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DOCKET CALL

JANUARYfFEBRUARY 1999 A Publication of Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association
HCCLA MISSION  STATEMENT 
Our Mission Is To Assist, Support, And Protect The Criminal Defense
Practitioner In The Zealous Defense Of Individuals And Their
Constitutional Rights. It Is Further Our Mission To Educate And
Inform The General Public Regarding The Administration Of
Criminal Justice And The Need For An Independent, Ethical, And
Professional Criminal Defense Bar.
In pursuit of our mission,  we have set out to  achieve the following  goals: 
1) To ensure zealous advocacy, due process, and justice for persons
accused of crimes,
2) To maintain a high standard of integrity, honor and ethics
in the practice of criminal law;
3) To maintain a close relationship with national, state and
local criminal justice organizations;
4) To provide for the professional advancement of the
individual members of the association;
5) To ('ncourage persons of integrity and ability to aspire
to the defense of the accused;
6) To cultivate a spirit of good fellowship among members;
7) To sponsor quality continuing legal education;
8) To keep members and the public informed of current
criminal justice issues;
9) and provide a referral service for accused citizens.
38 Process
Investigations
R.J. VARGAS
Private Investigations
3700 N. Main. Houston, TX 77009
...... . Fax: 713-426-1040
DOCKET CALL JANUARYfFEBRUARY 1999
DOCKET CALL  January/February 1999 
CONTENTS

From  the  President. ................................................. 2 
President  Elect. ....................................................... 4 
.;E. 
Meet  the  New  Judges ............................................. 5 
HCCLA OFFICERS 
Internet  for  Attorneys ............................................. 7 
1998-1999 
PRESIDENT  Post  Verdict  Testimony  of Jurors ............................ 9 
Lloyd  W.  Oliver 
PRESIDENT  ELECT 
Fed  Square ............................................................ 13 
Danny  Easterling 
VICE  PRESIDENT 
Looking  Ahead ..................................................... 15 
Jay  Karahan 
SECRETARY 
Bail  on  Appeal ...................................................... 16
Rosa  A.  Eliades 
TREASURER 
Submitting Probable  Cause  Issues  to  the  Jury ...... 17
Loren  A .  Detamore 
PAST  PRESIDENT 
Upcoming  CLE ................................................... 6,18 
Robert  A.  Moen 
BOARD  OF  DIRECTORS 
Hearsay .................................................................. 19 
David  Mitcham 
Terry  W.  Yates 
Robert  Pelton 
Clyde  William s  LET'S HEAR FROM YOU! 
Ra ndy  Martin 
loe  Yare I a 
Ron  Hayes 
Call us  with your suggestions
Ellis  McCullough 
Garland  McInnis 
on this publication. 
E.  Ro ss  Craft 
Mark  Bennett 
Richard  L.  Moore 
Richard  Frankoff 
DOCKET CALL 
Angela  Cameron 
Rick  Soliz  Publisher:  HCCLA 
lay  Carroll 
Tyrone  C.  Moncriffe  Editor Emeritus:  Allen  Isbell 
PAST  PRESIDENTS  Edi torial  Staff:  Rosa Eliades,  Jay  Karahan,  Patrick 
1971-1996 
McCann,  Melissa Martin  C.  Anthony  Frilioux 
Stuart  Kinard 
George  Louquette 
Advertising  Staff:  Martin  Mayne, Tom Radosevich 
Marvin  O .  Teague 
Dick  DeGuerin 
Distribution:  500  copies  per  issue.  * For  articles  and  other  editorial  contributions, 
W.B.  House,  lr. 
David  R .  Bires  contact Rosa Eliades  at (713)  222-0610 or Patrick McCann  at (713) 223-3805  * To 
Woody  Densen 
place an  ad,  call Tom  Radosevich  at  (713)  802-1388. 
Will  Gray 
Edward  A.  Mallet 
Carolyn  Garcia 
lack  B.  Zimmerman 
ADVERTISING RATES: (RATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
Clyde  Williams 
Robert  Pelton 
Candelario  Elizondo  Full Page: $300.00 
Allen  C.  Isbell 
David  Mitcham 
1/2 Page: $150.00 
lim  E .  Lavine 
1/4 Page: $ 75.00 
Rick  Bra ss 
Mary  E.  Conn 
Business Card Size: $ 37.50 
Kent  A.  Schaeffer 
Dan  Cogdell 
lim  Skelton 
.:. "It is a good  canvas on  which  some  strokes only want retouching." 
George  1.  Parnham 
Garland  D.  McInnis  · Thoma:.·  Jefferson,  July  31,  1788 on the  Constitution. 
JANUARYfFEBRUARY  1999  DOCKET CALL·  1 
!!'rom the President 
Lloyd W. Oliver
T
he Harris County Criminal
Lawyers Association has been in
existence for almost 27 years.
During that period of time we
have had good times and bad times,
depending upon your perspective.
Founded in 1972 by Anthony
Frilioux, Stuart Kinard, George
Louquette and Marvin Teague, the
organization struggled simply to exist.
In J976, Dick DeGuerin was elected
president, and then the list of elected
presidents began to read like a "Who's
Who" of Texas lawyers.
Next elected were Bennie House,
David Bires and Judge Woody Densen.
The 80's brought Will Gray, Ed Mallett,
Carolyn Garcia, Jack Zimmerman,
Clyde Williams and Robert Pelton. We
then elected Candy Elizondo, Allen
Isbell, David Mitcham and Jim Lavine.
These legal icons served prior to my
active participation in HCCLA, but their
tremendous contribution to this
association is most evident.
Rick Brass, Mary Conn, Kent
Schaffer and Dan Cogdell helped us
though the lean times of the early 90's,
and Jim Skelton pulled us out of a
financial crisis during his tenure as
president in 1994.
In 1995, George Parnham was our
elected president, succeeded by Garland
McInnis and Robert Moen. Last year
when our membership elected me
president and bestowed upon me the
honor of this office, I was unaware of the
commitment necessary to make this
organization work.
Our membership had fallen to an all
time low and we were flat broke. We
could not pay the rent and did not even
have "seed money" to put together a
seminar. Jim Skelton came to our rescue
From this humble start,
our membership is now
at an all time high of
approximately 300
dues-paying criminal
defense lawyers.
and proposed several measures to reduce
our overhead. Jim put together a Search
and Seizure seminar and persuaded a
copy center to give us credit. I fronted
the postage money and we were on our
way.
From this hum ble start, our
membership is now at an all time high of
approximately 300 dues-paying criminal
defense lawyers. Our HCCLA Formal
Banquet and Annual Galveston Seminar
was the most financially successful yet.
For this, the membership can thank the
officers and directors of th is
administration.
Our organization is now more
financially fit than it has ever been in its
27-year history. All of this required
many hours of hard work and again, the
membership can thank Jim Skelton and
the officers and directors of this
.. administration. This is quite an
accomplishment, and we still have time
to do more.
For over three years, HCCLA has
fought the County requirement that
lawyers pass through the courthouse
security system . Because of our
continued efforts, and with the help of
HBA, we can now apply for ID badges
that let us pass through this system. The
criminal defense bar can thank HCCLA,
its most recent officers and directors.
About three years ago we were
required to discontinue our publication
Docket Call because we could not pay
the printer. We are now solvent and are
going to continue publishing our
magazine if we can make it self-
sufficient. Again, thanks are due to the
present officers and directors of this
administration.
My tenure as President of HaITis
County Criminal Lawyers Association
will end sometime in June 1999. By
then, I hope to have put us on a course of
action that better addresses the needs of
the criminal defense bar in providing the
least expensive and highest quality CLE
programs in the State of Texas. If we can
improve the quality of representation for
the accused citizen, we all win. Yet this,
and all our lofty goals, can be realized
only with your participation.
In this issue you will find an
application for membership. Please,
complete it and mail it to my office. We
need attorneys with computer ski lis,
search and organizational skills, and
attorneys who can contribute articles of
interest to this publication publication.
In short, we need you and your many
diverse interest and talents.
The Harris County Criminal
Lawyers Association is YOUR criminal
defense bar association. It is only as
good, or as bad as we make it. Please
join us. We can and will make a
difference, with your participation.
2 • DOCKET CALL JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999
HCCLA  ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY 
This  year,  our  membership  Christmas  party  was  held  at  the  Jones  Bar  on  December 4, 
1998.  In  an effort to  give back to our community, HCCLA sponsored Guadalupe Homes, a home 
for  abused  and  neglected  children.  Each  member  was  asked  to  bring  a  gift  for  a  child  as 
admission to  the  party.  As  you  can see, our members came through.  We  had over 175 members 
attend  and  kick  off the  holiday  season.  Members,  thank  you  for  making  our  efforts  a  great 
success. 
December 8, 1998
Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association
Lloyd Oliver, President
Danny Easterling, President Elect
Rosa Eliades, Secretary
Dear Rosa,
On behalf of all at Guadalupe Homes Clarewood, we would like to thank you for your
donation of $276, and numerous toys and gifts. The money will be used for the Christmas Party, and
the gifts will help give our children a merry Christmas. Your generosity was greatly appreciated.
Again, thank you for your support. I wish you the best for the up-coming Holidays.
Sincerely,
Fr. John Theodore
Dir. of Development
http://www.guadalupe-homes.com
Scenes from the HCCLA Christmas Party
JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999
DOCKET CALL· 3
j;om the President Elect 
Danny  K.  Easterling 
A
s I read the resurrection of this
Docket Call Magazi ne and
particularly the Long-
Range Planning Committee Report from
Richard Frankoff, it makes me proud to
be a lawyer and not reluctant to use the
two adjectives in front of it, criminal
defense.
The apathy and misdirection this
organization has labored under of late
has got to stop, as there is clearly too
much at stake. Your own continuing
involvement and support are needed
now more than ever.
At a time when the fundamental rights
of citizens accused of crimes are being
severely curtailed by our courts,
legislature, and even Congress, we need
you and you need us. This magazine
should help to reestablish an identity and
presence tha tare essentia I to the
effectiveness of our organization.
During the Long-Range Planning
Meetings, I brought ten-year old Docket
Call magazines with me and it was
amazing to compare the then with the'
now. We need to recapture the prior
energy and this issue is a great start.
There are many good reasons to either
become or remain a member of
H.ec.L.A. Let me point these out to
you. Your membership entitles you to:
Docket Call. This magazine again
will become a useful resource for timely
information about what is happening at
the courthouse, case winning tips and
advice, significant case decisions and
legal articles.
The HCCLA Web Site. Check us out
at www.hccla.org. Mark and Jennifer
Bennett have done a great job of getting
this off the ground and getting our
organization on the Information
Superhighway. The site is presently in
the construction stage with future plans
for communication between
members, as well as access to our
membership roster by potential clients.
At a time when the
fundamental rights of
citizens accused of
crimes are being
severely curtailed by our
courts, legislature, and
even Congress, we need
you and you need us.
CLE Programs. We have an
energetic group planning our c.L.E.
programs for the future at a reasonable
cost and on very timely topics. Don't
miss the upcoming Cross-Examination
Seminar with Terry McCarthy on
February 27, 1999. Please look to
Docket Call and other notices sent to you
for more details.
The HCCLA Mentor Program. This
program teams a requesting attorney
with one of several experienced lawyers
who have been there in the trenches and
can provide invaluable assistance in
preparing for trial or actually sitting in
on a trial.
Conversely, we have had requests by
less experienced lawyers to sit second
chair and to experience a trial first hand
by assisting in voir dire and other tasks
throughout the trial. This program will
benefit both the mentor and the protege.
The HCCLA Referral Service. We
run an ad in the yellow pages and have
signs posted at the county jail. As a
member, you are placed on a week-long
rotation so that prospective clients may
call and retain you. This service will be
run in an equitable fashion.
This association has brought me
lifelong friends and contacts that never
would have been possible had I done
things on my own. HCCLA will often
be a lone voice for justice in unpopular
but just causes. As we go to the
courthouse and stand against the
almighty crown, you and your clients
need HCCLA in your corner. We can be
an effective organization. As we and the
Constitution are increasingly challenged
from all sides, we must stand together
and make a commitment to the time-
honored and true meaning of "justice for
all."
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR 
WE ARE ANXIOUS  TO HEAR FROM OUR READERS 
AND WILL BE  INCLUDING A "LETTERS TO THE EDITOR" SECTION IN 
OUR NEXT EDITIONS OF THE DOCKET CALL. 
PLEASE, SUBMIT ANY COMMENTS OR SUGGESTION 
TO THE DOCKET CALL 
AT  929 PRESTON, SUITE 200, HOUSTON, TEXAS, 77002 
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INPUT 
4 • DOCKET CALL JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999
Meet the Judges 
By Grant M.  Scheiner 
F
or those of you who embrace
change, brace yourselves.
1999 has brought us nine new,
criminal court judges. Most of the
new judges you will recognize as recent
ex-prosecutors. Coll ectively, the new
judges bring to the bench a wealth of
criminal law experience and enthusiasm.
Over the next several months, Docket
Call hopes to interview (in no particular
order, mind you) each new judge to find
out his or her background, as well as
what practitioners in the particular
courts might expect. In this issue we
begin with Hon. Mike Fields and Hon.
Lan-y Standley.
Hon.  Mike  Fields 
Hon. Mike Fields is the Judge of
Hanis County Criminal Court at Law
No. 14. He replaces Judge Jim Barkley.
Judge Fields graduated from
Southwest Texas State University in
1987 with a bachelor ' s degree In
Criminal Justice. He received his law
degree from SI. Mary's University in
1991. His legal career began with the
Han-is County District Attorney's Office
in 1991. Judge Fields stayed three years
with the District Attorney's Office and
then he accepted a position as a Special
Prosecutor with the Attorney General ' s
Office.
According to Fields, his job as a
Special Prosecutor was particularly
challenging and rewarding. He left in
1995, however, because his heavy travel
schedule often left him "living out of a
suitcase."
Later in 1995, Judge Fields went into
private practice as a criminal defense
attorney. He also became active in a
variety of community organizations and
was eventually persuaded to seek his
present position on the bench.
Judge Fields has set an immediate
goal of clearing out some of the older
cases on his docket. At least in the
beginning, practitioners should expect a
relatively short period of time in whi ch
to dispose of a criminal matter.
Once an attorney appears on a case,
the Court will likely permit one reset for
" non-issue," followed by motions or
disposition. Practitioners should not
expect a separate setting for Judgment
and Sentence.
As Judge Fields specifically refers to
his motions settings as "28.01 settings,"
practitioners might be wise to re-read the
scheduling provisions of TEX. CODE
CRIM. PRO . 28.01. Many pre-trial
motions, however, will be can-ied with
trial whether or not they are dispositive.
Practitioners should expect a rapid-
fire pace during the first few months.
Docket call will commence at 8:30 a.m.,
and Judge Fields hopes to begin trials by
10:00 a.m. Because he intends to deliver
ani extensive voir dire of his own,-trial
attorneys shou Id seldom expect more
than 20-25 minutes per side for jury
selection.
For court appointments, the Court will
select two Attorneys of the Week. At
least one attorney will be bilingual; both
must be certified to handle misdemeanor
appointments in the Harris County
courts . Interested attorneys shou Id
contact Court Coordinator Ramon
Hernandez.
When pressed about his "pet peeves,"
Judge Fields will tell you that he frowns
on lawyers who "don' t treat one another
with respect. " He adds, "Nothing
disappoints me more than lawyers who
treat each other with disdain, simply for
doing their j obs under the Canons of
Ethics and the Constitution. "
Hon.  Larry W.  Standley 
Hon. Lan-y W. Standley is the Judge
of Harris County Criminal Court at
Law No. 6. He replaces Judge J.R.
Musslewhite. Judge Sta ndley
graduated from Sam Houston State
University in 1980 with a degree in
Law Enforcement and Police Science.
He received his law degree from
South Texas College of Law in 1984.
Judge Standley began his legal
career with the Harris County District
Attorney' s Office in 1984 and stayed
fourteen years until he assumed his
position on the bench. He has
prosecuted and tried numerous
misdemeanor, felony and juvenile
cases. His accomplishments include
many successful prosecutions In the
Major Offenders and Major Fraud
Divisions.
As with many new judges, Standley
is still developing his day-to-day
courtroom procedures, but
practitioners should not expect
anything out of the ordinary, at least in
the beginning. Pretrial motions, for
instance, will follow the familiar rule
of being carried with trial unless they
are dispositive.
Trial lawyers can expect roughly
thirty minutes per side for voir dire.
And thanks to one of Judge Standley's
first, official expenditures as a Judge,
defenders can now creati vely
demonstrate their clients' innocence
through the LIse of a handy, erasable
marker board.
The court appointment system will
be familiar as well. ' Judge Standley
plans to appoint one (1) experienced
"Attorney of the Week" and one (1)
assisting attorney each day. Interested
lawyers may wish to contact the
Judge's very friendly Court
Coordinator, Caprice Rubal. Many
will recognize Caprice from her
former assignment in Court 14.
Judge Standl ey stresses the
importance of "proper decorum" in his
courtroom, and says he wants to create
an atmosphere "such that when a first-
time offender experiences [County
Criminal Court at Law No.6, he or
she] will know it's serious ."
According to Judge Standley, a first-
time offender's initial contact with the
criminal court system is likely to
forever shape that person's opinion of
courts and judges, and Judge Standley
wants to leave a lasting impression.
He adds that Motions to Revoke
Probation will also be treated
seriously.
In spite of (or perhaps because of?)
his years as a career prosecutor, Judge
Standley is looking forward to meeting
and getting to know the defense
attorneys who will practice in his
court.
JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999
DOCKET CALL· 5
Meet the Judges  Continued .... 
He promises, "defense attorneys consistency over the past fourteen an argument. Defense attorneys,
will not be second class citizens in my years, it is likely Judge Standley will therefore, should be prepared to
court. " emerge as a tough, no-nonsense judge accept nothing less.
Based on his experience and who is willing to listen to both sides of
02/09/99 Parole Review & Revocations
Mary Acosta to moderate
Danny Downs, fonner Parole Board member (confirmed)
03/09/99 Sexually Oriented Business / More Business for Attorneys
Anthony Osso, David Mitchum
04/13/99 Eyewitness Testimony Challenges
Psychologist Jerome Brown
Jay Karahan
05/11/99 Internet Research
06/18/99 Law Office Management
07/13/99 Preserving Error in Closing Argument
08110/99 Legislative Changes
09114/99 Preservation of Error in Voir Dire
Judy Prince
10/12/99 Punishment Options, Collateral Consequences & General Trends
Regarding Sexual Offenders
Catherine Green Burnett
1] 114/99 Inmates and their Families-Introduction to Prison
MAJOR SEMINARS: 
04/23/99 All About Sentencing-Moderated by David Mitchum
06/25/99 Expanding your Law Practice & Income
09/17/99 Representing Certain Client Groups
6 • DOCKET CALL JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999
Internet for Attorneys 
By  Mark Bennett 
Email  101 
An  email  account provides  you  with 
an  electronic  mailbox  that you  can check 
from  your  office,  your  home  or 
anywhere  else  you  have  a  computer and 
a  telephone  line.  With  an  email  account, 
you can send a  message to anyone else in 
the  world  who  has  an  email  account and 
have  it delivered  within seconds. 
At  least  25%  of  HCCLA's 
membership  communicates  through 
email.  That  sounds  impressive,  unless 
you  consider  that,  even  in  the  last  years 
of  the  20th  century,  almost  75%  of 
HCCLA's  membership  is  without email. 
Email  is  available  through  any 
internet service  provider ("ISP") at a cost 
of  less  than  $20  per  month.  It  is  also 
available  for  free  without  an  internet 
account,  from  a  company  called 
Juno.com.  If  you  do  not  have  email, 
send  me  an  email  at marks@bennett and 
bennett. com and  I'll  help  you  get  set up. 
(In  all  seriousness,  if  you  need  help 
getting  set  up  with  email,  fax  me  at 
713.668.3598.) 
If you  have  email,  you  can  receive 
legal  news  regularly  on  your  computer. 
Two services  providing such  news  are: 
1) Cornell  University's  Legal 
Information  Institute  (LII).  LJl
provides  the  U.S.  Supreme  Court's 
syllabi  of  its  opinions  within  hours  of 
their  release.  To  receive  a  copy  of  the 
syllabi,  send  an  email  to: 
lislserv@lislserv.law.comell.edu. As  the 
text  of  the  message,  type  subscribe 
liibulletin  jane  doe  (replacing  jane  doe 
with  your  name) .  Within  a  few  minutes, 
you  should  receive  an  email  confirming 
your  subscription  (save  the  message, 
because  it  gives  you  directions  for 
cancelling  your  subscription  if you  ever 
get  tired  of the  service). 
2)  Willamette  University  provides 
U.S.  Supreme  Court  summaries, 
including  the  holding  and  a  brief 
overview  of  the  Court's  reasoning.  The 
difference  between  LII's  service  and 
Willamette' s  is  that  LII  sends  out  the 
syllabi  written  by  the  Court's staff,  while 
Willamette  writes  its  own  summaries. 
To  receive  the  Willameue  summaries, 
send  an  email  to 
lislproc@willametle.edu. As  the  text  of 
the  message,  type  subscribe  wlo-ussc 
john doe  (again,  replacing john doe  with 
your  name).  Again,  you'll  receive  a 
confirmation  message  within  minutes. 
The  World Wide Web  101 
Imagine  a  library  containing  a 
billion  pages  of  text  and  pictures.  The 
documents  are  written  and  randomly 
distributed  in  filing  cabinets  by  a 
hundred  million  amateur  librarians.  The 
librarians add  thousands of documents to 
the  library  every  day,  and  change  tens  of 
thousands. 
Each  document  has  an  address,  but 
there  is  no  card  catalog.  Instead,  there 
are robots  who  wander around the  library 
reading  documents.  Each  robot  adds 
each  document it  reads  to  its  own  index. 
The  amateur  librarians  tell  the  robots 
about  some,  but  not  all,  of  the 
documents  they  add  to  the  library.  To 
find  a  particular  document,  you  have  to 
either know  its  address or ask a robot and 
hope  that  it  is  contained  in  that  robot's 
index .  Some  documents  are  known  by 
all  of  the  robots;  some  are  known  by 
AOiIe.
Most  of  the  documents  contain 
references  to  other  documents.  For 
example,  a  document  about  HCCLA 
might  contain  a  description  of  the 
organization  and  a  reference  to  a 
membership  list.  The reference  tells  you 
where  to  find  the  membership  Jist.  In 
the  membership  list,  you  might  find  a 
reference  to  a  document  about  a 
particular  member;  in  that  document, 
there  might  be  a  reference to  a  document 
about  the  Harris  County  Courts;  in  that 
document,  you  might  find  a  reference  to 
the  rules  of the  County  Criminal  Courts; 
and  on  and  on. 
Magically,  if you  are  looking  at one 
document  and  touch  a  reference  to 
another  docu ment,  the  next  docu ment 
magically  replaces  the  first  in  your 
JAY T.  KARAHAN 
ATTORNEY" MEDIATOR 
713-236-7758 
900 LYRIC  CENTRE 
440 LOUSIANNA 
HOUSTON, TX 77002 
hands.  Many  of the  documents  contain 
nothing  but  references  to  other 
documents. 
Here  is  a  metaphor  (grossly 
oversimplified) for  the World Wide Web: 
The  library  building  is  "cyberspace," the 
collection  of  computers  at  colleges, 
companies and government agencies that 
comprise the  internet. 
The  documents  are"web  pages ," 
which you  can  view  on  your computer if 
you  have  an  internet  account  and  a 
program  called  a  web  browser.  The 
librarians  are  the  creators  of web  pages. 
The robots are "search engines" that help 
you  find  a  particular  topic.  The 
references  to  other  documents  are 
"links."  On  your  computer,  you  can 
click  on  a  link,  and  it  will  take  you  to 
another web  page. 
Following are  a  few  web  pages  that 
are  of  use  or  interest  to  criminal 
defenders.  The  italicized  line  is  the 
uniform  resource  locator  CURL"),  the 
address  in  cyberspace  of  that  particular 
document.  The  references  to  other 
documents  are  "links."  On  your 
computer,  you  can  click  on  a  link,  and  it 
will  take  you  to  another web  page. 
JANUARYIFEBRUARY  1999 
DOCKET CALL· 7 
Internet for Attorneys  Continued .... 
LawFinder
hltp://wwwJllldlaw.coml
Everything in the legal world, all in
one place
PublicData
Irflp://www.pllblicdala.com.lIi
PublicData is a commercial site that
otTers instant searches of Texas public
records. Included are the following
statewide databases: Licensed Drivers:
Criminal Records (convictions and
felony deferreds); Registered Voters;
Registered Sex Offenders; Parolees;
and License Plates.I use PublicData to
tind people (through its drivers license,
license plate, and voter records) and to
dig up dirt on the State's witnesses. You
may use it to save your investigator
some time by doing preliminary
searches yourself. The cost for an
individual account is $25 for 250
searches over the course of a year.
Dave's Bar Association
Irflp://www.davesbllr.org/pdrs.htm
Austin criminal defense lawyer David
Schulman maintains a list of pending
PDRs on hjs website.
John Macey
Irflp://www.hal-pc.org/-jma{'
HCCLA member John Macey has
links to lawyer jokes and local courts,
among other things.
Magna Carta
hflp://www.bellnettandbenllell.com/Magn
a_Carla.MIIII
TIle   n ~ l i s h Bill of Rights of 1689
http://www.benllettandbellllett.comlI689_
bill_oLrighls.hlml
Precursor to our own bill of rights.
Criminal Justice Organizations
NACDL
Irttp://www.crimillnljustice.org
The website of the National
Association of Criminal Defense
Lawyers carries some
from The Champion
password-protected
section.
TCDLA
hllp://www.lcdla.com
current articles
as well as a
members-only
The Texas Criminal Defense
Lawyers' Association website holds
information on that association,
including a schedule of upcoming
seminars. There is also a password-
protected section for members of
TCDLA .
HCCLA
http://www.hecla.or!?
HCCLA's own website contains a list
of members, as well as links to those
members who have provided their email
or website addresses. Just click on a
member's name to send him or her
email (if your own email address or
website is not included, please email me
at marks@bennett and bennett.com).
In addition. in the future the HCCLA
website should contain the text of
Dockel Call. and a photographic
directory of members with their
telephone numbers, fax numbers, and
addresses.
Texas Courts:
Texas Court of Criminal procedure
opinions
hllp://www.cpa.lexlIs.gov/lxgovinf/lx(;Oca.
hlml
Texas Judicial Server
hllp://www.collrls.slllle.tx.us/
Links to courts all over Texas.
Texas Statutes:
Texas Penal Code
htlp://www.neurolech.net/-Cop_Shop/lill
es.hlml
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
http://www.capilol.slale.lx.lIslvlalllles/cpl
oc.hrml
Other Texas Statutes
hllp://www.capitol.stale. IX. us/slalu lesisllll
utes.hlml
Texas Rules:
Texas Rules of Evidence
http://www.bellnella .. dbell/lell.
com/EvidenceJules. hl/111
Local rules of the Harris Count):: Criminal
Courts at Law
hllp://wWW. co. ha,.ris. Ix. IIs!celie ri millaller
iminal-rules!crimillal-rules.html
Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure
h I I P : / / c () urI s I It ff . c om / c g i -
binlm·_web.exe ?TRAP97.ask+F
A searchable version of the new
TRAP.
Federal Law:
United States Constitution
http://www.law.comell.edu/collslillllioll/c
OIlSlitUlioll. overview. html
U.S. Code
lillp://www. law. cornell.edu/uscode
U.S. Sentencin& Guidelines Manual
http://www.lIssc.gov/gllidelil1.html
Federal Rules of Evidence
http://www.law.comell.edu/rule!.lfre/ove,.
view.html
Legal Information Institute
hltp://www.law.col.I!ell.edu/#nel
Lots of legal resources, all free from
LII.
If you have a suggestion, a question, or
a correction, email me at:
marks@bennellandbellnett.com
8· DOCKET CALL JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1999
POST-VERDICT TESTIMONY OF JURORS: 
Less will  be Heard under the  Texas  Rules  of Evidence 
INTRODUCTION
Before the promulgation of the
Texas Rules of Evidence, trial lawyers in
Houston who learned of jury misconduct
during deliberations faced, depending
upon the address of the courthouse,
varying degrees of difficulty in proving
that misconduct. For example, at the
Criminal Courthouse at 30 I San Jacinto,
the proffering attorney could call one
juror to testify about the improper
comment of another juror and its effect
upon deliberations under Texas Rule of
Criminal Evidence 606(b).[I] However,
at 301 Fannin, the Civil Courthouse, the
advocate would be unable, under Texas
Rule of Civil Evidence 606(b), to call a
juror to testify about any comments of
another juror, even if that juror
introduced extraneous matters into the
deliberations.[2] Finally, at the United
States Courthouse at 515 Rusk, counsel
could call a juror for the slightly less
limited reason of testifying as to whether
"any extraneous prejudicial information
was improperly brought to the jury's
attention" under Federal Rule of
Evidence 606(b)[3]
Effective March I , 1998, however,
this three-headed monster of post-trial
practice has apparently been carved
down to a two-headed one, as only Texas
Rule of Evidence 606(b) and Federal
Rule of Evidence 606(b) remain. The
reaction of the bench and bar to this
change has varied widely. One appellate
justice, comparing the old Criminal Rule
606(b) and the new Rule 606(b) opined,
"Rule 606(b) of the new Rules contains
no substantial changes."[4] Seemingly
underscoring this view, the Texas
Supreme Court and the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals issued no Official
Comments to the new Rule 606(b).[5]
At the other extreme, one commentator
observed, "The Texas Rule completely
changed existing case law ... "[6] A trial
judge is reported to have commented
that Texas Rule of Evidence 606(b)
conflicts with Texas Rule of Appellate
Procedure 21.3, which makes jury
misconduct a ground for new trial.[7]
This article will examine the changes to
By David V. Wilson II
civil and criminal practice made by the
new rule in order to determine which, if
any, of these varying opinions is con'ecL
THE THREE PRIOR RULES
Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b)
provides that:
Upon an inquiry into the validity of
a verdict or indictment, a juror may not
testify as to any matter or statement
occurring during the course of the jury's
deliberations or to the effect of
anything upon that or any other juror's
mind or emotions as influencing the
juror to assent to or dissent from the
verdict or indictment or concerning the
juror's mental processes in con-
nection therewith, except that a juror
may testify on the question whether
extraneous prejudicial information was
improperly brought to the jury's
attention or whether any outside
influence was improperly brought to
bear upon any juror. Nor maya juror's
affidavit or evidence of any statement by
a juror concerning a matter about which
the juror would be precluded from
testifying be received for these purposes.
Texas Rule of Evidence 606(b)
provides that:
Upon an inquiry into the validity of
a verdict or indictment, a juror may not
testify as to any matter or
statement occurring during the jury's
deliberations, or to the effect of anything
on any juror's mind or emotions or
mental processes, as influencing any
juror' s assent to or dissent from the
verdict or indictment. Nor maya juror's
affidavit or any statement by a juror
concerning any matter about which the
juror would be precluded from testifying
be admitted into evidence for any of
these purposes. However, a juror may
testify (1) whether any outside influence
was improperly brought to bear upon
any juror; or (2) to rebut a claim that the
juror was not qualified to serve.
Texas Rule of Criminal Evidence
606(b) provided that:
Upon an inquiry into the validity of
a verdict or indictment, a juror may not
testify as to any matter or statement
occurring during the course of the jury's
deliberations or to the effect of anything
upon his or the other jurors mind or
emotions as influencing him to assent to
or dissent from the verdict or indictment
or concerning his mental processes in
connection therewith, except that a juror
may testify as to any matter relevant to
the validity of the verdict or indictment.
Nor may his affidavit or evidence of any
statement by him concerning a matter
about which he would be precluded from
testifying be received for these purposes.
Texas Rule of Civil Evidence 606(b)
was in most respects identical to the
Criminal Rule. However, the language,
"a juror may testify as to any matter
relevant to the validity of the verdict or
indictment" appeared as "a juror may
testify whether any outside influence
was improperly brought to bear upon
any juror." in the Civil Rule 606(b).
The rule limiting juror testimony
about deliberations is not a new one.
Lord Mansfield first articulated it in
1785[8]. At that time, he was faced with
a post-verdict claim by jurors that their
verdict was the result of chance. Lord
Mansfield said, "The Court cannot
receive such an affidavit from any of the
jurymen themselves, in all of whom such
conduct is a very high misdemeanor; but,
in every such case the Court must derive
their knowledge from some other source,
having seen the transaction through a
window or by some other means."[9]
The policy behind barring juror
impeachment of the verdict is to promote
the finality of verdicts, encourage frank
and free jury deliberations,and
discourage harassment of jurors by
losing parties.[IO] As the United States
Supreme Court put it, "There is little
doubt that post-verdict investigation into
juror misconduct would in some
instances lead to the invalidation of
verdicts reached after irresponsible or
improper jury behavior. It is not at all
JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999 DOCKET CALL· 9
Post Verdict Testimony Of Jurors  Continued .... 
clear, however, that the jury system
could survive such efforts to perfect
it."[ll]
The Advisory Committee to the
Federal Rules pointed out that federal
practice had long been to insulate the
manner in which the jury reached its
verdict but to allow testimony as to
prejudicial extraneous information
brought to bear on the deliberative
process and that the Federal Rules
continued that practice. [12] When the
Texas Supreme Court promulgated the
Rules of Civil Evidence, it chose to limit
juror testimony under its version of
606(b) to "outside influences". Rule
606(b) does not define "outside
influences", but the cases interpreting it
have defined the phrase somewhat
narrOWly. For example, the fact that
jurors had read a newspaper article about
the venue in the case being favorable to
the plaintiff has been held not to be an
outside influence.[13] However,
newspaper articles in the jury room are
specifically mentioned as "prejudicial
extraneous information" in the Advisory
Committee's Note to the Federal
Rules.[14] Thus, Texas civil practice in
this area is more restrictive of the
admissibility of juror testimony than
federal practice.
Texas civil cases have rejected any
claim that "outside influences" under
Civil Rule 606(b) can emanate from the
jurors themselves. For example, in
Durbin v. Dal-Briar Corp., the El Paso
Court of Appeals said, "Outside
influence, in the form of information
not in evidence, must come from a non-
juror. Information introduced into
deliberations by a member of the jury,
even if submitted with the intention of
influencing and prejudicing a verdict,
is not outside influence."[ 15]
Furthermore, in Perry v. Safeco., the
First Court of Appeals held that the
coercive influence of one juror upon the
rest of the jurors is not an "outside
influence. "[ 16]
This is contrary to Texas criminal
practice prior to March 1, 1998. Under
the now-repealed Rules of Criminal
Evidence, the proscription against juror
testimony contained the broad exception
that "any matter pertaining to the
validity of the verdict or indictment" was
a permissible area of juror
testimony.[17] The Court of Criminal
Appeals has interpreted the meaning of
this phrase in Criminal Rule 606(b) on
only one occasion. In Buentello v. State,
the defendant presented a motion for
new trial alleging jury misconduct to the
trial court.[ L8] At the hearing on his
motion, the defendant presented
testimony from jurors that they had
considered the effect of parole in
assessing the defendant's term of years
in their punishment verdict, against the
trial court' s instructions. At the court of
appeals, neither the State, the defendant ,
nor the appellate justices addressed the
issue of the admissibility of juror
testimony. However, after granting
discretionary review, a plurality of the
Court of Criminal Appeals stated that it
had to address the admissibility of the
jurors' testimony when addressing the
merits of the claim of jury
misconduct.[ 19] This drew heavy
criticism from the dissent, which argued
that there is no need to address
admissibility if no party had objected to
the offer and introduction of the
testimony. [20]
Nevertheless, the plurality opinIon
compared the history of Federal Rule
606(b) and Texas Rule 606(b) .
Emphasizing that a sub-committee of the
Senate-House Select Committee on the
Judiciary had inserted the "except"
phrase into the original version of
Criminal Rule 606(b) which had
modeled the federal rule, the plurality
stated, "[T]his Court decided not to
adopt the wording of the federal rule.
The drafters determined that the federal
rule and its interpretations were too
narrow, and decided to reword the rule to
allow for impeachment of the
verdict..."[21] The plurality then looked
to the text of Criminal Rule 606(b) to
determine if case law prior to the
Criminal Rules, which distinguished the
admissibility of "overt acts" of jury
misconduct versus "mental processes"
testimony, still applied and held that
606(b) eliminated that distinction.[22]
Thus, unlike Civil Rule 606(b) and
Federal Rule 606(b) , Criminal Rule
606(b) was interpreted as a broadening
of prior practice. The plurality went on
to hold that, based upon the plain
language of the "except" phrase, jurors
could testify as to any matter the trial
court feels is relevant to the validity of
the verdict.[23]
Since Buentello, the Court of
Criminal Appeals has not revisited
606(b) with the minor exception of
Garrett v. State[24] . There, the
petitioner sought discretionary review
from the decision of the Dallas Court of
Appeals to affirm the trial court's refusal
to hear his motion for new trial. Neither
the trial court nor the Dallas Court of
Appeals felt that the petitioner 's juror
affidavits attached to his motion stated
grounds of jury misconduct.[25] While
the State agreed, it also argued that the
affidavits were inadmissible under
Criminal Rule 606(b). The Court of
Criminal Appeals dismissed the petition
for review in Garrett as improvidently
granted and Judge Overstreet, joined by
Judge Baird, dissented from that
denial.[26] The dissenting opinion
discussed the State' s argument on
admissibility, which had been rejected
by the Dallas Court of Appeals.
Like the Buentello plurality, the
dissent in Garrett mixed its discussion of
the admissibility of testimony
impeaching the verdict and whether jury
misconduct has been shown.[27] The
dissent argued that the affidavits, each
asserting the verdict was based upon the
law of parties which was not authorized
by the jury charge, were admissible and
alleged sufficient jury misconduct to
warrant reli ef.[28] In arguing for the
admissibility of the affidavits, the dissent
reiterated the Buentello plurality's
invocation to the text of the "except"
phrase in 606(b).[29] Thus, in both
instances where the Court of Criminal of
Appeals has written on the admissibility
of juror testimony or affidavits
impeaching the verdict under Criminal
Rule 606(b), the members of the Court
who wrote on the issue have cited the
text of the "except" phrase. As discussed
above, the "except" phrase no longer
appears in 606(b) .
10 • DOCKET CALL JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999
THE  EFFECT  OF  THE  NEW 
TEXAS  RULE 606(B) 
Effect in  Civil  Cases: 
Texas  Rule  of  Evidence  606(b)  is 
unlikely  to  change  Texas  civil  practice 
in  the  area  of proving jury  misconduct. 
The  Rule  keeps  the  same  "outside 
influence" language of the old  civil rule. 
The  only  exception  added  to  Rule 
606(b)  from  the  old  civil  rule  is  one 
allowing for testimony offered to  rebut a 
claim  that  a  juror  is  not  qualified  to 
serve.  Thi s  exception  actually  makes 
post-verdict  relief  more  difficult 
because  it  is  drafted  in  such  a  manner 
that  it  helps  defend  challenges  to  a 
verdict.  Furthermore,  irrespective  of 
the  language  of Texas  Rule of Evidence 
606(b),  Texas  Rule  of  Civil  Procedure 
327 still  governs  civil  proceedings,  and 
it closely  tracks  the  language  of the  old 
civil  rule  of evidence in  excluding juror 
testimony  as  to  deliberations.  Clearly, 
then,  any  changes  in  this  area  will  be 
felt in  criminal practice. 
Effect in  Criminal Cases: 
At  least  one  reported  criminal  case 
has  touched  on  Texas  Rule  of Evidence 
606(b).  In  Porter v. State, the  Austin 
Court  of  Appeals  was  faced  with  a 
defendant  appealing  the  denial  of  his 
motion  for  new  trial  based  upon  jury 
misconduct.[30]  The  defendant  was 
allowed  at the  hearing on  his  motion  for 
new  trial  to  offer  juror  testimony  and 
affidavits.  Apparently,  the  State  did  not 
contest  their  admissibility. 
Nevertheless,  like  the  plurality  in 
Buentello and  the dissent  in  Garrett, the 
Austin  Court  of  Appeals  went  on  to 
address  the  admissibility  of  that 
evidence, citing the Buentello plurality's 
interpretation  of 606(b)  and  the  text  of 
606(b)  for  the  proposition  that  jurors 
can  testify  as  to  any  matter  relevant  to 
the  verdict's  validity.[31]  Incredibly,  in 
a  footnote,  the  opinion  mentioned  the 
adoption of the Texas Rules of Evidence 
and  states,  "The  Texas  Rules  of 
Criminal  Evidence  and  the  Texas  Rules 
of Civil  Evidence are  now  unified  in  the 
Texas  Rules  of Evidence.  Rule  606(b) 
of the  new  Rules  contain  no  substantial 
changes. "[32]  The  opinion  and  the 
footnote  failed  to  discuss  the  new 
rule's  complete  abandonment  of  the 
"except"  phrase  which  was  the 
foundation  for  the  holding  of  the 
Buentello plurality and  for  the argument 
in  the  Garrell dissent. 
The  vi ew  of  the  Austin  Court  of 
Appeals  is  not  shared  by  other 
observers.  One  such  commentator 
stated,  "Now  the  only  inquiry  that  can 
be  made  of  a  juror  after  verdict  is 
whether  ' outside influence' was  brought 
10 bear  upon  him.  The  old  arguments 
and  testimony  about  improper  remarks 
made  in  the  course  of deliberations  are 
now a thing of the  past."[33]  In  a highly 
publicized  Travis  County  case,  five 
jurors  who  convicted  a  defendant  of 
Aggravated  Sexual  Assault  were  called 
as  witnesses  at  his  motion  for  new  trial 
hearing  and  testified  that  they 
compromised  the  guilty  verdict  for  a 
probation  verdict  in  the  punishment 
phase.[34]  The  trial  judge  allowed  the 
jurors  to  testify,  but  denied  the  motion, 
stating  publicly  that  Texas  Rule  of 
Criminal  Evidence  606(b)  conflicted 
with  Rule  21.3  of  the  Texas  Rules  of 
Appellate  Procedure  which  makes  jury 
misconduct  a  ground  for  new  trial.[35] 
In  doing  so,  the  trial  judge  added 
himself  to  the  Buentello plurality, 
Garrett dissent,  and  Porter court,  as  a 
member of the  judiciary  who  insi sts  on 
mixing  a  discussion  of grounds  of jury 
misconduct  with  the  admissibility  of 
juror  testimony.  The  foregoing  jurists 
have  ignored  the  fact  that  the  law  has 
separated  the  issue  of  what  constitutes 
jury  misconduct  from  the  issue  of  how 
one  introduces  evidence  of  jury 
misconduct  since  the  days  of  Lord 
Mansfield's opinion, which deplored the 
juror ' s conduct  but ruled  their  affidavits 
inadmissible.  More  specifically,  Texas 
Rule  of  Civil  Procedure  324(b)(I)  has 
enumerated  jury  misconduct  as  a 
ground  for  new  trial  in  civil  cases  for 
years,  and  no  authority  exists  stating 
that  the  limit  of  juror  testimony  to 
"outside influences"  conflicts  with  Rule 
324. 
The absence of the  "except" phrase 
from  the  new  rule  and  the  lack  of  a 
different  rule  in  criminal  cases  were 
both  intentional.  Like  the  phrase  itself 
years  earlier,  the  deletion  of the  phrase 
originated  in  a  subcommittee  on 
evidence  of  the  Supreme  Court 
Advisory  Committee,  which  concluded 
that  the  "except"  phrase conflicted  with 
the  practice  of  every  other  state  and 
federal  practice.[36]  Further, just as  an 
earlier  Court  of  Criminal  Appeal s 
deliberately  chose  to  differentiate  the 
old  criminal  rule  from  the  federal  rule, 
the  current  Court  of  Criminal  Appeals 
deliberately  chose  to  promulgate  a  rule 
more  in  line  with  civil  practice, 
according  to  Presiding  Judge 
McCormick. [37]  In  light  of the  heavy 
reliance  of  the  Buentello plurality's 
opinion  opening  the  floodgates  to  juror 
testimony  upon  the  history  of  the 
"except"  clause and  text of the  "except" 
clause,  it  is  likely  that  the  Court  of 
Criminal  Appeals  in  a  future  case  will 
look  at  the  absence  of  the  "except" 
clause  and  the  history  of  that  absence 
and  close  those  floodgates.  Future 
motions  for  new  trial  hearings  in 
criminal  cases  will  take  place  without 
the testimony of jurors as  to  anything in 
their  deliberations  but  "outside 
influences.  " 
In  the  aftermath  of  the 
aforementioned  Travis  County  case, 
members  of  the  criminal  defense  bar 
publicly  raised  the  issue  of  whether 
having  the  same  rule  in  criminal  and 
civil  cases  is  constitutional.[38] 
However,  Federal  Rule  606(b),  which 
restricts  testimony  from  jurors  about 
their  deliberations  in  both  civil  and 
criminal  cases,  has  already  withstood  a 
constitutional  challenge  from  a 
convicted  criminal  defendant  before the 
United  States  Supreme  Court.[39]  It  is 
unlikely  such  a  challenge  to  Texas  Rule 
606(b)  from  criminal  defendants  will 
fare  any  better before  the  same  Court of 
Criminal  Appeals  that  promulgated  the 
rule. 
CONCLUSION 
Trial  lawyers  in  Texas  no  longer 
have  to  contend  with  three  widely 
varying  rules  on  the  admissibility  of 
juror testimony  as  to  their deliberations. 
There  are  now  only  two  rules,  state  and 
federal,  with  the  federal  rule  being 
slightly  more  broad  than  its  Texas 
counterpart.  This  will  not  bring  any 
substantial  changes  for  civil 
practitioners.  However,  criminal 
JANUARYIFEBRUARY  1999  DOCKET CALL·  11 
Post Verdict Continued .... 
defense attorneys and prosecutors in
state court will find that the parameters
for litigating motions for new trial based
upon jury misconduct have changed
dramatically.
 
1997, no writ); see also Mercy [35] [d.
I
Hospital of Laredo v. Rim, 776 [36] /d.
[I] See Bllentello v. State, 826 S.W.2d
S.W.2d 626 (Tex. App. San [37] [d.
610 (Tex. Crim. App. 1992).
Antonio 1989, no writ). [38] Id.
[2] See Perry v. Safeco., 821 S.W.2d
[14] 14 Advisory committee's note, [39] Tanner, supra at note 11.
279 (Tex. App.-Houston[ I st Dist.]
supra at note 12.
1991, writ denied).
[15] 871 S.W.2d 263, 272 (Tex. App.-
[3] See United States v. Ortiz, 942 F.2d
EI Paso 1994, writ denied).
903 (5th Cir. 1991).
[16] 821 S.W.2d 279, 281 (Tex. App.-
[4] Porter v. State, 1998 Tex.App.Lexis
Houston[ 1st Dist.] 1991).
2100 (Tex. App.- Austin 1998).
[17] Buentello, supra at note I.
[5] Tex. R. Evid. 606(b).
[ 18J /d.
[61 Phillip Hardberger, Texas
[19] Id. at 613-614.
Courtroom Evidence 13-9.0 (1998).
[20] Id.
[7] Susan Borreson, Raw Deal Under a
[21 ] Id.
New Rule?, Texus Lawyer, June 22,
[22] /d.
1998 at 16.
[23] Id.
[8] Vaise v. Delaval, I T.R. 11,99 Eng.
[24] 946 S.w.2d 338 (Tex. Crim. App.
Rep. 944 (K.B. 1785).
1997) (Overstreet, 1., dissenting).
19J [d.
[25] Id.
1101 I McCormick on Evidence d 68
[26] [d.
(John Strong ed. 1992).
[27] [d.
[II] Tanner v. United States, 483 U.S.
[28] Id.
107,118 (1987).
[29] [d.
[12J Fed. R. Evid. 606 advisory
[30] Porter. supra at note 4.
committee's note.
[31 ] [d.
[13] Mitchell v. Southern Pacific
[32] [d.
Trallsp. Co., 955 S.W.2d 300 (Tex.
[33] Hardbergel; supra at note 6.
App.- San Antonio
[34] Borreson, supra ut note 7.
12 • DOCKET CALL JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999
FED SQUARE 
This  column  will  be  devoted  to 
practice  in  Federal  Court.  The first  one, 
therefore,  is  about  starting  a  practice  in 
Federal  Court. 
Membership 
To  practice  in  Federal  Court,  you  will 
have  to  fill  out  a  one-page  application, 
pay  a  $50  fee  and  attend  a  one-day 
workshop.  You  will  need  two  current 
resident  as  a  member  of  the  Southern 
District  of  Texas  as  references  if  you 
have  not  yet  been  admitted  to  any  other 
Federal  District. 
The  Workshops  occur  four  times  a 
year  with  the  next  ones  on  February  19, 
May  14,  August 20 and  November  19  of 
1999.  Sharon  Trigg  with  the  Clerk's 
office  cautions  that  the  classes  fill  up 
quickly,  and  are  generally  full  a  month 
in  advance,  so  do  not  delay  signing  up. 
Your  membership  must  be  renewed 
every  five  years,  and  if  your 
membership  is  suspended  or lapses, you 
must  retake  the  class. 
While  your  application  is  pending, 
you  may  practice  in  Federal  Court  by 
filing  a  "Motion  for  Admission  Pro  Hac 
Vice."  Pre-printed forms  are available at 
Attorney  Admissions  on  the  6th  Floor. 
Simply  note  at  the  bottom  that  your 
application  is  pending. 
Remember,  Federal  Court is  not  State 
Court.  In  a  recent  workshop,  an 
unfortunate  lawyer  did  not  turn  off  her 
cellular  phone.  It  rang  during  the 
presentation,  and  she  took  the  call. 
When  she  was  done,  the  Federal  Judge 
running  the  workshop  asked  for  her 
name  and  told  her,  in  front  of  the 
workshop,  that  she  would  not  be 
admitted  to  practice  in  Federal  Court. 
She was  sent home. 
The  message  is  clear.  Federal  Judges 
do  not  tolerate  lack  of decorum.  Being 
one  minute  late  is  not  good  enough. 
Cellular  phones  and  pagers  must  be  off. 
By  Martin Mayne 
Even  a  pager vibrating  across  the  top of 
a  table  in  the  middle  of a  proceeding  is 
not  good. 
Appointments 
Appointments  in  Federal  Court  are 
through  the  CJA  or  "Criminal  Justice 
Act."  Since  there  is  a  Federal  Public 
Defender  in  the  Southern  District,  the 
first  appointment  in  any  case  goes  there 
unless  the  office  has  some  sort  of 
conflict.  If  the  Public  Defender  has  a 
conflict  or  there  is  more  than  one 
indigent  defendant,  then  lawyers  are 
appointed  from  the CJA "Panel." 
To  get  on  the  "Panel,"  you  must  fill 
out a Confidential  Data sheet.  It asks for 
more  information  than  the  membership 
application,  including  your  Social 
Security  number and  numbers  and  types 
of trials and  appeals.  This information  is 
used  by  the  Courts  and  is  not  a  public 
record. 
Ms.  Trigg  noles  that  beginning 
January  I,  1999,  every  CJA  attorney 
must,  because  of  the  new  tax  code, 
provide  a  personal  Social  SecurilY 
number  even  if  they  have  a  firm  Tax 
ID#.  Otherwise  they  will  not  be  paid. 
On  a  positive  note,  the  forms  requesting 
payment,  called  a  CJA  20,  will  be 
changed  so  that  the  Social  Security 
number  will  not  be  required.  That form 
is  a  publ ic  record. 
Appointments  are  made  by  the 
M ~   r a t e Judges  and  their  Case 
Managers.  A list  of names  and  numbers 
follows  this  article.  Each  month,  a 
single  magistrate  will  be  responsible  for 
the criminal docket.  There  is  generally a 
10  a.m.  and  a  2  p.m.  docket  on 
weekdays.  Go  to  the  case  manager  at 
the  beginning  of  the  month  and 
introduce  yourself.  Give  him  or  her  a 
card  and  explain  whether  you  are 
interested  in  appointments  to  trial  or 
appellate  work.  In  general ,  attorneys 
who fluently  speak Spanish  or any other 
language are  in  high  demand. 
Programs and Services 
A  new  Mentors  program  has  been 
started  in  the  Houston  Division  of  the 
Southern  District.  Interested  attorneys 
with  little  Federal  experience  can  be 
placed  with  more  experienced  attorneys 
to  learn  the  system.  You  are  appointed 
to  the  case  and  expected  to  fully 
participate  in  the  representation.  You 
will  not,  however,  be  paid.  If  you  are 
interested,  simply  write  to  Magistrate 
Judge  Maryrose  Milloy,  515  Rusk,  rm 
7007,  Houston,  Texas  77208.  You  will 
be  sent  a  questionnaire  which  will  help 
the  Judge  to  pair you  up. 
You  will  want  to  sign  up  for  PACER, 
"Public  Access  to  Court  Electronic 
Records."  It  costs  nothing  to  sign  up, 
and  you  are  only  charged  for  usage  at 
$.60  per  minute.  You  can  download 
docket sheets  and  follow  the  progress of 
cases  in  most  Federal  Districts.  You 
have  to  sign  up  for  each  District 
separately, and you  will  be dropped from 
the  list  if  you  are  inactive  for  too  long 
(90  days  in  some  instances). 
Another  service  to  sign  up  for  is  "Fax 
Orders  and  Judgments."  You  will  still 
receive any  Orders and  Judgments  in  the 
mail  later,  but the clerk will fax  a copy  to 
you  as  soon  as  it  is  scanned  into  the 
system.  A simple form  is  available at the 
Clerk's  office  on  the  first  floor  of  the 
Federal  Courthouse.  It  is  a free  service, 
but  you  do  need  a  dedicated  fax  line. 
They  say  the  system  will  not  work  if  it 
hears  a  voice. 
Finally,  in  a  blatant  attempt  to  Slay  at 
least  one  step  ahead  of  most  of  the 
Harris  County  criminal  defense  bar,  the 
Federal  Courts  have  a  website  at 
www.uscourts.gov.
FEDERAL MAGISTRATES  & CASE  MANAGERS 
Magistrate Judge  Case Manager  C.M.'s Phone  Month 
Frances  Stacy  Bettie White  713  250-5565  May 
Maryrose Milloy  Paul  Hogan  713  250-5158  March 
Calvin  Botley  Paul  Yebernetsky  713  250-5536  April 
Marcia  Crone  Carol  Dennie  713250-5566  February 
Nancy Johnson  Linda  Gonzales  713  250-5534  January 
JANUARYIFEBRUARY  1999  DOCKET CALL·  13 
@] @]

MELISSA MARTIN  MARTIN  D.  MAYNE 


ATTORNEY AT  LAW  ATTORNEY AT  LAW 


713-224-0888 
BENNETT & BENNETT 
713-224-8400 

LAWYERS 

713-224-1747 



ARE  PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE 

THE OPENING  OF THEIR  NEW OFFICES 

412  MAIN  STREET,  SUITE 1050 


HOUSTON, TEXAS 77002 

FAX  713-224-8402 


@] @]
             
R.C
INTERNATIONAL
713/523-3666
Fax 713/523-3246
Direct 713/529-4898
email: tlsampson@aol.com
Tonya L. Sampson
Attorney and Mediator
Dispute Resolution Consultants International
3703 Kirby Drive, Suite 210 • Houston, Texas 77098
14 • DOCKET CALL JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999
Looking Ahead 
By  Richard  Frankoff 
For me, probably like most of you,
long-range planning means having some
idea of where I am going to be eating
lunch while I ' am still drinking my
morning coffee. Yet somehow I found
myself volunteering to chair the HCCLA
Long-Range Planning Committee.
Even if my background and skills
are not suited for the position, my reason
was well founded. It is that we,
HCCLA, need it. We need to sit back,
decide what is important and plan for the
future. We have not done this for a while
and it shows. We have gone too long
without any direction, and without any
direction, you can only be lost. So I
volunteered.
I had a limited vision of where we,
as an organization, should go, and an
even more limited one of how we should
get there. But my idea was to first gather
a group of us, older (by this I mean more
experienced) and younger (less
experienced) members, and then guide a
discussion which would hopefully lead
to a clear vision and a path to take us
there.
We did this, and I am proud to report
we were very successful. But before
continuing with that, I want to thank
those who attended and those who
contributed to the effort. Thank you.
We had three meetings, each two
and one half-hours long, every other
Wednesday night. We met at a hotel
conference room and conducted serious,
although often entertaining discussions.
Afterwards we would relax, drink and
talk some more. From these session, we
developed some ideas, set some goals
and made some plans. Please allow me
to summarize our conclusions. W e
focused on three general areas: (1)
establishment of an identity and
presence (2) develop ment of leadership
and confidence and (3) stabilization of
finances .
Identity & Presence
First, we need to think about who
we are. By this I mean we had to think
about our reason for being an
organization and we needed to articulate
that reason. So we wrote a mission
statement and made it the cover of our
first Docket Call edition. Please read
this statement. It states who we are and
why we exist. Next, we decided we
needed a way of communicating that
statement and all that flows from it to
ourselves and the community.
Therefore, we decided to again publish
Docket Call. It is important to us and the
court system because it tells us not only
what is going on and who is doing what,
but also what is important, what is
essential to us. We also saw value in a
quick and cheap means of
communicating among the membership.
Therefore, we resolved to get our
membership "on line. " Today there is no
better way than to have our membership
linked together by the Internet so that we
can quickly share information by email.
To accomplish this, we should recruit
selected members, who are computer
literate, to help those that are not. We
shouId contact an Internet service
provider for the cheapest rates .
We now have a web site, but we have
few members who are able to access it.
We plan to set up our web site to provide
our membership with "Significant Case
Decisions," an easy way for
us to review the recent court 's decisions .
Leadership & Confulence
The organization must develop
leadership in the courtroom and around
the courthouse. By this I mean not only
develop competent and effective defense
attorneys, but also identify and nurture
those of us who will be the next
generation of HCCLA leaders.
We discussed increasing the quality
and quantity of our CLE programs and
joining our efforts with other
organizations such as TCDLA or
NACDL. Committee members also
suggested creating a mentorship
program, teaming any requesting
attorney with one of greater experience.
A continuing trial clinic based upon the
programs started by Gerry Spence's Trial
College is another way we can promote
confidence and leadership. The program
would consist of a regularly scheduled
clinic where members can just show up
to discuss with each other their next trial
or hearing.
As a way to share our knowledge and
experience of what works and what does
not work, we decided our Annual
Meeting should be used to gather
members together to share stories,
exchange ideas and pass traditions.
Also, to strengthen our position in the
courthouse, we should increase our ties
with the local judiciary. To that end, we
hope to establish a BenchlDefense Bar
Conference on alternating years from the
HBA Bench/Bar Conference. Its
purpose would not be to pit judges
against attorneys, but rather to develop a
rapport between the two groups, to find
mutual areas of concern and to work
together to solve mutual problems.
Stabilization of Finances
Our fiscal year shou Id start at the
beginning of each new administration.
The President-Elect will submit a
proposed budget for membership review
at our Annual Meeting and for approval
at the first board meeting of his/her
administration.
This way, prior to taking office each
President-Elect will have to prepare and
present a budget outlining his/her plans
and priorities. We should create an
endowment and capital fund. We should
put aside a percentage of our gross
income for security and capital
investments, such as a building to house
our offices, a practice courtroom and
rental space for attorneys or attorney
support businesses.
All these are good ideas. But we need
more than just good ideas. We need the
commitment and conviction (pardon my
use of that word) to take these, and other
good ideas, and act upon them. We need
to do it now or we will continue to
wallow and waste away. We have one
thing going for us: us! Look, we are men
and women who made it through law
school, who go into the courtroom and,
often against all the odds, win. But
more, we are dreamers and doers. We
have dreamed, now is the time for us to
do. Please join us in getting HCCLA
rejuvenated.
JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999 DOCKET CALL· 15
tRail on Appeal 
By  Patrick F.  McCann 
You just got the verdict back, and it
was not good. Your client was convicted
of a lesser-included offense, but it was
still a conviction. Your client has just
been taken away, and his family is
clustered around you, asking what their
options are. What can you tell them?
The first thing to tell them is that your
client may be eligible for a bond. Under
Article 44.04(a) of the Texas Code of
Criminal Procedure, pending the
detennination of any motion for new
trial or appeal of a misdemeanor, your
client is entitled to a reasonable bail. If
he was convicted of a felony and the
penalty was 15 years or less, then under
44.04(b), he is still eligible for a bond,
unless he was convicted of a narcotics
offense under Section 481.107 (b)
through (e) of the Health and Safety
Code. 15 years and a day, and your client
is ineligible.
Section (c) of Article 44.04 gives the
trial court discretion to award bail in a
felony if it meets the conditions laid out
under Section (b). The court can
continue the existing bond, deny bond,
set a new bond and impose reasonable
terms and conditions on the bond,
pending the conviction becoming final
(i.e., affirmed by the Court of Appeals).
See Putnam v. Stale, 582 S. W.2d 146
(Tex. Cr. App. 1979); also Ex Parte
Turner, 612 S.W.2d 611 (Tex. Cr. App.
1981); Valenciano v. State, 720 S.W.2d
523 (Tex. Cr. App. 1986).
]f the trial court determines that the
client violated the terms and conditions
of his bond or that he is likely to commit
another offense by a preponderance of
the evidence, it may revoke his bond.
See Oldham v. State, 743 S.W.2d 734
(Tex. App.- Ft. Worth 1987, pet. ref'd);
also Short v. State, 923 S. W.2d 168 (Tex.
App. - Ft. Worth 1996).
As a practice note, frequently, local
courts in Harris County will ask for a
new bond and double the trial bond.
Also, many local bondsmen require 15%
of the appeal bond if a new bond is set.
The logic of these procedures is that
since your client has been convicted he
or she is less likely to stick around. You
will have to fight these practices.
Also, be prepared for conditions to be
set that wi 1.1 include "no-contact"
provisions, drug testing, monitoring and,
for the folks representing sex offenders,
the courts' latest favorite thing is to have
them subjected to lie detector tests in
regards to no-contact orders.
Section (d) permits the court to raise
or lower the amount of the bond at its
discretion, either on its own motion or on
a motion by either party. Sections (e)
and (f) simply state that the sureties must
be approved and are not released from
the pledge if your client rethinks this
whole jail concept until he is firmly in
the grip of the sheriff.
Section (g) is important because it
explicitly makes the bond orders
appealable to the Court of Appeals and
makes them a priority. Such orders are
cognizable on writ of habeas corpus. See
Ex Parte Jackson, 602 S.W.2d 535 (Tex.
Cr. App 1980). The final section, (h),
makes it clear that if a reversal occurs,
your client is again entitled to a
reasonable bond.
For those representing indigent
defendants, there is sti 11 hope for release
on bond. Under Article 44.041, a person
who is indigent or cannot afford the bond
on appeal may still be released if the
court determines such release is
reasonable. According to Section (b) of
Article 44.041 , however, an indigent
appellant must participate in one of the
programs under Article 42.033, 034,
035, or 036, and participate in
community service, electronic
monitoring, work release, etc. Please
note, there is a clear conflict between the
final provision of 44.041(b) and portions
of Art. 42.033, 42.034, and 42.036(f),
since these statutes do award credit for
time and work served. This could be
subject to a writ or appeal.
Two common areas of contention in
appeal bonds are I) that the terms and
conditions are unreasonable and 2) that
the bond is too high. In the first instance,
remember that the terms and conditions
are supposed to be relevant to
guaranteeing your client's appearance in
court. Ex Parte Sotelo, 878 S. W.2d 179
(Tex. App. -Ft. Worth 1993 pet. ref'd). It
is your obligation to contest any
conditions your client believes are
unreasonable. It is your burden to prove
that they are not reasonable related to the
balancing of your client's interest in
remaining free on bail and society's
interest in making certain your client
appears and commits no other offenses
while on release. Valenciano v. State,
720 S.W.2d 523 (Tex. Cr. App. 1986).
Some conditions that have been
considered unreasonable in the past by
the appellate courts have included
restraints on how a person makes a
living, Speth v. State, 939 S.W.2d
769(Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.]
1997), and drug testing where there is no
indication of drug use or the underlying
offense is not drug related, Ex Parle
Sotelo , supra Trial courts are NOT
authorized to place conditions of bail on
a misdemeanor appeal. Dallas v. State,
945 S.W.2d 328 (Tex. App.-Houston
[1st Dist.] 1997).
If bail is set too high, then again it is
the burden of the complaining party to
object and prove that the amount set is
too burdensome or excessi ve by a
preponderance of the evidence. Mayo v.
State, 611 S.W.2d 442 (Tex. Cr. App.
1981). Denial of a requested hearing on
this issue constitutes an unreasonable
and arbitrary action. Ex Parte Williams,
630 S.W.2d 803 (Tex. App. -San Antonio
1982 pet. ref' d) .
Keep in mind that you are not
entitled to a bond on appeal, since under
the provisions of Article I, Section 11 of
the Texas Constitution, only pre-
conviction bond is protected. Your
rights here are statutory, but you can still
accomplish a lot for your client even
after a conviction under Texas law.
P.S [Author's Note: as of printing,
Dallas v Slate, 945 S.W.2d 325 (Tex.
App.-Houston [I st. DisL] 1997) had
been modified by the CCA. Final status
may depend on a motion for rehearing.]
16· DOCKET CALL JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999
Submitting Probable Cause Issues To The Jury 
By Jim Skelton 
Article 38.23 V.A.C.C.P. states
evidence obtained in violation of state or
federal law may not be used at trial.
When there is a fact dispute as to
whether evidence was gained in
violation of 38.23, a jury is permitted to
resolve the question. If the jury believes
or has a reasonable doubt that evidence
was acquired in violation of 38.23, it is
instructed to disregard the tainted
evidence.
Here is an example of how 38.23
works. A police officer testifies he saw a
car run a stop sign and that he saw a
marijuana cigarette in the ashtray as he
talked to the driver. The driver, on the
other hand, claims he did not run a stop
sign, but he does not deny having a joint
in plain view. There is a fact di spute as to
why the car was stopped. If the officer is
believed, the traffic stop is lawful and
the subsequent seizure of the marijuana
is admissible. If the driver is believed,
the stop is an unlawful seizure and the
confiscation of the cigarette is the fruit of
an unlawful seizure.
The only realistic chance of winning
this suppression issue is to submit it to
the jury under 38.23 because a pretrial
motion to suppress will most likely be
denied since very few Texas judges rule
against the pol ice. Presenting the 38.23
issue to a jury, up until a recent case, was
limited by the so called "DeGarmo
doctrine." DeGarmo v. State , 691
S.W.2d 657 (Tex. Cr. App.) held error
was waived if the accused admitted guilt
during the guiltlinnocence or
punishment phase of the trial. DeGarmo
was read to hold an admission of guilt at
trial waived the right to appellate review
of a suppression ruling.
Assuming the driver in the above
example was alone and is the only one
who could testify he did not run the stop
sign, he would have to testify before a
jury to raise a 38.23 issue. When he
testifies, he would have to admit guilt,
that he possessed marijuana, hence
waiving error under DeGarmo. This
created a dilemma for defense lawyers
because they ran the risk of waiving their
right to appellate review of suppression
issues by seeking a 38.23 jury
instruction.
The recent case of Leday v. State,
_S.W.2d_ (Tex. Cr. App. NO. 1125-
97, delivered December 16, 1998)(not
yet reported) resolved this problem by
ruling DeGarmo cannot be invoked to
prevent appellate review of suppression
issues. Don Rogers, a Houston lawyer,
represented Leday on appeal. Leday was
a passenger in a car stopped for
speeding. The officer testified a drug dog
inside his patrol began barking. The
dri ver asked, so said the officer, if the
dog would bite someone who had
cocaine on their person. The officer said
no. According to the officer, the driver
asked him to take a bag from her coat
pocket in such a way that Leday could
see she was not giving it willfully. The
bag contained crack. The driver and
Leday were arrested and more crack was
found in Leday's shoes at the police
station.
Leday's suppression motion was
denied. He raised a 38.23 issue at trial by
contradicting the officer's testimony
about the stop, search and arrest. Leday
admitted he had cocaine but denied
knowing the driver had contraband. The
jury was instructed under 38.23 to
disregard the evidence found in the
search of Leday if they had a reasonable
doubt that the vehicle was properly
stopped or that the officer had probable
cause to arrest Leday. Leday was
convicted . At punishment, Leday
admitted guilt again by testifying he
agreed to do the "drug run" to repay a
student loan.
On appeal, Leday argued it was
error to deny his pretrial suppression
motion and that it was error to admit the
cocaine at trial. The State argued the
DeGarmo, 691 S.W.2d 657
(Tex.Cr.App.), cert.denied, 474 U.S. 973
(1985) curati ve error doctrine; that
Leday waived error by admitting guilt at
both phases of the trial. Leday, in
response, argued his trial testimony was
impelled by the illegal action of the
State. The Court of Appeals agreed with
the State ruling " having admitted the
knowingly possession of the cocaine in
question during both portions of the trial,
any error that occurred during the gUilt/
innocence phase was waived."
The Court of Criminal Appeals
disapproved of using the terms "curative
admissibility" and " waiver" in cases in
which error in admitting evidence was
held to be harmless because similar
evidence was introduced without an
objection this will not result in reversal
when other such evidence was received
without objection either before or after
the complained-of ruling. The Court
pointed out there was an exception to
the this rule where the Defendant's
testimony is impelled by the state's
introducing evidence obtained in
violation of the law. The Court held this
exception extends to all evidence subject
to exclusion under Article 38.23
V.A.C.C.P.
The State must now show that its
illegal action did not impel the
defendant's testimony to counter this
exception. The following factors were
relevant in  the determination: (I)
evidence the Defendant would not be
called as a witness but for the court ' s
ruling admitting illegally obtained
evidence; (2) even if the Defendant is
called, evidence that he would have
testified in the same manner but for the
introduction of that evidence; (3)
whether the State introduced other
evidence of guilt, and the strength of that
evidence; and (4) whether there is other
evidence, aside from the evidence
objected to, that would have induced the
Defendant to testify in the same manner.
The Court of Criminal Appeals
ruled that hoJding Leday waived his
objection to the illegally seized evidence
contravenes this exception . The Court
reasoned that such a rule creates a cruel
"trilemma" of waiver, perjury, or loss of
rebuttal evidence and thus the Court of
Appeals erred in holding Leday 's
suppression issue was waived by his
testimony at guilt/innocence.
JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999 DOCKET CALL· 17
As to the admission at punishment,
the Court stated the DeGarmo doctrine
during punishment is conceptually
different because it comes after a guilt
finding and that testimony of guilt at
punishment cannot render harmless the
introduction of similar testimony at guilt.
The Court noted that any harmful effects
of inadmissible testimony were on the
jury's decision of guilt that cannot be
ameliorated by the Defendant's
testimony which follows that decision.
The Court said Leday sought appellate
review of the trial court's suppression
ruling and none of the reasons for the
DeGanno doctrine justify an appellate
court's estopping him or holding he
waived review or that such an en'or at the
guilt stage would always be harmless.
The Court went on to hold the DeGarmo
doctrine cannot be invoked to prevent
such appellate review.
This decision now permits a lawyer
to seek appellate review of suppression
issues without being estopped from
raising these issues because their clients
admit guilt when raising a 38.23 issue.
When faced with this problem, it is
important for a defense lawyer to
remember the Court's comments. about
the State's ability to show its illegal
action did not impel the defendant's
testimony. One of the listed factors was
"evidence the Defendant would not be
called as a witness but for the court's
ruling admitting illegally obtained
evidence." This means Defense counsel
would be well advised to state he is
calling the Accused to testify because:
(1) the trial judge denied his pretrial
motion the suppress, (2) that defense
counsel had not anticipated calling the
Defendant until the trial court's ruling on
the suppression motion and (3) there is
no other means to raise the 38.23 issue
except by calling the Accused as a
witness. This statement should be made
in the record, outside the jury's presence,
before the Accused testifies. If a lawyer
follows the requirements of Leday, the
old problem of waiving error by seeking
a 38.23 instruction will be solved, thanks
to Don Rogers and Leday v. State.
NO  FANCY  HOTELS  - NO GLOSSY  BROCHURES 
NO PROSECUTORS  - NO FREE  LUNCH 
NO GOLF 
JUST  THE  BEST  DAMN CLE 
IN  THE  WORLD! 
Saturday, February 27, 1998
South Texas College of Law
9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Terry MacCarthy of Chicago will teach us his "Look Good Cross," otherwise known as the "One-Word Cross." If you
have never heard Terry speak, come and learn to cross-examine. If you have heard him before, come again.
Terry is one of the top CLE speakers in the country. He has taught his techniques at the Trial Lawyers' College, and at
programs in all 50 states. He has received more praise and honors for his teaching than we have room to print. OUf own
Richard "Racehorse" Hayncs writes:
It has been my honor and privilege to know Teny MacCarthy of Chicago for over 20 years. His picture
hllngs ill my office. He is one of my heroes. Ten)' MacCarthy of Chicago is a lawyel: Bright,
witty alld totally dedicated to the concept that 110 one shall be denied due process or the increasillgly elusive
"fair trial ".
Terl)' ranks with the best ever on the art   cross·e..\;alllillatiol1, lind has lIlways beell willillg to share
with those of us who toil ill the temples ofjustice. Don't lIliss him!
The 7.5 hour seminar is $75 for HCCLA members ($50 if you join HCCLA or renew your lapsed membership in January
or February): $150 for non-members; $75,000 for government employees. Space is limited, so call Mark Bennett at
713.224.1747 now to reserve a seat.
18 • DOCKET CALL JANUARYIFEBRUARY 1999
%arsay 
If you have an announcement
regarding a personal item such as a
birth, wedding, an award or recognition
or anything else that the folks at the
courthouse might wanl to know, please
call Danny Easterling (713) 228-4441
or Patrick F. McCann (713) 223-3805.
Many  of  us  know  the  results  of  the 
judicial elections,  but  we  often  overlook 
the  folks  who  help  make  the  courts  run. 
Congratulations  and  welcome  to  the 
new  court  coordinators  who  will  be 
working  in  the  criminal courts. 
In  County  Criminal  Court,  Debra 
Congratulations  to  newly  nominated 
Judge Elsa Acala, who has  taken  over in 
the  338th  District  Court  when  Judge 
Mary Bacon retired.  Our best wishes to 
Judge Bacon after many  years of service 
to  Harris  County. 
Our  membership owes  a  great deal  of 
thanks  to  Richard  Trevathan  and  past 
president  Garland  McInnis  for  their 
efforts  in  inaugurating the  new  Frequent 
Courthouse  Visitors  Badge  Program.  It 
enables  attorneys  and  others  to  bypass 
the  magnetometer  and/or  the  x-ray 
verdict  on  a  one  kjlo  possession  with 
intent  to  distribute case  in  federal  court. 
Finally,  the  beginning  of the  year saw 
the  passing  of  one  of  Harris  County's 
finest judges, Miron  Love.  Judge Love 
created  the  position  of  Administrative 
Judge  and  fostered  its  existence  in 
Harris  County.  The  Administrative 
Judge  coordinates  the  entire  criminal 
judicial  system.  This  office  created  by 
Judge  Love  has  served  as  the  model  for 
many  other jurisdictions  in  the  State  of 
Texas. 
Griffin  will  be  the  new  coordinator  in 
Court  #5.  In  Court  #6,  welcome  to 
Caprice  Rubal.  In  County  Court  #14, 
say  hello  to  Ramon  Hernandez. 
Finally,  Court  #7  will  be  keeping 
Barbara Ned  as  their coordinator. 
In  felony  court,  Brenda  Sims  will 
take  over  in  the  183rd.  Marian 
Trammel  will  be  takjng  over  in  the 
185th.  Vicki  Oliver  will  be  in  charge 
over  at  the  248th  and  in  the  262nd, 
Chuck  Spinks  will  be  the  new 
coordinator.  Good  luck to  everyone I
Best  wishes  and  congrats  to  Stacy 
Delatorre  (formerly  Stacy  Wadsworth) 
from  the District Attorney's office.  She 
is  workjng  in  Bosni a  on  a  leave  of 
absence from  the DA' s office helping the 
Bosnian  government  establish  a 
workjng criminal justice system. 
Congratulations  to  Terri  Z.  Jacobs 
who  gave  birth  to  a  7  pounds  8  ounces 
baby  girl  on  December 11,  1998  named 
Courtney Jewel. 
Well  done  to  Gordon Dees  who got a 
"Not  Guilty"  verdict  in  a  non-death 
capital  murder case in  November. 
machines  used  for  security  screening  at 
the  courthouse.  You  can  pick  up  an 
application  form  in  the  court's 
administration  office on  the  first  floor at 
301  San Jacinto.  Read  the  fine  print and 
see  that  the  $100  fee  is  a  voluntary fee.
Applications  are  accepted  at  the 
Building  Superintendent 's  office  on 
Wednesdays  only  from  1-4  p.m. 
Our  heartfelt  sympathy  and 
condolences  to  Judge  Belinda  Hill in 
the  230th  District  Court.  She  lost  her 
mother recently  after an  illness.  All  our 
thoughts  and  prayers  are  with  her  and 
her family. 
Who  pleads  a  client  for  a  PSI 
sentencing  on  an  aggravated  sexual 
assault  of  a  chi Id  case  in  now-retired-
Judge  Mary  Bacon's  court?  Jay 
Karahan  did,  and  after  a  five  hour 
hearing,  Judge  Bacon  assessed  only  an 
eight  year  prison  sentence.  After  the 
hearing,  Jay  asked  the  clerk  to  clarify  if 
it  was  8 or 80

Congrats  to  Mark  Bennett  and  Ken 
McCoy!  They  started  out  the  new  year 
on  January  14,  1999 with  a "Not Guilty" 
NEXT 
I
ISSUE 
YOUR 
AD 
COULD 
BE  HERE 
SEE 
PAGE 
ONE 
FOR 
MORE 
DETAILS  I
JANUARYIFEBRUARY  1999  DOCKET CALL· 19 
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WHAT IS  THE HARRIS  WHAT DOES HCCLA DO  WHAT  DOES A MEMBER DO? 
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COUNTY CRIMINAL 
LAWYERS ASSOCIATION? 
TheHCCLAis anonprofit, tax
exempt, professionalAssociation
made up of lawyers from Harris
County, Texas, who are working
to promote excellence and high
ideals in the practice ofCriminal
Law.
Any defense lawyer in good
standing with the State Bar of
Texas, who is endorsed by a
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Jom. The endorsement
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competency, integrity and good
moral character who is actively
engaged in the defense of
criminalcases.
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Mailing Address: _____________
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Great Southwest Building 
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For  Leasing Information 
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