Showing posts from August, 2008

Addendum to the Elevator People

In the past couple of weeks, I've come across two addendums to my Elevator People article that I did awhile back. Addendum # 1 - The "Chain of Consciousness Elevator Rider" - this is the guy who seems to consider himself to be the liason to all non-elevator riders across the world who have frequented a CJC elevator. He speaks his mind within the Nanosecond that the thought crosses it. Some examples: "Boy, this elevator is crowded." "Looks like we're going to be stopping on every floor." "There's no personal space around here!" "Huh. This elevator doesn't go all the way up to twelve." "Guess we'll be crossing over at 10!" Thanks man, but if we wanted commentary in our morning routine, we'd be TIVOing John Madden. Addendum # 2 - The "Play It Off" Guy - this is the guy that accidentally stepped onto the elevator that's going down when he needed to be going up. He plays it cool and does

Coming Soon

Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to start doing a profile on each of the contested criminal court races that are going to be on the November ballot. My idea is to start with the 174 th District Court race and then work all my way up through the 351st race, and finish off with the race for District Attorney (maybe by then, my constantly-changing opinion on that race will have stabilized). I will probably do a preliminary article about what I know about the candidates and then toss it to you guys for your comments. If you have something that you think ought to be included in the article itself, e-mail me off-blog and I'll take a look at it. In the meantime, have a good Sunday!

Trial Insomnia

I've never been a lawyer that suffered from much trial anxiety. I really enjoy being in trial, actually. I love voir dire. I like the feeling of getting stuff done with every witness I get on and off the stand -- every exhibit that makes it out of my trial notebook and into evidence. I live to do closing arguments. Trial isn't a traumatic experience for me. Except if something wakes me up in the middle of the night. Don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about not being able to go to sleep, or even waking up in the middle of the night due to trial stress. I'm just talking about something waking me up in the middle of the night -- the dog, the cell phone, the kiddo. Anything. Because, if I wake up, there's something about my brain that says "Oh! You're up! Time to start thinking about trial!" And once that happens, there's no going back to sleep. It's amazing how many small problems seem magnified in the middle of the night: "Did

Jolanda Jones to the Rescue

I was driving along the Westpark Tollroad this afternoon, when I noticed that there were numerous pylons along the raised exit that merges it into Highway 59. I figured there had probably been an accident over the weekend, but didn't give it much thought otherwise. Imagine my surprise this evening when I was watching Fox 26 and saw this story explaining what had happened there . A few days ago, I wrote that my friend, Jolanda was a conflict addict . At the time, I didn't realize that the Conflict Addiction included running into a burning car! A lot of us wonder what we would do if faced with a situation like the one Jolanda and her son were faced with over the weekend. I know we would all like to think we would have done the same thing. But, I guess until we have a burning car with someone trapped in it sitting right in front of us, we will never know how we would perform. I know that Jolanda gets a lot of flack for the things she says and the things she does, but on t

Stupid Elevator People

The following ten people are the ones that elevator riders at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center deal with everyday -- much to their chagrin: 10. The "Going Up?" Guy- this is the person who clearly never learned how to read the basic signs of up and down. There are two bulbs on the side of every elevator, dude. If the top one is lit up, that means the elevator is going up. If the bottom one is lit, it's going down. Please don't step on the elevator, hold the door open, and then poll the other occupants as to whether the elevator is going up or down. If you were dumb enough to get on the elevator without looking, just enjoy the ride (up or down). 9. The Klingon Solo Talker - I love technology, but I've yet to jump on the Bluetooth Device phenomenon. The Klingon Solo Talker is the guy (yes, Kevin Howard and Don Hecker , I'm talking about you) who has the futuristic device in his ear and proceeds to have a one sided conversation in the elevator that nobod

The Secret to Winning: AKA What the Hell is a Meme?

Mark Bennett wrote a post today about the Secret to Winning , which, according to his article is a riff off of a Gerry Spence blog that led to a Scott Greenfield blog that led to a so-on-and-so-on. At the end of his blog, Mark threw down the gauntlet or a "meme" (which I have no idea what that means) for me to list what my secret to winning is. He said he wants it from a prosecutor's perspective. Who said I was a prosecutor? Okay, that's getting harder and harder to ask with a straight face. For the record, I would never have been so presumptuous to list my "secret to winning" unless somebody asked. And I know, in advance of writing this, that I'm probably giving some folks more ammunition than the USS Eisenhower to fire against me. I don't have a secret. I have things that I do that I'm comfortable with that have led to some results that I'm very proud of. But a "secret"? I don't know about that. These are some generalized thi

Jolanda Jones' Run In with HPD

All the local news outlets are reporting on Houston City Councilwoman and Defense Attorney Jolanda Jones being under investigation for Interference with the Duties of a Public Servant . Now, Jolanda is a friend of mine, and I genuinely admire her strength and perseverance with all she's gone through to achieve what she has in life. She has an impressive background . An athlete. An Olympian. A person who put herself through law school. A single mother to a truly impressive son. But Jolanda is someone who, ever since I've known her, thrived on conflict. There's something to be said for never backing away from a fight. However, going and creating a fight where there isn't one, just for the sake of getting attention is another matter. Jolanda goes beyond being brave. She's more of a Conflict-Addict. I understand that to be in politics, there's usually no such thing as "bad publicity", and perhaps jumping in the middle of a standard arrest will play we

A Minor Sign of the CJC Apocalypse?

This morning at the CJC had the added entertainment of a stray dog hanging out in the lobby along with the backlogged defendants waiting to go through the metal detectors. The friendly brown dog actually cut in line a few people ahead of me, and happily made his way through the lobby. The Elite Wackenhutt S.W.A.T. and Security Team didn't seem all that bothered over the fact that Fido had shown up for an unexpected court appearance, and they certainly made no attempts to corral him. No word on what the dog was charged with.


Jose Medellin was just executed in Huntsville . I don't really want to turn this into a Chronicle- esque message board debate, but I'm very comfortable with dealing with the possibility of being mistreated in another country in exchange for this disgusting piece of crap finally getting what he deserved. I'm not as big of a death penalty enthusiast as many folks that I know, although I do strongly support it. However, the Ertman -Pena murders are exceptional in their brutality and sadness. Medellin needed to be executed, and the "international outrage" can be damned, in my opinion. And that's pretty much all I have to say about that topic.

A Law School-esque Question

In honor of the aspiring lawyers who took the Bar Exam last week (bless your hearts), I have the below interesting (if not very exciting) fact scenario that has come up for your analysis. Read the fact pattern and then select the correct answer. The names and specifics have been changed to amuse me. Lou runs a printing company. At the end of the week, he collects all the scrap paper and sells it to a recycler for a couple of hundred dollars. Bill and Curtis both work at Lou's company and neither are all of that great of employees. Bill ultimately gets fired, but Curtis does not. Bill needs some extra money, so he decides that he will begin stealing the recycle paper and selling it to a company for his own profit. To help him do this, he enlists Curtis (who is still an employee) to leave him a key to the printing company so that he (Bill) can sneak in during the night and steal the paper for recycling. Curtis leaves Bill a key under the back step. Bill breaks in, and promptl

Ted Wilson Retires

Bureau Chief Ted Wilson is retiring from the Harris County District Attorney's Office. The Chronicle did a nice job of writing up an article on his career in today's edition, but unless you've worked with/for Ted, I don't know that they can do him justice. On top of being an intellectual genius, who literally wrote the book on Search Warrants (and was always willing to patiently answer the hundreds of frantic calls from intake about them), Ted is a helluva a good trial lawyer. During my career at the Office, I watched him try three separate cases and in my opinion, Ted Wilson was the best male prosecutor that we had in the Office. Since they say that to mimic someone is the most sincere form of flattery, Ted should feel extremely flattered by me, because I stole his material at every chance I got. He was not the dynamic and bombastic prosecutor. He was the common sense lecturer who spoke in an authoritative voice that everyone could trust. My favorite line that I