Ethics and the Law: Slim to None-1
Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Regardless of where a lawyer practices, one thing will always remain the same—time is money. Abraham Lincoln said it best when stating, “a lawyer’s time and advice is his stock and trade.” When a client seeks out an attorney to represent him or her, the client is essentially paying for two things—the lawyer’s time and knowledge. More importantly, as most lawyers unfortunately know, when the case is over and the client has not fully paid, you have two chances of being paid—SLIM TO NONE—regardless of how much time and knowledge you put into it.

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Special thanks to our course directors, Jason Cassel and Audrey Moorehead, for the TCDLA Cross-Examination seminar and to course directors Kerri Anderson-Donica, Heather Barbieri, and Mark Bennett for the Voir Dire CLE held in Dallas in September. Thanks to their help we had 50 attendees for Cross-Examination and 63 attendees for Voir Dire.

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Although the temperatures belie it now, fall is upon us. With it, we will see the end of an intense and unpredictable summer of politics and the start of the holiday season. A holiday season in an even-numbered year, means that a legislative session is right around the corner!

November 2016 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Saturday, November 5th, 2016

21 | Receipt of Incriminating Evidence and the Need for Protection - By Keith Hampton
28 | Avoiding the One-Eyed Expert and Handling the Others - By Hilary Sheard
36 | The Long Hot Summer—Dilley Style - By Judge Pat Priest

6 | President's Message

Look Here: 4th Amendment Musings - Oct2016
Friday, October 7th, 2016

Search & Seizure: So, What’s Going On?

(Rodriguez v. U.S., 135 S. Ct. 1609, April 21, 2015)

So What’s the Big Deal? Many attorneys in Texas were not impressed by the Rodriguez decision.

The Leming Opinion Is Not the Silver Bullet Prosecutors Claim
Friday, October 7th, 2016

Safe Weaving Is No Basis for a Stop

Those familiar with criminal defense in the state of Texas have likely encountered the issue of weaving within the lane as a basis for a police stop.

Ethical Problems with Giving Free Legal Advice
Friday, October 7th, 2016

Q: Hey, are you really a lawyer? Can I ask you a couple of questions?

How many times have we been approached by someone with those questions? Is this person now a client or just a minor irritation? Do we have ethical obligations in that situation? What are they?

Defending Child Injury Cases
Friday, October 7th, 2016


Kid cases—whether they be allegations of physical or sexual abuse—are the hardest cases to defend. Jurors, understandably, come in with an inherent prejudice against our client and wanting to save the child. It is an uphill battle from the start.

Said & Done New
Friday, October 7th, 2016


Kudos to Harris County Chief Public Defender Alexander Bunin, who was presented with the Champion of Public Defense Award by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at its 59th Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, FL, in August.

Friday, October 7th, 2016

On July 12, 2016, United States District Judge William H. Pauley III, of the Southern District of New York, granted the defendant’s motion to suppress the narcotics and drug paraphernalia recovered by law enforcement agents in connection with a search of his apartment. Judge Pauley held that (1) the warrantless use of a cell-site simulator to locate the defendant’s apartment as the place of use for the target cell phone, was an unreasonable search; (2) the attenuation doctrine was inapplicable; and, (3) the third-party doctrine was also inapplicable [emphasis added].

Friday, October 7th, 2016

Successfully summoning an out-of-state witness to testify in Texas is a chore. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 24.28, is entitled Uniform Act to Secure Attendance of Witnesses from Without State. Section 4 provides our authority to subpoena a witness from another state. The process is error-prone and rarely guaranteed. Nonetheless, your out-of-state witness may be the lynchpin of your case. To this end, some insight into the logistical pitfalls may save you hours of work and millimeters of stomach lining.

Friday, October 7th, 2016

It’s that time of year again—Fall Ball, postseason baseball, the Fall Classic. I’ve always loved baseball. I still love to play catch and burnout and have a whole baseball collection. My brothers and I grew up in a baseball family. Our dad introduced us to baseball early on. He coached and sponsored our little league teams, and when it was clear we loved baseball as much as he did, he built us our own field of dreams . . . complete with a real cornfield in the outfield and wooden bleachers.

Friday, October 7th, 2016

The TCDLA membership met on June 18, 2016, in San Antonio for the 45th Annual Membership Meeting. The following motions were made.

MOTION: Approve Minutes—February 13, 2016
Motion to adopt the minutes from the Board Meeting on February 13, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana, made by Nicole DeBorde, seconded by David Ryan—motion carries.

MOTION: Board Electronic Votes—Motion to approve electronic votes for recipients of:

Friday, October 7th, 2016

DNA mixture issues have been at the forefront during the first half of 2016. An update is in order, but first some background. While some in the forensic community have raised this issue for years, it got widespread attention in May 2015, when the FBI notified labs across the country of discrepancies discovered in the interpretation of DNA mixture cases—those in which multiple contributors may be present.

October 2016 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Friday, October 7th, 2016
23 | Defending Child Injury Cases - By Sarah Roland
30 | Ethical Problems with Giving Free Legal Advice - By Janet Burnett
34 | The Leming Opinion Is Not the Silver Bullet Prosecutors Claim - By Lanny Begley
37 | 4th Amendment Musings: Search & Seizure: So, What’s Going On? - By Kelly Pace
Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Voice for the Defense Volume 45, No. 7 Edition

Editors: Tim Crooks, Kathleen Nacozy

Misdemeanor Murder
Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Average Americans think of murder as the cold-blooded crime among all crimes, and the one that mandates sending the offender away for a long, long time.

In Defense of Authenticity
Friday, September 2nd, 2016

This above all:
To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3

Are You Thinking About Cyber Security?
Friday, September 2nd, 2016

“Dear Client.” That’s how the letter usually begins. The next few sentences are a little trickier; there is really no good way to tell someone that their data has been stolen.

The Warrior’s Discovery Toolbox
Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Getting as much insight as possible into your opponent’s case is the keystone to an effective defense. The more information you and your client have, the better informed you and your client are so that both of you can make an informed decision. An uninformed decision, based on inaccurate or no information, can harm your client.

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