Waller County Jail Report

 The Waller County Civilian Commission report is finally out, and you can read it here: Recommended Police and Jail Practices We finished our review, and our report! Joined by Hon. Craig Washington, Hon. Morris Overstreet, Juan L. Guerra, Randall Kallinen, and Paul Looney, I spent countless hours trying to help the citizens of Waller County. In … Read more

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

Sure, a prosecutor can choose to prosecute a case, but that doesn’t always mean he or she should. Trace Cocaine Cases Years ago, then Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos made the choice to decline prosecution of trace amounts of cocaine. This didn’t mean she approved or condoned cocaine possession. It didn’t mean cocaine cases … Read more

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

To Plea or Not to Plea?

As a takeoff from my presentation today at Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s Defending Juveniles, I wanted to share an outline of how to approach advising your juvenile client to plea or not to plea. What is a Plea? In this context, a “plea” is similar to a plea-bargain in a criminal case. A “plea” … 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

Looking for the Truth Shouldn’t Cost Friendships

Maybe you have been following the David Temple case. Maybe you haven’t. In short, David Temple was convicted of killing his wife in a totally circumstantial cold case prosecuted by Kelly Siegler, former Harris County Assistant District Attorney turned semi-celebrity on TNT’s Cold Justice. In case you hadn’t followed the events here is what you … 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

Not Your Typical Hollywood Ending

Chronicle Editorial Hits Nail on the Head: Hollywood ending, A potentially innocent man sat behind bars so that a prosecutor could get on television. “an awful lot of razzle dazzle for the serious business that goes down in criminal courtrooms” Some prosecutors forget. Some never know it to begin with. But, criminal courtrooms are serious … Read more