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Showing posts from June, 2009

Trouble in Paradise?

Rumors began swirling yesterday afternoon across the Offices of the District Attorney regarding an alleged "fight" brewing on the 6th Floor. Although the rumors are not confirmed, apparently the departure of Special Crimes Bureau Chief Donna Goode has opened up a power struggle between First Assistant Jim Leitner and Bureau Chief Hannah Chow. My sources indicate that Chow has her eye on the First Assistant position and Jim is reacting none-too-happily over that. The move wouldn't surprise me. Every time I have seen Lykos in person since January 1st, she has had Chow at her side. The two are appear to be inseparable. Word on the street is that Leitner may be moving to the Special Crimes Bureau Chief position with Chow taking over his comfy office. We shall see. Of course, several of my friends in the Defense Bar put an over/under wager of 14 months as how long Leitner would last as First Assistant before either getting fired by the temperamental Lykos or getting so si

Bad Boys Breaking Bad

In the wake of Pat Lykos' election, Harris County prosecutors were nervously waiting to see how the Office would be structured on January 1st, 2009. Obviously the first thought on most people's minds was whether or not their job was safe. The next thought was curiosity over who she would be bringing in as her upper-administration. Jim Leitner was obviously going to be the First Assistant. Although he had lost the trust and respect of many of the ADAs when he endorsed Lykos (after he and Clint Greenwood had sworn up and down that would never happen), there was actually a little relief to hear that Jim would be in the Upper Admin. The thought being that he would provide some calm advice and stability during those moments where Lykos was letting her infamous temper flare up. When Roger Bridgwater lost the election for the 178th bench, and was named as part of Team Lykos, I was glad to hear it. I had always liked Roger as a defense attorney and had been very happy for him when he

Strange Moments on Facebook

I was just checking out my Facebook page (which if you know me at all, you know I'm addicted to damn Facebook ) and Pat Lykos popped up as a "Friend Suggestion". Now, I'm not sure what I find more amusing - the fact that Pat Lykos has a Facebook page or the fact that someone thought she and I would be good Facebook friends. Either way, I'm very disappointed that Facebook clearly doesn't know me at all.

Help Needed

The following information was brought to my attention by my good friend (and Defense Czar of Provocation) Robert Fickman regarding the family of an Assistant District Attorney who needs some help from our CJC family. Robb writes: Josh Reiss is a young Assistant District Attorney. He is married and has two small children. Sadly his wife Ahn has a blood disease (MDS) which will require a stem cell transplant in order to save her life. A blood drive in search of a suitable donor is ongoing. The drive will be at the Courthouse, (on the 2nd floor) on Friday the 26, from 11 until 2pm. Members of the DA's office, court staff and defense lawyers will all giving blood to try to find a suitable donor. Please come by. You may save a life. This young lawyer and his family need all of us to kick in and do what we can. The odds are greater that a suitable match will be found in the Vietnamese-American or the Asian-American Community. So if you know anyone from the community please

Lykos and the Legislative Update

With the closing of this year's Legislative Session, it is now time for Judges, Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys across the State of Texas to begin familiarizing themselves with the newest laws that are coming into effect on September 1st. The Texas District and County Attorney's Association (TDCAA, for short) which is an organization of all the prosecutors across the State of Texas has typically spearheaded the teaching of the new laws as their upper administration travels from venue to venue across the State, holding day-long seminars that cover everything you need to know. In the past, every two years, there will be a seminar that joins together Judges, Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys. TDCAA, especially Staff Attorney Shannon Edmonds, does a thorough and entertaining job of presenting all the new criminal laws. Obviously, in years past, the Harris County District Attorney's Office has comprised a very large portion of the attendees there. Prior to Pat Lykos'

The Unholy Alliance

One of the questions that I get quite frequently from people who read this blog is "why doesn't the media ever report the bad stuff about Pat Lykos?" During her five and a half months in power, Lykos has had the luxury of being treated like someone who can do "no wrong" by the Houston media, most specifically the Houston Chronicle. It would be extremely difficult for anyone to argue that Patsy is anything other than our local paper's, um, Golden Girl. The Chronicle has continued in the tradition that Alan Bernstein started during the campaign of either ignoring, or giving exceptionally light treatment to Lykos screw ups. Ask yourself how you think Jeff Cohen's paper would have reacted if Chuck Rosenthal, or even Johnny Holmes had done the following: -announced a policy of keeping "whale cases" and forcing them to go to trial; -announced that no probation would be given to non-citizens of the United States; -has a beyond shameful

Lisa Falkenberg's Excellent Column

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Bet you never thought I would write a post with that title, did ya? But, I gotta say that I loved Lisa Falkenberg's column today on Pat Lykos' new poorly-thought-out plan for Pre-Trial Diversions for first time DWI offenders. From start to finish, the whole article kept me laughing, and that laughing was mostly at Lykos' expense. Now, I would imagine that Lisa probably went over to interview Lykos and her stand-in "Yes Man" Roger Bridgwater with the best of intentions as a way of illustrating how wonderful the new plan would be. But even the liberally slanted columnist for the very pro-Lykos Chronicle was forced to point out that the "program is far from thoroughly thought-out" and "a new district attorney launching a controversial program should probably be a little more prepared before going public." Ya think? I love Lykos' explanation that the reason the details hadn't been ironed out yet was "because news [of the plan] b

A Side Effect of Lykos' DWI Announcement

Defense Attorneys at the CJC who approached prosecutors asking for their pre -trial diversions for first time DWI cases were told by Harris County Prosecutors that no such animal exists quite yet. The official word coming from prosecutors is that it is a plan that is still being worked out and will take a while. The word on the street is that nothing will be ironed out before August of this year. So, I know that Lykos needed her daily affirmation of love from the Press and that's why she made her announcement before actually thinking out how the plan would work, but let's now examine the consequences of her premature announcement. Say you are a defense attorney who is representing a client charged with Driving While Intoxicated for the first time. Wouldn't you pretty much be committing malpractice to plead that client out right now, if you know that the D.A.'s Office is going to be offering the Pre -Trial Diversions in a few months? My prediction is that first