Friday, February 29, 2008

Roving Reporter Reports from Reasonable Doubt

Many thanks to my Equally-Anonymous Roving Reporter who watched last night's Reasonable Doubt so she could report on what she saw Lykos talk about.

Here are the highlights:

1. Lykos danced around the issue of how she would handle the "crack pipe" question. She gave no solid answers, other than that she would still prosecute them.

2. In a merger of embracing her abrasiveness, and defending the astronomical amount of people she put on probation in her court, she justified it by saying that defendants would "rather go straight than deal with me".
(NOTE: By analogy, many prosecutors would rather "go defense" than work for her.)

3. She described how she would create a Victim Witness Division, and when told the Division already existed, she insisted hers would be different. She then went on to describe several things that are already in place as being the changes she would make.

4. She passed the buck to the defense bar as the ones who truly failed to do anything when she saw prosecutors making race based strikes. According to her, she offered to grant a Batson challenge, but the defense attorneys wouldn't accept them. (NOTE: This makes it official. Both the prosecution and the defense are racists. Thank God Pat Lykos is there!)

5. When questioned over this "being a litigator" business, she stated she had "lots of trials". By this standard, I'm a pilot, because I've had "lots of flights". This issue really pisses me off, by the way. YOU AREN'T A LITIGATOR, PAT!!!!!!!!! TRIAL ATTORNEYS ARE LITIGATORS!!!! YOU ARE A MID-LEVEL BUREAUCRAT WHO IS DYING TO BE ELECTED TO SOMETHING!!!

6. When asked about her policy on seeking the death penalty, Lykos stated she would just "reduce the number of capital murders committed" (NOTE: That's a real quote). Her plans for doing so? She plans to requisition a spandex suit, a Batmobile, and a Bat Light from Commissioner Gordon, so that she can directly battle crime on the city streets.

7. She blamed her poor performance on Judicial Bar Poll Ratings at a time when Judges McSpadden and Poe were receiving excellent reviews on the fact that she was a woman.
Let me tell you something, I know Judge Poe and Judge McSpadden, and you, Pat Lykos, are no Judge McSpadden or Judge Poe.
They were both real trial lawyers before becoming Judges, and they were qualified for their jobs.

And as a final thought, throughout it all, she refused to answer questions about the Yarmulke Issue, despite the fact that numerous calls came in about it.

I can't believe that Pat Lykos is even a consideration for voters. And no, it's not because she's a woman. It's because she doesn't have the experience, leadership skills, or intelligence to run the Office. She just wants to be elected to something.


Ron in Houston said...


I don't think she'd need a bat mobile, the sight of Lykos is a spandex suit would be enough to send the most hardened of criminals fleeing in terror.

Mark Bennett said...

Why do you keep harping on the "litigator" thing? A "litigator" is by definition not a trial lawyer; the only people who don't know that are not trial lawyers themselves.

She finally did answer the yarmulke question: expert witnesses and lawyers can't wear indicia of religion that might give them added credibility or summat. Nobody tell Abraham Fish!

Kese said...

Had Lykos' multi-point plan sitting in my inbox this morning. Thought I'd share with you.



Announces Plan for five new departments to make office"Best in Nation"

Comments on opponent's weak plan

Harris County, Texas - District Attorney candidate, Judge Pat Lykos, announced her initial organizational plan for the District Attorney's office, which will help transform that office into the best in the Nation.

In the Republican Primary for Harris County District Attorney, it is becoming clearer by the day that the people of Harris County are demanding a clean break from Chuck Rosenthal and his inner circle's failed leadership. For too long this clique has run the DA’s office and ruled by fear, as well as mismanagement, and the people of Harris County want a clean break from his failed leadership team. Republicans and many others want a qualified outsider like Judge Lykos to restore integrity and public trust in the DA’s office, and a major step in this important goal is "Pat's 5 Department Plan" to establish these five (5) essential new departments within the Office:

1) Professionalism and Ethics Division -- this office will develop written professional and ethical rules, policies and procedures for the Office of District Attorney. Our mission is to seek justice. All internal and external staff communication, written and verbal, will be held to a high standard of professionalism and respect. All emails on Office computers are government records and they will be retained for up to three years or more when warranted. Clearly, no longer will there be “unwritten” policies that deny justice and are used to punish prosecutors un-favored by a clique, as is the current practice. No longer will there be a double standard where friends of the Office receive “sweet-heart” plea deals that are not available to those who are not connected. Integrity and justice for all will return to this office. Alcoholic beverages will be prohibited in our offices.

2) Victims' Rights Division -- will assure that victims' are kept apprised of the prosecution of their offenders; address their concerns, and coordinate with victim assistance agencies. Too often, cases cannot be successfully made because victims are intimidated or become disillusioned by the system and their treatment. We will be champions of the victims and keep them better informed.

3) Public Information Division - - Supreme Court Justice, Lewis Brandeis said it best: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” This division will be open and accessible to both the news media and the public. Transparency is a key part of restoring public trust and confidence in the office, and all inquiries will be handled professionally and with an appropriate response.

4) Public Safety Liaison Division -- will coordinate and collaborate with all area law enforcement agencies and departments, which will more effectively prosecute organized and major crime offenders, and prevent crime.

5) Human Resource & Budget Division -- The Office currently has well over 500 employees and there is virtually, no personnel department. Recently, when the Commissioners’ Court approved pay raises for the employees, there was a delay in implementation because one employee handling the payroll had resigned. In addition, there is currently no mechanism at this time for employees to express and discuss personnel problems. The Division will also be responsible for developing sound hiring, business, management and administrative practices.

Clearly, the steady flow of Republican and community leaders, and an impressive list of endorsements, as well as poll after poll affirm the fact that Pat Lykos is the outsider they want in the DA’s office, and not Kelly Siegler. They rightly view Siegler as part of the failed leadership of Chuck Rosenthal.

Harris County citizens demand a clean break in leadership from the Rosenthal-Siegler era, to a total transformation of the DA’s office. A total transformation can only occur from the most qualified outsider on the ballot; Judge Pat Lykos.

Why did it take a political campaign for Ms. Siegler, who is one of the DA’s office high level officials, to realize that in the zeal to “win” trials, justice became the victim? Ms. Siegler, by her previous silence when faced with reversals of convictions, has violated public trust. The leadership culture must be changed. Only someone from outside the DA’s Office can reform it. The citizens of Harris County deserve a DA’s Office that is professionally competent and maintains the highest ethical standards. Justice demands no less.

Over her distinguished 20+ year judicial career, Judge Lykos has presided over 20,000 cases and has sent thousands of criminals to jail and prison. Conversely, Ms. Siegler has tried about 200 cases. When it comes to experience, knowledge, and the ability best suited for the next District Attorney, no one but Judge Lykos has all the critical abilities needed to make the District Attorneys office the best in the Nation.

Judge Pat Lykos was the first Republican Criminal District Court Judge in Harris County and the first Republican County Court at Law Judge in Harris County.

Judge Pat Lykos worked her way through college and Law School as a Houston Police Officer. Judge Lykos was an Adjunct Professor at South Texas College of Law and served former County Judge, Robert Eckels as his Director of Special Projects. Judge Lykos currently serves County Judge Ed Emmett as his Director of Judicial and Legal Issues.

Judge Pat Lykos's Four Point Pledge is clear:

1. I will restore public trust and confidence through principled leadership

of the Harris County District Attorney's Office

2. I will transform the Harris County District Attorney's Office into the best in the nation, built upon the bedrock of professionalism and ethics

3. I will be a champion for crime victims

4. I will work tirelessly with local, state and federal public safety offices and community leaders to both vigorously prosecute the guilty and prevent crime.

Mark Bennett said...

Brandeis says, "sunlight is the best disinfectant."

I say "fire's better."

anonymous c said...


It was patently obvious that Lykos meant to give off the impression of having been a trial lawyer by using that term. “Litigator” is synonymous with “trial lawyer” in general usage.

To say that she meant some other, obscure, dictionary definition is pretty silly.

And, unless AHCL’s linked article’s author, Baruch C. Cohen, is lying, then it’s against constitutional law to demand that an expert witness remove his/her religious garb before testifying.


“Judge David West, administrative judge for the Harris County District Courts, said there was ''absolutely not'' a county policy that would ban the wearing of religious symbols in the courtroom.”

Of course, I don’t know these two guys. They could just be bald-faced liars. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

There's far too much to comment on during a lunch break but here's a few counterpoints:
A) Are alcoholic beverages such a major issue in the DA;s office that she had to include a comment on them?

B) Doesn't "We will be champions of the victims" conflict with "Our mission is to seek justice" above, at least according to her previous comments while campaigning? I know they aren't mutually exclusive but given some of the rhetoric from the Lykos campaign... Of course "creating" a division that already exists seems kind of counter intuitive for such an "outsider" intent on reform but that's Lykos for ya'.

C) Public Information Division sounds a lot like a self serving PR bureau, look at most local law enforcement agencies use of the concept as examples.

D) So a candidate that has previously only supervised "about six" employees is now an expert on Human Resources for an agency employing 500 people?

E) New groups of special liaisons are not needed to work with the police and feds on cases; the office already has them and in the expected "Lykos purge", there won't be enough seasoned staff to man such divisions anyway.

F) Endorsements: When a Republican lists the Chronicle as one of their top endorsements, you know they are in trouble (not to mention Eckels the RINO).

G) Comparing apples to airplanes: Presiding over tens of thousands of cases doesn't make you any better equipped to be the DA of a major metropolitan area than anyone else that has never prosecuted a case. Siegler has worked her way up from the bottom of the organization, has detailed knowledge of how things work and what needs to be fixed, and has built up a reputation for skillfully prosecuting cases. Lykos has also built up a reputation but it is so poor that she continues to throw mud in an effort to disguise her incompetence.

I'm still waiting for Lykos to offer specific cases where she observed prosecutors making illegal strikes (which makes her culpable for not doing her job OR championing those victims of hers), properly explain the difference between her treatment of religious garments in her courts (her explanation, as lame as it was, did not cover it), and what criteria she will use to guide her upcoming political patronage purge if she wins.

The Phantom Bureaucrat
(sorry, Blogger is acting up again)

Mark Bennett said...

I'm no apologist for Lykos; I don't endorse her explanation of the yarmulke affair. I only point out that she finally had an explanation (after dodging the question at least twice). It sounded like HCCLA past-president Robb Fickman, by the way, who forced her to give her answer.

As for "litigator," it's always been lawyer code for "I don't try cases." Taking Lykos to task for using it accurately seems silly to me. Better to use your podium to explain to the public that "litigator" and "trial lawyer" are very different creatures.

anonymous c said...

I think that a lot of trial lawyers would be very surprised to learn that they're not litigators.

With all due respect, Mark, that's bs.

BTW, thanks for posting the show. :-)

Mark Bennett said...

Anon C,

I started to respond here, but then I realized my full response would make a good post of its own.

I'm sorry you think trial lawyers call themselves "litigators" . . . you're not a trial lawyer, are you?

Anonymous said...

WOW! After reading the platform of Judge Lykos, I think she deserves my vote.

By the way, just because the HCDA's office has a division, such as VW division, doesn't mean it works worth a crap.

It is not time to overhaul that vehicle known as the HCDA's office, it is time to rebuild it, from the ground up.

Have a drink on me, AHCL.

Anonymous said...

did she answer the "Snookems" question?

Professor Gil Fried said...

This is Gil Fried writing from Connecticut. I am a professor in New Haven, CT and still work as an expert witness.

I have been contacted by the media several times in the past couple weeks about Pat Lycos. I do not know what she said or what she did not say about the incident I had with her in court (over two days of testifying). However, I can testify under oath that she forced me to remove my Yalmukah before testifying in her court (either testify without it or be held in contempt and would not be able to testify). In my opinion she was very mean about it and tried to imply that I was wearing it for show (she sited a case from New England involving a former priest who became a lawyer and wanted to practice in court wearing his collar)even when I indicated that I wear my head covering every day. I felt she was trying to exercise her authority over the court and that she felt she could do whatever she wanted. When I told her that she had not heard the end of the issue (becuase I was going to file a complaint or contact the media) I think she said something like "bring it on," which was very unprofessional.

I have not thought about her for years. However, I feel the truth has to come out. If she stated that she denied someone the right to testify with that person wearing their religious clothing then she is telling the truth and I would be glad (I never heard an appology from her). If she is saying that it never happened then I have numerous witnesses and a file of material available for anyone interesting in seeing what happened.

It should be noted that instead of suing her in federal court I worked with some friends at the ADL to pass a law in Texas that made what she did against the law. Now a party has to raise the issue of potential conflict (not a judge), they have to show there will be injustice if the person wears the religious item, and that the request to have someone take off the religious item has to be undertaken in the least restrictive manner as possible.

Gil Fried

anonymous c said...

“I'm sorry you think trial lawyers call themselves "litigators" . . . you're not a trial lawyer, are you?”

No, Mark, I’m not a trial lawyer…but you already knew that.

And, as far as trial lawyers not calling themselves litigators, you’d better let your fellow bloggers know that…

And from your blog…

“All trial lawyers are litigators…”

Please tell me how that is any different from what I’ve been saying?


But never mind all of this silliness because AHCL has a very distinguished visitor now! I’ll quickly step out of the way!

Mark Bennett said...

AC, I can't tell that any of those three bloggers actually try cases. I would guess that the PD does, but in his case "senior litigator" is probably his governmental job title. No self-respecting trial lawyer that I know would call herself a "litigator."

We know that Lykos doesn't try cases because she calls herself a "litigator" and not despite that fact. That's all I'm trying to say.

jigmeister said...

Watch out guys. We'll be blowing into a breathalizer along with the metal detector, in order to get to the office!

jigmeister said...

If pat can count 20,000 cases that she presided over, does Kelly get to count all the pleas she has handled in 21 years? And don't forget JP court and all the fines she negotiated in 1989.

Murray Newman said...

Anon 2:25 pm,
I find your "sudden endorsement" of Lykos to be as amusing as it is disingenuous. See, there's this program called StatCounter, and although it doesn't tell me who you are, it does tell me when the same people post. Therefore, I know you are the same person who has written in numerous rants that were so bad I wouldn't print them in the past. I believe you ultimately ended up posting them on Ron's blog.
So, let me ask you this, Anon 2:25, after reading the top story on this blog, are you still proud of your candidate?

hcresident said...

Anon 2:25, what would you change? What experiences have you had with the victim witness divison? Have you ever attended POMC with the victim witness employees? Can you explain why victims and social workers are volunteering their time to work on the Siegler campaign? I guess you must have a waiting line of people begging to work for Lykos (at just above minimum wage). I would love to see her with the families of murder victims crying on their shoulders (even the ones who don't appreciate it). My guess is that all she would be thinking is "when can I get a cigarette?"

Anonymous said...

To Annonymous 2:25

The Victim Witness Division at the DA's office is awesome. Personally I have worked with them for over 19 years. They are the people who spend countless hours holding the hands of scared and frustrated victims and their families. I would like to see you look into the eyes of someone who has lost their child and tell them "I am sorry for you loss." Words
cannot describe that feeling. You, my ignorant friend, have NO idea what the victim witness coordinators go through on a daily basis. They recieve phone call after phone call from crying, frustrated victims and their families trying to seek justice. They are the "go betweens" with the prosecutors. They hold the victim's hands, escort them to court and explain the process. They are an essential part of the DA's office. You have ABSOLUTELY NO idea what you are saying. This is not a CREATION of Pat Lykos. This division was formed under Johnny Holmes and was the first one in the State of Texas. It has existed for YEARS!!! I cringe when I think about what will happen to the victims of Harris County under the reign of Pat Lykos or Bradford. I have watched trials in Pat's court. It was not a pleasent experience for the victims. As a advocate of victims' rights, I take GREAT offense to this posting. The Victim Witness Coordinators deserved to be revered, not treated like they do not exist.

News flash Pat...the wheel does exhist!!!

Episode Seven: The Voters Awaken - A One Act -Sci-Fi Play

SCENE:  The Death Star orbits over Downtown Houston. [INTERIOR] The Imperial Council Chambers. EMPRESS OGG sits at the head of a long table ...