Showing posts from April, 2012

The District Attorney Debate this Thursday

It seems that whenever I am completely swamped in my actual (as opposed to blogging) life that it suddenly begins raining topics that I want to blog about. As most of you know, my favorite New York Editor got promoted to Wife over the weekend and I'll be away from the CJC this week.  There are several interesting things going on around the CJC and in the political world (with early voting a mere two weeks away).  I may or may not have time to write about those stories, but I do want to make sure that I bring one to your attention before I go off honeymoonin'. On Thursday, May 3rd from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., there will be a District Attorney Candidates Forum between Pat Lykos and Mike Anderson, sponsored by my on-again-off-again friend Big Jolly (NOTE:  I'm just kidding.  Although he frustrates me to the point that I want to beat my head into the wall, I like Dave.) and the King Street Patriots.  The event is being held at 7232 Wynnwood Lane, Houston, TX 77008 . The m

Fundraiser for Mike Anderson on Saturday

Please join the LC/LF MC (SE Houston Chapter) on Saturday, April 28, 2012 from (Noon - 4:00 p.m.) for a campaign rally for Republican Candidate for District Attorney Mike Anderson .  The event will be held at Bubba's on Washington (6225 Washington Avenue, Houston, Texas 77007). There will be live music by The Honky Tonk Heroes and everyone is welcome!

Thursday Fundraiser for Joe Vinas

This Thursday, April 26th at 5:00 p.m., Todd Dupont is hosting a fundraiser for 174th District Court Candidate Joe Vinas at the Char Bar, located at 305 Travis, Houston, Texas 77002. Everyone is welcome and we hope to have a good turnout for a great candidate.

Me and Marley

I apologize in advance.  This is one of those posts that I write every once in awhile because I need to clear my head, and not because it has anything to do with the CJC. Long before the book Marley and Me  came out (but, to be fair, after the author of that book had named his  dog), I bought a Sheltie puppy at a half-priced discount.  She was half-priced because the white collar that goes around most Shelties' necks was just a small tuft of white on hers.  It was the end of my first year of law school and I was only 24 years old.  To put it in terms more applicable to the reader, I still had most of my hair back then. I had just started dating the person who would ultimately become my first wife and we were both cigarette smokers.  We named our discount dog "Marley," saying it was short for Marlboro.  Somewhere along the way, she picked up the middle name of Jane, but I'm not entirely sure how that happened. She was a very affectionate and very bright puppy

Your Friday Dose of Irony [UPDATED]

We've all had a good laugh at Gary Polland's hypocrisy in criticizing Republican candidates who take court appointments to do criminal defense when he brought in over $400,000 in appointments last year.  Now, we can also have a laugh at Jared Woodfill who has joined the Juvenile or Family Court appointments list, as well. Both Woodfill and Polland have violently opposed the creation and continued existence of the Public Defenders' Office, and now you know why. They seem to be a little worried that the more cases the PD's Office gets, the less money there will be to go around for them.  If the PD's Office continues to thrive, Woodfill might even be forced to sell his house in River Oaks. [UPDATE:  Several people (who are apparently in the know) have pointed out that Woodfill is not doing appointments through the juvenile courts, but as ad litem through the Family Courts.  If the distinction of what type of appointments Mr. Woodfill is taking matters t

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (4/19/12)

Sorry for the late notice on this. Please join us for tonight's Reasonable Doubt , where our guest will be Robb Fickman, the Czar of Provocation.  Robb has had a lot on his mind lately, including some issues with the TSA and their affiliation with Houston METRO.  It is going to be a great show covering a lot of issues dealing with your right to be free of unreasonable searches. The show airs live at 8:00 p.m. and will be carried live streaming on the internet.  If you want to watch on-line, you can do so by  clicking here . The channels that carry the show are also as follows: Comcast-Channel 17 Sudden Link-Channel 99 AT&T U-Verse - Channel 99 Phonoscope - Channel 75 TV Max - Channel 95

Gary Polland's Struggle for Relevancy

Ah, Gary Polland. He so desperately still wants to be considered a player in the Republican Party.  Ever since being replaced as the head of the Republican Party for Harris County by Jared Woodfill, he's been trying to peddle his influence inside the Harris County Criminal Justice Center.  He touts his influence with certain judges shamelessly.  He mumbles threats that he can have prosecutors fired based on his close relationship with Pat Lykos.  It must be working well for him.   He apparently made around $400,000 last year in appointments . I've known him since 1999 and I haven't seen him try a jury trial yet. He claims to be the Republican "spokesman." Gary has been backsliding with the Republican Party lately, however.  He lost credibility with his conservative constituency as their "spokesman" when he endorsed Annise Parker for Mayor of Houston (lamely explaining that he did so because it was a non-partisan election).  He lost credibility

Election Code Violation Contest

How many Election Code Violations can you find in the below invitation?

HBA Bar Poll Ballots Due Friday

Just a friendly reminder to those of you who are members of the HBA.  Don't forget that your ballots are due to the HBA no later than Friday. Your votes matter and those of you who read this blog know who is qualified better than anyone else when it comes to the Criminal Court Benches and the candidates for District Attorney.  Make your voices heard and get your ballots in.

Rachel Palmer's Life at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center

For those of you who keep up with the comments section of my posts, you may have noticed yesterday that someone brought up the fact that Assistant District Attorney Rachel Palmer had filed a DBA (Doing Business As) notice with the Harris County Clerk's Office sometime in January.  Now, keeping in mind that Rachel has a full-time job, it seems a little bit strange that she would be starting up her own business. What is even more bizarre is the title of the business. She apparently filed as "Life at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center." Um, okay. Most of you know that Rachel's beloved husband, Don Hooper , started a knock-off version of my blog a few months ago.  I'm not going to link to it, because it is grossly inaccurate to the point of being libelous and the spelling and grammar is mind-numbingly bad.  Seriously, I was going to sign him up for a Hooked on Phonics class as a peace offering.  That being said,  I have found that the best way to deal w

Renee Magee on Reasonable Doubt

Republican candidate for the 337th District Court Renee Magee was on Reasonable Doubt last Thursday.  You can catch her interview below. Reasonable Doubt, April 12, 2012, Renee Magee from HCCLA on Vimeo .

New Blog Post on Chronicle Website

I just published my recommendations for the races affecting the Harris County Criminal Justice System on my Chronicle blog.  You can get there by clicking here. I encourage you to comment with your insights into the candidates, but please try to keep the comments a little tamer over there.

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (4/12/12)

Please join us on tonight's Reasonable Doubt with me and Todd Dupont, where our guest will be Republican candidate for the 337th District Court, Renee Magee . The show airs live at 8:00 p.m. and will be carried live streaming on the internet.  If you want to watch on-line, you can do so by clicking here . The channels that carry the show are also as follows: Comcast-Channel 17 Sudden Link-Channel 99 AT&T U-Verse - Channel 99 Phonoscope - Channel 75 TV Max - Channel 95

Robert Eckels' Everlasting Love/Everlasting Hate

I had an e-mail forwarded to me today by several readers expressing shock and concern (and in some cases, outrage) over the endorsement of Pat Lykos by former County Judge Robert Eckels . I appreciate the notice of Eckels' endorsement e-mail, but I was kind of surprised that my readers are surprised at his endorsement. Eckels, after all, is the same guy who kept Lykos employed after her failed bid for Attorney General in 1994.  Nobody to this day is sure exactly what  Lykos was doing for Eckels, other than drawing a steady paycheck. He also bankrolled her campaign in 2008, as I pointed out in this blog post way back when .  The article that I linked to back then was one by then- Houston Chronicle  columnist Alan Bernstein.  He reported that   Eckels had handed Lykos a very large chunk of change so that she could publish some very misleading campaign literature that created the impression that she had the official endorsement of the Harris County Republican Party . Eckels ha

Guest Post: Speaking Up for the "Average Voter"

From Our Friend, Spunk: Apparently Brian Rogers and certain bloggers would like everyone to believe that the DA's race is really only about issues of concern to a small group of courthouse detractors which only courthouse insiders would understand. That message is insulting to the "average voter" because the "average voters" are not receiving full and accurate coverage in the main stream media as to what is really going on at the criminal justice center and in the DA's Office under Lykos, and also because the point Brian Rogers on behalf of the Houston Chronicle is seeking to make is predicated on selective, incomplete and downright false information, which is exactly the way one would behave who doesn't care at all what else Lykos does, as long as she maintains her light handed policies on the death penalty. Wasn't one of the first of Lykos' "accomplishments" in the last 3 + years as DA to join forces with the Chronicle to ba


Brian Rogers posted an article on the Chronicle website that is already buried fairly deep on the site this morning, claiming that although the candidates in the District Attorney's race are being very civil on the campaign trail, the rest of us are being "nasty." I'm glad he wrote the article, because it does highlight the complaints against Pat Lykos, even if they seem to minimize them by characterizing them as minor gripes. What do you think of the article?

Kimberly Samman and State Bar Elections

In addition to the campaign season for District Attorney and numerous District Court benches, the State Bar of Texas is also holding elections as we speak. Most of us in the criminal arena usually find ourselves unfamiliar with most of the candidates because they come from predominantly civil backgrounds.  Last year, Buck Files was elected as President of the State Bar, marking the first time (in a long time if not ever) that a criminal lawyer held that post.  That was a great step in the right direction in making sure that the criminal law issues are addressed by our governing body. This year, Kimberly Samman who practices criminal defense in Harris County is on the ballot for Director 4, Place 5, and I hope you will join me in voting for her.  Kimberly has been practicing with us in Harris County for some time now and it is always good to have a representative with the State Bar who is familiar with the issues that we all deal with in criminal law and the area where we work. S

No Reasonable Doubt Tonight (4/5/12)

There will be no show tonight due to the Good Friday and Easter holiday. Todd needs the evening to hide Easter eggs in his beard. See you next week.

Rules Only Apply to the Little People

I got back to my office from court on Monday to find a very impressive piece of campaign literature from aspiring judge Lana Shadwick .  Not impressive in the sense that it made me feel that her credentials had been somehow boosted, but impressed as the son (and former employee) of a printer on how much money Lana must have spent to get it published. The target of Lana's mailers were clearly Houston attorneys who would possibly be voting in the upcoming Houston Bar Association poll, and she blatantly asks for the recipient of the mailer to vote for her as being well-qualified.  This kind of flies in the face of logic, since she just had to move to Grand Jury because she couldn't handle the pressure of campaigning and being in appellate.  Also, I'm hearing numerous reports that Lana has yet to figure out how to read Probable Cause to a Grand Jury.  It really isn't that tricky. Given how badly Kristin Guiney has been outclassing Lana at public appearances, it is no

Leapin' Lloyd Oliver on Reasonable Doubt

If you've never tuned in for an episode of Reasonable Doubt, I would highly encourage you to watch this one. Reasonable Doubt, March 29, 2012, Lloyd Oliver from HCCLA on Vimeo .

Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Many of you have been asking when the Reasonable Doubt video of Lloyd Oliver is coming out. We are working on it.  My technical guy, Franklin Bynum, who shall remain nameless, is behind in getting it downloaded.  He promises to have it up and running by this afternoon. You will definitely want to catch this episode as Lloyd handles the tough questions such as: 1.  Reasonable ways of dealing with domestic violence cases 2.  His history as a prosecutor 3.  His run-ins with the law 4.  His views on the Public Defender's Office 5.  His ideas for effective CLE classes for prosecutors It was definitely an episode that will be remembered for a long, long time.