Contributors

Sara Stapleton

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Sara Stapleton studied music at University of North Texas, graduating with a degree in voice performance from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She taught music at Incarnate Word Academy in Brownsville before attending law school at Thurgood Marshall in Houston. While in college, she served an internship assisting in the voir dire of a capital murder case in Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked for one of the top federal death penalty lawyers in the country, Rick Kammen.

Sarah Duncan

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Sarah Duncan was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Webster University in 2001 and her Juris Doctor from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2010. She focuses on state and federal criminal defense and juvenile law.

Sarah Gunter

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Sarah Gunter is a 2001 graduate of the Texas Tech University School of Law. A former prosecutor, she traded her white hat for the constitution in January of 2007. She has been an active member of TCDLA since March of 2007. Sarah is a past president of LCDLA. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Lubbock Area Bar Association since 2010, and she served on the Board of Directors for the Lubbock Private Defenders Office from 2012 to 2014. She has been a course director for four Prairie Dog Seminars and a speaker at five TCDLA seminars.

Sarah Pierce

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Sarah Pierce is a 3L at the Texas A&M Law School, where she participates as a Moot Court competitor. She has previously clerked for the Honorable Tiffany Heartling in the 442nd District Court in Denton County, and is currently a law clerk for Bodkin Niehaus & Dickson, PLLC. She plans to sit for the July 2018 Texas Bar Exam.

Sarah Roland

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Sarah Roland grew up always wanting to be a criminal defense lawyer like her late dad, George Roland. Sarah has a criminal trial and appellate practice. She has been a member of TCDLA since 2001 and serves on the board of directors. She has served as chairperson of CDLP and is a course director for Rusty Duncan this year. She’s a past president of the Denton County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and has been selected as a Rising Star in 2012–2014 and a Super Lawyer in 2014.

Scott Pawgan

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Scott Pawgan is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Scott has successfully represented criminal defendants in courts around the State. He has tried numerous first-degree and habitual felonies and received numerous acquittals in jury trials, ranging from the most serious offenses such as murder, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, and drug cases to offenses such as escape, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, theft, and assault on a public servant.

Senior District Judge Larry Gist

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Senior District Judge Larry Gist of Beaumont, a Presiding Judge at the Drug Impact Court, is also a member of the Judicial Advisory Council (JAC), which advises the director of the Community Justice Assistance Division and the Texas Board of Criminal Justice on matters of interest to the judiciary. He received his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame and graduated from the University of Texas Law School, serving initially as an assistant state’s attorney before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Sharon Valenti

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Born and raised in Dallas, Sharon Valenti received her BA from the University of Texas and a Master’s from Southern Methodist. She worked at the Dallas County Juvenile Department and before joining the U.S. Probation Office, Northern District of Texas, in 1983. There she supervised drug and mental health cases, as a Sentencing Guidelines Specialist and a Special Offender Specialist, focusing on high-profile and sophisticated white-collar offenders. Sharon also served a faculty member for the FDIC on financial crimes and investigations.

Stan Brown

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Stan Brown is a 1969 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, licensed by the State Bar of Texas for 45 years. He has been a solo practitioner in Abilene since 1972, a member of TCDLA since 1974 (having served on the Board of Directors from approximately the mid-’80s to the mid-’90s), TCDLA Super Fellow, Board Certified in Criminal Law since 1979, Board Certified in Criminal Appellate Law since the inception of that specialty, and was the first recipient of the State Bar Warren Burnett Award for Legal Services to the Poor in Criminal Matters in 2011.

Stanley G. Schneider

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Stanley G. Schneider is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He graduated from St. Mary's University Law School in 1974 and was licensed by the State Bar of Texas in October 1974. A member of the Staff Counsel for Inmates Texas Department of Corrections from August 1974 to October 31, 1977, he attended Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College in October 2000. His private practice was established in Houston in 1977.