Contributors

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 J. Schank

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Melissa J. Schank is the new Executive Director of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

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.

Michael McCrum

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Michael McCrum is a self-employed criminal defense attorney in San Antonio with over 27 years’ experience. He previously worked for 10+ years as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Texas as Chief of the Major Crimes Section and Chief of the Drug and Money Laundering Section. Michael currently serves on the board of directors of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, as well as on the Criminal Law Committee of the San Antonio Bar Association.

Michael Mowla

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Michael Mowla received a BS from University of North Texas and a JD from Syracuse University College of Law. He is licensed in Texas, New York, Connecticut, all the federal courts in Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, the United States Supreme Court, and the United States Tax Court. He is Board Certified in Criminal Appellate Law and in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is rated AV Preeminent by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating, and has been a Super Lawyers Texas Rising Star for 2010–2013.