Executive Director’s Perspective: Summer Breeze – By Joseph A. Martinez


Very special thanks to TCLDA outgoing president, Bill Harris (Fort Worth). Because of Bill, TCLDA is a stronger, more active, and robust organization. Thanks to his leadership, TCDLA ‘s current membership is 3,100 and growing, he has successfully provided high quality CLE to over 5,000 lawyers in the past 12 months, and lobbied for a successful Texas Legislative Session. TCDLA wished Bill the best as he now moves into his new role as a past president.

Special thanks to our course directors, Jeanette Kinard (Austin), Bobby Lerma (Brownsville), Mark Snodgrass (Lubbock), Sheldon Weisfeld (Brownsville), and David Moore (Longview) for Trial Tactics: The Art of War seminar held in South Padre Island. Thanks to our speakers, most of whom had spoken in cities across Texas for the Trial Tactics: Art of War seminar. These speakers were Mark Snodgrass, Sam Bassett, Jani Maselli, Michael Gross, Oscar Pena, Susan Anderson, Kelly Pace, and Mark Thiessen.

Very special thanks to Bobby Lerma (Brownsville) and Bill Trantham (Denton) who coordinated and cooked for the 7th Annual Island Beach Bar-B-Que. We had over 70 attendees. Also helping out were Rick Wardroup and John Cantu.

Special thanks to Jay Norton, President of the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, for allowing TCDLA to co-sponsor the DWI—No Means No: How to Scientifically Defend the No Refusal Case seminar held in San Antonio on July 8. Over 150 attendees heard an outstanding lineup of speakers.

Lydia Clay Jackson, President Elect and chair of the TCDLA Nominating Committee, has selected the 2011 Nominating Committee. She is encouraging TCDLA members to submit their applications for the TCLDA board. The application can be downloaded from the TCDLA website or please call the Home Office and a copy will be sent to the member. Members can also contact the nominating committee member from their district for an application. TCDLA will be sending the application to the presidents of all local criminal defense bars and Public Defender offices as well as all TCDLA members.

There are a total of 15 board and 16 associate board slots that need to be reappointed or filled. There is also the position of secretary of the board that will need to be filled. The deadline for submitting an application is 12:00 pm on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. The nominating committee will meet on Saturday, December 3, 2011, in Houston to determine who will be the 2012–2013 nominees. The TCDLA members present will vote on the nominees at the TCDLA Annual Board Meeting on Saturday, June 9, 2012, in San Antonio.

TCLDA wants to recognize David Moore (Longview), who for the last year has served as Chair of the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project (CDLP). David was chair of the committee who had responsibility for oversight of the more than $1 million in grants from the Court of Criminal Appeals. David oversaw the coordination of course directors, speakers, topics, and more than 28 seminars and close to 3,000 lawyers trained in the past year. David was invaluable in his commitment to training excellence. David will remain on the CDLP Committee.

TCDLA has received notice from the Court of Criminal Appeals of its FY 2012 awards of $926,628.00 for CDLP and $28,334.00 for the Public Defenders Travel Stipends. The announcement on the grant awards for the Innocence grant should be announced by late August 2011. TCDLA is appreciative of the trust and confidence the Court has in our association shown by its significant financial commitment.

The TCDLA Executive Committee approved a special recognition of Justin McShane (Pennsylvania). Gary Trichter, President of TCDLA, presented the resolution to Justin at the 9th Annual Top Gun seminar in Houston.

Special acknowledgement to Brian Wice, who spoke at the 9th Annual Top Gun seminar on August 11 and then spoke at the “Innocence Work” in the Real World for Real Lawyers: A Practical Seminar on Representing the Innocent After Conviction seminar on August 12. TCLDA thanks Brian for his commitment to justice.

Joseph Martinez attended the biannual meeting of the Executive Director of Criminal Defense Lawyer State Associations. This year the meeting was held in Denver in conjunction with NACDL’s summer seminar and board meeting.

All TCDLA members are cordially invited to attend the next TCDLA Board of Directors Meeting to be held in Austin on Saturday, September 24, at 10:00 am at the Wyndham Hotel on South I-35 and Woodward St., across from the IRS.

Please save the date to join us at the 25th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course June 7–9, 2012. Our course directors will be Troy McKinney, Stephanie Stevens, and Doug Murphy, with associate course directors Sharon Curtis, Sarah Roland, and Marjorie Bachman.

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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