Executive Director’s Perspective: Falling Forward – By Joseph A. Martinez


Special thanks to Janet Burnett (El Paso), Greg Velazquez (El Paso), and Rick Wardroup (Lubbock), our course directors for the Indigent Defense Training: Fighting for Those Who Have Served Us CLE held in El Paso in September. Thanks to their efforts we had 80 attendees.

Special thanks to Troy McKinney (Houston), our course director for the DWI CLE held in Onalaska in September. Thanks to everyone’s efforts we had 8 attendees.

Special thanks to Carlos Garcia (Austin) and Rick Wardroup, Capital Assistance Attorney (Lubbock), our course directors for the Capital Case Litigators Initiative (CCLI) CLE held in Houston in October. Thanks to our speakers and faculty. This was a Department of Justice grant through the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Thanks to everyone efforts we had 75 attendees. TCLDA gives its appreciation to Judge Barbara Hervey, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, for having the foresight to apply for the CCLI grant. TCLDA also thanks all of the Judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for their support in securing the CCLI funds.

The purpose of the training is to focus on teamwork in the defense of persons charged with capital murder and facing the potential of a death sentence. Plenary sessions included presentations on brainstorming culpability and punishment issues; techniques to improve communication with clients and their families; and the effect of mental health issues and trauma on the clients. Instruction were given on working with victim families and obtaining the resources necessary to properly defend the clients. Small group breakout sessions provided the opportunity to work on the implementation of the skills taught. TCDLA will have another CCLI CLE in early February 2013. Please check our website for more information.

Please make plans to come to beautiful San Antonio for the Annual Stuart Kinard Ad­vanced DWI seminar. Come enjoy the unique Menger Hotel and the San Antonio River November 15–16.

Please also make plans to attend the Defending Those Accused of Sexual Assault CLE in Houston December 6–7, 2012. Enjoy the Houston nightlife and stay over to attend the TCLDA Board of Directors meeting. The Board invites you to attend this quarterly board meeting, Saturday, December 8, at 10:00 a.m. The seminar and board meeting will both be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Smith Street in downtown Houston.

Thanks to the leadership of TCDLA and the support of its members, the following is a list of what TCDLA has accomplished in the past 12 months:

Dues-current TCDLA Membership                             3,245
Total Sales of TCDLA Publications               $101,806.29
Total Hits on TCDLA Website                               1,661,435
Total Hits for Voice for the Defense Online      500,000+
Number of Members on TCDLA Listserve                   995
 Lawyers on TCDLA Public Defender Listserve       194
 Lawyers on Capital Listserve                                        195
 Lawyers on TCDLA Legislative Listserve             1,838

Please join President Lydia Clay-Jackson for the Annual TCLDA Membership Trip and Cruise CLE. The dates for the Trip are February 16–21. There will be 6 hours of CLE for the five-day cruise. Come join the fun, the summer-like weather, and great company.

The 37th Annual Texas Criminal Trial College (TCTC) will be held March 17–22, 2013, on the Sam Houston State Uni­versity campus in Huntsville. Lydia Clay-Jackson (Conroe) and Tim Evans (Fort Worth) are Deans of Student and Faculty, respectively. Eighty lawyers will be accepted to the TCTC. Please help us recruit lawyers with fewer than five years of criminal defense trial experience. The application is on page 19 and on the TCDLA website, www.tcdla.com. Or you can call the Home Office and have one faxed to you (512-478-2514). The deadline for the submission of the applications is noon, January 18, 2013.

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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