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Summer Webinar Series

The JCMH is hosting a webinar series this June, July, and August that will focus on various aspects of Competency Restoration Law. All presentations are from 12 to 1 p.m. Each webinar has been approved for 1 hour of CLE credit. 

The Competency Restoration process can be complicated. In this webinar, you will learn the laws and best practices relating to Competency Restoration and then apply them to real case studies from four mental health law experts.

Time: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

CLE #: 174239816

Presenters

Lee Pierson obtained his B.B.A. from Texas Christian University in 1991, and then graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1994. Following the bar exam, he practiced as an Assistant City Attorney in both Arlington and Wichita Falls, and later branched out into private practice practicing primarily in the areas of criminal defense and family law, with some civil litigation. Mr. Pierson ran his own practice for 9 years before joining the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office in 2011 as a misdemeanor prosecutor. He has been the Chief of the Mental Health Division since 2015. 

Vickie Rice is the Special Programs Division Chief of the Dallas County Public Defender's Office; she oversees critical segments, including the Mental Health Division, Engagement Division, Bond Division, and Specialty Courts. Ms. Rice earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of South Carolina and furthered her academic journey by obtaining a Juris Doctorate Degree from Tulane Law School. After completing law school, Ms. Rice embarked on a remarkable career, beginning as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Kosta Vlahos, Senior Circuit Court Judge for Harrison, Hancock, and Stone counties in Mississippi. In 2002, Ms. Rice made the pivotal move to Dallas, where she has since been an integral part of the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office. 

Kendall McKimmey is the Deputy Chief of the Mental Health Division of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. Ms. McKimmey graduated in 2003 from Texas Wesleyan Law School and began her career as a criminal defense attorney. She practiced in the private sector in Dallas for 10 years before joining the DA’s Office in 2013. 

Jason Foster has been a licensed attorney for 16 years and has been with the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office for over 5 years.  He worked in the Dallas County Specialty Court Division within the Public Defender’s Office prior to being assigned to the Mental Health and Competency Restoration Program. 

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The demand for inpatient Competency Restoration services greatly exceeds the capacity of the state hospital system. Jonathan Lemuel will teach you how to use Jail-Based Competency Restoration services and court-ordered medications to restore individuals to competency locally and reduce the burden on the state hospitals.

Time: 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

CLE #: 174241955

Presenter

Jonathan Lemuel is the Director of Jail Diversion at Bluebonnet Trails Community Services (BTCS) and has worked for this organization for 19 years. BTCS serves as the Local Mental Health Authority for eight central Texas counties: Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Lee and Williamson. Jonathan’s primary responsibilities include liaising between BTCS and local jails by facilitating the discharge of inmates whose offenses are a direct result of mental health symptoms. Jonathan provides training for Law Enforcement Jailers and Local Bar Associations. In addition to these tasks, he oversees and facilitates continuity of care for BTCS patients at State Hospitals, coordinating aftercare once a person is released from the hospital.

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Sometimes, a person is deemed not competent to stand trial and unlikely to be restored to competency in the future. Join us as Hon. Nelda Cacciotti outlines what treatment options are available for the individual and what legal options are available in the criminal case.

Time: 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

CLE #: 174240799

Presenter

Hon. Nelda Cacciotti is an Assistant Criminal District Attorney for the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office and is the Chief of the Mental Health Unit. Prior to taking this position in January 2023, she served 8 years as Judicial Staff Counsel/Mental Health Magistrate for the Tarrant County Criminal Courts.  Ms. Cacciotti began her criminal law practice as a trial prosecutor for the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. She is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M University School of Law) and of St. Edward’s University.

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