Features

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

I dropped by a suppression hearing recently and listened to a prosecutor argue the merits of an anonymous tip, which they claimed justified an investigatory detention. I was puzzled. The State asserted their anonymous tip was “reliable” and, therefore, justified the stop and subsequent arrest of the defendant. Though recent case law had expanded the realm of situations in which anonymous tips may justify a detention, I soon realized the prosecutor was arguing only half the story. Evaluating a stop based upon an anonymous tip was actually a two-step process.

Editor's Comment: The Top Ten - By Sarah Roland
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

A friend and colleague sent me this blog post from Judge Richard G. Kopf on Scott Greenfield’s highly respected blog Simple Justice a few days ago, reprinted here with their kind permission. I couldn’t help but smile and pass it along. It speaks for itself and can’t be said any better.

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

The Texas Session is ongoing and we are well represented with our lobbying team of Allen Pace, Andrea Keilen, and David Gonzales, all under the supportive oversight of the TCDLA Legislative Committee, with Bill Harris (Fort Worth) as Chair.

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

It’s hard to believe that this is my last President’s message! That means my year as the President of TCDLA is coming to an end, and it has just flown by. What a ride it has been!

May 2017 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
Features
21 | The 41st Annual Tim Evans Texas Criminal Trial College
23 | Nondisclosure Update - By Sam Adamo Jr.
28 | Candida albicans, the Yeast Syndrome, and the Auto-Brewery Syndrome: Medical Defenses to DWI - By Mark Ryan Thiessen & John Parks Trowbridge, MD
Look Here: 4th Amendment Musings - Apr2017
Thursday, March 30th, 2017

“Every man’s house is his castle” has been a concept celebrated throughout U.S. history, stemming from the colonials and their British roots. See generally Semayne’s Case, 5 Coke’s Repts. 91a, 77 Eng. Rep. 194 (K.B. 1604).

Flowchart on DPS Surcharges
Thursday, March 30th, 2017

The flowchart consists of two pages.

The Time Has Come to Tear Down the Iron Curtain Between the Constitution and Texas Prisons
Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Let’s say a prosecutor has a hunch your client might have something in his cell that could be used against him in his upcoming trial. Maybe a weapon, or drugs, or perhaps a journal in which he has written something that might incriminate him, or at least make him look bad.

Shout Outs
Thursday, March 30th, 2017

A big Shout Out from Bill Habern to his fellow recipient of last year’s Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year award—Richard Gladden of Denton, Texas—for his daunting work landing a restraining order against the DPS.

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

On February 24, 2017, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the judgment and sentence of the district court, holding that government agents may influence where a federal crime occurs, and that there is no such thing as manufactured venue or venue entrapment. United States v. Valenzuela, ___F.3d___, 2017 WL 727553 (1st Cir., February 24, 2017) [The Panel: Chief Judge Howard, Associate Justice Souter (retired, sitting by designation), and Circuit Judge Stahl (Opinion by Stahl)].

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

This is an article written by Jim Skelton in 1985 with some very good information for us all. Jim left this world March 8, 2017. Jim had been the Significant Decisions Editor for the Voice and a longtime participant in the TCDLA Huntsville Trial College. Jim helped many lawyers and helped me come up with the idea for the Ethics Committee and hotline to help lawyers. In Jim’s honor, this will be the Ethics article for this issue. (Note: Judge McKay, from East Texas, was a Harris County judge for many years.)

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

From my perspective the criminal law defense profession continues to be a man’s world. Based on 25 years of observation, the number of women defense lawyers at the county courthouse continues to be a minority. It should not be so, however. There should be more of them in our courtrooms fighting for the rights of the citizen accused.

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

 I have now been the editor of The Voice for one year. What a privilege it has been, what an opportunity. I have been fortunate to work with regular prominent contributors like Buck Files, Stephen Gustitis, and Robert Pelton, and TCDLA’s behind-the-scenes man, Craig Hattersley. We have added a standing Fourth Amendment column, published more from experts, and have heralded in a new SDR author, Michael Mowla.

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Special thanks to Rick Wardroup, course director for our Capital Defense CLE held in Dallas in February. Thanks to his help and our speakers we had 39 attendees.

Special thanks to the Thurgood Marshall School of Law (Houston) and the Earl Carl Institute (Houston) for allowing us to co-sponsor the 6th Annual Hon. Craig Washington and Senator Rodney Ellis Excellence in Indigent Defense Series CLE held at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston in February. Thanks to everyone’s help and assistance we had 113 attendees.

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

You all might remember my President’s Message from last November, in which I shared information with you about our legislative efforts related to pretrial release. Since then, both Senator John Whitmire and Representative Andrew Murr filed identical bills, and it is expected that they will be heard very soon in both chambers. In the past four months, as negotiations have taken place, the bill has morphed, sometimes favorably and sometimes not.

April 2017 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Thursday, March 30th, 2017
Features
21 | The Time Has Come to Tear Down the Iron Curtain Between the Constitution and Texas Prisons: How to Challenge a Warrantless Jail Cell Search - By Mark Stevens
26 | Flowchart on DPS Surcharges - By Ted Wood
37 | Status Update: The Fourth Amendment Is Unlikely to Protect Social Media Footprints - By Katherine Devlin
Traffic Stops Without a Left Turn Signal
Thursday, March 9th, 2017

As we all know, there are instances when driving that individuals in the State of Texas actually do not use their signals. This includes at a time when a person of common intelligence can see that a turn will occur—e.g., in a center turn lane, in turn-only lanes, at a “T” intersection, etc.

“Pass Out” vs. “Blackout”: How Alcohol Can Affect Memory (And Why It Matters)
Thursday, March 9th, 2017

As one can imagine, many criminal cases involve events that occur after a person becomes intoxicated. This is especially true for cases involving sexual offenses. In these alcohol-fueled incidents, the issue of memory can play a large part in the case.

Can the Ails of the Cross-Race Effect on Eyewitness Testimony Be Cured?
Thursday, March 9th, 2017

In 1984, a man broke into Jennifer Thomson’s home, where he raped her (“The Story of Ronald Cotton,” retrieved from www.innocenceproject.org/cases/ronald-cotton/). At trial, Thompson reported having made considerable effort to memorize her attacker’s face.

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