Fall Judicial Education Session

November 17 - 19, 2021

The Bevy Hotel Boerne
101 Herff Rd.
Boerne, TX 78006

Registration is closed. You may register onsite.

For more information, contact Ashley Royer or Regan Frugé at (800) 456-5974.

The Bevy Hotel Boerne
101 Herff Rd.
Boerne, TX 78006


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


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


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

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.

Reimbursement requests must be submitted to TAC within 60 days of the event. Any request received after 60 days will not be reimbursed.

Reimbursement may be provided for county judges only.

Who Should Attend

County judges

Registration Information

Registration will open on Sept. 1 at the start of the new fiscal year. The registration fee for this conference is $125.

Registration fees are voluntary and used for expenses that are unallowable or are insufficiently covered by the Judicial & Court Personnel Training Fund grant. These include speaker fees, materials, meals and social activities. Fees are deposited in a fund for county judge education within the general revenue funds of the Texas Association of Counties.

County Judges Education Advisory Committee

Hon. Don Allred, Chair, Oldham County Judge
Hon. Mark Allen, Jasper County Judge
Hon. Brett Bray, Blanco County Judge
Hon. Stephanie Davis, Comanche County Judge
Hon. Charlie Falcon, Andrews 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 Dean and Director of the Law Library, Texas Tech University School of Law Library (ex officio)
Hon. Renee Couch, Comal County Treasurer (ex officio)

Host Hotel
The Bevy Hotel Boerne (HOTEL FULL)
101 Herff Rd.
Boerne, TX 78006
(210) 836-7860

The room block is full. To be added to a wait list, please email Regan Fruge.

For reservations, click here or call (830) 816-5606. Use the room code, "FAL", to book a room in the TAC Fall Judicial room block. The group rate is $116/night for single/double, and space is limited. Please make your reservation as soon as possible. The deadline to reserve your room at the special rate is October 26.

To avoid cancellation fee, reservation must be cancelled 48 hours prior to arrival.

Overflow Hotel
Hampton Inn & Suites Boerne

34935 IH-10 West
Boerne, TX 78006
(830) 816-8800

Click here to reserve your room. The rate is $116/night under the "Texas Association of Counties" block. The cutoff date for accepting reservations into this room block is Oct. 29.

To avoid a cancellation fee, reservation must be cancelled 48 hours prior to arrival.

Tuesday, Nov. 16
3-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
Wednesday, Nov. 17
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
7-8 a.m. Breakfast Buffet
8-8:15 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
8:15-9:15 a.m.

Judicial Discretion and Ethics in Election Years
Speaker: Hon. Tramer Woytek, Judicial Resource Liaison, TAC

The ability of judges to exercise discretion in the courtroom is a central tenet of justice and fairness in Texas. This session will review areas where the judge can exercise discretion, offer guidance on when it is appropriate and focus on the special challenges during election cycles.

9:15-9:30 a.m. Break
9:30-10:30 a.m.

Eviction Appeals from Justice Court: Fallout from Moratoriums
Speaker: Ms. Thea Whalen, Director, Texas Justice Court Training Center

Eviction appeals are on the rise after the COVID-19 moratoriums were lifted. This session will offer a guide to navigate the process from justice court to a final ruling.

10:30-10:45 a.m. Break
10:45-11:45 a.m.

DWI and Other Misdemeanors: Arrest Through Trial
Speaker: Hon. Ben Nolen, Judge, Tom Green County Court-at-Law

Judge Ben Nolen will provide an overview of judicial proceedings and issues in the criminal process from the time an offender is arrested through the conclusion of trial and sentencing.

11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Buffet Lunch
12:15-1:15 p.m.

Lunch and Learn: DWI Case Law Update
Speaker: Ms. Jessica Frazier, Chief Civil Prosecutor, Comal County

This session will provide an overview of the most recent cases in DWI prosecutions and appeals and give judicial guidance on future decisions in this area of the law.

1:15-1:30 p.m. Break
1:30-2:30 p.m.

Impairment Issues (THC, Vaping, Drugs, etc.)
Speaker: Mr. Brian Watson, Assistant District Attorney, Bee County

Every year, judges are seeing new trends in drug cases. This session will offer an overview of what you can expect to see in court, what to look for in determining your rulings, and the rise of the new “legal” delta-8 THC.

2:30-2:45 p.m. Break
2:45-3:45 p.m.

Indigent Defense and Mental Health Issues
Speakers: Mr. Scott Ehlers, Director of Public Defense Improvement, Texas Indigent Defense Commission
Mr. Michael Young, Chief Public Defender, Bexar County

Indigent defense and mental health issues vary from county to county. This presentation will provide statewide, rural and urban perspectives on these issues.

3:45-4 p.m. Break
4-5:15 p.m.

Indigent Defense and Pre-Trial Services: Regional projects and Budget Impacts
Speakers: Hon. Richard Evans, Bandera County Judge
Ms. Darcy Hasty, Director of Pre-Trial Services, Medina County
Hon. Chris Schuchart, Medina County Judge
Hon. Jimmy Sylvia, Chambers County Judge

Counties continue to be faced with the rising cost of indigent defense. This session will illustrate how counties are joining together to cut costs and increase services.

5:15 p.m. Welcome Reception and Recognition of Fellows of Texas Judicial Academy
Thursday, Nov. 18
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
7-8 a.m. Breakfast Buffet
8-9 a.m.

Magistrations and Bail Bonds in 2022
Speaker: Mr. Randall Sarosdy, General Counsel, Texas Justice Court Training Center

The 2021 legislative session made several changes to the way judges handle magistrations and bail bonds. This session will provide the most up-to-date training on how to comply with the most recent legislative changes.

9-9:15 a.m. Break
9:15-10:15 a.m.

Bond Surrenders, NISI's, Forfeitures and Revocations
Speakers: Hon. Alan Bristol, County Relations Officer, TAC
Ms. Amy Befeld, Legislative Consultant, TAC
Ms. Deborah Earley, County Attorney, Blanco County
Hon. Tramer Woytek, Judicial Resource Liaison, TAC

Judges are often faced with cases where defendants fail to appear, and/or bond revocations or forfeitures are requested. This session will provide a comprehensive review of the processes and best practices in these cases.

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

Guardianships: Tips from the Bench
Speaker: Hon. Amanda Matzke, Judge, Brazos County Court-at-Law

Guardianships are one of the most challenging and ever-changing areas of jurisdiction for county judges. This session will provide judges with the best practices and practical tips to deal with the demands of these important cases.

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch on Your Own
1-2 p.m.

The County Judge as a Teammate and Leader in the Courtroom (and Courthouse)
Speakers: Hon. Stephanie Davis, Comanche County Judge
Hon. Julia Miller, Runnels County Judge
Hon. Cindy Vanlandingham, Bosque County Judge

County judges are often put in difficult situations. This session will provide tips and tricks from tenured judges on how to navigate those tough decisions.

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

Efficient Docket Management
Speakers: Hon. Lucy Hebron, Wood County Judge
Hon. Jill Sklar, Jackson County Judge

COVID-19 stalled courts and created new hurdles for county judges. This panel will discuss ways to manage an efficient docket.

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

Zoom Hearings in a Post-Covid World
Speakers: Ms. Megan LaVoie, Public Affairs Director/Special Counsel, Texas Office of Court Administration
Ms. Kelly Thibodeau, Executive Assistant, Texas Office of Court Administration

Virtual hearings have become part of our new normal. This session will provide the do's and don'ts of Zoom hearings

4:30 p.m. Recess
Friday, Nov. 19
7 a.m.-12 p.m. Registration Desk Open
7-8 a.m. Breakfast Buffet
8-9 a.m.

Drug Court and Other Specialty Courts
Speaker: Hon. Randy Gray, Judge, Comal County Court-at-Law

Specialty courts can be a very effective way to minimize jail populations and rehabilitate many offenders in drug and alcohol related cases. This topic will outline effective methods for operating a drug court and review the successes that can be effectuated for your county.

9-9:15 a.m. Break
9:15-10:15 a.m.

Pre-Trial Motions, Hearings and Objections
Speaker: Mr. Joe Stephens, Lead Felony Defender, Hill Country Regional Public Defender Office

This session will provide an overview of the most common pretrial motions, the hearing process, and how to handle objections.

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

Recent Legislation Important to County Judges
Speaker: Mr. Noe Barrios, Director of Legislative Services, TAC
Mr. Michael Pichinson, General Counsel, TAC

The 2021 legislative session was disrupted by a global pandemic and historic winter storms. This session will provide an overview of the most important legislative updates for county judges.

11:30 a.m. Adjourn

*Agenda subject to change

The Fall Judicial Education Session provides 16 hours of judicial education credit for constitutional county judges. Application is pending with the State Bar of Texas to determine MCLE credit for attorneys.

Continuing Education Type Hours
Judges 16
Attorneys 16 +2 Ethics hours

Please email Regan Frugé to cancel your conference registration. You may also fax a notice of cancellation to (512) 477-1324.

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