Showing posts from 2012

The Swearing In Ceremony

By now, there should only be four lucky prosecutors working at intake from five o'clock to midnight.  The rest have officially had their last minutes on the clock under the Lykos Administration.  At exactly midnight, Mike Anderson will be at Intake to be sworn in as the District Attorney of Harris County, Texas. It has been a long time coming. The ceremonial swearing in will be tomorrow, January 1st at 10:30 a.m. at the South Texas College of Law, Joe Green Auditorium at 1303 San Jacinto, Houston, Texas 77002, and it will be followed by the swearing in of all the Assistant District Attorneys. I'm going to try to swing by if I wake up in time.  If I don't I'll be there in spirit. Congratulations and thank you to Mike Anderson for running and winning the job of elected District Attorney. To those of you who survived the past four years, you have my respect and my admiration for persevering. Have a great day tomorrow!

Lykos 2012: The Final Chapter?

NOTE:  When last we left our heroes of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office at the end of 2011, Darth Lykos was still battling with the rebellious 185 th Grand Jury.  To clarify, this was the 1 st Grand Jury that was investigating Lykos.  Not the second one.  That was about time sheets.  Not the 3 rd one, either.  That one is about them investigating the 1 st one.  Oh never mind.  Just read on. JANUARY January 1 – As the new year begins, Lykos and the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight hope that a recent change in the laws will cause the 185 th Grand Jury to have their session mandatorily terminated, thus ending their pending investigation into the District Attorney’s Office.  When confronted that a lack of Grand Juries might also allow Capital Murderers to be released on bond, Lykos paraphrases the old adage that it is better for a thousand guilty men to go free than for one Pat Lykos to go to jail. January 6- Angry Republican political activist, Gary Po

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas to all my friends out there who are up and about on the Internet today. I hope that this message finds you all long after you've already had a fantastic Christmas with your families. In light of the tragedy yesterday involving Bellaire PD Corporal Jimmie Norman and civilian Terry Taylor -- as well as so many other heartbreaking things that have happened in the past month -- please don't fail to appreciate how blessed you are to be sitting down with all  of your family.  Whether your religious views run deep or shallow, Christmas time is a time for family. Hug yours and let them know how much you love them. Have a very Merry Christmas!

2012 Holiday Dress Code Violations

I think I skipped this award last year, but as you will see below, some things inspire me to remember. This year's Holiday Dress Code violations go to both a prosecutor and a defense attorney who were found in the 263rd District Court today. Pete Justin's attire is impressive, with his canvass lanyard creating the appearance that he is wearing a washboard under his blazer.   This is Pete's second win.  However, it pales in comparison to Stephen Driver's light green shirt and Grinch tie.  If you look closely, Stephen also has his button down collar unbuttoned to compensate for one missing button. Former dress code violation winner Brian Coyne was also in court today, as well.  However, he seems to have defeated his fashion problems with the help of Lafayette's Big and Small Suit Barn. To be fair, I wasn't exactly ready for the cover of GQ today, either.  However, my green pants, blue striped shirt, red tie, and sports jacket with a missing b

The Division Chiefs

The Incoming Anderson Administration made its decisions on Division Chiefs today.  There were several promotions of Felony District Court Chiefs to Division Chief, and many were lateral transfers to different divisions.  It is definitely a shake-up of how things have been previously done. There are a couple of new Divisions added to the Trial Bureau (5 rather than the previous 3), and I believe the Major Narcotics spot is new, as well. This is what I've heard so far: Felony Trial Division Chiefs (A,B,C,D & E) Natalie Tise (promotion) Marie Primm (promotion) Lance Long Craig Goodhart Kari Allen (promotion) Special Crimes Major Offenders Division Chief Tammy Thomas (promotion) Special Crimes Major Narcotics Marcy McCorvey (promotion) Grand Jury Division Chief John Brewer (promotion) Family Criminal Law Division Chief Lisa Porter (promotion) Child Abuse Division Chief Sunni Mitchell Major Fraud Division Chief Lynne Parsons Intake Division Chief Bill

Another Friend in Need -- Eileen Bogar

Unfortunately, our friend Jeff Hale isn't the only member of our courthouse community to recently suffer a devastating medical setback. Former Chief Prosecutor and defense attorney Eileen Guerinot Bogar had a sudden and unexpected stroke on Friday night.  She's only 38 years old. For those who don't know Eileen, she is one of the most outgoing and caring friends that a person can have.  She is always there with a kind word (and usually some great gossip) for a friend.  Additionally, she is the loving mother of her son, E.J., who is the absolute light of her life. In instances where other people have needed help, we could always count on Eileen to be the first to volunteer.  In fact, prior to last week, she was one of a handful of attorneys who were working diligently to help cover all of Jeff Hale's cases.  She doesn't just say she will help out.  She does it.  And she's never met a stranger. Eileen's road to recovery is going to be a long one, unfo

Jeff Hale

As many of you around the CJC already know, our friend and fellow defense attorney Jeff Hale suffered a stroke right around the Thanksgiving holidays.  Several attorneys have been helping take care of Jeff's cases as he recuperates from this unforeseen medical emergency.  We hear that he is coming along quite well, but that the road to complete recovery may still take some time. While many attorneys are doing all they can to help Jeff, attorney Rand Mintzer has gone an extra step in his efforts -- a marathon's worth of "extra steps" to be more exact. Rand will be running this Saturday in a marathon dubbed The Day After the End of the World Marathon , and he would like to dedicate his efforts to raise money for Jeff Hale.  This is a classic example of a great guy doing all he can to help out somebody who is also a great guy. Rand has asked me to help in raising money for Jeff and I couldn't be more happy to help out.  We will be accepting anything you can pos

The Federal Lawsuit

In case you missed it, former-HPD chemists Amanda Culbertson and Jorge Wong filed a Federal lawsuit this morning, targeting both Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos and Assistant District Attorney Rachel Palmer . I've briefly scanned over the petition and it is basically the allegation that Wong and Culbertson were punished and retaliated against for their roles as whistleblowers with the HPD B.A.T. Van scandals.  The petition lists numerous dates and meetings that specifically involve Rachel Palmer and it covers the cancellation of the County's contract with Lone Star College. I don't know much about Federal Civil Law, but I would imagine that things will move fairly slowly.  It will be interesting to watch it develop.

Tragedy Beyond Comprehension

In about an hour, my wife and I are going to leave our house and go watch my son in his school's holiday program.  My boy (whom many of you know personally), at 7 years old is already a lapsed Catholic, but for some reason H.I.S.D. has him singing a Kwanzaa song tonight.  I'm not entirely sure how that happened. At the end of the program, he'll come home with us to our house.  Our Christmas tree is up.  Lights are on the stair railings.  The stockings are hung by the chimney with care.  The holiday season brings palpable excitement at the Newman house.  It is usually a very close race between me and the Boy over who gets more giddy about Christmas.  He's in 1st grade.  I'm 40. I can't stop looking at the television and the news today. In Connecticut, there were at least 20 sets of parents eagerly anticipating the holiday season with their children.  Their five and six-year-olds probably had only one more week until their eagerly anticipated two week Christ

And the Leadership Team is . . .

Mike Anderson held a press conference today announcing who would be filling the positions in his Leadership Team starting on January 1st.  I know that most of you have already heard them, but in case you haven't, here they are. Judge Belinda Hill  -- First Assistant Bert Graham  -- Of Counsel Dick Bax  -- General Counsel Connie Spence  -- Chief of Special Crimes Bureau Roe Wilson  -- Chief of the Legal Services Bureau Karen Morris  -- Chief of the Public Service Bureau Maria McAnulty  -- Chief of the Trial Bureau Jane Waters  -- Chief of the Special Victims Bureau (NOTE:  This seems to be a new Bureau that will incorporate both Family Violence, Child Abuse, and Child Pornography) Richard Holland  -- Chief Investigator Julian Ramirez  -- Division Chief of the Civil Rights Division Terese Buess  -- Division Chief of the Public Integrity Division There are still some things that need to be ironed out, most notably who the individual Trial Bureau Division Chiefs

A Brief Recap of Mike Anderson on Reasonable Doubt

As requested by a commenter on my last post, here is a brief recap of District Attorney-Elect Mike Anderson's appearance on last night's Reasonable Doubt.  I'm going from memory here, so I may miss a few things.  I'm hoping we will have the actual episode put online by my assistant, Franklin, by the end of the weekend. 1.  When asked how he wanted to be referred to at the Office, he was emphatic that he wanted to be called "Mike," noting that he was no longer a judge and didn't think he should be addressed as so. 2.  He plans on announcing his leadership team today (December 14th) in a press conference at the CJC at 10:30am. 3.  He is very excited that Judge Belinda Hill agreed to be 1st Assistant.  She was the choice he continuously had in mind the entire time he was running for Office and he said there was "no Plan B."  His enthusiasm about Judge Hill was very obvious (and well deserved). 4.  Assistant District Attorneys under the new A

Mike Anderson on Reasonable Doubt (12/13/12)

Please join me and host Todd Dupont on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. for Reasonable Doubt , where our guest will be Harris County District Attorney-elect Mike Anderson. On the heels of yesterday's announcement about Judge Belinda Hill, Judge Anderson has also been meeting with various people involved in the Criminal Justice System to let them know his plans for the future of the District Attorney's Office (which begins in t-minus 19 days).  He's answering all questions and he looks forward to answering any calls the viewers might have. So call in with your questions. As always, you can catch us live streaming by clicking here .

The New First Assistant

In a move that had been rumored about the CJC for several weeks, Judge Belinda Hill of the 230th District Court has officially agreed to be the 1st Assistant of the Harris County District Attorney's Office in the Mike Anderson Administration. I can't think of a better choice. Unlike her predecessor at First Assistant, Judge Hill is a highly respected District Court Judge who has served on the bench since 1997.  During her tenure as Judge, she had the reputation as a hard-working, yet fair judge who called balls and strikes based solely on the law.  She is most well-known for presiding over both capital murder trials of Andrea Yates , in which she handled an absolute media circus with class and respect for the law.  Prior to becoming a Judge, she was a highly respected Division Chief within the District Attorney's Office under Johnny Holmes. I first met Judge Hill (although I highly doubt she remembers it) when she was a prosecutor trying the Alex Gonzalez/Ida Lee Dela

Johnny Manziel!

This has nothing to do with the CJC, but I'm an Aggie, so excuse me. But, if you had told any Aggie, five minutes before kick off against Florida (their first game of the season), that they would end the season at 10-2, defeat the #1 team in the Nation (at their home), and have their freshman quarterback win the Heisman in the first year in the SEC . . . Discuss amongst yourselves.  However, unlike other posts, I'm only publishing comments that I agree with.  :-) Super huge congratulations to Johnny Manziel for making A&M proud.


As I posted in November , the Harris County Sheriff's Office had an item on the Commissioners' Court Agenda last month asking for $138,000 to pay for consulting services from Jim Leitner.  Setting aside the argument for the moment about whether or not Jim's legal consultation is worth that relatively large amount of money, it does bring up an interesting question about him continuing to do any other kind of criminal cases (appointed or retained). If Leitner is going to be representing the Harris County Sheriff's Office in a legal capacity wouldn't that tend to conflict him out of doing criminal defense representation in all cases that involve the Sheriff's Office? My understanding is that Leitner has explained that he would not be taking on cases where HCSO was the investigating agency, which should be obvious.  How can one defend an accused client when the accuser is also a client?  By turning down those Sheriff's Office cases, Jim will be foregoing a l

Robb Fickman Attacks the Blawgosphere

Everyone who practices within the Harris County Criminal Justice Center has, at one point or another, run into the legendary personality that is commonly referred to as Robb Fickman.   He is one of the finest Criminal Defense Attorneys that I have ever met.  His intellect and devotion to his clients are matched only by fearlessness in the face of adversity. He is also the maker of some of the wildest and most bombastic statements known to the Harris County Legal Community.  He is the self-proclaimed "Czar of Provocation." Several months ago, Robb created his own Twitter account.  At the time, I wrote: "I wake up this morning to learn that @rfickman has joined Twitter.  This may be the greatest thing to ever happen to Twitter.  Or the worst." Robb has now expanded his horizons by starting his own blog, and I echo my earlier sentiments. You can read his rantings by checking out .  It is likely to offend and amuse  and ed

Charles "Jim" Newman

My great-uncle, Jim Newman, passed away last week at the age of 87.  He was the brother of my paternal grandfather, Louis Newman , whom I've written about on the blog several times. I remember Uncle Jim from when I was just a little kid, and I thought he was really cool because he drove 18-wheelers for Central Freight.  I didn't see him quite as much as I saw my grandparents, but every time we would get together, he was the sweetest guy in the world.  He was always so excited to see us and he placed such a strong emphasis on family. He was outstanding at chronicling the events and history of our family.  When I got interested in looking up my family tree several years ago, I was amused to see online that Uncle Jim had already mapped everything out for me and anyone else interested in our family.  He had posted photographs that I didn't even know existed of my grandparents and great-great grandparents. Amazingly, Uncle Jim also did a fantastic job of keeping a record o

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (11/29/12)

Please join me and our host Todd Dupont for tonight's Reasonable Doubt  at 8:00 p.m.  We've had a ton of things to talk about since resuming regular episodes after the Election, and we haven't even scratched the surface yet.  Our special guest tonight will be Harris County's Favorite Public Defender Alex Bunin . We've had Alex on the show before and he is one of our favorite guests, so please call in with your questions and commentary. As always, you can tune in to watch it live streaming by clicking here.

ADA Applications

I was contacted today by a person on behalf of District Attorney-elect Mike Anderson, who asked me to forward on the following information: Applications are now being accepted for those interested in applying to be an Assistant District Attorney in Harris County next year.  This applies only  to people currently outside the Office and does not mean that all those currently working as prosecutors are supposed to contact this e-mail address.  Apparently, there had been numerous job applicants over the past several months who were told the Office wasn't hiring. Judge Anderson would like to see people applying again. If you are interested in getting information about applying to be a prosecutor, please contact as soon as possible.

Return of the Jedi

Some of you on the 6th Floor might have had a flashback if you happened to run into former First Assistant District Attorney Bert Graham or attorney Dick Bax today. Both men have been asked by District Attorney-elect Mike Anderson to come in to be a part of the transition team as he prepares to take office on January 1, 2013. District Attorney Pat Lykos has followed in the footsteps of former interim District Attorney Ken Magidson by allowing the incoming District Attorney's transition team to begin work on the Monday after Thanksgiving. It was a decent and classy move by Lykos.  Yeah, I said that in print. Allowing Judge Anderson's transition team to come in early will help eliminate any confusion that could potentially take place on January 1st.  She didn't have to do that, so kudos to her for allowing it. I'm sure that the next few weeks will be filled with rumor and gossip as names are dropped for who will be doing what under the new administration. That&#

Congratulations to Pat Lykos

As Pat Lykos wraps up her notorious reign as Harris County District Attorney, it seems only fitting that she be given some sort of award for her 4 years of "service." Thankfully, the good folks over at the Houston Press were all over this and didn't let our friend Pat sneak out the door without a presentation. In their most recent edition, the Houston Press kindly awarded Pat Lykos the Criminal Justice Turkey of the Year . Congrats to Craig Malisow for putting onto one page what it has taken me four years to put down in writing. He nailed it.

A Soft Landing for Leitner Revisited

And speaking of Jim Leitner, apparently he just can't break away from Harris County. An item on the Commissioners' Agenda for the Harris County Sheriff's Office for Tuesday is as follows: Wow.  That's some pretty nice money there, Jim.  I'm guessing this cushy contract won't prohibit him from working on other cases as well. No word yet on whether or not they will give him a badge to wear on his belt.

A Return to the Grand Jury

The third floor of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center seems to be a very busy place this morning.  As expected, one of the Grand Juries meeting today is reviewing the case against Precinct Six Constable Victor Trevino. What was not  expected, however, was the presence of the Texas Rangers who were last seen investigating the Lykos Administration for their involvement in stalking investigating the members of the 185th Grand Jury .  In addition to the Rangers, former foreperson of the 185th Grand Jury, Trisha Pollard present, along with former-Chief Investigator for the D.A.'s Office, Don McWilliams, and former-1st Assistant (and bench pressing champion) Jim Leitner. I have to admit that I'm surprised.  Based on what I had been hearing for some time, I thought the Rangers' investigation into Lykos had tapered off.  As noted in this post , I was skeptical about whether or not criminal charges would be filed on this in the first place. This may be much ado about n

Dress Code Violations

It's frightening enough when I find myself thinking like Mark Bennett. You can only imagine my terror when I find myself dressing  like Mark Bennett.

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (11/15/12)

Please tune in tonight for Reasonable Doubt with me and host Todd Dupont.  Our guest will be HCCLA President Chris Tritico . As always, you can tune in and catch it live streaming at 8:00 p.m. by clicking here . Please call in with your questions and comments.

Brad Hart and the 248th Appointment

As I noted in my election recap last Wednesday , one of the worst kept secrets in the CJC at the moment is that Judge Joan Campbell is planning on retiring from the 248th District Court bench no later than the end of the year. Obviously, her retirement from the Bench necessitates that Governor Perry appoint a replacement. The field of candidates that the Governor will select from depends on who puts in to be considered.  As of this morning, I understand that Brad Hart and Robert Summerlin have publicly stated they are going to put in for the 248th.  An e-mail that Roger Bridgwater sent to his fellow judicial candidates seemed to indicate that he would be putting in for it (and if you read between the lines, Roger seems to think he'll be getting the appointment easily). Others may put in for it, as well; however, the three Republican candidates who ran in the 2012 election are probably the most prime candidates.  If I hear of others putting in their names, I'll let you know.

Feast of Fashion III

Next Friday, November 16th marks the third annual Feast of Fashion put together by our friend and defense attorney Julie Jones. The last time I spoke with Julie, she was almost sold out of tickets, but some may still be available.  Even if she is sold out, donations are accepted.  It is for a great cause. Proceeds from the Fashion Show go to the Jeanette Williams Foundation which sends children with serious illnesses to summer camp.  The event itself features judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys putting on a fashion show over a fantastic lunch. The event is at noon on Friday at the Magnolia Hotel.  I hope all can attend or donate.

Three Related Elections

While I'm quite comfortable writing about the Elections that are for positions within the actual building of the CJC, I'm much more reserved in commenting on races outside of it.  I don't usually comment on Nationwide elections or even Statewide ones.  I don't talk about the various Courts of Appeals because I don't do Appellate Law. I make exceptions every once in a while when a member of our CJC community (whom I know well) is venturing off the lily pad to run for a non-CJC office. This year, I profiled Mark Bennett 's race for the Court of Criminal Appeals and Ann Johnson 's race for State Representative.  I did not do a post on HCDA prosecutor   Gene Wu 's run for State Representative, but not because I don't like Gene.  I just don't know him as well as I know Mark and Ann. In the end, Gene should be grateful for the lack of attention, as it appears my support may have been the kiss of death for my friends outside of the CJC.  Gene won

Reasonable Doubt Returns (11/8/12)

HCCLA's Reasonable Doubt  returns to the airwaves tonight after a six-week hiatus.  A couple of developments have occurred over the break that might provide for some interesting discussion, including the small matter of Tuesday's election. Our guest tonight will be Gemayel Haynes , who graciously did not have his agent sue us when the episode we were supposed to have on September 20th got unexpectedly cancelled.  We look forward to hearing his thoughts on the election and how it will affect everybody around the CJC in the next four years. As always, we go live at 8:00 p.m. on Houston Media Source.  You can watch it live streaming by clicking here . If you recall in our last cliffhanger episode, I was considering a toupee and our host Todd Dupont was planning on converting to Hare Krishna.  Tune in tonight, and all will be revealed. Please call in with all of your comments and questions.

Celebrations and Sadness

Ah, Election Night. I love it almost as much as I hate it.  Watching months (if not years) of hard work come to a final conclusion in the course of an evening can be as jubilant as it can be devastating.  That the work of motivated, intelligent, and hard-working candidates gets decided by the largely uninformed masses is just a frightening fact of life. I'm not going to really talk about the Presidential election.  My voice here is about as influential in that arena as when I'm screaming what play should be run at a Texans game.  I will say that I never thought Obama was going to be defeated.  I didn't think Romney would even get close.  I thought differently for a while after that first debate, but in the end, there was no way Romney could prevail. I never had any doubt after the primaries that Judge Anderson would win the election in November.  He is too good of a candidate and Lloyd Oliver was too much of a joke.  Quite frankly, it stuns me that Lloyd got any


Tomorrow is the Big Day. I've got to be in Brazos County at 8:30 in the morning and I've got an appointment with the shoulder doc in the afternoon, so this will probably be my last pre-election post. To all of the candidates who had the guts to run this year (or any year), you have my utmost respect.   Prior to the 2008 election, I had no concept of what a candidate has to go through when seeking office.  The toll it takes on a candidate and his or her family is enormous in a way that I can't put into words.  I can't fathom ever doing it myself.  I'm stressed out just watching my friends do it! I was thinking about the election today, and I realized that there probably isn't a single friend that I have that I agree with on 100% of all the candidates. But what we all do agree on is how important it is to vote. I would imagine that if you are actually reading this blog, you've probably already voted.  If you haven't, then make sure to do it tom

Leon Wilson and the Investigator Moves

The Lykos Administration released moves last week that seem to indicate that the inmates are running the Asylum. Following the departure of Chief Investigator Don McWilliams (which was effective October 31st), Lykos made the odd move of bringing back long-since-retired-former-D.A.-Investigator Walker "Mac" McAnally as chief investigator.  Mac is a great guy and a great investigator.  As far as moral character and investigative skills go, I've got no problem with that move.  However, it is a little strange since he has been out of the business for quite some time.  It would be the equivalent of the Houston Texans announcing that they are bringing in Warren Moon to quarterback. The far more disturbing move, in my opinion, is the promotion of Leon Wilson to "Assistant Chief Investigator" from wherever he had been before. Wilson, if you will recall, is one of the political Lykos-hires that she brought over from the County Attorney's Office at the beginning

Congratulations to the Pre-Commits

Congratulations to all of the Pre-Commits who passed the Bar Exam this week.  I can remember the stress and trauma of awaiting my results as if it were yesterday and I'm very happy for you having that behind you. I see that under the latest "Moves Memo" from the Office that you have all been assigned to your respective courts. Let me give you some advice -- write down the funny stories that are going to be a part of your life in the days to come.  They may never make a best seller, but they will become something fun to tell your children as they get older. War stories are one of the greatest benefits of being a Prosecutor. When you become an older lawyer, you will kick yourself for not writing the early stories down when they happened. Just trust me on this one.

Last Day of Early Voting

Today is the last day for Early Voting.  According to a poll taken by , this race is FAR from decided locally. Make sure that you've done everything you can to vote and get your friends and family to vote.  If you have any questions, go to . Go vote for Mike Anderson for District Attorney!  And vote for Ryan Patrick, David Mendoza, Kristin Guiney, Brock Thomas, Brad Hart and Mark Ellis for Judge! And yeah, go ahead and vote for Mark Bennett too.

Only Two Days Left

Please remember that Early Voting ends at 7 p.m. on Friday, so you only have two more days left. If you haven't voted by the end of Friday, you will have to vote at your normal voting location.  Right now, you are eligible to vote at any of them. Please call your family and friends and make sure that they've gotten out and voted!

The Mad Woman in the Tower

In honor of Halloween, it seems that Pat Lykos is spending her last days in office terrorizing the occupants of 1201 Franklin.  To a large degree, her behavior reminds me of old ghost stories that I used to hear at summer camp when I was a kid. Once there was a wicked queen who captured a tall tower.  She was cruel and terrorized the people who worked there. She reigned in terror for over three years before being defeated.  In the final days of her retreat, she locked herself in her Tower and refused to surrender or acknowledge her defeat. She depleted the treasury of the Tower, with no care for the future of the people she ruled over.  She blamed her minions for her impending demise.  Soon, one by one, her closest advisors abandoned her in her madness. She roamed the halls of the Tower, letting all beneath her know that she would remain in control until they pried it from her cold, gray hands.  She threatened her staff with terminations and demotions and executions.

REMINDER: Nightmare on the Bayou TONIGHT

For those of you who are interested, our Field Trip to Nightmare on the Bayou is tonight. We'll be meeting up at Char Bar after work and probably venturing over to the haunted house around 6:45.  It opens at 7:30, but I have a feeling that there might be a line. The whole idea is to get as many prosecutors and defense attorneys (and judges, if they are brave enough) together and do something fun outside of work.  I hope you can make it.

Early Voting Continues

Normally, I would be posting every day, all week about getting out to vote, but man, the turnout has been fantastic so far! But that doesn't mean now is the time to get complacent. Please make sure that your friends and family have voted.  There are some great candidates who deserve your vote. Go vote for Mike Anderson, Kristin Guiney, Brad Hart, Ryan Patrick, Brock Thomas, Mark Ellis and David Mendoza! The choices are clear, so get out there and make your voice heard. Early voting runs from 7 to 7 at all available locations this week.  On Friday, it ends and you'll have to wait until Tuesday. During this week, you can vote at any  location .  On Election Day, you can only vote at your designated polling place . Don't risk getting sidetracked and missing your opportunity vote.

The Best Day

Of the three hundred and sixty five days of the calendar year, today (October 26th) is my favorite of them all. Seven years ago my little boy, Luke, was born.  I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember going to the doctor on October 25th -- the day before.  It was a surreal day.  Luke's mom and I had gone through the routine visits to the doctor for what seemed like an eternity.  We had known all along that he would be a C-section baby, but I don't think either of us were prepared for the doctor saying, "How does noon tomorrow work for your schedule?" We went to Chuy's after the doctor's visit.  I remember the awkward silence of the late lunch.  The idea that, "So, tomorrow, we'll have a kid" was a pretty sobering moment.  There is something funny about the transition from being an expectant parent to an hours-away-from-being-an-actual-parent that is hard to put into words. Trying to go to sleep the night before you know your child

The Lame Duck Laboratory

As we enter the final months of the Pat Lykos Administration, there have been several interesting events occurring at the District Attorney's Office.  It would appear that Lykos is making one last push to leave something of a legacy behind (other than a trail of destruction). First, a little background: Lykos has never been very "hands on" when it comes to the day-to-day running of her office.  Until last Friday, she had First Assistant and body-builder extraordinaire Jim Leitner manage the job she was elected to do.  Leitner's long awaited departure created a vacancy that Lykos could not leave unfilled for any amount of time -- hence the immediate rehiring of Bill Hawkins to be interim First Assistant. Lykos couldn't make those day-to-day decisions herself for two reasons: 1) she doesn't know how to; and 2) she has something else on her agenda. That something is apparently the Regional Crime Lab that has been talked about even prior to the 2008 Distri

BREAKING NEWS: A New First Assistant

There is breaking news coming out of the Harris County District Attorney's Office as former prosecutor Bill Hawkins is being sworn in to replace Jim Leitner as First Assistant. I am told that he is being brought in to help ease the transition from the outgoing Lykos Administration to whoever wins the District Attorney's race in November. It is a smart move.  Bill knows the ins and outs of the Office and is a good leader. I would write more on this, but I'm late for court!

One Other Recommendation - Mark Bennett

I was made aware last night that I had forgotten to chime in on  Mark Bennett 's race for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place Seven.  I have to confess that I do not follow the Court of Criminal Appeals as far as "which judge votes which way," so I can't really speak to anything about Mark's opponent. I can speak to Mark, however. Mark has always marched to the beat of a different drum.  He's made me mad on occasion -- quite furious, actually. He's also been one of the most intellectually honest and true friends that a person can have.  I don't mean one of those friends that will always go grab a beer with you and tell you how you didn't mess up what you think you just messed up.  He's one of those friends who will always be there to help you because you actually really did  mess up and he's going to stand beside you when nobody else will. I need only to guide you to this post to let you know of one of those times that Mark

My Recommendations

As Early Voting begins tomorrow, I suddenly realize that I never got around to writing the lengthy endorsements that I have in the past about all of the judicial positions in the CJC that are on the ballot this year.  So, here we go with my recommendations: Harris County District Attorney -Judge Mike Anderson (R) vs. Lloyd Oliver (D) If you aren't clear on who the best candidate for this position is by now, you've been sleeping under a rock for the past year.   Judge Mike Anderson  is the easy and obvious choice for the position.  He is a former prosecutor and District Court Judge with integrity and honesty.  His opponent has demonstrated that he would turn Harris County into a complete and total joke. Recommendation:  Mike Anderson 174th District Court -Judge Ruben Guerrero (D) vs. Robert Summerlin (R) This is a tough race for me to issue a recommendation in, because I've never practiced much in Judge Guerrero's court.  My friend and fellow blogger, Mark Bennet