July-August 2015

Brady training reminder for new prosecutors

Rob Kepple

TDCAA Executive Director in Austin

If you are a relatively new prosecutor who has started the job in the last six months, remember that the law requires that you complete a course on Brady within 180 days of your start date.  The course must be approved in advance by the Court of Criminal Appeals, and you can find just such a course for free on the TDCAA website at http://tdcaa.litmos .com/online-courses. When you take the course, TDCAA will record your compliance and provide one hour of MCLE ethics credit. And with over 1,000 people having completed the two free ethics courses currently available (“Mandatory Brady Training” and “A Prosecutor’s Duty to the Truth: A Roundtable Discussion”), Texas prosecutors have saved over $90,000 in fees for comparable online training from other entities. A great Foundation service!

Management training
In the last few issues of this journal, you have read about the Foundation’s efforts for additional resources to ramp up training in leadership and management. We are slowly building a menu of course options and different ways to bring that training to you through major seminars, smaller regional courses, and even in-house training.
    We hope you take advantage of the management offerings at our Annual Criminal & Civil Law Update in September. First, Jay Aldis, a partner at Bracewell Giuliani LLP and a former assistant county attorney in Harris County, will talk on “Managing Your Friends.” As any of you who have worked in even a small office know, one day two of you may be officemates and the next day one is a supervisor. That can be a tricky situation, but rest assured it is common and can be done well.
       Second, we are offering a staple course in management: how to manage your time and get organized. It should surprise no one that there are some basic principles to organizing your day that can really keep you ahead of your caseload (or whatever pile is on your desk).
    Third, another essential topic is an introduction to management styles. Yes, there are different ways a person can be an effective manager, and it revolves around the manager’s personality and the personalities of his subordinates. Learning about those different styles and personalities can make managing folks on a daily basis much easier!
     Finally, keep an eye out for an announcement about a two-day management seminar that TDCAA will offer in the spring of 2016, as well as upcoming regional trainings at a location near you. Once again, thanks to the efforts of the Foundation for moving this training forward.

Victim Services update
Jalayne Robinson, TDCAA’s Victim Services Director, has been busy with personal office visits and curriculum planning. In April, Jalayne traveled to Mason County and the Panhandle area. Her first stop was Amarillo for a meeting with the victim services staff members in both the district attorney’s office and that of the county attorney, followed by a visit to Dumas to meet with staff members from Sherman, Moore, Hartley, and Dallam Counties. She also worked with members of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to plan free protective order training on June 24 in Austin (in conjunction with TDCAA’s Domestic Violence conference), August 7 in Houston, and August 21 in San Antonio (before TDCAA’s Legislative Updates at the latter two locations). For more information on this training, which we provide free of charge to prosecutor office personnel courtesy of our Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant, check out our website at www.tdcaa.com/training.