GCBA November 2015 Newsletter

President’s Message - A Time For Reflection, Thanks and Grace

The holiday season is upon us and with it comes the time we should be giving thanks for the good things in our lives.  Following a resolution of Congress, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the 26th of November 1789 a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer.”

As I reflect on all the blessings in my life — family, friends, health and so many others — I am mindful that so many of these blessings come from the rights, privileges and opportunities we have as citizens of the United States.  As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I urge each of you to take note of the many ways in which our fellow Galveston County Bar Association members serve our communities every day.

Prosecutors, public defenders and criminal defense lawyers help protect our society from individuals who commit crimes while at the same time helping protect individuals from unjust application of our criminal laws.  Lawyers represent individuals and businesses in resolving civil disputes.  Lawyers also provide advice to assist people in their business and personal matters, and many other areas.

As we were reminded by Andrew Lehmann during our October meeting, lawyers also serve our country.  Lawyers serve in the military and provide representation and advice for those who defend our country. Lawyers serve in the US attorney’s office, representing our nation in domestic and foreign matters.  Lawyers serve as our judges, making up and administering the judicial branch of our government.  For all of the many roles that lawyers serve, which strengthen our society, we should all be thankful.

Next week, as we travel to visit family and friends, let us show appreciation of our blessings and many gifts in life.  Wishing you all a happy and prosperous holiday season!

Kelly M. Haas
Galveston County Bar Association
November Meeting

Please join us Thursday, November 19th, at the San Luis Resort as we welcome Kimberly A. Stone, JD/LCCA/LCPAA - Corporate Counsel for The Children’s Center, Inc. as our guest speaker.

Kimberly Stone will discuss the rules and policies regarding pro bono activities, as well as The Children’s Center’s programs and the types of legal services they need. The Children’s Center, Inc., is a private non-profit organization created in the 1980s through a merger of three child welfare agencies rooted in the Galveston community since 1878. The CLE presentation includes 0.75 hours of ethics credit. 

Please be sure to RSVP to the lunch meetings and include your correct Texas Bar Number so that we can give you credit for attending meetings.  If you attend without registering online, you will need to self-report on your own "My Bar Page" section of TexasBar.com.

Please remember that the GCBA guarantees payment for a minimum number of lunches depending on the responses. If you can no longer attend the event, please send a short notice to [email protected]

Non-member guests can attend for $25, payable at the event.

Tribute to Ervin August Apffel, Jr .
– Former President of the GCBA

Ervin August Apffel, Jr. passed into eternal life on the 11th of November 2015, in the loving presence of his family. He died the way he lived, embraced and surrounded by those he loved. He lived a full, rich and wonderfully productive life. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and uncle.

Erv was born in Galveston, Texas on the 9th of August 1929 to Ervin A. “Dutch” Apffel, Sr. and Angelina Coselli Apffel. Erv was a scholar-athlete at Kirwin High School in Galveston and graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin with a B.S. degree in 1951. He proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 with the 187th Field Artillery Observation Battalion and was stationed at Ft. Sill and Ft. Sam Houston.

After his honorable discharge from the service Erv returned home where he met and married the love of his life, Christine Matthews. Chris was a beautiful young nursing student at UTMB. Erv affectionately referred to her as “Chicken.” They embarked upon a 60 year love affair and were blessed with 6 loving children, 13 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. “Dad” changed to “Paw Paw” when the grandchildren arrived. They always looked forward to spending time with Paw Paw and loved him with their whole heart and soul. He adored them as well.

After their marriage, Erv and Chris made their new home in San Antonio where Erv attended St. Mary’s Law School under the G.I. Bill. While in law school, Erv was a part-time football coach at Texas Military Institute. He completed law school in just 27 months, graduating and passing the State Bar Exam in 1957. He and Chris returned to Galveston where Erv began his career as an assistant district attorney under the late Jules Damiani. After 4 years he left the DA’s Office and became an Assistant City Attorney, City Attorney and Acting City Manager for Galveston.

Erv next joined the law firm of McLeod, Mills, Shirley & Alexander. In 1964 he became a founding partner in the firm of McLeod, Alexander, Powel & Apffel (MAPA) from which he retired in 2009 at the age of 80. Throughout his long and distinguished legal career he was universally regarded as an outstanding trial lawyer in both State and Federal Court. He was referred to by many members of the Bar as a “legendary trial lawyer” with few equals among his peers. In trial Erv enjoyed the reputation of always being well prepared and fearless in the pursuit of justice for his client. His discipline, iron will, intelligence, organizational skills and ability to quickly absorb great amounts of information allowed him to successfully handle hundreds of cases at the same time. Erv was singled out by In Between Magazine as one of the 10 most powerful people in Galveston and the top trial attorney in Galveston County.

Erv was a devout Roman Catholic and a life-long member of St. Patrick Church. His passions in life were fishing and hunting and he was proud of the game management plan he put in place for the last 30 years at his ranch in South Texas. His “EA Ranch” was known to produce some of the finest white-tailed bucks in all of South Texas. He was an avid duck hunter as well and a former member of Port Bay Hunting Club in Rockport. He spent many happy hours with family and friends fishing on Galveston Bay and hunting deer, dove, quail and turkey in South Texas and ducks in Rockport. Erv also loved to entertain those he loved at his home on Crash Boat Basin in Galveston. Weekends and holidays were filled with fishing, crabbing, boating, skiing, tubing, swimming, sunbathing and enjoying great food. Everyone looked forward to the tasty barbeque he prepared on these occasions. New generations of family have tried hard to replicate Erv’s barbeque but with only limited success.

Erv was a member of the State Bar of Texas, Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Texas Bar Foundation, American Board of Trial Advocates, Charter Fellow of the Foundation of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Erv served as president of the Galveston County Bar Association and was very proud when, years later, his sons Trey and Darrell served as presidents of that Association as well. He was licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, all Texas Courts, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Erv served on the Board of Directors of Bankers Savings & Loan Association and as president of the O’Connell High School PTA where all 6 of his children graduated. He loved coaching his boys’ Little League baseball teams and spending time with his girls while supporting them in their cheerleading, drill team performances and dance recitals.

Above all, Erv was a man who always put his family first. He was constantly showing his love for them and encouraging them to do their best. He emphasized the importance of education, love of God, country and family. He taught character, courage and integrity to family, friends and countless young lawyers he mentored by the way he lived his life. He was truly a great American.

Erv was preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law and mother-in-law L.C. “Slim” and Willie “Maw” Matthews, his sisters-in-law Faye Clapsaddle and Mary Logsdon as well as his brother-in-law Lowell Charles Matthews, Jr.

Our beloved Paw Paw is survived by his loving wife, Christine; his six children: Jeannie Guarino and husband Mike, Ervin A. “Trey” Apffel, III and wife Karen, Pat Whittington and husband Miles; Pam Del Papa, Darrell Apffel and wife Pam and Christi Landry and husband Andy; his thirteen grandchildren: Sarah Apffel Cegelski and husband Jeff, Kelley Guarino Caballero and husband Buster, Katherine “Kate” Apffel and her fiancé Trey Boyd, Ross Apffel and wife Jennifer, Blake Apffel and wife Tara, Caylin Del Papa, Kaleb Apffel and his fiancé Callie duPerier, Lawrence J. “LJ” Del Papa, III, Moore Whittington, Mary Alex Apffel, Marlee Whittington, Kirby Jane Landry and Andre “Boots” Landry, IV; great grand-children: Phillip “Pip” Caballero, Sutton Apffel and August “Gus” Caballero. Other relatives include his brother R.A. Apffel and wife Selena as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank Dr. James Goodwin, Dr. Clement Defelice and the emergency room doctors at UTMB for the wonderful care and attention they and their staff provided. A special thanks also to his caregivers who provided such kind and loving care. He affectionately called them his “sweeties.” They include Rose Brown, Anna Boyd, Tomasa Crear, Sadie Castano, Shirley Julian, Roshanda Coleman, Tara Walker as well as physical therapist John Soloman.

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with family from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1010 35th Street in Galveston. The recitation of the Holy Rosary will commence immediately after visitation, with Deacon Doug Matthews officiating.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated by Father E.J. Stein, O.F.M. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1010 35th St. in Galveston on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 10 a.m. The interment will follow, via an escorted cortege, at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 2506 65th St. in Galveston.

Serving as pallbearers will be Erv’s grandchildren. Honorary Pallbearers include Ross Novelli, Sr., Bob Ford, Bob Shattuck, Sonny Knust, Clarence Cantini, Judge Peter Urbani, Eddie Janek, Randy Lee, John Parsley, Paul Anthony, Mike Gremillion, Sean Welsh, Tommy Stunson, Tony Mendoza and the lawyers at McLeod, Alexander, Powel and Apffel.

The family requests that donations be made in Erv’s memory to O’Connell College Preparatory, 1320 Tremont, Galveston, TX 77550; Galveston Island Meals on Wheels, 2803 53rd Street, Galveston, TX 77551, Ronald McDonald House of Galveston, 301 14th Street, Galveston, TX 77550 or to a charity of choice.

Annual Holiday Party

The GCBA Annual Holiday Party will be on Thursday, December 3rd from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Viewfinder’s Room at the Moody Gardens Hotel.  This casual after work party is a great way to celebrate the holiday season with your friends and colleagues.  The fantastic venue provides great views of the Moody Garden’s Annual Festival of Lights while listening to live holiday music.  Best of all, the party is free for members and one guest. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages will be served.

On the night of the party the GCBA will host a toy drive to benefit the Galveston County Toys for Tots, so please bring a new unwrapped toy or gift card to donate to children in need this holiday season.  Or if you would like to make a monetary donation to the group, you can do so on their website:  http://www.galveston-tx.toysfortots.org/default.aspx

We hope to see you there!

Galveston County Young Lawyers Are Currently Accepting Donations for Their Silent Auction Scholarship Fundraiser

The Galveston County Young Lawyers Section is extremely pleased to announce its annual silent auction to raise scholarship funds for Galveston County high school seniors. The auction will take place at the Galveston County Bar Association’s Annual Holiday Party, which will be held in the Viewfinders Terrace at the Moody Gardens Hotel on Thursday, December 3, 2015.

All donors to the silent auction will be recognized at the event through signage and with other types of acknowledgements. Donors are also invited to display business cards or brochures at the event. Further, all donations are tax deductible contributions, and a tax donation letter will be provided to each donor. 

Please consider one of the following ways to help make this auction a sensational event! Some popular donations from past years include gift baskets, dinner for two, three-day/two-night hotel stays, merchandise from retailers, gift certificates from service providers, or admissions tickets to entertainment and sporting events. Cash donations are also welcome and should be made payable to the Galveston County Bar Foundation with the notation GCYLS Fundraiser in the memo section.  Please note that the deadline for receipt of donations to be included in this year’s auction is Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

If you are able to make a donation, have suggestions on potential donors or would like more information on the silent auction, please contact President, Laura Hughes or President-Elect, Joe Cavanagh.

The Young Lawyers Section of the Galveston County Bar Association is proud to be involved in such an effort and to be of service to the community where we live and work. Thank you for your consideration of joining us in this endeavor and donating to our silent auction.

Special Rate at Moody Gardens for Night of Holiday Party
Moody Gardens Hotel is offering a room rate of $129 to all Galveston County Bar Association members on the night of the Holiday Party, Thursday, December 3.

Please call the hotel’s reservation desk directly at (409) 741-8484 to book a room and let them know that you are a member of the GCBA to get this special rate.  
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