In reflecting on my experience before the United States Supreme Court, I find two books coming to mind: The Once and Future King by T. H. White and Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Both books came to life on the Broadway stage in musicals: “Camelot” and “My Fair Lady.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) in a vacuum. None of the original research simulated real-life testing conditions—e.g., a person performing the standardized field sobriety tests with the fear of going to jail.
United States District Judge Karon Owen Bowdre of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, recently authored a memorandum opinion having to do with the Crime Victims Right Act: 18 U.S.C. § 3771. United States of America v. Michael Heath Thetford, WL 1309851 (2013). The CVRA can be a pain for defense lawyers, prosecutors and the judges of the federal courts. Any defense lawyer who has been through a case involving a Ponzi scheme with multiple victims can attest to this.
Make sure when you get a new case it is done in an ethical manner. Since the beginning of time, some lawyers have been dishonest. There are bad apples in every barrel. We must all pay attention and not violate the rules.
Special thanks to David Burrows, Larry Boyd, and Deandra Grant, our course directors for the DWI Defense Project: More Silver Bullets CLE held in Arlington in May. Thanks to David, Larry, Deandra, and our speakers, we had an outstanding program with 185 attendees.
It has been a pleasure.
Being President of our great Association has been a grand life experience and one of my greatest personal pleasures. I may not bleed TCDLA, as does Randy Wilson, but my heart is truly with our Association and each one of its members.
18 | Proposed Bylaws Changes - Submitted by Adam Kobs & Coby Waddill
22 | Early Termination of Probation with Judicial Clemency Under TCCP Article 42.12 - By Michael C. Gross & Jeffrey D. Weatherford
28 | Fear and the DWI Field Sobriety Tests - By Mimi Coffey
33 | I Could Have Danced All Night - By Warren Wolf
The year of our Lord 2012 saw the passing of two gifted men, each of whom practiced their craft in the criminal law courts of Bexar County, Texas. More often than I would have thought, these past months I have reflected much on my experience with each man. I realize that it is likely that most of you never worked with or come to know either of these men.
This is a continuation of a previous article on Texas enhancement law. Because enhancements are governed by many different areas of law, this article’s theme is to provide an organized framework to evaluate the issues raised by enhancement.
Kudos to the firm of Habern, O’Neil and Pawgan, LLP, of Huntsville. The Houston Lawyers Association and the Houston Lawyers Foundation in June honored the firm with the Matthew W. Plummer Sr. Justice Award in honor of the black Houstonian who challenged Jim Crow laws in Harris County and—eventually—won.
A conflict of interest between a lawyer and a client is a terrible thing. Even an allegation that such a conflict existed at the time of the lawyer’s representation of the client can haunt the lawyer for years to come. The safest course to take when there is such an allegation is for the lawyer to run away and fight another day.
“Cool Hand Luke” is a 1967 American prison drama film starring Paul Newman in the title role as Lucas “Luke” Jackson, a prisoner in a Florida prison camp who refuses to submit to the system and observe the established pecking order among prisoners. In a 1940s setting, Luke is arrested and sentenced to prison for two years after vandalizing parking meters. Luke’s resistance to observe the pecking order runs afoul with the prisoners’ leader, Dragline. Luke takes a beating from Dragline and eventually earns his respect and that of the other prisoners.
Special thanks to our Dean of Students and Faculty, respectively, Lydia Clay-Jackson (Conroe) and Tim Evans (Fort Worth), for the 37th Annual Texas Criminal Trial College held in Huntsville. Very special thanks to our 46 faculty members who participated in the College. We had 77 students from all parts of Texas attend the college. A list of the graduates of this year’s College is on page 22 of this issue of the Voice and on our website. We would ask our members to review the list and make it a point to congratulate these lawyers.
When next you see Allen Place, David Gonzalez, Kristin Etter, Mark Daniel, Sharon Johnson, and Bobby Mims, give them a big THANK YOU. These criminal defense lawyers were extremely effective in maintaining the balance in our courtrooms. Their work with the legislators and their aides proved to be most fruitful. Every one of these individuals worked tirelessly on our association’s behalf, and thus, finally, for the residents of Texas. Primarily because of their effort we’ll not have reciprocal discovery come from this session of the Texas Legislature.
The question remains whether there will be changes, and if so, will they be more than window dressing. But before I continue with this article, I want to tell you about a case Leonard Martinez handled in Williamson County. This case happened several years ago while Michael Morton’s lawyers were fighting to get the discovery that would ultimately free him.
This was Justice Brian Quinn’s question in State v Granville. It is also the question we each should be asking as police practices exploit old-fashioned search and seizure law to conduct warrantless searches and gain access to the most private and intimate details of our lives, far beyond what a traditional diary would have held
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