1977 Emmett Colvin*

Emmett Colvin becomes president. Emmett Colvin pushes for letter size pleadings.

At the board of directors meeting on August 20, 1977, the board voted to change to the format of the membership directory by deleting all underlining and capitalization from the alphabetical roster.

Emmett Colvin, as president of TCDLA, writes judges who are independent to commend them on their judicial performances reflecting an independence and intellect tempered with a sound understanding. He recognized that truly independent judges are more likely to be criticized than complimented. He asked members to recommend all judges who meet such criteria from J.P.’s to the highest court.

Significant Decision Report – September 1977, Marvin Teague, editor.

“Well, another year has come and gone and here we are once again in football season. A table of citations is attached here to enable you to get citations on these cases reported in the newsletter. An index is being prepared and hopefully it will be out by Christmas if there aren’t to many Christmas parties this year. IF THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF THE SEASON ARE AN INDICATION OF THINGS TO COME, IT LOOKS LIKE A LONG SEASON IS IN FOR RICE UNIVERSITY, T.C.U. AND MANY COACHES AND DEFENDANTS. FOR EXAMPLE, BY MY FIGURES 196 CASES WERE DECIDED WITH ONLY SEVEN REVERSALS THE FIRST WEEK. BUT, LET US COMMENCE.”

Federal Judge John Wood would not allow Gerry Goldstein to attend a CDLP executive meeting one Saturday and because of his absence there was no quorum.

Emmett wrote Chief Justice Warren Burger requesting that the federal judiciary reasonably cooperate with lawyers participating in educational programs.

Significant Decisions Report July 1977. Marvin Teague, editor comments:

“If you are handling a death penalty case, keep in mind the distinction between a motion for stay of execution and a motion to stay the mandate. If your client has not received a date to be executed, then you should file the latter. If he has received a date then you had the former. If he has been executed, go get drunk.”

Lethal injections bill is passed.

TCDLA submits a federal grant application solely without the State Bar association.

The number of judges on the Court of Criminal Appeals is expanded.

A Denton County Court at Law Judge held an evidentiary hearing on whether a witness for the defense was arrested after testifying. After hearing the evidence, the judge announced to the jury that whether the DWI defendant was guilty or innocent was of small import next to the larger question of fair and impartial administration of justice in our courts. He scolded the county attorney and entered a judgment of not guilty.

In April 1978 John Boston was hired as project director of CDLP.

In Rummel v. Estelle, a panel of the 5th Circuit ruled that the Texas Habitual Criminal Statute was violative of the Eighth Amendment.

TCDLA goes to Cancun. Staff thanked Charles McDonald for not missing the plane this year.

As a result of Morrisey v. Brewer, the counsel for the Indigent Parolees Project provides appointed counsel to represent indigent parolees at revocation hearings.

The State Bar of Texas requested the help of all Criminal Lawyers to support a proposed Effective Assistance of Counsel Act.