The following story ran in the June 18, 2012, edition of the Tyler Telegraph.
June 22, 2012
By Dayna Worchel
Ask most judges who preside over the state and federal courts in Tyler if they own a gavel, and all say they do.
But ask them if they actually use the little wooden mallets judges on television or in movies use to calm an unruly courtroom, and their response is "no."
An informal survey of Smith County and East Texas' federal judges this past week revealed that many of them have received gavels as gifts from family members and friends, but most say they rarely, if ever, use them in their courtrooms....
Not using a gavel during courtroom proceedings seems to be a trend with many of the judges nationwide, according to information received from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University....