News Release

Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Remembers Past President Frank Maloney

Washington, DC (July 13, 2022) – Texas attorney, longtime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and Past President (1987-88) Frank Maloney passed away on July 5 at the age of 94. Maloney was a passionate defender and advocate, especially during his tenure as President. His dedication to criminal defense and the mission of NACDL will be sorely missed.

Maloney began his career as a prosecutor in the Travis County District Attorney’s Office and eventually became the Assistant Attorney General of Texas. After his time as a prosecutor, Maloney established a private practice and began his long tenure as a zealous advocate and criminal defense lawyer. Maloney was a founding President of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (1971) before his presidency at NACDL. In addition to his more than 30 years of state and federal criminal defense, Maloney was an adjunct professor at the University of Texas from 1962 to 1989, teaching courses in Criminal Law. In 1990, Maloney was elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals where he served until 1996. He sat as a visiting trial and appellate judge in Texas from 1997 until 2016.

"Frank was an adjunct professor at the University of Texas law school. I was his student in his criminal procedure class. It was my favorite class in law school. Frank was brilliant. He taught us to rely on state statutes, the state constitution, and then the federal constitution (in that order) when making criminal procedure arguments. This methodology was later hailed as the ‘way to do it’ as explained by Oregon Justice Hans Linde, the nation's premiere advocate for the use of state constitutional arguments. I carefully followed their teachings," said NACDL Past President John Henry Hingson III. "Frank loved his students and was as protective of them as a mother hen. On Kent State - Cambodia weekend, many of his students stood up, raised their fists, and walked out of his class in protest. We acted as the buffer zone between the hippies and the rednecks along Congress Avenue in Austin and kept the peace. Only one arrest, for disorderly conduct. Governor Preston Smith had given orders to the Rangers and DPS officers to shoot to kill anyone who trespassed on the lawn of the Governor's mansion. Frank was well aware of the danger to us. He said he didn't want the legal careers of his students jeopardized by arrests, or worse.  It was an honor to know and love that fine man. I will treasure fond memories of Frank, although it took him decades to finally pronounce my name Hingson, instead of Hineson."

Learn more about Frank Maloney’s long career from this May 2020 "Voices for the Defense" feature

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Kate Holden, NACDL Public Affairs and Communications Associate, (202) 465-7624 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.