Features

A Tribute to Buck Files
Thursday, May 5th, 2016

There is a blithe irony in our honoring Buck for his 200th article for this publication—a man of few words for having expressed literally thousands of them. In fact, if you know Buck, you’ve likely had entire conversations when he used only three: “Never Quit. Never.”

Buck calls that phrase his “mantra,” and it is profoundly self-expository. In fact, it is its speaker in sum.

Buck Files Makes It 200!
Thursday, May 5th, 2016

In October 1986 the U.S. president was Reagan, Thatcher was UK Prime Minister, and Gorbachev was in power in Russia. The Berlin Wall yet divided East and West Germany. “Magnum PI” was the most popular TV show, the Mets won the 1986 World Series.

Said & Done New
Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Kudos

Kudos to Bradley L. Clark of Fort Worth, who was recently elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

This column is about Robert C. Nalley, a Maryland state judge who committed a federal criminal offense in a courtroom where he was hearing pre-trial matters before jury selection began. You will see in real time what the judge does and how it impacted the defendant, Delvon King-Ali, who was standing before him:

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

It seems I’ve been dangling Off the Back lately . . . regularly advising good clients of bad news. It’s been a headwind, for sure. And not something to share with many. Mostly, it’s a private struggle. And such a dichotomy. Strength on the outside, weakness on the inside. I could not have scripted the human condition any better. Inevitably, the self-doubt follows: Do I really think I’m helping anybody? Gratefully, the answer does not exist in the microcosm of introspection. Rather, it’s found in the macrocosm of the justice system in which we work.

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

“Life Is Like a Mountain Railway”

Life is like a mountain railway
With an engineer that’s brave
We must make this run successful
From the cradle to the grave.

Heed the curves and watch the tunnels
Never falter, never fail
Keep your hands upon the throttle
And your eye upon the rail.

Editor's Comment: The Gold Standard - By Sarah Roland
Thursday, May 5th, 2016

The gold standard—the absolute best, the benchmark, the epitome of perfection. It’s what many of us aspire to be professionally and what few actually achieve. Buck Files is no doubt the gold standard among us. He has been a consistent and quality contributor to The Voice for 30 years. In this regard, his contribution to TCDLA is unparalleled. TCDLA is fortunate to have had Buck on its team for all these years. There is no sign of him slowing down, either! 

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

The TCDLA Board of Directors met on Saturday, February 13, 2016, in New Orleans. The following motions were made and passed:

May 2016 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Features
25 | Buck Files Makes It 200! - By Bobby Mims
27 | “Never Quit. Never.” A Tribute to Buck Files - By Frank E. Stevenson
29 | 2016 TCDLA Long Range Plan - By TCDLA Long Range Planning Committee
35 | The Kibitzer Case - By Judge Wayne Patrick Priest
37 | Privilege vs. Confidentiality - By Dean Watts
The Star Expert in the Pre-Columbian Artifacts Affair
Saturday, April 9th, 2016

The Pre-Columbian Artifacts case had already been tried and appealed once before I ever became involved in it. The Defendants had all been convicted, both of transporting the artifacts in international and interstate commerce and of conspiring to do so. The Fifth Circuit had sent the case back to Judge John H.

Successfully Suppressing a Search Warrant in Federal Court
Saturday, April 9th, 2016

The Facts

My court-appointed client, Jermaine Jones (JJ), a career offender, had been indicted in the U.S. District Court for the Western Dis­trict of Texas, Waco Division, for possessing just shy of 46 grams of crack cocaine and a loaded .45 handgun. Four Deputy U.S.

Between a Reversal at the Court of Appeals and Discretionary Review: What Are Appointed Counsel’s Duties?
Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Under two US Supreme Court rulings,2 where a state provides for appellate review of criminal convictions, an indigent appellant enjoys a constitutional right to appointment of counsel for an initial appeal of right, but

Said & Done New
Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Kudos

When we extended kudos to TCDLA members recently certified in criminal law by the Board of Legal Specialization, we missed one: Steven J. Lieberman of Houston. Sorry, Steven, and congratulations.

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

The event has occurred on thousands of occasions. Terry Trooper sees Danny Defendant driving on his highway. Something catches Terry’s attention that causes him to believe Danny has committed or is committing a criminal offense. Terry initiates a traffic stop that leads to a conversation with Danny, a seizure of something, and a warrantless arrest. The issue for the trial court or the appellate court is always the same: Did Terry have probable cause or a reasonable suspicion that Danny had committed or was committing a criminal offense?

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Our money is rarely a topic of conversation at the courthouse. We are often stoked to talk about the law . . . always primed to share details of our latest victory or penetrating cross-examination. But what about money? When our law practice closes its doors for the last time, what will we have to show for our decades of sacrifice? Hopefully, we’ll have some degree of financial freedom. But the statistics are dismal. Americans do not save enough.

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Midnight special is a traditional folk song thought to have originated among prisoners in the American South (www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TXfcsFhc7A). The title comes from the passenger train “Midnight Special” and is performed from the viewpoint of the prisoners. Lyrics first appeared in print in 1905.

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

As I write this column, my husband and I are preparing to bring our second child—a boy—into this world. We have decided to name him Samuel George Smith. (Yes, I am one of those women who didn’t change my last name.) George, after my late dad, George Roland. My dad was a fierce defender of the Constitution—the best. I now know and appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears that he invested in his work and its meaning. The soon-to-be birth of my son has me thinking a lot about legacies—the ones we leave behind, the ones we create, the ones we pass on.

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Please join me in welcoming Andrea Keilen, our new General Counsel for TCDLA. Andrea will also be our Lobbyist, working with our lobby team in the upcoming Texas Legislative session. Andrea brings a wealth of experience to TCDLA. We are very fortunate to have her on board. She can be reached at the home office, 512-478-2514.

Special thanks to course director Rick Wardroup for our Capital/Mental Health seminar held in Houston in February. Thanks to him and our speakers we had 108 attendees.

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