Wes Volberding, a former briefing attorney for Hon. Judge William M. Steger, U.S. District Court in Tyler, has been practicing in Tyler since 1996. Also a former prosecutor, Wes did undergrad work at Texas A&M and got his law degree at Baylor. He is board certified in criminal law and an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, JAG Corps.
Wesley Shackelford serves as Deputy Director/Special Counsel to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. He develops standards and policies for the provision of indigent defense services and acts as team lead on fiscal and policy monitoring programs. Wesley provides legal advice on the issue to judges, counties, and the Commission. He also speaks about indigent defense issues to stakeholders and policy makers. He has been with the Commission since its creation in 2002. Wesley previously served as Senior Staff Attorney for the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission (TJPC) 1995–2002.
William Copeland received his undergraduate and law degrees from Texas Tech and has been practicing criminal law, probate, family law, and civil litigation in El Paso since 1978. He would like to do all criminal law, “but you have to pay the rent.” Suggestions from his brother (Judge Weldon Copeland of Collin County) led William to assert effective assistance of counsel as the statutorily required “good reason” to take depositions in cases where State witnesses were unwilling to voluntarily participate in interviews. His experiences led to this article.
Bill Harris is a board-certified specialist in criminal law who has handled trials and appeals as a solo practitioner in Fort Worth since 1984. From 1981-84 he practiced with Burleson, Pate & Gibson in Dallas; prior to that he was an Assistant Criminal District Attorney in Tarrant County (1976-1981). A former member of the TCDLA Board, Bill is immediate past president of TCDLA and also formerly served as president of the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.
Bill Habern, an early member of the public defender’s office at the Texas Prison in the 1970s, has specialized in issues related to sentencing, parole, prison, and post-conviction matters for over 40 years. He served as Executive Director for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Project in the late 1970s, and thereafter for 10 years as a member of the TCDLA Board of Directors and chair of the TCDLA Corrections Committee for over 20 years.