County Court Assistants Training Conference

March 30 - April 1, 2021

Virtual Conference

Online registration is closed. You may register onsite or contact Regan Frugé.

Sponsored By
The Texas Judicial Academy is a partnership between the Texas Association of Counties and the Texas Tech University School of Law.
The County Court Assistants Training Conference presents an opportunity for the county judge’s staff to learn more about the management and operation of judicial and administrative procedures of the judge’s office. Our goal is for each person to leave this conference better equipped to assist the county judge in his/her judicial and administrative duties.

Who Should Attend
County judge’s secretaries, administrative assistants, and court assistants are encouraged to attend.

Registration is $50.

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.

Court Assistants Advisory Committee
Ms. Charlene Graff, Chair, Harrison County
Ms. Shannon Burkley, Nacogdoches County
Ms. Sharon Grant, Glasscock County
Ms. Toni Jones, Yoakum County
Ms. Jan Pigford, Houston County
Ms. Marcia Short, Bandera County
Mr. Justin Meyers, Karnes County
Ms. Genevieve Martinez Sanchez, Wilson County
Ms. Amy Peeler, Gonzales County

*Agenda is subject to change

Tuesday, March 30
Noon Accelevents Platform Opens
1 – 1:15 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions

Ms. Charlene Graff, Chair, Court Assistants Advisory Committee
Hon. Susan M. Redford, Executive Director, Texas Association of Counties (TAC)
Hon. Mary Cunningham, Judicial Program Manager, TAC

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Essential Role of Court Assistants: Judge's Perspective

This session will explore the many and varied roles of court assistants and enlighten attendees about a judge’s perspective of their important and essential role in the county.

Hon. Stephanie Davis, Judge, Comanche County

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. Break
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Indigency Issues: Mental Health, Medical Care and Defense

Hon. Kirk Noaker, Magistrate Judge, Burnet County

3:30 - 3:45 p.m. Break
3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Commissioners Court: Open Meetings Act, Agendas and Postings

A general overview of the operations of the commissioners court will be explored with emphasis on postings, court agendas, executive sessions and the importance of the Open Meetings Act.

Hon. Mary Cunningham, Judicial Program Manager, TAC

4:45 – 5 p.m.

TAC CIRA-Hosted Microsoft 365 Updates

Changes are coming to county email accounts that are hosted by TAC CIRA. This session will discuss those changes, and what options counties will have regarding their email service.

Mr. Kevin Hurley, Membership Development Manager

5 p.m. Recess
Wednesday, March 31
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Docketing & Deadlines in Guardianship, Probate and Appeals from Justice Court 

This session will explore the persistent issues that arise with these cases, including tracking the deadlines and docketing issues with each of them. Various options and policies that can be utilized to address these concerns will also be discussed.

Hon. Donece Gregory, County Clerk, Tyler County

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.

9:45 – 10:45 a.m.

Courtroom Security: Communication, Controls and Constraints

This presentation will discuss the options available to best control and communicate various options to maximize courtroom security, as well as courthouse best practices.

Hon. C.B. "Buck" Stevens, Constable, Brazoria County

10:45 – 11 a.m.


11 a.m. - noon

Mental Health & Stress 

During this session attendees will learn why it is important to give yourself a "reality check" in regard to your mental health status, how to positively manage stress, including the resources and tools available, and how to reduce a stressful workplace environment.

Ms. Ashley Cureton, Wellness Consultant, TAC

Noon – 1 p.m.

Break for Lunch

1 – 2 p.m.

Ethics: Special Issues During Election and Campaigns

The focus of this session will be on helping you navigate some of the ethical challenges that members of a judge’s staff face, concentrating particularly on campaigns and elections. We will examine ex parte communications, social media and the potential consequences arising from improper communications.

Hon. Tramer Woytek, Judicial Resource Liaison, TAC

2 – 2:15 p.m. Break
2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Looking Forward: Virtual Court Trials, Challenges and Concerns 

Mr. Mike Thompson, Associate General Counsel, TAC

3:15 – 3:30 p.m. Break
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Census 2021: Redistricting Considerations for Counties

Every 10 years, in the year after the U.S. census, Texas counties are tasked with redrawing their four precinct lines to make them consistent with changes in population. This session will discuss the various considerations that must be taken into account in those changes.

Mr. Bob Bass, Partner, Allison, Bass & Magee, LLP

4:30 p.m. Recess
Thursday, April 1
7:30 a.m. Accelevents Platform Opens
8 - 9 a.m.

Effectively Managing Court Dockets and Commissioners Court Proceedings

This session will discuss the various best practices that may be utilized to maximize commissioners court proceedings and court dockets. The particular emphasis of the role of the court coordinator will be discussed with special attention to streamlining court efficiency.

Ms. Marcia Short, Secretary, Bandera County

9 – 9:15 a.m. Break
9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

HR Hot Topics for County Court Assistants

Human resources is important in a smoothly running county, and many court assistants are the first contact for employees, elected officials and the public with questions regarding HR policies and procedures. This session will delve into some of the most important topics that will help as you assist with solutions for your county.

Ms. Lorie Floyd, HR Consultant, TAC

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Cybersecurity in the Age of Disasters

Each year counties and businesses increasingly incur significant costs related to cybersecurity threats and must have policies and training in place to address limiting these losses. This session will discuss those threats and the solutions available to Texas counties to address and protect them from these attacks.

Hon. Jill Sklar, Judge, Jackson County

11:30 a.m. Adjourn
No continuing education will be offered for this conference.

All cancellation and refund requests must be received in writing (fax or email acceptable) on or before March 24.

Please email Regan Frugé at or send fax to (512) 477-1324 to cancel your conference registration.

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