Lawyers and Social Media

Attorneys have the option to use social media to enhance their careers and businesses. But each attorney should keep in mind a few precautions before sharing anything. Failure to take these seriously can cost lawyers their jobs, or worse, their bar licenses. http://www.corpcounsel.com/id=1202738703474/Question-No-1-for-the-Lawyer-on-Social-Media-What-Not-to-Share#ixzz3nUfBnHZR In her Corporate Counsel column, Julie Langdon cautions attorneys: Be Wary of … Read more

DNA Errors: Big Deal or Not?

Have you seen the news? The FBI has announced errors in its database which is used across the nation and in Texas. In two prior blog posts (on separate sites), I addressed this issue. August 7, Just How Accurate is DNA?, HCCLA.org (with memo downloads) September 18, FBI DNA Calculation Errors, HCCLAtv.com Today, Fox 26 News … Read more

Can My Lawyer Give Information About My Case to My Momma?

Confidentiality Lawyers owe a duty of confidentiality to their clients. Lawyers cannot ordinarily reveal confidential information to anyone, absent the client’s consent. Sometimes momma (or daddy or wife or brother or anyone else) will call the lawyer to “see what is happening” or “see what is going to happen.” Often this is simply because the … 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

Prosecutor Accountability?

Texas leads the nation in convicting innocent people. Appalling! This is not a lead to be proud of. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, Texas led 2013 in convicting innocent people, and over the years, Texas has always remained in the top four states for convicting innocent people. Convictions of innocent people can be … 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