As most of you know, Judge Renee Magee passed away last week. It is my understanding that she had been sick for some time, but wished to keep that private.
Although I don't post here as much as I used to, Renee played a significant role in my life and career and I am very sad to hear of her passing. She was a lovely and kind person and I would not be in Harris County if it weren't for her.
As I've mentioned here several times, my first introduction to working at the Harris County District Attorney's Office was in the Summer of 1998 when I had an academic internship in the 209th District Court. Elsa Alcala was the chief and Renee was the Two in the court. I did a lot of work for Renee that summer as she got ready on trial cases. She was a very devoted and hardworking prosecutor and I learned a lot from her. She was also incredibly kind and great to work for.
She and Elsa both wrote letters of recommendation for me when I applied to be a pre-commit with the office, and when that didn't happen, Renee was very encouraging to me to apply again once I received my bar results. She was Deputy Dawg of Misdemeanor when the bar results called and (back in the day of dial-up internet) she looked to see that I had passed. She called me soon after, encouraging me to apply. Two weeks later, I was working in Harris County.
During my time at the Office, we were never assigned to the same court, but we chatted whenever we saw each other. She was also sweet. Always happy. Always encouraging and supportive. Always a friend.
We lost touch for a while when Lykos was elected and I left the Office, but she appointed me fairly frequently once she became the judge of the 337th District Court. During her tenure, I would try three cases in front of her, and we butted heads during the course of those trials. I thought she still had too much prosecutor in her, and I think she thought I had way too much defense attorney in me.
When she left the bench, we lost contact except through Facebook. I had understood that she was spending most of her time in Galveston with her family. I had heard that she had a health incident a few years ago, but I was under the impression that she had recovered from it.
Despite our differences in trial, Renee Magee remained a sweet, wonderful person. She had a strong morale compass and although we differed, I respected her. I'm very sad to hear of her passing.