Upcoming Events

CLE | Investigative Tools for the Defense: Subpoenas, Social Media, and Blood Evidence

Register via Zoom

Thursday, March 11, 2021 | 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

How do we get that? What can a qualified investigator do to improve your practice and what you can do to help your investigator get the information that you need. This 1.5 hour presentation will discuss how investigators work and discusses the types of information and evidence that they can obtain. This discussion will focus on the issuing of subpoenas and how they can utilized to obtain documents and other evidence. It will examine what evidence can be obtained from social media and how you would go about obtaining it. This presentation will also discuss the collection and use of serology and DNA evidence and how an investigator can assist in attacking such evidence. The presenters will provide a quick start guide on how to handle such evidence, as well as what to look for, and how to deal with common misconceptions regarding blood and DNA evidence.

CLE | More Investigative Tools for the Defense: Witness Tracking, Child Pornography and Accident Reconstruction.

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Thursday, March 18, 2021 | 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

How we going to get that evidence? This second 1.5 hour presentation continues with how you work with your investigators and what kind of information they can help you unearth and obtain in useable form. Our three presenters will discuss three distinct areas of investigation which could impact your practice. First, Investigator David Williams will discuss the functions of investigators and the tools that investigators utilize to collect evidence and information. Second, Investigator Edna Velez will review the kinds of evidence that can be located and utilized in dealing with child pornography cases. Finally, Investigator Rob Lunsford will discuss how accident reconstruction can impact cases. He will review what evidence can be located and what evidence should be requested, as well as how the work and evidence presented by the State can be attacked.

CLE | Closing The Courthouse Doors To Misleading Forensic Evidence

Register via TCDLA

Thursday, April 1, 2021 | 8:10 am - 4:55 pm

The Harris County Public Defender’s Office has partnered with the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association to offer our third annual forensic seminar, Closing the Courthouse Doors to Misleading Forensic Evidence. This low cost ($35-$35) seminar focuses on the mechanics of legal challenges to forensic evidence, the changing legal landscape, and human factors, weak points, and critical studies that render different forensic disciplines vulnerable to challenge. We have invited some of the leading speakers, local experts, and most experience lawyers in the nation to speak on these important topics. Our keynote speaker is Dr. Itiel Dror, an internationally renowned and revered expert on cognitive factors in forensic science.

CLE | Chapter 46B: Intellectual Disability as a Defense

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Thursday, April 22, 2021 | 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Christopher Washington was convicted of capital murder in 2014. He was sentenced to life without parole. Washington suffered from an intellectual disability which clouded his ability to understand the nature of the proceedings or assist in his own defense. Using Chapter 46B, Washington’s conviction was eventually overturned in November of 2019. This presentation uses the Washington case to inform attorneys how to use Chapter 46B as a defensive tool in both the trial and appellate courts. Notably, we will break down Chapter 46B and guide practitioners on procedural obstacles, experts, and relevant trial and appellate strategies.

CLE | Dealing with Implicit Bias

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Thursday, May 6, 2021 | 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Denise Ereka Peterson, a professional trainer in implicit bias, will be presenting how implicit bias can impact the representation of the accused. This free training will help lawyers better understand the sources of implicit bias, the relationship between implicit bias and the law, and how to better identify and address implicit bias in casework.

Past Events

CLE - Using Media To Advance Client Litigation/Narratives

CLICK HERE FOR RECORDING

Thursday, December 10, 2020 @ 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

The CLE will examine media as a tool of advocacy tempered by professional regulations and ethical obligations. Civil rights attorney Jasmine Rand will discuss the influence of media on the criminal and civil aspects of the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and George Floyd cases, how media can strategically forward litigation and how media has influenced the criminal justice system. The discussion will provide a review of an attorney's professional regulations in regards to use of media in the state of Texas. The audience will be invited to engage in discussion regarding ethical and moral considerations on the use of media to further litigation and/or legislative process.

CLE - The Use of “Evidence Blocking” In Criminal Trials

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Thursday, November 5, 2020 @ 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Professor Sullivan will address how theory, theme, and labels work in establishing what evidence the jury will hear

Nuts & Bolts Series: Evaluating the Admissibility of Evidence

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Thursday, September 17, 2020 @ 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

The most important aspects of challenging evidence are anticipating the introduction of the evidence and planning the objections before trial or a contested hearing. This CLE will focus on the most common grounds for excluding evidence at trial, evaluating evidence for admissibility (“evidence blocking”), preparing for challenges to the admissibility of evidence you wish to enter at trial, constitutionalizing objections, successfully preserving the record for appeal, and mistakes to avoid. This CLE aims to provide lawyers, particularly new lawyers, a methodology to better anticipate and prepare for evidentiary challenges in contested matters.

Nuts & Bolts Series: The Lifecycle of a Trial

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Thursday, July 23, 2020 @ 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

The purpose of this CLE is to provide basic, practical information about the events, deadlines, and procedure that occurs in most every criminal case. The target audience is relatively recently-licensed criminal defense lawyers, particularly criminal defense lawyers who have never worked in a district attorney’s office. The ultimate goal of this CLE is help attorneys and their clients more competently and confidently navigate through the legal system. Topics will include the charging process, the discovery process, motions practice, and other common procedural steps in every criminal case.

CLE: Pretrial Release Writs

Thursday, May 14, 2020 @ 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Pretrial release is more important than ever -- given the potential death sentences your clients are facing if they contract COVID-19 and develop any of the many, serious complications from the disease. On Thursday, May 14, at 1:30 pm, join Sarah Wood, Policy Director for the PDO, and Elizabeth Rossi, Senior Attorney at Civil Rights Corps, for a training on bringing pretrial habeas writs in the felony district courts to seek your clients' pretrial release. The CLE will address the federal and state law claims you should consider raising in your pretrial writ motions, and the evidentiary record you should prepare for the hearing. Sarah and Elizabeth will also discuss a process for tracking the outcomes of the writs, including the dates the writs are filed, how long after filing the hearing is scheduled, and how to ensure that a court reporter is present and makes a transcript and that the judge issues a written decision in each case. Sarah and Elizabeth will be available to answer questions about the relevant state and federal law.