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WE WILL NOT BE DETERRED: Reading of the Declaration of Independence 2020

TCDLA is committed to celebrating our freedoms by organizing local readings of the Declaration of Independence throughout Texas every year. This year, perhaps more than ever, our annual patriotic project is especially warranted. Criminal defense lawyers are at the point of the spear against despots, unreasonable laws, and misguided regulations. We therefore must remind the

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Supreme Court of Texas and Gray v. Skelton: Look Out, Criminal Defense Attorneys

After the Supreme Court decision in Peeler v. Hughes & Luce, criminal defense lawyers felt that they had immunity from malpractice. Ms. Peeler was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to five years. She sued her criminal defense counsel for malpractice because he had failed to communicate a plea-bargain to her under which she was

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Jury Selection in Sexual Assault Cases

I. Introduction There is a certain stigma that permeates sexual assault allegations.  It’s an undefinable icky-ness factor.  This is amongst the few categories of criminal allegations that even some criminal defense lawyers won’t touch.  We all know, though, that not every sexual assault allegation is true and not every accused person is found guilty.  The

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EVEN FOR THE DESPICABLE AMONG US: Rights and Due Process for Klansmen

The new novel, No Truth Left To Tell (Greenleaf Press 2020), by former federal prosecutor Michael McAuliffe poses important moral and ethical questions for lawyers and lay readers alike. The story, about the feds chasing the Klan in the Deep South, portrays a southern town still grappling with its history of racial violence. The Klan

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TCDLA Awards $5,000 Charlie Butts Scholarship to San Antonio Law Student

TCDLA awarded the annual Charlie Butts Memorial Scholarship worth $5,000 to a student at San Antonio’s St. Mary’s School of Law. The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Educational Institute (TCDLEI) administers the Charlie D. Butts Memorial Scholarship every year. The scholarship is named after Charles D. Butts, who practiced as an attorney in Texas for 63

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EXTRANEOUS CRIMES, WRONGS, AND ACTS: What are they and how can they impact your case?

I. Evolution of the Meaning of Extraneous Offense The definition of an extraneous offense has evolved in Texas jurisprudence. It was once defined as “one that is extra, beyond, or foreign to the offense for which the party is on trial.” Ridinger v. State, 174 S.W.2d 319, 320 (Tex. Crim. App. 1943). Later, several cases

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