Features

May 2016 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Features
25 | Buck Files Makes It 200! - By Bobby Mims
27 | “Never Quit. Never.” A Tribute to Buck Files - By Frank E. Stevenson
29 | 2016 TCDLA Long Range Plan - By TCDLA Long Range Planning Committee
35 | The Kibitzer Case - By Judge Wayne Patrick Priest
37 | Privilege vs. Confidentiality - By Dean Watts
The Star Expert in the Pre-Columbian Artifacts Affair
Saturday, April 9th, 2016

The Pre-Columbian Artifacts case had already been tried and appealed once before I ever became involved in it. The Defendants had all been convicted, both of transporting the artifacts in international and interstate commerce and of conspiring to do so. The Fifth Circuit had sent the case back to Judge John H.

Successfully Suppressing a Search Warrant in Federal Court
Saturday, April 9th, 2016

The Facts

My court-appointed client, Jermaine Jones (JJ), a career offender, had been indicted in the U.S. District Court for the Western Dis­trict of Texas, Waco Division, for possessing just shy of 46 grams of crack cocaine and a loaded .45 handgun. Four Deputy U.S.

Between a Reversal at the Court of Appeals and Discretionary Review: What Are Appointed Counsel’s Duties?
Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Under two US Supreme Court rulings,2 where a state provides for appellate review of criminal convictions, an indigent appellant enjoys a constitutional right to appointment of counsel for an initial appeal of right, but

Said & Done New
Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Kudos

When we extended kudos to TCDLA members recently certified in criminal law by the Board of Legal Specialization, we missed one: Steven J. Lieberman of Houston. Sorry, Steven, and congratulations.

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

The event has occurred on thousands of occasions. Terry Trooper sees Danny Defendant driving on his highway. Something catches Terry’s attention that causes him to believe Danny has committed or is committing a criminal offense. Terry initiates a traffic stop that leads to a conversation with Danny, a seizure of something, and a warrantless arrest. The issue for the trial court or the appellate court is always the same: Did Terry have probable cause or a reasonable suspicion that Danny had committed or was committing a criminal offense?

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Our money is rarely a topic of conversation at the courthouse. We are often stoked to talk about the law . . . always primed to share details of our latest victory or penetrating cross-examination. But what about money? When our law practice closes its doors for the last time, what will we have to show for our decades of sacrifice? Hopefully, we’ll have some degree of financial freedom. But the statistics are dismal. Americans do not save enough.

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Midnight special is a traditional folk song thought to have originated among prisoners in the American South (www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TXfcsFhc7A). The title comes from the passenger train “Midnight Special” and is performed from the viewpoint of the prisoners. Lyrics first appeared in print in 1905.

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

As I write this column, my husband and I are preparing to bring our second child—a boy—into this world. We have decided to name him Samuel George Smith. (Yes, I am one of those women who didn’t change my last name.) George, after my late dad, George Roland. My dad was a fierce defender of the Constitution—the best. I now know and appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears that he invested in his work and its meaning. The soon-to-be birth of my son has me thinking a lot about legacies—the ones we leave behind, the ones we create, the ones we pass on.

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Please join me in welcoming Andrea Keilen, our new General Counsel for TCDLA. Andrea will also be our Lobbyist, working with our lobby team in the upcoming Texas Legislative session. Andrea brings a wealth of experience to TCDLA. We are very fortunate to have her on board. She can be reached at the home office, 512-478-2514.

Special thanks to course director Rick Wardroup for our Capital/Mental Health seminar held in Houston in February. Thanks to him and our speakers we had 108 attendees.

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

The world of defending a criminal case used to be simpler. As I look around my office at lawyers who have practiced in excess of 50 years, I realize how much the landscape has changed in just a generation or two. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the increasing number of civil proceedings that accompany even a misdemeanor criminal case today. What is relatively new as well is the new landscape on college campuses of Title IX requirements in cases where sexual misconduct is alleged.

April 2016 Complete Issue - PDF Download
Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Features
21 | The 40th Annual Texas Criminal Trial College
25 | Between a Reversal at the Court of Appeals and Discretionary Review: What Are Appointed Counsel’s Duties? - By John Bennett
29 | Successfully Suppressing a Search Warrant in Federal Court - By Mary Beth Harrell
A Lesson in Double Jeopardy
Saturday, March 12th, 2016

The first felony jury trial I participated in was what was then called a robbery by assault with a firearm. I had been licensed to practice for almost exactly one year, and had gone to Judge Archie Brown, one of two felony judges in the county at that time, and asked to be appointed to some cases that were going to trial to gain experience.

If All You Got Is Reasonable Doubt to Rely On, You’re Screwed
Saturday, March 12th, 2016

Michael Morton is probably the most well-known example, at least in Texas, of an innocent person spending decades in prison for a crime he did not commit. As we all know, in that case, there was a significant amount of prosecutorial misconduct—i.e., hiding favorable evidence—that led to the wrongful conviction.

Procedural Choke Points in 46B Competency Issues
Saturday, March 12th, 2016

In this brief article, I am going to focus quickly upon some fundamentals as may appertain to the issue of raising the issue of competency in criminal matters, interweaving special problems, or choke points in the process, of which there are a finite number, but at least ten.

Said & Done New
Saturday, March 12th, 2016
Saturday, March 12th, 2016

On January 29, 2016, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that as matter of first impression, where officers have summoned a defendant to the door of his house, they may not effect a warrantless “across the threshold” arrest in the absence of exigent circumstances; and, that a warrantless “across the threshold” arrest of a defendant, who was summoned to door of his home for such purpose, violated the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Allen, ___ F.3d ___, 2016 WL 362570 (2016).

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

In Brazos County the Department of Public Safety has been using sleight-of-hand to prove up blood test results in ALR failure cases. Their conjuring attempts to correct an evidentiary deficiency in their blood test proof. Specifically, the Department tries to argue these blood test failures resulted from the suspect’s “express consent” to provide a blood sample, rather than “implied consent” under Chapter 724 of the Texas Transportation Code.

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