Showing posts from September, 2016

Big Brother is Watching You in the Harris County Jail

Early on in my career as a defense attorney, I made it a routine practice to advise all of my clients who were in custody to be aware of the fact that they had no privacy in the Harris County Jail. The Sheriff's Office makes copies of your incoming and outgoing mail.  They record your phone calls and will turn them over to the prosecution.  Your "friends" in the pod with you will gladly snitch on any admissions that you give to them, if doing so will help their negotiations on their own cases.  More often than that, my client will nod as if this is self-evident.  Sometimes, a client will seem genuinely surprised and grateful for the information. Despite the warnings, however, many clients can't contain themselves. As was evidenced today, when the prosecutor regurgitated to me pretty much everything I had ever said to or advised my client of. The prosecutor didn't learn this from listening in on any of my phone calls with the client -- not only would that

The 2016 D.A. Debate

So, I just finished watching the Harris County District Attorney candidates debate, and I had a few thoughts. First off, with the possible exception of the Sheriff's race, this is the most important local race on the ballot in November for Harris County.   For some reason, it aired between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and no news network carried it -- not even Channel 2, whose own Khambrel Marshal l was the moderator.  It kind of reminded me of the ending of Rocky 3 , when Rocky and Apollo had a private fight that only they knew the outcome of. I had to watch the debate via Kim Ogg's website.  Not that I'm supporting Kim, but she appeared to be the only game in town if you wanted to watch the debate online.   Dave Jennings over at Big Jolly Politics  made his long-awaited return to blogging to point out that perhaps Devon didn't exactly want to maximize coverage of the debate.  I'm not sure that I entirely disagree with him.  Given the current news cycle, I actually thin

Dan Gerson

The Harris County Criminal Justice Community lost one of our legends overnight with the untimely passing of our friend, Dan Gerson.  He had been battling cancer for some time now, and although this loss was not unexpected, it doesn't make it any easier to deal with.  From judges to prosecutors to defense attorneys to police and court personnel, everyone seems to have known Danny and to know the guy was to love him. In a building that is already brimming with personality, Dan was a standout.  Easily one of the most well-dressed attorneys, he alternated between the laughing friend that you always enjoyed talking to and the formidable attorney representing his client.  He did so seamlessly.  He was thoughtful, perceptive, funny, suave and kind.  A fellow attorney, commenting on Facebook, noted Dan's "quiet grace" and I can't think of a more succinct way to describe him. He certainly wasn't an over-the-top type of lawyer.  He was quiet, yet gregarious.  Se