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


Please join me in thanking Robb Fickman (Houston) and Chuck Lanehart (Lubbock), our TCDLA 2017 Readings statewide project coordinators. Thanks to their outstanding efforts this year, there were Readings of the Declaration of Independence in over 120 counties across Texas. In addition, the 11 members of “F Troop,” the local coordinators, contributed to the overall success of the project. Robb brought the project to TCDLA from its inception in Houston, and we thank him for having the vision and foresight to do so.

This was my fifth year participating in the readings at the Blackwell Thurman Courthouse in Austin. I firmly believe this is one of the most honored privileges I have has as Executive Director of TCDLA. To stand in front of the public before the halls of justice and speak with a loud voice the words of freedom authored by our founding fathers is beyond description. I strongly recommend you plan on attending and participating in the 2018 Readings Project in your city.

The Texas Special Session is over. TCDLA was represented by Allen and Shea Place.

We want to thank our course directors, Heather Barbieri and John Hunter Smith, for our CDLP Training the Trainers CLE on South Padre Island in July. We require any potential speakers for our CDLP and TCDLA CLE seminars to attend this training. We had 54 attendees.

We want to thank our course directors, Heather Barbieri, Bobby Lerma, John Hunter Smithm and Sheldon Weisfeld, for our Beating the Drum CLE held on South Padre Island in July. Thanks to them and our speakers we had 97 attendees. We also want to thank Bill Trantham (Denton) and Bobby Lerma (Brownsville), past president of TCDLA, for their cooking up the 10th Annual Beach Bar-B-Q. We had over 100 participants.

We held a board orientation for TCDLA/CDLP/TCDLEI board members at South Padre Island. We had 40 participants.

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 CLE credit, or visit the website, at www.tcdla.com, for a listing of online CLE.

Does your local criminal bar need a speaker for your lunch meetings? Please call Melissa Schank (512-478-2514) at the Home Office. CDLP has funds to provide a free legislative update for your local bar.

Don’t have a local criminal defense bar in your area? Would you 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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