Robert Pelton

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Robert Pelton is the former President of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association (HCCLA), Associate Director for TCDLA, and Feature Articles Editor of the Voice, as well as serving as editor and assistant editor of Docket Call. Among his many honors, Robert was named by H Texas magazine as one of the top criminal lawyers in Harris County (2004–2010) and one of Houston’s Top Lawyers for the People in criminal law (2004–2010), and he is listed in the Martindale Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Robert has offices in Abilene and Houston.

Stories from Robert Pelton

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

This is an article written by Jim Skelton in 1985 with some very good information for us all. Jim left this world March 8, 2017. Jim had been the Significant Decisions Editor for the Voice and a longtime participant in the TCDLA Huntsville Trial College. Jim helped many lawyers and helped me come up with the idea for the Ethics Committee and hotline to help lawyers. In Jim’s honor, this will be the Ethics article for this issue. (Note: Judge McKay, from East Texas, was a Harris County judge for many years.)

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

The following comments are from Ethics Committee member Brent Mayr in response to last month’s column, “Don’t Act Ugly”:

My two cents to add to an already valuable article:

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Over the past 10 years many Houston lawyers have become friends with several homeless people who hang around the courthouse. One recently died and several lawyers helped provide shelter, food, and medical care for “Rick.” Rick always had a positive attitude and was upbeat and would tell all the accused citizens standing in line to get in the building “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” or “I Love You” to all the women, lawyers, and citizens. He was like a street preacher trying to spread some cheer around a depressing building.

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.

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” An old saying we most all grew up with, and also one that many have discovered to be untrue. The phrase was originally presented as an “old adage” and was first cited in The Christian Recorder of March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Notably, the reference to the phrase as an “old adage” suggests an even earlier coinage.

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

“Life Is Like a Mountain Railway”

Life is like a mountain railway
With an engineer that’s brave
We must make this run successful
From the cradle to the grave.

Heed the curves and watch the tunnels
Never falter, never fail
Keep your hands upon the throttle
And your eye upon the rail.

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, March 12th, 2016

Acknowledgments to lawyers and law students who shall remain nameless . . .

Tiptoe through the window
By the window, that is where I’ll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me...

Ethics and the Law: Don’t Take Your Guns to Town-1
Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

If Wild Bill Hickok were walking down the streets of Houston or Abilene or any other place in Texas with his guns today, he would probably be approached by the police and arrested. Wild Bill has a concealed handgun license, but Wild Bill doesn’t carry his pistols in a holster; he carries them stuck in a sash wrapped around his waist. Too bad he didn’t understand the nuances of the new open carry law. But then, who does?

Rudolph
Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

All of you have heard the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and are familiar with its main character, Rudolph. Rudolph was created in 1939 by Robert May, an employee of Montgomery Ward. Although sources vary as to whether May created the story of Rudolph to promote sales at the Christmas season, or to give as a gift to his young daughter to bring her comfort, May was doing his best to keep his job and comfort his child because Ms. May was dying of cancer.

Rudolph
Saturday, December 19th, 2015

All of you have heard the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and are familiar with its main character, Rudolph. Rudolph was created in 1939 by Robert May, an employee of Montgomery Ward. Although sources vary as to whether May created the story of Rudolph to promote sales at the Christmas season, or to give as a gift to his young daughter to bring her comfort, May was doing his best to keep his job and comfort his child because Ms. May was dying of cancer.

Veterans Day by Sam Pelton, Age 12 - medium
Saturday, November 21st, 2015

November 11, 1918, marked the end of World War I. History books tell us that the bells rang and the “war to end all wars” ended. No veterans of that war are living today, and there are very few civilians who were alive on the 11th month of the 11th day at the 11th hour of 1918. In 1938, legislation was passed in the United States declaring November 11 to be “Armistice Day,” set aside to honor those who served in World War I. Since 1954, November 11th is known as Veterans Day.

Veterans Day by Sam Pelton, Age 12
Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
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.

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Imagine this: It’s mid-morning on a weekday, you’re standing outside the Criminal Courthouse after finishing a hearing in Criminal Court. The weather is ordinary for Houston. The sky is clear, the humidity is high, the wind is almost nonexistent, and of course, it’s hot. Sirens are blaring from a distance, although in retrospect, that is nothing unusual for the sounds of downtown Houston, Texas, and as the morning transitions into early afternoon, those ever-so-distant blaring sirens are getting closer and closer.

Ethics & The Law April 2015-1
Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Several lawyers have contacted the hotline for advice on ending their relationship with a client. A simple motion to withdraw may not be as simple as some people think. After talking with several smart lawyers I have found the following scenarios:

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

One of my lawyer friends sent me the question: “What is ethics?” I wrote him an essay on what Aristotle, Socrates, Confucius, and even Gene Autry wrote about ethics, and that response will be presented in a future article. It sounds like an easy question to answer, but in reality it is not. Joe Connors sent me his ideas on the subject, which will be displayed later. The following response is from Raymond Fuchs, one of the Ethics Committee members.

Twas the Week Before Christmas 12-2014
Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

In the spirit of the Christmas season and to remind our members never to give up on any motion, we want to share this motion with you and discuss some points on Motions for Continuances in State court. In the case of this motion, three other motions had already been filed and denied. In an act of frustration and desperation, we filed this one below, which was granted. In the motion, only the defendant names and case number have been changed.

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

In the spirit of the Christmas season and to remind our members never to give up on any motion, we want to share this motion with you and discuss some points on Motions for Continuances in State court. In the case of this motion, three other motions had already been filed and denied. In an act of frustration and desperation, we filed this one below, which was granted. In the motion, only the defendant names and case number have been changed.

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Many stores and service businesses have signs that read “In God We Trust—All Others Cash.” This was a common phrase used by merchants in the early decades of the 20th century. It was the title of a book written in 1966. Growing up in Abilene, which had many small businesses, I often saw this sign in the window and by the cash register. These business owners had been the victims of bad checks, people who refused to pay their bill, phony money orders, cashier’s checks, and other deceptive ways of not paying their bill for goods or services.