About

UT Law CLE's 2019 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 balanced discussions and insights into current issues facing the criminal justice system.

2019 highlights include:

  • In-depth reviews of significant decisions from both the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court from the past year.
  • Guidance on working with conviction integrity units, filing and responding to ineffective assistance of counsel claims, and preparing for oral argument.
  • Practical advice on Effective and Persuasive Briefing from both sides of the bar, along with tips from UT Law’s Professor Wayne Schiess for achieving concision in all your drafting.
  • A deep dive into the Michael Morton Act, including the nuts and bolts of changing discovery obligations and their intersection with obligations under Brady and the Disciplinary Rules.
  • The opportunity to earn 12.75 hours of MCLE credit (including 1.50 hours of ethics) while networking with your fellow practitioners and members of the judiciary.
Following the conference, attendees will receive a bonus eSupplement containing an additional 2.25 hours of MCLE (including 1.50 hours of ethics) to ensure practitioners can earn their required 15.00/3.00 MCLE hours for the year.

Event Schedule

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Wednesday Afternoon, May 1, 2019
    Presiding Officer:
    Hon. Barbara P. Hervey, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX
  • 12:30 pm
    Registration Opens

    Includes light refreshments.
  • 1:20 pm
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 1:30 pm
    0.75 hr
    SCOTUS 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 2018 term, and get a preview of hot cases in the pipeline for the 2019 term.
  • 2:15 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.
  • 3:15 pm
    Break

  • 3:30 pm
    0.50 hr
    Double Jeopardy & Collateral Estoppel: A Thing Derided

    John Robertson Messinger, Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney - Austin, TX

    Review the two doctrines and get an update on jeopardy law, including predictions and potential pitfalls for practitioners.
  • 4:00 pm
    0.75 hr
    Effective and Persuasive Briefing – Point and Counter-Point

    Mandy Goldman Miller, Attorney at Law - Katy, TX
    Melissa Stryker, Harris County District Attorney's Office - Houston, TX

    Get perspectives from the State and the defense on how to concisely, but effectively, craft an appellate brief.
  • 4:45 pm
    Adjourn

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Thursday Morning, May 2, 2019
    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
    Working with Conviction Integrity Units

    Cynthia Rodriguez Garza, Dallas County District Attorney's Office - Dallas, TX
    Gary Alan Udashen, Udashen Anton - Dallas, TX

    Explore how to work collaboratively to investigate and rectify wrongful convictions.
  • 9:45 am
    0.50 hr
    Supremacy Clause Immunity

    Rosa Theofanis, Travis County District Attorney's Office - Austin, TX

    Learn about a “seldom-litigated corner” of constitutional law—Supremacy Clause immunity—through the lens of a State prosecution of a local police officer for manslaughter, in a case that was removed to federal court and resulted in a petition to the United States Supreme Court.
  • 10:15 am
    Break

  • 10:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Standards of Review

    Hon. Bonnie Sudderth, 2nd Court of Appeals - Fort Worth, TX

    Survey the standards of review applicable in criminal appeals, with emphasis on the standard of review in the context of sufficiency challenges.
  • 11:15 am
    0.75 hr
    Court of Appeals Judicial Panel

    Moderator:
    Jay R. Brandon, Bexar County District Attorney's Office, Appeals Section - San Antonio, TX
    Panelists:
    Hon. J. Brett Busby, Former Justice, Fourteenth Court of Appeals - Houston, TX
    Hon. Jeffrey L. Rose, Third Court of Appeals - Austin, TX

    Learn from the people who grade our work what they want to see and hear in briefs and oral arguments, and better ways for practitioners to represent parties before the Court. You have questions; they have answers.

    (session previously scheduled for 4:00 p.m.)
  • 12:00 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

  • Thursday Afternoon, May 2, 2019
    Presiding Officer:
    Hon. Barbara P. Hervey, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX
  • Luncheon Presentation
  • 12:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Practical Tips for Preparing Oral Argument

    Jay R. Brandon, Bexar County District Attorney's Office, Appeals Section - San Antonio, TX

    Tips, suggestions and insight into oral argument – from advice for handling both “hot” and “cold” benches to when is argument granted, why, and how do judges view it. 
  • 12:50 pm
    Break

  • 1:05 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Nuts and Bolts of the Michael Morton Act

    Gerald S. Reamey, St. Mary's University School of Law - San Antonio, TX

    The Michael Morton Act fundamentally changed the criminal discovery process in Texas, imposing duties on prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys. Hear those changes and the ways in which courts and practitioners have implemented them. 
  • 1:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Differences in the Duty to Disclose: The Michael Morton Act, Brady, and the Ethics Rules

    Emily Johnson-Liu, Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney - Austin, TX
    Richard Segura, Capital Area Private Defender Service - Austin, TX

    Delve into how the duty to disclose evidence compares under Brady v. Maryland, Article 39.14, and the Disciplinary Rules as presented in various hypotheticals and case examples.
  • 2:35 pm
    0.50 hr ethics
    Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

    Carmen Roe, Carmen Roe Law Firm, PLLC - Houston, TX

    Review the essentials of filing an ineffective assistance of counsel claim as defense counsel and responding as a prosecutor, with focus on essentials, pitfalls and necessity of claim.
  • 3:05 pm
    Break

  • 3:15 pm
    0.75 hr
    Mandamus

    Josh Schaffer, Schaffer Law Offices - Houston, TX

    The unicorn of criminal appeals, mandamus relief is the closest we come to instant gratification in appellate courts. As Joe Tex sang in I Gotcha (1972), “Now gimme what you promised me, give it here, come on!"
  • 4:00 pm
    0.75 hr
    Writs

    Michael Staats Falkenberg, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX

    Explore Texas habeas corpus law and focus on best practices and procedures for litigating writ claims.

    (session previously scheduled for 11:15 a.m.)
  • 4:45 pm
    Adjourn

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, May 3, 2019
    Presiding Officer:
    Hon. David C. Newell, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - Austin, TX
  • 8:30 am
    Conference Room Opens

    Includes continental breakfast.
  • 9:00 am
    1.00 hr
    Tips for Everyday Appellate Practice

    Dayna LeAnn Jones, The Law Office of Dayna L. Jones - San Antonio, TX
    Andrew Nelson Warthen, 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.
  • 10:00 am
    0.75 hr
    Emerging Issues in PDRs

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

    Review of significant and emerging issues pending in the Court of Criminal Appeals.
  • 10:45 am
    Break

  • 11:00 am
    0.75 hr
    12 Techniques for Sentence-Level Concision

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

    If all you need is brevity, you can simply cut a section, an argument, or a paragraph. But if you need that content, then you want concision. Concision results from many small edits that add up, and this session offers 12 techniques to improve concision.
  • 11:45 am
    0.50 hr ethics
    Ethics for Post-Conviction Lawyers

    Laura Popps, Attorney at Law - Austin, TX

    Discuss ethical rules and practical considerations governing post-conviction work by criminal practitioners.
  • 12:15 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Jay R. Brandon

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

Hon. J. Brett Busby

Former Justice, Fourteenth Court of Appeals
Houston, TX

Michael Staats Falkenberg

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Cynthia Rodriguez Garza

Dallas County District Attorney's Office
Dallas, TX

Emily Johnson-Liu

Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney
Austin, TX

Dayna LeAnn Jones

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

Jennifer E. Laurin

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

John Robertson Messinger

Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney
Austin, TX

Mandy Goldman Miller

Attorney at Law
Katy, TX

Hon. David C. Newell

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Laura Popps

Attorney at Law
Austin, TX

Gerald S. Reamey

St. Mary's University School of Law
San Antonio, TX

Carmen Roe

Carmen Roe Law Firm, PLLC
Houston, TX

Hon. Jeffrey L. Rose

Third Court of Appeals
Austin, TX

Josh Schaffer

Schaffer Law Offices
Houston, TX

Wayne Schiess

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Kathleen Mary Schneider

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Richard Segura

Capital Area Private Defender Service
Austin, TX

Stacey M. Soule

Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney
Austin, TX

Melissa Stryker

Harris County District Attorney's Office
Houston, TX

Hon. Bonnie Sudderth

2nd Court of Appeals
Fort Worth, TX

Rosa Theofanis

Travis County District Attorney's Office
Austin, TX

Gary Alan Udashen

Udashen Anton
Dallas, TX

Andrew Nelson Warthen

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 Cummings

Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
Philadelphia, PA

Alison Fox Dahlberg

Bexar County District Attorney's Office
San Antonio, TX

Michael Staats Falkenberg

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Carson R. Guy

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Austin, TX

Susan Riva Klein

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Frank Sellers

Westfall Sellers
Fort Worth, TX

Stephanie L. Stevens

St. Mary's University School of Law
San Antonio, 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 1-3, 2019 – AT&T Conference Center
Conference Concluded
Buy
Austin
Last day for Individual early registration: Apr 24, 2019

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Apr 24, 2019

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Apr 24, 2019

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Apr 26, 2019
Last day for cancellation (partial refund): Apr 29, 2019

$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 4, 2019 (subject to availability).

Book your room online 
here or call the reservations department at 877-744-8822 and reference the  2019 Criminal Appeals Conference. The reservations link will be active until the room block is full or the cutoff date of 4/4/19, whichever comes first. 

Parking Information

Extremely limited daily self-parking will be validated for the AT&T Conference Center garage or surrounding UT garages. Please note Dobie is not a UT garage and parking cannot be validated. Separate fees apply for valet and overnight parking.

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