Most know me as an Assistant District Attorney for 17 years prior to retiring June 2018. Ronnie. As most prosecutors do, I attended the Annual Criminal and Civil Law Update presented by the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association(TDCAA) each year to meet the minimum required Continuing Legal Education (CLE) needed for an attorney to retain their Bar License, which is 12 hours CLE and 3 hours ethics.
In 2016, I attended the TDCAA Advanced Trial Advocacy Course presented by seasoned prosecutors to help advance prosecutors whose practice is heavily based in Intoxication offenses. The 2016 seminar scenario was based on an actual Intoxication Manslaughter trial and consisted of 22.75 hours of trial preparation to be displayed in a recorded mock trial and critiqued and advised by those who led the course.
After retiring in June of last year, I attended 67.75 hours of CLE in less than a year, which at least 60 were specifically on Driving While Intoxicated Offenses and the law, science, and techniques associated with intoxication offenses. Combined with my prior two years, I completed more than 120 hours of Continuing Legal Education. This means, of the 120 hours of CLE over the past three years, more than half has been completed the past 11 months and in areas specific to DWI offenses.
The Texas State Bar College states it is an “honorary society of lawyers who are among the best-trained attorneys in Texas.” The requirements to become a member is the accumulation of at least 80 hours of accredited CLE within a three calendar-year period or at least 45 hours in the current calendar year. Historically, about 8-10% of Texas attorneys qualify for admissions the College. Having far exceeded the requirements for the State Bar College, I became a member in December 2018, just six months after retiring.
Since being exposed to as much experienced, peer provided education is important, I set a goal to make sure I attended as many courses presented by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association as I could in as short a period as possible. I set this goal so I knew I could confidently say I was as prepared as I could get in the new career I chose as a Criminal Defense Attorney. I wanted to be the most informed as I could in the law, the cases, the tactics, and to meet as many new colleagues as I could in the area of criminal defense of intoxication offenses.
In doing so, on May 3, 2019, I became a member of an elite group of Texas Criminal Defense Attorneys(TCDLA). I became a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association DWI Trial Warrior. This achievement is only granted to those members who have completed at least five of the specialized DWI CLE’s presented in a period of two years. I did it prior to my one year anniversary of my retirement as a prosecutor.
I am proud to say I am a member of the State Bar College. I am proud to say I am a TCDLA DWI Trial Warrior. I am proud to say I make sure I am as up to date as I can be on the ins and outs of defending those who trust me with their livelihood when charged with the life-altering offense of DWI and all the accompanying impacts.