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READ aporl ~ wicnty tocar CLEEVENTS Dee Ea Ua ea ae oe en oe] Pee eee ome Pe crt ett eee Eee a eon Perey August 18-20 :: Standardized Field Sobriety Test Practitioner Course Instructor :: Jim Medley :: www.HCCLA.org August 21 :: 13th Annual TCDLA Top Gun DWI ae Jury Assembly Room, 1201 Congress St, Houston 77002 CCT Pinch eat Ate eee ey Se ee a } > DLO ayy (ute?) % ae vs Pett i follow vs on e 2 AC | CHECK OUT THE LATEST @ 1 lan fee coef cat HCCLA.ORG Never another sleeping lawyer. What can you do te help? Visit our website at w esa ( 0 N | E N | S acai ae er OTS aoc :CLE Events av 4. ::A Word from our President by Carmen Roe Sa : ‘ tric Beravides 5 ::A Word from our Incoming President ees by JoAnne Musick Deon Erg , alts 6 :: Winning Warriors ree ree 10::HCCLA News Round Up a 10: Welcome New Members Dd 10:: HCCLA Banquet & Award Celebration 11: HCCLA’s Annual High School Mock Trial Ber 12:: HCCLA Holiday Party Photos at Tiss 142: Remembering Our Fallen Warriors een ary 17::Using Shanklin & Its Ancestors to Obtain Resources for Punishment Proceedings Te by Pat McCann Cet aaa cree] pate St 21::HCCLA Ethics: To Err is Human ee by Robert Pelton net 23: :Practice Pointers ‘A Running Q6A by Mark Bennett Nicole DeBorde, Pat McCann, 6 JoAnne Musick 23:: Ethical 8 ete Jason Truit, guest writer Maen 24: How Do You Reinforce Information for Your Client? Na ated by JoAnne Musick 25: Eyewitness Effects Perens by Mark Bennett Pra e Perey " 26: :Mighty Mentors ei Oeo - Compiled by Sarah Wood ee aie reg era read 31: :Brandon Ball : A Profile by Thuy Le 37::Chess Corner : Ce 5 ee Cc Go with Strategy, not the Spaghetti Stick! OU ee by Tyler Flood DT eee tay 39: :HCCLA Extras Brandi DeLoach ‘Ad Rates / New Member Application = A | aword from our president r ae, My] Re HICCLA has come a long way this yeat! We are still the largest local criminal defense bar in the country, and this year we made ‘major strides toward being the most influential as wel. We have had no shortage of excitement over the past ewelve months. HCCLA made its debut on the cover of one the most respected newspapers in the country, the Wall Streee Journal ‘The story covered HCCLA's board and officers who invervened ‘on behalf of clients denied che right to counsel. Our efforts also reached the cover of the Houston Chronicle, as well as several local television stations ‘The sccength of any organization derives feom its members, and HCCLA is no exception, I'm proud to say this year we have seen unprecedented growth in new leadership. Among these new leaders taking the reigns, a selece few have particularly stood out because not only did they take on the lion's share of responsibility, but also cultivated new leaders along. the way Wichoue them, HICCLA could nor have accomplished some of its biggest achievements Addmidst the year’s success, a notable endeavor included the revamping of the Reasonable Doubt Show, now enbanced by its improved online presence, which reaches users on Twiter, Facebook, as well as YouTube. The show will continue its _growth under the watchful ee of Thuy Le, a new HCCLA boued ‘member. This show takes an incredible amount of preparation, planning and performance that would not be posible without ‘our incredible hosts, Jimmy Ardoin and Damon Parrish, and also behind-the-cene visual and audio talents, Julio Vela, Justin Hiarsis, and Shamim Ebeahimi (One of the most significane changes to benefit members this year has been the overhaul of our websice, Our new web host and user-friendly design allows members co gain access to ‘essential HICCLA information and benefits. Features ofthe new ‘website now include a customizable event and seminar calendar, multi-platform mobile access, a simplified payment process for membership dues, 2 poreal £0 submit articles to the Defender ‘magazine, and a media area with our press releases and recent publications featuting HCCLA. ‘Our CLE program has taken a new and improved direction under the capable leadership of Tyee Flood, © rmewreee ‘Tyler's committee pur cogether the Advanced Trial Tactics seminar, co-sponsored by TCDLA, which was the highest grossing seminar to date, training almost 200 members. Speakers like Michael Morron, John Raley and Anthony Graves were the highlighe of this allstar event. Equally impressive, Troy McKinney single-handedly organized a monthly evening CLE series chat hosted renowned and well-especced speakers, like Robert Hirschorn, Similarly, Losi Mack lead our noon seminars at the courthouse, which gave attendees invaluable criminal ‘raining from the experts, Finally, the year would be incomplete “Training Day.” Tyler, ‘once again, improved upon one of HICCLA’s strongest seminars, and ensured our boot camp featured the best speakers HCCLA has to offer! without the seminar that started it all, Fighting againsc opposicion was a major theme this year. To that end, HCCLA filed a judicial complaine against sitting judge that refused to curb intolerable conduct. The thoroughly investigated, and researched complain was filed as 2 resale of che hard work and, commitment of oicers and past presidents. The Judicial Conduct (Commission will ultimately determine whether private or public reprimand is approprice Abig partof the fight for justice and equality happens inthe sate Iegislature, so for the firs rime, HCCLA wene to Austin! Timing was ideal, as che national spotlight was on our lawed criminal justice system and provided a forum to discuss important issues like che grand jury selection, the use of body cameras, marijuana, sand enhanced DWI penalties. These battles are foughe on the frontlines in Austin and we now have a capable advocate fighting for our members, Labbying efforts are a critical component in the fight fora fur tral a fight we are happy to mount on al fonts. ‘This year has been progressive for HCCLA and its members, ur accomplishments, while noteworthy, would not be possible ‘without che hard work of our members. You really ae the furur! HCLA’s scrength and progress depends upon leaders willing £0 volunteer theistimefor others, Having been a member of HCCLA, for nearly a decade, I have seen leaders stray from the pack and. never ask for permission, They always changed HCCLA for che better. There are simply too many HCCLA leaders to mention here. There ae still more who will step up before this is published, ‘The cide is curning and you are the wave of change. Ichas been an hhonor to lead the criminal defense bar, and do my part to impact, our community. Now it's your turn. ‘A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right, A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice, A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true, - Rev, Martin Luther King, Jr, ‘on courage, March 8, 1965 Loosely translated, this has become “out lives begin ¢o end. the day we become silent about things chat matter.” I recently read this and was immediately drawn co thoughts of HCCLA. | decided this would be my inspiration for my second term as President of HCCLA; a theme for my teem, Justice begins to die the day we, as an organization and as Criminal defense lawyers, become silent. Constitutional rights begin co erode when we refuse co stand up for what is right. Goverament is allowed to oppress its people if we refuse to take a stand for that which is crac My promise to you, members of the bar and of HCCLA, is shat I will stand up. I will nor become silent. And together we will stand up for that which is true. We will live for those things that matter: constitutional rights, justice, and fairness, ‘The Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association will stand for you and your clients, We will stand for justice. We will stand for what is right. We will stand for that which is true. a word from our incoming president prAane Was fl As I undertake my second term as President, I am humbled and thankful for a strong membership and a scrong board. Your board has worked hard for many years to grow our organization, strengthen our credibility, and pave a way to faise the bar (a bar that already stands on the shoulders of local giants who are the best criminal defense attorneys in the nation). We have a strong membership active in our daily listserv ready to help any of our members, We have a successful CLE training program that provides free and low cost CLE through local and. national speakers who are revered for their own work and the training they provide to others. We have an invaluable second chair program that is the best in the country. We have a worthy and rclevane television program to educate attorneys and the general public about criminal justice issues, We have an exemplary magazine providing legal articles and general cips for practice, We have an excellent strike force ready and able co defend members as they fighe for their clients. For all our strengehs, Iam thankful for those who built, and continue to build, this organization and these programs. Now, together we will continue those traditions while we move forward, Our organization is successful because of you; yes, you! Let’s work cogether. Bring your ideas for growth and improvement, Join me as we stand for those things that matter. We cannot refuse co speak out. We will noc refuse co stand up, Together we will live and honor those things chat matter Took forward to another successful term with the help of the best local defense bar in the country. weston © aN George Jacobs was able to show the 338th factual faults in a search warrant and the affidavit supporting it and the court suppressed @ kilo of cocaine, ending the case in a dismissal. Jacobs then got a 20 minute NG in CCCL 8 on a DWI with an accident and .19 blood draw. It was a classic “he said/she said,” until an undisclosed child witness claimed to have seen it all on the witness stand. That didn’t stop Randy Martin and Jackie Carpenter getting the 2 word verdict in 178th on an AADWIEV. William McClellan got a Not Guilty in CCL 9 on an. assaulv/FV where the only evidence was a 911 call and pictures that depicted no injuries. Cory Roth and Armen Merjanian won a MTS in CCCL 3 for POM. The duo was able to elicit testimony from the cop to destroy the pretense of community caretaking In an important issue case, Sarah Wood convinced COA 1 to reverse the denial of MNT out of the 228th. Trial counsel presented no mitigation evidence, and the COA agreed with Wood that mitigation in punishment is a necessary and vital part of trial ‘Do DWI right, or don’t do it all. Tyler Flood started the year off by beating a .20 blood draw from St. Patrick's Day 2013. HCDAO was ready for Flood’s follow up .22 blood draw, with a team of lawyers, in CCCL 15. Itdidn’t stop the jury from finding that client Not Guilty, too. Mark Thiessen started the year with a directed verdict, followed 4 days later with an in trial dismissal in 2 DWIs, James Rivera, representing rapper Fat Pimp on an assault charge, got a directed verdiet in CCCL 9, © wesc @Garrtorg Client is charged with assaulting a public servant, allegedly choking out the CPS worker trying to take her child in the 232nd. Brett Podolsky and Matt Sharp showed the jury the CPS worker was attacked by someone else and could not remember the details she claimed. It only took the jury 30 minutes to agree and say, Not Guilty The client falling down during the SFST didn’t stop Tad Nelson from getting the NG on a DWI 2nd in Galveston, CCL 2, Cheryl Diggs and Joseph Willie II were able to get a jury hhung 8-4 in state jail court for PCS. Sometimes, a win is not a Not Guilty. Earl Musick and John Denholm took a .19 DWI to trial. The client had vomited all over himself. The jury found the client guilty, but found the .15 enhancement Not True. ‘The client is only convicted of the B misdemeanor and no ‘mandatory interlock. Mike Abner scored an in trial dismissal on an assaull/FV in CCCL 5, when the complaining witness admitted she was really just angry the defendant had gone to a topless bar earlier in the evening. Morgan Bourque got a NG on a .17 DWI in CCCL 14, despite his client’s inability to do SFST, needing to sit to do HGN, and pooping his pants while being transported to ail. The court refused to admit evidence the client had ‘medical conditions to explain his physical problems or evidence the breath machine had been mis-calibrated, James Rivera wasn’t content to win here in Houston, Rivera went to Waller County and heard the 2 word verdict on an ASAC. The investigating officer claimed all, Mexican men are pedophiles, and Rivera got the officer to admit she thought Rivera might be a pedophile, too! Not to be out done, George Jacobs went to Travis County and beat a .14 DWI and POM in CCL 6. Jacobs then went to Montgomery County to beat another client’s DWI, and use that NG as collateral estoppel to convince the state to dismiss the client's felony PC: Brett Podolsky and Matt Sharp were feeling left out, so ‘they went to the 10th Galveston and got 45 minute Not Guilty on sexual assault. The jury said Podolsky made it easy by exposing the complainant’s motives to lie. Sam Gardner got the NG in CCCL 4 on an assault, Client is on videotape threatening complainant and using, almost every racial slur known, Gardner was able to show the 3 eyewitnesses all had reasons to lie, and had provoked his client, Jay Cohen and Matt Gallagher convinced a jury not to ‘rust the .18 blood-draw and got a Not Guilty on DWI. It only took the jury an hour in the 338th to agree with Randy Martin and Mary Acosta that a spurned lover, trumped up agg assault charges against their client and render the 2-word verdict Tyler Flood was able to show a jury in CCCL 13 the fallacy of DWI Task Force training to get a Not Guilty. Sharon Curtis decided the fellas were just having too much fun without her. Curtis got the sweetest 2 words in the courthouse, beating a DWI.1S and POM. Bill Savoie's client had been civilly committed as a violent sexual predator in 2009, Savoie was able to convince the parole officer not to revoke his client's parole for nothing, more than failing a couple of polygraph exams, Mark Thiessen sent a young mother home after the jury took 15 minutes to find her not guilty in 16 blood test DWI. Natalie Schultz and Pat McCann convinced the 228th to recommend relief for a new trial, Seems the State didn’t think revealing a deal with @ co-defendant was Brady, despite clearly telling the grand jury such a deal was in place. It took 30 minutes before Ralph Manginello got the 2 word verdict in CCCL 3 on a DWI. The State tried to argue the client’s silence was consent to a post MeNeely blood draw. 3 cops and a bouncer were not enough evidence to convince @ jury in the 184th there had been an assault, ona peace officer. Good work, Emily Detoto and Mike Driver. In one of the toughest cases of his career, Jed Silverman got a 15 minute Not Guilty in a habitual indecency case. Silverman used the DNA to undermine the State’s case in week-long marathon. Gene Tausk was 2nd chair Kim Ogg and Scott Poerschke got habeas relieffIAC for Medicaid fraud. Trial counsel withdrew before sentencing and was subsequently suspended from practicing law ‘Todd Dupont scored the NG for a gun in the airport case in the 177th, In the last trial before Sherman Ross retired from CCCL 10, Doug Murphy and Gary Trichter got a 51 minute Not Guilty in a BAT van DWI Good things happen when you set cases for tial. David Ryan was set to try an ASAC in the 149th Brazoria County, On the eve of trial, the client pleaded to a deferred on state jail obscenity. Ryan followed it up with a dismissal on a DSC with serious detention issues, ‘Sometimes a win is beating the offer. Eric Davis and Alex Bunin got 5 years TDC from the same jury that convicted their client of murder. ‘coco @) CONTINUED :: inning CAarriors Danny Easterling has a history of fighting the tough ‘cases, Easterling’s client was charged with capital murder, convicted by the jury of the lesser-included offense of agg. robbery, and sentenced to 15 years by the jury. The state's, best offer was 50 years. That's a WIN! Mark Thiessen won a .1] blood draw DWI in CCCL 13. The client was a newlywed and can now follow her dream of becoming a dental hygienist. Jed Silverman got a 10-minute NG in CCCL 8 on theft that featured a mid-trial suppression of the client's, statement to the police over translation issues. Scott Pawgan hung a jury on CSA in Llano County. The client's 2 prior sexual assaults came in, Kurt Hopke and Armen Merjanian had a jury out for 5 hours before getting the 2 word verdict in Fort Bend CCL 1. Client was driving an 18-wheeler with an open bottle of whiskey, 4J. Julio Vela and Rodney Brown beat an assault, Client was on felony deferred, and this was the only violation, ‘Teamwork (and good mentorship) is key. Mark Bennett, Wade Smith, Victoria Erfesoglou, and Amalia Beckner took on an immigrant’s assault FV in CCCL 8, It took 45 ‘minutes for the jury to find the client Not Guilty @® wesc all ) Nicole DeB JoAnne Musick Scientific research and practical experience have shown that eyewitness testimony is often unreliable and a leading factor in wrongful convictions. Still, jurors tend to put a great deal of faith in the testimony of an eyewitness Eyewitness testimony can go bad because of bios, because of flawed memory, or because of flawed perception. We all think that we see things correctly and remember them accurately. The Internet recently gave us @ tool to demonstrate to [urors that we are our perception of very simple things, such as the color of a dress, can be mistaken. Some people tee the dress in this picture fas blue and black. Some see it as white and gold. Put the Image up on the screen (tost it first to make sure thet the effect works on the courthouse equipment) and your jurors will disagree on what color it js, (An informal Buzzfeed poll found that 70% of people saw it as white and gold, rather than blue and black. | got about the same results at home.) Use this to demonstrate that people of good faith, with no biases, can perceive things wrong and believe beyond any doubt that they are correct. Also use It 10 make the point that how sure we are about things is not a reflection about how correct we are: those who are 100% sure that the dress is white and gold are 100% wrong. Tye Pe by Mark Bennett Harris County has some of the greatest lawyers in the state and nation. And they give back! The mentors praised below are HCCLA's best and brightest, and their protégés are rising stars. These attomeys will go on to save countless clients and, in turn, teach future lawyers in an undying legacy of success. Thank you for ensuring our future. ‘Through mentorship, there is hope for our community and the eventual reform of our flawed criminal justice system. DAMON PARRISH by Hugh Brasher Damon Parrish is the best mentor because of his ‘open-mindedness and sincerity. When [first joined HCCLA was assigned to be Damon's Mentee in the Second-Chair Program. From the onset of our mentor-mentee relationship he has been consistent and sincere in his efforts to show me how to practice criminal law. I have not once seen him pass judgment on any client or fellow attorney (with the exception of several prosecutors). His passion and enthusiasm for practicing criminal defense is contagious. Damon is not only a mentor but is also a role model to me and other attorneys. For all ofthe reasons listed above, I am proud to have Damon Parrish in my comer and he should be awarded Mentor of the Year. DAVID RYAN by Samuel Gardner David Ryan is the best mentor because over the short period of time that have known him he has taken a vested interest in improving my skills as and attomey and in my career. Upon first meeting David he spent several hours of his time sharing his knowledge and answering all of my questions Over the last several months David has continued to check in on me, invited me out to social gatherings and introduced me to a number of other knowledgeable attomeys. David has shown a genuine interest in helping me improve as an attomey. He has always made himself available and been more than generous with his time. Mentors like David who have a vast amount of knowledge and are willing to share that knowledge are what allow HCCLA to continue to grow. Davis Ryan trly has made a difference in my career. PAT MCCANN by Armen Merjanian Pat McCann is the best mentor because he's always checking on the welfare of young attomeys. I've also had numerous ‘occasions when I've needed an in depth explanation on a complex area of the law (i.e. mental health) that he's sat down and taken the time to explain itto me thoroughly, even when he had clients of his own waiting on him. His passion for attomeys to know and understand the law can be seen weekly via the case law and summary he sends out to the local defense bar listservs CYNTHIA HENL: by Armen Merjanian Cynthia Henley is the best mentor because she's allowed me to work side by side with her on some high profile cases. She doesn't talk down to young lawyers; instead, she believes in us which brings us up on her level. Additionally, Cynthia is probably one of the only lawyers I know who truly cares about all indigent defense as a whole, Even though she has the knowledge, reputation, and expertise to handle the most serious of cases, it doesn't stop her from taking on misdemeanors and pouring out the state on those ceases t00. She leads by example and is an inspiration to all young attorneys, especially those who truly care about indigent defendants and defense. JULIO VELA by Ricardo Loredo 1 wanted to this opportunity to nominate Julio Vela, Hes 2 great mentor because hes a great criminal lawyer, hes always professional with his clients but goes above what is required to help them on a personal level as well. The judges seem to really like him, and his peers have only reat things to say about the guy. He is always willing to lend a hand when I need help, has great advice and I am a better lawyer and person for having met him. Overall, he’s a great example of what a criminal lawyer should be and an overall great guy. DAVID RYAN by Sharon Kiel I write to nominate David Michael Ryan as the HCCLA Mentor of the Year. He’s one of the finest lawyers I know and he’s willing to share his talent graciously and skillfully with other attorneys in this mentorship program. David was assigned to me as a mentor last year, He was everything a mentor was supposed to be: supportive, knowledgeable, nice and available. T will never be able to thank David for his mentorship and how it made me feel “able” as a new practitioner in Harris County, after moving here from another state. Since last year, David continues to be the ideal mentor. He is thoughtful about regularly asking me about my caseload, complaints and queries. David knows one of my goals is to defend men accused of capital murder and though I was not currently representing anyone so charged, he allowed me to join his capitol murder defense team so I could attend a special capital murder seminar last month in San Antonio. Unreservedly and wholeheartedly, I nominate David Michael Ryan as HCCLA as Mentor of, the Year, BOB WICOFF by Victoria Erfesoglou Bob Wicoff isthe best mentor because his door is always open. His patience, dedication, thoroughness and ability to convey the law are unparalleled. He openly displays his belief in mentees. He consistently clarifies confusing legal concepts and helps transform nervousness into confidence, composure and calm. His dedication to indigent defense is contagious and an inspiration.” DAVID RYAN by Ryan Mitchell The verb Mentor is defined as a teacher and trusted counselor. It should also include "see David Ryan" Having served as an Assistant District Attomey for over six years before leaving two years ago to start my own law firm, I have been able to observe Mr. Ryan as both an opponent and a teammate, However, in whatever capacity I encountered Mr. Ryan throughout my career, I have always considered him a colleague and a fiend. As an Assistant District Attorney I became familiar with the practice of law in Harris County, David Ryan has taken the opportunity to introduce me tothe understanding that Houston isa lot larger than Haris County. Mr. Ryan has introduced me to those involved in the practice of law in Liberty, Chambers, and Fort Bend counties. I have had the opportunity to meet defense attorney’, staf, probation officers, prosecutors and judges in those counties. ‘As many people know the first couple of years are rough for an individual transitioning from the role of a prosecutor. Courtroom experience and knowledge of law are part of the educational experience when one is employed as an Assistant District Attorney. However, shortly after one becomes an advocate for the accused, you realize the holes in that experience. Mr. Ryan is always available to teach @ young attomey. David Ryan has sent motions over email, ‘answered phone calls to advise me on legal options, and attended countless one on one meetings to discuss the ccurrent legal dilemma that I am facing. I also cannot count how many times I have run into Mr. Ryan outside of the courtroom and observe him assisting another attorney in the same capacity that he advises me, No other person ‘exemplifies the definition of the word mentor and for these reasons I nominate David Ryan for Mentor of the Year In criminal orc tigation a foreign language witness, ‘document or ausiowideo recording may come into Pay. [ALUSAItL.com we have an ‘experienced and ceried Interpretation team who can reliably provide accurate ‘ranscipions, translations and in-out interpretation. Fees published at website, €=9:9 {nvreRPRETION tteanstaTion ‘transceTion www. USAitt.com 936/499 0093 ee e. MARK BENNETT by Amalia Beckner ‘As a fresh-faced baby lawyer, you spend most of your time scrambling to figure out what happened 5 minutes earlier, and whether or not you screwed it up. You desperately need help and you're often just told to be quiet, or told that ‘you're wrong before you've finished your question. What is particularly special about Mark’s mentoring is that he does the opposite, He actively invites you to ask al the questions, ‘you have about your own work or his, and then patiently listens to your follow up questions, and then the questions, ‘you were aftaid were stupid after that, He encourages his “protégés” to participate actively in his cases, listens to ‘our ideas, and allows us eomplete access to his process in ‘working cases. In doing so, he creates a unique, respectful, and safe mentoring environment. One in which itis safe to try out ideas, safe to experiment, and therefore safe to lear. ‘Thank you for everything you do, Mark. SARAH WOOD by Victoria Erfesoglou Sarah Wood is the best mentor because she is helping to ‘change the face of indigent defense and clearing the path for mentees to participate. She is always available to help with the law, brainstorm, provide defense strategies and a strong shoulder to lean on for mentees, Her dedication to the FACT Program and the young lawyers in it have created 4 forum for elevating the practice of criminal defense and foot-soldiers for clients and change. DAVID RYAN by Armen Merjanian David Ryan is the best mentor because he makes himself available 24/7. Even when he's "vacationing" in Thailand, hhe makes it a point to respond to emails, text messages, ete, He's always willing to listen to the facts of any case, rno matter how big or small, and give advice on how to successfully attack the case. My clients have greatly ‘benefited from the mentorship that David Ryan has offered ‘me. David sets the bar (high) for all other mentors. DAVID CUNNINGHAM : by Fox Curl | first met David Cunningham 12 years ago when he taught ‘me Trial Advocacy at University of Houston. 12 years later he is still teaching me new things on a regular basis. For the first five years of practice, I called him almost every ‘week with what I called a “malpractice event.” The best part about David was that he always had the right answer to help me fix my problems, and more importantly (many times) he also helped me manage my freakouts over these “events.” David has probably quietly mentored a generation of criminal defense lawyers. MARK BENNETT by Armen Merjanian Mark Bennett is the best mentor because he thinks outside of the box when it comes to mentoring. Mark blocks off time every week for young lawyers to have breakfast with him and talk to him about various or cases. He shares his writs for other lawyers to file in their cases. He even offers to argue the writs on our behalf, Not only that, but he's set-up an improvisation class for young attorneys and other mentors to attend in ‘order for us to be better advocates in the courtroom and during trial. Mark should be commended for all of his contributions to the defense bar. MARK THIESS=N by Joseph M. Ruiz, Jr. Mark Thiessen is the best mentor. Almost 4 years ago, Mark took me on as a second chair as part of HCCLA's second chair program. Assisting him try 3 DWI cases and watching him try countless others ‘was invaluable in preparing me to try my own cases. I've since tried 16 cases and obtained 8 Not Guilty verdicts, thanks largely to Mark's assistance and tutelage. To this day, if I ever have any question about anything, I know I can call upon Mark for guidance to get me through any situation, He raises the defense bar not only by how great a lawyer he is for his, clients, but also by helping and inspiring less experienced lawyers rise to the challenge of defending liberty. He is, truly a once-in-a-lifetime defense lawyer and mentor. David Ryan is bold, sharped tongued, and daring in the way he ‘mentors young lawyers. His methods are unconventional, but they work, which is why I nominate him as HCCLA’s “Mentor of the Year.” Without David pushing me, forcing me to identify my strengths and weaknesses, and ridding me of the notion that my performance can be anything less than effective, I would not have ‘experienced the professional strides I've made this year, I look up to David, and I trust him with my most important professional challenges. David is hell of a mentor, and I am lucky to have him, He deserves this award Mark Bennett isthe best mentor because he inspires mentees to believe in the law, their ability to master it and make it better. He is always willing to answer complicated questions, even when he is in the middle of a courtroom. He gives mentees the space and tools to have an impact on cases, clients lives and find their voice, He teaches the value in elient-centered representation, the spirit to fight and the skill ofalways striving for self-improvement. T nominate Jordan Lewis for best mentor: Jordan has given up his time and money to not only help me star acareer but to raise the quality of defense in our community. What he's taught me is of incalculable value without whieh my clients would have suffered dearly. I could go into how Jordan accompanies me to court or ‘who he introduces me to or the trials I sat on or how he patiently answers my poorly researched questions. I know Jordan would rather not be praised for what he considers his duty, but he's still deserving of this award. @ raoirao EZ Dg Arm em lig Owned & Operated CT INSTALLED TODAY GPS & RF PU Tole Ree ae See eae Lea Serene eer ete ee ee eee »No phone line required PN alla ay Alcohol Ta rele Besa ea eae » Color picture verification ronment Reece year id Sener cy Sarl Sal Call Shannon or Shaun TCC Ca) 713.228.3969 Ce ere Deane es SNC ue een ILA A PROFILE by Thuy Le See) CONTINUED eg SLA Pawn heno ey Born in Abilene, military brat Brandon Ball, has lived in numerous countries. He was a correctional officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) while attending Sam Houston State University before becoming a parole and probation officer for the city of Las Vegas. He is a graduate of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, A: It's an institution, It wasn't like I dreamed it was because it wasn’t about the rehabilitation. It was about running the numbers and getting the right number of people moving along. People there are trying to do their job and not make waves. People go along to get along. I saw a lot of things that I did not like there. It’s not like in the movies where it’s easy to do the right thing. It’s hard to be brave. A; It's not easy being on parole, When someone gets released, they would be rated on whether they would reoffend. My idea was that I wasn’t planning to send them back to prison. I was trying to help them and focus on the rehabilitation. But it’s not easy for them to integrate back (into society) because the resources are limited, They don’t come out with a job and they don’t come out with a vehicle. They don’t have that family support system that a lot of us have. @ wesc A: The only difference between you and them is they got caught and you didn't. They were stupid and didn’t think and got drunk and made a mistake, Someone who's a juvenile misses school and gets suspended and then they fall behind and get expelled. Then they can't get into college and because they didn’t go to college, they can't get a job. It becomes a cycle. The indigent defense system is set up for you to fail. You read about these lawyers who represent hundreds of defendants a year. ‘There’s no way they spent any amount of time on those cases, Someone who gels @ conviction on their record for an assault family member is going to spend the rest. of their life being known as a criminal. People judge you and that judgment hinders them from future employment. It becomes a cycle. A: My mother always believed that if you spoke things aloud, it comes to existence. When I was little, my mother told me I would grow up to go to college and be a doctor, ‘an engineer, or a lawyer. I wasn’t any good with math, so I couldn’t be a doctor or an engineer, Matlock was one of my favorite shows and people kept telling me I should go to law school because I loved to argue. I applied to 18 different law schools and didn’t get in the first time and was going to give up. Then my friend, Chaunte Sterling, encouraged me to reapply and I reapplied the next year and got accepted. A: [didn’t plan for what I was going to study before law chool and I didn’t plan after, I knew I had a background in criminal justice and I wanted to do something different, So I graduated and did some family law and heard about the FACT program (Future Appointed Counsel Training Program) and Gideon’s Promise and it changed my views. Before, I was scared to do criminal defense because I didn’t have a mentor coming out and didn't want to send someone to prison for five years because I didn’t know what I was doing, The FACT program and Gideon's Promise showed me that indigent defense is the new civil rights, The amount of people who don’t get adequate representation is astonishing. From that point on, my viewpoint on wanting to practic criminal defense changed and I’ve been focused on that A: Its different now for new lawyers coming out, Twenty-five to thirty years ago, it was easier to get cases and clients and take cases to trial. [wish they would be more patient with us and give us more of their time, Its hard t0 be that young attorney that's being annoying because they Want a mentor. It's not easy asking someone for help. To get 4 real mentor, you have to annoy the person: you're asking them questions, you're constantly calling them, sending ‘emails. I wish they understood that it's hard for the younger lawyer to want to be that annoying, A: All you have is your name and word. If you say you're going to do something for a client or another attorney, and you don’t do it, they remember that. To that person, you're going to be put into the category as someone that can’t be trusted, Once you lose their trust, that’s it. Read case law. It's important to learn what the law is and the caselaw changes. As a young attorney, you don’t know anything and one place to start is to read caselaw. It helps you know and recognize what you don’t know. Never stop leaming and never be afraid to lear. The law changes; the facts change. You forget things. ‘Twenty years ago, DWI cases, DNA and eyewitness identification cases were not getting tried the same way as they are today. Social media wasn't around, Society is, always changing and we have to adapt and apply it to the courtroom, A: From the standpoint of potential clients, yes. If you puta black lawyer next to a white one, without knowing anything about either lawyer, the white lawyer will get picked more often than not, The same is true regardless of whether the client is black or white, It is the same for women versus men lawyers, That’s just how it is. As a black attorney, I understand I can’t afford to slip up like one of my white counterparts. Some folks don’t want to talk about that but I think it’s a healthy discussion, vacacauen. @) (O\eX=1s)s mm Oe nap (> nanan Go with Strategy, not the Spaghetti Stick! Team ee Bae aN eI IEE Dee ara aL Re ee -Eugene Znosko-Borovsky Bea aN ee Ne ee that of giving checkmate to one's opponent will never become a good chess player.” -Max Euwe Cree See Sema Tene ern Defence? Chess masters around the world may not agree ‘on what the best game winning strategies are but one thing they do agree on is that you must have a strategy to win. rec ssa eae seta board is a surefire formula for losing, ‘The same holds true for tral strategy. If you go into trial Sree e eke ee ey eer pein WS ees enoaaitt Senne ener Tey client, Going into trial without a plan and just asking Pree at eaaecce mS eee eRe aye teat Ser are er kM Rie Peon eas PCs Cera Unhappy isthe fate of one who tries A ree eer ene ren ee Ores ie a a eer er et aes re eae ra ete ead the battle is fought. The general who loses a@ battle makes but few rea Nee eee! een sa ers men definitely not, Lam not even saying there are always good Pomerat en ee SSCL? enough, you can find AN issue in EVERY case. Your job is to keep hunting until you find it, Keep searching and Trae meee Roe nearness eee een inn et ares kee Nee eee (perhaps over an adult beverage). If you can find good Sees ee ac have to go with weaker issues, at least you have some sort Srarcag ‘Then its up to the jury. ‘The right jury will hang their hat Cee eee coca chagrin. Geiting the right jury but then leaving them empty of reasons to acquit your client is a terrible feeling, Seema eg a eS een SOM Tae aC Series hres OAC eee Oc ee Oe nce eee Ee ae ee err and followed the law and their oath, by voting not guilty cee en ee eureka cee aan eee enya is actually skilled at public speaking and confident in the courtroom but they use the spaghetti toss stratcgy eee Regu en a Nts “guilty.” Your words are powerful and your job in trial is to persuade. Spend the time before trial to identify your ee he tet okt ‘Then see if you really need two and consider going wi Ree eer eee oe ee erie ence Te eee eC SiLE issues and avoid the spaghetti toss. Now go forth and get ene hen cn e718 ethics hotline 713°518°1738 CO) An inheritance nobody wants. ih a HCCLA Wy) MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Applicant Firm Name: ‘Telephone number: Fax Mailing address: Email address: Website: Date admitted to practice: ‘Would you like to join the HCCLA listserv?: ‘Type of membership (dues) _—_ Regular membership ($150*) Public Defender (State/Federal ($75*) New criminal defense lawyer (within two years of beginning criminal defense practice) ($75*) ‘Senior Member ($75*) Paralegal Member ($50*) : Student ($25) cee meineymamtoatenmereemcenionn | Ayaan Te xpected graduation date: Date Signature oF applicant AD RATES FULL PAGE [INSIDE] :: $700/ISSUE :: $2,520/YEAR INSIDE FRONT COVER :: S800/ISSUE :: $2,880/YEAR INSIDE BACK COVER :: $750/ISSUE = $2,700/YEAR BACK COVER :: $800/ISSUE :: $2,880/YEAR 2/3 PAGE :: $600/ISSUE : $2,160/YEAR 1/2 PAGE :: $500/ISSUE : $1,B00/YEAR 1/3 PAGE :: $400/ISSUE : $1,440/YEAR 1/4 PAGE :: $250/1SSUE :: $900/YEAR ‘BUSINESS CARD SIZE :: $125/ISSUE :: $450/YEAR Distribution 1000 copies per issue. 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