Austin Bar Association
816 Congress Avenue, Suite 700
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 473-2720
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Thursday, July 26 | 11:45 am to 1:15 pm

Austin LGBT Bar Association CLE

Topic: Gay & Trans Panic Defenses: Ethics, History & Spencer/Miller
Speakers: Judge Charlie Baird • Retired Judge, 299th District Court & Court of Criminal Appeals • CriminalDefense Attorney for James Miller; Matthew Foye • Assistant District Attorney, Travis County • Prosecutor on the Spencer murder case; Lisa Haines • former prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney in Fort Worth; W. Carsten Andresen • Professor of Criminal Justice, St. Edward’s University

Gary N. Schumann • Savrick Schumann • Austin LGBT Bar board member, founder & past President

During the past fifty years, legal scholars have identified the following three ways that criminal defendants have used Gay and Trans Panic Defenses in murder cases involving LGBT victims: (1) a theory of provocation, (2) a theory a diminished capacity, and (3) a theory of self defense. While past attention has focused on the first and second uses of the gay and trans Panic Defense, with media stories of criminal defendants alleging that their “gay panic” drove them to sudden violence deadly force, there is a dearth of information around cases involving theories of self-defense. To address this gap, this presentation provides a summary of the legal scholarship, and a discussion of specific criminal cases, in which criminal defendants incorporated a Gay and Trans Panic Defense in their theory of self defense, and the ethical ramifications of using such defenses.

Prosecutor perspective: After hearing this presentation, the attendees will be able to (1) identify the prosecutorial ethics affected when addressing a victim’s, defendant’s, or witnesses sexual orientation or gender identity during trial, and (2) explain the potential ramifications such issues may have on the jury and their potential verdict and the ethics of gaming jury prejudices relating to such issues.

The criminal defense attorney perspective will include discussion of the ethics related to gay and trans panic defenses from a criminal defense attorney perspective.

The speakers include prosecutor and criminal defense attorney on the recent State v. Miller trial (murder trial of Daniel Spencer’s killer), which (depending on your perspective) included or did not include a gay panic defense.

1.5 hours partic. CLE
1.5 hours Ethics

Cost for Section Members: $15
Cost for Non-members: $30

Lunch included.


Sponsored by Culhane Meadows. Thanks to all at Culhane Meadows, specifically Mishell Kneeland, for the support.

If you can’t make it to our live presentation, follow us on Periscope where we will be live streaming! Get ready by downloading Periscope to your mobile device, creating a Periscope account, and following the Austin Bar at @austinbarassociationCLICK HERE for instructions on how to sign up for Periscope. CLICK HERE to go directly to the Austin Bar Periscope channel.

To get credit for a livestreamed CLE, you will need to email Kelli Horan at with your Periscope handle and barcard number. PLEASE DO NOT RSVP at link if you will be livestreaming.


Austin Bar Association – Seminar Room
816 Congress Ave., Suite 700
Austin, 78701
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Cost for Section Members: $15
Cost for Non-members: $30

Lunch included.


1.5 hours partic. CLE
1.5 hours Ethics

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