Judicial Orientation for New County Judges

January 28 - February 1, 2019

Overton Hotel and Conference Center
2322 Mac Davis Lane
Lubbock, TX 79401

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.

Overview

The Judicial Orientation for New County Judges is a great opportunity for newly elected judges to meet their peers and other professionals in judicial education. New judges will become acquainted with and proficient in the key functions of their judicial duties. Our goal is for judges to leave the education sessions with ample knowledge and confidence to perform the duties of their office.

Reimbursement

This program is partially funded by a Judicial and Court Personnel Training Fund Grant administered by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. County judges may be reimbursed at the General Services Administration (GSA) rates for allowable travel, lodging, and meal expenses.

Flight and hotel reservations are not reimbursable through third-party vendors such as Expedia, Hotwire, etc. 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

All county judges with judicial duties who were elected in the 2018 general election, and any judge elected or appointed since Jan. 1, 2015.

Registration

Early conference registration is $250 through Jan. 15. After Jan. 15, registration is $275.

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. Becky A. Wilbanks, Chair, Cass 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
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)

Overton Hotel & Conference Center
2322 Mac Davis Ln.
Lubbock, TX 79401
(806) 776-7000

For reservations, call (806) 776-7000 and request space in the Texas Association of Counties room block. Single rooms at the prevailing GSA rate of $94 are limited so please make your reservation as soon as possible. The deadline for these guaranteed room rates is Jan. 11.

Wednesday, Jan. 30
5:15 p.m. Reception

*Agenda is subject to change.

Sunday, Jan. 27
2-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
Monday, Jan. 28
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
7-8 a.m. Buffet Breakfast
8-8:15 a.m. Call to Order and Introductions
Hon. Becky Wilbanks, Cass County Judge and Chair, County Judges Education Advisory Committee
Hon. Susan M. Redford, Executive Director, Texas Association of Counties
8:15-9 a.m. Welcome to the Judiciary: An Overview of the Texas Judicial System
Hon. Nathan Hecht, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Texas
9-9:45 a.m. An Introduction to the Office of Court Administration
Mr. David Slayton, Administrative Director, Office of Court Administration
9:45 a.m. Break
10-10:45 a.m. What Do I Do Now? Judicial Education Requirements, Judicial Immunity and Other Matters
Hon. Susan M. Redford, Executive Director, Texas Association of Counties
10:45-11:45 a.m. Introduction to the Code of Judicial Conduct
Mr. Eric Vinson, Executive Director, State Commission on Judicial Conduct
11:45 a.m. Lunch on Your Own
1-2 p.m. Overview of the County Judges Bench Manual
Hon. Susan M. Redford, Executive Director, Texas Association of Counties
2 p.m. Break
2:15-3:15 p.m. Judicial Resources
Ms. Jamie Chandler, Paralegal, Texas Association of Counties
Ms. Kristi Shepperson, Operations Manager, Texas Association of Counties
3:15 p.m. Break
3:30-4:30 p.m. The Basics of a Court Docket
Ms. Aurora Zamora, Court Consultant, Office of Court Administration
4:30 p.m. Break
4:40-5:40 p.m. Tips for Docket Managment
Hon. Kim Halfmann, Glasscock County Judge
Hon. Robert Newsom, Hopkins County Judge
Hon. Stephanie Moreno, Bee County Judge
5:40 p.m. Recess
Tuesday, Jan. 29
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
7-8 a.m. Buffet Breakfast
8-9 a.m. Introduction to Evidence
Prof. Dustin Benham, Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law
9 a.m. Break
9:10-10:10 a.m. Criminal Law Overview
Mr. Donnie Yandell, Clinical Instructor, Texas Tech University School of Law; Chief Public Defender, Caprock Regional Public Defender Office
10:10 a.m. Break
10:20-11:20 a.m. Juvenile Law Overview
Ms. Cassandra Cheek, Assistant District Attorney, Andrews County
11:30 a.m. Lunch & Learn: Texas AgriLife Extension Services
Dr. Peter J. McGuill, Director, V.G. Young Institute of County Government
Dr. Jeff Ripley, Associate Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services
1-2 p.m. Guardianships
Hon. Rex Fields, Eastland County Judge
2 p.m. Break
2:15-3:15 p.m. Mental Health Proceedings
Prof. Brian Shannon, Paul Whitefield Horn Professor, Texas Tech University School of Law
3:15 p.m. Break
3:30-4:30 p.m. Probate Overview
Prof. Gerry W. Beyer, Governor Preston E. Smith Regents Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law
4:30-5 p.m. Peer and Mentoring Discussions
5 p.m. Recess
Wednesday, Jan. 30
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
7-8 a.m. Buffet Breakfast
8-8:30 a.m. Transport to Texas Tech University School of Law
9 a.m. Welcome from the Dean
Dean Jack Nowlin, Dean of the Texas Tech University School of Law
9:30-10:30 a.m. Criminal Hearings (rotating)
Hon. Garry Merritt, General Counsel and Director, Legal and Legislative Services, Texas Association of Counties
10:30-11:30 a.m. Juvenile Hearings (rotating)
Ms. Cassandra Cheek, Assistant District Attorney, Andrews County
11:30 a.m. Lunch with Dean Nowlin
1-2 p.m. Probate Hearings (rotating)
Hon. Andy Murr, Representative for District 53, Texas House of Representatives; Judicial Resource Liaison, Texas Association of Counties
2-3 p.m. Mental Health Proceedings (rotating)
Hon. Susan M. Redford, Executive Director, Texas Association of Counties
3 p.m. Break
3:15-4:15 p.m. Guardianship Hearings (rotating)
Hon. Mary Cunningham, Judicial Program Manager, Texas Association of Counties
4:15-5:15 p.m. Legal Reserach (rotating)
Ms. Jamie Baker, Associate Librarian of Law and Interim Director of the Law Library, Texas Tech University School of Law
Ms. Alyson Drake, Associate Librarian of Law, Director of the Excellence in Legal Research Program, Assistant Director for Public Services, Texas Tech University School of Law
5:15-6:15 p.m. Reception
5:15-6:45 p.m. Transport to the Overton Hotel & Conference Center
Thursday, Jan. 31
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
7-8 a.m. Buffet Breakfast
8-9 a.m. Ex Parte Communications and Pro Se Litigants
Hon. Greg Holly, Ward County Judge
9 a.m. Break
9:15-10:15 a.m. Controlling Your Courtroom: Contempt Proceedings
Hon. Robert Newsom, Hopkins County Judge
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30-11:30 a.m. Appeals from the Justice Court
Hon. Ann-Marie Carruth, Judge, County Court at Law No. 3, Lubbock County
11:30 a.m. Lunch & Learn: The Role of the County Judges in Emergency Management
Chief W. Nim Kidd, Chief Director for Emergency Management, Texas Division of Emergency Management
1-2 p.m. Social Media and Ethics for Judges
Hon. M. Sue Kurita, Judge, County Court at Law No. 6, El Paso County
2 p.m. Break
2:15-3:15 p.m. Adjudicating Criminal Cases: Magistration to Trial
Hon. Andy Murr, Representatives for District 53, Texas House of Representatives; Judicial Resource Liaison, Texas Association of Counties
3:15 p.m. Break
3:30-4:30 p.m. Sentencing Options, Terms of Probation, and Probation Revocations
Hon. Deborah Earley, Blanco County Attorney
5:30 p.m. Recess
Friday, Feb. 1
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
7-8 a.m. Buffet Breakfast
8-9 a.m. Occupational Driver's Licenses
Hon. Garry Merritt, General Counsel and Director, Legal and Legislative Services, Texas Association of Counties
9 a.m. Break
9:15-10:15 a.m. Protective Orders
Hon. Mary Cunningham, Judicial Program Manager, Texas Association of Counties
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30-11:30 a.m. Recusals, Disqualifications, and Visiting Judges
Hon. Justin Lewis, Hill County Judge
11:30 a.m.-noon What Now? Q&A with Mentoring Judges

Agenda is subject to change.

The Judicial Orientation for New County Judges provides 30 hours of judicial education credit for constitutional county judges. Application is pending with the State Bar of Texas to determine MCLE credit for attorneys.

Special Notice

State law requires that new judges with judicial responsibilities attend 30 hours of judicial continuing education during their first twelve months in office. This 30-hour course is a one-time offering and is an excellent opportunity to fulfill that requirement.

All cancellation and refund requests must be received in writing (fax or email acceptable) on or before Jan. 15 (less $10 administrative fee). Cancellations and refunds after Jan. 15 will be subject to an administrative fee equal to one-half of the registration fee. No refund requests will be honored after Feb. 15.

Please email Adrienne Bethke at adrienneb@county.org or send fax to (512) 477-1324 to cancel your conference registration.
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