Showing posts from September, 2011

New Post on the Chronicle Blog

I did a new post on the Chronicle blog about my thoughts on what should and shouldn't be said to a jury in the aftermath of a verdict. You can read it by clicking here .

The Brian Wice Editorial

In any jury trial, after the jury has returned its verdict, the jurors are told that they can speak with the attorneys on the case if they so choose.  My personal policy has always been that I will stay and talk to any jury that wants to talk to me, regardless of whether or not they ruled in my favor.  I believe that if the jurors devoted their time to listening to me talk for hours, days or weeks, the least I can do is listen to them for a bit. Some jurors want to know what will happen to the defendant after the trial is over.  Some will be looking for affirmation that they arrived at the right decision.  Some will want to know what "the rest of the story" was.  I always try to answer their questions to the best of my ability.  Jurors get emotionally and intellectually invested in the trials they sit on, and I think they deserve to have their questions answered. As most of you know, last week local hand surgeon Michael Brown was acquitted of Felony Assault against his w

David Hilburn runs for Brazos County District Attorney

Last week, longtime Brazos County District Attorney (and a guy I think the absolute world of) Bill Turner announced that he wasn't going to be seeking re-election in 2012.  (NOTE:  I'll do another piece on Bill as we get closer to his retirement.) This becomes relevant to Harris County prosecutors as former-Harris County Prosecutor, former-Brazos County Prosecutor, defense attorney, and all-around good-guy, David Hilburn has announced that he is running for the position. For those of you who are too young with the Office to remember, Dave was an immensely popular and highly regarded prosecutor while in both Harris County and Brazos County.  Dave still has a lot of friends in Harris County, so I'll keep you posted as the election season progresses.   He would make a great District Attorney.

Guess the Feet

Okay, we haven't had a poll on the blog in awhile, so I decided to run a contest. Look at the photo below and ask yourself which attorney (defense or prosecutor) was sporting some serious holy socks to court today.

The Perils of Blogging

Tonight was Felony Chief Prosecutor Jon Stephenson's going away party.  Although Jon wasn't a headline-grabbing prosecutor, he was highly respected amongst his peers and the defense bar as a fair, honorable and reasonable man who truly embodied the meaning of a Public Servant. The reason I entitled this blog "The Perils of Blogging" is that there were so many former prosecutors who turned out for Jon's party that had left the D.A.'s Office in recent months and I failed to write something on this blog commemorating and commending the work they did on behalf of Harris County.  Faces in the crowd that I saw were Kate Skagerburg, Leah Shapiro, and Brad Loper, to name a few.  Scott Pope and Bill Hawkins were unable to attend, but I remembered that I failed to give them a salute on their departure as well. Quite frankly, the reason I was remiss in doing an "office obituary" for those former prosecutors (and I'm sure several others that I'm forg

HCCLA Memorial Service

Please join members of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association today as we honor the memories of some of Harris County's defense bar.  As readers of this blog know, many of our defense brethren have passed away this year, and they will be honored with their names on plaques in the 7th Floor Attorney Meeting Room of the CJC today at 11:00 a.m. Come and pay your respects and share your war stories as we pay tribute to the men and women who have given Harris County such a colorful and impressive legal history.

Rayford Carter

I was very sad to hear this morning that legendary defense attorney Rayford Carter passed away.  He had been very ill for quite some time. When I describe Rayford as "legendary," I think that very few people around the Harris County Criminal Justice Center would disagree with me.  Almost every prosecutor, defense attorney or judge in the building has at least one "Rayford story" that they can tell.  Hell, I can think of at least ten of them off the top of my head.  It is worth pointing out that whenever one tells a Rayford story, it is pretty much mandatory that the storyteller do his or her best to mimic Rayford's gravelly voice. To be clear, Rayford stories are not ones told at Rayford's expense.  They usually involve something incredibly funny or crude that he had the guts to say out loud.  One of the cleaner ones I posted here a while back. At a height of at least six foot six and with a full head of white hair, Rayford was one of those people tha

And Don't Let the Door . . . Nevermind

Today marks the final column from the Houston Chronicle' s Rick Casey.  I haven't been so saddened since alleged journalist Alan Bernstein jumped ship for the Sheriff's Office. Oddly enough, I remember reading Casey's first column many years ago, where he introduced himself to the community.  Long before there was the Rosenthal scandal and the election battle of 2008, I remember thinking that the new-to-town columnist seemed to think very highly of his own wisdom and intellect. Don't get me wrong, he wrote many columns over the years that I did like.  On occasion, I would even send an e-mail in complimenting the articles.  There has even been a time or two on this blog that I've agreed with him publicly. But Casey has also had his bumps and blunders over the years, as he has spoken with such authority about facts that he didn't have a complete grasp on.  My favorite question remains how a 24-year veteran of a Metro beat apparently went to almost the en

Another Random Question

Okay, I've really enjoyed reading what you guys have read the most times over, so I'm following it up with another question. What are you reading now? I've got a couple of books I'm in the middle of including Daniel Silva, Tom Clancy and (fine, I'll admit it) Charlaine Harris, but mainly I'm focusing on George R.R. Martin's A Clash of Kings, which is the follow up to Game of Thrones . Don't worry, I'll get back to criminal law and CJC stuff as soon as I can think of something worth writing about.

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (9/1/11)

Regular viewers will be devastated to know that I will not be co-hosting tonight's Reasonable Doubt  with Todd Dupont, as I will be replaced by t he Usurper Franklin Bynum for the evening.  I suppose, if you really and truly STILL want to watch the show, it will be on with a great guest -- Bob Wicoff. As always, you can tune in by clicking here for live streaming video at 8 p.m. tonight.