March-April 2015

TDCAA’s online Brady training

Rob Kepple

TDCAA Executive Director in Austin

As you all know, all long-time prosecutors and most new prosecutors needed to take a mandatory course on the prosecutor’s duty to disclose exculpatory and mitigating evidence and information by December 31, 2014. TDCAA offered a ton of Brady training at many of our 2014 seminars, as well as some regional sessions, but we also had the support of the Foundation and the Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar in producing an hour of online training. That video is at http://tdcaa.litmos .com/online-courses and is available for free to anyone who’d like to watch it for both Brady credit and MCLE ethics credit. To date, over 1,000 people have completed the course, and that is quite a benefit to prosecutors.

Additional training
But wait, there’s more! We had a lot of great feedback on the online Brady course, and a lot of it centered on the short roundtable discussions among several experienced prosecutors. Those roundtables were so good that, thanks to additional support from the Foundation, the complete roundtable discussions are now offered as an additional free hour of MCLE ethics credit for prosecutors; it’s called “A Prosecutor’s Duty to the Truth: A Roundtable Discussion.” Just go to for the link. Take a look and let us know what you think!
Victim services
hits the road
Thanks to the Foundation and grant funding from the Office of the Governor, TDCAA’s Victim Services Director, Jalayne Robinson, has been on the road. Her mission is to train and support our victim assistance coordinators, as well as investigators and prosecutors, in our duties to victims of crime. And Jalayne has been busy. She has done a series of in-office trainings in Harris Hays, Hopkins, Limestone, Mason, Milam, Newton, Panola, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Washington Counties. This spring, Jalayne will be making a swing through the Panhandle to visit with the folks serving Dallam, Hartley, Moore, Potter, and Sherman Counties.
    Jalayne’s unswerving help for victim assistance coordinators could not have happened without the Foundation’s support, so thanks for your contributions to the Foundation.

The Foundation’s ­achievements to date
The Texas District and County Attorneys Foundation is in its ninth year. Thanks to the Foundation, TDCAA has been able to bring more services and training to Texas prosecutors, as we say, “So the State is always ready.” These services include:
•    A partnership with the Anheuser-Busch Companies to produce three statewide and national DWI Summits focusing on investigating and prosecuting impaired driving;
•    TDCAA’s Advanced Trial Advocacy and Advanced Appellate Advocacy Schools held each summer at the Baylor School of Law;
•    An annual Train the Trainer course that prepares prosecutors and others to effectively present and teach information;
•    Faculty support for TDCAA’s Prosecutor Trial Skills Courses;
•    The first position of its kind, TDCAA’s Victim Services Director;
•    TDCAA’s Senior Appellate Attorney position;
•    A free Brady webinar funded by the Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar;
•    Creation of the Prosecutor Management Training Institute (launching this year);
•    TDCAA’s Family Violence Resource Notebook;
•    TDCAA’s Penal Code Reference sheets;
•    Three Champions for Justice events honoring the careers of distinguished prosecutors; and
•    The creation of an endowment funded by contributions of the members of the Texas Prosecutors Society.
    As you can see from this list, we at the Foundation have been busy! And we could not do it without your support. Thank you so much.