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Showing posts from January, 2008

And There Went Your Credibilty . . .

Quannel X and Company held their protest in front of the CJC today. Honestly, there wasn't much stated that was very different from Mr. X's usual protests and statements to the media (I guess this Writer's Strike in Hollywood is having a trickle-down effect). What's interesting to me, is that in light of the recent e-mail scandal, that now was a time that Quannel & Crew could really speak with some legitimacy about racism in the Criminal Justice System. And then one of the speakers advocated releasing everyone who had been convicted of a crime in the past ten years.

Letter to the Editor

There's an interesting letter to editor in today's Chronicle regarding Rob Freyer: A good man was mislabled After reviewing Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg's "Canadian" article in my head, I've decided I can't stand by and watch her try and destroy a man's career with careless and irresponsible journalism. (Please see "When is a Canadian not a Canadian?" City and State cover, Jan. 24.) Her column had no basis whatsoever and depended on a random Internet site as proof of racism. Secondly, she labeled a good man and attorney a racist and left it completely up in the air, knowing that the public reaction would be to assume the worst and ask questions later. Even her last sentence alludes to this: "My jury is still out, but I'm still hearing testimony." I've known Rob Freyer for 19-plus years. WI e were good friends in college starting in 1988. We attended law school with each other here in Houston, where he was my roomma

Can't Win for Losing

On tonight's Channel 13 report, Ted Oberg is doing an article on Kelly Siegler because she doesn't have enough e-mails on her e-mail account. Thus, she must be covering something up. You gotta be freaking kidding me.

An Interesting Day Tomorrow

There will be big doings tomorrow in the CJC World. Quannel X will be leading a group of protestors to march upon the CJC and demand the resignation of . . . well, everybody. It's going to be bad weather, so bring an umbrella. Chuck Rosenthal will be appearing in Federal Court to answer charges of contempt, levelled against him by Lloyd Kelley. It's a little bit amusing to me that the day Quannel comes knocking on the door that Chuck won't be home, but oh well. It's not like Quannel was looking for a real dialog on the situation. And Chuck certainly isn't either. Tomorrow is going to be a bad day for the D.A.'s Office, any way you look at it. They are going to be bashed by protestors in front of the building, while Chuck is having all of their reputations bashed in Federal court. Lisa Falkenberg, Rick Casey, and Alan Bernstein must be thanking their lucky stars for such a day as tomorrow. For all those ADAs out there, who are trying to do the right t

Please Help About Mack Arnold

I received this comment last night on one of my posts: My name is Bryan Arnold. Mack is my uncle.I just got a phone call from one of macks school mates here in longview about mack. I need help to find out what hospital he is in or a phone number. I have not seen mack very much since his b rother chuck was killed several years back. Please help. Bryan Arnold....bama9165@aol.com 903-738-9165. I don't have the information on Mack, but I know you do. Can someone please call this gentleman back? And once you do, will you please let us know in the comments that you did, so that we can rest easy? Thanks to everyone.

A Little Boy Died Today

It didn't happen here. It happened in Galveston County, but I wanted to talk about it anyway. The news reports are still coming together, but we know that a couple walking along the road found the body of a baby boy, still in his diaper, dead on the side of the road. A child's car seat was near his little body. Preliminary reports say he died from blunt force trauma to his head. We don't know if he was thrown from a car. We don't know if he was beaten to death and then left there. I think we can all agree that whatever he did in his short life, he didn't deserve this. Police are looking for his father. I don't know if he's the one who is responsible or not. But someone is. And some day, if there is a God, that person will be brought to Justice. A prosecutor will stand in a court of law and put into words what the investigating officers have done. That prosecutor will feel his or her heart break every time they talk about or even think about the case.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. Bernstein . . .

Apparently in your frenzy to blast Kelly Siegler for her use of the word "Jew" as a verb (um, 20 years ago), you seemed to have neglected this little tidbit from Judge Lykos ' past . And I'm really shocked that you were unaware that this story was out there. The New York Times certainly seemed aware of it , but our local Houston paper didn't? Now, it seems to me that an incident where Kelly wasn't aware of the offensive nature of her words twenty years ago is much less offensive than Lykos willfully showing her true feelings in open court and on the record. Kelly immediately apologized for her actions. Lykos steadfastly stuck by her feelings. Which one is more offensive? And more importantly, Mr. Bernstein, how on earth did you miss this? Or did you? NOTE: The search for the articles that Alan Bernstein from the Chronicle missed took an incredible amount of effort and research to find. Not only did I have to plug in the term "Jewish" in

Trial 101: For you, Lisa Falkenberg

Yesterday must have been National Integrity in Journalism Day, because I didn't see a single article bashing the D.A.'s Office for racism. Did I dare let myself believe that this was the entry into a new era of good feelings between the Chronicle and the D.A.'s office? Nah, I'm not that stupid. Lisa Falkenberg rode back into town this morning on her old dead horse that she's been beating, with an article about Kelly Siegler and the Lakewood juror. Except, this time she has a new twist on it. Apparently, Kelly had not exercised a peremptory strike on two other Lakewood Church members, but (gasp) they were Hispanic, and not African-American. Falkenberg clearly believes she has now found the smoking gun that proves that Kelly is a racist. Falkenberg opines that these two dastardly potential jurors even put on their juror cards that they thought the propensity to commit violence could be linked to race. And Kelly still, didn't do her civic duty as a

In Case You Don't Read the Comments . . .

. . . there is currently a pretty interesting exchange going on between myself and Mr. Bernstein from the Chronicle. There are also a lot of other good comments being brought up as well. You can find them under the comments to "WTF - Pt. II".

WTF? - Part II

NOTICE: Due to this blog putting newest articles on top, please scroll down to WTF - I and read it before reading this. Okay, now I've had breakfast and three cups of coffee, so I've calmed down a little bit with my fury towards the Chronicle . But only just a little bit. I would now like to address the column on Pat Lykos . There are many things that I like in life, one of the things I like the most is when I experience one of those rare moments when I'm right about something. In yesterday's article on Reality vs. Perception , I pointed out that Pat Lykos is not a good candidate for the D.A.'s Office, because she gives over broad and general answers to questions that sound lovely to the voters, but aren't really worth a bucket of pee pee to those who know the litigation side of the Criminal Justice System. The "puff piece" on Lykos in today's Chronicle proved me right. Although, undoubtedly, the voters probably loved it. Here's what

WTF? - Part I

Damn, I hate the Houston Chronicle . I mean, I know they have always been as biased as my mother at my 5 th grade spelling bee, but I mean - - well, damn. Alan Bernstein wrote a puff piece for this morning's otherwise uneventful edition. Four separate articles on each of the four Republican candidates (I tried to find the link for y'all, but can't find it on the web for some reason. Mark, if you can find it for me, could you post it in the comments?) At least, it starts off as a puff piece, but what it ends up being is three puff pieces on Lykos , Leitner , and Perry (the Chronicle may still acknowledge him as a candidate, but I don't) and a hatchet-job on Kelly Siegler . I suppose that the Chronicle editors may have finally realized that stretching out the "nuts and screwballs" comment slowly over four weeks has gotten to be old news. (NOTE TO EDITORS: It was old news about three and a half weeks ago). And Lisa Falkenberg's article on Canadian

Perception vs. Reality

Ever heard the saying that "perception is reality"? I think most of us have, and right now it's a phrase being repeated over and over again around the CJC. Most prosecutors right now would probably like to take the author of that statement out back and shoot him. What kind of inspired me to write this particular post this fine Saturday morning was after reading Leviathan's post about the D.A. candidates and their baggage on Mark Bennett's blog. Leviathan is one of the more witty and rational posters on both this blog and Mark's, and he or she makes a very witty post with this one. His conclusion is an endorsement of Jim Leitner as his or her selection for who should be the D.A. You aren't ever going to catch me saying anything bad about Jim Leitner, because I think he is one of the most honorable, humble, skilled, and decent attorneys I've ever met in my life. You aren't going to catch any of the ADAs saying anything bad about him either, because

In case you missed it . . .

Cindy Rosenthal (Chuck's wife) breaks her silence about all of the courthouse scandals in a Letter to the Editor in today's Chronicle . I'm sure that not everyone will have a lot of kind things to say about the letter, but she points out something about the Medina case that I've been thinking since it happened. She questions why in the hell Chuck would have done anything to help the Republican Party, when they turned their back on him. I think it's a valid question, for those conspiracists who believe the Medina dismissal was a Republican Plot. And as usual, the idiocacy of the posters on the Chron.com website is in full motion.

And the Finalists are . . .

After a week of voting, the four finalists for the Hector Heathcoat Award are in. Congratulations to Skip Cornelius, Danny Easterling, Pete Justin, and Jim Leitner for making the final round. I think everyone would agree that these are all excellent choices out of four separate fields of excellent choices. Voting closes in a week, so make sure to vote for who you think is the best unsung hero of the Defense Bar. And yes, I know I may be committing copyright infringement based on the fact that the HCCLA already has a similar award, but this one even lets those damn prosecutors vote.

A Day Without A Plea?

There have been some fliers circulating around the courthouse the past two days that are indicative of more of the fallout from the Rosenthal e-mail scandal. I saw one of them, but don't have one with me to quote verbatim. The article basically calls upon all defense attorneys to boycott pleading out any cases on Thursday, January 31st to protest the sexist and racist administration of Chuck Rosenthal. It purports to be sponsored by the same coalition of groups that are scheduled to protest at the CJC that same day. It also, of course, calls for the removal of Chuck Rosenthal and his staff. Now, that's all well and good, but I can't help but wonder who this boycott would potentially hurt the most. Maybe felony cases wouldn't be that big of a deal because they are typically plea offers for significant amounts of time (a day or a week or two reset wouldn't matter so much, since there can be credit applied for a Defendant's time in custody), but what about m

Why I'm Concerned About Writing

In George Orwell's 1984 , the author coined the term "Big Brother is watching you." At least, I always heard that's where the term came from, but in the interest of full disclosure, I never read the book. And it's always been my understanding that Big Brother was the government. (NOTE: I'm basing the remainder of my article on my above-listed understanding of the book. If my understanding is wrong, I'm really going to look like a dumb ass, here.) Well, Big Brother is watching now, and the effects are being felt even by non-lawyers. In Peggy O'Hare's article this afternoon, she wrote the following statement: In court papers filed Monday, (Lloyd) Kelley gave a list of people he plans to call to the witness stand, including Rosenthal ; prosecutor and Republican DA candidate Kelly Siegler ; Siegler's husband, Dr. Sam Siegler ; Rosenthal's executive assistant Kerry Stevens; his chief investigator John Ray Harrison; his political consu

Letter to the Editor

In the lower portion of the letters to the editor section this morning, an attorney named Victoria Stein blasted the sentencing of the Baytown Rapist to 99 years in prison for the 5 aggravated sexual assaults of young men. Her position is that he would have been better off with psychological and medical treatment. Thank God she wasn't on that jury. At this point, I'd rather use the psychological and medical treatment on the people he victimized.

Finally Somebody Speaks

I don't have time for a lengthy post, but I wanted to point out that in Brian Rogers' article today some of the DA leadership is finally getting some press about the toll the Rosenthal fallout is having on them. Good job to Luci Davidson and Denise Bradley for letting the community know what is happening behind the scene. That's good leadership, and it sounds like the Office could use some of that at the moment. I hope that they don't get in trouble for speaking out.

Why I Write

After reading a lot of angry postings on this blog over the past couple of days, it's been very tempting to just shut down the entirety of this blog and let the media keep bashing the D.A.'s office day in and day out without anyone responding to it. I've gotten responses on this blog from people stating that the State of Texas isn't entitled to a fair a jury trial, and I guess some people feel that the D.A.'s office isn't entitled to defend itself when its being called racist, sexist, and everything else under the sun. I've been an ADA. Some folks think that I still am one. I'm not going to answer that question. I'm not trying to "dodge responsibility" as one blogger wrote. I just don't feel like having my name out there and dealing with the scrutiny into my private life as other people have over the past couple of weeks. My time at the Harris County District Attorney's Office is a time that I am proud of. I feel like I help

Criticism

After re-reading my original (and what I didn't really think was controversial) post on African-American jurors, Batson, and the D.A.'s Office, I've come to realize that some of the wording on it didn't convey what I was trying to say in it. I've updated it with a notation of what is updated. I never intended my words to convey the idea that ADAs exclude any group of people from juries. What I was trying to convey is that ADAs are conscious that the system historically has not treated certain groups of people fairly, and that causes concerns during the jury selection process. What I was trying to illustrate was that this is a problem within the Criminal Justice System that was created by the Criminal Justice System. And that was all that I was trying to convey. ADAs are good people who are trying to help their community by seeing justice done. If anyone was offended by what I wrote earlier, I'm truly sorry.

Writer's Block

I've started two posts today and then deleted them because I thought that they were stupid. I'm apparently suffering from Writer's Block. Anybody got any topics they want to address?

Pat McCann's Questions

In his editorial piece today, Pat McCann wrote that the following questions are ones that need to be addressed by whoever becomes District Attorney in 2009. Before I list them, I do have to point out that I noticed he wrote: "Republicans will have a contested primary with experienced candidates, Jim Leitner and Kelly Siegler , as well as Houston police Capt. Doug Perry and former Judge Pat Lykos ." Now, God knows that I'm no grammatical genius (just read these posts closely), but was Pat saying that Leitner and Siegler were the only "experienced" candidates? I think he was. And I couldn't agree more. Now, onto the questions he posed for the new D.A.: 1. Will the district attorney's office begin to work to find serious alternatives to help the mentally ill who wind up in district and county courts? My Answer: I can't see why not. The Andrea Yates case left a bad taste in the public's mouth because it looked like the D.A.'s off

How Did I miss This?

After a brief period of sulking over the Packers game, I decided to sit down and read the rest of today's Chronicle. Somehow, I had managed to miss the large photograph of Chuck Rosenthal and the corresponding article by Jolanda Jones. In addition, I had also missed the opinion piece written by Pat McCann . Jolanda's article pretty much just reiterates what the media has been saying for two weeks: that the District Attorney's Office is racist. She cites different sentences for different people and states that the Office sentences Defendants harder if the Defendant is African-American. As her example, she cites a case involving Farrah Fawcett's son. I vaguely recall when that case was working its way through the 176 th , but I don't recall its end result. She describes him having gotten pre -trial diversion, a rarely used type of probation that (if successfully completed) functions like a complete dismissal of a case. It requires both the District Attor

A Horrible Injustice has just occurred . . .

The Packers lose at home?!?!??!?! Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!?! I'm boycotting the Super Bowl. Not really.

Bracket System It Is

Okay, we're going to the bracket system. Please vote in all four brackets for the HHA. The winner of each bracket will go into the final poll. They are arranged by alphabetical order. Voting deadline is January 25th at 7 p.m.

Well crap

We are experiencing technical difficulties again with the Hector Heathcoat Awards. Although the portion of the blog that let's me create a poll let's me plug in all 18 of the nominees names, for some reason, when I publish it, only the first four names pop up. I'm trying to figure out how to handle this terrible crisis at the moment. I may just do four different polls and create a playoff system. Unless somebody can come up with a better idea before I do that. More after the Green Bay game.

Lakewood Church & Rick Casey

I woke up earlier than I usually would this Sunday morning in an attempt to watch the TV broadcast of Lakewood Church services that air at 10 a.m. I wanted to see what, if anything, was said about Kelly Siegler's comments. While I was waiting for the show, I took time to read Rick Casey's column which listed Kelly's comments as part of a three-part column bashing Republican disingenuity in our county officials. I came to a conclusion: Backseat Drivers irritate me. Casey's column cites the fact that the juror that Kelly struck off of her panel had listed that he was "in favor of capital punishment, except in a few cases where it may not be appropriate". Casey then argues by inference that Kelly would only want a juror who would be so strong on the death penalty that they would even give the death penalty where it was inappropriate. For those of you out there who have worked on death penalty cases, you know that Casey is twisting things that he clearly doe

Ouch. Backlash.

It's always nice to wake up on a crisp, cool Sunday morning to a little criticism. I got an e-mail from "Anonymous" stating the following: "This isn't much of a blog. You delete comments you don't agree with or deem inflammatory. What use is it having a blog on Harris County CJ if you don't discuss this subject. I mean, has there ever been a worst media interview or denial than that given by Trent a few weeks ago? Really now, Trent has a very lame excuse for the use of the word canadian . Very sad, really, and a black eye to all fair Texas prosecutors." I cleared up a couple of issues in Anonymous' statement during the comments portion of the article he posted to, but I would like to make sure that if you are reading and posting, then I'm going to post your comment. The only case that I've come up with where I wouldn't do it is if it is naming folks that you think are the author of this blog. As I stated in my last post, I don&

And it begins . . .

Alright, I've been doing this post for a little over a week now, and I've just been waiting for somebody to go ahead and throw out the first name over who they thought I was. I also thought of at least five different people who would probably be accused of being the author when I started this blog. In anticipation of this moment, I had already planned a course of action on it, whether the "Guesser" be right or wrong in who they guessed. My plan: Delete the comment. Chicken-shit of me, you ask? Perhaps. But let me explain my reasoning. I prefer to be Anonymous, most definitely. Or at least as anonymous as I can be around such a gossip-laden place as the CJC. Also, if you got it wrong and threw the wrong name out there, I wouldn't want that person caused any potential problems for the things that I'm writing. I certainly don't want to earn anybody an open-records request on their computer account. So you can keep guessing, and I'll keep deleting

African-American Jurors, Batson, and the D.A.'s Office

On a serious note, a lot of things have been brought up lately regarding whether or not the D.A.'s office is systematically striking African-American jurors from panels. Alvin Nunnery in his Fox 26 interview regarding the "Canadian" e-mail alluded to the idea that there is an attitude within the D.A.'s Office (even going back to when he was a prosecutor) that an African-American juror is somehow "incapable" of serving on a jury as a fair juror. It is an interesting debate, and I'm not going to enter it. As far as I'm concerned, if you believe that the D.A.'s office is racist, there is nothing that I can say on this blog that will change your mind of that. I'm also pretty sure that I won't be changing anybody's mind on the issues of the death penalty, abortion, or the fact that the Dallas Cowboys aren't really "America's Team". But I would like to throw this out for your consideration, and I hope there is a frank d

The Hector Heathcoat Primaries

The nominees for the Hector Heathcoat Award for the Defense Attorney are rolling in, and I'm glad to see a lot of the names on the list. I threw it to an open nomination process, because God knows that I would inadvertently leave someone off the list if I didn't. Mark Bennett mentioned the Awards ceremony on website . He pointed out that the HCCLA also gives an Award to their criminal defense attorney of the year. And trust me, as the creator of the Hector Heathcoat Awards, I'll be the first to tell you that the HCCLA Award is a helluva lot more meaningful than the HHA. Congratulations to Vivian, by the way! Consider the Hector Heathcoat Awards the same as the "People's Choice Awards" in comparison to the Academy Awards. They are here for fun, and anybody can vote on them (even the dreaded prosecutors). Mark also threw down the gauntlet by posting: "But still, AHCL, don't leave the decision up to the fickleness of internet democracy. Have some

Mack Arnold Update

I've been hearing updates on Mack from different folks around the courthouse, and none of it sounds very promising. Apparently Mack has suffered a series of strokes, some most recently as Thursday. I've heard he has some partial paralysis and is drifting in and out of being able to talk to people. Attorneys are now being assigned to take over his appointed cases. Mack inspires a great deal of fondness from both sides of the Bar, and the thought of him not coming around anymore is just damn depressing. Anybody have any thoughts on organizing some people to help out? I think there are a lot of things we can probably do. Of course, when Mack gets well and finds out that any of thought he needed some help, he will probably kick all of our asses.

The Hector Heathcoat Awards

Okay, you've got to reach back into some serious nostalgia to recognize the name Hector Heathcoat. If you know the name, then you are a true cartoon addicts from the 1960s and 1970s. For those of you who don't recognize the name, Hector was the "unsung hero" of all of American history according to the cartoons. The one that sticks out in mind was him being the guy under George Washington's boat when the original G.W. was crossing the Delaware. Poor Hector was plugging a leak in the boat with his thumb, while under the boat. But I digress. The Hector Heathcoat Award is dedicated to the "Unsung Heroes" of the CJC. We are starting out with two categories - the unsung defense attorney and the unsung prosecutor. Sure, Rusty Hardin and Dick DeGuerin and Kelly Siegler all get a lot of attention as being great attorneys, but who are the ones the we know are also great attorneys that don't get near the recognition in the media that they deserve. H

The Unofficial Election Update

For those of you who are new to the blog, if you scroll all the way down, I have my unofficial poll on who should win the D.A. election in November. If you haven't voted yet, please do. I'm very pleased to see that the two most qualified (in my opinion) candidates are the ones leading the pack. That means that the people who are reading and voting on this blog are people who know what they are talking about, and that's what I was hoping for. I'm very happy about the posts that we are getting on the website, and I hope they keep up. I'm trying to be as diligent as I can about responding to all posts, but if I inadvertently miss one, just let me know. There was little news today on the election front, other than a fluff piece in the Chronicle about the candidate forum yesterday at the Spaghetti Warehouse. The article didn't have much substance to it, but some of the posts (which I'm morbidly addicted to reading) had some interesting stuff. The most in

Classy

The four Republican candidates met today at the Spaghetti Warehouse for a Republican function. It wasn't all that contentious, from what I hear. Unfortunately for Kelly Siegler , she put her parking money in the wrong slot at the pay lot, and came out to find her car booted. That's never a good day for anybody, and it's also the reason I never park in those damn things. In a move showing true political savvy and class, Candidate Mark Perry's wife took a picture. Wow. I don't know how the Siegler campaign can survive that kind of bad P.R. Nice, Mrs. P. Really nice.

Who Am I?

I received a sudden and unexpected increase in people posting on my blog today. I finally figured it out when I realized that Mark Bennett had made a posting to this blog on his own blog at http://www.bennettandbennett.com/blog/ I appreciate the link up, but I couldn't help but notice that somebody posting as " robert guest" posted the following: I can't take any anonymous blogger seriously. If this ADA is so proud of his blog, come out and clam it.I wonder if gov't computers are being used to promulgate this PR stunt. Maybe it's the Siegler campaign. Open records anyone? Wow. Whatever happened to Freedom of Speech? I have to admit to being taken aback a little bit by this posting, because I didn't realize that anything that I had posted would incite so much anger. I'm all about healing rifts here folks, so let me take a shot at addressing some of " robert guest"'s issues with the blog. Issue # 1 - he assumes I'm "s

Techincal Difficulties Apparently Solved

I think I got it fixed. Everything good and bad should now be posted. I had to take comment moderation off on my settings. I'm a little concerned about doing that because it opens it up for anybody to say anything, but I'm hoping everybody involved can keep some civility to the discussions. I'm not responsible for the comments that people leave.

I'm Currently Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Okay, so I'm new to this whole blogging thing, and I've clearly screwed something up. I want people to be able to post their comments (good and bad) freely, but I've clearly selected something that doesn't allow that. I'm getting your comments, and I really appreciate them (good and bad). I'm working on figuring it out. Mr. Bennett, if you've got any technical advice, please let me know.

Irony

A couple of years ago, Pastor Joel Osteen's aunt, Johnnie Daniels was brutally murdered in her home. The Homicide Division of the Harris County Sheriff's Office investigated and ultimately were able to link Edric Carmichael to the crime, and capital murder charges against him are now pending in the 228 th District Court of Harris County, Texas. The Special Crimes prosecutor who worked with the Sheriff's Department in filing charges against Carmichael: Kelly Siegler The Defense Attorney representing Carmichael: Loretta Muldrow . For those of you who don't know, Loretta was one of the attorneys on the Guidry case where Kelly made her statement about Lakewood Church. It would be ironic, if it wasn't such a sad case.

Gone Fishing

QUESTION: So what do you get when you're a member of the media with an open records request for Kelly Siegler's e-mails? ANSWER: Nothing inappropriate. FOLLOW-UP QUESTION: What do you get when you try fishing through Rob Freyer's e-mails? ANSWER: Nothing inappropriate. I'm waiting for the media to host a breaking news alert to announce this news. Maybe it can be buried next to the story of Rick Casey admitting he got all his facts wrong when he was blasting Sam Siegler for the e-mails he allegedly sent to Rosenthal .

Four prosecutors walk into a judicial race . . .

It kind of sounds like the start of a bad bar joke, but, believe it or not, there are some other interesting things going on at the courthouse besides stories of Chuck Rosenthal scandals. The Honorable George Godwin has chosen not to run for re-election in the 174 th District Court, leaving an open field of contenders to replace him. I've got to admit a personal bias here. I'm a huge fan of Judge Godwin, and whoever does get the bench has got some pretty big shoes to fill. In my opinion, he's one of the last great judges who gave Harris County some of the character that we are famous or infamous for. On the Democratic side, former-judge Ruben Guerrero is running against perpetual candidate Lloyd Oliver. Lloyd seems to run for something every election, usually targeting the most junior of judges as his opponent. Thus far, he's done about as well as Dick DeGuerin trying a case against Kelly Siegler (sorry, couldn't help one last jab that with analogy). The only

Dick versus Kelly -- again

It wouldn't shock me entirely to see Dick DeGuerin contributing a large amount of money to the Kelly Siegler campaign. Why do I say something so patently ridiculous? Because he's running out of time to win "the big one" against her, if she doesn't win the D.A.'s office (and presumably leaves the office after that). I keep having this vision of Apollo Creed trying to talk Rocky Balboa out of retirement for a rematch. Dick's latest attempt to defeat his diminutive arch- nemesis met with failure yet again today in the Motion for New Trial for David Temple. Dick really seemed to think he had Kelly this time, when he called her to the stand in a feeble attempt to get her to confess to some sort of prosecutorial misconduct. In his opening arguments, Dick argued that Kelly had the audacity to insinuate facts while asking questions that were inadmissible. And I mean, come on here, we know Dick would never try to do something like that on his own. However, w

Oops.

Obviously nobody (other than Lloyd Kelley) knew about the e-mail scandal that would fall upon the D.A.'s office on December 27 th of last year. As I've mentioned earlier, what was shaping up to be the most interesting race of the season was going to be the one for the 176 th District Court. Judge Brian Rains has held that bench for longer than I care to remember, and I think prosecutors and defense attorneys alike had grown extremely weary of Rains' blatantly rude and hostile attitude toward all parties involved. And that's not to mention his extremely questionable policy of being as resistant to granting probations as he possibly could be . . . Shawna Reagin was the first to declare that she would run against the unpopular Judge, and she announced as a Democrat. Her candidacy was extremely well received by her peers in the defense bar, who all rushed to sign the petition for her candidacy. Fast forward to January 2, 2008, when Jim Leitner signs up as a Repub

Racism in the D.A.'s Office?

I opened today's Houston Chronicle this morning and nearly died of shock. For the first time since December 27 th , something that the D.A.'s Office had dropped the ball on wasn't the front page news. But after the week that the Office has had, I guess they (at a minimum) deserved Sunday off. It seems like the media has finally given up on anything happening with Chuck Rosenthal . I guess he is firmly planted in his office and he ain't coming out. The new focus of the media seems to be part of a one-two punch: Kelly Siegler's "nuts and screwballs" comment about Lakewood Church, and the "Canadians" e-mail sent by Assistant D.A. Mike Trent. The poor ADAs seem almost punch-drunk after the bad publicity that they've had all week. I don't really know that there is more that can be said about either of these two stories, because they both pretty much speak for themselves. What I do find interesting is that the source of both stories seem to

Candidate Leitner and the ADAs

The candidacy of Jim Leitner was an interesting story in the days leading up to the filing deadline. Remember back two weeks ago and we were all young and naive, thinking Rosenthal was only guilty of sending romantic e-mails to his secretary? Boy, how things change. After the Republicans had officially asked Chuck to resign, and he had officially told them to kiss his butt, there was apparently quite a bit of wide-spread panic with the D.A.'s Office. Assistant District Attorneys seemed to quickly grasp what their boss did not, and that was that Chuck Rosenthal wasn't going to be the elected D.A. come January 1, 2009. What the ADA's also realized was that nobody from their Office would dare to announce a candidacy as long as Chuck was steadfastly refusing to withdraw his name from the ballot. Their position was unenviable, because none of them were too comfortable with the idea of working for Clarence Bradford. And the person whose name came to all of their minds

The latest news from the D.A. Race

There was relatively little news or developments in the DA office e-mail scandal today. Kelly Siegler apologized to Lakewood Church for her comments during a trial. That was kind of a "no brainer ". Alvin Nunnery is apparently fading a lot of heat from the ADA's for his comment on Fox 26 News last night about the office needing to be cleaned "from the inside out". I understand being outraged at about the e-mails, but is it really fair to all the ADAs who had nothing to do with them? Seems kind of like an overbroad statement to me, Alvin.

Mack Arnold

For those of you who may not know, Mack Arnold has been in the hospital after suffering a series of strokes. Those of you who know Mack know that he is one of the most stubborn and crumudgeony wonderful people that has ever graced the halls of Criminal Justice Center. It's my understanding that his daughter is coming in from out of the country to help him out. One of the things that I love the most about our small little community of attorneys at the CJC is that we are all kind of a make-shift family. I know that Mack would never ask for (or probably accept) any type of assistance, but I hope that won't keep those of us who know and love him from offering (and maybe insisting upon him taking) our help. At the very least, keep him in your prayers. Get well soon, Mack!