In Chambers, Fall 2018

D ear Judges, The mission of the Texas Center for The Judi- ciary is Judicial Excellence Through Education. The Center is a unique and remarkable organization. No other state has a Center for Judicial Education likeTCJ, and few states provide the resources that Texas pro- vides TCJ. Our biggest resource is you, the judges, who lend your ideas for curriculum, and present topics at conferences. The TCJ produces great conferences. Five hundred fifty-six judges attended the Annual Judicial Education Conference in Houston this year.The Center will pres- ent the ChildWelfare Judges Conference in November, and in December, we expect to educate more new judg- es at the College for New Judges than in any previous year. Every new judge appointed or elected this year should attend. Please encourage the new judges you know to attend this premier orientation for their new roles, provided by the state’s most experienced judges. Winter and spring are full of education opportunities. The Family Justice Conference is in January, and in Feb- ruary, we have the Criminal Justice Conference followed immediately by our second Mental Health Conference. This conference will focus on issues facing County Court at Law and District Judges who have cases with defendants and litigants affected by mental illnesses.We also will present two Regional Conferences, DWI Court Team Training, the Professional Development Program for our court staff, and many other specialty conferenc- es. Then, back to the Annual Judicial Education Confer- ence in San Antonio, in September 2019. While providing this education, the Center protects the independence of the third branch of government. The curriculum is designed by judges.The Curriculum Committee strives to provide topics about the law and trends you may see in your courtroom. Our speakers focus on what judges need – the law and information about those trends. To fur- ther protect your security and independence,TCJ pol- icy provides that with few exceptions, attendance at our conferences is limited to registered judges, TCJ Staff, and faculty at their particular session. We strive to create an at- mosphere where judges can learn and, consistent with the Rules of Judicial Conduct, speak openly about the challenges in their courtrooms and the difficult is- sues they face. I hope you enjoy this issue of In Chambers. I always learn from the publication and many times see a new perspective on old problems. I encourage you to sup- port the Texas Center with your presence at Texas Center Conferences, your participation with ideas and evaluations, and your donations.And, these conferenc- es provide a short and welcome respite from the daily demands of our positions. Thank you for giving me the honor to serve as Chair of this brilliant organization. While working with the Curriculum Committee and the Board, I have had the pleasure to work with dedicated judges, working to help their colleagues be excellent judges. I also see first-hand how fortunate we are to have professional, smart, committed employees of the Texas Center. Judges, we are indeed fortunate to have this resource. Hon. BenWoodward, Chair LETTER FROM THE CHAIR