The Perils of Success
by Judge Mark D. Atkinson,
Chief Executive Officer
The Texas Center appears to be a
victim of its own success. Over the
past few years TCJ conferences have
surged in attendance. We at the Texas Center are thrilled to see the
increase, but are concerned when we cannot get everyone in. The apparent
popularity of Texas Center programs is a result of the work by the TCJ Board
of Directors, the Curriculum Committee and TCJ staff. Following are just two
examples of the recently developing circumstances.
Our 2013 Annual Judicial Conference was attended by 652 judges – the
largest attendance ever for a TCJ event. Attendance the year before was a more
typical number of 536. The 2010 Annual was attended by 510.
This year’s Criminal Justice Conference had 170 judges registered with, at
one point, 30 on a waiting list. We’ve never had more than 140 attend that
conference before, with numbers around 110 more typical in the past. So, a
total of 200 judges were seeking to attend.
Hotel contracts are generally executed a year or two in advance of a conference
(with a longer lead time needed for the Annual Conference), so budgeting and
accommodation projections are based on data and information available at the time of booking.
Once a conference is full, TCJ staff begins placing judges on a waiting list. We honor the list on a first
Our 2013 Annual Judicial
Conference was attended
by 652 judges - the
largest attendance ever
for a TCJ event.