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Kim Ogg had jury duty Wednesday. How do we know this? Because like any good self-promoting and self-aggrandizing politician like Kim Ogg, she made sure that the world knew it through multiple Twitter posts that let a breathless audience know that even super important people like her Royal Oggness will take time amongst the unwashed masses to serve on jury duty.   And like most jurors, she, of course, brought a photographer and called Channel 13 to take pictures of her during her appearance.  I mean, the rules say you can’t bring your children to jury duty, but it doesn’t say anything about…
 It was twenty-two years ago this evening that I learned (through the world’s slowest dial-up internet connection) that I had passed the Bar Exam.  In some ways, it doesn’t seem that long ago.  In others, it seems far longer than it actually was.  I’ve been around since the time of Johnny Holmes.  I’ve handled cases in multiple counties across Texas, and I’ve probably appeared in front of over one hundred judges. I’ve appeared in front of good judges and bad, smart judges and not-so-smart judges, funny judges and humorless judges, kind judges and downright mean judges, strict judges and informal…
The family and friends of Jordan Lewis have asked me to share the planned events for our friend’s services and remembrances and to share their thanks for the outpouring of sympathy during this very sad time.   Services will be tomorrow, Thursday, April 15th at 1:00 p.m. at Congregation Emanu El in Houston. Due to Covid restrictions, there are limits to the number of people who can attend Jordan’s funeral.  In-person attendees are limited to family and close friends who have been specifically invited by the family. Jordan’s family does want all of his friends to be included, however, and they…
 Our Criminal Justice World was absolutely rocked today to learn of the sudden and unexpected passing of our friend and colleague, Jordan Lewis, at the age of 40. I honestly don’t even know where to begin with what I’m writing here because it seems so surreal to think that he’s gone.   He was my friend, although many knew him far better than I did.  He became a defense attorney in 2008 which was around the time I was wrapping up my career as a prosecutor, so I never dealt with him in an adversarial situation. I’m pretty sure that…
The Harris County Criminal Justice world was heartbroken to learn of the unexpected passing of longtime defense attorney Kirby Taylor this week.   Most of us have known Kirby since starting our careers in the CJC world.  I remember meeting him as a baby prosecutor back in 1999.  To use the term “universally beloved” would be a very appropriate way to describe this dear, sweet man.  He was kind and friendly to all and everyone that I know found him to be one of the most endearing people at the courthouse. He was a lawyer who handled the most serious of…
 Since I felt it was appropriate to make my critiques and observations about others’ Zoom behavior in this post last May, I felt it would only be fair to tell on myself for something that happened this morning . . .  If you are reading this blog and don’t know me personally, then you may or may not have picked up on the fact that I like to mess with people.  99% of the time, the people that I harass or tease are my friends and it is all good-natured.  I was known for pulling practical jokes when I was…
Although it has been almost twenty years, I still vividly remember the first intoxication manslaughter case that I handled as a prosecutor. Like most cases of that nature, it was heartbreaking.  More heartbreaking than most, actually.  The victim was a young student at Rice University.  She and three of her friends had gone to her parents’ house to eat dinner before going to get ice cream at Amy’s Ice Cream at Shepherd & Highway 59.  When they were finished with their dessert, they headed back towards their dorm on campus.  It couldn’t have been a more innocent evening for a…
SCENE:  It is only minutes until midnight on December 31, 2020, and Droids are busily signing off on paperwork on STAR DESTROYER INTAKE under the supervision of CORPORAL LEITNER.  The space hatch doors open and in comes the ADVANCE TEAM led by a beleaguered CO-VICE-ADMIRAL MITCHAM.  LEITNER salutes MITCHAM. CORPORAL LEITNER:  Vice-Admiral, you’re . . . early. CO-VICE-ADMIRAL MITCHAM:  I decided it would be wise to arrive prior to the Empress to make sure everything was running smoothly.  We cannot afford another embarrassment in front of her.  She’s fired so many that we hardly have anyone left. CORPORAL LEITNER:  Very…
When I’m explaining the plea bargain process to my clients, I compare it to someone selling a car.  The prosecutor’s position is like that of the car owner, and the strengths and weaknesses of the case are akin to the value of the vehicle.  Maybe the car is flawless and in perfect running condition.  Maybe it is a complete lemon.  The same can be said for a case — although I’ve seen many more lemons than flawless cases in my time. But in both scenarios, it is the car owner/prosecutor who is completely in charge of setting the negotiating price. …
 Oh, dear Lord.  I’ve hauled off and pissed off the Twitterverse. Not in the normal way, like when I’m fully intending on pissing off people.  I did this one on accident. Yesterday was a frustrating day in general.  We had a family emergency that required my wife to go out of town unexpectedly and I was trying to do Zoom hearings while keeping my 6-year-old and my 14-year-old on task with their online classes.  At one point, while Zooming into a court and setting a case for trial, the judge mentioned that I seemed relaxed and comfortable.  It was then…