Contributors

Mark G. Daniel

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Mark G. Daniel practices in Fort Worth. He is past president of TCDLA and has chaired TCDLA’s Legislative Committee for five legislative sessions since 2004. Mark is board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He was selected as Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year by TCDLA in 2009. He has been selected by Texas Monthly magazine as one of the top 100 lawyers in Texas (all categories) from 2007 to present.

Mark Griffith

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Mark Griffith attended St. Edwards University in Austin, where as valedictorian he earned his BA in Latin American Studies. He received his JD from Baylor University. Founding President of the Ellis County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Mark has twice served in that capacity. He founded his Waxahachie law firm in 1993. Mark has attended Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming three times.

Mark Ryan Thiessen

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Mark Thiessen is a criminal trial lawyer and the Chairman/CEO of the Thiessen Law Firm in Houston, Texas. Mark earned the American Chemical Society-Chemistry and the Law (ACS-CHAL) Forensic Lawyer-Scientist designation, which is the highest form of scientific recognition available for lawyers. Mark is a frequent legal seminar lecturer, author of numerous published legal articles, and a LawLine and HBA faculty member.

Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the George Hanson Society, and has defended persons accused of crime since 1979. He can be reached at mark@markstevenslaw.com.

Mary Alice Conroy

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Mary Alice Conroy, PhD, ABPP, is Director of Training in the Forensic Doctoral Program at Sam Houston State University, as well as the past president of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, and the most cited mental health practitioner in the past 40 years by the United States Supreme Court—either by name or in citing her work—as she was for many years the chief examiner in competency/sanity matters in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Mary Beth Harrell

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Mary Beth Harrell is a solo practitioner specializing in criminal defense in Central Texas. Harrell was also an assistant district attorney and city prosecutor. She founded the Bell County Women’s Bar Association and served as past president of the Coryell County Bar Association. Harrell is president of the Coryell County Economic Development Board and taught Business Law at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She has been a featured speaker at the Central Texas Business Women’s Exposition. Harrell produced and hosted a talk show on the local PBS TV channel, KNCT-TV.

Mary Grace Ruden

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Mary Grace Ruden received her BA in Environmental Studies from Southwestern University in 1997 and her JD from the University of Houston Law Center in 2000. She works in the Mental Health Division of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office. Prior to joining the office, Mary Grace was in private practice, where she represented hundreds of misdemeanor and felony defendants in state and federal court. In 2004 and 2010, Texas Monthly named her a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer.

Maxwell Peck

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Maxwell Peck is an Assistant Public Defender with the Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases practicing in Amarillo. He attended undergraduate at Boston University, where he obtained a degree in electrical engineering. He served seven years in the Air Force as a missile combat crew member before attending Texas Tech University School of Law, graduating in 2001.

Melissa L. Shearer

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Melissa L. Shearer has been an attorney with the Travis County Mental Health Public Defender (MHPD) since its inception in 2007. Prior to her work with the MHPD, Melissa served as an attorney with the Legal Services Division of the State Bar of Texas and the Colorado State Public Defender in Denver. Melissa received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work with honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997 and her JD from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2002.

Michael C. Gross

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Michael C. Gross is a partner at Gross & Esparza, PLLC, in San Antonio, Texas, and was licensed in Texas in 1987. He is board certified in Criminal Law and Criminal Appeallate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is board certified in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. The firm’s practice is devoted to state, federal, and military criminal law.