Features

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
March 2018 SDR-1
Friday, March 9th, 2018

Voice for the Defense Volume 47, No. 2 Edition

Editor: Michael Mowla

From Editor Michael Mowla:

        1. I summarize each opinion in a manner that allows readers to generally use this SDR instead of reading every opinion.

        2. If you determine that a summarized opinion is relevant to one of your cases, I urge you to read the opinion and not rely solely upon these summaries.

The “Business Duty” Rule for Business and Public Records
Friday, March 9th, 2018

The prosecution often seeks to introduce business records at trial to prove relevant evidentiary points contained within those records. Often times, whether in state or federal court, the prosecution will attach a business records affidavit to the exhibit to overcome any hearsay objection.

Not Guilty v. Cerberus: Winning Intoxicated Manslaughter Trials
Friday, March 9th, 2018

“Ma’am, we regret to inform you, but your son was killed by a drunk driver.”

“Ma’am, we regret to inform you, but your son has been arrested for killing someone while driving intoxicated.”

Shout Outs
Friday, March 9th, 2018

Kudos to TCDLA Director Keith Hampton for his big save in front of the parole board. For the first time since 2007, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted to recommend a lesser sentence for a death row inmate. The board voted unanimously in favor of clemency for Thomas Bartlett Whitaker, halting a scheduled execution. Gov. Greg Abbott then approved the recommendation, the first such approval after 30 denied.

Friday, March 9th, 2018

It must be such an irritation for a judge to have folks wander into the courtroom when the lawyers are conducting their voir dire examinations of the jury panel. In response to this irritation, some judges began to close their courtrooms during the voir dire—even in the trials of criminal cases. Then the Supreme Court held that a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a public trial was violated when the trial court excluded the public from the voir dire examination of prospective jurors—and courtrooms began to remain open. Presley v. Georgia, 130 S.Ct.

Ethics and the Law Mar18-1
Friday, March 9th, 2018

To ethically represent an accused citizen, you must be sure they know the consequences of a plea or finding of guilt. Judge Herb Ritchie, formerly a partner in the law firm of Ritchie and Glass, recently was a guest speaker at the Wednesday Appellate Update class in Houston. Greg Glass shared some of the forms and agreements used by the law firm. They are included in this article. In the law practice these days it is very important to correspond in person, by phone, by letter, or in a jail visit. Failure to communicate is one of the leading causes of a grievance.

Friday, March 9th, 2018

The best part of your story is when it changes.
—Bella Bloom

As I reflect on the last 13 years, I want to thank Joseph Martinez for sharing his wealth of knowledge and allowing me to gain all the experience that has prepared me for this moment. I have some very large shoes to fill, but thanks to Joseph’s guidance—as well as our leadership, members, and staff—the transition will be smooth.

President's Message: Remembering the Lawyers at the Alamo
Friday, March 9th, 2018

I can still remember my first trip as a child to the Alamo. I was probably five years old, a tow-headed, crewcut kid, and it didn’t matter to me if it was broiling that summer day in San Antonio. My coonskin cap was not coming off my head regardless of my level of dehydration as the beads of perspiration rolled down my face.

March 2018 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Friday, March 9th, 2018
Features
23 | Not Guilty v. Cerberus: Winning Intoxicated Manslaughter Trials - By Mark Thiessen
29 | The “Business Duty” Rule for Business and Public Records - By Clint Broden

Columns
6 | President's Message
10 | Interim Executive Director's Perspective
12 | Ethics and the Law
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