Our own Buck Files has been honored once again, this time by the Texas Bar Foundation, which named him one of six Outstanding 50-Year Lawyers for 2015. Election to the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a member of the State Bar of Texas, representing the top one-third of one percent of Texas attorneys. Selection is based on an outstanding record in the legal profession as well as proven commitment to support the community at-large. Congratulations once again, Buck.
Brothers in arms Courtney Stamper and Chad Hughes heard the two-word verdict on a DWI trial with .164 blood that ran five days. Prosecution ran into trouble with an “expert” who was too slick by half, tangling himself in conflicting answers with those he had given just before in a Deandra Grant and Gary Medlin trial—which also resulted in a “not guilty,” despite .203 blood. Deandra says the expert switched some blood tubes in the past and was written up. “He testified in my trial that he’s never switched vials in 10,000 tests. Technically that is true. He didn’t switch headspace vials, but he did switch blood tubes. Courtney nailed him with it in trial.” Beyond that, video was missing, which didn’t sit well with the jury, nor did the expert’s attitude. Great TCDLA teamwork, guys, and congratulations to all.
Kudos to members Gerald Bourque and Holly Kuchera, who this week secured a dismissal for their client in a capital murder case. Laura Lawhon conducted incredible investigation, securing information that impeached the government’s star witness and demonstrated his motive to curry favor with the government. Gerald and Holly worked tirelessly to collect evidence and to demand testing that could exculpate their client. Finally, three years later, they convinced the government to do the right thing. Their client remains an innocent man. Congratulations to their team and to their client.
In February 2015, Rick Rogers and Eric Perkins selected a jury for a death-penalty case in which two little girls (ages 2 and 8) were gunned down during a drive-by shooting. The jury took less than 10 minutes to return a life verdict even though it took them nearly 15 hours to find the defendant guilty. Two months later, Hector Rene Gonzalez and Eric Perkins tried a second death-penalty case—this one involving a brutal daylight armed robbery and murder of a beloved local businessman—snatching the defendant from death’s door when the jury hung up on mitigation after two hours of deliberation. Some hard work put in on tough cases. Way to go, team.
Congratulations also to Gerry Morris, anointed July 26 as this year’s president of NACDL. Gerry’s served in several capacities for the organization, including co-chair of NACDL’s Indigent Defense and Fourth Amendment committees, chair of the Familial DNA Task Force, and vice chair of the Audit Committee. Of course, he’s also past president of TCDLA, former chair of the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project and has served on the Board of Directors and as Presiding Director of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (ACDLA).