TDCAA Community
Vote for the next TDCAA publication

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January 07, 2004, 11:55
Diane Beckham
Vote for the next TDCAA publication
In spring 2004, TDCAA will publish a series of smaller-scale books (in the 50-100 page range), and we'd like your help in voting for the topics you'd most like to see. So far, the proposals that the publications committee will consider at its Jan. 30 meeting are:

* Gathering Evidence in a Drug Case
(including information on anhydrous, punishment evidence, corroboration evidence, adopting a city map for drug-free zones/1,000 feet boundary)
* HIPAA and Prosecution
(including civil ramifications for county attorneys and how to combat HIPAA refusals to provide information on the criminal side)
* Jury Selection
(including Standefer information, seating charts, juror questionnaires, jury trial checklist)
* Discovery
(including charts and information from Trial Notebook, Capital Writs, and Harris County´┐Żs discovery chart)
* Competency Proceedings/Mental Defenses
* DPRS Representation
* Exclusionary rule/suppression hearings
* Post-conviction DNA Proceedings
* Employment Law: Hiring and Firing
* ID Theft
* Domestic Violence
* Eight-Liners
* Traffic Law/Municipal Court Prosecutions
* Confidential Informants
* Courtroom Demeanor
* Livestock Laws Update

Let me know which of these -- if any -- sound worthy. Or, if you have other ideas for smaller-scale books/pamphlets, please pass them along either by posting to this topic or e-mailing me at
January 07, 2004, 13:48
Diane Beckham
I should also have noted that the publications committee will be considering proposals for the following full-blown books:

* juvenile law
* experts (especially in light of the CCA's opinion in the Hernandez case)

Besides that, Tom Bridges and Ted Wilson are working on a second edition to their popular Warrants Manual for Arrest, Search & Seizure (due out in late summer 2004). The update will include new and improved warrant and affidavit forms, as well as updated sections on:

* no-knock entries
* computer seizures and various uses for evidence seized from a computer
* court orders to seize evidence (such as buccal swabs)

We'd love to hear from you on any of these projects as well.
February 04, 2004, 13:19
P.D. Ray
I'm interested in information on HIPAA refusals. I vote for the HIPAA book/booklet.
February 05, 2004, 09:56
Hippa sounds good as well as the employment law book. County road law is another subject that is difficult to get your hands around.
I would probably order a book for each of the proposed topics as they all seem beneficial.
Thanks for all your hard work!
February 05, 2004, 10:27
Diane Beckham
I appreciate your thoughts and votes! In the meantime, I wanted to direct you to a couple of resources we have on these topics. Alison Holland and Thao La each wrote great articles on HIPAA and records for the Prosecutor. Alison's was published in the July/August 2003 issue, and Thao's came out in May/June 2003. Both articles are available online under the orange tab marked "The Prosecutor, The Report, & Seminar Papers."

And Lisa Peterson will be speaking at the upcoming civil seminar on road and bridge law. She provided a VERY helpful paper last year, and this year's paper is even more comprehensive. It includes a great chart on statutes that are the jumping-off point for road questions. Good stuff.

And again, thanks so much for your input. Your suggestions and thoughts are invaluable in helping us decide which publications will help you most.
February 05, 2004, 14:19
Lisa Peterson
Gee Diane, thanks for the vote of confidence. Hopefully the talk will live up to the advance billing!

As to your question - most look like something I would be interested in! The books that get the most use on my desk are those that let me find a quick, often superficial, answer. If I need to dig deeper, I can follow the references.

Lisa L. Peterson
Nolan County Attorney
February 12, 2004, 11:53
Eric C. Carcerano
Anything that could be for dual use with our local law enforcement would be helpful. Every time I come back from a seminar with anything on search and seizure its only a matter of time before everybody wants a copy. Hopefully it would also cut back on those 3 a.m. "what do I do now? calls".
February 12, 2004, 15:40
J Ansolabehere
I teach arrest, search & seizure law to the DPS recruits during their basic six month academy course. I always recommend Diane Beckham's Warrantless Search & Seizure book to the recruits as a good resource for them to keep on hand. I find it very readable and much more understandable that the typical "treatise."

Janette Ansolabehere
April 22, 2004, 17:33
julie renken
i vote for jury selection, DPRS representation
May 03, 2004, 11:30
Cami Sandifer
Any thoughts on Election Code violations and the perils of investigating these complaints?
May 03, 2004, 15:34
P.D. Ray
There was once a 1997 update to the "Livestock Laws in Texas". I'm told the book sold out and will likely be renewed soon. I'd like to see the subject renewed and possibly expanded to include more of the wildlife laws as well.
May 04, 2004, 10:00
Ken Sparks
Every so often there is a need to research this dusty topic. A primer on this subject would really help rural prosecutors.
May 04, 2004, 13:51
Diane Beckham
Great ideas, all of them. It's wonderful to have a running list of publication topics that would be helpful.

Here's the first round of short books that we're currently working on and that will be coming out this summer and fall:

(1) Traffic stops
(2) Mental defenses & competency
(3) Bail bonds
(4) Extradition
(5) Employment law
(6) Sex offender registration
(7) Open records
(8) Removals/quo warranto

Next up on our list will be topics including:
- Open meetings
- ID theft
- Grand jury practice
- Evidence in a drug case
- Election law (we need someone to write it, Cami -- are you in???)

And potentially:
- HIPAA (once the courts give us a little more guidance -- right now, we feel like we can't expand much beyond the seminar papers and Prosecutor articles without being speculative)
- Livestock laws (if we can find a partner agency interested in co-publishing with us)

Remember that these are all in the "short book" series. We're also still working on regular-sized books on these topics:

* Child Sexual Abuse (NOW AVAILABLE -- hot off the presses)
* Confessions (coming this fall)
* Victim-Witness Coordinator Manual (coming in early 2005)
* Experts (early 2005)
* Juveniles (January 2005)
* Writs of Habeas Corpus (non-capital)

And updated editions on the following books:
* Perfect Plea
* Warrants Manual
* Ethics
* Prosecutor Trial Notebooks

Thanks so much for the great ideas -- keep them coming!
July 16, 2004, 08:51
Wesley Wittig
As a drug prosecutor, I vote that direction. Putting the material on CI's in the same book with collecting evidence in a drug case would be a nice concise package. And being that I went to A&M, Livestock Laws would make for some good personal reading!
August 13, 2004, 00:10
I could really use a primer in reading medical records; perhaps interpreting the standard abbreviations, understanding the meanings of deviations from the norm in routine blood tests and the like. Medical terms for dummies? A go-by for extended mental commitments with standerd psych forms and orders would also be handy.
August 16, 2004, 14:33
Diane Beckham
Thanks for all your input and votes! We've been busy this summer getting a bunch of new books ready to go.

Here is the slate of books that will be available at the TDCAA annual conference in Sept. 2004 in South Padre:

(1) "Confessions" (by John Stride)
(2) "Annotated Transportation Code Crimes & License Suspensions" (by me -- this is the full text of all the Trans. Code statutes that appear in our "Texas Crimes" book, with annotations & charts, etc. Plus all the DL suspension/revocation statutes in the Transportation Code, plus a few other driving-related statutes like DWI, juvenile suspensions, etc.)
(3) "Perfect Plea" 2004 edition (by John Bradley) -- All Texas prosecutors get this book for free, courtesy of TDCAA's grant from the Court of Criminal Appeals. Check with your UPS man if you haven't gotten yours already!
(4) "Extradition" (by Steve Chalender from the Texas Ass'n of Counties)
(5) "Future Danger" 3rd edition (by A.P. Merillat) -- free to all felony prosecutors in Texas courtesy of the CCA grant. Will be shipped in September 2004.
(6) "Traffic Stops" (by me) -- The basics of what officers can and can't do in making warrantless traffic stops; a mini (and updated) version of two chapters from "Warrantless Search & Seizure."
(7) "Prosecutor Trial Notebook" 3rd edition (by me and Matthew Paul)

And soon to follow this fall:
(8) "Mental Defenses" (by Jane Starnes")
(9) "Employment Law in Texas" (by Scott Brumley)
(10) "Sex Offender Registration" (by Suzy Morton)
(11) "Warrants Manual for Arrest, Search & Seizure" 2nd edition (by Tom Bridges & Ted Wilson)

Followed shortly in early 2005 by:
(12) "Open Records" (by Scott Durfee & Lisa Brown)
(13) "Open Meetings" (by Ray Rike)
(14) "Family Violence" (by Mysti Neal)
(15) "Juveniles" (by Chris Hubner)

And then we'll take a breath and see what else we can get done before it's time to update the PC/CCP books in summer 2005.

Keep those votes and input coming!
August 17, 2004, 11:22
Cami Sandifer
I vote for Courtroom Demeanor, Identity Theft and DPRS Representation.

Now if someone would come up with a way to get the Courtroom Demeanor book into the hands of every police academy and training coordinator.... that would be productive. Wink
August 17, 2004, 15:06
Diane Beckham
I knew I was going to forget a few books that are in the works!!

* HIPAA by intrepid TDCAA research attorney Markus Kypreos, which will be published sometime this fall.
* Bail bonds by Kathy Braddock, also due out sometime late in 2004.
* Experts by John Bradley, in development right now and due out sometime in 2005.
* Update to Prosecutor Ethics by Chip Wilkinson in 2005.

We've talked about a joint training on courtroom demeanor (with a potential book to follow) with the Texas Association of Counties. And we've had summer regionals on ID theft, which could lead to a later book.

Thanks for the input!
August 18, 2004, 08:21
Ken Sparks
Diane, I want to congratulate and thank you and all the authors. Publications like these will provide valuable assistance to prosecutors across this state and are especially helpful to prosecutors like myself in rural counties who do not have an "appellate division" to turn to for help. THANK YOU!
August 18, 2004, 08:59
Has TDCAA considered publishing fiction? I've got some good short stories.

John Bradley
District Attorney
Williamson County, Texas