Executive Director's Perspective: Board Meeting - By Joseph A. Martinez

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Sunday, April 12th, 2015

The TCDLA board of directors met in Houston on March 7, 2015. The following motions were made:*

MOTION: to adopt the minutes from the TCDLA Board Meeting on December 6, 2014, in Dallas made by Stan Schneider, seconded by Jim Darnell—motion carries.

MOTION: to follow procedure as outlined by executive committee, filing of Amicus, and authorizing up to $2,000 for expenses made by John Convery, seconded by David Ryan—motion unanimously approved.

MOTION: to approve the TCDLA audit report made by Mark Snodgrass, seconded by Sam Bassett—motion passes unanimously.

MOTION: to increase dues for new members to $100 for the first year, $100 for second year, then third-year renewal regular-member rates, $180, motion made by Sarah Roland, seconded by Susan Anderson—1 opposed—motion carries.

MOTION: to take funds out of technology line for transcript project on website made by John Convery, seconded by Mark Thiessen—motion carries.

     Prior to January 31st of each year, the President-Elect shall appoint a Nominations Committee consisting of one member from each of the Association’s membership areas and all officers. Each member shall be an attorney who is a current member of TCDLA and has a minimum of five years of practice in criminal law. Past-presidents may be appointed to the committee but shall be non-voting members. The chair of the Nominations Committee shall be designated by the President. The Nominations Committee shall meet, and the members present shall select its nominee(s) for those positions in the Association which are open for election or reelection. The chair of the Nominations Committee shall report in writing on or before 90 days prior to the next annual meeting all said nominee(s) for each such position to the President, the Board of Directors, the Executive Director, and the editor of the Voice for the Defense magazine. Association members shall be given notice in writing of the nominee(s) for each such elective position on or before 75 days prior to the next annual meeting. Such notice may be by publication in Voice for the Defense and shall also advise the membership that any qualified member in good standing may seek election for the position as an officer, other than President, director, or associate director of the Association by following requisites of Article IX Section 3(b) of the Bylaws. Any disputed questions regarding an election shall be resolved by those members in good standing who are present and voting at the annual meeting.

     Motion made by Susan Anderson, seconded by Sam Bassett—motion carries.

MOTION: Sec. 2. Nominations Committee. If you challenge the officer chain you would start as secretary not President or President-elect. Any qualified member in good standing may seek election for the position as an officer, other than President Secretary, director, or associate director of the Association by following requisites of Article IX Section 3(b) of the Bylaws.

     Motion made by Adam Kobs, seconded by Jim Darnell—motion withdrawn.

MOTION: to keep and allow the last three years’ TCDLA Past Presidents to hold board positions and vote made by Roberto Balli—motion withdrawn.

MOTION: to add to September agenda for further study regarding Past President voting privileges made by Roberto Balli, seconded by William Harris—motion carries.

MOTION: to adjourn at 12:44 pm made by John Convery, seconded by Sarah Roland—motion carries.

Special thanks to our Deans of the 39th Annual Texas Criminal Trial College held in Huntsville in March—Lydia Clay-Jackson (Conroe), Dean of Students, and Tim Evans (Fort Worth), Dean of Faculty. We also had 39 faculty members from all around Texas. This year we had 80 lawyers being trained in trial skills. All in all, it was a very successful college. We thank Philip Lyons, Interim Dean of Sam Houston State University, for his support of the college and Ms. Ann Broussard, administrative assistant, who provides extraordinary support throughout the college. We thank A. K. Khan, general manager of the University Hotel, who ensures the best accommodations for everyone. We also thank Katie Stefaniak, theater manager of the Sam Houston University drama department, who provides the actors to enhance the real-life courtroom experience for the lawyers. Finally, we thank the board of Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Educational Institute for providing the Hostility (Hospitality) Room snacks and refreshments over the five evenings of the college. The college was funded by our CDLP grant from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Special thanks to Kameron Johnson (Austin), Juvenile Public Defender, for our Michael Morton Act for Public Defenders seminar held in Austin in February. Thanks to his efforts we had 13 attendees.

Special thanks to course directors Lynn Richardson (Dallas) and Rick Wardroup (Lubbock) for the Indigent Defense seminar held at the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. This seminar was co-sponsored with the Criminal Justice Legal Clinic in Dallas. We also thank Stephanie Gonzales for all of her help and support. Thanks to everyone’s efforts we had 90 attendees.

Special thanks to course directors Emily Detoto (Houston), Tyrone Moncriffe (Houston), and JoAnne Musick (Houston) for the Taste of Voire Dire CLE held in Houston. Thanks to their efforts we had 114 attendees.

Please join us for a very special seminar, the 2nd Annual DWI Blood seminar to be held in Arlington on May 1, 2015. Our course directors are Larry Boyd (Dallas), Deandra Grant (Dallas), and Abe Factor (Fort Worth). If you do DWI defense or are considering doing DWI defense, you should attend this seminar.

A very special thanks to Stephen Jones, Dean of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) for supporting TCDLA in a joint co-sponsorship of the 22nd Annual Mastering Scientific Evidence (MSE) seminar held in New Orleans in March. Special thanks to Mimi Coffey (Fort Worth), Doug Murphy (Houston), Troy McKinney (Houston), and Gary Trichter (Bandera), course directors for the seminar. This is the 10th year of TCDLA co-sponsoring this seminar with NCDD.

The TCDLA Board of Directors invites you to attend the 44th Annual TCDLA Members Meeting on Saturday, June 20, 2015, 15 minutes after adjournment of the 28th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course, held June 18–20 in San Antonio. This should be approximately at 11:30 am in Ballroom B of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Please make plans to attend. There are scholarships available, and the CCA has approved funds for judicial travel stipends for this one event. Please call our Home Office for more information. Please make your hotel reservations as soon as possible. Room blocks at the Hyatt Regency, Menger, and La Quinta close on May 9 or until the room block is filled. This year’s Rusty Duncan theme is “United We Stand.”

If you are coming to Rusty Duncan, please join us for the annual Pachanga (Party) at the Goldsteins (Kristi and Gerry). The Goldstein Pachanga is a cultural icon, when 500+ people gather in the Goldsteins’ backyard around their pool and feast on food, beverages, and great company.

The TCDLA Membership Party will be a Casino Night and is a masquerade theme. It will be a fundraiser for TCDLEI to provide scholarships to lawyers. We will have prizes for the biggest winners at Casino Night. So you can enjoy the evening and know you are making a contribution to a worthy cause.

We will have a bike ride with guide Gerry Goldstein. We will also have a morning fun run down the unique and picturesque San Antonio River. See you in San Antonio.

Don’t have a local criminal defense bar in our area? Would like to re-energize and jump start your organization? Are you interested in forming a local criminal defense bar? Need help getting organized? Please contact Susan Anderson (Dallas), seapd@aol.com, Laurie Key (Lubbock), lauriekeylaw@gmail.com, or Carmen Roe (Houston), carmen@carmenroe.com, co-chairs of the TCDLA Affiliate Committee.

Good verdicts to all.


*The minutes with these motions have not been approved by the Board.