Showing posts from November, 2011

Merry Christmas

What's so "Republican" About Pat Lykos, Anyway?

I've been running this blog for about three and a half years now.  According to my Stat Counter, this will be my 788th post.  I've received 10,482 comments.  I've gotten 1,143,398 "hits."  Other than a brief dalliance with something called "Ad Sense" in my second year, I've never taken a dime for what I write. I've gotten used to the trends and the writings of commenters.  I know what posts will have prosecutors bashing me.  I know which ones will have the defense bashing me.  I know that I can write a post on liking puppies and Rage will find a way to get into a fight with someone over it.  I can usually make a pretty good guess on who the anonymous authors of substantive comments are. I know my blog and I understand it for better or for worse. But the one thing that I have never understood is the fascination the Republican Party has with Pat Lykos, and why they seem to consider her such a Republican Juggernaut for the 2012 election. In

No Confidence in Pat Lykos

Channel 13 is reporting today that five police unions have held a press conference denouncing Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos .  Although the article does not specify all of the police unions, it is clear that the City of Houston Police Department's union and the Harris County Deputies Organization are two of them. The article points out that five Unions denouncing the elected-District Attorney is unprecedented and serves as a testament to just how bad things have become under Lykos' brief tenure.  Although their aggravation with Lykos' policy of not filing crack pipe cases will certainly be up for debate, the fact that they describe the relationship between Lykos and law enforcement as "antagonistic" is huge. As the District Attorney, it is absolutely critical that there be a good working relationship between the D.A.'s Office and the law enforcement agencies that file cases in the Harris County Jurisdiction.  This press conference has tremendou

Lykos on Immigration

I had to swing by D.A. Intake briefly this morning and found this sign in the front window. Man, nobody is going to accuse Pat Lykos of not taking immigration seriously if she doesn't even let the non-citizens sit down.

New Reasonable Doubt Commercial

Regular viewers of Reasonable Doubt may have noticed that over the past few weeks, our host, Todd Dupont has been letting his beard grow. And grow.  And grow. Based on his new appearance, we decided to shoot a new promotional commercial for the show that you can catch here.

Reasonable Doubt (11/17/11)

Join me and Todd Dupont for Reasonable Doubt tomorrow night (Thursday, November 17th) at 8 p.m. Our guest will be defense attorney and Grand Juror (no, not a 185th Grand Juror) Carmen Roe, who will talk to us about the basic mechanics of how Grand Juries work and what it is like to serve. As always, you can tune in and watch it live streaming by clicking here .

Feast Of Fashion

This Friday, November 18th from 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., attorney Julie Jones and friends are once again hosting the annual Feast of Fashion , which raises money to send children with cancer to summer camp. For every $500 raised for this wonderful cause, a child gets sent to camp.  It is an event that is made all the more entertaining by the participation of judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. The luncheon is held at the Magnolia Hotel in Downtown Houston and tickets are $50 a piece, or $500 for a table of ten.  Even if you can't make it, please consider donating.  The contact numbers for where to get tickets are on the link above. Thank you to Julie and all who donate so much time and money to such a wonderful event.

Tru TV's In Session

Not to go all Womble on everyone, but I did want to post that I'm very excited to be appearing on Tru TV's In Session today and on Monday to talk about the Susan Wright re-trial. On Friday, I'm scheduled to be on between 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. (CST) and on Monday, I think the schedule is 8 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Today's topic:  Why couldn't the Harris County District Attorney's Office have found someone better looking than John Jordan to replace me as second chair in the re-trial?

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (11/10/11)

Although tonight's Reasonable Doubt will not be nearly as good as it usually is because Franklin Bynum is subbing in for me while I'm out of town, I highly recommend you tune to catch Todd Dupoint, Franklin, and guest Dane Johnson.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that they might  talk about the B.A.T. Van controversy. As usual, you can tune in to watch it live streaming by clicking here . And, I'm just kidding about it not being as good because Franklin is co-hosting. Kind of.

A Significant Ruling

Ted Oberg at Channel 13 did a report tonight on County Court at Law # 1 Judge Paula Goodhart granting a Writ filed Defense Attorney Brent Mayr in a B.A.T. Van case. The long story short is that Brent took a case to trial earlier this year where his client was charged with D.W.I. and the results of an intoxilyzer from a B.A.T. Van were used in the trial.  The client was convicted and Brent filed this Writ on the grounds that the Harris County District Attorney's Office failed to turn over exculpatory evidence to him regarding the reliability of the vans.  In essence, the allegations of the Writ were Prosecutorial Misconduct that resulted in his client not receiving a fair trial. Judge Goodhart granting the Writ is tremendously significant, because that means that she felt the facts of the case supported what Brent said in his Writ -- the Harris County District Attorney's Office withheld exculpatory evidence.  Regardless of what happens with the 185th Grand Jury, we now have

Mark Bennett & The Time Lines

If you aren't a regular reader of Mark Bennett's Defending People  because it isn't quite as wildly entertaining as mine is, you should be.  Both he and Paul Kennedy have been doing an excellent job of trying to keep up with the debacle with the 185th Grand Jury. Yesterday, apparently, Pat Lykos posted on her website her own time line about the B.A.T. van scandal, and in typical Lykosian fashion, left out the parts detrimental to her and, according to Mark, flat out lied in other places. You definitely should check it out by clicking here .

A Hypothetical Situation for the Conspiracy Theorists

As the investigation into the Harris County District Attorney's Office continues to heat up, Lykos supporters are starting to grumble about the timing of the "Runaway Grand Jury" and they are trying to connect the dots between the Grand Jury and rumors of Republican challengers for D.A.  To catch a summary of what they are saying, you can check out Mark Bennett's blog post here  or listen to what Gary Polland is saying in the hallways. Let me give you a real-quick hypothetical, here: Let's say you are a high-profile defense attorney well known for your aggressive representation of your clients. Let's say that the District Attorney's Office has been making some very loud noise about indicting a client who has retained you in advance.  She's heard the rumblings and (like any other law abiding citizen) would really prefer not to get indicted. Along the way, as a high-profile and intelligent defense attorney, you have heard that the District Attorn

Next Prediction

Okay, so for my last prediction, I guessed that the contempt hearings for two prosecutors and two court reporters would be delayed with a Motion to Recuse. I was right about that. I also predicted that this morning's proceedings would be interesting. I was kind of wrong about that.  They were actually pretty dull and filled with bench conferences that most of the audience could not hear. So, here is what I was able to gather from the morning events.  It was a very packed courtroom with members of the media, the defense bar, and the prosecution occupying every available seat.  Jim Leitner and John Barnhill were there.  Pat Lykos was not.  Special Prosecutors Jim Mount and Stephen St. Martin were present, but not directly involved in the bench conferences. Randy and Josh Shaffer were there on behalf of Steve Morris.  Bill Hawkins was there for Carl Hobbs.  Brad Beers was there for both court reporters.  Hawkins, Beers, and the Shaffers conferenced with Judge Brown for lengt

Now Trying Live Tweeting

Just an experiment in the sidebar. Going to keep my live tweets updating. We shall see how it goes.

My Prediction for Monday: Delay of Game

Mark Bennett e-mailed me yesterday asking me if the reason I hadn't written anything in a couple of days about the 185th Grand Jury was because I was representing somebody involved. I told him that I wasn't (and I won't because that would preclude me from writing any more about it), but that there wasn't any news to publish that I was aware of.  The 185th Grand Jury (I believe) meets on Mondays and Thursdays.  There were rumors afloat yesterday that many of Pat Lykos' "leadership team" had been subpoenaed, but I have no confirmation of that. Right now, I'm pretty much just waiting to see what happens on Monday in the 185th District Court with the Show Cause hearings.  My prediction on what is going to happen is nothing. Although I've never been held in contempt (believe it or not) and I've never represented a fellow lawyer who was, I spoke with Todd Dupont who has handled contempt matters. NOTE:  Todd was NOT held in contempt (believe it

Off Topic: New Lunch Spot in Downtown

Just a quick lunch recommendation for those of you tired of eating at the same five places around the Courthouse, there is a new place to eat Downtown. It is called the Capitol and it is part of the St. Germain, located in the same building as Flying Saucer.  The food is good, with a lot of different sandwiches and burgers on the lunch menu.  It is slightly higher in price than some of the regular places.  Probably around the same price as Mia Bella. I highly recommend it.

Reasonable Doubt Returns

New episodes of Reasonable Doubt return tonight after a several-week hiatus (due to City Council debates). So join me and Todd Dupont and our guest, former prosecutor and future Assistant Public Defender Scott Pope, as we talk about the current state of affairs at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center. Trust me.  We've got A LOT to talk about. You can tune in to watch it live streaming at 8 p.m. by clicking here .

An Eye for the Arts

A reader forwarded me this link to an artist who apparently painted a portrait of District Attorney Pat Lykos. I was very impressed with the artist and decided to have him paint my portrait too.

An Interesting Docket Entry

Anyone who wants to take a look at the 185th District Court's docket for Monday morning, November 7th might be surprised to see some familiar names on the list.  Most notably, The State of Texas vs. Carl Hobbs  and The State of Texas vs. Steve Morris  for Ex Parte Proceedings known as "Show Cause" Hearings.  Additionally, there are two Grand Jury court reporters also on the docket for the same reason. What "Show Cause" hearings typically deal with are people (lawyers or otherwise) who have been or are possibly about to be held in Contempt of Court. If you will remember, Steve Morris (the Harris County District Attorney's Office Bureau Chief for the Governmental Integrity Bureau), and Carl Hobbs (the DA's Office Division Chief over Grand Jury) were two of the three prosecutors who were kicked out of the 185th's Grand Jury two weeks ago under threat of arrest . What exactly they are being called to the 185th on Monday for is something that I'

Caught in the Middle

Out of the entire debacle going on over at the Harris County District Attorney's Office with the Grand Jury, the people that most folks are concerned for are the Baby Prosecutors who were having to handle B.A.T. van cases.  Relatively brand new to their jobs, they were put in positions to try cases where they, themselves, might not have even been informed about the swirling controversy surrounding the vans. Yet, in the District Attorney's Office, the youngest of the prosecutors are the ones who would be trying the vast majority of those cases.  The vast majority of them have probably been out of law school for under two years. Their direct supervisors run from Deputy Division Chief Rachel Palmer to Misdemeanor Division Chief John Jordan to Professional Development, Community Protection & Ethics Bureau Chief Roger Bridgwater to First Assistant Jim Leitner to Pat Lykos.  They've been doing this a lot longer than the Baby Prosecutors, and they have the D.A.'s Offic