TCDLA Proposed Strategic Plan

The TCDLA Long Range Planning Committee has come up with a proposed plan for the association's future. You can view the plan here.

Board Membership

Would you like to become a member of the TCDLA Board of Directors? The application form, due in November, may be found here (PDF) or here (Word file).

Rusty Duncan 2016

The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association is proud to announce its 29th Annual Rusty Duncan Criminal Law Course. Named for the late Honorable M.P. “Rusty” Duncan, III, of the Court of Criminal Appeals, this course is designed to cover state law and scholarly topics as well as cases from the past year that impact your practice today.

CLICK HERE for Rusty Duncan Website
CLICK HERE for Rusty Duncan Scholarships


July 4th Readings Video

July 4th Readings

Sign up now to lead a Reading in your county. Robb Fickman and team—Chuck Lanehart (Lubbock), Kerri Anderson-Donica (Corsicana), Tip Hargrove (Abilene), David Schulman (Austin), Mary Conn (Houston), Michelle Ochoa (Beeville), Mary Beth Harrell (Killeen), Jim Darnell (El Paso), Jeff Blackburn (Amarillo), Sheldon Weisfeld (Valley), Dustin Nimz (Wichita Falls), and Tammy Schmidt Keener (Fredericksburg)—will be working to place one in each of Texas' 254 counties. Click here to see pictures from last year's events. This year's list will be compiled here.

Statistical Errors in DNA

Click here for a Brady Notice regarding statistical errors in the FBI DNA database.

TCDLA's 2015 Legislative Update

Written by our TCDLA Legislative Team

Click Here for 2015 Legislative Update

President's Message

Have You Ever . . .

Have you ever . . .

comforted a mother watching her son being handcuffed for prison?

counseled a young person shaking from drug withdrawals?

tried to find a way to say you’re sorry to a crime victim in your case? (Continue reading here.)

Join Now!

Become a member of the largest state association for criminal defense attorneys in the nation and take advantage of member pricing on seminars, events and products. Join TCDLA »

New Attorney Reporting Requirements

Reporting portal now live -

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 appointments. Read more here >>

Go Mobile

To download the TCDLA iPhone app, please visit Apple's "App Store" on your mobile device. For Android devices, go to the "Play Store." Search for "TCDLA" and download your free app. You will need your TCDLA username and password to login to the app. learn more »

Voice for the Defense

25 | Buck Files Makes It 200!—By 
Bobby Mims

27 | “Never Quit. Never.” A Tribute to 
Buck Files—By Frank E. Stevenson

29 | 
2016 TCDLA Long Range Plan—By the TCDLA Long Range Planning Committee 

35 | 
The Kibitzer Case—By Judge Wayne Patrick Priest

37 | Privilege vs. Confidentiality—By Dean Watts 

Featured Events

29th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Seminar
June 16–18
San Antonio, TX
Register here >>

3rd Annual Lone Star DWI
July 22
Austin, TX
Register here >>

Advanced Skills Training—Discovering the Story
October 5–8
Roundtop, TX
Register here >>

Proposed Bylaws Change 

The following wording has been approved by the Board and will be presented to the membership at the annual meeting in June:

(a) The business and affairs of the Association shall be managed by a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall consist of the elected officers of the Association, the past presidents of the Association, the editor of the VOICE for the Defense, forty-two (42) directors, and sixteen (16) associate directors. Each past president of the Association is a member of the Board of Directors, provided said past president is a member in good standing. Directors shall be elected for terms of three (3) years. Associate directors shall be elected for terms of one (1) year.

(b) No director may be elected to serve for more than two (2) full consecutive terms, not to include any term or terms served as an associate director provided this restriction shall not prevent officers and the editor of the VOICE for the Defense who are directors by virtue of office from serving on the Board of Directors. Any director who is ineligible to be reelected to the Board is also ineligible for election as associate director. No associate director may be elected for more than two (2) consecutive terms, except as deemed necessary by the nominations committee and approved by the Board, associate directors terms may be extended by one year. The executive committee shall have the responsibility for establishing rules to ensure the orderly election of the board of directors. (c) Each membership area designated in Section 11 of Article III shall be represented by a director from that area. The nominations committee shall have responsibility for establishing rules for elections which will achieve this objective.