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The 2022 Election: The District Court Races - Part Three of Three

180th District Court -- Judge Dasean Jones (I)(D) vs. Tami Pierce (R) -- There is probably no greater contrast in the type of candidates on either side of the ballot than the one we see in the battle for the 180th District Court.  The Republican challenger, Tami Pierce is a retired police officer and former prosecutor whose campaign website encourages voters to be "Fierce with Pierce."  She apparently was a defense attorney for ten years before becoming a prosecutor in Polk County.  Although it is a cute slogan, I'm not sure that ferocity is something that attorneys look for in a presiding judge.  The ideal judge, as I noted in part one of this election recap , is a neutral one who can call balls and strikes without an agenda -- no ferocity necessary.  Although I will give her credit for being well-versed in criminal law, the fact that her career hasn't been in Harris County bothers me.  Harris County isn't a small county like Polk and I don't know how it coul

The 2022 Election: The County Court at Law Races - Part Two of Three

Okay, let's jump right in.  Hopefully, if you are reading this, you've already read Part One of my sweeping epic on the 2022 Election.  Also, many of these candidates I talked about in more detail during the primary elections earlier this year . County Court at Law # 1 -- Judge Alex Salgado (I)(D) vs. Nathan Moss (R) -- I didn't know Judge Alex Salgado at all prior to him taking the Bench in January of 2019 and my appearances before him during his tenure have been very limited.  I have spoken to him in court and he is an incredibly nice man who runs a very fair and efficient court.  He was a prosecutor for nine years (he mentioned to me that many of those years were in Walker County) before taking the Bench. Nathan Moss is a Felony Division Chief at the Harris County District Attorney's Office and one of the few remaining prosecutors that were there when I was.  He was a baby prosecutor around the time I left.  He's also my neighbor!  Nathan is a personal friend an

The 2022 Election: Overview - Part One of Three

Definitely, my least favorite part of this blog has become the expectation that I do a write-up on the candidates when election time comes around.  Y'all have no idea how much it stresses me out!  The reason it stresses me out is that in the vast majority of the races, I have two friends running against each other.  Usually, those friends are great people and usually, those friends are both very qualified for the office that they seek.  That's a no-win situation for me to write about and that is usually compounded when I don't make a clear choice and get called out for wimping out.  To paraphrase the late, great Ben Parker, with great blogging comes great responsibility, unfortunately. While I will reluctantly acknowledge that I sometimes "wimp out" on making a clear choice between two people that I consider to be friends that are qualified for the Bench, I do want to make it clear that I am completely honest about a person's ability to be an elected official

Mark Herman's Shameless Publicity Stunt

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It always seems like an insincere platitude whenever a defense attorney leads off with talking about his or her respect for cops, but bear with me for a moment.   I grew up idolizing the police and wanted to be an FBI agent from about the age of ten.  There wasn't a true crime book or police procedural drama that I didn't watch wanting to be just like those guys .  My biggest professional mentor in my life was HPD and the reverence I have for that department has extended well past my tenure as a prosecutor.  I admire the work they do.  I admire their selflessness.  I admire their bravery. But nobody's perfect. And if I were to have to pick the biggest flaw that I see as a character trait in many of the police officers that I have known and admired over the years, it is that police have a real big stumbling block when it comes to ever admitting that they've done something wrong. And that's a big problem when the decisions that your profession makes can literally dest

Dudegoggles and the Guajuardo Hearing

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As most CJC regulars know, there was an interesting hearing in the 263rd District Court on September 21st & 22nd regarding a Motion for Change of Venue in the State of Texas vs. Alex Guajardo .  Defense counsel Justin Keiter had filed the motion in response to pre-trial publicity given to the case by the Harris County District Attorney's Office's Communications Division and elected District Attorney Kim Ogg, herself.  The hearing was a highly watched event due to the fact that Keiter had subpoenaed Ogg to testify. Although Ogg was definitely the anticipated main attraction of the hearing, the opening act was Dane Schiller, Ogg's Director of Communications.  In my opinion, Schiller's testimony would ultimately prove to be far more entertaining and enlightening than Ogg's.  Schiller unabashedly admitted to several jaw-dropping revelations that were reminiscent of Watergate-era "dirty tricks" that he and the Communications Division employed in an effort t

Kim Ogg blames the Judges . . . yet again

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It's just so damn hard being a prosecutor these days.   At least, it is in Harris County. It was so much easier back when I was there.  Our judges were almost ALL former prosecutors.  The rulings all went our way.  We had people who trained us on how to try cases.  We went to trial a lot.  We won a lot.  It was crazy!  When I asked my old division chief researched what the win/loss ratio was during our tenure at the Office back in the day, she told me I learned that it was somewhere in the low to mid-90% win rate. These days, those stats are a bit different.  My friend, Jeff Ross, at his Show Me the Justice  blog keeps a running tab of the win/loss column.  Here are the current stats for 2022 as of this writing: That translates into a little better than 67% win rate for the State.  If this was a report card, it would be a failing grade. A quick glance at the wins and losses for last week over at Show Me the Justice profile five guilty verdicts for the State and seven not guilty