Features

Private Investigators: How to Choose One, and How to Use One—Effectively
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Attorney F. Lee Bailey began his career as an investigator. Undoubtedly, that experience helped him succeed in his more noteworthy vocation. Most lawyers realize the need for superior investigation.

Court Costs
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

More than 50 years after Gideon v. Wainwright, Texas courts continue to subvert indigent defendants’ right to appointed counsel by imposing attorney’s fees post-conviction.

Statutory Changes Regarding Mentally Ill Defendants
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Overview

In the following, I will review selected changes to Chapter 46B, Tex. Code Crim. Proc., as a result of SB 1326, signed by the governor on 6/12/2017 and effective on 9/1/2017.

Shout Outs
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

A big shout out to Randy Schaffer of Houston, at whose behest the State Bar of Texas is pursuing disciplinary action against a former Harris County assistant district attorney—who allegedly struck deals with three jailhouse informants in exchange for testimony in a capital murder trial without notifying the defense.

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

For those of us who live and practice law in cities near interstate highways, it is common for us to represent clients who have been stopped by law enforcement officers while they were driving rental cars and transporting drugs. In each of these cases, we consider filing a motion to suppress the evidence discovered and seized by the officers. Often, there is an issue as to whether our clients have standing to challenge the search of their vehicles and the seizure of the drugs.

Gavel Icon
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Last month six defendants litigated a group suppression hearing that raised the issue of a warrantless search of a constitutionally protected space. The warrantless search resulted in the police observing contraband in plain view. A search warrant was subsequently secured alleging that plain view contraband created probable cause to search the space. Below is a summary of our collective research. It may give defense lawyers a place to begin when challenging their own warrantless entry/search cases. Further, I cannot take full credit for this research.

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

It’s that time of year again. The beginning of holiday season. The time when family gatherings—whether dreaded or welcomed—become commonplace. The time of year when we get to see those relatives whom we haven’t seen or talked to since the year before. And let’s just go ahead and acknowledge it: We all have one—at least one—“crazy” relative. And as the joke goes, if you don’t know who that person is in your family, it’s probably you!

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

The following motions were voted on by the TCDLA Board at the September 9, 2016, Board meeting held in Fort Worth.

MOTION: Minutes, June 23, 2017
Motion to adopt the minutes from the TCDLA Annual Board Meeting in San Antonio on June 23, 2017, made by David Botsford, seconded by Michael Gross—motion carries.

MOTION: FY18 TCDLA Budget
Motion to approve the FY18 TCDLA Budget made by Russell Gunter, seconded by Roberto Balli—motion carries.

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

As I try to get this month’s message written before my October 15th deadline, I have been enthralled watching Jose Altuve put on a heroic exhibition in the early stages of what may be a long playoff run for the Astros. Vertically challenged at five feet six inches tall, the smallest player in baseball, Jose is a giant on the field. By the time you read this, hopefully he will have led Houston to a World Series Championship.

November 2017 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
Features
22 | Statutory Changes Regarding Mentally Ill Defendants - By Floyd L. Jennings
29 | Court Costs - By Audrey Chao
34 | Private Investigators: How to Choose One, and How to Use One—Effectively - By Jeff Wax

Columns
6 | President's Message
8 | Executive Director's Perspective
Nondisclosures of DWI Convictions: The New Second “Chance”
Saturday, September 30th, 2017

DWI nondisclosure law will go into effect on September 1, 2017. It will allow your clients to seek an Order of Nondisclosure for DWI convictions, regardless of whether the client received, and successfully completed, community supervision or if he or she received a “back-time/work detail” type of outcome.

Surviving Hurricane Harvey: Houston Lawyers and Others on the Ordeal
Saturday, September 30th, 2017

When the full scope of the Hurricane Harvey tragedy became evident, I was struck by the enormity of the disaster. I wondered how people like me—people in the law business—could survive such a challenge.

Shout Outs
Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Shout out to 2016 TCDLA Lawyer of the Year Richard Gladden for a recent win in district court. District judge granted a motion for summary judgment Richard filed on behalf of D in a Section 1983 Civil Rights case. The Court ruled D’s federal right to procedural due process was violated by the Sex Offender Registration Bureau (SORB) at the Texas DPS in Austin.

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

On September 6, 2017, I received an email from my immigration guru, Richard Fischer of Nacogdoches. Attached to that email was a copy of Matter of Ali Mohamed Mohamed, 27 I&N Dec. 92 (BIA 2017), Interim Decision #3900. This was a September 5th decision of a panel of the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review Board of Immigration Appeals.

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

I was fortunate to have survived much of Harvey’s rage. But an attorney colleague of mine was not so lucky. Listening to her story, I was struck not only by the terror of nature’s fury, but by her steely coolness under pressure—in the midst of a crisis beyond her control. This is how she stared down the wrath of Hurricane Harvey.

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

How many times has it happened? The State needs to prove up a prior judgment for jurisdictional, enhancement, or punishment purposes and just lists any (or every) investigator in the DA’s office or sheriff’s office as an expert to prove up the fingerprints. We assume the judgment is coming in, well, because it always has, so we just stipulate thinking it will somehow earn our client points with the jury for accepting responsibility. We even point out to the jury how this time is different because in the past our client has accepted responsibility.

Executive Director's Perspective: Quarterly Report
Saturday, September 30th, 2017

TCDLA under David Moore’s leadership has initiated the Hurricane Harvey Lawyers Relief Fund Committee, chaired by Danny Easterling (Houston) with other members on from the affected area. Donations are being accepted and will be used to alleviate some of the burdens that this historic storm has placed on our fellow criminal law practitioners. Please consider making a contribution. Please go to our website for more information or go directly to the donation page (www.tcdla.com/harvey).

President's Message: Adios, Kemo Sabe-2
Saturday, September 30th, 2017

When I first started this article, our son Jacob was leaving home in three days, headed off to Rhodes College in Memphis. I know we all think that our own children are terrific, but Jacob is a great kid by anyone’s standards.

October 2017 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Saturday, September 30th, 2017
Features
22 | Surviving Hurricane Harvey: Houston Lawyers and Others on the Ordeal - Compiled by Chuck Lanehart
      With Yong J. An
      David Moore
      Judy Mingledorff
      Thuy Le
      Lisa Shapiro Strauss
      Christina Appelt
      Robb Fickman
      Monique Sparks
Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Dear Members,

Many of our brothers and sisters up and down the coast have suffered devastating losses in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. With their offices and homes damaged or destroyed, they are struggling to regain some semblance of normalcy and their capacity to continue to defend the citizen accused.

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