Upcoming Events

Seminar: Chapter 46B: Intellectual Disability as a Defense


Thursday, February 18, 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.

Past Events

CLE - Using Media To Advance Client Litigation/Narratives


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


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


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


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.