Fall Judicial Education Session

November 14 - 16, 2018

Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center
1001 E. McCarty Ln.
San Marcos, TX 78666

Thank you for your interest in the Fall Judicial Education Session. Online registration has closed, but you may still register onsite. For more information contact Allyssa Lee​ or Adrienne Bethke at (800) 456-5974.​​​

Sponsored By

The Texas Judicial Academy is a partnership between the Texas Association of Counties and the Texas Tech University School of Law.


The Fall Education Session of the Texas Judicial Academy will give you an excellent opportunity to learn and connect with judges from across the state and discuss a wide range of topics that impact your judicial duties. The County Judges Education Advisory Committee has specifically designed the curriculum and discussion points for current and retired constitutional county judges. The curriculum will not only constitute an in-depth review of core topics, but will also address short topics of interest and introduce you to several new, cutting-edge programs being used successfully in other jurisdictions.


This program is partially funded by a Judicial and Court Personnel Training Fund Grant administered by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In accordance with the grant guidelines, judges may be reimbursed for attendance to the Fall Judicial Education Session, the Spring Judicial Education Session or Texas College of Probate Judges, up to $750 total per fiscal year.

All travel reservations made through third party vendors (Hotels.com, Expedia.com, Booking.com, etc.) cannot be reimbursed. For more information on reimbursement, please call Michele Mund at (800) 456-5974.

Reimbursements must be submitted to TAC within 60 days of the event.  Any reimbursement received after 60 days will not be reimbursedReimbursement may be provided for county judges only.

Who Should Attend

Current and Retired County Judges


Early conference registration is $125 through Oct. 25. After Oct. 25, registration is $150.

Registration fees are voluntary and used for expenses that are unallowable or are insufficiently covered by the Judicial and Court Personnel Training Fund Grant. This includes speaker fees, materials, meals, and social activities. Fees collected are deposited to a fund held for county judges education within the general revenue funds for the Texas Association of Counties.

County Judges Education Advisory Committee

Hon. Wes Suiter, Chair, Angelina County Judge
Hon. Don Allred, Oldham County Judge
Hon. Brett Bray, Blanco County Judge
Hon. Ronnie J. Gordon, Hartley County Judge
Hon. Woodrow “Woody” Gossom, Jr., Wichita County Judge
Hon. Justin Lewis, Hill County Judge
Hon. Francisco Ponce, Dimmit County Judge
Hon. Byron Ryder, Leon County Judge
Hon. Jimmy Sylvia, Chambers County Judge
Hon. Becky A. Wilbanks, Cass County Judge
Ms. Jamie Baker, Associate Law Librarian and Interim Director, Texas Tech University School of Law Library (ex-officio)
Ms. Alyson Drake, Assistant Director for Public Services, Director of the Excellence in Legal Research Program, and Assistant Law Librarian, Texas Tech University School of Law (ex-officio)

Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center
1001 E. McCarty Ln.
San Marcos, TX 78666
(512) 392-6450

For reservations, call (512) 392-6450 and request space in the Texas Association of Counties room block. Single rooms at the special $129 rate are limited so please make your reservation as soon as possible. The deadline for these guaranteed room rates is Oct. 23.

Wednesday, Nov. 14
6 p.m. Reception
6:30 p.m. Dinner Honoring Retiring Judges (guests invited)
Thursday, Nov. 15
11:30 a.m. Luncheon Honoring the Fellows of the Judicial Academy

*Agenda is subject to change.

Tuesday, Nov. 13
2-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
Wednesday, Nov. 14
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
8 a.m Call to Order and Introductions
Hon. Wes Suiter, Angelina County Judge
Mr. Gene Terry, Executive Director, Texas Association of Counties
8:15 a.m. Judicial Discretion
Mr. Gene Terry, Executive Director, Texas Association of Counties
9:30 a.m. Inquests
Hon. David Cobos, Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2, Midland County
10:45 a.m. Mental Health Evaluations and Compliance
Mr. Brandon Wood, Executive Director, Texas Commission on Jail Standards
11:45 a.m. Lunch on Your Own
1:15 p.m. Judicial Emergency Preparedness
Chief W. Nim Kidd, Chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Emergency Management
2:30 p.m. Protective Orders
Hon. Mary Cunningham, Llano County Judge
3:45 p.m. Alternatives to Probate
Hon. Susan M. Redford, Judicial Program Manager, Texas Association of Counties
6 p.m. Cocktail Reception
6:30 p.m. Dinner Honoring Retiring Judges
Thursday, Nov. 15
7 a.m.- 5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
8 a.m. Mental Health Issues in Juvenile Cases
Mr. Jim Huggler, Attorney, Law Office of James W. Huggler
9:15 a.m. Texas Juvenile Justice Department Regionalization Update
Mr. Lou Serrano, Senior Director of Probation and Community Services, Texas Juvenile Justice Department
10:30 a.m. Bail Reform
Rep. Andrew Murr, State Representative for District 53, Texas House of Representatives
11:30 a.m. Luncheon Honoring the Fellows of the Judicial Academy
1 p.m. Successfully Managing Guardianship Cases
Hon. Rex Fields, Eastland County Judge
Hon. Robert Hurley, Atascosa County Judge
Mr. Jeff Rinard, Certification Division Director, Office of Court Administration
Ms. Cryctal Spradley, Assistant Director of Court Administration, Lubbock County
2:15 p.m. Adult Probation: Terms, Conditions, and Revocations
Hon. Deborah Earley, County Attorney, Blanco County
3:30 p.m. Thoughts from the Bench: Shared Wisdom from Retiring Judges
4:30 p.m. Moderated Discussion
5:30 p.m. Recess
Friday, Nov. 16
7 a.m.-noon Registration Desk Open
8 a.m. Social Media and Ethics for Judges
Hon. M. Sue Kurita, Judge, El Paso County Court at Law No. 6
9:15 a.m. DWI Case Law Update
Hon. Ryan Kellus Turner, General Counsel & Director of Education, Texas Municipal Court Education Center
10:30 a.m. Judicial Legislative Preview
Mr. Jim Allison, Partner, Allison, Bass & Magee LLP
11:30 a.m. Adjourn

*Agenda is subject to change.

The Fall Judicial Education Session provides 16 hours of judicial education credit for constitutional county judges. The State Bar of Texas has accredited 16 MCLE hours for attorneys.

All cancellation and refund requests must be received in writing (fax or email acceptable) on or before Nov. 3 (less $10 administrative fee). Cancellations and refunds after Nov. 3 will be subject to an administrative fee equal to one-half of the registration fee. No refund requests will be honored after Dec. 2.
Please email Adrienne Bethke at adrienneb@county.org or send fax to (512) 477-1324 to cancel your conference registration.

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