Contributors

Mark Snodgrass

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Mark Snodgrass is a graduate of Texas Tech University and St. Mary's School of Law. Mark is a solo practitioner devoted exclusively to defending the rights of the citizen accused. Mark has lectured all across the state of Texas on various subjects relating to the criminal law. Mark is a past president of the Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Mark served on the board of directors of TCDLA from 2003 to 2010.  He has served on the executive committee as well as several other TCDLA committees and  is a past chair of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Project.

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.

Micah Belden

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Micah Belden holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Texas A&M University and a JD from the Houston Law Center. He is a career criminal defense lawyer who primarily fights state and federal felony cases in Sherman, Plano, and Bonham, Texas. Micah believes that felony level work, especially aggravated work, is our highest calling. He is passionate about mental health and mitigation due to a unique lifetime of experience with people diagnosed with Axis 1 disorders.

Michael C. Gross

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Michael Gross, the 2nd Vice President of TCDLA, received his BA from Trinity University and his JD from St. Mary’s University. Michael’s professional activities include serving as Judge Advocate in the United States Marine Corps from 1988 to 1992 and as editor of the Voice for the Defense.