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When I was growing up in Bryan (which was a far smaller town in the 1970s than it is now), I was brought up under the belief that judges were the closest thing to nobility that a small Texas town had to offer.  We only had one District Court Judge in Brazos County back then (compared to the whopping three, count ’em, THREE that Brazos has now), and he was a family friend.  When our families socialized, Judge McDonald was treated with a little more reverence by us kids because of the fact that he was a judge. [On a…
Oh man.   Kimbra.   Just when I think she can’t be a more shamelessly self-aggrandizing politician, she pulls something new out of her little white Boss Ogg hat. Today, she released a pre-recorded message to her Assistant District Attorneys that was chock full of pure political awesomeness as she laid out her plans for solving the backlog of criminal cases in Harris County, Texas.  At one point, she literally applauds the work of her office as “nothing short of genius and miracles.” Seriously. If you would like to watch it in its entirety, here it is. NOTE:  If you are reading…
I think that it’s fair to say that those of us who practice criminal law down at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center on a regular basis are starting to sense a movement towards a return to normalcy these days.  There’s an underlying feeling that’s similar to riding on an airplane as it begins its initial descent towards the destination or seeing the rain starting to lighten up at the end of a long thunderstorm.   As more and more people get their vaccines and the number of Covid cases continues to drop, we all have a sense that it is…
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…