OSPA Offers Practically Free Traffic-Stop Training for Rural Law Enforcement

Assistant State Prosecuting Attorney John R. Messinger will conduct a 4-hour presentation covering 4th Amendment issues with a focus on traffic stops.  The presentation is accompanied by a paper (distributed in advance) and includes:

∙ Historical perspective
∙ In-depth coverage of controlling law
∙ Discussion of recent cases and pending issues
∙ A quiz!

This service is for small or rural counties that do not have the resources to send officers for training.   Credit can be earned with a department’s approval. 


Call ((512) 463-1660) or email (information@spa.texas.gov) John to schedule a training day for this August (August will be the only time the service is offered).   

The department, county, or city will be responsible for John's mileage reimbursement and overnight residency (if needed). 

Disclaimer: The legal authorities cited in these papers was current as of the date of their distribution or publication. Because the law is in a continuous state of change, attorneys should exercise due diligence by checking the currentness and completeness of governing legal authorities (i.e., Shepardizing and Keyciting) and applicable statewide and local rules of appellate procedure.

Overview of Court of Criminal Appeals Decisions, 2015

Conference / CLE

This paper was prepared as an overview of the Court of Criminal Appeals decisions from 2015 and presented at the 2016 Criminal Justice Conference.

Overview of Court of Criminal Appeals Decisions, 2015 (Powerpoint)

Conference / CLE

This presentation was prepared by Stacey M. Soule for the 2016 Criminal Justice Conference. It gives an overview of the Court of Criminal Appeals decisions from the 2015 term.

PDR Paper Criminal Appeals Conference 2015

Conference / CLE

A procedural explanation of the granting and processing of Petitions for Discretionary Review.

Top Ten Criminal Cases

Conference / CLE

This paper addresses the top ten criminal cases from April of 2014 thru early April of 2015, evenly divided between U.S. Supreme Court opinions and Court of Criminal Appeals' opinions.  Like beauty, the significance of judicial opinions is in the eye of the beholder.

Appellate Ethics

Conference / CLE

This paper was prepared by Stacey M. Goldstein, Assistant State Prosecuting Attorney, for Judge Michael Keasler's 2014 Presentation: Appellate Ethics: Avoiding the Dreaded "Personal & Confidential" Envelope from the State Bar.

Appellate Standards of Review in Criminal Cases

Conference / CLE

The appellate standard of review is the starting point of any legal analysis, as it defines the level of deference applied to the proceedings below.  Neither trial court error nor sufficiency of the evidence can be addressed outside the parameters of the standard of review. The Federal Rules of A...

Habeas Corpus Toolkit

Conference / CLE

This paper is designed to provide trial judges with a step-by-step framework to effectively and efficiently manage an Article 11.07 post-conviction habeas corpus docket by examining: applicable procedural rules; burdens; the notion of cognizability; substantive issues like ineffective assistance ...

Jury Unanimity in Criminal Cases

Journal Article

Over the past decade, the Court of Criminal Appeals has addressed numerous complex jury unanimity charge issues.  To avoid charge error of this sort, it is important to be able to identify the tow areas where unanimity becomes an issue.