Operation Lone Star – Attorney Panel Application
On March 6, 2021, the Governor launched Operation Lone Star (OLS), which increased law enforcement presence in Texas border counties. As a result, more people will face state criminal charges along the border. Criminal defense attorneys are needed to ensure quality representation in these cases.

The Texas Indigent Defense Commission has provided a grant to the Lubbock Private Defenders Office to oversee the assignment of counsel, recruit attorneys to represent defendants, manage the appointment list, provide assigned counsel with case services like investigators and translators, and receive and review vouchers in Operation Lone Star cases.

Please use this form to apply to receive appointments for Operation Lone Star cases. A copy of the Trial Attorney Qualifications are below. Please note that filling out this form does not guarantee placement on the panel.

PANEL MEMBERS ARE INDEPENDENT ATTORNEYS, NOT EMPLOYEES OF THE LUBBOCK PRIVATE DEFENDER'S OFFICE.

The minimum requirements to be placed on the panel for Misdemeanor and State Jail Felony cases are:

1. All attorneys on the appointment list must ensure all information on their application is correct;

2. An attorney must be a licensed practicing attorney and a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas;

3. An attorney shall submit by October 15th each year a statement that describes the percentage of the attorney's practice time that was dedicated to work based on appointments accepted in a county for adult criminal cases and juvenile delinquency cases for the prior 12 months that begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The report must be submitted through the online form to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission/form prescribed by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission;

4. An attorney shall complete a minimum of 8 hours of CLE in the area of criminal law and procedure each year. The Lubbock Private Defenders Office may impose additional CLE requirements for attorneys on the Operation Lone Star appointment list. All attorneys on the appointment list must file a certificate with the Lubbock Private Defenders Office each year attesting to completion of the required CLE or submit documentation showing that the attorney is certified as a specialist in criminal law. Continuing legal education activity completed within a one-year period immediately preceding an attorney’s initial reporting period may be used to meet the educational requirements for the initial year. Continuing legal education activity completed during any reporting period in excess of the minimum of 8 hours for such period may be applied to the following period’s requirement. The carryover provision applies to one year only;

5. An attorney must have a minimum 1 year(s) experience in criminal law;

6. An attorney may not have been the recipient of any public disciplinary action by the State Bar of Texas or any other attorney licensing authority of any state or the United States within the last 5 year(s);

7. An attorney must maintain an office capable of email, fax, telephone, and videoconference/Zoom calls;

8. An attorney must have the ability to produce typed motions and orders, and e-file court documents;

9. An attorney shall notify the Lubbock Private Defenders Office promptly, in writing, of any matter that would disqualify the attorney by law, regulation, rule or under these guidelines from receiving appointments to represent indigent defendants.

The minimum requirements to be placed on the panel for higher-level cases are as follows:

Second and Third Degree Felony Case Qualification Requirements:

1. An attorney must meet general requirements for Misdemeanor and State Jail Felony appointments;

2. An attorney must have a minimum 2 year(s) experience in criminal law;

3. An attorney must have tried to verdict as lead counsel or co-counsel for the defense or for the prosecution at least (2) trials of any State Jail Felony or A or B misdemeanor. At least (1) of these trials must be a jury trial.

First Degree Felony Case Qualification Requirements:

1. An attorney must meet the general requirements for Second and Third Degree Felony appointments.

2. An attorney must have a minimum 4 year(s) experience in criminal law;

3. An attorney must have experience as 1st or 2nd chair in at least (3) trials of any grade felony case(s) tried to verdict. At least 2 of the trial(s) must have been jury trials.

Minimum requirements to be on the panels may change.
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