Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fundraiser for Judge Stacey Bond

There will be a fundraiser for the re-election campaign for 176th District Court Judge Stacey Bond coming up next Thursday, September 1st at Ladybird's at 5519 Allen, Houston, TX from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Judge Bond has been an outstanding judge in her first term in the 176th.  She knows the law, follows the law, and holds all sides to the same standards.  I sincerely hope you will join me in supporting her for re-election!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Congratulations to Alex Bunin

Congratulations are in order for THE Public Defender, himself, Alex Bunin for being named the winner of the Champion of Public Defense Award by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers today.  The award is given to the attorney who demonstrates "exceptional efforts in making positive changes to a local, county, state, or national public defense system."

Alex has a lengthy and distinguished career in indigent defense and the Harris County Public Defenders' Office has become yet another one of his many success stories.  As I've said before, when I was leaving the D.A.'s Office, I was petrified of the creation of a Public Defenders' Office and the possibility of available cases drying up.  Alex made sure that the PD's Office was an asset to all defense attorneys practicing in Harris County.  His office routinely puts on CLEs for attorneys and has become an important and respected voice in the CJC.

He's also fielded a team of excellent trial and appellate attorneys who are willing to share their time and expertise with any attorney needing help.

None of this could have developed without Alex's diplomacy and leadership.  He is absolutely deserving of this award, and I'm proud to call him my friend.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Judge Marc Carter Wins William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence

Tremendous congratulations to 228th District Court Judge Marc Carter, whose longstanding dedication and hard work with veterans charged with crime has earned him the prestigious William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence.  The award is given to only one judge a year, and is presented by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, during a dinner ceremony at the Supreme Court in November.

Judge Carter was selected by the National Center for State Courts who awards it to a judge "who demonstrates the outstanding qualities of judicial excellence, including integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, professional ethics, creativity, sound judgment, intellectual courage, and decisiveness."

They made a great choice, because Judge Carter is the embodiment of that description.

Judge Carter, who as most of you know, is an Army veteran himself, has been helping lead Harris County's Veterans' Court for years now.  His temperament and background has made him the perfect leader for the program.  He follows the law, but he is truly guided by compassion and a sincere desire to help.  Veterans struggling with mental health or addiction issues are given second (and sometimes more) chances to readapt to society.

Judge Carter's compassion doesn't extend solely to veterans, however.  He has shown time and time again a willingness to save those people who appear before him who have a chance to be saved.  He has the unenviable task of balancing between protecting society and not throwing away people who can still be productive members of that society.  He does so with kindness, compassion, and intelligence on a daily basis.  

With his standard humility, Judge Carter has passed all of the credit for this prestigious award to the staff of both the 228th District Court (and coordinator extraordinaire Vanessa Guerrero) as well as Mary Covington and the staff of Veterans' Court.

The attorneys who practice in the 228th could not be happier nor prouder of Judge Carter.  It is hard to imagine a more deserving recipient.