Luncheons for October, 2011

District Attorney Candidates’ Debate

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

The candidates for District Attorney have graciously agreed to appear at the Democratic Forum for an in-depth program. This race already has attracted substantial attention (and some intensity), and the program should be fascinating. Please don’t miss it.

Speakers: Incumbent D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg, Challenger Charlie Baird

The Incumbent – District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg:

Rosemary Lehmberg was elected Travis County District Attorney in 2008, after a contested primary and run-off. She originally joined the staff of the Travis County District Attorney in 1976. She rose to become Chief of the Trial Division, and also served as chief of the Career Criminal, Major Crimes, and Public Integrity Divisions. She served as First Assistant District Attorney from 1997 until she was elected District Attorney. In 1988 she became director of the Family Justice Division, and in that role she founded the Travis County Children’s Advocacy Center (now the Center for Child Protection). During her tenure with the Family Justice Division, the Austin Chronicle named Rosemary the Best Lawyer for Children’s issues.

The Challenger – Charlie Baird:

Charlie Baird served on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal appellate court, from 1990 to 1998. He also served as state district judge in the 299th District Court in Travis County, and retired from the latter position at the end of 2010. He currently is in private practice and founded the Criminal Law Section of the Fowler Law Firm, PC. Charlie has been a visiting professor at Texas Tech University School of Law, Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, and his alma mater, South Texas College of Law, where he received the Student Bar Association’s Professor Excellence Award for 2004-2005 and 1999-2000. Judge Baird has taught criminal law and procedure, criminal trial advocacy, capital punishment, and appellate and post-conviction remedies. While at Texas Tech, Charlie supervised the students in the West Texas Innocence Project.

Super-Spectacular Door Prizes:

1. Rick Perry, How To Become A Great Debater

2. Gail Collins & Mitt Romney, Tips for Traveling with Pets

3. James Harrington, “Wrestling with Free Speech, Religious Freedom, and Democracy in Turkey”

“New Reservation Policy Alert” –Please note our new policy on canceling reservations.  As a result of recent last-minute cancellations and no-shows, we will have to start charging for persons who make a reservation but do not attend.  The Forum still has to pay for those lunches, and at times we’ve had to absorb over $150 in costs for non-attendees who made reservations.  We now offer the option to pay online in advance for your lunch.  If you cancel at least 24 hours before the meeting, there will be no charge.  We apologize for any inconvenience and we appreciate your cooperation.

Cost: lunch is $15.00 for members, $20.00 for non-members

Parking: 816 Congress Avenue/IBC Bank parking garage. Enter the parking garage on 9th Street, between Colorado and Congress. Bring your ticket to the receptionist on the 7th floor and you will be given a coupon to use to exit the garage at no charge.

Reservation required: To reserve your seat, email or or call Chuck Herring or Judy Erben at 320-0665. Please tell us if you intend to bring a non-member guest and if you have any special dietary concerns. PLEASE MAKE RESERVATIONS BY 5:00 P.M. ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21. Seating to this event will definitely be limited.

About the Forum: The Forum meets monthly for lunch to hear Democratic speakers. Membership is $120/yr. Non-members may attend, but members have priority and receive discount prices for lunches.