Interim Update: November 2022

November 28, 2022

I don’t know about you, but turkey and fixins could be scheduled as a controlled substance based on the somnambulant effect it had on my family last Thursday.

Elected Prosecutor Conference this week

We are expecting more than 200 people at this week’s Elected Prosecutor Conference at the Horseshoe Bay Resort. In addition to our posted agenda, we will honor a current legislator for his public safety work and make time to discuss the upcoming legislative session. If you haven’t yet signed up, don’t worry! Online registration is closed, but we will accept walk-in registrations from elected prosecutors and first assistants who can make it out to this fabulous location.

TDCAA’s 2022 Business Meeting

TDCAA’s annual business meeting and board director elections will take place on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. at the Horseshoe Bay Resort immediately following the opening session of our Elected Prosecutor Conference. TDCAA’s Nominations Committee has put forth the following candidates for open positions on the TDCAA Board of Directors for terms of office beginning January 1, 2023:

President-Elect:                                             Erleigh Wiley, Kaufman County CDA
Secretary-Treasurer:                                     Kriste Burnett, Palo Pinto County DA
Criminal District Attorney-At-Large:        Joe Gonzales, Bexar County CDA
County Attorney-At-Large:                         Natalie Cobb Koehler, Bosque CA

Director positions for TDCAA Regions 1, 2, 4, and 7 (map here) will also be decided at this business meeting. All elected prosecutors present at the business meeting who are TDCAA members in good standing are eligible to vote. If you have any questions about the election or your membership status, please contact Rob before heading out to the resort.

Seeking salary stats, stat!

To help some friendly legislators who are interested in incentivizing new lawyers to enter our profession, we have been asked to gather the latest information on starting salaries for new prosecutors throughout Texas. If you’d welcome state assistance in recruiting and retaining high-quality lawyers for your offices, please consider sending us your latest starting prosecutor salary figures by email to Rob.

Bill tracking

Curious about what is being filed for the upcoming session? Of the 1,060 bills filed before last week’s holiday break, we are already tracking 283 (26.6 percent) of them. To see bills that would amend the Penal Code (70 bills), the Code of Criminal Procedure (90 bills*), and other “Bills to Watch” (a curated list of other bills that you might care about), use the links on our Legislative webpage (right-hand side for desktop access, bottom of the page on mobile devices). [*Ed. note – our CCP track report is glitching as this update goes to press, but it should be fixed soon. Sorry for the inconvenience.] We maintain more than 40 different bill tracks for various topics, but these three lists will give you a good idea of what has been filed so far. (And if you or someone in your office has proposed a bill that gets filed, please drop Shannon a note so he can track it as such.)

Free Brady training

The 2022 version of TDCAA’s free Mandatory Brady Training is now available online. (Did we say “mandatory”? Sorry, we meant to say “MANDATORY.” But also, “FREE.” So, it’s a push, eh?) Click the link above for more details and be sure all the other prosecutors in your office are clicking it too.

Free CLE: “Litigation in Mental Health Cases”

Part Two of our Mental Health Video Series, “Litigation in Mental Health Cases,” is now available online and free of charge. This 4.25-hour MCLE course includes discussions of competency and restoration, sanity, other mental health defenses, along with detailed information about the Texas state hospital system and the continuum of care. (And if you missed the first part of this series, which is also free, you can click here for details and access.) Special thanks to the Court of Criminal Appeals for funding these special training courses!


Here are some stories that dropped in November that you might’ve missed:

  • “Prosecutors in These States Can Review Sentences They Deem Extreme. Few Do.” (The Marshall Project)
  • “Texas’ temporary license tags will be redesigned to prevent counterfeits, DMV says” (Dallas Morning News)
  • “AG Paxton touted ‘unprecedented’ election fraud in Texas. Here’s how 4 major cases fizzled.” (Houston Chronicle)
  • “The Exceptionally American Problem of Rising Roadway Deaths” (New York Times)
  • “Fight over Legal Poker in Texas Goes to the Legislature” (Texas Observer)
  • “Army of gambling lobbyists descends on Austin as casinos seek to crack Texas market” (Houston Chronicle)