for this year's Access of Justice fundraising campaign. Each year law firms throughout Texas contribute to the Access to Justice Campaign resulting in millions of dollars of contributions to Texas Legal Aid. Bickerstaff is proud to support the efforts of the Texas Access to Justice Commission to provide access to justice for low-income Texans.

With the support of the State Bar of Texas and civil legal services providers, the Texas Supreme Court created the Texas Access to Justice Commission to address the wide disparity in opportunities for low-income individuals to gain access to justice. Nearly six million people qualify for civil legal aid in Texas, but due to a lack of resources only 20-25% of their legal needs can be met. Civil legal aid helps with those critical legal issues such as:

- Spouses and children of domestic abuse
- Elderly citizens who have been denied life sustaining prescriptions
- Veterans who are not able to receive critical medical benefits, and
- Families whose homes are facing wrongful foreclosure.

The Commission is comprised of members from the legal, educational, public service and non-profit sectors. The Commission organizes its initiatives and projects through committees and task forces, which explore ways to improve access to civil justice for low-income Texans.

June 4, 2014
Catherine Than Elected President Elect of National Conference of Vietnamese American Attorneys
Partner Catherine Than was recently elected to the position of President Elect of the National Conference of Vietnamese American Attorneys (NCVAA), which holds its annual conference June 27-28 in Orlando, Florida. Catherine has been associated with the NCVAA for several years and has served on the Board of Governors and as the National Conference Co-Chair previously. In addition to serving on the Executive Board, Catherine is once again serving on the group's Conference Committee.

Catherine is a seasoned business attorney who represents companies in commercial disputes. She advises businesses regarding contract negotiations and contract disputes and prosecutes and defends claims of tortuous interference with contract, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud. Her clients include small and large corporations in a variety of industries, including banking, financial, accounting, mortgage brokering, manufacturing, healthcare, distributorships, construction, oil and gas, and insurance. Catherine is often called upon to act as a virtual general counsel to advise on a full range of business issues and also helps new and existing business owners regarding business formation and corporate organization.

NCVAA is the first ever national Vietnamese bar association and has been hosting annual conferences throughout the nation since 2006. Initially envisioned as an annual conference event, the NCVAA made the leap to permanent national organization status by incorporating as a bar association in 2010. The NCVAA is dedicated to the support and network building of Vietnamese American attorneys nationwide.

April 28, 2014
New Edition of the Public Finance Handbook for Texas Counties Available Now
The new edition of the Public Finance Handbook for Texas Counties, prepared by Tom Pollan and published by the Texas Association of Counties (TAC), has been posted on the TAC site, a link to which is included under "Details" at the bottom of this article. The Handbook is designed to explain the bond issuance process, especially for counties that do not issue bonds on a frequent basis. Among other topics, it addresses the ways in which a county can finance projects, the roles of the financial advisor and bond counsel, the documents used in a county bond issue, bond elections, and public finance for economic development.

A partner at Bickerstaff Heath, Mr. Pollan has represented numerous counties, cities and special districts throughout Texas in the issuance of general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, certificates of obligation and tax notes. He is a frequent speaker at public finance seminars and training programs, including those sponsored by the Texas Association of Counties, the V.G. Young Institute, and the Texas Leadership Institute. In addition to serving as bond counsel, underwriter's counsel and issuer's counsel, he also has successfully tried several bond validation lawsuits.

Mr. Pollan is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and is listed in the Bond Buyer's Municipal Marketplace (the "Red Book"). He serves as bond counsel, underwriter's counsel and special counsel in connection with local government financings and has personally served as bond counsel to over fifty Texas counties. Prior to joining Bickerstaff Heath, he was Chief of the Insurance, Banking and Securities Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.

The depth of Mr. Pollan's experience is ably demonstrated by the introductory remarks written by TAC General Counsel Karen Gladney in the Handbook's latest edition:

"Tom Pollan is an Austin attorney in private practice who has served as a willing and able external resource for the Legal Department of the Texas Association of Counties for many years. In fact he provided much of the early organizational guidance for the Association before there was a staff legal department at TAC. The Association will always be in his debt for the counsel he has provided through the years. The user of this publication will easily perceive Pollan's gift for insightful and practical guidance through a maze of a very technical field of law and practice. We believe that this publication is unique and will become an essential tool for county officials."

A copy of the Handbook also appears in the "Publications" area of this site.

April 24, 2014
Attorney Gunnar P. Seaquist Joins BHDA as an Associate
Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP is pleased to announce that attorney Gunnar P. Seaquist has joined our practice as an associate in our Austin office.

Mr. Seaquist focuses his practice in the areas of litigation, employment, and public law. Before joining Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta, he served for over five years as an Assistant Attorney General in both the General Litigation and Tax divisions of the Texas Attorney General's office. Mr. Seaquist has extensive litigation and appellate experience, having tried cases to both judges and juries and handled matters before state and federal appellate courts. His experience includes state and federal employment litigation, civil rights actions, constitutional claims, tort actions and the defense of legislative enactments.

For more information on Gunnar P. Seaquist and his practice, please see the Attorneys section of our site.

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