Contributors

George Scharmen

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George Scharmen has been a member of TCDLA for over 30 years, and he has served on the Board and various committees for 25 years. He is board-certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and board-certified in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. George has been responsible for several appellate cases, such as Hartman v. State, Mata v. State, and Bagheri v. State, which have helped to protect criminal defendants in DWI trials by creating scientific protections that are binding on the prosecution.

Gerald Bierbaum

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Gerald Bierbaum recently joined the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania as a Research and Writing Attorney. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, he spent ten years working on capital trials and writs in Texas and eight years working on capital writs in Nevada. He can be reached at gerald_bierbaum@fd.org .

Greg Westfall

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Greg Westfall graduated in 1993 from Texas Tech School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. Board certified in Criminal Law since 2000, Greg practices both criminal defense and civil trial law with Hill Gilstrap, PC, in Arlington, Texas. Greg has regularly published and spoken at seminars since 1994 and has served as Editor of the Voice for the Defense. Greg is married to Mollee Westfall and has two children.

Hilary Sheard

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Hilary Sheard has practiced law in Texas, California, Washington, D.C, South Carolina, and England, with her primary focus being on death penalty appeals and post-conviction litigation. She is currently in private practice in Austin. She can be contacted at hilarysheard@hotmail.com.

J. Gary Trichter

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J. Gary Trichter is the senior lawyer with the Houston & Bandera, Texas, Law Firm of Trichter & Murphy, PC. Gary served as the 2011-2012 President of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He has been in practice for approximately 31 years and represents clients throughout Texas. Co-author of the two-volume treatise entitled Texas Drunk Driving Law (4th Edition), he is author of over forty journal articles on topics ranging from DWI, grand jury, and drug couriers to aviation. Gary is past Dean and Regent for the National College for DUI Defense.

James Zier

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James Zier worked in Washington, D.C., Houston, and Tokyo before joining the headquarters of the TSSB in 2003 as an enforcement attorney. In 2007, he returned to private practice and opened his law office in Pearland, Texas, a suburb of Houston. James has a general practice with an emphasis on defending individuals and companies under inquiry or investigation by the TSSB. James can be contacted by email at jameszier@jameszierlaw.com.

Janet Burnett

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Janet Burnett is the Chief of Litigation Support at the El Paso Public Defenders Office. She has been with the office since 1993 and has done trial work, appeals, administration, supervision, and training. She received her undergraduate degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, in Economics and Sociology in 1983 and her JD degree from UT School of Law in 1986. In addition to criminal defense work, she has prosecuted for the El Paso County Attorney’s Office, worked for El Paso Legal Assistance Society, and been in private practice in Corpus Christi.

Jani Jo Wood (Maselli)

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Jani Jo Wood is in the Appellate Section of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office. She has been an adjunct professor at UH Law School since 1999. Jani was named the Charles Butts Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year at this year’s Rusty Duncan seminar. Additionally, her 700-plus peers in the Harris County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association recently honored her as their 2013 Lawyer of the Year. Jani serves as a board member of the Innocence Project of Texas and as a director of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Jason D. Cassel

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Jason Cassel, a member of the TCDLA Board of Directors 2008–present (and the Associate Board 2006–2008), received his BA in History from Texas A&M in 1995 and his JD from the South Texas College of Law in 1998. A member of the State Bar of Texas, District 2 Grievance Committee, Jason also belongs to the National College for DUI Defense. A frequent speaker at TCDLA seminars, he was named a Rising Star by Texas Monthly magazine for 2011 and 2012. Jason is a partner with the Albritton Law Firm.

Jay Freeman

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Jay Freeman is a licensed Texas insurance agent with over 30 years experience, specializing in the issuance and placement of the Texas SR-22. He is the owner of ConceptSR22.com and Accurate Concept Insurance in Dallas, Texas. In addition to his insurance career, he is also an accredited State Bar Sponsor and regularly presents CLE courses for Criminal Defense Groups and Bar Associations around the state. Jay is a proud member of TCDLA and DCDLA.