Said & Done



Members of the Strike Force saw action in Comal County, when the DA’s office filed a motion for contempt against Mike Baseluos. Don Flanary and Clay Steadman answered the call (Don has dealt with the office in the past). As a result, the court has abated the contempt action until the trial is concluded. Don will send a letter to the office letting them know the Strike Force is assisting Mike in the action. Way to go, guys. A powerful service TCDLA provides for its members.

Ryan Deck sends kudos to Round Rock attorney Keith Lauerman for his trio of jury trials last fall. In five weeks, he received a two-word verdict on a felony habitual drug case (on videotape), two weeks later, a hung jury on a felony family violence assault with boiling water, and two weeks later, a split verdict on two counts of a felony habitual aggravated assault with a hung jury on punishment. They were three of the seven trials he completed last year, including a capital murder followed by a cold case murder trial a few months before the trio. Good work, counselor.

Professor Pat Metze of the Texas Tech School of Law passes along this good word: “My former clinical student, Sam Ackels, got a not guilty flying solo on a 0.20 breath test DWI in Dallas County today. Baby lawyers kick butt too.” Welcome to the fold, Sam.

Congratulations are due to Paul Looney of Houston, who has been elected a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Only one third of one percent of Texas attorneys are so honored. Kudos, Paul.

Darlina Crowder and Heather Barbieri heard good news on a tough week-long trial on a charge of felony assault of a child: not guilty on all five counts. Way to go, team.

J. Paul Nelson of Henderson heard the two-word verdict on a D charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon: a screwdriver. Two puncture wounds were found in the victim’s chest and a phillips head bit stuck in his heart. After an hour and ten minutes, the jury returned a verdict of self-defense. Good work, Paul.

Our congratulations to the following members of TCDLA who have taken and passed the certification exam and are now board certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (in addition to other certifications they may already have): James Christopher Abel, Cathy Sue Compton, Richard L. Ellison, Ryan Withington Gertz, Spence Douglas Graham, Steven Ray Green, Joshua Hill, Matthew Patrick Horak, Melinda Joan Lehmann, Richard Mitchell, Jeremy Fredrick Rosenthal, and Joseph Francis Vinas.

Scholarships for “A Taste of Voir Dire”
March 5–6, Houston, Texas

The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Educational Institute provides scholarships for seminar tuition, available to deserving attorneys actively engaged in the defense of criminal cases who can demonstrate financial need. Scholarship requests must be in writing and state that the applicant is a TCDLA member and has not received a scholarship within the last two years (Trial College does not count as a scholarship).

Scholarship applicants must send in the following to be considered:

1. Seminar registration form;
2. Letter of request;
3. Letter of recommendation from a TCDLA member;
4. Scholarship request form

Scholarships recipients will receive materials on USB. Course books may be purchased for an additional fee. Scholarships are awarded to qualified applicants in order received.

A Call for Nominations

Nominations for TCDLA’s Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year Award as well as the Charles Butts Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award must be received by March 1st of this year. The awards are presented each year at the Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course in San Antonio in June. You can find the form for nominating someone on the website under the “Awards” tab at the top. The link is the following:

Scholarships & Judge Stipends for Rusty Duncan

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is providing a limited number of travel stipends and scholarships for judges to attend TCDLA’s 28th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course June 18–20, 2015. TCDLA has been advised that judges can request reimbursement for their travel expenses (including transportation, meals, and lodging)—not to exceed $500. Scholarship includes USB, and a book is available for additional charge. The host hotel is the Hyatt Regency. A room block has been set aside for judges at the government rate. The link to apply for scholarships is available on our website, Judges may use this link to apply:

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