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Showing posts from February, 2020

Outsourcing the Experience

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When I was a First-Year law clerk with Hinton, Bailey, Sussman & Davidson way back in 1997, I had the opportunity to be introduced to the Judge of the 262nd District Court, Doug Shaver.  He asked me what I planned to do when I finished law school and I told him that I wanted to go back home to Brazos County and work at the District Attorney's Office.   He asked me why didn't I want to stay in Harris County and work for the D.A.'s Office here. In that special brand of arrogance that is so typical of a first-year law student, I told him that at the Brazos County D.A.'s Office, they prosecuted only felonies, and I would be able to jump right in and start trying murders as soon as I got out of law school.  I elaborated by telling him that if I went to Harris County, I'd get stuck trying DWIs and other misdemeanors for too long before I got a chance to start trying the good stuff. Judge Shaver shook his head and smiled. "Son, you don't need to be looki

The 2020 Democratic Primary Race for Harris County District Attorney

The two biggest local races on the Democratic Primary ballot are the races for Harris County District Attorney and Harris County Sheriff.  Although Sheriff Ed Gonzalez does have a couple of primary challengers, he's done a very good job during his first term and has managed to avoid any major controversy.  He's got my vote and I can't imagine this primary being too difficult for him to manage. Obviously, the same cannot be said for incumbent District Attorney Kim Ogg, who has courted controversy at every turn, literally before she was even sworn into office. I supported Ogg in 2016.   Although I didn't know her very well, I agreed with her platform on the future of prosecuting.  Employing the old adage that Judge Caprice Cosper once told me that "there are people in this business who you are mad at and people whom you are afraid of and it would behoove you to learn the difference," I felt that Ogg's beliefs more or less echoed this sentiment -- focus r

The 2020 Criminal Justice Primaries

With early voting beginning this Tuesday, February 18th, it occurred to me that I might want to get off my lazy butt and write down my thoughts on this year's primaries. It's an extremely interesting year, in my opinion, because for the first time since I've been a voter in Harris County, the Republican primary is a virtual Ghost Town compared to the Democratic primary.  Most of the District and County Courts that are on the ballot (and with one exception, held by Democratic incumbents) didn't even field candidates.  Those that did  have candidates on the ballot were uncontested races, so I'm not going to even address them right now. The decimating defeats of 2016 and 2018 have apparently led most aspiring Republican candidates to save their money rather than waste it on a campaign.  2020 marks the first year where voters will no longer have the "straight ticket" voting option in November, but I guess that hasn't inspired too many candidacies.  Per