Executive Director’s Perspective: Board Report – By Joseph A. Martinez


The TCDLA membership met on June 18, 2016, in San Antonio for the 45th Annual Membership Meeting. The following motions were made.

MOTION: Approve Minutes—February 13, 2016
Motion to adopt the minutes from the Board Meeting on February 13, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana, made by Nicole DeBorde, seconded by David Ryan—motion carries.

MOTION: Board Electronic Votes—Motion to approve electronic votes for recipients of:

  • Hall of Fame: Edward Mallett, William Habern, and Shirley Baccus-Lobel, made by Ron Goranson, seconded by Bill Harris—motion carries.
  • Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year: Richard Gladden and Brian Wice, made by David Ryan, seconded by Keith Hampton – motion carries.

MOTION: Dallas Bar Affiliate
Motion to have the Dallas Bar as a TCDLA Affiliate, made by Susan Anderson, seconded by Ron Goranson—motion passes.

MOTION: Article VII—Board of Directors
* * *
(b) No director may be elected to serve for more than two (2) full consecutive terms, not to include any term or terms served as an associate director provided this restriction shall not prevent officers and the editor of the VOICE for the Defense who are directors by virtue of office from serving on the Board of Directors. Any director who is ineligible to be reelected to the Board is also ineligible for election as associate director. No associate director may be elected for more than two (2) consecutive terms, except as deemed necessary by the nominations committee and approved by the Board, associate directors terms may be extended by one year. The executive committee shall have the responsibility for establishing rules to ensure the orderly election of the board of directors.

        Motion made by Adam Kobs, seconded by Ron Goranson—motion carries.

MOTION: Long Range Plan
Motion to adopt the Long Range Plan printed in June Voice and in board packet made by John Convery, seconded by Dan Hurley—motion carries.

MOTION: Slate of 2016–2017 Officers: Nominations Committee Recommendations, Sam Bassett
Motion to approve the slate of nominations for 2016–17 officers (below) and the new and renewing directors and associate directors made by Ron Goranson, seconded by Gerry Morris—motion carries.
Slate of Officers: John Convery, President, David Moore, President-Elect, Mark Snodgrass, 1st Vice President, Kerri Anderson-Donica, 2nd Vice President, Grant Scheiner, Treasurer, Michael Gross, Secretary

MOTION: 2016–2017 Board Members—Associate Directors and Directors
Motion to approve the slate of nominations made by Sam Bassett, seconded by Bobby Mims—motion carries.

MOTION to adjourn at 12:45 pm, made by John Con­very, seconded by Sam Bassett—motion carries.

TCDLA Annual Report, FY 2016 (September 1, 2015, through August 31, 2016)






No. of Seminars





No. of Course Directors





No. of Speakers





No. of Persons Trained





No. of Non-Death Penalty CLE Hrs.





No. of Ethics CLE Hrs.





No. of Death Penalty CLE Hrs.





No. of Death Penalty Ethics Hrs.





* Includes persons trained at CAILaw in Plano by Rick Wardroup through CDLP funds.

TCDLA received notice from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in August of the following grant awards for fiscal year 2016 (September 1, 2016, through August 31, 2017).

Criminal Defense Lawyers Project                      $1,128,432
Innocence                                                                   $100,000
Public Defenders                                                      $33,033
Total CCA grants                                                    $1,261,465

TCDLA will maximize these grants and conduct 42 seminars in the coming year in 19 cities across Texas. In addition, 77 seminars will be online on our TCDLA website. Working together with the public defender offices and our local criminal defense bars, we pro­ject we will train 4,692 lawyers in coming fiscal year 2017. We thank the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for having the trust and confidence in TCDLA/CDLP to provide quality continuing legal education to criminal defense lawyers involved in indigent defense across Texas. We thank in particular Judge Barbara Hervey, the judicial oversight for the entire $18,000,000 Court Personnel Grant. She has been an outstanding supporter over the last 14 years.

Miriam Duarte, membership coordinator, celebrated 10 years with TCDLA on 7/14/2016. Miriam has contributed to the success of TCDLA through her steadfast dedication to TCDLA and her outstanding service to our members. She has been an outstanding role model to all the staff.

Our 2016 Declaration of Independence Reading project, under the direction of Robb Fickman (Houston) and, as he called them, the F Troop (regional coordinators), accomplished what seemed like an impossible task—the reading of the Declaration of Independence in all 256 counties in Texas. A preliminary video can be seen via our website. I encourage you to take a look at it. Look at the pride on our members’ faces participating in what has been an annual event. We thank those of you who participated in 2016 and look forward to you volunteering to participate in 2017.

Special thanks to course directors Kerri Anderson-Donica (Corsicana), Heather Barbieri (Plano), and Mark Bennett (Houston) for our Voire Dire CLE and Jason Cassel (Longview) and Audrey Moorehead (Dallas) for our Cross-Examination CLE held in Dallas in September. Thanks to all of them and our excellent lineup of speakers, we had 133 attendees.

Special thanks to our course directors, Grant Scheiner (Houston) and Danny Easterling (Houston), for our 14th Annual Top Gun CLE. Thanks to them and the excellent lineup of speakers, we had 151 attendees.

Special thanks to Gary Udashen and Mike Ware, our course directors for the Actual Innocence for Lawyers, co-sponsored with Innocence Project of Texas and held in Austin in August. Thanks to their efforts, we had 141 attendees. We had Jim McCloskey and Billy Smith, exonoree, speak at our Innocence Dinner program.

Special thanks to Bill Habern and David O’Neil, course directors for our Post-Conviction CLE held in Austin in August. Thanks to them and our speakers—which included David Gutierrez, chair of the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole—we had 115 attendees.

Special thanks to Patricia Jay (San Antonio), president of the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, for allowing CDLP to co-sponsor their CLE held in San Antonio. We also thank Jennifer Zarka (San Antonio), SACDLA’s new executive director, for her help and support. Thanks to their efforts, we had 36 attendees.

John Hunter Smith (Denton), chair of the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project (CDLP), and Heather Barbieri (Plano), vice-chair, have developed the theme of Beating the Drum for Justice for our CDLP CLE that will be held in 11 cities over the next year. The first was held in Fredericksburg in late September. Our goal is to bring the very best quality CLE to criminal defense lawyers who don’t usually have access to CLE. Please check out website for the locations of these CLE.

TCDLA currently has 3,203 members. It is the largest crim­inal defense lawyers association in the country. We ask our members to encourage other lawyers who practice criminal law to join TCDLA.

Good verdicts to all.

Joseph A. Martinez
Joseph A. Martinez
Joseph A. Martinez is the former long-time Executive Director of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.
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