Executive Director’s Perspective: Rusty Review – By Joseph A. Martinez


TCDLA has been very fortunate to have Bobby Mims (Tyler) as president in the last year. Thanks to his guidance and wise counsel, TCDLA advanced in all aspects of the association. Special thanks to Bobby for his sacrifices and his outstanding contributions in the past year. Welcome to Emmett Harris (Uvalde), our new President. We look forward to a successful and prosperous year under his leadership.

Special thanks to Michael Gross (San Antonio), who served as Chair of the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project (CDLP) Committee. This is the committee that oversees the $1+ million grant from the CCA. We thank Michael for his contributions overseeing CDLP activities. Kelly Pace (Tyler) is the new chair for CDLP. Jani Jo Woods is the new CDLP Vice Chair.

Thanks to Frank Suhr (New Braunfels), the Chair for this past year for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Educational Institute (TCDLEI). Kameron Johnson will serve as the new Chair for TCDLEI this year. Randy Wilson (Abilene) was presented a special service award by outgoing Chair Frank Suhr for his 20 years serving on the TCDLEI Board. Randy served as the Chair for nearly 10 of his years on the Board.

Special thanks to Heather Barbieri (Plano), Jason Cassel (Longview), and Michael Heiskell (Fort Worth), our course directors for the 27th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law in Course held in San Antonio in June. Thanks to them and the speakers, and staff support, we had 899 attendees. This was the largest Rusty Duncan attendance ever in a non-legislative year. Please make plans on joining us for next year’s 28th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course, scheduled for June 18–20, 2015.

At Rusty this year, a special Justice Award was given to Senator Robert Duncan (Lubbock) for his authorship with Senator Rodney Ellis (Houston) of this year’s Michael Morton Act. Senator Ellis was not present but will receive his award at a later date.

Also honored at Rusty were Hall of Fame honorees David Botsford (Austin), Ron Goranson (Dallas), and Stan Schneider (Houston), as well as the Percy Foreman Lawyers of the Year, Keith Hampton (Austin) and Michael Ware (Fort Worth), and the Charles Butts Pro Bono Lawyers of the Year, Casie Gotro (Houston), Angela Moore (Boerne), and Mark Stevens (San Antonio). Congratulations to all.

Special thanks to Warren Wolf and Bud Ritenour, our lunch speakers for the Capital Update.

Special thanks to all of the participants who attended this year’s Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course. Those of you who did not can purchase the DVD on our website. We will be sending our TCDLA Affiliates a complimentary copy they can use over the next 12 months for CLE at their monthly meetings.

Special thanks to Christie and Gerry Goldstein for opening their King William home to over 500 lawyers for the annual Pachanga party. Special thanks Harold Danford (Kerrville) and Clay Steadman (Kerrville) for coordinating the Annual TCDLA Golf Tournament.

Special thanks to our Membership Party Committee, Melissa Schank, Melinda Carroll, Lance Evans, and Mark Thiessen, who delivered the first time ever Casino Night Membership Party. A very good time was had by all.

Special thanks to Lynn Richardson and Alex Bunin, our course directors for the Public Defender training held in San Antonio on June 11. Thanks to their efforts we had 78 attendees.

Please make plans to join us for the 12th Annual Top Gun DWI seminar in Houston on August 22. How to deal with blood draws is the focus of the seminar.

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.

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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