Visionary leadership and advanced trial advocacy

By Rob Kepple
TDCAF and TDCAA Executive Director in Austin

In August, the Baylor University School of Law hosted another successful Advanced Trial Advocacy Course by TDCAA. I’d like to thank Dean Brad Toben and his staff for their hospitality. Baylor is a first-class facility, and they always roll out the red carpet for our profession.

            This popular training is limited to 32 students, and this year we had more than 80 applicants. The August course was designed around a domestic violence by strangulation case, but the objective is always the same: to take prosecutors with three to five years of trial experience and help them take their advocacy skills to the next level.

            I want to take a moment to recognize the visionary district attorney who offered enduring financial support for the program to our Foundation: Ken Magidson, former Harris County DA (and former United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas). Ten years ago, Ken recognized that even with declining crime rates and a de-emphasis on criminal justice by the general public, Texas prosecutors need to be ready when called upon to do justice in the courtroom. It is incumbent upon TDCAA and the Foundation to give prosecutors the tools they need. Thanks, Ken, for helping us realize the vision for the Foundation: “So the State is always ready.”