Shout Outs


Allison Clayton, Jeep Darnell, and Kyle Therrian have continued to step up to the plate during these challenging and uncertain times. They have given endless hours in supporting our members by reviewing and editing motions, writing a declaration in opposition of the governor’s Executive Order GA-13, and completed any task asked of them. They are truly our emerging leaders of the future.

Congratulations to Juan Ramon Flores, who received a motion to suppress the seizure of client. Client’s criminal history would have put him in criminal history category 4 or 5. Before the motion to suppress was granted, client thanked Juan for his efforts, saying he’d never had an attorney do so much and hadn’t expected much now. Needless to say the client was very happy. The motion was granted on Christmas Eve – the most wonderful Christmas gift imaginable. Awesome job, Juan!

Thank you to Jason Edward Neihaus of Denton! Early during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jason drafted an application for habeas corpus and CCP Article 17.151 motion seeking to release inmates in jails and detention centers and made these applications available to other defense lawyers. Jason distinguished himself in generating and sharing these pleadings when there was yet no consensus on the severity of the pandemic, let alone agreement regarding course of action by criminal law practitioners. Events since have demonstrated Jason’s instincts were on point. The selfless sharing of his work product distinguished him as possessing foresight and the sort of leadership that is often talked about but less often demonstrated. Thanks again, Jason!

Shout out to the Innocence Project of Texas, who helped get Joe Bryan, who had been incarcerated for more than three decades, released on parole! IPTX Staff Attorney Jessi Freud represented Joe, under the guidance and supervision of IPTX Board Member and Waco attorney Walter M. Reaves, Jr. TCDLA is proud to partner and co-sponsor numerous events with IPTX. Way to go!

Big CONGRATS to Mark Thiessen, who recently passed the NCDD exam and is now board certified in DUI defense by the National College for DUI Defense through the American Bar Association. Mark joins Troy McKinney, Gary Trichter, Mimi Coffey, and Doug Murphy in becoming so certified. Mark is now one of only three lawyers in Texas who are board certified in criminal law by TBLS and DUI Defense by NCDD. What a HUGE honor!

Congratulations to Shellie Stephens and Investigator Billy Meeks, who won their client a $300,000 cashier’s check from the Central District of California! The battle started in December and Shellie and Billy are now fighting for another $250,000 plus interest and treble damages for fraud. Good luck to you both!

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Federal Corner: Grand Jury Secrecy in the Eleventh and D.C. Circuits

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Shout Outs

David Michael Ryan sent a shout out to Mark Bennett and Lane Haygood for their recent NG verdict in DC441. D, an 18-year-old senior, plead out to DADJ after asking 14-year-old freshman if he is gay and wants to copulate. Mark got the statute found unconstitutional, then was retained to get D out of plea. Done. Miffed state files criminal solicitation of a minor charges. Turns out D was acting as middleman for interested party. CW admitted on cross he knew interested party, and interested party also had made a pass at CW. State finds interested party and calls interested party, whose testimony was short and sweet—and would have been really damaging, but for the fact that it contradicted both D’s and CW’s stories. This let Mark argue in closing that both D and CW were telling the truth (CW was merely mistaken in his apprehension of D’s intent), while the State’s “star” witness was a “non-truth-telling person.” Jury returned the big NG in just over 3 hours, including lunch. Congrats, gentlemen, on a job well done.

Congratulations due to Houston’s Mark Thiessen and co-counsel Ryan Deck of Round Rock for a recent win in Williamson County. D, a father of three and a former Army sniper (recipient of two Purple Hearts and a Medal of Valor), had never been arrested. He was charged with Intoxicated Manslaughter of a fetus and Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon after a terrible accident. Although the jury convicted him, they gave him probation on the charges. Mark thanked in particular his defense team: Amanda Culbertson, who helped with the blood and retrograde extrapolation (.161 blood test 5 hours after the accident), Dr. Lance A. Platt with the SFSTs, Ricardo Palcios with accident reconstruction, and Jonathan Haymon for educating everyone on what is in an El Niño at Chilis (other driver was intoxicated). In an emotional trial against tough DAs in an unforgiving county, D got his family and freedom back. Good work, team.

Kudos to warriors Gerry Goldstein and Cynthia Orr, who succeeded in getting the state’s highest court to spare the life of one of Texas’ longest-serving Death Row inmates, Pedro Sosa. Sosa has been stuck in a solitary Death Row cell for the past 33 years. Gerry and Cynthia have represented him in both Federal and State habeas actions for the past 17 years.

Congrats to Austin’s Richard Segura for recently being awarded the Adjunct Professor of the Year award at the University of Texas School of Law. The law students appreciate his hard work and supervision at the Criminal Defense Clinic!

Shout out to Jason Luong of Houston for his win in the First Court of Appeals. D was convicted of Assault-Family Member, but Jason got a reversal in the Court of Appeals. Jason credits Renee Nguyen and Stephen Aslett for assistance on the legal briefing in the case.


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April 2012 SDR – Voice for the Defense Vol. 41, No. 3

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