austindefender

Criminal defense in Austin Texas.

Stupid Retarded Ridiculousness

| November 27, 2008

From the NYT: LOS ANGELES — A federal jury here issued what legal experts said was the country’s first cyberbullying verdict Wednesday, convicting a Missouri woman of three misdemeanor charges of computer fraud for her involvement in creating a phony account on MySpace to trick a teenager, who later committed suicide. I don’t know if […]

Bailouts

| November 25, 2008

Citibank’s getting another $40 billion or so, along with guarantees on another $300 billion worth of debt. It’s so frustrating watching this process unfold. Citibank was only worth about $20 billion when they announced the plan. We could have bought the bank twice over with just the cash we’re giving them. Meanwhile… mortgage modifications seem […]

Discovery in Texas

| November 19, 2008

I came across this in Grits for Breakfast the other day: Theoretically, every prosecutor is required to disclose exculpatory evidence, known as Brady material, to the defense. In reality, defendant have no way to enforce this right. The problem is that defendants in Texas have very little right to discovery. Parties in a car wreck, […]

Judge’s Order – Petition for Non-Disclosure

| November 18, 2008

Again, sorry for the crappy formatting. Better version here: nondisclosure-order. Cause No. ________________ The State of Texas § In The District Court § vs. § ______ Judicial District § § __________________________ § ________ County, Texas Defendant § ORDER PROHIBITING DISCLOSURE OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION Today, the Court heard the defendant’s petition asking the court […]

Texas Petition for Non-Disclosure

| November 17, 2008

Sorry about the formatting. You can find a cleaner version here: petition-for-nondisclosure. . Cause No. ________________ The State of Texas           §           In The District Court § VS.                                 §           ______ Judicial District § ________________,           § ________County, Texas Defendant § ─────────────────────────────────────────────────── […]

Fun with Charts. P/e ratios and the S&P 500.

| November 16, 2008

I’ve been following what’s been going on in the financial markets, and although this is off-topic, I thought I’d post it anyway. In a post on Econbrowser, James Hamilton argues that the chart above – which shows that p/e ratios on the S&P 500 have declined to slightly below their longterm average – indicates that […]

Living in a Low Tax State

| November 13, 2008

It can be frustrating being a criminal defense attorney. Today I spent the morning trying to put someone on probation.  The state had already agreed to it.  He has no criminal history.  But the judge said “no.” Why?  He’s schizophrenic, and his family doesn’t want him.  Probation can’t help him, because he’s not a sex […]

Judge Charlie Baird

| November 6, 2008

I came across interesting article about Judge Charlie Baird in the Austin Chronicle article the other day.  I’ve known him at least since I tried a case in front of him when he was a visiting judge, but the article was worth reading.  (It’s interesting how much better the Chronicle is than the Statesman, when […]

Plea Bargaining, cont.’d

| November 4, 2008

This article, by the way, makes an interesting point about plea bargaining: While some defendants are better off plea bargaining, if all defendants insisted on a trial, most would go free.

Why So Many Plea Bargains?

| November 4, 2008

One of the less-understood aspects of criminal courts involves plea bargains.  On television, and in movies, most people get a trial, so some folks are surprised that 90%+ of cases end in plea bargains. To some, the quantity of plea bargains means too many are getting off easy.  To others, it means too many got […]