Features

There Won’t Be Blood
Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

Evidence obtained from the defendant’s blood is often the lynchpin in a Texas criminal case. And since the analysis of blood is such an intensely scientific process, no wonder the State (and often the Defense) employs an expert to testify about it.

Nondisclosures & Expunctions
Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

Nondisclosures

Deferred Adjudication Nondisclosure

Section 411 of the Government Code was created to allow an “Order for Nondisclosure” in certain cases when a deferred adjudication has been completed.

Shout Outs
Saturday, April 28th, 2018

Shout out to Drew Willey of Galveston, written up in the New York Times after a judge allegedly took away some of his indigent clients and refused to appoint him new ones because he “worked too hard.” His offense? The judge said he was “the only attorney” who routinely asked for a paid investigator, complaining that cases resulting in guilty pleas should generally take more than three hours of work.

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

I have vivid memories of the trial of a conspiracy case that took place 40 years ago. There were seven of us sitting at the defense table representing our clients. Early on, it became obvious that we had almost as much to worry about from one of our brethren as we did from the Government.

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

April was National Child Abuse Prevention Month. I’ve often wondered what month is National Exoneree Recognition Month (or some other synonymous title). Make no mistake, child abuse, in any and every form, is wrong and despicable. But what happens when an innocent parent or caregiver is wrongly accused, prosecuted, and convicted? We know it happens. It especially happens in the context of child abuse when everyone’s emotions naturally tend to outweigh reason, facts, and logic.

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life.’”

—Maya Angelou

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

It’s hard for me to imagine that my year as TCDLA president is coming to a close. In many ways it seems like it’s just been minutes . . . (underwater!!!). But seriously, I cannot tell you how much I have appreciated this opportunity of service.

Through the years, some of my predecessors have been lucky enough to have the kind of terms where the stars are aligned, and they are somehow able to skate through the calendar without any issues or drama. I will spare you the details, but this has certainly not been one of those years.

May 2018 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Saturday, April 28th, 2018
Features
21 | Proposed CCA Amendments to the Rules of Appellate Procedure
23 | Pictures from the 42nd Annual Tim Evans Texas Criminal Trial College - By Shreika Madison
26 | Nondisclosures & Expunctions - By Betty Blackwell
36 | There Won’t Be Blood - By Lanny Begley and Mimi Coffey

Columns
TCDLA & NACDL, Helping Each Other
Saturday, March 31st, 2018

From the archives: This article by TCDLA’s first president appeared in the March 1988 issue of Voice for the Defense.

The Intersection of Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System
Saturday, March 31st, 2018

 

 

When the criminal justice system and the offender with mental disorder collide, it is often a train wreck.

Shout Outs
Saturday, March 31st, 2018

Shout to Christopher Till of Comanche for the big NG in a recent delivery of meth case. Chris had filed a motion in limine attempting to block a video and audio recording made of the delivery by a confidential informant—who didn’t happen to make it for the trial. In closing he reminded the jury of a defendant’s right to confront the witness against him (which the court had disregarded in allowing the video), and the jury agreed.

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

Almost four years ago, the Supreme Court held that the police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested. Riley v. California, 134 S.Ct. 2473, 189 L.Ed.2d 430 (2014) [Opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, in which Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment].

Ethics and the Law Apr18-1
Saturday, March 31st, 2018

The phrase “speaks with a forked tongue” means to deliberately say one thing and mean another—or to be hypocritical or act in a duplicitous manner. In the longstanding tradition of many Native American tribes, “speaking with a forked tongue” has meant lying, and a person was no longer considered worthy of trust once he had been shown to speak with a forked tongue.

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

Trials are always interesting. You can never predict exactly what’s going to happen. There’s always something that doesn’t go quite as planned—a witness that says or does something unexpected or a piece of evidence that seemingly comes out of nowhere. This truism rings even truer when accomplices and jailhouse informants enter the cast of characters that appear in trial. The wheels go off the track.

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer
—Sir William Blackstone

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

In the 27 years I’ve been a member of TCDLA, I have had the opportunity to make a lot of great friends. I’ve also had the good fortune to go on some terrific TCDLA trips. Napa, New Orleans, Banff, Santa Fe, Monterrey, cruises, just to name a few, and they have all been memorable. As I write this, we are nearing the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I want to share with you my favorite.

April 2018 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Saturday, March 31st, 2018
Features
24 | What’s New and What’s the Same at This Year’s Rusty Duncan
27 | The Intersection of Mental Illness & the Criminal Justice System - By Sarah Roland
35 | From the Archives: TCDLA & NACDL, Helping Each Other - By Hon. Frank Maloney

Columns
6 | President's Message
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