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Past Presidents & History
Hall of Fame Award
Percy Foreman Lawyer of the Year
Charles Butts Pro Bono Award
Rodney Ellis Justice Award
Criminal Defense Lawyers Project
Emmett Harris was elected president in 2014. During his tenure, Emmett was called upon to lead the association through tumultuous times—which he did with characteristic aplomb and a homespun wisdom. His theme for the Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course—"United We Stand"—exhorted members to stay the course and stand tall in unity. In his year, Emmett reminded us that as members of TCDLA, we have a higher calling. As he noted in his first column as president: "[W]
e are faced with the question of who will stand and speak for the
person charged with crime. Those of us who have answered that we will, and have taken on
that responsibility as criminal defense lawyers, must surely realize that in a very real sense it
is a calling."
TCDLA emerged from Emmett's year stronger for his efforts. As he admitted: "N
ot all of this occurred without some distractions.
There were a few, but throughout it all, we remained united
and dedicated to our purpose of training lawyers, and helping
the citizens accused—i.e., those who can’t help themselves."