Showing posts from November, 2012

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!