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. Bill Habern’s work with the prison and parole system also has been honored by the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, which last year gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations on another feather in the cap.
Matt Heermans landed the two-word verdict on his first DWI case in Brazoria County Court at Law 3. Arresting officer wanted a blood test (no breath test offered), which D assented to after speaking with his attorney. Jury didn’t see that as a full-blown refusal. Matt lost a suppression hearing, but officers claimed to know this was a DWI prior to stopping the vehicle. One officer stated that he had probable cause for DWI arrest after merely getting a phone call from his off-duty buddy about a truck stopped in the road. D was polite, looked good on some tests, not so much on others. Very slight speech slur. Traffic infractions leading to arrest were illegal but not indicative of DWI. D admitted to drinking three beers three hours earlier. Cops found two cold unopened beers behind the front seats. DA would not budge on offer. Jury deliberated four hours over a two-day period: not guilty. Congratulations, Matt. The first one’s the sweetest.