Over 100 lawyers from area district attorney offices are sitting in a conference room at the Fort Worth Convention Center this afternoon, getting a 3.5 hour crash course on how the Legislature changed state laws.
Robert Kuemple, executive director of the Texas District & County Attorneys Association, is holding the seminars around the state to bring the state's prosecutors up to speed.
Every lawyer in attendance picked up an 80-page booklet covering all of the new laws, crimes and penal code tweaks they all need to know. Most go into effect on Sept. 1.
So how many new laws did the Legislature actually inflict upon Texas?
Forty, down from 50 new laws in 2007 and 49 new laws back in 2005, Kuemple said.
That doesn't count the dozens of changes to current laws, many of which were written in such a way to make it unclear how judges will interpret them, according to the TDCAA's Legisalative Update booklet.
Kuemple and his colleague W. Clay Abbott, also with TDCAA, tried to get the marathon session off to a light start. They delivered a quick recap of the session, which included the Statesman's Ken Herman's collection of zany comments from lawmakers, as well as footage of Rep. Betty Brown making her now in-famous Asian names remark. The crowd laughed the most at a clip of Stephen Colbert mocking Gov. Rick Perry's secession speak.
"That's the kind of things we put up with this session," Kuemple said.