Dues Increased 9/1/2014

At our TCDLA Annual Membership meeting at this year’s Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course, your Board of Directors voted to increase our membership dues as shown below. Note that for the asterisked categories you can save $20 a year by signing up for automatic deductions.

Regular Members from $150 to $180 ($30 increase)*
Sustaining Members from $200 to $230 ($30 increase)*
Voluntary Sustaining Members from $300 to $330 ($30 increase)*
Student Members remain at $20
Past President Members from $50 to $100 ($50 increase)
Texas/Federal Public Defender Members from $50 to $60 ($10 increase)
Paralegal, Affiliate, Investigator, Expert Members from $50 to $80 ($30 increase)
Distinguished Members from $50 to $80 ($30 increase)
New Members remain at $75
Our dues have remained unchanged for thirty-two years. So why now?

There are many reasons, including the increased cost of doing business for an organization that has grown as much as ours has. We now train more lawyers than ever before. Our staff and facilities are different now than the team in the cramped building with little or no parking on Nueces Street in Austin. 

We have simply grown into the nation’s largest statewide criminal defense lawyers association. 

The most important thing beyond training lawyers will be our legislative effort this coming year. With the passage of the Michael Morton Act and the long-overdue improvement in discovery procedures, it is critical that we are ready to face any challenges that are proposed in the upcoming 84th Texas Legislative Session. We have added to our strength and presence at the Texas Legislature with the hire of Patricia Cummings in the new position of General Counsel and Governmental Relations Director. 

With the leadership of Mark Daniel, our Legislative Committee chair, and the lobbying efforts of Patricia Cummings, Alan Place, and David Gonzalez, we will have a powerful presence in the Texas Legislature.

It just costs a little more to accomplish the purpose that our founding charter members set for us—to promote justice and the common good. It is a worthy purpose. Please continue to support our efforts with the dedication you have personified over the years.

These rates will take effect on September 1st. You can lock in the current rate by signing up for automatic renewal before the deadline. See form, here, or call (512)478-2514.

Emmett Harris
President, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Voice for the Defense

22 | Synthetic Drug Prosecution and Defense—By Justin McShane & Josh D. Lee

33 | Criminogenic Risk Assessments: What Are They and What Do They Mean for Your Client? —By Jeanette Kinard & Jessica Johnson

37 | The Defense Strikes Back —By Robb Fickman

Read here
Voice archives

President's Message

Part of the Solution

Maybe it is my age. Geezerdom may be descending on me and affecting my view of the world. I am bothered by the notion that our world is populated by self-absorbed people who are focused solely on themselves and lack any interest in who we are as a nation and where we came from. One need only to watch the man-on-the-street interviews on television to see evidence that the interviewees are essentially ignorant of history. They can’t identify national leaders or place within 50 years the dates of the civil war, not to mention what it was all about. What they can do is speak with confidence about who is “twerking” whom and who has posted the latest “selfie.”

Therefore, please allow me to use this space to do the following: first to talk about our Independence Day readings, and second to talk about an additional project that I want to propose. (Continue reading here.

Go Mobile

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Join Now!

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Application for Board Membership 2014

Available here. Applications are due by 12 noon, November 1, 2014.

Voice for the Defense Survey

Tell us what you think of your Voice for the Defense. Take the survey here.

New Attorney Reporting Requirements

Reporting portal now live - https://tidc.tamu.edu/attorneyreporting/

HB 1318 requires both attorneys and counties beginning this October to report new information to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission regarding the caseloads of attorneys who accept public appointmentsThe information will allow policymakers to make better decisions on the best way to manage their appointment processes. It should also benefit the bar by raising awareness of the work attorneys do and help identify situations in which low pay may be creating pressures on some defense attorneys to accept more cases than they can reasonably handle. It may also help pinpoint places where the wheel system may not be working as designed and further investigation may be warranted to ensure that appointments are being made in a fair, neutral, and nondiscriminatory manner. The bill requires the following:

An attorney appointed under this article shall: … not later than October 15 of each year and on a form prescribed by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, submit to the county information, for the preceding fiscal year, that describes the percentage of the attorney's practice time that was dedicated to work based on appointments accepted in the county under this article and Title 3, Family Code.

More information is available here. Click here for a copy of the Attorney Reporting Instructions and Form. Click here for a copy of the Optional Attorney Practice-Time Reporting Worksheet. Additional information will be forthcoming as the October implementation date approaches.

Featured Events

Round Top IV
October 22-26, 2014
Round Top Festival Institute
Register here>>

10th Annual Stuart Kinard Memorial Advanced DWI
November 6–7, 2014
Menger Hotel | San Antonio
Register here>>

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