A Longview lawyer has been chosen to lead a statewide association of criminal defense lawyers.
David Moore, a partner at Holmes, Moore, Waldron & Parrish law firm, will be installed today as president of the Texas Criminal Defense Layers Association. With more than 3,100 members and a 46-year history, the Texas Criminal Defense Layers Association is the largest state association for criminal defense lawyers in the country and is the nation’s oldest such organization.
“I really feel very humbled, first of all,” Moore said. “It’s really almost overwhelming, the emotion I have thinking about the history of this association.”
The association provides assistance, support and continuing education for its members, in addition to serving as an advocate for fairness in criminal defense cases. Moore characterized its work as providing education and support to criminal defense lawyers and also acting to support the people they work for.
“We want to make sure they have more than just adequate representation, but have quality representation,” he said. “We want to make sure the playing field is level.”
Moore is a sixth-generation East Texan. He was born in Carthage and graduated from Mineral Wells High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Baylor University, after which he went to work at a Stephenville law firm. It was at that firm, under his mentor Garry Lewellen, that Moore said he found his love for criminal defense law.
“We did a little bit of everything,” Moore said, including civil and family law. But Lewellen “instilled in me a love for criminal practice.”
Moore said he enjoys how criminal law takes him into the courtroom and to trial regularly. It’s an area of law that requires him think more on his feet, he said, and the stakes are higher because a client’s liberty is at stake. He wants to make sure they have a level playing field, he said.
“A citizen who is accused of a crime is up against the government and all of its unlimited power and monetary resources,” he said.
Moore has been named a Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly and was awarded the highest rating by the Martindale Hubbell lawyer rating service. He has been a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Layers Association for nearly 30 years, serving as an officer for the past six years and working on several committees. He served as chairman of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Project, which trains defense attorneys.
Moore also has lectured and worked as a course director for continuing legal education programs and has been a faculty member of the Texas Criminal Trial College.
Moore said he didn’t think when he first started out that he would eventually head the Texas Criminal Defense Layers Association. Moore said his only goal has been to help others.
“I did it because of the love of the law and the love of criminal law practice,” he said.