Showing posts from February, 2018

Kim Ogg's War with HPD

I'm really beginning to think that Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg skipped the day they taught diplomacy at politician school.  KPRC Channel Two is reporting this evening that the D.A.'s Office suddenly revoked the City of Houston Police Department's access to the Consolidated Criminal History Database  (CCHD) without warning. The database is an extremely handy website available to all prosecutors and apparently, all (but one, now) law enforcement agencies in Harris County.  The way it works is that it gives the user the ability to enter the name of person and that person's entire Harris County criminal history pops up.  It shows every case the person was ever charged with, as well as the outcome of those cases.  That information is something that is readily available via a standard NCIC/TCIC criminal history check, but the CCHD gives much more detailed information. Each listing of a criminal case provides links to a tremendous amount of additional informati

An Open Letter to Kim Ogg About Her Prosecutors

Hi Kim, Long time, no talk. I heard that your upper admin recently started some new thingy called "Selfies and Plans for Success" or something like that.  If I understand it correctly, the "Selfies" component is for each prosecutor to keep a file on his or her computer of all the professional accolades accumulated over the years. I'll be honest with you -- it seems a little silly to me.  Prosecutors are too busy working their butts off these days to take time for patting themselves on the back.  Self-aggrandizing is really more of a sport for the politicians.  Not to sound too much like a grumpy ex-prosecutor, but back in my day, the upper admin knew the difference between the great, good, average and bad prosecutors.  They watched them in trial.  They read their evaluations.  They didn't ask them to make a "sizzle reel" as if they were trying out for American Idol . Real prosecutors ain't got time for that.  But if you are keeping tabs

Top 10 Excuses from the D.A.'s Office for Hiring a Convicted Felon to Be a Prosecutor

As most courthouse regulars know by now, the Harris County District Attorney's Office had an embarrassing situation this week after hiring Marlene Bovell, a convicted felon, to be an Assistant District Attorney .  Here are the Top 10 Excuses that I think the Office could potentially use in this scenario.  So, here we go . . . The Top 10 Excuses from the Harris County District Attorney's Office for Hiring a Convicted Felon to Be an Assistant D.A. 10.  The Office was just feeling kind of self-destructive ever since Drew Rountree left. 9.  Someone needed to drive the Justice Trolley. 8. Still had Parental Controls activated on the Investigators' Google accounts, so there was no way they could have ever found out plainly obvious information from the Internet. 7. Hey, if the Trump Administration can employ crooks, why can't we? 6.  She told us that she didn't like Keiter, either. 5. She had a law degree and a pulse.  Have you seen our attriti

A Lack of Civility

It isn't difficult to empathize with the Civil Judges and lawyers who regularly practice at the the Civil Justice Center located at 201 Caroline. When Hurricane Harvey wiped out the Harris County Criminal Justice Center (for the third time), the Criminal Bar showed up at the Civils' doorstep like Cousin Eddie at the Griswolds'.  We had no place else to go and the Civil Court judges welcomed us in.  That couldn't have been easy.  Imagine if someone came to you and asked you to vacate your office for a group of relative strangers. The vast majority of the Civil Judges have been more than gracious hosts.  For those that didn't outright give up their courtrooms to bunk up with other judges, the rest have been very generous in sharing their space with criminal court dockets.  On those occasions when the Civils have needed their courtrooms back for their own trials and hearings, they have been pretty accepting of the Criminal Courts working their dockets in the front

The 2018 Contested Republican Primaries

The contested primaries on the Republican side are fewer and farther between than on the Democratic side, due to the fact that many of the benches are held by incumbents.  In total, there are two contested Criminal District Court benches (both where there is no incumbent) and two Criminal County Court at Law benches that are contested. Before I get to those, I would like to bring to your attention that former prosecutor and longtime defense attorney Terry Yates  is running for Justice of the 1st Court of Appeals - Place 7 against Katy Boatman .  I don't know Katy Boatman, but I've known Terry pretty much since I walked in the door of a Harris County Courthouse.  I'm a big fan of his, as I am his brother, Denny, and his wife, Judge Leslie Brock Yates.   Terry has viewed the Criminal Justice System from both the prosecution and defense sides.  He would make a great Justice. Now onto the District Court benches.  I will start off by saying that I've dreaded writing

The 2018 Contested Democratic Primaries

With the Democratic sweep of 2016 in Harris County, it is not much of a surprise that candidates came out of the woodwork to run for the remaining judicial benches in 2018.  With one exception, all of the Dems running for Criminal District Court benches are uncontested.  One of the three Juvenile District Court benches is contested in a three-way race and seven of the Criminal County Court benches are contested. In the vast majority of these races, I have nothing negative to say about the candidates, other than noting years of experience and dedication to criminal law.  In a few of the races, I have a friend running against another friend.  I'm not going to pick favorites in those races.  This blog is definitely not worth losing a friend over. Before I dive into the contested criminal benches, I do want to point out that we have at least three attorneys with ties to our CJC world who are running for either Civil or Family Court benches. In the 234th District Court , Harri