2019-2020 Section Report

The CJS’ mission is to promote collaboration between judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers to benefit the criminal justice system as a whole. As such, council members have diligently worked together this year to improve services for all section members, such as revamping the website to make it more interactive and easier to navigate for members, updating the newsletter and bylaws, as well as creating trial notebook supplements on Evidence, Sexual Assault Crimes, and Common Objections.

The section continues to allow free membership for lawyers in their first two years of practice. To maintain the section’s commitment to providing low-cost CLE opportunities to lawyers in underserved regions, CJS had scheduled a CLE in Waco and planned to host a half-day criminal law CLE at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting before both were canceled due to COVID-19.

Finally, the section is currently looking for prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys who are interested in serving on the State Bar disciplinary grievance committees. The Criminal Justice Section thinks it is imperative that every grievance committee has members who are experienced in criminal law and understand the complexity of criminal law issues like Brady.

-Dwight McDonald
2020-2021 Chair