Friday, November 4, 2011

My Prediction for Monday: Delay of Game

Mark Bennett e-mailed me yesterday asking me if the reason I hadn't written anything in a couple of days about the 185th Grand Jury was because I was representing somebody involved.

I told him that I wasn't (and I won't because that would preclude me from writing any more about it), but that there wasn't any news to publish that I was aware of.  The 185th Grand Jury (I believe) meets on Mondays and Thursdays.  There were rumors afloat yesterday that many of Pat Lykos' "leadership team" had been subpoenaed, but I have no confirmation of that.

Right now, I'm pretty much just waiting to see what happens on Monday in the 185th District Court with the Show Cause hearings.  My prediction on what is going to happen is nothing.

Although I've never been held in contempt (believe it or not) and I've never represented a fellow lawyer who was, I spoke with Todd Dupont who has handled contempt matters.
NOTE:  Todd was NOT held in contempt (believe it or not).

After talking to Todd, my guess would be that the District Attorney's Office is going to file a Motion to Recuse Judge Susan Brown from hearing the contempt hearing.  According to Todd, that's something that any officer of the court (i.e., a lawyer) is entitled to.  It's nothing against Judge Brown, and I don't think it will affect the ultimate results of the hearing.

But it will possibly delay them.

And it will absolutely make the District Attorney's Office look like they are hiding something, in my opinion.

The question that will be interesting is are the two court reporters involved in the Show Cause hearing also going to be entitled a different judge.  If they aren't, Lykos is going to have a tough decision to make.  If the two lawyers accused get a new judge, do they really want to be dealing with two different hearings.  I don't know the answer to that question, but I will be interested to see how it shakes out.

Additionally, the rules regarding conflict of interest are coming into play very much at this point.  I don't know what the circumstances are behind the District Attorney's Office being in possession of Grand Jury witness testimony, but there is a huge probability that the interests of the court reporters may very much conflict with those of the prosecutors.

Think of the mantra from A Few Good Men:  "Who ordered the Code Red?"

If there is a conflict of interest (and I tend to believe there will be), who represents everyone?  It would seem to me that if General Counsel John Barnhill (presuming he isn't a witness) is representing them, that his duty would be to protect the Office.  The interests of Pat Lykos' offices most definitely could conflict with those of the court reporters.

Having Scott Durfee (also with the General Counsel's Office) doesn't really solve that problem, either -- any more than having two partners in a law firm representing two sides of a lawsuit would be permissible either.

Either way, I just keep coming back to the same conclusion:

Monday is going to be an interesting day.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

The 185th meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

casie gotro said...

recusal of the judge depends on the nature of the contempt, i.e., direct v. indirect. if hobbs and crew had misbehaved in the judge's presence, she would be a fact witness to the bad behavior and thus unable to preside. indirect contempt occurs outside of court, thus the judge will need witnesses to prove up the bad behavior. indirect contempt will not result in recusal.....and incidentally, if the kids are held in criminal contempt, there's a damn good chance any future prosecution for the bad behavior will be barred by double jeopardy....just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Tell us more about the three ADAs who resigned before going before the grand jury. Who are their lawyers? Always curious about who lawyers hire when they are in need of representation.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:04. You are an idiot. The three that quit had nothing to do with the GJ. In fact, if they had been given a GJ sub, they would have to show up whether they work here or not.

Moron

Anonymous said...

Hey 2:27, remember that this blog is to let those who don't work within the Harris County Criminal Justice Center have some insight as to what goes on there, although i am not 1:04, I'm guessing they are possibly one of those individuals, so in trying to do my part in standing up against a bully.....watch the name calling!

Anonymous said...

I love this blog and the comments! It's like the "Gossip Girl" of the Criminal Justice Center! (Just a reference-- not calling you a girl or anything, Murray, so no offense!)

Do keep the juicy posts coming...

XOXO

Anonymous said...

Murray-There will be one less top level prosecutor employed by Harris Co.on Monday. Judge Lykos knew nothing about what the underling was doing. Several of the young-timers trained by old-timers that worked for Chuck and gang will be leaving soon also. Some of the bad behavior they learned under Chuck has been and is being discovered. Prosecutors need to read the oath they took.Judge Lykos gives offense reports which helps lawyers.gives pre-trial diversion to help 1st offenders.It is better than Chuck where the end justified the means.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:58,

Please don't encourage Murray. Good grief. Everyone knows that Murray is envious of the very idea of "Hollywood." Your compliment, while accurate, will only serve to inflate his ego.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

The departures of the three ADAs have nothing to do with the ongoing investigation.

One has a family emergency that is going to be requiring extended attention for medical reasons. One got an offer with a big civil firm. The other has a job opportunity in private practice.

And why on Earth would they want to stick around a sinking ship anyway?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Murray. That's what I wanted to know and kills the rumor I'd heard.

Anonymous said...

Okay 5:25, I didn't intend it as a compliment to Murray, was just keeping in mind what his front page says in The 'about me' paragraph as to why any citizen should bother to read this. I think its a great place for the average citizen to learrn more abouT what goes on inside the CJC. Now if you want to bully Murray, go right ahead, I think he can take it as good as he dishes it out. :)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @519 pm; if you think that Judge Lykos was kept in the dark with all of these decisions, then I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you.

Anonymous said...

Remember the song---Where will you go when there is no San Francisco?-Better get your boat ready to sail up to Idaho----What is the price of your property?

Anonymous said...

"Judge Lykos knew nothing about what the underling was doing. Several of the young-timers trained by old-timers that worked for Chuck and gang will be leaving soon also. Some of the bad behavior they learned under Chuck has been and is being discovered"

So is this the position being taken by the Republican party to justify their decision in 2008? If Lykos and the rest of the Leadership Team didn't know what was going on, then they weren't doing their jobs as supervisors. Each of the supervisors brought before the grand jury were hired by or promoted to their posistions BY LYKOS. With the exception of John Jordan, the others were not employed by the DA's office while Chuck was there or were, as RP was, completely insignificant.

Mark Bennett said...

I think Todd might be thinking of Govt. Code §21.002(d), which allows a person acting as an attorney for a party at the time of the alleged contempt to have a hearing before a judge other than the one before whom the contempt was allegedly committed.

Filing a motion to recuse may delay proceedings until another judge can hear the motion, but given what's alleged in the show-cause order, I think it highly unlikely that it'll be granted.

Anonymous said...

And while all the drama at the CJC is going on, where is their "fearless" leader? Why she's at her "ranch" in Brenham relaxing after her long trip from Hawaii. Thanks for being there and standing up for your troups Pat.

Anonymous said...

ALL the management team must get Lykos approval to do anything. From transfers to doing anything in special prosecution. When you ask a question regarding anything, the response is, waiting on the judge to make the decision. I think the ONLY decisions made without waiting on Lykos would be the decisions by Chow. Seems like you get a quicker response when waiting on something Chow handles.

Anonymous said...

DA's Cold Case does it again:

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Charge-dropped-in-41-year-old-murder-case-2252193.php

Anonymous said...

4.55----------------Our leader is here .We have seen her today at office working.Looks like you up early spreading more bad info. You are getting bad intel.Not at Ranch

Anonymous said...

11:07----
For the purposes of your comment: lets call the ranch the wolf's lair and the office on saturday the bunker.

If our Leader of the Team is here today, Saturday, then its because she is well aware that access to the building is very limited.

Everyone, please visualize the Leadership Team meeting on 6 for the final time. Can you picture them sitting in the bunker in a semi-circle? Looking down at the floor while the great one speaks.

(anyone want to finish for me....)

Anonymous said...

In the latest issue of the state bar magazine, there's a fluff piece by lykos shill George Flynn. It does a great job plying up pat's part in making the animal crimes section more prominent, while minimizing the work Belinda Hill did before lykos and still does. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Not only Belinda Hill - but a LOT of people worked on that program.

However, most of them did it because they wanted to actually help people, so that isn't important to them.

Perhaps these things are mutually exclusive?

The people who actually want to help others aren't after (or often given) recognition and attention.

Those after the ATTENTION often aren't really concerned about actually helping people - just generating story after story about "what they are gonna do."

Sadly, we've all learned that you don't actually have to follow-through - just have a big press conference about your shiny new program.

Media doesn't seem to be concerned with keeping tabs...nor perhaps do the rest of us.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

I think you mean Belinda Smith, not Belinda Hill.

Anonymous said...

Smith. Yes of course. Mea culpa.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if Kathyrn J. Whitmire is at the ranch?

Anonymous said...

What is Joe the Investigator doing these days?

Anonymous said...

Help. On the whole contempt thing I fully admit I am confused. Is Judge Brown accusing Carl Hobbs and Steve Morris of having possession of court reporter notes already transcribed and taken from g.j. Witness testimony that was elicited under the guided questioning of one of the two special prosecutors. Or is it testimony taken and transcribed via the G.J. Solo sans prosecutors but before any special prosecutor was appointed? Or is it transcribed G.J. Witness testimony elicited by the regular prosecutors who were present and obviously questioning the witnesses but before any special prosecutor was appointed?

Everything just seemed / seems to moving very fast based solely on what I have read here and in the general media: I mean within a two week period Boom! At the exact moment a witness is heading into the G.J. This veteran forewoman immediately says in effect HALT entrance VERBOTEN! Regular prosecutors WE are now driving this train and no longer need you.

No argument here. Unusual but their right. I guess the way it all happened one would have expected some formal hearing in the 185th with the G.J. Asking for a special prosecutor BEFORE everything seemingly happening procedurally backwards.

Once the "stop" sign wen up unilaterally by madam Forewoman "on the playing field" and Carl urged he still bellowed to enter ..... THEN the forewoman had to make a phone call. The rest is history and now here we are at this - tome anyway - very fast confusing moment.

Sort of like proving intent in our dire - it is done by closely poking at actions. On the one hand one could surmise the G.J. Investigation into the D.A.'s Office began long before the "official" one began. I know all testimony is secret before the GJ as it should be. In this short period of time how many witnesses could the special prosecutors have actually throughly questioned for there to already be a transcript? Which brings me back to my original questions.

I'm confused just typing this'll down and I am seriously asking for help (and I have seen the time line on the other site).

I have known M. Hobbs for a longtime professionally. Worked over there when Holmes was the Captain. Honorable man. But no way he would order a Ct. Reporter to "STAT" transcribe G.J. Testimony taken by a duly appointed special prosecutor. My gut tells me this all involves testimony taken by the G.J. BEFORE special prosecutors were appointed????

Anonymous said...

Regarding "Joe the Investigator" .. he is probably going into full campaign mode right about now. Investigator Joe only answers to Chow and Pat. Check out the org. chart.

BTW: How does " Do the Write Thing" rate several offices, support staff, materials, phone services etc.. on the 6th floor of the CJC???. Is any other non-profit given the same privileges since we as tax payers foot the bill for their perks ??? just curious....

Jigmeister said...

Afraid 5:19 is correct in one respect: an upper level prosecutor will be fired Monday. Carl's probably the designated fall guy. Sure wish you had retired, Carl. Think she might have the decency to let him retire?

Anonymous said...

Funky cold, Medina.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:27
FYI: There are several of us civilian types that read this blog simply because we are interested in what goes on behind the scene at the court house. I for one don't always understand what is being discussed. My knowledge of law comes from the para legal classes I took at the local community college. When we show our ignorance by asking questions, please be patient and answer. Don't make us feel like an idiot. The only dumb questions that I know of are the ones not asked. Just saying

Anonymous said...

Do they have to take comp time while in Court?