Showing posts from October, 2012

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

Early Voting Begins

Well, friends, after four long years, we are finally reaching that light at the end of the tunnel. Early Voting begins tomorrow, October 22nd, at 8:00 a.m.  You can get the full Early Voting schedule and locations by clicking here .  Early Voting for the Downtown area will be at the Administration Building, so make sure you vote early.  That way you can spend the next two weeks bugging your friends and neighbors to vote. This should go without saying, but don't get apathetic now!  Motivate yourself and motivate all the eligible voters around you! Yes, Lloyd Oliver is such a terrible candidate that he should not only lose, he should be deported from Harris County.  However, Lloyd's lack of qualifications mean nothing to the straight-ticket Democratic voter and that means you need to motivate your friends and family to get out there every bit as much as you did in the Primaries. (NOTE:  Also remember that if you can work a poll for any of your favorite candidates, that is a

Jim Leitner

I'm sure that some of you noticed that I posted a lengthy diatribe yesterday about the departure of Jim Leitner that I have now deleted off the blog. I wrote it yesterday afternoon and published it last night. After sleeping on it, I realized that even for my typical rants, it was too personal for me, so I deleted it.  It bothered me how worked up I was getting about Leitner. So, I'll leave it at this -- his departure is a major step towards making that Office a better place. The End.

Haunted House Tour

And now for something completely different. Jackie Carpenter of the P.D.'s Office and I are trying to get a group of prosecutors and defense attorneys together to go to  Nightmare on the Bayou on Tuesday, October 30th at 7:30ish.  There may or may not be a pre-game at Char Bar before going. Kevin "Not the Clowns!" Petroff and Brian Warren and I got a group together when we were all young prosecutors about ten years ago and went to a haunted house and it was blast.  Some of the stories have lived on ever since. HINT:  Ask Petroff what "Don't you have a station?!" means to him. It should be a lot of fun and we hope you'll join us.  Contact me or Jackie so we can see if we have enough people to get some sort of group rate. Bonus points if you can talk Petroff into coming in from Galveston to lead us.

Has Leitner finally left the Building?

After sharing more false reports and wrong information than Brian Wice at a Vegas Sports Book, it appears that Jim Leitner has finally left his post as First Assistant at the Harris County District Attorney's Office. According to multiple reliable sources, Leitner worked his last actual day at the Office earlier this week and is taking today and Friday off.  His "official" last day is Friday. Now, knowing how much Jim loves to read this blog, he may very well go reapply for his position just to spite me. Or there may be a lot of D.A.'s who will be getting to see their former supervisor across the bench from them in court on Monday morning. He joins John Barnhill, Steve Morris, Don McWilliams, Carl Hobbs, Angela Salazar, and Joni Vollman  as yet another top Lykos Administration Official making their departure as her tenure comes to a close.

In Case You Missed It . . . I really don't know that there is anything else I can say . . .

Why Lloyd Oliver's Candidacy Isn't Funny

If you are a Democrat planning on voting straight-ticket, I hope you will take a minute and read this post before you do. If you push the button to vote straight Democrat, you are going to be voting for Lloyd Oliver for District Attorney, and I'm pretty sure you don't want to do that.  His stance on domestic violence is an affront to anyone who cares about women's issues.  If you aren't aware of that, please, read on. The Democrats had a good candidate for District Attorney in former-prosecutor and now-defense attorney, Zack Fertitta.  The insanity of Oliver defeating Fertitta in the primary in May was so completely unexpected that even the Democratic Party tried to have Oliver removed from the ballot.  That same insanity should serve as a wake up call that on Election Day anything can happen. At first, the reaction to Lloyd Oliver being the Democrat's candidate was kind of funny.  I'll admit it.  His bizarre comments on everything from his three previous

Volunteers Needed

Judge Mike Anderson's Campaign is currently looking for any volunteers who can donate an hour or more of their time to work at polling locations around the county during Early Voting. Early voting (finally!) starts on Monday, and there is probably no better insight into just a portion of a what a candidate goes through (when running for office) than working a polling location.  If you're interested in helping out, contact the campaign at  or just e-mail or text me off list and I'll put you in touch with the person you need to talk to.

The 2012 HBA Bar Poll Results

The results of the Houston Bar Association 2012 Judicial Preference Poll were announced today and can be viewed by clicking here . Not surprisingly, Judge Mike Anderson's 984 votes crushed Lloyd Oliver's 200 votes, which was the largest margin by far in all of the CJC related races. Of the currently sitting District Court judges in the CJC, Judges Ruben Guerrero, David Mendoza, Ryan Patrick, Herb Ritchie and Mark Kent Ellis all edged out their opponents. Challengers Stacey Bond, Kristin Guiney, Brock Thomas, and Brad Hart were the winners in their respective races. Here are the numbers: 174th District Court Ruben Guerrero (D) - 541 votes Robert Summerlin (R) - 333 votes 176th District Court Stacey Bond (R) -- 434 votes Shawna Reagin (D) -- 310 votes 177th District Court Ryan Patrick (R) -- 400 votes Vivian King (D) -- 316 votes 178th District Court David Mendoza (D) -- 479 votes Roger Bridgwater (R) -- 363 votes 179th District Court Kristin Guiney (R)

Veterans' Court on 60 Minutes

Congratulations to Judge Marc Carter and the Veterans' Court who were profiled last Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes .  I completely meant to post about it in advance, but got distracted by activities with my kiddo. Luckily, you can still catch it online by clicking here . Judge Carter and Pat McCann and all of those involved in the Veterans' Court continue to make Harris County proud.

Brian Roger's Article on Lloyd Oliver

In case you missed it, Brian Rogers wrote an informative article in today's Houston Chronicle on Lloyd Oliver that EVERY voter should read.  You can read it by clicking here.

Of Rats, Sinking Ships, and Shredders

There have been some interesting things going on over at the Harris County District Attorney's Office as Pat Lykos' tenure as a one-term District Attorney comes to a close. As we approach the November election when Republican Mike Anderson will face off against Democrat and former multiple-indictee Lloyd Oliver, we have yet to see Lykos come out and lend her support and encouragement to Judge Anderson's campaign.  That's kind of interesting, seeing as how Lykos touted her loyalty to the Republican Party as her chief strong suit in the May primary.  I suppose that her loyalty to the Republican Party only lasted as long as she was the candidate elected. However, rather than doing all she can to support the Republican Candidate for District Attorney, Lykos has been busy doing, um . . . other things -- none of which seem to make much sense. Last week, I received notice from several different sources that Lykos had done an outsource hiring of a company known as Shred P

Ann Johnson Fundraiser

While most of what I write about here on the blog is about elections directly dealing with the CJC, every once in a while, one of our own runs for Office in other fields.  I couldn't have been more excited to have learned that former-Harris County Assistant District Attorney and one of my favorite people Ann Johnson had decided to run for State Representative of District 134. I first met Ann when she was working at the D.A.'s Office, and she quickly earned the reputation of a tough and no-nonsense prosecutor.  She was incredibly smart and passionate about using the tools available to her as a prosecutor to help people affected by crime.  She was far from boisterous, but a kind friend to everyone in the building.  She was highly respected and highly loved by her co-workers. When Ann left the Office, she took her passion for helping other people and devoted her practice to making changes to the Criminal Justice System in ways that helped make it a better place -- specificall

Services for Jim Lindeman

There will be a service honoring the life of Jim Lindeman on Thursday, October 11th. Visitors will be welcomed beginning at 3:00 p.m., and the service will begin at 4:00 p.m. They will be held at the 4th Church of Christ, Scientist, located at 4910 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77006.

Jim Lindeman

The attorneys of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center were absolutely stunned and devastated to learn of the sudden and unexpected loss of our friend, Jim Lindeman.  Jim apparently had a heart attack this morning. Quite frankly, Jim's death is so shocking that I don't even know where to begin in writing about him. He was one of the very best defense attorneys that Harris County had to offer and he headed a very successful and highly respected law firm with Gilbert Alvarado .   I was explaining to my wife today that I thought there were (generally) two types of criminal defense attorneys -- those who are good litigators and those who are well-versed in all the case law.  Jim was one of a handful of attorneys I know who possessed both qualities. I went to trial against Jim and Gilbert when I was a Felony Two in the 185th.  To this day, it was the most mentally taxing trial I ever participated in.  Jim redefined "tenacious" and he didn't let even the small

Reminder: Bar Poll Votes Due Tomorrow

As part of my public service campaign to keep you all informed, I have been asked to remind you to turn in your HBA Bar Polls by tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. I know that my friends at the D.A.'s Office may have gotten theirs a little late, but please take time to fill them out and get them in as soon as possible.  I don't know if the Office still takes the ballots over for everybody like they used to or not, so please make sure you get them there one way or another. Remember that the results usually do get published in the media one way or another and it is one of the rare occasions that the voting public gets to see what our thoughts are on the judges we practice in front of. Get your voice heard!

HBA Bar Polls

Okay, this post is asking for Assistant District Attorney input. Have those of you who are still with the Office gotten your Judicial Qualification polls from the HBA?  They are due on Friday, and thus far, my reports have indicated you didn't receive them. Could you let me know if you have or have not received them?