Features

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

More than forty years ago, United States District Judge William Wayne Justice appointed me to represent a pro se petitioner who was seeking habeas relief in his court. This petitioner had also appeared pro se in a divorce proceeding and had been called to the stand by his wife’s lawyer. While testifying, he admitted to many acts of sexual intercourse with his young daughter. After that case was concluded, the trial judge had a statement of facts prepared and sent it to the local district attorney.

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Batson v. Kentucky is again front and center in the United States Supreme Court. On May 26, 2015 the Court granted certiorari in Foster v. Chatman (No. 14-8349, 2015 Term). The case is currently set for argument on November 2, 2015. In Foster, Georgia prosecutors struck all four African-American prospective jurors from the death penalty venire and provided roughly a dozen “race-neutral” reasons for their peremptory strikes.

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Keep your mouth shut. Don’t tell anyone else about it. It is part of an old proverb: “Speech is silver and silence is golden. Often the best choice is to say nothing.”

When your clients are the subject of criminal investigations, ethically you should warn them to keep their mouths shut and remain silent.

Executive Director's Perspective Oct15-1
Saturday, October 10th, 2015

The TCDLA board of directors met in Dallas on September 12, 2015. Sam Bassett, president, announced the following informational items:

President Announcements: Sam welcomed everyone to the board meeting and stated how excited he is to be here.

Recognitions, Sam Bassett: Sam gave recognition to Robb Fickman (Houston) for all his organization and work for the Declaration of Independence Readings.

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

The tragic death of Deputy Goforth in Houston has again brought to the forefront the issue of law enforcement’s changing relationship with segments of our society. It is on my mind as I write this column in the days following his funeral, attended and watched by thousands in our state and in our country. It was shocking to learn that this father and husband senselessly lost his life simply for wearing the uniform.

October 2015 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Saturday, October 10th, 2015
Features
20 | Going to Prison in Texas in 2015, Part 2 - By William T. Habern, David P. O’Neil & Debra Bone
28 | Continuously Trying - Article & Motions by Bruce S. Fox
36 | Three Hots and a Cot - By Judge Wayne Patrick Priest

Columns
7 | President's Message
We Need Those Stinking Badges: Courthouse Security for Texas Lawyers 101
Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

—Benjamin Franklin

Going to Prison in Texas in 2015, Part 1
Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Introduction

For over 30 years our firm has represented offenders and their families in prison and parole administrative and legal issues. The first version of this article was published in the Voice more than 20 years ago.

Most People Call Me Charlie
Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

—Albert Schweitzer

Said & Done New
Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Kudos

Congratulations to Jeff Blackburn of Amarillo for receiving the Champion of Justice award from TCDLA at the TCDLA Innocence 101: Criminal Practice seminar in Austin in August. The award was given for his work in the posthumous exoneration of Tim Cole and the resulting legislation.

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

On August 7, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the defendant’s conviction and held that, as a matter of apparent first impression, an alert registered by a license plate recognition (LPR) system which a police officer used to scan license plates of nearby cars provided reasonable suspicion of criminal activity of a kind supporting an investigatory stop of a vehicle. United States v. Williams, ___F.3d___, 2015 WL 4666312 (8th Cir. 2015) [Panel: Circuit Judges Gruender, Beam, and Benton (opinion by Gruender)].

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Special thanks to our course directors Gary Udashen (Dallas) and Mike Ware (Fort Worth) for the TCDLA Innocence 101: Clinical Practice CLE held in Austin in August. Thanks to their efforts we had 139 attendees.

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Waco—home of the Baylor Bears, the Texas Ranger Museum, the Dr. Pepper Museum, and venue to one of the most controversial events in the criminal justice history of Texas. Is another case unfolding that will rival the Branch Davidian debacle?

September 2015 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Wednesday, September 16th, 2015
Features
18 | “Most People Call Me Charlie”  - By Mark Stevens
22 | Going to Prison in Texas in 2015, Part 1 - By William T. Habern, David P. O’Neil & Debra Bone
32 | We Need Those Stinking Badges: Courthouse Security for Texas Lawyers 101 - By Chuck Lanehart, Sarah Gunter & Charles Blevins
Joining the Military with a Juvenile Record
Thursday, August 13th, 2015

A question often asked by younger clients is whether they will be able to join the military with a juvenile record. Specifically, they want to know how a juvenile record will affect their chances of enlisting and if they should disclose their record when they try to enlist. The answer is—it depends. It depends on the type of offense and the disposition of the case.

Jeopardy Should Attach to an Acquittal in the Court of Appeal
Thursday, August 13th, 2015

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution provides “nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb . . .” U.S. Const. Amend. V.

Intoxilyzer™ 9000 in Texas
Thursday, August 13th, 2015

However, Texas is currently transitioning to the Intoxilyzer 9000 and training breath test operators through local technical supervisors. Implementation of the Intoxilyzer 9000 was scheduled for Summer 2015, but due to software issues and bugs, the 9000 has not been approved for evidential use.

Said & Done New
Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Our own Buck Files has been honored once again, this time by the Texas Bar Foundation, which named him one of six Outstanding 50-Year Lawyers for 2015. Election to the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a member of the State Bar of Texas, representing the top one-third of one percent of Texas attorneys.

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Unless you are the very best or the very worst at what you do, there is always someone above you or below you on the competency totem pole. This is true without regard to one’s profession or job. Whether it’s doctors or lawyers or dentists on the one hand or welders or painters or mechanics on the other, it’s a fact of life. For example, we all know a surgeon whom we would want to take care of us in the event of an emergency—and we know another surgeon whom we would never want in the operating room with us.

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