President’s Message: September 2022

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Oftentimes we wait until it is too late to thank the heroes in our lives. We think we have all the time in the world to get around to it. We want to wait for the perfect time and the perfect words. And the way life frequently plays out – we struggle to find either of them. Before we know it, life happens, and our heroes pass from this earth and the opportunity to thank them – in this life at least – is gone.

Well, on July 5th, we lost one of our own heroes, Honorable Frank Maloney. Judge Maloney was truly one of the greatest criminal defense attorneys this state has ever seen. He’s also one of the greatest leaders and Presidents TCDLA has ever been blessed with, having served in the role in 1971‑1972. He also went on to serve the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as President in 1988.

What made him so great? For starters, a sincere calling to serve others: his clients, his colleagues, his family, and his friends. Add to that: his ability to listen; his fundamental understanding that professional success and authentic kindness are not mutually exclusive; and his inclusivity and willingness to encourage and befriend new and up and coming attorneys and to mentor so many lawyers across the state of Texas. Yes, he was wicked smart and great in a courtroom for sure. He had a tremendous track record of success. He had great war stories – far more wins than losses you can be sure. But what made him such a great lawyer was understanding that there was more to life than just practicing law. He understood that being a great lawyer begins with first being a good person. It means being a well‑rounded and well‑grounded person. That’s what gives a lawyer perspective. Perspective to not get too high with the victories and more importantly, to be able to have the courage and fortitude to get back up from the depths of the lows that come from the defeats and battle scars. That’s the foundation that made Judge Maloney a hero of TCDLA. One of the reasons that I made Institutional Knowledge a goal for my year as TCDLA President is to be able to capture these incredibly important lessons – courtroom lessons and life lessons – from the greats like Judge Maloney. Learning from Judge Maloney helps us become better people, better attorneys and a far better TCDLA.

As I was talking the other day with Melissa Schank, our TCDLA Chief Executive Officer, about several of my role models, she reminded me what we admire about our heroes is actually a reflection of ourselves—as much as our own DNA. We just need to see it in our daily lives, to nourish it, and share it with the world. So, thank you, Judge Maloney, and all of the heroes who founded the largest most successful criminal defense organization in America, and in doing so, paved the unstoppable path for us to follow. Thank you for caring so much for the accused and their defenders. We will always honor you, and you will never be forgotten.

Today, take a moment to reach out to your heroes in life and thank them. Now is the perfect time.

TCDLA
TCDLA
Heather Barbieri
Heather Barbieri
Heather Barbieri has more than 20 years of experience representing people facing serious state and federal criminal allegations. She was licensed in 1998, and became board-certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2005. She was named to the Texas Super Lawyers every year since 2013, was named one of D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas for 2022 in the area of Criminal Law, and has an AV-Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Heather was also honored to have been named Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year in 2015 by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association after a series of “not-guilty” verdicts in complex criminal cases, and currently serves as TCDLA’s 2021-2022 President-Elect. She lectures to attorneys on multiple criminal defense topics, and teaches trial skills across the country as a faculty member of the Trial Lawyers College.

Heather Barbieri has more than 20 years of experience representing people facing serious state and federal criminal allegations. She was licensed in 1998, and became board-certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2005. She was named to the Texas Super Lawyers every year since 2013, was named one of D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas for 2022 in the area of Criminal Law, and has an AV-Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Heather was also honored to have been named Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year in 2015 by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association after a series of “not-guilty” verdicts in complex criminal cases, and currently serves as TCDLA’s 2021-2022 President-Elect. She lectures to attorneys on multiple criminal defense topics, and teaches trial skills across the country as a faculty member of the Trial Lawyers College.

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