Executive Director’s Perspective: We Are Family – By Joseph A. Martinez


As of November 1, 2016, I have had the privilege and honor to serve the membership of TCDLA for 15 years. In that time I have spoken and written of the TCDLA family. I have come to a profound understanding of what that meant in the last four months.

My wife and life partner, Guadalupe Bertha Duarte Martinez, passed away and went to the Lord’s side on October 27, 2016. My family wants to sincerely thank all of the TCDLA family who have sent flowers, donations, cards, emails, texts, and phone calls—and who attended the services—from all across Texas. My TCDLA family has come to help us out in this most difficult time. That is what families do, take care of each other, and we are most grateful. I often wondered in the past what purpose did the Lord have bringing me to TCDLA? I now know with certainty. Michael Heiskell (Fort Worth) and his family have started and endowed the Bertha Martinez Travel Scholarship to the Texas Criminal Trial College. Contributions can be made to the scholarship fund through TCDLEI.

Bill filing has begun for the 85th Texas Legislative session. TCDLA Legislative Committee Chair Bill Harris (Fort Worth) and TCDLA General Counsel Andrea Keilen (Austin) are preparing for the session. Please contract them if you have any questions. Andrea can be reached at . If you are a TCDLA member, please sign up for the TCDLA Legislative Listserve to receive valuable updates.

We thank our course directors, John Hunter Smith (Sherman) and Roberto Balli (Laredo), for the Beating Drum for Justice CLE held in Laredo in October. Thanks to them and our speakers we had 42 attendees.

We thank course directors Bobby Barrera, Michael Gross, and Adam Kobs (all from San Antonio) for the 12th Annual Advanced DWI CLE held in San Antonio. Thanks to them and our speakers, we had 92 attendees.

Weren’t able to attend this year’s 29th Annual 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 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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