Executive Officer’s Perspective: When I Met the Honorable Frank Maloney

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“Unexpected Friendship: We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.”

—Unknown

Since the day I stared with TCDLA I have learned so much about the history of TCDLA. I remember the first year I started I had the opportunity to sit with Judge Frank Maloney, the first President of TCDLA, to work on a PowerPoint project. We spent hours together over a period of a week. During that week, he told me so many stories about criminal defense and its checkered history that have stuck with me to this day. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to sit and listen to the stories of many of our gentle giants, who gracefully and humbly shared with me their struggles and successes in the fight for criminal defense.

As time went on, I kept in contact with Judge Maloney; he attended board meetings, shared his institutional knowledge and the history of the Organization. Often, we want to move forward and try something new, leave a legacy; we don’t take the time to appreciate the past or those that helped us get to where we are now. However, Judge Maloney made me realize that I needed to take the time appreciate the history of TCDLA. One time he came to the office with a box of the minutes from the first couple of years’ meetings and photos. I was overwhelmed with nostalgia as I looked through the memories of our gentle giants who started this Organization, one of the largest criminal state organizations in the country. Sadly, despite our continued interactions, once COVID came, Judge Maloney wasn’t able to come around as much. He kept in contact and he’d let me know, in his charming way, that he wanted to attend meetings but didn’t feel safe. Thankfully Facebook kept us connected, and I was glad to see him in posts with his family over the last few years. Like many of the giants that I have come to know in my work here, Judge Maloney will be missed, and I thank him for always staying engaged with me and TCDLA. I recently attended the NACDL Past President dinner, where Judge Maloney was honored as a recently fallen past president. It made me so proud that one of our own TCDLA Presidents, along with the other Texas Past Presidents, were held in such high regard.

Many of those giants are not with us today, but who can forget their contributions; Kelly Pace’s smile and energetic pep talks bright and early; Scrappy Holmes’ late‑night stories; and I’ll always cherish Weldon Holcomb coming into the office, signing a book, and explaining to me what it was like to be a defense attorney decades ago. To this day we have Weldon’s first gavel memorialized in a shadow box hanging in the office. Similarly, many other pictures of the charter members who first met in Dallas in 1971 to found TCDLA grace the TCDLA home office, if you ever have the opportunity to come and visit.

To honor our leaders, we also began taking an annual Presidents’ picture at Rusty, which we hang in the office to celebrate anew those who sacrificed not just one year but six to work on the officer chain. These now join the more than 50 presidents adorning our wall. Each day I walk by and look at these people, some I’ve gotten to know very well as they helped me grow professionally and mentoring me over the years. The institutional knowledge of our past Presidents and Board members helps us all in so many ways that one can only understand when you yourself serve as an active leader in the association.

Once a small organization of some 60 attorneys, today we number close to 3,800, training more than 5,000 attorneys each year. With our grants, we continue to expand our out‑ reach to develop experienced criminal defense lawyers. Our efforts in the legislature have also grown, assuming more importance every year. But the continued success of our association comes from relying not only on our leaders but also on our members—who contribute by serving on a committee, writing a Voice article, testifying about legislation, helping a listserv colleague, giving a referral, or assisting with all the tools at their disposal at seminars.

In my years witnessing the growth of our organization, I myself have been given so many opportunities, been exposed to truths I would never have otherwise experienced—such as understanding what actual innocence means and what it means to represent somebody who needs a fair defense. Most of all, I’ve been given a chance to be part of the friendship bond. I have made some truly amazing friends in this organization.

When I looked at the video put together of all of our pictures collected over the last 50 years, I was struck by the heartfelt camaraderie: it was simply overwhelming. I am so proud to be part of an organization with people who not only care about one another but who will also fight alongside each other. The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association is a singular organization, one we all should be proud to belong to. I look forward to celebrating another decade—no! 50 years!—and making it to the centennial celebration. Cheers to all our members and criminal defense attorneys who are part of the Organization’s past, present, and future.

Editor’s Comment: September 2022

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Fair warning, the columns you read in this month’s edition of The Voice can induce mixed emotions. On the one hand, the memories of one of our founding members should remind each of us of all that is good in our profession and how we should all carry ourselves in the practice of law. On the other hand, we are always saddened by the loss of one of the heroes of criminal defense. I am personally saddened that I never had the chance to meet and speak with Judge Maloney. Judging from the outpouring of memories, it is my loss. But, this is a reminder for me that I need to cherish the time I have with all of my heroes. Some of you know me well enough to know who my personal heroes are, but we all need to remember that each of our heroes won’t be here one day. I will echo Heather’s words that we often wait too long to tell them what they mean to us and how they have helped us become the lawyers we are today. I know we’re all busy and finding time in a hectic day to say “thank you” or “I love you” or “I owe a piece of my success to you” can fall to the bottom of the to‑do list. Don’t let it. I challenge each of you to find a few minutes in the next month to reach out to your hero, tell them how you feel, and ask them about their own story. I promise you’ll be happy that you did.

When I was a high school kid, I had the wherewithal to ask my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother about their stories. They were two of my favorite people in the world, and I realized I had never asked either of them about their lives. Granted, neither were lawyers, but I assure you the lesson remains. I am forever grateful that I took that time when lord knows I didn’t have the brain matter to think past my next baseball or football practice. In both cases, two of my heroes spoke with me like they had never before and told me, in vivid detail, the good and bad of a life long gone. I could picture marching into Paris in World War II with my Grandpa and what that must have felt like. I could also feel the misery my Grandma and her family endured of living on a ranch in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and doing everything possible to keep that land. In both instances, I saw my personal heroes shed tears, something I had never seen before. I got to see people who were larger than life in a way that was both more human and yet even larger than before. I wouldn’t trade those two conversations for anything in the world, especially because they both passed within a few years of those conversations and that was probably the last time anyone took the time to hear their stories. None of this is to say that I’ve perfected the art of talking to my heroes and letting them know how I feel. I’m just telling you it’s worth the time. Hell, as I write this and think about those conversations, I am simultaneously smiling and tearing up, but I know that they both got as much out of those conversations as I did.

Be safe.

Ethics and the Law: Lawyers Who Seek Judicial Office: A Re-Examination of the Rules

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“I hate to hear people say this Judge will vote so and so, because he is a Democrat—and this one so and so because he is a Republican. It is shameful. The Judges have the Constitution for their guidance; they have no right to any politics save the politics of rigid right and justice when they are sitting in judgment upon the great matters that come before them.”

—Mark Twain

In light of recent controversial blockbuster rulings by the United States Supreme Court and in anticipation of upcoming Texas judicial elections, now seems a good time to re‑examine certain rules which apply to lawyers who seek judicial office.

The relevant rules are:

Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 8.02

    • A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless dis‑ regard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory official or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.
    • A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.
    • A lawyer who is a candidate for an elective public office shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Texas Election Code.

Comment:

    1. Assessments by lawyers are relied on in evaluating the professional or personal fitness of persons being considered for election or appointment to judicial office and to public legal offices, such as attorney 113 general, prosecuting attorney and public defender. Expressing honest and candid opinions on such matters contributes to improving the administration of justice. Conversely, false statements by a lawyer can unfairly undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.
    2. When a lawyer seeks judicial or other elective public office, the lawyer should be bound by applicable limitations on political activity.
    3. To maintain the fair and independent ad‑ ministration of justice, lawyers are encouraged to continue traditional efforts to defend judges and courts unjustly criticized.

Texas Code of Judicial Conduct Canon 5:

Refraining from Inappropriate Political Activity

    • A judge or judicial candidate shall not:
      • make pledges or promises of conduct in office regarding pending or impending cases, specific classes of cases, specific classes of litigants, or specific propositions of law that would suggest to a reasonable person that the judge is predisposed to a probable decision in cases within the scope of the pledge;
      • knowingly or recklessly misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position, or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent; or
      • make a statement that would violate Canon 3B(10).
    • A judge or judicial candidate shall not authorize the public use of his or her name endorsing another candidate for any public office, except that either may indicate support for a political party. A judge or judicial candidate may attend political events and express his or her views on political matters in accord with this Canon and Canon 3B(10).
    • A judge shall resign from judicial office upon becoming a candidate in a contested election for a non‑judicial office either in a primary or in a general or in a special election. A judge may continue to hold judicial office while being a candidate for election to or serving as a dele‑ gate in a state constitutional convention or while being a candidate for election to any judicial office.
    • A judge or judicial candidate subject to the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act, Tex. Elec. Code §253.151, et seq. (the “Act”), shall not knowingly commit an act for which he or she knows the Act imposes a penalty. Contributions returned in accordance with Sections 155(e), 253.157(b) or 253.160(b) of the Act are not a violation of this paragraph.

COMMENT

A statement made during a campaign for judicial office, whether or not prohibited by this Canon, may cause a judge’s impartiality to be reasonably questioned in the context of a particular case and may result in recusal. Consistent with section 253.1612 of the Texas Election Code, the Code of Judicial Conduct does not prohibit a joint campaign activity conducted by two or more judicial candidates.

Other than the rules stated, there is relatively little interpretive guidance on the subject, as precedent construing the ethics rules is scant.

A judge who violates Canon 5 or other pro‑ visions of the Code of Judicial Conduct is subject to discipline by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. A lawyer running for judicial office who violates Canon 5 or other relevant provisions of the judicial code is subject to discipline by the State Bar of Texas.

Other “relevant provisions” include portions of Canon 2, which state:

  1. A judge shall comply with the law and should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
  2. A judge shall not lend the prestige of ju‑ dicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others.

A judge or judicial candidate must also comply with statutory provisions regulating fund raising and other matters contained in the Texas Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.

Candidates Shall Be Honest

Judges and lawyers running for judicial office “shall not . . . engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation”. Texas Disciplinary Rules of

Professional Conduct 8.04(a)(3).

And, as noted above, Canon 5(1)(ii) of the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits a judge or judicial candidate from knowingly or recklessly misrepresenting “the identity, qualifications, present position, or other fact con‑ cerning the candidate or an opponent.”

Thus, for example, a former judge cannot imply in political ads that he is a current judge. And, a judge who seeks reelection and is defeated cannot produce campaign materials to “reelect” or “keep” the candidate in a subsequent race against an incumbent on another court.

Judicial Candidates are Prohibited from Campaigning for Others

A judge or judicial candidate is prohibited from lending support for other campaigns. Canon 5(2) prohibits a judge from authorizing “the public use of his or her name endorsing another candidate,” and Canon 2(B) prohibits a judge from lending the prestige of judicial office to the advancement of private interests.

Thus, verbally recommending another candidate or otherwise supporting another candidate is unethical. Political contributions are risky as well. A contribution is appropriate only “when the judge is satisfied that neither the contribution nor the public record thereof will receive public attention before the election.” 166. Comm. on Jud. Ethics, State Bar of Tex., Op. 145 (1992), reprinted in 65 TEX. JUD. COUNCIL & OFF. CT. ADMIN. TEX.

JUD. SYS. ANN. REP. 126 (1993). Yard signs and bumper stickers are prohibited by the Rules and Canons.

My trophy wife Paula Lanehart served on the bench for more than 20 years. She reminded me constantly that I, as the spouse of an elected judge, should never publicly support or oppose a political candidate for office. The ethical rules are not clear on this issue. (The lawyer spouse of a current United States Supreme Court Justice is in the spotlight for her political activism.) Nevertheless, I held my tongue and avoided political donations for more than two decades, but I have publicly and loudly made up for my silence since Paula’s retirement.

Conclusion

Most of us will never seek judicial office, and when we do, we usually lose. After all, voters and politicians with the power of appointment view criminal defense lawyers as only a bit higher on the political food chain than our clients.

However, we as criminal defense lawyers are often confronted with unethical judicial candidates who promise to tow a particular law‑and‑order‑themed party line or platform. We stand by our clients as they face bad judges who skirt ethical rules and make decisions based solely on their perception of political expediency. The resulting unethical political abyss poisons our justice system locally, regionally and nationally.

We must all remember Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 8.03(a)‑(b). When we are made aware of a breach of ethics by a lawyer or a judge, we are required to report the breach to the appropriate agency, the State Bar of Texas and/or the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Unethical conduct on behalf of another attorney must be reported to the State Bar. If you suspect a judge or candidate for judicial office of violating ethical rules, you must mail a completed, signed, and sworn complaint form to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The complaint form is available on the Commission’s website and can also be requested by email or phone.

I am reminded of one such breach of ethics many years ago in Lubbock County. A prosecutor known by criminal defense lawyers as unethical ran for a County Court‑at‑Law bench. Her opponent was a Lubbock County Associate Judge. The prosecutor claimed her opponent was not a judge but “only a mediator.” Her opponent filed a grievance, and the prosecutor was given a public reprimand by the 72nd District Court of Lubbock and required to pay $5,000 in attorney’s fees. Comm’n for Law. Discipline v. Susan J. Scolaro, Cause No. 99‑505,705.

Nevertheless, before her opponent’s grievance was adjudicated, the prosecutor won the election, but she was soon removed from office. The court found she failed to satisfy the statutory qualifications to be a judge and lied about it. Scolaro v. State ex. rel Jones, 1 S.W.3d 749 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 1999, no pet.). Her removal came primarily through the efforts of members of the Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Those who spearheaded the effort to remove the unethical judge were publicly skewered by the clueless Lubbock media and ultra‑conservative local citizenry. The judicial post she held is now occupied by a former member of the Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Karma is a thing.

“Always do right; this will gratify some people and amaze the rest.”

—Mark Twain

Federal Corner: Implications of Bruen for Criminal Defense Practitioners

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If you think that constitutional defenses to firearm possession crimes are definitively settled against your client, think again. The Supreme Court changed the game with its recent opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022), making Fifth Circuit precedent upholding the constitutionality of firearm regulations ripe for re‑examination. And yes, I’m even talking about 18 U.S.C. § 922.

In Bruen, the Court struck down New York’s licensing regime for the public carry of firearms, which required an applicant to demonstrate a “special need for self‑defense,” as violative of the Second Amendment. 142 Ct. at 2122. But the Court’s reasoning implicates far more than New York’s licensing scheme.

First and most importantly, the Court jettisoned “means‑end scrutiny in the Second Amendment context.” Id. at 2127. “[W]hen the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct.” Id. at 2126. “To justify its regulation, the government may not simply posit that the regulation promotes an important interest.” Id. “Rather, the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” Id. Otherwise, “the Second Amendment’s ‘unqualified command’” controls. Id. (quoting Konigsberg v. State Bar of California, 366 U.S. 36, 49 n.10 (1961)). In so holding, Bruen directly abrogated the Fifth Circuit’s analytical framework for Second Amendment challenges, which had endorsed this precise method of means‑end scrutiny. See Nat’l Rifle Ass’n of Am., Inc. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, 700 F.3d 185, 195–98 (5th Cir. 2012). Consequently, Bruen also calls into question numerous precedents and other opinions such as:

  • United States McGinnis, 956 F.3d 747, 756 (5th Cir. 2020) (“We need not and do not resolve” whether “the conduct burdened by § 922(g)(8) falls within the Second Amendment right” be‑ cause “§ 922(g)(8) is reasonably adapted” to the government’s interest in “reducing domestic gun abuse”); Mance v. Sessions, 896 F.3d 699, 701–04 (5th Cir. 2018) (even if 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(a)(3) & (b)(3), which prohibit the interstate transfer of handguns, “are not longstanding regulatory measures and are not presumptively lawful regulatory measures,” they are nonetheless constitutional because they “withstand strict scrutiny”);
  • Bezet United States, 714 F. App’x 336, 341 (5th Cir. 2017) (regardless of whether “a desire to obtain weapons that are part of the ordinary military equipment” “sweeps in firearms that are protected by the Second Amendment,” 18 U.S.C. § 922(l) & (r) are constitutional because “they do not substantially burden the core Second Amendment guarantee of acquiring firearms to protect one’s hearth and home,” “trigger only intermediate scrutiny,” and are a “reasonable fit” for achieving “important government objectives, such as cutting off weapons to criminals.”);
  • United States v. Massey, 849 F.3d 262, 265 (5th Cir. 2017) (“The Second Amendment frame‑ work adopted in [NRA] precludes this panel from reexamining . . . the constitutionality of Section 922(g).”); and
  • United States v. May, 538 F. App’x 465, 466 (5th Cir. 2013) (citing to NRA as precedent that precludes constitutional challenge to 18 S.C. 922(g)(3)).

Second, Bruen built on the watershed Second Amendment case that preceded it, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), by holding that “the right of an ordinary, law‑abiding citizen to possess a handgun in the home for self‑defense” extended to carrying “a handgun for self‑defense outside the home.Bruen, 142 S. Ct. at 2122 (emphasis added). Thus, in cases involving the public carry of a firearm, “the government must affirmatively prove that its firearms regulation is part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.” Id. at 2127. “Courts are… entitled to decide a case based on the historical record compiled by the parties,” id. at 2130 n.6, and they are “not obliged to sift the historical materials for evidence to sustain” a statute, id. at 2150. Thus “the burden rests with the government”—not with the defense, and not with the court—“to establish the relevant tradition of regulation.” Id. at 2149 n.25.

Third, “to assess whether modern firearms regulations are consistent with the Second Amendment’s text and historical understanding,” Bruen distinguished between “general societal problem[s] that ha[ve] persisted since the 18th century,” id. at 21341, and “unprecedented societal concerns or dramatic technological changes” prompting “modern regulations that were unimaginable at the founding,” id. at 2132. Evidence that regulations addressing the former will not pass constitutional muster include:

  • A “lack of a distinctly similar historical regulation addressing that problem;”
  • Efforts to address “the societal problem” “through materially different means”; or
  • Attempts “to enact analogous regulations” that “were rejected on constitutional grounds[.]”

Id. at 2131. For the latter, Bruen adopted a “nuanced” test whereby a modern regulation must be “relevantly similar” to a historical analogue to conform with the Second Amendment. Id. at 2132. The majority declined to “provide an exhaustive survey of the features that render regulations relevantly similar,” id., but explicitly noted “how and why the regulations burden a law‑abiding citizen’s right to armed self‑defense” as “central” “metrics,” id. at 2133.

Fourth, establishing a relevant tradition of regulation via proper historical analogues may prove to be a taxing task. “On the one hand, courts should not uphold every modern law that remotely resembles a historical analogue, because doing so risk[s] endorsing outliers that our ancestors would never have accepted.” Id. “On the other hand, analogical reasoning requires only that the government identify a well‑established and representative historical analogue, not a historical twin” or a “dead ringer.” Id. This spectrum offers “little explanation of how stringently” to apply the historical analogue test, id. at 2179 (Breyer, J., dissenting), but Bruen’s analysis makes one thing clear: several pitfalls exist for the government here. “The Court’s historical analysis in this case is over 30 pages long and reviews numerous original sources from over 600 years of English and American history.” Id. at 2179 (Breyer, J., dissenting). Yet:

In each instance, the Court finds a reason to discount the historical evidence’s persuasive force. Some of the laws [the government] has identified are too old. But others are too recent. Still others did not last long enough. Some applied to too few people. Some were enacted for the wrong reasons. Some may have been based on a constitutional rationale that is now impossible to identify. Some arose in historically unique circumstances. And some are not sufficiently analogous to the licensing regime at issue here.

Id. at 2190. In the case of ambiguous historical sources, the majority even endorsed a default interpretation favoring possessors over the government. See id. at 2141 n.11 (“To the extent there are multiple plausible interpretations” of a historical source, “we will favor the one that is more consistent with the Second Amendment’s command.”).

Finally, a word about 18 U.S.C. § 922. According to Bruen, “the language of the Constitution cannot be interpreted safely except by reference to the common law and to British institutions as they were when the instrument was framed and adopted.” Id. at 2139. For that reason, Bruen anointed “history [b]etween the [Stuart] Restoration [in 1660] and the Glorious Revolution [in 1688]” as “particularly instructive.” Id. at 2140. Certainly “when it contradicts earlier evidence,” “late‑19th‑century evidence cannot provide much insight into the meaning of the Second Amendment.” Id. at 2154 (emphasis added); see also id. at 2154 n.28 (refusing to consider “20th‑century historical evidence” for the same reason). Given this backdrop, Bruen notably did not repeat Heller’s disclaimer that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” Heller, 554 U.S. at 626–27. Bruen only “assume[d] it settled” that “legislative assemblies, polling places, and courthouses” were “‘sensitive places’ where arms carrying could be prohibited consistent with the Second Amendment,” remaining silent on Heller’s other presumptively lawful restrictions. Id. at 2133 (2022). See also id. at 2156 (“The Second Amendment guaranteed . . . the right to bear commonly used arms in public subject to certain reasonable, well‑defined restrictions” such as limiting “the intent for which one could carry arms, the manner by which one carried arms, or the exceptional circumstances under which one could not carry arms, such as before justices of the peace and other government officials.”). This omission apparently concerned Justice Alito and Justice Kavanaugh (joined by Chief Justice Roberts) sufficiently to prompt their concurrences, which specifically noted that Bruen did not invalidate 18 U.S.C. § 922 restrictions. See id. at 2157–58, 2162. But “prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill [and] laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms have their origins in the 20th century.” Id. at 2189 (Breyer, J., dissenting) (quoting C. Larson, Four Exceptions in Search of a Theory: District of Columbia v. Heller and Judicial Ipse Dixit, 60 Hastings L. J. 1371, 1374–1379 (2009)). And “[f]ounding‑era legislatures did not strip felons of the right to bear arms simply because of their status as felons.” Id. (quoting Kanter v. Barr, 919 F.3d 437, 451 (7th Cir. 2019) (Barrett, J., dissenting)). Thus, “the disconnect between Heller’s treatment of laws prohibiting, for example, firearms possession by felons or the mentally ill,” and Bruen’s “treatment of New York’s licensing regime” is “hard to square.” Id.

In sum, practitioners should be on high alert to Bruen’s application to a wide range of firearm‑related provisions, including 18 U.S.C. § 922. Already on August 30, 2022, in United States v. Rahimi, No. 21‑11001, the Fifth Circuit heard oral argument concerning Bruen and its impact on the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (8). Rahimi likely represents just the beginning of a slew of renewed and reinvigorated constitutional defenses to firearm possession crimes, which finally may prove successful post‑Bruen.

From the Front Porch: Lawyer as Witness

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Let’s face it, the practice of criminal law can get, well, messy. For example, let’s say you’re in court with your client. As he fumbles for a pen to sign a reset slip, a packet of cocaine falls out of his pocket right in front of you and the bailiff. You are now an eyewitness to a new offense. What should you do? Well, under Rule 3.08 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, you can’t be the “lawyer before the tribunal” and be a witness in a case, unless you meet the requirements of the rule. That would apply to the current case in which you representing the client, and the new cocaine possession case that occurred before you. Why both? Because the new case could be used in the punishment trial of the old case, which means under Rule 1.15 (a)(1), you must terminate employment/appointment on the old case and refuse employment/appointment on the new case. I don’t think it’s safe to assume that most of us can see the logic in this approach.

Unfortunately, your ethical quandaries may not necessarily end there. What if you are subpoenaed? Let’s say the state wants you to testify against your old client regarding the packet of cocaine that fell out of his pocket in the middle of court. This is where things get dicey and confusing. The problem stems from the fact that information about your client is protected by attorney‑client privilege. This privilege applies to confidential information and non‑confidential information. Due to the fact that either type of information is protected, you must invoke the concept of confidentiality under the disciplinary rules of professional conduct. This is where many prosecutors and judges may question your sanity, but it is true. Therefore, if the state wants you to be their star witness, you can’t just sing like a canary. Instead, after being sworn in and getting the usual preliminary questions out of the way, you need to invoke Rule 1.05 (c)

(4) to protect yourself from any disciplinary allegations made by your former client. Wait to see if the Judge orders you to. If not, keep your mouth shut. If the Judge does, you should have legal protection from any ethical grievance made by your client, if you choose to testify since Rule 1.05(c)(4) is permissive. Hopefully, this will never happen to you. If it does, remember your client has the right to be protected from you revealing confidential information, including privileged and non‑privileged information. Your duty of confidentiality can be a.) waived by your client, though unlikely or b.) overcome by the Judge ordering you to testify. So, before you start testifying, invoke Rule 1.05 and wait for the Judge to decide. If you ever feel jammed up, you can always call the State Bar of Texas Ethics helpline at (800) 532‑3947. They are always there to help us. I also want to thank State Bar Ethics Attorney Ellen Pitluk for her assistance in helping me with this article. As always, take care, good luck, and have fun!

Shout Outs

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Shout-Out to Clay Steadman, who provided tremendous support on behalf of colleague, Kyle Therrian. After challenging a county court judge’s procedures for conducting bond violation hearings, he was denied renewal of his contract to receive misdemeanor appellate appointments. Once he filed a motion to recuse and subpoenaed several county judges to testify, Clay traveled to the DFW Metroplex to take on the task of questioning judges and sponsoring his testimony. Wonderful job, Clay!

Congratulations to Sarah Roland for her recent NOT GUILTY for an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon case! Way to go, Sarah!

A round of applause for Chuck Lanehart and his recent win on accusations of sexual assault and assault DV with strangulation in a Texas Tech Title IX hearing. Under new Title IX rules, Chuck was allowed to cross-examine the complainant. Even though there was some pretty concerning physical evidence in the case, the panel found his client “not responsible.” He stated that in the past, it was practically impossible to obtain a good result in a Title IX hearing, as the attorney could only act as an advisor, not an advocate. Congratulations, Chuck!

Kudos to Deandra Grant and her team, Debbie Girma, Douglas Huff, Clark Martin, Sorsha Huff, and Makenzie Zarate! They got a mistrial on a DWI case after the DA told them the police had arrest videos they failed to turn over.

Deandra then had a 3 year old DWI case. She advised the client trial chances did not look good. The wife of the defendant told her God would take care of it. Over lunch the judge discovered he has COVID. The arresting officer was unable to attend, also due to health concerns. The DA suggested a dismissal.

Shout-Out to Roberto Balli for his dismissal of a big Federal Drug case. His client came to him asserting his innocence just two weeks before his trial. Roberto spoke to the prosecutor and asked him to look at it from their perspective in order to see his clients innocence and told him they were taking it to trial. Just a few days later a motion to dismiss was filed by the government – doing the fair thing after reevaluating his case. After 5 years, it took just a few days of creating a bit of chaos to set things right. Outstanding job, Roberto!

Kudos to Tyler Flood on his NOT GUILTY verdict in a Failure to Stop and Render Aid (FSRA) Fatality charge. He caught the head detective both lying and laughing on the witness stand while under cross examination. With the help of Colton Rodriguez, their own investigation and reconstruction was able to devalidate what the state saw as evidence, a scratch mark on the curb. Using Google Earth, they were able to show that the scratch mark had been there six months prior to the incident. Tyler was happy to reunite his client with his seven children. Wonderful job, Tyler!

Shout-Out to Robert Fickman for his recent acquittal. His client was named in a multi-defendant (53 total, 40 of which pled guilty) indictment from Galveston, which the DEA named “Operation Wrecking Ball”. Three years later, five defendants remained, including his client who had seven counts: conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to engage in money laundering and 5 substantive counts alleging specific acts of cocaine distribution. He persuaded the Judge to grant four Rule 29s, and the jury acquitted his client on the remaining 3 charges. Robert’s client was the only acquittal out of the 53 defendants. Extraordinary work, Robert!


Staff Highlights: Director of CLE

Grace Works

Title: Director of CLE
Native State: Kansas
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
Favorite Color: Blue
Loves: Travel, books, and theme parks

Grace Works started with TCDLA in April of 2022 serving as the Director of CLE. In her brief time with the company, her love of food and anything sweet has been made known to all. Before her time with TCDLA, she was an elementary school science teacher with Teach for America. She also has worked many years in the customer service industry and was a Guest Relations Director at a science museum. Grace is a proud alumnus of Kansas State University where she studied Criminology, Non-Profit Leadership Studies, and Conflict Analysis Trauma Studies. Grace comes from a long line of criminal defense attorneys, her grandfather, dad, uncle, and cousin all practice law in Kansas. She and her husband Jay, who met at Kansas State, have been together for 8 years and have traveled the world together. They have an adorable mini Australian Shepard named Tad. Grace has a love for 90’s rap/R&B music, live theater, comedy shows, coffee, and Harry Potter.

Current Issue: July/August 2022

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Features

20 | Fighting the TSA and Getting Off with a Warning – By Suzanne Spencer
27 | Op-Ed: Finding my Voice as a Female Criminal Defense Attorney – By Lisa Greenberg
30 | Declaration of Independence Readings: Memories and Media Mentions – By Chuck Lanehart
35 | Congratulations to the 2022 Declaration of Independence Organizers – By Chuck Lanehart

Columns

5 | President’s Message
6 | Executive Officer’s Perspective
10 | Editor’s Comment
12 | Ethics and the Law
16 | Federal Corner
18 | From the Front Porch
23 | Shout-Outs

Departments

4 | CLE Seminars and Meetings
37 | Significant Decisions Report

President’s Message: A Dream Worth Fighting For

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Every lawyer has a personal story and journey of how they entered this profession. I love hearing others’ stories as much as I like sharing my own. I am a fourth generation, first female attorney in my family. And I’ve dreamed of being a lawyer since I was a little girl. Like many members of the bar, we believe this isn’t just our job, it is our deep‑rooted calling in life and we’ve weathered many storms to get where are today.

Some achieved the dream of being just like their dad, who they idolized their whole life. Others courageously persevered while growing up in extreme poverty in inner‑city slums to beat the odds for the chance to practice law. Still others’ journey involved overcoming tragedy, even being the victims of violent crimes, and rising from the ashes to become fierce advocates in the court‑ room. Others tell beautiful stories of immigrating to the United States from impoverished countries to achieve the American Dream, and are serving this country with honor. There are many inspirational stories. Whatever the story is, we all have a special one worth preserving.

However, what occurred in the aftermath of June 24th threatens to turn our stories into epic tragedies. Following the reversal of Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – six days after I became TCDLA President – took direct aim at and put a chink in the armor of our sacred profession. The actions that ensued threaten to not only destroy our dreams and what we have worked so hard to achieve, but also trample on the very rights and freedom that we swore to safeguard.

Regardless of your personal or political beliefs regarding abortion, what we must rally behind is to fight against the groundswell of support by some state politicians who wish to pass legislation which would impose a mandatory disbarment of Texas lawyers for any involvement they may have as employers regarding their employees’ participation in abortions.

In the short time I have served as your TCDLA President, I have been privileged to dialogue with so many of you with very different, oftentimes very ardent, opinions surrounding abortion. Diversity of opinion is one of the aspects that makes this organization great and one of the core values I pledged to honor, and which I discussed in my previous Voice article. I am asking that we set aside differences in our personal beliefs and be cognizant that with the stroke of a pen, politicians can threaten to destroy our dreams and the great work that we do every day to fight for our clients.

Thankfully, we have an unstoppable organization with countless talented, devoted fighters. Part of our strategy to combat this threat will be a task force to handle this head‑on. I’ve asked our well‑respected colleague, Nicole DeBorde Hochglaube, to chair this committee. We will be strong and look to partner with other organizations throughout the country to ensure we relentlessly fight the impending overcriminalization that is eerily brewing.

Taking a stand now is not optional. If left unchecked, this latest foray into overcriminalization can quickly spread like wildfire. Even though it can be an uncomfortable conversation, we must work together to de‑ fend against the rising storm of overcriminalization that is headed our way. At this time, we need to stand in solidarity and recall the words of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

TCDLA: let us be united in our efforts to fight against this latest tale of injustice. The very stories of the next generation of lawyers may well be depending on us.

Executive Officer’s Perspective: 2021-2022 TCDLA Committee Highlights Thank You

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“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”

—Alfred North Whitehead

TCDLA has more than 40 committees and 200 committee members. Committee members meet via zoom and in person to create resources, support our members, and serve in the front line of defense! If you are passionate in a particular area and want to join a committee, visit the website for a full list of possibilities. Committee‑interest forms can be found online—or just email me. Thank you to our members who contribute their time and talents.

Affiliate | Co-Chairs Laurie Key & Susan Anderson: The Affiliate Committee has kept communication open with local bars and assisted with training and recruitment. They have also reached out to local bars who are not affiliates to help or to convince them to join TCDLA.

Amicus (Brief) Curiae | Chair Niles Illich & Vice Chair Kyle Therrian: The committee was consulted on ten cases of statewide significance. Most recently they have been looking to provide amicus support for attorneys representing individuals affected and detained under Operation Lone Star. The Committee is looking to expand its efforts by the addition of attorneys willing to volunteer and write one brief per year as a committee member.

Awards Committee | Co-Chairs David Botsford & Betty Blackwell: The Awards Committee, which meets every March, selected the Hall of Fame inductees (subject to Board approval), the Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year, and the Charles Butts Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year. The committee did not bestow the Rodney Ellis Award in 2022.

Budget and Financial Development | Chair Nicole DeBorde & Vice Chair Clay Steadman: The Budget and Financial Development Committee put together a successful budget. Committee members met throughout the year to review the income and expenses for accuracy and to ensure TCDLA stays on budget. Over 2,500 checks are signed by the treasurer and check signers.

By-Laws | Chair Adam Kobs: The By‑ Laws Committee was tasked with clarifying two items: qualifications to run for the officer chain and length of time a termed‑out board member must wait before once again applying to be a director. Both amendments were approved by the membership.

Cannabis | Chair Don Flanary: In November of 2021, the Texas Attorney General’s Office (AG) requested that TCDLA provide an Opinion regarding the legality of Delta‑8 THC. The TCDLA Cannabis Committee drafted an Opinion in response which was adopted by the TCDLA Board and send to the AG. TCDLA concluded that concentrated or synthesized Delta‑8 THC is currently illegal under sections 481.103, 481.113, 481.116 as well as section 481.106 (c) of the Texas Health and Safety Code. The exclusion set out in section 481.002(5) for “tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp” is limited to the minute quantities of delta‑8 THC which are naturally occurring in hemp plants. Essentially, Delta‑8 THC is illegal to possess in Texas, however given the exclusions in section 481.002(5), viable defenses to possession do still exist.

Capital Assistance | Chair Greg Westfall & Vice Chair Scott Pawgan: The Capital Assistance Committee assisted in selecting speakers and topics for three seminars throughout Texas.

Client Mental Health | Chair Alyse Ferguson & Vice Chair Melissa Shearer: The Client Mental Health Committee put together three mental health seminars along with a monthly virtual Mental Monday CLE. In addition, the committee met to brainstorm on resources to provide members and clients. The committee also produced several free cheat sheets and sundry mental health resources.

Corrections & Parole | Chairs Bill Habern & David O’Neil: This year the co‑chairs served as course directors for the Post‑Conviction Seminar in Austin. The committee has also continued work on legislative proposals to create an independent board to supervise SCFO. The committee began work on a draft bill that would permit a pardon for individuals granted clemency, filling a gap in current law. At the invitation of its director, the co‑chairs met and provided input on how the TDCJ Parole Division could streamline the blue warrant process. Throughout the year, committee members have provided updates on TDCJ and Parolee Board matters of interest, while also fielding listserv questions on parole and corrections.

Criminal Defense Lawyers Project | Chair Adam Kobs & Vice Chair Monique Sparks: This past year, the CDLP committee saw some 325 speakers travel to over 40 seminars throughout Texas, training more than 5,000 criminal defense lawyers. Operating with the theme “Getting Game Day Ready,” the team went undefeated!

Diversity, Justice & Inclusion | Chairs Thuy Le & Monique Sparks: The Diversity, Justice & Inclusion Committee spread the word with statements highlighting various holidays and underrepresented groups. In addition, the committee reviewed suggested changes to the SBOT Lawyers Creed. Thuy and Monique served as course directors for the third annual Race Seminar.

DWI Resource | Chairs Mark Thiessen & Frank Sellers: The DWI Resource Committee continued to fight the good fight against the State and bad law. DWI 2nds acquittals are now eligible for expunction thanks to excellent appellate lawyering. DWI Committee also updated the rules flash card and created a checklist that will be available for purchase soon.

Executive | Chair Michael Gross & Vice Chair Heather Barbieri: The Executive Committee reviewed all business written and approved by committees, bringing items to the TCDLA Board for approval when required. This year the committee met in person quarterly and otherwise handled business virtually—altogether a productive and successful year.

Ethics | Chair Robert Pelton & Vice Chair Brent Mayr: The Ethics Committee monitored and responded to the dedicated Ethics Hotline via email, ethics@tcdla.com, and phone, (512) 646‑2734. The committee responds within 24 hours, responding to multiple inquires daily, and over 100 inquires per year. In addition, the committee members submit articles monthly for the standing ethics column in the Voice.

Health  &  Wellness | Chairs  Mark  Griffith & Savannah Gonzalez: The Health and Wellness Committee met to brainstorm on ways to support our members. The committee will implement and program to be held in the evening.

Indigent Client Defense | Chair Jani Maselli Wood & Vice Chair Allison Mathis: The Indigent Defense Committee reviewed and provide comment on several AG opinions. In addition, the committee created a Court Cost Workgroup Booklet.

Judicial Conduct | Chairs Ed Mallett & Philip Wischkaemper: The Judicial Conduct Committee reviewed the several cases where a former Midland Assistant D.A., Ralph Petty, received extra compensation from the County’s judicial budget for being a “law clerk” to the judges. In the central case where the Los Angeles California Federal Defenders, Capital Habeas Unit, discovered the double‑dipping and inherent conflict of interest, they sought a deposition and Petty claimed his Fifth Amendment rights. The death row defendant prevailed on his writ. TCDLA filed Complaints with the Commission on Judicial Conduct against the seven judges still in service who had participated in the scheme. A recent report from our sources in Midland has informed us that one of the judges, who was tangentially involved, received notice that his complaint had been dismissed. Also, during the year, the committee advised members on a variety of issues, including motions to recuse, for change of venue, for continuance when experts became unavailable, and similar, often confidential, matters.

Juvenile | Chair Kameron Johnson: The Juvenile Justice Committee worked on juvenile legislation by serving as experts and a resource for the legislature. This included juvenile‑specific trainings by the newest Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP) specialist and a toolkit developed for certification cases with Lone Star Justice. The committee also held case staffing and reviews for attorneys throughout the state with complex juvenile cases, also creating juvenile cheat sheets and working on creating e‑filing for Texas attorneys (although not completed, we have laid the groundwork for jurisdictions and district clerks to start utilizing). The committee also has published juvenile related articles in the Voice.

Law School Students | Chair Anne Burnham: The Law School Students Committee organized and presented “Pathways to Criminal Defense Practice,” a pan‑ Texas law school virtual Interactive career day event; created a law school students public website page with student‑specific resources; hosted a law student reception at Rusty Duncan, in collaboration with the New Lawyers Committee; and facilitated TCDLA speaker presentations at individual law schools.

Legislative | Chair Bill Harris: The Legislative Committee met at least monthly this year and spent endless hours at the Capitol during the session. Often committee members and those testifying didn’t leave until after midnight. The committee continues to update members with the legislative cheat sheet, presentations, and materials with the latest laws (including Bail Reform), as well as traveling to affiliates’ local bars and maintaining the Legislative Update listserv and dedicated email().

Listserv | Chair Jeep Darnell & Vice Chair David Moore: The Listserv Committee has the incredibly endless job of reading over 20,000 posts annual on the TCDLA listserv (TCDLA offers more than 20 different specialty areas), spreading awareness of the rules when needed and fostering group respect. Staff are also notified immediately if members need assistance as well.

Long Range Planning | Chair Nicole DeBorde Hochglaube & Vice Chair Monique Sparks: Researching process and structure of the committee for an end of year working session. Including TCDLEI in the process to work towards complimenting mission statements and goals.

Media Relations | Chairs Lisa Greenberg & John Torrey Hunter: The Media Relations Committee is the first to respond to recent events following the Covid‑19 pandemic, Supreme Court decisions, and the recent appointment of a Supreme Court justice. Committee members throughout the state create press releases quickly, fostering relationships with their local media outlets and reporters to assist in getting our voice and perspectives heard when needed.

Membership Benefits | Chair Gene Anthes: The Membership Committee this year sponsored four quarterly members socials throughout the state, including the Cowboys stadium tour, a hockey game, a baseball game, and wine tours.

Memo Bank | Chair Tip Hargrove & Vice Chair Warren Wolf: The Memo Bank Committee was the brainchild of two old tech‑incompetent lawyers who didn’t know how to save a darn thing from the list‑ serv. Past President/Hall of Famer Vee Perini and Tip Hargrove wanted to preserve the best of the recurring posts of general interest to our membership. Committee members review all posts and flag items for inclusion on a section called “Listserve Saved—the good stuff.” This is in the members‑only section, which has expanded to also include the Voir Dire and Motions banks.

New Lawyers | Chair Thuy Le & Vice Chair Rick Flores: The New Lawyers Committee assisted in a Career Day virtual interactive event and hosted a New Lawyers meet‑and‑greet at Rusty Duncan.

Nominations | Chair Heather Barbieri & Vice Chair John Hunter Smith: The Nominations Committee met several times throughout the year to review the process, as well as to encourage members and districts to apply. The committee reviews applications and will meet to select the slate for 2022–23. This year the committee voted on twelve new members and seven renewals for the Board of Directors, ratified at the Annual Members meeting in June. The committee will prepare an analysis report for next year to ensure Texas‑wide representation.

Past Presidents | Chair Betty Blackwell: The Past Presidents Committee meets to keep former presidents abreast of TCDLA issues and to make use of their institutional knowledge for innovative solutions.

Prosecutorial | Chair Lance Evans & Vice Chair David Moore: The Prosecutorial Committee reviewed several grievances submitted by members and proceeded as necessary.

Public Defender | Chairs Jessica Canter & Clifford Duke: The Public Defender Committee focused this year on continuing to strengthen public‑defense ties around the state. Using our annual meeting in San Antonio, we were able to concentrate on networking our new and expanding Public Defender, Regional Defense, and MAC offices with the common goal of superior indigent defense. Our trainings addressed the nuts‑and‑bolts integral to daily defense, but also the growing need to recognize diversity and a holistic defense for indigent clients. We’re looking to TCDLA as the linking organization for these growing offices as we continue to help each other statewide.

Rural Practice | Co-Chairs John Hunter Smith & Clay Steadman: Meeting throughout the year, the Rural Practice Committee worked on a checklist, creating a format for a quarterly virtual roundtable and addressing member needs and monitoring the Rural Listserv.

Strike Force | Chair Nicole DeBorde: Strike Force receives calls and emails from TCDLA members almost weekly. We are proud to serve members under attack for their performance of the criminal defense function in their representation of the accused. Strike force has appeared in person and remotely throughout the state rep‑ resenting our members and has spent many hours brain‑ storming with criminal defense lawyers under attack.

Technology | Chair Jeremy Rosenthal: The Technology Committee this year focused on helping master old technology and finding new technology tools for members to use. Check out the TCDLA website for our bank of “How To” videos for daily tech tasks and their use. Also keep an eye out for new tools coming from TCDLA—one to keep track of Brady and another providing ammunition for cross‑examination—as we work to create a centralized statewide database for members.

Transcript Database | Chair Carmen Roe: The Transcript Database Committee met to strategize the collection and organization of transcripts.

Veterans Assistance | Chair Terri Zimmerman & Vice Chair John Convery: The Veterans Assistance Committee works to serve as a resource for TCDLA members on accurate information about legal issues in‑ volving active duty, reserve, retired, or former military members. Our biggest event of the year is the Annual Veterans Justice Clinic held in February. Speakers include experts discussing topics such as the physical and psychological effects of combat, the workings of the Veterans Administration, developments in military law, confusing military paperwork such as the discharge certificate (DD‑214), and the operations of the various Veterans Treatment Courts around the state.

Voice | Editor Jeep Darnell & Assistant Editors Anglica Cogliano, Amanda Hernandez, Sarah Roland, Jeremy Rosenthal & Clay Steadman: The Voice editorial committee reviews over 100 articles a year, edits content, and checks citations. After the articles are finalized, the committee goes through the proofing process on each of the ten, 46‑page Voice magazines annually. They also reach out to authors to offer assistance or request articles on current events or resources related to criminal defense.

Women’s Caucus | Co-Chairs Betty Blackwell, Julie Hasdorff & Cynthia Hujar Orr: The Women’s Caucus Committee put together a women‑specific seminar and hosted a Women’s Caucus at Rusty Duncan. The committee also kept members engaged on the listserv, and members submitted articles for the Voice. In addition, the Women’s Caucus had a round table discussion with other women practitioners and will launch zoom calls to move these discussions and mentorship opportunities forward.

Editor’s Comment: July/August 2022

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Do you know what’s fun? Going to Rusty Duncan. Do you know what’s not as fun? When your youngest son tests positive for COVID the week of Rusty and you’ve been exposed and can’t attend Rusty.

You know what else is fun? Shooting off fireworks on the 4th of July with family and friends. Do you know what is less fun than that? Testing positive for COVID the week of 4th of July and then having your oldest son test positive on the 4th of July.

As I write this article we are hoping beyond hope that we can clear all of our protocols and make it to the annual TCDLA Members Trip in South Padre Island from July 13‑16. That trip is also fun. Aside from catching up on discovery I had not yet reviewed, I am spending my COVID‑cation working on making reservations to the Kalahari Resort for the Fall Board meeting held in con‑ junction with the Post‑Pandemic Trial Preparation CLE from September 15‑17 in Round Rock, Texas. That will also be fun.

So, aside from having to read about me feeling sorry for myself, what is the point? Well, the point is that if you haven’t ever engaged in TCDLA as a member and truly worked to get to know the members of this Organization you are missing out. Sure, there are many a lawyer who has a bit too much to drink at Rusty, but that’s not the extent of the human engagement side of being a part of TCDLA. If you’ve got a family, bring them to the Members Trip. My kids look forward to that trip every year. My oldest son comments every year about how he can’t wait to go to South Padre and swim in the frog pool (if you’ve been you know) and have breakfast with John Hundred Smith (otherwise known to the rest of us as John Hunter Smith). He’s also been bugging me incessantly about the upcoming meeting at the Kalahari because we’ll get to see that guy who’s my friend whose kids go to South Padre and Kalahari and they are fun (otherwise known in our world as Paul Tu). The fact of the matter is that my kids feel like this is their family as much as I do. So does my wife; heck she’s made fun of Clay Steadman more than I have and he likes her better than he likes me. But three trips within a matter of a few months aren’t the only opportunities that exist to get more involved with TCDLA and to become part of the family. While Mark Snodgrass has as much to do with making me a part of the TCDLA family as anyone by bringing me inside the tents at South Padre, there are tons of members across the State who would gladly bring you into the fold if you have the desire. Our Membership Committee has undertaken the awesome idea of having non‑CLE events just for the very purpose of getting us together to have fun. Let’s be honest, we all work too hard every day. There’s no question that a big part of our camaraderie comes from the common ground of hardship we endure every day at work. But that doesn’t define our only way of engaging with each other. I promise, if you get engaged and show up and meet people then you’ll have your own stories to tell about this wonderful organization and you’ll get to experience your own sense of the family that is TCDLA. Not many members can say that they had the treat of taxiing our new TCDLA President’s kids and mother to the hotel in South Padre the very first year I attended. But I did and I can say that I probably have that to thank for counting Heather as my friend.

Be safe
Jeep Darnell