Contributors

Todd Duncan

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Todd Duncan is a partner in the law firm of Joaquin & Duncan, LLC, in Hurst, Texas. He graduated from Texas Wesleyan School of Law and served as an Associate Editor of the Law Review. His practice consists primarily of research and writing for other attorneys on a contract basis, particularly focusing on federal sentencing mitigation, state and federal pretrial motions and briefs, and post-conviction relief. His firm publishes Sentencing Partners,  a free, monthly newsletter that offers summaries of current circuit court decisions dealing with federal sentencing issues.

Tony Vitz

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Tony Vitz has over 26 years of courtroom experience. He has been training consistently since 1999, when he attended the legendary Trial Lawyer’s College in Wyoming, a select group of lawyers from across the country who specialize in helping people. While at the Trial Lawyer’s College, he was introduced to psychodrama and has had extensive training in the use of its techniques. This training has given him tools to learn his client’s stories and enables him to effectively share them with the jury.

Troy McKinney

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Troy McKinney received a dual-major BS from Houston Baptist in political science and speech and a JD from South Texas College of Law as valedictorian. He is a board-certified specialist in Criminal Law, Criminal Appellate Law, and in DWI Defense Law (the only lawyer in Texas to have all three). Troy, an Assistant Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, is a past president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association and past board member of TCDLA and CDLP.

Tyrone Moncriffe

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Tyrone Moncriffe, a faculty member of the Criminal Defense Institute, is a popular lecturer at TCDLA seminars, speaking about acting and storytelling in trials, using skills learned from the Sandra Zimmers Self-Expression Center in Houston. He is an active faculty member of the Trial Advocacy Institute, where he assists with training members in various trial tactics such as voir dire, direct/cross-examination, and the psychology of stories as they relate to trials.

Wade Russell

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Wade Russell was an Assistant Travis County Attorney prosecuting misdemeanor cases and white-collar crime, motor fuels tax fraud, and many serious felony charges. He has also worked as an Assistant Public Defender and contract public defender in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Wade also worked as an Assistant Director of the Legal Division of the Texas Water Commission, where he represented the State of Texas in creating the Barton Springs–Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Walter Reaves

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Waco, Texas, lawyer Walter Reaves has gained a reputation as the lawyer other lawyers go to when they need answers. Over the last 35 years he has gained national recognition, and been featured in Time, Newsweek, Slate, the Wall Street Journal, Texas Monthly, and Texas Observer. He is also a regular pre­senter at CLE. He has devoted his entire career to representing the citizen accused, and proudly claims to have never have been a prosecutor.

Warren Wolf

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Warren Wolf received a BA from Alfred University and his JD from St. Mary’s University Law School in 1975, after graduating from the Bronx High School of Science in 1968. A member of the San Antonio Bar Association and the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Warren has been a director of TCDLA and SACDLA. A Fellow Member of the College of the State Bar of Texas and a 1966 Eagle Scout, he argued Trevino v. Thaler before the United States Supreme Court in February 2013.

Wes Volberding

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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

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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

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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.