Executive Director's Perspective: On to Summer - By Joseph A. Martinez

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Friday, July 10th, 2015

We want to thank Emmett Harris (Uvalde), the 44th TCDLA president. We thank him for his sheer determination to move our organization to being a better resource for our members. He had a tremendous impact in raising the performance of TCDLA. Thanks to his vision and leadership, we had a most productive legislative session. We increased the number of CLE statewide. We strengthened our relationships with local criminal bars. Our hats are off to a true and honest leader. We welcome our 45th TCDLA president, Sam Bassett from Austin. We look forward to following his lead and vision for TCDLA. Please join me in congratulating both men and making a commitment to support Sam and your Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

We want to thank Patricia Cummings, our General Counsel, who has taken the position of Chief of the Public Integrity Unit of the Dallas District Attorney’s Office. Patricia was invaluable to our legislative effort. We will miss her professionalism and extraordinary dedi­cation to justice. We wish her the best in her continuing fight for justice.

Special thanks to Lynn Richardson (Dallas), Jamie Gandara (El Paso), and Alex Bunin (Houston), all Chief Public Defenders and our course directors for the Public Defender seminar held in San Antonio in June. Thanks to their efforts we had 78 attendees.

Special thanks to Laurie Key (Lubbock), Sarah Roland (Denton), Lance Evans (Fort Worth), and Dan Hurley (TCDLA past president, Lubbock), our course directors for the 28th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course held in San Antonio in June. Thanks to them we had an outstanding lineup of speakers. Thanks to everyone’s support we had 867 attendees. Please put down the dates for the 29th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course in San Antonio: June 16–18, 2016.

Special thanks to Dr. Denise Boots, our lunch speaker for the Capital Update.

Special thanks to Christie and Gerry Goldstein for the annual TCDLA Goldstein Pachanga Party. They are so gracious to open their home to all of us. Don’t know what a Pachanga Party is? Picture 500+ criminal defense lawyers and their teams, judges, and prosecutors sitting and standing in the Goldsteins’ backyard in the historic King William neighborhood, eating fresh gorditas and other delicacies and sipping libations.

Thanks to Gerry Goldstein also for leading the Rusty Bike Ride. No lawyers were hurt in this activity. Thanks to Pepe Flores (our Controller Mari Flores’ husband) for coordinating the Fun Run along the banks of the San Antonio River. Again, no lawyers were hurt in this activity. Special thanks to Clay Steadman (Kerrville) for coordinating the Annual TCDLA Golf Tournament.

Special thanks to Melissa Schank, who put together the Masquerade/Casino Night Membership Party. A very good time was had by all.

Thanks to everyone who donated items to the Silent Auction. Thanks to their donations, TCDLA generated over $7,600.

Special thanks to your TCDLA staff, who worked tirelessly to make the week’s experience in San Antonio a positive one for all attendees. In particular, Melissa Schank, your assistant executive director, who brought it all together.

Weren’t able to attend this year’s Rusty Duncan? You can order the DVD and get CLE credit. Please go to our website.

Special thanks to Kelly Pace (Tyler), who served as chair of the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project (CDLP) Committee. This is the committee that over sees the $1 million+ grants from the CCA. We thank Kelly for his contributions and steadfast leadership in overseeing CDLP activities. Jani Maselli (Houston) is the new chair for CDLP. John Hunter Smith (Sherman) is the new CDLP vice chair. David Guinn (Lubbock) is the new chair for Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Educational Institute (TCDLEI).

Summer is here and TCDLA has CLE scheduled throughout the hot summer months. Here is what is scheduled:

July 17 Austin 2nd Annual Lone Star DWI
August 6–7 Austin Innocence Training
August 21 Houston 13th Annual Top Gun
August 28 San Antonio Nuts ’n’ Bolts, co-sponsored with SACDLA
Do you need CLE credit and can’t attend our seminar training? Please call the Home Office for a list of the available DVDs and accompanying CLE credit.

Don’t have a local criminal defense bar in your 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.