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


The TCDLA board of directors met in Dallas on September 12, 2015. Sam Bassett, president, announced the following informational items:

President Announcements: Sam welcomed everyone to the board meeting and stated how excited he is to be here.

Recognitions, Sam Bassett: Sam gave recognition to Robb Fickman (Houston) for all his organization and work for the Declaration of Independence Readings.

Timothy Cole Exoneration Commission, Sam Bassett: Sam will participate on the commission as an advisor. John Convery is invited to continue to serve next year as TCDLA President or appoint someone.

NACDL Report

        Indigent Defense Report was given. John Convery will spearhead this issue and work with NACDL.

Charles Butts Memorial Scholarship: Sam has created a Charles Butts Memorial Scholarship, funded through the TCDLEI. You may donate through the TCDLA office.

NACDL Reception and Seminar, Sam Bassett: NACDL will have a Midwinter Conference on Mental Health February 17–20, 2016, in Austin. TCDLA and others will sponsor a Texas-style reception. Contact the TCDLA office if you would like to be a sponsor.

Fallen Heroes, Michael Gross: A moment of silence was given in recognition of fallen hero Charlie Butts, who was a founding father of TCDLA from San Antonio.

The following motions were passed:*

MOTION: Minutes—June 20, 2015
Motion to adopt the minutes from the TCDLA Board Meeting on June 20, 2015, in San Antonio made by Michael Gross, seconded by Susan Anderson—motion carries.

Motion to increase TCDLA 401k contribution for employees from 8% to 9.5% made by Susan Anderson, seconded by Bob Hinton—motion carries.

MOTION: FY 2015–16 TCDLA Budget
Motion to approve FY 2015–16 TCDLA budget made by Roberto Balli, seconded by Susan Anderson—motion carries.

MOTION: Check Signers—TCDLA Officers
Motion to approve TCDLA Officers as check signers—Sam Bassett, John Convery, Mark Snodgrass, David Moore, Kerri Anderson-Donica, and Grant Scheiner—made by David Ryan, seconded by Nicole DeBorde—motion carries.

MOTION: SABA Resolution for Jimmy Ellison
Motion to create a resolution for recognition of Jimmy Ellison, Executive Director of San Antonio Bar Association, made by Michael Gross, seconded by George Milner—motion carries.

MOTION: Adjourn
Motion to adjourn at 12:20 pm, made by David Ryan, seconded by Susan Anderson—motion carries.

TCDLA received notice from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals of the following grant awards for fiscal year 2016 (September 1, 2015, through August 31, 2016):

Criminal Defense Lawyers Project$1,128,432
Public Defenders$33,036

TCDLA will maximize these grants and conduct 51 seminars in the coming year. Forty-eight will be held in cities across Texas. Twenty will be online on our TCDLA website. Working together with the public defender offices and our local criminal defense bars, we project that we will train 5,000 lawyers in fiscal year 2016.

We thank the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for having the trust and confidence in TCDLA to provide quality continuing legal education to criminal defense lawyers across Texas. We thank in particular Judge Barbara Hervey, who is judicial oversight for the entire $18,000,00 Court Personnel Grant.

Special thanks to Sarah Roland (Denton) and John Hunter Smith (Sherman), our course directors for our first Successfully Defending Child Physical Abuse & Child Death Cases CLE held in Dallas in September. Thanks to their initiative and the lineup of speakers we had 72 attendees.

Special thanks to Laura Peterson (Garland) and Kameron Johnson (Austin, Travis County Public Defender), our course directors for the Defending Juveniles CLE held in Dallas in September. Thanks to their efforts and the speakers we had 65 attendees.

Special thanks to Tip Hargrove (San Angelo) and John Hunter Smith (Sherman), our course directors for our Upholding Justice One Client at a Time CLE in San Angelo in September. Thanks to their efforts we had 39 attendees.

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 your area? Would like to re-energize and jump-start your organization? Are you interested in forming a local criminal defense bar? Need help getting organized? Please contact Susan Anderson (Dallas), , Laurie Key (Lubbock), , or Carmen Roe (Houston), , co-chairs of the TCDLA Affiliate Committee.

Good verdicts to all.

*Minutes not approved by the Board

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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