It was great to see so many of you at the appellate seminar put on by UT (and co-sponsored by TDCAA) last week. I wanted to find out what those of you who attended thought about the conference, for instance: (1) whether there's the need to do this annually (maybe alternate direct appeals with writs? and how about death penalty appeals?), (2) whether having it with both sides of the bar and the court involved is desireable (or perhaps should be an every-other year thing), (3) topics at this conference that were especially helpful (or especially not), and (4) any other comments about the conference itself, in terms of content, how it was put on, etc.
I'm sorry, what conference are you talking about? Oh yeah, I missed it because I was at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. My bad.
Williamson County, Texas
John, I thought Diane was there too. Oh, no, you just sent her the pictures so she could pretend. Maybe next year, Diane. The softshell crabs were excellent. ;-)
No doubt, scheduling a conference during Jazz Fest is a heinous mistake, ALMOST as bad as not aligning the TDCAA Annual Conference with the judges' big conference.
We'll try to do better next year. (And if any of you think that I have self-interest in the scheduling so that I can eat some soft-shell crabs next year in New Orleans, well, you might be right.)
Wow, Diane, I bet you're overjoyed by the overwhelming number of cogent & informative responses to your inquiry.
As for me, I thought the guy who spoke on "Difficult Issues" was FABULOUS! I realize UT must have paid a speaker of his FABULOUS world-wide reputation big bucks to get him there, but I hear he's really a FABULOUS guy, and would probably cut his fee substantially for any TDCAA function, if asked nicely by a FABULOUS person such as yourself.
Isn't it true that the FABULOUS speaker you mentioned actually took the time to take over for someone at Jazz Fest? That's pretty incredible. Good work.
Hey Diane -- It was a great seminar! I was pleasantly surprised! There was only one speaker that I considered worthless (will use discretion in that regard here) and, of course, I was wowed by the FABULOUS "Difficult Issues" speaker who, hopefully, has already cashed his fat check. Seriously, any time Matthew and Cathy Cochran are on a program, it can't be bad (already bookmarked Bartleby!). I was also very impressed by Judge Keasler's remarks. Plus, the opportunity to put a face on the name of the great dissenter out of Waco was a treat; the net-working aspect of conferences is always a plus, so including both sides of the bar and members of the bench should continue. I also think it is always helpful to hear about what judges are thinking since, after all, they grade our papers. And, finally, watching Matthew and Randy Schaffer go toe to toe was highly entertaining (clearly, I need more entertainment in my life -- Jazz Fest does sound good!). Plus, we even got reimbursement from TDCAA! Thumbs up from everyone I spoke with!
[This message was edited by TDohoney on 05-16-02 at .]
Overwhelmed by all the responses, I'll throw in my tuppence worth.
I thought both the scope and format of the seminar excellent. Having panels certainly breaks up the usual presentation pattern. For out-of-towners, the length and the start and stop times were ideal too.
Personally, I enjoy the contribution that the defense and the bench bring to seminars, but I realize that some presentations might be toned down in deferrence to the broader audience. (Though that doesn't seem to hinder Brian, God Bless him!)
Alternating the seminar between appeals and writs might boost interest in the program and maintain attendance for the long run. Perhaps, capital cases could be given independent treatment at one or two sessions of either seminar.
My personal favorite moment outside the seminar was the Thursday evening bagpipe performance in the lobby (did you notice the people pouring out of their rooms to watch?). There must be a lot of musical talent in a group of nearly 300 lawyers. How about adding a musical element?
Overall, I believe holding an annual criminal appellate seminar either for prosecutors alone or for all the bench and bar is just as worthwhile as an annual seminar focusing on trial work. There have been many significant changes in the appellate arena since the last TDCAA appeals seminar two years ago.
attendance. capital case seminar
You know, if they had advertised pipes in the flyer then I would have set aside my rabid anti-defense-lawyer feelings and attended.
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