Michael Heiskell was recently awarded Tarrant County Bar Association’s annual Blackstone award, their highest honor. The award is given to lawyers who have been in practice for 65 years or more and who demonstrate outstanding courage in the pursuit of justice. Mr. Heiskell was the first African-American selected to be “Mr. Navarro College” and his 50-year commemoration recently occurred in Corsicana. Past TCDLA President Mark Daniel said, “Mike Heiskell is a 40-year friend. Such an outstanding lawyer. He has the ability to adjust his style to fit the case. Mike can take on and win the most complicated white-collar federal matter or a straightforward state homicide or felony case. His preparation is only exceeded by his incredible courtroom delivery. Always humble. Always gracious. Always relentless. Always a professional. A lawyer’s lawyer.
Congratulations to Clint Snare, who represented a client in the Beaumont Court of Appeals. The client had been sentenced to 99 years for one count, 19 of a maximum of 20 on another, and the maximum 10 years on the five remaining charges, combined with $10,000 fines in each case ($70,000 total). Thanks to Mr. Snare’s advocacy, the Beaumont Court of Appeals reversed all the punishments and remanded. Awesome work, Clint!
Brian Wice and Dan Cogdell, who have faced off against each other in the never-ending saga of the State of Texas v. Ken Paxton since the Jimmy Carter administration, teamed up to win a 9-0 decision in the Court of Criminal Appeals, setting aside a judgment of direct criminal contempt entered against their client, Wayne Dolcefino, former ABC-TV investigative reporter and owner of Dolcefino Consulting, by Darrell Jordan, presiding judge in Harris County Criminal Court. The client approached Jordan while he was on the bench but not while conducting any official judicial proceeding to ask why the two young, inexperienced, and indolent special prosecutors Jordan had appointed to investigate the client’s four criminal complaints alleging violations of the TPIA had done nothing after 18 months. Jordan took exception to the client asking him questions he had every right to ask in a courtroom where he had every right to be, held him in direct contempt and put the 64-year old asthmatic, MS-suffering client in the COVID-ridden Harris County jail for two days before he made bond. Unbeknownst to Jordan, the client recorded the entire encounter with a video spy pen. The Dallas County DA’s Office, acting as attorneys pro tems appointed, agreed relief was warranted and CCA agreed.