COMMENTS JANUARY 2023
Tell us what you think via @statebaroftexas, email@example.com, or P.O. Box 12487, Austin, TX 78711-2487. Letters addressed to the Texas Bar Journal may be edited for clarity and length and become the property of the magazine, which owns all rights to their use.
November 2022 Issue of the Texas Bar Journal
As a criminal defense lawyer, imagine my pleasant surprise to see the cover of the latest Texas Bar Journal, emblazoned with the words “CRIMINAL LAW.” Imagine my letdown to discover that the only piece in the Journal about criminal law was an article written by a prosecutor about a new pedestrian crosswalk law.
I realize that there are dozens of different areas of the practice of law in Texas, and that space is limited for TBJ articles. But the dearth of material dealing with criminal defense law in the Journal makes me wonder whether the lawyers running the TBJ realize who’s defending the constitutional rights of the average, ordinary citizen on a day-to-day basis.
Thank God for my membership in the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Without the TCDLA, we courthouse lawyers would be all but left out in the cold.
The Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors strives to cover an array of practice areas and appreciates comments from readers. The words “Criminal Law” were featured on the cover of the November issue and the subsequent subhead stated the following: “An update on everything from the Lisa Torry Smith Act to the 75th anniversary of the Center for American and International Law to the Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health.” The idea was that “criminal law” encompasses more than the various laws that establish the standards for a criminal offense, such as with the Lisa Torry Smith Act. It’s a broad topic that includes insightful thinking, discussion, and best practices regarding the behavioral health needs of persons in the criminal justice system, such as those from the Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health. And it includes awareness and training on the rule of law, such as programs on “actual innocence that illuminate systemic problems in the justice system with audiences that include judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and law enforcement officials” or those that “address the complexities of death penalty cases and ensure that prosecutors and defense counsel are well prepared for their respective roles in criminal litigation with the very highest of stakes” to name a few offered by the Center for American and International Law. The board welcomes suggestions for content and is looking for authors interested in writing for the Texas Bar Journal. Please go to texasbar.com/submissions for more information.