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Showing posts from September, 2009

After Over a Month of Careful Consideration . . .

The long awaited "Move Memo" from the 6 th Floor at the D.A.'s Office finally arrived over the weekend. Now, keeping in mind that the Division Chief who retired (which caused the need for the Moves in the first place) has been gone for almost two months now, it boggles my mind that Lykos and the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight really needed all that time. But, the good news for prosecutors is that the Move Memo has now finally arrived. The bad news is that Lykos , Bridgwater and Jimmy apparently drafted it over a few too many Jack and Cokes at the TDCAA Seminar in Corpus. Here are some of the highlights comings from this brilliantly crafted document: 1. Marc Brown was promoted to Division Chief of Grand Jury . That's good news, because Marc had been quite an excellent Division Chief prior to the Lykos Administration. They had decided to demote him to a regular Chief because of political reasons when they took over. Good to see that they came to their se

Eyewitness I.D. Mystery

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Alright my fellow honorary members of the Bloodhound Gang , I've got a mystery for you. I need help reconciling an absolutely positive identification of somebody with the fact that I'm not sure that there was any logical way it could have actually been the person I thought I saw. Sound confusing? It is. First a little background. I'm in New York City for the weekend visiting my favorite Grammar Editor, and last night she made reservations for us at Sparks Steakhouse . Now, as much I love a good steak, my Editor also knows that I like all things about famous crime, and Sparks is the scene of the famous Organized Crime hit on Paul Castellano that John Gotti ordered back in 1985. Needless to say, I was already quite excited about the evening. We arrived at 8:30 p.m. and had a drink at the bar while waiting for our table. As we were talking to the bartender, a blond lady walked in, dressed in some sort of purple velvet suit. Her date was an eccentric looking man who was d

The Public Defender Debate Continues

The tabloid we all love to hate, the Houston Chronicle is again spreading their wisdom of how to best administrate the Harris County Criminal Justice System with today's editorial piece calling for a Public Defender's Office in Harris County. The article is co-authored by Cynthia Hujarr Orr, a defense attorney out of San Antonio who is the president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Norman Lefstein, who is a professor and dean emeritus at Indiana University School of Law. Now, as much as I just thoroughly enjoy people who don't practice criminal law in Harris County telling us how to run our business, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with their assessments. The idea of a Public Defender's Office has always appealed to critics of the Harris County Criminal Justice System, because those who don't understand the system seem to believe that a new bureaucratic agency with investigators and secretaries, etc. would put the Def

Memo of the Highest Importance

Prosecutors at the Harris County D.A.'s Office got a rare e-mail from the 6 th Floor last week. Given the Upper Administration's general reluctance to send out Office Policy via e-mail, it clearly had to be something of the utmost importance to warrant the All Prosecutors e-mail, right? What could it possibly be? The long awaited and long overdue memo regarding promotions and moves? Nah. An explanation about how the investigators could be potentially about to lose their TCLEOSE certification if the Office doesn't find the money to pay for their training by October? Nope. A schedule for whose turn it is to walk the Office Dog? Not even that. This e-mail was for those slacking Assistant D.A.s who haven't changed the standard boiler-plate language at the end of the each of their e-mails (regarding Work Product and Privacy, etc.) to reflect that the elected D.A. is now a "she" and not a "he". It's a controversial and hot topic issue, but

All Quiet on the Western Front

I'm spending the first part of this week in San Antonio for a Continuing Legal Education seminar, which is a real Barn-Burner, let me tell you. There's Wi - Fi which is allowing to spend countless hours browsing the Internet and checking my e-mails, which helps pass the time. Yesterday, I got an e-mail from my best friend in Austin remarking that things are awfully quiet on the blog during those down times where the Branch Davidians haven't screwed anything up lately, but I guess that's just the nature of the game. Hell, even Rage seems to be hibernating. But apparently the Lykos Administration has finally realized if they quit doing stupid crap then I wouldn't have much to write about. It's a solid plan, and one I don't mind at all. Maybe I'll write a book or something in my down time! The only thing of note really coming out of the 6 th Floor is actually a lack of action. The Division Chief of Grand Jury retired from the Office a couple o

Card for Steve Pena's Family

Jen Falk , the Two in the 183rd District Court, just posted a comment on the post on Esteban "Steve" Pena. In case you aren't a regular comment checker, I thought I would repost it. Jen will have a card today in the 183rd District Court, Judge Vanessa Velasquez, on the 18 th Floor for the family of Esteban Pena. Everyone is invited to drop by and sign it to express their condolences. Thanks Jen for taking the time out to set that up.

Esteban "Steve" Pena

Yesterday, I was set for trial in the 180 th District Court. I showed up right around eight o'clock to make sure I had everything ready and set up, even though I had been told by the prosecutor that my case wasn't the first in line to go to trial. As everyone who practices in the CJC knows, just because your case isn't the first one "up" for trial, you can easily find yourself in front of a jury panel at the blink of an eye. While I was killing time in the courtroom, waiting to find out whether or not my case was going to trial, I thumbed through the court's docket to see who else was set for trial that day. The defense attorney on the first case up was a man named Esteban "Steve" Pena. An attorney I would later realize that I knew in passing, but not by name. I did recognize his name yesterday, however. The reason I had known the name was because it had been posted on the Harris County Criminal Lawyer's Association website that Steve Pena

A Good Idea Implemented

Brace yourselves, folks. The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight did something right last week, and I'm acknowledging it. Starting last week, numerous Felony District Courts began getting pre -commit attorneys as Felony "Fours". For those of you not familiar with the terminology, a " Pre -Commit" is a soon-to-be lawyer who is just waiting on the results of his or her Bar Exam results before they can get sworn in and all officially lawyerlike . The District Attorney's Office hires them after a lengthy interview process and they begin conditional employment with a Bar Card (it's kind of like a Learner's Permit for lawyers. You can drive, but a licensed attorney has to be sitting with you). The condition is that the Pre -Commit has to pass the Bar Exam. In the past, Pre -Commits who were hired by the Office went directly to the Misdemeanor Courts where they filled the role of a Misdemeanor Three -- trying DWI cases with no accidents or breath te

Abuse versus Argument

For some reason, the comments on my last post made me think of my favorite Monty Python skit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL9oA1LFoMw

Good Morning

I hope everybody has a great day, today. Even you, Snooks.