Message from the Chair
Dear Criminal Justice Section members:
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the courtroom and try cases. . . . . Delta hits. Some areas of the state are slowly moving forward and some areas of the state are back on lock down. Over the summer we started CLE events back up and had live meetings. That was July. August brought us the Delta slow down. It has been a challenge to get things done in the world of criminal justice via zoom hearings and remote proceedings. It is just down right hard to negotiate deals, discuss cases and reach resolution when not done in person, eye to eye, person to person. And let’s face it . . . . if there is no jury trial looming on the horizon, it is hard for defendants to get very motivated to take a plea offer. As long as they are on bond and time keeps passing, chances get better every day. In my part of the world we were excited to start jury trials back up in March. Then came cancellations in August and September. We are hopeful for October.
It is my distinct pleasure and honor to serve as this year’s chair of the Criminal Justice Section Council. In spite of COVID our Section is moving forward with projects and plans for 2021 – 2022. In the works are an upgraded website, a “Courtroom Cheat Sheet” with easy reference points for lawyers, CLE’s and outreach programs to Texas Law Schools.
The Criminal Justice Section Council is the only organization where Judges, Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys come together to promote excellence in the practice of criminal law by embracing ethics, professionalism, education, training and fellowship. Our Leadership Council is made up of leaders from the Judiciary, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and Texas District and County Attorneys Association. This is a great organization and gives us the opportunity for iron to sharpen iron and make our profession better.
While we are all trying to navigate these interesting times and get things done, we continue to work diligently with our colleagues to make the profession better. I would encourage you to join the Criminal Justice Section if not already a member. You may do so by going to the Criminal Justice Section website or by clicking on this link.
Philip Mack Furlow, Chair
Criminal Justice Section
State Bar of Texas