Category Archives: Texas

Check Out this Rare, Behind-the-Scenes Look at Trial Preparation

I’m a trial nerd… probably moreso than even the average lawyer. I watched the “The People v. O.J. Simpson” like I’d have to write a book report on it. My ultimate wish would be to be able to watch jury deliberations take place, that’s ultimately the room where it happens. But I like other trial experiences, from sitting in on live trials whenever I can, to all kinds of lawyer books and TV shows. That’s why I was pleased to be introduced to this article from the prosecutors of one of the Baylor rape cases (link).

sam ukwaucu

Convicted Rapist Sam Ukwauchu

These prosecutors go into great detail their preparation and handling of the case, from the pre-filing investigation, to how their work paid off when the case went to trial. I recommend it for all criminal trial attorneys, and it should be required reading for those who prosecute SVU cases. I found the story via Deadspin, who has had lots of coverage or the Baylor sex scandal that brought down not only the football coach, but also the AD and the President, Ken Starr (yes, THAT Ken Starr).  Congrats to these attorneys on a hard-fought win on a challenging, high-profile case.

TDCAA via Deadspin.

Hey Lawyers, Never Talk $#!t About Your Clients

johnny-manziel-mugshot-435

Former Browns QB Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel, who’s facing charges in Texas for allegedly striking his former girlfriend, was in court for a preliminary hearing. A reporter texted his attorney for a comment, and received a text back that appears kind of incriminating. The lawyer has indicated the text was meant for another attorney. Oops.

It’s bad practice to bad mouth your own clients… thought the temptation can be great on some criminal cases, but it’s a bad idea. It’s an even worse idea if you don’t pay attention who your texts are going to. Suggesting, say, that your client may have been doing something illegal might end up prejudicing your client if they decide to have him submit a pee test. That could be bad for the client, and for you.

Live Snake in a Courtroom

OK- go ahead and start the lawyer jokes now…

Gatesville-Courthouse-Snake

Photo via Dep. Mike Cundiff

A live, five-foot snake was found hanging out in a Texas courtroom this week. One of the deputies was tidying up at the end of the when he ran across this pretty sizable serpent. He called in a fellow deputy to corral the snake, described as a non-venomous chicken snake, and possibly extending more than 5 feet in length. He was sitting behind the bench where the judge had been sitting.

Why didn’t it bite the lawyers? Professional courtesy.

What do you call a snake in the courtroom? A member of the bar.

Why did it take them so long to spot the snake? They couldn’t distinguish him from all the lawyers!

Har har- have your laughs!

Wow:Car Salesman Kidnapped on Test Drive, but Turns the Tables on the Hijackers

via ochocincoblog:

A Houston-area car salesman was approached by a prospective buyer about taking a Dodge Challenger out for a test drive, but he had other intentions. While on the drive, his buddies pulled up behind, detained the salesman at gunpoint, and threw him in the trunk. Luckily he was a quick thinker and called his boss, who could track his cell phone. He also popped the trunk release, jumped out, wrestled the gun away from one of the hijackers, and shot him. Um…dude’s a badass…

It’s Against the law to Block Traffic, Even to Propose

A Texas man made headlines this week with the huge romantic gesture of blocking a highway to propose to his girlfriend. It may be sweet, but it’s also against the law. He is now facing a misdemeanor obstruction of a roadway charge. It did make a nice photo with the city int he background.

Hopefully his judge is a hopeless romantic!

Jockey Arrested for Shocking His Horse During Race

  • Jockey Roman Chapa caught using a “Buzzer” during a horse race
  • It’s an electronic stimulator to illegally encourage the horse
  • He’s been in trouble for cheating multiple times, including similar use of an electronic device

Jockey Roman Chapa rode Quiet Acceleration to a photo-finish win in the Sam Houston stakes a few weeks ago. Now that photo may become his downfall. The picture clearly shows something in his hand: an electronic stimulator that he was probably using to shock the horse. They are known in the industry as a buzzer, battery or machine. And it turns out, Chapa has twice been suspended for cheating, and one of those incidents also involved a similar device.

Chapa is now facing felony charges for unlawful influence on racing. Texas considers it a serious offense to mess with the outcome of similar sporting events. Chapa also has a previous conviction for cruelty to animals. How was this guy still working? I suspect this will be the end of his career.

Thanks Beth for pointing this out!