All across the state on the Fourth of July, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association members will lead readings of the Declaration of Independence.

The annual recitation of the nation’s founding document is a tradition started seven years ago by Houston criminal defense lawyer Robert Fickman, a past president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association.

One of the many participants this year will be renowned trial lawyer Dick DeGuerin of Houston, who will stand on the expansive lawn of Marfa’s town square and read the 241-year-old document.

“The Declaration of Independence is our country’s most revered symbol of a nation’s stand against the illegal and immoral depredations of the crown against our citizens,” Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association representatives said in a news release. “These readings are our reminder to all in the criminal justice system that abuses of power will be exposed and fought by members of the defense bar.”

For information, contact organizers Fickman of Houston at (713) 655-7400 or; or Chuck Lanehart of Lubbock at (806) 535-2689 or

Watch past readings online here.