Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Brian Wice Editorial

In any jury trial, after the jury has returned its verdict, the jurors are told that they can speak with the attorneys on the case if they so choose.  My personal policy has always been that I will stay and talk to any jury that wants to talk to me, regardless of whether or not they ruled in my favor.  I believe that if the jurors devoted their time to listening to me talk for hours, days or weeks, the least I can do is listen to them for a bit.

Some jurors want to know what will happen to the defendant after the trial is over.  Some will be looking for affirmation that they arrived at the right decision.  Some will want to know what "the rest of the story" was.  I always try to answer their questions to the best of my ability.  Jurors get emotionally and intellectually invested in the trials they sit on, and I think they deserve to have their questions answered.

As most of you know, last week local hand surgeon Michael Brown was acquitted of Felony Assault against his wife, Rachel Brown.  Yesterday, Brian Wice, who defended Dr. Brown along with Dick DeGuerin, Catherine Baen and Carmen Roe, wrote an editorial criticizing the prosecution team of Jane Waters and Nathan Hennigan for comments they made to the jury and media after the trial was over.

In his editorial, Wice describes prosecutor Nathan Hennigan's comments as "a backhanded slap at Judge Wallace", "cross[ing] the line on both a personal and professional level", and "classless".

Okay, let's look at this for a moment.

Shortly after the acquittal, Dick DeGuerin made a big production of cutting off Dr. Brown's ankle monitor in front of the media before doing a press conference doing a character assassination on Rachel Brown (who, last I looked, wasn't charged with a crime).  This type of circus-like production isn't exactly what I would equate with "class" in the first place, so Wice attacking Nathan for talking to the jurors about "the real Michael Brown" rings a tad bit hypocritical.

Brian's description of the prosecutor's comments as "a backhanded slap at Judge Wallace" is ludicrous.  Judge Wallace made rulings that affected the integrity of the trial he presided over.  Nathan and Jane followed those rules throughout the trial.  None of Nathan's comments were along the lines of "We would have won the case if that big old mean judge just hadn't made a dumb ruling."  He discussed an extraneous aggravated assault that Michael Brown had been on deferred adjudication for after the trial.  Brian claiming that Nathan was giving a "backhanded slap" was designed solely to make Judge Wallace angry with the prosecutor and portray him as disrespectful to the court.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

And finally, Wice alleges that Hennigan's statements as violating Rule 3.06 of the State Bar Disciplinary Rules, because his "post-verdict comments" could harass, embarrass or influence actions in future jury service.  He calls it a "thinly veiled attempt to make the jury feel bad about its verdict".

Um, Brian, are you forgetting that your part-time job of being a legal analyst for Channel 2?  Don't you regularly make "post-verdict comments" about what you thought was good or bad about a trial?  Don't you do analysis of evidence that may or may not ultimately get in front of jury?  Aren't you the same guy who appeared in about 5 episodes of 48 Hours criticizing Kelly Siegler and calling her every name in the book as you criticized the verdict in the Susan Wright case?

Are you really suggesting that only us members of the Defense Bar can give our opinions of cases in the aftermath, but the prosecution can't?

Wice wraps up his editorial by encouraging District Attorney Pat Lykos to counsel with her "minions" about their post-verdict statements.  If Pat Lykos is any type of leader, she will politely tell Brian where he can put his editorial advice.

I don't know near as many sports analogies as Brian Wice.  The lessons I learned from my father and coaches were short and to the point:  Play with class and be as gracious in victory as you are in defeat.

Brian Wice took the time out to publicize what he perceived to be a lack of class by the prosecutors in defeat.

Perhaps he should more closely examine how gracious he was in victory.


Anonymous said...

He sounded pretty accurate to me. And you'll notice that he complimented other prosecutors who were well behaved in the past. Sure, he could have thrown Deguerin's show boating in there, but what the prosecutor did was flat-out unethical. I see Plaintiff's lawyers in Beaumont and the Valley do that in civil cases all the time when they get a verdict they don't like. It's shameful, and is intended to make sure the jurors do something different next time. Convict when they aren't sure, or award money when they think back about what that other lawyer said and feel that regardless of the evidence, there must be more to the story.

But mostly, this was a way for a loser to feel better about herself.

And that pretty much epitomizes many small-minded ADAs. If they lost, it wasn't their fault. It was the evidence they couldn't bring in. It was the judge. It was someone's fame. It was anything--but them. Yes, defense and civil lawyers do it too. But another person's lack of ethics shouldn't be used to excuse your own, or that of a friend and former colleague.

Face it sweet tits, you lost. Now suck it up, and get the next guy.


I like sports analogies said...

Apparently, Mrs. Brown is attracted to rich men who beat their spouses. Her credibility was an issue. Michael Brown's credibility wasn't an issue because he never testified. And, there should NEVER be a level playing field in criminal prosecutions. The tie should always go to the runner, and the presumption of innocence should always be a high hurdle to jump. If you don't like the way the game is played, take your ball to another court.

Brian Wice said...

I haven’t commented on your blog since Todd Dupont’s beloved dad passed away earlier this year, but I wanted to respond to a few things you said in your entry today, and to clarify one very important point.


1. In my capacity as a legal analyst at Ch. 2, I comment on criminal trials on an almost-weekly basis. My comments and analysis, however, are limited to what happened inside the courtroom based on the evidence that the trial judge found admissible. I have not, and would never, to quote DR 3.06(d), make comments about a juror calculated to harass or embarrass that juror or to influence his actions in future jury service. While lawyers on BOTH sides of the aisle have been and will continue to be the subject of comment, jurors have not and never will. Like civilians and family members in old gangster movies, they are out-of-bounds.


2. While I was on two, and not "about 5" episodes of "48 Hours," in connection with the Susan Wright case, my comments were never directed at a juror or jurors or the legitimacy of their verdict, but rather with the competency of defense counsel and what I believed to be prosecutorial overreaching. At the end of the day, a unanimous Court of Criminal Appeals, not known for being kind to convicted defendants, agreed that the punishment stage had been unfair.


3. I am not claiming that only the defense bar can give our opinions of cases in the wake of a jury verdict. My point was that Nathan’s comments to the jury and to the media went beyond his mere opinion of "cases in the aftermath." While I am sure that Nathan feels he did nothing wrong, he is as entitled to his opinion as I am to mine.


4. Dick did not assassinate Rachel Brown’s character at any press conference. After cutting off Michael Brown’s ankle monitor, Dick’s comments were brief and did little more than restate what the jurors had told us about not finding Rachel credible.


A little while ago, Nathan called me and we spoke for about 20 minutes. Without getting into the substance of the call, I want your readers to know that I believe now, as I believed when I wrote the op-ed piece last weekend, that he is a kind and decent man with a great sense of humor, and whose courtroom talents are undeniable. And, if I wrote the piece today, I would have stuck with the sports analogies and not engaged in an ad-hoc discussion about whether Nathan ran afoul of any DR. To use one last sports analogy, if I was guilty of piling on, I’ll gladly take the 15-yard penalty Knowing the kind of guy that Nathan is, I am fairly confident he would decline it.
Brian Wice
Attorney At Law

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe Brian Wice referred to Nathan as a minion in the news. That is classless.

Anonymous said...

Easy to say you went too far AFTER you disparaged Nathan in the press. Well done, Brian Wice.

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed that Wice got out of the make-up chair long enough to respond to anyone. Then again, when is that little troll going to pass up an opportunity to toot his own horn? God, how pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Here's what's posted by someone on the comments section of the article:

Nhennigan 11:49 PM on September 27, 2011
I am the "out of line" prosecutor. My name is Nathan Hennigan. Wice didn't want to call me by name, but I feel a necessity to respond, as most don't know who I am, due to his subterfuge, but I am proud to say,,. Brian Wice is an appellate attorney. He is a good appellate attorney, but he isn't a trial attorney. That is because he is not a likable person in the least. He actually reminnds me of the weasels from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." Uncanny. What happened in the jury room is as follows...Dick Deguerin went on a 5 minute rant on what a psycho the complainant was. I wanted just to answer questions, but, I felt it was my duty to explain the truth. The truth was Michael Brown beat Darlina with a bedpost while she was 7 months pregnant. The truth was he is probably the worst person I've ever dealt with, (and that includes an MS13 Gang member I locked up for life). I offer no apologies to Wice, DeGuerin, or anyone else. I am proud to stand up for the Harris County District Attorney's Office and fight for what is right. Even if it isn't easy.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what Todd Ward and Neal Davis would say in response to Brian Wice always "acting with class" after a trial? Wice pretty much slammed them every chance he got when a camera was within 50 yards.

Anonymous said...

How unbelievably hypocritical! Anyone remember Dick standing on the steps of the courthouse after the David Temple guilty verdict and proclaiming to all, "Kelly Siegler has finally gone and done it, convicted an innocent man."

Anonymous said...

[internal shot of house; phone rings]

(ring, ring)

Girl: Hello? Um-hum. Okay, I'll
tell him.

Hey Brian, it's 1980. They want their clothes back!

Anonymous said...

Brian Wice is a true believer, is good at what he does for a living, and is the king of sound-bites and self-promotion. We can all agree -- friends and foes alike -- to these characteristics. But Brian has never been, is not, nor will he ever be someone who wins with grace. He is well known at the DAs office for calling up the ADAs in writs and appeals when he wins just to let them know that he won and they lost. He can't help himself. He loves to gloat. And writing a post about what the ADA's did in the jury room -- "tisk tisk" -- gives him the chance to remind everyone (again) that his team won.

I've seen Brian give praise to ADAs, when it is deserved. But his first priority is to give himself praise; that's just the way he's wired.

Face it, we have all been frustrated with jury results at one time or another. It is very easy to walk into that jury room with those frustrations and let the moment expose them (I've been there myself). While I don't know what happened in this meeting, I do know the battle was a tough one and both sides invested a lot of time and energy into it. Regardless of lost, they were bound to have invested feelings, which probably came out afterwards. I've seen it happen too many times before.

Perhaps its best if you find yourself losing it in the jury room, whether you're a criminal defense attorney or a prosecutor, to exercise some self control and pass on the post-trial chit chat. (This may also be true when you and opposing counsel have had a particularly difficult trial and there is no respect or professionalism left. Every trial with Deguerin is bound to leave his opponent feeling this way!)

Ask yourself whether you ever learn anything from these visits (besides "jurors are idiots"). If you are able to learn and grow from these meetings, then keep having them. If you're like Murray and view it as a public service of sorts, then do it (if you can keep your cool). But if you let it tick you off and bitch to your colleagues about it at happy hour, do yourself and the jurors a favor and just walk away.

Anonymous said...

First of all, it sounds like there's a lot of butthurt going on with the ADAs on the blog.

But second, this:

He is well known at the DAs office for calling up the ADAs in writs and appeals when he wins just to let them know that he won and they lost. He can't help himself. He loves to gloat.

...sounds almost exactly like the in memoriam post Murray did for that lawyer who died and couldn't stop telling people how much money he had, or how good he was.

I don't get why one guy was loved, and this guy is hated.

I'm sure it has to do with how many times he beat you.


Just Sayin' said...

Hey Brian Wice Attorney at Law,

1. What would you call a guy who wears more make-up than a burnt out Vegas whore whose primary function in life is to criticize the performance of those who actually do what he has never done but pretends to be an expert at?

2. What would you call a guy who levels extremely personal vitriolic comments to colleagues which are not remotely relevant to the legal issue at hand?

3. What would you call a guy who puts his personal publicity and bravado above the best interests of his "client"?

4. "4. Dick did not assassinate Rachel Brown’s character at any press conference."--Brian Wice Attorney at Law
Yet I watched with shock and disbelief as Brian Wice, Attorney at Law and his boy Dick were laughing in the hallway (with TV cameras rolling) about Rachel Brown's affair with Jeff Bagwell.
Technically that was not a "news conference", right Brian Wice Attorney at Law? Actual intent and effect, notwithstanding.

5. What would you call a guy obsessed with the use of sports analogies yet was never any good at any sport?

Just Sayin'

Anonymous said...

"I don't get why one guy was loved, and this guy is hated.

I'm sure it has to do with how many times he beat you.


Ragepunk, I guess that explains Dick DeGuerin's hatred for Kelly Siegler.....who knew?

Anonymous said...

Well put Murray.

Does anyone actually expect anything else from Brian Wice?

Would the Chronicle even have published his rant if he took the position that prosecutors acted ethically and tried a good hard case?

The answer is obviously NO.

It's a shame that we have to even comment on his article and give him more press, because everyone knows he writes these things just to get his name and his ego out there. So here we are, playing right into his hands.

Again, a great posting! Can't wait to read the comments.

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad Murray finally found something juicy to blog about. The deaths and updates on quitting prosecutors was making the blog somber. That said! Back to the in-fighting amongst Counsel.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that the Lykos-Chron love fest is over?

Does anyone besides me see the irony of the Chronicle publishing an editorial about poisoning the jury pool by disclosing inadmissible evidenc, ie. Dr. Brown's previous deferred adjudication for assault, when the Chronicle mentioned it in EVERY article published during the trial?

Also as a side note, the only thing Pat Lykos said that I have ever agreed with was during the 2000 Campaign when she said, "Brian Wice is a legend in his own mind."

Anonymous said...

I was deeply disturbed to see 2 of the three defense attorneys gleefully cutting ex-dr brown's ankle monitor.

I respect the attorneys who are fair and work hard, no matter what side.

But this was extra - and personal - and frankly, it looked and felt so wrong and bad.

I couldn't help but have a sick feeling that they were unleashing him to continue his years' long path of damaging women and children.

Alex Bunin said...

Murray, you and Brian have one thing in common. You are the only ones brave enough to comment under your own names.

Anonymous said...

September 28, 2011 5:50 PM
Anonymous said...
I'm just glad Murray finally found something juicy to blog about. The deaths and updates on quitting prosecutors was making the blog somber. That said! Back to the in-fighting amongst Counsel.

Agree big time with the above!

Anonymous said...

Just Saying@ 4:51,

It's a close call between non-trial attorney Brian Wice and the anonymous county geek who calls himself Rage. Brian uses sports analogies while Rage's insecurities are based on war stories so the correct answer is Brian Wice. And there you f'ing have it.

Scott C. Pope said...

Well we can add your name to the list too Alex, obviously .

Anonymous said...

Nothing says class like calling someone a "minion" and writing an absurd call for disciplinary action in the chron!

I don't see any op-eds for his poor clients...

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Rage tell a single war story. I have seen him school you chumps time and again, though.

Normal Rate of Attrition said...

There is no one left at this office, and they are scared of the media -- especially of cases like this where you will probably lose and lose badly and have nasty articles like this written about you with no way to respond.

Good for NH for taking it straight on!!!! There's no one left in this office who is willing to say boo, so this high profile disaster went to a junior prosecutor with the most guts in the building. Sad.

I didn't think much about NH until this. He's shown he has guts to spare and will go forward with what is right, not what will be easy. He will be an astounding DA if this office can hold on to him. I doubt that.

Anonymous said...

What's hard to believe is there are still a few Prosecutors who, like Hennigan, have chosen to stay because of their character and legal skills.

Sure would love to see Leitner, Bridgewater, or Morris try a case like this. It would be like watching Larry, Curly, and Moe.

Sweet Teats said...

Anon 10:58,

How dare you disparage the 3 Stooges--Moe, Larry and Curly would kick Wee Man Leitner and Company's butts and you know it. My boys deserve an apology.

Sweet Teats

Anonymous said...

Well, word has circulated among the "rank and file" that the administration has suspended Hennigan for a week without pay.

Anonymous said...

NH is suspended for one week without pay and then being moved to the intake desk for 6 months.

DAs-if you publish something with your name on it, be prepared for the wratch of Pat.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, if this case was so high profile, why was it given to a junior DA? This makes NO SENSE! Where are all the veteran prosecutors?

This just sticks to the heavens to me.

Anonymous said...

Well, this should help morale.

Just wait until you get a high profile case. Hope you don't lose! HA HA!

Anonymous said...

Years ago Brian magnanimously offered to "train" HCDA appellate attorneys as to how to effectively present oral argument. Fortuitously for Brian that offer was declined thereby allowing him to now indulge in his "courtesy" calls to those appellate attorneys. It appears from commnents to this blog, however, that those calls and his otherwise "kind" remarks regarding attorneys (e.g. recent editorial) on both sides of the criminal bar have permitted Brian to apparently maintain his status and "respect" with many attorneys. Since sport themes appear appropriate, quoting Yogi Berra: "It's like deja vu all over again."
Calvin A. Hartmann

Reality Check said...

Anon 3:42,

With all due respect, who really thinks this same result would have occurred had Kelly Siegler represented the State of Texas against Dick DeGuerin and side kick Brian Wice with all their bravado?

Where have all the veteran prosecutors gone?
What did you expect when the old Republican Guard of Harris County favored pure politics over proven performance in 2008?

Kelly Siegler or Pat decide which choice would have been best for Harris County given 20/20 hindsight.

Anonymous said...

The issue as to the suspension was that Nathan Hennigan spoke in the press and made what could have been handled privately, if at all, a public matter. He fully invoked the name of the Office. I don't think he was suspended because of his statements to the jury. He was suspended because of his statements in the Chronicle. I would hope he could accept the consequences and stay on board with the D.A.'s Office.

Anonymous said...

The not guilty would have been the same for a veteran prosecutor, but the throwing under the bus part would not.

My heart hurts for this poor junior DA, in an office where mistakes are not allowed.

I have no idea why anyone is left at the DA's office.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:05, Sounds like a spin by "Little Jimmie" to me.

Makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

As someone that watched a decent amount of the trial, I can say Nathan was excellent. He got the opportunity to try the case because he has excelled at the office and he performed as well as everyone expected. It was a tough case, they lost, but that was a reflection of the strength of the case, not Nathan and Jane. Should Nathan have commented in the Chronicle? Probably not. But can you blame him? You have Wice calling him unethical, but do you think the administration would have done anything to defend him? Today's punishment was laughably overreaching by an administration that every ADA now knows, if they didn't already (see Rifi and Mark) does not have their back.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to "contribute" again, but I hope that the blogs vis-a-vis the suspension of the named prosecutor are wrong, but if true: As a former member of the disciplinary commitee for many years I hope that this prosecutor (who I do not know nor have I ever met)was at least afforded the due process which we always gave prosecutors who were afforded that right before any action was taken for any alleged misconduct. Unfortunately, I suspect that was not the case based upon the sad history and environment of the HCDA office since it was overtaken by an assortment of previously rejected electoral misfits as the result of the actions of a multitude of what might fairly be described as uninformed (or actually dumb ass) Republican voters. I suggest that those voters now should be obligated to go lie in same the muck that apparently populates that office at the top. Hopefully, the "Fat Lady will sing" in November 2012.
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

I am enraged that Nathan was disciplined in that manner! That was completely overreaching and incredibly inappropriate!! I applaud Nathan for standing up for himself! As someone who has chosen to stay because I truly love the job - I continue to find it hilarious and sad that I learn about the "goings on" at the office from your blog! Thank goodness for the blog!!! That's how us "minions" stay informed!

-keeping it anonymous so I don't get disciplined!!!

Jigmeister said...

My disagreement isn't with Wice. This argument has been around as long as I can remember. If he or Dick think they have a good argument for an ethical violation, they have a duty to file a grievance rather than slam someone in the paper. Perhaps then we would get an answer.

My real disagreement is with Lykos. When is she going to exercise some leadership. If she has an educated opinion about whether one of her prosecutors stepped over the line after gathering the facts, then she needs to make them aware of what they should or should not do in that circumstance. Of course, it would help if she actually tried a case. But, to levy punishment (disproportionate I might add) every time she perceives that the public won't like what one of her staff does, only reinforces the apparently accurate opinion of many that she is incompetent, vindictive and a political stooge.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Wice baited Lykos into doing something to Nathan by naming her in his editorial. He knows that Lykos has all the common sense of a catfish and would bite on the bait.

Lo and behold, she did and now Nathan has been disproportionately punished.

Congrats to Brian for knowing just how stupid Lykos is and getting her to do exactly what he wanted her to.

And Calvin, the Disciplinary Committee apparently disappeared when Rosenthal left. I didn't get a shot at a hearing when Magidson terminated me on Christmas Eve, either. I just got canned.

Anonymous said...

I have not commented in quite awhile with good reason. I refuse to give Rage any of the attention that he is so desperately desires. He reminds me of Bart Simpson constantly yelling, hey look at me. Not worth the effort of a read much less a response. Quite frankly I would put Wice in the same category.

Now learning that Nathan has been suspended for a week without pay and then transferred to intake for six months just makes me sick. I read the post in the Chronicle and assuming Nathan did post the comment, he surely must be questioning if the Harris County District Attorney's Office is willing to stand up for what is right and fight for the citizens of Harris County. I can tell you the answer is NO.

Someone posted that Nathan was "disciplined" because of invoking the name of the office in the comments in the Chronicle. If this is true then there are others who have failed. Bridgewater is the person in charge of professional development training. Did he fail to train or did he poorly train? In either case, I would expect some administrative response. In addition, I have heard he has invoked the name of the office in his election material and I believe there was a memo to those running expressly prohibiting the use of the office's name. Can we expect Bridgewater to be disciplined? I doubt it because it is not in the Chronicle.

Why would the Chronicle print Wice's editorial? I get the feeling that any prosecutor who zealously represents his client, the citizens of Harris County, is perceived as wrong and Lykos has accepted the Chronicle's judgement.

Jigmeister said...

I take issue with Anon 5:05. Since when do you get punished for defending yourself when accused of being unethical? Is that a right you forfeit when you work for that office now? Sure glad that wasn't the case when I worked there, and I doubt I would have stayed 25 years had it been. It also seems to prove the point that the punishment was political.

Anonymous said...

The motive here is for the admin to again appease the defense bar, which was upset at Nathan's defense of himself in the Chronicle. Lykos has made it abuntantly clear that she does not care at all about her people - see, e.g., Mark and Riffi. She does, however, care what the defense bar thinks.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Calvin, but the Harris County Republican Party is much more interested in holding on to any offices it can REGARDLESS of how unqualified the officeholder is. The Fat Lady will sing but it is likely it will be a repeat performance. As the Chronicle has proved over and over, they never let the facts stand in the way of a good story. There is a prostitute-client relationship going on there. Not sure which one is the client...

Anonymous said...

This is gut-wrenching. Obviously that place now has no resemblance to the office I knew and left and loved.

I can't even imagine how those poor Baby DAs feel, working their tails off. For this. Well, kids, nobody's got your back, in case that wasn't already clear.

Anonymous said...

To A Harris County Attorney: I am sorry that you did not get a disciplinary hearing under Magidson; you should have under the dictates of the Operations Manual; I assure you if Holmes had been there you would have. As to the gutless performance once again by the leadership of the HCDA office, other writers, including yourself, have accuartely described this scenario better than I. As Jigmeister cogently observed: if there was a grievance matter, it should have been referred to the bar. The Houston Comical was not the place to litigate this matter. As you have fairly described Wice effectively played Lykos for a fool, and not unexpectantly prevailed with the "straw man" he erected. It is apparent that Lykos has but one objective as a minion of the Houston Comical, that is to please their editorial staff in order to be endorsed regardless of the number of employees that it will be necessary to sacrifice in order to do so.

Anonymous said...

TO: 10:11
I agree with your assessment of the Republican Party. Unfortunately, however, the same can be said for the Democratic Party as well. Neither party is concerned with qualifications so long as the elect has either a "R" or a "D' after their name. I have practiced law for forty-one years and have seen, in my opinion, more than a smorgasbord of unqualified candidates assume to the judiciary and other elected offices from both parties in Harris County.
Calvin A. Hartmann

John 8:32 said...

Wow Murray you "finally" got back to writing the type of story that made this blog what it is~50 comments and counting are proof enough.
Sad that the only DA related stories since Lykos sashayed into the CJC are generally so pathetic.
Sad that people seem so defeatist in their collective acceptance of this dysfunctional situation.
Sad that I haven't heard any sincere ADA rally behind a legitimate challenger to this vile administration.
Sad that the informed people at the CJC damn well know at least 1 person who would be able to restore honor and justice to the DA's office but are too afraid to openly support her.
Sad, sometimes how adversity reveals character so unabashedly.

United we once stood--divided we have fallen.

Anonymous said...

Lykos should have defended Nathan instead of throwing him under the bus. Wice tossed her the bate and she was stupid enough to bite!! It doesn't matter what reason Nathan was told - the suspension is WRONG!

The sad news is that in 5 years Nathan will be prosecuting Dr. Brown again for beating wife #5. Yes, Dr. Brown will charm someone else, but his behavior won't change; hopefully, Nathan will stay with the office for Round 2!

I also predict that in 5 years, one of Lykos' cronies will have received a beating (or two) from his / her charming spouse - and may volunteer to step out of their cozy office to help Nathan. People don't change even when the spouse (aka victim) changes!!!

Luci said...

In 2008, I was quoted in an article in the Chronicle by Brian Rogers where I stated that "it was getting hard to ignore the pink elephant in the room." The article was about Chuck's implosion and everyone knew exactly what I meant. I wasn't disciplined for it. In fact, I wasn't even called to the 6th floor because it was true. I, too, agree that this situation should have been handled without an editorial in the Chronicle and without Nathan commenting on it. However, what ever happened to the 1st amendment? Nathan's commment wasn't a slap at the Harris County District Attorney. Back in 2008, mine sure was. Sorry they don't have anyone's back over there like they did then. People need to be careful what they ask for. Nathan, you are a good man. You will get through this, just like Rifi and Mark did.


Anonymous said...

Brian Wice would throw his own mother under a bus if it meant camera time. He is a classless, arrogant but quite articulate piece of feces. Apparently, that's all it takes to get some glam press coverage. I'm surprised Lykos hasn't offered him a position in the office. He would fit right in.

Anonymous said...

It hurts me to see how Pat has destroyed the office I once took such pride in. Nathan's suspension is completely inappropriate! My guess is he will quit, and the citizens of Harris County will lose another good prosecutor.

Under Holmes, a supervisor would have sat down and talked to the prosecutor in private and addressed the situation. If necessary, there would have been a hearing before the disciplinary committee prior to determining a punishment. Holmes was not afraid of the media. He wasn't trying to kiss ass for votes. If you messed up, he addressed it, and if he felt you did your job, he stood up for you and got your back.

Now, if the Chronicle prints something with your name, true or false, you get fired or demoted so Pat can get another vote.

Anonymous said...

The DA's office should make it very difficult for Wice to practice in Harris County. And when he volunteers to be the "appellate lawyer" at counsel table in high profile cases, the real trial lawyers will not want him around. Future clients should know that if you hire Wice, it's going to be that much harder to get a positive result. The DA's office does not respect him and they will work harder against you just because of your lawyer.

Anonymous said...

To: 9:50 a.m. - I vigorously disagree with your conclusion vis-a-vis Brian Wice and other similarly disliked attorneys. Regardless of one's personal opinion as to Wice or any other criminal defense attorney the prosecutor should never penalize an accused for his or her misjudgment in the employment of one's attorney. The accused should be penalized, upon conviction, for their misconduct only. Brian Wice's clients should be treated no differently than those of any other attorney. Although it is tempting to penalize the defense attorney in the manner suggested by the blogger such a practice was strongly condemned during the Holmes' era.
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 9:36 I agree, Wice would fit right in. There should be an opening or ten in the next couple weeks for him. Maybe they can make him another overpaid media position!

Speaking of which, where were all the MEDIA PEOPLE? What on earth were they doing? Sitting around with Felony #2 salaries, ignoring the highest profile case they have right now? Clearly they were watching out for rogue comments, not writing the obvious counter-article, or I don't know doing the press conference themselves.


Anonymous said...

12:39pm: The media people in the office make Chief pay. How does that make you feel?

Anonymous said...

I wonder when Wice is going to print his retraction in the Chronicle - like the one he posted here?

Anonymous said...

RE: [The media people in the office make Chief pay. How does that make you feel? October 1, 2011 4:01 PM]

You are so right Anonymous 4:01. Not only do they make Chief's pay, but it includes unlimited smoke breaks. If you have Chronicle connections,you can write your own meal ticket. The hiring criteria is not what you can do for the office, but what can you do for me?! (on the tax payer's nickel)

Anonymous said...

The prospect of vesting and/or retirement is what keeps the people at the office. In another couple of years, the office will lose the rest of the true talent that is left, and it will be replaced with "yes" men and women who have to spine or courage.

Congratulations Lykos. You took one of the best offices in teh country (and some would suggest the best), and have made it into just another DAs office. If your voters knew what you were truly like, you would be voted out in a heart beat. Sadly, they fall for your sound bites and never look to your actions.

Voters (especially republican voters) - challenge Lykos to name ONE pro law enforcement policy. EVERY new policy has been to appease the defense bar.

Anonymous said...

You know, there are still a bunch of us at the office who are NOT here just to get retirement - we're here because we want to do the job.

Give us a break, please.

I get the feeling a lot of folks WANT us to fail - you want to dance on the administration's grave so much that you're willing to bury us alive too.

And - no - this isn't a "plant" comment before some of you rev-up.

I am just a regular person who wants to do a good job - been there more than 10 years and plan on staying.

A little support, please?

Anonymous said...


It's admirable that you are there to do your job and you deserve to be supported for that. However, you are very much in the minority. You never worked for Johnny Holmes, who set the gold standard for managing a District Attorney's Office. If you had, the current Administration would make you gag.

Anonymous said...

Back in the mid 1990"s there was a hightly publicized incident which resutled in a prosecutor being severely disciplined. The Disciplinary Committee met, had a hearing and made a recommendation to then District Attorney, John B. Holmes, Jr. Holmes followed the recommendation. Afterwards, Holmes convened a meeting of the ENTIRE office to explain the process, the punishment and made clear what was expected of his assistants. There was no guesswork required on the part of the staff. Holmes also discussed the matter himself with the media. The process was transparent (you know the word that Pat can say but cannot grasp). The District Attorney showed leadership.

Can you imagine something so above board happening today? First you would have to tear Leitner away from either reading this blog, playing solitare or yapping with his buds Greenwood and Morris. Pat would never demean herself by getting in to details with her minions.

Anon 11:52, if you are that far out from retirement, my advice to you is leave. That is the same advice I give anyone who has to go more than 6 months into the second term of this farce. It is only going to get worse for all of you who stay. I am sorry to say that Anon 11:10 is totally accurate.

Hey Jim, read this and weep!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, many people who read this have no idea who Holmes is.

Francis Bacon said...

Please set the record straight. Nathan will tell you he and Jane were counseled by the 1st assistant regarding their out of court statements and admonished not to make further remarks. Unfortunately, Nathan responded to the Op-Ed. A disciplinary hearing was held before all the bureau chiefs and they rendered their verdict. Nathan is a talented young man who made a mistake.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to whoever is "Francis Bacon" I unfortunately do not believe one word coming forth in support of Lykos, or for that matter from the District Attorney's Office - everybody in that office now, in my opinion, is too intimidated by Lykos apparently as the result of what appears to be a favorite expression: "Off with (his) (her) head." That is why they need the media people - to propagandize. Since these two alleged miscreants were told not to comment further on this matter, however, is that an invitation to seek their termination by suggesting that they be quizzed further on the happenings? Of interesting note, though, one might look at the time Wice's comment was posted on the web and when the response was posted by Hennigan. At first blush it appears the punishment to be ex post facto.
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

Today Lisa Falkenberg asks "Where is honesty,transparency now?". News flash Lisa it remains where it has always been for Team Lycos, non-existent!