Features

June 2019 SDR-1
Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Voice for the Defense Volume 48, No. 5 Edition

Editor: Michael Mowla

From Editor Michael Mowla:

        1. I summarize each opinion in a manner that allows readers to generally use this SDR instead of reading every opinion.

        2. If you determine that a summarized opinion is relevant to one of your cases, I urge you to read the opinion and not rely solely upon these summaries.

The Ultimate Mistrial: A War Story
Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Anyone who has tried cases to a jury has at one time or another had a mistrial. I recall a time when I tried a murder case involving a very young man who shot another student to take a sports jacket. Sad case, but I needed something to shake the state up and get a better offer. No such offer ever came, and I prepared for trial.

Protecting Your Flank What is a record and how to make sure your argument is preserved for appeal.
Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Nobody wants a one-word verdict at trial. But as bad as a “guilty” at trial is the one-word verdict on your brilliant appellate argument: waiver. If it’s not preserved, it’s not going to win the day for your client.

Representation of Mentally Impaired Clients: An Ethical Issue
Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Scenario

Consider the following scenario, which is all too common: A defendant is arrested and is obviously mentally ill upon arrest, as well as having a long mental health history.

Blood Pattern Analysis: Esoteric  Science, Quotidian Skill, or  Deceptive Practice?
Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Too many false allegations have been offered in the name of science and too many people have suffered serious damage—even life-long damage—as a result. It is time to put all of this to an end.

Shout Outs
Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Tip of the hat to Mark Griffith of Waxahachie for the big NG in a Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child trial—in which, he says, the judge let the entire CAC video in. Mark sought permission in jury selection to go hard after the truth . . . and did. In cross, he caught CW in three major lies, so nothing rang true. First vote found the jurors voting 11 to 1 not guilty (one of whom had a friend molested as a kid).

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

On April 3, 2019, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit gave us a two-fer. The per curiam opinion begins with a discussion of the Puckett test for plain error review and then analyzes whether the defendant’s description of the mitigating facts that he would have offered at allocution was sufficient to establish a need for remand. United States v. Figueroa-Coello, 920 F.3d 260 (5th Cir. 2019) [Panel: Circuit Judges King, Smith and Willett. Per curiam].

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Mayday took over in the age of direct voice communications. Whenever a ship and its crew find themselves in a dangerous situation, they can lead every message with either two or three calls for mayday! This tells all listeners that the following message will contain urgent, life-or-death information and that they have to drop everything to provide assistance to this distraught crew.

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

It’s summertime again! That means it’s time to pass the mantle again, time for another great Rusty Duncan, and time to raise our voices in unison to proclaim the guarantees of our Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights throughout the state. Please lend your support to our new president and join your voice along with other TCDLA members throughout the state on or around July 3 when we proudly and publicly celebrate our Declaration of Independence.

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

Robert Brault

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

And so, it begins! Here I sit behind this desk in my office realizing what an awesome, overwhelming year looms ahead of me. I guess it is sort of how I felt in the weeks before my older son was born—knowing I was prepared, but also aware that the job ahead of me was going to be both thrilling and terrifying. I never imagined I’d have the privilege of claiming “I am the President of Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association!” Nor did I imagine five years ago—when I was fortunate enough to be selected for the “officer chain”—what a tremendous responsibility it was going to be.

June 2019 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Tuesday, June 4th, 2019
Features
22 | Blood Pattern Analysis: Esoteric Science, Quotidian Skill, or Deceptive Practice? - By Louis Akin
28 | Representation of Mentally Impaired Clients: An Ethical Issue - By Floyd L. Jennings
32 | Protecting Your Flank: What is a record and how to make sure your argument is preserved for appeal - By Clifford P. W. Duke
Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Voice for the Defense Volume 48, No. 4 Edition

Editor: Michael Mowla

From Editor Michael Mowla:

        1. I summarize each opinion in a manner that allows readers to generally use this SDR instead of reading every opinion.

        2. If you determine that a summarized opinion is relevant to one of your cases, I urge you to read the opinion and not rely solely upon these summaries.

Where in Hell Did J. Ray Go? A War Story
Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Now, in talking with the older lawyers around the courthouse, you hear a lot of tales from the old days at the Carroll Courts Building. But those are really not the old days at all. The “old days” are those in the storied old courthouse on the square, what my contemporaries call “the Court House” as opposed to the Carroll Court House or New Courthouse.

The Right to a Speedy Trial
Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Recently, some fellow defense counsels and I discussed how the case law regarding the right to a speedy trial applied to our cases. In our speedy trial motions, we have cited cases regarding post-accusation delay of 8 months or longer having been found to be “presumptively prejudicial.” Clarke v. State, 928 S.W.2d 709, 713 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996).

Representing the Mentally Ill on the Road to Recovery and Victory
Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Why must we learn mental illness? Because we represent the citizen (and non-citizen) accused of crime. Consequently, we often represent the mentally ill, the addicted, the intellectually disabled, and the mentally impaired. Statistics show a supermajority of our clients have never finished high school, for whatever reason.

Shout Outs
Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Kudos to the dynamic duo of John Hunter Smith and Thomas Wynne of Sherman for their recent wins. TCLDA Secretary John Hunter and Thomas represented a mother charged with Assault Causing Bodily Injury–Family/Household (Impeding Breath) of her 17-year-old daughter in the 336th District Court in Fannin County. After 4½ days of trial, the jury returned a Not Guilty verdict.

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

In the olde days, I believed that taking a common sense and fair play approach to any criminal law issue would give you the correct answer. Then, I realized that this did not always work.

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