About

UT Law's 2018 Robert O. Dawson Conference on Criminal Appeals features members of the Court of Criminal Appeals and judges from the intermediate courts around Texas joining prosecutors and defense attorneys for discussions on current issues facing the criminal justice system.
 
Highlights include:

  • Tips on Avoiding the Dreaded Non-Compliant “White Card” with a step-by-step walk through of TRAP Rule 73 and 11.07 habeas application compliance.
  • Analysis of legislative and rule changes affecting appellate practitioners, including HB34.
  • Legal writing tips and tricks with Six (or More) Techniques for Readable, Persuasive Sentences and How to Improve Your Brief Writing.
  • Guidance on how to prosecute and defend motions for a new trial from both sides of the aisle.
  • Insight into Maintaining Your Credibility in Court, with discussion of creativity versus credibility and how to zealously advocate for your client without falling on your face.
  • Reviews of significant decisions from both the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Updates on Brady case law and its associated ethical provisions, and an examination of significant decisions handed down since the Michael Morton Act.
  • The opportunity to earn 13.25 hours of MCLE (including 2.25 hours of ethics) while networking with your fellow practitioners and members of the judiciary.
Following the conference, attendees will receive a bonus eCourse containing an additional 1.75 hours of MCLE (including 0.75 hours of ethics) to ensure practitioners can earn their required 15.0/3.0 MCLE hours for the year.

Event Schedule

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Wednesday Afternoon, May 2, 2018
    Presiding Officer:
    Carson R. Guy, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX
  • 12:30 pm
    Registration Opens

    Includes light refreshments.
  • 1:20 pm
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 1:30 pm
    1.00 hr
    Significant Decisions of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

    Hon. David C. Newell, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX

    Analyze significant decisions in the last year and what they mean for criminal law practitioners.
  • 2:30 pm
    0.75 hr
    Supreme Court Update

    Jennifer E. Laurin, The University of Texas School of Law - Austin, TX

    Hear an update on criminal law and criminal procedure cases relevant to Texas criminal appellate practice that were heard and decided by the United States Supreme Court in the 2017 term, and get a preview of hot cases in the pipeline for the 2018 term.
  • 3:15 pm
    Break

  • 3:30 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    A Guide To Art. 11.07 Writs of Habeas Corpus and Other State Writs

    Michael F. Stauffacher, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX

    Examine procedures, issues, and do’s and don’ts pertaining to Article 11.07 and other State writs.
  • 4:15 pm
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    How to Improve Your Brief Writing

    Kamela Bridges, The University of Texas School of Law - Austin, TX

    Explore techniques for sharpening your persuasive focus while complying with your ethical obligations when writing briefs.
  • 4:45 pm
    0.50 hr
    Preservation of Error and Standards of Review

    Patrick F. McCann, Law Offices of Patrick McCann - Houston, TX

    Understanding how the Court evaluates the preservation of error on appeal is essential for any practitioner. Explore how the Court approaches different rights, and how this approach impacts your appeal.
  • 5:15 pm
    Adjourn

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Thursday Morning, May 3, 2018
    Presiding Officer:
    Hon. David C. Newell, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX
  • 8:00 am
    Conference Room Opens

    Includes continental breakfast.
  • 9:00 am
    0.75 hr
    Emerging Issues in PDRs

    Kathleen Mary Schneider, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX
    Stacey Soule, Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney - Austin, TX

    Discuss significant and emerging issues pending in the Court of Criminal Appeals.
  • 9:45 am
    0.75 hr
    Avoiding the Dreaded Non-Compliant “White Card”

    Alison Fox Dahlberg, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX

    A step-by-step walk through of TRAP Rule 73 and 11.07 habeas application compliance. Plus insight into other reasons for habeas dismissals, including ​discharged sentences, non-final convictions, misdemeanors, juvenile matters, and subsequent applications. 
  • 10:30 am
    Break

  • 10:45 am
    1.00 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Actual Innocence Claims and 11.073 Writs

    Gary Alan Udashen, Sorrels, Udashen & Anton - Dallas, TX

    Analyze legal issues in actual innocence claims, with particular focus on false evidence leading to wrongful convictions and wrongful convictions based on invalid scientific testimony.
  • 11:45 am
    0.75 hr
    Jury Charges

    Angie Creasy, Travis County District Attorney's Office - Austin, TX
    Sarah Beth Landau, Harris County Public Defender's Office - Houston, TX

    Explore sua sponte instructions and appellate hot topics, and gain practical tips for crafting jury instructions.
  • 12:30 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

  • Thursday Afternoon, May 3, 2018
    Presiding Officer:
    Hon. David C. Newell, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX
  • Luncheon Presentation
  • 12:50 pm
    0.50 hr ethics
    Maintaining Your Credibility in Court

    Mandy Goldman Miller, Attorney at Law - Katy, TX

    Discuss creativity versus credibility and how to zealously advocate for your client without falling on your face.
  • 1:20 pm
    Break

  • 1:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    Prosecuting and Defending Motions for New Trial

    Jay R. Brandon, Bexar County District Attorney's Office, Appeals Section - San Antonio, TX
    Carmen Roe, Carmen Roe Law Firm, PLLC - Houston, TX

    Review the various uses for a motion for new trial including the procedures for filing a motion after trial and on appeal with perspectives from both a prosecutor and a defense attorney. 
  • 2:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Procedures for Bail—Appeals and Writs of Habeas Corpus 

    Jennifer Rossmeier Brown, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office - San Antonio, TX

    Discuss the procedures for seeking an appellate or writ bond during post-conviction litigation, with insight from the defense and prosecutorial perspectives.
  • 2:50 pm
    0.50 hr
    Six (or More) Techniques for Readable, Persuasive Sentences

    Wayne Schiess, The University of Texas School of Law - Austin, TX

    Address sentence-level techniques that can help legal writers create readable, persuasive sentences. Learn to recognize, describe, and appropriately use or avoid techniques including length, subordination, dangling elements, nominalizations, correlative conjunctions, compound prepositions, and more. 
  • 3:20 pm
    Break

  • 3:30 pm
    0.50 hr
    Morton Case Law Update

    Patricia J. Cummings, Law Office of Patricia J. Cummings - Round Rock, TX

    Analyze significant decisions handed down since the Michael Morton Act was enacted and discuss what they mean for the prosecution and defense.
  • 4:00 pm
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Brady” Case Law Update

    Inger H. Chandler, Criminal Defense Attorney - Conroe, TX
    Lisa Dotin Stewart, Travis County District Attorney's Office - Austin, TX

    Explore the practical application of Brady v. Maryland, Article 39.14, and Disciplinary Rule 3.09(d), recent case law, and emerging issues under those ethical provisions.
  • 5:00 pm
    Adjourn

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, May 4, 2018
    Presiding Officer:
    Carson R. Guy, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX
  • 8:30 am
    Conference Room Opens

    Includes continental breakfast.
  • 9:00 am
    0.75 hr
    Recent Legislative and Rule Changes for Criminal Appellate Practitioners

    Holly E. Taylor, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX

    The Legislature focused on wrongful convictions last session and passed significant legislation impacting criminal appellate practitioners. Examine some of the most important legislative changes and notable rule changes.
  • 9:45 am
    0.75 hr
    Federal Writs and SCOTUS Certs

    Michael C. Gross, Gross & Esparza, P.L.L.C. - San Antonio, TX

    Review the deadlines and requirements for federal writs and SCOTUS certs, and discuss strategy decisions for each of these filings.
     
  • 10:30 am
    Break

  • 10:45 am
    0.75 hr
    Appellate Tips from the Experts

    Dayna LeAnn Jones, The Law Office of Dayna L. Jones - San Antonio, TX
    Enrico Baltazar Valdez, Bexar County District Attorney's Office - San Antonio, TX

    Get a view from both sides of the criminal bar with practical tips on how appellate advocates and appellate courts can make their briefs and opinions interesting, easier to understand, and less likely to inflame the opposing side or losing party.
  • 11:30 am
    0.50 hr ethics
    Ethics for Post-Conviction Lawyers

    Hon. Michael Keasler, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX

    Examine the ethical considerations facing attorneys in post-conviction representation.
  • 12:00 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Jay R. Brandon

Bexar County District Attorney's Office, Appeals Section
San Antonio, TX

Kamela Bridges

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Jennifer Rossmeier Brown

Bexar County District Attorney’s Office
San Antonio, TX

Inger H. Chandler

Criminal Defense Attorney
Conroe, TX

Angie Creasy

Travis County District Attorney's Office
Austin, TX

Patricia J. Cummings

Law Office of Patricia J. Cummings
Round Rock, TX

Alison Fox Dahlberg

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Michael C. Gross

Gross & Esparza, P.L.L.C.
San Antonio, TX

Dayna LeAnn Jones

The Law Office of Dayna L. Jones
San Antonio, TX

Hon. Michael Keasler

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Sarah Beth Landau

Harris County Public Defender's Office
Houston, TX

Jennifer E. Laurin

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Patrick F. McCann

Law Offices of Patrick McCann
Houston, TX

Mandy Goldman Miller

Attorney at Law
Katy, TX

Hon. David C. Newell

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Carmen Roe

Carmen Roe Law Firm, PLLC
Houston, TX

Wayne Schiess

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Kathleen Mary Schneider

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Stacey Soule

Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney
Austin, TX

Michael F. Stauffacher

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Lisa Dotin Stewart

Travis County District Attorney's Office
Austin, TX

Holly E. Taylor

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Gary Alan Udashen

Sorrels, Udashen & Anton
Dallas, TX

Enrico Baltazar Valdez

Bexar County District Attorney's Office
San Antonio, TX

Planning Committee

Hon. Barbara P. Hervey—Co-Chair

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Hon. David C. Newell—Co-Chair

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Deborah Salzberg—Director

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Jay R. Brandon

Bexar County District Attorney's Office, Appeals Section
San Antonio, TX

Patricia J. Cummings

Law Office of Patricia J. Cummings
Round Rock, TX

Alison Fox Dahlberg

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Michael Staats Falkenberg

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Carson R. Guy

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Hon. Michael Keasler

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Susan Riva Klein

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Michael Scott Taliaferro

Travis County District Attorney's Office
Austin, TX

Rick Wardroup

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA)
Austin, TX

Credit Info

MCLE Credit
A Texas MCLE Reporting Form will be included in your course materials. Please complete and return to the registration desk and UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the State Bar of Texas, or you can self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Attendance will be provided at the conference to keep for your records.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the conference.
Note on Self-Reporting Your Credits in Another State
If you wish to satisfy MCLE or other professional education requirements in another state for a program offered by the University of Texas School of Law, please check with the state bar or other licensing authority in that state before taking the program to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.
Other Credit
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live conferences are presumptively approved by The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for Texas Accounting CPE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. Approved for general CPE credit only.

At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Accounting CPE Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Texas Accounting Certificate of Completion at the conference for your records. Self-report your CPE credit directly to TSBPA. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  

Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.

Key Dates

Austin – May 2-4, 2018 – AT&T Conference Center
Conference Concluded
Buy
Austin
Last day for Individual early registration: Apr 25, 2018

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Apr 25, 2018

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Apr 25, 2018

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Apr 27, 2018
Last day for cancellation (partial refund): Apr 30, 2018

$50 processing fee applied

Venue

speaker

The University of Texas at Austin
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX
877.744.8822 (reservations)
Map

Accommodations

$189 room rate good through April 1, 2018 (subject to availability). 

Book your room online 
here or call the reservations department at 877-744-8822 and reference the Criminal Appeals Conference. The reservations link will be active until the room block is full or the cutoff date of 04/01/18, whichever comes first. 

Parking Information

Free daily self-parking at UT garages. Separate fees apply for valet and overnight parking.  

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