Why One Lawyer Shouldn’t Represent Co-Defendants

Conflict Question Often Asked: Can I represent co-defendants? The short answer: maybe you can, but generally you should not. The¬†Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct address this and other issues attorneys face. Rule 1.06: A lawyer shall not represent opposing parties and a lawyer shall not represent a person if the representation of that person … Read more

Sept 1, Day of New Laws

This September 1, the criminal justice system finds itself amidst change. Below are some of the highlights of our new legislation. Theft Through House Bill 1396, Texas passed legislation that changes the “value ladder” for many property crimes. Property crimes such as theft, mischief, graffiti, frauds and other various offenses use the “value” of the … Read more

Debt to Society

How long must someone be punished for a criminal act? When is that person’s debt to society ever forgiven? In Texas, it’s a lifetime debt. Convictions for criminal acts (from a class B possession of marijuana to murder) will always remain a part of a person’s criminal record. Criminal records are available online and forever. … Read more

The Defender Summer 2015

Just when I think I run out of steam, another Defender energizes me! View and download this issue here We have an amazingly talented group of writers who regularly assist me by providing research and writing on current criminal justice topics. And we have an amazing designer who brings the pages to life through pictures.  … Read more

Why Would You Plead Guilty to a Crime You Didn’t Commit?

Sadly, many people do. Samuel Gross, a law professor at the University of Michigan and editor of the National Register of Exonerations writes: In the past year, 45 defendants were exonerated after pleading guilty to low-level drug crimes in Harris County, Tex. They were cleared months or years after conviction by lab tests that found … Read more

Should your lawyer turn you over to the government?

Lawyers advise clients. Lawyers speak for clients. Lawyers do not give up their clients. Defense lawyers do not help the government. Criminal defense lawyer Norm Pattis hits the nail on the head and started me thinking about the duty a lawyer owes to his client. Norm tells the story of a client who is wanted … Read more