Safe Weaving Is No Basis for a Stop
Those familiar with criminal defense in the state of Texas have likely encountered the issue of weaving within the lane as a basis for a police stop.
Q: Hey, are you really a lawyer? Can I ask you a couple of questions?
How many times have we been approached by someone with those questions? Is this person now a client or just a minor irritation? Do we have ethical obligations in that situation? What are they?
Kid cases—whether they be allegations of physical or sexual abuse—are the hardest cases to defend. Jurors, understandably, come in with an inherent prejudice against our client and wanting to save the child. It is an uphill battle from the start.
On July 12, 2016, United States District Judge William H. Pauley III, of the Southern District of New York, granted the defendant’s motion to suppress the narcotics and drug paraphernalia recovered by law enforcement agents in connection with a search of his apartment. Judge Pauley held that (1) the warrantless use of a cell-site simulator to locate the defendant’s apartment as the place of use for the target cell phone, was an unreasonable search; (2) the attenuation doctrine was inapplicable; and, (3) the third-party doctrine was also inapplicable [emphasis added].
Successfully summoning an out-of-state witness to testify in Texas is a chore. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 24.28, is entitled Uniform Act to Secure Attendance of Witnesses from Without State. Section 4 provides our authority to subpoena a witness from another state. The process is error-prone and rarely guaranteed. Nonetheless, your out-of-state witness may be the lynchpin of your case. To this end, some insight into the logistical pitfalls may save you hours of work and millimeters of stomach lining.
It’s that time of year again—Fall Ball, postseason baseball, the Fall Classic. I’ve always loved baseball. I still love to play catch and burnout and have a whole baseball collection. My brothers and I grew up in a baseball family. Our dad introduced us to baseball early on. He coached and sponsored our little league teams, and when it was clear we loved baseball as much as he did, he built us our own field of dreams . . . complete with a real cornfield in the outfield and wooden bleachers.
The TCDLA membership met on June 18, 2016, in San Antonio for the 45th Annual Membership Meeting. The following motions were made.
MOTION: Approve Minutes—February 13, 2016
Motion to adopt the minutes from the Board Meeting on February 13, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana, made by Nicole DeBorde, seconded by David Ryan—motion carries.
MOTION: Board Electronic Votes—Motion to approve electronic votes for recipients of:
DNA mixture issues have been at the forefront during the first half of 2016. An update is in order, but first some background. While some in the forensic community have raised this issue for years, it got widespread attention in May 2015, when the FBI notified labs across the country of discrepancies discovered in the interpretation of DNA mixture cases—those in which multiple contributors may be present.
23 | Defending Child Injury Cases - By Sarah Roland
30 | Ethical Problems with Giving Free Legal Advice - By Janet Burnett
34 | The Leming Opinion Is Not the Silver Bullet Prosecutors Claim - By Lanny Begley
37 | 4th Amendment Musings: Search & Seizure: So, What’s Going On? - By Kelly Pace
Getting as much insight as possible into your opponent’s case is the keystone to an effective defense. The more information you and your client have, the better informed you and your client are so that both of you can make an informed decision. An uninformed decision, based on inaccurate or no information, can harm your client.
In a statewide act of solidarity and reverence, we all read the Declaration of Independence this Independence Day. Indeed, it is the very words of the Declaration of Independence that tell us why the Fourth Amendment was so important to our founders and remains of utmost importance today:
Only one criminal defense lawyer in America has ever before seen the fact situation that was presented to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. United States v. Collins, ___F.3d___, 2016 WL 3583999 (6th Cir. 2016) [Panel: Circuit Judges Guy, Batchelder, and Cook. Opinion by Judge Guy.] That lawyer was the attorney of record for Mr. Collins.
How do your individual attributes and professional experiences create value in the lives of other people? What qualities do you project? For what are you known? In total, these things embody your personal brand. And like it or not, you already have one. Accordingly, consider your brand as a manageable asset. Your brand is something to continuously shape with the intention of helping others benefit from having a relationship with you. It should represent the value you are consistently able to deliver to those you serve.
School is back in session. College campuses are crawling again with students, fresh back from summer break. Dorm rooms are filled with first-year college students yearning for the ultimate college experience, complete with an appropriate balance of academic success and serious fun. The endless weekends of fraternity and sorority parties and tailgating events are well underway. The backdrop is thus perfectly set for the code of student conduct hearings that are regularly happening in universities around our state.