I was in Austin this past week attending a conference on Texas criminal appeals practice. While listening to speaker after speaker, I was again reminded of the importance of staying informed of the ever changing landscape of criminal law while continuously looking for ways my clients can benefit from new legal developments.
A new rule of appellate procedure requires defense counsel to advise clients of their right to file petitions for discretionary review with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The new rule requires defense counsel to explain to the client they have the right to file for review on their own and what upcoming deadlines exist. Our office has been providing this service to clients for years, well before there was an official rule requiring it.
In 2004 a new procedure became available for clients to seal their records of successfully completed deferred adjudication. This procedure was called Non-Disclosure and we immediately set out to contact our former clients who were eligible to take advantage of this new law. Many clients benefited from this new procedure and were thankful we took time to contact them.
Keeping clients informed is an all important service. It takes time and effort - but the pay off is a well informed client who can make better informed decisions about their case.