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Showing posts from December, 2009

Lykos 2009: A Year in Review

As a kid, I always enjoyed reading Dave Barry's Year-in-Review every December, so in the spirit of Dave, here is a review of our first year with Snookems and the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight . . . JANUARY January 1 -- a beaming and freshly polydented Pat Lykos is sworn in as District Attorney while hundreds of Assistant D.A.'s are forced to attend the ceremony at gunpoint. During the ceremony, she criticizes the minister who swears her in for mispronouncing her name. Noting that Lykos is pronounced "Like us", it will be the only time that anyone says anything about "liking" the new administration. After the ceremony, there are numerous reports of Lykos shaking down prosecutors for cigarettes. January 7 -- in an effort to promote a lack of familiarity with cases, Jim Leitner detaches his lips from Lykos' posterior long enough to announce a new policy against prosecutors holding onto cases that they've worked on if they switch courts.

Black Ink's Take on the CCL 13 Race

It's worth reading. Check it out here.

Petition Signing for Don Smyth

For those of you who are interested, there will be a petition signing get together for Don Smyth tomorrow (December 29th) from 4 - 6 pm at Cielo's Mexican Restaurant located at the intersection of Main and Congress. The deadline for signature collection is January 4th so all help will be greatly appreciated.

Don Smyth runs for County Court at Law # 13

As mentioned in the comments section of my last post, there was a lot of excitement generated on Wednesday by the announcement of Division Chief Don Smyth's candidacy for Judge of County Court at Law # 13. Don is currently the Division Chief of Division A in the Trial Bureau of the District Attorney's Office, and he has been a prosecutor with the Office for over 32 years. He has held pretty much every position that the Office has to offer, from Misdemeanor Three all the way to Bureau Chief. He was the former Division Chief of the Civil Rights Division, before becoming the Bureau Chief of the Governmental Affairs Bureau (which encompassed the Civil Rights and Public Integrity Divisions). He served as a Bureau Chief for 8 years. During his tenure as an Assistant District Attorney, he also served as the Division Chief of the Misdemeanor Division. Don is a graduate of the University of Texas Law School, and also got his undergraduate degree from UT, as well. He has been married

The 2009 Twelve Days of Lykos

On the First Day of Lykos, Snookems gave to me One D.A. endorsed Brady Violation. On the Second Day of Lykos, Snookems gave to me Two Stellar employees crucified in the Chronicle. On the Third Day of Lykos, Snookems gave to me, Three Washed Up judges demanding to be called "Judge". On the Fourth Day of Lykos, Snookems gave to me, Four people who actually care that Snooks testified before Congress. On the Fifith Day of Lykos, Snookems gave to me, Five DIVERT and Trace Case flip-flops. On the Sixth Day of Lykos, Snookems gave to me, Six weekly resignations from career prosecutors. On the Seventh Day of Lykos, Snookems gave to me, Seven Leitner bobbleheads, nodding to the Judges. On the Eighth Day of Lykos, Snookems gave to me, Eight unfilled spots in the Trial Bureau. On the Ninth Day of Lykos, Snookems gave to me, Nine friends of Bridgwater and Chow hired to fill positions. On the Tenth Day of Lykos, Snookems gave to me, Ten Golden parachutes for 10 Repu

The 2009 Rookie of the Year

Congratulations to Judge Shawna Reagin of the 176 th District Court who won the 2009 Rookie of the Year at the CJC by a very large margin. For those of us who practice regularly in her court, that comes as no real surprise. Judge Reagin has done a great job of combining intelligence, fairness and compassion to prove herself as an excellent judge in her first year. She is backed up by a great court staff that make a visit to her court both a professional and pleasant experience. Congrats Judge!

Christmas Dress Code

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I realize that it is Christmas time and everyone is in a more relaxed mood around the courthouse. However, I think it is very important that we don't let the court room attire dress code to lapse to such total fashion faux pas -- And yes, Brian, I know your glasses cost like $50, but couldn't either of you afforded a real tie?

Holiday Classics

Last year I got canned (for the second time) for running the 12 Days of Lykos (that YOU GUYS wrote, I might add!). Looking back on the list now, it seems so absolutely non-abrasive compared to what Snookems and the Gang actually did during their first year in Office, doesn't it? So, without further ado, I'm re-running the 2008 Days of Lykos . I'm also taking suggestions for the 2009 Days of Lykos . Y'all remember how to play this game right?? Oh, and by the way, I will be ceremoniously firing myself again Christmas Eve so that Ken Magidson doesn't have to do it this year. Merry Christmas everybody! The 12 Days of Lykos - 2008 Edition On the 12 th Day of Lykos , Snookems gave to me 12 jurors chosen without a preemptive strike; 11 free "crooked cop passes" from Mr. Police Integrity himself; 10 internal memos regarding unprofessionalism of reading toxic, antiregime blogs; 9 new ashtrays for the 6 th floor smoking lounge; 8 days of Lykos Hell

Petition Signings

Channel 13's Miya Shay is reporting tonight from the trial of Judge Don Jackson that controversy has arisen over the signing of a political petition. The gist of the story is this -- Don Jackson was the judge of County Court at Law # 3 of Harris County, Texas. In the race, there is a Republican challenger named Cary Hart (who would be a freaking excellent judge, by the way, but there will be more on that later). As part of her preliminary steps towards running for judge, she asked friends and other supporters to sign a petition that allowed her to run without paying a massive filing fee. It's THE common practice for all candidates who run for office. It is common for there to be big political party events (both Republican and Democrat) where party faithful can sign petitions for all the candidates. I signed Cary's petition gladly. So did plenty of other defense attorneys who know and support Cary. So did plenty of prosecutors who know and support Cary. One of those

The Race for County Court at Law # 13

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With Denise Bradley's departure from the Republican Primary for County Court at Law #13, controversial Assistant District Attorney Rachel Palmer now sits alone as the only candidate in the Republican Primary. The fact that this is happening is not sitting well with a lot of readers of this blog, including the poster known as Black Ink, who has posted his own commentary on his blog known as Stealth. As I've said before, Rachel has never done anything to me personally, but I do have my concerns about her. One of which is her description of herself as the "Deputy Chief of the District Attorney's Office". This seems to imply that 1) there is a singular "Chief" of the D.A.'s Office [there isn't]; and 2) therefore there is a singular "Deputy Chief" which is her [there isn't and she certainly isn't]. Rachel is a Felony Two who is on the cusp of being promoted to a District Court Chief. She is the Deputy Chief of the Misdemeanor

Rumors Are Flying

In case you hadn't noticed, I've refrained from doing any posts on the upcoming Judicial Elections of 2010 so far. The reason for that is that the races aren't closed until the first part of January and who knows what could happen in the next two to three weeks? A clear example of how things can change in a heartbeat happened today when the Assistant District Attorney Denise Bradley (formerly Nasser) announced that she was moving from the race for County Court at Law # 3 to run for the bench of the 262nd District Court. Accompanying the notice was the announcement that Judge Mike Anderson who is the current judge of the 262nd was not going to run again in 2010. And rumors started going crazy at that point. People are posting comments on my other posts speculating that Judge Anderson will be beginning an early campaign for District Attorney. My answer to that? I have no freaking clue. I'm sure that me stating that I have no clue will do absolutely nothing to st

The Veterans' Court

Due to the hard work of some very dedicated Defense Attorneys and Public Servants in the Texas Legislature and the CJC, this past week Harris County proudly held the first docket of its newly established Veterans' Court. The Veterans' Court was the product of bipartisan work from the State Legislature, most notably Senator Rodney Ellis and Representative Alan Vaught. Representative Vaught is the Vice Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and my understanding is that his staffer, Jo Cuevas, was instrumental in keeping the bill from dying along the way. Also along the way, the project was assisted by Defense Attorneys Pat McCann and Jack and Terri Zimmerman. According to Pat, the Harris County District Attorney's Office was also instrumental in helping to redraft the bill into a workable form. To use Pat's quote, the effort to get the creation of the Veterans' Court, literally "took a village." Also instrumental in the administration of the V

The Final Four

Congratulations to the Final Four Finalists for the CJC Rookie of the Year -- Judge Shawna Reagin , Judge Kevin Fine, Judge Herb Ritchie, and D.A. Pat Lykos . Commence to voting for the winner, folks. Polls close next Sunday at 8:00 p.m.

Now THAT'S What I Call Decisiveness

Ya know, I try to work on our relationship, Snooks, but I can't do it all by myself. Just after I supported your move to stop filing crack pipe residue cases YESTERDAY, you've turned around and changed your mind about it today . Looks like you are going to be rethinking things at HPD's urging. Now, I'm all for Lykos and the Gang making some attempts to start thinking , but damn, I was really getting behind her new policy before she hauled off and changed it. I love that Lykos is so adored by the Houston Chronicle that she has no qualms about announcing a policy in the Wednesday edition and then turning around and reversing her position the next. By the way, Pat, that doesn't make you look inept, clueless at your job, unprofessional or anything. Really. I promise. But once again, I wanted it noted for the record that I tried to support you on an issue, but you wouldn't work with me. I just don't know if our relationship is going to make it.

The New Crack Pipe Policy

Pat Lykos has gotten herself back in the news today with the announcement of her new policy of the Office no longer filing crack pipe "residue" cases . As the Chronicle article points out, the move is being met with polar opposite reviews from police officers and defense attorneys. For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, a crack pipe residue case is typically called a "trace case" by most criminal lawyers. The typical scenario is that a person is arrested for a Class C offense (in the poorer neighborhoods, that's usually a jaywalking, walking in the street where a sidewalk is provided, or a bicycling without a headlight). Once a patrol officer arrests the Class C scofflaw, the "search incident to arrest" will often times recover a crack pipe with no crack rock in it. However, a quick test with a field kit will show that the pipe tests positive for cocaine residue and voila , we have felony charges. The reality of the situation is that the crack

Rookie of the Year

As we begin wrapping up 2009, I thought it might be fun for y'all to get to pick the Rookie of the Year from our new elected candidates. There were eight new District Court Judges and one new District Attorney, so the question for deciding who the Rookie of the Year is for 2009 is who do you think has done the best job in their new position. Because of the way the Blogger Dashboard runs, I can only put a maximum of five candidates on an opinion poll, so it looks like we're going to go to the playoff system again. The top two vote-getters in each individual poll will be placed in the final poll. As a side note, although I'm not including him on the poll, I think some major credit needs to be thrown to District Clerk Loren Jackson for the major technological advancements he's made with his Office. He has quietly done some very impressive things and word on the street is that we ain't seen nothing yet from him. So, that being said, commence to voting!