November-December 2020

A time for leadership

By Rob Kepple
TDCAF & TDCAA Executive Director in Austin

I want to thank the Foundation’s leaders for their steadfast vision during these rough times. They didn’t flinch when it came time to invest in TDCAA’s ability to deliver online training and provided the resources needed to get the job done quickly. Indeed, that swift action lives up to the vision for the formation of the Foundation to begin with: It’s meant to be a resource when it is needed. 

            I like the fact that our Foundation’s leadership is a mixture of current prosecutors and former prosecutors, some of whom are practicing defense attorneys. I am a firm believer in the concept of “the loyal opposition,” and I love that we can put aside differences we may have on different cases or laws and focus on the value of a well-trained and professional cadre of Texas prosecutors. And the fact that our former prosecutors want to stay involved with TDCAA is a tribute to all of you who answer “ready” for the State.

A Texas Legal Legend

I was happy to see that the Litigation Section of the State Bar has named Rusty Hardin as a Texas Legal Legend. This is a remarkable event for Rusty. I mention it here because Rusty is a former prosecutor who is a great friend of the profession. As you might recall, Rusty was the very first person to donate to the Foundation, and he continues to donate every year.  Here is what the Bar had to say about Rusty:

            “This honor is reserved for those attorneys who, after decades of practice, have shown a commitment not only for their profession, but also for giving back to their local communities.

            “Mr. Hardin began his career more than 45 years ago, serving as a high-level prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s office. He entered private practice in 1991, and since then has tried over 100 jury trials in areas ranging from commercial litigation to criminal defense. He’s previously held several leadership positions on committees for the State Bar of Texas, as well as on the faculty of numerous public and professional organizations, and he is frequently invited to speak to national and regional bar associations and business groups.”

            Here is a video interview of Rusty and the award presentation that is worth watching: Congratulations Rusty, on behalf of all of us in prosecution!

Mike “Machine Gun” Hinton

We are tremendously saddened by the passing of our good friend and TDCAF Board member Mike Hinton. Mike was such a positive, energetic, and enthusiastic person. He truly loved being in the criminal courthouse and loved the profession of prosecution. I can’t write a better remembrance of Mike than Murray Newman has—Murray is a onetime ADA in Harris County, practicing defense attorney, prolific blogger, and Texas Prosecutors Society member. Here is what he wrote about Mike:

            What hits home in Murray’s description is feeling like family around Mike. Agreed.