Executive Director's Perspective: Giving Thanks - By Joseph A. Martinez

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Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

We thank outgoing TCDLA President John Convery (San Antonio) for his service to the TCDLA membership over the last year. Thanks to his steadfast leadership, TCDLA is a better association. We wish him good verdicts and prosperity. David Moore (Longview) takes the helm of TCDLA as president on June 24, 2017, at the 46th Annual TCDLA Annual Meeting. We look forward to successfully managing the challenges under David’s leadership.

We thank the outgoing chair of the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project (CDLP), John Hunter Smith (Sherman), for his outstanding dedication and tireless efforts over the past year. We wish him well and good verdicts. Heather Barbieri (Plano) is the new chair. CDLP oversees the grants TCDLA receives from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Clay Steadman (Kerrville) is the new co-chair.

We thank Lance Evans (Fort Worth) for his leadership as chair of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Educational Institute (TCDLEI). He will remain Chair of TCDLEI.

Congratulations to the new TCDLA Hall of Fame inductees, Betty Blackwell (Austin), Gerry Morris (Austin), and Katherine Scardino (Houston). They are exceptional lawyers who have brought honor and distinction to the legal profession. They have continually shared their knowledge and resources with lawyers across Texas.

The 85th Texas Legislative session is sine die—at least the first one. Our legislative team will be providing summary reports to our members in the coming days and throughout the summer. Special thanks to Andrea Keilen, Allen Place, David Gonzales, and Shay Place for their efforts throughout the last five months. We also thank our Legislative Committee under the direction of William Harris (Fort Worth) and Vice Chair Susan Kelley (Waco). The legislative committee included Mark Daniel (Fort Worth) and Bobby Mims (Tyler).

Special thanks to our course directors for this year’s 30th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course to be held in San Antonio in June. They are Cynthia Orr (San Antonio), Audrey Moorehead (Dallas), Robert Lerma (Brownsville), and Frank Sellers (Fort Worth).

Please make plans to join us at next year’s 31st Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course on June 21–23, 2018.

Special thanks to the members who donated items for the silent auction held during Rusty Duncan.

Special thanks to Stan Schwieger (Waco) and John Hunter Smith (Sherman), our course directors for the CDLP Beating the Drum for Justice held in Waco in April. Thanks to their efforts we had 87 attendees.

Special thanks to Abner Burnett (Edinburg), our course director for CDLP Parole Event held in Edinburg in April. Thanks to his efforts, we had 33 attendees.

Special thanks to our course directors, Heather Barbieri (Plano) and Kelly Pace (Tyler), for the CDLP Beating the Drum for Justice held in Tyler in April. Thanks to their efforts we had 71 attendees.

Special thanks to Bobby Barrera, president of the San Antonio Bar Association (SABA), for allowing TCDLA/CDLP to co-sponsor the 54th Annual Criminal Law Institute held in San Antonio in April. This is the first organized CLE in criminal law in Texas. TCDLA is honored to be a part of this most prestigious event. The course directors were Mark Stevens, John Convery, and Robert Price, all of San Antonio.

Special thanks to the Course Planning Committee, Sarah Guidry, Zahra B. Whitfield, the Earl Carl Institute for Legal & Social Policy, Professor Ashraf Mozayani, the TSU School of Public Affairs Forensic Science Lab, and Assistant Dean Prudence Smith of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law (all from Houston), for the Earl Carl Institute’s 4th Annual Child Welfare Forensics Conference held at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston in April. CDLP/TCDLA was a co-sponsor. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we had 206 attendees.

Special thanks to our course directors, Dustin Nimz (Wichita Falls) and John Hunter Smith (Sherman), for the CDLP Beating the Drum for Justice held in Wichita Falls in April. Thanks to their efforts we had 32 attendees.

Special thanks to our course directors, Sorcha Landau (Houston) and Jani Maselli (Houston), for our CDLP Appellate CLE, co-sponsored with the Harris County Public Defenders Officer. Thanks to their efforts we had 124 attendees.

Special thanks to our course directors, Deandra Grant (Dallas), Lawrence Boyd (Dallas), and Courtney Stamper (Waxahachie), for our 10th Annual DWI Defense Project held at the Gray Wolf Lodge in Grapevine in May. Thanks to their efforts we had 129 attendees.

Please join us for the fun-filled activities on South Padre Island this summer. Bring the family.

July 12 Training the Trainers (for those who want to speak at a TCDLA/CDLP CLE)
July 13–14 Beating the Drum for Justice CLE
July 13 TCDLA Beach Barbecue
July 14 Louie’s Famous Seafood Buffet and Fireworks
July 15 TCDLA/CDLP/TCDLEI Orientation
July 15 Luau with the Moores
TCDLA currently has 3,106 members. It is the largest criminal defense lawyers association in the country. We ask our members to encourage other lawyers who practice criminal defense to join TCDLA.

Weren’t able to attend this year’s Rusty Duncan event? You can order the DVD and get CLE credit. Please go to our website for more information and to order.

Do you need CLE credit and can’t attend our seminar training? Please call the Home Office (512-478-2514) for a list of the DVDs and accompanying CLE credit.

Don’t have a local criminal defense bar in our area? Would you like to re-energize or jump-start your organization? Are you interested in forming a local criminal defense bar? Need help getting organized? Please contact Susan Anderson (Dallas), seapd@aol.com, Laurie Key (Lubbock), lauriekeylaw@gmail.com, or Carmen Roe (Houston), carmen@carmenroe.com, co-chairs of the TCDLA Affiliate Committee.

Good verdicts to all.