Tag Archives: texas lawyers

Texas’s 2016 Execution Tally Was the Lowest Since 1996 — Here’s Why

Houston-based Texas Defender Services is trying to ensure the judicial system functions properly even in the most extreme circumstances.

By Adam Doster 12/29/2016 at 8:00am

A few weeks after a bad breakup, in 1995, Duane Buck stormed into the Houston home of his ex-girlfriend and murdered her while her three children watched. He also killed the man he thought she was sleeping with and shot his own stepsister, a bystander who survived. Though remorseful (and high at the time), Buck never disputed these facts. By the spring of 2011, when Kate Black first reviewed the resulting criminal case, the Harris County District Attorney’s office had already set Buck’s execution date. He had six months to live.

Black is a staff attorney at the Houston-based legal non-profit Texas Defender Services (TDS), charged with directing the impending clemency proceedings for death row inmates. The group is at the center of a small community of elite death-penalty defense practitioners in Texas, who try hard to ensure the judicial system functions properly even in the most extreme circumstances.

“We were doing the petition,” Black says, “and in the course of investigating it, we realized there was this huge issue that hadn’t been litigated.”

Texas allows death sentences only if prosecutors can show that a defendant poses a future danger to society. At Buck’s sentencing hearing, his initial court-appointed defense attorney, Jerry Guerinot, presented testimony from a psychiatrist named Walter Quijano. It was unlikely that Buck, an African-American with no prior violent convictions, would commit similar acts in the future, Quijano stated, but Buck’s race nonetheless “increased the probability.” The claim was scientifically inaccurate and morally bankrupt. The prosecution leaned on it heavily during closing arguments.

Read Full – https://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2016/12/29/texas-2016-execution-tally-lowest-since-1996

Personal Injury Lawyer Fed Up With Colleague, Files Class Action

POST WRITTEN BY

Jessica Karmasek

Last week, a Texas attorney who says he is “intimately familiar” with litigation over inferior vena cava filters, or IVCs, filed a proposed class action lawsuit against an Arizona-based law firm for allegedly making unsolicited phone calls to line up potential clients.

Plaintiff John R. MacLean, also known as Scotty MacLean, filed his lawsuit against defendants Arentz Law Group and The Johnston Law Group in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, Aug. 25.

MacLean, who received one of the unsolicited calls himself, accuses the firms of ignoring the laws on soliciting clients.

“Sadly, there are attorneys and law firms that ignore ethical rules and barratry laws and use any means necessary in the mad dash to grab as many clients as they can,” he wrote in his 14-page complaint. “These firms blatantly and with complete disregard for the law (and at any cost) unethically and illegally solicit clients.”

According to MacLean’s action, each state has established barratry — or litigation for the purpose of harassment or profit — statutes to protect their citizens from law firms that solicit clients the wrong way.

Full Article – http://www.forbes.com/sites/legalnewsline/2016/09/02/personal-injury-lawyer-fed-up-with-colleague-files-class-action/#51e0214f584d