Bobby Mims

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I am a native-born Texan who always wanted to be a lawyer. After military service, I went to the University of Texas and South Texas College of Law. Shamefully I sold out for money. A Fortune 50 corporation offered to send me to the Harvard Business School if I took a position with them. Wow, the ego can get you into trouble and lead you to make bad decisions. So, I went to “The HBS” and then into their management as a vice-president. I hated every minute of it! So I resigned. Everyone, including my family, thought I was crazy. To make matters worse, I again delayed following my dream. I formed a natural-gas pipeline company that I later sold to investors for way too much money, but the timing was right. I could have retired at age 40. However, the coolest lawyers I had ever met were criminal defense lawyers. I wanted to be one. I gladly abandoned business and money for my dream. For the last 32 years, I have dedicated myself to the defense of criminal cases. I am living proof that what Racehorse Haynes said is true: “If you want to become a millionaire as a criminal defense attorney, you better start with two million.” It has been worth every penny that it has cost me to have this splendid profession and earn the friendship of my brothers and sisters of the TCDLA. I intend to keep doing this work until they stop hiring me or they take me feet first out of the courtroom.

Stories from Bobby Mims

My Welcome Home From Vietnam - 1
Friday, November 8th, 2019

My ears popped, and the tires screeched as the TransTexas Airways DC-3 touched down at the Airport in Tyler. The stewardess had avoided eye contact, and the other passengers looked away from me. The short flight from Dallas was a replay of the plane ride from San Francisco. It was strange that no one would look at me, and the stewardesses were not friendly. 

Buck Files Makes It 200!
Thursday, May 5th, 2016

In October 1986 the U.S. president was Reagan, Thatcher was UK Prime Minister, and Gorbachev was in power in Russia. The Berlin Wall yet divided East and West Germany. “Magnum PI” was the most popular TV show, the Mets won the 1986 World Series.

May 2014 President's Message
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

More than 43 years ago a group of lawyers decided that a separate organization devoted to the training, education and support of criminal defense attorneys was needed. These lawyers literally drove all over Texas collecting money to start the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. For years this small band of brothers and sisters worked and fought to prevent the erosion of the rule of law. From that small group the TCDLA has emerged as the largest and most effective state association of criminal defense lawyers in the United States.

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The TCDLA membership exceeds 3,200 criminal defense lawyers with members in practically every county in Texas. Each year TCDLA sponsors more than 50 seminars to train lawyers in the latest trial tactics and cases and statutory law. TCDLA, with the assistance of a grant from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, trained over 5,300 lawyers statewide. TCDLA seeks to give its members the training to provide the best criminal defense representation possible for the unfortunate accused.

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Recently it has become apparent that the federal prison system is crumbling from overcrowding. In 1980, the federal prison population was approximately 25,000 people, but since then it has grown exponentially—over 800 percent. Currently, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) has custody of nearly 219,000 people. The agency’s facilities are operating at almost 40 percent over capacity. With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. has more than 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. The average cost per inmate to the taxpayer is more than $28,000 per year.

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

As 2013 closed and as 2014 began, it is time to review the state of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. In doing so it is informative to review 2013 and set out the challenges of 2014.

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

On January 1, 2014, the Michael Morton Act becomes effective. This law represents a “sea change” in criminal discovery in Texas. However, it also imposes new obligations and responsibilities on criminal defense lawyers. With this landmark legislation come new obligations and responsibilities for defense counsel.

Audio Button
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The members of TCDLA have an opportunity to participate in a landmark study that will impact justice in Texas for a generation. The legislature has ordered the Texas Indigent Defense Commission (“TIDC”) to conduct a Weighted Caseload Study “for the purpose of determining guidelines for establishing a maximum allowable caseload for a criminal defense attorney that... allow the attorney to give each indigent defendant the time and effort necessary to ensure effective representation.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

On September 18, the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Due Process Review Project released its latest report entitled Evaluating Fairness and Accuracy in State Death Penalty Systems: The Texas Capital Punishment Assessment Report (An Analysis of Texas’s Death Penalty Laws, Procedures, and Practices). The report is focusing on the fairness and accuracy of Texas’ death penalty system.

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

The rights guaranteed by the Constitution and as told in the Gideon v. Wainwright decision of 50 years ago are being dismantled. The right to counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment and as promised by Gideon is being seriously eroded by budget cuts in the Federal Defender Service and reduced and delayed payments to CJA Panel attorneys.

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

I begin my service as the 43rd President of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (“TCDLA”) at the conclusion of 83rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. During this session TCDLA lobbyists were able to craft legislation that may result in some of the most significant changes in the practice of criminal defense in Texas in a generation.

Committee Reports
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

Mission Statement of the TCDLA Affiliate Committee

by Bobby Mims

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

“The Affiliate Criminal Defense Bar Committee seeks to promote the establishment of local county and/or city criminal defense bar associations in order to promote the mission of TCDLA at the grassroots level. This committee will also advise and assist members who seek to form and/or strengthen their organizations by providing pro forma bylaws and organization materials.