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Editor’s note: A new year brings with it a chance to start new things or renew past commitments. So what have law professors, judges and lawyers resolved to do in 2003? Texas Lawyer asked. What follows are some of their answers, edited for length and style: “I resolve to try not to bamboozle lawyers by referring to obscure works like the ‘Texas Rules of Civil Procedure’ or ‘Rules of Evidence,’ or obscure words like ‘professionalism’ or ‘common courtesy.’ “ — Judge Phillip Vick, 158th District Court, Denton County “I will try not to begin every analysis with a discussion of the rules as they existed before Enron.” — David Washburn, corporate and securities partner, Arter & Hadden, Dallas “I resolve to remember that my client’s problems are not my own and that my client has the right to make his own business decisions even if I disagree with them. Additionally, I resolve to adhere to my father’s maxim: ‘The harder it is, the quicker I need to do it,’ so that I can get those things I do not like to do done first each day so that they do not linger.” — Mark Shank, labor and employment partner, Hughes & Luce, Dallas “My new year’s resolution is to catch up with my 10-year-old son regarding the use of the computer in education. I hope to incorporate PowerPoint into all of my classroom instruction and speeches and to create Web pages for my courses. I may even explore electronic textbook options … “ — Sandra Guerra Thompson, professor, University of Houston Law Center “As both a zealous advocate and a mother of five, my goal for the new year is to focus less on what’s ‘fair’ and focus more on what’s ‘smart.’ That way, I will be sure to win more arguments both with opposing counsel and with my preteen children.” — Sally C. Helppie, shareholder, litigation section, Bell Nunnally & Martin, Dallas “I’m going to be vigilant and outspoken about what can happen to every American’s constitutional liberties if we don’t care about the U.S. Constitution and what that precious document guarantees and prohibits.” — Jim Barlow, partner, Barlow & Garsek, Fort Worth “My resolution is to timely respond to media inquiries with the customary and Solomon-like ‘no comment’ or ‘as you know, it would be improper for me to comment on this matter.’ “ — Judge Levi Benton, 215th District Court, Harris County “I resolve to let my clients know how much I like ‘em – — and to fire the rest.” — Kevin Thomason, partner, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, Dallas “My resolution is to assist other practitioners facing complex antitrust and other economic issues in business litigation. The courts have become increasingly sophisticated in these areas, and Daubert/Kumho challenges to expert testimony have become almost automatic.” — A. Michael Ferrill, shareholder, antitrust and trade regulation department, Cox & Smith, San Antonio “As our firm has continued to expand into a national presence, I think it’s important for us to remember that our roots are in Texas. Therefore, I will continue to make Texas a high priority for our firm by increasing my efforts to attract the best and most accomplished attorneys from across the state.” — Robert Strauss, senior executive partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Dallas

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