Features

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

It’s an understatement to say that a lot has happened in the last month. There’s been a lot to absorb no matter your walk in life. A tremendous Fall Classic and a jaw-dropping presidential election. History has been made, but to call either event groundbreaking doesn’t come close to estimating their impacts or importance in the world of sports and around the world. Whatever the allegiance—whether Cub or Indian, Trump or Clinton—people have been instantly divided. Either a new dawn is breaking or the sun is setting.

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

As of November 1, 2016, I have had the privilege and honor to serve the membership of TCDLA for 15 years. In that time I have spoken and written of the TCDLA family. I have come to a profound understanding of what that meant in the last four months.

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

While writing this, it struck me that the holidays are upon us. Neighborhoods are starting to sparkle with green and red lights. Christmas music is playing everywhere. I always find that the end of a year is a good time to reflect on the past year, both personally and professionally, the good and the bad, the joyous and the heartbreaking. I recognize the things that I am grateful for, and know that I am blessed with much more than anyone deserves.

December 2016 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
Features
21 | DWI Jury Punishment - By John Gioffredi
25 | The Roles of Forensic Mental Health Experts in the Legal System: What Practitioners of Law May Need to Know - By M. K. Hamza
33 | Suppressing Evidence Obtained From Proactive Drug Interdiction Speeding Stop - By Robert Eutsler
The Long Hot Summer—Dilley Style
Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Careful observers of the criminal justice scene in my part of the world note that Federal prosecutors file and pursue a lot more conspiracy prosecutions than do their State court counterparts. Many assume, I believe, that this is because conspiracy prosecutions require special investigative talents found only in the Justice Department and the various Federal investigative agencies.

Avoiding the One-Eyed Expert and Handling the Others
Saturday, November 5th, 2016

In the early 1990s, when I was a law student, I worked on an appeal from the re-sentencing trial of a Travis County capital murder case, that of David Lee Powell.

Receipt of Incriminating Evidence and the Need for Protection
Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Texas criminal defense lawyers who have received physical evidence incriminating their clients are in an ethical no-man’s-land and vulnerable to prosecution. There is currently no clear ethical rule to guide the defense lawyer and no real protection from being used as a law enforcement tool against your own client.

Shout Outs
Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Kudos to Jim Huggler of Tyler on a big win in the CCA, gaining a reversal in the Walker v. State case.

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Like the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, those who would watch child pornography and those who would prosecute them for doing so continue to try to outwit each other. In the real world, though, it is Mr. Coyote (the Government) who often prevails. Recently, I learned about the child pornographers’ use of The onion router (“Tor”) and the Government’s use of a Network Investigative Technique (“NIT”). United States v. Croghan, ___F.Supp.3d___, 2016 WL 4992105 (S.D. Iowa Sept. 19, 2016), and United States v.

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Metrology is the science of measurement. The State often relies upon measurements to prove allegations against our clients. For example, the determination of breath and blood alcohol concentrations in a DWI trial involve measurement. The weight of a controlled substance, and its identity, involves measurement. Other examples may include DNA and radar speed detection. Essentially, a forensic science implicating physics, chemistry, toxicology, engineering, psychology, or medicine may also implicate the science of measurement.

Ethics and the Law: Slim to None-1
Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Regardless of where a lawyer practices, one thing will always remain the same—time is money. Abraham Lincoln said it best when stating, “a lawyer’s time and advice is his stock and trade.” When a client seeks out an attorney to represent him or her, the client is essentially paying for two things—the lawyer’s time and knowledge. More importantly, as most lawyers unfortunately know, when the case is over and the client has not fully paid, you have two chances of being paid—SLIM TO NONE—regardless of how much time and knowledge you put into it.

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Special thanks to our course directors, Jason Cassel and Audrey Moorehead, for the TCDLA Cross-Examination seminar and to course directors Kerri Anderson-Donica, Heather Barbieri, and Mark Bennett for the Voir Dire CLE held in Dallas in September. Thanks to their help we had 50 attendees for Cross-Examination and 63 attendees for Voir Dire.

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Although the temperatures belie it now, fall is upon us. With it, we will see the end of an intense and unpredictable summer of politics and the start of the holiday season. A holiday season in an even-numbered year, means that a legislative session is right around the corner!

November 2016 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Features
21 | Receipt of Incriminating Evidence and the Need for Protection - By Keith Hampton
28 | Avoiding the One-Eyed Expert and Handling the Others - By Hilary Sheard
36 | The Long Hot Summer—Dilley Style - By Judge Pat Priest

Columns
6 | President's Message

Look Here: 4th Amendment Musings - Oct2016
Friday, October 7th, 2016

Search & Seizure: So, What’s Going On?

(Rodriguez v. U.S., 135 S. Ct. 1609, April 21, 2015)

So What’s the Big Deal? Many attorneys in Texas were not impressed by the Rodriguez decision.

The Leming Opinion Is Not the Silver Bullet Prosecutors Claim
Friday, October 7th, 2016

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.

Ethical Problems with Giving Free Legal Advice
Friday, October 7th, 2016

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?

Defending Child Injury Cases
Friday, October 7th, 2016

Introduction

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.

Said & Done New
Friday, October 7th, 2016

Kudos

Kudos to Harris County Chief Public Defender Alexander Bunin, who was presented with the Champion of Public Defense Award by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at its 59th Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, FL, in August.

Friday, October 7th, 2016

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].

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