Executive Director’s Perspective: Sad News – By Joseph A. Martinez


With a heavy heart, I want to let our members know that Mr. Charles Butts (San Antonio), our 17th president (1987–1988), passed away in San Antonio on July 23, 2015. Mr. Butts contributed so much to the success of TCDLA. We are a strong committed association today because of his love and dedication to TCDLA and its mission. We ask you to keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

The TCDLA Annual Meeting was held on June 20, 2015, in San Antonio. The following motions were voted on by the TCDLA membership:

MOTION: Minutes—March 7, 2015

Motion to adopt the minutes from the TCDLA Board Meeting on March 7, 2015, in Houston made by Ray Rodriguez, seconded by Stephanie Patten—motion carries.

MOTION: Board Electronic Votes

Motion to approve electronic votes for recipients of:

• Hall of Fame: Michael Heiskell, Michael Gibson, and Jeff Kearney
• Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year: Daniel Hurley and Heather Barbieri
• Charlie Butts Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year: Cynthia Orr and Mark Bennett

Made by Ron Goranson, seconded by Frank Sellers—motion carries.

MOTION: Bylaws Sec. 2. Nominations Committee

Prior to January 31st of each year, the President-Elect shall appoint a Nominations Committee consisting of one member from each of the Association’s membership areas and all officers. Each member shall be an attorney who is a current member of TCDLA and has a minimum of five years of practice in criminal law. Past presidents may be appointed to the committee but shall be non-voting members. The chair of the Nominations Committee shall be designated by the President. The Nominations Committee shall meet, and the members present shall select its nominee(s) for those positions in the Association which are open for election or reelection. The chair of the Nominations Committee shall report in writing on or before 90 days prior to the next annual meeting all said nominee(s) for each such position to the President, the Board of Directors, the Executive Director, and the editor of the Voice for the Defense magazine. Association members shall be given notice in writing of the nominee(s) for each such elective position on or before 75 days prior to the next annual meeting. Such notice may be by publication in Voice for the Defense and shall also advise the membership that any qualified member in good standing may seek election for the position as an officer, other than President, director, or associate director of the Association by following requisites of Article IX Section 3(b) of the Bylaws. Any disputed questions regarding an election shall be resolved by those members in good standing who are present and voting at the annual meeting.

Made by Susan Anderson, seconded by Carole Powell—motion carries.

MOTION to approve the slate of nominations for 2015– 2016 officers below and the new and renewing directors and associate directors, made by Sam Bassett, seconded by David Moore—motion carries.

        Slate of Officers:
        Sam Bassett, President
        John Convery, President-Elect
        David Moore, 1st Vice President
        Mark Snodgrass, 2nd Vice President
        Kerri Anderson-Donica, Treasurer
        Grant Scheiner, Secretary

Motion carries.

Special thanks to Sheldon Weisfeld (Brownsville), Bobby Lerma (Brownsville), Kelly Pace, and Jani Maselli, our course directors for the seminar held on beautiful South Padre Island in July. Thanks to them and our outstanding lineup of speakers, we had the largest attendance ever.

Special thanks to our course directors, Jani Maselli (Houston) and Rick Wardroup (Lubbock), for our Training the Trainers seminar held on South Padre Island. Together, TCDLA and CDLP are conducting over 50 CLE in the coming year. We will train over 5,000 lawyers. We are putting significant resources into providing training to our speakers. We want all of our speakers to be prepared to present to our members. We taped the program, and it will be available on the TCDLA website under online CLE. Please call the home office if you are interested in reviewing it.

Special thanks to Bill Trantham (Denton) and his South Texas Grillers—Debbie and Bryan Buchanan (Denton), Mel Bruder (Dallas), Pepe Flores (Austin), and John Cantu (Austin)—for cooking up a barbecue and shrimp feast on the South Padre Island beach. Special thanks to Bobby Lerma (Brownsville) for all of his help in the logistics of putting on the Beach Bar-B-Q and covering and feeding close to 120 persons. We couldn’t do it without him.

Sam Bassett (Austin), President, held his Members Orientation and Retreat on South Padre Island in July. Between the dinner cruise, dolphin watching, and fireworks, as well as the island luau, a very good time was had by all. That included a large number of members with their families. Please make plans to join us next year for the full week of events scheduled for July 13–17, 2016, at the Pearl Hotel on South Padre Island.

Special thanks to Deandra Grant (Dallas) and Mark Theissen (Houston), our course directors for the 2nd Annual Lone Star DWI/Blood 101 seminar held in Austin. Thanks to their efforts and our speakers, we had 156 attendees. Special thanks to Kate Kelley and David Botsford for hosting a fabulous reception at their Westlake home for the attendees of the Lone Star DWI seminar.

Thanks to our members, we will have most of our TCDLA publications updated and ready to be sent to your offices beginning in mid-September 2015. Please go to our website for more information and to order your publications.

Please put down the dates for the 29th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course in San Antonio: June 16–18, 2016. Our course directors will be Heather Barbieri (Denton), Jo Ann Jacinto (El Paso), Mark Stevens (San Antonio), Kameron Johnson (Austin), and Jim Darnell (El Paso). Scholarships will be available, thanks to all of you who bought the TCDLEI t-shirts.

Weren’t able to attend this year’s Rusty Duncan? 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 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 or 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.

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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