Interim Update: July 2015

            Due to our busy travel schedule, we’re releasing this month’s interim update a few days early. Come see us when we make a stop at a location near you!

 

All quiet on the Austin front

            With the regular session done and policymakers’ attention turning to getting themselves re-elected, things are pretty quiet in Austin. The speaker and lt. governor have yet to announce any interim charges for the various standing committees, but recent news events have resulted in at least one public hearing posted as this update went to press:

 

THURSDAY, JULY 30

House County Affairs Committee, 2:00 p.m., E1.026, State Capitol Extension
In the wake of Sandra Bland’s arrest and death, the Committee will meet to hear public and invited testimony regarding jail standards, procedures with regards to potentially mentally ill persons in county jails, as well as issues stemming from interactions between the general public and peace officers.

 

Look for the Senate Criminal Justice Committee to post notice for a similar hearing in the near future. Other than ripped-from-the-headlines hearings, though, it should be pretty quiet in Austin for the foreseeable future.

 

Legislative Update tour 

            Our 2015 Legislative Update Tour is off and running! We had 136 people attend our first update last week in Austin, and the reception for our unique spin on current events was encouraging. This week our traveling road show is headed to Lufkin, Bryan, and Edinburg, and we have more than a dozen other locations on our itinerary after that. You can register online at http://www.tdcaa.com/training/2015-legislative-updates-summer-tour-starts. To date, we have more than 2,000 people pre-registered and more are signing up every day, so be sure to share that link with people in your courthouses and with your local law enforcement agencies. Remember, TDCAA members who pre-register online get a discount, but *only* if they pre-register at least one week before each scheduled location. Showing up at the door will cost you extra, so sign up online soon.

 

Have you registered for the Annual Update yet?

            This year’s Annual Criminal & Civil Law Update is being held September 23–25, 2015, at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi. For information on classes, hotels, and how to register, go to http://www.tdcaa.com/training/annual-criminal-civil-law-update. We’re already getting excited about Thursday night’s reception on board the USS Lexington, so don’t miss out, register today!

 

Victim Service Board elections

            Elections for the 2016 TDCAA Victim Services Board (Regions 2, 4, 6, and 8) will be held on Thursday, September 24, 2015, at 1:15 p.m. during our Annual Update in Corpus Christi. The Victim Services Board assists in preparing and developing operational procedures, standards, training and educational programs for victim assistance coordinators throughout the state. Regional representatives serve as a point of contact for their regions. To be eligible, each candidate must have the permission of his or her elected prosecutor, attend the election at the annual seminar, and be a dues-paying member of TDCAA. The bylaws for the board and a map of the regions are posted at http://www.tdcaa.com/victim-services.

 

Book pre-orders now being shipped

            We have begun shipping the 2015–2017 editions of our spiral-bound Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure, plus Quick Penal Code Reference, Grand Jury Handbooks, and Texas Crimes. Shipping of the new annotated Criminal Laws of Texas, Legislative Update, and Transportation Code will begin the first week of August. Shipping of new editions of the Offense Report Manual will begin in late August, and the 2015–2017 Charging Manual will begin shipping in late September. All publications are shipped on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see the online order form at http://www.tdcaa.com/publications/ or email TDCAA Sales Manager Jordan Kazmann (jordan.kazmann@tdcaa.com).

 

Free Transportation Code books

            In early September, we will ship Transportation Code (2015–2017) books to all prosecutors in Texas, courtesy of a grant through the Texas Department of Transportation. TDCAA uses its membership records to determine the number of books to send to each office, but if that information is out of date and we do not ship a sufficient number to your office, contact TDCAA Sales Manager Jordan Kazmann (jordan.kazmann@tdcaa.com) to request additional books.

 

Criminal e-filing rules are pending

            Remember, the proposed Statewide Rules Governing Electronic Filing in Criminal Cases will take effect November 1, 2015, subject to potential changes made after the comment period. These rules are modeled after the ones being used in civil cases, but they may be changed in response to public comments received before August 30, 2015. Please review the linked document above and submit any written comments or suggestions to Abel Acosta, Clerk of the Court, at P.O. Box 12308, Austin, TX 78711, or abel.acosta@txcourts.gov.

 

DPS crime lab notice

            The Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory has issued a notification on calculating statistics related to DNA reports. If you have not received it, a copy can be viewed at http://www.tdcaa.com/announcements/important-memo-prosecutors-dps.

 

NDAA survey on website

            The National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse is seeking prosecutors’ help with a new survey, the results of which will be used to document what challenges remain in the ongoing effort to protect child victims and hold offenders accountable. For information on the survey, visit http://www.tdcaa.com/announcements/survey-national-center-prosecution-child-abuse.

 

Quotes of the week

“I never went and took any of the cartel’s stuff because if I would have, I wouldn’t be here today.”
            —Federal inmate Jonathan Treviño, former member of the Panama Unit, a law enforcement task force in the Valley that turned rogue before being busted by the Feds.

 

“Both were famous, and neither could stand losing to the other.”
            —Judge Larry Gist, from his order recommending a new trial for David Temple, convicted in 2007 of the murder of his wife after a heated trial in Houston that pitted then-Asst. DA Kelly Siegler against defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin.

 

“Some owners or bar managers are just born cheaters.”
            —Carlos Cueva, a bar manager in the Metroplex, commenting upon the news that TABC’s “Operation Bottoms Up” found one-third of the bars tested by the agency were misleadingly serving rot gut when customers ordered top-shelf liquor.

 

“If the government has an idea they can come in and take over, and take guns away, the stupidest place they could come is West Texas. There’s more guns and ammo here and more people willing to use them than any combat area they’ve fought in. Bad things aren’t going to happen here.”
            —Bill Ford, Tom Green County Commissioner, replying to conspiracy theories about Jade Helm 15, a military training exercise now being conducted in Texas and other states.

 

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