2017-18 Uncontested Positions:
President – Tucker Graves
Vice President – Thuy Le
Treasurer – Steven Halpert
Secretary – David Ryan
Past President – Tyler Flood
Past President Representative – Robert Fickman
Candidates in contested races were invited to submit brief statements written by themselves or others to inform HCCLA members about why they would be a good selection.
CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT ELECT:
(On the ballot, you will be allowed to make ONE choice for this category)
DOUG MURPHY I am dedicated to helping lead HCCLA, and continuing the advancement of our criminal defense bar interests. I have extensive experience in this area with previous service on HCCLA and TCDLA board of directors. I currently serve on the board of regents for National College for DUI Defense for the past 8 years. I am board certified in Criminal Law and DWI Defense. HCCLA has come a long ways over the past 15 years in building credibility at the courthouse with the judges. Having tried over a hundred cases, I believe that I bring the experience, knowledge, and wisdom to ensure that HCCLA maintains it’s firm and persuasive voice for the criminal defense bar in Harris County. I would be honored to help lead this outstanding and robust organization.
LISA SHAPIRO STRAUSS Having served the past 2 years on the Executive Committee has helped me to see the different leadership styles necessary to be an effective President of HCCLA during difficult situations. Being on the Board of HCCLA since 2014, I see the value in keeping our organization in good standing with the DA’s Office, the Judiciary and other governmental bodies. Those who have served before me have paved the way to build our reputation and I will do everything possible to continue to grow the good name of HCCLA in the halls of the CJC and in the community at large. I began my career 20 years ago as an Assistant DA in Dallas County, but moved here 16 years ago not knowing a single attorney or Judge in the courthouse. Beginning a new law practice can be a very daunting experience and I am committed to helping others in that transitional period. The programs we have in place, such as 2nd Chair, will continue to have my support and I will continue to find creative new CLE and other avenues to support all attorneys and enhance their practices.
CANDIDATES FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
(On the ballot, you will be allowed to make EIGHT choices for this category)
JAYSON BOOTH This organization, and the people in it, strengthen the defense bar in Harris County and the legal community as a whole. I have received much-needed advice and assistance from HCCLA and its members over the years, and it is my desire to work within the organization to provide that same assistance to others.
VICTORIA ERFESOGLOU Please accept my nomination of Victoria Erfesoglou. I have known her for quite some time now, and she has always been a reflection of dedication, honesty, and passion. As a lawyer I have seen her in court and litigate to the highest degree. In HCCLA, I have worked along side her with Reasonable Doubt for countless hours. She has been a part of the team for a few years now, has never missed a beat, and is an essential member of our team. Outside of the law, she is one of the most genuine, caring, and compassionate people I know. She would be a wonderful addition to our board.
KATE FERRELL I am running for a board position because HCCLA is important to the success of the Harris County Defense Bar. After leaving the DA’s office, the defense bar as a whole welcomed me with open arms, which made the transition to the side of justice much smoother. HCCLA is a fantastic resource to not only new defense attorneys like me but all attorneys. The board is instrumental in the organization’s success and I would like a chance to play an active role. Plus, I really enjoy free lunches, especially ones that come in a box.
JUSTIN C. HARRIS I have proudly served HCCLA as a board member for the last two years. In that time, I have made it a priority to attend and participate in monthly meetings. I also volunteer my Thursday evenings as the director and co-producer of HCCLA’s live, call-in television show, “Reasonable Doubt.” I truly am proud of my membership in this organization and feel privileged to serve our members on the board. HCCLA has accomplished a great deal, but there will always be more work for us and I would like to represent our members while carrying on the hard work. I am asking for your vote for another term on the board to continue working for our members, exposing judicial misconduct and overreach, and leveling the playing field for our clients.
PAUL MORGAN I am very involved in HCCLA and I am interested in being more active in the community. I work hard, am passionate about the law, and I believe I would be a great addition to the board.
ERIK NELSON Since joining HCCLA a few years after starting my own criminal practice it has provided me not only with the wisdom of my compatriots but the inspiration from other members to keep fighting. That inspiration is the most valuable part of this organization as we too often spend our days without anyone telling us to fight. Literally everyone else in the court room pressures us to cave in and to do what is easy for them. I want to help this organization continue to grow and to fight against a system designed to grind people up. I want to give of my time to an organization that is doing work that almost no one else in America is doing but many people are crying out for.
DAMON PARRISH II I believe HCCLA is a great organization and I would like to continue working for, and with, HCCLA to make it more of a force in Harris County. As a Board Member, I have served on several committees including: Second Chair Program, Reasonable Doubt and as a HCCLA representative on the Harris County Racial, Ethnic and Disparity and the E-file committee. I consider it an honor working for HCCLA on these committees and I would consider it an honor to continue doing so. I am asking for your vote so I can continue to serve HCCLA and make our organization stronger.
THOMAS RADOSEVICH I will attend every meeting.
CORY ROTH I am running for the HCCLA board because the organization provides so much to so many, and I think I can help further its mission. While we obviously need to be advocates for our clients, I also think we need to be advocates for ourselves and our profession. I see room for growth, and HCCLA playing a role in all three areas.
WADE SMITH I’ve been a member of HCCLA since I started practicing law, and it is truly an incredible organization. In addition to offering a base of support and learning for its members, HCCLA also has a great potential to be extremely influential in effecting change to our local justice system. I’ve been attending Board meetings for the past couple of years as a member, just to observe. I want to be elected to the Board so that I can take an active role in the activities and pursuits of this organization, such as CLEs, community outreach, and putting a check on judges and prosecutors.
J. JULIO VELA (JV) I am seeking your vote for the HCCLA board. In return for your vote, I will never compromise what I believe to be right and just, I will be a team player and strive towards achieving common goals through a spirit of cooperation, and I will be the best damn board member I can be. HCCLA has provided me the opportunities to pursue my passion with the knowledge that I’ll never be alone, and I’ll have the collective efforts of the greatest defense bar in the Country by my side. HCCLA has given me the opportunity to do what I love, and because of that I have the burning desire to serve and give back to the members of this great organization. I appreciate your consideration, and regardless of what the outcome is, thank you for being a part of HCCLA.
BRAD WALTERS I am running to offer support in growing our already large association. I have found it to be an invaluable resource to everyday practice and wish to share that with others who would benefit. I would also like to see our numbers grow so as to benefit the political strength of the group in dealing with various parts of the justice system to continue in reforms necessary to the delivery of justice in the criminal justice system. Whether elected or not it will be my modest goal to bring in at least one new member per year and encourage each member to do the same. With growth our voices will be heard by more and reacted to by those who can help us ensure due process is happening.
SARAH V. WOOD I am honored to have served on your board since 2008, and I have worked hard to create and administer the Second Chair Program and Brainstorming lunches. I am also fortunate to have received HCCLA’s Unsung Hero and Member of the Year awards. I am on the board because I believe in HCCLA’s potential to reform the system. Working together, the defense bar can stand against injustice with more strength, better skill, and superior integrity.